Friday, September 6, 2013

Ryan Seacrest Booed During NFL Opening

Network TV never knows when to stop shilling, selling, hyping and hustling its audience.

According to media critic, David Zurawick at The Baltimore Sun, the network’s “Sunday Night Football” franchise is one of the epic success stories of prime-time TV, a winning hybrid of sports and pop culture programming that draws a larger audience than any sports program in history. As the highest-rated show on TV, it defines cash cow. And thanks to the skill of the crew assembled by executive producer Fred Gaudelli, it is also a show the network could be proud of.

But Thursday night, on the big opening night of the season, the suits at NBC and corporate owner Comcast had to turn the “Football Night in America” pre-game show, as well as the opening of the game itself, into a pimp machine for Ryan Seacrest and his new NBC show, “The Million Second Quiz.”


According to Zurawik, Seacrest embodies the worst aspects of commercial television – the phoniness, the lack of creativity and talent, the vapid emptiness at its heart. You don’t take someone like that and shove him down the throats of serious sportsfans on opening night as NBC did Thursday.

Read More Now

New Evening Line-up On ESPN Radio Starts Monday

On Monday, Sept. 9, ESPN Radio will unveil the first phase of its revamped late afternoon and evening weekday lineup when Sedano & Stink, hosted by Jorge Sedano and Mark Schlereth, debuts at 7 p.m. ET.  The three-hour show will be followed each weekday by The Freddie Coleman Show at 10 p.m.

The new lineup will be complete when The Dan LeBatard Show makes its national debut from Miami on Monday, Sept 30 at 4 p.m.  The three-hour program will tackle the major issues of the day and feature thought-provoking  sports discussion. LeBatard’s local radio show on WAXY 790 AM / 104.3 FM The Ticket will continue to be broadcast for one hour beginning at 3 p.m.

LeBatard will also continue to host Highly Questionable on ESPN2 weekdays at 4 p.m. Bomani Jones, who is a regular on the TV show, will also have a role on the new national radio program.

All shows will be available on ESPN Radio, espnradio.com, the ESPN Radio app and Sirius Channel 84.

Sedano & Stink (7-10 p.m.) Debuts Sept.  9

Jorge Sedano, most recently the program director/afternoon host at WQAM in Miami, will make his ESPN Radio debut on the show.  ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth, whose nickname while with the Denver Broncos was “Stink,” has co-hosted in this time slot since January 2012. The focus and tone of the show will evolve as evening events unfold.  Listener interaction via social media will be a staple of the program.

The Freddie Coleman Show (10 p.m. – 1 a.m.) Debuts Sept.  9

The three-hour show, hosted by Coleman, will focus on the sports news events of the day and the games in progress with an emphasis on Coleman’s opinions and reaction to those events.  The show had previously aired on Saturday and Sunday nights.

‘Blurred Lines’ Crowned Billboard's Song of Summer

Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (featuring T.I. and Pharrell) officially clinches the top spot on Billboard's 2013 Songs of the Summer chart.

Billboard's annual Songs of the Summer running tally tracks the most popular songs based on cumulative performance on the weekly Hot 100 chart from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

According to Billboard, "Lines" took hold of the top rank on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of June 22 for its first of 12 frames at No. 1. (It cedes the summit to Katy Perry's "Roar" this week.) It ties two other songs for the most weeks tallied at No. 1 on the Hot 100 encompassing charts covering Memorial Day through Labor Day: Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together," the top summer song of 2005, which collected 12 of its 14 total weeks on top in that span, and Brandy & Monica's "The Boy Is Mine," which notched 12 of its 13 weeks at No. 1 in the Songs of the Summer chart's tracking period in 1998.

"Lines" has dominated multiple charts over the summer. In addition to its Hot 100 reign, it set the record for the highest weekly audience (228.9 million, according to Nielsen BDS) in the 23-year history of Billboard's Radio Songs chart, passing Carey's "Belong" (212.2 million). It leads the list for a ninth frame this week. The song also scored the Hot 100's top Airplay Gainer award for a record 10 weeks.


Even as the heat of summer fades, "Lines" continues to top a host of surveys. It rules R&B Songs for a 16th week, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (for a 13th), Rhythmic (10th), Pop Songs (ninth), Adult R&B (fifth) and Adult Pop Songs (fourth). It's sold 5.4 million downloads to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Lew Dickey: Talks The Future For Cumulus

Lew Dickey
Lew Dickey, chief executive officer of Cumulus Media Inc., talks about the company’s planned $260 million transaction with Dial Global Inc. and the outlook for the radio industry. Dickey speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop."
  • CEO Lew Dickey said the company wanted to “de-couple” Hannity’s show from the Rush Limbaugh program, which it recently renewed in all of its markets except New York
  • Dickey discloses that Limbaugh’s successor in New York will be a local host. No word on how WABC 770 AM will fill Hannity's slot.

Report: Nielsen, Feds Negotiating Concessions For Arbitron

Nielsen Holdings NV, seeking to form a company able to measure audiences across TV, radio, the Web and mobile, is negotiating concessions with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that would permit its $1.26 billion acquisition of Arbitron Inc., two people with knowledge of the talks told bloombergnews.com.

The discussion centers on a requirement for the combined company to license measurement technology to ComScore Inc. (SCOR), in addition to researchers, television networks and other parties, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations weren’t public. A consent order could become public within the month after Nielsen said Aug. 30 it agreed to extend the review period into September, without setting a specific date.

