Saturday, June 23, 2018

Study: Longer, Not Short-Form, Ad Units Preferred


At a time when the ad industry is embracing ever shorter forms of advertising for both TV and digital media, consumers say they actually prefer longer-form ad messages, reports MediaPost.

A survey of U.S. adults conducted by Research Intelligencer and Pollfish finds most believe TV’s standard-length commercials -- :30s and :15s -- are the ideal length, not the six-second and shorter units being tested and researched by the advertising and media industry.

For television, 46.5% of respondents cited 30-second and 26.5% cited 15-second commercials as the optimum length to engage with advertising.

Interestingly, for online media -- where shorter-length units such as six-second pre-rolls have long been a standard -- nearly the same percentages of consumers said they prefer :30s and :15s.

The findings are self-reported, and run contrary to research conducted by media suppliers such as Fox that have been testing short-form TV ad units, as well as recent scientific studies by the Advertising Research Foundation and Nielsen, using biometric and neuromarketing techniques, respectively.

Some industry observers have noted that even the scientific testing has been done in environments where short-form TV ad units are few and far between, and that their effectiveness and ROI may be distorted by their novelty. The ARF study in particular, was criticized because the study measured short-form ads put in so-called “premium” positions during commercial breaks, which likely would have biased the results.

Topeka Radio: KKSW Adds Joshua James For Middays


Joshua James
KKSW 105.9 KISS has announced that new midday host Joshua James has joined the line-up. Joshua James has worked in the Kansas City market since 2006.

“We are thrilled to welcome Joshua James to the 105.9 KISS family,” says Beth Cruise, Program Director of KKSW. “His enthusiasm and love for the community will be a perfect fit with our long term relationship with the University of Kansas Jayhawks and our listeners in Topeka and the Western suburbs of Kansas City.”

“I am excited to join the family environment here at 105.9 KISS. I am so thankful for the management believing in me and giving me the opportunity to do what I love close to family in Kansas City.” says Joshua James “Cheers to new opportunities and a lot of fun!”

KKSW 105.9 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area

Disgraced Ex-CNNer Now With CBS News

Lex Haris
One of the three CNN staffers who resigned in June 2017 over a retracted story about alleged collusion between Russia and members of Donald Trump’s campaign staff has resurfaced at CBS News, according to an internal memo at CBS announcing six appointments.

According to The NYPost, Lex Haris, the former head of CNN Investigates, an elite unit inside the newsroom, is now the interim head of CBSNews.com.

CNN retracted the story and accepted the resignations of reporter Thomas Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and Haris, the unit’s executive editor, a day after the story was retracted in mid-June 2017.

The piece, citing a single anonymous source, claimed that Congress was probing a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

CNN said it retracted the story because the information was not “solid enough” to publish. The network did not cite any factual errors or mistakes in the piece but did issue an apology to Anthony Scaramucci, a financier and a former Trump transition team official.

Haris, who had been running CBS’ MoneyWatch on an interim basis, replaces Nancy Lane, who was promoted to VP and senior executive producer, programming and development.

San Diego Radio: Nick Hardwick Steps-Away From Chargers Gig

Nick Hardwick
Nick Hardwick is dropping his radio gig with the Los Angeles Chargers so he can have more family time in San Diego with his wife and two sons, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Simply, I am no longer able to miss out on as many weekends with my family as the football season requires,” he wrote in an article on the team’s website Thursday.

Hardwick, 36, was a center on six San Diego teams that reached the NFL playoffs.

He worked as a color analyst last year after reversing his original decision not to follow the team to greater L.A.. It was his third season with the club’s radio crew.

The hours devoted to broadcasting can go to not only home life but Hardwick’s and his wife’s ownership venture with a San Diego gym, Renegade Fit Camp.

Hardwick, who will continue as a sports talk show co-host with San Diego’s KLSD 1360-AM, said he’ll still cheer for the Chargers, the only team to employ him in his 136-game NFL career.

Premiere Radio's Buck Sexton Joins Hill.TV


The Hill has launched its new digital news channel Hill.tv  with the debut of Rising, the only daily national morning show from the nation’s capital, broadcast live from its new, state-of-the-art K Street studio. Hill.tv will provide the most bipartisan coverage of today’s breaking news and analysis.

“There has not been a time since the 60s when the public has paid such close attention to what was happening in the halls of Washington,” said Richard Beckman, President of The Hill. “But trust is a central issue. The political news landscape is characterized by an ever increasing field of divisive players using video as their outlet, intent on covering politics through a specific, ideological lens on cable and digital news, or through social media, Hill.tv follows on The Hill’s hallmark of truly balanced coverage.”

