Saturday, October 9, 2010

Talk Station Charges Politicians For Interviews

Governor’s Council candidate Nick Iannuzzi took his message to listeners with a paid appearance scheduled on “Saturday Morning Live,” a talk radio program out of Lowell.

Iannuzzi, an independent challenging incumbent Third District Councilor Marilyn Devaney, appeared on the show hosted by former Warren Shaw from 8:05 to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9.

He paid $490 for the 25-minute segment.

Iannuzzi and the owner of station WCAP, AM 980, say there’s nothing unusual about selling airtime on a weekly talk show, but media critic and Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy told it sounds unorthodox to him.

“As long as there’s full disclosure, I don’t really see any ethical problem on the part of the candidate,” Kennedy said, “but if he’s paying to appear on a talk show, that strikes me as a very unusual arrangement, and I’ve just never heard of anything like that before.

WCAP owner Clark Smidt says it’s standard practice at his station to sell airtime in the 60 days leading up to an election, when a great many candidates request time on the station.

Smidt said requiring payment was a way to “level the playing field” and avoid creating a situation where the station would be required to give free time to every candidate in every race. He said there would be full disclosure during the show that it was a paid appearance.

Read more here.

Glenn Beck Reveals He’ll Undergo Medical Tests

On his radio program Friday, Glenn Beck discussed in more detail some of the physical challenges he’s been facing. Glenn told his audience that he will be taking several days off next week to undergo tests at a hospital “out west.”

On recent broadcasts he’s discussed that he has been having problems with feeling in his hands and feet.

Friday he explained that “small fiber” issues may be involved but that testing will provide more understanding.
“We don’t even know what all of the symptoms are at this point,“ he explained adding that he believes ”physical, mental and spiritual are all tied.“ By ”small fibers,” he was referring to the possibility of a small fiber neuropathy diagnosis.

But that is just one possibility among many things that will be considered.

The Saturday Aircheck

From 2005, here is some video shot by Art Vuolo, of Phlash Phelps, the Morning Man on the "60's on 6" Channel on X-M. Phlash has a very popular call-in show and knows the U.S. like no one else!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yahoo CEO: 'Creepy' Facebook Is Biggest Rival

From USA Today:
Yahoo shouldn't be such a hard company to figure out. It's one of the oldest and best-known content providers on the Web. Its news, information, entertainment and communications services attract more than 170 million U.S. visitors each month.

Yet many investors consider Yahoo to be a mystery.

Its stock has lost 15.4% of its value in 2010 as Yahoo failed to show significant gains in page views and ad sales. The big question on Wall Street is whether Yahoo is too scattered and stodgy to fend off powerful competitors led by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and AOL.

Concerns grew last week as Yahoo lost three executives who were trying to freshen its content and attract new fans — including people who use smartphones to access the Web.

No wonder all eyes in the digital world are on Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.

She was a surprise choice to manage one of the industry's toughest turnaround challenges in January 2009. The move to Yahoo capped a long career in Silicon Valley that included 14 years running Autodesk, a computer-aided software design firm.

Bartz, 62, has spent much of her time cutting costs, and deals, as she tried to sharpen Yahoo's focus on services that appeal to advertisers. For example, last year she agreed to let Microsoft's Bing power Yahoo's search engine. And this year Yahoo bought Associated Content, which assigns news stories to freelancers based on data about subjects that interest Web users.

It's been a long journey from the farms of Minnesota and Wisconsin, where the tart-tongued executive was born and raised, to Yahoo, which is expected to generate $6.5 billion in revenue this year.

Bartz shared her views about Yahoo, prospects for the Internet and the economy with USA TODAY's David Lieberman at the 12th USA TODAY CEO Forum on Sept. 29 at Georgia State University.

Read more here.

Dobbs Fires Back

Lou Dobbs is firing back against claims of hiring undocumented workers. In an exclusive interview on MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday, the radio host said, "The bottom line is I have done nothing illegal,"  according Sara Muller in thelastwordblog.

A new report in The Nation alleges immigrants lacking appropriate paperwork worked in the gardens and horse stables at a variety of Dobbs' properties. In the year-long investigation, reporter Isabel Macdonald conducted interviews with five immigrants who claim to have worked on land owned by Dobbs.

Report: Sirius XM Is In Trouble

A Motley Fool article suggests Sirius XM Radio has some serious competition coming its way and it may need more than Howard Stern to save the day. Sirius' turn back to profitability after years of losses comes at the same time smartphones threaten its very existence.

