Saturday, April 30, 2016

May 1 Radio History

In 1907...singer Kate Smith was born in Greenville Alabama.

In 1918...comedian/radio/TV host Jack Paar was born in Canton Ohio.

He started in radio, filling in for Don McNeil on The Breakfast Club, and as a summer replacement for Jack Benny.  Turning to TV he hosted two failed quiz shows (Up to Paar, Bank on the Stars) and did not make it big as host of CBS TV’s Early Show. He had a short-lived ABC radio daytime show before he was tapped to host NBC’s Tonight Show, where he quickly became a sensation.  He hosted Tonight for 5 years of providing the next day’s watercooler topics, before tiring of the nightly grind.  In 1962 he switched to a weekly NBC variety series, an effort that was not a ratings success.

After a long period of ill health Jack Paar died Jan. 27 2004 at age 85.

In 1924...the first host of TV’s Jeopardy, Art Fleming  was born in the Bronx NY.  He appeared as supporting actor in hundreds of roles in episodic TV, and hosted a daily radio talk show on KMOX St. Louis from 1979-92.  He succumbed to pancreatic cancer April 25 1995 at age 70.

In 1931...Kate Smith, famed singer, began her Radio program on the CBS Radio Network.

Smith w/radio's The Aldriches 1938
Smith was a major star of radio, usually backed by Jack Miller's Orchestra. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (1935–36), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).

The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–45). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as separate hit series in its own right in 1940.

 She died of diabetes June 17 1986 at age 79.

Here's clip of a show aired during WW2.

In 1957...Larry King broadcast on Radio for the first time.

Clip of Larry talking about radio...

In 1957...WBBR changes call letters to WPOW, NYC.  The religious talks and placid string and organ music of WBBR disappeared, and the new station embarked on a series of changes that would repeatedly make it something of a pioneer in New York area radio.  Offices and a closet-sized studio for WPOW at 41 E. 42nd St. in Manhattan, but most of the broadcast operation remained at the Staten Island transmitter.

In 1972...the Mutual Black Radio Network debuted.

The network igned on May 1, 1972 with 32 affiliates, including flagship New Jersey station WNJR, KCOH Houston, KWK St. Louis, and WIGO Atlanta. It was an easy start-up: vice-president Stephen McCormick said all he had to do was hire the staff - 15 black newsmen, six editors, supervisors and salesmen. The news director was Shelton Lewis, once of New York's WPAT; working with him in New York was Robert Nichols, Joe White and Gerald Bentley. Staffing the Washington bureau was Ed Castleberry, Larry Dean, John Askew and Abby Kendrick.

The network fed five-minute news and sports broadcasts hourly from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, some 100 programs a week. By June 1972, the 32 affiliates had grown to 55; by September, there were more than 80.

Among MBN's program offerings: "Dr. Martin Luther King Speaks," a weekly 20-minute program produced by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference featuring excerpts from Dr. King's speeches, along with comments of black leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy, and Benjamin Hooks; and "The Black Experience," a daily feature profiling black Americans and their contributions to American life.

In 1975...Beer Barrel Polka by Bobby Vinton was #33 and Shaving Cream by Benny Bell was #30 on AT40 w/Casey Kasem on this date in 1975. Now that's variety!

In 1976...Jonathan Schwartz did his last show on WNEW-FM.

Schwartz worked at New York's WNEW-FM from 1967 to 1976, followed by stints at WNEW, WQEW, and currently WNYC-FM. Schwartz also served as programming director for XM Satellite Radio's now-defunct High Standards channel, and later appeared on Sirius XM's Siriusly Sinatra and '40s on 4 channels. His last Sirius XM program was on August 2, 2013.

Schwartz is best known for his two four-hour-long weekend broadcasts on WNYC-FM, The Saturday Show and The Sunday Show, which comprise about half talk and half an eclectic mix of music. Both week-end broadcasts are simulcast on Beginning September 15, 2012, The Saturday Show has been heard in the evenings, while The Sunday Show is heard in the afternoons, New York time; The Saturday Show is recorded on Saturday afternoons, and a live stream of it can also be heard via The Jonathan Channel, as well as original programs recorded Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.

Here's an audio clip from Sept. 2013, Schwartz talks about the old WNEW-AM and personality Ted Brown:

In his talk during the shows, Schwartz will discuss many famous pop songwriters and singers, and jazz artists.

In 1982...First WCBS-FM NYC Top 20 Countdown (1966).

Joe McCoy
The Countdown debuted during the tenure of Joe McCoy as program director. In 1981, began to gradually shift its focus to the 1964–1969 era, but would also feature a more pre-1964 oldies than most other such stations. The station continued to also feature hits of the 1970s and some hits of the 1980s while cutting future gold selections to one per hour.

Also in the 1980s, after WABC 770 AM and later WNBC 660 AM abandoned music in favor of talk, WCBS-FM began employing many disc jockeys who were widely known on other New York City stations (and sometimes nationally), most notably Musicradio WABC alumni Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Chuck Leonard and Harry Harrison, as well as Dan Daniels and Jack Spector.

In 1984...orchestra leader/arranger Gordon Jenkins died of ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ at age 73. He had been very active in network radio, scoring for the series Mayor of the Town, The Man Called X, Al Jolson, Jack Carson & Dick Haymes, to name just a few. He also worked as musical director at Decca & Capitol Records where he recorded with some of the top stars of the day, including Frank Sinatra & Nat Cole.

