Friday, September 19, 2014

Nielsen Dropping TV Paper Diaries

Nielsen’s diary-based system for measuring local TV viewership — a system that has been in place in one way or another for at least 60 years — is beginning to be dismantled and will “eventually” be retired, TVNewsCheck has learned.

The dismantling has already begun in 14 markets designated by Nielsen, confirmed Shad Family, SVP of local media for Nielsen. The 14 are the first of the 154 markets in which hand-written “viewing diaries” — paper booklets in which Nielsen participants record by hand what they’ve watched on TV — are still the primary source for viewership data.

The diaries are to be replaced by new, electronic devices developed by Nielsen that will track viewing in Nielsen households by “listening” to the audio portion of any TV shows that are being watched and a Nielsen “audio watermark” embedded in the signals transmitted by TV stations. The devices — or “code readers,” as Nielsen is calling them — are about the size of a Roku or Apple TV set-top box, Family said.

The new system will enable the diary-based markets to obtain Nielsen viewership data 12 months a year, instead of just the current four sweeps months (February, May, July and November).

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L-A Radio: KFWB Releases 'The Beast' Monday

KFWB 980 AM completes it morph into its sports format this Monday.  The station will now be branded as TheBeast980, Los Angeles’ new all-sports radio station with a mix of original programming focusing on the L.A. sports scene, highlighted by the only local sports program during the morning rush-hour commute.

Offering local sports fans an alternative to nationally syndicated morning shows, former L.A. Clippers and UCLA star Marques Johnson will team up with the popular and accomplished broadcast personality, Jeanne Zelasko, to co-host a live sports talk program originating from Los Angeles. Airing weekdays from 5:30am – 9:00am, the show will feature the longtime Voice of the Clippers, Ralph Lawler, and other notable insiders.

Jeanne Zelasko
The Beast 980’s weekday lineup will continue with The Jim Rome Show airing live from Orange County from 9:00am – Noon; the Dean of L.A. Sports, Fred Roggin, from 12noon – 3:00pm; the new provocative tandem of ex-NFL player George Wrighster and veteran radio/TV host and journalist, Brett Winterble from 3:00pm – 7:00pm; “L.A. Sports Today,” looking at the day’s hottest local stories from 7:00pm – 9:00pm; and Doug Gottlieb from 9:00pm – 11:00pm. (Complete lineup listed below.)

The Beast 980 is the flagship station of the Los Angeles Clippers, airing every game and comprehensive behind-the-scenes coverage throughout the year. The Beast 980 will also carry a full slate of NFL action including exclusive primetime Sunday, Monday and Thursday evening games, NCAA football and basketball play-by-play, “Trojans Live”, a weekly look at USC athletics, and frequent sports updates from Ted Sobel, Sam Farmer and Amy Bender.

The Beast 980 Weekday Schedule
  • 5:30am – 9:00am Marques Johnson / Jeanne Zelasko
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm The Jim Rome Show
  • 12:00pm – 3:00pm Fred Roggin
  • 3:00pm – 7:00pm George Wrighster / Brett Winterble
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm “L.A. Sports Today”
  • 9:00pm – 11:00pm Doug Gottlieb
  • 11:00pm – 3:00am The DA Show (Damon Amendolara)
  • 3:00am – 5:30am Tiki Barber / Brandon Tierney / Dana Jacobson

Fargo Radio: Sandy Buttweiler Joins WDAY AM

Sandy Buttweiler
Sandy Buttweiler has moved up the dial. The longtime Fargo-Moorhead radio personality is joining N/T WDAY 970 AM, she announced to listeners Thursday afternoon.

The former KFGO 790 AM Radio host discussed her move with Christopher Gabriel, host of “The Christopher Gabriel Program.”

“Well, I suppose a few months ago I was approached by Forum Communications,” Buttweiler told listeners. “We started to talk, had several meetings and talked about philosophies and life… it sort of all fell together.”

Buttweiler, 57, was the longtime co-host of the popular “Jack & Sandy Show,” on KFGO. About 10 years ago, the show was hosted for a time on WDAY.

She says she remains best friends with Jack Sunday. “He was the one person who I really needed to talk to about this. We talked about my future, and his,” Buttweiler says.