Wednesday, CNBC highlighted Pandora's inroads into the mobile radio market, attracting more than 65 million registered listeners in the U.S. But Pandora isn't the only competitor Sirius should be worried about.

All sorts of apps are popping up, from Slacker Radio, which offers a similar experience to Pandora; to iheart Radio, which provides radio stations from around the country; and even to Howard Stern, who has threatened to develop a premium app for smartphones. ESPN has also built a radio app offering football games, podcasts, and audio from popular television shows. Apps for smartphones are relatively easy to build, don't require a large capital investment, and can be used on a variety of devices.

Read more here.

Study: NPR Needs To Loosen Up

A new study for NPR identifies a much bigger potential news audience that would listen to public radio if the field works to break down perceptions that its programs are elitist and stuffy, according to an article by Karen Everhart at

Producers would have to make shows that are more lively and conversational and promoters would have to take greater care when describing public radio as “intelligent” and “serious,” according to the Los Angeles-based firm SmithGeiger.

The researchers found that barriers to entry for public radio listenership are rooted in what they called “accessibility”— listeners’ perceptions of the NPR brand, their ability to relate to the content, and the extent to which they find time to catch NPR news through their radios or web browsers.

When encountering public radio, news consumers from various demographic groups share a common problem: They feel excluded. “It is really important that people hear themselves in the programming,” said Margaret Low Smith, v.p. of programming. “We’re talking about a private party, versus a party where everyone’s included and planning the same party,” she said.
Read more here.

Why Do Songs Fade Out At The End?

NPR's Tom Cole at The Record blog  writes he's received a lot of interesting questions regarding aspects of the music industry you'd like to know more about. We're tackling them one at a time — so if you keep the questions coming, we'll keep doing our best to answer them.

This week's question comes from Richard Wells of Bala Cynwyd, Penn.
"Who created the idea of songs fading out and why?  It seems a rather odd concept—that a song would not end definitively, but rather fade away into silence.  That's not how songs are played live; why is it accepted for studio recordings?"
Short answer: we don't know who or why. But we got some pretty good ideas from a bunch of very knowledgeable folks.
There has been some speculation that song fades date back to the earliest days of recording. But back then it would have been a challenge because recording was mechanical — a live performance was etched directly onto a cylinder or disc by a needle that was essentially vibrated by the sound waves created by a band. To achieve a fade as we know it today, the musicians would have to play softer and softer and softer and softer.

Read more here.

RadioTime Features Single Artist Channels

RadioTime, Inc. Thursday announced that it has created a new channel on featuring stations dedicated to one rock musician or band. The Icons of Rock Channel is a collection of the most popular of these stations among users, a list dominated by The Beatles and Michael Jackson. New stations will be added at the request of listeners and station representatives.

According to a story at, the majority of these independent stations rely heavily on listener support and donations, but it can be difficult for listeners to find them. A Google search for “Pearl Jam” returns more than 10 million results, but the same search on returns about 50 radio stations playing Pearl Jam’s music and providing listeners with studio performances and podcasts specific to the band.

“These stations were created and are run by actual people, not automated music streaming services, and that human presence creates a more engaging experience for listeners beyond simply indicating whether they do or do not like a particular song,” said Bill Moore, CEO, RadioTime. “RadioTime makes it easier for our users to find stations playing their favorite music and assist these stations attract new listeners.”

The Beatles are the most popular among these artist-only stations, both in terms of number and rankings. Of the top 25 most popular stations based on number of monthly listening sessions, seven are dedicated to the Fab Four, including the top three: Beatles-A-Rama, Beatles Radio and 181.FM The Beatles. Michael Jackson is a close second with six stations, and the Grateful Dead, Madonna, Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd each have two stations. Other artists and bands represented include Bruce Springsteen, the Dave Matthews Band, Guns N' Roses, Madonna and Phish. is free to users; there is no subscription fee.

Read more here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another Slip For Tribune's WGN

From Robert Feder:
New York Times reporter David Carr’s blistering indictment of Tribune Co. under Sam Zell and Randy Michaels wasn’t the only hit the troubled company took Wednesday. Arbitron Portable People Meter ratings released for September showed Tribune-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720) down from the previous month in every time period among listeners between 25 and 54. Overall, the station dropped from a tie for 14th place to 20th in the advertiser-coveted adult demo.
Read more here.

