By Adam R Jacobson
LOS ANGELES — The return of the National Football League to Southern California will now be further enjoyed by fans who prefer to consume their play-by-play coverage en español via their AM radios.
The L.A. Rams, who are returning to Los Angeles with the 2016-17 season after moving to St. Louis after the 1994-95 season, this afternoon announced that it has reached an exclusive rights agreement with Lotus Broadcasting’s KWKW-AM 1330 — the ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate serving Southern California.
The pact makes ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 the team’s official Spanish-language flagship station.
All preseason, regular season, and postseason games will air on the station.
“We are pleased to partner with KWKW to bring Rams football to our Hispanic fans across California and beyond,” said Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff. “Through high-quality production and exclusive programming, KWKW will help make our games accessible to all Rams fans for our exciting return back home to Los Angeles.”
The Rams Spanish game-day broadcasts will feature six hours of programming, including a two-hour pregame show, play-by-play commentary and analysis, and a one-hour post-game show. In addition, ESPN Deportes 1330 will air a variety of ancillary Rams content, including regularly scheduled “Rams Reports” and “Lets Talk Rams” call-in talk segments specifically tailored for fans that prefer to consume Spanish-language media.
Lotus’ Jim Kalmenson, who oversees KWKW and the station’s partnership with ESPN Deportes Radio, called the selection of his station as the Rams’ Hispanic flagship “monumental.” He said, “Our Rams broadcast promises to be a huge attraction to both our listening audience as well as our sponsors. We are excited by the Rams’ genuine commitment to be involved with, and to serve, the Hispanic community.”
KWKW will produce and distribute broadcasts across what is being billed as the Rams Spanish Radio Network. Two Lazer Broadcasting stations – KOXR-AM 910 “La Mexicana” in Oxnard-Ventura and KCAL-AM 1410 “La Mexicana” in Riverside-San Bernardino, join Lotus’ Spanish Contemporary Pop KMJE-FM “Vive 92.1” in Sacramento and the broadcaster’s ESPN Deportes Radio affiliates KWAC-AM 1490 in Bakersfield, KGST-AM 1600 in Fresno and KENO-AM 1460 in Las Vegas in airing all Rams-related programming.
In addition to KWKW’s main signal, Rams programming will air on ESPN Deportes Radio simulcast partner KTMZ-AM 1220 in Pomona, serving the San Gabriel Valley east of downtown L.A.
The coverage area is intriguing, as the San Joaquin Valley and the greater Sacramento area is unabashedly full of Oakland Raiders fans, in addition to fans of the San Francisco 49ers. However, the NFL tends to allow radio coverage of nearby teams from opposing conferences without opposition. For instance, WMEN-AM 640 in West Palm Beach airs Tampa Bay Buccaneers games even though it covers much of the Miami Dolphins’ home market as the Buccaneers are in the NFC and the Dolphins are in the AFC. The 49ers do not have NFC exclusive rights in these California markets.
In expressing his excitement to be part of the Rams Radio Network, Radio Lazer owner Alfredo Plascencia said, “Hispanics love professional football, and we are very excited to bring one of the most dynamic sports franchises in history to our listeners in Oxnard and Riverside-San Bernardino.”
As has been shown in recent studies on the U.S. Hispanic sports fan, the NFL ranks as the most popular sport among all Hispanics. However, when viewed by language of preference, the NFL has lagged among Latinos who prefer to communicate in Spanish.
Kalmenson and the ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 team now have the opportunity to make an impact, while strengthening its presence as the radio leader for Hispanic sports fans in the region. In addition to the Rams, KWKW will continue to serve as the flagship station for the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, L.A. Galaxy, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the event of conflicts, KTMZ serves as the alternate over-the-air broadcast home.
Back To The Future could be a good theme for how 2015 ended up musically. Some 30 years from now, we could look back and marvel at just how amazing 2015 was for music. Yet as the year ends, we are all collectively scratching our heads wondering what the hell happened between last year and this year.
The same thing happened at the end of 1985, when the American Top 40 chart was fairly lackluster, pure rock music had suddenly faded, and a mediocre blend of ballads and Rock 40 was now being matched by freestyle dance music, crossover funk and R&B, and an evolving modern rock scene that suddenly incorporated industrial sounds with Casio keyboards.
