Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Aircheck: KIIS-FM LA October 1985

Big Ron O'Brien holding down the fort, as KIIS goes both FM and AM with the Hot Hits for Southern California.

"Big" Ron O'Brien grew up in Des Moines, IA, and worked at the high school radio station. He started his professional career in 1969 at KUDL (now KMBZ-FM) in Kansas City.

During the ensuing years,he worked for many stations, including KTLK in Denver, WCAR in Detroit, WQXI in Atlanta, WCFL (now WMVP) in Chicago, WOKY in Milwaukee, WFIL in Philadelphia, KFI and KIIS in Los Angeles, KWK (now WARH) in St. Louis (where he stayed for nine years), KZDG in Denver, WYXR (which became WLCE during his tenure and is now WRFF) in Philadelphia, WNBC (now WFAN) and WXLO (now WRKS) in New York, WPGC in Washington, D.C., and WRKO in Boston. WOGL, also in Philadelphia, was his employer for the final six years of his life.

O'Brien died of complications from pneumonia April 27, 2008 after a two-month illness.

Friday, May 10, 2013

D/FW Radio: Ben & Skin To Host Afternoons On 105.3 The Fan

Friday KRLD-FM The Fan announced its new afternoon drive team of locals Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade.

The Ben & Skin Show will premiere Monday, May 13 and will be heard from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.  FAN fans can listen on air at 105.3 FM, online at and on their mobile devices via the app.

“We are really excited to bring the energy and excitement of the Ben and Skin Show to our listeners,” said Gavin Spittle, Vice President of news/talk/sports for CBS Radio Dallas-Fort Worth. “They are a perfect fit for our lineup and are well known in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, having spent their whole lives here cheering on and suffering alongside fellow sports fans.”

Ben and Skin are lifelong friends who grew up together rooting for the Dallas-Fort Worth teams.

They first appeared on-air together in halftime segments on KSTR 49’s Dallas Mavericks television broadcasts.

They went on to host KTCK-AM’s Mavs postgame radio show as well as a Saturday morning program on the station, where they also filled in for vacationing weekday shows. They became full-time radio hosts in 2008, when they moved The Ben and Skin show to weekdays on what was then known as “Live 105.3 fm.” For the past three years, they have hosted the 9 a.m. to noon shift on ESPN Radio’s KESN-FM in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The duo prides itself on creatively blending sports and humor into their show, as well as engaging their listeners, both on the air and via social media.

Spire Tops One World Trade Center

A crane lifted the last of a 408-foot tall spire on top of One World Trade Center on Friday, a capstone to an emotional 12-year effort to replace the twin towers destroyed by terrorists.

Tenants to use the new transmission tower have not be revealed.

The 18-piece silver spire will top out the tower at a symbolic 1,776 feet, a nod to the year America signed the Declaration of Independence. The new building is just north of the original towers, now the hallowed ground known as Ground Zero.

CC Study: Traditional Radio More "Human" Than Internet

  • “State of Listening in America” Shows Radio Remains Hugely Popular across Multiple Platforms
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment today unveiled the results of an extensive study of the State of Listening in America, which underscore radio’s continued, widespread popularity, particularly among Millennials and Generation Z, who listen to radio regularly and describe it as “trustworthy,” “human” and “relate-able.”

The study is the first comprehensive audio analysis that addresses the various ways people are listening today and also clearly demonstrates that the growing prevalence of mobile devices coupled with easy access to streaming apps have made radio more relevant to users.

The comprehensive research, conducted for CCM+E by research firms Latitude Research and OpenMind Strategy, also reveals that listeners enjoy connecting with their favorite stations and on-air personalities via social media, illustrating how social media has made radio increasingly interactive and personal.

The study shows that 92 percent of Americans regularly tune in to AM/FM radio and that much of this listening happens at or near a place of purchase – radio’s significant and “unique selling proposition,” in the words of advertising icon David Ogilvy.

Additionally, 85 percent of listeners feel radio is more accessible than ever, which demonstrates that digital media, most notably iHeartRadio, has fueled category growth and expanded radio’s accessibility and relevancy.

Also a majority of listeners view on-air personalities as local celebrities and reported that DJs engage listeners regularly on both digital and broadcast platforms. “It’s gone from calling in [to the station], to texting, to Twitter,” said one participant. “It keeps getting easier” [to be part of the radio station’s community].

Listeners also revealed that they prefer on-air advertising that is creative, humorous, leverages on-air talent and is generally “more like radio.”

“This research confirms that radio’s reach and appeal remain strong regardless of the platform, geography, ethnicity, or age group,” said Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman. “American listeners – particularly younger generations – feel a strong connection to their favorite on-air radio personalities – which is made stronger by social media – in a way that isn’t replicated by other media.”

What Rush Limbaugh Costs Cumulus Radio

Lew Dickey, chairman, president & CEO at Cumulus Media, talks with Betty Lu about the money lost on advertising from Rush Limbaugh's syndicated program as advertisers left the program following controversial comments.

