Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tony Kornheiser Podcast Launches Sept. 6

Tony Kornheiser
IMG is diving into the podcast space with ESPN host Tony Kornheiser, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Tony Kornheiser Show, which originated as a radio program in 1992, will be the first foray into podcasting for the agency's original content division. IMG is partnering with on-demand audio provider DGital Media for the daily podcast, which launches Sept. 6.

"On-demand audio gives me the chance to connect with my audience in a very personal, meaningful way," said Kornheiser, who left WTEM 980 AM in Washington DC in June.

"The relaunch of the show to a platform that gives us more freedom to be the combination of smart and funny that we strive to be as we babble about the sports, politics, news and absurd stories of the day is a perfect match. I'm excited to partner with DGital Media and IMG as we look for ways to give our fans, new and old, more of what they love about the show."

Kornheiser has co-hosted ESPN's Pardon the Interruption with Michael Wilbon since 2001. As a print journalist, he wrote for The Washington Post from 1979 to 2012 and began his career as a reporter at Newsday and The New York Times.

"Tony is one of the few national personalities who continues to generate both buzz and news on a daily basis," DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran said in a statement. "His storytelling expertise and sports knowledge are unmatched, and we are excited to create an exciting new home for his show and his fans."

E-U Slaps Apple With Huge Tax Bill

(Reuters) -- EU antitrust regulators ordered Apple (AAPL.O) on Tuesday to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes plus interest to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid.

The massive sum, 40 times bigger than the previous known demand by the European Commission to a company in such a case, could be reduced, the EU executive said in a statement, if other countries sought more tax themselves from the U.S. tech giant.

Apple, which with Ireland said it will appeal the decision, paid tax rates on European profits on sales of its iPhone and other devices and services of between just 0.005 percent in 2014 and 1 percent in 2003, the Commission said.

"Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years," said Competition Commission Margrethe Vestager, whose crackdown on mainly U.S. multinationals has angered Washington which accuses Brussels of protectionism.

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and hamburger group McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) face probes over taxes in Luxembourg, while coffee chain Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) has been ordered to pay up to 30 million euros ($33 million) to the Dutch state.

A bill of 300 million euros this year for Swedish engineer Atlas Copco AB (ATCOa.ST) to pay Belgian tax is the current known record. Other companies ordered to pay back taxes in Belgium, many of them European, have not disclosed figures.

For Apple, whose earnings of $18 billion last year were the biggest ever reported by a corporation, finding several billion dollars should not be an insurmountable problem. The 13 billion euros represents about 6 percent of the firm's cash pile.

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Fed Court Throttles FCC Over ATT Lawsuit

(Reuters) -- A federal appeals court in California on Monday dismissed a U.S. government lawsuit that accused AT&T Inc (T.N) of deception for reducing internet speeds for customers with unlimited mobile data plans once their use exceeded certain levels.

The company, however, could still face a fine from the Federal Communications Commission regarding the slowdowns, also called "data throttling."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it ordered a lower court to dismiss the data-throttling lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 by the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC sued AT&T on the grounds that the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier failed to inform consumers it would slow the speeds of heavy data users on unlimited plans. In some cases, data speeds were slowed by nearly 90 percent, the lawsuit said.

The FTC said the practice was deceptive and, as a result, barred under the Federal Trade Commission Act. AT&T argued that there was an exception for common carriers, and the appeals court agreed.

Asked about the appeals court ruling, a spokesman for AT&T said: "We're pleased with the decision."

An FTC spokesman said the agency has not yet decided whether to appeal. "We are disappointed with the ruling and are considering our options for moving forward," FTC spokesman Jay Mayfield wrote in an emailed comment.

The company, however, could face action from the FCC. In June 2015, the agency proposed a fine of $100 million for AT&T's alleged failure to inform customers with unlimited data plans about the speed reductions. AT&T has contested that proposed fine.

CBS Radio Name Change Coming With Spin-Off

CBS expects to sign a joint digital services agreement which will allow CBS Local Digital Media to continue operating the websites for 40 CBS Radio news and sports-formatted radio stations which are jointly packaged with sister CBS-TV properties. According to InsideRadio, this is one of the new details being publicly shared as CBS Radio advances toward a likely split of the 117-station radio group from its parent company.

In an updated filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CBS says the two companies will still have post spin-off ties. “We will share advertising revenue generated on the market-focused local websites in our markets with CBS,” the filing says. “We believe this joint digital services agreement will allow us to benefit from the powerful CBS brand, including CBS’s existing local audience and operational scale in our markets.” CBS Radio will however stop generating revenue from other joint ventures within the conglomerate which generated $3.1 million during the first half of the year.

