Saturday, January 4, 2014

R.I.P.: 'Bye, Bye Love'...Phil Everly Has Died

Phil Everly, who with his brother, Don, made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, their exquisite harmonies profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and countless younger-generation rock, folk and country singers, died Friday in Burbank of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife, Patti Everly, told The LA Times.

The elder of the two brothers, he was 74.

“We are absolutely heartbroken,” she said, noting that the disease was the result of a lifetime of cigarette smoking. “He fought long and hard.”

During the height of their popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s, they charted nearly three dozen hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, among them “Cathy’s Clown,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Bye Bye Love,” “When Will I Be Loved” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” The Everly Brothers were among the first 10 performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it got off the ground in 1986.

"They had that sibling sound," said Linda Ronstadt, who scored one of the biggest hits of her career in 1975 with her recording of "When Will I Be Loved," which Phil Everly wrote. "The information of your DNA is carried in your voice, and you can get a sound [with family] that you never get with someone who’s not blood related to you. And they were both such good singers--they were one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of the new rock 'n' roll sound."

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Everly was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his brother in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

According to themusic', Phil Everly, along with his brother Don Everly, are considered the must influential vocal duo pop music has ever known.  Working together as the Everly Brothers, they created such seamless and glorious harmonies that no less than members of the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys have preached their influence ever since.

Born in Chicago, Illinois to a musical family, Phil learned to play the guitar at an early age.  Family patriarch, Ike Everly was a respected professional musician himself, so the boys were introduced to music as a way of life while still in their childhood.  Ultimately settling in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Everly family performed as a group throughout the area for many years.

By the early ’50s, Phil and Don were working as a duo, making an early believer out of Chet Atkins who helped then secure their first recording contract with Columbia Records.  Their first single, “Keep A’ Lovin’ Me,”  performed less than spectacularly, so Columbia dropped them.  Before they knew it, Acuff-Rose Publishing snatched Phil and Don up as songwriters while Roy Acuff helped land them a deal with Cadence Records. From there, the Everly Brothers’ career skyrocketed.

Their first release for Cadence, “Bye Bye Love” shot to #2 on the pop charts, #1 on the country charts, and #5 on the R&B charts.  What followed that million-seller was a string of hits that helped define the era.  Records like “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” and “Cathy’s Clown”  earned the duo more than $35 Million dollars by 1962 – an astonishing sum at that time.

After the British Invasion hit the U.S. in 1964, the Everly Brothers’ shine diminished as teenagers scrambled for the new sound by the likes of the Beatles, who ironically, might not have ever crossed the Atlantic if it weren’t for Phil and Don.

By the dawn of the ’70s, the Everly Brothers had split up to pursue solo careers.  Phil worked with likes of Warren Zevon and Roy Wood, and later scored a hit with “Don’t Say You Don’t Love Me No More,” a tune he wrote and performed with actress, Sandra Locke in the Clint Eastwood hit film, Every Which Way But Loose.


In 1983, the Everly Brothers reunited for an acclaimed concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  The show was recorded and the subsequent album returned the duo to the charts.  Phil and Don continued to record and perform as a duo and individually well into the 2000s.

Saturday Aircheck: Bob Grant's Last Daily Show 01/13/2006

Bob Grant Last Show on WOR 710 AM. He did go on the air again at WABC hosting a weekend show, but this was his final 25 minutes with a daily radio show.

San Diego Radio: Brian Long New PD For KOGO, XTRA

Brian Long
CCM+E/San Diego has announced  Brian Long has been named Program Director for KOGO 600 AM and KLSD 1360 AM XTRA Sports, effectiveJanuary 21, 2014.

Long will bring more than 15 years of radio broadcast experience to his new position.

His career in spoken word formats began in his hometown of Kansas City, MO at the heritage KMBZ.  In 1998 Long headed to California for stints in Palm Spring, Bakersfield and Los Angeles.  During his time at ESPN in Los Angeles, Long was part of the programming management team and also hosted a variety of on-air programs. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 L.A. Daily News recognized him as one of their "Top Ten Sports Radio Personalities." In late 2010, Long became Program Director at ESPN in Seattle and was later promoted to Senior Director of Programming for Bonneville Seattle.

"Brian will bring a diverse perspective from multiple markets and stations to our spoken word brands," said John Peake, Vice President of Programming, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment San Diego.  "We’re excited to add Brian’s management and broadcasting experience to the San Diego programming team and are confident that KOGO and XTRA Sports will prosper under his tutelage."

January 4 In Radio History

In 1923...WEAF and WNAC conducted the first wired simulcast.

In 1928...the NBC Radio Network premiered "The Dodge Victory Hour", starring Al Jolson, Will Rogers, and Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

In 1928...NBC presented one of radio's first variety shows, "The Dodge Victory Hour," starring Will Rogers, singer Al Jolson, and Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra.

In 1932..."The Carnation Contented Hour," a showcase for top singers and musicians, debuted on the NBC Red network. Sponsored by the Carnation Milk Company, the series continued until December 30, 1951.

In 1935...Bob Hope made his first appearance on network radio as part of the cast of "The Intimate Revue."

