Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Toronto Radio: Energy 95.3 Returns With Tucker & Maura

After nearly 20 years, Energy 95.3 (formerly 95.3 Fresh Radio) is back and so are popular on-air personalities Scott Tucker and Maura Grierson.  The duo makes their triumphant return to morning radio today, as their new showTucker and Maura in the Morning kicks off the relaunch of much-loved local radio brand CING Energy 95.3 FM.

Serving Greater Toronto and Hamilton, Energy 95.3 returns as the home of Today’s Best Music, playing the biggest songs from the best pop artists in the world. Premiering alongside the station this morning, Tucker and Maura in the Morning can be heard live, weekdays from 5:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the Energy radio brand back to Toronto and Hamilton, and introduce a new generation of listeners to a true cultural staple,” said Brad Phillips, VP and Head of FM Radio, Corus Entertainment. “To have a high-quality morning show team like Tucker and Maura to launch with is a dream come true; their proven results, experience, and energy make them a perfect fit.”

Listeners in the region know and love Tucker and Maura from their successful stint as morning show co-hosts on Virgin Radio Toronto. Upon their departure in the fall of 2018, Tucker and Maura’s morning program ranked in the top three (A18-49) in both the Toronto* and Hamilton** markets.

Born and raised in Montreal, Tucker has worked all over Canada with stops in Toronto, Regina, Montreal and London, where he won ‘On Air Talent of The Year – Secondary Market’ twice at Canadian Music Week. Beginning her radio career on legendary Montreal classic rock station CHOM, Maura also hosted on Montreal’s MIX 96 before going on to spend 15 years at Virgin Radio Toronto. Always a performer, Maura has hosted national TV shows and acted in several movies alongside Hollywood A-listers, such as Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton.

From Cardi B, Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande, to Bruno Mars, Backstreet Boys and TLC; Energy 95.3’s mix of Today’s Best Music is Toronto and Hamilton’s destination for the biggest songs, and the best personalities. In addition to Tucker and Maura, local favourite Colleen Rusholme returns to the airwaves to host afternoon drive from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET.

Energy 95.3’s full on-air lineup is as follows:
  • Tucker and Maura in the Morning – 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Emily Szabo – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Colleen Rusholme – 2 p.m. to 6 p.m
  • Tucker and Maura at 6 – 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Featuring highlights from the morning show
  • Dave Blezard – 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
*SOURCE: Numeris PPM Data: Toronto R4 2018, A18-49, Mo-Fr, Morning
**SOURCE: Numeris Hamilton Diary: Average Spring & Fall 2018, A18-49, Mo-Fr, Morning

Phoenix Radio: Andrea Burtscher Named MD At Country KMLE

Andrea Burtscher
Entercom today named Andrea Burtscher as Music Director of KMLE Country@107.9 in Phoenix.

The role is in addition to her current position as Marketing and Promotions Director for Entercom Phoenix, which also includes 94.5 KOOL FM (KOOL-FM) and Live 101.5 (KALV-FM).

 “Country music is Andrea’s lifeblood and we are confident that she will thrive in this role as she continues to have her pulse on what Phoenix listeners want to hear,” said Dave Pugh, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Phoenix. “The decision to elevate her to Music Director was an easy one, and I couldn’t be more proud of how far she has come.”

“I’m excited to jump over to the programming world after being in promotions for over 12 years,” said Burtscher. “Thanks to Dave Pugh and Tim Richards [Program Director, Entercom Phoenix] for this amazing opportunity and for always believing in me. I look forward to pursuing my passion of Country music and serving Phoenix listeners by curating their favorite hits each and every day.”

Burtscher joined KMLE Country@107.9 in 2008 as a Promotions Assistant. She assumed the role of Marketing and Promotion Manager for the station in 2013. Prior to joining Entercom, she held various promotions roles for WQYK in Tampa, FL and WKKO in Toledo, OH.

 Listeners can tune in to KMLE Country@107.9 in Phoenix 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.

NYC Radio: Entercom Rebrands Country WNSH-FM

Entercom announced the rebrand of WNSH-FM as New York’s Country 94-7, effective immediately. The station will continue to provide the Big Apple with country hits from artists like Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum, among others.

“New Yorkers have a strong appetite for country music and we’re excited to continue to deliver the greatest country hits with the rebrand of New York’s Country 94-7,” said Susan Larkin, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom New York. “We have a great team and programming in place and look forward to remaining Country's home on the biggest stage in America.”

Listeners can tune in to New York’s Country 94-7 (WNSH-FM) in New York on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website.

WNSH 94.7 FM (40 Kw) Green=Current, Purple=Proposed 54dBu Coverage
Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Brother Wease To Be Honored With MSBC 'Kraddick Award'

Rochester's legendary morning radio mainstay, Brother Wease , has been named the 2019 recipient of Morning Show Boot Camp's (MSBC)prestigious 'Kraddick Award' named in honor of the late Kidd Kraddick. Brother Wease has been an morning radio fixture for 30 years in Rochester, plus founder of Wease Cares Children’s Fund, honoring a longtime friend who lost his battle with cancer, and helping local families.

Brother Wease
"I could not be any prouder then I am to be selected for the Kraddick award," said Wease. " Don (Anthony) started this joyous group of morning radio people convention 31 years ago. Many have become great friends. Kidd was one of the amazing people I met there. He and Pauly (Paul Castronovo) and I, along with many others shared times we'll never forget. Kidd was a radio innovator, and the hardest working broadcaster I've ever seen. Such a tragic loss, too soon."

In making the announcement, last year's recipient Paul Castronovo of Big 105.9 Miami said, "When I was honored by the award last year, I thought, “Wait a minute, don’t they mean Brother Wease? There must be some mistake.”

He’s a one in a million talent, Castronovo added.  "They broke the mold with this guy. Strap yourself in and don’t miss his acceptance speech."

Traditionally, each year's recipient is charged with selecting the following year's honoree. Past honorees include Bert Weiss of the Westwood One syndicated 'The Bert Show,' The Yea Network Syndicated 'The Kidd Kraddick Show, The Syndicated Ace & TJ Show, 97X Quad Cities' Dwyer & Michaels Show and Big 105.9's Paul Castronovo.