For all that will remain the same, other elements are certain to change—none more front and center than the name of the company. After the spin-off is finalized CBS Radio will be required to rebrand itself without the CBS name. It’s a move similar to CBS Outdoor, which became Outfront Media after it was spun-off.

The filing says the radio arm will also need to sign several intellectual property license agreements with CBS to continue using the heritage call letters on radio stations that are also used by local television stations, such as WCBS in New York and KCBS in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And the radio company will also need to license the CBS brand for use on the syndicated CBS Sports Radio Network.

CBS is currently planning a two-step spin-off that will see the radio division file an IPO in the first quarter of 2017, followed by a complete split from CBS in the second half of next year. The company has however left open the door to “other potential alternatives,” according to chief executive Les Moonves. “Our strategy is to maximize the value of this asset,” he added during a recent conference call with analysts.

Ahead of the spin-off, revenue at CBS Radio has declined 3% to $471.3 million during the first six months of 2016. CBS says a 3% drop in local revenue is the result of weakness in the New York, Chicago and Detroit markets.

The filing also reveals that CBS Radio isn’t currently considering any additional station spin-offs or acquisitions.

Tribune Media Names Chris Wayland VP/Group Operations

Tribune Broadcasting, a division of Tribune Media Company, Monday announced the appointment of Chris Wayland as Vice President/Group Operations. Wayland joins Tribune Broadcasting on September 19 reporting to Larry Wert, President, Broadcast Media and Kathy Clements, SVP/COO, and will work alongside Greg Easterly, SVP/Group Operations.

Since 2007, Wayland has served in several executive management roles for Sunbeam Television where he was most recently Executive Vice President and General Manager for WSVN/Miami, WHDH/Boston and WLVI/Boston overseeing strategy for the three stations. He previously served as General Manager and General Sales Manager for the stations, where under his guidance, the station's profits consistently grew year over year and ratings increased, with the station's newscasts growing to #1 and #2 positions in key demographics across all dayparts.

"Chris has acquired unique industry experience with Sunbeam developing and executing strategies to grow both advertising and distribution revenue," said Wert. "He is a perfect solutions-oriented fit to join Tribune Broadcasting's management team."

Prior to his post at Sunbeam, Wayland served as Director of Sales for Comcast Spotlight where he maximized inventory and increased revenue by 15%. Wayland has also held sales leadership positions at WHDH 7 NBC, FOX Sports Net and WLVI in Boston.

"I am thrilled to start the next chapter in my career and join Tribune Broadcasting," said Wayland. "It is an incredible opportunity to work with Larry Wert and the talented team he has in place. Larry has a clear vision for the growth of Tribune Broadcasting and I look forward to helping execute that plan."  

Wayland, a former professional hockey player, holds a Bachelor of Arts in from Elmira College in New York.Active in many charities, Wayland and serves on several boards including Youth Connect, Boys and Girls Club and Best Buddies.

Colin Cowherd Launches New Digital Platform

Colin Cowherd
Colin Cowherd, host of FOX Sports Radio and FS1’s “The Herd,” launches a new sports website, TheHerdNow.com​, today.

The site serves as the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd including bold opinion pieces, viral news stories, exclusive podcasts, and original video series. The new site also serves as a portal for fans to find stories covering the best moments and interviews from Cowherd’s radio show, as well as the daily podcast and streaming audio of “The Herd.”

TheHerdNow.com expands Cowherd’s already impressive multiplatform reach. “The Herd” launched in September 2015 on FOX Sports Radio, iHeartRadio and FS1 and has amassed over 100 radio affiliates. Cowherd’s podcasts on iTunes, including the “Best of The Herd” and “Full Show,” consistently rank atop the Sports & Recreation category.  The Herd also ranks No. 1 among sports podcasts on iHeartRadio, and the show’s 24/7 iHeartRadio channel The Herd consistently amasses more than one million listening hours each month. Clips of “The Herd” drew 186 million video views over the show’s first 10 months via Facebook, YouTube, FOXSports.com, the live-streaming FOX Sports Go app and Twitter video player.

The site is a partnership between Cowherd, Premiere Networks, and Red Seat Ventures. Red Seat specializes in building and monetizing digital businesses for talent and brands.

“I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry, and the support I’ve received has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” shared Cowherd. “I feel incredibly lucky to launch this venture for fans to connect with my best content whenever and wherever they happen to be.”

Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks, said, “Colin’s ability to connect with millions of fans is evident in the rapid growth and success of ‘The Herd’ across multiple platforms. The launch of TheHerdNow.com is the next step in fully engaging those loyal fans and creating a digital destination for Colin’s unique brand of sports entertainment.”

