Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Saturday Aircheck

Shotgun Tom Kelly, KRTH, LA

KDEO [San Diego] 1966
KPRI [San Diego] 1967
KYOS [Merced CA] 1969
KACY [Oxnard CA] 1970
KAFY [Bakersfield] 1970
KGB [San Diego] 1971
KCBQ [San Diego] 1971
KGB [San Diego] 1972
KRIZ [Phoenix] 1972
KCBQ [San Diego] 1973
KFMB [San Diego] 1976
KOGO [San Diego] 1980
KFRC [San Francisco] 1982
KCBQ [San Diego] 1984
KFMB [San Diego] 1985
KBZS [San Diego] 1992
KCBQ [San Diego] 1993
KRTH [LA] 1997 to present

Friday, February 4, 2011

Anderson Cooper Attacked in Egypt, Spawning Jokes

Radio talk show host Phil Hendrie spent an hour Wednesday night hilariously poking fun at CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

According to a story by Ed Walsh at, Hendrie’s pseudo-guest Don Berman, of California TV station Channel 19, talked to Hendrie about being in Cairo, Egypt, and being disturbed about Cooper stealing the limelight after the CNN anchor was attacked a mob of protesters.  Berman said he was traumatized himself by having to wear an unlaundered suit and putting up with bad food and uncomfortable bedding at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cairo.

The TV comics were also quick to make light of Anderson Cooper being attacked.

Jimmy Kimmel:  “Apparently something is going on over in Egypt. Anderson Cooper and his crew got attacked by pro-government forces. He got hit in the head about ten times, and I think he got kicked in the Mini Cooper too.”

Conan O’Brien: “While in Egypt, CNN’s Anderson Cooper was attacked and beaten, which raises two questions. Is it safe to send our media into these places? And how do we get Glenn Beck over there?”

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart said, “Alright, Hosni (Mubarak) now you have gone to far.  Hands off Anderson Cooper. There’s not to be a silvery wisp out of place on that man’s head, on that man’s glorious head.  There is only one person, only one person who is allowed to assault Anderson Cooper. “

Jon Stewart then showed video of comedienne Kathy Griffin punching Cooper in the stomach during CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage from Times Square.

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert told viewers, “But these days it seems like you can’t have an armed street mob without it turning ugly and unfortunately one of the exquisite works of art in the region was damaged namely--- Anderson Cooper.

“But folks as bad as it is there, it could get worse because I know because Anderson is still wearing a shirt with a collar   Until Anderson puts on the tight black Donna Karan T-shirt,  legally the UN does not send in Peacekeepers.

Read more here.

NYTimes Editorials Are 'Never Wrong'

The New York Times editorial board is never wrong. Or at least, they won’t print anything that says they are. according to Alexis Levinson at

Eugene Volokh, a professor at UCLA law school, wrote on his blog The Volokh Conspiracy Tuesday about a friend of his, Andy Pincus, who had written a letter to the editor at the New York Times about a court case in which he was currently working on as a lawyer.

“The Times is just wrong,” his letter to the Times said, in part. The paper wrote him back, asking if an edited version of his letter, with that phrase removed, would be ok. He asked if he could say instead, “The Times is incorrect,” to which The New York Times responded: “We cannot say ‘incorrectly’ because that is the province of corrections, in which case I would forward the letter to the corrections editor and it could not be considered as a letter.”

Eileen Murphy, New York Times vice president of corporate communications, explained the reasoning behind the policy.

“Our policy is that if we get a letter asserting that we made a factual error, we check to see if that is the case,” she told The Daily Caller via e-mail. “If we were in error, we publish a correction. If not, then we don’t. It is of no value to our readers to have someone say “this fact is wrong” in a letter without telling them whether that is indeed the case.”

“People are not only free to disagree with us, they are encouraged to do so,” she emphasized. “That’s one of the main purposes of the Letter section. But if they want to say, we are factually wrong, that is another matter and it’s a matter handled by the newsroom and the corrections desk.”

Read more here.

Journalists Targeted and Attacked in Eqypt

ABC World News has compiled a list of all the journalists who have been in some way threatened, attacked or detained while reporting in Egypt. When you put it all into one list, it is a rather large number in such a short period of time. See it here.

WSYR's GM Hopes For Younger Demos

“War Room” reads the sign on the door of the conference room at Clear Channel’s office in Syracuse.

It’s corporate gray with an iPad on the table and a stash of booze in the corner.

It’s where Joel Delmonico, the company’s general manager, and his staff hatched the plans to expand the region’s second-oldest radio station from AM to both AM and FM, according Marnie Eisenstadt at

On Jan. 2, WSYR began airing on 106.9 FM, as well as 570 AM. To do it, Delmonico killed the sports station on 620-AM and put there an urban-music station that used to be on 106.9 FM.

When they made the shift, the iconic radio identification of “five-seventy” — heard in Syracuse for 89 years — all but disappeared from the Syracuse airwaves.

“570” was rarely mentioned on-air. It wasn’t in the new station’s logo. After a reporter asked him about it, Delmonico said he planned to increase the on-air mention of 570. And he added the 570 back into the station’s logo.

But the rebranding of a legendary station shows the unsettled nature of local radio, and all advertiser-based media, these days.

Two weeks after WSYR’s simulcast began, the station cut the positions of news reporters Tiffany Latino and Michelle Clark, leaving one part-time news reporter. That dropped the local news and production staff from 10 to eight people, Delmonico said. Traffic reporters will handle more news and the station will share more news with the company’s stations in Albany and Rochester, he said.

Before the switch, WSYR’s average listener was 50 years old, and many are in their 60s and beyond, Delmonico said. He’d like to see that number go down to 40.

Read more here.

