Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Family Of FNC's Brett Baier Escape Serious Injury As Car Flips

Fox News anchor Bret Baier and his family were in a car accident while vacationing in Montana on Monday, which CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert described as serious.

The Baier Family
“We just found out that he and his family were in a car accident in Montana,” Colbert said, referring to Baier, who was scheduled to be a guest on CBS's "The Late Show." "Bad, like, jaws of life to get him out of there."

"They’re all in the hospital but they’re going to be OK," he continued. "And we just want to say: We hope you’re doing better.”

“Bret’s message to everyone out there is: They’re going to be OK, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for him and his family, and please, wear your seatbelt," Colbert added. "It makes a difference.”

The Hill reports Baier, 48, who has a wife and two sons, released a statement on Monday night to describe the accident and to thank those who helped him and his family get to the hospital quickly. Baier is expected to be back on the air Tuesday evening.

“After a weekend of skiing with my wife and two boys in Montana, driving to the airport Monday morning on icy roads, we were involved in a major car crash," Baier said in a statement. "Thanks to a man driving by named Zach who stopped and helped, we were able to climb out of the flipped car. And thanks to the first responders and Montana Highway Patrol — we made it to the hospital quickly. We are very grateful to all of those who helped us out.

SoCast Presents Series Free Webinars On Digital Growth Made Easy

SoCast, the premier provider of digital audience engagement and revenue-generating solutions for radio, has launched a monthly series of free webinars to help radio stations take full advantage of opportunities in digital.

The first webinar in the series takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, January 23, at 2PM EDT/11AM PDT. Free registration is available to everyone in radio by clicking here.

“The reason we’re doing this series is because we love Radio and we know how Radio can win with digital,” explained Elliott Hurst, Chief Executive Officer of SoCast. “The advertising pie is growing by double-digits annually, and the growth is all in digital.

“Radio is poised to take its piece but needs help figuring out how to make digital growth easy and profitable,” Hurst continued. “We made the webinar series free so that we can share that knowledge with as many radio folks as possible.”

Throughout the free series, SoCast webinars will tackle a wide range of topics, including:
  • how radio sellers can become local digital advertising experts
  • how to generate revenue from external sites and social media
  • how to create engaging content for digital;
  • how to program your digital day – complementing on-air content with digital
  • how to identify and gather ‘meaningful’ audience data and use it effectively
“Engaging audiences in digital is essential to the evolution of radio,” stated Sandy Hurst, Chief Operating Officer of SoCast. “The audience insights gleaned from digital are often misunderstood or not fully leveraged. It’s important to understand what data to gather and how to use it, for both programming and sales success.”

Eric Eisen, Director of Sales and Marketing for SoCast who will present the webinars, commented, “Our first webinar for 2019 will take a 40,000-foot view of the digital landscape and focus on what radio stations need to know about digital in 2019. By embracing digital, radio can continue to be the leading powerhouse local medium.”

For more information about SoCast Webinars or its suits of digital products for radio, stations may contact Eric Eisen, Director of Sales and Marketing, at 416-635-6678, ext. 223, or eric@socastdigital.com.

Comscore Scores Full Group Deal With NBC and Telemundo

Comscore and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (NBC and Telemundo owned stations), a division of NBCUniversal that includes 40 television stations, today announced they have formed a multi-year partnership.

Effective immediately, all NBC and Telemundo owned stations will use Comscore's linear TV currency, as well as its local mobile and desktop insights to enhance the way the stations measure their performance to better serve their local and national advertisers and brands. As part of this agreement, NBC and Telemundo owned stations will also use Comscore's automotive, political and consumer targeting segments to deliver a clearer representation of the stations' value, relevance and performance to clients.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Comscore (SCOR) from four markets to our full owned station footprint," said Frank Comerford, chief revenue officer and president of commercial operations, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. "As our industry continues to evolve and consumers' consumption preferences change, Comscore's currency will help us strengthen the way we already do business. As the only station group to have the ability to reach English, Spanish and bilingual audiences, Comscore's suite of tools will make it even easier for clients and advertisers to optimize their investments in our stations."

