Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday's Doomsday Coverage

Brownsville, TX

Helena, Montana

Marysville, CA

Newark, NJ

And The Best Of The Day Goes To The New York Daily News!

Newspaper covers courtesy of

And on the radio...kudos to CBS Radio's WOCL in Orlando. 105.9 Sunny took "Last Requests" all day.  You can't do that if you're voice tracking!

The Saturday Aircheck

Marvelous Mark
610 KFRC
San Francisco 1983

All the personality, jingles and hits are intact in this 10 minute scope of one of America’s best ever Top 40 stations. News with Vicki Liviacis, plenty of Marvelous Mark one-liners and lots of Bay area commercials make up this slice of radio heaven.

San Francisco was indeed a city blessed with the best that radio had to offer! Hat Tip to AirChexx.Com

To listen, click here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mary Hart's Final ET Is a Wrap

She first stepped onto the Entertainment Tonight stage as the show's host in 1982.

But Thursday night, almost three decades after she first got in front of the camera, Mary Hart filmed her final show, reports The Daily Mail.

The 60-year-old icon was given a spectacular send off as she retired by the network who brought back all four of her male co-stars from the past 30 year.

Mary Hart was joined on her final Entertainment Tonight show by her co-shosts of the past three decades Rob Goen 1993-2004, Bob Weller 1984-1986, Mark Steines 2004-Present and John Tesh, who started with her first show in 1982.

Students Sign Petition to ‘Ban’ Rush, Beck From Radio

But Support Free Speech

Oliver Darcy (Twitter: @oliverdarcy America Conservative activist and co-founder of  is doing his part to expose liberal ideas and hypocrisy on college campuses.

According to a posting at, last month he produced two videos showing students willing to redistribute wealth but not grades and also refusing to pay their share of the national debt.

Now he’s back, and this time he’s showing how college students who say they support free speech are willing to sign a petition to “ban” Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and other conservatives from the airwaves.

In the video, the students are not only willing to sign the petition, but some even offer their thoughts on Beck and those like him.

CBS News Launches "What's Trending" Webshow

With a new studio in Hollywood Hills and a presenting sponsor in AT&T, launched on Tuesday a weekly Webshow titled "What's Trending"with Shira Lazar.

The show covers political and cultural developments which are "trending" on social media.

For the past two years, Lazar has been doing live Web reporting and producing for CBS News around major entertainment and political events. spoke with her via Skype Video about the show, its distribution and how the it works with its sponsor AT&T.

Veteran Journalists Mock Today's WH Reporters

They're Too Timid

From Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers blog at
Several veteran and prize-winning journalists who covered presidents from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush say that the current crop of White House correspondents are too timid and deferential and have played a role in killing the impact of presidential news conferences.

Ed Wexler for USN&WR
"If you watch an Obama news conference, and watched a Bush news conference previous to that, where correspondents sit in their seats with their hands folded on their laps, [it's] as if they are in the room with a monarch and they have to wait to be recognized by the president," says Sid Davis, the former NBC Washington bureau chief who covered nine presidents. "It looks like they are watching a funeral service at [Washington funeral firm] Joseph Gawler's and it shouldn't be that way."

Adds Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Haynes Johnson, "It's all very stale, very structured, very pale."

And longtime NBC and ABC reporter Sander Vanocur: "You want to know what's wrong with the press? The press is what's wrong with the press."

They and others anchored a media panel Monday night organized by the White House Historical Association to herald the 50th anniversary of the first live televised news conference, conducted by JFK. Former Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry moderated the discussion from the very same State Department Dean Acheson Auditorium where Kennedy eventually conducted 60 televised news conferences with ease and humor.
Read More.

Also Read:

RED STATE:  Geezer White House Correspondent Rewrite History

'Miracle on the Hudson' Pilot Lands CBS Gig

Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, the national hero who landed his stricken jetliner in the Hudson River, has touched down at CBS News, according to a story by Richard Huff at

Sullenberger has been named the network's aviation and safety expert, where he'll provide analysis on airline, safety and leadership issues for the news division.

"Sully is an American treasure and it is a real thrill to have him on our team at CBS News," chairman Jeff Fager said.

"I am a huge fan of Sully's. He is a remarkable person who has a great ability to turn his significant experience into useful insights."

Sully became an overnight hero when, on Jan. 15, 2009, shortly after taking off a dn striking a flock of birds that knocked out the engines, he guided  US Airways Flight 1549 into a safe splashdown in the Hudson River.

The event was dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson."

Read More.

