Saturday, December 29, 2012

Boston Radio: WRKO’s Howie Carr On Talk Radio

WTKK wouldn’t be turning off the lights next week if I could have just gotten over there back in 2007. No brag, just fact. And by the way, I’m still damn sorry I didn’t make good my escape from the AM band. 
But here in Massachusetts, in the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls. And you wonder why I dismember so many state judges. Payback is a bitch, you hacks. 
Still, WTKK’s failure is not the end of talk radio in Boston. Nature abhors a vacuum, and having no talk station on FM is a gaping hole. Less than 20 percent of the radio audience ever listens to AM radio — and it’s a mighty old audience, too. They don’t call it “Ancient Modulation” for nothing.

Saturday Aircheck: Remembering Dr. Don Rose

With Dr. Don Rose as morning anchor, KFRC 610 AM San Francisco was voted "Station of the Year" four times by Billboard Magazine. He was considered by many to be the king of radio in the Bay Area during the final decade of AM's musical dominance.

He was named by Billboard Magazine as Disc Jockey of the Year on both the East Coast (while with WFIL Philadelphia) and on the West Coast (while with KFRC San Francisco).

One of Rose's characteristic "sound bite" mannerisms when he was at KFRC was to state the words "that's right" in a continuous fashion that was intended to sound "crazy" or funny, which also served to represent the overall morning zoo radio format, style and "feel" of his show.

"I'm married to radio," he told The Chronicle (San Francisco) in 1975, "and I'm thinking about suing it for nonsupport. I would describe my show as therapy, for myself."

During the 1980s, Jane Dornacker worked with him doing traffic. One of his running gags was feeding the dog Roscoe. This would involve Rose telling about what he and his wife Kae ate for dinner the night before, and then Roscoe would eat the "leftovers."

WFIL Philly 1971
Despite his cheerful persona, Rose suffered over three decades of debilitating pain from assorted medical problems. In 1972, he underwent a botched heart surgery, which caused chronic knee infections that required 11 more operations and led to his losing his kneecap. He broadcast his daily radio show flat on his back from his home hospital bed for months. In 1984, after a fall made the knee problems worse, one leg was amputated.

Rose died in his sleep on March 30, 2005, due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 70. He was married for 45 years to his wife Kae, with whom he had five children.

In 2006, Dr. Don Rose was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hallof Fame as a member of the first class to be inducted.

Redding, CA Radio: R.I.P. DJ Jose Ochoa Dead

UPDATE 12/31/2012 8PM:  The Shasta County Coroner's Office has confirmed that radio personality DJ Jose Ochoa died of a heart attack.

Original Posting...

DJ Jose Ochoa of KEWB Power 94.7 FM in Redding was found dead at his home on Friday.

He was 35.

Family members reached Friday evening confirmed he had died.

According to,  the Shasta County Sheriff's Office said that Ochoa's death does not appear suspicious, and may be medically related.

He was found at his home, they said. Deputies said they will continue investigating, and the coroner will issue an official cause of death after a medical examination Monday.

Ochoa had been with Results Radio for six years, Tappan said.

"He was an amazing employee and beloved by the entire staff," she said. "Sweet, kind and talented -- everyone loved (Ochoa). We are all in shock and will miss him forever."

Ochoa handled the 5 o'clock Hit Mix, in which he provided remixed versions of songs for the station, which plays pop and dance music.

According to Ochoa's Facebook, he graduated from West Valley High School in Cottonwood in 1995 and attended Chico State University.

Read More Now.

Friday, December 28, 2012

WBAP Radio Issues False President Bush Report

George H.W. Bush, the country's 41st president, has been in a Houston hospital for more than a month now, undergoing treatment for complications from a serious case of bronchitis. The 88-year-old was checked into intensive care on Wednesday "following a series of setbacks, including a persistent fever."

It was during his stay in the ICU that WBAP 96.7 FM & 820 AM (Fort Worth/Dallas) inadvertently dispatched a breaking news bulletin via email and on its website announcing that Bush had died.

The false report was not on-air.

 That's a bit embarrassing since Bush Sr. remains very much alive.

WBAP quickly realized its error and sent another message.

WBAP News director Rick Hadley explained the situation, which he characterized as a huge mistake.

"As every news organization will do, we get our obituaries ready to go for people who aren't doing well," Hadley said.

In this case, there were the reports that Bush had been transferred to the ICU, so the news team prepared an email blast to be ready for when Bush died. A bit macabre, perhaps, but standard practice.

Hadley says there was a problem with the email system that, unbeknownst to the staff, caused the message to be sent to the station's email distribution list. They didn't realize what had happened until the switchboard began lighting up with callers.

