Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Radio Legend Retires From WTMJ

At 6:00 p.m., a Milwaukee radio fixture for more than 40 years will end his last show on the most listened-to radio station in Wisconsin.

Jonathan Green, host of the "Greenhouse" show, will start his final program bearing his name at 3:00 p.m. on remote for the Kids to Kids proram.

"This is the end of a long time here," said Green on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

Green, who joined Newsradio 620 WTMJ in 1969, gave part of the credit to the fact the company has maintained its ownership, and the station has maintained its format.

"If you look at all the radio stations in the country, there's only a handful that over the period that I've been here has not changed ownership, flip-flopped their format (or) changed call letters.  We've evolved it.  We're still owned by the same company. You can't just do that when corporations go changing things."

"I happen to be at the right place.  I love taking shots at this company, but this is a great radio station."

How will Jonathan end it?

"I'm going to go out with a 60 second song.  For anyone who listened in the early years, it will be recognized.  I'll explain why I'm playing between 5:50 and 6:00," said Green.

"I don't want to do a mushy-old thing.  I just want to do a regular radio show."

He particularly wanted to end his show's tenure with a program that would help one of the many charitable efforts he's championed over the years, Kids 2 Kids Christmas.

Read more here.

Cumulus Confirms Citadel Bid graphic
Cumulus Media Inc. today confirmed that on November 29, 2010, it made a proposal to the Board of Directors of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding equity of Citadel for $31 per share.

The proposed transaction values Citadel as an enterprise at approximately $2.1 Billion. The merger would have allowed the Citadel shareholders to elect to receive cash or Cumulus stock, with a total of up to $1 Billion of cash to be paid, representing about 71% of the consideration to Citadel shareholders.

On December 6, 2010, Citadel informed Cumulus that "the board of directors of [Citadel] rejected this proposal as not being in the best interests of [Citadel's] shareholders."

On December 16, 2010, Cumulus delivered a letter to Citadel's Board of Directors reiterating its offer and its desire to reach agreement on a transaction that would deliver superior value and substantial liquidity to Citadel's shareholders.

Cumulus Chairman & CEO, Lew Dickey, commented, "This offer continues to represent a superior alternative in value, liquidity and potential growth for the former secured creditors of Citadel who, post-bankruptcy, are now the owners of the company."

For the full text of the letter issued by Cumulus to Citadel's Board, click here.

Shooting Hero Shares His Story

Katie Couric speaks with Mike Jones, the security guard who wounded the Panama City gunman who was threatening school district board members.

US Rep Tweets News in Morse Code

When US Representative Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), learned December 16 that he will be chairing the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet when the 112th Congress convenes in January, he let the world know about it by tweeting the news in Morse code.

“Just the ham radio operator in me having fun,” he posted to his official Web page.

According to its Web site, the subcommittee has jurisdiction over “interstate and foreign telecommunications including, but not limited to all telecommunication and information transmission by broadcast, radio, wire, microwave, satellite or other mode."

Representative Walden is a former owner of Columbia Gorge Broadcasters.

Clear Channel Snags Brotha Fred For Chicago

One of Charlotte’s highest-profile media personalities is heading west, according Mark Washburn of The Charlotte Observer.

Brotha Fred, who leads the morning show on WIBT-FM (96.1) and co-hosts "Fox News Edge" weeknights on WCCB (Fox Charlotte, Channel 18) with Morgan Fogarty, is moving to a Chicago top 40 station.

Brotha Fred, whose real name is Christopher Frederick, arrived in Charlotte in July 2006 from a station in Austin, Texas.

Frederick announced his new job on "Edge" Thursday night and said it would be his last appearance on the show. He will continue to be heard on WIBT-FM, where his show from Chicago will be simulcast.

In Chicago, Frederick will replace DreX at KISS-FM WKSC-FM. Like WIBT-FM, it is owned by Clear Channel Radio, which made a formal announcement of the change Friday morning.

Joining him in Chicago will be comedian David L, who has been part of the WIBT-FM "Morning Mayhem" crew. Angie Taylor, a Chicago radio personality, will be the third member of the team.

Although Frederick said it was his last TV show for WCCB, a customized edition of his Chicago show will be sent -- beginning Jan. 3 -- from Chicago to WIBT, as well as stations in Greensboro, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., that now air his radio program.  A version of Brotha' Fred's program also will continue to be heard on XM Satellite's Kiss-XM channel 21.

Then, on Jan. 17, the show will go live in Chicago.

Read more here.

FCC Readies Net Neutrality vote

Plan faces growing chorus of bipartisan opposition

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to vote next week on a set of rules that will give the federal government the power to regulate news and information content online, members of Congress are stepping up their opposition. The takeaway?

According to Amanda Carey at The Daily Caller, almost everyone opposes what has been termed “net neutrality” except, as the December 21 vote is expected to show, the majority of the FCC’s five commissioners.

The FCC’s proposed regulatory framework bans internet service providers from blocking or inhibiting consumer access to content. Put simply: internet companies like Verizon and Comcast will not be allowed to operate one website on a slower or faster bandwidth than any other.

The fear behind the push for the new regulations is that Verizon, for example, could play favorites by making a liberal-leaning site load slower than a conservative one. But once the technical and complex lexicon of net neutrality is stripped away, it appears the proposed rules have little to no support from the Right, and waning support from liberals who view them as being too weak.

Read more here.

Jumping The NYTimes Ship

Maybe a year ago the media world would have been surprised to see the Sunday New York Times business editor leave the paper and head to The Huffington Post.
But according to John Koblin and Media Memo at, the announcement on Thursday that Tim O’Brien is going to work for Arianna Huffington felt a little like the latest trend. Voluntary departures — once unheard of at the Times — seem to be increasingly the norm these days.

“I have a deep attachment to the Times,” said O’Brien. “This was not a knee-jerk or easy decision to make.”

It probably hasn’t been easy for anyone, but in the last 10 days, five people have given notice at the Times:
O’Brien quit on Thursday, David Shipley said the day before that he was heading off to Bloomberg, Dexter Filkins is leaving to go to The New Yorker, Ashlee Vance is going to Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Christine Muhlke has jumped ship to Bon App├ętit. In September, Peter Goodman left the business section to go to The Huffington Post, and in July, tech correspondent and blogger Brad Stone said he was going to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

That’s not exactly a breathtaking amount of departures for a newsroom that has more than 1,000 people, but these aren’t entry-level reporters. The list consists of the op-ed editor (Shipley), a legendary war correspondent (Filkins), a Sunday business editor (O’Brien), a big-time economics writer (Goodman), The New York Times Magazine food editor (Muhlke) and two senior tech writers (Stone, Vance).

