Friday, April 12, 2013

R.I.P.: Funny Man Jonathan Winters Had Radio Background

Jonathan Winters, the rubber-faced comedian whose unscripted flights of fancy inspired a generation of improvisational comics, and who kept television audiences in stitches with Main Street characters like Maude Frickert, a sweet-seeming grandmother with a barbed tongue and a roving eye, died on Thursday at his home in Montecito, Calif.

He was 87.

According to an obit at, Winters enlisted in the Marines before finishing high school and during World War II served as a gunner on the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard in the Pacific.

After the war he completed high school and, hoping to become a political cartoonist, studied art at Kenyon College and the Dayton Art Institute. In 1948 he married Eileen Schauder, a Dayton native who was studying art at Ohio State. She died in 2009.

At the urging of his wife, Mr. Winters, whose art career seemed to be going nowhere, entered a talent contest in Dayton with his eye on the grand prize, a wristwatch, which he needed. He won, and he was hired as a morning disc jockey at WING 1410 AM (now ESPN Sports), where he made up for his inability to attract guests by inventing them. “I’d make up people like Dr. Hardbody of the Atomic Energy Commission, or an Englishman whose blimp had crash-landed in Dayton,” he told U.S. News and World Report in 1988.

After two years at a Columbus television station, he left for New York in 1953 to break into network radio. Instead he landed bit parts on television and, with surprising ease, found work as a nightclub comic.

A guest spot on Arthur Godfrey’s “Talent Scouts” led to frequent appearances with Jack Paar and Steve Allen, both of them staunch supporters willing to give Mr. Winters free rein.

Read More Now.

Here's a routine featuring Winters and the late actor Bob Crane.  Crane was a radio personality on KNX, LA at the time.

Report: Apple iNet Radio ThisClose To Licensing Deal

Apple is expected to sign its first internet radio licensing agreement with a major record label perhaps as soon as next week, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks have told The Verge.

Universal Music Group, the largest of the major record companies, has reached the final stages of the negotiations and Warner Music is close behind, the sources said.

Apple is expected to launch a web radio service similar to Pandora's later this year, provided that executives there can strike an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment as well as music publishers.

Talks with Sony, which operates the third label, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony / ATV, the music publishing company jointly run with the estate of the late singer Michael Jackson, are said to not be as far along towards reaching a deal. Last week, The Verge broke the news that Apple had made made substantial progress in the talks with Universal and Warner.

Spokespeople for all three music labels declined to comment. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr, said the company's policy is not to comment on rumor and speculation.

Possible Anthony Weiner Candidacy Ripe For The Media

The likes of Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno took to Twitter yesterday to grill the shamed ex-congressman on his NYC mayoral run.
NY Post Composite
And we'll add one of our own:  Click photo to enlarge!

Sinclair: We’re Keeping Fisher Radio Stations

When KOMO-TV owner Fisher Communications becomes part of the much larger Sinclair Broadcast Group of Baltimore this fall, Seattle will lose its last locally owned network television station.

The Seattle Times reports the city also will lose a corporate name that played a prominent part in the region’s economy for just over a century.

Sinclair, the country’s largest Fox affiliate, has agreed to pay $373 million for KOMO and Fisher’s 19 other West Coast TV stations, plus three Seattle radio stations.

The industry is consolidating in the face of competition from cable television and streaming online videos, as well as media giants such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Comcast’s NBC Universal business.

After this deal and two other pending acquisitions close, Sinclair will own or provide services to 134 television stations in 69 markets.

Sinclair said it plans to keep Fisher’s three Seattle radio stations — KOMO Newsradio, KPLZ STAR 101.5 FM and KVI 570 — even though its focus is TV.  But Sinclair CFO David Amy seemed to be hedging on that, telling Wall Street analysts during a conference call Thursday, “Our understanding is the radio stations are complementary ... It will take time to verify.”

The company does not anticipate having to divest any TV stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission limits on radio and TV station ownership.

It is selling some stations to complete the $370 million acquisition of Barrington Broadcasting, which owns or manages 24 TV stations from Syracuse, N.Y., to Amarillo, Texas. That deal was announced in February, as was Sinclair’s agreement to pay $95 million for four TV stations owned by COX Media Group.

MN Ice Storm Silences Four Radio Stations

A couple of radio stations are off the air in Worthington, MN after an ice storm toppled part of a radio tower.

