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[RadioInsight] Liberty Media Sells Its Stake In iHeartMedia

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RadioInsight via Admin

Oct 19, 2021, 6:18:54 PM10/19/21


Liberty Media Sells Its Stake In iHeartMedia

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 01:37 PM PDT

After becoming the largest single shareholder of iHeartMedia following its
2018 bankruptcy restructuring, Liberty Media has sold its stake in the

In an SEC filing dated October 5, Liberty revealed it has sold its
remaining stake of 5,941,248 shares at an average price of $25.25 per share
netting the company $150,016,512. Liberty had previously been attempting to
grow its stake in iHeartMedia, at first proposing to acquire up to 40% of
the company through its Chapter 11 proceedings. In July 2020, the DOJ
approved Libertys petition to gain pre-approval to own up to 50% of
iHeartMedia through its SiriusXM Group subsidiary to add to its 71% stake
of SiriusXM and 33% of LiveNation.

Another media conglomerate, the UK based Global Media Entertainment is
still awaiting permission from the FCC to increase its stake in iHeartMedia.

Final Listen: KITS (Alt 105.3) San Francisco

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 12:00 PM PDT

Even when Top 40 was beginning its rebound in the mid-‘90s, ending the
1993-95 period when the format looked like it could truly become extinct,
there were stations still changing format to something else, and group
heads saying that the traditional “all-the-hits” model of Top 40 would
never exist again.

Musically, I feel cautiously optimistic about Alternative now. It has more
overlap with the pop mainstream in a while, even without the reverse
crossovers that were such a lightning rod nine months ago. There is a
waiting list of songs that could be on Top 40. But it was also the first
music format affected by streaming more than a decade ago. And having KFOG
San Francisco out of the format for two years didn’t make life more tenable
for Audacy’s KITS (Alt 105.3), now Adult Hits Dave FM.

As “Live 105” under Audacy predecessor Entercom, KITS was the station that
kick-started the New Rock revolution when it began its evolution from CHR
in 1986. The early ‘80s success of KROQ Los Angeles began a land rush to
Alternative that failed to sustain. Live 105 touched off a new group of
larger owners putting the format on full-market signals over the next six

We gave KFOG a Final Listen in 2019. Here’s Alt 105.3 on the morning of its
format change, just before 11 a.m. on Friday, October 15:

Empire of the Sun, “Walking on A Dream”
Beastie Boys, “Sabotage”
Fall Out Boy, “Sugar We’re Going Down”
Girl In Red, “Serotonin”
Green Day, “She”
Incubus, “Drive”
Cannons, “Bad Dream” (staged as “an Audacy music discovery”)
Sublime, “What I Got”
AWOLNation, “Sail”
Bring Me the Horizon, “DiE4u” (staged and backsold as “an Audacy pick of
the week”)
MGMT, “Time to Pretend”
All Time Low f/Blackbear, “Monsters”
Muse, “Starlight”
Cage the Elephant, “Social Cues”
Fun. f/Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Love Rollercoaster”
Dirty Heads, “Vacation”

During that time, Audacy’s syndicated personality Megan Holiday was doing a
mix of local and national breaks, including teasing upcoming Red Hot Chili
Peppers and Cannons shows. There was also a jingle reminiscent of the ones
you would have heard on Alternative radio a decade (or more) ago: “Here’s
more Alternative music we found while cleaning out our storage facility
downtown!” KITS flipped an hour later, although not without the brief
return of Alternative over the weekend for technical reasons.

So after nearly 40 years with Alternative radio in some form, will somebody
fill the format hole? Or the Triple-A hole that includes much of the same
music these days. iHeart’s KOSF would have been a logical candidate. iHR
likes the format and their syndicated Woody Show could return to the market
without the shotgun marriage that was its time on KFOG. But KOSF’s “80s
Plus” Classic Hits format was up sharply in September. Former KITS APD/MD
Aaron Axelson launched his online Flood FM earlier this year in seeming
anticipation of just such an opening. Bonneville also has Triple-A on AC
KOIT’s HD-2 channel Highway 1 Radio. 

KITS and KFOG had their own considerable legacies to compete with. In
nearby Sacramento, Audacy’s , Audacy’s KKDO (Alt 94.7) launched more than a
decade ago with an intentionally minimalist presentation that filled the
hole left by sister KWOD, but allowed the station to make a fresh start.
Over the last decade, KKDO has been and good place to hear new Alternative

Here’s KKDO at 11 a.m. Friday:

Tai Verdes, “A-O-K”
AWOLNation, “Sail”
Glass Animals, “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)”
Ramones, “Blitzkrieg Bop”
All Time Low f/Blackbear, “Monsters”
Black Keys, “Gold on the Ceiling”
AJR, “Way Less Sad”
Bring Me the Horizon, “DiE4u”
Owl City, “Fireflies”
Maneskin, “Beggin’”
Weezer, “Buddy Holly”
Imagine Dragons, “Demons”
Walk the Moon, “Can You Handle My Love?”
Beck, “Loser”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll”
Dirty Heads f/Travis Barker & Aimee, “Rage”

Jodesha Makes Multiple Format Shifts In Aberdeen/Grays Harbor

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 11:26 AM PDT

As Jodesha Broadcasting prepares to move 105.7 KJET Raymond WA to Union WA
where it may rimshot the Seattle market, the company has completed a
realignment of its brands in Aberdeen/Grays Harbor.