“I think at this stage in my life, I was presented with an opportunity that was very exciting.”

Through all the changes in radio and in her career, Buttweiler says, “The listeners have always welcomed me back, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.”

Study: Time To Rethink Radio Commercial Messaging

Jim Alkon
About 500 consumers tell marketing and promotions company CRN International that they seldom listen to an entire radio commercial, that even if they do, they usually tune out by the second spot in a commercial break, and that radio ads have a slim chance of influencing their purchase decision. According to marketing director Jim Alkon, survey respondents also told CRN that creative content is most likely to win them over.

Alkon staes more than 80 percent of respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spots. Even more interesting is that traditional spot buys make up the overwhelming majority of revenue in the $16 billion radio advertising market.

CRN says their diverse survey base reflects the profile of the millions of Americans who listen to radio. Their demographics—considering age, income, education, listening habits, and other criteria—practically mirror those of the full-time research houses that regularly study this stuff.


"While Portable People Meters (PPMs) are now the accepted means to monitor radio exposure, they don’t measure whether participants are actively listening or whether they recall later what they heard. Our survey gave consumers a chance to express more emotionally how they feel about the various types of marketing messages employed on radio," according to Alkon

Traditional Radio Advertisements
  • Some 82 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I pay little attention to radio spot commercials.”
  • About one-third of the respondents said they typically listen to most of a commercial, with about two-thirds indicating they do not. About 19 percent of the base of respondents (who all listen to radio)said they do not listen to radio commercials at all.
  • Regarding commercial stop sets, 66 percent of the respondents said they don’t make it past the first spot before they tune away.
  • When participants were asked specifically how much a radio commercial would increase the chances of them considering or buying the brand advertised, 59 percent said it would have very little or no chance. Only 3 percent said it would increase their chances of purchase very much, with 37 percent saying it would increase their chances somewhat.
Other Radio Marketing Tactics
  • Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28 percent said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product.
  • Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42 percent said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product.Twenty-three percent of the respondentssaid meeting radio personalities at a live local radio station appearance would be of interest to them.Fifty-two percent said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio.
  • Almost 60 percent said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor.

Phoenix Radio: KFYI's Barry Young Sets Retirement

Barry Young, Mike Broomhead
iHeartMedia/Phoenix announced Thursday  that after nearly three decades with Newstalk KFYI 550 AM, morning man Barry Young will retire in November.  Barry started on KFYI on April 27, 1987 as an on-air talent and Program Director.

“Being a part of KFYI's growth and development from a new renegade start-up talk radio station into one of America's great and mature heritage radio stations has been both a wonderful challenge and delight,” said Young.  "It has been an incredible privilege to be an integral part of all this and to be a part of the day to day lives of so many thousands of our listeners,  our neighbors -- all across Arizona.  Although I am retiring from a day to day talk radio program, my heart will always be in broadcasting and at KFYI.  I know that I will miss being on the air more than I can express, but I know I leave KFYI and all of our listeners in good hands.”

Listeners, friends, co-workers and clients will have the chance to say goodbye at the Barry Young Celebrity Roast in late October.  Barry’s final day as a full-time show host will be November 7.

KFYI also announced that current Afternoon Drive host Mike Broomhead will take the reins from Barry Young, beginning November 10.  Mike has spent five years hosting on KFYI and has added national duties on Glenn Beck’s Blaze Network.

“Barry Young is a legend in this business and will someday soon be in the Arizona Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  It has been an honor to work with and learn from him,” said Broomhead. “I'm looking forward to hosting mornings.  I want to talk about the issues that concern all of us and find solutions that are best for Arizona. I’m not always right, but I always want what is best.”

“Mike is a superstar who has worked hard to earn this opportunity.  He's a great host, but even more so, he's a good man," said Neil Larrimore, Program Director, KFYI.  "We’re so excited to move him into mornings at Newstalk 550 KFYI."

"Barry has had a significant impact in Phoenix radio over the past 27 years.  He’s a legend.  With Mike Broomhead, we can continue his legacy of providing the Valley with the information, entertainment and the radio its come to rely on from 550 KFYI.  We are sad to see Barry move on, but we are excited about the future  of this radio station," said Steve Geofferies, Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia Phoenix.

