Saturday, May 3, 2014

TV Ratings: iHeartRadio Music Awards Beats 'Idol'

Between Fox's "American Idol" and NBC's iHeart Radio Music Awards, Thursday night television seemed dominated by wannabe pop-chart-toppers and those who have already made it big, but CBS emerged on top in the ratings with its comedy lineup, according to The LA Times.

The iHeart Radio Music Awards, the latest entry in a long list of galas to honor pop stars, drew 5.4 million viewers overall and a rating of 1.7 in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

Those numbers aren't spectacular for an awards show, but they were better than NBC typically does with its Thursday comedies.

The show, brought into existence by radio giant Clear Channel and Ryan Seacrest Productions, also managed to beat "American Idol" among those key young adults. "Idol," now in its 13th season, sank to a new Thursday low of 1.5 in 18-49, in which a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers.

Saturday Aircheck: Top40 WHBQ Memphis From 1977

Dewey Phillips
WHBQ 560 AM was once owned by RKO General. Its legend was made by Dewey Phillips played rhythm and blues music on his night-time show, Red, Hot and Blue. In 1954, Phillips played a recording of "That's Alright Mama" by a young truck driver by the name of Elvis Presley, marking the first time an Elvis recording was played on air.

For many years, WHBQ was considered a "farm club" for RKO.

WHBQ promotional drink coaster
Young, aspiring DJs, such as Rick Dees and game show host Wink Martindale worked there with hopes of being moved up to RKO's bigger markets, like Boston, New York, San Francisco, or the holy grail, KHJ in Los Angeles.

In the 1960s, under the guidance of Bill Drake, WHBQ became Boss Radio. By the late 70s, the once-mighty music station could no longer compete with the increasing popularity of FM-band musical stations. They tried an oldies oriented format from 1981 to 1983 before switching to News/Talk. In 1988, RKO sold WHBQ to Flinn Broadcasting who tried oldies again, country and even heavy metal late at night, Today its focus has shifted to sports.


May 3 In Radio History


In 1958...Alan Freed was fired from WINS-AM, New York City, after a riot occurred at a Boston Rock 'n' Roll show that he was promoting and hosting.

In 1965...DJ The Real Don Steele started at KHJ-AM, Los Angeles in what would be a career that lasted decades at the station.  Here's some audio...



Steele became nationally-known as a DJ on radio station KHJ in Los Angeles, where he helped to promote the "ultrahip" Top40 Boss Radio format which began at 3pm on April 27, 1965.

He also appeared on TV as host Boss City and The Real Don Steele TV Show, a show which ran from 1965 to 1975 on KHJ-TV channel 9 in Los Angeles.

When the popularity of AM radio gave way to FM stereo in the 1970s, Steele continued to remain a popular personality at the station. Following the years at 93/KHJ, The Real Don Steele continued to be heard on Los Angeles radio stations, including KIQQ (K-100), KRLA, KCBS-FM and KRTH-FM (K-Earth 101), until his death in August 1997.


In 1971...National Public Radio began with 112 NPR station affiliates, mostly at colleges and universities. 'All Things Considered' debuted.


In 1982...the "All Talk Network" debuted from ABC.


In 1982...President Reagan began his five-minute weekly radio messages.


In 1982...Beautiful music WTFM changes to Album WAPP in NYC


In 1986...Robert Alda, WEVD NYC  (Father of Alan Alda) died


In 1992...Elizabeth Lennox died at age 98. She was an early radio singer. She made some of the earliest recordings known. She recorded cylenders for Thomas Edison.  In addition to her recordings Elizabeth appeared on NBC Radio until she retired from performing.




In 2006...Bob Dylan hosted his first show on XM Satellite Radio, playing favorite tracks by Prince, Wilco, Blur, Billy Bragg, Blur, and LL Cool J, among others.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Group Seeks Streaming Royalty Exemption In Federal Court

A complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg, VA could, if successful, upend not only how radio stations stream their signal online, but also radically change how much broadcasters pay in streaming royalties.

InsideRadio is reporting Virginia owner VerStandig Broadcasting claims the Copyright Act in effect gives broadcasters the right to distribute their content without paying a royalty for up to 150 miles from the station’s transmitter.  If upheld by the courts, it would mean stations that use geo-fencing technology could stream their stations to listeners within that 150 mile radius free of royalty fees.

“When Congress adopted the 150-mile exemption more than a decade ago, data sent over the internet could not be restricted to recipients in specific physical locations,” VerStandig says in petition, telling the court.

“A recent technological development called geo-fencing now makes it possible to restrict data sent over the Internet to recipients in specific physical locations.”  

VerStandig says it plans to start streaming two of its FMs, using geo-fencing to carve out a smaller, 75-mile coverage area that would be “practically simultaneous” with the footprint of the on-air signal.

But before it goes through the expense of doing that, it’s seeking a declaratory ruling from a federal judge saying SoundExchange has no right to collect royalties for the webcast.  

SoundExchange has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

Read More Now  

Quad Cities Radio: KJOC Drops Oldies for Sports

Eleven years after benching a sports-talk format befitting its call letters, KJOC 1170 AM  is back to broadcasting ESPN Radio as of Thursday, according to qctimes.com.

"We looked at a variety of things, but the decision was to go with ESPN," said Darren Pitra, operations manager of Townsquare Media Quad-Cities, which includes KJOC and four other radio stations.