Boston ST: Cadillac Jack To Program 96.9 FM

Jack McCartney
Street Talk in Boston has “Cadillac” Jack McCartney, former program director for Clear Channel’s KISS 108 and JAMN’ 94.5, could be returning to Boston to oversee the new station. Clear Channel recently announced that McCartney was leaving his gig as head of their New York operations to “continue his life’s journey and pursue some of his passions.”

As for the new format expected to flip on January 2, 2013, insiders say it will likely be rhythmic contemporary, which features pop, hip-hop and R & B hits (think Usher, Rihanna), or rhythmic adult contemporary, a disco-pop “oldies” format (think Michael Jackson, Gloria Gaynor).

The Boston Herald reported last week that Internet domain names such as and had been registered by an unknown user. 

Subsequently,  Clear Channel abruptly changed the format on their newly acquired 101.7 FM from a variety hits format to electronic dance music, rebranding that station Evolution 101.7. The move was seen by insiders as a response to what Greater Media was doing with its talk signal.

Boston Ratings: The Sports Hub Tops In Sports

The ongoing battle between WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI 93.7 FM for Boston sports radio supremacy was no battle at all in the fall, according to a story by Chad Finn at

The Sports Hub, the radio home of the Patriots, finished first in the Arbitron ratings for the period of Sept. 13-Dec. 5, earning an 8.5 share to easily outdistance runner-up and fellow CBS Radio property WZLX, which was second with a 6.6.

WEEI fell into a tie for seventh place with WBUR with a 4.9 share among the men 25-54 demographic.

In morning drive (6-10 a.m), The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich’’ program was first with a 9.1. WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan was sixth with a 5.7.

For midday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), The Sports Hub’s “Gresh and Zo” program was second (7.9), while WEEI’s “Mut and Merloni” was fifth (5.9).

In afternoon drive (2-6 p.m.), The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Massarotti” was first (9.1) while WEEI’s “Ordway and Holley’’ show was fifth (5.2).

In evenings (6-11 p.m.), The Sports Hub’s “The D.A. Show’’ was second (6.9), tying WXKS, which took first because of a higher cumulative audience. WEEI’s “Planet Mikey’’ show, along with Celtics broadcasts, which air in that time slot, were seventh (5.6).

Ex-WTKK Talker Doug Meehan Lands Phoenix TV Gig

Doug Meehan joins KNPX 12 News in Phoenix, AZ effective January 14th.

According to a posting on his Facebook page, Meehan will co-anchor 12 News Today with Fay Fredricks.

An experienced anchor and reporter who’s covered everything from the Kennedy family scandals to American Idol. The bulk of his work has been in his hometown of Boston where Doug spent seven years reporting from the field, the desk and in a helicopter for FOX O&O WFXT-TV.

Other stops include KTVT (CBS) and WFAA (Belo) in Dallas, WTSP (Gannett) in Tampa, KEYE in Austin, WPRI in Providence, and both WHDH (NBC) and New England News Network (Hearst) in Boston.

Meehan earned his BA in Mass Communication at Westfield State College in Massachusetts.

See Original Post, Click Here.

Radio Ratings: Reds Tops In Baseball

Arbitron says the Cincinnati Reds lead the Major Leagues in radio ratings this year. Maybe bigger ratings will translate into more  income for players’ salaries?

Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal says the Reds passed the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers in 2012 with the target demo, men 25-54, according to John Kiesewetter at

The story says:  “In Cincinnati, the Reds broadcasts on Clear Channel-owned WLW-AM averaged a league-leading 26.3 share among the male 25-54 demographic, up 23% over the comparable mark in 2011. That means that 26.3 percent of all men ages 25-54 who were listening to the Reds in Cincinnati this summer when the Reds were playing were turned to the team’s games on the club’s flagship station, WLW.

In terms of total audience size, the Reds were #9 with 114,800 – far behind teams in bigger markets: Yankees (297,200), Giants (216,200), Mets (209,100), Tigers (199,700).

Top 5 by ratings

Reds, WLW, 26.3

Detroit Tigers, WXYT, 25.9

Milwaukee Brewers, WTMJ, 20.8

Pittsburgh Pirates, KDKA, 15.5

St. Louis Cardinals, KMOX, and Philadelphia Phillies, WPHT, 15.4

Philly Radio: AM Sports Changes Include New CBS Sport

Philadelphia's two major sports-talk stations were once only on the AM band, but early next month, neither one will be, according to Peter Mucha at

And yet sports fans will have more, not less, as CBS adds a national sports radio network.

The Fanatic, which began on 950 AM, then added WPEN 97.5 FM, will became FM-only as of 6 p.m. December 21. No changes are expected to its usual lineup, which includes Mike & Mike in the Morning, Brian Baldinger, Tony Bruno and Mike Missanelli, as well as Sixers, and - eventually - Flyers games, once the NHL lockout is settled.

