Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sac Radio: CCM+E Launches Country The New B92.5

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Sacramento announced Friday the debut of KHLX The New B92.5, Today’s Country.

According to a statement released by Clear Channel, B92.5 will play “today’s hottest country hits,” and they will be kicking off with 10,000 songs in a row, commercial free.  The launch was made possible when the company moved the FM simulcast of KFBK from 92.5 to 93.1 FM

Sacramento’s new country station will broadcast The Bobby Bones Show weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. PST. The morning show will feature on-air personalities Bobby Bones, Lunchbox and Amy, with special guest appearances. As with most morning shows, The Bobby Bones Show will entertain B92.5 listeners with a unique mix of pop-culture, news and crazy stunts.

“Country music is the most exciting format in America today. Stars like Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line make it a must have format for listeners and advertisers alike,” said Dave Milner, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Sacramento. “Pairing great music with the new Bobby Bones morning show and our exciting events like the iHeartRadio Country Festival, which we will be giving listeners exclusive opportunities to attend, allows us to bring a unique spin for Sacramento’s huge country fan base.”


KHLX 92.5 FM 60dBu Coverage
Clear Channel Sacramento owns and operates NewsRadio KFBK, Talk 650 KSTE, Urban AC V101 KHYL and KQJK 93.7 JACK-FM.

The Supremes To Hear Broadcasters vs. Aereo Case

The high-stakes legal battle over Aereo, a startup that lets users stream or record live broadcast TV content, has reached the highest court in the land. according to CNN Money.

The Supreme Court said Friday that it would hear the major broadcasters' challenge to Aereo, which launched in 2012 to great controversy in the media industry.

At the heart of the controversy is Aereo's lack of authorization from broadcasters -- and whether the startup legally needs that approval.

Aereo houses thousands of tiny antennas in its data centers, and it assigns each customer a unique antenna. Aereo argues that this method works like the perfectly legal antennas and DVRs that anyone can buy off the shelf.

But broadcasters say that this is an unfair dodge, and they have filed a series of lawsuits to stop Aereo in its tracks. They argue Aereo should have to pay them to retransmit their programming, just like cable and satellite providers do.

Read More Now

Saturday Aircheck: Pat Sajak On WSM-AM From 1975

In the early 1970s, long before Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak worked in Nashville at WSM-AM-FM-TV in Nashville.

His main duties were to be the TV station's weekend weatherman and booth announcer. But Pat had quite a bit of experience doing radio, in Chicago and on the American Forces Vietnam Network, plus he loved doing it. WSM-AM just happened to have a two hour shift open in the afternoons.

Thus Pat Sajak, along with his trusty newsman, Al Voecks, entertained the good folks in Nashville on their drive home in 1974 and 1975. During this time, it should be noted that WSM-AM was a full service station, programming pop music and talk shows during the day, and playing country music at night, along with the world famous Grand Ole Opry on the weekends, of course.

Sajak talks about hosting the morning show on AFVN in Vietnam  in the late 60s.

January 11 In Radio History

In 1927...the Royale Theater opened at 242 West 45th in New York City. It became home to several Radio program including "CBS Radio Playhouse".

In 1947..."Murder and Mrs. Malone" first aired on ABC radio.

In 1993...Howard Stern's radio show began airing on WKBW 1520 AM, Buffalo, New York.

In 2006...Ray Hoffstatter died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident from November 20, 2005. Hoffstatter was "Cowboy Ray" on the Mancow Morning Madness radio show.

In 2013…Former disc jockey (Los Angeles radio stations KRLA, KFWB, KDAY; WCAE-Pittsburgh) and network TV host (Shindig!) Jimmy O'Neill died after many years with a heart condition and diabetes at 73.

Friday, January 10, 2014

'Polar Vortex' Coverage Gets Big Ratings For TWC

While most of the US was forced to deal with the sub-freezing temperatures of the polar vortex, the Weather Channel was cooking up record results, according to The NY Post.

The network, owned by NBCUniversal and private-equity powerhouses Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, captured new corporate advertising sponsors for its storm coverage. And it added tourism-category advertisers on TV and its websites — as warmer locales looked to tempt viewers hoping to escape the frigid climes.

For example, battery maker Duracell jumped at the opportunity to advertise to viewers swamped with news of electrical blackouts.

While executives at the network declined to discuss how much added revenue it booked because of the prolonged and widespread cold weather, they did say the network’s ratings beat news channels for the No. 1 slot during the storm.

The ratings during January’s first week were the best in six years.

The network reached 56 million households and hit the top 20 of all cable networks. TWC was the top-rated news network in the weekday 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. time slot.

Read More Now

Christie "Bully" Comment Broke Crisis Management Tenet

Gov. Chris Christie
Chris Christie got high marks yesterday for deftly managing his George Washington Bridge crisis -- until he channeled Richard Nixon, according to an article at Bloomberg Businessweek.

The New Jersey governor was apologetic and remorseful during a press conference in Trenton after sacking the aide he said was behind a scheme to shut down access lanes and snarl traffic in a political rival’s town. Then he answered a question about whether the bridge maneuver backed up critics’ contention that he’s a bully by saying, “I am not a bully.”

With those words the Republican broke a basic tenet of damage control by echoing one of his foes’ favorite attack lines, said Davia Temin, head of the Temin & Co. crisis management firm in New York. “The No. 1 rule is don’t repeat the allegations. I am not a bully or I am not a crook -- it’s the wrong thing to do.”

Christie did most everything else right, crisis managers said, taking responsibility, expressing outrage, promising soul-searching, apologizing to the rival, firing the aide and insisting he knew nothing about what, inescapably, is being called Bridgegate.