Tom's Take:  It will be interesting to see if the Delmonico gets the lower demos he wants.  To me 40 is a stretch.  WSYR AM was probably at 62 for a median age. He'll be lucky if it gets down to 52. After all as Rush says often content is king.  Not necessarily the delivery platform.

Breaking The Stereotypes

There are some ugly stereotypes about members of the Navajo tribe. For one, that they are silent pushovers, said Courtney Begaye, who is Navajo.

But every weekday morning, on local hip-hop radio station U92, Begaye — the brash, vocal, Oakland Raider-loving host — is changing the stereotype, according to David Burger at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Better known to his listeners as Poetik C, he hosts “The Navajo on the Radio” show from 6 to 10 a.m., waking up nearly 150,000 people from Provo to Ogden to Tooele.

Begaye, who has hosted the morning show for six years, has helped make U92 one of the area’s most listened-to stations. The 34-year-old is one of the reasons U92 was recently named Rhythmic Station of the Year by the respected national trade publication FMQB. In previous years, the award was bestowed on New York City and Los Angeles stations in New York City and Los Angeles.

“Everyone has had a hand in what we do,” said Kevin Cruise, U92 program director, who also was awarded FMQB’s Program Director of the Year.

Poetik C was born and raised in Salt Lake City and has lived in the valley all his life, except for two years when he resided on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo reservation. It was that time away that shaped him as a person and a DJ.

Read more here.

Fox Rejects 'John 3:16' Ad As Religious Doctrine

John 3:16 is part of the culture of football. We occasionally see it on signs in end zones after field goals and extra point attempts; on players' tape and tattoos; and Tim Tebow was famous for writing it in his eye black. And yet, many fans don't know what it means. They have yet to be touched by the hope it offers - the immediate relevance it has to their lives.

The original goal of LookUp 316 was to air a national commercial during Super Bowl XLV on February 6th, 2011. When the organization took this idea to Fox Sports, host network of this year's Super Bowl, they rejected the commercial on the basis that it contained "religious doctrine."

Fixed Point will now be airing this commercial in Alabama during this year's Super Bowl on February 6th, 2011.

SI Tries To Juice Swimsuit Issue

With fewer advertisers flocking to its annual swimsuit edition in recent years, Sports Illustrated has used about every marketing tool available to keep its most valuable franchise rolling, wrirtes Russell Adams at

The latest big venture is a partnership with Nissan Motor Co. that will let readers vote on who gets to appear in a future issue.

The auto maker agreed to spend in the mid-seven figures, according to a person familiar with the matter, with a campaign dubbed Model vs. Model. Nissan purchased a four-page spread in this year's issue featuring swimsuit models matched with Nissan cars. For three weeks after the issue hits newsstands Feb. 15, readers also will be able to vote online and by other means on which of several unknown contestants merits a spot in next year's issue.

The Nissan partnership is one of dozens of campaigns in which advertisers, including Sony Corp., DirecTV and HTC Corp., will incorporate the swimsuit edition in various products, events and other initiatives, on top of purchasing pages in the magazine.

Until recently, the Time Warner Inc. magazine could bank on the swimsuit edition carrying 100 pages of ads and selling more than one million copies at the newsstand. Those figures have dipped in the last couple years, however. Last year's issue had about 72 ad pages and sold 925,000 newsstand copies. Executives at Sports Illustrated said ads have started to pick up and they expect to have more than 90 ad pages in this year's issue.

Read more here.

TV Anchor Adds 35,000 Facebooks Fans In 1 Day

KOMO TV Anchor Kathi Goertzen just opened up her Facebook page on Tuesday. As of Wednesday night, she had amassed 35,694 fans, and as of this post, Thursday morning, she has 41,640.

Paul Balcerak at says for a nationally recognized politician or actor, that’s probably pretty respectable and expected growth, but for a local TV anchor in Seattle, it’s pretty surprising and incredible.

Goertzen debuted her Facebook page at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, and about 10 minutes later, she posted on the KOMO website that she was headed back for another round of surgery to treat a benign brain tumor that she’s been dealing with for the last decade or so.

The outpouring of support was immediate and, in her own words, overwhelming.

Read her blog entry here.

Read more from Lost Remote here.

KOMO's Eric Johnson sat down with Kathi Goertzen to discuss the latest stage in her battle with an aggressive brain tumor.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CC Outdoor Pulls Radio Competitor's Board

Orlando radio talkmeister and former handgun enthusiast Shannon Burke today accused the radio chain that fired him of yanking a billboard that features him and his new station, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Burke, 45, hosts a talk show on WEUS, 810 AM.

The station leased a billboard from Clear Channel Outdoor, part of the multimedia company that owned Real Radio, 104.1 FM, where Burke used to work.

He was fired two years ago after he got drunk and flew into a rage because his dog had sneaked out of the yard. He pulled a handgun, shot his wife's dog and the same bullet grazed a grove along the side of his wife's head.

After first ordering him out of the house, she forgave him, took him back and helped him avoid a long prison term.

He pleaded no contest to animal cruelty and opening fire in a building and served six months in the Seminole County Jail.

He also was ordered into alcohol rehab, to get treatment for bi-polar disorder and to give up his guns.

On Thursday the billboard came down. On the air, Burke accused Clear Channel broadcasters of trying to marginalize him. They do not want a former employee taking away listeners and using a company billboard to do it, Burke said.

Chris Kampmeier, a Clear Channel radio programming executive in Orlando, said Thursday that he didn't have anything to do with the billboard coming down and would be surprised if anyone else in the broadcast division did.

Read more here.

Tom's Take: It is my understanding the outdoor buy was placed on both Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS boards in the Orlando market. CBS Outdoor boards remain up as of Friday morning.

Journalists Report Detentions, Harassment in Cairo

Journalists attempting to cover unprecedented unrest in Egypt reported being targeted, beaten, arrested and harassed by security forces and police for a second day Thursday, reports CNN.

