Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Amazon Music HD Features Highest Quality Audio Streaming

Amazon Music today announced the launch of Amazon Music HD, a new tier of premium quality music with more than 50 million songs in High Definition, and millions of songs in Ultra High Definition, the highest quality streaming audio available.

At just $12.99/month for Prime members and $14.99/month for Amazon customers, or an additional $5/month for current subscribers (Individual or Family Plan), Amazon Music HD makes high quality, lossless audio accessible to all music fans. 

Amazon Music HD is now available to stream in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. New subscribers to Amazon Music can receive a 90-day free trial, and current subscribers can try Amazon Music HD at no additional cost for 90 days at amazon.com/music/unlimited/hd.

“We spoke with many artists while developing Amazon Music HD, who were excited about the potential for fans to be able to stream their favorite music, and hear it as it was originally recorded,” said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. “From rock to hip-hop to classical and pop, we believe listening to music at this level of sound will make customers fall in love again with their favorite music and artists. As we usher in a new listening experience for our customers and the industry, we’re combining the convenience of streaming with all of the emotion, power, clarity and nuance of the original recordings.”

Amazon Music HD will always offer customers the best quality recording available for streaming, providing an unparalleled listening experience. Legendary albums including Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue become revelatory new experiences, almost as if the listener is sitting in on these storied studio sessions. Songs like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and St. Vincent’s “Digital Witness”, are also now available in Ultra HD, revealing nuances that were once flattened in files compressed for digital streaming.

“Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses,” said rock icon Neil Young. “This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”

Amazon Music HD offers customers more than 50 million lossless HD songs, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality). In addition, customers can stream millions more songs in Ultra HD (better than CD quality), with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.

Amazon Music HD will play the highest quality audio the customer’s device and network conditions will support, and is compatible with a wide variety of devices, including desktop, mobile (iOS & Android), select Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Amazon Music HD is also compatible with many third-party devices, including most products from Denon and Marantz with HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser, and many more. To learn more about Amazon Music HD, visit amazon.com/music/unlimited/hd.

NBCUniversal Names TV Steaming Service "Peacock"

NBCUniversal today announced “Peacock” as the name for its new streaming service. Peacock is a nod to NBC’s iconic logo and NBCUniversal’s rich legacy of creating beloved films, TV series, characters and franchises that have been at the epicenter of pop culture and will continue to define the future of entertainment.

Peacock will deliver a world-class slate of originals while also offering treasured hits from the vaults of NBC, including “The Office”and “Parks and Recreation,” two of the most-watched streaming series. The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and Hollywood’s biggest studios. In addition, Peacock will tap into NBCUniversal’s unmatched ability to deliver a broad range of compelling topical content across news, sports, late-night and reality.

Peacock rolls out in April of 2020 with over 15,000 hours of content and takes center stage at the end of July during the 2020 Summer Olympics. As previously announced, Peacock will be both advertising and subscription supported. Details on pricing and distribution will be announced closer to launch.

“The name Peacock pays homage to the quality content that audiences have come to expect from NBCUniversal – whether it’s culture-defining dramas from innovative creators like Sam Esmail, laugh-out-loud comedies from legends like Lorne Michaels and Mike Schur, blockbusters from Universal Pictures, or buzzy unscripted programming from the people who do it best at Bravo and E!,” said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises. “Peacock will be the go-to place for both the timely and timeless – from can’t-miss Olympic moments and the 2020 election, to classic fan favorites like ‘The Office’.”

Chicago Radio: FCC Green Lights Nexstar-Tribune Deal

After nearly a century of broadcasting, WGN 720 AM will no longer be Chicago’s very own.

The Nexstar Media Group’s $4.1 billion purchase of Chicago-based Tribune Media was approved by the Federal Communications Commission Monday, creating the nation’s largest local TV station ownership group, and moving the corporate nexus to Texas. The deal is expected to close later this week, reports The Chicago Tribune.

In granting the merger, the FCC said viewers would benefit from combining the two giant media companies under the Nexstar corporate umbrella.

“The Commission found that the proposed merger would provide several public interest benefits to viewers of current Tribune and Nexstar stations,” the FCC said in a statement Monday. “For example, viewers would benefit from their local stations having increased access to Nexstar’s Washington, D.C., news bureau and state news bureaus.”

Nexstar, which launched just over 20 years ago with the purchase of a single TV station in Scranton, Pa., has grown into a broadcasting behemoth with 174 stations in mostly small and midsize markets across the U.S.

The acquisition of Tribune Media gives Nexstar both broadcasting history and major market heft, adding 42 TV stations including WGN-Ch. 9 in Chicago. The deal also includes cable channel WGN America and WGN 720 AM.