He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop."

Jackson Leaves Idol, Other Judges May Be Next

Even if the reports are true that Fox wants to replace all four judges on American Idol next season, it doesn't matter to Randy Jackson.

Jackson tells E! News that he's done with the show.

"Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season," he says. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It's been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures."

Despite the multiple changes to Idol over the years, Jackson is the only original judge who has remained with the show. "There's always been chaos with American Idol, but this year it's been more than ever," a source said.

Rumors of an upcoming bloodbath suggest that all four judges have options to return for another season, but Fox won't renew them.

Read More Now

Tom's Take: Interesting to note there has been no mention of Ryan Seacrest in any of the media reports concerning Idol.

Slacker Sez Pandora Music Cap Benefits Them

Jim Cady
Over the last few months, Slacker Radio has made some big moves to step outside the shadow of rival smart radio service Pandora — and it’s doing so with some help from Pandora itself, according to Slacker Radio CEO Jim Cady.

“We’ve been able to monetize users with free accounts without placing limits on how many hours you can listen to radio content before getting capped,” said Cady in an interview with VentureBeat. He’s referring to the new restrictions Pandora implemented in late February, which limits users with free accounts to a 40-hour-a-month listening cap because the company’s copyright licensing costs are too high to maintain. It’s a curious move, as anyone who uses Pandora often enough to reach the listening cap is obviously a dedicated user, and normally, you’d want to keep such people happy so they wouldn’t venture to other competitors.

“There’s been record growth since February, and we’ve definitely seen an uptick in users around March,” Cady told Tom Cheredar at VentureBeat. “At a certain point, you just have to put two and two together and realize that Pandora users are leaving [for Slacker].”

Report: Clear Channel Working on Song-Swapping Technology

Billboard is reporting Clear Channel is working on a technology that would replace songs in streamed content with a different song while accounting for the different in song lengths, according to a patent application recently filed with the U.S. Patent Office. Billboard says Clear Channel declined to comment.

The application describes a technology that alters streaming content by substituting a different song for the one being played by a radio station. After the substituted song has been played, the "downstream" radio station resumes playing. The technology employs a "variable buffer delay" to account for the difference in lengths between the substituted and replaced songs.

NYC Radio: Ex Files Explosive Lawsuit Against Curtis Sliwa

The third ex-wife of Guardian Angels founder and WNYM 970 AM The Answer host Curtis Sliwa has filed an explosive, million-dollar lawsuit against her crime-fighting former husband, calling him a liar, a swindler and a philanderer.

Sliwa, 59, is no angel, ex-wife Mary Sliwa says in her suit, and according to The NY Post accuses him of siphoning nearly half a million dollars out of their marriage and funneling the money to his then-mistress and soon-to-be fourth wife, Queens borough- president candidate Melinda Katz.

“Curtis Sliwa is an inveterate, world-class liar,” jilted Mary Sliwa says in her suit, which details 13 instances during their marriage when Curtis allegedly abandoned his marital bed and engaged in “sexual intercourse” with Katz.

Long before his marriage officially ended, Curtis and his mistress secretly conspired to snatch $400,000 in tax-free marital assets away from Mary and from Anthony Chester Sliwa, the Sliwas’ 9-year-old special-needs son, Mary alleges in her raging lawsuit.

Curtis and Katz “had a secret, sexual, personal and intimate relationship for many years despite Curtis being married” to Mary, her lawsuit alleges.

Milwaukee Radio: Adler-Only Show On WLUM

After letting longtime morning DJ Brian Kramp go earlier this week (see original posting, Click Here), WLUM FM 102.1 has detailed its plans for a new morning show it describes as "music-based."

Kramp's "Kramp and Adler" co-host Jon Adler will retain the 5 a.m. - 9 a.m. weekday time slot, which will feature "music and entertainment elements in a fast-paced format," according to a press release from the station. 
FM 102/1 (WLUM-FM) is developing a music-based morning show with Jon Adler. Adler was most recently co-host of the “Kramp and Adler Morning Show” on FM 102/1. The new show will feature music and entertainment elements in a fast-paced format and air weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. beginning Monday, May 20. 
“Jon Adler’s quick wit and passion for music, comedy, and encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture make him the perfect person for this role,” said Jacent Jackson, FM 102/1 Program Director. 
“I’m excited about continuing with FM 102/1 and this new opportunity. I’m looking forward to hitting up all things entertainment, especially comedy, and everything local in Milwaukee,” said Adler. 
In other programming changes, effective this week “Smells Like the 90s Lunch,” the popular weekday show featuring 90s alternative music, moves to 9:00 a.m. with a new name, “90s at 9.” Michelle continues as host of the show at its new time.
 In a Facebook post Thursday, Adler was more candid about the uncomfortable situation.  
In what has been an interesting, difficult and strange week I'd like to fill you all in on where I'm at and what I'm doing. 
As you've heard FM 102/1 decided to end "The Kramp & Adler Show" and move to a music intensive morning show. 
Let me first say that Brian Kramp has been, is and always will be one of my best and dearest friends. He is also WITHOUT question one of the hardest working people in radio and anything he's ever achieved. If you know him you know his drive, commitment and passion goes into all he does. Working with my friend for the last 7 years has been a dream (one we've both had since UW-Whitewater) and being in radio has been a lifelong dream come true for me. So when the station offered me the position of continuing the show alone I was faced with a VERY personal and professional decision and the most difficult I've EVER had to make. 
Radio is a very strange business and not like any other job. What you say is heard and judged as either good/bad, right/wrong, funny/not but you do it because you love it and someone let's you. In order to continue doing my dream job of radio in the city I LOVE of Milwaukee and support a beautiful family (thank you for everything Kristin Finn Adler) I love even more I'm continuing on with the morning show. Kramp and I always said we'd be completely honest with our listeners and I have no reason to not be hones t with all of you. I have a lot to say in my own odd way and I hope you'll join in and continue listening. I understand and appreciate all of your opinions and feelings about this.

