Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 22 In Radio History

In 1922...WLW Signs-On Cincinnati, OH

In July 1921, radio manufacturer Powel Crosley Jr. began 20-watt tests from his College Hill home, broadcasting "Song of India" continuously under the callsign 8CR. Powell already owned a number of enterprises, including the Crosmobile and a refrigerator-freezer company, and for many years, he held ownership of the Cincinnati Reds baseball club. Powell was innovative, personally inventing or funding the development of many then–cutting edge technological advances in his ventures which he placed in the able hands of his younger by two years brother, Lewis Crosley who was a graduate engineer from the University of Cincinnati.

On March 22, 1922, Crosley and his Crosley Broadcasting Corporation began broadcasting with the new callsign WLW and 50 watts of power. Crosley was a fanatic about the new broadcasting technology, and continually increased his station's capability. The power went up to 500 watts in September 1922, 1000 watts in May 1924, and in January 1925 WLW was the first broadcasting station at the 5000 watt level. On October 4, 1928, the station increased its power to 50 kilowatts.

Again it was the first station at this power level, which still is the maximum power currently allowed for any AM station in the United States.

At 50 kilowatts, WLW was heard easily over a wide area, from New York to Florida. But Crosley still wasn't satisfied. In 1933 he obtained a construction permit from the Federal Radio Commission for a 500 kilowatt superstation, and he spent some $500,000 ($9.11 million in 2014) building the transmitter and antenna.

It was the first large amplifier used in the United States for public domestic radio broadcasting and was in operation between 1934 and 1939. It was an experimental amplifier and was driven by the radio station's regular 50 kW transmitter. It operated in class C with high-level plate modulation. The amplifier required a dedicated 33 kV electrical substation and a large pond complete with fountains for cooling. It operated with a power input of about 750 kW (plus another 400 kW of audio for the modulator) and its output was 500 kW.

In January 1934 WLW began broadcasting at the 500 kilowatt level late at night under the experimental callsign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500 kilowatts during regular hours under the WLW call letters.

On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a ceremonial button that officially launched WLW's 500-kilowatt signal. As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received repeated complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was overpowering other stations as far away as Toronto. In December 1934 WLW cut back to 50 kilowatts at night to mitigate the interference, and began construction of three 50 ft. tower antennas to be used to reduce signal strength towards Canada.

With these three antennas in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935. However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months, and each renewal brought complaints about interference and undue domination of the market by such a high-power station. The FCC was having second thoughts about permitting extremely wide-area broadcasting versus more locally oriented stations, and in 1938, the US Senate adopted the "Wheeler" resolution, expressing it to be the sense of that body that more stations with power in excess of 50 kilowatts are against the public interest.

As a result, in 1939 the 500-kilowatt broadcast authorization was not renewed, bringing an end to the era of the AM radio superstation. Because of the impending war and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942. In 1962 the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation again applied for a permit to operate at 750 kilowatts, but the FCC denied the application.

In 1929...KIT-AM in Yakima WA signed-on.

KIT-AM was originally licensed to Portland, Oregon, but the station's original owner, Carl E. Haymond, decided, since Yakima had no radio station, that moving the station there would be more advantageous in regards to serving the community and in generating station operating revenue. KIT began broadcasting on 1310 kHz with 500 watts, but later switched to its present frequency of 1280 kHz so it could increase power.

In 1948...The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.

Sample of show from May 1948:

The Voice of Firestone is a long-running radio and television program of classical music. The show featured leading singers in selections from opera and operetta. Originally titled The Firestone Hour, it was first broadcast on the NBC Radio network on December 3, 1928 and was later also shown on television starting in 1949. The program was last broadcast in 1963

Firestone's 25th anniversary program was broadcast November 30, 1953, and it was heard on radio until 1956.

In 1999...WNJR changed format to Adult Standards. Call sign today is WNSW.  The change was made in repsonse to WQEW-FM becoming Radio Disney. Because of the station's limited coverage area, the Adult Standards were not a big hit and by mid-2000, the format was eventually eliminated as more ethnic programming began to fill in the hours. The format officially ended on February 28, 2001 with the playing of Frank Sinatra's, "Softly As I Leave You."

In 2008…Disc jockey (WKBW, WMEX, CHUM, KFI, KTNQ, WKBW, WIXY, WKYC, WAYS) Jack(son) Armstrong died of injuries suffered in a fall at his home at age 62. His last gig was at WWKB, Buffalo in 2006

In 2011…Radio-television personality (KTLK-Denver, KQV-Pittsburgh, WJAS-Pittsburgh) "Big" Steve Rizen died at the age of 75.

March 21 In Radio History

In 1921...Walter Kerr Theater opened at 223 W 48th St NYC.  It was operated by ABC as a radio and then television studio between 1943 and 1965.

In 1922...KGW-AM, Portland, Oregon began broadcasting.

The Oregonian newspaper created KGW-AM (now Sports KPOJ 620 AM RipCity, owned by iHeartMedia) by purchasing an existing transmitter from the Shipowners Radio Service. The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed the station, and it began broadcasting on March 21, 1922

The studio was housed on the 11th floor of The Oregonian Building Tower at Sixth & Alder Streets. The transmitter was located on the 13th floor. The antenna consisted of a 70-foot, four-wire inverted "L"-type flattop, suspended between a 60-foot mast on top of the building and a 95-foot tower on the nearby Northwestern Bank Building.