In 1936...the first sales-based pop music chart was published in Billboard. Big band violinist Joe Venuti's "Stop! Look! Listen!" was the first #1 record

In 1963...Actor/comedian Dave Foley was born. He played Dave Nelson on ths sitcom "NewsRadio"

In 1982...the ABC Direction Network with 57 affiliates and the ABC Rock Network with 40 affiliates become the 5th and 6th ABC Radio networks.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bubba Bo Gives-Up WLW's All-Night Trucking Show

Bubba Bo
Eric “Bubba Bo” Boulanger, a popular radio personality, has stepped down from his weekend spot on 700 WLW’s all-night radio show for truckers. During the broadcast of Dec. 29, Boulanger announced it was his last show on the 50,000-watt clear channel station due to health reasons. according to

“I enjoyed doing the show, but I’ve had some health scares in the past year and it’s pretty clear I have to make an adjustment,” Boulanger told Land Line. “You can’t work every day 52 weeks a year. Better health requires a better lifestyle, and I’m not Superman. … I’ve been putting my body clock upside down for years, and I need to establish a sensible work schedule.”

America’s Trucking Network is a nightly variety program hosted by Steve Sommers. Sommers was a natural heir to the show that for years was hosted by his father, Dale “Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers. The Bozo left the show due to health reasons that eventually led to his death in 2012.

Boulanger was hired in April 2004 to host the show on weekends when Sommers stepped up to host the program during the week.

From midnight to 5 a.m. on weekends, Bubba Bo has been chatting with truckers on everything trucking, automotive, politics, racing and more during the terrestrial broadcast based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For Boulanger, weekend hosting on ATN has been a second job. He also does a daily show on 99.3 FM WSCH 99.3 DM “Eagle Country” out of Lawrenceburg, Ind., and will continue to do that show.

According to WLW, no replacement for Boulanger has been named.

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Liberty Media Goal: SiriusXM a Wholly Owned Subsidiary

Liberty Media said late Friday it is proposing to make Sirius XM Radio a wholly owned subsidiary of the conglomerate controlled by billionaire John Malone, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Liberty already owns a controlling stake in Sirius XM, but if shareholders approve of the plan, the satellite radio firm would take full ownership and each share, or Sirius XM would be converted into 0.076 share of a new share of Liberty.
The complicated plan also includes a 2:1 distribution of a new Liberty Series C common stock to shareholders of Series A and Series B stock.

Shares of Sirius XM closed 2 percent higher Friday at $3.57, while Liberty Media shares were up 1 percent to $145.33. Based on Friday's prices, the proposed transaction values Sirius XM stock at $3.68 per share.

After several months of acquiring shares and options, and with the permission of the FCC, Liberty took control of Sirius XM a year ago.

Malone, who is Liberty's chairman, said the deal would "enable us to focus our energies on the pursuit of new opportunities across the expanded portfolio of Liberty's businesses and to optimize our capital structure to produce the maximum possible returns to all shareholders."

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Chicago Radio: Cumulus LMAs Merlin's WLUP, WIQI

Media Confidential has confirmed a deal between Cumulus Media and Randy Michaels' Merlin Media.

Cumulus has immediately increased its footprint in the Chicago market by taking over operations of two Chicago radio stations through an LMA with an option to buy WLUP-FM 97.9 The Loop and WIQI 101.1 FM, as well as the alternative rock format currently on WKQX-LP 87.7 FM.  Further terms of the agreement with Merlin Media were not disclosed.

Cumulus currently owns N/T WLS 890 AM and WLS-FM 94.7 FM.  The move results in Merlin Media's Randy Michaels exit from radio..for now.

Cumulus Co-COO John Dickey says, "These two legendary radio brands will be a welcome addition to the two legendary radio brands we already own in CHICAGO."

John Dickey
"WLUP will not be changing formats and we will improve on that product as well," Dickey added. "We will migrate WKQX from 87.7 to 101.1 next week and return it to Alternative, dropping '90s, 2K & TODAY'. We will simulcast it for a month.

"The support for Alternative in that market is huge and these are fabulous signals in the market -- and these two acquisitions will improve our situation with the Rock format and present a great opportunity.  That puts Cumulus in a pretty significant place with a Rock presence in that market and nationally too.  Yes, it could lend itself to a national Rock brand.  That and Sports go hand in hand."

Dickey added,  "We're not taking NASH FM to Chicago, at this time."

WIQI 101.1 FM, WLUP 97.9 FM 54dBu Coverage Area

Indie Artists New Number One In Music Industry

The growth of streaming music services and shared playlists, and the continued strength of YouTube, unleashed new forces on the music business last year — catapulting independent artists onto the charts with growing regularity, music industry statistics show, according to the NY Post.

As the grip of the major music labels continued to loosen in the era of Pandora, Rdio and Spotify, one of the biggest indie stars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, saw its hit song “Thrift Shop” hit No. 1 in 2013, the first time since 1994 that a song without the backing of a major label reached the top of the charts.

The song, released in August 2012, was also the No. 2 streamed video in the first half of 2013, with 187 million streams.

The rise of streaming music services, where the major labels’ control is weaker, and the decline of FM radio, where the labels’ control is powerful, has had a clear effect on the power of indie.

In 2007, indies controlled 25.8 percent of the music business, No. 2 behind Universal Music Group’s 28.8 percent share. By June 30, 2013, indie — a universe that includes Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Bon Iver and Mumford & Sons — leapfrogged Universal by growing its market share to 34.5 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan.  Universal was at 28.3 percent.

Rich Bengloff, who runs the American Association of Independent Music, believes the availability and popularity of music streaming — which grew by 24 percent in the first half of 2013, while digital sales slipped 4.6 percent in the period, its first-ever decline — is exactly why artists are opting for indie status and why their power is growing.

Not surprisingly, Pandora founder Tim Westergren has been wooing the independents. Songs from outside the major labels make up 50 percent of the content streamed on the 14-year-old service. On broadcast radio, it’s 13 percent.