Chicago Cubs broadcasts, which never left the station even after two format changes, remain on "ESPN 1170," as well as Iowa State University football and men's basketball.

For nearly six years, the 1170 AM frequency had music from the "True Oldies Channel," a satellite format programmed by Scott Shannon. From 2003-'08, KJOC ditched most sports for a news-talk format.

Philly Radio: WMGK-FM Searching For Classic Rock Choir


Classic Rock WMGK 102.9 FM is going to put one local choir ’20 feet from stardom’ by giving them the opportunity to perform live on stage with the band Foreigner at the station’s annual summer concert, 102.9 MGK’s 13th Annual Let Freedom Rock Fest on July 3 at Susquehanna Bank Center.

The winner of WMGK’s Classic Rock Choir contest will receive a $500 check from Foreigner and will perform Foreigner’s huge hit, ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ live on stage in front of thousands of adoring WMGK listeners attending the concert.

The station is accepting entries from local high school, community and church choirs.  Those interested enter the contest by submitting a video or mp3 of their choir performing one song.   Click Here.

The submission deadline is Thursday May 15, 2014 at 5pm.

Once all of the entries are received, the WMGK staff will gather and choose three finalists.  The station will then post a portion of the three finalists’ submissions on the station website and listeners can vote for their favorite choir. The choir that receives the most votes will be declared the winner and will get to sing on stage with one of rock’s most popular acts, Foreigner.

WMGK 102.9 FM (8.9Kw) 54dBu Cvoerage
102.9 WMGK’s 13th Annual Let Freedom Rock Fest on July 3rd at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ features Foreigner, Styx former Eagles guitarist Don Felder and MGK’s official house band, Musician Impossible.

And The iHeartRadio Music Award Winners Are..

The first-ever iHeart Radio Music Awards broadcast live Thursday on NBC from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The 3-hour show aired over 150 iHeart radio stations across the country, and 60 million votes were cast for several categories of this awards show.

Rihanna was the big winner of the night taking home four awards, including artist and song of the year.

Performers included Pitbull, Luke Bryan, Bastille, 30 Seconds to Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Blake Shelton, Ed Sheeran, Shakira and Arcade Fire.

Pharrell Williams received iHeart Radio’s innovator award with Beyonce, Oprah, Usher,  Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and Shakira speaking of Williams and his contributions to music in video messages.
  • ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Rihanna
  • SONG OF THE YEAR: Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko,”Stay”
  • HIP HOP/R&B SONG OF THE YEAR: Rihanna, “Pour It Up”
  • BEST COUNTRY SONG OF THE YEAR: Blake Shelton, “Boys ‘Round Here”
  • EDM SONG OF THE YEAR: Avicii, “Wake Me Up”
  • ALTERNATIVE SONG OF THE YEAR: Imagine Dragons, “Demons”
  • INNOVATOR AWARD: Pharrell Williams
  • BEST COLLABORATION: Pitbull feat. Ke$ha, “Timber”
  • BEST LYRICS: Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”
  • BEST NEW ARTIST: Lorde
  • BEST FAN ARMY: Rihanna (for her Navy)
  • INSTAGRAM AWARD: Austin Mahone
  • YOUNG INFLUENCE: Ariana Grande

Miami Radio: Report..The KVJ Show Is Off Air At WFLC

The KVJ Show, lured into the Miami radio market from West Palm Beach with great fanfare in August, has been canceled, according to Gossip Extra.

Kevin Rolston, Virginia Sinicki and Jason Pennington moved to the lowly Hollywood-based WFLC 97.3 FM Hits after 14 years as the Palm Beach County/Treasure Coast undisputed morning prime-time No. 1 on WLDI Wild 95.5.

Within months, however, the Cox Media station 97.3 changed music format to Top-40 then changed the show to include an increasing amount of music.

KVJ was traditionally a talk show, and talk about the idiosyncrasies of life in South Florida took less and less importance on a show fronted by three well-paid personalities.

KVJ has been wiped out from the station’s website.

Meanwhile, The New York-based Elvis Duran and The Morning Show, which is syndicated nationally and cheaper to broadcast, is gathering momentum in KVJ‘s old time slot on Wild 95.5 FM.

One source close to Hits 97.3 said Rolston, Sinicki and Pennington were not fired, since they’re under contract, but they’ve been told they no longer need to show up at the station.



Orlando Radio: Bubba The Love Sponge Returns May 5

Bubba
Star Over Orlando has announced that Bubba The Love Sponge will be returning to the Orlando airwaves.

Bubba is being added to Sports WRSO 810 AM / 93.1 FM starting Monday. Bubba is based at Cox Media' WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone in Tampa.

WRSO-AM has 10Kw-D, 400w-N, 93.1 FM is translator W226BT (99watts).

WRSO Owner Carl Como Tutera stated, “I wanted a show that had real punch and would make an impact. I know Orlando  radio fans will love hearing Bubba return.”

Bubba added, “We are extremely excited about coming back to a place I consider home.  We have a huge fan base there and I have no doubt people will be thrilled to have us back in morning drive in Orlando.”

W226BT 931. FM (99watts) 60dBu Coverage
The show's return to O-Town also marks a return for market veteran Shannon Burke.  Burke formally worked at CCM+E's WFLF and WTKS. Burke now is a member of the Bubba show.

