Friday, August 22, 2014

Philly Radio: Iconic Personality Don Cannon Has Died

Don Cannon
A Philadelphia radio legend, Don Cannon, has passed away.

He was 74.

He died at 3am Friday, August 22nd. He had been in Lankenau Hospital for almost a month. According to friends at WOGL, Cannon died from an abscess in his tooth that spread to his brain.

Cannon, who was born Dominic Canzano in Yonkers, N.Y., had been doing morning radio in Philadelphia since 1969, and was the morning man on WOGL 98.1 FM from 1990 until his retirement in 2004.   He began his career with Top40 WIBG and has also been heard on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, and WSNI.

In the eighties, Cannon was program director of WSNI and WPGR.

In the original Rocky movie, when the morning alarm clock goes off for Rocky's run, it was Cannon's voice on the radio.

In a statement, WOGL said:
Don Cannon's voice was a top rated morning radio fixture in Philadelphia spanning five decades starting in 1969 with WIBG through his retirement in 2004 from 98.1 WOGL-FM. "Cannon in The Morning" entertained millions of people each day for thirty five years as the handsome and entertaining radio star on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, and WSNI and Oldies 98.1 WOGL.  
Don also spent time on the management side of the industry as Program Director of WSNI and WPGR. From 1990 until his retirement in 2004 WOGL FM 98.1 was home to the legendary "Cannon in the Morning" show. 
Cannon's signature voice with a smile was part of a pivotal scene from the original "Rocky" motion picture. As Sylvester Stallone readied for his run throughout the city it was Don Cannon's energetic voice on then WIBG that was Rocky's soundtrack to Rocky drinking his signature raw egg drink.  
Don often joked that people missed his cameo because they were so grossed out by the drinking of the eggs that they were yelling during the scene and missed some of his announcing! 
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called Cannon "an incredible citizen" who volunteered to emcee events benefiting the city when Rendell was mayor.

"He was a dynamic personality. His voice was incredible, and he would light up a room," Rendell said.

"Don was a legend among legends," Gerry Wilkinson of Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia wrote on the group's website. "When you thought of morning drive, you had to think of Don Cannon. He was one of the good people in this industry. I can't remember a time when someone asked Don to do something and he couldn't or didn't do it."

Cannon received a lifetime achievement award from the March of Dimes.

The WOGL Breakfast Club will remember Don Cannon on Monday, August 25.  Click Here to Listen.

New Report Cites Digital Ad Opps

Most local TV, radio and newspaper outlets are leaving money on the table by not focusing on digital media when selling advertising to local businesses. That’s one of the finding in a new joint research study conducted by MFM – the Media Financial Management Association and Borrell Associates.

The just-released study, “Benchmarking Local Media’s Digital Revenues” was designed to provide members of MFM an analysis of current digital ad sales efforts that is coupled with Borrell’s latest advertising estimates for local markets. Copies of the report have been distributed to the association’s members. New MFM members will be receiving a copy of the report as part of their membership packet.

The MFM-Borrell report focused on the 36% of all advertising that is placed in local markets across the U.S. In 2013, according to Borrell’s research, the amount spent by local businesses in their markets amounted to $97.3 billion of a total $268.7 billion. Of that amount, $24.7 billion went to digital media, representing one-fourth of all local advertising expenditures. Borrell says the market is on track to increase local digital ad spending by 42%, to $35.2 billion this year. The research firm is projecting additional growth rates of 44% in 2015 and 37% in 2016, which would mean nearly half of all local ad dollars will be spent on digital platforms within the next two years.

Numbering among the challenges for so-called “legacy” media, such as local newspapers and radio and television stations, is Borrell’s finding that in excess of 50% of current local digital media spending is going to “pure-play” Internet media enterprises. The Borrell-MFM benchmarking report validated this analysis, finding that digital media sales as a percentage of total ad revenue currently stands at 12% for print media and 6% for local broadcasters.

Significantly, the benchmarking survey indicates that slightly more than one-fourth (27.5%) of a local newspaper’s or broadcaster’s existing customers are also buying digital products as part of their ad spend with the media outlet. This finding highlights the huge opportunity for selling digital media services to the three-in-four existing customers that aren’t currently buying digital media.

To help MFM members and others in the industry get the most out of the report findings, Gordon Borrell has agreed to discuss them in a webinar. This special MFM Distance Learning Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 at 2:00 Eastern.  For more information: Click Here.

Study: MSNBC Devoted More Time To Ferguson Story

The shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, quickly became a national news story on mainstream and social media last week. A new Pew Research Center analysis of media coverage of the event and subsequent protests finds that the story emerged on Twitter before cable, but the trajectory of attention quickly rose in tandem, peaking on both mediums the day after two journalists were arrested and protests turned more violent.

Pew's analysis also finds differences in how much of their prime-time news coverage the three major cable news outlets devoted to the racially charged story centered around the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. MSNBC devoted far more time to the story than its top competitors Fox News and CNN. Fox News gave a total of about half the airtime that MSNBC did to events in Ferguson over the course of the first six days of the story, with CNN’s coverage in the middle.  According to Pew,  previous analysis of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, another news story with strong racial undertones involving the shooting death of a black teen in Florida, found similar treatment by the three cable channels.

Twitter conversation about Ferguson started soon after Brown’s death, unlike the Trayvon Martin story, in which Twitter conversation erupted several weeks later. There was also a higher volume of Ferguson tweets than tweets about Martin. On its peak day so far, Thursday, August 14, there were more than 3.6 million tweets about the events in Ferguson, compared with a daily high of 692,000 tweets about Martin two years ago.

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CBS Radio Adds To Sports Leadersip Team

Mike Thomas
CBS RADIO announced Thursday it was expanding its senior leadership team in charge of programming with the promotion of Mike Thomas to Vice President, Sports Programming.  The announcement was made by Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO.