The Kraddick Award will be presented during his year's Morning Show Boot Camp taking place Aug. 8 & 9 at the Swissotel Chicago - registration and Swissotel reservations available now HERE.

Buffalo NY Radio: FCC Wants Entercom's Political Rates Info

The FCC is looking into a claim that several Entercom Communications radio stations in Buffalo, NY overcharged a congressional candidate for ads purchased in 2018.

According to The Buffalo News, the complaint made to the FCC contends the stations charged the candidate a higher rate than that paid by commercial advertisers such as law firms and auto dealerships, in violation of federal law. However, the name included in the email, Jackie Drost, does not match that of any candidate for Congress here or elsewhere.

In letters of inquiry sent to Entercom, the agency has asked the company to provide documentation on paid advertising and unpaid issue ads aired on WBEN-AM, WGR-AM, WTSS-FM and four other local stations.

Entercom, in its response, acknowledged that it had not posted required information about last year's campaigns on its website until January but said this was an inadvertent error and denied any violation of federal law.

Entercom acknowledged the investigation, saying: "We are working directly with the FCC on this matter. We will not be commenting further."

Federal communications law governs who must be given access to TV and radio airtime, how much they should pay and how that use of airtime should be documented, according to the Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth law firm's CommLawBlog.

The complaint filed Dec. 13 hinges on the "lowest unit charge" rule, which means that stations can't gouge political candidates for airtime and must charge the lowest rate available to any advertiser at the time the candidate booked the ad. This rule is in effect only during certain periods before primary day and Election Day.

The complaint accuses Entercom radio stations of charging a congressional candidate identified as Jackie Drost four or five times what the stations charged businesses for the same air time.

The FCC responded to the Drost complaint by writing to Entercom on Jan. 28. The FCC letter states agency employees were unable to verify the complaint because WBEN, WGR and WTSS did not post any records of requests for political ad time in 2018 online and may have "willfully and repeatedly" violated federal law requiring this documentation.

Entercom's Feb. 28 response said it had no record of Drost seeking airtime. Further, because the company also found no record of her running for Congress it contends she was not an eligible candidate and therefore Entercom did not run afoul of the "lowest unit charge" rule.

The company posted the 2018 political records, including invoices of the rates charged to various local candidates for Congress, State Assembly and other offices, on Jan. 28, the date it received the FCC letter.

"Unfortunately, due to an inadvertent oversight the procedures broke down here with respect to the stations’ political file," wrote Laura M. Berman, Entercom's senior counsel.

The FCC sent a follow-up letter on March 5 expanding its inquiry. The agency added Entercom stations WLKK-FM, WWWS-AM, WWKB-AM and WKSE-FM to the case.

The FCC is now seeking information on both paid candidate ads and "non-candidate issue ads" for all seven stations. It set an April 4 deadline for a response.

Pittsburgh Radio: Urban WAMO Robbed

A man broke into the offices of Hip Hop WAMO 100.1 / 107.3 FM and 660 AM early Monday and stole about $10,000 worth of equipment, reports triblive.com.

Jamal Woodson, the station’s general manager, woke to a call shortly after 4 a.m. from operations manager Louis Wingfield, who showed up to work and found multiple rooms stripped clean.

Stolen items included computers, speakers, microphones, TVs, gaming consoles and other equipment.

“I was sick to my stomach,” Woodson said. “We’re the only urban radio station in the Pittsburgh market, and we were heartbroken just to see someone take advantage and do this to us. It was completely devastating.”

Surveillance footage shows a man entering the station and appearing to scope out a few rooms and check if anyone was around before stealing the equipment, Woodson said. Woodson says the man got in via forced entry.

Allegheny County Police are investigating.

The burglary did not prevent the station from airing its usual programming on Monday.

WAMO’s roots date to more than 65 years ago. It’s been broadcasting in greater Pittsburgh with a news component since 2011, when it was purchased by Martz Communications Group.

Spotify To Acquire Parcast Storytelling Studio

Spotify Technology today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Parcast, a premier storytelling-driven podcast studio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Since its founding in 2016, Parcast has launched 18 premium podcast series including Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, Cults and Conspiracy Theories and the studio’s first fiction series, Mind’s Eye. Parcast will bring to Spotify its curated library of highly produced shows and its engaged, loyal audiences. With an expertise in genres touching mystery, crime, science fiction, and history, Parcast has shown it has depth in subject matter and the ability to develop audiences across its robust network. Additionally, Parcast has more than 20 new shows slated to launch later this year.

“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify Chief Content Officer. “Crime and mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base. We’re excited to welcome the Parcast team to Spotify and we look forward to supercharging their growth."

“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and hit a chord with mystery and true-crime fans, especially women, across all 50 states and around the world. We are proud to join the world’s most popular audio subscription streaming service and gain access to one of the largest audiences around the world,” said Max Cutler, Founder and President of Parcast. “Alongside Spotify, our ability to scale, grow and amplify the unique and tailored brand of content we create is full of fantastic possibilities.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 and subject to customary closing conditions.

Here are five fast facts about today’s news.

  • Max Cutler founded Parcast in 2016. Since then, the company has launched eighteen premium series.
  • Parcast’s home base is Los Angeles, California, where the company has two studios and over twenty employees.
  • You can count the highly popular Unsolved Murders, Cult, Serial Killers and Conspiracy podcasts among Parcast’s high-end, scripted crime and mystery shows.
  • These genres are particularly appealing to women—over seventy-five percent of the Parcast audience is female.
  • Parcast will continue to develop its unique stories. In fact, there are more than twenty new scripted shows focused on topics like crimes of passion, the justice system, and the world’s most resilient survivors slated to launch later this year.

Apple Short On Details For Subs TV Service

Apple Inc. unveiled new products for entertainment, financial services, news and videogames as the technology giant vies with competitors that are also moving to expand their disruptive influence outside their core businesses in search of new growth.

