Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 25 Radio History

In 1937...The radio soap opera "Stella Dallas" made its debut as a local show in New York City. The 15-minute drama, with Anne Elstner in the title role, was picked up by the NBC radio network beginning June 6, 1938, and aired on weekday afternoons through 1955.

In 1958...Cliff Richard made his British radio debut on the BBC's 'Saturday Club.' The show had started life as Saturday "Skiffle" club in 1957 hosted by Brian Matthew and was broadcast from 10am to 12noon Saturday mornings on the BBC Light Programme.

In 1995, Cliff Richard received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Cliff was reputed to be a favorite of the 95-year-old Queen Mother.

In 1959...Chicago-based announcer & host Bob Murphy died at age 42. He was best known nationally for his announcing & substitute hosting on Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club on ABC.

In 1969...The Hot 100..The Temptations remained at #1 with one of their biggest career hits--"I Can't Get Next To You".  Sly & the Family Stone would have to settle for #2 this time with "Hot Fun In The Summertime".  The former #1 classic by the Archies--"Sugar, Sugar" was still at #3 after 14 weeks while Oliver's "Jean" was at #4 and Elvis Presley was moving up with "Suspicious Minds".

The rest of the Top 10:  Bobby Sherman's "Little Woman", "Wedding Bell Blues" the new smash by the 5th Dimension, Smith moved from 13 to 8 with "Baby It's You", the Cuff Links were up to 9 with "Tracy" and Lou Christie entered the Top 10 with "I'm Gonna' Make You Mine".

In 1969...The Album Chart..Green River by CCR was #1 on the Album chart for a fourth week but something was happening that even it couldn't contend with.  Johnny Cash At San Quentin was #2 and the Rolling Stones rolled backwards with Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2).  In one of the biggest chart moves in Rock Era history, the Beatles moved from #178 to #4 with Abbey Road.  Pretty good sign that it's an album for all-time.

The rest of the Top 10:  Blind Faith with their self-titled album, In-A Gadda-Da-Vida from Iron Butterfly, the great debut from Blood, Sweat & Tears, Isaac Hayes with Hot Buttered Soul (that sounds tasty...), the Best of Cream and Santana with their great debut.

In 1984...The summer ratings book…

Los Angeles – KIIS-FM (top-40) gets a 10.0 share. Rival KKHR is up to a 3.0. Talk KABC is up to a 7.9. Easy JOI – 4.4 and Easy KBIG – 4.1. Rock KLOS down to a 3.5 from a 3.9. Nostalgia KMPC at a 3.4 and AC KOST gets a 2.7. Rock KMET is at a #.1, All news KNX and  KFWB are tied at a 2.9.  A/C KFI is up to a 1.8 from a 1.4. KHTZ is at a 2.0.

In New York – WHTZ – 6.6 and rival WPLJ – 5.3.  WRKS gets a 5.4. WOR – 4.7. WINS – 4.4 and Easy WRFM – 3.7. Urban WBLS at a 3.5. WBLS is the “Quiet Storm” at night. WKTU – 3.1. WNBC – 3.0 and Country WHN – 2.9. WNEW AM and WNEW-FM both at a 3.1. WLTW and WYNY are tied at a 2.8. WABC gets a 2.6. WAPP – 2.4 and WMCA – 1.5

Chicago – Top-4- WBBM FM – 5.0. WGN-AM – 11.4 share. Easy WLOO – 6.8.

Boston – Rock WBCN – 8.6. A/C WHDH – 8.4. Top-40 WXKS – 7.5. WBZ – 7.4. Top-40 WHTT – 6.6. Talk WRKO – 4.7

In 1984...CKLW Windsor/Detroit is switched to a nostalgia music format.

Out is long-time music director Rosalie Trombley who served in that capacity since CKLW’s influential heyday in the ‘60’s. In the summer ratings book, CKLW dropped again, from a 1.2 to a .7.

Manybelieve that CKLW started to decline in popularity after Canadian content regulations went into effect. Although having to play some "CanCon" songs that generated little in the way of sales put the station at a competitive disadvantage compared to its U.S.-based competition, CKLW still managed to help break a number of Canadian songs and artists in the United States. Just as, if not more, responsible for the decline in CKLW's ratings as the 1970s wore on was the rise of FM radio as an outlet for contemporary music, as the station gained a direct FM Top 40 competitor, WDRQ, in 1972, and its listening audience was also fragmented between album oriented rock outlets such as WWWW, WRIF and WABX and adult contemporary stations like WNIC and WMJC.

The Canadian government's initial unwillingness to licence FM frequencies with pop or rock formats stranded Canadian stations on AM while an entire demographic of listeners began the exodus to US-based FM outlets anywhere the signals were in range. For many younger listeners by 1978, CKLW was the station they listened to only if they had an AM-only radio in their cars.

As a result, like many other powerhouse AM Top 40 stations, CKLW evolved during the late 1970s into an Adult Top 40 sound. The station's music softened to the point where by 1982 it gave no airtime to harder-rocking songs like Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", and jingles were initially phased out, with new jingles and a new slogan ("The Great Entertainer") being introduced in 1979.

Dick Purtan joined the station for mornings in 1978, coming over from WXYZ-AM. Largely due to Purtan's popularity, CKLW remained a moderately popular station into the early 1980s, but after Purtan departed at the start of 1983 for FM competitor WCZY, the station quickly tumbled to the bottom of Detroit's Arbitron ratings (its last appearance in the Top 10 was in 1981). In an attempt to go after longtime "full service" powerhouse WJR, CKLW converted to AM stereo in 1982 and even got the rights to broadcast University of Michigan football and NASL soccer, but in this it was also unsuccessful.

