Friday, June 3, 2011

ESPN 980 DC Starts 24-hour Podcast Delay Policy

From Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post
Last Friday, ESPN 980 WTEM instituted a 24-hour delay for its podcasts, which is a fairly unusual thing to do nowadays. Not surprisingly, some people were upset. The #FreeMrTony hashtag was launched on Twitter. People blogged angrily here and here, and especially here. And many people asked me if I would write something.

So I called ESPN 980’s director of programming Chuck Sapienza and asked him what was going on.

“We’re delaying the podcasts 24 hours for all of our shows,” he told me. “I know this hurts people who listen out of town, but we’re trying to get people to listen on the radio. We’re in the radio business, and we’re trying to get people to listen on the radio. And the more people who download podcasts, the fewer people who listen on the radio.”

Sapienza pointed out that people interested in Kornheiser’s show can listen live on three stations in the D.C. market, and streaming via They also set up an Audio Now number, 712-432-1980, which you can call from a mobile phone and listen to ESPN 980 content live. People who take that route would be counted for the station’s ratings; people who download a podcast would not.

“We’re trying to make it as easy for people to listen on the radio,” Sapienza told me. “What I’ve tried to explain to people is that the radio show is the vehicle from which everything else runs. The radio show generates the revenue so we have a podcast. If we don’t have a radio show or a radio station, there is no podcast. We need to worry about the radio station first.”

And yes, of course Sapienza knows that some listeners are upset. He said he has gotten “about 100 complaints, maybe more,” though he said 90 to 95 percent of the people who were upset come from outside the D.C. market.
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3 ND Stations Struggle With Downed Towers

Two North Dakota radio stations went off the air Wednesday evening when their broadcasting tower northeast of Dickinson collapsed after the ground beneath it shifted, said Jeff Glaser, Dickinson Clear Channel Radio business manager.

Country 99.1 FM KCAD and Rock 92.1 FM KZRX have returned to air with low power and a temporary tower.  The two stations hope to be back-up to full power by the end of the weekend.

“The shifting took place on an anchor that pulled the tower down,” Glaser told The Dickinson Press. “I think it’s more of a sink.
“There’s cracks up there and it almost kind of looks like an earthquake.”

The incident is believed to have been caused by saturated soil, Glaser said.

Parts of the tower landed on a nearby transmitter building, causing minor damage, he added. The tower isn’t salvageable, since it broke into several parts on its way down, Glaser said.

“There’s pieces all over the place,” he said. “That thing is busted, bent, twisted, everything. It’s gone.”

Meanwhile in Fargo, 970 AM WDAY radio was back on the air Thursday at reduced power after being silenced because of Monday’s windstorm.

The high winds and storms damaged all three WDAY-AM 970 radio tow-ers, toppling one over.

WDAY Operations Manager Susan Eider said the station was able to get back 40 percent of its power around 5 p.m. Thursday.

“We’re hopefully going to be able to increase that power as time goes on,” Eider told The Forum of Fargo.

Chattanooga's Oldest Radio Station Goes Silent photo
1310 AM WDOD, Chattanooga's oldest radio station, has gone silent after 86 years on the air.

According to a story at the, the large, valuable WDOD transmitter property along the Tennessee River has been sold to Baylor School for $600,000.

WDOD's last day on the air was Tuesday. It most recently had a sports format. The station had moved to an Air America format in 2005 when longtime station fixture Earl Freudenberg left to join WDYN.

Bernie Barker, station general manager, said, "The equipment at the station was very old and the parts were hard to get. The components had to be made in some cases."

He said Baylor School needed the property for expansion so the deal was signed on Wednesday.

Mr. Barker said the WDOD license was turned back to the FCC.  He said no employees lost their job.

The former station building at the property had not been used except as a transmitter since around 1999 when Bahakel also bought WDEF AM. Bahakel moved the station for WDOD and WDEF AM to the former Chattanooga Hardware on South Broad Street. The two station had most recenlty been simulcasting Fox Sports.

The WDOD call letters remain in the market at co-owned CHR 96.5 FM.

Patti LaBelle Sued By West Pointer Over Guard Attack

Weiner’s Office Calls Police On CBS 2 Reporter

Marcia Kramer Had Asked For An Interview

(CBSNewYork) — Congressman Anthony Weiner said Thursday he’s finished talking about the lewd photo sent from his Twitter account.

But he still wouldn’t say whether he’s the one in the picture.

So CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer decided to go to his office on Capitol Hill to try to get you some answers.

You’ll never believe what happened.

Kramer tried to get an interview with the six-term New York Democrat and as a result had the cops called on her.

Kramer walked in to Weiner’s office, announced herself as being from CBS 2 in New York City and said she’d like to see the congressman. Those few words created quite the stir. Doors slammed and people pretended she wasn’t there.

Finally, brave press secretary David Arnold arrived. The following is the exchange Kramer had with him:

Kramer: “All I want is for him to say something to his constituents, the people who have to vote for him.”

Arnold: “I don’t think you can say he hasn’t said anything to his constituents. He spoke for nine hours yesterday.

Kramer: “But not to anyone in New York. You know, this is the sort of in-the-bunker in the capitol, not to anyone in New York.”

After Kramer left Weiner’s office, his staff called the Capitol Police.

Police officers asked for identification. One cop told Kramer that if she went into Weiner’s office and didn’t leave if she was asked, she could be arrested.