Detroit Radio: Couple Claims WCAR Bilked $1M

A couple and their son claim they have been bilked out of nearly $1 million they spent for what they believed was a 25 percent stake in Metro Detroit radio station WCAR 1090 AM NBC Sports, according to The Detroit News.

Drago and Jadranka Mihajlovski and their son Zive claim they invested $500,000 on August 12, 2012, for what was pitched to them as a 10 percent interest in WCAR. On Oct. 9, 2012, the three claim they invested another $450,000 for an additional 15 percent interest in the operation.

In a lawsuit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court, two family members claim they were also promised $50,000-a-year lifetime jobs as part of the deal.

The Mihajlovskis said they dealt with Sima Birach Jr., who said he was acting on behalf of Birach Holdings Corp., also known as WCAR.

Sima Birach Sr.
“I feel so sorry for these people,” said their attorney Barry F. Keller. “They worked seven days a week for years and ran an ice cream business which they sold to make investments. This is their life savings. He even talked them into leasing a car and painting WCAR all over it.

“After a couple paydays, the checks stopped,” said Keller. “When they started asking questions they were told they didn’t own anything and they weren’t getting their investment back.”

Birach’s father, who began buying up small radio stations in 1986, said his son “only leases WCAR” for $1 a year from him and has no authority to sell of any of it.  Birach said he had a good relationship with his son but in recent years has been sued as a result of various bad business decisions made by his son.

Read More Now

Rush Limbaugh Surprises Elementary School With $15K

Rush Limbaugh and his wife, Kathryn, were almost responsible for sending Hawkins Elementary School Principal Barry Bellamy into cardiac arrest, according to The Rogersville Review in Tennessee.

Not literally, but several thousand dollars worth of books, and a $15,000 check the school received in the mail this week from the Limbaughs certainly created a stir on the campus.

"What can I say?" an elated Bellamy told The Review. "This is one of the largest gifts this school has ever received."

Hawkins Elementary was one of three schools chosen to receive the grants in a nationwide essay contest sponsored by the outspoken, conservative radio host, author, and speaker.

First-year teacher Danee Collett, who wrote the winning essay, said she was "absolutely blown away" by the gifts.

"My dad is a huge Rush Limbaugh fan and listens to him all the time on the radio," she said. "He heard about this contest and thought it would be perfect for our school. When he told me about it, I went right to work on it."

"When the envelope arrived, I thought, well, maybe they sent us a couple of hundred dollars," Bellamy said. "When I saw the amount of that check I couldn't believe what I was holding in my hands."

Limbaugh placed no restrictions on what it can be used to purchase. The fourth-grade teacher said the money will probably be used for whiteboards, desks and tables for the library.

Read More Now

Report: Rush Limbaugh 'A Ratings Disaster'

There's only one radio station in America that takes its name from Rush Limbaugh's radio empire and that's KEIB in Los Angeles -- the EIB mirrors Limbaugh's "Excellence in Broadcasting" motto. Clear Channel, which syndicates Limbaugh's program nationally, owns the station and flipped the call letters to KEIB 1150 AM in honor of him when the company announced he was leaving his longtime Los Angeles radio home, KFI 640 AM, and moving to KEIB as of January 1.

The Huffington Post is calling the move a ratings disaster, coming in 37th place in the second largest radio market in America with a .5 rating share (6+) in March, according to Nielsen ratings.

How small is KEIB's audience? So small that 11 non-English radio stations have larger audiences in Los Angeles, according to HuffPo.  As for KFI, the station Limbaugh left and which switched to an all-local news and talk format, its ratings remain healthy in the talker's absence. A top-10 station, KFI boasts an audience six times larger than KEIB's.

The ratings news is almost as bad up the California coast in San Francisco. There, as in Los Angeles, Clear Channel moved Limbaugh on the AM dial, from KKSF 910 AM to KNEW 960 AM, and branded the station "The Patriot."

So far however, Limbaugh's arrival at KNEW hasn't budged the minuscule ratings, according to Nielsen: January: .8, February: .8, and March: .7. (6+)

In New York, the nation's largest radio market and where Rush once reigned supreme, the talker recently exited his longtime AM home, WABC 770 AM, and moved to Clear Channel's WOR 710 AM. With Limbaugh as the main draw, the station now ranks 22nd in the market and trails four non-English stations as well as a commercial-free classical music outletm according to the HuffPo story.

"It's a far cry from the heyday when Rush "made" a station, and was on so many number ones," talk radio consultant Holland Cooke noted to Media Matters.

Limbaugh's major market ratings woes arrive in the wake of the 2012 Sandra Fluke scandal, where he castigated and insulted the graduate student for three days on his program, calling her a "slut".

TWC's Greg Forbes Diagnosed With Cancer


The Weather Channel’s severe weather expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, has colon cancer and will be off the air for several weeks, according to The Washington Post.

The news was posted on his Facebook page this morning by David Clark, president of television at The Weather Channel.   The cancer was detected early on and has not spread.

“During a routine annual physical, Greg was diagnosed with colon cancer, and he will have surgery this week,” Clark said. “Doctors believe that the cancer was discovered early, and they are very positive about his prognosis.”


The Weather Channel’s team of severe weather experts Greg Postel, Jim Cantore, Mike Bettes, and Carl Parker will fill in for Forbes following his surgery, Clark said.

