Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday Aircheck: Last Day Of 66 WNBC 10/7/1988

WNBC 660 AM operated in New York City from 1922 to 1988. For most of its history, it was the flagship station of the NBC Radio Network. The station left the air on October 7, 1988; its former frequency has since been occupied by CBS-owned all-sports WFAN.     9am hour of Don Imus.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Talker Tantaros Sues As TRN Woes Mount

Andrea Tantaros
Fox News’ “The Five” host Andrea Tantaros has sued Talk Radio Network, the home of her radio talk show, accusing the company of fraud and breaching its contract with the conservative media star, leaving her with a nearly staff-less show that could only book “‘C-list’ quality guests.”

Tantaros also sent a letter to TRN terminating her employment agreement on Wednesday, the suit said.

“This is a situation entirely of TRN’s own making,” Tantaros’ lawyer, Joseph Cane, told TheWrap.

“TRN’s dire financial troubles have unfortunately affected its ability to uphold multiple contact responsibilities to Ms. Tantaros. Andrea loves doing radio, values her affiliates and has fulfilled the duties of her contract for the past two months while TRN has kept her in the dark, fired her staff, and the staff at TRN necessary to sell the show to advertisers.”

In the suit, Tantaros said that TRN’s president and CEO Mark Masters made several false statements to recruit her for a radio show, including that Laura Ingraham, whose show Tantaros replaced, “was a nightmare, difficult to deal with, and an impossible and unfair negotiator and that is why Defendant TRN was planning to part ways with Ms. Ingraham and why her coveted time slot would be available.”

TRN also promised to invest millions of dollars into promoting Tantaros’ new show to the approximately 300 local stations with which it had syndication deals. Tantaros’ decision to enter into a contract with TRN was based on those statements; as her salary was determined by a combination of a fixed rate ($300,000) and a percentage of revenue, TRN’s ability to earn that revenue was important.

“TRN induced Andrea into the contract based on a set of material misrepresentations of fact,” Cane said.

Making matters worse, the suit says, TRN “laid off most of its staff and many others simultaneously ‘resigned’ from their positions, including, and critically, most of Defendant TRN’s sales team.” Some of those staffers worked on Tantaros’ show and were replaced by members of Mark Masters’ family.

TRN’s “implosion,” the suit said, has caused Tantaros’ own brand and reputation to suffer. Her Fox News employer has “repeatedly expressed its concern at the implosion of Defendant TRN.”

Raleigh Radio: Paris Rants About Bob Dumas

Paris Hilton went ballistic after a WDCG- 105.1 FM radio interview Thursday morning ... launching into an expletive-filled rant against the DJ who had just interviewed her ... calling him a "f**king a**hole" ... without realizing she was still live on-air.

Paris was on the phone with a Bob Dumas and the morning Showgram in Raleigh-Durham and midway through the interview, Dumas asked: do you wish you had never made that sex tape?

Paris was annoyed ... but kept her cool ... blaming it on her XXX co-star Rick Salomon ... and calling him "a very sick man."

But, according to TMZ,  Paris couldn't get off the phone fast enough ... and when she mistakenly thinks she's hung up and is off the air ... she goes off on Dumas ... who's listening to the whole tirade.

Aereo Wins Another Round In Court

Siding with Aereo, a federal judge has rejected Hearst's request to shutter the streaming video service.

According to, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston said in the ruling that Hearst, which owns the ABC affiliate WCVB, is unlikely to prove that Aereo infringes copyright by streaming TV shows to its subscribers. Gorton also ruled that Hearst hadn't shown that an injunction against Aereo was necessary to prevent “irreparable injury.”

Aereo offers paying subscribers the ability to stream over-the-air TV programs to iPads, iPhones and other devices. The Barry Diller-backed company also offers DVR functionality, allowing subscribers to record shows and stream them later.

Hearst, like other TV broadcasters, contends that Aereo infringes copyright by publicly performing television shows without a license. Aereo counters that its service is legal due to its architecture. The company installs thousands of tiny antennas in local warehouses, then uses those antennas to capture over-the-air broadcasts and stream them to users. Aereo argues its streams are not “public” performances -- which would violate the copyright law -- but private ones.

Aereo Battle Could Be Decided By the Supremes

Broadcasters could go to Supreme Court to shut down Aereo, according to Reuters.

Broadcasters could reportedly file a petition to the Supreme Court today to stop Aereo from operating due to alleged copyright violations.