Piers Morgan: "I'm Going To Be There To Win"

From Nikki Finke and Tim Adler:
Piers Morgan also tells his mission is to help boost CNN’s sagging primetime line-up against Fox News, MSNBC, and other rivals.  Larry King Live scored its lowest monthly viewer total in nearly 20 years in May, averaging just 653,000 viewers each night. And, last week, CNN underwent a management shakeup. The TV world has changed since Larry King first began interviewing 25 years ago, says Morgan, noting that back then there wasn’t any Fox News or even MSNBC. Since then, there’s been an explosion in cable TV with rapid-fire hosts like Glenn Beck who don't do long interviews with newsmakers. “Don’t get me wrong, they’re great at what they do,” says Morgan. “But I think there’s a gap in the market. For years, Larry King has shown the power of the extended interview, which is something I’ve specialised in with my British talk shows. When it comes to my rivals, however long it takes, I’m going to be there to win.” Morgan says, "The main message I want to communicate is that I intend this show to be a game-changer in terms of how interview shows are conducted on American TV. And I haven't joined CNN to come 2nd, 3rd, or 4th.

Read more here.

Memo Hints at Name Change for

From Brian Stelter, Media Decoder at
NBC Universal and Microsoft, the parents of, are holding high-level talks about a name change, something that could be a risky endeavor for the third most popular news Web site in the United States.

The two parents have determined that the brand of, a strictly objective news Web site, is widely confused with MSNBC, the cable channel that has taken a strongly liberal bent in recent years, according to internal memorandums obtained by The New York Times this week.

Charlie Tillinghast,’s president, wrote in a memo last March, “Both strategies are fine, but naming them the same thing is brand insanity.” The channel and Web site are already separate companies. employees work closely with employees of MSNBC and NBC News. But the Web site has its own reporters, editors, producers, photographers and advertising sales staff. And those employees have at times felt like they were stuck in the shadow of the cable channel.

Under the current plan, the Web address would become a site exclusively for the cable channel, fulfilling the channel’s desire to have an independent site to promote its programs. The existing news site, called the “Blue site” internally, would move to a new and as-yet-undetermined Web address.

One of the new names under consideration is, according to the memos and interviews. The companies are testing entirely new names, as well.
Read more here.

Media Spending Surges Toward Record

From Politico

Media spending this election cycle is likely to hit an all-time record, topping $4.2 billion by Nov. 2 as political campaigns and outside interest groups keep up a torrid pace of advertising, a new study shows.

As of late September, federal candidates have spent $209 million on media, an $85 million increase over the $124 million that had been spent at the same time during the 2006 midterms, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. The rest of the money — expected to easily surpass the midterm record of $4.2 billion — will come from third-party groups, unions and corporate interests, according to a study by Borrell Associates.

Read more here.
Tom Sez:  More than one has told me the money is going to TV, little to radio as of this date.

Media Ignore Threat of 'Flag of Islam' Flying over White House

ABC asks: should Americans fear Muslims and proves answer is yes.

From Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute

Imagine the furor if a televangelist went on a major TV network and told viewers Christianity would conquer the world and that the flag of Christianity would fly over the White House.

Network reporters, Hollywood celebrities and the pundit class would have seized the moment as an example of the evils of America’s supposed Christian theocracy. The story would have been tied to the dangers of evangelical religion and likely even to the Tea Parties. Across the oceans, radical Islamists would do as they did during the Koran burning episode or after the Danish cartoons were published. They would riot. Cars, businesses and maybe even embassies would burn. People would die.

Thankfully, that didn’t happen. What did happen is far scarier.

ABC News held a townhall meeting, bringing on experts from left and right to ask the question: “Should Americans fear Islam?”

Thanks to ABC, we know the answer. Americans absolutely should. One of the network’s “experts” was Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, who Britain’s Sunday Times called “the leader of the now-outlawed extremist group Islam4UK.” His comments on “This Week” bore out everything conservatives criticize about radical Islam. “We do believe as Muslims the East and the West will be governed by the Sharia,” Choudray said. “Indeed we believe that one day the flag of Islam will fly over the White House.”

According to Choudary, “Islam has a solution for all of the problems that mankind faces.”

Read more here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trib Frat House: Poker Parties, Pervasive Sex Talk

Poker In Trib Tower
NYT:  At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture

From David Carr at
When (Sam) Zell purchased the Tribune Company in December 2007, he bought into an industry desperately in need of new ideas. And Mr. Zell, a consummate deal maker, had a barrelful.

Tribune, home to some of the most important newspapers in the country — The Baltimore Sun, The Hartford Courant and The Orlando Sentinel as well as The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times — had been battered by big drops in advertising and circulation. According to Mr. Zell, the company was also suffering from stodgy thinking and what he called “journalistic arrogance.”

