Thursday, December 31, 2015

Seinfeld's 'Comedians In Cars' Takes Obama For A Ride

NEW YORK (Reuters) - They didn't leave the White House grounds and coffee was drunk in a staff dining room, but comedian Jerry Seinfeld took U.S. President Barack Obama out for short spin in the latest episode of his popular web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

In his latest pop culture venture, Obama filmed a special guest spot for the series streamed on Crackle. Each 20-minute  episode features Seinfeld chatting informally with a different comedian.

Obama has "gotten off just enough funny lines to get on this show," Seinfeld said in the episode that hit the web late on Wednesday.

The former star of the hit TV comedy series "Seinfeld" chose a silver blue 1963 Corvette Stingray for the ride.

But for security reasons the pair had to be content with a few slow turns around the White House rather than the usual spin along the freeways of Los Angeles or the streets of New York.

Amid the small talk, viewers learned that Obama blows off steam by cursing, that his underwear is all one brand and one color, that he shaves before he works out and that his guilty food pleasure is nachos.

Seinfeld and Obama also talked about the drawbacks of fame  versus anonymity, and Obama's most embarrassing moment. "This may be it," quipped the president.

The show follows Obama's appearance earlier in December on the survival adventure series "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" in Alaska to highlight the dangers of global warming, his 2014 spoof interview for online video series "Funny or Die" to promote Obamacare and numerous appearances on TV chat shows while in office including "The Tonight Show," "The Daily Show" and "The View."

R.I.P: KKOL Morning Host Phil Abbott Has Died

Phil Abbott
The Hawaiian radio industry is mourning after KKOL 107.9 FM Kool Gold 1079’s morning host, Phil Abbot died Monday of natural causes.

He was 55-years-of-age according to

Abbot, the "Old School DJ" served as the morning host and program director of the station in Honolulu since February 2012.

“Phil was an Old School radio professional,” said Patrick Leonard, Abbot’s colleague and Salem Media’s director of marketing and public relations.  “And one of the most humble, professional radio colleagues I have ever worked with.

Abbot worked in the radio industry for more than four decades as a morning host in Hawaii and on the mainland.

During his 17-year career in the mainland, Abbot made a name for himself working with Los Angeles radio legend Rick Dees in their 'Weekly Top 40' radio program.

He also took part in the legendary 98-Rock “Rabbett & Abbot” morning show before moving back to Hawaii with his family in 2009.

The Hilo native graduated from Hilo High School and pursued a journalism degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Information on a memorial service for  Abbot’s will be announced at a later date.

Abbot is survived by his wife Joyce and two adult sons.

R.I.P.: Legendary Radio, TV News Anchor Anne Keefe

Anne Keefe
Anne Keefe died in Rochester NY on Tuesday at the age of 90.

"She was a powerhouse," said her daughter Kitty Keefe on Friday morning. "She was a mentor to so many young journalists, even after she'd left the business."

The Rochester Democrat-Chronicle reports she was a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and the University of Rochester, Anne Keefe started her career in local radio. While still in college, she was hired to produce a live show called "True Stories of the New York State Police" at WHAM 1180 AM.  She switched to television the following year, when WHAM became Rochester's first television station in 1948. Many of the veteran journalists she worked with thought that television would be a passing fad, but at age 22, Keefe seized the opportunity to master the new medium.

For many years, Keefe was the only female newscaster on local television. After leaving the business for several years to raise six children, she returned as news director at WROC (channel 8) in 1969.

She served as weekend anchor and hosted daytime talk shows such as "Dialing for Dollars" and "Crossfire," where she interviewed local newsmakers on the issues of the day.

Keefe move to St Louis in 1976 to work at KMOX, where she quickly became a popular and beloved radio host. She also hosted a show on the local public television station called "Donnybrook," discussing the news of the day with local journalists.

Keefe, known affectionately as the “Grand Dame of the KMOX newsroom.” She retired in 1993.

Her induction into the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame in 2006 described her as the "dean of women radio reporters" in that region. She was also honored with the Missouri Press Women's Quest Award, the American Bar Association's Gavel Award, two National Headline awards, two Armstrong Awards, the American Psychological Society Award and a Peabody award.

She was one of the original inductees into the Rochester Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.

Keefe moved back to Rochester in 2011 to be closer to some of her children and grandchildren.

R.I.P.: Longtime TN Station Owner Philip Beal

Philip Beal, longtime owner and operator of WRGS 1370 AM in Rogersville TN, passed away Tuesday at the age of 71 following a brief illness.

He was 79 years-of-age.

According to the Kingsport Times-News, Beal touched the lives of nearly every person in Rogersville and Hawkins County, not just through his work in radio, but through the countless charitable organizations and civic groups that benefited from his attention, expertise, and resources.

He and his wife, Debbie, were hands-on owners of the local radio station which features a variety of community-oriented programming including Christian music and local church sermons; local news and community coverage; local sports play-by-play coverage; and the most popular program on the station — “Swap Shop.”

Beal purchased the family-owned radio station in 1972 after spending time working and managing radio stations in the Tri-Cities.

Beal gave former Rogersville radio personality and current alderman Mark DeWitte his start in the business at the age of 15.

DeWitte told the Times-News Wednesday Beal’s death is a tremendous loss to the community.

“It’s just terribly ironic that an issue involving his heart had to cut Philip’s life so short,” DeWitte said. “Philip had a huge heart for everyone and especially for the Rogersville community.”

DeWitte added, “I was only 15 when I, like so many others at a young age, started working weekends for Philip at WRGS. That was 1973, one year after he came back to Rogersville to take the reins at the family-owned radio station. He had the patience of a saint as he guided all of us in the ways of radio. I learned a tremendous amount from him in the eight years I was there, but not just about radio. I learned a love for community and everyone in it and the value of honesty and integrity.”

“Philip was a man who was good as gold and solid as a rock,” DeWitte said. “He wasn’t only a boss but a great friend that I loved like a brother. There are so many stories that could be told, and Philip loved to laugh and cry at all of them. But he would be the first to tell you that even though he was in the story, it wasn’t all about him. His humility was as huge as his heart and his involvement in making things happen, and I’ll never forget the influence he had on this entire community and me.”

