Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Scripps Sells 19 Stations To Summit Media

The E.W. Scripps Company has reached an agreement to sell its last group of 19 radio stations in four markets to Summit Media LLC for $47 million. This is the fourth and final transaction in the sale of Scripps' radio assets.

SummitMedia LLC is purchasing:

  • KFDI 101.3 FM, KICT 95.1 FM, KFXJ 104.5 FM, KYQQ 106.5 FM and KFTI 1070 AM 
Springfield MO
  • KTTS 94.7 FM, KSPW 96.5 FM, KSGF 104.1 FM and 1260 AM and KRVI 106.7 FM
  • KEZO 92.3 FM, KSRZ 104.5 FM, KQCH 94.1 FM, KKCD 105.9 FM and KXSP 590 AM
  • WWST 102.1 FM, WCYQ 100.3 FM, WKHT 104.5 FM and WNOX 93.1 FM 
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The sales of Scripps' radio stations total $83.5 million, and the group's 2017 segment profit was $11.6 million. The company announced in January its intent to sell its portfolio of 34 radio stations in eight markets.

Scripps already had announced the sale of five radio stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Griffin Communications; two Milwaukee-based radio stations to Good Karma Brands; and eight stations in Boise, Idaho, and Tucson, Arizona, to Lotus Communications Corp.

"SummitMedia's focus on growth in the radio industry make it a good home for these stations," said Adam Symson, Scripps president and CEO. "With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences.

"With our sale of these 19 stations, Scripps has completed the sale of our entire radio station group. This is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead."

"We are very excited to welcome the Scripps teams in Wichita, Springfield, Omaha and Knoxville into the SummitMedia family," said Carl Parmer, SummitMedia LLC chairman and CEO. "Together, we are very confident we can inspire our audiences, serve each of our individual communities and create value for our clients."

SummitMedia LLC is a Birmingham, Alabama-based media company with a focus on radio and digital media. The Scripps stations will join its portfolio of 31 radio stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.

Shotgun Tom Kelly Joining SiriusXM

This coming Monday, Aug. 20, is the day that “Shotgun” Tom Kelly finally makes his debut on SiriusXM’s Channel 6 – Sixties on Six. Reports indicated Kelly's shift will be 7p to 11p Eastern.

Shotgun Tom Kelly
Shotgun, who has worked at KDEO, KPRI, KGB, KCBQ, KOGO, KBZS and KFMB-FM, replaced the late The Real Don Steele in the afternoon slot at Los Angeles oldies station KRTH-FM, K-Earth 101.

In August 2015, Kelly was taken off the air and became KRTH's "Ambassador," doing personal appearances throughout Southern California. He eventually returned to the air as a weekend host. Kelly exited KRTH in November 2016.

“You know, when I got hired at K-Earth, I thought that would be the last radio station I would ever work at,” Kelly told me. “I mean – how do you get better than that? But that was 20 years ago … at the time, there was no satellite radio. Now I will be heard throughout the United States and Canada! I cannot even begin to explain how exciting this is to me!”

Kelly will be recording the show from studios in San Diego.

Benztown, Dees Entertainment Partner On Syndication

Dees Entertainment and Benztown, a leading international radio imaging, production library, programming, jingles and voiceover services company, have announced that they have entered into an agreement whereby Benztown will provide Dees Entertainment with production services for its portfolio of programs hosted by award-winning entertainer Rick Dees.

Under the terms of the agreement, Benztown will produce Dees Entertainment shows including The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown, the longest continuously running Hit Music Countdown in the world, its expanded editions Countdown Of The 90’s, Countdown Of The 80’s and Dees 2K, plus The Daily Dees Show.

These shows are heard by an ever-expanding audience of more than 70 million people around the world on terrestrial radio stations and on the 5-star rated brand extension music app, Rick Dees Hit Music. Rick Dees Hit Music streams millions of songs for free for its users who build their own streaming music channels, plus host those channels using their own voice.

“Benztown is a perfect production partner for our shows and other entertainment offerings,” raved Rick Dees, CEO of Dees Entertainment. “Dave ‘Chachi’ Denes is the consummate professional and audio production superstar. I was impressed in our first meeting when he said, ‘In 15 minutes I can save you 15% or more on your auto insurance.’”

Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President, shared: “In a lot of ways, there would be no Benztown without Rick Dees and Dan Kieley, the father of Dees Entertainment’s SVP of Programming, Joe Kieley. They brought me to L.A. to work in radio and – the rest is history. It is very gratifying to come full circle with Rick. I’m incredibly excited about our new partnership.”