All of that reinforced his branding as a strong straight-talker who could be in the White House, said Mark Irion, president of Levick, a Washington-based strategic communications firm. He said the risk is that voters will also be reminded the 51-year-old has a reputation as a gruff guy who holds grudges.

Read More Now

Jeff Smulyan: Radio Will Remain Competitive In The Car

Jeff Smulyan
In Thursday's conference call with analysts dicussing reported 3Q results (See original posting, "Emmis: Radio Revenue Is On The Rebound" Click Here), Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan indicated he's positive traditional radio will remain competitive in the car.  The reason?  4G consumers costs.  He says he radio has the advantage of  'being free'.

Smulyan’s also remains bullish on the Emmis-developed NextRadio app and TagStation, which help the FM chip come alive and become interactive.

According to Smulyan, "The most important thing that the American automakers have said is we've got to have systems that are seamless, but that really do not have the kind of distraction.

"Let me say that I am very sanguine about the fact that terrestrial radio has a great ability to compete in the automobile. And I've seen the stories. I know that a number of companies are going to put 4G systems in, but when you have to put it in 4G systems in a car and you realize that whether it’s AT&T or Verizon or whomever is going to provide a connection that's probably another at least $50 or $60 a month to the consumer.

"The disposal income of the American public is still an issue and that 4G connection is not free and as people consume more information in that system, we've seen results in the past having a radio that is interactive, that is free, that doesn’t consume data, we think gives us a tremendous opportunity to hold our position in the car."

Spectrum Auction Called 'Once-In-A-Lifetime' Opportunity

Tom Wheeler
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said Thursday that TV stations have a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to sell off their spectrum as part of plans to auction off airwaves for wireless use.

According to Variety, Wheeler’s hard-sell remarks at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., come as broadcasters express reservations about participating in the incentive auction — at least until they have more information on how it will work. The incentive auction, to be held in mid-2015, is intended to free up spectrum that will then be auctioned off for wireless use. But the changes are expected to remake the channel lineup in many markets, as stations that participate would go out of business or share their spectrum with other license holders.

“I cannot remember a point in history when it has been simpler, safer or more profitable for an incumbent service provider to take advantage of new technology,” Wheeler said, according to his prepared remarks. “Typically, new technology plows under the old business models; in this case, however, the FCC is overseeing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for profitable repurposing of an important business activity.”

Wheeler said that stations that participate stand to “walk off with a big check from selling their old spectrum,” as they will share in the government proceeds of the auction.

Wheeler, making his first visit to Silicon Valley since he was confirmed as chairman, once again expressed his support for the FCC’s Net neutrality rules, passed in 2010 but facing the threat that they will be struck down by D.C. circuit court judges.

The issue surfaced earlier this week when AT&T announced a new mobile offering in which subscribing companies pay for the bandwidth when a subscriber accesses their app or website. Such a “sponsored” bandwidth offering has already raised the hackles of digital rights orgs, which contend that it may violate Net neutrality principles that otherwise apply to wired Internet connections.

Read More Now

Fresno Radio: Nielsen De-Lists Three Stations

NielsenAudio has delisted three stations from the Fall 2013 ratings book.

Delisted are: AC KJWL K-Jewel 99.3 and KFIG 940 ESPN, owned by John Ostlund and Katrina Ostlund.   Also de-listed is Fat Dawgs 7 Broadcasting LLC-owned KYNO Oldies 1430”.

The action comes after "six media-affiliated diaries" were dropped from Phase 2 of the Spring 2013 Arbitrends.  The Spring book was then re-released.

In a statement NielsenAudio re-iterated they are "committed to the highest standards of integrity in our data and our panels. We work closely with our clients to uphold and maintain these industry standards and policies.” Nielsen employs a screening question about media affiliations, and more than one radio broadcaster has faced temptation."

Fresno Radio: Veteran Greg Lane OUT At KSKS

Greg Lane
Radio vet Greg Lane is out of his evening timeslot after 23-years at KSKS 93.7 FM KISS Country in Fresno.

He's been replaced by 'Nash Nights Live' hosted by Shawn Parr at the Cumulus-owned station.

"It would be better if I could be mad because I could get past that. Right now, I'm just hurt. It feels like someone called and said that my best friend had died. I'm in shock. It hurts to the very core of my existence," Lane told the Fresno Bee.

Lane was there when the country format launched on KSKS, which means he survived ownership changes, new station managers and a variety of program directors.

He did that by being one of the primary connections between the country music world and Fresno. Whether it was chatting to the biggest and best the music genre has to offer when they came to town or through trips to Nashville, Lane was a dynamo when it came to keeping local listeners informed. He was one of the first on-air personalities to give country superstar Taylor Swift publicity.

KSKS 93.7 FM 54dBu Coverage
Lane has taken the high road when it comes to his former employers at Cumulus Media.

"I don't blame Cumulus. I was told that the syndicated show was starting and there was no room for me," Lane says. "I bleed KISS Country and my heart and soul will always be with the people there. I hold no grudges and wish them well. I consider it a huge privilege to have had this job."

Lane started at KISS Country in August 1991 after working 10 years in Sacramento. During his time at the local country station, Lane worked in almost every time slot from mornings to the "Valley Nights" weeknights program that launched in September 2012.

The show featured artist interviews, countdowns, local country music news, regional concert information and new country releases.

Read More Now

Survey: Many Don’t Recognize Top News Anchor

In an Pew Research online survey about Americans’ knowledge about the news conducted last summer, just 27% of the public could correctly identify Brian Williams, anchor of the top-rated NBC Nightly News.