Steve Harvey Next For Hollywood WOF Star

He's already a star, but Steve Harvey will soon be part of Hollywood history.

The jack-of-many-trades will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 13, the city's Chamber of Commerce announces. According to, Harvey will be feted by fellow comedian Ellen DeGeneres and self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw at the ceremony. The king of comedy joins the ranks of a century of entertainment legends and will be the 2,497th person to receive the honor.

While Harvey's star will go in the radio section of the landmark boulevard, he is also a comedian, television talk show host, actor and best-selling author. Last year, his relationship guide Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man was adapted into a hit film, with a sequel already in the works. In September, he launched an eponymous daytime talk show.

TV 'Consumer Freedom Act' Introduced

Calling the business practices of the television industry an "injustice being inflicted on the American people," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation Thursday he said will give consumers more choice and control over their pay-TV services.

The LATimes reports McCain as saying his Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 will "help shift the landscape to benefit television consumers."

Long a foe of how pay-TV distributors such as satellite and cable companies and programmers package and sell programming, McCain wants the industry to start selling channels on an individual or a la carte basis to consumers. That way, a customer who doesn't love sports isn't stuck footing the high bill ESPN charges.

"Whether you watch ESPN or not, and admittedly I do all the time, all cable subscribers are forced to absorb this cost," McCain said on the Senate floor. "Today we are putting up a stop sign."

YouTube Fires Shot Across Cable TV's Bow

With a widely expected announcement to let some YouTube channels charge monthly subscriptions of 99 cents and up, Forbes is reporting Google is positioning its video site as the anti-cable TV: a video service willing to offer individual channels on the cheap rather than force people to buy huge bundles of channels, most of which they’ll never watch.

Unfortunately, YouTube remains the anti-cable TV in another sense: Its subscription offerings include almost nothing you’ve ever heard of unless you’re a pretty avid of specific YouTube channels, or a kid (or have kids). They include Sesame Street, National Geographic Kids, Treehouse Direct, and other kid-oriented fare, plus Ultimate Fighting Championship and other testosterone-fueled shows as well as a scattering of others such as the talk show Young Turks.

That’s right, there’s nothing from Disney, Comcast CMCSA -0.73%/NBCUniversal or any other major media company. And the vast majority of channels will remain free and ad-supported.

FCC Looks To Improve In-Flight Wi-Fi

Airline passengers can look forward to more flights with better in-flight Wi-Fi access, under a new government proposal.

According to USAToday, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved new rules that would increase the available spectrum for air-to-ground broadband service. Commissioners expect passage of the rules would drive competition, improve Wi-Fi quality, while also leading to lower prices.

"People expect 24-7 Internet access wherever they are, at home, on the road, in businesses and on planes," says FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "What we did today ... should significantly improve the quality and the speeds of Internet access on planes in the air."

NYC Radio: WFAN, NYGiants Extend Deal

CBS Radio’s Sports Radio WFAN 660AM/101.9FM has reached a new multi-year agreement with the New York Giants, extending the station’s exclusive flagship radio station rights to broadcast preseason, regular season and any postseason games.

In addition, WFAN will also continue to be home of the Giants in-depth pre and post-game coverage for all contests broadcast on the station.

WFAN has been the flagship station of the Giants since 1997.  Bob Papa currently serves as the radio play-by-play voice for the Giants.  He is joined by two-time Super Bowl Champion and former Giants linebacker Carl Banks in the booth and former Giants tight end and Super Bowl champion Howard Cross, who provides the latest news and commentary, with reports from the field.

Tampa Radio: Sports WDAE-AM Now Simulcasting on FM

Clear Channel Radio has fired up an FM “translator,” simulcasting their powerful AM sports talk station WDAE 620 AM on the 95.3 frequency (W237CW).

In May 2012, Clear Channel started simulcasting its top-rated political talk station, WFLA-AM (970) on an FM translator at 105.9.

