Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Saturday Aircheck

Charlie Tuna is the stage name of Art Ferguson, based in Los Angeles, California currently working at KRTH-FM.

Charlie Tuna entertains on KHJ from January 7, 1971. (Hat Tip to Rock Radio Scrapbook)

Click here to listen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

NBC's Engel Texting Scripts From Libya

From Brian Williams, Anchor NBC Nightly News:

Our intrepid Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel has been on a several day trek across the Libyan desert for days -- a journey that started where I last saw him in Cairo.  Armed with conversational Arabic and an unbeatable knowledge of the region and culture, he has driven from city to city, town to town, hamlet to wide spot in the road. 
Throughout, he's had no telephone communications with us, and no computers. On rare occasion he uses a portable uplink to talk with us, but his cellular phone has been dead. That's notable in a nation with 100% cell phone penetration.  While internet use is limited to 5-10% of the Libyan population, cell phones are ubiquitous. He's actually been writing his stories for our broadcast via text message, which our foreign producer Andy Franklin somehow cobbles together into Richard's amazing stories all this week. 
Then, suddenly, this afternoon our time...Richard's cell phone sprung to life. Full service. Right there, where he stood, in the dark of night in Benghazi, Libya, his cell phone started to ring. He answered. It was a robocall from a telemarketing firm, offering a lower credit card interest rate.  And, that's how Richard Engel knew life was returning a bit closer to normal today, in Libya.
Read more here.

"Parker Spitzer" Is Losing Its Parker

Kathleen Parker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer, will leave "Parker Spitzer," CNN's ratings-challenged primetime program after just four months, according to a story at

The 8 p.m. show will be replaced by "In the Arena," which CNN described as an "ensemble" program that will feature Eliot Spitzer, Parker's co-host on "Parker Spitzer."

Parker, whose departure from the program has been rumored for almost as long as it has been on the air, will leave to "focus on her writing," CNN Executive Vice President Ken Jautz said in a statement. Parker writes an op-ed column for The Washington Post that is syndicated nationally.

The retrenchment is another blow to CNN's attempts to rebuild its flagging primetime lineup. In addition to introducing "Parker Spitzer," the network replaced the long-running Larry King interview program at 9 p.m. with a new celebrity-interview show hosted by British journalist Piers Morgan.

Read more here.

Paper Chronicles Maddow On The Road

Aaron Barnhart at writes, the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC originated Wednesday from the Free State Brewing Co. in downtown Lawrence, Kansas.

The occasion was to call attention to former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline's disbarment proceeding going on this week, and to revisit Wichita, which has not seen an abortion provider set up shop to replace Dr. George Tiller since he was gunned down.

That incident was documented in a film narrated by Maddow for MSNBC, "The Assassination of George Tiller.

Here's what Barnhart saw from inside Free State.

Read more here.

Budget Cut Storm Hits National Weather Service

Steve Maguire photo

The National Weather Service is in the eye of a budget storm—one that has the potential to grow into a Category 5.

According to a story at, a bill in the House of Representatives is proposing to cut the National Weather Service's 2011 budget by reportedly 30 percent or about $126 million. The proposal is part of the Full Year Continuing Resolution Act.

If the act is passed, the reduction could take effect as early as next month.

Joseph Calderone has been a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Charleston, South Carolina since 2002. He's a member of the National Weather Services Employees Organization. Calderone says the House needs to put the deep freeze on the plan.

"There is a very heightened risk for loss of life if these cuts go through. The inability for warnings to be disseminated to the public, whether due to staffing inadequacies, radar maintenance problems or weather radio transmitter difficulties, would be disastrous," said Calderone.

Calderone warns sectors such as aviation, utilities, agriculture, transportation, and insurers would get a direct hit from the National Weather Service cutbacks.

Read more here.

Documents: Fox' Ailes Urged Employee To Lie

It was an incendiary allegation — and a mystery of great intrigue in the media world: After the publishing powerhouse Judith Regan was fired by HarperCollins in 2006, she claimed that a senior executive at its parent company, News Corporation, had encouraged her to lie two years earlier to federal investigators who were vetting Bernard B. Kerik for the job of homeland security secretary.

Ms. Regan had once been involved in an affair with Mr. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner whose mentor and supporter, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, was in the nascent stages of a presidential campaign. The News Corporation executive, whom she did not name, wanted to protect Mr. Giuliani and conceal the affair, she said.

Now, according to a story by Russ Buettner at,  court documents filed in a lawsuit make clear whom Ms. Regan was accusing of urging her to lie: Roger E. Ailes, the powerful chairman of Fox News and a longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani. What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discussed her relationship with Mr. Kerik.

Read more here.

News Site To Become Facebook-Only

Say you run a community news site. In your spare time. And Patch has moved into your neighborhood. How do you, with limited resources but a desire to keep contributing to your community, stay competitive?

