Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9, 10 In Radio History

In 1964...Hooper ratings in Los Angeles haf KRLA (then 1110 AM) leading rival top-40 station KFWB 980 AM:  KRLA 16.7....KFWB 13.6.  KFWB had recently tightened up their music playlist. KRLA jocks included Bob Eubanks, Casey Kasem, Dick Biondi, Wink Martindale and others.

In 1965, KHJ started its “Boss Radio” Top 40 format, which launched it to the No. 1 position.  KRLA was the second-place Top 40 station.  KFWB abandoned music and flipped to all-news in 1968.

In 1964...It’s learned that WYNR 1390 AM in Chicago , a Rhythm and Blues station, would be going all-news on September 3. The station, operated by Gordon McLendon, will change call letters to WNUS.

When WYNR suddenly switched to all-news WNUS in 1964, McLendon bought WFMQ 107.5 FM and changed the call letters to WNUS-FM, creating an FM simulcast of the all-news station. This 1966 advertisement is looking for WNUS “newsmen.”  McLendon was paying $88,800 a year in 2011 dollars.

All-news was catching on in big markets across the country. Westinghouse’s WINS 1010 AM in New York switched to all-news in 1965.  In 1968, CBS and Westinghouse decided to flip many of their stations to all-news.  In Los Angeles, KNX (CBS) and KFWB (Westinghouse) both switched to all-news.   McLendon’s All-News XTRA could not compete with the fully staffed news operations of KNX and KFWB.  He pulled the plug on the format.

The same happened in Chicago when CBS flipped powerful WBBM-AM to all-news.  WNUS-AM-FM became an easy-listening station.  Globetrotter Communications, the owners of soul music station WVON, bought WNUS-AM-FM in 1975.  It wanted to move WVON-AM to the more powerful 5,000-watt allocation that WNUS used at 1390 AM.

WNUS-FM became urban WGCI-FM, which is a very successful Chicago radio station today.  The AM station became WGCI-AM in 1984.  Today it’s WGRB, a gospel station.  Clear Channel owns both stations.

In 1964...WNBC 660 AM, New York morning man Big Wilson, joined Lynda B. Johnson to serve as master of ceremonies at the first Folk Music Concert ever presented under the auspices of The White House. Big Wilson was personally asked by President Johnson to emcee the folk concert with participants Theodore Bikel, Nancy Ames, the Serendipity Singers, Steve dePass and the comedy team of Stiller and Meara.

In 2008...Artist and WRKS NYC Personality Isaac Hayes died from an apparent stroke.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Seattle Radio: KJR-FM Rebrands As '95-7 The Jet'

CCME/Seattle has announced the launching  of KJR 95.7 FM “95.7 The Jet, Seattle’s Variety From the 70’s, 80’s and More” on 8/8.

The rebranding coincided with the retirment Friday of longtime Seattle morning host Bob Rivers.  See separate posting: Click Here.

According to Clear Channel, 95.7 The Jet will feature a wider variety of music, including 70’s favorites like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Heart, but also stretch wider and showcase more variety from 80’s artists like Madonna, Prince and Bon Jovi.

The new station will give listeners a chance to win $1,000 each weekday starting Monday, August 11, when they hear The Jet $1,000 Artist of the Day.

LISTEN-LIVE: Click Here.

The on-air programming lineup will be announced soon.

“Seattle is a great radio town and listeners have a high musical passion and intellect.  What we learned talking directly with listeners and doing extensive research is that expectations for Seattle radio have changed, and wider playlists with more variety are desired,” said Keith Cunningham, VP/Programming for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Seattle.

“We saw the opportunity to take the best of 95.7 KJR FM, add more variety, and create a more modernized presentation.  Re-branding as The Jet was a no brainer and a nod to our love for Seattle’s history in aviation and airline manufacturing.”

Seattle Radio: Bob Rivers Signs-Off

Bob Rivers
Long-time Seattle radio host Bob Rivers had his final show Friday. Rivers started his show in Seattle exactly 25 years ago to the date

Bob Rivers announced his retirement Monday on 95.7 KJR and on KING 5 Morning News.

"What a thrill to be on the radio in Seattle for 25 years - the greatest community in the world," Rivers said during today's show.

Rivers announced the arrival of a brand new listener: his granddaughter, Hazel Rivers, who was born today at Swedish Hospital.

"She was not due till next week, but she knows the value of this program," said an estatic Rivers. "She knows that this will be the only time to hear her grandpa, and she is actually listening from Swedish [Hospital] right now."

"Perhaps with this young new demo, we could re-launch the show," Rivers joked.

Rivers said he will continue doing his popular Twisted Tunes.

Nielsen: 'Format Of The Summer' Race Is A Dead Heat

July's Hot Formats
Based on ratings results from the the release of Nielsen July Portable People Meters, the numbers indicated Country cooling a bit as Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR/Top40) loggs a second consecutive motnh of growth.

Suddenly what could have been a runaway race by Country for the 'format of the summer' is a much closer race down the srtetch.

Elsewhere in the pack of formats competing for shares of ears this summer, Nielsen saw other trends continue from previous months. The record-setting ways of both Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) and Classic Rock showed no signs of slowing down in July; meanwhile, in the spoken word arena, the heart of summer has once again proven to be a cool period for news and sports listening.

