Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CC Radio Selects Social Media Management System

Vitrue Tuesday announced that Clear Channel Radio has chosen Vitrue's social marketing platform, the Vitrue SRM, to manage social relationships across its 850 radio stations and its personality properties.

Under the agreement, Vitrue's SaaS-based solution will efficiently and effectively maintain consistent branding and messaging throughout hundreds of Clear Channel Radio's individual radio station pages, all from one single platform.

With the Vitrue SRM platform, Clear Channel Radio can publish and promote across all individual Clear Channel Radio social pages and personality pages, including the current campaign surrounding the largest concert event in radio history: the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Vitrue's platform will enable Clear Channel Radio to push iHeartRadio Music Festival promotional content through the social Web, providing pertinent updates, news and exclusive content surrounding the September event. Clear Channel Radio can also utilize Vitrue's platform to execute national promotions, advertising opportunities and sweepstakes that can be tailored to individual markets and locations, in addition to many other social marketing functionalities.

"We designed our platform with companies like Clear Channel in mind. While social marketing allows brands to reach a global audience, it is imperative to provide the functionality to promote across local markets in real time -- which is why our platform is such a good fit for Clear Channel," said Reggie Bradford, CEO and Founder of Vitrue. "With Vitrue's solution, Clear Channel Radio will be able to easily achieve scale and promote the iHeartRadio Music Festival and other events to their fans in local markets."

"The priority at Clear Channel Radio is to provide our fans with the best possible content and promotions and satisfy their love of music and entertainment through multiple channels," said Larry Linietsky, Senior Vice President, Product and Operations of Clear Channel Radio. "We're expanding our social strategy to maximize engagement with our listeners, and Vitrue's platform allows us to manage our social venues and engagement in one place -- from posts to ticket contests to audience polls, and more."

About Vitrue Vitrue ( ) is the leading social marketing platform, offering software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to help brands and agencies harness the marketing potential of social and manage their expanding and sophisticated social communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, emerging networks and mobile applications. The industry-leading Vitrue Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform is collectively managing its clients' more than 900 million fans in 47 countries across 3,000 Facebook and Twitter accounts. Vitrue's stable of clients include McDonald's, American Express, Amway, YouTube, Intel, P&G brands, Johnson and Johnson, Samsung, Ford, Chanel, JCPenney, Disney, Baskin Robbins, Best Buy, Domino's Pizza and AT&T, as well as many global marketing and public relations agencies.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NYC PPMs: No Big Surprises, Will Merlin Mix It Up?

The July PPM's covering June 23rd to July 20th are in with no major surprises.

According to a story by Vincent Santarelli at, WLTW (106.7 FM) continues to hold the lead 6+, but down slightly to a 6.0. WKTU (103.5 FM) moves up to the number two slot holding steady with a 5.1. WCBS FM (101.1) slips slightly to the number three spot going from a 5.4 to a 4.9. WHTZ (100.3 FM) is also down slightly in the number four hole moving from a 5.0 to a 4.8. WAXQ (104.3 FM) holds onto the number five position with a 4.1.

In sixth place is WSKQ (97.9 FM) with a 4.0, down from a 4.7. Seventh place goes to news WCBS (880 AM) with a 3.9. WBLS holds onto the number eight position with a 3.6. At number nine is WXNY (96.3 FM) with a 3.5. Tied for the 10th spot are WWPR (105.1 FM) and WWFS (102.7 FM) with a 3.4.

WQHT (97.1 FM) takes number 12 with a 3.3. News WINS (1010 AM) takes number 13 with a 3.2. In 14th place is WXRK (92.3 FM) with a 3.1. 15th place goes to talker WABC (770 AM) with a 3.0. WRKS (98.7 FM) takes the number 16 spot with a 2.9. 17th place goes to WPLJ (95.5 FM) and WFAN (660 AM) with a 2.8. WRXP (101.9 FM) takes the 19th position with a 2.5. WPAT FM (93.1) takes numbe 20 with a 2.0.

Taking over the number one spot in the 25 to 54 demo is WKTU, moving from a 6.4 to a 6.7. WLTW takes number two with a 6.0, down from 6.5. WAXQ takes number three with a 5.1. In fourth place is WHTZ with a 5.0. Number five goes to WQHT with a 4.1. A three-way tie for sixth goes to WWFS, WSKQ and WBLS with a 3.9. Another three-way tie for the number nine spot goes to WXNY, WWPR and WCBS FM with a 3.8.

Read More.

Dark Monday for Music and Entertainment Stocks

A number of investment bank stocks declined sharply Monday after S&P downgraded the U.S. late Friday, according to a story by Glenn Peoples at The Dow Jones index dropped 5.55% to 10.809.85. The S&P 500 sank an ominous 6.66% to 1,119.46. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 6.9% to 2,357.69.

Music-related stocks of American-based companies suffered along with the markets. Live Nation closed down 6.29% at $8.79 after falling as far as $8.37. However, the company turned out to be a rare bright spot Monday after its strong second-quarter earnings released after trading ended. Second-quarter revenue increased 23.1% to $1.559 billion behind a 25.9% improvement in concert revenue. The news sent its stock up nearly 13% in after-hours trading and the stock got back its losses from the previous two trading days.

There was little to cheer about elsewhere. Pandora Media closed down 7.4% at $12.52 and is now 34% down from its July high of $20.45. Madison Square Garden closed down 5.89% at $23.62. Sirius XM fell 12.7% to $1.65, far from its 52-week low of $0.95 but also down considerably from its 52-week high of $2.44 set in May. Viacom dropped 8.75% to $41.00. Cumulus Media fell 11.86% to $2.60. Foreign-based parent companies of two major music groups fared a bit better. Vivendi (parent of Universal Music Group) dropped a mere 1.97% to $15.18. Sony Corp. (parent of Sony Music Entertainment) dropped 6.35% to $21.67.

Monday's fall occurred as executives at many investment banks downplayed the importance of S&P's downgrade, according to The Street.

July PPMs: CC's KIIS-FM And KFI Maintain Top Spots

From Steve Carney, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the battle for radio ratings, pop station KIIS and talk outlet KFI refused to budge as kings of their respective columns — each claimed exactly the same share of the Los Angeles-Orange County audience in July as they held the previous month, according to figures released Monday. 
Meanwhile, after a slow start, morning-radio veteran Rick Dees increased his following at urban oldies station KHHT-FM (92.3), where he took over a.m. drive on May 4. 
With more than 4 million people tuning in for at least five minutes a week, KIIS-FM (102.7) led the overall July ratings, grabbing on average 5.4% of all listeners aged 6 and older — the same share it held in May and June, according to Arbitron. And, also for the third straight month, KFI-AM (640) and adult-contemporary station KOST-FM (103.5) placed second and third, respectively, according to the survey of listening habits from June 23 to July 20. 
KFI took the top spot in the crucial morning-drive time slot, from 6-10 a.m. weekdays, when broadcasters hope to snare listeners for the rest of the day. KFI, which at that time airs local host Bill Handel and then the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated program, attracted 7.3% of the morning audience — just as it did in June. Ryan Seacrest on KIIS repeated his second-place finish from June, but increased his audience share from 4.3% to 4.9%. 
For 23 years, Dees was the morning host at KIIS, until the station replaced him with Seacrest in 2004. Dees initially struggled at his latest gig, KHHT. The station's morning numbers declined from 14th place and 2.5% in April, the last month before Dees came on board, to 19th place and 2.3% in June, his first full month on the job. But in July, the onetime fixture at KIIS finished 13th, with a 3% audience share. The previous high for the KHHT morning show had been 2.6% in April 2010.

