Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Aircheck: WLS New Year's Montage 1960-1989

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

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

After WLS-AM changed to all-talk in 1989, this montage was no longer heard in Chicago.

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

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

April 12 In Radio History

In 1924...WLS-AM, Chicago, Illinois began broadcasting.

After buying time on radio stations in the early days of broadcasting, Sears Roebuck & Co. in Chicago decided to start its own station.  Its first test broadcasts used the call sign WBBX and then WES (“World’s Economy Store”).  On April 12, 1924, the station became WLS (“World’s Largest Store”).

In its first month, WLS started its “National Barn Dance” program, a live country-music showcase that was the direct predecessor of the Grand Ole Opry.

A Chicago radio manufacturer signed on WENR Radio in 1925. The station entered a time-sharing agreement with WBCN Radio.  An investor bought both stations in 1927.  He later sold the licenses to NBC.  The network kept WENR on the air.  It shared a frequency with WLS for decades.  One station would sign off and another would sign on.

Sears sold WLS to the “Prairie Farmer” magazine in 1928.  The radio station became an essential part of agriculture in the Midwest.  Farmers relied heavily on agricultural news, commodity prices and weather reports from WLS.

Audio clips from 1924-1949:

WENR-WLS boosted power to 50,000 watts in 1932, beaming its programming over much of the nation.  Despite its part-time status, the station built a large amount of goodwill and a huge audience.

In addition to farm programming, WLS offered entertainment and educational programs.  It also made history in news broadcasting. WLS reporter Herb Morrison famously said, “Oh the humanity!” as he watched the 1937 Hindenberg crash in Lakehurst, N.J.  The recorded account aired the next day over NBC.

The station also experimented successfully in many forms of news broadcasting, including weather and crop reports. Its most famous news broadcast was the report of the Hindenburg disaster by Herbert Morrison.



For about 15 years WLS shared it's frequency with WENR as part of the NBC Blue Network. In 1941 WLS changed frequency from 870 to 890 kilocycles with 50 kw of power. The transmitter site was in Chicago's south suburb of Crete, Illinois from 1924 to 1938. In 1938, they moved to it's current location in Tinley Park.

WLS was an NBC Blue Network affiliate during radio’s golden age.  NBC was forced to sell the Blue Network, which became ABC.  In 1954, ABC bought a controlling interest in WENR-WLS, combining the two into WLS.  The network bought WLS outright in 1959.

The ABC era brought a major change.  The staid, conservative WLS that brought Midwesterners a steady diet of farm reports, news and weather, general-interest music and entertainment and the “National Barn Dance” became a Top 40 station at 6 a.m. on May 2, 1960.   ABC created one of the nation’s most influential radio stations in the rock era, attracting millions of listeners each week.

Here’s a sample of a 1962 aircheck featuring Dick Biondi:

By the late 1980s, it was an adult contemporary station during the day and offered talk programming at night. WLS switched to its current full-time news/talk format in 1989.  Cumulus Media now owns the station.

In 1935..."Your Hit Parade," was first broadcast on radio.

Your Hit Parade began on NBC April 20, 1935, as a 60-minute program with 15 songs played in a random format. Initially, the songs were more important than the singers, so a stable of vocalists went uncredited and were paid only $100 per episode. In 1936-37, it was carried on both NBC and CBS. Script continuity in the late 1930s and early 1940s was written by Alan Jay Lerner before he found fame as a lyricist. The first number one song on the first episode was "Soon" by Bing Crosby.

Doris Day
Some years passed before the countdown format was introduced, with the number of songs varying from seven to 15. Vocalists in the 1930s included Buddy Clark, Lanny Ross, Kay Thompson and Bea Wain (1939–44), who was married to the show's announcer, French-born André Baruch. Frank Sinatra joined the show in 1943, and was fired for messing up the No. 1 song, "Don't fence me In " by interjecting a mumble to the effect that the song had too many words and missing a cue.

One source says his contract was not renewed due to demanding a raise and the show being moved to the West Coast.  As he zoomed in popularity he was rehired, returning (1947–49) to co-star with Doris Day.

Hugely popular on CBS through the WWII years, Your Hit Parade returned to NBC in 1947.

Dozens of singers appeared on the radio program, including "Wee" Bonnie Baker, Dorothy Collins, Beryl Davis, Gogo DeLys, Joan Edwards (1941–46), Georgia Gibbs, Dick Haymes, Snooky Lanson, Gisèle MacKenzie, Johnny Mercer, Andy Russell, Dinah Shore, Ginny Simms, Lawrence Tibbett, Martha Tilton, Eileen Wilson, Barry Wood, and occasional guest vocalists.

The radio series continued until January 16, 1953.

In 1954…Bill Haley and His Comets recorded "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" at the Pythian Temple, "a big, barn-like building with great echo," in New York City. Most music historians agree that the song, featured in the 1955 film "Blackboard Jungle," ushered in the rock 'n' roll era. It hit #1 on June 29, 1955 and stayed there for eight weeks, remaining on the charts for a total of 24 weeks, and has sold more than 25 million copies.

