Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday Aircheck: Steve Lundy On KILT Houston

From 1970, here's the late Steve Lundy on KILT 610 AM in Houston...

May 17 In Radio History

In 1938...the Radio quiz show "Information Please!" premiered on the NBC Blue Network.

Information Please was one of the most popular radio shows in the 1930s and 1940s. Oscar Levant, Franklin P. Adams and John Kieran were regulars with Clifton Fadiman acting as host. RKO produced a series a films of the radio show and most of them have been lost.

In 1971...In the NYC Market, Country WJRZ 970 AM became Top40 WWDJ..The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the Five Boroughs and was virtually nonexistent on Long Island and western New Jersey. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WEPN-FM), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings.

In November 1973 it was ranked 15th in the Arbitron ratings.WWDJ changed format to Religious on April 1, 1974.

In 2006...NYC and Philadelphia radio personality Long John Wade died at the age of 66.

From the early '70s, listen for a Wade audio clip on 56 WFIL in Philly at the :30-second time mark:

"Long John" was, in reality, Carl Wehde. He worked at WDRC 1360 AM in Hartford, just before coming to WFIL. It was there that Long John worked with another WFIL Boss Jock, Jim Nettleton. Jim did 10 am to 1 pm and Long John did afternoon drive.

Long John wasn't an original 56WFIL Boss Jock when the station flipped format in September of 1966.

However, by Thanksgiving of that same year, Wade had replaced Frank Kingston Smith on the 2 to 6 am overnight shift. He then moved to the 10 pm to 2 am time slot where he became a Philly fixture. He stayed with the station for five years.

Wade said that he got the nickname "Long John" because of his height (6 foot, 4 inches tall). He could always reach the top shelf in the record library.

In August of 1964, the WDRC's PD sent him on tour with the Beatles. Only two U.S. radio people were on the entire Beatles tour, Larry Kane and Long John Wade.

It cost WDRC five grand, in expenses, to have Long John join the whole tour. The station turned that money into a profit when they sold Wade's reports to 11 other radio stations. Long John reported that the young weren't the only ones that loved the Beatles. He said, "I saw newsmen picking up the cigarette butts discarded by Ringo, or an old coffee cup that Paul used."

Wade said that during his stay at WDRC, he was consistenly drawing a 50 percent share in a market of 16 stations. One out of every two radio listeners were tuning in his program.

Long John became radio’s Beatles information expert. He developed a personal friendship with each of the group. The tempermental John Lennon, it has been reported, once punched Long John for asking an impertinent question. The two remained close for years, with John Lennon inviting Wade to join himself and Yoko Ono for their infamous bed-in in May of 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

Of the Beatles, Long John Wade once said: “Personally, I would say John Lennon is the ‘thinker.’ Ringo is the funniest, Paul the friendliest, and George is the quiet one.”

Before his WFIL days, Long John worked at these stations in Massachusetts (some while attending Boston University): WHIL, Medford; WAAB, Worcester; WHAV, Haverhill; WORL, Boston; WTAO, Boston; WSPR, Springfield (where he used the name "Johnny Midnight.") During his prep school days, he ran the campus radio station in New Hampton, NH.

Long John had later stops at WIFI and WCAU in Philadelphia (he did morning drive on FM and then had a talk show on AM). Then, we went to WCBS-FM in New York City.

In 1979, Wade was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder and left the business he loved so much.

Long John Wade suffered a stroke in 1996 which left him with speech problems. He also lost the total use of his right hand. He battled bad health for a decade.

Long John had two brothers, Tom Wehde and Don (known as Don Wade on the air). The late Don and his wife, Roma, former co-host the morning show on WLS out of Chicago.

Friday, May 16, 2014

RAB: Strong Digital Helps Offset Spot, Network Dip in Q1

Radio's Q1 2014 revenue was on par with Q1 2013 results, the fifth consecutive quarter of flat performance. Digital and Off-Air each increased 16% against last year's comps, while Spot spending was off 2% and Network declined 8%.

"The double-digit gains in the Digital and Off-Air sectors this quarter highlight the growing interest among advertisers in utilizing Radio's multiple facets," stated Erica Farber, RAB's President and CEO. "With Radio broadcasters increasingly dedicating their efforts to improving and supporting their digital channels, local and national advertisers alike will find these platforms increasingly attractive to reach audio consumers."

Commenting on Spot returns for the quarter, Farber noted that "a number of category increases offset cutbacks in spending among others whose businesses were adversely impacted by weather conditions and other factors."

Erica Farber
"While Radio's traditional top categories remain important to the bottom line, implementation of the Affordable Care Act has brought renewed interest in Radio as a communications channel, evidenced by robust increases by both Insurance and Health Care advertisers," stated Farber.

