Saturday, December 21, 2013

Detroit Radio: Paul W Smith Re-Ups At WJR

Paul W. Smith
Paul W. Smith's voice will continue to grace Detroit-area radio waves for another seven years.

According to Crains Detroit, Atlanta-based Cumulus Media signed a seven-year contract for its veteran morning show host on WJR 760 AM.

“I’m thrilled, especially considering the length,” said the 60-year-old Smith, who can be heard weekday mornings 5:30-9 a.m. “My belief, from what I’ve heard from a number of people in our business, is that this is unheard of.”

Smith, who was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November, has been on WJR since 1996, when he took over for J.P. McCarthy, the station’s voice for 30 years. Smith had worked across the country, from New York to Ohio, before landing back near his hometown of Monroe. And he certainly didn't want to leave now.

Don’t expect big changes from the newsman, though. Over the next seven years, Smith said he intends to bring on more newsmakers and “continue to be a reliable source of level-headed information and entertainment.”

He also intends to keep bringing his trademark optimism, whether it’s about Detroit itself or even the Lions.

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Houston Radio: KILT's Josh Innes Departs, Pendergast Arrives

Sean Pendergast
Sean Pendergast has been named KILT Sports Radio 610 afternoon host beginning on Friday, January 3, 2014, it was announced Friday by Ryan McCredden, program director for the station.

Pendergast joins Rich Lord as anchors of the CBS Radio's station’s 2:00-6:00PM program broadcast on-air and online.

Pendergast comes to Sports Radio 610 from KGOW 1560 AM in Houston where he has worked since 2007, hosting afternoons for the past year.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Sean to 610 and have him join our lineup,” said McCredden. “He is a true pro with a loyalty and passion for Houston sports that is unrivaled. As a team, Sean and Rich Lord will present a fun, and informative experience for the everyday Houston sports fan.”

Josh Innes
Added Pendergast, “In a city with a crowded sports dial, 610′s lineup and programming are the gold standard. This is a great opportunity, and I’m looking forward to working with Rich, interacting with a captive audience and sharing opinions on our local teams.”

In related news, CBS RADIO also announced that Josh Innes has been named as evening host at SportsRadio WIP 94.1FM in Philadelphia, one of the nation’s first all-sports radio stations and the flagship home for Eagles football and broadcast partner for Phillies baseball game broadcasts. Innes had hosted afternoons on Sports Radio 610 for the past three years. His last day on the air was Friday.

Saturday Aircheck: WLS Radio 25th Anniversary TV Show 1985

Hosted by the late Larry Lujack!

WLS 890 AM radio celebrated its 25th anniversary of playing rock and roll with this retrospective TV show that aired on Channel 7 WLS TV Chicago in 1985. Most of the disc jockeys of the past appear on this program.

Denver Radio: Line-Up changes At KOA, KHOW

Rush Limbaugh will be moving to a live timeslot on NewsRadio KOA 850 AM and Sean Hannity will be heard live on TalkRadio KHOW630 AM.

To accommodate these changes, many local shows on both stations will be airing at different times.

Here are the new programming line-ups:

TalkRadio 630 KHOW – effective 1/1/14
5am – 10am  Mandy Connell
10am – 1pm  Tom Martino
1pm – 4pm    Sean Hannity
4pm – 7pm    Michael Brown
7pm – 10pm  Glenn Beck
10pm – 11p   KHOW After Dark
11pm – 5am   Red Eye Radio

NewsRadio 850 KOA – effective 1/6/14
5am – 10am   Colorado’s Morning News with Steffan Tubbs & April Zesbaugh
10am – 1pm   Rush Limbaugh
1pm – 3pm     Mike Rosen
3pm – 7pm     The Dave Logan Show with Dave Krieger
7pm – 10pm   PrimeTime Sports with Andy Lindahl
10pm – 3am   Coast-to-Coast AM with George Noory
3am – 5am     The Wall Street Journal This Morning

Advertising Practitioners Score Low On Honesty

Apparently, American adults have very little trust in the integrity of advertising practitioners, according to survey results released by Gallup.

Asked how they would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in different fields, just 14% of respondents rated advertising practitioners as being in the “very high” or “high”  brackets; that was the 5th-lowest percentage of the 22 professions listed.

In fact, respondents were twice as likely to rate auto mechanics (29%) and bankers (27%) highly than they were to give the rating to advertising practitioners.

'Katie' Won't Be Renewed

Katie Couric's daytime talk show, "Katie," won't be renewed for a third season, according to Ms. Couric and the show's distributor, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, according to

While the show had decent ratings, debuting as the highest-rated new syndicated talk show its first season in 2012-13 and drawing 2.2 million total viewers last week, according to Nielsen, many local TV stations found it too expensive to continue paying for, according to people familiar with the matter.

The show initially cost about $40 million per year to make and distribute, according to people familiar with the matter, while Ms. Couric earned about $10 million per year, according to a person familiar with the matter. The show is midway through its second season and will air through the summer.

"While production will continue on 'Katie' through June 2014, we've mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show," Ms. Couric and Disney DIS -0.78%  -ABC said in a joint statement.

The decision comes on the heels of Ms. Couric's early exit from a separate contract she had with ABC News in November to join Yahoo.

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FCC OKs Gannett-Belo And Tribune-Local

At the end of a year filled by big-ticket TV station mergers and acquisitions, the FCC today cleared the way for two of the year’s bigger dealsm according to TV NewsCheck.