While the situation remains fluid, the talks are a positive sign for Nielsen, one of the people said. An agreement would be a win for the company, whose ratings help set rates for $70 billion in U.S. television advertising.

Nielsen is seeking to overcome objections from the FTC, competitors including ComScore and TV networks such as Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN.

Radio Show Luncheon to Feature State Farm

Erica Farber
The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have announced today that executives from State Farm and OMD will participate in a Q&A at the 2013 Radio Show Advertiser Luncheon.

State Farm is one of the country's leading broadcast advertisers. The event, sponsored by Katz Media Group, will be held on September 18 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

RAB President and CEO Erica Farber will moderate a discussion with Tim Van Hoof, assistant vice president of marketing, State Farm and Sumeet Kanwar, managing director, Midwest & Strategy for OMD, State Farm's media planning and buying agency partner.

State Farm, a Fortune 50 Company and one of the top ten radio advertisers of 2012, increased its radio advertising spend by 20 percent in the first half of 2013 and by 32 percent in Q2 2013. Van Hoof and his OMD agency partner, Kanwar, will address why they and other advertisers leverage the power of radio.

First Toyota Vehicles Arrive With HD Radio

iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of digital HD Radio Technology for AM and FM audio and data broadcasting, announced today that the 2014 Tundra, Corolla, Sequoia, 4Runner, and Tacoma are the first Toyota vehicles to launch integrated audio and real-time traffic and weather services using Clear Channel's Total Traffic HD Network (TTN) and HD Radio Technology. 

The 2014 Toyota Corolla, Tundra and Sequoia are now available with the 4Runner and Tacoma arriving in dealerships later this month.

Toyota has launched two new systems integrating HD Radio digital audio entertainment and TTN's real-time traffic and weather information:

For vehicles with navigation systems, Toyota will provide a digital audio and navigation system driven by the first of its kind hybrid technology capable of receiving digital traffic and weather information from both HD Radio stations and the cell phone network, using the driver's smartphone connected with the Toyota Entune system.

For vehicles without navigation, Toyota will offer a premium display audio system complete with free traffic maps and weather information, all delivered by HD Radio stations across the country.

Both systems will also offer the latest digital audio features including Artist Experience, allowing listeners to view images such as album art on their radio screens as they enjoy their favorite HD Radio stations.

Jeff Jury, Chief Operating Officer of iBiquity Digital said, "Toyota is leading the automotive industry with their innovative HD Radio offering.  By utilizing multiple delivery systems for traffic and weather information Toyota has built a very compelling service offering.  We are very pleased that subscription-free audio entertainment and traffic and weather information over the HD Radio system is an integral part of this offering.  Toyota and the entire automotive industry is adopting the latest HD Radio audio and data features very quickly driving the transition of over-the-air AM & FM broadcasting to a digital future."

Rush Limbaugh Rleasing Children’s Book


In 1993, Rush Limbaugh’s book on family values, religion and individualism, “See I Told You So” made the New York Times best seller list. Now 20 years later, Limbaugh is back in the business, only this time he has something for the kids, according to Fox News.

During the opening of his radio program on Thursday, the conservative media personality announced he is releasing a children’s book entitled “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional American,” which details his version of the Thanksgiving story, a story he typically shares with his listeners prior to the holiday.

Limbaugh, 62, said his wife was to thank for the creative nudge.

“My wife Kathryn came up with an idea that literally lit a fire under me. She said, ‘You know you’re always talking about how history is being mistaught. You’re right. You’re always talking about what kids are learning these days, and they’re not learning about the greatness of America,” he said Thursday. “They’re not learning about the founding days. They’re not learning the right things about the great people, the exceptional people in this country.’ She said, ‘Why don’t you write a book for kids?’”

AP Reporter Asks About ‘Spine-Removal Procedure’

Matt Lee
The Associated Press' Matt Lee was incredulous over President Obama's decision to ask for congressional approval to attack Syria during a press briefing at the State Department Thursday.

According to Mediaite, Lee asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki if there was a "group spine-removal procedure at the White House over the weekend."

Lee appeared to be baffled by Secretary of State John Kerry's use of the word "courageous" to describe Obama's actions. "I don't understand why he is so full-throatedly in favor of this," Lee said.

"He over the weekend said the president was acting courageously by taking this to Congress, and I don't understand what is courageous about asking permission for something that you say you don't need and to do what you believe to be the right thing not just morally but in general."

Psaki attempted to explain Kerry's comments, but only got a handful of words out before Lee interrupted her. "Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal procedure at the White House over the weekend?" he asked. "I don't understand. How is this courageous?"


Vin Scully Named Roses Parade Grand Marshal

Vin Scully
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ longtime announcer Vin Scully will lead the 2014 Rose Parade as the grand marshal, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced Thursday.

According to KTLA, The legendary broadcaster joins the ranks of dozens who have served as the leader of the annual event in Pasadena, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Richard Nixon.

Speaking at the announcement ceremony at the tournament’s Orange Grove Boulevard house in Pasadena, Scully recalled riding in the parade on a Dodgers float, saying it reminded him of the sound of the crowd he heard when listening to football games on the radio as a boy.

“That turn, when you suddenly start going down Colorado, it’s like going through a canyon of people, not walls of stone. And the crowd begins to roar at the floats, and there I am, once again, 8 years old, curled up under the radio,” Scully said. “It’s a remarkable experience. I’m humbled over the thought that I will experience it again as the grand marshal.”

Until its announcement, the name of the grand marshal is a secret closely guarded by the tradition-rich Tournament of Roses each year.

