Friday, November 30, 2012

Shots Fired At CBS Radio Dallas

Shots ring out as someone opens fire on a Dallas office building, and a window belonging to NewsRadio 1080 KRLD is hit.

Shattered window in Stacks Office
According to the CBS website, the bullets went through the outside panes of glass on two floors of the 12-story CBS Radio building off Central Expressway at Fitzhugh Avenue.

One of the windows hit belongs to KRLD promotions director Matt Stacks, who was startled by the sound about 3:15 Friday afternoon.

Stacks initially thought a bird hit the 5th floor window.  “I just heard a loud boom. I turned around and looked at my window and noticed it started splintering out and saw some stuff falling from the window above.”

Pete Schulte office window
The bullet shattered the entire outer window of the office located at the corner of the KRLD Newsroom.
Two other bullets hit the window directly above the KRLD newsroom.  That office belongs to former police officer and current attorney Pete Schulte.  “It sounded like a rifle.  It was clearly a loud bang, and as soon as I heard the loud bang the glass shattered in my office.

Nobody was hurt, but the fact the incident happened on a Friday off a busy highway like Central Expressway concerns Schulte.

“If it happens in the middle of the night that’s one thing, but I sit in this office every day.  To have a gunshot in the middle of the afternoon with so many cars passing by, that’s unnerving.”

Schulte believes the shots came from the direction of Central Expressway, and were either fired from the freeway, or from the frontage road that the building faces.

It is not clear if Schulte or any of the CBS Radio stations were targets of the shooting.  

In addition to KRLD, the building also houses offices for and radio stations 105.3 The Fan, 103.7 Lite FM, 100.3 Jack FM, 98.7 KLUV and Mega 107.5 FM on various floors.

UT Finalizes $6M Purchase of 98.9 KXBT-FM Austin

The University of Texas on Friday completed its acquisition of Austin radio station 98.9 KXBT-FM.

Is No More
The American-Statesman reports the station, which had played oldies tunes since 2009, was purchased from Dallas-based Border Media for $6 million in a deal first announced this summer.

UT plans to change the station’s call letters to KUTX-FM and, on Jan. 2, will roll out a commercial-free, round-the-clock music format. That same day, UT-run National Public Radio affiliate 90.5 KUT-FM will become an all-news station.

KUT-FM currently runs a 50-50 mix of news and music programming.

UT’s takeover of KXBT-FM happened at 2 p.m. Friday. The last song played under Border Media’s ownership was Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

Until the university is ready to launch KUTX-FM, the station will play an assortment of Austin-centric Christmas music, becoming the third Austin radio station currently broadcasting holiday tunes. (The others are 95.5 KKMJ-FM and 105.9 KFMK-FM.) Its first song was an Elvis Presley rendition of “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

The Fiasco Returns To WJRR Orlando

Pat Lunch and Taco Bob are partners once again.  They’ll be doing the morning show again on WJRR 101.1 FM Rock Station starting Monay.

Clear Channel-Orlando is reuniting the duo after the departure of latest morning guy, Crash.  He has reportedly has left radio for a new venture.

So what’s old is new again.  Pat & Taco held down the morning shift for many years and then, both were fired in early 2008, for reasons that remain an HR secret.

The syndicated Lex & Terry show, which was in the CC-stable at the time, became the JRR Morning Show. The move upset many listeners who preferred a morning show with some music.

In August 2010, Lex & Terry were out and CC-Orlando paired Crash & LT as a response to listener demands for music in the morning.

Now, JRR has come full circle with mornings once again the domain of Pat Lynch & Taco Bob starting 5 am Monday.

The new JRR line-up:  Mel Taylor remains in mid-days, market veteran Dicerkman gets afternoon drive, LT moves into the evening slot and Shroon keeps the lights burning over night.

FCC Okays Expanding LPFM, Translators

The FCC Friday passed more rules to help expand the low-power FM service that could lead to thousands of local community-oriented stations.

RadioWorld is reporting at the same time the commission has explained how it will treat the some 6,000 pending FM translator applications.

It plans to open a filing window for new LPFMs on Oct. 15, of 2013.

The agency bumped up the national cap on pending FM translator applications that one entity can pursue from 50 to 70, as long as no more than 50 are in the top 150 markets. It relaxed the local cap of one application per entity to up to three applications one company can pursue in more rural markets.

The agency also relaxed the criteria for LPFMs seeking a waiver for second-adjacent channel spacing requirement in order to locate a new LPFM, something NAB and NPR had opposed.

The agency is releasing mapping tools for LPFMs to help them find open channels, and for the first time, releasing the source code.

The commission passed a compromise that adds a main studio requirement for LPFMs and retains the eight-hour-per-week program requirement. It did not act on the LP250 watt proposal.