Hill.tv debuted Wednesday with Rising, starring former MSNBC Anchor Krystal Ball and Premiere's nationally syndicated radio host Buck Sexton. A new episode appears every weekday at 8:00 am, but can be viewed following its broadcast on demand in its entirety or in short, 3-5 minute cutdowns.

James Finkelstein, Chairman and CEO of The Hill, added “The launch of Hill.tv marks the next phase in our evolution. It represents a massive investment in talent and infrastructure and takes our non-partisan approach to the most important media form today.”

Report: Only 4 Women Among Most Retweeted Journalists

“When male journalists reply to other beltway journalists, they reply to another male journalist 91.5% of the time,” according to a study published in the the International Journal of Press/Politics, titled “Twitter Makes It Worse: Political Journalists, Gendered Echo Chambers, and the Amplification of Gender Bias.”

Of the 25 reporters who received the most replies from male political reporters, zero were women, report Vox.

The study also identified the 25 political reporters who male political reporters retweet the most. Of the 25, just three are women.

“We found that male journalists, indeed, were more likely to retweet other male journalists— in fact, when male journalists retweet, they retweet men almost three times more often than they retweet women.”

June 23 Radio History


➦In 1891...Nikola Tesla granted patent 454,622 for the coupled tuned circuit radio-frequency oscillator.

Nikola Tesla
Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant. His work in the formative years of electric power development was also involved in the corporate struggle between making alternating current or direct current the power transmission standard, referred to as the war of currents.

Tesla went on to pursue his ideas of wireless lighting and electricity distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs and made early (1893) pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. He tried to put these ideas to practical use in his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission; his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.

In his lab he also conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillator/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He even built a wireless controlled boat which may have been the first such device ever exhibited.

Tesla was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal "mad scientist." His patents earned him a considerable amount of money, much of which was used to finance his own projects with varying degrees of success.  He lived most of his life in a series of New York hotels, through his retirement. He died on 7 January 1943.

Tesla's work fell into relative obscurity after his death, but has experienced a resurgence in interest in popular culture since the 1990s.


Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone
➦In 1905...Mary Livingstone, the wife of Jack Benny, was born Sadye Marks in Seattle.  She was raised in Vancouver BC.  They married in 1927, and she joined him in some of his vaudeville routines, though she suffered attacks of stage fright.  The affliction continued when they moved into radio beginning in 1932.  In the mid 1950’s, at the height of his popularity she retired from show business, but lived another thirty years.  She died from cardiovascular disease June 30 1983 at age 74.


Edward P. Morgan 1954
➦In 1910...radio commentator & writer Edward P. Morgan was born in Walla Walla Wash.

After two decades in print journalism, from 1955-67 Morgan broadcast an evening radio program of news and commentary, “Edward P. Morgan and the News,” on ABC, that in 1956 won him the George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting’s most venerable honor. Later he would become one of the rotating anchors on TV’s ABC Evening News.

He died Jan 27, 1993 at age 82.

➦In 1933...Don McNeill debuted as host of The Breakfast Club.



The Breakfast Club is a long-run morning variety show on NBC Blue Network/ABC radio (and briefly on television) originating in Chicago, Illinois. Hosted by Don McNeill, the radio program ran from June 23, 1933 through December 27, 1968. McNeil's 35½-year run as host remains the longest tenure for an M.C. of a network entertainment program, surpassing Johnny Carson (29½ years) on The Tonight Show and Bob Barker (34⅔ years) on The Price is Right.

From 1993...



McNeill Breakfast Club combined music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

➦In 1936...the Canadian Radio Act was passed, laying the groundwork for the CBC and more stable program funding than the current Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, through an annual license fee of $2.50 per radio set.   The CBC was also made the governing body of the airwaves.

➦In 1941...Front Page Farrell was heard for the first time on Mutual radio. In 1942, the program moved to NBC and stayed on the air until 1954. Sally and David Farrell were the central characters. A young actor, who would become a major motion picture star, played the role of David Farrell. He was Richard Widmark.

➦In 1947...Wendy Warren and the News debuted on CBS radio. The broadcasts continued until 1958. The program was not a newscast, in the traditional sense. It was a serial — one of many of the time. The unique thing about this particular show, however, was that Wendy Warren and the News did utilize a real three-minute newscast to open the show. The newscaster, delivering the news as part of the show, chose not to stay in the entertainment side of radio, but continued to be a true journalist and a legend at CBS. That newsman was Douglas Edwards, who within a year became the network’s first TV anchorman.




