Thursday, July 18, 2019

And The 2019 NAB Marconi Awards Finalists Are...


The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced the finalists for the 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The winners will be announced September 26 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show, held during the 2019 Radio Show in Dallas, Texas.

The 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards are recognizing two new award categories, "Legendary Manager of the Year" and "Best Radio Station Podcast." Additionally, “Best College Radio Station of the Year,” has been renamed from "Noncommercial Station of the Year.”

⏩ LEGENDARY STATION OF THE YEAR
KCBS-AM, San Francisco, CA
KNX-AM, Los Angeles, CA
KRTH-FM, Los Angeles, CA
WBAL-AM, Baltimore, MD
WBAP-AM, Dallas, TX

⏩ LEGENDARY MANAGER OF THE YEAR 
Ben Downs, Bryan Broadcasting, College Station, TX
Charlie Morgan, WQHT-FM, WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM, New York, NY
Dan Seeman, Hubbard Twin Cities and Hubbard North, St. Paul, MN
Mark Anderson, WBZZ-FM and WDSY-FM, Pittsburgh, PA
Nick Martin, Big River Broadcasting, Florence, AL

⏩ NETWORK/SYNDICATED PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 
Bob Lacey & Sheri Lynch, Now Media
Elvis Duran, Premiere Networks
Rickey Smiley, Reach Media, Inc.
Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Networks
Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Networks

⏩ MAJOR MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Ebro Darden, WQHT-FM, New York, NY
Ellen K, KOST-FM/KBIG-FM, Los Angeles, CA
Felger & Massarotti, WBZ-FM, Boston, MA
Preston & Steve, WMMR-FM, Philadelphia, PA
The Musers, KTCK-AM, Dallas, TX

⏩ LARGE MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 
Crisco, Dez and Ryan, KSTP-FM, St. Paul, MN
Jack Harris, WFLA-AM, Tampa, FL
Mercedes Martinez, KMXB-FM, Las Vegas, NV
Mike Calta, WHPT-FM, St. Petersburg, FL
Mojo, WKQI-FM, Detroit, MI

⏩ MEDIUM MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 
Brent Lane, WYCT-FM, Pensacola, FL
Buzz Jackson, KIIM-FM, Tucson, AZ
Harlen The Sports Guy and Pigskin Bob, KYKX-FM, Tyler, TX
Jeff and Amanda, WKRZ-FM, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Mike Street, WBTJ-FM, Richmond, VA

SMALL MARKET PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 
Brent Carl Fleshman, WHUB-FM, Cookeville, TN
Chris and Rosie, WUSQ-FM, Winchester, VA
Glenner Anderson, KXLR-FM, Fairbanks, AK
Scotty and Catryna, KCLR-FM, Columbia, MO
Shags & Trevor, KCMG-FM, Columbia, MO

⏩ MAJOR MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR 
KIIS-FM, Los Angeles, CA
WKYS-FM, Washington, D.C.
WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.
WWPR-FM, New York, NY
WYCD-FM, Detroit, MI

⏩ LARGE MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR
KOA-AM, Denver, CO
KSTP-FM, St. Paul, MN
KQMV-FM, Bellevue, WA
WMTX-FM, Tampa, FL
WXTB-FM, Tampa, FL

⏩ MEDIUM MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR 
KIPR-FM, Little Rock, AR
KRMG-FM, Tulsa, OK
WHKO-FM, Dayton, OH
WKHK-FM, Richmond, VA
WSSL-FM, Greenville, SC

⏩ SMALL MARKET STATION OF THE YEAR 
KFGO-AM, Fargo, ND
KROX-AM, Crookston, MN
KWYO-AM, Sheridan, WY
WNDH-FM, North Canton, OH
WXLP-FM, Davenport, IA

⏩ BEST RADIO PODCAST OF THE YEAR
"Behind the Song," WDRV-FM, Chicago, IL
"Denied Justice Podcast," WCCO-AM, Minneapolis, MN
"Garage Logic," Hubbard Radio, St. Paul, MN
"On the Table," NET, Lincoln, NE
"What Had Happened Was," WHIO-FM, Dayton, OH

⏩ AC STATION OF THE YEAR
KODA-FM, Houston, TX
KRWM-FM, Bellevue, WA
WBZZ-FM, Pittsburgh, PA
WMAG-FM, Greensboro, NC
WSHE-FM, Chicago, IL

⏩ CHR STATION OF THE YEAR 
KRBE-FM, Houston, TX
KTXY-FM, Columbia, MO
WKZL-FM, Greensboro, NC
WQHT-FM, New York, NY
WWPW-FM, Atlanta, GA

⏩ CLASSIC HITS STATION OF THE YEAR
WMGK-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WMJI-FM, Cleveland, OH
WMMO-FM, Orlando, FL
WOGL-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WXGL-FM, St. Petersburg, FL

COLLEGE RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR 
WHPC-FM, Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
WMSC-FM, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
WRCC-FM, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ
WRHU-FM, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
WSOU-FM, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

COUNTRY STATION OF THE YEAR
KILT-FM, Houston, TX
KSCS-FM, Dallas, TX
KUBL-FM, Salt Lake City, UT
KYGO-FM, Denver, CO
WQHK-FM, Fort Wayne, IN

NEWS/TALK STATION OF THE YEAR
KIRO-FM, Seattle, WA
KTMY-FM, St. Paul, MN
WDBO-FM, Orlando, FL
WINS-AM, New York, NY
WKXW-FM, Trenton, NJ

RELIGIOUS STATION OF THE YEAR 
KKFS-FM, Sacramento, CA
KKJM-FM, St. Cloud, MN
KNWI-FM, West Des Moines, IA
KPWJ-FM, College Station, TX
WRVL-FM, Lynchburg, VA

ROCK STATION OF THE YEAR
KISS-FM, San Antonio, TX
WCSX-FM, Detroit, MI
WIYY-FM, Baltimore, MD
WPLR-FM, New Haven, CT
WRIF-FM, Detroit, MI

SPANISH STATION OF THE YEAR 
KLNZ-FM, Los Angeles, CA
KLOL-FM, Houston, TX
KLZT-FM, Austin, TX
WOJO-FM, San Diego, CA
WYUU-FM, Tampa, FL

SPORTS STATION OF THE YEAR
KFXN-FM, Minneapolis, MN
WBZ-FM, Boston, MA
WIP-FM, Philadelphia, PA
WKRK-FM, Cleveland, OH
WXYT-FM, Detroit, MI

URBAN STATION OF THE YEAR 
KBLX-FM, San Francisco, CA
WBLS-FM, New York, NY
WGCI-FM, Chicago, IL
WHQT-FM, Hollywood, FL
WPEG-FM, Charlotte, NC

L-A Radio: KXOS Flips To Reggaeton

Meruelo Media announced that it has flipped the format on KXOS 93.9 FM to the all-new Cali 93.9, #1 for Reggaeton and More!