It approved Gannett Co.’s $1.5 billion acquisition of Belo Corp. that was announced in June. The original deal was for Belo’s 20 stations in 15 markets (Gannett's current portfolio contains 23 stations), but on Monday that 20 was reduced to 19 when Gannett agreed to address Justice Department concerns by agreeing to completely spin off Belo’s CBS affiliate KMOV St. Louis (Gannett already owns KSDK, the market’s NBC affiliate), rather than sell it to a “sidecar” company, Sander Media, headed by a former Belo executive.
“Gannett’s KSDK and Belo’s KMOV compete head to head in the sale of broadcast television spot advertising in the St. Louis area, and this rivalry constrains advertising rates,” William J. Baer, Justice’s antitrust chief, said in a statement.

Gannett said it expects the deal to close early next week.

The commission also OK’d Tribune Co.’s purchase of 16 stations in 14 markets from Local TV LLC for $2.7 billion. That deal was announced in July and when it closes, Tribune says, it will be “the largest combined independent broadcast group and content creator in the country.”

Peter Liguori, Tribune’s president-CEO, said in a statement: “The logic and investment thesis underlining our acquisition of Local TV is as powerful as it is simple—in a fragmenting media landscape, there is value in scale, for our viewers, advertisers, networks, cable and satellite partners and, most important, the communities we serve.”

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More Than 200 Stations to Air The Savage Nation

Cumulus Media Networks has announced that more than 200 stations will carry Michael Savage’s The Savage Nation when the show moves from evenings to the coveted 3p-6p ET timeslot beginning January 1, 2014 -- bringing Savage’s unique brand of “News, Views and Reviews” to a critical timeslot on top radio stations across the nation.

The Savage Nation is taking over the popular timeslot where Sean Hannity used to be heard on the biggest signals in the country. Stations carrying the show include: WABC (New York), WLS (Chicago), WBAP (Dallas), WMAL (Washington), KSFO (San Francisco) and WJR (Detroit).

.“Just as we anticipated when we announced Mike is moving to drivetime, excitement is building and stations are quickly signing up to make sure they have The Savage Nation available for listeners and advertisers,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President and co-Chief Operating Officer of Cumulus.

“This is the culmination of two decades in talk radio. I was born for drivetime where my pace matches that of America. Everyone dreams of being on the Cumulus powerhouse signals. This is my dream come true,” Savage said.

SeaWorld Counters Activists Over "Blackfish"

Willie Nelson
After months of dismissing "Blackfish" as activist propaganda, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. Friday launched a more aggressive counterattack on the critical documentary.

The Orlando-based theme-park company has placed full-page ads in eight of the country's largest newspapers, making its case for the importance of displaying killer whales in captivity.

The "Open Letter from SeaWorld's Animal Advocates" — which appears in Friday's Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, among other papers — defends the way SeaWorld cares for the 29 whales in its corporate collection. Although it never identifies "Blackfish" by name, the ad is the first step in a campaign to rebut criticisms raised by the film and the animal-rights activists promoting it.

SeaWorld President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison said in an interview Thursday that the company decided to respond after several well-known performers backed out of concerts that had been scheduled for early next year at SeaWorld Orlando, most of them citing the "Blackfish" controversy.

Eight of the 10 acts SeaWorld had been counting on to headline its annual "Bands, Brew & BBQ" concert series — including Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and Trisha Yearwood — have canceled, an episode that has drawn international attention.

The film chronicles the capture and captivity of Tilikum, the 6-ton killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando who killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. Although "Blackfish" grossed only about $2.1 million during limited theatrical release this summer, it has repeatedly aired on CNN and this week debuted on Netflix's popular streaming-video service.

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December 21 In Radio History

In Andy Dick was born in Charleston South Carolina Dick starred as "Matthew" in the TV sitcom "NewsRadio"

In 2009...The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) released its Top 10 list of 2009's most-played holiday songs on U.S. radio stations, representing an aggregation of all different artist versions of each. "Sleigh Ride" was ranked #1, followed by "Jingle Bell Rock," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland." "The Christmas Song" came in sixth on the list, then "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "Little Drummer Boy," "Feliz Navidad" and "Frosty the Snowman."

Casey's Family Feud Appears To Be Over

Casey Kasem
An ugly family dispute between Casey Kasem's children and their stepmom over access to their ailing father appears to be largely over, according to People.

In a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing Friday, attorneys for Kasem's daughter, Julie, 38, told a judge that she was withdrawing her request for legal control of her father's healthcare as part of a confidential visitation agreement.

"It's been resolved," Julie's attorney Andrew Katzenstein told People following the hearing. "We're glad the case was able to settle."

Charles Kreindler, an attorney for stepmom Jean Kasem, stated: "Jeannie is very happy that the court proceeding has been dismissed and that a settlement agreement has been reached with regard to visitation. Jeannie is about to celebrate her 34th anniversary with Casey tomorrow, and his care, dignity, well-being and happiness are of primary importance."

Kasem's three kids – Kerri, 41, Mike, 40, and Julie – had alleged that Jean, 59, had cut off all access to their father, 81, since this past summer. In court papers filed in October, Jean fired back, saying that due to unspecified family drama, visits with their dad would be "intolerable and unpleasant" for the bedridden star, although a court-ordered doctor eventually determined he indeed wanted to see his children.

The famed American Top 40 host, who is currently hospitalized, has advanced Parkinson's disease.

Friday, December 20, 2013

NYC Radio: WOR's John Gambling Signs-Off

John Gambling
John R. Gambling wrapped up the world’s longest-running family radio dynasty Friday with a flood of mutual admiration, a strong trickle of tears and the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans classic, “Happy Trails to You.”

His final WOR show, which ends 88 years for the Gambling family on New York morning radio, was upbeat and often sentimental.

