Friday, June 22, 2018

Chris Oliviero To EXIT Entercom

Chris Oliviero
After a career with CBS radio dating back to 1996, Entercom EVP/Programming Chris Oliviero has announced his intention to exit.

He is reportedly leaving to 'pursue new opportunities.  “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my  departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”

A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization.

"We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and programming Jeff Sottolano.”

Oliviero was named Senior Vice President of Programming for CBS Radio in 2009, while taking on a supervisory role for CBS Sports Radio in 2012.  He provided creative oversight of the division’s search for both established and up-and-coming talent, and has been instrumental in CBS Radio’s expansion of sports radio on FM, including launches in New York, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Tampa, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

He began his career with CBS Radio in 1996 as an intern for Howard S. Upon his graduation from New York University in 1998, Oliviero joined Sportsradio 660AM WFAN as producer. In 2000, he was named Executive Producer for WNEW 102.7FM. Oliviero became part of CBS Radio's corporate staff as program coordinator in January 2004, and from July 2004 until July 2005 served as Director, Original Programming before being named Vice President of Programming.

Orlando Radio: CMG Adds Programmers For K92, Power95.3

Steve Stewart
Cox Media Group/Orlando has announced that programming veteran Steve Stewart as Director/Programming Operations its music stationsr.

The music cluster includes Country WWKA K92.3 FM, CHR WPYO 95.3 FM, Urban WCFB Star94.5 FM, Classic Hits WMMO 98.9 FM and WCFB-HD2 107.3 FM Solo Exitos.

Stewart will also oversee day to day programming duties on  K92.3.

"I'm incredibly excited to work with the CMG Orlando team and everyone at Cox Media Group," said Stewart. “The energy and talent in this group have us poised for success.”

Will Calder
“Steve Stewart impressed us from the very start,” said VP/Radio Programming Steve Smith. “He possesses the leadership skills to light up Orlando with our amazing cluster of great radio brands.”

In addition, CMG has named Will Calder as Director/Branding and Programming for WPYO Power95.3.

“I have always been very impressed by the teams at Cox Media Group, especially after going up against them for the past several years in Miami,” said CALDER. “Now, I am absolutely honored to be joining them in Orlando and can’t wait to start making some major noise with the Power95.3 crew on-air, on the streets, on social media and with partners and clients.”

WWKA 92.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Will Calder’s a warrior, the perfect addition to our CMG programming arsenal of winners,” Smith added.

Smart Speakers Getting Radio Back Into Homes

With smart speaker adoption quickly increasing in American homes, radio is on the verge of capitalizing on an vital listening location.

That's was the main message from Thursday's webinar on smart speakers from Jacob's Media and gM Paul Jacobs.  “In-home radio listening is still really important and if there aren’t radios in the home, how are they going to listen,” was the question posed by Jacobs.

Paul Jacobs
The webainer cited stats from TechSurvey 2018, an online survey of 64,000 radio station database members, that showed that 83% of respondents have a regular radio in working condition where they live that they use, down from 88% in 2017 and 89% in 2016. Just two thirds of Millennials have a working radio at home.

Among formats, sports radio listeners lead the way with 29% owning a smart speaker, followed by CHR (25%) and a three-way tie for third among hot AC, country and adult alternative (each at 24%). Formats that under-perform the 21% average in smart speaker ownership are the same ones more apt to have a working radio in the home: urban AC (15%), classic hits (17%) and variety hits (18%).

On a parallel track, Americans are relying more on voice commands for a variety of tasks – one in five said they use voice command features frequently in 2018 and another 25% said they occasionally do. “Americans’ habits are changing. We are clearly being trained by things like Siri and Ford Sync,” Jacobs said. That’s especially true among smart speaker owners with four in ten frequently using voice command features.

States Urging Sinclair-Tribune Rejection

The attorneys general of Illinois, Iowa and Rhode Island urged the Federal Communications Commission to reject Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co, citing “excessive consolidation” in the television market

According to Reuters, Sinclair, the largest U.S. television broadcast group with 192 stations, announced plans in May 2017 to acquire Chicago-based Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets.

In April, Sinclair said it would sell 23 television stations to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals of the Tribune transaction. Sinclair, based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, said that if the deal was approved it would reach nearly 59 percent of the nation’s television households.

The three attorneys general, all Democrats, said in a filing with the FCC made public on Thursday that the deal “creates excessive consolidation, unreasonably reducing the number of voices in the broadcast television marketplace” and is “not in the public interest.”

