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Thursday, July 23, 2015

'Voltair... I Am Your Father...'

Needless to say, Nielsen's now-legendary client-only webinar on Tuesday has been the talk of the industry, generating a metric ton of response, both positive and negative, regarding that company's volatile relationship with the popular Voltair device. Yesterday, RAMP reached out to Frank Foti, CEO of Voltair's parent company, The Telos Alliance and asked him to share his thoughts about this hotly debated webinar. Not surprisingly, Mr. Foti (pictured, below) was more than forthcoming as he exclusively related to RAMP, "If Voltair got Nielsen to improve the ratings ecosystem they have control over, that's a win for Radio. If they can't give Voltair credit for being the impetus, no surprises there -- we know who pushed the bar."
Hang on; Frank's just getting warmed up. He continued, "Meanwhile, none of our Voltair customers are waiting until 2016 for a real encoding monitor to appear, because they already have one. As to the whole audibility discussion, the trade-off between robustness of codes and audibility is intrinsic to the original PPM architecture. We covered this in the white paper that was posted in September of 2014. Remember, this is an audio processor, and as such it needs to adjusted properly. PPM's inherent structure prevents the simultaneous optimization of decoder reliability and inaudible codes. Voltair's enhancement control places that trade-off in the hands of the users, and lets them pick the optimization, including leaving it unchanged from the original. Our signal processing experts came to understand these structural issues while designing Voltair."
In conclusion, Foti told us, "Seven months was a long time for broadcasters to wait for this webinar. We've been innovating the entire time. Voltair 2.0 is now in beta test, and we plan to ship by Labor Day."
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'V-Bros' Reunited In Boston

The Vinci brothers will soon be together again in their hometown -- iHeartMedia Rhythmic WJMN (Jam'n 94.5)/Boston announced that Boston-born, Framingham, MA-raised Frank Vinci, a.k.a. Frankie V is coming home from San Diego and will be joining forces with Ashlee Feldman to host the new Jam'n Morning Show with Frankie & Ashlee, beginning Monday, July 27. Frankie is currently co-hosting mornings about 3,000 miles to the west at iHeartMedia sister KHTS (Channel 93.3)/San Diego -- a gig he will continue to do for the near future. Best of all, the move back home will reunite Frankie with his younger brother Mikey V, who does nights across the hall on Kiss 108.
"Frankie is one of our rising stars in iHeartMedia, and we are thrilled to be able to bring him back to Boston and Jam’n 94.5," said Dylan Sprague, SVP of Programming, iHeartMedia Boston. "Frankie's open, honest and vulnerable personality creates unique conversations that made him a success in San Diego. Being a Boston kid and Jam'n fan growing up, I know Frankie understands this city, our music and the lifestyle of the Jam'n listener. Pair that with Ashlee Feldman's deep connection with the Jam'n audience and you have a show that will be fun, edgy and will give young Boston a real voice on the radio."
Frankie began his radio career at WJBQ/Portland ME, and then moved on to WKSS/Hartford. He worked part-time at Kiss 108/Boston from 2004-2005, and has live-tracked to Kiss 108 from 2010 to the present day. Since 2010 he's been based at KHTS/San Diego and has also done part-time at KIIS-FM/Los Angeles. Commenting on his impending homecoming, Frankie said, "People may wonder why I'm giving up the perfect weather of San Diego for the snow, rain and funny Boston accents, but Boston has been and always will be my home. Growing up I always listened to Jam'n 94.5, and now I am going to host the morning show... Dreams do come true," he said. "Thank you to iHeartMedia for allowing me this opportunity to go home."
Frankie will succeed Ramiro Torres, who exits. In a statement, Sprague said, "Ramiro decided he did not want to renew his contract with us. We appreciate all the years he gave us. He'll always be a member of the Jam'n family and we wish him well."
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• RadioMilwaukee non-comm WYMS (88Nine Radio Milwaukee)/Milwaukee has upped APD/morning host Jordan Lee to the PD post. Lee (left), who will relinquish his daily airshift, succeeds Sean Demery, who recently resigned from the station and returned home to Park City, UT due to family health matters. Mr. Demery will continue to work with the station as a consultant. "Sean worked very hard for us and set the stage for our continued growth," said Radio Milwaukee Executive Director Mary Louise Mussoline.
Lee joined WYMS to do morning in December of 2008 and was awarded APD stripes a year later. "As APD, Jordan has consistently done exceptional work, led the program team in implementing changes and encouraged excellence from the team," said Mussoline. "In this position, he has also been developing strong industry contacts and worked with top national bands for our Studio Milwaukee on-air shows. Jordan is a rising star." Commenting on his awesome promotion, Lee said, "We've done great work here over the last eight years and are making a real difference in the community. I think I can help bring even more listeners to the station, which will help us make an even greater impact in Milwaukee." Music industry folks can reach Lee at jordan@radiomilwaukee.org.
• Yesterday we told you Scott Alexander had exited as APD/MD/midday personality at CBS Radio Hot AC WBZZ (100.7 Star)/Pittsburgh after 14 years. OM/PD Mark Anderson laters updated RAMP, letting us know that WBZZ afternoon drive co-host Flick (pictured) has now assumed Star APD/MD duties, while the Star midday vacancy will be filled by multitalented WDSY (Y108) evening personality Elista. Scott Alexander is still available at 412-999-0159 or scottalexanderpgh@gmail.com.
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CBS Radio Pros On The Loose

