Tuesday, September 30, 2008


18 = the average number of weeks the top ten chart songs has been played on country radio this week.
16.8 = the average number of weeks the number 11 through 20 songs has been played this week.
17.3 = the average number of weeks the number 21 through 30 charting songs has been played this week.
9.5 = the average number of weeks the number 31 through 40 songs on the chart has been played this week.

How many more weeks should radio keep playing songs ranking between 21 and 30 before recognizing that they won't go any higher on the national charts, making room for faster-growing songs?

Monday, September 29, 2008

18-49 Attracts ABC Radio, R&R Chart Explains Why Perhaps You Should Retarget Too

The ABC Radio Press Release
"...To be successful, we must ensure our pipeline is full of new products geared toward serving our advertisers, including more offerings focused on the 18-49 demographic..."

(ABC Radio Networks Names Carl Anderson SVP Programming and Distribution) today reminded me of the above, from the front page of a July R&R. If you target 18-34 and 18-49, it's time to figure out what makes Gen Y tick!

Nielsen: more than 20 million U.S. telephone households (17 percent) are wireless

.. and, as the economy softens, look for that percentage to increase, making it harder than ever for radio researchers to find representative samples. That average bill is $40 per month per landline household.

In addition to the universe of U.S. wireless substitutors, Nielsen's study reports that:
  • U.S. cord cutters tend to have lower income-levels-59 percent have household incomes of $40,000 or less
  • Smaller households, with just one or two residents, are more likely to cut the cord than larger households
  • Moving or changing jobs are the biggest life events associated with cord cutting: 31 percent of cord cutters moved prior to cord cutting and 22 percent changed jobs
  • Wireless substitutors tend to use their mobile phones more than their landline peers, 45 percent more per phone, but still save an average $33 per month in a household of one subscriber, less $6.69 for each additional wireless resident, when they cut the cord

Alison LeBreton, vice president of client services for Nielsen Mobile, said "As wireless network quality improves and unlimited calling becomes increasingly pervasive, we expect the trend toward wireless substitution to continue… "

But wireless substitution doesn't work for everyone, says the report. Ten percent of landline phone customers have experimented with wireless-only in their household, but then returned to landline service. Nielsen reports that needing a landline for another service (security system, satellite TV, pay-per-view, fax machine, etc.) is the primary reason people mend the cord.

For the full paper, "Call My Cell: Wireless Substitution in the United States," please go here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"The Overnights Delivered In Song" Got Me

I have a job, I don't need a job, in spite of this tough economy, thankfully. So, why do I religiously read Graeme Newell's Marketing Ideanet Jobs email every week?? .. because it includes postings like this one:

Promotion Writer/Producer
WHIO – Dayton, OH

Top 10 Reasons You’ll Love Working at WHIO-TV

10. Every morning Director of Research delivers the overnights “in song”
9. That ENG truck featured on last season’s Pimp My Ride? Ours.
8. Envious looks when you tell people you live in Dayton
7. Two Words: Pajama Thursdays
6. Last team-building exercise was finding the answer to how many people can fit in Master Control (88)
5. We’re finally ending overnight topicals!
4. Win in November, get Creative Services Director’s awesome El Camino for the weekend
3. All image promos begin with the words “In a world”
2. Getting treated like a rock star in news
1. POPs always more fun when they demonstrate your “Proof of Pants!”

At WHIO-TV we take our jobs seriously, but we also believe work is better when people are having fun. If you believe hard work and having fun aren’t mutually exclusive, come see what you’re missing in a city with a high quality of life and low cost of living. At the risk of burying the lead, we are one of the most dominant news stations in the country, owned by one of the best-regarded groups in the country. If you are the kind of producer who strives to outdo yourself with every script and every spot, we want to talk to you. To apply, please have a minimum of two years experience and a reel that demonstrates your understanding of contemporary production techniques (i.e., no cheese).

Send resume, cover letter, and DVD to:
Creative Services Director
1414 Wilmington Avenue
Dayton Ohio 45429
WHIO-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer

.. makes me want to work there (it looks like the TV station where Phil Donohue got his start is still thinking creatively)!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TK Makes Another Forbes ($$$) List

Toby is one of '08's "the world's best-paid music stars" again. Keith ranks No. 3 on the list, behind the Police and Beyonce, with $48 million in earnings between June 1, 2007 and June 1, 2008. Following Keith in the top five are Justin Timberlake and Madonna.
"Maybe Toby should be sitting in this week during the President's big financial summit." - Neil Haislop

Meanwhile, a special message from Toby was just posted on his official website.