“If you go to an office and are asked to leave, you can be placed under arrest,” Officer Michael Miller said.
Kramer responded, “But I wasn’t refusing to leave.”

Kramer was never asked to leave Weiner’s office, but the fact that the cops were called is a clear sign that the stress of this so-called “Weinergate” controversy is taking its toll.

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Hayek in Tuscaloosa

How talk radio, local churches, and concerned citizens spontaneously organized to help tornado victims
From David Beito,
The tornados of April 2011 cut a destructive swath through Tuscaloosa, Alabama and surrounding areas. Whole neighborhoods now resemble bombed out post-war Tokyo or Berlin.  

But this devastation was only part of the story. Tuscaloosa also became the scene of an inspiring, highly decentralized outpouring of volunteers and donations. Many of these arrangements could best be described examples of what Nobel prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek called “spontaneous order.” As Hayek put it, spontaneous orders result from the countless actions of individuals, who coordinate their actions through extended systems of voluntary cooperation, rather than the design of a single planner.

Instead of going home for break, for example, students in the Greek system at the University of Alabama and at historically black Stillman College stayed to cook more than 7,000 meals per day. Local churches assembled armies of volunteers and vast stores of goods, ranging from dog food to child car seats, and dispersed them with no questions asked at large “free department stores.” Everyone in the devastated areas knows from personal experience how neighbors, often without homes themselves, traveled from house to house to clear downed trees, offer food, and give shelter.

Much of the strength of Tuscaloosa’s extensive mutual aid came from an unlikely source: right wing talk radio. For more than two weeks after the tornado, the four Tuscaloosa Clear Channel stations preempted their normal fare of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and top 40 songs to serve as a clearing house for relief efforts. Gigi South, the local market manager for Tuscaloosa Clear Channel, says that it was her decision to begin, and continue, the relief-oriented simulcasts.

It would have been hard to do otherwise. Employees saw demolished neighborhoods outside their windows and the desperate calls for help were coming in almost immediately. Because many residents lost power and were unable to charge cell phones, car and battery-operated radios often became their only form of communication with the outside world.
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Feder: Power in the Tower

Tribune Co. execs keep jockeying for position

From Robert Feder at
Sure, Tribune Co. may be in its record-breaking third year of bankruptcy with legal fees topping $150 million and no end in sight to its financial turmoil. But that’s no reason you can’t admire the way their folks still manage to put a positive spin on corporate intrigue inside Tribune Tower.

The latest back-stabbing shenanigans at 435 North Michigan involve the knifing of one of former CEO Randy Michaels’ last lieutenants by Nils Larsen, a longtime and trusted associate of the company’s embattled chairman, Sam Zell.

“It’s another case of Sam’s guys turning on Randy’s guys,” said a former insider who met a similar fate after Michaels was bounced last fall. “But they all know they could be gone once the bankruptcy is settled and Sam is out of the picture.”

The ouster this week of Jerry Kersting and the elimination of his position as president of Tribune Broadcasting leaves just two cronies of Michaels in positions of authority at Tribune Co. Where once dozens of his former Jacor and Clear Channel Radio buddies ran amok in the suites of Tribune Tower, now only Steve Gable remains as executive vice president and chief technology officer, and Sean Compton continues as president of programming.

Like many of Michaels’ key hires, Kersting was short on qualifications but long on bluster: “We intend to shake up traditional local television news by doing things differently,” he declared at the time of his promotion in May 2010. To Kersting, doing things differently apparently meant gutting major market newscasts and resurrecting the career of convicted felon Larry Mendte. In the end, the only meaningful shakeup occurred in Kersting’s office.
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Hockey Player Gives Hitch-Hiker Bono A Lift

Mom, Brule, girlfriend
Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule and his girlfriend picked up an unusual hitchhiker in West Vancouver on Tuesday — U2 frontman Bono.

According to a story by Ben Gelinas at, Brule and girlfriend Kelsey Nichols were driving to a park to walk Bella, their German shepherd, on Tuesday afternoon near the West Vancouver Yacht club when they spotted a couple of hitchhikers on the side of the road.

Brule, watching out the window, was sure one of them was Bono.

Nichols, who was driving, didn’t believe him, because, really, why would Bono be hitchhiking?

“I didn’t want to stop, but they waved and G yelled ‘that’s Bono’,” Nichols said Wednesday night at Commonwealth Stadium. “I didn’t believe him so I kept driving.”

The couple went on, a short distance anyway, all the while Brule trying to convince Nichols to turn around.

Eventually, she agreed.

The hitchhikers were still there when they drove up, so they yelled out: “Bono!”

He waved and walked over to their truck.

The Irishman, who indeed was Bono, asked if they could give him and his assistant a lift to Horseshoe Bay. Of course, Brule and Nichols obliged.

Turns out, he and his assistant had gone out for a walk when it started to rain, just before Brule and Nichols happened upon them.

Bono mentioned that his band was playing a show in Edmonton on Wednesday and asked if they’d like to go.

So Brule and Nichols sold their tickets for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, bought plane tickets (three, so Brule’s mom could come too) and flew back to Edmonton, where Brule is a forward for the Oilers.
Bono got them backstage passes to say thanks for the ride.

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Survey: Mobile Radio Listening Up Across Board

" has a huge amount of growth potential, provided it gets deeper into the online world."

While it's only a small portion of what Audio Graphics has been doing online since its debut in 1997, our internet radio listener surveys have become a standard for delivering information not found anywhere else.

The approach is simple; we get data from persons who listen to radio online and convey its meaning to the radio industry.