Thomas will continue to serve as CBS RADIO’s head of programming in Boston while also guiding the on-air presentation and strategic planning for WBZ-FM 98.5 FM The Sports Hub and Classic Rock WZLX 1007. FM.

The appointment is effective immediately.

In this new role, Thomas joins Mark Chernoff in overseeing CBS RADIO’s nearly 30 sports formatted stations, as well as CBS Sports Radio, with more than 300 affiliates nationwide.

“Mike’s creativity and expertise in the format is evident by The Sports Hub’s quick ascent in one of the most competitive and passionate sports towns in America,” said Oliviero. “These skills will serve CBS RADIO well as Mike joins Mark in guiding our continually growing, industry leading portfolio of both local and national sports brands which combined produces nearly 300 hours a day of original content.”

Thomas has served as Program Director for CBS RADIO Boston’s WZLX-FM since 2006 and 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) since 2009.  He has nearly 20 years of top management experience as a radio program director.  Prior to joining CBS RADIO, Thomas was Program Director as well as midday on-air personality at KGB in San Diego, Calif.  He also programmed WFBQ in Indianapolis, Ind., WTUE and WXEG in Dayton, Ohio and WYMG in Springfield, Ill.

98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) was named Sports Station of the Year at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards, and consistently captures the largest share of listening among Men 18-49 and 25-54 in Boston.

CBS Sports Radio To Launch Gottlieb TV Simulcast

CBS Sports Network debuts its television simulcast of The Doug Gottlieb Show, CBS Sports Radio’s popular afternoon show, on Monday, Aug. 25 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET) with a new set located at the CBS Sports Radio studios in New York City.

The three-hour program is hosted by Doug Gottlieb features national sports talk, news headlines, and interviews with current and former sports icons, as well as newsmakers from the sports world and listener phone calls. The show challenges and engages sports audiences nationwide.

CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to

Phlash Phelps Observes 14-Years On SiriusXM

60s on 6 Personality Phlash Phelps
Art Vuolo
Phlash Phelps, the SiriusXM “60s on 6” morning host, was entertaining well-wishers on the air Thursday morning to celebrate his 14th year on the satellite broadcaster when who should call in but “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo.

“Art is the one who got me my job here!” Phelps exclaimed.

Well, sort of — Vuolo has videos of innumerable radio stars at, and he often touts new talent to programmers, according to The Detroit News.

Ph­elps recounted how in 2000 Vuolo sent a 10-year-old videotape of the jock to Dave Logan and Lee Abrams when they were launching what was then XM Radio. “They hired me in 2000, on the basis of a 10-year-old video,” Phelps laughed. “I didn’t even know what satellite radio was.” He quickly found out and gave kudos to Vuolo for the hire. How about a commission?

D/FW Radio: WBAP Morning Team Takes The Challenge

Hal Jay's son challenged the WBAP 820 AM Morning News team to take the ALS Challenge...and they accepted!  Outside the WBAP Studios at Victory Park, Steve Lamb (with flag), Brian Estridge, Hal Jay, Marlee McCormick and Brad Barton braved the ice water dump Thursday morning!

WBAP Morning News Team - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Cumulus Radio Dallas on Vimeo.

Radio Show To Honor NRSC

A breakfast reception to recognize the 35th anniversary of the formation of the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) will take place on Thursday, September 11 at the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis, IN. The Radio Show is produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

The NRSC was formed by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) - through its precursor organization the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) – and held its first meeting in New York City in October, 1979.

Since then, the NRSC has become a focal point for the U.S. radio industry’s development of technical standards and the advancement of broadcast radio technology. NRSC Standards have been incorporated into the rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and have guided the manufacture of radio receivers and broadcast transmission equipment. More recently, NRSC Guidelines documents have helped the broadcast industry manage the transition to digital radio and support new data broadcasting features.

The breakfast reception recognizing this important milestone will begin at 8 a.m. in room 110 of the Indianapolis Convention Center, and is open to all Radio Show attendees. A brief ceremony will be held during which the current NRSC chairman, Milford Smith, VP of Radio Engineering with Greater Media, and others will offer remarks on the history, and the future, of the NRSC.

Coach Calipari Calls Sports Host Mike Francesa To Complain

Sports WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM radio host Mike Francesa on Thursday criticized Kentucky coach John Calipari, calling him a "master recruiter" and "master motivator" but not a great x's-and-o's coach.

It's a common criticism for Calipari -- although his coaching is underrated.

But still, Calipari was not amused.

He called in to the radio show as "John from Kentucky" and let Francesa hear it.

R.I.P.: Montana Broadcaster Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder
Dan Snyder, a pioneer of broadcasting in Montana, passed away at Peace Hospice in Kalispell on Wednesday at the age of 87, according to

Snyder became well-known to television audiences across Montana as a long-time co-host with Norma Ashby of the Children's Miracle Network on MTN.

Snyder began his broadcast career in 1948 as an announcer for KGVO radio while he was still a student at the University of Montana.

In 1955 he founded KBGF, and in 1958 created KRTV, both in Great Falls.

In 2006, Snyder was inducted into the Montana Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.

A memorial service is tentatively planned for Sept. 7 in Kalispell.

According to the Montana Broadcasters Association, following the sale of KRTV, Snyder retired briefly before starting new careers in banking and commercial real estate development.

