Monday, January 21, 2019

CBS News Poll: The Jump In Popularity In Podcasts

Most Americans now listen to podcasts, and the percentage who do has risen considerably over just the past year. According to a new CBS News poll, two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts at least once in a while, including 23% who do so a few times a week.

By comparison, a year ago, a majority of Americans said they never listened to podcasts.

Podcast listening has increased in all age categories, but it has increased the most among younger adults. Now, 29% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 listen to podcasts at least a few times a week (up from 16% in December 2017).  A year ago, 47% of adults between 18 and 34 said they never listened to podcasts, compared to 18% today.

Podcasts were highlighted this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning:

Twice the Number of Adults Have Tried In-Car Voice Assistants

by Bret Kinsella, Voicebot.AI

Smart speakers and other devices with embedded voice assistants get a lot of media coverage, but twice as many U.S. adults have used voice in the car and monthly active users are 60% higher. Voicebot collaborated with and Voice of the Car Summit in analyzing data from a survey of 1,040 U.S. adults to better understand usage and attitudes toward voice assistant use in the car.

What they found was the car is firmly established as one of the big three voice assistant access points along with smartphones and smart speakers.

The key reasons why voice assistant use is bigger in the car today than smart speakers is that it has been around longer and there are more car owners than smart speaker owners. The first production in-car voice assistant was introduced a decade before the Amazon Echo and nearly 90% of U.S. adults have a car whereas only about 23% own a smart speaker.

In addition, the use cases for in-car voice assistants are well aligned with the environment: the driver’s hands and eyes are occupied. Whereas voice use in the home may offer heightened convenience, users tend to be freer to use screens to navigate digital interactions. Niko Vuori, CEO and founder of, commented about the importance of voice interaction in the car:

"It’s no surprise that voice is already used by more people in the car than in the home – after all, the car is the most natural environment for voice interaction given that your hands should be on the wheel and your eyes should be on the road."

Survey data show that 114 million U.S. adults have tried voice assistants in the car and 77 million have made it a monthly habit. That is a 67.5% conversion rate to monthly use. It also represents about 60% more monthly active users than the 45.7 million regular users of voice assistants through smart speakers.

Adult Contemporary Format Looking Very Healthy

Adult Contemporary is growing in popularity after several years of being in the doldrums and veteran programming consultant John Lund believes he knows why.

In a recent client newsletter posting Lund opines:

The format includes Hot AC, Bright AC and Soft AC.  According to Nielsen’s Portable People Meter (PPM) data for the period of January to November 2018, AC stations increased from 7.7% to 8.0%, including a jump in millennial listenership.   Conversely, Pop CHR is experiencing a decrease in listenership, specifically in listeners 18-34. 
What is driving this trend of increased listening to Adult Contemporary formats especially among the 18-34 demographic?   We see many reasons:

1. The rebirth of “Soft AC” after the success of “The Breeze” in San Francisco; stations playing a majority of slower tempo songs and 100% gold from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with one 2K song an hour. Ray Toney of Columbus MS says the Breeze is a substitute for Melatonin!

2.   The “Pop Music” cycle is waning with artists like Katy Perry, P!nk, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift no longer prolific in dominating the pop charts.

3.   Millennials are joining the workforce and may be listening to radio for the first time.  At work listening favors stations like Adult Contemporary playing broad appeal music.  The At Work time period remains the dominant PPM daypart because of the huge time spent listening it generates.  The Adult Contemporary format represents the perfect at work soundtrack because it appeals to the diverse workforce.

4.   AC music is a safe harbor in chaotic times of an ever changing news cycle, unrest in the nation’s capital, and stock market volatility.  This shift is also occurring in the Classic Hits format where the core decade has evolved into the 80’s.

5.   The broad appeal of Adult Contemporary does not depend on currents and recurrents.  AC provides the “comfort zone” for listeners wanting music familiarity.  The format plays hits from the 80’s and 90’s (and 70’s with the Breeze) as well as keeping them up to date by playing today’s hits.  The Breeze doesn’t play currents.

6.   Variety has been a hallmark to the success of Adult Contemporary radio.  So while Country, Rhythmic CHR, Alternative and Urban formats have to stay in their niches, AC has the era depth and genre depth to vary its playlist to the changing tastes of the audience.

Lund Media is a format specialist with all versions of Adult Contemporary.  If you need guidance on how to provide your listeners and advertisers with a top rated and top revenue producing format in your market, contact

Orlando Radio: 103.1 The Wolf To Honor Blue With Family Picnic

JVC Media of Florida, WOTW 103.1 The Wolf  and Bud 94.1 – The King of Rock (WOTW-HD2) have announced the return of the annual BBQ 4 The Blue Family Picnic.

This FREE event for all Central Florida law enforcement officers, support staff, and their families is Saturday February 16th, 2019 at Freedom Park in Ocoee.  The BBQ 4 The Blue Family Picnic features FREE BBQ and food from local restaurants, beer for those 21 and up from City Beverages, live music, and family fun.

“103.1 The Wolf and Bud 94.1 proudly supports the brave men and women in law enforcement who protect us day in and day out and the families that stand behind them”, says Program Director Len Shackelford.  “Our BBQ 4 The Blue Family Picnic is a small token of our appreciation that brings together local heroes and families for a free down-home old-fashioned good time.”