Now, according to media writer Eric Deggans at,  it’s moved ahead with plans to put WDAE on the FM dial as well, with a signal that reached St. Petersburg. Both changes are a relatively quick way to get Clear Channel’s AM talk stations on the FM dial without the expense and risk of converting an existing FM station to a talk format.

W237CW 95.3 FM 60dBU Coverage 
Rival Cox Radio has seen tremendous success converting WHPT-FM (The Bone 102.5) into an all-talk format.  WDAE’s move also increases competition for another rival, CBS Radio’s Sportsradio 98.7 the Fan, a station which has seen a series of staff changes since debuting last August.

R.I.P. San Antonio Radio Legend Mary Denman

Mary Denman
San Antonio media legend Mary Denman, who would joke that she was the 'oldest broad in broadcasting' has died at the age of 90, 1200 WOAI news reports.

The list of things in radio and television that Mary was the first to do would go on into tomorrow.  Among them, she was the first woman to appear on television in Corpus Christi, when she hosted Toyland Time' as 'The Song Lady' on KVDO back in the early 1950s.

In San Antonio, Denman became the first woman to co-anchor a newscast on KENS-TV, where she also hosted 'Our Town,' a weekday interview program.

She worked in public relations, and then she joined WOAI Radio in 1975, when the station made the switch to news/talk.  She produced talk shows and was the first host of the 'Morning Magazine' show, which aired every morning from 9 to 11.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Knoxville Radio: WCYQ Now Simulcasting On 100.3 FM

New logo
This morning Journal Broadcast Group started its anticipated simulcast of Country WCYQ Q93 on its newly purchased 100.3 FM, the former home of WNOX and a N/T Format.  WCYQ will air for about two weeks on 100.3 and its soon-to-be-vacated 93.1 FM frequency.  Journal received a waiver from the FCC which permits the special simulcast.

The new WCYQ will competing directly again longtime king-of-the-hill WIVK at 107.7 FM.  It is owned by Cumulus. WCYQ will have 100,000 watts and WIVK at 107.7 FM has 91,000 watts.  

The WCYQ is touting its increased power boasting new listeners in five states and two time zones.

60dBU Coverage Area of 100.3 FM

Once the simulcast ends, longtime market watchers expect Journal to alunch a Classic Hits format at 93.1, perhaps retaining the heritage WNOX call letters.

The WNOX call letters have heritage going back to the ‘20s when WNAV-AM signed on with 50 watts in November 1921.  It was the 8th licensesd commercial radio station in the US.  Around 1923, he station's call letters later changed to WNOX. Managers tried and failed to add the letter ‘K’, but the Federal Communications Commission, at the time, reserved that prefix for stations west of the Mississippi River only.

Detroit Radio: WRIF’s Drew & Mike React To Cancellation

The news broke Wednesday that "Drew and Mike' on Greater Media's  WRIF 101 FM will be off the air as of May 17 and the move will lead to a historic goodbye from its hosts. (See original posting, Click Here)

But, according to,  both Drew Lane and Mike Clark sounded Thursday morning like they weren't necessarily ready to end their careers, less than 24 hours after several media outlets reported the show will be replaced by "Dave and Chuck the Freak."

Here's how the opening minutes of Thursday's "Drew and Mike" show went: 
Drew: "Wow! What's going on?. Today is Thursday. What's going on? Anything new?" 
Mike: "Nothing that I know of; just a routine day." 
Drew: "There's a little mini-headline in the Free Press this morning ..." 
Mike: "And the (Detroit) News." 
Drew: "'WRIF drops 'Drew and MIke' We've been dropped. Dropped. Man, I can just hear an anvil into the ground. 
Mike: "Ca-thump!" 
Drew: "So yeah, first insult of the day. Lots more to come."
 Read More Now.

Tom's Take: It's refreshing to hear Greater Media is giving the duo a chance to say goodbye and equally refreshing to hear Drew&Mike take the high road out of the building.

Report: Major Groups Ready to Bail On Talk Radio

Jerry Del Colliano
This week radio and media gadfly Jerry Del Colliano writes he has seen ‘startling new indications that some important radio groups are preparing to drop their talk radio formats”.  He writes change is coming sooner than originally expected.

“We're watching the end of right-wing conservative talk radio," says Del Colliano, publisher of the radio-industry tip sheet Inside Music Media. (Subscription: Click Here)

"The genre is dying among ratings and dying among advertisers ... Rush is at the end of his career. His constituency is all wearing Depends. And he's getting himself into trouble he doesn't need. So can you put Humpty Dumpty back together again? They have been able to improve their advertising picture, but they have not been able to come back."

"Sandra Fluke was simply the lightning that struck and hit an old building that collapsed," Colliano says. "She didn't do it. She helped to bring it down at the end, but it was falling apart on its own."

But the larger issue he writes is the declining demographics of the right-wing talk-radio racket. 