Nexstar Station map

Nexstar has agreed to sell 21 TV stations in 16 markets — including Tribune-owned WPIX-TV in New York — to comply with FCC and Department of Justice ownership restrictions. The company is planning to use the $1.36 billion in gross proceeds to help fund the Tribune acquisition and reduce debt.

“We’re very pleased with today’s decision by the FCC, which enables us to clear the last remaining regulatory hurdle in our path," Tribune Media’s CEO Peter Kern said in a statement. "We look forward to closing our transaction with Nexstar very soon.”

Nexstar agreed to buy Tribune in December with an all-cash offer that values the company at $46.50 a share. The total purchase price is $6.4 billion, including the assumption of debt.

The merger creates the largest TV station group in the U.S., unseating Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, which was forced to abandon its own takeover attempt for Tribune Media last year after the $3.9 billion transaction drew the ire of regulators.

While there have been no announced divestitures of any of the WGN properties, one change is certain — the deal pulls the plug on Tribune Media, a Chicago-based broadcasting empire with a national footprint and deep local roots.

The company’s broadcast portfolio started with WGN-AM, a pioneering radio station launched by Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick in March 1924, with the call letters standing for “World’s Greatest Newspaper.”

In 2014, Tribune Media spun off its legacy publishing division as Tribune Publishing, which owns the Chicago Tribune and other major daily newspapers.

L-A Radio: KLLI Adds Eddie One For PM Drive/APD

Eddie One
Meruelo Media’s KLLI Cali 93.9 #1 for Reggaeton y mas,  has announced DJ Eddie One is the official host for afternoon drive (3p-7p).

Meruelo Media Director of Programming, DJ E-Man, announced that One has also been officially named Cali 93.9’s Assistant Program Director.

Eddie One joins Cali 93.9 after 14 years with Mega 96.3. DJ Eddie One has consistently led the LA market with #1, 18-34 (Spanish Language) afternoon drive ratings.

Meruelo Media’s Director of Programming, DJ E-Man said, “We are blessed to have “Heavy Hitter” and market leader DJ Eddie One as our Assistant Program Director and taking over afternoon drive on Cali 93.9.”

DJ Eddie One added, “I’m ready to rock afternoons at this exciting new station and bring the party to my new home, Cali 93.9, #1 for Reggaeton y mas! I am very excited to officially take on my APD duties and bring my years of artist relations and love of music to Cali 93.9.”

Cali 93.9’s midday host will be announced next week.

K-C Radio: KCSP, MLB Royals Extend Broadcast Deal

Entercom and the Kansas City Royals announced a new five-year extension to broadcast the Royals on Sports Radio KCSP 610 AM through the 2024 season. 610 Sports Radio has been the broadcast home of the Kansas City Royals in the Kansas City market since 2008.

“We are very pleased to extend this valued partnership for five more years,” said Dave Alpert, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Kansas City. “The Royals are part of the thread of Kansas City and it’s a privilege for 610 Sports Radio to be the flagship station of the team.”

“We have been honored to call Entercom our flagship station since our partnership began in 2008. 610 Sports Radio is the home of the Royals in Kansas City. It’s a perfect fit for us and our fans, and we are excited to continue that relationship,” said Kevin Uhlich, Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Kansas City Royals. “Not only is the signal of 610 Sports Radio recognizable to all sports fans in the area, the Entercom Kansas City cluster of stations makes them an attractive partner to spread the word about Royals baseball – to sports fans and radio listeners of all genres.”

Per the agreement, 610 Sports Radio will continue providing play-by-play coverage of the Royals, airing all 162 regular season games, plus all postseason games. In addition, the station will also broadcast all weeknight and weekend Cactus League Spring Training games from Arizona. A new extension of the partnership will include select weekday afternoon games on sister station 1660 The Score (KWOD-AM).

The weekly “Royals Hot Stove” show returns to 610 Sports Radio from January through March. Dates and times of the spring broadcasts and “Royals Hot Stove” show will be announced at a later date.

Listeners can tune in 610 Sports Radio (KCSP-AM) in Kansas City on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The New York Times Becomes The Story

Between an offensive tweet and a significant revision, The New York Times’ handling of a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attracted almost as much attention as the accusation itself.

The Associated Press reports the story also gave President Donald Trump and his allies fresh ammunition in his campaign against the media, where the Times was already a favorite target.

The revelation that led several Democratic presidential contenders to call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment came in the 11th paragraph of a story labeled “news analysis” that ran in the Sunday opinion section. The story is based on an upcoming book by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” about the junior justice’s brutal confirmation battle last year.

Read More Now

At a campaign rally Monday night, President Donald Trump denounced 'The New York Times' for a recent controversial report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump accused reporters of destroying the Old Gray Lady's "virtue" and ruining her reputation.

Also, a New York Times reporter on Monday blamed editors at the paper for removing critical information from an article on an alleged incident of sexual misconduct involving Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, according to The National Review.