According to a story by, one site’s solution: Take the “site” out of “news site.” Starting March 1, Rockville Central, a community news outlet for the DC-area city of Rockville, Maryland, will move its operation to…its Facebook page. Entirely to its Facebook page.

“There are always two different conversations going on,” Cindy Cotte Griffiths, the site’s editor, told me — one on, and the other on the site’s Facebook page. Why force the two to compete with each other, when they’re actually, in general, the same conversation? Facebook is, Cotte Griffiths notes, “where the people are.” (Rockville Central currently gets about 2,000 of its average 20,000 monthly hits from Facebook, she told me.) “Everyone’s always trying to get people out of Facebook,” she says. “And we’re like, ‘Well, we’re already here.’”

There are some obvious benefits to the all-Facebook approach. Facebook, for one, has a huge built-in audience — one that is used to sharing and commenting on and contributing content. It has a built-in infrastructure — one that easily accommodates multimedia. It has, essentially, a built-in mobile app. For an outlet that’s run by people who do that running in their spare time — that is, publishers who have even less time than most to deal with concerns about site design, server capacity, and other logistical aspects of digital journalism — Facebook’s insta-infrastructure could free up time that may be spent on more traditionally journalistic endeavors: fact-gathering, conversation-guiding, content-aggregating, community-building, etc.

Read more here.

Donald Rumsfeld Refuses To Apologize

During an appearance on ABC-TV's 'The View', Barbara Walters twice asked Rumsfeld if he wanted to apologize to the families of soldiers who died during the Iraq war.

Rumsfeld is currently making the round promoting his new book.

Glenn Beck Apologizes For Bad Analogy

Glenn Beck took to the airwaves on Thursday to do something he rarely does: apologize.

According to a story by Nina Mandell at, two days after comparing Reform Judaism to radicalized Islam on his show, Beck retracted his words.

"I was wrong on this," he said. "I also apologize for it...I've always told you to do your own homework and in this case I didn't do enough homework."

He made the original remarks during his ongoing feud with George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who recently slammed Fox News and compared the network's reporting to propaganda used Nazi Germany.

Ridiculing Soros on his show Tuesday, Beck claimed the philanthropist was given softball questions by Zakaria.

The discussion on Beck's show then turned to the Anti-Defamation League's campaign against him after comments he made in November calling Soros a Nazi collaborator.

Beck cut in and said, "Most people who are not Jewish don't understand that there are the Orthodox Rabbis and the Reform Rabbis. Reform Rabbis are generally political in nature. It's almost like radicalized Islam in a way where it's less about religion than it is about politics."

Predictably, he was immediately slammed by fellow Conservatives as well as by Jewish Rabbis, including the Anti-Defamation League, which quickly released a statement.

"Glenn Beck's comparison of Reform Judaism to radical Islam demonstrates his bigoted ignorance.  Despite his feeble attempt to suggest that he was not equating Reform Judaism with Islamic extremist terrorism, the simple fact that he would mention them in the same breath is highly offensive and outrageous."

Beck admitted that, in this instance, he knew his comments were wrong.

Read more here.

Must Read

MEDIAITE:  Glenn Beck’s Theory Of Why Obama Won’t Mention Gaddafi By Name

WLS Talker Sez New ChiMayor Threatened Him

In one of Rahm Emanuel's first post-Chicago Mayor election interviews, Rahmbo called in to the Super Celebrity Hotline on 890 AM WLS’ Roe and Roeper. 

According to a story at, Chicago finally got to meet the D.C. legend famous for trying to intimidate everyone from his dry cleaner to the British Prime Minister.

Emanuel displayed some patience at the beginning of the interview. He answered a question about whether he’d called Ald. Edward Burke by not mentioning Ed Burke’s name.

“I want to reach out to all members of the City Council,” Emanuel said. “I’m looking forward to partners in reform.”

Then Conn tried to get Emanuel to talk about the differences between himself and Mayor Daley.

“As well-run as this city’s been for the last 21 years, there’s still the need for reform,” Conn said. “Where do you see that breaking between what work Mayor Daley’s done and what needs to be reformed?”

“I’m gonna build on the progress he made,” Emanuel said. “It’s not either/or, and I appreciate the fact, I think you’re not trying to play a game here, but there are things I’m gonna do different.”

“It’s not really a game I’m playing,” Conn defended himself. “That is a question that everybody has.”

“I didn’t say you were playing a game, OK? Hey, let me tell you, if I were to accuse you of playing a game, you wouldn’t have to ask ambiguously, ‘Are you saying that?’ You would know.”

The tactic seemed to work. Conn and Roeper were tentative for the rest of the 10-minute interview. Emanuel has been tortured by Tim Russert on Meet The Press. He’s not going to be pinned down by a pair of local drive-time infotainers.