"We are excited to see our partners' – both on the local and national levels – growing confidence in Comscore's linear TV currency," said Bryan Wiener, CEO of Comscore. "In this increasingly dynamic media landscape, it's clear that forward-looking partners like NBC and Telemundo owned stations are looking for a modern currency that more aptly represents their audiences, so they can provide their local and national advertisers with more relevant insights across platforms and markets."

CBS Sports HQ To Provide Extensive Super Bowl Coverage

CBS Sports HQ, the 24/7 streaming sports news network available for free across digital platforms, will deliver more than 30 hours of live, original programming from Atlanta. Along with several live daily shows from Radio Row beginning Jan. 28, CBS Sports HQ will deliver additional on-site reports throughout each day, and on game day will stream 10 hours of original pregame coverage, plus postgame analysis and highlights.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 28, original programming on CBS Sports HQ includes:
  • Kanell and Bell (Monday-Friday, 10:00-11:00 AM, ET): Each morning, hosts Danny Kanell, Raja Bell and guests will be live from Atlanta getting fans up to speed with the big storylines of the day. Each show will also be available as a podcast episode.
  • Pick 6 Rundown (Monday-Friday, 12:00-1:00 PM, ET): Will Brinson, Pete Prisco, Jason La Canfora, and Brady Quinn will be live from Radio Row every day breaking down the big stories on and off the field. The quick-paced, rundown-style show will get fans caught up with the day’s news, including injury updates and news from practices, plus picks with SportsLine experts, a countdown of the 53 most interesting props, and live interviews with guests. Each show will also be available as a podcast episode.
  • Reiter’s Block (Monday-Friday, 5:00-5:30 PM, ET): Host Bill Reiter will deliver the biggest interviews from Radio Row, featuring in-depth discussions with football legends and active players.
  • SportsLine (Monday-Friday, 6:00-7:00 PM, ET): Host Nick Kostos will be joined by SportsLine experts to deliver metrics-driven analysis and advice on all of the day’s matchups, plus the biggest news each night heading into Sunday.
  • CBS Sports HQ Extravaganza (Sunday, Feb. 3, 8:00 AM-6:00 PM, ET): For its pregame show, CBS Sports HQ will host a 10-hour extravaganza. Each hour will include a competition involving CBS Sports Digital talent and current and former players.
  • Live Postgame Coverage (Sunday, Feb. 3, 10:00 PM-12:00 AM, ET): Live until midnight, ET, CBS Sports HQ will deliver postgame highlights and reactions from host Nick Kostos and analyst Bryant McFadden joined by Pete Prisco and Brady Quinn on the field.
  • On Sunday, Feb. 3, CBS Sports will stream Super Bowl LIII across more platforms than ever, delivering unprecedented access to the game coverage. CBS Sports’ streaming coverage of the game will be available unauthenticated online at CBSSports.com and on the CBS Sports app for connected TV devices, tablets, and now mobile phones as part of an expanded agreement with the NFL announced last year. CBS Sports’ broadcast coverage of Super Bowl LIII will also be available to stream live via the CBS All Access subscription service.

Fox Sports Radio Unveils Super Week Coverage

FOX Sports Radio has announced its 19th annual Super Week coverage.

Presented by Amazon Fire TV and broadcast across a network of more than 400 station in the U.S., as well as FOXSportsRadio.com and iHeartRadio, the network will transport fans to the center of the action in Atlanta, Ga., from January 28 - February 1, with live, on-location programming featuring interviews with NFL athletes, coaches, newsmakers and celebrities.

FOX Sports Radio’s continuous Super Week coverage will feature live broadcasts by Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis (6 – 9 a.m. ET), The Doug Gottlieb Show (3 – 6 p.m. ET), Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell (6 – 7 p.m. ET), and The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker (7 – 10 p.m. ET) from the NFL Media Center at the Georgia World Congress Center. AT&T/DIRECTV’s The Dan Patrick Show (9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET) and The Rich Eisen Show (12 – 3 p.m. ET) will broadcast live from Turner Sports Studios in Atlanta.

