Saturday, December 27, 2014

Poll: We're Optimistic For The New Year

Americans are closing out 2014 on an optimistic note, according to a new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll. Nearly half predict that 2015 will be a better year for them than 2014 was, while only 1 in 10 think it will be worse.

Azerbaijan Police Raid U-S Funded Radio Station

Azerbaijan police raided the Baku bureau of U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Europe early Friday, shutting down the office and ordering its journalists to stop working, according to the Voice of America.

RFE chief editor Nenad Pejic called the raid "a flagrant violation of every international commitment and standard Azerbaijan has pledged to uphold."

He told VOA that officials from the state prosecutor's office took documents and questioned staff members from Radio Azadliq into Friday evening.

The broadcaster has received no details on why it was targeted. "No allegations," Pejic said. "What we do know is they say they (are investigating) our operations. That's it."

 "We assume (staff) are going to be asked questions about our operations, maybe about salaries, maybe who works, who doesn't work — this kind of stuff," he added. "Frankly, this is, from my point of view, not important at all, because officials are going to say what they want to say."

Pejic said the action was unsurprising for a government that has demonstrated increasing hostility toward the media, with at least 200 journalists arrested annually for the past three years.

Radio Free Equrope staff in Baku
Jeff Shell, chairman of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which funds RFE/RL, called on the Azeri government to allow the bureau to immediately reopen.

"This unwarranted action is an escalation of the Azeri government's abusive attempt to intimidate independent journalists and repress free media," Shell said.

A U.S. State Department senior official said the U.S. is "deeply disturbed" by reports that employees of the RFE/RL bureau in Baku have been detained in their offices and questioned while the premises were searched by police.

The State Department official called on "responsible authorities" to respect Azerbaijan's "international commitment to protecting media freedom," saying a free and independent press is "critical to the well-being of the nation."

Azerbaijan has been in a "downward spiral" with regard to media. Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked the country 160th out of 180 in its press freedom index this year, four points below its 2013 score.

Read More Now

Best News Bloopers Of 2014

SoundExchange Releases Tops In Streaming Music

SoundExchange has put together three exclusive charts revealing the top streaming artists, top breakout artists and top tracks from the past year. Topping these lists, respectively, are Drake, Sam Smith, and One Republic’s “Counting Stars.”

These charts are based on data reported to SoundExchange from digital radio services including satellite radio, Internet radio, and cable radio. The recordings featured were played between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014. For an artist to qualify as a “Breakout Artist,” that artist must have earned 100% of their SoundExchange royalties (of all time) between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014.

Yabba Dabba Doo! Dick Clark's 'Flintstones' House Is Sold

Of all the throwbacks in Los Angeles, Dick Clark seemed one of the least likely to live in a cave. But there it was, perched above the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by parks and wilderness — and sitting on the market for almost three years.

According to the Zillow blog, the walls of Clark’s longtime Malibu home are stone inside and out, leading some to call it the “Flintstones House.”

The secluded 1-bedroom, 1.5-bath home sits on 22 acres and offers 360-degree views of mountains and sea. It has vaulted ceilings in the living and dining rooms, and sunset views from the master suite.

The house finally sold this month for $1,777,777 — about half its initial listing price of $3.5 million. It was first listed in March 2012, a month before the legendary host of “American Bandstand” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” died.

R.I.P.: Philly Radio Exec Kernie Anderson

Kernie L. Anderson a huge name in African American media, died Saturday, Dec. 20.

Kernie Anderson
He was 74-years-of-age, according to

Anderson, an executive at WDAS-AM/FM, WHAT-AM, and WURD-AM, was known for his precision and control in business affairs, his commitment to African American media, and his ability to turn things around for ailing media venues.

Born in Harrisburg, Mr. Anderson attended Howard University. His radio career began in 1963 in Washington, notably at WQMR-AM/WGAY-FM, where he worked his way up from messenger to producer/marketing assistant in just a few years. After a stint in the Army, he moved to Florida in 1968, becoming general manager/managing partner of WOCN-AM/FM.