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NYC Radio: Pat Kiernan Talks New WABC Show

Pat Kiernan (Daily News photo)
When WABC 770 AM started talking with Pat Kiernan about an afternoon radio show, what he didn't want was a truncated reprise of his popular morning news show on NY1, according to the NYDaily News.

"I wanted to do something that's news-driven rather than straight news," he says. "What appeals to me about radio is that it's more free-flowing. I wanted the flexibility."

WABC agreed, and starting Monday, 5-6 p.m. weekdays, Kiernan will become part of WABC's push to brand itself as "live and local" radio.

Kiernan says the show, which was only finalized "a couple of weeks ago," is still coming together. In general,  he says, it will be a combination of popular culture, information, "news you can use" and things that are just entertaining.

"What a lot of people know best from my show on NY1 is 'what's in the papers'," he says. "That's the segment where the most personality can shine through. If you like that segment, you will like the radio show."

The show will cover the big news of the day, he says, but "it will not be the top-10 news stories. I already have a show which does that quite successfully — and New Yorkers also have two radio stations for that, WCBS-AM and WINS. We will leave the 'news wheel' to them."

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Rush Limbaugh Gives Homage to Bob Grant

On Thursday's radio show, Rush Limbaugh gave homage to the iconic talk Bob Grant, who passed away New Year's Eve:
RUSH: I do want to say some words about Bob Grant.  Bob Grant was the first to popularize conservative talk radio, and he did it in New York City on WABC and on WOR.  Everybody in talk radio had heard of Bob Grant.  He was legendary. He was courageous, confrontational. He was all of those adjectives, and he was funny.  He was also a nice guy.  I'll tell you something about Bob Grant. There was a roast for him -- oh, I guess in 1990 or something -- and I was on my way back from a Rush to Excellence Tour.  I was invited to attend it.  
I was on my way back to New York, and I was in New Jersey, and I went to the roast.  It was people like Freddie Roman and Pat Cooper, a bunch of comedians that gathered, and it was just a hilarious evening.  There was no way that I was gonna be able to compete with these professional comedians, so what I did was I stood up and I basically said some nice things about Bob Grant because I really meant them.  He was extremely accommodating to me when I arrived in New York -- and, by all rights, he could have been just the opposite.  
But he was.  He was helpful. He was accommodating. He helped me. Folks, in my first two weeks on the air in New York, every phone call I took, all they wanted to talk about was what Bob Grant had said the day before.  He was that powerful in New York.  He was that provocative.  What I was saying my first two weeks, people didn't know who I was.  I was still getting my feet wet in New York.  I had no idea if what I was doing was going to succeed or not.  
Every phone call -- literally every phone call -- people wanted to talk to me about what Bob Grant had said the day before, and I ended up laughing with him about that.  But he was one of these people who has this on-air reputation for confrontation, but he was just a down-to-earth, humble guy who never got lost in his ego. He never got lost in all of this.  As far as I was concerned, his both feet were planted in reality his entire life, and he helped me immensely when I got there.
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ALSO READ: NY Times Obit On Bob Grant, Click Here.

O'Reilly, Kelly Top CableTV News Show Ratings

Fox News had the top 14 programs in total viewers and the top nine programs in the key A25-54 demographic in 2013, according to TV Newser.

As usual, “The O’Reilly Factor” was the number one program in cable news in both total and demo viewers, averaging 2,771,000 total viewers and 438,000 demo viewers.

Megyn Kelly‘s “The Kelly File” was second in both total viewers and demo viewers, averaging 2,293,000 and 381,000, respectively.  “The Five,” “Special Report with Bret Baier” and “Hannity” rounded out the top five programs.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” leads MSNBC in both total viewers and the demo. Maddow’s program averaged 860,000 total viewers, placing 15th overall, and 239,000 A25-54 viewers, placing tenth overall.

“Anderson Cooper 360″ was the top CNN program in total viewers and the demo, placing 19th and 15th, respectively. The show averaged 647,000 total viewers and 201,000 A25-54 viewers for the year.

Fox Sports Inks Black Crowes' Steve Gorman

Steve Gorman
FOX Sports Radio has announced the addition of The Black Crowes drummer and sports radio personality Steve Gorman as its new afternoon drive host.

Airing live, weekdays from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. ET/12 p.m. - 3 p.m. PT, Steve Gorman Sports! will feature unique sports commentary and entertainment, including what's happening in sports, music and pop-culture from the perspective of this sports enthusiast, sports fan, and famed rock musician . Steve Gorman Sports! will debut on radio stations nationwide Monday, January 27, 2014 with a week-long broadcast leading up to the Super Bowl, live from New York.

"I'm thrilled that Steve Gorman Sports! has a home in the Fox Sports Radio family," expressed Gorman. "It's an amazing opportunity to be able to work with the one network I always felt was a perfect fit for my show. I know listeners will love hearing athletes and musicians alike talking, laughing, and arguing about our shared passions: sports and music."

As drummer and founding member of legendary rock band The Black Crowes, Gorman has enjoyed over two decades of success. Having sold more than 30 million records since the band's 1990 debut, The Black Crowes continue to record and perform live, with their most recent world tour concluding in December 2013. A widely respected drummer, Gorman has worked with Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page, and Warren Zevon among others. An avid sports fan, Gorman launched Steve Gorman Sports! as a podcast in 2010, and has hosted several local shows on sports radio stations over the past couple of years.

