Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 16 Radio History

In 1923...Bert Kaempfert, prolific songwriter ("Strangers in the Night" for Frank Sinatra, "Spanish Eyes" by Al Martino, "Danke Schoen" for Wayne Newton, "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole, and many others), performer ("Wonderland By Night" from 1960) and the man who signed the Beatles to a recording contract, was born in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1939...listeners welcomed “The Right to Happiness” to the NBC Blue network. The 15-minute daytime drama turned out to be one of the longest-running radio shows of its kind. It moved over to CBS in 1941, then back to NBC in 1942. Fourteen years later “Right to Happiness” returned to CBS where it stayed until its final days in 1960

In 1951...Singer Richard Penniman, already going by the stage name Little Richard, made his first recordings for RCA Camden at the studios of WGST-Radio in Atlanta. It took another four years and working in New Orleans' French Quarter to turn him into a rock 'n' roll star.

In 1954...Elvis Presley made his famous first radio appearance on the KWKH Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, LA. He appeared weekly for $18. His sidemen, Bill Black and Scotty Moore, were paid $12 each.

In 1960...Arch McDonald, MLB Giants, Yankees announcer died.

Arch McDonald
In 1939, he became the first full-time voice of the Yankees and Giants, working the second half of the season alongside a young Mel Allen. In that same year, he aired the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame on CBS. However, his homespun style didn't play well in New York, and he was back in Washington for the 1940 season.

For the most part, McDonald called losing baseball; the Senators only finished higher than fifth four times during his tenure. However, he was named "Announcer of the Year" again in 1942. During the 1940s, he began calling Washington Redskins and college football games.

McDonald was forced off Senators broadcasts by a sponsor change in 1956, but remained behind the mic for the Redskins. He died at age 59, of a heart attack, while en route by train from New York City to Washington, D.C.

In 1965...The Hot 100..1965:  The Beatles held on to #1 with "Yesterday" while Roy Head edged up with "Treat Her Right" and the former #1 from the McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy") was now at #3.  The Toys shot up from 19 to 4 with their great song "A Lover's Concerto" and the Gentrys had a nice 14-5 move with "Keep On Dancing".

The rest of the Top 10:  "The 'In' Crowd" from the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Herman's Hermits hit the Top 10 again with "Just a Little Bit Better", Sonny & Char at #8 with "Baby Don't Go", Lovin' Spoonful had song #9 with "Do You Believe In Magic" and "Eve of Destruction" from Barry McGuire was #10.

In 1976...The Album Chart..Stevie Wonder became the second solo artist of the Rock Era (Elton John was the first) to debut at #1 on the album chart as Songs in the Key of Life entered at the top.

It did so ahead of some great albums:  Silk Degrees by Boz Scaggs, Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive! fell after 10 weeks at #1, Fly Like An Eagle from Steve Miller Band was #4, Hasten Down the Wind by Linda Ronstadt was fifth and the self-titled Fleetwood Mac was #6 after 64 weeks of release

In 1984…Radio announcer (Life of Riley, Halls of Ivy, The Great Gildersleeve, Lux Radio Theater) Ken Carpenter, who for 27 years was a foil for wisecracking Bing Crosby on his radio shows, died at age 84.

In 1999...Jean Shepherd WOR Personality passed.

Shepherd began his broadcast radio career on WSAI in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1948. From 1951 to 1953 he had a late-night broadcast on KYW in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after which he returned to Cincinnati for a show on WLW. "Shep," as he was known, settled in at WOR radio New York City, New York on an overnight slot in 1956, where he delighted his fans by telling stories, reading poetry, and organizing comedic listener stunts.

Jean Shepherd
The most famous of the last involved creating a hoax about a non-existent book, I, Libertine, by the equally non-existent author "Frederick R. Ewing", in 1956. During a discussion on how easy it was to manipulate the best seller lists, which at that time were based not only on sales but demand, Shepherd suggested that his listeners visit bookstores and ask for a copy of I, Libertine which led to booksellers attempting to purchase the book from their distributors. Fans of the show eventually took it further, planting references to the book and author so widely that demand for the book led to it being listed on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Shepherd, Theodore Sturgeon and Betty Ballantine later wrote the actual book, with a cover painted by illustrator Frank Kelly Freas, published by Ballantine Books.

When he was about to be released by WOR in 1956 for not being commercial, he did a commercial for Sweetheart Soap, not a sponsor, and was immediately fired. His listeners besieged WOR with complaints, and when Sweetheart offered to sponsor him he was reinstated. Eventually, he attracted more sponsors than he wanted—the commercials interrupted the flow of his monologues.

He left WOR in 1977. His subsequent radio work consisted of only short segments on several other stations including crosstown WCBS-AM. His final radio gig was the Sunday night radio show "Shepherd's Pie" on WBAI-FM in the mid-1990s, which consisted of his reading his stories uncut, uninterrupted and unabridged.

Throughout his radio career, he performed entirely without scripts. His friend and WOR colleague Barry Farber marveled at how he could talk so long with very little written down. Yet during a radio interview, Shepherd once claimed that some shows took several weeks to prepare.