In Florida, he met and hired the young Larry King.

"I loved working with him and I'm terribly sorry to learn of his death," King, the longtime radio and TV host, said Wednesday through a publicist. He recalled Mr. Anderson as "a great, great guy."

In 1981, Mr. Anderson came to Chicago to manage WBMX-FM/AM.  In Philadelphia, he became vice president/general manager of WDAS in 1988, shortly after the station was sold. It was a time when the station was struggling over audience and identity. He was widely credited with a back-to basics approach that made the station financially strong again. Later, Mr. Anderson became general manager of WURD, remaining in that post until 2010, when he joined the station's board of directors.

December 27 Radio History


1932...Radio City Music Hall, in New York City, began operation with the first event open to the public.

In 1939...the radio program, "The Glenn Miller Show", debuted on the CBS radio network.

In 1947...Bell Labs invented the transistor.

In 1958...Buddy Holly made his first appearance in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas since becoming a major recording star. Along with broadcasting "live" over KLLL radio from a fruit and vegetable store, he returned to the station's studios to record "You're The One," a song that station management challenged him to write in half an hour.

In 1963..."The Animals" performed on the BBC radio show, "Saturday Club", their first radio appearance.

In 1964...The Beatles' scored their sixth No. 1 song when "I Feel Fine" hit the top of the charts. Their previous No. 1 hits that year were: "I Want to Hold Your Hand"; "She Loves You"; "Can't Buy Me Love"; "Love Me Do" and "A Hard Day's Night."

In 1968...Don McNeils' "The Breakfast Club" signed off the ABC Radio network, after 35 years of successful broadcasting.

Don McNeil 1942
In Chicago during the early 1930s, McNeill was assigned to take over an unsponsored early morning variety show, The Pepper Pot, with an 8 a.m. timeslot on the NBC Blue Network. McNeill re-organized the hour as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments which McNeill labeled "the Four Calls to Breakfast."

McNeill's revamped show premiered in 1933, combining music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

The program featured Fran Allison (later of Kukla, Fran and Ollie fame) as "Aunt Fanny", plus Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers and various comedy bits. Every quarter-hour came the "Call to Breakfast" -- a march around the breakfast table. A featured vocalist on the show, under her professional name of Annette King, was Charlotte Thompson Reid, who later became an Illinois congresswoman for five terms (1962–71). Eileen Parker became a vocalist with the program in 1953.

The Breakfast Club initially was broadcast from the NBC studios in the Merchandise Mart. In 1948, after 4,500 broadcasts from the Merchandise Mart, the program moved to the new ABC Civic Studio. It was also heard from other Chicago venues: the Terrace Casino (at the Morrison Hotel), the College Inn Porterhouse (at the Sherman House) and "the Tiptop Room of the Warwick Allerton Hotel on Chicago's Magnificent Mile," as well as tour broadcasts from other locations in the U.S. It remained a fixture on the ABC radio network (formerly the NBC Blue Network; it became known as ABC in 1945), maintaining its popularity for years and counting among its fans Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas.

Don McNeil with comedian Sam Cowling 1956
After ABC Radio was split into four networks in 1968, The Breakfast Club was moved to the new American Entertainment network, and was known for its last months on the air as The Don McNeill Show.

Friday, December 26, 2014

K-C Radio: KMBZ To Split Talk-Talk Simulcast

Entercom's KMBZ 980 AM / 98.1 FM has announced that as of Jan. 5, its AM/FM simulcast will end.

Most of KMBZ’s current content will stay on the FM side, with two major exceptions: Darla Jaye’s local show (moving to mornings) and nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh, both of which will be heard only on AM.

“It’s not a divorce, it’s a conscious uncoupling,” afternoon co-host Dana Wright joked on the air Wednesday.