The Radio Works group lost one of its three towers due to the storm. General manager Chad Cummings tells the Associated Press the top three-fourths of the tower fell to the ground Wednesday morning but there were no injuries and no damage to buildings.

Cummings says the group was able to get KWOA-AM and KITN-FM Rock It 93.5 back on the air, but it might take another day or two for KUSQ-FM and KZTP-FM Party 104.1 FM.

He says getting power to the remaining transmitters has been the main challenge.

Memphis Radio: The Return of 96X

The radio station that brought 1990s alternative rock and grunge to Memphis is back.

Flinn Broadcasting announced Thursday, April 11, that 96X has returned at WIVG 96.1-FM.

According to Bill Dries at, before the format switch Thursday afternoon, just in time for afternoon drive time, the station had been playing “Blister” by Violent Femmes continuously.

In its previous incarnation, 96X was at 95.7 and was owned by the Clear Channel broadcasting group that also included Rock 103 and WREC-AM.

The new radio station’s Facebook page includes the old 96X logo complete with the lizard and the station’s slogan of “Never Blend In.”

When the radio station debuted in 1994, its playlist included such new bands as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soul Asylum, Soundgarden, Cracker and Green Day. All were bands that weren’t getting airplay in other commercial radio formats in the Memphis market. They represented a different sound and a different audience than the long established artists being featured on album rock, classic rock and album oriented rock radio stations at the time.

Reports: Twitter to Launch Music Service

The microblogging service plans to launch its new, standalone music application on Friday, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The app suggests artists and tracks to users based on a number of personalized signals, including the Twitter accounts a user follows on the microblogging service. According to All Things Digital, users will be able to listen to clips of music from inside the app, using third-party services like iTunes, Soundcloud; they will also be able to watch music videos provided by Vevo, the music video service owned by Universal Music and Sony.

Click Here for #music

Earlier today Twitter acknowledged that it had acquired We Are Hunted; last year Twitter bought the music recommendation service and put its staff to work building the new app.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest confirmed the app's existence in a series of tweets yesterday that indicated he was "lovin" using it.

Read More Now

Lesson In Using Twitter For Show Prep

Author and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead told MSNBC's Alex Witt recently how she uses Tweets to improve and write her show.

Howard Stern Loses Sirius Pay Suit Appeal

Howard Stern
Howard Stern lost a bid to revive his pay lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio Inc. after a New York state appeals court found the talk-show host wasn’t entitled to additional compensation.

According to Bloomberg, Stern’s production company, One Twelve Inc., and his agent, Don Buchwald, sued Sirius XM Radio in 2011, claiming the company refused to pay $300 million in stock awards owed under an agreement that brought the radio personality to the company.

Justice Barbara Kapnick of state Supreme Court dismissed the suit last April, rejecting arguments that subscribers to XM Satellite Radio, which merged with Sirius in 2008, should be counted when calculating the compensation.

An appeals court in Manhattan today agreed with Kapnick, saying the plaintiffs aren’t entitled to additional performance- based compensation under the agreement with the company’s predecessor, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.

Read More Now

Report: NBC’s David Gregory Has A Hissy Fit

David Gregory
NBC’s “Meet the Press” host David Gregory made a scene Tuesday when he lit into organizers of the D.C. Design House. The broadcaster was distressed that visitors to the show house had parked on a nearby street, some directly in front of his home, preventing easy access by his crew.

“There are a lot of people clogging up our streets,” Gregory told The Washington Post.

It’s hard to miss the 6-foot-5 journalist under ordinary circumstances — harder yet when he’s waving his arms and complaining loud enough for everyone nearby to hear.

This all went down on the front lawn of the show house, witnessed by several designers and guests at a media preview.

“You could hear all this with the doors closed,” said designer David Mitchell. “This was a very public and immature display. It’s a public street. You don’t get to live in a neighborhood and say who gets to park.”

Gregory said he wouldn’t describe the confrontation as “blowing up.” But, he acknowledged, “I did go over there to complain.”

Mike Gallagher: Talk Radio’s ‘Happy Conservative Warrior’

Mike Gallagher
“I think you can be conservative and fight for what you believe in without being mean-spirited or bash people or be ugly about it,” the popular conservative radio host told POLITICO’s MacKenzie Weinger during a recent interview in his New York City office. “I’m a genuinely happy guy.”