Al Jazeera released a statement demanding that three of its journalists, detained by Egyptian security forces, be released. A fourth has been reported missing, the network said.

The Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini said its reporter, Petros Papaconstantinou, was beaten by protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Papaconstantinou was clubbed in the head with a baton and stabbed in the foot, either with a knife or a screwdriver, said Xenia Kounalaki, head of the newspaper's foreign desk. A photographer also sustained minor injuries, Kounalaki said, and both were treated at a Cairo hospital and released.

The Washington Post reported, citing multiple witnesses, that its Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, and photographer Linda Davidson were among two journalists arrested Thursday morning by the Egyptian Interior Ministry.

Other journalists reported close calls. Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London said she was approached by a gang of men with knives in Imbaba, a poor neighborhood of Cairo. Another group of men, who also were strangers to her, pushed her into a store and locked it to protect her, she said.

A photojournalist for CNN-IBN, Rajesh Bhardwaj, was detained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the site of bloody clashes between supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak. He was taken away by the Egyptian Army and later released, but only after his identification card and tapes were destroyed, said Suhasini Haidar, CNN-IBN deputy foreign editor.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs was advising Indian journalists in Egypt to avoid trouble spots.

Read more here.

NBC's Brian Williams Reports Using Flashlight

NBC's Brian Williams from a balcony over Tahrir square describes the chaos and heavy gunfire that you 'can feel thumping in your chest.

Sean Hannity To Imam:

‘You’re One Sick, Miserable, Evil SOB’

It was riveting television last night as two sides traded insults during the Sean Hannity Show on the Fox News Channel.

Hannity took on controversial Imam Anjem Choudary and aside from fun of verbal insults flying back and forth, the exhange was frightening. At the end, Choudary revealed his support of Sharia Law and Osama bin Laden.

Study: Generations And Their Gadgets

Many devices have become popular across generations, with a majority now owning cell phones, laptops and desktop computers.

According to the results of a new study from Pew Internet & American Life Project, Younger adults are leading the way in increased mobility, preferring laptops to desktops and using their cell phones for a variety of functions, including internet, email, music, games, and video.

Cell phones are by far the most popular device among American adults. Some 85% of adults own cell phones, and 90% of all adults—including 62% of those age 75 and older—live in a household with at least one working cell phone.

Desktop computers are most popular with adults ages 35-65, and Millennials are the only generation that is more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop: 70% own a laptop, compared with 57% who own a desktop.

Almost half of all adults own an iPod or other mp3 player, but these are still most popular with Millennials—74% of adults ages 18-34 own an mp3 player, compared with only 56% of the next oldest generation, Gen X (ages 35-46).

Game consoles are uniformly popular with all adults ages 18-46, 63% of whom own these devices.

Overall, 5% of adults own an e-book reader, and 4% own an iPad or other tablet computer.

Additionally, about one in 11 (9%) adults do not own any of the devices we asked about, including 43% of adults age 75 and older.

The youngest generation does not lead in all the gadgets we asked about. Gen X is also very similar to Millennials in ownership of certain devices, such as game consoles, and members of Gen X are also more likely than Millennials to own a desktop computer.

Read more here.

Radio Host Posts Controversial Billboards

Shannon Burke Holds What Looks Like Gun In Photo

Billboards of Shannon Burke are popping up in Orange County, Florida , showing the radio host holding a smoking microphone -- similar to a gun -- with the words, "Listen or else." Last year, Burke served time in jail for shooting his wife and dog.

See Local6 Story Video, here.

Burke's wife and dog have since recovered from the 2009 incident inside their Altamonte Springs home.

Burke claimed the gun went off accidentally, but his wife, Catherine Burke, said she was the victim of her husband's drunken abuse. She later changed her story, but Burke still served six months in jail for animal cruelty and violating his probation for a past DUI conviction.

Burke told WKMG-TV Orlando the billboards promoting "The Shannon Burke Show," which airs Monday through Friday 3 to 6 p.m on 810 WEUS-AM, have nothing to do with his past.

"We advertise in a way we'll get attention. It's certainly not meant to be offensive. I've made my amends with everyone I needed to make amends with," Burke said. "I'm moving on with my life. Hopefully, the community can move on with me."

Read more here.

Another TV story from MyFox35-Orlando:

Herman Cain’s WSB Radio Show On Hiatus

ACJ file photo
Herman Cain, after three years on AM750 and now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB, aired his final show Tuesday night so he could pursue a possible presidential bid.

According Rodney Ho at, Program Director Pete Spriggs dubs it a “hiatus.”

“Depending how it goes and what he decides and how successful he is,” Spriggs said, ” it could be a very long-term hiatus from the air. He has the exploratory committee to explore the possibility of running for president. It’ s been impossible to do that as it needs to be done across the country and do his talk show.”

Beginning Thursday, Cain will be replaced in the 7 to 10 p.m. time slot by Erick Erickson, who joined WSB Radio last month and whose show had been airing from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Financial expert Dave Ramsey, who left 640/WGST-AM at the end of 2010 and joined WSB Radio, will cover 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. He had been airing from midnight to 3 a.m.

Read more here.

Egyptian Crisis Gives CNN a Ratings Boost

CNN reaffirmed that it remains a brand for breaking news Tuesday evening, with the protests in Egypt providing the compelling story.

According to Bill Carter's Media Decoder blog at, , the Cable News Network, which now routinely trails both its competitors in prime time, pushed ahead of one of them, MSNBC, each hour Tuesday night.

Fox News still led the competition across the board with its lineup of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren. But the CNN hosts grabbed second place each hour and knocked MSNBC into third place every hour of the evening starting at 5 p.m.

