Thursday, December 13, 2018

Report: Nielsen To Pursue Going Private In 2019

Nielsen Holdings plans to host management presentations for interested private equity buyers in January after hiring a new CEO earlier this month, according to CNBC citing people familiar with the matter.

David Kenny took over as Nielsen's CEO on Dec. 3, replacing Mitch Barnes. Nielsen had been reluctant to engage in sale discussions before naming a new CEO, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are private. Blackstone, working in tandem with Hellman & Friedman, and Bain Capital are planning to meet with Kenny to discuss a potential deal in January, said the sources. Other private equity firms will be invited as well, the people said.

Nielsen is a global information company most famous for its Radio  & TV ratings. It also provides detailed data on retail and consumer behavior. It has a market capitalization of about $9.2 billion and an enterprise value of nearly $18 billion.

The company is in the midst of a rough patch thanks to regulatory changes around consumer data privacy and a struggling digital advertising market. Nielsen said in July it expected annual revenue to fall 1 percent, after forecasting growth of 3 percent, causing shares to fall 25 percent in one day. In August, hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed it had taken an 8.4 percent stake in the company.

High-dollar private equity deals, which dominated the mid-2000s, have largely disappeared since the financial crisis of 2008. A deal for Nielsen could be an indication that leveraged buyouts, which have gained consistent momentum in aggregate dollar value since 2009, could become another credible way for larger companies to exit the public market.

Elliott has pushed the company to find a buyer. Nielsen said in September that it was working with investment banks JPMorgan Chase and Guggenheim Securities, as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an "expanded" review of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company.

If Nielsen does go private, it will be one of the largest leveraged buyouts in recent years and in the ballpark of some of the largest LBOs ever. Blackstone also closed a $17 billion deal for the majority of Thomson Reuters' Financial & Risk business earlier this year.

And The 2019 Rock Hall Inductees Are...

Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Def Leppard and Stevie Nicks will join the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year at its 34th annual induction ceremony, along with the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies, the organization announced on Thursday.

According to the NYTimes, the class of 2019, which will formally enter the pantheon on March 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, represents a varied cross-section of the last half-century of pop music, with giants of classic and alternative rock, as well as a couple of acts from zones that the hall still glances at only occasionally: dance music and crowd-pleasing 1980s pop-metal.

The seven inductees — the biggest class since 2004 — are mostly uncontroversial choices, which may help the hall duck the criticism it has often received because of its opaque internal politics. Three acts — Def Leppard, Roxy Music and Nicks — were accepted the first time they appeared on the ballot, while Radiohead and the Cure made it in the second time around.

Those that did not make the cut this year include Devo, Todd Rundgren and John Prine, each nominated for the first time; Rage Against the Machine, on its second nod; the 1970s funk band Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan, rejected a third time; and LL Cool J, Kraftwerk and the Detroit rock band MC5, each on its fifth nomination.

FCC Opens New Review Of Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday voted to open a new review of media ownership rules and seek comments on whether the government should end a prohibition on mergers among the four largest broadcast networks.

According to The NYPost, the FCC said it could reverse the rule that bars a merger among the “Big Four” networks: NBC, owned by Comcast Corp., Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, CBS Corp.’s CBS or Fox, owned by Twenty-First Century Fox.

Ajit Pai
The FCC asked if the rule “remains necessary to promote competition, localism, or viewpoint diversity.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the commission is “teeing up a number of questions” and keeping an open mind on whether the rules still make sense.

The FCC noted that a version of the rule barring dual ownership of networks has existed since the 1940s and asks if US antitrust laws or other policies would “serve as a sufficient backstop to prevent undue consolidation between or among the Big Four networks.”

The FCC also wants comments on a rule that bars one company from owning two TV stations in the same market except under certain circumstances. The FCC asks if those rules continue “to serve the public interest and remains necessary.”

The FCC will also consider if existing rules that limit the number of local radio stations in a single market should be rescinded.

The FCC noted in a report that broadcast networks face significant competition in content creation and cited the billions of dollars that Netflix, Amazon and YouTube are spending on original content.

Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel raised concerns that “too much consolidation can reduce the number of voices, jobs, and the newsgathering that results.”

In November 2017, the FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate the 42-year-old ban on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional local TV stations in the same market.

