Saturday, March 30, 2013

R.I.P. Legendary Producer Phil Ramone Dead At 79

Phil Ramone
Phil Ramone, a prolific record producer and engineer who worked with some of the biggest music stars of the last 50 years died on Saturday in Manhattan.

He was 79.  Though it was widely reported that he was 72, public records and his family confirm that he was born Jan. 5, 1934.

According to a story at, Ramone was reported to have been admitted to a Manhattan hospital in late February for treatment of an aortic aneurysm.

In his 2007 memoir, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music,” written with Charles L. Granata, Mr. Ramone defined the role of record producer as roughly equivalent to that of a film director, creating and managing an environment in which to coax the best work out of his performers.

In 1959, Ramone established an independent recording studio A & R Recording (the initials were derived from the last initials of Ramone and his then-business partner Jack Arnold). Later the partnership consisted of Brooks Arthur owning half and Ramone, Don Frey, and Arthur Downs Ward (1922–2002) owning the other half.

In the studio he quickly gained a reputation as a sound engineer and music producer, in particular for his use of innovative technology.

Among those whose music he has produced are Clay Aiken, Burt Bacharach, The Band, Bono, Laura Branigan, Ray Charles, Karen Carpenter, Chicago, Peter Cincotti, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Sheena Easton, Melissa Errico, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Patricia Kaas, B. B. King, Julian Lennon, Shelby Lynne, Madonna, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Liza Minnelli, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Sinéad O'Connor, Fito Páez, Luciano Pavarotti, Peter Paul and Mary, Andre Previn, Diane Schuur, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, The Guess Who, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.


His early work in producing and engineering was with jazz artists, working on John Coltrane records and acting as engineer for the landmark Getz/Gilberto album in 1964, for which he won his first Grammy. He transitioned during the 1960s to working with folk-rock, pop-rock, and R&B acts such as Peter, Paul, and Mary, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Dylan, first primarily as an engineer, and later as a producer.

He won his first production Grammy for his work on 1975's Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon. His breakthrough album became Billy Joel's 1977 album The Stranger and began a fruitful collaboration that would lead to Ramone producing a string of hit Joel albums throughout the rest of the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1993, he produced Duets, Frank Sinatra's comeback album, a commercial hit that peaked at #2 on the Billboard Album Chart. During the rest of the 1990s, Ramone moved from production work to his primary role as an industry executive, serving as chairman of The Recording Academy.

Saturday Aircheck: NYC's Z100 1983

Here is a video air check of the Z-Morning Zoo from WHTZ New York. Scott Shannon, Ross Brittain, JR Nelson, Professor Jonathan B. Bell and Special Guest DJ Joey Reynolds.

In 1983, WHTZ Z100 went from Worst to First in a short 74 Days, making Z100 not only the Number One radio station in New York, but the whole USA.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Scott Borchetta Was "Enamored" By 14-year-old Taylor Swift

Music executive Scott Borchetta speaks to the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts about his company, Big Machine Label group, which represents big names like Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts, and how he discovered star Taylor Swift.

Premiere Networks Launches Weekend Urban Show

Premiere Networks today announced the launch of Weekends with The Breakfast Club into national syndication, effective immediately.

The new three-hour, weekly radio program originating from New York’s Power 105.1 features the 20 hottest songs on the charts alongside DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God’s unrivaled interviews. 

From megastars like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj to hip-hop icons such as Rick Ross, Waka Flocka and Gucci Mane, every guest visiting Weekends with The Breakfast Club is grilled with their signature blend of honesty and humor, which has made The Breakfast Club one of the top-rated urban morning radio programs in New York.

Weekends with The Breakfast Club is available to urban radio stations for air Saturday or Sunday between 6 a.m. and midnight local time.  The program, which launched on Power 105.1 on February 16, and has already added more than 30 radio stations to its growing list of affiliates, including: WGCI-FM/Chicago, WUSL-FM/Philadelphia, WJLB-FM/Detroit, WBTP-FM/Tampa and WKKV-FM/Milwaukee.

“Keep God first, stay humble, and keep working!” stated DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God.  “Syndication is every radio personality’s dream.  As long as we continue to do those three things, we will continue to make our dreams reality.  Thanks to Premiere and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for this incredible opportunity!  We love providing fun, compelling content and are excited to expand it across the U.S".

Twin Cities Radio: Tom Barnard Admits Substance Abuse

Tom Barnard
Tom Barnard, the longtime king of morning radio DJs in the Twin Cities, told listeners Friday that he’s going to be treated for substance abuse and hopes to get a grip on his fits of anger.

The 61-year-old KQRS host 92.5 FM said that drinking wine and taking pills to help him sleep and wake up were part of what led him to this decision, according to

That anger apparently spilled out overnight on Twitter, with Barnard expressing in profanity-punctuated terms, “I think I’m done. They don’t support me.” It was not clear whose support he was speaking about, however, a handful of Barnard’s tweets targeted the station’s sales department.