“Believe me, I bash liberals for being mean-spirited and angry, but there are plenty on my side who are the same way,” Gallagher added. “That just doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to go home at the end of the day just spent and exhausted that I’ve been screamed at or I’ve screamed at someone for three hours. It just doesn’t work for me. Life’s too short.”

It’s a talk show philosophy that isn’t often found in a hyper-partisan media world dominated by epic shouting matches. But for Gallagher — who’s been in the radio business for 35 years and nationally-syndicated with Salem Radio Networks, which dubbed him the “happy conservative warrior,” for over a decade — it’s a style that works. And each week, about 3.5 million people tune into Gallagher, according to Talkers magazine, which ranks him as having the fifth biggest talk radio audience in the country.

Gallagher, who is a Fox News contributor in addition to hosting “The Mike Gallagher Show” every day for three hours, says he’s happy he’s been able to carve out a spot in the world of conservative talkers that not only fits his easygoing personality, but saves his voice.

Gallagher talks about everything from his personal life to his political views — he’s pro-business and focused on the country’s economic problems, but also thinks the Republican Party needs to have some big discussions about hot-button social issues rather than simply skip over them — with his listeners.

The radio host has long been known for his cheerful persona, but he also credits his wife Denise, who died in 2008 from endometrial cancer, for pushing him to adopt an even more good-natured style both on-air and off.

Verizon CEO: 50% Of Our Wireless Traffic Is Video

Lowell McAdam
Video accounts for 50 percent of Verizon Wireless' network traffic today and by 2017 the carrier estimates video will make up two-thirds of all traffic over the network. Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters conference Tuesday, Verizon

According To Sue Marik at, Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company's investment in its LTE network is what is making the delivery of that video possible. "With 3G you have video clips but there is buffering. With 4G you can stream video," he said.

McAdam's appearance at the NAB show was interesting considering that broadcasters have always had a fairly contentious relationship with wireless operators over spectrum. Perhaps that was why there were so many empty seats at McAdam's one-on-one discussion with NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. 

McAdam used the NAB show to attempt to sooth concerns that some broadcasters may have about Verizon's plans for LTE Broadcast technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, McAdam publicly discussed his desire to use LTE Broadcast technology to broadcast live events like the 2014 Super Bowl to Verizon's customers.

Men and Women Argue In Different Ways

From Michelle Willens, The Atlantic:
"Everyone is trying to matter above the chatter. Talk shows have become shout fests, online venting grows increasingly opinionated, and our chosen paths seem to be judged at every turn. 
Our fuses may be shorter, and what sets them off ever-changing. But how men and women respond—and what they expect—goes back a long way. "Men have grown up in a world in which a conversation is often a contest," says Georgetown linguistics professor Deborah Tannen. "For women, even a healthy debate—if there is such a thing—is about exchanging information and support." This piece is not, let me say up front, an argument for one sex doing it better than the other. 
Obviously, it's hard to find statistics on how many times a day people disagree, or whether we do it more with our own, or the opposite, gender. We do know that in a survey for a Baltimore radio station that asked men and women, "What can't you stand about each other?" the number-one reply from males was "argument techniques." (Women didn't like men's lack of cleanliness.) Specifically, they claimed that women say, "I'm fine" when they are not, and "win fights by crying." 
Well, maybe they cry more in Baltimore, (probably because they took The Wire off the air) but I am not seeing a lot of female tears. What I am seeing is a just-under-the-surface, self-critical anxiety that is easily triggered."

Must C: Basebrawl

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke hits San Diego Padres' Carlos Quentin with a pitch in the sixth inning that leads to several player ejections, including Matt Kemp. Greinkee broke his collarbone during the scuffle. Dodgers’ announced Vin Scully comments.

Read More Now.

Study: Teens Abandoning Social Networks

BuzzFeed calls it a dramatic generational shift.

Facebook is the "most important" social media site for about 10% fewer teenagers than it was a year ago, according to a new PiperJaffray survey of over 5,000 teenagers. The teens surveyed are less interested in Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, and Tumblr too. Of the major sites included in the survey, only Pinterest has grown. (Instagram was not included in the survey in spring 2012).