The AM station has been sold to Family Radio, which will broadcast Christian content under the call letters WKDN. (That name used to belong to Family Radio's Camden-based station at 106.9 FM, but after a sale to Merlin Media last year, the station became conservative talker WWIQ.)

WIP's sport talk began on 610 AM, then followed the Fanatic to FM and began billing itself as 94 WIP.

On Jan 2, corporate owner CBS will take over the AM signal for a major new national sports radio network, that boasts of including more than 100 radio stations, including ones in each of the 10 top U.S. markets.

It's The First 'Rockin' Eve' With Just Ryan Seacrest

The huge New Year's Eve crowd in Times Square always lifts the spirits of 38-year-old Ryan Seacrest.

"In a world that has so much chaos and conflict, there's a moment when you look around and you feel as if we're all in it together," he tells Bill Kenenvey at USA Today.

The feeling will be a little more complicated this year. Seacrest will host ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (Monday at 10, live ET/tape delay PT) from New York's Times Square for the first time without Clark, who died in April. The younger host began working on the show in 2005, when Clark returned to the special after having a stroke the previous year.

"It's definitely a mixed emotion. As a kid, I knew New Year's Eve by watching Dick Clark. As an adult, I know New Year's Eve recently by working with Dick Clark. I've never done the ABC show without him," he says."It's emotional, it's reflective, and, at the same time, it's celebratory, because he was such a leader and pioneer and mentor. It will be unique in so many ways, and frankly, I don't know what to expect in that first second when I sign on."

The evening kicks off at 8 ET/PT with a two-hour tribute to Clark hosted by Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas and Jenny McCarthy, featuring an appearance by Seacrest.

At 10, Seacrest takes over hosting duties, overseeing a musical lineup that includes Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees and Psy in New York. A West Coast party will feature Justin Bieber, Jason Aldean, Pitbull, Karmin, Greyson Chance, Ellie Goulding, The Wanted, Brandy, Flo Rida and OneRepublic. McCarthy will interview those gathered in Times Square, and Fergie will host the Los Angeles festivities.

TV's Best News Bloopers 2012

NBC Hopin’ for a Nicely-Nice Public Lunch

Curry, Lauer in happier times
According to the NYDaily News, NBC wants Matt Lauer and Ann Curry to literally break bread to help shift the public perception of Lauer back to what it once was — the gracious and friendly “Today” talk host — before the backlash from Curry’s firing.

Network execs are encouraging the duo to do lunch — preferably at media hotspot Michael’s in midtown — and make a public display of patching things up, a source tells Confidenti@l’s Marianne Garvey.

“When the ratings fell after Ann, there was no more public ‘Matt’s really nice,’ and the bosses now need to do damage control,” the source says. “Matt’s beloved inside and they want to help him.”

The source adds that higher-ups feel the only way to repair Lauer’s image is having Curry — still under contract with NBC as a correspondent — agree to the public outing with her former co-star.

“It’s terrible; every time they try to do something to fix this, another Ann story pops up,” says the show insider. “Their biggest mistake was letting her burst into tears on air and her saying she wasn’t able to carry the ball, shifting the blame on Matt.”

The staff “absolutely loves” Lauer, insists the source, noting that he has had the same assistant for more than nine years.

WGN’s Brian Noonan No Longer A Heavyweight

On Thursday night’s WGN-TV News at Nine, WGN Radio Host Brian Noonan and his battle with weight was profiled. Noonan has  brought a bright personality and sense of humor to the WGN airwaves for more than six years, currently co-hosting WGN Sports Night with David Kaplan and Andrea Darlas.

Brian had struggled with his weight for as long as he could remember, but in the summer of 2011, it rose to a new level. He wasn’t happy with the way he looked. He was in pain. It was July 11, 2011 – the day he would become a new person.

What’s followed is a year and a half of remarkable weight loss and personal transformation. He used the Weight Watchers points system to get his diet in order, and slowly incorporated more exercise.

While Brian didn’t talk about his change too much on the airwaves, he would post photos on Facebook, along with encouraging comments and thoughts for others who were considering following in his footsteps.

As of the time of the interview, he had lost 157 pounds. He plans to lose ten more, then focus on keeping it off forever.

Elvis, Beatles Top List of Most-forged Autographs

Jailhouse Rock 1957
Elvis Presley and The Beatles have topped a list of the most-forged celebrity signatures in 2012, with less than half of their autographs for sale certified as genuine.

According to, The King and the Fab Four also topped the list, compiled by US memorabilia authenticators PSA/DNA, when it was last released two years ago.

This year the music icons joined notable figures such as former US president John F Kennedy and late pop star Michael Jackson on the list.

