ICYMI: In Case You Missed It Must-Reads

Monday 6/27/16


R.I.P.: Printed Newspapers...Thanks A Lot, Millennials
After more than 20 years of subscribing to The New York Times, I’ve finally faced reality and canceled home delivery of the print edition and moved exclusively to an all-access digital pass. Truth is, it’s been years since I’ve regularly read The New York Times—or The Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post, for that matter—in print, at least. In fact, I’ve spent the past four or five years methodically suspending my home delivery and simply reading the Times on my iPhone, tablet or laptop.

KIPP JARECKE-CHENG  / MEDIAPOST.COM






Saturday 6/25/16
An Appreciation: Dandy Dan Daniel
Decades before Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, radio was social media, and the reason was radio personalities like Dan Daniel.

Daniel died Tuesday at the age of 81, and he left a legion of admirers with memories of how much they simply flat-out liked the man.

DAVID HINCKLEY / HUFFINGTON POST





Tuesday 6/14/16
How The Orlando Sentinel Covered The Massacre


Roger Simmons, director of digital audience at The Sentinel, speaks with reporters during a Facebook Live broadcast

At its peak, the Orlando Sentinel had more than 350 journalists in the newsroom. On Sunday, as it ramped up to cover the nation's deadliest mass shooting, it had about 100. The Tribune Publishing paper still has the largest news organization in Orlando.

The Sentinel isn't new to big, breaking stories, either. Journalists here have covered shuttle explosions, hurricanes, the Casey Anthony trial, the death of Trayvon Martin and the trial of George Zimmerman.

But those stories were covered by a much bigger newsroom.

Sunday's news wasn't just a tragedy for the community but a test for the newsroom to see if it was possible to do good journalism without nearly as many good journalists.

Kristen Hare of Poynter.org picks up the story, Click Here.




Monday 5/16/16
Steve Harvey's Secret For Doing 5 Shows

Of all his media gigs, Harvey says the radio show is the least likely he'd give up.
Getting Hollywood buzz is one thing, but getting Hollywood buzzed is a feat few can pull off. Harvey is one of them, according to AdWeek.

He is the host of four hit TV shows right now—Little Big Shots on NBC, Celebrity Family Feud on ABC (last summer's biggest new series in total viewers and adults 18-49), the syndicated Family Feud and his syndicated daytime talk show, Steve Harvey—with a fifth, an ABC business-reality series tentatively titled Dream Funder, ordered for midseason—in addition to a daily morning radio show.

While networks are finding it tougher than ever to reliably draw audiences, Harvey is churning out one success after another, in a variety of genres and dayparts. Harvey's shows provide a model for networks and advertisers seeking a mass audience. "It has enabled me to cross all genres, all age groups," Harvey explains of his diverse programming. "I've got kids all the way up to grandmothers."

What's his secret?

A combination of relatability and humor, says Rob Mills, svp, alternative series, specials and late-night programming at ABC. "Especially now as the TV landscape gets more and more fractionalized, to have a big broadcast talent like that is just incredibly rare," says Mills. Telegdy, NBC Entertainment's president of alternative and late-night programming, compares Harvey's appeal to that of Jimmy Fallon: "They've got reach, they're relevant and people are happy to see them. I defy you to not start smiling when you see Steve Harvey."

Click Here In Case You Missed It



Thursday 5/12/16
Meet Some Of Country Radio's Most-Beloved Mascots
Once a fairly popular part of a radio station’s brand and culture, mascots have been on the wane in recent years. In fact, in a budget-conscious environment, only a handful of country stations still employ a full-time, salaried mascot. Yet, according to Phyllis Stark writing for Billboard, if you ask the guy (or gal) in the furry suit, it’s not only the best gig in radio, but an invaluable asset to a station’s community relations efforts, even if they sometimes have to deal with hostile drunks, terrified children and even the occasional reluctant recording artist.



Among the country stations with heritage mascots are Cumulus/WIVK Knoxville, Tenn.’s Wivick the Frog; Bristol Broadcasting Co./WXBQ Bristol, Tenn.’s WXBQ Rabbit (sister stations WQBE Charleston, W.Va., and WKYQ Paducah, Ky., also have rabbit mascots, and share the company’s “24 Carrot Country” slogan); and iHeart Media/KNIX Phoenix’s Barrel Boy. Unlike some stations that just throw the mascot costume on the nearest intern, these three employ professionals for whom mascot duties are their primary job.

Click Here In Case Your Missed It




Wednesday 5/4/16
What's Happening At ESPN?

It’s been a tumultuous time for the worldwide leader in sports. In 2015, ESPN lost a number of their best on-air talent, as Bill Simmons, Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, and Keith Olbermann all vacated Bristol University. The company also shut down Grantland, and eliminated three hundred jobs, painting a gloomy picture for the largest sports media operator in the country.

But then 2016 arrived, and writes sports radio consultant/talent coach Jason Barrett, many assumed that the worst for ESPN was in the rear view mirror. Yet aside from the devastation of losing 300 positions, ESPN finds itself in similar territory, dealing with major talent departures once again.

In just four full months of the calendar year, the company has already lost or terminated Skip Bayless, Mike Tirico, Brad Nessler, Robert Smith, Keyshawn Johnson, Curt Schilling, Joe Schad, and Robert Flores. Another talented analyst Trent Dilfer is also expected to depart.

If there’s a media company capable of overcoming these types of losses it’s ESPN. But, when you lose high profile talent consistently, it has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass.

Click Here In Case You Missed It




Monday 5/2/16:

Millennials Outnumber Boomers!  Big Deal!
Dick Taylor
The radio world was all a buzz this week when it was announced that Millennials now out-number Baby Boomers.

Well la-te-da, opines longtime radio broadcast Dich Taylor.  Taylor is currently assistant professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

In his latest blog posting, Taylor explains why that doesn’t really matter,

"Here’s why radio and advertisers shouldn’t be freaking out over the headline that Millennials now out-number Baby Boomers. There may be more of them, but when it comes to discretionary income – the money that buys stuff – Boomers are still your “bank.” Don’t take your eye off the ball.

If Willie Sutton were operating a media company or an advertising agency, he’d be focused on putting his marketing investment where the best R.O.I. (Return On Investment) is, radio and its #1 reach that delivers 93% of Americans every week. It’s the traditional mass media that Boomers grew up with and still use in great numbers. Radio still delivers."

Click Here In Case You Missed It




In the wake of two key departures in January, advertisers and affiliates nationwide are keeping a close watch on the ratings of “The Bob & Tom Show,” as this year proves to be a critical one for the morning show that launched in 1983.

An in-depth article titled "‘Bob & Tom Show’ reaches ratings crossroads" in the Indy Business Journal shows that while its ratings have slipped a bit in the first quarter, the WFBQ 94.7 FM show remains a local powerhouse and doesn’t appear in imminent danger of losing advertising revenue or affiliated stations that carry the morning broadcast.

Despite co-host Bob Kevoian’s retirement and cast member Kristi Lee’s defection, the show, which airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., still maintained a ratings edge over its nearest competitor in the local market in two important categories in March, the most recent rating period.


Tom Griswold, the other half of “Bob & Tom,” along with other main characters, including Chick McGee, remain with the show.

There’s good reason to keep an eye on the show’s performance locally and nationally, industry experts said.

While “The Bob & Tom Show” originated locally and is still produced in Indianapolis on iHeartMedia's Q95, the syndicated show is now its own broad-reaching entity. Indianapolis is just one market of 112, in 38 states, for the show’s producers to be concerned about. The ratings will affect not only how many advertisers the show can attract but also its syndication deals.

Click Here In Case You Missed It






Saturday 4/30/16
Tiny Texas Non-Com Wins Every RTDNA Award In Its Region

For the second year in a row, a public radio station in west Texas is the most-awarded small market radio station in the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. This year, KRTS 93.5 FM, Marfa Public Radio, won in every category awarded in a region that includes Oklahoma and Texas.

The station, founded in 2005 by Tom Michael, has five people (including him) in Marfa and one more in Midland, Texas. Last year, Columbia Journalism Review looked into how the station started and how it's come to thrive.

"It’s like their building and then the nothingness for just miles," said RTDNA's Derrick Hinds. "They’re out there and they’re just doing incredible radio."

KRTS 93.5 FM (33 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Poynter spoke with Michael, who's the general manager, about how the station does what it does with a small staff.

Click Here for five ways Marfa Public Radio is making it work.





Wednesday 4/27/16
Inside Pandora's Plan To Reinvent Itself
Tim Westergren
Plenty has changed since the early days—Pandora has travelled a rocky road. After inventing personalized Internet radio as we know it, Pandora amassed more than 80 million users, went public on the U.S. stock market, quarreled with the music industry, made up with the music industry, acquired a few music startups—and integrated its radio service into 1,700 types of devices along the way.

But there are some notable things Pandora has not done. It hasn’t become a hugely profitable company—most financial quarters, it reports a loss—and its core product has not changed all that dramatically, even as on-demand streaming has taken hold and competition has heated up.

In the coming months, Pandora is getting ready to make some major changes to its product and business model—and it's praying that it all pays off. Tim Westergren faces the task ahead of him.


"It’s crystal clear to me what I should be doing," says Westergren, who replaces Brian McAndrews, who suddenly left the company in late March after two and a half years as CEO. "Both why I should be doing this as a job in the first place and what the most important things to tackle are."

JOHN PAUL TITLOW  / FAST COMPANY



Tuesday 4/26/16
The Talk Radio Split Between Cruz And Trump


Many observers credited Ted Cruz's primary victory in Wisconsin April 5 largely to the harangues of the state's influential cadre of talk radio hosts.

The state's six biggest talkers fiercely resisted the candidacy of Donald Trump, which produced a few testy interviews with the business mogul. Several of these hosts wield significant clout with Wisconsin's conservatives, and their stature and platform provided the #NeverTrump movement with a powerful megaphone.

Yet with Trump securing a big victory last week in New York and his opponents grasping for ways to block him from getting to 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination in the remaining primaries, the question of talk radio's role looms largem writes Brian Rosenwald in an opinion piece for CNN.

Wisconsin aside, is Cruz really the darling of talk radio and will the medium's advocacy prevent Trump from securing the Republican nomination?


In actuality, the campaign has splintered conservatives and talk radio bears the scars of these fissures as would any corner bar in a conservative neighborhood and many conservative households. The unity of Wisconsin talk radio cloaked these divisions.

BRIAN ROSENWALD / CNN



What's The Rush, FCC?

In light of the recent pronouncements from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Obama administration, I am compelled to respond to their notion that the set-top box issue is simply one of expanded competition.


I am in no way against increased competition, particularly for the benefit of the American consumer. However, what the small and multicultural media providers who have weighed in with the FCC — and what my congressional colleagues who sent letters to the FCC in December, including myself  — find alarming is that the FCC appears to be rushing through sweeping rule changes without first examining the unintended consequences and potentially damaging impact that a radical industry shift could have on an already fragile, small and multicultural media market and its ecosystem.

REP. YVETTE CLARK (D-NY) / THE HILL





Monday 4/25/16
Millennial Media Consumption: What We Really Know



Millennials aren’t much different than the general population. Sure, they spend more time on their phones checking Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, but they still like their traditional media.

In fact, Millennials are the generation that listen to AM/FM radio the most. According to Nielsen, nine out of 10 Millennials tune in to radio every week. Radio is and continues to be the centerpiece of audio in America and is essential to any marketing plan to reach Millennials.

PIERRE BOUVARD & ROBERT PETERSON / WESTWOOD ONE BLOG



Radio's 20 Percent
Digital is the present and the future.  But so few of today’s radio sellers can truly claim to understand the space, much less communicate its value to advertisers.  Ask any sales manager and she’ll tell you that if she’s lucky, 20% of her sellers truly have their heads wrapped around digital. Despite the fact that RAB revenue data show that online assets from websites to mobile to podcasts are where the dollars are headed, radio sales organizations are still caught up in selling “spots and dots” –  :60s, :30s, and :10s.

PAUL JACOBS / JACOBS MEDIA BLOG


10 Cool Things You Should Know About Using Your Voice


“You’ve got a good voice, you ever thought about getting into radio?” That’s how it starts, and the next thing you know, you’re talking 8 hours a day nonstop. When you make a living with your voice, you try to learn as much as you can about your instrument. I’ve worked with vocal coaches, I’ve read tons of articles, watched a million videos, and absorbed as much as I can about the human voice.

