Saturday, February 15, 2014

Partial Roof Collapse Forces WGAL8-NBC Station Off-Air

SUNDAY 2/16 UPDATE: WGAL returned to the air Saturday after a roof collapse forced the evacuation of the station's Lancaster studio on Friday.

Further inspection revealed that a concrete support beam and slab had shifted and dropped. As a result the entire roof of the building had been compromised.

Saturday morning, a crane arrived, which allowed crews to survey the damage from a bucket hoisted over the building. Snow was removed and eventually a team went inside and installed a steel beam to reinforce the damaged area.

Original Posting...

A portion of the roof collapsed at the studios WGAL-TV8 serving Lancaster-Harrisburg-York, PA Friday afternoon, forcing an evacuation.

Around 3:20 p.m. employees in the newsroom heard what was described as a "thunderous boom." A portion of the roof in an adjacent studio that is no longer in use had collapsed.

Staff called the fire department who responded and inspected the damage. Around 4 p.m., fire officials ordered about 100 people to evacuate.

Further inspection revealed that a concrete support beam and slab had shifted and dropped. As a result the entire roof of the building had been compromised.

A crane will be brought in on Saturday, which will allow crews to better evaluate how extensive the damage is.

It's unclear when WGAL staff will be allowed back in.WGAL is working to bring viewers the news. Updates will be posted on all digital platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Saturday Aircheck: Pat St. John On WCBS-FM NYC From 2012

Scoped aircheck is from WCBS 101.1 FM 40th Anniversary  Celebration. 7-6-2012.  For more On Pat. St. John: Click Here.

February 15 In Radio History

In 1932…George Burns and Gracie Allen made their first appearance as regular players on CBS Radio Network's, "The Guy Lombardo Show". When Lombardo accepted an offer to move to NBC, Burns and Allen took over his CBS spot with "The Adventures of Gracie," beginning in September of 1934.

In 1943…The ABC Radio Network aired "My True Story" for the first time.

In 1965…Singer Nat King Cole died of cancer on this day in 1965. He was 45.

In 1993…The Howard Stern Radio Show begain airing on WNVE-FM in Rochester, New York.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chicago Radio: WGN LMAs 87.7 FM

WGN 720 AM is about to its reach to the FM band.

Although blocked by federal regulations from owning an FM signal in Chicago, bosses of the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station have made a deal to lease the frequency of 87.7 FM through September 2015, according to Chicago Media Blogger Robert Feder.

Under terms of a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Venture Technologies Group, which holds the license for the low-power station, Tribune Broadcasting will take over programming, sales and marketing for WKQX LP 87.7. It is expected to unveil a new identity for the station at 1:02 p.m. Monday — one minute after Cumulus Media drops its alternative rock simulcast with WKQX 101.1 FM.

87.7 FM (3kw) Blue: 35dBu Coverage
“We’re outgrowing WGN with great talent,” Jimmy deCastro, president and general manager of WGN, told Feder. “Everything we have said we wanted to do is based on the strength of WGN and our personalities. It’s all about getting the best spoken-word talent and getting more bandwidth.”

The future of all low-power television stations on channel 6 to operate as FM radio stations is in serious doubt after September 2015 when the FCC has ordered their conversion from analog to digital signals. By then, more options may open up for Tribune Co., which has been blocked as long as it also owns the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper unit is expected to be spun off later this year.

Feder notes it’s been more than 60 years since WGN operated its own FM sister station. In 1953, the Chicago Tribune turned back the license of its underutilized WGNB FM 98.7 to the FCC. It was a colossally short-sighted decision that would haunt the company to this day.

Read More Now

Boston Radio: Dunkin' Donuts Pulls Schedule Over Comment

Dennis Callahan
Dunkin’ Donuts Thursday confirmed it has cancelled all its advertising on the sports radio station WEEI 93.7 FM, and a station official admits the chain was “upset” at a disparaging comment made by morning host Gerry Callahan, who was paid to endorse the company’s products, according to The Boston Globe.

WEEI wouldn’t say what wording Callahan used about three weeks ago on the Dennis & Callahan Morning Show. A spokesman for the station’s owner, Entercom Communications, said the incident involved an off-the-cuff remark about doughnuts that Dunkin’ did not find amusing.

Dunkin’ Donuts “heard the comments and took offense to it. You just don’t call somebody’s baby ‘ugly,’ even if it’s unintentional,” said Phil Zachary, vice president and market manager for Entercom in Boston.

Callahan could not be reach for comment.

However, Zachary said the longtime host acknowledged that he “screwed up badly” and apologized to executives at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Read More Now

Boston Radio: Dunkin' Pulled Spots From WEEI Once Before

This isn’t the first time Dunkin’ Donuts pulled ads from WEEI in response to comments made by the Dennis and Callahan program.

According to The Boston Globe, back in 2003, Little Joe, a gorilla at the Franklin Park Zoo, briefly escaped, causing a sensation. On their show, Callahan’s co-host, John Dennis, compared the escaped gorilla to a Metco student waiting for a bus during a segment sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. Metco is a program that places inner-city students into suburban schools.

Dunkin’ stopped airing ads that included the voices of Dennis and Callahan. The two hosts were subsequently suspended for two weeks.

SEE Dunkin' Donuts Pulls Schedule Over On-Air Comment: Click Here

As for this latest debacle, Zachary said he hopes Dunkin’ will return to the airwaves in the future. “It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but what bothers me more is that it’s not about the money,” Phil Zachary, vice president and market manager for Entercom in Boston said.

“An advertiser, large or small, has the right to advertise in a safe environment and do it without fear of being seen in a negative light.”