“I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I either croak or I hurt someone really badly,” Barnard said on the air of the classic rock radio station. “I just go through periods I just cannot sleep at all.”

Barnard said he’s “absolutely committed to do this, or I wouldn’t be talking about it on the show.” He said near the end of Friday’s show that he will be treated on an outpatient basis at the outset, rather than in a residential setting.

“He won’t be taking a leave and will be continuing to do his show,” said Barnard’s attorney, Ron Rosenbaum.

KQRS executive Shelly Malecha Wilkes was not immediately available to comment about Barnard seeking treatment or about his criticism of station management.

Barnard signed a four-year extension with the station last July.

Lil Wayne Tells Power 106: ‘I’m An Epilectic’

Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne has had a rough time in recent weeks. He was rushed to the hospital after having multiple seizures on a music video set, reported to have been near death, tweeted that he was, in fact, OK, and finally, he made it home in time to announce a new tour. After all that, Weezy recently revealed that he suffers from epilepsy.

On Thursday, Wayne admitted that he has suffered from multiple seizures in his lifetime that he kept from his fans, according to

“The thing is, man, the bad news is, I’m an epileptic, so I’m prone to seizures,” the rapper said in a KPWR Power 106.1 FM radio interview. “This isn’t my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I’ve had a bunch of seizures; y’all just never hear about it. This time, it got real bad because I got three of ‘em in a row and on the third one, my heart rate went down to, like, 30 percent. Basically, I could’ve died soon. That’s why it was so serious.”

LA Radio: Talker Heidi Harris OUT At the Answer

Heidi Harris
6/18/13 UPDATE: Heidi Harris has been doing some fill-in at Denver's KHOW, as that station looks to find a replacement for talker Peter Boyles. Harris is also doing some on-air work for KBET 790 AM in Las Vegas.

About a year ago, conservative talker Heidi Harris left KDWN 720 AM Las Vegas for a deal she “couldn’t refuse”...but apparently the deal has ended.

Harris is out at Salem Communication’s KRLA 870 AM and KTIE 590 AM San Bernardino-Riverside.

Reportedly, a new co-host will be named soon to work with ‘The Morning Answer’ co-hosts Brian Whitman and Ben Shapiro.

A native of Las Vegas and former professional singer and HR recruiter, she began her radio career at KDWN in Las Vegas in 1998.

NPR Cancels ‘Talk Of The Nation’, Deficit Noted

Robin Young
NPR announced Friday morning that it will no longer produce the Monday-to-Thursday call-in show Talk of the Nation.

According to the NPR blog The Two-Way, it will be replaced by Here and Now, a show produced in partnership with member station WBUR in Boston. Reported stories will be part of the show's format.

Here and Now host Robin Young will be joined by Jeremy Hobson of Marketplace Morning Report — NPR reporters will be contributing work, as well.

Neal Conan, Talk of the Nation's host, will depart after more than three decades with the network. His past positions include stints as bureau chief in New York and London, and as NPR's foreign editor, managing editor, and news director.

NPR executives said public radio has a glut of vibrant call-in shows involving national issues — and that they sought a news magazine with a mix of interviews and prepared stories to bridge the hours between Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

The network is also running a $7 million deficit. Executives say Conan was welcome to stay with NPR and that they intend to offer jobs to every staffer working for Talk of the Nation.

Network executives say the move is not intended to plug the $7 million deficit, which amounts to less than 4 percent of NPR's annual operating budget. Instead, they say, it's about ensuring that money and personnel are being used in ways that make sense in today's media environment.

Read More Now.

Ron Elving, senior Washington editor for NPR, and Diane Rehm react to news that NPR will discontinue the 21-year-old call-in show, "Talk of the Nation."

Obama Urged To Appoint First FCC Chairwoman

Jessica Rosenworcel
The calls for the president to appoint a woman as the next leader of the FCC have increased.

According to Radio World, the Women’s Media Center recently urged President Barack Obama to appoint the first female chair of the FCC in the agency’s 80-year history. In a letter signed by founders Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem noting the paucity of top jobs in media currently held by women, they write: “Maybe there is no easy fix to getting women into the top jobs in the telecom and media industries, but the government watchdog can and should be headed by a woman.” They have an online petition here.

Now, more than three dozen Senate Democrats have endorsed FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, for the top post.

A commissioner since last May, the 41-year-old was previously an advisor to Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman West Virginia Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the commission.

In a letter signed by 37 Senate Democrats, they ask Obama to give “serious consideration” to nominating Rosenworcel for the top FCC post. “By choosing a sitting commissioner that has established bipartisan Senate support, you can quickly install a proven leader at this important agency. That fact is particularly critical with the FCC in the middle of several significant rulemakings and other initiatives,” they write.