The broadcasters, which include Disney's (DIS) ABC and CBS (CBS), have suffered a string of legal losses in their attempts to shut Aereo down. 

The company streams local-TV signals over the Web to subscribers for $12 a month using thousands of tiny broadcast antennae. The case could have ramifications for the business models of the broadcasters.

Nielsen Audio Pursuing Arbitron’s Renda Suit

Nielsen Audio says several months after Renda’s Arbitron licenses for its radio stations in the Jacksonville market had lapsed, Renda “began a pattern of illegally obtaining, copying, distributing and using” Nielsen Audio reports, according to its latest case filing. (See original posting, Click Here.)

According to RadioWorld, from May 2011 to December 2012, Renda regularly obtained copies of the Arbitron data for the market from an advertising agency in the Jacksonville area, reproduced and distributed the data among Renda employees, and used the Arbitron data to set advertising rates and make programming decisions, alleges Nielsen Audio.

“Obviously, having decided that the reports were essential to its business, Renda decided that it was cheaper to steal them than to pay for them. This court should require that Renda bear the responsibility for its actions,” states Nielsen Audio.

Renda has now replied, saying: “We note with great disappointment and chagrin Arbitron’s unseemly resort to gratuitous and vitriolic rhetoric. There is absolutely no basis for its desperate comment.”

Renda argues that the now Nielsen Audio’s claims for relief should be dismissed because they’re not specific enough, with no dates of when reports were received, copied or distributed. The broadcaster also says the claims in general are sparse and Nielsen Audio “mischaracterizes” Renda’s positions and makes “straw man arguments.”

Report: Schiller A ‘Lock’ As Twitter’s News Chief

Vivian Schiller
Vivian Schiller, NBC News’ SVP and chief digital officer, is being tapped for Twitter’s head of news position, according to sources familiar with the matter. AllThingsD reported last week that she was the leading pick for the high-profile job.

The deal is now “all but done,” according to sources, although Schiller will apparently take a significant period of time off between the end of her current position at NBC and the start of the new job at Twitter.

As AllThingsD also reported last week, Twitter has been on the hunt for an experienced newsperson to fill the position for many months, searching for someone familiar with the media landscape who would act as a liaison between news agencies and the San Francisco microblogging service.

Schiller, a veteran of the industry, certainly fits the profile. Previous to her time at NBCUniversal, which began in mid-2011, Schiller held senior roles at CNN, Discovery, NPR and the New York Times.

Schiller’s NPR stint ended in controversy; she resigned from NPR in March following some very dicey snafus. Among them was the release of a video that showed one of her lieutenants criticizing Republicans and the Tea Party.

PolitiFacts To Fact Check News Pundits

PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times, will soon launch PunditFact, a site dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows.

PunditFact is being funded by $625,000 in grants over two years from the Ford Foundation and the Democracy Fund. Seed money for the project was provided by craigconnects, the Web-based initiative to support philanthropy and public service run by Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist.

PunditFact is a partnership of PolitiFact and the Poynter Institute, the journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times. Poynter will be analyzing the reach and impact of PunditFact and will hold a conference to discuss the results.

The new site will have a dedicated staff of journalists who will research claims by media figures and rate them using PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter. The fact-checks will be published on and will often be featured on the main PolitiFact site.

Although PolitiFact has done occasional fact-checks of pundits and talk show hosts, the new venture will mark the first time that staffers have been dedicated to checking media figures.

BuzzFeed Serves Younger Demos

News site BuzzFeed attracted 85M unique visitors in August, according to a recent memo from founder and CEO Jonah Peretti. But don't be fooled into thinking all those people are there for kittens and other memes.

According to The Guardian, BuzzFeed's president and chief operating officer Jon Steinberg claimed the site is an increasingly important source of hard news for young people, in an appearance at the MIPCOM conference in Cannes this week.

"We feel strongly that traditional media have given up on young people, and have not made a commitment to tell stories that are interesting for people under 40 or 50 years old," said Steinberg.

BuzzFeed now has more than 100 full-time writers, with a growing proportion focusing on news and politics. Steinberg said that around 40% of the site's traffic comes from links shared on Facebook, and 70% from social sources in general.

"We're bringing more hard news on a relative basis than a lot of the traditional television networks do now," said Steinberg, although he also talked about BuzzFeed's partnership with one of those networks – CNN – on the CNN BuzzFeed YouTube channel.

The alliance sees CNN providing video footage to BuzzFeed, which then "remixes and recuts" it in a shortform, shareable format aimed at YouTube's younger audience.