This suggests something bigger than a shift away from Facebook; it hints at what could be the beginning of an across-the-board teen rejection of traditional social networking as a whole. But where are young people going? The survey includes some notable write-ins, which are presented almost as a footnote. But they might explain what's going on:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sinclair To Acquire All Fisher Stations

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.and Fisher Communications, Inc. announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Sinclair will acquire Fisher in a merger transaction valued at approximately $373.3 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Fisher shareholders will receive $41.00 in cash for each share of Fisher common stock they own. The transaction represents a 44% premium to the closing price of Fisher common stock on January 9, 2013, the final trading day prior to Fisher announcing a review of strategic alternatives.

Fisher owns 20 television stations1 in eight markets, reaching 3.9% of U.S. TV households, and three radio stations in the Seattle market. Additionally, Fisher previously entered into an agreement to provide certain operating services for three TV stations, including two simulcasts, pending regulatory approval.

"We are excited to acquire Fisher and expand our coverage westward, especially in the two key markets of Seattle (DMA 12) and Portland (DMA 22)," commented David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair. "Started in 1910, Fisher's history of operating television and radio stations in the northwest corner of the U.S. has played an important role in its communities and in producing high-quality local news. We look forward to expanding upon those traditions and improving the cash flow of the stations through the benefits that come with our scale."

"After conducting our review of potential strategic alternatives, the Board concluded this all-cash transaction was the best path to maximizing value for shareholders," said Paul A. Bible, Chairman of Fisher's Board of Directors.

This transaction is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, antitrust clearance, the affirmative vote of two-thirds of Fisher's outstanding shares and other customary conditions. The transaction is not conditioned on Sinclair obtaining financing or Fisher achieving or maintaining any financial or operational thresholds or metrics. The transaction is expected to close and fund during the third quarter of 2013, subject to closing conditions.

The Fisher radio stations in Seattle-Tacoma are: News KOMO 1000 AM/97.7 FM, Top 40 KPLZ 101.5 FM and Talk KVI 570 AM.

Tom's Take: Sinclair is a TV operator, so who's gonna buy the radio stations?

NAB 2013: FCC Chair Urges New Methods of Content Delivery

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Paul Karpowicz, President of Meredith Broadcasting

NAB Show, the world’s largest annual conference and expo for professionals who create, manage, and distribute entertainment across all platforms, today featured sessions with Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); Paul Feig, director of “The Heat,” “Bridesmaids;” and Braxton Pope, producer of “The Canyons.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski participated in a question-and-answer session with NAB Joint Board Chair Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Corporation - Local Media Group. In their discussion, Genachowski encouraged broadcasters to work side-by-side with wireless operators to find new methods of content delivery.

According to, Genachowski repeatedly told those attending his presentations at NAB during his chairmanship that he has a broadcast background.  Wednesday he revealed that he started in radio in his youth as a DJ with the on-air handle of “Midnight Rambler.”

Genachowski also said he believes a low-power FM window will open this year, noting that "this is something the Congress has an interest in.

During Genachowski's almost four years in charge of the agency, the FCC has repeatedly been at odds with broadcasters, according to Reuters.  It has started to focus on expanding Internet access across the country and launched a so-called "incentive auction" of spectrum that has pitted broadcasters against the wireless industry.

In the auction, television stations would voluntarily give up airwaves, either going off the air or sharing channels, in return for some of the proceeds from selling that spectrum to wireless companies.

NAB Live Streaming Now

As part of the day’s Creative Master Series Conference, Paul Feig spoke to attendees during his session, titled "Entertaining by All Means Necessary." Feig discussed what audiences really want in their comedy films and programming, how to write scripts that will offer direction without compromising improvisation, and his love of shooting in film versus digital. He also previewed an exclusive clip from his upcoming film “The Heat,” starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, which hits theaters June 28.

Braxton Pope, producer of “The Canyons,” spoke to moderator Lucas Shaw of about the unique journey the project underwent from inception to fruition. Opening in July 2013, the film, recently acquired by IFC, is the first of its kind in movie making: crowdfunded via Kickstarter and cast online via website Letitcast and other online sources. Directed by Paul Schrader (writer, "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull;” director, “American Gigolo" and "Affliction") – the film launches a fresh discussion around this new wave of filmmaking, described by Schrader as "cinema for the post-theatrical era.”