In 2002...WTJM 105.1 FM NYC switched call letters to WWPR

In 2007...Don Imus was fired from his syndicated program by CBS Radio after a week of controversy brought on by racial remarks broadcast a week earlier about the Rutgers women basketball team. One day earlier, Imus' simulcast of his show on MSNBC was canceled.

Friday, April 11, 2014

'Media Buzz': Sharyl Attkisson On CBS, Obama Admin Pushback

Sharyl Attkisson
On the FOX News Channel, Howard Kurtz talked to Jenna Lee on Happening Now Friday afternoon to discuss this weekend's Media Buzz, which includes a must-see sit-down with former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

Attkisson detailed on The O'Reilly Factor last night the pushback she received when she began looking deeply into Obama administration scandals like Benghazi and Fast and Furious.

She revealed that she was labeled a “troublemaker” for pursuing the Benghazi story after the network had clearly lost interest in it.

In an extended interview, Attkisson will reveal Sunday even more about her time at CBS and the pushback she received from higher-ups and from within the Obama administration.

Howard will also delve into the media's coverage of Kathleen Sebelius' exit and the Stephen Colbert "Late Show" announcement on Media Buzz, Sunday at 11a/5p ET.

Detroit Radio: Jane Pauley Interviews Mitch Albom

You may have heard that longtime NBC 'Today" Show co-host Jane Pauley has joined CBS-TV.

She will a contributor to 'CBS Sunday Morning' and her first effort is an interview with author and WJR 760 AM personality Mitch Albom.

KISS, Nirvana, Hall&Oates Inducted by RandR HoF

Flamboyant rockers KISS, singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel, grunge band Nirvana and chart-toppers Hall and Oates entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday but the original KISS quartet did not perform, reports Reuters.

Also inducted were country rock star Linda Ronstadt, who suffers from Parkinson's disease and did not attend, and Cat Stevens, the British musician known as Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam and shunning the stage for decades.

The E Street Band, the group behind Bruce Springsteen, was inducted by the rocker through the Award for Musical Excellence.

Two prominent band managers - Brian Epstein for The Beatles until his death in 1967 and the Rolling Stones' Andrew Loog Oldham - rounded out the 2014 roster, each receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Awards for lifetime achievement.

The annual ceremony, to be aired May 31 on HBO, is centered on live performances but the 1970s shock-rockers KISS, known for their outrageous costumes and makeup and hits such as "Rock and Roll All Nite", stayed true to their vow not to perform.

E Street Band takes the stage after their induction
After the E Street Band held the stage for over an hour, with each member speaking and several songs including "The E Street Shuffle" and "Kitty's Back," Hall and Oates garnered applause with Daryl Hall's quip: "Lucky for all of you there are only two of us."

The inductees, who will join the Hall of Fame's 719 other musicians and executives as members, were chosen by more than 700 voters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Fans were allowed to cast votes online for the artists they believe were the most deserving of induction, with three of their top five choices making the cut this year.

Read More Now


Tulsa Radio: Cox Launches Classic Rock 103.3 FM The Eagle

Cox Media Group (CMG) Tulsa Radio has launched Tulsa’s only classic rock station with the new KJSR 103.3 FM The Eagle.

CMG Tulsa’s KJSR is changing its target music product to better reflect the core Adult 25-54 demographics that advertisers want to reach.  The New Eagle 103.3 also reflects a better match of Tulsa’s population and will give listeners what they say they want – more classic rock.

“Our team has created an amazing sounding station that our listeners and advertisers have been telling us was missing from the Tulsa dial,” said CMG Tulsa Radio VP and Market Manager Gene Vidler.  “This station will quickly become a core part of the Tulsa community.  The excitement surrounding the launch of The Eagle 103.3 has been fantastic, and I am extremely happy that we now get to share this great product with all of Tulsa and Green Country.”

KJSR 103.3 FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage
KJSR Rock 103.3 has been on air since October 2012. Vidler said that every research project the station has conducted over the last year and a half has demanded more and better classic rock.

“No one in Tulsa has offered the listeners the classic rock that they want to hear until now,” he added.  “And The Eagle 103.3 is here to fill the classic rock void.”

Cash-Strapped CBC Makes Budget Cuts

Funding shortfalls and revenue losses have forced CBC/Radio-Canada to cut $130 million from its budget this year, a move that will eliminate 657 jobs over the next two years and take the network out of competing for the rights to broadcast professional sports, the public broadcaster says.

"Very tough and controversial choices needed to be made and were made," CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix said at a townhall meeting with staff Thursday.

Lacroix said CBC could no longer compete against private broadcasters that have specialty sports channels and multiple media platforms. The result will mean "substantially reducing" the size of the sports department and covering fewer sporting events, including amateur sports. And the CBC will only consider broadcasting events that allow the network to break even, he said.

But the CBC will still compete for sporting events of national significance, like the Olympics.

Among the cuts, English Services will slash $82 million from its budget and eliminate 334 full-time jobs.

In news, the network will cut $13.3 million from its budget, resulting in 115 job losses.

Radio will also reduce some of its live music performances and some local musical performance shows will be cancelled or consolidated into regional shows.

CBC has been coping with a loss of $115 million in federal government funding over three years that was announced in the 2012 federal budget.

