Friday, November 9, 2012

Tim McGraw Thanks Soldiers in Nashville

Veterans Day Is Sunday

Tim McGraw surprised 30 soldiers and their families during a Veteran’s Day appreciation luncheon at Outback Steakhouse in Brentwood, Tenn. on Thursday. According to, the singer gave out handshakes, words of encouragement and thank yous to the men and women for their service.

“I just feel lucky to do what I do for a living and things like this that I get to do,” McGraw told Nashville, Tenn. newspaper theTennessean at the event. “I think it’s the most important thing that we have.”

McGraw’s connection to the military runs deep. His sister is a veteran of the first Gulf War, his grandfather was a World War II veteran and his uncle was a Vietnam veteran. “It’s in the family, but in the larger scope, we wouldn’t be able to tick with out it in our country and do the things we do, we wouldn’t be able travel like we travel,” the singer explained. “Our military in a lot of ways makes the larger part of the world a safer place.”

McGraw has done much to support the troops, including partnering with Operation Homefront, ACM Lifting Lives and Chase Bank to help provide 25 mortgage-free homes to wounded soldiers and their families during the tour stops on his recent Brothers of the Sun Tour with Kenny Chesney.

“12-12-12” Concert To Benefit Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Madison Square Garden - Bloomberg
Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises is teaming up with Madison Square Garden and the Harvey Weinstein Company for a December concert to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims.

The line-up for the concert, called “12-12-12”, has not yet been released.  However, promoters are promising some of the biggest names in pop music and rock’n’roll.    Negotiations are said to be on-going.

According to the NYTimes “12-12-12” is being produced by James Dolan of Madison Square Garden, John Sykes of CC and Harvey Weinstain.  They also produced “Concert for New York City” after the 9/11 attacks.  That events drew 14,000 and raised more than $30M. 

Among the musicians who performed were Paul McCartney, Melissa Etheridge, John Mellencamp, Elton John, the Backstreet Boys, The Who, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Jay-Z, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, and Destiny's Child. Notably both the Who and the Rolling Stones have concerts in the New York metropolitan area that week.

Tickets for the show — which are not available yet — will be sold to create a pool of money that will be administered by the Robin Hood Relief Fund, the active arm of the Robin Hood Foundation. Formed in 1988 by a team of corporate executives drawn mostly from the financial services industry, the Robin Hood Foundation has contributed to hundreds of New York City nonprofits over the past three decades. The foundation's Relief Fund was established in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and has once again become active in the wake of the storm. The Fund promises that 100 per cent of the money raised by the concert will go directly to hurricane relief.

Burbank heads into Radio Hall of Fame

Museum in Chicago honors former WLW-AM humorist

Michael E. Keating photo
Is there room in the National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum for Gary Burbank and his alter-egos Earl Pitts, Gilbert Gnarley, the Rev. Deuteronomy Skaggs and Synonymous Bengal? 
Gary should have his own wing, just so there’s room enough for his incredible cast of characters,” said Roger Naylor, one of his writers in the 1990s. 
Burbank, who retired from WLW-AM in 2007, will be honored by the Chicago museum Saturday with Howard Stern, “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” and personalities Jack Cooper (Chicago), Ron Chapman (Dallas), Art Laboe (Los Angeles) and Luther Massingill (Chattanooga). 
“I never really expected much. I had so many people tell me to find something else to do because I wasn’t very good (at first). I insisted on doing characters,” said Burbank, 71, who splits his time between homes in Alexandria and Florida. “I appreciate it enormously. I don’t even have a high school education. I went into the Army when I was 17.” 
Born William Purser in Memphis, he was a drummer for the Mar-Keys soul band before debuting as DJ Johnny Apollo in 1964 in Lake Providence, La. 
After stints at Louisville’s WAKY-AM and WHAS-AM, and Detroit/Windsor’s powerful CKLW-AM, Burbank came to WLW-AM in 1981 planning to work for a year and return to Louisville so his wife, Carol, could be near family. 
He never left, in part because WLW-AM hired a producer to help him crank out up to 10 new comedy bits a day. His sidekicks say they knewthey were working with a Hall of Famer years ago.

“Business Decisions” Mean Cox Cuts In San Antonio


The latest round of shocking cuts, which occurred less than a week ago, include (but are not limited to) KONO staple Steven O. Sellers  (47-years in radio) and Magic 105 lovely, Katrina Curtiss.

S.A. rock vet Tom T-Bone Scheppke of X106.7 (KTKX-FM), who, previously, had spent many years at KISS and KZEP, also got the ax, according to Jeanne Jakle at

Of course, none of these longtime voices got the opportunity to say goodbye to their loyal listeners.

What was at the root of the changes?   Dan Lawrie, vice president and market manager of Cox Media Group, said Thursday that it was “a business decision.” In other words, the cuts weren’t  performance related.

That was indeed confirmed by Sellers, who said he got a cheery exit interview that emphasized how great his ratings.

Sellers said he’ll miss his friends and audience. After getting his start at KONO-AM, he then hopped around the country a bit to larger markets before landing back in San Antonio and at the ‘greatest hits’ station 13 years ago.

His latest KONO gig was the prime afternoon shift – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. That’s now being handled by Steve Casanova.