R.G. Calvert supervised the operation and Richard “Dick” Haller was the program director. Their aim was to give their listeners news fresh from the press with the best music and outstanding speakers. KGW’s early announcers and writers were usually former newspaper employees, and the first engineers and technicians came from the ranks of former maritime wireless radio operators.

When the station first went on the air, 5,000 radio sets were said to have tuned in. Speakers included The Oregonian’s Editor, Edgar Piper and Mayor George Baker. There was also an opera singer, a novelist and a live musical presentation. Dick Haller became known as KGW’s “Million-Dollar Voice” and his broadcasts were very popular. He would go on to a successful career with NBC in San Francisco.

As an early radio station experiencing tremendous popularity, KGW implemented many innovative new broadcasting ideas. KGW set itself apart from the other stations by having the first radio variety show in the nation, the first audience participation show, the first quiz program, the first library program, the first radio debate, the first in-school listening program and the first singing commercial. In 1925, on-air advertising became a source of KGW’s operating revenue. KGW produced the first-ever singing commercial for Sears, Roebuck and Company in the late 1920s.

KGW was the first station in Oregon to affiliate with a national broadcasting service when they carried the inaugural program of the National Broadcasting Company’s Orange Network on April 5, 1927. The Orange Network was known as the NBC Pacific Coast Network.

The nationally famous Hoot Owls, officially known as "The Order of Hoot Owls Roosting in the Oregonian Tower" aired from 1923 to 1933 as a 2-1/2 hour variety show that was broadcast to over one million listeners. Their slogan soon became "Keep Growing Wiser," whose initial letters represented the KGW call letters.

One of the performers on the Hoot Owls program, Mel Blanc, achieved fame as the author of cartoon characterization in later years in Hollywood where he became the nation’s voice for cartoon characters such as Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Blanc, who received his high school education in Portland, joined the program in 1927. Nicknamed "The Grand Snicker" on the Hoot Owls, Blanc became well known for his comedy, as well as his skills as a storyteller, ad-libber, musician, vocalist, and, later, orchestra pit conductor.

Blanc left KGW in 1933 and moved down the hall to perform on sister station KEX in the popular "Cobwebs and Nuts" program, before moving to Hollywood in 1935.

In 1924...WJZ-AM, New York City, became the first station to broadcast a foreign language course.

The WJZ callsign was first used on what is now WABC in New York City. The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, located originally in Newark, New Jersey. WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York, and in 1926 WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network. In the 1929 movie The Cocoanuts the station was name-checked by Chico Marx in a sequence of running gags between Chico and Groucho: Chico uses the station's call-sign as the punchline of a punning joke based on his confusion over the meaning of the word "radius", which he confuses with 'radios', leading to the mention of the station's call-sign. NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942. ABC later established WJZ-FM and WJZ-TV at the same time in 1948.

In 1953 ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, and changed the call letters of their New York area stations to WABC, WABC-FM (now WPLJ) and WABC-TV. Four years later, Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired Baltimore television station WAAM (channel 13) and changed its call letters to WJZ-TV, which remained an ABC affiliate until 1995 when the station switched to CBS.

In 1939…Kate Smith recorded "God Bless America," a 1918 Irving Berlin composition that he had revised and she had introduced on her radio show in November 1938.

In 1948..."Stop the Music" debuted on the ABC Radio Network starring Bert Parks.

In 1952...Alan Freed hosts first rock concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, at the Cleveland Arena.

At the time, its most remarkable feature was its mix of black and white musical performers, in a revue intended for a racially mixed audience, at a time when almost all performances, radio stations and record labels were de facto segregated by race. One popular belief is that this fact predisposed the authorities to seek reasons to limit or bar the show.

The concert was organized by Alan Freed (a disc jockey considered to have coined the term "Rock and Roll" at WJW-Radio), along with Lew Platt, a local concert promoter, and Freed's sponsors, including Leo Mintz, owner of the Record Rendezvous store. More tickets were printed than the arena's actual capacity, in part due to counterfeiting, and a printing error (tickets for a follow-up ball were sold with the same date printed after the first had sold out). With an estimated 20,000 individuals trying to crowd into an arena that held slightly more than half that — and worries that a riot might break out as people tried to crowd in — the fire authorities shut down the concert after the first song by opening act Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams ended. Freed made a public apology on WJW the next day.

Cleveland rock radio station WMMS 100.7 FM attempted to stage a revival of the concert in 1986 under the name "Moondog Coronation Ball II"; then-program director John Gorman had intended for the event to serve as an oldies rock and roll tribute concert – part of the campaign to bring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland. For legal reasons, the event never materialized.

A few years later in 1992, Gorman, then at local oldies radio station WMJI 105.7 FM, successfully organized a 40th anniversary concert called "Moondog Coronation Ball '92". The concert has been held every year since, featuring oldies rock and roll acts, and sponsored by WMJI. In recent years, the event has been held at Quicken Loans Arena.

In 1995…The TV sitcom "NewsRadio," starring Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Khandi Alexander, and Phil Hartman, began its five-season run on NBC.

In 1995...the city of New York sold the two Radio stations it owned: WNYC AM and FM.

WNYC is one of the oldest radio stations in the United States. Funds for the establishment of the station were approved on June 2, 1922 by the New York City Board of Estimate and Apportionment. WNYC made its first official broadcast two years later on July 8, 1924, at 570 AM with a second-hand transmitter shipped from Brazil. With the commencement of WNYC's operations, the City of New York became one of the first American municipalities to be directly involved in broadcasting.