General Manager Chris Ganoudis adds, “We have to thank both the City of Ocoee and Mayor Rusty Johnson for helping us host BBQ 4 The Blue – they are great partners of ours and offered the use of Freedom Park free of charge for this non-profit event.”  Ganoudis continues, “Each year, our clients and the community help us put this on as we wrap our arms around law enforcement and come together to show support for all they do for us.”

JVC’s Executive Vice President Shane Reeve adds his remarks, “Community involvement is one of the hallmarks of JVC Media.  Law enforcement officers and their families are true heroes and deserve a day to relax, eat, socialize, and have fun… for FREE!”  Reeve wraps up, “Our partners have stepped up to donate food, supplies, and more to make BBQ 4 The Blue a success.  Invite any heroes you know to this event.  They deserve it!”

Radio Mutes R Kelly

The powerful Lifetime special “Surviving R. Kelly” earlier this month has killed radio stations’ appetites locally and nationwide to play the R&B singer’s classic hits such as “Ignition” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”

Only 31 stations the past week spun an R. Kelly song three or more times nationwide, according to Mediabase 24/7, which tracks airplay of most major radio stations. A week earlier, which covered the time the special aired, 145 stations did so. That’s a 79 percent fall off in support. (Even R. Kelly’s hometown station V103, which had seven of his songs in regular rotation, had stopped playing him.)

The last time there was a mass boycott of a single artist of this magnitude was the Dixie Chicks after Natalie Maines insulted the president at  London concert during the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. On country radio that year, airplay of their songs dropped 90 percent from January to December. The group never recovered.

According to, R. Kelly is no longer heard on any major station in Atlanta:
  • WALR Kiss 104.1 stopped spinning his songs in October.
  • WVEE V-103, which had been playing many of his songs as recently as December, has not done so a single time since January 3, when the three-night special began airing. The last time it played any R. Kelly song was January 2, “Your Body’s Callin’.”
  • WAMJ Majic 107.5/97.5 removed “Your Body’s Callin’” from regular rotation right before the special began airing. The last time that song was played on Majic? December 31, 2018.
Tony Gray, a Chicago-based urban radio consultant, said the “power of video” made a big difference in goading program directors to make this move. “And the reality is he doesn’t have anything current so it was easy for them to take him off the playlist,” he said. “The consumers won’t miss it.”

He also noted that RCA Records finally dropped R. Kelly today from its roster. “There were people protesting outside their offices yesterday,” he said. “The company said it’s not worth it. The documentary was well done and the women were believable.”

Oronike Odeleye, an Atlanta resident who helped create the #MuteRKelly movement in 2017 and was featured in the documentary, contacted all three stations in 2017 to try to convince them to remove R. Kelly songs from their playlist. Nobody paid heed at the time. The only notable win she was able to get was convincing syndicated host Tom Joyner to drop R. Kelly from his morning show playlist.

Still, the campaign against R. Kelly did impact his airplay last year in a broad sense. Mediabase 24/7 ranked him as the 448th most popular artist in radio in 2018, down from 316 in 2017 and 249 in 2016.

Overall airplay of R. Kelly songs had fallen by more than half between 2013 and 2018. Last year was his lowest total of spins on radio since at least 2006, the oldest year available from Mediabase 24/7.

One of R. Kelly’s biggest hits “Ignition” was spun 360 times nationwide the week before “Surviving R. Kelly” came out. That fell to 238 from January 4 through 10. Over the past seven days through January 17, only 19 stations played the song a total of 27 times. That’s a 93 percent drop in two weeks.

Disney Already Losing $1B+ In Streaming

Disney isn't launching its new streaming service until later this year, but investors are already learning the economic challenges of the business, according to CNBC.

The media company said in a filing on Friday that its investment in Hulu was the primary contributor to a $580 million loss in equity investments in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Additionally, Disney lost $469 million in its direct-to consumer-segment, largely from BAMtech, the streaming technology that powers ESPN+ and other over-the-top services.

That's more than $1 billion associated with streaming, the area where CEO Bob Iger is focusing his attention. Disney will debut its Disney+ offering later in 2019 to better compete with Netflix and Amazon.

Losses in streaming will likely surge in the early days of the venture, as content and technology costs spike, said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG. Disney has also yet to assume control of another 30 percent of Hulu, part of its $71.3 billion deal for the majority of 21st Century Fox. If Disney were to acquire Comcast's 30 percent stake in Hulu, that would further increase operating losses.

"Streaming requires a strong stomach for losses, especially as you are playing catch-up," Greenfield said in an interview.

Disney is hoping that, over time, millions of paying customers will subscribe to Disney+ for its new original content and library of Disney movies and TV shows. Pricing hasn't been disclosed. Netflix, which announced its quarterly earnings on Thursday, has 139 million global subscribers and just informed them that it's raising prices by 13 percent to 18 percent.

Disney announced its acquisition of a majority stake in BAMtech (formerly owned by Major League Baseball) in 2017, so its report for 2018 is the first to show consolidated earnings results for the company.

Ben Shapiro Loses Sponsor After Reading Commercial At Pro-Life Rally

Ben Shapiro
Syndicated radio host Ben Shapiro reportedly lost an advertiser Friday after reading ads during his speech at the annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

According to The Hill, Quip toothbrushes said it will no longer advertise on any of Shapiro’s programming, saying it disagreed with having its ad read at the anti-abortion rally, HuffPost reported.

“Our mission is to make good oral health more accessible to everyone, and podcast advertising is one way we’re able to realize this,” Quip said in a statement.