It continues with the 53rd survey, completed with support from Borrell Associates.

It will do the radio industry well if it pays attention to the 1,028 respondents this time because we deal with two items having a direct affect on the future: 1) if there has been a purchase made online in the preceding 30 days and for how much; 2) whether the respondents use their hand held device to listen to radio online.

Tighten your seat belt because this survey shows how much things are changing for the terrestrial radio industry.

First let's tackle that issue about how much listening is being done using hand held devices - you may call them cell phones, smartphones, or tablets (like iPads). Most refer to it as "mobile" listening, and we've shown its growth at AG's RadioRow many times.

Here's a comparison between respondents in December 2009 and today when asked, "If you own a Hand Held device, do you listen to Internet Radio on it?"
Side-by-side, here's how the 18-54 demos look.
We won't get into a discussion over the obvious. Just let it be known that the radio industry is ill-prepared to meet this growth of online listening until it starts taking these numbers seriously. (Calling Pandora "not radio" is one way that shows radio's "wave-it-off" mindset still exists.)
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Pandora Media Seeks $123.2 Million in iNet Radio IPO

Pandora Media Inc., the Internet- music company that’s lost $92.1 million since it started in 2000, seeks to raise as much as $123.2 million in a U.S. initial public offering, according to a story by Lee Spears at

The Oakland, California-based company will offer 13.7 million shares for $7 to $9 each, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Proceeds will be used to distribute unpaid dividends and for general corporate purposes.

Pandora is pressing ahead with plans to tap the public market after professional-networking site LinkedIn Corp.’s shares more than doubled in value on their first day of trading and Yandex NV raised $1.43 billion in the world’s biggest technology IPO of the year last month. Groupon Inc., the top online-coupon provider, filed today to raise $750 million in an IPO after booking a 14-fold increase in sales and a $113.9 million net loss in the first quarter.

The $8 midpoint of Pandora’s offering range would value the company at $1.27 billion, or about 9.2 times sales. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are leading the offering. The shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol P.

Sales more than doubled in the three months through April 30 and registered users topped 90 million, the company said in its filing. Pandora, which made about 87 percent of its revenue last year from advertising, has booked net losses every year since at least 2007 even as revenue increased 33-fold.

Advertising and subscription sales haven’t kept up with the content royalty costs that increase with usage, and that imbalance may affect future profitability, according to the prospectus.

Read More.

Also See Posting:  Is Pandora's Biz Plan A Suicide Pact?

Ex-WLW Deters Sez He Might Have Another Gig

Eric Deters
John Kiesewetter at writes, radio host Eric Deters said he may return to the airwaves soon, after being fired Tuesday by WLW-AM (700). (See original posting, here).

The Northern Kentucky attorney was told Tuesday by Clear Channel market manager Chuck Fredrick he would no longer do weekend or fill-in talk shows on the city’s top-rated station.

He was dropped from the Memorial Day weekend lineup late Friday afternoon, a day after posting a video blog on Facebook saying: “If you want to conquer an African nation, send white women and pot.”

Deters removed the video quickly last week. He called it “an embarrassing thing… Sometimes you say things you wish you didn’t say… and this is one of them.”

Fredrick and Darryl Parks, the Clear Channel executive who hired Deters, did not respond to phone and email requests for interviews.

Nicknamed the “Bulldog,” Deters was weeknight host September through December, before moving to weekends in January. He said he was “very confident” he would return to radio soon.

Jamey Schleue, station manager for WQRT-TV “Real Talk 1160,” said he spoke to Deters about doing 5-7 p.m. weekdays on the station owned by Christian Broadcasting System of Flint, Mich.

“It could happen right away,” said Schleue, who has former WLW-AM personality Andy Furman on 7-9 a.m. weekdays. “But we have to get corporate to sign off on it.”

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PA. Radio Host: Shale Criticism Led To Firing

A longtime conservative radio host on 590 AM WMBS in Uniontown (in southwestern Pennsylvania) claims he was fired last month over views aired on his show that criticized the health and environmental impact of natural gas drilling in the area, according to a story by Jacqueline Feldman, at

Robert Foltz, host of the show "Let's Talk" for 10 years, said he was terminated on April 20, after a guest on his show, Dan Bailey, president of the board of directors of the Carmichaels Municipal Authority, said that bromine, a byproduct of natural gas drilling, had contaminated the area's public water supply.

The station's general manager, Brian Mroziak, at first declined to comment on the reasons for Mr. Foltz's departure, saying he could not discuss personnel matters.

The station's Facebook page, however, described Mr. Foltz's departure as a "leave of absence."

But Foltz said he never asked for a leave of absence from the show.

Minutes after the April 20 program aired he received a letter signed by Mroziak and Robert Pritts, president and owner of the Fayette Broadcasting Corp., which owns the station.

"This letter acknowledges that, by mutual agreement, you have agreed to terminate your at-will status with Fayette Broadcasting Co. Inc," according to the letter. At-will agreements allow employers to terminate employees legally at any time.

"Also," the letter continued, "by your choice, you have decided to let your listeners know ... that you have elected to 'take a personal leave of absence' from WMBS Radio."

Station managers replaced Foltz with Mark Rafail, an alternate on the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board, which, among its duties, approves or rejects drilling permits based on whether they meet the zoning code.