Read More Now

Senator Blasts FCC Ownership Proposals

Influential Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is criticizing proposals to relax the FCC's media ownership rules, calling on chairman Julius Genachowski to have a public vote on the changes at the next commission meeting.

According to a story by Ted Johnson at, her letter is dated Nov. 29 and calls the FCC's draft order "disappointing."

She wrote, "FCC rules are supposed to serve the public interest. However, this proposed draft order appears to only serve the interest of large media companies that have made bad business decisions. There is no reason to do this. While it may be good for Wall Street, it is not good for Main Street."

Although details of the commission’s changes have not be release, an FCC spokesman has said that the goal would be to "streamline and modernize" the rules, including "eliminating outdated prohibitions on newspaper-radio and TV-radio cross ownership."

There have been reports that the FCC would take the media ownership regulations up at its December meeting, but the agenda has not been released and a spokesman for Genachowski has not said if it would appear among the items.

Survey: The Best (and Worst) of Mobile Connectivity

Some 85% of American adults own a cell phone, and these mobile devices now play a central role in many aspects of their owners’ lives according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

 For many cell owners, their phone is an essential utility that they check frequently, keep close at all times, and would have trouble functioning without:
  • 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. Some 18% of cell owners say that they do this “frequently."
  • 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night.
  • 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without."
  • Despite this connection to their devices, most cell owners don’t worry too much (or get many complaints from their friends) about spending too much time with their phones:
  • 11% of cell owners say that they themselves sometimes worry that they are spending too much time with their phone.
  • 12% of cell owners say that people they know tell them that they are spending too much time using their phone.

Indeed according to the Pew study, many cell owners hear complaints from friends that they don’t devote enough time to monitoring their mobile communications:
  • 39% of cell owners say that people they know have complained because they don’t respond promptly to phone calls or text messages.
  • 33% of cell owners say that people they know have complained because they don’t check their phone frequently enough.

Atlanta’s Jenn Hobby Moving ‘Across The Hall’

That didn't take long.

Jenn Hobby, who announced her ‘retirement’ from WWWQ Q100’s Bert Show just this past Monday, has a new gig.

She’s moving about 25-feet across the hall to WKHX Country Kick 101.5 for the mid-day shift.  Former mid-dayyer Sari Rose reportedly was let go Wednesday.

Hobby made the change public this morning on The Bert Show.  She also posted the news on her website:
"I am excited to share with you that I'm joining the Kicks 101.5 family! I'm honored to be the newest member of the Best Country Music Station in Atlanta
I'll be on the team hosting the midday show from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting on December 10th. I am looking forward to showcasing country artists, their dynamic lives, and their music with some special features coming up next year on my stay tuned for more! 
As I move into this new stage of my career, I am thankful to stay with the Cumulus Media family. All my radio friends with The Bert Show & Q100, Rock 100.5, 680 The Fan, 98.9 The Bone and All News 106.7 will be right down the hall. 
This is such a wonderful time of change for our family - my husband and I are expecting our first child and our family is growing! At the same time, growing into my new role in my Cumulus family just feels right. 
As Alan Jackson would sing, "She's Gone Country...The Whole World's Gone Country!" Goodbye high heels...hello cowboy boots!"
Although she’s never been a solo music jock, Hobby expressed excitement working with country artists.

Rodney Ho at reports Hobby is the second Bert Show member to leave the show but stay in the same building. Kicks 101.5 and Q100 are both owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus Media. Melissa Carter, who left the Bert Show last year after a decade, joined the new all news 106.7 station earlier this year as an afternoon news anchor.

Read More Now.

Todd Schnitt Leaving WFLA Tampa

UPDATE 12/13/2012: Todd Schnitt NOT leaving 970 WFLA. New deal done.Click Here for update.

Todd Schnitt, longtime Tampa talent who took his local show national, has announced he is leaving his flagship station.  Schnitt’s final show on WFLA 970 AM will be December 18. Schniit says the national show will continue.

Schnitt for many years pulled double duty in Tampa.  Beside his PM Drive talk show on WFLA, he also was AM Drive host on CC-sister station CHR WFLZ, under the name of MJ Kelli In The Morning.

Schnitt started The MJ Kelli Morning Show in 1992, his first morning-drive program (6-10 am) on WOVV (Star 95.5), West Palm Beach, Florida. He was brought to Tampa, Florida to anchor the new morning show on WFLZ (The Power Pig). Schnitt was teamed up with BJ Harris, the Power Pig’s program director to form the MJ and BJ Morning Show. Harris left the show on February 7, 2001. The show was renamed The MJ Morning Show.

Schnitt says his talk show will continue for national syndication for about 50 affiliates through Compass Media Networks.

Tom’s Take:  It will be interesting to see how WFLA fills the PM Drive shift. Chances are they’ll clear Sean Hannity live. Hannity now airs 6p to 9p.