Read More.

See LA Market Snapshot, Click Here.

Glenn Beck Tuned In To 'Mayberry'

A week ago, television and radio personality Glenn Beck probably had never heard of Mount Airy, N.C.

But thanks to what Mayor Deborah Cochran described Monday as a “whirlwind” of events in recent days,

According to a story by Tom Joyce at, Beck now could even be visiting this city after local interest was expressed in a proposed clothing-manufacturing venture of his.

“Have you ever seen as much fuss over anything?” added Cochran, who has even been interviewed by Beck on his radio show heard over some 300 stations nationwide.

As a result, the mayor and Martin Collins, the city’s community-development director, were assembling information on Mount Airy Monday afternoon to send to Beck’s New York office. The payoff could be 1,000 or so jobs being created locally.

“He wants us to send him more information and he said he also may want to come visit us,” Cochran said. “Of course, this is a tremendous marketing opportunity."

The connection between Glenn Beck and “Mayberry” was made toward the end of last week after an article was published Thursday in The Mount Airy News regarding a 1791 clothing brand Beck seeks to manufacture somewhere in the United States.

It focused on a campaign by Cochran and some private citizens to interest the conservative TV-radio host in Mount Airy as a possible location for the project, which would generate profits for a separate effort to aid disaster victims.

This included the mayor emailing Beck and telling him of the city’s plight due to a rash of textile mill closings and the accompanying availability of vacant industrial sites — the kind of situation Beck seeks to address.

The day after the story ran in The Mount Airy News, the local campaign was discussed by Beck on his morning radio show.

Read More.

Townsquare Media To Acquire Double-O Radio

Townsquare Media, LLC announced Monday that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire 26 radio stations from Double O Corporation in Oneonta, NY, Midland-Odessa, TX, San Angelo, TX, Quincy-Hannibal, IL-MO and Sedalia, MO. Upon completion of the acquisition, Townsquare Media will own 191 radio stations and associated digital assets in 40 markets with geographic concentrations in the Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Mountain West. Townsquare Media is the fourth largest owner of radio stations in the United States.

“This transaction represents a continuation of  Townsquare Media’s strategy of pursing market leading media properties in small and mid-sized markets,” commented Townsquare Media Chairman and CEO Steven Price. “We are excited to continue to expand our business by adding new advertisers, a broader audience, premier brands and strong in-market teams.”

In connection with the transaction, the Pilot Group, Double O’s equity holders, will become a minority equity holder in Townsquare Media.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, pending FCC approval.

Report: La Raza Thriving In Gwinnett

From Roddy Freeman, Atlanta Radio Views
La Raza 102.3 WLKQ-FM is accomplishing something extremely rare in the radio business.  The small-signaled station, in the shadow of the Atlanta giants, is getting good ratings and making big money. 
The urge to own a radio station has always been kind of analogous to the sex drive.  People want it so badly that they sometimes act without thinking.  Going back to the early days of music radio, stations just outside major markets signed on as fast as families were moving to the suburbs. 
Let's face it; people in towns like Carrollton, Griffin and Cartersville listen to Atlanta radio, and for good reason.  The Atlanta stations sound much better, pure and simple.  It's that way across the country in communities close to a major population center. 
The thinking has always been that stations in towns near large cities can super serve their community and be a place where local merchants can afford to advertise.  And that's been true to some extent, but competing in the shadow of the big boys is a tough row to hoe. 
For years, WLKQ-FM was Oldies Lake 102.  It was a station that was full of surprises because unlike major market Oldies stations, its music was not driven by research but by what the Program Director liked.  Lake 102 was considered a successful station, but success is relative.  Selling primetime spots for $25 is not everyone's idea of success. 
When the Josephs retired in 2005, they sold WLKQ to Greg Davis' Davis Broadcasting.  Davis had owned Urban clusters in the Columbus (GA), Augusta, Charlotte and Macon markets, but had sold everything except in his hometown of Columbus.  I wondered why he bought WLKQ, and my guess is it made him feel like he owned a station in the Atlanta market. 
When Davis first took over, the format was Classic Hits, like 97-1 The River plays.  I had expected Hispanic and questioned the format choice.  But somewhere, sometime, somebody planted the Hispanic notion in Greg Davis' head.  Davis sought out Brian Barber, who was VP of Sales for Spanish Broadcasting System in Miami, and asked what he thought about flipping to Spanish.  Barber responded that "it would be crazy not to go Hispanic," and the dye was cast.

Read More.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Citadel Reclaims Charleston Station

The ownership of Magic 107.3 FM in WMGL Charleston, SC has been settled, though not without some static.

According to a story by John McDermott at, the issue began last summer, when industry giant Citadel Broadcasting Corp. asked regulators for the OK to recall the license to the Ravenel radio station. Citadel already had been running WMGL.

The circumstances that led up to that arrangement reflect the rules the broadcasting business operates under.

After gobbling up a rival several years ago, Citadel was required to divest Magic because of federal ownership limits.

WMGL was never sold in the conventional sense. Instead, Citadel shifted the license to a third party, Last Bastion Station Trust. The idea was to give the trustee time to line up a buyer, preferably a woman- or minority-owned business. In the interim, Citadel continued to operate Magic, which was rated the No. 9 local station (tied with Clear Channel's WXLY-102.5 FM) in the latest Arbitron market survey for Charleston.

A buyer never materialized, and Citadel sought to take back the license last summer. In doing so, it had to show a "change in circumstances" to regulators, It cited the move of its old WNKT-FM signal from St. George to the Midlands.

The request drew an objections.  One argument was that Citadel didn't try hard enough to market Magic. The company disagreed, saying "the failure to sell the stations ... is a result, in part, of the recent tightening of the credit markets."

Regulators sided with Citadel and approved the transfer in late July. Daniels could not be reached for comment.

Read More.

Brave New Brokered World for Radio Personalities

From Eric Deggan, St. Pete Times TV/Media Critic

St. Petersburg Times photo
Former Clear Channel radio personality Skip Mahaffey, left, and ex-local TV news sports anchor Al Keck chat recently in the studio at WTAN-AM 1340 in Clearwater.