“However, following one of our ads being read in a venue we did not endorse, we have chosen to discontinue our advertising relationship with this show. We are also taking steps to ensure all of our advertising partners are aligned with our oral health mission and values.”

During his appearance at the rally, Shapiro read ads for multiple sponsors. He read the ads for the podcast that he was simultaneously recording on Friday.

The 35-year-old Shapiro has a large following among younger conservatives. His podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show,” is downloaded more than 10 million times every month.

Sunday AM Fire Disrupts Fox, C-SPAN, MSNBC Studios

A fire Sunday morning in Northwest Washington, D.C., damaged studios for Fox News, C-SPAN and MSNBC, and forced "Fox News Sunday" to relocate its broadcast to a local affiliate's studio.

D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted that an electrical fire broke out in the 8th floor television studio but nobody was injured, reports The Hill.

Steve Scully, the political editor for C-SPAN, tweeted shortly after 7 a.m. that  the Fox News and C-SPAN studios sustained "extensive damage," and MSNBC's studio took on "extensive smoke and water damage."

"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace addressed the fire at the outset of Sunday's program.

"If things look a little bit different here today that’s because of the fact that we had a fire — yes, a fire — in our building on North Capitol Street, and so we’re over at our wonderful affiliate WTTG," Wallace said.

"We may not have a lot of the bells and whistles we normally have, but just take a little time travel and pretend you’re back in the 1950s and you’ll feel very comfortable about that," he joked.

Wallace noted the shift in venue multiple times throughout the broadcast. He thanked Vice President Pence for accommodating the change in location for his interview, and noted at one point that they did not have a video clip of Pence's remarks last week about ISIS.

C-SPAN tweeted about 11 a.m. that it had returned to normal operations.

Media Reports of Students 'Taunting' Native Americans Questioned

A Catholic archdiocese outside Cincinnati is investigating the actions of some of its high school students during the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington Friday.

NBC News and other media report some students wearing Make America Great Again hats and clothing appeared to surround and may have taunted a Native American troupe as it performed the "American Indian Movement" song about strength and courage. It's not clear which of those young people surrounding the Native Americans are students of Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Kentucky. There appears to have been jeering by another group of people preceding the incident caught on video.

But the Diocese of Covington criticized any students who participated in the action, which broke out as a group from the school was in Washington for the anti-abortion event March for Life.

Its statement, forwarded by archdiocese spokeswoman Laura Keener, singled out Native American leader Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam War veteran and Omaha elder. In social media videos of the incident Phillips can be seen singing as a male taunts him smilingly and gets close to his face.

The teen at the center of a video confrontation with a Native American organizer of a march in Washington, D.C., says he did nothing to provoke anyone and sought to calm the situation.

The Associated Press is reporting the student identified himself in an email Sunday evening as junior Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky. An official working with the family confirmed Sandmann’s identity.

Sandmann says students were waiting at the Lincoln Memorial for buses to return to Kentucky on Friday when four African-American protesters there began insulting them.

"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C.," the archdiocese's statement reads. "We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person."

The archdiocese said the matter was under investigation and students could be expelled.

However, new video that circulated on social media Sunday appeared to show a Native American adult approached the students and instigated the interaction, leading some commentators to retract their previous criticisms of the students, reports Fox 59 Indianapolis.

Both the March for Life, a demonstration against abortion, and the Indigenous Peoples March, in support of Native Americans, were being held not far from one another.

Footage posted online showed one student wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat standing face-to-face with Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Omaha elder and Vietnam War veteran. Phillips was singing and playing the drum while the unidentified student stared him in the face.

Another student gave this account on Instagram:

January 21 Radio History

                                     Click Here for more historical events on this date

➦In 1919...actress/radio-TV host Jinx (Eugenia) Falkenburg was born in Barcelona Spain.  She was a movie actress & popular model before & during World War II , after which she and her husband Tex McCrary were hosts of “Meet Tex and Jinx” a local radio talk show they conducted from Peacock Alley in New York’s  Waldorf Astoria.  They also hosted NBC TV’s At Home show, while she was a regular on TV’s charades show Masquerade Party.  She died a month after her husband Aug 27, 2003 at age 84.

➦In 1927...the first opera broadcast on a national Radio network occured. Radio listeners in Chicago, Illinois heard music from Faust.

➦In 1935...WFI-AM in Philadelphia  merged with WLIT as WFIL.

WFIL was formed by a merger of two stations that were launched in 1922. One used the call letters WFI, the other was originally WDAR. Each was owned by a major Philadelphia department store; WFI was operated by Strawbridge and Clothier, while WDAR was run by Lit Brothers.

While operated independently of each other, the two were able to work out amicable share-time agreements (hundreds of other American stations at the time were unable to do so, and frequently engaged in "jamming wars"). Around 1924, WDAR applied for and received the custom call-sign WLIT. By the late 1920s, the two stations were working jointly on various programs, promotions, and sponsorship efforts. In 1935, the two operators agreed to merge with each department store having representation on the new board of directors.

The new call-sign became WFIL, a combination of the two previous identifiers (the fact that the new call letters were close to a phonetic spelling of "Philadelphia" was merely a happy coincidence).

➦In 1938...Legendary radio disc jockey Wolfman Jack was born Robert Smith. He died July 1, 1995 at 57.

