Saturday, January 19, 2013

Radio Trial: Witnesses Say Bubba Told Lies

State Att. Mark Ober
The battle of two Tampa radio personalities continued Friday in court as Todd "MJ" Schnitt is suing Todd "Bubba the Love Sponge" Clem over comments made on-air years ago.

On Thursday, Clem told jurors MJ and his wife were "fair game" because they're public figures.

Friday, one of one of MJ's former partners, BJ, from the former "MJ and BJ Morning Show" along with State Attorney Mark Ober took the stand. MJ's wife was then an assistant state attorney.

BayNews9 reports both BJ and Ober told jurors that Bubba's statements about MJ were flat out lies.

MJ's lawyers wanted to show the jury that the accusations Bubba made are false, and what Bubba told his listeners about MJ went far beyond name calling.

BJ Harrison, formerly of "the MJ and BJ morning show" on WFLZ 93.3 FM took the stand for his old friend, Todd Schnitt.

Bubba told his listeners that MJ got BJ fired from the popular morning show.

BJ told jurors that's not true.

"I resigned for personal reasons," said Harrison.

MJ's lawyers said there was another lie that took a toll on the Schnitt family.
(Bubba Radio clip) "Not to mention your wife is one of the people who got me arrested, and had secret meetings with Mark Ober? Can we go into that?" 
 Bubba talked about his infamous hog killing incident in 2001. Clem was prosecuted for animal cruelty, after his show broadcast the castration and killing of a wild boar. Bubba told his listeners MJ was behind his arrest, because his wife worked with the State Attorney's Office.

State Attorney Mark Ober, in a rare appearance on the stand, denied Bubba's on air claims.
(Bubba Radio clip) "MJ Kelley and his wife, who worked for Mark Ober at the time, orchestrated most of it. Did you know that? I did. I would expect nothing less from a snitch."
"We discussed the facts, did the research, and ultimately came to the conclusion that a crime had been committed," said Ober.

Ober stated he didn't even know MJ.

Saturday Airchecks: Naptown’s WIFE, WNAP-FM

Aircheck of WIFE Radio, Indianapolis, recorded in early 1972 from Roger W. Morgan and Jim Fox shows.

Here is Michael Griffin on a morning shift, followed by Cris "Moto" Conner. Look for a very early comedy bit by David Letterman around the 7:15 time mark. The last couple minutes are various cuts from various Indy stations around and before that time.

For more on Indianapolis radio, Click Here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

NYC Radio: Format Wheel Spinning on 94.7 FM

Format Flip Expected Monday 9:47 AM

Cumulus Media has ended its weeklong simulcast of WPLJ 95.5 FM NYC on newly acquired WRXP 94.7 FM.  But we’ll have to wait until Monday morning at 9:47 AM to find out the new format.

In the meantime, 95.7 is spinning what it calls “The New York City Wheel of Formats”.  

The wheel is a one-hour loop constantly spinning from Beatles, to old TV clips, old Musicradio 77 WABC audio clips, classic country, smooth jazz.  AOR  as in all over the road.

LISTEN LINE. Click Here.

The format speculation continues at the Radio Discussions message board. Click Here.

Tampa Radio: Cox Turns-Over 97.1 FM To Listeners

Friday, Cox Media-owned radio station WSUN 97.1 FM in Tampa Bay is shifting its entire format to listener-controlled radio, now putting its audience in control of the songs that play 24 hours a day. reports it’s the first station among Cox Media’s 86 U.S.-based properties to do so on both web and mobile, if not the first in the U.S. to experiment with the format. Is this what the future of terrestrial radio looks like? It just might be.

What the future of radio looks like is a question that radio stations everywhere – and not just here in the U.S. – are struggling with. After all, what hope does radio have when anyone can play any music, on-demand, any time they want?

The answer, as it turns out, may be to mimic those services their listeners are abandoning them for, and then attempt to add value.

LISTEN LINE: Click Here.

That’s certainly the case with Cox Media Group’s 97x, which today at 5 PM ET, is making an extreme shift to user-controlled programming for the first time.

According to, the station had been building its new platform in stealth, in partnership with LDR Interactive (aka “Listener Driven Radio”) which today offers “crowdcasting” solutions for 160 stations worldwide. Its services range from simple music research (users voting for favorite songs) to full-on listener takeover of the radio station’s queue.

Most of these crowd-controlled stations are experimenting with the technology, however, offering users the ability to vote on a song or control a short block of programming. They aren’t turning the entire station over to the listener base. But perhaps they should.

Farewell, Neil Boortz!

Atlanta-based talker Neil Boortz ended a 42-year broadcasting career Friday.

Former Presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain will take over Cain's time slot starting next week.

Boortz let his thoughts and emotions flow in a farewell piece "That Day Has Come" for his blog. Click Here.

