Saturday, October 25, 2014

Report: Digital Music Sales Plummet

The growing availability of cheap music—from free videos and streams to $10-a-month unlimited subscription plans—is sapping demand for digital downloads at the world’s biggest seller of music, Apple Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal.

Music sales at Apple’s iTunes Store have fallen 13% to 14% world-wide since the start of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. The decline is stark compared with a much shallower dip last year. Global revenue from downloads fell 2.1% in 2013, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

The plummeting download numbers help illustrate why Apple bought the $10-a-month subscription streaming service Beats Music earlier this year, as part of its $3 billion acquisition that included headphone maker Beats Electronics. Apple is rebuilding Beats Music and plans to relaunch it next year as part of iTunes, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Some record company executives worry their industry could lurch back into decline after several years of relative stability, should download sales decline faster than streaming growth accelerates. A key part of that equation, executives say, is persuading enough users of online music services to pay a monthly subscription fee, usually $10 a month, rather than stick with free versions that carry advertising and generate much less revenue for record labels.

Read More Now (Paywall)

October 26 In Radio History

In 1935...a 12-year-old Judy Garland performed on Wallace Berry's radio show on NBC Radio Network.

In 1957...Vatican Radio began broadcasting.

In 1965...The Beatles receive Members of the British Empire (MBE) medals from Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony staged at Buckingham Palace. It is the first such honor ever given to a rock band, causing many former recipients, many distinguished military personnel, to return their medals in disgust. According to John, the group is so nervous beforehand that it gets high on marijuana in a palace bathroom; during the ceremony, when Her Majesty asks the group how long it's been together, Ringo

In 1968...Having been fired from WOR-FM, Legendary DJ Murray The K moves across town in New York, again becoming one of the WMCA 570 AM "Good Guys" working a weekend shift.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Streamer Deezer Acquires Talker Stitcher

Deezer, the global digital music streaming service, today announced it is acquiring Stitcher, the leading provider of personalized Internet talk radio and award winning mobile products. The acquisition allows Deezer to become a truly global on-demand audio provider, offering consumers over 35 million music tracks and 35,000 radio shows and podcasts. Stitcher currently carries eight out of the top ten terrestrial radio shows and features content from over 12,000 content providers, including NPR, BBC, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, This American Life, Marc Maron, CBS Radio News and others.

Streaming talk content continues to grow in the US, with approximately 39 million Americans having listened to an audio podcast in the past month and 30 percent of Americans having listened to a podcast according to Edison Research.

Daniel Marhely
“Almost every music listener listens to some form of talk radio, whether it is news, entertainment or sports,” said Daniel Marhely, Founder of Deezer. “We see the ability to deliver better talk streaming solutions in the same way that we are doing in music to super serve the needs of our global audience of 16 million users and growing. The acquisition of Stitcher helps us realize this opportunity.”

Deezer will further expand its distribution into the automotive entertainment market where Stitcher is already enabled in more than 50 models, including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar and Mazda vehicles and was an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto launch partner.

“Deezer has become a market leader by meeting the different and unmet needs of music consumers around the world,” said Noah Shanok, Chief Executive Officer of Stitcher. “We look forward to continue to evolve our leading offerings and deliver the most complete and best digital audio experience for listeners everywhere.”

Deezer will continue to support Stitcher’s award winning mobile products, where Stitcher has the number one rated podcast app on Android and the second most popular app on iOS behind iTunes.

Chicago Radio: Talker Warren Ballentine Found Guilty of Fraud

Warren Ballentine
He styled himself “The People’s Attorney” and once claimed that 3 million listeners tuned in to hear his brand of black empowerment on his nationally-syndicated radio show.

But former Soul WSRB 106.3 FM personality Warren Ballentine is now a convicted fraudster, reports the Sun-Times.

A federal jury took less than an hour Friday morning to find Ballentine, 43, guilty on six counts connected to a $10 million mortgage scam.

Ballentine hung his head, frowned and mouthed the word “Man” as the verdicts were announced by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly.

Evidence during the trial showed that Ballentine used straw buyers to obtain mortgages on properties they never intended to live in. In some cases, he attended closings for the same phony purchasers at two different properties within three days of each other, each time telling the straw buyers to lie on their mortgage forms.

Ballentine, whose show was also carried on WVON 1690 AM radio before his indictment, lives and broadcast from Durham, N.C., but grew up on the South Side and previously lived in south suburban Country Club Hills, where he maintained a law office. His radio show was picked up by urban radio stations nationwide.

He now faces up to 30 years behind bars on each of 6 counts and a $6 million fine, plus restitution.

Read More Now

Alan Freed Urns Final Resting Place

Alan Freed
Legendary Cleveland DJ Alan Freed has a final resting place -- almost 50 years after his death on Jan. 20, 1965.

After an unceremonious exit in August from their home of 12 years in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Lance Freed has found a new home for his father's ashes: Lake View Cemetery.

"It's a lovely spot near a lake," the younger Freed told from his office at Universal Music in Los Angeles. "It's not a traditional gravestone. We're creating something unique: a rough granite stone that will have a microphone in the granite and plaque nearby regarding my dad, and 1921-1965."

"We're thinking of putting his legendary words, the way he signed off from his radio show on the stone: 'This is not goodbye, it's just good night.' "

The senior Freed's urn is already at Lake View, but not on view to the public. Lance Freed hopes to have the new memorial created by late March or early April, around the time of the annual Moondog Coronation Ball.

It was the first Moondog ball in 1952 at the Cleveland Arena that helped establish rock 'n' roll as a cultural force to be reckoned with – and Freed's importance in the culture.

