Saturday, July 23, 2016

Rupert Murdoch Takes Reins of Fox News

The first day of the post-Roger Ailes era at Fox News unfolded Friday with its new leader Rupert Murdoch taking part in the channel’s 9:30 a.m. editorial meeting, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 85-year-old patriarch of 21st Century Fox, who on Thursday assumed the title of interim CEO as he searches for a new leader of the cable news powerhouse, is said to have led the meeting but deferred to the staff that until yesterday worked closely will Ailes.

Murdoch is spending the coming weeks getting familiar with the day-to-day operations of his company's news unit. Rupert's sons Lachlan and James, who are executive chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, respectively, also will be heavily involved in transitioning someone to a permanent CEO. Lachlan was at his father’s side on Thursday when he addressed the Fox News newsroom in the wake of Ailes’ resignation amid an internal review of former anchor Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment allegations.

Certainly Rupert Murdoch is no stranger to the business of Fox News, which is among the portfolio’s most valuable assets and contributes nearly 25 percent to the company’s bottom line. But his multiple weekly conversations with Ailes were about big-picture topics, not day-to-day operations. And so Murdoch’s task ahead is familiarizing himself with the running of the channel.

In this effort, Rupert is said to be leaning heavily on current Fox News executives including Jay Wallace, who in April was promoted to executive vp news and editorial, CFO Mark Kranz, and especially Bill Shine, a longtime Fox News executive who runs primetime programming and also oversees Fox Business Network. Shine is said to be in the running for the permanent CEO job.

SC-GA Radio: WXYY Flips To Classic Hip-Hop

Alpha Media/Savannah-Hilton Head has announced the launch of G100 “The Throwback Station!” on its WXYY 100.1 FM in Rincon/Savannah GA.  The change came at 5pm Friday. The station was previously Top40, branding as Y100.

G100 is throwbacks like The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and many more.

G100 will bring back Savannah favorites Mia Amini to host Middays from 10am to 2pm and Mark “Shark” Ediss hosting Afternoons from 2pm to 7pm.

Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head VP/Market Manager Gigi South commented on the announcement: “Savannah has been asking for a throwback station and we are so excited to bring it! Throw your hands in the air!”

WXYY 100.1 FM (75 Kw) Red=Local coverage Area
Operations Manager Rob Walker remarked: “Our listeners told us they loved our throwback weekends, and now Savannah and Hilton Head radio listeners don’t have to wait for the weekend to hear all those classic jams, one right after another.”

TV Ratings Spike For Final Day of RNC

Overall TV viewership climbed for the last night of the Republican National Convention -- with Fox News Channel dominating all networks. CNN and MSNBC also posted record gains.

With Donald Trump’s 75-minute acceptance speech as the Republican candidate for president, Fox News posted its strongest results for the four-day event -- averaging 7.2 million overall viewers for the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. prime-time period and 1.73 million 25-54 viewers, the key viewing group for TV news advertisers.
.
According to MediaPost, CNN was next with 4.3 million total average viewers and 1.38 million 25-54 viewers. MSNBC had 2.5 million viewers and 716,000 25-54 viewers.

Broadcast network coverage -- from 10 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. -- didn’t change much for NBC. But there were higher totals for ABC and CBS on the last night.

NBC came in at 4.6 million total viewers and 1.77 million 25-54 viewers, followed by ABC with 3.9 million total viewers and 1.4 million 25-54 viewers, and CBS at 3.8 million and 1.2 million 25-54 viewers.

For the four-day period, NBC pulled in 4.6 million viewers and 1.7 million 25-54 viewers; ABC scored 3.1 million overall viewers and 1.1 million 25-54 viewers; and CBS had 3 million overall viewers and 916,000 25-54 viewers.

Radio Agrees With DOJ On ASCAP, BMI Decrees

Representatives of local radio and television broadcasters expressed support for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed conclusions in its multi-year review of antitrust consent decrees regulating two of the nation’s largest music performing rights organizations in comments filed last week.

The review concluded that no modifications were warranted to the decrees affecting the songwriter royalties collected by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and that ASCAP and BMI should continue to offer licenses that provide broadcasters and other users full rights to the musical works in those licensing organizations’ repertories. Under the current system, radio broadcasters pay $350 million, and local television broadcasters some $150 million, to songwriters and their music publishers every year.

