Tuesday, December 18, 2018

R.I.P.: Penny Marshall, 'Laverne & Shirley' Star

Penny Marshall as Laverne, Cindy Williams As Shirley (1976)
Penny Marshall, who costarred as a Milwaukee brewery worker in the top-rated 1970s and ’80s sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” before becoming a director of hit movies such as “Big” and “A League of Their Own,” has died. She was 75.

Marshall died peacefully on Monday night in her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Michelle Bega, a spokeswoman for Marshall’s family, told The LA Times on Tuesday.

Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” the Marshall family said in a statement.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated,” Marshall and costar Cindy Williams famously chanted as they skipped down the sidewalk in the opening sequence of “Laverne & Shirley.”

A spinoff of “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” starred Marshall as the feisty Laverne De Fazio and Williams as the idealistic Shirley Feeney, two 1950s working-class roommates who worked on the assembly line at the Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee.

The midseason replacement was launched on ABC in January 1976 and soared to the top of the ratings. Known for its broad physical comedy, it was the No. 1-rated show for the 1977 and ’78 seasons and aired until 1983.

“There were no blue-collar girls on television” when “Laverne & Shirley” debuted, executive producer Garry Marshall, Penny’s brother, once said in an interview for the Archive of American Television. (Garry Marshall died in 2016.)

Viewers, he said, “were dying for somebody that didn’t look like Mary Tyler Moore or all the pretty girls on TV. They wanted somebody who looked like a regular person. And my sister looks like a regular person — talks like a regular person — and Cindy Williams was brilliant as Shirley.”

St. Louis Radio: Danny Glover Gets New Deal At KFTK

Entercom has announced a new multi-year contract for talk personality Dave Glover.

The host of the afternoon drive on NewsTalk KFTK 97.1 FM in St. Louis will remain on “The Dave Glover Show,” weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT.

“‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at FM NewsTalk 97.1 from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future,” said Becky Domyan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom St. Louis.

KFTK 97.1 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBU Coverage Area
“I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade, and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come. Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.”

"I am so proud and excited to continue this amazing run with FM NewsTalk 97.1 and Entercom,” said Glover. “I look forward to the future and continuing to remain a part of St. Louis listeners’ daily conversations.” Glover joined FM NewsTalk 97.1 in 2000, holding the role of afternoon drive host ever since. “The Dave Glover Show” made its debut on the station back in October 2000.

Moonves Fired With Cause, CBS Denies $120M Severance

CBS Corp. said it won’t pay former chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves any of his $120 million severance package after reviewing the findings of a probe into allegations he sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women during his career.

In a statement from the CBS board of directors, the investigation concluded that there were grounds to terminate Mr. Moonves for cause. Mr. Moonves violated company policies, breached his employment contract and intentionally failed to cooperate fully with the investigation, the board said.

Here's the CBS Board Statement:
The Board of Directors of CBS has completed its investigation of former Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, CBS News, and cultural issues at CBS. 
With regard to Mr. Moonves, we have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company. 
As a result of their work, the investigators also concluded that harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS. However, the investigators learned of past incidents of improper and unprofessional conduct, and concluded that the Company’s historical policies, practices and structures have not reflected a high institutional priority on preventing harassment and retaliation. The investigation determined that the resources devoted to the Company’s Human Resources function, to training and development, and to diversity and inclusion initiatives have been inadequate, given the size and complexity of CBS’ businesses. Employees also cited past incidents in which HR and the Company did not hold high performers accountable for their conduct and protect employees from retaliation. 
The Board, which includes six new members, and the Company’s new management have already begun to take robust steps to improve the working environment for all employees. Among other things, the Company appointed a new Chief People Officer, is actively engaged in ways to enhance and reimagine the Human Resources function, and has retained outside expert advisors to develop other initiatives for promoting a workplace culture of dignity, transparency, respect and inclusion. These efforts will continue to be a high priority for the Board and the Company’s management, and we will continue to work together to communicate with our workforce in that regard. 
We would like to thank everyone who cooperated with the investigation and applaud CBS’ employees for remaining focused on their jobs during this very difficult time. We look forward to the people of CBS returning their full attention to the outstanding work that they do every single day.
Moonves was forced to resign in September after being accused of sexually assaulting several women and moving to harm the careers of those who rebuffed him.

The prospect of Moonves receiving a nine-figure exit package despite the seriousness of the allegations drew scrutiny from activist groups supporting the “#MeToo” movement against sexual misconduct in the workplace.

A spokesman for Moonves didn’t immediately respond to a request from The Wall Street Journal for comment. Moonves has said he regretted behavior that made women uncomfortable but denied having nonconsensual relations. He also denied harming the careers of any women who rejected his advances.

“Mr. Moonves vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators,” Moonves’s attorney Andrew Levander, said in a statement adding that the conclusions of the CBS board were “foreordained and are without merit.”

View from the inside: CBS sources who were not authorized to speak publicly tell Dylan Byers at NBC,  there is deep and widespread resentment toward Moonves and say the severance denial is just desserts for the damage he has done to the brand.

Judge Appoints Guardian For Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone & daughter Shari
A probate judge on Monday appointed an independent legal guardian to represent Sumner Redstone, finding he is incapable of representing his interests in a trust battle with his former companion, reports Variety.