KMBZ 980 AM 5Kw (DA-Night)
The station at 98.1 FM had for years been KUDL, but when owner Entercom killed the adult-contemporary music station in spring 2011, it started simulcasting KMBZ-AM in KUDL’s spot.

KMBZ-FM will be “all live and all local” from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays.

KMBZ 98.1 FM (98.5Kw) 60dBu Coverage
The AM station, which has been broadcasting since the 1920s, will brand as “Talk 980.” Except for Jaye’s morning show, 980’s programming will consist of nationally syndicated fare including conservative talkers Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

The 98.1 FM weekday schedule:
  • 5a.m.: “Kansas City’s Morning News” with E.J. Becker and Ellen Schenk, which will expand by an hour
  • 10 a.m.: “Trend KC with Burns and Monacelli,” a new show that will cover such topics as technology, sports and politics
  • 2p.m.: “Dana & Parks,” with Dana Wright and Scott Parks, which stays in its current time slot
  • 6p.m: Jonathan Weir’s show, which moves from mid-mornings
  • National shows round out the schedule: “Ground Zero” (9 p.m.-midnight), “Coast to Coast” (midnight-4 a.m.) and Gordon Deal (4-5 a.m.).
The 980 AM schedule:
  • 5a.m.: Darla Jaye
  • 9a.m.: Glenn Beck (to air live; KMBZ has been tape-delaying Beck’s show to run at night)
  • 11 a.m: Rush Limbaugh (airing live)
  • 2p.m.: Sean Hannity
  • 5p.m.: “America Now”
  • 8p.m.: Herman Cain
  • Overnight: Laura Ingraham (10 p.m.-midnight), “Coast to Coast” (midnight-5 a.m.).

Palm Springs CA Radio: KEZN-FM Rebrands As Sunny 103

CBS Radio's KEZN 103.1 FM in Palm Springs, CA has rebranded as "Sunny 103."

The music and air staff will remain intact, only the name is changing. "The station's music has been evolving over the past few years and we feel that calling it "EZ" is not really reflective of the songs that we play or the air personalities that we feature," said Program Director Lee Douglas.

He contined, "Sunny is a much better way to describe the bright sound of the station which is based on the best music of yesterday and today. In addition, Palm Springs averages over 350 days a year of sunshine. It's one of the sunniest spots on the planet. We can't think of a better name to reflect both the current sound of the station as well as the beautiful weather that we all enjoy in the Coachella Valley."

KEZN 1031. FM (1.8Kw) 60dBu Coverage
While Sunny 103 won't be changing its music or air personalities, some of the air talent will be moving into new time periods:  John Tesh moves his "Intelligence For Your Life" show from afternoons to 5am-9am. He will be followed by 15-year Palm Springs icon, Dan McGrath from 9am-2pm. Bo Hudson, who recently joined the station, will follow Dan from 2pm-7pm and rounding out the day will be Delilah, with her nightly show featuring love, relationships and music.

Milwaukee Radio: Goodbye Martini, Hello To The Party

WZTI 1290 AM /100.3 T-FM switched to a new rhythmic oldies at The Party at 5 p.m. Thursday, more than seven weeks after the stations shelved their adult-standards Martini Radio format in favor of Christmas music.

In a statement, the station says "rhythmic oldies" will draw from a "wide variety of artists from the '60s to the '90s and aimed at adults 35-54." Staple artists in the format include Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Bee Gees, Barry White, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Madonna and more.

The stations kicked off the new format Thursday with Prince's "1999" (as in "Tonight we're going to party like it's...").

W262CJ 100.3 FM (99 watts) 60dBu Coverage
The stations, part of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance, were the first in Milwaukee to switch to all-Christmas music this year, on Nov. 1, as "The Elf." At that time, program director Stan Atkinson said the stations planned to revert to Martini mode after Christmas.