In 1928 WNYC was forced into a time-sharing arrangement on 570 AM with WMCA, another pioneering New York radio outlet. This situation lasted until 1931, when the Federal Radio Commission (a forerunner to today's FCC) moved WNYC to 810 AM. The frequency move did not help WNYC from an operational standpoint as it now shared its frequency with the more-powerful WCCO in Minneapolis, over 1,200 miles to the west. WNYC was now limited to daytime-only operations, broadcasting from sunrise to sunset.

Shortly after assuming the mayoralty in 1994, Rudolph W. Giuliani announced he was considering selling the WNYC stations. Giuliani believed that broadcasting was no longer essential as a municipal entity, and that any financial compensation would be used to help the City cover budget shortfalls. The final decision was made in March 1995: While the City opted to divest WNYC-TV (now WPXN-TV) through a blind auction, WNYC-AM-FM was sold to the WNYC Foundation for $20 million over a six-year period–far less than what the stations could have been sold for if they were placed on the open market.

While this potential sale put an end to the occasional political intrusions of the past, it required the WNYC Foundation to embark on a major appeal towards listeners, other foundations, and private benefactors. The station's audience and budget have since continued to grow since the split from the City.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Nielsen: Top Formats Changing With Seasons

..To everything, there is a season..and that goes for radio too.

While “deflate-gate” ruled the headlines last month and pushed the All Sports format to new highs, tune-in fell back earth in February. And while the onslaught of winter weather spiked January listenership among the News/Talk and All News formats in January, particularly in Northeast markets, February listening to these formats remained robust.

According to figures release by Nielsen, Sports radio as a whole fell a full share point to 4.1% among audiences 6 and older as the NFL season moved into the rearview mirror. Meanwhile on the news front, both News/Talk (9.2% in February, up from 9.0% the month prior) and All News (3.0%, flat from January) remained at high levels as the winter-that-wouldn’t leave continues to linger.

On the music dial, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) is consistently one of America’s most listened-to formats. As such, it rarely warrants deep analysis given it’s month-in and month-out listenership. CHR usually ranks No. 1 among listeners aged 18-34 and 25-54 across PPM markets, and did so again in February. What stood out to Nielsen  in February, however, was the growth since the holiday book. Specifically, the format added nearly a full share-point (7.6% to 8.5% among listeners 6+) in the past two months and tied its all-time best share among 25-54 year-olds—9.2%, a percent last seen in in February and June of 2014.

Rock radio also had something to write home about in February. Classic Rock set a new all-time high with a 5.1% share among audiences 6+. The format also broke records for 18-34 share (4.4%) and matched the record for listeners 25-54 (5.6%), which was first set in July of 2014. The format has seen steady growth among 18-34 year-old listeners over the past year, and is now consistently the second-most popular rock format with that audience behind Alternative, which also had a good February. Alternative tied its own all-time best mark for audiences 6+ (3.0%). This is worth noting because the format hasn’t been at this level in four years. February 2011 was the last time Alternative hit a 3-share.

And finally, Nielsen's monthly check-in on Country reveals another mixed bag for a format that has been in the headlines as it looks to recapture the explosive growth of the last two years. Overall, February 2015 was a generally flat month for America’s No. 1 format, trending up just slightly 7.5%-7.6% among listeners aged 6 and older from January, down 8.6%-8.4% among 18-34 year-old audiences, and 7.5%-7.4% among 25-to-54 year-olds. As reported last month, the main storyline with Country is listening among the 18-34 demo, which peaked last summer before starting a steady decline. February’s 8.4% is the lowest non-holiday-book 18-34 result for the format since December of 2012.

The table below trends the PPM-market results for more than a dozen major formats among audiences 6 and older since the Holiday 2014 book. Four formats (Hot AC, Classic Rock, Urban Contemporary and Alternative) all set or tied records for their best results in PPM measurement this month, as noted by the (*) symbol.

Click To Enlarge

Milwaukee Radio: Country WMIL Back On Top

After a couple of months in which Christmas music and other forces pulled down its numbers,WMIL 106.1 FM has climbed back to No. 1 in the overall ratings, with a 10.7 share (6+ AQH Total Week) of the overall radio audience in February.

WTMJ 620 AM, which led the overall ratings in January with a 10.9 share, held its own with a 10.3 share in the ratings period, which ran from Jan. 29 through Feb. 25, according to Nielsen. reports Country standard-bearer WMIL steadily regained its share of the Milwaukee listening audience, after pulling in an 8.8 share during the holiday rating period and a 9.8 share in January.

WISN 1130AM came in third in the overall ratings with a 6.5 share, a big jump from the 4.9 share the station had the previous month. That represented easily the biggest month-to-month gain among the 23 stations in the Nielsen report.

Ratings data © Copyright 2015 Nielsen Audio. May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Nielsen Audio. The PPM ratings are based on audience estimates, and are the opinion of Nielsen Audio and should not be relied on for precise accuracy or precise representativeness of a demographic or radio market.

Nielsen Releases Final Batch of February PPMs

NielsenAudio on Thursday released the final batch of February PPMs.  The markets released were:

 35  Austin

 38  Milwaukee-Racine

 40  Indianapolis

 42  Raleigh-Durham

 43  Norfolk-Viriginia Beach-Newport News

 44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

 45  Nashville

 46  Greensbroro-Winston Salem-High Point

 48  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

 50  Jacksonville FL

 51  Memphis

 52  Hartford-New Britain-Middleton CT

To see the Topline numbers of Nielsen subscribing stations: Click Here

Ratings data © Copyright 2015 Nielsen Audio. May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Nielsen Audio. The PPM ratings are based on audience estimates, and are the opinion of Nielsen Audio and should not be relied on for precise accuracy or precise representativeness of a demographic or radio market.