In 1988...the man who played “Fibber McGee” on network radio for more than a quarter century, Jim Jordan, died at age 91.

In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show debuted on KIOZ-FM, San Diego, California.

TV Stations Agree to Sell Enough Spectrum to Meet FCC’s Goal

The FCC on Friday said it reached its greatest hopes for the amount of spectrum it would be able to offer to wireless carriers in an auction scheduled to begin in late May. Television stations flocked to provide the spectrum, promising to sell enough of the valuable airwaves they use for broadcast programming to reach the agency’s maximum target for the auction. The airwaves will be reconfigured for the next generation of wireless services for mobile phones, cars and other devices that will connect to the Internet.

According to The NY Times, the auction is drawing attention because of the kind of spectrum that is becoming available: low-band spectrum that is valuable for its robust qualities and capacity to penetrate thick walls and travel far distances. The sale of such choice spectrum is rare; the last auction in this band category was in 2008, and there are no plans for similar offerings in the near future.

Tom Wheeler
“Today’s announcement reflects the voluntary decision by many broadcasters that this auction truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Tom Wheeler, the F.C.C. chairman, said in a statement.

The auction will be a multistep process aimed for completion in the late fall. Some analysts put the potential proceeds from the auction at tens of billions of dollars, but the final amount won’t be disclosed — nor will the sellers and buyers — until the auction is complete. All proceeds beyond what is given back to television stations will go to the Treasury.

The announcement was significant because there had been doubts as to whether television stations would want to provide enough spectrum for the auction. The great interest to cash out highlights the pressure on broadcasters, which face competition from the Internet, a dwindling advertisement market in nonelection years and aging audiences.

As a consequence of the auction, some television stations may close. Stations do not necessarily have to shut down if they sell airwaves. They may agree to stay open in their markets by channel-sharing with other local stations.

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ACC Awards Show Airs Sunday

Florida Georgia Line will open the 2016 American Country Countdown Awards on Sunday with its new love song “H.O.L.Y,” which was released Friday. The song is the debut single from the duo’s upcoming album, “Dig Your Roots,” which will be in stores over the summer.

Duo members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard said the album is “anointed” and shows their growth and maturity.

“It’s a special, special album,” Hubbard told The Tennessean. “It definitely feels very inspired. It’s who we are right now, and I think that’s important for us to continue to be transparent with our music and let our fans into our lives one album at a time.”

The ACCA Awards also will feature performances from Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Cam, Dan + Shay, Sam Hunt, Chris Janson, Martina McBride, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, and Toby Keith, who will pay tribute to Merle Haggard with Haggard’s longtime band, the Strangers.

The awards show is based on the country radio countdown program “American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks.” Finalists and winners were determined from album sales and radio airplay.

The 2016 American Country Countdown Awards will air live from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., at 7 p.m. on Fox.

David Van Camp Replaces Scott Robbins On WMBD, KXL

David van Camp gets his name on the talk show he does with Jamie Markley weekdays on Alpha Media's WMBD 1470 AM / W262BY 100.3 FM and KXL 101.1 FM in Portland, OR

Markley and van Camp have been partners since co-host Scott Robbins was stricken with a massive heart attack in August 2015. Robbins has been unable to return since that time, according to

“Unfortunately, Scotty is still not able to return. We know his presence will be missed, but the show will be in good hands with Jamie and Dave,” said Mike Wild, Peoria market manager of Alpha Media.

“Scott’s big personality, extraordinary wit and genuine relationship with Jamie have been huge factors in the show’s success over the last several years,” said Wild.

“Our entire company is optimistic about Scott’s continued improvement, and whenever he is able, we hope to work with him again,” he said.

“This has been a very tough decision and painful process for everyone. Scott’s genuine spirit and passion will be dearly missed but we are hopeful for his continued improvement, said Milt McConnell, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Alpha’s Portland operations.

We’re confident the show will be in good hands with Jamie and Dave.  They have done a remarkable job over the last seven months,” McConnell said.

ICYMI: Tiny TX Non-Com Wins Every RTDNA Award In Its Region

For the second year in a row, a public radio station in west Texas is the most-awarded small market radio station in the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. This year, KRTS 93.5 FM, Marfa Public Radio, won in every category awarded in a region that includes Oklahoma and Texas.

The station, founded in 2005 by Tom Michael, has five people (including him) in Marfa and one more in Midland, Texas. Last year, Columbia Journalism Review looked into how the station started and how it's come to thrive.

"It’s like their building and then the nothingness for just miles," said RTDNA's Derrick Hinds. "They’re out there and they’re just doing incredible radio."

KRTS 93.5 FM (33 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Poynter spoke with Michael, who's the general manager, about how the station does what it does with a small staff.

Click Here for five ways Marfa Public Radio is making it work.

R.I.P.: Boston Broadcaster John Carlson Was 82

John Carlson
John Carlson, the play-by-play announcer for New England Patriots games on WEEI-AM in the 1980s, has died.

He died of respiratory complications April 5 at South Shore Hospital at the age of 82, reports The Boston Globe.

“I’ve never met anyone more passionate about broadcasting,” Jon Morris, a former Patriots center, told the Globe. “John was always trying to do better at it and was very good at what he did, while never being full of himself.”