Nielsen Releases Second Batch Of December PPMs

Nielsen Tuesday released the second batch of December PPM results.  Markets released were:
7 Washington DC  
10 Boston  
11 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood  
12 Detroit
13 Seattle-Tacoma  
14 Phoenix  
16 Minneapolis-St. Paul  
         17 San Diego
18 Tampa-St. Peteresburg-Clearwater 
19 Dever-Boulder 
21 Baltimore
22 St. Louis
To see the Topline results for Nielsen Subscribers: Click Here 

Pandora Lists Top 5 Thumbs-Up Christmas Songs


December 26 In Radio History

In 1926...In Nashville, the "WSM Barn Dance" began regular Saturday night broadcasts.

In 1953...The radio program "Big Sister" signed off the air from the CBS Radio netowrk. The show aired for 17 years.

In 1954..."The Shadow" radio program signed off the air. 'The Shadow' began in 1930 as the Narrator for a radio show called 'Detective Story Hour' based on a magazine of the same name. The Narrator became more popular than the series and a 21 season run of 'The Shadow' series followed with actors in the leading role including Orson Welles (1937-1938), Bill Johnstone (1938-1943), John Archer (1944-1945) and Bret Morrison (1943-1944, 1945-1954).

In 1963...50 years ago, The Beatles released the single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," which became their first U.S. smash hit, marking the beginning of Beatlemania and music's "British Invasion."

In 1965...Beatle Paul McCartney was interviewed on pirate radio station "Radio Caroline". Radio Caroline was a British radio station founded in 1964 by Ronan O'Rahilly to circumvent the record companies' control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC's radio broadcasting monopoly. Unlicensed by any government for most of its early life, it was a pirate radio station which only became formally illegal in 1967.

In 1992...NYC's WPAT-FM changed from beautiful music - down tempo AC

In 2004...longtime Iowa radio personality, Dick Petrik, died at age 76. Petrik began as the first News Director at KOEL, Oelwein, and maintained that position for 41 years.

Petrik took the job as KOEL’s first news director in April of 1952, nearly two years after the station went on the air. Petrik helped build KOEL into one of the best small-market radio stations in the country. He held the record for longest tenure of any news director in the nation. In 1972, he was the first recipient of the Jack Shelley award, the highest honor given annually by the Iowa Broacast News Association for outstanding contributions to professional broadcast journalism in Iowa.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25 In Radio History

In 1931...The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City was the subject of a broadcast for the first time. Lawrence Tibbett was featured as vocalist in "Hansel und Gretel". The productionw aired on the NBC Radio network.

In 1937...famed conductor, Arturo Toscanini, conducted the first broadcast of the radio program, "Symphony of the Air", across the NBC Radio netwrok.

In 1939..."A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was recited for the first time over the CBS Radio network.

In 1945...Actor Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on TV's WKRP in Cincinnati was born.

In 1946...Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, of "Margaritaville" fame was born.

In 1948...92.3 FM frequency signed-on in NYC as WMCA-FM. Today the station is WBMP 92.3 FM and is owned by CBS Radio, branding at 92.3 AMP Radio.

For the next year, it operated daily from 3p-9p, simulcasting WMCA, 570 AM, according to the NYC FM History website Angelfire.

In December 1949, Nathan Straus, president of WMCA, announced he was closing down the station because he was losing $4000 a month.

He had said several times that baseball games were cut short on the FM, deliberately to elicit response from listeners and he had received only 2 letters in regard to this practice during all of the summer of 1949.

Straus cited several reasons for the failure of FM: drifting of receivers, difficulty in tuning them, the union rule that announcers who were simulcast on FM and AM be paid double in New York and he said people could already hear WMCA on AM.

Further, Straus said that he had twice tried to give WMCA-FM away and couldn't.

This announcement drew sharp critisim from Major Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of the FM system of broadcasting, who said that Straus was not giving FM a fair chance.

Straus announced that WMCA-FM would quit permanently on December 31, 1949, but the day before, a group of businessmen and people associated with WIBG in Philadelphia announced their intention of buying WMCA-FM for $7500.