The filing noted that Illinois and Iowa are among broadcast markets in 36 states that will be affected by the deal and said that “stations serving audiences in Illinois and Iowa are the subject of divestiture plans.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also objected to the deal in a separate filing, saying that it “consolidates an unprecedented amount of market power into one corporate entity” and would allow Sinclair to continue to operate some of the stations it is selling.

A Sinclair spokeswoman declined to comment on the filings.

Conservative news outlet Newsmax Media, satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp and trade group NCTA – the Internet & Television Association are among those voicing objections to the merger.

Major Advertiser Drops Fox News’ Ingraham

At least one major advertiser has dropped Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show in the wake of her comments on Monday about immigrant children separated from their parents, according to Politico.

With advertising time on the conservative daily talk show down since Monday night, it’s possible that other companies have also bailed on “The Ingraham Angle.”

The media and internet company IAC will no longer be running ads for HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List on the show, an IAC spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.

During her show on Monday night, Ingraham described the detention centers for immigrant children separated from their parents on the Mexican border as “essentially like summer camps,” further comparing them to “boarding schools.”

Between June 4 and 15, IAC was Ingraham’s second-biggest advertiser, according to Kantar Media, running 13 ads for HomeAdvisor. The company had already stopped airing ads for after Hogg’s previous boycott campaign.

A Fox News spokesperson said the network was unaffected by any loss in advertising resulting from Ingraham’s latest comments.

“There’s been no impact on our business, and new advertisers continue to opt in for our powerful prime-time lineup,” the spokesperson said.

Las Vegas Radio: N/T KDWN 720 AM To Add FM Simulcast

Beasley Media Group announces the debut of The New 101.5FM/720AM The Talk of Las Vegas. The change will officially take place on June 21, 2018.

101.5 KDWN-FM’s simulcast of KDWN-AM will originate on Beasley’s translator K268CS at 101.5FM, located atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.

The decision to create a simulcast broadcast stems from the company’s market research and a desire to offer Las Vegas residents an alternate way to hear KDWN’s locally originated programming, along with a venerable line-up of personalities that will include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

In addition, as the official broadcast partner of the Oakland Raiders, fans of the team will have yet another FM option to hear the games this fall. The live broadcasts will also be carried on Beasley’s KCYE-FM.

K268CS 101.5 FM (250 watts)
“We’re truly excited about this new opportunity to expand KDWN’s presence in the Las Vegas market,” said Beasley Media Group Vice President and Market Manager Dennis Gwiazdon. “Not only does this provide our listeners with an additional choice to enjoy KDWN’s programming but an FM simulcast immediately adds value to our advertising customers.”

Colorado Springs Radio: KKFM Adds Jonathan Peletis To PM Drive

Jonathan Peletis
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Jonathan “J.P.” Peletis as PM Drive On-Air Talent and Promotions Director for Classic Rock KKFM 98.1 FM in Colorado Springs, CO.

Peletis served most recently as PM Drive On-Air Talent/Promotions Director at 103.9 The Fox in Crystal Lake, IL. He was previously Producer at Chicago’s JBTV Music Television, and was On-Air Talent and Video Producer at Star 105.5 and 95.9 The River in suburban Chicago. Peletis also brings to Cumulus experience as Digital Marketing Manager for several Chicago area ad agencies.

Bobby Irwin, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Colorado Springs, said: “J.P. brings to KKFM and our station cluster an awesome mix of radio rock show, digital marketing and promotions experience, with passion for the Colorado lifestyle.”

KKFM 98.1 FM (71 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Peletis said: “I am beyond excited to start the next chapter of my career here at KKFM. Cumulus understands the power of live and local entertainment, while engaging listeners on-air, on-site, and online.”

Orlando Radio: Lisa Kitchener Named GSM For JVC Cluster

Lisa Kitchener
JVC Media of Florida announces the addition of Sales veteran Lisa Kitchener for General Sales Manager duties at JVC Media’s Orlando cluster including Country WOTW 103.1 FM and Mainstream rock Bud 94.1 WOTW-HD2/W231CT.

Kitchener, with 25 years of Sales Management under her belt including successful ventures at iHeartMedia Orlando and Triton Digital, brings a wealth of knowledge and strong community business ties to JVC Orlando. 

Kitchener says “I am beyond excited to join the talented team at 103.1 The Wolf and Bud 94.1.  I’m ready to pound the pavement with our great sellers and show our community and business leaders that JVC’s brand of LOCAL and FUN radio is the single greatest medium to reach the largest portion of consumers.”  She continues, “Thanks to John Caracciolo, Shane Reeve, and Chris Ganoudis for giving me the chance to join this great company.”