According to The NY Daily News, Gambling, 63, had his wife, Wendy, and three sons in the studio, underscoring repeated references to the show as a “family” that also included his staff, advertisers and listeners.

Richmond Radio:: Bill Bevins, Shelly Perkins Say Goodbye - Richmond, VA News

Richmond radio pioneers Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins broadcast their popular morning show on WTVR Lite 98. 1 FM one final time Friday morning.

After 13 years on the air together, the dynamic duo decided not to renew their contracts with Clear Channel. Both have said they have jobs lined up outside of radio.

There has been no word so far on what radio show or hosts Lite 98 will put in their time slot.

December 20 In Radio History

In 1939...Radio Australia began its overseas short-wave service.

In 1957...Elvis Presley received his draft notice from the U.S. Army. He immediately applied for, and was granted, a 60-day deferment that allowed him to complete the filming of "King Creole."

In 1971...Talk show host Larry King was arrested in Miami on charges of grand larceny. He'd accepted money on a promise of influence he couldn't deliver, and didn't have the money to pay it back. The charges were eventually dropped because the statute of limitations ran out. King pled guilty to passing a bad check, however, and was out of radio for three years.

In 2002...MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM became the first licensed commercial radio station on the east coast to broadcast in HD Radio.

In 2003...Les Tremayne died. Tremayne was a leading man during Radio's Golden Era on shows such as The Thin Man, The Falcon, Betty and Bob and The Romance of Helen Trent.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Philly Radio: New Deal, New Role For Glen Macnow

Glen Macnow 
Veteran radio voice Glen Macnow, who left his afternoon gig alongside Anthony Gargano earlier this month in a contract dispute, reached an agreement that will keep him at WIP, station-owner CBS Radio announced today, according to

Macnow will continue to host his long-running Saturday midday show with Ray Didinger, and will appear on other CBS-owned area stations.

The release did not mention a return to his weekday afternoon spot with Gargano and industry sources told that Gargano will instead partner with Rob Eillis, with that announcement expected soon.

“I’m pleased we have reached an agreement with Glen that supports his relationship with WIP, and also allows us to increase his presence within the CBS RADIO Philly family of stations,” said Marc Rayfield, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS RADIO Philadelphia. “Being able to use his expertise across more of our platforms is a real win for our stations, the listeners and Philadelphia’s passionate sports fan base.”

Beginning in January 2014, Macnow will be heard on KYW Newsradio 1060’s afternoon broadcast of the “Reporter’s Roundup,” and, during football season, with Harry Donahue on the station’s morning show.

He’ll also be featured during the pre- and post-game Phillies shows on WPHT and will contribute to

Houston Radio: CBS Radio Signs Atom Smasher For KHMX

Shawnda McNeal, Atom Smasher
Radio personality Atom Smasher will return to Houston next month to host the morning drive time show at CBS Radio's KHMX 96.5 FM with Shawnda McNeal, his on-air co-host since 2009, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Smasher, who worked for KRBE 104.1 FM from 1998 through 2006, and McNeal worked together most recently at a station in Evansville, Ind.

"I have always loved Houston, and it's been my mission to get back for the past seven years," Smasher said in a statement released by the station. "It's the only city I have ever wanted to live in, mainly because of the people and the food."

The morning drive slot was held most recently by Blake Hayes, who is leaving KHMX to work in another market, said Bob Neumann, the station's program director.

"The Atom Smasher show possesses all the winning qualities of a great morning show," Neumann said in a news release. "We were drawn instantly to Atom and Shawnda's chemistry and ability to create an entertaining program for an audience just beginning their day."

Mix 96.5's morning drive slot has had frequent turnover in recent years.

Smasher grew up in south Louisiana and began his radio career at age 16. He worked at stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans before moving to Houston in 1998 to join KRBE. He worked nights and afternoons and worked morning drive with Maria Todd until July 2006, when that show was canceled and he moved to KHKS-FM in Dallas.

McNeal has co-hosted morning radio for 10 years at stations in St. Cloud, Minn.; Mankato, Minn.; and Indianapolis before joining the Adam Smasher show in 2009.

KHMX ranked 18th among Houston stations in the November ratings report from Nielsen Media with a 2.4 audience share.

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Guest Hosts to Lead Up to NASH Nights Live Debut

Shawn Parr
Cumulus has announced an all-star lineup of Country music’s biggest names to appear on “NASH Nights Live” with Shawn Parr in anticipation of the show’s official national launch on January 6.

Country music stars including Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker and Zac Brown will take over the airwaves from January 1 through January 5 before handing over the mic to “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith.

Country artist Dierks Bentley begins the series of guest hosts on January 1, with Darius Rucker hosting on January 2 and Zac Brown on January 3.

Special guests during the three days of guest hosts include The Band Perry, Hunter Hayes, the Eli Young Band, Danielle Bradbery, Jewel and Thomas Rhett.

“NASH Nights Live” will be broadcasting live nightly from 7 p.m. to midnight – leading directly into the popular “Kickin’ It With Kix” overnight show. Cumulus Media Networks will distribute "NASH Nights Live" to radio stations nationwide, including all Country format stations owned by Cumulus. “NASH Nights Live” will feature the latest in Country music including hit songs topping the charts, news, interviews, caller and fan interaction as well as special events that will take the show on the road to cities across the country.

R.I.P.: Superjock Larry Lujack Dies

Larry Lujack
Chicago radio legend Larry Lujack, who spent most of his career at the Big 89, WLS-AM died Wednesday at his home in New Mexico.

He was 73 and had been suffering from esophageal cancer.

Lujack was teamed up there with fellow DJ Tommy Edwards. The two were known to their fans as "Uncle Lar' and Lil Tommy."

