Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Saturday Aircheck

Dale Dorman, WRKO Boston October 1975
(Courtesy of

Dale Dorman is an American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame radio disc jockey on WODS in Boston. Until September 15 2008 , he hosted The Breakfast Club with Dale Dorman weekday mornings from 5:30-9 AM. Dorman is now a weekend personality with the station.

He has been broadcasting in Boston for close to 40 years, starting on WOLF (1965-67), WRKO (1968-78), and later on WXKS-FM (1978-2003).  He joined WODS during the summer of 2003.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Dorman was also a booth-operator (aka: an on-air announcer for television) on WLVI-TV, Boston for children's programming as "Uncle Dale", and occasionally for the channel's Saturday afternoon Creature Double Feature showcase of syndicated monster movie presentations.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Non-Com WMFE Selling Orlando TV Station

PBS lineup will be found on two other Central Florida stations

Saying the PBS business model is broken, public broadcaster WMFE today announced that it is selling its Orlando television station, Channel 24, to concentrate on radio.

According to a story by The TV Guy Hal Boedeker at The Orlando Sentinel, Jose Fajardo, president and CEO of WMFE, said he will be able to confirm the buyer and price when the information becomes public through the FCC filings.

The WMFE board met Monday night and voted unanimously to accept the offer for the TV station.

"We've been talking about it the last eight to nine months," Fajardo said. "We've looking at every single alternative."

Stephen McKenney Steck, who served 38 years as CEO at WMFE, said he was discouraged by the sale.

The television side had suffered dramatic declines in corporate and viewer support during the economic downturn, Fajardo said, while the radio side flourished with a new talk and news format.

A possible increase in PBS dues – WMFE pays $1 million a year – was another factor. "They are still working on the formula, but the first rollout was going to have an increase of 37 percent," Fajardo said. "The decision that made the most sense is to sell TV and focus on radio."

WMFE said that Central Florida viewers could find PBS programs on WDSC in Daytona and WBCC in Cocoa. Fajardo said WMFE would work with PBS to ensure a smooth transition.

Was he happy with the money he got? "The evaluation was going down, down, down," Fajardo said. "Based on the current evaluation, we're in the range where we need to be. We got a fair deal."

The proceeds will go into an endowment, and WMFE will focus on 90.7 FM. "Our goal is to have 90.7 a robust local-news radio station serving Central Florida," he said.

With the sale's announcement, WMFE dropped five of it 37-member staff, and more staff departures are coming.

WMFE will stay in its building and will sublease the master control to the new buyer. WMFE will continue to broadcast the PBS lineup for 60 to 90 days.

Read more.

Tom's Take: One has got to wonder if there are other PBS stations in equally dire straits.

Copps: Both Broadcasting and Wireless Are Essential

FCC Commissioner says spectrum debate could devolve into 'communications civil war'

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said Thursday he hoped that the spectrum debate was not devolving into a communications civil war, but said it probably was. He also gave a shout out to both broadcasting and wireless as "essential," and said that the FCC needs to do a better job of inventorying spectrum.

That came in an interview for C-SPAN's Communicators series, according to a story by John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable. The "civil war" comment was in response to statements by National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith about the efficiency of broadcasting's one-to-many model versus the one-to-one cellular delivery model. Smith has said there might not be enough spectrum in the universe to accommodate one-to-one video.

Copps said he considered himself a friend of broadcasters, particularly smaller and independent broadcasters whose use of the spectrum he said "very often" serves the nation well. But he also said he understood "full well" that spectrum needs to be used and that there are swaths of broadcast spectrum, particularly the so-called "digital dividend"--broadcasters multicast channels, that aren't being fully used. He said wireless devices were spectrum hungry and would unquestionably need to be fed.

But even given that appetite, Copps said he did not think that in "every instance" it was in the public interest to remove spectrum from a broadcaster and give it to a "wireless duopoly. Copps said it needs to be market-by-market call. Realizing that "both broadcasters and wireless perform essential public services in the 21st century, and that those who are doing a good job should be recognized for doing a good job, and that includes a lot of broadcasters."

Copps said the FCC needs to get a better handle on how spectrum is being used.

Read more.

NYTimes Reporters Captured In Libya Recount Ordeal

Local TV Newscasts To Return To Utica-Rome, NY

Local news coming to ABC and FOX

Local television news broadcasts likely be will be coming to the region’s ABC, FOX and MyNetworkTV Utica-Rome, NY market) stations by September.

According to a story by Dan Miller at, Nextstar Broadcasting Group Inc. is committing $1 million for new equipment and the hiring of 12 employees to carry out the broadcasts, which will offer local stories, breaking news, sports and weather, said Stephen Merren, Nextstar vice president and general manager.

Merren made the announcement at a FOX 25th anniversary event Thursday night at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre that was attended by roughly 150 people.

“We have a chance to build something from the ground up that is very relevant,” Merren said. “I’ve had an awful lot of folks ask me when we’re going to offer competitive news in the market.”

Nextstar owns WFXV and WPNY — the local FOX and MyNetworkTV stations, respectively — and provides services through an outsourcing agreement to WUTR, which is licensed to Mission Broadcasting.

WUTR featured a local news broadcast from 1970 to 2003, but then-owner Clear Channel Television Northeast shut it down because of budgetary concerns, Merren said.

Nonetheless, Merren expressed confidence the region could support more local news broadcasts
The new broadcasts will include a 6 p.m. broadcast on WUTR and a rebroadcast of that news at 7 p.m. on WPNY. New broadcasts will be carried out at 10 p.m. on FOX and 11 p.m. on WUTR. The broadcasts will be 30 or 35 minutes long.

There will be two separate news teams, one for WUTR and one for FOX, Merren said. The FOX news will seek out a younger audience and be a “little more fast-paced,” he said.

Read more.

Tom's Take:  Local news! Now there's a concept!!  Too bad it took 8 years to correct a Clear Channel decision.