The new CNN’s entries, “Parker Spitzer” at 8 p.m. and “Piers Morgan” at 9, both reversed their recent third-place trend with shows devoted largely to the events in Egypt. Anderson Cooper, who has been in the middle of the action on location in Cairo, came closest to first place, trailing Ms. Van Susteren by only about 40,000 viewers in the audience group news channels sell to advertisers — people between the ages of 25 and 54.

Read more here.

Drowning In A Deluge of Data

Jose Huitron had just hit the digital wall, according to Jon Swartz at

Toggling between Facebook, Google, Twitter and a handful of other online communities, he found it hard to keep up with a constant barrage of tweets, texts and instant messages.

"There are so many things coming at you," says Huitron, 29, owner of HUB 81, a social-media consultancy in Santa Maria, Calif. "I just keep a few open all the time now." He also uses a variety of third-party software to sort it all out.

A crush of popular social-media toys — Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Yelp, social games, Skype, YouTube and Quora, to name a few — has opened the lines of communication between millions of people as never before.

But the glut of tools and their features — chat, messages, instant messages, texting and tweets — has led to multiple conversations that can be head-spinning. That has not gone unnoticed by companies such as Facebook and Google, which are looking for ways to streamline their users' online experience with features such as Facebook Messages and Google Buzz, respectively.

People are drowning in a deluge of data. Corporate users received about 110 messages a day in 2010, says market researcher Radicati Group. There are 110 million tweets a day, Twitter says. Researcher Basex has pegged business productivity losses due to the "cost of unnecessary interruptions" at $650 billion in 2007.

Read more here.

Would Fox Hire Keith Olbermann?

Murdoch: “No. We fired him once, we don’t believe in firing people twice.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Introducing The Daily

Today Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation, unveiled The Daily -- the industry’s first national daily news publication created from the ground up for iPad.

“New times demand new journalism,” said Mr. Murdoch. “So we built The Daily completely from scratch -- on the most innovative device to come about in my time -- the iPad."

“The magic of great newspapers -- and great blogs -- lies in their serendipity and surprise, and the touch of a good editor,” continued Mr. Murdoch. “We’re going to bring that magic to The Daily -- to inform people, to make them think, to help them engage in the great issues of the day. And as we continue to improve and evolve, we are going to use the best in new technology to push the boundaries of reporting.”

The Daily’s unique mix of text, photography, audio, video, information graphics, touch interactivity and real-time data and social feeds provides its editors with the ability to decide not only which stories are most important -- but also the best format to deliver these stories to their readers.

“News Corp. is redefining the news experience with The Daily,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think it is terrific and iPad users are really going to embrace it.”

Led by Editor-in-Chief Jesse Angelo and Publisher Greg Clayman, The Daily is the first application made available on the App Store as a subscription -- which will be billed directly to an iTunes account. And because this paperless paper requires no multi-million dollar presses or delivery trucks, it will be priced at just 99 cents a week (or $39.99 for an annual subscription).

“The Daily launches at a moment when advances in technology are changing the job of the modern editor,” says Mr. Angelo. “These advances are giving us new ways to tell stories. We intend to take advantage of all of them, and make The Daily the new voice for a new era.”

Each day The Daily will publish up to 100 pages focused on six key areas: news, sports, gossip and celebrity, opinion, arts and life, and apps and games. It will offer views from across the political spectrum. They will come from across cultures and generations, across America and the world.

The Daily will feature Sudoku and crossword puzzles, localized weather reports, and a customizable sports package that captures news on the user’s favorite teams. Subscribers will also be able to leave comments on Daily stories in either written or audio form -- as well as bookmark them in-app to read later.

As readers move through The Daily’s content, they will be helped by several highly intuitive navigation tools. And while The Daily lives on the iPad, most of its articles can be easily shared via Facebook, Twitter and email. The Daily will link out to the web, as well as bring the web into the app.

“In short, says Mr. Murdoch, “we believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told and consumed in this digital age.”

The Daily has bureaus in New York and Los Angeles, as well as stringers across the country. Full company bios are available at Executive staff includes:

John Kilpatrick - Executive Creative Director Steve Alperin - Managing Editor Mike Nizza - Managing Editor, News Richard Johnson - LA Bureau Chief Sasha Frere-Jones - Editor, Arts & Life Chris D’Amico - Editor, Sports Elisabeth Eaves - Editor, Opinion Peter Ha - Editor, Apps, Games and Technology

The Daily is also changing the way advertising is offered and consumed within a news publication. Full-page ad units are completely interactive, customizable, and offer a rich mix of branding and direct response opportunities. Launch advertisers include HBO, Macy’s, Paramount, Pepsi Max, Range Rover, Verizon, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

“With The Daily, Rupert Murdoch has given us the chance to rethink the entire experience of news delivery and consumption,” said Mr. Clayman. “The ability to actively listen to and engage with our audience means we can continually provide an experience that consumers value in this fast-evolving tablet space. Together with our customers, our advertising partners, and the team at The Daily, we are excited to create a new form of media.”

For more information on The Daily click here.

Also read here:

Nieman: What Problem Is 'The Daily' Trying To Solve?
TechCrunch: One-Click Subscriptions Come To iPad
PaidContent: Murdoch Hopes Apple Lowers Share Of 'Daily'
Mediaite: Fox News Interrupts To Cover 'Daily' Launch
WSJ: Apple To Crack Down On Paper, Mag App Payments

Media Become a Target

Egypt Protests Turn Violent

Riding With Pandora In The Car

CNN Crew Attacked In Egypt

CNN's Anderson Cooper explains how his crew was attacked in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt.

Colossal Storm Bolsters The Weather Channel

Bad weather was very good to The Weather Channel Companies and on Monday.

According to the TV Guy, Hal Boedeker at the, people seeking news about the giant winter storm bolstered TWCC to a record 217.4 million page views for the day — the former record was 178 million page views on Feb. 9 last year.

