Rolling Stone owner Wenner Media plans to next spring launch a website dedicated to country music and is hunting for between 10 and 15 editorial staffers, reports Ad Age. Gus Wenner, who says his team also will publish a country-themed special issue next year, tells Ad Age he's making a long-term commitment to Music City.
"I went through a lot of the iterations and proposals and modeling for Rolling Stone Country, but the most important thing was a trip I took down to Nashville," he said. "That is a culture that appreciates music."
"We're really doubling down on country: in the office, the people, the logo and the art that's going into the new site," he added. "You're going to realize that this thing is for real. This isn't something we envision putting up and pulling down if ad dollars dry up."
Cool Springs-based magazines.com has beefed up its executive ranks with the hiring of Brian Lang, Treye Johnson and Kevin Daniele. Lang, previously director of marketing at Simplex Healthcare, has been named director of acquisitions. Johnson comes to magazines.com from Acxiom, where he was product manager, and has been named director of CRM. Daniele, who was merchandising brand manager at Dell, has been named merchandising manager. Search firm The Buffkin Group handled the hirings.
It appears the experiment of running Dave Ramsey's financial advice show on sports-talk station 102.5 The Game is at its end.
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Twelve months ago, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dave Ramsey teamed up with his long-time friend and veteran of the radio industry, Bayard “Bud” Walters, president and owner of Cromwell Radio Group. “The Dave Ramsey Show” joined the WPRT 102.5 The GAME lineup in January 2013. With Ramsey leaving a News/Talk format station and The GAME breaking from sport programming, both were taking a risk. A year later, both have agreed to part ways beginning early 2014.
“We have been friends for more than 20 years, and while we enjoyed this partnership from a personal standpoint, we both realize that from a business perspective our brands would be better served if we return to our respective formats,” said Walters.
“The Dave Ramsey show” will return to the News/Talk format in early 2014, although details are not available at this time. An announcement on programming to fill the time slot on 102.5 will also come at a later date.
The move forced changes in 102's line-up. Steve Gorman Sports, the show hosted by the Black Crowes' drummer, moved to a noon start to facilitate Ramsey. Gorman left the station in July. Sports Night with George Plaster, Willy Daunic and Darren McFarland (disclosure: I make regular appearances on the show) opened its broadcast on sister station 97.5 between 3 and 4 to give Ramsey a full three hours on The Game. The Game has repeatedly been bested by 104.5 The Zone — former home of Plaster. In October's ratings, WPRT scored 1.0 in the 12-plus, publicly available ratings. The Zone scored a 6.1.
Thom Abraham has departed his gig as the afternoon anchor on SportsRadio 560 WNSR in favor of a similar slot on two Alabama stations owned by Cumulus. In a statement, the parties say Abraham will continue to host specialty shows on WNSR, including Titans and Vanderbilt football content. WNSR has replaced Abraham with Chris Lee and the tag team of Matt Segal and Jeff Diamond.
SEE ALSO: WNSR expands Abraham talk radio show hours from March of this year
Scripps Networks executives say their GAC property will get a new look Tuesday, when it also will revert to using its full Great American Country name. The brand overhaul — the network's new logo is at left — is being handled in conjunction with Los Angeles-based Big Block Design Group. GAC executives say the rebranding is part of a broader overhaul that includes a deeper push into lifestyle programming.
A group of aspiring local country music artists will soon have a bunch of A&E cameras trailing their quest to hit it big. The television network has commissioned eight, hour-long episodes for its new show Crazy Hearts: Nashville. There's no word yet on when we'll get to watch it.
Radio player Cumulus Media is buying Dial Global, a New York-based content distributor, for $260 million. Dial, which is majority-owned by two private-equity firms, runs nine regional offices around the country, including on Music Square West. Here is MusicRow's take on the deal, which was first reported by the Journal.