Read More Here.

On July 13, 2012, Politico designated Rosenworcel as one of 50 politicos to watch, describing her "as whip-smart and intensely serious".

Report: Video Makes The Radio Star

A decade ago the record industry’s gears clicked along more or less as they always had: Labels signed up promising acts discovered by A&R scouts, paid those acts advances against future music sales, and hawked that music through a sprawling network of radio programmers and retailers.

Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes, with album sales continuing to plummet—in 2004, 666.7 million albums were sold; by 2012 that number was down more than 50 percent, to 316 million—labels and artists depend more than ever on touring and merchandise for revenue.

Songs are ads meant to help sell tickets and T-shirts, and YouTube is beginning to rival radio when it comes to breaking those tracks. Recognizing this, the trade magazine Billboard recently overhauled its formula for determining the most popular music in the country, giving YouTube plays more weight.

The following week, Harlem Shake topped the Hot 100 chart—the first instrumental track to do so since Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice theme in 1984. Five weeks later, it was still there.

Rush: Content Makes The Radio Star

In response to a caller’s comments Thursday about why technology hasn’t killed the radio star...
RUSH: I'm still trying to figure out what that guy's question was, and I've got people telling me what he really meant.  Somebody just said to me that what he was asking was, "With all of these other media options, why is this old-fashioned AM radio still even around?"  Is that what he was saying?  Well, again, it's the same answer:  Content.  'Cause there's something on it people want to listen to.  Pure and simple.  That's why it's relevant. 
AM radio has something there that people would want, so they'll go there to listen to it.  Content, content, content!  Content is king, jCyprus.  Content, content, content, content.  Marshall McLuhan.  Remember him?  He said, "The medium is the message."  The message is the message. In my world, the message is the message.  If it were simply about modernity, AM would not exist, 'cause it's not modern.  There's nothing hip about AM. 
In terms of audio quality, you can do much better. 
In terms of reception, you can do much better.

Boston Radio: The Amp 103.3 FM Is Fully Charged

Vanessa Hale
Top 40 WODS The Amp 103.3 FM has firmed-up is station line-up with the addition of Vanessa Hale for Mid-days.  Hale hails from KHTH Hot 101.7 in Santa Rosa, CA and starts Wednesday, April 3.  She previously has worked at KYSR 98.7 FM in LA.

She says she’s “excited to work with the talented and cutting-edge staff at 103.3 AMP Radio to make the station No. 1 for hit music in Boston.”

CBS Radio/Boston PD Dan Mason adds: "Vanessa is the final piece of the puzzle and we are excited to move forward with a full on-air staff."

The line-up at The Amp now includes: The TJ Show with TJ Taormina and Loren Raye in mornings (which debuts April Fool’s Day) , Joe Breezy in afternoons and Dustin "Slater" Carlson from 7-midnight.

Philly Radio: WRNB Promoting Big Announcement

Radio One’s Urban AC WRNB 1003.6 Philadelphia is teasing a “big announcement for Monday, April 1st April Fools Day.  Listeners are urged to tune-in at 5pm.

RadioInsight reports  Radio One has registered and  If WRNB flips to Urban Oldies “Old School”, the move would be Radio One’s fourth such station, following Charlotte, Dallas and St. Louis.

Sheryl Crow Sez Radio Needs to Pay

Singer Sheryl Crow has called for artists to be paid when their songs air on U.S. radio following news of Dionne Warwick’s bankruptcy, according to

The veteran R&B star has run up $10.7 million in debts, and bankruptcy papers filed in court in New Jersey last week suggest the “Walk On By” legend is so broke, she has just $10 in disposable cash once her monthly expenses are covered.

Most of Warwick’s debt is due to unpaid taxes, but Crow believes singers would be better off if they were paid royalties alongside songwriters when their hits are played on radio in America.

Reports: Barbara Walters To Retire Next Year

Barbara Walters
Longtime ABC News personality Barbara Walters will retire from broadcasting after half-century trailblazing career next year, according several media reports Thursday.

ABC, where Walters has worked as a news anchor and talk show host since 1976, answered with "no comment" when CNN called about the reports quoting unnamed network sources in the New York Times and on

Viewers see Walters, 83, mostly these days as co-host of ABC's daytime talker "The View," which she helped create in 1997.

The plan is for her retirement to be announced in May, giving a year for ABC to pay tribute to her before she stops working in May 2014, reported.

Walters went through a health scare in January when she suffered a cut on her forehead after falling on a stair while visiting the British ambassador's residence in Washington.

She underwent surgery to repair a heart valve three years ago.

Read More Now.

Charlie Daniels On the Mend After Surgery

Charlie Daniels
Grand Ole Opry star Charlie Daniels is recovering after having a pacemaker implanted yesterday at a Nashville area hospital. Charlie was at his doctor's office on Monday where he was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia and admitted to the hospital for a series of routine tests. The tests revealed that a pacemaker was needed to regulate his heart rate.