Afterwards, Conn declared himself “the first journalist in Chicago to have been threatened” by Emanuel.

Sheen Rants, CBS Unplugs Show

You can call it Career Suicide. CBS canceled production of "Two and a Half Men" for the rest of the season Thursday, quickly striking back at Charlie Sheen's venomous rant against the hit show's creator.

The hard partying star called his sitcom boss Chuck Lorre a "clown," "turd" - and a "contaminated little maggot." And he inexplicably harped on Lorre's Jewish birth name - "Chaim Levine," according to a story by Nancy Dillon at

"Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of 'Two and a Half Men' for the remainder of the season," the companies said in a statement released Thursday.

Hours earlier, Sheen, in a shocking and wide-ranging interview on a Los Angeles radio station, also insisted he can heal his addictions with his mind.

He declared he didn't need the "cult" of Alcoholics Anonymous, calling its many members a bunch of "sissies."

"I have a disease? Bull----. I cured it with my brain," he said, adding that he preferred the company of his girlfriends - a porn star and a marijuana magazine covergirl - to the "bootleg cult."

"I'm dealing with fools and trolls," Sheen said, describing the backlash to his recent party spiral.

"They lay down with their ugly wives in front of their ugly children and just look at their loser lives and then they look at me and say 'I can't process it," he told controversial radio host Alex Jones.

Jones, who believes 9/11 was an inside government job, was speechless.

Read more here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rolling Stone: Army Uses Psy-Ops on US Senators

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators, according to another "Runaway General" expose by Michael Hastings for Rolling Stone.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as "information operations" at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

"My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave," says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. "I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line."

The list of targeted visitors was long, according to interviews with members of the IO team and internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister, and a host of influential think-tank analysts.

Read more here.

Note: In June 2010, Rolling Stone published "The Runaway General", Hastings's profile of US Army general Stanley McChrystal, then commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in the war in Afghanistan. The article reported remarks by McChrystal's staff overtly critical and contemptuous of White House staff and other civilian officials.

Daily Newspaper Websites Grow by 6 Percent

According to The Media Audit's 2009 National Report, daily newspaper websites collectively reach 32.3% of U.S. consumers in a typical month, up from 30.3% in 2008.  The latest figure represents a 6.6% increase in unique monthly visitors over one year.  The same study reveals that 36.5% of U.S. consumers have visited a network TV station website in the past month, however the figure has remained unchanged since 2008.

Adults in Ann Arbor, Michigan are among the most frequent daily newspaper website visitors, according to the study. Nearly 56% have visited a daily newspaper website in the past month, a figure that is 73% higher when compared to the general population. Syracuse, New York ranks second, with 49.4% who visit a daily newspaper website in the typical month, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota (47.5%), Washington, D.C. (47.4%), and New Orleans, Louisiana (47.2%).

The latest figures were obtained from The Media Audit's 2009 National Report . Later next month, The Media Audit will make available preliminary data from the soon-to-be released 2010 National report, highlighting the net unduplicated reach of local daily newspaper audiences and their website visitors at the Newspaper Association of America's annual media Xchange conference in Dallas, Texas.

According to the same study, visitors to daily newspaper websites are well educated and earn above average household income. More than one in five newspaper website visitors have an advanced college degree, while 30.2% earn more than $100,000 in annual household income.

Rounding out the top ten markets for daily newspaper website visitors are Long Island, New York, where 44.6% of the population has visited a website in the past month, followed by Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri (43.7%), Madison, Wisconsin (42.8%), Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York (41.8%), and San Antonio, Texas (41.6%).

Surveys were conducted in 80 U.S. cities

Google, Apple Battle Could Have Sirius Implications

Apple recently announced their intentions to charge subscription services 30% of the revenue derived from subscribers who sign up for a service through iTunes. In response, Google made an announcement that their fee for One Pass would be only 10%. With either situation subscription services with apps may find themselves having to shell out money that they had not previously anticipated.

According to a blog by Spencer Osborne at, companies impacted would include Sirius XM, Netflix, Pandora, Slacker, or any service that charges a subscription for their service and sells that subscription through Apples iTunes or Google’s One Pass.

At stake is a difficult decision. For example, if Sirius XM wants exposure through iTunes, they will need to pony up 30% of any revenue derived by someone signing up for the satellite radio service through iTunes. The terms of service for Apple do not allow for different pricing. This means that Sirius XM must charge the same for their service whether the consumer buys it through Apple or Sirius XM’s own site.

The issue is being looked at closely by American as well as European regulators. The question subscription services need to ask themselves is whether or not a presence iTunes or One Pass delivers enough exposure to make the fees worth while. Potentially we could see companies like Sirius XM, Pandora, and Slacker having to spend dollars on marketing to get consumers to their own site.

Read more here.

