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Infinity Launches FREE FM as Stern Replacement StrategyDavid Lee Roth, Adam Carolla to cover major markets (October 26, 2005)
Infinity Broadcasting, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States, today launched FREE FM, a bold new FM format, on Infinity stations in four of the top five and seven of the top 10 U.S. radio markets, as part of its Howard Stern replacement strategy. Infinity currently broadcasts Stern's program on 27 of its stations across the country. His last live broadcast will be on Friday, December 16.
At the same time, David Lee Roth, the original frontman for the legendary rock band Van Halen, and comedic radio and television personality Adam Carolla have been named as morning drive hosts in New York (WXRK-FM) (weekdays, 6:00-10:00AM, ET) and Los Angeles (KLSX-FM) (weekdays, 6:00-10:00AM, PT), respectively, beginning on Tuesday, January 3, 2006. Additional markets to broadcast Roth include KLLI-FM Dallas, WYSP-FM Philadelphia, WBCN-FM Boston, WRKZ-FM Pittsburgh, WNCX-FM Cleveland and WPBZ-FM West Palm Beach. Carolla will also be heard on KIFR-FM San Francisco (formerly KEAR-FM), KPLN-FM San Diego, KZON-FM Phoenix, KUFO-FM Portland and KXTE-FM Las Vegas.
Late night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel will serve as creative consultant for THE ADAM CAROLLA SHOW, as well as advisor for Infinity. He will assist in the development of new talent and show ideas for the Company, and make guest appearances on the program.
"Infinity's FREE FM stations will feature an eclectic mix of personalities, whose distinct creativity, perspective, sense of humor, intellect and unpredictability do not fall under the guiding principals of any particular narrowcast theme or ideology," said Joel Hollander, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Infinity. "An entertaining hybrid of provocative, political, pop culture, news, music and lifestyle formats, our next generation of FM stations will be personified by their conviction, passion, originality, fearlessness and innovation which is not heard anywhere else on the radio."
Beginning today, KIFR, WYSP and KPLN will convert to FREE FM programming offering listeners a combination of powerhouse local and national personalities (see separate releases for complete lineups). WXRK, the flagship station for the David Lee Roth Show, will debut FREE FM on the station in conjunction with Roth's premiere in January 2006. Current Infinity stations in Los Angeles (KLSX-FM), Chicago (WCKG-FM), Dallas (KLLI-FM), Washington, D.C. (WJFK-FM), Detroit (WKRK-FM) and Baltimore (WHFS-FM) have all been rebranded FREE FM as of today.
Penn Jillette, one-half of the entertainment duo Penn & Teller, has also been named as host of a unique one-hour live radio program that will be featured on stations in New York (WXRK-FM), Chicago (WCKG-FM), San Francisco (KIFR-FM), Washington, D.C. (WJFK-FM), Detroit (WKRK-FM), San Diego (KPLN-FM), Baltimore (WHFS-FM) and Las Vegas (KSFN-AM), beginning in January 2006 (check local listings for broadcast time).
In addition, a variety of morning drive programming options have been developed for the remaining Stern stations such as syndication of Infinity personalities, format changes and the creation of live local programs. Following are several highlights (complete list attached):
-- Rover, currently heard on Infinity's WXTM-FM Cleveland and WAZU-FM Columbus, adds WCKG-FM in Chicago, WKRK-FM Detroit, WAQZ-FM Cincinnati, WMFS-FM Memphis and WZNE-FM Rochester to his roster of stations. WCKG will serve as the flagship station for Rover's MORNING GLORY heard weekdays 5:00-10:00AM, CT/6:00-10:00AM, ET. A 10-year veteran of radio, Rover joined WXTM in 2003 and has consistently been a ratings leader among Adults and Men 18-34. His first job in radio came at age 20 when he applied for, and was hired as, a host for Xtreme Radio in Las Vegas despite having no prior experience.