Doctors plan to release Charlie from the hospital today. He will spend the next two weeks recuperating at home.

Charlie's scheduled performance at MTSU's Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee as part of the World Outreach Church Easter service has been cancelled.

Two upcoming concert dates in Englewood, New Jersey (April 5), and Newark, Ohio (April 6) will be rescheduled.

Charlie is expected to resume his tour schedule with an appearance in Lynchburg, Virginia on April 11th.

NFL Browns Express Excitement Over New Radio Deal

Jim Donovan
Excitement reigned as the Cleveland Browns announced their new radio partnership with 92.3 The Fan, ESPN 850 WKNR and 98.5 WNCX at the Cleveland Browns’ Berea training facility on Thursday.

Beginning in the 2013 season, the Browns will have a “triplecast” of their games on three local radios through a partnership with 92.3 The Fan, WKNR and WNCX.

According to Matt Florjancic at,  the partnership will allow the Browns to have more than 1,000 hours of radio programming throughout the entire year, more than double what the team had during the 2012 season.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Jim Donovan, the radio voice of the Browns since 1999. “It’s a very unique deal, really, the first of its kind in the NFL to have three stations covering the Cleveland Browns. It’s really a testament to the appetite and how big it is for Browns fans to get coverage of their football team.

“It’s 24 hours a day, 12 months a year, seven days a week, so the more, the merrier. It carries on a tremendous tradition of the Browns and radio. It’s such a precious thing in the town, the coverage of the football team, that I’m excited for the stations. I hope they’re excited to be a part of the Browns’ family.”

The radio deal will kick off in time for the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday, April 25, and goes through Saturday, April 27.

Between the three stations, the Browns will have nine daily/weekly radio shows, as compared to one each for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA and Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball.

NJ101-5’s Jim Gearhart NJBA-HOF Bound

Jim Gearhart
Townsquare Media-NJ is congratulating  WKXW New Jersey 101-5 FM Personality Jim Gearhart on his nomination and confirmed inductee to the NJBA Hall Of Fame.

Gearhart has reigned as morning voice  for 23 years on New Jersey 101.5 and he’ll be inducted at the NJBA’s 66th Annual Conference this summer in Atlantic City.

According to a posting on the station website Gearhart will be acknowledged for providing quality content, news, public affairs and diverse entertainment to New Jersey

“Jim’s contributions to the longevity and success of our industry in New Jersey will be recognized.”

Raleigh Radio: What’s Up At CC’s ‘The River’?

Update 4/1 9:30AM: At 9am after stunting with a loop of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” 100.7 relaunched as “Classic Rock 100.7 WRDU”.    At the same time its recent call letters of WTKK have moved to 106.1 FM as “Rush Radio rebrands.

UPDATE Sunday 11:30AM: ‘The River’ is airing sweepers this weekend that state ‘The River has dried-up”. Listeners can expect more info Monday 4/1 at 9am.

Earlier posting....

Kitty Kinnin
Will The River run dry in Raleigh?  Word came Thursday via morning show host Kitty Kinnin’s Facebook page that she it out. (Although as of Friday morning, she was still listed on the station website).

She cites “different direction” at the station where she’s been morning show Host & Host/Producer of The Sunday Brunch on 100.7 The River in Raleigh, NC.

The Radio Discussions Board is humming about The River 100.7, which just this week has adopted new calls WTKK.  They were last used by Greater Media-Boston for its former talk station.

WTKK 60dBU Coverage Area
It should be noted that April 1st is Monday.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Atlanta: CCM+E Blows up ‘Wild’ for Alternative Rock

Clear Channel Atlanta has flipped WWVA-FM  from rhythmic top 40 station Wild 105.7/96.7 to an alternative rock station called Radio 105.7.

This is filling a large gap on the FM dial left by the departure last fall of adult rock 92.9/Dave FM and alternative station 99X, according to Rodney Ho at

Aly Young, last heard on another dead rock station Project 9-6-1, is the first DJ on the station, which changed over at noon today.

The station is also bringing back Jordin Silver, the former night jock on Project who will take over afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. Roche  (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Michael Jones (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.) will be voicetracking from Clear Channel's rock station DC101 in Washington.

LISTEN-LINE: Click Here.

Wild 105.7 was deemed superfluous the minute it flipped Project 9-6-1 to top 40 Power 96.1 last August yet kept Wild around for more than six months. 

According to Ho, Clear Channel is positioning the station and it includes a quote from Clear Channel Atlanta honcho Matt Scarano.


"Our goal is to offer Atlanta listeners a different genre of music while providing the best programming and listening experience available," said Matt Scarano, Market President, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Atlanta.  “The area is home to Talk, Hip Hop, Country, Top 40 and Classic Hits formats, but Radio 105.7 will bring fresh alternative music back to Atlanta – which is something our listeners are currently missing.”