Forbes’ is the architect of The Weather Channel’s popular “TOR:CON” index, which ranks the daily tornado threat on a 0-10 scale by region.

Read More Now

D/FW Radio: Tony Lopez Rape Trial Ends In Mistrial

Anthony Salvatori
UPDATE 5/2/2014 4:15PM:  A mistrial has been declared in the rape trial of Anthony Salvatori, a Christian radio DJ charged with sexual assault and indecency with a child from a case dating back to 1999.

Salvatori, aka DJ Tony Lopez of KLTY radio, worked as a DJ at KISS-FM under the name Tony Marino when the incident is alleged to have taken place.

The 45-year-old Salvatori was charged with indecency with a child and sexual assault of a child.


The woman, now 29, came forward with accusations against Salvatori in 2010. She said she called 106.1 KISS-FM to win concert tickets. When she didn’t win, Salvatori invited her to the station. She went with him to Denny’s and later to his apartment, where she said he raped her.


Earlier Posting...

Jurors on Friday sent out two notes saying they couldn't reach an agreement on either the sexual assault or indecency charge.

The jury was then dismissed and a mistrial was declared.  Salvatori was sent home…a date for a new trial has not yet been set.

Deliberations ended Thursday without a verdict in the rape trial of Anthony Salvatori, charged with sexual assault and indecency with a child from a case dating back to 1999, according to nbcdfw.com.

Salvatori is better known by the name DJ Tony Lopez of KLTY 94.9 FM radio, a Christian radio station in the Dallas area. At the time of the alleged crime, Salvatori worked as a DJ at KHKS 106.1 KISS FM under the name Tony Marino.

On Thursday, Salvatori testified that he did invite his accuser to meet him at KISS-FM back in 1999, that he took her and her cousin to eat at Denny's and then they followed him back to his apartment.

Salvatori was 30 years old at the time, his accuser, 14. Salvatori admitted while at his home he and his accuser were in his bedroom, kissing, that he was "aroused" by the encounter which included some "heavy petting."

Under cross examination, prosecutors tried to get Salvatori to define, "heavy petting," as sexual touching.

R.I.P.: Radio Journalist Howard Smith

Howard Smith w/John & Yoko
Howard Smith, a journalist whose long-running Scenes column in The Village Voice was the message board of the hippie counterculture in the 1960s, and who later produced and directed “Marjoe,” an Oscar-winning 1972 documentary about another subculture, Christian evangelism, died on Thursday in Manhattan.

He was 77, according to The NY Times.  The cause was cancer, his son Cass said.

Smith’s many interviews with 1960s celebrities were recently cataloged, digitally repackaged and released commercially in 2012 as “The Smith Tapes.”

They include about 100 of the interviews he conducted as the host of a weekly radio show on WABC-FM (now WPLJ) from 1969 to 1972 with the boldface names of his era.

Read More Now

R.I.P.: CT Radio Veteran Curt Hansen Dies

Curt Hansen
Veteran radio broadcaster Curtis W. Hansen died Wednesday from complications of COPD and emphysema.

He was 63.

Hansen was retired as Regional  VP/Operartions & Programming for Cumulus Media.  Back in the 80s, he was a former OM/PD at WEBE and WICC in Briddeport, CT.

Hansen was named 'OM Emeritus' of WEBE/WICC when he retired at the end of 2012.

R.I.P.: Larry Ramos Of The Association

Larry Ramos
Hilario "Larry" Ramos, whose career took him from the New Christy Minstrels to the Association, died on Wednesday from metastatic melanoma.

He was 72, according to Vintage Vinyl News.

Ramos had a natural musical ability but started his career acting. At the age of seven, he was in the movie Pagan Love Song with Esther Williams and appeared on both Arthur Godfrey's radio and television shows. While he was in his teens, he toured the country with The King and I starring Yul Brynner.

After graduating, Ramos began playing coffeehouses around the Los Angeles area, where Randy Sparks saw him and brought him into the New Christy Minstrels where he started playing banjo and moved up to other instruments.

Ramos stayed with the group for four years before attempting a solo career that produced one single before he began filling in on occasion in the Association. He was asked to join the band in 1967 when founding member Gary Alexander left and was with them from the recording of their third album, Insight Out, until he left in the mid-1975. His voice and playing can be heard on such standards as Windy, Never My Love, Everything That Touches You and Time For Livin'.



Read More Now

R.I.P.: Radio Industry Vet Jack Roberts Dies

Jack Roberts
Jack Roberts, a radio industry veteran who most recently served as executive producer for the CRN Digital Talk Radio Network, died Friday in a Los Angeles hospital after a long illness.

He was 62, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

During his career, Roberts produced national radio shows for Dick Cavett, Oliver North, Doug Stephan, Jerry Williams and others.

A native of Boston, Roberts worked Top40 as on air personality at WRKO; WMEX; WXKS; WPRO; WGUY and WDRC to General Manager and Program Director at WWRC; WDRC; WMRE; WBET and WHIL.

He created and wrote the broadcast and music news blog Hollywood Hills Group, which had an estimated 10,000 daily readers since its inception in 2011.

Los Angeles-based CRN syndicates to satellite and cable systems, broadcast radio stations, the Internet and a variety of talk radio applications.

May 2 In Radio History



In 1922... WBAP began broadcasting May 2, 1922.