Here’s what I’ve learned that will help you.

RICH VAN SLYKE / FMQB





Wednesday 4/20/16
The Evolution of Mad Dog Sports Radio



In society, we use terms like mainstream and underground to describe popular and unfamiliar trends. To those working in the terrestrial radio business, local AM and FM radio represents the norm. An audio platform like SiriusXM satellite radio is viewed as unfamiliar territory because it requires a cost, and leaving the traditional radio space to hear it.

But that doesn’t seem to be an issue for consumers who seek great content and minimal disruptions. The platform offers some of the most popular media personalities in the industry, and has over thirty million people subscribing to hear it.

JASON BARRETT BLOG





Tuesday 4/19/16
Will radio find a home in your next car?





Today’s teens and twentysomethings turn to their phone for audio, not their radio. What kind of future is there for businesses built on a terrestrial radio signal?

LAURA HAZARD OWEN  /  NIEMAN LAB





Monday 4/18/16
A Diagnosis For Radio

Applying my business school aphorism, it’s clear that PPM rewards stations that can engineer a great five-minute block of programming, and radio stations continually optimize to win the game that they have been handed. So, over time, spot loads have increased steadily, but because stations are still “winning” those five great minutes, the other ten get obscured. It’s not radio’s fault—again, they are optimizing for the rules of the game they have been given.

TOM WEBSTER BLOG



Heart of rock 'n' roll still beats for Huey Lewis & The News
The pop music landscape has changed tremendously since Huey Lewis & The News topped the album and singles charts.

Back then, radio was everything, Lewis remembers, and his band was fighting to stay relevant after its first two records sold modestly. In 1983, the act dropped “Sports,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard top albums chart and spawned five top 20 hits en route to selling about 10 million copies.
These days, album sales are generally light across the board, and radio doesn’t have the pull of free streaming services, social media and YouTube, where the royalty payments are low to nonexistent.

TAD DICKENS  /  THE ROANOKE TIMES



Tuesday 4/12/16
Is Broadcast Radio Doomed?
Conventional radio and television broadcasting are doomed, eventually. Or so one might reasonably assume from reading “British, Bold, Creative,” the BBC’s broadcast charter proposal for the next decade of its mandate. The BBC’s 10-year broadcast charter is up for renewal in 2016. The proposal is the Beeb’s funding pitch to Parliament.

JAMES CARELESS / RADIO WORLD



The Flawed Pandora White Paper
There’s no doubt that there are more audio options in the car than ever before and we were not at all surprised when Edison concluded that over 90% of the population listens to Broadcast Radio while driving. We were intrigued to discover however, how narrow the in-car usage gap was between those streaming of AM/FM programming in-car (36%) and those streaming Internet Radio in-car (42%).

BOB McCURDY / RADIO INK




Monday 4/11/16
Mentoring Talent
Dick Taylor
The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) meets every year in Las Vegas concurrently with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual convention. In forty-plus years of being a professional broadcaster I never attended an NAB convention. In six years of being a university professor, I’ve attended six conventions. I know, like that’s insane, right?

This year I was asked to serve on the panel about mentoring talent. This panel was not only selected take place by peer-review but I’ve been told was ranked number 4 out of all the panel proposals that were accepted for this year’s meeting.


My section on panel will deal with mentoring college students to be air personalities. Here’s what I’m going to say.

DICK TAYLOR MEDIA BLOG



Readers: It’s time for big radio to bust up
Complain the very largest players have severely damaged the medium

MEDIA LIFE





Friday 4/8/16
Is Nielsen's PPM Making Radio Unlistenable?
As a consequence of stronger and more robust encoding, the encoding tones seem to be much more apparent. The sound of the tell-tale buzz-saw sound of encoding is now a regular feature of some encoded radio stations.

RICHARD HARKER RADIO INSIGHTS





Tuesday 4/5/16
Radio Industry’s Fake Outrage Over KGO
People are outraged.  People are sad.  People are in shock.  People are now, finally, speaking up over the execution of one of America’s former great and “heritage” stations, KGO-AM in San Francisco.

Why now?  What happened last week to KGO has been happening to radio stations, personalities, talk hosts, support personnel and news staffs for the past 20 years.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG






Monday 4/4/16
PPM Missed 1.4 Million Quarter-Hours of Radio...Sorry :(
We have to take our hat off to Nielsen. It takes a lot of balls chutzpah to spend years dismissing concerns that PPM wasn’t capturing all radio listening, announcing the 13% increase, and declaring, "There is a reason Nielsen is so optimistic about audio."

Huh?

Yes, it’s great news that radio ratings are up, but radio has lived for nearly a decade chained to a flawed ratings methodology that has hurt radio by undercounting its listeners.

RICHARD HARKER RESEARCH BLOG



Out, Damn'd Spot!
When I read about former CBS Radio President Dan Mason speaking at Radio Ink’s Hispanic Radio Conference in March about how many radio spots should run in a typical hour of radio programming; his answer was 8 to 10 ads. Whereas the typical radio station these days is running 14, 16, 17 (or more) minutes of ads every hour and Mason says that’s probably too much.

DICK TAYLOR BLOG



Wednesday 3/30/16
Trump vs. Cruz Creates a Headache for Talk Radio Hosts
Long a powerful and potent agitator of right-wing politics, conservative radio hosts are one of the few forces that can sway the opinions of the Trump electorate. And with Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz now tearing each other — and the party — apart, the biggest names in the field are delicately navigating how to address Mr. Trump’s latest provocations without alienating listeners.

NICK CORASANITI / NEW YORK TIMES






Tuesday 3/29/16
3 Major Players Could Distrupt The Streaming Music Industry
While it might still be young, the streaming music industry is already a crowded space. A few leaders have been identified (Spotify, Pandora , Apple AAPL -0.41% Music, iHeartRadio, and so on), and many other smaller competitors have either been purchased or have shuttered, while only a few others still hang on.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for any new entrants to survive, but that doesn’t mean some won’t continue to try. There are at least three companies that are working on gaining ground in the business, and they all have the resources to potentially threaten those that have already made a name for themselves.

HUGH McINTYRE / FORBES






Monday 3/28/16
Radio is Going to HAL
When computers were introduced into radio, I thought it would be great because it would allow air talent to spend more time working on show prep, interacting with the listeners and being focused on their show and not about cuing up records, pulling carts etc. For small market radio stations, it meant that air talent would have an engineer just like the big city radio stations had always had for their air talent. But that’s not what happened.

DICK TAYLOR BLOG



Radio’s Bogeyman
Is Pandora hurting radio, are they expanding the audio space, or is their net impact something altogether different?   For clues, we turn to television where disruption may be the most-used term in conference room vocabularies these days.

FRED JACOBS MEDIA BLOG





Wednesday 3/23/16
Debate Over Media's 'Unfair' Attention To Trump Is Hogwash
The conversation seems to center primarily on Trump’s omnipresence on TV newscasts and talk shows -- a position he assumed almost as soon as he announced his candidacy last June. He’s been omnipresent in every other form of news media as well -- in print, online, you name it.

ADAM BUCKMAN  / TV NEWS DAILY




Monday 3/21/16
Hogan Verdict Raises Privacy Issues In The Digital Age
It's hard to think of a case with details more spectacular: A videotape featuring wrestling star Hulk Hogan having sex in a canopy bed with the young wife of a good friend — a guy whose legal name is Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.


Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sues the website that published portions of the tape, the New York-based gossip site Gawker.com. A Florida jury deliberates just six hours before ruling in Bollea's favor and awarding him a staggering $115 million in damages.

Aside from offering jaw-dropping details, the case also raises crucial issues about privacy in the age of Internet phenomena such as revenge porn.

CAROLINA A. MIRANDA . LOS ANGELES TIMES



Radio Doesn't Get R-E-S-P-E-C-T
People learn of your product or business over-the-air and then make a mental note to find out more later. They don’t need to remember your phone number (most can’t anyway, so why do radio ads still include them?). They don’t need to remember much of anything but your name. And the next opportunity they have to go online they Google your name to learn more. And Google gets the credit.

DICK TAYLOR MEDIA BLOG



Is NPR Crazy? Yes, Like a Fox
NPR’s decision to avoid podcast/NPR One promotion on-air looks like the network is making nice-nice with its hundreds of paying customers, er, affiliates, and in so doing being foolish when it comes to their own digital prospects.

MARK RAMSEY MEDIA BLOG





Friday 3/18/16


If a clown is elected president, don't blame the news media
The driving force of this election year is not Trump or Sanders, it is the angry, energized voters who have propelled these unconventional candidacies into strong contention

DAVID HORSEY / LA TIMES





Monday 3/14/16
Dream Along With Me, My Plan to Save AM Radio
The clear channel signal designation goes back to the Radio Act of 1927 and the creation of the Federal Radio Commission (FRC). The FRC operated under the belief that it would be better for America to have fewer radio stations of higher quality than lots of radio stations that were mediocre.


The FCC, mainly through deregulation, has lost that mission. For broadcasters it meant less oversight – which they didn’t mind – but it also meant that the FCC wasn’t looking out for their interests when it came to policing things that might interfere with the AM broadcast band. You see the FCC regulates (or not) those things that now are the bane of AM radio. Things that, like Mother Nature’s lightning, interfere with AM radio signals – light bulbs, power lines, computers etc.

Read More Now...

DICK TAYLOR BLOG



AM “Revitalization” Destroying AM Radio
It’s going on three years since the Federal Communication Commission (F.C.C.) announced plans for “AM Revitalization.”  Then, late last year, the long-awaited AM Radio Revitalization Report and Order was finally issued by the F.C.C.  Included are numerous items, most of which will create additional interference on the AM broadcast band.  One item allows AM stations to operate with higher power at night.  The idea is to help lower power local stations provide a better signal so it can better serve its local market with meaningful local programming (more on this later).

Read More Now...

DARRYL PARKS BLOG



Monday 3/7/16
Tough Love For Radio
Darryl Parks — former Clear Channel employee, former WLW 700 AM Cincinnati programmer/talk host and current culture blogger — can look at radio from both sides now, to paraphrase Judy Collins. Radio World spoke to him about the state of our industry.

RADIO WORLD 




Tuesday 03/01/16
The Day the “Dumbest Idea” Invaded the Radio Industry
Twenty years ago a last minute insertion into the Telcom Act of 1996 basically removed the ownership caps on radio, there was – as Paul Harvey used to intone – ‘the rest of the story’ to be told.

DICK TAYLOR BLOG



Charlie Tuna RIP
The radio industry lost another great. Charlie Tuna has passed away. He was 71. For generations growing up in Los Angeles, Charlie Tuna was a welcomed part of our lives.

KEN LEVINE BLOG



Wednesday 2/24/16
Are We Killing the Golden Goose?
Radio broadcasters probably saw the moral of the fable being the more geese you own, the more spots you add to the hour, the more effective your R.O.I. (Return On Investment) will be. But ironically, it was the principle of “Less Is More” that in the end rules the day.

DICK TAYLOR BLOG



Thursday 01/28/16
Day Of Reckoning
In a time of limited radio signals, radio could control its inventory and increase stakeholder ROI by raising rates as it increased the size of its audience. That’s now a memory.

DICK TAYLOR BLOG



The NFL Protects Its Golden Goose
In addition to the monies it receives annually for the right to broadcast the Super Bowl, the NFL receives more than $1 billion in income from licensing the use of the SUPER BOWL trademark and logo.  Not surprisingly, it is extremely aggressive in protecting its golden goose from anything it views as unauthorized efforts to trade off the goodwill associated with the game.

MITCHEL STABBE / BROADCAST LAW




Wednesday 12/23/15
Here's Why Stations go all-Christmas in December
Maybe the first time you hear Mariah Carey belt out “All I Want for Christmas is You” on the radio each season, it brings a smile to your face. But then maybe you hear it a 10th time, then a 50th.

Maybe you’re the radio host who has to play it all December long.

And maybe you would rather not.

MAURA JUDKIS / THE WASHINGTON POST








Saturday 12/12/15
Five Things PDs Should Start Doing
Programmers should be doing these 5 things, if not already.

VALERIE GELLER  /  FRED JACOBS BLOG






Friday 12/11/15
Why AM Radio Is Facinating



I have written about AM Radio before on this blog as I am a child of AM’s golden years. Yet even today in 2015, I am still in awe of its capability and here’s one reason why!