Wolfman Jack
Smith was the younger of two children of Anson Weston Smith, an Episcopal Sunday school teacher, writer, editor, and executive vice president of the Financial World, and his wife Rosamond Small. His parents divorced while he was a child. To help keep him out of trouble, his father bought him a large Trans-Oceanic radio, and Smith became an avid fan of R&B music and the disc jockeys who played it, including "Jocko" Henderson of Philadelphia, New York's "Dr. Jive" (Tommy Smalls), the "Moon Dog" from Cleveland, Alan Freed, and Nashville's "John R." Richbourg, who later became his mentor.

After selling encyclopedias and Fuller brushes door-to-door, Smith attended the National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. Graduating in 1960, he began working as "Daddy Jules" at WYOU in Newport News, Virginia. In 1962, he moved to country music station KCIJ 1050 AM in Shreveport, Louisiana as the station manager and morning disc jockey, "Big Smith with the Records". He married Lucy "Lou" Lamb in 1961, and they had two children.

Disc jockey Alan Freed had played a role in the transformation of black rhythm and blues into rock and roll music, and originally called himself the "Moon Dog" after New York City street musician Moondog. Freed both adopted this name and used a recorded howl to give his early broadcasts a unique character. Smith's adaptation of the Moondog theme was to call himself Wolfman Jack and add his own sound effects. The character was based in part on the manner and style of bluesman Howlin' Wolf. It was at KCIJ that he first began to develop his famous alter ego Wolfman Jack.

Wolfman Jack played the role of an all-night deejay in 'American Graffiti'
According to author Philip A. Lieberman, Smith's "Wolfman" persona "derived from Smith's love of horror flicks and his shenanigans as a 'wolfman' with his two young nephews. The 'Jack' was added as a part of the 'hipster' lingo of the 1950s, as in 'take a page from my book, Jack,' or the more popular, 'hit the road, Jack.'"

➦In 1946...“The Fat Man” began its 5-year run on ABC radio. J. Scott Smart, who played the portly detective, weighed in at 270 pounds in real life.

➦In 1978...The soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever reached number one on the album chart.

➦In 1984...singer Jackie Wilson died at the age of 49. He had been in a coma since his 1975 heart attack during a concert in New Jersey.

➦In 1989...Ted Nugent married his second wife, former radio traffic reporter for WLLZ-FM in Detroit, Shemane Deziel. They have a son together.

➦In 1997..."Colonel" Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager for 22 years (and briefly before that managed Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow) died following a stroke at 87.

➦In 1996...WYNY 103.5 FM NYC confirmed rumors that they were dropping country.

➦In 1998...WNSR 105.1 FM BYC became WBIX “Big 105"

➦In 2004...FCC Chairman, Michael Powell, announced his resignation - 2 years before his term was to be up.

➦In 2005...College DJ, Dave Plotkin, from Rollins College's WPRK-FM in Winter Park, Florida, set a record for the world's longest continuous broadcast by a single DJ. He stayed on the air for 110 hours.

➦In 2006...Country music singer Kix Brooks replaced Bob Kingsley as host of the syndicated radio show "American Country Countdown."

➦In 2010...WWRL dropped “Air America” format - 2010

➦In 2013...WRXP (now WNSH) 94.7 FM NYC becomes Country “NashFM”

Saturday, January 19, 2019

January 20 Radio History

                                        Click Here for more historical events on this date

➦In 1896...legendary entertainer George Burns was born Nathan Birnbaum in New York City. After a lengthy apprenticeship in vaudeville, in 1932 George & wife Gracie became a longrunning hit in radio, films & then TV with The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show [“Say goodnight, Gracie.”]  On Gracie’s retirement he returned to a solo act, winning an Oscar with The Sunshine Boys, followed by another hit film Oh, God!  He died Mar 9, 1996 at age 100.

➦In 1920...Ernst Alexanderson granted US patent for magnetic amplifier.

Ernst Alexanderson
Alexanderson also designed the Alexanderson alternator, an early longwave radio transmitter, one of the first devices which could transmit modulated audio (sound) over radio waves. He had been employed at General Electric for only a short time when GE received an order from Canadian-born professor and researcher Reginald Fessenden, then working for the US Weather Bureau, for a specialized alternator with much higher frequency than others in existence at that time, for use as a radio transmitter. Fessenden had been working on the problem of transmitting sound by radio waves, and had concluded that a new type of radio transmitter was needed, a continuous wave transmitter. Designing a machine that would rotate fast enough to produce radio waves proved a formidable challenge. Alexanderson's family were convinced the huge spinning rotors would fly apart and kill him, and he set up a sandbagged bunker from which to test them. In the summer of 1906 Mr. Alexanderson's first effort, a 50 kHz alternator, was installed in Fessenden's radio station in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. By fall its output had been improved to 500 watts and 75 kHz. On Christmas Eve, 1906, Fessenden made an experimental broadcast of Christmas music, including him playing the violin, that was heard by Navy ships and shore stations down the East Coast as far as Arlington. This is considered the first AM radio entertainment broadcast.

Alexanderson and G.E. continued improving his machine, and the Alexanderson alternator became widely used in high power very low frequency commercial and Naval wireless stations to transmit radiotelegraphy traffic at intercontinental distances, until by the 1930s it was replaced by vacuum tube transmitters.

He also created the amplidyne, a direct current amplifier.