Dick Summer
➦In 1968...Dick Summer did his last show on WBZ 1030 AM, Boston. Summer was a pioneer in the evening "romance" style programming.

He manned the overnight shift at what was then a 50,000 watt powerhouse in Top 40 music, WBZ. His show was heard in 38 states and up in parts of Canada, too. You may find his voice familiar due to his commercial voice over work on radio and television for such clients as Resolve Carpet Cleaner and Binder & Binder.

Summer resume includes stops at  Indianapolis (WIBC and WISH), St. Louis (WIL) and New York (WNEW, WPLJ).

➦In 1986..This week's Street Talk From Radio&Records...

➦In 1995…Radio and television news anchor (ABC Radio Network, KUSI-TV San Diego, WABC-TV and WNBC-TV New York, KGO-TV San Francisco, KMOX-TV St. Louis, WXIX-TV Milwaukee) Roger Grimsby, who won six Emmy Awards during his 18-year tenure at WABC-TV, died of lung cancer at 66.

➦In 2006...Phil Hendrie did his last syndicated radio program and turned his attention to a full-time acting career.

➦In 2009…Radio/Television announcer/sidekick Ed McMahon died of bone cancer and pneumonia at age 86.

➦In 2009…Journalist/radio-TV host (WBBM-AM, WBBM-TV, WTTW-TV all in Chicago)/documentarian John Callaway, who hosted "Chicago Tonight"on WTTW for fifteen years, winning 16 Emmys and a Peabody Award, died after a heart attack at 72.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Chris Oliviero To EXIT Entercom

Chris Oliviero
After a career with CBS radio dating back to 1996, Entercom EVP/Programming Chris Oliviero has announced his intention to exit.

He is reportedly leaving to 'pursue new opportunities.  “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my  departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”

A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization.

"We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

Oliviero was named Senior Vice President of Programming for CBS Radio in 2009, while taking on a supervisory role for CBS Sports Radio in 2012.  He provided creative oversight of the division’s search for both established and up-and-coming talent, and has been instrumental in CBS Radio’s expansion of sports radio on FM, including launches in New York, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Tampa, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

He began his career with CBS Radio in 1996 as an intern for Howard S. Upon his graduation from New York University in 1998, Oliviero joined Sportsradio 660AM WFAN as producer. In 2000, he was named Executive Producer for WNEW 102.7FM. Oliviero became part of CBS Radio's corporate staff as program coordinator in January 2004, and from July 2004 until July 2005 served as Director, Original Programming before being named Vice President of Programming.

Orlando Radio: CMG Adds Programmers For K92, Power95.3

Steve Stewart
Cox Media Group/Orlando has announced that programming veteran Steve Stewart as Director/Programming Operations its music stationsr.

The music cluster includes Country WWKA K92.3 FM, CHR WPYO 95.3 FM, Urban WCFB Star94.5 FM, Classic Hits WMMO 98.9 FM and WCFB-HD2 107.3 FM Solo Exitos.

Stewart will also oversee day to day programming duties on  K92.3.

"I'm incredibly excited to work with the CMG Orlando team and everyone at Cox Media Group," said Stewart. “The energy and talent in this group have us poised for success.”

Will Calder
“Steve Stewart impressed us from the very start,” said VP/Radio Programming Steve Smith. “He possesses the leadership skills to light up Orlando with our amazing cluster of great radio brands.”

In addition, CMG has named Will Calder as Director/Branding and Programming for WPYO Power95.3.

“I have always been very impressed by the teams at Cox Media Group, especially after going up against them for the past several years in Miami,” said CALDER. “Now, I am absolutely honored to be joining them in Orlando and can’t wait to start making some major noise with the Power95.3 crew on-air, on the streets, on social media and with partners and clients.”

WWKA 92.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Will Calder’s a warrior, the perfect addition to our CMG programming arsenal of winners,” Smith added.

Smart Speakers Getting Radio Back Into Homes

With smart speaker adoption quickly increasing in American homes, radio is on the verge of capitalizing on an vital listening location.

That's was the main message from Thursday's webinar on smart speakers from Jacob's Media and gM Paul Jacobs.  “In-home radio listening is still really important and if there aren’t radios in the home, how are they going to listen,” was the question posed by Jacobs.