Music industry interests have contended in recent public statements that the DOJ’s conclusions represent a radical departure from past practice that will disrupt the orderly licensing of music performance rights. Contrary to these claims, the broadcasters point out in their filing that their ASCAP and BMI licenses have conveyed the right to perform, without limitation, all of the works in those licensing organizations’ repertories for decades, in line with the similarly broad grants of license authority ASCAP and BMI have obtained from the owners of the musical works.

Broadcasters also pushed back on the music industry’s efforts to modify longstanding practice by permitting ASCAP and BMI to provide only partial copyright authorizations in the case of jointly owned works. Allowing this practice would be anticompetitive, would undermine the very rationale for ASCAP’s and BMI’s existence, and would significantly disrupt the day-to-day operations of local radio and television stations, the broadcasters said. Broadcasters would need to locate and secure licenses from countless other rights owners, an impossibly expensive and practically infeasible task that would expose them to potentially ruinous copyright infringement claims.

In their comments, the broadcasters concluded that, “there is no reason to anticipate the kind of license turmoil” predicted by the music industry in the future. Instead, local radio and television broadcasters remain prepared to carry on business as usual: negotiating and entering into the same forms of license arrangements they have always maintained, and providing fair compensation to music copyright owners.

“America’s hometown radio and television broadcasters applaud the Justice Department’s apparent conclusion not to modify the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees after a careful and thorough review,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Contrary to reports otherwise, this expected decision maintains the fundamental antitrust safeguards for the licensing of musical works – to the benefit of copyright owners, users, and consumers – and does not jeopardize the longstanding and successful relationship that broadcasters have had with ASCAP, BMI, and the copyright owners they represent. Indeed, broadcasters do not expect this decision to reduce the more than $500 million in royalties that television and radio broadcasters pay each year to the composer and songwriting communities.”

NYC Radio: Michael Kay Re-Signs With WEPN

WEPN 98.7 FM ESPN New York  has re-signed veteran New York City broadcaster Michael Kay to a three-year contract extension that will keep the longtime radio voice with the station through 2018. The successful team of Kay, host of The Michael Kay Show, and partner Don LaGreca has been an afternoon drive mainstay for New York sports fans since 2002.

The duo will continue to interact with listeners during afternoon drive, as they have for the past 14 years, discussing the latest sports news and previewing upcoming events in an entertaining manner, infused with opinion, analysis and humor. The Michael Kay Show is broadcast weekdays from 3 – 7 p.m. ET and will continue to be simulcast on the YES Network, as it has been since February 2014.

“Mike has been the cornerstone of ESPN Radio New York for the past 14 years and his audience is growing,” said Tim McCarthy, General Manager, ESPN New York 98.7FM. “He is a familiar and friendly voice for the New York sports fan.  His credibility and passion each day provide New York Metro listeners an entertaining and informative choice for their commute home.  He is one of the best in the sports business and I am proud he will remain part of the 98.7FM team.”

Kay added, “After 14 years, I am l thrilled to remain with 98.7FM and seized this opportunity to continue doing sports talk radio in a fun and entertaining way. Don and I don’t take our positions or the loyalty of our listeners who spend their afternoons with us for granted. They are part of our family. And we treat them that way!  I am really excited about 98.7FM’s future and am very happy to remain with such a great company, ESPN.”

Branson Radio: Steve Willoughby Exits KRZK-FM

Steve and Janet
Local radio personality Steve Willoughby was surrounded by friends, family and co-workers Friday morning as he stepped away from the microphone for the final time after 22 years hosting the “Steve and Janet in the Morning” on KRZK 106.3 FM alongside his partner Janet Ellis.

He's exiting the station for a new business venture/

“It started to (sink in) last night,” he told bransontrilakesnews.com on Friday morning. “The six (a group of friends including Willoughby and his wife) got together and reminisced and I started thinking about it. I got up early this morning and took it all in. I feel very confident in my decision, and I feel very confident in what Janet is going to do moving forward.

An employee at Earl’s Family Broadcasting since 1986, Willoughby did the morning show with “The Lady Outlaw” Jessica James. After realizing there was a fundamental difference between the two personalities, James left the show.

The station decided they wanted to keep the show going with Willoughby and began looking for a replacement.

