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Midwest Communications’ long-time Nashville VP/Market Manager Dennis Gwiazdon has exited the company for a new opportunity outside the Nashville market. Midwest Communications, Inc. owns and operates WJXA, WCJK and WNFN Nashville.
Midwest Communications acquired the Nashville cluster along with the Knoxville and Evansville markets from South Central Communications in 2014. Gwiazdon worked for South Central for 13 years and Midwest Communications for three years.
“In Dennis’ 16 years at South Central and Midwest Communications, he has amassed an amazing record of accomplishments and it was indeed terrific to have him as a valued member of our management team,” says Midwest Communications President/CEO Duke Wright.
“While I’m truly excited about the future, it’s bittersweet to leave such an extraordinary team in Nashville,” says Gwiazdon, a member of Leadership Music’s Class of 2012. “Duke and his team always provided us with the tools to win and I’m confident they will continue to make history in Music City.”
A search for Gwiazdon’s replacement is underway. Resumes can be sent to Michael Wright at [email protected].
The Valory Music Co. has announced that Chris Palmer will join as Vice President of Promotion, effective Jan. 2. In the newly-created role, he will join the imprint in building relationships between radio and the talented roster – Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band and Delta Rae.
“I have known Chris since his days in radio and at times we have worked alongside each other on the road where he has built some of the most solid relationships at country radio,” said The Valory Music Co. GM George Briner. “Chris brings a wealth of experience and we’re all excited to have him on board. His passion for music and desire to win makes him a great addition to an already strong promotion team. THE EVOLUTION OF THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES!”
“I’m humbled and honored by this incredible opportunity. When Scott Borchetta and George approached me about leading a team already producing at this level, I jumped at the chance!” said Palmer. “Ashley Sidoti has this crew humming as is and I’m looking forward to adding my skill set to The Valory Music Co.”
An industry veteran, Palmer most recently served as VP of Radio and Streaming at Warner Music Nashville following a decade-long stint at Lyric Street Records and years in radio.
Palmer will report directly to Briner and can be reached at 615-417-7486 and after the first the of year at [email protected].
The Academy of Country Music has announced some changes to its ACM Awards radio categories’ criteria and open submissions date for the 53rdAcademy of Country Music Awards. For the first time in the National On-Air Personality of the Year category, submissions will be accepted from terrestrial, satellite and internet radio personalities, if all eligibility requirements are met. The Academy has also removed the requirement to be a current Academy member to be eligible to submit for all radio categories.
Additional changes to On-Air Personality of the Year, National On-Air Personality of the Year and Radio Station of the Year categories include a shorter aircheck, and a streamlined essay portion with a maximum length of five hundred words – replacing the individual written summaries of industry or community work, etc. For additional details, visit acmcountry.com/
Open submissions for the 53rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will begin Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 at ACMcountry.com and will end at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The radio eligibility period is between Nov. 24, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2017.
The 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards will air live next spring from Las Vegas on a date to be announced, on CBS.
Cumulus Media has filed to reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with $2.4 billion in debt. The radio giant has reached an agreement with 69 percent of its term loan holders. The company’s pre-packaged restructuring agreement will reduce the company’s debt by more than $1 billion.
Cumulus expects all operations, programming and sales to continue as normal throughout the restructuring process. A release from the company notes that Cumulus has ample cash on hand, as well as funds generated from ongoing operations, to support the business during the financial restructuring.
Mary Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media Inc., said, “Over the last two years, we have focused on implementing a business turnaround to reverse the company’s multi-year ratings, revenue and EBITDA declines, create a culture that fosters motivated and engaged employees, and build an operational foundation to support the kind of performance we believe Cumulus is capable of delivering. As we have demonstrated in many measurable ways – including increased ratings, revenue market share gains, improved employee satisfaction, reduced employee turnover and, over the last several quarters, our return to year-over-year EBITDA and revenue growth – that turnaround has not only been successful but is continuing. However, as we have noted consistently, the debt overhang left by previous years of underperformance remains a significant financial challenge that we must overcome for our operational turnaround to proceed.
“The actions we are taking today to address our balance sheet are a critical step forward for Cumulus. We will use this restructuring process to relieve the financial constraints on our continued progress, allowing us to focus our resources on investing in our business and people to strengthen our competitiveness and ultimately drive growth. We have ample cash to support our operations and service our advertisers, vendors and affiliates during this period, and we look forward to becoming an even stronger partner to all of them when we complete this important phase of our turnaround strategy.