So, WMCA-FM continued its 3p-9p schedule throughout 1950, however the negotiations with the WIBG group fell through.

In late 1950, WHOM 1480 AM, announced that it would purchase WMCA-FM. An agreement was reached and 92.3 became WHOM-FM on February 26, 1951.

By 1975, the station had evolved into a Pop/Rock leaning AC format, with calls of WKTU.
On July 24, 1978, WKTU abruptly switched to an "All Disco" format as "Disco 92", which eventually evolved into more of a Rhythmic CHR by the Fall of 1979.

In the summer of 1984, WKTU became a mainstream CHR.

Then, in July of 1985, after airing the Live Aid concert, the station switched to a mainstream AOR format, featuring new and classic rock as WXRK "K-Rock".

In September 1985, Howard Stern (who had been fired from WNBC earlier that year) joined the station, initially for afternoons and in early 1986 switched to mornings.

In 1987, WXRK had instituted a classic rock format and on January 5, 1996, evolved into an alternative/active rock format.

On April 4, 2005, WXRK debuted a mainstream rock format, encompassing music from the 60's to today.

On December 16, 2005, Howard Stern broadcasted his last show on the station, before his anticipated move to Sirius Satellite Radio on January 9, 2006.

On January 3, 2006, 92.3 became an "all-talk" station (with the exception of weekends when it features a rock format) using the "Free FM" slogan and featuring David Lee Roth in mornings. Calls were officially changed to WFNY on January 1. In April 2006, David Lee Roth was replaced with Opie & Anthony.

On May 24, 2007 at 5pm, "K-Rock" returned to 92.3. Calls were changed back to WXRK on May 31, 2007.

On March 11, 2009, 92.3 switched to a CHR format as "92.3 Now FM", with the "K-Rock" format moving to 92.3's HD2 channel.

92.3 changed calls to WNOW on November 8, 2012.

On May 22, 2014 at 2pm, 92.3 re-branded themselves as "92.3 AMP."

Calls changed to WBMP on June 23, 2014.

In 1964...In New York, "Murray The K's Big Holiday Show" went on as scheduled, with the Zombies, the Nashville Teens, and the Hullabaloos, after the U.S. Labor Department lifted a ban on granting British artists work visas. Britain's Musicians Union had retaliated by canceling Fats Domino's upcoming tour, before the whole matter was dropped.

In 1995...Singer, actor and comedian Dean Martin died. He was 78

In 2006...Singer James Brown, nicknamed the "Godfather of Soul, died. He was 73.

In 2008...Singer, dancer and actress Eartha Kitt died. She was 81.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Report: Sony Considering Selling Music Pub Biz

Sony Corp. was considering the sale of its music-publishing business, including a partnership with Michael Jackson’s estate that owns the Beatles catalog, as recently as last month, e-mails released by hackers show.

According to Bloomberg, The “top secret” plan was being handled in the U.S. by Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Michael Lynton, Sony Corp. of America President Nicole Seligman and their U.S. Chief Financial Officer Steve Kober, according to a Nov. 21 e-mail from Kober. The company had concluded the business had few growth prospects.

Top management at Tokyo-based Sony was concerned about the complex ownership and governance of the business, whose owners also include billionaire David Geffen and Abu Dhabi investors. Details of the sale plan, including possible terms or suitors, couldn’t be determined. The documents were released as part of the cyber-attack on Sony over the movie “The Interview.”

Katie Schroeder, a spokeswoman for Sony at Rubenstein Communications, declined to comment.

Publishing accounts for 14 percent of Sony’s music revenue, the main part being recorded music. Sony Corp.’s Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida raised questions about the future of music publishing in an Oct. 3 e-mail to his boss, CEO Kazuo Hirai, and Lynton, in a prelude to a meeting of the three, according to messages released by the hackers.

Sony’s deliberations on the publishing business were included in a planning document sent to at least half a dozen Sony executives, according to the Nov. 21 e-mail. That included a presentation that outlined they were considering the sale.