Analysts ‘Reserved’ About Radio

Marci Ryvicker
Wells Fargo analysts Marci Ryvicker, Stephan Bisson and Eric Katz spent "several days" in Las Vegas with senior broadcast executives to get a feel for the state of the radio and TV industries, according to a story at

“While the tone of business on the television side remains stronger than what we heard from radio, the one common element we felt was a significant sense of collaboration among the respective industries,” the team said. The bottom line, they said: “We see several near term positive catalysts ahead for television, but remain on the sidelines for radio-until some of this industry’s hoped-for initiatives start bearing some fruit, i.e. by way of revenue growth.

“Television core advertising is trending better than radio. While pacing data was not the focus of our meetings, our sense is that television core advertising ended up low single digits in Q1, while radio was down. When it came to Q2, April sounds better than March virtually across the board.

“Other highlights: 1) There is a lot more interest in Spanish-language television formats. 2) The radio industry is collaborating around digital streaming, the FM chip in smartphones, sports, and record labels. 3) There seems to be a pretty significant culture change when it comes to local news. 4) A potential source of upside could be zone selling/addressable advertising. And 5) There seems to be some desire for certain groups to participate in the spectrum incentive auction.”

Internet Radio and Cars: The Future is Now

From Mike Stern,
Valerie Shuman
According to Valerie Shuman, Vice President of Industry Programs for the Connected Vehicle Trade Association, the connected car is not a thing of the future. It’s here today. 
Speaking as part of “The Digital Dash,” panel at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, Shuman says connectivity is here now thanks to the number of cars with AUX jacks that allow consumers to connect smartphones to their vehicle’s entertainment system, “that’s when you can start to bring in lots of content that competes with radio and people are doing just that.” 
For broadcasters, she says that means starting to think of radio in the car as being part of an “in vehicle computing platform,” not as the dominant feature on car dashboards, “think of it as being on a laptop or smartphone. The old two knobs and dial set up is pretty much gone.” 
Both NAB Director of Digital Strategies Skip Pizzi and Senior Director of Technology and Standards for the Consumer Electronics Association Mike Bergman echoed Shuman’s thoughts. Pizzi showed pictures of the presets in connected cars where online and satellite channels were on virtual buttons right next to AM and FM outlets.

Tampa Radio: Bubba’s Producer Departs Show

Brent Hatley
Brent Hatley, the producer who has served as right hand to Tampa radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem for 13 years, has resigned from the show, citing a desire to move on to greater challenges.

According to Eric Deggans at, the 41-year-old Hatley stressed that his departure wasn't the result of acrimony between he and Clem, who has a reputation as a difficult boss. Instead, the longtime producer said he wanted to try for a few higher-profile jobs, which he couldn't negotiate while still working for Clem.

Clem told listeners of the decision on Wednesday morning, saying he was surprised when Hatley told him Monday about his plans. He asked his longtime producer to think about his decision for a day, and said Hatley sent an email Tuesday confirming the resignation.

Shannon Burke
Shannon Burke, a host on Clem's online radio service Radio IO, was announced as Hatley's on-air replacement, starting Monday.

Burke, who developed an image as a tough-talking, motorcycle riding host at WTKS Real Radio 104.1 FM in Orlando, was arrested there in 2009 for an incident in which he shot his wife's dog and the bullet grazed his wife's head. He served more than six months in jail and was fired by Clear Channel Radio, working at a few AM stations in Orlando before joining Clem's Radio IO.  Burke will continue to host his own afternoon show on Radio IO.

"(Hatley) feels he needs to branch out ... I kinda got (blindsided) by it," Clem said on air Wednesday. "But he's got an open door to always come back. There's not a low road to be taken here." Clem's show is produced independently for broadcast on Cox Radio-owned WHPT-FM (The Bone 102.5) and syndication.

Report: Ryan Seacrast Home ‘Swatted’

Ryan Seacrest became the latest celebrity targeted by a "swatter" when a hoax 911 call reported armed men were shooting their way into the "American Idol" host's home Wednesday.

When police arrived at Seacrest's Beverly Hills home at about 2:40 p.m., they found Seacrest there, but no group of armed men, a Beverly Hills police spokesman said.

According to CNN, after speaking with Seacrest and his security team, the officers left.

Seacrest joins a growing list of celebs "swatted" in recent months, including Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, the Kardashians, Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber.

These prank calls earned the nickname "swatting" because law enforcement agencies sometimes would send SWAT teams to respond to the false emergencies. In most cases, though, SWAT units are not involved. Still, officers rush to the scene with guns drawn.