Pope Urges Media To Report More Good News

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The media should give more space to positive, inspirational stories to counterbalance the preponderance of evil, violence and hate in the world, Pope Francis said on Thursday in his year-end message.

Francis led about 10,000 worshippers in a traditional year-end solemn "Te Deum" vespers service of thanksgiving in St. Peter's Basilica.

In his brief homily, Francis said the outgoing year had been marked by many tragedies.

"(There has been) violence, death, unspeakable suffering by so many innocent people, refugees forced to leaves their countries, men, women and children without homes, food or means of support," he said.

But he said there had also been "so many great gestures of goodness" to help those in need, "even if they are not on television news programs (because) good things don't make news".

Pope Francis
He said the media should not allow such gestures of solidarity to be "obscured by the arrogance of evil".

The Argentine pope, marking the third New Year's season since his election in 2013, condemned the "insatiable thirst for power and gratuitous violence" the world had seen in 2015, without giving examples.

But in his Christmas message last week, he urged the world to unite to end atrocities by Islamist militants who he said were causing immense suffering in many countries.

Security has been very tight at the Vatican since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed.

Police are checking the bags of people as they approach the Vatican area and then have to go through additional, airport-style screening if they want to enter St. Peter's Square or St. Peter's Basilica.

Francis also condemned a political corruption scandal that hit Rome, the city of which he is also bishop. The scandal, known as "Mafia Capital", has spawned a massive trial with 46 defendants that began last month.

Mobsters, bureaucrats and politicians are accused of siphoning millions of euros from public contracts for everything from refugee shelters to trash collection.

The 79-year-old pope, who appears to have held up well during his numerous public appearances over the Christmas and New Year's season, is due to celebrate a Mass on Friday in the basilica to mark the Catholic Church's World Day of Peace.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Syracuse Radio: 2 Charged In Assault On WKRL Host

WKRL's Joe Grosvant
Two suspects in the Christmas assault on a WKRL 100.9 FM KROCK host and friend have turned themselves into police, according to Syracuse Police.

Police say 18-year-old Nouman Khan and 20-year-old Hamza Khan, both of Binghamton, were charged Tuesday night with third-degree assault and released on appearance tickets.

The charges come only hours after someone with the twitter handle @NoumanKingKhan tweeted a video of the moments leading up to the fight. Police have confirmed the video's legitimacy to CNYCentral.

The man, who posted video of the confrontation, said "They were racist, and they started the whole fight. It was self defense."

The video showed one of the victims who suffered cuts in the fight hitting his vehicle. The video is loaded with expletives.

The Christmas night confrontation started when Joe Grosvent, a KROCK radio host, and his cousin, James McElyea, say they were leaving a bar just before midnight when they saw a group of five men harassing a homeless person.

According to police, the five men pulled up in a silver or white BMW and began to shout at them.

McElyea says the men appeared to be taking pictures of them or video taping them with their phones.

According to McElyea, Grosvent knocked on the window of their vehicle to ask why they were taking pictures of them, that is when, he says, a fight broke out between the two groups.

Twin Cities Radio: Mary Lucia Stalker Sentenced

Mary Lucia
The man who plead guilty in August to stalking and terroristic threats against KCMP 89.3 FM The Current DJ Mary Lucia — received five years probation and a 10-block restraining order Wednesday.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Dan Allard asked that Patrick Kelly, 56, of Eden Prairie, receive the maximum five-year probationary term, keep 10 blocks away from Lucia's home and workplace, and pay restitution of $9,222.99.

According to, District Judge William Koch agreed to those requests, and also tagged on 270 days in the county workhouse. Since Kelly already served 197 days in jail with good behavior, however, he was released Wednesday morning.

Seated with her brothers Jim Boquist and the Replacements' Paul Westerberg, Lucia issued her victim impact statement Wednesday.

Patrick Kelly
“My whole sense of self is in question. It has left me feeling powerless," the Twin Cities radio veteran said, adding that she struggled to eat and sleep due to the trauma. "If he makes one more attempt to contact me, it will ruin his life — and for what?”

Kelly began stalking Lucia in late 2014 and was arrested in June.

Among the disturbing things to which Kelly admitted: leaving candles, wine, flowers, and notes on the stoop of Lucia's Minneapolis home, violating a previous restraining order. He also sent packages — children’s toys, raw meat, a photo of a masked man — to the Current offices in St. Paul.

Mary Lucia returned to work at the Current on Nov. 9 following a seven-month leave to deal with the legal and emotional fallout of being stalked.

2015 Was A Good Year For Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel was No. 2 in prime time and No. 3 in total day viewers among all ad-supported cable networks during 2015, reports TV Newser.

 FNC averaged 1.79 million viewers between 8-11 p.m. ET, behind only ESPN’s NFL-heavy content. TBS, USA and TNT join FNC and ESPN among the Top 5 prime time networks. Nickelodeon and Adult Swim are the only networks to surpass FNC in total day viewership.

CNN finished No. 22 in prime time and No. 20 in total day, while MSNBC ranked No. 26 in both categories. FNC, CNN and MSNBC all improved their position compared to last year and FNC becomes the first news network to ever finish among the Top 3 in basic cable.

CNN finished 2015 up +38 percent in prime time viewers and up +30 percent in prime time among the key A25-54 demo, compared to 2014. Last year the network saw a record low in total viewers, so the growth helps make CNN the fastest growing Top 40 cable network among the key demo. CNN’s prime time numbers were boosted by three presidential primary debates, which were among the most-watched programs in cable TV history. Despite the growth, CNN finished No. 22 overall among all basic cable networks during prime time.

Streaming Service Live365 May Be Forced To Close

Citing the recent CRB ruling on  royalty rates and loss of investor support, the internet streaming service known as Live365 is planning on ending service January 31, 2016.