The Wall Street Journal reports the announcements Monday mark a strategic shift for Apple as it seeks new momentum amid softening sales in its core iPhone business. The centerpiece of the star-studded event at Apple’s headquarters, capped by an appearance by Oprah Winfrey, was a new video-subscription service to carry original programming.

In a first for the company, it plans to make its TV app, which will carry that content, available on competitors’ televisions and other devices as well as its own—reflecting Apple’s growing ambition to go beyond selling its own gadgets.

Apple also announced Apple Card, a mainly digital credit card launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that aims to challenge incumbents by offering low interest rates and eliminating both late fees and annual fees.

It unveiled Apple News+, a $9.99 monthly service that provides access to 300-plus magazines as well as newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal through an agreement with parent Dow Jones & Co. And it showed off Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service offering access to 100-plus exclusive games for an unspecified monthly fee.

Chief Executive Tim Cook portrayed the services as an extension of Apple’s existing mix of products, saying the integration of hardware, software and services is something Apple does better than anyone else. “We’re excited to extend our services even further, making them even more entertaining, more useful and more informative,” he said.

Meanwhile, CNBC reports Apple introduced Apple TV+, its subscription video service for original programs, and showcased a handful of series starring Jennifer Aniston, Kumail Nanjiani and Oprah Winfrey.

But it didn't say how much Apple TV+ would cost. Apple had previously planned on giving away at least some of its original content for free, CNBC reported last year, so new pricing information was hotly anticipated.

Apple unveils new Apple TV+ streaming service from CNBC.

In addition, even if the shows are fantastic, a consumer could watch them all in a month. It made no sense to announce a subscription video service with no library.

Apple also failed to discuss its future content spending plans. If Apple is going to charge a monthly fee for its original content, how much does it plan to spend on video? Is Apple considering challenging Netflix's $10 billion per year? Again, nothing.

Apple also has negotiated the right to bundle some of the existing streaming services in its new Apple TV Channels product for a discount, according to people familiar with the matter. This could give Apple TV Channels an advantage over the competing Amazon Channels by giving customers the ability to sign up for multiple streaming services for a lower price.

But again, Apple offered no pricing details at all.

Report: CBS, Viacom To Resume Merger Talk

CBS and Viacom are gearing up to resume merger talks — and settle once and for all who will be CEO of the combined company, The NYPost is reporting.

On Monday, the two media giants cleared a major hurdle to getting back to the negotiating table when Viacom settled a contract dispute with AT&T that had $1 billion in carriage fees hanging in the balance, sources said.

Robert Bakish
The planned settlement averted a blackout of Viacom channels, including MTV and Comedy Central, on AT&T platforms — paving the way for CBS’ independent directors to tell the rest of the board that they are ready to take another crack at marrying Viacom, said a person close to the process.

CBS’ independent directors are expected to approach the board in the next few weeks, assuming no unexpected snags get in the way. CBS’ board will then approach Viacom with an offer, this person said.

CBS is expected to ask Viacom to fork over a premium in the merger, which will be done by a share swap, because Viacom’s shares have fallen 15 percent in the last 12 months, compared with an 11-percent drop at CBS.

Joseph Ianiello
In addition to a agreeing on a price, the two companies need to hammer out a new leadership plan, which should be easier with former CBS CEO Les Moonves out of the way, sources said.

In the running for the top job is Viacom CEO Robert Bakish and CBS interim CEO Joe Ianniello, although Bakish is the current front-runner, sources said.

He is a favorite of Shari Redstone, whose National Amusements Inc. controls both companies.

Working against Bakish was his promise when he took over Viacom in 2016 to focus on six “flagship” networks. However he has fallen a bit short on that promise, a source said.

Ianniello faces even greater obstacles in the text messages that emerged between him and Moonves before the big boss was ousted in a flood of sexual-misconduct allegations.

The texts, sent through a service called Tigertexts, revealed Ianniello had been supporting Moonves‘ battle to dilute Redstone’s voting control over the media company, known for shows like “Big Bang Theory” and “Blue Bloods.”

NH, ME Radio: Chio Costa Joins WOKQ Morning Show

Townsquare Media has announced that radio veteran Chio Acosta has joined heritage country outlet WOKQ 97.5 FM in Portsmouth, NH as the new co-host of “Chio and Kira in the morning,” set to debut Monday, April 1. Co-host Kira Lew remains in place as the morning show’s co-host. The new program will be simulcast on sister WPKQ 103 FM The PEAK in Portland, ME.

Chio & Kira
“Chio is one of the premiere morning hosts in the country and WOKQ is one of the premiere brands in country radio. We are excited to have Chio join the talented Kira Lew to bring fun, laughs, conversation and the best music to New England,” said Townsquare OM Robby Bridges.

“It’s all about winning! The team that Townsquare has assembled at WOKQ is loaded with superstar talent,” commented Chio. “I want to thank Robby Bridges, Brian Lang, and Kurt Johnson for bringing me to this powerhouse country radio station. I can’t wait to dive in and explore everything this area has to offer. This is going to be wicked fun!”

Townsquare Market President Brian Lang added, “I am thrilled that a major market like talent like Chio will join WOKQ and our Townsquare Northern New England team.”

Chio Acosta’s radio adventures have taken him from Florida to San Diego to New York to Philadelphia where he most recently anchored mornings on WISX (106.1 FM). Kira Lew joined WOKQ in 2017. The new show launches with “Win Chio and Kira’s Cash,” a chance to win $5,000 3 times per day, and Chio and Kira’s “5 Town Tour” where listeners will be encouraged to suggest the best places for breakfast for the show to broadcast from in May.

News Media Takes Heat

Holding a copy of the New York Times to the camera on Monday, a giddy Steve Doocy of Fox News Channel said the headline about special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation “probably killed whoever had to type this,” according to The Associated Press.

Motivated by the typical soul-searching that can accompany the climax of a major story, or simple revenge, the performance of news professionals quickly became an issue following Mueller’s conclusion that he could find no evidence of a conspiracy by President Donald Trump and his campaign team to work with the Russians to influence the 2016 election.