Redstone, the chairman of National Amusements, Inc., is 95 and suffers from severe speech impairment and diminished mental faculties. Judge David Cowan appointed probate attorney Samuel Ingham to serve as Redstone’s guardian ad litem.

“I think it’s a long time coming,” Cowan said. “I’m surprised nobody brought it sooner.”

The trust battle between Redstone and ex-companion Manuela Herzer is headed to trial on Jan. 14. The two sides are fighting over a 2015 amendment to Redstone’s trust, which removed Herzer as one of his heirs. Herzer’s attorneys argue that Redstone lacked the mental capacity to understand what was happening.

Herzer’s attorneys asked the judge to order an independent medical examination of Redstone before the trial. Cowan rejected that request on Monday, saying that Redstone’s current mental state has no bearing on his faculties at the time of the 2015 amendment.

Redstone’s attorneys and attorneys for his grandson, Tyler Korff, had asked for the appointment of a legal guardian at the urging of the judge. Herzer’s attorneys have argued that Redstone’s daughter, Shari, is directing the litigation behind the scenes. Cowan had earlier said that appointing a legal guardian, who would direct the litigation on Redstone’s behalf, would safeguard the case from an appeal on that issue.

iHM Country Cares Radiothon Raises $7M+

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital partner iHeartMedia mobilized 35 radio stations across the country and collectively raised more than $7 million during its annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids national radiothon Dec. 6-7, shattering last year's record.

St. Jude and iHeartMedia have enjoyed a longstanding partnership for more than 30 years, generating nearly $100 million in the past decade for the hospital by relying on the power of radio and the generosity of local listeners.

This year's $7 million fundraising total marks iHeartMedia's largest national radio campaign with St. Jude, topping last year's record of $5.6 million. The fundraising event encouraged radio listeners to pledge $20 per month to become Partners in Hope to help St. Jude, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

The event was supported across iHeartMedia markets in conjunction with The Bobby Bones Show, iHeartMedia's nationally syndicated award-winning country morning show, which alone raised nearly $2 million.  Additionally, Bones' Million Dollar Show in Nashville on Jan. 14, which also benefits St. Jude, sold out within 30 minutes of going on sale. Between the annual show and other ongoing initiatives, Bones and his radio show have helped raise nearly $10 million for St. Jude to date. 

Additionally, more than 100 country music artists including Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and others are lending their support to the This Shirt Saves Lives campaign, which has created a giving movement through the now-iconic T-shirt being shared in photos across celebrity social channels.

The social media push has attracted thousands of new Partners in Hope and sustaining donors in support of the life-saving research and treatment being done at St. Jude. A collection of artist and influencer social posts is featured at thisshirtsaveslives.org.

Rod Phillips
"Country Cares for St. Jude Kids is a great example of the collective power of iHeartMedia's radio stations to mobilize communities to take action and improve the lives of children and families living within their own neighborhoods," said Rod Phillips, iHeartCountry's executive vice president of programming.  "Through the power of storytelling and local, on-the-ground engagement, our country radio stations have come together to support St. Jude patients and families for over 30 years. We look forward to many more successful fundraising events in 2019 and beyond!"

"We are grateful for our longstanding partner iHeartMedia and the dedicated stations, on-air personalities and listeners for embracing our lifesaving mission," said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Participating iHeartMedia radio stations include: WQIK Jacksonville, KKIX Fayetteville, WNCB Raleigh, KYKR Beaumont, WCTQ Sarasota, KASE Austin, KTOM Salinas, WCOL Columbus, WMSI Jackson, WMIL Milwaukee, WMAN Madison, WKKT Charlotte, WGAR Cleveland ,WNCO Mansfield, KSSN Little Rock, WKSJ Mobile, WDSD Wilmington, KMFX Rochester, WSSL Greenville, WAMZ Louisville, KTST Oklahoma City, KWNR Las Vegas, WMZQ Washington, D.C., WAVW Port St. Lucie, WSIX Nashville, WBWL Boston, WWYZ Hartford, WDXB Birmingham, WYYD Lynchburg, WKCY Harrisonburg, WNOE New Orleans, KCCY Colorado Springs, KKSY Cedar Rapids, WKKR Auburn, KHEY El Paso, KEEY Minneapolis, WTQR Greensboro, WPOC Baltimore and KAJA San Antonio.

NYC Radio: Lawyer Says WABC Giving Michael Savage The Boot

Come Jan. 7, MIchael Savage may no be heard on Cumulus Media' 77 WABC.

That’s because WABC is poised to boot Michael Savage, according to his attorney, Daniel Horowitz.

WABC isn’t saying such; in fact, a recent news release last week from the station indicates Savage will be moving into a new, fresher format designed to take advantage of emerging media, one that will see him do one hour of radio alongside one hour of podcast.

But, according to The Washington Times, the behind-the-scenes story is a bit different.

According to Horowitz, who said he’s seen “the emails back and forth” between his client, Savage, and the radio powers-who-be, “The Savage Nation” is actually poised to go dark on WABC on Jan. 7.

And not just on WABC: Horowitz said media powerhouses in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., are all giving the boot to Savage, as well.

So, what’s going on?

Well, it’s not ratings, Horowitz said. The Nielsen numbers bear the truth of Savage’s years-long radio dominance.