Broadcasting lured him back and in 1980 Snyder became the General Manager of KCAP AM-FM in Helena. He later served as GM for KGHL AM-FM in Billings before again "retiring" and going to work part-time for Anderson Broadcasting.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Phoenix Radio: Lightning Strikes Home Of KNIX's Matt McAllister

Tuesday's storm devastated the home of popular KNIX 102.5 FM  personality Matt McAllister. Lightning struck the north Scottsdale house around 12:30 p.m., creating a 10-foot hole in the roof and forcing the disc jockey and his family to find temporary lodging, according to

"Our day yesterday was crying and then laughing," said McAllister, half of the Ben and Matt morning duo. "First you're trying to get your head around what's just happened to your home and the fact that you can't live there anymore. Then you're laughing, like, is this really happening to us?"

McAllister and fiancee Vanessa Gibbs moved into the Pinnacle Peak-area home three months ago with her two children.

Gibbs was home alone when lightning struck the 4,000-square-foot home. The bedroom and electrical system were essentially destroyed. There are cracks throughout the house, and the surge of electricity blew metal nails from the drywall.

McAllister has yet to tally the damage. Some furniture and all the electronics were damaged: "Basically, anything that was plugged in is now toast," he says.

There were no injuries.

Norway Consults Lawyers Over Kasem Burial Request

Legendary radio DJ Casey Kasem might not be buried in Oslo, Norway, after all, according to NBC News.

After receiving a letter from Kasem's children asking for the Norwegian government to deny their stepmother's request to bury their father in Oslo, officials are consulting with legal advisers on their next course of action, a Norwegian government official told NBC News on Wednesday.

Jean Kasem, his wife of nearly 34 years, asked the Norway government on Aug. 7 to allow the burial in a letter in which she claimed she would be moving to Norway soon. She also said her husband "always said that Norway symbolizes peace and looks like heaven and I would like to respectfully fulfill his wishes."

But in light of letters the government received from Casey Kasem's children and friends, officials have decided to consult with attorneys and reconsider whether Casey Kasem's final resting place will be in Oslo, said the city's Managing Director of Funeral Service Wenche Elizabeth Madsen Eriksson. In the letters to the Norwegian government, Kasem's relatives and friends — including his daughter, Kerri Kasem, and former Lieutenant Governor of California Mike Curb — stated the late DJ "always wanted to be buried in California," where he lived for 53 years.

Casey Kasem's children from his first marriage say Jean Kasem kept them from visiting or speaking to their father for nearly a year before his death. They also say their father always wanted to be buried in Forest Lawn in Glendale.

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NYC Radio: Scott Shannon Morning Show Returns To #1

Joe Nolan, Mr. G, Scott Shannon, Patti Steele, Brad Blanks
After 26 years, Scott Shannon has returned to No. 1. According to David Hinckley at The NY Daily News, Scott Shannon morning show at WCBS 101.1 FM was tied for No. 1 with sister station WCBS 880 AM during the week of Aug. 2. (No demo was cited, but it must be 6+)

“The last time my show was No. 1 was in 1988 at Z100,” Shannon muses. “This is a strange business, isn’t it?”

Shannon’s been around all these years, of course, mostly cohosting a successful morning show on WPLJ with Todd Pettengill.

But Shannon left there early this year and surfaced on WCBS-FM, which had already been riding a resurgence.

The morning show hitting No. 1 for a week doesn’t lock down the spot. Still, it’s No. 1, and Shannon says the formula is no secret.

With Patti Steele, Joe Nolan and Mr. G, he says, “We play the music and have conversations. There’s no forced humor, no gags. It’s just people talking. It’s very relaxed.”

Shannon also says the station has done the right thing by moving its music forward into the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

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Study: Broadcast Radio Beats Pandora For Music Satisfaction

NuVoodoo Media Services has announced additional findings from its fourth and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study. The company interviewed nearly 1100 respondents, ages 14-54, in all PPM markets to update NuVoodoo’s insights on the relationship between broadcast radio and the leading digital music provider, Pandora. The findings indicate that 62% of Pandora users listen to Pandora at least 30 minutes per day and nearly as many Pandora users spend that much time daily with broadcast radio. Per the graph below, as Pandora experience increases, so does the percentage that listen to it at least 30 minutes. But the percentage spending at least that much time with broadcast radio did not decrease.

Leigh Jacobs, Vice President, Research for NuVoodoo said: “What we wanted to learn was whether Pandora’s algorithms do a better job creating an enjoyable playlist for consumers than the researched and carefully curated playlists that Broadcast programmers sweat over day in, day out. It’s Pandora’s technology against radio’s research and decades of experience.”

“Our data show that Broadcast beats Pandora for music satisfaction – big among those who align themselves with rock-leaning formats,” continues Jacobs. “While the customization possibilities are endless with Pandora and other digital pure plays, we know that few take advantage of all those possibilities. What it sets up is a massive number of swing voters – consumers whose time we could pull back from Pandora with the right promotional tactics or lower commercial loads.

Carolyn Gilbert, NuVoodoo President said: “Radio’s on a bigger stage than it’s been since the advent of TV, but it does a great job making great music programming easy for consumers. We’ve known for years that most people don’t want to program their own music or design their own cars, for that matter. They want to pick something that works for them and enjoy it.”

Leigh Jacobs, Vice President, Research for NuVoodoo Media Services said: “We know that many Pandora listeners are also heavy users of broadcast radio, but we’re interested in whether those using Pandora begin to pull away from broadcast radio over time. These latest results validate our hypothesis that longer experience with Pandora doesn’t equate to less listening to broadcast radio. While those who’ve spent more time with Pandora tend to increase their daily TSL from the service, they claim not to reduce their TSL with broadcast radio.”

Mike O’Connor, Executive Vice President, Marketing for NuVoodoo Media Services said: “This new information represents a huge opportunity for radio. Our marketing clients benefit directly from the intelligence we glean from our Ratings Prospect Studies and other proprietary indicators, as we develop well-crafted station promotions and marketing targeting those people who use Pandora, and those most likely to carry meters. This research validates so many parts of our unique product formula, and we’re eager to rack up more successes for our clients this fall based on these and other proprietary results.”