“There’s a new sheriff in town,” he said, in speeches that were peppered with expletives, as he toured the Tribune’s offices.

Mr. Zell’s first innovation was the deal itself. He used debt in combination with an employee stock ownership plan, called an ESOP, to buy the company, while contributing only $315 million of his own money. Under the plan, the company’s discretionary matching contributions to the 401(k) retirement plan for nonunionized Tribune employees were diverted into an ownership stake. The structure of the deal allowed the Tribune to become an S corporation, which pays no federal taxes, making taxpayers essentially silent partners in the deal.

His second innovation was bringing in a new management team, largely from the radio business, that, like Mr. Zell, had little newspaper experience, which constituted more than 70 percent of the company’s business.

(Zell brought in Randy) Michaels, who was initially in charge of Tribune’s broadcasting and interactive businesses as well as six newspapers, was a former shock jock who made a name for himself — and a lot of money for Mr. Zell — by scooping up radio stations while at the Zell-controlled Jacor Communications. Jacor was later sold to Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion.

The new management did transform the work culture, however. Based on interviews with more than 20 employees and former employees of Tribune, Mr. Michaels’s and his executives’ use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company. Tribune Tower, the architectural symbol of the staid company, came to resemble a frat house, complete with poker parties, juke boxes and pervasive sex talk.

The company said Mr. Michaels had the support of the board.
Read more here.

Also read:  Michaels tries to discredit Carr's piece on Tribune

KGO Radio Debate Cancelled

California's gubernatorial candidates have pulled the plug on a long-anticipated radio debate today in San Francisco with KGO's Ronn Owens. reports political analysts say the move allows them to dodge tough questions in a race roiled by the story of an undocumented housekeeper who worked for Republican Meg Whitman.

Representatives for Whitman and her opponent, Democrat Jerry Brown, said the decision to cancel the hourlong debate this morning was "mutual." They added that the meeting had not been finalized.

KGO producer Mark Silverman said the candidates had agreed to debate but that he received a phone call Friday from Rob Stutzman, a senior adviser to Whitman, and Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for Brown, canceling their candidates' participation.

The two candidates, who have debated twice, are scheduled for their final face-off on Oct. 12 at Dominican College in San Rafael, which will be moderated by broadcaster Tom Brokaw.

"Ronn Owens is tough - it's a call-in show where they'll get real-people questions," said Barbara O'Connor, a Sacramento State University political communications professor emeritus. She said the cancellation is a loss for state voters.

Read more here.

Radio-TV Coverage Of Mets Called "Refreshing"

From David Kohl Sports Media Blog....
For all of the reporting of rumors, speculation, and marketing instead of sports news, it was refreshing to see the coverage of true breaking sports news on Monday in New York City.

While the Yankees prepare for their 2010 post-season run, it was the Mets who made news by making it official that Omar Minaya would not return as General Manager and that Jerry Manuel would not be back as Manager on the day after their season ended.

WFAN Radio provided solid coverage of the announcement, as did SNY on the TV side.
SNY went with a 2-hour block including coverage of the press conference and then some exclusive interviews. Anchor Chris Carlin and analyst Bob Ojeda gave viewers detailed input, along with showing the entire statement made by Minaya upon his ouster. (A class move by Minaya to even address the media under the circumstances.) The telecast also included highlights packages showing clips important to Jerry Manuel's managing tenure and recapping the seasons under both Manuel and Minaya. I was also impressed with their one-on-one interviews with members of the Wilpon family (team owners) and how the Wilpons were shown accepting the blame for the Mets' failure to advance in the post-season over the last few years.

SNY also knew to replay the 2-hour block into prime-time, a no brainer to replace the lesser programming originally scheduled. They also replayed the Daily News Round Table show discussing the same topics.

Into the next morning, WFAN also addressed the Wilpon family acknowledging that the family did lose money in the Madoff scandal last year. Sister station WCBS also provided additional coverage of that aspect of the story.

This probably added to TV rival YES Network's frustration, as YES is not able to televise the game action of the Yankees in the post-season, while SNY was bringing fresh and topical programming to its viewers on Monday night.
Read more here.

Howard Kurtz to Daily Beast

Howard Kurtz, the longtime media reporter for the Washington Post, is leaving his post for a job as Washington bureau chief for the Daily Beast. Kurtz also hosts CNN's "Reliable Sources" show.

