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OUR POST-GRAMMY CHEW TAKES LESS THAN FOUR HOURS TO READ
We'll let you get back to your day ASAP. (2/7a)
HITS LIST WINNERS
Here's who's lighting up the scoreboard before and after the Grammys. (2/3a)
GRAMMY-WEEK ALBUM: PICS TO CLICK
Including shots of several luminaries entrapped by a HITS nerd. (2/8a)
GRAMMY RATINGS SOAR
The emphasis on star power seems to have worked. (2/7a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
JIM ROPPO
Building blocks of a singular career (2/8a)
HIP-HOP AT 50
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
INDIE BREAKOUTS
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
THE GOP CONGRESS
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Music City
AIRWAVES:
JEFF KAPUGI
7/19/16

VP PROGRAMMING, COUNTRY, CBS RADIO

Kapugi with Drew Walker, WUSN middays; Teddi Bonadies, BBR/Wheelhouse Records; Marci Braun, WUSN APD/MD; Granger Smith and Jeff’s wife, Laurie

The audience share for Country radio appears to be growing nationally. What changes have you made to your stations that you feel helped to bring those numbers up?
At CBS Radio, we pride ourselves on being live and local. We let the program directors for our Country stations understand their markets to program to their communities vs. the cookie-cutter or top-down approach. This is the best way to keep your brand at the top in your market.

Is programming the Country format different than other formats?
Yes and no. No, in the fact that you need to know your audience and program to them. That’s fairly universal across any format in any market. Yes, in the fact that this format tends to be a bit more engaged with the audience and the artists than most music formats.

Why do you feel country artists’ relationships with radio are so much stronger than at any other format?
There is a ton of music coming out of Nashville every week—and it’s good stuff too. It’s great to understand where a new artist is coming from and develop a bond with them. If we can feel that bond at the station level, hopefully the listeners will also.

What are you doing to make your presence in the digital space bigger in your local markets? How important is social media to your staff/brand?
Any way we can expose the brand is a good thing. Obviously, we have our websites and digital-audio platforms, along with the usual social-media outlets. We use them to connect the country audience with the music and brand, even when they may not be listening, so that when they do, they choose us first.

How important are events, festivals, etc., in growing the brand?
Events and festivals are very important. They give us the opportunity to shake hands and meet our listeners. We like to think we are one large family with our listeners, and we get to spend part of their days with them via our stations, as well as in person when we get to see them at a concert or festival in town.

What’s the craziest stunt your morning-show staff has ever done?
Not really a stunt, but the Friday before Memorial Day we did “Lisa & Ray’s Friday of 1,000 Flags,” handing out thousands of American flags to listeners as they made their way to work on that morning of the holiday weekend. Our midday host, Drew Walker, and afternoon host, Kasper, manned two of the three locations throughout Chicagoland, helping the morning show staff hand out the flags. We continued to hand out flags at various stops the station made over the weekend. We are US99*5, and the American flag is a part of our brand. It was a very well-received morning and weekend by our listeners.