NuVoodoo will be releasing more of the study’s key findings over the coming weeks, including which social media platforms are getting user traction and which ones are seeing user declines.

Past NuVoodoo studies have been fielded late in the year for release after the holidays; however, the rapid rate of change in media consumer behaviors necessitated that an update was fielded going into fall ratings season. Complete findings of the latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study are available exclusively to all NuVoodoo clients for their use in developing their marketing and promotion plans for the coming year.

For more information about NuVoodoo Media Services, contact Carolyn Gilbert at 888.9VOODOO (888.986.6366) and at

Charleston Radio: WMXZ Brings Back '2 Girls and A Guy"

Brooke, Mike and Tanya
Charleston’s Apex Broadcasting has announced the return of the popular “2 Girls & A Guy” Morning Show featuring Tanya Brown, Brooke Ryan and Mike “The Guy” to Charleston airwaves beginning Monday, Sept. 15 on their Hot AC format WMXZ 95.9 FM Mix 96.

Apex Broadcasting’s Vice President & General Manager David Abel says, “The Charleston market has an affinity for local content and it is a part of the fabric that makes Charleston such a unique city. The “2 Girls and a Guy” morning show dominated mornings for 12 years. We are proud to be able to bring Tanya, Brooke, and Mike back to Charleston. They are very excited to come home to the Low Country and we look forward to adding their talents to our programming staff.”

WMXZ 95.9 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Tanya Brown returns to Charleston as “the mom” of 2 Girls & A Guy. She’s a single mother of four who likes to call herself “the voice of reason” on the show. As a four time winner of the Charleston Animal Society Celebrity Chili Cook Off, she loves to cook in addition to her passionate interest of local news, events, and hot topics. Tanya has been a morning radio mainstay for 12+ years before moving to Portland, Oregon in 2013.

Brooke Ryan was known as “Charleston’s Party Girl” from her years on 2 Girls & A Guy before accepting a transfer to Washington D.C. where she was co-host of the city’s popular “Jack Diamond Show”. Brooke is currently busy planning her wedding to the love of her life, Jimmy, and both are excited to start their new life together in the city she’s always loved and missed. Brooke also looks forward to continuing her work in helping raise awareness for the local and national chapters of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and doing everything in her power to become BFF’s with Bill Murray.

Mike “The Guy” Edwards was the program director of 95SX for over 13 years and part of 2 Girls & A Guy since 2007 before leaving to do a morning show in Portland, Oregon with Tanya Brown. Mike will also program Mix 96’s music format and can’t wait to get started. Mike says, “Mix 96 is going to be a fun station with an upbeat music mix and a concentration on capturing Charleston’s unique local vibe and personality! Charleston’s hometown morning show is now on Charleston’s new hometown radio station”.

Benztown Named To Fastest-Growing Private Co. List

Benztown, the radio imaging, voiceover, programming and jingles company, announced today that Inc. magazine has named the company one of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for the second consecutive year. Benztown increased sales 796% since the start of 2010, placing it at number 596 on this year’s list of 5,000 companies. Benztown is ranked as 8th Fastest-Growing Private Company in America out of the 60 Inc. 5000 companies in the Media sector. Last year, the company debuted on the Inc. 5000 as number 983.

The Inc. 5000 is an exclusive annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, ranked according to percentage revenue growth rate over a three-year period. Companies must have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2010 and at least $2 million in 2013 to qualify for the listing. They must also be U.S. based, privately held, independent and for-profit. Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, Under Armour, Timberland, Jamba Juice, Zipcar, Clif Bar, Vizio, Oracle and many other well-known companies gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

 Andreas Sannemann
Andreas Sannemann, Benztown Chief Executive Officer said: “I am super excited we made the list two times in a row and improved our rank compared to last year. This is a pure team success and a milestone for the company. I am proud to work amongst and with the most talented people in the business.”

Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President said: “Twofer, back to back, double the pleasure… no matter how you say it, the Benztown team gave 200% to make
this prestigious list for the second time in a row and I’m incredibly grateful to them and to our clients across broadcast radio and digital. They’re twice the man I’ll ever be and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their hard work, dedication and belief in Benztown!”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000 can be found at

Chicago Radio: Doug Levy To Manager Univision's Radio/TV

Doug Levy
Doug Levy, an 18-year veteran of Univision Chicago Radio who’s also known as a former  rock radio personality, has been promoted to vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media in Chicago, according to Media Blogger Robert Feder.

He now adds Univision WGBO-Channel 66 and UniM├ís WXFT-Channel 60 to the five Spanish radio stations he already oversees — WOJO 105.1 FM, WPPN 106.7 FM, WRTO 1200 AM, WVIV 103.1 FM, and WVIX 93.5 FM.

Sources said the company plans to move its operations to one location within the next two years. The television stations currently are at 541 North Fairbanks Court while the radio stations occupy studios and offices at 625 North Michigan Avenue.

Levy’s promotion is part of a nationwide restructuring of broadcast and digital assets, including consolidation of television and radio management in each market. What makes his move unusual is that Levy is one of only three radio managers companywide to add television to his portfolio. (The others are in Miami and Dallas.)

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Report: FCC Faces Uphill Battle On Local Internet Fight

The Federal Communications Commission is on shaky legal ground if it wants to overturn state laws as it tries to increase competition among Internet providers, according to a top Republican aide at the agency.

The Hill reports Matthew Berry, chief of staff to Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, predicted an uphill battle for the agency as it intervenes in states where laws prevent local governments from starting their own Internet networks during an address in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Matthew Berry
"When elected representatives at the national level are telling the Commission not to interfere with decisions made by elected representatives at the state level, unelected officials should pay attention," he said.