-- WJFK-FM's The Junkies will expand their lineup to include WHFS. J.P., John, Eric and Jason began their career in broadcasting as hosts of a cable access show in 1995, and were hired by WJFK-FM shortly thereafter where they hosted weekend, and later, weeknight programs. In 2002, the foursome began hosting morning drive on WHFS (Washington, D.C.) until the station changed its format and call letters in January 2005. They rejoined WJFK for middays, and the Junkies program has been rated No.1 in its timeperiod among Adults 25-34, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 ever since.
-- KITS-FM in San Francisco will launch the MORNING MUSIC CO-OP, an entertainment-based program featuring alternative music with unprecedented listener involvement/interaction and minimal commercial interruption. The station's on-air programming attributes will include music-oriented town halls, sponsorship of "locals-only" concerts, monthly music and movie listener correspondents, frequent auditions for permanent positions on the show, listener advisory reports, and Q&A sessions with station executives.
Added Hollander, "When we set out to find a replacement for Howard Stern we took the opportunity to cultivate a wide array of talent, from both in and out of the radio industry. With Roth, we've found someone who continues to evolve his career and deliver for his legion of fans. Adam's depth of entertainment experience is unmatched in radio. And Jimmy has a proven track record of creating winning shows for both radio and television. Couple that with an impressive roster of emerging talent and formats and we have all the necessary elements for Infinity to continue as the major player in morning drive."
Best known to countless rock fans as the frontman of legendary band Van Halen, "Diamond" David Lee Roth is also a successful solo artist, music video pioneer and best selling author. Born in Bloomington, Ind., Roth spent his early childhood shuttling between the great outdoors and living with his famous uncle, Manny Roth, in New York's Greenwich Village during the early 60s. Roth's musical education began with the likes of Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce.
By the time he reached his mid-20s, Roth was a world-class frontman with platinum albums from his work with his high school buddies, Van Halen. Mixing heavy metal riffs with punk's fury, Van Halen became the most popular American rock & roll band of the late '70s and early '80s releasing a string of classic mega-selling albums (1979's Van Halen II, 1980's Women & Children First, 1981's Fair Warning, 1982's Diver Down, and two years later, 1984), while also becoming a major arena-headlining concert draw.
His subsequent solo career also yielded a truckload of hits, including "Yankee Rose," "Goin' Crazy," "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody," "California Girls,"and "A Little Ain't Enough," as he veered from the arena hard rock he was known for to smoky blues, Las Vegas show tunes and dance floor rhythms, touring countless countries in the process.
Roth penned a tell-all autobiography, Crazy From The Heat, in 1997. He has also appeared on VH1's "The David Lee Roth Fourth of July Christmas Special" and "I Love the 70s," as well as "The Sopranos."
Presently, Roth resides in New York City, where he became a certified emergency medical technician in 2004.
Carolla is one of the most versatile men in Hollywood. He currently hosts Comedy Central's "Too Late with Adam Carolla" and additionally stars in TLC's "The Adam Carolla Project," which chronicles the renovation and subsequent sale of his boyhood home.
Following brief stints as a skilled carpenter and boxing trainer, he began his career in radio after answering an ad seeking a boxing instructor to train then radio personality Jimmy Kimmel of KROQ's KEVIN AND BEAN SHOW in Los Angeles. He eventually joined the show's repertoire as Mr. Birchum, a woodshop teacher. Carolla's success on KROQ led to a hosting job on the nationally syndicated radio program "Loveline," with Dr. Drew Pinsky. MTV developed a television version of the show, which was co-hosted by Carolla and Pinsky for five seasons (1996-2000). The duo also authored The Dr. Drew and Adam Book: A Survival Guide to Life and Love.
With their partner Daniel Kellison, Carolla and Kimmel are the heads of Jackhole Industries and have created and starred in two hit Comedy Central shows, "The Man Show" (1999-2003) and "Crank Yankers" (2002-present). Jackhole Industries also executive produced "Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust," a comedy travel show which aired on Comedy Central, and a reality-based feature film, Windy City Heat, which won The Comedia Award for Best Film at the 2004 Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival.