"Steve Gorman Sports! is the perfect combination of sports, passion, pop culture, music and entertainment," stated Bruce Gilbert, Senior Vice President of Sports Operations for Clear Channel Media & Entertainment. "At FOX Sports Radio we are committed to serving sports fans with unique and entertaining insight, stories and opinions surrounding the natural drama of sports. Steve Gorman is an excellent addition to our leading, multi-platform, sports entertainment lineup."

With the addition of Steve Gorman Sports!, the final FOX Sports Radio 2014 lineup is as follows:
  • 2am-6am ET/11pm-3am PT The Ben Maller Show
  • 6am-9am ET/3am-6am PT FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North
  • 9am-12n ET/6am-9am PT The Dan Patrick Show
  • 12pm-3pm ET/9am-12n PT Jay Mohr Sports
  • 3pm-6pm ET/12n-3pm PT Steve Gorman Sports!
  • 6pm-10pm ET/3pm-7pm PT J.T. "The Brick" with Tomm Looney
  • 10pm-2am ET/7pm-11pm PT The Jason Smith Show

Charlotte Radio: Marc James Goes Solo On The Fan

Marc James, Taylor Zarzour
CBS Radio charlotte has announced that Marc James is now solo afternoons  Sports radio WFNZ 610 AM The Fan.

Former co-host Taylor Zarzour has departed for SiriusXM's 'The Bleacher Report'.

However, Zarzour will continue to remain a part of the WFNZ family by calling into the show with Marc weekly on The Drive.

“I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity that (Operations Manager) DJ Stout and (Market Manager) Bill Schoening gave me at WFNZ,” said Zarzour. “I am extremely proud of the success that we had in my three years on the show and have no doubt Marc and the crew will continue to grow the audience. I am excited about my next opportunity but will continue to be a part of the WFNZ family.”

Zarzour and James have been co-hosting The Drive afternoons on WFNZ since they were paired in January 2011 alongside other the show’s other members The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.

“Although it is bittersweet to see Taylor go, he has done a great job for us and we will miss his talent and professionalism,” said DJ Stout WFNZ Operations Manager/Program Director. “We’re excited for Marc to take on this opportunity. He is a top notch talent and we look forward to him taking The Drive to the next level.”

Besides co-hosting The Drive, Marc James most recently held down national hosting fill in duties on CBS Sports Radio’s John Feinstein Show.

“Taylor Zarzour is probably the hardest working person is sports talk radio. He made me a better host, but more importantly a better man,” said James. “I look forward to taking Sports Radio 610 WFNZ the Fan to unparalleled heights in the future. Charlotte is hands down one of the best sports towns in America and we will continue to make Charlotte proud to call WFNZ THE best sports talk station in the City.”

CMT/After Midnite Kicks-Off January 6

Cody Alan
Some of the biggest names in country music are scheduled to stop in for the launch of CMT/After Midnite with Cody Alan next week, including Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band and Hunter Hayes.

The syndicated Premiere Networks show kicks off with CMT personality Cody Alan as its new host on Monday, January 6 at midnight - 6 a.m., ET, reaching nearly two million weekly listeners on more than 200 radio stations. The show will originate from the CMT Radio studio in Nashville and be available on iHeartRadio.

Cody Alan comes to the gig with more than 20 years' experience on the air, along with TV hosting duties as co-host of CMT Hot 20 Countdown, providing fans with 360-degree coverage of the music they love, everywhere they find it.

Seattle Radio: Sean Hannity Returns To KVI

KVI 570 AM in Seattle has announced Sean Hannity is returning.

Hannity  began his Seattle radio career in 2001 on KVI and, after a brief absence from the station, returns to broadcast LIVE each weekday between noon and 3pm.

Program director Paul Duckworth states, “We’re thrilled to bring Sean back to KVI.  Listeners deserve to hear Sean’s program live and get the most up-to-the-minute news, information and analysis.”

"From the very first day I went on the air in 1986, and that red light went on, I have been in love with radio," Sean says. "That love has grown every day since. I am extremely appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to do what I love every day.”

KVI listeners can also hear the “Hannity Encore” Sundays between 3pm and 6pm.

Chicago Radio: WIND Adding Two Syndicated Talkers

John Howell
WIND 560 AM, the Salem Communications news/talk station, kicked off the New Year by unveiling a new lineup that starts Monday January 6.

WIND is adding syndicated talkers Sean Hannity and Bill Bennett.   To make room two others are being dropped  Premiere's Glenn Beck and Salem;s Mike Gallagher.

Plus, the stations's morning show with Big John Howell and Amy Jacsoson is expanding an additional hour.

Though some hosts might find a five-hour daily marathon challenging, Howell told Chicago media blogger Robert Feder,  he welcomes the additional hour. Three reasons: “One, more opportunity to save America. Two, more time with the lovely Miss Amy. And three, more reasons to send a bigger commission check to my underprivileged agent.”

Beginning Monday, the WIND-AM weekday schedule will be...

  • 5:00am: Bill Bennett's Morning in America
  • 6:00am: John Howell and Amy Jacobson*
  • 11:00am: Dennis Miller
  • 2:00pm: Sean Hannity
  • 5:00pm: Joe Walsh*
  • 8:00pm: Michael Medved
  • 11:00pm: Dennis Prager
  • 2:00am: Hugh Hewitt

* Local

El Paso Radio: KSNM Flips From Talk To Classic Country

The New Year brought a new name and format to former talk radio station KSNM 570 AM: Classic Country 570, according to

The station now features songs and artists from the 1960s to the 1990s, from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash to George Strait.

"On our current country station 103.9 KGRT-FM, we've had so many listener requests for classic country," general manager Veronica Test said of the change. "There's already two talk radio stations in town, so it just made sense."