Overturning state laws would "provoke a court battle with state officials who should be our partners rather than our adversaries" and "bring [the FCC] into conflict with Congress," he continued.

Earlier this year, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler pledged to promote competition among Internet providers by working with local governments to preempt state laws that keep local governments from creating municipal broadband projects.

While Democrats on Capitol Hill have applauded Wheeler, Republicans have said he is overstepping the agency's bounds.

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Ferguson Media Coverage Questioned

The line between news reporting and opinion is blurring in Ferguson, Missouri, as some national journalists inject their perspective and even themselves into the story, according to an article at Politico.

The conduct of a few prominent members of the press on the ground at the site of the police shooting of Michael Brown has drawn the attention of media observers and prompted the wrath of conservatives who see an anti-law enforcement bias in the Fourth Estate.

On Monday night, CNN’s Jake Tapper blasted the authorities’ heavy-handed response to the demonstrations, which he deemed nonsensical. Wesley Lowery, the Washington Post reporter who was arrested last week along with Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post, has called police conduct “militarized” and “aggressive.” Don Lemon, on the air for CNN, even offered personal assistance to the parents of Brown. “If any of you ever need anything, you know how to get in touch with me personally,” he told them during an interview.

CNN's Jake Tapper
“To me that was a line that was very clearly crossed,” said Amy Simons, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. “He had gone from being an independent journalist to clearly advocating and making it known which side of this issues he’s on at the moment.”

Lowery has given several media interviews since his arrest and engaged in public battles with his detractors, including MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who suggested that Lowery should have been more compliant with the demands of law enforcement.

The loudest condemnations from conservatives: In a post for Hot Air on Tuesday, Noah Rothman argued that “the press is no longer serving as objective chroniclers of the proceedings.”

“In many ways, the media appears to believe that it is an active participant in the events in Missouri. What’s more, the press appears to be relishing this role,” Rothman wrote.

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Detroit Radio: WNIC's Jay Towers Named WJBK-TV Anchor

Jay Towers
Jay Towers will be joining the "FOX 2 Morning News" weekday morning newscast, effective Aug. 25.

Towers will anchor from 6 to 9 a.m. alongside Anqunette Jamison, announced Kevin Roseborough, the station's vice president and news director.

Towers will continue to host his weekday morning radio program "Jay Towers in the Morning" on WNIC 100.3 FM from FOX 2 studios.

"FOX 2 viewers have enjoyed Jay's contagious energy and winning personality on the weekends for the last 10 years," Roseborough said. "We are looking forward to expanding his presence on our station and have no doubt he will enhance our number one morning news team."

Towers joined WJBK in February 2004. Most recently, he served as weekend anchor and feature reporter for "FOX 2 News Weekend," for the last 10 years.

"2014 marks my 10th anniversary at FOX 2," Towers said. "To begin this milestone year in a new and expanded role at WJBK is a dream come true. The best part? I can continue my morning radio show on 100.3. And, all from one place!"

He previously hosted "Jay & Rachael in the Morning" on 93-1 DRQ and "The Jay & Bill Show" on 97.1.

His career began as a radio DJ when he was 14 years old for WJRZ in Manahawkin, N.J.

Philly Radio: WPEN Launches New Mid-Day Show

Sports WPEN 97.5 FM The Fanatic has announced a new Midday Lineup for the Football season featuring former Philadelphia Eagles Brian Westbrook and Brian Baldinger.

The new 10AM to Noon show, Co-hosted by Harry Mayes, will feature Brian Westbrook on Mondays and Fridays, and Brian Baldinger on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This new lineup will start Tuesday, September 2nd.

Brian Westbrook has been a regular contributor on 97.5 The Fanatic in recent years. He also hosted his own show with The Fanatic as a player during the 2008-2009 season. Westbrook was drafted by the Eagles in 2002 out of Villanova University and spent 8 seasons in Philadelphia. He made two NFL Pro Bowls and played in 4 NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.

WPEN 97.5 FM (26Kw) 54dBu Coverage
A regular contributor with The Fanatic since 2010, Brian Baldinger will now expand his role to Midday Host starting Tuesday, September 2nd. Better known as “Baldy”, Baldinger has been a permanent fixture within the Philly sports scene ever since he joined the Philadelphia Eagles as a player back in 1992. After his successful playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger sought to develop a second career in broadcasting. His passionate and articulate approach, his specific knowledge of sports and his drive to succeed landed him a job broadcasting NFL games on Fox and immersed him in a big-time broadcasting career.

10AM-Noon Lineup:
Monday – Brian Westbrook and Harry Mayes
Tuesday – Brian Baldinger and Harry Mayes
Wednesday – Brian Baldinger and Harry Mayes
Thursday – Brian Baldinger and Harry Mayes
Friday – Brian Westbrook and Harry Mayes

Philly Radio: KYW Morning Anchor Harry Donahue Retiring

Harry Donahue
Newsradio KYW 1060 AM morning co-anchor Harry Donahue will be retiring from the station this Friday after a career in broadcasting that spans five decades in Philadelphia.

According  to CBS Radio, Donahue joined KYW in 1973 after starting his career as an announcer for the former WPBS-FM radio (now WUSL-FM), and as a manager of media relations for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

“When I was hired at KYW, I couldn’t believe it,” Donahue said recently.  “It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia.  I’ve done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station -– it just doesn’t get any better.”

Donahue began waking up the Delaware Valley on KYW Newsradio 35 years ago, and was the primary anchor for coverage of some of the region’s biggest news stories, including the mass conducted by Pope John Paul on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and championship celebrations for both the Phillies and the 76ers.  He covered two Super Bowl appearances by the Eagles. Donahue was also on the air during Philadelphia’s first violent confrontation with the group MOVE and during the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Donahue also serves as the longtime play-by-play voice for Temple University Athletics (men’s football and basketball, the latter heard on WPHT 1210 AM).  He will continue his responsibilities with the university.