The marshal rides in the New Year’s Day parade and tosses the coin before the Rose Bowl Game, which on Jan. 1 will mark its 100th anniversary.

Read More Now.

Buffalo Radio: KB Radio Flips to ESPN Sports

Entercom announced Thursday that effective immediately, its WWKB AM 1520 is becoming ESPN Buffalo, 1520 AM.

Most recently KB had been airing progessive talk shows.

ESPN Buffalo will offer the very best of ESPN's world wide sports programming resources 24/7 - 365 days a year.  In combination with Entercom's WGR 550AM, Buffalo's local sports leader, ESPN Buffalo will offer local sports fans the very best in national sports talk, and access to expanded national and local play-by-play sports action.

"Buffalo is a passionate sports town and the appetite for sports programming on the radio keeps growing.  With WGR 550AM and now ESPN Buffalo 1520AM, Entercom Buffalo has expanded our ability to offer the best and most comprehensive local and national sports coverage to Buffalo sports fans.  Giving our clients and advertisers even better access to the total Buffalo sports audience," said Entercom Buffalo Operations Manager Tim Wenger.   

ESPN 1520 kicks off its LIVE sports action with complete LIVE coverage of the 2013 NHL Prospect Tournament, which runs Sept. 5 to Sept. 9 in Traverse City, Mich., Every Sabres game will be carried live, with play-by-play provided by Paul Hamilton of WGR 550 radio.

9/11 Day of Service Partners With CCM+E

MyGoodDeed, the respected 9/11 nonprofit which annually organizes the federally-recognized 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (http://911day.org), has again named longtime supporter Clear Channel Media and Entertainment the official national entertainment partner of 9/11 Day.

Over the last three years, Clear Channel has committed over $10 million in airtime support, the single largest media contribution by any 9/11 Day partner.

From September 1 through September 11, Clear Channel's 840 radio stations will air a series of on-air public service messages in support of 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. Listeners who want to participate can choose options including volunteering, donating to charities of their choice, or simply making a voluntary pledge to dedicate time on 9/11, or another day, to performing good deeds that help others in need.

This 9/11, an estimated 35 million people are expected to observe the day through service of some nature.

Some of this year's projects will address needed upgrades and servicing at sites including the FDNY Fire Academy, the St. Louis Fire Department Headquarters and Training Facility, and the Texas Fire Museum. From Saturday, September 7 through Wednesday, September 11, Clear Channel on-air personalities in New York, Boston, Washington DC, St. Louis, Dallas, and Phoenix will help promote volunteer activities and in many instances will be personally on location to report back to listeners. In NYC, Bethany Watson, co-host of the popular "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show" in New York on Z100, which is syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, will be onsite at the Fire Academy Randall's Island to assist in refreshing and improving the facility atmosphere.

"Clear Channel was an inaugural partner of 9/11 Day in 2010 because we strongly believed in giving the public a platform to publicly or privately honor those lost in the attacks on September 11, 2001," said Jessica King, Director of Community Engagement for Clear Channel.

"We believe our participation is more important each passing year to ensure that 9/11 Day remains the world's largest annual day of charitable service and giving in the U.S."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

DG Probe Launched In Wake of Deal With Cumulus

The securities litigation firm of Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation, has commenced an investigation into possible breaches of fiduciary duty to current shareholders of Dial Global, Inc., now WestwoodOne, and other violations of state law by the board of directors of Dial relating to the proposed merger of the Company with Cumulus Media, Inc.

The firm's investigation seeks to determine, among other things, whether the board of directors of Dial breached their fiduciary duties by failing to maximize shareholder value.

According to the press release announcing the proposed merger, Dial shareholders will receive $0.155 for each share of Dial common stock they own. The company's stock recently traded above the proposed merger price.

Current common stock of Dial can learn more about the investigation being conducted by Brower Piven by you may emailing or calling Brower Piven, who will, without obligation or cost to you, attempt to answer your questions.

Contact Brower Piven by email at hoffman@browerpiven.com, by calling (410) 415-6616.

DC Radio: Commercials To Air Over ‘Redskins’ Nickname

The Oneida Indian Nation said Thursday it will launch a radio ad campaign pressing for the Washington Redskins to get rid of a nickname that is often criticized as offensive.

According to the AP, the Nation said the first ad will run on radio stations in Washington before the team hosts the Philadelphia Eagles in its season opener Monday night. In the ad, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should "stand up to bigotry" by denouncing "the racial slur" in the team's name.

"We do not deserve to be called redskins," the Oneida leader says in the ad. "We deserve to be treated as what we are - Americans."


Redskins Owener Dan Snyder has vowed to never change the name.

Marilu Henner to Launch Lifestyle Show for Radio

Marilu Henner
Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. announced today that the entertainment and lifestyle oriented, The Marilu Henner Show has joined its program schedule. This weekday addition to Sun Broadcast Group’s lineup is designed as a brand new approach to Talk Radio and is non-political and non-controversial.

The well-known actress, seven-time New York Times bestselling author, and one of twelve people in the world verified with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Marilu Henner, for more than thirty years has championed a vigorous, healthy lifestyle and has inspired millions of people along the way.

“The listeners, the clients and the agencies are all saying the same thing that Talk Radio needs to be reinvented”, said Steve Gallagher, Sun Broadcast Group EVP. “We are excited beyond belief to be able to be working with Marilu Henner, whose boundless energy and love of life will be shared on radio, the most personal of all mediums. She is a natural!”