Keep up with all the great Super Week guests, opinions and predictions, and listen online or find an affiliate at www.FOXSportsRadio.com and iHeartRadio. For affiliations, please call Kurt Kretzschmar at 602-374-6351.

CBS Rejects Medical Marijuana Super Bowl Commercial

CBS has rejected a Super Bowl ad that makes a case for medical marijuana.

Acreage Holdings, which is in the cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing business, said it produced a 60-second ad that shows three people suffering from varying health issues who say their lives were made better by use of medical marijuana.

Acreage said its ad agency sent storyboards for the ad to the network and received a return email that said: “CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time.”

A CBS spokesperson told USAToday that under CBS broadcast standards it does not currently accept cannabis-related advertising.

“We’re not particularly surprised that CBS and/or the NFL rejected the content,” Acreage president George Allen said. “And that is actually less a statement about them and more we think a statement about where we stand right now in this country.”

Allen said the issue is that 30 states and the District of Columbia allow varying forms of marijuana use while the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

CBS is charging an average of $5.2 million for a 30-second ad in this year's game between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots on Feb. 3.

“It’s a public service announcement really more than it is an advertisement,” said Harris Damashek, Acreage’s chief marketing officer. “We’re not marketing any of our products or retail in this spot.”

An unfinished version of the 60-second ad introduces a Colorado boy who suffers from Dravet syndrome; his mother says her son would have dozens to hundreds of seizures a day and medical marijuana saved his life. A Buffalo man says he was on opioids for 15 years after three back surgeries and that medical marijuana gave him his life back. An Oakland man who lost part of his leg in military service says his pain was unbearable until medical marijuana.

TV Ratings: Pats-Chiefs 2nd Most-Watched AFC Championship

CBS Sports’ coverage of the New England-Kansas City AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 20 (6:41-10:21 PM, ET) averaged 53.9 million viewers (Persons 2+), making it the second-most watched AFC Championship Game in 42 years (CBS records go back to the 1977-78 NFL season), according to Nielsen fast national ratings.

The 53.9 million viewers for the game is up +27% versus last year’s comparable Championship Game window (42.3 million for Minnesota-Philadelphia in last year’s late-game).

Patriots-Chiefs earned a fast-national live + same-day average household rating/share of 27.5/46, also up +27% versus last year’s comparable Championship Game window (21.7/35 for Minnesota-Philadelphia).

The AFC Championship Game peaked with 63.8 million viewers and a 32.5/52 rating/share from 9:30-10:00 PM, ET.

Streaming coverage of the AFC Championship Game drove significant viewership growth from last year’s game, with the average minute audience up +77% and total minutes streamed up +64% year-over-year.

The NFC championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints drew a 27.1 overnight rating, or roughly 31.2 million viewers. The game was aired earlier by Fox, with a 3:05 p.m. ET kickoff.

Rams-Saints had the lowest rating for the early window since 2013.

Rockford IL Radio: Mike Juliano To Manage Townsquare Cluster

Townsquare Media/Rockford IL  has announced the appointment of Mike Juliano as Market President and Chief Revenue Officer.

Mike Juliano
The cluster consists of Rock WZOK 97.5 FM, Country WXXQ 98.5 FM, Classic Rock WKGL 96.7 FM and N/T WZOK 1400 AM.

Prior to joining the company, Juliano was Director of Sales for Beasley Media Group/Detroit. Before that, he led Entercom's sales efforts in Boston, and has served as Regional VP of Westwood One/Metro Traffic. In addition, while in New York City, Juliano worked as GSM for WKTU-FM, LSM of WLTW-FM and LSM for WHTZ-FM. He also held the positions of VP/GM and GSM at WPLR-FM and WYBC-FM/New Haven.

"Mike Juliano has a distinguished track record in our industry. He has enjoyed tremendous success in both General Manager and Director of Sales positions in small, medium, and major markets," said Senior VP/Local Media, Rob Williams. "Mike knows how to create a local media team that attracts and retains the best talent. Having seen first-hand the success he had in Connecticut, New York City, and Detroit, we are very fortunate to add him to our leadership team in Rockford."

