Saturday, June 18, 2011

Boss Bruce Issues Statement On Clemon's Passing

Sunday Noon Update:

Bruce Springsteen commented on the death Clarence Celmons Sunday via this posting on
Danny Clinch photo for Bruce
"It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music.

His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."
Also Read:

TWITTER TWEETS:  "RIP Clarence Clemons"

Saturday Night posting:

Clarence Clemons, longtime saxophone player for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died Saturday in Florida after suffering a massive stroke a week ago, according to a story by Edna Gundersen at USA Today. He was 69.

Bruce Springsteen acknowledged the dire situation earlier this week, but said then he was hopeful. He called the loss "immeasurable."

"We are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years," Springsteen said on his website. "He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."

Fondly known as "the Big Man," Clemons had been The Boss' vital and colorful sideman since 1972. His busy solo career as a bandleader and session player found him performing and recording with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Ringo Starr.

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The Saturday Aircheck

WRKO Boston Switch to talk radio September 27th 1981

Friday, June 17, 2011

'Journey' 97-9 FM Debuts In Atlanta

80s and 90s music: First song: ‘Don’t Stop Believin’

At noon today, FM 97.9 (translator W250BC) started a new format called Journey97.9 FM, which focuses on songs from the 1980s and 1990s, according to Radio/TV columnist Rodney Ho at

The name Journey of course is a reference to the seminal 1980s band. A pre-taped introduction from Randy Jackson (who played bass for Journey) opened the station. Naturally, the first song up: “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” Eleven of the first 17 songs are from the 1980s but it’s too early to say how the balance will play out over time.


12:03 p.m. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” (1981)
12:07 p.m. Madonna “Holiday” (1984)
12:12 p.m. Michael Jackson “Rock With You” (1980)
12:15 p.m. Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer” (1987)
12:19 p.m. Lenny Kravitz “It’ Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” (1991)
12:23 p.m. Simple Minds “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (1985)
12:27 p.m. Pat Benatar “Love is a Battlefield” (1983)
12:32 p.m. Matchbox 20 “3 a.m.” (1998)
12:36 p.m. Animotion “Obsession” (1985)
12:40 p.m. Billy Idol “White Wedding” (1982)
12:44 p.m. Annie Lennox “Walking on Broken Glass” (1992)
12:48 p.m. The Cars “You Might Think” (1984)’
12:51 p.m. Ace of Base “All That She Wants” (1992)
12:55 p.m. Hall & Oates “Kiss on My List” (1981)
12:59 p.m. TLC “Waterfalls” (1995)
1:03 p.m. Was (Not Was) “Walk the Dinosaur” (1987)
1:06 p.m Seal “Crazy” (1991)
1:11 p.m. Don Henley “Boys of Summer” (1984)
1:15 p.m. Alanis Morrisette “You Oughta Know” (1985)
1:20 p.m. Toto “Africa” (1983)

According to Ho, the format is an obvious way to take the edge off Star 94’s all-90s weekend and B98.5’s long-standing all-80s weekend. Star ranked No. 2 among 25 to 54 year olds only behind V-103 in May Arbitron ratings during the weekends. That’s stronger than its weekday numbers. B98.5’s most robust time period is weekends as well, ranking fifth among 25 to 54 year olds last month.

B98.5, which has seen ratings erosion this year, recently dropped its slogan “Atlanta’s Best Variety of Soft Rock” to “Your Favorites from ’80s, ’90s and Now.” It also began playing more current songs and now plays 50 minutes of music in a row per hour with only one commercial stop set. Star 94 is on the upswing, beating Q100 among 25 to 54 year olds in May in the Arbitron ratings for the first time in many years.

Journey appears to skew old enough as not to disturb sister station Q100, the top 40 station.

Atlanta-based Cumulus, which owns 97.9, had been airing heritage alternative rock station 99X at 97.9 until last week. 99X has since moved to the more logical 99.1. Both the 97.9 and 99.1 signals are called “translators” and not very strong.

Read More.

Copper Thefts Remain Serious Problem

Arrest Made In Cocoa, FL Theft


According to Radio World, That’s the word from Andy McDonald, chief engineer for Clear Channel Radio Brevard, in Florida.

“Thanks to the fine work of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Brent Gene Williamson was arrested [Wednesday] for the theft at our transmitter site on Saturday night and all of our stolen equipment was recovered,” McDonald writes.

“As we suspected, it was a very local job … he lived two doors down from the transmitter site. So much for the ‘good neighbor’ policy!”

According to information provided by McDonald, police charged the 26-year-old Williamson with burglary and larceny grand theft.

The station had lost various supplies and equipment in the course of several incidents, which it believed to be related. AM station 1360 WMMV was knocked off the air briefly last weekend.