NAB Executive VP/Communications Dennis Wharton said, "NAB looks forward to participating in the FCC's congressionally-mandated quadrennial review of broadcast media ownership rules. We are not seeking wholesale elimination of these regulations, but rather a modernization that reflects today's fiercely competitive marketplace. We trust the Commission will update these rules with an understanding that free and local broadcasting now competes head-to-head with powerful Internet, pay TV and audio companies that didn't exist when many broadcast ownership rules were first written."

Indy Radio: WIBC's Tony Katz Gets Syndicated

WIBC 93.1 FM Talk radio host Tony Katz is entering syndication market with a three-hour talk show titled, “Tony Katz Today” via his Tomorrow Media.

On his radio show Wednesday, Katz said his first affiliate is Star City Broadcasting’s WSHY-AM/W282CJ, Lafayette, Indiana “The Patriot 104.3 FM.” 

Katz hosts the morning drive program on Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis as well as the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.

He says, “The WIBC morning show has been a massive success and continues to grow.  With ‘Tony Katz Today,’ I’m able to talk about the things that matter most to people across the Midwest and across America.  I’m thrilled to be adding ‘The Patriot’ to the family.”

Emmis Indianapolis director of programming David Wood adds, “I brought Tony in four years ago to build our morning show.  He did it in two.  Over the past 18 months doing middays as well, his numbers have only grown.  He’s more than ready to be a part of the national landscape.  He’s a perfect replacement for Laura Ingraham or for any daypart.”

FCC Classifies Text Messages As Information Services

The FCC on Wednesday voted to classify text messages as an information service, allowing mobile carriers to block texts in a move that supporters say will help crack down on spam messages.

The proposal was passed in a 3-1 party-line vote, with the lone Democratic commissioner opposing the move, according to The Hill.

The order makes clear that Short Message Service (SMS) is an information service as opposed to a telecommunications service, which would carry with it a common carrier designation prohibiting wireless providers from blocking or discriminating against users.

It's similar to how the FCC deregulated internet service providers in overturning its Obama-era net neutrality rules. The commission voted along party lines last year to rid broadband providers of the common carrier tag by classifying them as information services and in the process rolling back protections against discrimination against certain websites.

CA Looking To Tax Text Messaging

California may soon charge its residents a fee for text messaging, according to a report released by state regulators Tuesday.

The report from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) says the tax on text messaging would likely be a flat fee added to a monthly bill instead of a per text tax and the money would be used to fund programs that make phone service available for low-income residents.

Business groups in the state and wireless carriers are against the proposal.

"It's a dumb idea," Jim Wunderman, president of business advocacy group the Bay Area Council, told the San Jose Mercury News. "This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it's almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have."

State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the proposal, now scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Fox News 2018's Most-Watched Cable Network

Fox News finished 2018 in first place in the cable news ratings race, delivering the highest prime-time audience in its 22-year history, according to The Hill citing Nielsen Media research released on Wednesday.

Fox News’s primetime averaged 2.5 million viewers, an increase of 3 percent from 2017. 2018 marked the first full year of the network's new prime-time schedule following the departures of Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly last year, who were the top-rated hosts on Fox in 2016.

Overall, Fox News finished No. 1 in all of basic cable and fifth overall on television behind only the "Big Four" broadcast networks. NBC averaged 6.5 million primetime viewers, CBS saw 5.9 million, ABC had 4.3 million and Fox came in with 3.3 million.

“Fox News continues to outperform other basic cable networks, proving once again that our news coverage and premiere team of journalists and opinion hosts are the best in the business," CEO Suzanne Scott and network president Jay Wallace said in a joint statement. "With the recent launch of Fox Nation, an increased focus on digital and the strong ratings momentum we have built, we are confident that 2019 will offer our loyal viewers even more ways to engage with Fox News.” 

MSNBC also had a record-breaking year, finishing in second place among the news networks with 1.8 million viewers in primetime, an increase of 12 percent from 2017. Those numbers make the year the best in the history of MSNBC, which launched the same year as Fox News in 1996.

CNN finished the year in third place, averaging 990,000 viewers in primetime, a drop of 6 percent from last year.

The top five programs on cable news were Fox's "Hannity" for the second straight year with an average viewership of 3.275 million, MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" with 2.881 million, "Tucker Carlson Tonight" with 2.827 million, Laura Ingraham's "The Ingraham Angle" with 2.614 million and "The Five" with 2.380 million.

In the key 25-54 demographic, to top five shows were the same, with the exception that MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" tied for fifth with “The Five.”