Enter Ellis, who was hired in July of 1994. The chemistry was almost immediate, and the show was a hit. Willoughby said the show was able to remain a staple of the community for 22 years thanks to achieving true parity.

The duo worked together for more than two decades using the “good cop, bad cop,” or “babyface, heel” characters.

“I thought we were successful and able to stay on the air for all those years because I lost my sense of smell in April of 1994, and my sense of taste about two months later,” Ellis laughed. “After that, it was easy to fit in with Willoughby’s lifestyle.”

Ellis will return to the air chair for “Janet and Friends” one week from Monday, while Willoughby will continue working on his new business venture, the aptly named Speaking of Willoughby.

July 23 Radio History


In 1937...legendary Top 40 Personality Robert W. Morgan was born.

As a youth growing up in Galion, Ohio, Morgan's interest was piqued while listening to his favorite DJs on Cleveland's top forty giant KYW which would eventually lead to his first on-air job was at Wooster College in 1955 on WWST & WWST-FM, for an initial salary of $1 per hour.

In 1959 Morgan moved from college radio to KACY Port Hueneme, California where he hosted the over night show called Kegler's Spare Time with Bob Morgan live from the Wagon Wheel Bowl before moving on to a succession of brief stints beginning in 1961 at KTEE Carmel as the second half of a two-man classical music announcer on KTEE with Bob Elliott, a Marine Corps Heavyweight Champion who later went on to radio fame as "K.O. Bailey," then a short time later as the morning drive DJ and mid-day board op for the Arthur Godfrey Show at KMBY, Monterey, then a jump to KOMY Watsonville, then back to KMBY Monterey followed in 1962 at "K-MAKE", KMAK, Fresno where he first worked with program director Ron Jacobs. This was followed in 1963 by an eight-month stay at KROY Sacramento before finally landing his first major-market job in 1964 at KEWB, San Francisco. It was here that he met and worked with his lifelong friend "The Real" Don Steele.



On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programmer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status almost overnight when they joined the staff of KHJ-AM, Los Angeles. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station.

It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973.


Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery. It was also during this time that Morgan co-produced and narrated the 48-hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969, a definitive on-air encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. It was the first-ever "rock-umentary" aired worldwide as a definitive history of the Rock & Roll genre—a "rockumentary," as producers Drake and Gene Chenault would call it—that would stretch from the early 1950s to 1989.

In 1970 Morgan made a surprise move from Los Angeles to WIND Radio Chicago where he remained in the morning slot until finally being enticed back to his KHJ morning show in 1972.

Until his departure from KHJ in October 1970, Morgan had commanded unparalleled radio ratings in Los Angeles. Morgan's return to his former time slot in L.A., which saw a significant spike upward for KHJ until he departed just a year later.

In 1973, Morgan and Steele walked out of KHJ and joined Bill Drake six months later at KIQQ-FM, Los Angeles. The ratings were sub-par, though, causing Morgan to leave the morning slot a year and a half later for weekends and fill-in slots at the prestigious KMPC Los Angeles. He stayed at KMPC until 1984. After a short stint at KMGG, Morgan returned to KMPC.

Morgan was heard in 1973 on Saturday night segments of the long-running NBC Radio program Monitor, an attempt to freshen that program's image. While with KMGG, he was at one time heard as a substitute host of American Top 40. During the mid to late 70s, Morgan also did his own one-hour radio weekly special highlighting one artist or group per show. "Robert W. Morgan's Special of the Week" was often played on radio stations that also carried Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as the same company, Watermark, distributed both.

The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101, where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer. According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two-packs-a-day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years."



In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.

He died from cancer May 22, 1998 at age 60. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame the following year.


In 1940..Don Imus born.

Imus - 1970
Imus was born in Riverside, California, the son of Frances E. and John Donald Imus, Sr., and the older brother of former talk show host Fred Imus.

He served in the Marine Corps as a bugler from 1957 to 1960.

Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis. After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.

After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California. His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.



After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC 660 AM, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label (This Honky's Nuts, an album of his stand up comedy act at the Manhattan nightclub "Jimmy's".  There was also a 1973 RCA Victor single, "Son of Checkers," issued by Imus. The single reached #123 in the Record World survey.