Late American astronaut Neil Armstrong landed in third place after fake Armstrong signatures rose significantly after his death in July.

PSA/DNA president Joe Orlando said one reason forgeries of Armstrong's autograph soared was that he rarely signed for fans during his life.

"Armstrong is someone who is very conscious of the value of his own autograph," he said.

"Even before he passed away he was very tough to get. It really heightens the level of his market."

Margaret Barrett, the director of entertainment and music memorabilia at Heritage Auctions in Los Angeles, said secretaries and assistants responding to huge volumes of fan mail are one reason for fake signatures floating through the marketplace.

"Back in the day, the kids would write to the movie studios," she said.

"There was absolutely no financial gain 50 years ago and secretaries and assistants just wanted to make them happy.

"A lot of times people stumble upon an old box of signed photographs in grandma's attic and don't know they're forged."

Kars4Kids: Radio Commercial Drives Some Crazy

Kars4Kids has announced the release of their new jingle remix after a few months of polling listeners on their special song page.

The final results reveal a strong preference for the new remix which took the voting by an overwhelming landslide, current results standing at 66% to 33%.

The jingle rolled out October 6th in a limited initial release to a few select stations. As part of this initial rollout Kars4Kids will be specifically targeting stations that serve a variety of demographics to measure the response to the ad in all ages and genders.

Kars4Kids will be carefully monitoring the results of this ad and will determine when and if the new version will be released based on those results and listener feedback.

Listen to the new jingle right here.

The new song is performed by Johny Rosch and 9-year-old Ethan Davis, and is a remix of the classic song that first aired on a local New York station in 1999 and that propelled Kars4Kids from a small local charity to a large national organization.

To vote for the version you prefer, Click Here.

R.I.P.: Radio Personality Wild Bill Cody Was 62

One of Reno's most popular disc jockeys from the '80s and '90s has died.

Wild Bill Cody came to Reno from Denver to do mornings at KWNZ-FM in 1988, and stayed until 1994. When he left, he worked in Chicago and northern California briefly, and had another brief stint in Reno, but ended back up in Colorado, where he was most recently working for an oldies KJMP in Fort Collins.

Prior to joining KJMP last month as a radio personality and sales manager, Cody was with Townsquare’s KIGN-FM for two years.

He died of an apparent heart attack at his home Christmas Day after surviving another heart attack months earlier.

His radio career spanned at least 35 years. It includes Morning Radio Personality for KSXY-FM, KFRC-AM, KKFM-FM, WYGY-FM, WBBM-FM, KWNZ-FM, KRXY-FM.

To raise money for flood victims, he rode a riding lawn mower from Cincinnati to New Orleans, a journey spanning 11 days and more than 1,100 miles, his LinkedIn biography states.

Cody was a fan of the Byrds and loved his Irish Setters. He was 62 years old.

Remembering Lives Lost in 2012

Whitney Houston, Dick Clark, Johnny Pesky, and George McGovern are just a few of the notable newsmakers who died in 2012, leaving behind a legacy imbued in American history.

Here is NBC's look back at their impact on our lives. Originally aired on Nightly News 12/27/2012.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

For Your Ears, The Music They Made

Charges Against 2DAY FM Personalities 'Unlikely'

2DAY FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian are unlikely to face charges over their prank call to a London hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate.

New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas said Scotland Yard had not asked for any further information or to interview the two Sydney-based radio hosts.

"Nor do we expect there to be any requests," according to

"There was some initial contact after the death of (nurse) Jacintha Saldanha but not a lot since and because of the passage of time we believe it is unlikely any charges will be laid."

Since her death, it has been revealed Ms Saldanha had attempted to kill herself twice in the past year and had been prescribed anti-depressants.

British media this week suggested the Australian DJs might be charged over the prank call, saying Scotland Yard had sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"Following the death of Jacintha Saldanha, officers have liaised with the CPS as to whether any criminal offences had been committed in relation to the hoax call made to King Edward VII's Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday, December 4," Scotland Yard said.

Officers submitted a file to the CPS last week for it to consider whether any offences may have been committed by making the hoax call."

But senior NSW police believe British prosecutors would have difficulty in finding a charge that could be laid against the DJs.

Ms Saldanha's suicide made world headlines three days after the call was aired on 2Day FM.

NY Ratings: Another Good One For WLTW

It was another successful year for WLTW. “Lite” FM/106.7 finished 2012 where it started–as New York’s most listened to station. WLTW, which switched to Christmas music prior to Thanksgiving, enjoyed a huge leap in its monthly PPM Arbitron ratings. Reports Jerry Barmash at FishbowlNY.

For December, the Clear Channel heavyweight had an 8.4. WLTW registered a 6.5 for November.