According to Fox News, digital page views increased by 10 percent and visits increased by 22 percent, according to Adobe Analytics. Fox News Digital also won across social media, finishing as the No. 1 news brand with nearly twice as many interactions as its closest competitor, CNN.

During 2018, Fox News was No. 1 on Facebook, accounting for 53 percent of all Facebook Live video views in the competitive set.

Meanwhile, Fox News’ sister, Fox Business Network, finished 2018 with its second consecutive yearly win over CNBC in Business Day viewers.

Apple Investing $1B In New Texas Campus

Apple Inc. is planning to spend $1 billion to build a new 133-acre corporate campus in North Austin that initially will employ up to 5,000 people, cementing Austin’s status as the high-tech company’s largest hub outside of its California headquarters.

According to The Austin Statesman, the facility will be less than a mile from Apple’s existing main Austin campus and eventually could expand to accommodate up to 15,000 workers, the company said. Apple employs about 6,200 people in Austin now. Counting contractors, its current Austin workforce numbers about 7,000.

The new Austin campus is part of a wider Apple expansion that will see the tech giant build new facilities in Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles with “over 1,000 employees” each, and add “hundreds of new jobs” in New York, Pittsburgh, Boulder, Colo., Boston and Portland, Ore., the company said. None of those facilities will be as big as the new Austin campus.

“Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a written statement. “Talent, creativity, and tomorrow’s breakthrough ideas aren’t limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we’re redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide.”

Apple is in line to receive as much as $25 million in taxpayer-funded grants for the new Austin campus from the state’s deal-closing Texas Enterprise Fund, based on investment and job creation at the site. It also is seeking a 15-year property tax abatement from Williamson County, where the project is located just over the line from Travis County, that could be worth tens of millions of dollars over the life of the deal, although specific numbers weren’t available Wednesday.

Apple had said last January that it would invest more than $30 billion in the United States over the next five years and create more than 20,000 new jobs, through expansion of some of its existing corporate campuses and by opening a new one.

Apple shares have been under pressure in recent months amid worries about demand for its new iPhones. The tech titan has also been in the crosshairs of the trade war between the U.S. and China. President Donald Trump threatened to place a 10 percent tariff on iPhones and laptops made in China last month.

San Diego Radio: Local Media To Be Acquired by Management

Local Media San Diego, LLC has announced that a group led by its Executive Management Team has entered into an agreement to acquire LMSD, including its interests in radio stations XTRA 91.1 FM, XHTZ 90.3 FM, and XHRM Magic 92.5 FM 92.5, as well as related operating and real estate assets.

The transaction is expected to be complete as soon as required regulatory and other approvals have been obtained.

LMSD operates out of Sorrento Valley and reaches an estimated 2.1 million people monthly serving the San Diego market. The three radio stations are established, format-defining brands dating back to the 1980’s, and are returning to local owners and operators with decades of radio experience.

The Executive Management Team of Gregg Wolfson – VP/GM, Norm McKee – CFO, and Steve McNeely – Director, will continue operating LMSD in their current capacities post-closing.

LMSD has been operated by the current Executive Management Team since being acquired by Thoma Bravo in December, 2009. Thoma Bravo subsequently shifted its investment focus to software and technology and has no other media investments.

“LMSD has always operated locally, and the transition to local ownership is the final step to firmly plant our flag as San Diego’s local media provider,” said Wolfson.

“Our entire team are experts in San Diego media, and in an industry of corporate ownership and consolidation, LMSD remains in a category of one. We are very excited about the future and growing our local platforms. On behalf of the entire LMSD team I would like to thank Thoma Bravo for being fantastic owners.”

Report: Trump Cancels TWH Holiday Press Party

President Trump has canceled the White House holiday party for the media, making the decades-old tradition a victim of his increasingly contentious relationship with major news organizations, according to Fox News.

The annual Christmas-season gathering was a significant perk for those covering the White House, as well as other Washington reporters, anchors and commentators, and New York media executives would regularly fly in for the occasion. At its peak, the invitation-only soirees grew so large that there were two back-to-back events, one for broadcast outlets and one for print organizations.

Journalists who attended the events, which featured a catered buffet of lamb chops, crab claws and elaborate desserts, got to roam the decorated mansion with a spouse or other family member, a friend or a colleague, adding to the invitation's allure.