JVC Orlando General Manager Chris Ganoudis adds, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. 103.1 The Wolf was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of Bud 94.1, Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions, and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.”

Ganoudis finishes, “Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”

JVC’s Executive Vice President Shane Reeve says, “I am extremely proud of the success we have seen at JVC Orlando over the past three years.  With the addition of Lisa Kitchener, JVC is better equipped to do what we do best… super-serve our clients, listeners, and communities with great promotions, events, music, and FUN!

AT&T Gets Skinny

AT&T, fresh off sealing its $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner, isn't wasting time showing that video will be a core part of its service.

According to C-Net, the company on Thursday unveiled two unlimited data plans, dubbed AT&T Unlimited &More and AT&T Unlimited &More Premium, bundled with WatchTV, a new "skinny bundle" of more than 30 live channels. The plans replace the existing options, with a starting price that's $5 more expensive for a single line. Also gone is the default "HBO for life" promotion. WatchTV is available to non-AT&T customers for $15 a month. The new plans and WatchTV launch next week.

The announcement makes good on a plan that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson teased last week in an interview with CNBC. The standalone price puts in competition with Philo, which strips out sports and news channels for a $16-a-month bundle of entertainment networks. It's the latest in a growing crop of online options for live television, which include players like Sony, YouTube and SlingTV.

"We're A Modern Media Company" Says AT&T CEO

Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, on Thursday said a lot happened during the 600 days it took to acquire HBO and CNN-owner Time Warner for $85 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Randall Stephenson
"Between the two of us, we added three grandchildren to our family," Stephenson, with AT&T CFO John Stephens at his side, told the Wells Fargo Telecom Conference during a keynote address that was webcast. The deal, nearly two years in the making, was also in the works during the election of U.S. president Donald Trump, Stephenson recalled, which was followed by "sweeping" U.S. tax reform and the repeal of Title II regulation on his core wireless and broadband businesses.

He told investors that "600 days is too long. But while all that transpired, some really positive developments transpired that actually caused us more enthusiasm, and not less." The Time Warner deal has seen AT&T swallow a host of film and TV assets to make the phone giant a major media power player after its earlier acquisition of DirecTV.

Stephenson said the takeover of CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. studio has made AT&T a "modern media company," as it acquires new premium content and direct-to-consumer relationships and ramps up its TV advertising and analytics business to be run by ex-WPP exec Brian Lesser.

He argued that creating premium content and driving it as a wholesaler through cable and satellite TV distributors was no longer a sustainable business model. "You better have extensive relationships directly with the consumer," Stephenson said, as he pointed to 170 million pay TV, broadband and mobile customers and their screens that AT&T can drive entertainment content through going forward.

Keep Reading

Internet Sales To Become More Taxing

A new Supreme Court ruling Thursday could upend a major advantage e-commerce companies like Amazon have had over brick-and-mortar retail stores.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court overturned a 1992 court precedent barring states from requiring businesses that have no physical presence in the state to collect their sales taxes, reports The Hill.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who delivered the decision Thursday, said that the exemption didn't make sense in light of the rise of digital firms.

"Between targeted advertising and instant access to most consumers via any internet-enabled device, 'a business may be present in a state in a meaningful way without' that presence 'being physical in the traditional sense of the term," Kennedy said.

"A virtual showroom can show far more inventory, in far more detail, and with greater opportunities for consumer and seller interaction than might be possible for local stores."

The court's decision upholds a 2016 South Dakota law that requires online retailers to collect sales tax if they make at least $100,000 annually in sales in the state or conduct at least 200 transactions a year with its residents.

Companies like Wayfair, Overstock and Newegg challenged the law, arguing that eliminating the 1992 precedent could create chaos for online retailers who would have to navigate a myriad of tax codes across the country.

Trump's reaction: President Trump who has repeatedly lashed out at the biggest online retailer of them all, Amazon, hailed the decision.

Benztown Grows Again With Addition of Four Pros

Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover services, production libraries, programming and jingles, announces that it has added four experienced professionals to the company’s operations team with the hiring of:
  • Susan Aksu, Marketing Coordinator
  • Matt Anderson, Imaging Producer
  • Laura Keeney, Office Manager/Executive Assistant
  • Teddy Shrader, Commercial Production Creative Director. 
The new team members will be based in Glendale, CA, at Benztown’s North American Headquarters.