Podcasting Is Strongest Among Millennials

The statistics about podcasting from Edison Research's Infinite Dial survey indicates podcasting continues to be having its moment in the sun and there is enormous desire for more information about them.

So over the next several weeks E-R will be supplying more findings.  According to Edison, a lot of people have asked the age of podcast users.

Podcasting skews young.  However, says E-R's Larry Rosin, it's a bit more balanced by age than, for instance, online radio, where usage among 12-24s is vastly higher than that among 55+.  He explains this might possibly be in part due to the regular promotion of podcasting on America's older-skewing public radio system.

FCC's Wheeler: Let Marketplace Decide On FM Chips

During his second day of Congressional testimony this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler refused to give official support for FM Chips in cellphones.

Wheeler told the House Communications Subcomttee during an oversight hearing he didn't think it was the FCC's place to mandate that cell carriers activate the chips.  He was responding to a questioned from Representative Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).  Clarke stated that she wanted her constituents to be able to receive emergency broadcast information during an emergency.

Wheeler suggested that he believed the best approach was to let consumers choose for themselves in the marketplace.  The NAB has argued that unless the cellphones are chipped and activated, cell users don't have the ability to make a choice.

The NAB's Dennis Wharton responded in a statement Thursday saying, "NAB and broadcasters are NOT seeking a government mandate; we merely seek the FCC's help in using its influence in enabling a technology that can save lives in emergency situations." The statement from Wharton references FEMA head Craig Fugate.

Craig Fugate strongly backs the idea of activated FM chips in cellphones. Fugate notes that cellphones often become "a brick" in a lifeline situation because of capacity constraints and the inferior one-to-one transmission architecture of cellphone networks.

Referencing the Washington, DC earthquake and Hurricane Sandy a few years ago, Fugate note that "When cellphone systems went down or data was overloaded, you just couldn't get information."

By contrast, Fugate noted that local radio's "one-to-everyone" transmission architecture remains reliable in emergency situations. Having activated radio chips in a cellphones can be a critical lifeline source. "It would be another way to ensure that when all else fails, you get information from the broadcasters. "The most important information is going to come from your local broadcasters" in a lifeline situation, Fugate noted.

Michael Oreskes Named SVP/News At NPR

Michael Oreskes
NPR has named Michael Oreskes, a top Associated Press executive and former New York Times editor who has led newsrooms in such global centers as New York, Washington and Paris, to run its news division.

Officially, Oreskes will be the network's senior vice president for news and editorial director, a slightly refashioned title. Oreskes is currently vice president and senior managing editor at the AP, where he oversees the giant international news wire's daily report.

In an interview, Oreskes described NPR as one of a handful of news outlets that have proved themselves to be indispensable to the nation and therefore must thrive despite financial challenges during rapid technological change.

"We're living through just this remarkable moment, where so much is being turned on its head," Oreskes, 60, said in an interview. "As journalists, I think we have ... both an opportunity and responsibility to help guide the really best journalistic institutions through this disruption."

Several other journalists who have known Oreskes for years characterized him as a sharp and tough executive. They noted that running a newsroom whose traditional strength is in broadcast and audio will be a significant departure for him.

In assessing NPR, Oreskes said he admired its reportorial muscle and that the network's greatest strength could be found in its ability to tell stories that listeners find compelling, accessible and absorbing.

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Augusta GA Radio: Jay Cruze New SVP/Programming For iHM

Jay Cruze
iHeartMedia/Augusta announced today that Jay Cruze has been named Senior Vice President of Programming.

As SVP/Programming, Cruze will oversee all programming operations for Augusta's six-station cluster. He returned to iHeartMedia Augusta in June 2014, when he was named Program Director for Country WSCG 105.FM.

"Jay's vast experience and knowledge in the radio and music industry has proven to be a huge asset to our team," said Ivy Elam, Market President, iHeartMedia Augusta. "I am thrilled and excited to promote him to Senior Vice President of Programming. I’m confident that he is prepared to lead our cluster of stations to continued success."

"It’s great to have Jay back in the iHeartMedia family again," said Gator Harrison, Senior Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia. "After seeing his dedication and ratings success with WSCG in less than a year, we couldn’t be more confident that he’ll continue to grow and lead the great team we have in Augusta."

"I started my career with iHeartMedia at this cluster in 2001 and I am humbled to have opportunity to work with the same people that I have the upmost respect for," said Cruze. "We have such a tight knit team here in Augusta and I am blessed to be part of this incredibly talented staff."

OH Radio: The Big Lick 104.7 FM Launches In Newark

WCLT Radio Inc. in Newark OH has announced the newest addition to its radio station portfolio, W284CH 104.7 T-FM “The Big Lick” - Licking County’s Rock Station.

The music focuses on mostly post-70’s rock and includes 80’s rock (Def Leppard, Guns ‘n Roses, Motley Crue, Van Halen, Metallica, etc.), 90’s rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Green Day, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc.), and new rock (Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Linkin Park, Radiohead, Three Days Grace, etc.).

“We conducted an extensive third party research study to make sure we launched the correct format in Licking County” noted President and General Manager Doug Pricer. “The path was very clear. Besides the country position that we already own, the number two radio position in Licking County was rock.”