Study: 50% of Internet Users Listen To Pandora

According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, 50 percent of Internet users (96 million) listened to music on an Internet radio or on-demand music service in the past three months. More than one-third (37 percent) of U.S. Internet users listened to music on Pandora and other Internet radio services, while an equal percentage (36 percent) used an on-demand music service, like YouTube, VEVO, Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody, and Rdio.

The audience for Internet radio grew 27 percent year over year, as the on-demand music audience increased by 18 percent. As Internet radio and on-demand listening has risen, the number of consumers who reported listening to music on CDs dropped 16 percent, while the music audience for AM/FM radio fell 4 percent, and the number of consumers listening to digital downloads declined 2 percent.

“Although AM/FM radio remains America’s favorite music-listening choice, the basket of Internet radio and streaming services that are available today have, on the whole, replaced CDs for second place,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “We expect this pattern to continue, as consumers become more comfortable with ownership defined as a playlist, rather than as a physical CD or digital file.”

NPD’s “Music Acquisition Monitor” revealed that since 2009 the percentage of Pandora users who also listened to AM/FM radio declined by 10 percentage points, those listening to CDs on a non-computer device fell 21 percentage points, and listening to digital music files on portable music players also dropped 21 points. Part of these declines can be attributed to the fact that 34 percent of Pandora users are now listening to music on the service in their cars -- either connecting through an in-car appliance, or listening via car-stereo-connected smartphones or other personal listening devices.

Although listening to music on YouTube and VEVO generally appeals to a younger audience, NPD noted similar changes in traditional patterns among these users, since 2009. Among YouTube and VEVO users, CD listening on players and in cars dropped 22 percentage points, listening to digital files on portable players declined 17 points, and listening to AM/FM radio fell 12 points.

Consumers who listened to music on Pandora, VEVO, and YouTube also noted a significant positive effect on their overall discovery and rediscovery of music. In fact 64 percent of these services’ users reported rediscovering older music, and 51 percent were learning about new music. “AM/FM radio has traditionally played a significant role in helping consumers learn about new music from well known artists, as well as finding new ones; however, Pandora and other music services are an increasingly important part of the music-discovery process.”

New Radio Format In Charlotte Snatches Ears

A year ago, Radio One was looking to sell its under performing Charlotte stations.

It couldn’t get a good offer, so the Maryland-based broadcasting company decided to go all-in and try to make a dent against CBS Radio’s powerhouse urban duo of WBAV-FM (“V” 101.9) and WPEG-FM (“Power” 97.9).

Based on the October rankings from Arbitron, Radio One hit its target with a vengeance.

According to a story by Mark Washington at,  key to the strategy was its $7.75 million acquisition of WNOW-FM (105.3). Radio One switched formats from Spanish to classic hits in September.

 It was renamed “Old School” for its menu of black artists like the Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder and Rick James. In a single month, the station’s overall audience shot up nearly 140 percent, landing in a tie at No. 11 with Clear Channel Radio’s WHQC-FM (“Channel” 96.1).

This week “Old School” (WNOW) changed its call letters to WOSF-FM.    CBS Radio quickly picked up the WNOW call letters for 92.3 FM in NYC.

“That’s for ‘Old School Flavah,’ says Gary Weiss, who oversees Radio One’s stations in Charlotte, Raleigh and Richmond. “Spell it right – it’s F-L-A-V-A-H.”

Radio One’s gains came at the expense of CBS Radio’s stations. WBAV-FM, which has long dominated radio rankings with its bookend syndicated shows of Steve Harvey in the mornings and Michael Baisden in afternoon drive time. It fell to No. 3 behind the city’s two country stations in October, a 20 percent tumble for WBAV-FM. Sister station WPEG-FM fell 11 percent in overall listeners, landing at No. 5.

In nearly every ratings period since the beginning of 2006, WBAV-FM has been Charlotte’s the No. 1 station. It lost Tom Joyner’s morning show to Radio One’s WQNC-FM (and is now on “Old School”) in late 2004 and faded before landing Harvey a year later. He was an instant success and WBAV-FM has topped ratings since.

WBAV-FM’s operations director Terri Avery says she expected some dip because every new station attracts sampling. But she believes that CBS’s stations will continue to dominate against “Old School,” which plays music but has no local hosts, because of CBS’s intensely local focus and popular talents like Chirl Girl, Gary Knight and Jewel Carter.

R.I.P.: WGFB Rockford Morning Co-Host Jeannie Hayes Was 29

UPDATE 11/13/12:  WREX airs Hayes Tribute

Original Posting....

Even mice could count Jeannie Hayes as their friend, according to a story at the Rockford, Ill Register Star.

The critters that infiltrated the cornfield-surrounded WREX studio were released to outside safety after Hayes caught them in garbage cans, said Rebecca Klopf, a producer and reporter at the TV station where Hayes has worked as a producer, anchor and show host.

Hayes,  a vegetarian, also insisted that whomever was making her sandwich at Subway put on new gloves so her lunch would be free of any meat residue, said Maggie Hradecky, former news director at WREX who hired Hayes in 2005. Hradecky now is manager of the Community Content House for GateHouse Media, which owns the Register Star.