"Barry's retirement is bitter sweet. While we're sad to lose a Phoenix icon from the morning drive on KFYI, we're excited to have Mike Broomhead step in to this position to inspire, inform and entertain Phoenicians with his brand of talk radio.  Best wishes for an enjoyable retirement, Barry and welcome to mornings, Broomhead," said Scott Hopeck, Market President, iHeartMedia Phoenix.

The high-profile programming lineup on 550 KFYI will continue with Mike Broomhead, Jim Sharpe, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, while the search begins for a new Afternoon Drive show.

NYC Radio: Emmis Appoints TT Torrez MD For WQHT

TT Torrez
Emmis/New York Radio has appointed TT Torrez as Music Director of Rhythmic CHR WQHT 97.1 FM Hot 97.

The appointment is  effective October 1.

 During her 14-year career, Torrez has worked in several markets including Charlotte, Hartford, Philadelphia and New York, where she was correspondent, writer, producer, and music programmer for Music Choice television. Torrez has held both on-air and behind-the-scenes positions, most recently as MD/afternoons for Radio One's WCDX 92.1 FMFM iPower 92-1 Richmond, VA.

"TT has a long and consistent track record of making things happen. After seeing the amazing things she's done in her career, and learning she was a fan of HOT 97, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with her," states Hot 97 PD Jay Dixon. "TT knows Hip Hop. We are thrilled to have her on-board, and can't wait to see what she can bring to our legendary brand."

"I would like to thank Rick Cummings, Jimmy Steal, Deon Levingston, and most of all, Jay Dixon and Ebro Darden, for believing in my talents and allowing me the opportunity to further grow my career with the Emmis family," added TT. "As a young girl growing up in New York, I always dreamed about the day I would be able to work for the station that I grew up on. My desire to get into radio was because of the influence Hot 97 had on me as kid. This opportunity is an amazing blessing and a perfect example that if you work hard, stay humble and put God first, dreams really do come true."

TX Radio: Townsquare Names Stew Sawyers OM

Stew Sawyers
Townsquare Media/Tyler-Longview, TX. has named Stew Sawyers Ops Manager for its cluster.

Sawyers will handle progrmaming for Country KNUE 101.5 FM.  He replaces Scott Gaines who left last year.

"I am excited to join the Townsquare Media family and a great cluster of radio station in East Texas," said Sawyers.  "The people in and out of the station are great, and the products they put on the air are already top notch. The team they have assembled there is very talented and I am looking forward to working with each and every one of them.  No chance of me becoming a Longhorn, however.  Go Gators!"

KNUE 101.5 FM (98Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Previously, he worked at Country WWKA-FM/Orlando, Country WKAK-FM (K-Country 104)/Albany, GA, as PD, Country WDJR-FM/Dothan, AL, as morning co-host and APD/MD and afternoon host at WBAM-FM/Montgomery, AL.

Baltimore Radio: ABC Radio, WBAL-WIYY Ink Content Deal

ABC Radio Thursday announced a new affiliation agreement for Hearst Radio’s two powerful Baltimore stations.  For the first time in more than a decade WBAL 1090 AM and WIYY 97.9 FM 98 Rock listeners will hear premium national, international and entertainment news programming from ABC News, America’s most-listened to commercial radio news network and winner of the 2014 Murrow Award for Overall Excellence.

Plus, ABC Radio will provide music news for WIYY’s website and ABC Air Power, the most immediate, most topical and most complete radio show prep service in the industry today.

ABC programming on WBAL and WIYY launches later this year.

“Hearst Radio and ABC News Radio have built unmatched track records for exceptional quality,” said Steve Jones, Vice President and General Manager, ABC News Radio.   ”We’re thrilled WBAL and WIYY chose ABC News and ABC Radio to offer their audiences unparalleled coverage of breaking news and entertainment programming.”