Philly Radio: Geoff Mosher EXITS 97.5 The Fanatic

Geoff Mosher, WPEN 97.5 The Fanatic’s versatile fill-in host who had been co-hosting the 6 to 9 p.m. timeslot alongside Devon Givens, has left the station. His final shift was Monday night, according to

Mosher, who has covered sports for 20 years and previously wrote for the News Journal and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, announced his decision on Twitter Tuesday morning. Mosher, who joined The Fanatic as an on-air host in 2015, called his three years at the station “an amazing experience.”

“I’ll still be actively involved in the Philly sports scene and media. I’ll announce more when the time is right,” he stated in another Tweet.

The Fanatic isn’t expected to immediately replace Mosher. Starting Tuesday night, Givens will host the 6 to 9 p.m. shift solo, according to program director Eric Johnson.

Mosher recently launched a new podcast about the Eagles that he’s co-hosting with Billy Osborne, a veteran broadcaster and South Jersey sports legend who had a standout career at wide receiver at the University of Pittsburgh. Adam Caplan, a former ESPN NFL Insider, is also a contributor.

Mosher’s departure comes as The Fanatic has struggled to keep up with rival 94.1 WIP in the ratings. Outside of afternoon host Mike Missanelli, WIP has outpaced The Fanatic in just about every other daypart (outside of the high ratings it garnered airing Sixers playoff games in April and May).

Podcast Platform Growing In Shifting Media Landscape

In less than 15 years, on-demand podcasts have become a key part of the media landscape that is luring advertisers to a market that is worth tens of millions of dollars and growing, reports

According to Edison Research, 124 million Americans listen to audio podcasts including 73 million on a monthly basis.

"Podcasts are now getting to the point where they sit alongside other forms of premium media like video and books and television and music," said Matt Lieber, a co-founder of Gimlet Media, a major podcast producer.

Podcasts are a natural choice for a generation accustomed to on-demand services like Netflix. Listeners are younger and better educated than the average radio listener, with more women in the mix, creating an important demographic for advertisers.

Podcast ad revenues doubled in 2017 to $313 million, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

That is far less than the estimated $14 billion in radio ad revenues for 2016, but podcasting is showing strong growth—likely to double again by 2020 according to the PwC/IAB report.

"Podcast sponsorship revenue is growing just like the audience is growing," said Neal Carruth, general manager of podcasts for National Public Radio, a key player in podcasting.

"Large brand advertisers have become more interested in recent years. They're very attracted to the age of the podcast audience, to the engagement of the podcast audience, to the intelligence, the education and the professional accomplishments of the podcast audience. It's a very desirable audience."

NPR, one of the earliest entrants in podcasting more than a decade ago, has some 17 million listeners to its podcasts such as "Planet Money," "Fresh Air" and "Ted Radio Hour," far more than any rivals.

While the majority of the estimated 500,000 podcasts produce little or no revenue, some top podcasts can generate "millions of dollars" annually, according to Diehn.

Podcasting is particularly suited to the smartphone generation and is likely to grow with increased use of connected devices.

Dems Turn-Up The Heat On FCC's Pai

Ajit Pai
In a possible preview of things to come, a group of House Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Tuesday demanding answers about when he found out that the agency's claims of being the victim of a cyberattack last year turned out to be false.

According to The Hill, the revelation came in an inspector general report released last week, which said that the FCC falsely claimed that its comment filing site crashed as the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, when in fact the deluge of comments that brought the system down was likely prompted by a pro-net neutrality segment on late-night comedian John Oliver's HBO show.

"Given the significant media, public, and Congressional attention this alleged cyberattack received for over a year, it is hard to believe that the release of the IG's Report was the first time that you and your staff realized that no cyberattack occurred," four House Democrats wrote in a letter to Pai.

"Such ignorance would signify a dereliction of your duty as the head of the FCC, particularly due to the severity of the allegations and the blatant lack of evidence," it continues. "Therefore, we want to know when you and your staff first learned that the information the Commission shared about the alleged cyberattack was false."

Pai's spokeswoman did not respond when asked for comment, but we can expect the chairman to be grilled about it on Thursday when he heads before the Senate Commerce Committee for an oversight hearing.

Tiger Effect Lifts PGA Championship Ratings

There’s nothing like a late charge from Tiger Woods to juice the ratings of a major golf tournament.

CBS reached 8.5 million viewers Sunday for final-round competition at the PGA Championship from St. Louis, a whopping 73 percent increase from the 4.9 million people who watched the same tournament’s conclusion in 2017, the Associated Press reports citing Nielsen data.

Woods was the difference. The old hero was playing his best golf in years, leading to a second-place finish against champion Brooks Koepka. Koepka may have won, but crowds and newspaper headlines followed Woods.