Al Keck compares it to entering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room after a stinging loss: not something he wanted to do, but something he had to do.

For Keck, once the top sports anchor at two local TV stations — WFTS-Ch. 28 (ABC Action News) and WTSP-Ch. 10 (10 News) — that's saying something. When he walked into the Fox Jazz Café in Tampa a few months ago, Keck wasn't reporting a story. He was selling something.


More precisely, he was selling The Al Keck Show, a radio broadcast focused on sports news that he was planning to host every Friday on WTAN-AM (1340).

Shows on WTAN work a little differently from those on commercial radio, where a big corporation owns the radio station, hires talent, sells the ads and makes most of the profit. WTAN offers what radio insiders call "brokered" radio programs, where anyone can buy airtime for a flat fee, go sell advertising and create the show.

Whatever profit they make goes in their pockets, but the workload — from gathering material to booking guests and, yes, selling commercial spots — usually falls on whoever is cutting the check.

Years ago, this kind of radio was the province of churches, Realtors and gadget peddlers; people with a little taste for showbiz who didn't mind promoting themselves directly to a small audience. But as large media outlets pare their staffs in challenging economic times, big names like Keck have been forced to reinvent themselves in places like WTAN.

"Quite honestly, I didn't really enjoy it; I'd much rather have somebody else out there selling Al Keck than me," said the sportscaster, who turned to brokered radio about two years after WFTS failed to renew his contract. Despite his trepidation, Keck left his meeting at the Fox Café with a title sponsorship that immediately put his fledgling show in the black.

"I'm finding people will buy in to a vision if they know you and trust you," he added. "I know I'm not on the biggest radio station on Earth, but I've got a known name and a voice that's pushing a great product. To an average consumer, you're no different" than a traditional radio anchor.

Keck's show airs weekly on WTAN at 3 p.m. Fridays. Two other names from the area's radio scene — onetime SportsChix member Brenda Lee (a.k.a. B.L.) and former Clear Channel Radio star Skip Mahaffey — bracket him at 2 and 4 p.m.

Like Keck, B.L. and Mahaffey lost traditional media jobs awhile ago and are using brokered radio to capitalize on a personal brand that still draws some fans.
Read More.

Chicago NonCom WBEZ To Step Up Tts Game

From Robert Feder, Time Out Chicago
After years as the only dedicated source for news and information on Chicago’s FM airwaves, Chicago Public Media 91.5 WBEZ-FM suddenly found itself with not one but two all-news competitors invading its space last week.

While the launch of Merlin Media’s all-news format on WWWN-FM (101.1) and the simulcast of CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM-AM (780) on WCFS-FM (105.9) didn’t come as a surprise to WBEZ, together they represented an unprecedented challenge to the station’s longtime programming franchise.

On Friday, Torey Malatia, president and CEO of Chicago Public Media, outlined plans to boost WBEZ’s output of local news during middays — in between the drive-time fixtures of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He met with staffers to discuss the strategic plan he’d presented earlier to the board of Chicago Public Media.

“Over the next five years, we’re definitely committed to more local service and more local programming during prime audience time, which is daylight hours Monday through Friday,” Malatia told me. “Absolutely.”

In addition to the local newsmagazine show Eight Forty-Eight and the international affairs talk show Worldview (both of which are produced by WBEZ), the station currently airs a variety of programs between 9am and 3pm that are acquired from outside sources. They include BBC Newshour, Here & Now and Fresh Air.

“Some of those purchased programs would probably remain, but the weaker ones would go away,” Malatia said. “But we haven’t gotten as far as targeting any of them yet.
Read More.

NonCom KQED Takes Calm Path to No. 1 In SF

From Ben fong-Torres,
When KQED-FM (88.5), which has been around since 1969, hit the top of the Arbitron ratings for the first time in April, the station did not break out Champagne, have a party, hand out commemorative watches or send staff members to a vanquished rival station to streak (run naked) through its offices, as KSAN once did to KFRC.

Asked just how KQED did celebrate, Jo Anne Wallace, VP and GM, laughed. "You're going to be disappointed in this answer," she said, "but I tend to look at trends over the long term. And with Arbitron and PPM (its portable meter audience measurement methodology), station managers and program directors always wonder, 'Is there any kind of fluke in this data?' So we didn't celebrate, but we took note of it. But we need to look at May, June and July and see if there's any continuation of that."

There is. After a dip in May (during which KQED had a pledge drive), the station was back on top in June.

Since launching a news initiative in July 2010, increasing staff and the frequency of locally produced newscasts to 16, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., KQED has pushed past KGO (810 AM) in the overall ratings and been dominant in the prized age demo of 25-54. The station claims to be the most listened-to public radio station in the country. While KQED doesn't carry advertising, it acknowledges program sponsors and offers underwriting opportunities for short (15-second) messages in newscasts. "It's been very successful," Wallace said.

Read More.

Arbitron Ratings Give WVBE Roanoke Good Vibes

Roanoke's radio ratings have taken on a whole new vibe.

100.1 WVBE-FM, better known as ViBE 100, posted its best-ever ranking in the spring Arbitron survey, vaulting to third place behind usual ratings stalwarts Star Country and Q99, according to a story by Ralph Berrier Jrs., at

ViBE 100, which ladles heavy doses of old-school soul and funk into its urban contemporary playlist, drew an impressive 8.0 share in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market. Country station Star Country (WSLC-FM, 94.5) pulled a 12.9 to retain the top spot and adult contemporary Q99 (WSLQ-FM, 99.1) was second with an 8.5.

"We have a sound that nobody is offering in this market," said Walt Ford, ViBE 100's operations manager and program director, citing the station's slogan as "Today's Best R&B and Classic Soul."


The station is mostly programmed locally, except for the nationally syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" and the midday "Michael Baisden Show."

A typical playlist at ViBE 100 will include contemporary stuff from the likes of Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson and Musiq Soulchild, but it's also the place for Michael Jackson, the Gap Band and Maze.

Just last week, ViBE 100 was easily the only place on Roanoke radio where one could hear Afrika Bambaataa's rap classic "Planet Rock," followed by the O'Jays' "For the Love of Money."

"We're not an oldies station, we're not a hip-hop station," Ford said. "We're dedicated to everything from Earth, Wind and Fire to Alicia Keys. Sometimes we get a little funky with the dance, sometimes we get a little smooth with the ballads."

Even though radio ratings are prone to wild fluctuations from one ratings book to the next, ViBE 100 has been climbing steadily for sometime. In the past two years, the station has moved up from seventh place to fifth and now to third, increasing its market share by 60 percent.

Read More.