Meanwhile, a softening of the advertising market and CBC’s poor performance in attracting the important 25-54 age demographic to its prime-time TV schedule represented a $47-million hit to the network’s revenue.

Projected advertising sales for Radio 2 and Espace Musique have also fallen short, resulting in a $13-million loss.

As well, fixed-cost increases of $42 million and a $30-million funding freeze from the federal government added pressures to the broadcaster’s budget.

Thursday At The NAB Show

Austin Radio: 'Fringe' Expected To Launch On-Air

Austin radio personalities Bob Cole and Jason Nassour, who are also the owners of KOKE 93.3 FM, have another new station in the works, according to the Austin Business Journal.

Details are few at this point but the new station will be known as Fringe Austin and is expected to launch in the coming weeks on a to-be-announced frequency.

The biggest possible news, however, is that the station could conceivably be the long-rumored new home of popular Austin morning radio hosts J.B. Hager and Sandy McIlree, who ended their morning show on Mix 94.7 FM last year after the station opted to not renew Hager’s contract.

Following the pair’s departure from 94.7 the pair teased the possibility of anchoring a new radio station as one of their next career moves.

Ray Seggern, the program manager for the station and a partner with Austin-based ad agency Wizard of Ads, wouldn’t discuss the  personnel or launch date but said the station would have a "strong morning show" and details would be forthcoming.

Read More Now

CBS Taps Stephen Colbert, No Start Date

The CBS Television Network Thursday announced that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “The Colbert Report,” will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show, effective when Mr. Letterman retires from the broadcast.

The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment.

Letterman, the legendary, critically acclaimed host of the CBS late night series for 21 years, announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast. Colbert’s premiere date as host of The Late Show will be announced after Mr. Letterman determines a timetable for his final broadcasts in 2015.

Specific creative elements, as well as the producers and the location for the Colbert-hosted Late Show, will be determined and announced at a later date.

 “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” said Colbert. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”

Adding, “I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

Report: Ryan Seacrest In Talks With FOX, NBC Universal

Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest is currently in talks about his future at both Fox Broadcasting, where his two-year deal at “American Idol” is coming to an end, and NBCUniversal, where a contract covering his contributions to an assortment of Peacock-related properties including “Today” expires this month, according to Variety.

Reps for Seacrest, NBCU and Fox declined comment, as did “Idol” production companies 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America.

It’s no coincidence that contracts on his two biggest TV gigs end at the same time;  Seacrest is ready to make some big decisions to set the next stage of his career before he turns 40 in December. That could mean exiting “Idol,” the once-dominant Fox singing competish he has hosted for all of its 13 seasons. The franchise has dropped precipitously in the ratings in recent months after weathering years of constant changes at its judges table, leaving Seacrest as “Idol’s” sole mainstay.

However, even in decline “Idol” still commands a sizable audience and Seacrest is said to be loyal to a show that transformed him from a relative unknown to a household name.

Read More Now

Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe Gets CNN Gig

  • Series To Launch this Fall 
Mike Rowe
For more than a decade, Mike Rowe has been nationally known as the “dirtiest man on TV,” as host and the executive producer of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs (2005-2012).  He traveled to all 50 states and completed 300 different jobs, transforming cable television into a landscape of swamps, sewers, ice roads, coal mines, and oil derricks.  He initiated a hands–on way to pay tribute to a nation of unsung heroes, conclusively demonstrating that fun and hard work are two sides of the same coin and confirmed the value of delayed gratification, sacrifice, hard work, good humor and optimism.  He is now on a brand new mission and he will bringthat mission to CNN beginning this fall.

“For more than ten years, Mike has been one of the nation’s most unique storytellers, celebrating the values of work in America.  Examining issues through the prism of Mike’s experiences and passions is the perfect fit for our CNN audience.  We are thrilled to have him here,” said Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.

Rowe’s new series Somebody’s Gotta Do It, brings viewers face-to-face with men and women who march to the beat of a different drum. In each episode, Rowe visits unique individuals and joins them in their respective undertakings, paying tribute to innovators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs, collectors, fanatics–people who simply have to do it. This show is about passion, purpose, and occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand.

“Of all the networks I spoke with, no one talked about a commitment to unscripted content and point-of-view programming with more passion than CNN. This is where Somebody's Gotta Do It belongs,” said Rowe.

Radio Disney, Rick Dees Team For New Show

Ernie D. Martinez, Rick Dees
Radio Disney and Dees Entertainment Thursday announced an innovative distribution agreement that will provide radio stations across the United States access to the Radio Disney Top 30, a weekly program featuring the most popular songs among kids and families.

The syndication agreement is expected to increase Radio Disney’s brand affinity and reach through Hot Adult Contemporary and Top 40 format radio stations, and through local cross-promotional opportunities and events

Dees Entertainment is an entertainment content distributor owned by radio icon Rick Dees. The company syndicates over 50 hours of content each week including five editions of the hugely popular Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 countdown show to over 1000 affiliates worldwide. Dees Entertainment programming is heard by more than 70 million people in virtually every city in the United States, an additional 125 countries, 27 cruise ships and on the Armed Forces Radio Network and via digital platforms including

The three hour Radio Disney Top 30, hosted by popular on-air personality Ernest “Ernie D” Martinez, originates from Radio Disney’s Burbank studios. The program showcases music and entertainment that’s relevant to kids, tweens and families and includes exclusive news and artist and celebrity interviews both in-studio and from sets and special events.

