Today, the Journal Broadcast Group launched a streaming music app for Milwaukee listeners called "The Radio League."
"Building more stations locally gives listeners many more choices and gives us the opportunity to create custom content tied to big events here in Milwaukee," said Tom Langmyer, the vice president and general manager of WLWK-FM 94.5 and WTMJ-AM 620.
"It'll be a place for even more music discovery as the roster of stations grows."
I had the opportunity to Beta test the mobile stream over the weekend, sampling feeds from adult alternative, revelation (a selection of contemporary Christian music), country, trending hits, variety (like the station group’s 94.5 The Lake is known for) and a personal favorite – totally '80s.
For a quick review, I have to say the app is simple, with a streamlined design that is easy to use. The music I sampled would be what you would expect from the streams inside of the app. As Prince sings in the background as I write this, I have to say I like the layout, and the rotating advertising units are not that obtrusive.
I like it when a channel is selected, it opens in a paused state and doesn’t just start until the play button is pushed. But I did wish there were a few more bells and whistles, like a simple info line saying the name of the song and the artist. That addition alone would be nice.
"Radio League listeners will get more choice and hit music on demand," J. Pat Miller, the director of marketing and innovation for the Journal Broadcast Group's Milwaukee stations.
"In addition to the various styles of music, we will soon have new, exclusive stations that won't appear anywhere else in the world. There are listeners to national streaming services in Milwaukee -- we aim to offer a free, home-grown alternative.
But for a free music app, I can’t really complain. The Radio League works on Apple devices as well as Android through Google Play.
It is a nice new addition to the local digital media offerings in our corner of Wisconsin.
SWEET 16: As the Badgers men’s basketball team heads to California for the Sweet 16 round in the 2014 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championship, our area TV viewers added to the national totals – some of the best in more than two decades.
While the University of Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee games may have not been the most-watched programs locally when the teams played, the area household numbers were definitely a boost for the NCAA.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive second-round coverage of the games on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV on Friday, was the most-viewed first Friday of the NCAA Tournament in 23 years. Friday’s games averaged 8.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals, up 4 percent compared with 2013 with 8.1 million total viewers.
In the tournament’s first four days, the broadcast hit on average 8.2 million total viewers, up 6 percent over last year and is the most-viewed start to the tournament since 1991. The first daytime games on Friday averaged 5.8 million total viewers, the second highest viewership for the early games since 1991. The second set of daytime games averaged 7.7 million total viewers, the highest viewership for the daytime games since 1991.
Primetime did even better, with 10.2 million total viewers in each of the first and second set of games on Friday night. Saturday’s live game coverage averaged 10 million viewers to register the most-viewed first Saturday of the NCAA Tournament in 21 years. Viewership on Saturday has risen 10 percent more than last year with 9.1 million viewers. Sunday’s viewership grew as well, giving the 2014 overall numbers its best starting weekend since 1993.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE: If you have been following the stories about Milwaukee’s Dan Harmon’s animated series on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network, then you know that "Rick and Morty" has been picked up for a second season.
If you are a fan of Instagram, the show producers have a challenge for you. In a television network first, Adult Swim launched a special marketing event, with a new episode of "Rick and Morty" on the picture sharing platform. Fans can see a whole episode on the "Rick and Morty" Instagram account.
It won’t be easy, the show is posted in more than 100 clips to meet the limits of posting video clips of 15 seconds or less.
"Rick and Morty" airs on the Cartoon Network on Adult Swim at 9:30 p.m. on Monday nights.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.