They were the best ratings for a PGA championship since 2009. Viewership peaked in the last half-hour of the tourney, when 12.3 million people were watching, Nielsen said.

It was a typical midsummer week for prime-time television, dominated by games of singing, dancing and interpersonal manipulation. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” led the way with 11 million viewers.

NBC won the week in prime-time, averaging 4.1 million viewers. ABC had 3.9 million viewers, CBS had 3.8 million, Fox had 1.7 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million, Univision had 1.1 million and the CW averaged 800,000 viewers.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.13 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.71 million viewers, HGTV had 1.33 million, USA had 1.29 million and History had 1.09 million.

FNC claimed 17 of the top 30 cable telecasts overall in total viewers, including presentations of Hannity, (which was the No. 1 program on basic cable this past week), The Ingraham Angle, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five and Special Report with Bret Baier.

Despite a controversy-filled week for Laura Ingraham, The Ingraham Angle won its timeslot in total viewers by a healthy margin, in addition to defeating CNN programming by +25 percent and MSNBC by +20 percent in the 25-54 demo.

TV Newser graphic

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 7.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.5 million.

Jeff Fager Returns To '60 Minutes' At CBS

Jeff Fager
Jeff Fager, the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” has returned to work at the venerable CBS newsmagazine as a corporate investigation into the culture of the parent company and its news division continues, reports Variety.

Allegations that Fager, formerly chairman of CBS News, tolerated an abusive culture, have been made in reports published in The New Yorker and The Washington Post.

The New Yorker report also included allegations against Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS Corp., of abusive behavior. “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely,” Moonves said in a statement to the magazine.

Fager, one of only two people to oversee the storied program in its half-century on the air, returned to the office on Friday, according to a person familiar with the situation, joining staff in the production run-up to the launch of the show’s 51st season, which is slated to begin Sunday, September 30.

Fager, who had been on vacation, extended his time away from the office as anticipation built that a probe into culture at CBS News, started in March by law firm Proskauer Rose, was set to wrap by the end of August.

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ESPN Plans Full Day of LLWS Coverage

This Sunday, August 19, the Philadelphia Phillies and Rhys Hoskins will “host” the New York Mets and 1998 Little League Baseball World Series Champion Todd Frazier in the second MLB Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball at 7 p.m. ET.

ESPN will exclusively televise the special regular-season game that celebrates youth baseball and supports MLB’s PLAY BALL initiative, held at the renovated Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa. The field is across town from Little League International’s headquarters where the Little League Baseball World Series will also be underway.  The field is also across the street from Little League Field #1, where it all started.

The Sunday Night Baseball team of Matt Vasgersian, analysts Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza and reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary.

Mendoza will also be part of the commentary team for the 1 p.m. Little League Baseball World Series game on ESPN. Mike Couzens will have the call on ESPN Radio with analyst Jim Bowden. Fernando Álvarez will have the call with Luis Alvarez and Guillermo Celis on ESPN Deportes. The game will also be available on ESPN Deportes Radio with José Francisco Rivera, Jorge Ebro and Orlando “El Duque” Hernández. All ESPN MLB telecasts also stream via the ESPN App.

Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet will lead into the telecast with a special, two-hour edition from Bowman Field at 5 p.m. on ESPN. Adnan Virk will lead the first hour with analysts Mark Teixeira, David Ross and Tim Kurkjian. During the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Little League Baseball World Series Games, Kurkjian will report from the airport as the Mets and Phillies arrive and travel with them on the bus ride to the Little League International headquarters.

Throughout the afternoon, players and coaches from both the Phillies and Mets will interact with Little League Baseball World Series players at various locations at the complex, including games at Lamade & Volunteer Stadiums, MLB’s PLAY BALL Park and The Grove.

Additional special programming
  • ESPN will recap the Little League World Series Virtual Home Run Derby tournament on Sunday from 4:30-5 p.m. on ESPN. The inaugural event includes one representative from each team in Williamsport. The event will also be streamed live in its entirety Wednesday at 11 a.m. on ESPN3.
  • Interviews throughout Sunday’s coverage including Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, players from both the Mets and Phillies and more.
  • The Beach Boys will perform live from Little League’s famous hill overlooking Lamade Stadium following the 2 p.m. game on ABC (performance may finish on ESPNEWS, depending on when the game concludes).
  • The day will also feature a look back at the 1998 Little League Baseball World Series Champion team from Toms River, NJ., which included current Mets third baseman Frazier. The Glory Days: Toms River Little League special will run from 4-4:30 p.m. on ESPN.
In addition, there will be a full slate of four Little League Baseball World Series games which will be shown throughout the day on Sunday with the first game beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPN and the final telecast beginning at 2 p.m. on ABC.