In 2006...DJ Mike Phillips WXLO, WWDJ NYC died.

Indy Radio: Smulyan Drops Emmis Go-Private Effort

Jeff Smulyan has failed for a third time to take his Indianapolis media company private.

According to the Indy Star, Smulyan, the CEO of Emmis Communications Corp., dropped his $4.10-per-share bid amid criticism from investors that he was undervaluing the company. He let the nearly 2-month-old offer expire Friday.

"I am sorry we could not reach an agreement on the valuation," Smulyan said in a letter to Emmis' board. "I look forward to continuing to work with you as we move Emmis forward as a public company."

Smulyan's bid for outstanding shares amounted to a deal worth about $46.5 million. A handful of investors mounted opposition almost as soon as Smulyan submitted the offer Aug. 18. They argued in interviews and letters to the company's board that Smulyan failed to factor in the potential value of a product called NextRadio, which lets smartphone users access radio signals through their devices.

Jeff Smulyan
Those investors praised Smulyan's decision to abandon the offer.

John Reardon, a Pasadena, Calif.-based stock broker who opposed the go-private offer, said he thinks shareholders' criticism killed the deal.

"I think the pushback was very significant from all sides," Reardon said.

"I think Jeff Smulyan is a very smart guy," Reardon added. "He's worked very hard to get the NextRadio deal off the ground. I think it's going to be a tremendous success."

Emmis has the ninth-largest radio portfolio in the U.S., according to the company. Including the Terre Haute stations, it owns 19 FM and four AM radio stations in Indianapolis, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Austin, Texas. Emmis' best-known stations include WIBC 93.1 FM in Indianapolis, KPWR 105.9 FM in Los Angeles, known as Power 106, and WQHT 97.1 FM in New York, known as Hot 97.

Smulyan started Emmis in 1979 with the acquisition of a Shelbyville radio station. The company went public in 1994.

San Diego Radio: KSON Re-Ups Amber Rainey For Middays

Amber Rainey
Entercom San Diego announced Friday that Amber Rainey has signed a multi-year deal that will keep her on the airwaves at Country KSON 97.3 & 92.1 FM.

Amber came to KSON from Denver, Colorado as a part time air talent in 2015.  In a short amount of time, Amber moved up the ranks at KSON and assumed the midday time slot earlier this year when it was vacated by KSON APD Brooks O’Brian, who assumed PD duties at sister-station Sunny 98.1 KXSN FM.

“I’m ecstatic that Amber has signed a new deal with KSON.  I couldn’t picture our midday with anyone else,” said Kevin Callahan, Operations Director and Program Director at KSON-FM/San Diego. “I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the KSON family!  It's such an amazing station to be working for and I couldn't be happier!" said Amber recently.

Amber Rainey can be heard every weekday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on KSON FM.

South Bend Radio: WYXX To Add Bob & Tom Show

The Bob and Tom Show returns to local radio, starting Monday, October 17th on the new Rock 97.7 Legendary Rock.

Rock WYXX 97.7 FM took to the air at Noon on October 7th with a music format dedicated to Legendary Rock artists and songs.

Rock 97.7 is owned by Sound Management a local Indiana based broadcasting company which also owns WNDV U93 FM and WSSM 102.3 FM The Stream.

President Arthur Angotti had the following to say: “The people of Michiana complained bitterly when Bob and Tom went off the air last week. Rock 97.7 listened. Starting Monday 10.17.16, Bob & Tom have a new home on the Legendary Rock Station 97.7 FM. We are very excited to re-launch 97.7 FM as a Legendary Rock Station and air the Bob & Tom Show. The 97.7 frequency has a history of Rock going all the way back to 1992 and we are looking forward to providing Legendary Rock for listeners near and far.”

WYXX 97.7 FM (2.9 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
In addition to the launch of Legendary Rock 97.7, we are pleased to welcome the Bob & Tom Show to its programming lineup. Starting Monday October 17th, The Bob and Tom Show can be heard on 97.7 weekday mornings between 6AM and 10AM Monday through Friday.

Bakersfield CA Radio: KRJK Flips To New Country

JackFM Hit The Road at noon Friday as KRJK 97.3 FM flipped formats form Adults Hits to New Country.

The conversion of Jack to the Bull means Buck Owens Productions Co., Inc., which owns market stalwart KUZZ 107.9 FM and its twangy sister station KCWR 107.1 FM , now has three local country stations.

The thinking is that the radio group started by Bakersfield’s first country music legend should corner the market on the genre by offering a different station to all demographics: young 18-34 The Bull, 25-54 KUZZ and Classic Country 35+ KCWR.

“Country is what our company knows best,” said Brent Michaels, program director for the Bull and KUZZ, where he also serves as an on-air personality. “KUZZ is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.”

According to, the Bull will not use live announcers most of the day, though Toni-Marie, a veteran KUZZ disc jockey, will host a show weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., starting Oct. 24. And nationally syndicated radio host Bobby Bones will fill the morning programming slot, starting Monday. Bones, based in Nashville, was available in the Bakersfield market on KIX 92.1 until July, when the station switched formats from country to Spanish oldies.