By contrast, 2012′s perennial number two WCBS-FM took its familiar slot with a 6.8.

The resurrection of WBLS takes the Urban music home into 2013. The YMF Media-owned station is holding at third with a 6.1.

Back to the Clear Channel cluster, Z100/WHTZ was fourth with a 5.1. WKTU made a .4 gain to 4.5. Classic rocker WAXQ/Q 104.3 saw a .6 jump to 4.4.

The city’s two Spanish outlets cracked the Top 10—WSKQ and WXNY, both with .6 gains, to 4.8 and 4.3, respectively.

R.I.P.: Singer Fontella Bass Was 72

Fontella Bass, the St. Louis-born soul singer, died last night at the age of 72, according to KMOX Radio.

“She was an amazing person, she had a big personality,” Neuka Mitchell, a daughter of Bass, said Thursday morning.

Bass was the daughter of gospel great Martha Bass and sister of the Apollo star David Peaston who died earlier this year. She was best known for the 1965 R&B hit “Rescue Me” which spent a month atop the R&B charts and climbed to #4 on the pop charts, selling over a million copies.

Mitchell says “Rescue Me” is just one thing that her mother will be remembered for. “First of all, she put God first and family second and the next thing was music and food. She loved to spend time with her family.”

Bass got her start at the Showboat Club near Chain of Rocks, Missouri at the age of 17. After her children were grown, Bass relaunched her career as a gospel artist and received a Grammy nomination in 1995.

A series of health problems starting around 2005 slowed her down and she suffered a heart attack earlier this month. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Boston Radio: Michael Graham Out At WTKK

All-talk WTKK confirmed this week that Michael Graham is out at 96.9 FM. “We did not renew Michael’s contract. We are grateful for his contributions to the station and wish him the best,” said WTKK spokeswoman Heidi Raphael.

His departure comes soon after Doug Meehan also was set adrift by the station. See MC Posting, Click Here.

The dropping of Graham comes amid talk that WTKK News-Talk owner Greater Media could soon be jumping to an all-music format, in a quest for younger demos.

As the Herald has reported, WTKK has gobbled up Internet domain names — such as and Power969 — in a clear signal talk radio may not be in the station’s future.

As for Graham, he posted the following on his website:
I’ve had seven fantastic years in Boston with some of the most amazing, well-informed and funniest listeners/callers/tweeters in America. I looked forward to coming to work every single day.  And I had this opportunity thanks to Peter Smyth and Greater Media. I may not agree with all the programming decisions they’ve made over the years, but I am truly grateful to Peter and the entire Greater Media family. 
I also had the support of terrific sponsors and advertisers who stuck with me when our friends on the Left made things…er, a bit thick, shall we say. It’s greatly appreciated. 
And one more thing I know: I’m not going away. I’m still writing for the Boston Herald, I’m still on Fox 25 this week, I’m still doing NewsTalk in Ireland, etc. etc.  And I’ve already had some interesting conversations about the media and my future, with more lined up for the first of the year.

San Diego: CC Flips FM 95.7 To Rhythmic Oldies

After stunting with Christmas Music, Clear Channel has flipped the news/talk format of KOGO 600 on 95.7 FM.  The station is now branding at 95.7 KISS-FM, The Rhythm of San Diego.

The flip happened at 9:57am Wednesday, after playing "Silent Night" by Josh Groban, the station relaunched as Urban Oldies with a Rhythmic lean, "95.7 KISS-FM”.

New calls are expected to be KSSF, licensed to Carlsbad/San Diego.


The format mirrors KISQ in San Francisco and KHHT in Los Angeles. The station launched with "Kiss" by Prince, followed by "You Should Be Dancing" by the Bee Gees. 95.7 Kiss FM is currently competing against Rhythmic Oldies XHRM-FM Magic 92.5.

York Radio: WARM-FM 103.3 FM Is Back

As expected when it ended a year-long simulcast with Cumulus sister station WNNK 104.1 in Harrisburg in November and started airing Christmas music, WARM-FM 103.3 FM returned to its AC roots on December 26.

WARM-FM is now jhockless and you can listen by Clicking Here

Behind the Scenes: ABC News NYC

Behind-the-scenes tour of the ABC News headquarters with David Muir, anchor of "World News.

Originally posted July 2012 at

First Song Recorded On ISS

It's called "Jewel in the Night" and it is an original song by astronaut Chris Hadfield.

The tune was recorded on the International Space Station on December 23rd, 2012.

Cops Investigate Use Of Gun Magazine On NBC’s MTP

Washington, D.C., police are investigating whether NBC's David Gregory broke the law by holding up what appeared to be a 30-round gun magazine on Meet the Press Sunday (December 23rd) after the network apparently got conflicting opinions about whether it would be legal for him to do so.