At 9:39am, Meruelo Media switched the format to Cali 93.9, Reggaeton y Mas! Cali 93.9 is a music station created by Southern Californians for Southern Californians with a completely bilingual presentation. In addition to the format change, Meruelo Media has started the process of changing the station’s call letters from KXOS to KLLI to match the new format.

Interim Program Director, DJ E-Man said, “Cali 93.9 features the best uptempo hit music by today’s Latin superstars! Cali 93.9 is the new home of superstars like J Balvin, Maluma, Bad Bunny and Cardi B. These artists are mass appeal, from being featured at Coachella to the Grammys, Cali 93.9 is the sound of Southern Cali.”

On the sales side, Irma Barrios will add CALI 93.9 in addition to serving as General Manager for Meruelo Media’s flagship television station KWHY-TV. Dianna Jason, the current VP of marketing for Meruelo Media, will take over marketing responsibilities for CALI 93.9. On-air talent and other department heads will be named shortly.

Otto Padron, President of Meruelo Media, said “Cali 93.9 will be the most “Caliente” station in Cali! Not just because the music transcends language as it has exploded into mainstream popularity; but because we will place this format on one of the most powerful radio signals in Los Angeles, the new Cali 93.9.”

iHeartMedia Now Listed As 'IHRT' On The Nasdaq


The nation’s largest radio broadcaster is set to return to the public markets Thursday, capping iHeartMedia Inc.’s long journey through bankruptcy.

Shares are slated to be listed under the ticker “IHRT” on the Nasdaq, reports The Wall Street Journal.

A bankruptcy judge in January approved a restructuring plan wiping more than $10 billion in debt off of iHM’s books and turning over control of the company to lenders and bondholders from its longtime owners, the private-equity firms Bain Capital Partners LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.

iHM emerged from restructuring May 1.

Last month the San Antonio-based company, which had said it was evaluating options for a public stock offering, said it instead decided to list its shares on the Nasdaq without raising more money, similar to what is known as a direct listing. Even without raising additional funds, iHM said it expects to benefit from having a publicly traded stock, which provides greater flexibility for investors and could be a source of additional capital for the company in the future.

The restructuring plan, which reduced iHM’s debt load to $5.75 billion from $16.1 billion, transferred ownership of the company to a group of lenders and bondholders led by Franklin Advisers Inc. Chief Executive Bob Pittman and finance chief Rich Bressler remain in their roles.

Bain and Thomas H. Lee had controlled the company, previously known as Clear Channel Communications, since one of the biggest leveraged buyouts on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, saddling the company with most of the some $20 billion in debt it juggled over the next decade.



iHM, which operates 848 broadcast radio stations in the U.S., also runs a concert-promotion business and has been in the on-demand streaming-music market since 2016, when it launched a pair of services within its existing iHeartRadio app, which had previously just played programming from the broadcast stations.

The company has also expanded into podcasting, including last year’s purchase of Stuff Media LLC, in a bet on the small but growing medium that has attracted younger, engaged audiences, and rapidly increasing advertising revenue. iHeartRadio is the second-largest podcast publisher, behind National Public Radio, according to Podtrac.

Westwood One Makes Two Key Leadership Moves


In a move that fortifies its leadership position in the 24-Hour marketplace, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One has announced the elevation of two key executives in its 24-Hour Formats division.
  • George King will rise to Vice President/General Manager from VP/Programming for Country. He will oversee all programming and affiliate management for the company’s 24-Hour Formats, with a focus on growth in new markets.  
  • 24-Hour format veteran Eric Sundstrom has been named Vice President of Affiliate Sales, from Regional Affiliate Manager.  King reports to Kirk Stirland, President, Programming, Westwood One. Sundstrom reports to King.
George Klein
“George is both a gifted, experienced programmer and a big strategic thinker, and he’ll bring both skills to bear with our customers at 24-Hour Formats,” commented Stirland. “Very few people understand the local radio marketplace like Eric, which makes him a smart choice for this leadership role. With George and Eric at the helm, we’ll continue to bring high-quality radio to the traditional 24-hour format marketplace, as well make an impact in larger markets that require different features and qualities.”

Eric Sundstrom
Before joining Westwood One in 2014, King was Regional Operations Manager for Townsquare in Ft. Collins, CO.  He also held programming and operations roles for Cox and Clear Channel in San Antonio and at WMZQ/Washington DC.  Sundstrom has been in affiliate management at Westwood One for more than 20 years. He also served in program management positions in local radio, including at KRST-FM, KRZY, and KKOB-FM in Albuquerque.

“I’d like to thank Kirk Stirland, Charles Steinhauer, and Suzanne Grimes for this opportunity and for having the confidence in me to take on this new role,” said King. “We are proud to be the leader in the field, and we will continue to deliver best-in-class 24-hour content to radio stations nationwide.”

“I'm honored to work even more closely with this world-class team of sales and programming talent,” added Sundstrom. “I look forward to developing an even deeper relationship with our valued partners and to connecting with new 24-hour format customers.”

L-A Radio: Meruelo Media Closes On KLOS, KXOS


Meruelo Media has announced the closing of its purchase of KLOS 95.5 FM, Los Angeles, from Cumulus Media Inc. and KXOS 93.9 FM from Grupo Radio Centro, S.A.B. de C.V. 

KLOS and KXOS become the sixth and seventh broadcast stations in Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles cluster, which includes FM radio stations KPWR, KDAY, KDEY-FM, and televisions stations KWHY-TV, and KBEH. Meruelo Media plans to relocate KLOS’s operations from Culver City to Meruelo Media’s Burbank facility later this year. KXOS already operates out of Meruelo Media’s Burbank facility.