"To my Warriors: The Biggest and Baddest summertime tour ended in Salt Lake City Saturday night. Now we are headed up to Canada to play some shows and we will continue the Biggest and Baddest tour after the first of the year. I want to stop and thank you for the support you have shown. It’s always good to see so many familiar faces in the crowds and at the meet and greets throughout the tour. It’s been a full year for us writing and filming a movie, my annual USO tour to Iraq and Afghanistan, a 35 Biggest Hits CD release, the movie hitting theaters, my new studio album October 28th and the Beer For My Horses DVD release November 11. I am looking forward to seeing you again down the road and thanks again for always being there."

PS: Forbes listed country's wealthiest earners in a last last May and Toby topped that one as well. Click to see what Forbes estimates country stars made last year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If This Isn't A Fun Talk-About, I'll Eat My Ballot

If you’re still undecided about the upcoming election, you may want to stop and think which candidate you’d want on your side in your day-to-day life. According to the September American Pulse of 4,047 respondents (including 3,453 registered voters), registered voters want Sarah Palin to babysit their kids (62.1%), John McCain’s help if they are arrested (34.5%), and Barack Obama on their side in a street fight (36%).

With all the rhetoric surrounding the tight Presidential contest, undecided voters may still hold the key in the race for the White House. Therefore, it’s interesting to note which candidates Americans want by their side on vacation and at home, when asked to choose between the candidates and their running mates. Over 40% of registered voters would choose to go to Vegas with Republican Sarah Palin and have her as their next door neighbor. On a more serious note, however, voters feel Barack Obama will be the most remembered by historians.

- Dianne Kremer - 614.846.0146
SSI - Jason Kannon - 860.674.3861

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rascal Flatts: Never Forgetting What Got You "Here"

You, the road and the radio are all in this amazing tribute video, produced and edited in-house at Lyric Street Records, a chronicle of friends, hard work, talent and dedication, the key ingredients of any success!

A Message For You From Tammy Genovese

In case no one has formally invited you to the 2008 CMA Awards, click here.

New LP's For Faith, George and Chesney; New Tour Dates For Carrie

Faith Hill's new "Joy To The World" LP releases on Warner Bros. next Tuesday and George Strait's "Classic Christmas" on MCA arrives at retail on October 7 and they are hoping to be the first two ornaments of your Holiday season.

Kenny Chesney is giving fans a chance to buy songs from his next album, which hits stores on October 4 right now.

New dates have just been announced as Carrie Underwood continues her "Carnival Ride" tour. Underwood will have performed 137 live shows in 2008, in addition to her many Opry and TV performances. The fall leg of the tour, sponsored by vitaminwater®, will begin tomorrow in Cleveland, Ohio and will feature special guest Little Big Town.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A First For Me: Video Job Posting

Sandra Dolynchuk Progam Director at Thunder Bay's Magic 99.9 earns a tip of the A&O hat for trying something fresh to attract morning talent, while creating local buzz: a Google video (click to watch it)!

Have you ever seen or done anything like this before? How did it work?

PS: I remember when Dolynchuk was on the air herself on the Giant, under the name Sandra Dee and rose from host to PD (so she knows a thing or two about creating morning fun...)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It Takes More

Mark Wills new release is on former Sony Music and Clint Black's Equity Music exec Mike Kraski's label Tenacity Records. It arrived with a letter setting forth Tenacity's mission:
"Quality. Great songs. Great singers. No agenda beyond top shelf music and artistry."
Best of luck with it, Mark and Mike. If everyone in Music City adopted that approach, promotion would take a lot less tenacity.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Next.. (Your Station) Girl?

The same folks who created the social networking hook Obama Girl are now working with Canada's incumbent candidate/PM Stephen Harper, as campaigns get more videos online to potential voters (some they'd like 'em to see, and some they might not) that they could ever do with the traditional media.

Will working with such an obvious new media buzz-creation site work? Or, does it need to seem self-generated? We'll see, but so far, it appears to be, in spite of being obviously generated by a professional organization (after all, here I am linking to it too!)

Study: Stores Brace For Worst Holiday Since 1991

Sarah Mahoney in MediaPost: A new forecast isn't just predicting a lousy holiday for retailers, it's calling for the weakest Christmas in 17 years, since the financial meltdown of 1991.

