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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

iHeartRadio and Clear Channel radio stations are gambling that listeners will want to wear their media gear. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Will you wear your media?


iHeartRadio took some huge first steps into the growing "wearables" market in the beginning of the year. And with the move, some local stations in the market are gambling listeners will want to wear their tech gear.

The Clear Channel product already has a new app scheduled for the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, which is slated to hit the streets next month. At the Mobile World Congress last week, Samsung offered a demonstration of the iHeartRadio smartwatch app that allowed users to remotely control their iHeartRadio phone app from their wrist.

The idea of wearable technology is nothing new. Comic strip character Dick Tracy had a watch with a video screen in it.

The question is do consumers want to wear a smartwatch or something like Google Glass that floats above the user's eye. The second question is will manufacturers find the correct price point at which consumers would purchase wearable technology.

The iHeartRadio app will be compatible with multiple devices and tablets, Clear Channel reported.

"iHeartRadio is dedicated to providing even more access to the music, news and entertainment that our listeners love," Brian Lakamp, Clear Channel's president of digital, said at the Mobile World Congress.

"Wearables are an emerging access point for music fans, and Clear Channel continues to make iHeartRadio available everywhere our users are listening. The sleek design and interface of the Samsung Gear 2 lends itself well to the iHeartRadio user experience and we believe it will be popular among our listeners."

Clear Channel owns and operates more than 1,200 stations across the U.S., which includes WOKY-AM 920, WISN-AM 1130, WRIT-FM 95.7, WRNW-FM 97.3, WKKV-FM 100.7 and WMIL-FM 106.1.

INNOVATION: J. Pat Miller, who was director of marketing and promotion for WTMJ-AM 620 and WLWK-FM 94.5 The Lake, among other duties, has been promoted at the Journal Broadcast Group stations. Now, he's the director of marketing and innovation.

According to a post last month in the industry RAMP newsletter, Miller will oversee marketing and design and implementation of new brand programs.

"(Miller) has demonstrated his ability to create and develop new revenue streams. He will focus more of his attention on additional initiatives to grow our business," Tom Langmyer, the vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WLWK, as well as the vice president of news and talk for the Journal Broadcast Group, said.

STILL DOING THE WORK: The RAMP radio industry newsletter had a fun note earlier today on WRNW-FM 97.3 Radio Now's Dave Adams. Apparently, he is replacing himself as programming director at the station.

RAMP reported in January that Adams, who had been programming Radio Now and oldies station WRIT-FM 95.7, would focus on WRIT and a new person would eventually be hired for Radio Now.

The search has been shelved and Adams will work on both stations.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to continue growing the Radio Now brand in Milwaukee and I'm truly excited about our potential moving forward," Adams told RAMP.

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