Slave Lake Radio Station Is Back On-Air

The Canadian Press is reporting Slave Lake, AB, Canada's radio startion has retured to the air following a devastating fire to strike the entire town of 7,000 persons.  The Lake 92.7 FM went back on the air Wednesday after a hasty shutdown in the face of the fire.

"We're such a strong community," said Courtney Murphy, news director and morning show host for 92.7-FM, The Lake.

Staff at the radio station are still working from the offices of their sister station in Edson, Alta. But technicians discovered the Slave Lake station's transmission tower was relatively undamaged by the fire, so broadcasts began again Tuesday — an audible signal from a town knocked to its knees.

Alberta Prime Time photo
 "We just continued as usual, doing all our updates," said Murphy.

The station went off the air Sunday after losing power. Murphy had been covering the blaze since the day before, at one point doing live phone-ins from a government plane circling the fire scene.

"When I got out of the plane, our radio station was starting to cut on and off the air," she said.

"We were inside the station, and the power was completely cut to the building and everything went black. (The government) contacted me when we were in the studio and said, 'You know, you need to get to a non-combustible area as soon as possible.' "

The Lake's transmission tower is out of town, but station staff were convinced it had been burned because it was beside a fire lookout tower that had itself been abandoned in the face of encroaching flames.

Staff beat a tactical retreat to Edson from where they continued to broadcast online and kept the Facebook page updated.

The Lake 92.7 Website.

Read More.

Katie Couric Signs Off At CBS

Katie Couric ended her run as anchor of the CBS "Evening News" Thursday night, five years after she became the first woman anchor of a nightly network news program.

"It's been a privilege and real honor to work with so many talented people," she said on her finale broadcast, "To all of you watching, thank you so much for coming along with me on this incredible journey," she added with emotion seeping through her voice, according to the

During her send-off, Couric remembered the major stories she covered during her CBS tenure in a closing segment "five years in five minutes."

The piece featured video clips of major events she had covered including the Virginia Tech massacre, the 2008 US presidential election, devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, the Gulf oil spill after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz. that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, the killing of Usama bin Laden -- ending on a happy note with the UK royal wedding.

The 54-year-old had journalist kicked off her career at CBS in September 5, 2006.

Read More.

McDonald's Corp. Stands By Its Clown

The 48-year-old, red-haired mascot has come under fire from health-care professionals and consumer groups who, in recent days, have asked the fast-food chain to retire Ronald McDonald. But, according to a story by Julie Jargon and Ilan Brat at, McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner staunchly defended the clown at the company's annual meeting on Thursday, saying, "Ronald McDonald is going nowhere."

Shareholders seemed to agree, voting down a proposal to require the hamburger giant to tally the financial impact of defending its children's meals. Just 6% of shareholders voted in favor of the resolution.

"Ronald McDonald is an ambassador for McDonald's, and he is an ambassador for good," Mr. Skinner said.

"He does not advertise unhealthy food to children."

Read More.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NBC Sports Chief Dick Ebersol Resigns

NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol, who helped launch "Saturday Night Live" then later established the network as the home of the Olympics, has resigned, according to a posting at

Ebersol told the NYTimes he could not come to an agreement on a new contract.

Richard Carrion, the IOC executive board member who negotiates U.S. rights, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts confirmed the departure to him.

"He assured me they are 100 percent committed to the Olympics and the rights process," Carrion said.

Ebersol's decision comes several months after Comcast's takeover of NBC Universal. Earlier this year Comcast named Ebersol to run the NBC Sports Group, which consists of NBC Sports, the Golf Channel, Versus and Comcast’s regional sports networks.

Mark Lazarus, president of the NBC Sports Cable Group, will replace Ebersol, according to The New York Times.

NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002. But Ebersol said he will not attend the June auction in Lausanne, Switzerland, that will determine who acquires the rights the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In 1975, as NBC's director of weekend late night programming, Ebersol and Lorne Michaels conceived and developed "Saturday Night Live." Ebersol returned to the network as president of NBC Sports in 1989.

Read More.

MSNBC’s Chris Licht to Join CBS News

From Brian Stelter, Media Decoder blog at
Chris Licht, the behind-the-scenes member of the “Morning Joe” band, is leaving MSNBC and becoming the vice president of programming at CBS News.

Washington Post photo
Mr. Licht’s hiring was announced by CBS News on Thursday morning. At CBS, he will try to inject new energy into the network’s long-troubled morning show, “The Early Show,” and develop other programs and projects. Though the morning show will be his “first focus,” Mr. Licht said in an interview, “I will be doing whatever I can to help.”