But the biggest fringe-benefit was the picture-taking sessions, in which the president and first lady would patiently pose with guests and briefly chat with them in front of a Christmas tree, with the White House sending out the photos — copies of which were invariably sent home to mom. This would take a couple of hours, with long lines snaking across the building's first floor. Bill Clinton even posed for pictures with journalists days after he was impeached.

The White House made no announcement that it was dropping the press party. The president and first lady threw such a gathering last December but did not pose for pictures. Trump made a brief appearance with his wife and offered a few welcoming remarks.

The decision is hardly shocking, given Trump’s constant attacks on "fake news" and the overwhelmingly negative coverage of him and his administration. In recent weeks, the White House pulled the credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta after he refused to give up the microphone at a news conference and restored his pass only after the network filed a lawsuit.

Tabloid Admits Paying Hush Money

The publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper has admitted it paid hush money to a former Playboy magazine model to prevent her from going public ahead of the 2016 election with claims that she had an affair with President Donald Trump.

Karen McDougal
According to Reuters, Federal prosecutors in New York said on Wednesday that American Media Inc (AMI), as part of a deal to cooperate with prosecutors and avoid charges, admitted it made a $150,000 payment to Karen McDougal “in concert” with Trump’s presidential campaign.

AMI said Chief Executive David Pecker met with Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and at least one other member of the campaign in August 2015 and offered to help with negative stories about Trump’s relationships with women by buying the rights to those stories, according to a document made public by prosecutors.

AMI’s admission may support statements made by Cohen, who was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison for his role in the payments, that they were made to influence the election in violation of campaign finance law, legal experts said.

Federal law requires that the contribution of “anything of value” to a campaign must be disclosed, and an individual donation cannot exceed $2,700.

Trump and his lawyers have argued the payments were a personal matter unrelated to the election.

Kentucky Governor Lashes Out At Newspaper, Pro Publica

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) on Wednesday lashed out at Gannett's Louisville Courier Journal for partnering with Pulitzer-winning investigative journalism project ProPublica.

In a video message posted to YouTube, Bevin tore into the paper over the partnership with what he called a "biased, left-wing organization" and urged Kentuckians not to trust the paper.

“This is the same Courier Journal, mind you, which, while it’s dying, continues to maintain that they are unbiased, that they are good journalists and that they are interested in transparency, and holding government…accountable,” Bevin says in the video. “Who’s holding the Courier Journal accountable?”

According to The Hill, the newspapers announced the partnership earlier Wednesday, noting that the Courier Journal is one of seven local papers selected to work with ProPublica, a nonprofit, to investigate an unspecified state government program.

Bevin in the video blasts the Courier Journal for what he says is a lack of transparency in their reporting and partnership with ProPublica.

He also criticizes the publication over its founding history. The founders of ProPublica, Herbert and Marion Sandler, have given over a billion dollars to largely progressive philanthropic causes including the ACLU,

Bay Area Radio: KRZZ 'Radiothon For Kids Raises $500K+

Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc., along with its leading radio station in the Bay area, KRZZ 93.3FM La Raza in San Jose/ San Francisco have announced they hosted their 10th annual Radiothon for Kids to raise funds for the benefit of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

The live event began on Friday, December 7th from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PST) and it continued on Saturday, December 8 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PST). Listeners of 93.3FM La Raza tuned in to hear patients and their families sharing stories of healing, dreams and miracles all thanks to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.

For the 10th year, the Latinos in the Bay Area put their heart in the Radiothon to benefit Children's Hospital in Oakland, California. This time $500,000.00 was collected from Friday December 7th to Saturday, December 8th, where the radio team, 93.3FM La Raza, volunteers, and the donors made once again the Radiothon a complete success.

The "Radiothon for Kids” was hosted by the radio personalities from 93.3FM La Raza (KRZZ), such as El Terrible, “Al Aire con El Terrible”, Terry Cortez “El Terrible”, Fabian Serrano, Marlene Quinto, Chikilin “Adal Loreto”, Gilberto Ríos “El Compa Gil”, Ernesto de Santiago “El Barzón”, among others who broadcasted live from the Chavez Supermarkets, to serve the area of San Francisco, San Jose. One hundred percent of the donations collected during this two day Radiothon will be donated to the fund of health services of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

"Nothing is more important to our future than helping those who devote their lives to the health and well-being of children. It is an honor for 93.3FM La Raza to organize this event for 10th consecutive year and we are proud of our contribution to this community. The power of radio is alive and well in San Francisco, San Jose through KRZZ, especially with events like this one” said Christian de la Cruz, VP of Sales and General Manager of 93.3FM La Raza.