Meredith Viera To Host Friday Olympics

Meredith Viera
With Bob Costas still sidelined by an eye infection, Meredith Vieira will make history on Friday by becoming the first woman to ever anchor NBC's prime time Olympic coverage solo.

Vieira is coming on in place of Matt Lauer, who has filled in for the last three days as Costas continues to deal with the effects of an infection that began in his left eye and spread to his right eye earlier this week. Costas called Lauer in from the "bullpen" on Tuesday, ending a streak of 157 consecutive appearances as NBC's Olympics anchor in prime time. It was the first time since 1988 that Costas did not host the coverage.

"It's an honor to fill in for him,'' Vieira said on TODAY Friday. "You think about the Olympics, and you think the athletes and then Bob Costas."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"Bob’s eye issue has improved but he’s not quite ready to do the show," NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell told from Sochi on Thursday. "If your eyes are sensitive to bright lights, a TV studio is not the place to be."

Read More Now

Nielsen: Country Tops With Millennials

According to Nielsen’s Audio Today report, more than 65 million Millennials (age 18-34) tune in to radio every week. And whether they’re listening to Taylor Swift or Eminem, they spend more than 11 hours with radio during that seven-day period. So what do Millennials listen to most? In looking at the top radio formats, Country comes out on top, followed by Pop Contemporary and Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio.

As these young adults move into the workforce, 74 percent of Milennials are working either full- or part-time. And as work becomes an integral part of their lives, they find themselves tuning in when they’re more frequently away from home, which is where most listening occurs. In fact, the PM Drive (weekdays 3 p.m.-7 p.m.) is the most popular time of day for Millennial radio listening.

Read More Now

Larry King: CNN Lacks 'Appointment Viewing'

Veteran broadcaster Larry King says CNN's ratings have plummeted because it no longer has a signature show like his that people are used to watching every day.

"They don't have a lot of appointment viewing. What television depends on, one thing 'Larry King Live' was — whether you liked it, didn't like it — it was appointment viewing," King told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"People said, I'm going to watch 'Larry King Live,' it's 9 o'clock Eastern, I'm going to tune it on. I still hear from people now all the time how much it became a place. It was the longest-running show in the history of television, to be broadcast at the same time on the same network for almost 26 years. So, it became part of the culture."

He praised CNN's Wolf Blitzer as "a wonderful anchor" and Chris Cuomo as "one of the great personalities on TV." But he says Cuomo isn't being used properly.

"They're probably using him in the wrong place in the morning. I'd have him on in prime time, but again, someone told me that talk television doesn't work anymore . . . All the news networks are down," King said.

He also took swipes at MSNBC and the Fox News Network.

"MSNBC is liberal, Fox is conservative, they both make no bones about it. I would not call them the place to get great information. You get information, but they're preaching to the choir," he said.

"CNN is in the middle. When a big story breaks, CNN gets viewers, but you don't get a big story every day."

Among the ways news is changing, King said, is the way New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter announced his impending retirement on Wednesday.

"The surprise is the way he did it. Derek Jeter [went on] on Facebook, and he did it like six paragraphs, which is extraordinary," King said.

Read More Now

Report: CRS Critical Forum For Radio

Country radio programmers from across the U.S. will arrive in Music City next week for Country Radio Seminar, an annual industry gathering that is unique to the country genre, according to The Tennesssean.

CRS, which takes place Wednesday through Feb. 21 at the Nashville Convention Center, serves as a forum for radio and Music Row executives to exchange ideas and for record labels to sell their acts at an array of private showcases.

The emergence of streaming services, the lack of female artists on country radio and the continued push for performance royalties for artists are among the issues confronting the broadcast radio industry.

Special panels will feature industry experts speaking on issues such as using social media to promote artists and stations, the importance of independent country stations and an array of analytics measuring the state of the country music. Country remains the No. 1 radio format.

“I think the importance of CRS is it’s a great opportunity to gather the best programming minds and best industry minds to understand each other’s issues and concerns and limitations all at the same time,” said Clay Hunnicutt, executive vice president of programming for Clear Channel. “I know there are other conventions, but I’m not aware of any other format that tries to bring in different people of all the different sectors to learn, grow and understand each other’s dynamics.”

In the evening, labels will host showcases for their artists, especially emerging ones, at venues across Nashville.

“There is nothing else in the world like CRS! No other genre of music has the strong relationships that we enjoy in country music between radio programmers, labels and artists,” said Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton. “CRS brings all these stakeholders together at one time and one place with the goal of working together to grow and strengthen country music.”

Read More Now.

What's Next For Liberty Media, SiriusXM Deal?

The news came out Thursday that Comcast and Time Warner (TWC) are coming to terms on a deal to merge. This puts Charter, a company in which Liberty Media has a substantial stake in the proverbial back seat. Does this mean that Liberty and John Malone have lost? It depends on how you look at things, according to Spencer Osborn for Seeking Alpha.

Liberty Media has also been in the beginning stages of trying to bring all of Sirius XM under its umbrella.

Some Sirius XM investors believed that Liberty wanted the satellite radio provider in order to finance the Time Warner deal. Those same investors argued that because Liberty "NEEDED" Sirius XM, that a premium was appropriate and deserved. Well, if the Comcast and Time Warner merger does indeed move forward, then potentially the "NEED" that many assigned no longer exists.

From a Liberty Media standpoint, the argument that there was a prevailing "NEED" with regard to Sirius XM now means that the "leverage" some assumed that Sirius XM might have is now not as strong. This, in Osborn'es  opinion, actually makes the chances of a Sirius XM deal more likely now.

