Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 29 In Radio History

In 1932...Jack Benny made his debut on Radio. Benny, a vaudeville performer, became very successful on both Radio and later TV. His first on-air spiel: "This is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say, 'Who cares?'"

In 1941...WABC, then known as WJZ moved to 770 AM.  WABC started off as WJZ when it signed on October 1, 1921.

In 1967...The first nationwide strike in the 30-year history of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) began. During the 13-day work stoppage, many familiar faces were absent from the TV screen, including that of Walter Cronkite of CBS News whose temporary replacement was Arnold Zenker, formerly a radio announcer in Wilmington, Delaware.

AFTRA strike begins at WABC NYC.

From March 29 to April 10, 1967 there was a strike called by AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). This meant that all the union talent, including the WABC airstaff, was taken off the air and replaced by management personnel. It was all very strange. But, according to the tribute site,,  PD Rick Sklar could turn anything into a promotion, and the strike was no exception.

Listen to an  aircheck which features a brief montage compiled from hours of tape. It includes:
  • The "strikebound sound" jingle that Rick Sklar ordered from PAMS (Series 31).
  • Hal Neal, president of ABC Radio, filling in as a newsman giving background on the strike.
  • The "super pickets" promo. This was, of course, a take-off on the station's weekly "superhit sounds" promo which featured excerpts from the week's top 5 songs. It's a promotion masterpiece and it worked. Whenever one of the All Americans tried to take part in the picket line outside the ABC building, they'd be mobbed by autograph seekers!
  • Rick Sklar worked as the booth announcer in the evening.
Finally the strike ended. And within 30 minutes of the announcement, Cousin Bruce was back on the air.

In 1974…In Ottawa, the CBC announced that it would gradually remove commercials from its AM radio stations.

Gene Klavan, Dee Finch
In 1983...Dee Finch,  WNEW 1130 AM (Klavan & Finch) NYC died.

Starting in 1952 and for the next fifteen years, Klavan and Finch changed the face of morning radio for commuters and families. New Yorkers were presented a new radio experience.  Children getting ready for school could listen with their parents while eating their breakfast cereal.  Commuters on the parkways could reduce the burden of New York traffic with a little humor. Vaudevillian in style, this format was copied by radio stations across the country.

Klavan commented on Dee Finch in 1984: “He was spectacular. He was more than a straight man. People say a straight man, but he had a marvelous sense of humor.  A great voice and a fetching laugh.  I mean if he laughed even I couldn’t help it, I would break up, basically he was a really good actor.  He adlibbed, we never prepared anything, even though I used to hope we would sometimes.  He had a great understanding of what we were doing.  We were two minds without any.”

Dee Finch retired from WNEW and radio in 1968.

In 1995...Howard Stern's Radio show debuted on WCKG-FM, Chicago, Illinois.

 In 2003…Longtime Portland, Maine radio personality Bob Anderson died after a heart attack at age 59.

In 2005...Dr. Don Rose, one of Top 40 Radio's great DJs, died. He worked at legendary stations like KFRC, San Francisco; WFIL, Philadelphia and other markts.

Rose was born Donald Duane Rosenberg in North Platte, Nebraska, and got his first experience in broadcasting at age 15 while reporting on his trip to the Boy Scout National Jamboree in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for KODY in his hometown.

He began his career in 1955 at KWBE in Beatrice, Nebraska, while majoring in accounting at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He moved to KLMN/Lincoln shortly thereafter, and then was hired by KOIL/Omaha, a job that appeared to be so promising that he dropped out of college in his senior year. He was fired by the station four weeks later.

His next job, at KTSA/San Antonio, also lasted only four weeks. Returning to Nebraska, he held an announcing position at KRNY/Kearney for about 15 months before being terminated again. His next employer, the Union Pacific Railroad, offered only manual labor — pounding spikes into the railbed — but he continued to pursue work in radio, and acquired a job at KTUL/Tulsa.

His next broadcasting position was in KWMT/Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he first complemented his jokes with cowbells and other barnyard sounds. His stay in Fort Dodge wasn't lengthy, but it was there that he met his future wife, Kae, to whom he remained married for the next 45 years of his life.

From Iowa it was on to WEBC/Duluth, Minn., followed by his first taste of big-market success, as morning host at WQXI/Atlanta ("Quixie In Dixie"), his fame made ever-lasting by his inclusion as the 1967 entry in the popular series of "Cruisin’" LP records. Originally hired for the nine-to-noon slot, he was shifted to morning drive shortly after his arrival, and soon became the number one deejay in town.

With Dr. Don as morning anchor, KFRC was voted "Station of the Year" four times by Billboard Magazine.

He was considered by many to be the king of radio in the Bay Area during the final decade of AM's musical dominance.

He was named by Billboard Magazine as Disc Jockey of the Year on both the East Coast (while with WFIL Philadelphia) and on the West Coast (while with KFRC San Francisco). One of Rose's characteristic "sound bite" mannerisms when he was at KFRC was to state the words "that's right" in a continuous fashion that was intended to sound "crazy" or funny, which also served to represent the overall morning zoo radio format, style and "feel" of his show.

"I'm married to radio," he told The Chronicle (San Francisco) in 1975, "and I'm thinking about suing it for nonsupport. I would describe my show as therapy, for myself."

Dr. Don Rose raised a total of over $10 million by hosting March of Dimes Superwalks for 20 years. As well, he emceed many golf tourneys, including his own, with proceeds going toward Special Olympics and special education.

Despite his cheerful persona, Rose suffered over three decades of debilitating pain from assorted medical problems. In 1972, he underwent a botched heart surgery, which caused chronic knee infections that required 11 more operations and led to his losing his kneecap. He broadcast his daily radio show flat on his back from his home hospital bed for months. In 1984, after a fall made the knee problems worse, one leg was amputated.