Las Vegas Radio: Gina Massenzi New GSM for Entercom Cluster

Gina Massenzi
Entercom Communications has announced the appointment of Gina Massenzi as Director of Sales for its cluster in Las Vegas.

She'll oversee sales efforts for KLUC-FM, KMXB-FM (Mix 94.1), KXNT-AM (News and Talk Radio 840 AM), KXQQ-FM (Q100.5), KXST-AM (Sports Radio 1140 AM) and KXTE-FM (X107.5).

Massenzi previously held the role of General Sales Manager for the local group's FM outlets. Prior to this, she was GSM at CBS Radio in Las Vegas from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2014 to 2017. She held the same post at Peak Broadcasting in Fresno, CA, from 2008 to 2014.

"We're committed to developing our talented team and promoting from within," said Senior VP/Market Manager Dan Kearney. "Gina has developed a strong belief in our brands and our team. Her leadership, passion, skills and track record make her the right choice to lead our sales efforts."

"I am fortunate to have the opportunity to continue to grow my career at Entercom Las Vegas," added Massenzi. "I look forward to this new challenge and am focused on delivering exceptional sales results for our group of stations."

In addition to Massenzi, Entercom Las Vegas also announced three additional promotions. Holmes Pooser will succeed Massenzi as the cluster's new General Sales Manager. Pooser previously held the role of Director of Integrated Marketing, Events and Experiences. Kyle Helmick will assume the role of Director of Live Events and Experiences and Katrina Llapitan will hold the role of Director of Promotions for the cluster.

Columbia SC Radio: Steve McKay To Program WTCB, WOMG

Steve McKay
Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed Steve McKay as Program Director for Adult Contemporary WTCB B106.7 FM and Classic Hits WOMG 98.5 FM in Columbia, SC.

 McKay moves to Columbia from Wilmington, NC, where he was Program Director for Cumulus Media's AC WGNI 1027 FM and Classic Rocker WKXS 94.5 FM The Hawk.

McKay joined Cumulus Media last July, bringing to the company over two decades of visionary radio programming experience resulting in top ratings and revenue performance, including Program Director positions at WPTE-FM in Norfolk, VA; WBHT-FM in Scranton, PA and WEJM-FM in Philadelphia, PA. He is also a seasoned radio personality and was most recently on-air at the Jersey Shore's heritage station, WJRZ-FM.
WTCB 106.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Rick Prusator, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media -Columbia, said: “Steve McKay's experience in our formats on WTCB and WOMG has delivered top ratings and revenues for the radio stations he has guided and his addition to our already great team in Columbia will bring immediate results. Steve's commitment to creating greater listener experiences and coaching his team to help them be their best is why I think he is the perfect leader to guide our team at this time.”

WOMG 98.5 FM (6 Kw)
McKay said: “I'm excited to be taking this next step in my Cumulus career. Columbia has a rich history of great radio, and I'm looking forward to joining Rick Prusator and the Cumulus Columbia team to create exciting, entertaining radio for our listeners, and high value for our advertisers. I want to thank Mike McVay, John Dimick and Emily Bolden for their continued support. I would be remiss if I didn't thank my Cumulus Wilmington family for a great year of success.”

IL Radio: Chris Michaels Joins WIBL As PD

Chris Michaels
Great Plains Media/Bloomington has announced that Chris Michaels as new Program Director for its Country WIBL 107.7 FM / 92.1 FM The Bull.

Michaels joins from Alpha Media Country WXCL 104.9 FM The Wolf in Peoria, IL and succeeds Josh Roberts at WIBL.

"This is a great day as we move forward at 107.7 and 02-1 The Bull," said Great Plains Media/Bloomington, IL Market Manager Megan Zimmer. 

"Dr. Chris Michaels is taking over for outgoing PD/OM Josh Roberts, who had programmed the station since it's inception.

WIBL 107.7 FM (14 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Added Michaels, "I'm so incredibly excited to be a part of the team at 107.7 The Bull and Great Plains Media and (am) anxious to get started. I love the process of working with talent and members of a team to achieve great things, and this staff is full of people who want to win."

Luke Bryan Is Country's Highest-Paid Star

  • Luke Bryan takes top spot from Garth Brooks
Thanks to touring, endorsements and a new role on "American Idol," Luke Bryan tops Forbes' 2018 list of country music's highest-paid stars, reports The Tennesssean.

