Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cozy: Michelle Obama’s Classmate Is Exec At CGI

Toni Townes-Whitley
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website, according to the Daily Caller.

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

R.I.P.: Comedic Actress Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace, the voice of The Simpsons' Edna Krabappel who earlier played the quick-witted receptionist on The Bob Newhart Show, has died.

She was 70, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to TMZ, her son Mikey has confirmed that pneumonia complications were to blame for her devastating death, not cancer - which she previously fought (and won) back in the 1980s. 

"I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace. She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character," said Simpsons executive producer Al Jean in a statement.

Jean addressed a storyline that was previously teased about killing off a character on the show and noted that this was not associated with Wallace.

"Earlier we had discussed a potential storyline in which a character passed away. This was not Marcia's Edna Krabappel. Marcia's passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her," Jean wrote.

"Cheers to the hilarious, kind, fab Marcia Wallace, who has taken her leave of us. Heaven is now a much funnier place b/c of you, Marcia," Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson, wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning.

Wallace won an Emmy Award for her voice work as Ms. Krabappel in the 1992 Simpsons episode "Bart the Lover." After the elementary school teacher gives Bart a month of detention, he gets his revenge by responding to her newspaper singles ad. That was her 10th of 177 episodes on the series.

On Newhart, which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1978, Wallace played Carol Kester, the wise-cracking, independent receptionist in a Chicago high rise that housed the offices of psychologist Bob Hartley (Newhart) and orthodontist Jerry Robinson (Peter Bonerz). She was in 139 of the show's 142 episodes.

In a 1994 episode of CBS' Murphy Brown, Wallace played Candice Bergin's secretary. Newhart shows up in character and begs her to come back to work for him in Chicago. Wallace received an Emmy nomination for the guest-starring appearance.

Saturday Aircheck: R&R's Anniversary Video Checks

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bob Pittman: ‘We’ve Not Forgotten Where the Monster Is’

iHeartRadio Theater Lobby (Billboard, See More Photos Click Here)
CCM+E officially opened its new iHeartRadio Theater on Tuesday night with a performance by Katy Perry, celebrating the release of her album "Prism."

The show, filmed inside the former "Tonight Show" studio in Burbank, was broadcast live on 175 Clear Channel radio stations and will get a broadcast TV airing from the CW network on Friday at 9 p.m.

CEO Bob Pittman sat down with the Los Angeles Times just before the Perry event to talk about the company's plans for the new theater and the radio business, which is facing growing competition from Internet companies such as Pandora Media Inc. and Spotify.

What does this event at this theater say about the evolution of Clear Channel as a radio company?
  • We're clearly a multi-platform company. Our broadcast stations reach over 240 million people a month. Our outdoor reach is almost 150 million people a month, almost the size of broadcast television. Our digital reach is up to over 60 million now. Our iHeartRadio product was the fastest in the history of the Internet to reach 20 million registered users. It looks like we'll be the second-fastest to 40 million. And now we're doing TV shows. Everything begins to become very blurry.

How does iHeartRadio work for Clear Channel at a time when Internet radio doesn't seem to be very profitable?
  • Remember, we do all this at an incremental cost. If you look at iHeartRadio, Pandora and all the Internet radio players, it's only 8% of all the listening. The other 92% is broadcast radio, so we've not forgotten where the monster is. Actually, broadcast radio has increased, and digital is in addition to that, so this is really a time of feast for the radio business, and I think the Internet has really helped us expand our reach.

What do these moves into TV and the Web say about where the radio industry is right now?
  • It says the radio industry has never been bigger or better. With the TV business turning into delayed viewing and cord cutting and binge viewing, radio is the last mass-reach, real-time medium. We've never been more important to the consumer or the advertiser. The radio industry may have been coasting a little bit, but what we're trying to do is amp up our performance and show that we're not limited to our towers and transmitters.

FCC Expected To Change Foreign Ownership Limits

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering relaxing the foreign investment limit in TV and radio stations as part of its review of broadcast ownership rules, according to Reuters.

Under the current rules, there is a 25 percent cap on any foreign investment in a U.S. broadcast holding company. The FCC will discuss the agenda at its next open meeting on November 14.

"Approval of this item will clarify the commission's intention to review, on a case-by-case basis, proposed transactions that would exceed the 25 percent benchmark that restricts foreign ownership in companies holding broadcast licenses," FCC Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said in a notification posted on the agency's website.

Mignon Clyburn
The FCC postponed its vote in February on new media-ownership rules until an outside study of an impact on minority broadcasters was complete.

On Thursday, the FCC said it will conduct a study on the Hispanic television landscape in the United States.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he is optimistic that the agency will eliminate the foreign ownership restrictions.

In response to Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn circulating a proposal that would make it easier for broadcasters to attract foreign investors, the following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith: 
"NAB applauds Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn for proposing that the Commission should consider foreign investment in U.S. broadcast properties the same way it considers such investments in other telecommunications properties. This is fundamentally fair and will serve the public interest. Permitting new potential sources of capital for American radio and TV stations will strengthen our ability to continue providing compelling news, entertainment and sports programming and to remain competitive in a multichannel digital world."

Ted Cruz Wants Meeting With FCC Nominee Tom Wheeler

Ted Cruz
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has blocked President Barack Obama's nominee for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said on Thursday he hoped to meet with the nominee "soon" to discourage him from using FCC power to force sponsors of political ads to disclose their financial donors, according to Reuters.

