Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Report: TV News Keeping Up With Technology

Americans are getting more of their news from their Twitter feeds, friends' Facebook posts and websites such as Reddit. There are live bloggers who chronicle events as they unfold — now they can even stream live video with their smartphones.

But, according to the L-A Times,  TV news is still overwhelmingly watched on televisions. Although the landscape has become more challenging, TV news can still be a lucrative endeavor. The morning shows each generate hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue for their networks.

The evening newscasts remain vital to each network's image, and after years of fighting off irrelevancy, are now seeing a ratings renaissance.

In 2014, each of the programs saw audience gains.

NBC's Brian Williams
"Not only are rumors of our death greatly exaggerated — we are a growth stock," NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said in a recent interview.

"And I have a secret theory that perhaps the best thing that happened to us is the rise of other media devices. The miniaturization of everything else has made us loom a little larger."

Williams' program is up 5% to an average audience of 8.9 million viewers. "ABC World News Tonight With David Muir" is up 6% to 8.1 million, while "CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley" rose 4% to 6.8 million. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, Muir's broadcast is the biggest gainer, up 8%, pulling up even with Williams for the lead.

The ratings boost may be the result of having three programs — which once routinely summarized the same events in lockstep — that are more distinctive from each other than they have been in recent memory.

ABC's David Muir
"ABC plays to its strengths with a faster pace and a higher story count," said Steve Capus, executive producer of the CBS Evening News.

CBS' Scott Pelley
"CBS has a smaller number of stories and we go deeper with our journalism. Brian is an immensely talented personality and NBC strikes a middle ground," he said. "Each of us is giving our audiences different options and that's not always been the case."

Read More Now

CableTV News: FNC Wins Another Year

In a generally overall down year for the CableTV news genre, Fox News remained the dominant ratings force in 2014, while CNN stabilized and made some meaningful demo strides relative to a sagging MSNBC. reports Variety.

Behind the highest-rated programs in cable news — including “The O’Reilly Factor,” which was again top dog among all programs — Fox News finished on top in both total viewers and the adults 25-54 news demo for a 13th straight year, according to Nielsen’s “most current” estimates through Dec. 26.

Fox News was also the only cable newser up in the demo in primetime, as it opened up bigger advantages over the runner-up network in both 25-54 and total viewers.

MSNBC was down across the board, including declines in the demo of nearly 20%, and its prexy Phil Griffin vowed to make changes in 2015.

And while CNN fell off by 8% in overall primetime viewership, it held steady year-to-year in adults 25-54 and moved up to second in numerous dayparts. In both total viewers and the key demo, it finished ahead of MSNBC for the first time in three years.

Read More Now

Report: Social Media Becoming Major Ad Platform

A convergence of three high-tech trends — precise ad analytics, programmatic audience-buying tools, and the stickiness of social apps — means social media is becoming one of the major ad platforms of the future.

New data from BI Intelligence finds that US social-media ad spend will top $8.5 billion this year and reach nearly $14 billion in 2018, up from just $6.1 billion in 2013. Social will grow faster than all other offline ad mediums, and faster than traditional digital formats, like desktop display ads and search ads.

In the report and associated PowerPoint presentation, BI Intelligence looks at all the numbers for this fast-growing ad industry and explores the drivers of social ad adoption.

Here are some of the key takeaways:
  • Social-media advertising spend will grow rapidly through 2018. It's up 40% this year and will top $8.5 billion, growing to nearly $14 billion in 2018, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%. 
  • Social media ad spend has reached the mobile-tipping point. Spending on mobile social-media ads, including mobile app-install ads, will surpass non-mobile spend by the end of this year in the US. In 2018, two-thirds of social-media ad spend will go to mobile, creating a $9.1 billion social-mobile market. 
  • Mobile app-install ads and programmatic buying are also growth drivers. Analyses suggest that mobile app-install ads could account for anywhere from one-quarter to more than one-half of Facebook's mobile ad revenues.
  • Prices are increasing as performance and targeting improve, even as ad loads stay steady on the established platforms. Facebook, for example, is not likely to increase the amount of in-feed native ads an average user will see.

Wichita Radio: Harris, Cassidy To Host AM On New KKGQ

Tracy Cassidy and Brett Harris
Envision Broadcast Network will be launching off their new format on KKGQ 92.3 FM Monday, January 5, 2015.

Dynamic radio duo Brett Harris and Tracy Cassidy, formerly of crosstown KRBB,  will reunite to debut the new station as hosts of its morning show.

Heather Hogan, Envision’s Vice President of Foundation and Mission Services, announced plans for the future format and content for the station, which will serve as a source of entertainment for audiences, a medium of communication for Envision and other causes and organizations, revenues to support Envision’s programs and services, and employment for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Envision Broadcast Network is operating the for-profit station, which used to be KFTI.

“We are delighted to be reuniting Brett and Tracy in our first official move with 92 FM,” Hogan said.

“Wichita has been waking up to Brett and Tracy for more than 22 years, and we look forward to bringing them back to the airwaves for the community to enjoy.”

Harris and Cassidy have a long history of involvement with Envision. They have both received the organization’s “Excellence in Volunteerism” award and have participated in benefit concerts, committee involvement and internal events.

KKGQ 92.3 FM (95Kw) 60dBu Coverage
The two are thrilled to be an official part of the Envision team. “To have a non-profit agency with which we’ve been passionately involved for years approach us about reuniting on the radio is incredibly humbling and exciting,” says Harris.