Bryan's estimated earnings of $52 million puts him at No. 1 over Garth Brooks, who's topped the list for last three years since embarking on his comeback tour. Brooks now sits at No. 2 with an estimated $45.5 million, followed by Kenny Chesney ($37 million), Zac Brown Band ($31 million) and Blake Shelton ($28 million).

Not unlike the country radio charts, the list is almost exclusively populated by male performers. Dolly Parton is the lone woman on the list at No. 10, thanks in part to her Dollywood empire.

Florida Georgia Line ($27 million), Jason Aldean ($23 million), Toby Keith ($22 million) and Brad Paisley ($20 million) round out the 2018 list.

Bryan could very well top the list for years to come: He's recently expanded his empire with the opening of his own bar on Nashville's Lower Broadway, Luke's 32 Bridge Food + Drink.

To formulate their list, Forbes looked at touring numbers from Pollstar, Bandsintown and Songkick, as well as record sales data from Nielsen, while performing independent research on outside business ventures and endorsement deals. Our estimates represent pretax income from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2018; fees for managers, agents and lawyers are not deducted.

And The Highest Paying Jobs Are...

More of the country's highest paying jobs are in technology, and they all require specialized training -- but not necessarily an advanced degree. In return, workers can expect a salary of $100,000 or beyond.

According to USAToday, Glassdoor, a jobs and recruiting website, found that 13 of the 25 highest paying jobs in America are in tech, up from 11 in last year's report. Tech has the most jobs of any field in the top 25, while healthcare holds the spots for most richly paid.

What are they? In tech, the highest paying jobs include enterprise architect ($115,944 median base salary), software development manager ($108,879) and software engineering manager ($107,479).

Overall, physician jobs pay the most ($195,842 median base salary), pharmacy manager is second ($146,412) and pharmacist is third ($127,120 ).

The report is based on salary reports from people who hold these positions shared  on Glassdoor's website.

There are no CEOs, professional athletes or movie stars on the list because Glassdoor doesn't include "C suite" or executive jobs with a "Chief" at the front of the title. And the company only includes positions with at least 100 reviews on its site.

Ocasio-Cortez Has Fact-Checkers Working Overtime

New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has excited the liberal base with her media blitz touting Medicare-for-all, the elimination of ICE and more.

But according to Fox News,  the Democrat's rapid-fire claims about the state of the economy and other issues have fact-checkers scrambling to provide a reality check.

The Washington Post was the latest to put her myriad claims under the microscope.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The newspaper took issue, for instance, with her claim that unemployment is low “because everyone has two jobs.” The Post shot this down, noting the number of people working two jobs is down from the recession -- and has remained steady at around 5 percent in recent years.

Other claims it summarily dismissed include a May 30 interview statement that ICE is “required to fill 34,000 beds with detainees every single night.” Both the Post and Politifact note that this is an “urban legend” and that ICE was only required to maintain that many beds -- not fill them.

Additionally, the Post called her out for saying a recent study found Medicare-for-all would cut health expenditures, when it found the plan would raise government expenditures by $32.6 trillion over 10 years. A separate fact check by The Associated Press aimed at this claim, made by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., notes it only cuts spending if hospitals accept Medicare-based payments of 40 percent less for those who have private insurance.

Some claims didn’t warrant a check, including one appearance on CNN where she asked, “Why aren’t we incorporating the cost of all the funeral expenses of those who died because they can’t afford access to health care?”

“Huh?” was the only response from the Post’s fact-checkers.

'Al Aire Con El Terrible' Morning Show Goes National

Alberto Cortez
AIRE Radio Networks, the largest minority certified Spanish Language radio network in the country and the official radio network of Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. has announced the launch of its syndication for the highly rated morning program “Al Aire Con El Terrible”.

“Amplifying our portfolio with compelling and engaging programming that are relatable to the lifestyle and interests of all U.S. Hispanic consumers is the core of our business,” said Elisa Torres, EVP, National and Network. "Al Aire Con El Terrible" has been a success in major Hispanic markets with dense Mexican populations. We’re excited to broaden the reach of the immersive content of the show to other communities that share the same interests.”

“Al Aire Con El Terrible” morning show can be heard on SBS owned and operated radio stations such as 97.9FM La Raza KLAX Los Angeles, 93.3FM La Raza KRZZ San Francisco/San Jose and La Ley 107.9FM WLEY Chicago. The show is continuing to expand its footprint and is available nationwide airing on stations in various cities throughout the country such as Kentucky, Memphis and Tyler amongst others.

The program, which is pioneered by one of the most influential and popular Latin radio personalities, Alberto “El Terrible” Cortez, includes a variety of segments that connect with Hispanic consumers such as community highlights, international news, celebrity gossip and jokes making it a staple within the morning drive.