In making the announcement, Phil Guerini, Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Radio Disney, said, “One of our greatest attributes is that parents consider Radio Disney to be a trusted music-centric environment that encourages connections between them and their kids as they listen together.” He continued, “Rick Dees is a visionary who has long tapped into exactly what people want in pop music so we stand to benefit enormously from the expertise and resources of the global business he’s built.”

Rick Dees said, “Disney is synonymous with world-class family programming, and Ernie Martinez brings likeability and broad appeal as well as relevant music for kids and families, a reason why this show has such terrific potential for stations who are looking for family-friendly music programming.

Hartford Radio: Rowland Indicted In Campaign Schemes

Former WTIC 1080 AM talker and former Gov. John G. Rowland was indicted Thursday on conspiracy and other charges associated with two federal election campaigns, one of them involving a sham contract written to conceal $35,000 he was paid for political advice to congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley, according to the Hartfod Courant.

Rowland is also accused of pitching a similar phony consulting deal to Mark Greenberg during his unsuccessful 2010 race for Congress in the 5th District. Greenberg, who said he rejected Rowland's offer, is identified in the indictment only as "Candidate 2."

But Greenberg has acknowledged that he testified to a federal grand jury about Rowland's consulting proposal. The grand jury was dismissed Thursday after spending two years investigating campaign reporting violations.

In both the Greenberg and Foley campaigns, Rowland is accused of approaching the candidates and offering to act as a secret, paid political consultant. The seven-count indictment charges that Rowland proposed that the campaigns sign consulting contracts that would hide his role as political adviser. The indictment also accuses Rowland of seeking to channel his consulting fees through businesses or institutions not affiliated with the campaigns.

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Rowland announced his resignation from WTIC last week: Click Here

Milford Smith Celebrates 30 Years With Greater Media

Milford Smith
Greater Media Vice President of Radio Engineering, Miford “Smitty” Smith is officially celebrating his 30th Anniversary at the company.

“It is such a privilege to have Smitty on our team over the past three decades,” said Greater Media Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth.” His leadership, expertise and passion have been a driving force behind the success of our organization. He has made Greater Media greater.”

He has been recognized with countless awards over the past three decades, including receiving the prestigious Radio Engineering Achievement Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in 2005, given to individuals for their significant contributions which have advanced the state of the art of broadcast engineering.

In November of 2010, he was selected to receive the 2010 Radio World Magazine “Excellence in Engineering” award given annually to an individual who “embodies the highest ideals of the radio broadcast engineering profession”.

In addition to his daily responsibilities overseeing the engineering division at Greater Media, he serves as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEEE), the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), and the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE). Smitty is also active in its FASTROAD technology advocacy program as a member of its technical advisory group and is also a member of the newly formed Radio Technology Committee.

FBI Charges Three With Defrauding $32M From FCC

Three individuals have been indicted for their alleged roles in an approximately $32 million fraud against a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program designed to provide discounted telephone services to low-income customers.

The charges were announced Thursday.

Thomas E. Biddix, 44, of Melbourne, Florida; Kevin Brian Cox, 38, of Arlington, Tennessee; and Leonard I. Solt, 49, of Land O’Lakes, Florida, were charged by a criminal indictment returned on April 9, 2014, and unsealed Thursday in federal court in Tampa, Florida. The indictment charges the three defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 15 substantive counts of wire fraud, false claims, and money laundering. The court also authorized a seizure warrant seeking the defendants’ ill-gotten gains, including the contents of multiple bank accounts, a yacht, and several luxury automobiles.

As alleged in the indictment, the defendants engaged in a scheme to submit false claims with the federal Lifeline Program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, a not-for-profit corporation designated and authorized by the FCC. The program aims to provide affordable, nationwide telephone service to all Americans through discounted phone service for qualifying low-income customers.

The indictment alleges that the defendants owned and operated Associated Telecommunications Management Services LLC (ATMS), a holding company that owned and operated multiple subsidiary telephone companies that participated in the Lifeline Program. Biddix, chairman of the board at ATMS, and Cox and Solt allegedly caused the submission of falsely inflated claims to the Lifeline Program between September 2009 and March 2011 that resulted in ATMS fraudulently receiving more than $32 million.

Chinese TV Anchor Yanked for Going Off Script

Cui Jianbin
The host of a popular Chinese online news show was pulled and replaced during a live broadcast after he went off-script and criticized government leaders, according to THR.

Cui Jianbin, the host of Hubei Television's Longshang Channel -- a show normally dedicated to agricultural news -- was presenting a piece about the construction of a new luxury office building in Hubei's poor, rural Fangxian county, when he abruptly began improvising, blasting the “wasteful and corrupt authorities” for spending huge amounts of money on the extravagant project while ordinary citizens continue to struggle to get by in its shadow. "I want them to get as far away from here as possible," he added.

