Wednesday, March 1, 2017

CBS Radio News Adds Bill Rehkopf To Network


CBS Radio News has announced that Bill Rehkopf has been named a correspondent.

He'll be based in Washington, DC and will anchor CBS Radio Network newscasts and special reports, as well as report on Washington newsmakers.

Rehkopf brings to CBS Radio News years of experience behind the anchor mic as well as time in other broadcast and digital platforms and public affairs work.

He joins CBS News from The Hill, the political website and newspaper. Before that, Rehkopf was a news anchor and political reporter at WNEW-FM in DC and anchor and talk host at KDKA in Pittsburgh.

Earlier in his career he worked as news director, anchor and street reporter at several stations, including Country WPOC in Baltimore, News/Talk WHP 580 AM in Harrisburg, PA, and WPXZ 104.1 FM in Punxsutawney, PA.

Pureplay Streamers May Out-Cume Radio, But...

  • But 15 to 24s Spend Much More Time with Radio
More consumers aged 15-24 now cume pureplay music streamers like Pandora and Spotify than listen to AM/FM radio during the week, according to the Alan Burns and Associates/Strategic Solutions Research study of 2000 Top 40 and AC listeners.

Data to be released tomorrow in the companies’ “Deep Dive into Top 40 and Hot AC” show the weekly cume ratings at 92% for radio and 96% for pureplays among the youngest consumers.

“15 to 24-year-olds are extremely mobile-centric,” notes Strategic EVP Hal Rood, “and every smartphone can pull in a pureplay from the internet, but far fewer phones are radio-enabled. So the internet is closer at hand than radio much of the time. Yet those same 15-24-year-olds spend much more time listening to radio than to streaming music. While half (49%) of them spend three or more hours a day with radio, just over a quarter (28%) of them spend that much time with pureplays.”

“Also, 15 to 24-year-olds who cume both radio and pureplays express much greater affection for radio than the streamers,” added Burns Associates Pres/CEO Alan Burns. “52% said they loved their favorite radio station, compared with 34% for Pandora and 35% for Spotify. Given their time spent listening to the medium and their affection for it, radio still dominates with 15-24s.”

Tomorrow’s free webinar in the “What Women Want-2017” series will take a close look at both Top 40 and Hot AC formats – who their most important listeners are, what drives higher TSL with them, their top artists and music style preferences, their content desires in the morning, and propensity to wear a meter or keep a diary in a ratings survey.

You can register for the series of 30-minute presentations by clicking here:  What Women Want 2017 Webinar or the What Women Want icons at www.burnsradio.com or www.strategicsolutionsresearch.com.

Tribune Media Reports Profit, As Earnings Fall Short

Tribune Media, the entertainment company that includes WGN America, on Wednesday reported improved fourth-quarter financials, but they fell shy of Wall Street expectations.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company, which in late January said that president and CEO Peter Liguori, who has been in place since January 2013, has decided to step down in early March, has been growing its retransmission consent fees and expanding original programming at WGN America.

TV station giant Sinclair Broadcast Group has approached Tribune Media about a possible takeover or combination in preliminary talks, Reuters reported ahead of the earnings update. Tribune Media shares rose more than 12 percent early in Wednesday's trading session.

Tribune Media's fourth-quarter earnings reached $19 million, compared with a loss of $380.9 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 11 percent to $529.6 million.

Peter Liquori
Operating profit of $113.2 million compared with a year-ago operating loss of $396.9 million. Those figures included non-cash impairment charges of $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $385 million related to goodwill and other intangible assets in the fourth quarter of 2015. Operating profit before impairments reached $116.6 million, compared to an operating loss of $11.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. "The increase was primarily due to higher political revenues and the absence of a $73.8 million program impairment charge related to the writedown of the acquired syndicated programming Person of Interest and Elementary at WGN America" recorded in the year-ago period, the company said.

Tribune Media has said that Peter Kern will serve as interim CEO while the company looks for a permanent CEO. Sony Corp. has announced that Liguori will take on a role advising the Japanese company's board.

"Bolstered by record fourth quarter revenues, Tribune Media's financial results for 2016 were very strong," said Liguori. "These results are a clear demonstration that our operational strategies continue delivering value for our shareholders. In addition, last year's monetization of real estate assets for more than $500 million and the recent sale of Gracenote enables Tribune Media to be a more focused television company, uniquely positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a rapidly changing media environment."

Report: Sinclair Approaches Tribune Media About Deal

(Reuters) -- Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc has approached rival broadcaster Tribune Media Co. to discuss a potential combination, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, a deal that would hinge on existing regulations being relaxed.

A deal between Sinclair and Tribune Media, which have market capitalizations of $3.6 billion and $3 billion respectively, would combine two of the largest U.S. local TV station owners and face regulatory curbs on how many households they can reach.