Freed's ashes were originally brought to Cleveland from the Ferncliff Memorial Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York, where they had been interred since his death at age 43 in 1965. They went on display at the Rock Hall in 2002, under the leadership of then-CEO Terry Stewart.

Lance Freed said that the family believed the Rock Hall would permanently keep his father's urn and ashes, as part of their Alan Freed exhibit. But current CEO Greg Harris asked that the family remove them in the summer.

Beasley Reports 3Q Net Revenue Down 5 Percent Y2Y

Beasley Broadcast Group today announced operating results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2014.
  • A $0.7 million, or 5.0%, year-over-year decline in net revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2014, primarily reflects lower advertising revenue at the Company's Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market clusters which more than offset net revenue increases at the Company's Las Vegas and Ft. Myers market clusters.
  • Station operating expenses in the 2014 third quarter increased by $0.2 million, or 1.8%, which coupled with the revenue decline resulted in a $0.8 million, or 18.9%, decline in third quarter 2014 station operating income to $3.6 million compared to the 2013 third quarter. 
  • The $0.8 million, or 45.4% year-over-year reduction in 2014 third quarter operating income, reflects the year-over-year revenue decline, the increase in station operating expenses and a 0.8% increase in total operating expenses in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013.
Commenting on the results, George G. Beasley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We don't believe third quarter operating results from continuing operations reflect the strength, ratings and local relevance of our platform, as the lower level of reported net revenue from continuing operations is temporarily mis-matched with certain expenses that will be better amortized across the Company's larger revenue base once we complete the asset exchange with CBS Radio.

George Beasley
"We are very excited by the potential presented by the CBS transaction as we will exchange five stations in Philadelphia and Miami for fourteen stations in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group's 53-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the local communities where we operate, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. The planned asset exchange with CBS Radio addresses these strategic objectives and upon completion, we will expand our owned and operated station base by nine stations increasing Beasley's portfolio to 53, including 33 FM and 20 AM stations, in twelve markets with approximately 7.7 million weekly listeners.  Importantly, we will add completed clusters in the Tampa and Charlotte markets which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.

"In addition to our initiatives during the quarter to expand and diversify our station and digital media operations, we continue to focus on debt reduction and returning capital to shareholders. During the third quarter we made credit facility repayments totaling $3.3 million, reducing borrowings to $99.0 million at September 30, 2014 and declared our fourth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. Notably, the asset exchange agreement with CBS Radio has been structured to allow us to meaningfully expand our operating and revenue base without incurring additional borrowings or using cash from operations. Based on our expectation that the transaction will lead to station operating income accretion in the first eighteen months after closing, we expect to further reduce the Company's leverage ratio which is presently near its lowest level in ten years."

Pandora Earnings Shine, Listener Hours Are Light

  • Total revenue was $239.6 million, representing year-over-year growth of 42% and 40% on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis
  • Total mobile revenue was $188.0 million, growing 52% and 50% year-over-year on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis
  • Local advertising revenue was $41.8 million, growing 118% year-over-year
  • Share of total U.S. radio listening for Pandora in September 2014 was 9.06%, an increase from 7.77% at the same time last year
Pandora Thursday announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014.

Brian McAndrews
"Our business is on-track and operating as planned, with accelerating advertising revenue growth and record RPMs, the result of increased mobile monetization and scale", stated Brian McAndrews, Chairman, President and CEO of Pandora.

"At the same time we're excited to have established Pandora AMP, the Artist Marketing Platform, generated from tens of billions of hours of personalized listening. Pandora AMP offers meaningful data and insights to all 125,000-plus artists played on the service, and will help artists with critical decisions such as tour routing, set lists and title tracks."

Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results
  • Revenue: For the third quarter of 2014, total revenue was $239.6 million, a 40% year-over-year increase on a non-GAAP basis1. Advertising revenue was $194.3 million, a 44% year-over-year increase. Subscription and other revenue was $45.3 million, a 25% year-over-year increase on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Listener Hours: Total listener hours grew 25% to 4.99 billion for the third quarter of 2014, compared to 3.99 billion for the same period last year.
  • Active Listeners: Active listeners grew 5.2% to 76.5 million at the end of the third quarter of 2014, compared to 72.7 million from the same period last year.

McAndrews: 'Meaningful' Investments To Grow Listener Base

Pandora's listening hours -- which provide the inventory for advertising it sells -- disappointed some analysts. 

Total listener hours rose 25% to 4.99 billion for the third quarter. Mark Mahaney, at RBC Capital Markets, had expected 5.06 billion.

In Thursday's earnings conference call with analysts, CEO Brian McAndrews addressed what he called "slowing growth in monthly active users."
"In an increasingly competitive environment, driving monthly active user growth will be more challenging, particularly given our already significant market position. As a result, looking ahead, expecting monthly active user growth at historic levels is not realistic. 
That said, we continue to believe in the long-term opportunity to grow our audience in excess of 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., as growing smartphone penetration, connected autos and other devices accelerates the transition of the 250 million weekly U.S. radio listeners to internet radio. 
The significant investments we have made in the quality of our service, the development of our audience and the effectiveness of our monetization engine, enable us to address this opportunity from a position of strength. 
And we have put ourselves in the fortunate position to be able to make meaningful additional investments to responsibly and profitably grow our loyal user base. And you will see us make more of these investments in our product, our distribution and our marketing. 
It is also worth noting that, in our view, monthly active users is not the best measure of the true growth in Pandora’s audience as it does not speak to the success in growing the loyalty of our users. 
As I mentioned a moment ago, our active users are increasingly loyal and engaged with overall listening hours growing 25% and hours per active user per month increasing 18% in the last year. The average Pandora listener now uses Pandora for almost 10 days per month, almost three quarters of a day more than same time a year ago. 
This growth in loyalty has helped drive strong double-digit growth in active daily users on Pandora, which are now over 25 million."