NFL Cleveland Browns Ink New Radio Deal

The Cleveland Browns have brought the city's two all-sports talk radio stations together for a long-term partnership that is believed to be the first of its kind in the NFL.

According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, the team on Thursday morning made it official that its games will be featured on three radio stations this season — WKNR-AM, 850; WKRK-FM, 92.3; and WNCX-FM 98.5. The latter two are CBS Radio affiliates, and WKRK, known as “The Fan,” is the chief rival of WKNR, an all-sports talk station owned by Beaver Dam, Wisc.-based Good Karma Broadcasting.

The Browns had been radio partners with Clear Channel since returning to the NFL in 1999, but the contract recently expired. When the team sent out feelers for its radio rights deal last fall, it was approached with a unique idea by a pair of competitors.

WKNR will air an official four-hour Browns pregame show, and The Fan will take over for two hours following the game.

“Cleveland Browns Daily,” hosted by Browns senior editor Vic Carucci, will remain on WKNR, but will expand from one to two hours each weekday. In addition, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski will host a weekly coach's show that will air on both all-sports talk stations.  Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken will continue in their play-by-play and analyst roles.

Clear Channel, which has radio rights for the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers, eventually dropped out of the running.

“I'm really excited,” Good Karma Broadcasting president and CEO Craig Karmazin said in an interview with Crain's. “It's been a long time coming, so it's really exciting that it will be a reality.”

Mr. Karmazin and ESPN Cleveland general manager Keith Williams likened the new agreement to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, which has its games televised by CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV.

iHeartRadio Music Fest Returns September

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment today announced the return of its historic, two-day, star-studded music event – the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Back for its third consecutive year, the iHeartRadio Music Festival will return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on September 20 and 21, 2013.

Clear Channel also announced today its continued partnership with Macy's, the famed department store with over 800 locations nationwide, to bring back Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star, a campaign designed to spotlight America's emerging musicians and find one lucky artist or group to perform at the iconic iHeartRadio Music Festival.

The Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star campaign, back for its second year, will again conduct a nationwide search for new music. Clear Channel's industry experts and Macy's have selected 25 up-and-coming musicians to present to fans across America, who will then vote for an emerging artist who will be given a chance to perform alongside music's biggest stars at the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2013 and at Macy's Glamorama events this summer. Clear Channel listeners, iHeartRadio fans and Macy’s shoppers will select their favorite emerging talent and vote online at or at

The artist with the most votes will perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Voting begins April 1 and will run through May 12.

Radio Sees Online Growth Increasing at Faster Pace

Radio industry over-the-air revenues inched slightly upwards in 2012, increasing to $14.3 billion, a 1.5 percent change from the year before, according to the first edition of “Investing In Radio® Market Report,” a quarterly report published by BIA/Kelsey, adviser to companies in the local media industry.

That slight change is due in large part to the sluggish overall economy for 2012 and the increased competition radio faces in the local media market. The company also notes that station revenue mix will continue to shift somewhat and income from online advertising is expected to rise at a rate of about 10.8 percent annually over the next five years versus 2.5 percent from over-the-air.

For 2013, BIA/Kelsey forecasts over-the-air radio revenues should see 2.3 percent growth, or $14.7 billion, again due to the slightly stronger economy.

In 2012, online radio ad revenues reached $491 million, representing 3.3 percent for the industry. Markets such as Boston saw 14.2 percent in online radio revenue with overall numbers rising by 3.6 percent. BIA/Kelsey forecasts radio's online revenue growth will reach $818 million by 2017, while the industry's combined total revenue will reach $17 billion by 2017.

"As the digital marketplace continues to rise in all sectors of advertising, radio is improving its listener engagement online and benefitting from the value of its web and mobile assets," said Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey.

"Overall, the industry is still recognized as an important part of the media mix as it continues to meander around, rising slightly with the rate of inflation but not keeping up with the economy."

DC Radio: WTOP Again Tops Radio Billing Nationwide

Hubbard Radio's WTOP has once again taken in the most revenue among radio stations nationwide. The Washington area's top-rated all-news station collected $64.6 million in 2012, up from $64 million in 2011, according to a story at

Los Angeles station KIIS, home to Ryan Seacrest, ranked second again this year. The station, owned Clear Channel Communications Inc., recorded $56.8 million in 2012 revenue, down from $57 million in 2011. New York's WHTZ, also owned by Clear Channel, was third with $48.2 million, up from $48.1 million.

Eight of the top 10 billing radio stations are in Los Angeles or New York. Besides WTOP, the only other top 10 biller outside of the nation's two biggest markets is WBBM in Chicago, an all-news station owned by CBS Radio Inc. It had $45.7 million in 2012 revenue, ranking sixth.