Tampa Radio: Bubba Finishes Trial Testimony

Todd Clem
Todd ‘Bubba the Love Sponge’ Clem returned to the stand Thursday in the defamation lawsuit trial filed by Todd "MJ" Schnitt.

Schnitt is suing Clem and the BTLS Radio Network for what he said were "highly offensive, insulting or fighting words and defamatory statements" made on the radio five years ago.

Clem's attorneys said it was free speech, protected by the First Amendment.

Schnitt says Clem targeted him and his wife, Michelle, then an assistant state attorney. Clem's attorneys say it all was simply radio humor. Clem had just returned to local broadcasting with WHPT-FM 102.5 FM after a stint in satellite radio. Schnitt was then the morning radio DJ on WFLZ-FM 93.3.

In court Thursday afternoon, BayNews9 reports Clem was asked to look at a drawing that had appeared on his website.  It's a Photoshopped picture of a large woman, carrying a small man to bed.

Attorney: “Would you take a look at Mrs. Schnitt? See her? You see the face on this Photoshop? Is that Mr. Schnitts face?"

“With all due respect, it’s not really that clear,” Bubba answered.

The drawing talks about MJ being fired from Clear Channel. Bubba said a listener made it.

“My show is entertainment. We put on a show, very few people turn to my show. It’s like a 60 minutes-based show. It’s a show. It’s an entertaining show. A ton of hyperbole, a ton of satire. It’s a show.”

A former Clear Channel radio executive also took the stand Thursday. See separate posting, Click Here.

Court will resume Friday at 8:45 a.m. VIEW LIVE COVERAGE, Click Here.

The trial is expected to last two more weeks.

Report: Bubba Seemed To Grow Weary

Todd Clem, Todd Schnitt
Blog swflorida/ notes Bubba Clem was seemingly growing weary of the barrage of questions from attorneys today. Contrasted from yesterday's "to-the-point" answers to questions,  Clem today was a bit combative and tended to wind his way around direct answers, and plaintiff's attorney Phil Campbell had to ask the judge to request Clem answer.

The trial so far, seems to be beneficial to the parties for publicity value more than any damning evidence presented yet to establish Schnitt, aka MJ Kelli and wife have been defamed. But, there still dozens of more witnesses to be called in the projected 3-week Hillsborough County trial.

Both radio peronalities should at least reap bigger ratings, despite the many hundreds of thousands of dollars this trial will take out of each's pocket. Both are reportedly millionaires, so maybe they won't miss the cash.

Boston Radio: Competition Doomed Talker WTKK

Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth is always reluctant to change a radio station’s format. It can be upsetting to fans, frustrating to workers and expensive to pull off.

But it was hard to argue with the numbers. Smyth told Jon Chesto at the that plunge in ratings for WTKK over recent years prompted him to start seriously considering dropping the station’s talk format as long ago as last spring. Those discussions eventually led to the Braintree company’s decision to switch from talk to a rhythmic adult contemporary music format earlier this month, branding it as Hot 96.9.

Smyth says WTKK vaulted into the top five stations in the Boston market for the key 25-54 demographic not long after the talk format was introduced in 1999.

But those strong ratings didn’t last. Smyth says WTKK dropped out of the top 10 in the past two years, and showed no signs of recovering. He cites a number of factors, including the emergence of CBS Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub, which drew a number of male listeners away.

So Smyth sought a music format, one that wouldn’t compete with his company’s existing lineup of Boston-area stations — Magic 106.7, 105.7 WROR, Country 102.5 and Radio 92.9.

Boston Radio: Hot Heats Up With Melissa

Veteran Boston radio personality Melissa has signed-on with Greater Media’s WTKK.  She’ll start as soon as the new rhythmic/AC Hot 96.9 FM finished airing 13,000 songs-in-a-row.

Melissa joins Hot 96.9 background includes Top 40 WJMN Jam’n 94.5 where she was producer and personality on the Ramiro Torres Morning Show.

I am beyond ecstatic to join the Greater Media team," Melissa said. "I will be forever indebted to Rob Williams, who ultimately gave me the opportunity to work with the most brilliant programmer in the industry: Cadillac Jack, who is the man who gave me my start in this business.”

LA Radio: Christine Martindale Goes Country

Christine Martindale has landed a new mid-day gig at KKGO 105.1 FM Go Country in LA.

She starts February 4.  KKGO will mark its sixth anniversary as a country station next motnh.

Martindale was let go by Clear Channel’s A/C KOST Dec. 6.  She had been there 12-years.

Station manager Michael Levine said,  "We look forward to having one of the most talented and exciting on-air voices in radio joining the Go Country 105 family".

Liberty Now Controls SiriusXM

Liberty Media Corp. , the holding company that announced plans last year to take over Sirius XM Radio Inc., gained majority control of the satellite-radio provider with its latest purchase of 50 million shares.