Having starred in over thirty films, six Broadway shows, and two hit classic sitcoms, Taxi and Evening Shade, the five-time Golden Globe Nominee, Marilu Henner said, "I love to share life-empowering information that inspires positive changes in people, and there’s no better way to do that than through a daily radio show. Its impact is immediate, global, and intimate, all at once! That’s why I’m thrilled to be part of Sun Broadcast Group. Their philosophy that radio should be “helpful, not hurtful” is totally in sync with the way I live my life!"

The Marilu Henner Show launches Monday September 9, 2013, live via satellite from Los Angeles, 12:00 PM-3 PM (Eastern). The show’s format is compliant to PPM methodology and will consist of celebrity interviews, lifestyle and health segments, phone calls and fun benchmark segments like “Healthy Hollywood Tips”, “Marilu’s Memory Minute” and “Backstage Pass” where Marilu’s celebrity friends pull back the curtain on Show Biz!

Report: Liberty’s Malone Thinks About Succession Plan

John Malone
While the Liberty Media chairman John Malone has no plans to retire any time soon, the NYPost is reporting, he has told colleagues recently that he wants to put in place a succession plan for when he eventually steps aside, according to sources familiar with the talks.

The 73-year-old billionaire oversees a far-flung media empire with investments spanning cable, satellite radio and music.

His succession plan could spark a rivalry between the bosses of various Liberty-controlled companies, among them Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, who helped engineer the SiriusXM takeover, and Mike Fries, who spearheaded the $24 billion acquisition of Virgin Media.

Malone’s son, Evan, who is an engineer, is also on the boards of several Liberty-controlled companies. It’s unclear if he would be considered a candidate to succeed his father.

Malone’s holdings are split into three stocks: Liberty Media, Liberty Global and Liberty Interactive.

Liberty Media has control of SiriusXM Radio and stakes in Discovery Communications, Live Nation and the recently spun off premium pay-TV business Starz.

Pandora Releases August Metrics, Westergren Sells Stock

Pandora Media Director Timothy Westergren sold 85,000 shares of the stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 3rd.

The stock was sold at an average price of $18.64, for a total value of $1,584,400.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 340,000 shares in the company. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Meanwhile, Pandora announced today new metrics that were reached in the month of August 2013.
  • Listener hours for Pandora during the month of August 2013 were 1.35 billion, an increase of 16% from 1.16 billion during the same period last year.
  • Share of total U.S. radio listening for Pandora in August 2013 was 7.46%, an increase from 6.30% at the same time last year.
  • Active listeners were 72.1 million at the end of August 2013, an increase of 28% from 56.2 million during the same time period last year.

DC Radio: News WAMU #1 6+, WTOP #2 25-54

For the sixth time in the last eight months American University’s N/T WAMU is #1 6+ in the Arbitron's August PPMs.

Non-Com WAMU 88.5 FM was steady at 7.6—7.6 Hubbard’s WTOP 103.5 FM was down a bit 7.2—7.0 for #2, but 25-54 WTOP was #2 in our Nation’s Capital.

CCM+E Top 40 WIHT HOT 99.5 FM placed #3 dropping 6.6—6.3.  Howard University’s Urban AC WHUR 96.3 FM was up 5.5—5.8 landing in the fourth spot. Radio One’s WMMJ Magic 102.3 FM was up a notch 5.6—5.7 good for #5.

25-54:  WIHT…WTOP tied WHUR…WASH…WMMJ

18-34:  WIHT…WKYS..WPGC..WWDC…WMZQ

18-39:  WITH…WKYS..WASH..WHUR…WWDC

Cume: WIHT 1,238,200…WASH 1,155,600…WTOP 1,070,700


Arbitron has also released August PPMs Topline ratings for the following markets:  Washington DC, Boston, Miami-Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL, Detroit, Seattle-Tacoma, WA., Phoenix, Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN, San Diego, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, Denver-Boulder, Co., Baltimore and St. Louis.


Boston Radio: Country WKLB Makes It Two Wins

Greater Media’s Country station WKLB 102.5 FM wins 6+ bragging rights for the second consecutive month; although it lost some momentum moving 8.1—7.8.   

CCM+E Top 40 WXKS 107.9 FM KISS 108 was steady 7.6—7.6, so they closed the gap with WKLB a bit.  CBS Radio Classic Rock WZLX 100.7 FM was down 6.8—6.1, but still ended up #3.   Cluster-mate News WBZ-A 1030 AM was also down 6.3—5.7, good for a tie at #4 with Greater Media’s AC WMJX MAGIC 106.7 FM.

Sports stations WBZ-FM The Hub 98.5 FM moved 4.5—3.9 to maintain a slim lead WEEI 93.7 FM which was up 3.2—3.8.

25-54:  WXKS…WKLB…WZLX..WMJX..WBMX

18-34:  WXKS…WJMN…WKLB…WBQT…WBOS

18-49:   WXKS…WKLB…WBOS…WZLX…4-way tie: WZLX..WBZ-FM…WJMN…WBQT

Cume:   WXKS-FM 1,563,000...WMJX 1,234,800..WROR 1,032,200


Arbitron has also released August PPMs Topline ratings for the following markets:  Washington DC, Boston, Miami-Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL, Detroit, Seattle-Tacoma, WA., Phoenix, Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN, San Diego, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, Denver-Boulder, Co., Baltimore and St. Louis.

Mark Rosenthal New CEO At CC-Owned Katz Media

Mark Rosenthal
Katz Media Group Wednesday announced veteran media executive, Mark Rosenthal, has been named CEO of Katz Radio Group (KRG), its radio representation company.