Read More Now

Ironically, earlier on the same day Russell Brand phoned in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” on KIIS 102-7 FM to talk the second season of his talk show Brand X as well as his recent swatting incident.

After being the latest victim of a swatting prank, Russell joked: “If all swatting attacks are this unnoticeable I’m ready for war because I didn’t even know it had happened, I still don’t know what a swatting attack is!”
The funnyman continued “I wasn’t [there] I was out,” adding, “there’s always some helicopters and police at my house anyway because of my involvement in other activites so I didn’t notice any additional ones.”

Brand continued to joke: “Swatting, I don’t like the word very much. Swatting, obviously what you do to insects or a passing bottom.”

So was Brand upset about the prank?

Nope! In fact, the comedian admitted: “I think if I I were a teenager I’d definitely do it.”

‘American Idol’: Finalists Compete

Ryan Seacrest
Last night (April 10th) on American Idol, the remaining six contestants performed songs from the catalog of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The show featured a performance by Lazaro Arbos who sang the Carpenters "Close To You". The judges did not enjoy his rendition and judge Randy Jackson said, "I don't know what's going on with you right now, but that was, I think that's the worst performance you ever had on the show".

The second half of the show featured songs the contestants wish they had written. Amber Holcomb performed Beyonce's "Love On Top", in which the judges gave her positive reviews. "Yes Ma'am, you have arrived in every sense of the word. Vocally, your charisma, the way you look, all gold everything, the stallion legs is poppin', you gave me everything I ever wanted in life honey child" said judge Nicki Minaj. Candice Glover gave a great performance of "Love Song". She received a standing ovation from the judges, and Randy called it "One of the greatest performances in the history, 12 years of American Idol"

Report: Half of Justin Bieber’s Twitter Followers Are Fake

2013 has been a rough year for Justin Bieber, whose antics—like with gossip writers and even Nightline wondering whether the 19-year-old singer is in the midst of a meltdown. (You know things are bad when Chris Brown says he’s praying for you, notes Slate.)

January brought him a little good news, at least: He became the “King of Twitter,” beating out Lady Gaga to become the person with the most followers. 

But it appears he is a pretender to the Twitter throne: Socialbakers, a company that analyzes social media stats, estimates that almost half of his 37.3 million Twitter followers are fake (16.7 million) or inactive (2.6 million). If you eliminate the phony and hibernating accounts, Bieber has 17.8 million “good” followers—which puts him behind Lady Gaga and her 19 million “real” followers.

THR's 35 Most Powerful People In Media

Michael Strahan
The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled their list of the 35 most powerful people in the media. The third annual edition of the magazine comes at a time when the industry is in a bit of flux with Barbara Walters' rumored retirement and Jimmy Fallon's new gig as host of The Tonight Show.

This year's new additions include Michael Strahan and CNN president Jeff Zucker while some people like former Today co-host Ann Curry have been dropped. The rest of the list is comprised of Hollywood heavyweights that range from Stephen Colbert to Wendy Williams.

Mel Karmazin Got $9.5 M Bonus On The Way Out

Mel Karmazin
Liberty Media Chairman John Malone‘s company controls Sirius XM, but he and Liberty General Counsel Charles Tanabe no longer want to sit on the satellite radio provider’s board, according to the company’s proxy filed at the SEC this afternoon.

No problem: The replacements likely won’t lead a palace revolt. According to a story at Discovery CEO David Zaslav pretty much owes his job to Malone, who controls about 29% of Discovery’s voting shares, and sits on its board.

And Malone’s 42-year-old son, Evan, sits on Liberty’s board and lately has worked in engineering and real estate in Philadelphia where he also runs a wine bar.

Aside from that news, the proxy offers the usual info about executive compensation — including the 2012 package for former CEO Mel Karmazin, who left in December. It includes $1.5M salary, and a $9.5M bonus.

The total is 5.3 times more than the median for the other top execs, which would trigger alarm bells about Karmazin’s clout if he were still there.

Thatcher Death Forces BBC To Chart ‘Oz’ Track

Scene From 'Oz'
UPDATE 4/13/13 6AM: BBC Radio will not play the full "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" song during the Official Chart Show on Sunday, Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper announced. Instead they will play a clip as part of a news item about the "Wizard of Oz" track, which has been adopted by anti-Margaret Thatcher Brits.
Earlier Posting....