In 1984, the station's owners (Baton Broadcasting) sold CKLW-AM-FM to Russwood Broadcasting Ltd. Also in 1984, CKLW made an attempt to transfer its CHR format to its FM sister station, big band and jazz standards-formatted CKJY. These hopes were dashed when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) refused to approve the format change on anything more than an "experimental" basis, reasoning that FM was for "fine" music and that Top 40 music belonged on AM.

CLICK HERE for more about CKLW

The final death knell for the "Big 8" came in October 1984, when the station fired 79 staffers (including most of the remaining announcers and Rosalie Trombley), closed its American sales office in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan, and announced that it would soon change format to Al Ham's "Music of Your Life" format of Jazz standards and big-band music and go completely automated.

Morton Downey - 1933
In of early radio’s singing stars Morton Downey  died at age 83.

In 1991...rock promoter Bill Graham Image result for bill graham died in a helicopter crash after a Huey Lewis concert in Concord, Calif. He was 60. Among the events produced by Graham were the Live Aid concert, Amnesty International tour and US Festival. At times he managed the careers of the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and Santana.

In 2002...British actor Richard Harris, who had a huge radio hit with his 1968 recording of Jim Webb’s classic MacArthur Park, died of Hodgkin’s Disease at age 72.

Twin Cities Radio: Turner, Nagel OUT At KTWN

Turner and Nagel
Two longtime Twin Cities radio DJs, Brian "BT" Turner and Jason Nagel, were fired from KTWN Go 96.3 FM Friday afternoon.

Turner shared the news in an email: "Jason Nagel and I (are) at Elsie's toasting new corners to turn after both being canned today at Go 96.3." When asked for further comment, Turner replied: "Drinking now. You understand. ..."

In a phone interview late Friday afternoon with, Nagel said he thought the move was budget-related. "I don't know much," Nagel said, "but it looks like a straight-up cutback to me."

Representatives from the Pohlad family-owned station did not immediately respond when asked for a comment, but Nagel and Turner's biographies have vanished from Go 96.3's website.

In January, the Pohlads relaunched the former K-TWIN as Go 96.3, with an eye toward taking on Minnesota Public Radio's 89.3 The Current. Turner and Nagel were the first DJs announced for the new station, which also hired Barb Abney, who was fired from the Current just as Go 96.3 was getting started.

Both Turner and Nagel spent years at Cities 97 before jumping ship to K-TWIN in late 2012 and early 2013.

Univision Crews Tossed From Trump FL Event

Univision says a crew from its network and a crew from its local affiliate were asked to leave the Trump National Doral Friday while attempting to cover Donald Trump's campaign event.

The station said both crews were told that they were cleared to cover the event, but when they showed up, they were told that they were not allowed on the property by what appeared to be an off-duty Doral police officer.

The incident comes as pro-immigration organizations and members of the South Florida Hispanic community came out hours ahead of the event to protest Trump's visit to Doral.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

FOX Ratings Winner Covering Clinton Testimony

Hillary Clinton
The media went full bore covering Hillary Clinton's appearance in front of the House Benghazi Committee on Thursday, attracting nonstop coverage from nearly every news organization. And Politico reports the ratings show that it paid off.

CNN, MSNBC and Al Jazeera America carried all 11 hours of Clinton's testimony live and mostly commercial free (except for breaks), a feat only reserved for the most important breaking news events.

Fox News carried the hearings live and commercial free until early primetime, cutting away at 5 p.m. for "The Five," though it kept the hearing on a split screen for most of the show. Fox Business, CNBC, HLN and Bloomberg carried large portions of the testimony throughout the day as well, though they also cut off by the afternoon.

Despite the length of the hearing, there was clear interest from cable-news viewers. Dayside shows that typically draw comparably modest ratings instead drew millions.

Overall, in total day, Fox News averaged 1.6 million total viewers, MSNBC averaged 778,000 total viewers and CNN averaged 690,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. In primetime, Fox averaged 2.5 million viewers, MSNBC drew 1.4 million and CNN 1.3 million.

C-SPAN, which arguably had the most comprehensive analysis, is not rated by Nielsen, so ratings are not available.

Bob Dotson Sign-Off After 40-Years With NBC News

Bob Dotson, the NBC News national correspondent who for 40 years traveled the back roads of the country in search of what he called “ordinary people who did extraordinary things,” retired from the network Friday.

Dotson - 1970
The LA Times reports Dotson’s “American Story” segments have been a part of NBC “Today” since the 1980s. His stories often focused on people known in their communities for performing generous acts -- long before everyone could be instantly celebrated on social media. He was among the few TV news correspondents known for showing up in small towns where there had not been a tragedy or natural disaster.

After starting his TV news career in Oklahoma City, Dotson joined WKYC-TV in Cleveland in 1975, when NBC-owned stations worked in tandem with the news division.

He moved to Atlanta when "Today" made him part of a group of correspondents that included Mike Leonard in Chicago and Boyd Matson in Los Angeles, who were assigned to a regular segment called "Cross Country." It was developed in response to viewer perception that the news media focused too much attention on New York and Washington.

ESPN Yanks Content From YouTube

(Reuters) -- Walt Disney Co's sports network ESPN said it will not make its content available on YouTube, due to the recently announced ad-free subscription-based offering coined YouTube Red.

Alphabet Inc's YouTube said on Wednesday it will launch YouTube Red, a $10-a-month subscription option that lets viewers watch videos without interruption from advertisements, in the United States on Oct. 28.

