Country Aircheck Weekly (11/13)

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“It struck me while we were up there that we’re a harmony band, and harmony is what we need.”







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» Chronicle: Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member Mel Tillis died this morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, FL after battling intestinal issues. He was 85. According to his publicist, the suspected cause of death is respiratory failure. Tillis had six No. 1s, including "I Ain't Never," "Coca-Cola Cowboy" and "Southern Rains." As a songwriter, his cuts include Kenny Rogers' "Ruby, Don't You Take Your Love To Town," George Strait's "Thoughts Of A Fool" and Ricky Skaggs' "Honey, Open That Door." In February 2012 President Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts. Arrangements are pending.




» Close To You: Entercom has completed its merger with CBS Radio, creating the second-largest radio broadcaster in the country with 235 stations – 19 Country – that will reach more than 100 million people weekly. "We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers," says Pres./CEO David Field. See his "welcome video" here. The company's Country stations are WUSN/Chicago, KILT/Houston, WXTU/Philadelphia, WKIS/Miami, WYCD/Detroit, KKWF & KMPS/Seattle, KMLE/Phoenix, KMNB/Minneapolis, KSON/San Diego, KWJJ/Portland, KFRG/Riverside, WDSY/Pittsburgh, WDAF/Kansas City, WLFP/Memphis, WBEE/Rochester, WUSY/Chattanooga, WGGY/Wilkes Barre-Scranton and WPAW/Greensboro.

Along with the merger, a number of new efforts have been introduced:

  • The company is reducing advertising inventory by 5%.
  • Cash infusion advertising deals are now prohibited.
  • Advertising with spot resellers will be eliminated.
  • The company has a new logo and a new website here.
  • See the new Entercom Audience Analytics tool here.
  • Format changes include Top 40s WBMP/New York and KVIL/Dallas to Alternative and Classic Hits WJMK/Chicago to Classic Hip Hop/R&B.
  • Email address changes for former CBS Radio employees will follow the format

» Preset Reset: Entercom KSON/San Diego moved to 103.7 at midnight Thursday (11/16) and is now branded as "103-7 KSON." "This move made a lot of sense as it gives our Country listeners a better signal and puts KSON in more neighborhoods," says OM/PD Kevin Callahan. "I like moves when there is no heavy lifting." The station had been simulcast on 97.3 and KSOQ at 92.1 in North County. 'SOQ was sold to EMF as part of a required divestiture in the Entercom/CBS Radio merger and will flip to "Air 1" programming. Top 40 KEGY will move to 97.3 Monday (11/20) at 5pm PT. Listen here.


» Up To Speed: As reported earlier via Breaking NewsEmmis/Indianapolis VP Programming Bob Richards has been promoted to VP/MM for the four-station cluster that includes WLHK. Richards joined the company in 2006 after 14 years at cross-town WFMS. Concurrently, DOS Taja Graham has been named VP/DOS after 18 years with Emmis. "Working alongside of Taja I have seen her reach some amazing goals on our music stations," says Richards. "I’m thrilled she’ll now have that kind of impact on all of our stations.” Reach Richards here and Graham here.