Paul Jacobs
The webainer cited stats from TechSurvey 2018, an online survey of 64,000 radio station database members, that showed that 83% of respondents have a regular radio in working condition where they live that they use, down from 88% in 2017 and 89% in 2016. Just two thirds of Millennials have a working radio at home.

Among formats, sports radio listeners lead the way with 29% owning a smart speaker, followed by CHR (25%) and a three-way tie for third among hot AC, country and adult alternative (each at 24%). Formats that under-perform the 21% average in smart speaker ownership are the same ones more apt to have a working radio in the home: urban AC (15%), classic hits (17%) and variety hits (18%).

On a parallel track, Americans are relying more on voice commands for a variety of tasks – one in five said they use voice command features frequently in 2018 and another 25% said they occasionally do. “Americans’ habits are changing. We are clearly being trained by things like Siri and Ford Sync,” Jacobs said. That’s especially true among smart speaker owners with four in ten frequently using voice command features.

States Urging Sinclair-Tribune Rejection


The attorneys general of Illinois, Iowa and Rhode Island urged the Federal Communications Commission to reject Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co, citing “excessive consolidation” in the television market

According to Reuters, Sinclair, the largest U.S. television broadcast group with 192 stations, announced plans in May 2017 to acquire Chicago-based Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets.

In April, Sinclair said it would sell 23 television stations to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals of the Tribune transaction. Sinclair, based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, said that if the deal was approved it would reach nearly 59 percent of the nation’s television households.

The three attorneys general, all Democrats, said in a filing with the FCC made public on Thursday that the deal “creates excessive consolidation, unreasonably reducing the number of voices in the broadcast television marketplace” and is “not in the public interest.”

The filing noted that Illinois and Iowa are among broadcast markets in 36 states that will be affected by the deal and said that “stations serving audiences in Illinois and Iowa are the subject of divestiture plans.”



The American Civil Liberties Union also objected to the deal in a separate filing, saying that it “consolidates an unprecedented amount of market power into one corporate entity” and would allow Sinclair to continue to operate some of the stations it is selling.

A Sinclair spokeswoman declined to comment on the filings.

Conservative news outlet Newsmax Media, satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp and trade group NCTA – the Internet & Television Association are among those voicing objections to the merger.

Major Advertiser Drops Fox News’ Ingraham


At least one major advertiser has dropped Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show in the wake of her comments on Monday about immigrant children separated from their parents, according to Politico.

With advertising time on the conservative daily talk show down since Monday night, it’s possible that other companies have also bailed on “The Ingraham Angle.”

The media and internet company IAC will no longer be running ads for HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List on the show, an IAC spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.

During her show on Monday night, Ingraham described the detention centers for immigrant children separated from their parents on the Mexican border as “essentially like summer camps,” further comparing them to “boarding schools.”

Between June 4 and 15, IAC was Ingraham’s second-biggest advertiser, according to Kantar Media, running 13 ads for HomeAdvisor. The company had already stopped airing ads for Match.com after Hogg’s previous boycott campaign.

A Fox News spokesperson said the network was unaffected by any loss in advertising resulting from Ingraham’s latest comments.

“There’s been no impact on our business, and new advertisers continue to opt in for our powerful prime-time lineup,” the spokesperson said.

Las Vegas Radio: N/T KDWN 720 AM To Add FM Simulcast

Beasley Media Group announces the debut of The New 101.5FM/720AM The Talk of Las Vegas. The change will officially take place on June 21, 2018.

101.5 KDWN-FM’s simulcast of KDWN-AM will originate on Beasley’s translator K268CS at 101.5FM, located atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.

The decision to create a simulcast broadcast stems from the company’s market research and a desire to offer Las Vegas residents an alternate way to hear KDWN’s locally originated programming, along with a venerable line-up of personalities that will include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

In addition, as the official broadcast partner of the Oakland Raiders, fans of the team will have yet another FM option to hear the games this fall. The live broadcasts will also be carried on Beasley’s KCYE-FM.

K268CS 101.5 FM (250 watts)
“We’re truly excited about this new opportunity to expand KDWN’s presence in the Las Vegas market,” said Beasley Media Group Vice President and Market Manager Dennis Gwiazdon. “Not only does this provide our listeners with an additional choice to enjoy KDWN’s programming but an FM simulcast immediately adds value to our advertising customers.”

Colorado Springs Radio: KKFM Adds Jonathan Peletis To PM Drive

Jonathan Peletis
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Jonathan “J.P.” Peletis as PM Drive On-Air Talent and Promotions Director for Classic Rock KKFM 98.1 FM in Colorado Springs, CO.