Gregory, who hosts the show, held up the magazine during an interview with National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO head Wayne LaPierre in the wake of the Newtown school massacre.

 ABC News reports that NBC apparently contacted Washington police to find out if they could use a high capacity magazine for the show segment, and was told they couldn't because it's illegal to possess in D.C.

However, NBC reportedly also contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which contacted D.C. police officers who worked with the agency in the past and said it was okay to display the magazine as long as it was empty.

That apparently was incorrect.

NBC News has declined to comment on any aspect of the investigation. Gregory is on vacation and will not appear on "Meet the Press" again until Sunday, Jan. 5.

The Biggest Pop Culture Moments of 2012

The Week magazine has put together a list of what it considers to have been the top pop culture moments of 2012. See if you agree.

1. Linsanity takes over the NBA -- New York Knicks bench-warmer Jeremy Lin comes out of nowhere to go on a month-long tear in February and become an international sports sensation.

2. Whitney Houston dies

3.  Encyclopedia Britannica suspends print edition -- While continuing in digital form, print edition ended after 244 years.

4.  Fifty Shades of Grey sparks "mommy porn" revolution

5.  The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises square off at the box-office

6.  "Gangnam Style" takes over the world

7.  London's Summer Olympics delight

8.  NHL lockout: No end in sight

9.  Felix Baumgartner completes world's highest skydive -- From nearly 24 miles up

10.AMC's The Walking Dead smashes ratings records -- Third season debut is most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history

11. Disney buys Lucasfilm, prepares Star Wars: Episode VII for 2014 release

12. The Twilight Saga draws to a close -- The hugely successful movie franchise comes to an end.

13. Will and Kate announce royal pregnancy.

Bakersfield Radio: CC’s Jim Bell Set To Retire

Jim Bell has spent 35 years working in the radio business.

But the last day of 2012 will also be the last day of his career in broadcast media.

"I am retiring on the 31st," the vice president and general manager of Clear Channel in Bakersfield confirmed to the Bakersfield Californian Wednesday.

"Clear Channel has known about this since last year sometime," Bell said. "The company has been good to me and I wanted this (transition) to happen properly."

A replacement has not yet been named, he said.

The 66-year-old got his start in radio in 1977 as a sales person at KGBS, the first FM country station in Los Angeles. But Bell was headed for management roles.

Over the past several years he's worked as general manager in Billings, Mont.; Reno, Nev.; and Houston before coming to Bakersfield more than 10 years ago to head Clear Channel and its roster of stations that now includes Classic Rock KDFO 98.5 The Fox, Rock KRAB and KBFP 105.3 FM La Preciosa, the most widely listened to Spanish language station in the area.

Retiring is a little bittersweet, he said, but mostly sweet.

"It's tough in the sense that the people I work with here are phenomenal.

"I'll miss them," he said, then laughing, he added, "I hope they'll miss me, too."

What's not tough, he said, is being able to go when the time is right.

"You realize," Bell said, pausing, "you come to a point when you just know -- it's time."

R.I.P.: Twin Cities Broadcaster Jack Moore Was 89

Colleagues and friends are mourning the passing of long-time Twin Cities Smooth Jazz radio pioneer Jack Moore.   He passed away December 19, 2012 at his home in New Brighton, MN. He was 89.

He was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting HOF in 2004.

According to his HOF bio, the distinguished career of Jack Moore is laced with equal parts innovation, creation and leadership––all while launching four major FM radio signals in the Twin Cities.

Moore began in radio at WPBC AM, where he not only hosted one of the first progressive music programs, but he also sold airtime and helped manage the station.

In 1961 he built and managed WAYL FM, and produced the first FM stereo broadcast between Chicago and the West Coast, working under great pressure to get on the air in time for a major exhibition on November 16, 1961.

He purchased KTWN 108 in 1978, upgrading its signal and developing “Smooth Jazz,” a format that Radio & Records called “the first pop jazz station ever launched.”

Moore launched the first Twin Cities-based cable radio in 1983, and in 1987 he created the market’s first satellite-delivered radio network, the Breeze Radio Network.

He founded CAFE 105 in the 1990s, using automated systems to bring it to profitability despite a small signal and limited promotional budget.

Moore earned  a Purple Heart, a Distinguished Flying Cross, and five Air Medals during World War II.
He was the father of a family of successful broadcasters and professionals.

R.I.P.: Former Barnstable COO David Gingold Was 62

David Slocum Gingold passed away December 21, 2012 in Memphis.  He was retired and formerly was president/COO of the Al Kaneb family’s Barnstable Broadcasting, when it owned stations in Memphis, Long Island, Harrisburg, Akron and Portland, Maine.  He was 62.