The article was widely pilloried for relating details of the incident, in which Kavanaugh allegedly opened his pants at a party in college while a friend pushed his penis into the hand of a woman also present, without mentioning that the woman has no recollection of the incident and had declined to be interviewed.

An editor’s note containing the exculpatory information was added to the article in a later version.

Reporter Robin Pogrebin addressed the issue in an MSNBC interview along with her coauthor Kate Kelly, saying that the information was originally in the article, but that it was removed during the editing process.

“I think what happened was that…we had [the woman’s] name, and the Times doesn’t usually include the name of the victim, and so in this case I think the editors felt like maybe it was better to remove it, and in removing her name, they removed the other reference to the fact that she didn’t remember [the incident],” said Pogrebin. She continued that she thought the removal was done “in the haste of the editing process.”

FL Radio: Hall Comm OM Mike James Sets Retirement

Mike James

Hall Communications Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL has announced the impending retirement of OM Mike James, as of  December 31, wrapping up a 40-year career in broadcasting.

James joined Country WPCV 97.5 FM as Program Director in 2004, and was promoted to OM for the 4-station cluster in 2006, adding Adult Hits WWRZ-FM, Talk WLKF-AM and Adult Standards WONN-AM.

James' radio career started at WELE-AM & FM Daytona Beach, FL, followed by WWKA Orlando FL, KKCS Colorado Springs CO, WQIK Jacksonville FL and KMDL Lafayette LA.

James said, "My first radio job was in 1979, and I can remember thinking how great it was to be able to entertain people, and get paid for it at the same time. 40 years later, it's still great, but I'm finally ready to kick back, relax and spend more quality time at Anna Maria Island. I want to thank Hall Communications owners Art and Bonnie Rowbotham for giving me the opportunity to work for one of the most respected radio groups in America."

He added, "We've got an incredible team of pros here in Lakeland, and we've enjoyed impressive ratings and revenue success over the past 15 years. I'm also especially proud to have helped raise over 4 Million Dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during my radio career. That's the most rewarding part of this amazing journey."

D-C-Balt Radio: iHM Names Danny Bortnick SVP/Sales

Danny Bortnick
iHeartMedia names Danny Bortnick as Region Senior Vice President of Sales for Washington DC-Baltimore.  He'll oversee the sales operations teams in both markets.

Bortnick is a media veteran with over a decade of experience, most recently serving as the Senior VP/Sales for iHM/Washington DC. He's also served as VP/Sales for Entercom, VP/Sales for CBS Radio and General Sales Manager for WNEW-FM. He began his career at Christal Radio.

"Danny has made a tremendous impact on the day-to-day operations of our sales organization since day one," said iHeartMedia Washington DC-Baltimore Region President Aaron Hyland.

"I am excited to see Danny take on this new leadership position and look forward to his continued success in developing and managing a best in class sales team for the region."

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the sales initiatives for the iHeartMedia Washington DC Region," added Bortnick.

"I look forward to building on our accomplishments in both Washington DC and Baltimore and utilizing the incredible iHeartMedia network of content, assets and influencers to create marketing solutions that drive results for our advertisers."

Key Networks Expands Leadership Team

Next-generation radio syndication company Key Networks announces that it has expanded its offerings to include network audio advertising sales to producers and service / program providers.

Leading the team for Key Networks will be executive Jim Higgins, who joins the company as President and Chief Operating Officer. Key Networks has also appointed ad sales veteran Rich Baum as Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales. Higgins will be based in New York City and Baum will be based in Chicago. 

Jim Higgins
Higgins was previously President & COO for United Stations Radio Networks for the last 15 years and EVP & General Manager for United Stations Radio Networks for 21 years prior. He also served as an Account Supervisor at Grey Advertising and ran Market Research for RCA Records. 

Baum formerly served as EVP, Sales at United Stations Radio Networks for 13 years and was SVP at United Stations Radio Networks for 11 years prior. He was also Manager, Southwest Network Sales and Sr. Account Executive, Midwest Regional for Westwood One in Chicago and Dallas and was an Account Executive for Unistar Radio Networks. 

Key Networks, based in Orlando, FL, and New York, NY, was launched last year by its affiliated company Sun & Fun Media with the appointment of Chief Revenue Officer, high-profile network radio executive Dennis Green. This spring, the company launched its first nationally syndicated radio program, The O’Reilly Update, starring bestselling author and former #1 cable news personality Bill O’Reilly. The O’Reilly Update is now heard on 165 radio stations in markets across the U.S. 

Rob Koblasz, Chief Executive Officer, Key Networks and Sun & Fun Media, said: “We are excited to now be a full-service network company for our existing as well as new clients, with the addition of advertising sales capabilities and an experienced and knowledgeable senior executive team, led by Jim Higgins as President and COO of Key Networks and Rich Baum as EVP, Advertising Sales.”