Read More Now

ABC Radio Net Ready To Re-Launch

James Goldston
ABC Radio is preparing to re-launch after its current distribution deal with Cumulus will expire at the end of 2014.

The network is teaming with Skyview Networks for content delivery beginning January 1.

ABC News President James Goldston told his staff today that it's signed well over 1,000 stations to affiliation agreements for ABC News, ABC Digital and ABC Air Power -- with 200 brand new affiliates and many stations signing up for more than one ABC service
Great news to share about the re-launch of ABC RADIO.  I’m excited and proud to say that we have already surpassed our goals to sign new affiliates this year. So far, we’ve signed well over 1,000 stations to affiliation agreements for ABC NEWS, ABC DIGITAL and ABC AIR POWER -- with 200 brand new affiliates and many stations signing up for more than one ABC service. 
Not only have we retained many key affiliates, but we have added several of the most iconic, most-respected and most-listened to stations in AMERICA, including WTOP/WASHINGTON D.C., WGN/CHICAGO and KFI/LOS ANGELES.  ABC RADIO also will be heard globally by our servicemen and women through ARMED FORCES RADIO and will be heard across CANADA through our distributor Canadian Press. 
In addition, our outstanding ABC DIGITAL service has continued to impress, signing multi-affiliate deals involving respected radio companies, such as TOWNSQUARE MEDIA and SAGA COMMUNICATIONS.  And ABC AIR POWER, our top entertainment and music service, has signed hundreds of affiliates, including stations in key markets, such as WGIR in BOSTON and WWDC in WASHINGTON D.C. 
Of course, none of this would have been possible without STEVE JONES, ANDREW KALB, ABE VELEZ and JEFF FITZGERALD, as well as the entire Affiliate Solutions team, leading the charge.  We could not have picked a better team to represent ABC News on the front lines of this campaign.  
As I said back in AUGUST when we announced our new relationship with SKYVIEW, we are entering into a new era at ABC RADIO. It is an exciting time—rich with opportunities for us to grow by investing in and developing new, cutting-edge programming. 
Thanks to STEVE and his team, we are very well positioned for the future, and I look forward to seeing where they take us next. 
Our new service launches on JANUARY 1. 
Happy listening! 

Record Number Of Stations Airing Christmas Music Full-Time

Drawn by the opportunity for a seasonal ratings and revenue lift, a record number of radio stations went all-Christmas this year, shattering the previous high set in 2012, according to InsideRadio.

There are 529 U.S. stations airing all-holiday tunes, an increase of 8.4% from a year ago when 488 stations adopted the format.  Coming off a year when the number of all-Christmas stations dipped slightly, 2014’s final tally suggests radio’s appetite for all-Yule programming has yet to peak.

The total doesn’t include the growing number of stations programming a partial Christmas format or online-only and HD side channels.

During the past decade, the number of all-Christmas stations has more than doubled, according to the Inside Radio database.

Stations that have earned the position as their market’s go-to holiday music station are often able to charge advertisers a premium during December, when their ratings skyrocket.  “We have a bunch of stations that are doing Christmas music and they are definitely having a strong December,” CBS Radio president of sales Michael Weiss says. “We’re able to go back and show advertisers that we had a pop last year or the year before, when we turned on our Christmas music.”

A total of 76 Christmas stations are owned by iHeartMedia, giving it the most all-Yule stations again this year.   Other owners heavy on the holiday format include Cumulus Media (25 stations), Townsquare Media (19), Salem (12), Entercom (11), CBS Radio (10), and Saga (9).  Noncommercial operator Family Life Radio had 21 all-Christmas stations, Radio Training Network had 19 holiday stations on the air, while WAY Media had 15.

InsideRadio reports Chicago is Christmastown USA this year, boasting six separate stations airing an all-holiday format.  Last year the honor went to Detroit.  Six markets have four all-Yule stations:  Birmingham, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, Rochester, NY and Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA.  Nearly 20 cities have three and dozens of markets have two.  A small number of cities don’t have any, including such major cities as Atlanta and Miami.  The vast majority of all-holiday stations are on FM — just 43 AM stations made the switch this year.