And hit a record 126.7 million page views for the day with 18.2 million unique visitors. The previous record was 16.2 million unique visitors on Feb. 9 last year.

And don’t you think those records were broken today?

Also on Monday, the TWC Mobile Web hit 15.1 million page views, and the Weather Channel for iPhone app hit 35.2 million page views.

The Weather Channel in prime time reached 656,000 viewers — and 358,000 were in the 25-to-54 age group prized by advertisers.

Read more here.

NYT Editor: The Impact Of Assange And WikiLeaks

New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller and a team of reporters from the paper worked with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for months before publishing hundreds of classified documents obtained by WikiLeaks late last year. In Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Keller described how the Times' relationship with Assange began to deteriorate after the paper published several of the Afghanistan war logs provided by WikiLeaks.

On Tuesday's Fresh Air, Keller explains why the paper decided to publish the documents, the impact of those cables and why he came to regard Julian Assange as "elusive, manipulative and volatile."

Read more here.

FCC Review Board To Keep Radio Talkers In Line?

Former TV Anchor Rescued From Flood Waters

A former Washington state TV anchor had to be rescued from a raging river.  Former Spokane anchor Debra Gilbert Wilde was trapped in her sport utility vehicle after she lost control and crashed down an embankment into the rising waters.

How The Enquirer Nailed John Edwards

From David Perel, former Editor-In-Chief:

It took two years, thousands of man hours and a cross-country chase to catch John Edwards cheating.

That was the easy part.

Even after gathering and publishing overwhelming proof that the man who wanted to restore America to the moral high ground as president had fathered a love child while his wife battled terminal cancer, the more difficult task proved to be getting anyone to believe it.

As Editor-in-Chief of the National Enquirer I devoted unprecedented resources to the Edwards story while supervising a large team of reporters and editors whose ultimate goal was simply to sell newspapers while exposing a hypocrite (not win a Pulitzer, although, hey, that would have been fun, if only to observe the whoopee-cushion effect it would have had on so many journalists).

While much has been written about the Enquirer's scoop, the key element of how Edwards was caught has never been told -- until now. The untold story (to borrow one of the Enquirer's famous catch phrases) is that it took the perfect meshing of technology and psychology to rip the Edwards-affixed label of "tabloid trash" off the mass-ignored expose and force him into a confession.

The Enquirer had spent weeks shadowing Edwards' Falstaffian aide Andrew Young and Rielle Hunter in a North Carolina gated community before finally publishing the story that she was pregnant with the candidate's baby. But when Young astoundingly claimed paternity of Hunter's baby the story hit with a thud.

Read more here.

David Perel was the Editor-in-Chief of the National Enquirer during the John Edwards investigation and went on to re-launch, where he is now executive vice president and managing editor.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ACM Announces Radio Nominees

The Academy of Country Music is announcing nominees in the esteemed radio categories, which due to time constraints, are not televised during the 46th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS on April 3,  but are instead honored at a special pre-Awards reception:


Kix Brooks - American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks
Big D and Bubba - Big D and Bubba
Crook and Chase - Crook and Chase Countdown
Blair Garner - After MidNite with Blair Garner
Lon Helton - CMT's Country Countdown USA
Shawn Parr - The Country's Hot List


Cliff and Brooks on KSON (Cliff, Brooks and Tori) - KSON-FM San Diego, CA
Trish Biondo - WUSN-FM Chicago, IL
Cornbread, Pat James, Annie Henson and Capt. Mac Douglas - WIL-FM St. Louis, MO
Dr. Don, Rachael Hunter and Grunwald - WYCD-FM Detroit, MI
Edwards & Lee (Chuck Edwards & Linda Lee) - WYCD-FM Detroit, MI


J.D. Cannon - WFMS-FM Indianapolis, IN
Karen Scott & Radar - WMIL-FM Milwaukee, WI
Mike, Marty and Janie - WQDR-FM Raleigh, NC
Jeff Roper and Angie Ward - WTQR-FM Greensboro, NC
Chris Carr, Jason Statt and Maverick - WUBE FM Cincinnati, OH


Brian Pierce & Kellie Michaels - KFDI-FM Wichita, KS
Jack Ryan - WIVK-FM Knoxville, TN
Andy Ritchie, Alison Mencer and Jimmy Holt - WIVK-FM Knoxville, TN
Dan Brennan & Shelby Mitchell - WKSJ-FM Mobile, TN
Scott Wynn & Sue Wilson (Wynn and Wilson in the Morning) - WQMX-FM Akron, OH


Bill Barrett, Tim Fox and Tracy Berry - KKNU-FM Eugene, OR
Brian Gary, Todd Harding, and Susan Moore (The Good Morning Guys) - KUAD-FM Windsor, CO
Jimmy Lehn and Shelly Martinez - WCTY-FM Norwich, CT
Mark Ericson and Karen Kiley - WOKQ-FM Dover, NH
Dex and Mo - WUSY-FM Chattanooga, TN


KEEY-FM St. Louis Park, MN
KNIX-FM Phoenix, AZ
WPOC-FM Baltimore, MD
WSOC-FM Charlotte, NC
WYCD-FM Detroit, MI


KCYY-FM San Antonio, TX
WFMS-FM Indianapolis, IN
WGH-FM Virginia Beach, VA
WMIL-FM Milwaukee, WI
WSIX-FM Nashville, TN


WBBS FM Syracuse, NY
WIVK-FM Knoxville, TN
WKHK-FM Richmond, VA
WYRK FM Buffalo, NY


KCLR-FM Columbia, MO
KCTR-FM Billings, MT
KUAD-FM Windsor, CO
WFRE-FM Fredrick, MD
WYCT-FM Pensacola, FL

For a complete listing of all nominees, click here.