Hayes, 29, died Thursday night. She was hospitalized at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center on Tuesday when doctors diagnosed her with an aggressive form of leukemia.

Hayes was diagnosed with a bladder infection when she sought medical treatment Monday. She called 911 on Tuesday after her condition had worsened. Doctors diagnosed her with leukemia and performed emergency surgery on Wednesday, as a result of which she fell into a coma.

Hayes has been a producer and anchor of WREX’s weekday noon newscast and host and producer of “13 Cares,” a community talk show that runs Sunday mornings on the station. The past several months, she was the co-host with Sean Henry on the WGFB / B103 morning show.

Hayes grew up in Granger, Ind., near South Bend with her parents and two sisters. Her cellphone ringtone off-and-on: the theme song to the “I Dream of Jeannie” TV show.

A posting on the B103 website said “ Jeannie had two grown sisters and two wonderful parents – we know that she will be missed by all of them. As one of the sweetest, kindest, and most genuine people we will have ever gotten to meet - we know the people of Rockford will miss Jeannie Hayes.”

Larry O'Connor Joins WMAL For AM Drive

Larry O’Connor, talk host and Editor-In-Chief of the website, joins Brian Wilson as co- host of Cumulus News/Talk WMAL/Washington’s morning program, “Mornings On The Mall”.

O’Connor, who has regularly guest-hosted the nationally-syndicated “Dennis Miller Show” as well as programs on WMAL, WABC and WOR/New York, WPHT/ Philadelphia, and WLS/Chicago (among others), began his talkradio career by creating the highest-rated nightly news show on Blog Talk Radio.

Cledus T. Judd Hooks up With WTCR Huntington

Radio personality/comedian Cledus T. Judd is departing  country WQYK Tampa, F. for – Huntington, WV.  Huh? WTH?

The move apparently is for family reasons, Judd says he’s been looking for an opportunity which would allow him to be closer to his daughter and family.

“Most radio people spend their careers trying to get out of a small town and I’ve been working most of mine trying to figure out how to get back to one,” said Judd.  “I want to thank the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment team for giving me my dream gig on WTCR 103.3.”

Judd is joing CC’s  country WTCR and will partner with long-time hosts Judy Eaton and Clint McElroy for a rebranded morning show “The Cledus T. Party with Judy and Clint”.  The new show starts November 19th.

Judd is nationally known for his parody of country songs.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Compliments Are Complementary At WGNE Fair Booth

Eden Kendall of WGNE /99.9 Gator Country's morning show set up an Affirmation Station booth at thr Jacksonville (FL)  Fair this week. Visitors can walk-up and get a free compliment.

A posting says Kendall plans to set up the booth Friday, starting around 6:30 p.m. The booth will be next to the stage, where former "American Idol" Lauren Alaina plays at 8 p.m.

She said the booth resembles the one Lucy used when she dispensed psychiatric advice in the "Peanuts" cartoon.

The idea came after a morning show discussion. "I mentioned that I had always wanted to create a drive thru kiosk called The Affirmation Station, and dole out free compliments. Hours later, Players By the Sea theatre company had this thing built!"

93.9 Lite-FM Chicago Holds Christmas Music 'Hostage'

UPDATE 11/09/12 1:15pm: reports WLIT-FM has pulled the switch. For the twelfth November in a row, "The Lite" is now "The Holiday Lite," having dropped its regular Adult Contemporary/Hot AC programming and now gone to 100% Christmas music. As of 11:16am this morning, with the playing of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" by Bing Crosby, the station will now be playing only holiday tunes until December 26th.

Recently, the WLIT-FM website added their annual Christmas Countdown Clock, changed the website's theme to that of the Holiday Lite, and gave a link to their non-stop holiday music web stream.

Earlier posting...

Chicago listeners who want to hear all their Holiday favs on Clear Channel’s WLIT 93.9 FM will have to “pay-up”.

The station is involved in a fundraiser to benefits Mercy Home for Boys & Girls and not only can listeners make a difference in the lives of needy kids, but the sooner they make become a guardian angel, the sooner 93.9 turns-on “Christmas Lite”.

Listeners can become a guardian angel by pledging to make a monthly donation to a child.  Listeners are being urged to phone 1-800-961-6185 today until 8 and Friday 6a to 8p.

The station says they’ll keep track of how close we are to our fundraising goal.  The quicker the Christmas tree on their website becomes completely decorated, the sooner CC will flip to All-Christmas music!

“Christmas is all about kids, and when Corder & Karen heard about the great work Mercy Home for Boys and Girls has been doing for children here in our community, they wanted to help,” said Tony Coles, vice president of programming and operations for Clear Channel Chicago and program director of Lite FM told Robert Feder at “We were planning to start Christmas music next weekend, but if listeners would like to hear it sooner — and help a great cause at the same time — we hope they will donate today. The abused, abandoned and neglected children will appreciate it greatly.”

In addition to providing full-time residential care since 1887, the nonprofit agency offers counseling and critical, life-saving services to more than 650 hurting and troubled young women and men each year.

If all goes as expected, Coles said, the Christmas music could start as early as Saturday.

Opinion: Why Media Go Wild Over Trump

Donald Trump calls the election a “sham” and demands a revolution–do the media have to keep taking this guy seriously? Mitt Romney’s team didn’t. Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz on The Donald.