In an original recording of the segment that soon leaked to streaming video sites, Cui appears to be interrupted by someone off-screen and defiantly asks, "Can I finish speaking?" He then storms off the set and a new female anchor appears and is seen putting her mic in place as she hastily begins to present an unrelated news item.

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April 11 In Radio History

In 1921...KDKA-AM becamse the site of the first live sporting event to be broadcast on Radio. It was a boxing match featuring Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.

In 1929...KLO-AM, Ogden, Utah began broadcasting.

KLO originally signed on in the mid-20s as KFUR. Its current calls came about in the 1930s in honor of Mt. Lomond located near Ogden. KLO was the flagship of the Interstate Broadcasting Corporation, later the Intermountain Network.

Today, KLO is a Talk station at 1430 AM with power of 25Kw-D, 5 Kw-N

In 1964…The Beatles set another music industry record by having 14 songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1973...Norm N. Nite did his first show on WCBS-FM, New York, New York. Nite was instrumental in bringing the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.

In 1985...WJMK-FM, Chicago, Illinois held its "Rock 'N' Roll Reunion."

A year earlier WJMK "Magic 104" flipped to oldies. Initially, it was similar to what RKO's 103.5 WFYR was playing, except that WJMK played more '50s and early '60s music. WJMK initially also played '70s and '80s music along with a new song every hour. By early 1985, all songs released after 1972 were dropped.

The station focused primarily on songs released between 1964-1969 with a good amount of '50s music as well. In 1991, the station's moniker was changed from "Magic 104" to "Oldies 104.3".

WJMK dropped the moniker "Oldies 104.3" by 2001, and returned to their former moniker "Magic 104.3".

In 1998, they began to add more '70s music to the format. In 1999, with new competition from the new "Jammin Oldies format of WUBT "The Beat", WJMK added a few disco songs and more '70s and early '80s songs to the playlist.

After WUBT dropped Jammin' Oldies for CHR in 2001, WJMK continued with their oldies format, though they modified the playlist over the years, dropping older music in favor of more recent material. In 2003, the station once again changed monikers, going from "Magic 104.3" back to "Oldies 104.3" and began airing Dick Bartley's syndicated "Rock and Roll's Greatest Hits" to Saturday nights (which they'd drop at the beginning of June 2004 to return the 70s show "Saturday Night 70s"). By the winter of 2004/05, the station dropped the "oldies" moniker and became known as just "104.3 WJMK".

Today, WJMK is playing Classic Hits branding as  'K-Hits'.

In 1986...KXA-AM in Seattle WA changes call letters to KRPM

In 1991...New York's "Museum of Broadcasting" changed its name to the "Museum of Radio & Television"

In 1991...Scott Shannon started at WPLJ 95.5 FM

In 1992…America's first commercially-licensed radio station, 50,000- watt KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh, replaced its 72-year-old music format with news, talk and information.

In 2007...the cable simulcast of Don Imus' nationally syndicated radio show was canceled by MSNBC after Imus became embroiled in a controversy over racial comments made about the Rutgers women basketball team.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CBS Signs Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman

Jimmy Fallon, Colbert
CBS didn't waste too much time finding a new host for the "Late Show." Exactly a week after David Letterman announced his plans to retire, his replacement has been named.

Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of "The Colbert Report," will succeed Letterman.

"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement Thursday. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."

Detroit Radio: Cumulus Names Robby Bridges PD At WDRQ

Robby Bridges
Cumulus Media announces that Robby Bridges has been named Program Director/Afternoons at WDRQ 93.1 FM NASH FM  in Detroit, moving from his role as Program Director of Cumulus’ WEBE in Bridgeport.

Robby’s new assignment will be effective April 15. He will report to Cumulus Detroit Vice President and Market Manager, Scott Meier.

Bridges joined Cumulus Media in 2008 as Assistant Program Director/PM drive of WEBE-FM in Bridgeport. He later served as Program Director of Cumulus’ WFAS-FM in Westchester, NY, when he was also heard on Hot AC station WPLJ in New York and on the nationally syndicated True Oldies Channel before returning last year as Program Director/Mornings at WEBE.

John Dickey, Cumulus Executive Vice President & Co-Chief Operating Officer, said: “This is an exciting and important time in the development and growth of our NASH brand, and Robby Bridges has risen through the ranks at Cumulus through dedication, talent and drive.”

Mike McVay, Cumulus Senior Vice President of Programming, said: “It is a pleasure to announce a well deserved promotion within Cumulus, with Robby Bridges taking the programming reins at our newly launched NASH FM 93.1 in Detroit.  Robby has the experience, tenacity and love for the format that will greatly accelerate our Country position in Detroit.”

WDRQ 93.1 FM (26.5Kw) 54dBu Coverage
Bridges said: “I'd like to thank our EVP/Co-COO John Dickey, SVP/Programming Mike McVay, SVP/Programming Jan Jeffries and our Detroit Market Manager Scott Meier for this incredible opportunity to program the Motor City's New Country Music Leader NASH FM 93.1.  My six years with Cumulus, working with heritage powerhouse brands WEBE, WPLJ, WFAS and with Cumulus Media Networks have been both thrilling and rewarding. I cannot wait to join our team and do big things together in Detroit!"