The station is one of four -- along with Great Country 103.9 KGRT-FM, Hot 103.1 KHQT-FM and La Gran D 98.7 KKVS-FM -- Sunrise Broadcasting and Richardson Commercial Corp. sold to Adams Radio Group in September. The deal was worth about $4 million.

For now, the other stations will not change, Test said.

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Columbia SC Radio: 3 Ousted Hosts Find New Gigs

Three Columbia news talk show hosts have landed new gigs after being pushed out at WOIC 1230 AM when the station rebranded as ESPN Radio Columbia, according to The State.

  • Frank Knapp’s show will go from 5-6 p.m. weekdays on WOIC to 7-8 p.m. weekdays on WGCV 620 AM. 
  • Tzima, who goes by one name, will move from 10-11 a.m. weekdays on WOIC to 10 p.m.-midnight on Saturdays and Sundays on The Point 95.9 FM and 1470 AM. 
  • David Calef, whose “Inside Politics” show used to be 5-7 p.m. Sundays on WOIC, now will be 6-7 p.m. Sundays on The Point.

ESPN Radio Columbia began broadcasting the national ESPN sports feed and local sports talk shows on Jan. 1, dropping its news talk shows.

Tzima praised Keven Cohen, the conservative talk host who started The Point last year, for opening his station to other types of voices. While Tzima has a more liberal outlook than Cohen, she said “you can’t put me in a box. If you try to, I’m going to disappoint you.”

January 3 In Radio History

In 1929...William Paley incorporated the Columbia Broadcast System.

In 1938...the NBC Red Network first broadcast the "Woman in White", which ran for 10 years.

In 1970...The Beatles (without John who was in Denmark on vacation) recorded "I Me Mine," the last song they recorded together under the band's name until 1995.

In 1973...The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) sold the New York Yankees to a 17-person syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner for $10 million.

In 1975...Radio announcer (hosted Saturday afternoon broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera for 43 years) Milton Cross died following a heart attack at 87.

In 1977...Apple Computers was incorporated.

In 1986...Capital Cities acquired ABC-TV for $3.5 billion. In 1991, Disney purchased Capital Cities/ABC Inc. for $19 billion.

In 1987...Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1993...Sportscaster Johnny Most, 37-year radio voice of the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics, died following a heart attack at age 69.

In 1995...Windsor-Detroit radio-TV newsman (CKLW, WWJ, WKBD-TV)/recording artist (narrated Americans, a #4 Billboard single in 1974) Byron MacGregor died from pneumonia-related complications at 46.

In 2005...Adam Carolla returned to morning drive-time radio with the premiere of "The Adam Carolla Show" on several CBS Radio stations including 97.1 FREE FM in Los Angeles (KLSX-FM), KIFR-FM San Francisco, KSCF-FM San Diego, KZON-FM Phoenix, KUFO-FM Portland and KXTE-FM Las Vegas.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Nashville Radio: Cumulus Names Charlie Cook Cluster OM

Charlie Cook
Cumulus Media has announced the appointment of Charlie Cook as Operations Manager for the company’s Nashville cluster of stations. Additionally, Cook is named Program Director of Country-formatted 95.5 FM WSM and 103.3 WKDF.

As Cumulus/Nashville Operations Manager, Cook will oversee 95.5 FM WSM and 103.3 WKDF, Urban 92-Q, Super Talk 99.7 and Sports station 104.5 The Zone.

Cook’s new role with Cumulus/Nashville marks his return to the company, having served as VP/Programming for Cumulus’s 61 Country format stations from 2006-2008. 

Cook returns to Cumulus with more than 35 years of radio industry experience, most recently as VP/Programming for West Virginia Radio Corporation. Prior to joining WVRC, Cook held the role of Program Director for Go Country 105 in Los Angeles and before that, as VP/Programming for the Westwood One Radio Network.

“I am thrilled to welcome Charlie back to Cumulus at such an exciting time for the company,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President and Co-COO of Cumulus. “I am confident his vast radio industry experience will contribute greatly to the success of the growing Nashville market.”

“With all of the new and exciting things Cumulus is launching in conjunction with the NASH brand I am thrilled to rejoin the company,” Cook said. “Being based in Nashville, in the middle of all of this, is an incredible opportunity. Cumulus has an unbelievable cluster here and I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with the team to reach new heights.”

R.I.P.: Iconic Talk Host Bob Grant Passes At 84

Bob Grant
Bob Grant, legendary conservative talk radio host who entertained and informed legions of fans during an on-air career that spanned more than 50 years, died peacefully, in Hillsborough, NJ, on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 after a short illness.

He was 84.

Born Robert Ciro Gigante in Chicago in 1929, he began his  broadcasting career in the late 1940's at WBBM 780 AM in Chicago.

He moved to Los Angeles where he hosted radio and television talk shows on KNX 1070 AM . In the mid 1960s he first developed his confrontational talk radio style at KABC 790 AM with a focus on politics and conservative issues.

He relocated to New York City in 1970 and joined the talk radio team at WMCA 570 AM. From there, his career took off, and included successful stops at WOR 710 AM and WWDB 96.5 FM (now WRDW) in Philadelphia.

In 1984 he was selected to anchor WABC radio's new all talk format as its afternoon drive show host.

Grant's radio shows were always entertaining and passionate. Along the way he interviewed countless political leaders and celebrities and inspired a generation of political talk radio hosts now working around the country. Bob lived his life in accordance with one of his radio mantras: "Straight ahead.  He published his memoirs "Let's be Heard" in 1996. That same year he was the recipient of the "Freedom of Speech Award" of the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts.