Peletis served most recently as PM Drive On-Air Talent/Promotions Director at 103.9 The Fox in Crystal Lake, IL. He was previously Producer at Chicago’s JBTV Music Television, and was On-Air Talent and Video Producer at Star 105.5 and 95.9 The River in suburban Chicago. Peletis also brings to Cumulus experience as Digital Marketing Manager for several Chicago area ad agencies.

Bobby Irwin, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Colorado Springs, said: “J.P. brings to KKFM and our station cluster an awesome mix of radio rock show, digital marketing and promotions experience, with passion for the Colorado lifestyle.”

KKFM 98.1 FM (71 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Peletis said: “I am beyond excited to start the next chapter of my career here at KKFM. Cumulus understands the power of live and local entertainment, while engaging listeners on-air, on-site, and online.”

Orlando Radio: Lisa Kitchener Named GSM For JVC Cluster

Lisa Kitchener
JVC Media of Florida announces the addition of Sales veteran Lisa Kitchener for General Sales Manager duties at JVC Media’s Orlando cluster including Country WOTW 103.1 FM and Mainstream rock Bud 94.1 WOTW-HD2/W231CT.

Kitchener, with 25 years of Sales Management under her belt including successful ventures at iHeartMedia Orlando and Triton Digital, brings a wealth of knowledge and strong community business ties to JVC Orlando. 

Kitchener says “I am beyond excited to join the talented team at 103.1 The Wolf and Bud 94.1.  I’m ready to pound the pavement with our great sellers and show our community and business leaders that JVC’s brand of LOCAL and FUN radio is the single greatest medium to reach the largest portion of consumers.”  She continues, “Thanks to John Caracciolo, Shane Reeve, and Chris Ganoudis for giving me the chance to join this great company.”

JVC Orlando General Manager Chris Ganoudis adds, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. 103.1 The Wolf was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of Bud 94.1, Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions, and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.”

Ganoudis finishes, “Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”

JVC’s Executive Vice President Shane Reeve says, “I am extremely proud of the success we have seen at JVC Orlando over the past three years.  With the addition of Lisa Kitchener, JVC is better equipped to do what we do best… super-serve our clients, listeners, and communities with great promotions, events, music, and FUN!

AT&T Gets Skinny

AT&T, fresh off sealing its $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner, isn't wasting time showing that video will be a core part of its service.

According to C-Net, the company on Thursday unveiled two unlimited data plans, dubbed AT&T Unlimited &More and AT&T Unlimited &More Premium, bundled with WatchTV, a new "skinny bundle" of more than 30 live channels. The plans replace the existing options, with a starting price that's $5 more expensive for a single line. Also gone is the default "HBO for life" promotion. WatchTV is available to non-AT&T customers for $15 a month. The new plans and WatchTV launch next week.

The announcement makes good on a plan that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson teased last week in an interview with CNBC. The standalone price puts in competition with Philo, which strips out sports and news channels for a $16-a-month bundle of entertainment networks. It's the latest in a growing crop of online options for live television, which include players like Sony, YouTube and SlingTV.

"We're A Modern Media Company" Says AT&T CEO

Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, on Thursday said a lot happened during the 600 days it took to acquire HBO and CNN-owner Time Warner for $85 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Randall Stephenson
"Between the two of us, we added three grandchildren to our family," Stephenson, with AT&T CFO John Stephens at his side, told the Wells Fargo Telecom Conference during a keynote address that was webcast. The deal, nearly two years in the making, was also in the works during the election of U.S. president Donald Trump, Stephenson recalled, which was followed by "sweeping" U.S. tax reform and the repeal of Title II regulation on his core wireless and broadband businesses.

He told investors that "600 days is too long. But while all that transpired, some really positive developments transpired that actually caused us more enthusiasm, and not less." The Time Warner deal has seen AT&T swallow a host of film and TV assets to make the phone giant a major media power player after its earlier acquisition of DirecTV.

Stephenson said the takeover of CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. studio has made AT&T a "modern media company," as it acquires new premium content and direct-to-consumer relationships and ramps up its TV advertising and analytics business to be run by ex-WPP exec Brian Lesser.

He argued that creating premium content and driving it as a wholesaler through cable and satellite TV distributors was no longer a sustainable business model. "You better have extensive relationships directly with the consumer," Stephenson said, as he pointed to 170 million pay TV, broadband and mobile customers and their screens that AT&T can drive entertainment content through going forward.

