Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pandora AMP To Provide "Large Scale" Artist Analytics

Pandora today launched Pandora AMP, a free online service that gives artists and their managers a detailed view of their audience on the world’s largest Internet radio platform.

Pandora AMP provides a trove of data and insights to all 125,000-plus artists played on the service. Derived from tens of billions of hours of personalized listening, it has the potential to help artists with many critical decisions such as tour routing, single selection, set lists, audience targeting and more.

Updated daily, examples of the insights available on Pandora AMP include:
  • Song-by-song performance information, including total spins and number of thumbs up
  • Number of unique fans that have created a station for each artist
  • Detailed geographic and demographic breakdowns of each artist’s audience
  • An interactive heat map showcasing where an artist’s music is attracting an audience across the United States
Tim Westergren
“When I was in a band, we had a rented van, a box of fliers, and a couple staple guns,” said Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder and a former touring musician himself. “The challenge faced by artists trying to find and build an audience was part of the original inspiration for Pandora. With AMP, the goal is simple: we want to harness the power of our scale and data to make artists’ lives easier.”

Insights on Pandora AMP, powered by The Music Genome Project, provide a lens into the company’s immense data, collected since its launch more than nine years ago. With more than 76 million listeners tuning in on average for over 20 hours each month, it gives artists access to the single largest source of music engagement in the United States.

The scale of this audience has important implications not only for established acts but also for the tens of thousands of working musicians who have never enjoyed the support of broadcast radio – over 80 percent of the artists on Pandora do not receive any airtime on terrestrial radio. With AMP, Pandora has created an easy-to-use and actionable tool for all musicians.

Ben Singer, manager of singer-songwriter Andy Grammer said, "This is a total game changer for us. Our research shows us that the majority of Andy's fans consume music on Pandora. To have access to these analytics will only help us better serve his fans as the music industry continues to evolve."

Starting today, AMP is available to all artists currently playing on Pandora. Artists can sign up for the service at and follow the latest news about AMP on Twitter @PandoraAMP.

Survey: Different Is The New Cool For Teens

Piper Jaffray has completed its 28th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens market research project, which indicates increased spending across categories despite decreased optimism about the economy.

Steph Wissink
“Our fall 2014 survey results indicate teens continue to diversify their tastes through discovery of emerging brands and multi-brand experimentation, even as their views of the economy worsen,” said Steph Wissink, co-director of research and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.

“We also observe trends that indicate teens use social media, mainly Instagram, to create their own unique personal brands and seek peer affirmation. Millennials continue to be early adopters of change who use technology to engage with brands ‘on demand’ on their own time.”

Key findings from the survey in fashion, beauty and personal care, digital media, food, gaming and entertainment include the following:
  • Spending rebounds as teen employment figures improved modestly and parent contribution returned to historical levels in the 70% range. Yet teen perception of the economic climate worsened, with roughly 73% seeing the economy as staying the same or getting worse, up from just 57% a year ago.
  • Male spending increased in the spring while females turned this fall and contributed to gains year over year and sequentially in total spending. This is the first period of improved spending, specifically on fashion-related goods, in nearly two years.
  • Teen closets are diverse, just like their social circles and lifestyles. The millennial thirst for adventure is clear with experimentation, discovery and individuality being the new cool. A key fashion trend among teens is the spirit of choice – demand for action sports, fast fashion, refined classics and fashion athletic brands stabilized or increased. Demand for legacy brands stabilizes – AE, A&F, Hollister and Aero – but is still significantly below peak mindshare and current capacity.
  • This generation of teens are creating their own “stories” through purchases, experiences and activities in order to cultivate their personal brands, primarily in domains like social media and friend networks. We note that teen interest in food and electronics, at the expense of fashion goods, continues to be a strong underlying theme in our multi-year data series.
  • Friends and the Internet dominate teen influences and combine in social media environments. Instagram and Twitter are the two most used social media sites, implying teens are increasingly visual and sound bite communicators.
  • Apple remains the top consumer electronics brand for teens. 67% own iPhones, up 6% from spring 2014. 73% of teens expect their next phone to be an iPhone.
  • A key food trend amongst teens is the increasing consumption of organic food, especially among upper-income teens.
  • Mobile gaming interest declines to 80%, but 22% of those that play spend money on virtual goods or extra levels, up 4% from spring 2014.
  • Pandora is a distant second to broadcast radio, with one-in-five teens reporting they use it the most while in the car. 
  • Satellite radio doesn’t typically score well with teenagers. Piper Jaffray’s report reflects that, with teens saying Sirius XM gets an average of just 5% of their listening time.