Memorial contributions may be made in Grant's memory to the Young America's Foundation, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170 or the New York Police and Fire Widows' & Childrens' Benefit Fund, Inc., 767 Fifth Ave., 2614C, New York, NY.

NYC Radio: Sliwa, Kuby Get Noon-3 Timeslot On WABC

Ron Kuby, Pat Kiernan, Curtis Sliwa at 77 WABC Thursday
Media Confidential has confirmed WABC 770 AM, which is owned by Cumulus Media, is introducing a new lineup on Thursday that emphasizes live and local programming, as its two most popular hosts, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, move to WOR 710 AM.

Weekday programming at WABC will include the return of Curtis Sliwa’s and Ron Kuby’s show, “Curtis and Kuby,” from noon to 3 p.m., after an absence of more than six years, and, starting Monday, a one-hour program at 5 p.m. with Pat Kiernan, the NY1 television anchor.

Geraldo Rivera, who joined WABC in early 2012, will turn his focus to New York news in a two-hour live show at 10 a.m., as Cumulus announced in November. Michael Savage’s syndicated program, which has been heard in the evenings, will now run from 3 to 5 p.m. “Imus in the Morning,” with Don Imus, will continue from 6 to 10 a.m.


“We’re delivering on our pledge to invest in localized content that will entertain, inform and engage listeners while also providing advertisers unique opportunities to reach their customers on a sustained basis,” John Dickey, Cumulus’s co-chief operating officer, said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Sliwa Says He Can't Make Child Support, Click Here.

The popular duo last hosted their popular show on the station from 2000-2007.

NY Daily News photo
Sliwa said: "Ever since I've left 77 WABC, everywhere I go people have asked me if and when I would ever reunite with Ron Kuby, because that was a great show! At a time when New Yorkers are starved for information and entertainment, I'm thrilled that we'll be able to offer it to them on the greatest news/talk station this country has ever seen."

Kuby said: "I am thrilled to be back at legendary 77 WABC radio with the Curtis & Kuby show -- it is a new day for New York City and a new afternoon for New York radio!"

Kiernan said: "My first broadcasting job was in radio so this is a natural way for me to extend my connection with New Yorkers. I see this as a great way for listeners to reconnect after the workday. We're going to hit the big local stories, but we also want to plug into the conversation of the day. That can include anything from pop culture to sports to the hot topic on Twitter."

Geraldo said: "New York has always been in my bloodstream throughout my entire career understanding and discussing issues that affect everyday New Yorkers. This new honed-in focus on New York will bring to light many issues and stories that have yet to be debated. Our show will be the laboratory to find out what works and what solutions are possible."

NYC Radio: 77 WABC Names Craig Schwalb New PD

Craig Schwalb
Cumulus Media has announced the promotion of Craig Schwalb to Program Director of 77 WABC in New York City and the appointment of Tony Mascaro as Program Director of the company’s Providence News/Talk radio stations.

Schwalb joins New York’s 77 WABC from Cumulus/Providence, where he served as Program Director of News/Talk 630 WPRO, 99.7 FM and AM 790. Schwalb has nearly two decades of news, talk and sports programming experience, with roles held in markets including New York City, Detroit, St. Louis and Raleigh. Prior to joining Cumulus, Schwalb was the Senior Director of Talk Programming for SiriusXM.

“WABC has inspired countless broadcasters over the years and to now lead WABC into its next phase will be an absolute pleasure. Without a doubt, working alongside Cumulus NYC Market Manager Kim Bryant, COO John Dickey, SVP Programming Mike McVay and Corporate Program Director Randall Bloomquist, will be an honor,” Schwalb said.
Tony Mascaro
Mascaro replaces Schwalb in Providence as Program Director of 630 WPRO, 99.7 FM and AM 790. Mascaro most recently held the role of Operations Manager for 77 WABC.

Mascaro is a 30-year broadcaster with previous programming positions held in New York City, Providence and Hartford.

"I am thrilled to be returning to Providence where it all started for me. WPRO-AM is a legendary radio station with an amazing line-up of talent. I wish everyone at WABC continued success for the future. Thanks to John Dickey, Mike McVay, Randall Bloomquist.

Report: How The Beatles Took America

Fifty years ago, the Beatles landed in the U.S., generating the biggest explosion rock & roll has ever seen. In the new issue of Rolling Stone (on stands Friday, January 3rd), contributing editor Mikal Gilmore examines just how the Fab Four arrived in the States facing media disdain and a clueless record label in the wake of the devastating assassination of John F. Kennedy — and still managed to conquer America.

On February 9th, 1964, Ed Sullivan famously intoned, "Tonight, the whole country is waiting to hear England's Beatles." Eight months later, the band had landed 28 records in Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart (11 in the Top 10), seen 10 albums released worldwide and been introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan. But the band's voyage from Liverpool to New York City in '64 was filled with far more apprehension and stress than relaxation and glee.

Gilmore's story traces the band's early fears, label woes and other hardships that threatened to derail its journey.

Read More Now

San Diego Radio: KSON Becomes 'George-FM'

San Diego heritage Country Music Station, KSON 93.7 FM / 92.1 FM, has become the all-new GEORGE-FM to celebrate Country Music Legend, George Strait, making his final appearance in San Diego at the end of the month.

All month, GEORGE-FM will continue with KSON Programming as San Diego’s #1 for New Country, but will sprinkle in “Double-Shots of George Strait” with two George Strait songs per hour and loads of George Strait giveaways throughout the month.