Bloomberg reports Liberty Media now owns 1.99 billion common shares and 1.29 billion convertible shares, according to a filing yesterday. If the converted stock is added to the outstanding shares of New York-based Sirius, Liberty Media owns about 50.5 percent.

Liberty plans to take control of the Sirius board, putting it in position to choose a new chief executive officer. James Meyer was named interim CEO in December, replacing Mel Karmazin, who resigned last year.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the transfer of broadcast licenses earlier this month, the last major hurdle preventing Liberty from finishing its takeover of the satellite- radio company.

Chicago Radio: Peter Liguori CEO At Tribune Co.

Peter Liguori
Television executive Peter Liguori was named the new chief executive of Tribune Co. Thursday, taking the reins of the reorganized Chicago-based media company weeks after its emergence from bankruptcy, according to a story at the Chicago Tribune.

In a widely expected announcement, Liguori, 52, a former top executive at Fox Broadcasting and Discovery Communications, was confirmed by Tribune Co.'s new seven-member board, which met for the first time Thursday in Los Angeles. In Chicago, Tribune Co. owns the Chicago Tribune, WGN-Ch.9 and WGN-AM.

Liguori said he looked forward to leading Tribune Co. into a new era, focusing on content development across all media platforms. And despite speculation by analysts and industry insiders that the company was unlikely to retain its full portfolio of TV stations and newspapers, Liguori said he is hoping to keep Tribune's broadcasting and publishing businesses together under one roof.

Te’o Mentioned ‘Girlfriend’ Twice After Hoax Discovery

Questions continue to swirl around Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and his dead online girlfriend who turned out to have never existed, with the Associated Press reporting yesterday (January 17th) that he twice spoke about her after supposedly finding out in early December that the woman he said he'd been with for three years never existed.

AP found that the Heisman Trophy runner-up talked about Lennay Kekua on December 8th, and again in an interview published on December 10th, even though Notre Dame said that he learned on December 6th that the online girlfriend never existed and it was a hoax.

In the December 8th interview, he said, "I mean, I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer." That fuels speculation by many that Te'o wasn't the victim of a hoax, but someone involved in perpetrating it.

According to the story, which garnered Te'o widespread publicity and sympathy, Kekua died of leukemia in September on the same day as his grandmother. In another revelation yesterday, Sports Illustrated posted a previously unpublished transcript of a September interview in which Te'o mentioned meeting Kekua for the first time after a game in California, saying, "We met just, ummmm, just she knew my cousin. And kind of saw me there so. Just kind of regular."

Te'o has since said he never met Kekua in person.

Armstrong Admits Doping

After years of vehement denials and ruthless attack and legal action agaisnt those who accused him, Lance Armstrong finally came clean last night (January 17th), admitting in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he'd doped throughout his cycling career, including when he won all seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 that have since been stripped from him.

In the interview -- the second part of which will air tonight on Winfrey's OWN network -- Armstrong acknowledged being the ringleader of an elaborate doping scheme for his U.S. Postal Service team, and said he didn't feel at the time that he was doing anything wrong or that he was cheating, implying that most of his rivals at the time were doping too.

However, Armstrong didn't give too many details, and didn't want to name anyone who helped him dope or rivals who he believed been doping. He also insisted that he'd stopped doping in 2005, and that when he returned from retirement and raced in the 2009 and 2010 Tour de Frances, which he didn't win, he was clean. Critics piont out, however, that there's a lot of evidence that he was still doping then.

ALSO READ: Oprah's Channel Is set To Break Through.  Click Here.

He insisted that he never forced anyone on his team to dope if they didn't want to, and didn't fire any one who refused to. Armstrong admitted being, quote, "flawed" and a bully against those who accused him, many of them onetime friends and associates, calling his actions "inexcusable" and saying he knows there are those who will never forgive him. He also told Winfrey he regrets coming back from retirement, saying there was a much better chance he would never have gotten caught if he hadn't.

One thing Armstrong didn't have a clear answer for is why he's coming clean now. However, there have been reports that he wants to be able to compete in triathlons, which he was doing after retiring from cycling in 2011, and can no longer do after a lifetime ban from competitive sports was imposed on him last year after a damning report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. If he totally comes clean about his doping and provides information on the anti-doping scheme, he might be able to get his ban reduced to eight years, at which time he'd be 49.

ALSO READ:  Armstrong's Confession Could Mean More Legal Troubles. Click Here.

Columbus Radio: 99.7 The Blitz Morning Show Bit

Loper and Randi play a game called Add It Up on WRKZ 99.7 The Blitz in Columbus, OH.

Celeb Chef Walks After Comment By 2DAY-FM Host

Chef Marco Pierre White
2DAY-FM, the radio station behind the Kate Middleton hoax call,  has caused new controversy after one of its presenters called Marco Pierre White a "rude p***k".