Report: Pandora Could Steal Howard Stern From SiriusXM

  • Pandora intends to add programming that will help it further challenge broadcast radio in the automobile.
  • Howard Stern's contract with Sirius XM expires at the end of 2015.
  • Given Stern's focus on interviews with musicians and other celebrities, he would be a perfect fit on Pandora.
Howard Stern's contract with the satellite radio stalwart expires at the end of 2015. Pandora executives have gone on record several times in recent months to confirm they're taking a look at ways to increase listenership in the car.

According to Rocco Pendola, a widely-read financial media personality, Stern makes absolutely, positively the most sense. Here's why:
  • Stern brings with him millions of listeners willing to pay a monthly fee to access his program. Pandora could make Stern an a la carte option, adding beef to its present subscription revenue line. Or it could simply blend Stern in with its current free/monthly subscription model. Either way, Stern would drive new Pandora subscribers and make current ones (who also listen to Stern on Sirius XM) listen longer."
  • Stern would go a long way toward making terrestrial radio even less relevant than it is now. His program on Pandora - available live during morning drive, but also on-demand 24/7 - would trigger in-car listening that once went to Sirius XM and/or broadcast radio.
  • Howard's show has evolved over the years. It has become a destination for celebrities, particularly big names in music. In a series of recent posts, music critic Bob Lefsetz sums up the beauty, brilliance and general allure of the present incarnation of Stern's show. Big names you don't see everywhere else do Stern's show. That's because he does an incredible job not merely interviewing them, but having stimulating (and entertaining) conversation with them.

Cable Cutters Force Media Outlets Online

Barton Crockett, senior V.P. at FBR Capital Markets, discusses the move to online offerings from HBO, CBS and other media outlets as consumers seek to replace cable subscriptions and whether or not it can impact the business of cable companies.

He appeared on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

FBI Warns: ISIS Targets U.S. News Media

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning Thursday afternoon that the Islamic State group, known as ISIL or sometimes ISIS, is calling on sympathizers to target news media in the U.S., according to

While the FBI did not issue an official press release on the situation, the agency did provide an unclassified Intelligence Bulletin to media outlets detailing the threat so that they could take security precautions as necessary.

The document was headlined "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Identifies Reporters and Media Personalities as Desirable Targets."

The FBI bulletin indicated that following the beheading of American journalists overseas by ISIL, a recent online posting in Arabic on an ISIL-dominated forum issued a call to action for the 2.6 million Muslims living in the U.S.

The Arabic language posting - which was translated into English - said media personnel, such as TV anchors, reporters, and radio talk show hosts, were “proved to be biased,” making them priority targets for execution.

The Five Responds to Chuck Todd’s Fox Swipe

This week Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd took a shot at Fox News for their seeming “obsession” with media bias.

Mediatie reports the hosts of The Five fired back Thursday, saying they focus on bias because there’s just so much of it. Eric Bolling said Todd is “the pot calling the kettle black,” and brought up the study finding that ABC’s nightly newscast, World News Tonight, has completely ignored the midterm elections in the last two months.

Todd charged that for most stories Fox News covers, they always have this fixation on finding the “media bias” angle of the story. Dana Perino was surprised by Todd, considering him to be “most neutral than most” in his profession.


Bolling and Perino also jumped on the fact that Todd did an interview with Media Matters, which they were both a little critical of (Bolling called them a “radical left-wing hack group”). Neither mentioned Todd also doing an interview with Breitbart News as well.

Springfield MO Radio: KWTO To Carry ESPN Radio

On Jan. 1 as KWTO 98.7 FM will switch to ESPN Radio after more than a decade as a Fox Sports Radio affiliate.

ESPN Radio will move from its location at the Clear Channel Communications' KGMY 1400 AM. The network features the popular Mike & Mike in the Morning program from 5-9 a.m.

KWTO FM, known as "Jock 98.7," will continue to air two long-running local-based programs — the Sports Reporters with Ned Reynolds from 9-11 a.m. and Sports Talk with Art Hains from 4-6 p.m.

"We are proud to be able to reward our loyal listeners by adding the ESPN Radio affiliation to the Jock," Ken Meyer, president of Meyer Communications, said. "By adding ESPN to our 100,000-watt signal, we are greatly increasing the coverage area for area sports fans."

Among the syndicated programs that 98.7 no longer will carry are the Jim Rome Show, s midday staple of the station for more than a decade, and the Dan Patrick Show, which has aired since earlier this year. Also going away is the non-sports syndicated program Imus in the Morning, on 98.7 since the late 1990s.

KWTO 98.7 FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage
“This partnership was a no-brainer,” said Jeff Clinkingbeard, consultant for Meyer Communications, and broker of the new agreement. “The Meyer Communications family of stations, and especially The Jock 98.7 FM, has been dedicated for years in providing outstanding coverage and play by play of local collegiate and high school sports.

Adding the #1 brand in sports to complement our local coverage is a win for sports fans throughout the market.”

“We are proud to be able to reward our loyal listeners by adding the ESPN radio affiliation to the Jock,” said Ken Meyer, president of Meyer Communications. “By adding ESPN to our 100,000 watt signal, we are greatly increasing the coverage area for area sports fans. This is not only great for the fans, but for advertisers too. We will be creating an excellent opportunity for area businesses to reach out listeners".

Cumulus Gives Peek At NASH Campus Studios

Cumulus Media's new NASH Campus was constructed after gutting the old Citadel facility down to the concrete floors and steel rafters, according to Gary Kline, director of engineering for Cumulus. Kline was interviewed by Radio Magazine about the project: Click Here

The set and studio for "America's Morning Show" from NASH. This space can seat an audience and the set can be removed from the stage to accommodate live performances by guest artists.