Even with gas and fuel costs declining a bit, "there's a financial retrenchment going on in households that hasn't been felt since the early 1990s," says Frank Badillo, senior economist for the Columbus, Ohio-based TNS Retail Forward. "While the recession in 2001 hurt investors, it didn't affect consumers the way this economy is--there's still of lot of pain from the credit crisis, more people are unable to sell their homes or delinquent on mortgages. They're worried about job loss."

As a result, consumers will likely be saying no-ho-ho: TNS predicts sales growth of just 1.5% compared to 2.7% last year, 3.8% in 2006, and 7% in 2005. Back in 1991, he says, growth was 1.2%.

The retail winners, he says, are likely to be supercenters, warehouse clubs, and dollar stores that have been outperforming other channels in recent months, as well as the consumer electronics category. And the losers are likely to be luxury marketers, mainstream department stores, and home furnishings. Even online shopping is going to soften, the company predicts. "We expect to see a gain of 9% in Internet sales, to $42.5 billion, the first time it's been in the single digits since 1999," he says. Last year, Internet sales increased 19%.

The company expects to see a decline of 1.3% in apparel and accessories, compared to flat results last year, with the biggest drag on department stores, "as upper-income households become increasingly vulnerable to economic pressures." In furniture and home improvement stores, still pressured by an increasingly troubled real-estate market, it expects downturns as well.

One bright spot, he says, is likely to be consumer electronics, with a gain of 4%, compared to 3.5% last year (That's not just fueled by gadget-loving gift givers, he says, but also by the conversion to digital TV signals.)

The fourth quarter is likely to be especially blue for upscale department stores, he says, particularly Saks, Neiman, and Nordstrom: "They held their own last year, but now, we're even seeing these upscale shoppers pull back."

How marketers will win these shoppers over, he says, remains to be seen, but it likely won't be with massive markdowns on the cashmere rack. "Retailers are going into this season with much leaner inventories, and I'm not sure that retailers are going to be that aggressive, since it's unlikely that deep discounts will generate a strong response."

A forecast from Deloitte Services LP is also predicting bad news-- looking for an increase of between 2.5 to 3% in retail sales during the November-to-January period, "less than last year's 3.4% increase, and one of the smallest gains since 1991's 2% uptick."

Pam Danziger, whose Unity Marketing tracks the spending and consumer confidence levels of the luxury market, agrees that high-end retailers are going to have to work harder to tempt shoppers.

"Yes, the value of their home is declining, and their portfolio took a hit. But these people still have plenty of money in their pockets, and earn hefty salaries," she points out. "The issue is that none of them need anything. Their basements are full, their closets are full. They are only going to buy what really excites them--and having another sale isn't going to do it," she says of the nation's 28 million affluent households. Unity's Luxury Index "has been declining steadily since mid-2007, and now, about 80% of these affluent consumers feel the economy is going in the wrong direction."

For now, higher-demographic consumers are content to sit out for a few shopping seasons. "Consumers can find excellent quality products at all price points. But luxury marketers have stopped talking about the quality of their materials or craftsmanship, and stopped making a case for the value of their products. Why is that Dolce & Gabbana handbag worth five times a comparable one from Coach or Dooney & Bourke?" she says. "Luxury is the easiest thing to do without."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lon Helton: "Fishy Flatts Omission?"

Country Aircheck places the daily news updates on their home page for free access, but you need to sign up to see the weekly "Music Edition" archives. That's too bad, because Lon's op-ed this week deserves wide public circulation. Hopefully, popular demand will get him to post it in a public space on his page soon, but meanwhile I want to quote, amplify and second his remarks:

"Judging by the number of calls I received proclaiming it a travesty that Rascal Flatts wasn’t on the final list of nominees for the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award announced last week, one has to be concerned about the integrity and reputation of the CMA Awards. After all, if the industry wonders about the voting process, what kind of doubt is raised in the minds of the fans?

"The bad news is that for many, Flatts have now joined Tim McGraw and Toby Keith as artists who have been either been snubbed, or, worst case, cheated out of recognition they have earned.