Format Performances In July
   Below are some highlights from Nielsen’s July PPM data across 45 markets using the full-week (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-midnight) daypart audience shares.
  • After establishing new all-time highs for listening share last month, Country held steady with audiences aged 6 and over (8.6%) and 25-54 (8.4%) and dropped back by nearly half a share-point among listeners aged 18-34 (10.2%) in July. This ended an impressive run of growth stretching back to January for America’s No. 1 overall format. Country finds itself tied with Pop CHR this month among all listeners aged 6-plus, and it appears these two formats will take the race for ‘format of the summer’ down to the wire in next month’s August results.
  • Pop CHR's upward movement over the last two months (growing from 8.4% in June to 8.6% this month with listeners aged 6 and over) is making May's 8.0-share appear more and more like a blip on the radar for a format that this July was either ranked No. 1 or tied for first across the three of the demographics we analyzed. Not surprisingly, this month's 8.6-share is Pop CHR’s best showing since July of 2012, when the format was on fire in PPM markets.
  • Hot AC remained the format with the most consistent upward trend in 2014 by upping the bar for 6-plus (6.4%), 18-34 (7.2%) and 25-54 (6.9%) listener shares in July, each a new all-time high. And Classic Rock made some news of its own, topping out at a 5-share with listeners aged 6 and over and a 4.1-share among audiences 18-34 years old, each marking the first time the format has been above a five or four share in PPM in those demos, respectively.
  • 6-plus shares for News/Talk dropped to their lowest mark in PPM since Nielsen began tracking this data in 2011 (8.1%), All News stayed flat relative to last summer (2.5%), and Sports fared slightly better this July (4.1%) than in 2013 (3.8%).

Nielsen Releases Final Batch of July PPMs

July PPMs Were Released Thursday For The Following Markets:

  • Austin
  • Milwaukee-Racine
  • Indianapolis
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News
  • Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket
  • Nashville
  • Greensboro-Winston/Salem-High Point
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton
  • Jacksonville
  • Memphis
  • Hartford-New Brittain-Middletown CT
To see the Topline 6+ AQH numbers of subscribing Nielsen stations: Click Here

© 2005-2014 Arbitron Inc. All Rights Reserved. Arbitron radio audience estimates and data are federally copyrighted by and proprietary to Arbitron Inc. All Arbitron data are protected under U.S. copyright law, state misappropriation law, and other state and federal laws. Violations of Arbitron’s rights under U.S. copyright law may result in statutory damages per act of infringement and the recovery of Arbitron’s attorneys’ fees required to enforce Arbitron’s rights, in addition to other rights and remedies under other applicable laws, such as the Lanham Act.

FCC Call Letter Actions For July

During the period from 07/01/2014 to 07/31/2014 the Commission accepted applications to assign call signs to, or change the call signs of the following broadcast stations.

Chicago Radio: John Gallagher New VP/MM For Hubbard

John Gallagher
Market vet John Gallagher, who once ran WLS 890 AM for ABC Radio and Citadel Broadcasting, is returning to Chicago to oversee the three Hubbard Radio stations, according to Chicago Media blogger Robert Feder.

Hubbard Radio COO Drew Horowitz has appointed Gallagher VP/Market Manager of Hubbard Radio/Chicago, which includes hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9 FM, classic hits WDRV 97.1 FM and adult contemporary WILV 100.3 FM.

He starts August 18 and succeeds Jerry Schnacke, who was forced out last April after 17 years in Chicago with Hubbard Radio and its predecessor, Bonneville International.

“John is the perfect person to lead our great brands in Chicago,” Drew Horowitz, president and chief operating officer of Hubbard Radio, said in a statement. “John has a proven track record as an operator and has the benefit of Chicago experience, which gives him insight into the market. I’m thrilled to have someone of John’s caliber and experience segueing into this very critical position for Hubbard Radio Chicago.”

Read More Now

Moonves: CBS No Longer Interested In CNN

Les Moonves
During Thursday's Earnings Conference Call with anaylysts, CBS CEO Les Moonves gushed about opportunities for CBS in the coming quarters, in part because of the demise of Aereo, the coming debut of Thursday Night Football on the network and what he expects will be "a frenzy of political spending this fall."

CBS will soon be producing original shows for digital video channels like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, C.E.O. Les Moonves told investors Thursday.

He also said that Nielsen ratings that measure viewing seven days after broadcast is a big deal.

Moonves also addressed speculation that CBS would be interested in acquiring CNN. He acknowledged interest, but said the opportunity is off the table since 21st Century Fox said this week it would not pursue a merger with CNN's parent company, Time Warner.

"We thought about it, we talked about it, it is obviously something that is not going to happen," Moonves said, adding that the value of the channel being mentioned in the press (as much as $10 billion), was not what CBS would have paid. "The numbers they were throwing around were silly."

Sounds Like ABC Will Be Beefing Up Network Content

Steve Jones
ABC News' content deal with broadcast radio giant Cumulus Media will end at the end of this year, and with it, ABC will be taking responsibility for its marketing, distribution and programming, as well as its affiliate relationships.

See Original Posting: Click Here

Cumulus struck its own deal with CNN late last month for news and information content, effectively replacing Diane Sawyer and David Muir with Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett.

Capital New York is reporting  the loss of Cumulus as a distributor is a challenge; however, it does free up ABC to sell more content to stations it otherwise could not. ABC’s deal with Cumulus prohibited the distribution of some content to ABC’s more than 1,600 partner stations. Even without Cumulus, ABC is the largest radio news and information distributor, with around 50 million weekly listeners.

“This is really all about growth and good news, this is a chance for us to broaden what we create,” said Steve Jones, V.P. of ABC News Radio. “It is really taking all these programs that we are currently providing just to digital radio, and bringing them to broadcast radio.”

Jimmy Kimmel
Those programs include shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Nashville” and “The View.” ABC breaks out Kimmel's monologue and makes it available to stations, and can take content from "Dancing With the Stars" and make it available as well, a proposition that may be appealing to music stations.