Detroit TV Icon 'Seduced' Into Radio

From Neal Rubin,

Among the things Bill Bonds is good at is laughing at Bill Bonds.

He's smart and funny and he had a great career, and he can't see any sense being bashful about any part of that. But there's something disarming about someone who can simultaneously pound his chest and make fun of himself for preening.

"None of us," the former news anchor said last week, "is as gifted as I think I am."
          And, on the unvarnished splendor of his resume: "When you've got it, you don't have to exaggerate it."
And, on how he was talked into becoming a talk show host on a 250-watt AM radio station: "The guy had a burning desire to seduce an icon, and he did it with flattery and money."

As noted in The Detroit News on Thursday, "The Bonds and Fisher Show" is scheduled for an Oct. 3 debut on 1090 AM WCAR. Having once dominated the evening ratings on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), Bonds will take a shot at the 3-6 p.m. drive-time audience, accompanied by former newscaster Rich Fisher and producer and co-host Rachel Nevada.

Politically, Bonds, 78, describes himself as "a well-informed objective humanist." Translated, he's frequently left of center. Fisher, 62, leans right, but not to the point that he can't see the white line or even cross over it once in awhile. They're both good interviewers and good listeners, and the show could be huge fun.

Whether or not it'll be successful, however, is only partly related to quality.

As I passed along the news that "Bonds and Fisher" is coming, I wondered how the announcement would be received by the potential audience and other broadcasters. In two somewhat contradictory words, I'd summarize the response as eager caution.
Read More.

Analysis: Paying For News Is Nothing New

From Jeremy W.  Peters, media writer at
Harold Bride aided off ship
In April 1912, the surviving operator of the Titanic’s wireless communications system was paid a handsome sum for his account of narrowly escaping death aboard the sinking ship.  

It will probably surprise some journalistic purists to learn that the news outlet that forked over $1,000 for Harold Bride’s harrowing tale — multiple times his annual salary — was not some sensationalist purveyor of yellow journalism,  but The New York Times.

Evolving standards or no, checkbook journalism has been a persistent and problematic feature of news coverage at even the most powerful and reputable news organizations, long predating the hyper-competitive 24-hour cable news cycle and the celebrity gossip boom.

And the issue is not likely to disappear anytime soon, even with ABC News’s contrite acknowledgment last month that to protect its reputation, it would have to cut back on the kinds of payments that have helped the network score a string of major exclusives in recent years. In Britain, public tolerance seems to have reached its limit with revelations that journalists working for Rupert Murdoch’s recently closed News of the World routinely paid the police for information as well as hacked the phones of crime victims.

Far from existing at the periphery of journalism and society, the payments have reached the highest levels of politics. Newsmakers who have been cut large checks over the years include not just players in courtroom melodramas like the Casey Anthony and O. J. Simpson trials, but former presidents.
Read More.

Townsquare Media Hires Kurt Johnson

Townsquare Media, LLC announced Friday that Kurt Johnson has joined the Company’s management team as Senior Vice President, Programming. Mr. Johnson will be responsible for programming across Townsquare Media’s radio markets and will report to Erik Hellum, Executive Vice President, Radio.

“I am excited that Kurt will be leading the Townsquare Media team, growing our brands and ratings,” said Steven Price, Townsquare Media Chairman and CEO.

“Kurt is a talented programmer and brand builder with a consistent track record of success.”

For more than ten years, Johnson worked for CBS Radio, most recently as Vice President, Programming in Dallas. He also served as Vice President of national Jack FM stations and Program Director for various other stations.

“Joining the leadership team of Townsquare Media is a tremendous opportunity,” said Johnson. “This is an exciting time in radio and I look forward to working with Townsquare’s local leaders to deliver compelling entertainment for our audience and to continue to grow our on-air, online and live events businesses.”

In 2004, Johnson led the launch of the “no DJ” Jack FM format model that now airs on dozens of radio stations across the United States. He has programmed successful stations across multiple formats in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Dallas.

Piers Morgan Phone-Hacking Scandal Widens

From Jamie Doward,
Can Piers Morgan survive? It is a question his enemies and fans on both sides of the Atlantic are asking with increasing urgency. The position of the former tabloid editor turned CNN chat show host looks vulnerable as the phone-hacking scandal continues to unfold with fresh revelations almost daily.

But unlike other senior journalists caught up in the scandal, it is not Scotland Yard that has been responsible for turning up the heat on Morgan. Rather, in what his enemies might suggest is proof that there is such a thing as divine retribution, it is Morgan's unchecked vanity. Morgan, who edited the Daily Mirror for nearly a decade until 2004, faces questions over a series of boasts that suggest he was at the very least familiar with the practice of phone hacking.

Morgan admitted in a column for the Daily Mail in 2006 that he had heard a message left by Sir Paul McCartney on the phone of Heather Mills, then his wife, in which the former Beatle sounded "lonely, miserable and desperate". The disclosure has prompted Mills to claim the message could have been heard only by hacking into her phone.

Certainly, Morgan appears to have known that there were people capable of hacking phones on behalf of journalists. When pressed about such activities on Desert Island Discs, Morgan claimed "a lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves... that's not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work."
Read More.

ABC Digital Offers Web Content for Radio Stations

ABC News Radio and Citadel Media have announced the launch of ABC Digital, a content service delivering customizable, format-specific news and music/entertainment feeds directly to radio station websites.

Brief stories from credited sources covering a broad array of categories are produced and updated 24 hours a day. Photos, slides and graphics accompany each story. ABC Digital also offers stations the opportunity to monetize the content as the service can be locally branded on individual station sites and sponsored by local advertisers.

“Timeliness and quality were front and center in developing this product,” said Steve Jones, Vice President and General Manager of ABC News Radio. “According to many of the affiliates we polled, other service providers update their Web content far too infrequently. An important advantage our service offers is that it doesn’t take visitors away from the radio station’s page by linking them to other sites. Our ABC-produced content lives on the radio station’s site ensuring the station retains the traffic and the news and entertainment stories are updated continuously.” 

ABC Digital’s news categories include World, National, Politics, Business, Entertainment and Health/Lifestyle. Content is also customizable for music stations with format-specific stories on artists from 12 major formats including Adult Hits, Adult Contemporary, Lite AC, Oldies, Alternative Rock, Active Rock, Classic Rock, Country, CHR, Hot AC, Urban and Urban AC.

Content is delivered in RSS, Atom, RDF and other common formats. All feeds include breaking  news updates via email to key station contacts so major news being posted can be promoted onair and listeners can be directed to a station’s site.

Thomas Hartmann's Cable TV Show Flourishes

Radio personality Thom Hartmann's nationally syndicated cable television program, The Big Picture, has grown in viewership by an impressive 19% since going on the air in late January of this year, while his simulcast (a'la Imus) TV/radio viewership has surged by 57% since it debuted on TV in October of 2010.