FBN's Charlie Gasparino Aims To Knock-off CNBC

Fox Business Network reporter Charlie Gasparino has one goal - to pummel the competition, according to a story by Richard Huff at

That's why he's at FBN, he says, and this week he marks his first year at the Fox-owned business news cable network.

"I'd rather be part of a startup," Gasparino says.

At CNBC, where he worked before Fox, his goals were different, and, he says, not as appealing.

"The goal here is to beat the hell out of CNBC," he says. "To beat the established winner is so much more satisfying. It's so much more exciting than it ever was at CNBC.

"I like to take on the big guys," he adds. "I've been doing it my entire career. Before it was fashionable to beat up on Wall Street, I was doing it."

The fact that the Fox Business is in fewer homes and has fewer viewers than CNBC only pushes him more.

Gasparino, 47, is not afraid to cite his wins in the battle of news stories - he can even note market changes based on his work - and he's been around long enough to notch a bunch of them.

Before Fox and CNBC, Gasparino worked at Newsweek and at The Wall Street Journal.

Read more here.

Rush On WI Gov. Prank Call: No News

From Rush Limbaugh Show Wednesday 2/23:
RUSH: "You probably heard by now (if you haven't, I'll tell you about it) the panic {prank] call to Scott Walker from a leftist "journalist." An obscure, wacko, extreme leftist publication, journalist pretended to be David Koch.  Now, I know David Koch....I know his brother Charles Koch.  The so-called evil Koch brothers are nothing of the sort.  They are, as is typical, the exact opposite of the way the Democrats and the media portray them.  They're just like any other people.  They have organizations that are designed to influence and shape the country in ways they believe in.  They happen to be constitutionalists.  They happen to be conservatives.
So the governor end up talking to "David Koch" and now the AP has this story. In fact, it's the top story at AP now. "Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been lured into a conversation about his strategy to cripple public employee unions by a prank caller pretending to be a billionaire Republican donor.  Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie confirms the governor is on audio of the call posted Wednesday on the website of the Buffalo Beast, a left leaning New York newspaper.  The governor believes the caller is David Koch.  He talks about plans for layoff notices and what can be done to punish lawmakers who have left the state.  The caller suggest that Walker take a baseball bat when meeting with Democrats.  Walker jokes that he's got 'a slugger with his name on it.'"
Now, the brothers, David and Charles Koch, "have given millions to support Americans for Prosperity, which has launched a $320,000 ad campaign supporting Governor Walker." I have spoken at Charles Koch's event in Vail a couple three years ago, I forget which, and I met people there that I had previously met at other groups and organizations. This is the creme de la creme of conservative philanthropy, hardly any subversives at all.  Now, funny thing is, if you listen to the tape -- and it's been made available. It's a long tape. We don't have it yet, and if we get it we will, it's gonna take a long time to pare this down to the essentials. But if you listen to it or if you read a transcript of the phone call, Walker says in private to this prank caller exactly what he says in public, even to a possible fat cat donor.
He doesn't say anything he hasn't said publicly.  He was not entrapped into saying something that's embarrassing. He didn't say, "Yeah, what I'm really doing here, David, will make you love me! What I'm really doing here..." None of that.  He was being up front.  I guess that's shocking to the left and the Democrats and their media minions, is that there's not something surreptitious going on here.  It is typical. This is a journalist, par... (interruption) Well, if you're gonna talk about the ethics of posing as somebody else, then you're gonna have to indict 60 Minutes.  That's how 60 Minutes put themselves on the map. (interruption)
Well, 60 Minutes would go into some gas station ripping people off -- you know, one that had a Jesus on the cash register. They put on a hidden microphone and send in fake customers to rip 'em off.  I mean, this is a common journalistic ploy.  No, the real question here is: "Why wasn't this properly vetted in the governor's office? How did this call get in? Anybody can make a prank call.  You can't sit here and condemn what happened because prank calls are common. Hell, I used to do this on the radio, for crying out loud.  I never called governors and stuff....
...Well, you can say, "Yeah, typical journalist: False, misrepresentation, attempt to entrap" and so forth.  The thing is, the guy failed.  What they were trying to get Scott Walker on is: He dared talk to a Republican donor!"
Read more here.

Must Read:

JIM ROMENESKO:  SPJ scolds Buffalo Beast for call to Wisconsin governor

Must Watch:

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. On Wednesday evening, O’Donnell scored an exclusive interview with the prank caller.