Is there suddenly a Times talent retention issue? The paper has been legendary in its ability to foster decadeslong careers for its top writers and editors. But if the last week or two is any indication, the notion of the star Times lifer is starting to look like a thing of the past. There is a caveat, of course: The Times has done a remarkable job of retaining talent in recent years, even as competitors such as The Washington Post have lost lots of big names (art critic Blake Gopnik and fashion writer Robin Givhan are the latest members of the Post’s Style section who are going to work for Tina Brown).

“We’ve had raids before, and every case is its own thing,” e-mailed Times executive editor Bill Keller.

Read more here.

Walk In, Grab a Muffin and Watch a Newspaper Reinvent Itself

New York Times photo
Torrington, a city of 36,000 in northwestern Connecticut, pockmarked with abandoned mills, is not the first place that comes to mind as a brave outpost on the digital frontier.

Peter Applebome writing at, The Register Citizen, with roots dating to 1874 and a print circulation that’s fallen from 21,000 in the late 1980s to 8,000 now, isn’t an industry giant either. But when it moved Monday from its dilapidated 105-year-old home into a renovated factory space meant to embody a full-bore embrace of the Internet, it provided one metaphor for how journalism is trying to reinvent itself. If Torrington seems an unlikely locale, well, that’s the point.

“That’s exactly why I picked it,” said John Paton, chief executive of the Journal Register Company, which owns more than 300 print and online products in 10 states, including 18 daily newspapers. “If I can paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”

Mr. Paton has become a hero to new-media gurus by taking a newspaper company emerging from bankruptcy and turning it into a company militantly focused on the Internet, with its philosophy of digital first, print last.

The Register Citizen has six times the readership online that it has in print, and its new building is designed to mirror the open, collaborative culture of the Web. The business plan is based on making The Register Citizen’s Web site a magnet for all things local and thus an attractive place for advertisers, sponsors and others who can replace declining newspaper subscribers and advertisers.

Read more here.

The New Rock-Star Paradigm

Succeeding in the music business isn't just about selling albums

Damian Kulash Jr., lead singer of OK Go on how to make it without a record label, at

OK Go performs at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, above. The band is known as much for its inventive music videos as it is for its music. Wall Street Journal photo

For several decades, though, from about World War II until sometime in the last 10 years, the recording industry managed to successfully and profitably pin it down to a stable, if circular, definition: Music was recordings of music. Records not only made it possible for musicians to connect with listeners anywhere, at any time, but offered a discrete package for commoditization. It was the perfect bottling of lightning: A powerful experience could be packaged in plastic and then bought and sold like any other commercial product.

Then came the Internet, and in less than a decade, that system fell. With uncontrollable and infinite duplication and distribution of recordings, selling records suddenly became a lot like selling apples to people who live in orchards. In 1999, global record sales totaled $26.9 billion; in 2009, that figure, including digital purchases, which now represent 25% of sales (nearly 50% in the U.S.), is down to $17 billion. For eight of the last 10 years, the decline in revenue from record sales has gotten steeper, which is to say the business is imploding with increasing vigor.

Read more here.

After 25 Years, Larry King Signs Off

Joined by a dozen of his favorite guests over the decades, Larry King hosted his final edition of “Larry King Live” on Thursday, ending a 25-year chapter at CNN.

According to Brian Stetler, Media Decorder at, the suspenders will remain, he said, but his nightly forum for newsmakers and noisemakers will not. He said at the beginning of the program, “Welcome to the last ‘Larry King Live.’ It’s hard to say that. I knew this day was coming. These words are not easy to say.”

Mr. King, a television icon, announced in June that he had decided to step down from the program, which defined a generation of cable news and inspired an generation of interviewers. The ratings for “Larry King Live” had fallen sharply in recent years. In about a month “Piers Morgan Tonight” will take over the 9 p.m. time slot on CNN.

Mr. King, 77, will host specials four times a year for CNN, and he is exploring other on- and off-air opportunities. Said Bill Maher, a longtime friend of Mr. King’s, on the program, “This is the end of the show, not the end of a man.”

All sorts of stars came on “Larry King Live” on Thursday to praise Mr. King. The “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams said the program had been “America’s kind of confessional,” and the “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest said Mr. King is “such a tremendous guy with a great heart.”

Read more here.

KFWB Unveils Successors To "Dr. Laura"

Les Brown
KFWB/980 AM announced Thursday it is adding consumer expert Bob McCormick and life coach Les Brown to the line-up Jan. 3 as part of changes following the departure of Laura Schlessinger to Sirius Radio.

Gary Lycan writing for reports McCormick will be on 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays with "Money 101" featuring content from The Wall Street Journal. His current "Money 101" segments will continue to air on sister station KNX/1070 AM.

Dave Ramsey will host "Total Money Makeover" from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. KFWB cited increased ratings since Ramsey started on 980 AM in September, 2009, adding that Ramsey's earlier sold-out appearance at an event in Los Angeles has prompted another appearance, March 24 at the Alex Theatre.

Brown will be on from 2 to 4 p.m. weekdays. The station announcement said, "Brown has risen to national prominence by delivering a high-energy, positive and empowering message which advises people how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness.''

Penny Griego and Phil Hulett will continue to anchor news from 6 to 9 a.m.; Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee will anchor the afternoon news from 4 to 7 p.m.

No changes were announced in weeknight programming. Steve Carver, senior vice president and market manager for CBS radio stations in Los Angeles, said.

Read more here.

Opinion: Bravo Bloomberg Editorials

From Charles Warner's Blog "Media Curmudgeon":
The Wednesday, December 15, 2010, edition of the New York Times featured a story titled “Bloomberg to Publish Editorials,” and read in part: “The mayor’s company, Bloomberg L.P., said on Wednesday that it would begin publishing editorials across its vast media enterprise in an effort to broaden the company’s influence on national affairs.”

Bravo for Bloomberg News and its publications such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek.  The nation needs a sane discussion of important issues to reinforce the sensibleness of Jon Stewart and to counteract the insane and senseless extremism screamed by the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh on far right and Keith Olbermann on the left.

The Times story indicated that:
… the endeavor, called Bloomberg View, is intended to channel his [Mayor Bloomberg’s] personal philosophy and worldview.

“I think it’s very important that everyone understands that our editorial page is going to be, for sure, consistent with the values and beliefs of the founder — even if he happens to be mayor of New York City,” said Matthew Winkler, the editor in chief of Bloomberg News. “I fully expect us in our Bloomberg View always to reflect those values. In fact, I want people to come away from reading the Bloomberg View infused with those beliefs and values.”

