Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

KDWB Remains Under Fire After Ethnic Song Parody

Protestors are keeping the pressure on a Twin Cities radio station that aired in March a parody song called "30 Hmongs in a house."

According to a story at, a group of of 9 individuals from the Hmong and allied communities entered the home of Clear Channel Communications, demanding to speak with executive. Instead, the protestors claim they were denied a meeting and removed from the premises by police and security officers.

The 9 were part of a larger group of dozens of protestors that rallied in front of KDWB FM Friday morning demanding that the station take responsibility for the song that aired March 22nd, a segment they call "an intolerable racist joke."

KDWB released a statement that reads "We fully support the rights under the first amendment of individuals to gather together and to express their thoughts and opinions. We share a committment to racial justice."

"The March 22nd song segment in no way reflects the values and viewpoints of our station or individual KDWB personnel," the statement continued. "We are reaching out and engaging directly with members of the Hmong community, as well as with other community leaders to make things right."

The rally, organized by TakeAction Minnesota's Hmong Organizing Program and others, was held to encourage KDWB to consider five requests. Among them are the firing of morning show co-host Steve LaTart, known as Steve O on the Dave Ryan morning show.

The Facebook page for The Dave Ryan in the Morning Show was filled in the hours following the protest with a running dialogue from both protestors and supporters of the show.

Other requests from the group include prohibiting offensive anti-ethnic and racist commentary; requiring annual diversity training for employees; requiring community service in the Hmong community; and dedicating airtime to discuss the matter and educate listeners about the Hmong culture.

Read More.

Entercom Slays Country 'Wolf' For Sports In SF

We probably should have seen this coming. A little over two weeks ago Entercom did a deal with the Oakland A's to become the local MLB outlet.  Today the other shoe dropped, as the country format was booted on 95.7 FM KBWF for SportsRadfio. The station is now stunting with Gary Glitter.

Staff Update:  All talent is out, including PD Mike Krinik. He is expected to possibly move to another Entercom market.

Tom's Take:  The Wolf forfeits a 1.1 share 6+. Will the cume move to Empire's KRTY, which also scored a 1.1 share in the latest PPMs? 
KNBR AM is currently owning a 2.4 sports share.

Interesting news in A's - and Sharks' - land today. The A's new station, 95.7 FM, is switching from country music to an all-sports format, and the name changes from The Wolf to SportsRadio 95.7 FM.

There have been several attempts to wean some audience away from KNBR over the years, with little overall success. This is the first try on FM, and with a big company, Entercom, with lots of sports programming experience behind it.

The station promises A's and Sharks' programming, with on-air personalities and other programming to be announced at a later date. Sharks' playoff games will remain on KFOX for the playoffs, with simulcasts on 95.7 FM when possible (i.e., not during A's games) and Entercom is in discussions with the Sharks about moving their broadcasts to 95.7 FM next season.

Dwight Walker, Entercom's market manager and vice president, tells me that Entercom also will be having talks with Stanford (currently on the dying KTRB) and Cal today.

If this station picks up Stanford and if the A's ever get permission to move to San Jose, Entercom might have positioned itself well as a South Bay alternative to KNBR. In addition, the A's and Sharks have fan bases that feel particularly under-served by KNBR, so that gives 95.7 FM some hungry listeners from the get-go.

Walker tells me that listener studies show that 80 percent of those who listen to the radio stay on the FM side and never switch over to AM at all. He and Entercom believe there are plenty of sports fans in general who are listening to FM radio and who are currently under-served. SportsRadio 95.7 FM is calling itself the biggest large-market all-sports station in the country.

"We'll be talking A's and Sharks, two winning franchises that aren't getting as much attention as they could," he said. "But we'll also be talking Warriors, Giants, Earthquakes, SaberCats.

Bubba Buys Florida Speedway

Syndicated radio host Bubba The Love Sponge and a group of investors have purchased the famed Ocala Speedway in Ocala, Florida. It’s the oldest track in the state dating back to 1952. quotes Bubba, whose real name is Todd Clem, “I obviously bought this place as an investment, but also want to give back to the racers.”

Bubba is an avid racer himself and has raced at Ocala and other speedways in Florida during the past 10 years.

Of race track owners, Bubba says “Most park track owners are greedy sum-bags. They want to make a great living at the expense of the racers. Very few track owners want to give back, well those days are over at my track."

After a Monster Truck show this weekend, Ocala Speedway will close until a May 13th grand re-opening.

The Bubba The Love Sponge show airs on five radios and on-line at

Orlando TV Anchor Faces Surgery For Tumor

WKMG-Channel 6 anchor Lauren Rowe will have surgery Tuesday after doctors found a tumor on her thyroid, according to The TV Guy, Hal Boedeker at

“There’s something growing that shouldn’t be there,” Rowe, 39, said today. “They have to remove the tumor to know if it’s malignant or benign. They will remove the tumor and half of the thyroid.”

She will anchor through Monday at the CBS affiliate, and her “Flashpoint” this weekend focuses on the Casey Anthony case.

“We think I’ll be gone at least a week,” Rowe said. “As long as everything goes well, I hope to be back within a week.”

How is Rowe doing?

“The reaction at first was fear, nervousness,” she said. “My 4-year old daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes on Thursday. My original fear for myself shifted, and I’m focused on my daughter. I want to get the surgery over with so I can focus on my daughter. It’s been sort of a one-two punch.”

Read More.