Townsquare COO/Local Media Erik Hellum added, "Few people are as passionate as Mike is about our industry, about building great teams, and helping our clients grow their business, as he has proven over and over again in his career. With our 'local first' focus, Townsquare is very proud to have someone of Mike's caliber joining our company and leading our Townsquare Rockford team. And as an added bonus I finally get to work with Mike, which I've been trying to do for 30 years."

Binghamton NY Radio: Public Radio Unveils Programming Changes

On Sunday, February 3, 2019 WSKG public media will make bold programming changes on its two radio stations, WSKG 89.3 FM and WSQX 91.5 FM.

WSKG-FM (NPR) will convert to all News-Conversation and WSQX-FM will convert to all Classical Music with some jazz and weekend folk. According to the station announcement, there will be more news and conversation on WSKG for listeners who prefer that programming, and more music on WSQX for listeners who prefer that programming. It will be more of what you love.

WSKG President and CEO Greg Catlin says “Right now, both radio stations are mixed format stations, meaning they both offer news, conversation and music. Listeners have to switch back and forth all day and night to get what they want, and it can be confusing. By making this change to one format for each station our listeners and members can have a choice and get what they want.”

WSKG expects that by making the changes it will lead to gains in audience, membership and membership revenue, and it will position the public media organization for future growth. We firmly believe the majority of our listeners will embrace the new sound as it becomes more relevant to their lives, and that it will enhance the long-term health of WSKG and WSQX.

Whether we like it or not the world is in a digital revolution and that includes radio and how we consume radio in our homes, in our cars, on our computers, and especially on our mobile devices. WSKG and WSQX are ready so anyone can listen 24 hours a day on our website wskg.org or on voice-activated smart speakers.

R.I.P.: Reggie Young, Guitarist Played On Scores of Major Hits

Reggie Young
Reggie Young, a prolific studio guitarist who appeared on landmark recordings by Elvis Presley and many others and played a prominent role in shaping the sound of Southern popular music in the 1960s and ’70s, died from heart failuree on Thursday at his home in Leipers Fork, Tenn., just outside Nashville.

He was 82, according to The NYTimes.

Young played guitar on hundreds of hit recordings in a career that spanned more than six decades.

Among his best-known credits are the Box Tops’ “The Letter” and Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” both No. 1 pop singles in the late ’60s, and Neil Diamond’s 1969 Top 10 hit “Sweet Caroline.”

Young also played the funky chicken-scratch guitar lick on “Skinny Legs and All,” the soul singer Joe Tex’s 1967 Top 10 pop hit. He contributed the reverberating fills and swells that punctuate James Carr’s timeless soul ballad “The Dark End of the Street,” also from 1967. And his bluesy riffing buttressed the sultry, throbbing groove on “Son of a Preacher Man,” a Top 10 single for the British pop singer Dusty Springfield in 1968.

Young appeared on all these recordings, including those associated with Presley’s late-’60s return to the limelight, as a member of the Memphis Boys, the renowned house band for the producer Chips Moman’s American Sound Studio.

In addition to playing guitar, Mr. Young added the psychedelic accents of the electric sitar to a handful of influential recordings, among them the Box Tops’ “Cry Like a Baby” and B. J. Thomas’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” both of which reached the Top 10 in 1968.

After American Sound Studio closed in 1972, Mr. Young moved to Nashville, where his soulful less-is-more approach graced hits like Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away,” Waylon Jennings’s “Luckenbach, Texas” and Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind.”

Young’s Nashville session credits also include Billy Swan’s “I Can Help,” which topped both the country and pop charts in 1974.

Young made an indelible contribution, especially during his years in Memphis, to the Southernization of pop music in the 1960s and early ’70s. This influence was felt not just by the number of records made in the South that were played on AM radio throughout the nation.

R.I.P.: Maxine Brown Russell, Singer With The Browns

Maxine Brown Russell
Maxine Brown Russell, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of sibling trio The Browns, died in Little Rock, Arkansas, Monday from complications of heart and kidney disease.

Russell was 87 years old, according to The Tennessean.