Tom's Take:  Hey radio this video should give you some ideas. Easily produced and a great addition to website or to Tweet!

Employer Tells KXNT: Obama Won–So I Fired 22 Employees

A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees fired 22 workers today, apparently as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election.

“David” (he asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) told Host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT that “elections have consequences” and that “at the end of the day, I need to survive.”

Here’s an excerpt from the interview. Click the audio tab below to hear even more from this compelling conversation:

“I’ve done my share of educating my employees. I never tell them which way to vote. I believe in the free system we have, I believe in the right to choose who they want to be president, but I did explain as a business owner that I have always put my employees first. I always made sure that when I went without a paycheck that [I] made sure they were paid. And I explained that I always put them first and unfortunately I’m at a point where I’m being forced to have to worry about me and my family now and a business that I built from just me to 114 employees."

Read More Now

Scarborough Criticizes GOP Leaders For Kowtowing To Talk Radio

Video Surfaces Of Diane Sawyer Boozing It Up On Set

Veteran news anchor Diane Sawyer prompted speculation that she was drunk during Tuesday night's election coverage with her slurred speech and erratic behavior, and has unearthed old footage of Diane in which she's seen drinking wine and popping pills before going live on air!

Diane, 66, was a co-anchor on ABC's Primetime Live between 1989 and 1998 and in raw video taken at some point as she was preparing to go live on air, she's seen sipping on a large glass of red wine and then popping pills she dug out of her purse.

Throughout the clip Diane, who seems to channel Princess Diana with her look, is seen fixing her hair and making sure she looks presentable for the broadcast.

FCC Likely To Ease Media-Ownership Rules

Federal regulators are poised to ease ownership restrictions on major-market media outlets in what could be a boost to some big players in the struggling newspaper industry.

After two failed attempts to loosen its rules, the Federal Communications Commission is expected by the end of the year to approve a new proposal that would allow newspapers and television or radio stations in the 20 largest markets to consolidate, arrocing to a story by Jim Puzzanhera at

And unlike previous battles, there is little opposition this time to easing the so-called cross-ownership rules.

A decade of Internet growth, fast-changing technologies and plunging newspaper revenues — along with the nation's focus on recovering from the Great Recession — have altered views.

Few people seem to care much if newspapers and television stations hook up in the same metropolitan area.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Apologizes For Sandy Comment

MSNBC's Chris Matthews apologized on his Hardball show Wednesday (November 7th) for comments he'd made during election coverage the night before about Hurricane Sandy that had drawn criticism.

 While speaking Tuesday night about President Obama's victory, Matthews said he was glad Sandy happened, because it showed undecided voters Obama could come together to work with Republican leaders like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

He stated, "I'm so glad we had that storm last week," then tried to clarify, saying, "No, politically I should say. Not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics."

As he opened Hardball yesterday, Matthews said in a lengthy, apparently heart-felt apology, "I said something terrible. I said something not just stupid but wrong."

He also stated, in part, "I was too deeply enmeshed in political thinking, deep in a world of numbers and issues and people and stakes and focused on who would win and who would lose. But I left out the number one job of anyone on air: To think about the lives, the real lives of people, their losses, their relatives and friends who died in this disaster, their dreams that have been hurt and even destroyed."

As he concluded, Matthews said, "I intend to take serious steps to show that I am sincere on this. Please believe me, I am determined to do what I can to help the people who have already been hurt enough, who are suffering and have suffered enough hardship without hearing stupid stuff from me."

Radio HOF Hopes Howard Stern Shows

There’s no doubt Howard Stern will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame Saturday. But whether the King of All Media will accept the honor is another question, according to Robert Feder Stern, who was passed over four times in previous balloting, was chosen this year by the Chicago-based shrine’s steering committee.

“We would hope that Howard would show up,” said chairman Bruce DuMont. “He certainly deserves to be in the Radio Hall of Fame. We’ll be delighted to welcome him and honor him. I hope that he rises to the occasion. We think we did the right thing, and I hope he does the right thing, too.”

Stern, who has ridiculed the Radio Hall of Fame in the past, acknowledged the honor on his SiriusXM Radio show when he read a note of congratulations from Chaz Ebert, wife of movie critic Roger Ebert.

But Stern and his agent have never responded in any way officially.

DuMont said Stern’s presenter will be Bears defensive tackle and longtime fan Amobi Okoye. Other 2012 inductees include Gary Burbank, Ron Chapman, Art Laboe, Luther Masingill, Jack L. Cooper (posthumously), and NPR’s Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross.

Geraldo Rivera will host the nationally broadcast event from the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street.

Imagine Jocks Picking Their Own Music

It’s 11:30 on a weekday morning at the WDVX studio, and DJ Grace, aka Grace Toensing, is running around like a jitterbug, in and out of the studio and the adjacent storage room, pulling faxes and choosing CDs, answering phones while an especially lengthy music selection keeps the airwaves full.

David Luttrell photo
“I swear I think that woman called me ‘sir’,” she laughs. Toensing is one of those people who brings to her job a very real and singular enthusiasm, an effervescent joi de vivre that seems to defy proscriptions against perpetual motion.