Mr. Licht is part of a reboot by CBS News — the third-place network news division — at a time when Katie Couric is leaving and Scott Pelley, a “60 Minutes” correspondent, is replacing her on the “CBS Evening News.” Along with a new anchor, the news division has a new chairman, a new president, new bosses on several of its programs, and a plan to pump up its hard news credentials.

A departure from MSNBC by Mr. Licht has been the subject of much speculation in the television news business for several weeks. He was a creator and is the executive producer of “Morning Joe,” the free-wheeling talk show that is envied by competitors for its A-list bookings and for the chemistry between Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and the regulars that join them on their set at Rockefeller Center.

On “Morning Joe,” Mr. Licht often pops up on camera in the control room to read viewer e-mails and joke with Mr. Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski. Inseparable is an apt word to describe the trio.
Read More.

See earlier posting this week about Chris Licht, click here.

KFGO's Sandy Back On Air 5 Days After 2 Strokes

Five days after suffering two mini-strokes, 790 AM KFGO (Fargo, ND) radio personality Sandy Buttweiler was back on the air Tuesday, according to a story by John Lamb at

Buttweiler, who hosts the popular “Jack & Sandy Show” with Jack Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, said she felt good, though a little tired after the ordeal.

Buttweiler suffered the first transient ischemic attack at 7:45 a.m. Thursday. She later suffered a second stroke in the emergency room at Sanford Medical Center.

The second attack left her temporarily paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak.

“I was just very afraid,” she said Wednesday morning, adding that she didn’t know if she would ever speak or work again or even live much longer.

After 10 minutes, the effects subsided and she regained her speech and ability to move. She said extensive tests revealed no permanent damage.

Already dealing with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Buttweiler said her medications have been altered. She’s also been getting more rest and hasn’t smoked in six days.

Read More.

Big Apple Sportscaster Outs Himself On Air

ESPN radio's Jared Max reveals he's gay on air

Jared Max, the veteran radio sports reporter, informed ESPN-1050 listeners Thursday morning he is gay, according to a story by Bob Raissman at

Max's words came in the wake of recent pronouncements from Phoenix Suns executive Rick Welts and former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan.

The radio yakker mentioned both men near the end of his 5 a.m.-6 a.m. show before making it personal (Listen Here). He asked if fans were ready to support a star player who is gay.

"Are we ready to have our sports information delivered by someone who is gay?" Max asked. "We're going to find out. Because for the last 16 years I've been living a free life among all my close friends and family. But I've been living behind what is a gargantuan size secret in the sports world.

"I am gay," Max said. "Yeah, Jared Max the sports guy with one of the most familiar voices in New York sports isn't quite like the majority."

Max, 37, talked about telling his mom, at the age of 21,  that he was gay

Read More.

Also Read:

FLASHBACK 3/22/11:  Jared Max Hops Dial from WCBS-AM to WEPN

LA Times Reporter: How I Broke Schwarzengger Story

Promo Idea: Station Offers Savings On Gasoline

The rising cost of gasoline prompted a Cookeville, TN radio station to offer a special promotion to help motorists save money at the pump at various gas stations over the next week.

The radio station, 94.7 FM WGSQ the Country Giant is offering certificates which allows drivers to purchase gas at a 31% savings.

"People can purchase these dollar certificates for 69 cents on the dollar and that saves them 31%," morning radio host StyckMan explained.

Read More.

Pew: Bin Laden Coverage Still Leads

But the Narrative Changes
From Mark Jurkowitz at

The death of Osama bin Laden continued to dominate the news last week, but the narrative finally began to shift from dissecting the May 1 raid to more controversial topics, such as politics and Pakistan. 

From May 9-15, the bin Laden saga filled 24% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That represents a drop off of nearly two thirds from the previous week (69%), as measured by PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index, but it was still nearly triple the attention to any other story.

A week earlier, the bin Laden story was the biggest ever measured in a single week by PEJ, since it began this research in January 2007.

The bin Laden saga generated the most coverage last week on cable news—41% of the airtime studied. But there were dramatic differences among the three major channels. While CNN devoted about two-thirds of its airtime (65%) to the subject, that dropped to about one-third (35%) on MSNBC. Fox meanwhile, devoted only one-fifth of its newshole (20%) to bin Laden.

Our data from the last few years reveals that cable news, particularly MSNBC and Fox, tends to focus on topics about which there is more inherent ideological divide.

Aside from the drop in overall coverage, there were significant changes in how the story was covered last week. The story line that had stood out above all others the first week after the raid, reconstructing what happened at bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad Pakistan, accounted for less than 10% of the coverage after representing more than one-third the week before.
Read More.