However, the broadcast industry hopes President Donald Trump will lift caps on ownership concentration, allowing it to compete for audiences and advertisers against Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

The discussions between the companies are preliminary and there is no certainty they will lead to any deal, the people said.

Sinclair could also look at buying parts of Tribune such as the dozen CW broadcast stations it owns, or its media holdings such as the WGN America cable network and its stake in the Food Network, the people added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Tribune Media declined to comment, while Sinclair did not respond to a request for comment.

An acquisition of Tribune would come as the Chicago-based company faces higher programming costs and a challenging advertising environment.

Tribune's chief executive, Peter Liguori, has said he is stepping down this month, and the company has yet to name a permanent replacement. In February, Starboard Value LP, an activist hedge fund known for calling on companies to change their strategy, disclosed a 6.6 percent stake in the company.

Sinclair branched out into cable networks last year when it bought the Tennis Channel for $350 million.

If the companies decide to combine, they would collectively reach more people than the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently allows for. Unless grandfathered in, no broadcast group is allowed to reach more than 39 percent of U.S. households.

However, Congress has increased the cap before, and many in the industry expect Trump to relax the rules on the ownership of broadcast stations. Sinclair and Tribune could also seek a waiver to go above the cap as part of a deal, the sources said.

Tribune is already above the FCC cap, reaching 44 percent of U.S. households, while Sinclair is at 38 percent, according to Jefferies LLC analyst John Janedis.

Tribune Media said last year that it was working with financial advisers, Moelis & Co and Guggenheim Securities, on a strategic review. It subsequently sold its media data unit Gracenote to Nielsen Holdings Plc for $560 million.

Tribune is due to report earnings later on Wednesday.

YouTube Unveils Cable-Free TV Subscription Service

YouTube is giving viewers a way to tune in live to their favorite shows, without a cable or satellite subscription.

According to CNBC, the company announced a live and on-demand streaming TV service called "YouTubeTV" on Tuesday. The subscription, which will cost $35 a month for a family plan of up to six accounts, is expected to launch in the next few months in the U.S. Currently there are no plans for international service.

Subscribers will have access to up to 40 networks, as well as YouTube creator content like original content from subscription service YouTube Red. Channels include all broadcast channels and cable channels like USA, FX, Freeform, ESPN, Fox Sports and NBC Sports. Users can add Showtime and soccer programming for an additional fee.

"There's no question that millennials love great TV content, but what we've seen is they don't want to watch it in the traditional setting," said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at a press event.



Google and its network partners will have the ability to sell ads for an additional revenue stream.

The news comes at a time when more Americans are open to cutting the cord. A study from research firm GfK said a quarter of American homes don't subscribe to a pay TV service, with 6 percent only using the internet to watch their favorite shows on a TV using a device like Apple TV or Roku.

A recent U.S Energy Information Administration survey shows 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015, down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009. The number of homes with three or more TVs declined, while the number of homes without a TV grew.

AMS' Co-Hosts Escape Serious Injury In Accident


Details have emerged involving an accident which sent four members country music personalities to the hospital near Hattiesburg, MS.

Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks along with producer Glen Johnson of America’s Morning Show were involved in a crash that had overturned vehicles while traveling to the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans.

A posting on the AMS Facebook page provided this information.
“We’re sorry to report to you that our NASH morning show, Ty, Kelly and Chuck, with producer Glenn Johnson, were involved in a car accident last night, while traveling from an affiliate visit at (Cumulus) WKOR-FM in Columbus, MS, to New Orleans, where they were to be Grand Marshalls in the Mardi Gras parade today.. 
While driving through a torrential rainstorm, their car struck a puddle and hydroplaned, causing it to roll twice and end up in a ditch. They were all hospitalized in Hattiesburg, but they’ve been released, with the exception of Chuck, who was held over for some additional observation. They’re sore for the ordeal, but by all reports, they are fortunately going to be OK. 
Keep them all in your thoughts and prayers, and we’ll update you with any developments.”
It's been reported their vehicle rolled over at least two times before coming to a stop in water nearby. All four were transported to a hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The three hosts have become a staple in the country music community and are known throughout the industry as some of the most fun people to be around. They have become regular stars on social media and often upload videos of their hilarious antics and games with country stars that go viral.

Chuck Wicks has ventured out on his own career as a country musician and has grown a significant following though his incredible performances.

Trump Supporters Praise Speech


by Letitia Stein | CLEARWATER, FLA.

While U.S. President Donald Trump tried to win over skeptics in Congress on Tuesday, he never had to worry about losing the faithful at the Quaker Steak and Lube.

About two dozen fans of the 45th president gathered at the bar and restaurant in Clearwater, Florida, still committed to Trump despite the tumult of his first 40 days in office.

They praised the Republican president's first address to a joint session of Congress, both for its familiar content and his newly deferential tone.