During the debt and budget debates that dominated Congress last week, Cruz used his prerogative as a senator to block the chamber from voting on the nomination of Tom Wheeler to lead the FCC, which oversees communications industries in the United States. The FCC has five seats, two of which are vacant.

Cruz's move reflects Republican questions over whether Wheeler would push to require independent groups to disclose more information about how they pay for TV and radio ads.

FCC Fines Kansas AMs for Violations

An apparent lack of good engineering practice at two AM stations has contributed to proposed FCC fines totaling $42,000 against a Kansas broadcaster. Problems in their public files didn’t help the cause, according to RadioWorld.

The Enforcement Bureau issued two Notices of Apparent Liability to Steckline Communications for operations at AM stations KQAM and KGSO in Wichita. Each is for $21,000.

The case apparently started when the FCC got anonymous word of alleged overpower operations. An agent visited in the fall of last year.

KQAM, the FCC said, had failed to maintain proper directional patterns, operate within its power limits, and maintain and make available a complete public inspection file. The station is authorized for 1,081 watts at night but the agent found that the transmitter operated at 155 percent of that. “In addition, when testing the station’s transmitters in daytime and nighttime modes, the agent observed that some of the sample current ratios of its antenna for both modes of operation deviated by more than 5 percent from authorized values,” the FCC wrote.

Further, station management was unable to bring directional parameters into tolerance for the nighttime setting; and its automated equipment did not produce an alarm when power and directional parameters were out of tolerance. The agent also found problems with the public inspection file.

The commission said that the company did not deny the violations but claimed, among other things, that its antenna monitor was malfunctioning; that its engineer had resigned some months before and that there had been no regular maintenance of the equipment; and that it did not realize that the missing information was required to be included in its issues programs lists.

35-45 Demo Shows Erosion For Country Formats

Is country radio disenfranchising its 35-44 year-old core? Country is No. 1 in so many advertiser-coveted demos that it’s become the music format to beat. But, according to InsideRadio, there could be trouble on the horizon for the white-hot format, smack-dab in the middle of the Money Demo.

While still No. 1 among 35-44 year-olds, country is at its lowest national share in the demo in 15 years, while its 18-24 audience is at a modern-era high.

According to InsideRadio, some programmers worry the smaller Gen X audience could get further elbowed aside if  stations focus too much on the larger Millennial audience.

Jaye Albright
“Country is targeting where  the biggest demos are — Millennials and Boomers — and thus not hitting the center  of the target,” Albright & O’Malley & Brenner partner Jaye Albright says. “If country  focuses too much under 35, it will lose its heavy user core and its ratings will go down.”

Country’s nearly even male-female gender spilt could also be at risk, she says, because men typically aren’t attracted to the format until they reach their late twenties.

Country  programmers agree the music coming out of Nashville has never been better and say it  has brought a healthy infusion of younger listeners to the format. But there are worries  that the rock-based, slightly rebellious sound that currently dominates the format is  diluting the variety it has long been known for.

Read More Now (subscription required)

Tampa Radio: The Bone Wants NFL Coach Fired

As the Buccaneers seem headed for a winless NFL season, Tampa’s WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone has purchased billboards urging that coach Greg Schiano be fired.  The message says “Fire Schiano” against a background of flames.

“The ‘Fire Schiano’ billboard is simply a reflection of the Tampa Bay community’s opinion of the Buccaneers’ Head Coach,” said Michael Sharkey, Program Director of 102.5 The Bone WHPT, in a statement.

“Our listeners have voiced their opinion that they are tired of a team, that on paper, should have a winning record. This billboard isn’t a message to the Buccaneers as much as it is a message to our listeners that we are right there with them.”

The billboards have been placed in 19 locations, according to WHPT.

Chicago Radio: Dahl to Skip HOF Induction

Dahl, Meier
Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl won’t be in attendance when he and former partner Garry Meier are inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, according to Media write Robert Feder.

Dahl said Thursday he’s decided not to attend the black-tie ceremony Nov. 9 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, citing his “general disinterest in the proceedings” and chiding Meier for not returning his phone call to discuss the event in advance.

Meier, currently at WGN 720 AM,  previously notified Radio Hall of Fame chairman Bruce DuMont that he would attend.

Slated to induct the duo is Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming for Hubbard Radio. Solk began his career as a 16-year-old producer for Dahl and Meier’s morning show and later became their program director and station manager.

In his first comment since this year’s Radio Hall of Fame honorees were announced last June, here’s what Dahl told Feder:
“I wanted no part of it until Greg Solk told me he got roped into inducting us. He said he didn’t want to do it if I wasn’t there, so I called Garry and left him a voicemail. I said it might be fun, but only if we did something together. He never returned my call. I asked Jim deCastro [president and general manager of WGN AM 720] to check into it for me. It’s been two weeks and even Jim has been unable to prevail. 
“They used a shit picture of me, I’d have to buy a $5,000 table for my family, and they want to approve my 90-second acceptance speech. All of that combined with my general disinterest in the proceedings has made me anxious to stay home and listen to Garry explain how he got there — and why — in his allotted minute and a half. 
“Maybe I’ll buy an ad in the program to promote my podcast.”
Read More Now

SiriusXM To Raise Sub Prices

During Wednesday’s conference call with analysts, CEO Jim Meyer said SiriusAM was raising their expectation for the 4Q and for 2014.  The expectation are based, in part, on January 1, 2014 increase in the cost of subscriptions.