Just a month earlier, the station began airing a weekly, two-hour show called "Natural Gas Matters" on Fridays in the slot following the show Foltz used to host. The show answers listeners' questions about Marcellus drilling. Its major sponsors are McDonald Land Services, which surveys land for drilling companies, and National Brokerage, a financial services firm that helps landowners manage leases.

The show's hosts "talk about the positive impact of natural gas, the jobs it creates," Mroziak said. "They let people know what they can do with their newfound wells."

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Opinion: When to Fire a Listener

From Mike Stern at talent

In addition to terrestrial radio hosts, in my role as a talent coach I work with a number of podcasters.

Working with these hosts is interesting because the shows are about all sorts of topics ranging from incredibly practical to extremely bizarre.

One show that leans much closer to “practical” is The Business Beware Show hosted by the father-daughter team of Robert and Ashley Bode.

The show is mainly about providing advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners but their real focus is teaching people how to face, and deal with, “Custo-monsters,” customers who are utterly disrespectful and try to bully a business owner or their personnel.

Robert and Ashley passionately believe that the customer is NOT always right and that businesses should not be afraid to fire truly awful customers.

They maintain that the time and energy wasted on these customers who will never be satisfied can not only drain a company’s financial and emotional resources but can also take the focus away from the really good customers.

The caveat is that everyone has a bad day occasionally. They aren’t suggesting firing every customer who’s a little bit cranky; just the ones that are truly and intentionally disruptive to a business.

Listening to their show led me to consider whether an airtalent or radio station should ever “fire” a listener.

Is there another species in the customonster genus; do we have ”listener-monsters?”

The answer, in my opinion, is yes but not many. The key distinction you have to consider is the line between annoying and truly disruptive.

Every station has over-zealous, annoying fans. As rough as they can be to deal with you want to keep them around. You never know who will get a PPM or diary. Grit your teeth and treat them nicely.
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Talent Mechanic provides affordable coaching for radio personalities. Services include airchecks, preparing for PPM, integrating social media, demo and resume reviews and more.

Column: FCC Coordinated 'Net Neutrality' Effort

From Conn Carroll,
Documents made public yesterday by Judicial Watch describe extensive collusion by Federal Communications Commission officials with a left-wing advocacy group in a campaign to expand government regulation of the Internet.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in a December 2010 Freedom of Information Act request, were created after Democrat appointees solidified their 3-2 control of the agency in March 2009.

Judicial Watch is a conservative nonprofit that specializes in using the FOIA and other avenues to expose corruption in government.

The coordination between FCC officials and Free Press, the advocacy group, was on behalf of a proposal that the agency assert authority to regulate access to the Internet as if it were a public utility in the interest of insuring "Net Neutrality."

Proponents said doing so would assure equal access for all Internet users by barring companies from offering preferred rates for higher delivery speeds. Other users, especially in communities with limited Internet access, would be forced to accept poorer service.

But critics said the proposal would actually give the FCC the first tool it needed to ultimately regulate content, and they argued that the FCC has no authority over the medium in the first place. It would be akin to forcing FedEx and UPS to treat all packages the same way the U.S. Postal Service does.

Free Press is the most vocal of a number of far-left and liberal advocacy groups that for nearly a decade have pushed numerous proposals for vastly increasing government regulation of the Internet....

...Free Press was co-founded by Monthly Review editor Robert McChesney and the Nation contributor John Nichols. The Monthly Review is "an independent Marxist journal," while the Nation has long described itself as "the flagship of the left." Free Press is partially funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute.
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Conn Carroll is a senior editorial writer for The Washington Examiner. He can be reached at

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Abramson to Replace Keller As NYTimes Exec-Editor

Jill Abramson, a former investigative reporter and Washington bureau chief for The New York Times, will become the paper’s executive editor, succeeding Bill Keller, who is stepping down to become a full-time writer for the paper, according to a story by Jeremy W. Peters at

As managing editor since 2003, Ms. Abramson has been one of Mr. Keller’s two top deputies overseeing the entire newsroom.  Her appointment was announced on Thursday by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s publisher and the chairman of The New York Times Company.

Ms. Abramson, 57, said that as a born-and-raised New Yorker, she considered being named editor of The Times to be like "ascending to Valhalla."

"In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth."

The move was accompanied by another prominent management shift at The Times. Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief, will become the managing editor for news, marking the first time in eight years that two of the paper’s top newsroom positions have turned over. He was previously the editor of The Los Angeles Times.

The appointments are effective Sept. 6. John M. Geddes, 59, will continue in his role as managing editor for news operations.

Mr. Keller, 62, who ran the newsroom during eight years of great journalistic distinction but also declining revenue and cutbacks throughout the industry, said that with a formidable combination in place to succeed him, he felt it was a good time to step aside.

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'Man Down' Video: Empowering or Dangerous?

Rihanna, who hit headlines in 2009 after being severely beaten by former boyfriend Chris Brown, has now come under fire for encouraging extreme violence in a new music video, according to a story at

In the video for “Man Down,” which premiered on the BET network this week, the popular songstress is involved in an implied rape scene with a man she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder, and then flees the scene.

However, the Parents Television Council (PTC) has joined forces with the Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign to publicly denounce the video, and the groups are urgently calling on BET’s parent company Viacom to stop airing it.

“‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. Viacom’s standards and practices department has reached another new low,” Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET, said in a statement. “If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy.”

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Jason Kidd New PD At WPGC DC

Jason Kidd has been named Program Director of 95.5 WPGC-FM, Washington, DC, the announcement was made today by Greg Strassell, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO and Reggie Rouse, Vice President of Urban Programming for the Company. The appointment is effective immediately.  