And we know what those values are, because on December 13, Mayor Bloomberg gave a speech announcing his commitment to the No Labels movement that is the reasonable, middle-ground, independent antithesis to the virulent, rage-driven partisan politics from the right and left that is crippling our government and our country.  These extremists are throwing stupid partisan tantrums while our infrastructure, educational systems, climate, and a basic sense of decency deteriorate.

The current political tantrums are thrown mainly by narcissists who are good at manipulating public opinion to gain fame and wealth – entertainers who are not in the least bit interested (and rarely understand) the complex issues they rant about, but merely care about getting what they want: approval and money.  The last thing they want is to change the world; they like it the way it is – a celebrity obsessed (not idea obsessed) world more interested in fiddling than putting out the fires of hate that are burning down a social order of reasonableness.
Read more here.

My War With Rush Limbaugh

From John Avlon, cofounder of "No Labels" group:
Limbaugh is taking nasty shots at me and my new "No Labels" group, and Keith Olbermann named us a “world’s worst”—examples of the all-or-nothing politics tearing the country apart.

According to Rush Limbaugh, I’m a hard-core liberal, no different than Michael Moore who paid the bail for “the serial rapist Julian Assange.” Also, I’m not willing to admit who the terrorists are, and I’m helping to kill Christmas.

It’s all because I co-founded a new group that launched this week called No Labels. We’re Republicans, Democrats and Independents—dedicated to confronting the culture of hyper-partisanship that is distorting our debates and stopping our nation from solving the serious challenges we face.

This idea is threatening to professional polarizers like El Rushbo—which is why he devoted an hour of his show this week to attacking us. In particular, he took personal aim at co-founders Mark McKinnon (a Republican Bush/McCain adviser and fellow Daily Beast columnist), Kiki McLean (a Texas Democrat and Clinton administration alum) and myself. In the process, he again proved the need for No Labels.

Rush’s core concern seems to be that there is no such thing as the center or independent voters. He believes that America is divided between the far-right and the far-left, and he likes to offer only that false choice because he believes it’s a fight he can win. But an emphasis on swing voters or independents—the largest and fastest-growing segment of the electorate—makes the math more complicated. It screws an inflexible ideologue up.

Criticizing Limbaugh is not the same thing as demonizing him. We can recognize that he is a talented broadcaster, a popular political entertainer for folks on the far-right. He also helped create a big part of the problem in our politics today.

He uses conflict, tension, fear and resentment to drum up his ratings, appealing to a narrow but intense (and aging) niche audience by using the old trick of dividing Americans into "us" vs. "them," perpetuating the polarization he profits from. That’s why it’s a little absurd to hear Limbaugh point out disapprovingly that my book Wingnuts itself uses a label to describe the use of fear and hate by hyper-partisans. Its funny how quickly people who throw around labels for a living ("feminazi," for example) cry foul when a term like Wingnut is directed at them. But bullies are always shocked when you punch back.
Read more here.
John Avlon's new book "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America" is available now by Beast Books both on the Web and in paperback. He is also the author of "Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics" and a CNN contributor. Previously, he served as chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

FOX59 Morning News to Start at 4 AM

Fox59 in Indianapolis is expanding its morning news by another half hour, becoming the first station in Indianapolis to offer local news at 4am. The earlier start will begin Monday, January 10th.

“We have seen viewers waking up earlier and watching earlier, ever since we moved up our start time to 4:30am,” said General Manager Jerry Martin.  “We are again showing our commitment to be there for viewers, being on even earlier.”

In the last year, Fox59 Morning News expanded to five and a half hours, running from 430-10am.  Since expanding, all of the station’s morning newscasts have experienced large ratings gains, and the station’s 7-10am hours are closing in on surpassing NBC’s Today Show.  Fox59 also has the fastest growing audience in earlier time periods, with its 6am hour growing faster than any other morning hour of any competitor.
“Coming on even earlier, starting at 4am, is part of our overall mission to meet the needs of our viewers and be the number one choice for them, whether they are up in the early hours or later in the morning,” said News Director Lee Rosenthal.

The current 430-6am team of Jenny Anchondo and Scott Jones will anchor the additional 30 minutes starting at 4am.  Weather updates will be handled by current morning Meteorologist Jim O’Brien and Weekend Morning Meteorologist Ron Smiley.

The additional 30 minutes continues the station’s rapid growth.  In the last year, Fox59 News has also added two hours each weekday from 4-6pm and three hours each weekend morning from 6-9am.  The station’s weekend morning news is also growing in January, expanding with an additional hour until 10am.  The additional time periods will have Fox59 producing 55 hours of local news each week – more than any other station in Indianapolis.

Rachel Maddow: I Used to Love Glenn Beck

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow made a startling admission to David Letterman Wednesday night: she used to be a huge Glenn Beck fan.

During her appearance, the liberal TV host said that she really liked Beck and his radio show prior to him getting a TV gig at Fox, even admitting she used to listen to Beck every day, according to and the

“I think he was the most talented radio personality of my entire generation,” she told Letterman. She described Beck’s pre-Fox radio show as “incredibly performative…he inhabited all these different characters, he would do all these voices, it was very entertaining. really funny, really fast-paced, very unpredictable, surprising, very good.”

But now her opinion has changed: “He mostly just talks about himself and it’s not as fun. But when he was on the radio, before he got on TV, he was great.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Politico: Sarah Palin Goes 'Lamestream'

After making attacks on what she memorably labeled “the lamestream media” one of her signature issues, Sarah Palin has begun to experiment with a new strategy toward the press – engaging it.

According to a piece from Kenneth P Vogel and, the former Alaska governor has started cautiously cooperating with some of the same media outlets she and her supporters have accused of unfair and inaccurate coverage they feel has caricatured her as a flaky lightweight – a narrative her team seems determined to rewrite as Palin openly weighs a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

“This is just about getting the press to characterize the governor accurately,” said Tim Crawford, a top Palin aide. “And, if that can be accomplished through Gov. Palin and some of the people around her talking to the press, we’ll try that.”

Palin’s effectiveness as Republican John McCain’s 2008 vice presidential pick was undercut by the bad press she generated, particularly from her stumbling television interviews. After that experience – and particularly since her resignation as governor last year, which she says was prompted partly by unrelenting media scrutiny – Palin has mastered a high-impact, if unconventional, communication style that almost completely circumvents most traditional media.