Respondents were shown a picture of Williams and asked to name the person in the photo. While 3% were able to identify Williams’ profession (anchor or reporter), fully seven-in-ten either did not know (53%) or named someone other than Williams (18%). (3 percent thought the photo was of former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw and 2% thought it was Vice President Joe Biden.)

Three decades ago, when far more Americans watched the nightly network news programs, nearly half (47%) could identify Dan Rather, who at the time anchored the top-rated CBS evening News.

The lower public awareness of news anchors reflects a large decline in the audience for nightly network news since the 1980s. For example, in November 1985 an average of 48 million Americans watched one of the network newscasts each evening. By 2013, that number had fallen to 24.5 million, according to Pew Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

CC Outdoor Jumps The Gun On The Dodgers

A billboard announcing the launch of the Dodgers’ new SportsNet L.A. channel on Feb. 25 has been covered up after the team realized it was put up prematurely, according to the LA Daily News.

The Clear Channel billboard featuring Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was in place for several hours Wednesday off the 405 Freeway in Culver City. It drew attention on Twitter before a Dodgers employee saw it and realized the mistake had been made.

“We’re pleased about the excitement it generated, but we have asked the Clear Channel billboard operators to take it down until we are ready to start the campaign,” Lon Rosen, the Dodgers executive VP and chief marketing officer, said this morning. “This isn’t a campaign where we were trying to leak the information out and stir up interest.”

Clear Channel Communications, one of the largest billboard companies in the world, also happens to own the Dodgers’ flagship radio station, KLAC 570 AM.

Read More Now

NYC Radio: A Peek At Geraldo's First Local Show On WABC

St. Louis Radio Museum Auctions Collection

The St. Louis show 'Hey Heidi' on KSDK-TV featured a story recently on Jasper Giardina's collections of radios.

It's estimated Jasper had more than 10,000 radios at his Antique Radio Museum, at the corner of Cherokee Street and Illinois Avenue.

But that's not all he collected.  He also collected cash registers, coin-ops, ice boxes and microphones just to name a few leaving his daughter quite a bit to dig through when in died in 2010.

The family is now auctioning off Jasper's collection.  Recently an auction house from Las Vegas came to town and took two trailer loads.

R.I.P.: Atlanta Radio Personality Dave Foster Dies At 57

Former Atlanta radio personality David Fost died this past weekend.

He died from cancer at age 57, according to

As Commander Dave Foster of Y106’s Morning Zoo Crew in the 1980s, Foster brought music and entertainment to his radio listeners. Radio was his passion, writes Lauren Sukin at The Atlanta Constitution.

Rhubarb Jones of Tallapoosa, a co-host with Foster at the country station, Y106, considered him “a great showman. He was creative and a good writer. The listeners loved him.” A vibrant personality, Foster loved his listeners and loved entertaining. Jones called him “a true radio soldier who really enjoyed the business.”

Foster began his radio career in Charlotte, N.C. and eventually led him to Y106 in Atlanta. “He had worked with some super talented people. That helped him bring so many good ideas to the table. He was just great to work with,” said Jones.

WYAY-FM became Y106 in 1984. The station was re-named Eagle 106.7 in 2000, and in 2008, the station’s country format was dropped for oldies. In 2012, WYAY-FM became an all-news station.

Read More Now

OK Radio: KEYB Host Harley Douglas Moody Shot Dead

Harley Douglas Moody
Authorities say a girlfriend is behind bars in Kiowa County, Oklahoma, for killing radio host Harley Douglas Moody.

Charges are pending for Sandra Josephine Woodard, 42, for the homicide.

Authorities say just before midnight Tuesday, a 911 call was made saying someone had been shot from an address in Lone Wolf.

When deputies arrived they say they found Moody, a radio host for KEYB 107.9 FM in Altus, Oklahoma,  with multiple gun wounds.

He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Authorities say Woodard admitted to firing the gun.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is now in charge of the investigation.

January 10 In Radio History

In 1942..."The Better Half,", a quiz show, was first aired on Mutual Radio.

In 1943...Singer Jim Croce was born. He died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973 at 30

In 1945...Singer Rod Stewart was born.

In 1949...RCA Victor announced the creation of a new record format logically nicknamed the "45," since the two-sided seven-inch vinyl discs were designed to play at 45-RPM. 1949 RCA 9Y7 45 rpm record and radio in bleach blond mahogany with AM radio playing Someone you love by Nat King Cole.

In 1964...The first North American Beatles album, "Introducing The Beatles," was released by Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records. The label was forced to stop selling the disc by the end of the year because of legal complications, after 1.3 million copies of the album had been sold.

In 1965...Howard Cosell does first “Speaking of Everything” program on 77 WABC

In 1969...Frustrated by Paul McCartney's dominance during the filming of "Let It Be," George Harrison nonchalantly told the rest of the band that he was quitting immediately and sarcastically said as he walked out, "See you around the clubs." George later stated that while he had a growing backlog of new material, he constantly had to work on Lennon and McCartney's songs before the group would work on his. George was the second Beatle to quit; Ringo had left the group for a brief period a year earlier.

In 1987...NRSC-1 goes into effect to establish AM emphasis/de-emphasis curves

In 2007...Wilks Broadcast Group completed $138 million acquisition of radio stations in Kansas City and Columbus from CBS Corporation

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Emmis: Radio Revenue Is On The Rebound

Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its third fiscal quarter ending November 30, 2013.

Emmis' radio net revenues for the third fiscal quarter were up 0.4%, and its publishing net revenues were up 9.8%. On a consolidated basis, total revenues for the quarter were $52.6 million, compared to $50.9 million in the same quarter of the prior year, an increase of 3.4%.