"He nailed it. He knocked it out of the park," said Dean Mears, 58, of Clearwater, who watched with about two dozen others under large-screen TVs that were tuned to Fox News, the president's favored cable news channel.

Like Trump supporters in other parts of the country, they praised the president's more inclusive and less bombastic language as he also promised that "America must put its own citizens first," crack down on illegal immigration and build up the military.


The milder Trump contrasted markedly with the candidate who insulted his rivals during the 2016 campaign, recently branded the news media the "enemy of the people" and was caught making vulgar remarks about grabbing women on a decade-old video.

In Boone County, Kentucky, the vice chairwoman of the local Republican Party, Phyllis Sparks, said she liked that Trump "spoke not only to his base but to all Americans."

Kirt Jacobs, a Louisville entrepreneur, said Trump "was all about we and very little, if any, about me."

In the Denver suburbs, a voter who supported Marco Rubio in last year's Republican nominating contest, said Trump validated her vote for him in November.

"He had a much softer tone - more presidential - but stayed true to his principles," said Kathleen Johnson. "He wasn't blaming people and sounded more comforting."

A CNN/ORC national poll found that 78 percent of respondents who watched the speech had a positive reaction.

With 3 million tweets, Trump's speech was the most tweeted- about presidential address to Congress, surpassing the previous record of 2.6 million for Obama's 2015 State of the Union speech, a Twitter spokesman said.

'STICKING TO WHAT HE SAID'

At the Quaker Steak and Lube, the praise began beforehand, with a rally on the sidewalk outside where supporters waved signs reading: "America First" and "Florida for Trump."

They were mostly greeted by honking horns of approval, but also a few passing drivers who shouted expletives.

Trump won 46 percent of the national popular vote in last year's election, 2 percentage points behind Democrat Hillary Clinton, but prevailed in the Electoral College state-by-state tally needed to win the White House.

The speech in 90-seconds...



Nationally, his approval rating has sagged to a low level for a new president, around 44 percent, according to an average of recent polls by Real Clear Politics. Trump has been shaken by investigations into his campaign's possible ties to Russia, his misstatements about his levels of support, and a federal court's halt to his executive order temporarily banning entry into the country for people from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Clearwater, on the Gulf Coast, sits in Pinellas County in the heart of Florida, where the past four statewide elections have been decided by about 1 percentage point.

Trump, a part-time Floridian, flipped the results from the last two presidential elections in Pinellas County in his favor after former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, carried the county in 2008 and 2012.

The county has long been a retirement destination, especially among those leaving the Midwest. It is about 75 percent white, 11 percent black and 9 percent Latino, according to 2015 census data.

Speaking just before the address, Ron Sanders, 65, a Baptist pastor living in nearby Seminole, Florida, wanted to hear Trump tackle illegal immigration, which the president did. He also hoped Trump's speech would help to bring in line moderate Republican senators who have been critical of some of his early efforts, which is not yet certain.

"He's sticking to what he said. It's not discouraging Trump at all," said Sanders, wearing a cowboy hat colored like an American flag. "He's going full guns ahead."

Tampa Radio: Bubba's Ex-GalPal Seeks Restraining Order

Bubb4a Clem
An ex-girlfriend of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem has gone to court seeking an order of protection from the radio host, saying he spent four years abusing her "emotionally and physically" and now won't stop harassing her and her family, according to the filing, reports The Tampa Bay Times.

"I've had to change my number, block email and all other means of communication," wrote Nicole L'Ange, 35. "He has found out where I'm staying and I'm scared he's going to show up."

L'Ange says in the request, filed with Pinellas Circuit Court, that she never took her concerns about the 50-year-old Clem to the authorities.

She accuses him of getting on top of her and strangling her; bruising her hand from fighting her for keys; hitting the back of her head to get her attention; and pushing her to the floor, causing her to almost crack her head on a table

Nicole L'Ange
The two met in 2012. Her online LinkedIn profile says L'Ange worked until January at Beasley Media Group, which broadcast Clem's show before removing it late last year.

Clem, L'Ange said in the filing, also has threatened to ruin her career in the Tampa Bay area. When she left him, she said, she left with her dog, clothes, car and no money.

"Because I finally got the courage to leave," she said, "he has tried to ruin me and my family."

L'Ange said Clem has sent "humiliating" texts to her father, has asked her if she's tried to kill herself, and has made fake social media accounts to "mess" with her and her current boyfriend.difficult time."

Neither Clem nor an attorney could be reached for comment.

A hearing on L'Ange's request for the protection injunction is scheduled March 9.

'Trump Bump' Reshaping Radio News Consumption


News/Talk has been revitalized by current politics and is breaking new ground with younger listeners, while Millennial audiences aren’t listening to the same formats they did as recently as just a year ago.