Instead, she’s relied on conservative media outlets from which she is unlikely to face tough questioning (most notably Fox News, for which she is a paid contributor) and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, combined with her own star power, to deliver cutting attacks on her opponents and the media that sometimes drive the political debate for days.

And she’s simultaneously showcased her personal charisma through two best-selling books, heavily promoted in campaign-style tours, as well as a quirkily endearing reality show about her adventures in Alaska.

But in recent weeks, Palin and her staff have adopted elements of a more traditional media strategy, cooperating with a host of neutral media outlets, notably The New York Times, TIME and ABC News, all of which, at one time or another, have drawn fire from Palin backers for allegedly biased coverage.

That cooperation has resulted in mostly flattering features that broke little new critical ground.

Read more here. 

Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear Into Retailers

Tri Tang, a 25-year-old marketer, walked into a Best Buy Co. store in Sunnyvale, Calif., this past weekend and spotted the perfect gift for his girlfriend.

Last year, he might have just dropped the $184.85 Garmin global positioning system into his cart. This time, he took out his Android phone and typed the model number into an app that instantly compared the Best Buy price to those of other retailers. He found that he could get the same item on Inc.'s website for only $106.75, no shipping, no tax.

Mr. Tang bought the Garmin from Amazon right on the spot, according to a story at by Miquel Bustillo and Ann Zimmerman.

"It's so useful," Mr. Tang says of his new shopping companion, a price comparison app called TheFind. He says he relies on it "to make sure I am getting the best price."

Mr. Tang's smartphone reckoning represents a revolution in retailing—what Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Mike Duke has dubbed a "new era of price transparency"—and its arrival is threatening to upend the business models of the biggest store chains in America.

Until recently, retailers could reasonably assume that if they just lured shoppers to stores with enticing specials, the customers could be coaxed into buying more profitable stuff, too.

Now, marketers must contend with shoppers who can use their smartphones inside stores to check whether the specials are really so special, and if the rest of the merchandise is reasonably priced.

"The retailer's advantage has been eroded," says Greg Girard of consultancy IDC Retail Insights, which recently found that roughly 45% of customers with smartphones had used them to perform due diligence on a store's prices. "The four walls of the store have become porous."

Some of the most vulnerable merchants: sellers of branded, big-ticket items like electronics and appliances, which often prompt buyers to comparison shop. Best Buy, the nation's largest electronics chain, said Tuesday that it may lose market share this year, a downward trend that some analysts are attributing in part to pressure from price comparison apps.

Read more here.

"Sympathy" Need May Have Motivated Heidi Jones

Co-workers 'betrayed' by 'rape-lie' weather gal

For months, weathergal Heidi Jones (her website) had convinced sympathetic colleagues at WABC/Channel 7 that she had nearly been raped while jogging in Central Park.

Wednesday, that compassion turned to rage when staffers at the TV station learned that Jones had been lying all along, according to a story at

"It was an outrageous lie," said a fuming WABC staffer, who like others were "flabbergasted" to learn of the deception by reading about it in The New York Post."

"All this trust we had is shattered. We're like a family. We feel betrayed," the source said, adding that it had become "common knowledge" around the newsroom that Jones claimed to have been attacked in late September.

Station officials said yesterday they had suspended Jones, 37, and are conducting an internal investigation. A source said she will be fired.

Police sources said Jones had admitted to filing the false report because she suffered from "personal and professional pressures" and wanted to gain "sympathy" over an undisclosed personal issue.

"I am surprised by it," said another Channel 7 staffer. She's really a nice girl. There must be something deeper that we don't yet know about."

By yesterday afternoon, Jones was persona non grata at the station.  A poster of the weather gal that hung in one of the hallways of WABC had been taken down.

Nearly two months after the alleged attack, Jones told cops she was jogging in Central Park on the afternoon of Sept. 24 when a Hispanic man in his 30s or 40s grabbed her from behind, dragged her into a wooded area and attempted to rape her. She told police that the would-be rapist was scared off by two passers-by who came to her aid.

She also claimed that the same man approached her on Nov. 21 and threatened her.

Read more here.

Wed, Bed Or Kill?

Boston Herald photo
A Boston sports radio host has come under fire for touting an online polling game that asks men which high-profile, Boston female news anchor - (left to right) Maria Stephanos, Sara Underwood or Bianca de la Garza - they would wed, bed or kill.

According to Jessica Heslam at, Barstool Sports posted the “hot Boston reporter edition” of its regular poll Tuesday. While that’s par for the course for the smutty site, “98.5 (WBZ-FM) The Sports Hub” yakker Mike Felger then went on-the-air and encouraged his radio listeners to vote for Underwood - his wife and a weekend anchor and reporter for Fox 25.

Apparently, many voters were in favor of “killing” Underwood, or “the Wood” as her hubby affectionately calls her.

“I need help because I don’t need the Wood killed,” Felger told listeners. “I’m asking you to marry her or (expletive) her.”

Maureen Gallagher of Jane Doe Inc. had harsh words for Underwood’s Lesser Half.

“The fact that Mike Felger unapologetically speaks of his wife, one of the women in the poll, in these terms is disrespectful to her, offensive to all women and many men, and promotes the idea that it is funny and acceptable to degrade women, even those you supposedly love,” Gallagher said.

Felger sought to downplay his clownish on-air banter. “We try not to take ourselves that seriously,” Felger told MediaBiz.

Read more here.

LA Times Worries Fox Is Skeptical

Fox News boss: It's not warmer until we say it's warmer

From Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey, The Big Picture blog at

Anyone who watches Fox News all day long, as I sometimes do, marvels at the remarkable discipline. The cable news leader finds a topic it wants to work over and then pounds it — with the language and tone remarkably uniform from one program to the next.

In recent days, one of the men behind the one-station, one-message rigor has come into public view: Bill Sammon.

Sammon is a Fox News vice president and Washington managing editor who worries about semantics on the network conservatives love best. And, according to Sammon e-mails recently obtained by the liberal media watchdog Media Matters, the Fox boss particularly worries about making sure the on-air talent uses language favorable to the conservative point of view.

First to be revealed was a Sammon e-mail telling Fox personalities not to call the healthcare reform preferred by Democrats “the public option.” The news executive said he preferred “government-run health insurance” or “government option.”

Republican pollster Frank Luntz had previously noted that the problem with the "public option" language was that, well, the public didn't find it so objectionable. The reaction turned more negative when the reform -- actually an exchange of private insurance companies overseen by the government -- was deemed to be "government run."  Howard Kurtz noted as much in a Daily Beast column.