Advertisers in the highly-competitive Communications/Cellular arena rang up a 33% increase over their Q1 '13 level to rank #2 among all categories in the Spot segment; Automotive, while flat, is again Radio's leading revenue category.

As anticipated, spending in the Insurance Companies category was up substantially (+33%) nearing the March 31 deadline for open enrollment under the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act (ACA). Health Care category advertisers also upped their spending (+16%) in an effort to attract the newly insured to their services.


Home Improvement spending was up 14%, reflecting consumers' need to deal with weather-related issues and growing home sales/remodeling efforts. Also up for the quarter were Professional Services (+7%), Concerts/Theater/Movies (+6%), and Casinos/Lottery (+3%).

Nielsen Sez Country Poised For Hot Summer

After a brief hiatus from breaking records last month, Nielsen says Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) ramped back up in April, establishing some new high marks with summer just around the corner.

And Country (America’s top format in 2013)—with the second highest listener shares for 18-34 and 25-54 year olds—is poised to have another big season on the airwaves.

April also saw several notable formats continue to expand their fan base beyond traditional expectations: Classic Rock established an all-time high for 18-34 listening share while Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) once again held the top spot for 25-54 year-olds.

And, the return of America’s pastime to the airwaves was a home run for Sports listeners all across the country.

Below are some highlights from Nielsen’s April PPM data across 45 markets* using the full-week (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-midnight) daypart and audience shares for listeners aged 6 and older.

  • Country is poised to improve upon its record-setting summer of 2013, when it saw its best audience share numbers in PPM. The format’s April results of 8.1 (for listeners aged 6+), 9.9 (18-34) and 7.9 (25-54) are well ahead of where it stood at this time last year and, in some cases, are just a few 10ths of a share-point away from matching those records set in the middle of last summer. The next few months will tell if 2014 will be another ‘Country summer’ on the radio.
  • In the records department, Hot AC posted new all-time highs this month across all three of the demographics we monitor. What’s more, the format’s 7.1 share among listeners aged 18-34 is the first time Hot AC has ever risen above a 7 point-share in PPM measurement, in any demographic.
  • Classic Rock also improved upon its banner results from March by re-breaking its own record set just last month with listeners 6+ and improving from a 4.6 to a 4.7 share in April. And among audiences aged 18-34, Classic Rock shares remained flat, making the last two months the format’s best ever for that demographic. As we reported last month, this is significant for what many consider to be the ‘oldest’ rock format available on the airwaves today.
  • On the diamond, the Major League Baseball season got underway in April, benefiting flagship stations and sports formats everywhere. Beginning with the fanfare and excitement of opening day, the first month of the season proved a boon for the All Sports format, lifting shares for these stations by around 10% in each demographic.
  • Pop CHR remained the top-ranked format among listeners aged 25-54, which is not an uncommon occurrence. Notably, however, the format has had a 9-share or better each month in 2014. That’s only happened once prior to this year going all the way back to the beginning of 2011. This indicates that this format has grown its popularity with 25-54 year-olds while continuing to dominate with its 18-34 audience.

Cumulus, WW1 To Stage Radio Row At Billboard Music Awards

Cumulus Media and WestwoodOne has announced they will provide exclusive backstage audio coverage from the WestwoodOne Backstage at the Billboard Music Awards Radio Row at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards held on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The show airs live 8pm ET/PT on ABC.

The show is part of Cumulus’ Red Carpet Radio platform and will showcase this year’s hottest and biggest music stars. WestwoodOne will create original programming that will run on 212 radio stations across multiple formats in markets as diverse as Philadelphia, Portland, Denver, and Washington, D.C.

In addition, Backstage at the Billboard Music Awards Radio Row is two days of live broadcasts with 25 radio stations from across the country representing multiple formats, hosts, presenters and performers, including Jennifer Lopez, Luke Bryan, Austin Mahone, 5 Seconds of Summer and Shakira, Lucy Hale and Jason Derulo. There will be a special performance on Friday, May 16 from Epic Records recording artist, A Great Big World, and on Saturday, May 17, Republic Record’s US The Duo will perform. In addition, digital music service Rdio and the multi-platform video and music network Music Choice will be on Radio Row.

Cumulus will produce six hours of Billboard Music Awards programming that includes a one-hour “Countdown to the Red Carpet”, featuring format specific music for Country, Rock, Urban, Top 40, and AC. In addition, Cumulus will produce two hours of programming live from the Red Carpet featuring on-site hosts Jillian Barberie and Michael Yo, with Erika Grace Powell from America’s Morning Show, Ralphie from WPLJ New York and Kelly Ford of WNSH New York reporting from the Fanzone and on the Red Carpet. Grainger is a sponsor of WestwoodOne’s Backstage at the Billboard Music Awards.

CBS Working On 24/7 Digital News Network

Les Moonves
CBS Corp Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is working on a 24-hour digital news network.