WIYY 97.9 FM (13.5Kw) 54dBu Coverage
“From reliable top hour newscasts and breaking news for WBAL and prep and digital support for 98 Rock, we are delighted to welcome the powerful resources of ABC to Hearst Radio Baltimore,” said Cary Pahigian, President/General Manager, WBAL/AM1090 and WIYY/98 Rock, Baltimore Ravens & Baltimore Orioles Radio Networks.

WBAL is Maryland’s dominant and most powerful radio station.  Since 1925, generations of Marylanders have turned to WBAL Radio for news, weather, thought-provoking discussions and sports.

Gatorade Has Home Run With Jeter Tribute Commercial


Gatorade hits it out of the park with this epic 90-second salute to New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter, accordin to AdWeek.

After penning an open letter announcing his retirement this spring, the Yankees captain himself suggested a spot showing him thanking Yankee fans, said Carter. When Gatorade asked the 40-year-old (the brand's third-longest-serving endorser after Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm) which song best summed up his career, he picked "My Way."

Molly Carter, Gatorade's senior director of consumer engagement, gave Adweek a preview of the commercial, which shows Jeter surprising fans outside Yankee Stadium to the tune of Sinatra's "My Way."

After penning an open letter announcing his retirement this spring, the Yankees captain himself suggested a spot showing him thanking Yankee fans, said Carter. When Gatorade asked the 40-year-old (the brand's third-longest-serving endorser after Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm) which song best summed up his career, he picked "My Way."


Gatorade, the official sports drink of Major League Baseball since 1990, roped off a few blocks before a home game in the Bronx this July and "just kind of let Jeter go," said Carter. The shock and surprise on fans' faces when their idol walks into Stan's Sports Bar, or autographs baseballs, is genuine, she said.

Cox Media Group Release Under-40 Poll

Cox Media Group has released a poll via its news website Rare.us which idicates young people would vote equally for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, overwhelmingly think alcohol is more destructive to society than marijuana, and a large majority believe that a relationship with God is important, according to an exclusive new poll conducted for Rare.

The Rare.usUnder-40 is a new breed of poll that seeks to provide comprehensive information about the preferences of younger Americans.

A total 556 respondents were interviewed, all of them under the age of 40. If the 2012 presidential election were held again today, 44 percent of young voters would support Barack Obama, and 44 percent would support Mitt Romney, according to the poll.

A much larger majority of young voters think alcohol is damaging. Asked whether alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana was the most harmful substance, 46 percent chose alcohol. Twenty-seven percent selected tobacco and only 13 percent said marijuana. Those numbers suggest younger Americans are upending societal conventions, which have long seen alcohol as an acceptable drug while condemning marijuana. Two states have legalized marijuana while a further 21 allow medical marijuana.


Seventy percent of voters under the age of 40 said that a relationship with God personally mattered to them, while 30 percent said it didn’t matter. The survey also found that younger people support the government helping people to pay down their student loan debt by a margin of 48 percent to 37 percent. Those aged 18-29, many of whom are either in college or saddled with enormous college debt, are especially supportive.

It also revealed that young people are divided over the issue of abortion, though a majority identify as pro-choice. About 37 percent of respondents identified as pro-life. Surprisingly, men were equally as likely to call themselves pro-choice as women were. Young people are also less concerned about the effects of pornography. Forty-seven percent of respondents said porn wasn’t ruining their sex lives, while 33 percent disagreed.

The Rare.ussurvey was conducted by nonpartisan Gravis Marketing between Aug. 11 and Aug. 18. A total of 556 respondents under age 40 were interviewed over the phone and using Internet panels. Overall, the poll has a margin of error of 5 percent.

L-A Radio: Legendary Art Laboe Keeps Classics Current

Art Laboe
In the pantheon of legendary radio disc jockeys, there are a handful of names that come up: Dick Clark, Casey Kasem, Howard Stern. However, according to the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA, if you fine tune the discussion to broadcasters who have been on the radio continuously since 1943, you come down to one name: Art Laboe.

Except for a three-year stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Laboe has been a popular voice on the airwaves for six decades.  Currently, some 13 stations in So. Calif air Laboe's Oldies Show.

As one of the first DJs on the West Coast to introduce teenagers to rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s, he coined the term “oldies but goodies” to describe songs that had become hits but were pushed aside to make way for upcoming songs and artists.