Next out of the gate, Media Matters revealed a Sammon e-mail regarding the language of climate change. Sammon asked Foxsters in the e-mail, dating to last December, to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

The directive came about a year ago, just minutes after Fox White House correspondent Wendell Goler reported from the Copenhagen climate summit that 2000 to 2009 was “expected to be the warmest decade on record.”

After the Sammon e-mail had been issued, Goler and others on Fox adopted more skeptical language.
Read more here.
Tom's Take:  I've always thought it was healthy for news media to be skeptical when it comes to government policy and actions.  Especially, when there is a suspect political agenda driving it.

For NPR Stations, A Sigh Of Relief

Slate graphic
 A funny thing happened to NPR stations after the worst publicity fiasco in NPR's history: almost nothing at all.

Paul Farhi at writes public radio outlets across the country braced for the worst from their listeners after NPR fired commentator Juan Williams for remarks he made on a Fox News program in late October. With denunciations ringing nightly on Fox and from conservatives in Congress, the stations worried that they might be punished for the actions of Washington-based NPR, public radio's leading programming organization.

Of particular concern: that the storm over Williams would affect contributions from listeners, corporations and local governments, which stations rely on to stay in business.

Yet after an initial flurry of mostly angry e-mails and calls in the wake of the Oct. 20 firing of Williams, the controversy waned quickly and has all but disappeared, station managers say.

More important, perhaps, is that few contributors revoked financial pledges made to the stations during fundraising drives held the week of Williams's firing.

New Hampshire Public Radio, for example, raised $473,000 during its fall drive, a record amount for the nonprofit organization that runs a statewide chain of stations. The number of people who called or e-mailed saying they would no longer support the organization "wasn't significant," says Betsy Gardella, NHPR's president and chief executive.

Adds Gardella: "I think our takeaway is that our audience is very loyal and really values what we do."

The story is almost the same at WMFE (90.7 FM), the NPR affiliate in Orlando. The station is amid a fund drive this week, and contributions are running "above target," says Jose Fajardo, its chief executive.

Fajardo says he occasionally hears criticism of the Williams episode from people around the city, but that he's heard nothing from state legislators in Tallahassee - a sign, he says, that state funding for Florida's public broadcasters isn't in immediate jeopardy.

Read more here.

Also read here:

Virginia Governor targets public broadcasting (Roanoke Times)

Let's Get Those Phones Ringing! The cunning genius of the public radio fundraising drive.

Goumba Johnny ‘Very Surprised’ to Leave WKTU

“Goumba Johnny” Sialiano has been a fixture on Clear Channel’s dance station WKTU for 15 years. Today, we learned that Sialiano is no longer with 103.5.

Sialiano is most associated for his time working side by side with Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton in evenings and afternoons. He also several years, with several co-hosts, in morning drive.

“I was very surprised,” Sialiano tells FishbowlNY exclusively. “I was surprised because of my performance and the numbers. …Was it about performance? I don’t think so. Certainly, the numbers don’t add up.”

He points out that his shifts had the highest rating and Cume on the station, attracting over 2 million listeners daily.

“Our show had 40 percent of all ‘KTU listeners listening in the afternoon,” Sialiano says.  The popular jock/sidekick is left scratching his head.

“Do I have the answer after that? I don’t, ” Sialiano admits. “This is the type of thing that maybe a year from now I’ll be able to look at it and see it clearly. Right now it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

Sialiano is keeping his composure, but is obviously miffed by not working at his beloved ‘KTU any longer.

Not under contract since 2007, Clear Channel execs recently were looking to change that.

“Out of nowhere, I was offered a contract at a reduced salary.”

Calling it a “substantial paycut,” Sialiano took last weekend to discuss it with his wife.

Read more here.

The Comment Police

NPR says it’s pleased with the results of its decision to outsource the battle against offensive online comments
From Madhu Rajaraman, American Journalism Review
It was a victim of its own success.

At least, that's how Andy Carvin sees it.

Carvin, senior strategist for NPR, says the comment threads on the news organization's Web site are intended to allow reporters to engage with the public and foster intelligent dialogue and debate. However, NPR was forced to take defensive action after barrages of inflammatory posts by trolls and spammers polluted its discussion boards and threatened to become a persistent problem.

As a result, NPR announced in October that it would outsource its Web site regulation duties to ICUC Moderation Services, a social media monitoring company based in Canada — a move that, according to Carvin, has yielded impressive results in the short time since it's been implemented.

"Earlier, it wasn't unusual to find 500 comments in the abuse queue [per day]. Now it's only about three, four, five a day," he says. "It's only been about a month and a half now, but so far, so good." The term "abuse queue" refers to the list of user comments that have been marked as offensive.

Prior to bringing ICUC into the picture, Carvin says, interns and other staff members were on their own when it came to removing abusive comments. That is, until it came to the point where the online commentary became so voluminous that NPR staff could no longer keep up.

The discussion boards on NPR's Web site have a posted set of guidelines, which is generally what directs the decision-making. Rule #1: "If you can't be polite, don't say it."

Flagging offensive content is the one duty that remains up to readers and NPR staff, and is done simply by clicking the "Report Abuse" button to the side of the comment in question. ICUC is alerted every time this happens, and the moderation company takes it from there, relieving NPR employees of endless hours spent screening controversial content.
Read more here.

WBHK To Replace Burned Christmas Tree

Birmingham's local radio station 98.7 Kiss FM has promised to fully replace the City of Birmingham's Christmas tree that was burned last night, according to a WBRC-TV report.

The fire is still under investigation and could possibly have been an attempt to steal copper from the electrical box that powered the tree.

Birmingham News photo

The city said Wednesday morning it would not replace the 40-foot spruce because of the hefty cost--estimated to be $7,500--it would take to purchase, deliver and decorate another tree in time for Christmas.

But the Cox owned  98.7 Kiss FM is not letting the city's spirits stay down for long. They are working with the city works department to deliver a new Christmas tree.

“We feel we have an obligation to the city and its citizens and didn’t want the real spirit of Christmas to be lost. We won’t let it be stolen or hijacked, the Grinch won’t win this year, not in Birmingham, we had to do something,” Operations Manger Kori White said in a release.

Facebook: A Place To Meet, Gossip...

And share photos of stolen goods!

From Marc Fisher at The Washington Post:
The e-mail from my son was urgent; the subject line read simply "help."

My wife and I ran to the car, dialed 911 and headed home, where D.C. police officers were just arriving as we pulled in.

Sometime between 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Friday, a burglar busted through our basement door - simply kicked through the 80-year-old wood panels - and took a bunch of stuff. My son, 15, got hit hardest; his laptop, iPod, savings bonds and cash were gone.