"Let me hasten to add that this piece is not about Rascal Flatts’ exclusion, per se. There are certainly a number of other acts who could have made the final cut in any of the categories. And, there’s no one in any of the categories who don’t deserve to be there. However, the trio’s profile, especially as defined by the number of tickets and CDs they sell, makes them the poster child for what many see as an egregious omission. That high profile is also what puts it on fan’s radar and may well have them scratching their scalps, trying to figure out where this industry has its collective head.

"The one thing that can never happen to either the CMA or the ACM is to have the integrity of their awards process in doubt. Perhaps the biggest fear is that the awards themselves will be diminished in stature by what the public perceives as a glaring error. But far more insidious and potentially damaging is the view from many in the industry that the voting process is flawed and skewed to the mega-labels. Some point out that the commonality among McGraw, Keith and the Flatt’s is their stand-alone label affiliation. The inference is that artists in those situations cannot overcome the perceived block-voting believed to be taking place in major label groups.

"In the spirit of full disclosure, I am the Vice Chair of the CMA’s Awards & Recognition Committee, which is headed by Tim DuBois. As such, I can tell you the CMA, along with some CMA board directors, have examined the balloting with the Deloitte & Touche accountants to make sure there were no irregularities. Everything has been done to insure the integrity of the voting process. There are systems in place that kick-out any blanket votes suspected of being “bartered.” If votes for any artist are outside of certain percentage parameters, they are automatically flagged for closer examination. The fact is, anything can happen in a peer voting system.

"All of that said, the exclusion of Tim and Toby in the past and the Flatts this year simply doesn’t pass the “smell test.” While intense examination of the ballots does not produce a smoking gun, the preponderance of evidence seems to suggest there is, at least, something within the process that puts some artists at a distinct disadvantage.

"Finding a solution won’t be easy. The CMA has enlisted the help of a Vanderbilt professor to help scrutinize the process in the past year. The goal is to make sure the procedures and methodologies are as fair and equitable as possible. For all artists."

-- Lon Helton

Take A Gander At Country's Sexiest Man (?)

The votes are in, and Trace Adkins now stakes claim to the title of 'Country's Sexiest Man.' The readers of Country Weekly magazine voted in an online showdown of hottest hunks, ranking the 46-year-old father of five (and grandfather of one!) at No. 1. Gary Allan was a close second, followed by last year's winner, Toby Keith. Rounding out the Top 5 are Chris Young and Jack Ingram. New dad Keith Urban comes in as country's No. 6 sexiest star. Also sizzling in the Top 10 are Jeff Bates, Keith Anderson, Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw.

Check out the story on "The Boot" blog, and be sure to read all the comments this choices generated. The fan clubs are fightin' it out over whether he needs a haircut or not, but you have to acknowledge that Trace's music and his Celebrity Apprentice performance got him a lot of well-deserved votes.

CMT asks: "Is It The Water?" As Ronnie Dunn and LeAnn Cancel Shows

First it was LeAnn Rimes. Now it’s Brooks & Dunn.

Is there something in the Nashville water?

Rimes had to pull out of a concert with Kenny Chesney because of tonsillitis. (Fortunately, Miranda Lambert made a more than adequate substitute.)

And, now Brooks & Dunn have canceled a show in York, Pa., and postponed shows near Pittsburgh and Chicago because of Ronnie Dunn’s severe respiratory condition.
“I’m sitting here sick, pretty bummed out, with no voice,” was the message from Ronnie Dunn.

-- CMT

My take: if they were sitting in Nashville drinking the H20 all summer rather than touring constantly and singing their hearts out for all of us, they'd probably have healthier throats.

A big thanks to both ailing stars for what they put their bodies through in order to entertain us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How It Looks To Have Your First #1

Jimmy Wayne has been traveling non-stop around the country promoting his Top 5 album Do You Believe Me Now, but the rising star took a few minutes to celebrate his first #1 single of the same title. Pictured above en-route to a performance is Jimmy and band members Johnny Richardson (l) and Jake Clayton (r). (Thanks to Valory Music's John Zarling for passing the joy along!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

This Is Good News?

The radio trade media is reporting the latest American Media Service index survey as very positive news and certainly there's a lot of data to support that we may be a bit like a blacksmith in 1900, bragging that the majority of his customers are still using horses to get around.

"52% of respondents keep listening when commercials air" is being reported as great news.

How many minutes of commercials did they think their favorite music station airs an hour? 13, and 45% either change or turn off the radio when commercials come on. 41% said they are back listening within two minutes, which makes you wonder if they'd leave in the first place if we simply cut commercial loads back to nine minutes.