Feder: Meet CC's Brotha' Fred

"I expect to have to prove myself"
From Robert Feder,
Anyone who knows him will tell you that Christopher “Brotha’ Fred” Frederick (pictured left) was born to do radio. The question no one can answer yet is whether he was born to do radio in Chicago.

His grandfather was a station owner and manager. His father was a legendary disc jockey. As a kid growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona, young Christopher spent hours pretending to be a DJ. During high school, he hung out around radio stations. In college, he turned his passion into a profession.

Last January — following on-air stints in Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina — Frederick, 30, landed his “dream job” as morning personality at WKSC-FM (103.5), the Clear Channel Radio Top 40 station known as Kiss FM. He replaced seven-year veteran Kevin “DreX” Buchar, who’d been dropped because of declining ratings.

Although the jury is out on whether Brotha’ Fred will make it in the long run, the latest Arbitron Co. figures are looking up: In March his ratings jumped from eighth place to fifth with a 5.0 percent share of listeners between 18 and 34 — Kiss FM’s target audience. But he still faces an uphill battle against his main rivals, Jamar “J Niice” McNeil and Julian Nieh on CBS Radio rhythmic Top 40 WBBM-FM (96.3), now second with a 6.0 share.

In his first extended interview since he started here, Brotha’ Fred reflected on his move to Chicago, his new show, his heritage — and that awful nickname.
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Bruce Springsteen Talks Early Rock with Little Steven

From David Hinckley, New York Daily News blog:
If you like Bruce Springsteen or just like music of the 1960s, you should tune in WAXQ (104.3 FM) Sunday night, 10-midnight, for the third part of Bruce’s conversation with his pal Steve Van Zandt on “Little Steven’s Underground Garage.”

It’s a sort-of-chronological chat that started two weeks ago with Bruce’s earliest rock ‘n’ roll influences and finishes up this Sunday with Bruce talking about how the music was changing in the late ‘60s just as he was getting serious about making his own music with his own bands.

Jimi Hendrix, for instance, got his attention. As did less-remembered bands like King Crimson.

It’s interesting that the better and more successful a musician becomes, the more he or she talks about where the music came from. From Keith Richard, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan to Eddie Vedder and John Legend, they’ll all tell you what they do didn’t come out of either nowhere or just their own heads.

The Springsteen conversation is particularly interesting because like everything else he does, Bruce plunges into it. He’s articulate and he’s got a great memory. Plus he and Steven have been pals forever and while we've seen them sing a lot (above), we've never eavesdropped on a real conversation before.
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Russ Parr Going Strong, and Global

From Avis Thomas-Lester, The Washington Post
It’s 7 a.m. on a recent Thursday, and Russ Parr has welcomed actor and singer Jamie Foxx, in town to promote his new album, into his Lanham studio for a chat.

As with most urban music artists who come to the D.C. area to publicize projects, an audience with the host of the nationally syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show,” heard locally on WKYS (93.9 FM), is an essential stop. Parr banters with Foxx for 90 minutes about everything from the album to the historic TV miniseries “Roots” to Michael Vick buying a Porsche.

“That’s what I do with my show — improv on the radio,” Parr said in an interview. “You can’t write it down. It just has to happen. I like to take something that happened five minutes ago and make it funny. It’s a challenge. It makes you unpredictable, which is good, because I don’t think people like predictable radio.”
Parr airs in 38 markets on Saturdays and in 24 on weekdays. His show, which begins at 6 a.m., blends news, commentary and raucous repartee.

Although the show is down from its 45-station peak, Parr said he still has 1.8 million listeners. His show is the District’s second-place morning-drive program among 18- to 34-year-olds.

He acknowledges that the radio game is more complicated than it was when he started spinning rap records at Los Angeles’s KDAY (93.5 FM), which 25 years ago touted itself as the first 24-hour hip-hop station.

For example, Parr now draws a significant number of listeners from apps on smartphones. “I get texts from Switzerland answering the people-poll questions that I do,” he said. “I get texts and phone calls from Wisconsin, Utah, places like Tampa Bay, Florida, and I’m not on in those places. We’re global now, but there is no way to know exactly how many people are listening to us on apps. Everybody has the potential to be global with the Internet.”

But radio alone cannot contain him.

Parr is on tour promoting a book, “The Game Behind the Game: Mastering the Art of [Expletive]”, which was released this month. His newest film, “35 and Ticking,” is to be screened May 20 in the District, Baltimore and Atlanta. He begins shooting his fifth film in June in Los Angeles and will shoot another film in the District starting in August.

Alfred Edmond Jr., a senior vice president and editor at large at Black Enterprise magazine, said Parr is among a handful of popular nationally syndicated morning show hosts, including Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey, whom local stations rely on to draw larger audiences and bigger advertising dollars.
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My (Academic) Life Was Saved by Radio

By Robert A. Weisbuch, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Last month I found Lee Baby Simms. Lee Baby ranks for me as the world's greatest Top-40 DJ, and my opinion on that is shared by many radio insiders. He was astonishingly fast, funny, edgy, and creative within an art form where you had just seconds between the hits to establish a personality.

There were lots of great DJ's, and many more famous than he was. Lee Baby worked for stations in 26 cities over 40 years, sacrificed job security for doing it his way, and could have used an agent. But the Baby made the others seem like they were trying too hard, screaming and sweating too much. When I was a student at Wesleyan University, running the campus station, he took over Hartford—or, as he called it Hard-up-for-it—radio against superb competition. (You can hear samples of his work on the Web site of Reelradio.) I invited him to the campus as a special guest. "Hello, Mr. Simms," I tremblingly said to a handsome fellow just a few years older than myself. "Please," he smiled, "you can call me Mr. Baby."