"The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals truly appreciates the significant efforts of 93.3FM La Raza and its followers along with the commitment they demonstrate by helping the sick children in our community. “Radiothon for Kids”, provided the opportunity for listeners to hear anecdotes directly from patients and their families about the care and recovery obtained through the help provided by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, regardless of their ability to pay for receiving aid", said Elena Jovel, Director of Programming at 93.3FM LaRaza.

D-C Radio: WRQX Unveils Winners Of Holiday Choir Competition

Cumulus Media's WRQX Mix 107.3 FM announces the winners of its 2nd Annual Holiday Choir Competition.

In the Kindergarten-8th Grade category, the winner is North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, MD. Click Here to  hear the school choir’s winning submission.

In the High School category, the winner is Wootton High School Choir from Wootton High School in Rockville, MD. Click Here to  hear Wootton High School’s winning submission.

The winners were selected by mix107.3 listeners, who voted online for their favorite area choirs.

The winning songs from the North Bethesda Middle School and Wootton High School choirs will be played on mix107.3 and will be performed live at the mix107.3 Holiday Choir Competition Event on Sunday, December 16th from 2pm–4pm at The Shops at Wisconsin Place in Chevy Chase, MD. The Grand Prize-winning choirs will also receive money for their schools’ music programs: $5,000 for the winning high school choir and $2,500 for the winning K-8 choir!

Rob Roberts, Program Director, mix107.3, said: “We’re excited to really energize school music programs with these cash awards. Rewarding great kids working hard… This is what the holiday season is all about. We appreciate our great mix107.3 listeners’ interest in this special music and for taking the time to vote online for their favorite choirs. We encourage everyone who loves beautiful holiday music to join us Sunday at The Shops at Wisconsin Place to hear the winning songs performed by these talented students.”

Jack Diamond, Host of the Jack Diamond Morning Show, said: “There are so many talented kids in Washington area high schools and we wanted to do something to support their music programs. We are so excited to award the winning schools money toward the support of their school’s music programs.” Diamond added: “The two exceptional choirs at North Bethesda Middle School and Wootton High School are most deserving of this recognition.”

NYC Radio: WPLJ Airs Holiday Radiothon

Cumulus Media announces that New York City radio station WPLJ 95.5 PLJ will host “The Holiday Radiothon for the Kids” benefiting Children’s Specialized Hospital today.

The Radiothon is being held from 6:00am-7:00pm at 95.5 PLJ studios. Hosted by 95.5 PLJ on-air personalities, the Radiothon will feature live performances from Matt Nathanson, Michael Franti, Marc of OAR, Ingrid Michaelson and A Great Big World.

In addition, 95.5 PLJ has one-of-a-kind auction items up for bid in a very special companion online auction, with auction proceeds benefiting Children’s Specialized Hospital. Among the “must bid” auction items is “The Miracle Wall”, signed by Janet Jackson, The Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, to mention only a few!

Chad Lopez, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus New York, said: “We are honored to dedicate a day of programming during the holiday season to help the children at Children’s Specialized Hospital. On behalf of everyone at Cumulus New York, we truly thank Children’s Specialized Hospital for our continued partnership.”

Dave LaBrozzi, Program Director, 95.5 PLJ, said: “The Radiothon is a special day. We are honored and thrilled to partner with Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation to help raise money for the kids and make a difference.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with 95.5 PLJ again this year,” said Phil Salerno, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation President and Chief Development Officer. “We look forward to this special day and the opportunity this broadcast provides to raise funds and awareness of the important work that happens at Children’s Specialized Hospital every day.”

R.I.P.: Dennis Shannon, Longtime WA Radio News Reporter

Dennis Shannon
Longtime radio news reporter, Dennis Shannon has died. He was 68-year-of-age.

His voice was known on KOMO and several other Seattle, Bellevue and Everett radio stations before putting down roots at KONA 610 AM in Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Washington, the Tri-Cities, which became his home for more than 17 years.

In 2013, Shannon received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence as a broadcast journalist for his coverage of a tragic charter bus crash near Pendleton, Oregon, which killed nine and injured 38.

He was found dead in his Pasco home. His death was due to “natural causes,” according to a coroner.