Take a look: “Michael Savage Proves a Ratings Tour-de-Force on Bay Area’s KSFO,” Newsmax blared in a headline in June of 2016, in a story on Savage’s domination in that West Coast market.

Then there’s this: In late 2017, Talk Stream Live listed Savage, with 14.8 million listeners, as the second most-listened to top talk radio voice in the nation, behind only Rush Limbaugh’s 16.5 million listeners — but far ahead of third place Laura Ingraham’s 6.8 million.

So if not ratings — what then?

Westwood One’s Bart Tessler, the man Savage said was responsible for syndicating his show, replied to an email seeking an explanation by saying, “that’s a WABC item, not Westwood One.” Cumulus Media's corporate spox, Lisa Dollinger, didn’t immediately respond.

Meanwhile, there were reports in September that Westwood One was “shaking up its weekday afternoon Conservative Talk block” and that “Ben Shapiro To Go National As Michael Savage Cuts Back To One Hour.” The release went on to note that Cumulus just “launched Ben Shapiro on six stations in April including a live clearance on 770 WABC New York and delayed clearances on WMAL Washington DC, WLS Chicago, WYAY Atlanta and KABC Los Angeles.”

Syracuse Radio: WNTQ Re-Signs Ted & Amy To New Deal

Cumulus Media has re-signed longtime Syracuse radio personalities, Ted Long and Amy Robbins, to a multi-year contract. Last month, the popular on-air team celebrated 30 years together as Co-Hosts of “Ted & Amy in the Morning” on CHR 93Q/WNTQ. Their top-rated morning show airs on 93Q Monday through Friday from 5:30am-10:00am.

Ted and Amy, both natives of Central New York, host numerous charity functions annually and donate much of their time to area schools, hospitals and other non-profit organizations throughout the year. They have been recognized for 17 years by the Syracuse New Times Readers Poll as Syracuse’s Best Local Radio Personalities. In addition, their numerous honors include: JDRF’s “2013 Living and Giving Award”, the International Toastmasters Communication and Leadership Award, the Community Service Award from Advocates of Upstate Medical University, the “Corporate Angel” Award from the Mental Health Association, the Honorary Big Brothers Big Sisters Award from the Central New York chapter, and the Post Standard Community Achievement Award. In 2011, they were named the “Official Voices of the New York State Fair” taking over PA and stage duties during the annual 13-day run. 

Beth Coughlin, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Syracuse, said: “We extend our best wishes and thanks to Ted and Amy on their 30-year anniversary. Their talent sets the gold standard for broadcasting, but their community service speaks to their commitment to all of Central New York.”

Tom Mitchell, Operations Manager/93Q Program Director, said: “Central New Yorkers have been waking up with Ted & Amy on 93Q for 30 years. They are truly a part of the fabric of Syracuse. We are so happy the show will continue for years to come!”

Ted Long said: “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract. Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.”

Amy Robbins, said: “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of 93Q. We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives, and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”

Former ABC Entertainment Chief Joins Netflix

Channing Dungey
Netflix Inc. has tapped former ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey as a vice president of original content, the latest evidence of the growing rivalry between the streaming-video giant and ABC parent Walt Disney Co.

ABC said last month that Ms. Dungey was stepping down from her post as Disney looks to complete its acquisition of the bulk of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment operations. That deal, which is expected to close early next year, will result in new management at ABC and the rest of Disney’s television operations.

Ms. Dungey, who starts in February, follows other prominent people from ABC’s stable who have moved to Netflix. She will be reunited there with “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes and “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, both of whom have signed deals to make content for Netflix. Earlier this year, Netflix hired Tendo Nagenda, a top Disney movie executive for a senior role in its film unit.

Netflix created a new position to land Ms. Dungey. She will report to Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president of original content. Netflix said Ms. Dungey will work closely with Ms. Rhimes and Mr. Barris as well as with other top Netflix talent.

Ms. Dungey will also work with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who signed a development deal with Netflix.

TV Ratings: Football, Roseanne Were Tops In 2018

Sports, yet again, captivated some of the year’s largest television audiences, according to a Nielsen recap.

Football, in particular, had Americans tuned in with games featuring Stephon Diggs and a certain miracle in Minnesota. On the game’s biggest stages, it was actually the backup quarterbacks that delivered performances that would make Rocky proud, as the Crimson Tide took the Georgia Bulldogs down in an overtime thriller while Nick Foles and his Eagles unseated the mighty New England Patriots from the football throne.

Families of all kinds were on full display across the list of top shows for the year as well, whether they were watched live or time-shifted. This year saw the continuation of how of love, and tragedy, are piecing together the story of one family, but also how hijinx, misadventures and rebel children are picking up the pieces of another.

VA Radio: Chuck Peterson Named Area President For iHM

iHeartMedia has announced the promotion of Chuck Peterson to Area President for the Winchester, Harrisonburg and Roanoke-Lynchburg markets, effective immediately. He will report to Dave Carwile, President of iHeartMedia's Virginia/Carolina Region.

"Chuck has been a consistent performer for us in the Virginia markets," said Carwile. "We are excited to elevate Chuck to Area President with the addition of Roanoke- Lynchburg to Chuck's purview. He has a proven track record of leading teams and driving revenue growth through innovative thinking."

Peterson had previously served as Market President for the Winchester and Harrisonburg markets. He began his career at WFTR in Front Royal and is a graduate of American University and William & Mary Law School.