Forty years later, I wrote him an e-mail, shyly, like a baseball fan addressing Babe Ruth. Amazingly, Lee Baby wrote back in a very generous and personal way. We are now in frequent and delightful contact as I actually begin to write a book on Top-40 radio. I cannot tell you how much an e-mail from Lee Baby lifts my budget-wearied spirits. But you are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this in the pages of what is not, after all, Billboard or Broadcasting, but The Chronicle of Higher Education.

It's because I have been thinking a great deal lately about what led me to academe and how that might provide clues for engaging our students.
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Official: Imus Wingman Charles McCord Retiring

Don Imus is losing his wingman

The WABC radio and Fox Business Network morning man announced Friday morning that Charles McCord, his long-time newsman, sidekick and partner in humor, will retire on May 6, according to David Hinckley at

"He's been going home to his family early, every afternoon, day in and day out for 48 years," Imus deadpanned. "He has decided he now wants to spend less time with them. So beginning the week of May 9th, Charles will be in Arkansas fishing, alone, on the Bull Shoals Lake. . . . eating pork rind sandwiches and drinking Budweiser."

McCord's departure alters the foundation of the Imus show, where for more than four decades he and  Imus developed one of radio's longest lasting partnerships.

McCord is leaving at a time when Imus's radio and TV ratings have been diverging.

His average Fox Business Network audience for the first quarter, according to Nielsen, was 65,000 viewers, down about 45% from 2010. He is no longer the network's No. 1 show, as others have gained viewers.

Imus has said on the air that his advertising revenue remains strong.

Meanwhile, his 770 AM WABC radio ratings have risen. In January, he had the third-ranked morning show in the market.

McCord's replacement would likely come from Fox Business Network, whose staff Imus integrates regularly into his program. Among those who have sat in for McCord has been news anchor Connell McShane.

The rest of the Imus team, including producer Bernard McGuirk, engineer Lou Ruffino, sportscaster Warner Wolf and comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, would remain.

Read More.

From WABC:

YouTube Sentences Copyright Offenders to School

In many countries around the world, if you break the law by stealing copyrighted content you can be sentenced to prison and heavily fined. But, according to Nick Bolton at the Bits Blog at,  if Google catches you breaking copyright laws, the punishment is more akin to being caught smoking in the boys room in high school: You’re forced to take an online class at YouTube’s Copyright School.

Copyright School isn’t your normal edition of detention.

Copyright violators are asked to watch a four-and-a-half minute minute video and then required to take a multiple choice quiz that asks questions pertaining to copyright. One question, for example, asks if music videos and photographs fall under copyright protection.

The copyright video is hosted by Russell, a cartoon pirate character, who inadvertently breaks copyright laws by taping scenes from a film in a movie theater and then uploading the clips to YouTube.

Read More.

Opinion: Attention More Important Than Reach

From Mark Ramsey Media:

Read More.
Some weeks ago I asked Seth Godin why radio has anything to worry about given its remarkable level of near-ubiquitous usage, its enviable ease-of-use, and its historic role in the habits of nearly everyone with a home, workplace, and car.

“It’s not about usage,” he told me, “it’s about attention.”

And indeed, as the number of ways advertisers can spend their money explodes, reach and impressions remain one way to measure success, but there is a new way (or maybe a very old way) – and that new way will be more important tomorrow than it was yesterday.

That new way is attention.

Attention is an active force.  There is nothing passive about it.  Attention is the result of choice and action. 

You pay attention.  Attention is not simply listening, it is hearing.  And it goes beyond hearing to active participation in whatever radio-mediated experiences you create across any platform – online, on-air, or in person.  There is no engagement without attention.

Attention is decidedly not the reception of a signal on a PPM device while passing a storefront playing a radio station. No, not nearly.

It has often been said to me that when you carve away the peripheral radio listening – the light listening of fringe occasions to fringe stations – the ratings from PPM look remarkably like the ratings from diaries.  And for better or worse, diaries may reflect an unusual amount of recall, but they also reflect an unusual amount of attention.  Because recall requires attention.

So why is attention in many ways as important as reach, maybe more so?

Because where the goal is action, conversation, foot-traffic, sales, whatever – where there is a metric defining advertising success (not simply advertising exposure) – attention is a pre-requisite for that success.  Reach without attention is not.

Radio has got to get into the attention business.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Moms Keep Connected Using Smartphones

Moms with smartphones spend over 6 hours a day using mobile
With the benefit of smartphones and the mobile internet, many moms are now running their households on the go, relying on technology to keep them organized and connected wherever their busy lives take them, according to a posting at

Smartphone ownership is higher among moms than the general population, according to March 2011 research from parenting website BabyCenter. Nearly six in 10 moms have a smartphone, vs. 50% of all internet users. Overall, 62% of mom respondents told BabyCenter they use the mobile internet regularly, up from 22% just two years ago.

Moms use their smartphones for somewhat different purposes than the general population, according to the survey.

Read More.

AdTech SF: Arianna Huffington All About Local

Wednesday at the AdTech show in San Francisco, Ariana Huffington’s opening keynote focused on local as the venue where the best of social media and new journalism meet, according to a posting by Mike Boland at

This comes with the backdrop of a time where social connections are the construct of digital media, taking the place of the dominant but less personal search.  We’re moving towards a connected world that is tapping into our humanity, she asserted.