Russell was born into her musical family on April 27, 1931, in Campti, Louisiana. She performed with siblings Jim Ed and Bonnie Brown as The Browns. The siblings' first chart single "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" peaked at No. 7 in 1955, and in 1956, their recording of "I Take the Chance" hit No. 2 on the country charts. However, The Browns were most known for their sweet harmonies on “The Three Bells,” which was released in 1959.

Produced by Chet Atkins, "The Three Bells" spent 10 weeks atop the country chart, four weeks on the pop charts, and even crossed over to the Hot R&B Sides chart, peaking at No. 10. Five decades after its release, “The Three Bells” experienced a minor resurgence when it was featured in two episodes of the final season of the HBO drama “The Sopranos.”

The Browns continued to find crossover success with songs including “The Old Lamplighter" and “Scarlet Ribbons.” Russell's first success as a songwriter came with The Browns' release of "Looking Back To See." In 1963, The Browns were invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.

January 22 Radio History

                                           Click Here for more historical events on this date

➦In 1889...The Columbia Phonograph Company began selling Edison phonograph cylinders and players in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. It derived its name from the District of Columbia, which was its headquarters.

President Coolidge
In 1924...U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

➦In 1956..."Fort Laramie" debuted on the CBS Radio Network starring Raymond Burr as Captain Lee Quince.

➦In 1940...“The Right to Happiness” written by radio soap diva Irna Phillips was first aired on the CBS Radio Network.  The daytime serial had begun on NBC Blue three months earlier.  And it would switch between CBS & NBC two more times during its 21 year run.

➦In 2011...Radio Pioneer Ruth Ann Myer WMCA (PD), WMGM, WHN (PD), WNEW (PD) NYC died at age 80.

In 1960, WMCA began promoting itself by stressing its on-air personalities, who were collectively known as the Good Guys. Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio,  this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

In the early 1960s, the top 40 format was still young, and the field was crowded in New York City. Two major 50,000-watt stations, WMGM (frequency now occupied by WEPN) and WINS, had battled each other, playing pop music for years. Then in 1960, WABC joined the fray and started featuring top 40 music. Ultimately, it was WMCA's earnest competition with rival WABC that forced WMGM (in early 1962) and then WINS (in spring 1965) to abandon the top-40 format. There was so much attention on the high-profile WMCA-WABC battle that WMGM and WINS were each summarily forced to find a new niche.

➦In 2012...Sportscaster Andy Musser, voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for 26 years, died at age 74.

He was part of a team, with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas, which broadcast Phillies games on both radio and television for 21 consecutive seasons from 1976 to 1997. He retired after the 2001 season.

Musser worked for WCAU radio and television in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1971. During this time, he served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Eagles football as well as 76ers and Villanova Wildcats basketball. One of the youngest lead broadcasters in the National Football League at the time, he covered the Eagles games with Charlie Gauer for four years until the station lost the broadcast rights to WIP-AM in 1969.  Musser also called various events for CBS Radio, including Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl VIII.

Musser was the lead voice for Chicago Bulls telecasts on WSNS from 1973 through 1976, pairing with Dick Gonski in the first two seasons and Lorn Brown in the third.   Musser would call New York Knicks games with Cal Ramsey on WOR-TV (away) and Manhattan Cable Television (home) for the next four seasons from 1976 to 1980. He handled all the matches in the first three years, but only the home ones in the fourth.

➦In 2012...40-year voice of Milwaukee sports Jim Irwin succumbed to kidney cancer at age 87.

➦In 2016…Longtime Chicago news anchor and program host (WBBM-AM, WBBM-TV, WMAQ-TV, WLS-TV WGN-TV) Jim Conway, whose career in the Windy City began in the early 1940s and spanned four decades, died at age 94.

Monday, January 21, 2019

CBS News Poll: The Jump In Popularity In Podcasts

Most Americans now listen to podcasts, and the percentage who do has risen considerably over just the past year. According to a new CBS News poll, two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts at least once in a while, including 23% who do so a few times a week.

By comparison, a year ago, a majority of Americans said they never listened to podcasts.