Nielsen, Adobe To Measure Multiple Devices

Adobe and Nielsen have announced a strategic alliance that is expected to deliver the industry’s first comprehensive, cross-platform system for measuring online TV, video and other digital content across the web and apps.

The move for Nielsen, which dominates traditional TV ratings and Adobe, which has troves of data on how people watch videos through the Internet, underscores how quickly the landscape is shifting.

Just last week, Time Warner's pay TV channel HBO and broadcaster CBS made the startling announcements they plan to launch standalone products allowing consumers to watch their programming without a cable or satellite subscription.

The collaboration will integrate Nielsen’s digital audience measurement products with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. As a result, both companies will jointly market Nielsen's Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe, which will deliver analytics and currency-grade content metrics. Customers will have comparable metrics to measure audiences accurately and consistently across every major IP device, including desktops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and over-the-top boxes.

Nielsen’s new Digital Content Ratings will be supported by certified Adobe Analytics census data. The aggregated and anonymous data will measure content of all types, including online TV, videos, games, audio and text. The technology integration is expected to accelerate the adoption of a digital ratings currency, allowing advertisers to better allocate marketing dollars across platforms, and enabling media companies to benefit from insights into the performance of TV and other digital content across screens.

In addition, Nielsen’s measurement data will be embedded in Adobe Primetime to give broadcasters and pay-TV service providers the ability to quickly measure audiences and viewing behaviors across a broad set of devices. The integration also seeks to drive deeper engagement through the delivery of personalized content and ads.

Hacker Wanted $500 From Louisiana Broadcaster

The victim of a recent computer hacking was Stannard Broadcasting in Leesville that was attacked. Not one but all three of its stations were affected; they are Country KVVP 105.7 FM as well as KROK 95.7 FM and KUMX 106.7 FM.

The three stations are all back on the air, but problems persist, according to RadioWorld.

“Stannard Broadcasting Inc. is working to correct problems associated with a virus that affected its data server,” the company said in a statement. A Trojan virus had been executed on a computer in the station’s network on Oct. 16 that encrypted the station’s database audio files in the server.

“Along with the virus came a text note offering a key word to unlock the virus in exchange for $500 in Bitcoin, an Internet currency,” it said.

The broadcaster did not pay any ransom; instead it reported the attack to local law authorities and went about working to get back on the air. The company said it will have to buy some new equipment and that “further measures will also be taken to secure data.”

KVVP 105.7 FM (13.5Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Doug Stannard is the general manager. “Two stations have had their music library compromised in that there is still missing audio and all the data strings are not complete,” he wrote to RadioWorld in a followup email today. “Each day there are more elements compromised. Each day there are additional files tapped by the hackers. So, each day is a new set of problems.”

NYC Radio: SBS Promotes Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia
Spanish Broadcasting System appoints Eric Garcia as Revenue Chief of its radio division and General Manager of its New York cluster.

He'll be responsible for the management and oversight of Local and National Radio Divisions and Event Sponsorships areas as well as the overall impact of Station Operating Income. Garcia has been with SBS since 2004. Previously, he was VP/Sales for WSKQ 97.9 FM Mega 97-9 and WPAT 93.1 FM Amor 93-1).

"My appointment of Eric Garcia to a senior leadership role in SBS, represents complete confidence that he will do an excellent job," stated COO Albert Rodriguez. "Eric Garcia has demonstrated a capacity for leadership and management skills in improving New York's station performance. We are asking him to extend those abilities to our other Radio markets, please join me in welcoming Eric to his new position."

Garcia began his radio career at radio sales at McGavren Guild Media before joining Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) in 2004.

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity. I will be able to work alongside the best operators in the business across our SBS markets, and together, grow the dynamics of the overall SBS portfolio. As with any close family, I look forward to working together with each market, and use our current relentless drive to grow SBS shares in every market," added Garcia.

NJ Radio: 95.9 The Rat Welcomes Dave McDonald

Dave McDonald
WRAT 95.9 FM in Point Pleasant, NJ has announced “East Side” Dave McDonald as joined the RAT Morning Show.

He joins 18 year Rat Rock veteran Carl Craft and morning sidekick, Gotts.

A native of Monmouth County, McDonald grew up in Spring Lake, NJ and now resides in Neptune.