Forecast: Mobile Local Ad Revenues to Reach $4.5 Billion in 2014

U.S. mobile local advertising revenues will reach $4.5 billion in 2014, up from $2.9 billion in 2013, according to BIA/Kelsey, advisor to companies in the local media industry. In its Annual U.S. Local Media Forecast (2013-2018), the firm projects mobile local ad revenues to more than triple over the next five years, reaching $15.7 billion in 2018.

According to the forecast, total U.S. mobile ad spending will grow from $11.4 billion in 2014 to $30.3 billion in 2018. By the end of the forecast period, locally targeted mobile ads will represent 52 percent of overall U.S. mobile ad spending.

Driving this localized share of mobile ad revenues is the adoption of mobile local advertising tactics (i.e., geo-fencing, click-to-call, click to map) by national advertisers, who currently account for most U.S. mobile ad spending, and who are expected to take advantage of increasingly available and currently undervalued mobile local ad inventory.

“Advertiser demand will be driven by natural market forces to follow undervalued inventory,” said Michael Boland, senior analyst and VP of content, BIA/Kelsey. “Mobile advertising’s appeal includes higher performance, clearer ROI, tangible conversions and a shorter purchase funnel. These qualities of mobile content and advertising present a rare alignment between typical mobile user intent and advertisers’ stated objectives.”

National-to-local mobile marketing is a focus of BIA/Kelsey’s upcoming conference, LEADING IN LOCAL: The National Impact, which takes place May 7-9, in Atlanta. During a Day 2 session titled, “Location Targeting: The Brand Impact,” publishers and advertisers will discuss the types of ad placements and localized calls to action that are most effective at engaging location-sensitive mobile users.

Mobile Local Media Forecast by Format

This forecast comprises various mobile ad formats, including textual search, display, video, commercial SMS and native social advertising. Search advertising currently holds the largest share, followed by display and native social ads. Search’s dominant share indexes higher within this localized segment than within the broader of U.S. mobile ad revenue total, due to the high correlation between mobile search and local user intent. There is conversely a lower percentage of localization within the display category, due to the branding (as opposed to direct response) and reach-driven objectives inherent in display campaigns (i.e., in-app ads).

The forecast includes a breakdown of mobile local ad spending by format as follows:
  • Search (advertising applied to search queries on mobile devices) will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $10.9 billion in 2018.
  • Native social (visual and textual brand messaging merged into organic feed-based interfaces of mobile social apps such as Facebook and Twitter) will grow from $3.3 billion in 2014 to $9.9 billion in 2018.
  • Display (display advertising applied to app and mobile Web inventory) will grow from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $6.1 billion in 2018.
  • Video (rich media ad units distributed within app and mobile web inventory) will grow from $1.1 billion in 2014 to $3.1 billion in 2018.
  • SMS (commercial SMS messaging) will grow from $332 million in 2014 to $381 million in 2018.

NOLA Radio: Explicit Video Convicts Former Host

Jennifer Gaubert
A video released this week of a taxicab encounter shows a flirty woman lift her skirt and make sexual advances on a driver, who for his part, politely rebuffs her. The restrained tenor between the two, at the end of a ride from the French Quarter to Lakeview, offers little hint of the legal troubles to come, according to


In the three-minute video, both acknowledge they kissed. But the passenger, who later claimed she did not know she was being filmed, tries to keep the sexual momentum going, pulling on her underwear and lifting her dress, saying "Baby," and "Please." Meanwhile, the driver, who hit record on his cell phone, asks where he should drop her off and insists he is faithful to his girlfriend. After he drops her off, he curses her and indicates she made him sexually excited.

The fallout from the video has been dramatic.

After viewing the video at a trial last week, a judge convicted the passenger, Jennifer Gaubert, 33, a New Orleans attorney and former radio show host on WGSO 990 AM, of simple battery, a misdemeanor.

The same week, the taxi driver filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against her and the city. And next month, she is set to stand trial on a charge that she lied about the cabbie blackmailing her just to have him arrested. The felony charges carries up to five years in prison.

As a result of Gaubert's claims, the cabbie, Hervey Farrell, spent 27 hours in Orleans Parish Prison. His mug shot appeared in the local news with stories about a rogue taxi driver who filmed his passenger's private parts without her permission and later tried to extort her. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro refused to charge Farrell, and instead charged Gaubert with filing false statements, a felony.

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NAB Show: 'New Generation' Operates In Real Time

David Pogue
They have on-demand TV, newspapers and books and they expect everything “immediately,” according to Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue.

According to RadioWorld, the tech columnist who’s also the host of “NOVA ScienceNOW,” told attendees of the Radio Luncheon Tuesday in Las Vegas at the 2014 NAB Show that we’re in a person-to-person economy. The Internet plays the role of a giant matchmaker, according to Pogue, who believes that trend started with eBay, which helps strangers “buy and sell junk” without meeting.

Things splinter, he said, noting that he keeps hearing Spotify is going to “kill radio.”

However, “That’s not how things work,” said Pogue. People said instant coffee would kill brewed coffee and that DVDs and the VCR would kill movies. Neither happened.

But where he really got on the industry concerns the NextRadio app, calling it “everything radio should be.”