KRJK 97.3 FM (2 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The biggest potential for splitting its audience will come in the morning, when the popular KUZZ team of Steve Gradowitz and Geoff Emery goes head-to-head with Bones.

“It’s excellent to have Bobby Bones back in Bakersfield,” Michaels said, “but Steve and Geoff, in my opinion, are the best local morning show team. It’s all about local listeners with them, whereas Bobby Bones will have Luke Bryan on Monday and Chris Stapleton on Friday.”

The Election Is Driving Americans Nuts

More than half of us—on both sides of the aisle—say the 2016 election is a major source of stress, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association.

“Historically, work, money, and the economy are the top three,” said clinical psychologist Lynn Bufka, part of the APA’s Stress in America team, which has been conducting surveys of what freaks us out the most for 10 years. “Now it’s right up there.”

According to Bloomberg, in addition to the overall pervasiveness of news about the presidential election—non-stop coverage for more than a year now—Bufka cites several potential reasons Americans are more worried this year. To start, there’s the tenor of the campaigns, which are arguably more negative and accusatory than any other in modern history. “In general,” she said, “humans like harmony.”

People may also be stressed by these candidates in particular—who they are and what they stand for. And of course, Americans are worried about the outcome.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll in August among 3,511 adults aged 18 and up living in the U.S. Data were weighted to accurately reflect the population. While social media usage correlates with higher stress levels, the American you’re least likely to find posting on Facebook—those age 71 and up—are also the ones reporting the most anxiety.

Usually, Bufka said, their generation, called the “silent” or “greatest” generation by some, reports the lowest levels of stress. “They’ve weathered a lot, they have good perspective” she said. But in this case, the opposite seems to be true. “We’re wondering if thinking about the implications on their children and grandchildren might be the source of the stress,” she said.

October 15 Radio History

Robert Trout
In & TV newsman Robert Trout was born in rural North Carolina.  While with CBS before & after World War 2 Trout became known as the “Iron Man of Radio” for his incredible ability to ad lib, as well as his stamina, composure, and elocution.  He died Nov 14, 2000 at age 91.

In 1914...ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) was founded which ultimately led to nightmares in paperwork for radio board ops midway through the 20th Century!

In 1929...broadcaster/actor Art James was born in Dearborn Michigan. He hosted a series of TV game shows including Concentration, Say When, Pay Cards, Matches ‘N’ Mates, Catch Phrase and Blank Check. He died March 28 2004 at age 75.

In 1935...In Seattle, radio station KCPB became KIRO, as new owner Saul Haas increased the power to 500 watts on 650 kc.  Now with 50,000 watts at 710 kHz, and with sister stations on the FM and TV spectrums, the KIRO call letters are among the best known and most revered on the West Coast.

In 1957…Elvis Presley released "Elvis' Christmas Album," his fourth long-play disc for RCA Victor and the top-selling holiday album of all time with more than 9 million in sales. After hearing Presley's version of "White Christmas," Irving Berlin, the song's composer, called it a "profane parody of his cherished yuletide standard," and instructed his staff to phone radio stations across the U.S. demanding airplay of the song be discontinued. While most stations ignored Berlin's request, at least one disc jockey was fired for playing a song from the album, and most Canadian stations refused to air any part of the disc.

In 1960...While in Hamburg, The Beatles back Wally Eymond, the guitarist for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, on his version of George Gershwin's "Summertime." As Beatles drummer Pete Best is absent from the session, the band plays with Rory Storm's drummer, Ringo Starr. This is the first known recording of the group together, though the master is lost to history; two years later, the group would hire Ringo permanently.

In 1971...singer Rick Nelson was booed off the stage when he didn’t stick to all oldies at the seventh Annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival show at Madison Square Garden, New York. He tried to slip in some of his new material and the crowd did not approve. The negative reaction inspired Nelson to write his last top-40 entry, Garden Party, which, ironically, was his biggest hit in years.

Circa 1966
In 1975...the Music stopped on Pittsburgh's KQV 1410!  Whether they knew it as “14-K”, “14-KQV”, or “Groovy QV” many considered it was one of the great Top40 stations in the country. It was 40 years ago today that the music stopped in favor of an all-news format.

George Hart and Billy Soule did their final music show together. Taft executives were monitoring from Cincinnati, and the decision was made to pull the plug on the show –post haste– at 10:30 p.m. Their final song was “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” by Neil Diamond. Bob Harvey finished the night with “Those Were the Days My Friend” by Mary Hopkin.

For more on KQV: Click Here and Click Here.

In 1968...The former New Yardbirds, now known as Led Zeppelin, perform their first gig under that name at England's Surrey University.

In 1971...Rick Nelson (formerly Ricky) is invited to perform at the Seventh Annual Rock 'n' Roll Revival Show, an oldies concert held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Debuting some of his newer, country-rock material with his Stone Canyon Band, Nelson is booed by the audience; the experience so unnerves the former teen idol that he goes home and pens a song about the experience, puckishly entitled "Garden Party." Ironically, in 1972 it will become his first US Top Ten hit since 1963's "For You."