This spiking popularity of Hartmann's two programs, both carried live by Free Speech TV (FSTV) weekdays, has created an overall 21% increase in viewership for the progressive network over the past year.
Both Hartmann's simulcast-TV/radio and standalone television shows are the top-three most-watched programs on FSTV, which reaches over 35 million households throughout the country via Dish Network, DirecTV, RT TV, and over 200 local cable TV affiliates.

According to Don Rojas, Executive Director of Free Speech TV, "Thom's programs continue to impress viewers with excellent content and high production values. We are delighted with the performance of Thom Hartmann's programs and we look forward to a long partnership between him and the nation's only progressive TV network."

In addition to the presence of his radio show on FSTV, Hartmann, the nation's #1 rated progressive radio personality, is syndicated on three continents via Pacifica Radio, commercial stations from New York to Los Angeles by Dial-Global, on SiriusXM, and heard on American Forces Radio worldwide.

source: PRNewswire

RIP: Fred Imus, Songwriter & Don's Brother

Fred, Don Imus, nydn photo
Fred Imus, younger brother of 770 AM WABC morning host Don Imus and a long-time songwriter and radio host himself, was found dead Saturday at his home in Tucson, Ariz. He was 69.

According to a story by David Hinckley at, He was found in his trailer after he failed to show up for "Fred's Trailer Park Bash," a weekend show he cohosted with Don Collier and "Missy" on Sirius XM's Outlaw Country channel.

In 1976 he and a fellow railroad worker named Phil Sweet cowrote "I Don't Want To Have To Marry You," a No. 1 country hit for Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. It was voted song of the year by Music City News.

Fred collaborated with Don on the 1997 book "Two Guys Four Corners," which featured photographs and reminiscences of the Southwest, and with Daily News columnist Mike Lupica on 1998's "The Fred Book," which featured Fred's thoughts on life.

Fred was best known to New Yorkers and radio listeners as a laconic, droll, funny and sometimes ornery guest on his brother's syndicated show.

In the 1990s he ran Auto Body Express, which began as a garage where he worked on restoring vintage cars. Don mentioned it on the radio and that random remark soon turned it into a million-dollar clothing and food business.

Read More.

RIP: Nat Allbright, Radio Play-By-Play Recreator

From Matt Schudel, The Washington Post
The Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s were one of the greatest teams in baseball history, with Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and other stars. They had two storied broadcasters, Red Barber and Vin Scully, covering their games, but most people who listened to the Dodgers on the radio heard another voice.

For hundreds of thousands of fans throughout the eastern half of the country, listening on more than 100 radio stations, the voice of the Dodgers was Nat Allbright. He announced more than 1,500 games for the Dodgers, and all that time, he never saw a game he was broadcasting.

Mr. Allbright, who died July 18 of pneumonia at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County, was one of baseball’s finest practitioners — and perhaps its last — of the forgotten art of game re-creation. He was 87.
During the 12 years that he broadcast Dodger games, he visited Brooklyn only once. Listeners to the far-flung Dodger radio network thought Mr. Allbright was sitting in the press box at Ebbets Field and other big league stadiums, but he was actually at a studio in Washington.

He received sketchy summaries of the game — whether a pitch was a ball or strike, where a batted ball landed — from telegrams or wire service reports. But everything else that brought baseball to life — from crowd noises to vendors hawking their wares to the crack of the bat — was improvised by Mr. Allbright.

He had recordings of crowds in various states of excitement and used a click of his tongue to mimic the sound of the bat striking a ball. Each time a player tugged at his cap or a manager shouted at an umpire, the drama was supplied by Mr. Allbright.

He was, in the words of former Washington Post sports columnist Bob Addie, “king of the baseball re-creators.”
Read More.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Saturday Aircheck

The Best Of 1220 WGAR, Cleveland 1976

With the demise of network radio in the 1950s, WGAR tried various music formats, settling into an adult contemporary format in the 1960s. Don Imus did a stint at WGAR as a morning drive personality from 1970 to 1971 before moving on to WNBC in New York. (He returned to Cleveland in 1979 to do afternoons on WHK.)

Imus was replaced in 1972 by John Lanigan who had a very successful run as the morning man until he left for a Florida station on February 9, 1984. (In 1985 John Lanigan returned to Cleveland and went to work at WMJI, using much of the material he developed at WGAR.)

WGAR abandoned its adult contemporary format for a country music format on July 15, 1984. WGAR soon simulcast the country music format with its FM sister station, WGAR-FM, starting in 1986.

By 1990, WGAR was sold off to Douglas Broadcasting, and it changed its call sign to WKNR-adopting a sports/talk format-while WGAR-FM assumed the WGAR identity (as allowed by the FCC regulations at the time.)

WKNR maintained studios at the 1220-AM transmitter site in Broadview Heights-which were used by WGAR (AM) since the early 1970s, while WGAR-FM moved to new studios in nearby Independence, Ohio.

In January 1998, WKNR was sold to Jacor Communications, but were forced to spin it off to Capstar that very same August as a condition of the Jacor-Nationwide Communications merger - which ironically took WGAR-FM under the Jacor umbrella. Then, Capstar merged with Chancellor Media-who owned six other stations in the market-to form AMFM, Inc. in 1999.

When AMFM merged with Clear Channel in August 2000, WKNR was spun off again, this time to Salem Communications. And then, Salem moved WKNR to 850 kHz - formerly home to WRMR and earlier, WJW (AM) - in the July 2001 Great Cleveland Frequency Swap. WHK's programming and call letters moved to 1220 kHz in that same swap, but changed again to WHKW in 2005 when the WHK calls moved back to 1420 kHz following Salem's re-acquisition of that frequency.

Following the move, WKNR still broadcast from its studios at the former WGAR (AM) transmitter site (currently in use by WHKW), which were officially vacated on October 29, 2007, ending 30 years of near-continuous use.

Source: wikipedia

1220 WGAR Alumni and Tribute Page, click here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

CC Re-Launches Greensboro's Country WTQR

Clear Channel-owned 104.1 FM WTQR radio announced a format change on Friday, tossing out old country tunes in lieu of new hits.

The station, which has been on the air in the Triad for 37 years, rebranded itself as "New Country Q 104-1," the station said in a news release.

The new format will include hits from artists including Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert, the station said.

The on-air personality list doesn't change with the new format.

Jeff Roper will continue to host the morning drive show from 5-10 a.m., followed by Angie Ward during the mid-day and Jeff Wicker during the afternoon drive.

The disc jockeys have been off the air recently as the station prepared for the re-launch.

Read More.

Facebook Fan Page, click here.