RAMP has learned that the team of Atom Smasher & Shawnda McNeal has exited mornings at CBS Radio Hot AC KHMX (Mix 96.5)/Houston after an 18-month run. You may recall that the duo (pictured here with an unidentifed stunt baby) brought their successful partnership to Market 6 in January of 2014, making the impressive leap from South Central Top 40 WSTO/Evansville, IN (Market 163).
Smasher is a familiar fixture in the Houston market, having previously spent eight years at crosstown KRBE until 2006, when he segued to afternoons at iHeartMedia Top 40 KHKS (106.1 Kiss FM)/Dallas. We understand that Shawnda McNeal has relocated back to southern Ohio to be with family and focus on her non-profit, braave.org. "Being in Houston for eight years at KRBE, along with meeting and marrying my wife, I love this city," Smasher tells RAMP. "And although disappointed, I know it's just a part of the business. I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given and I'm now looking for my next opportunity." To help prime the pump for that next big gig, Smasher has posted his demos, bits, videos, resume and everything-Atom at smashershow.com.  
• Meanwhile, down in Orlando, James Steele announced via Facebook that he has exited his post as Production Manager for the CBS Radio cluster and Imaging Director/night jock for Top 40 WJHM (101.9 AMP Radio).
Steele (left) touched down in O-Town last summer after spending many productive years in Norfolk, including a stretch as APD/Imaging Director for iHeartRadio's WNOH (Now 105) and WMOV (Movin 107.7), preceded by a seven-year run across the street with Sinclair, where he rose to PD of Alternative WROX (96X). His resume also includes stops at WGBT (94.5 The Beat)/Greensboro and WBVD/Melbourne. Steele can now be accessed at 949-484-6552 or jamessteele.radio@gmail.com.

Taryn Now Rocks Daly & Nightly

Entercom Rocker KISW/Seattle promotes from within the family, upgrading Taryn Daly from part-time to permanent night host and Social Media Captain. She fills the very large shoes of Jolene, who famously ruled the KISW night show for 11 years before leaving in late May. Daly (left) is a Seattle native who spent the last three years paying her dues by doing weekends and filling in on KISW. Before that, she did weekends on KISM/Bellingham, WA and also spent the last five years as a first class trivia host in in the area. Her social media savvy has helped The Rock become one of the most engaged stations in Seattle with some of her posts reaching 7 million people.
"Following in Jolene's footsteps as the new nighttime host here at The Rock is beyond my radio dream come true," Daly said. "Born and raised in Seattle, KISW has been my hometown station my entire life. I'm a true 'Rockaholic' myself, and I cannot thank my radio brothers and sisters for the incredible support. I feel bonded to our listeners, who have been with me every step of this journey."
Dave Richards, VP of Programming and Operations commented, "As KISW goes into its 45th year, The Rock is very excited to bring on another Seattle native -- Taryn Daly has the energy, the musical aptitude and the charisma to continue the mighty footprint KISW has at night and through social media."
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Available Opportunities