Podcast listening has increased in all age categories, but it has increased the most among younger adults. Now, 29% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 listen to podcasts at least a few times a week (up from 16% in December 2017).  A year ago, 47% of adults between 18 and 34 said they never listened to podcasts, compared to 18% today.

Podcasts were highlighted this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning:

Twice the Number of Adults Have Tried In-Car Voice Assistants

by Bret Kinsella, Voicebot.AI

Smart speakers and other devices with embedded voice assistants get a lot of media coverage, but twice as many U.S. adults have used voice in the car and monthly active users are 60% higher. Voicebot collaborated with Drivetime.fm and Voice of the Car Summit in analyzing data from a survey of 1,040 U.S. adults to better understand usage and attitudes toward voice assistant use in the car.

What they found was the car is firmly established as one of the big three voice assistant access points along with smartphones and smart speakers.

The key reasons why voice assistant use is bigger in the car today than smart speakers is that it has been around longer and there are more car owners than smart speaker owners. The first production in-car voice assistant was introduced a decade before the Amazon Echo and nearly 90% of U.S. adults have a car whereas only about 23% own a smart speaker.

In addition, the use cases for in-car voice assistants are well aligned with the environment: the driver’s hands and eyes are occupied. Whereas voice use in the home may offer heightened convenience, users tend to be freer to use screens to navigate digital interactions. Niko Vuori, CEO and founder of Drivetime.fm, commented about the importance of voice interaction in the car:

"It’s no surprise that voice is already used by more people in the car than in the home – after all, the car is the most natural environment for voice interaction given that your hands should be on the wheel and your eyes should be on the road."

Survey data show that 114 million U.S. adults have tried voice assistants in the car and 77 million have made it a monthly habit. That is a 67.5% conversion rate to monthly use. It also represents about 60% more monthly active users than the 45.7 million regular users of voice assistants through smart speakers.

Adult Contemporary Format Looking Very Healthy

Adult Contemporary is growing in popularity after several years of being in the doldrums and veteran programming consultant John Lund believes he knows why.

In a recent client newsletter posting Lund opines:

The format includes Hot AC, Bright AC and Soft AC.  According to Nielsen’s Portable People Meter (PPM) data for the period of January to November 2018, AC stations increased from 7.7% to 8.0%, including a jump in millennial listenership.   Conversely, Pop CHR is experiencing a decrease in listenership, specifically in listeners 18-34. 
What is driving this trend of increased listening to Adult Contemporary formats especially among the 18-34 demographic?   We see many reasons:

1. The rebirth of “Soft AC” after the success of “The Breeze” in San Francisco; stations playing a majority of slower tempo songs and 100% gold from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with one 2K song an hour. Ray Toney of Columbus MS says the Breeze is a substitute for Melatonin!

2.   The “Pop Music” cycle is waning with artists like Katy Perry, P!nk, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift no longer prolific in dominating the pop charts.

3.   Millennials are joining the workforce and may be listening to radio for the first time.  At work listening favors stations like Adult Contemporary playing broad appeal music.  The At Work time period remains the dominant PPM daypart because of the huge time spent listening it generates.  The Adult Contemporary format represents the perfect at work soundtrack because it appeals to the diverse workforce.

4.   AC music is a safe harbor in chaotic times of an ever changing news cycle, unrest in the nation’s capital, and stock market volatility.  This shift is also occurring in the Classic Hits format where the core decade has evolved into the 80’s.

5.   The broad appeal of Adult Contemporary does not depend on currents and recurrents.  AC provides the “comfort zone” for listeners wanting music familiarity.  The format plays hits from the 80’s and 90’s (and 70’s with the Breeze) as well as keeping them up to date by playing today’s hits.  The Breeze doesn’t play currents.

6.   Variety has been a hallmark to the success of Adult Contemporary radio.  So while Country, Rhythmic CHR, Alternative and Urban formats have to stay in their niches, AC has the era depth and genre depth to vary its playlist to the changing tastes of the audience.

Lund Media is a format specialist with all versions of Adult Contemporary.  If you need guidance on how to provide your listeners and advertisers with a top rated and top revenue producing format in your market, contact John@lundradio.com.