Diluted net income per common share from continuing operations for the quarter was $0.09, compared to $0.02 for the same quarter of the prior year.

For the third fiscal quarter, operating income was $8.7 million, compared to $8.2 million in the same quarter of the prior year. Emmis' station operating income for the third fiscal quarter was $13.6 million, compared to $13.4 million in the same quarter of the prior year.

Jeff Smulyan
"The government shutdown in October, coupled with nonrecurring political revenues from the prior year, caused significant headwinds for us and the radio industry. However, Emmis' ability to grow revenues despite these challenges is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and hustle of the Emmis team," said Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis. 

"Our radio revenues are rebounding in our fourth fiscal quarter as these challenges have abated and our publishing division continues to post impressive revenue gains. NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on mobile phones via a pre-loaded app, continues to gain momentum and recently exceeded 100,000 activations. I'm excited about the progress we are making and the momentum we have heading into calendar 2014."

Bruce Springsteen Talks New Album On SiriusXM

SiriusXM announced today that Bruce Springsteen will discuss his new album High Hopes during a rare roundtable session at the SiriusXM studios in New York City.

Anchored by SiriusXM host and prominent rock journalist Dave Marsh, the roundtable session features Springsteen answering questions from the Programming team of SiriusXM's exclusive E Street Radio channel about his upcoming tour, songwriting, the longevity of the E Street Band and his upcoming eighteenth studio album, High Hopes.

High Hopes is scheduled to be released on January 14 on Columbia Records and features the members of the E Street Band as well as guitarist Tom Morello and many additional players. Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011, and Danny Federici, who passed away in 2008, also appear on several songs of what Springsteen calls "some of our best unreleased material from the past decade."

The in studio interview with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Radio team will air on Friday, January 10 during Dave Marsh's Live from E Street Nation show at 10:30 am ET via satellite on Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, channel 20, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at

After the broadcast, the interview will be available on SiriusXM On Demand for listeners listening via the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and other mobile devices or online at

Report: Traditional Radio Is 'Treading Water'

However, 'steady' could be okay, especially if traditional radio maximizes on-line opportunities.

'Treading Water' is the title of the chapter on Radio in a new report “The Future of Legacy Media” from Borrell Associates.

Borrell notes that "There’s no demand for vehicles without radios. As long as that’s the case – and as long as cars on the road have radios in their dashboards – AM and FM stations will be around."

The study notes that there’s been little fluctuation in the number of radio listeners in the past 13 years. It has drifted downward by less than 4 percent. Borrell says radio listening has declined from 124 minutes per day five years ago to 93 minutes per day today. And, it will decline to 82 minutes by 2018.

The study cites "the burgeoning popularity of online radio, especially among younger listeners.” Borrell says that "online radio penetration by services like Pandora and Apple reach almost a third of all adults under 30, and more than a quarter of all adults under 40. The market concentration has not been lost to advertisers.

Borrell predicts that "traditional radio ad spending will remain largely unchanged while growth moves online – especially among national advertisers.

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Promises To Protect Competition

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler warned that the commission would intervene if a company such as AT&T threatens competition, and asserted that there’s plenty of opportunity ahead for broadcasters, during a conversation with Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro, Wednesday at the International CES, according to THR.

“There has never been a more risk-free opportunity for an incumbent service provider to morph into the new digital reality than with what the spectrum auction has to offer,” Wheeler said, adding that there has been an “unrealistic overfocusing” on the option to sell and exit the business.

“If I’m a broadcaster and see this change coming and I want to be a player in this new digital world, this auction gives me the opportunity,” he said. “I can continue to enjoy the benefits of the FCCs rules -- meaning I get carriage on cable -- so I can keep my existing business model and take some serious cash off the table and then decide what I want to do with it.”

Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters, was in attendance at the session. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter after it ended, he repeated concerns that spectrum sharing might limit the broadcasters’ ability to do Ultra HD, multicasting, or mobile applications.

Read More Now

Roger Ailes Fights Back: CNN 'Out of News Business'

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes pulled no punches with his cable news rivals during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, claiming he’s “thrilled” that CNN and MSNBC have now “thrown in the towel” and are “out of the news business,” according to The Daily Caller.

The cable news chief — whom The Hollywood Reporter described as “warm and droll for a man often vilified by Hollywood liberals” — still manged to work in a few zingers during the wide-ranging interview. Those who criticized Megyn Kelly’s claim that Santa Claus is white are “pathetic,” Ailes said. “She was joking. She’s talking about Santa Claus, for Christ’s sake,” he claimed. “But the people who are jealous of her, who want to bring down or hurt Fox News, they see an opportunity.”

Ailes also had harsh words for ex-MSNBC’s Alec Baldwin, fired for calling a photographer a gay slur off the air. “He appears to be angry and explosive, so that was essentially bound to happen,” he remarked. “He’s sort of a ready-fire-aim kind of guy as opposed to ready-aim-fire.”

His best blows, however, hit the rival networks themselves. He conceded that they sometimes rise to challenge Fox News — “even occasionally a blind pig finds an acorn” — but that overall they seem to have given up on unseating his network from its 12-year perch.

“I’m actually thrilled,” he said, responding to reports that CNN’s Jeff’s Zucker is now focusing more on documentaries and travel shows instead of straight newscasts. “MSNBC has [already] announced they’re out of the news business. They have several different hosts, but it’s always the same show: Republicans are no good. The NBC News people won’t get caught dead on MSNBC. They could have a traffic accident in front of the window, and they wouldn’t cover it.”

“For CNN to also throw in the towel and announce they’re out of the news business is quite interesting,” he continued. “That means Fox has won the cable news war. [Zucker] had a big hit with a whale one night [the documentary "Blackfish"]. I guess he’s going to do whales a lot. If I were Discovery, I’d be worried.”