Dr. Don Rose last Top40 Show On KFRC-AM:

Rose had to alter his on-air act in 1986 when KFRC changed its format to Big Band Music and its imaging to Magic 61. He left KFRC permanently by the end of the year.

His departure from KFRC was followed by a short stint at KKIS/Concord-Walnut Creek beginning in 1987, where his son, Jay, was chief engineer. After a failed attempt at buying the station, Dr. Don moved to mornings at San Francisco's K101 (KIOI); four months later, he suffered a heart attack while on the air. He never returned to broadcasting on a full-time basis.

Rose died in his sleep on March 30, 2005, due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 70.

Paul Drew died in 2013 at age 78.

OKC Radio: KOKC 1520 AM Back On After Tornado

Add caption
Two of three tramissions towers for KOKC 1520 AM were knocked to the ground Wednesday when a tornado ripped hrough Moore, OK.  A third tower for the DA-N station was left bent-in half, but still standing.

The towers had been standing sine the 1946, when the station call sign was KOMA.  KOMA was a Top40 giant during the 60s and 70s.

The tornado knocked the station off air and KOKC's News/Talk format was moved to 1560 AM, sister-station Sports KEBC.  Thursday night engineers figured out a way to get the only standing 1520 AM tower to transmit despite the significant damage.

During his 27 years as chief engineer at Tyler Media, Randy Mullinax had never lost a tower to a twister. The KOMA towers even withstood the May 20, 2013 EF 5.

“We’ve had close calls; never taken a direct hit,” Mullinax told KOCO-TV5.

On Wednesday, that changed.

Even in its battered state, Mullinax and the other engineers saw potential in the one remaining tower. After three hours of rewiring Thursday night, they got the massive tower transmitting again.

KOKC is licensed at 50 Kw, but for now power output is about a fourth.

Next week, a new temporary tower will go up at the same location on SW 4th Street. Then the damaged transmitting tower will be brought down.

Chicago Radio: WGN Walk of Fame To Honor Ten Broadcasters

WGN 720 AM Radio announced its 2015 Walk of Fame class during the Steve Cochran Show Friday.

On Friday, May 29, ten broadcasting legends will be honored with a ceremony and live broadcast from 1-2pm at the Tribune Tower at 435 N Michigan.

The luminaries to be inducted include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack, Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal, Ron Santo and Eddie Schwartz. They will be commemorated in bronze plaques placed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio.

“This year’s Walk of Fame class pays tribute to a group of truly unique voices,” said Todd Manley, Vice President of Programming & Content at WGN Radio. “Each one of them invented or discovered new ways to tell memorable stories.”

The ceremony will be open to the public.

For bio info on each inductee: Click Here.

March 28 In Radio History

In 1924...WGN-AM, Chicago, Illinois, went on-the-air.

The predecessor to the current WGN was WDAP, which signed on the air on May 19, 1922, and was founded by Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins. Originally based in the Wrigley Building, the station moved its operations to the Drake Hotel in July.

WGN's main studio in Tribune Tower, circa '30s-'40s
On May 12, 1923, the Zenith Radio Company signed on radio station WJAZ from the Edgewater Beach Hotel. However, after this brief period, the Tribune switched its operations to WDAP, and the Zenith station became WEBH,  the license eventually being deleted on November 30, 1928.

Scopes Trial 1925
Early programming was noted for its creativity and innovation. It included live music, political debates, comedy routines, and some of radio's first sporting event broadcasts, including the Indianapolis 500 automobile race, and a live broadcast of the 1925 Scopes Trial from Dayton, Tennessee. In 1926, WGN broadcast Sam & Henry, a daily serial with comic elements created and performed by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. After a dispute with the station in 1927, Gosden and Correll took the program's concept and announcer Bill Hay across town to WMAQ 670 AM and created the first syndicated radio show, Amos 'n' Andy.  WGN 720 AM served as a founding member of the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Over many decades, WGN was a "full service" radio station.

The station played small amounts of music during the mornings and afternoon hours, moderate amounts of music on weekends during the day, aired midday and evening talk shows, and sports among other features. The station's music was easy listening/MOR-based until the 1970s, when its switched to more of an adult contemporary-type sound.

Music programming was phased out during the 1980s, and by 1990, the station's lineup mainly consisted of talk shows. In 1961, the WGN radio and television stations moved to a studio facility on West Bradley Place in the North Center neighborhood, a move undertaken for civil defense concerns in order to provide the station a safe base to broadcast in case of a hostile attack targeting downtown Chicago.

WGN radio moved back to North Michigan Avenue in 1986, relocating its operations to a studio in the Pioneer Court extension (WGN-TV remained at the Bradley Place facility, where that station operates to this day).

Some former well-known personalities on WGN include longtime morning hosts Wally Phillips, Bob Collins, Spike O'Dell, Paul Harvey and Roy Leonard. Orion Samuelson has been the station's farm reporter since 1960. Late-night hosts over the years have included Franklyn MacCormack, Chicago Ed Schwartz, Don Vogel and the husband-and-wife team of Steve King and Johnnie Putman.

In 1986...over 6,000 radio stations across America played "We are the World" at exactly 10:15 a.m. EST.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Steve Goldstein Departs Saga to Form Podcast Company

Steve Goldstein
Saga Communications, Inc. Thursday announced that Steven J. Goldstein, Executive Vice President and Group Program Director, has left Saga effective March 24, 2015.

Edward K. Christian, Chairman, President and CEO of Saga Communications, Inc., thanked Steve for his many contributions over his 28 year career with Saga. To assist in the transition, Mr. Goldstein has agreed to serve as a consultant to the Company.

Commenting on his departure Mr. Goldstein said, “Saga has been a remarkable home for 28 years. We have built some terrific brands and grown top talent. Best of all has been working with a wonderfully gifted staff. While I will miss them and Ed Christian, I am pleased to continue with Saga in a consulting capacity and am excited to move on to a more entrepreneurial role with my own company where I will be focusing on digital on-demand audio.”

