Saturday, December 8, 2012

FCC Says OK To Clear Channel Buy of WOR-AM NYC

The deal is done. The FCC Friday dismissed objections from Connoisser Media of Long Island and approved  the transfer of WOR-AM from Buckley Broadcasting to Clear Channel.

Connoisseur in an informal objection complained that CC’s Aloha Station Trust had no divested all of the stations in the trust when CC when private in 2008.   Connoisseur argued that Clear Channel had failed to divest all the trust stations within six months as contemplated in the Divestiture Order.

The remedy, according to Connoisseur, is for the Commission to establish a final divestiture period of six months, during which all remaining Trust Stations must be sold or risk the licenses being revoked. Connoisseur also asks the Commission to postpone processing the CC applications until the AST divestiture issues raised by the Informal Objection have been resolved.

In its opposition, Clear Channel contends that Connoisseur's objection to both the AST divestiture process and the CC applications is a "strange and incongruous pairing." It noted the Aloha Station Trust is not a party to either CC application, is not proposing to acquire WOR-AM.

The FCC found that Connoisseur failed to establish a substantial and material question of fact that granting the CC applications would be inconsistent with the public interest.

It also found that Clear Channel is qualified to hold the WOR-AM and WHTZ-FM station licenses and approval of the transfer is consistent with the public interest.

Friday, December 7, 2012

CC-Denver Fired Jock Offered “Insulting Severance”

Those who were accompanied on their drive home by KBPI’s Uncle Nasty or KBCO’s Keefer will now have to find new radio companions.

FOX31 Denver reports both were among a plethora of popular Denver radio personalities dismissed by their parent company, Clear Channel Communications, on Thursday.

Also among the casualties was FOX31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden, who co-hosted the KOA weekend morning program ”Colorado Weekend” with her husband, Chuck Bonniwell.

“We’re disappointed,” Hayden said. “But we weren’t doing it for the money.”

That likely won’t be the case for many other employees laid off across the country by Clear Channel on Thursday, a day which Uncle Nasty, whose real name is Gregg Stone, referred to as the annual “Clear Channel Firing Day.”

He says the tradition started in 2008, when the company was acquired by Bain Capitol.

“It’s more of the same,” Stone said. “Clear Channel cut backs. They axed quite a few afternoon personalities across the country today. … To tell you the truth, I thought I was pretty safe. I thought I helped their bottom line and their revenue. And, you know, I was a good face for the station.”

That doesn’t mean that Stone, who said he was offered “an insulting severance package,” isn’t abreast to the financial difficulties the terrestrial radio business is experiencing.

Aussie Radio Pranksters Off Air

The Australian radio jocks who impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles on Tuesday will no longer be on the airwaves -- for now.

The news comes after a nurse who fell victim to the DJs' prank telephone call seeking information about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge died in an apparent suicide.

According to,the station released the following statement about radio personalities Mel Greig and Michael Christian: 
"Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII's Hospital and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all that have been affected by this situation around the world.
Chief Executive Officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters, they are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances. SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
The King Edward VII hospital said nurse Jacintha Saldanha took the hoax call by two Australian radio disc jockeys who impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles early Tuesday to elicit private information on the duchess' condition. 

Saldanha later transferred the call to the nurse caring for the duchess, who was admitted for acute morning sickness. That second nurse spoke freely about her 30-year-old patient, one of the world's most photographed women.

Saldanha was found dead early Friday. Police say her death is unexplained.

Nurse In Aussie Radio Prank Call Dead

An ill-advised stunt by a pair of Australian shock jocks took a tragic turn when a nurse they tricked in order to get confidential information about the royal baby committed suicide.

Two Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian of Sydney station 2Day FM, called the hospital earlier this week and pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles asking to be put through to the ward. They were then given an update on Kate’s health by a nurse.

Original Posting, Click Here.

Report: Radio Today 2012 Released

Country Format Again Most Listened To

More than 90 years after its introduction as a commercial medium, radio has been heralded for its remarkable, enduring reach reports Arbitron.

Arbitron Clients can download the entire report. Click Here.

The report’s executive summary notes to this day, about  93% of consumers aged 12 years and older listen to the radio each week. Radio is unique in its ability to reach people wherever they are: at home, at work, in the car—nearly everywhere. Regardless of one’s age, the time of day, or the listening location, Americans depend on radio as a reliable media companion.

Radio Today 2012 is an in-depth snapshot of radio listening nationwide and the 23 most popular radio formats. Radio Today combines Scarborough consumer profiles with Arbitron audience data to develop a comprehensive profile of radio listening across America, based on the Fall 2011 Diary and October-November-December 2011 PPM® survey periods.