"iHeartMedia is the leader in the audio and mulit-platform space and I am thrilled to step into my new role in the Virginia/Carolina Region," said Peterson. I am proud of our company's commitment to growing our advertiser's businesses and serving our communities."

Buffalo Radio: Entercom Launches Classic R&B Simulcast

Entercom has announced the launch of Classic R&B W297AB 107.3 FM in Buffalo, NY. Formerly known as AM 1400 Solid Gold Soul, the station reflects today’s Classic R&B format and will continue to be heard on WWWS 1400 AM.

The station will provide R&B hits from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and today, including classics from Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson and Mary J. Blige.

W297AB 107.3 FM (73 watts) Red=Update 60dBU Coverage Area
“This move is part of a larger commitment to update and refresh the music that our listeners love hearing daily,” said Greg Ried, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Buffalo. “The success of AM 1400 leads to our excitement in expanding the reach of our Classic R&B music to the FM dial.”

NYC Radio: NASH FM 94.7 $154K+ For Children's Miracle Network

 (Left to Right, Top Row) Ty, Kelly and Chuck's Ty Bentli and Chuck Wicks, and NASH FM 94.7 personalities Katie Neal and Jesse Addy; and (Left to Right, Bottom Row): John Foxx, Program Director, NASH FM 94.7; and Mike Allan, Assistant Program Director, NASH FM 94.7.

Cumulus Media announces that its Country radio station WNSH NASH FM 94.7 in New York raised a total of $154,429 for Children’s Miracle Network through its “Miracle for the Kids” live radio broadcast on Friday, December 14, 2018.

Westwood One nationally syndicated morning radio show Ty, Kelly and Chuck kicked off the successful listener event in Cumulus New York’s festively decorated studios high atop Madison Square Garden, followed by NASH FM 94.7 on-air personalities Jesse Addy and Katie Neal who hosted the live broadcast until 7pm.

Live performances by Chuck Wicks, Jessie Chris, Carolyn Miller, Mark Burke, Dan Orlando, NASH Next Finalist Jessica Rose and Lauren Davidson added to the full day of excitement and holiday Country fun, with everyone at NASH FM 94.7 celebrating the holidays with a big party for the kids!

Chad Lopez, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus New York, said: “Today is a very special day for everyone at NASH FM 94.7, with our partners at Children’s Miracle Network. We are honored to use our airwaves to help raise money for those that need it most during the holiday season.”

John Foxx, Program Director, NASH FM 94.7, said: “This is one of the most magical days of the year at NASH FM 94.7. Our community comes together and gives so much hope, love and support to those who need it the most, the families of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. THANK YOU to the most amazing listeners in the Tri-State and thank you to our incredible partners. Happy Holidays!”

NYC Radio: WLTW, WHTZ To Sync Empire Light Show

One Republic
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. and iHeartMedia have announced that the annual Empire State Building (ESB) holiday music-to-light show will feature Interscope artist OneRepublic's newly released version of White Christmas.

World-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman created the holiday spectacle which will premiere on December 19, and will be synced live each night at 8:30 p.m. ET on iHeartMedia New York's WHTZ Z100 and WLTW 106.7 Lite FM radio stations, which are also available on the iHeartRadio app through December 25.

The music-to-light show set to the reimagined holiday classic will cap off "ESB Unwrapped," a season-long celebration that features stunning holiday decorations in the ESB's Fifth Avenue windows, Art Deco lobby and the new 34th Street Observatory Guest entrance, surprise appearances by celebrities, a pianist playing a selection of holiday favorites and festive holiday light shows.

"Each holiday season, the Empire State Building's light show brings Christmas cheer to the entire world via social media," said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman, and CEO of ESRT. "We are proud that our annual show has become the highlight of the holiday season for so many. This year, I am thrilled that we are partnering with Interscope Records and OneRepublic to illuminate the New York City skyline."

From December 19 through December 25, fans can listen to the holiday music-to-light show by tuning into Z100, and 106.7 Lite FM at 8:30 p.m. EST, or by streaming the stations live on iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and live streaming radio service. The stunning presentation will be visible at those times to revelers and tourists from various vantage points around New York City and the tri-state area.

To join in the excitement, use the hashtag #ESBUnwrapped on social media channels. Viewers can tune in to watch the show live via the Empire State Building's Facebook page. A video of the entire show will also be posted on the Empire State Building's YouTube channel, Click Here.

St. Louis Radio: WARH Distributes 21K Christmas Cards

We've Got Cards!
During the month of December 2018, WARH 106.5 The Arch collected over 21,000 holiday cards for the pediatric patients at St. Louis' two Children's Miracle Network hospitals - SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Dozens of schools and organizations - and even the Ballwin Police Department - helped to create and collect the holiday greeting cards, to cheer up the pediatric patients and their families during the holiday season. The studios at 106.5 The Arch were brimming with Christmas joy with bags and boxes of prior to "delivery day" (see attached photo of Stacy and Jonah with loads of cards!)

And then last Thursday, December 13th - 106.5 The Arch's on-air hosts Stacey, Jonah and Cassiday visited with children and their families, and delivered the holiday cards to both of the Children’s Miracle Network’s hospitals.