According to, Dale 'Louie' Lewis, from Austereo's Tripple M Hot Breakfast show, was interviewing the celebrity chef at its Melbourne studios with his co-presenters Ali Carle, Warren Tredrea and Jon 'Blakey' Blake.

Lewis quizzed the MasterChef: The Professionals host about his three failed marriages, saying: "Hey mate, married three times, was the first wives dismissed, for want of a better word, cause they can't cook, or didn't like your cooking? Is that an issue with them?"

In response, the chef said he was just pleased that he had found three women who were willing to marry him.

However, Lewis then said: "Yeah, cos if you're the rude prick you come across on TV, I wouldn't be there long either. That's just me surmising what I've seen on TV."

Pierre White then said: "There's no need for rudeness. I think you should say good morning to me, and good bye, because one, I take offense to being called that. I haven't shown you disrespect, I haven't been rude to you. I don't like being called that word. I'm very sorry."

The presenter tried to apologize but the chef left the studio and did not continue the interview. 

Detroit Radio: Unlock The Joe Arena Promotion

With hockey finally set to return tomorrow (January 19th) for a shortened season, after the 113-day lockout ended earlier this month, the National Hockey League ran full-page ads today and yesterday in major newspapers in every NHL market and national publication in the U.S. and Canada apologizing to fans.

101 WRIF's Meltdown stars in station promotional trailer for a current promotion.  It's they way of welcoming back the NHL.

Book: “Naptown Rock Radio Wars” Set For Release

A Who’s Who of Indianapolis Radio is expected to be on-hand for the “Naptown Rock Radio Wars” book release party.  The book is authored by local historian David Fulton.

More than a hundred are expected to attend the party to be held 4p Saturday, Jan. 26 at Smee’s Place Bar & Grill in Indy.  The book release party will also feature a screening of the film documentary at 6:30pm.    The showing of the film will be dedicated to the memory of "Big" John Gillis who 'signed off' for the last time in November.

The book and film offer an excellent historical perspective of the Indianapolis Radio Wars in the 60s and 70s.  The battles included AM powerhouses WIBE and WIFE and WNAP-FM.

It was a fight to the death . . . well, maybe not to the death, but it was definitely a battle that would change not only the listening habits of tens of thousands of Hoosiers but also the entire culture of the Indiana state capital city. It had repercussions throughout the nation as the first major war of AM radio versus FM radio. It was Forty-fives versus album cuts and the good guys versus the bad boys and Naptown would never be the same. Two brilliant and fierce broadcasting competitors went head to head: Richard Fairbanks, who for almost two decades owned WIBC-AM 1070, the 50,000-watt radio behemoth, versus Don Burden, the young upstart broadcasting impresario who swaggered into town and launched the glitzy, promotion-oriented though relatively low-powered WIFE-AM 1310. How was the war fought? What were the strategies? Who were the personalities both in the limelight and behind the scenes? And who, in the end, would win Naptowns rock radio wars?

The event is open to the public and many Indy radio personalities are scheduled to attend, including Chris Conner, Red Porter, Al Stone, Bill Shirk, Jimmy Mack, Freddie Fever, Allen Deck, Scott Wheeler, Mike O’Brien, “Big Kahouna” and Art Baker.

Books and t-shirts will be available for purchase. Food and drink will be available. All ages welcome! Feel free to drop in anytime during these hours.


For more information and reservations, phone (317) 876-0202.

R.I.P.: ‘Dear Abby’ Pauline Phillips Dead At 94

Pauline Phillips, known to millions of readers across the country as advice columnist "Dear Abby," died on Wednesday (January 16th) after battling Alzheimer's disease for years.

She was 94.

After co-writing her column with her daughter, Jeanne, starting in the mid-1990s, Phillips retired in 2002, and Jeanne took over the writing on her own after that.

Phillips was a 37-year-old stay-at-home mom in 1956 when she read the advice column in the San Francisco Chronicle and contacted the editors to tell them she could do a better job. Her son, Eddie, told ABC's Good Morning America in 2004, "They gave her a bunch of letters, thinking that they would never see her again -- and she immediately took all of the letters . . . and whipped out answers and had [them] back the same day. That knocked them off their feet."

She began writing an advice column under the name "Abigail Van Buren," launching a career that lasted more than four decades and eventually led to the column being syndicated in more than 1,200 newspapers.

Phillips' twin sister, Eppie Lederer, got into the act as well, becoming advice columnist "Ann Landers." Lederer died in 2002.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Former CC-GM Testifies In MJ vs. Bubba Trial

Dan DiLoreto
A former Clear Channel radio executive took the stand Thursday in the defamation lawsuit trial involving two popular Tampa radio DJs.