About 93% of the U.S. population listened to radio during an average week, according to the Fall 2011 Arbitron survey (September 15, 2011-December 7, 2011). This widespread reach has changed very little over the decades; radio remains a reliable entertainment and information source for listeners regardless of their age, gender, income, education, or location in the home or outside the home. Time spent listening to radio, compared to last year’s report, is relatively stable. In most listener demographic age and gender categories, and in most dayparts TSL changed at most one Quarter-Hour.

To read the report's Executive Summary, Click Here.

Baltimore: Jojo No Longer At Mix 106.5

Jojo Girard, half of the popular morning duo Jojo and Reagan on Mix 106.5 FM, has been let go, he said Thursday.

Girard confirmed to The Baltimore Sun that he was told immediately after his show Thursday that his contract would not be renewed.

Girard posted on Facebook: "have joined the ranks of the unemployed at least I'm not alone."

Calls to the station's head of programming Dave Labrozzi were not immediately returned.

By mid-afternoon Thursday, references to Girard seemed wiped clean from the station's website, only mentioning Reagan, whose full name is Reagan Warfield.

Girard has worked at the station since 1994. He was originally teamed with Kenny Campbell and worked on the Jojo and Reagan show for the last six years.

Chicago: Eddie & Jobo Out At K-Hits

Chicago radio icons Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon, whose celebrated partnership as Eddie & Jobo has endured through 25 years of ups and downs, are out of work again.

On Thursday they were cut after 20 months as morning personalities on CBS Radio classic hits WJMK-FM (104.3), the station they helped kick off as K-Hits in 2011. They declined to go on the air for a final show Friday, but will be paid through the remainder of their two-year contracts, which expire in March.

Asked why they chose not to bid farewell to their audience, Volkman told Robert Feder at “Who’s really listening? That was part of the problem. I can say goodbye on social media to a lot more people than we were getting there.” Later he tweeted: “When Jobo & I were taken off @B96Mornings in 2008 Twitter was in its infancy. Today? OMFG! I'm grateful for unlimited data on this phone!”

In the latest Arbitron Portable People Meter survey, Eddie & Jobo were tied for 20th place in mornings with a 2.1 percent share of listeners between 25 and 54, the station’s target demographic. Overall, K-Hits ranked 18th with a 2.5 share.

In addition to underperforming ratings, program director Todd Cavanah cited the duo’s incompatibility with the station’s format. “Eddie and Jobo have a great style, and they really helped us launch the radio station and get us on the map,” he said. “But the match of Eddie and Jobo with this music is not a good fit. It’s hard to perceive Eddie and Jobo playing the Beatles. It doesn’t fit with who they are.”

WMXD’s Frankie Darcell Surprised Over Firing

Detroit News photo
Detroit is losing more local flavor from the airwaves. Longtime air personality Frankie Darcell was fired Thursday morning from Clear Channel's Mix 92.3 (WMXD-FM), she confirmed. Darcell had been with The Mix for 11 years, with Clear Channel for 18.

Darcell, whose last air shift was Wednesday, says she didn't expect to be let go and was taken aback "a little bit," according to a story at

But: "I am good, Detroit is incredible, Detroit has been amazing to me," Darcell told The Detroit News on Thursday. "Detroit has become my home. I expect to be here and continue to do some amazing things. I'm excited about what's to come. I don't know what it is, but it creates great opportunity.

"We can't pick and choose what happens to us," she added, "but we can control how we react. I've been humbled by the many calls from people who have reached out to me. I've been empowered by a lot of folks, and a lot of love."

Darcell was already gone from The Mix's website Thursday, and newscaster/fill-in air personality Tracey McCaskill was hosting Darcell's midday shift.

Also gone is midday host Jag from Clear Channel's Channel 95.5 (WKQI-FM), who was told when he reported for his 10 a.m. air shift Thursday. "It's a tough business," Jag said. "It's a business of high highs and low lows. On Thanksgiving weekend I was onstage at the Fox introducing Flo Rida, then I was laid off today. Nature of the beast I guess."

Charlotte Ratings: Greater Media Rebounds

Things are looking up for Greater Media’s Charlotte stations WBT-AM (1110) and WLNK-FM (“Link” 107.9), writes Mark Washburn at

Both had faded in the ratings after Arbitron, the company that measures radio usage, went to a new system in 2010. Arbitron abandoned its longtime approach of asking a random sample of radio listeners to fill out a weekly diary of what they tuned into and started handing out beeper-sized gizmos to electronically measure what stations were listened to.

In the latest rankings, both WBT-AM and WLNK-FM were tied for No. 6 among Charlotte stations.

It was significant for “Link,” which had gone through a long slide. In the spring of 2010, when Arbitron’s diary method ended, WLNK was No. 15 in overall listeners.

Arbitron’s electronic monitors, called Portable People Meters or PPMs, are distributed to about 1,000 people in the 13-county Charlotte listening area. They are said to be more accurate than the diary system, which relied on people remembering what they listened to, and for how long.

