August 1, 2011

» Merger, She Wrote: As reported via Twitter and Facebook early this morning, Westwood One has agreed to a merger with Dial Global in a stock-for-stock transaction. Once combined, the as-yet-unnamed entity will offer a diverse spectrum of radio network and syndicated programming, services and ad sales, and will be traded on NASDAQ. WW1 is controlled by the Gores Group, DG is backed by Oaktree Capital, and the merged firm is being financed by GE Capital, ING Capital and Macquarie Capital. Though no details were disclosed, the deal is thought to be worth around $250 million, with Oaktree holding a majority stake. It is expected to close in Q4.

» Steve, A Door: Radio programming vet Steve Smith has joined Cox Media Group as Dir./ Radio Programming. Smith will report to CMG VP Ben Reed and provide strategic counsel for CMG's 85 radio stations nationwide, which include 13 Country outlets in Birmingham, Dayton, Houston, Louisville, Orlando, Richmond, San Antonio and Tulsa. Smith's programming background includes VP/Programming positions for Emmis, Clear Channel, AMFM and as a consultant working with CMG over the past 17 years.

» No Doubting Thomas: As reported earlier via Twitter and Facebook, Citadel's KATM/Modesto, CA interim PD Nikki Thomas has been promoted to PD, succeeding Randy "Bubba" Black, who stepped down in May (CAT 5/24). Thomas joined the market-leading station in January 2007 after serving as APD/MD/mornings at Top 40 KWYE/Fresno. Her resume also includes seven years at WKSF/Asheville, NC. Thomas will continue her noon-3pm airshift. Congratulate her here.

» To The Cloud: As reported Sunday via Breaking News, McVay Media and McVay Syndication President Mike McVay has been named Sr. VP/Programming for Cumulus Media beginning Sept. 1. McVay will leave his company after 28 years and be based in Cumulus' Atlanta headquarters. McVay recently brought aboard West Virginia Radio Dir./Programming & Brand Management Charlie Cook as President of the newly formed McVay/Cook & Associates (CAT 7/14).

» Christensen Leaves The Business: WMN/WAR's West Coast regional Rhonda Christensen has decided to leave the label in order to spend more time with her family. She joined the company in March 2010 from Universal South and has a prior stop at Epic/Nashville. Christensen's final day will be Aug. 31. Reach her here. WMN is now accepting resumes for her position. Send materials here.

» Spring Suspense Shunned: Here is a selection of today's Arbitron diary ratings reports for Spring 2011 (March 31-June 22), listed by metro size. Fayetteville, NC is a subscriber only market, and therefore rankings are not applicable. The Michigan metros of Flint, Lansing and Saginaw, along with Youngstown, OH, are client-exclusive reports and embargoed from publication. Shreveport, LA is a four-book market; all others are two-book metros. See a wrap-up of these and other publishable ratings issued  released today and last week in tonight's Country Aircheck Weekly. Have a ratings story beyond the 12+ boxcars? Tell us yours here.


Ft. Collins, CO
  • KUAD 5.1-6.9 (1-1), Townsquare
  • KXBG 1.8-2.0 (15t-14), Clear Channel
  • KOLZ/Cheyenne, WY 1.2-1.6 (22t-19t), CC
  • KYGO/Denver 1.0-1.4 (29t-23t), Lincoln Financial
  • KWOF/Denver 1.4-1.2 (19t-26t), Wilks
KUAD snapped a four-book decline with its best survey in two years.