W284CH 104.7 FM (250 watts) Red=60dBu Local Coverag Area
WCLT Radio, Inc. also owns and operates Central Ohio Country powerhouse WCLT 100.3 FM T-100 and Licking County’s Sports Station - WCLT 1430 AM The Ticket.

More Growth for the Hefty “Empire” Season-Ender

“Empire” on Fox, the biggest new network series hit in years, concluded its first season with two episodes and more record ratings Wednesday night.

According to TV Media Insights, The 8-9 p.m. installment scored a 10.4 rating/17 share in the household overnights, which was three percent above the record 10.1/16 one week earlier (at 9 p.m.). And the regularly scheduled 9-10 p.m. edition rose to an 11.2/17, which compared to the already potent series debut on Jan. 14 (6.8/10) was an increase of 65 percent.

Ratings for “Empire” grew every week, with the 10.1/16 last week translating into 14.92 million viewers and a 5.8 rating/17 share among adults 18-49 (based on the Live + Same Day data).  “Empire” more than doubled the No. 2 occupant in the 8-10 p.m. block, two episodes of “Survivor” on CBS (5.4/ 9).  And “Empire’s” advantage over two-hours of “American Idol” on the year-ago evening (6.7/11 on 3/19/14) was 61 percent.  Once the Live +7 Day is factored in, “Empire” should have no trouble surpassing 20-million viewers.  This is what you would call a massive hit.

Twelve-episode overnight track for “Empire”: 6.8/10 – 7.3/11 – 7.6/12 – 7.9/12 – 8.0/12 – 8.2/13 – 8.8/13 – 9.2/14 – 9.6/15 – 10.1/16 – 10.4/17 – 11.2/17.

Empire debuted on Fox on January 7, 2015. The show centers around a hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders' family as they fight for control of the company. The hour-long family drama was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.

On January 17, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season.

Meanwhile, Hulu has acquired the exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights for Fox’s red-hot “Empire.”  Under a pack with Twentieth Century Fox Television, all 12 season one episodes, which concluded on the network this week, and any future episodes will air on both Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Boston Radio: WEEI, Patriots Extend Broadcast Deal

The New England Patriots and Sports Radio WEEI 93.7 FM announced a three-year extension for the broadcasting rights to “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday,” providing Patriots fans weekly access to exclusive interviews with some of their favorite Patriots.

The agreement will allow the same winning formula with a lineup headlined by Patriots three-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady and four-time Super Bowl Champion Head Coach Bill Belichick.

Continuing in 2015, Brady will kick off “Patriots Monday” with his weekly appearance on the Dennis and Callahan morning show. Belichick will wrap up “Patriots Monday” with his weekly appearance on the Dale and Holley show. In between, “Middays with MFB” hosted by Lou Merloni, former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and Tim Benz, will continue to feature Patriots captains and veteran leaders who will be available to discuss the most recent game. The “Patriots Friday” lineup will include additional Patriots players to preview the upcoming game.

Phil Zachary
“The WEEI Monday and Friday shows have become appointment listening for Patriots fans, not just in Boston and New England, but throughout the country and around the world,” said New England Patriots Vice President of Corporate Sales Murray Kohl. “It is the only platform that allows fans an opportunity to listen to extended interviews with Coach Belichick and Tom Brady. We are proud to extend our partnership with WEEI on our Patriots Monday programming, which debuted on their station 20 years ago.”

Entercom Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary says the arrangement is unique in professional sports and affords New England football fans unparalleled access to the NFL’s most iconic coach and player. “The Patriots are New England’s team and WEEI is the voice of New England sports. From Boston to Springfield, Providence to Portland, Cape Cod to Concord Lakes, the WEEI Sports Radio Network is proud to be the standard bearer for this great seasonal programming on-air with our broadcast affiliates, on-line and on-demand at”

The Patriots first entered into an agreement with WEEI for “Patriots Monday” in 1995. The programming expanded to “Patriots Friday” during the 2008 season. The popular Patriots programming will resume in mid-August and continue throughout the 2015 season.

Michael Fischer Joins Sun Broadcast Group

Michael Fischer
Sun Broadcast Group has announced Media 11 founder, Michael Fischer, has joined the company as Strategic Development Advisor.

Fischer will work with Sun’s programming and digital departments to expand the Shazam For Radio local station offerings as well as spearhead the development of the highly anticipated Shazam Top 40 countdown shows. Fischer comes to Sun after serving as SVP of Music and Content at Clip Interactive for the last two years.

“I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Sun Broadcast Group.” said Fischer. “Their forward thinking has allowed them to create some great products for broadcast radio. Radio’s next phase of digital innovation needs to embrace what advertisers and listeners expect. That includes attribution, measurement and magical content experiences across all devices. Shazam for Radio is the perfect platform to deliver just that.”

“From the moment I met Michael, I knew he understood the vision of our Shazam For Radio platform”, said Ed Rivera-Searles, SVP of Digital at Sun Broadcast Group. “We are focused bridging the gap for radio listeners by developing interactive content that will be activated by our radio station partner’s programming assets. Michael’s strategic intensity, extensive background in both digital and mobile, as well as his relationships in the radio and music industry will help us accelerate the achievement our objective. I’m thrilled to have him collaborate with us in this effort.”

Prior to his role at Clip Interactive, Fischer served as SVP of Engagement at Triton Digital.

Starbucks Brews Social Media Storm

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has defended the company’s new “Race Together” campaign that has been criticized for being naive and even using racial tensions to boost its bottom line.