• Westwood One is now seeking a well rounded Content Marketing and Design Manager to join its New York-based content marketing team. They seek someone with a proven track record of creating and distributing compelling content marketing pieces that rise above the competition, inspire others to take action, and drive lead generation. The ideal candidate will have a positive attitude, efficient project management skills, pro-active thinking, hustle, and prior experience crafting engaging content marketing campaigns.
Please take a few moments and visit the Westwood One website to read over all of the required skills and preferred qualifications. If you fit the profile, send your resume and cover letter to ebehling@westwoodone.com. Please reference "Content Marketing and Design Manager" in the subject line.
• Hubbard Radio's WARH (106-5 The Arch)/St. Louis is looking for a fulltime co-host to join the Ricki & Brando Show! Yes, this is a newly created position. This is your chance to work for the best radio company on earth! You must have a friendly, likable, charismatic personality (which automatically eliminates us) and possess strong co-hosting skills. You must also understand how to lead content in a multiple-personality ensemble cast. A creative approach to topic selection, preparation and execution is a must! You will work closely with the programming and sales teams to grow the Company's revenue and on-air and digital audience.
However, Arch PD Kevin Robinson does offer a brief word of caution, telling RAMP, "There is a downside... you'll be working with Ricki and Brando." That being said, morbidly curious candidates are invited to visit The Arch website, click on "Careers" and search "WARH Morning Show Co-Host" (Job# 16-15).
• Scripps Country KFDI/Wichita is looking for you... are you looking for a stable work environment? This is a rare fulltime opportunity to join 101.3 Today's KFDI. Fit is everything, as are high ethics, a positive attitude and the ability to work well with others. You must be able to follow directions and complete work on tight deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
To answer your questions: Yes, there are endorsements and commercial production. Yes, there will be paid remote broadcasts, and yes, the job does come with good benefits. To apply, please send your resume, audio samples and ratings results to Justin.Case@scripps.com.

In Other News...

• After 35 years with Westwood One, longtime First Light host and Westwood One News anchor Dirk Van is retiring from the network next Thursday, July 30. Van steps away with a legacy of accomplishments and awards, including 26 years as the original host of the weekday morning news-talk show, First Light. He also hosts The Week in Review and has anchored morning drive newscasts throughout his career. Van commented, "Radio is all about people, and I've had the great fortune to work with the best in the business, following in the footsteps of my father, Lyle Van -- a radio legend at NBC and WOR -- and others greats like Lou Adler, Nick Verbitsky, Tom O'Brien, Ron Nessen and Bart Tessler. Hosting our morning magazine, First Light has been an amazing experience and has allowed me to work with talented broadcasters for more than a quarter century."
Westwood One News afternoon drive anchor (and regular First Light guest host) Evan Haning will succeed Van as the new host of First Light and morning drive anchor for Westwood One News as of August 11. 
• Our best wishes for a rapid recovery go out to Don Kurtis, VP/GM of Saga's Cascade Radio Group (KGMI, KISM, KAFE & KBAI)/Bellingham, WA, who on Tuesday morning was riding his bicycle when he unexpectedly went head-to-head with a car -- unfortunately, Don came in second. Saga CEO Ed Christian spoke to Kurtis yesterday and reports his spirits are in better shape than his back is at the moment...
Kurtis is expected to be back to his old self very soon. In the meantime, your good wishes would be much appreciated via email at dkurtis@cascaderadiogroup.com or you can snail-mail get-well cards to Don's attention c/o Cascade Radio Group, 2219 Yew Street Road, Bellingham, WA 98225. [Thanks to "Radio's Best Friend," Art Vuolo for steering us into this story.]

Eight-Pack Of Clydesdales

iHeartMedia's WIOT/Toledo made the dreams of one young man come true last weekend, as the station awarded a personal visit from the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales! Brian Fuller of Holland, OH was selected as the winner of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, courtesy of iHeartMedia and Budweiser. Brian is living with Muscular Dystrophy and is a huge fan of these magnificent animals. As the winner of the "Ultimate Budweiser Backyard Barbecue," Fuller received a party tent for up to 50 people, food, beverages, a new propane grill, DJ service for the day and a photo booth... oh, and the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales, which came clomping majestically down his street! Pictured, (l-r): Fuller, WIOT afternoon jock Kramer, PD Scott Sands and midday personality Aimee.
"We couldn't have picked a more gracious or deserving winner if we tried," Sands tells RAMP. "Brian's mother wrote us that night to tell us the family 'literally cried seeing his smiles.' It was also amazing for all of us at WIOT to meet Brian and his family to award them this prize that they will hopefully never forget. And, being around the world-famous Clydesdales was such an amazing experience. They're awesome animals and the folks at Budweiser are terrific partners... plus, they brought beer. Special thanks to Promotions Director Jodi Szczublewski for handling all the intricate logistics." Photos are posted on the WIOT website, and the event was also thoroughly chronicled by The Toledo Blade, a.k.a. "a local newspaper."


Kevin Carter
Senior Editor
661-294-9408
Kevin@omnivisionent.com
Steve Resnik
Sales Pro
818-951-6700
The45king@aol.com
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