Carlson graduated from Braintree High School and then attended the Prescott School of Broadcasting. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Curry College in 1986, and was a part-time lecturer there from 1987 to 2000.

He was a sports talk show host at WEEI from 1976 to 1987. Carlson was in the booth at Super Bowl XX in New Orleans in 1986, when the Chicago Bears beat the Patriots. He was replaced by Curt Gowdy when WHDH took over the broadcast of Patriots games in 1987. After that, he worked at WRKO until 1990.

Carlson didn’t only use his voice for sports. He served as the narrator at several Boston Pops concerts. He retired as a brigadier general in the Massachusetts Army National Guard and formerly was its public affairs officer.

April 30 Radio History

In 1917...United States singer and Radio host, Bea Wain was born. Best known for the program, "Lucky Strike Hit Parade".

Wain was an American Big Band-era singer born in New York City, New York. On May 1, 1938, Bea Wain married radio announcer André Baruch. Their honeymoon in Bermuda was cut short when Fred Allen called Baruch asking him to return to New York to substitute for his ailing announcer, Harry von Zell. They were married for 53 years. Baruch died in 1991.

Following her musical career, the couple worked as a husband-and-wife disc jockey team in New York on WMCA, where they were billed as "Mr. and Mrs. Music". In 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where for nine years they had a top-rated daily four-hour talk show from 2 PM to 6 PM on WPBR before relocating to Beverly Hills. During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of Your Hit Parade, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings.

In 1938...Historic CBS Columbia Square Studios Dedicated. Click Here for the full story on this, and all the CBS studios in California.

Jack Bailey
In 1945...“How would you like to be queen for a day?!” was heard for the first time, as Jack Bailey introduced the so-called daily agony show “Queen For a Day” on Mutual radio. The first Queen for a Day was Mrs. Evelyn Lane.  A short time later the radio program moved from New York to Hollywood, where it debuted on TV in 1956 for a further 8 year run.

In 1945...Arthur Godfrey began his CBS radio morning show. His theme was ”Seems Like Old Times”.  Arthur Godfrey Time ran for 27 years until this very same day in 1972. Godfrey’s show was different in that he used live talent and not records. His popularity with listeners was the major reason that several sponsors gave Godfrey the freedom to ad-lib their commercials and often joke about the products as well.

In 1957…At Radio Recorders in West Hollywood, Elvis Presley recorded "Jailhouse Rock."

In 1972...the daily CBS Radio program, “Arthur Godfrey Time,” after 27 years, aired for the final time.

In 1996...the "Howard Stern Radio Show" debuted on WKLQ-FM, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In 2004...Radio/TV Newscaster Rolf Hertsgaard died at age 81.

Hertsgaard was born in Minneapolis to first-generation Norwegian-Americans. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and by his early 20s he had gone into broadcasting. He worked at WCCO-AM in Minneapolis until 1955.

Invited to head the radio and TV news division of the National Lutheran Council, he moved to New York City in 1956. Two years later, WBAL-TV hired him as a news anchor.

In 2005...WOR moved to 111 Broadway, NYC

In 2012...WEPN NYC moved to 98.7 FM, when the Walt Disney Company and Emmis Communications agreed to a 12-year-lease of the 98.7 FM frequency for an undisclosed price.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Apple's Stock Suffers Worst Week Since 2013

(Reuters) -- Apple Inc on Friday ended its worst week on the stock market since 2013 as worries festered about a slowdown in iPhone sales and after influential shareholder Carl Icahn revealed he sold his entire stake.

Shares of Apple, a mainstay of many Wall Street portfolios and the largest component of the Standard & Poor's 500 index, have dropped 11 percent in the past five sessions.

That shrank the technology behemoth's market capitalization by $65 billion, about equivalent to Cambodia's net wealth.

Confidence in the Cupertino, California company has been shaken since posting its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years on Tuesday, although Apple investors pointed to the stock's relatively low valuation as a key reason to hold onto the stock.

"If you're going to buy Apple, you have to buy it for the long term, because the next year or two are going to be very tough," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of Destination Wealth Management, which owns Apple shares.

Faced with lackluster sales of smartphones in the United States, Apple has bet on China as a major new growth engine, but progress there has been a let-down.

Revenue from China slumped 26 percent during the March quarter and its iBooks Stores and iTunes Movie service in China were shut down last week after the introduction of new regulations on online publishing.

Pointing to concerns that Beijing could make it difficult for Apple to conduct business in China, long-time Apple investor Carl Icahn told CNBC on Thursday that he had sold his stake in the company he previously described as a "no brainer" and undervalued.

The selloff has left Apple trading at about 11 times its expected 12-month earnings, cheap compared to its average of 17.5 over the past 10 years. S&P 500 stocks on average are trading at 17 times expected earnings.

"The tide is going out a bit, but it will probably improve in the fall with the launch of the next iPhone," said Pat Becker Jr, principal of Becker Capital Management, which also owns Apple stock. "This is an opportunity."

Wall Street remains positive as 36 analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters recommend buying Apple's shares, while nine have neutral ratings and none recommend selling.

The median of the analysts' price targets is $120, down from $130 at the end of March. The stock ended Friday at $93.75, down 1.14 percent.

Will Ferrell Backs Out Of 'Reagan' Role

(Reuters) -- Actor Will Ferrell will not be participating in a comedy about former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's struggles with dementia, after the family of the late Reagan criticized the project, saying Alzheimer's and dementia were not a subject for comedy.

