Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Saturday Aircheck

Darryl Parks on The Big One, WLW Cincinnati (September 2010)

See next story.

CC Names Darryl Parks News/Talk VP

Clear Channel Radio has finally decided it was time to fill its corporate position of VP/News Talk Operations.  The company announced Friday that its Cincinnati OM, Darryl Parks, will be taking on the duties. 

Parks appointment fills the position vacant since Gabe Hobbs held it 1998-2008.  Parks will oversee spoken word contents nationwide, including the identifcation, recruitment and development of talk talent as well as supervising Clear Channel Radio's reorgnization of traffic content.  A search for a successor the Cincinnati is underway.

"Darryl has been recognized inside and outside Clear Channel Radio for his leadership and successes at our top-rated Cincinnati AM cluster.  His track record of innovation and execution makes him the perfect candidate to lead our news and talk programming for our local stations," said CCR Pres./CEO John Hogan.

"Darryl has a first-hand understanding of the spoken word services local stations need to succeed, and having a person of his talent driving their delivery as a strategically centralized resource to support our local stations, adds a real competitive advantage for Clear Channel. We'll continue to invest in our people and resources to help our stations perform at the highest levels possible."

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to share my experience and foster best practices while driving the information services that will give our stations a leg up in the markets," said Parks.

"Clear Channel has been very active in rolling out top-quality resources to support local operations, and being able to lead this latest initiative for news, talk and sports, matches my expertise with my long-term interest of meeting the needs of today's audiences -- providing consumers with their favorite content delivered across the latest platforms."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Twin CitiesAnchor Draws Citicism For Interview

Does Fox 9 Heidi Collins blow it with state politician?

From Neal Justin's blog at in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN:
A few thoughts:

Collins starts off the interview with the kind of tone I suspect was used at Guantanamo Bay. She then asks Ritchie to respond to accusations that he's an ACORN activist - and then needles her guest for not answering the question. Problem is: Ritchie DOES answer the question, at least tries to while Collins says: "Could I ask the questions? I ask, you answer." Not only was she wrong in painting Ritchie as a question dodger, but she showed a level of rudeness that's unacceptable - no matter the situation -when it comes to a person at that level of office.

Collins' greatest sin: Going after Ritchie for saying before the interview that he was "prepared" for a recount. Collins' tone makes it sound like that's a BAD thing, even as Ritchie tries to explain that recounts are actually quite frequent in Minnesota and that, of course, they're prepared.

But let's just not trash Collins (a veteran CNN anchor who should know better).

Let's also lay some blame on the entire station for an interview approach that I've never liked. Despite the fact that Ritchie is obviously in studio, he's shuttled off to a side room so that he's only talking to Collins through a camera lens rather than being face to face. This offers the prosecutor - er, I mean, the interviewer - a huge advantage. Collins is a veteran of talking into a camera. Most interviewees are not. It's an awkward way to talk to someone.

Ryan Seacrest Criticizes Meghan McCain's Attack

John McCain's daughter Meghan went on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" Wednesday to demonstrate her complete lack of understanding on the use of entertainment programming for political gain.

According to Lisa de Moraes in The Washington Post, she nicked President Obama first for having done an interview Tuesday on Ryan Seacrest's syndicated radio show.

"I just think it's -- not so presidential to do an interview with the producer of the 'Kardashians.' . . . I'm one of the people that still holds the office of the presidency very seriously, and I think it's kind of trashy," Meghan sniffed.

Note to Meghan: Seacrest's radio show has a reach of 100 million on-air listeners -- including millions of mostly younger voters, who are the hardest to get to the polls., writes de Morses.

Anyway, Thursday morning, Seacrest slapped back, noting on his radio show that Meghan has tried to get booked on said show several times. He trotted out his show's booker, Amy Sugarman, to confirm the fact. Sugarman wondered why Seabiscuit was bringing this up.

Read more here.

Baseball's Latest PPM Numbers

In it latest Portable People Meter Update, Arbitron offers a number of metrics, including the latest on baseball's performance.

NY Yankees Attract Largest Cume Among All Measured MLB Teams

Baseball Teams in the Midwest Have High In-Game AQH Share

See the complete Abritron update by clicking here.

Olbermann Suspended For Contributions


Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's primetime firebrand host, has been suspended indefinitely (without pay) for violating the ethics policies of his employer earlier this year when he donated to three Democrats seeking federal office, MSNBC announced Friday.

(earlier story)
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday’s election — a potential violation of NBC’s ethics policies.

Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 – the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann’s “Countdown” show. Grijalva, a prominent liberal who was only declared a winner in his race Thursday night, was in a tight contest against tea party-backed candidate Ruth McClung when he appeared on Countdown – one of several appearances he made on the show.

NBC has a rule against employees contributing to political campaigns, and a wide range of news organizations prohibit political contributions – considering it a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.

Olbermann, who has become of the most prominent liberal commentators on cable television, has been a critic of the political donations made by Fox News’ parent company, News Corp., which contributed $1 million each to a pair of organizations trying to defeat Democratic candidates.

Under FEC rules, an individual donor may only give $2,400 to a candidate per general election campaign. The FEC filings for Olbermann’s contributions list an address that is a Mailboxes Etc. storefront in New York, and it also lists his occupation as a newscaster for NBC Television.

MSNBC declined to comment on Olbermann.
Read more here.

Evolving Media Landscape Presents Challenges

Changes in the culture affecting the way people consume media, new alternatives to traditional media and Arbitron’s PPM (in large markets) are presenting new challenges in programming commercial messages for talk radio practitioners.

In the current print edition of TALKERS magazine, Mike Kinosian speaks with radio operators about these challenges. The fact that listeners would prefer no commercial messages and the reality that the programming has to be paid for somehow notwithstanding, most talk radio managers agree the presentation of commercial messages must be done with care these days.

Clear Channel Los Angeles president and market manager Greg Ashlock says to keep news/talk KFI competitive in a landscape where other entertainment options grow every year, success depends on providing “content you can’t find someplace else and it is a little easier for spoken-word formats to get longer time spent listening.” Ashlock says endorsement ads by prime talent such as Bill Handel get tremendous results for clients and help keep listeners aboard. But involvement by the talent is crucial. “There’s an engagement between our hosts and the results of the clients they are representing. They are not just doing a ‘read’ — they are involved in a client’s business. It really is a collaboration.”

You can read the entire feature piece in the current print edition of TALKERS magazine.

Opinion: Why Are We Paying for NPR?

By Rep. Doug Lamborn, who represents the 5th District of Colorado, wrote this Op-Ed piece for The Denver Post:
Denver Post photo
National Public Radio's recent firing of longtime news analyst Juan Williams was a wake-up call for many Americans to the political correctness and liberal bias at NPR. However, it is not so much that bias that offends me, but the fact that my tax dollars are funding it.

Long before Williams' firing, I had sponsored a bill in Congress to pull the plug on federal funding for NPR. I have long believed that the operation is fully capable of standing on its own. It is time for Congress to prioritize its spending to our nation's most pressing needs. With the national debt over $13 trillion, the government cannot continue to fund non-essential services.

On its own website, NPR describes itself as "an independent, self-supporting media organization . . . that receive(s) no direct federal funding for operations." That carefully worded statement is disingenuous and hides the truth about the extent to which taxpayers are supporting NPR and its liberal agenda.

NPR is a two-tiered operation, consisting of the Washington-based operational headquarters that produces programs and the more than 700 NPR affiliate radio stations that broadcast those programs.

The operational headquarters gets about 2 percent of its annual income from its parent agency, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. However, according to NPR's website, local affiliate stations get 10 percent of their funding from CPB. The stations get an additional 5.6 percent of their funding from various federal, state and local governments. NPR obtains additional federal money from grants obtained through the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts, and possibly other government agencies. Its affiliate stations get tax dollars from state-funded universities and colleges.

My staff is currently researching all of NPR's various sources of taxpayer dollars. For now, to our best knowledge, CPB has funneled over $4 billion in taxpayer money to NPR and PBS since 2001.

Furthermore, NPR has a massive private endowment of well over $225 million. You may recall that in 2003, the widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald's corporation, donated more than $200 million to NPR's endowment. At the time, it was the single largest monetary gift ever given to a cultural institution.

George Soros recently added another $1.8 million to that fund. Every year, private businesses and individual contributors pledge millions to NPR affiliate stations.

The original purpose of federal funding for CPB, established in 1967, is no longer relevant. The intent of federally funded public broadcasting was to make "telecommunications services available to all citizens of the United States." In a world of 500-channel cable TV, streaming radio over the Internet, and cellphone Internet access, government-funded broadcasting is completely unnecessary. The government has no business being a broadcaster, especially when there is a thriving private market.
Read more here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sirius XM Profit, Sales Beat Estimates

Ended Q3 with 19.8 million subscribers

Sirius XM Radio Inc (SIRI.O) reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as more customers signed on to the satellite radio service after their promotions ended and it sold more premium content.