ESPN 700 Sports Radio Shoots to No. 1

ESPN 700 Sports Radio (KALL-AM) shot to No. 1 atop the region’s sports-talk radio stations, as the 50,000-watt station (a home for both the University of Utah and Real Salt Lake) swept every ranker for the most-desirable media demographic, Men 18-34, in the recently released February Arbitron ratings.

According to a story by David Burger at, the station’s afternoon drive slot, featuring the locally-produced “Bill & Spence Show” from 2 -6 p.m. – was rated No. 1 for Men 18+ for the second consecutive monthly book, in addition to again ranking atop Men 18-34.

The nationally-syndicated “Dan Patrick Show” – which runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – ranked No. 1 in both 18+ and 18-34 once again, while ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” moved atop the ratings to give ESPN 700 Radio Salt Lake City a clean sweep across the board for each daypart among Men 18-34.

“In our first year as an ESPN Radio property, we have successfully mixed the national properties offered by the top content provider in all of sports with local discussion centered around – but not limited to – the Utes and RSL,” said ESPN 700 General Manager John Kimball, in a press release.

Read more.

Tom's Take: Unlike most sports radio websites, KALL's doesn't feature any "Babes of Day" or soft porn photo galleries on the homepage.  Obviously, they have sensitities to community values.

Hmong Parody Song Has KDWB Apologizing

A rock song parody targeting Hmong has one of the Twin Cities' most popular radio stations apologizing.

According to a story by Paul Walsh at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the spoof lyrics to the tune of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" were sung on KDWB Radio (101.3 FM) by a sidekick during Dave Ryan's morning show last week. The parody joked about Hmong families crowding into homes and girls getting pregnant early and often.

In response to complaints, the Clear Channel station posted an apology on Facebook: "While we've received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent."

The most recent U.S. Census Bureau measure estimates that there are nearly 200,000 Hmong living in the United States, with about 50,000 of them residing in Minnesota.

Read more.

Tom's Take: I couldn't find any apology on the KDWB or Dave Ryan Facebook pages.  I did find the promotion artwork (see below) on station's website searching for 'the hottest Mom'.  Do you think Clear Channel management knows what 'MILF' means?  Do you think they care?  Me neither.  Yea...makes one want to leave Pandora!

WTKK Talker Jay Severin Suspended Again

Jay Severin, the right-wing talk show host on Boston's WTKK-FM radio station, has been suspended again.

Boston Globe photo
According to a story by Mark Shanahan at, the highly-paid drive-time host, who was pulled off the air in 2009 for calling Mexican immigrants "primitives," "leeches," and exporters of "women with mustaches and VD," has been suspended indefinitely, according to a station spokeswoman.

"Jay was suspended after we received serious complaints about the recent content of his show," said Heidi Raphael of Greater Media Inc.

"The matter is currently under review." Raphael wouldn't discuss what Severin said to upset listeners and perhaps advertisers, but we're told it may be related to a comment Severin made while discussing sexual harassment in the workplace. (He implied it is an employer's prerogative to have sex with an intern.)

Severin, who signed a seven-year contract in 2006, has not been on the air since Tuesday.

Attempts to contact Severin or his agent, George Tobia, were unsuccessful this morning. Severin, who's one of the highest-paid talk-show hosts in Boston making close to $1 million a year, has lagged in the ratings of late.

As a result, the station has begun introducing a series of cohosts. One of them, Michael Bower, was Severin's replacement on Wednesday, the first day of his suspension.

Nothing if not provocative, Severin has a long history of using strong language - he's called Hillary Clinton a "lying bitch" - and sometimes it gets him into trouble.

Read more.

MLB A's Games To Air on Country FM

The A's announced a four-year agreement with KBWF 95.7 FM to be their new flagship radio station Thursday morning, according to a story by Joe Stiglich at the Oakland Tribune.

KBWF, known as 95.7 The Wolf, is a San Francisco-based country music station. The agreement takes effect for Friday's regular season opener against the Seattle Mariners, and the station will broadcast all 162 games.

All pregame and postgame programming, including Chris Townsend's call-in show, remains the same.

The announcement ends the uncertainty surrounding the A's radio situation and seemingly puts an end to the team's efforts to purchase KTRB 860 AM, its previous flagship station which is now in receivership.

Negotiations for a purchase went bad and the 2011 broadcasting agreement between the A's and KTRB dissolved, leaving the A's scrambling to find a replacement station just days before the regular season is to begin.

Read more.

Beck's Radio Show Still On More Than 400 Affiliates

Angelo Carusone at Media Matters --  known in the Twitterverse as the man behind the @StopBeck Twitter feed -- is reporting that Glenn Beck's radio show has dropped below 400 radio affiliates and suggests that Beck update his website and marketing materials to note the change.

Turns out there is actually no rush, according to a story by Glynnis MacNicol at

According to spokesperson at Premiere Networks, which syndicates The Glenn Beck Program, the show can be heard on more than 430 affiliates.

MacNicol took a look at the list of stations that do carry Beck it confirms this number.

Apparently, Media Matters forgot to add to their count the 88 stations that have acquired Beck in the past year. 

Carusone quotes Rick Ungar at Forbes who says that "While the radio show can survive the loss of the smaller markets in the Buckley group, no radio program can long survive the loss of New York as being shut-out of the nation's largest market makes selling national advertising exceptionally difficult if not completely impossible."

Alas, Carusone fails to note that Beck was the third-highest rated radio host in the country years before joining WOR or being carried on stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Detroit.

Read more.

Attitude Trumps Tradition on Anchorless NewsFix

In Houston, Channel 39's revamped newscast offers variety, sacrifices immediacy

Everything about NewsFix screams an attitude of revolution: from the use of the Beatles song as its opening theme to red-and-black NewsFix manifestos on the newsroom wall to chalkboard walls where Channel 39 staffers are encouraged to scrawl comments, suggestions and Russian graffiti (the last courtesy of Sergey, the graphics guy).