Just one more example of life in the big city. Except that the apparent thief didn't stop with taking our belongings.

He felt compelled to showboat about his big achievement: He opened my son's computer, took a photo of himself sneering as he pointed to the cash lifted from my son's desk, and then went on my son's Facebook account and posted the picture for 400 teenagers to see. In the picture, the man is wearing my new winter coat, the one that was stolen right out of the Macy's box it had just arrived in.

"I've seen a lot, but this is the most stupid criminal I've ever seen," marveled D.C. police Officer Kyle Roe, who stayed with us for hours as we waited for the crime scene technician, who painstakingly lifted dozens of fingerprints from nearly every room in the house.

My son was coping brilliantly with the trauma of losing his belongings - until he saw the invasion of his Facebook page. That's when the pathetic indignity of the burglary hit. Here was a space that my son had carefully walled off from public view, limiting access to his page to his friends and schoolmates. And now a lowlife stranger was taunting him in that presumably private zone.
Read more here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fitz In The Morning Patted Down By The TSA

KKWF-100.7 The Wolf/Seattle and KBWF-95.7 The Wolf/San Francisco's Fitz In The Morning says he was the object of a TSA pat-down at Sea-Tac Airport.  Was he upset about it?  No!

In fact, he says he may be considering traveling more often.  He tells us, "I now have the constant urge to spend my entire day going through airport security."

Producer Randy Stein captured it all on video as Fitz departed Seattle for San Francisco. Hat Tip to

2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, the Alice Cooper Band, Dr. John and Darlene Love will be welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next spring, the organization will announce Wednesday, according to

All five had been long eligible for induction under the hall’s criteria that acts wait at least 25 years after releasing their first recordings.

In addition, Jac Holzman and Art Rupe, the founders of Elektra and Speciality Records labels, respectively, are entering the hall as co-recipients of the annual Ahmet Ertegun Award bestowed on influential record executives.

Demonstrating that when Elton John speaks, Rock Hall voters listen, Leon Russell has been selected as the honoree for the new Award for Musical Excellence, previously known as the Sideman category. John had been exceptionally vocal this year when promoting their duet album “The Union” in saying that his Oklahoma-based fellow pianist, singer and songwriter deserved to be in the Hall of Fame.

Of the nominees who were on the final ballot for induction, Bon Jovi, Donna Summer, Chic, Laura Nyro, the Beastie Boys, Donovan, the J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, Joe Tex and Chuck Willis were left to wait for another year to be voted in.

Read more here.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of Cleveland's greatest tourist attractions. However, the induction ceremony will ber held in New York in March.

Time Annnounces "Person Of The Year"

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time's person of the year, the magazine announced Wednesday.

"For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is Time's 2010 Person of the Year," Time said on its Web site.

According to Chloe Albanesius at, Zuckerberg beat out the Tea Party, Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, and the Chilean miners to capture the coveted title. He joins a group that in past years has included Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and You. The magazine's first person of the year was Charles Lindbergh in 1927.

"Being named as Time Person of the Year is a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I'm happy to be a part of that," Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Read more here.

The Top 50 Gawker Media Passwords

Readers of Gizmodo, Lifehacker and other Gawker Media sites may be among the savviest on the Web, but the most common password for logging into those sites is embarrassingly easy to guess: “123456.” So is the runner-up: “password.”

On Sunday night, hackers posted online a trove of data from Gawker Media’s servers, including the usernames, email addresses and passwords of more than one million registered users. The passwords were originally encrypted, but 188,279 of them were decoded and made public as part of the hack. Using that dataset, the Digits Blog at found the 50 most-popular Gawker Media passwords:

Read more here.

News Camera Captures Confrontation

With news cameras rolling, a 56-year-old gunman entered a school board meeting in Florida on Tuesday and took several members of the board hostage, then fatally shot himself during a shootout with a security guard.

Robert MacKay at reports the episode was captured on video and broadcast on News 13 in Panama City, which ran several clips of the incident, including one in which the gunman fires a shot at a board member.

One extended clip shows the man, identified as Clay A. Duke, calmly walk up to a podium at the front of the room with a pistol after painting a mysterious red encircled “V” on the wall.

As people watched in shock and panic, the man ordered everyone to exit the room “except these clowns behind the counter here,” gesturing to several members of the board. He then engaged in an argument with board members, complaining that the school board “fired my wife,” later saying, “We’re broke.” After the board members tried to talk him down – engaging in a discussion about local taxes – he then opened fire on the superintendent, Bill Husfelt, but missed.

Moments later, a security guard entered the room and engaged in a shootout with Mr. Duke, hitting him at least once. Wounded, Mr. Duke turned the gun on himself and took his own life, the police said.

Duke, who apparently described himself as a “Freedom Fighter” on his Facebook page, was pronounced dead a short time later. Jones was not physically hurt in the incident, but was taken to a local hospital for observation Tuesday night.

No one else was shot or injured in the incident, even though Duke fired at Superintendent Bill Husfelt at point-blank range and Jones fired at Duke several times.

Read more here.

Social Networking On The Rise with Seniors

This holiday season staying in touch with everyone on your list in this fast paced environment can be challenging. Young people, ages 18-29, have found that Social Networking has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and colleagues, but where does that leave Senior Citizens? How many Grandfathers in their sixties do you know with Facebook and Twitter Accounts?

"Well, I think you would be surprised at how high the numbers really are," says Lee Cockerell, Executive VP of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts (retired) and a 66 year old grandfather.

"I use social networking as a way to keep in touch with my clients as well as my grandchildren. Many friends my age are doing the same."

According to a PRweb story, Lee is a great example of how senior citizens' use of Social Networking avenues such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter has dramatically increased. According to a report published by the Pew Research Center, during the period of April 2009 and May 2010 use of Social Networking among seniors, ages 65 and older, grew 100%--from 13% to 26%.

Lee Cockerell, who is also an international speaker and author of Creating Magic; 10 Common Sense Leadership Lessons from a Life at Disney, has over 1,000 Facebook Friends, nearly 2,000 avid Twitter followers and over 500 Linkedin Connections. He is an example of a Senior who has taken Social Networking very seriously. "I use every means possible to keep myself, my book and now my new iPhone app, Creating Magic-Leadership Thoughts on the Go! top of mind." Added Lee, "I have found Facebook and Twitter to be great resources to accomplish this goal."

Lee used Facebook and Twitter as the first media sources to launch his new iPhone app. In the intial week of it's launch, the app, Creating Magic, made the Top 100 best-selling business apps list on iTunes and has been featured as a "New & Noteworthy" app.