Excluding items, the company posted a third-quarter profit of 2 cents a share, which beat analysts' estimates for the company to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income was $67.6 million, compared to a loss of $151.5 million a year earlier.

The company, home to programming by Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey, had total adjusted revenue of $722.5 million in the quarter, up 15 percent from a year ago, and beating analysts expectations of about $719 million.

Its shares were up 2 percent in premarket Nasdaq trading, having closed Wednesday at $1.57.
In the quarter, Sirius XM spent less on acquiring subscribers, which Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett said provided a "huge upside surprise."

The subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) fell 14 percent to $59 from $69 in the third quarter 2009.

"They spent a lot less on subscriber additions, which means they are making more money," he said.

Crockett said he was surprised Sirius XM did not disclose anything new about the status of Howard Stern's contract. Stern's five-year $500 million contract with Sirius XM Radio is up in December and investors have expressed concern that the service would lose subscribers if Stern were to jump ship.

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jock's Home Firebombed

A Billings radio host is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the person or persons who firebombed his house.

According to, Jason Harris, or Big J as he is known to his listeners on Hot 101.9, came home Saturday morning to find that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown through his kitchen window.
He is no stranger to controversy on his show, and said more than likely it was someone upset with something he said. He said his home has been vandalized before, and he has had death threats before, but this is another level.
Read more here.

2 TV Reporters Fired Over 'Phonegate'

Alaska TV station KTVA has fired two of its reporters after their voice were recorded conspiring to find negative stories on Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Alaskan Sarah Palin labeled them “corrupt bastards.”  The two reporters whose voices were caught on a phone conversation hoping to “find that one person” in Joe Miller’s group “who is a sex offender,” among other things, “are no longer with the station.”

The KTVA news release:
KTVA today released findings of its internal assessment of allegations that the “news director for CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA, along with assignment editor Nick McDermott, and other reporters, openly discussed creating, if not fabricating, two stories about Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller,” as alleged by the Miller campaign. KTVA states that its review included multiple staff interviews, a review of that day’s actual news coverage and a forensic transcript of the recorded audio conversation.

General Manager Jerry Bever stated, “As we worked through this fact-finding process we noted that actual story assignments for that day had already been decided before the recorded conversation took place. At no time did any of the elements associated with the recorded comments become part of any coverage or broadcast. The recorded conversation in question specifically involved how that evening’s Miller rally might be promoted and the ensuing dialogue went down hill from there. These particular comments were not in line with KTVA standards.”

As a result of this incident, the two producers involved in the recorded conversation are no longer with the station. As a matter of policy KTVA did not identify the staff members involved, however KTVA clarified that neither the News Director, Assignment Editor Nick McDermott nor any other KTVA reporters were involved in the recorded conversation as previously reported by the Miller campaign.

KTVA believes that its actual broadcast coverage of Miller has been sound and fair during this election cycle and the history of our coverage speaks for itself. Bever noted that in the coverage of this issue, FOX News correspondent Dan Springer reported that in a review of recent Miller coverage by KTVA, Fox News could not find any articles or stories that showed any obvious bias or hit pieces against Joe Miller.

KTVA has contacted the Miller campaign to set up a meeting to review its findings.

Radio Exec Says Cops Profiled Him

Hot 97, Kiss FM's Terrence Battle: NYPD racially profiled him

NY Daily News photo
A manager at popular radio stations Hot 97 and Kiss FM says cops ordered him out of a cab and frisked him right in front of his Brooklyn home just because he's black.

The reports Terrence Battle, creative services manager at the stations, said the incident on Saturday left him feeling humiliated and furious.

"It was outrageous," Battle said. "But the sad part about it is it's an everyday occurrence. I can't say this is true for all police officers, but dealing with these officers, I was obviously considered a suspect."

After a late night out at a Manhattan comedy club, the 37-year-old Battle took the subway to Brooklyn and then hailed a livery cab. When the driver stopped to drop Battle at his home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, three plainclothes cops from the 81st Precinct got out of their unmarked car, he said.

"I'm thinking, 'This may be about something the driver did - a broken taillight or something like that,'" Battle said. "They ask him if everything is okay and he goes, 'Yeah.' Then they turn their attention to me and ask me to get out of the car.

"They said it was a routine stop, nothing personal."

Battle said he told the two officers and a sergeant that he lived there and had done nothing wrong.