As we look back on 2015 as a whole, across genres and nations, in this ARJ HOTTEST 100 countdown, the music produced during this 12 month period is quite impressive. It took hours of effort, however, and listening to songs for the first time in mid-November. But, it’s no 2014.
The year in music for 2014 was quite simply the finest seen in nearly two decades, with tremendous singles across a variety of formats. This year, songs released in 2014 still warranted high airplay well into fall 2015; the abundance of quality singles simply wasn’t there. Eurodance soundalikes came one after the next; no country tracks or straight R&B make a strong impact. Hunting high and low on global Shazam charts proved to provide a wealth of terrific tunes.
Still, there was concern by Halloween that a top 100 list would be impossible, given the high level of recurrents still in power rotation on the radio and on my iPod playlist – the “scientific” gauge of rankings seen here.
So what’s on top? Adele. No. Surprised? Of course not. There were other songs released in 2015 prior to this masterpiece.
There are few surprises. Justin Bieber is on the list. Seriously. Merle Haggard is on the list. Seriously. So is Birdy. And people you’ve probably never heard of, like J Boog. And, there are lots of “hits” based on where they were released. Yes, “Shut Up and Dance” is on here. I hate this song. But, I couldn’t escape it so it’s here.
So here we go … The ARJ Hottest 100 of 2015. You may not agree. You may wonder what the heck is wrong with me. Again, this is a chart based on total iPod spins in combination with exposure from radio station streams consumed during the entire year, and radio stations in Maui, Los Angeles, New York’s Hudson Valley and Miami-Fort Lauderdale.
Note: The ARJ Hottest 100 Spotify playlist is not a comprehensive audio accompaniment, as several songs listed are not on Spotify. These songs can be found individually on YouTube.