Rosenthal, who was part of the original team that created MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central, has been a leader in the media industry for more than 25 years, building advertising and marketing solutions for world-class media brands.

In this new position, Rosenthal will oversee Katz Radio Group, working closely with President Mark Gray and the KRG team to ensure continued high-level performance in the transactional arena. Rosenthal will also focus on KRG's radio advocacy efforts and lead an accelerated charge to bring additional revenue into the radio sector.

"We are thrilled to have such a well-respected media executive join Katz Radio Group. Mark has an enormous range of experience across all forms of media, from traditional and digital media to the agency world," said John Hogan, Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

MSG, Irvin Azoff Create New Media Company

Irving Azoff (THR)
The Madison Square Garden Company and Azoff Music Management have announced that they have reached an agreement to create a new music, media and entertainment company focused on continuing the development of AMM’s existing businesses and exploring new ventures and growth opportunities that maximize opportunities for clients, partners and associated brands.

The new company, to be called Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC (Company), will continue Azoff’s long history of creating new avenues and opportunities for artists, enabling them to realize the full value of their creative vision.

The Company is a new-model music, media and entertainment company, at the forefront of the emerging revenue streams and groundbreaking technologies of the fast-changing 21st century, which will put artists and their fans first, and create ongoing opportunities for artists and talent in today’s changing marketplace, maximizing their potential through innovative marketing, branding and live events.

LA Radio: KLAX And Ricardo Sanchez Top Morning Show

"El Mandril"
KLAX 97.9 FM, the regional-Mexican-music station that features Ricardo "El Mandril" Sanchez during morning drive, once again led that all-important 6-10 a.m. weekday slot, when millions of people are turning to the radio as they begin their day.

According to the LA Times, Sanchez first leapt to the top spot in June, when he bested talk station KFI 640 AM 5.3 to 5.0 share. He pulled farther ahead in July, beating KFI and alternative rock station KROQ-106.7 FM  5.9 to 4.7. Then Sanchez really hit the gas in August. While KFI and KROQ — the latter featuring Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter — remained tied at second, inching ahead to 4.8, Sanchez pulled away with a 6.5 share of the audience.

KFI, whose morning lineup features local host Bill Handel, followed by the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's national show, had long been the undisputed leader in that part of the day. Only three times from 2009 to 2012 was KFI out of first place in morning drive; but August marked the fifth time so far this year that the Handel-Limbaugh team was looking up at its competitors.

The August survey was the last to feature onetime ratings leader Eddie "PiolĂ­n" Sotelo on regional-Mexican-music station KSCA-101.9 FM — albeit for only his last three weekdays on the air. The station's parent company, Univision Communications Inc., abruptly canceled his show July 22 amid sexual harassment allegations. Since then, Sotelo has sued former colleagues and signed with SiriusXM.

From 2005 to 2008, Sotelo was the one with the stranglehold on morning ratings, but lately he had resided in the lower ranks of the Top 10.  In August, with Sotelo gone for most of the survey, KSCA and its morning show fell to a fifth-place tie at 3.9%, the same as KBIG's morning host, Sean Valentine.

Sanchez's dominance is remarkable because he had been in seventh place as recently as April, and was 10th in January.

Bay Area Radio: Brian Figula New PD At KOIT

Brian Figula
Programmer Brian Figula has quickly landed on his feet.  He’ll be moving yo the Bay Area from Detroit, where he was the last PD for WMGC before flipping to Sport last month.

Figula has been named by Entercom as the new PD for KOIT 96.5FM in San Francisco.  He starts Step 10.

"We are thrilled to have Brian, one of the premier AC programmers in the country, join us to build on the outstanding legacy left by Andy Holt at KOIT," Entercome, SF VP/GM Dwight Walker said.

"Brian has demonstrated creativity and innovation in connecting with listeners in Michigan. Now KOIT’s 1.5 million BAY AREA weekly listeners are about to experience it."

"Congratulations to Andy Holt and the entire 96.5 KOIT team on building the Bay Area’s #1 radio station," Figula stated.

"KOIT is such a heritage brand with an amazing audience, talented air staff, and great advertising partners. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to join the Entercom family."

SiriusXM Hit With Fourth $100K Lawsuit

For a long time, it's been assumed that SiriusXM has the right to distribute and perform pre-1972 recordings.

Then last month, Flo & Eddie of The Turtles brought a proposed $100 million class-action lawsuit against the satellite radio giant, premised on the theory that because sound recordings didn't fall under federal copyright protection until 1972, the SiriusXM couldn't rely on statutory royalty rates for these older tunes.

According to THR, the initial lawsuit from Flo & Eddie was filed in California, but if state law rather than federal law applies, why stop there? In fact, Flo & Eddie haven't. After filing action in California, the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit in New York. And now, Flo & Eddie have struck a third time, with another proposed class action lawsuit against Sirius in Florida court. The Turtles are crawling across the nation.

Together with a lawsuit filed last week by SoundExchange, which alleges in its own $100 million lawsuit that SiriusXM shouldn't have subtracted pre-'72 recordings from gross revenue calculations, this marks the fourth whopping lawsuit that Sirius has seen in the past month.

Also, this latest action in Florida court isn't really for just $100 million. Try three times that amount.

SiriusXM was contacted by The Hollywood Reporter for a response to the litigation, but so far, it has been mum. There likely will come some argument from SiriusXM on why state laws are pre-empted by federal statutes and it has authority to distribute and perform pre-'72 recordings without the express permission of the rights owners.