Bay9News reports, former executive Daniel DiLoreto said Clear Channel became so alarmed about some of the things Bubba the Love Sponge Clem was saying on his radio show,  they started to tape his shows every day on their own to make sure they heard what he was saying. 

Todd "MJ" Schnitt is suing Clem for what he said were "highly offensive, insulting or fighting words and defamatory statements".

On the stand Wednesday, Clem said he called Schnitt's wife Michelle an offensive name on air only to promote an ongoing radio feud between the men in 2008.

Clem's attorneys said it was free speech, protected by the First Amendment.

In court Thursday morning, DiLoreto was on the stand as much of Wednesday's radio clips from Clem's shows in 2008 were replayed.

In one clip, Bubba accuses MJ of fixing a national contest, rigging it for one of his employees. DiLoreto, when asked if that was true, said no and that he had never heard of anything like that.

Tampa Trial: Bubba Takes The Stand

'MJ', Wife (Times photo)
Todd 'MJ' Schnitt vs. 
Bubba The Love Sponge Clem

On Wednesday, Clem told jurors that the type of "radio war" he waged has a long history in Tampa.

The station he was originally hired at — Power Pig 93.3 — he said, was at war with the No. 1 station — Q105. The battle cries of that era were "Flip the Pig" and "Screw the Q." Clem said Power Pig prevailed, causing Q105 to switch to a country format.


The Tampa Bay Times reports, Clem said he and Schnitt were themselves rivals during that time, though they both worked for the same company, Clear Channel.

Clem said the rivalry was revived after he ended a hiatus on satellite radio and returned to Tampa radio in 2008.

On Cox Radio's WHPT-FM 102.5 FM, Clem targeted Schnitt, the then-top-rated morning guy on his MJ Morning Show at WFLZ-FM 93.3 FM.

Almost immediately, he accused Schnitt of engaging in "plugola," the practice of accepting favors and gifts from businesses in exchange for plugs on the air.

He also accused Schnitt's wife, then an assistant state attorney, of conspiring with State Attorney Mark Ober to bring animal cruelty charges against him after an on-air stunt in 2001. In the much-publicized stunt, Clem presided over the slaughter and barbecue of a wild bore.

Clem was later acquitted of animal cruelty. But he vowed revenge against the Schnitts for being prosecuted.

On Wednesday, Clem said the accusations and name-calling were all theater, all aimed only at replacing Schnitt as the area's No. 1 morning show host, which he did.

The campaign, Clem's attorney, Joseph Diaco, told jurors, "was juvenile, offensive, maybe even disgusting," but wasn't personal.

He called it a collision of two giant egos.

Read More Now.

Pandora’s Costs Are Likely To Rise

Martin Bandier (NYPost photo)
Music publisher Sony/ATV has wrangled a 25 percent increase in royalties from the Oakland, Calif.-based Internet radio player, The NYPost has learned.

The agreement may come as a surprise to some as the 6-year-old streaming upstart, which has roughly 60 million users, has been vocal about demanding decreases in the fees it pays to the music business and artists.

Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and the Michael Jackson estate, secured the big jump up after it pulled digital rights from two associations effective Jan. 1, industry insiders told The Post.

Pandora executives have been huddling with Sony/ATV management to hash out a new deal that is said to run for the next 12 months — given the rapid rate of change in online radio.

Sony/ATV declined to comment on the terms of any new deal, but CEO Martin Bandier, told The Post: “At the end of the day, we got a terrific deal for our songwriters. Our thinking has been vindicated. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”

The firm will now seek better deals from other digital music players.

Pandora didn’t comment on the new deal.

Chicago Radio: Hubbard RIFs Six

The most senior of those cut was Chicago radio veteran John Bermudez, who would have marked his 20th anniversary in March as production director at the Mix.

According to Robert Feder at, layoffs hit Hubbard Radio in Chicago for the first time last week, eliminating the jobs of six off-the-air staffers at hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9), classic rock WDRV-FM (97.1) and adult hits WILV-FM (100.3).

Laid off after six years was Sandy Patyk, promotion director at the Mix and Rewind 100.3. Other positions affected were director of information systems, digital media project coordinator, social media coordinator and graphic designer.

“We’re not immune to the real world,” Jerry Schnacke, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, told me Wednesday. “At some point in time, given tough business conditions, you need to make sure you have everybody in the right seats on the bus.”

Schnake said the layoffs were not the result of a “corporate edict,” but followed his own analysis of staffing levels at other broadcast groups throughout the market.

Johanna Gomez Joins DJ Laz In Miami, LA

Johanna Gomez
SBS Radio, has announced the appointment of Johanna Gomez as co-host part of "The DJ Laz Morning Show" heard on Miami’s WRMA-FM DJ106.7FM and Los Angeles’ KXOL-FM LA 96.3FM.