Moonves announced Thursday, via an interview with Bloomberg Television, that he plans to launch a 24-hour digital news network, bypassing cable.

“Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has … all over the world?” he asked, rhetorically. “There is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 or CBS This Morning. We can go direct digital. So that’s in the early stages, under the tutelage of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, and it’s an exciting alternative to cable news.”

SBS Reports 1Q Radio Revenue Down 11 Percent

Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. has reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014:

"Advertising sales at our radio division got off to a healthy start in 2014 with growth in both local and network sales, reflecting the consistent strength of our station brands in the nation's largest Hispanic markets," commented Raul Alarcón, Jr., Chairman and CEO.

"Our overall results were primarily impacted by a reduction in special events revenue during the quarter, as our special events initiatives vary from quarter-to-quarter.   Special events remain a key component of our promotion strategy and we expect increased activity in the year ahead. We are continuing to invest in our multi-media platform and sales efforts, in an effort to expand our revenue profile and the breadth of marketing opportunities we provide to our advertising partners. We believe we are well positioned to generate improved results in the year ahead as we focus on leveraging our strong audience shares to attract new advertisers seeking to reach the rapidly growing Hispanic population."

For the quarter-ended March 31, 2014, consolidated net revenues totaled $32.8 million compared to $39.1 million for the same prior year period, resulting in a decrease of $6.3 million or 16%. Our radio segment net revenues decreased $3.5 million or 11%, due to a decrease in special events revenue, which was offset by increases in local and network sales. The special events revenue decrease occurred throughout most of our markets, with the exception of our San Francisco market. The increase in local sales was mainly in our Los Angeles, New York and Puerto Rico markets. The increase in network sales occurred throughout all of our markets. Our television segment net revenues decreased $2.8 million or 46%, due to the decreases in special events revenue, paid-programming, local and national spot sales.

Nielsen Releases Final Batch Of April PPMs

Nielsen released the final batch of the April PPM's numbers for several markets Thursday.

The last markets to be released are:
  • Austin
  • Milwaukee-Racine
  • Indianapolis
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News
  • Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket RI
  • Nashville
  • Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton
  • Jacksonville
  • Memphis
  • Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT
To see 6+ Share for Nielsen subscribing stations, Click Here.

'Net Neutrality' MIA On CableTV News, Networks

The complex issue of net neutrality is not likely to be dinner conversation for many in the U.S. Still, the Federal Communications Commission vote expected Thursday could dramatically impact the flow of digital content Americans receive, not to mention the bottom line for many major U.S. technology and content companies.

So, where could the public find news about this issue? According to Pew Research Center, a new analysis of media attention to the topic from January 1 – May 12, 2014 finds coverage in national television news all but absent, and sparse in most major newspapers. Instead, during key developments, interested members of the public turned to Twitter and online searches to learn more or share their own insights.

Read More Now

FCC Vote Starts Long Process

The FCC Thursday formally proposed new "net neutrality" rules that may let Internet service providers charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

Thursday's vote kicks off a long process for the FCC, according to The Chicago Tribune.  The agency seeks public comment and won't vote on final rules until this fall. The rules, intended to replace those overturned by an appellate court, won't take effect until late this year.

The FCC would bar internet service providers from blocking any legal content and impose more open internet restrictions on Web traffic in homes than that over mobile connections, but would ask the public questions about whether to impose far stronger regulations including a ban on internet service providers creating a fast lane for favored content providers. However, it did not include language enforcing such a ban in the proposal, a key absence that many net neutrality crusaders say makes this proposal fall short.

Wheeler's proposal didn't do another key thing consumer groups and some Hollywood unions wanted: It didn't reclassify broadband as "a telecom service." Consumers groups have argued that broadband's current definition as an "information service" makes it far harder for the FCC to fight off legal challenges to Open Internet regulations. Wheeler asked for public comment about whether to make the reclassification.

FCC commissioners offered sharply divided opinions on the FCC action.

Commissioner Rosenworcel, while supporting the proposal, said she was concerned the FCC's review of rules was being rushed because of the importance of the Web.
"There is nothing in our commercial and civic lives that will be untouched by its influence or unmoved by its power." 
Commissioner Ajit Pai, who opposed the FCC action, expressed concern that the FCC action could create uncertainty, hurting investment in the Web.
"Every American should be wary about five unelected officials deciding its fate," he said. He urged that the FCC ask Congress to decide the issue rather than act on its own."
Read More Now 

Torrent Of Public Response Influenced Rosenworcel Vote

Jessica Rosenworcel
Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel talks about her vote in favor of a proposal that would allow Internet-service providers to charge Web companies to provide fast lanes for their content.

The FCC proposal, which advocacy groups and Internet companies said undermines the ideal of treating Web traffic equally, won a 3-2 preliminary vote Thursday.