KEN FOOTE, Director of Programming KTVT, KTXA / CBS/DFW BLOG


Radio Will Survive Dashboard Clash
The so-called battle for the automotive dashboard is not a zero sum game and radio will win. Let’s consider the latest infotainment insurgencies.

ROGER LANCTOT  / FOR RAIN NEWS





Monday 12/7/15



How long is too long to wait for music on the radio?
On my way to work a few months ago, I was driving the other car, meaning the one without satellite radio. I was on my own, trying to function in the world of terrestrial radio, basically whatever I could find on my push-button radio.

Many years ago, radio stations played three or four songs then a few minutes of commercials then back to the music. Then, sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s radio consultants had an idea. They decided to stop the music once or twice an hour and play 8 to 12 minutes of commercials. The stopsets have now become an industry standard for the big broadcast companies that own hundreds of stations across the country.

WHAT THE STUDENTS SAY
160 students, age 18 to 24, at Meredith College in Raleigh were asked about their listening habits:
  • 136 students said when commercials come on in the car, they turn to another station.
  • One said 9-10 minutes of commercials was reasonable; the rest preferred much less time with a majority, 80, say 1-2 minutes.
  • 115 said they had quit listening to traditional radio because of the commercial load
DOUG SPERO / THE RALEIGH NEWS-OBSERVER





Friday 12/4/15



Big radio, it’s time to get over Pandora
In the early Greek myth, dating back before Hesiod, Pandora opens a jar and unleashes all manner of evils upon the world.

Leap forward a couple of millennia to 2005, and dear Pandora does it again, this time in the form of a streaming radio service that’s left many in the radio industry wheezing in a protracted state of panic.

Big radio’s response has been to attack this interloper as, well, not really radio, while further stoking fears that the menace of Pandora worsens by the day.

MEDIA LIFE






Thursday 12/3/15



How AM Talk Can Survive
During the past two years a majority of AM talk stations have suffered dramatic declines. A shocking number of maximum power AM's are delivering 1 shares of audience.  Other Talk stations that once dominated their cities in audience performance are now at half the audience levels they earned months ago.

Consultant Walt Sabo offers the first five urgent steps that, when put into action, will halt cume erosion and will start to grow the business. These actions are based on the continued success my company's Talk station clients are enjoying.


WALT SABO / BLOG




Saturday 11/28/15
7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities
If you’re on the air or a programmer responsible for those who are, there are 7 deadly sins that should be purged from your life. Many shows are guilty of all 7. Most commit several on a regular basis.

Confession is good for your soul. Fortunately, there is forgiveness.

TRACY JOHNSON / TRACY JOHN MEDIA GROUP






Thursday 11/12/15
Paul McCartney: Stories Behind The Beatles' No. 1 Hits

The rock legend tells Billboard the origin stories -- some moving, some bawdy -- behind eight of The Beatles' record-breaking 20 No. 1 hits.

ROB TANNENBAUM / BILLBOARD






Wednesday 11/04/15
How Talk Radio Hurt The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
With the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel being absorbed into the Gannett Company’s vast media monoculture, it marks the end of a 178-year era of Milwaukee having at least one locally-controlled daily paper. Many factors figured into this, but it would be a mistake to overlook the impact of talk radio. It was almost a case of assisted suicide, as the company for years allowed its newspaper’s clout in the community to be undermined by attacks from its own employees working for its radio station.

PAT SMALL / URBAN MILLWAUKEE.COM





Monday 11/2/15
Elvis Duran: Hosts "More Important Than Ever"
Streaming music services may have stiffened competition for radio’s share of ear but they’ve done nothing to diminish the role of on-air personalities. In fact, the opposite is true, according to Elvis Duran, radio’s most listened-to top 40 morning man, in an exclusive interview with Inside Radio.

“It makes us radio hosts more important than ever,” says the “Z100” WHTZ, New York-based Duran of the syndicated “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show.”

“Even though we have a whole world of music at our fingertips, having a human connect you to the music is still very important. We are the people who add the human connectivity to music and musicians.”

INTERVIEW / INSIDE RADIO


When radio went on the air in the Triple Cities

An account of early-years radio activity in Binghamton, NY.

GERALD SMITH / PRESSCONNECTS.COM





Wednesday 10/29/15
Fake scenarios don’t come with a warning label
Do listeners know that many "bits" presented on radio are fake?

RICHARD WAGONER / LA DAILY NEWS






Tuesday 10/2015
17 Questions for the FCC About AM Class A Protections
How far should the FCC go to protect “AM anchor stations” in the United States while trying to help the band’s other operators?

PAUL McLANE / RADIO WORLD



Nielsen’s Answer To Voltair
The dueling presentations of Nielsen and Telos/Voltair leave many, many unanswered questions.

JAYE ALBRIGHT / BREAKFAST BLOG




Saturday 10/17/15
Laurie DeYoung Reflects on 30 Years at Baltimore's WPOC
While a 30-year radio career seems more rare than ever, three decades at one station is even more unusual, not to mention that WPOC has been housed in the same physical location the entire time. The building is currently being renovated, and DeYoung jokes, "It's about time."

PHYLLIS STARK /  BILLBOARD




Tuesday 10/13/15
WSJ Blames Talk Radio For GOP Infighting
The editorial page of The Wall Street Journal has a big problem with talk radio.
Once again, the media’s leading flacks for illegal aliens and the non-Republican wing of the Republican party are pointing the finger at Rush Limbaugh et al for the ongoing turmoil in the GOP.

HOWIE CARR / BREITBART


Why Is Nielsen Suddenly In A Hurry?
Researcher Richard Harker wonders why the ratings firm is suddenly in such a hurry to install the new firmware after years of delay. “It has been eight years since PPM rolled out and prior to Voltair there had not been a single upgrade to the encoder,” writes Harker in the latest post to the company’s Radio InSights blog.

RICHARD HARKER / RADIO INSIGHTS









Wednesday 10/07/15
Voltair vs Nielsen Smack-Down 
Media research veteran Richard Harker was in the audience for two highly anticipated panels at last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Atlanta — one in which Nielsen unveiled its promised PPM enhancements, and the other an update from 25 Seven Systems on Voltair, where version 2.0 of the unit debuted. Harker — a longtime critic of Nielsen’s PPM methodology — offers his review of both sessions in a new post to Harker Research’s RadioInSights blog.

RICHARD HARKER / RADIO IN SIGHTS BLOG



Cumulus Media a dark cloud on the radio industry
The current ownership model for radio stations in which a few corporations own a huge number of stations in each market has been documented — here and elsewhere — to be a dismal failure.

The promised cost savings from efficient operations of “clusters” of stations never materialized, leading owners to cut other costs such as the money spent on personalities and staff, the very people that made stations sound great.

RICHARD WAGONER / LA DAILY NEWS



Friday 10/02/15



Can Cumulus overcome the Dickeys?
For Lew Dickey to lose control of the company he created in 1997 (and built into the nation’s second largest radio operator) was painful enough. But for the news to break on the eve of the NAB gathering at the Marriott Marquis in his own hometown — just six miles up the road from Cumulus Media headquarters — must have been unbearable.

ROBERT FEDER / THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE








Tuesday 9/8/15
We Never Called It Content

Nobody turned on Steele, Lujack, Morgan, Dorman, Lundy, Brine, Steele and the rest of radio’s iconic personalities and said, “I’m going to get me some great content.” We turned on our favorite radio station because the people behind the microphone were members of our family. We enjoyed spending time with them. We knew that what we were experiencing, they were experiencing right along with us. They were local & live.

DICK TAYLOR BLOG







Thursday 9/3/15
How Congress Can Fix The FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is one of the most important regulatory agencies in the U.S. government, and perhaps in the world. With statutory authority over the nation's communications apparatus, systems and devices, the FCC holds the power to approve or deny mergers; assess liability; levy fines and penalties; bring suit; award licenses and contracts; allocate spectrum; conduct hearings and inquiries; promulgate and interpret rules; establish standards and codes; and exercise a wide range of regulatory actions affecting television, radio, telephone, wireless, mobile, Internet, cable, satellite and international telecom services in the multibillion dollar communications and information technology sector.

Despite all of its power, the FCC is broken.

ADONIS HOFFMAN / THE HILL






Monday 8/31/15
Why I Am Glad I Got Out of Radio

Shotgun Tom Kelly with Ken Levine
What few precious on air personalities we still have are quickly dwindling. And there’s no one new coming up because who in their right mind would want to begin a career in radio now? That’s like hoping to go into the typewriter manufacturing business.

There were a few more casualties last week. KRTH in Los Angeles, a CBS station, after reaching ratings heights with its ‘80s oldies format, just fired three major reasons why people listened to the station. Shotgun Tom Kelly got left go after 15 years or more. The guy has a f#$Xing star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also dumped were longtime nighttime jock, Christina Kelley (a wonderful talent), and radio icon Charlie Tuna.

Shotgun was given some bullshit title of “ambassador” and will make personal appearances but that’s just nonsense. He won’t be on the air doing afternoons anymore. And by the way, he sounds as good now as he ever did.  Read more.....

KEN LEVINE / PERSONAL BLOG

(Editor's Note: Ken Levine is a writer, director and producer in the television and film industry, and an author. Levine has worked on a number of television series, including M*A*S*H, Cheers (for which he shared Outstanding Comedy Series honors at the 35th Primetime Emmy Awards), Frasier, The Simpsons, Wings, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker and Dharma and Greg. Along with his writing partner David Isaacs, he created the series Almost Perfect.


Levine has also been a radio and TV play-by-play commentator for Major League Baseball games, having worked with the Baltimore Orioles (1991), Seattle Mariners (1992–94, 2011-2012), and San Diego Padres (1995–96). From 2008 to 2010, he co-hosted the KABC Dodger Talk radio call-in program after every Los Angeles Dodgers game, as well as the station's weekly Sunday Night Sports Final program.)



The Titanic Disaster Pushed Uncle Sam to “Rule the air”


The tragedy has a connection to another wireless story that has almost been forgotten—the dawn of modern radio license regulation. Historical narratives vary on this subject. Even without the Titanic disaster, the government would have eventually asserted authority over wireless frequencies. But the awful event accelerated the process and gave it a reference point in the public mind. Four months after the sinking, private American wireless radio operators had to be licensed by Uncle Sam.

MATTHEW LASAR / ARS TECHNICA




Tuesday 8/25/15



Exciting Future For Radio
Consumers want their radio content when they want it. This has always been a no-brainer for radio broadcasters – radio is wireless and portable. Listeners can tune-in their favorite stations whenever they desire, as long as they are in the coverage area of the station.

JOHN MARINO / NAB LABS BLOG






Friday 8/7/2015
Voltair in the Top 10 Markets
According to multiple sources, virtually every Major Broadcast Company that is Non-Hispanic and Non-Religious in the Top 10 Markets has a Voltair on every Broadcast Facility, although this might come to a surprise to some of the Program Directors in those markets, as at least 2 Companies have installed Voltairs without the knowledge of their Program Directors (and you think they will tell Nielsen and not their PD)?

RANDY KABRICH BLOG





Monday 8/3/2015
3 Most Powerful Missing From Radio Exec List
This week, radio executives will get their much-anticipated issue of The 40 Most Powerful People in radio issue. Hate to say it, but the team at Radio Ink, while diligently assembling a list of the top radio executives, has missed several of the biggest names and biggest companies in the business.
Tim Cook, Daniel Ek, and Tim Westergren arguably are doing more to change radio than just about anyone else. Big companies including Apple, Spotify, and Pandora clearly want in on the business of audio. That is an affirmation that radio is alive, and attractive.


While the pages of various radio publications are often peppered with comments from radio’s leaders about how the new entrants are “not in the radio business,” it’s doubtful that listeners see or care about the distinction.

 STEVE GOLDSTEIN CEO OF AMPLIFI MEDIA / RADIO INK




Monday 7/20/15
Beautiful Lobby… Empty Studios
Dom Theodore
The big companies have their priorities completely backward. Instead of building an empty palace, how about investing into talent and talent development?

Maybe skip embossing the elevator doors with the corporate logo, and instead give the station some marketing dollars?