One of the biggest names in the history of Country Music, George Strait, is on his final tour entitled “The Cowboy Rides Away,” and will be making his San Diego finale at the Valley View Casino Center on January 31st with opener Miranda Lambert.  The show sold out the same day it went on sale.

GEORGE-FM will be San Diego’s best place to get tickets to the sold out show.  Listeners will have a chance to win tickets 6 times every weekday beginning January 6th.  There are also opportunities for listeners to win front row seats, flyaways to see George Strait in other markets, meet & greet passes, signed George Strait guitars, and more.

“George has been a large part of our over 50 years of bringing San Diego today's best country. George FM is our way to celebrate the final San Diego stop on the  final tour as the Cowboy Rides Away”, said Kevin Callahan Program Director for GEORGE-FM (KSON FM)

George Strait has sold over 70 million albums in the US and his certifications include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold records.  He is the 12th best-selling album recording artist in US History, and has 60 #1 hits.  He was recently named the 2013 Country Music Association “Entertainer of the Year.”

KSON 97.3 FM 54dBU Coverage 50Kw
KSON simulcast on KSOQ 92.1 FM 60 dBu Coverage 580 watts

Atlanta Radio: PD Rick Vaughn OUT At CCM+E

Rick Vaughn
Clear Channel Atlanta has let Rick Vaughn go, the first program director for both WWPW Power 96.1 FM (debuted in late August 2012) and WRDA Radio 105.7 FM (debuted March, 2013).

He lasted 16 months, according to Rodney Ho at

According to Ho, his problem: neither station was performing as well in recent months as they had been in their initial months of existence.

Clear Channel dumped its rock station Project 9-6-1 last year to bring Atlanta top 40 in the form of Power. Vaughn was put in charge. His bosses spent a boatload on billboards and TV commercials, flew in Justin Bieber to headline its nationally branded Jingle Ball at Philips Arena.

Ratings were solid the first few months, competing effectively with Q100 and Star 94. The station's sound has been assiduously younger and higher energy than its rivals. It plays its top 5 songs every two hours, more than any other station.

But it relied on a syndicated morning show led by Elvis Duran in New York which couldn't approach the Bert Show (WWWQ 99.7 FM Q100) in popularity.

Ratings began to slide earlier this year and the station quickly settled in behind B98.5, Star and Q100. For nine consecutive months, it was even losing the 18 to 34 year old demo to Star, which skews older in its sound. Its numbers have been decent (the station finished 9th overall in 2013 among 18 to 23 year olds) but clearly, Clear Channel executives were expecting more.

Read More Now

Chicago Radio: David Kaplan Re-Ups With WGN 720 AM

David Kaplan
Longtime WGN 720 AM sports talk host David Kaplan has agreed to a multiyear deal to stay with the radio station. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, according to The Chicago Tribune.

“I’m blessed that I get to keep talking sports in my hometown,” said Kaplan, 53. “It doesn’t get better than that.”

Kaplan, who started with the station in 1995, will continue as afternoon drive sports reporter and host of a nightly sports talk show. His role with station may expand as WGN Radio continues to evolve under the leadership of veteran radio executive Jimmy de Castro, who took the helm in June.

 “We’re going to do a multiyear deal with him and we expect it to have lots of different elements as it grows,” said de Castro, president and general manager of WGN Radio.

De Castro has brought back a number of WGN Radio alumni including Steve Cochran and Kathy & Judy in a return to the station’s roots.

Read More Now

Report: Chinese Magnate Interested In Buying NYTimes

An eccentric Chinese recycling magnate said on Tuesday he was preparing to open negotiations to buy the New York Times Co, according to Reuters.

Chen Guangbiao, a well-known philanthropist, is something of a celebrity in China. During a particularly murky bout of pollution in January, the ebullient and tireless self-promoter handed out free cans of "fresh air.

But Chen says he is perfectly serious in his bid to buy the Times, something that he said he had been contemplating for more than two years. He said he expected to discuss the matter on January 5, when he is due to meet a "leading shareholder" in New York.

Chen Guangbiao
"There's nothing that can't be bought for the right price," Chen said.

As one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, the Times is an occasional target among the wealthy -- some with unsteady aims.

It is unlikely that the Times, which has long been controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, would sell to Chen.

The company's chairman, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., said recently that the Times was not for sale.

Read More Now

R.I.P.: Missouri Broadcaster Ray Rouse Passes At 76

Ray Rouse
Ray Richard Rouse, 76, of California, Mo., passed away Saturday, December 21, 2013, at California Care Center in California, Mo. 

He was 76, according to his obit at

Rouse developed an interest in electronics and broadcasting at an early age. During his junior and senior years in high school at Centralia, he joined the FFA's radio show and also worked part time as a DJ at radio station KXEO in Mexico, Missouri.  

He worked as an engineer at KOMU-TV, and a DJ at KFRU in Columbia.

His career took a change in the 60's when KRCG-TV, Jefferson City gave him the opportunity to become the host of "Showtime", a 60 minute daily live program for kids.

As Station Manager of KMOS-TV, which included various duties including News Director, he often did both news and weather, using a map board on which they had to draw all the weather symbols and fronts which is now done with computers. Several years later, a group of investors without broadcast experience contacted him with an offer to help them build a new TV station, Channel 27 in Springfield, Mo. He became its first program director but also filled in with news, weather and engineering when needed.

He decided to apply for a job as an engineer at the ABC Radio Network in New York to fill in for others during the vacation season.  During the 14 years at ABC, the most fun at ABC was working at all of the Apollo launches in Florida and space shuttle landings in California. When politicians started campaigning for President, it was constant travel with them and working at their conventions and inaugurations in Washington. He traveled with President Reagan several times before and after he was elected. 