According to a story by David Barron at the Houston Chronicle, the attitude is born of adrenaline, optimism and several weeks of rehearsal prior to the anchorless newscast's March 19 debut, not to mention the bunker mentality of people who know that dozens of their camera-hogging colleagues at other stations are likely rooting for them to fail miserably.

"We're trying to create a different voice," said Steve Simon, one of the few holdovers from the old KIAH news regime. "If you take a story that the other stations are doing, you can piecemeal a reporter from Channel A to Channel B and you couldn't tell the difference. We're trying to tell the story differently."

Less than two weeks into its twice-daily existence, NewsFix remains mostly attitude and most definitely a work in progress. Stories often are second-day or evergreen quality, easily outnumbering what Gary Jaffe, the station's "imaginer" (aka news director), refers to as "day-of news."

"The day we launched, we had missile attacks in Libya and (day-care operator) Jessica Tata turning herself in, so we still have a component of day-of news," Jaffe said. "But we're not always updating the same stories, trying to push the timeline forward. We're trying to bring new stories into the mix."

Read more.

CBS Launches Tweet Week

CBS is finding a new way to capitalize on Twitter's ability to spark interactivity and engagement.

According to a story by David Goetzl at, the network will hold "Tweet Week" starting April 3, where stars such as Jeff Probst and Donnie Wahlberg will tweet and take questions during the live broadcasts of their respective shows.

The stunt will last eight nights and users can join via their Twitter accounts or Networks have been experimenting with avenues to use Twitter -- not just to get people to watch their shows, but create a sense of ownership among them as they engage in discussion.

"Tweet Week" begins Sunday with performer Dierks Bentley and presenter Julianne Hough offering commentary during the Academy of Country Music Awards.

The following night, two CBS Sports analysts, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis, will weigh in during the NCAA championship game. "NCIS" star Pauley Perrette, who plays forensic specialist Abby Sciuto, will interact Tuesday during the drama smash.

Read more.

Report: Mobile Video Use Rises

Mobile video consumption continues to rise sharply, according to a story by Wayne Friedman at

Forty percent more Americans were watching video on smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets and iPads in 2010 versus 2009, according to the Nielsen Company.

Some 25 million users watched an average four hours and 20 minutes per month. Video usage in the third and fourth quarter of 2010 rose 33% and 20%, respectively. There were 22.9 million users watching mobile video in the third quarter of 2010 and 17.6 million users in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Video consumption during an average week was the highest among 25- to-34-year-olds at 32%, followed by 35-49s, at 27%; 18-24s at 17%; 12-17s at 11%: and 50-64s at 10%.

Read more.

Did A Cooked Chicken Get Howard Stern To Propose?

This is not an April Fool's joke

Touted as 'The recipe that will make him propose!', Dana Schuster at the wrote a piece about "Engagement Chicken" and Howard Stern:
In December 2003, Beth Ostrosky wanted to bring radio shock jock Howard Stern to his knees, so she whipped out the big guns — and took out the gizzards. She cooked her then-boyfriend of a few years a chicken dish from a recipe in Glamour magazine, and sat Stern down for a candlelit dinner.

“I swear to you, he had never been love-ier or more romantic. He was saying the sweetest things to me. And in the back of my mind, I was chuckling, ‘Wow, that magazine knows what it’s doing,’ ” says the 38-year-old with a laugh.

The next morning Stern raved about the meal on his radio show.

“He started talking about the lemons ‘up the chicken’s butt’ when a woman called in and said: ‘Howard, you just described Engagement Chicken. Beth wants you to marry her.’ ”

Stern immediately called his girlfriend, live on the air, and told her the jig was up. “I was busted,” admits Ostrosky, who had torn the title off the recipe page as a precaution, just in case Stern happened to see it lying around.

Still, her ruse worked. About three years later, on Feb. 14, 2007, her radio-personality beau (who famously vowed never to marry again) popped the question.

“I think [Stern proposed] because of the way it was going with us. And I can cook a mean chicken,” jokes Ostrosky.
Read more here.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arbitron Gets Accreditation For 11 More PPM Markets

Arbitron Inc. today announced that the Media Rating Council® (MRC) has accredited the monthly average-quarter-hour radio ratings data produced by the Portable People Meter™ radio ratings service in 11 additional markets: Atlanta; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; Milwaukee-Racine; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo; St. Louis and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.

These 11 markets join Houston-Galveston; Minneapolis-St. Paul and Riverside-San Bernardino as accredited markets for Arbitron's PPM ratings service, bringing the total number of MRC-accredited PPM markets to 14.

MRC accreditation has been denied in the other 34 PPM markets based on the findings of the 2010 audits. These markets along with the 14 accredited markets will be audited again in 2011. Arbitron submits each of the 48 markets to annual audits.

"Arbitron shares the MRC's commitment to improving the quality of audience measurement services," said Gregg Lindner, executive vice president, Service Innovation and chief research officer, Arbitron Inc. "Thanks to the impact of our continuous improvement initiatives on quality of our samples and services, 11 more PPM markets can now display the MRC 'double checkmark' symbol."

"The MRC played an important role in helping us develop a number of our quality initiatives. We will continue to work with the MRC with the goal of achieving accreditation for Portable People Meter radio ratings across all PPM markets," said Mr. Lindner.

In Chicago, Trib Is King, But ESPN Moving In

Chicago is a city with a rich local online scene, and the Tribune Co. has a dominant stake in its home turf. But an outsider with a national presence is encroaching on its territory: sports giant ESPN.

Linda Moss at NetNewsCheck reports the Tribune, the Windy City’s publishing and broadcast fiefdom, is the king of Chicago media. It has roughly a half dozen media Web sites, including one for its flagship newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, and one for flagship TV station, WGN, that are either market leaders or have solid traction as far as online traffic.

But another national media giant, The Walt Disney Co., has also entered Chi Town looking for a piece of the online pie, with its highly successful ESPN Chicago, a localized Web site.