1 OMI Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)
2 MAJOR LAZER X DJ SNAKE f/MØ Lean On
3 FEDER f/LYSE Goodbye
4 ANNA NAKLAB & ALLE FARBEN & YOUNOTUS Supergirl
5 ADELE Hell0
6 KYGO f/CONRAD SEWELL Firestone
7 ROBIN SCHULTZ f/ FRANCESCO YATES Sugar
8 TWENTYONE PILOTS Tear In My Heart
9 LOST FREQUENCIES Are You With Me?
10 JR JR Gone
11 NICKY JAM & ENRIQUE IGLESIAS El Perdón
12 THE WEEKND Can’t Feel My Face
13 DEAR ROUGE Black To Gold
14 DISCLOSURE f/SAM SMITH Hotline Bling (Radio 1 Live From Maida Vale)
15 ELLE KING Ex’s & Oh’s
16 AVALANCHE CITY Inside Out
17 DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Black Sun
18 COLD WAR KIDS First
19 BAIO Sister of Pearl
20 MARK RONSON f/BRUNO MARS Uptown Funk
21 DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Ghosts of Beverly Drive
22 ALVARO SOLER El Mismo Sol
23 UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Necessary Evil
24 BECK Dreams
25 RAURY f/Tom Morello Friends
26 NEW ORDER Restless
27 EL VY Return To the Moon
28 SEINABO SEY Younger
29 BLEACHERS Rollercoaster
30 ROBIN SCHULZ f/ILSEY Headlights
31 KYGO f/PARSON JAMES Stole The Show
32 NATALIA LAFOURCADE Hasta La Raíz
33 FUTURE ISLANDS Seasons (Waiting on You)-BADBADNOTGOOD Remix
34 GARRETT DOUGLAS f/LEONARD AGUON Bad Or Good
35 SIA Elastic Heart
36 SABINA DDUMBA Not Too Young
37 JOSEF SALVAT Open Season (Une Autre Saison)
38 JAMIE LAWSON Wasn’t Expecting That
39 LOUANE Avenir
40 COMMON KINGS Since I Woke Up
41 WOLF ALICE Bros
42 CULTURA PROFETICA Saca, Prende y Sorprende
43 KURT VILE Pretty Pimpin
44 ED SHEERAN Thinking Out Loud
45 ELLIE GOULDING Love Me Like You Do
46 CESARE CREMONINI Lost In the Weekend
47 DISCLOSURE f/SAM SMITH Omen
48 BORNS Electric Love
49 MADCON & RAY DALTON Don’t Worry
50 FLORENCE + THE MACHINE Ship To Wreck
51 LOST FREQUENCIES f/JANIECK DEVY Reality
52 DIPLO & SLEEPY TOM Be Right There
53 J BALVIN Ginza
54 BIRDY + RHODES Let It All Go
55 MATT SIMONS Catch and Release (Deepend Remix)
56 NELSON FREITAS Miúda Linda
57 J BOOG Let Me Love You (Country Bus Riddim)
58 ALESSIA CARA Here
59 JESS KENT Get Down
60 KUTIMAN Intergalatic Lovers
61 CALVIN HARRIS AND DISCLIPLES How Deep Is Your Love?
62 SLIGHTLY STOOPID The Prophet
63 COMMON KINGS Ain’t No Stopping
64 CHVRCHES Leave A Trace
65 COLOURS Monster
66 JOSE GONZALEZ Let It Carry You
67 ROYKSOPP I Had This Thing
68 JUSTIN BIEBER What Do You Mean?
69 X AMBASSADORS Renegades
70 AGES f/JOHANNES EDER Chances
71 MODEST MOUSE Lampshades On Fire
72 LOW What Part of Me
73 DUKE DUMONT Ocean Drive
74 JAMIE XX f/ROMY Loud Places
75 ANDREW MCMAHON IN THE WILDERNESS Cecilia and the Satellite
76 MAGIC! No Way No
77 SILVERSUN PICKUPS Nightlight
78 ROBERT DeLONG Long Way Down
79 THE ARCS Outta My Mind
80 MS MR Criminals
81 SIDO f/Andreas Bourani Astronaut
82 CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN Cocoon
83 EAGLES OF DEATH METAL Save A Prayer
84 SEINABO SEY Hard Time
85 MORGAN PAGE f/Lissie Open Heart
86 JAILL Getaway
87 COLEMAN HELL 2 Heads
88 SIX60 Purple
89 SIGALA Easy Love
90 NAMIKA Lieblingsmensch
91 YEARS & YEARS King
92 WILLIE NELSON & MERLE HAGGARD Alice In Hulaland
93 ATLAS GENIUS Molecules
94 TOR MILLER Carter & Cash
95 BRONZE RADIO RETURN Light Me Up
96 OLLY MURS f/DEMI LOVATO Up
97 WALK THE MOON Shut Up and Dance
98 DAVE GAHAN & SOULSAVERS All of This and Nothing
99 ST. LUCIA Dancing On Glass
100 CLASS ACTRESS More Than You
By Adam R Jacobson
In a web presentation moderated this afternoon by Nielsen Audio EVP of Local Media Client Solutions Matt O’Grady, SVP of Product Leadership Jennifer Huston and Chief Engineer Arun Ramaswamy, the nation’s leading provider of AM and FM radio ratings estimates concluded that Telos Alliance’s Voltair processor “introduces audible artifacts for listeners” and “interferes with the encoding process by altering Nielsen watermarks and by making them audible.”
In short: The controversial audio processing system can, in extreme cases, affect the accuracy of one’s exposure to radio signals by the Nielsen Audio Portable People Meter (PPM).
This, along with the fact that Voltair is used by some but not all encoded radio stations, resulted in Nielsen declaring that it will not support Voltair.
The announcement, while not surprising, left some in the radio industry puzzled on what to do should they be using the system.
“Soooo…we don’t support Voltair, but we are not saying you must take it out of your Processing Racks???,” Nashville-based air personality Kenny Smoov Tweeted following the call.
Meanwhile, radio industry trade publications posted updates in real time despite Nielsen Audio’s decision to bar press from the client-only call, open to representatives from the NAB and RAB in addition to radio station personnel and executives.
Among Nielsen Audio’s other conclusions on Voltair:
* PPM can pick up more codes with Voltair “in some situations where background noise is equal to or greater than the audio content.”
* Voltair generates variability; when the “dial is turned up,” the effect on the watermark and the codes is increased.