Nationally, though, stations with talk formats tended to show a dip in the new ratings system while stations concentrating on music showed gains.

At WBT, Greater Media made changes to increase listener interest. It added more newsmaker interviews on shows like “Charlotte’s Morning News” and made weather and traffic an appointment destination on the 10s. It sped up segments by eliminating chit-chat.

At WLNK, the station’s morning show with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch sped up the time spent with callers and started playing music between segments. Listeners complained, but ratings rose.

Verizon Wants to Spy Through Your TV

It sounds creepy, like something out of a Twilight Zone episode, but it's true. Verizon has applied for a patent for the idea of using customers' TV set-top boxes to see and hear what people are doing in front of their TVs, and then using that information to tailor what ads will show up during commercial breaks.

FierceCable first discovered the patent filing, which gives an example of a couple snuggling in front of the TV that might see ads for romantic vacations, flowers or even condoms.  Verizon also envisions being able to detect a person's mood from what they're doing, such as singing a happy song, and then featuring ads intended for happy people.

The patent filing even suggests that the tracking system could communicate with a smartphone or tablet a viewer might have in their hands, seeing the websites the person is looking at, reading their email drafts or looking at what ebook they're reading.

The patent's filing has yet to be approved, however, and this envisioned system may not actually come to pass, with noting that companies file patents on many ideas that never become a reality.

Zimmerman Sues NBC, Claiming Portrayal As Racist

George Zimmerman, who's been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Florida 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL, filed a lawsuit Thursday (December 6th) against NBC, claiming he was defamed by the network when it edited tape of his 911 call to police, charging it made him sound racist.

Zimmerman, who's seeking an undisclosed amount of money, it also suing three reporters who covered the story for NBC or an NBC-owned TV station, all of whom were fired over the editing.

The complaint said the airing of the edited call inflicted emotional distress on Zimmerman, making him fear for his life and causing him to suffer nausea, insomnia and anxiety.

It charges NBC saw Martin's death, quote, "not as a tragedy, but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create a myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain."

The call as aired suggested that Zimmerman volunteered to police on a 911 call that Martin, who he was following in his gated community, thinking the teen might be looking to rob a home, was black.

Viewers heard, "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." Edited out had been part of the tape with the 911 dispatcher asking Zimmerman the race of the person ahead of him saying, "He looks black."

An NBC spokesperson said they strongly disagreed with the accusations, stating, "There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly," and that they'd be fighting the lawsuit in court.

Nurse Charged In Death of Radio Personality

Bill Norman
A 53-year-old registered nurse in Myrtle Beach, NC  is accused in the death of North Myrtle Beach radio personality Bill Norman, who police said was given too much medication while he was being treated at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center after suffering a stroke in October. reports police on Wednesday charged Janet Kupka with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. She has been released on $20,000 bail, according to Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes said.

An investigation into Norman’s death began on Oct. 19 – five days after the 63-year-old’s death – after police received a report from hospital officials that a patient possibly was over medicated.

Norman was the owner of Norman Communications’ WNMB-AM 900 and co-owner of WVCO-FM 94.9 “The Surf.”

At the time of Norman’s death, Matt Sedota, general manager of Fidelity Broadcasting’s easy listening station simulcast on WEZV-FM 105.9 in Myrtle Beach and WGTN-FM 100.7 in Georgetown, said Fidelity sold WNMB to Norman in 2001.

“Bill was one of those guys who don’t exist anymore,” Sedota said. “He was Mr. Local Radio.”

WaPo Scooped About Its Own Web Paywall

The Washington Post will probably start charging online readers for access to newspaper articles in the middle of next year, a person familiar with the plans said.

Long reluctant to charge for online content, the newspaper is close to a decision to introduce digital subscriptions and charge online readers once they surpass a certain number of articles or multimedia features a month, the person said. Access to the home page and section fronts would not be limited.

The model — known as a metered paywall — would be similar to that used by the New York Times, which started charging for online content in March 2011 and now has nearly 600,000 digital subscribers. The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times have similar models.

Home subscribers to the print edition would have unfettered access to The Post’s Web site and other digital products.

The news was reported Thursday on the Wall Street Journal’sWeb site, which also said that The Post would raise the price of the paper sold in newsstands. That price has increased from 25 cents to $1 over the past several years.

Post company executives have long believed that the newspaper needed to build a larger core audience of people who are frequent users of the Web site and therefore the most likely to subscribe. And they hoped that a large online audience would bring in more online advertising.