Greta Van Susteren interviews WI Governor Walker:

WJW Weatherman Dick Goddard Turns 80

Celebrates 50 years on TV in May

From Mark Dawidziak, The Plain Dealer

Some might feel this is the cruelest, coldest weather month in Northeast Ohio. But how can that be true? February, after all, gave Cleveland one of its most warmly beloved television personalities, longtime WJW Channel 8 weatherman Dick Goddard.
The forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of more brightness and warmth this week. The big day is Thursday. The genial meteorologist, cartoonist, author and animal activist is turning 80 (that's only 27 Celsius, as Goddard would tell you).
And there's another landmark date rolling toward us like a spring warm front propelled by prevailing winds of affection. May 1 is the 50th anniversary of Goddard's TV debut as a Cleveland weatherman.
The Akron native and Green High School graduate actually got his earliest weather training in the Air Force, which he joined in 1949. As an airman, he was selected for a task group accompanying the Atomic Energy Commission on the March 1954 H-bomb detonation in the Pacific. But that "glimpse of hell" was nothing compared to the 1961 day he first stared into a Cleveland television camera.
"I've flown in a hurricane," said Goddard. "I was on that first H-bomb test. At 12, a tornado came by the farm in Green. I've flown upside down with the Thunderbirds. That was no big deal. But the first time I went on the air, I was so nervous, my voice went up enough octaves to make Frankie Valli sound like he was singing bass." 

Read more here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Radio Talker Loses Defamation Lawsuit

An Orange County, FL jury has determined Doug Guetzloe defamed a Winter Garden man and awarded $1.61 million in damages against the well known political consultant for several civil counts related to the case.

The Orlando Sentinel reports Guetzloe walked out of the courtroom defiant and promised to appeal, despite the jury's finding that he had defamed Richard Mask on his radio show five years ago by saying he was "trolling" and "cruising" Trailer City for children and young boys.

Asked if he had anything to say to Mask, Guetzloe responded, "No, not really. Nothing will change as far as my radio show is concerned. Nothing will change about my involvement in public policy issues…It's the first lawsuit I've ever had in 14 years. And, yeah, obviously I'm disappointed, but quite frankly I'm really not surprised."

Guetzloe added, "I'm confident that the award and the verdict will be stricken."

An emotional Mask emerged from the courtroom with tears of joy, hugging his attorneys and expressing gratitude that his name had been cleared through the multiple verdicts today. He acknowledged he may never see a dime any time soon -- or at all -- but maintained the case was about upholding his reputation in his hometown.

Read more here.
Tom's Take:  The station airing Guetzloe's show on 2006 was not named in the lawsuit.  His show no longer airs on terrestrial radio.

News Sites Can Be Altered On Public Wi-Fi

By now you know that public Wi-Fi can pose serious risks. If you're using a public hotspot, you're very susceptible to attack. But what if it isn't your computer that the hackers want? What if they want to attack the news you're reading? Watch and see how easy it is to tweak the news you thought you could trust. Hat Tip to Kim Komando.

Note: This video does not have sound. Your speakers are fine!

Newstweek: The Thorough Demonstration from newstweek on Vimeo.

(The impatient can just scroll through to 04:45 to see the news manipulation in action)

With hardware hidden in a small, innocuous wall plug, we demonstrate wireless alteration of news headline:

"Beijing seeks to ease US fears"  to:  "Beijing to invest in US Army"

.. on an Acer Netbook, Macbook Pro and Nokia N900 smartphone.

This is done with the following trivial packet header and payload filter:
if (ip.proto == TCP && tcp.src == 80)
if (search(, "Beijing\ seeks\ to\ ease\ US\ fears"))
replace("Beijing\ seeks\ to\ ease\ US\ fears", "Beijing\ to\ invest\ in\ US\ army\ ");

This could just as equally be performed in any cafe, school, library or airport with a remote user logging in and manipulating news content read by wireless network users. No connection with - or modification of - any software on the laptops, tablets, phones affected is required.

'Today' Fan Jumps Barricade, Shocking Hosts

A crazed "Today" show fan jumped a barrier Tuesday, giving the show's hosts quite a wake up call on live TV.

According to a story by Richard Huff at, Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Willie Geist were standing outside at Rockefeller Plaza when the guy "hurled" himself over the barricade, according to Vieira.

The incident occurred as a video clip was on the screen, so viewers heard the man - and Vieira scream "Oh Jesus!" - but didn't see the action.

Producers at the top-rated NBC breakfast show then quickly cut to Ann Curry inside at the newsdesk while security guards and cops nabbed the guy.

"We're certainly awake now," Vieira said later in the show.

Roker said the guy screamed "God's gift to music."

Read more here.

Ted Williams Gets Reality Show

Ted Williams, the homeless man whose golden voice rocketed him to fame, will star in his own reality TV show.

His rep tells Gossip Cop that “Second Chances at Life” will begin shooting in two weeks, documenting Williams’ “daily routine” and the struggle to rebuild his personal and professional life.

The deal with be with a “major network,” and it should be signed “in a few days.”

We’re also told there’s a movie deal and a book deal about Williams’ life through the same entertainment company.