DC Radio: Santa Is Market's #1 Jock

As you may suspect, iHeartMedia's WASH 97.1 FM wishes Christmas could last all year 'round as it exploded in the December PPMs issued Tuesday by Nielsen. WASH surged 4.8—8.6 (6+ AQH) to capture the #1 position in D-C's Top 5. The station also was #1 25-54 and #1 in Cume.

Hubbard's News WTOP 103.5 FM fell 7.4—7.0, good for #2..followed by American University's N/T WAMU 88.5 FM, which jumped 6.0—6.8. At #4, Howard University's UrbanAC WHUR 96.3 FM (7.0—6.2) and at #5 it's iHM's Top40 WIHT 99.5 FM which dropped 6.5—5.5.


18-34: WIHT...WASH (up from #8)...WKYS...WPGC...WWDC


Cume: WASH-FM 1,456,400...WIHT-FM 1,187,400...WTOP-FM 1,145,800...WIAD-FM 863,300...WBIG-FM 814,600

© 2005-2014 Arbitron Inc. All Rights Reserved. Arbitron radio audience estimates and data are federally copyrighted by and proprietary to Arbitron Inc. All Arbitron data are protected under U.S. copyright law, state misappropriation law, and other state and federal laws. Violations of Arbitron’s rights under U.S. copyright law may result in statutory damages per act of infringement and the recovery of Arbitron’s attorneys’ fees required to enforce Arbitron’s rights, in addition to other rights and remedies under other applicable laws, such as the Lanham Act.

Philly Radio..WBEB #1 And WPHI Doubles 6+ Share

Santa Nielsen favored two stations in the December PPMs released this week. WEAZ Radio's AC WBEB 101.1 FM played the Christmas hits to a #1 showing 6.8—8.5. Not only is MoreFM #1 6+, but also 25-54, 18-34 AND 18-49. Merry Christmas indeed! And that's in spite of the fact that WBEB is sharing the Holiday Hits format with CBS Radio's WOGL 98.1 FM. The Classic Hits station didn't fare as well (first in...!). WOGL Christmas effort included just a week of the December rating period and its share slid 6.0—5.5, good enough to remain in the #3 slot.

iHeartMedia's UrbanAC WDAS 105.3 FM wobbled 6.5—6.4 to end up at #2 6+. CBS Radio's News KYW 1060 AM coninued to receover from a challenging 2014, moving 4.9—5.3 and a #4 finish. At #5 is Sport WIP 94.1 FM, which moved 4.8—5.1m thanks to football.

WPHI 107.9 FM (780 watts) 60dBu Coverage
Noteworthy:  One day into the December ratings period, Radio One flipped it's WPHI 107.9 FM to Classic HipHop.  Branding as Boom 107.9, the station doubled its 6+ share moving 1.9--3.8 and moving up in rank from #20 to #12.  Good start for the Class A faciliity.

25-54: WBEB...WMMR...WDAS...WPHI (zoomed up from #18) tied WRFF

18-34: WBEB...WUSL...WXTU...WRFF...WPHI (up from #9)

18-49: WBEB...WMMR...WUSL...WPHI (up from #15)...WRFF

Cume: WBEB-FM 1,633,300...WIOQ-FM 1,205,800...WOGL-FM 1,064,400...WMGK-FM 1,007,500...WRFF-FM 939,000

© 2005-2014 Arbitron Inc. All Rights Reserved. Arbitron radio audience estimates and data are federally copyrighted by and proprietary to Arbitron Inc. All Arbitron data are protected under U.S. copyright law, state misappropriation law, and other state and federal laws. Violations of Arbitron’s rights under U.S. copyright law may result in statutory damages per act of infringement and the recovery of Arbitron’s attorneys’ fees required to enforce Arbitron’s rights, in addition to other rights and remedies under other applicable laws, such as the Lanham Act.