"I'm sitting there, I'm a 6-4-1/2 black man, and I'm thinking it could get bad real quick," he said. "I'm being very, very careful. I had a recorder in my bag. I thought about trying to get it out, but I was scared to move."
Eventually, Battle got out of the car and let police frisk him, search his bag and jot down his personal information.

The NYPD said the officers stopped the livery because it had a decal that allows police to stop the car at any time to ensure the driver's safety.

Cops said the partition was open, suggesting a robbery, and that Battle matched the description of a man - black, 6 feet tall and 250 pounds - wanted in eight robberies in Bed-Stuy and East New York.

Read more here.

NBCU Says Old Is the New Young

Media giant says Nielsen age demo ratings groups, which stop at 54, are outdated
NBC Universal wants advertisers to know that when it comes to consumer spending based on what they see in television ads, the 55-64 demo is the new 18-34 -- or it’s just as important as that younger demo. reports NBCU on Tuesday gave the media a sneak peak at a major presentation it will make on Thursday to its advertisers, their media agencies and Nielsen officials. The presentation will offer data showing that the adult 55-64 demo is as vibrant as younger demos in ad spending, and should be targeted (and not ignored) when television marketing plans are created.

Allen Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBCU, presented evidence from assorted sources -- including one-on-one interviews with adults in the demo -- that dispel myths about how adults 55-64 respond to advertising and spend as consumers.

Wurtzel said the demo, which he’s labeled "AlphaBoomers," "has been largely ignored by advertisers and marketers."

"Every seven seconds someone turns 55 and once they do, they are eliminated from the highest end Nielsen demo measurement: 25-54," Wurtzel said. "It is the fastest-growing demo group in the country and now numbers 35 million people that account for close to $2 trillion in annual spending.”

Wurtzel said NBC research and a survey it commissioned of people in the 55-64 demo counters common perceptions that they make less of an income and spend less on advertised products; are technophobic and brand loyal, and therefore, cannot be motivated to switch brands.

Read more here.

Obama, Seacrest Share Small Talk

Despite the problems facing the country, President Barack Obama said in a call to Ryan Seacrest's radio show Monday on KIIS-FM Los Angeles, "I am optimistic about this country because of young people, because of their energy, because of their enthusiasm, because of their ideas, but none of that will make a difference if they're not participating."

During the nearly 10-minute taped interview, Obama shed light on life inside the White House bubble, according to the LA Times.

"I don't watch a lot of TV,'' he said when asked about campaign attack ads. Asked what his daughters wore for Halloween, he said Malia dressed up as a Sour Patch girl and Sasha as a turkey.

Asked if he ever got to hit the snooze button, he said, "No. I actually have it set up so the White House operator calls me, and if I don't wake up the first time, they just keep on calling."

Asked about Jon Stewart calling him "dude'' on the "The Daily Show,'' the president responded, "I promise you, as president, you're called much worse than dude.''
Read more here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Seattle's KVI Radio To Switch To Oldies

Throws In The Towel on Conservative Talk
The bloom is off the rose for conservative talk radio in some markets around the country and a landmark station in that format in Seattle has joined the ranks of others who have decided to move on – and not in the vein of, format wise. reports, KVI-AM radio - after some 15 years in the conservative talk format and being the legacy station that launched that format for the first time in Seattle – is leaving the format to go to Rock Oldies, according to Fisher Communications, which owns the station.

In a statement issued by the radio station’s program director Travis Box AM 570 KVI will flip to an oldies music format next week. “Seattle's Greatest Hits 570 KVI" starts Monday, Nov. 8.

The station will play rock music from the 60s and 70s and will feature some well-known local radio names associated with the music from that period.

KVI mornings will be hosted by KOMO sports announcer Tom Hutyler (pron: Hutler) and Marina Rockinger. Mark Christopher, from the now defunct FM Oldies station KBSG-FM (now KIRO-FM News-Talk) will host afternoons and Ric Hansen, an old KJR DJ from the 70’s, will host nights. It was not known if all hosts would be live or “canned” as in pre-recorded voice tracks.

Since broadcast “consolidation” over the past 20 years – where huge corporations bought up many of the long time locally owned stations and many “mom and pop” stations and put them under one ownership - many stations, to save money on labor costs for the corporation, have just one or two local live in air personalities and the rest of the day is recorded voice tracks of DJ’s intended to sound as if they are live at the studio.

Live news and talk radio is an expensive, labor-intensive operation and unless sustained by ratings – which translate into dollars in big markets like Seattle – the formats are often not sustainable.