Meruelo Media’s current executive team is taking the reins of KLOS’s operations, with Otto Padron serving as interim Market Manager, Tomas Trujillo overseeing the day-to-day operations, David Criscitelli, VP of Meruelo Media Client Solutions overseeing sales activities, and Dianna Jason, VP of Marketing, overseeing communication and marketing activities. Keith Cunningham, KLOS’s current program director, will continue to serve in his role.

Irma Barrios will add KXOS to her existing duties as General Manager of KWHY-TV and Emmanuel “DJ E- Man” Coquia will assume interim music and programming duties for KXOS.

Otto Padron, President of Meruelo Media, said, “Two closes in one day! We are thrilled to add 93.9 KXOS and 95.5 KLOS to the Meruelo Media family. This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in LA media!”

Speaking about KLOS, he continued, “We are absolutely committed to the amazing heritage Rock brand of KLOS. We are electrified to officially close on our purchase of the station and begin a new chapter of this legendary brand together with its amazing cadre of talented employees and iconic personalities. It will give Meruelo Media great scale and access to a highly desirable market sector in addition to giving our clients and partners a newly energized local option. In turn, we will commit to KLOS our deep hyper- local operational and content resources that will drive significant audience growth for a larger share of advertising dollars.”

On KXOS, Padron added, “Stand by, exciting news about KXOS coming soon!”

Meruelo Media, an affiliate of the Meruelo Group, is the largest and fastest growing minority-owned media company in California. Meruelo Media operates Los Angeles television stations KWHY, channel 22, and KBEH, channel 63. It also operates Los Angeles market radio stations KPWR 105.9 “Power 106,” 93.5 KDAY, 93.5 KDEY in Riverside/San Bernardino, and now stations 93.9 KXOS and 95.5 KLOS.

Tampa Radio: WMNF Victim Of Ransomware Cyberattack


Tampa-based non-com WMNF 88.5-FM is stepping up cybersecurity after its computer systems were hobbled by ransom-seeking hackers last month, reports The Tampa Bay Times.

Interim general manager Cindy Reichard said the ordeal began June 18 when a programmer noticed a computer in one of the studios was acting strangely.

The station then received a digital message: Your files have been encrypted. Pay us, and you can have them back.

It’s known as a ransomware attack, a common form of cyber crime where hackers install malicious code rendering a victim’s data useless until they pay for a digital key to decrypt it.

The station did not pay the ransom, and instead reported the attack to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“FDLE told us that a lot of times you pay and you still don’t get your data back anyway,” Reichard said.

The hack did not affect any sensitive data, such as donor information, payroll or any financial documents, Reichard said.

The ransomware did infect a new AudioVault system where the station’s audio archives were stored, along with pre-recorded promos played between songs and other audio files.  Archived episodes of the station’s news and public affairs programming may be lost permanently.

The station has sent the affected server off to a local data recovery company to see what, if anything, can be salvaged.

Reichard was unsure how much money the hackers demanded.

“It depends, because you have to tell them which files you want to get back,” she said, but the station ultimately chose not to engage at all.

Reichard said investigators told her the ransomware could have originated in Russia.

Public radio stations have been targeted. In 2017, San Francisco NPR station KQED was hobbled for months by an attack that forced one of the nation’s largest public media companies to shut down its entire computer network to prevent the ransomware from spreading.

Orlando Radio: JVC Media to Acquire WORL From Salem Media Group

Salem Media Group selling off one of its four stations in Orlando.

A deal worth $900,000 will JVC Media to acquire Salem talk WORL 660 AM The Answer. The deal also includes translator W288CJ at 105.5 FM.

The acquisition gives JVC Media a second station in the Orlando market where it already owns country WOTW 103.1 FM The Wolf.

JVC will operate WORL under a local marketing agreement set to begin by August 19 and run until closing.

WORL 660 AM (3.5kw-D, 1kw-N)  Daytime 2mV/m Contour
Salem will still own three stations in the area including religious “The Word” WTLN 950 AM, Spanish Christian WDYZ 990 La Nueva and  business news WBZW 1520 The Biz. Salem will retain WORL’s call letters and  programming.

Sean Hannity: "It's Gets That Ugly"

Sean Hannity
Syndicated radio host and Fox News personality Sean Hannity Wednesday noted the "hysteria" growing within the Democratic Party, highlighting the civil war within and 'ugliness' that has surfaced recently between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the more progressive wing of the party.

Hannity said that Democrats are forced to fall into line 'A,' which comes with the possibility of being called a racist, or line 'B,' otherwise known as "the Squad."

He  praised President Trump for having the "courage" to confront the four progressive congresswomen.

"Few politicians have had the courage to call out the radical base of the Democratic Party. But that's why you, we the American people, elected Donald Trump in spite of what New York, California, Washington and all the liberal states wanted," Hannity said.

Hannity also blasted Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, and his resolution for impeachment calling it a "national embarrassment.'"

Hannity also blasted the tactics used by the "radical" Democrats.

"Anyone who gets in their way or doesn't fully support their radical dreams is accused of either bigotry or whatever," Hannity said. "This radical Democratic party is in a very dark very scary place."


Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports it was a big week on social media metrics for  U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Democratic representative from Queens dwarfed the Democrats who are seeking President Donald Trump’s job in a measurement of social media interactions with news articles by the tracking firm NewsWhip. The statistics were first reported by Axios.

For the week that ended on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez, who is known as AOC, had attracted 4.8 million such interactions, NewsWhip said. By comparison, all of the Democrats running for president reached a combined 6.5 million. California Sen. Kamala Harris had 1.2 million to lead the way, with Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren getting around a million each.

Given how Trump’s tweets about Ocasio-Cortez and three of her colleagues have dominated the news since they were first made Sunday, that picture doesn’t appear likely to change much this week.

“They can’t get a breath because all of the oxygen is gone,” said Fox News Channel’s Harris Faulkner on Wednesday.

Rush Limbaugh Says AOC Has A ''Sugar Daddy'

Saikat Chakrabeti and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortz
Syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday has called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Chief of Staff the "sugar daddy" of "the Squad," and accused him of "using his parents' money" to fund a movement seeking to fill Congress with "uber-radical" lawmakers.