Read More.

From KCBS5 in San Francsisco:

Copper wire continues to be snatched from the East Bay city of Antioch, CA this year, and that’s translating into a big problem for Pacific Gas and Electric – considering how much the utility relies on the material.

Since the first of the year, 300 power poles have been knocked down in Antioch. The wiring contained on and within the poles was subsequently ripped off.

Facebook Users Have Have More, Closer Friends

Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine social networking sites in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement.

This new report finds that Facebook users are more trusting, have more close friends, are more politically engaged, and get more support from their friends. Additionally, Facebook helps revive “dormant” ties with lost connections—the highest proportion of Facebook friends is high school classmates.

This survey also showed that more people are using social networking sites – the figure is now 47% of the entire adult population, compared with 26% that was measured in our similar 2008 survey. Among other things, this means the average age of adult social networking site users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010.  Over half of all adult social networking site users are now over the age of 35.

Read More.

Report: Pandora Shares Plunge

IPO investors suffer losses photo
Pandora Media Inc shares plunged as much as 25 percent on Thursday, sending it below its IPO price and burning investors who had once clamored for a piece of what was touted as a red-hot sale.

According to a story by Liana Baker at, during its second day of trade, doubts mounted about whether the online radio company would ever turn a profit and compete with its Internet rivals, causing investors to bail out of the stock from the earliest hours of the session.

Shares closed at $13.26, down $4.16 or 24 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange. This is below the $16 per share IPO price, meaning investors who bought the stock as it went public have lost money.

Analysts advised investors to avoid buying the stock because shares are too pricey and do not reflect how the company will do competing against its rivals.

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield put a sell rating on the stock and a $5.50 price target on it.

"Its business model does not scale in the same way as other successful Internet businesses," Greenfield said.

The research note also raised questions about the company being able to sustain itself on advertising and how its content costs for its music are eating into its profit.

The bigger Pandora's audience gets, the more it must pay record labels in licensing fees, hurting the mostly free radio service's chances of becoming profitable.

Read More.

The CKNW Story: From Cowboy Station To Top Dog

From Grant Granger,

Typhoon Freda tore up the west coast of North America in October 1962 leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. It was a natural disaster that was a blessing for New Westminster’s radio station, 980 AM CKNW.

Although it had been broadcasting from two locations on Columbia Street for 18 years, it was not the top station in the market. Freda changed that.

Her huge winds knocked every radio station north of California off the air as she headed up the coast. Except for NW. Just a few weeks before, the station had bought a power unit from the air force that allowed its transmitter to keep on beaming its signal.

“Our radio station became the No. 1 station for emergencies and it never looked back,” says Bill Hughes, who was born and raised in New Westminster and was the station’s general manager and president.

New West resident and former NW newscaster John Ashbridge was working in Victoria at the time.

“As I listened, stations progressively were kicked off the air as it moved up the coast, but CKNW kept broadcasting,” recalls Ashbridge. “It’s been proven time after time that when a station is put out of operation during an emergency the public rarely goes back to the one they listened to before.”

Photo Caption: Bill Hughes, former program director with CKNW radio, with the original ‘roving’ microphone he used to interview bus passengers disembarking at the Royal Towers Hotel, which used to also serve as a Greyhound terminal. The mic was presented to him in honour of his 15,000th broadcast.

Nets To Pelosi: No Weiner Comment, No Story

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi gave a press conference early Thursday with all three cable news channels tuning in to see if she would comment on the resignation of Anthony Weiner. At the start of her regular Thursday morning news conference, Pelosi stated upfront she wanted to talk about jobs, and not Weiner.

Talking Points Memo noted that once it became clear that Weiner would not be the topic du jour, they all cut away.

Howard Stern Heckler Benjy Bronk Disrupts Weiner

Midway through Anthony Weiner's resignation announcement, a member of the Howard Stern show, Benjy Bronk, interrupted.

Bronk yelled mostly inaudible comments directed at Weiner.

He specifically about the parts of his body that have been at the center of this sordid story from the beginning.

Also Read:

NYTIMES.COM:  Even a Media Circus Needs a Clown

Weiner Mess Inspires Viral Jokes

Mario Tama photo

Thursday marked the end to #weinergate as Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned his post in Congress.

And Devin Brown at CBS/What's Trending reports the saga has had its fair share of punchlines thanks to the freshly unemployed congressman's unfortunate surname. Here is a compilation of a few of the funniest viral artifacts, proving there are no Weiners in this sexting scandal.