At issue: did some news organizations spend too much time or leap to premature conclusions about Trump’s potential involvement?

“It is the worst journalistic debacle of my lifetime and I’ve been in this business about 50 years,” said Fox analyst and former Washington bureau chief Brit Hume. “I’ve never seen anything quite this bad last this long.”

The National Review criticized CNN and MSNBC for routinely taking stories about the investigation from the Times and Washington Post and blowing them up into major stories. The Review said it would be nice if some people involved in the coverage admitted they were wrong, but isn’t expecting it.

Even some liberals, like journalist Glenn Greenwald, offered criticism. Money earned by MSNBC hosts “won’t erase the role they played in going on the air every day and manipulating people’s fears and disseminating a false conspiracy theory that rewarded them greatly.”

Reporter Matt Taibbi, who also suggested several reporters and commentators connected too many dots that didn’t add up, wrote that nothing Trump is accused of going forward will be believed by a large segment of the population.

“Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be not to realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations,” he wrote.

Representatives for CNN and MSNBC declined comment Monday on their coverage.

Fox News Host: MSNBC, CNN The 'Real Agents of Putin'

Fox News host Steve Hilton on Monday accused a list of people and entities, including CNN and MSNBC, of being the "real agents" of Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

According to The Hill, Hilton, a former director of strategy for ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron, made the comments on Fox News while speaking about Attorney General William Barr's summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Hilton seized on an aspect of the summary in which Barr wrote that Mueller's investigation found that Russian-affiliated individuals offered to assist Trump's 2016 campaign.

"They tried to collude with the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign said no," Hilton, the host of Fox News's "The Next Revolution," said. "But I tell you who did end up being an agent of Putin, an agent of Russia in his effort to divide America and to destabilize our democracy — it is all these people who have been pushing this story."

"They’re the ones who have been dividing America," Hilton continued, before naming former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), MSNBC and CNN.

"They’re the real agents of Putin," he said.

Dershowitz Claims CNN Ban

Click Here for NY Post Story
CNN is accused of banning one of the country’s leading legal minds from its airwaves because he would not conform to its “one-sided presentation” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

According to Fox News, former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz made the explosive claim during an appearance on “The Story” Monday night, before embarking on a victory lap in the wake of Mueller’s findings being made public by Attorney General William Barr.

“I have been right from day one, and almost all the other pundits and professors have just been dead wrong,” Dershowitz told Martha MacCallum.

“CNN banned me from their air because I was being too fair. I was trying to assess what the essential issue was, and I wasn’t being partisan. They didn’t want that. They didn’t want that.”

Dershowitz continued: “CNN wouldn’t have me on the air because they want a one-sided presentation, and everybody who watches CNN was shocked by the conclusions… no one who watches me was shocked.”

The CNN remark comes at the 2:55 Time Mark:

Earlier in the day, he accused Mueller of “hedging” with his report and leaving its findings open to political debate.

iHM, LiveXLive Ink Streaming Deal

LiveXLive Media, Inc. announced today an exclusive multi-year agreement with iHeartMedia that combines content, production, distribution and promotion.

The newly expanded partnership gives LiveXLive exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17 iHeartRadio marquee events this year, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, as well as licensing and streaming rights for select  iHeartRadio Theater shows. Located in both New York and Los Angeles, the iHeartRadio Theaters bring fans intimate performances from top recording artists as well as unique events such as exclusive iHeartRadio Album Release Parties. 

The partnership will also feature new co-produced and co-promoted video content for fans including a co-created iHeartRadio channel on LiveXLive built on an extensive library of content.

"From the start, our mission has been to deliver the "best seat in the house" to fans of all genres of music,” said Rob Ellin, CEO and chairman of LiveXLive. "This deal immediately allows us to expand and diversify our programming through iHeartMedia’s reach of a quarter of a billion people across radio, digital, social and more. Our partnership with iHeartMedia is a powerful win for fans, bands and brands."

“We are all about connecting great artists with their fans in every way we can,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia. “This partnership with LiveXLive will expand the reach of our one of a kind iHeartRadio events and theater shows to new audiences.”

LiveXLive has streamed more than 24 music festivals, concerts and other live music events across the globe featuring over 400 hours of live content during its 2019 fiscal year.  The company continues to expand its offering, with 50 music festivals and concert livestreams planned for FY 2020, in addition to original series programming, single artist concerts, "LiveXLive Presents," and award show content.

Critics Doubt FCC's Broadband Data

The FCC is being scrutinized over its claims that its deregulatory agenda has led to record gains in the private sector’s efforts to expand access to high-speed internet in rural and underserved communities, The Hill is reporting.

Internet players, watchdogs and lawmakers are calling for changes to how the agency collects data on broadband access and makes policy.

In February, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft of the agency’s annual progress report on broadband deployment. He touted data showing that the number of Americans without access to broadband fell by more than 25 percent and that a record number of homes had received new fiber connections in 2017.

The release said the report found the private sector has been deploying broadband on a “reasonable and timely basis” and attributed the progress to Pai’s efforts to roll back regulations on the industry.

“This report shows that our approach is working,” Pai said in a statement when the draft was circulated. “But we won’t rest until all Americans can have access to broadband and the 21st century opportunities it provides to communities everywhere.”

The FCC’s broadband mapping data is a crucial measure, used to determine where federal dollars can be best spent to improve access. But Pai also used the positive numbers as evidence that the private sector was boosted by his deregulatory efforts, which included the repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules that passed at the end of 2017 and went into effect last year.

Pai’s conclusions and the numbers that he based them on quickly came under scrutiny.

“This is just not credible. Studies show that 162 million Americans do not use the internet at broadband speeds,” Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement to The Hill.

“The simple fact is that the FCC needs to come clean about its numbers — serious questions have been raised about the FCC’s data that demand answers.”

In a filing to the FCC last week, Microsoft said it found that the “broadband availability data ... appears to overstate the extent to which broadband is actually available throughout the nation.