Rich Baum
Koblasz added: “Our goal when we started Key Networks was to be best-in-class, from the talent we represent, the producers we work with and the professionals on our team. Both Jim and Rich fit that description perfectly. Their contacts in the ad sales and marketing world run deep and they are highly respected in the industry. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jim and Rich to help build Key Networks into a successful full-service network audio company.” 

Higgins said: “I’m thrilled to be teaming up with a very entrepreneurial network group, including Dennis, Rich and Rob to drive Key Networks forward. My strength is in delivering results for marketing partners while also building relationships that keep me engaged and involved in their business growth and development. Collectively, we intend to be a big part of Audio’s renaissance with renewed interest from a growing number of advertisers and brands who know that radio gets results. Stay tuned! ”

Baum said: “I am very excited to join Rob, Dennis, Jim and the whole Key Networks team as we look to build a best-in-class, full service Network Audio company. This collaboration could not happen at a better time as advertiser interest in strong audio platforms has seen a significant resurgence over the last few years.”

For more information about Key Networks: 

NH Radio: Jim Schachter Named CEO At NHPR

New Hampshire Public Radio has announced that its board of trustees chose veteran news executive Jim Schachter as the new president and chief executive officer of NHPR, effective Oct. 15.

As the organization’s next leader, Schachter will craft and execute a vision and strategy for NHPR that maintains its journalistic excellence and sustains its mission of ‘expanding minds, sparking connections, and building stronger communities.’

Jim Schachter
“On behalf of the NHPR board of trustees, I’m delighted to announce Jim’s appointment as our next president and chief executive officer” said Peter Burger, chair of the NHPR board. “His experience and perspective reporting from some of our nation’s great newsrooms and managing high-performing teams will be an asset as we work to build upon NHPR’s tradition of excellence, deep community engagement and value to listeners.”

Schachter comes to New Hampshire from the nation’s largest public radio station – WNYC in New York City. There, he served for seven years as vice president for news, managing a staff that grew to 120 people producing national and local radio programs. During his tenure, WNYC’s reporting prompted federal, state and local investigations and earned some of the most prestigious honors in journalism – including Peabody, DuPont, Polk, national Edward R. Murrow, Third Coast and Sigma Delta Chi Public Service awards. Other achievements included driving diversity efforts in both staff and on-air positions and launching national call-in programs.

Before his experience in public media at WNYC, Jim spent 17 years at The New York Times, working as a senior editor in the business and culture departments and at The New York Times Magazine before rising to the masthead position of associate managing editor. Earlier in his career, Jim reported and edited for 10 years – primarily on the business beat – at the Los Angeles Times. He also covered labor issues for The Kansas City Star. Jim got his start in journalism at the Jacksonville Journal after graduating from Columbia University in New York.

Beyond The Business: Scott Borchetta On Music, Culture and More

On the latest episode of the 'Beyond The Business' podcast, Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley speaks with Scott C. Borchetta, Founder, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group.

The Big Machine Label Group artist roster includes superstars Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum and many more.

During their time together Caroline and Scott cover lots of ground and many topics including:
  • Growing up in the music industry
  • What it was like as a teen to move from southern California to Nashville
  • The new deal with Scooter Braun and the new company,  Ithaca Holdings 
  • The importance of being a great observer of culture and where it’s going
  • Scott’s thought process in approaching solutions for performance rights with radio
  • How important it is to cut through the noise and data to get it right for tomorrow
  • Understanding what we can do to be good citizens of the planet 

What Killed Ric Ocasek, Eddie Money Revealed

Ric Ocasek
Ric Ocasek's family is opening up about the death of The Cars frontman, reports USAToday.

In a statement released Monday, Paula Porizkova, the rocker's wife of nearly 30 years, said the rocker died "peacefully" in his sleep.

"Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery," Porizkova, said in an Instagram post. "Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together. I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on."

New York Police Detective Martin Brown said that police were called to Ocasek's residence around 4 p.m. EDT Sunday. "Upon arrival, police found a 75-year-old male unresponsive in bed," Brown said. "He was pronounced dead at the scene."

Eddie Money
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York concluded Monday that Ocasek died of natural causes, determining that hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease was the cause of death, with pulmonary emphysema a contributing condition.

That means he suffered from high blood pressure, a chronic lung condition and a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in his arteries.

Meanwhile, Eddie Money's death last week was not the result of his stage 4 cancer but of complications from the heart valve procedure the singer underwent in January, a representative told People magazine.

September 17 Radio History

➦In 1931...RCA Victor unveiled an early version 33 1/3 rpm long-playing or "LP" record.