Jones said that ABC will be adding new programs as well.

The company is working with a third party, Skyview Networks, to help on the distribution side and with national sales.

According to the LA Times,  it's not clear what stations will carry ABC News Radio once the changes take effect on Jan. 1, though the company said the end of the Cumulus pact will allow it to make deals with other stations.

People familiar with the deal said Cumulus has been paying ABC roughly $17 million a year.

"We've chosen to take a different route to serve our radio stations more directly," Jones said in an interview. "We think we're going to provide more to stations than we currently can."

NYC Radio: Kenny Loggins Talks With 77 WABC

WABC 770 AM New York's "Saturday Cafe" host Laura Smith sits down for an exclusive interview with music icon Kenny Loggins Saturday, August 9 between 7:00 and 9:00 pm ET.

Smith talks to Loggins about writing songs as a teen, touring the world with his new shows, and his passion for music. Loggins' career spans four decades with international hits from his early days with Loggins and Messina, including "Your Mama Don't Dance", through his solo projects including, "This Is It", "Footloose", "I'm Alright", and "Whenever I Call You Friend" with Stevie Nicks.

Loggins also discusses his latest project, a new album with a country/rock trio called The Blue Sky Riders being released through a Kickstarter campaign. "The Saturday Cafe" interview with Kenny Loggins airs Saturday, August 9, at 8:00 pm ET on 77 WABC Radio and online: Click Here.

Official: Stephen A. Smith Starts Sept. 2 On SiriusXM

Stephen A. Smith
ESPN and SiriusXM have reached an agreement for ESPN to produce The Stephen A. Smith Show exclusively for SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio, channel 85.

The two-hour daily program will debut on satellite radio on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. ET.  The show will be produced and broadcast from ESPN Audio's headquarters in Bristol.

"Words can't express how excited I am to be going to SiriusXM," said Smith. "I've waited a long time for this. All I'm going to say is Sept. 2 can't arrive soon enough. So Buckle Up!  Because I'm coming."

Traug Keller, ESPN senior vice president, production, business divisions, added, "This is an exciting new business opportunity for ESPN Audio. By creating outstanding exclusive audio content for SiriusXM, in this case The Stephen A. Smith Show, we are maximizing our presence on a variety of platforms that expand our reach and options for sports fans."

"Stephen A. is an exceptional talent," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer. "We are thrilled he has chosen SiriusXM to be the exclusive home of The Stephen A. Smith Show and we're excited to collaborate with ESPN to provide him with a platform that delivers his commentary to listeners across the U.S. and Canada."

The Stephen A. Smith Show will lead in each day to Mad Dog Unleashed, hosted by the channel's headline personality, Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo.  The daily weekday lineup on Mad Dog Sports Radio will now feature:
  • Evan and Phillips in the Morning with Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips (6:00-10:00 am ET)
  • Schein on Sports with Adam Schein (10:00 am-1:00 pm ET)
  • The Stephen A. Smith Show (1:00 - 3:00 pm ET)
  • Mad Dog Unleashed with Christopher Russo (3:00 - 6:00 pm ET)
  • Dog Bites with Steve Torre (6:00 - 7:00 pm ET)
  • Mad Dog Sports Radio Tonight with Dan Graca (7:00 - 11:00 pm ET)
  • The Wrap with Patrick Meagher (11:00 pm - 2:00 am ET)
Smith will continue to make newsworthy guest appearances on ESPN New York 98.7FM and other ESPN Radio affiliates. He will remain a featured commentator on ESPN2's First Take and make appearances on SportsCenter and other ESPN television shows.  He had hosted a local radio show on ESPN New York since 2011.

ESPN Suspends Dan Le Batard Over LeBron Billboards

ESPN suspended radio host Dan LeBatard two days for purchasing a number of  “You’re Welcome, LeBron” billboards in Akron, Ohio.

Dan La Batard
The NY Post reports LeBatard, an unapologetic Miami homer, first investigated getting an ad placed in a local newspaper before going to the billboard plan.

“It’s just fun anarchy,” LeBatard said on his ESPN radio show recently, according to USA Today. “All meant in fun — which, of course, will turn into Cleveland people getting filled with rage, poison and irrational hostility and want to use those billboards as a guillotine. Sports are so great, the more irrational the better. This is a publicity stunt disguised as a movement. Please don’t tell anyone there is no actual movement.”

ESPN did not find the humor in it. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz released a statement Thursday after the billboard went up.

“Dan LeBatard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday. His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand. Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance,” he said.

LeBatard’s “reason” for the billboard was that Heat fans never got thanked by James after he decided to leave Miami for the Cavaliers.

Calgary Radio: AMP Aims to Play Much, More Music

Calgary Top 40 CKMP 90.3 FM AMP Radio is now offering listeners twice as many songs.

Their new format, which was unveiled last week according to the Calgary Herald, is called QuickHitz and allows the station to broadcast professionally edited down versions of songs that have been provided by Vancouver-based SparkNet Communications.

Steve Jones, VP of programming for Newcap Radio, which operates close to 100 stations across the country including AMP, thinks it’s a sign of the times. Or rather a sign that radio is finally willing to get with the times.

“Radio is using archaic logic to decide its programming,” he says.

“When you think about why songs are the length they are it goes back to the ’50s and ’60s when radio stations demanded three-minute songs and artists provided them. In order to be on a 45 RPM record with any sound quality your song had to be around three, three-and-a-half minutes. If you wanted to be on the radio or you wanted to be in a jukebox, which is how people heard their music back then, you had to be on a 45 RPM record. So that was the way it was done."