But online advertising stalled late last year and early this year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Clear Channel Is The Grinch..RIFs Reported

Officials at the San Antonio, Texas-based media company did not offer specifics on the layoffs. LIST.  A statement issued by the company said they were part of Clear Channel's strategy to "operate as effectively and efficiently as possible."
"Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make," the statement said. "In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future."
Clear Channel isn't confirming any names and the following list is not 'official', we've compiled this list from a number of sources:

Steve Versnick
Tampa: Steve Versnick, PD at 970 WFLA, WDAE
             Hannah’s Boy Stu, AT at WBTP
             Jenny Dean, AT co-host PM Drive At WFUS
             Ryan Nelson, Midday at WKUS
             Ty Demeza, Promotion Coordinator

Orlando: Ken Payne, PD/AT at WMGF 107.7 FM
             Katherine Brown, PD at N/T WFLF, Talk WTKS.
             "LT", Air Talent on WJRR
             Bull, Midday producer WTKS
             'Cabin Boy' from  SBK Show WTKS evenings gone as
                       Soul Brother Kevin moves to  Monsters Morning
                       Show. He'll replace Daniel Dennis, who departed
                       last week.
              "Some" from the promotions dept. in Orlando also out.
               Signe Huff, Program Assistant to OM

Ken Payne
Riverside/San Bernardino: Bob Ridzak, Market Manager
                                          Jesse Duran, Progrmmer

Chicago: Angie Zdanowski, Marketing & Promotions Manager
               Glenn Cosby, AT WVAZ
               Effie Rolfe, AT WGRB/WVAZ

Columbus:  Andy Clark, AT at 93.3 Oldies WODC
                 John Boy Crenshaw, at 93.9 Oldies WODC
                 Amy Donovan, AT 93.3 Oldies WODC
                 Kevin Kirschner, AT 93.3 Oldies WODC

Joel Moss

Cincinnati: Jay Gilbert, AT WEBN
                  Joey, AT WKFS
                  Joel Moss, Producer

Cleveland:  Kasper, AT WAKS

Dallas:    Josh Venable, AT KDGE
              Adrian Humme, KDGE Producer

Denver:   Uncle Nasty, AT KBPI
              Joe Niko, Weekender
              Eddie Barella, KBPI, KEGL Imaging
              Julie Hayden, AT Weekends KOA
              Chuck Bonniwell, AT Weekends KOA
              Joanne Ostrow, AT KBCO
              Chris Griff, Producer
              1 Receptionist

Eric Chase
Detroit:  Eric Chase, PD/AT WDFN
             JAG, AT WKQI
            Frankie Darcell, AT WMXD
            Kristin Burns, AT WNIC      
            Jenna Cork & Dan Watkins, AM Drive hosts WNIC
            Dave Dhamer, AT WDTW
            Dan Watkins, WNIC Morning Cast
            Jenna Cork, Morning Show Producer
            Danielle Car, AT Weekends WNIC

Atlanta:  Tim Michaels, Mid-days AT at WUBL
             Primo Mickey, AT WBZY
             Miquel Aguilar, AT WBZY PM Drive

Austin:   Joel Burke at KASE.KVET
              Keith Carlyle, Promotions

Walton, Johnson
Houston:  Walton & Johnson, Morning show hosts KKRW
                Josh Reno, Morning Show Producer
                Paul Christy, AT KKRW

Los Angeles:  Stella Pardo, PD at KOST (after 20 years at the station)
                    Joel Elliott, Board Op 4 Stations
                    Trevor Trent, AT KYSR
                    Monica Medina, AT KOST, KBIG
                    Doc Bailey, Commercial Production
                    Christine Martindale, AT KOST
                    Lindsey Sopp-Kovar, KOST Producer
                    DJ Joe Vinyl, KBIG Producer
                    Robert Lyles, KOST/KBIG Marketing Director

Miami:    Michael Yo, PM Drive WHYI
               Rich Minaya, AT WIOD

Philadelphia:  Bob Stei, weekender

Mike Morris
Pittsburgh:  Flick, APD/MD/PM Drive Host 86,1 KISS-FM

Seattle:   Josh Sabrowsky, KJR A/F Producer

San Diego:  Don Ayers, KOGO AM Show Producer

Minneapolis:  Thorn, Middays/MD at  KTCZ
                    Mike Morris, AM Drive Co-host KXFN-F

San Diego:   Don Ayers, Producer for Chip Franklin
                    Jorge Espinoza, Board Op
                    Jeff Moore,  Producer for LaDona Harvey
                    Scottie Morache, Sales

Tom's Take 12/07/12 Update:  A Few 'Day-after' thoughts...
  • All known RIFs were in large and upper medium markets.  You know CC isn't finished. Another round at the smaller markets could be next.  Nothing like have a target on your back.
  • I know of at least one market when a regional programming VP is now doing day-to-day duties for two stations.  Will this be the "new normal"?
  • Most (but not all) RIFed were veterans, read that "older", employees.  Those affected had to sign-away the right to file age discrimination suits in order to get severance.  No thought time was allowed.
  • Just discarded PD Steve Versnick at N/T Tampa had just started the process of looking for a local & live talent to replace market vet Todd Schnitt. His announced last local show is 12/18.  Odds are Sean Hannity will be moved into the PM Drive shift.
  • That leaves just one local show on formally-highly rated WFLA.  Looks like just one L&L show is the "new normal" at Clear Channel.
  • When does Cumulus pounce on their larger markets?