In a statement to its participating broadcasters, the service stated:
Recently, the Copyright Royalty Board, the governing entity for establishing the sound recording royalty rates that are paid to copyright holders, has published the new rates for 2016-20. The previous provisions for small webcasters to opt for a percentage of revenue model were not renewed. The current provisions end at the end of 2015.  
The absence of this license will make legally streaming copyrighted musical content prohibitively expensive for many small to mid-sized Internet broadcasters. Live365 relies on this license for many of their broadcast partners and, as such, has hard decisions to make regarding their future in the streaming industry. 
Two weeks ago, Live365 faced an additional blow, losing the support of its investors who have helped the company with its mission for over a decade. The company was forced to significantly reduce staff and is now actively looking for partners to help continue the service into 2016.  
At this time, Live365 is planning to keep their stations active while getting the word out about this investment opportunity. With nearly two decades of Internet streaming experience and thousands of paying customers, this could be an ideal situation for a company looking to diversify into streaming audio. 
CEO N. Mark Lam has begun initial discussions with possible business partners as the company looks to new options in the new year. 
And from Dean Kattari, Director of Broadcasting for Live365:
"The true value of Live365 lies in it's diversity of content - it's a sanctuary where you can hear music and other content that it so unlike the template broadcasting that is heard on most terrestrial radio. These stations are the hard work of real human beings who use Live365 to share their vision with the world. It's a home for musical discovery because many of these stations play emerging artists that terrestrial stations are reluctant to take a chance on. It would be a great loss for this to all go away."

December 31 Radio History

In Dick Kollmar was born in Rigewood NJ.

He starred as Boston Blackie in the long-running radio show, and co-hosted a WOR New York chat show with his wife, gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen.  On TV he hosted the series Broadway Spotlight & Guess What.

He died Jan. 7 1971 from an overdose of pills, an apparent suicide at age 60.

In 1914...Roy Rogers’ sidekick Pat Brady was born in Toledo Ohio.

He appeared in more than 100 episodes of TV’s Roy Rogers Show, after hooking up with Roy in films & on radio.   He also sang with the western group Sons of the Pioneers.

He died in a motor vehicle accident Feb. 27 1972 at age 57.

In 1923...In London, the BBC first aired the chimes of Big Ben.

In 1923...the first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice occurred between Pittsburgh and Manchester, England.

In station KOMO signed on the air in Seattle at AM 980.  Today the longtime Fisher Broadcasting outlet has an all-news format at AM 1000.

In 1929...Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time during their first annual New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Roosevelt Grill in New York. The show was broadcast on the CBS Radio network and became the longest-running annual special program in radio history.

In 1940...ASCAP prevented the radio industry from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months. It was in reaction to a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers and Publishers.

In 1943...Country singer John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf. He died in a crash of an experimental plane he was piloting on Oct. 12, 1997 at 53.

In 1948...Disco diva Donna Summer was born. She died on May 17, 2012 at 63

In 1951...The "Wild Bill Hickok" TV series was replicated on radio following its success on television.

In 1961...for $300, LA radio station KFWB hired the Beach Boys, appearing under that name for the first time, to perform at their Ritchie Valen’s Memorial Dance in Long Beach.   Previously the group had played California nightclubs as The Pendletones, as Kenny and the Cadets, and as Carl and the Passions.

In 1963...the "Dear Abby Show" premiered on the CBS Radio network. It ran eleven years. On this day in 1966, "Pirate Radio 390" (Radio Invicata)an off-shore station near England, resumed broadcasting.

In 1970...Paul McCartney sued the other members of the Beatles for a legal dissolution of their "partnership." On the same day, the British magazine Melody Maker announced that the Beatles were looking for a new bass player. Four years to the day later, the four of them came to terms and made the separation final.

In 1972...TV producer Dick Clark initiated a new holiday tradition with "Three Dog Night's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on NBC. The headliners, along with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy, and Al Green, appeared in performances that had been pre-taped in the Grand Ballroom of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. Clark himself did not appear on the initial program. In 1973, he began hosting the special, its name shortened to "New Year's Rockin' Eve." The show moved to ABC-TV in 1974.

In 1982...the "CBS Mystery Theater" aired its final episode after 8 years on radio.

In 1982...the NBC Radio network cancelled practically all of it's daily features.

In 1985...Singer/actor Ricky Nelson, his fiancé Helen Blair, and five members of the Stone Canyon Band, died in the crash of his private DC-3 airplane (which was previously owned by Jerry Lee Lewis) near DeKalb, Texas, while en route to a concert appearance in Dallas. The pilot was attempting an emergency landing after a fire, caused by a malfunctioning gas heater, broke out on the plane. Nelson was 45.

In 1989...the final edit was added to the annual WLS Music Montage.

Every New Year's Eve, the "Top 89" songs of the year were counted down on WLS-AM (and FM). After the #1 song was played at about 4 minutes before Midnight, the radio station wished listeners a Happy New Year!

Then...this wonderful montage was played. Each year added about a minute of the previous top songs in Chicago. The montage originally started short, as you can guess, and ultimately ended up as this 27+ minute marathon.

After WLS-AM changed to all-talk in 1989, this montage was no longer heard in Chicago. But thanks to Scott Childers, this "rebuild" version can be heard exactly as it was played every year. Kudos to Scott for putting this together!

This is an appreciation to the production work that Scott, Tommy Edwards (the originator) and the production staff created over the years.

Thanks to Scott Childers for the permission to post this. Check out his site at

In 2013...Veteran talk radio personality (WOR, WABC, WMCA in New York, KABC, KNX in Los Angeles, WBBM-Chicago, WWDB-Philadelphia) Bob Grant died at the age of 84.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NY-VT Radio:WEQX Tower Rocked By Ice, Winds

Listeners of 102.7 WEQX 102.7 FM (licensed to Manchester VT) could only hear static over their car radios after an ice storm Tuesday snapped its tower and transmitter in half.

The station, which reaches the Albany NY Capital Region, continues to stream music online at and plans to install a temporary transmitter Thursday, Jeff Morad, programming director said.

Click Here to Listen

"We hope to be able to piece it together and put it back on full power in the next week," Morad told the Albany NY Times-Union.

The temporary transmitter will not have the range of the previous tower, but Morad said they are unsure exactly how powerful it will be.

The 75-foot tower crested the peak of the 3,855-foot Mount Equinox, allowing the station to broadcast from Kingston in Ulster County, N.Y., to Pittsfield, Mass., and Keene, N.H.

The location of the tower, however, means reaching it could be difficult.

The only road to the peak is closed for the winter, Morad said, and the station is considering using snowmobiles, a helicopter or other means to carry equipment up the mountain.

Tuesday was the first serious weather-related mishap in the tower's 31-year history, Morad said. He said a deer broke into a generator shaft last winter and chewed through some wires.