Goldstein is leaving Saga  to launch a new compay Amplifi Media.  Amplifi will focus on the podcast and audio on demand sector.

Goldstein noted on the new company, "The top of the iTunes podcast chart is dominated by NPR and affiliates. They have done a tremendous job but there is a world of mainstream topics yet to be explored for on-demand-audio. That's where Amplifi will live."

Goldstein continued, "As connected cars, Bluetooth, and smartphones converge, time-shifted audio will grow exponentially. People will listen to content at a time and place of their choosing, just as is occurring rapidly in the television industry with Netflix, DVRs, and on-demand video."

L-A Radio: Tom Lee Named New PD At KFWB

Tom Lee
KFWB 980 AM The Beast gas announced Tom Lee as new Program Director for the Sports outlet.

A broadcast media exec and 20-year sports radio veteran, Lee is returning to L-A where he launched FOX Sports Radio in 2000, leading the programming team that ultimately created and developed the 24/7 national sports network. Lee has also programmed KESN 103.3 FM  in Dallas, Sports WIP 94.1 FM  in Philadelphia and KJR 950 AM in Seattle.

"Tom has achieved some of the highest ratings of all sports stations across the country," said Trustee for KFWB Asset Trust Diane Sutter. "Our listeners will benefit from Tom's invaluable skills in producing relevant content, top-notch talent and his experience in working with sports teams."

Lee has been directly involved at all levels with several franchises, including the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers, and the Seattle Supersonics. The Beast 980 is the radio home of the Los Angeles Clippers and LA Galaxy.

"Los Angeles sports fans are the greatest and perhaps the most underrated in America and their passion, the distinct L.A. attitude and our great sports teams will all be represented by The Beast 980," said Lee. "I'm very excited to get back to L.A. with the opportunity to program the only radio station uniquely built for home town fans."

Houston Radio: Gary Spurgeon Named GM For Radio One Cluster

Gary Spurgeon
Radio One, The Urban Specialists, has announced the promotion of  Gary Spurgeon to VP/President, general manager of its Houston cluster, which includes Rhythmic/Hip Hop KBXX 97.9 FM The Box), UrbanAC KMJQ Majic 102.1 FM, Classic Hip Hop KROI Boom 92.3 FM and Praise 102.1 HD.

He'll also aintain his role as general manager of the Dallas, TX cluster.

Spurgeon  replaces the exiting Doug Abernathy, who has departed for a new position with Entercom.

Tami Honesty will expand her role in  Dallas to DOS/station manager and will oversee the day-to-day operations under Spurgeon's leadership.

Spurgeon is a 35-year radio broadcast veteran with general manager and regional vice president roles for a number of companies, including Cox Radio, Regent Communication, GulfStar, CAPSTAR Radio, and AM/FM.

Chris Wegmann, president of the Radio One radio division said, "Our ability to promote two individuals from within our company speaks to how strong our bench strength is. I couldn't be more proud to expand the responsibilities of these two deserving people. Dallas has flourished under Gary and I have every confidence that Houston will do the same under his leadership. And Tami has proven the value of her experience and innovative ideas."

Atlanta Radio: PD Scott Lindy Departs WSTR, WQXI

Scott Lindy
After nearly five year, Scott Lindy has departed Lincoln Financial Media cluster in Atlanta, where he was repsonbible for programming on HotAC WSTR 94.1 FM and Spots WQXI 790 AM The Zone.  Lindy was also OM for the Atlanta cluster.

Lindy joined WSTR in October 2010 after programming iHeartMedia Country WUBL 94.9 FM The Bull also in Atlanta.  Lindy's resume also includes a almost five stint at Senior Director Music at SiriusXM.

Lincoln Financial VP/Programming John Dmimick takes over Lindy's programming chores in addition to his corporate work.

Wilmington Radio: WDEL to Add FM Simulcast

Mike Reath
Starting April 2, Delaware's most-listened-to station for news, traffic, and weather, is going to FM.

Delawareans will be able to hear WDEL loud and clear on the 101.7 FM signal.

"The increase in coverage for us on 101.7 FM really will deliver audiences out in towards the Yorklyn, Hockessin, parts of Newark that inherently have been tough of any radio station to get into," said Mike Reath, General Manager of WDEL/WSTW.

Listeners will also find an increased availability of WDEL on 101.7 FM downstate in Dover and other parts of northern Kent County.

WJKS 101.7 FM (3.3 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
For the tens of thousands of people, who have grown up as loyal listeners of WDEL 1150 AM for decades, nothing will change. Reath, who also serves as the Vice President of Delmarva Broadcasting, WDEL and WSTW's parent company, said what a listener hears on 101.7 FM will be a complete simulcast of 1150 AM WDEL's content that aims to bring in a younger and larger audience.

"So we have some folks, that have never really visited the AM band, they've grown up on FM, and we know that we're missing that group of listeners," Reath said. "We're just increasing the size of that microphone, that amplifier to deliver our content to hundreds of thousands of additional folks."

Reath called the the $3.25 million deal an "investment in Delaware." Delmarva Broadcasting purchased the 101.7 FM frequency from QC Communications when it went on the market last fall. WJKA 101.7 FM currently broadcasts hip hop music.

Through the deal, Delmarva Broadcasting also acquired Faith 1510 AM which will continue to play gospel music. KISS on-air personality, KMonta, will host a talk show on WDEL at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

WNSH NYC, KSCS D/FW Using Pop To Tweak Playlists

Cumulus Country WNSH 94.7 FM NASH-FM NYC PD Brian Thomas and his New Country KSCS 96.3 FM D/FW PD JR Schumann are keeping their lips sealed, but the industry is buzzing about some huge musical adjustments on their respective stations this week.

All About Country reports both station are adding mass appeal,  highly familiar, non-Country titles from #1 ranked pop stations in their markets.