Tom's Take:  Having been on one of these lists about three years, I have empathy for everyone.  Boy, that traded out Holiday Party next week is gonna be a ton of fun, eh?

Harris Broadcast Sold To Gores Group

Harris Corp. announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement to sell its broadcast communications division for $225 million to The Gores Group LLC, a Los Angeles-based investment firm.

"It's very encouraging that BCD is being encompassed into the Gores Group, which brings a lot of good investment and technology know-how," said Chris Parsons, global vice president of operations and supply chain for Harris Corp. "It's positive for the BCD and all of our communities that work within the BCD."

Harris' broadcast communications division employs about 1,700 people. According to a news release from Harris, the sale price includes $160 million in cash at closing, a $15 million subordinated promissory note and an earn-out of up to $50 million based on future performance.

The transaction is subject to regulatory review and closing conditions. Parsons said it will take between 45 and 60 days for the sale to be finalized.

"In Harris Broadcast Communications, we are investing in a proven technology leader with great products and a great team," said Ryan Wald, managing director of the Gores Group, in a news release. "We are excited to provide the capital and support to transition this division to a strong and independent company, further enabling it to continue developing and delivering market-leading technologies to its customers."

Harris announced in May that it planned to sell off its broadcast division. Quincy's plant involves manufacturing for transmission and other devices. In November, Harris confirmed that "about a dozen" salaried employees had been laid off in the wake of a quarterly loss for the company.

ACC Day2: What The Connected Car Means for Radio

The car dashboard is a key target for the auto industry as it moves toward selling more “connected cars,” vehicles that use cellular technology to offer consumers a wide variety of in-car entertainment and information options.

Valerie Shuman, Vice President of Industry Programs for the Connected Vehicle Trade Association, discussed the technology at Abitron’s Client Conference Day 2.  She talked about the technology that is currently available in cars and what to expect down the road.

She explained the industry’s motivation for the focus on connected cars, provide a timeline to illustrate when the majority of autos will be connected, and most importantly, addressed what this is likely to mean for the radio industry.

A Ford exec interviewed in a #ACC12 presentation said local content is the key for radio to compete with new media now available in-car.  

Media specialist Steve Allen tweeted, isn’t ‘content’ more than music?

Consultant Holland Cooke took note of a Ford exec’s response when asked is AM/FM radio would always be available in the car.

The response: “Always is a long time."

Fred Jacobs, President of Jacobs Media, will continued the discussion about the digital dashboard and radio. He shared consumer research and interviews with auto makers to put the impact of connected cars into perspective for broadcasters.

Jacobs urged those in radio to buy, rent or test-drive a connected car. That way, you can really understand the experience radio listeners are having.

During a “Go Inside iHeart Radio” presentation, Clear Channel President of Digital Media, Brian Lakamp told attendees 50% of iHeart listening is now mobile.  He added most people have phone within seven feet 24/7.

Lubanski is General Manager at KXLY Radio Group. In Spokane, Washington

Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers Tune In

Wednesday at Arbitron’s Client Confab, Scarborough Research gave a presentation on Millennials*, Generation Xers* and Baby Boomers* who are frequent radio listeners.

The presentation features new Scarborough/GfK MRI Attitudinal Insights Data and examines the attitudes and behaviors of these radio fans. By understanding what drives the behaviors of Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer frequent radio listeners, marketers, advertisers and retailers can identify precisely how to target these consumers when their attention is captive.

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Millennials (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).

To view the presentation, Click Here.

Ramsey Offers Tips To Impact Your Radio Brand

Media strategist Mark Ramsey has an interesting video on how to use social media to create impact for your radio brand.

Also Music Read: 

Ramsey blogs what iHeart Radio and Tune-In are missing, Click Here.

DC Newser WTOP Ends 13 Year Feature

Bob Madigan is no longer WTOP’s “Man About Town,” but he’s not crying in his beer about the station putting an end to his long-time events beat. “At first I was crushed,” he says. “It was 13 1/2 years of being my identity. I gave myself the opportunity to mourn the loss, and now I’m moving on.”

He’s moving on but not leaving the FM perch where he’s worked for almost two decades. He says he will continue to do “the same kinds of stories,” covering events in and around Washington, but with some significant changes in scope. “We’re moving away from the big, mega fundraisers, balls and galas, and getting down to more people-oriented stories.”