“Look at the millennial generation,” says Colliano. “There’s 80 million of them coming of age. They don’t see color. They don’t see gender. And they’re civic minded: they don’t like bloviating. They don’t like yelling and screaming. So you tell me: how’s right-wing talk radio working for them?”

Del Colliano is a recognized expert in media, broadcasting and the music industry.

Arbitron: Country #1 In USA

The findings found that Country and New Country continue to be the #1 format . It has grown from last year and has reached record another record share. The younger demo 18-24 benefitted the format most and is #2 with teens nationally, according to a story at

Following Country is News/Talk/Information and Talk/Personality, a format that Country shares a great deal of audience with. It remained #1 in the PPM markets and came in #2 in the rest of the US. The format ranked high with highly educated, high income individuals.

Top 40 moved from #4 to #3 when looking at AQH shore. Their 72 million weekly listeners is highest among all formats and takes the #1 spot from AC and Soft AC on a cume basis. Teen females make up almost 30% of the audience nationally.

Country, Top 40 and Hot AC has stolen audience from AC and Soft AC stations. They are down in numbers to 69 million 12+ listeners. Listeners are high-income, highly education, female dominated and are strong in middays listening while at work.

Classic Hits is now the “go to” format for pop hits taking away from the Oldies format and in the Spring 2012 it has reached high ratings. Listeners are split almost 50-50 between males and females and it does well in various market sizes.

Classic Rock continues to appeal to its core demo of 45-54 males and had the highest share in a decade. It too works in all market sizes.

The second largest growth spurt was in the Hot AC format. Thanks to teens, adults 28-24 and adults 35-44 it achieved a national high.

Read Executive Summary: Click Here.

Triton Releases March 2013 Online Audio Top 20 Ranker

In March 2013, Pandora began capping mobile listening at 40 hours per month. As a result, Triton Digital sees a 3% drop in mobile listening for Pandora during the Monday through Sunday 6:00am to midnight daypart from March to February.

During the same time period, Triton reports a 23% increase in Pureplay mobile listening and a 5% increase in Terrestrial.

At first glance, 3% may not seem overly concerning, but Triton notes you have to take into account the scale of Pandora’s audience. Did capping Pandora drive a portion of their mobile  listeners to other Pureplays, such as Slacker, who saw an 18% gain during the same period? It's possible. Or, perhaps this growth is attributed to the fact that mobile audio consumption was our fastest growing segment in March 2013.

Looking back to the year prior, mobile listening accounted for 46% of all audio consumption in March 2012. Today, we have crossed the threshold where over half of all listening is consumed on mobile devices.

 Read Full Report, Click Here.

Indiana Radio: WoofBoom Radio Buys 6 Stations

J Chapman
Jerry J Chapman is headed back into the Indiana radio business with a deal to buy six radio stations in Muncie and three nearby cities.

According to, Chapman and three partners have agreed to buy the six stations from Barry Drake's Backyard Broadcasting of Jacksonville, Fla.

The stations include WLBC in Muncie, which broadcasts Ball State University basketball and football games.

Other stations are WERK and WXFN, also in Muncie; WHBU in Anderson; WMXQ in Hartford City; and WMQX in Alexandria. Four are FM stations and two are on the AM dial.

The stations employ about 31 people, said Chapman, 51, a former radio executive with Indianapolis-based media company Emmis Communications Corp. who now works at Maverick Media of Rockford, Ill.

Chapman said he will leave his job with Maverick to become the operating partner for the newly formed Woof Boom Radio. The new company will operate the six stations starting June 1 and establish its offices in Muncie, Chapman said.

“There are no designs on changing anything. Our biggest mission is making sure we are doing great local broadcasting,” he said. “Over time we will be looking at a lot of things.”

Read More Now

Meanwhile in Elmira, NY, Backyard Broadcasting has agreed to sell its cluster of stations to Bruce Mittman’s Community Broadcasters LLC, backed by Northwood Ventures LLC.

The selling price is reported to be $3.6M and is subject to FCC approval. The stations involved are WNKI, WNGZ, WPGI, WRCE and WWLZ in Elmira/Corning, NY and WHDL and WPIG in Olean, NY.

Mittman and his partners are also considering making a big for The Boston Globe which the NYTimes Co. is trying to sell.

The Globe and its sister paper in Worcester, the Telegram & Gazette, could fetch as much as $100 million or more.

Commenting on the Elmira buys, Mittman says “What we like about the upstate (New York) is that these are self-contained markets,” Mittman says. “They don’t have nearly as many media options so radio becomes an even more important player in those communities.”

When the deals close Backyard will be left with six stations in Williamsport, PA.  So one must wonder, if they too are on-the-block.

Clear Channel Seeks Extension of Long-Term Debts

Clear Channel Communications, Inc. has announced that it is  seeking, subject to market and customary conditions, to extend $1.5 billion in aggregate principal amount of outstanding term loans B and C due 2016 until 2018.

The company says the new extended term loans will have the same security and guarantee package as the outstanding term loans B and C.