The station shared time with Dallas stations WFAA and WRR. It was the first station in the United States to have an audible logo signal similar to the NBC chimes, the WBAP cowbell. According to Herbert Hoover, the station's call letters stood for "We Bring A Program".

On May 15, 1923, the Federal Radio Commission expanded the broadcast band, and WBAP and WFAA moved to 630 kHz. Another expansion moved WBAP to 600 kHz effective April 15, 1927, and this frequency was shared with WOAI in San Antonio. On November 11, 1928, WBAP moved to 800 kHz, and on June 1, 1929, WFAA also moved to 800 kHz, sharing time (and NBC Red network affiliation) with WBAP.

Station owner Amon G. Carter was unhappy with having to share time on 800 kHz with WFAA. In May 1938, Carter Publishing purchased KGKO Wichita Falls (570 kHz) and moved it to Fort Worth as an affiliate of the NBC Blue network (which became ABC), and more importantly as a second frequency to be used when 800 kHz was not available. On March 29, 1941, as a consequence of the Treaty of Havana, WBAP and WFAA moved one last time, to 820 kHz.

Carter eventually sold half of KGKO to A.H. Belo, owners of WFAA, and on April 27, 1947, KGKO was replaced by a second shared frequency between WBAP and WFAA.

The dual frequency sharing arrangement between WBAP and WFAA continued through the 1950s and 1960s, with the stations switching frequencies several times a day. When WBAP changed frequencies, it signaled the change with a cowbell, which became widely associated with the station.

Even though the stations swapped frequencies several times each day, the network affiliations remained constant: NBC network programming stayed on 820 kHz and ABC network programming stayed on 570 kHz. This frequently proved confusing for announcers and listeners alike.

On May 1, 1970, the unique dual split-frequency lives of WBAP and WFAA ended when WBAP paid $3.5 million to WFAA in exchange for sole occupancy of 820 kHz (and the NBC affiliation).

WFAA took on 570 kHz (and the ABC affiliation) full-time. Once the frequency-sharing with WFAA ended in 1970, both stations were free to program musical formats, and WBAP began programming country music.

It also gained the added benefit of 820's clear-channel signal; previously WFAA controlled it during these prime nighttime hours. After a series of network affiliation changes in the late 1970s among WBAP, KRLD and WFAA, WBAP switched affiliations to ABC.



In 1928...KPQ-AM, Wenatchee, Washington, began broadcasting.


In 1932...the first Radio show featuring comedian Jack Benny debuted on the NBC Blue Network. Here's a video clip from 1942.





In 1960...WLS 890 AM, Chicago, Illinois, switched its format from Country to Top 40. The first record played was "Alley-Oop" by the Hollywood Argyles.





In 1963...DJ Dick Biondi did his last show on WLS-AM, Chicago. Here's some audio from a 1962 show:



Thursday, May 1, 2014

NYC Radio: CBS Moves Rick Thomas To PD At WNOW

Rick Thomas
Rick Thomas has been named program director for WNOW 92.3 FM NOW, CBS RADIO’s Top 40 hit music station in New York.  The announcement was made by Scott Herman, Executive Vice President, Operations, CBS RADIO and New York Market Manager.

Thomas will assume his new role effective immediately.

Thomas most recently has served as Program Director at CBS RADIO stations in Los Angeles.  He joined the Company in June 2013 overseeing programming at KTWV-FM and KRTH-FM.  His replacement will be named at a later date.

“Rick is a truly talented program director who brings a unique perspective to 92.3 NOW,” said Herman.  “He has a multitude of great ideas and the boundless energy needed to compete at this level.  We are thrilled to have him at the helm of the station as it continues to break new artists and drive the music and pop culture conversation.”

Thomas, who was born and raised in New York, has extensive experience as a programmer, consultant and on-air personality.  Past successes include turnarounds and top rankings at KYLD/San Francisco, KSFM/Sacramento and XHTZ/San Diego.  Thomas is also credited with developing rhythmic oldies and rhythmic AC formats in various markets which led to unprecedented ratings at XHRM/San Diego and at KUMU/Honolulu.

Tampa Radio: WTMP 1150 AM Relaunches Urban Fromat

Three years after switching its focus to a young Latino audience, Tampa radio station WTMP, 1150 AM, is returning to its previous urban contemporary formatm reports tbo.com.

WestCoastMedia announced Tuesday it purchased the station from Davidson Media Group and will go back to catering its programming to the audience it had served for 57 years.

The change means the return of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” as well as shows hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton, James Fortune and D.L. Hughley.

Station veteran Larry Steele also will return with a show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The all new WTMP 1150 AM kicked-off  today with commercial free music and programming will begin at 6am on Monday, May 5th with the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

Report: ATT Interested In Acquiring DirecTV

AT&T has approached DirecTV about a possible acquisition of the satellite-TV firm, according to The Wall Street Journal, the latest sign of a possible shake-up in the television industry.

A combination of AT&T with satellite-TV firm DirecTV would create a pay television giant close in size to where Comcast Corp. will be if it completes its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable. TWC +0.09%

DirecTV is the second biggest pay TV operator, serving about 20 million customers, while AT&T's landline-based TV business serves about 5.7 million.

The nearly 26 million subscribers served by the combined company would compare with Comcast which—with TWC—would serve close to 30 million subscribers.

A deal would likely be worth at least $40 billion, DirecTV's current market capitalization, a fraction of AT&T's $185 billion market capitalization.