"The DJ Laz Morning Show" is a four-hour daily radio program featuring DJ Laz, Johanna Gomez , Mark Moseley and a wide variety of characters.

Gomez has spent over five years as a reporter for WPLG Local 10, South Florida's ABC affiliate network.

A native of Manhattan, New York, and born to Dominican parents, Johanna Gomez currently freelances for SunSports/Fox Sports as a sideline reporter for the 2012 World Champion, Miami HEAT.

From 2008-10, Gomez also worked as the in-game entertainment host for Marlins Vision at home baseball games for the Florida Marlins.

"I'm thrilled to be able to fulfill a dream I have had for many years," said Johanna Gomez about her arrival at SBS.

"Johanna is a dynamic and versatile talent. Her presence online and in social media is impressive, but her true passion is radio," stated Jesus Salas EVP of Programming and Multiplatform Coordinator of SBS. "We welcome her to the SBS family." 

As a graduate of Florida International University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, and a minor in Spanish, in the School of Journalism, Johanna serves as a mentor for the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program and volunteers at the Miami Rescue Mission for the Homeless.

News Junkies: Tyndall Tracks 2012’s Top Stories

The Tyndall Report has released its analysis of the network evening newscasts in 2012. As usual, it provides insight into the differences between the newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as who the “most valuable players” are, writes Alex Weprin at

The top story of 2012 on both “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” was coverage of Mitt Romney‘s Presidential bid. On the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” the top story last year was the rebellion in Syria. CBS spent more time on Syria than NBC and ABC combined.

ABC spent more time than NBC or CBS on soft news stories, like holiday shopping and the British Royals, with NBC dedicating more time to natural disasters than its competitors. CBS spent far more time covering news stories abroad.

Weprin adds the most-utilized correspondent of 2012 was ABC’s David Muir, who spent 426 minutes on-air last year.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd placed second and third with 269 and 259 minutes, respectively, with ABC’s Jim Avila and Jake Tapper rounding out the top five. The most-utilized correspondent on CBS was Nancy Cordes, who was on-air for 231 minutes.

The Tyndall Report monitors the weekday nightly newscasts of the three American broadcast television networks: ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (formerly Charles Gibson), CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley (formerly Katie Couric) and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Behind The Scenes: Neil Boortz Show

After 42 years on the air in Atlanta, Boortz, a Libertarian, is even more outrageous than ever as he prepares to retire after tomorrow morning's broadcast.

He is the longest running talk show host on Atlanta radio with 6 million listeners and a spot in the national radio Hall of Fame.

Radio's Noory Tries TV

George Noory, host of radio's late-night mega-talk show “Coast to Coast AM,” is bringing his provocative interviews to a new, original weekly TV series, “Beyond Belief with George Noory.”

According to, the TV show is like “Coast to Coast AM” – which airs on more than 560 radio stations and is heard by nearly three million weekly listeners – the online, on-demand “Beyond Belief” will deal with everything from globalism, surveillance and conspiracies to UFOs, life after death and other unexplained (and often inexplicable) phenomena.

Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o Says He’s Hoax Victim

The sports world was stunned yesterday (January 16th) by news that Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o's girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who had supposedly died of leukemia in September, apparently never existed. was unable to find any record of her life or death and discovering that online photos of her really were of another woman.

Te'o's decision to play in a game a few days after Kekua's death, which had supposedly taken place on the same day his grandmother died, and the outpouring of support he got from his teammates and college football fans was a major storyline throughout the college football season, and Te'o went on to be a Heisman Trophy finalist, finishing second in the voting.

AUDIO: CBS Radio, Steve Kauthen Reports. Click Here

Te'o and Notre Dame both released statements yesterday saying he was the victim of an online romance hoax similar to that depicted in the documentary Catfish, which spawned a current MTV show.

Te'o said in a statement, "This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating."

In a press conference yesterday, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbick said Te'o went to his coaches on December 26th and told them that three weeks earlier, he'd gotten a call from a number that he knew to be Kekua's, from a person whose voice he knew to be Kekua's, and who he'd known to be his girlfriend, who told him she wasn't dead. Swarbick said Te'o, quote, "was very unnerved by that, as you might imagine."

Notre Dame started investigating, and Swarbick said he's comfortable in believing that Te'o really was the victim of a hoax, and not part of perpetrating one.

But the story gives convincing evidence that a male friend of Te'o's created "Lennay Kekua," and raises other questions about whether Te'o was actually involved in the hoax.

Hoax Reveals MSM’s Failures

Te'o (USAToday)
The story of a college football player's fake girlfriend is also a story about a media that was bamboozled by a fraud that was, in retrospect, very easy to spot, writes Jack Mirkinson at The Huffington Post.

Deadspin rocked the sports world on Wednesday when it revealed that, in its words, "Manti Te'o's Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax."