“You should be on the mountain talking about this app!” said Pogue, noting that it doesn’t use up the user’s data plan and uses one-third the battery life in the smartphone compared to Pandora or Spotify.

Wednesday At The NAB Show

NAB Show: Day 3 Features Criss Angel, Comedian Tom Green

NAB Show Wednesday featured sessions with Criss Angel, Tom Green and Norm MacDonald; Bas Larsdorp of the MarsOne project, and the creators of the film-for-digital sensation "Camp Takota."

In "NewTek Presents: Broadcast Minds," comedian Tom Green of "Tom Green Live" moderated a panel that featured: magician, illusionist and director Criss Angel of A&E's "Mindfreak;"actor, writer and producer Norm MacDonald; and Cali Lewis of "GeekBeat TV" discussing their unique approaches to both building, maintaining, and monetizing their fan bases in ways that increase loyalty and break new entertainment ground.

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One, spoke at the NAB Show Technology Luncheon, discussing the history, current status and future plans of the revolutionary project that aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars, which already has over 200,000 applicants. Lansdorp explained how he realized the feasibility of the Mars One project after hearing about the huge amount of broadcast revenue and global interest in the Olympic Games. The luncheon also honored Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel Media and Robert Seidel of CBS Television, who were presented with NAB Engineering Achievement Awards for their significant contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering.

The "Camp Takota: Feature Filmmaking in the Age of YouTube" Super Session featured "RightThisMinute" host Beth Troutman speaking with producer Michael Goldfine and YouTube sensations Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart of "Camp Takota." The trio gave the behind-the-scenes scoop on how they created, marketed and distributed their made-for-digital comedy that skyrocketed to third place on the iTunes Independent Movie Chart, just behind this year's Best Picture Oscar Winner "12 Years a Slave" and Best Picture Oscar nominee "Dallas Buyers Club."

Wichita Radio: Brett Harris OUT At KHLT-FM

Brett Harris
For the second time in less than two years, one of Wichita’s most recognizable radio personalities has lost his job.

According to, a manager met Brett Harris as he came into work early Wednesday morning at the new KHLT 99.7 FM, and told him his services would no longer be needed.

“I helped a friend buy a radio station and we built a terrific staff and product,” Harris said in an e-mailed statement. “I wish that team continued success..big time! With the expanding Brett and Sierra (Scott) daily TV show, it’s a great time to shift gears, focus on TV and relaunch your morning radio gig. God Bless.”

The station’s general manager, Belinda Atteberry, says, “I can confirm that Brett is no longer an employee of 99.7 Lite FM. I can’t comment any further on it because it’s a personnel matter.”

KHLT 99.9. FM (50Kw) 60dBu Coverage
In July 2012, Harris confirmed he was “blown away” when he lost his job hosting the morning show on KRBB 97.9 FM, which he had been on since 1989.

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Russia Pulls Plug On The Voice of America

Russia has pulled the US-funded Voice of America radio station from the air, a senior state media official said Wednesday, calling it "spam on our airwaves," according to

Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of the Rossiya Segodnya state media conglomerate, said a contract to broadcast Voice of America on AM radio would not be renewed.

"Rossiya Segodnya will not work with Voice of America," Kiselyov said, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The United States has targeted Kiselyov for sanctions over his role in promoting Russia's annexation of Crimea. He presents a highly opinionated weekly news show on state television.

"It's as if they broadcast from the underworld. Or at least a world that no longer exists," Kiselyov said of VOA and US-funded Radio Liberty, which still broadcasts in Russia through a partner station.

"I view these stations as spam on our airwaves," he said.

In 2006 Russian regulators forced national stations to stop broadcasting Voice of America shows, a move seen as politically motivated.

But the station continued to be broadcast in Moscow on a local AM radio frequency under an agreement with Voice of Russia, a state-owned station now controlled by Kiselyov's conglomerate.

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Chicago Radio: Shila Nathan Joins WUSN For PM Drive

Shila Nathan
CBS Radio/Chicago and WUSN 99.5 FM US99.5 have announced that Shila Nathan has been named afternoon drive personality.  Nathan’s program will be broadcast from 3-7pm, effective on Friday, April 18.

“I have had my eye on Shila for a few years and I’m very excited to have her join the air staff at US99.5,” said Jeff Kapugi, CBS Radio Vice President, Country Programming and Program Director, WUSN.  “She’s a very dynamic personality that brings a fresh approach to afternoon drive in Chicago, Shila joins a talented team featuring Lisa and Ray in mornings, recently promoted midday host Drew Walker and ‘Jax’ at night.”

Nathan joins WUSN from Entercom Communications in Scranton, PA. where she was the swing jock for country station Froggy 101 and Top 40 station WKRZ.  Prior to that, she co-hosted morning drive at WRDW (2010-12) and CBS Radio’s WYSP (2008-09) in Philadelphia.

“I am beyond thrilled to be back with my CBS Radio family,” said Nathan.  “As the new afternoon host at US 99.5, I look forward to working closely with Jeff Kapugi and CBS Radio Chicago Market Manager, Rod Zimmerman.  Chicago is a great city and I can't wait to call it home.  This is an amazing opportunity.  I'm goin’ country!!!”