DOM THEODORE / RADIO AND MEDIA BLOG




Tuesday 7/7/15

When Your World Is A Morning zoo, What Does "On Brand" Mean?
What is it that someone thinks they’re getting when they follow their local radio station on Facebook? Maybe they’re chasing the spirit of that station: the patter between DJs, the contests, the attitude behind the cartoon lightning bolts or lipstick smacks that make up stations’ logos. And, in that sense, maybe a video of a panda is very much on-brand.

CHRIS CHAFIN / FAST COMPANY



The Noise About Voltair
Like talking politics at a dinner party, this topic about radio ratings on steroids is something that many broadcasters are tied up in knots about. And for good reason.

FRED JACOBS BLOG








Friday 7/3/2015
Media Hide Facts, Call Everyone Else a Liar
When Donald Trump said something not exuberantly enthusiastic about Mexican immigrants, the media's response was to boycott him. One thing they didn't do was produce any facts showing he was wrong.

ANN COULTER / TOWN HALL.COM





Wednesday 7/1/15
Apple Music first reactions are mostly positive, a little confused
Apple launched its new Apple Music streaming service Tuesday. A $9.99 monthly subscription ($14.99 for a family plan) gets you unlimited streaming of almost all of the iTunes library, curated playlists, suggestions and tailored recommendations, a real-life radio station and a mini music social network.

AMANDA SCHUPAK  /  CBS NEWS





Did Nielsen Kill The Radio Star?
Industry pros are asking if Nielsen botched radio ratings — and inadvertently forced stations off the air.


CARL BIALIK / FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM


Monday 6/29/15
Let’s Be Done With the Confederate Flag in Country Music
It is time for country music artists, labels, vendors and fans to all stand together in rejecting the anachronistic symbolism of the Confederate flag.

This is a historic, watershed moment for American culture, and where someone stands on this issue is going to be one of those legacy-defining things further down the line.

STERLING WHITAKER / A TASTE OF COUNTRY




FCC Aprroves Same Sex Cable Connections
In a move being touted by proponents as “ground breaking” and by critics as “the end of the world,” the Federal Communications Commission has announced approval of same sex cable connections.

Cable rights activists vowed to get the measure approved through congressional legislative channels should the FCC not take prompt action.

FCC Commisioner Roberto De Stankhousen announced today’s decision as members of the press and the cable connection rights group “Friends and Users of Cable Compatibility” gathered in the Rayburn Office building lobby.

HUMOR BY HAM WBORUR / HAMKINKS.COM




Wednesday 6/24/15
Taylor Swift turns Apple around, but what about radio?



When Taylor Swift called out Apple's new streaming service for planning to pay no royalties to recording artists while users were enjoying a three-month free trial, the Interwebs practically shook from all the heads nodding.

So, when is Swift going to call out radio for doing the same thing, day in and day out?

JON HEALEY /LOS ANGELES TIMES





Tuesday 6/23/15
The Rise and Fall of Easy Listening
A look at the marketing and mockery of a genre on its 70th birthday.

Found now largely on satellite radio stations, easy-listening music has a long history that dates back 70 years to the end of World War II, when the government and the music industry sought to help returning soldiers relax as they rejoined families and society. The first easy-listening album was released to widespread popularity at the end of May 1945, and enjoyed strong sales almost immediately.

MARC MYERS / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (PAYWALL)






Friday 6/19/15
‘Tomatoes’ Give Country Its Bite
Keith Hill
Country’s long-familiar war on women has reached fever pitch in recent weeks, following some comments by Keith Hill, a country radio consultant, in the trade publication Country Aircheck. “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out,” he said, citing data that suggested that female listeners — country radio’s bread-and-butter demographic — preferred to hear male artists.

“Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad,” he added, concluding with metaphorical flourish, “The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”

Wouldn’t you know it, the tomatoes got even redder after these remarks.

JON CARAMANICA /THE NEW YORK TIMES





Thursday 6/18/15
Can NextRadio app help make radio relevant?
NextRadio President Paul Brenner said radio has to deliver more than just an audio signal to be compelling for an audience that spends a lot of time looking at their mobile devices.

"Younger listeners are the ones who coin things as cool or not," he said. "If radio wants to reach them, it has to be interactive."

STEPHEN BATTAGLIO / LOSN ANGELES TIMES



Podcasting Blossoms, but in Slow Motion
Is podcasting in the middle of a long boom or a short bubble? The future of radio, a medium already being buffeted by streaming music, may be riding on the answer.

FARHAD MANJOO / THE NEW YORK TIMES





Wednesday 6/17/15
There’s “Excitement” Over Limbaugh’s New Stations
A number of people seem to be “excited” about Rush Limbaugh’s new radio homes in Indianapolis and Boston.  I just don’t believe Rush is.


DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG






Tuesday 6/16/15
AM Radio: 'Doing Nothing..is a significant risk'
Radio Talk consultant Wal Sabo offers five hard step to revilat
Today AM stations are losing money, have diminishing audience and have nothing to risk except by—doing nothing. Doing nothing is a significant risk.  Talk consultant Walt Sabo offers five hard step to AM growth.

WALT SABO /  LINKED-IN POSTING









Wednesday 6/10/15
50 years ago: ‘Big WAYS’ radio splashed into Charlotte

In 1965 Stan and Sis Kaplan swept into Charlotte from Boston and bought a last-place station at 610 AM.  Big WAYS launched that spring with the high-energy Top 40 format, then an alien sound in the Carolinas.

MARK WASHBURN  / CHARLOTEE OBSERVER






Friday 6/5/15
Art Laboe Talks About His Return To L-A Airwaves
Art Laboe
It's been a few months since "The Art Laboe Connection" was dropped during a programming shift that turned Hot 92 into Real 92.3, leaving Los Angeles radio listeners without the host's generation-spanning mix of love songs, upbeat jams and heartfelt dedications.

As of this Sunday, however, the void on the radio dial is no more: Laboe returns to the airwaves of the city that made him a radio icon.

This time around, fans can catch the DJ on hip-hop station 93.5 KDAY.

LIZ OHANESIAN / L-A WEEKLY


How Streaming Services Are Remaking The Pop Charts
or roughly half a century, the Billboard Hot 100 — America's hit barometer — underwent constant change as it accommodated all the new ways Americans consumed popular music.

And yet, in a larger sense, for the first 50 years or so, it didn't change much at all.

CHRIS MOLANPHY / NPR



Monday 6/1/15
FCC Needs A Broadcast Attitude Adjustment
Instead of looking at broadcasting as a antiquated service that should be stripped for spectrum, the FCC needs to start seeing it for what it is — an elegantly simple and inexpensive means of keeping every citizen in the national conversation. Instead of imposing burdensome new rules or tightening up restrictive old rules, the FCC should look for ways to lighten the regulatory load and strengthen the medium.

HARRY A. JESSELL / TV NEWS CHECK


Inside The KYW Radio Newsroom
Q&A withSteve Butler, director of news and programming at Newsradio KYW 1060 AM, Philadelphia.  About a year ago, KYW’s team joined its CBS TV brethren in a combined newsroom. Now, sometimes to avoid duplicative efforts, the radio reporters and TV types might do a story for the other’s platform. “Anything we can do to make [news coverage] more intense is only good for us,” says Butler, who also holds a vice president title with CBS Corp.’s all-news radio stations.

AGNES VARGHESE / AMERICAN JOURNALISM REVIEW






Thursday 5/28/15
The Business of Being Rush Limbaugh
After news broke about the Rush Limbaugh Show getting kicked to the curb by WRKO-AM in Boston, Nielsen radio market #10, I received about a dozen emails asking when I was going to comment.  So, here goes.

DARRYL PARKS /MEDIA BLOG




Wednesday 5/20/15
The Distraction of Programmatic
Blogs and speeches covering all forms of media are obsessed with programmatic spot buying. Most people reading about it do not have the guts to say, “What the hell is programmatic buying?”

WALT SABO / MEDIA VILLAGE


Radio Is Not Responsible For Music's Business Challenges
The relationship between radio, the music industry and performing artists has been more than 80 years in the making. That’s billions in royalty payments and hundreds of thousands of private contracts built around the current rules, not to mention the value to scores and scores of artists who have become famous through radio play.

PEGGY BINZEL / FOR THE DAILY CALLER




Thursday 5/14/15
How to Cover Breaking News at the Worst Possible Time
This week’s horrific derailment of an Amtrak Northeast Regional train just north of Philadelphia was an object lesson in why broadcasters MUST be prepared to spring into action at any moment.

HOWARD B. PRICE / RADIOINFO.COM







Wednesday 5/13/15
How Ryan Seacrest Built an Empire
As the host with the most, in every measurable way, Seacrest is the only true media mogul of our time whose entire kingdom is predicated on being deferential. For all we know, he’s as avaricious as Donald Trump, but as long as we can spot him on a red carpet, having to wave down Brad and Angelina like everybody else -- if not necessarily wave quite as hard -- he’ll always be far more the Everyman than a Machiavelli.

CHRIS WILLMAN  / BILLBOARD





Friday 05/08/2015
Is the Long War Between Radio & Record Biz About to End?
It's just like old times. In a skirmish nearly a century old, the broadcast radio and recording industries are squaring off once again, over master recording performance rights.

ED CHRISTMAN / BILLBOARD


Is Drudge the second most influential man in America? 
It is a debatable proposition that might well be true. More than any single person in American politics besides the president, he determines the content of debate in our national discourse on an hourly basis.

BRENT BUDOWSKY / THE HILL



Wednesday 05/06/15
The Disease Killing Radio
The moment that I heard the answer, I knew we were doomed.

I remember asking a GM at a brand new CHR station that I was working with to define what ratings success looked like… what would be a good rank P 18-34 to define success. The GM said “I’d be happy if the station got into the top 5.” Top 5? Really?

DOM THEODORE / RADIO AND MEDIA BLOG






Tuesday 05/05/15
Why Station Simulcasts Failing to Compete on Phones?
In his first post in a series, Larry Rosin discussed the data that indicate that radio simulcasts are not performing well in the competition for online audio.  In the second post, he focused more narrowly on the mobile environment, where radio station simulcasts are proving to be even less competitive with ‘pureplays’ such as Pandora, Spotify, and others.

Today, Rosin lists all the reasons he think this is happening.


LARRY ROSIN / THE INFINITE DIAL





Thursday 04/30/15



Celebrating 50 years of Boss Radio
If your radio seems a little happier this week, perhaps it is celebrating. This is the week, 50 years ago, that KHJ (930 AM) set the radio world on fire with a Top 40 format called Boss Radio.

RICHARD WAGONER / L-A DAILY NEWS


How the Media Covered the Baltimore Riots
National and local journalists converged on Baltimore Monday to report on the violence that erupted after the funeral for Freddie Gray, a black Baltimore resident who died from injuries sustained while in police custody less than two weeks ago. Their coverage became part of the story as the nation and world focused on their images, stories, videos and commentary

EICHENSEHR and POPPER / AMERICAN JOURNALISM REVIEW






Thursday 4/16/2015
Why Musicians Want Radio Stations to Start Paying Them
Music sales’ continued decline has forced performing artists and their record labels to look to radio as a potential new source of revenue — and they want Congress to help make it happen.

VICTOR LUCKERSON / TIME





Thursday 4/9/2015
Consumers Still Want AM/FM Radios In Their Cars
Despite the technological advances that are making the car a digital hub on wheels, the consumer’s love affair with AM/FM radio remains. The numbers of radio listeners are staggering. More Americans listen to AM/FM radio each week than use Facebook.

CHRISTOPHER VERSACE / FORBES


Consider a New Way to Combat Pirate Radio Stations
pirate radio participants are similar to outlaws who rob a retail store and then sell the stolen inventory online.

FCC COMMISSIONER MICHAEL O'RIELY/  BLOG





Friday 4/3/15
Radio, Interrupted
Listeners tune to programming for entertainment, information, news and inspiration. Commercials are interruptions to that content. If your commercials sound like commercials, listeners probably will ignore them. If you can make sound them less like commercials, your chances of results increase. - See more at: http://www.radioworld.com/article/radio-interrupted/274993#sthash.c7Wig1iI.dpuf

JEFFRY HEDQUIST / RADIO WORLD




Monday 3/30/15
To Save Journalism, We Need To Kill Chinese Walls
There’s no doubt that journalism in crisis.  Great institutions like The New York Times and The Washington Post, once fantastically profitable, now struggle to stay afloat.  News bureaus, both international and local, are being drawn down as budgets are cut to the bone.