Ferrell, famous for his comedic impersonation of former President George W. Bush, was reported by film trade publication Variety this week to be playing the president in "Reagan," a comedy that follows a White House intern tasked with persuading a dementia-ridden Reagan that he is an actor in a movie playing president.

"The Reagan script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an "Alzheimers comedy" as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project," United Talent Agency, which represents Ferrell, said in a statement on Friday.

Ferrell's involvement was quickly criticized by Reagan's daughter Patti Davis and son Michael Reagan, as well as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disorder that destroys memory.

"I watched as fear invaded my father's eyes — this man who was never afraid of anything. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, "I don’t know where I am," Davis wrote in an open letter to Ferrell.

"The only certainty with Alzheimer's is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end. Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy," she added.

On Friday, Michael Reagan responded to the news of Ferrell not pursuing the project on Twitter, saying "Thankyou for taking the right path."

Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989, died in 2004 aged 93 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's.

R.I.P.: Former US Senator, Broadcaster Conrad Burns

Conrad Burns
Former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, a former cattle auctioneer whose folksy demeanor and political acumen earned him three terms and the bitter disdain of his opponents, died Thursday. He was 81.

Burns died of natural causes at his home in Billings, Montana Republican Party Executive Director Jeff Essmann said.

“He was a colorful figure who loved people, politics and to serve,” Essmann said. “He brought a common-man, common-sense approach to his work in the Senate and returned to his home in Billings when his work was done.”

Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, said he and wife Lisa would join other Montanans in celebrating Burns’ life.

“Conrad was a dedicated public servant and a fierce advocate for Montana — especially rural Montana — in the United States Senate and at home, with an unrivaled sense of humor to boot,” Bullock said.

As a Republican senator, Burns used his influence on the powerful Appropriations committee to set the course on energy development and public lands management across the rural West. But he was ousted from office in 2006 under the specter of scandal after developing close ties to “super-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff, who was later jailed for conspiracy and fraud.

No charges were ever filed against Burns, who dismissed criticism over the affairs as “old political hooey.”

According to the Great Falls Tribune, After working as a livestock auctioneer, Burns in 1975 moved into broadcast radio, founding four stations known as the Northern Ag Network. The network eventually grew to serve 31 radio and TV stations across Montana and Wyoming, offering agricultural news to rural areas.

He sold the network in 1985 and — capitalizing on his name recognition — made his first foray into politics a year later, when he was elected commissioner for Yellowstone County in south-central Montana.

Man Shot After Alleged Bomb Threat at Baltimore TV Station

(Reuters) -- A man wearing a white panda suit who allegedly made a bomb threat at Fox Television's Baltimore affiliate on Thursday was shot and wounded by police outside the building, authorities said.

Three Baltimore police officers opened fire on the man as he emerged from WBFF and ignored police orders to take his hands out of his pockets, police spokesman T.J. Smith told a news conference. The suspect was in serious but stable condition at a hospital.

Smith said the man had "displayed something that appeared to be wires and some other things inside his jacket that appeared to be some kind of explosive device." The device turned out to be composed of harmless materials, including chocolate candy bars wrapped in tin foil, he said.

WBFF reported on its website that the suspect, described by police as a 25-year-old man from Howard County, Maryland, broke into the station demanding that it cover a story about an unspecified government conspiracy. The station said the suspect made a bomb threat during the incident.

WBFF, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, said a bomb robot scanned the man for nearly an hour before officers removed his clothing, picked him up and carried him to an armored police vehicle.

Station News Director Mike Tomko said on the station's website that the man was wearing a white, one-piece panda suit with a surgical mask and sunglasses.

"He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers," Tomko said, referring to a massive leak of offshore financial data. "Apparently he had made some threats before."

A brief video on the station's website showed the man walking out of the station. No police or station employees were injured.

The station said it evacuated the building after the bomb threat and a car fire outside. It said firefighters put out a fire in the gas tank of the car, which authorities said was associated with the suspect, in the station's parking lot.

Authorities have not determined a motive for the suspect's behavior and said he was not cooperating with the police investigation.

The "bomb vest" was a red flotation device with candy bars wrapped in aluminum foil and wires. The man recently had a "mental breakdown," according to his father. 

Study: Car Radio Termed Driving Distraction

Listening to traffic reports on the radio could be bad for your driving -- you could even miss an elephant standing by the side of the road.

That is the conclusion of research being presented to the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Nottingham this week by PhD student Gillian Murphy of University College Cork and Dr Ciara Greene of University College Dublin.

According to Sicene Daily, Gillian Murphy's research takes a prominent theory of attention (Perceptual Load Theory) and applies it to driving -- a task where attention is crucial. Perceptual Load Theory states that we have a finite amount of attention and that once that capacity is maxed out, we cannot process anything else.

To test whether paying attention to radio traffic reports can be bad for our driving, Gillian Murphy asked 36 people to drive a route in a full-sized driving simulator while listening to a traffic update on the radio.

While driving, 18 participants were asked to complete a simple task and 18 to complete a complex task. The simple task was to listen for when the voice giving the update changed gender. The complex task was to listen for news of a particular road.