And the local online action is substantial. Chicago, which is the nation’s No. 3 market in terms of local online advertising spending -- as well as its third-largest TV market -- this year is expected to garner $590 million in local online advertising, a 20% increase from last year’s $492.3 million, according to research and consulting firm Borrell Associates.

In two short years, ESPN’s local site established itself as a imposing competitor in the market.

“Based on ComScore, we’re the No. 1 digital sports site in the market,” said John Pastor, senior vice president and general manager of “We have got a brand name that people trust.”

But the Tribune’s Web site is formidable, with 28.4% of adults in the market logging onto it each month, according to data collected last year from Media Audit.

It was followed by, the site for the Chicago Sun-Times, which had 16.2% of Chicago adults coming to it, according to Media Audit. attracted 2 million unique visitors in February, according to ComScore, while drew 1.5 million. falls third behind and on Media Audit’s measurement list, with 14.5% of Chicago adults logging onto it last year.

Read more.

WSB-TV Installs World's Most Advanced Radar

Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta is taking storm tracking to a whole new level with a cutting edge radar that’s the first of its kind in Georgia and only the second in the world.

Severe Weather Team 2 chief meteorologist Glenn Burns oversaw the installation of the Klystron 9.

The radar is a revolutionary tool in forecasting severe weather events, according to Burns.

Fear Of Losing Flight Time Causes Pilot To Quit

Troy Bush flight time as HD Chopper 8

Fear of not flying has prompted HD Chopper 8 pilot/reporter Troy Bush to call it a day at Dallas-based WFAA8.

His last day at the station will be April 6th, he said in an email to Ed Bark at Rusty Thetford, who "showed me the ropes of ENG (Electronic News Gathering) flying in Dallas," will now be flying Chopper 8, Bush said.

Bush recently completed his fourth year as WFAA8's go-to guy in the sky during times of flooding, fires, storm damage and other events calling for an airborne perspective.

"WFAA was my dream job ever since I started flying in 1987," Bush said. "Unfortunately, the economy has hit the TV business hard. It's forced WFAA to reduce our flight time drastically. I would rather get hit in the head with a hammer than not fly. I'm a pilot that reports, not a reporter that flies."

Bush said he'll be returning to the Gulf of Mexico, where he flew crews to rigs for many years before joining WFAA8. "Despite what you hear in the news, oil and gas exploration is booming."

Read more.

Report: Sports Personality Sues Rival Host

Baltimore sports talk radio personality Jennifer Royle has filed an $800,000 defamation lawsuit against rival radio host Nestor Aparicio, his companies, Nasty 1570 Sports and WNST Sports Media and two of WNST’s staffers, according to a story by Gary Haber at

Royle’s lawsuit, filed March 10 in Circuit Court for Baltimore City, alleges that the 105.7-FM “The Fan” sports reporter was defamed by statements made on air and online by Aparicio and WNST staffers, Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester.

The suit alleges that Aparicio, Clark and Forrester made statements that Royle isn’t qualified for her job, lied on her resume, had “personal, sexual and/or inappropriate relationships” with multiple pro athletes and “that she looks like a stripper.” Those statements were false and made with the intention of hurting Royle’s professional reputation, according to the suit.

The lawsuit alleges that Royle was so upset by those comments she had to seek mental health treatment and take prescription medication to treat what the suit called, “severe emotional distress.” Royle seeks $500,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages.

Royle, who will co-host 105.7-FM’s new “Baltimore Baseball Tonight” show is a former sports reporter for the YES network in New York. She came to Baltimore in 2010 to work for 105.7-FM and MASN. She has since left MASN. Her last day there was March 23, Royle said in a blog post on the station’s website.

Aparicio, a long-time Baltimore sports talk radio personality, had plenty to say about the case in a post on his blog Wednesday.

Aparicio blasted Royle’s suit as “baseless,” noting that Royle works for Aparicio’s competitors.

Read more here.

WTOP News Anchor Faces Brain Surgery

UPDATE 4/6/11:

"No Complications" With Hillary Howard's Brain Surgery - Former Channel 9/ WUSA reporter Dave Statter posted this on Facebook Tuesday afternoon about his wife, Hillary Howard: "She looks good but is still quite groggy. There were no complications and we had a very positive report from the surgeon, Dr. Michael Lim. Thanks for all of your prayers, support and messages." Hillary, an afternoon drive anchor on all-news WTOP, underwent surgery for a benign brain tumor this morning at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore... (Hat Tip to DCRTV)

DCRTV reports WTOP-FM afternoon news anchor Hillary Howard will be taking a leave from her duties and faces brain surgery.

According to DCRTA Howard posted this on her Facebook page:

"I'm calling the six-weeks beginning Wednesday, March 30th my surgical sabbatical. It'll mark the end of an interesting story that began last November when I fell down the stairs, passed out with flourish in our kitchen and was rushed to the hospital to find out why. It turns out the 'why' was simple. I hit my head during the fall. But, as serendipity would have it, the standard CT scan found something else. There's a tumor on my brain called a meningioma. And I consider this good news. It's almost certainly benign. It's not big and I hope it'll be easy to excise. Meningiomas are pretty common and grow in the protective layer around the brain. Mine is in the right parietal lobe near the top of my head... My pre-op is April 4th at Hopkins. Surgery is April 5th."

Howard, who is married to former Channel 9/WUSA reporter Dave Statter, is a DC radio and TV veteran who has worked at many stations.

According to the WTOP website, Hillary Howard is an award winning Radio and TV reporter who has worked in Washington for more than 20-years.

Originally a radio newsperson in suburban New York, Hillary jumped to television as a weathercaster and reporter in the Catskills. She was a weekend weather forecaster at WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Va., and again at WTTG until taking over the weekend anchor slot. At WUSA she was the morning weather forecaster from 2000 to 2004.