Report: Talker Laura Ingraham May Return Soon To DC Air

Media website DCRTV is reporting DC-based political talker Laura Ingraham could soon return to the airwaves via a brokered deal with DC area talker WTNT, 730 AM/102.9 FM.

Ingraham, who had been heard until early this week on WTNT, recently announced that she's leaving her syndicator, TRN. She is seeking a new national distribution deal.

DCRTV quotes sources that she's been talking to Clear Channel's Premiere and Cumulus.

That leaves her with the short-term possibility of buying time from WTNT and doing her show from its Fairfax studios, allowing her to at least be heard in the National Capital market.

Ingraham could show up in the late morning slot at Metro Radio's WTNT as soon as mid-December.

Brent Douglas: Goodbye To Longtime Radio Partner, Phil Stone

Family, friends and fans are saying goodbye to a Tulsa radio legend.

Phil Stone was part of The Morning Zoo on KMOD for 27 years, but passed away last Wednesday from a heart attack. It came just a month after the show’s run came to a sudden end for listeners.

Internet Fair Bill Doomed -- For Now

The technology sector is supposed to be one of the new power players in national politics. But you might be wondering what happened to its newfound political capital after watching its hapless attempts to lobby Congress to pass the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), a bill that would reduce the music royalties paid by Web radio services. 
At a hearing yesterday before a House subcommittee studying IRFA, the tech world seemed to be the same amateurs in navigating Washington as they were before January's triumph over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Pandora and the other Webcasters say it is imperative for the continued growth of their burgeoning industry to cut the rates they're required to pay to access music. Still, it was obvious that bill doesn't have anywhere near the support it needs to pass. 
Some of the lawmakers seemed less interested in talking about the bill and began asking why Internet radio and satellite radio must pay but traditional radio does not. They questioned why Congress was looking at a little piece of the problem, Internet radio, when terrestrial radio broadcasters, a much larger group had been allowed for decades to generate profits from music without paying any compensation.

Trace Adkins Lights Up Twitter With Confederate Flag Earpiece

Trace Adkins caused a frenzy of criticisms and tweets Wednesday evening after debuting a very interesting choice for an accessory during his performance at the annual televised Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting.

The NYDailyNews reports the superstar country singer, 50, sported a Confederate flag earpiece that was clearly visible as he sang “The Christmas Song” during the traditional singing showcase.

The symbol - otherwise known as the Stars and Bars - is often considered controversial for its link to the Civil War and slavery, though some argue that the flag is nothing more than a sign of pride in Southern heritage.

R.I.P.: Clippers PA Voice David Courtney

Los Angeles lost a legend on Thursday as David Courtney, the voice of the Los Angeles Kings, Clippers and Angels, died at the age of 56.

Outside of his work with the local sports teams, Courtney provided sports and traffic reports for 710 ESPN, AM 710 KSPN, AM 830 and 99.9 FM. reports the cause of death is unknown but his last tweet on Wednesday stated that he was awaiting an angiogram at the hospital.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Official: Jeff Zucker To Lead CNN

Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January, the network announced Thursday.

"Jeff's experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success," said Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, CNN's parent company. "In a career that has seen significant professional success in both broadcast and cable, Jeff has demonstrated his ability to run multiple lines of business and fiercely defend journalists and journalism."

Zucker succeeds Jim Walton, who has headed CNN Worldwide since 2003. As president, Zucker will oversee 23 branded news and information businesses, including CNN's U.S. television network, CNN International, HLN and CNN Digital. The latter includes, one of the world's leading news websites.

"I am thrilled to join the distinguished team of journalists across the worldwide platforms of CNN," Zucker said in a statement. "The global reach and scale of the CNN brand is unparalleled in all of news. Outside of my family and the Miami Dolphins, there is nothing I am as passionate about as journalism."

His first challenge is likely to be turning around CNN/US television ratings, which have been declining in recent years.

Zucker, who had most recently produced Katie Couric's new daytime talk show, had been widely rumored to be in line for the position.

Zucker, who was born and raised in the Miami area, started his professional career as a researcher for NBC's Olympics operation in 1986. Within three years he was a producer for the "Today" show; three years after that, in 1992, he became its executive producer at age 26. He helped propel the morning show to the No. 1 position, which it consistently held through the rest of his tenure.

Zucker's portfolio will include all CNN networks and digital properties. The original 24-hour news network, CNN has the greatest reach of any domestic news network. The CNN brand on television extends to 100 million households in the United States and 265 million households abroad, with significant online and mobile reach and a global newsgathering network with 45 locations.

It’s A New Morning For B96, KISS-FM In Chicago

With the departure of Julian NiehWBBM-FM / B96 is retooling its mornings around former sidekick Jamar McNeil (known on the air as J Niice). According to PD Todd Cavanah, J Niice recently agreed to a multiyear contract renewal with the station is now the host of a morning show built entirely around him and renamed The J Show.