She found that only 23 per cent of the drivers undertaking the complex task noticed a large, unexpected visual stimulus -- an elephant or gorilla by the side of the road. By contrast, 71 per cent of the drivers undertaking the simpler task noticed it.

Drivers undertaking the complex task were also worse at obeying road signs, remembering which vehicle had just passed them and even at driving itself. Their speed, lane position and reaction times to hazards were all affected.

Gillian Murphy said: "Road safety campaigns are so focused on telling us to keep our eyes on the road, and this is certainly important, but this research tells us that it's simply not enough. We should focus on keeping our brains on the road.

"Anything that draws our attention away from driving can be problematic, even if it's auditory like listening to the radio or having a hands-free phone conversation. That doesn't mean that we should ban radios in cars, but that we should all be aware of the limits of our attention.

"The fact that we found this using a simple, naturally occurring task like listening out for a traffic update on the radio suggests that the load on our hearing may be an important and overlooked contributor to driver distraction and inattention."

CBS Weighs Share Options For Post-Redstone Era

(Reuters) -- CBS Corp's executives are talking to investment bankers about how their CEO and executive chairman, Les Moonves, can gain more control over the broadcaster after Sumner Redstone dies, or if he is declared mentally incompetent, said two sources familiar with the situation.

The New York-based company met with investment banks in recent months to discuss how it could buy CBS's voting shares from Redstone's National Amusements Inc, and collapse CBS's dual-class share structure, the sources told Reuters.

CBS and Viacom Inc both have dual-class share structures with 80 percent of their voting shares owned by National Amusements, a privately-held movie theater company controlled by the 92-year-old Redstone.

A seven-person trust, which includes Redstone's daughter Shari Redstone and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, will take over the voting shares owned by National Amusements when the ailing billionaire dies.

The trust may also take control if Redstone is declared mentally incompetent as a result of a lawsuit brought by his former girlfriend in California.

Les Moonves
CBS, home to such shows as "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife" and premium TV channel Showtime, wants to review all of its options before the trust takes over, the sources said.

The discussions, which have not previously been reported, are preliminary and ongoing, said the two sources, who did not want to be identified because they are not permitted to speak to the media. Another person familiar with the situation said CBS has not formally hired an investment bank to review its options.

CBS declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Shari Redstone, who sits on the boards of CBS and National Amusements, also declined comment.

Uncertainty about Redstone's health has weighed on the shares of both CBS and Viacom. Redstone, who turns 93 next month, has not participated in a quarterly earnings call since 2014.

While Viacom's future and the drama surrounding the lawsuit have garnered more attention on Wall Street, CBS has been exploring its options for some time, the sources said.

CBS has had more serious conversations with bankers in recent months as concerns about Redstone's health have increased, they added.

Moonves became executive chairman of CBS in February, with the blessing of Shari Redstone.

A single-class share structure is believed to better reflect CBS's value, analysts and investors have said. But any offer CBS might make for the voting shares would have to be rich enough for National Amusements and other voting shareholders to accept.

Sumner Redstone
"It would eliminate some of the uncertainty around the ownership and it gives Moonves greater control over his destiny," said one owner of voting shares of CBS, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not permitted to speak to the media. "I think it would trade better if it were one shareholder, one vote."

In September, Reuters Breakingviews estimated that ending the dual class structure at CBS could lift the U.S. broadcaster's value by a fifth

Whether voting shareholders of CBS would accept a deal to exchange their shares would depend on the terms, said Michael Cuggino, president and portfolio manager at San Francisco-based Permanent Portfolio of Family of Funds, which owns voting shares of CBS.

"I am open," Cuggino said. "I would be interested in seeing what the offer is."

The lawsuit by Redstone's former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, questions his mental competence and claims Redstone is a "living ghost." It is set for trial on May 6.

Redstone's attorneys deny Herzer's claims and say she is seeking financial gain after Redstone revoked a part of his estate plan that would have given her a $70 million inheritance.

Layoffs Reported At Glenn Beck’s Blaze Empire

The axe fell once again on Glenn Beck’s media empire Thursday as employees in the New York and Washington offices of The Blaze, Beck’s multi-media online operation, along with business staffers in Los Angeles and the documentary unit in Columbus, Ohio, were told their jobs are on the chopping block.

According to The Daily Beast nearly 40 people are being laid off—including about 20 in New York, a dozen in Washington, five in Ohio and two or three working out of the LA office suite of former Blaze CEO Kraig Kitchin—in order to satisfy the requirements of a multimillion-dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.

Ironically, the mass layoffs are occurring shortly after the company hired CNN alumnus Matt Frucci, former executive producer of the cable network’s New Day morning show, to run The Blaze’s television operation in New York—which apparently will no longer exist.

According to sources, Beck’s frequent travel in support of the presidential candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, among other distractions, has prevented him from appearing daily on his syndicated radio program and live-streaming television show, resulting in declining advertising revenue for Mercury Radio Arts, Beck’s privately held parent company.

Similarly, said these sources, declining traffic for and have also resulted in dropping ad revenue.

Dan LeBatard: Ego Driving Skip Bayless

Dan Le Batard
Dan Le Batard didn’t wait for fellow ESPN talking head Skip Bayless to leave the network to rip into his longtime co-worker, according to The NY Post.

Earlier this week, ESPN announced Bayless is leaving when his contract expires in August. reported that Bayless agreed to a deal with Fox Sports that will pay him $5.5 million a year over four years, plus a $4 million signing bonus.