Steinberg encouraged news organisations to think about social sharing throughout their production processes, rather than as an afterthought.

Tribe To Air ‘Redskin’ Radio Ads In Dallas

As the Washington football team heads to Texas this week, a radio ad entitled “Bipartisan” will air Saturday and Sunday on Dallas/Ft.Worth's KRLD-FM 105.3 FM The Fan, the flagship station of the rival Dallas Cowboys.

Part of the growing Change the Mascot campaign, additional ads will continue to air through the NFL season in Washington and all other cities where the team plays road games.

“A growing number of critics are speaking out on this issue, including the President of the United States, senior members of Congress from both parties, civil rights leaders, public health organizations, and Native American tribes," said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. "Collectively they represent millions of people and they all understand why a professional football team should not be promoting a racial slur.”

Many such leaders met earlier this week in Washington for a Change the Mascot symposium timed to coincide with the NFL Fall League Meeting. The event drew a standing-room only crowd, helped educate the public, and placed the issue of Washington's divisive Redskin team name at the forefront of a national conversation on the topic.

Since then, NFL representatives have agreed to meet with the Oneida Indian Nation in the coming weeks to discuss the growing Change the Mascot movement and its opposition to the Washington team name.

To listen to the latest ad titled "Bipartisan" click here.

Post- Piolín, A New Reality For Spanish Radio

The fallout from the July 22 cancellation of “Piolín por la Manana” is hard to miss in the September PPM results, the first full-month survey since Univision Radio abruptly pulled the plug on the syndicated Spanish-language morning show. 

For many of the roughly 50 former affiliates, life without their high-profile morning man has put them in a precarious position, particularly the one-dozen Univision stations that carried his show.

An Inside Radio analysis of Nielsen Audio data from July to September shows morning drive decreases in 25-54 share as large as 50% or more at Univision-owned stations in Phoenix and San Diego and as small as 11% in Las Vegas. 

Some were so severe they brought the station’s total week share down by significant percentages while others survived unscathed or had slight declines.

Obama’s Media Controls Called ‘Most Aggressive’ Since Nixon

U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise.

According to a report from The Committee to Protect Journalists,  transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press. Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists.

In the Obama administration’s Washington, according to CPJ, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records. An “Insider Threat Program” being implemented in every government department requires all federal employees to help prevent unauthorized disclosures of information by monitoring the behavior of their colleagues.

Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations.

Sheryl Crow Told Feds About Lance Armstrong's Doping

A new book on Lance Armstrong's doping conspiracy says that singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow told federal investigators in 2011 about her ex's blood transfusions in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell write in Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France and theGreatest Sports Conspiracy Ever, that while Armstrong and Crow were dating in the mid-2000s, she went with the cyclist to Belgium in 2004 for him to get a blood transfusion, done to help increase the number of red blood cells in his body.

Armstrong engaged in both transfusions and doping, both are which are illegal in cycling, often at the same time. The New York Daily News reports that the authors wrote, "Rather than try to hide the transfusion from her, Armstrong was completely open about it. He trusted that Crow would have no desire to tell the press or anyone else about the team's doping program.

He explained that it was simply part of the sport, that all cyclists were doing the same thing." The role of Armstrong's closest friends and supporters in helping perpetuate his doping conspiracy is one of the central themes of Wheelmen, which is due out next week.

Sac Radio: KFBK Announces New Evening Line-Up

Pat Walsh
KFBK 1530 AM / 92.5 FM Thursday announced the launch of The Pat Walsh Show, a local three-hour talk show featuring longtime sports anchor Pat Walsh, beginning Monday, October 14. The Pat Walsh Show will broadcast weekdays from 7-10 p.m.

Walsh will continue as the KFBK Afternoon News Sports Anchor weekdays from 4-7 p.m.  Former ESPN analyst, Bill Herenda, will join the station to take over as the KFBK Morning News Sports Anchor weekdays from 5-9 a.m. PST.  Sean Hannity will now air live on KFBK’s sister station Talk 650 KSTE from 12-3 p.m. PST.

“KFBK is Sacramento’s local news station and adding Pat Walsh to the evening lineup helps further establish KFBK as the leader in local news andinformation,” said Ken Charles, Vice President of Programming, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Sacramento. “Adding Hannity’s show live to KSTE makes the station home to the biggest regional and national personalities with Armstrong and Getty, Dennis Miller and now SeanHannity.”