These efforts are part of the Company’s continuing efforts to optimize its overall capital structure.

Detroit Radio: Drew & Mike OUT At WRIF

After 22 years, WRIF-FM 101.1 is dropping the popular, long-running "Drew & Mike" morning show, the station's owner, Greater Media, confirmed Wednesday.

The Detroit News is reporting their last broadcast for Drew Lane, Mike Clark and newscaster Trudi Daniels will air 6-11 a.m. May 17 on WRIF, when they will take calls from listeners and past show contributors.

Clark was still stunned over the news, late Wednesday afternoon.

"To be honest, I sure didn't see this coming," Clark said. "With the great success we've had, and the numbers we put up for so long, I never suspected it would end this way. If it would be an end, I thought it'd be our decision to retire."

Lane, Clark and Daniels were told Wednesday by Greater Media management that a decision had been made not to renew their contracts, and that the station was going to go "in a different direction," Clark says.

Fox 2 News Headlines

On Wednesday morning and throughout the day, the Drew & Mike staff were swamped with text messages, emails and phone calls.

Early in the afternoon, Greater Media released a statement confirming the show's departure.

"We would like to thank Drew, Mike, Trudi and the entire team for their many contributions to the station over the years in the Motor City," said Greater Media Detroit market manager Steve Chessare. "They are true professionals, and we are very grateful to them."

Rumors circulated that the Dave and Chuck "the Freak" program, which aired on Windsor's 89X (CIMX-FM) until November, would replace Drew & Mike as WRIF's new morning show.

In November, a representative for Bell Media Radio in Windsor-Detroit admitted that the show's stars had accepted an undisclosed offer to work elsewhere, most likely in the Metro Detroit market.

But Greater Media spokesperson Heidi Raphael would not confirm or deny that Dave and Chuck "the Freak" had been hired, saying in an email, "We have not made an announcement about any new morning show." The station's plans would be announced shortly, Raphael said.

Read More Now.

Milwaukee Radio: WJMR Brings Back Tom Joyner Show

Tom Joyner's weekday morning radio show is back in Milwaukee on WJMR Jammin’ 98.3 FM, launching Monday, May 13 from 5am until 9am.

Joyner commented, “The best thing about good family and good friends is that, whenever we get together, we pick up right where we left off. So, even though it’s been awhile, we won’t miss a beat when we return to Milwaukee with my Jammin’ 98.3 family.”

Tom Joyner earned the nickname “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio” by working long hours and flying between his morning job in Dallas, Texas and afternoon job in Chicago, Illinois every weekday for eight years. The Tom Joyner Morning Show, with co-hosts Sybil Wilkes and J. Anthony Brown, is heard on over 105 radio stations across the country each weekday. Over 8 million ears tune into the show on their favorite local radio station.

The Jammin’ 98.3 weekday line-up beginning Monday, May 13 will include Tom Joyner from 5am-9am, Andrea Williams from 9am-Noon, Earl Stokes from Noon-7pm and Mike Hightower with “Moments in Love” from 7pm-Midnight.

TRN, Phil Hendrie No Longer Friends

Talk Radio Network-FM will be ending its relationship with Phil Hendrie, and its syndication of The Phil Hendrie Show, as of June 25th.

After Premier Radio Network separated from The Phil Hendrie Show, the show was out of national syndication for over a year. The company says that in 2007, a representative of Phil Hendrie approached Talk Radio Network-FM about a new syndication deal, which would re-launch Phil back into the terrestrial syndication marketplace.

After negotiations, CEO Mark Masters decided to take a chance on a new syndication. In June of 2007, TRN-FM began investing in re-building The Phil Hendrie Show and continued to affiliate and promote the show into 2013.

"I believed in Phil then, and I still think he is a comic genius on-air. He will always be a radio icon to me," says Masters, CEO of  TRN-FM. Masters went on to say, "We are proud to have rebuilt the Phil Hendrie Show by adding over 100 stations, along with creating robust growth to Phil's online presence, but, due to world events, the economy, and the state of radio in this country, we have decided to go another direction in that day part - we wish Phil all the best in his future endeavors."

And this statement from the Hendrie camp. "Phil Hendrie has elected not to pursue any further association with Talk Radio Network. As he delves deeper into his successful digital platform and ongoing television and film work, Hendrie remains open to terrestrial radio opportunities, but only those with strong sales, marketing and programming support. ongoing television and film work."

Knoxville Radio: Johnny Pirkle LMA’s WKVL

Johnny Pirkle
With FCC approval, Johnny Pirkle’s sale of the 100,000-watt FM station WNOX to Journal Broadcasting is complete, one of the biggest shake-ups in Knoxville radio-land in years.

But, according to,  Pirkle is not getting out of the radio business. He has entered into a local market agreement to take over (lease) WKVL 850 AM, a 50,000-watt station daytimer, and has moved his talk-show format to the new venue. WKVL started broadcasting the talk radio format this week.