WTOP is the only top 10 biller not owned by CBS or Clear Channel, reports Jeff Claybaugh at the Washington Business Journal.

Chantilly-based media consulting company BIA/Kelsey Advisory Services said overall radio industry over-the-air revenues rose 1.5 percent last year to $14.3 billion. It forecasts a 2.3 percent increase in on-air revenue this year to $14.7 billion.

Top 10 billing radio stations in 2012, according to BIA/Kelsey:

  • $64.6 million, WTOP, D.C.
  • $56.8 million, KIIS, Los Angeles.
  • $48.2 million, WHTZ, New York.
  • $47.2 million, WCBS, New York.
  • $46.0 million, KFI, Los Angeles.
  • $45.7 million, WBBM, Chicago.
  • $43.0 million, WLTW, New York.
  • $41.5 million, WINS, New York.
  • $41.0 million, WFAN, New York.
  • $39.3 million, KROQ, Los Angeles.

MLB Broadcaster Tim McCarver Announces Retirement

Tim McCarver HOF Broadcaster
The upcoming season will be the last for baseball analyst Tim McCarver, who announced on Wednesday he will step away from the FOX broadcasting booth following this season.

According to, McCarver, 71, said on a conference call Wednesday that he does not plan to negotiate a new contract with the network when his current one expires at the end of this summer. The two-time All-Star catcher has provided commentary on national television for a record 23 World Series and has covered 28 consecutive Major League Baseball postseasons.

"Although I am neither tired of broadcasting baseball nor have I in any way lost my interest in baseball, with which I have been associated as a player and broadcaster for 55 years, it's time to cut back," McCarver said.

"Tim McCarver has chronicled the national pastime on our biggest stages, including a record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games, for a generation of baseball fans," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "As an analyst, he has always thought like a manager in the dugout, and in the process he helped redefine what sports fans expected from the broadcast booth.

McCarver hit .271 with 97 homers and 645 RBIs while winning two World Series titles in a 21-year Major League career with the Cardinals, Phillies, Expos and Red Sox from 1959-80.

NBC Denies Plans To Replace Matt Lauer

Matt Lauer
While rumors have spread like wild fire that Anderson Cooper is being eyed to replace Matt Lauer on "Today", a top NBC executive claims there's no plan for a shift on the morning program. reports news executive Alex Wallace said on Wednesday, March 27, "Matt Lauer is the best in the business. We want him in the 'Today' show anchor chair for many years to come."

Wallace's denial came after Deadline reported that NBC's execs had reached out CNN news anchor Cooper about replacing Mauer as the "Today" host before the end of the year.

St. Louis Radio: Miklasz Leaving WXOS

Bernie Miklasz
The major upheaval in St. Louis sports-talk radio now is shifting to hit the market leader in the format.

Bernie Miklasz is set to leave WXOS 101.1 FM to expand his duties at his primary employer, the Post-Dispatch and its website.

According to Dan Caesar at, the move, announced Wednesday, is to take effect after Miklasz’s radio contract expires at the end of April.

Miklasz has been a Post-Dispatch sports columnist since 1989 and said a long thought process led to his decision to stop hosting a sports radio show — something he has been doing in St. Louis since he returned to the Post-Dispatch and succeeded Kevin Horrigan in giving his opinions on sports. Miklasz has mixed his writing work with stints at KMOX 1120 AM, KFNS 590 AM, what currently is KXFN 1380 AM.

His impending departure from hosting a midday sports-talk show comes at a time of unprecedented turmoil locally in the format. It recently was announced that KFNS, the longest-standing station in jock-jabber, will switch to ‘’guy-talk’’ this spring and its sister outlet, KXFN, will drop sports for programming that targets women.

What Drives Political Partisanship?

Was it actually the rise of cable entertainment, not partisan news channel like Fox News and MSNBC, that really drove the nation's increase in political partisanship?

Politico reports that's the argument made by Princeton professor Markus Prior, who argues in a new academic paper,

"The culprit turns out to be not Fox News, but ESPN, HBO, and other early cable channels that lured moderates away from the news and away from the polls."

Prior says that while cable news channels may be partisan, very few people actually watch them, no more than about 10 to 15 percent of the voting age population. By contrast, he says that in the 1960s and '70s, quote, "even people with little interest in news and politics watched network newscasts because they were glued to the set and there were no real alternatives to news in many markets during the dinner hour."

The cable news channels needed a way to draw viewers from the growing entertainment options, and therefore made news itself more "entertaining" with partisanship and bombast.

Politico writes, "Talk to cable news hosts now and many of them will tell you that they don't view other cable news hosts as the competition. Their competition is CSI or Dancing With the Stars.

Report: Why CBS Is Buying Half of TV Guide Network

CBS executives announced on Tuesday that the network is buying half of TV Guide Network (and the website, which CBS will eventually re-brand and operate with co-owner Lionsgate.