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WARNING: Don't Watch..If You Fear Heights

With the rapid changes in broadcasting these days, there has been a lot of work on the Hancock antennae, according to

Some radio and TV stations are moving back to the Willis Tower, to the Aon Center, and even the Trump International Hotel and Tower is marketing its unwanted spire as a haven for broadcasters and others who need to give their transmissions a little boost.

Here’s a list of recent work on the Hancock antennae:
  • New automatic transmitter switcher for WYCC
  • WGBO antenna removed from east tower
  • WLS-TV antenna removed from east tower
  • WGN-TV antenna removed from west tower
  • WFLD antenna removed from west tower
  • Remove WBBM-TV antenna from west tower
  • Remove two FLO-TV antennae from west tower
  • Remove channel 2 antenna from east tower
  • Remove channel 3 antenna from east tower
  • Add a new WBEZ antenna on east tower

R.I.P.: Former WWL Radio Manager Ray Muro

Ray Muro
Raymond Muro Jr., former station manager for WWL Radio in New Orleans and a former sales executive for WWL-TV, died Monday after a long illness.

He was 87, according to

Mr. Muro’s career as a sales executive with WWL-TV began in 1958, as the station was entering just its second year on the air.  He came to WWL from The New Orleans Item newspaper, which had recently been sold and ceased printing.

After spending nearly 10 years in television sales, Mr. Muro was tapped in 1967 by former general manager J. Michael Early to take over as station manager of WWL-AM and WWL-FM throughout much of the 1970s and 1980s.  As station manager he oversaw the hiring of key personnel, the strengthening of the station’s news department and introduction several popular programs.

Mr. Muro retired from WWL in 1985.  According to his family, in retirement he opened a photography studio and practiced judo, becoming a fourth-degree black belt and also serving as a martial arts instructor.

He was a veteran of World War II, enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1944, at the age of 17.  After the war, he attended Tulane and Loyola Universities before beginning his career in sales.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tampa Radio: Cox Names Dan Mason OM For Three Stations

Dan Mason
Cox Media Group (CMG) Tampa has named Dan Mason as Operations Manager for WSUN 97.1 FM 97X, WPOI 101.5 FM HOT, and WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone, effective Sept. 8.

Mason will also serve as HOT 101.5 WPOI-FM's Director of Branding and Programming.

“Dan's approach to programming is firmly in line with ours,” said Keith Lawless, CMG Tampa’s Vice President and Market Manager. “He is a welcome addition to our team, and I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.”

Previously, Mason served as Program Director of CBS Boston's WODS 103.3 Amp Radio.  Other career highlights include Program Director for KDND 107.9 FM The End and KBZC 106.5 Star in Sacramento, WHYI 100.7 FM Y100 in Miami and WAKS 96.5 Kiss FM in Cleveland.

"I am thrilled to join the fantastic team in Tampa. Hot 101.5, 97X, and 102.5 The Bone are three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country,” said Mason. “I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team. Also, if anyone wants a great deal on a used, goose down winter coat, snow boots, and windshield scrapers, please contact me immediately, as I won't need them on the beach."

Steve Smith, Vice President of Programming for CMG Radio added, "HOT 101.5 is a very special groundbreaking CHR. We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other Superbrands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family!"

NFL Wants Artists To Pay To Play Super Bowl Haltime

The National Football League doesn't usually pay the act that performs at halftime during the Super Bowl.

But in a twist this year, according to The Wall Street Journal, the league has asked artists under consideration for the high-profile gig to pay to play, according to people familiar with the matter.

The NFL has narrowed down the list of potential performers for the 2015 Super Bowl to three candidates: Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay

While notifying the artists' camps of their candidacy, league representatives also asked at least some of the acts if they would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution, in exchange for the halftime gig.

The pay-to-play suggestion got a chilly reception from the candidates' representatives, these people said.

It is unclear how much money the NFL was seeking, and whether it would likely have amounted to more or less than the extra income the chosen performer might stand to generate from the exposure.

The Super Bowl halftime show, which this year featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars, drew a record 115.3 million viewers in February, according to the NFL, more than the game itself. The entire event averaged 112.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That was more than double the size of the audience for the Academy Awards this year, more than triple the audience for this year's Grammy Awards and more than 11 times the size of MTV's most recent Video Music Awards.

Read More Now (Paywall)

Fort Walton Beach Radio: Jeff Horn New PD At NASH FM

Jeff Horn
Cumulus announces that it has named Jeff Horn as Program Director and Afternoon Drive Personality for Country WYZB 105.5 FM NASH FM in Fort Walton Beach/Destin, FL.

Horn joins Cumulus after serving nine years as Operations Manager for Clear Channel –Tallahassee’s five-station cluster and Program Director of Country station 94.9 WTNT-FM. Horn’s radio career is entirely Florida-focused, including seven years in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, where he worked for the industry-leading CHR station WHYI/Y-100, as well as K102 and 96X.

Current Program Director Skip Davis assumes a newly-created position as Production Director for the Cumulus Fort Walton Beach/Destin, FL cluster. Davis also moves to middays on NASH FM 105.5.

WYZB 105.5 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Pete DeSimone, Regional Vice President of Cumulus said: “Jeff adds talent and programming experience to the NASH FM 105.5 line-up and the Fort Walton Beach/Destin programming team. We’re very pleased to welcome him to Cumulus and look forward to his contributions to NASH FM 105.5.”

Horn said: “I couldn't be more excited to join Cumulus Media and the professionals in Fort Walton Beach/Destin. Thanks to Pete DeSimone, Bob Raleigh, Mike McVay and John Dickey for this great opportunity. NASH is an exciting new brand. I look forward to much success.”