Read More Now

WWE To Launch Streaming On-Line

WWE Network, a 24-hour streaming network, is set to launch in the U.S. on Monday, Feb. 24 at 9 a.m. ET.

The online network will include original programming, including reality shows, documentaries, classic matches and more than 1,500 hours of video on demand when it launches. Among the original programs are pre- and post-shows for Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.

WWE Network will also include 12 WWE live pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania, for $9.99 per month with a six-month commitment.

Longtime Phillies TV Broadcasters OUT

Chris Wheeler, Gary Matthews (Comcast)
The Phillies have a new television contract with NBCUniversal — owner of Philadelphia’s Comcast SportsNet — a deal that reportedly will pay them $100 million per year for a quarter-century. Although there is some partnership between the team and the CSN in decisions, there is one area in which the Phillies have ceded most of the control to the network: The broadcasting team.

According to, that became apparent Wednesday afternoon when word leaked to The Associated Press that NBCUniversal was removing longtime broadcaster Chris Wheeler and former Phillie Gary “Sarge” Matthews from the TV booth.

The Phillies and Wheeler put out statements on the move, with the organization stressing that both Wheeler, a 37-year veteran of the team’s broadcasts, and Matthews would remain with the organization in some capacity.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Phillies broadcast team for 37 years,” said Wheeler. “I certainly respect the decision that was made and I look forward to my new role in the Phillies organization.”

It could be premature to declare this the end of Wheeler’s broadcasting career, since the Phillies remain in control of their radio broadcasts. Although Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke remain the primary team on the radio, they had shared the duties with Flyers TV play-by-play man Jim Jackson for portions of the past several seasons. According to an organizational source, the role Wheeler, 68, will serve moving forward has not been firmly established.

What also remains unclear is who will step in and replace both Wheeler and Matthews alongside play-by-play man Tom McCarthy.

Read More Now

Scott Franzke
According to, many fans have speculated that the radio team of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, should move to television. Franzke has no desire for that to happen.

“You guys have seen me, you know I belong on the radio! I love doing radio and that’s really what my passion is,” Franzke told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis. “It’s a different way to broadcast a game and to describe a game and that’s what I like doing and I happen to really like doing it with the guy that got seated next to me. So, yeah, no I don’t have any designs or desire to do anything like that. I really like what I’m doing.”

“No, I’m kind of anchored. I’ve got no desire to [leave]. I’ve got a great spot, great situation. We love it here, we’re really enjoying it. This is our home now. So, we really like it.”

B'more Radio: MLB Orioles, WBAL AM Renew Deal

Orioles radio broadcasts will remain on WBAL 1190 AM for at least the next two seasons, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The club and the station have finalized a multiyear deal for WBAL to remain the Orioles’ radio affiliate, according to an industry source. It is believed to be a two-year pact.

Joe Angel and Fred Manfra, who have called Orioles radio broadcasts together since 2004, will also return, the source added.

A previous three-year deal with WBAL expired at the end of this season. Specifics of the deal are not known, but it is structured as a revenue-sharing partnership between the two sides.

The Orioles and the Hearst-owned radio station have had a long-standing relationship -- 2014 will be the 45th season that WBAL has been the radio home of the club during its 60-year tenure in Baltimore.

Read More Now

Radio Disney's School Tour Sparks Outrage

An educational program funded by Ohio’s oil and gas industry and sponsored by Radio Disney has environmental activists – and some parents – up in arms over what they say is a hijacking of public education by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) interests, in a state sitting on billions of dollars’ worth of gas-rich shale, according to

The program, called Rocking in Ohio, went on a 26-stop tour of elementary schools and science centers across the state last month. It involves interactive demonstrations of how oil and gas pipelines work, and is led by three staffers from Radio Disney’s Cleveland branch. It is entirely funded by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), which gets its money from oil and gas companies.

Radio Disney, a nationwide network of radio stations aimed at kids, has said it will take the tour to other states if it deems the program successful. The company could not be reached for comment in time for the publication of this story.

Environmental activists and parents have called the program “propaganda” for promoting a controversial industry. Fracking – a process in which thousands of gallons of water and chemicals are injected into deep wells in order to break up rocks that contain natural gas or oil –  has been a boon to Ohio’s economy, but has caused myriad environmental issues in the state.

Read More Now

Tom's Take: Hard to believe Disney would get involved in anything remotely controversial.

People Choice Awards: Ellen DeGeneres Wins For 14th Time

2 Broke Girls stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs hosted the 2014 People's Choice Awards last night (January 8th) where the evening seemed to honor many familiar faces who have been entertaining us for years.

The hosts kicked things off with a sketch on the set of their sitcom at the fictional Williamsburg Diner where stars such as Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch Mayim Bialik, and previous People's Choice host Kaley Cuoco were trying to decide what to order off the menu. Vampire Diaries actor Ian Somerhalder, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Arsenio Hall, Ross Matthews, Ian Ziering, and Christina Aguilera all made cameos before Breaking Bad's meth dealer, Walter White, drove the girls to L.A in time to start the show.
  • Sandra Bullock took home the first award of the night for Favorite Dramatic Actress. She later took home a comedic award as well for The Heat with co-star Melissa McCarthy.
  • Ellen DeGeneres took home her 14th People's Choice Award for Favorite Daytime TV Host.
  • Five-time host Queen Latifah took home her first award.
  • Adam Sandler nabbed his fourth consecutive award for Favorite Comedic Actor.
  • Despite over 15 years of success in pop music, Britney Spears won her first-ever award this year.
  • Jennifer Hudson was honored with the award for Favorite Humanitarian.