The line-up is pretty much the same except morning drive time hosts Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas declined to make the move. They have been replaced by Mike Howard and David Thompson.

Journal Broadcasting has been playing a variety of music on WNOX FM 100.3 this week, teasing the launch of a new format today. The odds are heavy, say local broadcasters, that WNOX will become a country music station to compete with WIVK 107.7, the FM station that has dominated the Knoxville market for decades.

Cable Channels Lift News Corp.’s Profit

Fueled by the strength of its cable channels and retransmission fees at Fox Broadcasting, News Corporation reported a 4 percent increase in operating income, to $1.36 billion, in the three months that ended March 31, reports Amy Chozick at

Net income at News Corporation climbed to $2.85 billion, or $1.22 a share, compared with $937 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same period last year, the company reported on Wednesday. Revenue increased by 14 percent, to $9.54 billion, largely on the strength of an 11 percent increase from domestic television affiliates and a 2 percent increase in advertising revenue at its cable channels, which include FX and Fox News.

News Corporation is expected to complete a split of its entertainment assets and publishing divisions into two publicly traded companies by the end of its fiscal year this summer. But the company’s third-quarter results already read as if they came from two distinct companies, with the publishing assets dragging on overall profits.

That division, which includes The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and HarperCollins, had a $45 million decrease in operating income compared with the same period a year ago, largely because of weakness at the company’s Australian newspapers. The company’s cable channels reported an increase of 17 percent, or $147 million, in operating income, to $993 million.

Emmis Reports Profit, Radio Needs 'A Shot In The Arm'

Emmis Communications Corp. turned a profit in its latest fiscal quarter, rebounding from a big loss in the same period of the previous year.

The Indianapolis-based media company says that it earned $4.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter compared with last year’s quarterly loss of $18.2 million, or 47 cents a share, according to

Overall revenue for the quarter, which ended Feb. 28, rose 2 percent, to $43.3 million.

Revenue in its key radio segment rose 3 percent, to $26.5 million. That contrasts to a 15-percent plunge in radio revenue at the same time last year.

For the entire year, profit was $41.9 million compared with $79.5 million in fiscal 2012. Annual revenue fell to $196.1 million compared with $202.2 million the year before.

“For the second year in a row we have significantly outperformed our radio markets and the radio industry. Emmis finished the year as one of the least-levered and most financially sound radio operations in the country,” Emmis founder and CEO Jeff Smulyan said in a prepared statement.

Emmis is the nation’s 9th largest radio holding company, with 21 stations, including WIBC-FM 93.1 in Indianapolis.

Concerning Radio, Jeff Smulyan had this to say about radio: 
"In the radio division, HOT 97 was named the winner of the Service to America award by the NAB and it also won Crystal Award at the NAB convention last month, all indicating that our people not only have a great culture and produce great results, but make a difference in the communities they live, where they live. HOT 97 was given its award because of the remarkable effort of all of our people in providing comfort and relief and vital information to the people of the Metropolitan New York area during Sandy. So, again, I think that's typical of what we can do throughout this company because of our culture of innovation. 
And speaking about the innovation, our smartphone application, NextRadio won a Game Changer Award at the NAB in April. Again can't state how fervently, I think, it's important that people know how important NextRadio is. We believe that it has a chance to be the game changer for the American Radio industry. 
And as I look across the landscape and I see an industry which was up 1% last year and it's pacing hopefully that well this year, we think it needs a great shot in the arm, and we think that shot in the arm is NextRadio. We are moving, our team is moving toward the integration of the NextRadio application in smartphones. You will see more about that launch as we go on. A lot has already been written about it. But I think that has a chance to change the trajectory in the American radio industry and I think that's what we need."

NYC Radio: J-Lo Visits Z100’s Elvis Duran

Jennifer Lopez shares a laugh with the hosts of Elvis Duran and the Z Morning Zoo while visiting the Z100 Studios on Wednesday morning (May 8) in New York City.

The 42-year-old entertainer released her new song “Live It Up” that day and visiting the radio station to promote the new single.

Boston Radio: Bloomberg Radio Celebrates Launch

( photo)
Bloomberg Radio celebrated its entrance into Boston with a day-long live broadcast from South Station Wednesday.

According to, the financial news network, which broadcasts at 1200 on the AM dial (WXKS-AM), had some of its normally New York-based hosts on hand, and they were joined by a variety of Boston business luminaries including Legal Sea Foods chief executive Roger Berkowitz, Cumberland Farms President Ari Haseotes, and many others.

Bloomberg is live from South Station from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The station handed out Starbucks coffee and Bloomberg T-shirts, mugs, and hats to commuters.

The station began broadcasting in Boston on March 1 mixing local traffic, weather, news, and sports into Bloomberg’s financial news programming. The company, Bloomberg Radio head Al Mayers said, also plans to create weekend and special programming originating from its Boston studio.

FLA Radio: Attorney Talks Tebow In Radio Commercial

Orlando attorney John Morgan claims the mantra "For The People."