Red Seat CEO Christopher Balfe said “Colin has built an incredibly loyal audience by bringing a unique and entertaining show to radio and TV each day. We look forward to building a digital platform that matches the energy and enthusiasm his fans have come to expect.”

Neil Cavuto Returning To Fox News, FBN

Neil Cavuto
Neil Cavuto is expected to return to air on Sept. 6 after undergoing heart surgery earlier this summer, TheWrap has learned.

Cavuto will return to host both Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” and Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto.” His first day back on television will be his first day back at the office, where he is also a managing editor

The 57-year-old has been off the air since May 31. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997, and also successfully battled cancer. Cavuto is extremely well-liked among colleagues and was recently given a shout-out by Donald Trump during a rally.

Maria Bartiromo, Trish Regan and Stuart Varney have filled in for Cavuto on Fox News during his recovery, while Connell McShane and Charles Payne have filled in for him on Fox Business

In Legal Filing, Fox News Calls Tantaros "Opportunist"

Andrea Tantaros
Fox News has filed a response to former anchor Andrea Tantaros who filed a lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed by Roger Ailes at the network.  According to legalnewz.com, Tantaros also named Fox News and several executives as defendants claiming that they allowed the network to be run, as she put it, like “a sex-fueled, playboy mansion-like cult.”

Monday , Fox News fired back saying, “Tantaros is not a victim; she is an opportunist,” in a motion to compel Tantoros into arbitration. They also accuse Tantoros of shopping her “supposed harassment” story to media “without any success” and call her a “wannabe.”

Here is more from Fox News’ attorneys:
Tantaros’s unverified complaint of August 22 in this Court bears all the hallmarks of the “wannabe”: she claims now that she too was victimized by Roger Ailes, when, in fact, contrary to her pleading, she never complained of any such conduct in the course of an investigation months ago. 
Not to be outdone by anyone, she contends that she was sexually harassed by an ever-shifting collection of employees at Fox News; she charges that outside counsel retained by 21st Century Fox deliberately ignored her purportedly important harassment story (actually, her lawyer, Joseph C. Cane, Jr., failed to return a telephone call from the law firm, Paul Weiss, retained to conduct the investigation); and she claims retaliation even though she concedes that she has not been terminated and remains on Fox News’ payroll.
Attorneys for Fox News argue that the complaint should not have been filed in court at all, because under the terms of her employment contract, she must resolve disagreements through a private arbitration agreement.

Spotify Releasing Some New Music To Paying Customers Only

Spotify reportedly is discussing making some new music available only to paying subscribers in hopes of ending a months-long impasse with the major record companies, The NYPost has learned.

In meetings with label execs the past few weeks, the Swedish outfit has signaled a willingness to “window” — putting new releases on its paid tier and off its free service for a set time, sources said.

Spotify’s current business model calls for making all music available on both its free and paid services to attract the most users and boost its valuation, sources said.

But that strategy has led to tension with the labels and artists, including a blowout with Taylor Swift, who yanked her music from the service back in 2014 in protest.

The recent change of heart for Ek stems from a desire to make Wall Street happy, sources said.

Investors are worried about Spotify’s chances of pulling off an initial public offering — possibly as soon as this fall, according to sources — without locking in long-term deals with the labels.

“There is mounting pressure from artists and labels. There is not going to be an IPO unless they have deals,” said one source close to the talks.

Spotify is currently operating on rolling month-to-month contracts with all three major labels: Universal Music Group, Sony and Warner Music Group.

As part of its negotiations, Spotify wants to lower its revenue split and make its finances more attractive to potential investors.

Taylor Swift Excused From Jury Duty

Swift, fellow potential juror
Taylor Swift took care of her civic obligation in Nashville Monday morning when she arrived at the criminal courthouse, and was instantly recognized by fellow citizens who probably woke up dreading jury duty this morning, and then became pleasantly surprised.

According to local reports, Swift posed for photographs and videos with fans, and when prosecutors asked her profession during jury selection, T.Swift replied, "I am a songwriter."

E! News reports that Swift was called on to be a prospective juror for a trial, but was ultimately dismissed due to her own ongoing legal case that is similar in nature.

David Muller
A courthouse witness tells E! News, "Taylor Swift was part of the panel of prospective jurors on a case with charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape and aggravated domestic assault. Therefore, the judge excused Ms. Swift because of her pending sexual assault case against Mr. Mueller."

That refers to a lawsuit filed in Colorado by David Mueller, who went by the names "Jackson" when he was a morning chosot on KYGO 98.5 FM in Denver.  He filed a lawsuit over allegations that he grabbed Swift's butt while taking a photo.