Walsh began his broadcasting career in 1990 as a Sports and News Anchor at KPAY in Chico, Ca. In 1994 he joined the Clear Channel team as a News Anchor and Morning Show Producer for KSTE in Sacramento. Two years later he started his 17-year stint as theSports Anchor for the KFBK Morning News and KFBK Afternoon News.

Bill Herenda
“I am excited and extremely proud to begin my new adventure as Sacramento’s newest local talk host,” said Walsh. “It’s been a life-long dream to host my own radio show.”

Herenda joins KFBK as the Morning Sports Reporter following a career where he has appeared on the ESPN family of networks as a Basketball Analyst, Time Warner Cable, and as a contributor to sports talk shows throughout the U.S.Herenda currently serves as the Executive Director of Sacramento’s branch of the Positive Coaching Alliance.

LA Radio: Keri Tombazian Exits the WAVE

Keri Tombazian
After 20+ years with the Smooth KTWV 94.7 FM, Keri Tombazian has departed her evening slot. Her contract was not renewed, according to LA

 There was no announcement from CBS Radio. An executive at KTWV indicated that company policy is not to comment on personnel issues.

Keri started with KORG in 1976 and moved on to KGIL and KRTH before joining KTWV in 1988. In the fall of 1993, Keri moved from evenings to morning drive and teamed with Sheryl Bernstein for a dramatic format switch at “the Wave.” Billed as the first morning drive female team, it was an experimental mix of politics, comedy and reduced music.

Michael Baisden Launches National Mentoring Effort

Michael Baisden
When nationally syndicated radio personality Michael Baisden posted "A real man takes care of his kids no matter what the relationship is with the mother of the child," on his Facebook page, he never anticipated the over nine million views or one million plus likes and comments he received as feedback!

The overwhelming response prompted him into immediate action.

A diehard advocate for mentoring since 2010 with his "One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids" 72-city tour, Baisden has now launched a new initiative, the "One Dream One Team" Mentoring Initiative. 

His specific goal is to help recruit African American male mentors for the 12,000 African American boys on the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) waiting list for a one-on-one mentor match.

In addition, the New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker is hosting a special "One Dream One Team" Think Tank event in Orlando on October 26 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Venue sponsorship is provided by Mr. Harris Rosen of the Tangelo Park Project and attendees will include various African American fraternities, local and national organizations, community leaders and churches.

The gathering is an orchestrated effort to strategize a plan for recruiting additional qualified male mentors. The boys on the waiting list average 14 years in age and the goal is to have mentors for all 12,000 within a year.

Join the effort on Facebook, follow on Twitter, YouTube and online at

Report: Pandora's Founder Dumping Stock

Tim Westergren's accelerated dump-off schedule closely coincides with the launch of Apple's iTunesRadio, according to Digital Music News and cashouts are now exceeding $2 million a month.

And all of this is coming from Tim Westergren: the guy who started it all, and believed in Pandora the most.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NextMedia Group Sells 33 Radio Stations

Digity, LLC, an affiliate of Palm Beach Broadcasting, LLC, and NextMedia Group, Inc. announced today the execution of a definitive agreement for Digity’s purchase of substantially all the assets of NextMedia’s 33 radio stations.

Dean Goodman currently owns four West Palm Beach market stations under the Palm Beach Broadcasting umbrella and 26 stations in Iowa and Missouri under the Goodradio.TV name.

The price/terms was not been disclosed.  Other reports estimate the deal as worth $91M.

The stations are located in eight markets: Chicago, San Jose, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Canton, Saginaw, Milwaukee, Myrtle Beach and North Dallas.

The radio stations are:
  • News/Talk WHBC-AM/Canton, OH
  • Hot AC WHBC/Canton, OH
  • Classic Hits WERV/Chicago
  • Country WCCQ/Chicago
  • News/Talk/Sports WJOL-AM/Chicago
  • AC WSSR/Chicago
  • Classic Rock WRXQ/Chicago
  • Spanish Sports WKRS-AM/Chicago
  • Hot AC WXLC/Chicago
  • Country KMKT/Dallas
  • AC KLAK/Dallas
  • Classic Rock KMAD/Dallas
  • Country WCEN/Saginaw, MI
  • Hot AC WGER/SaginawMI
  • News/Talk WSGW-AM/Saginaw, MI
  • Sports WSGW/Saginaw, MI
  • Urban AC WTLZ/SaginawMI
  • AC KBAY/San Jose
  • Hot AC KEZR/San Jose
  • Standards WANG-AM/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville
  • Urban AC WQSL/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville
  • Urban AC WQZL/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville
  • Classic Rock WXQR/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville
  • Country WRNS-AM/FM/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville
  • CHR WERO/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville
  • Rock WIIL/Milwaukee
  • Oldies WLIP/Milwaukee
  • Modern Rock WKZQ/Myrtle Beach
  • AC WMYB/Myrtle Beach
  • Sports WRNN-AM/Myrtle Beach
  • News/Talk WRNN/Myrtle Beach
  • Classic Rock WYAV/Myrtle Beach
The transaction also includes two additional stations in the Chicago area, which are currently held by The Mile High Station Trust, LLC, that would be sold to Matrix Broadcasting, LLC.