In 1973...The US Supreme Court upholds, by a 7-2 vote, the 1971 FCC directive that bans radio DJs from playing songs that glorify drugs.

In 1985...NYC WMCA 570 AM personality Ted Steele died. At one time, he also worked at KMPC 710 AM in Los Angeles.

Ted Steele's Bandstand first popularized music on television during the 1950s.

It is hosted by 40s bandleader and conductor, Ted Steele, who was also a mentor to famous singers in the likes of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

The show is a teen-oriented music program promoting young talents. One of the episodes features rock and roll legend Bill Haley singing his hit, Rock Around the Clock.

Ted Steele's Bandstand is the precursor of Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and shown on New York's WOR-TV (Channel 9).

In age 19, future WNEW-FM NYC personality Alison Steele married Steele,  who was twenty years her senior.

In 1967, Ted Steele took over Saturday night Monitor from Henry Morgan.  Click Here and listen on a Saturday night in November of that year. Features "Abe Weatherwise," a feature on Wilt Chamberlain & more.

In 1990...NRSC-3, recommendations for AM receiver specifications, was adopted

In 2001...Jay Stone NYC personality at WXLO, WNBC died in a car crash in Hawaii.  Stone was raised in Los Angeles and worked at radio stations across the country in the '70s and '80s before moving to Hawaii, where he most recently was morning show host for Oldies KGMZ 107.9 FM.

In 2012...NYC Radio personality Dick Shepard personality died at age 90.

Shepard is strongly associated with WNEW, he also had stints are WABC, WMGM and WPAT.

Better known to his legion of listeners on WNEW at different times in the 50s, 60s and 70s as Shepard Richard A.

He also worked at WABC Radio, before the Top 40 era, as an air personality in the late 50s and  during part of 1960, appeared as a commercial, on-camera announcer on some ABC Television game shows in the early 50s, and was a busy voice-over talent  during parts of his five decades in New York.  Shep also did air work at WMGM and WPAT.

Friday, October 14, 2016

NYC Radio: Gov Chris Christie Could Be Eying WFAN Gig

Chris Christie
A little over a year from now, Chris Christie’s second term as the governor of New Jersey will end and according to, there has been much speculation about where Christie will land once his tenure ends.

Another big name leaving his job next year is Mike Francesa, the popular afternoon host on WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM and last month Francesa revealed that he would be stepping away from his broadcasting home for nearly 30 years.

In recent weeks, speculation among radio experts and pundits has increased that Christie is eying Francesa’s spot on WFAN when he leaves the governorship next year. According to WFAN operations manager Mark Chernoff praised the governor in his role as a fill-in host at the station.

Chernoff said Christie hasn’t indicated that he’s interested in a permanent position.

Sports talk radio does seem like an appropriate venue for Christie's bombastic demeanor and sense of humor. He's even shown a willingness to poke fun at himself. After a photo of Christie pouring a small bag of M&M's into a larger bag of M&M's went viral, he dutifully appeared on WFAN to defend himself.

“You get the box, you open the box, there’s a bag inside the box,” Christie said. “Why they do it that way, I have no idea. But you open up the bag, pour the bag into the box. It’s easier.”

Report: Debt May Bury iHM, Cumulus

Cumulus Media Inc. and iHeartMedia Inc., the two biggest U.S. radio station operators, are still grappling with creditors while online music services poach away audiences, advertisers and revenue.

Bloomberg reports losses and leverage are climbing, putting pressure on the broadcasters to cut a deal with lenders now, before the clock runs out. If they don’t, the two companies could slam headlong into a wall of debt coming due by 2019 that collectively tops $10 billion.

“They’re going to need some help,” said Avi Steiner, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. high-yield media credit analyst. “A better balance sheet would help deal with the secular changes in radio.”

At Cumulus, creditors led by Franklin Resources Inc. have hired PJT Partners Inc. to advise them on talks with the company, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. Millstein & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis represent the company, Bloomberg previously reported.

PJT is also working with a group of Franklin-led creditors at iHM, which has been embroiled in lawsuits with some of its holders as it looks for ways to restructure its debt. Spokeswomen for PJT and Franklin declined to comment.

iHeart, whose total debt tops $21 billion, has posted eight years of losses, and Cumulus, which owes $2.4 billion, lost half a billion dollars last year, more than seven times its market capitalization. Shares of both have plunged more than 80 percent in two years and their debt, already junk-rated, may be downgraded again by S&P Global Ratings.

One reason for the pressure is the 3 percent decline in advertising revenue for traditional radio stations in 2014 and 2015, while digital ad revenue grew 9 percent and 5 percent in those years, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. Online rivals such as Pandora Media Inc., Spotify Ltd. and Apple Inc. are adding listeners rapidly, with Spotify climbing from 40 million active users in 2014 to more than 100 million as of June, the company said.

“iHeartMedia is not threatened by digital , it is digital -- we have fully embraced it and have taken a leadership position,” spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg, said by e-mail. San Antonio, Texas-based iHeart has the fastest-growing digital radio service in the U.S. and plans to launch an on-demand offering in January, she said.