Kidd joined the station earlier this year as Assistant Program Director.  In this new role, his responsibilities will include oversight of the station’s music programming, on-air staff, production/imaging and promotions, as well as managing a web/social networking presence.  

“Jason has proven himself as a fierce, competitive programmer in the past few months,” says Strassell.  “We already feel the momentum in the hallways, and know his long time passion for WPGC will make it an exciting radio station to listen to and watch grow.  Being able to promote from within for this very important position confirms we have the best talent on our team.”

Off air, Listeners Find Ace & TJ Online

Demand crashes server

Ace & TJ went silent for the first time in 13 years on WNKS-FM ("Kiss" 95.1) Charlotte this week but apparently found an audience on the Internet, according to a story by Mark Washburn at

Demand for the online streaming of their syndicated show at hit 75,000 listeners Monday at 6:08 a.m., and the server crashed at 130,000 listeners at 7:20 a.m., says Adam Goodman, the show's manager. Additional capacity was added.

"It's way beyond anything I was expecting," Goodman says.

Ace & T.J. ended their run on "Kiss" last Friday after they were unable to come to terms on a new contract with CBS Radio. They continue their syndicated program from a studio leased from rival Clear Channel Radio. Three stations that carry the show are owned by Clear Channel.

Under the terms of their noncompete contract, they cannot go on the air in Charlotte or negotiate with local stations until December.

Goodman says a second stream on the show's website, which offers a 24-hour replay of the show, saw a 600 percent surge through midweek with about 30,000 people accessing the show.

Goodman says he was also surprised that a Web-only segment, which runs for a half-hour after the broadcast show ends at 10 a.m., drew up to 18,000 listeners at its peak. They had not closely monitored the listening data to the Web segment before this week. "I think at one point the joke was that about 18 people were listening," Goodman says.

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Study: 51% Of Americans Have Social Media Profile

The Social Habit is a new study conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron, and is derived from the 19th Edison/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Research Series, one of the longest-running studies of consumer adoption of the Internet, new media and other technologies in existence.

The study was originally presented by Edison Vice President of Strategy Tom Webster at Blogworld in New York on May 25, 2011, and presented new, unreleased data for 2011 on America's adoption of social networking sites and services, with a detailed look at Facebook and Twitter usage, mobile social behavior, and location-based apps and services.

According to a posting by Tom Webster at Edison Research, highlights of the study include:
  • Social Media now reaches the majority of Americans 12+, with 52% having a profile on one or more social networks.
  • This figure is driven largely by Facebook, which is now used by over half (51%) of Americans 12+.
  • Twitter is as familiar to Americans as Facebook (with 92% and 93% familiarity, respectively); however, Twitter usage stands at 8% of Americans 12+.
  • Approximately 46 million Americans 12+ now check their social media sites and services several times every day.Much of this frequent usage is driven by mobile access.
  • 56% of frequent social network users own smartphones, and 64% of frequent social networkers have used a mobile phone to update their status on one or more social networks.

Opinion: Is Pandora's Biz Plan A Suicide Pact?

Jim Edwards at writes Pandora is locked into a Catch-22:

The more users it has, the more advertising it can sell against those pairs of ears. But at the same time, the more ears that are listening and the longer they listen, the more songs they hear and the more Pandora must pay out in music license fees.

Every time Pandora updates its financials ahead of its June IPO, it gives those who love the service hope that perhaps one day this company can turn a profit and become a real business, rather than a delightful sinkhole for venture capitalists who believe that you can make money by giving music away for free.

It was deja vu all over again last week when Pandora released its Q1 2011 accounts. The good news was its revenue more than doubled to $51 million for the quarter. Advertising sales were $44 million of that — an even larger increase. (Its subscription revenue was negligible.)

So why is this company taking on another $30 million in debt and showing a loss of $9.1 million? Because its business model seems to keep its costs for playing music in lockstep with its revenues.

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NYC Tabloids Have Field Day With Weinergate

Judge Rules In Favor of Beasley's K-Rock Case

A judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of a Naples, FL broadcasting company in a lawsuit over radio station 96 K-Rock and the on-air trash-talking of its former shock jock, Joe Scott.

According to a story by Steve Beardsley at, Lee Circuit Judge Christine Greider entered a verdict in favor of Beasley Broadcasting Group Tuesday, precluding jury deliberation in the case. Beasley moved for the verdict on Friday, after the fourth day of trial and the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case.

Greider told attorneys that a lack of provable damages required her to find for Beasley before the company began its defense, scheduled for Tuesday.

Plaintiff Patti Davis, 50, Scott’s former girlfriend and the target of his on-air rants in 2005, showed little reaction at the announcement.

Davis sought compensatory damages for Scott’s on-air rants during a period in May 2005, after K-Rock rehired the troubled disc jockey on the heels of his release from drug rehabilitation.

Davis claimed Beasley was negligent in hiring and retaining the mercurial Scott, and she claimed his statements violated her right to privacy. Beasley has contended that it held Scott to strict policies.

The company fired him in March 2006 after the disc jockey stopped working with his doctors. Scott died in November of the same year. He was 46 years old.

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In Four Years, How Different Will Our Online Lives Be?

TV Reporter Rescues Woman From Flooded Road

Extended raw video of the water rescue near Georgetown in White County on Tuesday. KARK 4 News reporter Adam Rodriguez & photographer Casey Moore spot a woman driving into a flooded road. KARK 4's Adam Rodriguez goes in the water to help get the woman out of her sinking SUV.