His past credits include a stint as producer for the Ron and Fez show on SiriusXM as well as guest appearances on the Opie and Anthony show. McDonald also had his own radio show called the Davey Mac Sports Program XL. Following several television appearances on shows like TLC’s America’s Worst Tattoos and “truTV presents, Worlds Dumbest…,” Dave kicked around the comedy scene and ended up at 95.9 WRAT-FM.

WRAT 95.9 FM (1.45 Kw) 60dBu Coverage
“Dave has been a great addition to the show. He’s got the fun, upbeat vibe that the show craves without being fake or over the top. He’s totally fitting in with me and Gotts and so far the listeners have welcomed him to their favorite morning show. It’s funny how personally they’ve taken it, going so far as to “welcome him to The Rat” at our first public appearance last Friday” ,said Carl Craft, WRAT-FM Program Director and Morning show co-host.

Bob Pittman: Radio Needs To Improve Monetization

Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, discusses how big data is impacting the radio industry.  He spoke during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Robin Hood Investors Conference in New York, U.S., on Tuesday.

Pittman also discussed the reasons behind changing the company's name from Clear Channel to IHeartMedia during an interview in September.

He speaks with Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle at the Robin Hood Investors Conference.

Pandora Launches 'Sponsored Listening'

Lizzie Widhelm
Pandora’s new ad product, dubbed Sponsored Listening, lets you skip audio promos for an hour if you click on a video ad. According to AdWeek, the music service is beta testing with Fox, which is pushing its fall shows Gotham and Mulaney.

The idea behind Sponsored Listening is that a marketer gets to own a set time of Pandora music consumption with branded display ads.

Sponsored Listening is initially rolling out on Pandora’s mobile apps—where 80 percent of listening happens for 76 million monthly users—but will be extended to desktop in the coming months.

Lizzie Widhelm, vp of digital at Pandora, declined to say how much Sponsored Listening costs compared to other advertising on the platform.

Previously, marketers could utilize an ad format called Limited Interruptions, which are one-day takeovers of free music. Pandora has also had trial offers for its Pandora One—an ad-free listening product that costs about $5 per month.

"In the past, there have been advertisers who said, 'We’re looking for something big—a stunt,'" Widhelm said. "The difference in this product is we want to do it at scale. We want to make it available to all of our partners versus just a one-day stunt."

CBS To Launch Retro-TV Service

CBS is finally developing its ample digital subchannel real estate, partnering with Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting to launch an outlet devoted to vintage TV and pop culture, according to Variety.

The channel dubbed Decades aims to stand apart from other retro-TV services by offering wrap-around programming designed to highlight the overall theme of the day’s program slate. The anchor of this effort will be an hourlong daily program, “Decades Retrospectical,” that will examine the news and events of a particular day or period in history, and all of the programs airing that day will reflect the theme.

Billed as “the ultimate TV time capsule,” Decades will allow CBS to make use of its vast library of TV series, telepics and movies, which range from “I Love Lucy” to “Cheers” to “Beverly Hills, 90210,” as well as the archives of CBS News, “Entertainment Tonight” and other inhouse resources.

The channel will be carried by the 16 CBS O&Os, and offered to stations in other markets on a syndicated basis in exchange for a national/local split of advertising time.

The ambitious plan for the Decades services comes on the heels of last week’s news that the Eye was venturing into the SVOD arena with the launch of CBS All Access service, which also hopes to mine the Eye’s well-stocked program vault to generate new profits for CBS Corp.

No firm launch date has yet been set for Decades, other than to state the network will begin in the second quarter of 2015.

MT Radio: Weather Reports Prompt Equal Time Request

John Pulasky
A Republican lawmaker from Billings is demanding equal time on a Miles City radio station where his opponent does the weather.

Five months after launching a similar complaint that cost opponent John Pulasky his Billings weatherman job, Rep. Clayton Fiscus, R-Billings Heights, is asking for air time equal to what Pulasky spends providing weather reports on KATL 770 AM (10Kw-Day, 1Kw-Night).

KATL describes its signal as faint to nonexistent in Billings, but Fiscus told The Gazette he can pick up the station on his car radio when parked in the driveway of his home.

That means there’s a possibility voters with capable radios can do the same, and they’re getting nine minutes and 30 seconds of Pulasky, a Democrat, every day and none of the one-term incumbent Fiscus.

“I’m going to stick up for the law,” Fiscus said. “I’m a lawmaker, not a law breaker.”