In a blog post, Nielsen took note News/Talk, which has dominated the headlines in radio for several months now. The trend continued in January 2017, as News/Talk posted its best numbers since November of 2012 and claimed a new record among listeners 18-to-34



In looking at News/Talk tune-in over the past seven years, the format has gained a full percent among Millennials, with the biggest jump happening between January 2016 and January 2017.



And as other recent commentary has pointed out, the reshaping of the news consumption landscape also affects other formats and genres. The first full survey month of 2017 also reveals norm breaks, particularly among Millennial audiences when Nielsen compared back to last year in the table above.




Given the rise in popularity of the News/Talk format among Millennials, other popular formats among this group of listeners lost share in January. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio, a leading format among Millennials, was off nearly a full share point, while Country continued to trend downward with younger audiences. Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) and Mexican Regional were also softer compared with January 2016, while Sports radio was flat

Louisville Radio: iHM Cluster, WLKY-TV Ink Weather Deal


iHeartMedia Louisville and WLKY announced today a new broadcast partnership that will extend access to WLKY Weather forecasts to iHeartMedia Louisville listeners throughout the day, effective immediately.

In addition to daily weather forecasts, WLKY Weather meteorologists and reporters will provide live updates and simulcasts to iHeartMedia stations during severe weather and breaking news situations.

iHeartMedia Louisville has a strong cross-platform presence, massive consumer reach and includes a number of iconic brands and franchises — both broadcast and digital — encompassing radio station brands N/T WHAS 840 AM, Sports WKRD AM, Talk WKJK 1080 AM, Country WAMZ 97.5 FM, Rock WQMF 95.7 FM, Top40 WNRW 98.9 FM Radio Now, WLGX 100.5 KissFM and WTFX 93.1 FM The Beat.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with WLKY in providing our listeners with award-winning weather coverage,” said Earl Jones, Region President of iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana. “This partnership strengthens and expands our ability to serve the community by providing reliable news and weather anytime, anywhere.”

“We are delighted with what iHeartMedia brings to the table,” said Glenn Haygood, WLKY President and General Manager. “By combining the strength of WLKY, the area’s leading television station, and iHeartMedia radio stations, the area’s leading radio brands, we have created a powerful partnership that will expand our audience on very important community issues.”

iHeartMedia is a leading media outlet in the Louisville market and its content is available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio, the all-in-one streaming music and live radio service – with its more than a billion downloads and 95 million registered users.

Trump Bashing Drives Colbert To Another Win

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” extended its viewership winning streak over “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for a fourth consecutive week, ratings info out Tuesday reviewed.

Colbert has catapulted into the top late-night spot with his relentless bashing of President Trump.

According to The NY Post, CBS host Colbert drew 180,000 more viewers than NBC’s Fallon for the week ended Feb. 24, down from a 296,000-viewer advantage the previous week, according to Nielsen.

Colbert’s politically biting “Late Show” averaged 3.07 million viewers last week, making it the show’s largest average audience since its current winning streak began the week ended Feb. 3.

Fallon’s “Tonight Show” averaged 2.89 million viewers last week, which also ranked as its largest audience over the same four weeks.

Although Colbert attracted more viewers — up 33 percent from the same week a year ago — Fallon continued to dominate in the key demographic of viewers ages 18 to 49.

On Monday, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” staged a rare upset in the 11:35 p.m. time slot — winning the night’s most average viewers, 2.6 million, and the highest 18- to-49-year-old demo, 0.8 — as many viewers changed their late-night TV habit to hear what the Oscars host had to say about Sunday night’s fiasco.

CableTV News Ratings: MSNBC Has Strong February


MSNBC in February continued its strong performance since Election Day, finishing No. 2 in total viewers among all cable networks while topping rival CNN for the third straight month in viewership, according to the Nielsen Research.

According to The Hill, MSNBC grew its prime-time viewership by 63 percent, compared to February 2016, while its daytime offerings are up 62 percent.

The program enjoying the most success has been "The Rachel Maddow Show.”

In February, the progressive, politically focused program delivered MSNBC’s biggest total viewer audience in the 9 p.m. time period ever. It was the 45th consecutive month Maddow has beaten CNN’s regularly scheduled programs in the time slot in total viewers, according to the network. During the previous week, between Feb. 13 and 18, Maddow enjoyed her most-watched week since October 2008 with an average of 2.6 million viewers.

In the morning show race, "Morning Joe" topped CNN in total viewers for second place in the cable news race, behind Fox News's "Fox & Friends." But CNN won in the advertiser-friendly 25- to 54-year-old demographic.

All of the cable news networks have benefited from the heightened interest that has come from the polarizing Trump administration.


Meanwhile, CNN's Brand Perception has sagged.

CNN president Jeff Zucker’s assertions that President Trump’s constant battering of the network these past two months seems to have inflicted small damage on the network’s consumer perception appear to be true.