“We’re absolutely energized. Local radio is not only a terrific investment for a non-profit, but what a way to spread the mission by training kids who are visually impaired to become on-air talent." Cassidy says working with individuals who are visually impaired has been tightly woven into her radio career since even before she began collaborating on projects with Envision.

The pair started working together on KRBB 97.9-FM in 1990. Harris was fired from the iHeartMedia station in 2012. Cassidy lost her job in May 2014.

Racine WI Radio: After 24-Years, Don Rosen OUT At WRJN

Don Rosen, long-time program director and morning radio show co-host for N/T WRJN 1400 AM in Racine WI, has been let go after nearly 24 years with the station.

Both Rosen and Dave Magnum, owner and president of Magnum Communications which owns WRJN, confirmed the move. According to The Journal-Times, Rosen said Magnum called at 6:30 p.m. Friday to say he was being let go after Wednesday. Magnum Communications bought the station last summer from Bliss Communications.

“I was fired without severance pay — without a dime of severance pay — and over the phone,” Rosen said. He first said he was “a little angry” but then tempered that slightly to “disappointed.”

Rosen said Magnum told him the company had heard from people who said they would not listen to WRJN because of the call-in show “Sound Off,” which Rosen hosted five days a week.

Don Rosen
“I’m glad I’m out of there,” Rosen said. “I just wanted out. It was not the same radio station” after the acquisition.

Magnum characterized the action this way: “It was a team that was running a wishbone offense and will be going to a pro-style offense. It’s nothing about Don’s performance as a professional – we’re changing the direction of the radio station; we’re calling it ‘your radio station friend.’

“It will be about companionship and the views of our listeners rather than the views of our host,” Magnum added. “Don was a very polarizing figure, by design.”

Magnum said he terminated Rosen by phone because he’d promised to let him know as soon as he’d made a decision.

About the lack of severance, Magnum said despite Rosen’s two-dozen years with the station, he’d only been with Magnum Communications since the purchase closed Nov. 1.

Morning show host Curt Vollman will replace Rosen as program director, Magnum said.

Read More Now

Peoria Radio: WSWT Rebrands As 'The New Mix 106.9 FM'

Alpha Media/Peoria has announced that WSWT 106.9 FM known for years as Lite Rock 107 is now The New Mix 106.9!

"Stations as successful as WSWT don't often switch names," said Peoria SVP/Market Manager, Mike Wild.

"It's a bold move, but we believe it to be a beneficial step in the right direction for the future of the station and our listeners. We had listeners tell us the word, 'Lite' wasn't reflective of the product and had created an image that we play Celine Dion and Whitney Houston songs-but that was years ago."

Randy Rundle, Operations Manager and WSWT Program Director/Morning Co-Host, said, "We continually had listeners using the word 'Mix' when they would describe to us how they liked our music. We're often told we have 'the best mix,' or we should add a specific song 'to the mix,' so we think this evolution to Mix as our name is very natural and relevant."

WSWT 106.9 FM (50Kw) 54dBu Coverage
There will be no change in the music, and on-air personalities will remain the same. "It's business as usual," added Rundle. "We simply have to remember we have to say a couple different words when we flip on the mics!"

Medford OR Radio: Ashley Greninger New PD At KRWQ

Ashley Greninger
Country KRWQ 100.3 FM Q100-3 in Medford, OR has announced the addition of Ashley Greninger as PD and morning show cohost.  She'll join Jason Allen for mornings in mid-January.

Greninger comes from KXXK 95.3 FM Kix 95-3 in Hoquiam, Washington,, where was PM Drive host and music director. She had been with the Greys Harbor station for the past eight years.

With the addition of Greninger, the Q100.3 lineup is set and poised to continue dominating nearly every adult demographic," Don Hurley, Bicoastal operations manager noted. "Coupling Ashley's passion for the radio industry and love for country music will only add to the exciting product in Q100.3."

"I am looking forward to connecting with listeners, being active in the community, and working in a competitive market," Greninger added. "I am humbled by this opportunity. I am thankful to Don Hurley and Bill Ashenden for their faith in my abilities!"

KRWQ 100.3 FM (30Kw) 60dBu Coverage
"She clearly loves her listeners and community, and we expect her to make an instant impact here in the Rogue Valley," Bicoastal market manager Ashenden noted. "Her leadership will provide Q100.3 a very fresh and innovative approach."

Air Check Website Reel Radio Lawyers-Up Vs. RIAA

The aircheck website ReelRadio received notice last summer from the Recording Industry Association of America regarding non-compliance with conditions of their statutory license. The statutory license allows ReelRadio to stream music sound recordings heard in our "unscoped" airchecks.  ReelRadio has been paying the RIAA licensing fees for years, but a problem arose last summer when the recording organization sent a letter asking for changes in the way ReelRadio streams music.

At the time, some 1,147 unscoped airchecks became unavailable on the subscription-based website.

Aircheck curator Uncle Ricky said , “the RIAA has determined that our service fails to meet the requirements for "archived programs", which must be at least five hours in duration and may not be made available for more than two weeks. The service must also display the Title, Artist and Album of each featured song, but only while the recording is being performed. You have probably seen this type of "online radio station" elsewhere on the Web.

Obviously, we have no single airchecks with a duration of five hours, and our exhibits are permanent. Our current method for streaming content does not allow real-time metadata, such as artist and title, to be included in the media file.”