Morgan, a University of Florida law school graduate, spoke on behalf of local Tebowites on Tuesday when he started running radio commercials urging Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan to sign Tim Tebow, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The ad, posted on the attorney's YouTube page, implies Tebow is the answer to what ails the Jags' struggling franchise.

"Tebow is one of us. He has class, character and he's a winner. Let's win, Mr. Khan. Once upon a time, so-called experts probably doubted your potential, and now look at you. Give our guy a shot. I'll even buy that box you tried to sell me. Remember this: You can't TiVo Tebow. Let's do this Mr. Khan. For the people. Let's win."

Tim Tebow blackballed by NFL teams because of cult-like following, media frenzy.

R.I.P.: Baltimore Broadcaster Danny Reese Was 61

Danny Reese
Danial "Danny" Reese, a former Baltimore broadcaster who was known as "Old Blue Eyes" and whose radio career spanned two decades, died April 28 from a heart attack at his Naples, Fla., home.

He was 61, according to the Baltimore Sun.

"I got to know Danny when we worked together at WCAO. We did mornings together and just clicked," said Ron Matz, a veteran Baltimore radio personality who is now a WJZ-TV reporter.

"We were both friends on and off the air and remained so," said Mr. Matz. ""Danny was a very popular on-air personality who got Baltimore. He understood Baltimore and what it was all about."

Johnny Dark, the legendary Baltimore radio personality, worked with Mr. Reese at WCAO.

"He was a terrific broadcaster," said Mr. Dark. "The one thing about Danny, when I was program director, he'd knock on my door and say, 'Gotta minute?' In that case, I'd better have 15 or 30 minutes. He loved to talk."

Mr. Reese began his radio career in 1973 on WNOW in York, Pa., as an on-air personality and a short time later moved to WPOC in Baltimore.

He later worked as a disc jockey at WITH and WCAO, until WCAO changed its format from country music to an all-gospel format in 1991.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cox Media Group Promotes Two Execs

Kim Guthrie
Cox Media Group (CMG) has named media industry veterans Kim Guthrie as Executive VP of Radio and Jane Williams as Executive VP of Television, effective immediately.

Both Guthrie and Williams report to CMG President Bill Hoffman.

“Both are proven CMG leaders and are highly respected throughout the media industry,” said Hoffman.  “Kim and Jane, along with our local leadership, have ensured our broadcast stations’ ongoing success, and I am honored to have them in these vitally-strategic executive positions.”  

Guthrie currently oversees all of CMG’s radio markets. She was named Sr. VP of Radio in 2012 and prior to that was CMG Group VP, overseeing television and radio properties in several markets.

Guthrie joined Cox Radio in 1998 as VP and GM for its Long Island, NY properties and has been Regional VP for Cox Radio, where her stations have won multiple honors – including Marconi awards, Crystal Awards, New York Air Awards, AWRT Gracie Awards – for programming excellence and outstanding community service.  She currently serves on the Executive Board for the Radio Advertising Board (RAB) and has held board member positions with the New York Association of Radio Stations (NYMRAD) and the New York Red Cross.  Previously, Guthrie was a television news reporter and anchor.

Williams oversees all of CMG’s Television markets and will manage syndicated programming for the Television stations, as well as represent the Cox Media Group TV stations to the television industry.

Lew Dickey: Rush Limbaugh Did Cost Us Millions

Lew Dickey
Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey stood by his guns Tuesday, reiterating that controversial remarks by Rush Limbaugh have cost Cumulus major advertising dollars on stations in 36 markets, including WABC 770 AM in New York.

A spokesman for Limbaugh earlier in the week challenged that assertion, saying Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey was trying to blame Rush for the shortcomings of his ad sales departments.  (See Original Post, Click Here)

Asked about this Tuesday on his quarterly investors' conference call, Dickey named no names according to the NY Daily News, but said, "We've had a tough go of it the last year. The facts are indisputable over the last year."

In comments last May and again this March, Dickey said advertisers had pulled away after Rush's widely publicized charge in February 2012 that law student Sandra Fluke was a "slut" for advocating insurance coverage of birth control devices.

Rush Limbaugh
Media Matters and other progressive groups asked advertisers to withdraw from Limbaugh's show, and many said they did, including major companies like Sears and Geico.

Radio Ink quoted a Cumulus source as saying that 48 of the top 50 radio advertisers don't want their ads to run on the Limbaugh or Sean Hannity programs.

A Limbaugh spokesman over the weekend said that if Dickey did not stop bashing his talent, Limbaugh might leave Cumulus stations when his deal there concludes at the end of 2013.

That would not come as a surprise, at least in New York.

Limbaugh is syndicated through Clear Channel’s Premiere and last year CC bought WABC's rival, WOR 710 AM.

So it has been widely expected Clear Channel would move Limbaugh and Sean Hannity over to WOR, which has trailed WABC for several years in the local talk radio ratings.