"ESPN is not currently part of the Red service. Content previously available on the free YouTube service will be available across ESPN digital properties," ESPN said in a statement.

ESPN would not be part of the subscription service at launch due to "rights and legal" issues, a YouTube spokeswoman told Reuters.

Disney, ESPN's parent company, however, has signed a deal to include its content on YouTube Red, the spokeswoman said.

Houston Radio: The Bull Hosts Pinktober Concert

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, KILT 100.3 FM The Bull, Hard Rock Café and PODS of Houston have teamed up for the 16th Annual Pinktober concert benefiting The Rose. The event kicks off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 25th with performances by multi-award nominated artists, Kelsea Ballerini and CAM.

As the presenting sponsor for PINKTOBER, PODS of Houston has also joined forces with 100.3 The Bull to host the 1st annual Survivors dinner. Throughout the last month, 100.3 THE BULL on air personalities asked listeners to share their stories of survival. 5 lucky winners (+ a guest) were selected to have an exclusive VIP dinner with Kelsea Ballerini and Cam.

Artist Kelsea Ballerini said of the upcoming event and Survivors Dinner, “I really believe in getting involved in great causes like this even as a brand new Artist, and Breast Cancer is something that affects everyone, whether it be someone close to you, or a friend of a friend.  I'm so excited to be a part of this night with Cam and KILT to raise awareness and celebrate survivors.”

PODS of Houston is placing a special PODS Container, completely wrapped in pink, outside of the Hard Rock Cafe Houston beginning on Friday, October 23, 2015. The PODS Container will feature breast cancer prevention tips and be a space for survivors and their families to share their stories.

To kick off the event, Hard Rock Cafe Houston will be doing a pink balloon release, where guests will be able to purchase a card and place it inside a balloon for the release. Additional pink products will be available for purchase during the event. All proceeds will benefit The Rose, an organization that helps reduce deaths from breast cancer by providing access to screening, diagnosis and treatment services to any woman regardless of her ability to pay.

Tickets are still available for $15, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting The Rose. Purchase tickets at

Nashville Radio: Carrie Underwood Visits A-M-S

L-R: America’s Morning Show’s Ashley Till, Chuck Wicks, Carrie Underwood and Blair Garner
Carrie Underwood joined America’s Morning Show Friday morning to talk about her new album Storyteller, and she even told AMS what her new baby Isaiah will be for Halloween.

October 24 Radio History

In 1861…The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States was completed.

Rudy Vallee
In of radio’s first “really big shows” The Fleishmann Hour starring Rudy Vallee was broadcast for the first time over NBC radio. Actually, the Rudy Vallee show had several different titles over the years, all of which were referred to by the public as The Rudy Vallee Show. Megaphone-totin’ Rudy and his Connecticut Yankees band were mainstays on radio into the late 1940s.

In 1930...J.P. Richardson, Texas disc jockey who became famous under the name the Big Bopper ("Chantilly Lace") was born in Sabine Pass, Texas; died in the light plane crash February 3, 1959 that also claimed the life of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens shortly after takeoff.

J.P. Rochardson 'The Big Bopper'
Richardson worked part-time at Beaumont, Texas, radio station KTRM (now KZZB). He was hired by the station full-time in 1949 and quit college. Richardson was promoted to Supervisor of Announcers at KTRM in 1953.

In March 1955, he was drafted into the United States Army and did his basic training at Fort Ord, California. He spent the rest of his two-years' service as a radar instructor at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

Following his discharge in March 1957, Richardson returned to KTRM radio, where he held down the "Dishwashers' Serenade" shift from 11 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday through Friday. One of the station's sponsors wanted Richardson for a new time slot and suggested an idea for a show. Richardson had seen the college students doing a dance called The Bop, and he decided to call himself "The Big Bopper". His new radio show ran from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Richardson soon became the station's program director.

In May 1957, he broke the record for continuous on-air broadcasting by 8 minutes. From a remote setup in the lobby of the Jefferson Theatre in downtown Beaumont, Richardson performed for a total of five days, two hours, and eight minutes, playing 1,821 records and taking showers during 5-minute newscasts.

From the Dick Clark Sarturday Night Show on ABC-TV in 1958...

Richardson is credited for creating the first music video in 1958, and recorded an early example himself.

In 1970...President Richard Nixon asked radio broadcasters to screen songs containing lyrics that promoted drug use.

In 1989...Hank Ballard, Bobby Darin, the Four Tops, the Four Seasons, Holland-Dozier-Holland, the Kinks, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the Platters, the Who, plus Simon & Garfunkel were all inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2002...Atlantic Records producer/engineer Tom Dowd died of emphysema. In his 77 years he’d recorded albums by many top artists including: Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Cream, Lulu, Chicago, The Allman Brothers Band, The J. Geils Band, Meat Loaf, Sonny & Cher, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Kenny Loggins, Dusty Springfield, The Drifters and Otis Redding.

In Radio DJ/Programmer, Dean Anthony died at age 68 from cancer. Anthony programmed WHLI-AM, Long Island for 22 years.

Dean Anthony (undate  photo)
Anthony played country music at WJRZ (later WWDJ) in Hackensack, N.J., from 1970 until 1971 when he began a 10-year stint at WTFM New York. During a labour strike at WTFM in 1981, Anthony picked up part-time work at WHLI Hempstead, N.Y. He stayed there 22 years, twice being named program director of the year by Barnstable Broadcasting.

He was so well-liked that WHLI held a 10-hour tribute to him on the fifth anniversary of his death. For years, Anthony played "I Think of You" by Perry Como every day at 12:40 p.m., and the station continued that practice in his memory.