The obvious argument is that they are the way they are because that’s how the artists and producers meant them to be. It is their vision and to half their vision, alter it in order to make it more bite-sized for consumers with diminished attention spans might, some may posit, be an insult to that creative process.


Jones is quick to point out that SparkNet’s team of producers work hard to provide the best version of the song, one that doesn’t “compromise the integrity of (it),” but also admits that permission from the artist or label is not required and says they could certainly request one from the company should they require a shorter version of a song from a Calgary musician.

Besides, he says, half the song length means double the amount of songs AMP can play in an hour, which also equals more exposure for the musicians, for more musicians. And that, theoretically, translates to more album sales, more concert tickets, more merch sold, etc.

Read More Now

Salem Reports 2Q Broadcast Revenue Increased 1.8 Percent

Salem Communications Corporation has released its results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014.

Second Quarter 2014 Highlights
  • Total revenue increased 14.1%
  • Internet and e-commerce revenue increased 45.3% and Internet and e-commerce operating income increased 43.3%
  • Publishing revenue increased 99.4%
  • Two books published by Regnery are on the New York Times best seller list
Second Quarter 2014 Results

For the quarter ended June 30, 2014 compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2013:

  • Total revenue increased 14.1% to $68.6 million from $60.1 million;
  • Total operating expenses increased 20.3% to $61.1 million from $50.8 million;
  • Operating expenses, excluding gains or losses on disposals of assets, stock-based compensation expense, changes in the fair value of contingent earn-out consideration and impairment charges increased 21.2% to $60.2 million from $49.7 million;
  • Operating income decreased 19.3% to $7.5 million from $9.3 million;
  • Net income decreased to $1.3 million, or $0.05 net income per diluted share, from $5.2 million, or $0.20 net income per diluted share, in the prior year
  • Net broadcast revenue increased 1.8% to $47.9 million from $47.0 million;
  • Station operating income decreased 13.8% to $13.9 million from $16.2 million;
  • Same station net broadcast revenue increased 1.1% to $47.6 million from $47.0 million;
  • Same station SOI decreased 13.1% to $14.1 million from $16.2 million; and
  • Same station SOI margin decreased to 29.6% from 34.4%.

San Diego Radio: Rich 'Brother' Robbins Retires

Rich 'Brother" Robbins
Rich “Brother” Robbin is ending his radio career Friday, according to LA

Robbins is stepping down tomorrow from his 2p to 7p afternoon shift at the XHPRS 105.7 FM The Walrus in San Diego.

Rich has had much success over the decades. He spent time in Los Angeles in the 1970s at KIQQ (K-100), KKDJ, KGFJ, and KTNQ (10-Q). He’s been the quintessential afternoon Top 40 jock, a program director, general manager and station owner.

“It's been 95% fun and rewarding, but the time has come. I'm 100% ready to step away and get on with the rest of my life.  I couldn't be happier if I were twins!”

Robbins was born in Rice Lake, Wisconsin and grew up under the shadow of WCCO's giant tower in Minneapolis. His love for radio and being a Top 40 jock took him on the nomadic journey to Portland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Detroit, Kansas City, Tucson (ownership), San Diego, Nashville, and Memphis.

He arrived at KIQQ from KCBQ-San Diego and originated the idea of using dial position as a station identifier, named the station at 100.3 "K-100-FM." After K-100 was sold to Drake/Chenault, he was also a part of the line-up. He later became one of the original jocks on "the new Ten-Q."

August 8 In Radio History

In 1952...Robin Quivers, famous sidekick to Howard Stern, was born.

Robin Quivers
In 1979 after military service, Quivers returned to Baltimore where she studied at the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland and worked in a hospital.  She landed her first job in the radio industry with a newscasting position at WIOO 1000 AM in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, followed by WCMB 1460 AM in nearby Harrisburg. She then moved back to Baltimore for a consumer reporter role at WFBR, where she also read newscasts with morning disc jockey Johnny Walker.

In March 1981, radio personality Howard Stern started his new morning program at WWDC in Washington, D.C.. He wished for an on-air newscaster to riff with him in the studio on the news and current affairs.   That was when station program director Denise Oliver played Quivers a tape of Stern interviewing a prostitute on the air.  She "had never heard anything like it...I just said, 'where do I sign? I’ll do anything just to meet this guy!'"

In 1963..."Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen was released and Radio stations quickly labeled it obscene.

In 1966...WABC moved to 1330 Avenue of the Americas

In 1982...WNBC-AM, New York City began broadcasting in AM Stereo.

In 1986...legendary DJs, Bobby Ocean and Dr. Don Rose did their last shows on KFRC, San Francisco, California.

In 2002...New York's WNNY 1380 AM changes call letters to WLXE

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pittsburgh Radio: WPGB Goes Country, Talk Goes To WJAS

Two big changes were in the Pittsburgh market Thursday as longtime oldies station WJAS 1320-AM flipped to conservative talk radio, and at 3pm, N/T WPGB went country as “The BIG 104.7” on the FM dial. WPGB will compete with CBS Radio's WDSY and WOGI-WOGG-WOGH Froggy stations owned by Keymarket.

WPGB 104.7 FM (13Kw) 54dBu Coverage
The latter began its new life playing Florida Georgia Line's “This is How We Roll,” the start of 10,000 consecutive songs without commercials, with the Bobby Bones Morning Show waiting in the wings.

A new PD for Big 104.7 will be announced soon.