View from the control room window of the Kix Brooks Studio. Kix and his guests feel comfortable and cozy in this inviting room. Mics, headphones and cables are unobtrusive. Cleverly positioned HD PTZ cameras with low camera angles get under hat brims.

Control Room for "America's Morning Show" Studio

Taylor Swift, Diet Coke Team With iHeartRadio

Taylor Swift and Diet Coke are teaming up for unprecedented programming events with iHeartMedia to celebrate the release of Swift’s highly anticipated, fifth studio album, 1989, on October 27.

Together, Swift and Diet Coke will take over every Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR shows and its digital platforms during the week of Taylor’s album launch.
  • Swift will kick off the week by guest-hosting American Top 40 on October 25 and 26 and being featured on Direct From Hollywood with Ryan Seacrest on October 27. She will also appear as a special guest during On with Mario Lopez on October 29.
  • On October 30, Diet Coke will present Swift co-hosting On Air with Ryan Seacrest for the show’s entire four-hour broadcast live from New York City, sharing exclusive details about 1989. This will be the first time an artist co-hosts the entire radio program, as well as the first time the full show is presented by a single brand. To bring fans closer to the experience, Diet Coke is hosting the Ultimate 1989 Fan Party LIVE from iHeartRadio’s NYC studios during the broadcast.
“In our new ‘Get A Taste’ campaign, Diet Coke is showing fans how the delicious taste of Diet Coke can make their worlds a bit brighter. Now, we’re bringing that idea to life for Taylor fans by offering them a taste of her new album in this first-of-its-kind iHeartMedia radio takeover,” said Rafael Acevedo, Group Director for Diet Coke and Coke Zero, Coca-Cola North America. “We hope Diet Coke and Taylor fans will enjoy celebrating the launch of 1989 and getting a taste of Taylor’s new music with us.”
  • Adding to the excitement, Swift will appear as a special in-studio guest on Elvis Duran and The Morning Show, and be featured on The Kane Show and appear as a special guest on The Johnjay & Rich Show on October 31. Then to round out the week, Swift will guest-host iHeartRadio Countdown with Romeo and be a featured guest on iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez and Weekend Top 30 with Hollywood Hamilton on November 1 and 2.  In addition, Swift will appear as a special guest on Saturday Night Online Live with Romeo on November 1 and appear as a special guest on Club Kane on November 2.
 “We are huge supporters of Taylor Swift and we are thrilled to be a cornerstone in launching her new album 1989. iHeartMedia has the natural ability to connect with fans in meaningful ways through our robust assets and powerful franchise of station brands and on-air personalities,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks.

“We are excited to join forces with Diet Coke to produce a Taylor Swift takeover event on the top Premiere-syndicated CHR programs heard across the country and on iHeartRadio, reaching millions of music fans to celebrate the incredible talent of Taylor.”

NBC SportsRadio Launches Digital Soccer Show debuts its first-ever digital-only show, The 2 Robbies “Football” Show, a Premier League-focused program starring NBC Sports Group analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, this Saturday, October 25 at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekly one-hour Saturday show follows NBC Sports Group’s live Premier League match coverage, and will stream live from NBC Sports Group’s state-of-the-art International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. The 2 Robbies “Football” Show will focus on the Premier League and international soccer, featuring commentary and analysis from Earle and Mustoe, who will take calls and answer questions from listeners. The show will also feature interviews with top names in the sport, including current and former players, managers and analysts.

Since NBC Sports Group kicked off its unprecedented Premier League coverage in August 2013, Earle and Mustoe have worked alongside host Rebecca Lowe and fellow analyst Kyle Martino on Premier League Live pre- and post-match shows, Goal Zone, Match of the Day, and Match of the Day II, which provide in-depth analysis, post-match interviews, reactions from the day’s matches and highlights with match commentators.

"As the game continues to grow here in the U.S., I think it’s important we give the American soccer fan a voice too,” said Earle. “There will be no scripts or prompting, on this program Robbie Mustoe and I will discuss only topics that the fans want to debate."

“More comment, more opinion on the beautiful game from Robbie Earle and myself,” said Mustoe. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to get football fans involved by taking viewer calls and hearing thoughts from fans across the country.”

Billboard's Hot 100 Gets Updated Look

Billboard has unveiled a revamped online look for the Billboard Hot 100, the most-referenced music chart on the planet, as they boast. With an improved layout and more intuitive functionality, the Hot 100 is more engaging than even before.

The new Hot 100 boasts "Chart Highlights," which points to the singles making the biggest moves on the chart each week. And if you want to take a glimpse into Billboard's vast chart archives, the "This Week In.." section highlights the No. 1 song this week of any year in chart history (along with video, photos and articles about the artist). Not to mention the "On This Day in History" function, which allows you to discover the No. 1 song from any day in the Hot 100's 56-year history.

The re-imagined Billboard Hot 100 is launched in partnership with Samsung. Check it out now!

Study: Music Helps Workers Perform Better

Dr. David Lewis
Nine out of 10 workers perform better when listening to music, according to a new study that found 88 percent of participants produced their most accurate test results and 81 percent completed their fastest work when music was playing.

“The take-home message is that music is a very powerful management tool if you want to increase not only the efficiency of your workforce but also their mental state, their emotional state - they’re going to become more positive about the work,” said Dr David Lewis, a neuropsychologist and chairman of Mindlab International, the company that conducted the research.