“The goal of the show is to highlight J’s experiences and his life,” Cavanah Robert Feder at “He’s got so many interests and so much to offer that we think that the women will say: ‘I want my boyfriend — or I want my husband — to be just like J Niice.’ This is really going to give him an opportunity to shine and open up the show a little more.” 

Cavanah adds North Shore native and Medill journalism grad Michelle Menaker (aka Showbiz Shelly) will remain a key player on the show, with an expanded role planned for Gabriel Ramirez, the technical board operator known as Producer Gabe. “I think this is a great opportunity for everybody to kind of step up to our expectations and to actually grow in their character development.”

Feder writes, it’s all being watched closely at rival Top 40 Kiss FM, Clear Channel’s WKSC-FM (103.5). Morning duo Christopher Frederick (aka Brotha’ Fred) and Angi Taylor have been gaining on J Niice & Julian since Brotha’ Fred’s Neighborhood debuted two years ago. According to Arbitron ratings released Tuesday, the two morning shows are about as close as can be: Among listeners between 18 and 49, B96 ranks seventh and Kiss FM ranks eighth.

Tony Coles, vice president of programming and operations for Clear Channel Chicago, points to another measure in Arbitron — cumulative weekly audience — noting that Kiss FM scored for the 11th straight time as “the most listened-to morning show in Chicago.” In the 18-to-49 demo, Kiss FM boasts a weekly cume of 432,400 to B96’s 429,400.

Merlin's WWIQ-Philly Blossoms In Ratings

Merlin Media apparently is working some magic in the city of Brotherly Love. It's  talker WWIQ 106.9 FM has moved 1.6 - 2.7 - 3.6 (Total Persons 6+) during the last three months, according to the latest Arbitron PPM's.  That's good for 10th place.

Obviously, the addition of Rush Limbaugh (and to a lesser extent the Nov. elections) attracted Cume and TSL to IQ.  Morning drive is the station's sole weekday local show and is anchored by veteran talent Lionel and Al Gardiner.  Gardiner recently recently from WBT Charlotte.

IQ's line-up of talent is collectively being billed as "Defenders of Free Speech"

Rush's former Philly home WPHT 1210 AM is apparently weathering the loss of Rush okay, so far.  The station is steady 2.2 - 2.1 - 2.2 for the past 3-months.

WPHT boasts of mostly local line-up: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5:30 AM Chris Stigall Show
9:00 AM Dom Giordano Show
12:00 PM Michael Smerconish
3:00 PM Buzz Bissinger Show w/Steve Martorano
7:00 PM Gary R’nel
10:00 PM Rich Zeoli
1:00 AM Coast to Coast

Leading the pack, as usual, was KYW 1060-AM with a three-month high in listenership (6.5 - 7.0 - 8.4) in the last ratings book, thanks  in large part to Hurricane Sandy coverage.

Congress Looks At Music Royalties

The Internet Radio Fairness Act is anything but fair, members of the music industry testified Wednesday.

According to Alex Yap at, Oakland's Pandora Media is lobbying for a bill to lower the royalty rates for Internet radio to the same level that satellite and cable radio services pay performers. But the largest online radio service is fighting an uphill battle that may yield unintended consequences: Instead of Internet radio paying fewer royalties, broadcast radio may end up having to start paying.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held the first in a series of hearings on music licensing.

According to written testimony submitted by Pandora CEO Joseph Kennedy, "In 2012 Pandora will account for only 7 percent of U.S. radio listening, yet we will pay SoundExchange almost a quarter of a billion dollars - more than 50 percent of our revenue. By contrast, satellite radio will pay 7.5 percent of their revenue, and cable radio will pay 15 percent of their revenue."

Pandora pays $4 per year for each user who listens to 20 hours of music a month, said Michael Huppe, the president of SoundExchange. If the Internet Radio Fairness Act is passed, that would be brought down to less than 70 cents, according to Rep. Ted Deutch, R-Fla.

"All forms of digital radio should compete against each other on a level playing field," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the bill's sponsor.

Bruce Reese, president and CEO of Hubbard Radio, said many radio stations are reluctant to stream over the Web because of the royalty costs. He said Hubbard's 20 radio stations pay the high costs because "We believe our listeners expect us to be there."

TV and Radio News Salaries Barely Edge Up

While staffing in TV news soared, salaries did not.  The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University
Annual Survey found that local television news salaries rose 2.0% during 2011.  That
thin margin of growth suggests that a lot of the hiring in 2011 took place among relatively
young, less expensive staffers.

Radio news salaries this year were up a scant 1.2% from a year ago.