Alexanderson was also instrumental in the development of television. The first television broadcast in the United States was to his GE Plot home at 1132 Adams Rd, Schenectady, NY, in 1927. In 1928, WRGB then W2XB was started as world's first television station. It broadcast from the General Electric facility in Schenectady, NY. It was popularly known as "WGY Television".

Over his lifetime, Mr. Alexanderson received 345 US patents, the last filed in 1968 at age 89. The inventor and engineer remained active to an advanced age, working as a consultant to GE and RCA in the 1950s. He died in 1975 and was buried at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, New York.

➦In 1930....1st radio broadcast of "Lone Ranger" (WXYZ-Detroit)

➦In 1954...America's first black-owned radio network, the National Negro Network, was founded by W. Leonard Evans, Jr. During its brief existence, the network provided up to 45 affiliate stations with programming that included the soap opera, "The Story of Ruby Valentine," starring Juanita Hall and Ruby Dee, as well as the series "It's a Mystery Man," featuring Cab Calloway.

Peter Tripp
➦In 1959...Peter Tripp’s “Stay Awake Marathon” started. Tripp was a Top-40 countdown radio personality from the mid-1950s, whose career peaked with his 1959 record breaking 201 hour wakeathon (working on the radio non-stop without sleep to benefit the March of Dimes). For much of the stunt, he sat in a glass booth in Times Square. After a few days he began to hallucinate, and for the last 66 hours the observing scientists and doctors gave him drugs to help him stay awake. He was broadcasting for WMGM 1050 AM in New York City at the time.  Tripp suffered psychologically, after the stunt, he began to think he was an imposter of himself, and kept that thought for some time.

His career soon suffered a massive downturn when he was involved in the payola scandal of 1960. Like several other disc jockeys (including Alan Freed) he had been playing particular records in return for gifts from record companies. Indicted only weeks after his stunt, it emerged that he had accepted $36,050 in bribes. Despite his claim that he "never took a dime from anyone", he was found guilty on a charge of commercial bribery, receiving a $500 fine and a six-month suspended sentence.

Even his wakeathon record did not endure for long. Other DJs had quickly attempted to beat it (such publicity stunts being common in radio broadcasting at the time) and Dave Hunter, in Jacksonville, Florida, soon claimed success (225 hours). Six years after Tripp's record, it was smashed by high school student Randy Gardner, who lasted 11 days.

After leaving WMGM, Tripp was unable to re-establish himself in the world of radio, drifting from KYA in San Francisco to KGFJ in Los Angeles and finally WOHO in Toledo, Ohio, before quitting the medium in 1967. Returning to L.A., he had more success working in physical fitness sales and marketing. He diversified into freelance motivational speaking, writing and stockbroking before settling into a Palm Springs, California retirement.

Overall he had spent twenty years in broadcasting: he began with WEXL in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1947 then on to Kansas City, Missouri in 1953 where he worked for KUDL (where he adopted the nickname "The Bald Kid In The Third Row", apparently a description made by a parent upon spotting him among many rows of new-borns in a hospital shortly after his birth) and then WHB (restyling himself as "The Curly-headed Kid In The Third Row"; he was not, in reality, bald) where he pioneered the Top-40 format. It was in 1955 that he landed his ill-fated job with WMGM in New York, presenting "Your Hits of the Week".

Tripp died at the age of 73 following a stroke, leaving two sons and two daughters. His four marriages all ended in divorce

➦In 1964...Capitol Records released the album "Meet the Beatles."

➦In 1965...DJ Alan Freed, (WINS, WABC in New York City, WJW-Cleveland, WAKR-Akron)/concert promoter/movie actor (Rock Around the Clock, Go Johnny Go!, Rock Rock Rock!, Don't Knock the Rock, Mister Rock and Roll), the person credited with coining the term rock 'n' roll, died of uremia and cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 43.

Alan Freed
While attending Ohio State University, Freed became interested in radio. Freed served in the Army during World War II and worked as a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. Soon after World War II, Freed landed broadcasting jobs at small radio stations, including WKST (New Castle, PA); WKBN (Youngstown, OH); and WAKR (Akron, OH), where, in 1945, he became a local favorite for playing hot jazz and pop recordings.

Freed is commonly referred to as the "father of rock'n'roll" due to his promotion of the style of music, and his introduction of the phrase "rock and roll", in reference to the musical genre, on mainstream radio in the early 1950s. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by African-American artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences.  Freed appeared in several motion pictures as himself.

Initially interred at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, his ashes were moved in 2002 to their present location in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On August 1, 2014, the Hall of Fame asked Alan Freed's son, Lance Freed, to permanently remove the ashes, which he did. The Freed family later announced the ashes would be interred at Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery

➦In 1996...WPAT 93.1 FM, New York, switched from beautiful music to a English-Spanish format Suave

➦In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show premiered on KKND-FM in New Orleans, Louisiana.

➦In 2000...the FCC established a new noncommercial licensing category for Low Power FM radio stations (LPFMs), with transmitter power limited to 100 watts, signals reaching from three to five miles, and initially confined to small markets and rural communities.

And The iHeartRadio Podcast Award Winners Are...

Over the last few years, podcasts have become increasing popular to listen to, as there really is a podcast out there for everyone. All of these amazing podcasts were celebrated by iHeartMedia (the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally), during the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One®.