Le Batard thinks Bayless is making a mistake.

“Skip Bayless doesn’t think he’s going for money,” Le Batard said Thursday morning on his radio show, via The Big Lead. “Skip Bayless thinks he’s going to make a difference. And he’s not. What’s been happening with the athletes is happening in the gasbag business.”

Skip Bayless
Le Batard, who also has used the “gasbag” in a self-deprecating way, said he believes Bayless will not bring with him to Fox Sports the massive audience he enjoys on “First Take,” working alongside Stephen A. Smith.

“The ego of these guys is such that they don’t believe they’re choosing money over winning,” Le Batard said.

“They believe they are going to make the difference. It’s happening right now in the sports opinion business. I told Colin Cowherd [who also left ESPN for Fox Sports] not to leave this spot. We were having conversations — now I’m revealing private conversations that I shouldn’t be — even though it would have benefited us, I was telling Colin Cowherd I don’t think you leave. You leave, you’re going to get lost, you’re going to do it for money and no one’s going to know where to find you. We don’t do this to have your voices stuffed in a drawer; we do this to be heard.”

ASCAP Yearly Revenues Top $1B For Second Year

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Thursday announced record-breaking financial results, with domestic revenue hitting an all-time high of $716.8 million, up $61 million over 2014, driving record high domestic distributions of $573.5 million, up 6.2 percent over 2014.

ASCAP, which operates on a not-for-profit basis, delivered $867.4 million in total royalty distributions to its 560,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members in 2015. For the second year in a row, ASCAP’s combined domestic and foreign revenue topped $1 billion with total 2015 revenue of $1.014 billion.

Paul Williams
ASCAP delivered the best value proposition in performing rights licensing, returning 88 cents of every dollar collected to music creators while supporting their careers through advocacy and professional development and investing in technology and innovation initiatives to offer enhanced services to members and licensees. ASCAP’s operating expense ratio was 12.3 percent, among the most efficient and lowest in performing rights. The number of performances ASCAP tracked, matched and processed for payment in 2015 increased by 14 percent to 570 billion.

ASCAP President Paul Williams said: “ASCAP is a tireless advocate for the rights of music creators who depend on ASCAP to earn a living, whether it’s on Capitol Hill or at the negotiating table, and we are truly invested in their success. ASCAP's superlative results mean we are doing the best job possible for our songwriter and composer members even as we advocate for changes to the outdated music licensing laws that disadvantage songwriters in the today’s digital world. These results are a testament to why the world’s most talented songwriters choose to call ASCAP home.”

YouTube: More Generous Than Radio

YouTube went on the offensive on Thursday, saying it doesn’t shortchange artists but is rather a generous and nurturing force in the music community, reports The NY Post.

Critics who claim the video streamer pays performers too little have it wrong, a YouTube executive wrote in a 900-word blog post on the site’s Creator Blog.

The Google-owned operation should be compared to terrestrial radio — which pays performers zilch — and not Spotify, which pays royalties based on the number of songs streamed.

“Radio, which accounts for 25 percent of all music consumption in the US alone and generates $35 billion of ad revenue a year, pays nothing to labels and artists in countries like the US,” Christophe Muller, Head of YouTube International Music Partnerships, wrote in the blog post.

Christophe Muller
“Unlike radio, however, we pay the majority of the ad revenue that music earns to the industry,” Muller wrote.

Muller’s post, entitled, “Setting the Record Straight,” comes in response to a series of attacks on YouTube’s business practices from artists including Blondie’s Debbie Harry and former Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx and a host of music industry associations.

All voiced concern that YouTube is fleecing their members by growing its own revenue while artists receive just tiny streaming fees.

Muller doesn’t explain his tortured comparison to radio since consumers can’t select what songs are played on traditional radio as they can on YouTube.

YouTube has also countered criticism saying it has paid out some $3 billion to the music industry over the past 10 years.

New Deal Keeps Ryan Seacrest On "New Year's Rockin' Eve"

Ryan Seacrest has inked a new deal to continue fronting the network's long-running ball-drop special, New Year's Rockin' Eve, for four more years.

The pact also keeps Seacrest within the Disney fold as industry rumors swirl that he could be a contender for Michael Strahan's slot on ABC's Live! With Kelly and Michael, though ABC brass is said to be waiting for the dust to settle before making any decisions about a replacement.

Seacrest, Ripa
According to The Hollywood Reporter, insiders point to Seacrest's proven skill set as a morning host (albeit on the radio) as well as his rapport with Ripa. (He has been a frequent guest on Live!, and together he and Ripa have co-hosted the Disney parade for ABC.) What's more, for the first time in 15 years, the former American Idol emcee's schedule has eased up considerably.

To be sure, a New York-based a.m. talk show would require a major logistical reshuffling, as Seacrest currently fronts a multi-hour daily KIIS 102.7 FM radio show in LA. He also has a series of other high-profile commitments, including hosting duties for red-carpet specials on E! and a late-night live show at the Summer Olympics in Rio for NBC. He has a collection of scripted (Shades of Blue) and unscripted (Keeping Up With the Kardashians) shows that he produces through his eponymous Ryan Seacrest Productions as well.