AT&T declined to comment. DirecTV declined to comment.

Read More Now

Wheeler: FCC Is Not ‘Gutting’ Net Neutrality Rules

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took the stage at the Cable Show 2014 to keep up his PR campaign defending the commission’s revised net neutrality regulations – and, according Variety,  put cable operators on notice that he’ll act swiftly to stop any Internet service providers that abuse the principles of an open Internet.

“Let me be clear: If someone acts to divide the Internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ we will use every power at our disposal to stop it,” Wheeler said. “I want to specifically direct these remarks to you, the principal providers of the nation’s broadband connectivity.”

Wheeler has come under fire from a range of critics who believe the so-called “fast lane” provision of the new rules will stymie competition and give ISPs free rein to discriminate against content providers.

According to Wheeler, those who have objected to the new net-neutrality rules don’t understand them, and he reiterated his complaint that reports have misconstrued the FCC’s plans.

SF Radio: Jim Richards Named New PD At KFOG, KSAN

Jim Richards
Cumulus Media has announced that it has named programming veteran Jim Richards as Operations Manager/Program Director of radio stations Adult Alyernative KFOG 104.5 FM / 97.7 FM San Jose  and Classic Rock KSAN 107.7 FM The Bone.

Richards comes to his new post from Chicago, where he served Cumulus as Operations Manager of WLUP the Loop and Alternative WKQX.

Richards started his radio career in suburban Louisville 32 years ago at the age of 15. He has since programmed radio stations in markets including: Seattle, San Diego, San Jose, Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Grand Rapids. In addition to WLUP and WKQX, Richards has led programming for legendary stations including: KIOZ, 91X, KGB, KSJO and WEBN. He also worked in Los Angeles for Tribune Interactive.

Troy Hanson, Corporate Program Director/Rock for Cumulus, said: “We are delighted to have a programmer of Jim’s caliber and pedigree lead our efforts in the Bay Area. His product passion, digital thought process and strong talent management acumen are second to none. We look forward to Jim duplicating his precise success in Chicago into a big win for us in San Francisco. Are neck tattoos permanent? Cause he may want to have that Cubs logo looked at.”        

Richards said: “I was blown away when Mike McVay called and asked me to lead KFOG and The Bone!  In the short time I’ve been with Cumulus, I’ve been really impressed with John Dickey, Mike, Troy Hanson and everyone involved.  Their support and appreciation have been amazing. As excited as I am to get back to California, I must thank everyone in Chicago at The Loop and 101WKQX who made my job easy. I am proud of what we accomplished together and am excited to get started in San Francisco.”

Chicago Media Blogger Robert Feder notes in the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the Loop ranks No. 1 in its target demographic of men between 25 and 54, while WKQX ranks No. 1 among men between 18 and 34 and men between 18 and 49.

“This is really bittersweet,” Richards told Feder Wednesday. “It’s great to get back closer to my fiancĂ© [Dr. Vanessa Kaleb] and to work with [KSAN morning hosts] Lamont & Tonelli again. But we have such a great team here, and I’ve built relationships that will last for life. My Chicago experience has been the highlight of my life and career — so far.”

Potential New Owners For Clippers Lining-Up

With the widespread belief in the NBA that Commissioner Adam Silver will be able to follow through on his lifetime ban and ousting of shamed Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the question of who will fill his deep pockets took on a life of its own in the wake of the unprecedented ruling, according to USAToday.

Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who was dragged into this saga when Sterling could be heard on revealed audio admonishing his girlfriend for posting pictures of Johnson on her Instagram account, has denied reports that he'll join forces with the Guggenheim Partners to purchase the team — but don't buy that just yet.

Oprah Winfrey's spokesperson, Nicole Nichols, confirmed in an e-mail to USAToday Sports that she is part of an interested group that would be the perfect social counterpunch to the below-the-belt shot that Sterling landed with his comments.

"Oprah Winfrey is in discussions with (entertainment mogul) David Geffen and (Oracle CEO) Larry Ellison to make a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers, should the team become available," Nichols wrote.

Talk about packing a punch in the pocketbook. According to Forbes, Winfrey is the richest African-American in the world (net worth $2.9 billion), Geffen's net worth is $6.2 billion and Ellison's ($50.2 billion) ranks him as the fifth richest person on the planet.

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Brutal Winter Weather Hurt Beasley Broadcasting

Brutal winter weather and a bigger tax bite cut quarterly profits for the Naples-based Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. according to news-press.com.

On Wednesday, Beasley reported net income of $700,000, or 3 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, down from net income of $2.4 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The radio company reported that its income tax expense increased by $1.3 million, or 128.8 percent, in the quarter compared to a year ago.

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Net revenue was $2.4 million in the quarter, down from $2.8 million a year ago.

Revenue was constrained by harsh winter weather as retailers didn't spend on advertising to reach customers who were largely staying home, said Caroline Beasley, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

The weather impact was especially noticeable in Philadelphia and in Augusta, Georgia, where ice storms damaged a broadcasting tower. Repairing it also added to the company's capital spending in the quarter.

About 60 percent of the company's revenues come from station clusters in Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Miami, its three largest markets, Beasley said. All three reported revenues lower than a year ago.

Revenue from the Southwest Florida stations were up for the quarter, with January revenues up "significantly," Beasley said.

Beasley said the company's tax rates should stabilize through the rest of the year and political advertising will pick up later in the year.

Beasley operates 44 stations, 28 FM and 16 AM, located in eleven markets in the United States.

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CT Radio: Cumulus Promotes McGowan, Hires Jay Michaels

Cumulus Media has announced two appointments at its WEBE 107.9 FM "We-be 108"

Mike McGowan
First off, it has promoted Mike McGowan to Program Director of WEBE 108 in Bridgeport, CT.

McGowan will remain Afternoon Drive Host of WEBE, a position he has held for two years, while successfully maintaining double-digit ratings and keeping station imaging fresh and relatable.

Danny Lyons, Operations Manager of WEBE, said: “Mike’s talent, creativity and commitment to the WEBE brand will help ensure that we stay on top of the ratings heap for many years to come. Mike is a total team player and has earned these stripes.”

Ann McManus, Vice President/Market Manager of Cumulus Bridgeport, said: “Mike McGowan was the natural choice for the coveted Program Director position at WEBE108FM.  His talent, loyalty and overall commitment to the continued growth of WEBE108 is unwavering.”

McGowan said: “I’d like to thank John Dickey, Mike McVay, Ann McManus and Danny Lyons for this great opportunity. I really look forward to being part of WEBE108’s continued success!”

Jay Michaels
The other...Cumulus Media has named veteran morning personality Jay Michaels as Morning Host of WEBE 108 in Bridgeport, CT. Michaels was most recently with the True Oldies Channel. Prior to that, he was Morning Host for Cumulus’ WFAS for a winning 20 years, from 1993 through 2013. While at WFAS, Michaels was honored for his work with the Best of Westchester Award. He was also On Air/Production Director of WYNY in New York City for six years.

Danny Lyons, Operations Manager of WEBE, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Jay Michaels to the WEBE family and I know our listeners will enjoy his warmth and wit every morning as he wakes up WEBE-land!”

Ann McManus, Vice President/Market Manager of Cumulus Bridgeport, said: Jay is a legendary morning man and we are very fortunate to have him on our winning team of broadcast professionals.”

Michaels said: “I’m looking forward to working for one of the top AC stations in the country and rubbing shoulders with top shelf professionals like Ann McManus, Danny Lyons and Mike McGowan.”

Madison Radio: Mike Ferris Leaving CCM+E

Mike Ferris
Mike Ferris, OM for Clear Channel in Madison and PD for WMAD 96.3 FM Star Country and Classic Rick, WIBA 101.5 FM is leaving the company.

His last day is today, according to allaboutcountry.com.

"I want to thank (Clear Channel Milwaukee-Madison Regional Market Manager) Jeff Tyler for the opportunity to manage so many wonderful people and these solid brands for so many years," said Ferris, who has been with the six-station cluster since 1999.

Tyler's responsibilities will be taken over by those in and out of the cluster. CC/Milwaukee OM Kerry Wolfe will add day to day PD chores for WMAD. Tim Scott, who programs the Madison talk stations will be adding OM for the cluster.

D/FW Radio: Personality On Trial For Raping 14-Year-Old

Anthony Salvatori
Testimony has begun in the Dallas County trial of a Dallas radio personality accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in 1999, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Anthony Salvatori, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. He faces two to 20 years in prison for each charge if convicted.

In 1999, Salvatori was a DJ for KHKS 106.1 FM KISS going by the name Tony Moreno. Now he is a DJ for the Christian music station KLTY 94.9 FM using the name Tony Lopez.

The woman, now 29, came forward in 2010 alleging that Salvatori lured her to KISS-FM with the promise of N’Sync concert tickets. She called to win but was not the right caller. He told her to come to the station and he might be able to get her tickets.

The girl got her cousin and the cousin’s boyfriend to give her a ride. When they left the station. Salvatori said he would take her home, according to testimony.

On the way to the girl’s home in Euless, Salvatori stopped at his apartment. She testified that he raped her on his bed.

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Milwaukee Radio: WSSP Reports Dead Squirrels To Police

A strange thing keeps happening outside the studios of a local radio station every April for the last four or five years. Someone tosses about a dozen dead squirrels and rabbits on the driveway of Sports WSSP 1250 AM, based in Hales Corners, near Milwaukee, according to CBS58-TV.

It always happens during the Cutting Edge Outdoors show aired on the AM station from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays. The last occurrence was on April 12th. Eight squirrels, one with a zip tie around it's neck and two dead rabbits were thrown on the driveway of the station.

Some believe the dead animals are left outside the radio station in protest to the hunting and fishing show.

This is the first time WSSP, owned by Entercom, has reported this to police.

Officials say this is an active investigation while they look at the surveillance tape of the incident. The suspect vehicle is described as a small silver SUV or pickup with a cap on it. Anyone with information is urged to contact Hales Corners Police.

Joe Walsh Talks About His Start In Ham Radio

Joe Walsh
Most know the many varied accomplishments of guitarist Joe Walsh. He is a member of The Eagles, was previously in bands Barnstrom and the critically acclaimed James Gang.

He has experienced success both as a solo artist and prolific session musician. Walsh is ranked at the Number 54 spot in the Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."  Walsh was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Eagles in 1998, the first year they were nominated.

The guitar solo on the track, Hotel California by Walsh and Don Felder  was in 1998 by Guitarist magazine selected as the best guitar solo of all time, and again in 1998 by Guitar Magazine at eighth of the Top 100 Guitar Solos.