In his opinion, this latest news about Time Warner actually offers a little bit of clarity in the SiriusXM transaction. While SiriusXM has not yet responded to the initial Liberty offer, the satellite radio provider has engaged in hiring consultants to assess and help guide independent members of the Board that will be negotiating any deal.

Read More Now

Charter Communications is unlikely to make a counter-bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC), the WSJ reports, due to the gap between Comcast's $158.82-a-share offer and Charter's $132.50 proposal.

Instead, Charter is looking at other possible acquisitions, including the 3M managed subscribers that Comcast has pledged to sell in order to win antitrust approval for its deal.

Charter will also look at other cable-TV firms, with one possible target Cox Communications.

Ryan Seacrest Wants-In Your Closet

The 39-year-old television and radio personality is creating his own line of dress clothes entitled Ryan Seacrest Distinction, which will be exclusively by Macy's for at least its first year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"I'm not a designer, nor do I think I am," Seacrest told The Journal. "I see an opportunity to help curate these different pieces for guys at an accessible level."

Reality TV World reports the line of tailored clothing and accessories will include tuxedos, suits, dress shirts, ties, belts and tie bars, and prices will reportedly range from $45 to $550.

According to The Journal, every article of clothing or accessory will be labeled with a tag from 1 through 4 to indicate a certain color family, and everything dubbed the same number will be sure to match.

Seacrest is apparently attempting to target men ages 25 to 45, as well as young adult males who are interviewing for their first real jobs.

Why Bob Pittman Wants To Hear Dissent

Bob Pittman
When Bob Pittman, chief executive of Clear Channel Communications, is presented with an idea, Vivian Giang at Business Insider writes he will often ask his employees what those who disagree with the idea will say.

“The first time you do that, somebody might say, ‘Well, everybody’s on board.’ Then I’ll say, ‘Well, you guys aren’t listening very well, because there’s always another point of view somewhere and you need to go back and find out what the dissenting point of view is,’”

Pittman told Adam Bryant at The New York Times in an interview last November:  “I don’t want to hear someone say after we do something, ‘Oh, we should have done this.’ “

Pittman says that to really sell your idea, you need to be able to listen carefully to what everyone has to say and take everyone’s opinions into consideration. Especially those who are, or will be, opposed to your way of doing things.

“I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done,” he says. “It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”

Al Roker Slams NYC Mayor For Not Closing Schools

UPDATE FRIDAY 10AM:  NBC meteorologist Al Roker addressed his flap with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on the “Today” show Friday, saying he apologizes for one “low blow” but stands by his criticism.  “I will say, the one tweet I do regret in the heat — I’m very passionate about the weather,” Roker said on “Today” Friday. “I made a prediction that there would be only one term of his administration. I apologize for that. That was … a little below the line. But everything else, I still stand by, including the fact that the National Weather Service did forecast that on Wednesday.”

Earlier Posting...

NBC meteorologist and Today show co-host Al Roker slammed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Twitter yesterday long-distance from Sochi, Russia, for not closing public schools for the winter storm that hit most of the East Coast and dropped some 10 inches of snow on the city.

Roker, whose daughter attends public school in New York, first tweeted, "It's going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed," then followed that up with some political commentary:

When de Blasio was asked at a news conference soon after about Roker's comments, he said, "I respect Al Roker a lot, watched him on TV for many, many years, it’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV. I respect all the meteorologists out there, but the one I respect the most is called the National Weather Service . . . and they just affirmed to us on the call before we came out to you, that this went faster and heavier than their projections last night."

That led Roker to furiously tweet that de Blasio was throwing the National Weather Service under the bus, and that the forecast had been right, declaring, "Don't blame weather for YOUR poor policy."

Report: Lack Of Fundraiser Response Gets PD Fired

Bob Hennelly
WBAI general manager Berthold Reimers has fired the radio station's interim program director, Bob Hennelly, according to an email Hennelly sent colleagues this morning.

Hired by the noncommercial, listener-supported station at 99.5 FM in December with a decade of experience reporting for New York's NPR-affiliated WNYC under his belt, Hennelly led an initiative to retool WBAI's programming during the afternoon driving hours. Capital New York reported Thursday, he replaced public affairs programs imported from WBAI's sibling stations in California with new call-in programs hosted by volunteer producers from New York.

Since the station's winter fund drive began on Feb. 3, the same week it aired new programs like "Health Styles" and "PolitiSIZE," Hennelly was assigned to raise $500,000 by the end of the month. He particularly appealed to labor groups for donations.

Hennelly gives as the main reason for his firing "Pacifica's dysfunctional governance and the trouble WBAI business model," which gave him, he wrote in his email, "no running room."

Reimers and his superiors at Pacifica Foundation Radio, the nonprofit that owns WBAI, were not pleased with the amount of money raised so far, as Hennelly noted in a email he sent to supporters this weekend: "The drive is not doing well ... The indication from management is that the station is broke."

WBAI 99.5 FM (4.2kw)  54dBu Coverage
Read More Now

Report: Pandora Builds Profiles of Its Audience

Next time you listen to a Bob Marley channel on Pandora Media Inc. the Internet radio service may peg you as likely to vote for a Democrat, according to The Wall Street Jrounal.

The Oakland, Calif., company plans to roll out a new advertising service next week that would enable candidates and political organizations to target the majority of its 73 million active monthly Pandora listeners based on its sense of their political leanings.

How can it do this? The company matches election results with subscribers' musical preferences by ZIP Code. Then, it labels individual users based on their musical tastes and whether those artists are more frequently listened to in Democratic or Republican areas. Users don't divulge their political affiliations when they sign up for Pandora.