Would they listen to more radio if there were fewer commercials? 68% would and 70% said they’d like to hear more music. Only 45% say they’d like to hear more local news and 38% want more national news. Just 17% said they’d like to hear more talk from air personalities.

Here is the good news as I read it: we have known what it would take to make them listen more for years. When we're not playing music, we need to be simply great, every time.

So, why would we want to add ANY more commercial clutter, permit news to be done in the same old ways or air personalities to say the same predictable and boring things? The bad news, of course, is that the majority of radio stations are doing exactly that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Canadian Radio Is Coming To Nokia Cell Phones

Howard Christensen reports:
"Representatives of Nokia Corp. in Finland have asked Broadcast Dialogue for a listing of Canadian FM stations."

The data would be used for Nokia’s wireless radio service and displayed on all of its radio-enabled mobile phones. Aside from the stations themselves, information requested was sorting by region,
city, and frequency, along with station IDs.

Let's hope this trend spreads!

ABC News/USA Today's "Match O Matic"

Try this very clever web game/poll to see who you are for in November.

Just Because You Can Find A Willing Lawyer Doesn't Mean You Have A Case

No one is more upset about Arbitron's sample issues than I am. The only stat growing faster than their profit margins is the number of places with totally unacceptable proportionality problems and missed sample targets in more and more cells and I wish they were doing more to address this in the hundreds of diary markets instead of bragging about improving proportionality in the handful of PPM cities coming online.

But, what's the point of harassing ARB with complaints to the FCC, the AG, the courts? That's like suing Wendy's because The Baconater has more fat than you'd like to have in your lunch. Have a salad, or go somewhere else.

Cumulus is not renewing their ARB contracts which expire at the end of the year and it sounds like at least Nielsen and Eastlan, if not others, have been vying for that business

That's a good thing. Healthy competition and smarter, more state-of-the-art approaches are needed. More savvy researchers will solve these problems, not more attorneys.

Podcast Popularity Grows

Nearly one-fifth (19%) of US internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they can view it or listen to it later - up from 12% in August 2006 and 7% in February/April 2006 - according to (pdf) the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

That percentage continues to increase as devices with digital audio capability, such as iPods and MP3 players, gain wider use and a larger selection of podcasts becomes available, Pew said.


Though podcast downloading is on the rise, it remains relatively uncommon on a daily basis. Among those who say they download podcasts, just 17% do so on a typical day. Men, people under age 50, and more experienced internet users are most likely to have downloaded a podcast.

Among the key findings of the Pew study:

  • 22% of male internet users (vs. 16% of online women) report ever having downloaded a podcast.


  • Men and women are equally likely (3%) to download podcasts on a typical day.
  • 23% of those under 50 say they have downloaded a podcast and 4% “downloaded one yesterday,” compared with 13% and 1% of their older counterparts.
  • The percentage of younger generations downloading podcasts has nearly doubled since 2006.
  • Internet users with six or more years of internet experience are significantly more likely than those with less experience to have downloaded a podcast, and they are more likely to download podcasts on a typical day.
  • Internet users with broadband access are more likely to download podcasts. Those who subscribe to premium home broadband services are even more likely to download podcasts.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

42% Of Americans Prefer Radio For Listening To Music

Radio still rules the roost for a plurality of music listeners, with CD players and MP3 players trailing and the good old record player a thing of the past.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that a plurality (42%) of Americans still prefer to listen to their music from a radio. Lagging far behind is the CD player at 25% and MP3 player at 14%. Young adults (45%) tend to use MP3 players more than their elders (22%).

Only a statistically insignificant one percent (1%) listen to music on a tape deck, and record turntables didn't even rate that high.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Wynonna & The Grand Ole Opry Team For Interactive Promotion

This is one you could do with local artist appearances on your own website as well:

Wynonna returns to the Opry stage on Saturday, October 4 in celebration of Opry Month! In anticipation of her performance, the Opry and Wynonna want to give one lucky fan the chance to win a trip to Nashville, including tickets to the show and a chance to meet Wy backstage! But not just any fan ... prove why YOU should meet Wynonna!

Create a short video and upload it to MyOpry explaining "Why I Should Meet Wy" and you could be selected as the lucky winner for a trip to Music City to Meet Wy!

(Check back often to see other videos submitted by fans, and vote for your favorites.)