"He's a trust fund kid," Limbaugh said of Saikat Chakrabarti. "He's using his parents' money to fund her campaign and all of these operations. And he's the guy that's directing them."

'The Squad'
"When you heard [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi say 'I don't talk to staff, I talk to —' it was him she was referring to because this guy's been tweeting massive disrespect about her in the attempt here to elevate the four whack jobs, as John Kennedy from Louisiana has described them," the host continued, referring to four progressive Democrats — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — who are the subject of President Trump's latest racist rhetoric.

"This gang of four," Limbaugh continued, "they got their money from AOC's sugar daddy, her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti — Chakrabarti is his name — he owns them. One of his front groups is called A Brand New Congress. His plan is to replace everybody in Congress who's not an uber-radical with an uber-radical that includes — starts with Pelosi, getting rid of her."

"He writes their speeches, they are his minions, and he controls the money," Limbaugh added.

Newsweek reports Chakrabarti has made headlines in recent weeks for tweeting harsh criticisms of Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers in Congress. Amid his remarks were suggestions that Pelosi was an ineffective legislator and that moderate Democrats who backed a Senate-passed border funding bill were modern day segregationists.

It is highly unusual for a Democratic aide to overtly attack sitting members of Congress. His comments have since placed Ocasio-Cortez under pressure from Democrats to denounce his actions or terminate his position.

FL Radio: Industry Vet Scott Elberg To Manage WSVU True Oldies

Scott Elberg
Vic Canales Media Group has named Scott Elberg, Executive Vice President/Market Manager.

VCMG LIVE is a West Palm Beach Event and Marketing Company. With radio stations that broadcast the True Oldies Channel  WSVU 960 AM and translators  95.9/FM and 106.9FM.

VCMG LIVE President Victor Canales said… “Scott is a proven leader of media teams with a history of surpassing budgets. With more than 30 years of major market experience in Integrated Marketing and Advertising Sales both Traditional and Digital-OTT. We look forward to Scott growing our South Florida Cluster.”

EVP Market Manager Scott Elberg said “I’m thrilled to join VCMG LIVE in this role and work together with the talented team in place in West Palm Beach. Our goal is to continue to build on success and create a customer focused, results driven organization in South Florida. I’m excited to get started.”

Elberg's diverse media background includes senior level positions where he’s served as Vice President & General Manager for WKTU FM & WHTZ FM (Z100) New York. He led the relaunch of WKTU in 1996 taking it to top 5 in revenue in the U-S. he also led the sales efforts at Univision Radio in NY from 2002-2005 growing revenue each year and rebuilding the sales organization and infrastructure to focus on new business development and local general market revenue. Most recently Scott was the Director of Business Development for Cumulus Media in New York.

VCMG LIVE is a West Palm Beach Event and Marketing Company. With radio stations that broadcast the True Oldies Channel (95.9/FM/106.9FM/960AM).

Podcast Movement Launches Daily Newsletter

Podcast Movement, the world’s largest conference for podcasters and the podcast industry, announces that it has unveiled an all-new content site and daily newsletter this week for the podcasting community at www.podcastmovement.com.

The new Podcast Movement site is a dynamic hub for podcasting news, resources, and thought leadership. Guest articles from creators and critics across the industry will be published regularly, offering exclusive materials, information and insights to podcasters and other podcast industry professionals. 

The new daily email newsletter, PodMov Daily, is an innovative and informative publication designed to keep all podcasters and industry professionals in the loop. Delivered each weekday morning, the Daily will feature breaking news, curated topics, and community updates. In addition, Podcast Movement has launched the PodMov Ambassador Program, rewarding subscribers with Podcast Movement discounts, gear, insights, and input into Podcast Movement that have not previously been available. 

Dan Franks
Variety and inclusivity are at the center of Podcast Movement’s new content platform, staying true to the goals of the Podcast Movement event, and the landscape of the industry. Podcast Movement Co-founder and President Dan Franks has been developing the expansion into content production since mid-2018. 

Franks said: “While we love providing value to podcasters at our in-person events, we’re excited to now have a platform that provides that value year-round, and allows us to give back in an even bigger way to the community that’s shown us so much support.” 

Since its inception in 2014, Podcast Movement has grown into the world’s largest gathering of podcasters, attracting thousands to its annual conference. This year, the 6th Annual Podcast Movement conference will be held on August 13-16, 2019, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL. Register for the Podcast Movement event today at: www.podcastmovement.com

For PodMov Daily sponsorship bookings and information, contact Head of Sales, Kristy Scott at: kristy@podcastmovement.com. To submit tips, pitches, or material for consideration, contact Managing Editor Brennan Tapp at: brennan@podcastmovement.com or at: newsletter@podcastmovement.com.

Podcast Movement is the world’s largest conference for podcasters and the podcast industry. Founded in 2014, Podcast Movement will welcome over 3,000 podcasters and industry professionals to the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL, on August 13-16, 2019, for the 6th Annual Podcast Movement event. Podcast Movement also provides podcasting news, resources and thought leadership through its content site, www.podcastmovement.com and PodMov Daily, a daily newsletter for the podcasting community. For more information, visit: www.podcastmovement.com.

Netflix Adds Fewer-Than-Expected Subscribers In 2Q


For the first time in nearly a decade, the number of people subscribing to Netflix Inc. in the U.S. declined, an underwhelming performance for the streaming giant that comes as a slew of rivals are about to enter the field.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it had 130,000 fewer domestic subscribers at the end of the second quarter compared with the end of the first, sending Netflix shares sliding more than 11% in after-hours trading Wednesday. The stock is still up by double digits for the year.

Globally, Netflix added 2.7 million subscribers in the quarter, far fewer than the 5 million it had forecast and below the 5.5 million it added in the second quarter of 2018.

The slowdown in growth comes as rival streaming services from Walt Disney Co. , Apple Inc., AT&T Inc. ’s WarnerMedia and Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal prepare to enter the marketplace in the coming months, setting off what Wall Street analysts are calling “the streaming wars.”