The price of the sale, according to Bloomberg News, is more than $100 million.

TV Guide Network, the one-time listings channel, has staggered through the basic cable hinterlands in a state of existential confusion since the advent of one-click cable menus. Why would CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves want it?

The chief appeal to CBS is that TV Guide Network is currently available in more than 80 million homes. That’s a lot of channel surfers, in other words, that Moonves can potentially woo with re-purposed CBS programming.

And at a time when cable distributors are wary of annoying customers by adding channels to their already hefty bundled-subscription packages, media companies hoping to create a basic cable channel can find it easier to buy and re-brand an existing network (as Al Jazeera did recently, in buying Current TV) than to build one from scratch.

Richmond Radio: Radio Legends Document Music History

Mitch Malone
For Mitch Malone, a host with Urban Contemporary WKJZ 99.3/105.7 KISS FM, getting into the radio business in Richmond, VA was mostly luck. Brad Johnston had it in his blood with a brother in the business.

But, according writer F.M. Wiggins at,  both men made an impact on radio and Johnston last year completed a documentary on R&B radio in central Virginia.

"He was one of the guys I followed growing up," Johnston said of Malone. Johnston goes by the name 'Elbravador' on the radio and for his filming projects.

Johnston began his documentary, "The Soul: R&B Radio Legends of Central Virginia," more than four years ago.

"I'm one of those individuals who is so lucky, I don't even know how to describe it," Malone told Wiggins. "I was thrown into a situation where I was basically manning a radio station that served the Richmond-Petersburg area by myself. I had nobody else on the air but me. That was WPLZ."

He said that the station he first applied to, WSSV, played mostly music from bands including The Beatles and Herman's Hermits.

"I put in an application there just for the fun of it, I didn't think they would hire me," he said. "The first couple of nights I played rock and roll, but then my ears, I just couldn't stand it, so I started slipping in a few R&B songs here and there, and quickly realized that once the staff went home they didn't listen to the radio."

"The boss caught on three or four months later," Malone said. "He asked me, 'Mitch, what do you think about a black FM station in this market?' "

Malone says that was how Magic 99 was formed; it was later simulcast on WPLZ.

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Report: R.I. Radio Hall of Fame To Induct Six

The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that six radio personalities will be inducted in a ceremony in May that will also be a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.

According to Thomas Morgan at The Providence Journal, they are:
  • Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., former mayor of providence, whose radio career began during his first term in the 1970s.
  • John "Coach" Colletto, who began his radio career as a disk jockey and newscaster at WARA-AM, Attleboro.
  • Bill Corsair. A Rhode Island native, he has multiple Rhode Island radio credits in the '60s and early '70's. He was the original voice of Hasbro's G.I. Joe.
  • Mike Gonsalves - Known as "Doctor Metal," Gonsalves was a staff DJ on WHJY-FM for 17 years. He died the West Warwick Station nightclub fire of 2003.
  • Fred Grady. Grady began his career in the 1950's on WPAW. He became a fixture as an announcer for the Newport Jazz Festival. He died in 1987.
  • Bob Sullivan, news director of WADK and for more than 30 years was the host of "The Open Forum." He died in 2007.

 Tickets and further information may be found at (401) 258-7423.

Book On Radio's "Luther" Celebrates 72-Year Career | Chattanooga News, Weather 

The longest running broadcaster in the history of the world is celebrated in a new book: "My Life With Luther" by James Howard.

Howard, part of the WDEF Sunny 92.3 FM radio morning show for the past twenty years, wrote the book to honor Luther Masingill, his co-worker and a recent inductee into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  "Luther has been such an inspiration to all of us in the radio business," Howard said. "But even more importantly, he's a hero to thousands of people who have started their day with him since 1940."

Appearing on WRCB-TV's "3 Plus You" program Wednesday, the man known to his fans as "Luther" said, "I still look forward to going to work each morning. People ask me if I have any plans to slow down, but I don't know what that means."

R.I.P.: Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires Was 88

Gordon Stoker, the tenor and manager of Elvis Presley's early vocal backing group, the Jordanaires died on March 27th after a long illness at the age of 88.

Stoker and the group were featured on such hits as "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Don't," "All Shook Up," "Love Me," "I Beg Of You," "Hard Headed Woman," "Jailhouse Rock," "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," and many more.

Stoker and the other Jordanaires accompanied Elvis on his 1950's live appearances, including such high profile TV spots as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Steve Allen Show, as well as appearing in his early films Loving You and King Creole.

In addition to their work backing "The King," the Jordanaires were featured on numerous hits by Ricky Nelson, Ferlin Husky, Conway Twitty, Jimmy Dean, Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and Ringo Starr, among others.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Documentary Planned On SiriusXM's Dino Costa

Dino Costa
Chesapeake Films announces that it has started pre-production for a documentary to be completed in 2013 about the life of controversial SiriusXM Radio personality Dino Costa.