However, CNN’s perception is well below where it was trending the first half of last year, allowing MSNBC to move past it in mid-January.

According to yougov.com, over the past several weeks, MSNBC’s perception rose 50% while CNN's has been bumpy. Both networks are scoring in negative sentiment territory while Fox News Channel is right at the neutral mark, with equal positive and negative.

The big picture — going back to early 2016 — shows the possible toll particular news events, and being the recipient of incessant Trump bashing, may have taken on CNN.

CNN is currently trending below where it was over the first several months of 2016, when all three cable networks were in a consumer perception dogfight.


Liberty Media Denies Pandora Merger Reports

Liberty Media boss Greg Maffei put Pandora’s shareholders in a downbeat mood Tuesday as he cooled speculation about a merger between the streaming music service and Liberty’s majority-owned SiriusXM Radio.

“At the right price? Interesting,” the chief executive said during Liberty’s earnings call, before adding, “Not clear this is the right price.”

According to The NY Post, Pandora stock fell 6 percent, to $12.38, after Maffei played down takeover talk and questioned whether Pandora was worth its $3 billion market cap.

Greg Maffei
“Interesting asset,” he said. “But not clear the valuation makes sense — full stop.”

Sirius, which is 66-percent-owned by Liberty and has a market cap of $24 billion, unsuccessfully pitched an offer of $15 per share for Pandora last summer.

Many considered combining Pandora’s 81 million users with Sirius’ automobile-dominant 31.3 million subscribers a promising way to deliver a seamless music experience and combat rising music-licensing costs.

Deal rumors resurfaced in February after Pandora CEO Tim Westergren acknowledged his receptivity to joining a large distributor.

Warren Buffett’s entering the mix just weeks ago as a sizable investor in both Sirius and the vehicle that holds Liberty’s Sirius shares also heightened merger expectations.

Amazon Cloud Service Disruption Ripples Through Internet


(Reuters) -- The far reach of the disruption underscored the increasing dependence of organizations on the cloud for cheap and secure data storage. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world's biggest cloud business.

Apple Inc on its website reported issues with its app store, music-streaming service and other products, which it later resolved. The iPhone maker did not immediately comment on the cause; however, it previously has said it uses Amazon S3 for some storage.

Nilay Patel,‏ editor in chief of tech website The Verge, said on Twitter that an article "published without an image because our image system runs on AWS." Messaging startup Slack Technologies Inc said users may have had difficulty uploading files due to problems with its hosting service, according to posts on Twitter.

"Imagine your business not being able to run for a day. That's a big problem," said Gene Munster, head of research for Loup Ventures.

The disruption extended beyond the business world. A site for Georgetown University professors to manage course content and grade assignments, which relies on Amazon's cloud, had "connectivity problems," the university's chief information officer said in a message to students and faculty, seen by Reuters.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement, "Our cloud services provider has informed us that they are experiencing issues that are affecting page loads on sec.gov and that they are working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible."

Loup Ventures' Munster called the disruption "a temporary black eye" for Amazon. Customers would not go through the hassle of switching to a competing cloud service because of a one-time event, he said.

AWS is a large, fast-growing source of revenue for Amazon. It has helped transform the retailer, once known simply for selling books online, into a technology platform.

Amazon shares closed down less than 1 percent.

Nat'l Radio HOF Opens Nominations

The 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration will take place on Thursday evening, November 2, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Today through March 31, the NRHOF Nominating Committee is accepting suggestions for 2017 nominees. This year people can visit www.radiohof.org and click on the NOMINATE tab to submit their picks for consideration.

National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “It’s always our priority to engage as many people possible in this process because there’s such a wealth of talent to be represented. By streamlining the communication through the website, we’re anticipating more feedback than ever.”

Suggestions should be made for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.

Leading radio imaging and production company The Mix Group is the presenting sponsor of the National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

Futuri Launches #Engage For Interactive Radio Programming

Futuri Media Tuesday announced the launch of #engage, a suite of features that gives programmers the tools to turn their music station into a dynamic interactive experience. Combining text messaging, social media, and web-based capabilities, #engage empowers station brands with flexible, customizable options to interact with their audience.