Fort Walton Beach Radio: Logan Named New PD At WNCV

Cumulus Fort Walton Beach announces that it has appointed veteran radio personality and programmer Logan as Program Director and Morning Host of AC  WNCV 93.3 FM Coast 93-3.

Logan comes to Cumulus from 14 years at Clear Channel where, for the last eight years, he was Morning Host/Assistant Program Director and Music Director for WISX/Mix106.1 in Philadelphia.

Logan’s previous tours of duty include Z100 in New York City, Q102 in Philadelphia, and KDMX in Dallas. He has worked in various formats including CHR, Hot AC, Rhythmic AC and Classic Hits.

Pete De Simone, Regional Vice President for Cumulus said: “Logan fills a newly created position for the station and cluster – a dedicated program director for Coast 93.3. The position was previously a shared PD position and held by our CHR PD. Adding Logan as a dedicated PD creates individual focus for both our AC and CHR brands and adds a major market morning talent to our programming line-up.”

WNCV 93.3 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Logan said: "Special thanks to Cumulus for giving me this opportunity, especially SVP Mike McVay and RVP Pete De Simone for believing in my talents.  I'm excited to work with a great group of people like Hayden Green and with AC Format Director Emily Boldon to take WNCV to the next level. I look forward to winning, learning and growing within Cumulus."

Logan’s appointment is effective immediately.

Boston Radio: Curt Schilling Says 'Chew' Caused Cancer

Curt Schilling revealed this morning that he has been suffering from oral cancer – the result of a 30-year chewing tobacco habit that the former Red Sox ace said he wishes he never began, according to the Boston Herald.

“I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer,” Schilling said during the WEEI 93.7 FM / NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon. “I wish I could go back and never dipped.”

Schilling said he went through seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation to treat squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer in the lining of his mouth. His doctor, Dr. Robert Haddad of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said the pitcher’s prognosis is very good.

“It could be so much worse,” Schilling said. “It could be one of my kids.”

Schilling, speaking on the “Dennis & Callahan” morning show, said he kept his diagnosis under wraps for months – he was diagnosed last February – because “I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me,” and because he didn’t want to become part of the chewing tobacco debate.

“But I will go to my grave believing that is why I got what I got,” he said.

Schilling, who began “dipping” in high school, said chewing tobacco was habit-forming and he didn’t quit, despite losing his sense of smell and bleeding from his gums.

In June, baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died at 54 in following a long battle with salivary gland cancer that he said was caused by chewing tobacco.

CBS Sports Radio Unveils Weekend Game Plan

CBS Sports Radio, which offers around the clock national sports coverage on more than 300 affiliate stations across the country, is gearing up for the 2014 football season with an array of shows dedicated to the sport.  Fans can hear CBS Sports Radio programming on-air, streaming online at or by downloading the or CBS Sports apps for mobile devices.
Beginning on Saturday, Aug. 30, CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman hosts “Eye on College Football” from 12:00Noon-8:00PM, ET.  The show includes reports from all of the top college football games as well as interviews with coaches, players, broadcasters and writers.
“Eye on Fantasy Football” is broadcast Saturday from 10:00PM- 12:00Midnight, ET. The show will be co-hosted by senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg on a rotating basis.  The show is broadcast from the studios in Fort Lauderdale.
Mike Francesa
On Sunday mornings, “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday,” featuring the popular WFAN-AM/FM host, will be broadcast on the local NY radio station as well as CBS Sports Radio stations nationwide.  Beginning on Sunday, Sept. 7, the program can be heard from 9:00-11:00AM, ET. The program has been a staple of WFAN’s Sunday football lineup for more than 25 years, where Francesa’s legendary afternoon drive program is heard each weekday.
 Following “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday,” and also starting Sunday, Sept. 7, CBS Sports Radio will simulcast’s “Fantasy Football Today” from 11:00AM-12:00Noon, ET.  The program will be hosted by the site’s Aizer.  The show will provide late breaking fantasy football news and updates.
Finally, from 12:00Noon-8:00PM, ET, and beginning on Sunday, Sept.  7, Ackerman will host “Eye on Football,” offering a national perspective on all of the days NFL games as well as interviews and reports.

Here is a complete look at CBS Sports Radio’s weekend lineup:

Saturdays (all times ET)
  • 6:00–10:00AM:  hosts Moose and Maggie (Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray)
  • 10:00AM–12:00Noon: Eye on Baseball hosted by Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski
  • 12:00Noon-8:00PM: Eye on College Football
  • 8:00–10:00PM: host Jody McDonald
  • 10:00PM-12:00Midnight: Eye on Fantasy Football
Sundays (all times ET)
  • 12:00Midnight–2:00AM: host Bill Simonson
  • 2:00-6:00AM: host Amy Lawrence
  • 6:00–9:00AM: host John Kincade
  • 9:00-11:00AM: Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday
  • 11:00AM-12:00Noon: Fantasy Football Today
  • 12:00Noon-8:00PM: Eye on Football
  • 8:00PM-10:00PM: host Jody McDonald
CBS Sports Radio is a content partnership between CBS RADIO and CBS Sports, with affiliate sales and syndication provided by Westwood One.  Launched on September 4, 2012, CBS Sports Radio programming can be heard on over 300 stations nationwide, including all of the Top 10 and 35 of the Top 50 markets across the United States.

ISIS Claims To Have Killed U.S. Journalist

ISIS posted a propaganda video Tuesday that it said showed the beheading of James Wright Foley, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago. The authenticity of the video hasn't been verified. Was posted to YouTube, later taken down.