Being good at word play has never been so beneficial. Here are some of the better jokes:

Apparently Speaker of the House John Boehner heard Takei's advice after all making his own little quip at Weiner's expense saying, "When you begin to go out there and ask people to vote for you, they're probably not going to vote for you if they can't say your name. You know, my name looks like Beener, Bonner, Boner. Thank God it's not Weiner."

Read More.

Cars2: Brad Paisley, Weezer Behind The Scenes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Radio Stations Speak Your Language

From Judy Keen, USA Today
USA Today photo
The Federal Communications Commission says there are 14,619 AM, FM and educational broadcast radio stations in the USA. Cision, a Chicago company that tracks media, says 883 have programming in 35 foreign languages. Spanish and Spanish/English bilingual programming account for 747 of those stations, but the stew includes Romanian, Punjabi, Gaelic, Albanian and Creole. Inside Radio, which monitors industry trends, says there were 574 Spanish stations in 2001.

The Internet allows people to listen to radio stations located almost anywhere in the world, but producers of foreign-language programs say there's still a need for local news, music and information in immigrants' native tongues.

"People have to have a voice that connects them to their community," says Hussien Mohamed, director of Sagal Radio Services, a non-profit group that since 1998 has provided weekly programs in Somali, Swahili, Amharic and Bhutanese-Nepali to Atlanta area stations.

The shows include news from home, practical information for new U.S. residents and call-in segments. "When you can hear your own voice coming from the radio, it makes a big difference," Mohamed says.

 Read More.

Report: Secrets From Apple's Genius Bar

Full Loyalty, No Negativity

From Yukari Iwatani Kane and Ian Sherr,
A look at confidential training manuals, a recording of a store meeting and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees reveal some of Apple's store secrets. They include: intensive control of how employees interact with customers, scripted training for on-site tech support and consideration of every store detail down to the pre-loaded photos and music on demo devices.

More people now visit Apple's 326 stores in a single quarter than the 60 million who visited Walt Disney Co.'s four biggest theme parks last year, according to data from Apple and the Themed Entertainment Association. Apple's annual retail sales per square foot have soared to $4,406—excluding online sales.

Still, Apple is considered a pioneer in many aspects of customer service and store design. According to several employees and training manuals, sales associates are taught an unusual sales philosophy: not to sell, but rather to help customers solve problems. "Your job is to understand all of your customers' needs—some of which they may not even realize they have," one training manual says. To that end, employees receive no sales commissions and have no sales quotas.

Apple lays its "steps of service" out in the acronym APPLE, according to a 2007 employee training manual reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that is still in use.
  • "Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome,"
  • "Probe politely to understand all the customer's needs,"
  • "Present a solution for the customer to take home today,"
  • "Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns," and
  • "End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return."
Read More.

Apple Poised To Block iPhone Concert Taping

iPhone users may soon be stopped from taping at concerts — as a result of new Apple technology, according to a posting at the

The leading computer company plans to build a system that will sense when people are trying to video live events — and turn off their cameras.

A patent application filed by Apple revealed how the technology would work.  If an iPhone were held up and used to film during a concert infra-red sensors would detect it. These sensors would then contact the iPhone and automatically disable its camera function.

People would still be able to send text messages and make calls.

The new technology is seen as an attempt to protect the interests of event organisers and broadcasters who have exclusive rights to concerts.

Read More.

PPMs: Day 3 Sees More #1s For Clear Channel

More Number One's For Clear Channel..Shares are Total Week 6+.

Classic hits KLTH is on fire and is the new #1 in Portland, Oregon, moving 5.5-6.4-8.1. Sister station AC KKCW drops to #2 8.6-7.9-7.7. Number 23 is Country KUPL-FM 5.1-5.5-6.1. CHR KKRZ  6.0-6.0-5.8 is #4, followed by Classic Rock KGON 4.9-5.2-5.8.

In Charlotte: Country takes the Top 2 spots Clear Channel's "Kat" WKKT 8.2-9.0-8.5, then it's CBS Radio's WSOC 8.0-7.9-7.9. Number 3 belongs to Classic Rock  WRFX-F 6.1-6.8-6.3. Urban AC WBAV-FM waffles 5.9-6.3-6.1 and is #4.

Urban WPEG rounds out the Top5 6.1-5.7-5.8.

In Pittsburgh, Clear Channel places four stations in the Top5. #1 is Rock WDVE 9.1-8.6-9. Followed by CHR WKST-F 8.2-8.6-9.1,  Adult Hits WRRK (Steel City Media) 7.3-7.1-7.1,  Oldies WWSW-F 5.9-6.0-6.8 and Talk WPGB  6.9-6.7-6.6.  In the Market's talk slugfest, KDKA is #8 moving 6.7-5.9-5.8.  WPGB-FM outcumes KDKA 370,000 to 284,600.

Get a snapshot of PPMs results in these markets also:

Cleveland, OH

Cincinnati, OH

Kansas City, MO-KS

Columbus, OH

San Antonio, TX

Sacramento, CA

Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT

Orlando, FL

Las Vegas, NV

FCC Releases Five Media Ownership Studies

Studies Assess Civic Engagement and Localism

The Federal Communications Commission today released five studies to be used in determining new media ownership rules. The five look at how ownership structures affect civic engagement, radio news consumption, minority radio programming, viewpoint diversity and the lack of local news on the Internet, according to a story by Deborah D. McAdams at

The commission also made the unprecedented move of making available the proprietary data sets underlying the released studies and six more to come.

A protective order was issued outlining the procedures for accessing those data sets by “authorized representatives” of “reviewing parties,” i.e., legal counsel and their associated staffs, designated experts and whomever the commission selects “in the public interest.” These individuals will have to sign a declaration to abide by the protective order, which prohibits copying, governs disclosure and limits examination to FCC headquarters in Washington.

The commission said it intended to seek comment on all 11 studies, but the first five were released today to allow time for examination of the data sets. The studies were conducted by outside researchers designated by the commission, as are three more not yet available. The final two studies are being conducted by commission staff. All will be incorporated into the FCC’s Quadrennial Media Ownership Review proceeding, along with peer reviews and authors’ responses.

Read More.

Pandora’s Valuation Overlooks Competition Concerns

Pandora Media Inc. shares fell from their early highs Wednesday during a rough day for the broader market, but the Internet radio company’s valuation remains quite healthy in comparison to its peers and ahead of rising competition, according to a story by Matt Jarzemsky at

Pandora’s current stock price, when measured against its reported revenue, suggests the Oakland, Calif., company is about 18 times more valuable than CBS Corp. and nearly nine times more valuable than Inc.–two well-established and profitable companies that, among their different operations, run businesses considered competition to Pandora.

Nonetheless, investors Wednesday piled into Pandora as the stock–expected to price between $7 and $9 as recently as last week–closed Wednesday up about 9% at $17.42. Investors, competing for a limited amount of available stock, are attracted by the site’s rapidly rising number of users and listening hours.

Pandora allows listeners to create up to 100 of their own personalized “stations” of music using playlists based on listener feedback and an algorithm that slots in other songs that users are likely to enjoy. The free service–Pandora makes its revenue primarily through advertising–is available through computers, mobile devices and automobiles.

Kennedy said the company hasn’t given guidance on when it might be profitable. According to analysts, Pandora remains a few years from profitability. The company faces higher royalty payments to music labels and publishers as usage increases, and Pandora has yet to offset such expenses with advertising revenues and user fees.

Read More.

Former Editor O'Shea Dishes on Tribune's Travails

James O'Shea,  a former top editor at the Chicago Tribune, has published a tell-all about its descent into turmoil and bankruptcy under the minions of billionaire Sam Zell. The book comes out as the Tribune unveils an expanded paper it hopes will fetch higher subscription rates from readers who want more news.

"The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers" echoes Tribune owner Zell's own description of his $8.5-billion purchase of Tribune Co. in 2007.

But, according to a story by Shia K at,  O'Shea says the real "deal from hell" was Tribune's "shotgun marriage" to Times Mirror Co., parent company of the Los Angeles Times. Cultural differences marred the merger, which saddled Tribune with unexpected tax liabilities and increased its stake in print media just before the industry fell into a steep delcine. The longtime Tribune editor served briefly as Los Angeles Times editor before stepping down in a clash with management over staff cuts.

His account of Mr. Zell's purchase of the Tribune begins on page 253. Calling the real-estate mogul an "uncouth clown," he recounts Mr. Zell's well-known penchant for profanity. He also describes the back-room deal-making behind the transaction that gave Mr. Zell control of Tribune with a relatively small investment. Zell attorney William Pate came up with the plan to use an employee stock ownership plan to finance the takeover. Tribune board Chairman Bill Osborn, former CEO of Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp., liked the idea, Mr. O'Shea reports.

He aims some of his harshest criticism at former Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons and current Editor Gerry Kern.

And then there is Randy Michaels, the broadcasting executive brought in to help turn around the Tribune.

Mr. Michaels chipped away at all things related to the newspaper's history. And Mr. O'Shea retells a few stories already reported, such as that infamous poker game with top executives in the regal office once occupied by legendary Tribune Publisher Col. Robert McCormick.

But there's also the story about "the million-dollar idea." To motivate employees to offer up good ideas during a time of layoffs and budget cuts, Mr. Michaels had $1 million in cash brought in by way of a Brinks truck "so they could put it on the floor and people could roll around in it and get their picture taken," according to an employee.

Read More.

Chicago Tribune Adds Pages, Expands Coverage

Website redesign focuses on breaking news

The Chicago Tribune Wednesday launched an expanded print edition featuring more content, greater depth, new columns and features based on extensive research with home-delivery subscribers and other readers.  Coverage will expand in five key news categories – local news and investigative reporting, business, national and world news, arts and entertainment and editorials and commentary.

The Chicago Tribune will now include 40 to 44 extra pages each week- more total news than five years ago.  Importantly, the newsstand price of the print edition will remain unchanged, and home-delivery subscribers will continue getting discounts off the newsstand price.

"We've added depth, dimension and range to the Chicago Tribune to meet the expectations of our most loyal readers," said Gerould Kern, Senior Vice President and Editor. "The Tribune remains focused on Chicago-area news and investigative reporting, and we've strengthened the newspaper for readers who are most interested in the news and love their daily experience with the newspaper."

Here's a preview of what readers will find over the next week:
•12 more full Business news pages per week
•10 more full Nation & World news pages per week
•6 more full Chicagoland news pages per week.
•4 more full Opinion and Perspective section pages per week.
•Monday thru Saturday Live! becomes A&E (Arts & Entertainment) with 10 more full news pages each week.
•On Thursdays, the Play section becomes Dining.
•2 more full Sunday section pages each week.
•On Wednesdays, Chicagoland Extra becomes Chicagoland Health & Family.
Along with the print changes, a redesigned has re-launched now highlighting breaking news.  Consumers come to to find out what's going on in Chicago.  The new site will make it easier for them to find the breaking news they are looking for, including a new breaking entertainment section.  With easy-to-scan sections, the site will be easier to navigate for a more satisfying browsing experience.

"The site is complementary to our print edition and now highlights breaking news and a ribbon to emphasize news from today's newspaper," said Bill Adee, Vice President of Digital Development and Operations.  "With the support of the largest newsroom in the Midwest, is the destination for relevant, timely news and information for Chicagoans."

Palin's Emails Written Better Than Some CEOs

The huge cache of Sarah Palin's emails released Friday offered not only a chance to see what she was writing about during her uncompleted term as Alaska's governor, but also an opportunity to see how well she writes, according to a story by Michael McLaughlin at

AOL Weird News brought samples to two writing analysts who independently evaluated 24,000 pages of the former governor's emails. They came back in agreement that Palin composed her messages at an eighth-grade level, an excellent score for a chief executive, they said.

"I'm a centrist Democrat, and would have loved to support my hunch that Ms. Palin is illiterate," said 2tor Chief Executive Officer John Katzman.

"However, the emails say something else. Ms. Palin writes emails on her Blackberry at a grade level of 8.5.

"If she were a student and showing me her work, I'd say 'It's fine, clear writing,'" he said, admitting that emails he wrote scored lower than Palin's on the widely used Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

"She came in as a solid communicator," said Paul J.J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. The emails registered as an 8.2 on his version of the test. "That's typical for a corporate executive."

"She's very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical," Payack said. "She has much more of a disciplined mind than she's given credit for."

Although it's like comparing apples to oranges, Payack said that famous speeches like Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was a 9.1 and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" oration rated a 8.8 on the scale.

Read More.

WROR Adds Pop Culture Columnist To Morning Show

Greater Media announces Boston Herald writer Lauren Beckham Falcone will be officially joining the Loren & Wally Morning Show on 105.7 FM WROR in Boston. She will begin her new role on the show beginning on Monday..

“We’re excited to have Lauren Beckham Falcone bring a fresh perspective to the Loren & Wally Show,” said WROR-FM Program Director Ken West. “She’ll fit right in with her passion for pop culture, local stories, and having fun. “

Lauren Beckham Falcone has been writing about everything from breaking news to entertainment to sports to politics for more than 15 years. An award-winning reporter and columnist for the Boston Herald, she credits her current success as a pop-culture commentator to watching too much TV as a kid and scouring the Internet too much as an adult. She lives in Canton with her husband, Dave, and their daughter, Lucy.

Falcone replaces longtime WROR-FM morning show news personality Sue Cope, who recently moved with her family to Cleveland, Ohio.

TV Meteorologist Questions Number of Warnings

James Spann blasts number of false tornado warnings

In the wake of the April 27 tornadoes, veteran television meteorologist James Spann is questioning whether too frequent tornado warnings are causing people to ignore them, according to a story by Thomas Spencer at The Birmingham News.

"I firmly believe apathy and complacency due to a high false alarm ratio over the years led to inaction in many cases that could have cost lives," Spann wrote in a wide-ranging blog post that has generated debate among weather watchers and fellow meteorologists.

In the post, the ABC 33/40 meteorologist criticizes what he considers a high false alarm rate by the National Weather Service in issuing tornado warnings, questions the utility of the siren alert system, and raises questions about practices in TV broadcasting.

In an interview, Spann said he didn't intend to place blame, and effusively praised the NWS's performance on April 27. But Spann said he believes the issues need to be aired.

"There is no reason that so many people had to die that day. I am trying to stimulate discussion," Spann said.

With the advent of Doppler radar and other technological advances, the NWS has been driving up the number of tornadoes it detects and warns for, particularly weaker tornadoes.

According to an analysis by meteorologist Tim Coleman, a researcher at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, tornado warnings from a group of NWS offices in the Southeast averaged fewer than 100 warnings a year in the late 1980s, but in recent years the average has risen to almost 800.

At the same time, the NWS has made only a modest improvement in its rate of false alarms, according to the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman, Okla.

In the late 1980s, according to the storm lab, the false alarm rate was about 80 percent, meaning that for every 10 warnings issued only about two turned out to be tornadoes. According to the most recent data available, the false alarm rate is down to 76 percent.

Read More.

Rush Launches New Tea Brand 'Two If By Tea'

Rush Limbaugh announced Wednesday the launch of his own line of sweet tea to support his fight against the left, according to a story by NewsCore.

"Tea is a big deal to me," he told listeners from his Florida radio studio, "Folks it is kick butt."

An image of the conservative radio host donning colonial garb, he called "Rush Revere," features prominently on bottles for the newly minted "Two if By Tea: From Tea to Shining Tea."

"My good friend Paul Revere laid out the blueprint of how to deal with this.

Sound the alarm! One if by land, Two If By Tea!" he continued, explaining how the new tea line "represents traditional American values of capitalism and the pursuit of excellence" against the invading liberal agenda.

The four flavors -- Original Sweet Tea, Diet Original Tea, Raspberry Tea, and Diet Raspberry Tea -- are available for purchase online in 12 packs that cost $23.76, with shipping included.

A portion of the sale of each bottle will be donated to the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation.

Read More.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Report: Groups Pay For Talk Radio Influence

From Kennth P. Vogel & Lucy McCalmont at

If you’re a regular listener of Glenn Beck’s radio show and you wanted to contribute to a political group that would advance the populist conservative ideals he touts on his show, you’d have plenty of reason to think that FreedomWorks was your best investment.

But if you’re a fan of Mark Levin’s radio show, you’d have just as much cause to believe that Americans for Prosperity, a FreedomWorks rival, was the most effective conservative advocacy group. And, if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity are who you listen to, you’d be hearing a steady stream of entreaties to support the important work of the Heritage Foundation.

That’s not coincidence. In search of donations and influence, the three prominent conservative groups are paying hefty sponsorship fees to the popular talk show hosts. Those fees buy them a variety of promotional tie-ins, as well as regular on-air plugs – praising or sometimes defending the groups, while urging listeners to donate – often woven seamlessly into programming in ways that do not seem like paid advertising.

“The point that people don’t realize,” said Michael Harrison, founder and publisher of the talk media trade publication Talkers Magazine, “is that (big time political talk show hosts) are radio personalities – they are in the same business that people like Casey Kasem are in – and what they do is no different than people who broadcast from used car lots or restaurants or who endorse the local roofer or gardener.”

The Heritage Foundation pays about $2 million to sponsor Limbaugh’s show and about $1.3 million to do the same with Hannity’s – and considers it money well spent.

Read More.

Joss Stone 'Fine' After Suspected Murder Plot

British Singer Joss Stone has said she is "absolutely fine and getting on with life as normal" as police questioned two men over a suspected plot to rob and murder her.

Katie Stallard at reports officers are said to have found swords, rope and a body bag when they arrested the pair, aged 33 and 30, near Stone's country home in Devon.

The suspects were detained around 10am on Monday morning after being seen driving a red Fiat Punto in the quiet lanes near the star's home in rural Cullompton.

Both men are understood to have had maps and aerial photos of the property. The 24-year-old chart-topper's spokeswoman said police had been in contact with the star.

Her neighbors are said to have foiled the plot after reporting the pair behaving suspiciously around the property. They were initially arrested on Monday morning on suspicion of having an offensive weapon and planning a burglary.

But Sky News understands the men - from the Manchester area - are now being held on conspiracy to rob and murder the singer, who is said to have a fortune.

Stone, a friend of Prince William and Kate Middleton and a guest at their wedding, is not believed to have been home at the time.

Read More.

Whoopi Tears Into Fox Host For 'Hizzouse' Comments

The ladies talk about a recent statement made by a commentator on Fox News.

Bolling got into hot water for criticizing a visit by an African leader to the White House by saying, "what's with all the hoods in the hizzouse?"

He apologized for his comments on Monday night, but that didn't stop Whoopi Goldberg from laying into him on Tuesday's "The View."

Report: CBS Sees Better News in Pelley’s Ratings

From Bill Carter, Media Decoder Blog at

CBS News took issue Tuesday with early comparisons between ratings for its old anchor, Katie Couric, and its new anchor, Scott Pelley, saying that Mr. Pelley should get credit for improving the ratings for the newscast in his first week when compared to Ms. Couric’s results during the same week last year. 
While the numbers for Mr. Pelley’s first week were about the same as Ms. Couric’s during her last few weeks at CBS, the network said that changes in viewing levels from May to June mean that the numbers can’t be measured fairly that way. Nor should a week be measured against a month, CBS said. 
Instead, the network argued that Mr. Pelley’s ratings should be measured against the first week in June in 2010. On that score, Mr. Pelley did improve CBS’s numbers, by about 300,000 viewers. In that week last year, Ms. Couric had 5.44 million viewers. This year, Mr. Pelley had 5.74 million.

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May PPMs: WTOP Still #1 In DC, Sports #1 In Detroit

Day 2 of the May PPMs (6+ Total Week) shows few surprises:

In Washington, DC: All-news WTOP is steady 10.0-9.8-9.8 and still #1, and CHR "Hot 99.5" WIHT is second, 6.7-5.9-6.4. Non-Com WAMU comes in at #3 5.4-5.6-5.8. Howard University's urban AC WHUR now fourth, 4.9-4.9-5.5. And AC WASH-FM falls a bit, 6.2-6.1-5.4.

Boston: CHR Kiss 108/WXKS-FM is #1 despite falling into single digits10.8-10.2-9.5.  R-CHR WJMN is #1 7.0-7.3-7.1,  N/T WBZ places 3rd 6.4-6.1-6.4, while CC's WXKS-AM, formerly known as Rush Radio 'surges' gaining 0.3-0.4-0.6.  #4 belongs to Country WKLB 5.6-6.2-6.1  and AC WMJX ranks 5th 6.3-5.9 -6.1.  In another battle challenger "Sports Hub" WBZ-FM (2.8-3.4-4.2) beats Entercom's WEEI  (3.1-4.0-3.6).

Detroit: All-sports "Ticket" WXYT-FM wins 4.8-6.3-6.8. It's trailed by sister Classic Hits WOMC, 5.3-5.7-6.2. At #3 is Classic rock WCSX 5.6-6.1-5.7 tied with Country WYCD moving 5.7-5.5-5.7. And is 5th place is News WWJ 5.7-5.2-5.4.

Check out the market snapshots for these markets too:

St. Louis, MO

Baltimore, MD

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Denver-Boulder, CO

Seattle-Tacoma, WA

Phoenix, AZ

San Diego, CA

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL

Utica Mayor Wants “Breaking News” Banned From Ads

Utica Observer-Dispatch photo
Utica, NY Mayor David Roefaro (D) wants the FCC to ban the use of the term “breaking news” in broadcast advertising. In a letter to the FCC, Roefaro calls the practice a “cheap advertising tactic” aimed at taking advantage of consumers, according to a posting at

In a press release entitled “Let’s Protect Consumers From Cheap Advertising Tactic,” Roefaro’s office says his letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was inspired by an elderly citizen who recently called a complain hotline to express frustration over spots that “try and trick people into thinking, even if for a second, that they are actually news.”

Roefaro goes on to explain the use of the term “Breaking News” may “confuse people, especially the elderly, into thinking there’s a local emergency.”  Outside of the FCC letter, Roefaro says of the practice, “That’s wrong. That’s confusing. That’s false advertising.”

Currently, there are no regulations regarding the use of the term “Breaking News” on television or radio. Even within the scope of a legitimate newscast, there’s no universal standard dictating what qualifies as “breaking news” and what doesn’t.  Theoretically, any broadcast news outlet could choose to label every single story in a newscast as “breaking news” — but knowing such a move would alienate audiences, stations are usually judicious about their use of the term.

Here’s the complete text of Roefaro’s letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:

TomZTake:  Nice try Mr. Mayor!  However, he has a point. How many times have you seen your local TV label "Breaking News" to a story that actually broke 6+ hours ago?  I see it often.  I've have even seen an Orlando TV station use a promo bug stating "Live..Local..Late Breaking" during a NBC net provided soft feature from another state!

Broadcasters: A Lifeline During Emergencies

A dramatic compilation of television and radio broadcast coverage of the recent tornadoes and their aftermath that aired at the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation's Celebration to Service to America Awards on June 6, 2011.

TomzTake:  Not to slight the fantastic efforts of the Zimmer radio stations in Joplin, but this production is top heavy with TV.  Come on radio, you can do better!

Radio, Out of Home Viewing Lifts Football Audiences

New Research Findings from ESPN’s XP Project

Tuesday at the ARF Audience Measurement 6.0 Conference ESPN and Arbitron presented key findings from a proprietary research study for ESPN which utilized Arbitron’s Portable People Meter™ ratings service.

As part of the ESPN XP research initiative, ESPN worked with Arbitron in November 2010 to measure consumption of ESPN Radio affiliates and football content on ESPN TV networks, both in home and out of home.

This study demonstrated that radio listening and out-of-home TV viewing increased ESPN’s Reach by 15.5 million persons, or 23 percent, over in-home TV viewing. The increase in time spent with the content was even greater, a lift of 9.1 billion minutes, or 40 percent, over the average in-home TV audience.

ESPN’s net audience for TV and radio, measured by Arbitron’s PPM panel, was 99.4 million persons aged 6+. Of those, 22 percent were multiplatform users who both listened to sports programs on radio and watched football programs on TV and 47 percent were multi-location users who consumed ESPN content both in home and out of home.

Multiplatform Users

  • Multiplatform users were heavier users of ESPN content, averaging 12 hours 28 minutes in the month, nearly three times the amount of single-platform users. 
  • These multiplatform users spent more time with TV than the TV only viewers (7:57 vs. 4:37) and also spent more time with radio than the radio only listeners (4:31 vs. 1:41). 
  • While they were just 22% of users, multiplatform users accounted for 43% of the usage of measured ESPN content. 

Multi-location Users

  • The users who consumed ESPN content both in-home and out-of-home were also heavier users of ESPN content, averaging 9 hours 44 minutes of usage, compared to 2 hours 59 minutes for single-location users.
  • These multi-location users spent more time consuming content in home than the in-home only users (7:11 vs. 3:51) and also spent more time consuming content out-of-home than the out-of-home only users (2:33 vs. 0:44).
  • Multi-location users were 47% of all content users but accounted for 74% of the total minutes consumed.

“This study reinforces our principles of the greater engagement of multi-platform audiences and the value of out-of-home consumption for sports content,” said Glenn Enoch, vice president of integrated media research at ESPN. “Fans are choosing the best available media platform, and this leads to increased reach and consumption of ESPN content.”

Pandora Media Prices IPO At $16/Shr

Above Expected Range

Interactive Internet radio company Pandora Media Inc. continued the trend of hot Internet-related IPOs by pricing its shares at $16 apiece Tuesday night, above expectations, according to a story by Lynn Cowan at

The company sold 14.7 million initial public offering shares at a level that topped a boosted price range of $10 to $12. The company last week increased the number of shares sold by one million and the price range by $3 in the face of strong investor demand.

At $16 a share, the company ended up raising $235 million, almost double the amount it originally aimed for earlier this month. It commands a market capitalization of $2.56 billion for a business that hasn't made money and has no prospects of earnings at least through January.

The stock is scheduled to begin trading Wednesday under the symbol P on the New York Stock Exchange.

Oakland, Calif.-based Pandora, which allows listeners to create up to 100 personalized "stations" of music, is the latest in a new wave of Internet companies that have been pulling in buyers despite unease in the broader markets.

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WTKK Taps Doug Meehan To Replace Severin

Ex-Fox 25 TV chopper reporter Doug Meehan has been tapped to replace Jay Severin in afternoon-drive on Boston's WTKK-FM (96.9), according to a story by Jessica Heslam at

In a press release, the station said the West Yartmouth native brings “his unique style and flair for the fun side of news along with an innate ability to tap into what people in New England really care about.”

Meehan — whose upbeat persona is a far cry from the acerbic, opinionated Severin — has been filling-in on WTKK since last month. “The Doug Meehan Show” will air 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays,

The embattled Severin was fired in April after boasting on his show of the alleged throng of female employees he bedded when he owned his own business. His ouster came two years after he made crude on-air remarks about Mexican immigrants.

Meehan spent seven years at WFXT-TV (Ch. 25) reporting on traffic and entertainment for the morning show. He left the TV station in 2010 after his contract wasn’t renewed. Meehan’s radio experience includes stints at WLDM-AM (1570) in Westfield and WPXC-FM (102.9) on Cape Cod.

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In other WTKK News...

The Greater Media outlet has also officially announced the addition of Michael Smerconish's syndicated show to its 6p to 10p weekday lineup. Smerconish has been in the time slot since Michele McPhee departed last November.