Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

Nashville Readies for Personal People Meter Fueled Changes

June 28, 2010

Nashville, Tennessee, has just become the 44th market nationally to adopt Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) for measuring radio listenership. Considering the readings taken by the device in other markets, it is not surprising that people in Nashville are bracing for a change in the distribution of advertising funds.

As The Tennessean reports:

“It’s going to shake up the ratings and how stations are perceived by advertisers,” said Dennis Gwiazdon, president of the Nashville Area Radio Organization and vice president and general manager of South Central Media, which owns Mix 92.9 (WJXA-FM) and 96.3 JACK-FM (WCJK-FM).

“It’s definitely going to force the programming departments to be more judicious in what they play on the air.”

There is certainly precedent for this stance. Just take a look at the numbers produced for The Sean Hannity Show, which experienced a 20% drop in ratings across multiple markets after the introduction of the PPM. The Tennessean article details several more examples of a similar nature:

In Detroit, Breakfast Club morning show hosts Kevin O’Neill and Lisa Barry found themselves without a job in April when the Clear Channel-owned WNIC-FM switched to a music intensive format after PPM ratings showed the formerly No. 1 morning show was coming in at No. 11 among 35- to 64-year-old

A sample audience of 754 Nashville residents put on their PPMs and began collecting data a few days ago.  The results will be compiled and previewed by advertisers and station managers in August and then released to the public in October.

Image: Silenus81 / CC 2.0


Radio Dives Into Nashville Floodwaters

May 5, 2010

This past weekend, the high waters came to Nashville, TN.  They are calling it the “100 Year Flood” down there, and as someone who has been through flooding before, my heart goes out to the people of their community. It is often said that country music is, like the blues, mostly songs about pain (lost my wife, lost my job, drinking again, etc). Now, unfortunately, there is more than enough of that pain to go around.

As the Cumberland River makes inroads into the downtown Nashville area, the local radio stations and personalities are doing what radio does best at times like this: finding ways to serve their community.

Let’s take the local Clear Channel affiliate as an example (as reported by AllAccess):

CLEAR CHANNEL Country WSIX/NASHVILLE has continuous coverage on their website, where listeners can see photos from all over the Middle TENNESSEE region, as well as a live webcam from Downtown NASHVILLE, as flood waters continue to rise as the CUMBERLAND RIVER crests.

PD KEITH KAUFMAN said: “We remained on the air the entire time and we had updated information every 10 minutes all weekend. The information was coming in so fast that we decided to go with wall-to-wall coverage for an extended period of time. GERRY HOUSE (morning personality) and BIG D (of PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS‘ syndicated “BIG DBUBBA” show) simply couldn’t make it in today. RICHARD FALKLEN (HOUSE FOUNDATION morning show producer) and PATRICK THOMAS (“BIG DBUBBA” show producer) both have flooding in their homes. We’re in the midst of putting together a huge fundraiser for those affected. Flood insurance isn’t something a lot of folks around here elect to carry. I was able to fly over much of the affected area today. I’ve never seen anything like this. Listener submitted photos are incredible as well.”

And it is that sort of wall-to-wall coverage that is needed when the water is rising. Safety often depends on getting fast and accurate info in these sort of situations, and radio does not rely on power, cell towers, or wi-fi to operate.

It’s not just the access to information though; it is the radio people. Even the most easy-going of radio personalities can become a bulldog when disaster looms. Just take a look at WSM.

WSM-A/Nashville kept cranking out the coverage until 5:00 am on Monday when rising water forced an evacuation. They switched to backup programming and got out, only to return to live coverage by 8:00 am that same day from a new location. The word is that they may not be able to return to their studio in the Opryland Hotel for several months.

These are the times when radio is at its most community-oriented, and I’m sure we will hear many stories as the days progress about what the radio people of the area are doing in the fight against the elements.

Our hearts are with the people of Nashville during these times.

 Image: ehamiter/CC BY-SA 2.0

Nashville and the Performance Rights Act

February 22, 2010

Hello, all. Sorry to be back online a day or two late. I got stuck with a pretty severe case of the flu which has kept me from being able to write. Now that I am back, I’d like to steer your attention to the great state of Tennessee, home of that country music powerhouse Nashville!

Being an epicenter of the music industry, Nashville has a lot on the line in the current battle over the Performance Rights Act (PRA). Whit Adamson, President of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, feels strongly enough about the subject that he addressed the issue and the public directly in the pages of The Tennessean:

For over 80 years, radio broadcasters have had a mutually beneficial relationship: free radio airplay of music by over-the-air broadcasters, which in turn promotes record labels and artists and generates millions of dollars in music, hospitality, small-business and merchandise sales. Yes, the Grammy Awards and other single night ceremonies like the Country Music Awards are terrific showcases for Nashville’s music. But let’s not forget that all over America, local radio stations do this every single day!

Free, local radio reaches 236 million listeners every week — which vastly dwarfs the promotional value of artist airplay on all of the other music platforms like satellite radio, Internet radio and other subscription-based radio that pay this fee.

And it is usually at about this point in the discussion that those supporting the PRA point out what they consider the glaring inequity of broadcast not having to pay. An argument, like many of those on the other side of the fence, that means little due to its skewed presentation. Radio does indeed pay, just not this additional burdensome fee being proposed by the labels. Adamson continues:

It’s important to note that our radio stations currently pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually to groups like BMI, ASCAP and SESAC, which goes to compensate songwriters and Nashville music publishers. We recognize that songwriters have less opportunity to monetize their work than do the performing artists.

There lies an important and often ignored distinction. Radio has always supported songwriters and publishers, the people who create the music (sometimes the same people as those performing it, but far from always).  Performers have concert receipts to generate income, as well as other avenues such as merchandising. The songwriters, not always as much. While the singer/songwriter is an American icon, a quick check of the liner notes on most CDs will show that it is not by any stretch the majority.

Adamson loses with the following abjuration, one with which I agree:

For the sake of our region and the future of music, we should not risk the viability of free and local radio stations that have been such a huge economic engine for Nashville over the decades.

Image: jimbenttree / CC BY 2.0

Congratulations CMA Awards Nominees!

September 15, 2008

The Country Music Awards are looming. Forty-two years of them so far, something I can relate to as I will turn 42 next Tuesday. In addition to honoring musical artists within the genre, they also cast their eyes upon the labors of broadcast pros who promote the artists.

Via CMT News:

Coinciding with the announcement of the artist nominees for the 42nd annual CMA Awards, the Country Music Association on Wednesday (Sept. 10) also confirmed its nominations for radio station of the year and broadcast personality of the year. Bucky Covington and Chuck Wicks revealed the names during a press conference at Nashville’s Sommet Center. The winners will be notified in mid-October and acknowledged on Nov. 12 during the CMA Awards telecast on ABC.

The news article linked above wil bring you to the full list of nominees. In addition, they are recognizing voices and talent in small, medium, and large radio markets, so the array of potential honorees is a bit wider than you might otherwise think.

From American Country Countdown With Kix Brooks on ABC radio to The Cat Pak Morning Show which airs in Pensacola, FL, the options are plentiful. I’m sure that every one of them will be on pins and needles waiting for the November telecast.

Congratulation from Radio2020 to all of this year’s nominees!

Phot courtesy of mpshowalter, used under its Creative Commons license