* The Voltair effect was more visible at the minute-level than at the adjusted quarter-hour level
As reported by industry trade portal AllAccess.com, Huston told those on the webinar that while PPM picked up more codes with Voltair, its impact on ratings is unknown at this time as stations using the device have not disclosed to Nielsen Audio that they are doing so. “Whether this is true listening is inconclusive at this point,” Ramaswamy added.
While Nielsen is not supporting Voltair, the company unveiled that it is testing new watermark improvements. According to AllAccess.com and Radioinsight.com, it will be available to subscribers in Q4. This will effectively allow stations to adjust gain for the watermark based on noise in the signal. Nielsen Audio has also developed “a next generation in-station monitor to replace the existing monitor.” This will be rolled out in 2016.
Meanwhile, open-ended interpretations of what radio stations should do about Voltair continue to be voiced.
“Any mention of penalties for stations that continue to use Voltair?” asked Dale Dubilowski, Director of Interactive Media for Blackburn Radio, based in Ontario.
Dubilowski knows all too well about Voltair’s impact on radio listening estimates: Numeris, the Canadian non-profit rating consortium, placed a ban on its use by all AM and FM stations, questioning the fairness of having some broadcasters–but not all–use the device.
Such a move will likely not happen in the U.S. But what’s to come is likely to be the question of the year for an industry seeking a rebound through an accountability system demanded by media buyers and planners that is now shrouded in a sea of uncertainty.
By Adam R Jacobson
MIAMI — In a somewhat surprising move, Univision Communications today relieved José Valle–president of Univision Radio–of his duties.
Effective immediately, Valle takes on a new role as president of political and advocacy sales.
Univision Local Media EVP Jaime Jiménez takes on Valle’s former duties, which Valle had held since 2011.
Valle’s specific tasks as president of political and advocacy sales were not disclosed by Univision. However, the move comes just one day after Univision News and The Washington Post announced a partnership for political coverage tied to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination process and next year’s presidential campaign.
Valle will remain based in Los Angeles and retains his seat as a Univision Communications Inc. Officer of the Company.
UCI president of advertising sales and marketing Keith Turner, who Valle will continue to report to, commented, “José brings a fantastic background with diverse experience in sales, general management, local television and radio which make him uniquely qualified to help potential Political and Advocacy clients see all of the opportunities Hispanic constituents and UCI present.”
Valle’s resume includes stints as president and GM of KVEA-Channel 52 in Los Angeles, one of Telemundo’s biggest O&O TV stations. He’s also been VP/GM of KXTX-Channel 39 in Dallas, another Telemundo O&O.
Meanwhile, Jiménez will now oversee all content for 67 AM and FM radio stations serving U.S. Hispanics–including Talk WKAQ-AM and Hispanic Top 40 WKAQ-FM (KQ105) in Puerto Rico. He will also effectively serve as the operations and management leader for Univision Radio’s stations in Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio.
Jiménez has been SVP/GM for Univision Radio/Los Angeles and previously held LSM duties for Univision’s two broadcast TV stations in Los Angeles: KMEX Univision 34 and KFTR UniMas 46. Prior to that, Jiménez enjoyed a career at Telemundo.
As part of the changes, Univision Radio’s AM stations “will be integrated locally,” effective immediately. What this means was not immediately clear; many recent Univision AMs took on a underperforming nationally distributed Spanish News/Talk format. However, the company notes the integrated local content approach “will allow for more targeted local content, giving listeners more of the fresh, localized content they want and advertisers the opportunity to reach a hyper engaged, market-specific consumer group.”
In unrelated news, Univision Communications today terminated its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which is part-owned by Donald J. Trump. The decision was based on Trump’s recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.
“At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country,” the company said in a statement. “We will not be airing the Miss USA pageant on July 12 or work on any other projects tied to the Trump Organization.”
However, the company did note that Univision News and the local news division will not censor any coverage of all candidates, including that of Donald Trump, thus ensuring its audience continues to have access to all points of view.
December 9, 2015 — The one-time rey of la radio is heading back to the AM/FM dial, and AGM isn’t the only broadcaster partnering up with the man known in Spanish as “Tweety Bird.”
Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo, whose new self-syndicated El Show de Piolín will air on two American General Media (AGM) stations starting in January, has also reached a deal with Entravision Communications that will see the program land on 16 stations in 14 markets, starting Monday, January 5.