With inflation at 2.9% in 2011, radio and TV news people actually lost ground in real

Chicago Radio: Julian Nieh Exits WBBM-FM B96

WBBM-FM/B96 morning show co-host Julian Nieh stunned fans Wednesday by announcing that he was leaving the show and the radio station he has been a key component of for well over years.

According to Chicago Radio & Media, Nieh wishes to pursue other aspects and opportunities of radio, both on the air and behind the scenes, which he could not do in his current situation at B96. 

The decision to part ways with WBBM-FM was an amicable one. He remains friends with all at the station, and will be paid through the completion of his current contract, which expires at the end of this year. He is off the air, though.

Superstorm Sandy Spikes NYC Radio Ratings

All-news radio got a big storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, the latest Arbitron ratings confirm.

David Hinckley at reports just-released figures for the first three weeks of November show that both WCBS-AM (880) and WINS (1010 AM) became go-to places. Even with the average for the whole three weeks, WCBS-AM jumped from 3.9% of the radio audience to 5.3%.

WINS rose from 4.1% to 4.8%, which is particularly remarkable because the station lost its transmitter for 17 hours after the storm and then operated at low power for several more days.

“Our signal problems knocked us off the air at 11 p.m. on Oct. 29 and we remained off until 4 p.m. on Oct. 30,” says Ben Mevorach, WINS director of news and programming.

“Even when we returned to air, we were at one-fifth of full strength for several days.” Still, Mevorach noted, more than 3.6 million people tuned to WINS that week. WCBS-AM had similar numbers, plus a near-record jump while WINS was off the air.

News/talk WABC (770 AM) and WOR (710 AM), which also moved to virtually full-time storm coverage, saw increases in their audience share as well. Ironically, this followed several months of nearly full-time election talk which, unlike previous election years, created no ratings bump at all.

 In New Jersey, WKXW (101.5 FM) saw about a 50% jump in its audience share.

 Read More Now.

LA Radio Ratings: KIIS at No. 1

Top 40 station KIIS-FM (102.7) hit the top of the radio ratings last month — a perch it has held or shared every month since April — but the king of pop expects to be dethroned in the near future, as Justin Bieber and Rihanna are no match for Bing Crosby or "Linus and Lucy."

According to Steve Carney at, KIIS garnered 5.5% of the Los Angeles-Orange County listening audience ages 6 and older, according to figures released Tuesday by the Arbitron ratings service. Talk station KFI-AM (640) and adult-contemporary station KBIG-FM (104.3) took second and third, the same places they held in the preceding four-week survey period.

But lurking in fourth place was adult-contemporary station KOST-FM (103.5), which on Nov. 15 — for the 11th Christmas season in a row — switched to a temporary format of all holiday music. The move has perennially turned the station into a ratings juggernaut that might as well send conventionally formatted competitors into hibernation.

Bill Handel
In the competition for morning listeners, KFI again dominated, even widening its lead from the previous month. In the 6-10 a.m. time slot, when broadcasters hope to grab listeners and hold them for the rest of the day, KFI airs home-grown host Bill Handel and the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's national show. They garnered 7.5% of the audience in November, up from 7.1% in October.

Ryan Seacrest on KIIS placed second at 5.1%, up from 4.8%, as he switched places with Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter on alternative music station KROQ-FM (106.7), who fell from second to third, dropping from 5.1% to 4.1% in November.

NYC, DC PickUp “The Savage Nation”

“The Savage Nation” will return to the New York City market via the nation’s top talk-radio station, WABC 770 AM, and will be heard in the nation’s capital on WMAL 630 AM/105.9 FM.

Michael Savage, whose show is broadcast on more than 150 Cumulus Media affiliates, will air from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. weeknights in New York City and Washington, D.C., beginning Dec. 3.

“We in the media are supposed to be the watchdogs over government, not lapdogs,” Savage said. “That’s what freedom of speech and freedom of press entails.”

Savage said that without “harsh criticism, our politicians become immune to the people and behave like King George.”

“I take my role seriously and hope to continue to entertain and inform on WABC and WMAL,” he said.

Savage ended his relationship with the Talk Radio Network in October, where “The Savage Nation” was the third most listened to radio talk show in the U.S. with more than 10 million weekly listeners. This year, the show became the No. 1 talk show on the Internet.

Savage said that while “San Fransicko” is his adopted home, “New York City is still a sort of spiritual home to me – my ancestors are buried there.”

Report: Glenn Beck Re-Ups With Premiere Networks

Glenn Beck will remain a force in radio for at least five more years.

The conservative firebrand has inked a new five-year, $100 million deal with Clear Channel's Premiere Networks.

The Hollywood Reporter sez the pact, roughly double the size of the previous five-year deal he signed in 2007, is a vote of confidence for the syndicated "Glenn Beck Program," which regularly lures 10 million listeners a week.