Video streaming by Ustream


  • Movie actress: Sandra Bullock
  • Album: The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake
  • Daytime TV host: Ellen DeGeneres
  • New talk-show host: Queen Latifah
  • Competition TV show: The Voice
  • Comedic movie actor: Adam Sandler
  • Network TV drama: The Good Wife
  • Comedic movie: The Heat
  • On-screen chemistry: Ian Somerhalder (Damon) and Nina Dobrev (Elena), The Vampire Diaries
  • Pop artist: Britney Spears
  • Comedic TV actress: Kaley Cuoco
  • Comedic TV actor: Chris Colfer
  • Dramatic TV actor: Josh Charles
  • Cable TV drama: The Walking Dead
  • Action movie star: Robert Downey Jr.
  • Comedic movie actress: Sandra Bullock
  • Actor in a new TV series: Joseph Morgan
  • Late-night talk show host: Stephen Colbert
  • Humanitarian: Jennifer Hudson
  • Actress in a new TV series: Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • Network TV comedy:The Big Bang Theory
  • Sci-fi/fantasy TV actor: Ian Somerhalder
  • Cable TV actress: Lucy Hale
  • Streaming series: Orange Is the New Black
  • Movie: Iron Man 3
  • Movie actor: Johnny Depp
  • Movie duo: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (Gravity)
  • Action movie: Iron Man 3
  • Dramatic movie: Gravity
  • Dramatic movie actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Dramatic movie actress: Sandra Bullock
  • Family movie: Despicable Me 2
  • Horror movie: Carrie
  • Thriller movie: Now You See Me
  • Dramatic TV actress: Stana Katic
  • TV crime drama: Castle
  • Cable TV comedy: Psych
  • Premium cable TV show: Homeland
  • TV anti-hero: Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), The Walking Dead
  • Sci-fi/fantasy TV show: Beauty and the Beast
  • Sci-fi/fantasy TV actress: Kristin Kreuk
  • TV bromance: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins (Sam, Dean and Castiel), Supernatural
  • TV gal pals: Naya Rivera and Lea Michele (Santana and Rachel), Glee
  • TV movie/mini-series: American Horror Story
  • Series we miss most: Breaking Bad
  • Male artist: Justin Timberlake
  • Female artist: Demi Lovato
  • Breakout artist: Ariana Grande
  • Country artist: Taylor Swift
  • Country music icon: Tim McGraw
  • Hip-hop artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • R&B artist: Justin Timberlake
  • Band: One Direction
  • Alternative band: Fall Out Boy
  • Song:"Roar", Katy Perry
  • Music video: "Roar", Katy Perry

Report: Chris Brown Rejects Plea Deal

Chris Brown
Singer Chris Brown appeared before a Washington judge Wednesday along with his bodyguard Christopher Hollosy, facing assault charges stemming from an incident outside the W hotel in October 2013, according to CNN.

Brown and Hollosy were offered plea deals which would charge each of them with only one count of simple assault. But lawyers for Brown and Hollosy said they are rejecting the current plea deal at this time.

Both sides agreed to meet again on February 20.

Brown's lawyers have requested a waiver of appearance for him for the February court date, citing the singer's current enrollment in rehab for anger management. To appear in court would cause Brown to miss up to three days of treatment, his lawyers argued, delaying his completion of the program.

Brown faces 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted in Washington, but the singer's real legal troubles are in California. Brown has been on probation for charges stemming from 2009, when he brutally attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Read More Now

January 9 In Radio History

In 1922...KQV-AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began broadcasting. Jeff Roteman's Tribute website.

In 1929...KDB-AM in Santa Barbara, California began broadcasting.

In 1943...Nicola Tesla dies

In 1956...At the KHJ Studios in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded "You Make Me Feel So Young."

In 1958...John Tukey coins term "software" in American Mathematical Monthly

In 1992...Sting guest appeared on the TV cartoon series "The Simpsons," as "Radio Bart."

In 2006...Howard Stern began his new program on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

In 2007...SIRIUS paid Howard Stern an $83 million dollars stock bonus for subscriber goals.

In 2007...WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC becomes WWFS

In 2008...Former radio personality (KGIL, KMPC-Los Angeles)/television producer (Gene Autry: America's Cowboy)/actor Johnny Grant, the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, died at age 84.

In 2013...Announcer/emcee/Country Music Hall of Famer Frank Page, a broadcaster for 65 years, died of a respiratory infection at age 87. On October 16, 1954, Wilkinson introduced radio listeners to Elvis Presley when the Memphis teenager first performed at Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium on KWKH's live music show, the "Louisiana Hayride," the state's version of the Grand Ole Opry. During a year-long series of Presley appearances on the program, Wilkinson was the first to tell an audience, "Elvis has left the building."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Study: Traditional Radio Still Most Popular

MediaVest and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment (CCM+E) today revealed the results of a joint national study that provides deep insights into why, when and how consumers use particular audio platforms.

The study, which surveyed thousands of audio listeners who use one or more of the following audio sources – personal music collections (CDs, iTunes downloads), broadcast radio, streaming AM/FM radio, custom online playlists, satellite radio, online music videos and digital music channels on TV – shows that consumers recognize unique and important benefits for each audio platform, and will choose each based on the time of day and situational needs. In addition the research shows that because of the use of alternate audio devices, time spent across audio platforms continues to increase and growth in audio is predominantly additive.