“Piolín’s return to network radio is nothing short of monumental, and we are eager to bring his incredibly popular program to our twelve Tricolor stations, La Nueva in the Rio Grande Valley and Super Estrella in Los Angeles,” said company COO Jeff Liberman. “Building on the success of our wildly popular afternoon program El Show de Erazno y La Chokolata, Piolín is a perfect complement to our current programming lineup. Further, the addition of Piolín will significantly strengthen Entravision Solutions as the premier advertising sales organization for syndicated Spanish-language content nationally. When combined with our fast-growing digital assets and big data resources, we are ideally positioned to maximize the incredible star power that Piolín brings to our multimedia organization.”
Entravision Solutions, the company’s national sales and marketing arm, will retain the exclusive rights to handle network advertising sales for El Show de Piolín, which is being syndicated across the country with the assistance of Ed Krampf, COO of Adelante Media Group, which is presently divesting its media holdings.
“I am so excited to be launching El Show De Piolin through my syndication company, Alliance Radio Network,” said Sotelo. “I am also thrilled to be working with Entravision again, not only as the major affiliate group but also as the sales organization representing all network sales for the program. The move is the natural next step for me, and I can’t wait to bring the show to their incredible and dynamic audience … I can’t wait to get back in front of my wonderful fans!”
Specifically, El Show de Piolín will be heard on KLNZ La Tricolor 103.5 FM in Phoenix; KMXX La Tricolor 99.3 FM in El Centro-Yuma, KSSC/KSSD/KSSE Super Estrella 107.1 FM in Los Angeles/Oxnard-Ventura/Riverside-San Bernardino, KLOK La Tricolor 99.5 FM in Monterey, KPST La Tricolor 103.5 FM in Palm Springs, KRCX La Tricolor 99.9 FM in Sacramento, and KMIX La Tricolor 100.9 FM in Modesto, Calif.; KPVW La Tricolor 107.1 FM in Aspen and KXPK La Tricolor 96.5 FM in Denver; KQRT La Tricolor 105.1 FM in Las Vegas and KRNV La Tricolor 102.1 FM in Reno, Nevada; and KYSE La Tricolor 94.7 FM in El Paso, KAIQ La Tricolor 95.5 FM in Lubbock and KKPS La Nueva 99.5 FM in McAllen- Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas.
The placement of Piolín’s new terrestrial radio show on Entravision’s “Super Estrella” trimulcast in Southern California brings immediate speculation that the Spanish Hot Adult Contemporary station will change formats to a form of regional Mexican programming. The company did not offer any hints as to any other programming adjustments at Super Estrella.
— Adam R Jacobson, reporting from Miami
By Adam R Jacobson
LOS ANGELES — December 4, 2014 — Three months after disappearing from satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM, the former king of Spanish-language AM and FM radio is heading back to terrestrial radio.
However, it’s not known if he’ll be heard in L.A. or in any major market soon.
Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo, who shot to fame at Univision Radio’s KSCA-FM 101.9 in Los Angeles before abruptly exiting the top-rated regional Mexican station amid sexual harassment allegations in July 2013, will now have his El Show de Piolin heard on two American General Media (AGM) stations: “Radio Lobo” KLVO-FM 97.7/KKIM-FM 94.7, serving the Albuquerque-Santa Fe DMA; and KEBT-FM “96.9 La Caliente” in Bakersfield, Calif. The new incarnation of El Show de Piolin will be heard on the stations in January.
It’s the start of a climb back to the top for Piolin, who joined SiriusXM in October 2013 as part of a major initiative to lure Hispanic subscribers. The addition of the one-time Arbitron ratings champ proved less than successful for SiriusXM, and the satcaster canceled El Show de Piolin just after Labor Day 2014.
Piolin’s much-heralded arrival at SiriusXM came amid claims he had sexually harrassed a male producer. At the same time, Piolin was forced to pay $100,000 in legal fees for former co-workers who a judge ruled had not extorted the host.
Piolin’s new show will be syndicated to AGM’s two stations, and it is not yet publicly known where the show will be based or who will be distributing the program.
MIAMI — Following widespread industry speculation about an imminent deal, Naples, Florida-based Beasley Broadcast Group and CBS Radio jointly announced this morning that they have reached an agreement that sees the company swapping stations in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Tampa-St. Petersburg and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets.
