Tag: "DGital Media"
By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
BOSTON – While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling to make digital dollars and digital traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for them. The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.
Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight. The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.
Entercom Acquires 45% Stake in DGital Media. What we don’t know from the press release from Entercom about this deal is how much the 45% stake in DGital Media cost the company. Nonetheless, this is a big deal for several reasons. The specifics of the investment aside, the deal will give DGital Media “in addition to the investment, significant annual marketing and promotional support” across Entercom’s AM/FM radio stations. It also includes a “multi-year services agreement under which DGital Media will dedicate significant resources to create world-class, original on-demand audio content leveraging Entercom’s deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.” Additionally, DGital Media will serve as Entercom’s exclusive, third-party ad sales representative for all of its podcasts and other on-demand audio. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are delighted to enter into this important relationship with DGital Media that enables us to partner with the premier on-demand audio content company in the U.S. and will scale our capabilities in this rapidly growing space. Upon close of our CBS RADIO merger, Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us, whether through live over-the-air broadcasts, streaming audio, on-demand audio or in-person events and experiences. DGital Media has an impressive track record of developing and producing podcasts and growing audiences for their content partners. This partnership will strategically enhance our ability to deliver compelling audio to the public, wherever and whenever they please.”
iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Up 1.9%. The second quarter 2017 financial report from iHeartMedia notes that consolidated revenue was up “1.7% after adjusting for a $15.5 million impact from movements in foreign exchange rates and the $36.1 million impact of the outdoor businesses sold.” Looking at the iHeartMedia segment (separate from the outdoor business), revenue there increased $16.5 million, or 1.9%. Revenue increased $17.8 million, or 2.1%, excluding political revenue. Included in the report were a number non-financial announcements including the launch of Smart A/V Audiences, an expansion of the SmartAudio suite of advertising products “that combines data from both iHeartMedia and Fox Networks Group enabling advertising partners to leverage audio and visual as one integrated platform to create custom audiences.” iHM says this brings “the precision and immediacy of digital advertising to the scale of broadcast radio and television.” The company also reports that “podcast listening on iHeartRadio increased by 20% year-over-year in the quarter, with more than 7,500 podcast publishers now distributing their content over the platform.” This is illustrated by podcasts like “Label Defiers with Zico Coconut Water” – produced through a marketing partnership between iHeartMedia and Coca-Cola – featuring well-known iHeartMedia personality Elvis Duran of WHTZ, New York “Z100” and his syndicated stations doing one-on-one interviews with artists. iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “To date, the iHeartMedia segment has delivered 17 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. We remain committed to balancing financial discipline with investments to grow our businesses while continuing to work on our capital structure.”
WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jim Reynolds Charged in Domestic Incident. According to a report by ABC9 in Chattanooga, WGOW-FM morning personality Jim “J.R.” Reynolds was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated child abuse on Wednesday (8/2) after an incident involving Reynolds’ wife and two daughters. The police report indicates Reynolds was arguing with his eldest daughter about her cell phone usage and a fight the girl had been having with her younger sister when Reynolds – according to a statement from his wife – pushed the girl onto a couch. Reynolds disputes the details but admitted to police he physically touched his daughter and police told him that’s all that is required to constitute domestic violence. Reynolds co-hosts “The Morning Press” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM alongside Jeff Styles and Bill Lockhart. Read the ABC9 account here.
Trump Phone Transcripts Leak Top News/Talk Story This Week. The leak of transcripts of President Trump’s conversations with world leaders was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 31 – August 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the sanctions against Russia and the relations between the U.S. and Russia. Coming in at #3 was the fate of ObamaCare and the GOP’s efforts to craft a new health care plan, followed by the recent West Wing staff changes at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Comrex to Display at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. When the IBC 2017 media, entertainment and technology show gets underway in Amsterdam on September 15, Comrex will be there displaying some of its featured products, including the latest audio IP codec in its ACCESS line – ACCESS NX (pictured here). Other products being displayed at the show will include Opal, a new IP audio gateway, and LiveShot, a video-over-IP and bonded cellular solution. Comrex says that ACCESS NX is “the result of a decade of IP audio transmission advancements and is refined for the ultimate remote experience. Perfect for a wide range of applications – including ENG, sports announcing, talk show hosting, community outreach, and more…ACCESS NX runs on CrossLock, Comrex’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.” See more about the ACCESS NX here.