Based on strong growth year-to-date in revenue and their outlook for the fourth quarter, Meyer said SiriusXM has raised our 2013 revenue guidance to approximately $3.77 billion. They've also just issued our initial outlook for 2014, showing continued revenue growth and sharp growth in adjusted EBITDA and margins.

In 2014, SiriusXM anticipates total revenue of over $4 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion, which works out to a 21% growth and adjusted EBITDA versus this year's guidance and an expansion in our adjusted EBITDA margin to 34.5%.

Meyer added SiriusXM has decided to increase the monthly price of their core service offering by $0.50 to $14.99 per month. Meyer advises to note that many of SiriusXM plans such as our pay auto trials, our all access plan, multi-radio subs and others will not see any change in pricing.

Meyer said, “While changing prices is a difficult decision, particularly on a competitive audio entertainment market, we are confident that our subscribers see significant value on our service and that this modest change will not significantly impact retention next year.”

Obamacare Operator Fired After Call With Hannity

Sean Hannity
A phone operator for the Affordable Care Act health care exchanges sign-up was fired on Thursday (October 24th) after speaking on the air with radio host and Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity three days earlier.

After President Obama gave out the toll-free number on Monday for people to call if they were having trouble with the super-glitchy website, Hannity called up while doing his radio show and was connected with phone operator Erling Davis, who works for a private contract company.

They spoke for about 10 minutes, with Hannity quizzing her about the problems with the website and the script she was told to read to people calling in with complaints.

He also asked her broader political questions, such as did she know how much money was spent setting up the website and what Obama had promised people about the new health care law, and engaged in some small talk with her about things like the weather in Florida and her voting status -- she's not registered.

David revealed yesterday on Hannity's show that she'd been fired because of the conversation. She explained what the person in human resources told her: "I remember her saying, 'We can't have this type of stuff going on here, so we have to release you.' They said that no contact with the media. No type of media whatsoever. We're not allowed to do that at that company."

Hannity told David that he'd compensate her for a year's salary and try to help her find a new job, saying, "It's not your fault I called."

Report: NBC News Chief Sez CNN Gets Breaking News Bump

Patricia Fili-Krushel
Since NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke pressed Patricia Fili-Krushel into service in July 2012 in a newly created position designed to leverage the company's vast news assets -- the executive is back to sleeping with her iPhone on the nightstand.

Little wonder: Her vast portfolio includes NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, The Weather Channel, NBC News Digital, and With 2,300 employees and revenue of more than $2.1 billion in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center estimate, NBCU's news properties reach more than 120 million viewers a month.

Fili-Krushel, 59, was recently interviewd by The Hollywood Reporter for its November 1 issue.

Do MSNBC's ratings dips during slow political news cycles worry you?
  • [MSNBC president] Phil Griffin and I have talked a lot about how it's a balancing act: Viewers are coming for MSNBC's personalities, and CNN definitely gets the bump during breaking news. But we have to play in both spaces. When Phil was quoted as saying we don't do breaking news, I know if he could have [taken it back], he would have.
He also recently hired Ronan Farrow, who doesn't have a lot of TV experience.
  • In television, you create your own stars. We're not going to throw him right up on his own show -- it will be gradual. But it's no surprise that news skews a little older. Part of it is trying to appeal to a broader swath of people. Ronan can go from Syria to Kim Kardashian and be credible, and he's got a huge social following. He's great for MSNBC, and I think there are places where we can use him on NBC News as well.
Does it concern you that ABC's World News toppled Nightly News in the demo last summer?
  • Well, it happens so rarely. But when you look at the Nielsen sample, nine households are the CNBC sample. That's the flaw. [The entire Nielsen sample] is 40,000 households. We're all in the same boat. Whether it's on iPads or DVRs, we're just not getting access to those metrics. If news consumption wasn't going up, I'd be worried.
Read More Now

Four Percent Say Facebook Is Important News Source

On Facebook, the largest social media platform, news is a common but incidental experience, according to an initiative of Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Overall, about half of adult Facebook users, 47%, “ever” get news there. That amounts to 30% of the population.

Most U.S. adults do not go to Facebook seeking news out, the nationally representative online survey of 5,173 adults finds. Instead, the vast majority of Facebook news consumers, 78%, get news when they are on Facebook for other reasons. And just 4% say it is the most important way they get news.

As one respondent summed it up, “I believe Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it.”

However, the survey provides evidence that Facebook exposes some people to news who otherwise might not get it.

In particular, younger adults, who as a group are less engaged than their elders are with news on other platforms, are as engaged, if not more so, with news on Facebook. Young people (18- to 29– year-olds) account for about a third, 34%, of Facebook news consumers. That far outpaces the 20% that they account for among Facebook users who do not get news on the site.

All in all, then, it may be the very incidental nature of the site that ultimately exposes more people to news there. Indeed, the more time one spends on the site, the more likely they are to get news there. Two-thirds (67%) of those who use Facebook for at least an hour a day get news there compared with only 41% of those who spend less than an hour a day on the site.

Twitter Hires Vivian Schiller As News Chief

Twitter's months-long search for its first head of news is over: Current NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller has accepted the job.