Lujack's cutting dry wit and almost gravelly voice turned segments, such as animal stories, into must-listen moments.

Jan Jeffries, senior vice president corporate/programming for WLS Radio issued the following statement on Lujack's death: "The passing of Larry is a loss not only to countless friends across Chicagoland, but to hundreds of thousands of loyal listeners who affectionately referred to him as Uncle Lar'. Larry defined WLS. Bigger than life and legendary. He will be missed as a broadcaster, however, even more as a humanitarian with a heart of gold. Larry would want us to celebrate his life and that is the way will honor his passing. God's speed Larry!"

He worked for rock ‘n’ roll stations in Chicago from the 1960s until 1987.

Jude Lujack told The Chicago Tribune how much her husband enjoyed his retirement in New Mexico, where’d he’d lived the last 15 years, teaching his grandchildren how to golf and enjoying the mountainous views.

“He was passionate … about everything that he did, whether it was helping neighbors or taking care of charities,” said Lujack.

Jude Lujack said he leaves behind a daughter, a son, a stepson and two grandchildren. Another son preceded him in death.

“We’re really hurting right now,” she said Wednesday night from their New Mexico home.

He was elected to the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.

Remembering Iconic Superjock Larry Lujack

Yommy Edwards, Larry Lujack
Larry Lujack was born Larry Lee Blankenburg in rural Iowa. While in college, he took a job as an announcer for KCID-AM in Caldwell, Idaho, for kicks and extra cash according to CRM.

Not able to use Blankenburg as his professional name, he took the last name of Notre Dame quarterback Johnny Lujack to be his new radio name.

Lujack began his legendary Chicago career at WCFL 1000 AM in April 1967, working nights.
Four months later, WCFL-AM's chief rival, WLS 890 AM, stole Lujack away to be their afternoon host.

His popularity grew rapidly and he eventually was promoted to mornings, where he became a local radio star.

It was on this morning shift that he began to do a radio bit that will be remembered for decades to come: "Animal Stories." The "Animal Stories" segment had Lujack reading funny small town news stories and farm reports that involved animals. He did this at first by himself, and then eventually along with fellow DJ Tommy Edwards, who would become sidekick "Lil' Snot Nose Tommy" to his gruff persona of "Uncle Lar'," at least for these segments.

Lujack was also known for his bits "Klunk Letter of the Day" and "Cheap Trashy Show Biz Report."

In July 1972, WCFL-AM was able to steal Lujack back from WLS-AM, placing him in afternoons. He stayed with the station through its end of being a Top 40 and for a while longer, playing "Beautiful Music." No longer happy at WCFL-AM, Lujack rejoined WLS-AM as soon as he was able to in September 1976.

He also returned to his familiar morning role and once again became a radio superstar. For many years, his AM radio morning show was simulcast on WLS-FM.

John Gehron, Lujack's PD for many years at WLS and now an exec with AccuRadio, posted on his Facebook page: "It was difficult news to hear Larry Lujack had passed away. He was gruff on the outside but warm inside. I've enjoyed the many posts about Larry and how he influenced many of us. He made me a better program director at WLS. "

According to Chicago Media Blogger Robert Feder, In 1984, ABC rewarded  Lujack with an unprecedented 12-year, $6 million contract in order to keep him from jumping to WGN.

“It ain’t no big deal,” a typically nonchalant Lujack told me at the time. “I can honestly say — and my wife even finds this astounding — that I am not the least bit excited. Trite as it may sound, you can’t take it with you.”

Ratings declined with his ill-timed move to afternoons in 1986, and Lujack signed off from WLS a year later when ABC bought out the remainder of his contract and sent him into much-too-early retirement at age 47.

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Country consultant Jaye Albright blogs here are many, many brilliant Lujack quotes that will live on in the content of the personalities he inspired and motivated with his bigger than life, always entertaining, never boring, totally unique character:
"Advice for buying a used car: Before you even test drive it, turn the radio on. If all the buttons are set to rock stations, it's gonna need a new transmission." 
“What do you say to a kid who wants to be a disc jockey when he grows up?  You can’t do both.”

Flashback: WLS-AM Rewind 2008

Report: Kidd Kraddick Was Battling Cancer

The January issue of D Magazine is giving readers new insight into the final days of the popular radio host Kidd Kraddick, and revealing that he secretly battled lymphoma back in 2009.

According to the article, Kidd did not tell his daughter, his co-hosts on the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show or listeners what he was going through.

The cancer diagnosis came in the weeks leading up to his annual Kidd's Kids trip to Disneyworld, but Kidd still made the trip. It wasn't until after that trip that he finally told his daughter about the cancer.

Dallas News |

The January issue of the magazine hits newsstands Thursday.

According to D Magazine, there were business reasons to keep his diagnosis under wraps. Would radio stations across the country continue to buy and air his show if they found out Kraddick had cancer? Would current affiliates let their contracts expire and sign other shows, preparing for the worst-case scenario? Telling business associates would add complications that he could avoid by keeping quiet. And if his co-hosts happened to find out, it was in their best interest to keep quiet, too. Their fates—and livelihoods—were tied to Kraddick’s.

But perhaps the biggest reason, Wilson believes, that Kraddick wanted to keep his health issues quiet is that he didn’t want to be pitied.

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Deon Levingston Named President Of YMF Media

Dean Levingston
YMF Media, LLLC has announce the appointment of Deon Levingston as President of YMF Media, reporting directly to the YMF Board of Directors.

In this position, Levingston will continue his current role as Market Manager of New York City’s Legendary Stations WBLS and sister station WLIB-AM.