LISTEN TO BIG 104-7: Click Here

“It’s a great day for Pittsburgh Country music fans as we launch Big 104.7, a fresh new take on Country music. This station will give our listeners a front-row seat to Country’s biggest artists and concerts,” said David Edgar, Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Pittsburgh.

“Listeners will also enjoy waking up with The Bobby Bones Show and his unique and entertaining insight on Country music. No one is closer to the heart of Nashville than Bobby Bones.” Pittsburgh fans of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and the other WPGB talk show hosts can now hear them on 1320-AM, WJAS, effective immediately.

Earlier in the afternoon, syndicated talk featuring Rush Limbaugh was simulcast on both stations as the 3 p.m. announcement neared, and "This is moving day!" promos were trumpeted during breaks. Others in the News/Talk 1320 WJAS lineup now include Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and David “Bloomdaddy” Bloomquist.

The change at WJAS (7Kw,  3.3Kw nights) means the end of a decades-long nostalgia format. Veteran DJs Jack Bogut and Bill Cardille said their goodbyes on air Wednesday, and Chris Shovlin also lost his evening show.

CBS Earnings Fall, Radio Revenue Down 3 Percent

CBS reported earnings of 78 cents per share in the most recent quarter, beating the expectations of analysts who predicted about 72 cents per share, according to THR.

Profit and revenue were both down slightly from the year-ago period, but that was to be expected since the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother ended and competitors like ESPN stole some viewers away with their coverage of FIFA World Cup soccer.

Revenue was $3.19 billion during the quarter, down from $3.37 billion. Net earnings were $439 million, down from $472 million.

CBS also said Thursday it was doubling its share repurchase program to $6 billion, following on the heels of 21st Century Fox and Time Warner, both which also increased their buyback plans. CBS also said it would increase its cash dividend to 15 cents per share from 12 cents previously.

Local Broadcasting revenues for the second quarter of 2014 were $665 million compared with $698 million in the same prior-year period, primarily a result of softness in the advertising marketplace. An increase in affiliate and subscription fee revenues partially offset the decline.

CBS Television Stations revenues were down 6%, with three percentage points of the decrease attributable to the nonrenewal of a sports programming contract and the absence of the broadcast of the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on CBS in 2014.

Radio revenues were down 3%.

ABC Radio News Breaks With Cumulus

James Goldston
ABC News has signed on with Skyview Networks to distribute and market ABC News radio content.

The new arrangement, which begins in January, comes as ABC’s distribution agreement with Cumulus Media comes to an end.

ABC News President James Goldston sent the following note to the news division today announcing the beginning of a new era at ABC Radio.

ABC News Radio will expand its operations to invest in new, premium programming and to take control of distributing and marketing its content and deepen affiliate relationships.  ABC Radio serves nearly two thousand stations nationwide and the most popular digital radio platforms – making ABC News, by far, the number one choice for radio news and information for over 50 million listeners each week.
Today we’re announcing the beginning of a new era at ABC Radio. 
Starting in January we’re going to expand our operations to invest in new programming, take control of distributing and marketing our content and deepen our affiliate relationships.  A new relationship with Skyview Networks will help us deliver our content and bolster our sales efforts as our distribution agreement with Cumulus Media comes to an end.  These changes will help us invest in premium programming and continue to lead the industry in new ways to reach our loyal audience of over 50 million listeners a week. 
As a powerhouse for news and information, it’s critical we’re superserving our audience everywhere and all the time.  Stations count on our investigative reporting, exclusive interviews, unparalleled coverage of breaking news and entertainment and sports programming.  Over many years ABC News Radio has built an unmatched track record for exceptional service and radio reports from around the world thanks to the outstanding work of everyone at ABC News.  It’s one reason ABC News Radio was recently honored for journalistic excellence with two Edward R. Murrow awards, including its most prestigious award for overall excellence. 
ABC News is, by far, the number one choice for radio news and information.  We serve nearly 2000 stations nationwide and the most popular digital radio services, including iHeartRadio and Slacker Radio.   As we move ahead we see tremendous opportunities and know that we will have to work even harder to ensure a bright future.  We’re taking these important steps now to work more closely with our terrific, long-standing station partners and better position us for digital audio growth in the future. 
I’m confident that with Steve Jones and his team leading the charge, there are exciting new opportunities and many more great days ahead at ABC Radio. 

Boston Radio: CCM+E Wants More Bull

CCM+E wants to go non-DA with it's WBWL 101.7 FM in Boston.  It's the home of freshly-minted Country The Bull.

WBWL 101.7 FM (1.7Kw) 60dBu Coverage
For The Bull (licensed to Lynn, MA) to be upgraded, CC has submitted a proposal to the FCC which would allow it to go directional with its Providence WWBB on adjacent 105.1 FM.  That move in effect would mean Classic Hits WWBB would become a Class A signal instead of its current Class B designation.

Also...CC proposes the Commission allow Classic Hits WCIB 101.9 FM to use a directional antenna and reduce power from 50Kw to 13Kw. CC is acquiring WCIB as part of the three-way swap involving Connoisseur and Qantum, leaving the Qantum stations with Clear Channel.

The changes to the three stations would result in improved coverage south of Boston for “The Bull” although it would remains a Class A signal.   The Bull competes with Greater Media's WKLB 102.5 FM.

NAB: Broadcast Ownership Rules Lacking in Rationale

The rationale underlying several decades-old media ownership rules that broadcast television stations only compete against themselves in local markets is simply not true, the National Association of Broadcasters said in comments filed Wednesday with the FCC. The Commission should adjust its rules to better reflect today and tomorrow's marketplace that features competition from rival industries as it weighs relaxing ownership restrictions, NAB said.