Younger Laboe (Undated)
While doing a live request radio show at Scrivner’s Drive-In in Los Angeles, Laboe would compile a list of song requests, which led to the development of the oldies but goodies format on which he based “The Art Laboe Show.”

In the decades since, Laboe has continued to broadcast and branched into putting out compilation records and producing and recording music. For the last 12 years, he has brought his radio show to life at San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore.

Laboe, now 89, will take his golden voice to the stage and host performances from Zapp, The Delfonics, Rose Royce, Atlantic Starr, One Way, Sly, Slick & Wicked, MC Magic, Freestyle Evolution, Barbara Lynn and Aalon on Sept. 20.

The ’80s-centric lineup is a reflection of how the oldies but goodies format is changing.

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BFA Golf Event Raises $250K


The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 at its 2014 Celebrity Golf Tournament, a record for the annual fundraiser that supports the foundation’s mission of providing aid to broadcasters in need.

This year’s event was held Monday at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, NY.

The funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of assistance, the group said. During the next year, the foundation will grant more than $850,000 in aid.

According to TV NewsCheck, More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including famed sportscasters, athletes, and actors.

Celebrity golfers included Michael J. Fox, actor and philanthropist; Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV New York; Craig Carton, WFAN-AM New York; John Franco, New York Mets Hall of Famer; Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Tina Cervasio, Fox Sports and MSG Network; Howard Cross, NFL Super Bowl champ; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV New York; Rachel Grant, actress and philanthropist; Jay Harris, ESPN; Mary Calvi, WCBS-TV New York; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, CBS and ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Dana Tyler, WCBS-TV; and Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV.

This year’s co-chairs were Scott Herman, EVP, operations, and New York market manager, CBS Radio, and Leo MacCourtney, president-CEO, Katz Television Group.

September 19 In Radio History


In 1921..WBZ radio, which now broadcasts at 1030 kHz AM, is the oldest surviving commercial radio station in New England, as it began broadcasting from Springfield.

The station has long been one of the highest-rated stations in the Boston area, and covers much of the eastern United States and Canada at night with its 50,000-watt clear-channel signal from its transmitter location in Hull, Massachusetts, which has been used by the station since 1940. The transmitter is a two tower directional array where each tower is 160 meters (520 ft) tall. The signal is intentionally directionalized from their coastal location for maximum power transmitted into the continental United States, giving WBZ outstanding multi-state coverage after sunset.

WBZ's initial license, for operation in Springfield, was issued by the Department of Commerce to the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company on September 15, 1921; it was the first license to specify broadcasts on 360 meters (833 kilohertz), and was subsequently deemed to be the first license for a commercial broadcast station. However, other stations, such as WWJ in Detroit, 1XE/WGI in Medford Hillside, and sister station KDKA in Pittsburgh, were already broadcasting under different license classifications.

Original Studio on Page Blvd.
The station's original transmitter and studios were located at the Westinghouse factory on Page Boulevard in East Springfield. However, WBZ's inaugural program, on September 19, 1921, was a remote broadcast from the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield.

The original format was general entertainment and information, which included live music (often classical music and opera), sports, farm reports, special events, and public affairs programming. Despite WBZ being housed in Springfield, it somewhat difficult to attract top-flight artists to the station,  leading Westinghouse to open a studio at the Hotel Brunswick in Boston on February 24, 1924.  WBZ also expanded its news programming via a partnership with the Boston Herald and Traveler.  It also carried a considerable amount of sports broadcasts, including Boston Bruins hockey, Boston Braves baseball, and Harvard Crimson football.

Circa 1932
Because of its comparatively wide reach, the station often referred to itself as "WBZ, New England" as opposed to associating itself solely with Springfield or Boston. However, even after several power boosts (the station broadcast at a power of 100 watts in 1921, but was using 2,000 watts in April 1925, the station still had some trouble reaching Boston, leading Westinghouse to sign on WBZA, a 250-watt station at 1240 kHz, on August 20, 1925.  Efforts were soon made to operate WBZA as a synchronous repeater of WBZ, by then at 900 kHz; this process was difficult, as the two transmitters often interfered with each other even in Boston, and WBZA went back and forth between the two frequencies for nearly a year before finally going to full-time synchronous operation in June 1926.