“We appreciate the tremendous efforts of the Cumulus team throughout the business turnaround and thank our employees for continuing to be the true force driving our success.”
Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. has revealed an early version of its agenda for Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2018, to be held Feb. 5-7, 2018, at the Omni Nashville. The preliminary agenda details were released in advance of the CRS 2018 regular rate registration deadline, which is Dec. 5.
Every year, Country Radio Seminar serves as host to experts in technology, social media, imaging, talent and programming. The three-day event will once again feature educational seminars, numerous performances, networking opportunities and panels that cover all areas of the radio and records industry.
Greg Frey, VP/Programming Operations of Cumulus Media, Inc. and CRS Agenda Committee Chairman commented, “I’m proud of the work done by the Agenda Committee who has put together a seminar full of innovative and powerful panels, speakers and workshops. CRS continues to stand as the premier event for the radio industry and provides quality, actionable information to our attendees that they can utilize to improve ratings and revenue. Highlights of CRS 2018 include two research studies, presented by CMA and Edison Research, and a ground-breaking talk from Cumulus Media’s CEO, Mary Berner. Plus, familiar favorites like the PD Mentoring Breakfast are back along with a few awesome surprises that are yet to be announced. Most notably, in light of recent events, a ‘sea change’ is taking place. We have an obligation to our industry to speak on the areas of personal responsibility, sexual harassment, and treating others with dignity and respect. This hot topic discussion is one of today’s biggest issues that is currently shaking the foundation of our industry and will be addressed in this year’s agenda.”
The CRS 2018 Agenda-At-A-Glance includes: (subject to change)
Monday, Feb. 5
3:00- 3:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies, Sponsored by Sarah Cannon
3:30- 4:00 p.m. Artist Humanitarian Award & Tom Rivers Award Presentation
4:00-5:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception, Sponsored by CMA and Live Nation
7:00 – 9:30 p.m. CRS Monday Night Musical Event
9:45 p.m. CRS After Hours
Tuesday, Feb. 6
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Programming Mentoring Breakfast
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Label Mentoring Breakfast
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Sales Mentoring Breakfast
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Miles Adcox: Intentional Thinking, How to Take Control of Your Life
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Edison Research Presentation
11:30 – 1:50 p.m. UMG Nashville Lunch and Performance
2:30 – 3:20 p.m. Small Market 101: Raising Your Bottom Line, One Strategy at a Time
2:30 – 3:20 p.m. Facebook: Like It, Love it, Share It!
3:30 – 4:20 p.m. Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO, Mary Berner
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. On-Air Talent Mentoring Happy Hour
7:00 – 11:00 p.m. CRS After Hours
Wednesday, Feb. 7
7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Women’s Mentoring Breakfast, Sponsored by NuVoodoo Media
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Digital & Tech Breakfast
9:00-9:50 a.m. Daily Featured Speaker
10:00 – 10:50 a.m. CMA Research Presentation
10:00 – 10:50 a.m. No Artists, No Problem: Revenue Generating Ideas
11:00 -11:50 a.m. Podcasting: Where the Passion Pays Off
11:00 -11:50 a.m. The Matrix of the Metrics
Noon – 1:50 p.m. Big Machine Label Group Lunch and Performance
2:00 – 2:50 p.m. Radio 2025
2:00 – 2:50 p.m. You Are A Brand: How to Build a Fan Base You Can Monetize
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Surprise Artist Interview, Sponsored by BMI
5:30 – 6:15 p.m. New Faces Cocktail Reception, Sponsored by Riser House Entertainment
6:30 – 10:00 p.m. New Faces of Country Music Dinner and Performance, Sponsored by ACM & St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital -*Performances Powered by Live Nation
10:00 p.m. CRS After Hours
The Country Radio Broadcasters have named Jennifer Hays – “Jenn Parker” (Music Director/On Air, KCTR/Billings, MT), Mark “Haystack” Wells (Program Director/KCYT-FM/Fayetteville, AR), and Jamie Jackson (Promotions Director/95.3 KRTY/San Jose) as recipients of the 2018 Rusty Walker Scholarship. Each individual will receive an all-expense paid trip and attendance to CRS 2018 February 5-7, 2018. The three scholars will be recognized during the CRS 2018 Opening Ceremonies.
The Rusty Walker Scholarship program is named in honor of Country Radio Hall of Fame member Rusty Walker, who passed away in May 2012 at the age of 59. To honor Walker’s belief in cultivating rising stars, CRS created the scholarship program in his name, enabling young members of the industry who may not otherwise have the chance to attend CRS.