The incident took place during a photo session on June 2, 2013, before Swift performed at Denver's Pepsi Center. Mueller, who was then host of 98.5 KYGO's "Ryno and Jackson" morning show, was invited as part of his job to a meet and greet backstage.

Swift is demanding a jury trial and, according to the court documents, any money she wins from the trial will go to "charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard."

NFL Houston Texans Expand Radio Footprint

This season’s Houston Texans games will be broadcast across six Spanish radio affiliates including the top three Mexican markets and a new affiliate in El Paso and San Antonio, Texas. Six additional markets in Mexico will air a combination of Texans games on Sunday, Oct. 16 and Monday, Nov. 21.

Through a new partnership with Grupo Radio Centro, the leading radio broadcaster in Mexico, Texans fans will hear the Spanish broadcast in four cities throughout Mexico including Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.

“We are proud to be working in partnership with Grupo Radio Centro to bring the excitement of Houston Texans football to our passionate fans across Mexico,” remarked Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes. “Grupo Radio Centro is a broadcasting leader and we look forward to working with them to air our games in the top-three Mexican markets of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, as well as in Juarez and El Paso. This relationship will help us to serve our loyal fans in the region and expand our fans base in Mexico.”

"The timing is ideal as the NFL will be coming to Mexico and partnering with, not only one of the visiting teams, but with a top-quality NFL franchise like the Houston Texans presents great opportunities,” stated Chairman & CEO of Grupo Radio Centro Francisco Aguirre Gomez. “We look forward to an exciting season and to giving fans an opportunity to follow the team and its star players like J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins on a weekly basis on our radio stations.”

The Spanish flagship station for the Houston Texans, ESPN Deportes, will feature Enrique Vasquez calling the play-by-play, Gustavo Rangel as the color analyst and sideline reporter Pedro Vela. The station will air a 30-minute pregame and postgame show as well as a one-hour weekly Texans show during the season.

“Creating a Spanish Texans Radio Network was a major focus for ESPN Deportes Houston when beginning our valued partnership with the Houston Texans,” remarked Vice President & General Manager of ESPN Deportes Houston Joseph Casas. “I’m very honored to be a part of this historic time. Knowing that ESPN Deportes Houston’s broadcast will be heard not only now in the San Antonio and El Paso market, but on Grupo Radio Centro stations in Mexico is thrilling.”

For the fourth consecutive season, Telemundo Houston (KTMD Ch. 47) will air a weekly Texans-focused show titled “Houston Texans Primero y Diez” (First and Ten) on Saturday evenings. The 15-minute show will air from 10:15 – 10:30 p.m. each Saturday throughout the Texans season. Enrique Vásquez, the play-by-play voice of the Houston Texans’ Spanish radio broadcasts hosts the show. Regular features include Texans player profiles, previews of each week’s game and highlights from Texans events in the community. Telemundo-KTMD 47 is the exclusive Spanish-language television home of the Houston Texans.

John Lennon's Killer Again Denied Parole

(Reuters) -- The man who shot and killed John Lennon in New York City nearly 36 years ago has again failed to persuade a state parole board to release him from prison on parole, officials said on Monday.

Mark David Chapman, 61, will remain behind bars at a maximum-security prison in Erie County near Buffalo, New York, after his request for parole was rejected for the ninth time since 2000.

Chapman, an obsessed fan of the musician and his former group the Beatles, was convicted of shooting Lennon as he arrived with his wife, Yoko Ono, at his apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side on Dec. 8, 1980.

Chapman received a sentence of 20 years to life after pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge. His petition for parole has come up every two years since 2000.

"In spite of many favorable factors, we find all to be outweighed by the premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime," the New York Board of Parole said in a statement on Monday rejecting Chapman's request.

"From our interview and review of your records, we find that your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate that seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law."

Chapman will next appear for a parole hearing in August 2018, according to online state records.

August 30 Radio History

In 1903...Arthur Godfrey was born. Godfrey is probably best known for his "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scout" and was one of if not the most popular radio personalities of his day.

Arthur Godfrey
On leaving the Coast Guard, Godfrey became a radio announcer for the Baltimore station WFBR (now WJZ (AM)) and moved the short distance to Washington, D.C. to become a staff announcer for NBC-owned station WRC the same year and remained there until 1934.

Recovering from a near-fatal automobile accident en route to a flying lesson in 1931 (by which time he was already an avid flyer), he decided to listen closely to the radio and realized that the stiff, formal style then used by announcers could not connect with the average radio listener; the announcers spoke in stentorian tones, as if giving a formal speech to a crowd and not communicating on a personal level. Godfrey vowed that when he returned to the airwaves, he would affect a relaxed, informal style as if he were talking to just one person. He also used that style to do his own commercials and became a regional star.