WBZ also continued to boost the power of its primary East Springfield transmitter; it was granted permission to operate with 5,000 watts on March 31, 1926, and by 1927 it was operating with 15,000 watts. Meanwhile, a combination of WBZ's growth and continued difficulties with the WBZA signal led the station to move its Boston studio to the Statler Hotel (now the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers) on June 1, 1927 and activate a new WBZA transmitter on June 9.  The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) moved WBZ and WBZA to 990 kHz on November 11, 1928.

Amidst the technical changes, WBZ also began engaging in network activities. By 1925, it often shared programs with WJZ in New York City (which Westinghouse had also started in 1921, but sold to the Radio Corporation of America two years later), and a WBZ special commemorating the 150th anniversary of Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride" was also fed to WRC in Washington, D.C. and WGY in Schenectady, New York. This paved the way for the station to become a charter affiliate of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on November 15, 1926, carrying the WJZ-originated NBC Blue Network beginning on January 1, 1927.


In 1955...Bill Cullen starts at WRCA 660 AM.

Bill Cullen
Cullen's broadcasting career began in Pittsburgh at WWSW radio, where he worked as a disc jockey and play-by-play announcer or color commentator for Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Hornets games. In 1943, Cullen left WWSW to briefly work at rival station KDKA before leaving Pittsburgh a year later to try his luck in New York. A week after arriving in New York he was hired as a staff announcer at CBS. To supplement his then-meager income, he became a freelance joke writer for some of the top radio stars of the day including Arthur Godfrey, Danny Kaye, and Jack Benny; he also worked as a staff writer for the Easy Aces radio show.

His first venture into game shows was in 1945 when he was hired as announcer for a radio quiz called Give And Take.  Between 1946 and 1953 he also worked as announcer for various other local and network shows, including the radio version of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman's first game show, Winner Take All, hosted by Ward Wilson; Cullen took over as host four months later when Wilson left.

After a brief stint at WNEW in 1951 he later hosted a popular morning show at WRCA radio from 1955 to 1961.  His last regular radio job was as one of the hosts of NBC Radio's Monitor from 1971 to 1973.


In 1970...Ed Baer does last show at WMCA 570 AM  NYC.

Aircheck from 1964 (note: Video Slate in incorrect..the year is 1964)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

'Saturday Night Live' Has A New Voice

Darrel Hammond
Show alum Darrell Hammond will return to "SNL" as the announcer when its 40th season kicks off on Sept. 27, according to NBC. Hammond will replace legendary announcer Don Pardo, who died in August.

Hammond, 58, is no stranger to Studio 8H. He was the show's longest-running cast member, spending 14 seasons — from 1995 to 2009 — building a host of unforgettable characters and impressions, including Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

And Hammond is no stranger to announcing for "SNL" either, having filled in for Pardo a handful of times over the years.

Hammond no longer intends to channel Pardo's voice, but instead will come up with a new version that will "respect the announcer's legacy."

FCC Chief Defends Secret Meetings

The country's chief telecommunications regulator defended the use of secret meetings during merger reviews, in response to criticism from Comcast Corp. and a U.S. senator in recent weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In an open letter Wednesday, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said the FCC has allowed for parties to discuss concerns about a transaction privately since "at least 1997" under a rule that provides a "limited opportunity" to those who don't want to comment publicly "due to fear of possible reprisal or retribution."

Mr. Wheeler pointed out that there are also other ways that companies can present their concerns to the FCC without disclosing their meetings publicly, including by visiting the agency after a transaction is announced but before the public comment period begins.

He was responding to a letter sent last week by Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) requesting information regarding any confidential meetings the FCC has had with media companies as part of its review of the pending AT&T-DirecTV  and Comcast-Time Warner Cable Inc. merger deals. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal disclosed that the FCC was encouraging many of the biggest media companies that have remained relatively silent publicly about the Comcast merger to offer feedback confidentially.