TALKERS News Notes. Last night’s Westwood One radio broadcast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals was the opener of the 31st consecutive season that the syndicator has been the exclusive, national network radio partner with the NFL. WW1 EVP corporate marketing for Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes comments, “Everyone’s listening to the NFL on Westwood One because we unequivocally offer some of the best play-by-play and commentary in all of sports programming. No one touches Westwood One Sports’ commitment to quality programming and organic advertiser integrations. We are thrilled to extend our longstanding partnership with the NFL and can’t wait to kick off another season of unparalleled sports action.” Pictured at right are Pro Football Hall of Famers James Lofton (left) and Jason Taylor (right) in the broadcast booth for last night’s game. Taylor is replacing Lofton as Westwood One’s “Sunday Night Football” analyst, as Lofton slides over to duties at CBS-TV. Taylor with be enshrined in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow night (8/5), alongside fellow WW1 analyst Kurt Warner…..The FCC has five commissioners once again. The U.S. Senate confirmed Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to their posts yesterday (8/3). They join Republican chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’Reily, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn. Rosenworcel returns after previously serving on the Commission and exiting at the end of 2016 as her term expired. Clyburn’s term expired in June but she’s allowed, by rule, to stay on through 2018 if she chooses. However, it’s reported that she may be considering a run for the U.S. House seat in South Carolina currently held by her retiring father, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.
Mary Quass Named MIW’s ‘Trailblazer.’ The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group names NRG Media chairman and chief executive officer Mary Quass recipient of the 9th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award. Quass will receive the honor on September 6 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin. The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.
Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment. Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment. The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC. This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here. The second opening is for a radio engineer. That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.” The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Paul Cannell comes home to New Orleans to join Cumulus Media as program director for alternative rock WZRH “Alt 92.3” and country WRKN “NASH FM 106.1,” effective August 14. Cumulus Media New Orleans VP/market manager Pat Galloway says, “Paul will be a great addition to an incredible team and will lead us on to incredible success for both ‘Alt 92.3’ and ‘NASH 106.1.’ I am fortunate to have already worked with Paul in the past and love his collaborative management style. Paul knows New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Gulf South and loves the area! ‘Alt 92.3’ is simply on fire in the ratings and I’m confident Paul will only enhance its performance.”…..San Francisco radio personality Shan Berries re-ups with CBS RADIO CHR KMVQ “997 NOW” in a new, multi-year deal, according to CBS RADIO SVP Michael Martin…..In Phoenix, air personality Charlie Huero inks a deal with CBS RADIO to continue hosting the afternoon show on classic hits KOOL-FM. Huero has been with KOOL since 2011 when he joined the station as assistant program director and midday jock. CBS RADIO Phoenix SVP of programming Tim Richards says, “Charlie is an incredible talent with unmatched passion and experience. We are excited to renew his agreement.”…..Air personality Lady La joins iHeartMedia Phoenix to host shows on hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” and CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM.” She’ll be the evening personality on KMXP and will handle weekends/fill-ins on KZZP. iHeartMedia EVP programming, West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “Lady La will flourish in iHeartMedia’s creative and collaborative environment. Not only is she highly regarded on the air, but her social media following is among the best. The goal of adding the country’s top talent to our team continues.” Lady La was previously heard in the market on CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KALV and on Riviera Broadcasting’s hip hop KKFR.….Cumulus Media appoints Jim Day executive producer for the “Bob and Marianne in the Morning” show at adult contemporary WRRM-FM, Cincinnati “Warm 98.5.” Morning radio pro Day’s career has taken him to such stations as WIL-FM, St. Louis; KWEN, Tulsa “K955”; WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 The Wolf”; and WHKO, Dayton “K99.1.” WRRM PD Brian Demay says, “[outgoing producer] Zach Stone set a high bar producing for Bob and Marianne, so finding someone with Jim Day’s experience is like an answer to prayer.”…..As a result of the departure of programmer Johnny Maze from the Adams Radio Group operations in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland, new PD roles are assigned. Adams Radio president Ron Stone announces that Stacy Gantt, a.k.a. Carolina, is named PD for rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach,” Rob Johnson takes on the PD role at rhythmic CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” and Laura Lee is named PD for classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5.” Finally, country WHKI PD Larry “Big Red” Stephens is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster. Stone says, “I could not be more excited about these changes. These folks bring heart and soul to the game and have proved it for us, in some cases now in more than one market for Adams. I love their energy and desire to win…and most importantly, their team spirit.”…..The iHeartRadio app is being made standard on dashboard infotainment systems in select 2018 Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles, including the just released Chevy Traverse. iHeartMedia says that this provides driver-friendly access to its digital music and streaming radio service…..SiriusXM is broadcasting this weekend’s Lollapalooza festival from Chicago, beginning today (8/4) at 2:00 pm ET and running through Sunday. Coverage will include live performances and backstage interviews with artists including: Arcade Fire, blink-182, Muse, The Killers, Lorde, Cage The Elephant, and more.
