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IB on iHeart Awards

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! The inaugural iHeart Radio Music Awards, which NBC will air as a three-hour special on 5/1—three weeks before the Billboard Music Awards (scheduled for 5/24 on ABC)—is the subject of massive industry chatter, according to HITS’ industry insider I.B. Bad. Most of it centers on what acts will appear, the prevailing belief being that the Pittman/Sykes/Poleman team can get any radio-driven act they go after. Because the show is supposedly geared to tie in with releases from key acts, the iHeart target list will likely include Coldplay, U2, Lil Wayne, Luke Bryan, The Black Keys and Linkin Park, each of whom has a high-profile album scheduled for Q2 or Q3, presumably along with such radio staples as Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus. In the head-to-head competition between the two shows, Clear Channel has a clear-cut advantage over Billboard in luring name acts because of its immense leverage; the marketing opportunities CC offers are unparalleled. Because of this disadvantage, rumors have been flying that Dick Clark Productions would move the Billboard Awards, but they insist that the 5/24 date is firm. More details on the iHeart Awards show in our lead story. Look for I.B.'s full column Friday morning. (2/26a)

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