Anthony was also one of the original jocks during the '60's hey days of NYC radio at WMCA (Aircheck: Click Here) . Known by his listeners as 'Dean-O On The Radio' he was an original "WMCA Good Guy" who welcomed the Beatles, Rolling Stones, plus the entire Motown and British Invasion into the "Big Apple", as well as into the USA.

Before coming to WMCA, Anthony was program director and afternoon personality at WPGC Washington, D.C., from 1960 to 1964 as Dean Griffith. Prior to that, he was at WGH Norfolk, Va.

Friday, October 23, 2015

FCC Issues Plan To Revitalize The AM Band

The FCC has formally taken action in its efforts to revitalize the AM band.  The commission has released the long-awaited AM Radio Revitalization Report and Order

RadioWorld reports the FCC seeks to reform several of the technical rules pertaining to the AM band, including:
  • The addition of two AM-only windows for AM stations to obtain new FM translators. The first will give an AM station more flexibility to move an FM translator that has been purchased on the secondary market, an idea that had been advanced in recent months of debate on this issue. The second will give AM stations without FM translators the chance to apply for one. That has been a goal of AM advocates; the timing of the latter is unclear at this writing but was expected to be later than the first step. 
  • Elimination of the so-called ratchet rule, which requires an AM station to ratchet back its nighttime signal when changes are made to the AM station’s facilities. While the goal was to reduce nighttime AM interference to other AM stations, the rule, its detractors say, has been a loophole for delaying service improvements and has resulted in a net loss of interference-free nighttime AM service.
NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued a statement saying it's a "great day for AM radio""
"This is a great day for AM radio and for millions of listeners across America. For decades, AM radio has been a critical source of information, entertainment and lifeline programming for local communities. We are particularly grateful to Commissioners Pai and Clyburn, who have both championed AM radio and worked hard to find ways to improve its reach, and to the Media Bureau for taking important steps to improve and expand AM radio service. NAB also salutes Chairman Wheeler, who worked with his colleagues to develop a comprehensive proposal to address this important issue."

FCC Proposes To Streamline Foreign Ownership

The FCC has unanimously voted to propose streamlining the FCC's foreign ownership rules for broadcasters looking to exceed the current 25% stake that triggers FCC vetting.

Broadcasting&Cable reports the proposal essentially extends the streamlining applied to common carriers to TV and radio stations.

The item codifies that broadcasters can request that a controlling parent company have up to 100% foreign ownership of a broadcast property subject to the FCC's public interest review, as well as the "team telecom" review, an interagency review team vetting foreign ownership deals for national security issues.

The item also allows a non-controlling foreign ownership stake be able to be raised to 49.99% without having to petition the FCC.

It also does not require FCC approval of noncontrolling foreign interests of 5% or less, or 20% in certain circumstances. There were complaints about the difficulty of tracking down and identifying all shareholders to make that determination.

Pandora Loss Widens, Shares Plunge

(Reuters) -- Music Streaming Service Pandora Media Inc, reported a bigger quarterly loss as content acquisition costs nearly doubled, sending its shares sharply lower after hours.

The company said on Thursday it agreed to a $90 million settlement with a coalition of record companies for use of their recordings created before 1972.

Pandora said it recorded $57.9 million of the total settlement fee in the third quarter ended Sept.30.

The settlement follows satellite-radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc's $210 million settlement in June with the same coalition.

The coalition includes ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings and Warner Music Group.

It ends part of a long-running battle between the music industry and broadcasters over the right to play songs recorded before Feb. 15, 1972.

“Pandora is excited to have found resolution with these record labels,” said Brian McAndrews, Chief Executive Officer at Pandora.

“Together we share a common objective to grow the music industry and support artists. We pursued this settlement in order to move the conversation forward and continue to foster a better, collaborative relationship with the labels.”

“Major settlements with SiriusXM and now Pandora means that an iconic generation of artists and the labels that supported them will be paid for the use of their creative works,” said Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman.

“That is a significant milestone and a big win for the music community.

Pandora forecast fourth-quarter revenue of $325 million-$330 million. Analyst on average were expecting $351.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pandora's net loss widened to $85.9 million, or 40 cents per share, in the quarter, from $2 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $311.6 million from $239.6 million, but this was far short of the average analyst estimate of $313 million.

Pandora's shares were down 20.5 percent at $15.25 in after-market trading.

Up to Thursday's close, stock had risen 7.6 percent this year.

Takeaways From Pandora Conf Call With Analysts

Highlights of CEO Brian McAndrews 3Q 2015 comments to analysts during Thursday's conference call:
Brian McAndrews
  • Pandora's share of all U.S. radio listening is now 9.49% as of September 30, 2015, up from 9.06% at the same time last year. As measured by comScore, Pandora's total multi-platform unique visitors in September 2015 held constant year-over-year at 84.8 million.
  • comScore September Mobile Metrix report ranked Pandora as the number one mobile service in the U.S. in terms of average minutes per user – ahead of Facebook.
  • Local ad revenue grew 52% year-over-year and represented 25% of total ad revenue.
  • Over the past 10 years, "we have amassed the largest, most engaged audience in streaming music history. With Ticketfly, we will thrill music lovers and lift ticket sales for artists, as the most effective marketplace for connecting music makers and fans...Ticketfly has become a major force in the live events industry."
  • "Pandora recorded two significant one-time cumulative charges in the quarter as a result of two steps we are taking to better partner with the music industry. The first charge relates to pre-1972 works where we have agreed to a $90 million settlement with UMG Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment, Capitol Records, Warner Music Group and ABKCO Music and Records for the use of pre-1972 content through the end of 2016. This settlement covers approximately 90% of our pre-1972 spins. We have recorded a cumulative charge, including the effect on 251 the current quarter, of $57.9 million to content costs in the quarter, where the remainder of the settlement will be recorded through the end of 2016 according to expected usage patterns."
  • "Pandora has also decided to refresh our approach to publishing rights with the intent of creating a framework for constructive, sustainable, long-term partnerships. In conjunction with its purchase of KXMZ, the broadcast license for which was approved by the FCC this past summer, our strategy had been to utilize a royalty license available to Pandora called the RMLC license from the date that we initiated the KXMZ acquisition in June 2013. Our financial statements have historically reflected this position. However, as a sign of good faith to our publishing partners, we have decided to forgo the application of the RMLC license from June 2013 to September 2015, and the rate associated with that license. As a result, we have recorded a charge of $23.9 million to cost of revenue content acquisition costs in the quarter to reflect a true-up from the RMLC rate for ASCAP and BMI to the rate established by the respective rate courts."

Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft Earnings Wins

A triple win for three big tech companies in after-hours earnings. Stocks posted strong gains during the regular trading day on strong corporate results. Bobbi Rebell reports.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Makes $5B In One Day

Amazon's third-quarter earnings report was an overall beat, with shares up almost 11% in after-hours trading, nearly double where the company was last year.

As a result, Bezos has added $5 billion to his personal wealth, making his net worth more than $55 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Business Insider reports, the only two Americans richer than Bezos are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

It also makes Bezos the fifth-richest person in the world. For reference, Bezos was No. 20 on the Bloomberg Billionaires' List at the beginning of the year.

Amazon, a company known for growing its business at a loss, has now had two consecutive quarters with a profit. In the second quarter, Amazon reported net income of $92 million, or an earnings per share of $0.19

McDonald's Shares Jump On Good News

(Reuters) -- McDonald's Corp shares hit an all-time high on Thursday after Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said a rebound in quarterly restaurant sales showed that his turnaround plan is starting to work.

Global sales at established restaurants were up a much better-than-expected 4 percent in the third quarter, ending six straight quarters of flat or falling results. And, Easterbrook said, the trend would continue in the current quarter.

Shares of the world's biggest restaurant chain by sales jumped more than 8 percent to a record $110.88 in early trading as a renewed focus on value and service helped business around the world.

"The progress we have made in a short amount of time gives me confidence we're making the right moves to turn around our business and reposition McDonald's as a modern, progressive burger company," Easterbrook said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

The United States, McDonald's No. 1 market for profit, reported a surprise 0.9 percent increase in sales at restaurants open at least 13 months. McDonald's said a new Premium Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Deluxe sandwich and its decision to swap butter for margarine on its Egg McMuffins helped the division break a two-year streak of quarterly sales declines.

On Thursday, Easterbrook said winning back customers remains a top priority in the United States, where competition is fierce and speed is key.

All-day breakfast, launched Oct. 6, is part of that effort.

iHM Names Adam Weiss VP/Political Strategy

Adam Weiss
iHeartMedia announced today that Adam Weiss has joined the company as its Vice President, Political Strategy, effective immediately.

He is based in Washington, D.C. and will report to Kenny Day, Senior Vice President, Political Sales and Strategy.

In his new role, Weiss will manage iHeartMedia’s high-level relationships with progressive candidates, parties, Independent Expenditures, Super PACs and other political organizations.

In addition, he will help run the centralized iHeartMedia Campaign 2016 Command Center (aka “War Room”), which will track more than 1,000 national, statewide and local elections across more than 150 markets. He will also support the political sales team across iHeartMedia’s 150 markets.

"Adam’s hands-on experience running Congressional races for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gives him rare tactical campaign experience and a strong political network that makes him the perfect person to help lead iHeartMedia’s political strategy,” said Day.

“iHeartMedia has an unparalleled ability to provide its political partners with cutting-edge opportunities to get their message directly to key consumers,” said Weiss. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to join iHeartMedia’s world-class political strategy team and I look forward to helping progressive campaigns harness the power of the iHeartMedia platform to effectively and efficiently target voters during such an exciting election cycle."

Weiss has over a decade of experience in political strategy, policy and public affairs.

FCC's Wheeler Vows To Require Equal Time

The head of the Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion prom­ised Thursday to en­force his agency’s reg­u­la­tions re­quir­ing tele­vi­sion sta­tions to give polit­ic­al can­did­ates equal op­por­tun­it­ies for air­time.

“The rules are pretty clear. Rules are rules,” FCC Chair­man Tom Wheel­er told re­port­ers Thursday. “I hope that we have de­veloped a repu­ta­tion as folks who en­force the rules.”

Tom Wheeler
The National Review reports Hil­lary Clin­ton’s ap­pear­ance earli­er this month on Sat­urday Night Live could trig­ger the so-called “equal-time” rules, as could Don­ald Trump’s plan to host the long-run­ning NBC com­edy show next month. That doesn’t ne­ces­sar­ily mean Lin­coln Chafee will be the next host of SNL—but it could mean that loc­al NBC af­fil­i­ates across the coun­try will have to give pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates ac­cess to equal TV time, except in bonafide news programs.

Un­der a law passed in 1934, the FCC re­quires broad­cast tele­vi­sion and ra­dio sta­tions (but not cable chan­nels) to give equal op­por­tun­it­ies to “leg­ally qual­i­fied” can­did­ates. The law ex­empts news pro­grams, which the FCC has broadly in­ter­preted to in­clude talk shows like The To­night Show.