Rosenworcel speaks with Peter Cook on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart."

Charlotte Radio: Keith Larsen Renews At WBT

Keith Larsen
Greater Media has renewed veteran on air personality Keith Larson’s contract at WBT 1110 AM / 99.3 FM in Charlotte. He has been with the station since 2002.

Effective on May 22nd, listeners will be able to hear his show from 9am – 12noon weekday mornings. He has been currently on the air from 10am-12noon.  In addition, Charlotte’s Morning News will be heard from 5am- 9am weekdays.

“Keith is an important part of the WBT family,” said Greater Media SVP of Radio and Charlotte Market Manager Rick Feinblatt. ”We look forward to him continuing to entertain our outstanding WBT listeners weekday mornings on the station.”

Flint Radio: Tom Sumner Leaves WFNT

Tom Sumner
The Tom Sumner Program on Flint-based WFNT 1470 AM concluded earlier this month, Sumner said.

"There were some changes going on at WFNT and I was offered to be a part of it and declined," Sumner told

Sumner said his departure was amicable.

"There's no real controversy to it," Sumner said. "I wasn't fired, I didn't quit in a huff or anything," he said.

The program's 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekday slot is now filled with the syndicated Sean Hannity program.

Sumner had been on the air at WFNT for two years, where he hosted local guests to talk about Flint politics, culture and entertainment.

Before WFNT, Sumner hosted the program Off The KUF at Kettering University's student-run station, WKUF.

"I'm exploring those opportunities, there aren't any serious talks right now," he said.

Report: Content Gives SiriusXM An Edge

Howard Stern
Consumers can obtain some of the content that is available on Sirius XM from free terrestrial radio stations or an Internet-enabled service like Pandora or Apple's  iTunes Radio for free or through small subscription fees. However, a Motley Fool article says a large portion of the content available on Sirius XM is available exclusively on the satellite service, and the company has a large amount of its own content in its channel line-up.

In addition to being a high-quality content distributor, Sirius XM creates its own content and this gives the company a big competitive advantage over rival offerings, whether through Internet services or free radio. A number of the 150 channels which are available from Sirius XM are exclusive and very different from others.

Very popular Sirius shows that feature Howard Stern have done very well to keep the subscriber base tuning in to the company's service. The number of subscribers who listen to the uncensored shows on Howard Stern's channels is not crystal clear, but he previously had approximately 12 million listeners on terrestrial radio before joining Sirius XM. His long-term affiliation with Sirius XM is a big plus for the company, as the firm spends a lot of money for his channels.

An estimated 60% of Sirius XM users have been listening to his highly controversial shows. Since Sirius XM has more than 25.8 million subscribers, that is a substantial amount of viewers for the company. However, that's not all. Sirius XM is constantly adding more live events, music shows, and concerts to its programming line-up and keeping its large subscriber base highly engaged.

The company has a massive line-up of sports, talk, and music channels in its offerings that offer users a distinctly different experience from free radio. Such a broad array of differentiated content has enabled Sirius XM to have a very low monthly average churn rate of 1.9% among paying subscribers, and this is a very good churn rate for a subscription business under most scenarios.

Read More Now

Report: Obama Backs Away From Net Neutrality

Barack Obama was crystal clear during the 2008 campaign about his commitment to ensuring equal treatment of all online content over American broadband lines, according to Time magazine.

 “I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality,” Obama told a crowd at Google in 2008. “Because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose.”

But on Thursday, the President made no public statement when three Democrats he appointed to the FCC voted to move forward with a plan to allow broadband carriers to provide an exclusive “fast lane” to commercial companies that pay extra fees to get their content transmitted online. Instead, White House aides released a press release distancing the President from the decision.

“The FCC is an independent agency, and we will carefully review their proposal,” Press Secretary Jay Carney wrote to reporters after the vote. “We will be watching closely as the process moves forward in hopes that the final rule stays true to the spirit of net neutrality.”

Read More Now

'YMCA' Banned From School Talent Show

A Fargo, ND first-grade class won’t be participating in the school's talent show after a concerned parent called a planned act “racist.”

According to, the students were supposed to be performing the song “Y.M.C.A.” during Bennett Elementary School’s May talent show.

For the show, a first-grade teacher asked parents to have their kids wear clothes like the Village People, the group that recorded the hit song in the 1970s. Some would come dressed as a policeman, a cowboy, a biker dude, a construction worker or a Native American.

But one mom, Elaine Bolman, said asking her daughter and her classmates to dress up like an Indian is offensive.

The Bennett Elementary staff pulled plans for “Y.M.C.A.”

NYTimes Denies Abramson Fired Over Salary Issue

'Politico' Says She's Winning PR War

Jill Abramson Intsagram photo
After the surprise announcement Wednesday that New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, the first women to ever hold the position, had been fired from her job after less than three years, reports quickly surfaced that said she'd been removed at least in part because she'd complained about her compensation package being lower than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller.