Born September 16, 1950, he was educated at Memphis University School, Trinity University in El Paso, Texas, and the University of Memphis.

He was also a Scripps Howard Broadcasting executive, president of Birch Radio Ratings and president of Barnstable Broadcasting.

Former Harrisburg, PA GM Dana Harmon recalls Gingold gave him his first General Manager's job in Harrisburg, PA with Barnstable Broadcasting in 1988. "Prior to that I worked with him as VP Programming at KIX 106. He was very creative and allowed me to make many mistakes in my first GM gig of which I am eternally grateful. His passing at 62 is too young and he will be sorely missed."

R.I.P.: Memphis Broadcaster John Powell Was 83

John Powell, a radio and television pioneer whom many of you saw on WREG Channel 3 and heard on WREC 600 AM from the 1950s through the 1990s, passed away December 24, 2012, according to the  He was 83.

Powell and Cook
At a time when “talk shows” were the Tonight Show on television and the Sunday morning public affairs programs, Powell teamed with Fred Cook for a talk show much different than the newstalk format of the last 30 or so years.

Powell was also the news director of what is now News Channel 3 and like Cook anchored newscasts at a time when the anchor did sports and weather too.

Powell retired in the mid 1990s and moved to West Plains  in the Ozarks in SW Missouri.

“The Zero Hour” radio program on WREC was the result of a 1962 fire at The Peabody Hotel where the radio and television station.

The hotel was evacuated, but WREC stayed on the air. Powell was teamed with Cook. Cook and Powell had chemistry and timing and the show was a great success in a style that probably wouldn’t be considered a format today. It was innately Memphis.

They talked and if they felt like they had run out of things to say, they played a record by Frank Sinatra or the Ray Coniff Singers or something in a similar musical vein which was just as much a part of the station’s identity. And a news organization that did its own original reporting was part of the mix along with CBS radio news.

They had a few ground rules. They didn’t talk about political beliefs or religion and they didn’t take themselves too seriously on any other topic.

On air, Powell was the more easy going of the two. Cook was the more curmudgeonly of the two. But the boundaries weren’t etched into a formula. Off air they tended to swap the roles mainly because Powell’s off air duties included production work – the ads that are a vital part of making a radio station profitable.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Toledo Radio: Andrew Z Fired At Star 105

Andrew Zepeda, host of the weekday drive-time show Andrew Z in the Morning on WWWM-FM 105 (Star 105), was fired Wednesday afternoon from the Cumulus Media station along with four of his on-air team including wife Michelle Zepeda.

The Toledo Blade reports Matt Spaulding, Cumulus Toledo general manager, declined to comment on why the popular radio show host was let go. He said the station is “exploring all options at the moment” in finding a replacement show of either local or syndicated programming.

“We haven’t been looking,” Spaulding said. “This came on suddenly. This wasn’t something planned for long in advance.”

Zepeda, 43, of Perrysburg was sentenced to 30 days in the Wood County jail and placed on probation for five years last week for charges relating to a 2010 break-in he orchestrated at the Levis Commons pizzeria he formerly owned.  See original posting, Click Here.

Prior to Toledo, the Los Angeles native worked 10 months at KZPT-FM in Tucson, and at two stations in Michigan, Saginaw's WIOG-FM and Flint's WWCK-FM, where he worked with Spaulding.

In two years Zepeda has been fired by Cumulus and Clear Channel, which between them own and operate most of the Toledo market radio stations.

St. Louis Radio: PPM Changes Landscape

The way radio audiences in St. Louis are measured changed three years ago, and two things seem apparent, according to Joe Holleman at

The new system is a significant improvement.

The new system still has some significant problems.

In September 2009, Arbitron threw away the old “diary” method in St. Louis and switched to the higher-tech “PPM” (short for portable people meter), a device the size of a small pager that reads embedded electronic codes that are unique to each radio station.

Several local programmers and a Colorado-based consultant agree that the new method is better.

Kent Sterling, program director of WXOS-FM 101 ESPN sports talk radio, said diaries gave a big advantage to “heritage” stations — established stations whose reputations carried enough weight to make diary-keepers write down their call letters when they could not recall to what station they had actually listened.

In St. Louis, KMOX was that monster on AM, and KSHE fit the bill on FM. The newer ratings still show both stations having strong followings, but clearly not the stranglehold they once possessed.

“So with the PPM, you get a more accurate picture of who is actually listening to what,” Sterling said.

Lauren Ryan, who heads programming for “The Big 550” KTRS, an AM news talk station, said heritage stations — such as her main AM competitor, KMOX — “got credited with more listeners than they actually had.”

One example of how PPM has changed perceptions of local radio involves talk station, KFTK NewsTalk 97.1. According to November Arbitron numbers, it is the highest-ranked news talk station in the 18-64 age group, even higher than KMOX.