March 26 Radio History

➦In 1923...Comedian "Bob" Elliott born (Died at age 92 of throat cancer – February 2, 2016).  He was one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. He was the father of comedian/actor Chris Elliott and grandfather of actress and comedians Abby Elliott and Bridey Elliott. He is most remembered by the character of Wally Ballou, a mild-mannered, but indefatigable radio reporter.

Beginning a career as a radio announcer in the 1940’s, his rise to national recognition began when he was teamed with Ray Goulding on WHDH Boston.  Moving to New York the pair appeared on various networks and radio/TV outlets with their unique brand of humour spoofing broadcasting until Goulding’s death in 1990.

➦In 1929...WQXR signed-on as W2XR in NYC.

John Hogan
Now using the call signs WFME began its life as W2XR, an experimental television station, owned by inventor John V. L. Hogan, operating at 2100 kHz, which went on the air on March 26, 1929.  Hogan was a radio engineer who owned many patents, and wanted a permit for an experimental station. To avoid interference, the frequency granted in 1934 by the Federal Radio Commission was considerably above the normal broadcasting range, which at that time ended at 1500 kHz. Hogan's permit was one of four construction permits W2XR was licensed as an "experimental broadcast station" on June 29, 1934.

W2XR began to broadcast classical music recordings on 1550 kHz.  His television broadcasts came to naught, but Hogan began to hear from unknown individuals who encouraged him to continue broadcasting music.

In 1936, Hogan and Elliott Sanger formed the Interstate Broadcasting Company, with the intention of turning W2XR into a commercial station at at time when there were already about twenty-five radio stations in New York.

The transmitter, which used a homemade antenna mounted on a wooden pole, was located in a garage in Long Island City, near the Queensborough Bridge, and its 250 watts provided just enough power to reach midtown Manhattan and parts of Queens.  On December 3, 1936, W2XR became WQXR—the cursive form of the letter "Q" mimics the number "2". An FM service, W2XQR, was added in 1939.

The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941 formally extended the AM band to 1600 kHz, ending the "high-fidelity" service but keeping all four original stations near their existing dial positions. WQXR was originally slated to move to 1600 kHz as a five-kilowatt class III-A regional station, but was able to persuade the FCC to make it a class I-B station on 1560 kHz instead.

The New York Post approached the company in the early 1940s about purchasing the stations. Sanger said publicly that he would have preferred to sell to The New York Times, and in early 1944, the Times agreed to pay just over $1 million for ownership of Interstate Broadcasting Company.

In 1971, the Times put WQXR up for sale. Many offers were received for the FM station, but none of the bids for 1560 AM were satisfactory to management. When the FCC agreed to waive rules prohibiting stations from simulcasting if they were broadcasting classical music, the Times took WQXR off the market.

WQXR AM circa 1989
In 1992 the station broke away from the FM simulcast for good, changing to a pop standards format, which was inaugurated by a live studio performance by Tony Bennett. The change followed close on the heels of WNEW's switch from standards to business information, and to reflect that heritage, WQXR changed callsign to WQEW. Although successful, the station's advertising revenues were not spectacular, and on December 28, 1998, the Times pulled the plug and LMAed with Radio Disney after entering an 8-year local marketing agreement with Disney. At the end of this agreement in late 2006, ABC/Disney exercised an option to purchase in early January 2007. Disney/ABC officially became the owner of the station on May 24, 2007.

On November 21, 2014, Radio Disney New York filed an application to sell WQEW to Family Radio, who also owns WFME-FM and WNYJ-TV (and who previously owned what is now WNSH, owned by Cumulus Media.  Family Radio bought the station for $12.95 million. The FCC granted the sale on February 10, 2015. As a result, the station went silent the following Tuesday on February 17, 2015, in anticipation of the change of format. The sale was "consummated" on February 20, 2015 and the call sign was changed to WFME.

The station returned to the air on February 27, 2015, broadcasting Family Radio programming, again giving the network full coverage of the New York City market that it lost in January 2013, when Family Radio sold the original WFME to Cumulus Media.

➦In 1954...Curtis Sliwa born.  He's anti-crime activist, founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels, Talk 77WABC show host.

➦In 1996...WPAT 930 AM NYC Market flipped to a Spanish format.  Today,  the station airs brokered programming format. WPAT is owned by Multicultural Broadcasting,

➦In 2008…Radio Personality  Walter 'Wally' Phillips died of Alzheimber's disease at age 82 (Born - July 7, 1925).  He was best known for hosting WGN 720 AM's morning radio show in Chicago for 21 years from January 1965 until July 1986, and was number one in the morning slot from 1968 until he left for an afternoon radio slot in 1986.  A pioneer of the radio call-in talk show format, Phillips delighted in a form now banned by the FCC: putting people on the air without their knowledge

Wally Phillips
Phillips was born in Portsmouth, Ohio. Six years later, after his father's death from tuberculosis, his family (including three siblings) moved to Cincinnati.  Phillips later dropped out of high school to join the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, but he ended up in Georgia in a tow target squadron assigned to fly practice targets for fighter pilots and anti-aircraft artillery.
After the end of World War II, he attended drama school for a while and then became a disc jockey in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A year after beginning his DJ career he returned to Cincinnati.

Phillips expanded his career as a radio personality at WLW in Cincinnati where he established his call-in format and his trademark style of remixing prerecorded interviews as a comedy piece. He was eventually fired after he inserted a phony item into a newscast.

Later, Phillips moved to Chicago, Illinois. His WGN morning show was consistently top-rated in Chicago, and led to his being labeled "the king of morning radio." At the height of his popularity, Phillips attracted nearly 1.5 million listeners, a now unheard of half of the market's listening audience.

Phillips was one of the first broadcasters to routinely use humorous and offbeat phone calls in his show, including prank phone calls. Sometimes, he called random payphones to see who would answer. For example, he called a pet cemetery to arrange a funeral for his mouse, and on another occasion he tracked down Benjamin Gingiss, founder of Gingiss Formal Wear, while the man was on vacation in the Bahamas to ask him where the fire extinguishers were kept in the store.