#engage combines the best of Futuri Media’s industry-leading interactive radio programming tools LDR and Takeover and adds powerful new features to drive ratings and revenue. Some of #engage’s key features include:
  • Unique features for maximum listener interactivity – with maximum PD control. With interactive programming tools, programmers can create voting sessions, empower listeners to control the station’s programming within a set of rules configured by the PD, and sync it all with their playout systems with #engage’s automation integration.
  • Tools like patented Song Alerts drive Nielsen-verified audience growth by alerting listeners via texts and/or tweets when their favorite songs are about to play. #engage’s tools also allow programmers to strategically time automatic social posts with their playlists.
  • The ability to drive discussion-based engagement with Facebook Live integration, which lets stations integrate their voting features with their Facebook page via Live videos showcasing their #engage playlist and live audio stream (coming in June), and Discussions, which lets listeners participate in real-time conversation threads right from station sites or mobile apps.
Daniel Anstandig
All stations currently using LDR or Takeover will be upgraded to #engage in the coming weeks. #engage will continue to provide turnkey solutions for programmers and sales teams; features were designed with ease and speed of use as a top priority. And in keeping with Futuri Media’s reputation for excellent support and customer service, clients won’t need to do anything on their end to carry existing features over to the #engage platform, and there are dozens of opportunities in the coming weeks for Programming and Sales teams to be trained on #engage’s powerful new features. For more information on #engage, visit http://www.futurimedia.com/engage.

“#engage takes the best of LDR and Takeover, products that have delivered results for nearly 1,000 stations worldwide, adds innovative new features, and turns the whole thing up to 11. The Futuri Media team is incredibly excited to introduce #engage to the market and give our existing clients an even bigger competitive advantage,” said Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig. “We founded Futuri Media on the premise, ‘‘What if radio was invented after the Internet?’ We’re impassioned about delivering ROI-focused solutions that allow broadcasters to use technology to their advantage as opposed to seeing it as an inconvenience or threat.”

AP Sues Laura Ingraham Website

The Associated Press is suing LifeZette for more than $49,000, claiming that the syndicated radio host and political pundit Laura Ingraham website failed to pay months of licensing fees.

According Buzzfeed News, The complaint, filed on Friday in District of Columbia Superior Court, alleges that LifeZette entered into a year-long licensing agreement to use AP content in July 2015, agreeing to pay $4,200 per month. The AP says it suspended LifeZette’s account in February 2016 due to nonpayment.

LifeZette did submit a check for $42,611, according to the lawsuit, but it was returned due to insufficient funds. A copy of the check, dated Jan. 16, 2017, from the account of Ingraham Media Group Inc., was included in the court filings. Ingraham launched LifeZette in 2015 and is listed on the website as its editor-in-chief.

AP is seeking $49,267 — $24,937.21 for the allegedly unpaid licensing fees, $17,674.50 for revenue that AP says it lost after it suspended LifeZette’s account before the end of the contract, $2,915.10 in interest, and $3,740.58 in attorney fees. The amount of the returned check is the sum of the unpaid fees and lost revenue that would have been covered by the contract.

March 1 Radio History


Nikola Tesla
In 1893...In St. Louis, electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gave the first public demonstration of radio.

Tesla had first demonstrated wireless transmissions during his high frequency and potential lecture of 1891. Just days before the St Louis presentation, Tesla addressed the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, on February 23, 1893, describing in detail the principles of early radio communication.

Tesla presented the fundamentals of radio in 1893 during his public presentation, "On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena." Afterward, the principle of radio communication -- sending signals through space to receivers -- was widely publicized from Tesla's experiments and demonstrations.

Even before the development of the vacuum tube, Tesla’s descriptions contained all the elements that were later incorporated into radio systems. He initially experimented with magnetic receivers, unlike the coherers (detecting devices consisting of tubes filled with iron filings which had been invented by Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti in 1884) used by Guglielmo Marconi and other early experimenters.

Radio offers another example of Tesla’s work receiving minimal or no long-term public acknowledgement. While Marconi is often credited with inventing the radio, this presentation by Tesla was recalled in courts several years later in invalidating Marconi patents.



Indeed, it, among other facts, pushed the United States Supreme Court in the 1943 case of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America vs the United States to state that "it is now held that in the important advance upon his basic patent Marconi did nothing that had not already been seen and disclosed."

To be true, what Tesla demonstrated had more scientific interest than practical use. However, he believed that by taking the “Tesla oscillator,” grounding one side of it and connecting the other to an insulated body of large surface, it would be possible to transmit electric oscillations to a great distance and to communicate intelligence in this way to other oscillators.

In 1898 at the Electrical Exhibition in New York, Tesla would successfully demonstrate a radio-controlled boat. For that work, he was awarded US patent No. 613,809 for a "Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles."

Between 1895 and 1897, Tesla received wireless signals transmitted via short distances in his lectures. He transmitted over medium ranges during presentations made between 1897 and the 1910.




In 1904...Bandleader Glenn Miller was born. He disappeared in a plane over the Atlantic on Dec. 15, 1944 at 40.


Harry Caray
In 1914...beloved sportscaster Harry Caray was born Harry Carabina in St. Louis,  where he began his big league career as voice of baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals for 24 years. He worked briefly for the Oakland A’s before moving to Chicago, where he was voice of the White Sox for a decade.  In 1982 he began 15 years of calling the Cubs games on superstation WGN which won him a national following.