According to Program Director Scott Roddy, "The entire team at 106.5 The Arch collected more than twenty thousand cards for kids in the hospital over Christmas. Each child receive dozens of custom cards, delivered with a smile and special treat from Cassiday, Stacey and Jonah. We thank our loyal listeners for helping us spread some Christmas cheer to the patients at the Children's Miracle Network hospitals - you made the difference for those kids and their families!"

Sun & Fun Lands Industry Vet Ed Kampf As Sr. A-E

Sun & Fun Media, a leading network radio company offering stations a unique suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter, has announced the addition of radio industry veteran Ed Krampf as Senior Account Executive to its growing affiliate sales unit. 

“Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates,” noted Rob Koblasz, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Sun & Fun Media.

Ed Kampf
An executive with marketing, management, and sales experience, Krampf was Chief Operating Officer and Sacramento Market Manager for the Adelante Media Group and Market Manager for CBS Radio, Los Angeles. At Clear Channel Radio (now iHeart Media), he served as Senior Vice President of the Northwest Region, Regional Vice President of Northern California, Trading Zone, as well as Vice President/General Manager of the San Francisco cluster. Krampf also held Vice President/General Manager positions at KBIG-FM, KOST-FM, and KLAC-AM, Los Angeles.

Most recently, he formed Equitable Consulting and Representation and currently serves as Business Manager and advisor for one of the Country’s foremost Spanish radio personalities, Piolin.

“Ed is the perfect radio executive to help strengthen our sales team for new business opportunities as we head into 2019,” stated Dennis Green, Chief Revenue Officer of Sun & Fun Media. “Ed’s track record of success in overseeing some of the biggest operations in our business is going to be another great asset for our affiliates.”

“I’m excited to join Sun & Fun at this time of expanded possibilities and growth,” added Krampf. “Having run radio stations and market clusters, I understand a station’s needs across programming, sales, and marketing. That insight will provide the opportunities our Sun & Fun affiliates need to compete.”

Alabama Plans 50th Anniversary Tour Dates

Alabama will celebrate their 50th anniversary as a band in 2019 with a massive headlining tour. The first leg of the trek will kick off on Jan. 10 in Detroit, Mich., and run through September, with additional dates to be announced, reports Taste of Country.

"We never thought playing for tips at the Bowery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, that 50 years later we would still playing arenas, stadiums and festivals," says frontman Randy Owen.

"Teddy, Jeff and I are humbled at the amount of fans that are coming out to see us," he adds. "We are finding out that we are playing to three generations of fans who have followed us and our music from day one. The fans are the ones responsible for our continued success on the road and we love them."

Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Oak Ridge Boys, Restless Heart, Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence and Exile will join Alabama on select dates on their upcoming tour.

R.I.P.: Dave Robbins, Veteran Programmer, Manager

Dave Robbins
Veteran radio programmer and manager Dave Robbins has died from an apparent heart attack at his home in Orlando.

He was 59-years-of-age.

Robbins the radio industry in the summer of 2015 after managing the CBS Radio cluster in Orlando for five years.  Most recently he operated VacationCentralFlorida LLC, a privately held company owning/operating over 50 Vacation rental Homes and Condos along Florida's beaches and at Walt Disney World.

He enjoyed a lengthy radio career, serving in programming and management positions for CBS Radio and Nationwide Communications in Ohio.

He also held the VP/GM title for CBS Radio Chicago and Columbus, OH.

He began his programming career for CBS Radio as assistant PD at WBBM Chicago and as PD of KHTR St. Louis.

According friend Art Vuolo Robbins had a hereditary heart condition and suffered a massive heart attack at his home in Orlando.

December 18 Radio History

➦In 1890...Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City. He was an early radio pioneer and also the inventor of FM, Frequency Modulation. A motorcycle visit to the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ, the world's first FM radio tower.

Rather than varying ("modulating") the amplitude of a radio wave to encode an audio signal, the new method varied the frequency FM enabled the transmission and reception of a wider range of audio frequencies, as well as audio free of "static", a common problem in AM radio. (Armstrong received a patent on wide-band FM on December 26, 1933.

Edwin H. Armstrong
In 1934 Armstrong began working for RCA at the request of the president of RCA, David Sarnoff. Sarnoff and Armstrong first met at a boxing match involving Jack Dempsey in 1920. At the time Sarnoff was a young executive with an interest in new technologies, including radio broadcasting. In the early 1920s Armstrong drove off with Sarnoff's secretary, Marion MacInnes, in a French sports car. Armstrong and MacInnes were married in 1923. While Sarnoff was understandably impressed with Armstrong's FM system, he also understood that it was not compatible with his own AM empire. Sarnoff came to regard FM as a threat and refused to support it any further.

From May 1934 until October 1935, Armstrong conducted the first large scale field tests of his FM radio technology from a laboratory constructed by RCA on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building. An antenna attached to the spire of the building fired radio waves at receivers about 80 miles away.  However RCA had its eye on television broadcasting, and chose not to buy the patents for the FM technology.  A June 17, 1936, presentation at FCC headquarters made headlines nationwide. He played a jazz record over conventional AM radio, then switched to an FM broadcast. "[I]f the audience of 50 engineers had shut their eyes they would have believed the jazz band was in the same room. There were no extraneous sounds," noted one reporter. He added that several engineers described the invention "as one of the most important radio developments since the first earphone crystal sets were introduced."