Jodesha moved Country Bigfoot 107.3 KANY Cosmopolis to 104.1 K281DE
Aberdeen/102.1 KSWW-HD2 Ocean Shores replacing Classic Rock 104.1 The Quake
last month.

This morning the Hot AC format of 105.7 The Jet KJET relocated to 107.3
KANY with new Y107.3 branding. The station continues to utilize Westwood
Ones Hot AC programming.

FCC Designates WQZS Owner To Character Hearing

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 11:06 AM PDT

After owner Roger Wahl pled guilty in July 2020 to felony charges of trying
to solicit male strangers to rape his female friend facilitated through his
Oldies QZ 93 93.3 WQZS Meyersdale PA, the FCC has designated the station
for a hearing on whether he possesses the requisite character
qualifications to remain a Commission licensee..

The FCC states, Wahl’s guilty plea to criminal use of a communication
facility, a third-degree felony, by itself, raises the question under the
Commission’s Character Qualifications Policy Statement whether he possesses
the requisite character qualifications to remain a Commission licensee.
Reliability is a key element of character necessary to operate a broadcast
station in the public interest. The propensity to comply with the law
generally is relevant to character qualifications, and an applicant or
licensee’s willingness to violate other laws, and, in particular, to commit
felonies, is indicative of whether the applicant or licensee will conform
to the Commission’s rules or policies. Evidence of any felony conviction is
relevant to an applicant’s or licensee’s character.

We also find that Wahl’s multiple misdemeanor convictions support our
decision to designate this matter for hearing. While felony convictions,
among all criminal convictions, are most relevant to our evaluation of an
applicant’s character, the Commission has the discretion to consider
serious misdemeanor convictions in appropriate cases. We find that this is
such a case. Although Wahl does not have a record of multiple criminal
convictions over time, he pleaded guilty not only to a felony, but also to
an array of misdemeanor criminal offenses (identity theft, unlawful
dissemination of an intimate image, recklessly endangering another person,
and tampering with evidence) based on misconduct involving multiple actions
over a period of time designed to harm his victim seriously and then evade
responsibility for those actions. Even though Wahl’s attempt to inflict
physical harm on the victim failed, he did inflict substantial emotional
harm. Furthermore, the fundamental purpose of the Commission’s character
inquiry is to make predictive judgments about an applicant’s truthfulness
and propensity to comply with the Act and the Rules. For this reason, we
find that Wahl’s misdemeanor convictions directly implicate his character

Comrex Launches Gagl Cloud Service

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 10:55 AM PDT

Comrex is announcing a new cloud service called Gagl. Gagl delivers
conferenced audio from multiple contributors to Comrex hardware codecs in
high quality.

Gagl allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from
computers and smartphones. Participants can connect and send audio by
simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Their audio is
conferenced (if there’s more than one user), and delivered to a Comrex
hardware codec such as ACCESS or BRIC-Link II. All participants can hear
other participants, and the codec can send audio back to them.

Gagl could be used as the hub for a round-robin reporting program or for a
“morning zoo” radio show to support multiple simultaneous connections at
once. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk
radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect
back to the studio from a computer or smartphone.

Designed with audio quality in mind, Gagl provides stable connections with
limited bandwidth. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that
delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers
audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements,
pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide.
With a simple user interface, Gagl is easy for users with any level of
technical expertise to use.

For more information, contact

Rogersville Review: WRGS's 'World Famous Swap Shop' going worldwide Nov. 9
with Netflix reality show

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 08:30 AM PDT

Lou Russo & Shannon Holly Expand From WJLK To WSJO

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 08:12 AM PDT

Townsquare Media Hot AC SoJo 104.9 WSJO Egg Harbor City/Atlantic City NJ
has imported the morning show from sister 94.3 The Point WJLK Asbury Park.

Lou Russo and Shannon Holly, who have been teamed in mornings since
February on WJLK, will now simulcast on WSJO replacing the syndicated
Brooke Jeffrey. Russo has hosted mornings at WJLK since the late 90s,
being paired with Liz Jeressi for eighteen years until her exit in December
2020. Holly joined the company in February after stints in middays at Hot
AC “New 102.7” WNEW New York in 2018/19 and mornings at “B103.9” WXKB Fort
Myers from 2000-2005, “Star 94” WSTR Atlanta 2005-2010, and “KS95” KSTP-FM
Minneapolis from 2011-2016.

Heather DeLuca remains in middays at WSJO, while WJLKs Matt Ryan recently
resumed hosting afternoons replacing KKPL Fort Collins COs Madison Scruggs.
Townsquares PopCrush Nights with Nicole Murray remains in evenings.