Orlando Radio: 103.1 The Wolf To Honor Blue With Family Picnic

JVC Media of Florida, WOTW 103.1 The Wolf  and Bud 94.1 – The King of Rock (WOTW-HD2) have announced the return of the annual BBQ 4 The Blue Family Picnic.

This FREE event for all Central Florida law enforcement officers, support staff, and their families is Saturday February 16th, 2019 at Freedom Park in Ocoee.  The BBQ 4 The Blue Family Picnic features FREE BBQ and food from local restaurants, beer for those 21 and up from City Beverages, live music, and family fun.

“103.1 The Wolf and Bud 94.1 proudly supports the brave men and women in law enforcement who protect us day in and day out and the families that stand behind them”, says Program Director Len Shackelford.  “Our BBQ 4 The Blue Family Picnic is a small token of our appreciation that brings together local heroes and families for a free down-home old-fashioned good time.”

General Manager Chris Ganoudis adds, “We have to thank both the City of Ocoee and Mayor Rusty Johnson for helping us host BBQ 4 The Blue – they are great partners of ours and offered the use of Freedom Park free of charge for this non-profit event.”  Ganoudis continues, “Each year, our clients and the community help us put this on as we wrap our arms around law enforcement and come together to show support for all they do for us.”

JVC’s Executive Vice President Shane Reeve adds his remarks, “Community involvement is one of the hallmarks of JVC Media.  Law enforcement officers and their families are true heroes and deserve a day to relax, eat, socialize, and have fun… for FREE!”  Reeve wraps up, “Our partners have stepped up to donate food, supplies, and more to make BBQ 4 The Blue a success.  Invite any heroes you know to this event.  They deserve it!”

Radio Mutes R Kelly

The powerful Lifetime special “Surviving R. Kelly” earlier this month has killed radio stations’ appetites locally and nationwide to play the R&B singer’s classic hits such as “Ignition” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”

Only 31 stations the past week spun an R. Kelly song three or more times nationwide, according to Mediabase 24/7, which tracks airplay of most major radio stations. A week earlier, which covered the time the special aired, 145 stations did so. That’s a 79 percent fall off in support. (Even R. Kelly’s hometown station V103, which had seven of his songs in regular rotation, had stopped playing him.)

The last time there was a mass boycott of a single artist of this magnitude was the Dixie Chicks after Natalie Maines insulted the president at  London concert during the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. On country radio that year, airplay of their songs dropped 90 percent from January to December. The group never recovered.

According to ajc.com, R. Kelly is no longer heard on any major station in Atlanta:
  • WALR Kiss 104.1 stopped spinning his songs in October.
  • WVEE V-103, which had been playing many of his songs as recently as December, has not done so a single time since January 3, when the three-night special began airing. The last time it played any R. Kelly song was January 2, “Your Body’s Callin’.”
  • WAMJ Majic 107.5/97.5 removed “Your Body’s Callin’” from regular rotation right before the special began airing. The last time that song was played on Majic? December 31, 2018.
Tony Gray, a Chicago-based urban radio consultant, said the “power of video” made a big difference in goading program directors to make this move. “And the reality is he doesn’t have anything current so it was easy for them to take him off the playlist,” he said. “The consumers won’t miss it.”

He also noted that RCA Records finally dropped R. Kelly today from its roster. “There were people protesting outside their offices yesterday,” he said. “The company said it’s not worth it. The documentary was well done and the women were believable.”

Oronike Odeleye, an Atlanta resident who helped create the #MuteRKelly movement in 2017 and was featured in the documentary, contacted all three stations in 2017 to try to convince them to remove R. Kelly songs from their playlist. Nobody paid heed at the time. The only notable win she was able to get was convincing syndicated host Tom Joyner to drop R. Kelly from his morning show playlist.

Still, the campaign against R. Kelly did impact his airplay last year in a broad sense. Mediabase 24/7 ranked him as the 448th most popular artist in radio in 2018, down from 316 in 2017 and 249 in 2016.

Overall airplay of R. Kelly songs had fallen by more than half between 2013 and 2018. Last year was his lowest total of spins on radio since at least 2006, the oldest year available from Mediabase 24/7.