But more importantly, this is gravitating towards local, with the help of location aware technologies in smartphones and web browsers. There’s also a cultural movement towards demand for content that is more locally relevant.

“Things at the national level are dysfunctional,” she said. “People feel empowered at the local level.”

There are lots of examples of this such as politics (all politics are local, after all, right?), sports, news etc. National news in particular has dropped the ball in gaining user trust.

Besides the shouting match that cable news has become, even reporting is driven by sensationalism. Her example was the national news turning point (for the worst) that was the “balloon boy” hoax.

“We were duped, and fed a false sense of sentimentality,” she said. “There are hundreds of thousands of little boys growing up hungry and in poor schools. We should get a giant balloon and pretend to but them in it.”

The bottom line is that things are more real at the local level, not to mention more relevant to most people.

And the key here is trust, she said, invoking Craig Newmark’s famous line that “Trust is the new black”.

Read More.

Mancow, Emmis Settle Suit

Five years after he was ousted as morning personality at WKQX-FM (101.1), Mancow Muller has quietly settled his legal dispute with the Emmis Communications alternative rock station in Chicago, according to Robert Feder at

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the resolution brings to an end the lawsuit Muller filed in 2007 stemming from the company’s decision not to renew his contract the previous year. The suit claimed that Muller’s former bosses had made “false and disparaging statements” about him and discouraged other potential employers from hiring him in the market.

Citing confidentiality of the settlement, Muller declined to comment Wednesday except to say: “I feel wonderful about my life in every way.” The lawsuit had been seeking $6 million.

From the outset, Q101 and Emmis officials dismissed Muller’s claims as frivolous and without merit. “The suit and the allegations it contains aren’t worth dignifying with a response,” Emmis Radio president Rick Cummings said at the time. “Emmis doesn’t have the ability to keep a good show off the air.”

Since he wrapped up his eight-year run at Q101 in July 2006, Muller has continued to broadcast his syndicated morning show for Talk Radio Network to other markets from studios in Chicago.

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SJL Cuts 40+ Jobs At Two TV Stations

Only a week after SJL Broadcasting purchased WTVG-TV, Channel 13, in Toledo and station officials announced there would be no job losses among the station's 100 or so employees, approximately two dozen positions have been eliminated, according to a posting at

The job cuts were to Channel 13's production, support, Web, and sales staff -- none involved on-air talent -- and included several buyouts, sources at WTVG said.

SJL Broadcasting of San Luis Obispo, Calif., purchased WTVG, Toledo's ABC affiliate, from ABC-owned Television Stations Group, part of the Walt Disney Co., for $16.8 million. The transaction also included a second station, WJRT-TV, Channel 12, in Flint, Mich., for $13.2 million. The Federal Communications Commission approved the sale in February.

SJL Broadcasting has also cut approximately the same number of positions at WJRT, including two of the station's longtime anchors, Bill Harris and Joel Feick.

Toledo and Flint represent two of the smallest markets out of ABC's 10 corporate-owned stations, which include Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Houston.

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Don Imus' Ratings Fall On Fox Business

Don Imus' Fox Business ratings have taken a tumble, according to a posting at

According to the Nielsen ratings, Imus averaged 65,000 viewers in the first quarter of 2011--down 45% from his 2010 figures. Imus is also down 48% thus far in April when compared to his April 2010 numbers. (The show averaged around 127,000 viewers when it launched in October 2009.)

Imus was brought in to boost the profile of the network, which has struggled mightily in the ratings since its 2007 launch. But his show, once the top-rated program on FBN, has now slid to the 10th slot. For instance, the program that follows it, Varney & Co, is averaging 20,000 more viewers thus far in April.

Some of the network's business-related shows, such as "Cavuto" and "Lou Dobbs Tonight," have been gaining traction in the ratings.

Read More.

NPR Launching Centralized Online Ad Network

Aim Is To Bolster Revenue at Member Stations

While NPR is facing funding battles in Congress, the public radio network has been quietly laying the groundwork for a nationwide online advertising network that could massively increase underwriting dollars at member stations.

According to a posting by Neal Ungerleider at, the move is part of a much larger and audacious plan on NPR's part: The idea that local public radio affiliates can be transformed into news portals on par with local newspapers.

As for the advertising network, NPR's new project one-ups Google and other giants of the online ad industry. One of the keystones of the network will be the ability for NPR to place locally targeted sponsorship buys inside audio streams--essentially allowing advertisements to be placed inside live streams of NPR affiliate programming.

Read More.

Also Read:

FAST COMPANY:  Why The NYTimes Should Go NPR

Two Men Die In Indiana Radio Tower Accident

Two workers from Texas fell to their death early today while helping construct a radio tower in northeast Tippecanoe County.

According to a story by Dorothy Schneider at the Lafayette Journal-Courier, the Sheriff's Department identified the two victims this afternoon as Ernesto Garcia, 29, of Laredo, Texas, and Paul Aliss, 32, of Mesquite, Texas. They were working at the site for ERI Inc., a company based in Chandler, Ind., as part of a crew of five.

The accident was reported just before 9 a.m. and emergency crews and police responded to the scene, which is near the intersection of County Roads 600 North and 900 East by Colburn. Crews spent much of the morning investigating at the site and the bodies of the two victims were not removed until close to 11 a.m.