But the rules would likely ap­ply to a scrip­ted pro­gram like SNL. Con­cern over hav­ing to give air­time to oth­er can­did­ates led some sta­tions to stop air­ing Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger movies in his cam­paigns for Cali­for­nia gov­ernor and sta­tions to pull re­runs of Law & Or­der when Fred Thompson ran for the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion in 2007.

Lawrence Lessig, a Har­vard Uni­versity law pro­fess­or who is run­ning a long-shot pres­id­en­tial cam­paign to draw at­ten­tion to cam­paign-fin­ance is­sues, has already filed re­quests with dozens of NBC af­fil­i­ates for three minutes and 12 seconds of air­time fol­low­ing Clin­ton’s ap­pear­ance on SNL last month.

Read More Now

Cincy Radio: Brian Douglas Exits Q102

Brian Douglas
Brian Douglas of WKRQ 101.9 FM exits Q102 Friday to take a shot at becoming a full-time photographer.

After moonlighting as the official photographer for “Marauders,” Mariah Carey’s “A Christmas Melody” and Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead,” Douglas opened his show at 3 p.m. Thursday by telling listeners his last day is Friday.

“The past 28 years have been the absolute best years of my life. I have been blessed beyond belief to work at Q102 in my hometown of Cincinnati,” said Douglas, who will do some part-time fill-in shifts at Q102, as his schedule permits, according to Cincinnati media writer John Kiesewetter.

The popular afternoon DJ with Laura Powell had been shifted to mornings with a revolving door of co-hosts before the station hired Jeff Thomas and Jenn Jordan in 2002. Douglas and Powell have been No. 1 in the afternoon Nielsen ratings since 2011 for women ages 25-54, the station's target demographic.

Douglas also is Q102’s music director, winning national recognition from Billboard magazine in 1995 and a new Porsche in 1993 in an Active Industry Research (AIR) contest for predicting how well new records would sell.

Douglas started in radio at WCNW 1560 AM. Q102 hired him in December 1987. He has paired with Powell for eight years. Q102 will celebrate his radio career before he signs off 7 p.m. Friday.

Springfield MO: KTXR To Flip To Outlaw Country

Meyer Communications is proud to announce that beginning Monday, November 2, 2015, AC KTXR 101.3 FM will become the Ozarks Genuine Red Dirt Country, 101.3 The Outlaw.

According to the company, the move follows a test launch of The Outlaw in March 2015 on KBFL 99.9 FM located just north of Springfield in Buffalo, Missouri.

“The format has been a tremendous success considering the limited coverage area of the signal,” said Jeff Clinkingbeard, consultant for Meyer Communications.

“People in the Ozarks are hard working with a great sense of rural values. Until The Outlaw, Country stations in the Ozarks were programmed in Hollywood and New York and feature Pop Country. Other stations featured Classic Oldies Country. Listeners have loved the fact that we are playing Southern Rock, Real Red Dirt Texas Country music.”

Both advertisers and listeners consistantly had the same feedback, “We love the station, but we wish it had a stronger signal.” Meyer Communications is solving that issue.

KTXR 101.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
KTXR The Outlaw will be transmitting at 100,000 watts and with it’s 1,400 foot tower has the largest FM coverage map in Missouri. Meyer Communications has partnered with The Outlaw Nation to bring the format to the Ozarks.

No word on the new format for KBFL 99.9 FM once KTXR assumes the Outlaw programming.

Triton Digital To Measure iHeartRadio

Triton Digital, a leading technology provider for the audio industry, today announced that Webcast Metrics Local, a market-specific version of Triton's national Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform, will now provide digital audio metrics for iHeartMedia.

The extensive reach of iHeartMedia’s streaming audio assets will continue to be reported in Triton’s Top 20 monthly rankers.

“Webcast Metrics is the trusted standard for streaming audio advertising transactions,” said Radha Subramanyam, President of Research and Insights at iHeartMedia. “This new reporting will showcase iHeartMedia’s digital scale at both the national and local market levels, and we believe it will have a positive impact on our ability to more fully monetize our streams.”

“We are pleased to be measuring and reporting on iHeartMedia streaming audiences,” said Rob Favre, CCO/GM Measurement & Analytics, Webcast Metrics. “The addition of this preeminent media company’s streaming audiences to Webcast Metrics Local reports will give media planners and buyers better insight into the rapidly growing online audio audience.”

Webcast Metrics uses a proprietary platform to track audience behavior and convert it to metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers. It is census-based and does not rely on samples, surveys or panels, measuring actual listening without estimates. Webcast Metrics Local provides market-specific information that enables agencies and advertisers to evaluate audiences within specific markets

ESPN Layoffs Gut Production Staff

John Skipper
Wednesday was a sad day in Bristol, Conn., as ESPN began the process of laying off somewhere around 300 employees in the wake of rising television-rights costs combined with demands from parent company Disney to maintain profits amid the cord-cutting that threatens the network’s viewership numbers.

The cuts will eliminate around 4 percent of the company’s workforce.