Mike Gibson at writes that sort of indefatigable spirit is useful at WDVX, licensed to Clinton, TN and serving the Knoxville market, an Americana station with the almost unheard-of policy—in today’s era—of allowing its DJs to operate with no playlist, pulling songs track by track from a wall of CDs in the abutting room. With no computer bank to fall back on, there’s an awful lot of to-and-fro going on.

But Toensing wasn’t always a DJ dynamo. Upon first coming to WDVX some 15 years ago, she says, “I didn’t know Bill Monroe from a hole in the ground.”

She was also scared stiff at the prospect of saying more that a few words at a time on the air. “You could have wrote down everything I said,” says Toensing. “But I fell in love with the place,” Toensing say. “It’s been more fun than you can shake a stick at. It’s been a blessing to be part of it all.”

Like Toensing, WDVX has persevered. In 2011, the station won its seventh Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association award for Bluegrass Station of the Year. Having begun webcasting in the late 1990s, it has pockets of fans in unexpected places the world over. And it’s been featured on ABC’s World News, PBS NewsHour, the BBC, No Depression, and in a slew of other domestic and foreign outlets.

And now it’s celebrating its unlikely 15th anniversary, with a Nov. 9 concert at the Bijou Theatre featuring Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, the Shawn Camp Band, Jay Clark, Robinella, and the Naughty Knots.

But when station svengali and program director Tony Lawson accounts for that 15 years, he starts when WDVX took to its first “permanent” digs—the infamous Anderson County camper where the station took root in 1997 and remained until 2005, when it moved to the Knoxville Visitor Center on Gay Street. “Nov. 5 and the camper—I consider that our real birthday,” he says.

R.I.P.: “Caller Lew” Passes from St. Louis Sports Radio Scene

Lewis Jones
The St. Louis sports community lost one of its favorite people last week when Lewis Jones passed away at the age of 78. 
In recent years, Lewis Jones had become quite the St. Louis sports celebrity. The irony was that he wasn’t an athlete, a coach or even a member of the local sports media. Lew was a man who spent much of his time calling local sports talk shows and voicing his opinions. 
If you listen to sports talk in St. Louis, you knew “Caller Lew.” Everyone did. He was a fixture on the sports radio airwaves for many years with his hard-hitting opinions about our local sports figures. 
Lew was very knowledgeable and quite provocative in his opinions. He did not hold back. Some of his favorite targets included former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, current Cardinals outfielder Matt Holiday and St. Louis Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford. Whenever Lew called, it was must-listen radio. 
Whether you agreed or disagreed with Lew, everyone grew to love and respect him. So, when news of his death started to make its rounds around the sports talk shows, the sports radio-talk community was in a state of mourning for a week. 
Lew’s impact in local sports was clearly evident at his homegoing service last Friday at a packed West Side Missionary Baptist Church in North County. Many members of St. Louis’ sports talk fraternity were present, including Mike Claiborne, Charlie “Tuna” Edwards, Alvin Reid, Kevin Slaten and Evan McKovsky among many others. Long-time talk show host Richard “Onion” Horton was also present.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Clear Channel Shakes Up St. Louis

"The Brew" is gone, and the "Majic" has moved.

Joe Holloman at changes at Clear Channel radio:

• "Majic" is now at 100.3 on the FM dial. It still features the same urban/R&B as before.

• Its old frequency of 104.9 is now the home of "Wild 104," which features pop and hip-hop.

With the draining of "The Brew," which played classic rock, the well-known "Bob & Tom Show" is off the air.

Weather Service: No Names Please

The Weather Channel took it upon themselves on Wednesday to name a huge New England winter storm and now the National Weather Service is telling their meteorologists not to follow suit. is reporting the Atlanta-based Weather Channel began marketing the storm as Winter Storm Athena today, explaining to viewers it will bring cold temperatures, high winds and dump heavy snow upon the already devastated northeastern states caused by Super Storm Sandy.

"Winter warnings this early in the season, that is pretty significant for that area," Weather Channel winter weather expert Tom Niziol explained on-air at 8:50 a.m. EDT. "What really compounds this is the aftermath of Sandy, and that again is the main reason why we are naming this storm."

Minutes later, the National Weather Service issued a bulletin asking NWS meteorologists to cease calling the winter storm by a name.

"TWC has named the Nor'easter Athena," the National Weather Service in Bohemia, New York said. "The NWS does not use name winter storms in our products. Please refrain from using the term Athena in any of our products."

The term "products" is what the NWS refers to as their forecasts and information.

Media Meltdown: Carl Rove On Fox

Although Barack Obama was re-elected in historic fashion, winning a second term with a majority of the popular vote and sizable lead in the Electoral College, he was a sideshow in his own victory. Instead, a highlight of the night was Carl Rove, now a Fox News Channel pundit. Rove spent the better part of an hour sputtering on air that Obama hadn’t really won.

Media Buzz: What Was up With Diane Sawyer on ABC?

UPDATE 11/7/12 3PM:  ABC's Diane Sawyer has broken her silence about her on-air performance during Election Night.  She Tweets:

Earlier posting...

A wacky sounding Diana Sawyer, slurring her words and rambling on about nothing, spoke haltingly as she tried to navigate the election returns.   Something very different was going on with her as she clumsily threw to reporters in the field.