Another time, Phillips called Ipanema, a neighborhood located on the southern region of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and inquired whether there were any women there who were "tall and tan and young and lovely." He tried to order pizza from Rome and even tried to return a natural Christmas tree weeks into the new year because it had browned and lost all its needles. On one occasion, he managed to obtain Luciano Pavarotti's hotel room number, and called to ask if the singer would give Phillips opera lessons and "teach (Phillips) to sing flat, like you do."

In 1998, he retired from WGN radio after 42 years, twelve years after giving up the morning show where he was succeeded by Bob Collins, who continued the format and the high ratings.

Phillips was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, in the Museum of Broadcast Communications in 1993 and into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1997, marking his 50th year in radio.

➦In 2009...Toronto radio station CHUM 1050 AM ended its music era again and this time it went to simulcasting the local cable-only TV news channel CP 24.  The final full song played was “Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck, just before 5 am. The station changed to sports talk April 13, 2011.

CHUM AM was founded by four Toronto businessmen, including Al Leary, a former sportscaster, who had been the station manager at CKCL for 14 years.  CHUM received its licence in late November 1944 to operate a station with 1000 watts.  CHUM launched as a daytimer on 28 October 1945,  with John H.Q. "Jack" Part, an entrepreneur in the business of patent medicines, as its president. The station broadcast a format typical of the late 1940s, with a combination of information, music, and sports.

CHUM was taken over in December 1954 by Allan Waters, a salesman from Part's patent medicine business. Waters' first major move was to secure a licence for 24-hour-a-day broadcasting for CHUM, along with a power increase to 5,000 watts.

Less than three years after Waters acquired the station, and soon after bringing the new full-time transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format.  Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played.

"1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and the Beatles (1964, 1965, and 1966). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built yet another new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power once again to its current 50,000 watts around the clock.

CHUM 1050 AM (50 Kw-DA-2)
In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario.

By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes".  Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored.

Jay Nelson
Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY. He died of a heart attack in Toronto on April 7, 1972 on the eve of his 40th birthday

He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters.

He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came from rival Toronto rocker CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele, Mike Holland and current CHUM-FM morning man Roger Ashby.

Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM for a time in 1977, eventually becoming known across North America as John Roberts, White House correspondent for CBS News, then the co-anchor of CNN's morning program American Morning. He now reports for the Fox News Channel.

Rick Moranis, later famous for his work on SCTV and Ghostbusters, was briefly a late-night CHUM DJ in the mid-seventies under the name "Rick Allan".

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

The CHUM Chart was, for many years, the most influential weekly Top 40 chart in Canada and has been hailed as the longest-running continuously published radio station record survey in North America.  The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.

By the mid-1980s, CHUM had lost ground in the Toronto ratings to competing Top 40 station CFTR and FM-based music stations. On June 6, 1986, at 3 PM, after the playing of Starship's "We Built This City", CHUM dropped its Top 40 format for a gold-based adult contemporary format ("Favorites of Yesterday and Today"). The first song after the relaunch was "Beginnings" by Chicago. The change also discontinued the CHUM Chart, which ended the week of June 14, 1986 with Madonna's "Live to Tell" as the final Number 1 song. By 1988, the station had evolved into a brighter AC format, focusing on pop hits from the past decade and dropping much of the older music.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Apple Hopes New Services Make-Up For Sputtering Sales

Apple Inc. unveiled a new credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a videogame subscription service and a news-subscription app, all part of a suite of services the tech giant is announcing Monday as it seeks fresh revenue to make up for sputtering sales in its core iPhone business.

The Wall Street Journal reports the announcements came at an event where the iPhone maker also is expected to announce a new video-subscription offering with its first original TV shows. The event’s focus on services and software marked a departure for Apple, which typically uses such events to showcase new gadgets. As momentum has stalled in the company’s iPhone business, Chief Executive Tim Cook is ramping up its services in an effort to generate revenue growth.

The news app, called Apple News Plus, is a premium version of the existing, free Apple News app that will be priced at $9.99 a month. It provides access to articles from more than 300 magazines including Vogue, GQ and Sports Illustrated, as well as newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

Apple’s Ann Thai, senior product marketing manager of the App Store, speaks during the launch of Arcade, the tech company’s new gaming service, branding as Arcade.

The unveiling of the Apple Card marks a major expansion of the company’s foray into financial services, begun with Apple Pay. Customers will be able to sign up for the Apple Card on their iPhones and begin using it for purchases within days, the company said. It will offers 2% cash back on purchases and uses machine-learning on Apple’s devices to organize people’s spending behavior into weekly and monthly summaries. Customers can receive a physical, titanium version of the card to use in locations where Apple Pay isn’t yet accepted.

Coming This Fall: Apple TV+

Apple today announced Apple TV+, the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries, coming this fall. Apple TV+, Apple’s original video subscription service, will feature a brand new slate of programming from the world’s most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more.

On the Apple TV app, subscribers will enjoy inspiring and authentic stories with emotional depth and compelling characters from all walks of life, ad-free and on demand.

“We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

Additionally, Apple debuted the all-new Apple TV app and Apple TV channels coming in May 2019.

The all-new Apple TV app brings together the different ways to discover and watch shows, movies, sports, news and more in one app across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs and streaming devices. Users can subscribe to and watch new Apple TV channels — paying for only services they want, like HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz — all on demand, available on and offline, with incredible picture quality and sound; enjoy sports, news and network TV from cable and satellite providers as well as purchase or rent iTunes movies and TV shows all within the new, personalized Apple TV app.

Beginning in May, customers can subscribe to Apple TV channels à la carte and watch them in the Apple TV app, with no additional apps, accounts or passwords required. Apple TV channels include popular services such as HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and new services like MTV Hits, with more to be added over time around the world.

  • Pricing and availability for the Apple TV+ video subscription service will be announced later this fall.
  • The all-new Apple TV app is coming to iPhone, iPad and Apple TV customers in over 100 countries with a free software update this May, and to Mac this fall.
  • Through Family Sharing, users can share Apple TV+ and subscriptions to Apple TV channels.
  • The Apple TV app will be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.
  • Later this year, customers with eligible VIZIO, Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs will be able to effortlessly play videos and other content from their iPhone or iPad directly to their smart TVs with AirPlay 2 support.