Usage of all platforms is generally highest from 3pm to 7pm. “In the Car” is the No. 1 location for audio across all day parts and participants prefer to access audio content through regular broadcast stations or satellite radio. In addition, they are more likely to listen to online AM/FM radio streams or custom playlists from home. Results also show that mobile devices increase control and portability, with most listeners citing the ability to “take their music with them anywhere” as one of the top reasons they turn to audio on their mobile devices.

The results also offer a detailed look at consumers’ motivations in selecting one platform over another. Listeners choose broadcast radio for its accessibility to timely news, radio personalities and hearing new music. Personal music collections or custom stations allow consumers to control the content, while satellite radio offers fewer advertisements. Consumers can use audio platforms to connect with the world around them, or to create and control a personal experience. The most appealing audio ads are related to listeners’ favorite music, delivered at relevant times and customized to the specific audio platform. Audio gives marketers an opportunity to deliver high-impact and emotionally resonant messages. Broadcast radio listeners are most accepting of advertising and broadcast radio delivers the strongest advertising recall and brand engagement.

Radha Subramanyam
“Consumers seamlessly flow between different media choices and indeed different forms of audio. Broadcast remains dominant while other listening platforms address specific needs,” said Radha Subramanyam, EVP, Insights Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

“By constantly tuning into audience feedback, we can continue to evolve the listening experience and optimize advertising for different platforms.”

David Shiffman
"In the audio space, most measurement focuses on a single-audio platform, rather than a complete view of the landscape," said David Shiffman, EVP, Research Director, MediaVest. "Our goal in working with Clear Channel - with its extensive experience in both live and digital radio -was to generate a real-time and accurate view of the audio space, which we believe is going through an evolution similar to television. Marketers have embraced the concept of multi-screen consumer behavior, but audio media also provides a tremendous opportunity for them to connect with their target audience throughout their day."

The study’s key findings include:

  • The car remains the most popular location for audio listening throughout the day.
  • 63 percent of teens listen to more than two audio platforms a day – the highest of any demographic.
  • Broadcast radio is the most popular audio platform.
  • Listeners choose broadcast radio to stay connected to “the world”: Top drivers for radio usage are its accessibility, timely news, traffic, weather, engagement with radio personalities and discovering new music.
  • Personal music collections (CDs, iTunes downloads, etc.) are about control with 81 percent choosing the platform to control or customize their listening experience. Custom playlists are also about control and follow with 67 percent choosing the platform for this reason.
  • 41 percent of consumers are willing to listen to ads in exchange for free online audio. Ads related to the music consumers like and optimized for the time of day are most powerful.

Audio media are an important element in people’s lives

  • 81 percent say audio delivers fulfills their need for fun/entertainment
  • 68 percent say it provides a great way to escape
  • 55 percent indicated audio as helping to motivate & inspire them
  • 46 percent claim it offers a way to express myself/an outlet for self-expression

iHeart Radio Picks Austin for First Country Music Festival

John Sykes (Billboard)
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announced today the first-ever iHeartRadio Country Festival. Country music's biggest superstars will hit the stage at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, March 29, to celebrate all things Country.

Straight from the heart of Austin, the music of the iHeartRadio app will come to life with an extraordinary lineup including Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen and Dan + Shay, with more to be announced.

The iHeartRadio Country Festival will be hosted by nationally-syndicated Country music personality Bobby Bones.

"The response to our country performers at the last three iHeartRadio Music Festivals was so incredible we decided to create an entire show just for them," said John Sykes, President of Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises. "It will be a country fan's dream and a testament to the power of country music and recognition of the stature of these artists."

Clear Channel will launch a six weeklong nationwide promotion in advance of the event, beginning Monday, January 13, giving thousands of Country music fans nationwide the opportunity to win a trip to Austin, Texas for a one-of-a-kind experience at the iHeartRadio Country Festival. The promotion will run across more than 120 Clear Channel Country radio stations as well as on iHeartRadio.

Tom Poleman (Crains)
"Country music is experiencing an unprecedented explosion of popularity with music fans across America, and there's no better way to celebrate that than by building on the incredible success of our annual 2-day iHeartRadio Music Festival and creating the biggest dedicated multiplatform event ever featuring the biggest stars in Country music," said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. "The core of our business is the bond our local stations have with our listeners and an important part of that is to give them extraordinary events no one else can provide. With the largest reach of any country music radio group, we're thrilled to add this once-in-a-lifetime 'all things Country' mega festival to iHeartRadio's exceptional lineup of can't miss events."

Fans who cannot attend the iHeartRadio Country Festival will be able to listen live on Clear Channel's Country music radio stations in the local markets or on Streaming details will be announced soon.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on January 18, at 12 p.m. EST.

At CES: Bob Pittman Disses Pandora's #1 Claims

Clear Channel Chairman & CEO Bob Pittman discusses the future of traditional radio with Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Pittman says listeners are not substituting digital for traditional listening.  He claims “less than 10% of listening is to digital.”

He also says it's 'mathematically impossible' for Pandora to claim it's #1 in some local markets. Accoridng to Pittman if  “30% of people listened online last’s only 8% of listening.”

Pandora Growth Rate Continues Decline

Pandora this reported its listener metrics for December. While the total number of active listeners has increased, year-over-year rate of growth continued to decline: from over 30% in July to 13% in December.

According to Seeking Aklpha contributor Andrei Volgin, a  growth rate of 13 percent is a respectable number for most companies, but not for the high-flying Internet stock like Pandora.

Investors cheered the news regardless, sending the stock up 15%. They seem to be relieved to see the company survive the debut of iTunes Radio a few months ago. This reaction would have been understandable for a struggling company with its share price at all-time lows, but Pandora is valued at $6.5 billion - 10 times its current revenues, so merely surviving the emergence of a new strong competitor is not enough to justify its valuation.