Madigan said the decision to eliminate “Man About Town” was made by WTOP’s new Program Director Laurie Cantillo and was delivered to him by Cantillo and the station’s vice president for news and programming, Jim Farley. 

“One of the arguments, which I think is a good one,” Madigan said in an exclusive interview with Washingtonian, “is that we have new people coming into town all the time, and hearing ‘Man About Town’ they may not understand the legacy and might think it is about the top one percent.” Madigan did not warm to this argument immediately but did conform “once I sat down and thought about it.”

2012 Grammy Nominations Announced

Six acts lead the list of Grammy nominees with six nominations apiece -- Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean and Kanye West.

The nominees in five categories were announced during last Wednesday's Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!, which aired live from Nashville and was co-hosted by Taylor Swift and LL Cool J. For Grammy nominees list, Click Here.

The evening included performances by Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry, who paid homage to Johnny Cash; Maroon 5, who gave two separate performances; The Who; Luke Bryan; Fun. featuring Janelle Monae; and Ne-Yo.

The winners will be announced on February 10th when the Grammy Awards airs live from Los Angeles on CBS.

For the complete list of all 81 Grammy categories, visit

KOMO Buying Out Ken Schram's Contract

Although Ken Schram's Facebook page was lighting up with messages from fans — over 500 by 5 Wednesday afternoon — expressing their disappointment and anger that his commentary position at KOMO 4 News had been eliminated, there is a possibility he might return.

But, the Seattle Times reports,  Schram would have to be willing to become a part-timer, says Holly Gauntt, vice president of News-Fisher Communications and KOMO-TV news director.

Schram isn't exactly jumping at the opportunity to become what he says is basically a freelancer after his 35-year career there.

"I've got to digest everything that is going on," he says. "I'm not making any decisions until after Christmas. I've got an agent looking into other possibilities."

Schram had been doing an afternoon talk show on KOMO Radio, but the station ended talk shows in September and went strictly 24/7 news, weather and traffic.

Gauntt says Schram was a radio-station employee, although he had agreed to do his popular "Schrammies" and commentaries for the TV side.

Schram says his contract had been through December 2013, and is now being bought out.

Farber At ACC12: Be Proud We’re In Radio

At Wednesday’s first day of the Arbitron 2012 Client Conference in Annapolis, MD, some 200 radio programmers heard RAB President/XCEO Erica Farber urge us to purge the word “terrestrial”.  Instead, she says advertisers are using the word “audio” to describe radio and streaming.

“Try to eliminate that word” when talking about the medium to a potential advertiser, she said. “We should be proud we’re in radio.”

Farber notesv a conference just last week where “four heads of the largest media buying companies in the world were all on one stage, and I thought it was stunning – they don’t even have ‘radio’ departments any more. They have ‘audio departments.’” She reports that it’s “a major shift,” with audio encompassing streaming and digital, plus broadcast radio.

Farber says “I’m not trying to be Polyanna…This is a great business, but it is not without challenges.” Nevertheless, “The way you touch people on an hourly, minute-by-minute basis”.

To Follow Tweets of those attending the Client Conference, Click Here  #ACC12.

Or to Follow Arbitron's Client Conference, Click Here.

Tom's Take:  Those left in radio should be proud. Problem: there's fewer of us in radio, due to debt and greedy sins of our so-called leaders.

Naughty: KFMB Jock Flashes TV Viewers On Air

Despite a studio camera operator’s best effort, the San Diego CBS affiliate KFMB morning news Tuesday allowed a KFMB-FM morning personality to reveal a bit too much of himself on air.

According to Kevin Eck at, while talking live with the JACK-FM “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning show Tuesday about the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” also airing on CBS, KFMB co-anchors Nichelle Medina and Alicia Summers were given a sneak peek courtesy of the radio station.

“Allow me, Nichelle, Alicia, to present you with a preview,” said Dave Rickards who waited for the gag to begin.  The ‘preview’ was fellow DJ Chris Boyer who walked onto the KFMB set wearing only a black bikini.  “Wow!”  said Summers.  “What is happening right now?”

What was happening was Boyer’s bikini did not cover all of Chris Boyer.

“I’ve never seen a camera tilt up so quickly.” said morning radio show co-host Shelly Dunn.

Nice: JACK-FM's DSC And A Holiday Tradition

It's better to give than receive. The DSC morning show on KFMB Jack-FM 100.7 reveals their holiday traditions to KFMB-TV Tuesday and one of those traditions is something a little stinky in the stockings.

100.7 Jack FM San Diego Radio

Clear Channel Partners With DashGo Marketing

Clear Channel Media and Entertainmentvand DashGo, Inc. a digital content distribution and marketing engine for labels, podcasters and Artists, have announced an agreement that will help drive growth and innovation in Internet radio.