The Times denied that, but the story remained out there, leading publisher and chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to send a memo to the Times staff Thursday that said, "It is simply not true that Jill's compensation was significantly less than her predecessors. Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors. In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010." He wrote, "Compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision . . . Nor did any discussion about compensation. The reason -- the only reason -- for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill's management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment."

But while Sulzberger and the Times are saying that, the narrative of Abramson being fired because she asked for equal pay is out there, and, according to Politico, quote, "so far she's winning the press relations war." Abramson's firing has sparked a national conversation about gender and inequality in the workplace, with even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying the case is, quote, "a perfect example, if it's true, of why we should pass paycheck equity."

Ken Auletta reported in The New Yorker that Sulzberger thought Abramson was too, quote, "pushy" when she raised concerns about her salary. Other complaints supposedly made about Abramson were that she was "polarizing" and "mercurial." Even beyond the salary issue, the post-firing discussion has also been about the names assertive women are called in the workplace, with many questioning if a man would have been fired for having those same qualities disparagingly pinned on Abramson.

According to Politico's reporting, the primary issue in Abramson's firing was her attempt to hire Janine Gibson, the executive editor of The Guardian U.S., as co-managing editor without consulting the existing managing editor, Dean Baquet -- who has now taken over the executive editor job from Abramson.

Abramson's daughter published an Instagram photo yesterday showing her mother in front of a punching bag with boxing gloves on, captioned, "Mom's badass new hobby," and hashtagged with the words #girls and #pushy.

Bloomberg's Edmund Lee discusses Jill Abramson’s ouster at the Grey Lady. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Some Michael Sam Love Is Fading

Some of the support for Michael Sam, who's trying to become the first openly gay person to play in the NFL, has been fading quickly since news broke Wednesday (May 14th) that he's taking part in a documentary series on him for Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, according to Yahoo's Shutdown Corner.

That seemingly contradicts his previous statements that he wants to be known as a football player and not for his sexual orientation, which he repeated after being picked in the seventh round of the draft over the weekend by the St. Louis Rams.

The show has apparently already been filming for a couple of weeks, with a press release saying the cameras, quote, "will follow Sam as he works to earn his spot on the St. Louis Rams all while under the intense scrutiny of being the first openly gay player in the NFL."

One unidentified Rams player told ESPN, "I think it does raise eyebrows and it may be somewhat of a distraction." was much harsher, saying yesterday (May 15th), "He is another packaged product being sold to us at heavy markup -- commodified smarm at best, and at worst something downright cynical, something that leverages real emotions in service of a marketing strategy."

ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock, who'd been a supporter of Sam, is now questioning whether the famous draft-day kiss with his boyfriend, or the picture posted on Twitter showing Sam kissing his boyfriend's cake-smeared face, was all scripted.

He wrote, "It all feels orchestrated now: the draft-day kiss; the cake-covered face; the tears; the celebration that conveniently captured just Sam, his boyfriend and his two agents; and even the 'Stand with Sam' T-shirts selling on Who knew a reality TV show was being filmed? Who knew Sam's agents and publicist had cut deals to be producers on the reality TV show? This is all scripted and amateur. And devious too."

Police: Casey Kasem Not In Danger

Casey Kasem's family confirmed early Thursday that the longtime "American Top 40" host had been located in Washington state, three days after a California judge ordered an investigation into the 82-year-old's whereabouts.

The sheriff's office in Kitsap County, west of Seattle, tracked him down. He was at a home where he and his wife, Jean, had been staying with longtime friends, Deputy Scott Wilson said.

"We know he has an affliction, but he was alert, upright, dressed, groomed and cognizant of what was going on," Wilson said. "We see a lot of at-risk adults and children. This wasn't anywhere close to being suspicious."

Read More Now

May 16 In Radio History

In 1925...WHAS 840 AM, Louisville, Kentucky, originated the first network broadcast of the Kentucky Derby.

In 1946...Jack Mullin demonstrates Magnetophon at Institute of Radio Engineers convention. The Magnetophon tape recorder was one of the first recording machines to use magnetic tape in preserving voice and music.

In 1994...the Howard Stern Radio Show debuted on WTKS 104.1 FM, Orlando, Florida.

In 2013…Radio programmer (RKO Radio, Radio Marti, KHJ-Los Angeles, KFRC-San Francisco, WIBG-Philadelphia, CKLW-Windsor-Detroit)/former disc jockey (WAKE, WGST, WQXI, all in Atlanta) Paul Drew died at the age of 78.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Qantum Bows Out: Stations Going To CCM+E, Connoisseur

Qantum Communications Corporation announced today that it has agreed to swap substantially all the assets of its 29 radio stations to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment in exchange for WALK-AM/FM on Long Island.