KSCS has added a handful of Top 40 titles already found on iHeartMedia’s crosstown Top40 KHKS. Mediabase shows KSCS featuring such titles as Magic’s  “Rude,” Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound,” Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Ed Sheeran’s “Don't” and “Thinking Out Loud,” in addition to a number of songs from Taylor Swift’s self-declared pure pop, “TS 1989” album. Right now, KSCS is committing one slot per hour to these songs. A look back at the station’s list from 30 days ago shows these slots formerly had been a Country Gold song.


Meanwhile, in New York, WNSH appears to be using music from iHeartMedia AC WLTW 106.7 FM. NASH playlist includes Kelly Clarkston’s “Mr. Know It All,” Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life,” John Mayer’s “Daughters,” Sister Hazel’s “All For You,” Blues Traveler’s “Run Around,” Eagle Eye Cherry “Save Tonight,” appearing once per hour between 10 AM-5 PM (ET).


In Dallas and New York respectively, KHKS and WLTW are ranked #1 in both share and cume. WLTW’s weekly cume tops five million according to February PPM figures and KHKS’ weekly cume is just under the two million mark for February.

Since October, WNSH has been trending in the mid-one share level, and the cume is just short of 800,000 weekly persons; Meanwhile, KSCS has been trended 4.3-3.8-3.6 in the past three PPM monthlies, with weekly cume this side of 800,000.

EVP of content and programming John Dickey tells InsideRadio, it’s part of a reverse crossover strategy that takes advantage of the high cross-cuming taking place between country and other pop-based formats like CHR, hot AC and AC. “Pop selectively waits for something to explode on country and then benefits from the all the exposure and relevance that the country format has built for it,” Dickey says, pointing to Taylor Swift as Exhibit A.

Country Radio Pulling 'Girl Crush' From Playlists

Little Big Town's latest single "Girl Crush" has been at the tops of the country charts on iTunes for several weeks. However, according to a Washington Post report, the ballad is being pulled from country radio stations across the country after fans have complained the song's lyrics are inappropriate.

Indeed "Girl Crush" didn't even crack the Top 25 on Billboard's Country Airplay radio chart for the week ending March 21.

In Boise, Idaho KAWO 104.3 FM personality Alana Lynn told the paper that she was surprised when fans threatened to boycott her station saying the song "promot[es] the gay agenda."

The lyrics these fans are upset over?
I want to taste her lips, yeah 'cause they taste like you/ I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume/ I want her long blond hair, I want her magic touch/ Yeah 'cause maybe then, you’d want me just as much/ I got a girl crush.
According to the band, the song isn't even about a woman in love with another woman. It's about a scorned woman who is trying to understand why her man left her.

"Country music was built on songs about heartache and jealousy," Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet said of the song in an interview with Vevo.

"This woman is just looking at the woman her man left her for and wondering, 'What does she have that I don't have? What am I missing? What is it that she's giving you that I can't give you?'" the band's Kimberly Schlapman explained.

Chicago Radio: WSCR's Dan Bernstein Apologizes For Comment

Dan Bernstein
WSCR 670 AM afternoon cohost Dan Bernstein apologized Thursday for sexist remarks he made Wednesday night about Comcast SportsNet Chicago reporter Aiyana Cristal, according to The Chicago Tribune.

During a Twitter conversation about her on-air performance, Bernstein commented on her "boobs."

"I'm an idiot," Bernstein said Thursday afternoon on "The Boers and Bernstein Show." "There are certain times when you can be childish and crass and there are other times when it's just really stupid to be a child. My tweet was childish, my tweet was crass and unnecessary and I'm sorry I dragged an innocent person into it who's doing a job and I made an observation I shouldn't have made, and it was childish and silly and stupid."

Later, he added: "My words are my responsibility and my words were stupid. And there's nobody else to blame for any difficulties that I might be going through because of my stupidity. It's entirely on me. And I own it. And I wish I would've had a second thought about sending it, and I'm learning my lesson about what is appropriate, what is inappropriate to say, and I feel bad about it."
Bernstein referenced the broadcaster's physique during a Twitter conversation with Matt Spiegel , another host at The Score.

Speigel tweeted, "Aiyana Cristal makes me uncomfortable. I feel how she's trying, & end up awkwardly rooting for her to finish cleanly." Bernstein replied: "I have no rooting interest in her work, but I enjoy her giant boobs."

He apologized again Thursday afternoon during an on-air conversation with Bernstein, as Spiegel's show was signing off and Bernstein's program was beginning. Spiegel told listeners that he regretted the negative attention Cristal's likely receiving.

Budget Forcing Closure of FCC Field Offices

In defense of a proposal to close or significantly reduce assets at some half of its Enforcement Bureau field offices, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has told lawmakers the agency is strapped. Wheeler says closures will save money in the long run, but at what cost?

According to Leslie Stimson at RadioWorld, the FCC has been operating under essentially flat funding levels for the past six years.  Wheeler told congressional appropriations lawmakers this wee its operating costs keep go up. That’s led to the commission currently having some 1,700 full-time employees, down from the 20-year average of 1,877.

And the workload of those who are left is rising — something the radio industry is familiar with these last few years as we all “do more with less.”

But a big reason the FCC is asking for more money for FY2016 is it’s got too much expensive downtown real estate. The commission needs to move again because its lease at the Portals is expiring in 2017. Before moving in 1998, agency personnel were scattered among several buildings near 19th & M Streets in Northwest, Washington. Long-term, the move will allow the agency to save money. Current projections show $13 million in annual savings under a new lease and net savings of some $119 million over 15 years, according to Wheeler’s testimony.

But the move will cost the FCC some $51 million in the short-term and the money has to come from somewhere, he notes.

Closing around half of the Enforcement Bureau field offices and reducing the number of field agents by a similar amount is a hard choice that will also improve the funding situation, according to Wheeler, who characterized the offices in many cases as having a “one-manager-to-four-employee ratio and oversized rental facilities, which are draining our resources.”