The morning show, behind only to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity's radio programs in typical audience size, is carried by more than 400 stations. Since "The Glenn Beck Program's" official launch in early 2002, Beck has used the mutliple-hour format to peddle all part of the Beck brand, from books to Web shows to comedy events.

Glenn Beck Bit Stirs Outrage

A lot of people were offended by Michael D'Antuono's painting of President Obama (see video) that resembled a crucified Christ — but not Glenn Beck.

Arguing in favor of D'Antuono's first amendment right to paint whatever he likes, Beck made his own (even more controversial) "artwork."

His creation is titled "Obama in Pee Pee," which sums it up nicely: It's an Obama bobblehead doll dipped in a jar of what Beck initially claimed was his own urine (but which he later admitted was just beer).

If Beck's artwork hasn't blinded you with outrage/nausea, you might want to consider buying it. He's offering it for $25,000.

Report: Cox Planning Conservative News Website

As conservatives regroup following the Republican defeat in the 2012 presidential election, attention is turning once again to the role of news media, which many conservatives have accused of left-wing bias.

Media Daily News is reporting Cox Media Group, which owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is planning to launch a national news Web site targeting conservative audiences, according to recruitment ads posted on Mediabistro and other media Web sites.

While the as-yet-unnamed Web site aims for national coverage, it will apparently come with a decided regional slant. The Cox ads describe it as “rooted in the South, away from the right and left coasts” and targeting “heartland conservatives.”

According to one job posting: “The editor must establish a strong ideological narrative and lead the editorial team to find stories that mirror or magnify it.” At the same time, the site is described as “independent (nonpartisan)” and “anti-propaganda.”

Detroit Anchor Uses Twitter To Engage Audience

While many TV stations use social media like Facebook or Twitter to connect with their viewers, Detroit anchor Stephen Clark may have found a way to translate those clicks and tweets into viewership. reports the video above shows how the anchor for the Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ tells the story of his ongoing twitter conversation called #backchannel. 

He relates how his eyes were opened to the power of twitter when a social media guru who goes by the name of @charliecurve threw down a challenge by tweeting, “I’ll bet if we can get 100 people to retweet this, @sclarkwxyz will close the 11pm news by saying “Silver Fish Handcatch!”  The phrase comes from an Old Spice commercial where the pitchman finishes a spot by catching a silver fish and saying, “silver fish handcatch!”

Tulsa Says Goodbye To Radio Legend Phil Stone

News of the passing of long time Tulsa radio personality Phil Stone came as something of a shock last week (original posting), writes Russell Mills in a posting on the KRMG, Tulsa website.

Stone, real name Phil Riddle, had co-hosted the "Morning Zoo" show in Tulsa for some 27 years with Brent Douglas, familiar to listeners as the creator of a character named Roy D. Mercer.

Thursday evening at 5:00 p.m., Cain's Ballroom will host a memorial service for Stone who died at the age of 57 November 21.

He and Douglas had retired from their show less than six weeks prior to his death.

Dave "Wavy Davy" Michaels of KRMG sister station Rock 103 knew Phil for decades.

The two met in Fayetteville, before either of them moved to Tulsa.

Michaels tells KRMG his longtime colleague "was a great guy... he loved his kids, he was a great dad."

Michaels has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Tulsa radio, having worked in the market for decades.

He remembers how the Morning Zoo team of Phil and Brent first came together.

"Brent was calling in bits. He was a pharmacist in Broken Arrow, and he was calling in bits on the morning show, and they decided 'hey this is the guy we need to get to be Phil's partner."

The story is confirmed by a radio interview Douglas did after Stone passed away.

Michaels continued, "in '93 is when Roy D. Mercer was born, and that's when they started doing the prank calls."

That bit helped Phil and Brent become nationally known, and cemented their position on Tulsa's FM radio waves.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not For Long, Laura Ingraham Off Radio

Conservative talk-radio host Laura Ingraham has announced that she’s off the air – for a brief period anyway.

“After more than nine years with the distributor Talk Radio Network, I decided it was time to move on. After much thought and reflection, I have decided to pursue my first loves – modern dance and the xylophone. In the highly unlikely event that these efforts do not prove fruitful, I intend to return to radio,” she said in an announcement posted on her website.

“Seriously – to the more than 300 stations that carry the Laura Ingraham Show and to all my loyal listeners, I feel the time is right to expand and retool my radio program and to explore other syndication options, which I am now actively pursuing. During this brief hiatus, my team and I will continue to deliver thought-provoking and entertaining analysis via my website and twitter @IngrahamAngle. And of course, I’ll be doing my regular appearances on Fox News. I anticipate making an announcement concerning the show in the near future. Stay tuned!”

There has been no comment available from TRN concerning Ingraham.

Ingraham is the second major personality to move away from TRN recently.