Tower repairs could cost around $10,000 plus labor, Morad said. The station has spoken to advertisers and has said it will make up ad time once the station comes back online.

WEQX 102.7 FM (1.25 Kw_ Red=Local Coverage
Fans seemed understanding of the plight.

Widespread Flooding Hits Midwest, Missouri

Valley Park, MO
By Mary Wisniewski

Rain-swollen rivers in the U.S. Midwest forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents, threatened crops and livestock and left scores of buildings underwater on Wednesday after days of extreme weather in which 24 people died.

Several major rivers, including the Mississippi, were expected to crest at or above record levels as flood waters rushed toward the Gulf of Mexico, the National Weather Service said.

Flooding has closed many roads and parts of Interstate 44, a major artery running from west Texas to St. Louis.


At least 24 people have died in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Oklahoma in flooding after days of downpours that brought as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain to some areas. Most of the deaths resulted from people driving into flooded areas.

In Eureka, Missouri, along the Meramec River, Mayor Kevin Coffey said a man was rescued from atop the cab of his pick-up truck after spending the night in a parking lot to watch over his gun shop business.

"This is 4 feet (1.2 meters) above the worst flood we ever had," Coffey said after helping to put sandbags around a school. "The town looks like one huge lake."

Historic floods on the Mississippi in 1993, 1995 and 2011 occurred during warm weather, after snow melts in the north. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski called it highly unusual to have heavy flooding in winter and said it could presage trouble for the spring.

"The gun may be loaded again for another major flooding event," said Sosnowski, who cited the El Nino weather pattern as the source of recent heavy rains. "You're not supposed to get this kind of heavy rainfall during the wintertime."

Agriculture experts said that water standing more than a week could kill the soft red winter wheat crop. Export premiums for corn and soybeans were at their highest levels in weeks because of stalled barge traffic on swollen rivers.

Union, MO


Livestock also has been hard hit. About 2,500 hogs drowned in an Illinois barn after a creek overflowed its banks, said Jennifer Tirey, a spokeswoman for the state's Pork Producers Association.

"There was no electricity and roads were impassable. It was just impossible to get to those pigs,” she said.

The U.S. flooding is occurring at the same time as historic El Nino-related flooding across northern England. The El Nino weather phenomenon tends to disturb global weather patterns as ocean water temperatures rise above normal across the central and eastern Pacific, near the equator.

Several major rivers, including the Mississippi, and tributaries in Missouri and Illinois were poised to crest at record or above-record levels, the National Weather Service said, but parts of the region were already inundated.

Flood warnings were issued from eastern Oklahoma into southeastern Kansas, southern Missouri, central Illinois and parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Florida panhandle.

While the rains have stopped for now, freezing weather is setting in, which will make the cleanup a miserable undertaking, Sosnowski said.

At the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, about 20 miles (32 km) north of St. Louis, residents of the towns West Alton and Arnold were told to evacuate on Tuesday. About 400 residents and businesses in the town of Pacific also have evacuated.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed a 5-mile (8 km) stretch of the Mississippi near St. Louis on Tuesday to all vessel traffic due to hazardous conditions.

The Mississippi River, the third longest river in North America, is expected to crest over the weekend at Thebes, Illinois, at 47.5 feet, more than a foot and a half (46 cm) above the 1995 record, according to the National Weather Service.

The severe weather has stranded tens of thousands of people during one of the busiest travel times of the year. More than 750 flights were canceled and 4,760 delayed as of mid-afternoon on Wednesday, according to

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles, Heide Brandes in Oklahoma City, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Theopolis Waters and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Trott, Toni Reinhold)

R.I.P.: Veteran Radio Executive Bob Lind Has Died

Bob Lind
The Capitol Broadcasting Company has announced the passing of  Robert J. (Bob) Lind.  The 62-year-old Lind died in his sleep on Monday, Dec. 28, leaving behind a legacy of service and dedication to the community.

Lind worked at Capitol Broadcasting Company for a little more than a decade in the radio divisions.  He joined CBC in 1986 as Vice President & General Manager of WWMX in Baltimore, which was owned by CBC at the time. In 1990, he became VP of the Radio Group, overseeing properties in Orlando, Richmond, and Raleigh while still managing the Baltimore operation. In 1992, Bob moved to Raleigh to head up WRAL-FM, continuing his radio group duties and other corporate responsibilities including CBC’s baseball operations.

Bob started Radiothons at both WWMX-FM in Baltimore and WRAL-FM in Raleigh. At the time he left CBC, both had raised more than $3 million for Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Duke Children’s Hospital.

He moved on from CBC in 1997 to become Vice President of Radiothons for Children’s Miracle Network. He went on to help Children’s Miracle Network expand to do Radiothons across the U.S. and Canada and even across the world. But he maintained a sense of pride in the fact that the WRAL-FM Radiothon continued to be one of the top radiothons for CMN.

“We talk about [WRAL-FM] all the time around the country,” he said in 2008. “People look at the number for Raleigh/Durham and ask, ‘Is this correct?’”  WRAL-FM continues to raise more than stations in much larger markets, being a part of the prestigious Million Dollar Club for raising more than $1M in a single year.

“I’m really proud of what they’ve done,” he said of MIX 101.5 in that same interview. “We raised $125,000 for the first few we did and we were thrilled, and it was great. Here we sit all these years later and the radio station’s relative size is about the same as it was then and yet look at what’s happening to these dollars.”

Philly Radio: WIP Extends Josh Innes

Josh Innes
Sportsradio WIP 94.1 FM has agreed to pick up an option on Josh Innes to keep him on-air during PM Drive in Philly.

“The Josh Innes Show lives on,” Innes tweeted out Tuesday night. “Thanks, everyone.”

Since taking over the afternoon slot on WIP back in February, Innes has been a ratings hit, despite replacing original co-host Tony Bruno with former Eagle Hollis Thomas and Spike Eskin, who also serves as the station’s program director.

Innes has beaten his chief competitor, WPEN 97.5 FM The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli, every month except December in the key men 25-54 demographic, and placed number one overall in both the Spring and Fall Ratings Book, quarterly measurements of a show’s popularity that usually determines a host’s bonus.