Before her Regional Murrow, SPJ and AP awards at WTOP she won a handful of Emmys for writing, reporting and even weather casting in DC. A story on a local environmental crisis landed her a finalist spot in the NY Film and TV festivals. She was also honored with a national Imagen Award for a story impacting the Hispanic community.

Read more here.

Tweet Late, eMail Early, Don’t Forget About Saturday

Using data to develop a social media strategy

Tweet more, and embrace the weekends, reports Andrew Phelps at the

According to Dan Zarrella, a social media researcher (with 33,000 followers himself). Zarrella works for HubSpot, mining data on hundreds of millions of tweets, blog posts, and email newsletters to help marketers find trends. News organization should pay attention, too.

Zarrella says the right Twitter strategy depends in part on what your goals are. Want to accumulate as many followers as possible? Then tweet a lot: Twitter’s A-listers — those with the most followers — tweet an average of 22 times a day, and more tweets generally lead to more followers. But if your goal is to drive more traffic to your site, you should show a little more restraint; accounts that share two or more links an hour show a dramatically lower clickthrough rate than those who share no more than one.

It’s an inexact science, but at least it’s an attempt at science where so much social media strategy is driven by intuition. (Zarrella complains about the the “unicorns and rainbows” strategy: “Love your customers, hug your followers, engage in the conversations. It sounds like good advice, and it’s hard to disagree with,” he says. “But generally, it’s not based in anything substantial.”)

After collecting more than two years of data, Zarrella shared his findings Tuesday in a webinar called “The Science of Timing.” That science is less about when and more about when not — what he calls “contra-competitive timing.” The trick is to reach people when the noise of the crowd has died down.

It turns out that time is often the afternoons, when blogs and news sites are slower, and the weekend, when they’re all but asleep.

Retweet activity is highest late in the work day, between 2 and 5 p.m., and the sweet spot (tweet spot?) is 4 p.m., Zarrella’s analysis found. Late in the week is most retweetable, too. Zarrella created TweetWhen to tell Twitter users what time days and times yield the most retweets.

Read more here.

Sabo: Most Successful Tech-Content Build Out Ever

5 Secrets Leading to development of FM Radio

From Walter Sabo:
In 1965 less than 10% of all radio listening was to FM. Today, 88% of all listening is to the FM Band.
FM Radio is the most successful marriage of tech and content in history. It is also a powerful cautionary tale of how useless great tech is without compelling content.

1. FM Radio was available for twenty years before it was a marketplace factor.

In 1948 FM Radios hit the stores; few people bought them. For the first 20 years, FM stations predominantly broadcast simulcasts of co-owned AM station programming. FM technical quality and superior hardware was not a closer for the general public. Prior to 1965, FM content was rarely unique and therefore there was no compelling reason to buy the hardware.

2. 1965, compelling content begins.

The FCC establishes rules for the elimination of simulcasts. Station owners were forced to develop separate content for the FM Stations and they responded by NOT CARING. The AM Station management never left the golf course or shrimp buffet.

Owners did the bare minimum to broadcast separate programming on their FM's. They usually did not assign separate project managers or sales teams, not at first.

Instead they allowed on-air celebrities and content creators (who are properly called STARS) to do whatever they wanted to do.

The result was radio programming unlike anything ever heard. FM listeners were treated to new shows generating new DEMAND for FM hardware. If the content had simply been a vague copy of AM formats, FM would have certainly continued to fail.
Read more here.

Walter Sabo is the Founder and Creator of the business concept. He is an experienced leader of new organizations and is currently CEO of Hitviews. Walter can be reached at

Daly Angry Over 'Insane' Spears Chat

TV/radio host Carson Daly has voiced his anger after Britney Spears’ representatives made a series of “insane” demands ahead of a planned chat with the pop star, insisting he is “shocked” she is not allowed to “do a normal interview”.

The Toronto Sun posted a story from reporting the toxic hitmaker is currently promoting her new album, Femme Fatale, and she was scheduled to sit down for a talk with Carson on 97.1 KAMP Radio in LA this week.

Carson has now revealed Spears’ managers demanded the interview be pre-recorded and submitted for their approval - and he’s taken to the internet to fume about the move, insisting the singer’s reps are being overly-protective.

In a series of posts on, he writes:
“I was jst (just) told my Britney Spears interview tomm (tomorrow) on Amp Radio MUST b (sic) pre-recorded & submitted 4 (sic) approval by HER mgmt (management) b4 (before) it can air! F (f**k) that!...

“(Interviews are) never that restricted. Even when I interviewed Michael Jackson, it wasn’t anything like this... it’s really insane...

“Jst (just) shocked her mgmt (management) won’t let her do a normal interview. She probly (sic) doesn’t even know...

“I’ve known and supported her since she was 15. This has nothing to do w (with) her. Just her ppl (people).”
The news comes just days after Spears postponed a rare TV interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, putting the scrapped appearance down to “scheduling conflicts”.

Read more here.

A Crummy Street Bit

77WABC Radio's Joe Crummey had the chance to visit Harlem's newest restaurant addition, Marcus Samuelsson's "Red Rooster," in anticipation of President Obama's visit. 

He talked to Harlem residents about how they think the President is doing, what his visit means for the neighborhood, and whether or not they'd pay $30,800 for dinner with Obama. While Red Rooster was closed for the day (obviously!), Joe caught a glimpse of the owner chatting it up with residents, and visited the famous Sylvia's Restaurant just up the street on Malcom X Boulevard and found, possibly, New York's best potato salad.

The bit was posted on WABC's website.

Baseball Is Back

Abbott and Costello perform the classic "Who's on first?" baseball sketch in their 1945 film "The Naughty Nineties" first performed as part of their stage act.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ham Radio Operators Concerned About Losing Band

Ham radio enthusiasts nationwide are concerned about a bill in Congress that they say would limit their ability to help in disasters and emergencies.

According to a story by Didi Tang and Malia Rulon in USA Today, Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation last month aimed at enhancing emergency communications for first responders by reallocating certain frequencies exclusively for public safety.