In its comments submitted to the FCC for its 2014 Quadrennial Ownership Review, NAB included an economic study by Economists Incorporated that tested the Department of Justice Antitrust Division's position that broadcast TV stations do not face competition from cable and other media sources for local advertising revenue. The study found no evidence that in local markets where broadcasters are engaged in a joint sales agreement (JSA) or shared service agreement (SSA) are broadcasters able to charge higher advertising rates than in markets where these arrangements are not present.

"The presence of JSAs and SSAs is not statistically associated with increased advertising prices in local markets," concluded the study, which was conducted by economists Hal J. Singer and Kevin W. Caves. "There is even some evidence that markets with JSAs and SSAs have prices approximately 16 percent lower than other markets, suggesting that these arrangements benefit consumers by lowering costs."

The study, which analyzed pricing data from the past 10 years in 210 local markets, also found that in markets with a duopoly television station owner do not have higher advertising prices than in markets without a duopoly. "Increases in local television broadcast station concentration do not appear to have any effect on the advertising rates that broadcasters are able to charge," the study concluded. That result "is consistent with the conclusion that local broadcasting prices re disciplined by non-broadcast alternatives," the study found.

NAB also highlighted a number of other broadcast ownership rules that can no longer be rationally maintained in today's marketplace. Cross-ownership rules that prevent common ownership of a radio station and TV station or broadcast entities and newspapers in the same market do not promote the Commission's localism, competition or diversity goals, NAB said in its comments.

"The newspaper-broadcast cross ownership rule, in particular, should have been eliminated years ago," said NAB. "Failure to do so has likely led to the hastened diminishment of the newspaper industry and should serve as a warning to the Commission of what can happen to the marketplace when it ignores its deregulatory mandate and waits too long to adjust its rules."

Barriers that restrict access to capital are the cause of depressed female and minority ownership of broadcast radio and TV stations, NAB said. Ownership restrictions have not led to an increase in female and minority entities owning broadcast stations and in fact limit their ability to obtain sufficient capital to purchase and operate stations.

"Purposefully depressing the value of broadcast stations through ownership limitations only makes it more difficult for current licensees to maintain operating capital in order to compete or for possible new entries to secure funding," said NAB. "It simply has not worked. The time has come for the Commission to consider better incentives-based alternatives."

Obama Stand Shakes Up Net Neutrality Debate

President Barack Obama edged up to questioning the Federal Communications Commission's newly proposed net neutrality rules, a heavily criticized plan that would favor Internet content providers that can afford to pay more for faster delivery of their services.

Obama campaigned heavily on net neutrality during his 2008 election, but has been largely silent on the issue since the FCC voted to kill it with new Internet service rules that would create "fast lanes" for content providers that can afford to pay for them; those that can't will be hit with slower traffic.

The Huffington Post reports Obama echoed one of progressives' major criticisms of the new rules at the U.S. Africa Business Forum in Washington on Wednesday, saying he is in favor of "an open and fair Internet."

One of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers. That’s the big controversy here," he said. "You have big, wealthy media companies who might be willing to pay more but then also charge more for more spectrum, more bandwidth on the Internet so they can stream movies faster or what have you. And I personally -- the position of my administration, as well as I think a lot of companies here is you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to various users."

The president said an open Internet will allow for "the next Google or the next Facebook" to enter the arena, and succeed.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that he, too, opposes paid prioritization -- but critics argue that his proposal will create just that. The FCC is an independent entity within the executive branch and is free to ignore the weight of the president's opinion.

Read More Now

Dickey: NASH To Generate $50M In 2016

Lew Dickey
During Wednesday's earnings conference call with analysts, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey highlighted the development of the company's Country brand NASH.

Dickey said, "The NASH brand is being architected to connect artists, fans and advertisers across multiple platforms, including radio, television, magazine, digital, events, recorded music, touring and licensing."
  • In radio, Dickey says Cumulus has rebranded 35 of our 68 owned and operated country format stations as NASH. The rest of our stations are currently using their legacy brands, with the NASH brand woven in throughout the day. 
  • Cumulus expects to begin offering NASH affiliations through Westwood One early in 2015, with a strategy similar to the network television model. 
  • Cumulus expects to launch the NASH app and website in early 2015 and offering the NASH -- which will offer the NASH community of fans unparalleled access to their favorite artists, including breaking news, new releases for music and behind-the-scenes looks and the important trends in the country music lifestyle, which include food and travel. 
  • Dickey says he's confident in his forecast of $25 million in incremental NASH revenue in 2015 and another incremental $25 million of NASH revenue in 2016.
Dickey re-iterated the company's support of Rdio, calling it "a key pillar of our mobile strategy."

"We are leveraging our platform to contribute content, promotion and ad sales to Rdio over the next 5 years in exchange for an ownership stake of 15%. And then -- and it can be increased up to 20% through the exercise of performance-based warrants. That makes us the second-largest shareholder, behind its founder. Cumulus is focused on being a leader -- a leading provider of audio content in a widening audio space as consumers utilize digital music services to complement their broadcast radio listening.

Over time, we expect Rdio to become the digital platform for all of our local brands and nationally syndicated content distributed through WestwoodOne."

Orlando Radio: WCFB Takes-Over Sole Possession Of #1

The ratings compression which hit the Top 5 in June has been broken-up. The compression resulted in three ties in the Top5, including a two-way tie for #1 between UrbanAC WCFB and Contemporary Christian WPOZ. 

Now, there's just one station at the top and it's Cox Media's WCFB 94.5 FM Star. It moved 7.3—7.5, while June co-champ Central Florida Education Foundation's WPOZ 88.3 FM Positive Hits slipped 7.3—6.7.