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Tennessee Sues FCC Over Internet Law

PC World graphic
Chattanooga, Tennessee is one of those rare cities that offers super-fast Internet to its residents. It wants to sell that service to nearby towns. It even got approval from federal regulators.

But, according to CNN Money,  now Tennessee is suing to stop Chattanooga -- and strengthen the control that cable companies have in the state.

Chattanooga laid down a fiber-optic network that offers speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for just $70 a month. That's 100 times faster than most current high-speed Internet networks. You could download an entire music album in under six seconds and a feature-length movie in 38 seconds.

Naturally, it got popular. Many living just outside Chattanooga want it too.

But Tennessee state laws, which are supported by the cable industry, would not allow such an expansion.

On February 26, the FCC issued a rule that prohibits states like Tennessee from limiting the expansion of municipal broadband Internet. The FCC said such such laws only strengthened the monopoly power of cable companies.

"Some states have created thickets of red tape designed to limit competition," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said at the hearing. "You can't say you're for competition but deny local elected officials the right to offer competitive choices."

But political conservatives portray this as a federal intrusion on state law.
Tennessee's lawsuit, filed Friday, makes the argument that the FCC has "unlawfully inserted itself" in state matters.

An FCC spokesman said the agency expects its decision to be upheld in court.

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Apple-Beats Music Stream To Rival Spotify

Apple is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like Spotify, according to The NYTimes.

Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for Beats, the maker of hip headphones and a streaming music service, Apple is working with Beats engineers and executives to introduce its own subscription streaming service. The company is also planning an enhanced iTunes Radio that may be tailored to listeners in regional markets, and, if Apple gets what it wants, more splashy new albums that will be on iTunes before they are available anywhere else, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

In a sign of how important Beats is in reshaping Apple’s digital music, the company has made a musician a point man for overhauling the iPhone’s music app to include the streaming music service, as opposed to an engineer. Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman who was the chief creative officer for Beats, is playing a major role in redesigning the music app, according to two Apple employees familiar with the product, who spoke on the condition they not be named because the plans are private.

Perhaps most telling for Apple is what its new streaming service will not have: a lower price than rival services.

Apple is also expected to overhaul iTunes Radio, the free service that the company introduced in September 2013 as a competitor to Pandora, and which has had little impact on the marketplace. One new player is Zane Lowe, a former BBC radio D.J. known as a trend-spotter. Last month he announced that he would join Apple in Los Angeles, where the Beats team is concentrated.

Lowe is expected to play a role reconfiguring iTunes Radio. Among the ideas that have been floated for iTunes Radio are a more geographically targeted approach that would bear some resemblance to a traditional radio station, with Mr. Lowe as the voice, music executives said.

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Host Doug Stephan Added To America Weekend LineUp

Doug Stephan
Envision Networks has announced host Doug Stephan as part of the all new America Weekend lineup.

Stephan can be heard every weekend hosting Good Day Weekend on affiliate stations of the Envision Talk Network, including over 15 hours of original programming broadcast on Saturday and Sunday with no repeats or “Best Of” shows.

“I am thrilled to be working with the talented people at Envision Networks to help provide this much needed service,” Stephan said.

“Doug’s shows have always been destination programming for the listener and he has the numbers to prove it. We are thrilled to add Doug and his team to our impressive America Weekend lineup,” said Michael Lichtstein, VP/Programming of Envision Networks.

Designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most News/Talk stations, America Weekend covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners. America Weekend offers over 15 hours of new programming each weekend. In addition to Doug Stephan, the new lineup also includes hosts Rolland Smith, Carl Sabatino, Ed Kalegi, Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone and Leslie Gold

The America Weekend System is the winning antidote to bad brokered programming and tiresome “Best-of” shows. America Weekend is designed to increase ratings while providing an innovative system for maintaining or even increasing revenue from brokered programs. The flexible America Weekend System provides the perfect platform to break away for sports and other special programming as needed.

For more information on America Weekend contact Valerie Brooks at 216-831-3761 or

New White House Press Room Seating Chart Released

If you've ever wondered who sits where, the White House Correspondents' Association last week unveiled an updated seating chart for the White House briefing room.

There are hundreds — maybe thousands — of reporters in Washington who cover the White House from time to time, but only 49 seats in the White House briefing room. And those seats are only slightly less coveted than the chair in the Oval Office just a few doors down the hall.

According to Gregory Korte at USAToday, where a reporter sits can determine how likely he or she is to ask a question. Major television networks and wire services occupy the front row and usually get to ask multiple questions every day. By tradition, the Associated Press — which sits front-row center — goes first.

After that, each row back makes a reporter less likely to get called on. (There are exceptions. Olivier Knox of Yahoo News gets frequent opportunities from the sixth row, as does Steven T. Dennis of Roll Call in the last row.)

At daily briefings, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest decides the order of questioning. When Obama has a news conference, the press secretary often gives him a card with a list of reporters to call on.

The newbies land in the fifth and seventh rows, and they have to share their seats: Al Jazeera shares with the Chicago Sun-Times, and BuzzFeed shares with Scripps.

iHM Partners With Rock'n'Roll Marathon Series

Competitor Group, Inc., the organizer of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, and iHeartMedia, have announced a strategic collaboration to amplify the 2015 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series.

The market-leading strengths of each brand will be united to deliver a truly unique entertainment experience for runners, while leveraging iHeartMedia's nationwide network of radio stations, its all-in-one digital streaming platform, iHeartRadio, and its strong relationships within the music industry.

"Music powers the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series and it's the foundation behind the past decade of growth in our industry," said Josh Furlow, President of CGI. "Our partnership with iHeartMedia further establishes our commitment to combine music and fitness in a way that helps make running fun and more accessible to everyone, and we're thrilled to start this new journey together."