Apple Launches Apple News+

Apple today announced Apple News+, a new subscription service that brings together over 300 popular magazines, leading newspapers and digital publishers into a curated experience within the Apple News app. Available in the US and Canada, Apple News+ presents the best and most relevant articles to meet any range of interests from renowned publications such as Vogue, National Geographic Magazine, People, ELLE, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Apple News+ adds an even more expansive collection of high-quality stories to the free experience of Apple News, which is the No. 1 news app and delivers current events coverage from trusted sources.1 All Apple News users in the US, Canada, UK and Australia can continue to enjoy the free news experience within the app on iPhone, iPad and Mac, including access to Top Stories, Trending Stories and a personalized feed of articles.

“We’re committed to supporting quality journalism, and with Apple News+, we want to celebrate the great work being done by magazines and news outlets,” said Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News. “We think the breadth and quality of publications within Apple News+ will encourage more people to discover stories and titles they may never have come across before.”

Apple News+ subscribers can access current and past issues and individual articles from magazines such as The Atlantic, Better Homes & Gardens, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, ELLE, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN The Magazine, Esquire, Food & Wine, Good Housekeeping, GQ, Health, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living, National Geographic, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents, People, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Runner’s World, Sports Illustrated, TIME, Travel + Leisure, Vanity Fair, Vogue, WIRED and Woman’s Day.2

In addition, Apple News+ includes The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper. Apple News+ also provides access to premium online publications such as theSkimm, The Highlight by Vox, New York Magazine’s sites Vulture, The Cut and Grub Street, and Extra Crunch from Verizon Media’s TechCrunch.3

Apple News+ showcases magazines in richly designed layouts, featuring animated covers, vivid photography and bold typography optimized for iPhone, iPad and Mac. It makes reading articles even more fun, immersive and convenient. In the Today and News+ tabs, subscribers will be presented with individual article and issue recommendations based on both editorial curation and personalized suggestions that maintain user privacy.

“Apple News+ validates the power of premium content from great and trusted brands, and being a part of it makes good business sense,” said Tom Harty, president and CEO of Meredith. “Apple News+ will be an extremely valuable mass platform to attract new paid subscribers to our titles.”

“At Hearst Magazines, we are hyperfocused on creating consumer value through our storied brands, high-quality content and great experiences,” said Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines. “Apple News+ amplifies our ability to do this in a premium environment with a key audience, elevating the digital magazine experience for millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac users.”

“We’re constantly innovating how we connect with our audiences and bring them the content they crave on the platforms they use every day,” said Bob Sauerberg, president and CEO of Condé Nast. “Apple News+ represents an exciting opportunity to bring a premium experience to millions more readers, so they can enjoy the conversation-shifting journalism, influential points of view and unparalleled visual storytelling they’ve come to expect from our brands.”

Key Networks To Launch Bill O'Reilly Program

Key Networks announces that it will syndicate a new 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update”, starring former cable news personality and bestselling author Bill O’Reilly.

“The O’Reilly Update” cuts through the anonymous sources and phony stories dominating today’s news cycle and brings O’Reilly’s trademark “no spin” analysis to listeners across the U.S. in a high-impact format made for appointment listening. “The O’Reilly Update” marks a return to broadcast radio for O’Reilly, who hosted the nationally syndicated show, “The Radio Factor”, from 2002-2009.

Bill O'Reilly
Key Networks delivers “The O’Reilly Update” to stations of all formats and market sizes every weekday beginning at 11:30am EST. All advertising is included, with no additional barter units and 2 minutes of local avails in the feature.

Bill O’Reilly said: “More than ever before, Americans need accurate information and honest news analysis in order to make intelligent decisions. It is all about protecting yourself and your family. The daily O’Reilly Update will arm you with facts, and provide opinion based on those facts. Can’t wait to get started.”

Rob Koblasz, Chief Executive Officer, Key Networks, said: “Americans need straight talk now more than ever before. We are excited to make this 15-minute daily program available to radio stations across the U.S. The O’Reilly Update is tune-in listening at its best.”

Dennis Green, Chief Revenue Officer, Key Networks, said: “On the Mount Rushmore of spoken word talent you must include Bill O’Reilly. It’s an honor to bring Bill back to radio to deliver appointment listening and revenue opportunities for affiliate stations in a unique format. Attention stations: this program will provide the key (network) to your success!”

“The O’Reilly Update” will debut on Monday, April 29, 2019. Click Here for the Demo.

For more information and to get “The O’Reilly Update” on your station, contact Dennis Green, Chief Revenue Officer, Key Networks, at 844.KEY.NETS or dennis@keynetworks.com.

It's Mueller Time: No Collusion On Trump's Part

The four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report that was delivered to Congress on Sunday drew some conclusions about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, the Trump campaign’s involvement and whether the president obstructed justice even as the report itself remains confidential.

From The Wall Street Journal, here are the key takeaways from Attorney General Williams Barr's executive summary to Congress:
  • The special counsel investigation was exhaustive: The question of Russia’s role during the elections has been examined by two congressional committees and U.S. intelligence agencies. But Mr. Mueller’s findings were based on material gathered using 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants, and about 500 witness interviews—making it the most exhaustive probe yet to look at these questions.
  • Russia interfered in the 2016 election: Mr. Mueller affirmed the January 2017 conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia conducted a campaign of hacking and disinformation aimed at sowing discord and affecting the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller identified two prongs of the Kremlin campaign: a social-media-disinformation campaign conducted by an organization known as the Internet Research Agency and targeted hacks conducted by Russian intelligence aimed at Democrats.
  • No finding of Trump collusion: Mr. Mueller’s investigation didn’t establish that President Trump or any of his associates participated in the Russian conspiracies to affect the 2016 campaign. Mr. Mueller said that coordination would be a crime, but “didn’t find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its effort to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” according to the attorney general’s summary of the report.
  • No decision on obstruction: Mr. Mueller didn’t conclude whether Mr. Trump’s interactions with former FBI Director James Comey,  former Attorney General Jeff Sessions or others constituted obstruction of justice. His report said that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” That led Mr. Barr, in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein,  to make his own determination: that Mr. Trump’s actions didn’t meet the department’s standards for bringing charges.
  • The full report cannot be made public in its current form: Mr. Mueller used a grand jury as part of his investigation—a matter that will complicate the ultimate release of the report. Court procedure “generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information,” Mr. Barr told Congress. Other independent prosecutors, such as Ken Starr during his investigation of President Clinton in the 1990s, used a grand jury but ultimately released public reports. Mr. Barr has asked the special counsel for assistance in identifying grand-jury information in the report to determine how to proceed. He also said he also must protect any information in the report that touches on ongoing investigations. Mr. Barr said his goal “is to release as much of the special counsel’s report as I can” but didn’t give a timeline on when his review would be complete.