In a news release Digity said it expects the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to antitrust and Federal Communications Commission approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Digity, LLC is a diversified local media, digital entertainment and event marketing company.

Emmis Extremely Bullish On NextRadio FM Chip

During a conference call with investors and others this morning Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan called the NextRadio rollout with Sprint  ‘a rolling thunder’.  

With the Christmas season approaching Smulyan predicts, a number of other phones will launch and he expects 10 million or so phones within the year—within a year of launch will be using the FM radio chip.

Smulyan said the jobs continues to make sure that more and more broadcasters understand that the interactivity on the phone as well as the coming interactivity in the automobile are the two most important things that we can do as an industry.

According to Smulyan, “Sprint has been great. They love it. They were doing things in terms of launching web pages and sending consumer notices, frankly, well above and beyond our agreement with them, so they are very happy. We’ve been happy. The consumer reviews on the app have been spectacular, and feedback in the industry. I think when people and see it and use it, they love it, and that’s the most important thing. Our job is to get as much consumer research now as we can, but I think the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

ALSO READ: Emmis Sez 2Q Net Revenue Increased 3.5 Percent. Click Here.

ALSO READ:  NextRadio FM Chip Called Win-Win. Click Here

Emmis Reports 2Q Net Revenue Increases 3.5 Percent

Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its second fiscal quarter ending August 31, 2013.

Emmis' radio net revenues for the second fiscal quarter were up 3.5%, while the markets in which Emmis operates were up 3.3% during the quarter. Publishing net revenues were up 5.7% for the quarter. On a consolidated basis, total revenues for the quarter were $55.0 million, compared to $52.9 million in the same quarter of the prior year.

Diluted net income per common share from continuing operations for the quarter was $0.05, compared to a diluted net loss per common share from continuing operations of ($0.02) for the same quarter of the prior year.

Jeff Smulyan
For the second fiscal quarter, operating income decreased to $5.7 million from $7.6 million for the same quarter of the prior year due to higher noncash compensation expense, principally due to Emmis' 2012 Retention Trust, and higher legal costs related to the company's Hungarian ICSID claim. Emmis' station operating income for the second fiscal quarter was flat compared to the same quarter of the prior year at $13.2 million.

"It was an eventful quarter at Emmis as we heralded the successful launch of NextRadio and continued to outperform our radio markets," said Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis. "Our ability to innovate on behalf of the radio industry, coupled with our focus on delivering successful near-term results, are a testament to the impact our high performing Emmis team can deliver."

ALSO READ: Emmis Extremely Bullish On NextRadio FM Chip. Click Here.

American Music Award Nominations For 2013 Unveiled

This morning, during both ABC's Good Morning America and a special live web stream, music superstars Kelly Clarkson and announced the nominees for the 2013 American Music Awards.

Music fans can now vote for their favorite artists to win, with the results revealed LIVE SUNDAY NOV 24 8|7c on ABC.

Below is the full list of nominees:

Artist of the Year
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Taylor Swift
  • Rihanna
  • Bruno Mars

Single of the Year
  • Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly - "Cruise"
  • Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell & T.I. - "Blurred Lines"
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz - "Thrift Shop"

New Artist of the Year
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Ariana Grande
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Phillip Phillips

Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock
  • Bruno Mars
  • Robin Thicke
  • Justin Timberlake

Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock
  • P!nk
  • Rihanna
  • Taylor Swift

Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Pop/Rock
  • One Direction
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Imagine Dragons

Favorite Album – Pop/Rock
  • One Direction - Take Me Home
  • Taylor Swift - Red
  • Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Favorite Male Artist – Country
  • Luke Bryan
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Blake Shelton

Favorite Female Artist – Country
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Country
  • The Band Perry
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Lady Antebellum