Click here to get started!

Sloganeering Or Branding?

If a new country station came on FM who would be sufficiently intrigued by the name or position statement to TRY such a new radio station?

To find out, we questioned 250 randomly-selected country radio listeners of several geographically-diverse mainstream heritage country leaders.

We asked:

"What if a new country format came on an FM station locally? How likely would you be to listen? One means that you would never listen to that station and five means you would listen all the time. What number would you choose?"

Almost half of the country fans (43%) in these widely separate communities are quite interested in trying such a station. The interest is equal in all age groups, and is slightly stronger among females.

BUT, should it use the slogan...
"Young Country?"
“New Country?”
“Today’s Country?”
“Continuous Country?”
“Country Favorites?”
“The Best Country?”

We asked:

"I am going to read a list of slogans. Please tell me how likely you would be to listen to a station that uses each slogan. Rate each on that same one to five scale."

The words "Young Country" scored at the very BOTTOM of all slogans we tested when their total persons average scores were ranked in order!

The winner was what some might call the weakest ‘slogan’ of them all, the clear, simple: “Today’s Country.”


Perhaps the traditional things we have used for two decades to position ourselves as unique are no longer effective.

Grab a great brand, load it with plenty of real product superiority you don’t need to listen very long to hear and stop trying to advertise your aspirations in hackneyed position statements and slogans.

More than four of ten of very successful country leaders' listeners would switch for something fresh and new, they say, but not for just any old over-used position statement.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Why We Fight

As nearly two-thirds of Canadians say that the Afgan mission has become too costly, the poem, titled Why We Fight, was written in Afghanistan in 2006 by Cpl. Andrew Grenon of Windsor, Ont., one of three Canadian soldiers who died Wednesday during an ambush in the volatile Zhari district. It was released Thursday by members of Grenon's family.

I've often asked myself why we are here. Why my government actually agreed to send troops to this God-forsaken place. There are no natural resources. No oil, gold, or silver. Just people.

People who have been at war for the last 40 plus years. People who want nothing more than their children to be safe. People who will do anything for money; even give their own life.

I look into the eyes of these people. I see hate, destruction and depression. I see love, warmth, kindness and appreciation.

Why do we fight? For in this country, there are monsters. Monsters we could easily fight on a different battlefield, at a different time. Monsters that could easily take the fight to us.

Surrounding these mud walls and huts is a country in turmoil. A country that is unable to rebuild itself. A country that cannot guarantee a bright future for its youth.

Why do we fight? Because, if we don't fight today, on THIS battlefield, then our children will be forced to face these monsters on our own battlefield.

I fight because I'm a soldier.

I fight because I'm ordered.

I fight, so my children won't have to.

Country Listeners Are A-MAZE-ing!

Braden Doerr, VP/GM for Astral Media Radio in London sends along this unbelievable overhead shot of the corn maze created by the Sunrise Garden Centre, near Lucan, Ontario. See the BX93 logo in the lower left corner!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Never Take Your Success For Granted

A&O clients seem to know something that the majority of country stations do not right now.

Thankfully, due to smart reaction to fresh, local listener research, Albright & O'Malley clients in both Canada (S2 BBM) and America (Spring ARB) did very well. It all comes down to great execution, of course, and the fact that we are very choosy in the companies we keep (smile). We're so proud of our clients success right now, especially in the face of challenging times.

However, such was not the case for two thirds of the country stations in the top 50 Spring 2008 ARB rated markets, according to the Inside Ratings report (click to download the pdf) just released by Inside Radio's Mike Kinosian.

• More than six of ten (62%) Country stations in our sample were down year-to-year; about one in three (34%) improved; and the remaining 4% were flat.
• Typical gains were +.57 while average losses were -.66
• One of every four declines (25%) was either by one-tenth or two-tenths.

If you're still doing things the way you did six months ago, it's past time to notice that listener tastes are changing and what may have worked for you last year is not going to work as well this fall. If you'd like to know more, contact Mike or Jaye.

We think we have it figured out and our clients' audience share trends have been very gratifying indications of it.

CFQX-CBC Join For A CCMA Kickoff Party

CBC-Manitoba and QX-104 packed the house last night in Winnipeg at the Palomino Club for a great start to Canada's Country Music Week '08.

Canada's pubcaster will be broadcasting the entire three hour performance live next week and the Astral country station gave several hundred listeners invitation-only access to some of Canada's fresh new country stars.