ESPN President John Skipper explained the rationale for the layoffs in a memo to the staff:
Our 36 years of continuous growth and success has been driven by our consistent willingness to reimagine our future, to embrace change and make the right choices for our business, including hard decisions that affect people who have been integral parts of our efforts. 
Beginning today, we will be enacting a number of organizational changes at ESPN to better support our future goals – a process that will include the elimination of a number of positions, impacting  friends and colleagues across the organization. 
We carefully considered and deliberated alternatives before making each decision. 
The people who will be leaving us have been part of ESPN’s success, and they have our respect and appreciation for their contributions.  We will be as supportive as we can during this transition, including providing a minimum of 60-days notice, a severance package reflective of their years of service, and outplacement benefits to help them find future employment. 
These changes are part of a broad strategy to ensure we’re in position to make the most of new opportunities to build the future of ESPN.  These ongoing initiatives include: 
  • Constant and relentless innovation, including integrating emerging technology into all aspects of our business. 
  • Enhancing our sales and marketing efforts with new tools and techniques that generate greater data, personalization and customization for our advertisers. 
  • Integrating our distribution efforts to better serve current and future distribution partners with our industry leading networks and services. 
No matter how many times we’ve adjusted course to lead the industry over the years, the decisions affecting our employees are never made lightly.  It never gets any easier, but it’s a necessary part of our continued strategic evolution to ensure ESPN remains the leader in sports as well as the premier sports destination on any platform. 
I realize this process will be difficult – for everyone – but we believe the steps we are taking will ultimately create important competitive advantages for our business over the long term.  I sincerely appreciate your professionalism and continued support as we move forward to ensure the continued success of ESPN and assure sports fans everywhere the best is yet to come. 
But, according to The Washington Post, don’t expect many names you would recognize from ESPN’s stable of on-air talent. Because most of these 1,000 “public-facing” employees are working under contract, they won’t be included in the layoffs.

Instead, the cuts will come from behind the scenes: the producers who get “SportsCenter” on the air, the editors who shepherd stories to and the network’s magazine, and the program directors who run the network’s local radio stations.

BBC Radio: Host Invites Lonely Man To Studio

This is the heartbreaking moment a 95-year-old man rang a radio DJ for comfort after becoming lonely when his wife went into a nursing home – only to be inundated with offers of support from thousands of listeners, reports the Daily Mail.

Bill Palmer, from Southampton, Hampshire, called the Alex Dyke show on BBC Radio Solent during a show about loneliness and described how 'every day is hell' being on his own.

He was overcome with emotion as he told how his wife, Sheila, 85, who has dementia, had fallen and had been taken to hospital before being permanently moved to a nursing home.

Mr Palmer, who married his wife last year after they had been friends for 30 years, said he visited his wife every day but added: 'Every day is hell. I feel so alone.'

He also added how even speaking to Dyke had made him feel better, before the host arranged for a taxi to bring the pensioner into the studio for a chat.

Mr Palmer told him: 'Alex just talking to you has made a difference. I've been lying on bed since last night and I got your number and I thought I would give Alex a ring and have a chat with him.'

The pensioner's call has now been viewed 41,000 times on the station's Facebook page and he has been inundated with offers by listeners ranging from Sunday lunch to a private concert by a ukulele orchestra.

Mr Palmer said: 'I can't believe it. I just sit and listen to the radio and watch TV and have lots of friends, but unfortunately when you get old people don't visit - that's life.'

R.I.P.: Utica/Rome NY Broadcaster Lou Barile

Lou Barile
The Utica/Rome NY radio community lost a legend last Friday when former WIBX personality Lou Barile died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

He was 88-years-of-age, according to WIBX 950 AM in Utica.

Barile, who became known as ‘The Voice of the Mohawk Valley’ during the 1940’s on WIBX with a daily music program, has served as a historian of sorts when it comes to the WIBX.  Barile recorded several YouTube videos featuring historic audio and film from the early years and also hosted a weekly internet radio show with his son Lou, interviewing several local figures.

It would be politics, however, that placed Barile on on a different playing field in 1964 when he became Utica’s City Treasurer.  Later in 1970 he would run for the New York State Assembly and then served as Utica’s Treasurer when the office was merged with the Comptroller position.

“Lou was one of the nicest men you could ever meet,” said WIBX News Director Jim Rondenelli.

“He was truly one of the “good guys”. He will be dearly missed.”

During his radio days, Barile was very active at local high school sock hops and was instrumental in bringing Bill Haley and the Comets to Rome’s Capitol Theatre, along with several other acts from the early days of Rock and Roll.

His website dedicated to the history of WIBX radio is probably the most comprehensive documentation available preserving the history of the radio station which is among the oldest in the United States.

Barrile will be greatly missed when WIBX celebrates its 90th anniversary starting in December; however, those in the industry know it would be difficult to tell the story without the archival work Barile has accomplished over the last several years.

Watch the video below of vintage film narrated by Lou Barile, courtesy of WIBX:

R.I.P. Judy "It's My Party" Solash Dead At 67

Lesley Gore, whose pop music career started with "It's My Party" and "It's Judy's Turn To Cry back in 1963, died in Frbuary this year.  Now comes word that the inpiration for those two Top 5 hits has also died.

Judith Solash of Raleigh, NC  has died at age 67 losing her battle with a brain tumor.

Back in 1963, she was Judy Gottlieb and lived in Brooklyn.

She told the NY Daily News in February that in '63 as she  planning her Sweet 16 celebration and unwittingly gave her songwriter dad the line that became singer Lesley Gore's musical catchphrase.

The day after Gore's death at age 68, Judy recalled the origins of Gore's number-one hit "It's My Party" as if it happened yesterday.

"My parents insisted that my grandparents had to be invited (to her 16th birthday celebration). I of course, being a bratty teenager, said I didn't want them there. I burst into tears, and my father said, 'Don't cry.' "

Judy Gottlieb-1963
Judy, of course, answered: "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to."

“My father took that and turned it into this whole little story about Judy and Johnny. He very often used our names when he wrote records. ... Those were the days when you could understand the words in the songs. It was pretty simple,” she said.

She said her dad, Seymour Gottlieb, wrote the lyrics and one of his partners composed the music. (Song credits list four songwriters in all.) They went down to the Brill Building on Broadway, which housed music industry offices where some of the most popular American music tunes were written.