He also said in a posted statement, “The RIAA has asked ReelRadio to remedy these violations to continue operating under the statutory license. Further, the RIAA insists that we obtain permission from the copyright owners of these old radio broadcasts. Many broadcasters understand the difficulty of this requirement, since nearly all radio stations have changed ownership, format, and call letters, many times over. Nevertheless, we are expected to provide the RIAA with an explanation of how we have permission from radio stations that no longer exist and copyright owners who have no interest in historic recordings of their property. The law is too narrow and should obviously be amended to include genuine "historical archive" sites, like Reelradio.”

ReelRadio has suspended streaming of unscoped airchecks and currently, they are not offering renewals or new subscriptions.

The L-A Times last week reported has found a lawy firm to work on their case. The law firm of King & Spalding has agreed to provide pro bono services to ReelRadio for the purpose of clearing up any music licensing issues.

Akron Radio: Maggie Fuller Settles WNIR-FM Lawsuit

Maggie Fuller
A sexual harassment lawsuit that one of WNIR 1001. FM’s former radio personalities filed against the station has been settled, according to

Attorney Nancy Grim, representing Maggie Fuller, and radio station manager Bill Klaus both confirmed the matter has been resolved but declined to comment further.

Fuller — the on-air pseudonym of Nancy Jones, who had been part of the radio station’s morning crew — filed the civil suit in September, one year after leaving the station, when WNIR’s owners declined to discipline another radio host who was reported to have referred to her at a public event by using a crude anatomical reference.

The case, filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court, accused Bill and Bob Klaus of abetting unlawful discriminatory practices, causing Fuller to lose $38,000 a year in income plus benefits, as well as suffer mental anguish, humiliation and loss of reputation.

At the time, she asked to be reinstated at the station and compensated for lost wages, or if not reinstated, given lost income as well as “future wages and benefits.” The suit also sought $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

Fuller said that when she was hired in 1999 she understood that banter would require her to “endure a degree of sexual innuendo with her male colleagues” but that the Klaus brothers prohibited “obscene and hateful terms.”

Read More Now

Atlanta Radio: Personality Porcha Williams Busted For Speeding

Demoted Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Porsha Williams was pulled over in Atlanta this week for allegedly speeding. According to TMZ, the 33-year-old Bravo reality star and currently cast member of the syndicated Ricky Smiley Morning Show was clocked doing 78 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Police claimed that Williams was driving on a suspended license. She was subsequently taken to jail, booked and released after posting $1,726 bond.

Williams addressed the incident Monday night, telling Dish Nation,
"I was headed to visit my grandfather who is very ill with cancer in the hospital, and I was pulled over. I was wrong for speeding absolutely and apologize for putting anyone at risk. I tried to explain the situation to the officer and show him that all my paperwork was in order, but he refused."
"Handcuffs are not comfortable or a good look for anyone," Williams told E Oline. "I was released, I have my license, my car and my freedom."

This was the second time in 2014 that Williams was booked by the police. In April, she was charged with one misdemeanor count of simple battery stemming from an incident that occurred during the taping of the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion.

Jax Radio: WJXR Ending Iconic Shopping Channel

  • Spanish Tropical Format Launching
A live, call-in shopping show that’s been on the radio in Jacksonville, FL for nearly three decades will make its final sale Wednesday nightm according to

The Bargain Channel Program was an on-air staple of Jax rimshot WJXR 92.1 FM since 1985. Every day of the week, from 6 a.m. until midnight, you could buy anything and everything from necklaces, to cruises, from laptops to toilet paper and bars of soap.

WJXR 92.1 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Not to panic, faithful Bargain Channel buyers.

The Bargain Channel has announced it is starting a new, more abbreviated, radio shopping show on 102.3 FM and 1600 AM The Beach which will debut next month during morning and evening drive time.

Meanwhile,  the new ownsers of WJXR has announced the launching of  Latina 92.1 FM WJXR. The station is the fifth FM station owned by NORSAN Media, the group also publishes the weekly newspaper HELLO news.

According to Norberto Sanchez, CEO of NORSAN Media, launching 92.1 FM strengthens its commitment to continue empowering the Hispanic community by offering unparalleled access to music, entertainment, and local community information, and national and international news.

“NORSAN Media was honored to have the support of our community and listeners for whom we make every effort to provide quality programming that comes into their cars, homes and workplaces,” said Norberto Sanchez, president and CEO of NORSAN Media.

Latina 92.1FM programming is based on tropical hits and pop in Spanish allowing you reach a vast majority of Hispanic listeners in the programming area. “This new addition enhances our portfolio and gives us a competitive advantage that will benefit our private audience and advertisers who want to reach the Hispanic market in northern Florida,” said Sanchez.

NORSAN Media also owns and operates WVOJ 1570 AM La Raza, featuring regional Mexican format in Jacksonville.

December 31 In Radio History

In 1923...In London, the BBC first aired the chimes of Big Ben.

In 1923...the first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice occurred between Pittsburgh and Manchester, England

In 1929...Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time during their first annual New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Roosevelt Grill in New York. The show was broadcast on the CBS Radio network and became the longest-running annual special program in radio history.

In 1940...ASCAP prevented the radio industry from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months. It was in reaction to a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers and Publishers.

In 1943...Country singer John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf. He died in a crash of an experimental plane he was piloting on Oct. 12, 1997 at 53.

In 1948...Disco diva Donna Summer was born. She died on May 17, 2012 at 63

In 1951...The "Wild Bill Hickok" TV series was replicated on radio following its success on television.