GREG SATELL / FORBES




Thursday 3/26/15
Inside The Battle for Boston’s Country Music Soul
A brash radio newcomer, WBWL/The Bull, takes on a legacy station, WKLB, spurring a good ol’ throwdown.

SCOTT HELMAN / THE BOSTON GLOBE



Why stations are pulling Little Big Town’s ‘Girl Crush’
It's the Dixie Chicks furor all over again, stations are getting furious phone calls and e-mails accusing “Girl Crush” of “promoting the gay agenda”.

EMILY YAHR / THE WASINGTON POST


Monday 3/23/2015
Jeb’s Talk Radio Problem
Jeb Bush has a talk radio problem, conservative activist and writer Brent Bozell said, because he has “a conservative problem.” He has a talk radio problem, Ingraham said, because he has an “electability” problem. “To me,” Ingraham told POLITICO, “Jeb is the easiest candidate for Hillary to beat by far because he divides the GOP at a time when we need a candidate who unifies the party. … He’s made it fairly clear that he believes he can win without conservatives.” The way Glenn Beck has put it: “I think Jeb Bush … despises people like us.”

MICHAEL KRUSE  / POLITICO






Thursday 3/19/15
Internet Radio is Biggest Ad Opportunity of The Future
Internet radio has the potential to be the most ubiquitous form of media ever. More commanding of your attention than film, television, or books. This is because listening to music can be enjoyed while doing other activities. Before I go further, let me make an important distinction: there are two types of listeners, lean back and lean forward. Lean back listeners hear music programming via a playlist or radio station (think “set it and forget it”), whereas lean forward listeners actively select individual songs. The majority of people prefer a lean back experience.

DAVID PORTER / FORBES






Friday 3/13/2015
‘Blurred Lines’ Result a ‘Horrible Decision’
The jury decision that Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” infringed the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up” resulted in a $7.3 million award to the estate of Gaye.  RadioInfo legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that he expects the decision to be appealed and questions the judge’s instructions to the jury which included using only the sheet music of both songs and not the recorded versions.

STEVE J.J. WEISMAN / FOR RADIO-INFO







Tuesday 3/10/2015
Cumulus Media: Empire Building
For a handful of valid reasons, the terrestrial radio business has managed to remain relevant despite daunting competitive pressures and shifting consumer preferences. One measure of that: there are more radio stations operating in the US than ever before at year end 2014 according to the FCC, evidence that radio has avoided the disastrous fate of its fellow traditional media segment, newspapers.

SPENCER GRIMES / FOR SEEKING ALPHA








Monday 3/9/2015
Rush Limbaugh’s Fall Into Oblivion
In reality I’m a humble sort and “not that kind of guy.”  So… Today’s talk radio, as we know it, is fast fading into the sunset because of a format stuck with 1990’s rhetoric, each day addressing topics few care about.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG


CNN, ESPN Push For Snapchat Users
Snapchat has made its name mostly as the smartphone app that swept the teenage world, with kids sending each other messages, or “snaps,” that disappear within seconds. But the service is now becoming something else: a way for the biggest names in media to connect with younger audiences that aren’t that interested in news.

CECILIA KING  / WASHINGTON POST





Wednesday 3/4/2015
Why Agencies Are Bullish on Spotify
The Internet audio streamer is getting attention thanks to its subscriber growth, feature list and a positive attitude towards advertising.

ERIC BLATTBERG / DIGIDAY.COM




Monday 3/2/2015

An Appreciation: The History of WOWO Website
WOWO (Fort Wayne, IN) was huge. A Westinghouse (Group W) station, 50,000 watts with a clear channel at 1190 on the AM dial, you could hear it all over the U.S. and Canada and other parts of the world. But that’s not what made it big to me.

Up home, everyone I knew listened to WOWO, pronounced wo-wo. It was the default radio station for my entire kid world. Our kitchen radio was permanently tuned to 1190 AM, and so were the radios of my aunts and uncles and grandparents and every family we knew. It was the station we listened to over the bus radio on the way to school. It was where we went for school closings, where our parents went for news, where we heard the Top Forty. I think all the presets on the car radio were set to 1190 at one point.

History of WOWO website: Click Here

MIKE REDMOND / CURRENT IN CARMEL






Thursday 2/26/15
Talk Radio – the Weekend Laxative for Octogenarians
News?  Weather?  Traffic?  In the opinion of many corporate programmers and local programmers, news, weather and traffic stops in a listener’s life at 6pm on Friday and resumes Monday morning at 5am.  I guess I imagined the 6-inches of heavy, wet snow in my driveway last Saturday morning.

Or the Sunday morning a few months ago when I was stuck in traffic in Jackson, Mississippi and wondered why I barely moved for 90 minutes.  News?  The audience can wait for that until Monday morning.  Immediacy, the core of what makes radio so great, is an imposition to most news/talk stations of today, even though news, weather and traffic are the gateway elements into the format – the metaphorical door people walk through to be exposed to the talk product.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG



Hot 97 v Power 105.1: Battle of NYC Hip-Hop Stations
Both play the same old records ad nauseam – but when it comes to getting the scoops, there’s one station that clearly has the edge

BEN WESTHOFF / THE GUARDIAN



Howard Stern, Social Media Mobs, and Radio's Future
I admire Stern's ability as an entertainer and a businessman. I've asked the question on here several times of late because I think it's an integral one as the radio industry undergoes seismic change: if Stern were thirty and still building his radio career, what would he be doing right now? Would he do terrestrial radio at all, would he have gone the podcast route, what would the smartest and most creative man in our industry be doing? It's something I'm thinking about as I try to decide my future in radio, what would someone more talented and successful than me have done facing the same decision?

CLAY TRAVIS  / FOX SPORTS



Wednesday 2/25/2015
Why Country Radio Still Matters
In this age of on-demand listening, terrestrial and satellite radio remain the key power players in making or breaking a star

ADAM GOLD /ROLLING STONE







Tuesday 2/24/2015
Radio Hosts Are Powerful Republicans You Never Head Of
Spread out around Iowa, a few gatekeepers no GOP candidate can ignore.

DAVID WEIGEL / BLOOMBERG.COM





Monday 2/23/2015
Profile: Making Waves In Radio
Ginny Morris
Chair and CEO of Hubbard Radio, Ginny Morris doesn’t garner broad public attention like her high-profile father, Stanley S. Hubbard, a veteran of the broadcasting business and an active and outspoken conservative.

But she is a well-known figure on the national radio scene, in the Minnesota business community and in her family’s broadcast headquarters in St. Paul. Morris has amassed what is today the ninth-largest radio company in the United States.

LIZ FEDOR /TWIN CITIES BUSINESS





Thursday 2/19/2015
Tom Barnard Reflects On Difficult Youth
WCCO, the CBS-owned TV station in the Twin Cities does a profile on a popular show host from Cumulus Media-owned KQRS-FM. Barnard discusses his poverty-ridden upbringing and a mentally ill father.

WCCO-TV



Radio Saved My Life
radio has saved my life, or at least kept me sane during some complicated times. I bought my first radio with babysitting money the year I started middle school. It was pink and white, received AM and FM stations, and was small enough to sit on my nightstand. I blasted pop music from its tinny speakers; that music got me through first crushes and heartbreaks.

HOLLY ROBINSON / THE HUFFINGTON POST



How The Internet Changed Talk Tradio
The first all-talk station had launched in 1960. After the mid-1960s, interviews and listener calls drove talk programs, and stations offered “full service” talk formats that mixed current-affairs talk with expert discussion of everything from gardening to relationships. Famed Los Angeles liberal Michael Jackson and conservative New Yorker Barry Farber exemplified this era of talk radio—their politics might have emerged on occasion, but their philosophies were not a centerpiece of either host’s show.

BRIAN ROSENWALD / TIME


Coming Soon: Celebrity Web Networks From the Media Company Whalerock
Following the cut-out-the-middleman model pioneered by Glenn Beck, who left Fox News in 2011 to start his own subscription-based Internet television channel, Whalerock Industries has made deals to create similar personal networks for some big names: the Kardashian sisters, Howard Stern and the rap star Tyler, the Creator.

BROOKS BARNES / THE NY TIMES




Wednesday 2/18/2015
Dictators Love the FCC’s Plan to Regulate the Internet
The Obama administration’s efforts to treat the Web like a utility has fans from Saudi Arabia to Putin’s Kremlin

ROBERT M. MCDOWELL And  GORDON M. GOLDSTEIN  / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL OP-ED




Thursday 2/12/2015



How The New York Times Is Made
Reporter Reeves Wiedeman could not have hoped for a better lynchpin. His Popular Mechanics March 2015 issue look at “The Daily Miracle” of how between 300,000 and 600,00 copies of the New York Times are rolled off the print presses every night centers around a man who once delivered the paper.

RICHARD HORGAN / POPULAR MECHANICS




Tuesday 2/10/2015
The Real Victims of the Brian Williams Scandal
Williams’ “wannabe lie” is damaging enough to TV news’ already soiled credibility. But an equally important issue is: Why didn’t NBC personnel who were with him in Iraq (network anchors travel with and are surrounded by an entourage that would make President Obama jealous) blow the whistle and stop him when he started fantasizing about his phony bravery? And why, after reportedly learning of his falsehoods, didn’t NBC News executives put an end to it? If true, they are as guilty, maybe more so, than Brian Williams.


IKE SEAMANS / MIAMI HERALD OP-ED



Monday 2/9/2015
How Radio Formats Shaped, Splintered And Remade Pop Music
According to writer Eric Weisbard, music critics these days love to argue about "rockism," the unexamined prejudices we bring to our musical judgements, and "poptimism," an effort to celebrate commercial stuff that some think goes way too far.

His book, Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music, aims to get us out of that endless back and forth by focusing on the key place songs become pop: radio, which, beginning on AM with Top 40 in the 1950s and then moving to FM in the 1970s, gave music its deepest connection to Americans. Radio made new tunes and styles familiar, perennial, memories. And unlike movies or TV, radio was structurally segmented: Different formats like country, R&B, rock, Top 40 and Adult Contemporary targeted different audiences.

Wesbard uses case studies, letting The Isley Brothers tell the tale for R&B, Dolly Parton for country, and Elton John for Top 40, with a radio station, Cleveland's WMMS, representing the rock format, a record label, A&M, representing adult contemporary and a final chapter on formats in the 21st century. It's a lot to reckon with, so I'm grateful to get the chance to discuss my findings with three writers versed in the music I cover and attuned to questions of mainstream pop and its cultural role.

ERIS WEISBARD / NPR.ORG 


Why Rosie Is Really Leaving 'The View' O’Donnell, who has a reputation as a demanding and sometimes abrasive boss, didn’t feel like her strengths were being properly used by ABC, according to those close to the 52-year-old comedian. Compounding the problem were tensions with co-host Whoopi Goldberg and behind-the-scenes executive turmoil at “The View,” which recently shifted to management under ABC News.

RAMIN SETOODEH / VARIETY



Thursday 2/5/2015
The Secret of The Address Book
Where Broadcasters Landed, Who Disappeared, And What It Says About The Industry

SEAN ROSS / GUESTING FOR MUSIC MASTER SCHEDULING




Thursday 1/29/2015
Before Net Neutrality: 
The Surprising 1940s Battle for Radio Freedom


To fully understand what’s at stake in the fight over the future of the Internet, you have to revisit another era.

VICTOR PICKARD / THE ATLANTIC



The Long, Strange Purgatory of Casey Kasem
He was America's most beloved deejay, the unmistakable voice who created 'American top 40' and rose to fame on the schmaltzy but irresistible charm of his "long-distance dedications." all of which makes the tabloid circumstances of his demise—an epic family feud waged in streets, courtrooms, and funeral homes from L.A. to Oslo—even more surreal. Amy Wallace investigates the tragic final days (and very weird afterlife) of a radio legend

AMY WALLACE / GQ



Wednesday 1/28/2015
Why the Weather Channel’s Hype Has Lost Me for Good
I blame the Weather Channel for America’s meteorological frenzy...ever since it was sold to an NBC-Bain Capital-Blackstone Group conglomerate in 2008, good forecasting has taken a backseat to high ratings. It’s not easy to make weather sexy, but here’s what the newly christened Weather Company tried. It fired the earnest on-air talent I grew up with and hired more colorful personalities. It launched dubiously weather-related programming such as Deadliest Space Weather and Fat Guys in the Woods. In 2012, ridiculously, it began naming winter storms. Meanwhile, the utilitarian Weather.com underwent a terrible redesign. Today, like the TV channel, the website is cluttered and largely interested in frozen lighthouses and shark attacks.