“On behalf of the YMF Board, we are pleased to announce this well-deserved promotion,” said Michael Cutchall. “Deon has earned this leadership position with his vast knowledge, commitment to impeccable client service, and his ability to engage and empower a high-performing team that will take YMF Media to the next level. He is a leader not only to his team, but the entire industry as well.”

During Levingston’s nine-year tenure with WBLS, he has been credited with returning WBLS to the #1-ranked urban radio station in America in both ratings and revenue. WBLS is currently the second-highest rated station and one of the highest-billing stations in America.

Levingston serves on the board of directors for several broadcast industry organizations, including: The National Association of Broadcasters, New York State Broadcasters Association, New Jersey Broadcasters Association, and the Nielson Audio Advisory Council.

“I’m very excited about this promotion,” said Levingston. “I believe I have been blessed to work for the best-of-the-best in our industry. Skip Finley and Charles Warfield have been great teachers and mentors over the last nine years. Emmis and Jeff Smulyan gave me my first radio management position, and Cathy Hughes and Alfred Liggins promoted me to my first General Manager position. The one thing that they all stressed to me over the years is that you win through your people. I firmly believe we have some of the most talented and creative minds in our industry at YMF Media, LLC."

NYC Radio: The Breakfast Club To Get TV Simulcast

DJ Envy, Angela Yee, Charlamage Tha God
REVOLT and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announced today that nationally syndicated, award-winning hit radio show on New York’s WWPR Power 105, The Breakfast Club, starring Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy, will be televised live Monday through Friday on REVOLT TV beginning by March 3rd, 2014.

“Starting our day with The Breakfast Club brings three more hours of live daily programming to REVOLT’s already expansive real-time coverage of music, music news and culture each day,” said Andy Schuon, president and co-founder of REVOLT.

The Breakfast Club, the award-winning, live morning show stars Charlamagne Tha God, former co-host of The Wendy Williams Experience and current host of MTV2’s Guy Code; Angela Yee, former morning show host on shade 45 at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and cast member from VH1′s The Gossip Game; and DJ Envy, legendary DJ, mixtape master, and host of MTV2’s Sucker Free and Week in Jams. On weekdays millions of fans can now also watch the hit morning show’s unrivaled interviews and conversations with celebrities and hip-hop artists, entertainment news and fresh music mixes, along with their signature blend of honesty and humor.

“Taking this award-winning Power 105 morning show and extending its reach to television reinforces Clear Channel['s] position as a preeminent multi-platform entertainment company,” said John Sykes, president of Entertainment Enterprises for Clear Channel.  “We are a company that creates incredible, original content every day and we are excited to partner on this with a true visionary like Sean Combs.”

Yep...The 'Sexy' Babe Is Howard Stern

Beth Ostrosky, a.k.a. Beth Stern, Tweeted the Couple's Holiday Card Wednesday.   And that's no chick on Santa's lap...that's Howard...(of course, Beth is playing the role of Santa!)

FCC Considers Scrapping 'Blackout Rule'

A rule that affects what football games can be televised is under review by the Federal Communications Commission, according to CNN Money.

The so-called blackout rule was designed to prevent sports fans from staying home and watching a local game on TV, instead of buying available tickets. So when a game is not sold out, television outlets cannot show that game in the home team's market

The FCC is reviewing its rule that applies to satellite and cable companies. It is based on a separate federal law that applies to broadcast television.

In practice, the rule applies to National Football League games, and has roots in the 1950s and 1960s when ticket sales were a significant portion of team revenue. But broadcast revenues now dwarf ticket sales, and the NFL has become more popular, so there are fewer games that aren't sold out.

As a result, the blackout rule doesn't come into play much any more.

The FCC said only 16 games were affected by the blackout rule in 2011, involving just four teams: The
Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills, the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. In the mid 1970s, as many as 59% of NFL games were blacked out, it said.

The FCC has asked the public for feedback on whether the rule is still necessary.

December 19 In Radio History

In 1932...The British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting "Empire Service" to Australia and New Zealand, the BBC's first overseas service.

In 1956...Elvis Presley had 10 singles on the Billboard chart, a record high number for an individual act, which stood until 1964 when the Beatles had 14 simultaneous chart hits.

In 1958...the first radio broadcast from space occured when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men Everywhere".

In 1985...ABC Sports announced that it was parting company with Howard Cosell and released him from all TV commitments. He continued on ABC Radio for another five years.

In 2004...a single-engine Cessna 182 crashed into the KFI-AM radio tower knocking the station off-the-air for an hour and killing the two people in the plane.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cumulus Makes Three Key Hires For NASH-FM

Cumulus announces the hiring of three key NASH executives in preparation for the national launches of “America’s Morning Show” and “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr” next month.

The new hires are:
  • Ian Zak, Executive Producer for “America’s Morning Show” - Zak joins “America’s Morning Show” after most recently serving as National Producer for Clear Channel’s Contemporary Hit Radio channel on Premium Choice as well as Producer for 102.7 KIIS/Los Angeles popular “JoJo on the Radio” show. Before moving to KIIS FM, Zak held a series of producing roles at 104.3 MY FM in Los Angeles.
  • Elaina Smith, Co-host of “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr” - Smith joins “NASH Nights Live” from Cumulus station WA1A 107.1 FM in Florida, where she served as Co-host of the A1A Morning Show alongside DJ Timmy Vee. Prior to joining Cumulus, Elaina was an on-air personality on San Diego’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” show on 100.7 JACK FM.
  • Jason Addams, Program Coordinator (for all programming originating at the NASH studio in Nashville) - Addams brings to Cumulus more than 15 years of programming experience, having served as Program Director at 101.5 WBNQ FM in Bloomington, IL and WSTO HOT 96 FM in Evansville, IN. Addams also held on-air and programming positions at stations including 99.5 WZPL in Indianapolis, IN, Hoosier Country 103.7 in Royal Center, IN and The Beat 104.3 in Austin, TX.
Cumulus launched the NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle in January of this year starting with the flagship NASH FM 94.7 in New York City. In addition to country radio stations, the NASH brand will include a NASH magazine, concerts/events, online content and television programming.