As part of this new relationship, DashGo will share in Clear Channel’s terrestrial broadcast revenues, aligning the business interests of both companies and helping to build a sustainable market in Internet radio.

DashGo works with independent Artists, labels, and content owners to distribute content across a range of digital music stores, ad-supported services and social networks—including YouTube and iTunes— with integrated analytics tools for tracking results. Clients and partners include Weezer, Rock Mafia, Coconut Records, Delicious Vinyl, and Time Records.

This is Clear Channel’s latest market-based partnership aimed at developing and supporting a sustainable business model for the digital radio industry that will help it grow, attract investment, and encourage entrepreneurs. So far this year, Clear Channel has reached music rights agreements with Big Machine Label Group, Glassnote Entertainment Group, and Naxos.

Bob Pittman, Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel, said: “Ben Patterson’s DashGo is the kind of progressive, forward-thinking company that is a perfect partner for us – they understand where the marketplace is going and what needs to be done to succeed. This agreement will provide greater access to artists across digital channels, and will strengthen the integrated online marketing campaigns that DashGo specializes in. Together, we’ll work to create an environment where artists, labels, and radio benefit … no matter how fans choose to listen to music.”

DashGo is a digital distribution partner representing over 100 Label and Artist partners and approximately 100,000 songs. DashGo was founded in 2007 to offer labels and artists hands-on technology with the backing of professional sales and marketing services.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CCM+E Promotes Ken Charles To VP-Sacramento

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment today announced a new assignment for Ken Charles, currently  National Brand Coordinator of News/Talk/Sports.

Charles has been appointed Vice President of Programming for CCM+E-Sacramento, where he’ll oversee programming for the six station cluster.

Charles began his radio career in 1995 as Director of Programming and News for WSYR and WHEN in Syracuse, N.Y. In 1998 he joined the Clear Channel team and was named Director of Programming for WGST and Georgia News Network in Atlanta. He later served as Regional Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel's Texas markets as well as Operations Manager for Clear Channel Houston and Director of Programming for KTRH, KPRC and KBME. Charles most recently served as Director of Programming for Clear Channel Miami's WIOD and WINZ.

"We are extremely excited to have Ken leading the programming and brand strategies for Clear Channel Sacramento," said Dave Milner, Market President, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Sacramento. "His experience and passion, combined with our excellent team of professionals will certainly make for a winning combination."

Charles will relocate from his current Miami home base.  "It has been a great five years in South Florida," said Charles. "However, this is an exciting opportunity to grow with the company and work with the amazing team of professionals at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-Sacramento."

Rockets Radio Voice Rubs It In After Houston Win

“The Lakers Have Just Pooped Their Big-Boy Pants!”

Pau Gasol is rapidly falling out of favor in L.A. On Sunday, for the second time in a week, Gasol was benched for the last few minutes of the game, and he's growing frustrated.

According to, Kobe Bryant had a message for him

Fast forward to Tuesday night. Gasol missed the entire game with tendinitis, so Kobe decided to hitch up his own britches. He scored 39; it would have been better for the Lakers if he scored 42. Houston erased a 13-point deficit with under ten minutes remaining, and a Bryant three rimmed out in the waning seconds, while Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison missed putback attempts. 

L.A. lost their fifth game in the last seven, and fell to 8-10

Houston radio play-by-play man Craig Ackerman celebrated the occasion with a dig at Kobe's comment, in the process coining a catchphrase sure to sweep the nation: "The game is over! The game is over! The Lakers have just pooped their big-boy pants!"

Aussie Radio Show Pranks Kate’s Hospital

The British hospital where Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, is being treated for acute morning sickness was on the receiving end of a prank call from a radio station host purporting to be Queen Elizabeth II. (Read how they did it, Click Here)

CBS News reports King Edward VII's Hospital in London confirmed that Kate's nurse fell for a crank call from Australian radio station 2DayFM on Tuesday.

The nurse ended up divulging information about the Duchess of Cambridge's condition to the radio hosts impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.

Using poor British accents, hosts Mel Greig and "MC" called to inquire about Kate's latest health condition.

Thinking it was really Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles on the other line, the nurse told the radio hosts, "She's sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night, she's been given some fluid to re-hydrate her...she's stable at the moment.

When asked when would be a good time to visit the former Kate Middleton, the nurse said, "I would suggest that any time after 9 o'clock will be suitable because the doctor will be in the morning. And we'll just be getting her freshened up in the morning."

The hospital released the following statement: "King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes can confirm that an Australian radio station made a hoax call to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This call was transferred through to a ward and a short conversation was held with one of the nursing staff. King Edward VII's Hospital deeply regrets this incident."

John Lofthouse, chief executive at King Edward VII's Hospital, said: "This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols."