"Imus...In The Morning...In The Evening" aired nationally in the fall of 1973, part of NBC Radio's attempt to revive "Monitor", it's long-running weekend magazine. The Saturday night segment rotated popular hosts Imus, Wolfman Jack, and Robert W. Morgan

Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK.


In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good." Although Stern's show aired later in the day, Imus and Stern often made brief appearances on each other's shows, giving the audience an occasional glimpse of an on-and-off-air rivalry that continued for many years.


During this period, Imus was best known for character Billy Sol Hargis, a radio evangelist whose name was a cross between infamous real-life radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and real-life Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes. As Hargis, Imus touted on-air the merits of the "First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship".

Imus was also the utility announcer for Geraldo Rivera's monthly TV series Good Night, America, which aired as a recurring segment of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment program, and he was one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of the VH-1 cable network in 1985.


In 1988, WNBC radio was sold to Emmis Broadcasting; on October 7, 1988, WNBC permanently signed off the air and Emmis' WFAN was moved from 1050 AM to WNBC's former spot, 660 AM. Imus in the Morning remained at 660 AM among WFAN's sports programs with his music and comedy bits as the staples of the program and the beginnings of a political forum.

The radio show became nationally syndicated in 1993, and began simulcasting on MSNBC in 1996. He wore his signature cowboy hat during his broadcasts.

Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year 1990, 1992 and 1997 and one for Network Syndicated Personality (1994).


Dick Biondi
In 1963...Former Chicago nighttime DJ Dick Biondi ends his self-imposed exile from radio and joins KRLA 1110 AM in Pasadena, Calif. Both KRLA and KFWB are neck and neck in the overall radio ratings in Los Angeles.

The KRLA line-up is Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quillin and Bob Hudson.



In 1963...New York City is the nation’s largest radio market and competitionis fierce. Most of the larger stations are owned by corporations - WOR - RKO, WABC-ABC, WNBC-NBC, WCBS-CBS, WINS-Group W (Westinghouse), WHN-Storer, WNEW-Metropolitan. Each is 50,000 watts and all have rather goodsignals. There’s another competitor - this one’s only 5,000 watts and is family owned and operated - WMCA 570 AM  - which is owned by the Straus family.


The ratings are in and for the first time ever, WMCA is on top. The station has adopted adifferent concept to their DJ lineup - personality and team togetherness and itshows on the air and in person - more than any other station in the United States.


Thanks to program director Ruth Meyer,the WMCA Goodguys are taking NewYork by storm. The WMCA Goodguys show up at events together, as many as possible - all with their sweatshirts and black pants.  WMCA’s music policy is to play the hits and be the first to jump on music trends. It considers itself a very competitive radio station.


In 1966...Coca-Cola launched thebiggest radio spot campaign in its history, featuringtop recording artists in an all-out drive for the teenmarket. Each artist is spotlighted in a differentversion of the “ Things Go Better With Coke ” jingle. Coke was the seventh largest ratio timebuyer last year, will now vault to the number onebuyer of national radio commercials. Artists signedby ad agency McCann-Erickson for showcasing include Petula Clark, the Coasters, the Four Seasons, Freddie and the Dreamers, WayneFontana and the Mind Benders, Jan and DeanTom Jones, Roy Orbison, the Shirelles, theSupremes and Sue Thompson.



The jingle was written by William Backer of McCann-Erickson. Backer says each commercial will strive to retain the artist’s individuality in the recording of each version of “Things Go BetterWith Coca-Cola.” In that way, the artist’s unique singing style and basis for his appeal is harnessed to capture the listener’s attention.


In 1966...KBLA 1500 AM in Burbank, Calif, fires its staff of DJ’s in order to give listeners more music. According to general manager Mel Leeds, the Top-40station would now be able to play more music than those stations with air personalities. The policy now for KBLA will be to play two-three or more records without DJ interruptions. This is unheard of in top-40 radio. Released by the station were DJ’s Chet Douglas, Larry Tyler, Jim Wood, and Tom Clay.  Leedssays that by eliminating talk, the commercial messages are showcased moredramatically and effectively.