According to, there has been some speculation that  Innes’ tenure at WIP might be threatened with the departure of former operations manager Andy Bloom, who became victim of cutbacks at CBS Radio. But David Yadgaroff, senior vice president and market manager for CBS Philly, says he’s committed to Innes.

“Josh is part of the fabric of the station,” Yadgaroff said. “He’s one of the most compelling hosts we have on the radio, and no matter who we’ve paired him with in the afternoon, his ratings have been fantastic.”

WIP 94.1 FM (9.6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Innes was brought on board by WIP in January 2014 to take over the 6-10 p.m. slot vacated by Rob Ellis. Innes, who has previously hosted the afternoon drive spot at CBS station KILT in Houston, moved to WIP’s afternoon spot back in February.

Spotify Socked With $150M Lawsuit Over Royalties

Spotify was hit Monday with a lawsuit claiming at least $150 million in damages for unpaid royalties.

According to The Hill, the lawsuit, which asks to be treated as a class action, was filed by David Lowery, who performs with the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker and has long been a critic of music streaming services.

His lawsuit claims that Spotify has distributed music “without mechanical licenses in an egregious, continuous and ongoing campaign of deliberate copyright infringement.” Calling the alleged infringement “knowing and willful,” the lawsuit argues that the company streams music without tracking down the people who hold the copyright on the recording.

Lowery’s lawsuit also claims that Spotify maintains a fund “wherein the royalty payments Spotify wrongfully withholds from artists are held.” Billboard reported on Tuesday that such a fund exists and is worth between $17 million and $25 million.

"We are committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny,” said Spotify’s Jonathan Prince in a statement. “Unfortunately, especially in the United States, the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rightsholders is often missing, wrong, or incomplete. When rightsholders are not immediately clear, we set aside the royalties we owe until we are able to confirm their identities.”

The lawsuit claims class-action status, meaning Lowery would represent other people in a similar situation and the court would make a decision that would apply to all of them. The lawsuit hopes to encompass “owners of mechanical distribution and reproduction rights in musical compositions registered under United States federal law, which compositions were reproduced or distributed by Spotify without license or authorization since December 28, 2012.”

What Americans Were Talking About During 2015

Freddie Gray, gay marriage, Donald Trump and the Paris attacks. Those were among the biggest news topics of conversation for Americans on Twitter in 2015, according to an analysis by Echelon Insights, a research and intelligence firm.

The Washington Post reports the company looked at an estimated 459.9 million Twitter mentions to break down the biggest trending topics of the year, week by week. The chart shows how those topics varied over the year. Most of the topics were political, though the Pluto flyby, Caitlyn Jenner and "the dress" also made a prominent appearance.

Top Talk Topics By Political Audience

R.I.P.: DJ, Hit Producer Snuff Garrett

Snuff Garrett
You've probably heard some pop hit produced by Tommy "Snuff" Garrett, who died at his Tucson, Arizona home on December 16 at 77. He'd been battling cancer.

A Dallas, Texas native, Garrett, who worked as a Lubbock, Texas disc jockey and got to know Buddy Holly, who hung around KDAV radio in Lubbock. He got his nickname as a play on the Garrett brand of snuff.

Garrett also worked in radio in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he performed on-air stunts. On February 3, 1959, Garrett broadcast his own tribute show to Holly after he was killed (along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper) in a plane crash in Iowa.

In 1959, Garrett became a producer at Liberty Records in Hollywood. His first job as producer for the label was on Johnny Burnette's "Settin the Woods on Fire" on July 9, 1959. Among Garrett's roster of artists were Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, Gene McDaniels, Buddy Knox, Walter Brennan, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Del Shannon and later (after leaving Liberty) Cher and Sonny & Cher.

He was also responsible for hiring Phil Spector for a short period as an assistant producer for Liberty. Later Garrett had his own record labels, Snuff Garrett Records and Viva Records.

With Cher
Between 1961 and 1969 he released a series of instrumental albums, featuring solo guitar work by Tommy Tedesco, on Liberty Records by "The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett", six of which appeared on Billboard Top LPs chart.

Many of Garrett's hit singles came from songs by the Brill Building songwriters in New York City. One of his assistants was future recording star Leon Russell. Garrett was invited early on to produce the Monkees, but a test session did not go well, with the Monkees preferring to work with Boyce and Hart, writers of "Last Train to Clarksville" and the Monkees's theme song.

In addition to his string of hits with Sonny & Cher for Kapp Records and MCA Records in the 1970s, Garrett also produced Vicki Lawrence's "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" for Bell Records (a song written by Lawrence's then-husband Bobby Russell), and Tanya Tucker's "Lizzie and the Rainman" for MCA. Other artists produced by Garrett in the 1970s included Brenda Lee and "singing cowboy" Roy Rogers.

Garrett worked regularly with the Johnny Mann Singers and the Ron Hicklin Singers on many projects, and was responsible for the new sound of The Ray Conniff Singers in the early 1970s (which employed the Hicklin Singers), producing two albums with Conniff. Garrett also produced several tracks by Nancy Sinatra in the mid-1970s that were issued by Private Stock Records. In 1976, Garrett set up a sublabel of Casablanca Records, Casablanca West.  The label released just one album and two singles before folding. In 1978, Garrett produced the country-oriented soundtrack of Clint Eastwood's Every Which Way but Loose, which appeared on Garrett's latter-day label, Viva Records.

December 30 Radio History

 In 1911..actress Jeanette Nolan was born in Los Angeles.

She made her radio debut in 1932 in “Omar Khayyam”, the first transcontinental broadcast from station KHJ.  She was a regular on the cream of the west coast radio dramas, including “One Man’s Family,” “Escape,” “Suspense,” “Cavalcade of America,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Adventures of Sam Spade” and “The Whistler.” She appeared in more than 300 television shows, including episode roles in “Perry Mason”, “I Spy”, “MacGyver”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, and as a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” and “The Virginian”. She received four Emmy nominations.

Nolan died following a stroke June 5 1998 at age 86.

Bert Parks
In & TV host Bert Parks was born in Atlanta.  As well as the Miss America pageant, he hosted the  game shows Break the Bank & Stop the Music on radio & TV, and for television alone, The Big Payoff, Double or Nothing, Hold that Note, and Party Line.  He did a series of cameos on TV sitcoms (he was Herb Tarlek’s Dad on WKRP.)