Olberman: People Say 'I've Napalmed My Bridges'

Keith Olbermann tells David Letterman why he left MSNBC and how he got to keep the name of his show.

PPMs: Baseball Scores Again

The Big One 700 AM WLW got a +2.1 spike in April thanks no doubt to some help from MLB's Cincinnati Reds. WLW moved 10.2-12.3, good for #1.  In Cleveland, 1100 AM WTAM jumped 7.4-8.6 and is #2 and in Kansas City, where the Royals got off to a fast start, 610 AM KCSP moved 2.1-3.3.

And, for those of you who don't think that baseball makes much of a difference in a radio station's ratings, Vince Santarelli at reports in the 7 to midnight time slot for April, WCBS-AM (NYC) jumps all the way up to number two, tied with WHTZ, going from a 3.1 to a 5.6. And don't be surprised if the move into number one before the end of the summer.

Overall, twenty-three of the 28 MLB Flagship stations saw their ratings rise with the start of the baseball season.

Another highlight: For the first-time in the PPM era a Contemporary Christian Music is station #1 6+.   In Orlando, 88.3 FM WPOZ over the last thre months moves 6.5-6.8-8.6.  CHR 106.7 FM WXXL comes in at #2 moving 6.4-7.4-7.1.

For PPMs results, click the city:  Cleveland    Pittsburgh    Cincinnati   Kansas City  

Columbus   Portland, OR   San Antonio     Sacramento    Charlotte   Salt Lake City   

Orlando   Las Vegas   

Lady Gaga Tops Celebrity 100 List

The men and women on Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list--the most powerful people in the entertainment business this year--earned $4.5 billion over the last 12 months by starring in films, playing basketball, walking the catwalk and more. But they also rose to the top by garnering influence.

According to a story by Dorothy Pomerantz at, these days that means mastering social media. Lady Gaga topples Oprah Winfrey from her No.1 spot on our list, which she's given up for only the third time in seven years. Gaga is there not just because of the $90 million she earned with a monster tour, but also because of her 32 million Facebook fans and 10 million Twitter followers--aka Little Monsters--who helped move 1 million digital downloads of her recent single "Born This Way" in only five days. They're also happy to buy the MAC makeup, Monster headphones and Virgin Mobile phones she features in her videos.

Oprah doesn't fall far though. The daytime talk maven, who earned $290 million last year, comes in second. Winfrey's earnings sank $25 million partially due to a reduced payday at SiriusXM. She still earns big from her syndicated show and from the stars she's spawned, including Dr. Phil (No. 18) Rachael Ray and Dr. Oz. Winfrey's earning power will take a bigger hit next year, when her syndicated show ends and she concentrates all her efforts on the struggling OWN network.

#3 Justin Bieber
#4 U2
#5 Elton John

#23 Rush Limbaugh
#24 Ryan Seacrest
#26 Howard Stern
#30 Glenn Beck

See the entire list here.

Read More.

Katie Couric's Reality Check

Five Years at CBS Marked by Liberal Agenda and Low Ratings

From Rich Noyes at

[Thursday]  marks Katie Couric’s last night at the anchor desk of the CBS Evening News. Five years ago, CBS executives were so excited about the Today show star taking over, her September 5, 2006 debut was preceded by a massive publicity campaign. Outgoing interim anchor Bob Schieffer vouched for his replacement: “She’s tough, she’s fair, she’s a straight shooter....Just watch.”  Long-retired anchorman Walter Cronkite even lent his voice to a new opening segment, announcing: “This is the CBS Evening News, with Katie Couric.”

Intrigued by the publicity, more than 13 million Americans tuned into that first night, according to Nielsen research, but Couric’s honeymoon was brief. CBS had been in third place for years under Dan Rather and Schieffer, but the slide worsened after Couric took over. By August 2010, the CBS Evening News was recording its lowest ratings ever — fewer than 5 million viewers.
Under Dan Rather, the CBS Evening News was the poster-child of liberal media bias, with the broadcast’s reputation suffering its worst hit after Rather’s almost-comical attempt to sabotage President Bush’s 2004 re-election. Couric’s years at NBC’s Today, however, were marked by a similar liberal tilt that made her a questionable choice to rebuild the damaged network. In the end, the reputed $15 million per year that CBS spent on its new star was just money down the drain.

For a flavor of the liberal agenda that marked Couric’s tenure at CBS News, the Media Research Center has assembled, in no particular order, ten of her most biased moments, showcasing her infatuation with liberal politicians and her chirpy promotion of left-wing policies.
Read More.