Leaving the KVI airwaves along with the talk format will be recently-re-hired morning personality Bryan Suits and syndicated talk hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, George Noory, and Dennis Miller.
(Tom sez:  Look for remaining talkers to vie for Hannity, Levin and Noory)
Read more here.

Randy's Guns Start Leaving Trib

Clear Channel-Jacor contingent clearing out of Tribune Co.
Tribune Interactive President Marc Chase, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Kapugi and Executive Vice President Carolyn Gilbert — longtime associates of Randy Michaels, who resigned as Tribune Co. chief executive last month — are leaving the company, sources said.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Gilbert and Kapugi confirmed their departures from Tribune Co.'s digital division Monday. Chase could not be reached for comment. A Tribune Co. spokesman declined to comment.

Chase, Kapugi and Gilbert are among the first and highest ranking of Michaels' Jacor and Clear Channel Communications colleagues to leave Tribune Co. since a four-member executive council replaced Michaels on Oct. 22. They will not be alone, sources indicated.

John Phillips, a former on-air Clear Channel radio traffic reporter, plans to leave his post as director of facilities in Tribune Tower, home to the company's headquarters as well as its flagship newspaper, the Chicago Tribune.

Betsy Phillips, another former Clear Channel employee, who is married to John Phillips, is exiting her position as a vice president in sales for Tribune Broadcasting, sources said.

It was John Phillips who posted Facebook photos of an after-hours poker party that Michaels hosted in the former office of longtime Tribune leader Col. Robert R. McCormick. The Facebook posting included captions noting that the players "pretty much desecrated it with gambling, booze and cigars."

That contributed to the image of a "frat house" atmosphere at Tribune Co. under Michaels, which, in the end, undercut his ability to lead the company, which is trying to steer itself out of bankruptcy for the last 22 months.

Read more here.

Voice of Charlie O'Donnell Silenced

"Wheel of Fortune" announcer Charlie O'Donnell died Nov. 1 in Sherman Oaks, Calif., according to Variety. He was 78.

Although he announced for other TV shows, O'Donnell was known as the voice behind "Wheel of Fortune" from 1975 to 1980. He returned for several stints even after retiring, including when his successor Jack Clark passed away in 1988.

O'Donnell celebrated his 25th anniversary on "Wheel of Fortune" in 2007 and was at the mic as "Wheel" recorded its 5,000th episode in syndication in 2009.

O'Donnell started his showbiz career on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" in 1958. During the '60s, he was a DJ on KRLA Radio in Los Angeles. In the '70s, he anchored the afternoon newscast on KCOP-TV.
He served as the announcer for the Beatles when they appeared at the Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium in 1965, 1966 and 1967; for the Rolling Stones when they appeared at the Long Beach Auditorium in 1965; and for Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles and the papal nationwide teleconference in 1987.

Other highlights include the Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globe Awards and the American Music Awards.   Among the TV shows he announced were "The Dating Game," "Everybody's Talking," "The Gong Show," "The Joker's Wild," "The Newlywed Game," and "Tic Tac Dough."

Read more here.

Olbermann Stopping ‘Worst Person’ Segment

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced Monday night that he is stopping his “Worst Person in the World” segment, according to The Daily Caller.

“As of right now, I am unilaterally suspending that segment with an eye towards discontinuing it,” he said. “We don’t know how that works long-term. We might bring it back. We might bring back something similar to it. We might kill it outright.”

The change comes after comedian Jon Stewart criticized cable news personalities like Olbermann at this weekend’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.” Olbermann referenced Stewart’s comments Monday night, saying he agrees that “the tone needs to change.”

“Today given the serious stuff we have to start covering tomorrow, we think it’s the right time to do it short-term and then we’ll see what happens,” he said. His apparent agreement with Stewart differs from his attitude Saturday, when he Tweeted his disapproval of the comedian’s remarks about the media at the rally.

Read more here.

Handling Listener Feedback

A brief interview with NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard about how to handle audience feedback, something she’s been in the midst of in the recent flap over the firing of Juan Williams.

Shepard, who wrote a column Friday calling for NPR to start a national conversation on Muslims, talked with ONA’s Matt Mansfield.

ONA 10 Podcast: Day 2 - Alicia C. Shepard, NPR Ombudsman by joeymarburger

A Peek At OWN

From USA Today:
After delays, management shake-ups and a renegotiation of her on-air commitment, Oprah Winfrey is ready for her cable close-up.