“These veteran radio programmers will help us continue building NASH into the premier Country music and lifestyle brand across the U.S.,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President and Co-COO of Cumulus.

Zak said, “I'm beyond thrilled to take the next step in my career and work with radio legends like Blair Garner to bring ‘America’s Morning Show’ to a national audience.”

Smith said, "This opportunity is something that most people only dream of. I am thrilled and humbled to be playing a part in the growth of NASH FM, and ready to meet the nation."

Addams said, "I am so thankful to Cumulus for the faith. It's an honor to help contribute to the amazing NASH team."

FCC Content Survey Is MIA

More than six weeks after the Federal Communications Commission announced a broad probe of political speech that raised serious First Amendment concerns, the city where the program was scheduled to begin has yet to hear from the Feds, according to The Daily Caller.

On November 1, the FCC announced that it would begin a pilot of its “Critical Information Needs” (CIN) survey in the Columbia, South Carolina media market.

The CIN survey — which would include invasive questioning about how stories get selected, whether management ever spikes pieces, and other areas that the government has traditionally left to the judgment of the private sector — has generated strong opposition.

The survey is ostensibly aimed at assessing barriers to entry in multiple “media ecologies” around the country, with a “special emphasis on vulnerable/disadvantaged populations,” according to a methodology of the study [pdf] published by Silver Spring, Maryland-based Social Solutions International, which is conducting the probe.

Media observers and House Republicans have pushed back against the FCC’s plan to demand a remarkably wide range of information on demographics, point of view, news topic selection, management style and other factors in news organizations both in and out of the FCC’s traditional purview. The airwaves regulator would subject news producers in all media — including print and online media not subject to FCC regulation — to interrogation about their work and content.

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Surprise Beyonce Album: 'A Radio Event'

Beyonce dropped da bomb on Friday, and radio delivered it, according to David Hinckley at The NY Daily News.

By midday Monday, the glamorous star’s self-titled new album — released Friday with no advance notice — had sold more than 617,000 units on iTunes. The previous record was held by Taylor Swift’s 2012 “Red,” which sold 465,000 units in its first week.

That’s a tribute to the music, the star and to radio, says Clear Channel President of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes.

“It was a brilliant and innovative marketing idea,” says Sykes, to drop the album as a holiday surprise. “We found out when everyone else did, minutes before it was released.”

John Sykes
“It was as exciting for radio as it was for listeners,” he says. “This was an event. This was news. People were talking about it.

“No one can respond faster to pop culture news than radio. All day Friday, thousands of stations were playing it. That’s how most people discovered it.”

While “Drunk in Love” emerged as the most popular track, the album had no designated singles, which Sykes says was also a shrewd move.

“Clear Channel alone had five formats playing five different tracks,” he says. “So BeyoncĂ© got the whole album exposed, not just one track, and I think that’s reflected in the number of people who bought the whole album.”

Beyonce's new self-titled album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making her the first woman to hit No. 1 with her first five studio albums.

Atlanta Radio: Three Departures This Week At V103

Egypt Sherrod
Kendra G and Christopher "Crash" Clark were cut Monday from Ryan Cameron's Morning Show, on CBS Radio's WVEE (V103). As of Tuesday mid-day host Egypt Sherrod is out, according to Rodney Ho at

Sherrod's agent/attorney Donald Woodard said she's leaving on her own accord.

Sherrod was wooed by program director Reggie Rouse last year from New York City. And as host of "Property Virgins," she was able to move the HGTV show down here as well.

On her first day, according to Ho, Rouse decorated the studio with an Egyptian sarcophagus and a throne.

As for the morning show, Ho writes the latest four-week Nielsen ratings showed Cameron's show in fifth place among 18 to 34 year olds.

The show averaged a 10.4 share in the first five months of 2013 among 25 to 54 year olds and a 12.3 share among 18 to 34 year olds. That was No. 1 across the board.

But the past four months, the share among 25 to 54 year olds fell to an average of 8.9, still good enough for No. 1. More worrisome, younger listening fell off the cliff, dropping to a 5.5 share in the fall. That's less than half what it was in June, when the new team was announced.

Management will now reconfigure Cameron's show in 2014 and rightsize the ship.

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The Grinch Is Trimming CBS Radio Staff

There's never a good time for layoffs, but CBS Radio apparently has chosen this holiday season to trim some staff roasters. According to reports, the following have received the bad news this week:
  • Chicago: WBBM-FM imaging chief Michael Horn and Steve Grzanich from WBBM-AM/Newsradio 780, plus four sales positions
  • Los Angeles: Newsman Bob Malik, Traffic Reporter Tommy Jaxson, plus one engineer and one from traffic/continuity department
  • Atlanta: Kendra G and Crash Clark from WVEE Morning Show, Egypt Sherrod (her agent says leaving was her choice)
  • Pittsburgh: Sports KDKA 93.7 FM The Fan Paul Alexander from morning show, Vinnie Richichi from Middays

Chicago Radio: Lew Dickey Visits, No Dramatic Announcement

For the last few days, Chicago Cumulus Media employees, especially the staff of WLS 94.7 FM, were fearful about a meeting they were all invited to for Tuesday morning, according to CRM.