Schiller will serve as a liaison between the social network and news organizations, according to the job description that Twitter posted in May. Twitter executives have repeatedly said the site wants to help media companies distribute news.

Schiller brings many years of experience in big media to the role, with prior experience at CNN, the New York Times, NPR and others.

Read More Now

Akron Radio: Fox, Bellios Join WNIR

Two familiar local radio voices will be part of the new morning team at WNIR 100.1-FM beginning Monday, according to the Akron Beacon.

Chris Fox and Angela Bellios will join Phil Ferguson and Steve French on the news-talk station. Fox’s quarter-century in radio has included a stint as afternoon host on WDOK 102.1-FM from 2000 to 2007. Bellios, who most recently worked at WHBC 94.1-FM, also worked for WKDD 98.1-FM from 1992 to 2008, including six years as a co-host with Matt Patrick.

Fox and Bellios succeed Stan Piatt and Maggie Fuller on the morning show. WNIR announced in August that Piatt would be retiring from the station by July 2014, but he departed more suddenly in September, reportedly after a falling out with station brass.

Fuller left at the same time, saying on her Facebook page that “a time comes in life when one must defend their own integrity.”

Study: Music Helps Pain Sufferers

More than 40 percent of people say listening to music can help alleviate pain, with songs by Elton John, Robbie Williams and Simon and Garfunkel among the favourites, a new British survey out Thursday said, according AFP.

Music seems to have an even bigger impact for younger people, with two-thirds those questioned aged 16 to 24 claiming it helps them manage pain.

Pop music is the most popular genre for sufferers, helping to alleviate pain for 21 percent of people, followed by classical 17 at percent and then rock or indie at 16 percent.

The survey found that the top five most helpful songs selected by people living with persistent pain are: 
1. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel)
2. Angels (Robbie Williams)
3. Albatross (Fleetwood Mac)
4. Candle In The Wind (Elton John)
5. Easy (The Commodores)
The research is based on responses from over 1,500 people living with persistent pain.

R.I.P.: DC Radio Personality Sheila Stewart Dies In Accident

Sheila Stewart
A Washington, DC  radio personality Sheila Stewart was killed in a car accident in Atlanta, Ga., Thursday morning.  According to NBC4-TV, Stewart was on her way to work when she was involved in a car accident, Chris Wegmann, the Regional VP and General Manager for Radio One, confirmed.

She was driving on Interstate 20 when her Mercedes Benz came to a full stop for an unknown reason, according to DeKalb County police. She was struck from behind by a westbound box truck.

Stewart, who worked for D.C.'s Radio One stations, had been staying with her sister and working from Atlanta at the time of her death.

Stewart's work in media spanned over 20 years. She most recently served as the News and Community Affairs Director for Radio One's D.C. stations, delivering the news for 93.9 WKYS-FM, Praise 104.1, WOL-AM 1450, Spirit 1340, and Majic 102.3.

“A talented colleague, Sheila’s contributions will long be felt by her Radio One family and the lives she touched through her various charitable connections and community organizations,” Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson Radio One, Inc. said in a statement published on Praise 104.1's website.

“Stewart represented Radio One with the utmost professionalism, passion and persistence in working with our county’s faith community, non-profits and the county government itself," read a statement.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NYC Radio: Dave Herman Busted In Sex Sting

Dave Herman
Federal authorities have charged Dave Herman — who ruled the morning 1970s rock airwaves as a renowned disc jockey at New York's WNEW-FM — with trying to transport a 7-year-old Bergen County girl to the Virgin Islands to sexually abuse her, according to the Star-Ledger.

Herman, now 77, who lives in both Airmont, N.Y. and St. Croix, was arrested Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the St. Croix airport, said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in a statement.

Federal authorities, citing documents filed in the case, allege that starting in November 2012, Herman initiated a series of chats on a Web site with a female undercover officer from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to authorities, Herman thought he was communicating with a 36-year-old single mother -- she referred to herself as "Kris" -- who had a 6-year-old daughter she called "Lexi."

During the following months, Herman then had multiple phone and online discussions with the undercover officer, during which he indicated that he wanted to engage in sexual activity with the officer’s fictitious daughter "Lexi."

Baltimore Radio: CBS Radio Launches HD-Fed Country Station

CBS Radio Baltimore has announced  the launch of a new Baltimore radio station, New Country on 106.1. The frquency is a translator W291BA. The station will sign on the air on Friday, Oct. 25 at  12:00PM and feature today’s biggest country artists, including Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and many other current artists both new and established.

W291BA 106.1 FM 60dBu Coverage
New Country on 106.1 will be heard on-air, streaming online at and the app for mobile devices.  In addition to its presence at 106.1 FM, the station will be available on HD Radio devices at WLIF 101.9 HD2.

Robert Philips, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of CBS RADIO Baltimore said, “We’re excited to help put New Country on 106.1 on the air and round out our diverse range of programming in Charm City.  Country radio today has a broad-based audience, including more listeners and younger listeners than ever before. Its cross-over popularity is at an all-time high, and country fans here in Baltimore are extremely passionate.”

New Country on 106.1 debuts as the result of an agreement between CBS Radio Baltimore and Hope Christian, the owner of the 106.1 frequency.

CBS RADIO Baltimore owns and operates WWMX, WLIF, WJZ-FM and WJZ-AM. The market also programs 97.5 FM in Baltimore through a pre-existing relationship with Hope Christian.