CC Expected To Swamp Formats On AM, FM

In Minneapolis, sports 1130 AM KFAN  will soon ditch its AM frequency and swap spots with traditional talker 100.3 FM KTLK, according to a story by David Brauer at

In some markets, up to 50 percent of adults — especially younger ones — don’t touch the AM band, analyst Sean Ross estimates. Therefore, going FM should help KFAN battle Hubbard Broadcasting’s year-old AM sports competitor, 1500 AM KSTP ESPN.

Clear Channel Communications, which owns KFAN and KTLK, isn't commenting, but it's fair to say they wouldn't mind repeating history.

Five years ago, Clear Channel switched Smooth Jazz KJZI-FM to conservative talk, ultimately vanquishing 1500’s long-dominant predecessor, KSTP-AM.

The KFAN-KTLK swap will happen before the opening of the Minnesota Vikings regular season Sept. 11, and conceivably, early in the exhibition schedule.

Clear Channel already simulcasts the Vikings on KTLK and KFAN, and was slated to do the same with newly acquired Minnesota Gophers football games.

Is this a sign that conservative radio is fading? Nope, write Brauer.  The move comes as KTLK’s ratings are near the top of its two-year range, buoyed by the strong performance of the recently debuted "Davis & Emmer" morning show.

In the June Arbitron ratings, KTLK had a marginally higher share of the total Twin Cities listening audience — 3.6 percent to KFAN’s 3.3 — but the sports station had roughly 50 percent more 25-to-54-year-old listeners.

The swap, then, is partly because sports has the bigger upside. It’s generally accepted that KFAN reaps far more ad revenue than KTLK, so even if conserva-talk loses in the switch, the added (or at least, preserved) sports dollars should more than make up for it.

KTLK will still have an FM presence, though it might require some button pushing. Clear Channel is assembling a portfolio of four low-power FMs, and KTLK will appear on some or all of them.

Read More.

A Peek Inside Merlin Media's New 101.9 FM

The Newsroom

Kathleen Maloney

Brett Larson, Daniela Billota
No word on official launch date.

Cleveland's 850 ESPN Preps For Competition

Craig Karmazin, head of Milwaukee-based Good Karma Broadcasting — the parent company of 850-AM WKNR, until Thursday the only all-sports-talk station in Cleveland — said changes were afoot in the station's programming as 92.3-FM WKRK changes to all sports and brings new competition to the market.

He answered  the main questions of Joel Hammond at, centered on the loss of Westwood One's NFL coverage, in a Thursday morning voice mail, and had a simple explanation for Westwood One joining with WKRK: WKNR, through fan surveys, said it found more Browns coverage was in demand. So it now will have five hours of pregame and postgame coverage, and thus other NFL games on the station were impossible.

“Westwood One was a great partner for many years, but we weren't able to continue as an affiliate,” he said.

Tom Herschel, CBS Radio's senior vice president and market manager in Cleveland, said the addition of Westwood One was a big factor. He wouldn't comment, though, on whether Westwood One signed with CBS Radio here, forcing WKNR's hand, or whether WKNR cut ties first.

The new station also will have Big Ten Football, though Ohio State will remain on WKNR.

“We really look at this as an incredible opportunity,” Herschel said.

Read More.

Max Media Flips WLGL In PA.

Norfolk-based Max Media blew up its three station FM simulcast of WWBE Mifflinsburg, Pa Thursday. 

Country formatted B98 was aired for more than a dozen years on three FM Class A frequencies in the Susquehanna Valley:   98.1 FM Mifflinburg, down-river on 100.5 FM WYGL in Elizabeth and 'up-river' on 92.3 FM WLGL Riverside, PA.

That ended Thursday as a '80s and '90s based Classic Rock format made a debut on WLGL.  The station is now branded as The Drive and is jockless.

Uses of FM Translators Morph Quickly

From Randy J. Stines,

Translators aren’t just for filling in FM signal coverage gaps anymore.

They have become a more important part of radio owners’ spectrum strategy toolkit. Many commercial and noncommercial radio operators — both AM and FM — are using FM translators in ways previously unimagined, not only supplementing local signal coverage but leveraging them to gain a more lucrative footprint on the FM dial for content that originally airs on AM stations or FM HD2/HD3 channels.

Demand for translators also is increasing as broadcasters realize they effectively can create additional radio stations in markets by location-hopping and moving towards more heavily populated areas, according to several technical radio observers.

An FM translator retransmits the signal of an AM or FM radio station without significantly altering characteristics of the original other than its frequency and amplitude. FM translators historically have been used to fill in coverage where terrain blockage was an issue.

There were 6,141 licensed FM translators and boosters as of March 2011, according to the FCC. That compares to 3,897 in 2005 and 3,243 in 2000, according to commission data. FM boosters essentially are translators that operate on the same frequency as the primary station. The FCC doesn’t distinguish between FM translators and boosters in its database.

Approximately 500 FM translators simulcast AM broadcast stations. That’s a measure of the success of a rule change, adopted just two summers ago, allowing AMs to use existing FM translators in certain circumstances.

Observers say radio’s evolving translator strategies simply take advantage of current translator rules. For instance, a broadcaster can add a fill-in translator with power up to 250 watts regardless of antenna height as long as it does not exceed the protected contour of the associated primary station.

Interestingly, the 60 dBu of a 250 watt fill-in translator at 2,000 feet height above average terrain presents the same coverage area as a Class B or C2 FM station, thus “creating fairly high-power entities,” said Doug Vernier, president of broadcast engineering consulting firm V-Soft Communications.

Read More.

Time On WIP Advisory Panel Proves Enlightening

From James D'Arcangelo Council Rock North High School for
I came to the radio station to share my opinions, but ended up learning a lot more than I thought.

There are times when you are positioned to teach and impart wisdom, but you actually absorb and learn more than you end up sharing. That often happens to me in my volunteer work with kids.

It happened to me, big time, when I showed up at the offices of Philadelphia sports radio leader WIP (610 AM) to participate on their listener advisory panel last week.

Having heard WIP program director Andy Bloom's on-air request for panel applicants, I submitted my application and waited hopefully and anxiously. I knew that the station would elicit a substantial number of responses and that my odds were unfavorable. So I was extremely excited when, out of the more than 1,000 people who had applied, I was chosen to be a member of the 40-person team, and was the only teenager in the group.

The "team" was broken into four sets of panelists, ranging in number from nine to my 14-person session. Showing up for the two-hour meeting that started at 8 p.m., I was very ready to talk sports and sports radio.

I listen to WIP quite a bit, mostly during the afternoon and evenings, and mostly during the Phillies' and Flyers' seasons, so I was ready to share my opinions. I wasn't alone — many panelists came with pages of notes!

Over the course of the two-and-a-half-hour session, the group discussed day shifts, hosts, technology use and the right mix of "hard" sports talk versus "general entertainment." The diversity of the panelists in the room (notably age ranges and the times that they listen to WIP throughout the day), led to discussions that were lively, straight and mottled — and disagreements certainly arose, but were treated respectfully by all.

