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WBBM Names Cisco Cotto Its New Morning Drive Host

Cotto joined the station as a street reporter and fill-in anchor, later moving to middays, hosting the WBBM noon business hour.

Ryan Hedrick

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Chicago All News Station WBBM 780 AM has named a new morning host following Pat Cassidy’s retirement announcement last week. 

The Audacy-owned station said Cisco Cotto would take over as the morning drive host in a release. He joined the station as a street reporter and fill-in anchor, later moving to middays, hosting the WBBM noon business hour.

“He (Cotto) has proven to be a true professional and teammate for the last seven years, both reporting and anchoring on WBBM,” said Rachel Williamson, Regional President and Market Manager, Audacy Chicago.

Veteran reporter Rob Hart, who has been anchoring in different dayparts since 2016, will replace Cotto as the new midday anchor and host of the WBBM noon business hour.

WBBM has undergone drastic changes to its morning show over the last seven months. In May, Felicia Middlebrooks announced her retirement after 35 years.

“Pat and Felicia spent many years as voices Chicagoans trusted to wake them up with all of the most important stories to start their day,” said Cisco Cotto. “I’ll work hard to maintain what they built. Thanks to Ron Gleason, Greg Solk, and Rachel Williamson for trusting me with such an important show on this great station.”

Listeners can tune in to WBBM Newsradio (WCFS-FM/WBBM-AM) in Chicago on-air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

“I look forward to continuing to be a small part of the award-winning news team on WBBM for many years to come,” Cotto added. 

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Borrell Survey Spotlights What Local Advertisers Are Buying

From March to May, Borrell surveyed 1,920 direct buyers with average gross revenue of $3.3 million and allocated 5% of their income to advertising.

Eduardo Razo

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Outside of the largest markets, most radio ad revenue comes from local direct ad buyers. So to figure out what local business buyers are buying, Borrell Associates used their survey to help fill that interest. 

From March to May, Borrell surveyed 1,920 direct buyers with average gross revenue of $3.3 million and allocated 5% of their income to advertising. The semi-annual survey found radio, social media, and events/sponsorships top the list of the most used media types. 

Each is bought by 50% of the sample. The average radio buyer invests $42,330 annually in the medium. That was second only to broadcast TV at $109,263. Seven of local buyers’ top 10 most used media were traditional channels. 

The tilt toward traditional is likely due partly to the fact that participants were selected from the rolls of traditional media companies.

Meanwhile, Streaming audio finished dead last among 20 media types studied, with just 9% of local businesses presently buying it with an intermediate annual cost of $16,140. 

Borrell says the lackluster performance is due to the small fraction of local podcasts; most shows target a national audience.

Along with streaming audio, these more assertive advertisers were at least twice as probably to buy content marketing, broadcast TV, and streaming video.

“What this tells us is these big gamblers… are out there with streaming audio and content marketing, and broadcast TV and streaming video and OTT at twice or more the rate of everybody else,” Borrell explained. 

You can read the entire survey from Borrell, which Inside Radio relayed. 

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1130 KTLK’s Drew Lee Dies Unexpectedly

The morning co-host for Drew Lee, Jon Justice, announced Monday from a hospital room at the University of Minnesota as he recuperates from open-heart surgery.

Eduardo Razo

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Drew Lee's Facebook

Tragic news has come out of Minnesota as radio personality Drew Lee died unexpectedly over the weekend. Bring Me The News adds that the cause of death is unknown at the moment. 

Lee’s morning co-host at AM 1130 KTLK, Jon Justice, announced Monday from a hospital room at the University of Minnesota as he recuperates from open-heart surgery. 

“This is the hardest thing that I have ever had to do in my entire radio career,” Justice, co-host of the “Justice and Drew Show,” said. “He was with his wife at the time. I hopefully will be coming home sometime today, but I had asked that I be the one to make this devastating and tragic announcement to you.”

“Drew was my best friend. He was your friend and I don’t need to tell you how special he was. It goes without saying that I’m devastating and he will be tragically missed,” Justice continued. “Everybody here at iHeart is grieving. We ask for your prayers for Drew’s family as they get through this difficult time.”

Lee recently spoke with Barrett News Media’s Jim Cryns, where he touched on various topics, including their show’s reach as they have listeners outside of the Twin Cities.

“We’ve got listeners all over the country, from New York to California,” Lee said. “I find that amazing. Here we are, this little Minnesota-centric show growing an audience at the national level.”

“I’m excited about where we’re going organically. People seem to be gravitating to our content, telling friends about it. I want to see how far we can take this fun little morning show.”

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VPR and Vermont PBS Rebrands as Vermont Public

“Our new name pays homage to our past while signaling a new mission for the future,” President and CEO Scott Finn said in a press release relayed by Radio Insight.

Eduardo Razo

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VPR and Vermont PBS are rebranding as the television, radio, and digital platform will now be known as Vermont Public after officially merging last year. Furthermore, this move reflects the cooperative mission of the state’s public media organization.

“Our new name pays homage to our past while signaling a new mission for the future,” President and CEO Scott Finn said in a press release relayed by Radio Insight

“Across TV, radio, and digital platforms, we will engage a broader and more diverse audience through stories that bring our community together.”

Over the last year, Vermont Public has researched with the public, staff, and board of directors to understand better the needs, perceptions, opportunities, and challenges for public media in Vermont.

Furthermore, the rebranded name and graphic identity are now live at vermontpublic.org and on its broadcast channels, stations, and digital platforms.

“We’ve been here to engage, inform, and inspire Vermonters for more than fifty years,” according to Marguerite Dibble, the incoming board chair. “And that won’t change. Our core audience will continue to see and hear all the things they love.”

“Their support and loyalty have shaped who we are today. And as the needs of our community evolve, and the media landscape shifts, we want to broaden access for all voices to participate, from every corner of our unique state.”

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