Nielsen CEO: ‘Radio Is..Vibrant Medium’

Nielsen Holdings N.V.'s third-quarter profit rose 28% as the consumer-research company's two main segments posted stronger revenue.

Nielsen provides data ranging from what people watch on television to what they buy in stores. The company's profits have generally improved, as growth in emerging markets helped demand for its data and analysis on what consumers buy and watch.

For the latest quarter, Nielsen reported a profit of $134 million, or 35 cents a share, up from $105 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. Stripping out stock-based compensation and other items, per-share earnings rose to 50 cents from 44 cents.

Revenue grew 2.7% to $1.39 billion.

Asked about potential revenue opportunities with the integration of Arbitron at Nielsen, CEO David L. Calhoun said integration is going smoothly telling Wednesday’s conference call  that “when we started the integration of our company back in '07, we have been integrating companies literally since Day 1, so we're pretty schooled at it. So on Day 1 at Arbitron, we have a plan, literally by function and by operation, a plan for really almost complete integration with the Nielsen company.”

David Calhoun
He added, “the headquarters stuff is easy, because you don't need 2 headquarters. The functional support stuff is relatively straightforward, because you only need one accounts payable processing. You only need one receivables. The fit with this company, I've said this many times, is really relative to the 35 we did before this, is probably better than any of those. And so we're just going to march down that path. And like I said, I'm confident that we can express big synergies quickly, because I know that path and we're on it. I don't think I need to get a whole lot more specific than that. We dealt with the brand issue right out of the chute, so everyone knows it's Nielsen Audio. We have had real good support out of the marketplace for that move. And then on the revenue side, I think our client base, what they want more than anything from Nielsen is they want to marry their audience measurement with retail data so that they can begin to go to the marketplace and demonstrate the effectiveness of the medium against all other mediums.”

Calhoun also said Nielsen believes that radio is a more vibrant medium than the way the world perceives it. 

“And it's mostly built around its local characteristics and its proximity to everything retail. So it actually is, it's 2 hours of a consumer's day. Most of it's in a car, and most of it is in close proximity to retail. And so of all the mediums that should benefit from that, this one should be significant. So our job is to go out and demonstrate with what kind of retailers, with what kind of consumers does it, in fact, have an impact and then can we begin to educate advertisers as to what that impact is so that they can include it in their media mix models and other forms of resource allocation models that they do,” according to Calhoun. 

SiriusXM Reports Record Revenue for 3Q

Sirius XM Radio today announced third quarter 2013 financial and operating results, including record revenue of $962 million, up 11% from the third quarter 2012 revenue of $867 million.

Net income for the third quarter of 2013 and 2012 was $63 million and $75 million, respectively, including losses on extinguishment of debt of $108 million and $107 million, respectively.

Earnings per fully-diluted share were $0.01 each in the third quarter of 2013 and 2012.

Income before income taxes was $124 million in the third quarter 2013, an increase of 128% from $54 million in the third quarter of 2012. Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2013 reached a record $296 million, up 21% from $245 million in the third quarter of 2012.

Jim Meyer, CEO noteed, "SiriusXM had a great quarter, with the 513,000 net subscriber additions and the 373,000 self-pay net additions setting post-merger records for the third quarter. 
"We also saw double-digit growth in revenue for the seventh consecutive quarter, a new quarterly record for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, and significant growth in free cash flow. With continued growth in new automobile sales and an increasing number of existing self-pay subscribers selling their cars and rotating back into our trial funnel, we are increasing our guidance for net subscriber additions and reducing our guidance for self pay subscriber additions by equal amounts. We are also pleased to increase revenue guidance for 2013 and introduce new guidance for continued growth in 2014 in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA".
 Additional highlights of the third quarter include:
  • Subscribers Reach Approximately 25.6 Million. Net subscriber additions in the quarter were 513,000, up from 446,000 in the third quarter of 2012. The total paid subscriber base reached a record 25.6 million, up 9% from the prior-year period. Self-pay net subscriber additions were 373,000, while the self-pay subscriber base reached a record high of 20.7 million, up 9% from the prior year period. Total paid and unpaid trials grew by 247,000 from the second quarter of 2013 to 6.9 million.

DC Radio: Don Geronimo Sez ‘Fun’ Is The Attraction

Don Geronimo (Washington Post)
CBS Radio announced late Wednesday that veteran personality Don Geronimo is returning to DC Radio on WJFK starting today. (See Original Posting: Click Here).  He'll be hosting a weekday evening show 7p to 10p and Saturdays 9am to Noon.


WJFK 106.7 FM The Fan switched to an all-sports talk format in 2009, and Geronimo (whose real name is Michael Sorce), said he’ll be dropping the comedy bits for chatter about the Redskins and sports.

He’ll be flying solo; O’Meara now does his own show.

“The main thing that appealed to me [about returning] is that all they said to me was, ‘Just have fun,’” Geronimo told The Washington Post.

“My show will be sports-dominant, but what’s great about WJFK is that there’s always room for personality radio.”

Geronimo left Washington’s airwaves after three decades in 2008 and  he took two years off after leaving for personal reasons. His wife, Freda Wright-Sorce, died in a car accident in 2005, and Geronimo spent a long period in mourning.

“The last three years [of working at WJFK] were wasted years because I had too much outside stuff going on,” he said. “I did get myself together. I got remarried. I got my son’s life in order ... But I love being on the radio and wanted to get back to it. It’s the only thing I do well.”