Morning Joe Discusses 1970 As Pivotal Year For Music

Lady Gaga Interview: The Fame Monster's Next Act

Lady Gaga talks to WSJ's Lee Hawkins in an exclusive interview about her plans to break into Bollywood-crazed India.

She also discusses the unique marketing concepts used to sell her album, "Born This Way," which launched last week.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Talker Eric Deters Fired by 700 WLW Cincy

700 WLW-AM weekend/fill-in talk host Eric Deters is no longer with the station, after posting a video blog on Facebook last week saying that “if you want to conquer an African nation, send white women and pot.” (see original posting and video here)

According to a story by John Kiesewetter at at, Deters was told Tuesday he would no longer work for the station, and his WLW-AM blog was removed from the station’s website.

Deters was  a huge fan of talk host Bill Cunningham (he wrote the ”Willie” biography in 2009; both are lawyers) who was offered a talk show shift by The Big One after calling in reports to Cunningham’s show starting in 2007 about opposition to Kenton County’s plans to build a new jail.

He was the station’s 9 p.m.-midnight talk host throughout 2010. In January, he cut back to doing only weekends, and filling in sometimes for Cunningham, including last Wednesday and Thursday when Cunningham was in New York prepping for his fall daytime TV show.

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The full text of a statement by Deters’ statement follows:
“I will no longer be doing any weekend or back up hosting on 700 WLW radio. Backing up Willie has been a blast. I want to publicly thank Willie for being on the radio in the first place. It evolved with me being a caller reporting on the jail battle to being a host. I never planned it. I never expected it. It’s been wonderful experience. Not doing it anymore is not the end of the world either.

We use to take weekend trips. Doing a show on weekends prevented this pleasure. I used to write books. Radio consumed my writing time. I look forward to finally finishing my book about my brother Seth and the book about practicing law in the trenches. I also am free of the corporate bond. It’s not my style to be restricted in speaking out because of a corporate advertiser. I can now speak as I please.

My law practice keeps growing and I will always be a lawyer first. I love being a lawyer who fights for the “little guy.” I have and will have plenty of radio and television opportunities in the future. Radio has been a forum to express my views and tell stories. Who I am, what I am, all the hard work, education, study, living life, family, reading, writing, my cases and business all derives from nothing doing with radio. Not being on radio doesn’t change any of that. Radio has simply been a forum.

Finally, if you want to know why I won’t be on the radio anymore, I don’t know. LOL. I was not given a reason. I suppose we can all assume it was the video blog where I made a joke. The local NAACP even accepted my apology. The Enquirer headline used the word “firestorm.” I don’t know where the firestorm is?

I’m unaware of any groups or organizations making a big deal about it. Now that I’m liberated from the bonds, I can speak even more frankly. Sunday I sent out a newsletter outlining all my work in the real world on behalf of blacks and minorities. It’s hypocritical that the corporate “white” world would be upset with someone like me who can walk the walk and talk the talk for making a honest humorous observation about my young black friends. The joke may have gone too far, but give me a break.

Do you think Ickey Woods, who I have done all the legal work for his son’s foundation for free, gives a damn about my joke? Corporate white America does? I wonder how many in corporate white America have co-signed car loans for young black men who weren’t related to them? I have.

I wonder how many in corporate white America have given money to a young black man to help them out? I have. I have performed countless hours of free legal work for blacks and whites who could not afford it. My black flag football teammates were never billed.

I wonder how many in corporate white America can walk into any black neighborhood and cut up, laugh and keep it real? I have and can.

Corporate hypocrisy is as has as political hypocrisy.

What did Shakespeare say about first being true to yourself? I am and will be.

Everyone knows I love the scorpion and frog story. Corporate America is what it is. And, by the way, I’m a capitalist. I’m not anti-business. I’m anti-phoney corporate culture. And, give me small business, medium business, entrepreneur over big corporate America any day of the week. And, just like corporate America is what it is, the Bulldog is what I am. A rebel.”

Republicans Want Fairness Doctrine Off The Books

The leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday asking him to strike the Fairness Doctrine from the agency's rulebook, according to a story by Gautham Nagehs at

The controversial rule, introduced in 1949, required broadcasters to present controversial public issues in a manner deemed fair and balanced by the FCC. The commission concluded in 1987 that the Fairness Doctrine was unconstitutional and pledged to cease enforcing it.

Ten years later a D.C. Circuit Court case prompted the FCC to repeal its political-editorial and personal-attack rules because they interfere with the editorial judgment of journalists. However, both laws remain in the Code of Federal Regulations, according to Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell.

"The media marketplace is more diverse and competitive today than it was 10 years ago when the D.C. Circuit Court struck down the commission's political-editorial and personal-attack rules," wrote Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

"The difference is even more stark when compared to the market 20 years ago, when the commission concluded that the Fairness Doctrine was unconstitutional."

In recent years some Democrats have said they support reviving the policy in some form due to the increasingly confrontational and partisan nature of some radio and cable TV news programming, usually prompting a strong backlash from conservatives and civil libertarians.

Genachowski has said in the past that he does not support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

Read More.

Report: Only 4% Under 50 Not On Facebook

If you're an American aged over 12 and under 50 then you're probably on FB

From Helen Leggatt,

Since its launch seven years ago, Facebook has attracted over half a billion people around the world, and continues to grow.