How Aussie’s 2Day FM Radio Did It

An Adelaide radio host is courting royal uproar with a prank call to the hospital caring for the Duchess of Cambridge. (See original posting, Click Here)

Mel Greig

A simple Google search and a phony plummy British accent was all it took for Adelaide media personality Mel Greig to secure the biggest international scoop so far in the Kate Middleton pregnancy.

Greig and her Sydney Hot30 radio co-host Michael Christian impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles during a prank call to London's King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday night, successfully finding out details of Middleton's condition.

"We just Googled the hospital number and decided to call them, assuming they would have had 100 calls already that day from people trying to pretend to get through to talk to her (Middleton) ... ours seemed to work for some reason," Greig said.

With the Duchess of Cambridge battling chronic morning sickness, Greig put on her "worst Queen accent" and called hospital reception to inquire about her "granddaughter".

"Oh, hello there, could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter ... I want to see how her little tummy bug is going," the former Amazing Race Australia contestant said.

From there she was transferred through to Middleton's private nurse who nervously relayed information about the pregnant royal.

"She's sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night, um and sleep is good for her.

"As we speak, she's been given some fluids to rehydrate her cause she was quite de-hydrated when she came in, um, but she's stable at the moment," the nurse said.

Don Imus Deal Ends With WABC

No Sign He’s Leaving

The betting in radio is that even though WABC morning host Don Imus’ five-year deal ended Monday, he’ll stay around, according to media write David Hinckley at

Imus acknowledged his five-year anniverary at WABC several times Monday, remarking at one point, “It seems a hundred years. … But it’s been a lot of fun.”

Otherwise, it felt like a routine day at the office for the Imus show, which is simulcast on Fox Business. He announced guests for the week and at the very least seemed in no hurry to leave.

In classic Imus fashion, he has made remarks over the years that could take him either way.

He has had respiratory issues and has talked about retiring to his ranch in New Mexico.

On the other hand, Imus is still syndicated on 80 radio stations, is on national TV three hours a day, and his show provides the main avenue for raising much of the $1.6 million it costs annually to run the ranch, where he hosts children with cancer.

Several persons who have worked with Imus over the years said yesterday they can’t imagine him giving up something he’s done for more than four decades in New York.

“[His wife] Deidre would never let him,” joked one former colleague. “Can you imagine having him around the house all day with nothing to do?”

‘Gas Man’ Leaving KJR-AM Seattle

One of the longest-tenured voices in Seattle sports radio is leaving his current role. Clear Channel’s KJR-AM announced Tuesday that Mike Gastineau will depart the station following his Thursday show.

Bob Condotta at reports, Gastineau, known on-air as "the Gasman," has been at KJR for 21 years, and since September 1993 has worked in the afternoon drive show (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) solo or with co-hosts such as Dave Grosby, or his current sidekick, Elise Woodward.

In a statement from the station Tuesday afternoon, Gastineau said he was leaving to explore other opportunities.
"Since 1991 I have hosted more than 5,000 shows on KJR and I've reached a point where I'd like to explore other creative options. KJR's management has been incredibly understanding and supportive of my decision," Gastineau said in the statement. "I'm proud to have been able to give Seattle fans a voice in these incredibly important debates. I always strived to do three things on the show — be funny, entertaining and give people a place for reasonable debate on sports issues of the day."
In a later tweet, Gastineau called it "my choice and a positive thing."

Ryan Seacrest Buys Marketing Agency

Ryan Seacrest has bought a controlling stake in the Civic Entertainment Group, a 12-year-old marketing agency that has helped to create events like the CNN Grill and NBC’s Education Nation.

According to Brian Stetler at, the acquisition reflects Seacrest’s plan to build a diversified media company on the back of his many day jobs, which include hosting Fox’s “American Idol” and radio shows for Clear Channel. 

In a telephone interview, he said of the acquisition, “Part of my overall goal in the business is to connect content, brands and consumers. I think that this is a great opportunity to do that.”

Seacrest already has his own marketing deals. One with Ford Motor resulted in a campaign this year called “Random Acts of Fusion.” Mr. Seacrest is the M.C. for the campaign, appearing in online videos, commercials and Twitter messages.

Seacrest said he saw more such partnerships on the horizon.

Chicago’s WIQI-FM Could Be Flipping To Sports

UPDATE 12/07/12: CRM now cites an upper executive with GTCR, and the investment company behind Merlin Media,  as saying that Merlin Media's Chicago stations are not for sale.

Original Posting...

Interesting item posted at Chicago Radio & Media, Larz reports Merlin Media’s investment group  and Cumulus Media have been talking ‘sale’.

Look for Cumulus to take over operations of WLUP-FM and WIQI-FM in the very near future. Do not look for WIQI-FM to stay a 90s/00s AC station or flip to Country, though.

It appears that Cumulus & CBS have an agreement to place the new syndicated CBS Sports Network on 101.1 FM.

Something public should be happening soon.