Qantum has also agreed, in a simultaneous closing, to sell the assets of WALK-AM/FM to Connoisseur Media.

Both transactions are subject to Federal Communications Commission approval and other customary closing conditions.

Qantum’s radio stations include WCOD-FM, WCIB-FM, WXTK-FM and WEII-FM serving the Cape Cod, MA market; WWXM-FM, WGTR-FM, WRXZ-FM, WYNA-FM and WLQB-FM serving the Myrtle Beach, SC market; WEGX-FM, WJMX-FM, WDAR-FM, WZTF-FM, WRZE-FM, WJMX-AM, WWRK-AM and WDSC-AM serving the Florence, SC market; WYNR-FM, WQGA-FM, WBGA-FM, WHFX-FM, WGIG-AM and WMOG-AM serving the Brunswick, GA market; WKKR-FM, WMXA-FM, WCJM-FM, WZMG-AM, WTLM-AM and WPLV-AM serving the Auburn, AL and West Point, GA markets.

Qantum President Frank Osborn said, “We are very proud of all that our clusters have achieved.  Each cluster is the leader in its respective market and reflects the talent, dedication and hard work of local management and staff.  We will miss working with them, but felt this unique transaction was in the interests of our stockholders. It is rare when you find an instance where cooperation among three companies results in higher value for all.”
“We are honored to add WALK to our rapidly growing group of terrific properties,” says Jeffrey D. Warshaw CEO of Connoisseur Media. “We look forward to continuing WALK’s heritage of commitment to Long Island.”

Media Venture Partners acted as broker on the transaction.

Qantum Communications was formed by Mr. Osborn along with partners Michael Mangan and Frank Washington to acquire and operate radio stations in medium and smaller sized markets throughout the United States.

Connoisseur Media owns/operates 39 stations and is in the process of acquiring stations in Hartford, CT.  Connoisseur owns WKJY (K 98.3), WBZO (B-103), WWSK (The Shark) and WHLI in the Nassau-Suffolk metro.

FCC Approves Auction Plan

The commission on Thursday approved by a 3-2 vote, a plan that also promises to have a huge impact on the media landscape: the auctioning of broadcast airwaves for wireless use.

The auction, according to Variety, is scheduled to take place in 2015 and is meant to respond to the growth in wireless services, via smartphones and tablets, and free up additional capacity as a way to spur innovation.

The result, however, is likely to remake the channel lineup, particularly in the UHF band.

Stations are being asked to decide whether to give up their spectrum, meaning some will either shut down or share a channel with another outlet. Those airwaves then will be auctioned off to wireless carriers, with stations sharing in the proceeds. Other funds will be used to create a wireless emergency network, as well as to pay down national debt.

Although Congress approved of auctioning off broadcast spectrum in 2012, it was left to the FCC to implement it, in a complex plan that also has been tinged with controversy.

Broadcasters have been wary of how the FCC will carry out the auction, warning of a host of issues including that stations which remain in business will see a reduced coverage area, or that they will face disruption if they are moved on the channel lineup. But their reticence is also about the very idea that the primacy of broadcasting as a communications is shifting to broadband.

Dennis Wharton
In response, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:

"While NAB acknowledges the incredibly hard work by FCC staff, we are disappointed that today's vote fails the mandate of Congress to hold harmless those broadcasters who choose not to participate in the spectrum auction.

"Simply put, a deeply-divided Commission chose not to fulfill required obligations under the Spectrum Act. It adopted new coverage and interference software that has not yet worked, potentially jeopardizing hundreds of TV stations and millions of over-the-air television users. It takes for granted that the yet-to-be-released auction and repacking software will work flawlessly. The FCC cavalierly concluded that broadcasters forced into a shrunken TV band won't be guaranteed full compensation for this disruptive move - as was the express intent of Congress.

"The order today threatens diverse programming sources and diminishes a vibrant free and local news, entertainment and information source for millions of Americans who can't afford $200 a month pay TV and broadband bills. NAB will pursue every avenue to get the auction back on track and ensure that broadcasters and our viewers are protected -- as Congress mandated in the Act."

FCC Advances Net Neutrality Proposals

FCC commissioners formally launched a process to establish rules of the road for the Internet, sending a proposal out for comment that already has triggered grassroots protest in fears that it will permit big media to gain advantage via faster delivery of content to consumers.

But, reports Variety,  FCC chairman Tom Wheeler stressed that the notice of proposed rulemaking was just the start of a lengthy process that could stretch into the rest of the year. The commission was not voting on the rules themselves, but whether to sent them out for public comment. The vote was 3-2.