In 1963...the "Dear Abby Show" premiered on the CBS Radio network. It ran eleven years. On this day in 1966, "Pirate Radio 390" (Radio Invicata)an off-shore station near England, resumed broadcasting.

In 1970...Paul McCartney sued the other members of the Beatles for a legal dissolution of their "partnership." On the same day, the British magazine Melody Maker announced that the Beatles were looking for a new bass player. Four years to the day later, the four of them came to terms and made the separation final.

In 1972...TV producer Dick Clark initiated a new holiday tradition with "Three Dog Night's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on NBC. The headliners, along with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy, and Al Green, appeared in performances that had been pre-taped in the Grand Ballroom of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. Clark himself did not appear on the initial program. In 1973, he began hosting the special, its name shortened to "New Year's Rockin' Eve." The show moved to ABC-TV in 1974.

In 1982...the "CBS Mystery Theater" aired its final episode after 8 years on radio.

In 1982...the NBC Radio network cancelled practically all of it's daily features.

In 1985...Singer/actor Ricky Nelson, his fiancé Helen Blair, and five members of the Stone Canyon Band, died in the crash of his private DC-3 airplane (which was previously owned by Jerry Lee Lewis) near DeKalb, Texas, while en route to a concert appearance in Dallas. The pilot was attempting an emergency landing after a fire, caused by a malfunctioning gas heater, broke out on the plane. Nelson was 45.

In 1989...the final edit was added to the annual WLS Music Montage.

Every New Year's Eve, the "Top 89" songs of the year were counted down on WLS-AM (and FM). After the #1 song was played at about 4 minutes before Midnight, the radio station wished listeners a Happy New Year!

Then...this wonderful montage was played. Each year added about a minute of the previous top songs in Chicago. The montage originally started short, as you can guess, and ultimately ended up as this 27+ minute marathon.

After WLS-AM changed to all-talk in 1989, this montage was no longer heard in Chicago. But thanks to Scott Childers, this "rebuild" version can be heard exactly as it was played every year. Kudos to Scott for putting this together!

This is an appreciation to the production work that Scott, Tommy Edwards (the originator) and the production staff created over the years.

Thanks to Scott Childers for the permission to post this. Check out his site at

In 2013...Veteran talk radio personality (WOR, WABC, WMCA in New York, KABC, KNX in Los Angeles, WBBM-Chicago, WWDB-Philadelphia) Bob Grant died at the age of 84.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chicago Radio: WLS-AM, Dan Proft Part Company

Dan Proft
  • No word on status of co-host Bruce Wolf
  • Is Big John Howell waiting in the wings?
Talk Radio WLS 890 AM continues to make changes to its lineup. The latest change is the exit of morning show co-host Dan Proft, whose contract expires this week and is not being renewed, according to Chicagoland Radio&Media.

The 42-year-old Proft's connection to WLS-AM began in 2009, as Proft was used as a political commentator on WLS-AM's morning show with Don Wade & Roma. Starting in May 2010, he was teamed with Chicago radio veteran Bruce Wolf for a weekend show on WLS-AM. In July 2011, the duo were promoted up to the weekday late morning shift of 9:00am-11:00am.

In September 2012, morning show host Don Wade took ill, so Wolf and Proft moved to the early morning shift on an interim basis. By December of that year, when it became clear that Wade was too sick to return, Wolf and Proft were named as the new morning show hosts going forward.

However, ratings for Wolf and Proft's show were a fraction of what Don Wade & Roma were able to bring in. That combined with a national trend away from divisive conservative talk radio drove down the ratings for the morning show, as well as for the entire station.

Read More Now

Meanwhile, Proft's co-host Bruce Wolf is due to return to the air Friday.  However, there's been no official word on his status at WLS-AM. Lisa Dollinger, corporate spokeswoman for Cumulus Media, has not responded for comment.

Last Week, Cumulus Media was reportedly close to hiring Big John Howell, morning personality at Salem Communications news/talk station WIND 560 AM.  Howell chose not to renew his contract after eight years at WIND.

Chicago Radio: WGN 720 AM To Simulcast On FM

UPDATE 4PM 12/30/2014:  Weigel Broadcasting, Chicago-based parent company of The U, Me-TV and other iconic television channels, is about to extend its brand into local radio for the first time.

Chicago media writer Robert Feder cites "sources" as saying the company has reached an agreement with Venture Technologies Group to lease WGWG LP 87.7, now home of Tribune Media’s ill-fated sports/talk format known as The Game 87.7 FM.

Contracts have not yet been signed, but insiders said it’s a done deal.

Original Posting...

Chicago radio listeners can get ready to ring in the new year with WGN 720AM 720 on the FM band.

But don't get used to it, according to The Chicago Tribune.

WGN's AM signal will be simulcast on 87.7 FM beginning Wednesday night at 11 p.m., filling the programming void left by the imminent demise of sports talk station The Game, and keeping the frequency warm for an operator and format to be named later.

The FM simulcast of WGN's news/talk programming is a one-month deal, executives said.

Tribune Media, which owns WGN-AM 720, signed an 18-month lease for FM 87.7 and launched The Game in February. Low ratings doomed the sports talk format, which will end its run on New Year's Eve.

While the lease runs through September, WGN has no obligation to operate the FM station beyond the one-month simulcast.