The Telegraph reports that for the experiment, 26 participants were given a series of different tasks five days in a row - including spell-checking, equation solving, mathematical word problems, data entry and abstract reasoning. The workers completed these tasks while listening to one of four music genres or no music at all, to see which had the greater effect on accuracy and speed of correct responses.
  • Classical music: if your work involves numbers or attention to detail
  • Pop music: if your work involves data entry or working to deadlines
  • Ambient music: if your work involves solving equations
  • Dance music: if your work involves proof-reading and problem solving

SiriusXM Launching Daily Jenny McCarthy Show

Jenny McCarthy
SiriusXM announced Thursday that Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy, a new daily live morning radio show on SiriusXM will launch on Monday, October 27.

Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy, which will air live Monday—Friday from 10:00 am—noon ET, will feature McCarthy talking about everything from dating, parenting, sex, relationships, pop culture and current events. McCarthy will be joined by celebrity friends, comedians and other special guests. The show will also feature McCarthy interacting with her fans with live calls, Tweets and social media.

Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy will air on SiriusXM Stars via satellite on channel 109, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at Subscribers will also be able to listen to the show via SiriusXM On Demand through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and other mobile devices and online at

On Wednesday, October 29, Jenny McCarthy will host a Halloween costume party in the SiriusXM studios. The special Halloween edition of Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy, which will feature music, chats with special guests and more, will air on Halloween, Friday, October 31, at 10:00 am ET.

The launch of the exclusive live daily show comes after McCarthy's successful limited-run weekly show aired on SiriusXM Stars this summer.

NAB Promotes Curtis Legeyt to Senior VP/Public Policy

Curtis LeGeyt
The National Association of Broadcasters announced Thursday that Curtis LeGeyt has been promoted to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Public Policy.

In that role, LeGeyt will serve as NAB's principal liaison to the White House and executive departments. He will also maintain his current responsibilities for Congressional advocacy and political strategy in the NAB Government Relations department.

"Curtis's consensus building style and strong political acumen have served NAB membership well," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "In a relatively short time, Curtis has demonstrated a tenacious advocacy for free and local broadcasting and substantive command of difficult public policy issues that make him well suited for this expanded role."

LeGeyt joined NAB in 2011 after serving as Senior Counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and as a member of the 2008 Obama For America legal team. His areas of expertise include Intellectual Property, Antitrust and First Amendment issues.

The Radio Guy Who Literally Became a Giant

Imagine how terrifying it would be if your hands, feet, forehead, and jaw started to grow out of control!

Froggy, 38, a radio personality on the syndicated Elvis Duran Morning Show , had these and many other symptoms. But, because the changes were so gradual, it wasn’t until ten years after the symptoms began that he sought a diagnosis.

In 2010, Froggy learned he had acromegaly, commonly known as pituitary adenoma. The name "acromegaly" comes from the Greek words for "extremities" (acro) and "great" (megaly). Acromegaly affects just 50 to 70 people per million, according to Dr. Laurence Kennedy, chairman of the endocrinology department at the Cleveland Clinic and Froggy’s doctor.

In acromegaly, a benign tumor grows on a person’s pituitary gland, causing the gland to release excess growth hormone.

Froggy (whose real name is Scott) sat down with Healthline to talk about his strange experience.

Chicago Radio: WILV's Megan Reed Off-Air To Fight Cancer

Megan Reed
WILV 100.3 FM midday host Megan Reed has been off the air this month.

According Chicagoland Radio&Media, she will be away from the radio airwaves for a while longer as she bravely battles cancer in her breast and brain.

While seeking medical advice for pains in her back, doctors found Reed had breast cancer. That cancer has spread and tumors have been found in her head. Surgery, followed by radiation treatments will begin next week.

A veteran of Chicago radio, Reed spent nearly 12 years at WLIT-FM/The Lite (1989-2001), as well as three years at suburban WAUR-FM and WYSY-FM (1986-1989).

Filling in for Megan Reed on Chicago's 100.3 has been weekender Lisa Kosty, who joined the station earlier this year. Kosty had been with WUSN-FM/US99.5 as an occasional on-air host and its full-time morning show producer for nearly ten years before her release in November 2013.

October 24 In Radio History

In 1930...J.P. Richardson, Texas disc jockey who became famous under the name the Big Bopper ("Chantilly Lace") was born in Sabine Pass, Texas; died in the light plane crash February 3, 1959 that also claimed the life of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens shortly after takeoff.

J.P. Rochardson 'The Big Bopper'
Richardson worked part-time at Beaumont, Texas, radio station KTRM (now KZZB). He was hired by the station full-time in 1949 and quit college. Richardson was promoted to Supervisor of Announcers at KTRM in 1953.

In March 1955, he was drafted into the United States Army and did his basic training at Fort Ord, California. He spent the rest of his two-years' service as a radar instructor at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

Following his discharge in March 1957, Richardson returned to KTRM radio, where he held down the "Dishwashers' Serenade" shift from 11 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday through Friday. One of the station's sponsors wanted Richardson for a new time slot and suggested an idea for a show. Richardson had seen the college students doing a dance called The Bop, and he decided to call himself "The Big Bopper". His new radio show ran from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Richardson soon became the station's program director.

In May 1957, he broke the record for continuous on-air broadcasting by 8 minutes. From a remote setup in the lobby of the Jefferson Theatre in downtown Beaumont, Richardson performed for a total of five days, two hours, and eight minutes, playing 1,821 records and taking showers during 5-minute newscasts.

From the Dick Clark Sarturday Night Show on ABC-TV in 1958...

Richardson is credited for creating the first music video in 1958, and recorded an early example himself.

In 1970...President Richard Nixon asked radio broadcasters to screen songs containing lyrics that promoted drug use.

In Radio DJ/Programmer, Dean Anthony died at age 68 from cancer. Anthony programmed WHLI-AM, Long Island for 22 years.