News Media Reacts To The Mueller Report

News media are reacting to the results of one of the most gripping investigations into a U.S. president in modern times — and the somewhat unexpected result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Attorney General William Barr summarized the results of Mueller's investigation on Sunday evening by saying that it had not found that the Trump campaign had"conspired or coordinated with the Russian government" to influence the 2016 vote.

In addition, Barr said that Mueller had not concluded one way or another as to whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to influence the investigation. As such, Barr concluded that Mueller's evidence was not sufficient to establish that Trump committed a crime.

Trump tweeted that the report's conclusions were a "total exoneration" of him. But in a letter to key members of Congress on Sunday, Attorney General Barr noted that while Mueller's report "does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Disappointed by Barr's summary of the investigation, Democrats have called Mueller's report to be published in full. Meanwhile, much of the global media have focused on the shock result and whether or not Trump is really "exonerated."

CNBC provides a selection of media reaction and commentary to the results of the Mueller probe:
  • The Washington Post is headlined Monday "Mueller finds no conspiracy," attorney general says and notes in a separate article that "No collusion!" goes from defiant mantra to rallying cry for Trump's re-election" but the Post's Senior Editor Marc Fisher also noted that Mueller's report "contains enough fuel for both sides to cling to their version of the truth."
  • Meanwhile, the New York Times also headlined with Barr's conclusions but noted that the report "stops short of exonerating Trump on obstruction of justice." The paper noted that "with no impeachment in view, Democrats push forward with an investigation." Nonetheless, the paper's White House Correspondent Peter Baker notes that "a cloud over Trump's presidency is lifted" and that the results will have "fortified the president for the battles to come, including his campaign for re-election."
  • Likewise, reaction in The Wall Street Journal notes that "Trump's team sees political gold" in the results and that his team were already "crafting plans to use Robert Mueller's findings as a line of attack against Democrats" in the 2020 election.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, media personalities across the political spectrum shared their thoughts on social media.
  • Fox News' Sean Hannity wrote on Twitter, "CNN, MSNBC, and the mainstream media have lied to the the American for 2 plus years. Now they will be held accountable." In a subsequent tweet, he added, "MSNBC CONSPIRACY NETWORK LIARS FAKE NEWS CNN LIARS NY TIMES WAPO LIARS."
  • His Fox News colleague Laura Ingraham retweeted several media outlets' anti-Trump tweets with criticism and also offered this: "It is imperative that the DOJ doesn’t let this go. Hoaxes must not come and go without consequences. #RussiaHoax."
  • MSNBC's Joy Reid said, "So presumably everyone will now be in bipartisan agreement that there’s no reason why the full Mueller report should not be released, like the Starr report was. If it’s as good for the president as AG Barr says it is, it can only be good for everyone to see it published."
  • MSNBC's Rachel Maddow retweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who wrote: "Congress didn’t ask for a 'summary,' Attorney General Barr. Members of the House voted 420-0 to release the report. The American people deserve to see the full report. #ReleaseTheFullReport."
  • "Let me be clear, I CONCEDE NOTHING! If #MuellerReport didn’t look into Trump’s business ties with the Russians before the elections and didn’t look into his secret meetings with them after the election, then this is an epic debacle that looked into the exact wrong things," wrote Cenk Uygur, host of online news show The Young Turks, adding: "I also blame Democrats for maniacally looking at the election interference as excuse for Hillary losing. They should have been focused on Trump’s business relationship with Russians. That’s the real problem and now they’ve given @GOP a golden opportunity to bury the real issue."

Forecast: Spotify To Surpass Pandora Sooner Than Expected

Pandora may be the most popular music streaming service in the US, but it won’t retain the No. 1 spot for much longer. According to the latest forecast from eMarketer on digital music listeners, Spotify will surpass Pandora in terms of users by 2021—one year sooner than predicted last year.

This year, Pandora will have 72.4 million US listeners, down 0.5% over 2018. Pandora has been the dominant music streaming platform in the US since its launch in 2000. Until recently, competitors were nowhere near it. Back in 2012, Pandora had 67.0 million users, compared with Spotify’s 5.0 million. But Pandora has been losing users in recent years. In fact, by 2023, it will have lost more than 9% of its users since its peak in 2014. As a result of declining usage, we have downgraded our forecast for Pandora.

“Pandora lost users last year because of tough competition from other services attracting people to switch,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen. “Apple Music has been successful in converting its iPhone user base, Amazon Music has grown with smart speaker adoption, and Spotify’s partnerships have expanded its presence across all devices.”

In 2019, Spotify will have 65.3 million users, up nearly 14% year over year. By 2021, it will have 73.7 million, surpassing Pandora’s 72.2 million. Smart speakers and mobile devices have been big growth drivers for Spotify.

“Spotify’s initial growth was driven by its unique combination of music discovery, playlists and on-demand features,” Bendtsen said. “But now that all music streaming services have the same features, Spotify’s future success will rely on partnerships with other companies.”

Meanwhile, Apple and Amazon have about half the number of users of Pandora and Spotify. Amazon Music this year will have 35.8 million listeners, up nearly 18%, making it the fastest-growing music service. Much of its growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of its Echo smart speakers.