SiriusXM-Fox Ink Long-Term Deal

Sirius XM Radio has signed a new agreement to broadcast the programs of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network for its 25 million subscribers until August 2019.

According to the satellite radio providers, both channels will also be included in the Sirius XM Internet Radio lineup as part of the agreement.

Sirius XM Radio Inc will continue to broadcast Fox News on Sirius XM channel 114 and online at siriusxm.com while Fox Business will be aired by the satellite radio provider for the first time this fall. The company will also broadcast Fox News Talk, which offers news, analysis and commentaries from Fox News broadcasters such as Brian Kilmeade, John Gibson and Alan Colmes.

In a statement, Jim Mayer, CEO of Sirius XM Radio Inc. said, “FOX News is an undeniable force in news, and its personalities attract a large audience nationwide. Keeping its distinctive voice in our powerful program offering, and adding those of FOX Business and FOX News Talk to our lineup of news channels, further expands their availability to a nation of listeners.”

On the other hand, Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX News said, “Our viewers love the ability to keep the connection with FOX News Channel, even while they’re in the car with Sirius XM.” He added that the agreement not only ensures that Fox News will continue, but also added Fox Business News and Fox News Talk channel, which can also be accessed by Sirius XM subscribers on their computers and smartphones.

Report: YES Hopes To Sign Boomer And Carton

Norman Julius ‘Boomer’ Esiason and Craig Carton could be on the verge of leaving the Madison Square Garden Network and heading for the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, according to industry sources.

The NYDaily News has learned YES suits have made an offer that, if accepted, would bring WFAN’s 660 AM/101.9 FM simulcast of “The “Boomer and Carton” morning drive-time show to the pinstripe network.

Esiason/Carton’s MSG contract expires in the middle of this month. Traditionally, the incumbent network, in this case MSG, has an exclusive negotiating period, but that window has expired.

This has allowed YES, which already airs the simulcast of Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa’s WFAN afternoon drive show, to begin negotiations to acquire rights to Esiason/Carton’s FAN simulcast. YES did make a competitive bid, a TV mole said.

MSG now has the right to match YES’ offer if it wants to keep “The Boomer and Carton Show.”

MSG brass now has a big decision to make. Stepping back, and looking at this situation on a number of levels, it would be stunning if MSG declines to keep Esiason/Carton on its network.

NYC Radio: Jared Max OUT At WEPN/ESPN

Jared Max
Robin Lundberg has lost a partner but gained a show.

According to the NY Daily News, Jared Max, who hosted WEPN 98.7 FM /ESPN’s early morning show 4a to 6a, was dismissed by station suits Wednesday. They decided not to renew his contract.

Lundberg, who was added as a second banana on Max’s “Maxed Out,” ended up swallowing the entire show.

ESPN sources said Lundberg “will host solo for the time being.”

“While I will greatly miss my listeners and friends who regularly called the show, I hope that our relationship will remain intact through my next venture,” Max, in a statement, said.

Report: Miley Cyrus Is At It Again!

This time it’s not twerking. But Tweeting.

According to USA Today, the 20-year-old took to Twitter Wednesday evening to reveal she scuffled with a photographer and called him the c-word.



Cyrus offered no further details.

Earlier this week, Cyrus broke her silence about her raunchy MTV Video Music Awards performance.

"Madonna's done it. Britney's done it. Every VMA performance, that's what you're looking for; you're wanting to make history," she said.


Cyrus' next album, Bangerz, is set for an Oct. 8 release.

Moonves: TV-Online Ad Parity Only 3-5 Years Away

Advertising rates on network television and for TV show viewing online will soon be the same, "so we won't care where you watch," CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves told CNBC on Wednesday.

Moonves—fresh from his network's win over Time Warner Cable in their contract dispute—predicted in a "Squawk Box" interview that ad parity could come in three to five years. "If you go on a college campus today, most of the kids are watching their shows online."

That's why CBS had pushed back so hard on Time Warner Cable over digital rights. "One of the things that we won," he said, "is the ability to slice and dice our content all over the place. To put it on Netflix, to put it on Amazon, to let people binge-view."

CBS also got TWC to pay higher network retransmission fees. "We are the No. 1 network ... for 10 of the last 11 years," Moonves said. "Don't you think we should get fair value for that?"



Read More Now

TRN Wants Feds To Block Cumulus-Dial Global Deal

Talk Radio Network (TRN) is not happy about the pending Cumulus-Dial Global deal and has issued a statement calling on regulatory agencies to block the deal.  TRN claims “antitrust and First Amendment rights are at stake.”

Here is their full statement: 
Over the past five years, Dial Global has become a monopoly. Dial engaged in a long list of illegal and unethical behavior, including failing to pay us our share of advertising revenues generated by our programming. We have detailed that conduct in two cases pending against Dial (and others) in federal court in Manhattan and Oregon. Dial’s illegal conduct has continued recently, as it has refused even to pay to us our advertising revenues, which Dial collected as our ad rep. We believe that discovery in our actions will show that Dial’s conduct was part of a deliberate strategy to acquire or destroy viable companies by interfering with revenue streams that Dial controls as a result of its monopoly power. 
Dial’s history shows that all members of the industry should be concerned about, and should act to prevent, Cumulus’s proposed acquisition of Dial.  In our view, if the transaction goes forward, the combined company could dominate both the radio station platforms in the top 100 markets and the talk and news content for broadcast in those markets. At the same time, we are concerned that Dial’s history of illegal and unethical conduct could infect Cumulus and affect the way the merged entity does business. The threat that this merger poses is not just to us. It is to every independent content provider, to many other members of the industry, and more generally to a vibrant marketplace of ideas on radio. 
We will continue to pursue our claims against Dial vigorously, and we will take all necessary actions to oppose Cumulus’s proposed acquisition, including in our pending litigation with Dial, with appropriate governmental authorities, and in the media. We have heard from other members of the industry with similar concerns. Given the implications for others, we encourage all independent content providers and other affected members of the industry to rise up and express opposition in every proper forum.