His lifelong ambition was to own his own radio station so he decided to take another giant step. After a lot of research he decided to return to Missouri. He decided California was the ideal location for a radio station.

After obtaining licenses from the FCC, purchase land and build the station. KZMO AM and FM (now KATI 94.3 FM) went on the air in July, 1984, serving "The Heart of Missouri" with heavy emphasis on news and live broadcasts of sports events of several schools in the area. 

For 18 years, Rouse served as the chairman of the Missouri State Emergency Communications Committee until he retired from this FEMA appointment. 

About 1995, the FCC and Missouri Broadcasters Association developed a pilot program to promote better compliance by broadcasters with FCC regulations. The FCC trained him to inspect radio and TV stations in the entire state, to inspect the stations for both technical and paperwork for possible "violations". The MBA hired him as the first person in the U.S. to do this. Now all states have this program in place.

January 2 In Radio History

Courtesy of
In 1921...KDKA 1020 AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania broadcast the first religious program on radio. Dr. E.J. Van Etten from the Calvary Episcopal Church appeared and preached.  Two months after KDKA's first broadcast, KDKA aired the first religious service in the history of radio. It was a remote broadcast far from a radio studio held by Westinghouse form Pittsburgh's Calvary Episcopal Church. The junior pastor, Rev. Lewis B. Whittemore, preached. After that broadcast, KDKA soon presented a regular Sunday evening service from Calvary Episcopal Church. The senior pastor, Rev. Edwin Van Ettin, become the regular speaker. The program continued until 1962.

In 1936...Bing Crosby began a 10-year tenure as host of the NBC Radio program "Kraft Music Hall."

In 1944...WABC 770 AM transmitter moved to Lodi, NJ

In 1953...After ten years on radio starring William Bendix, and a one-year television version with Jackie Gleason as the title character, "The Life of Riley" with William Bendix began a six-season run on NBC-TV.

In 1959...the CBS Radio Network discontinued the broadcast of four soap operas: "Our Gal Sunday", "This is Nora Drake", "Backstage Wife" and "Road of Life".

Courtesy of Bob Dearborn

In 1981..."Night Time America," a groundbreaking five-hour music and call-in show originating in New York City, debuted on the RKO Radio Network. Hosted by Bob Dearborn, it was the first live, daily, satellite-delivered music show in radio history. Eventually,  the program was heard on 154 affiliate radio stations throughout the U.S., from Bangor to Hilo, from West Palm Beach to Fairbanks, and in major cities including Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, San Diego, Memphis, Cincinnati, Sacramento, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Buffalo, and New Orleans. (Airchecks, Click Here)

In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show premiered in Columbus, Ohio on WBZX 99.7 FM.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1 In Radio History

In 1925...Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack of New York City's Metropolitan Opera made their radio singing debuts.

In 1926...The Rose Bowl football game was aired for the first time, coast-to-coast, on network radio.

In 1930..."The Cuckoo Hour" was broadcast for the first time on the NBC-Blue Network (it later became the ABC Radio Network).

In 1941...Lorne Greene was appointed first announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new national radio news service. Years before his emergence as Pa Cartwright on the TV western series "Bonanza," Greene's stentorian tones in nightly wartime broadcasts earned him the nickname, "The Voice of Doom."

In 1950...Twenty-six-year-old disc jockey Sam Phillips opened his Memphis Recording Service where, in July of 1953, Elvis Presley spent $3.98 to make his first recording.

In 1968...the ABC Radio Network split into 4 networks: the Information, Entertainment, Contemporary and FM networks.

In 1968...Alison Steele starts at AOR WNEW 102.7 FM

In 1971...the tobacco industry was banned from buying advertisements on television and radio.

In 1974...the NBC Radio Network began on-the-hour news, 24 hours-a-day.

In 1992...The ESPN Radio Network debuted.

In 1997...EAS Rules go in effect

In 2006...former Chicago radio personality, Alan Stagg, died of complications from pneumonia.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Houston Radio: CCM+E Dumps Classic Rock For Hip-Hop

Early New Year’s Eve, KKRW 93.7 FM The Arrow switched from rock to hip hop and R&B.

A press release from owner Clear Channel introduced the change with this line:
“Classic Rocker 93.7 The Arrow KKRW is dead, The Beat takes over as Houston's newest urban station.” 
 93.7 The Beat will feature music from Kanye West, Drake, Chris Brown, J.Cole, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Houston’s own Beyonce and more. Like other Clear Channel radio stations, it will also have contests and giveaways.

 "93.7 The Beat is ready to write a new chapter in Houston radio history. We’re defining what real hip hop and R&B is," said Eddie Martiny, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Houston.

"Many of the biggest stars in this format live in Houston, so to move the station in this direction was a natural choice. In addition, The Beat format will perfectly complement the five other radio stations in our cluster by making us more attractive and diverse to our advertising community."


Fans of the longtime classic rock format on 93.7 expressed displeasure with Tuesday's news on the KHOU 11 Facebook page. Competitor Houston's Eagle was quick to note, however, "Actually there's great news for classic rock fans. You can catch Houston's Eagle on TWO signals: KHPT 106.9 & KGLK 107.5!

KHPT 106.9 FM 60dBu Coverage (49Kw)
KGLK 107.5 FM 60dBu Coverage (50Kw)
During the latest three Nielsen PPMs, KKRW has been 6+ trending has been flat, ranking in the high teens.