Susan Aksu, Marketing Coordinator, is a digital marketing and content development specialist who was previously Senior Marketing Coordinator for Goldman Marketing Group in Burbank, CA, and public affairs writer for KPFK-FM. She holds B.S. degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Sociology from Humboldt State University and is the creator of the adventure travel website:

Matt Anderson, Imaging Producer, joins the company from iHeartMedia, where he was Creative Services Director for KISS 108 in Boston, MA, Prior to that, he was Programming/Production Assistant for iHeartMedia-Providence stations Coast 93.3 and 94 HJY. An audio production specialist and DJ, Anderson holds a B.S. Degree in Communications and Sports Journalism from Springfield College.

Laura Keeney, Office Manager/Executive Assistant, was formerly an associate with Starbucks in Los Angeles. She has also held positions as Development and Acquisitions Coordinator for VMI Worldwide in Los Angeles, and as Social Media Coordinator for Quiver Events in Los Angeles. Keeney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recording Arts from Loyola Marymount University.

Teddy Shrader, Commercial Production Creative Director, joins Benztown from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, where he was Curriculum Consultant, Writer and On-Screen Instructor in the Los Angeles area. Prior to that, he was Senior Production Manager for DMI Music & Media Solutions in Pasadena, CA, for more than 10 years. He was also a Voiceover Artist for DMI Music & Media Solutions. An accomplished guitarist, Shrader is Owner of Shrader Guitar Lessons and has taught guitar lessons in the Los Angeles area for over 17 years.

Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President, said: “We are very pleased to grow our operations team with the addition of these four outstanding professionals. Each brings years of experience in their respective areas to Benztown, bolstering our bench strength and giving us even more resources to serve our customers with the quality, creativity and dependability for which we have become known.”

'Roseanne' Spin-off To Be Titled 'The Connors'

ABC said on Thursday it has ordered a 10-episode spinoff of comedy “Roseanne” that will air without any involvement of its creator Roseanne Barr, who sparked widespread outrage by tweeting a racial slur.

According to Reuters, other original cast members including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert will appear in the show, which has a working title of “The Conners,” ABC said in a statement.

ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co, canceled “Roseanne” in May after Barr sparked widespread anger with a tweet comparing black former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Barr wrote in a now-deleted message that if the Islamist political movement “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.” Barr later apologized for making a bad joke.

John Goodman, Sara Gilbert
ABC said Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the spinoff.

The new series will air this autumn, ABC said, and will feature characters Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J.

The network did not explain what will happen to Barr’s character.

“After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before,” the ABC statement said, referring to the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois.

The family will grapple with “parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America,” the statement added.

In a separate statement, Barr said she agreed to be removed from the show to save 200 cast and crew jobs.

“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne,” Barr said. “I wish the best for everyone involved.”

Time's Crying Child Not Separated From Parents

The photo of the little girl crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent patted down her mother became a symbol of the families pulled apart by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border, even landing on the cover of Time Magazine. But the father of the girl confirmed to The Washington Post Thursday night that the child and mother were not separated.

According to The Washington Post, the heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of international newspapers. It was used to promote a fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families.

Time on Thursday released its July 2 cover using the girl’s image, without the mother, in a photo illustration portraying her looking up at President Trump towering above her.

Making the rounds on the web, this paraody of the Time Cover:

Mueller Rebukes Media Over Inaccurate Reporting

Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller has attacked the media, including The New York Times and the Washington Post, for reporting "inaccurately" on the Russia investigation.

According to BusinessInsider, the rebuke came in a court filing on Thursday, which asked a judge to issue a 19-page questionnaire to potential jurors in the special counsel's upcoming trial in Virginia against Paul Manafort.

Manafort, who's currently in jail, is the one-time Trump campaign chief at the center of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller is preparing to face Manafort in a Virginia court on July 25, and wants to ensure that jurors aren't biased by things they've read in the media before the trial begins.

In a footnote, the special counsel singled out two stories in The New York Times and Washington Post last year, which claimed that Mueller's office had conducted "no-knock" raids of Manafort's house.

The Times cited two anonymous sources "close to the investigation" to report that FBI agents had picked the lock on Manafort's door rather than announcing their presence prior to raiding his house.

Many other news outlets, including the BBC, Vox, and Business Insider, then cited the Times report on the "no-knock" warrant at the time.

Mueller's office later denied carrying out "no-knock" raids, though had until now stopped short of attacking specific outlets over claims to the contrary.