According to, The Beast, at least, is quite happy about this development:

From a Beast release: "Tina Brown, editor in chief of The Daily Beast, said, 'I have great respect for Howard as a journalist and newsbreaker, but I admire him most of all for his understanding of media and politics as the story of our era. He is that rare reporter with a metabolism that outpaces the frenetic subjects he covers. I am excited that he will be a driving force in The Daily Beast’s coverage of this upcoming midterm election and for many election cycles to come.'"

To judge from Kurtz's Twitter feed, it's business as usual in the world of Washington media and politics. Here's the latest tweet on record from Kurtz: "Trump telling @JoeNBC he's thinking about a presidential run? Come on -- how often has he pulled this? Enjoy the publicity, Donald."

A reporter at the Post says, "It took us by surprise. Howie is one of the steadiest guys you'll ever meet. He's a working machine."

Read more here.

Truck Billboards Urge "Tell The Truth"

ABC, CBS, NBC, NYTimes Challenged 
Four billboard trucks bearing the message “Stop the Liberal Bias, Tell the Truth!” began circling the Manhattan headquarters of ABC, CBS, NBC, and the New York Times on Friday. The trucks will do so for eight hours every weekday for the next four weeks as part of a campaign run by the Media Research Center, a watchdog group that analyzes the media for liberal bias.

CNS News reports similar trucks also are operating in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, passing the offices of the broadcast networks, the Washington Post, CNN, the Newseum, the National Press Club and Politico, and ads about the campaign are running on numerous Web sites and on conservative talk radio programs.

L. Brent Bozell III (pictured), president of the Media Research Center (MRC), the parent organization of, said the goal of this 2010 “Tell the Truth!” campaign “is simple: to force the liberals in the media to stop pushing an agenda and just tell the truth.”

The “liberal media news networks” need to report the facts about “massive growth in government and its control over our lives, and about spending, deficits and debt,” he told “They also need to tell the truth about the efforts to turn our country into a European-style Socialist state.”

Read more here.

Moonves: Couric Deal Last Of Its Kind

CBS’ Les Moonves: You may have the flashy devices, but we still have the content

Les Moonves, president of CBS Corp., was in Austin on Monday to receive an award from the University of Texas and give a lecture called “The Networks Strike Back: How Old Media Has Adapted to the New World.” According to Mark Coddington's blog:
It was exactly what you’d guess from the title: A full-throated defense of the broadcast networks’ vitality in a media landscape where new media companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and Netflix are making most of the headlines and shaping most of the media consumption.

Moonves’ talk could have been subtitled: “It’s still the content, stupid.” His argument was simple: All these devices and platforms may be changing the way we consume media, but they’re not changing the content we consume on that media. Well-produced, high-quality content will win out on any platform, and the deep-pocketed networks (CBS in particular, of course) are still the ones producing that “professional content” without which the new-media innovations wouldn’t have any real value.

Moonves on the half-hour evening newscast. CBS will always produce a nightly evening newscast, Moonves said, as it’s “part of our agreement with the American people that we will do that.” But he sees the form of that newscast changing radically — and probably soon.

He tossed out the idea of turning the evening news into more of a Nightline-style in-depth examination of one or two issues, or an extended discussion a la Face the Nation.

Some of the reason for those changes is the fact that by the time people get home in the evening, they already know the day’s news, Moonves said. But another key factor is cost. Moonves said repeatedly that the model of maintaining costly foreign bureaus and a sizable reporting staff primarily to feed only a half-hour daily news show isn’t a good one, and CBS hasn’t been doing it as well since its extensive cuts over the past several years. A nightly show based on fewer issues or commentary would be much cheaper — though an often-discussed merger with CNN (which Moonves referenced without going into specifics) would change those economics quite a bit, too.

“The Katie Couric deal will be the last big deal of that kind ever done. … Those days are over, because the news no longer generates the kind of revenue or success that’s worth doing [those contracts].”

Read more here.

An Award, Criticism and Perils for Comcast

Pending government approval, MSNBC will soon have a new parent company, Comcast, and that may prove to be awkward for Keith Olbermann and other TV critics of Fox. As a distributor of cable programming, Comcast is in business with Fox and its parent company, the News Corporation.

The New York Times is reporting the business interests of Comcast and the News Corporation were brought to light in a lawsuit by Barry Nolan, a Comcast employee whose protest of Mr. O’Reilly cost him a $200,000-a-year job two years ago. Mr. Nolan later protested his firing, and last month, he lost the case.