Pandora's effort to pinpoint voter preferences highlights how digital media companies are finding new ways to tap information that users share freely to target advertising. These go beyond the traditional tracking of Web-browsing habits. Pandora, locked in a battle for advertising revenue with Internet radio services such as Spotify, sees political advertising as a way to boost revenue.

Pandora's inferences start with a user's ZIP Code, supplied at registration. Pandora then reviews election results for that county. So if 80% of citizens in a certain county voted for President Obama in 2012, Pandora assumes that 80% of people in the ZIP Codes in that county "lean Democrat." If the county voted twice for Obama, the algorithm pegs users in those ZIP Codes as likely to be "strong Democrats."

Pandora has allowed political advertisers to target users based on their ZIP Code since 2011. Now, it is adding information about users' musical tastes and other attributes in the hope of creating a more valuable profile.

Read More Now (Subscription Required)

SI: Swimsuit Edition Features Three

Sports Illustrated has chosen three models to appear together on the cover of its 50th anniversary swimsuit issue, which will be on newsstands next week.

The photo of Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge was unveiled on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night.

The image of the three women topless with their backs to the camera and a lot of their bottoms showing was shot on location in the Cook Islands, off the coast of New Zealand

Wichita Radio: Arrest Made In Murder Of Broadcaster

Daniel Flores
Police in Wichita, KS have arrested 31-year-old Antwon Banks for the murder of 25-year-old Daniel Flores. Flores body was found by co-workers Monday morning. Police theorize he was killed Sunday evening around 8pm.

During a briefing for reporters earlier Thursday, police Lt. Todd Ojile, head of the homicide unit, said, “Right now, it looks like he (Flores) could have been at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

According to police, Banks stabbed himself in the stomach during a traffic stop.  Ojile said he expected that the suspect, who underwent surgery, could be released from the hospital later Thursday or Friday and would be booked into the jail on suspicion of felony murder. The suspect was under guard and in police custody at Wesley Medical Center, Ojile said.

It appears Banks was actually targeting another employee at Steckline Communications.  The station's office manager Lisa Bryce had dated Banks and recently 'kicked him of my house'.

Police said there had been a struggle where they found Flores’ body, in a foyer area of the basement level of the office building.

February 14 In Radio History

In 1894...Comedian and radio/TV host Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky on this day in 1894. He died December 26, 1974 at 80.

In 1913...Hall of Fame baseball announcer Mel Allen was born. He died June 16, 1996 at 83.

In 1924...U.S. President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential political speech over the radio.

Despite his reputation as a quiet and even reclusive politician, Coolidge made use of the new medium of radio and made radio history several times while President. He made himself available to reporters, giving 520 press conferences, meeting with reporters more regularly than any President before or since.

Coolidge's inauguration was the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio. On December 6, 1923, he was the first President whose address to Congress was broadcast on radio.  Coolidge signed the Radio Act of 1927, which assigned regulation of radio to the newly created Federal Radio Commission.

In 1924...The National Carbon Company became the first network sponsor of a radio program, "The Eveready Hour".

In 1940...MBS, Mutual Broadcasting System, presented the premiere broadcast of the radio play, "The Adventures of Superman."

In 1946...ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), built at the University of Pennsylvania, was unveiled as the world's first general-purpose electronic computer.

In 1971...WABC 95.5 FM becames WPLJ

In 2001...Last “Jukebox Saturday Night” on WCBS 101.1 FM

In 2013…Record producer (Leader Of The Pack, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Society's Child, I Can Never Go Home Anymore, Give Him A Great Big Kiss, Vanilla Fudge's You Keep Me Hangin' On)/songwriter (Leader Of The Pack, Remember-Walking In The Sand, I Can Never Go Home Anymore) George "Shadow" Morton, who had a second career as a designer of golf clubs, died of cancer at the age of 71.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

CCM+E, Relativity Films Ink Content Deal

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and Relativity, a next-generation studio that produces and distributes entertainment content across multiple platforms, announced today that the companies are renewing their cross-media marketing collaboration to promote Relativity film releases.

Over the next 18 months, Relativity and Clear Channel will develop one-of-a-kind campaigns that utilize Clear Channel’s cross-platform media assets and unmatched reach of 243 million monthly listeners, promoting upcoming movies in creative and compelling ways designed to drive box office sales.  Previous successful collaborations between the companies included campaigns for the films Limitless, Immortals, Act of Valor, Safe Haven and Free Birds.

Under the agreement, Relativity will provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent that will be shared with listeners and viewers through various Clear Channel platforms, including iHeartRadio, its industry-leading digital music service; national radio programs and top-rated local radio stations; select iHeartRadio branded events; and digital outdoor billboards in strategic locations around the country such as Times Square.

The programs will also include organic promotional support from popular radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Dan Patrick and Steve Harvey; naturally integrated film imaging across local stations and iHeartRadio’s national digital and mobile ad units; homepage website takeovers; and national and local on-air commercial inventory.

NYC Radio: Brian Carey Returns To 1010 WINS Anchoring

Brian Carey
1010 WINS news anchor Brian Carey has returned to work five months after suffering a brutal beating in his Manhattan apartment.

Elton Anthony, a man Carey identified as his house cleaner and personal assistant, was arrested three days after the attack and charged in the assault.


“The attack itself I don’t remember at all,” Carey, 52, said of the Sept 9, 2013 beating. Carey told 1010 WINS reporter Mona Rivera that he was lucky to be alive. “I was told that I almost died, and they didn’t know the first night whether or not I was going to make it.”

Jim Carey, who rushed to his brother’s side after the attack, said his brother’s injuries were shocking. “I asked the doctor if he was going to live or die and he couldn’t give me that answer.”