As a result, rivals are starting to take away their content from Netflix, including the streaming service’s two most-watched shows: “The Office” and “Friends.” Reruns of the former will move to a new streaming service being launched by NBCUniversal starting in 2021, while “Friends” will leave Netflix at the end of this year and become available on WarnerMedia’s new direct-to-consumer service, HBO Max, which will launch widely in the spring.

Netflix played down the coming loss of two of its most popular shows, telling shareholders it will allow for more spending on original offerings. Even its biggest titles, the company said, account for “only a low, single-digit percentage of streaming hours.” When programs leave Netflix, “our members shift over to enjoying our other great content,” the company said.

The last time Netflix faced quarter-to-quarter subscriber declines in the U.S. was in 2011, after it launched an ill-fated new pricing model that was roundly rejected by subscribers and quickly scrapped.

Netflix remains the dominant streaming platform here and abroad with 60.1 million U.S. subscribers and 91.5 million internationally. But the 151.6 million global total fell short of the company’s forecast of 153.9 million and the 156.5 million analysts polled by FactSet had expected for the period.

Peyton Manning Most-Loved Sports Media Personality


ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” has tried more than once to secure former quarterback Peyton Manning’s services in the broadcast booth since his 2016 NFL retirement — and a new ranking of some of the most high-profile sports media personalities shows why: The two-time Super Bowl champion and future first-ballot Hall of Famer is beloved by sports fans.

A new Morning Consult survey of 565 self-described “avid sports fans” found 79 percent viewed Manning favorably versus 11 percent who had an unfavorable view. The former Indianapolis Colt and Denver Bronco, who later this month debuts a 30-episode docuseries on streaming service ESPN+ spotlighting the biggest moments in NFL history, is ranked No. 1 in net favorability (the share with a favorable view of him minus the share with an unfavorable view) with a rating of 68 percentage points.

Peyton Manning - 2015
The July 1-2 poll, which has a 4-point margin of error for the “avid sports fans” demographic, sought to test the popularity of some of the top figures from who are regularly seen, read or heard in the national sports media landscape. The personalities were pulled from The Big Lead’s list of the 75 most powerful people in sports media.

While Manning — whose “Peyton’s Places” series launches with four episodes on July 29 and one weekly through the end of the upcoming season — narrowly led NBA Hall of Famer and current “NBA on TNT” star Charles Barkley (65 points) in net favorability, 51 percent of avid sports fans said they viewed the former signal-caller “very favorably,” compared with 41 percent who said the same of Barkley.

Manning’s appeal has not gone unnoticed among corporate executives, as marketers have integrated him into hit commercial ads, including his well-known jingle for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., a still-active partnership. During his final NFL season, when he won Super Bowl 50, Forbes ranked him as the 27th highest-paid athlete with $34.2 million between salary and endorsements, listing off-the-field partnerships that included Gatorade, Buick and Papa John’s International Inc.

Jimmy Sanderson, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management at Texas Tech University, said Manning’s image as a “good country boy, old-fashioned guy” who steers clear of controversy helps make him a relatable figure.

“He doesn’t talk about politics,” he said. “He doesn’t really do anything that would make him divisive.”

The Echo Dot Was An Amazon Prime Day Top Seller


This year, Prime Day was once again the largest shopping event in Amazon history with more than one million deals exclusively for Prime members.

Over the two days of Prime Day, on July 15 and 16, sales surpassed the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Prime members purchased more than 175 million items throughout the event. Prime Day was also the biggest event ever for Amazon devices, when comparing two-day periods – top-selling deals worldwide were Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.

“We want to thank Prime members all around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

“Members purchased millions of Alexa-enabled devices, received tens of millions of dollars in savings by shopping from Whole Foods Market and bought more than $2 billion of products from independent small and medium-sized businesses. Huge thank you to Amazonians everywhere who made this day possible for customers.”

U.S. Highlights from Prime Day 2019
  • A record number of Prime members shopped during Prime Day in the U.S.
  • Prime members purchased more than 100,000 lunchboxes, 100,000 laptops, 200,000 TVs, one million headphones, 350,000 luxury beauty products, 400,000 pet products, 650,000 household cleaning supplies, and more than one million toys.
  • Prime members purchased more than 200,000 LifeStraw Personal Water Filters and 150,000 Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kits.
  • This year, Prime members in the U.S. received tens of millions in Prime Day savings when they shopped at Whole Foods Market. The best-selling Prime Day deals were organic strawberries, red cherries, and blueberries.

Use FaceApp? If You Do, They Own You


The FaceApp photo filter, which uses AI to digitally age your face, has gone viral, with millions on social media sharing their sagging simulacrum, including celebs such as Drake, the Jonas Brothers and Kevin Hart.

However, The NY Post reports experts are warning that the free “old age filter,” created in 2017 by developers at Wireless Lab in St. Petersburg, Russia, poses security concerns that may give them access to your personal information and identity.

The Russian app is one of the most downloaded across the globe, with fans on social media using the hashtag #faceappchallenge to share their results. The tool augments your face to look double or triple your current age —  with wrinkles, sagging and yellowed teeth — and also allows you to look younger, swap genders and try out a beard.

But be warned: FaceApp, which you grant permission to access your photo gallery, also includes in their Terms and Conditions that they have the right to modify, reproduce and publish any of the images you process through its AI.


That means that your face could end up being commercialized — or worse.

UK-based Digitas strategist James Whatley said on Twitter, “You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable… royalty-free… license to use, adapt, publish, distribute your user content… in all media formats… when you post or otherwise share.”

That means they can also use your real name, your username or “any likeness provided” in any format without notifying, much less paying, you. They can retain that material as long as they want, even after you delete the app, and you won’t be able to stop them. Even those who set their Apple iOS photo permissions to “never,” as Tech Crunch points out, are not protected against the terms.

U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles  Schumer has sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FTC Chairman Joseph Simons saying he was concerned that the app, which is headquartered in Russia, "could pose national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens."

"In the age of facial recognition technology as both a surveillance and security use, it is essential that users have the information they need to ensure their personal and biometric data remains secure, including from hostile foreign governments," Schumer wrote.

According to The Hill, Schumer is asking the FTC to determine if there are "adequate safeguards" in place to prevent Americans' privacy from being compromised and, if not, to publicly disclose that.