The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards recognized podcasts in over 20 categories including True Crime, Comedy, Music, Health, History, Entertainment, and more. Taking home the coveted title of Podcast of the Year was "Slow Burn," produced by Slate Plus, and hosted by Leon Neyfakh. The show touches on major political scandals including the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and his controversy with Monica Lewinsky (season two) and the Watergate scandal (season one).

Other winners of the night included Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" for Breakout Podcast, Joe Rogan's "The Joe Rogan Experience" for Best Comedy Podcast, Jana Kramer's "Whine Down" for Best Entertainment TV Podcast, and so many others.

NPR was also honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award. The radio network was recognized for being a driving and innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry with the renowned non-profit multimedia organization's groundbreaking contributions to podcasting's expanding role in today's popular culture. The award was accepted by NPR's Head of Programming Anya Grundmann.

2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Nominees & Winners:

Mueller Disputes Bombshell Buzzfeed Trump Story

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller rocked the media industry Friday night by refuting a bombshell BuzzFeed News report that would have directly implicated President Trump in a crime – but instead provided critics of modern journalism with their latest round of ammunition.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller.

The statement came nearly a day after BuzzFeed published the story, citing two anonymous law-enforcement sources, that set off a firestorm in Washington. The chairmen of two House investigative panels had said earlier Friday they would probe the report’s allegations.

While liberal news organizations couldn’t confirm BuzzFeed’s report, they did use it as the impetus to talk about impeachment for much of the day.

Industry insiders were skeptical from the jump, as prestigious news organizations such as the New York Times couldn’t match the damaging report. Trump’s legal team immediately dismissed the account, the details of which have not been confirmed by Fox News. Many news organizations were quick to add disclaimers such as "if true" throughout the day as they covered the report.

Then, in an unprecedented move, the office of the special counsel released a statement that pushed back hard against BuzzFeed’s alleged scoop.

BuzzFeed News reported late Thursday that Mr. Cohen had told Mr. Mueller that Mr. Trump had directed him to tell Congress in his 2017 testimony that negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January 2016, when in fact they had continued through June of that year—a month after Mr. Trump effectively won the GOP nomination.

BuzzFeed also reported that Mr. Mueller had evidence corroborating Mr. Trump’s direction of Mr. Cohen, including interviews and documents.

Late Friday, responding to the statement from the special counsel’s office, BuzzFeed said it was confident in its story. “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing,” Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, said on Twitter.

D-C Radio: WJFK, Junkies Agree On Extension

Entercom announced a new long-term contract extension. John Auville, Eric Bickel, Jason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim, will remain on WJFK 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C., weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET.

"Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies' have driven the sports conversation in Washington D.C. and we couldn't envision The Fan without them," said Phil Zachary, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Washington D.C. "As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team."

"It's an honor and a privilege to talk sports with our friends every morning," said Flaim. "We're so thankful to those that have supported us all of these years. After 23 years, we feel like we're just hitting our stride."

"We're excited to continue waking up Washington on 106.7 The Fan for many years to come," said Bickel.

Plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington D.C. to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region. "The Sports Junkies" is consistently rated number one among Washington, D.C. men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.

Listeners can tune in to 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM) in Washington D.C. on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Republicans Say News Media Don’t Understand

by Jeffrey Gottfried & Elizabeth Grieco

A majority of Americans believe the news media do not understand people like them, and this feeling is especially common among Republicans, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Overall, 58% of U.S. adults feel the news media do not understand people like them, while 40% feel they are understood, as reported in a recent Pew Research Center study.

Republicans, however, are nearly three times as likely to feel that news organizations don’t understand them (73%) as they are to say they feel understood (25%). By comparison, most Democrats (58%) say they feel understood by the news media, while four-in-ten say they do not.

Not only are Republicans far more likely to feel misunderstood by the news media, they feel this way regardless of their media habits and demographic characteristics, according to the analysis of data collected Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018, among 5,035 U.S. adults.

About three-quarters of Republicans who are very interested in the news (74%) say news organizations do not understand people like them – about the same share as among those who are somewhat interested (70%) and not interested in the news (78%).

Among Democrats, however, news interest plays a large role in whether they feel misunderstood. About a quarter of Democrats who are very interested in the news feel misunderstood (27%), compared with about four-in-ten of the somewhat interested (39%) and roughly half of those not interested (52%). Still, Democrats at all levels of news interest are much less likely than Republicans to feel misunderstood by the news media.

Republicans differ little across various demographic groups in saying people like them are misunderstood by the media. For example, Republicans have high levels of feeling misunderstood across sex, age and education groups (between 70% and 76% in each group say they feel misunderstood).

Vinyl Album Sales Grew 15% in 2018

Vinyl album sales continue to be a bright spot among an otherwise bleak album sales picture, according to Billboard.

16.8 million vinyl albums were sold in 2018, according to Nielsen Music (up 14.6 percent) — marking the 13th consecutive year of growth for the format. 16.8 million is also a new yearly high for vinyl album sales since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.

Comparatively, overall album sales (vinyl LP, CD, digital, cassette, etc.) in 2018 fell 17.7 percent to 141 million.

Vinyl LP sales accounted for 11.9 percent of all album sales in 2018 (16.8 million of 141 million). In 2017, the format comprised 6.5 percent of album sales.

Perhaps not surprisingly, vinyl LPs were 19.1 percent of all physical album sales (CDs, LPs, cassettes, etc.) in 2018. That’s a new Nielsen-era record share for the once-dormant format, up from 14 percent in 2017.