As WND reported, Michael Savage left the airwaves briefly after a long court battle with TRN. He returned to the air with a new syndicator and new time slot.

“The Savage Nation,” which formerly aired on TRN from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, now is airing from 9 p.m. to midnight, Eastern, via Cumulus Media Networks.

Cadillac Jack Leaving Clear Channel-NYC

It was announced Tuesday that Clear Channel Media + Entertainment-New York OM Cadillac Jack will be stepping down at the end of December.  Jack also served as PD of Urban WWPR (Power 105.1).

CCM+E-New York President/Market Manager Joe Puglise made the announcement in a memo to his staffers:
"It’s with very mixed emotions that I share with you the news that Cadillac Jack McCartney will be leaving Clear Channel at the end of this year to continue his life's journey and pursue some of his passions.  
Cadillac began his radio career in New Haven at KC101 30 years ago as an on-air personality. Since then he has served in variety of on-air, programming and operational positions, and for the past 22 years has played a vital role within Clear Channel including his most recent position as OM here in New York.  
Cadillac has been an extremely instrumental part of our team -- please join me in wishing him the best with his new endeavors. These are some big shoes to fill and we plan to begin an active search for highly qualified candidates today."

Cadillac Jack added,
 "I want to thank Clear Channel for the opportunity to serve as OM and PD for the past 22 years, especially the last five here in New York. The many friendships I’ve formed over the years are truly special, and I am grateful that we were able to achieve notable success with each of our brands and their ratings.  
As proud as I am of these accomplishments, I am now ready to take some time to relax, travel and pursue some long-held interests as I transition into the next phase of my personal and professional life."
Cadillac Jack spent 22-years with Clear Channel.

Cindy Simmons Re-Ups At Atlanta’s Star94

WSTR Star 94 morning host Cindy Simmons, who recently returned from a brief maternity leave, has signed a new multi-year contract with the station, according to Rodney Ho at

Simmons, who now has two daughters, has been with Star 94 for eight years, the past three-plus years hosting mornings. She worked with Ray Mariner until May, when he was dismissed with no explanation. (I still have no explanation. In a poll I posted earlier this month, 69 percent of respondents say they miss Ray.)

Her new co host Jimmy Alexander will be joining her on air later this week.

Monday was his first official day in the office. Alexander was a sidekick at WRQX in Washington D.C.

One Less Monster In Orlando

Longtime Orlando radio personality Daniel Dennis, who appeared on the Monsters in the Morning show on WTKS-FM Real Radio 104.1, has left the station amid a contract disagreement.

The Orlando Sentinel reports a YouTube video posted Tuesday titled "Goodbye," Dennis says Clear Channel, the owners of Real Radio 104.1, offered him a three-year deal, but he wanted to work for the company without a contract.

"That just wasn't something they wanted me to do," he says. "They were pretty dead-set on me signing a deal. I didn't want to sign a deal. I would have just rather worked."

Representatives from Clear Channel could not be reached for comment.

The Monsters are known for its crude humor, sexual innuendoes and off-color jokes, "Monsters" has been an Orlando radio mainstay for more than 15 years. Dennis joined the cast in 1999.

Monsters in the Morning personalities Rollins and Dirty Jim each accepted a three-year contract from the station, according to a blog post by Rollins on the Real Radio website. The Monsters in the Morning show has been a morning-commute program on Real Radio since 2004.

After Prison, Former Jock Gets Second Chance At Life

It's a story of lies and betrayal -- a well-known Louisville, KY DJ turned into a con man, stealing thousands of dollars and faking a disease he never had.

Just months after he was released from prison, Todd Smith, once known as Todd Kelly, broke his silence exclusively to WDRB News.

Todd Smith is getting a second chance many of his victims will not. He was freed from prison just four months ago after serving four years behind bars at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

Smith was  promotions director and DJ known as Todd Kelly at WDJX Radio. In 2001, he announced he was stricken with a deadly disease -- ALS.  Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, it gradually robs its victims of the ability to move, and eventually to breathe.

He soon started the Todd Kelly Foundation to raise money for research. But suspicion grew when Smith showed no symptoms after several years.  He eventually admitted he faked having the disease, and that the foundation was a scam.  He pleaded guilty to stealing from people who thought they were donating money to help cure a killer disease.

WMAL AM Show Talks Election Voter Fraud

State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a Republican running for Virginia governor next year, seemed to agree in a recent WMAL 630 AM Washington, DC morning show that voter fraud helped President Obama win reelection.

During a Nov. 20 interview, Morning On The Mall host Brian Wilson and guest host Cheri Jacobus discussed alleged instances of voter fraud that they said they’d heard about via email, one of them claiming that nurses had cast ballots for “vegetables” in nursing homes.

“Clearly there’s something going on out there,” guest host Cheri Jacobus said, noting that Obama had not won any states that required voters to present photo ID at the polls.