Report: Glenn Beck To Localize BlazeRadio

In the wake of the news that Rush Limbaugh will be returning toWPHT 1210 AM, Molly Eichel at the Philly Daily News is reporting she’s learned that Glenn Beck will give his Internet-only TheBlaze Radio Network a Philadelphia feel by adding local news and weather twice per hour and traffic four times per hour, provided by partnerships with local news and information services.

Philly is the first market for the localized expansion, Beck wants to move to more markets.

Online listeners be able to catch it on and iHeartRadio starting Nov. 4.

Beck will continue to broadcast on IQ 106.9 until that station's sale is finalized. After the sale, TheBlaze Radio Network will be his exclusive home in the Philadelphia market and he will no longer be on terrestrial radio.

To kick everything off, TheBlaze will take over the programming at WWIQ 106.9 FM (where he has been stationed since being dropped from WPHT 1210 AM in 2010) for the week starting Monday.

Paul McCartney Makes The Cover of The Rolling Stone

At 71, Paul McCartney has just released his 24th post-Beatles album, New, and is generating music at a pace that puts artists a quarter of his age to shame.

And in a remarkably candid cover story by Rolling Stone contributing editor Jonah Weiner (on newsstands Friday) McCartney discusses the drive keeps him creating fresh music — as well as the memories of his Beatles bandmates that continue to shape his life today.

Perhaps most shockingly, McCartney reveals that although he's always teaming up with fresh talent — New features production by Adele collaborator Paul Epworth, Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson, Giles Martin (son of legendary Beatles producer George) and frequent Kings of Leon partner Ethan Johns — he also consulted with another source, someone who knows his music intimately: John Lennon.

"If I'm at a point where I go, 'I'm not sure about this,' I'll throw it across the room to John," McCartney tells RS. "He'll say, 'You can't go there, man.' And I'll say, 'You're quite right. How about this?' 'Yeah, that's better.' We'll have a conversation. I don't want to lose that."

McCartney also reveals that his long-bitter relationship with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has turned a corner. Describing Ono as a "badass," he says he's moved on. "I thought, 'If John loved her, there's got to be something. He's not stupid,'" McCartney says. "It's like, what are you going to do? Are you going to hold a grudge you never really had?" In fact, another voice from the past — that of George Harrison — had encouraged him to forgive and forget. "George would say to me, 'You don't want stuff like that hanging around in your life.'"

But despite his spirit of reconciliation, McCartney maintains there's one person he will never forgive: John Lennon's murderer, Mark David Chapman.

Report: Tom Hardy to Star In Elton John BioPic

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy will star as Elton John in Rocket Pictures’ “Rocketman” and Focus Features has come aboard to give the film a “major” U.S. release, according to Variety.

The  film be co-financed by AI Film with a shoot set for fall next year. “Rocketman” will be directed by Michael Gracey from a screenplay by Lee Hall (“War Horse”).

John plans to re-record many of his hit songs for the film.

Borchetta Confident Others Will Agree to Share Revenue

Scott Borchetta
Country music label Big Machine struck a groundbreaking deal in 2012 with radio giant Clear Channel that allowed the label to share in the revenues from promoting its artists like Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts across Clear Channel's stations and digital properties.

Since then, Big Machine has reached similar partnerships with other radio conglomerates Beasley Broadcasting, Greater Media and Entercom, leaving only Cumulus and CBS Radio as the only major station owners that have not agreed to a deal.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Tuesday night's TJ Martell Foundation Gala in Manhattan, label president Scott Borchetta talked about the benefits of such partnerships and why he thinks CBS and Cumulus will come around.

"It's a very timely moment in everything that's happening with performance rights. Because as you read with radio really going after the digital dashboard, now is the time to figure out how to get digital rates and physical rates and analog rates on the table and work out what we believe should be one, ubiquitous, revenue-based platform," Borchetta said.

"Radio's going to find out really quickly that all these digital dashboard rates are going to be very expensive, very costly, so I believe the solution is having one broadcast, revenue-based agreement with the record companies and that's where Clear Channel and Beasley and Greater Media and Entercom have all understood what the future's going to look like. So, it's a forward move but adding [Warner Music Group] to the platform last month was a huge step in the right direction and it's just a matter of when not if it's gonna happen."

As for CBS and Cumulus, Borchetta seemed optimistic that they would see his vision of the future.

Fuzzy Math: iTunesRadio Claims 20M Users

After launching on September 18, simultaneous with the release of iOS 7 and baked into that mobile operating system, iTunes Radio has attracted 20-million users. Apple announced this milestone in a live product event on Tuesday.

Many media outlets are positioning the datum as a comparison with Pandora’s latest audience metrics report, which claimed 72.7-million active users in September. But quick conclusions of impending doom for Pandora, while not without speculative value, often disregard audience measurement realities.

According to an article by Brad Hill for RAIN newsletter, the crucial distinction is between unique users and active users. Pandora does not disclose how it determines a threshold for active usage. But in all traffic and audience statistics, some level of repeat visitation is needed to turn a unique visitor into an active user.

By the same token, Apple is not disclosing how many of the 20-million uniques are repeaters.

All repeat visitors are unique within the time period of their activity. But not all uniques are active with more than one visit. There is no industry standard for measuring loyalty, or a level of brand stickiness indicated by active usage.