Vinyl’s growing share of the physical album market isn’t shocking, considering CD album sales continue to falter.

In total, physical album sales equaled 88 million in 2018, down 15.8 percent. And of that sum, CD album sales were 70.7 million — down 20.9 percent.

The CD format continues to be the leader for all album purchases, while the digital format is the runner-up with 53.4 million digital albums sold in 2018 (down 20.7 percent).

Infographic: The Surprising Comeback of Vinyl Records | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


The top-selling vinyl albums artist in 2018 was the Beatles, with 321,000 copies sold of their catalog on vinyl. Their biggest seller was Abbey Road, which finishes the year as the No. 4 largest-seller, with 76,000 copies. The Fab Four also have two more titles among the year’s top 15-sellers: their self-titled (White Album) is No. 11 (56,000) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is No. 13 (50,000).

The top 10-biggest selling vinyl acts of the year are rounded out mostly by classic and veteran rock acts: Pink Floyd (177,000), David Bowie (150,000), Panic! at the Disco (148,000), Fleetwood Mac (139,000), Led Zeppelin (138,000), Michael Jackson (131,000), Jimi Hendrix (119,000), Metallica (116,000) and Queen (113,000).

FCC Urged To Protect Expanded C-Band Spectrum Use

Two U-S Representatives sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai this week expressing concerns regarding the the agency's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking examining expanded operations in the C-band. While supporting the Commission's efforts to close the digital divide, they requested that the agency ensure any broadband proposals reflect the importance of existing services that may be affected that use the spectrum. This includes content producers that deliver news, sports and other content each day via satellite.

"In seeking a balanced approach, the Commission must further endeavor to avoid disruptions in the services American consumers currently enjoy. The Commission must also carefully consider the potential for interference from new terrestrial users to incumbent operations and, if it finds the benefits outweigh the harms, tailor its technical rules appropriately to avoid such interference," the letter from Reps. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) stated.

The letter continued, "These considerations are especially critical for the Commission as it considers permitting new commercial wireless services and shared use in the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum band, as proposed in the Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted on July 12, 2018. This spectrum band, also known as the "C-band," is licensed to satellite companies and is heavily relied upon by a vast number of stakeholders in rural and non-rural areas alike, including those that deliver content for television and cable programming."

For years, radio and television broadcasters, as well as cable providers, have been relying on C Band satellite systems for reliable distribution of programming content. Some estimates place the number of C Band downlink sites in the United States at more than 27,000, and demand for new facilities shows no signs of letting up.

But as RadioWorld has reported, the C Band isn’t something that broadcasters should take for granted. The system is in imminent peril of being rendered useless by terrestrial interference, at least according to some observers.

Among them are Mark and Karen Johnson, principals of LinkUp Communications Corp., who recently traveled to Washington to make their case before the commission.

The problem is the FCC’s consideration of changing the rules to allow 3.7–4.2 GHz to be shared by other services. The move is being spearheaded by broadband companies, including Google and Verizon, who are asking the commission to turn over some or all of the spectrum to internet providers for future 5G technology.

But syndicators and networks such as Premiere, Westwood One and NPR as well as many radio and television broadcasters stand opposed to the proposed changes, claiming that interference from terrestrial services could render satellite reception all but impossible.

January 19 Radio History

                                                Click Here for more historical events on this date

➦In 1903..the first Transatlantic Radio broadcast took place. King Edward VII and President Theodore Roosevelt spoke with one another in a coded radio transmission between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Cornwall, England.

➦In radio writer/producer, Anne Schumacher Hummert, was born.  With her husband Frank she produced some of radio’s most memorable melodramas, including Our Gal Sunday, The Romance of Helen Trent, Mr Keen Tracer of Lost Persons, Betty & Bob, and Backstage Wife.  The Hummerts also produced several simple down-home musical series, like Waltztime and The American Album of Familiar Music. Their “radio factory” produced as many as 125 series, 61 of them soap operas. Anne Hummert died July 5 1996 at age 91.

➦In 1908...comic singer Ish Kabibble was born Merwyn Bogue in rural Pennsylvania.  He sang and played trumpet with Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge on radio & record in the 30’s and 40’s. His dim witted characterization was said to be a later inspiration for Jerry Lewis. He died June 5, 1994 at age 86.

➦In Guy Madison was born Robert Ozell Moseley in Bakersfield Calif.  He is best remembered as western hero Wild Bill Hickok on radio & TV in the 1950’s.  He died of emphysema Feb 6, 1996 at age 74.

George Klein
➦In 1923...WMC 790 AM in Memphis, Tennessee began broadcasting. WMC was first owned by The Memphis Commercial Appeal and its call letters reflect the M and C from its owner's initials. In the 1930s, WMC carried the NBC Radio Red Network, while rival WMPS, owned by the Memphis Press-Scimitar, aired the NBC Blue Network. Starting in the 1930s, the station used a riverboat whistle as its sounder, a nod to Memphis' location on the Mississippi River—a practice that continued well into the 1990s.  The station currently airs ESPN and Fox Sports Radio.

In addition to sports talk shows, WMC-AM features longtime Memphis disc jockey George Klein's weekly tribute program to Elvis Presley. Klein and Presley were close friends and confidantes during the latter's lifetime and the former's long stint on WHBQ-AM.

The station's license is currently held by Entercom Communications, which it purchased from CBS in September 2006.