NYTimes Finds 850 New Ways To Sell Subscriptions

From Rick Edmonds,
For more than a year, coverage of the New York Times as a business has been relentlessly about its “metered model” pay wall and other digital matters. But without any media news notice, the newspaper has engineered a coup on the legacy side of its operations.

Essentially, it has replaced telemarketing as a source of selling new subscriptions with “events marketing” — pitching a booth at a well-trafficked venue like the U.S. Open tennis tournament or the South by Southwest conference in Austin and trying to sign up passers-by.

The new sales channel has grown from a handful of local events like the U.S. Open in the mid-2000s to 850 last year, a little over a third in New York and the rest national.

Ray Pearce, the Times’s vice president of circulation, declined in a phone interview to say just how many new subs the program is yielding — but it is surely in the tens of thousands. Pearce said that events have become the second largest sales channel after the Web and that the program will expand further in 2011.

Like the rest of the industry, Pearce said, the New York Times found that selling subscriptions by phone became less effective and much more expensive as the federal “do-not-call” registry was put in place.
Read More.

PBP: John Sterling's Yankees Contract To Expire

Nearly 4,000 games in the radio booth photo

At the end of this season, radio play-by-play man John Sterling's contract with WCBS, and the station's contract with the Yankees, will expire.

According to a story by Mike Sielski at at, there are those who can't imagine the Yankees on the radio without hearing Sterling's signature calls ("It is high. It is far. It is gone!") But there has long been a drumbeat from critics who don't like Sterling's approach to calling a game.

Earlier this month, New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick stirred the pot by describing Sterling as a "blowhard" and writing that the broadcaster doesn't seem to know or care what's happening on the field. Sterling said he didn't read the column and had no comment.

The decision about who will call Yankees games next season ultimately rests with the radio station that buys the rights. Representatives for both the Yankees and WCBS declined to comment on contract matters.

Sterling, who will soon call his 3,700th game with the Yankees, sees nothing that would stop him from eclipsing 4,000. He says he has no plans to retire. In a statement, a Yankee spokeswoman said the broadcaster's calls "are Sterling not only in name but in the standard they set. His strong presence and his style have made him an institution in radio."

Sterling has spent more than 22 years cultivating a singular style. He famously stretches the word "the" as if it were warm taffy and sometimes shoehorns show-tune lyrics into his game calls. Sterling said he derived his signature praising phrase for former Yankee centerfielder Bernie Williams ("Bern, baby, Bern") from the infamous rallying cry of Black Panther Party leader H. Rap Brown. He describes every home run the same way, regardless of the drive's distance or trajectory. On some occasions, he has had to cut short his call when the ball wasn't ruled a home run. It's better to be "ahead of the play," Sterling says. "I make a million mistakes. I mean, that's more of the charm."

If broadcasters try to balance two missions—to inform and to entertain—Sterling doesn't apologize for weighting one side of the scale. "You want to make it entertaining," he says.

Read More.

UPDATE: Surgery Set For Joe Pags

San Antonio-based talker Joe Pags Tweeted followers late Tuesday that surgey is set for this Friday.

Late late week, Pags Tweeted he has testicular cancer and would continue to work during treatment.

Pags holds-down AM Drive on 950 AM KPRC Houston and the 5p-8p slot on 1200 AM WOAI San Antonio.  Pages also has a weekend show on KOA Denver and subs for Glenn Beck.

Best wishes for Pags!

Jock Charged After Incident Halts Little League Game

A West Des Moines jock was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly screamed profanities at a baseball game for 6-year-olds, according to a story by Tiffany DeMaster at

According to a West De Moines Police report, Steven "Catfish" Brill, 51, is accused of arguing with other spectators at Holiday LL Park onSaturday. Police said several people were at times involved in the argument that became so out of control that the coaches of both teams suspended play and led their players from the dugout to the outfield to be out of earshot of the vulgarities. The coaches later announced the game would be terminated because of the outbursts.

But, Brill said in a statement to the Des Moines Register Wednesday that other parents cursed at him first while he was talking privately with his wife about concerns that a young player was injured.

According to the police report Brill is an on-air personality for Citadel Broadcasting; he is known as “Catfish” on KJJY-FM (92.5). He is also the operations manager for Citadel in Des Moines. In addition to KJJY, the company owns KGGO-FM (94.9), KHKI-FM (97.3), KWQW-FM (98.3) and KBGG-AM (1700).