Throughout, Bloom asked very pointed questions about preferences and what would prompt panelists to listen more, listen longer or simply not turn away.

I learned a lot throughout the session, but even more after the conclusion of the meeting and the ensuing station tour, as I sat down with Bloom to ask what the impetus was to create the panel. Despite the late 11 p.m. hour, he and his staff happily indulged me (and "indulge" me he did; he is a legend in Philadelphia radio, with well over 25 years in the market, and noted as the man who brought Howard Stern to Philadelphia in 1986, enabling Stern's first syndicated market expansion from New York).

I asked Bloom why he would create such a group, when times were great at WIP (in-market, the station is regularly at or near the top in its target demographic group, males 18-54), and what his goals were. He shared that the "best way to grow steadily and to be steadily top-rated is to seek out your customers' opinions, listen and act. Radio listeners follow the classic ‘80-20 Rule,' so you want to build loyalty among that group of most-active listeners."
Read More.

RIP: Annette Charles, 'Cha'Cha' From 'Grease'

Annette Charles, who played 'Cha-Cha' in 'Grease,' has died at age 63. She was the most memorable student at St. Bernadette's High.

Annette Charles, who played bad girl "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio and famously danced with John Travolta's Danny Zucko and Jeff Conaway's Kenickie in the 1978 movie "Grease," passed away Wednesday night at her Los Angeles home.

RIP: Dorothy E. Brunson, Station Owner

She was the first African-American woman to own a radio and TV stations

Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun
Dorothy E. Brunson, who became the first African-American woman in the nation to own a radio station when she bought WEBB-AM in Baltimore, died Sunday of complications from ovarian cancer at Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore. She was 72.

"Thanks to the pioneering work of Ms. Brunson, the world of broadcast media was opened up to African-American entrepreneurs and business leaders," Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. "Her vision and commitment to excellence at every level of the business led to her success and paved the way for others to find success in cities across America."

Ms. Brunson was also the first African-American woman to own and operate a television station, with her purchase of WGTW-TV Channel 48 in Philadelphia in 1986.

Dorothy Edwards was born in Georgia and raised in Harlem, N.Y. A graduate of New York City public schools, she hoped for a career in the arts and studied drama, fashion, photography and advertising.

"But I needed something more," she told The Baltimore Sun in a 1986 profile.

She returned to college and earned a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting in 1960 from the State University of New York Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, and went to work in 1962 as assistant controller of WWRL-Radio in New York City.

Ms. Brunson advanced very quickly and within three months became controller. Before she left in 1969, she was the station's assistant general manager and corporate liaison.

"When I first came to WWRL, yearly advertising billings were around $700,000. By the time I left, they had grown to nearly $5 million," Ms. Brunson said in the 1986 Sun article.

By 1978, annual sales rose from $500,000 to more than $23 million, and as manager of WBLS, Ms. Brunson had turned the failing operation into the sixth-largest radio station in the nation.

She gained listeners by initiating a Top 40 format that also leaned heavily on rhythm and blues.

Ms. Brunson turned her attention to Baltimore after leaving the New York station in 1979, when she established Brunson Communications Inc. and purchased WEBB for $485,000. WEBB was established in 1955 and named for the legendary Baltimore-born and raised swing-era musician, William Henry "Chick" Webb.
Read More.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WKRK-FM Cleveland To Flip To All Sports

It comes as no surprise to many that CBS Radio has finnaly made the move many have expected.

The company has announced that on August 29th, 92.3 FM WRKR Cleveland will flip from Alternative to Sports to be branded as "92.3 The Fan".  PD is Andy Roth who makes the move down I-90 from Buffalo, NY, where he programmed 550 AM WGR.   Roth has also put intime with WFAN NYC and WIP in Philly.

Former Fox Sports Radio Network talent Kevin Kiley and Chuck Booms will handle AM Drive., who previously co-hosted a show together on the Fox Sports Radio Network.

"CBS Radio is the leader when it comes to the all-Sports format," says CBS/Cleveland SVP/Market Manager Tom Herschel. "Having the pioneering station -- WFAN -- among our portfolio along with a number of new entrants to the FM dial in major markets across the country, we are confident we know what it takes to make this move a success in Cleveland."

WNCI Offers Casey Anthony $$$ To Not Be OSU Fan

Click here for photos
Celebrity Web site TMZ, published photos of Casey Anthony somewhere in Ohio on Wednesday, wearing an Ohio State University hat.

The photos were taken on Sunday, according to the Web site.  TMZ did not specify which city the photos were taken in, 10TV News reported.

Many people, including 97.9 FM WNCI Columbus DJ Jimmy Jam believed the TMZ video showed her at the Old Navy store at the Lennox Town Center on Olentangy River Road.

Store officials refused to comment, 10TV News reported.

The Dave and Jimmy Show offered up to $10,000 to Anthony to take off the Ohio State University hat and wear Michigan attire.

Anthony has family in northeast Ohio, according to various media outlets.

Anthony was scheduled to appear in an Orlando courtroom on Thursday for a probation hearing about a check fraud charge.

Her attorney said that she would be in danger and need protection if she had to return to Florida.

Last month, Anthony was acquitted on charges that she was involved in the slaying of her daughter.

Orlando Gets An Other CHR..This One Is Spanish

An 'Elvis 103' stunting format stopped at 9m Wednesday as TTB Media Corp. flipped the format to Spanish CHR as "KQ103".

Official call letters are WHKQ and is licensed to Windermere, FL.

The station website is here.

The station Facebook Fan Page is here.

Listen below (no video, just audio stream):

Video streaming by Ustream

All Elvis had been airing since midnight Sunday as TTB took control of programming and sales of 103.1 FM WLOQ.  WLOQ was the last locally-owned FM facilitity in Orlando

TTB is operating 103.1 FM  via an LMA agreement with the Gross Family.  Sale of the station for a little more than $8-million is pending FCC approval. See original posting.

For year, WLOQ had aired a Smoth Jazz format. It continues online only, click here.

1500 ESPN Twin Cities Cancels Colin Cowherd

Going Local

Sports junkies in Minnapolis-St. Paul, who want more Twins and Vikings talk in the morning, are about to get it. By Labor Day, 1500 AM KSTP ESPN will ax Colin Cowherd's nationally syndicated show, which it airs 9 a.m. to noon. If you want to replace Cowherd, here's the host-wanted ad.

According to a story by David Brauer at minnpost, com, Hubbard Broadcasting vice president Dan Seeman says The Herd with Colin Cowherd was getting around a 2 share of local men 25-to-54-years-old, while another ESPN national show, Mike & Mike in the Morning, basically doubled that in 5-9 a.m. morning drive. "It's not like it was a national [show] problem," Seeman says, pointed to M&M's respectable numbers.