“Al Aire Con El Terrible” is currently ranked in the Top 5 for HA18-49 M-F 6a-10a in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago

For all syndication inquiries and details, contact Blanca Navas, Vice President, Affiliate Sales at

Source: Nielsen Radio, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, May 18; Metro; M-F 6a-10a

Cable Companies to Consumers...

The good news: More “skinny bundles” of pay-TV channels will be available to consumers as a growing number of households abandon fat programming packages and seek cheaper online streaming options for home entertainment.

The bad news: Analysts say cable and phone companies, quickly adapting to this new reality, will keep jacking up internet prices to make sure your monthly bill stays sky-high.

The LA Times reports the dual changes reflect the two sides of the telecom marketplace. On the one hand, consumers are making their voices heard in their embrace of new technology to avoid paying for hundreds of channels they may never watch.

This signals the gradual demise of a business model that has allowed pay-TV companies to take advantage of people for decades.

At the same time, the near-monopoly power that many cable and phone companies enjoy for high-speed internet service allows them to continue dictating terms, setting prices far beyond the cost of maintaining or improving broadband networks.

“We’re in the middle of a massive reinvention of the industry,” said telecom analyst and consultant Jeff Kagan. “Everything is changing.”

He noted that pay-TV service is no longer the main source of revenue for many cable companies — it’s internet. To maintain growth, therefore, these companies have to keep raising internet prices.

August 15 Radio History

➦In 1877…Thomas Edison wrote to the president of the Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh suggesting that the word "hello" would be a more appropriate greeting than "ahoy" when answering the telephone.

➦In humorist/philosopher Will Rogers and his pilot, Wiley Post, died in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. Rogers was aged 55.

➦In 1945...Emperor Hirohito of Japan announces the news of his country's unconditional surrender in World War II over a radio broadcast to the Japanese people.

After meeting with the Soviet Union in Potsdam, near Berlin, to determine post-war terms for defeated Germany, the governments of the United States and Great Britain (together with China) issued an ultimatum to the Japanese government in late July 1945. It offered a simple choice: surrender unconditionally to the Allies in World War II, or risk total annihilation. In their carefully worded reply, the Japanese failed to capitulate completely, and on 6 August, the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the world's first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, another such bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The threat of further nuclear attacks drove Japanese officials on 10 August to accept the terms put forth by the Potsdam Declaration and submit their unconditional surrender.

On the afternoon of 14 August, a Japanese radio broadcaster told the public that Emperor Hirohito would soon make an Imperial Proclamation announcing the defeat. The following day at noon, Hirohito went on the radio himself, blaming Japan’s surrender on the enemies' use of "a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which is incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives." The emperor was not only a political leader in Japan, he was also revered as a near-god, and many Japanese did not fully accept the news of defeat until they heard him speak those unthinkable words.

As sadness and shame engulfed Japan, joy spread around the Western world. In the United States, news of Hirohito's announcement reached airwaves on 14 August (due to the time difference), and that day was declared Victory in Japan – or V-J – Day.

That afternoon, President Harry S. Truman addressed a crowd that had gathered outside the White House, saying "This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbour. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would."

That day, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped one of the most famous photos ever published, a shot of a sailor in full uniform kissing a nurse in the middle of New York City's Times Square. The photo, published by Life magazine, became a symbol of the general atmosphere of jubilation in the United States following the end of World War II.

In Indianapolis, WIBC 1070 AM listeners - at least those who were up between 1:30 and 2:00am Eastern War Time on August 14, 1945 - likely heard; a Mutual network live broadcast of Cab Calloway's band from New York City, interrupted just before 2:00am with the first correct report that Japan had surrendered.

➦In 1948…CBS launched network television's first nightly newscast, a 15-minute show called "CBS Television News," anchored by Douglas Edwards. It was broadcast at 7:30 p.m. and in only five eastern cities at first. In 1950 the program's name changed to "Douglas Edwards With The News."

➦In 1965...Beatles concert at Shea Stadium.  It was the first time a rock band headlined a stadium concert and, with 55,600 people, it set a new record for largest attendance at a pop concert. Tickets for the show had sold out in three weeks, merely by word of mouth created by young fans who asked the concert promoter about the next Beatles show while he strolled in Central Park. Supporting acts for the concert were Brenda Holloway, the Young Rascals, the King Curtis Band, and Sounds Incorporated. The show grossed $304,000. The Beatles' share was $160,000.


➦In 1969…The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, promising "three days of peace, love, and music," began on Max Yasgur's 60-acre farm in Bethel, New York.

