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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Thomas’

Signs in Air for WFAN to Make FM Jump

Coming off its silver anniversary celebration, WFAN, the most powerful all-sports station in America, may be positioning itself for a dramatic dial switch to FM.

Several factors are at play for WFAN to make that leap of frequency: First and foremost is last month’s announcement that CBS Sports Radio is being created. Original 24-hour programming will air on stations throughout the country starting in January. But as early as September, CBS Sports Radio will provide updates to affiliated stations.

One of those stations poised to take some of the network content is WFAN. Operations manager Mark Chernoff remains steadfast in the future of 660 AM.

“WFAN is locally programmed, no change.”

But there is much more to this story.

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Jim Ryan Named WCBS-FM Program Director

Jim Ryan, the WWFS/Fresh 102.7 program director, is adding to his workload. Ryan takes on the title of WCBS-FM program director, effectively immediately. He assumes the role vacated by Brian Thomas, who moved to Florida to head CBS Radio’s Tampa cluster.

“Jim knows New York radio and its core audience like no other, which is a perfect fit for the station that embodies and personifies the city,” said Don Bouloukos, senior vice president and market manager, CBS Radio New York. “I have had the good fortune of working with Jim for the past two years and his day to day performance made my final decision an easy one. This legendary institution [CBS-FM] begins its 41st year in very capable hands.”

Ryan is known for his time as programmer at Clear Channel’s WLTW/Lite FM from 1996 to 2008.

Before joining CBS Radio, Ryan was head of his own consulting company, Jim Ryan Media, where he advised many top radio stations, including market leaders in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston, and syndicated national personalities, in addition to providing Arbitron PPM analysis to influential clients in the talk radio industry.

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WLTW Takes April PPM; KISS Closes Shop in Fifth

As the adage goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That could have been written about WLTW/Lite FM and its ratings prowess.

Once again, the Clear Channel heavyweight was tops on the overall PPM Arbitron ratings for April by maintaining a 7.5 rating for the second straight month.

WCBS-FM, which last week announced programmer Brian Thomas is leaving to run the CBS Radio cluster in Tampa, kept its number two position by posting a slight gain to 6.4.

The number three and four stations are familiar dwellers as well. Clear Channel sister stations WHTZ/Z100 was third with a .4 boost to 5.6. WKTU marked time at fourth by again registering a 4.7.

It was a strong finish for KISS FM/WRKS, jumping to fifth place with a 4.0. Last month, ESPN/Disney took over the Emmis’ 98.7 FM frequency.

More from the monthly radio ratings after the jump.

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Brian Thomas, WCBS-FM Program Director, to Head CBS Radio Tampa Cluster

Brian Thomas has been one of radio’s premiere programmers in the last decade. He didn’t just return WCBS-FM with DJs in 2007, he helped it return to Number 1.

So it was somewhat surprising, even for the industry with the ”nomad” aspect, that Thomas is leaving New York for a promotion. Starting June 4, Thomas will helm the CBS Radio cluster of stations in Tampa. He will keep his hands on CBS-FM from a distance, though, remaining VP of Classic Hits programming.

“I wasn’t even thinking of leaving New York City,” Thomas tells FishbowlNY. “But after six years, it is in the back of your head of what’s next.”

Always seeking the next challenge, and with his favorite markets, aside from New York, in California and Florida, Thomas was open to exploration.

“When Ben Hill [SVP/market manager, Tampa] reached out in an e-mail that said…here’s a crazy thought [in the subject line] ‘Do you have any interest in the Tampa programming gig?’ It took a week to make the decision.”

But that decision was wrought with emotion.

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(VIDEO) Forty Years in Radio for WCBS-FM’s ‘Broadway’ Bill Lee, Who Says the DJ is ‘Just About Gone’

WCBS-FM jock “Broadway” Bill Lee has been a mainstay on afternoons since 2007. The veteran New York DJ is a classic air personality celebrating his 40th year in the business.

Lee, 60, maintains the same high energy that he has infused on-air for several decades.  With Lee, every time he cracks the mic it’s a treat for listeners, having fun with as few words as possible, while keeping the music moving. But a key ingredient for his good times is standing up.

“I had to sit down, and these guys [at CBS-FM] had stomachs out to here, so they had the chairs really low,” Lee jokes. “I was really in hell.”

Lee couldn’t be himself on-air until a temporary stand-up studio was built at the station’s complex on West 57th Street. In 2009, CBS-FM headed south to Hudson Street and the state-of-the-art facilities for the New York cluster of stations.

“This is fabulous,” Lee tells FishbowlNY. “The nice part about this buildup is you’ve got all these stations together and all these people together make it just about the same size staff that an old radio station used to be. It’s very cool.”

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Led by Host Dan Taylor, WCBS-FM Wins the Morning

The Dan Taylor-led WCBS-FM morning show has something to celebrate, a winning month! The Classic Hits station grabbed number one in the January Arbitron a.m. drive daypart ratings.