BBC Radio 1 is planning to play Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, the Wizard of Oz track being bought by anti-Thatcher protesters in the wake of the former prime minister's death, on its chart show on Sunday.

However, according to The Guardian, the BBC chart show is considering having a Newsbeat reporter explain why a song from the 30s is charting to Radio 1's target audience of 16- to 24-year-olds – none of whom will remember Margaret Thatcher's controversial premiership.

In what could be seen as the first major test for the new director general, Tony Hall, BBC insiders said the track is likely to be played if it makes it into the top of the charts in defiance of criticism from Tory supporters.

The Official Charts Company said on Thursday morning that Ding Dong the Witch is Dead was on course to reach number four, up from 10 the previous day.

R.I.P.: Top 40 Programmer George Wilson Dead At 84

"In my day, everything came from my belly button and seat of the pants. Today, everything is done from research."
George Wilson
Legendary Top 40 programmer George Wilson Crowell has died of complications from a heart attack suffered about two weeks ago. He had been living in Albuquerque.  He had survived several heart attacks in 2012. 

He was 84.

A Native of Katonah, NY, Wilson started out as a professional baseball player, became a sports announcer and then a DJ in the 1950s.

Wilson gained a huge reputation during the 60s and 70s as PD for WOKY Milkwaukee. He also EVP/Programming  with the Bartell broadcasting and the Star Group.  His background also includes a stint at KIQQ LA in the early ‘80s.

He also served at GM of WDRQ Detroit.  And during retirement, he operated 'George Wilson's Memory Tunes' website.

Rochelle Staab, Wilson’s secretary at WOKY Milwaukee, called him “a brilliant Top 40 programmer, a guy’s guy, a tough competitor, and a true friend and supporter”.

She shared his philosophy:

On programming radio: “Play the hits, talk dirty, watch the bottom line.”
On Vegas: “Always split aces and eights at the blackjack table.”
On horse racing: “Bet the closers at Santa Anita.”

R.I.P.: Radio Columnist Gary Lycan Dies At 68

Gary Lycan
Gary Lycan, whose four decades as radio columnist for the Orange County Register made him one of the preeminent experts on the past and present of Southern California's airwaves, has died.

He was 68.

Lycan had battled prostate cancer in recent years but continued to write his column; the most recent one appeared in the Register on Saturday. He died in his sleep Tuesday, said Hazel Wurfl, his companion for the past eight years.

According to his friend Kevin Roderick who writes a blog,  “Lycan was inspired by the disc jockeys, radio personalities, and news-related folks who worked at KFWB, KRLA, and KHJ back in the 1960s. He wanted desperately to join this fraternity. But, his unparalleled talent lay in the written, not spoken, word.

Through his weekly radio column, he became an elder statesmen of this so-called fraternity. Orange County folks learned about the business of broadcasting in a digestible, easy-to-read, and friendly way, which made his readers feel that we were all part of the inner circle.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

iHeart Radio Leases Beautiful Downtown Burbank Studios

The Burbank Studios
Clear Channel's Internet-radio division, iHeartRadio, has signed on for 20,000 square feet in The Burbank Studios on a 10-year lease reportedly worth between $5 million and $7 million, according to the property's owner.

According to the Burbank Leader, the space is in the same building on Alameda Avenue that currently houses "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and NBCUniversal's news operations, both of which are expected to move out within the next 14 months.

iHeartRadio, which is based in New York City, has not announced what it plans to use the space for.

An Internet-radio platform, iHeartRadio functions as a radio network that combines content from more than 800 Clear Channel stations across the country and broadcasts it online.

Clear Channel spokeswoman Angel Aristone said the company wasn't releasing information about the lease.

WPLR’s Chaz Saves Dog From Fire in Milford

WPLR 99.1 FM New Haven radio personality Chaz saved a dog Tuesday morning from a house fire in Milford after kicking in a door!

And he’s  being called a hero after he spotted a home on fire in Milford and kicked in a door to save a dog.

The fire at the multi-story home in Milford was so intense that the flames spread to nearby brush, causing the blaze to be upgraded to a second alarm.

Chaz, of the popular morning show on WPLR, Chaz & AJ in the Morning, spotted the fire and noticed a dog was inside the home. He then kicked in the door, checked to make sure no one was inside and saved the dog's life.