The meeting was to feature Lew Dickey, the Cumulus Media Chairman, President, and CEO, who was flying in from the corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. There was an anxiety about what the meeting would be about, since, as a general rule, CEOs of radio corporations do not normally fly across the country and call for a cluster-wide meeting at the end of the year just to wish the employees "Happy Holidays."  A nd the recent format flip for Cumulus' WDRQ in Detroit to the Country Nash FM format was on the minds of many.

As it turns out,  Lew Dickey addressed the room and wished the collected staff "Happy Holidays." No big announcements were made and no shocking additions/subtractions/changes were discussed.

CRM reports that insiders say Lew Dickey's appearance at the station was done to help boost morale at WLS 890 AM and WLS-FM, which had dropped down in the last year. Sinking ratings, sinking revenues, ever-tightening budgets, and abrasive management styles hurt the internal atmosphere at the shared State Street studios of the two iconic Chicago radio stations.

In addition, Lew Dickey is said to have some business meetings to attend while in Chicago Tuesday. Exactly what those meetings could be about and how they could impact the Cumulus Chicago cluster are being speculated by staffers.

Miami Radio: WIOD Goes Live&Local Mornings

News Talk WIOD 610 AM / 100.3 FM announced Tuesday that Rick Sanchez will join its programming lineup, broadcasting weekdays from 10 a.m. - noon and Sean Hannity will be heard live weekdays from 3-6:00 p.m., effective January 6, 2013.

In addition, WIOD's new weekday line-up will include:
  •  South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo 6-10:00 a.m.
  • Rick Sanchez 10 a.m. - noon     
  • Rush Limbaugh noon – 3:00 p.m.
  • Sean Hannity 3-6:00 p.m. (had been delayed to 6pm to 9pm)
  • Glenn Beck 6-9:00 p.m.
“Our new lineup reflects 610/WIOD’S strengthening commitment to high quality local news, accurate weather, important traffic conditions, and the perfect balance of highly talented local and national personalities," said Grace Blazer, Program Director, WIOD & WINZ.  “The result will be a topical, informative and entertaining listener experience for the residents and businesses of South Florida.”

CBS: Bobby Bones Winning Fans, Defying Expectations

The Bobby Bones Show attracts some of the biggest stars in country music, but it's not your traditional country radio.

Bones and his gang of friends -- literally they are his old friends he put on his show -- have skyrocketed from 15 markets to 50 across the nation. And in Nashville, on his flagship station Country WSIX The Big 98 (97.9 FM), Bones now has the No. 1 show. And, as he told CBS News' Jan Crawford, he doesn't even own a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, or a belt buckle.

When his company moved him from a Top 40 station in Austin to replace legendary country DJ Gerry House, there were skeptics.

Bones said, "It wasn't just one city that didn't like us it was a whole lot of cities that didn't like us. (They said) 'You're terrible. You're not country. You don't sound like a DJ'."

But with his quirky mix of intensely personal revelations and unscripted interviews with country stars, it's clear this is what people like.

It also matches with what's happening today in country music. Some of the top stars are a lot like Bobby Bones. They don't look country, and they don't always sound it.

The funny thing is, Bobby Bones is country, and his life is a lot like an old country song, with a lot of loss and struggle. Bones recalled, "I was a food-stamp welfare kid from Arkansas. My dad was never around. My mom had me when she was 15. My grandmother raised me and adopted me for a while."

His mother died recently in her early forties, complications from a lifetime of substance abuse. That's one reason he says he's never had a drink. Bones was the first person in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. Bones said, "You know it's that Arkansas stereotype we're talking about. That was me. But I think it really made me who I am."

His company -- Clear Channel -- that moved him from pop to country really believes he has potential to be the next big national talent with crossover appeal into television. But when you talk with Bobby, he has this sense that nothing is permanent. He also said that's what really drives him and makes him keep pushing himself to the next thing."

DC Radio: Salem Picks-Up Sean Hannity for WWRC

Salem Communications announced Tuesday that it is adding talk radio host Sean Hannity to its lineup WWRC 1260 AM in Washington DC, effective January 1st, 2014.

Hannity, who began his national broadcast the day before 9/11 on crosstown Cumulus-owned WMAL 630 AM quickly, grew to become the fastest-growing syndicated talk rollout in history. Today, Hannity is the second most-listened-to radio talk show host in America with nearly 13 million weekly listeners and more than 500 affiliates. Hannity will air weekday afternoons live in the 3-6pm daypart.

"Sean Hannity is a perfect fit on 1260 WRC," said Salem Operations VP and market manager David Ruleman. "He is poised, informed and intelligent like the rest of the Salem lineup. In a city where opinion often trumps knowledge and irrational talk reigns, Washington DC radio listeners have a choice," said Ruleman: "Intelligent Talk. 1260 WRC."

"We are thrilled to partner with Salem and 1260 WRC," said Eric Stanger, VP of Operations for The Sean Hannity Show. "WRC is one of the premier news-talk destinations in Washington DC, and we couldn't be happier to join their leading lineup of intelligent talkers."

Salem Hires Dr. Frank Wright as Its President and COO

Frank Wright
Salem Communications Corporation has announced a strategic addition to the company's senior executive team.

Effective January 1, 2014, Dr. Frank Wright will be joining Salem as its President and Chief Operating Officer.  Dr. Wright will be reporting directly to Salem's Chief Executive Officer, Edward Atsinger.

Dr. Wright has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Religious Broadcasters, a position he held for the past 11 years. Prior to joining the NRB in 2003, he served for seven years as the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Statesmanship based on Capitol Hill. Having managed the world's largest Christian media association, Dr. Wright has significant and wide-ranging experience in the electronic media market place, including active engagement in the regulatory and public policy processes centered in Washington, DC. Dr. Wright also has earned a doctorate in finance.