Long-term debt at Cumulus has ballooned from less than $600 million in 2010. That year, the Atlanta-based company formed a partnership with Crestview Partners LLC, a New York-based private-equity firm that specializes in media. The goal was $1 billion of radio investments -- a number surpassed in 2011 when Cumulus acquired Citadel Broadcasting Corp.

The deal was funded with more than $2 billion of bank debt and a sale of shares to Crestview, which is now the biggest equity holder with a 28 percent stake. But in the years that followed, Citadel’s core assets underperformed, as did those of Westwood One, acquired in 2013. The company named Mary Berner chief executive officer a year ago, and a shift in strategy led to higher costs, lower earnings and a spike in leverage.

Alpha Media To Transfer Five Kansas Stations

Alpha Media LLC and Rocking M Media, LLC announced today their formal filing with the FCC to transfer five of Alpha Media's radio stations in Salina, Abilene and Manhattan, KS to Rocking M Media.

The radio stations to be transferred are; N/T KSAL 1150 AM, Classic Hits KSAL 104.9 FM, and Country KYEZ Y93.7 FM  in Salina, Adult Standards KABI 1560 AM in Abilene, and A/C KBLS 102.5 FM in the Manhattan market.

"We're happy for our employees in Salina to be joining such a great company. Rocking M Media is a strong force in Kansas radio and media," said Alpha Media CEO/President, Bob Proffitt.

Rocking M Media President, Christopher Miller added, "RMM is so very excited to add the Alpha Media staff and stations to our family. They will be a great addition and will be instrumental in helping RMM promote the businesses and communities in and around our Salina and Abilene markets."

Manhattan Broadcasting VP and General Manager, Corey Reeves added, “What a fantastic opportunity to bring the KBLS-FM signal, once owner by the Vanier family, back home to Manhattan. Adding KBLS to the Manhattan Broadcasting family of stations will allow us to even better serve and promote the local communities and businesses in Manhattan, Junction City, and the surrounding area by adding a heritage signal with an established audience that further broadens the MBC coverage area.”

Alpha Media was represented by George Reed of Media Services Group and Rocking M Media was represented by Gammon Miller media investment bankers.

Chairman Martin Lorenstzon Exits Spotify

Martin Lorentzon
Martin Lorentzon, the exec who co-founded Spotify with Daniel Ek ten years ago, is stepping down from his position as Chairman, according to Music Business Worldwide.

Lorentzon is relinquishing his role, with CEO Ek taking his place – presumably to become Chairman & CEO.

The news comes just over a month after we learned that both Spotify’s Chief Revenue Officer, Jeff Levick, and top global sales exec Jonathan Forster were also departing.

Daniel Ek
Lorentzon will remain on the board of Spotify in a Vice-Chairman role.

He said on Twitter: “I’m looking forward to another 10 years at Spotify as vice-chairman… walking and talking with Daniel daily.”

Spotify is expected to attempt to launch an IPO in the second half of next year.

Some believe that the business is transitioning its management base from the Nordics to its New York HQ, and that Lorentzon’s departure fits with this narrative.

Another major personnel change at Spotify came in June, when it hired former Atom Factory boss and Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter as Global Head of Creator Services.

NYC Radio: Race Taylor Scores Multi-Year Deal With WPLJ

Cumulus Media has announced that New York’s 95.5 PLJ has re-signed long-running on-air host Race Taylor to a multi-year contract extension.

Taylor has been part of the WPLJ 95.5 FM on-air team since October 1999. Prior to that, he hosted PM Drive and was Assistant Program Director for Mix 102.9 KDMX in Dallas/Fort Worth, and was PM Drive Host and Assistant Program Director for Q102 WKRQ in Cincinnati.

Taylor has also been a prominent voice on ABC Television for many years, where he is heard daily on The View, The Chew, General Hospital, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Taylor’s voice work also airs regularly on primetime television shows including: Dancing With The Stars, The Middle, Modern Family, The Bachelor, Castle, Scandal, Nashville and many others.

Gillette, Program Director for 95.5 PLJ, said: “In the hallways Race is the definition of ‘professional’, ‘gentleman’ and ‘esteemed colleague’. On the air he is the consummate communicator. He actually may have invented the concept of engagement. He can take the simplest break and make it a drop the mic moment. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership. He’s been such an important part of this brand’s heritage, and is an even more important part of 95.5 PLJ’s future.”

Taylor said: “I am thrilled that our tri-state audience has allowed me to be part of their every day on 95.5 PLJ for nearly 20 years! Thank you Mary Berner, Mike McVay, Dave Milner, Chad Lopez, Gillette and the entire Cumulus New York family for the opportunity to continue. Feels. Like. Home.”

Boston Radio: WRKO Makes Michael Czarnecki Fulltime PD

Michael Czarnecki
Entercom/Boston has announced that Michael Czarnecki has been elevated to Program Director of WRKO 680 AM in Boston. He assumes the role after spending the last 15 months as assistant program director and operations manager of the heritage news and talk station.