Dean Anthony (undate  photo)
Anthony played country music at WJRZ (later WWDJ) in Hackensack, N.J., from 1970 until 1971 when he began a 10-year stint at WTFM New York. During a labour strike at WTFM in 1981, Anthony picked up part-time work at WHLI Hempstead, N.Y. He stayed there 22 years, twice being named program director of the year by Barnstable Broadcasting.

He was so well-liked that WHLI held a 10-hour tribute to him on the fifth anniversary of his death. For years, Anthony played "I Think of You" by Perry Como every day at 12:40 p.m., and the station continued that practice in his memory.

Anthony was also one of the original jocks during the '60's hey days of NYC radio at WMCA (Aircheck: Click Here) . Known by his listeners as 'Dean-O On The Radio' he was an original "WMCA Good Guy" who welcomed the Beatles, Rolling Stones, plus the entire Motown and British Invasion into the "Big Apple", as well as into the USA.

Before coming to WMCA, Anthony was program director and afternoon personality at WPGC Washington, D.C., from 1960 to 1964 as Dean Griffith. Prior to that, he was at WGH Norfolk, Va.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nielsen’s Revenue Increases 13%

Nielsen N.V . continued to see its revenue grow in the third quarter, helped by recent acquisitions and growth in emerging markets, according to WSJ online.

The company last year closed on a roughly $1.3 billion deal to buy Arbitron, a consumer-research company that primarily measured radio audiences but had been figuring out how to measure media usage on the Web and mobile devices.

The company’s board also gave the go-ahead on an additional $1 billion for the company’s share repurchase program, boosting its total authorization to $1.4 billion.

Overall, Nielsen reported a profit of $91 million, or 24 cents a share, down 30% from $134 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier.

The dramatic year-over-year decline largely stemmed from fees related to recent refinancing of the company’s long-term debt, Nielsen said. Excluding the refinancing fees, earnings rose to 66 cents a share from 50 cents a year earlier.

Revenue edged up 13% to $1.57 billion. However, revenue excluding the impact of the Arbitron and Harris acquisitions, increased 2.5%.

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Political Ads Flood Pandora

If you live in Florida and spend much time on Pandora's streaming service, CNBC reports chances are you're hearing a lot of "Rick Scott for Governor" commercials. How often depends on how much you like country music.

Meanwhile, with the 2014 mid-term elections just two weeks away, Pandora fans in Arkansas and North Carolina are hearing plenty about their states' U.S. Senate races.

In an era of data-driven marketing and money rapidly shifting from old media to the Web, few companies are as favorably situated as Pandora is to take advantage of the transition, particularly when it comes to the advertising dollars that flood U.S. elections. According to consulting firm Borrell Associates, political ad spending this year will reach $8.3 billion, with half of that coming in August, September and October.

Here's why Pandora is a treasure trove for politicos: The service had 76.4 million active users listening to 5 billion hours of radio, mostly on mobile devices, in the second quarter. When consumers sign up, they hand over their ZIP code, age and gender. In August, Pandora had more than six times the number of listening sessions as its closest online competitor, iHeartMedia, according to Triton Digital.

As if that weren't enticing enough for campaign advertisers, earlier this year Pandora informed political operatives that musical tastes say something about how people vote and provided an added filter for marketers. Country music fans more often live in Republican areas, while those who prefer jazz, reggae and electronic music tend to reside in areas favoring Democrats. Like R&B? Odds are you're a Democrat. Leaning slightly the other way are fans of gospel and new-age songs.

Candidates are all over it. Sean Duggan, vice president of sales at Oakland, California-based Pandora, said the company is serving ads for about 400 campaigns (individuals and issues) in this election, double the number from the 2012 season, when President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney both advertised on Pandora.

"We have scale and can be really discrete with targeting, with very little waste," said Duggan.

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Atlanta Radio: President Making Radio Rounds

President Obama
President Barack Obama may be a pariah on the election trail for many political candidates given his low approval ratings.

But African Americans still overwhelmingly support him. So Obama is making the rounds of radio shows that target blacks in an effort to drum up the vote, according to media blogger Rodney Ho at

He recently did  interviews with syndicated shows Rickey Smiley (heard on Hot 107.9), Yolanda Adams (on Praise 102.5) and Steve Harvey (on Majic 107.5/97.5).

Collectively, those three personalities draw millions of listeners.

But Obama went for a more targeted audience this morning by talking with Ryan Cameron on WVV 103.3 FM V103. Cameron’s top-rated show is the only local non-syndicated radio show in Atlanta that is geared to a black audience.

Philly Radio: Dick Morris To Leave WPHT

Dick Morris
Talker Dick Morris announced this afternoon he is leaving his position at Talk Radio WPHT 1210 AM. Morris said he wanted to campaign for 2016 Republican candidates. Morris was hired by the station in March of last year, according to

Morris will stay on through the election.

Station operations manager Andy Bloom said he did not have any plans to replace Morris as of yet and could not comment on whether the station would go in a different direction now that Morris has left.

CBS Radio Philadelphia Senior Vice President and Market Manager Marc Rayfield said he had known about Morris' timeline for awhile. "He has done a great job for WPHT and we knew his busy schedule might one day make doing a daily radio show difficult," he said via e-mail.

Rayfield said the station will make an announcement about Morris' replacement as soon as next week.

InsideRadio has reported that consultant Walt Sabo has hosted a show under the name Walter Sterling.

Report: TV News Blacks Out Bad Election News for Democrats

In less than two weeks, voters head to the polls in midterm elections that seem certain to yield strong Republican gains, if not outright control of the U.S. Senate. Such a political sea change is big news, but a new Media Research Center study finds that, in contrast to their enthusiastic coverage of the 2006 midterms when Democrats made big gains, the Big Three broadcast evening newscasts are all but ignoring this year’s political contests.