Atlantic City Radio: Man Pleads Guilty In Kauffman Murder

April Kauffman
A Cape May County, New Jersey man pleaded guilty Thursday to a racketeering charge in connection with the 2012 shooting death of WOND Radio Personality April Kauffman, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.

Joseph Mulholland, 52, of Villas, pleaded to the second-degree charge before Superior Court Presiding Judge Bernard DeLury. Under his plea agreement, Mulholland could serve a maximum of 10 years in state prison, according to

Kauffman was killed in 2012. Her husband James Kauffman, an endocrinologist who was awaiting trial on charges that he arranged her death, died in January by suicide in a North Jersey jail. He allegedly was involved in a prescription drug-dealing scheme with the Pagans motorcycle gang and hired a hitman to kill his wife because she threatened to tell police.

R.I.P.: Charles Krauthammer, Dean of Conservative Commentators

Charles Krauthammer, trained psychiatrist and best-selling author who came to be known as the dean of conservative commentators, died Thursday. He was 68, according to Fox News.

His death had been expected after he wrote a heartbreaking letter to colleagues, friends and viewers on June 8 that said in part “I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me…

“Recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.” The letter continued, “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life -- full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living.”

In recent years, Krauthammer was best known for his nightly appearance as a panelist on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” and as a commentator on various Fox news shows.

Following the news of the death of his “good friend,” Baier posted on Twitter:

June 22 Radio History

➦In Paul Frees was born in Chicago.  While much of his voice work was for bigscreen animators, he was much in demand in the OTR era of network radio (Escape, Suspense, Gunsmoke, Dangerous Assignment, Dr. Kildare, Nightbeat, On Stage, and the lead on The Green Llama.) He provided the voice of Boris Badenov in TV’s The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” he died of heart failure Nov. 2 1986 at age 66.

➦In station KVL 1370 Seattle went on the air at 6:30pm with more than 6 hours of musical celebration featuring live orchestras playing jazz, classical and Hawaiian music. Governor Roland H. Hartley delivered the dedicatory address. The station later evolved into KEEN, KEVR. KING 1090 and now KFNQ (“1090 the Fan”).

➦In 1941...CBS news correspondent Ed Bradley was born in Philadelphia.  He is best remembered for his 26 years on the newsmagazine 60 Minutes. During his earlier career he also covered the fall of Saigon, & was the first black television correspondent to cover the White House.  He received 19 Emmy Awards. He died from complications of leukemia Nov 9, 2006 at age 65.

➦In 1954...broadcast journalist Don Hollenbeck, who covered WWII for NBC & then joined CBS, becoming a frequent contributor to “You Are There”, being in poor health, committed suicide at age 49.

➦In 1957...Liverpool skiffle group The Quarrymen, later to morph into the Beatles, play their first major gig at a local fete by performing on the back of a coal truck.

Four years later to the day, the Beatles (with Pete Best on drums) would have their first formal recording session, performing "My Bonnie," "When The Saints Go Marching In," "Why Can't You Love Me Again," "Nobody's Child," and "Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby" while backing singer Tony Sheridan. The sessions, produced by Bert Kaempfert in Hamburg, Germany, also feature "Ain't She Sweet" and the instrumental "Cry For A Shadow," which are both performed by the group alone.

➦In 1992...legendary WABC 770 AM Program Director and consultant, Rick Sklar, died from complications during routine foot surgery.

Rick Sklar
Sklar grew up in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. He graduated from New York University and volunteered at WNYC radio as a writer. He then worked at WPAC in Patchogue, New York, and in 1954 moved to 1010 WINS where he was assistant program director.

In 1960, Sklar became program director at crosstown competitor WMGM 1050 AM.

He moved to WABC in 1962 and became program director there in 1963. Under his management, WABC became the model for tight-playlist, teenager-targeted Top 40 programming, with a strong signal and famed disc jockeys such as "Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow, Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, and Ron Lundy.

His relationship with some of the DJs he oversaw was contentious at times. Scott Muni departed from WABC after a number of confrontations with Sklar over playlists including Sklar's refusal to remove Louis Armstrong's version of the #1 smash hit "Hello, Dolly" from the playlist at Muni's request.

In March 1977, Sklar was promoted to vice president of programming for ABC’s radio division. In 1984 he left ABC to start his own consulting firm, Sklar Communications. His autobiography, Rocking America: An Insider's Story: How the All-Hit Radio Stations Took Over America (ISBN 978-0312687977), was published by St. Martin's Press the same year.