In an extensive review of Mr. Nolan’s case for the Columbia Journalism Review in August, the writer Terry Ann Knopf asserted that Mr. Nolan’s firing reflected the “corrosive influence of over-concentrated corporate power.”

Read more here.

MSNBC To "Lean Forward"

Hopes to boost ratings, audience awareness

Cable news network msnbc said Tuesday it is launching a two-year, multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, embracing its politically progressive identity with the new tagline “Lean Forward.”

The network hopes the campaign, featuring television ads directed by Spike Lee, will lift brand awareness and boost ratings, building on recent audience gains that have lifted it to the No. 2 news channel, ahead of CNN and behind industry leader Fox News.

“We’ve taken on CNN and we beat them,” msnbc President Phil Griffin told employees at a series of celebratory “town hall” meetings Monday. “Now it’s time to take on Fox.”

Read more here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chasing Fox

The loud, cartoonish blood sport that’s engorged MSNBC, exhausted CNN

The media world is abuzz over Gabriel Sherman's highly revelatory New York magazine piece about the cable news wars:
The rise of Fox News on the right and MSNBC’s follow-up pincer movement on the left have trapped and isolated CNN inside its brand, desperate to find a way forward. There are still times: presidential elections, global catastrophes when news as it was traditionally understood can still win the ratings game. And CNN, because of its premium advertising rates, international networks, affiliates, and websites, is still surprisingly profitable: Last year, CNN generated $500 million in profit, its best year ever.

But it’s a television commandment that thou must succeed in prime time. Even in prime time, CNN actually gets plenty of viewers, but they tend to click through rather than linger. And Fox’s secret is that viewers stay.

That’s because Fox’s rightward flanking maneuver, capturing a disenfranchised part of the audience, was only part of its strategy. The news, especially political news, wasn’t something that happened. It was something that you shaped out of the raw data, brought out of the clay of zhlubby, boring politics, reborn with heroes and villains, triumphs and reverses, never-ending story lines what TV executives call "flow".

And the beauty of it was that the viewers "the voters" were the protagonists, victims of evil Kenyan socialist overlords, or rebels, coming to take the government back. There was none of the on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand relativity crossfire that mirrors the journalism-school ideal of objectivity. All the fire went one way. The viewers, on their couches, were flattered as the most important participants, the foot soldiers in Fox’s army; some of them even voted.
Read more here.

Marketplace's Bill Radke Joins KIRO

Bill Radke, of Marketplace Morning Report, is moving to the Emerald City to co-host 97.3 KIRO FM's Seattle Morning News.

Radke is no stranger to the Northwest. He hosted NPR's Morning Edition for about seven years and appeared on KUOW from 1991-2004. He wrote a weekly column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and wrote a book called Seattle, according to

Radke will co-host the morning news with Linda Thomas 5a.m. to 9a.m.

Radke told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show on Monday that he's been a fan of the station since high school. Listen here.

Read more here.

Stunner: KGO's Mickey Luckoff Quits

Owners "aren't good people"

According to the blog The Bottom Line at, Luckoff told his staff Monday that he has resigned from his position as President and General Manager of KGO and KSFO Radio, ending his tenure of the past 35 years.

Apart from the 'thanks for the memories,' no explanation immediately forthcoming in an initial press release for the out-of-the-blue move.

But in an interview with Andrew S. Ross, Luckoff made no bones about why, from his point of view, he gave the station owner, Citadel Broadcasting, two weeks notice.

"These aren't very good people," he said. "They don't treat people well. They undermine you at every turn."
Responding to an online rumor, Luckoff said he "absolutely, positively" was not forced out.

"This has been building up for some time," -- basically from when Citadel bought the station from Disney three years ago, said Luckoff. "I've had the resignation letter in my desk for nine months."

The KGO website does offer an official “Farewell, Mickey” post here.

Read more here.

Also read hereMickey's Monkey from Jerry Del Colliano

Jay McFarland Joins KSL Newsradio

KSL NewsRadio debuted a new afternoon weekday show Monday titled “The Browser” to fill the former air space held by the top-rated “The Sean Hannity” Show.

KSL officials decided not to renew Hannity’s contract, and the station aired his nationally syndicated show for the last time Friday, Oct. 1, citing their desire to feature more local programming. Hannity’s show moved to rival talk-radio station KNRS today.

According to David Burger at the Salt Lake Tribune,  “The Browser” is hosted by Amy Iverson and recent Dallas transplant Jay McFarland (formerly of KRLD), and according to a KSL promo features the hosts “watching the Web for you.” It is a two-hour show that airs between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. that will be followed by KSL’s “Afternoon Local News,” which previously began each day at 4 p.m.