As for his long-standing role at ABC, Rockin' Eve currently is the priority. The news of him re-upping comes some two years after Dick Clark Productions and ABC extended its deal to broadcast the special, which regularly beats its time-slot competition, for another 10 years. The net's 2015 coverage reached nearly 60 million viewers over the course of the night, up 16 percent from a year earlier. Among the coveted 18-49 demo, the special, which featured 38 musical performances, was up 19 percent.

Boston Radio: WEEI, Red Sox Extend Broadcast Deal

Entercom has announced that the long-standing broadcast partnership between WEEI 93.7 FMand the Boston Red Sox will continue through the 2023 Major League Baseball season. The announcement extends a play-by-play relationship with one of the most fervently loyal fan bases in pro sports. Red Sox broadcasts have been heard on WEEI since 1995.

Entercom CEO David Field praised the new deal as a win for both organizations and Red Sox fans everywhere.

“WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off the field,” Field commented.

Field went on to say, “Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and, the home of Red Sox baseball.”

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons,” said Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. “For more than a decade, the broadcast has been part of our most historic moments with the voice of Joe Castiglione echoing the triumph we all felt during three championship seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.”    

The WEEI Shaw’s Red Sox Radio Network is presently heard throughout New England on 55 AM and FM radio affiliates. Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione is celebrating his 33rd year in the booth and is the lead voice on broadcasts. He’s joined this season by New England native and former Pittsburgh Pirates voice Tim Neverett.

Louisville Radio: iHM Inks Deal For Cardinals Sports

The University of Louisville and its exclusive athletics multimedia rights holder, Learfield’s Louisville Sports Properties, have agreed to a new five-year partnership with iHeartMedia to extend broadcast rights for multiple Cardinal Athletics programming.

The new agreement, which will be effective from 2017-22, includes extended coverage of all University of Louisville football and men’s and women’s basketball games as well as the Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino coaches shows.

NewsRadio WHAS 840 AM. WWRW Rewind 105.5 FM in Lexington, WCKY ESPN 1530 AM in Cincinnati  and in Somerset (WSFE-AM) will carry the live football and men’s basketball games, including pregame and postgame programming, as well as the coaches’ shows for each. Specific conflicts with 840 WHAS will be moved to WKRD790 AM. Women’s basketball games will continue to air on 790 KRD.

WHAS has carried UofL events for the past 36 years, broadcasting Cardinal games since 1980.

“We’re excited to be working with iHeartMedia and growing a partnership that has been around since the early 80’s,” said UofL Vice President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich. “Adding this extended coverage for our sports programs allows us to enhance the connection with Cardinal fans and alumni everywhere. I sincerely appreciate the leadership of Earl Jones in working with us and our marketing partner to develop a wide approach that our fans will enjoy.”

“UofL athletics has a rich tradition we’re proud to be a part of,” said iHeartmedia’s Kentucky-Indiana Region President Earl Jones. “We’re looking forward to working with the staff at Louisville Sports Properties and continuing to broadcast Cardinal athletics like we have for so many years.”

Nationwide coverage of the Cardinals’ games will expand with inclusion on the iHeartRadio and TuneIn apps for mobile devices. Games will remain on Sirius/XM satellite radio, providing coverage across the entire continental United States, as well as, the official UofL athletics web site.

Denver Radio: Mile High Sports Adds Translator FM Signal

Mile High Sports Radio KDCO 1340 AM (1 Kw) announced Thursday that it is now simulcasting on K247CI 104.7 FM in the western Denver-area suburbs.

The move makes Mile High Sports Radio the only all-sports format in Denver broadcasting on both AM and FM. (Other AM stations are available only on HD2 signals.)

K284CI 104.7 FM (140 watts)
“We are very excited to again offer our fans multiple over-the-air broadcast options to listen to Denver’s largest sports talk lineup thanks to the addition of FM 104.7,” said general manager Casey Light. “Between AM 1340, FM 104.7, our live stream and iPhone and Android apps, there is now a full handful of ways our audience can hear unbiased, independent sports talk about their favorite Denver teams.”

Mile High Sports AM 1340 and FM 104.7 remains Denver’s only independently owned and operated local sports station. More than 25 locally based hosts comprise a lineup that airs more than 80 hours of live local programming each week. More than half the lineup are Denver or Colorado natives.

Mile High Sports Radio, which began broadcasting in 2007, will enter its 10th year on air in July, coinciding with the start of Denver Broncos training camp. The launch of the new FM signal coincides with the first day of the 2016 NFL Draft.

April 29 Radio History

In 1940..."Young Dr Malone" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network. It was an American soap opera which had a long run on radio and television from 1939 to 1963. The producer was Betty Corday who later was a co-creator with husband Ted Corday of NBC Daytime's Days of Our Lives.

Sponsored by General Foods and Post Cereals, the radio serial began on the Blue Network on November 20, 1939. The 15-minute program aired daily at 11:15am, continuing until April 26, 1940. Without a break, it moved to CBS on April 29, 1940, where it was heard for two decades, first airing at 2:00pm weekdays (1940–1944) and then 1:30pm (1945–1960).

In 1945, Procter & Gamble assumed sponsorship of the program.

In 1953...Coke Time with Eddie Fisher began a simulcast run on NBC-TV and Mutual radio. Fisher, a pop music singer, was seen and heard on more TV and radio stations in 1954 than any other entertainer.

In 1963...KRE-AM in Berkeley CA changed call letters to KPAT.