Dr. David Otterburn, one of a team of surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center involved in treating the news anchor, said Carey suffered bleeding on the brain, a broken jaw, and a shattered eye socket.

While Carey was in bad shape when he was brought in, “He’s healed up well and we’re glad to hear him on the air again,” Otterburn said.

Read More Now

Nielsen Profit Surges on Arbitron Acquisition

Nielsen Holdings N.V said its fourth-quarter earnings rose sharply as the consumer-research firm benefited from its acquisition of Arbitron, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Nielsen provides data ranging from what people watch on television to what they buy in stores. The company's profits have generally improved, as growth in emerging markets helped demand for its data and analysis on what consumers buy and watch.

The company last year closed on a roughly $1.3 billion deal to buy Arbitron, best known for measuring radio's audience, but which also has had some success in figuring out how to measure media usage on the Web and mobile devices.

Mitch Barns
“Nielsen’s fourth quarter results reflect solid momentum in both our Buy and Watch businesses as we continue to invest and drive value for our clients. I’m confident our steady and consistent growth will continue in 2014 and beyond, driving long-term shareholder value,” said Mitch Barns, Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen.

Fourth Quarter 2013 Operating Results

Revenues for the fourth quarter increased 11.8% to $1,611 million, or 13.1% on a constant currency basis compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding the impact of the Arbitron acquisition, revenues increased 2.5%, or 3.7% on a constant currency basis. The Buy segment grew 0.9%, a 2.5% increase on a constant currency basis, to $903 million, driven in large part by a 9.2% increase in developing market revenues on a constant currency basis.

Revenues within the Watch segment increased 29.7%, or 30.4% on a constant currency basis, to $708 million. Excluding the impact of the Arbitron acquisition, Watch revenues increased 5.1%, or 5.7% on a constant currency basis, driven by mid-single digit growth in audience measurement as well as double-digit growth in Advertiser Solutions.

Adjusted Net Income for the fourth quarter increased 16.1% to $274 million, or 19.7% on a constant currency basis, compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Adjusted Net Income per share on a diluted basis was $0.71 compared to $0.63 in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The fourth quarter marked the first full quarter of Arbitron in results. The integration is going smoothly and on track to deliver the anticipated benefits to clients and shareholders.

Year Ended December 31, 2013 Operating Results

Revenues for the full year 2013 increased 5.5% to $5,703 million, or 6.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the full year 2012. Excluding the impact of the Arbitron acquisition, revenues increased 3.0%, or 3.9% on a constant currency basis. Our revenue performance was driven by a 1.9% increase within our Buy segment (3.1% increase on a constant currency basis), and an 11.2% increase within our Watch segment (11.7% on a constant currency basis). Excluding the impact of the Arbitron acquisition, our Watch revenues increased 4.7%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis.

FCC Commissioner Pai Warns Of 'News Police'

Ajit Pai
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published online Monday, Ajit Pai, a Republican FCC commissioner, said the agency is taking a "dangerous" first step toward "newsroom policing" in the style of the now-defunct Fairness Doctrine, according to the  Under the controversial doctrine, which the FCC abandoned in 1987 and formally took off the books in 2011, the agency required radio and TV stations to air opposing views on controversial issues.

Pai expressed alarm that the FCC could soon start questioning why Fox spends so much time covering the attacks in Benghazi, or why NBC has focused on the controversy over lane closures in New Jersey.

House Republicans made a similar accusation in December, claiming the FCC was working on a "Fairness Doctrine 2.0."

The controversy stems from a study the agency plans to conduct on "critical information needs." The FCC is required by law to study ways to eliminate barriers to entry for small media businesses.

Among other things, the agency plans to ask radio/TV journalists about their "news philosophy" and "the process by which stories are selected." The study will gather data on "perceived station bias" and "perceived responsiveness to underserved populations." The FCC also wants to examine how local TV stations cover "critical information" such as "economic opportunities" and the "environment."

In his op-ed, Pai described the FCC's proposal as sending "researchers to grill reporters, editors, and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

Responding to the questions is entirely voluntary—although Pai suggested that stations will feel pressured to participate because they depend on FCC licenses to operate.

The FCC is not proposing any new rules to restrict the content of TV stations, and the commission has said the study is just part of a routine process of gathering information about the Radio/TV industry.

Read More Now

Report: NSA Actions Pose 'Direct Threat To Journalism'

The National Security Agency’s dragnet of communications data poses a direct threat to journalism in the digital age by threatening to destroy the confidence between reporter and source on which most investigations depend, one of the world’s leading journalism watchdogs has warned.

According to The Guardian, the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based body that promotes press freedom around the world, has devoted the first two chapters of its annual report on global threats to an assessment of the impact of the NSA’s data sweep. Its internet advocacy co-ordinator, Geoffrey King, warns that the NSA’s dragnet threatens to put journalists under a cloud of suspicion and to expose them to routine spying by government agencies.

By storing mass data for long periods, the NSA could develop the capability to recreate a reporter’s research, retrace a source’s movements and listen in on past communications, King warns. “It could soon be possible to uncover sources with such ease as to render meaningless any promise of confidentiality a journalist may attempt to provide – and if an interaction escapes scrutiny in the first instance, it could be reconstructed later.”

CPJ’s annual report, “Attacks on the Press”, which was released at the United Nations building in New York on Wednesday, chronicles a troubled year for journalism with 211 journalists imprisoned and 70 killed – a near-record number. On top of an all-too familiar account of censorship, kidnappings, detention and killings, the committee’s warnings on the dangers of mass surveillance sound a new alarm for the digital age.