MRC analysts studied every election story on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from September 1 through October 20 in both 2006 (the midterm election in George W. Bush’s second term) and 2014 (the equivalent election under President Barack Obama). Even in a changing media landscape, Big Three evening newscasts are a principal news source for more than 23 million viewers, beating all of their broadcast and cable competition.

They found that, when Democrats were feeling good about their election prospects eight years ago, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and ABC’s World News aired a combined 159 campaign stories (91 full reports and another 68 stories that mentioned the campaign). But during the same time period this year, those same newscasts have offered a paltry 25 stories (16 full reports and 9 mentions), a six-to-one disparity.

Amazingly, since September 1 ABC’s newly-renamed World News Tonight has yet to feature a single mention of this year’s campaign, let alone a full story. In contrast, eight years ago ABC’s World News aired 36 stories that discussed that year’s midterm campaign, including a weekly Thursday night feature that then-anchor Charlie Gibson promised would look at the “critical races.”

Back then, the elections were a major news topic; this year, a regular viewer of ABC’s evening newscast would have no indication that any were even taking place.

CBS and NBC have scarcely been more comprehensive. In 2006, CBS aired a total of 58 evening news stories that discussed the campaign, while NBC Nightly News aired 65 stories. This year, those numbers have fallen to just 14 and 11 as of October 20, declines of 76% and 83%, respectively.

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NBCUniversal 3Q Earnings Rise Amid Growth at Broadcast TV Unit

Brian Roberts
Cable giant Comcast on Thursday reported improved third-quarter financials for its entertainment arm NBCUniversal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The entertainment company reported higher operating cash flow and revenue than in the same period last year driven by growth in the broadcast TV and theme park units, partially offset by lower film results amid tough year-ago comparisons.

The NBCUniversal performance helped Comcast overall beat earnings expectations with a profit of $2.59 billion, up 48 percent from the year-ago period, on revenue of $16.79 billion, up 4 percent. Wall Street analysts had on average projected earnings of $1.85 billion on revenue of $16.83 billion for all of Comcast.
  • Comcast's cable systems lost 81,000 video subscribers in the latest quarter on a net basis, down from a year-ago loss of 127,000. That marked the company's best third-quarter result in seven years, management said.
  • At NBCUniversal, broadcast TV unit revenue and operating cash flow increased amid NBC ratings improvements. Film unit revenue and operating cash flow dropped amid a more modest film slate than in the year-ago period, which had been boosted by the theatrical success of Despicable Me 2. The latest quarter included results from such theatrical releases as Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, and James Brown biopic Get on Up.
  • The company's theme parks unit posted strong financial growth, while the cable networks unit grew revenue and operating cash flow only slightly.
"At NBCUniversal, we had another outstanding quarter with double-digit operating cash flow growth, driven by ratings momentum at NBC Broadcast and the successful opening of 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in Orlando'," said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.

Broadcast TV revenue rose 7.7 percent in the third quarter to $1.77 billion, with operating cash flow up from $34 million to $142 million. The company cited "an increase in advertising revenue due to strong ratings at the NBC broadcast network, as well as higher retransmission consent fees and an increase in content licensing revenue."

FCC Hits 'Pause' On Two Major Deals

New Geek News graphic
Reviews of Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and AT&T's offer to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion have been paused by the Federal Communications Commission, the agency said on Wednesday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it's the second time this month that the FCC stopped the clock on its 180-day procedure. The agency says it is targeting early 2015 for completion of its reviews. The AT&T-DirecTV deal was on its 76th day of review while Comcast-TWC was on its 85th day.

Both of the controversial merger proposals are under heavy scrutiny from lawmakers, consumer groups and other media companies such as Netflix, Discovery Communications and Dish Network.

All four of the companies involved in the two merger proposals are expected to make certain concessions designed to encourage both the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice to approve the transactions, such as selling off certain assets.

Some competitors and content providers, though, have been asking that renegotiated carriage deals be part of the equation and, in some cases, that assurances be made that certain channels will be added or not dropped from consumer packages if the companies are allowed to merge. Comcast has responded by accusing Netflix, Discovery and others of using the FCC review procedure to advance their own financial interests.

One hold-up is that the FCC wants to know what Comcast, TWC, DirecTV, AT&T and their competitors are paying media companies like CBS and 21st Century Fox for rights to their content. The content companies, though, are hesitant to supply such sensitive financial details.

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MI Radio: After Ten Years, WLDR Drops Country Format

WLDR 101.9 FM dropped it scountry music format Wednesday.

Rebranding itself as 101.9 The Bay, the station now broadcasts an contemporary format, "All The Hits Without The Rap".

The change also affects simulcast partners WBNZ 92.3 FM in Frankfort and WARD  750 AM in Petoskey. The station had broadcast country music for 10 years.

“Country is a fantastic format,” WLDR General Manager David Barr told the Traverse Record-Eagle. "Unfortunately it’s the kind of music that doesn’t have mass appeal in offices and retail stores. Since we dropped adult contemporary a decade ago, there has been a hole in Traverse City for that type of music."

WLDR 101.9 FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage
WLDR will mark 50 years on the air in 2015.

WA Radio: Opponents Help Kill New Tower Plans

Opponents of 150-foot radio towers proposed by Bellingham's KRPI 1550 AM had friends in high places, according to The Herald.

Three Canadian government officials were scheduled to speak at a hearing next week in front of the Whatcom County hearing examiner, including Kerry-Lynne Findley, a member of parliament.