During the first show, Iverson and McFarland fielded text messages sent to them and scoured the Web for buzzed-about stories, both local and national.

Read more here.

If You Missed It: Rush On "The Family Guy"

The ‘Family Guy‘ got a ‘rush’ from a special guest on Sunday night’s episode–well, at least from the cartoon version of Rush Limbaugh–in a storyline involving the radio host.
According to James Sims at, Seth MacFarlane’s animated series has taken on Limbaugh before, asserting that the right-winger was merely a fictional creation made up by Fred Savage. This time, however, Limbaugh appears to be slightly more real as he turns to brainwashing Brian.

‘Family Guy’s’ star dog is known for his liberal points of view, so it seemed somewhat shocking to watch as Brian flip-flopped between hating Limbaugh and becoming an extreme devotee after reading a conservative book.

Via Hulu, here's the entire episode:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Must-See List For Chicago Radio Visitors

From Robert Feder:

I’m sure the folks at the NAB and RAB will do their usual fine job of lining up lots of programs and panels for the three-day event next fall. But if anyone is thinking of arranging a “radio tour” of Chicago for the conventioneers and other radio geeks who’ll be in town with them, here are a few locations they might consider:

■Tribune Tower, where Col. Robert R. McCormick launched WGN Radio 86 years ago with a pledge to make to make it “the outstanding station of America” — and where the frat boys running it today have turned it into their own personal playground. (On a panel at last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Washington, WGN program director Kevin Metheny spoke of the “inertial momentum” of the station he inherited and the necessity to change the product “respectfully.” Later he was quoted as saying: “We often shoot ourselves in our own feet . . . you can’t do this job without having a certain confidence level that can be annoying to other people.”) The era between them — when WGN Radio was Chicago — was personified by a gracious gentleman named Ward Quaal, who died the other day at 91.
■Clear Channel Communications’ state-of-the-art studios at Illinois Center, where six radio stations in the nation’s third largest market are operated side-by-side with smoke and mirrors — and lots of voice-tracking. (Here’s a joke overheard at last week’s Radio Show: “Q: What’s the difference between a Clear Channel station and the drive-thru at McDonald’s? A: The kid at the drive-thru is live and local.”)
■The Merchandise Mart, longtime home of WMAQ Radio, historic studios of “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” “Fibber McGee and Molly” and other classics of radio’s golden age, and the Chicago flagship of the NBC Radio network dating back to 1931. It all came to an inglorious end in 2000 when subsequent owner CBS Radio dropped WMAQ’s call letters and turned 670 AM into sports/talk WSCR. (Radio emanating from the Mart today comes courtesy of Emmis Communications’ Loop and Q101 — at least until the troubled company finds a buyer to take the stations off its hands.
■The Museum of Broadcast Communications (and home of the National Radio Hall of Fame), which might be, could be, possibly will be open by the time the convention comes to town.
Read more here.

WAPO: Glenn Beck's Hitler Fetish

Beck obsessed with Hitler, Woodrow Wilson

In Sunday's Washington Post,  Dana Milbank explains how Glenn Beck has a tendency to liken people to Adolf Hitler and inject parallels between progressives and Nazis.

Glenn Beck, the conservative television and radio host, is an amateur historian. Very amateur.

One day, he rhetorically asked his Fox News viewers: "Why did we buy Alaska in the 1950s?" A good question -- because "we" purchased Alaska in 1867. Another day, he gave his version of European history: "We have the Age of Enlightenment, 1620 to 1871, uh, 1781. This was a time when people said, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute, we can think out of the box.' This is coming out of the Dark Ages." That was thinking outside of the box, because the Dark Ages ended in about 1000 AD, six centuries earlier than Beck claimed.
Beck has created an online "Beck University" to spread his unique views of the past and has hosted "Founders' Fridays" on his television show, devoted to rewriting the nation's early history as that of a fundamentalist state.

When the subject turns, as it usually does, to President Obama, Beck again sees lessons from history. In particular, he has seized upon two individuals who he believes provide excellent historical parallels to the 44th commander in chief: Woodrow Wilson and Adolf Hitler.

At the heart of Beck's technique of amplifying fringe theories is his obsession with Nazism. For much of the past 70 years, there has been an unwritten rule in U.S. political debate: Avoid Hitler accusations. Once you liken your opponent to the Nazis, any form of rational discussion becomes impossible. But Beck, it seems, has a Nazi fetish. In his first 18 months on Fox News, from early 2009 through the middle of this year, he and his guests invoked Hitler 147 times. Nazis, an additional 202 times. Fascism or fascists, 193 times. The Holocaust got 76 mentions, and Joseph Goebbels got 24.
Read more here.