Mathew Blades To Depart Mornings At Mix 96.9 Phoenix In December

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 05:00 AM PDT

Mathew Blades has announced he will step down from co-hosting mornings at
iHeartMedia Hot AC Mix 96.9 KMXP Phoenix following his show on Friday,
December 10.

Blades, who took a leave of absence in July following a panic attack, made
the announcement on Monday morning to co-host Priscilla Ornelas. Blades
intends to shift into helping others with their mental-health.

In a letter posted to the stations website, Blades wrote, Im writing to
announce that my journey here is coming to an end very soon. As I write
this letter Im not sure what I will do next. Im almost done writing my
book. Ill continue my high paying job as a youth hockey coach, but am also
working on a passion project for mental and spiritual health. A movement
well call #LearnFromPeopleWhoLivedIt. Ive also enrolled in speakers school
so that I can fine tune my skills to deliver the message that healed me
three months ago in that retreat. You are not broken. There is nothing
wrong with you. You just have yet to step into your lifes purpose. Im
committed to those words now, and must step into a new chapter of my life
to fulfill them.

After starting his career at KCLD St. Cloud MN, Blades had brief stints at
KCHX Midland TX and WJET-FM Erie PA before joining CHR turned Modern AC
Z104 WWZZ Washington DC for nights in 1998. After four years in Washington,
Blades would then host nights at Mix 93.3 KMXV Kansas City, return to WWZZ
as morning host, afternoons at Country 92.5 The Wolf KWOF Denver and
mornings at Hot AC 94.5 WKTI Milwaukee prior to joining KMXP in 2010.
Blades also had been tracking nights at Cities 97.1 KTCZ Minneapolis.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mathew Blades (@mathewbladesmedia)

Jason Bailey Leaves Rock 100.5 Atlanta

Posted: 19 Oct 2021 04:29 AM PDT

After seven years in mornings at Cumulus Medias Rock 100.5 WNNX College
Park/Atlanta GA, Jason Bailey left the station following Mondays Bailey
Southside show.

Bailey joined WNNX in December 2014 after a little over a year in mornings
at Sports 92.9 The Game WZGC Atlanta. He had previously spent his career in
Florida under the name Buckethead with stints at 98 Rock WXTB Tampa, and
Rock 101.1 WJRR and Hot Talk Real Radio 104.1 WTKS-FM in Orlando, the
latter of which he hosted middays from 2008 to 2013.

In a Facebook post announcing his departure, Bailey wrote, I just breathed
my final breath at Rock 100.5 / Atlanta. It was a good run with a lot of
ups and downs. No doubt it was definitely time for me to move on from this
part of my life / career. With that said. I wish nothing but the best to
the show, station and management in their future endeavors. God, Ive always
wanted to say that!! Time for a mental recharge before I move on.

Co-host Southside Steve Rickman and producers Nicky D and Mo Lightning
remain in place with Program Director/afternoon host Axel Lowe joining them
for the foreseeable future with the station branding it simply as Rock
100.5 Mornings.

Dan Bongino Says Cumulus Can Have Vaccine Mandate Or His Show

Posted: 18 Oct 2021 04:40 PM PDT

Westwood One syndicated midday host Dan Bongino threatened on-air today to
quit over Cumulus recently enacted COVID-19 mandate.

Bongino told listeners, “Cumulus is going to have to make a decision with
me if they want to continue this partnership or they don’t. But I’m talking
to you on their airwaves. They don’t have to let that happen. You have a
choice. I work with you. I do not work for you; I never will. You may have
had other people in a corner, but you don’t have me.”

Following the death of WWTN Nashville and fellow syndicated host Phil
Valentine from COVID-19 after denying the vaccine in August, Cumulus became
the first radio operator to require all staffers to have had their shots by
September 27 in order to return to the offices on October 11. Bongino, who
is vaccinated, is not a Cumulus employee but rather retains ownership of
his show and licenses it to the company to offer into syndication. He also
works for Fox News, but has not commented on that companys vaccine mandate
or required daily testing.

Bongino threatened to invite Cumulus staffers who had been fired or quit to
appear on his show while challenging the company to cancel his program
while not letting this go.

Cumulus has yet to comment on Bonginos statements.

INSTANT INSIGHT: Bongino is using the fact that Cumulus put a lot of money
and resources into the launch of his show earlier this year to try to gain
leverage over this situation. Like most political talkers, he knows Cumulus
was well within their rights to implement the requirement that their
employees get vaccinated and other companies have followed suit. It is
quite possible he sees a chance to walk out of his contract and into the
arms of another company willing to give him more money. The people let go
by Cumulus, who we have been told represent a very tiny fraction of their
entire workforce, are being used as pawns here. A reputable Talk programmer
who wishes to remain anonymous even suggested to me that Cumulus may be in
on the game using this issue to gain publicity in the Conservative news
sphere to bring more listeners to the show.

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