Mr. Atsinger said, "Frank has nearly twenty years' experience working on Capitol Hill, ten years' experience working with the Federal Communications Commission and various Executive Branch agencies, and more than 20 years' experience working in and with broadcast media organizations. Frank has also developed a robust network among DC-based public policy organizations, as well as DC-based political organizations."

Mr. Atsinger continued, "Frank is an effective leader and team-builder with a strong entrepreneurial background, and has extensive executive experience in strategic planning and organizational structure. I expect him to hit the ground running and work closely with me in executing our business strategies."

FCC Shuts Down Sidecar Agreement

The Feds are stepping up efforts to shut down so-called “sidecar” agreements, which critics say allow TV station owners to circumvent media-ownership rules and control multiple stations in the same market, according to

The Justice Department on Monday filed an antitrust lawsuit to block one such agreement tied to Gannett’s proposed $1.5 billion acquisition of Belo Corp. As a result, Gannett and Belo have agreed that Belo’s St. Louis station will be sold to an independent third party.

Because Gannett already owns a top network affiliate in St. Louis, such a sidecar deal would have resulted in Gannett owning one of the top stations in St. Louis “and having significant influence over a second top-three station serving the same area,” the Justice Department said.

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Facebook Launches Video Ads On Its Newsfeed

Since September, Facebook been testing a way to make videos more engaging, and as a result views, likes, shares and comments increase more than 10 percent.

Next Facebook will  begin testing a similar video viewing format for advertisers. Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time - with high-quality sight, sound and motion.

This week, a small number of people will see video ads for the new film 'Divergent' begin playing as they come into view in News Feed on mobile and desktop. Here’s how it will work:
  • Rather than having to click or tap to play, videos will begin to play as they appear onscreen - without sound - similar to how they behave when shared by friends or verified Pages. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll or swipe past it.
  • If the video is clicked or tapped and played in full screen, the sound for that video will play as well.
  • At the end of the video a carousel of two additional videos will appear, making it easy to continue to discover content from the same marketers.
  • On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to Wi-Fi – meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you're not connected to Wi-Fi at the time of playback.
Facebook says it will continue to refine this new way for brands to tell stories on Facebook to ensure the best experience for people and marketers.

Conan Catches Same News Script On Numerous TV Stations

These stations obviously have the same consultant.  Here's a Conan highlights where numerous local TV newsers agree it's okay to self-gift!

Ron Burgundy Offers Reporting Tips

Ron Burgundy is back and ready for his close-up.

In "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," the sequel to the 2004 hit comedy "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," the fictional '70s-era San Diego newsman is embracing the 1980s by moving to the Big Apple and getting a job at GNN, the first 24-hour cable news network.

At the film's New York premiere on Sunday night, CBS News asked Will Ferrell, who portrays Burgundy, what he thought was the secret to being a good broadcast reporter.

IL Radio: WTAX News Anchor Bob Murray Fighting Brain Cancer

Longtime WTAX 1240 AM / 107.5 FM news host Bob Murray is facing a battle with an 'aggressive form' for brain cancer.   

An open letter from the Springfield, IL news anchor Murray has been posted on the WTAX Website:

“As you have probably heard, I have decided to elect for an extended medical leave of absence from my post as the host of the WTAX Morning Newswatch due to newly discovered health concerns. Many people have enquired (sic) into what is going on, and I thought it would be best you hear it from me. 
I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and will be taking this leave from work as an opportunity to focus my time on getting better and being with family and loved ones. While this is far from an ideal situation, we are remaining positive and focusing on staying strong. 
In the days following the announcement, it has been so incredibly humbling to feel the outpour of prayers and support from all directions, and I am pretty positive I will never be able to properly express how much that means to my family and me. 
I also want to thank the WTAX family and central Illinois area for their many years of loyal listenership. It has truly been an honor to start each day with you, tackling the issues that matter to us. I hope to be back in the capital soon, focusing on what I love, delivering the news, sports, entertainment and important local happenings to you. 
Thank you for everything, central Illinois! 
Bob Murray”

December 18 In Radio History

In 1890...Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City. He was an early radio pioneer and also the inventor of FM, Frequency Modulation. A motorcycle visit to the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ, the world's first FM radio tower.

In 1956...Phil Rizzuto contracted to be a New York Yankee radio-TV announcer. He held the position for 40-years.

In 1958...U.S. launches SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment) to transmit radio message from President Eisenhower, effectively becoming the first communications satellite

In 1967...Radio Peronsality Scott Muni started at WNEW 102.7 FM

In 1971...the CBS Radio network cancelled Saturday morning band concerts.

In 1993...WNCN changes to rock WAXQ in NYC

In 2010...NYC Radio/TV Personality Clay Cole died from a heart attack at age 72

In 2012…Two global audience-measurement giants announced plans to join forces as Nielsen, the dominant source of TV ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billion to expand into radio measurement.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FCC Withdraws Proposal Relaxing Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission said it has withdrawn a proposal to relax the nation's long-standing ban on owning multiple media outlets in the same market, according to

More than a year ago, then-FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a draft item that would have eliminated the ban on owning a radio station and newspaper in the same market. The proposal would have also paved the way for smaller TV stations to own newspapers, a change pushed by the struggling newspaper industry.

Now under the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler, the commission said Monday it has taken the old item off the table while it reassesses the issue.

The commission has long limited the number of stations one company can own to prevent a single entity from dominating local news. It also generally bars newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership. Both the newspaper and broadcast industries have lobbied the FCC to relax that ban.

By law, the FCC must review its media ownership rules every four years.

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