“I will not allow the national asset of an open Internet to be compromised,” Wheeler said, during a meeting in which several protesters were removed as they called for robust protections for broadband.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel voted for sending the proposal out for public comment, but she said that the process over the past few weeks was “flawed.” Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, Republican-designates on the commission, voted against it. Pai said that the FCC’s authority should be established first by Congress, while O’Rielly warned of regulation that would stifle innovation.

Outside the FCC, protesters gathered to “save the Internet,” reflecting the emotional response to what is perceived as any government effort that could undermine the ubiquity of a connection. A handful of picketers have been camping out at the FCC for days, and several commissioners paid them a visit, including Wheeler, who spoke to them on Wednesday.

Read More Now

Rush Limbaugh Wins Child 'Author Of The Year' Award

Rush Limbaugh won the "Author of the Year Award" at the Children's Choice Book Awards for his book Rush Revere and The Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, in which Rush Revere and a talking horse named Liberty travel back in time to visit the pilgrims.

Although the book has never been a critical favorite, according to NPR, it has been an enormous commercial success.

Four finalists for the award were chosen because of their places on bestseller lists, and the winner was chosen by children's votes.

In accepting the honor, Limbaugh said, "I love America. I wish everybody did. I hope everybody will. It's one of the most fascinating stories in human history...and it's a delight and it's an opportunity to try to share that story with young people so they can grow and learn to love and appreciate the country in which they're growing up and will someday run and lead and inherit."

Read More Now

BIA Kelsey: Social Media Ad Revenue To Hit $15B In 2018

In its latest U.S. Social Local Media Forecast (2013-2018), BIA/Kelsey projects total U.S. social media advertising revenues will grow from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 percent. This year represents the greatest year-over-year jump in social media ad revenues, growing to $8.4 billion in 2014, largely due to increases in mobile and native advertising.

According to the forecast, U.S. social display ad revenues will grow from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $5.6 billion in 2018 (CAGR: 11.3 percent). During the same period, U.S. native social advertising, spurred primarily by Facebook’s News Feed ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, will surge to $9.4 billion in 2018, up from $1.8 billion in 2013 (CAGR: 38.6 percent). In 2015, BIA/Kelsey expects native social advertising will eclipse social display for the first time.

The forecast also presents social advertising revenues by platform: desktop and mobile. Driven by Facebook and Twitter, U.S. social mobile ad revenues eclipsed $1.5 billion in 2013. U.S. social mobile ad revenues will reach $7.6 billion by 2018 (CAGR: 38.3 percent), surpassing social desktop for the first time.

“We were initially skeptical about the social-mobile market’s ability to capture optimal wallet share because of mobile’s limitations, such as smaller screen size, limited ad inventory and static creative,” said Jed Williams, VP, consulting, BIA/Kelsey. “Over the past year, however, Facebook, Twitter and other networks have generated dramatic revenue growth, primarily as a function of mobile ad acceleration and largely through natively integrated mobile ad formats. We expect this growth to continue throughout the forecast period.”

BIA/Kelsey forecasts locally targeted social advertising in the U.S. to grow at a 31.6 percent CAGR, from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $5.2 billion in 2018.

“While social networks are enhancing the geotargeting capabilities of their ad platforms, local targeting is still an emerging capability,” said Williams. “As social usage further migrates to mobile platforms, the need for locally targeted messages and offers that leverage mobile’s unique capabilities will expand. We expect social local ad spend to increase steadily through 2018, as SMBs better leverage multi- and micro-targeting to optimize campaigns, and national brands drive more traffic to individual store locations and target consumers with more personalized offers.”

MA Radio: Cumulus Adds To WXLO Morning Show

Cumulus Worcester/Boston has announced that popular Worcester radio personalities, Frank Foley and Kevin Barbare, have joined the WXLO 104.5 FM Morning Show team as co-hosts. Foley and Barbare join forces on air with Jen Carter, who has been hosting WXLO’s morning show for the past 14 years.

Foley returns to the WXLO morning show, where his previous tour of duty extended for ten years from 1994 to 2004. Foley has since hosted afternoon drive on WWFX "The Pike", Cumulus' Classic Rock Hits radio station in Worcester. Foley is also a comedian and performer with Frank Foley's Comedy Safari.

Barbare arrived in Massachusetts in 1993, joining WAAF's Hillman Morning show, and  gaining popularity with his impressions, song parodies and morning comedy during his nearly 20-year tenure on air. Kevin also performs stand-up comedy, and is heard on commercials, video games, cartoons, apps and movie trailers around the world. He is the co-founder of Rock and Shock, a three-day event for fans of horror films that takes place every October at the DCU Center and Palladium in Worcester.