Missouri Ex-Pol Gets Sunday Night Show on KFTK-FM, St. Louis. KFTK-FM, St. Louis brings former Missouri Speaker Tim Jones aboard to host a weekly program about local, state and national politics. The Tim Jones show will air Sundays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on “FM NewsTalk 97.1.” A press release says Jones will “draw from his political knowledge and experience gained from serving as a state representative and Speaker of the Missouri House.” He comments, “I could not be more excited to combine the skills I have obtained from my many talented colleagues at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ with the unique knowledge I have of national and local politics and public policy, gained by serving at the one of the highest levels of government, to create a brand-new, cutting-edge weekly radio product.” Jones has served as a guest host for the station’s “Allman in the Morning,” Marc Cox, and Randy Tobler shows.
Compass Media Networks Acquires Yamanair Creative. Though the terms of the sale are not available, Compass Media Networks announces it has acquired the assets of Yamanair Creative – which operates the Cash-by-Creative and SPECByte services. Company founder and CEO Yaman Coskun will continue to head the business along with its management team. Yamanair Creative was founded in 2000 and a press release indicates provides services to radio groups including: Alpha Media, Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Cherry Creek Radio, Cromwell Broadcasting, Connoisseur Media, Entercom Communications, Hubbard Radio, Saga Communications, Townsquare Media, Urban One and more. The company provides quick turnaround of spec spots for account executives and full-blown creative. Coskun comments, “Peter Kosann is a smart and passionate visionary. We both love, respect and believe in radio. After 10 years of flying solo, it was time for Yamanair to soar to new heights with the right partner. Compass Media Networks and Yamanair are a perfect match. Inevitably, both Compass Media Networks and Yamanair clients will benefit greatly from this merger of vision and resources.”
DGital Media to Launch ‘Book Tour’ Podcast with John Grisham. The partnership between DGital Media and Book Tour LLC is resulting in the development of the “Book Tour with John Grisham” podcast. A press statement suggests the weekly podcasts “will be a first of its kind foray into the lives of some of the greatest writers and media personalities of our time, all in conversation with one of the world’s most compelling and popular authors.” DGital Media CEO Spencer Brown says, “It is an honor for us to work with John and his team on this innovative series, which we think can be a model for elite media members and personalities going forward. This type of rare access in such a unique setting is what consumers crave and is a continued growing aspect of what we are able to provide as the leader in the on-demand audio space.” “Book Tour With John Grisham” will begin in conjunction with Grisham’s national tour for his new novel, Camino Island.
Sports Talk Personality Marc James Joins NESN. Sports talk personality Marc James joins cable’s Boston-based New England Sports Network as an anchor and reporter. James has worked in the radio end of the sports media biz, most recently as a weekend and fill-in host at CBS Sports Radio Network. Prior to that, he was with WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” and WFNZ, Charlotte “610 The Fan.”
John Clayton Exits ESPN; Remains on KIRO-AM, Seattle. Longtime ESPN personality John Clayton is one of the casualties of the recent cuts at the Bristol, Connecticut-based sports media giant. Clayton was a lead analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NFL for many years. He confirmed via Twitter that his time with ESPN is over. Clayton continues to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon sports talk show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle.