The Oprah Winfrey Network premieres at noon ET/PT on New Year's Day with a weekend lineup of sneak previews, Master Class interviews with Jay-Z and Diane Sawyer and Ask Oprah's All-Stars, the first of four two-hour specials that will offer viewers advice from Oprah disciples Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Suze Orman.

Discovery Networks is sinking $189 million into the joint venture with the talk-show queen and will reach 78 million homes — two-thirds of the country — right off the bat. Though the channel has announced plans for several shows emphasizing empowerment, until now it has kept specific rollout plans under wraps, along with two more series reuniting actors Ryan and Tatum O'Neal and country singers Naomi and Wynonna Judd as each works through "complex" parent-child relationships.

High-profile series, including globe-trotting interview show Oprah's Next Chapter and a daily talk show with Rosie O'Donnell, won't appear until fall. But launch weekend is designed to deliver "an honest and true representation of what OWN is," says channel president Christina Norman.

Programming chief Lisa Erspamer says the network's goal is "to entertain people, inspire people and educate people about themselves and others," without force-feeding viewers a diet of feel-good fare.
Read more here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Abrams: Trib Controversy "Blown Out Of Proportion"

First Randy Michaels talks to about his plans.  Now,  Lee Abrams did an "exclusive" interview with the online video studio My Damn Channel to further address his controversial departure from the Tribune Co.

Get more here.

TV Station Responds to 'Phonegate' Controversy

KTVA Channel 11 (Anchorage, Alaska) issued a statement Sunday in response to a controversy swirling around a message left on Senate candidate Joe Miller's spokesman's phone Thursday. The Alaska news station claims Miller's charges of journalistic impropriety are bogus, though the garbled message makes it hard to determine what exactly happened, reports Amanda Coyne at

The KTVA journalist who made the call, believed to be assignment editor Nick McDermott, thought he'd hung up the phone after leaving a voice mail on Miller flack Randy DeSoto's phone. But the phone continued to record the conversation that was apparently taking place during a story meeting in preparation for a Miller rally Thursday in Anchorage, featuring former Gov. Sarah Palin.

Coyne writes a transcript of the reporter's conversation, along with the audio, was released by the Miller campaign on Saturday night. Much of the conversation is inaudible, but at one point, one of the reporters seemed to be talking about finding a "molester" among Miller's "people" or "campaign workers."

"We know that out of all the people showing up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender," one of KTVA's staff members is heard saying.

They then discussed tweeting if a "Rand Paul" moment happened at the rally.

On Fox News Sunday, Palin called the tape evidence that the station's journalists are "corrupt bastards" conspiring to fabricate news about Miller.

In a statement Sunday morning, KTVA General Manager Jerry Bever said: "It's unfortunate that this recording has happened." Although he does not dispute the veracity of the conversation, he said Miller's "allegations are untrue" and to allege that KTVA was intending to fabricate stories was "absurd."

Read more here.

Also read here:

Breitbart sounds off on Miller tape critics (The Daily Caller)

Howard Stern Has Nothing To Worry About

Joel Hollander, who knows something about running a radio company that lost Howard Stern, says that for what it's worth, he thinks Stern will stay with Sirius satellite.

"Howard can do whatever he wants and be successful in any medium on any platform," says Hollander, who was running CBS Radio when Stern bolted to satellite in January 2006. "But if I were a betting man, I'd guess that he'd stay," Hollander tells Danvid Hinckley at

Stern's five-year deal with Sirius expires at the end of December. As in the past when he approached the end of a contract, he has escalated the drama while insisting that he doesn't know what will happen next.

He periodically references his number of remaining shows. He also told a caller Thursday that he hopes to find a way to stay in radio.

He has all but ruled out terrestrial radio, where he says his employers' fear of FCC sanctions made his show a nightmare. There has been talk, which he acknowledges he has considered, of setting up his own Internet show, sold by subscription.

He also has said he's willing to return to Sirius, but that the money and the hours, among other things, would have to be right.

The man in charge of trying to make that happen for Sirius, CEO Mel Karmazin, recently told Bloomberg News he's still hopeful a deal can be struck.

Karmazin, who earlier acknowledged that compensation and schedule are major issues, told Bloomberg he isn't saying anything more about the Stern issue "until a deal is struck. Or isn't."

Read more here.

Fighting Mad, at the News Media

EU Times image
From Jeremy W. Peters at
Much has been made this election cycle about the eagerness of many candidates to bypass the mainstream news media in favor of social networking or media outlets that they perceive to be embracing of their political platforms. But some politicians have taken their distaste and mistrust of journalists a step further, opening a direct assault on the news media as an institution.