CATESBY HOLMES / WIRED.COM





Tuesday 1/27/2015
How TWC and Media Alarmists Scare
Somehow, we've become prone to the production of manufactured drama. That's where The Weather Channel comes in. They are here to tell you what you must fear, to elevate its threat and then to act as your savior from the imaginary boogieman of the sort of snowstorm that comes around every few winters or so.

DAVID JONES / THE HARRISBURG, PA PATRIOT-NEWS





Thursday 1/15/2015
 iHM's gambling on new names at Big 95.5 country station
If iHeartMedia Chicago hoped to immediately grab the attention of the city's country music radio audiences with its Big 95.5 country station that launched last week, it's not making the task any easier with some of the on-air talent tapped for the new station.

LEWIS LAZARE  / CHICAGO BUSINESS JOURNAL






Thursday 01/08/2015
Wink Martindale recalls KHJ’s rock history
Recent mentions of KHJ 930 AM and the format change to religious talk brought in some amazing emails and letters. Radio and TV personality Wink Martindale was among the senders, and I share his story. This is the first time I have ever heard of rock music being played on KHJ prior to the well-known, game-changing Boss Radio format launched in April 1965.

RICHARD WAGONER / L-A DAILY NEWS




Wednesday 01/07/2015
Larry Rosin: Why Is iHeartRadio Not Growing?
I look forward each month to the release of Triton Digital’s streaming audio statistics. I started to notice something a while ago and for whatever reason seems not to have gotten attention – iHeartRadio has simply stopped growing.

LARRY ROSIN / RAIN NEWSLETTER

According to RadioInk, Rosin's blog didn't sit well with the folks at iHeartMedia. The company responded by sending Radio Ink a statement to Rosin concluding that "the stagnation of iHeartRadio cannot be blamed on lack of growth in the space. Pandora has grown 32% in the 16 months since iHeart’s peak.

Here's the full statement from the company...
"The blog you posted today about Edison’s take on iHeartRadio’s growth shows one thing in particular:  That Edison simply doesn’t understand consumers.  For consumers, digital listening isn’t a discrete or different activity; the smartphone is just a portable radio to be used along with the car radio, the kitchen radio, the clock radio and the office radio.  We don’t think of the office radio as its own unique listening – and nor should we for the smartphone. What makes more sense to discuss is ‘total listening,’ which would combine total digital listening with broadcast radio listening to represent all platforms consumers are using." 
"And on the digital front, objective third-party measurement makes clear that iHeartMedia continues to expand its strong digital presence.  Digital monthly uniques for the iHeartMedia Digital Network grew 61% year to date, which is even more impressive given that 92% of listening in America happens on AM/FM broadcast radio – and digital listening is additive for us.   And in reality, a metric like ‘Average Active Sessions’ is not useful -- for the simple reason that nobody knows whether the length of the session is 5 seconds or 5 minutes, or the reasons behind starting a new session.  More station starts could simply mean less consumer satisfaction -- or lower quality due to technical problems." 
"When discussing consumer listening, it’s helpful to have a full understanding of consumers’ actual audio behavior."


Bob Pittman "You can't stop technology"
"Nor can you control it. The only winning strategy is to embrace it -- and embrace it as early as you can." Fitting words at CES from iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, reflecting on lessons learned from the music industry's early dealings with streaming tech.

CATHY APPLEFIELD OLSON / BILLBOARD



Tuesday 01/06/2014
Update: Ted Williams Radio Personality, Internet Star
As quickly as he shot into the public’s consciousness after a simple video of his amazing radio voice went viral, he was written off—skewered by Dr. Phil, plagued by relapse, shamed by past arrests, and preyed on by shady managers.

TRAVIS HOEWISCHER / 614 COLUMBUS MAGAZINE





Tuesday 12/30/2014
Report: Thatcher Conducted Covert War Against The BBC
Margaret Thatcher conducted a covert war against the BBC, believing its corporation’s news coverage was “biased and irresponsible”, previously unpublished files reveal.
A series of Downing Street memos show that an “unstated objective” of a sweeping review, initiated by the then prime minister, of the corporation’s finances was to “knock the BBC down to size”.

EDWARD MALNICK / THE TELEGRAPH



Monday 12/29/2014
How David Gregory Lost His Job
Last summer, Gregory was let go from his gig as host of "Meet the Press." Here's an inside look at his fall from the top—and what it says about the state of TV news.

LUKE MULLINS / WASHINGTONIAN



Media Companies (and Executives) on the Hot Seat in 2015
NY Times  takes stock of companies, businesses and executives who have much to worry about in the coming year.

DAVID CARR /THE NEW YORK TIMES




Monday 12/22/2014
Competition
Each time a station I've worked with over the years has been directly attacked I have publicly said:  "Competition makes us better."

For the listeners and the air staff, that's true.

But, generally, from a business point of view I have to privately admit it's simply not, especially in markets where media buyers generally refuse to buy two country stations at good rates.

JAYE ALBRIGHT / BREAKFAST BLOG





Tuesday 12/16/2014
Classic HipHop Spreading
Oldies radio used to mean Johnny Mathis and the Four Seasons. Now it’s Tupac Shakur and LL Cool J. Those rap stars, along with the Notorious B.I.G., Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa and De La Soul, are some of the standbys of radio’s hottest new format, classic hip-hop, which in just two months has spread around the country as broadcasters capitalize on the nostalgia of the hip-hop generation.

BEN SISARIO  / THE NEW YORK TIMES





Friday 12/12/2014
Cumulus' WMAL regaining prominence
 Even if not somewhat excusably misused, “heritage” is among the buzzwords many broadcasters hyperbolically invoke when proudly discussing their station and/or a particular on-air talent.

Not limited to a particular genre, it could apply to any format, although scores within the industry still choose to link “heritage” to dominant, institutional, full-service stations with larger-than-life personalities.

MIKE KINOSIAN / TALKERS.COM


The Power Of Music Recovery
It happens every time a new gold-based format takes hold. Listeners respond passionately to hearing songs that they could have played on their own iPod . . . or found on YouTube. Now, it’s happening again at a time when very few songs are truly “lost.” Whatever you think of the long-term prospects of Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B, it’s good news for broadcasters that “The Power Of Music Recovery” remains undiminished.

SEAN ROSS / ENVISION RADIO NETWORKS




Tuesday 12/09/2014
The Future of Car Radio

The car radio has come a long way and it is still evolving. James Careless delves into the factors driving its evolution and looks at what the future holds.

JAMES CARELESS  / RADIO WORLD




Friday 12/05/2014
AM Band Needs Drastic Change
All-digital transmissions on the AM band are better than analog. However, all-digital operation, if adopted, would only be a Band-Aid for the unstoppable rising tide of electromagnetic erosion that ultimately will wash away the coverage and signal improvements of digital.

ANDREW SKOTDAL  / RADIO WORLD 





Thursday 12/04/2014
Radio is dying. Or, it’s already dead.
The precise condition of the body depends on which futurist you read, assuming you read futurists at all. As for “futurist,” that’s a job title that didn’t really exist 15 years ago — just like most of the things that are supposedly killing radio.

NEAL RUBIN / THE DETROIT NEWS




Tuesday 12/02/2014
How to Train Your Voice to Be More Charismatic
By analyzing the harmonics of pitch, frequency and timbre, researchers at University of California, Los Angeles are discovering how charismatic public speakers use their voices to dominate, rouse and influence a large audience.

ROBERT LEE HOTZ / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL




Monday 12/01/2014
Tuscon: Notes From An Arbitron Diary Keeper
The folks at Arbitron are really nice, but call a lot to try to beg you to return the outdated diaries, and they supply participants with crisp, sequentially ordered dollar bills. Five of them total.

JOHN SCHUSTER / INSIDE TUSCON BUSINESS




Friday 11/28/2014
No, Really; This Is Not a Test
It happens every time something goes wrong with EAS:  The blame game starts up right away, all over the engineering mailing lists and beyond.


SCOTT FYBUSH / RADIO WORLD




Monday 11/24/2014
Mark Masters: The Godfather Of Right-wing Radio
Talk Radio Network was the house that wingnuts built, with its on-air talent peddling radical views. It took over America’s airwaves—until it ran into trouble.

CAITLIN DICKSON / THE DAILY BEAST




Tuesday 11/18/2014
When A Trend Is Not A Trend
Nielsen’s Newswire rating analyses create headlines with their portrayal of rating trends like a horse race. For example, this from a recent release:  “With the release of the August PPM radio listening trends, we can see which formats benefitted the most from summertime audience trends, and a surprise contender has emerged from the pack.”
The problem is that these “trends” are not what they seem.

RICHARD HARKER / RADIO INSIGHTS




Friday 11/14/2014
Cold Nights Mean Great AM Radio Listening!
To paraphrase Ray Charles, “the nighttime is the right time” for AM Radio listening between dusk and dawn.

KEN FOOTE / CBS DALLAS/FT. WORTH




Thursday 11/13/2014
An End of Radio
Just as newspapers fell off a cliff, radio is about to follow. It's going to happen faster than anyone expects

SETH GODIN BLOG




Friday 11/07/2014
NPR’s Morning Edition: Poised for the Future
Few Americans would cite radio as their primary source for news in 2014.
But as experts bemoan declining news readership and consumer attention spans, one radio program in particular continues to defy national trends: National Public Radio’s daily news program “Morning Edition,” which this week celebrates 35 years of its unique “news magazine” format.
“Morning Edition,” a two-hour weekday morning news show that delivers a conversational mix of hard news and human interest pieces, has long ranked as America’s most popular radio news show. About 12.3 million listeners tune in to the bicoastal show each week, according to 2014 spring Nielsen data, making it the third most-listened-to radio show in the nation.

ROSE CREASMAN WELCOME / AMERICAN JOURNALISM REVIEW




Thursday 11/06/2014
Nielsen Ratings Imperils Radio's Future
Ratings, you see, encourage a broadcaster to seek ratings, not fans. Listeners literally don’t matter in an environment where only the intermediary called PPM matters. And while PPM devices “listen,” they certainly don’t hear or appreciate or value or shop or buy. PPM devices are not customers for our clients, people are.

MARK RAMSEY MEDIA BLOG





Monday 11/03/2014
The FCC Plays Russian Roulette with Internet Neutrality
At its core, network neutrality is a struggle to see which, if any, federal agency has the legal authority to regulate the Internet. In the worst possible way, the Federal Communications Commission would like to be that federal agency. But this might be the worst possible outcome for consumers.

HAROLD FURCHTGOTT-ROTH / FORBES




Friday 10/31/2014
Radio Dusts Off Mistletoe, in October
Even in the age of Pandora and Spotify, the all-holiday format has remained one of radio’s most enduring and profitable gimmicks, with hundreds of stations luring listeners with endless loops of “Feliz Navidad” and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” In the last decade, the number of stations embracing the format has nearly doubled, and competition between broadcasters often leads to stations turning earlier and earlier.

BEN SISARIO / THE NEW YORK TIMES


So, I almost died last week
The longtime Talk radio personality Rusty Humphies is recovering from recent surgery for what has been diagnosed as Necrotizing Lymphadenitis, a “very rare” disease that Rusty’s surgeon said he’s “only seen twice in 30 years.”

RUSTY HUMPRIES / WASHINGTON TIMES




Wednesday 10/30/2014
KRTH’s oldies might not be old enough for some listeners, but that’s OK
As someone who spends far too much time living in the past — one of my favorite things to do is to listen to top-40 radio station airchecks from the 1970s — I feel your pain. To oldies purists, even the 1970s are too new; now that KRTH has added music as new as the 1990s, well, the word “blasphemy” must come to the minds of some former listeners.

RICHARD WAGONER  / L-A DAILY NEWS



Thursday 10/23/2014
Takeaways from a day in LA
Things heard, overheard and thought about while driving around listening to radio and visiting radio friends in Los Angeles.

LARRY GIFFORD MEDIA BLOG



Tuesday 10/21/2014
So What Happened At DASH?
Now that the second DASH conference is history, Fred Jacobs heard from a number of people late last week and over this past weekend asking about what transpired at this year’s event.