Whomever 1500 puts up will face 1130 AM KFAN's Paul Allen, a ratings behemoth. But since the former KSTP-AM adopted the ESPN brand last year, Seeman has argued two sports stations cannibalize each other less than the grow the audience for sports talkers. So far, the numbers have proven him right. If 1500 makes a good hire, 830 AM WCCO might have more to worry about with a non-sportsaholic like John Williams.

As the ratings indicate, Cowherd's show was a speed bump in many 1500 listeners' day. (Before the ESPN switchover, Joe Soucheray was becoming one, but he has more than righted the ship.) Seeman says morning and evening drive have much bigger available audiences "but from an imaging and consistency standpoint, 9 to noon is pretty important."

Read More.

Shaquille O'Neal Highlights Trend in Sports Broadcasting

Calls out ESPN's Bayless

Tuesday night, Shaquille O’Neal appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late night show and made a statement that has generated a lot of buzz around the sports world.

According to a story by Ray Mowatt and, O’Neal said he felt analysts who haven’t played professional sports at a high level or accumulated top-notch statistics and accolades should refrain from making statements in the media.

He seemingly doesn’t respect their opinions.

He directed his remark specifically to ESPN’s Skip Bayless, the often outspoken correspondent on the network’s First Take morning program.

On one level, I have to agree with O’Neal.

Analysts often criticize and lay into pro athletes too harshly for their performances on the field or on the court.

Athletes are scrutinized daily on dozens of radio and television programs by broadcasters, some of whom weren’t ever good enough to become a pro athlete, and some who played less than extraordinarily on the professional level.

Many broadcasters seem to have free reign to knock players and coaches without consequence. Being a “Monday morning quarterback” is almost a requirement to becoming a broadcaster these days.

Read More.

Facebook Is The New Nielsen Family

Since the first banner ad alighted on top of a web page sometime around the end of last century, online advertising has been the Rodney Dangerfield of the media world. It gets no respect.

But, according to a posting by E. B. Boyd at, that might soon change, thanks to a new service from the Nielsen Company. The Online Campaign Ratings system, which rolls out later this month, promises to measure brand advertising online more like the way it measures brand advertising on television--by identifying which demographics actually see each ad.

This will allow advertisers to make apple-to-apple comparisons between the new medium, whose impact on brand advertising has remained elusive, and the old medium, in whose powers brands have complete confidence. As a result, advertisers may finally be willing to invest more online, and possibly even pay more for the privilege.

"A number of impediments have prevented brand advertisers from getting into the deep end with online," Charles Buchwalter, Nielsen’s senior vice president of Online Campaign Ratings tells Fast Company. "If those impediments weren’t there, you could make a very strong case that brand advertisers would have spent much more money online."

Television has historically tapped its panels (often referred to as "Nielsen families"), which record exactly who watched any particular episode of television that went out over the airwaves. Online, there simply hasn’t been an efficient way to create such panels.

Enter Facebook. The social network is partnering with Nielsen to provide the demographic data on who sees ads placed around the Internet--even if those ads aren’t placed on Facebook itself--sort of like a real-time, always-on Nielsen family.

To find out how it works, click here.

WKZF Moves From 'Smooth Jazz' To 'Heritage Rock'

From David N. Dunkley, The Patriot-News
When the Harrisburg market's 92.7 WKZF decided to abandon its money-losing smooth jazz format after seven years, station operators launched their new format at midnight Monday with — wait for it — the Led Zeppelin classic, “Stairway to Heaven.”

Talk about declaring your intentions. But hey, it probably was either that or “Freebird,” man.

More and more in music radio, the way forward is to look back, especially to classic rock, that darling of the baby boomers and their progeny.

But the “classic rock” bag has swollen to epic proportions after several decades, so stations are becoming ever more specific about how they parse their music before sending it out over he airwaves.

WKZF is calling its new format “heritage rock,” according to program director Paul Scott, by which he means rock songs — including long version album cuts of “Layla” and the like — from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Scott promises a steady stream of Rolling Stones, Who, Foreigner, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Journey, Aerosmith and many others from the station’s newly acquired library of 3,500 tunes.

That’s the music favored by the demographic the station covets: males 35 to 54. These are guys, Scott said, who tend to have steady jobs, good income and children who are out of the house. “It’s what they grew up listening to,” Scott said. “In York and Lancaster [counties], there are 365,000 men in that category.”

And appealing to advertisers.

WKZF’s new musical breakdown can get pretty specific, even in terms of a particular band’s music. Older Beatles tunes like “Let It Be” make the playlist, but not the early hit “She Loves You.” Songs from early U2 albums like “The Joshua Tree” will get played, but don’t expect to hear the Irish band’s more recent hit, “Beautiful Day.”

So-called “heritage rock” is part of an expanding format list that includes active rock, album-oriented rock, oldies, mainstream rock, modern rock and progressive rock in addition to the standard classic rock.
Read More.

Listen Here.

RIP: Dr. Bruce Elving, FMAtlas Publisher

Dr. Bruce Elving, publisher of the FMAtlas has passed away.

His daughter Kristin Stuart posted the following message on Elving's wall Wednesday:

"We are very sad to inform all of Bruce's friends that he passed away in California on July 24, 2011. His memorial service will be on Monday, August 8, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. in Duluth, Minnesota".

According to a Wikiepedia posting, Bruce F. Elving was an author and DXer from Duluth, Minnesota. His interest in FM radio began while the technology was still in its infancy.

Elving related his memories of the early days of FM in the June, 2007 Monitoring Times.

He was twice given the DXer of the year award by The Association of North American Radio Clubs, first in 1973 and later in 1986.

He had a desire to introduce others to the world of FM DXing, and the Worldwide TV FM DX Association has included an article by him explaining the process on their website. Another introductory article which was originally published on his now offline FM Atlas site can be found on the FMedia website.

He was the author of the FM Atlas, a directory of FM radio stations and translators throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The FM Atlas has been published approximately every 18 months since 1972, and is currently in its 21st edition.

Elving also publishes FMedia, a monthly set of updates for the FM Atlas, compiled from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) data along with information contributed by subscribers.

Publishing of FMedia began in 1987, continuing until mid-2007 when Elving announced he was looking for a hobbyist who would take over the newsletter under new ownership. The publication remained out of print for some months, eventually creating a multi-month issue to catch readers up with the changes in station data.

Elving's eldest daughter, Kristine, took over FMedia in January 2008, with Bruce taking on a new role of mentor and contributing editor. In March 2010 Kristine published the last issue of the newsletter, when it again went out of print.

Elving was also noted for his mail order sales of radios modified to receive subcarrier signals emanating from FM radio stations. These little-known signals, which require special receiving equipment to hear, often consist of background music for retail establishments, newsfeeds, and reading services for the blind. Elving has advocated these services as superior to newer technology such as HD Radio.