Sarah Palin, who often appears proudly contemptuous of what she calls “the lame-stream media,” and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who has accused the press of treason, have made a sport of needling journalists this year.

And while tension between the news media and politicians has always been a factor in campaigns, the civility that has generally kept relations from breaking into outright feuding has been shattered.

“The relationship is probably at a low point between politicians and the media, particularly on the right,” Nicolle Wallace, a former communications strategist for George W. Bush and John McCain told the  “There are certain Republicans who can do both, who speak to the base of the Republican Party and are skeptical but not disdainful of the media. Then there is the Sarah Palin wing of the party, which passed skeptical long ago and is at war with the media.”

Ms. Palin, not one to mince words, has been the news media’s chief antagonist on the right. In an interview with Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, she excoriated journalists who use anonymous sources as “impotent, limp and gutless,” apparently a reaction to an unflattering Vanity Fair article about her that used anonymous quotations.

In her farewell speech as Alaska governor, Ms. Palin — who has a degree in communications and is a former local television sportscaster — said journalism “could and should be a respected, honest profession.” She added: “That’s why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up?”

News media experts say that an attack-the-press strategy can make sense as a pure political play. While polling has shown that majorities of Republicans and conservatives have long harbored suspicions about the news media, there has been a surge in negative feelings among Democrats and liberals.
Read more here.

Michaels Weighs Comeback Plans

"I may go buy some media, I may go run some media, I don't know," he said. "My phone's been ringing. There are a lot of people who look past noise and emotions and look at results."

In his first interview since unflattering accounts of Tribune's corporate culture led to his resignation, Mr. Michaels talked to Russell Adams at about the recent developments that ended his career, what he regrets, the health of the business and what he thinks of the board that replaced him.

Michaels said a "careless" and "indefensible" memo from one of his top lieutenants did him in, validating his critics and ultimately cutting short what he thought could have been a long run at the media company.

Tribune under Mr. Michaels and his team had been dogged by allegations of a frat-house culture that were detailed in a New York Times article early last month.  Michaels disputes that characterization.

"The environment at Tribune was inclusive, tolerant, fun, creative and sometimes irreverent, but with a purpose," Michaels said.

Michaels said his chief regret is he moved too quickly to implement changes while the company was in flux and rumors about management were swirling, causing an already change-averse culture to "wait things out."

Read more here.

Rush Limbaugh: Always Right

What does the radio host want, now and in 2012?

Rush Limbaugh top the first Newsweek Power List. That good enough to get the cover and an article:
People sometimes ask Rush Limbaugh if he has plans to run for public office, and his answer is always the same—he can’t afford the pay cut.

This is a rare understatement by El Rushbo. His annual income is greater than the combined salary of the entire U.S. Senate (and you can toss in a few dozen congressmen and cabinet secretaries for good measure).
Limbaugh, who lives like a pasha in an oceanside estate in Palm Beach, Fla., doesn’t need to go to Washington to be heard there. His voice carries to the nation’s capital and beyond, to every state and congressional district in the country. The Rush Limbaugh Show is on the air three hours a day, five days a week, carried by some 650 radio stations. Industry estimates put his weekly audience somewhere between 15 million and 20 million. Talkers Magazine recently named him the most important radio host of all time.

In a recent e-mail exchange, Limbaugh laid out his to-do list, which includes repeal of the health-care law and the financial-regulatory-reform bill; ending the ban on offshore drilling; the reprivatization of General Motors, Chrysler, and the student-loan program; a spike in the heart of cap-and-trade legislation (he regards global warming as a hoax); the elimination of the capital-gains tax; a reduction of the corporate tax rate to 20 percent; and replacement of the progressive income-tax code with a flat or “fair” tax.

Limbaugh is aware that it is very unlikely that there will be enough votes in Congress to achieve any of this. But that isn’t the point. He wants to use the next two years as an educational seminar on what he regards as the evils of Obama-style liberalism. “The mistake the GOP made in 1994 is that they stopped teaching after they won,” he says. What should the GOP do to make its point? “Send Obama a repeal bill every week and make him veto it,” he suggests. “My attitude is, who says we can’t override his vetoes? The Republicans are being sent to Washington to stop the Obama agenda. And it is not just Republicans sending them to D.C. Lots of independents and Democrats are going to vote for Republicans to stop this.”
Read more here.