Favorite Album – Country
  • Luke Bryan - Crash My Party
  • Florida Georgia Line - Here's to the Good Times
  • Taylor Swift - Red

Favorite Artist – Rap/Hip-Hop
  • Jay Z
  • Lil Wayne
  • Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis

Favorite Album – Rap/Hip-Hop
  • Jay Z - Magna Carta... Holy Grail
  • Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist

Favorite Male Artist – Soul/R&B
  • Miguel
  • Robin Thicke
  • Justin Timberlake

Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B
  • Ciara
  • Alicia Keys
  • Rihanna

Favorite Album – Soul/R&B
  • Rihanna - Unapologetic
  • Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
  • Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Favorite Artist – Alternative Rock
  • Imagine Dragons
  • The Lumineers
  • Mumford & Sons

Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary
  • Maroon 5
  • Bruno Mars
  • P!nk

Favorite Artist – Latin Music
  • Marc Anthony
  • Prince Royce
  • Romeo Santos

Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational
  • tobyMac
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Matthew West

Favorite Artist – Electronic Dance Music (EDM)
  • Avicii
  • Daft Punk
  • Zedd
  • Calvin Harris

Top Soundtrack
  • The Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film
  • Les Miserables
  • Pitch Perfect

Internet Ad Revenues Hit Historic High

Internet ad revenues surged to a landmark $20.1 billion, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report released Wednesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

This represents an 18 percent increase over last year’s first-half ad revenues of $17 billion.

Maintaining the trend, second quarter 2013 internet ad revenues also saw an 18 percent year-over-year increase, reaching $10.3 billion, up from $8.7 billion in Q2 2012.

Report highlights include:
  • Mobile revenues soared to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, representing triple-digit growth at 145 percent, from $1.2 billion in the same period last year
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, took in $1.3 billion in revenue during the first six months of 2013, an uptick of 24 percent over the first half of 2012 at $1.1 billion
  • Search revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $8.7 billion, up 7 percent from $8.1 billion in the first half of 2012
  • Display-related advertising revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $6.1 billion, accounting for 30 percent of revenues in the time period, up 9 percent from $5.6 billion in the first half of 2012
  • The top three advertising verticals accounted for 46 percent of advertising revenue, including Retail at 20 percent, Financial Services at 14 percent and Automotive at 12 percent

“Digital has steadily increased its ability to captivate consumers and then capture the marketing dollars that follow,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens. Digital video is also on a positive trajectory, delivering avid viewership and strong brand-building opportunities.”

AP Retracts Story Accusing VA Candidate Of Lying

The AP made a major error on Wednesday in a report that accused Terry McAuliffe, a candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, of lying to a postal inspector during an investigation into an insurance scam.

According to The Wrap, the AP’s Virginia political reporter Bob Lewis mistook a man referred to in an indictment relating to the case by the initials “T.M.” for McAuliffe. McAuliffe was mentioned by name in the documents, but only as an investor into what would later turn out to be an insurance scam that used the identities of terminally ill people to obtain death benefits from insurance companies.

“T.M.,” on the other hand, was accused of lying to a postal inspector who was investigating the case. Though he apparently has the same initials as McAuliffe, he is a completely different person.

The AP posted a story naming McAuliffe as the man who lied to the inspector based on those initials. That story also went out to its thousands of member organizations, such as the Washington Post, which posted the story directly to their websites.

The McAuliffe campaign, which had apparently never been reached for comment before the AP’s story went up, quickly denied the story to a local NBC affiliate: “The person referenced on page 68 is absolutely not Terry McAuliffe since he was a passive investor and did none of the things referenced: First, he was not interviewed by law enforcement on April 20, 2010; rather, he was in Richmond for a day of meetings.”

Liberty Media Targets Majority Share Of SiriusXM

John Malone’s Liberty Media Corporation announced today the following transactions:
  • Repurchase of 5.2% of outstanding Liberty Media common stock from Comcast Corporation
  • Agreement with SiriusXM to repurchase $500 million of SIRI shares from Liberty Media
  • Proposed private offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes (with initial purchaser option to purchase an additional $75 million aggregate principal amount) due 2023.

That will leave the media holding company with 52% of the satellite radio service.