Kalamazoo Radio: Lori Moore Signs-Off Friday

Lori Moore
Lori Moore, one of the most recognizable names and voices in Kalamazoo radio, announced today she is leaving WKZO 590 AM. Her last day will be Friday.

Moore, who started her Kalamazoo radio career in 1981, is the host of "The Lori Moore Show," which airs weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on WKZO-AM (590). Moore, 54, has been at WKZO for 18 years.

“It’s really sad. I spent 18 years there, which is a quarter of KZO’s history, practically. I felt like I had a connection with the people and the clients. It’s sad. On the other hand, I don’t have to get up 3:45 a.m. anymore," Moore said during a phone interview with mlive.com.

Moore will be on air Thursday, including a remote broadcast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union on Romence Road. For her final show, Moore said she has regularly scheduled guests, "but I imagine people will call in. I'm not sure how it will play out. I'll just try not to cry."

WKZO was owned by Fairfield Broadcasting, which hired Moore and made her a morning host in 1995. Former Fairfield owner Stephen Trivers, who hired Moore, called her a "remarkable talent."  WKZO station was sold to Midwest Communications in 2006.

Moore said the decision to leave was hers.

“This is my idea. I didn’t get fired. Things have changed. It’s time to go," she said. "I want to do something else."

Louisville Radio: WHAS Signs Leland Conway For Late Mornings

Leland Conway
We now know who will be filling the midday slot in the WHAS 840 AM programming lineup.

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment says Leland Conway will join WHAS 840 AM on September 16th.  The Leland Conway Show will air weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon. 

He replaces Mandy Connell, who left last month to host a morning show in Denver.  Connell actually returned to the air in Louisville to introduce her successor and Conway says she’ll be a tough act to follow.

Conway is a Kentucky native, and worked on the play-by-play sports crews at Georgetown College and Eastern Kentucky University.  In addition, he also hosted a talk show for 6 years on NewsRadio WLAP 630 AM in Lexington. Most recently, he hosted a daily talk show on WRVA 1140 AM in Richmond, Virginia.

“This is an exciting appointment for 84WHAS Radio and the Kentuckiana community. We talked to many highly qualified and experienced on-air personalities, but Leland’s talents really shined brightly,” said Kelly Carls, regional programming manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  “His wit, energy and longstanding Kentucky roots make him a great fit. We’re extremely happy he’s returning to the Bluegrass State.”

“It is an honor to join the 84WHAS team. As a native Kentuckian, I grew up with 84WHAS,” said Conway.  “It’s as much a part of the Bluegrass State as hot browns and horse racing. I am excited to once again be a part of the lively conversation in Kentucky.”

Sac Radio: Reimbursement Effort Fails In Water Death

It doesn’t look like part-time radio employee Matt Carter is going to get his legal expenses reimbursed in the latest legal twist to the 2007 death of a listener who took part in a radio promotion..

According to Central Valley Business Times, the California 3rd District Court of Appeal says Carter “did not have an absolute right to chose his own attorney to represent him at the expense of his employer” or the radio station’s insurance company.

Jennifer Strange
Carter was among those involved in the ill-fated promotion that saw a Rancho Cordova woman die. Jennifer Strange, then 28 and a mother of three, was taking part in a promotion dubbed “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” and which involved drinking as much water as possible in a three-hour period without going to the bathroom. She drank about two gallons of water and died as a result of apparent “water intoxication” – a dilution of body fluids leading to fatal changes in electrolyte levels.

Carter was a part-time employee of KDND 107.9 FM the End, owned by Entercom Sacramento LLC, a unit of Entercom Communications Corp. His job that morning was to pass out bottles of water to the contestants. Four days after the death, he and others were fired, but Entercom promised to provide legal counsel.

However, Carter hired his own lawyer. Ultimately, that attorney submitted a bill for $807,421.22 in fees and costs. The insurance company balked, noting that it had offered to provide counsel. The trial court agreed, and now, so has the Court of Appeal.

A Sacramento County Superior Court jury awarded the woman’s husband and other plaintiffs a total of $16.57 million, largely in punitive damages.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's Old Is New Again, WestwoodOne Brand Revived

Dial Global, the largest independent national audio media company in the U.S., today announced that it has changed its name to WestwoodOne.

The company will continue to lead the marketplace with unparalleled programming and client service under the esteemed WestwoodOne brand. The media company's 225 million consumers will still have access to exclusive national radio coverage including: The NFL, Olympic Games, Barclays Premier League, and the GRAMMY Awards.

Paul Caine
"We're proud of what we've accomplished as Dial Global. Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions," said Paul Caine, CEO of Dial Global.

"With the audio industry's ever-changing landscape we know we've just scratched the surface of what's possible for audio's broad consumption. By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating the great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio."