Through the alliance, Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series entertainment in major markets will be powered by iHeartRadio. The partnership presents unmatched opportunities to promote the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series events across all of iHeartMedia's multi-platform assets, including:
  • 858 radio stations nationwide; 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S.; and 97 million monthly unique visitors across its digital properties
  • A custom Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series branded iHeartRadio station to stream 24/7 online as well as energize runners during each race day events
  • Music powered throughout event weekend by iHeartRadio, including live performances at the Toyota Headliner Concert in Nashville, Brooklyn, Savannah, Las Vegas and San Antonio.
"The network surrounding the nation's best running event series is a perfect complement to the continued innovation and growth of our iHeartRadio platform," said Jeff Howard, President of National Sales for iHeartMedia. "Our integration with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series is a natural fit given our listener reach and ability to connect fans with the artists and brands they love. Together, we'll work to deliver new experiences to runners and music fans across the country."

Toronto: CBC Cuts Local News Jobs For Digital Jobs

CBC is slashing 244 jobs from local news services across the country as its plans to shift some of its limited resources to its digital operations, according to Global News.

The cuts include 144 positions from English-language services and 100 jobs on the French side, which include 20 vacant positions and retirements.

Meanwhile, the public broadcaster is adding 80 new digital jobs as it works towards offering a continuous news stream for mobile users.

Jennifer McGuire, Editor-in-Chief of CBC News, announced the English layoffs in a note to staff, which stressed that no stations would close and all local radio programming would be maintained.

McGuire admitted that “local services will be smaller overall” but said the relative size of each region would remain the same.

“It hits just about everything, it hits technical, it hits editorial, it hits management and administration,” McGuire said in an interview.

NHL Radio's Nick Boynton Goes On Drunken Rampage

Nick Boynton
After being cut off at the bar early Thursday morning, Nick Boynton, a former defenseman with the NHL’s Boston Bruins, went on a drunken rampage at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, pushing patrons, calling women insulting names and fighting with officers, police sources said.

When it was over, Boynton, who was in Buffalo as a radio commentator for the Arizona Coyotes, ended up in police custody, facing several charges.

Boynton was so drunk, according to The Buffalo News, they decided to wait until the Friday morning session of Buffalo City Court to take him there for arraignment.

Casino personnel cut Boynton off from the bar at about 1:45 a.m. because of his intoxicated behavior, police sources said. That prompted him to yell and swear at workers, with his anger especially directed at female employees, calling them vulgar names, the police sources said.

Buffalo police officers assigned to provide security at the casino arrested Boynton, but he resisted and bit the hand of an officer while he was being subdued, police sources said.

Read More Now

Boynton has been placed on a leave of absence.

March 27 In Radio History

In 1899...inventor Marconi demonstrated the first international radio transmission between Wimereux, France to South Foreland Lighthouse, England.

In 1928...KGB-AM, San Diego, California began broadcasting.

KGB is the oldest continuing radio station in the San Diego Market. The station was granted a license in July 1922 to W.K. Azbill under the call letters of KFBC operating at 10 watts on 1210 kilocycles. This license was assigned to Dr. Arthur Wells Yale in 1927. Pickwick Broadcasting Corporation bought the station in 1928 and installed George Bowles as Vice President and Manager of the station. The call letters were changed to reflect his name as KGB. Under the Pickwick ownership, the station began operating at 1330 kilocycles. Stations used a variety of slogans to promote their identity. Among those KGB uses during this time were "The Sunshine State of California" and "Music for the Sick".

Don Lee, Incorporated bought KGB in 1931. Don Lee died in 1934 and the license was assigned to station manager Marion Harris. Art Linkletter got his professional start at KGB during this time serving as an announcer and program director. The station began operating at 1360 kilocycles in 1942. By 1949, KGB was operating at 1000 watts when Don Lee, Inc was merged with Mutual Broadcasting Company. The station was sold to Marion Harris in 1954 who increased the output to 5000 watts-days, 1000 watts-night.

On the Johnny Mann Singers web site Ron Jacobs said, "Willet Brown of Brown Broadcasting Company purchased the station in 1961 and operated it with his son Mike. Willet co-founded Mutual Broadcasting System, was pals with Howard Hughes, owned a cadillac dealership, a yacht, and his own Greyhound bus.

He expected winners from his assets. By 1963, the station's middle-of-the road (MOR) program format was going nowhere and they began the search for a strong proven programmer. They initially sought out the programmer of KMEN in San Bernardino, but didn't find who they were looking for. (Ron Jacobs had already moved on to make history at KMAK Fresno). His rival, Gene Chenault of KYNO Fresno, was trying to branch out in his new radio consulting business. Chenault became the station programmer after meeting with the Browns. Chenault brought in his partner Bill Drake and several DJs from Fresno that eventually led to KGB leading the San Diego market. They experimented and developed a new format called Boss Radio".

By the end of 1963, a more stylized bi-fold Silver Dollar Survey was being published introducing photos of the DJs as the Station of the Stars. The play list featured artists having more appeal to a younger audience.

In 1974, KGB-FM gave the world a piece of pop culture Americana. The "KGB Chicken," an advertising mascot played by Ted Giannoulas, was hatched that year when employees of KGB-FM hired Giannoulas (then a student at San Diego State University) from off the street to wear a chicken outfit for a promotion to distribute AM and FM Easter eggs to children at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The Chicken, whose antics entertained steadily larger crowds, moved on to features at concerts and sporting events (appearing at more than 520 San Diego Padres games in a row). Conflict emerged between KGB Radio and Giannoulas, and the latter was fired in 1977.

Another unnamed employee was hired to don a chicken outfit at a Padres game.

Today, 1360 AM is KLSD and airs a sport talk format.

In 1930...the first U.S. ship-to-shore broadcast took place.

In 1942…The CBS radio serial "Myrt & Marge" ended its 11-year run.

In 1943..."Blue Ribbon Town" with Groucho Marx was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network.

In 1958...CBS Records announces its sound lab's latest invention, stereophonic sound, which when played on a compatible phonograph will send sound through two channels instead of one.