In 1937, Armstrong financed construction of the first FM radio station, W2XMN, a 40 kilowatt broadcaster in Alpine, New Jersey. The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.

➦In 1920...broadcaster Willis Conover was born in Buffalo. He was known as the man who “fought the Cold War with cool music.”  For 40 years he presented American jazz heard round the world on The Voice of America.  He died May 17 1996 at age 75.

➦In 1956...Phil Rizzuto contracted to be a New York Yankee radio-TV announcer. He held the position for 40-years.

➦In 1958...U.S. launches SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment) to transmit radio message from President Eisenhower, effectively becoming the first communications satellite

➦In 1967...Radio Personality Scott Muni started at WNEW 102.7 FM.

Born Donald Allen Muñoz in Wichita, Kansas, Muni grew up in New Orleans. He joined the United States Marine Corps and began broadcasting there in 1950, reading "Dear John" letters over Radio Guam. After leaving the Corps and having considered acting as a career, he began working as a disc jockey; in 1953 he began working at WSMB in New Orleans. His mentor was Marshall Pearce. In 1955 he began broadcasting at station WAKR in Akron, Ohio, and after that worked in Kankakee, Illinois.

Muni then spent almost 50 years at stations in New York City. He became a Top 40 broadcaster at WMCA in the late 1950s, just before the start of their "Good Guys" era, and did a number of record hops in the New York area. In 1960, he moved to rival Top 40 station WABC. There he did an early evening show called "Scotland's Yard" and was the first WABC DJ to capture the attention of the teenage audience the station would become famous for. He also participated in the competition to cover The Beatles on their first visits to the United States, and thus began a long association with them.

In 1965, Muni left WABC and ran the Rolling Stone Night Club while doing occasional fill-in work for WMCA. Muni had explored some opportunities beyond radio: he had recently co-hosted a local weekly television show on WABC-TV with Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow.

In 1966, Muni joined WOR-FM, one of the earliest pioneers of freeform-based progressive rock radio. The notion did not last at that station, but in 1967 Muni moved to legendary rock station WNEW-FM, where the format really took hold. Muni stayed there for three decades as the afternoon DJ and sometimes program director. Muni was described by fellow WNEW-FM DJ Dennis Elsas as "the heart and soul of the place". Under assorted management changes during the 1990s WNEW-FM lost its way, and in 1998 Muni ended up as a one-hour noontime classic rock personality at WAXQ "Q104.3", where he worked until suffering a stroke in early 2004.

➦In 1971...the CBS Radio network cancelled Saturday morning band concerts.

➦In 1993...WNCN changes to rock WAXQ in NYC

➦In 2010...NYC Radio/TV Personality Clay Cole died from a heart attack at age 72

➦In 2012…Two global audience-measurement giants announced plans to join forces as Nielsen, the dominant source of TV ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billion to expand into radio measurement.

➦In 2013...longtime Chicago ‘superjock’ Larry Lujack, who early in his career had a stint at KJR Seattle, succumbed to esophageal cancer at age 73.

Larry Lujack
Lujack initially came to Chicago to work for WCFL-AM. He spent a few months there before being hired at WLS. While at WCFL, Lujack drew the air studio curtains during public visiting hours.

"Animal Stories" came about because WLS was still receiving farm magazines long after they went into Rock and Roll in 1960. Lujack started reading some of them and began airing stories from them instead of reading the grain reports connected with the Farm Report. When the Farm Report was officially discontinued, the feature became Animal Stories.  A perfectionist about his work, Lujack would review every word he said on the air after each broadcast by listening to an audio cassette "skimmer" tape.

First at WCFL-AM and later at WLS-AM, a clear-channel station that could be heard far beyond Chicago, Mr. Lujack — known on the air as Uncle Lar’ or Superjock — spent 20 years spinning records and spouting opinions.

He became famous for regular features including “Klunk Letter of the Day” and “Cheap and Trashy Showbiz Report.” His best-known feature, done in collaboration with his longtime on-air partner Tommy Edwards (“Li’l Snot-Nose Tommy,” Mr. Lujack fondly called him), was “Animal Stories.”

Growing directly from the farm reports Mr. Lujack had to give early in his career, the feature involved his reading comic news reports about animals — among them the tale of a chicken who lived on despite having parted company with his head days before — to an astonished Mr. Edwards.

Lujack’s style, which also included strategic pauses, audible paper-shuffling and grandiloquent references to himself in the third person, demonstrably shaped that of Mr. Limbaugh, who in 1990 told The New York Times Magazine that Mr. Lujack was “the only person I ever copied.”

According to The NY Times, Larry Lee Blankenburg was born in 1940 in Quasqueton, Iowa, and reared in Caldwell, Idaho. At 18 he joined KCID-AM in Caldwell, adopting the surname of his idol, the Chicago Bears quarterback Johnny Lujack.

After working at stations in Idaho and Washington State, Mr. Lujack joined WCFL in 1967 and moved to WLS four months later. Except for a four-year stint back at WCFL, he remained with WLS for the next two decades.

In 1984 WLS gave Lujack a 12-year, $6 million contract, making him one of the country’s highest-paid radio personalities. (“I am not the least bit excited,” he was reported to have said.) But in 1987, amid declining ratings, the station’s corporate parent, Capital Cities-ABC, bought out his contract.