“Second Chances at Life” will be split between his hometown of Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Ohio (where his talents were discovered on the side of the road).

Read more here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gasoline May Rise To $5 A Gallon

If your audience isn't concerned/talking about gasoline price now, they soon will

If political unrest in Libya spreads to other oil-rich countries and the ensuing chaos disrupts crude oil production, gas prices could hit $5 a gallon by peak summer driving season, industry analysts say.

'Morning Joe’ Makes Startling Discovery

The media has a liberal bias

Throughout the rise of the Tea Party, there seemed to be an effort by some media outlets to marginalize the message of the conservative movement by portraying rally attendees in the worst possible light – singling out protesters with Nazi or racist signs and suggesting that was indicative of what the whole movement was about.

According to Jeff Poor at The Daily Caller, the cast on Monday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC; however,  made an interesting observation — the signs being held by pro-union protesters in Madison, Wisc. have similar imagery yet they have not become the focus of those same media outlets that were critical of the Tea Party.

HuffPo: "We’re not exploiting journalists"

Last week the Newspaper Guild urged members to protest the sale of The Huffinton Post to AOL  The Guild wanted it members to urging Arianna Huffington to  “help prevent independent journalists from having to settle for third-world wages”.

Jim Romenesko at reports Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz has responded to Guild president Bernie Lunzer:

Time for PBS, NPR To 'Stand On its Own Feet'

Although public television and radio provide quality programming, they no longer deserve federal subsidies, Rep. Mary Bono Mack says, according to a story by Paul C. Barton at The Desert Sun.

Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, voted Saturday for a government spending bill covering the remainder of fiscal year 2011 that ends federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the entity that subsidizes the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio, as well as local public radio and television stations.

Congress has been appropriating $450 million a year for CPB.

“While there are many worthwhile programs on both PBS and NPR, it's time for public broadcasting to finally stand on its own two feet,” Bono Mack said in a statement.

“Federal subsidies are not warranted — nor appropriate — especially in these difficult financial times,” she said. “Digital technology has opened up a world of new possibilities for all broadcasters, and CPB needs to be smart, creative and forward looking, instead of being forever stuck in a ‘black and white' era of financing.”

She added: “Every single day, Americans make difficult choices. Many families are forced to pull the plug on their cable or satellite TV just to make ends meet. It's important for Washington to finally make those same tough choices.”

Read more here.

Feder: The Deal From Hell

WLS Listeners Would Be The Losers

From Robert Feder, Chicago Time Out:
If the recently announced acquisition of Bonneville International stations was, by all accounts, an agreement made in heaven, then the impending sale of radio giant Citadel Broadcasting could be — to borrow a phrase from Sam Zell — the deal from hell.
After months of fighting off unwanted overtures from smaller rival Cumulus Media, Citadel confirmed last week that it had entered kicking and screaming into exclusive negotiations for a potential merger.
If completed, the $2.4 billion deal couldn’t come at a more inopportune time for Citadel’s two Chicago properties — news/talk WLS-AM (890) and oldies WLS-FM (94.7). Under current management, the two stations finally appear to be firing on all cylinders. For the first time in decades, ratings and revenue are pointing up on both the AM and FM side. Net profits at the combo have increased tenfold in the past two years alone.
That’s a tribute to the savvy oversight of Michael Damsky, president and general manager of WLS, and the confidence he enjoys of Citadel’s embattled CEO, Farid Suleman.
All of the gains WLS has made could be in jeopardy, however, if Cumulus steps in and imposes its heavy hand and one-size-fits-all approach to station management. As morning stars Don Wade and Roma mark their 25th year on the air together, the afternoon duo of Roe Conn and Richard Roeper sets the pace for the market, and the incomparable Dick Biondi still shines in the night after 50 years, the last thing WLS needs is an owner known for its disregard of talent and lack of commitment to the communities it serves.
Read more here. 

Must Read:

Jerry Del Colliano:   The Entercom/Citadel Merger

Over 30 Million Watched 2011 Daytona 500

Key Demographics Show Improvement

Sunday’s dramatic 2011 Daytona 500 crowned the event’s youngest champion ever and delivered ratings and audience gains for FOX Sports.

A total audience of just over 30 million Americans watched Sunday’s race, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, making 2011 Daytona 500 the most-watched NASCAR race since 2008. The 30.1 million total viewers, a measure of the audience that saw at least a portion of the race, is +1% higher than last year’s total audience of 29.8 million and +15% better than 2009′s 26.2 million.

Sunday’s Great American Race, which featured a record-setting 74 lead changes and 16 caution flags, earned an 8.7/20 rating/share and averaged 15.6 million viewers, marking a +13% ratings gain over last year (7.7/16) and a +17% rise in average viewership, which represents the average audience across the entire race, over last year’s (13.3 million).