The chain, best known for its Frappaccinos, will have U.S. workers write “Race Together” on cups.

Accortding to The NY Post, Starbucks also plans to start publishing “conversation guides” on the topic, with questions like “How have your racial views evolved from those of your parents?”

During its annual meeting in Seattle, Schultz said the company is trying to use its massive reach for good: “Some in the media will criticize Starbucks for having a political agenda. Our intentions are pure.”

The campaign is the latest example of a big company trying to tie its brands to big social issues. The move comes as consumer brands acknowledge that customers are increasingly drawn to companies that project a feel-good image or embrace social causes.

But it also illustrates how such efforts can fall flat if people don’t see a clear correlation between the social cause and the company’s products. After it was announced early this week, the Starbucks’ campaign was widely ridiculed on social media by people who said it’s opportunistic and inappropriate for a coffee chain to insert itself into such an important issue. Others questioned whether Starbucks executives think the chain’s workers could spark productive conversations about race relations while serving lattes.

Talk Host Larry King Honored At the Newseum

Larry King, longtime former Westwood One talk show host and current host of AARP segments on Cumulus stations, was honored Wednesday night at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

The Newseum is setting up a special Larry King exhibit which will include his radio mic, part of his CNN TV set, his suspenders, and other items.

Bart Tessler, WWOne EVP/News-Talk, Pat Piper WWOne Assignment Manager, Larry King
Pat was the Producer and Bart the executive in charge on Westwood One’s groundbreaking The Larry King Show.

Knoxville Radio: Towers For Silent Stations Dropped

Armed with bolt cutters, two men gazed up at their looming conquest: a 260-foot-tall former AM radio station tower in a grassy field off East Emory Road.

“We’re going to cut the guy wires and it will fall in the opposite direction of where I’m at,” said 71-year-old Grant Balwanz, president of Georgia-based B&B Towers. His best friend of 20 years, Jerry Finchum, stood by his side.

According to, the pair began clipping away at the securing wires and within seconds sent the steel tower buckling to the ground, a series of booming crashes and clouds of dust interrupting the surrounding stillness.

“Ta-da! Wanna do that again, Jerry?” Balwanz said with a grin.

Balwanz has worked in the high-tower industry for 56 years, manufacturing and erecting an estimated 1,350 towers and dismantling another 100 or so. He and Finchum traveled to Knoxville on Wednesday to take down six AM radio towers standing on land now owned by a developer.

The three towers previously broadcast WKVL 850 AM, an old-time country music station. Two towers taken down in Oak Ridge broadcast WATO 1290 AM, which originally aired in 1948 and was the first radio station on a U.S. military reservation. The final dismantled tower in Farragut transmitted a True Oldies Channel, WMTY 670 AM.

All three stations are now silent.

R.I.P.: Michael Brown, Keyboardist For The Left Banke

Michael Brown
Michael Brown, the initial guiding force behind influential 1960s pop act the Left Banke, has died.

According to, the group's Tom Finn announced on Facebook on Thursday.

Brown was the keyboardist and main songwriter for the group, though he left in 1967 after just one album. He co-wrote and wrote, respectively, the band's best-known songs, "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" -- tracks that also served as the title of their classic debut album.

The band's use of strings and harpsichord earned them the label "baroque-pop," while their tuneful sensitivity echoes on in the work of acts such as Belle & Sebastian, Elliott Smith and Jens Lekman, whose "Black Cab" sampled the band's "I've Got Something On My Mind."

Both "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" were said to be inspired by bassist Tim Finn's girlfriend, Renée Fladen.

March 20 In Radio History

In 1902...Nathan Stubblefield demonstrates ship-to-shore broadcast to multiple receivers in Washington, DC.

He made public demonstrations of voice and music transmission to five receiving locations on the courthouse square in Murray on January 1, 1902, witnessed by at least 1,000 people, apparently using voice frequency transmission through earth conduction, to a radius of one-half mile.

Stubblefield with wireless phone
Later he demonstrated wireless telephony in Washington, D.C. on March 20, 1902, where voice and music transmissions were made over a third of a mile from the steamer Bartholdi to shore. He demonstrated wireless telephony as well in Philadelphia on May 30, 1902 to a distance of a half mile.

He joined wireless inventor Archie Frederick Collins and stock promoters in the Collins Wireless Telephone Company. In December, 1909 Collins Wireless Telephone Company became a part of the Continental Wireless Tel. & Tel. Company, with A. Frederick Collins as Technical Director. Stubblefield resigned as a director in December 1911, because of what he described in a letter as their sometimes-fraudulent stock promotion practices. The other principals of the company were later convicted of fraud.

Back home in Murray, he continued to experiment with wireless telephony, using large circular conduction coils to transmit voice frequencies to receiving stations. In 1903, he could transmit 375 feet without earth connections, using induction. In 1904, he could transmit 423 yards.

The total wire required for the transmitting and receiving coils was of a greater length than what would be required to simply interconnect the transmitter and receiver, but the invention would allow mobility.

On May 12, 1908, he received U.S. patent 887,357 for his Wireless Telephone, using the voice frequency induction system. He said in the patent that it would be useful for "securing telephonic communications between moving vehicles and way stations". The diagram shows wireless telephony from trains, boats, and wagons. In foreign patents he showed wireless telephony with cars. However, there is no indication that he was using voice-modulated continuous high frequency waves, as used for radio today.

In 1922...WIP-AM, Philadelphia, went on-the-air.