Simply put, FCC law states that U.S. radio and television stations are obligated to offer equal time to opposing candidates who request it, with some exceptions for news interviews, documentaries, scheduled newscasts and debates. The gist of the law is that unequal air time for one candidate can influence an election outcome.

However the law has limits, according to KATL station manager Donald Richard. It might be possible to receive faint audio of KATL 770 AM’s signal in Billings, but Billings isn’t part of the area in which KATL provides “city grade” service, neither is the legislative district for which Fiscus and Pulasky are competing.

Pulasky doesn’t promote his campaign while doing the weather.

But the FCC has ruled that it doesn’t matter what a media personality talks about when it comes to equal access on a station that serves area in which the candidate is running. The opponent is entitled to equal time and can use it to campaign.

Atlanta Radio: V103's Stacci Jae Johnson Receives Honor

Stacci Jae Johnson
WVEE 103.3 FM personality, actress and entrepreneur Stacii Jae Johnson was named one of Rolling Out Magazine’s 2014 Top 25 Women in Atlanta.

The annual recognition is part of the lifestyle magazine’s “Female Success Factor” series, which honors women with exemplary success in business, entertainment and/or community activism.  The Rolling Out “Female Success Factor”, 9th Annual Top 25 Women of Atlanta Awards Dinner will take place at Twelve Atlantic Station on Thursday, October 23, 2014.

Johnson, a radio personality on CBS Radio's Urban WVEE V103 has been named one of Atlanta’s “Influencers to Watch.”  She recently launched her lifestyle brand “The Single Girls Club” and is working on several production projects under her “Mama Said Production” company.

“I am honored to be named among so many dynamic women as one of Rolling Out’s Top 25 Women in Atlanta,” Stacii Jae Johnson said. “Being chosen as an influencer in the city I love is truly special.  It inspires me to continue my mission of encourage others- especially single girls-to live, laugh and love more!”

Keith Urban To Be CRS Featured Speaker

Country music superstar Keith Urban has been announced as a Country Radio Seminar 2015 featured speaker. The event, Keith Urban: Being Present, is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 at 3 p.m. during the annual convention, which takes place at the Nashville Convention Center.

Radio consistently says Keith Urban is known for ‘being present.”  He was one of the first to tear down the walls between the artist and their live audience.  Being present has been his calling card.  This is a very important topic for not only on-air talent and programmers who now have multiple jobs, multiple air shifts, and management responsibilities. It is relevant to everyone in today’s business environment who must be proficient in multi-tasking with many individuals.  When your life has many different facets you need to manage. It’s how you're present in “that moment,” with an employee, listener, business colleague, and your audience.

"This will be a definitive ‘memorable moment’ for all of us this year: having this incredible talent address this most critical skill in today's hectic professional business environment, with far reaching effect on one's ability to communicate," says CRS Executive Director, Bill Mayne. “Urban is one of the first artists to have literally broken down the separation that can exist even on the concert stage.  Not only has he been leaving the stage, to join his audiences for years, he was the first artist that I’ve ever seen, whose stage literally bled into the crowd, with no barrier of any kind – no doubt entirely by design.”

Keith Urban: Being Present is sponsored by BMI at CRS 2015 and is one of many highlights scheduled for CRS 2015.

Registrations for Country Radio Seminar are available for purchase through or by calling the CRS offices at 615-327-4487. Friday, Oct. 31 marks the deadline to purchase $399 Early Bird registrations for Country Radio Seminar 2015. The regular rate will take effect on Nov. 1, increasing registrations to $499 per person.

About Country Radio Seminar: Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio. CRS 2015 will be held Feb. 25-27, 2015.

NEPA Radio: Cumulus Working On WARM Tech Issues

Northeast Pennsylvania’s former longtime dominant AM radio station has been knocked off the air for the past month due to technical difficulties: Its old transmitter failed.

WARM 590 AM, which debuted in 1940, pioneered rock ’n’ roll on NEPA airwaves in the 1950s and introduced the Beatles to local listeners in the 1960s, went silent on Sept. 15, according to a notice filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

That “notification of suspension of operations” filed by the station on Sept. 25 as required by the FCC, states that a failure of WARM’s antiquated transmitter located near Falls knocked it off the air temporarily. It’s not known how long it may take to fix.

The station’s “engineers are in the process of specifically identifying the technical problem(s), however due to the age of the transmitter, they are not sure it will be immediately repairable,” the filing states.