Officer Blain Brinkmeyer was called to Holiday Park and talked with Brill’s wife, Deanna Deddens-Brill, 37.

Deddens-Brill told Brinkmeyer that she and her husband were talking about a coach not responding to a player who may have been injured when a woman in the stands began commenting on their conversation.

According to the police report, Steven Brill began to belittle the woman who had joined the conversation with his wife. Another woman told Brill he had to leave the game, but he then began to insult the second woman and her husband.

Brill said he didn’t begin the slew of expletives. He said while talking privately to his wife, the wife of the opposing team’s coach interrupted their conversation.

Another man in the stands told Brill to “lay off” the woman, and used vulgarities, Brill said. He added the man also told his wife to shut up when she stepped into the conversation.

“From there, regrettably things spiraled out of control for about a minute or two,” Steven Brill said. “People from all sides of the bleachers were yelling at each other, some I’m sure trying to help, some being jerks.”

Read More.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Country Radio Not Crazy for 'Idol' Singers

From Brian Mansfield, USA Today:
Chances are, your local country radio programmer isn't thrilled with the prospects of the two teen singers from American Idol headed his or her way this summer. Especially with one of them being Scotty McCreery.

"I'm calling in sick the day they bring Scotty by on radio tour," Toni-Marie, music director for Bakersfield, Calif., station 107.9 FM KUZZ, tells's Phyllis Stark in her latest Stark Country newsletter.

"I wish people would quit comparing this kid to Josh Turner. He attempts to sound like him, but the only thing he is successful at is looking like the kid on MAD magazines ... Maybe Scotty does have some potential. I don't see it, but he needs someone to teach him to be who Scotty is. Quit doing JT covers and doing that weird eye thing that only Queen Reba can get away with."

I've known all along that many people who spend a lot of time listening to country don't think Scotty's a particularly good singer -- yet. And it's hard to remember now, but there was a lot of skepticism surrounding Carrie Underwood when she came off the show. Still, I was surprised at the level of vitriol programmers aimed at the 17-year-old in Stark's column.

Read More.

KMOX Surges With Baseball

Twelve more markets got their April PPM report cards Tuesday and they must be smiling in St. Louis. 1120 AM KMOX surges back into the #1 spot with the biggest spike among MLB radio stations surging +2.8... 6.2-9.0!

6+ Numbers by market:

In Washington DC:  News WTOP remains #1 10.6-9.8, AC WASH is #2 6.2-6.1, CHR WIHT slips a bit 6.7-5.9 good for #3.  Non-Com Talk WAMU is #4 5.4-5.6 and #5 is Country WMZQ 4.9-5.0. For more DC results, click here.

Boston:  CHR WXKS-F moves 10.8-10.2 for #1, Rhy-CHR WJMN 7.0-7.3 #2,  Country WKLB is #3 5.6-6.2, #4 belongs to N/T WBZ 6.4-6.1 and at #5 AC WMJX 6.3-5.9.  By the way, Clear Channel's re-branded 1200 WXKS-AM is about the same: 0.3-0.4. For more Boston, click here.

In Detroit:    WXYT sports simulcast moved 5.3-7.0, good for #1. Classic Rock WCSX is #2 5.6-6.1, Classic Hits WOMC moves 5.3-5.7 good for #3, Country WYCD #4 slipping a bit 5.7-5.2, and #5 belongs to News WWJ 5.7-5.2. For Detroits results, click here.

Other markets:

Miami, click hereSeattle  Phoenix   Minneapolis   San Diego   Denver   Tampa   

St. Louis   Baltimore 

Arbitron Unveils New Methodology For Smaller Markets

Project Leapfrog To Help Mid-Sized, Smaller Markets

Arbitron announced Tuesday details about “Project Leapfrog” an initiative to improve on its methodology for ratings in mid-sized and small markets.

Bill Rose
During an Arbitron webinar, SVP of Marketing Bill Rose called the project a ‘test’ and ‘experimental’ to explore alternatives to today’s diary. The new methodology will also aim to capture overall levels of radio, not just a specific station. 

"Leapfrog" will use a new methodology of mail-based recruitment, web/mobile as the primary method of data collection, premiums provided only when the survey is completed, address-based probability sample frame and paper diaries only available upon request.

The ratings company laid out its goals of a higher sample size, improved representation, web/mobile data collection and 100 percent address-based sample. The top 50 markets will continue to be surveyed using the PPM, while all other markets are still surveyed with paper diaries

‘Leapfrog’ has had three market tests and according to Brad Feldhaus, VP of Diary and National Product Measurement, no end date for an official rollout has been announced.