Nightly News Airs From Egypt

Lester Holt, NBC Producer Paul Nassar, Brian Williams in Cairo

BRIAN WILLIAMS, live at the top of "Nightly":

"Good evening, tonight, from Cairo, in Egypt, where we've found a safe spot to do our broadcast tonight, and cobbled together a few ways to get the pictures and sound on the air, though it may be something less than our usual broadcast quality. It's SUCH an important story ... what may turn out to be a genuine, top-to-bottom, sea change, people's revolution - and, in the process, may rewrite the contemporary history of this region."

Read more here.

Super Bowl XLV: The Social Media Huddle

Tom Fox, Dallas News photo
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers are stoking the passions of millions on Facebook. Athletes are tweeting out Super Bowl party plans.

And, according to Theodore Kim at, companies from Coca-Cola  to Mercedes-Benz USA have unveiled elaborate social media strategies that just a few years ago might have seemed nonsensical.

Consider Super Bowl XLV in Arlington the Social Media Super Bowl, the first in which tools like Facebook and Twitter will play such a central role in advertising, promotions and fandom.

Social media is by no means a recent phenomenon. Yet only in recent years has it gained the kind of mainstream foothold on Madison Avenue and among fans that has turned it into a transformational force. It has, in essence, changed how fans, companies and athletes interact with each other.

Virtually every entity — from the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee to the Southern Steel Fan Club of North Texas — has a Facebook or Twitter page. Often both.

An estimated 700 million people worldwide are on Facebook or Twitter or both. The Super Bowl in Dallas could set new milestones.

Read more here.

Wisconsin TV, Radio Blitz Super Bowl

Packers fans waiting at team hotel
While fans spent the bye week before the Super Bowl stocking up on beverages and snacks, a small group of professionals prepared to invade Dallas.

No, not the Green Bay Packers. Well, not just the Packers.

According to Duane Dudek at, Wisconsin broadcasters spent the past week planning ways to cover the biggest story that nobody planned for.

Dudek writes, "If you thought local TV newscasts ramped up their Packers coverage after the team's victory in the NFC championship game, you ain't seen nothin' yet. So many local TV and radio hosts, reporters, photojournalists, producers and technicians will be in Arlington for Sunday's Super Bowl you could open a Wolski's and hold a fish fry.

WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) and WTMJ-AM (620) lead the pack with a combined crew of more than 20, including "Daybreak" host Vince Vitrano, anchor Mike Jacobs, the entire sports team, morning and afternoon radio hosts Gene Mueller and John Mercure, and sports talk host Bill Michaels.

WITI-TV (Channel 6) is sending 16 people. Last week, sports director Tom Pipines reported from the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers - and Packers coach Mike McCarthy - came home for one day and then headed to Dallas. He will be joined by anchors Ted Perry and Mary Stoker Smith, morning news and "Real Milwaukee" host Nicole Koglin and sports reporter Tim Van Vooren.

"We're moving a big part of the newsroom to Dallas," said WITI news director Jim Lemon. "It's not that different than the way we operate here."

While love of and interest in the Packers is a level playing field, these stations may have a possible competitive advantage: WITI is an affiliate of Fox, which is carrying the game, and WTMJ-AM and WTMJ-TV are the flagship stations of the Packers radio and TV networks.

The game will be broadcast on WTMJ-AM by Packer announcers Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren, pre-empting local Westwood One coverage on WAUK-AM (540). The affiliation also allows WTMJ-TV to label itself as the "official" Packers station.

But WISN-TV (Channel 12), which is sending 12 people, has a unique affiliation, too, with the Hearst Television Inc. sister station in Pittsburgh.

"We (support) opposing teams, but we're all on one team" and will share content and resources, said WISN-TV news director Lori Waldon."

Read more here.

US Gets iNet 'Kill Switch' Bill Ready

As Egypt's government attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the internet, according to a story by Ben Grubb and Asher Moses at

The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, reported.

It was initially introduced last year but expired with a new Congress.

Senator Susan Collins, a co-sponsor of the bill, said that unlike in Egypt, where the government was using its powers to quell dissent by shutting down the internet, it would not.

“My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,” Collins said in an emailed statement to Wired. “It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.”

Read more here.

We'd Rather Give Up Food Than Cable, Cellphone

If you had to surrender your cable, your mobile phone or internet, which would you choose? Well, 8% of respondents in our exclusive AdAge/Ipsos Observer study were having none of it -- saying they would rather forgo eating than give up a media consumption device, according to a posting by Matt Carmichael at

For those willing to play along, 49% said they'd lose cable, 37% said their mobile phone, and only 6% said internet. But that doesn't mean we'd be willing to swear off our favorite TV shows altogether: Nearly half of respondents said they would be willing to give up their cable or satellite to watch TV shows in another fashion (web, NetFlix, Wii, etc.). And, in fact, nearly one in four already watch this programming on a non-television platform "often or sometimes."

The online survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers was conducted in mid-January.

Read more here.

All-News Radio Is Thriving

Big boost from the Portable People Meter

Harvey Nagler
Here’s something that should come as no surprise. Fewer Americans are relying on radio as their chief source of news. The number of Americans who say radio is their primary news source has dipped from 18 percent in December of 2008 to 16 percent by December 2010, according to the Pew Research Center for People and the Press.

Blame the internet and the convenience it offers of getting the news whenever one wants it.

But here is a surprise. All-news radio is booming, according to Mike Stern at

In Washington, all-news WTOP is the market’s perennial leader, averaging a 10 share. That means that nearly 10 percent of radio listeners in Washington tune in regularly.

Its revenue story is even more impressive. In 2009 the station ranked No. 2 in billing for the entire country with more than $50 million in sales.