In 1931...gossip columnist Walter Winchell began his long distinctive radio career with a quarter hour Tuesday nights coast-to-coast on CBS, after a 3-month trial run on the local New York affiliate.

In 1934...KEX 1180 AM moved studios from the "Terminal Sales Building" to "The Oregonian" bldg. with KGW

In 1959...Brill Building songwriter Carole King, already two months pregnant, marries her writing partner Gerry Goffin in New York City. The marriage lasts nine years.

In 1963...“American Bandstand” aired for the final time as a daily show on ABC-TV, as it evolved into a weekly hour on Saturdays for another 26 years

In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM changed to rock.

It was nation’s first  free-form progressive rock format. Some legendary NYC disc jockeys, including Scott Muni and Murray “The K” Kaufman, were among the original WOR-FM staffers.

WOR-FM became popular on college campuses and the station racked up impressive ratings for an FM station in those days.

But owner RKO wanted to play just the hits.  It tweaked the format in 1967 to target a traditional Top 40 audience.  Consultant Bill Drake brought a version of his “Boss Radio” format, which had been popular on other RKO stations around the nation, to WOR-FM.  New York City’s version of the format was more oldies- and adult-oriented.

In 1968...The Beatles' "Hey Jude" was released

In 1968...Wheels of Fire by Cream continued to set the pace on the album chart.  Time Peace/The Rascals' Greatest Hits was #2 and the Doors' release Waiting for the Sun was at position #3.  Aretha Now by Aretha Franklin was #4 with Johnny Rivers moving up to 5 with Realization.  Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass had an entry in the Top 10 (which they did nearly ever week of the 60's)--The Beat of the Brass.  The rest of the Top 10:  Bookends, the great album from Simon & Garfunkel was #7, the self-titled Steppenwolf made its way onto the list, Feliciano!  by Jose Feliciano, and Disraeli Gears, another album from Cream, was at #10.

In 1968...The Top Five:  The Rascals spent a fourth week at #1 with "People Got to Be Free", Steppenwolf was at #2 with "Born to Be Wild", Jose Feliciano edged up with "Light My Fire", the Doors were at #4 with "Hello, I Love You" and Cream had song #5--"Sunshine of My Love".

In 1991...Dottie West was critically injured in a car accident while en route to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. She died five days later.

In 2007...CIJZ Vancouver, Smooth Jazz format "Smooth Jazz 105.9" switched to Classic Hits as "Cool 105-9."

In 2011…Longtime Austin, Texas radio and TV personality/movie actor  Richard "Cactus" Pryor died  of complications from a recent fall and Alzheimer's disease at 88.  He received his nickname after the old Cactus Theater on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, which was run by his father, "Skinny" Pryor.

Pryor was first heard on Lady Bird Johnson's radio station 590 KLBJ, though his face became as well known as his voice once he moved to television broadcasting on Austin television station KTBC.

In 2012...Al Brady WOR FM, WWDJ, WXLO, WNBC, WABC (PD) died.

Al Brady Law
Law had three stints in New York radio from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Law died at the age of  67. His work was varied, from air personality to programmer. His start in New York took place as WOR-FM evening jock in 1969. A year later, even though he bolted for Miami, Law was heard filling in on WWDJ, primarily on nights.

After some work in Denver, Law was back at WWDJ on a full-time basis as the station’s program director, along with his air work.  Following the short gig at ‘WDJ, Law appeared at WXLO where he was hired solely as the “99X” program director.

However, Law’s dual hats would return in a big way at WNBC Radio. In 1974, he was named a joint assistant program director and air personality. Later that year, Law took over as program director but only briefly before resuming his APD/weekend air work. He remained at the NBC flagship until 1976.

After stints in Boston and Washington, Law had another coveted New York job. Musicradio WABC was a shadow of its former self in 1979. The “D word” caused WABC to plummet. Disco 92/WKTU was the popular station in the market. It was Law’s decision to stop the bleeding by doing the unthinkable, firing Harry Harrison, George Michael, and Chuck Leonard.

Law followed the “controversial” time at WABC with, arguably, his best success: a return to the NBC family at their FM.

“I hired Al to his first GM job at WYNY. The station had a great group of talent notably Dan Daniel, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Bill St. James,” Walter Sabo tells FishbowlNY. “Al and the PD Pete Salant took the station to a 5.0 share. His background was pure programming, not sales, and that’s why he was capable of managing such rapid audience growth.”

Eventually, he was promoted to VP of programming at NBC Radio.