FRED JACOBS / JACOBLOG


Monday 10/202014
Why Talk Radio Is NOT Dying
They seem to come out of the woodwork these days. Most of them never understood talk radio, and why it got so big. Some of them have their own personal dislikes about the format, and now that there are rumors of our death, they relish in it. I have seen more reasons for this than I can shake a stick at, and NONE of it makes sense to me.
Recently, a respected research company decided to put their finger on it. Using very little in what I would consider real research, this company had this conclusion: There is a news saturation going on with so many sources of news. They say that’s “wearing thin on consumers who are seeking alternative sources of information that is fresh, entertaining and positive.”

PHIL BOYCE, SALEM COMMUNICATIONS / TALKER.COM


An Appreciation: AM Radio
AM Radio taught us to use our imagination.
How many of you were around when news, sports, mysteries, comedies, family shows and music all came from a radio that only had AM stations? I have written about the days when we spent our leisure time sitting around as families, listening to the radio. This trip back in time, however, will focus on memories of AM stations back in the day.

ALONZO KITTRELS / THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE



Thursday 10/16/2014
News92-FM had bad case of 'playing it safe'
Deep bench of journalists wasted on a bad execution, lack of digital relevance

PATRICK FANT / HOUSTON CHRONICLE




Tuesday 10/14/2014

What the pre-1972 Decision Really Means for the Future of Radio
A recent spate of lawsuits has raised the issue of whether Pandora’s Internet radio service and Sirius XM’s satellite service have the right to play sound recordings produced prior to February 15, 1972, without permission from and without paying the owners of the copyrights in those recordings or the artists performing in those recordings.

PAUL RESNIKOFF / DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS

A Conversation With a Radio Legend
2014 Marconi Award Winning station WOWO in Fort Wayne Indiana will soon be celebrating its 90th birthday. It's legendary call letters are known by many all around the country. Bob Chase has been with the station since July 1, 1953. Chase says he's retired but that's hard to believe when he explains how active he still is, both at the station and in the community. RadioInk spoke to Chase about his long and successful career in radio, the evolution of WOWO which he witnessed up close and his views on how radio has changed since he was first hired.

RADIO INK / Listen:  Click Here 




Thursday 10/02/2014
Canvas Measurement: Nielsen's Next Challenge
Getting accurate audience measurement of how people consume ALL audio media is more and more essential with streaming, podcasts, mobile phone as a platform, and time-shifting. Yet, how can a measurement firm like Nielsen purport to measure all sorts of different audio mediums in real and shifted time when they can’t even provide reliable PPM radio ratings?

LARRY JOHNSON / PARAGON BLOG

‘Redskins’ name ban an FCC Hail Mary
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler finds the word “Redskins” to be offensive and avoids using the word, but he’s facing fourth and long if he wants to find a way to stop broadcasters from using it over the airwaves. Currently, the FCC’s power to regulate what broadcasters air extends only to indecent speech and not to words that are viewed as simply offensive. Any decision to limit broadcasters’ use of “Redskins” would require the commission to expand its definition of “indecent,” free speech experts say.

BROOKE BOLIEK / POLITICO



Wednesday 9/24/2014
iHeartMedia: Risky Business
One of the most dangerous marketing blunders a brand can make is to link its business to an aspiration rather than the thing it is best known for.

RICHARD HARKER / RADIO INSIGHTS



Friday 9/19/2014
Net Neutrality Is Attack on Free Speech
The movement behind net neutrality—from President Barack Obama to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and reportedly to New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand—is coming from the left for political reasons. As liberal dominance of the media has waned under the shadow of FOX News, conservative talk radio and websites such as the Drudge Report, some in the Democratic Party have been looking for creative ways to maintain, or regain, the “mainstream media’s” liberal clout. Net neutrality is one way to attain their goal of dominating the media.

FRANK MINITER / FORBES

AC And Classic Hits
As Mainstream AC grapples with just how many songs on Mainstream Top 40 and Hot AC are currently appealing to adult women, Lite FM has finessed that transition better than most. But every AC, no matter how gradually it has brought listeners along, faces the specific peril of a format evolution – new listeners will come in and swell the numbers at first, but one day the old listeners will decide this is no longer their radio station.

SEAN ROSS / MUSICMASTER.COM POSTING






Monday 9/15/2014
If Dubai Comes Calling, Pass On The Gig
Shaun Valentine, personality at KOST from 1997-2002 and KBIG until 2005, has lived a nightmare for the past year. He was jailed in Dubai and held captive. His harrowing story:

SHAUN VALENTINE / LARADIO.COM



Thursday 9/11/2014
NASH Syndication Exepanding
Cumulus is going "full speed ahead" for its Country NASH brands. In an exclusive interview with All Acces, EVP/Programming John Dickey revealed that the NASH brand will begin to be syndicated beginning in January, 2015 -- and beginning in October, the NASH ICON brand will be available as a 24/7 format via Westwood One.

POWER PLAYER INTERVIEW / ALL ACCESS.COM





Wednesday 9/10/2014
Why BOB 106.1 Is The Best Twin Cities Country Station
KLCI 106.1 FM BOB 106.1 (Elk City, MN) is s an elusive station, with fair reception in most parts of the metro. (It comes in great in central Minnesota!) I can never dial it up on my regular kitchen radio. So why am I so addicted to a radio station that sometimes leaves me high and dry? Here are a few reasons.

KARA NESVIG / CITY PAGES MINNEAPOLIS


'Bro-Country' Dominating Radio
Drinking songs have been part of the cultural fabric in country music since at least the 1940s. That's when Hank Williams invited his sweet baby to go "Honky Tonkin' " and Grandpa Jones promised to shut up his mug if you filled up his jug with some good old "Mountain Dew," by which he did not mean the carbonated beverage of that name.

But the alcohol content has rarely spiked higher than in the past few years on country radio, with more and more talk about partying, tailgates, tan lines and even more partying.

ED MASLEY / AZCENTRAL.COM



Monday 9/8/2014
Where Are Radio's "Miracles And Wonder"?
Broadcast radio lends itself to a lot of those sentences that begin with “remember when you used to have to  . . . ?”   When you had to sit through songs you didn’t like, or choose a station the whole office could agree on.  Recently, I’ve had some discussions that made me feel like being pro-radio was like being anti-progress. But I enjoy “the days of miracle and wonder,” as Paul Simon once termed them. I wish radio was participating more in them. And I still believe there is a limited window of opportunity for broadcasters to be the ones who discover a better way to be radio.

SEAN ROSS ON RADIO



Excessive advertising killing conservative radio
Conservative talk radio is in peril because of conservative greed. There's simply too much advertising on conservative talk radio. Anytime I tune in, I land on a litany of commercials. Yes, you need advertising to pay the bill but this is unlistenable.

PAUL KENGOR /TRIBLIVE.COM



Friday 9/5/2014
WRNO-FM New Orleans – No Longer “Rush Radio” 
FM’s recently taken away in Pittsburgh and Cedar Rapids.  His station’s ratings in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago in the tank.  And now his name being purged from a station moniker in New Orleans.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG



Thursday 9/4/2013
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with AM radio
AM stations that offer quality programming that effectively serve listener’s needs are doing just fine.  There is no problem at WLW, WTMJ, KNBR, the CBS all news stations and many other well-programmed AM stations.

There is a problem at the many stations which have “run up the white flag” and surrendered to paid programming, wall-to-wall syndication, religion, or my personal favorite…drumroll please…the irresistible opportunity to become the fifth sports station in their market.

BILL BRADY / TALKERS.COM




Tuesday 09/02/2014
KFWB Switching To All-Sports Is Fight For Survival
Across the country, stations are vying to hold on to listeners as AM radio's audience slowly dwindles. The persistent technology, long dwarfed by FM, has weathered more recent threats including satellite and Internet radio. It is also contending with a new assault from smartphones.

RYAN FAUGHNDER / THE LA TIMES


Friday 8/29/2014



The Nail In HD Radio's Coffin
First, understand that HD radio always has been a crappy experience for consumers: A digital solution grafted onto an analog expectation with a jumble of unpredictably random Frankenstein products indifferent to consumer tastes built by and for the broadcasters which finance it.

MARK RAMSAY MEDIA



GM Drops HD Radio From Some 2015 Models
I had heard GM was leaving HD Radio out of the 2015 Chevy Traverse and confirmed that with iBiquity Digital, which had indicated its technology was being removed “for a period of time” and iBiquity’s working with GM on future generation radio platforms.

Today, a blog, GM Authority, which looks like it compares spec sheets given to dealers for new cars, indicates HD was also removed from more models, specifically the 2015 Silverado Truck, Buick Enclave and Regal as well as the Impala.

LESLIE STIMSON  / RADIO WORLD



Monday 8/25/2014
Here's Why Radio Will Have Tough Time on Mobile Phones
The battle for real estate and attention on mobile devices is even tougher than you think.

MARK RAMSAY BLOG


Country Radio Open To More From Taylor
Taylor Swift may have left country a “goodbye note” but the majority of the more than 60 Country PDs, MDs, Talent and Station Executives who took part in Albright & O'Malley & Brenner's quick, and admittedly unscientific straw poll this week said they’ve left the light on for her.  




Tuesday 8/19/2014
First Listen: NASH Icon
When the format launched on August 15 in Nashville, Atlanta and a number of other markets it had been clunkily renamed “Nash Icon.” In its first hours, the new format wasn’t as old or quite as focused on legacy acts as the initial publicity might have suggested.

SEAN ROSS / ROSS ON RADIO



Monday 8/18/2014
The NASH Icon Format Launch Was flat
Any time a company flips fourteen stations in one day it should be a big deal. Why was it that Cumulus’ launch of the “Nash Icon” brand on Friday came across very flat?

LANCE VENTA / RADIO INSIGHT



Wednesday 8/13/2014
Fresh Listen: Quickhitz (90.3 AMP Calgary)
In the decade that it took for the “Quickhitz” format, or something like it, to get to the radio, it seemed inevitable that an artist would complain about a format that relies on edited versions of contemporary songs. It didn’t happen when Quickhitz finally debuted on WYDS Decatur, Ill., last September, partially because the small-market station’s modest debut didn’t generate sustained industry attention.

Then Quickhitz debuted Aug. 1 on Newcap’s CKMP (90.3 Amp) Calgary, Alberta. In its first few days, the station’s buzz was among Canadian radio people—notable enough since it’s been a while since even an industry person called me to talk about a new station. Then there were local press stories that explained what the station was doing, although on-air Amp says nothing more explicit than “twice the music.”

SEAN ROSS / ROSS ON RADIO BLOG




Monday 8/11/2014
Print Is Down, and Now Out
Media Companies Spin Off Newspapers, to Uncertain Futures

DAVID CARR / THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Quarter Most Media Would Like to Forget
Traditional media companies of all stripes agree that when it comes to national advertiser spending, the June quarter was one to be forgotten. But analysts disagree on whether the weak period represents a meaningful change or is typical of the long term trend in ad growth.

NATHALIE TADENA / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (paywall)

http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/08/11/the-quarter-most-media-would-like-to-forget/

Female Country Singers Get Extra Spins On SiriusXM
A radio programmer who helped popularize the style of country music called bro-country hopes to do something similar for women now.

Three times an hour, from Monday through Sunday, SiriusXM's The Highway channel will introduce what it calls Fresh Female Voices, little-known records by women with and without record deals. It's part of a platform-wide music-discovery initiative taking place on the subscription-based broadcast service this week.

"We're pulling in a wide swath of female talent to gather up what the listeners will respond to," says John Marks, SiriusXM's senior director of music programming.

BRIAN MANSFIELD / USA TODAY




Friday 8/8/2014
NAB Continues Its Delusional Narrative on Consolidation and Diversity
The technological advances in other mediums, that radio in its arrogance has ignored until it’s almost too late, would have happened whether there were strict ownership limits or not.  Candidly, consolidation at least gives the radio industry a fighting chance against so-called “new media.”  If it were still an industry made up of mom and pop ownership, radio could not compete with the likes of Pandora, YouTube or iTunes.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG



Tuesday 8/5/2014
Is NextRadio's Consumer Enthusiasm A Mirage?
I am stridently pro-consumer.
I believe that if we focus on what consumers show us they want, then we will have more consumers, happier consumers, and a healthier business overall. This is the thinking that has driven all my successful audience research efforts for years.
So it was with much disappointment that I reviewed the recent research project produced by Coleman Research for NextRadio, financed by the NAB. Coleman has a well-deserved strong reputation, but this deeply flawed research project will add no luster to it.