Sen. Heller and Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen had expressed concern about the prospect of such secret feedback influencing the FCC's decision about a merger. Mr. Wheeler emphasized Wednesday that the FCC "uses only information that is placed on the record" in making a final decision about whether to allow a merger to go through.

Read More Now (Paywall)

Report: CBS To Sell Some Radio Assets

Reuters is reporting CBS Corp, which owns 126 radio stations in the United States, will seek to decrease that number to somewhere in the "high 80s, low 80s."

According to Reuters,  Chief Executive Les Moonves made the comment Wednesday at a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch conference.

Moonves hopes for the decrease to happen "over the next year or so."  He did not specify how the company would sell the radio assets or which markets might be on the block.

CBS currently owns 126 stations in 27 markets and, under Dan Mason's leadership, the stations have consistently been money-makers.

Phoenix Radio: KDKB Drops Rocks After 43 Years

Hubbard/Phoenix has announced that KDKB 93.3 FM is now filling the Alternative void in Phoenix as it becomes ALT AZ 93-3, Arizona's Alternative.

Designed to bring the best mainstream Alternative Rock to the Valley, ALT AZ 93-3 is launching, 100,000 watts strong featuring three days of non-stop music from critically acclaimed artists such as Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, and Coldplay plus newer Alt superstars Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Imagine Dragons and more.

“We’re excited to offer a new powerful home for Alternative music on 93.3. It’s time this music had a strong outlet in Phoenix, and it is the perfect complement for our other Rock mainstays, 98KUPD and 100.7 KSLX.” says Trip Reeb, VP/Market Manager for Hubbard Phoenix.

 LISTEN LIVE: Click Here

KDKB 93.3 FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage
An experienced and talented team has been orchestrated to launch this version of “Arizona’s Alternative” led by Reeb who is no stranger to building a winning team with his long line of success in radio. For almost 20 years he was the architect of Alternative KROQ/Los Angeles, one of the most successful stations in the country.

The Sales effort at ALT AZ 93-3 will initially be managed by Jeff England VP/DOS Hubbard Radio Phoenix, formally President and Market Manager of Clear Channel’s Phoenix cluster. Veterans to the Alternative radio scene in Phoenix, Nancy Stevens and Jaime Seidensticker are both on board in the Music and Promotion/Marketing areas, as is Drew Hutchinson as the Director of Digital Sales and Web Development.


The entire air staff of the former KDKB format is out with the flip including Program Director/afternoon host Paul Marshall, morning hosts Shmonty and Conklin, and middayer Ruby Cheeks.

The hertiage Rock format moves to 93.3 FM HD2.

Las Vegas Radio: CBS Radio Ups Charese Fruge To VP

Charese Fruge
Charese Fruge has been named Vice President, Programming for CBS Radio’s six station cluster in Las Vegas, it was announced today by Jerry McKenna, Senior Vice President & Market Manager, CBS Radio Las Vegas.

Fruge takes on the added role in addition to her responsibility as Program Director for KMXB 94.1 FM, KXTE 107.5 FM, and their respective HD Radio digital channels, Rewind 94.1-HD2 and Sin 107.5-HD2. Cat Thomas serves as Program Director of CBS Radio Las Vegas’ KLUC 98.5 FM, as well as KXNT 100.5 FM and KXNT 840 AM, and KXST 1140 AM.

The appointment is effective immediately.

“Charese is a consummate programming professional,” said McKenna. “Under her direction, Mix 94.1 has dominated the market for years and X107.5’s ratings trajectory has seen impressive growth. Moreover, her longstanding relationships in the music business allow our stations to deliver unparalleled music experiences that rival any other music event held in Las Vegas.  She’s a bright, shining star.”

Fruge has spent 20 years in radio both on-air and in programming with stations such as KYSR, Star 98.7 in Los Angeles, KLLC, Alice in San Francisco, KSCF, Sophie @ 103.7 in San Diego, KALC, Alice in Denver, KKBQ, 93Q in Houston and WEZB, B-97 in New Orleans. She’s been in Las Vegas with CBS Radio collectively for the last 10 years and is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. The Southwest Louisiana native has collected numerous programming awards and women’s leadership awards, including Radio Ink’s Most Influential Women in Radio for 2012 and 2013.