Cherry Creek Media Tri-Cities is hosting the memorial gathering for Dennis Shannon at the Pasco Eagles’ Lodge on Saturday, December 15 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

December 13 Radio History

➦In 1897...muck-raking columnist & broadcaster Drew Pearson was born in Evanston Illinois.

He emerged as a powerful radio personality during WWII, and tried to transfer the impact to TV in 1952 with limited success.  His column & many of his broadcasts were titled the “Washington Merry-Go-Round.” He faced 50 libel suits during his 40 year career, but lost only one.

Pearson died Sept. 1 1969 at age 71.

➦In 1924...KOA-AM, Denver, Colorado, began broadcasting. KOA was originally owned by General Electric. The station started with 5,000 watts, and in 1927, increased to 12,500 watts. In the early 1930s, power was raised to the current level of 50,000 watts. KOA is the dominant clear-channel station on 850 AM.

At night the signal can be heard in over 30 states of the U.S. and over most of Canada and Mexico. KOA sometimes can be picked up in California, and is usually picked up in Central Washington state, both locations are west of the Rocky Mountains, an obstacle that prevents most east coast radio stations from traveling west of the Rockies. KOA is frequently heard in northern Europe, Australia and Japan, and is one of the most frequently reported stations worldwide

➦In 1926...WWVA Wheeling went on the air.  The 50-watt station broadcast from the basement of John Stroebel, a physics teacher and wireless pioneer. By November of the next year, WWVA had established studios in a Wheeling office building and boosted its power to 500 watts, which, on some nights, could transmit its signal halfway around the world.

➦In 1926...1926 KXL 400 meters (749.6 K.C.) signed on the air with 250 watts.  KXL’s inaugural broadcast hit the airwaves on December 13, 1926 from the top floor of the Mallory Hotel, beginning with a concert from the Mallory Orchestra. The second hour began with dance music presented by the Lyle Lewis Orchestra.

On September 20, 1927, KXL moved into the “Rose Studio” on the seventh floor of the Bedell Building which featured a plate glass wall for public viewing from the reception room. KXL celebrated the move with a 40 hour broadcast dedication.

Alpha Broadcasting, a newly formed company owned by Larry Wilson, purchased KXL in 2009.  In 2011, KXL’s news/talk programming on 750 AM began simulcasting on 101.1 FM, the former KUFO-FM now called KXL-FM.  KXL’s news/talk format moved exclusively to the FM signal a few months later.  The old 750 AM frequency became KXTG-AM, carrying a sports format.

➦In 1934...Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman, one of the most popular husband-and-wife teams in the history of country music, were married. Lulu Belle and Scotty were regulars on the National Barn Dance radio show, which originated from WLS in Chicago, from 1933 to 1958. Scotty Wiseman wrote the country music standard “Mountain Dew,” as well as the duo’s biggest hit, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”

➦In 1964...The American Radio Relay League was founded for HAM radio operators.

➦In 1974...MC Flashbacks to the year-ender edition of Radio&Records from December 13, 1974.  If you remember, StreetTalk, Parallels...then you remember R&R. The Back Page Chart shows quite a variety...everything from Jethro Tull to Bobby Vinton!

To Read More of this R&R Issue: Click Here.

➦In 1983...In 1983, Bonneville Broadcasting Co. purchased KYA and the call letters were changed to KOIT.

December 18, 1926, KYA went on the air initially on 970 kc. with 500 watts, but it was planned to later increase its power to 20,000 watts.

In a massive nationwide reassignment of frequencies which took place November 11, 1928, KYA was ordered to the less desirable frequency of 1230 kc.  The station moved again in 1941 in another wholesale frequency shift, this time to 1260 kc.

In 1948, the SF Examiner sold KYA to a group of Stanford professors and instructors, doing business as "Palo Alto Radio Station, Inc." This started a turbulent period in the history of KYA. Over a period of almost twenty years, KYA was operated by no less than eight different owners! The Palo Alto group sold the station to Dorothy Schiff of the New York Post. In the mid-fifties, the station was purchased by Elroy McCaw and John Keating, doing business as KYA, Inc. They in turn sold the station to the Bartell Family Group in 1958, who subsequently sold to Golden State Broadcasters. From 1963 to 1966, KYA was operated by the Churchill Broadcasting Corporation, and in June of 1966 KYA was acquired by AVCO Broadcasting.