The same pattern holds in other markets: WBBM-AM/Chicago, KYW/Philadelphia and KCBS/San Francisco all rank among their markets’ top stations.

What’s driving the growing strength of all-news radio is, of all things, Arbitron’s Portable People Meter for tracking listening.

With the rollout of the PPM across major markets, media buyers are afforded a far more accurate picture of what people listen to, when they listen and how often, all to the benefit of all-news stations.

Under the old diary system, which relies on listeners to remember and write down what stations they listened to, all-news stations got short-changed. Typically, people flip to all-news stations for the headlines, listen for a few minutes, then jump to another station.

When it came to filling out diaries, those short bursts of listening were forgotten about more often than not, and the result was that all-news stations appeared to have lower listening levels than they actually did.

“All-news radio stations are doing great. PPM has treated them well,” says Harvey Nagler, CBS News vice president for radio.

Read more here.

Former TV Anchor Rescued From Flood Waters

A former Washington state TV anchor had to be rescued from a raging river.
Former Spokane anchor Debra Gilbert Wilde was trapped in her sport utility vehicle after she lost control and crashed down an embankment into the rising waters.

How WNYC Used Listener Texts To Map Snowstorm

The radio station WNYC is creating on-air and online stories using two things that are very familiar to people in the Northeastern United States: mobile phones and snow.
Melissa Ulbricht at pbs.iorg/idealab reports in a posting  snowstorm over the holidays was the heaviest December snowfall in six decades. It dumped up to 20 inches in many parts of New York City. The story quickly became one of snow removal and how the city was not removing the snow as quickly as people had hoped.

Jim Colgan and the WNYC newsroom wanted to get a sense of what was happening on the streets. Problem was, there was no good or easy way to do this. The station couldn't rely on the city for real-time information, and reporters couldn't get to many of the areas. The answer was to have the listeners share their own reports and stories, via mobile phone.

To report on the first major snowstorm, WNYC asked a very simple question: Has your block been plowed? On-air, they asked people to text the word PLOW to the shortcode 30644. Once they did so, that person received a message asking for their address and their response to the question.

After this, the person was sent another message asking if they would like to contribute more details, in their own voice. If the person responded to this SMS message, they were connected to a voicemail line at WNYC and could describe how the snowstorm and roads were affecting them. The station received hundreds of reports, especially for the first snowstorm, and close to 100 people left voice messages with detailed stories.

Some stories included issues of access to emergency services, getting to and from work, and the ensuing trash buildup after the storm.

Read more here.

Twitter, Facebook: Political Tools In Arab World

Harvey's Ex, Compares Alleged Infidelity To Rape

The Harveys 2001
Steve Harvey's ex-wife Mary is still slamming the comedian, even as he's insisted her claims are "lies."

Shari Weiss at writes Mary Harvey, who released three YouTube videos earlier this month detailing Steve's alleged infidelity during their marriage, appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show on Monday.  Harvey has a syndicated radio show and is the host of TV's "Family Feud".

Though Joyner, a friend of Steve's, had invited her to encourage her to "move on" from her 2005 divorce, Mary refused to take the host's advice.

"It took a long time for me to get to this point," she explained to Joyner, according to "The reason I've been silent this entire time is because I did take into consideration what it would do to both of our families and our community."

But she said she decided to publicly discuss the fall of her marriage because "keeping quiet hasn't served me physically. It hasn't served our son [Wynton]. I have suffered physically because of it. I'm not in good health right now."

Mary also criticized her ex, who went on to marry his alleged mistress, Marjorie Bridges, for trying to maintain a wholesome celebrity image and putting out a book on relationships while he allegedly has many skeletons in his closet.

"I think the apology should be given to the women who have been deceived into buying the books and who have perceived him as being a pillar of the community," Mary said.

Joyner tried to defend his friend, Steve, noting that he is "doing some good" for the public - but the actor's jilted ex-wife countered that it doesn't excuse his behavior towards his own family.

"I have no doubt about that, but from a victim standpoint, it's like saying to someone who was raped and had not had closure from his attacker that he's still doing some good," she said.

When Joyner objected to the word "rape," Mary reportedly shot back that "It's rape to me."

Read more here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

CNN Warns Of Communications Takover In US

It seems like this is the kind of thing Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck has been criticized for putting out on the airwaves – the notion the government could shutdown electronic communications in the United States similar to what has been done in Egypt over the past several days, as its government has reacted to turmoil engulfing the country.

Jeff Poor, at the  writes, on Sunday evening’s “CNN Newsroom,” host Don Lemon and his guest, hacker-turned-cyber security expert Gregory Evans, explored all the various way this Egyptian movement was attempting to overcome blocks put on electronic communications by the government. Lemon suggested that the U.S. government could do that same thing the Egyptians are doing now, and even said he thought “it probably could happen in the United States.”

Opinion: The Case for Personality Radio

Josh Holliday, Calgary Radio talent and blogger:

Music-based formats on terrestrial radio are in a losing fight, and many are reluctant to use the biggest weapon available – personality.
In a world filled with a myriad of musical sources – iPods, satellite, streaming audio – terrestrial radio will lose every single time if it’s just about the music. There will be excuses – “but they don’t have to play commercials!” It doesn’t matter. It matters what you CAN offer that they CAN’T. Again, you’ll never beat them with music. The way you can win is with content, but more specifically talented personalities.

One problem is that truly talented radio entertainers are a rare commodity, and often programmers will settle for mediocre. Occasionally, there’s talent to be found outside of radio that can make the transition, and have IT, and programmers should constantly be on the lookout for potential diamonds. You can’t teach talent, though. You have it, or you don’t. No matter how much time spent coaching or bringing in consultants, if the host doesn’t have it, you’re just making average performers only slightly less so. Lately there’s been a trend toward stunt-casting – bringing in someone with notoriety from another medium. On a short-term (week or two) basis it can bring a station some temporary buzz, be it a star musician, actor, internet sensation, or politician. In the longer term it’s a disservice to the listener, as once the short-lived attention goes away, you’re dealing with a middling talent. You owe your listeners the best host you can find. It’s also a bit of a slight to radio talent, as the impression left is that any old Joe can host a radio show.