For NEWSWEEK's full 50 power list, click here

Angle Punishes Affiliate For Ambush

Angle Campaign Shuts Out CBS, NBC Affiliates from Election Night Coverage

Nevada Republican Senate hopeful Sharron Angle arrived to Las Vegas' McCarran Airport this morning to do some campaigning in Southern Nevada.

According to a posting a, the Tea Party-backed candidate was greeted by KLAS reporter Nathan Baca who asked Angle questions as she walked through the airport.

Later in the morning, Angle's campaign team met with local and national media to coordinate press coverage of her on election night. Angle's communications director asked KLAS, the CBS Las Vegas affiliate, to leave the meeting and banned them from covering Angle at the Venetian Hotel on November 2.

She said the reporter's attempt to talk to Angle at the airport was a paparazzi ambush. They also banned the NBC affiliate KSNV because one of their reporters was at the airport as well.

Angle has been criticized for dodging questions for the press; she has declined all requests from KLAS for interviews about her positions on issues.

In the airport Friday, Baca said to Angle, "If you want to be one of 100 U.S. Senators that are deciding on war powers and on ratifying treaties, which is what a Senator has to do, you have to answer these questions."

She replied, "Well, certainly. And I'll answer those questions when I'm the Senator."

Read more here.

An Angry Luckoff Signs Off at KGO, KSFO

Mickey Luckoff, president and GM of KGO and sister KSFO has left the building and a high profile resignation in early October. The day after the resignation, he talked  with Ben Fong-Torres at

Luckoff, 74, who joined KGO as a sales manager in 1972 and became president/GM in 1975. KGO was doing OK, ranked fifth in the market. Within three years, it was Number One, and stayed there until this year.

In 1994, owner Capital Cities/ABC purchased KSFO, and Luckoff oversaw both stations. In 1999, with KGO having been top-rated for 21 years, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame - the first local radio manager to be enshrined. In recent years, despite intense competition and an aging core audience, KGO remained profitable. "We do damned well," Luckoff said. "The stations work; they sell product and we have a great reputation. We serve the community, and it does come back."

Things changed with the purchase of KGO and KSFO by Citadel Broadcasting in 2007.

"Everything that [we were warned about] came true: total control, can't spend a dime, and you'd have to go through layers," Luckoff continued. "And then you found out that the layers were one person. He's something else. He has no regard for people whatsoever. He's apparently pretty damned skilled financially. To be able to overpay for the ABC Radio group, take the company into bankruptcy, come out of it, pay every one of his hand picked (board) directors $1 million each and get himself a $43 million package (in grants of stock) is unbelievable.

"And here we are, requisitioning pencils, driving 7-year-old news cars and going through all the pains of bankruptcy. You can see what that would do to morale."

As for the format: "My big concern is that they'll start bringing in some of that crap they're doing on other stations, like the guy in New York who means nothing out here (Don Imus, who's on WABC and is syndicated by Citadel). And the block programming they run on KABC (Los Angeles). That's always been where I've said 'No.' It's an easy way to cut expenses, but that would be a sad day."

Said Luckoff: "These companies these days - they don't even know the words 'public interest' exist. They're the basis of an FCC license. I'll bet he (Suleman) couldn't tell you those words. ... He sure doesn't know how to operate a radio station. Every station he's touched has turned to you know what."

Read more here.

Opinion: 'Rush The Taliban'

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas compares Rush to the Taliban!

David Goodman, AM 770 WABC (NYC) talked with Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas about his new book: "American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right."

Listen to podcast here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Sunday Funny

He is The Most Interesting Man in The World

Here's the most iconic advert propaganda you've seen in a long time. This man is ultra-charismatic and uniquely-personable. Here's the list of what you'll find compiled:

#1 [START] - I believe it's "The Most Interesting Man in the World Radio"
#2 [1m:30s] - His Introduction: The MIMIW on Himself
#3 [3m:15s] - The police often question him...
#4 [3m:45s] - His personality is so magnetic.. (Even his enemies list him as...)
#5 [4m:15s] - He's been known to cure narcolepsy...
#6 [4m:47s] - People hang on his every word... even his prepositions. (He can speak French...)
#7 [5m:18s] - His reputation is expanding faster than the Universe. (He once had an awkward moment...)
#8 [5m:53s] - MIMIW on Those Nuts (aka on Mixed Nuts)
#9 [6m:10s] - MIMIW on Packages
#10 [6m:27s] - MIMIW on Careers
#11 [6m:44s] - MIMIW on Rollerblading
#12 [7m:02s] - MIMIW on Life
#13 [7m:19s] - MIMIW on The Two-Party System

Get more here.