Keep Reading

Internet Sales To Become More Taxing

A new Supreme Court ruling Thursday could upend a major advantage e-commerce companies like Amazon have had over brick-and-mortar retail stores.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court overturned a 1992 court precedent barring states from requiring businesses that have no physical presence in the state to collect their sales taxes, reports The Hill.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who delivered the decision Thursday, said that the exemption didn't make sense in light of the rise of digital firms.

"Between targeted advertising and instant access to most consumers via any internet-enabled device, 'a business may be present in a state in a meaningful way without' that presence 'being physical in the traditional sense of the term," Kennedy said.

"A virtual showroom can show far more inventory, in far more detail, and with greater opportunities for consumer and seller interaction than might be possible for local stores."

The court's decision upholds a 2016 South Dakota law that requires online retailers to collect sales tax if they make at least $100,000 annually in sales in the state or conduct at least 200 transactions a year with its residents.

Companies like Wayfair, Overstock and Newegg challenged the law, arguing that eliminating the 1992 precedent could create chaos for online retailers who would have to navigate a myriad of tax codes across the country.

Trump's reaction: President Trump who has repeatedly lashed out at the biggest online retailer of them all, Amazon, hailed the decision.

Benztown Grows Again With Addition of Four Pros


Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover services, production libraries, programming and jingles, announces that it has added four experienced professionals to the company’s operations team with the hiring of:
  • Susan Aksu, Marketing Coordinator
  • Matt Anderson, Imaging Producer
  • Laura Keeney, Office Manager/Executive Assistant
  • Teddy Shrader, Commercial Production Creative Director. 
The new team members will be based in Glendale, CA, at Benztown’s North American Headquarters.

Susan Aksu, Marketing Coordinator, is a digital marketing and content development specialist who was previously Senior Marketing Coordinator for Goldman Marketing Group in Burbank, CA, and public affairs writer for KPFK-FM. She holds B.S. degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Sociology from Humboldt State University and is the creator of the adventure travel website: adriftanywhere.com.

Matt Anderson, Imaging Producer, joins the company from iHeartMedia, where he was Creative Services Director for KISS 108 in Boston, MA, Prior to that, he was Programming/Production Assistant for iHeartMedia-Providence stations Coast 93.3 and 94 HJY. An audio production specialist and DJ, Anderson holds a B.S. Degree in Communications and Sports Journalism from Springfield College.

Laura Keeney, Office Manager/Executive Assistant, was formerly an associate with Starbucks in Los Angeles. She has also held positions as Development and Acquisitions Coordinator for VMI Worldwide in Los Angeles, and as Social Media Coordinator for Quiver Events in Los Angeles. Keeney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recording Arts from Loyola Marymount University.

Teddy Shrader, Commercial Production Creative Director, joins Benztown from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, where he was Curriculum Consultant, Writer and On-Screen Instructor in the Los Angeles area. Prior to that, he was Senior Production Manager for DMI Music & Media Solutions in Pasadena, CA, for more than 10 years. He was also a Voiceover Artist for DMI Music & Media Solutions. An accomplished guitarist, Shrader is Owner of Shrader Guitar Lessons and has taught guitar lessons in the Los Angeles area for over 17 years.

Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President, said: “We are very pleased to grow our operations team with the addition of these four outstanding professionals. Each brings years of experience in their respective areas to Benztown, bolstering our bench strength and giving us even more resources to serve our customers with the quality, creativity and dependability for which we have become known.”

'Roseanne' Spin-off To Be Titled 'The Connors'


ABC said on Thursday it has ordered a 10-episode spinoff of comedy “Roseanne” that will air without any involvement of its creator Roseanne Barr, who sparked widespread outrage by tweeting a racial slur.

According to Reuters, other original cast members including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert will appear in the show, which has a working title of “The Conners,” ABC said in a statement.

ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co, canceled “Roseanne” in May after Barr sparked widespread anger with a tweet comparing black former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Barr wrote in a now-deleted message that if the Islamist political movement “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.” Barr later apologized for making a bad joke.

John Goodman, Sara Gilbert
ABC said Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the spinoff.

The new series will air this autumn, ABC said, and will feature characters Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J.

The network did not explain what will happen to Barr’s character.

“After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before,” the ABC statement said, referring to the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois.

The family will grapple with “parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America,” the statement added.

In a separate statement, Barr said she agreed to be removed from the show to save 200 cast and crew jobs.

“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne,” Barr said. “I wish the best for everyone involved.”