Satire: Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck

Taking an Alan Grayson Ad Tactic to the extreme:  This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed using dozens of classic Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s. Donald's life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck.

This transformative remix work constitutes a fair-use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law. "Right Wing Radio Duck" by Jonathan McIntosh is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License - permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution.


Click here for:  Satire: Alan Grayson: Hates Children, Seniors, Loves Satan

What Would You Say?

What advice would you give to someone who’s ready to graduate and who wants a job in broadcasting?
What advice would you give to someone who has been “downsized” out of a media job and is looking for another gig? Frank Absher at has some thoughts:
It appears that today’s jobs in media require many skills, long hours, low compensation, few opportunities for growth and little appreciation for a job well done. The rewards, such as they are, include being laid off once you reach a comfortable income level because you’re too high-priced.
So if good work is seldom appreciated and seldom rewarded, and if making a good wage often leads to being laid off, the business is actually based upon a dis-incentive to do excellent work.
In today’s education system, most colleges and universities still give grades, and the incentive to get good grades can include scholarships. So the kids who think they’re ready to enter the media job market face a major reality check.
And speaking of reality checks, how’s this one? I got a phone call from a woman who had been cut from her radio job and was in tears because, in her words, there was no other job she could do.
This, of course, was not true, but it was in her mind, so that was her reality. The job she ended up taking was in a slightly different form of the radio business. But the truth remains.
The mindset of the job applicant/holder is that person’s most important attribute.
So many people are stuck in miserable media jobs because they think that’s the best they can do. Heaven forbid they should even think about a job in another field.
But all those skills one needs for a job in media today can easily translate into valuable skills in other lines of work, and I know a large number of former media people who took jobs outside of the business and never looked back. They are more secure, often make more money, work shorter hours, have time for a family/social life, and see a future for themselves.
How many media people can say all that about their jobs today?
So that advice for the folks mentioned above – I’d make sure the students were completely prepared for the realities they’ll encounter and if they’re still interested in media jobs, I’d encourage them to go for it, although I’m not sure many of the smart ones would.
As for the people who have been laid off from the media, I’d advise them to run as far away from the business as possible. They’ve suffered enough. My guess is they’d be very surprised at how good life outside the media can be.

CBS Radio Correspondent Busted

Howard Arenstein charged in marijuana case

CBS Photo
A veteran CBS Radio News correspondent was arrested early Saturday on drug charges after police searched his Northwest Washington home and found marijuana plants growing in his yard, police said.

The Washington Post reports officers arrested Howard Arenstein, 60, and his wife, Orly Katz, 57, at their home in the 3500 block of T Street and charged them with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, police said.

According to his biography on CBS News's Web site, Arenstein's wife, known professionally as Orly Azoulay, is a Washington correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth, one of Israel's most widely circulated newspapers.

Police executed a search warrant at the home Saturday after a tip from an area resident, police said. A police report said cannabis was recovered from the home; officers said they found 11 full-grown marijuana plants and six 2-ounce bags of marijuana. Authorities consider each plant to equal a pound of marijuana.

According to CBS News's Web site, Arenstein has supervised coverage and reported on such major Washington stories as the disputed 2000 presidential election; the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and the war in Iraq.

Read more here.

Joe Torre Mulls Broadcast Overtures

LA Times Photo
Joe Torre, who will step down as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers following Sunday's season finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, said Friday that he has received strong overtures about a possible broadcasting job but that he isn't sure whether he wants to return to that role, which he filled with the then-California Angels during the late 1980s. also reports the Dodgers also are expected to discuss with Torre a possible role within the organization, and he hasn't completely ruled out managing again somewhere else.

"I have had some inquiries [about broadcasting]," Torre said. "Just people saying, 'When you want to pack it in as a manager, we want to talk to you,' stuff like that. It would depend on what there is and how often I would have to do it."

Torre wouldn't reveal where any of those inquiries have come from, and he wouldn't even say whether they were from teams or networks.

"I'm not going to go into specifics," Torre said. "I'm not willing to talk about it only because I don't know what I want to do right now. I have to consider my options and see what those options are. When the season is over, I just want to get away, even just for a couple of weeks -- it's not like I need a long time to get away -- and then see what makes sense."

Read more here.