Report: YouTube To Launch On-Demand Music Service

YouTube is preparing a premium on-demand music service -- akin to a Spotify, but with video -- to launch later this year, according Billboard.

The service, designed with mobile listening in mind, will have a free component and a premium tier that offers unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks similar to what's already available via YouTube's parent company, Google Inc., via its All Access subscription music service. Premium features would include the ability to cache music for offline listening and removing ads.

The free tier is likely to be unlimited, on-demand access to full tracks on all platforms, including mobile, said several people who have been briefed on the proposed service. In that sense, the paid tier is more of a "soft sell" as YouTube's primary goal is to continue to amass ears and eyes to its mobile platform to sell ads.

But having a paid tier, with all the required licenses for a premium on-demand product, gives YouTube more flexibility in packaging and selling music with fewer restrictions on what it can do with the music, multiple sources pointed out. In addition, there are strategic reasons for developing a premium music video service that could be paired up with other Google products in the future, including Google Glass.

'Dish Nation' To Tap Radio In Promo

Twentieth Television is launching a four-week marketing campaign with Cumulus Media’s 296 radio stations to boost ratings on its sophomore syndicated show Dish Nation, an entertainment newsmagazine co-hosted by morning radio teams, including Heidi & Frank from KLOS-FM Los Angeles and Rickey Smiley from WHAT-FM Atlanta.

According to TV NewsCheck, the campaign is timed to coincide with the November sweeps.

“This is about building awareness,” says Stephen Brown, executive vice president of programming and development at Twentieth Television. “The DJs in the Cumulus markets are going to talk about Dish Nation on their morning shows. In the top-12 DMAs, we’ll have a contest where their listeners can win a trip to Hollywood.”

The campaign includes 30-second spots for morning drive-time radio shows and 15-second spots to run in the afternoon. The :30s will also air at night.

Dish Nation’s on-air hosts will be featured in the campaign’s promotional spots.

“Radio is very localized,” Brown says. “With Cumulus, we’re hitting all the formats: country, urban, contemporary hit radio. It reaches all sorts of viewers who may want to get their entertainment news in a funny way.”

The campaign also includes sponsoring entertainment news on the stations’ websites. On air, the Cumulus DJs will say the tagline “Powered by Dish Nation” for entertainment news segments.

Talk Show Boot Camp Set for February

Don Anthony’s Talentmasters and Gabe Hobbs Media have teamed again to present Talk Show Boot Camp 2014, a special forum that caters to both current and future stars of spoken-word.

It's coming February 7 & 8th, 2014 to the all new, luxurious Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

Details of what promises to be one of our most exciting, star-studded events ever will be announced soon.

As in years past, Talentamasters is offering the first 50 registrants a very special $100 discount towards each single registration. Click Here to register.

Beginning next Monday, participants be able to reserve rooms at the Omni for a special conference rate. 

List: MJ Top Earning Dead Celeb

List: MJ Top Earning DeadMichael Jackson is at the top of Forbes list of the highest earning dead celebrities. MJ earned $160 million in the past year. Elvis came in a number 2, making $55 million.

Check out the rest of the list below:

3) Charles Schulz, $37 million

4) Liz Taylor, $25 million

5) Bob Marley, $18 million

Others included on the list includes Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee and Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, who died last year in a plane crash.

NPR Hires First On-Staff Announcer

Sabrina Farhi
A new NPR voice will quickly become one of the most-heard in radio broadcasting. Sabrina Farhi joins NPR as the first on-staff Announcer – voicing all broadcast and digital underwriting credits. Listeners will begin to hear Farhi's own articulation of "Support for NPR comes from..." in November, as she reminds audiences of the multitude of Member stations, corporations and institutions who contribute funding to NPR and public radio.

"Out of hundreds of voices, Sabrina's immediately stood out for its warmth and conversational approach," says Eric Nuzum, vice president of NPR Programming. "We think listeners and supporters will find her engaging."

Farhi, a voice-over and theater actress, will work out of NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters, to record, produce and edit all underwriting credits. For the remainder of 2013, she will be heard alongside Frank Tavares, the longtime and iconic voice of NPR credits. Tavares has voiced NPR's funding credits for more than three decades – and since moving from Washington in the late 1980s, has recorded them from his home in Connecticut.

In addition to her commercial voice-over work, which includes national campaigns for TIAA-Cref and Bioré Skincare, Farhi has extensive experience performing in the New York City independent theatre community, and frequently with No Tea Productions. Farhi was born and raised in New York City, and lived abroad for ten years before getting her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University. She is currently completing her Master of Arts in Media Studies at the New School, with a focus in Sound Studies.

NPR's journalism and programming is made possible by the generous commitment and support of corporations, foundations and individuals. Sponsorship messaging on NPR is highlighted in an uncluttered environment – and offers sponsors unprecedented reach to and engagement with its audience of 27 million listeners weekly. Farhi will voice all underwriting credits featured in national NPR broadcasts and across digital platforms, including podcasts, playlists and program streams at, and in the suite of mobile apps.

Slate Website Features ‘The Broadcast Clock’

The website Slate has an interesting piece on ‘The Broadcast Clock: The Diagram That Rules Public Radio’.

At NPR’s studios in Washington, D.C., there are clocks everywhere. Big red digital clocks, huge round analog clocks.