TALKERS News Notes. This may never materialize but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says he’s “looking into” an offer from Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity to guest host his national radio show. This comes from an interview Assange did with CNN. Assange does admit that his asylum status in the Ecuadorian embassy in London could make the offer difficult to arrange…..BizTalkRadio adds three new shows to its network lineup. Joining the network are the Scott Lumley show, “The Price of Business Radio,” and “Wall Street Raw with Mark Leibovit.”…..Radio pro Steve Harmon joins Sheet Happens Prep service in an affiliate relations and content creation role. Harmon has produced WBGG, Miami’s “Paul and Young Ron Morning Show” and co-hosted the “Harmon & Evans Morning Show” at KPLX, Dallas…..Longtime Charlotte radio personality Keith Larson tells TALKERS magazine that the first hour of his daily online radio show is being aired at 12:00 noon on sports talk WZVG, Charlotte “ESPN Charlotte” as the “Lunch Break.”…..On Monday (6/5), public voting begins for favorite radio personalities in two categories to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame on November 2, 2017. The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are: Bobby Bones, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Guy Phillips, and Ryan Seacrest. For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are: Mike & Mike, Bill Handel, Joe Madison and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Fans can vote for one personality in each category online at www.radiovote.com. Winners of the two categories will be announced June 26. In addition to the two listener-voting categories, there are four categories being voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. For a list of nominees, check out www.radiohof.org…..The podcast of talk host Dr. Ronald Hoffman’s syndicated “Intelligent Medicine” show has surpassed the 4 million download mark…..NBC News and Euronews have closed on a deal in which NBC News is making a significant financial investment in Euronews. NBC News is acquiring 25% of the company, with the funding going to support expanded news coverage and programming across Europe. Media Globe Networks will continue to be the majority shareholder in Euronews. The company’s TV and digital platforms will ultimately be co-branded EuronewsNBC…..WMAL, Washington executive producer Heather Hunter and husband and WBAL, Baltimore midday host Derek Hunter welcome their daughter Quinn Carol Elizabeth Hunter, born on May 22.
Trump’s European Relationships, Paris Climate Deal Status, Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation/Comey Testimony, Kathy Griffin Trump ‘Beheading,’ Deadly Kabul Bombing, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/31). President Donald Trump’s seemingly fractured relationships with European leaders; President Trump’s intent to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty; the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Russian agents, tied with looming congressional testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey; the backlash against comic Kathy Griffin for the image of her posing with a prop resembling Trump’s severed head; the bombing that killed 90 people in Kabul, Afghanistan’s diplomatic district; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Some new air personalities join Urban One’s CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now.” Assuming the afternoon drive role is Laura Dickerson, a.k.a. On Air Laura; and joining for the evening show is Amir Diamond. Dickerson’s arrival moves music director Rich Pangilinan, a.k.a. DJ Riddler, moves from PM drive to middays…..Westwood One is celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band album with a special program. The program features producer Giles Martin (Sir George Martin’s son), who mixed the 50th anniversary album, and veteran WLS-FM, Chicago personality Jeff Davis. The two-hour program also features exclusive archive audio from the Fab Four themselves – John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The album was released in the U.S. on June 2, 1967.
Court Victory for Former KYGO, Denver Personality David Mueller in Taylor Swift Suit. The Hollywood Reporter says that Colorado federal judge William Martinez has ruled that David Mueller (who worked at country KYGO as “Jackson” on the morning show) can go ahead with his suit against Taylor Swift for tortious interference, but that the slander claim is being denied. Further, Judge Martinez ruled that Swift must be in attendance at the entire trial. As you know, Swift claims Mueller groped her at a backstage photo op. Mueller was fired by KYGO after the incident. The basis of Mueller’s suit is that Swift and her people interfered with his employment contract by getting him fired for something he maintains he did not do. The trial will begin August 7. See THR story here.
Saga Communications Reports Net Revenue Up 4.7% in Q4; Radio Segment Rises 2.6%. The company operates both radio and television stations and the 4.7% net revenue increase on $37.3 million is for the company as a whole. The radio segment’s fourth quarter net revenue was $30.3 million – an increase of 2.6%. For the whole of 2016, the radio segment was up 6.2% on net revenue of $119 million.
Radio One Fourth Quarter Revenue Rises 3.8% on Strength of Television and Political Advertising. Of the four major categories of revenue that Radio One reports – radio advertising, political advertising, digital advertising, and cable television advertising the latter three saw healthy increases while radio advertising dipped 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016. It’s far and away the biggest category with net revenue of $51.02 million. Cable television advertising was up 18.1% on net revenue of $22.67 million. For the year of 2016, Radio One’s radio broadcasting net revenue was down 1.5% on $194.5 million.