➦In 1927...KGRC-AM (now KONO) San Antonio signed-on. KONO is the fourth-oldest radio station in San Antonio, officially signing on in January 1927. KONO began as a hobby for Eugene Roth in a room over his garage in downtown San Antonio. As the broadcasting industry grew, Eugene Roth's son, Jack Roth, began working with his dad, later inheriting the station. At first, KONO was powered at only 100 watts, broadcasting on 1370 kilocycles and having to share time on the air with other stations. It later moved to AM 1400 before relocating to its current home on AM 860.

In February 1947, an FM station was added, KONO-FM at 92.9 MHz.  The FM station later took the call sign KITY. Eugene Roth served as the president of Mission Broadcasting while Jack was the station's general manager.

In the 1950s, KONO's format was country & western music. In 1957, Mission Broadcasting put Channel 12 KONO-TV (now KSAT-TV) on the air. It was San Antonio's third television station, an ABC Network affiliate.

In the 1960s and 70s, KONO, "The Big 86," was one of the leading Top 40 stations in San Antonio. Some of the on air personnel were Howard Edwards, Don Couser, Woody Roberts, Skinny Don Green, Lee 'Baby' Simms, Dave Mitchell, Johnny Shannon, Charlie Scott, Nick St John and Frank Jolley. KONO won national awards in the 60s for its popularity and creativity. In 1965, Bob Pearson and Howard Edwards were selected as two of the top radio personalities in the country. KONO and its sister station KITY, would remain at 317 Arden Grove, attached to the KSAT 12 building, until the early 1990s, when they moved to a location on NE Loop 410.

In the 1970s, KONO and 550 KTSA battled in the Top 40 format. Although KONO's more recurrent-based style frequently played second-fiddle to the more current-oriented KTSA, it continued to do well. The two stations provided a nice 1-2 punch that made WOAI regret its brief flirtation with the top-40 format in the mid-'70s

KONO began the 1980s with the same recurrent-heavy Top 40 format it had in the 1970s but with a softer sound than before. KONO's days as a true contemporary hits station were numbered, as AM Top 40 stations were rapidly losing audience to FM upstarts. KONO began to evolve to a gold-based Adult Contemporary sound while its Top 40 format on KONO-FM replaced the AC format on sister 92.9 KITY.

Today, KONO AM / FM are owned by Cox Media Group.  860 AM airs a 60s & 70s oldies format, while KONO-FM usually leads the market with its Classic Hits format.

➦In 1943...the FCC endorsed Restricted Radio Operator Permits.

➦In 1943...Rock singer Janis Joplin was born. She died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970 at 27.

➦In 1967…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles began recording "A Day In The Life," which had the working title "In the Life of..." The basic track was refined with remixing and additional parts added at recording sessions the next day and on February 3. The track was completed with the recording of the orchestral part on February 20. The total length of time spent recording "A Day in the Life" was 34 hours. By comparison, their first album, "Please Please Me," was recorded in its entirety in just 10 hours.

➦In 1998...Hall of Fame rockabilly singer Carl Perkins died. He was 65.

➦In 2000...Actress Hedy Lamarr died at age 85. Lamarr was also the co-inventor of the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping communications, used by the U.S. military during World War II to control torpedoes, and more recently incorporated into Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology.

➦In 2005...Clear Channel Radio began its rollout of HD Digital Radio Multicasts in 28 Markets.

➦In 2006...Singer Wilson Pickett died. He was 64.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Sony Music Drops R Kelly

Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly, Variety has learned.

No external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future, says a source, who added that Kelly’s presence on the RCA website (where he remains listed) will not indicate his departure from the company, as his back catalog will remain with RCA/Sony. Kelly’s last release with the label was a Christmas-themed album in 2016, although he has released several songs independently since that time, presumably with Sony’s consent, and Tweeted earlier this year that he has a new album on the way.

Contacted by Variety, reps for both RCA Records and its parent company, Sony Music, declined comment.

The move comes after years of public calls, and even a petition from members of the #MuteRKelly movement, for the company to part ways with Kelly.

Those calls intensified in the wake of Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which multiple women accuse him of sexual misconduct. In recent weeks a plane commissioned by the women’s organization UltraViolet and carrying a sign reading “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly” flew over Sony Music’s Los Angeles offices and a protest was staged outside of Sony’s New York headquarters.

Chicago Radio: Julia Lepidi Lands Evening Gig On B96

Julia Lepidi
Entercom Communications today announced Julia Lepidi as evening drive host for WBBM B96 FM in Chicago. Lepidi will be on air weekdays from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. CT, beginning on January 28.

“Julia’s energetic, vibrant personality coupled with her high engagement on social media will make for a tremendous addition to our team,” said Jimmy de Castro, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. “We are confident that Julia will connect with nighttime listeners and help further extend the station’s reach.”

“When the opportunity came to become a part of the legendary B96 staff, it was a no-brainer,” said Julia. “Thanks to Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah [Program Director for B96] and Erik Bradley [Music Director for B96] for this opportunity. I am genuinely humbled and beyond ecstatic to join the team in the great city of Chicago.”

WBBM 96.3 FM (3.3 Kw) Red=54dBu Coverage Area
Most recently Lepidi served as on-air host and Promotions Coordinator for sister station 987 The Breeze (then 98.7 AMP Radio) in Detroit, MI. Prior to joining Entercom, Lepidi held an on-air role for 96.9 WBTI in Port Huron, MI.