Today, more than half (51%) of Americans over the age of 12 have a profile on Facebook, according to Edison Research. Three years ago just 8% were signed up with the social network.

New survey findings released this week by Bank of America and reported by AllFacebook reveal more about the way Americans use Facebook and who is using it.

A statistic that immediately jumps out at you is that a whopping 96% of people in America under the age of 50 now use Facebook. Furthermore, over half (51%) of those users say they have increased their use of the social network over the past 12 months.
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TomzTake: I find this startling!  Frankly, not sure I beleive this stat. There has to be more than 4% of Americans under 50 who don't even have access to the iNet. What do you think?  Add your comments.

Storm KOs N/T 970 WDAY Fargo

In Fargo, ND WDAY TV and WDAY AM 970 stations are both off the air after Monday night's storm, but for different reasons, according to a story by Josie Clarey at

WDAY Channel 6 news is down after a power outage caused overheating issues.

News Director Jeff Nelson said the power went out last night around 9:15 p.m. and programming went down this morning.

“We are running a generator, but our master control is overheating,” Nelson said. “In order to save the equipment, we shut it down.”

Nelson said there was no damage to the television station itself, but power outages around town after the Memorial Day storm have caused the issue.

Regular programming will be back on the air as soon as possible, Nelson said. In addition, officials expect the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news to run normally tonight.

WDAY AM 970 is off the air indefinitely after Memorial Day storms damaged three radio towers in West Fargo. (Streaming is available, click here)

Video chat rooms at Ustream

Talk show host Jay Thomas said two towers are damaged beyond repair, but one may be recoverable.

“One tower was completely collapsed,” Thomas said. “It looks like somebody just grabbed it and slammed it into the ground. The second tower, a little above half way up, is just snapped.”

Thomas said the third tower is still standing, but wind twisted the metal. Power and engineering officials are assessing whether or not that tower can be fixed, he said.

The day-time host said programming is expected to be off the air for at least two to three days.

“It’s the third (tower) we’re hanging our hat on,” Thomas said. “If we can use that one, in a few days, we would be then on full power.”

Even if it can be fixed, Thomas said no nighttime programming can be run due to power supply.

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Tribune Broadcasting Boosts Larsen to CEO

Jerry Kersting is out

Nils Larsen
Tribune Co. Broadcasting Division Chairman Nils Larsen has been appointed CEO of the unit in a move that eliminates the post of division President Jerry Kersting, according to a story by Lynne Marek at

Chicago-based Tribune, owner of 23 TV stations, said the appointment of Mr. Larsen, who also is Tribune's chief investment officer, is effective immediately.

Kersting was promoted to president just a year ago, but that was before the October ouster of Tribune CEO Randy Michaels, a former Clear Channel colleague who had brought him into the company in 2008.

The executive switch follows the promotion last month of Eddy Hartenstein to Tribune CEO, as the company attempts to exit bankruptcy and bolster profits.

While Tribune newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, have suffered as a result of an industry decline in print circulation and advertising, the company's broadcast outlets — including WGN-TV/Channel 9 in Chicago and WPIX-TV in New York, as well as the radio broadcaster WGN-AM and cable channel WGN America — have faired better as advertising returned to the broadcast sector.

"We've been expanding local news, developing new original programming and making smart decisions with our syndicated programming, which is driving ratings and resonating with advertisers,” Mr. Larsen said in a news release. “We have momentum and there's a lot more opportunity ahead."

Read More.

Also Must Read:

Sam Zell associate Nils Larsen named chief of Tribune Broadcasting

Cox Media Group Names New Executive VP

Bill Hoffman succeeds Bob Neil who's retiring & opening consultancy
Bill Hoffman, vice president and general manager of WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta, has been promoted to executive vice president of Cox Media Group, according to a story by Kelly Yamanouchi at

In his new role, Hoffman will be one of three executive vice presidents, overseeing a number of radio, television and newspaper properties.

Hoffman will continue to be a " ‘champion' for television to ensure its perspective and expertise is included in corporate decisions," according to CMG. Hoffman also coordinates syndicated programming for television stations and oversees the Cox Washington Television Bureau.

Hoffman joined Cox in 1979 as an account representative at the television advertising representation firm TeleRep. He has held a variety of positions at Cox, including vice president and general manager of WFTV in Orlando, national sales manager at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh, and local and national sales manager of WCCO-TV in Minneapolis.

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Clear Channel's KLOU St. Louis Returns To Oldies

An old friend returned to St. Louis Tuesday morning.  Like a long lost relative, the arrival of Oldies 103.3 KLOU.

According to a Clear Channel news release, KLOU is designed to make St. Louis feel at home.  Clear Channel Radio St. Louis looked to the rich history of this radio  station when deciding to bring the oldies back with Motown Soul and Rock and Roll.

The music on Oldies 103.3 will be based in the 60’s & 70’s featuring music by The Eagles, The Four Tops, Billy Joel, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles and more.  The on-air talent will be anchored by long time St. Louis radio personalities Greg Hewitt in mornings and Cindy Collins in the afternoon.

“We’re very excited about this new direction for KLOU,” said Clear Channel Radio St. Louis President and Market Manager Beth Davis. “We decided to make this move after seeing the recent success of similar stations in similar markets nationwide. We’re giving  St. Louis listeners and advertisers what they have been asking for.”

KLOU is currently under the direction of Clear Channel St. Louis Operations Manager Jeff McHugh who is equally excited about Oldies 103.3 saying, “We brought the oldies back!”