WXLO 104.5 FM (37Kw) 54dBu Coverage
Bob Goodell, Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Worcester/Boston said: “I couldn’t be happier to welcome two such talented and experienced morning show personalities like Frank and Kevin to our growing staff. We’re building a major market team piloted by VP of Stratus Programming, Emily Boldon, and led locally by new OM Lance Ballance as we grow our audience in Worcester and Boston Metro West by delivering an unbeatable listener experience. We know WXLO 104.5 listeners will love what they hear each morning with the wit, energy and excitement of this incredibly entertaining and dynamic new morning show team.”

Radio Icon Casey Kasem Located

Kasem Screenshot
Longtime former American Top 40 radio host Casey Kasem has been located in Washington state, his family said, according to a statement released by his daughter's publicist.

Kitsap County sheriff's deputies performed a welfare check Tuesday at an address provided by California Adult Protective Services, according to CNN affiliate KOMO.

Authorities found Casey and his wife visiting others at a home. The couple told deputies they were on vacation, sheriff's department spokesman Scott Wilson told the affiliate.

After determining Casey was not in distress and was receiving appropriate care, the deputies left.

"We are grateful to local authorities for finding my Dad. We are one step closer to bringing him home," daughter Kerri Kasem said in a statement Wednesday night.

But the statement added that Kasem's exact location in Washington "is still being determined." Kitsap County authorities have not released the address where they found Kasem.

Kasem, 82, is suffering from Lewy body disease -- a common cause of dementia, a spokesman for his daughter told CNN on Tuesday.

On Monday, a judge named Kasem's daughter, Kerri, the temporary conservator until a June 20 hearing.

Orlando Radio: Non-Com WPOZ Remains Number One

In Orlando, the Top 5 6+ remains status quo.  Non-Com Christian Contemporary WPOZ 88.3 FM Z88.3 spikes 7.3 to 8.1 to solidify its hold on the top spot.

Cox Media stations hold the next two positions. Country WWKA 92.3 FM K92 is #2 moving 7.1--7.3 and its UrbanAC WCFB 94.5 FM Star 94.5 ended up #3 losing a bit 6.9--6.7.

Two CCM+E stations round-out the Top 5. Top40 WXXL 106.7 FM had an uptick 6.4--6.5, good for #4 and HotAC WMGF 107.7 FM Magic was off a bit 5.9--5.7 to retain its position at #5 in the market.

25-54:  WWKA...WPOZ...WCFB...WXXL...WJRR 

18-34:  WXXL...WPYO...WWKA...WJRR...WJHM

18-49:  WXXL...WPOZ...WWKA...WJRR...WCFB

Cume:   WXXL-FM 571,100...WOMX-FM 523,600...WMGF-FM 488,800...WOCL-FM 439,600...WPYO-FM 402,700...WPOZ-FM 396,200

Top 5 Morning Shows 25-54:

1.  WTKS 104.1 FM 'Monsters In the Morning'
2.  WXXL 'Johnny's House'
3.  WWKA 'AJ & Ashley In The Morning'
4.  WPOZ 'Ellis, Tyler & Tracy'
5.  WCFB 'Tom Joyner Show'

Listening to AM radio in Orlando accounts for just 2.1 Shares of reported listening.

Nielsen Releases Day 3 Of April PPMs

Nielsen released Day 3 of the April PPM's numbers for several markets Tuesday.

The latest markets released are:
  • Portland OR
  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC
  • Pittsburgh
  • Sacramento
  • San Antonio
  • Salt Lake city-Ogden-Provo
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Kansas City
  • Columbus OH
To see 6+ Share for Nielsen subscribing stations, Click Here.

B'ham Radio: David DuBose OUT At Summit Media

David DuBose
David DuBose, who oversaw some of the top-rated radio stations in Birmingham and boldly tried to lure Paul Finebaum away from a rival, is out as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Summit Media, has learned.

DuBose was part of the original ownership group at Summit, which finalized its purchase of the Cox Media Group early last year. In 2013, the Alabama Broadcasters Association named him its Broadcaster of the Year.

In Birmingham, Summit owns urban stations WBHJ 95.7 Jamz FM and WBHK 98.7 Kiss FM, country station WZZK 104.7 FM, classic-hits station WBPT 106.9 The Eagle FM, soft-rock station WEZZ Easy 97.3 FM and gospel station WAGG 610 AM,Heaven.

Summit also has stations in Greenville, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Richmond, Va.; and Honolulu.

In August 2011, while DuBose was still the Birmingham market manager at Cox, he started sports station ESPN 97.3 The Zone and launched an all-out (and ultimately unsuccessful) effort to lure the sports-talk lightning rod Finebaum away from rival station WJOX 94.5 FM.

The Zone went off the air in the summer of 2013, about a month after Finebaum agreed to a multi-year deal with ESPN to host a national radio show that airs locally on WJOX.

Also last year, DuBose filed a lawsuit against his former employer Cox, claiming the company owed him more than $300,000 in unpaid "special retention bonus" pay for staying with the company until its sale to Summit Media became final.