Founded by Gimbels department store, the station first went on the air on as Philadelphia's first commercial radio station with the call sign WIP, which people mistakenly think stands for "Wireless In Philadelphia," "We're In Philadelphia" or "Watch Its Progress." In fact, WIP was a call sign randomly issued by the federal government.

In 1938, the station began a full 24 hour a day broadcast schedule and used the slogan "Philadelphia's Pioneer Station." In 1940, the station was granted a power increase to 5,000 watts and the transmitter site was moved to Bellmawr, NJ. The previous tower at 21st and Hamilton was dismantled and the property sold.

Wayne Cody
From the begining, one of the most popular personalities on the station was children's show host "Uncle Wip." While Uncle Wip was portrayed by several people, one of the longest running was Wayne Cody. By 1933, Uncle Wip's "Kiddie Club" had over 500,000 names on its list, and over 750,000 by 1941. In addition to making numerous appearances, some of Uncle Wip's other activities included an Aviation Club, a "Toyland Parade" and a "Drum and Bugle Corps."

In 1958, WIP AM and FM were sold for $2,500,000 to WIP Broadcasting, Inc., a new syndicate headed by Benedict Gimbel, Jr., the station's former General Manager.

In 1960, the Metropolitan Broadcasting Division of Metromedia, Inc., owned by John W. Kluge, purchased WIP AM and FM for $2,700,000. This essentially ended any connection the station had with the Gimbel family or retail concern. On May 11, 1961, WIP's licensee name was changed to the parent company name, Metromedia, Inc.

In 1935...The Radio show, "Your Hit Parade", premiered.

In 1965...B. Mitchel Reed did last show at WMCA NYC.

He was known as "The Fastest Tongue in the West," for the speed in which he spoke to his audience. He left KFWB for WMCA in his home state of New York on February 7, 1963. He soon became part of a team of disc jockeys known as "The Good Guys," among them Jack Spector, a fellow alum from Boys High School in Brooklyn who had graduated two years ahead of him.

By 1965, Reed decided to return to Los Angeles. His last show at WMCA was on March 20. Thousands of his fans cheered him at the airport upon his departure. Many fans who were thrilled of his return greeted him when he arrived in LA. This ushered in his second stint at KFWB and The Wide Wide Weird World of BMR.

 In 1989…After 37 years with the program, Dick Clark announced his intention to discontinue hosting "American Bandstand" on ABC-TV.

In 2005...Ted Brown, Personality WOR, WMGM, WNBC, WNEW NYC, died.

In 1953, Ted Brown began working at WNEW 1130 as an air-personality. He worked there off and on and at one point he worked at WMGM playing rock and roll. He returned to WNEW and then worked at WNBC from the late 60s to the early 70s. At that point he went back to WNEW as afternoon drive air personality. He moved to mornings in 1978. When WNEW began evolvng in 1979 from Adult Contemporary to Adult Standards/Big Bands by 1981, Ted remained.

He continued working at WNEW until 1989 when he semi-retired. In the 1990s he helped host New York Giants football games on WNEW. From 1993 to 1995, Ted worked middays at WRIV, a standards station in Riverhead, New York and on WVNJ 1160 Oakland, New Jersey playing standards and big bands from early in 1996 to about 1998 when he suffered a stroke. He signed-off his show with the phrase "Put on the coffee Mama. I'm coming home."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

RIAA Sez Artists Deserve Better Pay From Radio

The major record labels reaped a combined $295 million in revenue from free ad-supported streaming services in 2014, up 34 percent from the previous year, new figures show.

The NY Post reports despite the double-digit growth, the freemium model remains the smallest slice of the nearly $2 billion streaming pie, according to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America.

That category, which includes Google-owned YouTube, Vevo and free versions of Spotify, accounted for just 16 percent of overall streaming revenue. By comparison, paid subscription services, a category that includes Rhapsody and Spotify’s premium version, grew 25 percent year on year to $799 million.

The number of US paid subscriptions rose to 7.7 million in 2014, up from 6.2 million, and still a fraction of the 115 million households in the US.

Those figures underscore why the record industry is rethinking the value of unlimited free streaming services.


A third streaming category, including satellite-radio giant Sirius XM and Internet radio player Pandora, grew 31 percent to $773 million, the report shows.

The RIAA also piled on its criticism of Sirius and broadcast radio station owners in its latest report, saying they don’t fairly compensate musicians for their work.

The group, which represents the major record companies, has been locked in a legal battle with Sirius, claiming the satellite service uses recordings from before 1972 without permission.

Read More Now

Report: Terrestrial Radio Facing Demise of Car Listening

Video didn’t kill the radio star, but Sirius XM and streaming services like Pandora are taking it apart piece by piece.

According to The NY Post, terrestrial radio, after years of maintaining its vise-like grip as the dominant in-car entertainment provider, will soon see thousands of motorists turn it off, a Wall Street report on Wednesday forecasted.

While terrestrial radio still owns an 80 percent share of car listenership, it will start to lose up to 1.5 percentage points a year of that market share as streamers like Pandora enter the market, the report said.

Connected cars — meaning those equipped with 4G wireless broadband technology — are expected to account for 39 percent of US vehicles shipped this fall.

But they’ll account for 60 percent by 2018.

Radio’s endgame, according to the report by analyst Amy Yong of Macquarie Capital (USA), will be to appeal to increasingly smaller markets.

The large markets will eventually belong to Sirius and Pandora, as well as other digital players with strong urban sales teams.