As part of its commitment to the audio community, the company has commissioned an industry study on the "power of sound," aimed at better understanding consumers, their behavior, and their interaction with audio. The study builds on current recency data proving radio as the most used medium closest to point-of-purchase and will explore trends in audio consumption based on behavioral tendencies among various demographics.

Full study results are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2013. Preliminary findings further the notion that audio is an integral part of the new media landscape.

NYC Radio: Classic Hits WCBS-FM Edges WLTW For #1

There’s a new Top Dawg in the Big Apple. CBS Radio’s  Classic Hits WCBS-101.1 FM tops Gotham radio moving 6.3—6.2 in the August PPMs (6+).

Traditional leader WLTW Lite 106.7 FM lost a half share moving 6.6—6.1.  That’s its lowest share in over a year.  Meanwhile, YMF MEDIA Urban AC WBLS 107.5FM remains #3 6.0—5.9.  CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ Z100 moved 5.5—5.8, good for fourth and SBS Tropical WSKQ MEGA 97.9 FM held on to the #5 spot while experiencing a  5.1—4.8 move.

25-54:  WHTZ…WSKQ…WLTW…WBLS…WCBS-FM

18-34:  WHTZ…WSKQ…WQHT…WLTW…WXNY

18-49:  WHTZ…WSKQ…WLTW…WKTU…WBLS

Cume: WLTW 5,036,100…WHTZ 4,866,200…WKTU, 4,688,400


Other August PPMs were released Tuesday for San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ.

LA Radio: KBIG Getting Comfy In #1 Spot

August was the fifth straight month for CCM+E Hot AC KBIG 104.3 MY FM at #1 moving 5.4—5.9.

That puts it a full half-share lead over cluster-mate Top 40 KIIS 102,7 KISS FM, which moved 5.3—5.4... CBS Radio Top 40 KAMP 97.1 FM AMP finished third again 4.6—4.5, and CCM+E AC KOST 103.5 FM remained fourth 4.5—4.4.  Emmis Top 40 KPWR 105.9 FM POWER was again in fifth place 4.4—4.0.

25-54:  KBIG…KIIS…KLAX…KROQ tied KSCA

18-34:  KISS…KPWR..KBIG…KAMP…KROQ

18-49:  KBIG..KIIS..KPWR…KAMP…KROQ

Cume:  KIIS 3,845,800…KBIG 3,473,300..KAMP 3,181,300


Other August PPMs were released Tuesday for San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ.

Chicago Radio: WVAZ Share Sag, But remains #1

CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ V103 leads the market, despite posting its lowest number since March moving 7.4—6.7 in the August PPMs 6+.

Hubbard’s Hot AC WTMX MIX 101.9 FM  was also down 5.3—5.0,  but remained at #2 again. CBS Radio’s Newser WBBM AM & FM  was steady 4.9—4.9 good for third place.  CCM+E Urban WGCI 107.5 FM, jumped to #4 moving 4.1—4.7.  In its last ratings period under its old talent lineup, Tribune’s WGN 720 AM  remains at #5 4.6—4.6.

25-54: WTMX…WVAZ…WGCI…WKSC…WUSN

18-34:  WGCI…WNUA…WTMX tied WKSC…WBBM

18-49:  WGCI…WTMX…WVAZ…WKSC…WBBM

Cume:  WKSC is #1 in Cume with 2,229,600


Other August PPMs were released Tuesday for San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ.

Dickey: Dial Global Deal Provides Strategic Opportunities

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey expects to see cost savings from the $260 million deal to acquire Dial Global, as well as the chance to distribute premium, curated content across emerging platforms, including overseas.

According to RadioWorld, Dickey told Wall Street analysts Tuesday,  the DG deal as well as the one to spinoff noncore Cumulus properties to Townsquare Media to fund the DG buy are capital neutral, and will help deleverage the Cumulus balance sheet.

Overall, Cumulus expects to see some $40 million in cost savings from eliminating duplication between DG and Cumulus Media Networks.

But the real beauty of the transactions are the compelling and strategic opportunities they create to help Cumulus play in a larger content distribution pond in the future, especially in the growing sports and talk content areas, according to Dickey. It “creates a platform for content creation, distribution and monetization. This was an interesting way for us to engage in portfolio management and create an upside.”

Dickey predicts both the DG and Townsquare Media deals, subject to regulatory approval, will close in November. 


Tom's Take: And we all know what the reported $40M in costs savings really means..right?

Harrisburg Radio: Ken Matthews ‘Thrilled’ Over WHP Gig

Ken Matthews
Ken Matthews politics means he’ll fit nicely into the WHP 580 AM afternoon line-up, which already broadcasts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Matthews is the new afternoon show host for the station, replacing recently-retired Bob Durgin. Matthews' first broadcast was Tuesday.

WHP LISTEN-LINE: Click Here

"It's a little daunting just because Bob Durgin's a market legend," Matthews told pennlive.com. "Anytime you take over a show that has that level of respect and historic impact on the market there's bound to be some nerves."

Matthews was fighting nerves even before he got the job on Aug. 26. The station held weeks of on-air auditioning for candidates for the host spot.  

When he finally heard the news, Matthews said he was "extremely thrilled."

"I was very energized," he went on. "Really, from a broadcast standpoint, it's an honor to be in that company of people."

As for what listeners can expect from the program, Matthews plans on following the standard format from Durgin's days but with a few change-ups.

"My show is going to be where politics, pop culture and people all kind of overlap," he said, "It'll be things that impact peoples lives in the listening area. Sometimes it'll be political, sometimes it'll be something local that happened."