The tale of the hoax (and the questions about Te'o's possible complicity in it) was astonishing enough. But equally damning was the list of prestigious media organizations that swallowed the hoax, apparently without question. From the AP to Sports Illustrated, the Boston Globe to the Chicago Tribune, outlets across the country helped push the story out into the world. "CBS This Morning" even ran a 3-minute story on Kekua, using a fake picture.

Read More Now.

FLASHBACK: Te'o talks about his 'dead' girlfriend.

Also Must Read:

Notre Dame's Manti Te'o May Lose Millions / Forbes. Click Here.

Katherine Webb Gets TV Gig

Katherine Webb will be covering the Super Bowl on-camera for  syndicated TV’s ‘Inside Edition’.

Webb, who happens to be Miss Alabama as well as current BGF of Alabama QB A. J. McCarron, stole the show at this year’s BCS Championship game thanks to sportscaster Brent Musburger.

Musburger fawned over Webb’s beauty during the broadcast.

Inside Edition says Webb will be covering all the behind-the-scenes action.

R.I.P.: Paul Droubay, Salt Lake City Broadcaster

Paul Droubay
Work or Own A Move-In Station? Paul Droubay made it possible.

Broadcast pioneer, sportscaster, Utah radio station owner and advertising executive Paul Droubay died Monday in Salt Lake City.

He was 86.

"He was a pioneer and an innovator," said Terry Mathis, whose family has owned a number of Utah radio stations. "He was a visionary as well."

Mathis told the Salt Lake Tribune that when Droubay owned Ogden station KDAB B101 (now known as KBER in Salt Lake City), he petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to allow him to move the station’s transmitter from Ogden to Farnsworth Peak. Before then, stations were required to have their transmitter in the city where they were licensed.

After a lengthy fight, Droubay convinced the FCC that a station should be allowed to have the most advantageous transmitter site to better serve communities and to expand coverage to nearby areas, which was a decision that changed the radio industry throughout the United States.

"There are many people like me who recognize the profound impact that Paul had on the industry," Mathis said.

Droubay was a popular on-air radio personality and was part of a group of disk jockeys known as the Fabulous Five at KLUB radio.

He began his career as a disk jockey in Pocatello, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, Idaho, before becoming a sportscaster at KUTV Channel 2.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Detroit Radio: Kevin Metheny New PD At WJR

Veteran radio programmer Kevin Metheny has a new gig.  He’s been appointed as PD at Cumulus-Talker WJR Detroit.

He starts January 16.

Most recently Metheny was interim PD at Clear Channel’s Country KMNB Buz’n 10.29 Minneapolis.  Simultaneously with the 2008 acquisition of Clear Channel by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, Metheny left Clear Channel to become Program Director of the Tribune Company’s sole radio property, News/Talk WGN.  He worked there until November 2010.

Metheny was also head  of programming for Jacor's Cleveland area radio group, consolidating operations at their combined six Cleveland stations, WAKS, WGAR-FM, WMJI, WMMS, WMVX, and WTAM. Following Jacor's merger with Clear Channel Communications Metheny was promoted to Regional Vice President of Programming, in which role he advised local Market Managers and Program Directors of 59 Ohio radio stations.

Previous experience also includes PD at WNBC 66-AM NYC, where he was dubbed “Pig Virus” by Howard Stern. Metheny is generally acknowledged as an early implementer of consumer research in radio programming and an experienced and effective talent coach.

“I’ve long admired WJR from 90 miles across Lake Erie where I put 760 on a button the day I landed in Cleveland. The Great Voice of The Great Lakes is a gold standard collection of impossible to duplicate treasures and I’m thrilled to join the Cumulus team,” Metheny commented.

Tampa Radio: Jury Chosen For MJ vs. Bubba Case

Bubba top, MJ bottom
It was a long day two in the civil lawsuit pitting two of the Tampa Bay area's most well-known radio personalities, Todd "MJ" Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.  But by the end of the day, the judge did seat a jury.

According to ABC ActionNews8 in Tampa, both sides were methodological when it came to selecting a jury. On the one hand, the Schnitt camp would press to see if potential jurors had any opinions when it came to things like "name calling" and "bullying."  For their part, the Bubba camp would approach jurors almost looking to see "who gets a joke."

And that, in a nutshell, sums up both sides, and is at the root of the civil defamation case.

The Schnitt camp claims, in an effort to become the number one radio show in the market, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem went too far.

Cox Media Settles With Schnitt

Named as a co-defendant in a civil suit, Cox Radio has agreed to a settlement with Todd "MJ" Schnitt, the Tampa radio personality who has filed a defamation lawsuit against the shock jock star of Cox-owned WHPT-FM, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

According to media writer Eric Deggans at, the company agreed to the settlement Friday, before jury selection would begin this week on the lawsuit, in which Schnitt has accused Clem of “false, highly offensive and defamatory statements” about him and his wife Michelle as competition heated up between the two on morning radio. Cox and Schnitt also agreed to keep the terms confidential, declining to say if money changed hands or legal fees were paid.