KRE circa 1922
The Maxwell Electric Company put KRE on the air on March 11, 1922, with studios and transmitter at the Claremont Resort Hotel. In May of that year, KRE was sold to the Berkeley Daily Gazette. It was bought in January 1927 by the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, which moved the studios and built a new transmitter. In January 1930, the Chapel of the Chimes (an Oakland funeral home) bought KRE. Ownership passed in December 1936 to Central California Broadcasters, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chapel of the Chimes.

On June 11, 1972, KRE commemorated its fiftieth anniversary with a huge celebration. In an unusual event, the FCC gave permission to KPAT to revert to its previous three-letter call sign.  However, today the call letters are KVTO 1400 AM and is airing a Chinese format. Licensed to Berkeley, California, USA, the station serves the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 1996...the "Howard Stern Radio Show" debuted on KFRR-FM, Fresno, California.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pandora Reports 29 Percent Revenue Increase

  • Total consolidated revenue was $297.3 million, growing 29% year-over-year
  • Total RPMs reached $49.84, growing 14% year-over-year; Ad RPMs were up 19% year-over-year to $45.47
  • Advertising revenue was $220.3 million, growing 23% year-over-year
  • Local advertising revenue was $61.3 million, growing 42% year-over-year
  • Ticketing service revenue was $22.3 million, growing approximately 30% year-over-year
  • Pandora raises Full Year 2016 revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance
Pandora today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.

“This was a really strong start to the year, and I see clear signs of momentum across our business,” said Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder and CEO. “Our team is rapidly bringing Pandora's audacious strategy to life, fundamentally changing how listeners discover and enjoy music while helping artists build sustainable careers.”

First Quarter 2016 Financial Results

Revenue: For the first quarter of 2016, total consolidated revenue was $297.3 million, a 29% year-over-year increase. Excluding revenue from ticketing services, total revenue was $275.0 million, an increase of 19% year-over-year. Advertising revenue was $220.3 million, a 23% year-over-year increase. Subscription and other revenue was $54.7 million, a 5% year-over-year increase. Ticketing service revenue was $22.3 million, an approximate 30% year-over-year increase1.

Adjusted EBITDA: For the first quarter of 2016, consolidated adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $57.4 million, compared to a loss of $20.9 million in the same quarter last year. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA excludes $38.7 million in expense from stock-based compensation, $13.3 million of depreciation and amortization expense, $5.3 million of other expense and $0.4 million of provision for income taxes.

Cash and Investments: For the first quarter of 2016, the Company ended with $382.5 million in cash and investments, compared to $416.9 million at the end of the prior quarter. Cash used in operating activities was $13.1 million for the first quarter of 2016, compared to $27.0 million of cash provided by operating activities in the same period of the prior year.

Other Business Metrics

Listener Hours: Total listener hours grew 4% to 5.52 billion for the first quarter of 2016, compared to 5.30 billion for the same period of the prior year.

Active Listeners: Active listeners were 79.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016, up compared to 79.2 million for the same period of the prior year.

Amazon Crushes Estimates

(Reuters) -- Inc's quarterly profit and revenue topped analysts' expectations by a wide margin as the Prime loyalty program helped the online retail giant attract more customers and revenue surged in its cloud services business.

Shares of the world's biggest online retailer jumped nearly 13 percent to $679 in extended trading on Thursday.

Amazon has seen strong growth in subscribers to its Prime loyalty program, which offers one-hour delivery, original TV programming and access to its digital entertainment products such as Prime Music and Prime Video for an annual fee of $99.

The company recently launched a monthly subscription to the program for $10.99. Amazon has also said it plans to offer its video streaming service for a monthly fee of $8.99.

Amazon's net sales in North America, its biggest market by revenue, increased 26.8 percent to $17 billion in the first quarter.

Revenue from its cloud services business, Amazon Web Services, surged 63.9 percent to $2.57 billion. The unit, Amazon's fastest growing business, is seen as the next driver of growth for the company.

Amazon reported net income of $513 million, or $1.07 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. The company had a loss of $57 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net sales surged 28.2 percent to $29.13 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 58 cents per share and revenue of $27.98 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Tulsa Radio: CMG Names Nathan Reed PD For KRAV-FM

Nathan Reed
Cox Media Group (CMG) Tulsa has named Nathan Reed as Director of Branding and Programming for KRAV Mix 96 FM.

He starts Monday, May 9.

Reed has spent 20 years in various programming roles across multiple formats, most recently as Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s seven station cluster in Toledo, Ohio. Prior to that, he spent seven years as a Program Director and on-air host for Regent Broadcasting in Flint, Mich.

“Nathan’s understanding of the AC listener lifestyle, his creativity and belief in a complete brand experience will compliment Mix 96’s already successful strategy,” said Dan Lawrie, CMG Tulsa VP and Market Manager. “Nathan also brings a strong commitment to community outreach, which fits well with our company values and our local cluster strategy.”

“Nathan is a talented programmer with a great strategic mind,” said Chris Eagan CMG’s AC Format Leader. “His vision and expertise will be invaluable at Mix 96 in Tulsa.”

KRAV 96.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
"Joining KRAV and CMG Tulsa is an exciting career move with the industry's best operator,” said Reed.  “I can't wait to get started with the Mix 96 crew. Many thanks Dan Lawrie, Chris Eagan and Steve Smith." - See more at: