Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Saturday Aircheck

Super CFL, WCFL Chicago

In the fall of 1964, WCFL moved the studios and offices out of it's former 30 year home at the Furniture Mart and moved into the newly built Marina City Complex at 300 North State Street. With the introduction to rock and roll top 40 music, WCFL radio's  General Manager Ken Draper altered the format in 1966. He captured the 18-34 year old audience. In 1967 'Big 10 WCFL' was Chicago's number one contemporary radio station.

WCFL 1966-1971 Air Composite Part One , Click Here.

Part Two next weekend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spoiler Report: iHeartRadio/Clearchannel Event Unveiled

Major concert event planned

According to a website report, iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's big announcement on Monday morning at 8:15am is a huge concert event:  "The iHeartradio Music Festival" in September 23-24th in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand.  Tickets go on sale next Saturday at 10:00am

Here are the artists already playing:
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Lady GaGa
  • Coldplay
  • John Mayer
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Alicia Keys
  • Niki Minaj
  • David Guetta
  • Bruno Mars
  • Usher
iHeartRadio is also going to announce some major changes.  You’ll still be able to listen to your favorite Clear Channel Radio Stations but you’ll also have a more Pandora like radio interface.

Confirmed: Harry Smith Joining NBC News

NBC News is expected to announce Monday that longtime CBS News anchor Harry Smith is joing NBC News.

As first reported at, Smith has been with CBS News for 25 years, is leaving the network.  In a note to the staff, obtained by TVNewser, CBS News president David Rhodes writes, “Harry Smith has been a fixture here at CBS News for a generation — he joined us in Dallas in 1986 — but today he’s decided to move on.”

Late last year, Smith was part of a shuffling of anchors at “The Early Show.” The team of Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price was moved out, as Erica Hill, Chris Wragge, Marysol Castro and Jeff Glor took over.

At NBC News Smith will be a part of the new primetime news magazine show anchored by Brian Williams. That show is scheduled to debut this fall.

LIVE NOW: Coverage of Shuttle Atlantis

Space Shuttle Atlantis blazed a path into history on the last-ever mission of the 30-year-old American space shuttle program, even as stormy weather threatened to delay the launch.

Click Here for two live video feeds and a social media chat.

Report: Merlin Media Hires Former WYNY Programmer

Accomplished radio programmer Pete Salant has joined Merlin Media in an unspecified programming role at 101.9 FM WRXP NYC, sources with knowledge of the information tell Jerry Barmash at FishbowlNY.

Salant made a name for himself as the program director and operations manager of WYNY from 1980 to 1983.

Salant reteams with his former NBC boss–then-FM radio division executive VP Walter Sabo, now the Merlin Media chief operating officer.  While at 30 Rock, Salant led the team that pioneered the Adult Contemporary music format at WYNY, which climbed from number 22 to number one in Adults during Salant’s first six months. The station remained the highest rated music station among all FM and AM stations in New York City during his tenure.

After his successful WYNY stint, Salant spent 25 years as a freelance radio programming and operations consultant.

Bringing the famed ‘YNY programmer on board comes after word that Merlin may resurrect the WYNY call letters, securing the website

Read More.

TomZTake: So why is Merlin hiring a music programmer (AC & country), if the station  is going All-News? Or News/Talk? Well, Randy Michaels likes to play and stunt.  Look, Randy is Merlin The Magician. However, there are no real 'magicians'. They're really illusionists who like to focus your attention in one area, while really something else is going on.  Let the speculation continue.

Cross Ownership Ban Back In Force

Court sides with media ownership limits in FCC case

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld decades-old media ownership rules that prevent a single owner from controlling a newspaper and broadcast station in the same city.

According to a posting by Cecilia King at, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that the Federal Communications Commission didn’t give the public enough notice to weigh in on its 2007 decision to relax cross-ownership rules under former chairman Kevin Martin. The court sent the rules back to the FCC to be rewritten.

The original ownership rules date to the mid 1970s, when the FCC decided that a single owner should not have broadcast and print media holdings in the same local market. The idea was that having multiple owners of media outlets provided a diversity of voices.

Since then, the media industry has undergone massive change. Newspapers and television stations compete with smartphone apps and news aggregators such as Google and the Drudge Report. Power is being concentrated in other ways: Comcast serves the highest number of high-speed cable Internet users and owns some of the nation’s most coveted media franchises through NBC Universal.

Public interest groups, which challenged the FCC’s action, argue that even as options for accessing information continue to multiply, allowing a small concentration of companies to create that content — news reports, videos and columns — limits the number of voices and opinions in the public discourse.

Read More.

All-News On FM: It's The Money, Honey!

From Robert Feder,
WBBM studio
As Chicago’s one and only all-news station, WBBM-AM (780) made $42.5 million for CBS Radio last year — more than any other radio outlet in town and up from $40 million the previous year.

That’s really all you need to you know to understand why Newsradio 780 soon may be facing competition from a reformatted WKQX-FM (101.1), courtesy of Randy Michaels and his merry band of mirthmakers at Merlin Media.

Whether Chicago radio needs another purveyor of traffic and weather every 10 minutes (or whatever gets thrown into the mix) is beside the point. As long as Newsradio 780 has stood out as the top-billing and top-rated station in the market, it’s been ripe for an FM challenger to come along. Enter Q101.

Granted having Bears football broadcasts for the past decade has enhanced the CBS station’s bottom line significantly. But its format exclusivity undoubtedly remains its strongest suit. “It’s been a great station for a long time,” Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and general manager of the 50,000-watt powerhouse, told me recently. “I think because of the value proposition of the format, and the quality and consistency of the product, we’ve done it better than any other all-news station around the country.”

Why the rush for Merlin Media to switch to news at Q101 and at its new station in New York? According to one of radio’s most respected observers, it may be to cash in on some of the billions about to be spent on political advertising for the 2012 election cycle.
Read More.

Nancy Grace Answers Her Critics

Casey Judge Won't Release Jury Names Now

Cites Society & Media

Orlando Sentinel photo
Many want to know what the 12 jurors in the Casey Anthony case have to say, but their names probably won't be released until later this month, according to a story by  Anthony Colarossi at The Orlando Sentinel.

After hearing from media lawyers seeking release of the jurors' names Thursday, Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry said he will not release the names until a "cooling off" period has expired.

It's not clear how long the cooling off period will be, but some suggested seven to 10 days. Perry should issue an order on the matter next week.

But before hinting at his ruling, Perry made it clear he was reluctant to release the names because many people are angered by the outcome of the trial.

"It's no big secret that some people disagree with their verdict and some people would like to take something out on them," said Perry, adding that some of the jurors want to be left alone now that their service is done. "That's where I found myself in a quandary…Is that right to privacy totally a wash?"

He spoke at length about the changing face of society and journalism, but he was particularly worried about potential attacks. Later, he said, "Jurors are not supposed to make decisions on popularity or public opinion polls."

Several news organizations, including the Orlando Sentinel, were in court arguing for the release of the juror names.

Read More.

Report: American Newspapers Still Troubled

News Industry roaring ahead in emerging platforms

From The

“Who killed the newspaper?” That was the question posed on the cover of The Economist in 2006. It was, perhaps, a little premature. But there is no doubt that newspapers in many parts of the world are having a hard time. In America, where they are in the deepest trouble, the person often blamed is Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, a network of classified-advertising websites that is mostly free to use. Mr Newmark has been called a “newspaper killer” and “the exploder of journalism”, among other things.

The popularity of Craigslist, the ninth most popular website in America, has contributed to a sharp decline in newspapers’ classified-advertising revenue—a business where many newspapers have had comfortable local monopolies for decades. 

The internet-driven fall in classified-ad revenue is only one of the reasons for the decline of newspapers in America, which started decades ago. The advent of television news, and then cable television, lured readers and advertisers away. Then the internet appeared in the 1990s. A new generation of readers grew up getting their news from television and the web, now the two leading news sources in America (the web overtook newspapers in 2010 and is already the most popular source among the under-30s).

These technological shifts hit American newspapers particularly hard because of their heavy reliance on advertising. According to the OECD, a club of developed countries, in 2008 America’s newspapers collectively relied on advertising for 87% of their total revenue, more than any other country surveyed. The 2008-09 recession made things worse. Between 2007 and 2009 newspaper revenues in France fell by 4%, in Germany by 10% and in Britain by 21%. In America they plummeted by 30%. On top of that, a series of mergers and acquisitions in the American newspaper business left many companies saddled with huge debts and pushed several into bankruptcy.

The health of newspapers is particularly important because they tend to set the agenda for other news media and employ the most journalists. In America, for example, the national television networks had around 500 journalists on their staff in 2009, compared with more than 40,000 for daily newspapers (down from 56,000 in 2001). But it would be wrong to conclude from the woes of American newspapers that newspapers and news are in crisis everywhere.

Read More.

Indiana Station Dismisses Long Time Host

WHON-930 AM manager discusses with callers on air

A popular Centerville, IN radio personality said Thursday he was being used as a scapegoat by the company that fired him after nearly 11 years of service.

According to a story by Robert Sullivan at pal.item,com, Troy Derengowski, a talk show host on 930 AM WHON and lead broadcaster for the station's coverage of Richmond High School athletics, has been let go and there is no chance for reinstatement, general manager Paula Kay King said on the air Thursday afternoon.

"This was not a decision made on a whim," King said while on air to discuss the firing with callers Thursday afternoon. "It is something we've been considering for a while."

Derengowski, who worked for 1490 AM WKBV in Richmond from 1990-2000 and at WHON from 2000 until Thursday, said he had never been told by anyone in management that they were considering any action against him or that they had any problem with his work. He also said no one from upper management had called to talk to him about the firing.

"I'm not sure where to begin," Derengowski said Thursday afternoon after listening to King make the announcement on air and answer callers' questions.

"I find it interesting that they come on air and blame me for the station losing listeners and losing money," he said. "I can only do so much with a part-time engineer. I was very vocal about the technical issues we have been having, but all this other stuff is just bull."

King said during Thursday's on-air announcement the station planned to make programming changes and Derengowski was resistant to those.

Read More.

Tom Gamble Leaves 96Rock Cincy

After 15 years on radio, Tom Gamble is calling it quits. His last show on 96ROCK — 96.5 FM WFTK-FM — was today.

In a nutshell, according to John Kiesewtter's TV & Media Blog at,  Gamble was burned out from doing 3 jobs, and getting up at 4 a.m.  (That would do it!)

He’s director of NKU’s Sports Business program, which he started in 2002. It now has 300 students.  Sometimes he’d cut it close getting from his 6-9 a.m. gig at 96ROCK to NKU. As he puts it: “I’ve had plenty of mornings changing clothes in a parking lot.”

He started his own sports events company, In-Game Sports, last year, after doing sports marketing and events for 15 years with Don Schumacher, his father-in-law. Gamble runs the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showtown, which he created in 1998. It has grown from 4 games (2 doubleheaders) in one day, to 17 games over 10 days from Dayton, Ohio, to Union, Ky.

In the fall, he works with Channel 5′s “Blitz 5″ coverage, and the Fox Sports Ohio Thursday night high school football games.

Gamble started in radio in the mid 1990s, hosting a Saturday morning high school sports talk show on old WBOB-AM (1160).   That grew into their “Two Angry Guys” morning show on WBOB-AM, WSAI-AM, WCKY-AM and WFTK-FM until 2008.

“It’s been a lot of fun, absolutely,” says Gamble, 47. “I can’t say I’ll never do it (radio) again. My passion is high school sports. But not now.”

Read More.

WPGC's DJ Rane Sues CBS Radio For Equal Pay

WPGC's DJ RANE files a sex discrimination lawsuit against CBS Radio.

WPGC personality Ranelle "DJ Rane" Sykes is suing her employer, CBS Radio, for discrimination. The lawsuit alleges sex discrimination and a violation of the Maryland Equal Pay Act.

According to a posting at, Sykes, who holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism, says she's paid less than her male "Home Team" co-host, who holds a high school diploma.

The lawsuit requests more than $200,000 in back pay and damages from Lanham-based CBS's DC operations.

Music Passion Drives Four iNet Stations

Jim Murphy of Edgewater, NJ has been involved in terrestrial radio for more 20 years. And now, he now four internet radio stations.  They are part of the Live 365 Internet Radio Network, which distributes all programming over the internet.

Edgewater Radio, which plays oldies from the 50's, 60's 70's and 80's, will celebrate a full decade on the air next year. The station also features news and local events.

Features include:
  • Joey Prout and the Sock Hop Soda shop Sunday's from 2 -5pm EST and Wednesdays from 12:00noon - 3:00pm.
  • Sinatra and friends airs every Sunday from 10am - 2pm and features Sinatra with some of the greatest pop standard artists of all time.
  • Beatles-a-Rama airs every Saturday from 7:00am - 9:00am a great way to start your weekend.
  • Big Bob and the Memory Lane show is the best way to wind down your weekends on Sundays from 5pm to 8pm.
Constant Country KRS is celebrating six years on the air and plays today's hottest country hits and classic country artists like Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette.

Murphy has recently added two stations to his network.

Movin Easy Net Radio, which plays softer gold hits and popular standards, was added in 2010.

Dance Fever 54. It's been on the air for only two months and has already gained more than 9,000 monthly listeners. The station plays disco dance classics from the 70's and 80's.

Read More.

For FAQs, click here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Survey Finds More Jobs, Higher Profits In TV News

2010 Seen As Turnaround Year

The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey found that 2010 marked a turnaround year for local TV news jobs.

According to a release from Bob Papper at Hofstra University, stations added 750 jobs last year, recovering all the losses of 2009 (400 jobs lost) and making a dent in the 1,200 jobs lost in 2008. In fact, the survey found that anticipated hiring in 2011 could bring the industry back to its precrash peak by the start of 2012.

Total local television news employment is now 26,522. That's an increase of 2.9 percent in the last year. That's still 1,295 behind the 2007 peak of 27,817.

Read More.

NYC Emmis' OM Brian D'Aurelio To Move On

More than ever it looks as if Randy Michael et al at Merlin Media will be ready to make some changes to NYC's 101.9 FM WRXP in early August, as current Emmis OM Brian D'Aurelio announces his departure.

D'Aurelio will work through the end of July.  He has served as OM for the three Emmis station in NYC: 97.1 FM WQHT, 98.7 FM WRKS and WRXP.  D'Aurelio also jocked evenings on RXP.

Merlin is expected to starting programming WRXP under an LMA agreement, pending FCC approval of its purchase of majority interest in the station. Emmis will be a minority owner. The other two stations in the cluster, WQHT (Hot 97) and WRKS (98.7 Kiss FM), remain with Emmis.

"After 12 years in New York and six years working with the talented people at Emmis/New York, the recent sale of Emmis properties has necessitated my departure," said D'Aurelio, who previously served as Director of Marketing & Digital Media for the trio of stations.

"I'm now looking for my next opportunity to lead, inspire creativity and innovate in brand marketing, radio management and/or on-air programming," he says. "I'm open to relocation, so all markets and opportunities are of interest! Contact"

Also said to be looking for new opportunities is Jane Fiorello in Promotions. Fiorello is best known for her previous work at PromoSuite.

More departures are expected to become known soon.

RIP: Scott Kenyon, KFMB 'Rich Brother'

Scott Kenyon
San Diego's B100 Tribute Facebook Page has announced the pssing of 'Rich Brother' Scott Kenyon.

Kenyon died Tuesday from cancer. He was 61-years-old.  He was under Hospice Care at the time of death and was surrounded by family and friends, including sons Brady and Skyler.  'Rich Brother' Bobby and Debbie Rich were also presents as well as Scott's friend and caregiver Ceci.

B-100 100.7 FM KFMB will always hold a special place in the annals of San Diego radio. From the mid 1970's to its eventual rebranding as Star 100.7 in the early 1990's the station connected with a city in ways that are virtually unheard of today.

In the process it became a place that symbolized an entire community and provided some incredible memories for listeners and those amazing DJ's that worked there.

Video features The B-100 B Morning Zoo continued with the remaining Rich Brothers (Frank Anthony, Scott Kenyon & Pat Gaffey) Bobby Rich left for Seattle in 1990.

Bobby Rich is now PD/AM Driver at the Journal's 94.9 FM AC KMXZ in Tucson.

Murdoch Shutters News of the World Tabloid

Cell phone hacking scandal

(Reuters)-- In a breathtaking response to a scandal engulfing his media empire, Rupert Murdoch moved on Thursday to close down the News of the World, Britain's biggest selling Sunday newspaper.

As allegations mounted this week that its journalists had hacked the voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain's war dead, the tabloid had haemorrhaged advertising and alienated millions of readers.

Yet no one, least of all the 168-year-old paper's staff, was prepared for the drama of a single sentence that will surely go down as one of the most startling turns in the 80-year-old Australian-born press baron's long and controversial career.

"News International today announces that this Sunday, 10 July 2011, will be the last issue of the News of the World," read the preamble to a statement from Murdoch's son James, who heads the British newspaper arm of News Corp.

Hailing a fine muck-raking tradition at the paper, which his father bought in 1969, James Murdoch told its staff that the latest explosion of a long-running scandal over phone hacking by journalists had made the future of the title untenable:

"The good things the News of the World does ... have been sullied by behaviour that was wrong. Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our Company. The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself.

"This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World ... In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World's revenue this weekend will go to good causes.

Read More.

Fort Wayne Woman Blames Radio Prank For Abuse

It started out as a prank involving a Fort Wayne radio station 107.9 FM WJFX New Haven, IN, but ended with the butt of the joke becoming a victim of domestic violence. She's blaming the radio station.

According to a story posted at, It began when Sonya Snyder found provocative pictures on her ex-boyfriend's phone. She looked through it and found the contact labeled as "Hot." When she called the number, she got HOT 107.9. That began what she calls a nightmare.

Snyder, 49, said the DJ led her to believe her ex-boyfriend was at a party and on PCP, all while his daughter was around.

“I told them again that his stuff was going to be placed outside,” said Snyder. “They told me that he said go ahead and put it outside. He didn't need it anyways."

When the man came back to Snyder's apartment, she confronted him, but he didn't know what she was talking about. They began to argue, and she said the man grabbed her hair and threw her to the ground.

“I’ve got bruises all over my body,” she said. “And at that point he took his hand and hit me three times, gave me two black eyes, bloodied my nose, and I had a towel full of blood.”

In the meantime, HOT 107.9 replayed the prank on the air. 24-Hour News 8's news partner WANE-TV asked Phil Becker, general manager/director of programming at Oasis Radio Group, about Snyder’s claims.

He said the DJ thought Snyder was trying to pull a prank on him because she asked for “Poncho.”

Becker said Snyder would have known she called the radio station because employees always answer “HOT 107.9.” Snyder claims the employee simply answered “Hello?”

“I have listened to the audio of the call that was broadcast, and it is clearly done in jest," Becker said in a news release. "More importantly, the claims that the caller accused of us of saying are not factual.

"While I am saddened to hear that someone laid their hands on the caller, there is no correlation between domestic abuse at her home and our place of business.”

Read More.

Facebook Looks To Dominate Digital Communications

Announces Skype partnership, upgrades to text chatting functions

From Wailin Wong, The Chicago Tribune
Facebook wants your computer to ring off the hook. And it just might happen now that the social networking giant has turned on video calling for its 750 million members.

The announcement Wednesday that Facebook Inc. is partnering with Skype to offer free video calling represents the latest effort by a marquee technology company to dominate all forms of digital communication. Most notably, Facebook took on traditional email last year by rolling out a new messaging system that incorporates email, online chat and text messages into a single conversation history.

Those communication channels have become mainstream for many consumers. What's been slower to catch on is video chat, which represents the next big land grab for these technology rivals....

Video calling isn't a regular part of most consumers' online activities. According to an October report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, about 19 percent of American adults have tried the technology online or on their mobile phones. But on any given day, just 4 percent of Internet users are engaged in video calling, chatting or teleconferencing.

Still, tech companies believe they can stoke demand for video calling if they make it simple to use. If even a fraction of Facebook's 750 million members embrace video calling, the technology could get a significant boost.
Read More.

iHeartRadio Promises a Major Announcement

Expected 8:15am ET Monday July 11th

Clear Channel's iHeartRadio is inviting fans to attend it's Facebook Page announcement Monday for a major announcement. 

The interactive media social networking platform outlet teases the event by stating:
Imagine you made your greatest playlist ever. Pop, rock, hip-hop….Now imagine people all across America in one spot to see that playlist come to life!

Well, it’s happening and you could be there, details coming July 11th! Who would be on your list? offers music content (full albums streaming online, music singles, exclusive sneak peeks, live performances and music videos) as well as entertainment, sports, national news and photos. In addition to the programming of news and music, iheartradio also offers access to 750+ radio stations streaming online.

Content is also made shareable by the use of widgets. Users can grab and embed widgets of specific radio channels and photo galleries to share with friends.

Casey Anthony Juror Puts Price Tag On Interview

Casey Verdict Front Page Coverage

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Report: Steve Dahl Ready To Start New Project

Steve Dahl, exiled to cyberspace since 2008 after he was cut loose from the late robo-formatted Jack FM on 104.3 FM WJMK, the Chicago radio personality's contract with CBS expires Friday, freeing him for a possible return to the airwaves.

According to a story by Robert Channick, at The Chicago Tribune, Dahl promises to announce his plans via Twitter at noon Monday.

"By this time next week you will know what my new career plan will be!" Dahl tweeted Tuesday.

The pioneering broadcaster turned podcaster exited WJMK-FM more than 2 1/2 years ago after a failed marriage between the irreverent morning man and the jockless, iPod shuffle-like music format. Jack FM was shelved locally in March for K-Hits, an adult hits format replete with live air personalities.

Paid more than $1 million annually to stay off the air, Dahl launched a daily 90-minute podcast from his basement in 2009. Some 7 million shows have been downloaded, according to the website.

After starting out at radio stations in California and Detroit, the 30-year-veteran has spent most of his career in Chicago, breaking new ground with his on-air radio verite and at least one infamous promotion. His resume includes logging lengthy airtime at The Loop — both WLUP-AM and FM — WLS-AM and FM and WCKG. Dahl may be best known for 1979's Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park, where the symbolic torching of disco records proved incendiary to an overflow crowd of rock fans, causing a riot and forcing the White Sox to forfeit the second half of a doubleheader to the Detroit Tigers.

Read More.

Opinion: Time to Revive the P.M. News Product

From  Alan D. Mutter, Editor & Publisher
Back in 1940, 80 percent of the 1,877 daily newspapers in the United States were published on the afternoon cycle, meaning that editions were printed some time prior to noon for delivery to consumers coming home from work. And it was good.

By 2000, 52 percent of the nation’s 1,480 newspapers were publishing on the morning cycle to accommodate people who worked later, had longer commutes, and were more interested in watching TV than cracking open a freshly delivered broadsheet. And things were still pretty good.

In 2009, according to the latest statistics published by the Newspaper Association of America, 62 percent of the remaining 1,387 newspapers were produced overnight for delivery around 6 a.m. But things lately have not been very good, with newspaper circulation down by a third in the last 20 years.

Now, a bit of interesting market research suggests that going back to an evening news product may be one way for newspaper publishers to build new audiences and revenues. But the evening product of the 21st century would be delivered on mobile and tablet platforms, not in print.
Read More.

Report: NYC Traffic Reporter McKay To New 101.9 FM

NYC radio listeners who will miss Jeff McKay's traffic reports on 1010 AM WINS may not have to miss them for long. He's reportedly going to resurface as a significant player on the new 101.9 FM, whatever it will be called and whatever format it will adopt.

According to a story by David Hinckley at, McKay left Metro Networks last Thursday, giving his last WINS reports just a week before he would have marked 20 years at Metro.

Since traffic reports are one of the most popular and critical elements on radio, McKay and other traffic reporters - like Tom Kaminski on 880 AM WCBS and others too numerous to mention - often develop their own followings.

In McKay's case, he has become known for offering alternative routes ("The McKay Way") and for suggesting many times that traffic jams are partly caused by a shortage of open booths on toll roads.

His hiring by Merlin Media, which is buying the current 101.9 FM WRXP from Emmis, hasn't officially been announced. It was confirmed by persons close to the deal.

McKay is also known for his traffic reports and banter on 101.5 FM WKXW. Walter Sabo, who created the "New Jersey 101.5" format, was recently hired to run Merlin.

In any case, the move adds weight to reports that Merlin plans a nonmusic format for the station - perhaps news, possibly with a talk component.

Read More.

Nancy Grace Rips The Casey Anthony Verdict

Nancy Grace: ‘The Devil Is Dancing Tonight'

Defense Team Disgusted By Media

After defense lawyer Cheney Mason delivered a scathing critique of the media, accusing “biased, prejudiced, and incompetent talking heads“ of ”media assassination.”  The Associated Press caught him giving the media the middle finger afterwards at a local restaurant.

AP Photo

Opinion: The Media's Casey Anthony Shame

From Howard Kurtz Spin Cycle at The Daily Beast:

Her lawyer was right to denounce the coverage, but it's worse than he says

Casey Anthony's lawyer was half-right in complaining about “media assassination” soon after she was acquitted of murder and manslaughter.

Cheney Mason said Tuesday that he hoped “incompetent talking heads…talking about cases they don’t know a damned thing about” had learned a lesson from the surprise verdict.

Lots of legal loudmouths in our Judge Judy culture convicted Anthony of killing her 2-year-old daughter. The Nancy Graces of the world are more interested in vociferous opinions--in her case, siding with prosecutors in almost every case--than in dispassionately weighing the evidence.

Read More.

The Talk Ladies Get Emotional During Casey Verdict

Providence: WPRO Radio Pro Larry Kruger Passes

Larry Kruger, who was the sidekick for 15 years to Rhode Island’s most popular radio personality, Salty Brine, has died, reported Wednesday.

Kruger reported on traffic for the TV station in the 1990s, after Brine retired in 1993 and he spent a two-year stint co-hosting 630 AM WPRO’s morning drive-time show with John “Coach” Colletto. He also worked for Rhode Island oldies station B101 and many other radio stations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

But it was being teamed with Brine, starting in 1978, that made “Ice Cold” Larry Kruger a Rhode Island household name.

Brine retired in 1993, when WPRO was sold, ending a 50-year run with the station. Kruger and Colletto, who had been the show’s sportscaster, teamed for two years after that, but the team “never seemed to hit stride,” the Journal reported, and the station dropped Kruger in 1995.

Brine died in 2004. Kruger was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame in May.
WPRO reported that Kruger was 66 and died of “health complications.” The radio station said that visiting hours and a service would be held on Saturday.

Read More.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CC Gives Jax The KISS-Off, Branding 97.9 'Radio Now'

Jacksonville radio station 97.9 FM WFKS in Jacksonville, FL tweaked its format Tuesday morning, changing from pop contemporary hit music to more adult contemporary hits, according to the station’s market manager.

“The music has definitely shifted a bit older,” said Aaron Wilborn, market manager for Clear Channel Radio’s six stations in Jacksonville, including WFKS. He told Mark Basch at the target demographic for the station would now be 30-year-old women.

The station’s nickname changed from Kiss FM for the old pop hit format to Radio Now 97.9 for the new adult hit format.

To give an example of the change, the final song Tuesday under the old format was “Bye Bye Bye” from Nsync, and the first song under the new format was “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down.

Wilborn said Radio Now will play a mix of music ranging from Lady Gaga to Panic at the Disco.
“It’s a little crazy. But it’s something that this market has needed,” he said.

As a pop contemporary hit station, WFKS was competing with Cox Radio’s WAPE (95.1 FM), which has been a long-time leader in the Jacksonville market for that format. According to the most recent monthly ratings data from Arbitron Inc., WAPE ranked sixth in the market in May with a 7.6 percent average-quarter-hour share of all listeners aged six and older. WKFS ranked 11th with a 4.2 percent share.

Read More.

Here is a sampling of Radio Now's music from Tuesday 2pm hour:
  • Katy Perry - E.T. (Futuristic Lover)
  • Shakira - Hips Don't Lie (w/ Wyclef Jean)
  • Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
  • Maroon 5 - Misery
  • Usher - DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love (w/ Pitbull)
  • Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)
  • OneRepublic - Good Life
  • The All-American Rejects - Move Along
  • Black Eyed Peas - Just Can't Get Enough
  • Pink - Who Knew
  • Coldplay - Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Listen Here.

Cox-Tampa Bettin' PPM-Friendly CHR Will Win

A CHR radio battle started at the end of last week in Tampa, as Cox Media flipped it's '80s formatted 101.5 FM WPOI to CHR. 

The move directly challenges Clear Channel's 93.3 FM WFLZ, which has been the dominant contemporary music station in the market since it was the Power Pig knocking off Q105 WRBQ in 1989.

Cox is hoping a more-friendly PPM friendly executed fomart will help it knock-off or seriously dent the 93.3 FLZ, which has trended 6.8-7.4-7.5 in the latest three PPMs (6+ Total Week).

The station is playing 10,000 songs in a row as a kick-off promotion. WFLZ is currently commercial-free 8a to 11a and 2p-5p weekdays.

According to Cox vice president and Tampa market manager Keith Lawless, WFLZ has had the CHR audience of Tampa Bay's for itself for too long, and his company has decided to offer a direct challenge.

Todd Schnitt aka MJ
As part of their strategy, Cox is taking on WFLZ's signature personality, MJ Schnitt. "(Schnitt) plays four songs in morning," Lawless said. "He’s a 45-year-old man trying to speak to women 20 years his junior. We’re going to play more music than them....which is what this audience wants."  Hot 101.5 is expected to add jocks.

And where's MJ while all this is happening?  He's on vacation, unavailable for comment.

Schnitt also hosts a PM Drive talk show on sister 970 AM WFLA.

However, CC Tampa market manager Sam Nein responded to columnist Eric Deggans at via email:

"You know when you are the number one station in the market that you have a target on your back and competitors will come after you. If another group had the number one station in the market and we had an under performing FM, we very well may have taken the same action, so it is an understandable move."

Nein added the new competition will no doubt bring out the very best in everybody involved with FLZ.

A Sampling of 93.3 FLZ' Top Songs
  1 Pitbull - Give Me Everything (w/ Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer)
  2 Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory
  3 Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
  4 LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (w/ Lauren Bennett & Goon Rock)
  5 Adele - Rolling In The Deep
  6 Britney Spears - I Wanna Go
  7 Pitbull  - Give Me Everything
  8 Katy Perry - E.T. (Futuristic Lover)
  9 Britney Spears - Till The World Ends
11 Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory
12 Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
13 Nicki Minaj - SUPER BASS
14 Katy Perry - Last Friday Night
15 Jason DeRulo - Don't Wanna Go Home
16 Britney Spears - I Wanna Go
17 Katy Perry  - E.t.
18 Black Eyed Peas - Just Can't Get Enough
19 THE BAND PERRY - If I Die Young
20 Lupe Fiasco - The Show Goes On

A sampling of Hot 101.5's Top Songs
  1 LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (w/ Lauren Bennett & Goon Rock)
  2 Katy Perry - E.T. (Futuristic Lover)
  3 Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory
  4 Pitbull - Give Me Everything (w/ Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer)
  5 Adele - Rolling In The Deep
  6 J. Lo - On The Floor (w/ Pitbull)
  7 Lupe Fiasco - The Show Goes On
  8 Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
  9 Britney Spears - Till The World Ends
10 Black Eyed Peas - Just Can't Get Enough
11 Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
12 Eminem - Lighters (w/ Bruno Mars & Royce Da 5'9
13 Jason DeRulo - Don't Wanna Go Home
14 Britney Spears - I Wanna Go
15 Afrojack - Take Over Control (w/ Eva Simons)
16 Cee-Lo Green - F You
17 Usher - DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love (w/ Pitbull)
18 Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)
19 Enrique Iglesias - Tonight (w/ Ludacris)
20 Bruno Mars - Grenade

KTRH: News Wheel "Out", Friendly Approach "In"

Patrick, Melkonian Start Houston's Morning News

Today is the start day for the "Fox & Friends" type morning show on Clear Channel's 740 AM Houston. 

To make that happen, KTRH jettisoned Lana Hughes and J.P. Pritchard (corrected last name) after Thursday's show. In their place will be new morning host Matt Pattrick and Lois Melkonian as news reader/side-kick.

Patrick comes from the Ohio-Indiana area where for the past nine months hosted the morning news show on N/T 95.3 FM WTRC, branded as "Michianna's News Channel".  Patrick also hosted a weekend show on Clear Channel's 1100 AM WTAM in Cleveland, OH and did fill-in on CC's "Big One" 700 AM WLW in Cincinnati.

Patrick left a goodbye message on WTRC's website: are without equal!

From the moment I arrived in town, you have opened your hearts, minds, and doors to me. I have NEVER felt more welcome anywhere I have traveled.

My wfie, Paula, and I fell in love with this area, but mostly..the people.

95.3 MNC is one of the very few radio stations brave enough to stand in face of overwhelming liberal media, and lawmakers, and call them out! I am proud to be a part of the legacy of this great radio station.

No one person makes or breaks any radio station or well-run business. I was honored to be your morning man for these past 9 months. Because of YOU..the national guys listened..and asked if I would carry the message of conservatism, and love of country, to a wider audience.

After talking with my family, and every one here at 95.3 MNC, they said "If you don't do it..we will kick your butt"!

Patrick's co-host is Lois Melkonian, who comes from Clear Channel's 850 AM KOA in Denver, which she called home for the past six years. 

She was news-reader the PM Drive Show and previous experience includes TV and radio news stints in San Francisco.

Melkonian could have stayed in Denver, but the Houston offer came up and it was literally an offer she couldn't refuse, she told Bill Husted at the Denver Post.

But she'll miss Denver.

Eddie Martiny, general manager for KTRH and Clear Channel's other Houston stations, acknowledged that the departure of Hughes and Pritchard marks the end of a traditional morning news show on KTRH, Houston’s longtime news-talk market leader, and the beginning of a show more similar to the Fox and Friends show on Fox News.

“It brings to an end news the way we have been providing it,” Martiny told David Barron at the Houston Chronicle. “But KTRH will still be a radio station that’s going to provide a lot of news. We will just do it a bit differently, based on our research and the feedback that we’ve received.

He told Barron the changes reflect the nature of the radio business and the manner in which listeners obtain news from the Internet and mobile devices.

“A news wheel on radio is no longer as compelling as it used to be,” he said. “Ten years ago, radio stations were prime sources of where people went to get news. Today, they get it from Blackberries and smartphones.

Also Read:

DRUE MYERS:  The Texas Radio News Brain Drain

EARLIER POSTING:  Clear Channel Rebrands KTRH Houston

Recalling rulers of the airwaves, Personalities who dominated Houston's dials

PPM Forces Quiet Changes For Charlotte Radio

From Mark Washburn,
"Our show radically changed overnight, with people saying, 'I hate you and am going to burn your village,'" says Sheri Lynch, the female half of the WLNK-FM ("Link" 107.9) morning show, which has been carrying on an intimate conversation with listeners for 18 years and is syndicated on more than 40 stations.

Driving the change is something called "Personal People Meters," or PPMs, distributed to about 1,000 people in the Charlotte area by Arbitron, which compiles radio ratings.

Last summer, Arbitron abandoned its long-time method of monitoring radio usage, which relied on people in a sample audience to keep a listening diary.

Now they wear PPMs, a pager-like device that detects an inaudible code in radio signals, providing a minute-by-minute digital log of what people listen to. They're more accurate, Arbitron says.

As meters were placed in major radio markets, analysts began to see trends that hadn't been evident. Classic hits and top 40 stations generally performed better than before. Niche audience stations and some ethnic stations lost ground. Overall, Less chit-chat and more music buoyed ratings.

As PPMs drew near, Charlotte stations began making changes. WQNC-FM ("Q" 92.7), abandoned its urban talk format in favor of music. WBT-AM (1110) launched a "Traffic on the 10s" campaign to remind commuters when they could get updates and ended the practice of welcoming guests onto the faster-paced "Charlotte's Morning News" show, now just jumping right to a question.

At WLNK-FM, Bob and Sheri were summoned to a meeting with management last summer to talk about their show, an unusual move.

Among those present were program director Bill White, general manager Rick Feinblatt and Buzz Knight, vice president of program development for Greater Media, based at the company's Braintree, Mass., headquarters. PPMs would bring changes to their show, Lacey and Lynch were told.

"They said it's going to be a little bit different," Lynch says. "They were studying what was happening in other markets."

"That first meeting was a short one," recalls Lacey. "I was angry. Sheri was angry. I was like, 'I'm not going to do a show for some damn machine.'"

But in August, the pace of the show changed. Music breaks. No more rambling callers. Tighter segments.
Read More.

Davenport: WOC Partners With WQC For News

WOC Newstalk 1420 And KWQC TV6 Back Together Again

It’s been 24 years since the two news leaders were under the same ownership, but now they’re together again in a joint news venture.

1420 AM WOC now airs the TV6 5pm news in its 5:30pm news block!

“It’s a great opportunity for us to bolster our news coverage in the 30 minutes following Jim Fisher,” says WOC Program Director Dan Kennedy.  “If you missed being able to hear Channel 6 news on your car radio….now you can!”

KWQC News Director Denise Killian adds, “With our switch to high definition and a new news set, we felt it was the perfect time for this agreement with WOC.”

WOC Newstalk 1420 will also work with the KWQC TV6 anchors and reporters to ensure that the news commitment to the Quad Cities continues to be second to none.

Listen Here.

New CNN News Chief Takes Stock

From David Folkenflik, NPR Morning Edition:

It's pretty easy to see the winning formula for Fox News and MSNBC. They spend their evening hours stoking outrage from the political right and left, respectively.

But it's not as clear what the missing secret sauce should be for CNN. The cable news pioneer now continually lags in ratings during prime time, the most heavily watched hours.

Mark Whitaker, acknowledges CNN has been thrown off course.

Read More.

Planned Ad Spending Up

But not on mobile or digital

Figures released by Advertiser Perceptions show that advertisers are planning on spending more money in the coming 12 months. However, the areas in which they plan to increase advertising spend are somewhat surprising, according to a story by Helen Leggatt at

Advertiser Perceptions' CEO Ken Pearl believes the biggest surprise from his firm's survey is that advertisers are increasingly optimistic in a weakening economy.

The bi-annual survey of more than 3,200 marketers and advertisers found that those working for the biggest consumer brands are optimistic about raising ad spending in the coming 12 months, more so than they have been in the previous four years.

However, it was the areas in which ad spend increases were planned that surprised Leggatt. Despite the hype of mobile and social it was traditional media - national newspapers, magazines, broadcast and cable television - at which the dollars were directed.
Read More.

Talker Agnello To Return To WCHS Charleston, WV

A radio host and former preacher who made headlines last summer when his run-ins with law enforcement prompted his removal from the airwaves will be returning to WCHS radio.

Mike Agnello will return July 8 as co-host of Charleston's longest running local radio talk show, "58 Live," on 580 AM WCHS, according to a story by Ashley B. Craig at

He'll be rejoining Rick Johnson, who has been doing the show solo since Agnello left, in their old time slot from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Mike Agnello mugshot
"We're glad to have him back," said Mike Buxser, vice president and market manager for West Virginia Radio Corp.

He was removed from the show last June after a series of "off-air incidents" including some that involved police action. Buxser said charges were dropped in the cases from last summer.

Agnello was arrested June 23, 2010, after a domestic situation with his girlfriend, Amy Dorsey. He was accused of grabbing the woman by the arms and throwing her to the ground several times. Police noticed reddish marks on the backs of her arms and fresh bruising on her hip and leg.