His honors include membership in the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (“It’s not Mount Rushmore,” he said on learning of his induction) and the National Radio Hall of Fame.

➦In 2017...ESPN announced the surprise resignation of network President John Skipper over substance-abuse issues

Monday, December 17, 2018

Miami Radio: Danno & Friedo Team For Middays On WQAM

Danno and Friedo
Entercom has announced programming updates for Sports Radio WQAM 560 AM in Miami.

The station welcomed on-air personality Josh Friedman as co-host of the station’s midday show. Alex Donno, who has hosted the station’s evening show since 2014, will transition to join Friedman in the midday timeslot. “Donno & Friedo” airs weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

“Alex and Josh both bring unique experiences that will lead to great content for this new show, which will touch on sports and beyond,” said Keriann Worley, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom South Florida. “Their vast knowledge of Miami sports and high energy will undoubtedly resonate with South Florida listeners.”

Friedman has served as night drive host and reporter for sister station WAXY 790 AM The Ticket in Miami since 2013. The move marks Friedman’s second stint with the station, as he held on-air and reporter roles from 1996 to 2003.

Donno has over 20 years of experience in the South Florida market, including the last six years with 560 WQAM Sports Radio. In addition to hosting the station’s evening drive, Donno has also served as studio host for Florida Panthers hockey broadcast coverage, as well as pregame and halftime host for Miami Hurricanes broadcast coverage. He joined the station in 2012 as a midday producer and update anchor.

K-C Radio: Steve Spector Promoted To PD At KCSP

Steve Spector
Entercom has announced Steven Spector as Program Director of Kansas City Sports Radio KCSP 610 AM, the home of the Kansas City Royals and Kansas State Wildcats. Spector was previously Assistant Program Director for the station and producer of “The Drive” with Carrington Harrison and Brad Fanning.

“I am very pleased to announce Steven Spector as the next Program Director of 610 Sports Radio,” said Dave Alpert, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Kansas City. “This is a well-deserved and well-earned promotion and I’m confident that Steven will continue to elevate 610 Sports Radio in the Kansas City market.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my career in Kansas City,” said Spector. “It’s a privilege to lead a great station with an incredibly talented group of hosts.”

Spector joined Entercom Kansas City in 2013 as a producer for 610 Sports Radio’s “Fescoe in the Morning.” Spector started his radio career with ESPN 890 in Washington, D.C. in 2008.

Philly Radio: Shelley Easton To Program AC WBEB-FM

Shelly Easton
Entercom/Phialdelphia VP of Music Programming Shelly Easton takes over the programming reins of AC WBEB B101 FM.  The move comes after the departure of 11-year PD Chuck Knight.

Entercom and Knight parted company last week some two months after the company closed on the $5.7M deal with Jerry Lee Media.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to program WBEB, the greatest radio station in America, for the past eleven years. Thanks to Jerry Lee, [current GSM and former VP/GM] Blaise Howard, [former WBEB president and CEO] Jim Loftus and every single person on the WBEB team, past and present. It is successful because of all of them,” Knight told InsideRadio.

Chuck Knight
“I know that WBEB is in the best hands with [Entercom CEO] David Field, [senior VP/market manager] David Yadgaroff, [president of programming] Pat Paxton and Entercom committed to the research and marketing pillars that have made the station a legend within the radio industry for decades. Great things are ahead for WBEB.”

Knight joined WBEB in 2007 after eleven years at Saga AC “Sunny 95” 94.7 WSNY-FM Columbus OH.

Easton will add the day-to-day programming duties for WBEB while continuing to oversee CHR WTDY 96.5 FM and Classic Hits WOGL 98.1 FM.

ESPN's Dan Le Batard Launching Podcast Tuesday

ESPN Radio host Dan Le Batard will bring his strongly held, incisive and often contrarian opinions – as well as his irreverent wit – to podcasting with the launch of South Beach Sessions.

A preview episode Tuesday, Dec. 18, will be followed with the start of a weekly schedule Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Dan Le Batard
SBS will feature a one-on-one interview each week and is the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network.  The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPNer Jemele Hill who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio.  Future guests will come from sports, entertainment or music.

“On his radio show, Dan takes listeners on a roller-coaster ride full of authentic emotions – from taking a tough stand on an issue to sadness to hilarity, both in and out of sports conversations,” said Pete Gianesini, ESPN senior director, digital audio programming.  “Podcasting is the perfect vehicle to capture and dive deeper into those feelings in the intimate dynamic of a one-on-one conversation.”

Jon Stugotz Weiner
Le Batard added, “”This is really exciting for us, and for people who inexplicably want more of us. ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a LeBatard and Friends universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN. We’re going to be making more stuff, in other words, and it’ll start with South Beach Sessions as the flagship podcast, but you’ll be getting more and better from all the friends of the show, and we will soar toward the sun, and we will laugh like family and then Stugotz will ruin it all when he is arrested by federal authorities.”

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (weekdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET, simulcast on ESPNEWS) joined the national ESPN Radio lineup in September 2015.  Alongside co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, the duo has unique chemistry and the show is a blend of thoughtful conversation, self-deprecating humor, and sports and celebrity guests.  The show began as a local program in his native Miami where it continues to be based.  He also hosts Highly Questionable weekday afternoons on ESPN2 where he appears with his father, Papi, and a guest host.