He suffered a fatal heart attack after a series of strokes Feb 18, 1998 & died just days before his 84th birthday.


In 1932...one of daytime radio’s comedic gems Easy Aces written by and starring Goodman Ace with his ditzy wife Jane, moved from local Chicago exposure to the full CBS network, three times a week. It would delight audiences on that schedule for much of the next 15 years.


In 1941...W47NV, soon to be WSM-FM,  began operations in Nashville, Tennessee, becoming the first modern commercial FM radio station. FM broadcasting in the United States began in the 1930s at engineer and inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong's experimental station, W2XMN.


In 1949...WFLN 95.7 FM signed on in Philadelphia. 95.7 FM was founded by Philadelphia civic leaders as a fine arts station, which signed on as WFLN at 5PM on March 14, 1949. In the early years, programming was heard in the evening hours only. In 1956, an AM operation was added, which mostly simulcasted the FM.

WFLN, which stood for "Franklin Broadcasting" was the first stand-alone (not co-owned with a local AM) station in Philadelphia. For nearly 50 years, the station's studios, transmitter and self-supporting tower were located at 8200 Ridge Pike, at the western edge of Roxborough, a few miles apart from the cluster of other antennas in Roxborough. From the late 1960s until the late 1980s, WFLN also maintained a small office in center city Philadelphia on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway near 17th Street. This facility was used as a sales office and small studio where host Ralph Collier would do live and recorded interviews. Until about 2004, remnants of white plastic letters spelling "WFLN" could be observed on a low brick wall at the abandoned location, but they have since disintegrated.

Station leadership was carried out by the Smith and Green families. Programming consisted of classical music along with a number of short "feature" programs. Little emphasis was placed on making the station profitable, and most years it simply broke even.

Today it's WBEN-FM 'Ben FM'.


In 1953...WJZ 770 AM changed call letters to WABC.

WJZ changed its call letters to WABC, after the FCC approved ABC's merger with United Paramount Theatres, Paramount Pictures' movie theatre chain, which was divested under government order. WJZ-FM (95.5) and WJZ-TV (Channel 7) also changed to WABC-FM and WABC-TV, respectively, on the same day.

In 1954...At the KHJ Studios in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded "Three Coins In The Fountain."


In 1999...WBIX 105.1 FM in NYC changed call letters to WTJM. Today the frequency is iHeartMedia's WWPR.


In 2007...veteran radio & TV character actor Eddie Firestone died of heart & respiratory failure at age 86.  His career began in scores of radio series, including the title role in “That Brewster Boy,” plus supporting roles on “Hawthorne House,””One Man’s Family” and “Let George Do It,” then went on to hundreds of appearances over 40 years of episodic TV, from “Bonanza” and “Perry Mason” to “Gunsmoke” and “Dallas.”

Don Berns
In 2015…Veteran radio personality (CIDC,  CFNY and CKEY-Toronto, WTAE-Pittsburgh, WHB-Kansas City, KFMB-San Diego, KLIF-Dallas, WKBW, WPHD and WYSL-Buffalo, WTRY-Albany, WDRC-Hartford, WICE-Providence)/ actor Don Berns died of a heart attack at age 67.


In 2016...Former radio programmer, consultant and station owners John Harlan Rook died.  He was most known for his tenure in Chicago. Under his guidance in the 1960s, 50,000-watt ABC-owned WLS became the highest rated station in the Chicago metropolitan area, known as one of the greatest Top 40 stations in America. After leaving WLS to form a radio consultancy in 1970, WLS' rival, WCFL-AM, beat WLS in the ratings after retaining Rook's services. Throughout his programming career, Rook won numerous national radio awards and was repeatedly singled out for his ability to pick hit records. He would later own his own radio stations before founding the Hit Radio Hall of Fame,[14] the only foundation that bestows awards on popular performers based upon the votes of the general public.

John Rook - 2013
After jobs playing records at KASL in Newcastle, Wyoming; KOBH in Hot Springs, South Dakota; and KALL in Salt Lake City, Rook programmed KTLN in Denver, where his success led to ABC hiring him to be program director at KQV in Pittsburgh. KQV, owned by ABC, had initial success with the Top 40 format, but was floundering prior to Rook's arrival.

Rook quickly became known for his musical instincts, repeatedly breaking hit records before the rest of the country aired them. He was early on recognizing The Beatles and developed an inside track to their future releases. Under Rook, KQV played world-premieres of new Beatles songs before sending them to other stations owned by ABC in New York City and Chicago. In 1965, KQV had an eight-day start on the rest of the country with “Yes It Is” and “Ticket To Ride”.  KQV also was known nationally for its record-breaking concerts.