Parks died of lung cancer Feb. 2 1992 at age 77.

In 1917...actress Nancy Coleman was born in Everett Washington.  She started in radio & the stage in New York, then was brought to Hollywood to make movies for Warner Bros.  In the 50’s she switched to guest spots in TV shows such as Tales of Tomorrow, Star Tonight & the Adams Chronicles, and became a regular on soaps Valiant Lady & Edge of Night.

Nancy died Jan. 18 2000 at age 82.

In 1936...The famous radio feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen began. After a 10-year-old performer finished a violin solo on "The Fred Allen Show," Allen said, "A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing." It didn't take long for Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted ten weeks on both comedian's radio shows, and gave them material they continued using over the next 20 years.

In 1942...the radio program, "Mr. and Mrs. North", began it's run on the NBC Radio network.

In 1942...Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a four-week engagement, but turned into eight weeks because of its popularity. Police were called to help curb the excitement among the screaming teenage girls known as bobbysoxers -- a phenomenon not seen before for a pop singer

In 1943...Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was born.

In 1945...Singer Davy Jones, "the cute one" on TV's The Monkees, was born. He died February 29, 2012 at 66.

In 1950...At the National Studios in New York City, the Dominoes, a group that included Billy Ward and Clyde McPhatter, recorded the sexually suggestive novelty song "Sixty Minute Man," with Bill Brown taking the lead vocal. In the spring of 1951, despite being banned by many U.S. radio stations, the record rose to #1 on the R&B charts, where it remained for 14 weeks.

In 1962...Radio/TV talker Sean Hannity was born.

In 2005...Longtime Seattle radio disc jockey (KOL, KJR) Lan Roberts died of lung cancer at 69.

Lan Roberts
During the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts was a high-profile presenter with KJR in Seattle. Like many of the local DJs of the time, he left KJR for rival top 40 station KOL in a late 60s talent raid and returned to KJR in the early 70s.   He was known primarily for comedic skits and gags, working the coveted morning drive shift from 6:00am until 10:00am on weekdays. Lan Roberts was a master of voices and surrounded the top 40 hits of KJR with odd characters with names like Phil Dirt and The Hollywood Reporter. Roberts would carry on spirited conversations between his regular on-air voice and the characters. The Hollywood Reporter (no other name was given) would always begin a report on celebrity gossip in a lisping, snide, mocking voice "This is The Hollywood Reporter," and then continue with a totally bogus report. His career also included spells in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Taipei and San Francisco.

Later in life, Roberts returned to live in his old home town and worked as a radio consultant. He gained a new following by sharing his Liberal political views on his website. In the last ten years of his life he suffered from lung cancer, and urged visitors to his site not to smoke.  In addition, he used his internet presence to chastize the corporate mentality and lack of creativity in the modern broadcast industry.

In 2014...Scotty Rhodarmer did his last show on WWNC 570 AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Rhodarmer did the morning show for 50 years beginning in 1954.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NH Paper Likens Donald Trump To Biff Tannen

The main story on the New Hampshire Union-Leader's front page on Monday compared Donald Trump to Biff Tannen, the villain from the "Back to the Future" movies.

The Hill reports the op-ed written by the newspaper's leader slammed Trump as an “insult to the intelligence of Republican voters." It included pictures of Trump and the movie character Tannen.

“Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds,” Union-Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid writes.

“He reminds us of the grownup bully 'Biff' in the 'Back to the Future' movie series.”

The Union-Leader last month endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ahead of the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary. Trump, however, is well ahead of Christie and the rest of the GOP field in New Hampshire polls.

"Back to the Future" screenwriter Bob Gale revealed in an October interview with The Daily Beast that Biff — Marty McFly's arch nemesis — was indeed inspired by Trump, reports CNN.

In a phone interview with WMUR, Trump slammed McQuaid, calling him a "bad guy" and "a real lowlife— there's no question about it"

"Joe McQuaid wanted me to do his debate desperately. He called me practically begging to do the debate. the debate turned out to be a total farce and a joke ... very few people attended," Trump told WMUR, referring to the August Republican forum, which was co-sponsored by the Union Leader. "I knew that when I didn't do the debate he would take action against me ... The paper is failing, he's doing a terrible job."

Boston Radio: Official..Tim Neverett New Radio Voice For MLB Red Sox

Tim Neverett
Culminating a three-month national search, WEEI 93.7 FM has named Tim Neverett as the new play-by-play host for Boston Red Sox radio broadcasts.

Neverett won the job after more than 200 candidates were evaluated for what is considered to be among the most prestigious positions in sports broadcasting. In the booth, he’ll sit beside Red Sox Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Joe Castiglione, who’s been part of the broadcast team since 1983.

Neverett joins WEEI after spending the last seven seasons as a radio and television play-by-play host for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to joining the National League club, Neverett spent four years at FSN Rocky Mountain where he broadcast college football, hockey and lacrosse as well as Colorado Rockies games. Neverett’s lengthy resume also includes assignments calling various competitions for the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Olympic Games.

He spent a decade broadcasting Triple-A games for the Padres and Dodgers affiliates in Las Vegas and began his career calling radio play-by-play of the Nashua (N.H.) Pirates at the age of 19. Neverett attended Nashua High School and is a 1988 graduate of Emerson College in Boston where he lettered in baseball for four seasons.

For Neverett, it’s nothing less than a professional dream come true.

“I remember my first game at Fenway when I was six years old,” he said. “I can’t wait for my next one!”

Neverett will replace Dave O’Brien, who last summer announced he was leaving the radio broadcasts after eight seasons to anchor Red Sox telecasts on the New England Sports Network. Like O’Brien, Neverett has deep local roots and said, “For a kid who grew up in New England cheering for the Red Sox, this is an extremely rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

WEEI 93.7 FM (34 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
He’ll begin his duties in February with WEEI’s coverage of spring training from Ft. Myers, FL.

Neverett’s new booth partner Joe Castiglione says he’s thrilled with the choice.

“I am excited about having Tim join our broadcast team,” he said. “I have admired his work with the Pirates and am certain with his experience, New England roots and lifelong knowledge of the Red Sox, it will be a seamless transition to our broadcasts.”