WGWG 87.7 FM Red=47dBu Coverage Area
Los Angeles-based Venture Technologies Group owns the frequency, and is expected to announce a new long-term broadcasting partner next month. WGWG-LP is a low-power television station that has been operating as an FM radio station since it went on the air in 2008. The station has been through a variety of operators and formats, with smooth jazz and alternative rock achieving far greater ratings success than its recent foray into sports talk.

Read More Now

Detroit Radio: Mike Wheeler Named New OM For Cumulus

Mike Wheeler
Cumulus announces that WJR Detroit Program Director Mike Wheeler has been promoted to the new position of Operations Manager for Detroit radio stations WJR 760 AM, WDVD 96.3 FM, WDRQ 93.1 FM, and WDRQ-HD2.

In his new role, Wheeler will oversee all programming for Cumulus’ four Detroit stations. He will work with programmers Lori Bennett and Robby Bridges on the programming of WDVD, NASH (WDRQ), and NASH Icon (WDRQ HD2).

Raised in Detroit, Wheeler started his radio career in on-air posts at Motor City stations WNIC, WABX, WHYT and WCZY. Wheeler joined Cumulus in September from Clear Channel, where served for five years as Regional Program Manager for Clear Channel’s Connecticut stations. Prior to that, Wheeler was Program Director for CBS’ DaveFM in Atlanta, and was Regional Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Toledo.
Mike McVay, Senior Vice President, Corporate/Programming for Cumulus said: "Mike Wheeler brings a wealth of experience to the table. His history in Detroit, abilities at coaching talent and his knowledge of programming gives us another strong programming presence within Cumulus. He is deserving of this promotion."

Wheeler said: “What a thrill to work with Robby and Lori on these great Detroit radio stations. I’m grateful to John Dickey and Mike McVay for the opportunity to drive the FunBus in Detroit!”

MSNBC Chief Vows To Target Young Progressives

Phil Griffin
MSNBC president Phil Griffin, whose CableTV news network is the only one among the big three to lose primetime viewers this season, told staffers he would look to turn things around by continuing a push in 2015 for younger viewers.

Griffin, according to The NY Post, also promised “to get on the road — and outside of Washington” to broaden the network’s coverage.

“It’s no secret that 2014 was a difficult year for the entire cable news industry and especially for msnbc,” Griffin wrote in a memo to staff.

“We have a long history of finding and nurturing great talent — and with an eye toward 2016 — we continued to build our next generation of top-notch journalists,” Griffin wrote.

The memo then singled out such twenty-something hosts as Ronan Farrow, Kasie Hunt and Alex-Seitz Wald.

It also touted Shift, MSNBC’s just-launched streaming news service, which “is already allowing us to reach new, younger audiences.”

MSNBC’s push to embrace youth makes sense for the only cable news network to see its prime time audience erode in the current season, as measured by Nielsen.

Its 548,000 primetime viewers aged 2 and older — down 18 percent from the comparable season a year ago — ranked third to No. 2 CNN’s 560,00 (up 15 percent) and Fox News Channel’s 1,845,00 (up 1 percent).

MSNBC’s ratings slide suggests that Griffin’s making the network “the place to go for progressives” has outlived its usefulness as an audience builder.

A Pew Research study last year identified MSNBC as the most opinionated news network, with factual reporting accounting for just 15 percent of its content.

Read More Now

Liberty Media Extends Greg Maffei Contract

Greg Maffei
Liberty Media Corp. Chief Executive Greg Maffei reached an agreement to remain at the helm of the media company through 2019 just days before his prior contract was set to expire, according to The Wall Street Journal.

His previous contract is set to end Wednesday.

A new compensation agreement calls for Maffei to receive an annual base salary of $960,750, increasing annually by 5%, and an annual target cash bonus equal to 250% of the applicable year’s base salary. For 2013, Maffei received a salary of $868,219 and total compensation of $3.57 million, made up mostly of incentive-plan compensation.

Liberty Media’s holdings include a majority stake in SiriusXM Holdings Inc. and full ownership of the entity that owns the Atlanta Braves. Its minority investments include Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Liberty Interactive has many home-shopping and e-commerce holdings including QVC Inc., CommerceHub and Evite.

In November, Liberty Media said third-quarter revenue and operating earnings improved, reflecting strong SiriusXM results.

Read More Now (Paywall)

SiriusXM Launches 'Resolution Radio'

SiriusXM has announced special programming to help listeners with their 2015 resolutions, offering tips, strategies and valuable self-improvement advice from a wide array of world-class expert hosts. The timely advice found on multiple SiriusXM channels spans the areas of health, spirituality, finances, family and beyond.

SiriusXM's "Resolution Radio" programming will be available on Joel Osteen Radio, Doctor Radio, Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM Stars, Road Dog Trucking, OutQ, Business Radio, and Kids Place Live. Hosts will welcome calls from listeners looking for support with their personal goals for 2015.

"Resolution Radio" programming will start on Thursday, January 1, 2015.