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Tracy Brown said the workers fell an estimated 340 feet to the ground. They were wearing safety cables, he said, and were in the process of installing another segment to the tower, which will be 500 feet tall when complete.

The pieces fell as well but no other injuries were reported, Brown said. He referred questions about technical issues at the site to the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for IOSHA, said an investigation of the work site is underway but no information is available yet. The department aims to complete all investigations within six months, but she could not offer a more specific timeline.

John Schurz, general manager of the WASK radio group that's building the tower, said it would provide service to Carroll and Tippecanoe counties for the WXXB-102.9 FM station.

Read More.

WSM Tower Joins Nat'l Register of Historic Places

The WSM radio tower (photo: courtesy
650 WSM AM’s radio tower is now included in the National Register of Historic Places, according to a story by Peter Cooper at the

Located outside Nashville in Brentwood near I-65, the 808-foot, diamond-shaped broadcast tower was erected in 1932. photo
A radio transmission complex at the same site served as a temporary home for WSM from May of 2010 to January of this year, while station operations inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort were displaced by the Nashville flood.

“Although WSM is best known for its 85-year association with country music and as the radio home of the Grand Ole Opry, WSM was also an invaluable source of news and rural public service programming in its early days and even assisted our military’s defense efforts during the Cold War era,” said WSM operations manager and program director Joe Limardi.

“Since 1932, the WSM tower has been one of the most recognized structures in Nashville, and we’re thrilled that it is now recognized nationally as well.”
Read More.

Also:  The WSM Transmitter Site

THE TENNESSEAN: Photo Gallery History of WSM.

Katie Couric Still "Figuring Out" Next Job

Newswoman Katie Couric is weathering a storm of speculation about her career plans, but in a homecoming on TODAY Wednesday, she said she has not ruled out options like staying on as news anchor with “CBS Evening News” or launching her own syndicated talk show.

While Couric, co-host of TODAY from 1991 to 2006, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer that she “doesn’t love” being the focus of seemingly endless stories about her future, she refuses to be pressured into making an announcement about what she will do when her CBS contract ends in early June.

“I don’t want to feel pressured by outside sources to make a decision quickly,” the 54-year-old Couric said. But Lauer, who sat alongside Couric on TODAY from 1997 to 2006, wondered aloud if Couric might have already made up her mind.

“I know you very well and I know the business pretty well,” Lauer told his old partner. “You’ve only got a number of weeks left on your contract; is it fair for me to assume you’ve made the decision, but you’ve yet to discuss openly the decision?”

“No, I really haven’t,” Couric replied. “I’m in the middle of figuring it out, figuring out where would be the best place for me, what would be the best job for me.”

She added that the possibility of continuing as anchor with “CBS Evening News” remains on the table.

Read More.

Singer Teyana Taylor Denies Beating Another Woman

New York Daily News photo
R&B singer Teyana Taylor is accused of pummeling another woman during a vicious fight over Chris Brown at a Burbank, Calif., recording studio Saturday night.

According to a story by Michael Feeney and Nancy Dillon at, police report a 24-year-old woman claims Taylor, 20, punched her in the face and kicked her in the head after an argument over Taylor's close relationship with Brown.

Cops say the incident could amount to assault with a deadly weapon because Taylor was allegedly wearing heavy boots during the felony beatdown.

"She allegedly took exception to what the victim said and attacked her, punching her in the face and kicking her in the head when she was down on the floor," Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada told the Daily News.

"The victim had abrasions, swelling to the face and left eye, scratches on her neck and cheek and swelling on the bridge of her nose," he said.

"We are trying to make contact with Miss Taylor and get her side of the story," he said. "Our victim says it was a one-sided attack - that she was just trying to keep from being hit."

Read More.

Aerosmith Rocker Promises Debauched Memoirs

Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler will publish his memoirs worldwide on May 3, promising to share "all the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs, transcendence & chemical dependence you will ever want to hear," according to a Reuters story.

His book, "Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?," comes out at a time when the 63-year-old singer's job as a judge on TV show "American Idol" is winning him new, younger fans who may not be familiar with his sordid past.

It will be published by News Corp's (NWSA.O) HarperCollins, the firm said on Tuesday.

Tyler previously wrote about his life in the 1997 memoir "Walk This Way," on which he and his bandmates collaborated with Steven Davis. Tyler worked on his book with David Dalton.

In the last 14 years, Tyler has split with his second wife, been to rehab clinics, undergone throat surgery, disclosed that he has Hepatitis C, and endured a nasty public feud with his bandmates. His first wife also died in that time, he became a grandfather, and Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

His book will be "the unbridled truth, the in-your-face, up-close and prodigious tale of Steven Tyler straight from the horse's lips," he said.

Read More.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stations' Monikers Are Brands, Not Names

From Duane Dudek, More.
TV and radio stations only have to identify themselves by their formal call letters and city of license at the top of each hour. Otherwise, they can call themselves anything they want. And do so for various reasons.

On radio, identifying a station by location on the dial is a function of digital readouts on radios.

"Call letters are irrelevant," said Bill Hurwitz, vice president and general manager of Milwaukee Radio Alliance. "We're all digital properties now."

Milwaukee Radio Alliance owns WLDB-FM (93.3), WLUM-FM (102.1) and WMCS-AM (1290).