“Unfortunately, it’s a pretty technical challenge and complex problem,” said Ron Giovanniello, regional vice president for Cumulus Media, WARM’s parent company, said told The Scranton Times-Tribune. “We’re talking about trying to get this resolved sometime in the fourth quarter” of this year.

FCC rules mandate that a station that has gone off the air for 12 months loses its license.

During the 1960s, WARM became a Top 40 station with a strong news presence, pulling in an unheard-of 70 percent of the radio audience. With on-air personalities like Don Stevens, Joey Shaver, Bill Stewart, George Gilbert, Harry West and others becoming celebrities.

The station was sold in the 1990s to Citadel which was later acquired by Cumulus Media.

R.I.P. Central CA Radio Legend Ed Dickinson

Ed Dickinson
Central Coast broadcasting legend Ed Dickinson, best known for the big-band-era music he played on a radio program he called "Way Back Now," died Sunday after a lengthy struggle with failing health.

He was 88-years-of-age, according to The Monterey Herald.

Mr. Dickinson's deep, velvety voice was instantly recognizable to listeners of the old, Monterey-based KIDD 630 AM radio station, from which he played 1930s, '40s and '50s music from 1991 through 2011.

He revived the program briefly at KYAA 1200 AM, but announced his retirement in October 2012 after suffering his second stroke.

His broadcast career spanned 64 years. His career took him through an alphabet soup of local radio gigs at KXXL, KRML, KONC, KNRY, KDON and KIDD. Dickinson spun records and announced sports events — including Pacific Coast League baseball featuring the San Francisco Seals and Oakland Oaks, who, in those days, played spring training games at Monterey's Jacks Park.

He worked for $100 a week for Jimmy Lyons, founder of the Monterey Jazz Festival, at the KDON studios at the old San Carlos Hotel, a job that enabled him to kibitz with Andre Previn, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. He had coffee with Stan Kenton. Dave Brubeck spent five hours at his house. He talked football with Erroll Garner.

Born in 1926, Mr. Dickinson grew up in Michigan listening to "The Jack Benny Show," "I Love a Mystery," and big-band music on the family's Philco radio while his parents thought he was sleeping, he told The Herald in 2008.

Former WaPo Editor Ben Bradlee Has Died

Ben Bradlee
Ben Bradlee, the former Washington Post executive editor who lead the paper from 1968 to 1991 and became famous for guiding it during its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage breaking the Watergate scandal, died Tuesday (October 21st).

He was 93 years-of-age.

Bradlee's wife, Sally Quinn, disclosed last month that Bradlee had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for several years and was in hospice care.

Bradlee led the transformation of the Post into a prominent national newspaper, first as managing editor and then executive editor. In addition to overseeing the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during the Watergate scandal, Bradlee also famously published the Pentagon Papers in the Post in 1971, a secret study of the Vietnam War, against the advice of attorneys and pleas from top government officials, eventually leading to a Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of newspapers to publish the leaked documents.

Bradlee retired from the Post in 1991.

In 2013, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country's finest newspapers," President Obama said in a statement, "and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told."

Bradlee - who fought in the Navy during World War II - became a reporter in the 1950s. He soon became close friends with then senator and future President John F. Kennedy

"From the moment he took over the Post newsroom in 1965, Bradlee sought to create an important newspaper that would go far beyond the traditional model of a metropolitan daily," WaPo wrote in its obit.

October 22 In Radio History

In 1956...Billboard announced that Elvis Presley had notched seventeen chart hits this year alone.

In 1961...Chubby Checker performed "The Twist" and "Let's Twist Again" on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Both songs received renewed radio airplay despite already being hits and, amazingly, "The Twist" went all the way to #1 again, becoming the only song of the Rock Era to reach #1...twice.

In 1969…Paul McCartney issued an official press release through Apple stating that he was not, in fact, dead, as had been rumored. He then retired to his farm in Scotland where LIFE magazine tracked him down to prove he was still alive.

In 1977...The Hot 100..Debby Boone remained #1 with "You Light Up My Life", holding off Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better".  Shaun Cassidy was up with his Eric Carmen remake "That's Rock 'N' Roll" and K.C. and the Sunshine Band dropped with "Keep It Comin' Love".  Newcomer Heatwave was up to 5 with "Boogie Nights".

The rest of the Top 10:  Foreigner and "Cold As Ice", the Commodores with "Brick House" at #7, Donna Summer's "I Feel Love", the former #1 for Meco--"Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" and Johnny Rivers landed in the Top 10 for the first time in five years with his final Top 10--"Swayin' to the Music".

