Townsquare Media says it will re-launch all of its local radio stations’ digital properties by the end of Q1 2011. The new digital properties are to be local resources for consumers with locally-produced entertainment, news and info, current and relevant to the communities they serve. To date in 2010, Townsquare has re-launched over 30 digital properties for its local radio station brands across six of its 36 markets. We checked out some of the already-re-launched sites and everything is indeed locally branded.
In addition, given Townsquare Media’s strength in the Country music format, it launched a new website, Taste of Country (www.tasteofcountry.com), a Country-oriented national news and lifestyle brand. Taste of Country will be the premier destination for Country music fans, delivering relevant and current music news, exclusive interviews, photo galleries, music videos, new song features and much more.
Taste of Country’s content will also be fully integrated into the websites of Townsquare Media’s 37 Country radio stations.
Townsquare’s EVP/Chief Digital Officer and former AOL Media President Bill Wilson has tapped 10 of his former colleagues from AOL to help execute on the re-launches that will include all of the company’s 171 radio station digital properties by Q1. Wilson joined on in September.
The new Townsquare hires:
•Sun Sachs joins as VP/product design & engineering from AOL where he was vice president design and product for AOL Media
•Jared Willig is VP/digital strategy & operations and was with AOL as VP/GM of Moviefone, AOL TV and PopEaster
•Pete Schiecke joins as director, digital media from AOL where he was a programming director at AOL Radio
•Stephen Lenz serves as editorial director and was previously AOL senior editor of national feature content for City Guide
•Juan Sarria is director of engineering and was a manager of engineering and tool development at AOL Media
•Jon Gamel is Townsquare art director and was a former art director at AOL Media
•Eric Tsuei joins as senior developer and was most recently senior front-end engineer at AOL Media
•Ashley Iasimone is Townsquare deputy director and used to serve on the editorial team at AOL Music
•Matthew Wilkening is deputy editor and was an AOL Radio blog contributor
•Sara Anderson is deputy editor and was the former editor in chief of AOL Radio blog
• Andrea Rosen joined Townsquare as digital content manager from Rocketboom
RBR-TVBR observation: Looks like Townsquare is riding a bit of a recent trend: Radio companies relying on their own resources for their digital assets, rather than reaching out to companies that supply templated website designs and functionalities. Even Townsquare’s media player for the new sites are not showing “powered by” any outside provider, although we assume they did contract out for that. It did say “Regent” in the streaming URL, however, reflecting the conpany’s previous name. Also, news has it that AOL has been exploring ways to combine with Yahoo. These 10 departures may mean something is soon to happen at AOL.