Rock'n'roll music made its first appearance on KYA during the Bartell Group days, and then for only a portion of the station's broadcast day. After an initial success, it quickly took over the entire day's schedule. In 1961, a young unknown Georgia disk jockey who called himself Bill Drake was given the task of programming the station. Drake made drastic changes, streamlining the carnival sound of early rock radio, until an entirely new concept was developed.

"The Drake Sound" became an instant success at KYA, and soon spread to other stations. Before long, Bill Drake had redefined rock'n'roll radio nationwide, which became "Top 40" radio. Drake became a multi-millionaire, programming nearly a hundred AM and FM stations from his home in Bel Air in the 1970s. KYA and KFRC shared the important rock radio audience in San Francisco through the '70s.

In 1983, Bonneville Broadcasting Co. purchased KYA and the call letters were changed to KOIT. The original call letters lived on, however, with KYA-FM, which was sold to another owner, KING Broadcasting of Seattle, which operated it together with KSFO. Two of San Francisco's most historic call letters were now resided under one roof.

➦In 1992...the FCC fined Infinity Broadcasting $600,000 over “indecent” broadcasts by Howard Stern.

➦In 1999...The performing rights organization Broadcast Music Incorporated declared "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to be the most played (BMI) song of the century on American radio and television, with more than eight million airings. The original and most famous recording of the song is by the Righteous Brothers.

"Never My Love" was the second most-played song, followed by "Yesterday," "Stand By Me," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Rounding out the Top Ten were "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," "Mrs. Robinson," "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Rhythm Of The Rain," and "Georgia On My Mind."

➦In 2010…In New York, Paul McCartney performed an intimate concert for 1,400 people at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, as part of SiriusXM Radio's celebrations on acquiring 20 million subscribers. The planned 22-song set was followed by two encores of three songs each.

Celebrities in attendance included Keith Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, Simon Le Bon, Kevin Bacon, Tony Bennett, Alec Baldwin, John McEnroe and Howard Stern. McCartney told the audience, "I just want to just soak in the Apollo. I've dreamed of playing here for many a year. This is very special for us British boys. The holy grail."

➦In 2014…Veteran TV newsman Bill Bonds, who spent 29 years in the anchor chair at WXYZ in Detroit in addition to his stints at the ABC stations in New York and Los Angeles, died of a heart attack at 82.

➦In 2015…Longtime New York sportswriter (The Daily News, New York World-Telegraph & Sun)/radio commentator (WCBS)/author (The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra) Phil Pepe died at the age of 80.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

St. Louis Radio: Cat Thomas Joins Entercom As Ops Manager

Cat Thomas
Entercom announced today Cat Thomas as Operations Manager for HotAC KYKY Y98 FM, AC KEZK 102.5 FM and CHR KNOU NOW 96.3 in St. Louis, effective January 1, 2019.

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Cat Thomas to the Entercom St. Louis team,” said Becky Domyan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom St. Louis. “Cat’s expertise with these formats will accelerate us to high levels of performance. His natural talents, combined with his unstoppable passion for radio, will put us on the fast track for significant growth and success.”

“I can’t tell you how energized I am to be joining the passionate team at Entercom,” said Thomas. “I’m looking forward to working with Pat Paxton again [President of Programming], Becky and the entire St. Louis operation. The dedication and positive culture the staff exudes is truly amazing. We are all playing to win and I cannot wait to be a part of the great things to come.”

Thomas joins Entercom from Cumulus Media where he served as Vice President of Contemporary Formats. He brings 29 years of experience including roles at CBS Radio as Vice President of Programming and Program Director in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thomas began his career at Nationwide Communications/WNCI during college as a Traffic Reporter in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

E W Scripps EXITS The Radio Business

The E.W. Scripps Company closed today on its final sale of eight radio stations in Boise, Idaho, and Tucson, Arizona, to Lotus Communications for $8 million.

Scripps has now completed all transactions in the divestiture of its radio division. Total proceeds from the divestitures were $83.5 million. Net proceeds were about $55 million after tax.

Scripps sold its 34 radio stations in eight markets in four transactions, with the other transactions closing prior to Nov. 1:

Nineteen radio stations were sold to Summit Communications for $47 million. The stations are in Knoxville, Tennessee; Omaha, Nebraska; Springfield, Missouri; and Wichita, Kansas.
Five stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were sold to Griffin Communications for $12.5 million.
Two stations in Milwaukee were sold to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.

Scripps announced its intent to sell its radio division in January as part of its restructuring plan to create a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company.

Kalil & Co. handled the sales process for Scripps.