"And we have literally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars branding" WLUM as FM102.1, Hurwitz said.
WITI used to be TV6 but became Fox6 when it became affiliated with the Fox network, "one of the most well-known brands in America," said Chuck Steinmetz, WITI president and general manager.

"You take your brand seriously and . . . you don't change it often because it is how you are perceived and recognized," he said.

And such brand names give viewers filling out ratings diaries a quick shorthand way of remembering which station they watched, he said.

Steve Wexler, vice president of radio and TV operations for Journal Broadcast Group, called such nicknames "Marketing 101."

Journal Broadcast Group operates WTMJ-TV (Channel 4), which calls itself Today's TMJ4. Using the formal call letters, he said, would be like the Journal Sentinel calling itself the morning paper, or Coca-Cola a caffeinated cola tasting beverage.

"Any good brand manager," Wexler said, "prefers the product be called what it's marketed as."

Abundance Of Local Casts Pushes KC Fox 4 to No. 2

And the hits just keep coming for WDAF
According to data from the February ratings “sweep,” Fox 4 has moved into second place among local TV stations when doing the one thing that defines local TV stations: the news, reports Aaron Barnhart in a story for The Kansas City Star.

Already the market leader by tonnage, Fox 4 added a 9 a.m. newscast March 28 and, starting this week, has extended the 10 p.m. news to a full hour. WDAF is now airing an all-time high 56½ hours per week of news.

To be sure, there’s no more watched newscast in town than KMBC’s 10 p.m. report, and KMBC is the market leader both with total viewers and the target audiences that advertisers pay good money to reach.
But WDAF finished first or second in every time period where it competed. This, according to just-released Nielsen data about the viewing habits of Kansas City’s 25- to 54-year-olds, the key demographic for local news.

For these viewers, Fox 4 was working for them, so to speak, in mornings, at noon, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in February. It led its competitors at these hours, sometimes by wide margins.

On-air, relatively little has changed at WDAF compared with, say, KCTV. The CBS affiliate had been a solid second for most of a decade, but a change of direction — less emphasis on Katie Horner and “Live! Late-breaking!” — has coincided with a change in momentum.

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NECN Shows Set For Radio Simulcasts

Beginning Monday, listeners of WTKK-FM 96.9 will be able to hear simulcasts of cable television network NECN’s early morning shows, according to a story by Johnny Diaz for The Boston Globe.

NECN’s “First Thing in the Morning’’ will be heard on the radio station from 4:30 a.m. to 5 a.m., followed by a full hour of the “NECN Morning’’ program.

The programs will lead into the radio station’s news and discussion program, hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, at 6 a.m. weekdays.

Braude hosts his own opinion show on weekday evenings on NECN. Eagan is a columnist for The Boston Herald.

“We are excited to partner with NECN to bring Bostonians and New Englanders live and local early morning news, weather, traffic, and sports on 96.9 FM,’’ said WTKK program director Grace Blazer, in a statement.

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Daily Deal Summit: Are Deals Becoming Bubblicious?

From Jed Williams for

As it turns out, the daily deals landscape is more sophisticated that many first thought. New contours are emerging, each replete with opportunity and threat. Bluntly branding the space as “the next big thing” or a “can’t-miss opportunity” lacks the necessary strategic discernment in an industry replete with competitors and fortressed with high barriers to scale. Similarly, the question of whether the deals explosion is leading Silicon Valley toward the brink of tech bubble 2.0 requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer. “It depends” is more like it.

A stage-full of bankers and investors debated this topic at the recent Daily Deals Summit in New York without reaching much consensus.

On the one hand, leading group buying brands such as Groupon and LivingSocial are radically altering local advertising and marketing by touching local merchants with a direct, trackable customer acquisition tool that verifies ROI…all without the burden of upfront costs. There are merchants aplenty yearning to draw new business without the traditional media headaches of lofty price points and fuzzy metrics.

BIA/Kelsey approximates that there are at least 10 million SMBs in the addressable advertising pool. James Min, head of media banking at Montgomery & Co., noted that even if Groupon and LivingSocial are building sales armies, that still leaves “a lot of greenfield opportunity” for other originators and media companies to participate.

Then there are the actual revenues that these still relatively young market leaders are already driving. Groupon’s 2011 revenue could reach $3-4 billion, prompting reports of a desired IPO at a $25 billion valuation. The business models and sudden returns weren’t as evident a decade ago. Real money is changing hands…quickly and compellingly. Instant, personalized and geo-targeted deals surface more inventory to meet crushing demand. New revenue streams are continually opening.

On the other hand, what’s good for a few isn’t necessarily good for all. The network effects that early movers create can become bubble effects for clones and stragglers. As the market fragments and verticlaizes,  Ben Choi of Maveron sees entrants that want to specialize as, say, “the Groupon for yogurt.” Only a couple, however, get the requisite funding to grow at scale.
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NBC Anchor Plays The Grand Ole Opry

Lester Holt Performs With Singer Luke Bryan's Band

The Grand Ole Opry welcomed a familiar face from NBC on Tuesday night. Weekend "Nightly News" anchor and bass player Lester Holt played the Opry.

According to a story by Deanna Lambert at WSMV-TV, Holt's said this is only his second trip to Nashville. He traveled to Music City with the "Today Show" team to shoot a flood-recovery story and ended up being invited to play bass guitar with country singer Luke Bryan's band.

Holt played with the band on the song "Country Girl, Shake It For Me." He said he had never heard the song before two days prior to his Opry gig, but he practiced with the band and all went well.