Doctor Radio powered by NYU Langone Medical Center (SiriusXM channel 81)
  • "Rehabilitative Medicine" - Host Jonathan Whiteson assists listeners to "kick the habit" with smoking cessation strategies. Monday, January 5
  • "Primary Care Medicine" - Dr. Marina Kurian will discuss finding the right exercise routine to get in shape in 2015. Wednesday, January 7
  • "Doctor Radio Reports" - Perri Peltz, veteran journalist, documentary filmmaker and public health advocate, will host "Resolution Solutions" exploring a variety of health and wellness goals for 2015. Thursday, January 8
  • "Nutrition and Exercise" - Samantha Heller, registered dietician, certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist presents healthy eating strategies to aid listeners in achieving weight loss goals. Friday, January 9
Joel Osteen Radio (SiriusXM channel 128) 
  • "A Night of Hope" - Joel Osteen welcomes 2015 with "A Night of Hope" live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.Friday, January 2 at 8:00 pm ET.
  • "Joel Osteen Live" - Join Joel Osteen as he shares inspiration and insights on how to have a closer walk with God throughout the New Year. Monday, January 5
  • "Victoria Osteen Live" - Victoria Osteen shares tips on being the best you can be for your family in 2015. Wednesday, January 7
Business Radio powered by Wharton (SiriusXM channel 111)
  • On New Year's Day, business, career and finance experts share their best advice for improving your professional and business life in 2015. Thursday, January 1
  • "Knowledge @ Wharton" - Host Dan Loney is joined by financial planner Eric Brotman for a conversation about financial resolutions. Monday, January 5
  • "Your Money" - Will cover the psychology behind making resolutions to "get out of debt." Tuesday, January 6
  • "Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg" - Randi Zuckerberg will assist listeners resolving to be better with technology and social media. Wednesday, January 7
SiriusXM Stars (SiriusXM channel 109)
  • Celebrity host and parenting author, Jenny McCarthy, is joined by "The Moms," Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein to talk about being the best parent you can be in 2015. Monday, January 5
  • SiriusXM host and author Jenny Hutt will provide advice to listeners looking to lose weight in 2015. From apps to help listeners monitor their calories to the latest workouts, Jenny will kick off 2015 with a guide to getting the weight off and keeping it off. Wednesday, January 7
  • "Financially Fearless with Alexa von Tobel" – The Learnvest CEO takes listener questions about getting out of debt and saving more money in 2015. Thursday, January 8
Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM channel 105)
  • If your resolution is to get up-to-speed with the latest TV shows, movies, books and music, join "EW Morning Live" for a discussion about what you should be watching, reading and listening to in 2015. Monday, January 5
Road Dog Trucking (SiriusXM channel 146)
  • For truck drivers, Freewheelin' with Meredith Ochs and Chris T. will explore the many ways you can accomplish your health, financial and educational goals without ever leaving your truck. Tuesday, January 6
OutQ (SiriusXM 106)
  • For the LGBT community, on "Derek & Romaine," SiriusXM host Romaine Patterson encourages listeners to get involved in charities, advocacy groups and community-service projects.  Tuesday, January 6
Kids Place Live (SiriusXM channel 78)
  • Hosts Kenny Curtis and Absolutely Mindy help families set goals to spend more quality time together by sharing ideas to make the most of your time with the kids. Friday, January 9

Nielsen Releases Final Batch Of PPM Data For December

Nielsen on Monday released the final batch of December PPM results.  Markets released were:
35 Austin
38 Milwaukee-Racine
40 Indianapolis
42 Raleigh-Durham
43 Norfolk-Virginia Breach-Newport News
44 Providen-Warwick-Pawtucket
45 Nashville
          46 Greensboro-Winter Salem-High Point NC
48 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton
50 Jacksonville
51 Memphis
52 Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT
To See the Topline Numbers for Nielsen subscribing stations: Click Here.

Westwood One SportsTo Air NFL Playoffs

Westwood One Sports presents broadcast coverage of the NFL postseason, beginning with audio play-by-play coverage of all four Wild Card Playoff games on January 3 and January 4, 2015, followed by the Divisional Playoffs on January 10 and January 11, 2015.

Below is the schedule of games and broadcast crews for Westwood One's Wild Card Weekend and Divisional Weekend.  Scott Graham hosts the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows for all eight broadcasts.

         Saturday, January 3, 2015

               4:00 pm, ET:  Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers
               Dave Sims (play-by-play), Mark Malone (analyst), and Steve Tasker

               7:45 pm, ET:  Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
               Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst), and Hub Arkush

         Sunday, January 4, 2015

               12:30 pm, ET:  Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts
               Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Mike Mayock (analyst), and Laura Okmin

               4:15 pm, ET:  Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys
               Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst), and Ross Tucker


           Saturday, January 10, 2015

               4:00 pm, ET:  TBA @ New England Patriots
               Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Boomer Esiason (analyst), and Tony Boselli

                7:45 pm, ET:  TBA @ Seattle Seahawks

               Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst), and Scott Kaplan

           Sunday, January 11, 2015

              12:30 pm, ET:  TBA @ Green Bay Packers
              Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst), and Hub Arkush

              4:15 pm, ET:  TBA @ Denver Broncos

              Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Rod Woodson (analyst), and Mark Malone

Mason City Radio: KLKK PD Facing Deportation

James Shaman
A familiar voice of north Iowa radio is taking to the airwaves to address immigration reform, as he himself faces deportation, according to

On Monday, Classic Rock KLKK 103.7 FM The Fox Program Director, James Shaman, shared his story with listeners after finding out his court date to determine whether or not he will be deported back to Canada.

Shaman is scheduled to appear at a hearing in Bloomington with federal officials on his immigration status.

At an early age, Shaman admits he broke the law and because of this, he has a criminal record.

He says up until only three years ago, his legal status was protected by a permanent residential visa. With his criminal record, Shaman says his green card was rescinded and he was placed on parole legal status.