DGital Media and Essence Partner for ‘Yes, Girl!’ Podcast. A new collaboration between audio entertainment firm DGital Media and Essence results on the new podcast “Yes, Girl!” The weekly podcast – available via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and more – “allows Essence editors to marry two things that they love: podcasts and buzzworthy interviews with bold, beautiful and brilliant women of color.” The show is hosted by Essence editors Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni — along with relationships editor and resident “love guru” Charli Penn. “Yes, Girl!” will also feature conversations with celebs and influencers.
TALKERS News Notes. A group of podcast producers is working together throughout the month of March to promote podcast listening to the public. Dubbed #trypod, the movement includes the hosts of hundreds of podcasts encouraging listeners to seek out friends who aren’t podcast listeners to get them to try it. Listeners are encouraged to share their favorite podcasts and why they listen with the hashtag #trypod. Content creators and platform operators involved include: NPR, WNYC, iHeartRadio, Midroll, ESPN, and others…..United Stations Radio Networks names Neil Barry to its advertising sales department as executive director/brand sponsorships. Barry has spent the past 25 years in the media industry serving with companies including: CBS RADIO, CBS Local, Cox Digital Solutions and ABC Radio Networks…..Emmis Communications adds another FM signal to its sports talk radio brand “The Fan” originating from WFNI, Indianapolis. Translator W298BB at 107.5 FM will begin airing the station, effective March 30. Emmis says that it is working with the FCC to resolve the interference problem from translator W228CX at 93.5, the signal that’s been the format’s FM presence…..Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler announces that Westwood One News renews some of its key top 10 market client stations and adds a couple more. The company says it renews with CBS RADIO all-newsers WINS, New York; KYW, Philadelphia; WBZ, Boston; and adds WWJ, Detroit. Now, also carrying Westwood One News are the Bloomberg major market stations WBBR, New York; WDCH, Washington; WXKS-AM, Boston; and KNEW-AM, San Francisco. Westwood One News is also airing on SiriusXM’s POTUS and Progress channels.
ObamaCare Overhaul, North Korean Missile Threat, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Ben Carson Speech Flap, New Travel Ban Signed, Sessions-Russia Case, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6). The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to alter the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s aggressive development of its missile program and the U.S.’ moving forward with installing an anti-missile defense system in South Korea; The Trump Administration’s continuing charge that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; the reactions to HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s allusion to slaves as immigrants; President Trump signs the new travel order; Attorney General Jeff Sessions statements that he did not mislead the confirmation committee by not disclosing his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. By splitting KDEY-FM, Ontario, California off the simulcast of Los Angeles urban signal KDAY, Meruelo Media re-launches hip hop KDEY-FM as “The New Wild 93.5” in the Riverside-San Bernardino market. Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “This much-awaited Riverside metro launch comes after a long process of engineering, design and market studies. It adds a key radio asset to our growing portfolio of highly recognized media brands in one of the fastest-growing markets. The saving and growing of heritage Los Angeles radio station KDAY has been a thrilling, three-year ride – we owe it to our music fans to keep innovating and expanding – Riverside is key.” Program director Adrian “AD” Scott adds, “Los Angeles loves KDAY – Riverside will love ‘WILD!’ This is the Inland Empire’s new home for hip hop and R&B, listeners in the ‘I.E.’ will know the difference and love the sound that the new ‘Wild 93.5’ brings.”…..Longtime KNCN, Corpus Christi “C101” rock radio personality Dan Rios returns to the iHeartMedia rock station where he had been half of the “2 Guys in the Morning” show with Rex Gabriel from 1996 through 2006, reuniting with Rex for the new “2 Guys” show. Rios had been hosting afternoons at Withers Family Texas Holdings’ crosstown alternative KYRK “106.5 The Shark.”…..On the heels of Sean McMasters’ recent exit from its Albany country outlet WGNA, Townsquare Media brings market pros Brian Cody and Chrissy Cavotta aboard to host the “Brian and Chrissy” morning drive show. The pair was most recently at Pamal’s crosstown CHR WFLY…..Entravision Communications chief strategy officer Esteban Lopez Blanco is named the recipient of Borrell Associates’ 2017 Award of Merit for outstanding leadership and innovation in local media. The award was presented yesterday (3/6) before the more than 300 media executives at Borrell’s 8th annual Local Online Advertising Conference at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell comments, “Esteban is one of those internal guiding forces that any company would be lucky to have. His work with Entravision’s TV and radio group has made the company a shining example among not only Hispanic media, but all local media, about how to embrace the future and make it their own.”