In 1966...Both WMCA and WABC, NewYork pull ‘They’re Coming To Take MeAway” by Napoleon XIV off the air. WMCA says they have received various complaints about the record, which lampoons mental illness. Even though the record is #1 on theWMCA Goodguy survey, they’re not playing it! Teens picketed WMCA carrying such signs as “We’re coming to take WMCA Away! Unfair to Napoleon in Everyway.” Aplane flying a banner over popular JonesBeach over the weekend, protested WMCA’s banning of the record. WABCProgram Director Rick Sklar said his station had letters from doctors and institutions saying the record hurt their image.


In 1982...KTSA-AM San Antonio goes stereo


In 1983...R&R Street Talk Flashback...



In 2010…Newsman/commentator (CNN, CBS, NPR) Daniel Schorr, the first on-camera employee hired at CNN, died at the age of 93.

Friday, July 22, 2016

New Report: Radio Revenue Up, Newspapers Tank


The pace of losses in the American newspaper and magazine publishing industry accelerated in the first quarter of 2016, according to data from the US Census Bureau, reported by Crikey.

Total US newspaper publishing revenues, including advertising and circulation, fell 4.4%, from US $6.51 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to US $6.22 billion in the first quarter of 2016. (The census figures are not broken down into separate figures for ads and circulations.) That was after a 3.8% fall in 2015 revenues, from US $28.1 billion in 2014 to US$27 billion.

US magazine publishers had total revenues fall 4.5% in the first quarter of this year from the same period in 2015, from US $6.66 billion to US $6.36 billion, after a 3.7% drop in 2015 from 2014 from US $29.4 billion to US $28.3 billion.



According to MediaPost, this data used to be issued by the Newspaper Association of America and the Publishers Information Bureau, says the report, broken down into data for ad revenues by type and newspaper and magazine sales. Both stopped publicizing this data three years ago.

The first quarter falls in revenue underlines that nothing is growing for newspaper and magazine publishers, especially digital ad and circulation revenues, or at least not growing fast enough to offset the slide in analogue print ads and sales revenues, concludes the report.

The Census Bureau data showed that radio and TV revenues rose 4.5% in the March quarter of this year to US $17.546 billion from US $16.819 billion in the first quarter of 2015. Cable TV revenues jumped 6.8% in the same period, to US $19.76 billion from $18.26 billion.

Liberty Media 'Fishing' For Pandora


Liberty Media Corp. Chief Executive Greg Maffei, whose company controls satellite-radio operator Sirius XM Holdings Inc. hasn’t been very complimentary about music-streaming services in recent months.

“We have looked at the business models on a bunch of the streaming companies and found it very hard to see them [as] attractive,” Maffei told investors at a March conference.

Behind the scenes, however, the story is more complex, according to The Wall Street Journal. In recent months, Maffei floated an offer to acquire internet-radio company Pandora Media Inc. for roughly $15 a share, several dollars above where the shares traded at the time, said people familiar with the matter. The offer valued the company at over $3.4 billion.

Mr. Maffei’s approach didn’t have the characteristics of a formal bid, one of the people said, appearing to be more of “a fishing expedition.” Pandora’s board rebuffed the advance because it believed the company’s true value was closer to what it was in the fall, when the stock traded around $20, this person said.

Pandora shopped itself to other potential buyers, including Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., earlier this year, said other people familiar with the matter said.


Later, in June, at a private meeting with investors in Denver, Mr. Maffei talked up the benefits of a potential Sirius XM-Pandora tie-up, according to people who were there. Asked during the meeting why a deal had yet to be sealed, he told attendees, “You’d have to ask the Pandora board.”

Now investors are wondering whether Mr. Maffei will raise his bid—and what he might do if he won Pandora.

In an interview, Sirius XM Chief Executive Jim Meyer declined to comment on any takeover approach to Pandora, But he said that since his company represents a $5 billion part of the $25 billion radio business, he often kicks around whether he would like to have a bigger presence in the business.

Read More Now (Paywall)

Pandora Posts Weak Results, Active Listeners Drop

Pandora Media Inc., the internet radio service that’s become the subject of heated merger speculation, posted second-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ estimates as active listeners fell.

Bloomberg reports the company posted a loss of 12 cents a share, excluding some items, according to a statement Thursday. That was smaller than the 15-cent average loss projected by analysts in a Bloomberg survey and larger than a year earlier. Second-quarter revenue rose 20 percent to $343 million, short of analysts’ projections of $351.7 million.