In addition to his play-by-play duties, Neverett will be a frequent guest on WEEI talk shows throughout the year and a regular contributor to Boston Red Sox games are broadcast locally in Boston on WEEI 93.7FM and across New England on over 60 AM and FM radio stations via the WEEI Sports Radio Network.

With Comcast's Backing, Telemundo Ready To Compete

The nation's cable giant Comcast,  with tentacles all over the media landscape, is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to take on the No. 1 Spanish-language network, Univision, by developing faster-paced Americanized dramas, locking up the TV rights to World Cup Soccer into the 2020s, and launching live local newscasts in big TV markets, according to

The winner of this pitched TV battle for eyeballs will gain the largest access to a fast-growing Hispanic market that is expected to account for 40 percent of the U.S. household formations over the next decade and grow to 77 million Hispanics by 2030 from today's 57 million.

"Comcast isn't investing into Telemundo because they love Mexicans," said Alex Nogales, CEO of the advocacy group National Hispanic Media Coalition. "They are doing it because it was a great business proposition."

Added Nogales: "Telemundo has been the stepchild of Hispanic media for many years. Now they have a big sugar daddy and they can compete."

The results have been impressive so far: Telemundo has narrowed Univision's 2.4 million prime-time viewer lead in 2011 to 923,000 viewers this year, according to Nielsen figures provided by Telemundo. This is for weekdays.

The Nielsen numbers also show that Univision's average weekday prime-time audience has fallen to 2.6 million viewers this year from 3.7 million in 2011, which partly reflects the broad declines in TV viewership across the industry.

Telemundo's prime-time audience, moreover, grew to 1.7 million from 1.3 million over the same period. Telemundo officials believe they are taking Hispanic market share from rival Univision.

Felix Gutierrez, professor emeritus at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, said that Telemundo appears to have found a niche by producing Americanized shows that connect with Hispanics instead of importing telenovelas from Mexico.

Univision spokeswoman Esther Tejeda said Univision remains popular with audiences and beats the English-language networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox on some nights. One recent Saturday, she said, "Univision ranked as the No. 3 network," beating NBC and Fox.

Syracuse NY Radio: Morning Host Assaulted Helping Homeless Man

Joe Grosvent
A WKRL 100.9 FM K-Rock morning host was assaulted after trying to help a homeless person who was being harassed near a pub on Christmas, according to the Syracuse Police Department.

KROCK's Joe Grosvent and a friend were walking home from the pub around 11:30 p.m. when they saw a group of five men harassing a homeless person, according to

Police say Grosvent and his friend confronted the group and got them to stop, only to run into them a short time later a few blocks away.

According to police, the five men pulled up in a white BMW and began to shout at Grosvent and his friend. The two victims then began knocking on the windows of the car.

That is when, police say, a fight broke out between the two groups. After the fight, the victims walked to a friend's house and stayed the night.

The next morning, Grosvent and his friend went to the hospital and were treated for the injuries. However, the police were not called until Sunday when the victims were able to talk, according to police.

Report: Sixty-Nine Journalists Murdered In 2015

Sixty-nine journalists were killed around the world on the job in 2015. Twenty-eight of them were slain by Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The New York-based organization says Syria again was the deadliest place for journalists, though the number of deaths there in 2015 — 13 — was lower than in previous years of the conflict.

"These journalists are the most vulnerable," Joel Simon, the committee's executive director said of reporters and broadcasters working in Syria and other areas inundated with Islamic extremists. "This is, clearly based on the data, an incredible risk for journalists."

ABC News reports those killed by Islamic extremist groups this year included eight journalists killed in an attack in Paris in January at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack in which two gunmen massacred 12 people. They said it was in "revenge for the prophet."

While some of the deaths were among reporters covering conflict zones, journalists in several countries also were killed after reporting on sensitive subjects. At least 28 of the reporters who were killed had received threats before their deaths, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

In Brazil, Gleydson Carvalho, a radio broadcaster who often criticized local police and politicians for purported wrongdoing, was shot and killed while presenting his afternoon radio show in August. The committee tracked six killings in Brazil this year — the highest it has recorded there.

Among the 69 journalists killed were reporter Alison Parker and videojournalist Adam Ward, of Roanoke, Virginia, TV station WDBJ, who were fatally shot in August by former co-worker Vester Lee Flanagan II during a live broadcast. Their interview subject, Vicki Gardner, was wounded. Flanagan fatally shot himself five hours later after a police chase.

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R.I.P.: Lemmy Kilmister, Frontman For Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister
(Reuters) -- Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, the hard-living, hell-raising frontman of British heavy metal band Motorhead, has died at age 70 after recently being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, the band said on its Facebook page on Monday.

With his trademark moles framed by dark muttonchops, the bassist and vocalist cut an unmistakable figure on stage as he craned his neck to the microphone, growling out hits like "Ace of Spades" with a throat he said he fed for decades with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey a day.

"The thing about hangovers is, you have to stop to get one," Lemmy liked to say.

A notorious amphetamine user, he once claimed to have stayed up for two weeks non-stop, but the hard living eventually took its toll and he struggled with his health in recent years.

After cutting his teeth in beat bands in the 1960s, he spent time as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix before his first taste of stardom with British space rockers Hawkwind, singing the band's biggest hit, biker anthem Silver Machine, in 1972.

During his stint in the band, Lemmy's pummeling bass lines became a stock-in-trade and provided the backbone of the ear-splitting Motorhead, which he formed in 1975 after being thrown out of Hawkwind following a drug bust in Canada.

After a bumpy start and lineup changes, the trio of Lemmy, guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, tore through a string of albums that fed off the energy of punk rock and laid the foundations for thrash metal.

Between early 1979 and late 1980, "Overkill," "Bomber" and "Ace of Spades" sent the band racing toward the upper reaches of the British album charts. In 1981, Motorhead finally hit No. 1 with its live classic, "No Sleep 'til Hammersmith."

Lemmy, who was born in England in 1945, lived in Los Angeles, near the Sunset Strip, for decades and was controversial for his collection of Nazi memorabilia.

The band's classic line-up broke up in 1982, and Motorhead would record 22 studio albums in total.

December 29 Radio History

In 1891...Thomas A. Edison patented "transmission of signals electrically" (radio).