In 1967, due to KQV’s success under Rook, ABC appointed him as program director of WLS in Chicago, which, like KQV when Rook arrived, was a major station facing increasingly successful competition. In 1964, WLS had a 34% share of the night time audience while competitor WCFL had 3%. At the time of Rook's arrival in 1967, WLS was down to 16%, virtually tied with WCFL’s 15%.

By 1968, under Rook, WLS again led the market and WLS was named Station of the Year at the Gavin Convention. WLS programmed by Rook became such a legendary Top 40 station that program directors and personalities including Rush Limbaugh and David Letterman cite its programming and personalities under Rook as a major inspiration. Popular disc jockey Larry Lujack, who worked for Rook first at WLS and later at WCFL, considered Rook to be “The greatest program director of our generation.”


In 2016 ...KFWB 980 AM The Beast ended operations as an all-sports station after the it’s assets in trust were sold to Universal Media Access KFWB-AM LLC headed by Charles W. Banta of Buffalo NY. for $8M.

Universal Media Access launched South Asian “Desi 980“.

Banta is the President at Mercury Capital Partners which he founded in 2000. In 1994, Mr. Banta became the President and Founder of Mercury Radio Communications and acquired radio stations in Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Earlier he served as Group Head of Greater Media’s Radio Division where, he oversaw 16 radio stations in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Central New Jersey, and Boston. Banta has been actively involved as an operator or owner in the media business for more than 28 years.

KFWB 980 AM (5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Since November 2011, CBS Radio put KFWB into a trust managed by Diane Sutter, President and CEO of ShootingStar Broadcasting. The business move was needed since CBS Corporation owned and operated two TV stations and two radio stations in the L.A. market.

The station's history goes back to March 3, 1925, when it was launched by Sam Warner, a co-founder of Warner Bros.. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Although some think its call letters stand for Keep Fighting Warner Brothers or (K)-Four Warner Brothers, actually the callsign was sequentially issued by the Department of Commerce, predecessor to the FCC (March 1925) at the same time as KFWA in Ogden, Utah (Feb 1925) and KFWC for San Bernardino (also Feb 1925).

After first broadcasting on 1190 kilocycles in 1925, KFWB was moved from 1190 to 830 on the radio dial on June 15, 1927. In February of 1928, the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) assigned KFWB to broadcast on 850 kilocycles, but one month later, moved the station back to 830 on the dial. Also in March of 1928, KFWB increased its transmitter power from 500 to 1,000 watts. As part of the national restructuring of the Broadcast Band (AM) by the Federal Radio Commission, KFWB was moved from 830 to 950 kilocycles on November 11, 1928.


With the move to 950, KFWB was forced to share a small portion of its broadcast day with the Pasadena Star-News station KPSN for one year, until November 15, 1929. But KPSN, which went off the air in 1931, was given only 30 minutes to one hour of air time each day, and KFWB was able to broadcast the remainder of its hours. By the 1936, the station was operating with 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts at night, from 6:30 am until midnight and on Sundays from 8 am until midnight. By 1939, transmitter power was 5,000 watts day and night. On March 29, 1941, KFWB changed its frequency again, from 950 to the current 980-AM.

Jack, Harry Warner 1925
KFWB was the first station in Los Angeles to sense the commercial possibilities of baby boomers. In 1958, the station unveiled a Top 40 song format, calling itself "Color Radio, Channel 98." (Click Here to listen for jingle), The term referred to color television, which was catching on.  Program director Chuck Blore made personalities out of his jocks, including Bill Ballance, B. Mitchel Reid and Ted Quillin, dubbing them the "Seven Swingin' Gentlemen."

KFWB was purchased by Westinghouse in 1966. On March 11, 1968, the station was relaunched as an all news radio station. The station promoted itself with its slogan, "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world," as first used by New York Westinghouse station WINS, although the station's format used a 30-minute news cycle.

Until spun off into a trust, KFWB was owned by CBS Radio, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, formerly known as Westinghouse, which also owns KNX, the only all-news station in Los Angeles. KFWB and KNX feuded as all-news rivals for years, both on radio and in television advertising. Like its former sister stations (and fellow all-news stations) WINS in New York and KYW in Philadelphia, KFWB had a running Teletype sound effect in the background during regular newscasts.

On September 8, 2009, the station adopted a news-talk format, adding syndicated shows such as Dave Ramsey, Laura Ingraham, Laura Schlessinger and Michael Smerconish.



By the summer of 2014, KFWB's weekday line-up included: LA's Morning News with Penny Griego and Phil Hulett; Money 101 with Bob McCormick; "As We See It" with Phil Hulett and friends; LA's Afternoon News with Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee; and The Amani & Eytan Show from NBC Sports Radio.

On September 22, 2014, KFWB became "The Beast 980", an all-sports format.

Click Here for More KFWB History

On November 2, 2011, CBS Radio placed KFWB into a trust headed by Diane Sutter, under the name The KFWB Asset Trust.