I believe some programmers are mis-reading the PPMs. The fact is, when the music stops, people tune away. A common interpretation is that people want less talk, more music. First off, listeners have been conditioned since the dawn of commercial broadcasting to change the station (channel) when the commercials come on. To all of a sudden attribute this attrition to lack of music is erroneous. You’ll always lose some listeners when the music stops. The question becomes, how to reduce the number of tune-outs?

Not less talk. You’ve still got commercials. If you have a compelling host, people will stick around to hear what they have to say. The listeners will feel a part of the experience and that they’re listening to a show, not just a bunch of music with the occasional break for advertising. If you have boring personalities without the ability to entertain or offer compelling content, why should the listener stick around when the music stops?
Read more here.

Josh Holliday was most recently the Afternoon Drive Host at Modern Rocker X92.9 in Calgary (Pop. 1,100,000+). The show received two of the five nominations for the 2009 Canadian Comedy Award in radio. He was voted 2008 Favourite Local Radio Personality (commercial radio) in FFWD Magazine‘s Best of Calgary issue. When not doing radio, he writes, develops, and hosts television, does voiceovers, acting, and comedy. Other than the two years spent in Calgary doing radio, Josh has lived in and loved Toronto.

Julian Assange: The "60 Minutes" Interview

BEHIND THE SCENES:  Watching at home, it might seem simple to assemble the interviews and produce the pieces that you see on "60 Minutes" every Sunday night. Well, there was nothing "simple" about getting Julian Assange to sit down for his first major TV interview.

Comcast Meets-And-Greets

On the eve of taking control of NBC Universal, Comcast Corp. executives on Thursday hosted a company-wide meeting with employees to introduce themselves and spell out their priorities, including fixing NBC's prime-time hours, according to Sam Schechner at

Steve Burke, who is set become chief executive of NBC Universal, used the event to set a new tone for the company, introducing a new corporate logo. At the meeting—with live segments beamed from New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami and Philadelphia—Mr. Burke also discussed a new corporate "credo" that reads, in part, "We like to keep score and win."

Comcast is set to close its deal to buy control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co. late Friday. In that deal, approved last week by regulators, Comcast is merging its suite of cable networks with NBC Universal's assets, and will take a 51% stake in the new entity. In the deal, Comcast is contributing cash and assets worth roughly $13.75 billion.

Employees were greeted in their offices Thursday by signs and cupcakes bearing the new logo, and a welcome package that included a thick book detailing the histories of Comcast, NBC and the Universal studio. They also were given certificates for 25 shares of Comcast stock, about a $575 value.  ( also notes each employee received a family pass to a Universal theme park of choice.)

NBC's colorful iconic peacock will remain a fixture in the logos for NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.

Read more here.

For Leno and NBC, All’s Right Again

From Bill Carter, NY Times:

NBC Photo
A year after NBC upended its late-night world, order has quietly been restored: Jay Leno is back on “The Tonight Show” and topping the ratings virtually every week.

Conan O’Brien, who was displaced as host of the show, has moved to cable television and the other late-night hosts are maintaining their positions.

Some NBC executives have pointed to Mr. Leno’s slow but steady resumption of late-night leadership as vindication of the decision in January 2010 to end his brief run in prime time on “The Jay Leno Show” and reinstate him as host of “The Tonight Show.”

Mr. Leno, NBC executives say, is proving that the classic late-night show can be broadly appealing and still bring in more young viewers than any other entertainment show in the same time slot.

Mr. Leno did not come through his brief stint at 10 p.m. unscathed. Two years ago, his “Tonight” show averaged about five million viewers. This season it is down to about 3.9 million viewers.

The decline has been similar among 18- to 49-year-olds, a crucial measure for advertisers in late night, so the average age of his audience is up — way up from what it was under Mr. O’Brien.

But Mr. Leno still draws more viewers in that younger-adult group than any other late-night host. And with the ratings of most late-night shows declining (along with most of broadcast television), Mr. Leno’s diminished performance is still good enough to keep him ahead of David Letterman on CBS, who had moved into first place when Mr. O’Brien was host of “The Tonight Show.”
Read more here.

Ad Week: Pay Walls Crumble

The New York Times effort presents a half measure
The New York Times is ignoring the deep flaws in its online business model, say industry observers, blowing a chance to transform online publishing by instead opting to earn a few quick bucks, writes Mike Shields at

Based on the details that have emerged, the Time’s meek metered approach will result in just 15 percent of readers paying for content access—a figure unlikely to start a revolution.

And even though the company announced its plans a year ago, few publishers have joined the cause, outside of several U.K.-based papers and Long Island’s Newsday—neither of which have generated meaningful numbers of paying subscribers.

It was quite a different story a year or so ago when getting paid for content was increasingly seen as essential to the industry’s survival, given the overabundance of online ad inventory and the subsequently low CPMs.

Yet industry observers say that the appetite for pay walls has diminished significantly as the economy has improved and social media has become increasingly crucial in spreading Web content. “The thinking is you need to be part of the online conversation,” said Benedict Evans, an analyst at the U.K.-based Enders Analysis. “You can’t give readers a taste of content with a pay wall.”

Plus, a consensus seems to have emerged that most online readers just won’t pay. “It’s tough to add a pay wall. The market is so competitive,” said Peer Schneider, svp of content publishing at News Corp.’s IGN Entertainment, which began charging for access during the dot-com collapse, only to see traffic suffer.

Read more here.