Founder Tim Westergren, who returned as chief executive officer in March, is trying to almost quadruple sales to $4 billion by 2020 by steering the company into new businesses, such as ticket sales and concert promotion. That’s led to forecasts for wider losses. Pandora, which was exploring a possible sale, received an informal offer of $15 a share in recent months from Sirius XM Holdings Inc., which is controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company spurned the overture.
  • Pandora fell 2.8 percent to $12 in late trading.
  • Active listeners fell to 78.1 million from 79.4 million a year ago.
  • Ad revenue grew 15 percent to $265.1 million, reflecting spotty gains in national advertising.
  • Listener hours increased 7 percent to 5.66 billion from a year earlier.
Pandora lost $25.1 million, in the center of its $20 million to $30 million expectations for the quarter. Pandora’s share price was down 7.5 percent immediately after the earnings announcement.


That’s after a strong quarter, where share prices rose 40 percent thanks to Q1’s solid earnings and revenue guidance increase. Pandora’s algorithmic radio app keeps spinning, but another quarter has gone by without the launch of its on-demand product built from the bones of its $75 million acquisition of Rdio.

“We are making strong progress on Pandora’s transformation into a complete music marketplace,” said Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren. “We made considerable progress on our product development plans while also improving margins sequentially. Pandora plans to deliver a powerfully differentiated music experience to accelerate growth and deliver value to listeners, music makers, advertisers and ultimately shareholders.”

Pandora Bets On Podcasts To Increase Listening

Pandora is looking to add more non-music programming to its streaming service, said Chief Operating Officer Sarah Clements during Pandora’s Q2 earnings call Thursday.

Variety reports the company could use podcasts and other non-music content to retain and regain audiences, and further grow listening hours without the expenses that come with music licensing.

Pandora has already been experimenting a bit with non-music content in recent months. The company began to stream “This American Life” and “Serial” in November, and has since streamed a total of 20 million episodes of the two shows combined, according to Clemens.

“Half of Pandora users are already consuming non‐music content weekly on alternate platforms,” she said.

Pandora views this as incremental listening, since people tune into non-music programming during different hours of the day than into music stations. What she didn’t say is that podcasts are often a lot cheaper for streaming services, since they don’t require royalty payments to music rights holders — something that has been eating up a good chunk of Pandora’s revenue.

Listening hours grew to a total of 5.66 billion for the quarter, growing 7 percent year-over-year, but monthly active listeners declined slightly to 78.1 million, down from 79.4 million.

Ailes Era Ends, Murdoch Interim CEO For Fox News

(Reuters) --  Roger Ailes on Thursday resigned as chairman and chief executive of Fox News Channel following allegations of sexual harassment, an abrupt end to his 20-year rein over America's most lucrative and powerful cable news channel for conservatives.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch, 85, the executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, the parent of Fox News, will assume the role of CEO Fox News and Fox Business Network on an interim basis, the company said on Thursday.

Ailes, who will serve as an informal adviser to Rupert Murdoch and no longer have an official role at the company, will receive a severance package of about $40 million, according to a source familiar with the situation, who asked to remain anonymous.

In his resignation letter to Murdoch, Ailes did not indicate he had done anything wrong.

"I take particular pride in the role that I have played advancing the careers of the many women I have promoted to executive and on-air positions," Ailes wrote in the letter, which his lawyer Susan Estrich provided to Reuters.

However, he added: "I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry."


The resignation marks a swift downfall for Ailes, the 76-year-old media executive who advised several U.S. Republican presidents, including George H.W. Bush, and turned Fox News into the most-watched U.S. cable news channel.


Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes earlier this month, claiming sexual harassment. Ailes has denied the charges. Fox hired a law firm to conduct an internal investigation.

Roger Ailes Lands Golden Parachute

Roger Ailes won’t leave Fox News empty-handed. The former chairman and CEO will walk away with a healthy severance package following his resignation on Thursday.

Ailes will receive about $40 million from the cable news network as part of the settlement agreement surrounding his departure, approximately the amount remaining on his current contract, which was due to expire in 2018, according to media reports.

The agreement also prevents Ailes from starting a Fox News competitor, and requires him to stay on as an adviser to Rupert Murdoch, who will take over as interim chairman and CEO for the time being.

