Thomas Leaves WNSH/New York
As reportered earlier via Breaking News, Cumulus Corporate PD & WNSH/New York PD Brian Thomas has been named PD for the company's Classic Hits WLS-FM/Chicago. He'll continue as Corporate PD with both Country and Classic Hits responsibilities. "Every kid from Chicago who grew up listening to WLS-FM, as I did, dreams of working there," Thomas says. "I'm proud that the Nash FM weekly audience hit an all-time high of almost 1.2 million and sales pacing +20% in a down market, and I'm excited to continue to work with a handful of our Country stations." Thomas joined Cumulus early last year (CAT 4/28/14) from CBS Radio and can be reached here. Cumulus is now searching for a replacement at WNSH. Hot AC clustermate WPLJ APD John Foxx is handling programming in the interim; he held the position prior to Thomas' arrival (CAT 4/12/13). Reach Foxx here.
AT&T Activates FM Chip
AT&T is activating the FM chip in its Android smartphones beginning in 2016, with some phones possibly ready by year-end. "With this decision, AT&T's customers become the biggest beneficiaries, giving them access to local radio news, entertainment, weather, and failsafe emergency alert connectivity," says NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith. "With access to apps like NextRadio, AT&T's listeners will also enjoy song tagging and interactivity features that have become increasingly popular with younger listeners." Sprint began activating the chip in its smartphones two years ago (CAT 8/15/13), and Boost and Virgin also allow users to hear over-the-air FM radio on compatible smartphones.
Jake Owen Hosts 9th Annual ACM Honors
Jake Owen hosts for a second year as the 9th Annual ACM Honors are held Sept. 1 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The event recognizes off-camera category winners from the 50th Annual ACM Awards, including Barry Adelman, Luke Bryan, Tim DuBois and Loretta Lynn. Performers include Jason Aldean, Roy Clark, Randy Houser, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen and Restless Heart. Among the presenters are Kelsea Ballerini, RAC Clark and The Swon Brothers. More info here.