CBS Radio will gain the following stations in Philadelphia: Country WXTU-FM 92.5, and CHR/Rhythmic WRDW-FM “Wired 96.5.” The deal gives CBS two more FMs to add to its existing cluster. CBS also owns KYW-Channel 3 and and CW affiliate WPSG-Channel 57.
CBS Radio will gain the following stations in Miami-Fort Lauderdale: Sports Talk WQAM-AM 560, CHR/Rhythmic WPOW-FM “Power 96”, and Country WKIS-FM “99-9 KISS Country”. CBS owns WFOR-Channel 4 and MY Network affiliate WBFS-Channel 33 in Miami; the company previously owned a cluster of radio stations just to the north, in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton. Those stations are now owned by Digity, succeeding Palm Beach Broadcasting.
Beasley will receive the following stations in Charlotte: Urban AC WBAV-FM “V101.9”, Sports Talk WFNZ-AM610 “The Fan,” CHR/Pop WNKS-FM “KISS 95.1,” Urban WPEG -FM “Power 98,” Country WSOC-FM, AC WKQC-FM “K 104.7,” and Sports Talk WBCN-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1660.”
Beasley will receive the following stations in Tampa-St. Petersburg: Sports Talk WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010,” Sports Talk WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan,” Urban WLLD-FM “Wild 94.1,” Country WQYK-FM 99.5, Classic Hits WRBQ-FM 104.7 “Q105,” and Tropical WYUU-FM 92.5 (Maxima FM).
Finally, Beasley will gain Sports Talk WIP-AM 610; WIP-FM 94.1 is not involved in the deal. Beasley will now have three AMs in Philadelphia, with AM 610 joining WWDB-AM 860 and Christian talk and teaching WTMR-AM 800.
In an internal announcement to CBS Radio staff, division President and CEO Dan Mason said, “There are many positive effects this move will have on CBS Radio in the future. Most importantly, for the first time we will own radio stations in Miami– a market where CBS already successfully operates two television stations. We have all seen the tremendous value we create by having our local radio and television properties work hand in hand. Our voices reach further, brands are more integrated into the daily lives of the audience, and advertisers can speak to a wide variety of consumers constantly on the go. Secondly, we are attaining stations that appropriately align with our programming expertise in popular music and sports, two areas we have made significant investments in over the past few years. This also allows us to focus on markets that are showing the biggest growth potential and greatest returns on our investments.”
Staff Changes Coming
“This move does mean we will soon be parting ways with a number of our respected colleagues,” Mason added, without elaborating on who could be departing.
George Beasley, CEO and Chairman of his family-operated publicly traded broadcast company, added, “Focusing on strong core programming and targeted localism is the cornerstone of Beasley’s operating philosophy, and it has proven vital to the company’s ratings strength and success. While Beasley has operated in Philadelphia and Miami and understands the value of stations in those markets, as well as the revenue they generate, consolidation and ownership of the maximum amount of stations in each market has been a long-term and consistent goal for the Company. This transaction places us in the unique position of owning a full complement of FM stations in seven of the twelve markets in which we operate. As we look forward to welcoming the CBS stations to Beasley and to integrating two new markets into our portfolio, we will continue delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to the local communities we serve. Once approved by the FCC, it is my opinion that this transaction will create a win-win opportunity for both CBS Radio and Beasley.
In a potentially crippling blow to the multicultural marketing and advertising world, the Media Rating Council announced September 18 that it has withdrawn its accreditation of Simmons Market Research’s National Consumer Study.
The MRC made the announcement in what one media B2B publication labeled “unusual.” Specifically, the MRC noted that the Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study–a key data supplier for multicultural research reports conducted by such companies as Mintel–had lost its double-checkmarks from the MRC. NHCS data has been considered the “gold standard” by industry observers for Hispanic consumer behavior; NHCS data was used for portions of the 2014 Hispanic Market Overview report, distributed by HispanicAd.com and prepared by The Adam R Jacobson Consultancy.
The Media Rating Council board “reached its decision on an independent audit of the 2012 National Consumer Study.” The audit was “carefully reviewed” by a large audit committee representing MRC media constituencies, in addition to ad agencies and advertisers–after Simmons was afforded the opportunity to respond to the audit findings.