KLKK 103.7 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Shaman says through this experience, he’s been able to gain more perspective on the importance of immigration reform.

Read More Now

VA Radio: Personality's Wrongful Death Suit To Continue

Seth Williamson
A judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that a Roanoke public radio personality died from an overdose of painkillers administered by a faulty medication pump, according to

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Urbanski clears the way for a trial next month that could explore the medical device’s role in the death of Seth Williamson, who was the long-time host of several radio shows on WVTF 89.7 FM in Charlotesville..

Williamson died in 2011 after undergoing surgery for a hernia at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery. A lawsuit later filed by his family alleged that while in the hospital, Williamson received a fatal dose of Dilaudid, a potent painkiller, from a medication pump that was unnecessarily confusing to operate.

The products liability action seeks $10 million in damages. A trial date has been set for Jan. 12, according to Robert Hall, a Reston attorney who represents Williamson’s family.

Named as defendants are Hospira Inc. of Lake Forest, Illinois, the manufacturer of the pump, and Abbot Laboratories Inc., which the lawsuit said once owned Hospira.

Read More Now

Gallup: Bill O'Reilly Makes 'Most Admired' List

Bill O'Reilly
According to a new Gallup poll, Americans continue to name Hillary Clinton as the woman living anywhere in the world whom they admire most, and name Barack Obama as the man they admire most.

Clinton has held the top women's spot in each of the last 13 years and 17 of the last 18, with that streak interrupted only by first lady Laura Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Obama has been most admired man in each of the last seven years, beginning with 2008, the year he was elected president.

The sole media personality to make the list is FNC's Bill O'Reilly.

For nearly seven decades, Gallup has asked Americans, using an open-ended question, to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world whom they admire most. The current results are based on a Dec. 8-11 poll.

Read More Now

R.I.P.: 'Mother' Of Minnesota Radio Joyce Lamont

Joyce Lamont
For more than five decades, Joyce Lamont’s folksy, familiar voice was a fixture on Minnesota airwaves.

“She was a pioneer,” said retired WCCO radio announcer Charlie Boone, who worked with Lamont for many years.

Lamont died Sunday at age 98,  according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

She grew up in Duluth and began her career in the Twin Cities at a time when few women were heard on radio. She started behind the scenes, as a “continuity director,” writing copy for others to read on the air. But once she got the opportunity to be a substitute host, she became a regular on-air presence for more than 40 years at WCCO 830 AM  and later at KLBB 1220 AM, until her retirement in 2003.

“She had a marvelous voice,” Boone said of Lamont, who was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001. She became the voice of “Dayton’s Musical Chimes,” the long-running “Best Buys” and other programs. She worked with many of the best-known personalities in Minnesota broadcasting, including Bob DeHaven, Howard Viken and Jergen Nash.

“She loved it (radio), and loved her listeners,” said longtime friend Dee Larson.

Lamont’s listeners returned the love. She received as many as 10,000 letters a month, more than any other broadcaster at WCCO, according to her Hall of Fame biography.

1986 AUDIO SAMPLE: Click Here   (More at

She became an on-air broadcaster purely by accident. While working at WCCO radio as a script and ad writer in 1950, she was asked to read a couple of lines on air because a woman's voice was needed and no other woman was in the office. Her voice was perfect for radio. Soon, she was recruited for on-air segments that led to the popular "Morning Program." There she served as the on-air home economist despite the fact that she had little time to cook herself.

Lamont left WCCO in 1989, after her contract was not renewed, but soon found a home at KLBB, where she rejoined several of her former WCCO colleagues. Leaving WCCO was “very painful,” according to her friend Larson. “But she was happy to be invited over to KLBB, and she loved it there.”

Read More Now

December 30 In Radio History

In 1936...The famous radio feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen began. After a 10-year-old performer finished a violin solo on "The Fred Allen Show," Allen said, "A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing." It didn't take long for Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted ten weeks on both comedian's radio shows, and gave them material they continued using over the next 20 years.

In 1942...the radio program, "Mr. and Mrs. North", began it's run on the NBC Radio network.

In 1942...Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a four-week engagement, but turned into eight weeks because of its popularity. Police were called to help curb the excitement among the screaming teenage girls known as bobbysoxers -- a phenomenon not seen before for a pop singer

In 1943...Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was born.

In 1945...Singer Davy Jones, "the cute one" on TV's The Monkees, was born. He died February 29, 2012 at 66

In 1950...At the National Studios in New York City, the Dominoes, a group that included Billy Ward and Clyde McPhatter, recorded the sexually suggestive novelty song "Sixty Minute Man," with Bill Brown taking the lead vocal. In the spring of 1951, despite being banned by many U.S. radio stations, the record rose to #1 on the R&B charts, where it remained for 14 weeks.

In 1962...Radio/TV talker Sean Hannity was born.

In 2005...Longtime Seattle radio disc jockey (KOL, KJR) Lan Roberts died of lung cancer at 69.

Lan Roberts
During the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts was a high-profile presenter with KJR in Seattle. Like many of the local DJs of the time, he left KJR for rival top 40 station KOL in a late 60s talent raid and returned to KJR in the early 70s.   He was known primarily for comedic skits and gags, working the coveted morning drive shift from 6:00am until 10:00am on weekdays. Lan Roberts was a master of voices and surrounded the top 40 hits of KJR with odd characters with names like Phil Dirt and The Hollywood Reporter. Roberts would carry on spirited conversations between his regular on-air voice and the characters. The Hollywood Reporter (no other name was given) would always begin a report on celebrity gossip in a lisping, snide, mocking voice "This is The Hollywood Reporter," and then continue with a totally bogus report. His career also included spells in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Taipei and San Francisco.