WUSN 99.5 FM (5.7Kw) 54dBu Coverage

MA Radio: Cumulus Nabs Chuck Perks As WWFX PD

Chuck Perks
Cumulus Media has announced the appointment of Worcester/Boston radio professional Chuck Perks as Program Director and Midday Host of Classic Hits station WWFX 100.1 FM “The Pike” in Worcester, MA.

Chuck has been working for Cumulus Worcester in a part-time capacity, both on and off air, at Hot A/C WXLO 104.5 FM, WORC-FM 98.9 FM and 100.1 FM “The Pike”, prior to being brought on full time.

Chuck previously worked as Hub Headlines personality for the night show on WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and Headlines reporter on the Boston Bruins Radio Network. He was also Production Director for Entercom Boston Sports station WEEI from 2000-2008, during which time he also worked weekends for sister station WQSX 93.7 Star 93.7 for three years. Chuck began his radio career in Worcester at WFTQ 1440 AM.

Val Garris, Vice President, Programming, Cumulus Media, said: “We’re fortunate to have someone of Chuck’s caliber join Cumulus at WWFX 100.1 FM “The Pike” in Worcester. His experience and knowledge of the market make him the perfect fit to lead The Pike as both a personality and programmer.”

Bob Goodell,  Vice President and Market Manager of Cumulus Worcester/Boston, said:  “Chuck Perks is a consummate radio professional who cut his teeth working at Worcester/Boston rocker WAAF as an on-air personality and then assumed production director duties for WEEI in Boston, while working on-air at The Sports Hub 98.5 FM in Boston.  His passion for the product, paired with his breadth of experience across Worcester/Boston radio, make him the ideal choice for PD and Midday personality on The Pike. Chuck is a great addition to our staff and we welcome him to the team.”

WWFX 100.1 FM (2.85Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Perks said: “It’s a thrill to step up as Program Director and Midday Host of ‘The Pike’ in Worcester. It’s a dream job for me because I feel this was a job that I was born to do and to do it my hometown is even better. I look forward to working with the Cumulus Worcester team under the leadership of Lance Ballance and Bob Goodell.”

Tampa Radio: WHPT's Mike Calta No Longer A 'Cowhead'

Mike Calta
Mike Calta doesn't want to be known as “Cowhead” anymore, according to

The Tampa Bay area radio host, who has used the on-air moniker since 1992, is dropping the name and changing his show's title from “The Cowhead Show” to “The Mike Calta Show.”

The renamed show will continue to air weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone.

“I've been using this name since my early days at The Power Pig where Cowhead fit in with Boner, Big Woody, Stretch Marks, Booger, and many other ridiculous radio monikers. But at 42 years old I think it is time to evolve ... The show will continue to be as entertaining and sophomoric as it ever was, it will just now be known by a name that will make it easier to embarrass my children at school!,” Calta said in a news release announcing the change.

WHPT 102.5 FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage
A top radio personality in Tampa for the past 21 years, “Cowhead” has enjoyed top ratings in the afternoon drive slot on WHPT.

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E! To Present 'On Air With Ryan Seacrest' Special

There is no bigger name today in radio than Ryan Seacrest and for over a decade on Clear Channel's KIIS-FM and hosting American Top 40, he has been connecting fans from across the globe closer to the biggest names pop culture has to offer, according to

In celebration of his 10 year milestone, E! looks back at some of Seacrest's biggest star interviews, most memorable moments that happened live on-air, and all the behind-the-scenes hilarity that goes into putting a five hour, daily radio show on the air.

As one of the premiere nationally Syndicated radio programs in the country, "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" has welcomed President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Ellen DeGeneres, David and Victoria Beckham, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts and every major player from the worlds of music, film, television and politics.

This all-new E! Special will look at a radio show more fun, more informative and more newsworthy than any other on the air when "Best Moments: On Air with Ryan Seacrest" premieres Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Since taking over as host of KIIS-FM's morning radio show in Los Angeles in 2004, Seacrest, along with partner Ellen K and his entire on-air crew, has made the daily broadcast the number one celebrity destination in Los Angeles and the most-listened-to morning show in Southern California. On April 23, E! takes a trip down memory lane and revisits some of Seacrest's first interviews on the show, looking back when Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians all stopped by to chat for the very first time.

"Best Moments: On Air with Ryan Seacrest" was produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Rock And Roll HOF Honors Class of 2014

The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place tonight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 2014 Ceremony will again be open to the public, as it has been for the Induction Ceremonies in Cleveland (2009, 2012) and Los Angeles (2013). This will be the first time that the ceremony will be open to the public in New York.

The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are:

The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be later televised exclusively on HBO on Saturday, May 31 at 9pm ET/PT.

NYC Radio: NASH-FM Welcomes Martina McBride

Jesse Addy, Martina McBride

WNSH NASH FM 94.7's Jesse Addy hosted a special performance last night by Grammy Award-winning artist Martina McBride at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.

Martina celebrated the release of her new album by performing songs from "Everlasting" to a crowd of lucky fans who learned about the show by listening to NASH FM 94.7- "America's Country Station", and waited in line to catch the performance.