"What We Learned From Testing Christmas Music"

From Sean Ross, For Edison Research
When Edison Research did its last national test of holiday music in 2007, nearly half of the best songs–those making up the top sixth of the songs tested–came from 1967 or before. In any other radio genre, time marches on, songs lose their currency, and new listeners age into the target demo and bring a new handful of songs with them. But not holiday music. 
Edison has just completed a test of more than 200 women ages 30-49 who like or (in most cases) love hearing Christmas music on the radio. And the era balance of the music has held, essentially. Now 53% of the best-testing songs come from 1968 or before. 
The top-testing song, the Andy Williams version of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” is from 1963. The newest recording in the top 10, Air Supply’s version of “Sleigh Ride,” is from 1987. The newest holiday hit of any significance that is not a cover, Newsong’s 2000 tear-jerker, “The Christmas Shoes,” just misses the top 100. And developments below the top tier of songs make some of the holiday standards look even stronger by comparison than they were five years ago. 
AC radio’s holiday strategy–more emphasis on the standards, earlier start dates to be “first in,” even at the risk of alienating listeners for a few weeks if they’re not really ready for holiday music–takes a little more flak every year, particularly for any AC station that looks vulnerable again after January. Yet, holiday music actually looks as strong as ever in the 2012 research.

Atlanta Ratings: Power 96.1 Breaks Open

WSB gains with Rush’s arrival

The recent shakeup in Atlanta radio is showing its effects in the ratings, according Rodney Ho at

One station with a new format — the heavily advertised Top 40-based WWPW / Power 96.1 – broke into the overall top 10 in its first full month of Arbitron ratings, covering Sept. 13 through Oct. 10.

Power, which debuted in late August, finished with a 4.3 rating, good for No. 10, just behind Star 94 (4.4) and Q100 (4.5). Those are better numbers than its predecessor rock station, Project 9-6-1, pulled even in its best months.

As a result of Power’s success, rival Q100 dropped from a 5.4 to a 4.5. That’s Q100’s worst overall performance since December 2010. Its 25- to 54-year-old demographic numbers fell 1 ratings point from 6.0 to 5.0, its lowest since February. But Q100’s 18-34 numbers held steady.

Power’s entry also had an effect on one of its Clear Channel sister stations, Wild 105.7/96.7. Wild started playing more hip-hop to distinguish itself from the more youthful pop-dance sound of Power. Wild slipped from 3.1 to 2.5 last month, its worst month since July 2011.

The more adult-pop oriented stations B98.5 (ranked fifth overall) and Star 94 (ranked ninth) held steady from the previous four weeks, despite all the changes across the radio dial.

Rush Limbaugh’s arrival at AM 750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB on Oct.1 helped boost the station’s ratings. Over the 10 days measured that Limbaugh was on board, ratings jumped 50 percent compared with to the previous 18 days during the same time period. Previously, Neal Boortz and Clark Howard occupied the 12-3 p.m. time.

Syracuse Radio Wars: KROCK Ad Taunts 95X Manager

First, two guys left their morning show at Cumulus Media’s 95X (WAQX) and went to work across town at Galaxy’s KROCK (WKRL/WKRH/WKLL).  Next, Cumulus got upset and took the two guys to court.  Twice.

According to, although the two guys were banned from using phrases they coined at 95X, neither court blocked them from working at KROCK.  And now, Galaxy’s returning fire at Cumulus, by way of a somewhat taunting display ad that’s appearing on the area’s busiest local news website.

CNYRadio reports the ad appeared on’s home page Monday.  The first frame, at left, features a picture of Cumulus General Manager Shane Bogardus, with the text, “Why is the ‘X-Boss’ afraid?”  After a few seconds, the image changes to the panel at right, promoting “Hunter and Josh Mornings” on their current station.  The photo of Bogardus, wearing a straw hat and a lei around his neck, appears to have been taken at a party of some sort.

Cincy’s MOJO Going All-Sports Jan. 2

UPDATE 11/16/12:  Radio-One's 100.3 WMOJ Cincinnati has changed calls to WCFN as it prepares to become the local CBS Sports Radio affiliate on ½.

Earlier posting...

Say goodbye to Jammin’ Oldies WMOJ-FM (100.3), reports JohnKiesewetter at  The Radio One station pulled the plug on urban oldies during the night and switched to all-Christmas music, to start the transition to CBS Sports Radio Network talk on Jan. 2.

The CBS Sports Radio Network will launch with author John Feinstein 9 a.m.-noon, Jim Rome from Fox Sports at noon-3 p.m., former ESPN host Doug Gottlieb 3-6 p.m. and Scott Ferrall at 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

This is the second try at FM talk here. WFTK-FM (96.5) was “SuperTalk96.5″ for about 13 months before switching to 96 ROCK.

 The new station will compete against a trio of  Clear Channel stations –  ESPN WCKY-AM (1530), Fox Sports WSAI-AM (1360) and WLW-AM (700), plus afternoon local sports talk with Dennis “Wildman” Walker and Jeff Piecoro on WQRT-AM (Real Talk 1160).  

Program director Steve Harris says “the opportunity was to great to pass up” to do sports talk on FM here.