In 1960...Representative Emanuel Celler (D-NY) introduces two bills designed to halt the practice of "payola" -- that is, DJs receiving cash or gifts to promote certain records. Celler, echoing the sentiments of his era, declares that "the cacophonous music called Rock and Roll" could not possibly have risen up the charts without the practice of payola.

In 1964...the original "Pirate Radio" station signed on, Radio Caroline.

Radio Caroline was founded by Ronan O'Rahilly to circumvent the record companies' control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC's radio broadcasting monopoly. Unlicensed by any government for most of its early life, it was a pirate radio station which only became formally illegal in 1967.

On a fund-raising trip to the US, O'Rahilly reportedly saw a Life Magazine photograph of Kennedy and his children in the Oval Office that served as the inspiration for the name "Caroline Radio". In the photo, Caroline Kennedy and her brother, John F. Kennedy Jr., are apparently dancing in the oval office as their father looks on, an activity which O'Rahilly reportedly interpreted as a playful disruption of government.

The Radio Caroline name was used to broadcast from five different ships owned by three different owners from 1964 -1989.

In 1977...Don Gardiner, ABC Radio died. He was one of the talented 27 staff announcers at ABC in the 1960s a group that included Milton Cross, the voice of the radio broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera; Fred Foy, who had been the radio and television announcer for The Lone Ranger: and Joel Crager who was the voice for Ivory Soap, Tylenol and E.F. Hutton for many years.

In 1963, Gardiner voiced the first bulletin on the shooting of U.S. President John F. Kennedy aired by a nationwide broadcast network.

This report was broadcast out of the New York headquarters of the ABC Radio Network on Friday, November 22, 1963 at 1:36:50 PM EST, approximately 6 1/2 minutes following the Kennedy shooting in Dallas, Texas.

In 1994...Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, married his third wife, Marta Fitzgerald.

In 2009…NBC News reporter Irving R. Levine died of complications from prostate cancer at 86.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OKC Radio: Tornado Knocks KOKC 1520 AM Off-Air

One of KOKC's Towers (photo by Storm Chaser Johnny Kelly)
Oklahoma's first severe weather of the Spring kicked off with bang Wednesday as scattered reports of tornadoes, large hail, and storm damage came in from all around the state. Hail the size of baseballs and golf balls have been common in many of the communities that the storms have moved through.

An amazing photo captured the aftermath of what a tornado did to a KOKC 1520 AM radio tower near Moore, Oklahoma. Two of the station's 3 towers were damaged. The station's N/T format is now airing on KEBC 1560 AM and continues its FM simulcast on K276EX 103.1 T-FM.

It was late Wednesday afternoon, things began to take a grim turn and by 5:30 p.m. the first tornado was confirmed in northeastern Oklahoma near Keystone Lake.

Shortly after, a tornado touched down two miles west of the OKC Fairgrounds with multiple power flashes visible from the air.

Then, around 6:35 p.m., a tornado near SW 4th St. and crossed Interstate 35 in Moore. Then, another was spotted in the same pathway tornadoes took in Moore's 2013 tornado, which resulted in 23-deaths.

There have been reports of significant damage and natural gas leaks. It also caused multiple car crashed and overturned vehicle including a semi on I-35. As a result Moore schools were canceled for Thursday.

KFOR-TV4 Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan and Bob Moore Chopper 4 pilot Jon Welsh were on the air as a tornado formed and touched down in Moore, Oklahoma on Wednesday, capturing the storm’s path of destruction live on KFOR.

No sooner had Morgan pointed to what he called a ‘gustnado’ of debris, when rotating winds from the storm started to cause electrical explosions and other destruction on screen that turned into a tornado.

Lawmaker To Tom Wheeler: "You're Playing God With Internet"

Rep. Louie Gohmert
Congressional Republicans are united in their anger over new net neutrality regulations—but no one could match the fury displayed by Rep. Louie Gohmert on Wednesday, according to the National-Journal.

"You're playing God with the Internet!" the Texas Republican shouted at Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Wheeler was testifying in the fifth and final congressional hearing in just eight days over his controversial net neutrality decision. While Wheeler and other Democrats argue that the rules will ensure people can access whatever online content they want, Republicans consider them an unnecessary burden on Internet providers that will stifle investment.

Gohmert, who is well known for his often bombastic defense of conservative principles, was subdued when he first began questioning the FCC chief. He asked Wheeler what congressional authority the FCC has for the new rules and whether the commission will leave some room for Internet providers to reach creative business deals.

Wheeler pointed to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for legal justification of the regulations, and responded that, yes, Internet providers still will have some freedom to experiment with new business models.

That's when Gohmert pounced: "I would submit to you that something in 1996 had nothing to do with wanting you to take charge of the Internet," Gohmert said, his voice rising. "And I would also thank you for your willingness to leave some room for exploratory business models and new business models—that's really so gracious of you. Because before the FCC stepped in, everyone was able to explore new business models!"

Lew Dickey Tells SXSW Panel Of Radio's Strengths

Lew Dickey
Last week,  Lew Dickey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media appeared at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference.

Dickey told SXSW attendees how listeners and artists are benefiting from the integration of broadcast radio and music streaming services.

Dickey was featured on a panel moderated by digital news outlet Quartz’s John McDuling, along with fellow panelists Rdio Chief Executive Officer Anthony Bay and Glassnote Entertainment Group President/Chief Executive Officer Daniel Glass. The panel, entitled The Marriage of Radio & Online Listening, will discuss the future for merged relationships between radio and online listening.

D/FW: Kannon Joins KVIL As New Morning Host

Mike Kannon, who goes by Kannon on-air, has joined AC KVIL 103.7 FM as its new morning hot.

Kannon began Wednesday morning filling a slot that’s been vacant on CBS Radio's KVIL since Zazza Mornings with Tony Zazza and Julie Fisk was dropped in November.