Of the more than 450,000 music fans drawn to the town, three died, two gave birth, four had miscarriages, and two got married during the festival. Performers included Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Band, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Santana, Melanie, Ten Years After, Sly & the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar, Country Joe and the Fish, Blood Sweat & Tears, Arlo Guthrie, and Jimi Hendrix. Joni Mitchell was scheduled to appear but had to cancel due to being booked for a TV show.

Hendrix earned the most money from the festival, pulling in about $18,000. (For reference, that’s roughly $112,000 in 2015). Blood, Sweat and Tears ($15,000), Joan Baez ($10,000), Creedence Clearwater Revival ($10,000), and The Band ($7,500) rounded out the Top 5 earners. Other A-listers such as The Who and Joe Cocker took home $6,250 and $1,375, respectively. There was a lot of cash to go around, to be sure, but the event wasn’t as steep as some of today’s big-budget productions. Here’s one way to look at it: The in-demand deadmau5 is currently 2x more expensive to book than Hendrix was at his prime. Check out the full listing below.

1. Jimi Hendrix – $18,000
2. Blood, Sweat and Tears – $15,000
3. Joan Baez – $10,000
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival – $10,000
5. The Band – $7,500
6. Janis Joplin – $7,500
7. Jefferson Airplane – $7,500
8. Sly and the Family Stone – $7,000
9. Canned Heat – $6,500
10. The Who – $6,250
11. Richie Havens – $6,000
12. Arlo Guthrie – $5,000
13. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – $5,000
14. Ravi Shankar – $4,500
15. Johnny Winter – $3,750
16. Ten Years After – $3,250
17. Country Joe and the Fish – $2,500
18. Grateful Dead – $2,500
19. The Incredible String Band – $2,250
20. Mountain – $2,000
21. Tim Hardin – $2,000
22. Joe Cocker – $1,375
23. Sweetwater – $1,250
24. John B. Sebastian – $1,000
25. Melanie – $750
26. Santana – $750
27. Sha Na Na – $700
28. Keef Hartley – $500
29. Quill – $375

➦In 1986...WAPP 103.5 FM dropped Top40 for dance music as WQHT.

On August 15, 1986 at 6 pm, The Rolling Stones' "It's All Over Now" and a bomb noise rang out WAPP and the classic rock titles. The station debuted as "Hot 103.5" with new call letters WQHT and a new CHR/Dance format.

The first song was believed to be "R.S.V.P." by Five Star. Nobody in the radio industry expected it, but the new rhythmic/CHR format was taking shape. WQHT was the second such station with the format, months after Emmis launched it on KPWR "Power 106" in Los Angeles earlier that year.

WQHT moved to 97.1 FM on September 22, 1988 at 5:30pm with WYNY moving to 103.5 FM

➦In 1988...WPIX 101.9 FM changed call letters to  WQCD, "CD 101.9", intially was a AC/Jazz hybrid, later just Contemporary Jazz.  In 1989, they added some New Age and Soft AC cuts.

➦In 1995…NBC anchorman (Camel News Caravan, 1949-1956)/radio-TV game show panelist (Who Said That?)/Timex watch pitchman ('It takes a licking a keeps on ticking!') John Cameron Swayze died at age 89.

➦In 2002...Opie & Anthony broadcast the “Sex For Sam” St. Pat’s incident on WNEW 102.7 FM.

One of Opie and Anthony's stunts was "Sex for Sam", an annual contest where the goal was to have sex in notable public places in New York City. Couples from various states would be selected to be trailed by a comedian or member of the show, who would call the program to report the location. The contest was sponsored by Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams beer, and prizes included trips to Boston concerts sponsored by the beer company. The contest was approved by the station and had no major problems for the first two years.

However, in "Sex for Sam 3", comedian Paul Mecurio encouraged Brian Florence and Loretta Harper, a Virginia couple visiting Manhattan, to have simulated sex in a vestibule at St. Patrick's Cathedral on August 15, 2002, which was also a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, and a Mass was going on at the time. When a security guard ordered Mecurio and the couple to leave the church immediately, Mecurio began to argue with the guard, who then contacted police. The couple was arrested and charged with public lewdness. Intense media scrutiny led to the Catholic League demanding that Opie and Anthony be fired. The Catholic League also threatened to get WNEW's license revoked.

Brian Florence, Loretta Harper
Opie and Anthony broadcast the next day, but were ordered not to directly address the incident for legal reasons. The show went into reruns the following week. On August 22, Infinity suspended Opie and Anthony for the duration of their contract, and canceled the show. However, the company continued to pay the duo to stay off the air for the balance of their contract. The Catholic League immediately dropped its bid to have WNEW's license revoked.