Holt met with Little Jimmy Dickens and said it's cool to walk through the Opry and see all the history and tradition there.

Musician Larry Gatlin gave Holt a pair of black cowboy boots because Gatlin said the anchor "didn't look country enough."

Katie: "I Can't Tell You My Plans"

Katie Couric visited the ladies on The View Wednesday to promote her new book and also talked about reports that she's leaving the CBS Evening News.

Indy's J.D. Cannon: "I Was Asked to Leave"

Long-running radio personality J.D. Cannon says he doesn't want listeners to think his departure from WFMS-FM (95.5) was his choice, according to a story by David Lindquist at

"I was asked to leave," says Cannon, music director and disc jockey at the country station from Feb. 19, 1979, through his final shift last Friday afternoon.

Inducted to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002, Cannon says he was fired Monday based on philosophical differences about styles of Nashville songs heard on the station owned by Cumulus Media.

WFMS recently ended a decade-long streak as the most popular frequency among Indianapolis listeners ages 12 and older.

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FCC, NAB Clash Over Need For A Spectrum Auction

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and the top lobbyist for broadcasters disagreed over the need for a spectrum auction during back-to-back speeches at the National Assn. of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, a gathering that brings together top television executives and Washington lawmakers and lobbyists.

According to a The Company Town blog by Joe Flint at, at issue was the FCC's desire to reclaim some of the airwaves, or spectrum, broadcasters use for next-generation cellphones and tablet devices such as Apple's iPad. The FCC and some telecommunications companies have argued that there is a shortage of spectrum on the horizon and a solution is for broadcasters to voluntarily auction off some of their spectrum.

Citing the rapid growth in the use of phones and tablets to view content, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told NAB attendees that there is a "spectrum crunch."

"We need to free up more spectrum for mobile broadband," he said. If no action is taken, he added, then the United States will fall behind the rest of the world.

"Other countries -– our global competitors -– are focused on mobile opportunities in a way that simply hasn’t been true in the past.... They are on our tail," Genachowski said.

But minutes after Genachowski finished speaking, NAB President Gordon Smith, a former Republican senator from Oregon, fired back, saying the issue is "more investment in towers and infrastructure and receiving standards that maximize the use of the huge swaths of spectrum that wireless carriers have already been allocated."

Smith dismissed the idea of a spectrum shortage, arguing that outside of heavily populated cities such as New York and Los Angeles, spectrum, or the lack of it, is not an issue.

"Why should people in Kentucky have their local stations' signal potentially downgraded so urbanites in Manhattan can have a faster download of the app telling them where the nearest spa is located?" Smith cracked.

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Blogger To File Suit Against HuffPost Over Pay

A freelance writer who successfully sued newspapers and magazines for copyright infringement filed a class-action lawsuit against the Huffington Post and AOL on Tuesday that seeks compensation for hundreds of unpaid contributors to the online publication, according to a posting by Paul Farhi at

Jonathan Tasini is the lead plaintiff in the suit against the news site, which AOL bought for $315 million in February. His suit, which he filed in a New York court Tuesday, seeks $105 million in damages in behalf of bloggers and other Huffington Post writers who submitted work for which they weren’t paid.

Since its founding by liberal activist and author Arianna Huffington in 2005, Huffington Post has grown into one of the most successful and heavily visited news and information sites on the Internet. But its practice of soliciting commentaries and other articles, some from celebrity authors such as Alec Baldwin, without paying for them has irritated some writers.

Tasini, in an interview, said HuffPost was engaging in breach of contract with its contributors because of an “implied promise” of compensation. “Some people were given some promises about future payments,” he said, declining to provide specifics.

He said his suit alleges that HuffPost’s owners, including Huffington herself, engaged in “unjust enrichment” by building a business on uncompensated labor and by accepting AOL’s buyout offer. “AOL would not have paid $315 million without the value [unpaid writers] created,” he said. “Arianna Huffington believes she and only she should pocket the money for the value created.”
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Initial Impact of paywall on

After months of speculation, the paywall for The New York Times went live at 2pm on Monday, March 28th, which limits online readers (non-print subscribers) to 20 articles each month. For smartphone and tablet applications, only the top news section will remain free and access to other sections will need a subscription, according to a posting by Herather Dougherty at

To understand the initial impact, Hirtwise compared the total visits to for a 12 day period before the launch of the pay wall to the 12 days following the launch. For the majority of the days, there was a decrease in the overall visits between 5% and 15%. The one exception was Saturday, April 9th, 2011 where there was a 7% increase, likely due to visitors seeking news around the potential government shutdown and ongoing budget discussions.

The effect of the pay wall has been somewhat stronger upon the total page views for the, with the same comparison of a 12 day period before the launch of the pay wall to the 12 days following the launch. For all 12 days, there was a decline in total page views which ranged between 11% and 30%.

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CBS Show Focus Group 'Acquits' Accused Killer

CBS' "48 Hours Mystery" returns to the Casey Anthony case with a twist this weekend that is causing a furor: The program asks an Orlando focus group if it would acquit the young mother of first-degree murder.

The result of the jury-like group: CBS says most of the 12 people would acquit, according to a posting by The TV Guy, Hal Boedeker at

The program's unusual approach is "shameful," said Al Tompkins, an instructor at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. "We have a system in the United States that works pretty well. It's a system of discovery, of hearings, of cross examinations, and it's worked pretty darn well for a long time. We have no business trying this case."