RCA Victor introduced "Program Transcription" discs, as Victor called them, played at 33 1⁄3 rpm and used a somewhat finer and more closely spaced groove than typical 78s. They were to be played with a special "Chromium Orange" chrome-plated steel needle. The 10-inch discs, mostly used for popular and light classical music, were normally pressed in shellac, but the 12-inch discs, mostly used for "serious" classical music, were normally pressed in Victor's new vinyl-based Victrolac compound, which provided a much quieter playing surface. They could hold up to 15 minutes per side. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, was the first 12-inch recording issued.

Unfortunately for Victor, it was downhill from there. Many of the subsequent issues were not new recordings but simply dubs made from existing 78 rpm record sets. The dubs were audibly inferior to the original 78s. Two-speed turntables with the 33 1⁄3 rpm speed were included only on expensive high-end machines, which sold in small numbers, and people were not buying many records of any kind at the time. Overall record sales in the US had crashed from a high of 105.6 million records sold in 1921 to 5.5 million in 1933, because of competition from radio and the effects of the Great Depression.  The failure of the new product left RCA Victor with a low opinion of the prospects for any sort of long-playing record, influencing product development decisions during the coming decade.

The new format to lie dormant for years until Columbia revived it in 1948.

Kate Smith
➦In 1936..the Kate Smith Hour began a decade-long run on CBS radio network. It was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.

Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

Yvonne Daniels
In 1937...Yvonne Daniels born in Jacksonville, FL (Died of breast cancer- June 21, 1991).

She started her broadcasting career in 1956 working at WOBS in Jacksonville, she soon moved to East St. Louis IL amd worked at WBBR. In the mid 60s Daniels moved to Chicago, where she had stints at WYNR and WCFL (hosting an overnight jazz show before the station flipped to Top40).

On June 9 1973, she became the first female DJ on blowtorch 89 WLS working overnights and fill-in.

In 1982, she left to do morning drive for WVON before moving to afternoons in 1984 when WVON changed it’s calls to WGCI. She stayed until 1989 when she became morning drive host at jazz station WNUA.

In late '91, Chicago's Dearborn Street Bridge was renamed Yvonne Daniels Way in her honor. In 1995, she was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

➦In 1967...The Who performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  Drummer Keith Moon rigged his drum set to explode at the conclusion of "My Generation".  He rigged the normal amount of explosives used at other concerts, and didn't tell the rest of the group.  The result of the stunt was a massive explosion on stage.  One of Moon's drum cymbals shattered, causing cuts to Moon's leg and arms was cut.  Guitarist Pete Townshend was closest to the blast, had his hair singed.

➦In 1976...Jay Thomas aired first show on WXLO NYC, now WEPN 98.7 FM, airing ESPN and local sports.

➦In 1989...Now owned by Salem Media Group, former Top40 giant WMCA 570 AM NYC flipped format to religious.

The WMCA Good Guys Meet The Beatles
Throughout the 1960s, WMCA beat other radio stations on most Beatles' promotions, scoring firsts, causing headaches in particular for rival WABC - most notably when Capitol Records printed a photograph of the "Good Guys" line-up - on the back of a limited edition record sleeve for the single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Side 2: "I Saw Her Standing There"). WMCA's Good Guys were also featured at both of the Beatles' concerts at Shea Stadium, on August 15, 1965 and on August 23, 1966.

WABC responded in different ways, scoring a success during the Beatles' second New York visit in August 1964 - when the band stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, rousing thousands of teenage fans into a frenzy - while broadcasting from one floor above the Beatles' rooms.  WABC later went against its own music policies, promising promoter Sid Bernstein that it would play a new group he was handling before any other New York City radio station - if it could get exclusive access to the Beatles. WABC never added records "out of the box" - but it did for Sid Bernstein when it played The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Going To Eat Out My Heart Anymore" - before other radio stations.

Since WABC knew WMCA already had a relationship with the Beatles, with tapes of the group promoting the station - what could WABC do to achieve the same? In August 1965, WABC came up with what it thought was a brilliant idea - issuing "medals" called "The Order of the All-Americans" - tied to its own DJs. The strategy was to present the medals to each of the Beatles the next time they were in New York. Everything was set.

WABC's Bruce Morrow interview The Beatles August 1965
The goal was to get each Beatle to comment on the "medal" - and then to get each to say the station's call letters, "W-A-B-C." These in turn could be used in station IDs and promotions, etc. - thus matching WMCA's success at getting the Beatles to promote WMCA and its Good Guys. But WABC's plan backfired. The station got its interviews, but none of the band's members would utter WABC's call letters. According to Beatles' historian Bruce Spizer, manager Brian Epstein ordered the Beatles to stop "giving away valuable promotional spots to radio stations for free."