They knocked on doors offering their composition to producers. “Somebody heard it,” she told me, “and said ‘That would be great for Lesley Gore.’ She was an unknown at that time, didn’t have any recordings. They played it for her manager and he loved it and she recorded it. “And that’s it,” Solash said.

“It’s My Party” the first hit single for Lesley Gore, but it was also the first hit song producer Quincy Jones.

Judy Solash is survived by her husband of 47-years.

October 23 Radio History

In 1904...pioneering NBC radio announcer Ford Bond was born in Louisville, Kentucky.

For more than twenty years in the 1930s and ’40s, he was the announcer for soap operas (Backstage Wife, Stella Dallas, David Harum, Easy Aces, etc), the American Album of Familiar music and other shows, including the advertising voice for a product called Bab-O.  He also was one of the NBC radio announcers of the 1934 World Series and the 1934 Baseball All-Star Game.  Later he served as radio consultant on Thomas E. Dewey‘s 1948 campaign for president.

He died at St. Croix, Virgin Islands on August 15, 1962 at age 57.

In 1928…RCA announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company, more commonly known as RKO, with David Sarnoff (general manager of RCA) as its chairman of the board.

In 1932...the "Fred Allen Show" premiered on radio.  Allen's radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio.

His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it was only part of his appeal; radio historian John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote that Allen was radio's most admired comedian and most frequently censored.

A master ad libber, Allen often tangled with his network's executives (and often barbed them on the air over the battles), while developing routines whose style and substance influenced fellow comic talents, including Groucho Marx, Stan Freberg, Henry Morgan and Johnny Carson; his avowed fans also included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and novelists William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Herman Wouk (who began his career writing for Allen).

In 1940...Ellie Greenwich, songwriter with Jeff Barry on "Leader Of The Pack" by the Shangri-Las, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, "River Deep, Mountain High" for the Supremes & Four Tops and many others, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Ellie Greenwich
Joining forces with legendary producer Phil Spector, a string of legendary hits were created, including: "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Chapel Of Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High." With Barry, this trend continued with number one smashes, such as "Hanky Panky," "Do Wah Diddy" and the epic "Leader Of The Pack," co-written with Shadow Morton.

Also, during these years, Greenwich reigned as one of New York's top demo/session singers and vocal arrangers, working with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. One of her most exciting sessions was re-arranging the background vocals on Aretha Franklin's "Chain Of Fools" and working with Cissy Houston and the 'Sweet Inspirations.'

During one of her many demo sessions, Greenwich met and "discovered" Neil Diamond and went on to co-produce all his early hits such as "Cherry, Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman," doing background vocals as well.

She died of a heart attack in New York City August 26, 2009.

In 1963...Bob Dylan began to record "The Times They Are A-Changin'" at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City.

In 1971...The Hot 100..One of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era "Maggie May" remained king on this day for Rod Stewart.  It had to be a pretty good song to keep "Superstar" by the Carpenters away from #1.  The Osmonds were singing about a "Yo-Yo" while Cher made her move (10-4) with "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves".  Joan Baez, meanwhile, took a more serious tone with "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Lee Michaels with his only hit "Do You Know What I Mean", Donny Osmond ventured off for a solo hit with his remake of the Steve Lawrence song "Go Away, Little Girl", the Stampeders' great song "Sweet City Woman" was at #8, Isaac Hayes moved from 50 to 9 (how's that for a hot song?) with "Theme From 'Shaft'" and Stevie Wonder's 27th career hit "If You Really Love Me" was at #10.

In 1972...WOR 98.7 FM becomes WXLO. (Now WEPN 98.7 FM/ESPN)

In 1976...The Hot 100..Although it was their 22nd hit and 11th Top 10, supergroup Chicago scored their first #1 on this date with "If You Leave Me Now".  Rick Dees had to surrender with "Disco Duck".  What a shame.  Otherwise, a pretty dynamite Top 10 with Walter Murphy's "A Fifth Of Beethoven" still in the list after 22 weeks, the great Boz Scaggs song "Lowdown", Orleans with "Still The One" and Wild Cherry's former #1 "Play That Funky Music".

The rest of the Top 10:  "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Hall & Oates were up with "She's Gone" and two great new entries--"Love So Right" from the Bee Gees, which moved from 16-9 and "Rock 'N Me" by Steve Miller.

In 2001...Apple introduces iPod.

Bill Mazer (undated)
In 2013…Longtime New York City Radio/TV sportcaster/program host (WNEW-TV, WNBC-AM, WOR-AM, WFAN-AM, WEVD-AM, WVOX-AM) "the Amazin'" Bill Mazer, who earlier in his career worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Buffalo, died at the age of 92.

Born Morris Mazer, he was raised in Brooklyn and a fan of the Dodgers, spent 60 years in broadcasting before he retired in 2009. After 16 years covering sports in Buffalo, N.Y., he returned to New York when he was hired by WNBC-AM in 1964 to host a groundbreaking sports talk show in the afternoon.

“The first call was a kid, and he said, ‘I just want to ask you one question,’” Mazer told New York Newsday in a 2011 interview. “I said, ‘OK, go ahead.’ He said, ‘Who’s better: Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?’”

Mazer later worked for New York’s WFAN, the first full-time sports talk station, which debuted in 1987.

Mazer served as an analyst for NHL games on CBS and did commentary for the Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Islanders before he joined WNEW-TV in 1971 to anchor its nightly sports coverage. On Channel 5’s Sports Extra, he often teamed and argued with former New York Jets defensive back John Dockery.