Beach Boys Tour Storm-Ravaged Alabama photo
“I felt like I was on the set of a disaster movie,” John Stamos said after viewing disaster sites. He said the destruction made him feel “heartbreak,” according to a story by Aaron Couch at The Hollywood Reporter

About 60 high school students, whose families had been affected by the storm, were gathered in their school library to meet "special guests," when Stamos, Mike Love, and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys arrived to greet them.

Proceeds from the benefit concert the group later played went towards buying a mobile medical unit to service the county. Such units are essential during natural disasters, when victims may not be able to make it to hospitals.

The concert had already been planned prior to the storms, but took on a renewed urgency after the devistation. Stamos, who regularly drums with the Beach Boys, asked to get involved after the storms.

“I was so struck by the devistation from the recent tornadoes in Alabama,” Stamos said. “I knew the Beach Boys had scheduled concerts in the area so I called Mike Love and asked if I could come down and help the band do what they do best which is lift spirits and spread good vibrations.”

Read More.

Opinion: When the Levee Doesn’t Break

What’s Wrong With the Media’s Weather Coverage
From Larry Olmstead, The Great Life blog at

                               The small flooded section of Riverside Drive shown over and over on the news

First off, I’d like to send my condolences to the people of Memphis. Thanks to the weather, they have suffered emotionally and financially in the past few weeks. Actually that’s not really true.  It would be more accurate to say they have suffered emotionally and financially in the past few weeks thanks to the weather media. Accuracy is the key word here, and ironically, in an entire industry that should be built on accuracy, weather folks have little regard for the truth.

If the cameras had panned out, you would have seen that the "flooded downtown" was just this short stretch of one road.

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Recap: 'Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular'

Show to air next week

From Luis Arroyave, Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune photo
You could say [Tuesday night] was Chicago's version of the Oscars. That's because some of the biggest names in Hollywood are expected at the United Center when Oprah Winfrey taped "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular."

[Arroyave] was in attendance and updated the blog throughout the night, letting you know which celebrities showed up.
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And from a Tribune online reader, a special Top 10:


10. You see all of world history divided into two eras…”Pre-Oprah” and “Post-Oprah”

9. Your vanity license plates read “HOT4OPRAH”

8. You go into a magazine shop and take copies of her “O” magazine* and place them in front of all the other magazines on the racks

7. Your Organ Donor card reads “For Oprah Winfrey ONLY”

6. The “I HATE MEN” tattoo on your butt

5. You once offered John Gotti your life savings and asked him to “take care of” Stedman Graham

4. After a horrific car accident which knocks you unconscious, you come to and ask the paramedics “Forget about me, how’s Oprah?”

3. Your co-workers have given you the affectionate nickname “The Pathetic Loser Who’s Obsessed With Oprah”

2. You’re doing three consecutive life sentences in Statesville for brutally torturing and killing the Blockbuster clerks who told you they had no more copies of “The Color Purple”


1. YOU’RE Oprah Winfrey

White House Shuts Out Boston Herald Reporter

The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails.  According to a story by Hillary Cabot at the Boston Herald, TWH objected to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”
“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.

“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.

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Book: 'What I Learned, When I Almost Died'

How a Maniac TV Producer Put Down His Blackberry and Started to Live His Life

Book Review From Kirkus Reviews:
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Washington Post photo
TV news honcho Chris Licht was used to calling the shots as executive producer of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, but that changed one day when something popped inside his skull.

Instead of prepping for another episode of the successful morning show with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the author, not yet 40, landed in the emergency room. There, he learned that his brain was bleeding—and no one knew exactly why. Licht, who up until then was the picture of health, found that he was no longer in control.

What followed was a harrowing ordeal that, even if it didn’t ultimately kill him, was destined to change him in ways that he could never have dreamed of before. As a “stop and smell the roses” parable, Licht’s tale of sudden life-threatening illness covers familiar ground. Still, hearing how this classic type-A personality was forced to confront some hard truths about himself in order to survive makes for a compelling exercise.

Readers might not care much about how attentively Scarborough and Brzezinski buzzed around his bedside, or that Vice President Joe Biden personally got on the phone with the hospital in an effort to ensure his recovery. But other candid observations, like the impact the author’s steady-as-a-rock father had on his son’s healing, are right on the money.