A native of Southern California, Carolla currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Lynette.
Kimmel is the host and Executive Producer of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." He also appears weekly on Monday Night Football with his "60 Seconds with Jimmy Kimmel" feature that airs during halftime. Additionally, he executive produces the hit MTV series "The Andy Milonakis Show," an absurd comedy centered on young Andy and his antics.
Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and raised in Las Vegas, Nev., and began his career in morning radio. It was as "Jimmy The Sports Guy" on KROQ-FM's KEVIN AND BEAN SHOW that Kimmel started to breakthrough. In 1997, he became co-host of Comedy Central's long-running and popular game show "Win Ben Stein's Money." Kimmel has twice been nominated for an Emmy and won "Best Game Show Host" in 1999.
Kimmel currently resides in Los Angeles. He has two children.
Penn Jillette has been the larger, louder half of comedy-magic team Penn & Teller for over 30 years. Jillette, along with partner Teller, created an entertainment success story that went from the streets of Philadelphia to small clubs to Broadway and now to a current, multi-year engagement at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Along the way Jillette has authored five books, two that made the New York Times best-sellers list, won an Emmy, co-hosted four television series, including the current hit Showtime series "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" (2003-present) and executive produced and co-created the most talked about film of 2005, The Aristocrats.
Penn's skeptical, outspoken, tell-it like-it is opinions have made him a favorite pundit of the cable news talk shows.
He resides in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter.
Infinity is one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States, with stations covering news, alternative rock, country, talk, classic rock, oldies, JACK and urban formats, among others. A division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA and VIA.B), Infinity operates 178 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation's top 50 markets. Additionally, Infinity is home to 30 of the country's leading sports franchises amongst MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the WNBA, and the NHL. For more information, log on to www.infinitybroadcasting.com.
Complete list of Howard Stern markets, replacement talent and station format:
WXRK-FM New YorkDavid Lee Roth/FREE FM (*)
KLLI-FM Dallas David Lee Roth/FREE FM
WYSP-FM PhiladelphiaDavid Lee Roth/FREE FM (*)
WBCN-FM Boston David Lee Roth/Active Rock
WRKZ-FM Pittsburgh David Lee Roth/Active Rock
WNCX-FM Cleveland David Lee Roth/Classic Rock
WPBZ-FM West Palm Beach David Lee Roth/Alternative Rock
KLSX-FM Los Angeles Adam Carolla/FREE FM
KPLN-FM San Diego Adam Carolla/FREE FM (*)
KZON-FM Phoenix Adam Carolla/Alternative Rock
KUFO-FM PortlandAdam Carolla/Active Rock
KXTE-FM Las Vegas Adam Carolla/Alternative Rock
WCKG-FM Chicago Rover/FREE FM
WKRK-FM Detroit Rover/FREE FM
WAQZ-FM Cincinnati Rover/Alternative Rock
WMFS-FM Memphis Rover/Alternative Rock
WZNE-FM Rochester Rover/Alternative Rock
WJFK-FM Washington, D.C.The Junkies/FREE FM
WHFS-FM Baltimore The Junkies/FREE FM/Alternative Rock
KITS-FM San Francisco Morning Music Co-Op/Alternative Rock
KIKK-AM Houston CNN Radio News
WBZZ-AM Tampa Talk (*)
KHWD-FM Sacramento JACK-FM (*)
WBUF-FM Buffalo JACK-FM
KKDG-FM Fresno JACK-FM
WOCL-FM Orlando Drew and Mel/Alternative Rock
KXBT-FM Austin Star & Buc Wild/Rhythmic CHR (*) Format Change
Related Keywords:Infinity, FREE FM, Stern Replacement Strategy, David Lee Roth, Adam Carolla