“It is an international incident, it really is,” said Steve Wolff of Point Roberts, a member of the Stop the Radio Towers Cross Border Coalition. The group of Point Roberts and Tsawwassen, B.C. residents filed a pre-hearing motion asking the county to deny a conditional-use permit to build the five towers near the Canadian border.

KRPI 1550 AM Coverage
KRPI broadcasts in Punjabi to a Canadian audience.

The conditional-use permit triggered the hearing, which was scheduled to run for five days at least. Hearing Examiner Michael Bobbink canceled the hearing after saying he would deny the permit because the towers were too tall — 150 feet, which would be much higher than Point Roberts’ 45-foot limit.

Point Roberts and Tsawwassen residents were also concerned about possible ill health effects, although medical science hadn’t established a link between radio waves and disease.

One opponent, an engineer, put it this way: People are concerned about holding a half-watt cell phone to their heads. The 50,000-watt towers, because they would be arranged to direct their signal northward, effectively have a power of 100,000 watts in that direction. Imagine, Wolff said, getting this level of power 24-7, for a lifetime.

The Federal Communications Commission requires that people stay less than five meters, or 16.4 feet, from an individual tower with this amount of power.

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TopicPulse Provides Custom Trending For Stations

LDR Interactive announced this week that its TopicPulse Social Media Monitoring System has launched new partnerships with E.W. Scripps Television and Hubbard Broadcasting's WTOP 103.5 FM in Washington D.C.

TopicPulse is a real-time social media monitoring system for newsrooms and content producers, that scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, local message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.

Producers can also access trending video and images, and see which primary demo (gender and age group) is most inclined to engage with the topic on social media. TopicPulse also features a Tweetmap that showcases the market's most popular tweets and hashtags on a local map, enabling producers to create hyper-local content based on up-to-the-minute social trends.

E.W. Scripps Television uses TopicPulse to fuel a nationally syndicated 4PM show called THE NOW, which uniquely focuses on trending topics and social buzz in each local market. The hour-long program features a mix of local, national, and international news, as well as viral stories, videos, entertainment and lifestyle stories. The show has already launched on WCPO 9 Cincinnati, KMGH Denver's 7, KSHB 41 Action News in Kansas City, WXYZ in Detroit, KNXV in Phoenix, WEWS in Cleveland, WFTS in Tampa, and WPTV in West Palm Beach. LDR Interactive has also developed customized graphics for the show, which make it possible to put social trends directly on air instantly.

WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C. partnered with LDR Interactive to bring TopicPulse to its "glass enclosed nerve center newsroom" to track the social media engagement within the beltway.

"TopicPulse has been a difference-maker and smart addition to our newsroom toolkit.  The more information we have to track what our audience is interested in, the greater the opportunity is to better serve their needs, and TopicPulse helps us get there," said Joel Oxley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hubbard Broadcasting's WTOP-FM and Federal News.

"We've been quietly deploying TopicPulse in major markets across the US this year," said Daniel Anstandig, CEO of LDR Interactive and Creator of TopicPulse. "Whether you are creating content for a national TV show or a local market radio morning show, TopicPulse provides the real-time insights that on-air talent and producers need in an instant. It's a secret weapon for content producers."

Westwood To Air NFL Back-To-Back-To-Back-To-Back

Westwood One, the exclusive radio network partner of the NFL, Wednesday announced it will air four consecutive NFL games this Sunday, October 26, 2014.

This special day of back-to-back-to-back-to-back NFL broadcasts kicks off at 9:00 am ET with the NFL’s International Series game, between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons, live from Wembley Stadium in London, England.  Westwood One is the only network partner to be able to deliver all four windows of NFL games to the fans.

Westwood One will broadcast the following four NFL games this Sunday (complete with play-by-play/analyst assignments):
  • 9:00 am ET    Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons @ Wembley Stadium, London - Dave Sims and Mark Malone
  • 12:30 pm ET  Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans  - Kevin Lee and Ross Tucker
  • 3:30 pm ET    Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals  - Tom McCarthy and Rod Woodson
  • 7:30 pm ET    Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints  - Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, and Chris Doering (sidelines)
Westwood One’s primetime NFL broadcasts can be heard on more than 500 radio stations nationwide, as well as on SiriusXM satellite radio,, and NFL Mobile from Verizon.

Boston Radio: WRKO Host Rips Ex-Sponsor Over Illegals

Jeff Kuhner
Looks like WRKO 680 AM morning guy Jeff Kuhner’s rant about big local advertiser Dunkin’ Donuts won’t cost his company any more of the coffee giant’s business, even though he blasted their java as “mud water,” the doughnuts and muffins as “stale” and opined that half the chain’s employees were “illegals.”

But, according to The Boston Herald, that may be because DD’s already pulled most of their ads from Entercom’s stations, dumping WRKO and WEEI and retaining only WAAF.

In case you missed it, Kuhner hammered the cherished local coffee company after its CEO, 
Nigel Travis, called for amnesty for 11 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Kuhner spent a few minutes ripping Travis for the amnesty comments, then went off on the chain’s products and asked whether listeners would boycott Dunks.

“The coffee sucks,” he said. As for the doughnuts and muffins, Kuhner added: “I wouldn’t feed ’em to the sea gulls.”

“I’ll tell you why Nigel Travis, the CEO of D and D, I’ll tell you why he wants amnesty for 11 million illegals,” he said (completely botching, by the way, DDs’ nickname). “I bet half his workforce is illegal.”

Kuhner went on to say that when he visits the Dunks near the Entercom studios in Brighton,
“There’s only one person there who speaks English.”

Michelle King, director of global public relations at Dunkin’ Brands Inc., said the company was “aware of the comments made by the WRKO talk show host.”

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