The interview got play on political and media websites Tuesday - including criticism from Chris Matthews on his MSNBC "Hardball" show.

Radio Ratings Reflect Orioles' Magic '12 Season

From Dave Hughes
The guys who run Baltimore's sports stations all agree: The winning Orioles did significantly boost this season's radio and TV ratings.
"I can directly attribute our higher ratings to the Orioles and their better play," said Bob Philips, vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Baltimore, which owns WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan. "It certainly helped us. It's great when both sports teams do well. It drives up our ratings." 
The Orioles, who took second place in the American League East and qualified for one of two AL wild-card spots, averaged about 4,000 more fans per game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 2012 and topped last year's mark in total attendance, according to team statistics. 
In the Baltimore radio market, WJZ-FM, which doesn't even carry Orioles play-by-play, was No. 1 among men ages 25-54 in October, largely because of incredible listener interest in the team, Philips said. 
WJZ-FM took first place for that key male demographic in October's full-day ratings, according to radio ratings firm Arbitron. That's up from sixth place in July and August and fourth place in September, as the Orioles prepared for their playoff run. 
The station's morning show with Ed Norris and Steve Davis -- a frequent Orioles talk waterhole -- has been first in that male 25-54 demo most months since summer, rising in total audience share from a 7.7 in July to a lofty 10.3 in October. 
Philips said his station, even without Orioles play-by-play, often beat rival WBAL, the Orioles' flagship station.
Philips pointed out that WJZ-FM posted a strong 6.8 share at night with team-themed call-in programming, even when WBAL was carrying Orioles baseball. That's up from a 5.6 share in September and a 6.2 in August. 
"Our listenership wants to talk in the pre- and postgame shows," Phillips said. "We want to interact with fans. People love talking about [the Orioles], especially when they're winning." 
Dave Hill, the program director at WBAL, 1090 AM, which carried the Orioles for many years except for a stretch between 2007 and '10, when they were on WJZ-FM, agreed with Philips about the ratings surge.

Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder Added To Sandy Relief Concert

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder have been added to the lineup of 12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief.

The show, scheduled for December 12th at New York's Madison Square Garden, already boasts a bill packed with stars, including Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, The Who, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, and Jon Bon Jovi. More acts are expected to be announced shortly.

Tickets for the event go on sale this Monday (December 3rd) at 12:00 noon ET via Ticketmaster.

Of course, all proceeds will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area last month.

Pearl Jam has been mostly off the road this year, although Vedder has done some solo shows. The band is slowly putting together its 10th studio album.

Grohl's Foo Fighters are on hiatus following the end of the touring cycle for 2011's Wasting Light album. Grohl has laid down the drum tracks for the next record from Queens Of The Stone Age and is also completing Sound City, a documentary he directed about the legendary Los Angeles recording studio.

Watch Weather Babe Scarlett Johansson On ‘Today'

Al Roker can’t talk, so Scarlett Johansson volunteered to do a weather segment.

Also helping with the weather Tuesday were Phillip Phillips of “American Idol” fame, Finesse Mitchell and motivational speaker Tony Robbins.

Is Terrifying Ghost Elevator Prank Funny or Just Mean?

The Yahoo! News blog Trending Now has discovered a recent prank online from a Brazilian hidden camera show that's so terrifying that's it could be seen as being more mean than funny.

In the segment from the show Programa Silvio Santos, called "Ghost in the Elevator," unsuspecting people are on an elevator when the lights start to flicker and then go off altogether. While it's dark, a creepy-looking little girl carrying a doll enters the elevator through a hidden door. The lights come back on and the people see the girl, who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. The elevator passengers react in terror, which gets worse when the girl lets out a bloodcurdling scream.

The video was uploaded on Sunday (November 25th) and as of late last night had close to four million views.

KEEY K102 Offers Twin Cities Listeners Powerball Tips

Powerball Fever rages today as the big jackpot drawing looms tonight.  If your station talking about it?

Tonight is the $500-million Powerball drawing and the K102 Wake-Up Crew offered  tips that might increase odds for Twin Cities listeners just a little bit.

Here are five expert tips for winning tonight's Powerball.           

#1.)  Don't bother letting the machine pick random numbers.  Customized numbers have the same chance of winning.

#2.)  Don't pick popular lucky numbers like seven or numbers under 31 because those could be birthdays. More people will have those numbers and could end up splitting the jackpot with you. You're hoping you have obscure numbers, and they hit.

#3.)  The only way to increase your real odds? Buying more tickets.

#4.)  Don't pick the same number for the Powerball every time.

#5.)  Finally, make sure if you're in a lottery pool, you send photo proof of the tickets you bought for the group and ones you bought for yourself.  You don't need the inevitable lawsuit if that line is blurred.