In 1977...The Album Charts..Rumours by Fleetwood Mac was in uncharted territory.  It had spent 24 weeks at #1, six more than any other album in the Rock Era to that time.  Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt was a solid #2 and Steely Dan was rocketing up from 26-3 with Aja.  The debut of Foreigner moved up to #4.

The rest of the Top 10: Shaun Cassidy, Rita Coolidge at #6 with Anytime...Anywhere, the Rolling Stones debuted in the Top 10 with Love You Live, Elvis Presley's Moody Blue was #8, I Robot by the Alan Parsons Project and Livin' on the Fault Line from the Doobie Brothers at #10.

In 1986...NY Personality/Traffic Reporter Jane Dornacker was killed in a helicopter accident while working for WNBC 660 AM Radio in New York City (which became WFAN in 1988).

Dornacker was aboard during two unrelated crashes of the helicopters leased to WNBC. She survived the first crash, but was killed in the second crash into the Hudson River, which occurred as she was in the middle of a live traffic report.

Her death came shortly after that of her husband, Bob Knickerbocker, orphaning their 16-year-old daughter. The NTSB investigation determined the cause of the fatal crash to have been use of improper parts and poor maintenance on the part of Spectrum Helicopters of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.

In 1992...Dodgers/Yankees Radio/TV sportscate Red Barber died.

Red Barber
At the age of 21, he hitchhiked from his home in Sanford, FL to Gainesville, FL and enrolled at the University of Florida, majoring in education. During his first year he worked at various jobs including part-time janitor at the University Club. There in January 1930 Barber got his start in broadcasting.

An agriculture professor had been scheduled to appear on WRUF, the university radio station, to read a scholarly paper over the air. When the professor's absence was discovered minutes before the broadcast was to begin, janitor Barber was called in as a substitute. Thus the future sportscaster's first gig was reading "Certain Aspects of Bovine Obstetrics".

After those few minutes in front of a microphone, Barber decided to switch careers. He became WRUF's director and chief announcer and covered Florida football games that autumn. Then he dropped out of school to focus on his radio work. After four more years at WRUF he landed a job broadcasting the Cincinnati Reds on WLW and WSAI when Powel Crosley, Jr., purchased the team in 1934.

On Opening Day 1934 (April 17), Barber attended his first major league game and broadcast its play-by-play, as the Reds lost to the Chicago Cubs 6–0. He called games from the stands of Cincinnati's renamed Crosley Field for the next five seasons.

Barber had been hired by Larry MacPhail, then president of the Reds. When MacPhail moved on to be president of the Dodgers for the 1939 season, he took the play-by-play man along. In Brooklyn, Barber became an institution, widely admired for his folksy style. He was also appreciated by people concerned about Brooklyn's reputation as a land of "dees" and "dems".

In 1939 Barber broadcast the first major-league game on television, on experimental NBC station W2XBS. In 1946 he added to his Brooklyn duties a job as sports director of the CBS Radio Network, succeeding Ted Husing and continuing through 1955. There his greatest contribution was to conceive and host the CBS Football Roundup, which switched listeners back and forth between broadcasts of different regional college games each week.

For most of Barber's run with the Dodgers, the team was broadcast over radio station WMGM (later WHN) at 1050 on the AM dial.

Prior to the 1953 World Series, Barber was selected by Gillette, which sponsored the Series broadcasts, to call the games on NBC Radio Network along with Mel Allen. Barber wanted a larger fee than was offered by Gillette, however, and when Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley refused to back him, Barber declined to work the Series and Vin Scully partnered with Allen on the telecasts instead. As Barber later related in his 1968 autobiography, Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat, it was O'Malley's lack of support that led to his resigning from the Dodgers later that October.

Soon afterward the crosstown Yankees hired Barber. In 1955 he took his long-running television program Red Barber's Corner from CBS to NBC. It ran from 1949 until 1958.

Under the ownership of CBS in 1966, the Yankees finished tenth and last, their first time at the bottom of the standings since 1912 and after more than 40 years of dominating the American League. On September 22, paid attendance of 413 was announced at the 65,000-seat Yankee Stadium.

Barber asked the TV cameras to pan the empty stands as he commented on the low attendance. Although denied the camera shots on orders from the Yankees' head of media relations, he said, "I don't know what the paid attendance is today, but whatever it is, it is the smallest crowd in the history of Yankee Stadium, and this crowd is the story, not the game." By a horrible stroke of luck, that game was the first for CBS executive Mike Burke as team president. A week later, Barber was invited to breakfast where Burke told him that his contract wouldn't be renewed.