Previously he was assistant program director at iHeart Media's WHYN-FM and WRNX-FM in Springfield, MA. He's also held on-air and programming positions in Boston, Hartford, Medford, OR and Manchester, NH.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," said Czarnecki. "It's been an honor and a privilege to be a part of revitalizing the heritage brand that is WRKO, and this is just the beginning. Special thank you to Phil Zachary, and to Entercom, for having faith in me, and giving me the guidance and tools needed to get here."

Entercom Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary said the timing isn't coincidental noting, "Michael tweaked the station's line-up and groomed our entire air staff to be at peak performance for this election cycle. We're now reaping the benefits of his coaching and vision as new cume flocks to WRKO every day. This promotion is well deserved and overdue."

WRKO 680 AM (50 Kw, DA2)
Czarnecki grew up in Connecticut and has spent most of his career in and around the Boston area. The promotion is effective immediately.

Chicago Radio: iHM Names New Evening Hosts At WKSC, WEBG

Erik Zachary
iHeartMedia has announced two appointments.  Erik Zachary will move across the hall to host weeknights from 6-11 p.m. on Top40 WKSC Kiss103.5 FM and Emily Bermann will host weeknights on Country WEBG Big95.5 PM from 7 p.m.-midnight. Bermann will also serve as BIG 95.5’s Assistant Program Director. All appointments.

Zachary recently worked as night show personality on BIG 95.5 and weekend on-air personality on 103.5 KISS FM.

“Erik is a top-notch talent who grew up in the Chicagoland area,” said Tommy Austin, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Chicago. “He understands the needs of our listeners and the community.”

“I love Chicago and I’m excited to begin 103.5 KISS FM’s new show for local pop music fans,” said Zachary. “Words cannot explain what it means to join the dream team line-up at the station that I grew up to listening to all the time.”

Emily Bermann
Bermann joined BIG 95.5 as the Promotions Director and swing on-air personality in 2015. She previously hosted overnights and weekends at iHeartMedia’s WXXL 106.7 FM in Orlando.

“Emily brings her unbridled passion to a fun and interactive night show on BIG 95.5,” said Steve Stewart, Program Director for BIG 95.5. “I am also honored to have her by my side as Assistant Program Director as we make BIG 95.5 bigger and better.”

“I am so excited to spend my nights on BIG 95.5,” said Bermann. “I have been with the station from the beginning and it is an honor to start this new chapter with Steve Stewart taking BIG 95.5 to the next level.”

Emmis Sells 'Texas' Monthly For $25M

Emmis Communications Corporation Thursday announced the signing of an agreement to sell the assets of Texas Monthly to an affiliate of Genesis Park, LP, a partnership founded by Paul Hobby, for $25 million, subject to working capital adjustments.

The nationally recognized authority on life in the state of Texas, Texas Monthly has won 13 National Magazine Awards and has chronicled life in contemporary Texas since 1973.

Genesis Park is a regional private equity firm that has built successful communications and technology businesses in Texas for many years. Examples include CapRock Services, Alpheus Communications and Vivante GMP.

Paul Hobby, a Founding Partner of Genesis Park said: "We are honored to be the third steward of this beloved Texas brand. Our plan is to bring new ideas, strategic relationships and thoughtful investment that help to take this great story forward. We are also pleased to affiliate with Jack Martin in this endeavor given his long record of anticipating important trends in media and public communication."

"Texas Monthly has been a member of the Emmis family for 18 years, so today is bittersweet," said Jeff Smulyan, Chairman & CEO of Emmis. "We want to thank all of our employees for their dedication and hard work.

"This transaction allows us not only to de-lever our balance sheet, but puts TM in the capable hands of one of Texas' great families, the Hobbys," Smulyan concluded.

On August 18, the Company announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its publishing division, excluding Indianapolis Monthly magazine.  The Company also announced it was exploring strategic alternatives for its Terre Haute radio stations and WLIB-AM in New York.

Emmis has owned Texas Monthly since 1998.  The transaction is expected to close in early November.

Verizon: Hack May Impact Yahoo Deal

(Reuters) -- Verizon Communications Inc said on Thursday it has a "reasonable basis" to believe Yahoo Inc's  massive data breach of email accounts represents a material impact that could allow Verizon to withdraw from its $4.83 billion deal to buy the technology company.

Verizon's general counsel Craig Silliman told reporters at a roundtable in Washington the data breach could trigger a clause in the deal that would allow the U.S. wireless company not to complete it.

"I think we have a reasonable basis to believe right now that the impact is material and we're looking to Yahoo to demonstrate to us the full impact. If they believe that it's not then they'll need to show us that," he said, declining to comment on whether talks are under way to renegotiate the purchase price.

Asked for comment, a Yahoo spokesman said: "We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon."

The deal has a clause that says Verizon can withdraw if a new event "reasonably can be expected to have a material adverse effect on the business, assets, properties, results of operation or financial condition of the business.”

Silliman said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved Verizon's planned acquisition of Yahoo, but it still needs approval from the European Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the proxy.