In an interview recorded in 1982, when WABC switched from music to talk programming, Sklar said:
Everything has to end, that's life, WABC is … like anything else it's part of life, couldn't go on forever. But … it was a wonderful thing … it was a one-of-a-kind … I don't think there'll ever be another station quite like that. I mean, the scope of the thing was so huge, was so grand; everything that was done was on such a massive scale. We gave out buttons, we gave out 14 million with the WABC call letters and if we spot you we'll give you $25,000. You know, this stuff is … it's just not done today.… We'll miss it. 
Radio will go on and on forever. Radio's the most adaptable medium there is, and … the old WABC's place in radio will be remembered by everyone who ever heard it, who ever grew up with it, it'll be part of millions and millions—tens of millions of people's lives, and certainly the lives of everyone in the radio business. Now we just have to go on to new things, and I think we will.
Prior to his death, Sklar had been an avid runner for more than ten years, taking it up in the late 1970s. He ran his first New York City Marathon in 1982, finishing 4 hours, 21 minutes, and 36 seconds; coming in 642nd out of 857 who finished the race in his age group.

He began to have problems with his left foot, which necessitated him quitting the sport by 1990. In June 1992, he entered Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan for a minor operation that would allow him to run again.

Although in good health, he died on the operating table due to a lack of oxygen and other mistakes made by the hospital staff.

Rick Sklar was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame the following year.

➦In 1998...WXLO Personality Rick Shaw died age the age of 53.  (Not to be confused with Rick Shaw in Miami)

Bruce Bradley
➦In 2013...Veteran radio personality (WBZ-Boston, KMOX-St. Louis) Bruce "Juicy Brucie" Bradley died at the age of 79.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Report: iHM Still Talking To Liberty Media & 'Interested Parties'

iHeartMedia Inc. has formally turned down a $1.16 billion bid from John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp., but other talks are continuing as the company navigates its way through bankruptcy.

Bloomberg reports Liberty officially withdrew its bid June 15 after being informed that its offer for a 40 percent stake wasn’t enough to satisfy the company or its senior creditors, iHM said in court filings Thursday.

The broadcaster still has “active conversations with other interested parties” and remains “willing to continue dialogue with Liberty,” iHM said. “It is possible that such efforts result in the debtors obtaining a higher or better offer.”

The pursuit of iHM adds to a media-merger frenzy, as cable and telecom operators look to boost flagging growth by adding content providers.

iHM collapsed into bankruptcy this year after a 2008 leveraged buyout overloaded the company with debt that topped $20 billion. But it still ranks as the No. 1 U.S. operator of conventional radio stations, with 850 outlets and stars such as Rush Limbaugh, Ryan Seacrest and Sean Hannity. Based in San Antonio, Texas, iHM also owns an online music streaming service, a live entertainment division and outdoor billboard advertising.

Greg Maffei, Liberty’s chief executive officer, has repeatedly expressed interest in a deal for parts of iHeart and has raised the possibility of a higher bid, citing benefits of combining iHM’s radio unit with SiriusXM Holdings Inc. and Pandora Media Inc.

FCC Nominee Starks Bullish On 5G Leadership

In remarks that should be music to the ears of the wireless industry, FCC nominee Geoffrey Starks said 5G is extremely important to the nation’s economy and making more spectrum bands available for 5G is one of the keys for success, reports Fierce Wireless.

Starks, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s seat, appeared at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, which was webcast. It was the first time for many to hear his views on telecom policies and 5G in particular.

Geoffrey Starks
“The race to 5G is on and the U.S., I believe, needs to maintain its leadership here,” he said.

There are two pieces that need to be emphasized: spectrum and deployment. “It is going to be essential that we continue to have more and more spectrum” that can be brought to market—low, mid and high band, he said.

“In particular, 3.5, the C-Band, 5.9, 6.4 and then getting up into the high band, 24 GHz, 28, 37, 39, 47, 64” and higher. Each of those are going to play an important role, he said, giving credit to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and current Chairman Ajit Pai for getting that spectrum teed up.

He also gave a nod to Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and others who have called for establishing a pipeline and a schedule so the market knows what spectrum is out there and what’s coming to bear so they can plan accordingly. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly also has said he’d like to see a published schedule for auctions.

With Starks, a Democrat, poised to join the commission, that will put it back to the full 3-2 Republican majority. Rosenworcel is also a Democrat. Commissioner Brendan Carr joined fellow Republicans Pai and O’Rielly last year.

The U.S. Senate still must confirm the nomination.