It's unclear what caused the fire, but officials said the blaze will remain under investigation.

Report: New DJ Awards Show Planned

Dick Clark Productions, the producer of the Golden Globes, is looking to cash in on rising ratings and advertiser demand for TiVo-proof TV events with a first-of-its-kind awards show to celebrate vinyl-spinning DJs, The New York Post has learned.

DJs including DeadMau5, David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia have made electronic dance music, or EDM, one of the fastest-growing music genres around. Billboard began tracking sales as a separate category at the start of the year.

The company, whose awards shows also include the American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards, is in talks to line up a TV partner to air the broadcast.

Dick Clark Productions CEO Allen Shapiro is moving swiftly to grow the live events business, which fits into an overall strategy for Guggenheim Partners to own DVR-proof programming such as live events and sports.

BIA/Kelsey: Social Ad Revenues to Reach $11B in 2017

BIA/Kelsey forecasts U.S. social advertising revenues to grow from $4.7 billion in 2012 to $11 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6 percent.

BIA/Kelsey expects social advertising’s local penetration to steadily increase as social networks continually improve the ease of onboarding, local targeting and campaign management for both brands and SMBs. Locally targeted social ad revenues will grow at a 26.4 percent CAGR, from $1.1 billion in 2012 to $3.6 billion in 2017.

“Social networks are evolving their ad products and features to improve performance,” said Jed Williams, director of consulting and senior analyst, BIA/Kelsey. “Native social formats, including video, and mobile-social advertising will be the principal market growth drivers.”

According to the forecast, display remains the dominant social ad unit, although native ad formats such as Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets require re-thinking of traditional display to optimize social campaigns, especially on mobile platforms. BIA/Kelsey forecasts U.S. native social advertising revenues to grow from $1.6 billion in 2012 to $4.6 billion in 2017 (CAGR: 22.9 percent).

NAB 2013: FCC Commissioners Take Center Stage

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and fellow FCC Commissioner, Ajit Pai, spoke during a session entitled "Straight Talk From the Top. FCC Commissioners -- America's Communication Regulators."

They talked of some of the flash points ahead as well as offer praise for stations’ role in warning and informing East Coast residents on Hurricane Sandy, particularly as wireless and mobile services were down, according to

Rosenworcel, mentioned as next possible FCC Chair, even made mention of rising cable bills — including her own — as something that she hopes the marketplace responds to but that the commission should be “watching closely.”

The idea that rising rates are sending consumers to cut their cable and rely, once again, on over-the-air antennas is music to the ears to many stations. But asked afterward about the senators’ letter, Rosenworcel offered a polite signal wave of her hands that made it apparent she was not about to comment.

Early in the session, both — Rosenworcel, in particular — emphasized that broadcasters have an obligation to serve the public interest.

According to, the admonition to be cautious comes from the fact that Rosenworcel called it “eye-opening” to hear the stories of broadcasters who communicated lifesaving news and information in the wake of Superstorm Sandy during agency sponsored public hearings.

One was left wondering how the top level of the very agency responsible for regulating TV broadcasters could need to have its “eyes opened” about the vital role broadcasters historically have played in keeping the public plugged in to critical warnings and an exemplary record of fulfilling their obligation to serve the public interest, especially when lifesaving information is needed — even in the face of personal danger.

Read More Now.

Both commissioners made pro-radio statements about FM chips in cell phones. Earlier in the day, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that radio on cell phones is a very small issue for his customers. He said they were more interested in streaming customizable audio.

The commissioners saw it from a different perspective. Commissioner Rosenworcel indicated as consumers use FM chips in their phone more osten, they'll demand phones with FM chips. Pai believes that from a consumer perspective it would be helpful to have FM chips in phones, "especially during emergencies."

Verizon CEO: FM Demand Is “Very Small”

Lowell McAdam
Just because Sprint is working with the radio industry to activate FM chipsets in 30 million new handsets, don’t expect Verizon to follow suit.

In an interview with NAB president Gordon Smith at the NAB Show, CEO Lowell McAdam said Sprint’s decision doesn’t increase Verizon’s interest in activating FM chips, calling it “a very small issue for our customers.”

In fact, according to InsideRadio, McAdam said research points to younger consumers leaning toward streamed custom radio, not FM.

NAB Show 2013: Live Wednesday 9a-6p