McDonald's Under Pressure to Fire Ronald

More than 550 health professionals and organizations have signed a letter to McDonald's Corp. asking the maker of Happy Meals to stop marketing junk food to kids and retire Ronald McDonald, according to a story by Julie Jargon at

The letter, slated to run in the form of full-page ads in six metropolitan newspapers around the country on Wednesday, acknowledges that "the contributors to today's (health) epidemic are manifold and a broad societal response is required. But marketing can no longer be ignored as a significant part of this massive problem."

"We are committed to responsible advertising and take our communications to children very seriously," McDonald's said in a statement. "We understand the importance of children's health and nutrition, and are committed to being part of the dialogue and solution. We serve high quality food, and our Happy Meals offer choice and variety in portions just for kids. Parents tell us they appreciate our Happy Meal choices."

The campaign is organized by the nonprofit watchdog group Corporate Accountability International, which has also targeted tobacco companies and beverage makers like Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. for the environmental impact of plastic bottles.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baseball Homers For WCBS-AM, WGN, WPHT

The April PPMs start to roll out Monday:

In NYC 6+ Biggest Gainer is WCBS-AM 3.7 to 4.8  (thanks Yankees baseball) #4 tied with WHTZ...WLTW off 7.6-7.0, but still #1, WCBS-FM 5.4-5.3 #2. See more here.

In LA: Clear Channel slots the Top 3. KISS-FM 5.1-5.2, KFI 4.3-4.5 and KOST 4.6-4.4, #4 belongs to KRTH 4.2-4.2 and #5: KPWR 3.8-3.8. Biggest Gainer in market: Clear Channel's KHHT 2.6-3.3, good for #9.  See more LA here.

Chicago:  WVAZ is #1 4.8-5.4, WGN makes the biggest move-up thanks for baseball 4.5-5.4, WBBM is off 5.6-5.1, WLS-AM is #4 4.3-4.0 and #5:  WTMX is steady 3.9-3.9,  See Windy City here.

To See San Francisco, click here.

Dallas-Ft. Worth, click here.

Houston-Galveston, click here.

Atlanta, click here.

Philadelphia: Phillies baseballs helps WPHT soar 2.2-3.6, click here.

For Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernandino, San Jose and Middlesex, NJ, click here.

Shuttle Twitpic Launches Woman to Tweeting Fame

When Stefanie Gordon boarded her plane in New York City to visit her parents in Palm Beach, the captain noted there was a chance passengers would witness the space shuttle Endeavour’s last launch during the flight. But she never expected to play a role in documenting it, according to a posting by Sarah Kessler

As the plane descended toward Palm Beach and the Endeavour’s launch became visible, Gordon pulled out her iPhone and snapped a few photos and a short video. On the ground, she posted one of the photos to her then 1,800 Twitter followers.

In a few hours, she was fielding phone calls from ABC, the BBC and CNBC. She had accumulated about 1,000 new Twitter followers, and she had to turn the @mention push notifications off on her phone so they wouldn’t drain the battery.

“I don’t have that many Twitter followers, and I basically tweet about sports,” Gordon tells Mashable. “I really didn’t expect it to go as viral as it did.”

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Talk Topic: 7 in 10 Americans Say Gas Prices Hurt

As gas prices hover near $4 a gallon, nearly seven in 10 Americans say the high cost of fuel is causing financial hardship for their families, a new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds, according to a story by Gary Strauss.

More than half say they have made major changes to compensate for the higher prices, ranging from shorter trips to cutting back on vacation travel.

For 21%, the impact is so dramatic they say their standard of living is jeopardized.

Nationally, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline averages $3.96. That's up 38%, or $1.09, from levels a year ago.

The poll found widespread pessimism that gas prices will stop rising. Just 9% say they believe prices have peaked for the year, while 27% say they expect prices will jump 75 cents or more. Average price where consumers say prices will peak: $4.50 a gallon.

More than half — 54% — say high prices are here to stay.

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Katie vs. 'Today'

"Today" co-hosts Matt Lauer and Ann Curry could soon find themselves at war for morning ratings against their former colleague, Katie Couric, when she lands at ABC.

Accordong to a posting at, as part of a deal being negotiated between Couric and ABC for a daytime syndicated talk show, she'll also be making "strategic guest appearances" on "Good Morning America" that will put her in a direct rivalry with Lauer, sources say.

" 'GMA' sees Meredith Vieira leaving ['Today'] as a huge opportunity," said a source. "Katie will be one of the ways ABC could take advantage."

A source told Page Six that Couric -- who'll appear on CBS for the last time on Thursday -- could be popping up on "GMA," currently hosted by Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, as many as "two and three times per week." But sources close to the network said she'll more likely be making "periodic appearances" and "promoting her big 'gets' and stories."

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