More information about Oldies 103.3 KLOU can be found on the website The radio station can also be heard  nationwide online or with a smart phone by using the free iHeartradio app available at

Report: What Makes Country Music So Special?

As the tenth season of the most watched entertainment show in the United States came to a conclusion last week, Fox's American Idol became a huge stage for showcasing country music in particular.  The show's two finalists, both country music singers, remained to the end by popular vote.  The outcome is not surprising, since according to a recent study conducted by The Media Audit, country music is the second most listened to music format in the country, behind Contemporary Hit Radio. 

Data comes from The Media Audit's 2010 National Radio Format Report, summarizing the radio listening habits of more than 100,000 adults. Surveys were conducted between January 2010 and March 2011.

According to the study, 11.4% of U.S. adults have listened to a country music radio station in the past week, representing more than 16.5 million listeners across The Media Audit's 80 measured markets. Furthermore, nearly half of those who listen to country music radio stated that they listen to the format more than any other radio format.  That translates to listener loyalty, something advertisers find as a rare commodity in today's fragmenting media market.

In markets such as Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago, the rewards for country-formatted radio stations are substantial, given these markets draw the greatest number of country music listeners. According to The Media Audit, more than 743,000 adults in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area listen to a country music station in a typical week, representing 15.9% of the metro area's population of 4.6 million.  As a result, there are more country music radio listeners in Dallas than anywhere else in the country. In Atlanta, 14.5% of the metro area's population have listened to a country music radio station in the past week, representing more than 573,000 listeners, while Chicago draws more than 491,000 listeners who listen to country music in a typical week.

Among those markets with the heaviest concentration of country music radio listeners include Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri, where 28.5% of the market's 179,924 adults listen to country music. While the market is smaller relative to Dallas, Atlanta, or Chicago, its ratio of country music listeners to the general population is among the highest in the country. Birmingham, Alabama ranks second, with 28.3% of the market's general population who listen to country radio, followed by Syracuse, New York (25.2%), Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina (23.8%). And Columbus, Ohio (23.8%).

Read More.
TomzTake: For more information on this study, or to obtain information on a local market, contact The Media Audit. 800.324.9921

KZMV Colorado Flips To CHR As 'Lift 106'

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, KZMV's Colorado Mountain Voice debuts its new format to listeners in Summit, Grand and Eagle counties.

According to a story by Kimberley Nicoletti at, the station, found on translator K258AS 99.7 FM in Breckenridge, 106.3 KZMV in Grand and Eagle counties and translator K281AM 104.1 FM in Vail, will feature top-40 hits and popular artists such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jay Z and Bruno Mars.

KZMV has played tunes from the 1970s through today, as well as some deep tracks, since 2003. But when NRC Mountain Broadcasting brought in a consultant to study local demographics, businesses and statistics, he found a void: Most radio stations up here use the AAA format, which involves a variety of music throughout the decades, but there are not any stations solely dedicated to top-40 tunes.

As part of the change, the station will be called LIFT 106, and it will include more local programming, such as high school sports round ups. While KZMV did include local weather, ski and river reports and live broadcasts, general manager of NRC Broadcasting Jen Radueg said they're now making a more conscious decision to add in promotionally driven and more local-based news.

We asked, “What do we want out of a radio station?” and we're taking this opportunity to make this a mountain radio station — a community radio station — to provide things people want to hear, Radueg said.

“This new programming will allow the radio station to be more live and local while continuing to provide relevant news, information and content to our listeners in Summit, Grand and Eagle counties. ... (We'll be) a lot more involved and active than we were ever able to do,” she said.

LIFT 106 will use a Dial Global format with live, local air talent.

Read More.

Zimmer's Joplin Stations Resume Regular Formats

The Zimmer stations in Joplin, MO have been airing emergency information since the devastating tornado in Joplin early last week.  In a sign of life attempting to return to normalcy, the Zimmer stations resumed their regular format Tuesday evening at 7pm.  The staff of the stations performed an extraordinary service to their community, in spite of the fact that seven station employees also lost their homes.  A Hat Tip to all.

Cumulus-Green Bay Radio Van Catches Fire

Viewers of the Memorial Day parade Monday were treated to an unusual parade spectacle when a van caught fire.

According to a story by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Cumulus Broadcasting's event van used by sports WDUZ-AM/FM (1400 / 107.5), WKRU-FM, WQLH-FM, oldies WOGB-FM (103.1) and country WPCK-FM (104.9) caught fire while crossing the Claude Allouez Bridge in DePere, WI shortly after 10:30 a.m. while participating in the parade, Capt. Rich Annen of the De Pere Fire Department said.

Passengers evacuated and called in the alarm, Annen said. Police helped keep the crowd and other parade participants away as firefighters put the fire out.

The fire burned up the engine and front portion of the vehicle, but firefighters were able to save most of the broadcast equipment, Annen said.

No injuries were reported, but the vehicle was a total loss.

Less Stuffy For Social Media: WTMJ's Newsburst

Morning anchors for The Journal's WTMJ-TV are providing a brief Newsburst on its Facebook page for viewers who don't have time for a regular mornings newscast.  The Newburst consists of the weather forecast, followed by an informal chat about the morning's local news.

Newsburt is recorded solely on an iPhone4 by morning anchor Vince Vitrano. The co-anchor is Susan Kim.
TomzTake:  Cool idea, any radio station's morning show should steal this idea and make it their own!