According to The Star-Telegam, Kannon was dropped in October by KLIF 93.3 FM when it switched from the i93 format to Hot 93.3, which at first sounded like i93-style top 40, then switched briefly to classic hip-hop, and is now more contemporary hip-hop and R&B.

“Kannon brings a wealth of social-media experience and an expansive knowledge of everything pop culture to our more music morning show on the New 103.7 KVIL,” program director Jay Michaels said. Kannon indeed is social-media savvy: check him out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Kannon’s resume includes stations in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Portland, Maine. He began his radio career as a high school student in Raleigh, N.C., hosting weekend overnights at WRDU-FM and went on to become the mix show DJ in Boston for a nationally syndicated program, Open House Party, which he now hosts on Sunday nights. Kannon will be based in DFW, and Open House Party will begin airing on KVIL this weekend.

KVIL 103.7 FM (99 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The Kannon move is the latest in a series of changes at KVIL that began in early 2013 when the station dropped longtime morning-show duo Gene and Julie Gates. The Gateses are now doing mornings at WRAL — coincidentally, in Raleigh, N.C. the city where Kannon got his start.

The most recent change at KVIL before Kannon’s debut came last week, when longtime DFW radio personality Christopher Hackett was dropped as midday host. There now appears to be some sense of stability at the station with a full 5:30 a.m.- midnight lineup, with Kannon on till 10 a.m., Sybil Summers in the 10 a.m.-3 p.m. slot, Leigh Ann Adam and Courtney Kerr’s antics from 3 to 7 p.m., and Kory on from 7 to midnight.

L-A Radio: KROQ's Lisa May Says Goodbye On KLOS

Whenever listeners lose a favorite radio station or well-known personality, they often complain there were "no goodbyes"

Former CBS Radio KROQ 106.7 FM Traffic reporter Lisa May, an integral member of the Kevin & Bean Morning Show, was let go February 18 after 24-years.  Fan took to social media to express their outrage.

Wednesday, the Heidi and Frank Morning Show on Cumulus' KLOS 95.5 FM gave May a chance to say those goodbyes.  She said her sudden departure "was shocking".

Lisa Ma


May also opened-up on a recent edition of the Alison Rosen Podcast.

“OK, so this is the story no one has really heard,” May began on Rosen’s podcast. “We were on vacation, I think it was President’s Day. We came back on Tuesday and everything was fine.”

The Wrap reports when she got home from that day’s show, however, May had an email from someone who filled in for her from time to time, asking why he was set to sit in for May the following day. She had no idea either, but decided to find out.

May then called the show’s producer Dave to find out why he scheduled a substitute, but didn’t get much: He simply said, “I don’t know Lisa, I was just told to do it.”

Following that phone call, May saw an email from her boss at Total Traffic — technically her actual employer.

“I can’t tell you anything legally, but don’t go to work tomorrow,” he said on the phone. “But meet
me at the KROQ studios at 10 a.m.”

That morning, May met with H-R and was told, "You have not been let go for cause, but you are being let go."

Crying, May went to PD Kevin Weatherly’s office, who May told Rosen was never her “biggest fan” — he had previously expressed displeasure with how much she chimed in during the show’s “Showbiz Report.”

Show talent Kevin, Dave, Ralph Garman joined them; Bean called in from Seattle.

“You guys, I have known you for 24 years,” May remembered saying to them. “I can’t believe this is how this is happening.”

Bean said, “We’re so sorry and we wanted to call you and we wanted to talk to you, but the lawyer said we couldn’t.”

“We are not going to do traffic anymore and we’re not going to do news anymore, so we’re letting you go,” Weatherly told her.

“But you are hiring another female,” she replied, even guessing the name correctly on the spot: “Allie Mac Kay?”


ESPN Radio 'Enhances' Evening Line-Up

  • Bomani Jones Gets ESPN Radio Show
ESPN Radio will debut an enhanced weekday evening lineup beginning Monday, March 30, with shows hosted by three distinct ESPN voices with disparate takes on the sports world – Jorge Sedano, Bomani Jones and Freddie Coleman.

The new lineup will kick off at 7 p.m. ET with The Sedano Show, followed by an evocative new program The Right Time with Bomani Jones at 9 p.m. and continuing with the three-hour The Freddie Coleman Show at 11 p.m.

The restructured lineup will provide sports fans the opportunity to listen to three dynamic individuals who all offer thought-provoking opinions on the most impactful topics of the day.

“The new weeknight lineup underscores our commitment to serve sports fans by offering the most compelling, interesting, informative and entertaining content from an on-air team that is dynamic, distinctive and diverse all week long,” said David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Audio network content.

David Roberts
Jones has contributed to ESPN as a writer and commentator for close to a decade. He became a fulltime co-host of Highly Questionable, on ESPN weekdays at 4:30 p.m., in May 2013 and had previously appeared regularly on ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show. The Right Time with Bomani Jones will showcase Jones’ provocative opinions, relevant guests and listener interaction while discussing topical issues. Jones’ show will be broadcast from Miami.

“The best radio shows are the most fun, and that's what I want The Right Time to be,” said Jones. “The show will feature smart stuff, tackle the most important topics, and I can promise we'll handle sports in a way no one else does on radio.”

With more than 15 years of radio broadcast experience, Sedano hosted Sedano & Stink alongside Mark Schlereth since joining ESPN in 2013. The Sedano Show will focus on the latest sports news with an emphasis on listener interaction.

Coleman joined ESPN Radio in 2004.The Freddie Coleman Show, with a new start time of 11 p.m., will remain the post-game destination for radio listeners, with an emphasis on reaction, opinion and post-game interviews with the night’s difference makers.

All programs will be available nationally on, the ESPN Radio app, SiriusXM, Apple iTunes, Slacker and TuneIn.

In January, ESPN Audio also revamped its weekend lineup that added fresh perspectives from some of the top voices across the country.