Red Skelton
➦In 1997…Richard Bernard Eheart died at age 84  (Born - July 18, 1913). He was  professionally known as Red Skelton and was a comedy entertainer. He was best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. He has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, and also appeared in burlesque, vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.

Skelton's first radio appearance on Rudy Vallée's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour on August 12, 1937. Vallée's program had a talent show segment and those who were searching for stardom were eager to be heard on it. Vallée also booked veteran comic and fellow Indiana native Joe Cook to appear as a guest with Skelton. The two Hoosiers proceeded to trade jokes about their home towns, with Skelton contending to Cook, an Evansville native, that the city was a suburb of Vincennes.

On October 1, 1938, Skelton replaced Red Foley as the host of Avalon Time on NBC; and his wife Edna also joined the show's cast, under her maiden name.  She developed a system for working with the show's writers: selecting material from them, adding her own and filing the unused bits and lines for future use; the Skeltons worked on Avalon Time until late 1939.  Skelton's work in films led to a new regular radio show offer; between films, he promoted himself and MGM by appearing without charge at Los Angeles area banquets. A radio advertising agent was a guest at one of his banquet performances and recommended Skelton to one of his clients.

Skelton went on the air with his own radio show, The Raleigh Cigarette Program, on October 7, 1941. The bandleader for the show was Ozzie Nelson; his wife, Harriet, who worked under her maiden name of Hilliard, was the show's vocalist and also worked with Skelton in skits.

➦In 2011…TV entertainment reporter, ESPN sports reporter and radio show host on WCCO Minneapolis Eleanor Mondale died from brain cancer at age 51.  He was also an actress and daughter of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale.

➦In 2012…Fashion model and radio personality Tedi Thurman died at age 89.  She was "Miss Monitor" on the NBC weekend radio series Monitor.

Tedi Thurman
Her gig on Monitor made her the most recognizable female voice on radio during the 1950s-1960s. Notably, not only does Tedi have one of the most iconic voices in radio history, and her weather girl antics influenced the entire profession.

➦In 2015…Milo Hamilton died (Born September 2, 1927). He was a sportscaster who called play-by-play for seven different MLB teams starting in 1953. He received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton died at the age of 88.

Monday, September 16, 2019

John Toohey Joins Cumulus As VP/Finance

Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed media finance executive John Toohey as Vice President, Finance for the Company. 

His new role includes financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and special projects. He will report directly to John Abbot, Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Cumulus Media and will be based in New York City and Atlanta. 

John Toohey
Toohey joins Cumulus Media following 12 years with Charter Communications and its predecessor, Time Warner Cable (TWC), where he was most recently Group Vice President, Media Sales Finance, Spectrum Reach. In addition to his tenure at Charter/TWC, Toohey’s broad media finance background includes five years with NBC, seven years with CBS, and four years with Cablevision. Toohey holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. 

John Abbot, Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Cumulus Media, said: “John Toohey is a high caliber professional who brings deep and relevant experience to Cumulus. We are very excited to add such a strong player to the finance and accounting team.” 

Toohey said: “I am pleased to join Cumulus Media and to come full circle, having started my media career at WHRB-FM, Harvard’s student radio station. I am excited to work with John Abbot and the rest of the incredible team at Cumulus.”

Bay Area Radio: Tom Tolbert Re-Ups With Sports KNBR

Tom Tolbert
Cumulus Media announces that Tom Tolbert, popular sports radio personality heard on San Francisco’s KNBR 104.5FM & 680AM, has signed a multi-year deal with the company.

Tolbert has been with KNBR since 1996 and currently co-hosts Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks with Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks weekdays from 2pm-6pm. The show can be heard on KNBR 104.5FM, KNBR 680AM and KNBR 1050AM. He also serves as host of KNBR’s Dubs Countdown to Tipoff pre-game shows.

Tolbert played as a Forward in the NBA for seven years, and later served as a color commentator for NBA telecasts at NBC, ABC and ESPN.

KNBR Program Director Jeremiah Crowe said: “Tom is the heart and soul of the KNBR brand and we’re excited to have him stay in the family here at The Sports Leader. He has a special bond with Bay Area sports fans and his unrivaled passion for the game can be heard every weekday during Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks. We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Tom for years to come.”

Tolbert commented: “I’m so happy to be able to sign a deal that will keep me here for the foreseeable future. KNBR has been my home for the past 23 years and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The people at this station are the reason it’s fun coming to work every day, and they’re the reason why I can’t see myself doing this anywhere else.”

R.I.P.: Ric Ocasek, Songwriter, Lead Singer For The Cars

Rick Ocasek
Ric Ocasek, the songwriter and lead singer for the Cars, was found dead on Sunday afternoon at his townhouse in Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department.

He was 75, according to The NYTimes.