Wendell Niles, Marilyn Monroe 1952
In of the prominent announcers of bigtime radio & early TV Wendell Niles was born in Twin Valley Minnesota.

On radio he worked on The Bob Hope Show, Adventures of Philip Marlowe & The Man Called X, among many others.  He teamed with Steve Allen & June Foray on a mid-40’s Mutual quarter-hour ‘Smile Time’.  His TV credits include Truth or Consequences, Let’s Make a Deal, Colgate Comedy Hour & It Could Be You.

He died March 28 1994 at age 89.

In 1945...Sheb Wooley recorded four songs for Bullet Records at the studios of WSM Radio, the first commercial recordings made in Nashville.

In 1945...The mystery voice of "Mr. Hush" was introduced to the audience of the radio show, "Truth or Consequences", which was hosted by Ralph Edwards.

Ralph Edwards
Born in Merino, Colorado,  Edwards worked for KROW Radio in Oakland, California while he was still in high school.  Before graduating from high school in 1931, he worked his way through college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1935. While there, he worked at every job from janitor to producer at Oakland's KTAB, now KSFO. Failing to get a job as a high school teacher, he worked at KFRC and then hitchhiked across the country to New York, where, he said, "I ate ten-cent ($2 as of 2014),  meals and slept on park benches".

After some part-time announcing jobs, he got his big break in 1938 with a full-time job for the Columbia Broadcasting System on WABC (now WCBS), where he worked with two other young announcers who would become broadcasting fixtures - Mel Allen and Andre Baruch.

It was Edwards who introduced Major Bowes every week on the Original Amateur Hour and Fred Allen on Town Hall Tonight. Edwards perfected a chuckling delivery, sounding as though he was in the midst of telling a very funny story. This "laugh in the voice" technique served him well when 20th Century Fox hired him to narrate the coming-attractions trailers for Laurel and Hardy movies. He later used the conspiratorial chuckle frequently when surprising someone on his programs.

In 1940, Edwards created the game show Truth or Consequences, which aired for 38 years on radio and television. Contestants were asked to perform (often ridiculous) stunts for prizes of cash or merchandise.

In 1958...the first radio broadcast from space occurred when the voice of President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men Everywhere".

In 1963...WMCA 570 AM first station in New York to Play “I Want to Hold Your Hand " at 12:50 PM.  Across town, 77 WABC plays the song an hour later.

Throughout the 1960s, WMCA would continue to beat other radio stations on most Beatles' promotions, scoring firsts, causing headaches in particular for rival WABC - most notably when Capitol Records printed a photograph of the "Good Guys" line-up - on the back of a limited edition record sleeve for the single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Side 2: "I Saw Her Standing There"). WMCA's Good Guys were also featured at both of the Beatles' concerts at Shea Stadium, on August 15, 1965 and on August 23, 1966.

WMCA Good Guys: Johnny Dark, Joe O'Brien, Jack Spector, B. Mitchel Reed. Harry Harrison
WABC responded in different ways, scoring a success during the Beatles' second New York visit in August 1964 - when the band stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, rousing thousands of teenage fans into a frenzy - while broadcasting from one floor above the Beatles' rooms.  WABC later went against its own music policies, promising promoter Sid Bernstein that it would play a new group he was handling before any other New York City radio station - if it could get exclusive access to the Beatles. WABC never added records "out of the box" - but it did for Sid Bernstein when it played The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Going To Eat Out My Heart Anymore" - before other radio stations.

Since WABC knew WMCA already had a relationship with the Beatles, with tapes of the group promoting the station - what could WABC do to achieve the same? In August 1965, WABC came up with what it thought was a brilliant idea - issuing "medals" called "The Order of the All-Americans" - tied to its own DJs.  The strategy was to present the medals to each of the Beatles the next time they were in New York. Everything was set. The goal was to get each Beatle to comment on the "medal" - and then to get each to say the station's call letters, "W-A-B-C." These in turn could be used in station IDs and promotions, etc. - thus matching WMCA's success at getting the Beatles to promote WMCA and its Good Guys. But WABC's plan backfired. The station got its interviews, but none of the band's members would utter WABC's call letters. According to Beatles' historian Bruce Spizer, manager Brian Epstein ordered the Beatles to stop "giving away valuable promotional spots to radio stations for free."

In 1980...the Mutual Broadcasting Service cancelled the "Sears Radio Theater" program.

In 1985...Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator hosted a special program called the "Citizens’ Summit" via satellite Television.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Nielsen Expects Classic Radio Christmas

Just like an old-fashion Nor'easter produces substantial snow depths, Christmas music stations can expect the upcoming "Holiday" survey to provide substantial ratings.

Nieklsen reports the December PPM's, which covered BNovember 5 through December 2, 2015, gives a peek into what the impact of holiday music on the radio will look like this season. And it’s no surprise that several of the formats that tend to see ratings surge the most during the holidays are once again rising in the ranks based on the December data.

The appetite for holiday music powered by radio stations that flip to an “All-Christmas” format at the end of the year is showing no signs of slowing down. Last year, 529 stations across the U.S. went “All-Christmas,” setting a record for the most stations ever to do so. So far in 2015, that trend appears to be keeping pace, with nearly 70% of the Nielsen-monitored holiday music stations making the change before the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

Adult Contemporary (AC), historically the leader of the “All-Christmas” pack, followed up a strong November showing by jumping a full share-point in December, going from 7.6% to 8.6% among listeners age 6 and older. This puts the format just slightly ahead of last December’s pace (8.5% in 2014) and is the best December result since 2012. All of this sets AC up to have another highly successful holiday book, building on last year’s success.

Sister format Hot AC also capitalized on a strong November and kept the momentum going this month, posting its best December ever in PPM measurement across all three of the demographics Nielsen analyzed. Furthermore, Hot AC’s share with both 18-34 and 25-54 year-old listeners this month ties the all-time highs established earlier this year. Suffice to say, it’s been a very good year for HotAC, and it looks like it will end 2015 with a bang.

the real stars behind the ratings success of Christmas on the radio are the songs themselves report Nielsen.. Once again in 2015, the timeless appeal of classic holiday music continues to resonate, regardless of station or market.

Across the country, these were the most played Christmas songs during the December survey.

Most-Played Christmas Songs During December 2015 PPM Survey Period