But what many don't know is that Walsh (WB6ACU) is a Ham Radio enthusiast.  Here he talks about his hobby:


Throwback Thursday: Rick Dees

Dees began his radio career at WGBG, a Greensboro, NC radio station, while still in high school. He worked for various radio stations throughout the southeastern United States, including WXYC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, WSGN in Birmingham, Alabama, and WKIX in Raleigh, North Carolina.

His introduction to the international entertainment arena began while working at WMPS AM 680 ("The Great 68") in Memphis, Tennessee, during the disco craze of the late 1970s, when he wrote and recorded "Disco Duck", the award-winning hit that sold more than six million copies.

Dees was fired from WMPS when he mentioned that his song, "Disco Duck" was almost #1 and his own radio station would not let him play it. The station manager said it was a conflict of interest. Dees did not perform the actual duck vocals on the song since he could not "talk like a duck."

The duck vocals were recorded at Shoestring Productions in Memphis, TN by Ken Pruitt. Pruitt moved away before the song became popular and the vocals for the duck were done by Michael Chesney of Memphis for the concert tour. Chesney had done some comedic voices for Dees prior to Disco Duck. The tour went from Disney World to New York, NY billed as Rick Dees and The Cast of Idiots."


After a 45-day non-compete clause in his contract was satisfied, Dees was hired by RKO Radio to do the morning show at WHBQ 560 AM in Memphis.

The success of Dees at their Memphis radio station, combined with his TV appearances and hit music, motivated station owner RKO General to offer Rick the morning radio show in Los Angeles at 93KHJ AM. Dees helped their ratings, but AM music radio was rapidly losing ground to FM.

When KHJ switched to country music, Rick Dees left KHJ, taking a morning position at KIIS-FM in July 1981. In a short time, he turned KIIS-FM into the #1 revenue-generating radio station in America, with an asset value approaching half a billion dollars.


Dees garnered many accolades, including Billboard Radio Personality of the Year for ten years in a row.

Boston Radio: WUFC To Relaunch June 1 Via Wallis LMA

Wallis Communications has announced plans to take over WUFC 1510 AM, a 50,000 (DA3) watt radio station serving the Boston media market.

When the new station launches on June 1st, WUFC 1510 AM will become home to a mix of libertarian and personality driven radio shows featuring some of the biggest names in the industry like Glenn Beck, Jay Mohr, Alex Jones and The Dr. K Show! The station will also air sports news and games from Boston College and Boston University.

Wallis Communications will operate and manage WUFC under an LMA with current licensee, Blackstrap Broadcasting pending FCC approval of a license transfer.

Wallis Communications says it plans to give talk radio a new twist by challenging the content boundaries and offering a free and open exchange of ideas.  “Where Liberty Has a Voice” will be the station’s new positioning statement with the goal of bringing a fresh and unique perspective to listeners.

“We are excited to move into Boston,” said Kevin J. Wallis PhD, CEO of Wallis Communications.  “We have made a huge name for ourselves in the Washington DC market with our takeover of WILC 900 AM”.

Wallis Communications is working toward acquiring additional stations throughout the United States in the coming months.

The station had been airing NBC Sports.

WV Radio: WHNK 1450 AM Signs-Off

Parkersburg's oldest radio station, WHNK 1450 AM went silent Monday night, according to thenewscenter.tv

The Classic Country WHNK is owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications.

It went off the air after losing a tower lease with Walker Machinery. Walker wants to expand and the tower site and transmitter would have to be moved.

WLTP went on the air as WPAR-1420 in downtown Parkersburg on July 11, 1935. The Federal Communications Commission granted the new station, owned by Ohio Valley Broadcasting Corp., 100 watts on which to broadcast.

It would be a decade before another radio station appeared in the Parkersburg area.

WPAR moved up the dial from 1420 to 1450 in 1941. That same year, the Parkersburg station raised its power to 250 watts.

A CCM+E company spokesperson says as of now, there is no decision on the signal.

R.I.P.: A-R-S Bassist Paul Goddard Passes

Paul Goddard
Paul Goddard, the bass player and a founding member of the stylish Southern rock band the Atlanta Rhythm Section, died Tuesday of cancer in Atlanta, according to the group's manager, Len Fico.

He was 68, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Goddard performed on such ARS hits as “So Into You,” “Imaginary Lover,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Do It or Die” and the remake of the Classics IV’s “Spooky.”

The bespectacled Goddard, who favored Rickenbacker 4001 and Fender P bass guitars, had retired from touring in the mid-1980s but returned to the band in 2011 with singer Rodney Justo, another founding member.

“I knew Paul when he was a guitarist, and maybe that’s why his bass playing was so musical,” said Justo, who exited the band in 1972 to be replaced by the late singer Ronnie Hammond.  “And to go with that musicality was a unique sound that made him so identifiable to fans and other musicians as well. Yes, at one time he was ‘that big fat guy that played bass,’ but once he started playing, he wasn’t fat. He was a giant.”


Guitarist Barry Bailey, keyboardist Dean Daughtry and drummer Robert Nix were the other original members of ARS, which came out of the small town of Doraville, Ga.

Buddy Buie, a songwriter and guitarist for Classics IV, put the band together and produced, managed and wrote songs for ARS.