Read More Now

CBS Reports Distribution Fees Pacing Profits

CBS Corp. reported a 20% increase in fourth-quarter profit, thanks to higher content licensing and distribution revenue, and projected it would quadruple revenue from cable and satellite fees over the next six years, according to Marketwatch.

CBS said it expects fees from cable and satellite providers to rise to $2 billion by 2020, up from $500 million last year. CBS previously had projected it would boost fees to $1 billion by 2017.

The higher projection follows last year's bitter battle with Time Warner Cable Inc. over carriage fees. CBS was widely seen as besting TWC in that fight. Analysts have said CBS won a big increase in its fees.

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said the new projection would hold up regardless of the outcome of a legal battle under way between broadcasters, including CBS, and Aereo Inc. The online video outlet streams local stations' signals over the Web for a monthly fee, without the permission of broadcasters. CBS and other broadcasters have sued for copyright infringement and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on April 22. Aereo argues its service facilitates consumers' legal right to receive over-the-air TV broadcasts for free.

Moonves said on an earnings conference call that CBS is confident of victory in the Supreme Court. He also said the company has a "host of compelling business alternatives" if Aereo wins. Those could include CBS launching its own streaming offering or ceasing over-the-air broadcasts and delivering its programming like a cable TV network.

CBS posted a profit of $470 million, or 76 cents a share, up from $393 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.8% to $3.91 billion. Investors cheered the news, sending shares 4% higher in after-hours trading Wednesday. Meanwhile CBS said it would speed up an existing stock-buyback program, repurchasing $2 billion of stock in the current quarter.

Read More Now

CBS Reports "Even" Radio Revenue

On Wednesday's conference call with analysts, CBS's Leslie Moonves reports radio revenue was "even with last year".

As for top categories, CBS reports healthcare and auto grew solidly in both TV and Radio. But the company cited the lack of political ad dollars to explain why Local Broadcasting OIBDA came in at $263 million. However, the company says that's still a solid margin of 37% for the quarter.

Moonves says CBS Radio continue to put an emphasis on great local programming in radio, which is leading to bigger audiences. During the most recent ratings period, he reports double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and nontraditional revenues from special events was up double digits over 1 year ago. Their strategy to combine the company's local TV and Radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.

In 2013, website revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in '14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January. He said he was very pleased with the success of CBS Interactive business. Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.

In Local Broadcasting, nonpolitical revenue was up 4% for the quarter, with TV stations up 9% and Radio even with last year. Reported results were obviously affected by last year's political spending.

Also Heard during CBS' earnings call (via Seeking Alpha)
  • Execs with CBS (CBS +4.1%) make it crystal-clear that they think the company is sitting on top of the content world during the firm's earnings call.
  • An interesting observation is on the enormous popularity of The Good Wife on Amazon Prime (ranked #1). Much of the viewing was "catch-up" which is more evidence of the symbiotic relationship between content providers and streamers. Execs remind that CBS has "held back" many of its popular shows from streaming indicating that many more monetization opportunities for older content exist.
  • CEO Les Moones dismisses the Supreme Court fight with Aereo. He thinks the broadcasters will win, but if not he has a plan: "...we can form our own Aereo with the other networks."
  • The NFL Thursday night deal is both a good short-term value and long-term play, say execs. Reading between the lines, it appears the purchase price won't put CBS in the hole.

Comcast To Acquire TWC For $44B

Comcast has reached an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable in all-stock transaction worth roughly $159 a share, according to CNBC.

The new company, created by the $44 billion purchase, would be by far the largest cable provider in the nation with over 33 million subscribers, and is certain to face a tough review from the Federal Communications Commission.

The agreement comes more than eight months after Charter Communictions and Liberty Media made their first foray to try and negotiate a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable (a story broken by CNBC) and follows months of conversations between Time Warner Cable and Comcast about the prospect of a Comcast acquisition of the company.

Charter's offer of roughly $133 a share in cash and stock has been rejected by Time Warner Cable as it held out for a price of $160, which it has said is reflective of where an asset of its size and scope should trade in a deal.

Read More Now

Report: Leaving Radio 'Not An Option' For Scott Shannon

Scott Shannon
“It’s not an option that I will leave radio,” says Shannon, who shocked WPLJ 95.5 FM listeners last Friday by announcing that after 22-1/2 years on the morning show, he was leaving.

“I retired from WPLJ,” he tells David Hinckley at The NY Daily News, “not from radio. I love radio. I love doing a morning show. I love getting to know the listeners.”

He might resurface at terrestrial radio, he says, “or I’d be open to satellite radio. I like the idea of talking to people all across the country.”

He’s optimistic, he says, that his True Oldies Channel, syndicated by Cumulus, will continue.

At the moment, however, he says he’s still soaking up “the incredible outpouring of affection from our listeners.”

“It was so gratifying,” he says, and it also told him he’d left WPLJ the right way.

For now, he's taking a few weeks off and in “a couple of weeks,” he says, he’ll be off the course and headed back to the radio game.

Read More Now

SiriusXM To Launch Valentine Channels

SiriusXM announced Wednesday the launch of exclusive programming in celebration of the Valentine's Day weekend- including pop-up channels, listener requests, special guest DJs, love songs and not-so-romantic stories - beginning Friday, February 14 at 6:00 am ET.

"Romance Radio," a limited-run channel drawing on the special talents and chemistry of SiriusXM personalities, will feature a "Valentine's Playlist" with hosts sharing their favorite (and sometimes unexpected) love songs including selections by OutQ's Lance Bass and Larry Flick, SiriusXM Patriot's Andrew Wilkow, Indie's Covino and Rich and Jay Thomas, and hosts from SiriusXM's forthcoming Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School channel.  Indie's Pete Dominick and Stars' Taylor Strecker team up for a blind-date-of-sorts to figure out the true meaning of Valentine's Day and "Military Valentines" will feature audio love notes from our men and women stationed abroad.

Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo
SiriusXM's "Romance Radio" will also feature an exclusive radio reading of Shakespeare's classic sonnet, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day" by SiriusXM hosts Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, Michael Smerconish, Dr. Laura, Frank DeCaro, Pia Lindstrom, and Adam Schein, among others.  "Romance Radio" will also include comedy clips on love and romance from the SiriusXM Laugh USA vault; romantic movie picks and best/worst TV and movie couples from EW Radio personalities; and relationship tips from Sirius XM's Dr. Jenn Berman.  "Romance Radio" will take over SiriusXM channel 108 from Friday, February 14 at 6:00 am ET through Monday, February 17 at 3:00 am ET.

In addition, SiriusXM announced that multiple Grammy Award-winner Michael Bolton will take over SiriusXM Love channel 17 as guest DJ sharing stories about some of his favorite love songs, as well as playing some of his own songs and songs he has written for other artists.  "Valentine's Day Radio" will air Friday, February 14 at 9:00 am ET.

Additional St. Valentine's Day programming on SiriusXM includes:
  • Classic Rewind channel 25:"Meat Loaf's Top 10 Classic Rewind Love Songs That Rock" features the iconic Meat Loaf as he counts down some of his favorite songs; debuts Friday, February 14 at 6:00 am ET. 
  • Coffee House channel 31:  SiriusXM listeners can unplug with "Coffee House Acoustic Valentine's Blend," two hours of romantic, acoustic love songs from artists Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Paul McCartney, Adele, Passenger, John Mayer & many more.  Airs Friday, February 14 at 11:00 am ET.
  • Heart & Soul channel 48:Hear a sneak preview of Silk, SiriusXM Internet Radio's channel featuring smooth R&B love songs, all weekend long starting at 5:00 pm ET. 
  • Chill channel 53:SiriusXM's Chill sets the mood with sexy songs.  Airs Friday at 9:00 pm ET.
  • Viva channel 500:Laura Pausini presents her top ten romantic songs of all time; airs Friday at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm ET.
  • Caricia channel 523 (Internet): Music by the world's greatest Latin trios – including Los Panchos and Los Tres Caballeros.  Airs Friday  at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET. 
  • Latidos channel 520 (Internet):Latin crooner David Bisbal guest DJs playing his best love songs.  Airs Valentine's Day at 4:00 pm ET. 

ASCAP Reports Strong Revenue In 2013

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)  today announced that it distributed over $851.2 million in royalties to its songwriter, composer and publisher members in the calendar year ended 2013, an increase of nearly $24 million over 2012.

Domestic distributions totaled $527.9 million, up 6.1%. 2013 became the sixth year in a row that ASCAP distributed well in excess of $800 million -- more than $5 billion total -- to its members. ASCAP is the only performing rights organization to do so, making it the global leader in performance royalty distributions to songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Paul Williams
ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams commented: "Nearly 500,000 of my fellow songwriters, composers and music publishers depend on ASCAP to collectively license their work and collect public performance royalties, which are becoming a more vital source of income in the digital age. As we celebrate our centennial, we believe it is time to update the regulations that govern music licensing. ASCAP is working to shape a future which preserves the enormous benefits of the collective licensing model, while better reflecting how technology is changing the way people listen to music and the competitive landscape in which we operate."

Revenues remained strong at $944.4 million, led by a $13.2 million increase in domestic receipts boosting ASCAP's financial growth, primarily from its new media and general licensing areas. 

Revenues from foreign societies also remained healthy at $330.6 million. ASCAP remains among the most-efficient performing rights organizations with an operating expense ratio among the lowest in the world. 2013's operating ratio stood at 12.4% versus 11.3% in 2012, due to litigation expenses incurred as a result of ASCAP's ongoing rate court proceeding with Pandora Media, which is seeking to lower the royalties it pays to songwriters and composers.

         John LoFrumento
ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento noted: "Our strong performance in 2013 further demonstrates why ASCAP is uniquely suited to serve the needs of both music creators and licensees in the digital future. I believe ASCAP's ability to transparently and efficiently track and distribute performance royalties using the most advanced technology is unmatched within the industry, as is our commitment to nurturing and advocating on behalf of our community of members. I am thrilled that in our 100th year, ASCAP is still breaking new ground toward a more transparent, efficient and effective music licensing system."

Through the use of pattern recognition technology, ASCAP began automatically identifying musical works -- mostly instrumental -- on radio, TV and cable, even when voice-overs or sound effects are mixed with the music, increasing the number of performances tracked by 150%.

ASCAP expanded its satellite radio survey, resulting in 18,000 additional members getting paid and an additional 3 million performances processed in one quarter. In fact, through tracking enhancements coupled with a greater number of licensees playing a wider variety of music than ever before, the number of members receiving royalties has increased 45% in the past five years alone.

NYC Radio: The Breakfast Club Welcomes A Diva

Mariah Carey at Power 105
Mariah Carey gave a wild interview to The Breakfast Club at WWPR 105.1 FM  Power 105 on Wednesday, talking about her marriage to Nick Cannon, comparisons to Ariana Grande, her nightmarish “American Idol” stint with Nicki Minaj, her infamous 2001 meltdown, and a lot of other issues.

The singer revealed that she frequently fires the nannies who care for “dem babies,” seemed somewhat out of the loop on Cannon’s plans and schedule, disclosed the nature of her relationship with Cam’ron, and offered her thoughts on everything from suicide to Beyonce to her legendary flop Glitter.