Verizon has had preliminary briefings from Yahoo but it still needs "significant information" from the company before it makes a final decision on the materiality of the hacking of at least 500 million email accounts, Silliman said.

He said Verizon is "absolutely evaluating (the breach) and will make determinations about whether and how to move forward with the deal based on our evaluation of the materiality."

Yahoo shares ended 1.75 percent lower at $41.62, while Verizon was largely unchanged, closing at $50.29, down 0.02 percent.

Yahoo in September disclosed that it had fallen victim to a data breach in 2014 that compromised users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords.

The company has said the cyber attack was carried out by a “state-sponsored” actor, but some private security experts have challenged that assertion.

Several Democratic senators have pressed Yahoo to reveal more information about the hack and why it took so long to discover.

The internet firm said it learned of the breach this summer while investigating claims of a separate intrusion, but it has not provided a specific timeline of events.

Some analysts suggested Verizon may be trying to get a better price.

Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, said "Verizon is rightfully upset about Yahoo not properly disclosing the breach."

He said Yahoo would most likely have to consider renegotiating the price with Verizon, if it came to that.

NYTimes Stands By Trump Groping Story

(Reuters) -- The New York Times said on Thursday that it stands by its story about two women who say Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made inappropriate advances, and rebutted claims by a lawyer for Trump that the story is libelous.

"Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself," David McCraw, vice president and assistant general counsel for the newspaper, said in a letter to Trump's lawyer.

If Trump disagrees that the story was libelous, "we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight," McCraw said in the letter.

Trump Hasn't Sued A Newspaper For Libel In Decades

By Alison Frankel and Dan Levine

(Reuters) - Donald Trump hasn't sued a newspaper for libel in three decades, despite the Republican presidential nominee repeatedly threatening to do so over the course of his business career, according to databases of state and federal court records.

A lawyer for the New York real estate developer demanded on Wednesday the New York Times retract a story in which two women accused Trump of inappropriately touching them. If the newspaper did not comply, Trump, who says the allegations are fabricated, would "pursue all available actions and remedies," the lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said in a letter.

Trump said at a rally on Thursday he was preparing a lawsuit.

An attorney for the Times, David McCraw, said the story was of national importance and the paper would "welcome the opportunity" to defend it in court.

Over the years, media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, the New York Post and Fortune Magazine have reported receiving similar threats from Trump or his representatives in advance of unflattering articles.

However, Trump rarely makes good on those threats, according to a Reuters review of court dockets in the database of online legal research service Westlaw, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

The last time he sued a news organization for libel was apparently in 1984. Trump filed the case after the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic called his proposed 150-story Manhattan skyscraper an "atrocious, ugly monstrosity."

In 1985, a federal judge in Manhattan dismissed the suit, ruling the critic had a First Amendment right to express his opinion. The skyscraper was never built.

In the 32 years since Trump brought that suit, he has not taken similar action against another news organization, although he or his companies have sued at least three individuals and a book publisher. He was successful in one of those cases.

Book author and former New York Times reporter Timothy O'Brien defeated a Trump libel lawsuit in 2011, after Trump underwent a grueling deposition by O'Brien's lawyers.

Trump's suit against O'Brien, which also named O’Brien’s publisher, Time Warner Book Group, alleged the author deliberately underestimated the businessman's net worth. A New Jersey state judge found in 2009 that Trump had not established O’Brien’s actual malice.


Former Miss Universe contestant Sheena Monnin was hit with a $5 million default judgment after she failed to appear for arbitration in a case in which Trump claimed she falsely denigrated the pageant as “rigged.” The arbitration judgment was upheld by a federal judge in Manhattan in 2013. The court record indicates the judgment was paid in 2014.

The same year, a San Diego federal judge ruled Tarla Makaeff, who was lead plaintiff in a class action against Trump University, did not act with malice when she said in letters to her bank and the Better Business Bureau that Trump University engaged in fraudulent business practices. The judge, Gonzalo Curiel, dismissed Trump's defamation claim.

Trump's attorneys, as well as a spokeswoman for his campaign, did not respond to requests for comment on his libel litigation record, including requests for information on any suits the Reuters docket search may have missed.

U.S. courts have routinely deemed Trump a public figure in libel lawsuits. That means he has to show not only that the story is false, but also that the media outlet knew that it was false and published it in "reckless disregard" for the truth.

If Trump were a private person, he would have to show the paper was negligent in failing to learn the allegations were false, which is a lower standard of proof.

The New York Times attorney, David McCraw, wrote that the paper carefully vetted the allegations in the story.


Any Trump claim will be difficult because Trump's accusers were on the record, said Jane Kirtley, a media law expert at University of Minnesota Law School. That would bolster the newspaper’s argument that it didn’t act recklessly in publishing their accounts.

Trump has vowed to "open up our libel laws," if he wins the presidency on Nov. 8., to make it easier to sue news organizations. In reality, he would not be able to unilaterally change the laws because they are generally governed by individual states and court precedents.