The video shows Foley kneeling in a desert landscape, clad in an orange jumpsuit. Standing to his left is an ISIS fighter, who speaks in English with a hint of a London accent. Pulling out a knife, he says Foley's execution is in retaliation for the recent airstrikes ordered by President Obama against the extremist group in Iraq

"I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers - the U.S. govt - for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacent criminality," Foley says in the video. He ends saying that when American soldiers began dropping bombs on Iraq this month, "they signed my death warrant."

James Foley
Tuesday night, Foley's mother, Diane Foley, issued a statement on the Facebook page the family created to publicize their son's disappearance. "We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages."

Foley was held alongside several other Americans, whose families have asked for a news blackout. The video concludes with the fighter threatening to kill Steven Sotloff, another American freelance journalist, who was being held alongside Foley. Sotloff is seen kneeling in the same jumpsuit, position and landscape

Obama was briefed about the video on Air Force One as he returned to Martha's Vineyard from Washington DC. In DC, a National Security Council spox, Caitlin Hayden, said in a statement that they were working to verify the authenticity of the video. "If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist."

Foley had previously been captured in Libya in 2011. A friend and fellow captive in Libya, journalist Clare Morgana Gillis, wrote in 2013, that captivity was "the state most violently opposite his nature." She described Foley as gentle, friendly, courageous and impatient with "anything that slows his forward momentum."

Afghan Officials Grill NYT Correspondent

Matthew Rosenberg (NYTimes)
The Afghan AG's office called in NYT correspondent Matthew Rosenberg for questioning Tuesday, and later order him  to leave the country, after the Times published a story about discussions among some officials of imposing an interim govt - effectively a soft coup.

State Dept spox Marie Harf said Tuesday, "We are deeply disturbed by the actions of the Afghan attorney general and by this travel ban that has allegedly been put into place, and urge the Afghan govt to respect fundamental freedoms of expression and expression of the press, and we'll continue to monitor it."

It was the fourth time this year that the Afghan govt has threatened or initiated legal action against the Times because of complaints by senior Afghan officials over articles it has written

A senior prosecutor asked Rosenberg to reveal his anonymous govt sources quoted in the piece, which he declined to do.  Originally Rosenberg was not allowed to leave the country until "this issue over this article is resolved." He also said they'd wanted his sources

Adela Raz, a deputy spox for President Hamid Karzai, said in a statement posted as a link from her Twitter account, "Since the beginning of the presidential election the NYT has sought to sow disunity among the Afghans by publishing several reports of this nature." She called the reports "baseless."

Jean Cites Her Norwegian Roots In Picking Casey's Burial Site

Jean Kasem
Casey Kasem's relatives and friends are pleading with the Norwegian government to deny a request by the late DJ's wife to bury him in the capital of Oslo.

In a letter to Norway obtained by NBC News, 20 of Kasem's relatives and friends claim the legendary radio personality never spoke of a desire to be buried in Norway and always wanted his final resting place to be in his hometown, Los Angeles.

"As beautiful as your country is, our father has never spoken of any desire to be buried in Norway either to us or to his friends," the letter says. "Do not be fooled into believing his wife, Jean Kasem, who abandoned and isolated him during the last year of his life in favor of her boyfriend, John Paul Gressy."

Casey's wife, Jean Kasem, had submitted a letter to the Norwegian government Aug. 8, explaining that she would like her husband's final resting place to be Norway because Casey Kasem "always said that Norway symbolizes peace and looks like heaven and I would like to respectfully fulfill his wishes." She adds that her "heritage" on her mother's side is Norwegian and that she plans to move to Norway by year's end.

But in their letter to the Norwegian government, Kasem's relatives and friends, including his daughter, Kerri Kasem, claim Jean Kasem "is not by any means of Norwegian descent." And in a separate letter to the Norwegian government, Mike Curb — a record executive, former Lieutenant Governor of California and personal friend of Casey Kasem — claims the late DJ "always wanted to be buried in California."

Report: Don't Read Too Much Into Disney Sale Of Stations

Last week it was reported that Radio Disney was selling off 23 of the 24 signals that broadcast Radio Disney, and that their content would remain available on their existing Sirius and online channels.

They cited research which said that 82% of their current listening is from these two distribution channels. Several in the industry took this as a sign of things to come, that radio towers are going to go the way of the buggy whip.

The folks at The Research Director, Inc. believe that this is a gross oversimplification of the situation, with an incorrect conclusion.

Radio Disney was a bold experiment. Build it and they will come. Every radio network, which Radio Disney was, needs good coverage on quality sticks.

The Radio Disney network has 24 O&O stations in the United States, 23 of which are on the AM dial.
However, over 60 former affiliate stations have dropped the format over the past decade or so.

As far as they can tell, the network has zero affiliates outside of the ABC O&O stations. According to The Research Director One must ask if it is fair to compare the reach of two national distribution platforms (Sirius and with the potential reach of only 24 radio stations. How many of the potential listeners in this limited number of markets even knew they could listen to Disney content on the radio?

A lack of marketing alone could have forced potential radio listeners to Disney’s online and Sirius alternatives. Also, someone who was six when Radio Disney launched is now twenty. How many of those who wished to listen were not in range of these stations, and therefore needed to listen through other alternatives?

So what does this situation truly indicate about the future of radio? While they recognize the importance and growth of digital, the Research Director feels that successful radio brands, formats, and stations need to be available on all devices that are used by the potential audience. This certainly includes radios.

More importantly, radio towers that broadcast desirable content with the best fidelity still succeed. The explosion of FM translators, whose signals are limited, would not be occurring if this was not true. So what prevented Radio Disney from success on real radio?

Their attempt to play music on AM stations, much of which was already available on the FM dial, certainly limited their available audience. This may be more of a sign of what a broadcaster can do with a weak AM signal, and less about the future of all radio signals. Also, the problem of their audience growing out of the format made for a Cume dilemma. While necessary, marketing to build cume may not have been cost-effective for Disney.