In a string of multimillion-selling albums from 1978 to 1988, Ocasek and the Cars merged a vision of dangerous and romantic night life and the concision of new wave with the sonic depth and ingenuity of radio-friendly rock. The Cars managed to please both punk-rock fans and a far broader pop audience, reaching into rock history while devising new, lush extensions of it.

The Cars grew out of a friendship forged in the late 1960s in Ohio between Mr. Ocasek — born Richard Theodore Otcasek — and Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.

They worked together in multiple bands before moving to Boston and forming the Cars in the late 1970s with Elliot Easton on guitar, Greg Hawkes on keyboards and David Robinson on drums. It was the beginning of the punk era, but the Cars made their first albums with Queen’s producer, Roy Thomas Baker, creating songs that were terse and moody but impeccably polished.

Fox News reports his estranged wife, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, found him unresponsive Sunday afternoon at his home in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood adding that he apparently died of natural causes. Police said there was no sign of foul play.

The Cars' self-titled 1978 debut album was a smash hit, boosted by singles including "Just What I Needed." The album helped lead the way for new wave's influence on rock music throughout the following decade.

The band's 1981 single "Shake It Up" hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while 1984's "Drive" hit #3.

"I liked songwriters, I was always attracted to people like Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Gene Vincent in the '50s, and when the '60s came, of course I loved The Beatles, but I also loved the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa," Ocasek told The Vinyl District earlier this year. "I certainly always loved a good pop song. I always liked great songs, and it didn’t matter if it was from the Carpenters or Lou Reed. As long as they were done well and they weren’t corny or fake."

The band broke up in the late-'80s, as Ocasek embarked on a solo career. His 1986 single "Emotion in Motion" was Ocasek's only song to crack the Top 40 without The Cars behind him.

Ocasek and Porizkova were married for 28 years before their breakup last year. They were said to have met while The Cars recorded the music video for "Drive."

Study: TV News Tops for Hurricane Dorian Information

As of September 1st, the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season yielded four named storms.

The fourth storm, Dorian, turned out to be the biggest and most powerful of them all, wreaking havoc on the Northern Bahamas and threatening the east coast of the United States from Miami to Norfolk. Proving to be slow-moving and unpredictable, states along the east coast made preparations for a potential catastrophe brought on by Hurricane Dorian.

TVB engaged Dynata to survey media usage related to Hurricane Dorian as it progressed northeastward, threatening the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. The analysis revealed that local broadcast TV news was overwhelmingly preferred as the go-to source for hurricane coverage over all other news sources.

Among the highlights:
  • News Sources: 84% of respondents used local TV news for information about Hurricane Dorian.
  • Time Spent: At 3 hours and 24 minutes, respondents spent more time with local television than any other source, more than twice than the time spent with the 2nd highest platform.
  • Information Source for Hurricane preparation: 75% of respondents chose local TV for information when preparing to face severe weather.
  • Trust: Local TV news assets were the most trusted source for coverage and information. 94% of respondents agreed that local TV news was the most trusted, while local TV news websites and apps were the second most trusted source at 88%. Social media was the lowest at 57%.
  • The top reason cited for watching local TV news: respondents wanted information that pertained to their area.
  • The top reason cited for using local TV news websites and app: respondents trust the news from their station’s website/app.

Source: Dynata Hurricane Dorian Weather Survey. 9/3/19-9/6/19 Adults 18+. Time Spent between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m.

Despite Increase In Streaming, Music TSL Is Shrinking

Despite rising revenues and an increase in streaming, a new Nielsen report shows that total time spent listening to music is decreasing.

According to Billboard, more people are paying for subscriptions -- at the midpoint of 2019, U.S. streaming revenue was up 26% year over year. Consumers have never had so many options for listening, from free streams to pricey vinyl box sets. And yet, the average time American consumers say they spend listening to music each week has dropped from 32.1 hours in 2017 to 26.9 hours in 2019, according to Nielsen Music’s Music 360 report.

One explanation is that people are becoming choosier in how much time they spend with various forms of media.

Teens especially are engaging with music in “a short, focused manner,” says Mark Mulligan, managing director of media analysis firm MiDiA Research, whose studies have also noted a decline in time spent with music.

He points to TikTok, which allows users to add music to 15-second videos and represents a shift from passive listening to high-engagement apps that allow teens to identify with music.

Each music listener is worth more than ever, however. In the past two years, 29.6 million additional U.S. subscribers added $1.24 billion in industry revenue, according to new RIAA figures. Other forms of streaming revenue, such as ad-supported streams, grew another $386 million. SiriusXM gained a 1% share of listening time, but added 1.1 million subscribers worth about $250 million in annual revenue. These digital gains pushed total industry revenue up 22.4% in two years -- all from arguably the same number of music listeners. “You’re getting a consumer who’s willing to pay for a great service even when listening hours aren’t necessarily going up,” says David Bakula, who researches global media trends for Nielsen Entertainment.