The man credited with founding one of the most profitable cable networks in history exits in disgrace amid a lawsuit filed on July 6 by former “Real Story” host Gretchen Carlson, who accused her erstwhile boss of sexual harassment. 21st Century Fox swiftly opened an investigation into the claims that remains ongoing, one whose findings have not yet been disclosed.

“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years,” Murdoch said in a statement.

Ailes was named the founding CEO of Fox News in 1996 and the network quickly gained popularity while he called the shots. Fox News is now regularly among the most-watched networks in all of cable and dominates the cable news category.

Who's Next To Lead Fox News?

Rupert Murdoch tapped Roger Ailes to create and run the network in 1996, ushering in a controversial new era in cable news.

By hiring hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and enforcing a conservative editorial point of view, Ailes developed a virtual public square for the American right and filled a void on television. It has dominated all other cable news channels for 14 years.

The channel claimed to be "fair and balanced," but in reality its programming was tilted in favor of conservative opinions and Republican politics, reflecting the views of Ailes himself. Fox mixed daily news reporting and nightly conservative opinion in ways that many critics found to be damaging to American discourse. But Fox's many fans said it was a necessary counterweight to liberal media bias.

Within six years, Fox came to dominate cable news ratings, dethroning CNN, and it has been a wildly successful business, with annual profits believed to exceed $1 billion.

Bill Shine
Last year Fox News was the number two channel on cable, behind only ESPN.

Ailes was admired and envied for his talent management skills. But in recent weeks some women have described a darker side.

With Murdoch the announced interim chief at Fox News, speculation swirls on the permanent replacement.

A name often dissused is current Fox News/SVP Bill Shine, according to money.cnn.com.  He runs programming for Fox News Channel's robust primetime roster. Politico reports there was some surprise that Shine wasn't simply elevated to the CEO perch right away.

The whole Rupert interim shuffle could credibly be read as a sign that the Murdoch sons really do want to plot a new direction for the network. Shine would be read as a sign the network wanted to continue the Ailes tradition.

Report: If Hillary Wins, FCC's Wheeler Stays

Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler intends to stay in his job until the middle of next year if presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House, multiple telecommunications industry sources told Bloomberg BNA.

Wheeler has avoided any public pronouncements about when he might leave the agency. FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart declined to comment. However, industry sources said the chairman has told telecommunications industry insiders privately about his plans for next year.

Staying until mid-2017 gives Wheeler a better shot at wrapping up several big-ticket agency initiatives, sealing his legacy as an activist chairman. Wheeler is hoping to finish several controversial agency proposals before he leaves the chairmanship, including rules impacting the business broadband market, broadband privacy related to his net neutrality rules and a complex auction to shift spectrum licenses from television broadcasters into the hands of mobile carriers hungry for more airwaves.

A mid-2017 time frame could also be just what a Clinton administration would prefer, several sources said.

Wheeler technically could serve out his full five-year commission term, which doesn't end until Nov. 3, 2018. That is not likely; according to conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, a Clinton loyalist is expected to take the helm of an agency that has grown from relative obscurity to playing a prominent policy role in the Obama administration.

Youngstown Radio: John Crenshaw New OM For Cumulus Cluster

John Crenshaw
Cumulus Media announced Thursday that it has appointed John Crenshaw as Operations Manager for its station group in Youngstown, OH.

Crenshaw moves to his home state of Ohio from Grand Rapids, MI, where he was Regional Operations Manager for 10 Cumulus stations in Grand Rapids and northern Michigan, and Program Director of WTNR. A native of Edinburg, Ohio, Crenshaw started his successful radio career over 30 years ago at WOKG in Youngstown.

Gary Pizzati, Senior Vice President, Cumulus Media, said: “We’re thrilled to bring John back home and at the helm of station operations in Youngstown. John has roots in northeast Ohio which will be instrumental in our next phase of growth with our iconic brands.”

Mike McVay, Senior Vice President, Content and Programming, Cumulus Media, said: “The level of experience and programming sophistication that John brings to the Mahoning Valley gives us an immediate advantage.”

Crenshaw said: “As a native son of northeast Ohio, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be coming home to work with some of the best people and biggest brands in our industry.  My thanks to Mike McVay, Doug Hamand, Gary Pizzati, Bob Walker and Jeff Cartwright for making this move possible.”