Lee added, "Life is changing faster than ever. I encourage everyone, young and senior, to embrace the changes especially when it comes to social media. I am fortunate enough to see my grandchildren and many close friends several times a week. Usually their first comments to me are about something they read on my Facebook postings."

With 13% of seniors ages 65+ logging onto their Facebook account daily, social media usage among this group is expected to continue to increase. With people like Lee Cockerell using these services so aggressively we may all soon find this to be the best way to contact Grandma and Grandpa over the holidays!

Creating Magic, is a collaborative effort between Lee Cockerell, LLC, Logogram, Inc. and Jones APR, a top app production company with millions of apps downloaded in over 90 countries worldwide.

Where Is the Best Place To Work?

Of all the strategies for making workers happy, turning them into millionaires is probably the most effective.

Facebook has succeeded with the wealth strategy like few other companies, earning it the title of best employer, as determined by users of the career site

According to Verne G. Kopytoff at, workers at the social networking colossus – or at least people who claimed to be – gave it the highest rating – 4.6 out of 5 – based on eight different criteria including work/life balance, recognition and, of course, compensation and benefits. Southwest Airlines was second on Glassdoor’s annual top 50 Best Places to Work list followed by Bain & Company, the management consulting firm.

Many of Facebook’s employees have been able to sell some of their shares to big investors or on exchanges where shares in private companies trade. Although supposedly gleeful about their employer, Facebook’s early workers are not shy about quitting. Dozens of early employees have resigned and some have gone on to found their own start-ups.

Last year, Southwest Airlines led the list. Facebook did not even make the top 50.

Read more here.

Sound From Past Also Sound Of Future?

Reginald Fessenden
Almost exactly 104 years ago, on Dec. 24, 1906, the first radio program was broadcast on the air by Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian engineer who had worked for Thomas Edison in his New Jersey laboratory.

Amanda Jermyn at writes, Fessenden's broadcast from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock in Massachusetts to ships at sea included him reading the Christmas story from the book of Luke and playing Gounod's "O, Holy Night" on the violin.

It's a strange thought that since radio waves travel at the speed of light, Fessenden's broadcast has since traveled 104 light years in all directions from Earth. An advanced alien civilization 104 light years from here might just be listening to this first broadcast right now.

Aliens about 70 light years from here might be tuning in to Churchill's speeches or Nazi propaganda from World War II. If they figured out that the signals they'd picked up in the radio spectrum could be converted to sound, they could hear us. Being aliens, of course, they'd be unlikely to understand our words, but if they had a telescope powerful enough, they could see us.

What aliens might be able to discover about our civilization would depend on the sophistication of their technology. If they're bacteria or virus-like, forget it!

What could be detected might also depend on how much radiation we're sending into space. Our early radio broadcasts were AM, or amplitude modulation, which emitted much stronger radio waves than the later FM, or frequency modulation system.

Today, we also have satellite radio where the signals are directed towards Earth from satellites, rather than out into space. So we now emit far fewer radio signals into space than we used to, giving any alien civilization out there a narrow window of about 100 years to pick up strong signals, from the time we started broadcasting until today.

Read more here.

Note:   Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (October 6, 1866 – July 22, 1932) was a naturalized American citizen born in Canada. He was an inventor who performed pioneering experiments in radio, including early—possibly the first--radio transmissions of voice and music. In his later career he received hundreds of patents for devices in fields such as high-powered transmitting, sonar, and television.

Read more about him by clicking here.

Mr. Moviefone Brings '6 Second Reviews' to Radio

Here comes the shortest syndicated show in the history of radio.

According to a Hollywood Reporter story, Russ Leatherman, better known as Mr. Moviefone, has struck a deal with the Elvis Duran Group to turn his online "6 Second Reviews" into a radio segment. The segment is exactly as advertised: movie reviews that last six seconds.

Never heard one before? Here's his review of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."
"The new Narnia is as long and convoluted as its title, so unless you're a huge fan you're better off with Tangled, Megamind or Potter. I'm out!"
"6 Second Reviews" will be syndicated by the Elvis Duran Group, a company founded by radio personality Elvis Duran and agent David Katz. The group began a radio syndication unit in June that is run by former ABC Radio Networks executive John McConnell.

The plan initially is to deliver to radio stations one movie review and one DVD review each day, eventually adding reviews of TV shows, video games and music, which are already available online at

The radio segment will be sold via barter, with the Elvis Duran Group asking for a "billboard" on each report (basically a "brought-to-you-by" ad), plus one minute of commercial inventory daily.

Leatherman also has a more traditional radio segment under the Mr. Moviefone brand, and the Elvis Duran Group has taken over the syndication of that product as well.

Leatherman said he's also turning his "6 Second Reviews" into a 30-minute television pilot.

Read more here.

Gerry House Signs Off At WSIX

Gerry House isn’t reluctant, or sad, or burdened.

He’s a little tired, though, of waking at 3:30 a.m. After today, he won’t do that anymore.

Peter Cooper at the writes, House is ending his 22-year string as host of WSIX-FM’s Gerry House & The House Foundation morning show, closing the door on a radio career that has earned him four Country Music Association awards, seven Academy of Country Music awards and a place as the only country music disc jockey in the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

The four-hour House Foundation is something of an anomaly in contemporary radio. Its leisurely pace and conversational tone contrast with louder, more music-heavy programs, and House admits, “We talk too much for the current paradigm.” The show’s enduring popularity — it has been the top-rated morning show in the market for more than 20 years, and House just notched his fourth CMA for large-market personality of the year — is owed to quick-witted but gently volumed banter with guests and with Foundation members Mike Bohan, Richard Falklen and Katie Bright.

“I’m just goofing around, not doing anything special,” he said. “But some of the notes and letters I’ve gotten since announcing I’m leaving have just flattened me.”

House, 62, began his broadcasting career in 1975, 14 years before the birth of current country sales queen Taylor Swift. Aside from a two-year stint in Los Angeles in the late 1980s, he’s been on Nashville airwaves and seen (and commented on) it all, from the Urban Cowboy craze to the line dance craze to the recent Swift-mania, in addition to surviving three craniotomies (he had a cerebral aneurysm in 2004).

Along the way, he’s penned songs recorded by George Strait, Reba McEntire (“I also do her high parts in the studio,” House joked) and others, written jokes for country awards shows, and won the respect and friendship of an A-list of country music stars, many of whom have been dropping by the WSIX studios of late to bid on-air adieus.