Arbitron does not disclose the names of PPM wearers, present or past. The wearers also sign contracts that requires them to not talk about their experience. The wearers are paid an amount Arbitron does not disclose.

So if the new PPM method is more accurate and less susceptible to abuse and operator error, then what’s not to like about it?

Ask the same consultant and programmers and you quickly get this answer: “The sample size is too small.”

With such a small sample, a station may get most of its rating strength from a core of “heavy-deep” listeners, those who tune in exclusively to one station for large portions of a day, Balis said.

“You have one or two of them go on vacation for a week, and your numbers can really change,” Balis said. “With the PPM, you get a lot more of a roller coaster effect.”

Even with the reservations, Ryan judges the new system to be ultimately fair. “We radio stations can complain all we want, but we all play by the same rules,” she said.

Roanoke: Robynn Jaymes Humbled By Support From Fans

It was all supposed to be funny. Robynn Jaymes had a skit planned for her "Pajama Jam" breast cancer benefit at Hotel Roanoke in October. The popular Roanoke radio host was going to have her WSLC Star Country co-host, Brett Sharp — a guy — hauled off from the women-only, all-night country music party. A security guard was going to slap a pair of pink handcuffs on Sharp and take him out.

However, according to Ralph Berrier Jr. at, something funny happened on the way to the pink pokey, however. When Jaymes took the stage, the pajamas-clad crowd inside the ballroom erupted in a standing ovation. They all knew that Jaymes had missed this party a year earlier, when she was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. She was off the air for 10 months and had returned to her regular morning shift on Star Country 94.9 FM on Aug. 1. The Pajama Jam was her first public appearance since her illness.

Kyle Green photo
The crowd's reaction surprised her. She wasn't able to finish the skit.

"I started to cry," she said. "I wasn't ready for it. I lost my composure and I couldn't say the words. I was blown away by the response. I was humbled. I've learned so much about that word."

Four and a half months since her return to top-rated Star Country was featured on the front page of The Roanoke Times, Jaymes, 51, sounds just like her old self on the air, but she is still recovering from a serious illness. Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas, a gland that aids in digestion and releases insulin. Jaymes spent time in three hospitals — LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, University of Virginia Medical Center and Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

"What a difference a year makes," said her boss, Leonard Wheeler, president of Mel Wheeler Inc. "A year ago, she was going through this horrible health situation. Today, she seems grateful with where she is in life. She doesn't seem like she has let it drag her down."

Jaymes has made many lifestyle changes. She had to give up food favorites such as red meat and pizza — "I came out of the womb asking for pizza," she said — and now eats a healthy diet of poultry, fresh fruits and salads.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Seattle Radio: ‘I Felt Like Every Day, I Was Lying’

Marty Riemer talks about his exit from The Mountain

Last Thursday, radio personality Marty Riemer walked away from a well-paying job at KMTT 103.7 FM, otherwise known as The Mountain, because he just ... can’t ... work there anymore. 
“Everyone from my agent to my parents have said, ‘Are you insane? You have a family! You need health care!’” Riemer said the other morning. “But I felt like every day, I was lying.” 
Since 1997, Riemer has felt “spoiled” for working at a radio station that he would surely listen to, even if he wasn’t already on the staff. 
“But now it’s no longer one that I would listen to,” he said. “And I don’t want to feel like a sell-out.” 
Riemer, 50, started inching toward the exit earlier this year, when the station changed its format from an eclectic mix of rock and new music to include more classic hits: Eddie Money. Supertramp. REO Speedwagon. 
For the station, the change in approach was a business decision, but to Riemer, it felt like the death of something, and that it was time for him to go. 
This is no small thing for him, or for longtime Seattle radio listeners who have followed him for years. 
Riemer, whose deep voice conveys an easygoing intelligence, has been part of the region’s airwaves since he was 13, when he got weekend work at KGRG, the Green River Community College station in his native Auburn. 
He has worked at KZOK, KJR and the late Seattle station KXRX, where he says he was the first person to report the death of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. (He was tipped off by a friend of the dispatcher for an electrical firm doing work at Cobain’s Lake Washington home.) 
When Riemer finally reached The Mountain in 1997, it wasn’t just radio. It was a handcrafted format; classic rock layered with new music that he hadn’t heard anywhere else. 
“I’m not retiring,” Riemer said. “You only do that when you’re old or rich, and I am only one of the two. You have to be both in order to retire.”

New Haven Radio: Chaz & AJ Sandy Hook Sounding Board

CNN did a report on Chaz & AJ the morning show personalities WPLR 99.1 FM in New Haven and it's handling of the breaking news of the Sandy Hook school massacre. the usually lighthearted show became a shoulder to cry on for many in Connecticut.