He separately wants the FBI to find out if data being uploaded to FaceApp by Americans is "finding its way into the hands" of Russia's government or companies with ties to the government.

R.I.P.: Sherry Dollar, Cumulus Media VP/MM For Charleston

Sherry Dollar
Cumulus Media has announced with great sadness that Sherry Dollar, Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Charleston and 27-year radio veteran, died Wednesday morning.

Her death comes after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

Sherry was surrounded by her family, who has asked for nothing more than prayers and to honor Sherry’s last wish to “Be Kind”. Sherry’s bright spirit touched many people throughout her long radio career. Details about memorial services honoring her amazing life are forthcoming.

Mary Berner, President and CEO, Cumulus Media, and Bob Walker, EVP, Operations, Cumulus Media issued statements:

"Sherry was a terrific Market Manager and a terrific human being. She will be sorely and deeply missed by all of us." –- Mary Berner, President and CEO, CUMULUS MEDIA

"Sherry’s passion for this business was only surpassed by her passion for life. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and I will forever be grateful to have worked with her.” --  Bob Walker, EVP, Operations, CUMULUS MEDIA

July 18 Radio History



➦In 1909...Harriet Nelson, formerly Hilliard; born Peggy Lou Snyder. (Died at age 85  – October 2, 1994) . She was best known is best known for her role on the radio and TV sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  She sang with husband Ozzie Nelson’s band, and played other comedic roles on radio’s Red Skelton Show.


Red Skelton
➦In 1913...Richard Bernard Eheart born (Died at age 84 – September 17, 1997). Professionally known as Red Skelton, he was best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. He has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, and also appeared in burlesque, vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.

Skelton began developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show. He then spent time on a showboat, worked the burlesque circuit, and then entered into vaudeville in 1934. The "Doughnut Dunkers" pantomime sketch, which he wrote together with his wife, launched a career for him in vaudeville, radio, and films.

His radio career began in 1937 with a guest appearance on The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, which led to his becoming the host of Avalon Time in 1938. He became the host of The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941, on which many of his comedy characters were created, and he had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957. Skelton made his film debut in 1938 alongside Ginger Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in Alfred Santell's Having Wonderful Time, and would appear in numerous musical and comedy films throughout the 1940s and 1950s, with starring roles in 19 films, including Ship Ahoy (1941), I Dood It (1943), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), and The Clown (1953).

Skelton was eager to work in television, even when the medium was in its infancy. The Red Skelton Show made its television premiere on September 30, 1951, on NBC. By 1954, Skelton's program moved to CBS, where it was expanded to one hour and renamed The Red Skelton Hour in 1962. Despite high ratings, the show was cancelled by CBS in 1970, as the network believed that more youth-oriented programs were needed to attract younger viewers and their spending power. Skelton moved his program to NBC, where he completed his last year with a regularly scheduled television show in 1971.

➦In 1913...Marvin Elliott Miller born (Died at age 71  – February 8, 1985). Possessing a deep, baritone voice, Marvin Miller began his career in radio in St. Louis, Missouri, before becoming a Hollywood actor.

Miller graduated from Washington University before commencing his career in radio. When a singer named Marvin Miller debuted on another St. Louis radio station, he began using his middle initial to distinguish himself from the newcomer. For the Mutual Broadcasting System, he narrated a daily 15-minute radio show entitled The Story Behind the Story, which offered historical vignettes. He also served as announcer on several Old Time Radio shows of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Jo Stafford Show and the long-running mystery series The Whistler.

Miller played Dr. Lee Markham on The Woman in White on NBC radio and Howard Andrews on Midstream on the Blue Network and appeared as "The voice of the Past" on the May 21, 1942 broadcast of The Right to Happiness. In 1945–47, he was the announcer for Songs by Sinatra. He played two characters and was the announcer on The Billie Burke Show (1943-1946).

He won Grammy Awards in 1965 and 1966 for his recordings of Dr. Seuss stories: in 1967 for Dr Seuss Presents – If I Ran the Zoo and Sleep Book and 1966 for Dr Seuss Presents Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham. He also read Horton Hatches the Egg, The Sneetches and Other Stories and Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories.

In the mid-1970s, Miller even lent his voice to sports films, narrating the official Indianapolis 500 films in 1975 and 1976.


➦In 1922...WHAS-AM signed-on in Louisville KY.


On May 16, 1925, the first live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was originated by WHAS and was also carried by WGN in Chicago. The call of the Derby featured an announcer who watched from the windows of one of the famous twin spires of Churchill Downs.

On May 15, 1932, WHAS changed from being an NBC affiliate and joined CBS. At that time, WHAS operated on 820 kHz with 10 KW power, but the output was soon increased to 25 KW as authorized by the Federal Radio Commission.

During a 1937 flood, WHAS aired 115,000 messages. On March 29, 1941 the station moved to its current frequency of 840 AM and made a clear-channel station, both as a result of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, which relocated the 840 clear channel allocation to Louisville from Toronto, where it was used by CBL. On March 30, 1970 WHAS began 24-hour operation.


The station was originally part of the local media empire ruled by the Bingham family, which also published Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times.  WHAS and its FM sister station, WAMZ (the former WHAS-FM) were acquired by Clear Channel Communications (which, as iHeartMedia, continues to own the stations to this day) in 1986.


➦In 1964…United Artists -the label which issued  the soundtrack to “A Hard Day’sNight” and Capitol Records - locked horns on the songs from the film.

UA had the rights to the original soundtrack album which contains seven songs and instrumental music by George Martin. Capitol was going “all-out” to buck the soundtrack album. Capitol had the rights to issue singles off the album.

UA rush released advance copies of the “A Hard Day’s Night” soundtrack album to radio stations and stores, after WMCA 570 AM New York got an advance copy and began playing it to their huge New York audience. Capitol issued a single disc by the Beatles, coupling the movie’s title song “A Hard Day’s Night” with “I Should Have Known Better.”

The Capitol album contained the seven picture songs and five new tunes, but could not be identified as a soundtrack album – only UA had those rights.  

1010 WINS and 77WABC weren’t happy about the “Hard Day’s Night” WMCA exclusive.

WINS got a Beatles exclusive from a special overseas source and began playing “Slowdown” by the Beatles soon after. 