The repercussions of the incident were widespread:
  • Infinity was fined a total of $357,500 by the FCC, the maximum amount allowed by law, and the second-largest indecency fine in American radio history. Infinity appealed the fine but again lost the case.
  • WNEW's ratings had been dreadful overall aside from Opie and Anthony. With the forced cancellation of its only strong performer, its ratings dropped even lower than those of noncommercial stations and never recovered. The station began playing music again in January 2003, starting with a Top 40 format, then going to an adult contemporary format, and later switching to a classic dance music format before returning to the AC format, at which point the station's call letters were changed to WWFS. The station has since been moderately successful. In a bit of irony, Opie and Anthony would make fun of an incident at WNEW in late 2004, in which the program director got drunk, went on air, and confused the call letters with those of WNEW's arch-rival WKTU.
  • Harper pleaded guilty a month later to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to seven days of community service.  Her partner, Brian Florence, died of a heart attack on September 25, 2003
➦In 2003…NBC News reporter (from 1952 until his retirement in 1986)/aerospace specialist Roy Neal died following heart surgery at age 82.

➦In 2008...Chris “Mad Dog” Russo calls Mike Francesa to say goodbye at WFAN 660 AM

➦In 2008…Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler, who helped define R&B music with recordings by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and Solomon Burke, died of heart failure at age 91. Wexler coined the term "rhythm & blues" while writing for Billboard magazine in the late 1940s.

➦In 2014...Al Meredith, longtime WCBS 101.1 FM News died.

Al Meredith
In an age when radio news was disappearing faster than rotary-dial telephones, Al Meredith remained a radio newsman for 38 years, according to David Hinckley at The NY Daily News on the occasion of Meredith's retirement in 2008.

Meredith retired in 2008 retiring amid a shower of accolades from almost everyone he ever worked with.

Meredith  was heard on WCBS-FM for 28 years. "It was the only place I wanted to work," he says. "I hoped to retire from there. And I did. It was a great run."

 Meredith didn't start out as a newsman. His first radio gig, in 1964, was playing music on WGBB. But after four years in the Air Force, "getting C-130s in and out of Vietnam from Okinawa," he came back and found no deejay jobs open.

There was a full-time news job, though, at WGLI. He took it, liked it and over the years got deeper and deeper into it. He won numerous awards for public service specials, which he particularly enjoyed because "they always teach me something, too."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Nielsen: Classic Hits Could Regain Summer Format Crown

As the "format of the summer" continues, Nielsen's July PPM results show Pop CHR, Country, AC and Urban are the top formats in July among Millennial listeners, based on share of audience.

The "format of the summer" is an annual accounting of how radio format audiences change during June, July and August compared with the first five months of the year.

Over the past six years, Pop CHR, Country, Classic Hits and Classic Rock have won this race, with Classic Rock doing so each of the last two years and Classic Hits the two years prior to that. But past history is not a guaranteed measure of future success.

Pop CHR, Country, AC and Urban are the top formats this July among Millennial listeners, based on share of audience. But look back just four short years and the landscape looked significantly different.
  • Pop CHR since 2014 has seen its share among listeners 18-34 decline by nearly 20% (from 12.4% in July 2014 to 10.3% this year). 
  • Country has rebounded in 2018 but is still down from its peak in 2013 and 2014 (2013 was the summer that Country won the "format of the summer" race).
  • AC is enjoying a multi-year run of success both on a global basis and with Millennial audiences; the format's share among listeners 18-34 has increased 28% since 2014.
  • Urban Contemporary has also risen steadily-particularly in the summer-going from the sixth-ranked format among Millennials in July 2014 (5.6% share) to the fourth-ranked this July (6.5% share).
As for Classic Rock and Classic Hits, Classic Hits had its best July book ever in PPM measurement, both with Millennial listeners and among the broader audience (age 6+), where it registered a 5.7% share.

This is ahead of the historical July pace for the format and ahead of where Classic Hits was in both 2014 and 2015, when it finished as the top format of the summer.

Classic Rock, on the other hand, dropped back slightly during the month, after seeing audience growth in both May and June. The format dipped back to pre-summer numbers across all three of the demographics Nielsen tracks regularly. Among all listeners 6+, Classic Rock went from 5.2% in June to 4.8% in July; among Millennials 4.5% in June to 4.2% in July; and with 25-to-54 year-olds 5.1% in June to 4.9% in July.

With only the August results still to come in, Nielsen is looking at the four formats that have positioned themselves for the home stretch in the format of the summer race. The Format of the Summer is based on the format with the most uplift in audience between June and August, compared to the first five months of the year.