Oxnard, CA

  • KHAY 4.8-4.9 (3-3), Cumulus
Santa Rosa, CA
  • KFGY 4.4-3.9 (2t-5t), Maverick
  • KTRY 1.6-1.7 (20t-20), Redwood Empire Stereocasters
Reno, NV
  • KBUL 5.1-5.0 (5-5), Citadel
  • KWFP 1.7-3.3 (19t-9t), Wilks
  • KCMY-AM 0.0-1.4 (0-21), Evans Classic Country
KWFP nearly doubled in its first Spring survey after flipping from Smooth Jazz KJZS last September.
Fayetteville, NC
  • WKML 10.4-11.6, Beasley
  • WQDR/Raleigh 2.7-2.4, Curtis Media
  • WEGX/Florence, SC 1.4-1.3 Qantum
WKML registered its highest ratings in four years.
Fayetteville, AR
  • KKIX 16.0-15.9 (1-1), Clear Channel
  • KAMO 4.3-2.6 (7-9t), Cumulus
Its four-book growth streak ended, but KKIX still posted its best Spring survey in seven years.
Reading, PA
  • WIOV/Lancaster, PA 6.3-6.7 (3-3), Citadel
  • WXTU/Philadelphia 2.4-2.7 (10t-7t), Beasley
  • WCTO/Allentown 1.1-0.7 (19t-29t), Citadel
Palm Springs, CA
  • KPLM 3.5-3.9 (8t-7), RM Broadcasting
hreveport, LA
  • KRMD 6.2-8.3 (4t-4), Cumulus
  • KXKS 3.2-4.1 (12-9), Townsquare
  • KWHK-AM 2.2-1.0 (15-15), Townsquare Classic Country
  • KNCB 1.2-n/a (16-n/a), North Caddo
KRMD ended a three-book decline with its highest ratings since Winter '09. This was KXKS' best Spring in two years.
Appleton, WI
  • WNCY 13.9-13.4 (1-1), Midwest Comm.
  • WPKR 3.0-3.2 (9-7t), Cumulus
WNCY earned its strongest Spring in three years, while this was WPKR's best results of the past four surveys.

All figures are persons 12+, Monday-Sunday, 6am-midnight, with rankings in parentheses where applicable.

» Banks On Black River: Sony Music Nashville Mgr./Marketing & Artist Development Katie McCartney has joined Black River Entertainment in the newly created position of Dir./Marketing, effective today. She'll handle day-to-day marketing activities for the entire BRE roster. McCartney started at Sony 14 months ago (CAT 6/2/10) after serving in promotion and marketing roles at Lyric Street, where she worked with current BRE GM Greg McCarn.

» Why Can't You Z? KSOP, Inc.'s KSOP/Salt Lake City is rebranding itself as Z104 and flipping its morning and afternoon shows, with PM drivers Dave & Deb heading to wake-ups and morning host Bill Buckley doing PM drive. PD Deb Turpin says no other staff changes will be made and the call letters stay the same. Check out the new website here.

» Jenelle Giant: Former Webster & Associates staffer Jenelle Scott has joined Cold River as the day-to-day manager for Katie Armiger. Scott begins immediately and will join Armiger on the road next week. Congratulate her here.

» Heeren Now: Las Vegas market vet Lori Heeren has joined the Beasley/Las Vegas five-station cluster, which includes Country KCYE, in the newly created position of Dir./New Business Development. Heeren was formerly DOS for CBS Radio/Las Vegas. Congratulate her here.

» Reynolds Wrapped: Radio vet Jeff Reynolds has been hired for evenings at Emmis' market-dominant WTHI/Terre Haute, IN, succeeding Doc Long, who exited in June. Most recently with Oldies WERK/Muncie, IN, Reynolds has Country experience with Citadel's WMDH/Muncie. Reynolds starts Aug, 8 and can be reached later this week here.

» Gig Alert: Lincoln Financial's KYGO/Denver PD John Thomas is still searching for an evening personality he describes as having "a Top 40 attitude and the ability to own the phones." No calls; airchecks and resumes here.

» Take It On: Show Dog-Universal's Joe Nichols will host the fifth annual ACM Honors Sept. 19 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Performance tributes will be interspersed with awards presentations honoring Garth Brooks (Cliffie Stone Pioneer), John Dorris (Mae Boren Axton), Reba (Career Achievement), Taylor Swift (Jim Reeves International) and more. Details here.

» Wall Bling: The RIAA has issued gold certification for Chris Young's The Man I Want To Be.

» Black & White & Web All Over:


  • Taylor Swift offers "pomp and glitz" not seen since "Cher's farewell tours" and covers Eminem and Uncle Kracker. –Grand Rapids Press and YouTube
  • The Voice tour launches in LA, and Dia Frampton covers Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" with a surprise appearance from Blake Shelton. –Rolling Stone and YouTube
  • Shelton brought "country with some serious attitude" to Friday's show. –Orange County Register
  • Tim McGraw and band "thrilled an ocean of faces" Saturday. –Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  • Swift "may have changed the way concerts will be staged." –Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Kenny Chesney "stirs his fans like none other" during the first Arrowhead Stadium concert in a decade. –Kansas City Star

» Wedding Belle: Congrats to Stealing Angels' Tayla Lynn and PlayNetwork's Jon Cody Finger on their recent engagement. The groom-to-be popped the question on the beaches of Whidbey Island, WA at sunset by firelight. Cue heartstrings.