According to The Gossip Cop, she also brought her own lighting crew and sipped champagne throughout the sit-down.

Programmer Tony Bristol Gets Gig With L&L Broadcasting

Tony Bristol
Longtime  programmer Tony Bristol has signed on as Program Director of Hot AC WXYY 107.9 FM Y107.9 in Savannah/Hilton Head. It's owned by L & L Broadcasting of Portland, OR

Bristol last in Providence, RI with  92 PRO-FM & WWLI-FM. He's also logged time at KC-101 in New Haven, CT and WTIC-FM in Hartford, CT.

L & L Broadcasting Savannah/Hilton Head VP, Market Manager; Gigi South commented, “Tony and I got to know each other when he was consulting Hot AC brands nationally for Citadel. He is a legendary programmer of female formats and we are honored to have him join our growing team of programming pros in Savannah! Tony is the perfect fit for Savannah's Y107.9! Welcome to the South, Tony!”

"I want to thank Ops Manager; Gabe Reynolds, Market Manager; Gigi South, Director of Programming; Scott Mahalick and CEO Bob Proffitt at L & L Broadcasting for the opportunity to get back in the game in beautiful Savannah, GA. Live and local radio truly exists and I'm honored and excited to be a part of their vision and grateful for their confidence in my contribution to grow their brands there,” said Tony Bristol.

WXYY 107.9 FM (24kw) 60dBu Coverage

K-C Radio: Randy Miller Resurfaces With New Morning Show

Randy Miller (Toyoshiba photo)
Randy Miller was a big-deal morning show guy in Kansas City starting in the mid-1980s. Among other gigs he did three stints at Q-104, when it played Top 40 and when it switched to “young country," according to

His most recent radio job in KC was on the old 97.3 FM, the Planet. But, that was a decade ago.

Since then Miller, 54, has run his own ad agency and filled in on radio stations elsewhere, like WGN in Chicago. He also created and co-hosts a syndicated radio show for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, one of his advertising clients.

But last year he moved to Lone Jack in eastern Jackson County, MO and discovered a radio station called KWKJ 98.5 FM The Bar in Windsor, MO.

“The Randy Miller Morning Show” signs on Monday, airing 6-10 a.m. weekdays.

A Warrensburg station is not exactly Q-104, but the location doesn’t bother Miller a bit or feel like a comedown. He recounts a recent conversation with a “radio buddy” who told him, “You found a station not owned by CBS, Cumulus or Entercom.”

To which Miller replied: “Yeah, it’s owned by a couple of guys.”

KWKJ 98.5 FM (9kw) 60dBu coverage
The two guys are Greg Hassler and Vance DeLozier, whose company D & H Media owns an AM station, KOKO, as well as the FM station. The Bar, besides playing mainstream country, is also the flagship station of University of Central Missouri athletics and the farthest-west affiliate to carry St. Louis Cardinals games.

“We wanted a good, solid, live morning show,” Hassler says. “(Miller) wants to get back on the air. He’s been solid everywhere he’s been. What the heck.”

Over the years Miller made a name for himself with stunts, prank phone calls and recurring bits like “Plaza Patrol,” which lampooned security guys on the Country Club Plaza.

He promises more of the same on the Bar. Right out of the gate, he’s planning a Valentine’s Day promotion he’s calling “Show Me Your Nuts … About Your Valentine,” with a prize of diamond earrings.

Read More Now

Harrisburg Radio: WHP Morning Mayor RJ Harris Half-The-Man

R J Harris
As the officially declared “Mayor of Morning Radio,” WHP 580 AM’s R.J. Harris has a full-bodied, instantly recognizable voice.

But Harris himself is neither these days, according to

After the 5-foot-8 personality dropped from 400 to 185 pounds, and from a pant size of 58 to a comfortable 34, Harris is a much smaller version of his former self.

Fortunately, throughout his long saga of dieting disasters, this local celebrity’s powerful voice, trademark smile, and “tell-it-like-it-is” sense of humor hasn’t been lost at all.

Before the eyes — and ears — of thousands of incredulous listeners, the 59-year-old has managed to stop the yo-yo diets, shed 215 pounds, and keep it off for two years and counting.

Reinforcing his confession that his life is an “open book,” Harris is sharing his diet secrets in a fast-paced read titled, “It Ain’t Easy Being Fat but That’s Your Problem: Tough Love from a Recovering Foodaholic.”

In 107 breezy pages, he reveals such gems as he eats every two hours, enjoys ice cream every day, hasn’t given up on butter and mayonnaise, goes out to dinner with his wife every weekend and enjoys a glass of red wine without guilt.

He eats breakfast every day and still eats what he loves.

Harris said he was inspired to lose weight, not by a harsh insult, a disapproving doctor, or an embarrassing shopping trip, but by a natural disaster. photos
He was watching a television newscast in 2006 when he saw heart-wrenching footage of a grandfather who attempted to save his grandchild from rising floodwaters, but couldn't. The child slipped away and drowned.

In that moment, he realized that his size would prevent him from saving his own grandchildren or anyone else.

That epiphany occurred right before his first WHP listener trip, slated for Italy that year. There he had a second epiphany.

Mesmerized by his size, two Taiwanese women asked if they could have their photograph taken with him, like he was a grotesque American prop. One even rubbed his belly. That photo of him, the women, and his wife Bonnie, who weighs less than 120 pounds, is in the book, too, along with one of two svelte models fitting easily inside his size 58 pants.

“I knew that picture would be the last one taken like that,” he said.

When he got off the plane in the U.S., he vowed to break his food addiction for good.