House, who plans to remain active in songwriting, publishing and most other aspects of his career that don’t involve early rising, spoke with The Tennessean about his life in radio.

Read more here.

SiriusXM CEO Karmazin Is On A Roll

After securing Howard Stern's services for another five years and getting satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM Radio past the 20-million subscriber mark, Chief Executive Mel Karmazin threw a party for his company and subscribers Monday night, hiring Paul McCartney for a private show at New York City's Apollo Theater. (For separate story, click here)

But Karmazin, who's not exactly known for being shy, said in an interview with the LA Times that he was looking to stay behind the scenes instead of trying to share the stage with the super star.

"Meeting McCartney is not part of my plan, but I have been briefed that I might have an opportunity," Karmazin quipped. Asked if he would be excited by that prospect, Karmazin said, "I run out of words after I say, `Hi, how are you doing?'"

Karmazin doesn't run out of words when it comes to the prospects of Sirius XM. Having weathered a liquidity crisis that almost led to a bankruptcy filing and now on more solid financial ground, Karmazin and Sirius XM want to broaden their reach. In an interview, Karmazin detailed plans to add new channels and programming, including a push to go after the Latino audience.

For more on Sirius XM's plans, please see story in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times, click here.

Record Number of Christmas Stations Online

BRS Media's Web-Radio, the Official Holiday Internet Radio Directory, announced today that a record number of holiday stations are webcasting online this year. Well over 500 internet-only and terrestrial AM/FM radio stations featuring seasonal favorites are streaming online this year. Listeners can "tune-in" a record number of online webcasts and sites that broadcast Christmas music from around the world.

Both on-air and online, the number of Christmas stations on the net is at an all-time high. Online listeners can choose from hundreds of stations that are broadcasting holiday music 24/7. This year nearly 75% of terrestrial radio stations featuring Christmas music are streaming online, that's up from 60% in 2008 and up from only 35% in 2005. The total number of Christmas stations streaming has more then doubled in the past five years.

"It's extremely exciting to see the growth in the number of Holiday stations webcasting online," remarked George T. Bundy, Chairman & CEO of BRS Media Inc., "Internet Radio listeners are just one click away from hundreds of stations streaming holiday cheer."

For the 15th consecutive year Web-Radio features Christmas stations and holiday Internet radio streaming Online. The Web-Radio - Christmas section

BRS Media launched the radio directory with two stations in the fall of 1995. Today, Web-Radio features nearly Twelve Thousand (12,000) radio station web sites, with over Nine Thousand (9,000) stations webcasting On-Line. Visitors to Web-Radio can search for their favorite station by call letters (KI-KJ, WA-WB), format (Kids/Preteen, Adult Contemporary), state, country and Internet-only.

In addition, the Web-Radio Tool Bar includes a long list of preinstalled stations dedicated to a variety of music genres, including holiday favorites.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heisman Winner Does Letterman's Top Ten

2010 Heisman Trophy Winner Cam Newton presents the "Top Ten Things Cam Newton Can Say Now That He Won The Heisman Trophy."

How Cliff Lee Beat the News Cycle

From Nando DiFino, Wall Street Journal:

In a world of saturated sports coverage, where every comment, Tweet or sneeze is analyzed ad nauseum, Cliff Lee’s decision to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies was a beautiful stunner.

For months, it had been all but determined that Lee would choose between the Yankees or Rangers. Would he sign for six years? Would it be seven? Where would his wife sit in Yankee Stadium? Sports writers fed their families on rumors.

And then, somehow, while all of our attention was diverted to the hand wiggling the handkerchief high above the magician’s head, the little bird in the cage disappeared. And it flew straight to Philadelphia for a reported $120 million over five years.

Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, arguably two of the game’s best pitchers, are now on the same staff. And they’re followed by Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, neither of them slouches. Ruben Amaro Jr., who made a name for himself by convincing pitcher Kyle Kendrick that he had been traded to Japan for a hot-dog eating champion, has to now be considered one of baseball’s shrewdest general managers.

Lee was crushed by the trade that sent him from Philadelphia to Seattle almost a year ago to the day, telling the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that, “I thought I was going to spend the rest of my career [in Philadelphia]“—Lee had been negotiating an extension when he was traded. And then there’s the money: Lee left tens of millions of dollars on the table by signing for two fewer years than New York and Texas had reportedly been offering.

Although Yankees and Rangers fans probably woke up with a bad taste in their mouths this morning, Lee’s deal with the Phillies shows that surprise remains possible in this 24-7 sports news cycle.

“Lee had been silent, and his agent, Darek Braunecker, had not said much, either,” Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes. “They played this to perfection, and in the process kept all of baseball guessing.”

Read more here.

Paul McCartney Plays The Apollo

Beatles Classics, Marvin Gaye Cover

Once again, Paul McCartney has conquered New York, this time as a part of Sirius XM's 20 millionth subscriber bash, held Monday night at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. The former Beatle cruised through a career-spanning set list, treating lucky contest winners and a host of celebrities to one of his more intimate shows in recent memory.

According to, the venue's aura wasn't lost on him, either. "I dreamed of playing here for many years," McCartney told the crowd early on, before starting up 'Drive My Car.' Later in the set, he paused after '1985,' leaning against his piano to simply say "take a moment and soak in the Apollo."

From the onset, McCartney wasted no time getting down to business, opening with 'Magical Mystery Tour' before proceeding straight into 'Jet.' While there certainly were a host of Wings fans in attendance -- 'Band on the Run' and the rather rare 'Maybe I'm Amazed' were both welcomed fondly -- the early Beatles material like 'One After 909' and 'I'm Looking Through You' seemed to resonate most. A telling moment came when McCartney commented, "People hold up signs and you don't want to look at them. You got words and chords going on," in reference to the baby boomers in attendance who brought along signs of adoration.

Women screamed like teenage girls again, while guys instantly became envious of the man up on stage -- just like it was 1964 all over again.

Read more here.

Last night's McCartney setlist:

Magical Mystery Tour, Jet, Drive My Car, All My Loving, One After 909, Let Me Roll It, Long and Winding Road, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five, Maybe I’m Amazed, Blackbird, I’m Looking Through You, And I Love Her, Petrushka, Dance Tonight, Eleanor Rigby, Hitch Hike (multiple restarts), Band On The Run, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Back In The USSR, A Day In The Life > Give Peace A Chance, Let it Be, Hey Jude
Wonderful Christmastime, I Saw Her Standing There, Get Back,
Yesterday, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) > Carry That Weight > The End

Sirius will present an encore of the concert Saturday 8p (eastern) on its limited run channel, Band On The Run