Later in life, Roberts returned to live in his old home town and worked as a radio consultant. He gained a new following by sharing his Liberal political views on his website. In the last ten years of his life he suffered from lung cancer, and urged visitors to his site not to smoke.  In addition, he used his internet presence to chastize the corporate mentality and lack of creativity in the modern broadcast industry.

In 2014...Scotty Rhodarmer did his last show on WWNC 570 AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Rhodarmer did the morning show for 50 years beginning in 1954.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Audio Consumers: It's the Sound That Counts

Global listeners have become more sophisticated with their audio preferences and have higher expectations regarding sound quality, however, just one in four believe that their current systems are delivering the premium sound they desire.

According to research commissioned by CSR, 82% of those surveyed rate excellent sound quality as one of the most important features in home audio systems with 79% agreeing that the quality of sound is becoming more important than the appearance of devices.

Along with the desire for CD-quality sound everywhere, the research highlights a growing shift to streaming music from the internet, and a preference for easy to install systems that can be networked in the home and accessed through multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets.

The State of Play global snapshot of listener habits, commissioned by CSR plc, surveyed 2,000 music lovers across China, Germany, USA, Japan and the UK, to find out what drives the audio equipment choices of today and what will drive them in the future.

Anthony Murray
“Music is hugely important to consumers and a way many of us make a personal statement, manage our emotions and deal with the daily grind. The desire for quality sound, particularly in the home is not surprising, but the fact that consumers are seeking more from their existing home audio equipment is,” comments Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President, Business Group at CSR.

“While people historically liked to show off the look of their speakers, today they value sound. The fast pace of technology innovation is a key driver for this, because as technology has matured, consumer tolerance for anything less than superior clarity has diminished.”

As well as a shift towards digital, more control over music is a priority with 69% of consumers stating that they would listen to more music if they could control music as they move into different rooms. When asked what they would expect from their audio equipment in 10 years’ time, 72% of listeners want control over the music playing throughout their home using a mobile device, allowing them to effortlessly change the music they listen to as they move from room to room.

With great confidence in the future of audio, consumers still crave simplicity in setting up and using technology due to varying levels of technical confidence.

Key Stats
  • 77% state that they would like to get better audio sound quality at home, with over half (54%) of listeners saying it would improve their home audio experience
  • 65% think they could tell the difference between a $500 and a $50 set of headphones purely by the sound quality
  • Three quarters (76%) of listeners have streamed music at home in past month
  • 62% think that in 5 years’ time everyone will be streaming their music from the internet / CDs, vinyl and MP3 files will be obsolete
  • CDs still mostly popular in Germany (80%), UK (76%) USA/Japan (66%), China (49%)
  • Radio is most popular in Germany (84%), UK (80%) and USA (72%)
  • China streams the most music from the internet (88%)

Cincy Radio: Cumulus Stations Air No Charges For 'The Interview'

Cumulus Media radio stations in Cincinnati will began broadcasting no-charge commercials for the Sony motion picture “The Interview” Christmas Day.

The commercials are airing on radio stations AC WRRM 98.5 FM Warm98, Classic Hits WGRR 103.5 FM, Classic Rock WOFX 92.5 FM The Fox, Country WNNF 94.1 FM NashFM and  Rock WFTK 96.5 FM.

Listen To Commercial: Click Here

Local Cincinnati Cumulus employees also wrote and voiced an editorial in support of the movie’s release.  Click Here For Audio.

“We support the decision of Sony to release the movie and as a tribute to the generations of Americans and their families who have fought to preserve our rights, we thought this is the least we could do,” said Cincinnati Cumulus Media market-manager, Dave Crowl.

The Interview is an action-comedy in which celebrity tabloid reporter Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The film was originally set for a Christmas day debut. However, Sony pulled release plans after company computer servers were hacked, sensitive documents released and the company and theater chains were threatened by a group allegedly fronted by the North Korean government. In a turn of fast moving events, Sony then decided to a limited release and to make the movie available on various digital platforms.

Albany NY Radio: WZMR Readies Flip To Sports Talk

WZMR 104.9 FM The Peak will be changing its format from album Rock to Sports Talk starting Jan. 12, Albany Broadcasting general manager Bryan Hollenbaugh has announced.

The station joins WOFX 980 AM, WTMM 104.5 FM and WPTR 1240 AM airing sports in the market..

Hollenbaugh said the station will be affiliated with CBS Sports Radio. Currently, WPTR has is the Capital Region's home for CBS Sports Radio.

There will be new call letters for 104.9, Hollenbaugh said.

“We saw an opportunity to introduce CBS Sports Radio to the FM dial and took it," Hollenbaugh said. "Sportstalk programming is one of passion and loyalty among it’s listeners, and is a format that provides longevity. It is also a smart business decision, as advertisers see the value in marketing to this audience.”

WZMR 104.9 FM 530 Watts 60dBu Coverage
Asked if there will be any play-by-play sports on the station, Hollenbaugh said he will explore all options. WROW 590 AM, which is also part of Albany Broadcasting, carried Army football games this season.

WOFX is affiliated with FOX Sports Radio and has a partial affiliation with NBC Sports Radio. WTMM is with ESPN Radio.