Court records show that Trump or his businesses have themselves been sued several times for libel or defamation. Most of those suits, including a complaint by a former tenant of a Trump condominium and another by a former dealer at a Trump casino in Indiana, were dismissed.

One defamation suit against Trump survived dismissal, however. Stock analyst Marvin Roffman sued Trump for $2 million in federal court in Philadelphia in 1990, claiming he was fired from his job after publicly predicting the failure of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

Roffman alleged Trump defamed him in critical statements to numerous newspapers and magazines. After a federal judge refused to toss the case, the Trump Organization settled in 1991.

An attorney for Roffman declined to comment.

Melania Trump Demands Apology

Natasha Stoynoff
An attorney for Melania Trump is demanding an apology and retraction from People, challenging some of the facts of a People writer’s story in which she claims that Donald Trump forced himself on her during a 2005 assignment, reports Variety.

The story by Natasha Stoynoff was posted on Wednesday, and she contends that, while his wife was away, Donald Trump physically attacked her in a room at the Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Stoynoff wrote that she had been sent there to do an interview with the Trumps on their first anniversary.

Charles Harder, who is representing Melania Trump, wrote in a letter to Stoynoff and People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle that several statements in the piece are “false and completely fictionalized.” He cited Stoynoff’s contention that after the incident happened, she ran into Melania Trump on Fifth Avenue.

According to Stoynoff, Melania Trump asked her, “Natasha, why don’t we see you anymore?” She then gave her a hug.

“I was quiet and smiled, telling her I missed her, and I squeezed little Barron’s foot.”

Harder wrote, “The true facts are there: Mrs. Trump did not encounter Ms. Stoynoff on the street, nor have any conversation with her. The two are not friends or even friendly. At the time in question, Mrs. Trump would not have even recognized Ms. Stoynoff if they had encountered one another on the street.”

The letter threatens legal action if a retraction isn’t issued.

Trump Called Threat To Press Freedom

The Committee to Protect Journalists Thursday released a statement recognizing that a Donald Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom. In response to Trump's threats and vilification of the media during his campaign, the chairman of CPJ's board, Sandra Mims Rowe, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
Guaranteeing the free flow of information to citizens through a robust, independent press is essential to American democracy. For more than 200 years this founding principle has protected journalists in the United States and inspired those around the world, including brave journalists facing violence, censorship, and government repression. 
Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values. On October 6, CPJ's board of directors passed a resolution declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to CPJ's ability to advocate for press freedom around the world. 
Since the beginning of his candidacy, Trump has insulted and vilified the press and has made his opposition to the media a centerpiece of his campaign. Trump has routinely labeled the press as "dishonest" and "scum" and singled out individual news organizations and journalists. 
He has mocked a disabled New York Times journalist and called an ABC News reporter a "sleaze" in a press conference. He expelled Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a campaign press conference because he asked an "impertinent" question, and has publicly demeaned other journalists.
The nonprofit organization advocates for the rights of journalists all around the world. CPJ usually concentrates on the Middle East and other conflict-stricken areas where journalists routinely face repression and violence. Foreign governments like Iran, China and Pakistan are frequent targets of the group's efforts.

According to CNN, CPJ's board members include Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carroll, New Yorker editor David Remnick, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, Univision News boss Isaac Lee, and many other prominent journalists.

The group anticipated that some readers could bristle at the statement and call it an overreaction. So it listed specific examples of Trump showing "disregard" for the press, including his past denial of press credentials to certain news outlets (a practice he has since stopped) and his refusal to "condemn attacks on journalists by his supporters."

"Throughout his campaign, Trump has routinely made vague proposals to limit basic elements of press and internet freedom," the group said, including by talking about wanting to "open up our libel laws," thereby making it easier to sue news organizations.

FCC Call Sign Activity For September 2016

During the period from 09/01/2016 to 09/30/2016 the Commission accepted applications to assign call signs to, or change the call signs of the following broadcast stations.

R.I.P.: Longtime Erie PA Radio Sportscaster Jim LeCorchick

Jim LeCorchick
Longtime Erie, PA sportscaster Jim LeCorchick died Thursday afternoon collapsing at the studios of WJET 1400 AM.

He was 69-years-ofagem according to

Medical personnel and Erie firefighters responded to reports of cardiac arrest at 6:10 a.m., around the time when LeCorchick was to go on the air for his 6 to 9 a.m. morning show.

LeCorchick walked into the nearby Rocket 101 radio studio at around 6:05 a.m., said "call 911," and collapsed, said Carpenter, news director for WJET radio and on-air personality at Rocket.

"He was taken to (UPMC) Hamot, but I think he had already passed," Carpenter said. "I think he was just coming out of a news break. He may have just started his show."

LeCorchick served as a commentator for both the WJET-AM and the WFNN-AM/1330 Sports Blitz afternoon show. He also served as a play-by-play and color commentator for a variety of area college and high school sports throughout the years.

He was known for his outspoken opinions, his vast knowledge of Erie sports, and his signature use of the words "tremendous" and "unbelievable."

LeCorchick frequently talked politics on the WJET morning show. On the WFNN website he described his political leanings as "Independent, dislike all politicians equally."