MARK RAMSAY  MEDIA BLOG 



Friday 8/01/2014
What U-S Radio Can Learn From Australian Broadcasters
The number one media brand in Australia is a radio show.
So says Southern Cross Austereo’s Craig Bruce as he provides a master class on making great audio entertainment and developing and nurturing talent.
There’s a lot U.S. broadcasters can learn from Craig’s keen comments and finely-tuned best practices, which he shared with all of us in his Q&A at hivio 2014, the audio future festival.
Be forewarned: Not all of what he says about U.S. radio is complimentary. And you will particularly want to watch this Q&A if you have an aging morning show and are pondering the question of succession.

MARK RAMSAY / MARK RAMSAY MEDIA.COM



An "Elvis Break" With The Past?
For years, it was believed that a major break in pop music could stem only from an act or movement that polarized the generations: Elvis, the Beatles, "Acid Rock," Hip-Hop. Increasingly, however, there's evidence that a break with yesterday's music indeed took place over the last decade. And it happened not because parents hated their kids' music, but because they all joined in. Also perhaps because of an interesting wrinkle in demography.

ROSS ON RADIO /  WISE BUDDAH



Monday 7/28/2014
LA Radio: KROQ's Still Popular, But Does It Still Rock?
KROQ now has a great deal of crossover with the pop-focused KIIS FM.

ARTEMIS THOMAS-HANSARD / LA WEEKLY


Why streaming could be local radio’s salvation
As you're rocking and rolling down the highway this summer, are you listening to the local FM jock...or tuned into your favorite Pandora channel?
Some of the latest ratings numbers suggest that more of us are doing the latter, even as we decry the technology that's responsible for the (premature) death of yet another beloved medium, local radio.

JOHN R. QUAIN / FOXNEWS.COM




Wednesday 7/23/2014
Reunion Celebrates Milwaukee Rock Radio's Past
In their glory days, Milwaukee AM Top 40 and FM progressive radio were distinctly local-flavored mediums, which may be why they are so fondly remembered. Radio today, with few exceptions, is a voice-tracked and Auto-Tuned wilderness that invites you to entertain yourself.

DAVE DUDEK / JS-ONLINE.COM


Monday 7/21/2014
Taylor Swift’s Wisdom About Selfies
Taylor Swift is one of the most important icons in the Millennial generation.
She is a role model for a lot of young and teenage girls and is a savvy businessperson in her own right.
She recently wrote in the stogy old Wall Street Journal to put selfies in their proper place.
Selfies are today’s autographs.
No one would dare ask someone for their signature when they could have a picture taken with them to distribute via social media.

JERRY DEL COLLIANO / INSIDE MUSIC MEDIA BLOG



Wednesday 7/16/2014
Reporter Gives Bob Pittman Another Free Ride
Talker Tom Leykis has written an open-letter to the USA Today reporter who interviewed Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman last week (See It: Click Here).

TOM LEYKIS  / TOM'S BLOG



Monday 7/14/2014
Why Are There So Few Women at Country Radio?
Some of the most important artists in country music today are female — but you might not suspect that from listening to country radio.
Women have dominated much of the last 12 months in country music, releasing some of the most impactful albums of the year — except commercially.
It’s been the subject of much discussion both within and without the Nashville industry, with everyone from Billboard to NPR weighing in on the puzzling statistics. But there seems to be little more light at the end of the tunnel than there was a year ago today for female artists who are trying to compete with men at country radio.

STERLING WHITAKER  / THE BOOT

The State Of Talk Radio
Trying to find the next Rush Limbaugh has proven to be a recipe for disaster. The current national talk radio talent pool has been down to former politicians and aging music jocks for years.

LANCE VENTA / RADIO INSIGHT



Thursday 7/10/2014
Smyth: Music Licensing “Grandstanding”
Greater Media President/CEO Peter Smyth says musicians know when their songs break on radio “good things happen to their career.” He has strong words for the recent Capitol Hill hearings.

PETER SMYTH / CORNER OFFICE BLOG

Good-quality car radio systems could save AM radio
I have heard the future of AM radio in a 2006 Lincoln Navigator. Or at least what could have been the future of AM radio.

RICHARD WAGONER /LA DAILY NEWS



Thursday 7/3/2014
Top 10 Radio Disc Jockeys Of All Time
So this one is about my personal vote for 10 of the best radio disc jockeys over a 40-50 year period. Certainly it is not all inclusive and doesn’t list all of my favorites but here we go

KEN FOOTE / CBS 11 BLOG



Wednesday 7/2/2014
People Make Radio Better
Do personalities “add value” to radio? Do they make it better, or worse?
To find out, we completed 953 online interviews with 18-64′s in the U.S. from June 18-19th. Respondents either listened to FM or AM radio, “pure plays” like Pandora, Spotify, etc., podcast or satellite radio.

MARK KASSOF / BLOG



Tuesday 7/1/2014
Pandora Files Petition for FCC Declaratory Ruling On Foreign Ownership
In the modern communications era, with its diversity of media outlets, the Commission determined that the risk of increased foreign ownership was outweighed by the potential for new entrants into the broadcast industry, backed by new sources of capital from outside of the United States.  The FCC did not adopt any blanket rules for permitting higher levels of alien ownership, but instead agreed to consider specific requests for a declaratory ruling on a case-by-case basis to show that foreign ownership of a broadcast station in excess of 25% was not contrary to the public interest

DAVID OXENFORD / BROADCAST LAW BLOG

Ratings are your report card.  Nothing else matters.
Associated Press awards don’t matter.  A plaque from a local charity for community service work, while nice, doesn’t matter either.  Nielsen numbers are what matters.  With higher ratings, come higher revenues.

It’s what I call “Rule #1 – Ratings and Revenue.”

Your job as a talk show host or programmer is simple.  Get high ratings that can be monetized.  This is how you will be judged, through Nielsen.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG



Monday 6/30/2014
Radio Fails We Should Fix
Nothing is perfect.
I get that. But, there are a few things I’m a little tired of hearing – or dealing with – when it comes to the radio experience. So, I’ll just put it out there and let the chips fall where they may. You may or may not agree with me - which is fine.

COREY DEITZ / ABOUT.COM



Friday 6/27/2014
Radio More Popular Than You Think
How big is radio in the U.S. today? Truthfully, we don’t really know!

KURT HANSON / RAIN




Monday 6/23/2014
The Secret To Developing A Great Morning Show
Steve Reynolds is owner of the Reynolds Group (www.thereynoldsgroup.com). He’s a former morning show host and program director, and today — as it has been for the past 15 years — his specialty is developing strategies for morning show teams and talent all over the country. A lot of his clients are in major markets, where a 10th of a ratings share means huge money to the bottom line — or out the door. RadioInk asked Reynolds to share some of his thoughts on what makes a winning morning show.

RADIO INK




Friday 6/20/2014
The Power of One
Broadcast professionals – from the corner office to the air studio – are wondering how one household (or even two) could wreak so much havoc in the nation’s second largest market. If it happened in L.A., it could happen anywhere.

FRED JACOBS MEDIA BLOG




Thursday 6/19/2014
Talk Radio Forgot What It Learned When O.J. Killed Two People
We learned about what is called Topic A and how Topic A can drive high ratings.  You know hosts actually talking about things people are interested in.  Reflecting a listener’s thoughts and concerns, being their voice, their group leader and their advocate.  20 years later I’d argue some talk radio and many of its hosts have no clue what Topic A means.

DARRYL PARKS MEDIA BLOG




Monday 6/16/2014
Host in a Big-Tent Era of Pop Music
Remembering Casey Kasem, D.J. for a More Eclectic Pop Radio

JON PARELES / THE NY TIMES



The Unfortunate Farce of Radio Ratings
"I just delivered a research project for a broadcaster in a relatively small market. The study contained the opinions of 600 people.
Now this market, like virtually all markets, has its radio usage measured by Nielsen – in this case, by diaries.
Do you know how long it takes Nielsen to recruit a sample in this market as large as the sample in my research project?
Two years.
That’s right. The sample sizes in markets like this one – and markets like yours – are almost laughably small. In fact, we would all laugh if our direct incentive was to do anything but cry."

MARK RAMSEY / MEDIA BLOG



Wednesday 6/11/2014
Free Music, at Least While It Lasts
 The outbreak of free is being felt all over the economy, but music is an industry that has produced the soundtrack of contemporary American life. Artists are singing the blues about the crippling effects of streaming, and no one wants to be part of the day the music died.





Friday 6/6/2014


The Royalty Pain
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), the body in charge of the royalty payments for online radio, is again preparing to make changes in the rules that govern what we pay for simulcasting our stations online. 

It issued a long list of proposed changes to the reporting requirements that will make the administration of our royalty payments even more tedious than it presently is.




Wednesday 6/4/2014



On June 3, 1944, American radio broadcasters announced that D-Day had begun. Whoops!
On June 3, 1944, at 4:39 p.m. Eastern War Time, just as the thoroughbreds thundered into the final turn of the Belmont Stakes, CBS interrupted sportscaster Ted Husing’s breathless call. A news flash: The Associated Press was reporting that the highly anticipated invasion of France had begun. Noting the scanty and unconfirmed information, the CBS announcer told the audience to stay tuned, and the network returned to the horse race.

Less than three minutes later the Associated Press killed the erroneous story. CBS again broke into the sportscast and retracted the report.

MICHAEL J. SOCOLOW / SLATE.COM


How Much of Your Vroadband Allowance Does Internet Radio Consume?
Internet radio is becoming more and more popular and this has seen a rise in the amount of people who are listening to the radio via their computers. This includes live streams of traditional radio broadcasters as well as music sites such as Pandora. A recent survey has indicated that internet radio usage in the United States around 60 million people listen to internet radio, a figure which is expected to rise to as much as 77 million by 2015.

ANDY HEAPS / HYPEBOT.COM

Tuesday 6/3/2014
"We've Been Friends Long Enough,
You'll Understand"

Vin Scully, baseball's longest-tenured and most eloquent broadcaster, is still looking to make a connection.

CEE ANGI / SBNATION.COM


Thursday 5/29/2014

Radio Takes a LONG Holiday Weekend
This is what happens when an industry that is…at its core…an advertising medium displays to its customers (those who buy commercials) it doesn’t believe in advertising.

DARRYL PARKS BLOG




Wednesday 5/28/2014
5 Reasons Why Media Execs Top CEO Pay Lists
Once again, media company CEOs are among the highest paid executives in the nation, occupying six of the top 10 earning spots according to an Associated Press/Equilar study.

Compensation experts say a variety of factors are at play, including the gain in media stocks, the intangible value of talent in a hit-or-miss business, the control of shareholder power in very few hands, and the decline of the financial sector.

RYAN NAKASHIMA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



Format 22
There’s nothing more disconcerting than being a leader and then having to go through the anguish of being deposed – especially at the hands of a younger, less experienced upstart.  But if you’re a Baby Boomer, that’s what’s happening right now – for the first time in your life.  That’s because for going on six decades, Boomers have run the show, called the shots, been in the majority, garnered most of the attention, and dominated the spotlight.

FRED JACOBS / JACOBS MEDIA BLOG



Thursday 5/22/2014
Area Radio's Leaders Waking Up?
Radio has to put considerably greater effort into growing the broadcast product, continuing to develop compelling programming, then selling it better.

RICHARD HARKER / HARKER RESEARCH 


How Red Lobster is like AM (and Talk) Radio
I am one of the last believers in AM radio.  I love the medium.  It kills me to see the shape it’s in today. It didn’t have to be this way.

DARRYL PARKS BLOG





Tuesday 5/20/2014
“I Would Have Done It Differently”

Arthur Sulzberger’s First Interview About the Turmoil at The New York Times.

SARAH ELLISON / VANITY FAIR




Monday 5/19/2014
The FCC Thinks We're All Idiots
Just a few days ago, the FCC voted in favor of a pretty uniformly terrible proposal to allow internet fast lanes. And throughout the 99-page proposition, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler makes one thing painfully apparent: The FCC thinks we're all a bunch of goddamn idiots.

ASHLEY FEINBERG / IGZMODO.COM

Is country music dead?
It’s time for country music to find its identity again before it is lost forever.

COLLIN RAYE / FOX NEWS

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