With the user growth slowing down considerably, and the average hours per listener unchanged for the last two years, it is becoming increasingly clear that any growth in Pandora's revenues may come only from the higher ad rates.

Read More Now

Is CES All Hype?

Full episode of “Bloomberg West.” Guests include Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick, Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman, Center for Investigative Reporting’s Phil Bronstein and Twentieth Century Fox’s Mike Dunn.

SiriusXM Exceeds Subscribers Goal

SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer
SiriusXM Tuesday announced that it ended 2013 with 25.56 million subscribers, reporting 1.66 million net subscriber additions in the year, exceeding the company's recently raised guidance of 1.6 million net additions.  Self-pay net additions in 2013 were 1.5 million for the full year, bringing self-pay subscriptions to over 21 million.

"SiriusXM had an outstanding 2013, and we expect to meet or exceed all other guidance we have provided for the year. Automotive distribution is hitting on all cylinders and an increasing number of households, at all income levels, are subscribing to SiriusXM.  In a world where consumers have many choices, millions of subscribers continue to love our unmatched and easily affordable lineup of exclusive talk, live news, major sports events, and commercial free and curated music channels," said Jim Meyer, SiriusXM's Chief Executive Officer.

"Our strong history of growth will continue in 2014, as we invest in new products and technologies, like our connected vehicle services business.  Adjusted EBITDA growth will continue to exceed 20%, and free cash flow per share will grow even faster.  We look forward to building on our progress and delivering enhanced value to our shareholders," added Meyer.

The company also issued 2014 subscriber and free cash flow guidance and reiterated its 2014 revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance of:

  • Net subscriber additions of 1.25 million,
  • Free cash flow approaching $1.1 billion,
  • Revenue of over $4.0 billion, and
  • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

"With our leverage at year end under 3.5x adjusted EBITDA and our interest coverage at more than 5x, the company is very conservatively capitalized.  Our stable subscriber base and growing profitability allows us to raise our target leverage ratio to 4x adjusted EBITDA, providing increased flexibility for capital returns to stockholders and acquisition opportunities," added David Frear, SiriusXM's Chief Financial Officer.

CEO Mayer Unveils 'Yahoo News Digest'

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
Yahoo shows its plans to compete as media company

Yahoo! chief Marissa Mayer wants to be a media mogul as well as a tech maven, according to The NYPost.

The 38-year-old tech boss took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show Tuesday to unveil the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s new media strategy — which will include digital magazines and a news app that’s already in Apple’s App Store.

Mayer kicked off the high-energy presentation at the LVH Theater by bringing out former “Today” show host Katie Couric to talk about information overload in the digital world.

“News has changed so much it’s now ubiquitous,” Couric told the crowd. “It’s easy to feel you’re drowning in a virtual tsunami of information.”

Mayer’s solution: Yahoo News Digest, which promises to curate the top news of the day into bite-sized pieces, including maps of key events and Wikipedia facts.

The app also tells users how well they’ve done in keeping up with the top news of the day — a key selling point for folks who like to feel that everything’s a digital game.

Read More Now

Weather Is Big Business

The business of Weather is estimated to be a $2 billion to $3 billion industry comprising everything from The Weather Channel to 7,000-plus weather-related apps you can download from the Apple Store. Tech giant Google recently bought a patent for a function to serve ads based on weather conditions.

The business of weather isn't just about predictions, either. Increasingly, companies are analyzing trends to understand economic effects.

FCC Chair Wheeler To Conduct Town Hall-Style Meeting

Tom Wheeler
On Thursday, Voices for Internet Freedom, Free Press and the Center for Media Justice are hosting Tom Wheeler, the recently installed Federal Communications Commission chairman, for a town hall-style meeting about the state of communication policy, both in the Bay Area and nationally.

According to, the event, which will be held in Nile Hall of Preservation Park, runs from 7-9pm (local time) and will feature a panel discussion, commentary from influential community members and remarks from Wheeler. There also will be a lengthy time slot reserved for public comments and questions. Viewers can catch a live webstream here during the event.

"It's going to be a fairly short event, but power packed," said Malkia Cyril, founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice. "We want to bring the frame of consciousness about the role of media and culture to the dialogue with the FCC, [because] that generally isn't there.

"Generally, when it's those kind of conversations they have, we are not the kind of people they're talking to. And we want to make sure that the voices of folks that are usually in the margins of debate really get heard."

It expected Wheeler, who was officially named FCC Chairman on Nov. 4 of 2013, will face a litany of questions from Oakland-area community members.

Read More Now

Cincy Radio: Bo Matthews New VP/Programming For CCM+E

Bo Matthews
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Cincinnati announced Tuesday that Bo Matthews has been named Vice President of Programming, effective immediately.

Matthews will oversee the programming operations of Clear Channel Cincinnati’s seven stations and take on a dual role as Program Director for 102.7 WEBN, the region’s iconic rock station.

He will join the Cincinnati market from Clear Channel Cleveland, where he has served as Program Director for WMMS and WAKS for the past 11 years.

“Being home for 11 years has been amazing, and I can’t be more appreciative of the people that have given me the opportunity to work with WMMS, WAKS, Rover’s Morning Glory, Alan Cox and the rest of my Cleveland family. I have learned so much from Gary Mincer, Keith Abrams and am eternally grateful,” said Matthews. “I am excited to get started with the Cincinnati cluster, working with Chuck Fredrick and Scott Reinhart as we take the cluster to new heights.”

“Bo’s track record of success and skill set make him the perfect leader for Cincinnati’s iconic brands,” said Chuck Fredrick, Market President, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Cincinnati. “His knowledge and experience will be a great asset to the market.”