Initial tune-in for Sunday’s green flag was up +7% over last year’s start (7.6/19 vs. 7.1/17) and ratings grew throughout. Race ratings peaked at 10.9/23 and 19.8 million viewers from 5:00-5:30 PM ET as the exciting green-white-checkered finish was in progress.

As 20-year-old Trevor Bayne celebrated his against-all-odds win, yesterday’s ratings improved +46% year-over-year in the Men 18-34 demographic (3.8 vs. 2.6). Male teen viewing posted a 3.1 rating, nearly doubling last year’s 1.6 and matching the best Daytona 500 rating in six years among Males 12-17. Other key demographics gains include Men 18-49, up +16% (6.4 vs. 5.5) and Men 25-54 up +14% (8.2 vs. 7.2).

Nine of the top 10 metered markets saw double-digit increases from last year including Chicago (+61%, 5.8 vs. 3.6), New York (+32%, 4.1 vs. 3.1), Los Angeles (+46%, 4.1 vs. 2.8), Philadelphia (+19%, 7.0 vs. 5.9), Dallas (+18%, 7.2 vs. 6.1), San Francisco (+21%, 4.7 vs. 3.9), and Boston (+20%, 4.8 vs. 4.0).

Dayton was the country’s No. 1 market for the Daytona 500 at a 20.4/33, up +61% (vs. 12.7), followed by NASCAR hotbed Greensboro, NC (20.1/35). Minneapolis also saw significant year-to-year gains posting a 10.2, up +50% vs. 6.8.

Accuweather Meteorologist Joe Bastardi Resigns

After 32 years, Long Range and Expert Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has resigned from Accuweather, according to

Jesse Ferrell of officially announced the rumor as true, leaking it to a known weather forum.

A call into Accuweather to confirm this was met with a hostile person on the other end that declined to comment on why Bastardi left, ending up in a hang up.

"I don't think we've issued an official release, but what I posted on his facebook page serves as truth", Ferrell said.

Bastardi was known for his long range forecasting and humor.

Paul Pastelok is now leader of AccuWeather's Long-Range Forecasting team and Henry Margusity is taking an expanded role with the Pro site.

The hit may come to a stab with Accuweather Inc. as many people viewed the site because of what Bastardi brought to them.

A posting on the Joe Bastardi Facebook fan page says he was not fired, and no he did not leave because of his views on Climate Change.

Limbaugh Calls Out Michelle Obama

After First Lady reportedly eats ribs on ski vacation

He may be no model of fitness himself, but Rush Limbaugh thinks Michelle Obama could stand to shed a few pounds.

Especially before telling other people what to eat.

According to a story by Nina Mandell at, Rush slammed the First Lady in his radio show Monday after she was spotted in Colorado snacking on some short ribs. The vacation dinner, Limbaugh charged, went against the First Lady's emphasis on promoting nutrition and exercise.

And he didn't exactly mince words.

"The problem is, and dare I say this, it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice," he said. "And then we hear that she's out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving ... I'm trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you."

The First Lady's health initiatives encourage people to make better choices about what foods they eat, and emphasizes getting enough fruits and vegetables daily. She also encourages everyone, especially children, to get outside and exercise in her "Let's Move" campaign.

"We want to make sure that people understand this is about overall health and physical fitness is ... something that I stress in my household. It is a part of that. It's a natural part of your life," she said on Good Morning America earlier this month. "My kids have to get up and move. They can't sit in front of the TV. I have my girls involved in sports because I want them, as young women, to understand what it feels like to compete and to win and to run and to sweat. ... This is about all of that, as well."

When the diet report was published by a Colorado newspaper, she was at a Vail resort skiing with daughters Sasha and Malia. She took them to Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail Village on Saturday night, according to Vail Daily, where she ate a braised ancho-chile short rib with hominy wild mushrooms and sautéed kale. She also began the meal with a pickled pumpkin salad with arugala.

The Monkees Celebrate 45 Year Reunion With Tour

You best believe! It's been a long time coming, but 1960s pop group The Monkees are back in action for a UK tour this spring, the band announced Monday, according to a story by Joyce Chen at

Three of the four original members - Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz - will be kicking off their reunion tour in Liverpool for 10 gigs throughout Britain, including a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The fun-loving group, which started out as a boy band for an American TV series of the same name, features Americans Dolenz, Tork and Michael Nesmith, as well as Englishman Jones.

Nesmith hasn't played with the band since 1997, though the rest of the band still tours together occasionally.

The band reached its height of fame from 1966 to 1968, and in 1967, The Monkees outsold both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones - combined.

Read more here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mob Beat Lara Logan With Flagpoles, Fists

USArmy/CBS photo

A CBS News journalist attacked in Cairo's Tahrir Square was stripped and beaten with fists and the poles of hand-held flags, according to a story in The Australian.