Anthony, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee. The trial is scheduled to start in May.

"We wanted to do a focus group in the place where it had the most coverage," said Susan Zirinsky, executive producer of "48 Hours Mystery." "The results are shocking."

Defense attorneys Jose Baez and J. Cheney Mason are interviewed in the hour. But they were not involved in the focus group, although they know the outcome, CBS News said. Details about the focus group will be revealed on the show at 10 p.m. Saturday.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Winklevoss Twins Must Accept $65M FB Deal

They probably don't "like" this

A Ninth Circuit court ruled Monday that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins who claim Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social network that became Facebook, were not allowed to back out a settlement they received from Facebook in 2008, according to a story by Brian Orloff at

The twins, whose story was dramatized as part of the plot of David Fincher's Oscar-nominated film The Social Network, received a settlement estimated to be worth $65 million. As part of the deal, the Winklevoss twins received partial ownership of Facebook.

But the two claim they would not have settled, and argued that Facebook didn't disclose the "true" value of its stock, which they allege was four times higher.

Facebook counterargued that the Winklevoss twins were suffering from "settler's remorse," and the Ninth Circuit agreed.

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Katie Couric Releases Advice Book

CBS Evening News discusses book of essays on life from 116 "A-listers" and talks about what's next in her own careeer

(CBS News)  Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News," has, over the course of her illustrious career, interviewed countless fascinating people. She's asked 116 of them about advice that changed their lives. The result is her new book: "The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives."

On "The Early Show" Tuesday - the release date of her book - Couric said she's received advice from a diverse group of people. Queen Rania of Jordan, football star Drew Brees, former President Bill Clinton, singer Sheryl Crow, actor Hugh Jackman and reporter Christiane Amanpour are just some of the big names included in the book.

"I'm really excited about this collection," Couric said.

Couric said the idea for the book came from a graduation address.

"I do graduation addresses pretty frequently. I take them seriously. It's a big responsibility," she said. "You want to leave the kids - if they're not too hungover to listen - with some piece of advice. And I'm tired of talking about myself, blah, blah, blah. So I decided to reach out to some of the ... people I've interviewed through the years and had gotten to know a bit ... [and asked them,] 'What would you tell young people going out in the world, especially in the tough economic times.' They wrote back really beautiful things. And I thought, 'Wow, this is going to be wonderful to put in a book' to sort of cast a wide net and to see if all of the people who had lived extraordinary lives could share some of their secrets, some of what happened to them. And I thought it would be really helpful to people, not only graduating from college, but from all of us. I thought, 'Well, if I'm loving reading them, other people might as well.' So I've written the introduction and we got, as you said, 116 people in all."

Co-anchor Erica Hill pointed out Couric has a lot of changes in her life. She said Couric's contract is up at CBS.

Hill said, "As you figure out what the next step is for you, whatever it may be, is there anything that stood out to you as advice to help you make that decision?"

Couric answered, "I think, you know, sort of listening to your inner self. I think a lot of people talked about that. And Michelle Kwan talked about learning to get up when you fall. I don't feel like I've fallen. But the importance of being persistent and continuing on a path and being true to what makes really you happy, finding your passion. Yeah, you know, I love to talk, obviously. ... I think I love to be my authentic self. It served me well over the years. I'm looking for a place that I can really be me and hopefully that will bring me the fulfillment I'm looking for."

She added, "But I love my job. And I really found a lot of satisfaction doing 'Evening News' and I'm really proud of the team and all we've accomplished. So I don't want to say that I'm not proud of this chapter in my life either - speaking of books."

Couric's profits from book sales will be donated to Scholarship America, a nonprofit scholarship and educational support organization founded in 1958 that has made it possible for more than 1.7 million students to go to college.

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Also Must Read:

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Katie Couric to Return to 'Today' Show..for an appearance

News Anchor Martin Giles Returns to WFLA Radio

Veteran radio newscaster Martin Giles said he's glad to be back reporting the news at WFLA radio.

Jim Reed photo for
"It's not easy because I've lost a lot of my memory. … I'm taking it slow, one day at a time," said Giles, who returned to WFLA (970 AM) on Monday after being off the air since Jan. 21, according to a posting by Walt Belcher at

On that morning the 74-year-old newscaster suddenly had difficulty pronouncing words during news reports.

"I still don't know exactly what happened," he said. "I was in the hospital for 10 days and I was mostly unaware of what was going on around me."

The station received hundreds of emails and telephone calls from listeners who thought Giles may have had a stroke.

In February, a Los Angeles news reporter, Serene Branson, was doing a live report during a post-Grammy Awards broadcast when her speech suddenly became slurred and indecipherable.

She said later that doctors concluded she was suffering from a severe migraine headache that mimicked a stroke.

Giles says he has been through a lot of tests and mental exercises. "I got the brain working again," he said. "I was cleared to go back to work.

"But I'm not the person I used to be and that hurts," he said, adding that as he gets back into the routine he hopes his memory will improve.

"This is something I can handle," he said. "It's a miracle and I thank God and all the people who support me."

Giles has been a part of WFLA for more than 30 years. The Plant City native once worked for ABC News in New York. He also was an on-air reporter at WTSP, Channel 10, when it was an ABC affiliate. He joined WFLA in 1985, and he has become known for clever headlines that introduce his stories.

On Monday morning, he was welcomed back by longtime morning show hosts Jack Harris and Tedd Webb.

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