Something tells me, we won't be getting much shut eye this weekend in Winnipeg!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Oh, Say Can You.." Hear Trace Adkins?

Yes, you can, if you're listening to the National Anthem on the closing night of the Republican National Convention being held in St. Paul, Minnesota. His performance will take place at approximately 7:30pm ET.

Then, Trace Adkins will soon travel to the Persian Gulf to visit America’s armed forces as part of a USO/Armed Forces entertainment tour. During his week-long trip, Adkins will perform for troops, visit remote forward operating bases, sign autographs and pose for pictures. He will also share personal accounts of how he started out in the music industry, talk one-on-one with troops and extend his heartfelt gratitude to those currently serving overseas in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dawg Kisses Pig; Children Benefit

Jeff Stone, GM/AM cohost at 97.7 The Big Dawg, Sturgeon Bay, worked locally with Wal Mart last past weekend and raised money for the Children's Miracle network and Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin:
"We broadcast at Walmart for 3 hours and I kissed a PIG along with the Wal Mart GM.... and we helped the cause with 3 grand in 3 hours."

The Big Dawg, doing what counts for the community.

(plus, of course, they did well for Walmart...and more local charitable work with Walmart is on the way for this new fun station in Door County Wisconsin!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Trisha Yearwood Walks 60 Miles And Endures A Scary Flight Home For Komen Foundation

People.com's Jessica Herndon and K.C. Baker quote one of Trisha Yearwood’s hits, the country star may have been wondering, “How do I live?” during a plane ride last week.

On her way home to Oklahoma from a three-day, 60-mile walk to benefit the Susan G. Komen breast cancer research fund (click to watch Trisha's personal reflections on the fight against breast cancer) last week, Yearwood took an unfortunate detour.

While miles in the sky, passengers heard a disturbing noise. “We had been in the air for almost an hour when we heard a loud pop,” says Yearwood.

What she said sounded “almost like a gunshot” was in fact the cracking of the front left window of the plane at 30,000 feet.

“The flight attendant came back and told us to remain calm,” says Yearwood. “That’s when we saw the two pilots with the oxygen masks on. Hearing them breathe like Darth Vader made it a little harder to stay calm.”

Though the crack in the window became larger and larger, the pilots made an emergency landing in Baltimore before the break had a chance to affect control of the plane.

Yearwood wasn’t the only musician to make it through a plane emergency recently: Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson walked away from a plane crash in Ontario, Canada, this Sunday morning.

“We never lost cabin pressure,” says Yearwood, “so we didn’t have to use our oxygen masks. I can’t imagine what might have happened if that window had shattered at 30,000 feet!”

Despite the drama, which continued on the ground with firetrucks and emergency crews, the singer made the best of it.

During her three-hour wait for another plane she headed to Phillips Seafood at the Baltimore Harbor’s Light Street Pavillion for a “fantastic” dinner.

Says Yearwood: “We toasted to surviving the three-day walk – and the emergency landing!"

Monday, September 01, 2008

TV Spots: TK Says "I Am QDR," Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift and Montgomery Gentry Are Next

And, even smarter, the Curtis Media Group station sent out a press release to amplify the impact: WQDR today announced the launch of their new television campaign entitled “We are QDR”. The new campaign is powered by endorsements from several of the most recognized and contemporary Country superstars in Nashville. The first commercial features Showdog Records recording artist Toby Keith telling viewers “I am QDR”. Toby Keith is also a national spokesman for Ford Trucks.

Additional commercials will feature Lyric Street recording artists Rascal Flatts, Big Machine recording artist Taylor Swift and Sony recording artists Montgomery Gentry.
“This is a major statement of the power of WQDR” said Curtis Media Group Senior Vice President and WQDR General Manager, Trip Savery (919-882-3772). “We are flattered to have these Country superstars step forward to provide this level of endorsement.”

Previous television campaigns have featured endorsements from Trace Adkins, Leann Rimes, Clint Black, Lonestar, Billy Currington and others. The new commercials were produced locally in high definition by Whitetree Media.

WQDR Program Director Lisa McKay (919-882-3750) added
“WQDR is one of the most listened to Country stations in America, and we love both our artists and listeners. Anytime an artist like Toby Keith or Taylor Swift offers their personal endorsement, we will be on the first plane to Nashville with cameras in tow.”