'Call Her Daddy' Podcast Highlights Women's Locker-Room Talk

Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn
Produced by the controversial Web site Barstool Sports, “Call Her Daddy” has been a top-ten mainstay on the iTunes comedy chart since just two weeks after its October release. The podcast already has more than 10,000 reviews on iTunes after just 13 episodes, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“Barstool told us that rarely are there ever podcasts split 50/50 [between] male and female listeners, and that’s what we have,” 24-year-old Alexandra Cooper told The NYPost.

The idea for “Call Her Daddy” originated during a vacation at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in March, Cooper said. She and Franklyn were at a bar talking candidly about sex — and ­began to attract an audience.

“People came up to us and said ‘You need a show, because I would listen to this every day,’ ” Cooper recalled.

The women, who were introduced by a mutual friend, came back to New York and recorded their first podcast on their own, garnering a full-time job ­offer from Barstool.

The name “Call Her Daddy” refers to how they’re turning the tables on men and taking charge.

The co-hosts say there’s a distinct difference between what their male and female fans want to know.

Guys want to learn the best ways to pick up women, said Alexandra Cooper, 24.  “For girls, it’s how to talk dirty,” added 26-year-old Sofia Franklyn. “They overthink everything.”

Virtually nothing is off-limits for the two roommates (except Cooper’s former relationship with Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard) on their weekly show — which spans the conversational gamut from sex acts to them listening to each other get it on from the next room.

Atlanta Radio: WSB Slides Time Slots For Local Talkers

Erick Erickson
News WSB 95.5 FM / 750 AM is sliding air times for local hosts Erick Erickson and Mark Arum starting January 3, 2019 in order to add more local traffic reports at the 4 p.m. hour.

According to Atlanta Media watcher Rodney Ho at ajc.com, syndicated Sean Hannity’s first hour will remain live at 3 p.m. but hours two and three will be recorded an aired latest in the evening from 8 to 10 p.m. Currently, Hannity’s first two hours are live from 3 to 5 p.m. His third hour airs at  9p.m.

Mark Arum
Pete Spriggs, program director, said WSB needed to do more traffic reports at the 4 p.m. hour as the evening traffic woes tend to start even earlier now. With a syndicated show like Hannity, the station couldn’t do traffic every six minutes the way it does now from 5 to 7 p.m. This way, there will be 10 traffic reports at the 4 p.m. hour as well.

Erickson, who will run from 4 to 6 p.m., is used to the interruptions on his show. Arum, who also does traffic in the mornings in a split shift and will host his show from 6 to 8 p.m., will have to be the one who breaks every few minutes at the 6 p.m. hour for traffic. Traffic reports air every 15 minutes at the 7 p.m. hour.

The rest of the weekday schedule remains unchanged. Eric Von Haessler and his team  over the summer began airing a full three-hour show from 9 to noon after Herman Cain left.

Music Execs Weigh In On Lack of Women Artists On Country Radio

Billboard reports that for the first time since 1990, its Country Airplay chart dated December 8, which pulls from mainstream country radio stations, had no women in the top 20, and then there were no women in the top 20 again for this week’s chart. Billboard also reports that only four women made their year-end Country Airplay Artists tally, and this year Maren Morris is the only woman in the top 20 (at No. 14).

According to Hazel Cills at The Muse, it matters because country radio hasn’t historically been interested in promoting the music of women.

Billboard recently interviewed some of those executives and the quotes read like the typical cycle of finger-pointing, with many of them referring to women artists as “females, ” writes Cills.

R J Curtis
R-J Curtis, incoming executive director for Country Radio Broadcaster recently told Billboard,  "Suggesting the ladies -- as a group -- aren’t making great enough music right now is an extremely slippery slope, because music taste is so subjective; most programmers are understandably concerned about the ramifications of verbalizing that. But many PDs I talked to in my previous role [as Nashville editor of radio trade All Access] did feel that way…Though I have no knowledge of it, I have heard anecdotally that labels signed far fewer females in recent years, which, if true, would partially explain our current airplay lapse. We often hear radio is to blame for that too. Programmers have told me the “chicken or the egg" premise is frustrating, because they’re often blamed for being the chicken and the egg.

"As for solutions -- this is just one former PD’s observation from the peanut gallery, and not an official CRB position -- but that sway could perhaps be manifested by radio groups redirecting their music and label partnerships in a dedicated effort to correct any disparities. For example, instead of singular airplay initiatives, radio might consider committing to several projects by several ladies at a time, spanning a period of 16-18 months, not six to eight weeks. This strategy could result in credible and genuine artist development, rather than manufactured, occasional hit singles, while triggering a format correction for female artists."

 In 2016, Billboard also found that in a sample of 236 studied country singles in a period between 2014 and 2015, three female categories (solo, all-female group, and male and female group) only accounted for 35.6 percent of those singles. When they then divided that sample into large labels and small labels (the larger ones being, of course, those that would make the biggest impact), only 26.8 percent of the songs that large labels pushed to country radio included women, and 17.9 percent of those songs were just those by solo female artists. To sum up: big labels were pushing way, way more men to country radio than women.

There is this “chicken or egg” mentality that happens with this conversation over women absent on the country radio charts, and there certainly is blame to be had on both sides, concludes Cills.