To offset lost revenue from that change, the bill includes a provision that would allow the 420-440 MHz frequencies currently provided free to amateur radio to be auctioned off.

Those frequencies are used not just by hobbyists but also by hundreds of thousands of Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers and severe-weather spotters working with National Weather Service.

"They are a critical component of the National Weather Service's job to protect life and property," said Steve Runnels, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missouri.
"It's a bad idea. It's not good for public safety," said Harlin McEwen, chairman of a technology committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a spokesman for the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council.

The frequencies set aside for first responders in the bill became available after the digital transition from analog television broadcasting. The Federal Communications Commission was going to auction off those frequencies. The White House calculates the cost of reallocating them for first responders at $3.2 billion.

Read more here.

NBC Ignores GE Taxes Story

From Paul Farhi, The Washington Post

It’s the kind of accountability journalism that makes readers raise an eyebrow, if it doesn’t raise their blood pressure first. General Electric Co., reported the New York Times last week, earned $14.2 billion in worldwide profits last year, including $5.1 billion in the United States — and paid exactly zero dollars in Federal taxes.

The front-page story drew widespread commentary in newspapers and on many Web sites. ABC News and Fox News, among others, were all over it.

But the story was conspicuously absent from the reportage of one news organization: NBC.

During its Friday broadcast, “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” had no time to mention that America’s largest corporation had essentially avoided paying federal taxes in 2010. Or its Saturday, Sunday or Monday broadcasts, either.

Did NBC’s silence have anything to do with the fact that one of its parent companies is General Electric?

NBC News representatives say that it didn’t. “This was a straightforward editorial decision, the kind we make daily around here,” said Lauren Kapp, spokeswoman for NBC News. Kapp declined to discuss how NBC decides what’s news or, in this case, what isn’t.

But to others, NBC’s silence looks like something between a lapse and a coverup. The satirical “Daily Show” on Monday noted that “Nightly News” had time on Friday to squeeze in a story about the Oxford English Dictionary adding such terms as “OMG” and “muffin top,” but didn’t bother with the GE story.

Ignoring stories about its parent company’s activities is “part of a troubling pattern” for NBC News, said Peter Hart, a director at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a liberal media watchdog group that often documents instances of corporate interference in news. He cited a series of GE-related stories that NBC’s news division has underplayed over the years, from safety issues in GE-designed nuclear power plants to the dumping of hazardous chemicals into New York’s Hudson River by GE-owned plants.
Read more here.

Report: News Corp. Looking For MySpace Partner

News Corp. is in talks to hand over control of Myspace to, the online music website partly owned by the world’s biggest record companies, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.
According to a story by Andy Fixmer at Bloomberg, the talks are preliminary and an agreement may not be reached, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Under the scenario being discussed, News Corp. would exchange the Myspace social network for a stake in a new venture, the people said. is one of several parties looking at Myspace, two of the people said., which offers advertising-supported music videos, could draw on Myspace music assets, including artist and fan pages, the people said. Vevo was introduced in December 2009 and is owned by Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Co. Sony Corp. (6758) and Universal Music also are investors in Myspace Music, the part of the social network that streams songs online.

Julie Henderson, a spokeswoman for New York-based News Corp., declined to comment, as did Jennifer Press, a spokeswoman for New York-based Vevo.

Read more here.

Philly TV Stations Scramble To Keep Up

Learning to cope with new financial and technological picture

And then there was one.

6ABC is now the only Philadelphia TV station that has its own helicopter - not the big story in the grand scheme of local television, even if the station does air a promo every five minutes.

The big story is bigger, according Jonathan Storm, Philadelphia Inquirer TV critic. The city's major TV stations are doing all sorts of things to boost revenue and keep up with technology: joining forces, rebooting websites, reformatting news shows, branching into new time slots, creating new shows, and, in one instance, starting a new local channel.

It's the best-of-times, the worst-of-times as local TV climbs out of the economic morass of 2009. The long-term trend is down, but revenue increased last year, even as ratings continued to drop.

Prying financials from local stations is like trying to get an American Idol contestant to sing softly, but figures from Borrell & Associates, a leading media-research firm, show advertising revenue from local TV operations reversing a years-long slide, up 2 percent in 2010, but down more than one-third since 2006.

Nielsen Co. figures show average full-day viewership among the six largest Philadelphia stations dropped 8.3 percent between 2009 and 2010 in the November "sweeps" period, when ratings in many markets are used to set advertising rates. It's hard to get a true picture from year-to-year sweeps comparisons, but over the last four years, viewer numbers have dived 17 percent.

As the general economy rebounds, local businesses are seeking to advertise themselves out of the recession. Auto dealers, a TV staple that virtually vanished from the screen at the height of the downturn, are back strong.

Not only will TV get more advertisers, executives believe, it will be able to raise rates despite lower ratings. That is because television, unlike print or digital media, has a finite inventory of ad space; there are only 24 hours in a day.

"It's basically supply-and-demand forces at work," said Bernie Shimkus, vice president of research for Harmelin Media, the Philadelphia market's biggest media buyer, in an e-mail. "Most advertisers . . . are still interested in reaching the largest audience, as quickly as possible. Despite declines in ratings, local broadcast channels still provide the best opportunity to achieve that goal."

Borrell Associates, which researches advertising data across all platforms, has found that Philadelphia stations lost $327 million, about one-third, in annual revenue from their TV operations over the last four years. Newspapers in the region sustained a drop of more than 40 percent, about $700 million.

But Borrell found regional online advertising nearly doubling in the same period, from $787 million to $1.5 billion, something that benefited all the traditional media that have started websites.

Read more here.

Judge: Sirius Radio Antitrust Suit May Go Forward

A lawsuit claiming antitrust violations by SiriusXM Radio Inc., the biggest U.S. satellite- radio broadcaster, may go forward as a class action, a federal judge ruled.