The audit in particular called out “declines in service performance metrics.” However, 2010 and 2011 data also reportedly came into question, in particular over Hispanic sample sizes, in addition to Black and Asian sample sizes. The MRC notes that Simmons is “already taking steps to address the concerns communicated by MRC.”
MRC Executive Director and CEO George Ivie commented that Simmons intends to work closely with MRC. “We look forward to a time when accreditation of the Simmons National Consumer Study can be reinstated.”
Each year, tens of thousands of households participate in the National Consumer Survey, which gathers information on the lifestyles, media habits, and product/brand preferences of American families through self-administered diary books. Hispanic families may receive a Spanish-language book; the books are also customized for teens to make it more appealing for them to provide consumer data information to Simmons.
The Simmons NCS had been accredited by non-profit industry association MRC since 2005. It is the only service submitted for MRC accreditation by Simmons.
This isn’t the first time the MRC has stepped in to address concerns about sample sizes and subsequent data releases effecting Hispanic advertising and media operations–the board has famously been a thorn in Arbitron’s side (and now that of Nielsen Audio) for its scrutiny of PPM-based radio listening estimates. Many markets lack PPM accreditation, and there have been no public updates about accreditation of more markets.
– Adam R Jacobson
BY ADAM R JACOBSON
MIAMI — In a widely rumored move, Miami-based Hispanic media company SBS on Monday completed its transition of WXDJ-FM’s “El Zol” Tropical format to 100,000-watt powerhouse WRMA-FM by debuting on WXDJ what may be best-described as a hybrid Tropical/Spanish Contemporary format under the moniker “I-95” – pronounced “Eee-Noventa-y-Cinco.”
With a slogan promoting itself as the home for “ritmo romántico de Miami,” I-95 features a wide mix of current and recent Tropical and Spanish Contemporary hits. The 6pm hour included songs from Prince Royce, Alejandro Sanz, Aventura, Chino & Nacho, Fonseca, Chayanne and Ricardo Arjona, among other artists. Popular English-language ballads can also be found on I-95, including Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Reflecting Miami’s penchant for dance music, the 7pm hour also featured the popular nightclub track “Levels,” by Avicii. Other artists heard on I-95 include Spanish pop superstars Juanes and Maná.
I-95 is presently absent of air personalities and is commercial-free, with the focus on the station’s new musical direction, which incorporates elements of WRMA’s long-time “Romance” Spanish Adult Contemporary format with some of the English-language Top 40 hits aired on its successor presentation, “DJ106.7.” I-95’s 40,000-watt signal is centered in Miami-Dade County and enjoys city-grade coverage over southern Broward County, which has gained a considerable number of Latino residents in recent years.
Interestingly, it’s not the first time that a radio station in Miami has paid homage to one of the region’s busiest highways by using the “I-95” name. In the early 1980s, WINZ-FM battled WHYI-FM “Y-100” as a high-energy Top 40 that served as South Florida’s first home for the burgeoning rap and freestyle dance product that would later define longtime player WPOW-FM “Power 96.” WINZ-FM is now Clear Channel’s Spanish Contemporary WMGE-FM “Mega 94.9.”
With the debut of I-95, WRMA is now the sole home for “El Zol,” which takes a greater focus on bachata, merengue and much of the reggaetón-infused Latin Pop found on Spanish Contemporary stations across the eastern U.S. and Puerto Rico. The shift of El Zol to the 106.7 FM frequency ended a roughly 16-month run for “DJ106.7,” which featured noted Miami-based talent DJ Laz in morning drive and English-language pop music with Spanish-language commercials. The DJ106.7 presentation replaced Romance in July 2012.
The move to the bigger 106.7 FM frequency for El Zol has already improved SBS’s fortunes in the Nielsen Audio ratings for Miami-Fort Lauderdale. In December 2013, WXDJ cracked the top 10 by capturing a 3.9 share of all radio listeners, regardless of language –placing it behind only Univision Radio’s Spanish Adult Contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” in the battle for supremacy among Miami’s Spanish-language stations. WXDJ had a 2.8 share in October 2013, jumping past Univision Radio’s Spanish Contemporary WRTO “Mix 98” in December.