While WCBS-FM has wrestled the overall top spot on occasion from WLTW-FM/Lite FM–it’s a different story on the breakfast beat.

Program director Brian Thomas tells FishbowlNY that this is the first time on top for Taylor’s morning show, which features weatherman Irv “Mr. G” Gikofsky and news reader Deborah Rodriguez, has been number one in New York radio.

“[It's] quite an accomplishment and that would make them one of the best rated in our history.”

That’s high praise from Thomas, as CBS-FM had the iconic Morning Mayor Harry Harrison waking up listeners for more nearly a quarter-century.  

Taylor, a veteran of CBS-FM, was named morning host in 2007 after the station “deflipped” from the jockless Jack format.

The Daily News reports Taylor’s show got 5.6 percent of the audience, while WLTW, WINS, and WHTZ were second with 5 percent.

WCBS-AM was fifth with a 4.6 percent of the audience.

Among the all-important 25 to 54 listeners, WHTZ was tops with a 6.1. WLTW trailed with a 5.0. WPLJ and WINS tied for third with a 4.8.

WCBS-FM tied for sixth place with a 4.1.

Veteran Jock Bob Shannon Remains a No-Show for WCBS-FM Listeners

WCBS-FM mainstay Bob Shannon has been missed recently on his midday shift. The veteran of the Oldies, now Classic Hits station, has been replaced by night jocks Ron Parker and Joe Causi for the last several weeks.

Staffers are left to speculate about the reason for Shannon’s silence.  

“No one has heard from Bob in several weeks,” a source tells FishbowlNY.

Shannon arrived at CBS-FM in the early 1980s. After the Jack FM debacle, Shannon was rehired by the station, linking listeners to CBS-FM’s glorious past.

WCBS-FM Closes Number Two Gap in November Ratings

WLTW/Lite FM is back at number one, although it never left. The overall November Arbitron ratings for ages 6+ have the Clear Channel juggernaut at 6.0, up from 5.7 in October.

WCBS-FM continues hot on Lite’s trail. The consistent number two player in the radio wars has narrowed the deficit to .3. In recent months the Classic Hits station was within .4 and .5 of WLTW.

“While it was bad for the New York Yankees not making the playoffs, it did help our ratings on CBS-FM with our biggest gains from 3 p.m. and midnight,” Program director Brian Thomas tells FishbowlNY.

Those gains led CBS-FM to the top spot among three vital demographics: Adults 25 to 54, 35 to 64, and Men 18+ for the 7 p.m. to midnight show hosted by Ron Parker.

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WLTW Keeps Number One, WCBS-FM Returns to Number Two

Perennial top rated Soft Adult Contemporary WLTW/Lite FM maintains its stranglehold on number one in the latest Arbitron ratings.

Clear Channel’s WLTW remained at 6.6 for a second straight month, but rival WCBS-FM battled back from a third-place tie.

“Competition is getting tighter, so we are very pleased to see CBS-FM bounce back with a 10 percent gain at number two,” Brian Thomas, WCBS-FM program director, tells FishbowlNY.

CBS-FM improves from a 4.9 to a 5.4 and sole possession of second place.

Thomas says the rumored changes for 101.9 will “most likely benefit WAXQ and WCBS-FM the most.”

Meanwhile, WKTU makes gains from last month’s 4.9, but grabs number three at 5.1.

WHTZ/Z100 keeps pace for the second consecutive survey with a 5.0.

Tropical favorite WSKQ continues to jump by leaps and bounds. ‘SKQ added .6 since April (including .3 last month).

Classic rock station WAXQ/104.3 had a slight upgrade to 4.1 for June.

WCBS-AM, despite carrying the New York Yankees, has been on a ratings freefall. After dropping .7 for May, the All-News station gave back another .3 for June. 

More from the radio ratings after the jump

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Program Director Brian Thomas ‘Very Happy’ About WCBS-FM Ratings Performance

As we told you yesterday, WCBS-FM took a rare third place in the overall (6+) Arbitron PPM for May.

The Classic Hits station has been a perennial number two finisher behind WLTW/Lite FM each month. For May, however, CBS-FM fell into a third place tie with WHTZ/Z100.

But, Brian Thomas, CBS-FM program director, says there is still plenty of good news.

“After two months of the second quarter, we’re still the number two radio station in New York, and will finish spring with that rank.”

Thomas points to the ratings drop off due to coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death at the beginning of May (Although sister station WCBS-AM lost .7 for the month and WINS was unchanged).

Thomas says he was sorry to see CBS-FM’s streak of 25 Top 5 25 to 54 books come to an end. More ratings analysis from Thomas shows CBS-FM maintaining its historic run among the P12+ demographic.

“We’re very happy that May 2011 marks 29 surveys in a row where CBS-FM has been rated in the Top 2,” Thomas says. “That’s our best run since we’ve brought CBS-FM back to people of New York [in 2007].

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