Streaming could also be taking overall listening time from broadcast AM/FM radio and digital downloads. Time spent listening to over-the-air radio, still a popular and influential format, dropped 25%. Edison Research has found that over half of the radio audience listens only in the car. So when the percentage of people who listen to AM/FM radio in the car dropped from 61% to 56%, as Nielsen’s surveys found, listening time decreased accordingly. Yet 92% of people still say they listen to radio weekly, according to Nielsen Music, a metric that’s both consistent year over year and higher than those who watch TV (86%).

How Many Music Streams Does it Take to Earn a Dollar?

A decade ago, the music industry was headed for a protracted fade-out.

The disruptive effects of peer-to-peer file sharing had slashed music revenues in half, casting serious doubts over the future of the industry, according to visualcapitalist.com.

Ringtones provided a brief earnings bump, but it was the growing popularity of premium streaming services that proved to be the savior of record labels and artists. For the first time since the mid-90s, the music industry saw back-to-back years of growth, and revenues grew a brisk 12% in 2018 – nearly reaching $10 billion. In short, people showed they were still willing to pay for music.

Although most forecasts show streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music contributing an increasingly large share of revenue going forward, recent data from The Trichordist reveals that these services pay out wildly different rates per stream.

Note: Due to the lack of publicly available data, calculating payouts from streaming services is not an exact science. This data set is based on revenue from an indie label with a ~150 album catalogue generating over 115 million streams.

One would expect streaming services to have fairly similar payout rates every time a track is played, but this is not the case. In reality, the streaming rates of major players in the market – which have very similar catalogs – are all over the map. Below is a full breakdown of how many streams it takes to earn a dollar on various platforms:

Napster, once public enemy number one in the music business, has some of the most generous streaming rates in the industry. On the downside, the brand currently has a market share of less than 1%, so getting a high volume of plays on an album isn’t likely to happen for most artists.

On the flip side of the equation, YouTube has the highest number of plays per song, but the lowest payout per stream by far. It takes almost 1,500 plays to earn a single dollar on the Google-owned video platform.

Spotify, which is now the biggest player in the streaming market, is on the mid-to-low end of the compensation spectrum.

Podcasts Fuel NPR’s Financial Growth

National Public Radio is projecting that podcast sponsorship revenues will surpass revenues from broadcast sponsorships next year for the first time, reports The Current.

During NPR’s membership meeting Sept. 5, Chief Financial Officer Deborah Cowan told public radio station leaders that the network has budgeted about $55 million in corporate sponsorship revenues from podcasts in fiscal year 2020.

That’s about $5 million more than the roughly $50 million total that NPR projects to bring in from podcast sponsorship by the end of FY19, which runs through this month, Cowan said.

Podcasts have been a “huge return on investment for us and a major growth engine for our business,” Cowan said.

Podcast sponsorship revenues are helping to fund initiatives throughout NPR, said outgoing CEO Jarl Mohn during the meeting. It “pays for the international bureaus, for the increased election coverage, for all the special content in the news magazines and so forth,” he said.

“The bulk of the revenue from podcasts is plowed back into the news department and the news magazines,” he said.

Total sponsorship revenues are projected to reach $114.5 million in FY20, according to financial reports prepared for last week’s NPR board meeting. If NPR meets its sponsorship projection for FY20, it will nearly double the total sponsorship revenue the network earned three years ago.

San Diego Radio: Magic 92.5 Makes Samantha DeJesus AM Producer

Samantha DeJesus
XHRM Magic 92.5 FM Morning Show duo “Jagger & Kristi,” announced Samantha DeJesus, nicknamed “Sam” on-air, as new producer.

DeJesus stepped in the producer role in the interim following the departure of Sheryl Love in July, and will now take on the role full time.

The San Diego native started as an Intern at Local Media San Diego in the radio promotions department while studying at Communications at Miramar College.  She quickly joined the production and programming departments working as a Board Operator, doing spot production, voice-over work, as well as on-air roles on Magic and sister station 91X.

“I cannot fully express the amount gratitude I have to be given such an amazing opportunity,” said DeJesus.  “Along with the rest of the city, I grew up listening to Jagger and Kristi, so I feel like I’ve known them all my life. To be working alongside such an iconic radio duo, who are legends to the San Diego community, I am thrilled to learn and grow with the best in the business.”

Morning Show host Kristi said, “We are so excited to welcome Sam to the show!  Her personality lights up a room and she is such a people person.  We look forward to sharing lots of laughs and fun with Producer Sam and our listeners!”

“We knew from the beginning Sam was a great fit!” said co-host Jagger.  “She is going to be an awesome compliment to the morning show and we couldn’t be happier that she is on board.”