After his dismissal by the Yankees in 1966, Barber retired from baseball broadcasting.

Taylor w/Chaka Kahn 1975
In 1999...WWRL/WRKS personality Sonny Taylor died.

His obituary in the NY Daily News notes millions of New Yorkers who remember the golden age of WWRL 1600 AM, when its playlist and personalities helped shape the whole direction of popular music, also will remember Sonny Taylor,

He programmed WWRL for four years, starting in 1975. Later, he programmed WRKS and he was a deejay at both WWRL and WNJR, where he started in 1966.  "Like many radio people, Taylor got around: St. Louis, Chicago, Miami. He spent the '90s at WMMJ in Washington, where he was working until he died. "

In 2009...Radio/TV personality Soupy Sales died.

Sales was born Milton Supman, got his nickname from his family. His older brothers had been nicknamed "Hambone" and "Chicken Bone." Milton was dubbed "Soup Bone," which was later shortened to "Soupy".

Sales enrolled in Marshall College in Huntington, WV where he earned a Master's Degree in Journalism. While at Marshall, he performed in nightclubs as a comedian, singer and dancer. After graduating, Sales began working as a scriptwriter and disc jockey at radio station WHTN (now WVHU) in Huntington. He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1949, where he worked as a morning radio DJ and performed in nightclubs.

On January 1, 1965, miffed at having to work on the holiday, Sales ended his live TV broadcast by encouraging his young viewers to tiptoe into their still-sleeping parents' bedrooms and remove those "funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents" from their pants and pocketbooks. "Put them in an envelope and mail them to me", Soupy instructed the children. "And I'll send you a postcard from Puerto Rico!" He was then hit with a pie. Several days later, a chagrined Soupy announced that money (mostly Monopoly money was unexpectedly being received in the mail. He explained that he had been joking and announced that the contributions would be donated to charity.

Sales hosted a midday radio show on WNBC 660 AM in New York from March 1985 to March 1987. His program was between the drive time shifts of Don Imus (morning) and Howard Stern (afternoon), with whom Sales had an acrimonious relationship. An example of this was an incident involving Stern telling listeners that he was cutting the strings in Sales' in-studio piano at 4:05 p.m. on May 1, 1985. On December 21, 2007, Stern revealed this was a stunt staged for "theater of the mind" and to torture Sales; in truth, the piano was never harmed.

Sales' on-air crew included his producer, Ray D'Ariano, newscaster Judy DeAngelis (recently retired as AM Drive news anchor on 1010 WINS), and pianist Paul Dver, who was also Soupy's manager.

When Soupy's show was not renewed, his time slot would be taken over by D'ariano. Near the end of his contract, Sales lost his temper on the air, and began to speak very frankly about how he felt he had been treated poorly by the station, and how he felt betrayed that D'ariano would be taking over the show. The show went to break after a commercial - Sales was off the air, replaced without comment or explanation by program director Dale Parsons. Soupy would not return to the air.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reba Becomes Inaugural Signing on NASH Icon Label

NASH ICON Music proudly bestows another title to the reigning “Queen of Country,” announcing Reba as the inaugural signing on the innovative new joint venture label between Big Machine and Cumulus. This morning (10/21), she joined America’s Morning Show host Blair Garner to share the news about her first new music in over five years. Leading up to the announcement, a Reba song was played every half hour to highlight her career and gear up for the new chapter. Co-host Terri Clarke performed “Fancy” for Reba-oke, as part of co-host Chuck Wicks' “5 Seconds” trivia game before a Reba cake was presented in front of the live audience:

Reba said: “I am so excited to be the first artist to sign up with this new joint venture. We’ve been in the studio having a blast recording new songs and I can’t wait for my fans to hear them. Thanks to Scott Borchetta, John Dickey and everyone at Cumulus for letting me be a part of these new and exciting times.”

Pictured (L-R): Jim Weatherson (Nash Icon Music GM), Chuck Wicks (America’s Morning Show host), Terri Clark (America’s Morning Show host), Reba, Scott Borchetta (BMLG President & CEO), John Dickey (Executive Vice President of Content and Programming for Cumulus) and Blair Garner (America’s Morning Show Host)

The Oklahoma native is back in the studio with long-time producer Tony Brown and is collaborating for the first time with James Stroud, blending their unique approaches and multi-platinum career success.