But Keith Lawless, Tampa market manager for Cox Radio, said the settlement doesn't indicate a lack of support for Clem's position, noting that Cox's attorney is now helping Clem's lawyers through the trial.

Philly Radio: Michael Tearson Toast At WMGK

Michael Tearson
There's a time honored, but not so honorable tradition in broadcasting. On-air talent  hardly ever gets to say "so-long" to listeners or viewers when they're being canned.  But yesterday, reports, the ax fell on WMGK's Michael Tearson. But will you hear the tree fall?

One of Philly's true pioneers of progressive rock radio, Tearson broke into the biz with his late 1960s years at a then student-run, all-volunteer WXPN, then moved to WDAS-FM, for many moons to  WMMR and later back, briefly  to a now professionally steered XPN.

Tearson has been holding down the fort at WMGK since April 2002 with a two hour (6 to 8 a.m.)  "Saturday Morning 60s" heritage music show that he put together with amazing first hand knowledge and a great record library from his South Jersey home studio.

But Tuesday morning, WMGK program director Charlie Lake told Tearson the party is over after this Saturday's show. And since that episode (and several more)  are already in the can, Tearson won't get to say his farewells.

Read More Now.

Cord-Cutting + Mobile = Less Cable News Viewing

Cable news shows may be seeing a dip in viewership among digital-savvy US consumers. According to a January survey by AYTM Market Research, 37% of internet users surveyed said they watched less cable TV news than they did five years earlier, according to

The survey points to both online news sites and online video clips as drawing more attention from news seekers.

Online news reading has become a commonplace activity among US consumers, with the frequency of online news reading having passed that of cable TV news watching, according to the survey.

While 39% of respondents said they read online news every day, only 25% said they watched cable TV news every day. Moreover, a mere 4% said they never read news online, compared with nearly 20% who said they never watched cable TV news.

Karmazin: Technology A Challenge For Old Media

Former SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin says new technology is a challenge for old media, including radio.

He was interviewed on CNBC.

Mel Karmazin: Job Hunting

Mel Karmazin
Former Sirius XM Radio Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin, who left last year after Liberty Media Corp. announced plans to take control of the company, said he wants to run another media organization, according to

Karmazin, 69, is in his “second retirement” following an earlier break from corporate leadership in 2004, and he plans to have a third, he said during a CNBC interview today.
He said he’s looking for a public company with an independent board and hasn’t found an opportunity that suits him yet.

Karmazin may contact New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to offer help rebuilding the Jersey Shore from Hurricane Sandy’s damage if he can’t find another media job, he said.

Read More Now.

Tribune Bankruptcy: Culture Shock & Cronyism

In a lengthy article chronicling the bankruptcy of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune reporters Mike Oneal and Steve Mills write about the ill-fated attempt at changing the culture of the Tribune Company when Sam Zell took control: 
"Less than a year after Sam Zell took control, Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy protection. Less than two years after that, Zell's hand-picked CEO, radio executive Randy Michaels, resigned amid allegations he had created a hostile and sexist work environment — his goal of turning the company into a digital powerhouse unrealized and his team's efforts to energize Tribune Co. culture widely considered a failure. 
Rather than inspiring employees to embrace a new culture, a task experts say is crucial to remaking a company, Zell and Michaels took an approach that alienated many employees and managers. Attempting to stir the company from its lethargy and instill a more creative spirit, they came off as disdainful and insulting. Instead of fostering innovation among current employees, Michaels brought in a coterie of his colleagues from the radio industry who could not deliver the innovative breakthroughs the company needed. 
In short, Zell and Michaels never bothered to understand the workplace they were trying to remake, which should be job one in corporate culture change…. 
…Michaels' hiring practices — bringing in friends and former colleagues from radio — raised fears that the meritocracy Zell pledged had dissolved into cronyism. Michaels said he saw a need to surround himself with people he could count on. But the practice put some important jobs in the hands of people without relevant experience, demoralizing staffers. 
Marc Chase, a former radio programmer and Michaels ally, was placed atop Tribune Interactive, the company's digital division, despite concerns among some of Zell's lieutenants that he had little relevant experience… 
…Rowdy behavior that later made headlines — crude jokes, sexual innuendo in front of employees, a poker party in Tribune Tower with beer and cigars — reinforced notions that an inner circle existed. To some employees, complaining seemed futile. Human resources, they observed, was run by Barb Buchwald, another hire with ties to Michaels. Her LinkedIn profile at the time noted that her "education" had been completed at "the School of Randy Michaels."