Cat Collins Goes National For iHeartMedia

Cat Collins
iHeartMedia has announced that Cat Collins will join the company's National Programming Platforms and Strategic Services teams, effective immediately.

He will report to Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms and Clay Hunnicutt, EVP/GM for National Programming Platforms. As part of the National Programming Platforms and Strategic Services teams Collins will work with local stations throughout the country to strengthen and develop programming while also finding new ways to engage and reach listeners.

He will continue in his roles as Brand Manager for Rhythmic CHR, serving as iHeartMedia's in-house programming expert for the format, and as PD for Premium Choice. Collins most recently served as PD for KYLD 94.9 FM Wild 94.9 and KIOI 101.3 Star/San Francisco.

"Cat’s impressive ratings track record makes him the ideal choice for this role.  His programming expertise and industry experience have strengthened our Rhythmic CHR stations and helped us create winning brands across America," said Poleman. "We are thrilled to have him extend his incredibly valuable skill set to our stations throughout the country."

"I can’t thank Tom Poleman and Clay Hunnicutt enough for this amazing opportunity. I am really looking forward to being able to focus all my time and attention on helping all of our existing Rhythmic CHR brands grow, and developing exciting new platforms for iHeartMedia," said Collins.

iHeartMedia-San Francisco will begin an active search for a PD for KYLD and KIOI.

iHeartRadio Music Festival To Stream, Broadcast Live

The iHeartRadio Music Festival, the history making weekend-long concert event hosted by Ryan Seacrest on September 19 and 20 in Las Vegas, will broadcast live on more than 150 iHeartMedia radio stations across the country and will video stream live exclusively on Yahoo Live for fans nationwide who cannot attend.

The concert event will also air as an exclusive two-night special on The CW, September 29 and 30 from 8 -10 p.m. ET/PT.

Back for year four, the iHeartRadio Music Festival brings to life the music of the iHeartRadio app and celebrates the success of the industry leading digital music service.  The extraordinary lineup which features artists across all genres includes Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Usher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Mötley Crüe, Zac Brown Band, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Iggy Azalea, Train, Eric Church, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Bastille, Steve Aoki, 50 Cent and Weezer, this year's Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Before You Exit, and other special surprise collaborations.

The iHeartRadio Music Festival Village returns Saturday afternoon with live performances by Iggy Azalea, Neon Trees, Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino, Magic!, The Pretty Reckless, Nico & Vinz, Lil Jon, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jake Miller and just announced Meghan Trainor at The Lot across from Luxor Hotel & Casino.




PA Radio: Kristin Cantrell Adds To Station Purchases

Kristin Cantrell
One week after announcing a four-station deal in State College, PA, Kristin Cantrell’s Seven Mountains Media has filed a $2.05 million transaction to add three more stations to the cluster.

It will buy Top40 WBHV 94.5 FM B 94-5, Oldies WOWY 97.1 FM and Rock WEMR 98.7 FM Eagle from Nick Galli’s 2510 Licenses. They’ll be paired with four stations Seven Mountains is buying from First Media Radio for $2.075 million, including AC WZWW 95.3 FM 3WZ; HotAC simulcast of WMRF 95.7 FM Merf Radio/WLAK 103.5 FM and Talk/Standards daytimerWIEZ 670 AM.

Cantrell already owns a four-station cluster in Frankfort, KY.

But as a daughter to longtime Pennsylvania broadcaster Kerby Confer, who owns 34 stations in the state, she’s well acquainted with the Keystone State.

Gallup Poll: Mass Media 'Trust" Hits New Low

After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans' confidence in the media's ability to report "the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%, according to Gallup.  Americans' trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

Prior to 2004, Americans placed more trust in mass media than they do now, with slim majorities saying they had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust. But over the course of former President George W. Bush's re-election season, the level of trust fell significantly, from 54% in 2003 to 44% in 2004. Although trust levels rebounded to 50% in 2005, they have failed to reach a full majority since.


Americans' trust in the media in recent years has dropped slightly in election years, including 2008, 2010, 2012, and again this year -- only to edge its way back up again in the following odd-numbered years. Although the differences between the drops and the recoveries are no