“As Reba and I get to enter into another phase of our business relationship that dates back to 1991, I am again reminded of the power of all things Reba. Her presence, her vocal prowess, her song selection, her passion… it’s unequaled in her multi-decade career and we will again blaze new trails together,” said Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta. “I can’t think of a more important artist or voice to crown as our first Icon artist as there are none truer to the definition.”

"By the numbers Reba defines what it is to be an Icon — 56 million albums sold, 35 #1 singles, #1 female country touring artist of all time and room full of CMA, ACM and Grammy awards. Reba is Nashville. Nash Icon is thrilled to have Reba as our first artist on this exciting new label,” added Jogn Dickey, Executive Vice President of Content and Programming for Cumulus.

In May, Big Machine and Cumulus rolled out a joint venture under the Nash Icon brand with the creation of a record label, Nash Icon Music. Nash Icon will produce new music and live events from Nashville’s most prolific artists over the last 25 years. General Manager Jim Weatherson will spearhead the strategic partnership between the two music, entertainment and media powerhouses. Separate from this joint venture between Cumulus and Big Machine for the Nash Icon Music record label and live events business, Cumulus independently operates 16 (soon to be more) Nash Icon radio stations and will soon distribute Nash Icon content to stations nationwide through its wholly owned distribution service Westwood One.

As a multi-media entertainment mogul, Reba has become a household name with a successful career that spans music, television, theater and retail industries. She has achieved a rare pinnacle with 35 #1 singles, over 56 million albums sold worldwide and a total of over 9 million tickets in touring to become one of the most successful female recording artists in history. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame inductee has won 15 American Music Awards, 13 ACM Awards, nine People’s Choice Awards, seven CMA Awards, two Grammy Awards and an ACM Career Achievement Honor. Additionally, Reba has the distinction of being one of only four entertainers in history to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress.

Sun Broadcast, Fitz Ink Multi-Year Deal

Sun Broadcast Group announced today that it has entered into a multi-year syndication and sales partnership with Entercom morning man and nationally syndicated personality, Fitz.

The deal will encompass all Fitz branded on-air offerings including the “Powered by Country” weekend countdown, which will be renamed “The Hit List” when it moves from United Stations Radio Networks to Sun in 2015.

“I am thrilled to be working with Sun Broadcast Group”’ said Fitz. “I have been blown away by the vision, passion, and energy that Jason Bailey and his team have shown me. I have never had more support in my life. These guys just get it!! PERIOD!! They do radio the way it was meant to be done and have definitely changed the way the game is played in our industry. Look out :)”

In addition to the weekend countdown show, Fitz will assume hosting duties of “Nashville Minute”, a daily news and entertainment feature developed and produced by Gen3 Entertainment, now heard on over 80 affiliates. Nashville Minute will be expanded to two daily reports with Fitz’s first broadcast airing on Monday, October 27th.

Sun also announced that it would be syndicating Fitz’s current #1 morning show from KKWF 100.7 FM “The Wolf” in Seattle. “The Fitz Show” will be offered daily from coast to coast as a modular show for airing in multiple dayparts to Country, CHR and Hot AC affiliates.

“Sun Broadcast Group prides itself in working with world class talent and Fitz is in a class of his own,” said Ron Rivlin, SVP of Programing at Sun Broadcast Group. “We are looking forward to taking the Fitz brand to new heights! Buckle up radio. You’re in for a wild ride!”

News Events Impact OnLine Listening

Triton Digital has released its monthly digital audio Top 20 Ranker for August 2014.

Looking at the top 20 markets, Phoenix showed the largest listening gain with a 27.8% increase in AAS (M-F 6A-8P), followed by St. Louis, Tampa, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington.

The gain in Phoenix could be attributed to the two storms that hit Phoenix on August 12th and August  19th causing flash flooding and power outages across the valley. Motorists were stranded on the  highways and mandatory evacuations were issued to certain areas.

The gain in St. Louis could be attributed to the shooting of Michael Brown. On August 9th, a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old teenager in Ferguson, MO, a suburbof St. Louis, sparking anarchy in the region. Protests turned violent during the ensuing week. On August 16th, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew from midnight  to five a.m. in Ferguson.

By format, the Adult Contemporary format showed the largest listening gains with a 23.8% increase in AAS  (M-F 6A-8P), followed by Top 40 (CHR), Hot AC, Classic Rock, News/Talk, Country, and Classic Hits.

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