No decision has been made about doing a local morning show or carrying a nework morning show. Former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason, who does mornings on CBS’ WFAN and CBS’ Sunday NFL pregame show, will do customized content for MOJO, Harris says.

DC’s Top News Stations Differ On Traffic Reports

Non-com WAMU (88.5 FM), the Washington area’s top-rated station, gets its up-to-the-minute news about local roads from reporters in . . . Florida. And Philadelphia.

Jerry Edwards, the venerable traffic reporter who does the station’s morning updates, describes the daily fight of the lights from his home in the Sunshine State’s Sarasota. Dave Solomon, who handles afternoons, broadcasts from up the interstate in Philly.

Radio stations have long used “voice tracking,” a technique that makes a distant disc jockey sound like he or she is broadcasting locally. But traffic reporting — a vital service for rush-hour drivers — has generally remained a local affair. Most Washington area stations get their updates from a company called Total Traffic Network, whose reporters work out of a regional office in downtown Silver Spring.

Even so, technology makes it possible to produce traffic reports far, far from the madding crowd. Edwards’s home studio in Sarasota is outfitted with computers and other equipment that he says gives him access to the same cameras and government traffic information that reporters in the Washington area use. Traffic tips come in from listeners via a Washington phone line that forwards calls to him. High-quality audio links make it sound as if he’s describing conditions from down the street, not from down South, 960 miles away.

WAMU, a non-commercial station that carries local news and talk programs as well as NPR programming, has not said on the air where Edwards and Solomon are when they’re reporting. But it leaves a strong impression that its traffic reporters are right in the middle of the action, what with preliminary banter — “Hi, Jerry,” “Hi, Dave” — and patter about local conditions (“Be careful out there in this rain,” etc.).

The whole thing gets Jim Farley, of rival news station WTOP (103.5 FM), about as riled up as a commuter stuck in a rush-hour jam.

“It matters” where the reporters are, says Farley, WTOP’s vice president of news and programming. His station, which battles WAMU for ratings supremacy, employs its own staff of 20 full- and part-time traffic reporters who broadcast traffic conditions every 10 minutes around the clock.

Farley says every member of his traffic staff experiences local conditions every day. “They drive in it, see it, feel it,” he said.

At the very least, Farley says, WAMU should disclose to its listeners that its traffic reports are coming from out of town. “Not doing that is deceptive and misleading,” he says. “It’s not honest reporting.”

Kids Enjoy The Trip of a Lifetime

Tip of the headphones to Kidd Kraddick as more than 50 chronically or terminally ill kids and their families get to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.  They’re headed to Walt Disney World tomorrow.  For the 21st year, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show (now airing on 70+ stations)  raised more than $533,000 from listeners and corporate sponsors during a fundraising campaign.  Children selected for the trip are between the ages of 5 and 12, suffer from a chronic or terminal illness, are physically challenged and/or have a catastrophic impairment due to an injury or accident.

R.I.P.: FL Radio Personality Lenny Davis Was 50

A veteran law enforcement officer and morning radio personality died Monday, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said in Florida.

Deputy Lenny Davis, 50, died from natural causes at his home, according to He was a deputy in St. Lucie for 22 years.

For the last few years, Davis recorded a sports segment "Sports My Way" for WPSL-AM 1590 in Port SaintaLucie as part of The Morning Show.

"Lenny could have become one of the ESPN guys," said Morning Show host George "Mr. G." Coles. "He had developed a following and he was very entertaining. He was in your face, calling out certain players for being big dummies."

Davis had been doing sports broadcasting on the side for at least seven years, including hosting a NASCAR show on WSTU-AM 1450 in Stuart, Coles said. Davis went from calling in to radio shows to hosting his own segments, he said.

"He'd record his stuff for our show before he went to work," Coles said. "Sometimes he'd record it on his iPad while driving in his patrol car."

R.I.P.: Radio Veteran James Brand Was 78

James Maitland Brand II passed away quietly in Hospice Care in Gainesville, FL this past Saturday.

Brand got his start in Dallas, TX working overnights at KGKO. After stops in Tyler, Austin and Denver, he spent ten years in Louisville, Kentucky, working for WAKY. He was hired by Gordon McLendon as Program Director and remained with the station under LIN Broadcasting as group Program Director. He hired and motivated one of the finest air staffs ever assembled in gthe ‘60s.

After being Program director of WLEE in Richmond, VA, from 1969-1970, he worked for WMEX in Boston, MA as Program Director. Brand moved to Florida in March, 1970. A close friend has purchased WDVH in Gainesville.  Brand orchestrated the change from top 40 to country.

He stressed staff involvement in the community through his own actions, and supervised a staff of six on-air dee-jays and a news department of seven.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WJZ-FM’s Jim Duquette Donates Kidney To Daughter

Many people know former Orioles executive Jim Duquette, who now broadcasts on WJZ-FM The Fan in Baltimore. But few know the pain his family has lived with for years. Like so many others in this country, Duquette's little 10-year-old girl needed a kidney transplant to live.

CBS Baltimore went inside the operating room where a father/daughter miracle takes place before our eyes.

A kiss to start a new life.

"You're gonna be fine. You're gonna be great," Duquette said.