Filming will begin in Cheyenne, Wyoming on April 18, 2013. The film will begin shooting in Wyoming, where Dino Costa resides and produces his daily radio sports talk show, The Dino Costa Show.

The crew will then follow Costa to New York, NY, to continue filming Costa's hometown, friends, fans, and family.

Franco wanted to do the film because, "Dino is a breath of fresh air in the world of cookie-cutter sports talk radio. He is fiercely independent, and connects with his audience like few can. I just knew that under that big personality was a story waiting to be told. I am so excited to begin."

When asked about the film, Dino Costa said, "When I embarked on my career as a talk show host, I wanted to achieve many objectives; I never thought about the possibility of someone wanting to do a film about my career and my life. In speaking with Joel about his vision for this film, I'm confident that collaborating with the crew at Chesapeake Films will culminate in a documentary about my life that people will find interesting and compelling."

CC Holdings Bob Pittman To Become ‘Board Chairman’

Bob Pittman
According to the company’s latest Schedule 14A SEC filing, Bob Pittman will become Board Chairman on May as Mark Mays completes his turnover of executive titles.

Mays has been Chairman of the Board since March 31, 2011 when he relinquished titles of President and CEO.  Mark Mays will continue on the board – but his brother Randall is leaving. According to the filing, Randall “is not standing for re-election,” and he won’t be replaced.

That shrinks the size of the board from 13 members to 12, following the upcoming annual meeting.

The filing stated having Pittman as CEO and Board Chairman will “help facilitate the flow of information between management and the board.” The company also states it believes Pittman provides us with a clear leadership structure.

Bob Pittman made $3,645,145 last year from Clear Channel. The board added a discretionary bonus of $597,000 follwing what it termed  “subjective review” of his performance.

As for John Hogan, he made about $300,000 less than Pittman.  His total 2012 compensation was $3,335,324 – up substantially from $2,477,307 in 2011, thanks to stock awards.

EVP/CFO Tom Casey took home even more than Hogan or Pittman – a total of $4,265,256.

CC Outdoor Faces Digital Dilemma

The Los Angeles City Attorney last Thursday asked Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor to comply with a court order and turn off more than 100 digital billboards the two had erected throughout the city.

According to Miriam Gottfried at, that followed an order from a three-judge panel in December to remove the billboards, capping a years-long legal saga. In 2008, competitor Summit Media challenged a 2006 city council decision to give permits for digital billboards to the two companies, skirting existing law.

Clear Channel petitioned the California Supreme Court to review the case. But its request was denied on Feb. 27.

Clear Channel, which is 90% owned by radio operator Clear Channel Communications, gets about 45% of U.S. revenue, which itself is slightly less than half of total revenue, from the top 10 markets and L.A. is the largest market for outdoor advertising in the U.S.

Clear Channel in its most recent financial filing says that if forced to remove or modify the displays, "our operating results could suffer."

Websites' Performance Varies Across Devices, Metrics

When it comes to website performance, a number of factors need to be considered: How sticky is the content? Are users encouraged to drill deeper into web pages? How much time are they spending per visit? And increasingly important, how well are websites optimized for tablets and smartphones? reports a January 2013 study by Adobe examined how various industries’ US websites stacked up in terms of site performance and pinpointed those industries that stood out in certain categories.

When it comes to how long consumers spend on websites, for instance, Adobe found that the top-performing media and entertainment site kept users on the site for about 12 minutes per visit. Although it might not be that surprising that an entertainment site would capture the most user time, it’s interesting to look at the gap between the top-performing media and entertainment site and average site performance, which clocked 8.88 minutes per visit. Adobe noted that adding video and rich media to websites helped boost minutes per visit.

Cleveland Radio: NFL Browns To Get New Home(s)

The Browns are changing radio homes in Cleveland and it will include unprecedented triple coverage on game days.

Multiple sources have told Tom Reed at The Plain Dealer the Browns are entering into a long-term deal to have their games broadcast on WKNR 850/AM, WKRK 92.3/FM and WNCX 98.5/FM. The franchise’s games had been aired on Clear Channel Communication stations since they returned in 1999.

The Browns, who declined comment, are expected to make an announcement on Thursday, a source said.

Browns play-by-play voice Jim Donovan, along with analyst Doug Dieken, will continue in their roles on the team's new radio homes WKNR, WKRK and WNCX.

The most unusual aspect of the agreement is that WKNR (ESPN) and WKRK (CBS) are rival sports talk stations. They entered into negotiations with the Browns bidding against each other, a source said, but at some point decided to join forces against Clear Channel, which had broadcast Browns games on flagship WMMS 100.7/FM and simulcast on WTAM 1100/AM.

The agreement allows the Browns to be aired on AM and FM stations without worries of a conflict with Indians games. That occasionally was a problem on WTAM.