Pandora, for instance, currently accounts for just 2 percent of listenership in the car. But its number of active users doubled in 2014 to 9 million.

Sixty percent of all radio consumption is in the car, according to Parks Associates.

And that makes it prime real estate for all audio entertainment companies — especially those looking for growth outside the home.

Read More Now

Cumulus Adds Tom Schurr As SVP/Operations

Tom Schurr
Cumulus Media, Inc. announces that radio operations and management veteran Tom Schurr will join Cumulus’ senior station operations team as Senior Vice President, Operations.

In his new position with Cumulus, Schurr will oversee Cumulus station operations in multiple U.S. markets, including Dallas and Houston, with additional market responsibilities to be announced at a later date. He will report to Lew Dickey, President and Chief Executive Officer for Cumulus.

Schurr was previously President of Operations for Clear Channel/iHeart Media, with direct responsibility for all major market operations across the U.S. While at Clear Channel/iHeart Media, Schurr managed markets including Houston and Dallas, and as a regional operations executive over the South East and East Regions, was responsible for the oversight of 100 markets and 500 stations. Prior to that, he held Vice President/Market Manager posts in Houston and Louisville, KY, for Jacor Communications, and was Vice President/Market Manager for Citicasters in Sacramento. He holds a BSBA degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance from Xavier University.
Dickey said: “Tom is an extremely talented broadcast executive with unparalleled operating experience across all market sizes. We look forward to his important contribution to our success.”

Schurr said: “I couldn't be more excited to join Lew Dickey and the Cumulus team. This is a dynamic organization stocked with passionate leaders and competitive team members who have assembled a great portfolio of assets and are striving towards a bright future. It’s great to be part of it!”

NYC Radio: Marie Mason Named New VP/GM For WNSH

Marie Mason
Cumulus announces that veteran New York City broadcasting executive Maire Mason has been promoted to Vice President/General Manager for WNSH NASH FM 94.7 in New York City.

Mason was most recently General Sales Manager for NASH FM 94.7. She previously held Director of Sales positions in New York City for Merlin Media and for Univision Radio. Mason also served as Vice President/General Manager for CBS Radio New York City for over 29 years.

Lew Dickey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus said: “Maire is a terrific leader and a talented broadcaster. We’re excited to have her take on a larger role with our company as we build NASH into America’s leading lifestyle and entertainment brand for Country music fans.”

Mason said: “It has been a privilege to contribute to the success and growth of NASH-FM. Watching listeners rediscover Country music and advertisers embrace the format has been exhilarating. I’m excited about this new role. It’s an honor to have been asked by Lew Dickey to take the vision of NASH-FM to the next level.”

WB/Scranton Radio: Mike Vincent New PD At WSJR

Mike Vincent
Cumulus announces that Mike Vincent has been named Program Director and Afternoon Host of WSJR 93.7 FM NashFM in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Vincent’s show will debut on April 1 and will air weekdays from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Vincent has held radio posts at 95.7 KBWF “The Wolf” in San Francisco; WYNY Y-107 in New York; 93.3 WFLS in Fredericksburg, VA; and 107.3 WRWD Poughkeepsie, NY, among others. He is also a successful voiceover artist with clients including: Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Macy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Verizon, CopperFit and Casamigo’s Tequila.
Greg Frey, Corporate Program Director for Cumulus said: “I’m thrilled to bring Mike in as the new PD and afternoon host of NASH FM 93.7, Wilkes-Barre. He’s a big market personality with great programming sense – the perfect combination!”

Vincent said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be back home on the East Coast, working with the amazing talent that comprises Cumulus Wilkes-Barre. I am also very excited to be coming into a community chock full of hard working, family loving people.  I can’t wait to ignite the airwaves during the drive home, and to super-serve the community with the country music they'll love, and the information they’ll need.”

Orlando Radio: WXXL Regains 6+ Top Spot, WTKS #1 25-54

iHeartMedia has the Top 3 stations in Orlando with Top40 WXXL 106.7 FM in the Top spot after jumping from 5.7-6.5 (6+ AQH, Total Week) in the February PPMs released Wednesday by Nielsen. XL106-7 also benefited from an spike in Cume 494,000 to 557,000.

Clustermate, Tropical WRUM 100.3 FM Rumba wobbled 6.5-6.4 to take the #2 ranking. (Rumba was #1 in January). And iHM's AC WMGF 107.7 FM was in the #3 spot  dropping a bit 6.0-5.8.

However, Magic is not alone at #3.  The station tied with Cox-Media's Rock/AC WMMO 98.9 FM, which was steady at 5.8 and Central Florida Educational Foundations non-com ContChristian WPOZ which had a 5.7-5.8 uptick.

25-54:  WTKS...WXXL...WCFB...WRUM...WPOZ

18-34:  WPYO...WXXL...WJRR...WRUM...WOMX

18-49:   WXXL..PYO...WRUM...WTKS...WOCL

Cume:  WMGF-FM 560,300...WXXL-FM 557,000...WOMX-FM 443,000...WMMO-FM 404,100...WJHM-FM 397,800

Top 5 Morning Shows (25-54 M-F 6a-10a)

1.  WTKS  104.1 FM Monsters In The Morning
2.  WXXL  106.7 FM Johnny's House
3.  WCFB  94.5 FM   Steve Harvey
4.  WPYO  95.3 FM  The Obie and Lil Shawn Morning Show
5.  WPOZ  88.3 FM   Ellis & Tyler