That was a conversation between Lindsey Duquette and her dad, Jim, moments before her kidney transplant-the ultimate gift from a father to his 10-year-old daughter.

"I'll see you when we're out, OK?" he said.

Lindsey's kidneys started failing when she was just two years old. She doesn't remember ever not having problems with them.

Doctors tried everything to avoid a transplant.

"When you start to get the experiment drugs, you're at the end of the line, really," Duquette said.

A year and a half ago, doctors were forced to remove both of Lindsey's failing kidneys. She needed dialysis to live.

Last summer, doctors knew Lindsey needed a transplant. Now they had to find a donor.

"They tested [my dad] from blood," Lindsey said.

He was a match.

Five Year-old WHO Video Goes Viral

WHO Morning host Jan Mickelson  who grilled Mitt Romney about his Mormon faith in a 2007 interview is expressing dismay that a clip of that conversation has gone viral as Election Day arrives and says whoever put it out was trying to make the GOP nominee “look weird.”

“I’d say, No. One, it wasn’t a gotcha interview,” Mickelson, the host of the radio talk show based in Des Moines, Iowa, told Kathy Glueck atPolitico. “It wasn’t designed as an ambush for Romney.

The clip in question, which resurfaced last week and has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube, “left out the context,” Mickelson said.

The video making the rounds shows Mickelson and Romney sparring over the GOP presidential nominee’s Mormon faith in the lead-up to the 2008 primary contests. That piece of the interview, which was conducted after the two were already off the air, continued the on-air interview’s broader conversation about how Romney’s position on the abortion question had evolved since his time as governor of Massachusetts, he said.

“It wasn’t about his theology,” Mickelson said. “It was about the transition of his ethics, and why did he change his view, under what circumstances. I thought I was asking totally coherent questions that I thought were softballs.”

But the viral video focuses heavily on questions surrounding Romney’s religion, as the two delved into religious texts and discussed the Mormon Church’s positions on subjects including the second coming of Christ and abortion.

“I’m not running to talk about Mormonism,” Romney snapped toward the end of the clip.

Mickelson speculated that whoever is behind the YouTube clip — the user’s identity is unclear — likely wanted to highlight elements of Romney’s Mormon faith because “it makes him look weird.”

When Will We Know?

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, representatives from five TV networks and the Associated Press will head into the "quarantine room," an undisclosed location with no cell phone or Internet access. 
That's where the National Election Pool -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the AP -- start sifting through exit poll data provided by Edison Research. Six hours later, staffers will be permitted to start sending data to their respective news organizations, while additional exit polls, especially on the West Coast, keep coming in. While news outlets can begin reporting after 5 p.m. on some general trends they have observed in exit polls, such as whether voters consider the economy the most important issue in the 2012 election, they're not permitted to publish or broadcast any information that suggests which way a state is leaning until its polls close and actual vote numbers start streaming in. 
Four years ago, there was no mystery about who would become the 44th president when polls on the West Coast closed at 11 p.m., with all five TV networks and the AP calling the election for Barack Obama, who handily defeated Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Electoral College. But executives and editors overseeing 2012 election calls -- like most of the news media -- expect a much closer outcome on Tuesday, resulting in a very long night.

The Boss Meets the Gov

Al Roker photo
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who's have a difficult week dealing with the big blow Hurricane Sandy dealt to his state, and who's gotten a lot of political attention -- some of it positive, some of it not -- for his effusive praise of President Obama's handling of the storm, said yesterday (November 5th) that getting to meet his idol, rocker Bruce Springsteen, three days earlier moved him to tears.

While speaking at a briefing on storm recovery Monday, Christie disclosed that he'd unexpectedly spoken to Springsteen earlier in the day, when Obama, during a phone call to discuss Sandy-related matters, handed the phone to "The Boss," who was traveling with the president on a campaign trip.

Christie also said he got a hug from Springsteen at Friday's (November 2nd) benefit concert for storm victims and that he cried at home after meeting his idol, saying it was a major highlight of a tough week.

Christie hasn't made a secret of how big a fan he is of Springsteen, saying that he's attended more than 100 of his concerts. But the politically liberal Springsteen had never previously acknowledged the Republican governor.

Aerosmith: the Rock Of Boston

Yesterday (November 5th), Aerosmith returned to their Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood to perform an hour-long set in front of thousands of fans. The concert was played in celebration of the release today (November 6th) of their long awaited new studio album, Music From Another Dimension, the 2012 Presidential election, along with Boston Mayor Tom Menino declaring the 1325 Commonwealth Avenue building -- where Aerosmith lived from 1970 to 1972 -- a historic landmark, with a special commemorative plaque placed outside on the building. The band was introduced by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan. Joining the Kraft's was Pats quarterback Tom Brady and linebacker Jerod Mayo.

Among the tunes the band performed yesterday was the Rufus Thomas R&B classic "Walking The Dog," "Movin' Out" -- which Steven Tyler and Joe Perry wrote at the Commonwealth Avenue apartment, "Mama Kin," the new song "Lover Alot," "Back In The Saddle," "Sweet Emotion," the band teased a bit of the James Brown nugget "Mother Popcorn" before launching into "Walk This Way." Aerosmith closed the hour-long set with encores of the new track "Oh Yeah" and "Train Kept A-Rollin'."