According to a story by Bob Van Voris and David Glovin at Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer in Manhattan allowed the antitrust claims to proceed while dismissing claims filed under 20 state consumer-protection laws. In a separate order Tuesday, Baer said the case may go forward on behalf of a nationwide group of SiriusXM subscribers.

In a complaint filed in 2009, the subscribers claimed that New York-based Sirius XM, the product of a 2008 merger between Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Holdings Inc., abused its monopoly power by illegally raising prices by almost 30 percent. The suit targets so-called music royalty fees that Sirius charges in addition to subscription fees.

Carl Blessing filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and other subscribers. It seeks unspecified damages, which may be tripled under antitrust law.

In the ruling Tuesday, Baer certified a class of Sirius XM customers who since July 29, 2008, paid the music royalty fee, an increased monthly charge to activate more than one radio, or an Internet access fee.

Patrick Reilly, a SiriusXM spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement that the company was “heartened” by the portions of the ruling in its favor.

Read more here.

KROQ's Mike Catherwood First To Get Boot On DWTS

Psycho Michael Catherwood and his professional partner, Lacey Schwimmer, became the first couple to be booted from ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday night.

The radio host thanked his fans for their support. "It sucks to be sent home first but I've made a lot of good friends," he said.

Catherwood immersed himself in the Los Angeles punk and hard rock scene before moving to the East Coast to study theater at Rutgers University, where he spent most of his time enjoying the emerging New Jersey punk scene.

After finishing school, he returned to L.A. to become a member of the top-rated "Kevin & Bean Morning Show" on KROQ-FM, where he developed many of the radio show's most well known characters. Mike is also the co-host of Loveline Radio (Westwood One) with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Dispute Over Streaming to iPad Bursts Into the Open

Companies like Time Warner Cable and Cablevision buy the rights to beam channels to customers’ television sets. But do those rights extend to iPads?

According to a story by Brian Stelter at, that question has divided the television industry in recent weeks, ever since Time Warner Cable started streaming several dozen TV channels to customers’ iPads. Immediately, channel owners like Viacom and Scripps Networks seized on the streaming capability as a contract violation — in part because they want cable companies to pay them more for the privilege to stream.

Legal threats were made last week, and the dispute was brought into public view on Monday when Time Warner Cable introduced a Web campaign that promoted “more freedom to watch on more screens” and asked, “Why do some TV networks want to take it away?” The television industry is, in effect, joining book publishers in being unsettled by the iPad and the new era of tablets. There is little doubt that people will be watching more TV on tablets in the future. (Imagine a son watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” on an iPad while his father watches basketball on the big-screen TV.)

What is undetermined is whether people will be watching through an application provided by their cable company, an individual channel’s app, or through a paid service like Netflix.

To stream programs from Time Warner Cable, customers download an iPad app through the Apple iTunes store, log in to verify their account, and choose from a selection of live channels like CNN and Comedy Central. The iPad app only works inside the home, and only for customers who receive both television and Internet from the operator.

Read more here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

KSL's Transmission Site Targeted By Copper Thieves

Salt Lake city police are looking for two men who got away with more than $30,000 in goods and copper wire.

According to Marc Giaugue at, the east radio tower at 1160 AM KSL NewsRadio's transmission site rises more than 400 feet above the ground.  It has been there since the 1930's.

But it was the building near the tower that thieves targeted this month, getting away with more than $30,000 in copper wire, tools and other goods.   "This is stuff that isn't something that's going to come right off the shelves," said engineer Randy Finch. He said that is why metal recyclers should be able to recognize the stolen property.

It includes sliced up sections of feed cable that the thieves stripped off larges spools in the yard, cut up into sections and loaded into a truck.  They also got away with a welder and other tools.

The thefts were recorded on video. "We watched one person pick up a box of Scotch rags, just a box of paper towels," said Finch.  "I guess he had a use for paper towels at home so he stuck it under his shoulder and out he went with it."

Over the past 30 years that Finch has worked at the site, he's seen other similar thefts.  He said it seems when the economy turns more sour, thefts and break-ins at the remote site pick up.

KSL also simulcasts on 102.7 FM.

Stort Media Launches Job Site For Broadcasting Pros

Stort Media, an operator of job search websites, has recently launched As part of the Stort Media job site franchise, Radio Jobs provides advanced job search capabilities including by state, by city, by job title, and by keyword.

With continuing change in the radio broadcasting industry, there is a steady demand for Radio broadcasting professionals. In view of this, Stort Media launched a job site dedicated to radio broadcast professionals seeking to develop their careers. National radio networks and local radio stations continue to look for talented and qualified people and Radio Jobs HQ will help connect radio industry recruiters with industry professionals looking for the right career opportunity. Radio Jobs is free to job seekers.

As part of the Stort Media job site family, Radio Jobs HQ seeks to list every job for radio broadcasting professionals in the United States in one convenient location. Unlike other job boards, Radio Jobs HQ focuses solely on researching radio broadcasting jobs from every employer website, newspaper classified, job board, printed matter, and online agency.

The following are the most-searched jobs on Radio Jobs since its launch:

    Advertising sales manager jobs
    Radio station general manager jobs
    Summer intern jobs
    Traffic manager and board operator jobs
    Radio station host jobs
    Engineer jobs
    Radio advertising sales jobs

For more information about Radio Jobs HQ, click here.

For TV Jobs, click here.

WTOP Radio Tops Revenue Heap

All-news WTOP-FM was the top billing radio station in the nation last year, raking in $57.225 million in revenue, an increase of more than 12 percent from 2009, according to a story by Jeff Clabaugh at the Washington Business Journal.

KIIS-FM, the Los Angeles station that’s home to Ryan Seacrest, slipped to No. 2, with 2010 revenue of $54 million, a 2 percent decline over 2009 revenue, according to figures calculated by BIA/Kelsey Advisory Services.

WTOP is the only one of the top 10 billing stations not in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.

New York al-news station WCBS remained the third highest billing station in 2010, with $49 million in sales, which, like WTOP, represented an increase of more than 12 percent.