Lara Logan, 39, a correspondent on the CBS News show 60 Minutes, was recovering in private with her husband, Joseph Burkett, their son and her stepdaughter.

Parts of her body were covered in red marks, a source said. They were originally thought to have been caused by bites, but on examination proved to have been made by aggressive pinching.

"Lara is getting better daily," said a friend. "The psychological trauma is as bad as, if not worse than, the physical injuries. She might talk about it at some time in the future, but not now."

CBS News said Logan had suffered a "brutal and sustained sexual assault". The network said a mob of about 200 men had been "whipped into a frenzy" as she filmed on the night Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned. She spent five days in hospital in New York.

Read more here.

Report: Behind the Information Overload Hype

From The Numbers Guy at

The latest information about information overload is a lot to handle.

Wielding numbers that stretched to 20 or more digits, researchers recently reported on the world's massive ability to store, communicate and compute information. All three have grown at annual rates of at least 23% since 1986, according to a study published this month in Science.

Translated to a human scale, the massive numbers mean that the average person in 2007 was transmitting the informational equivalent of six newspapers per day, and receiving, in turn, 174 newspapers of data.

For data engineers, this might seem like cause for celebrating humanity's expanding universe of information. For the rest of us, it is another reminder that information is piling up at overwhelming rates.

But the digital avalanche isn't as massive as those numbers suggest. Much of the growth reflects the surge in high-resolution video and photos. In addition, while there is much more information available, each piece is being consumed, on average, by far fewer people than in the past.

Also, heavy Internet users—think downloaders of music and movies, or digital-photo fiends—are skewing the numbers. The average person doesn't have a high-speed line, let alone the ability to read six newspapers per day.

Not all forms of information grew at the same pace, the Science study reveals. The amount of data stored in books roughly doubled between 1986 and 2007, a period during which the world population increased by about a third. The increase in newsprint was a relatively manageable 91%, while available storage—a barometer researchers used to estimate the quantity of information—in audio cassettes, vinyl records and photo negatives all declined. And nearly half the overall growth came from rapid improvements in hard-drive technology, making it possible to store high-resolution videos, photos and videogames as well as digital music.

Studies looking at the information glut do generally agree that there has been an enormous upsurge in information.

The Science study—which involved compiling disparate studies of the number of various devices and their capacity—found that in 2007, humanity was able to store 295 exabytes of information. That's 295 billion gigabytes, or about 500 million times the capacity of a typical desktop computer.

Read more here.

TV Industry Taps Social Media to Keep Viewers

NYTimes Graphic

By the time the first ballot is opened at the Academy Awards next Sunday, millions of people will be chatting about the awards show on the Internet. And ABC will be ready, according to a story by Brian Stelter at

Trying to exploit viewers’ two-screen behavior, the television network has built a companion Web site with behind-the-scenes video streams, so Oscar winners will be seen accepting an award on the TV set, then seen celebrating backstage on the stream.

Experiments like this one are a sudden priority in television land. As more and more people chat in real time about their favorite shows — on Facebook, Twitter and a phalanx of smaller sites — television networks are trying to figure out how to capitalize.

It’s as if people are gathered around the online water cooler — and the television executives are nervously hovering nearby, hoping viewers keep talking and, by extension, watching their shows.

Experts like Ian Schafer, the chief executive of the digital agency Deep Focus, say that Twitter and Facebook messages about shows may well be “the most efficient way to drive tune-in.” Though it is hard to prove the link, Mr. Schafer sees it firsthand when a news segment catches his attention or a basketball game is in overtime. “I’ll say on Twitter or Facebook, ‘You have got to tune into ‘Nightline’ or ‘60 Minutes’ right now,’ and then I’ll get people saying, ‘Oh, thanks for alerting me,’ ” he said.

Read more here.

Interview: 'News Lady' Carole Simpson

Vin Scully To Call Dodgers Opening Day On Radio

When the Los Angeles Dodgers moved their home opener with the San Francisco Giants from April 1 to March 31 to accommodate ESPN, it meant the Dodgers lost one more local television broadcast.

For the Dodgers, normally that means no Vin Scully, which is a trade no Dodger fan would ever make.

However, fear not, Dodgers fans.

While the opening day game will be televised on ESPN, Scully will in fact call the game on radio, as part of the Dodger broadcast on 790 KABC, according to a story by Eric Stephen at

Scully will call innings one through three and seven through nine, while regular Dodgers radio announcers Charley Steiner and Rick Monday will call innings four through six. This is the typical announcing alignment for the Dodgers during post season games. Scully, who has been announcing Dodgers games since 1950, has called every single Dodgers home opener since they moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

The Dodgers will face the Giants on March 31, as they open their season with a four-game series with their hated rivals and defending World Series champions.

Read more here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sunday Funny

Fox news has taken over all of Fox TV and The Simpsons get the ax!