One of R. Kelly’s biggest hits “Ignition” was spun 360 times nationwide the week before “Surviving R. Kelly” came out. That fell to 238 from January 4 through 10. Over the past seven days through January 17, only 19 stations played the song a total of 27 times. That’s a 93 percent drop in two weeks.

Disney Already Losing $1B+ In Streaming

Disney isn't launching its new streaming service until later this year, but investors are already learning the economic challenges of the business, according to CNBC.

The media company said in a filing on Friday that its investment in Hulu was the primary contributor to a $580 million loss in equity investments in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Additionally, Disney lost $469 million in its direct-to consumer-segment, largely from BAMtech, the streaming technology that powers ESPN+ and other over-the-top services.

That's more than $1 billion associated with streaming, the area where CEO Bob Iger is focusing his attention. Disney will debut its Disney+ offering later in 2019 to better compete with Netflix and Amazon.

Losses in streaming will likely surge in the early days of the venture, as content and technology costs spike, said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG. Disney has also yet to assume control of another 30 percent of Hulu, part of its $71.3 billion deal for the majority of 21st Century Fox. If Disney were to acquire Comcast's 30 percent stake in Hulu, that would further increase operating losses.

"Streaming requires a strong stomach for losses, especially as you are playing catch-up," Greenfield said in an interview.

Disney is hoping that, over time, millions of paying customers will subscribe to Disney+ for its new original content and library of Disney movies and TV shows. Pricing hasn't been disclosed. Netflix, which announced its quarterly earnings on Thursday, has 139 million global subscribers and just informed them that it's raising prices by 13 percent to 18 percent.

Disney announced its acquisition of a majority stake in BAMtech (formerly owned by Major League Baseball) in 2017, so its report for 2018 is the first to show consolidated earnings results for the company.

Sponsor Drops Shapiro For Reading Commercial At Pro-Life Rally

Ben Shapiro
Syndicated radio host Ben Shapiro reportedly lost an advertiser Friday after reading ads during his speech at the annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

According to The Hill, Quip toothbrushes said it will no longer advertise on any of Shapiro’s programming, saying it disagreed with having its ad read at the anti-abortion rally, HuffPost reported.

“Our mission is to make good oral health more accessible to everyone, and podcast advertising is one way we’re able to realize this,” Quip said in a statement.

“However, following one of our ads being read in a venue we did not endorse, we have chosen to discontinue our advertising relationship with this show. We are also taking steps to ensure all of our advertising partners are aligned with our oral health mission and values.”

During his appearance at the rally, Shapiro read ads for multiple sponsors. He read the ads for the podcast that he was simultaneously recording on Friday.

The 35-year-old Shapiro has a large following among younger conservatives. His podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show,” is downloaded more than 10 million times every month.

Sunday AM Fire Disrupts Fox, C-SPAN, MSNBC Studios

A fire Sunday morning in Northwest Washington, D.C., damaged studios for Fox News, C-SPAN and MSNBC, and forced "Fox News Sunday" to relocate its broadcast to a local affiliate's studio.

D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted that an electrical fire broke out in the 8th floor television studio but nobody was injured, reports The Hill.

Steve Scully, the political editor for C-SPAN, tweeted shortly after 7 a.m. that  the Fox News and C-SPAN studios sustained "extensive damage," and MSNBC's studio took on "extensive smoke and water damage."

"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace addressed the fire at the outset of Sunday's program.

"If things look a little bit different here today that’s because of the fact that we had a fire — yes, a fire — in our building on North Capitol Street, and so we’re over at our wonderful affiliate WTTG," Wallace said.

"We may not have a lot of the bells and whistles we normally have, but just take a little time travel and pretend you’re back in the 1950s and you’ll feel very comfortable about that," he joked.

Wallace noted the shift in venue multiple times throughout the broadcast. He thanked Vice President Pence for accommodating the change in location for his interview, and noted at one point that they did not have a video clip of Pence's remarks last week about ISIS.

C-SPAN tweeted about 11 a.m. that it had returned to normal operations.