» Crib Note: Congratulations to Nielsen Soundscan's Josh Bennett and his wife Kyndle on the birth of their daughter Breklyn, who arrived safely Saturday (7/30), weighing in at 7lbs., 10 oz. She joins brothers Kaler and Tavin.

» Industry Loses Rick Buckley: The President of Buckley Broadcasting died last night (7/31) after apparently suffering a brain embolism. A former Chairman of the RAB Board and Southern California Broadcasters Association, Buckley grew up in the business and ran 17 stations including WOR/New York and properties in Hartford, Fresno, Bakersfield, Monterey, Visalia, CA and Merced, CA, where KUBB has been Country for 30 years. VP/GM-Merced Mike McAdam, whose family also owned stations, tells Country Aircheck, "I was a competitor of Rick, working at KHTN, when Buckley purchased it 15 years ago. We had such a good relationship, and it was a great adventure. You could call him any time. He was down-to-earth, and lived and loved local radio. Rick also loved the Country format and supported all our efforts. He will be terribly missed. He came from a generation we won't see anymore, working his way up; he did it all. A real broadcaster who can't be replaced."

» Chronicle: Our condolences are extended to family and friends of Jack Barlow, who passed away Friday (7/29). He was 87. Barlow worked as a disc jockey before launching his music career in the mid-'60s. His first single, "I Love Country Music," went to No. 1. A public memorial will be held Aug. 13 from 5-9pm at Harpeth Hills Memory Garden Funeral Home in Nashville.

» Country Aircheck Top 5: Here are the Top 5 songs for the week ending July 30. Look for the full chart in tonight's Country Aircheck Weekly.
  1. ZAC BROWN BAND/Knee Deep f/Jimmy Buffett (Southern Ground/Atlantic/BPG)
  2. LADY ANTEBELLUM/Just A Kiss (Capitol)
  3. JASON ALDEAN/Dirt Road Anthem (Broken Bow)
  4. CHRIS YOUNG/Tomorrow (RCA) 
  5. DIERKS BENTLEY/Am I The Only One (Capitol) 

All airplay data is from Mediabase 24/7.


» Country Aircheck Today Top Point Gainers: Here are the top point gainers for July 31, compared with the same day last week:
  1. TAYLOR SWIFT/Sparks Fly (Big Machine) +556 points
  2. BLAKE SHELTON/God Gave Me You (Warner Bros./WMN) +527 points
  3. ALAN JACKSON/Long Way To Go (ACR/EMI Nashville) +190 points
  4. ZAC BROWN BAND f/JIMMY BUFFETT/Knee Deep (Soutern Ground/Atlantic/BPG) +173 points
  5. JERROD NIEMANN/One More Drinkin' Song (Sea Gayle/Arista) +157 points 

All airplay data are from Mediabase 24/7.

» Tube Check Tomorrow (8/2): Trace Adkins, Today (NBC); Colt Ford, On The Streets (GAC).

» Tomorrow's Birthdays (8/2): the late Hank Cochran; Barry Landis; Billy Michaels; Chris Stacey; Jon Anthony; Joyce Rizer; David DeBolt; Kerry Hansen; Jan Thoman.

» Moore To The Story: MCA's Kip Moore visits with KEGA/Salt Lake City. Pictured (l-r) are KEGA's Jon Watkins, Moore and the station's Alan Hague.

» Jug 'N Joe: Show Dog-Universal's Joe Nichols (c) buddies up to KJUG/Visalia, CA's Mike Pesto (l) and Adam Jeffries during the station's recent summer concert series.

» Hayes Of Glory: Flying Island Entertainment's Amber Hayes makes a West Coast swing that includes a stop at KNTY/Sacramento and some face time with Tosh Jackson (r). Also pictured is FIE's Brian Fee.












































































© 2011 Country Aircheck

1102 17th Ave. S, Ste. 205 • Nashville, TN 37212 • 615.320.1450