WTOP, which is being acquired by Minneapolis-based Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. as part of a $505 million, multistation sale by current owner Bonneville International Corp., first cracked the top 10 for revenue in 2008.

Top 10 billing stations in 2010, according to BIA/Kelsey:

  1. WTOP, Washington $57.225 million
  2. KIIS, Los Angeles $54 million
  3. WCBS, New York $49 million
  4. KFI, Los Angeles $46 million
  5. WLTW, New York $44.3 million
  6. WHTZ, New York $43 million
  7. WBBM, Chicago $42.5 million
  8. WINS, New York $41 million
  9. WFAN, New York $40.5 million
10. KROQ, Los Angeles $39 million

Read more here.

Dayton's WKSW Flips To ‘Modern Hit Music’

In Dayton, OH, Main Line Broadcasting’s WKSW-FM has dropped its country music format in favor of a new frequency and “modern hit music” performers such as Kings of Leon, Maroon 5 and Daughtry.

Click 101.5 launched at 1 p.m. Friday, replacing Kiss Country 101.7, according to Dave Larsen at The Dayton Daily News.

One Kiss Country on-air personality was let go because of the switch. The new station plans to add on-air personalities soon, said Andrea Scott, vice president and marketing manager for Main Line Broadcasting.
The Federal Communications Commission granted Main Line permission to move WKSW’s license to a new community and frequency that could reach the entire Dayton market, Scott said. The station is broadcasting from Main Line’s studios in Kettering.

Click 101.5 has a “Hot AC” format, which features more uptempo, contemporary hit music, with no hard rock or rap, according to Berk Marketing’s radio format guide.

Scott said its target audience is men and women ages 18-49.

The station will feature songs by new artists such as the Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, and Florence and the Machine, as well as established acts such as Dave Matthews Band and Train.

Read more here.

ESPN Moves Planned For Denver

Sports radio giant ESPN will switch stations from KKFN 104.3 FM and 1600 AM KEPM over to dial positions owned by the fledgling Front Range Sports Network, beginning Jan. 1.

According to Penny Parker at The Denver Post, Lincoln Financial Media, owner of KKFN, known as The Fan, and what's now called ESPN Radio 1600, opted not to renew its contract with the ESPN Network.

"We realized that with our position and ratings strength, we have an opportunity to put our own local morning show on and continue with the growth The Fan has had," said KKFN/KEPN program director Nate Lundy.

The Fan likely will replace the weekday ESPN morning drive show Mike and Mike with local talent, Lundy said. On the AM side, radio station 1600's nearly all-ESPN programming will completely change.

Starting Jan. 1, Mike and Mike, along with ESPN Network's The Herd with Colin Cowherd will air on Front Range Sports stations The Ticket, which moves from 87.7 FM to 102.3 FM March 31.

ESPN Deportes, the Spanish sports station on 102.3 FM, will move to 87.7 FM.

Read more here.

Tom's Take: Denver is top heavy  with sports stations with at least four all slicing up a 2.4 share. Most Discussed Media Content Types

Peek: MTV Mini-Documentary on Facebook

Airs Wednesday, 3/30 at 11:00p

Monday, March 28, 2011

After 5-Years, Cards Return To KMOX

Changes galore are in store for those watching and listening to Cardinals broadcasts this season.

In a move considered fan-friendly, the Cards are back on KMOX (1120 AM) after an unpopular five-year stay at KTRS (550 AM). On the other side, the team has eliminated over-the-air, or so-called "free TV' from the equation as its local package is exclusively on Fox Sports Midwest.

According to a story by Dan Caesar at, the reason for both moves are simple — money.

The Cards' switch to KTRS, of which they purchased a 50 percent interest, wasn't as lucrative as they thought it would become in part because of the country's economic downturn as well as media, including radio, being hit especially hard. And while the new deal with KMOX is believed to include a comparatively small rights fee to what the team used to receive, the team this time around is selling its own advertising and figures to make more with KMOX's wider reach.

And on the TV front, cable/satellite outlets such as FSM have an additional big revenue stream — subscriber fees — that over-the-air stations can't match.

To look deeper at both broadcasting moves, click here.

News Budgets Busted By Cost of Covering Disasters

From Brent Lang & Dylan Stableford, The Wrap

From Japan to Libya, disasters and political upheavel around the globe are wreaking havoc on the already-skeletal budgets of cable and broadcast news organizations.

“We've already had a year's worth of breaking news coverage, and it's not even the end of March,” David Verdi, NBC News VP of worldwide newsgathering, told TheWrap.

News organizations may have already spent their annual budgets for covering foreign events and still have nine months to go, one veteran cable news executive told TheWrap.

"If Saudi Arabia goes up in flames, all bets are off," the executive said.

That's because each far-flung top story comes with an astronomical price tag.

NBC spent $1.5 million on its first day covering the Japanese tsunami, according to one knowledgeable individual. That’s roughly the total amount it spent reporting on earthquake ravaged Haiti over a period of several months.

But that’s hardly the only international disaster crying out for coverage.

In the Middle East, networks are spending on the level of $2 million to cover each fresh political upheaval, according to an individual with knowledge of those budgets.

“The first day of a catastrophe the costs spike -- you have to fly your crew and your anchors in, and broadcasting equipment. That's a million-dollar hit right there,” Verdi told TheWrap.

Cable news organizations, which are dedicating many more hours to coverage of the earthquake in Japan and Middle East uprisings than their broadcast counterparts, are racking up bills that are significantly higher.
Broadcasters are mum about the numbers of reporters and crew members they are deploying to the far flung locales, but former ABC News producer Stuart Schwartz estimates that at least 20 people from each network have been sent to cover the various foreign catastrophes.

To fly, house and feed each crew member and reporter costs roughly $35,000 for about two weeks, according to the cable news executive.
Read more here.

Tom's Take: Another example of why radio companies don't like news operations.