Slate notes each show also has a virtual “clock,” a set template, from which the show almost never varies. Every show that broadcasts—or aspires to broadcast—in the public radio system has a clock.

The article also shows the clock for NPR’s extremely popular ‘All Things Considered’ show which airs afternoon.

Aussie Radio Exec Defends ‘S**t Happens’ Comment

Max Moore-Wilton
Southern Cross Media's chairman has accused a British MP of relying on sensationalist media reports to condemn his language about a tragic royal radio prank, according to

British MP Keith Vaz says Max Moore-Wilton's comments, playing down last year's incident on Sydney radio station 2Day FM as "s**t happens", were an insult to the memory of Jacintha Saldanha, who committed suicide after being a victim of the prank.

But Mr Moore-Wilton says Mr Vaz was basing his criticism on selective Australian media reporting.

"Mr Vaz should look at the transcript of my comments and take it in context rather than listening to the truncated and sensationalist reports of the Australian media," he told AAP.

"What the media commentary focused on was a one sentence that I made and presumably that's what Mr Vaz is focusing on."

Mr Moore-Wilton defended the comments he made on Tuesday to shareholders at Southern Cross Media's annual general meeting in Melbourne.

"I'm not here to be censored for my use of a word which is common in everyday parlance in Australia.

"If you don't like it, or the media don't like it, well that's fine."

Mr Vaz, who has been speaking on behalf of Ms Saldanha's family, called on Mr Moore-Wilton to apologise for his comments.

In December 2012, 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian rang King Edward VII's Hospital in London, posing as the Queen and Prince Charles, inquiring about the health of a then pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.  Ms Saldanha, 46, transferred the call to a duty nurse who gave out information about the Duchess, and later took her life.

R.I.P.: Former KYW VP/GM Roy Shapiro Was 76

Roy Shapiro
Roy Shapiro, retired vice president and general manager of KYW-AM, who was in on the beginning of all-news radio in Philly when everybody was scared to death of such a brand-new concept, died Tuesday.

He was 76, according to

While he kept active in his retirement years, including work with numerous community and charitable causes and as a consultant to KYW, Roy suffered recently from respiratory problems.

"He was vibrant until the end," said Marc Rayfield, senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio Philadelphia. "He was somebody who was so much bigger than life."

Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio, said: "Roy was the backbone of KYW Radio for so many years and continued to make valuable contributions to CBS Radio through his wealth of knowledge in audience-measurement research. All of us at CBS Radio will miss him, not only as our colleague, but as our loyal friend."

Scott Herman, executive vice president of operations for CBS Radio, said: "Roy was an incredible person and one of the brightest and smartest minds the broadcasting industry has ever seen. His legacy will live on through those of us lucky enough to have been mentored by him and those of us blessed to have been able to call him a friend."

R.I.P.: NYC Radio/TV Personality Bill Mazer

Bill Mazer (Newsday)
Iconic New York sports radio and television personality Bill Mazer died Wednesday,

He was 92, according to the CBS website.

Mazer was associated for many years with WFAN 660 AM, and provided color commentary on television for CBS Sports’ NHL and NFL games.

After 16 years on radio and TV in Buffalo, Mr. Mazer returned to New York City, where he had grown up, in 1964. He held several jobs on local radio and television.

In 1968 and 1969, he provided color commentary during 13 regular season afternoon NHL games and five Stanley Cup playoff games, alongside play-by-play broadcaster Dan Kelly.

In later years, Mr. Mazer hosted a lunchtime interview show from Mickey Mantle’s restaurant on WFAN after it became an all-sports station in 1987.

According to Newsday, Mazer's greatest historical claim to fame was as host of the first regularly scheduled sports call-in show -- which premiered on WNBC radio on March 30, 1964.

Mazer's long, varied career began in 1941 when he replaced a fellow Michigan alumnus, Mike Wallace, at WOOD in Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DC Radio: Don Geronimo Returning To WJFK

It has been more than five years since his voice was last heard as a host on 106.7.  And now, Don Geronimo is coming home.

According to CBS Radio, the legendary radio personality begins his second tenure at 106.7 The Fan Thursday at 7 p.m.

“The Don Geronimo Show” will air 7-10 p.m. weeknights and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon when not preempted by Washington Wizards, Capitals or Nationals broadcasts.  In addition, Geronimo will also be featured on the “Washington Gameday Uncensored” broadcast every Sunday.

Don Geronimo
Geronimo catapulted to fame as the leader of the nationally syndicated “Don and Mike Show,” which broadcast for more than 22 years, amassing 26 affiliates at its peak.

“It’s good to be back, it’s good to be home and I can’t wait to be a part of 106.7 The Fan,” Geronimo said. “Radio is my life and I’m elated the next chapter will continue on WJFK in DC.”

Geronimo, along with longtime partner Mike O’Meara, debuted on 106.7 in 1991 following a five-year run at WAVA-FM.  The show would remain a stalwart on WJFK until 2008.

“Don built an incredible following over two decades in Washington, and I’m excited to bring him back home to WJFK,” said 106.7 The Fan program director Chris Kinard. “Don is a passionate D.C. sports fan and will bring a unique perspective and approach to his new show.”

Since leaving WJFK, Geronimo spent time at a pair of stations on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Most recently, he spent three years hosting “The Don Geronimo Show” on longtime “Don and Mike” CBS Radio affiliate KHTK in Sacramento, Calif.