Liberty Media and Comcast recently completed a transaction in which a subsidiary of Comcast exchanged approximately 6.3 million shares of LMCA for a newly created subsidiary of Liberty Media which holds Leisure Arts, Inc., approximately $417 million in cash and Liberty Media's rights in and to a revenue sharing agreement relating to the carriage of CNBC. The exchange is intended to be tax-free.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. has agreed to repurchase $500 million of its common stock from Liberty Media as part of Sirius' share repurchase program, which it announced today has been increased by an additional $2 billion.

Report: Boom Time for Broadcast Stocks

Something quaint is happening in TV land. Amid all the talk about new technologies for delivering video, it's the local broadcasters—the companies that carry local news and sitcom reruns—that are stealing the show, according to Barrons.

Shares of Nexstar Broadcasting Group (ticker: NXST), an operator of 72 local TV stations, are up 254% in 2013. The surge bests even the torrid pace of Netflix (NFLX), the leading proxy for TV's hyped future. Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), with 149 stations, is the largest of the pure-play broadcasters; its shares are up 133%.

The party is just under way, according to Barrons. Nexstar and Sinclair could easily gain 20% in the coming year. And the stocks could double from there, as investors begin to recognize the considerable value tied up in the airwaves. Spectrum is a hot commodity, as consumers pull more and more data to their smartphones. And the broadcasters, thanks to TV's over-the-air history, happen to control a large swath of airborne real estate.

Broadcast bulls contend that Nexstar and Sinclair's spectrum licenses could be worth as much as the companies' entire market value today.

In the near-term, broadcasters are benefiting from an ad recovery, just as a new revenue stream from licensing content kicks into gear. After years of giving away their channels to cable and satellite companies, the broadcasters have found religion when it comes to getting paid for content. And broadcast content remains a living-room mainstay. Most top-rated shows still originate on the broadcast dial—including popular sitcoms and big-event programming like the Super Bowl and Academy Awards.

Cumulus Media Prices 16.4M Share Offering at $5 A Share

Cumulus Media Inc. (Nasdaq:CMLS) announced Wednesday that it has priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 16,400,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price to the public of $5.00 per share.

Cumulus has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,460,000 shares of Class A common stock. The offering is expected to close on or about October 16, 2013, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Cumulus expects to receive net proceeds from the offering of approximately $77.6 million after underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses (or approximately $89.3 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock in full).

Cumulus intends to use approximately $77.6 million of the net proceeds from the offering to redeem all outstanding shares of the Company's Series B preferred stock, including accrued and unpaid dividends. The remaining net proceeds from the offering, if any, are expected to be placed in the Company's corporate treasury and used for general corporate purposes.

RBC Capital Markets is acting as the sole book-running manager and Macquarie Capital, CRT Capital and Noble Financial Capital Markets are acting as the co-managers for the offering.

A shelf registration statement relating to the securities in this offering has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and has become effective.

Report: Weak Opening For Shares of SFX Entertainment

Robert Sillerman
SFX Entertainment, a young company created to capitalize on the electronic dance music craze, opened for trading on Nasdaq at $13 a share, and after dipping as low as $10.64 the stock closed at $11.89, down 8.5 percent for the day, according to NY Times Dealbook.

SFX raised $260 million in the sale, which valued its business at slightly more than $1 billion.

The stock’s performance is to some degree a referendum on the value and perceived longevity of electronic dance music.

SFX, founded a year ago by the media impresario Robert F. X. Sillerman, has been buying festivals, promoters and other businesses like the online store Beatport, hoping to consolidate the dance audience and attract corporate sponsors. These deals have already made SFX a competitor to established concert promoters like Live Nation Entertainment.

Mr. Sillerman, who in the 1990s transformed the concert industry by consolidating dozens of regional rock promoters — which he sold to Clear Channel Communications in 2000 for $4.4 billion — described electronic dance music, or E.D.M., as the “universal, borderless language” of the young generation around the world.

But this offering could also indicate a bubble-like mentality spreading in IPO's, as investors and bankers try to launch the next billion-dollar business on public stock markets.

According to, if the company's primary business is putting on electronic dance festivals, investors would do well to question whether they are arriving late to the party.

SFX Entertainment is a deeply unprofitable business that faces large competitive and legal risks. Nevertheless, the company is selling shares in an unusual IPO at a price that gives the firm a valuation of over $1 billion.

Paul McCartney Thrills High School Assembly

Paul McCartney  (Rolling Stone photo)
"This beats going to class," Paul McCartney said with a big smile after taking the stage for a surprise performance at a performing arts high school in Astoria, Queens Wednesday. The 400 students packing the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts' auditorium seemed very much to agree, according to Rolling Stone.