Cox Media's WWKA 92.3 FM remains #3 thanks to a 5.9—6.6 move.

The July's big winner is CBS Radio's Classic Hits WOCL 105.9 FM Sunny, which improved 4.6 (#10 June) to 5.8 ending up #4 for July. Sunny's Rick Stacy morning show also placed in the Top 5 and the station tied for #5 in the 25-54 demo.

CCM+E's AC WMGF 107.7 FM remains at #5, with a steady 5.6 showing.

 Dropping out of the Top 5 is CCM+E's Top 40 WXXL 106.7 fell from #4 to #7, no thanks to a 5.9—5.1 share loss. XL106-7 has been trending down in Cume: 534,200 (May) 489,600 (June) 477,900 (July)

25-54: WCFB...WWKA...WPOZ...WTKS...3-way tie: WOMX, WOCL, WJRR

18-34: WXXL, WPYO...WCFB tie WJRR...WOMX


Cume: WOMX-FM 504,600...WXXL-FM 477,900...WMGF-FM 471,600...WPYO-FM 394,500 WOCL-FM 388,800...WPOZ-FM 357,600...WJHM-FM 355,800...WMMO-FM 334,600...WWKA-FM 302,900...WCFB-FM 271,900

Top Five Morning Shows (M-F 6-10a 12+ AQH)

  1. Tom Joyner Morning Show, WCFB Star 94.5 FM
  2. Monsters In The Morning WTKS, Real Radio 104.1 FM
  3. Ellis, Tyler and Tracy, WPOZ Z88.3  Positive Hits
  4. A-J & Ashley, WWKA K92 Country
  5. Rick Stacy, WOCL Sunny 105-9 Classic Hits

The Numbers Just Keep On Comin'...

July PPMs Were Released Wednesday For The Following Markets:
  • Portland OR
  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill
  • Pittsburgh
  • Sacramento
  • San Antonio
  • Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Kansas City
  • Columbus
To see July PPM Topline 6+ AQH Numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations: Click Here

© 2005-2014 Arbitron Inc. All Rights Reserved. Arbitron radio audience estimates and data are federally copyrighted by and proprietary to Arbitron Inc. All Arbitron data are protected under U.S. copyright law, state misappropriation law, and other state and federal laws. Violations of Arbitron’s rights under U.S. copyright law may result in statutory damages per act of infringement and the recovery of Arbitron’s attorneys’ fees required to enforce Arbitron’s rights, in addition to other rights and remedies under other applicable laws, such as the Lanham Act.

Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Fizzles

Sprint Corp has dropped its bid to acquire No. 4 U.S. carrier T-Mobile after regulatory resistance showed no signs of softening despite months of lobbying, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The move is a rare setback for Sprint's Japanese parent, SoftBank Corp, whose billionaire founder Masayoshi Son had seen the acquisition as key to taking on U.S. market leaders AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc.

Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile carrier, and T-Mobile have not ruled out consolidation in the future but concluded that a deal is unlikely to be approved at this time, the sources said. U.S. regulators have insisted that they want to keep the number of major wireless carriers at four.

"We didn't think the opposition would be this strong," a SoftBank executive said, but added: "The environment will definitely change".

The failure to reach a deal could give added impetus to a rival bid for T-Mobile by French telecoms firm Iliad ILD.PA. Iliad made a lower bid than Sprint but is in talks with U.S. cable and satellite companies to sweeten its offer.

Sprint on Wednesday named Marcelo Claure, 43, as its chief executive, effective Aug. 11, to replace Dan Hesse, who has been CEO since 2007.   Hesse was Jeff Smulyan’s negotiating partner when Jeff put together the NextRadio deal with Sprint.

Claure founded mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp, which was acquired last year by SoftBank.

Read More Now

Pandora Inks Indy Deal With Merlin

Charles Caldas
Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent label sector, and Pandora have  announced a comprehensive partnership designed to help independent labels and artists grow the audiences they reach and the royalties they receive.

The deal - which applies to Pandora's business in the United States - brings together Merlin's membership of leading independent labels with Pandora's unmatched scale and music discovery expertise, creating new opportunities to build audiences and connect with fans.

"For the independent sector, internet radio is an increasingly important part of the digital market, and we want to see it continue to grow, and grow fast," said Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin. "For the thousands of labels Merlin represents, this agreement with Pandora provides a real best of both worlds scenario: a hugely important opportunity to increase our members' revenues and access unparalleled opportunities for exposure, whilst continuing to support a collective licensing framework."

Brian McAndrews
"This is an important step to advance Pandora's ongoing commitment to build a vibrant and sustainable music industry," said Brian McAndrews, CEO of Pandora. "It's a true partnership that will grow our collective businesses, help artists reach larger audiences and give our listeners an even better music discovery experience personalized to their tastes."

Merlin's membership embodies over 20,000 independent record labels and distributors worldwide. According to Merlin, these labels command around a 10 percent share of the global and US streaming music markets. The new partnership will enable participating labels and the artists they represent to take advantage of the unprecedented marketing capabilities of Pandora's connected platform.

IN Radio: Adams Group Closes On Radio One Com Stations

Adams Radio Group has closed on its acquisition of Radio One Communications stations in Northwest Indiana.

Ron Stone, president and CEO of Adams, said, "My excitement for this market is through the roof. There are so few opportunities like this ... The Ellis family's 50-year stewardship of these stations has been amazing, and we are fortunate to be the next stewards of these great properties. These stations serve the Region, a fast-growing area from Chicago to South Bend covering about a million people -- great additions to our company."