➦In 1964…Tom Clay departed from station CKLW 800 AM, Windsor-Detroit.  The station and Clay called it an amiable parting. Clay felt he was not doing enough on his show when not allowed to play the records himself (union rules). Clay’s nighttime slot was taken by Terry Knight from WTRX, Flint.

Knight would go on to become a recording artist with Terry Knight & The Pack . Their biggest hit was 1966’s “I Who Have Nothing.”) Knight would then go on to bigger and better things as the manager for Grand Funk Railroad .

➦In 1974… KNEW-AM in San Francisco changed to country. Today the station is owned by iHeartMedia and Progressive Talk as KKSF 910 AM.

➦In 1974…Cousin Bruce Morrow departed WABC 770 AM New York to take the spot vacated by Wolfman Jack on rival WNBC 660 AM.

Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer".

Morrow began his career in the USA at New York Top 40 station 1010 WINS in 1959. In 1960, he relocated to Miami, Florida for a stint at WINZ (AM) before returning to New York the next year for the major station WABC.

Morrow's return to New York City came just as rock and roll music was becoming extremely popular among the baby boom demographic, and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast at the beginning of the so-called British Invasion. His main competition came from his previous station WINS, which featured "Murray the K," a DJ who claimed an association with the Beatles.

Morrow quickly became a success on WABC's teenager-oriented evening shift.

Morrow worked for WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he transferred to rival radio station WNBC; after three years there, he quit performance to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of radio stations, which included WALL; WKGL, now WRRV, in Middletown, New York; WJJB, later WCZX, in Poughkeepsie, New York; WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts; WOCB in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts; WRAN (now dark) New Jersey 1510 in Randolph, New Jersey; and television station WATL Atlanta. The group later purchased WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut.

During 1982, Morrow resumed working as a radio announcer, for New York's oldies station WCBS 101.1 FM.  As of 2019, Morrow hosts programs for SiriusXM, on the '60s on 6 channel. Cousin Brucie's Saturday Night Party – Live is broadcast Saturday nights, while Cruisin' with Cousin Brucie is broadcast live on Wednesday nights. The Wednesday broadcast used to repeat on Sunday nights, but no longer does. In place of the repeat, a show titled "Best of Brucie" airs, a compilation of all of his best moments on SiriusXM. 

➦In 1984…KPLZ Seattle becomes the 11th station to license Mike Joseph’s “Hot Hits” phrase.

➦In 1984…Chicago Radio Arbitron Ratings… WGN-AM was best with an 8.8...Urban WGCI-FM is up to a 6.1...News WBBM  4.6...Easy WLOO – 5.6...B-96 (WBBM-FM) dips to a 4.6 from 5.0...WLS-AM dips to a 3.2 from 3.7...WLS-FM is up to a 3.5 from 2.9...WCLR (A/C) is up to a 4.1 from 3.4...Country WMAQ scores a 4.1...WLUP up from a 3.0 to 3.4...WLAK (Nothing but love songs) is down to a 3.2 from a 3.9.

➦In 1984…Capital Cities bought Metromedia’s KLAC 570 AM in Los Angeles.

➦In 1984…WGAR 1220 AM Cleveland flipped to  Country. Today, the station airs a religious format as WHKW.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Study: Workplace Listening Opportunity is BIGGER Than Ever


NuVoodoo Media Services, a data-driven media marketing, programming and content intelligence provider, presents the first installment of the NuVoodoo Fall webinar series, “How To Win The Workplace War in 2019”, based on its new Ratings Prospects Study 14. The webinar series kicks off on Wednesday, July 24, with additional sessions on Wednesday, July 31, and Monday, August 5. Attendees can reserve their spot here. The new study was fielded in June and represents the opinions of over 3,000 respondents ages 14-54 from across all PPM markets.

Findings of the study reveal that a full 60% of likely ratings respondents identified say they listen to radio at work.

In addition, at-work listeners are more likely to listen to terrestrial radio for more hours and more days.


Leigh Jacobs, Executive Vice President, Research Insights, NuVoodoo Media Services, explained: “We’ve chosen to start with a dive into at-work listening because the market for audio entertainment at work has never been bigger (or younger). Fully 60% of the ratings-susceptible respondents we’ve identified say they listen at work. Savvy operators have been playing to this opportunity for decades, but the competition has never been more fierce.”

Mike O’Connor, Executive Vice President, Marketing, NuVoodoo Media Services, added: “In these new data, 24% say they spend at least an hour a day with terrestrial – but that number jumps to 41% among those who listen at work. 41% say they listen at least 5 days a week – but that jumps to 61% among those who listen at work. That’s the potential for significant lift for programmers and marketers who play to this opportunity.”


The NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study is conducted twice a year to learn more about those who are most likely to say “yes” to the opportunity to wear a meter or fill out a diary in order to provide NuVoodoo clients with competitive insights and advantages that they can exploit to capture higher ratings. This is the 14th Ratings Prospects Study that NuVoodoo has completed since 2011. The company shares the top-level findings of its studies with its radio broadcasting clients to develop winning next-generation marketing and programming strategies for stations of all formats in PPM markets.

Carolyn Gilbert, President and Chief Executive Officer, NuVoodoo Media Services, noted: “Our Ratings Prospects Study 14 revealed a significant opportunity for stations. Winning the workplace war for listeners should be at the forefront of all programmers’ minds, and the devil is always in the details. And the details of how to maximize cume and share at work is what we’ll be talking about in the first installment of our Fall 2019 Webinar Series. We invite all radio professionals to learn more about the opportunities and insights uncovered by our new Ratings Prospects Study beginning Wednesday, July 24th at Noon Eastern.”

In addition to the July 24th webinar launch, NuVoodoo’s Fall Webinar Series will also offer two more opportunities to participate on Wednesday, July 31st and on Monday, August 5th.  The Fall 2019 Webinar Series will give programming professionals the latest information on:
  • At-work listening by format, demo and TSL. 
  • The best marketing channels for reaching those most likely to spend time with your station at work. 
  • Contest opportunities that most interest at-work listeners. 
  • Effective music packaging and tactics – beyond contesting – for boosting workplace listening. 
  • How much value the at-work listener places on things we radio folks have held sacrosanct, like the importance of community image and hosts or personalities. 
  • How much terrestrial radio listening is being co-opted by other sources of audio entertainment at work since we last checked in early 2018. 
The opportunity is bigger than ever (and so is the competition). NuVoodoo will share the best practices from its playbook to help programming professionals maximize their stations. Secure a slot by registering today at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.