McCartney and his band played a full set of 13 songs, including three selections from his upcoming album New (due out next week) and plenty of Beatles and Wings classics – performing each one with all the boundless enthusiasm he brought to arenas and stadiums on his Out There world tour this year. Astoria native Tony Bennett, who founded the school in 2001, was in attendance, as was McCartney's wife, Nancy Shevell, celebrating their second anniversary. (It was a day of many milestones: Wednesday would also have been John Lennon's 73rd birthday.) The show was filmed by iHeartRadio, and will be streamed on ClearChannel radio stations and online on Yahoo! on Monday, October 14th.

McCartney took the stage shortly after 2:00 P.M., launching directly into "Eight Days A Week" to rapturous applause – never mind that most of the crowd was born 30 years or more after the song's release. He went on for 90 spirited minutes, with short breaks for questions from his student audience and longtime New York radio DJ Jim Kerr. As always, McCartney seemed genuinely thrilled to be onstage, buoyed by the crowd's cheers. "I could be home watching the TV now," he said at one point. "I'd rather be here."

Chicago Radio: Mike McConnell Expected to Depart

Mike McConnell
Mike McConnell, whose three-year run as midday personality on WGN 720 AM ended in August with a management  change at the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station, is finally leaving the building, according to Chicago Media writer Robert Feder.

McConnell had been live-streaming and podcasting for WGN’s website — a major step down from the 50,000-watt stage he’d previously commanded.

Sources said McConnell’s agent has agreed to a tentative settlement with the station on the remaining two years of his $500,000-a-year contract. If everything works out as planned, McConnell presumably would be free to return to radio in Cincinnati, where he successfully spent most of the last 30 years.

McConnell hasn’t hosted a live show since Oct. 3. On Wednesday he told fans on Facebook:

Jimmy deCastro, president and general manager of WGN, declined to comment on McConnell’s status.

McConnell came to WGN in 2010 as part of an ill-fated effort by then-Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels to transform the legacy radio flagship into a more generic, issue-oriented talk station.

‘Katie’ Renewal Appears To Be A Long Shot

One of the TV's priciest daytime experiments soon could be coming to an end.

Stations throughout the U.S. are contracted to carry Katie Couric's syndicated talk show through summer 2014, but the decision on whether Katie will score a third season likely will be made this month -- and renewal seems a long shot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In fall 2012, Disney/ABC TV rolled out the red carpet for Couric, 56, giving her plum time slots on the best stations, fat license fees and loads of promotion. The initial annual budget was $50 million, according to a show source -- including $20 million for Couric over two years. (That budget has been brought down to $35 million. Similar talk shows cost about $20 million a year.) But station owners now complain the daily strip hasn't lived up to the hype, and several insiders tell THR that internal discord has become nearly unbearable.

Disney/ABC projected the reteaming of Couric with her Today executive producer Jeff Zucker would average a 2.5 household rating, which would have made Katie one of the biggest syndicated launches. Instead, it averaged a 1.7 during its first season and a 1.8 so far this season. (A Couric spokesman insists she never approved the 2.5 projection.)
Katie insiders say the problem is that Couric has refused to shape shows with softer features to appeal to daytime's key 25-to-54-year-old female demo, insisting instead on the kind of harder-edged interviews she enjoyed on Today and her stint as anchor of CBS Evening News.

Albany Radio: Bob Wolf OUT As Country Takes Over 100.9 FM

Bob Wolf
Pamal Broadcasting’  Country WZMR 104.9 FM The Cat Altamont/Albany, NY is relocating to 100.9 FM.

The frequency been the long-time home for WKLI dating back to the AC days.  The station’s Rock 100.9 is apparently going silent as morning hosts Bob Wolf and John Tobin posted on Facebook that they’ve been let go.

Albany personality Bob Wolf has been with Rock 100.9 since January of this year. (See original posting, Click Here).

“The Cat” will now have more power in its battle with heritage Country WGNA 107.7 FM. The format on 100.9 FM will have 6Kw vs. 530W on 104.9 FM.

No word yet on a format for 104.9.

CT Radio: Chaz & AJ Stage Shutdown Showdown

Chaz and AJ of radio station WPLR 99.1 FM in New Haven say they've had it with the political fighting that's led to the government shutdown.
So Wednesday, the duo put their intern Wingnut on furlough due to the Government Shut Down. He's living in a vehicle in a arking lot in Milford until the Shut Down is over, in protest

Local TV stationWTNH interview Wingnut. Click Here