Leigh, Len Ellis
Radio One Communications owned WLJE-FM, WXRD-FM, WZVN-FM and WAKE-AM. Len Ellis, who's known as "Uncle Len," is 86, and Leigh Ellis, 60, said he wants to retire and pursue other hobbies and devote more time to his family. The staff and stations will continue as they are now for the foreseeable future, they said.

Leigh Ellis said the family hired a broker last May to actively market the stations nationwide. Four companies talked to them about buying it, and others expressed interest before Adams Radio Group was chosen.

"We're excited to be joining Adams Radio and becoming part of a larger group," said O.J. Jackson, market manager. "We are excited to work with the people at Adams and together bring the stations to the next level."

This is the third market for Adams Radio Group since reentering the radio business last July. Adams closed on Las Cruces, NM in December and its eight station cluster in Fort Wayne in June.

Report: Disney Pulling Back On TV Advertising

In the most candid admission of how downbeat the television ad market is right now, ABC and ESPN parent Walt Disney Co. said it had decided to reduce its reliance on advertising.

The Wall Street Journal reports during a conference call on Tuesday night, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger acknowledged that ad spending is growing faster on new media platforms than on traditional outlets. Acknowledging what some ad buyers have been whispering in recent weeks, Mr. Iger said that some ad dollars that was held back from the TV upfront “clearly moved to new platforms.”

Noting that Disney sees “a much more competitive environment out there for advertising,” Mr. Iger said Disney has made a “conscious decision” to reduce its reliance on advertising, which now accounts for “the low 20% range of our total revenue.”

His comments, which so far have received little attention, highlighted generally dispirited comments from media CEOs about the ad market on June quarter earnings calls over the past week or so.

Read More Now (Paywall)

Nielsen: Social Media Drives TV Viewers Awareness

The jury is still out on how strong an effect social media has on television viewing habits, according to

An NBCUniversal executive made a big splash in April with an emperor-has-no-clothes statement, saying that social did nothing for Winter Olympic ratings but Twitter, Facebook and others beg to differ.

This week, Nielsen added more data to the social-matters side of the ledger, reporting a study showing that 25% of U.S. viewers said they were more aware of TV programs because of their social media interactions. The study, using data from the fourth quarter of 2013, also found that 15% of viewers say they enjoy television more because of their social media activity. Both figures were significant increases from 2012 results (18% for awareness, 11% for enjoyment).

However, social media isn’t the primary second-screen activity according to other Nielsen data. Two-thirds of tablet users and about half of the smart phone users said surfing the web was their No. 1 secondary activity while watching TV. Shopping (24% phone, 44% tablet), checking sports scores (27%, 29%), looking up actors, plots, athletes, etc. (29%, 41%) and emailing or texting friends about the program (29%, 23%) all surpassed reading social media commentary about the show (12%, 18%) in popularity.

FOX 2Q Beats Estimates

21st Century Fox reported quarterly profits that exceeded Wall Street expectations, driven by big box-office hits, including “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Rio 2” and “The Fault in Our Stars.”

The NY Post reports Earnings per share in the fiscal fourth quarter rose to 43 cents versus a forecast of 39 cents. Revenue rose 17 percent, to $8.42 billion — topping estimates of $8 billion — on the strong theatrical results and growth in cable network programming.

The company also said Wednesday it is authorizing a $6 billion share buyback over the next 12 months.

Commenting on the aborted $80 billion bid for Time Warner, Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said, “The refusal of Time Warner’s management and board to engage with us to explore this compelling offer, coupled with the reaction in our share price that undervalued our stock, resulted in our conclusion that this transaction was no longer attractive to Fox shareholders.”

“Yesterday we walked away. This is our resolute decision,” said Murdoch.

Entravision: 8 Percent Increase In Radio Revenue

Spanish-language media company Entravision Communications Corp. Wednesday reported is 2Q earnings. The company says

Commenting on the Company's earnings results, Walter F. Ulloa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "During the second quarter, we achieved continued growth in core advertising revenue (excluding retransmission consent revenue and political advertising revenue) as our television segment again outperformed the television broadcast industry, reflecting the contributions from our broadcast of the World Cup.

Our radio operations also produced revenue growth that we believe will be among the best in the industry. Continuing the trend of the last several years, we also experienced an increase in retransmission consent revenue. We also improved our free cash flow and net income over the second quarter of 2013 as we benefited from the successful refinancing of our debt last August."

Ulloa state Entravision continues to build it digital footprint and marketing solutions capabilities, "which provide us with an integrated platform to allow advertisers and marketers to connect with Latino audiences."

Net revenue increased to $61.8 million for the three-month period ended June 30, 2014 from $57.0 million for the three-month period ended June 30, 2013, an increase of $4.8 million. Of the overall increase, approximately $3.5 million was generated by its television segment and was primarily attributable to advertising revenue from the World Cup, and an increase in retransmission consent revenue. Additionally, $1.3 million of the overall increase was generated by the radio segment and was primarily attributable to advertising revenue from the World Cup. Radio revenue increased 8 percent, “among the best in the industry,” according to Ulloa.

Entravision Communications Corporation is a diversified Spanish-language media company with an integrated platform of solutions and services that includes television, radio, digital media and data analytics to reach Latino audiences across the United States and Latin America. Entravision has 58 primary television stations, including in 20 of the nation's top 50 Latino markets, and is the largest affiliate group of both the top-ranked Univision television network and Univision's UniMas network. Entravision also operates one of the nation's largest groups of primarily Spanish-language radio stations, consisting of 49 owned and operated radio stations.