San Diego Radio: Mikey Esparza OUT At KFMB 100.7 FM

Mikey Esparza afternoon personality at Adult Hits KFMB 100.7 has exited, following non-renewal of his contract.

“There are no new Mikey issues,” Alberto Mier y Teran told The San Diego Reader. He manages the KFMB stations which includes Channel 8, CW San Diego/Channel 6, AM 760, and 100.7 FM.

“He is a good guy, a total professional, and we wish him luck. It’s just that we are moving towards a more female-based audience, and Mikey fit us better when we were playing harder rock.”

The move to play more pop-rock by Soft Cell and No Doubt has clearly benefited the other two full-time DJs at KFMB-FM, Chris Cantore (mornings) and Robin Roth (mid-days).

The big story in the June Nielsen ratings released last week was that the Cantore morning show beat the DSC show (named for founders Dave Rickards, Shelly Dunn and Cookie Chainsaw Randolph) on iHeartMedia's KGB 101.5 FM in the lucrative 25-54 age demo.

DSC represents the last of the highly paid morning show ensembles that once included the Jeff and Jer show. DSC is now in its 30th year on the local airwaves, first appearing in 1990 on KGB.

KFMB boss Mier y Teran says it didn’t hurt that Cantore gets daily on-air cross promotion exposure with live drop-ins on the Channel 8 and CW San Diego/Channel 6 morning shows. He also says the billboards put up promoting Cantore with his surf van didn’t hurt. “This isn’t rocket science, by the way. It’s all about the marketing and content. And Chris is just a likable, relevant, transparent guy who happens to do a radio show.”

Cantore, who worked mornings at 91X, FM-94/9 and KPRI, was not on the commercial radio airwaves when KFMB brought him out of radio retirement last summer to replace DSC when DSC left KFMB to rejoin KGB.

KFMB 100.7 FM is currently looking for a permanent replacement for Esparza in the afternoons.

TV Ratings: 'CBS Evening News' Ratings Slip

Norah O'Donnell
CBS' heavily-promoted debut Monday of Norah O'Donnell as the new anchor and managing editor of the network's flagship CBS Evening News failed to break CBS' long run in third place behind ABC's World News Tonight and the NBC Nightly News. In fact, Forbes citing ratings data compiled by Nielsen show O'Donnell's first night actually delivered lower ratings than the anchor she replaced, Jeff Glor.

But for all the buzz, Monday night's broadcast was down compared to the same night a year ago—and the average audience for the CBS Evening News so far in 2019. O'Donnell drew a total audience of 5.61 million viewers, down 1% from the same night in 2018 (5.69 million viewers) and down 6% compared to the 2019 year-to-date average of 5.96 million.

Perhaps more concerning for CBS were the ratings among viewers 25-54, the demographic most valued by advertisers, and an audience critical for lifting the CBS Evening News out of the ratings basement. O'Donnell delivered 929,000 viewers in the demo Monday, compared to 1.22 million a year ago when the newscast was anchored by Glor—a decline of 24%. The newscast was down 22% in the demo compared to the year-to-date average.

Those ratings won't present a challenge to ABC or NBC. But they will concern CBS News chief Susan Zirinsky, who will note that a cable newscast, Fox News Channel's Special Report with Bret Baier, which also airs at 6:30 p.m. ET, outperformed Evening News in several major markets Monday, including Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta and Miami.

Apple Looking To Fund Original Podcasts


Apple Inc. plans to fund original podcasts that would be exclusive to its audio service, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter, increasing its investment in the industry to keep competitors Spotify and Stitcher at bay.

Executives at the company have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are preliminary. Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before.

Apple all but invented the podcasting business with the creation of a network that collects thousands of podcasts from across the internet in a feed on people’s phones, smartwatches and computers. The Apple Podcast app still accounts for anywhere from 50% to 70% of listening for most podcasts, according to industry executives.

After years without making substantial changes to its podcasting business, which first launched in 2005, Apple has recently focused on upgrading its app and has added new tools for podcast makers. Still, new entrants have encroached on Apple’s once-indomitable position, attracting new users by offering exclusive access to original podcasts.

Apple launched Podcast Analytics last year, rolling out a service that gives podcast makers more insight into their listeners and performance. This year, Apple announced a dedicated Podcasts app for Mac computers and launched a web interface to expand the amount of people who can listen to podcasts through its service.

Apple placed executive Oliver Schusser in charge of podcasts and music, with Ben Cave helping oversee the podcasting strategy.

D-C Radio: Bullets Strike iHM Office Windows

Office building housing iHeartMedia in Rockville, MD
The City of Rockville Police Department have confirmed that they’re investigating an incident earlier this month in which a bullet was shot through a window at iHeartRadio on Rockville Pike.

Employees at iHeartMedia — the parent company to radio stations CHR WIHT Hot 99.5, Rock WWDC DC101, A/c WASH 97.1 FM, and Country WMZQ 98.7 — were informed that three windows on the Rockville Pike side of the iHeartMedia building have been damaged; employees have been instructed to sit away from the windows.

According to mymcmedia.com, on Friday, July 12, Sgt. Bill Nieberding, a spokesperson for Rockville Police Department, said that police responded to an 11 a.m. call from iHeartRadio about a bullet that was found near a window; the window had a hole in it. Nieberding said that the bullet may have been found about an hour or two before police were called, however, nobody heard any shots fired that morning.

The recovered bullet has been sent to a Montgomery County lab for forensic analysis, Nieberding said.

Because of this incident, police are also looking at another incident that an iHeartMedia building manager reported on July 8. The manager reported that a hole was found in a window on a separate floor at iHeartMedia.

At the time, Nieberding said that the manager believed that the hole was caused by vandalism which police believe occurred on July 5. Nieberding said that investigators are examining whether the two incidents are connected. A bullet has not been recovered for the July 8 incident, Nieberding said.


According to Niebering, the two damaged windows are located on separate upper-level floors. Nieberding didn’t have any information about a third window that was damaged.