Report: Christmas Music Are Oldies For Baby Boomers

The list of the top 30 most-played Christmas songs of all time, compiled by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) show nearly two-thirds of these songs were written in the 40s and 50s -- when the baby boomers were small children.

Overwhelmingly, reports The Washington Post, the sound of Christmas is trapped in the mid-20th century. Web comic artist Randall Munroe (of XKCD fame) made this observation back in 2009, when ASCAP released its original list of the 20 top Christmas songs of the 2000s: "Every year, American culture embarks on a massive project to carefully recreate the Christmas of Baby Boomers' childhoods," he wrote. Or, more concisely, "an 'American tradition' is anything that happened to a Baby Boomer twice."

Lower Gasoline Prices Good News For SiriusXM

Satellite-radio provider Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI) did not have a good year in 2014.

According to The Street, shares are about flat so far this year, compared with gains of 10.8% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 13% for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, and so Sirius shareholders may be desperate for some good news heading into 2015. By accounts, that news has arrived.

Helped by the plunge in oil prices, consumers are buying more cars. And they're driving longer distances, too, which may mean they're listening to Sirius more during trial periods, when customers get Sirius for free after buying a new car. And so Sirius -- which has agreements to install its radios in vehicles from such major automakers as Ford  and Toyota  -- is likely to benefit. According to J.D. Power, new-vehicle sales for December are expected to reach their highest levels in eight years.

To the extent Sirius can capitalize on higher vehicle sales remains to be seen. The company's radios are installed in about 26% of the vehicles on the road, which suggests there's room for growth. But it won't be easy.

The arrival of Apple's CarPlay, which has been integrated with cars from such companies as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and and Volvo, has given consumers and auto manufactures another alternative to Sirius, as has a competing free service from Pandora, which has seen greater adoption in cars.

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CNN Attracts Younger Demos With Original Series

Mike Rowe
As CNN continues to experiment with ways to boost its primetime ratings, the net has accomplished one objective: getting younger.

According to Nielsen data for 2014 released Tuesday, the median age of an average CNN viewer during primetime fell to 58 from 60 in 2013 — matching 2008 as the network’s youngest-skewing year since at least 1992.

At the same time, Fox News Channel held steady at a median age of 68 and MSNBC skewed slightly older this year (61 vs. 60 last year).

Variety reports CNN had skewed older in primetime than both MSNBC and Fox News until 2005, and this marks the first time that the Turner network is younger than both of its rivals.

Given the aging population of television viewers, any decline in median age is noteworthy. And of course, it could reap dividends to CNN when selling ad time, which is based primarily on viewership among those in the key news demo of 25 and 54.

Key to the declining median age in primetime for CNN has been its increased emphasis on original series, including “This is Life with Lisa Ling,” Mike Rowe’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” (pictured), “The Hunt with John Walsh” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”

WBFF-TV Issues Apology For Deceptive Editing

A Baltimore TV station issued an on-air apology Monday after airing a deceptive edit of a protest chant as part of news coverage of a recent demonstration in Washington, D.C., against police brutality.

According to Variety, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Fox affiliate WBFF-TV Baltimore carried a report on Sunday that made it sound as if a group of protestors at the Dec. 13 Justice for All march in Washington had chanted “Kill a cop.” The actual chant was “We won’t stop. We can’t stop ‘til killer cops are in cell blocks.”

A Baltimore woman, Tawanda Jones, led the chant, and her complaints about the WBFF report led news anchor Jeff Barnd to issue an on-air apology. Jones appeared on the station’s 5 p.m. newscast Monday in a live interview to discuss the situation.
“We here at Fox45 work hard every day to earn your trust and bring you fair and comprehensive news from around the country. Although last night's report reflected an honest misunderstanding of what the protesters were saying, we apologize for the error. We have deleted the story on our webpage and we offered to have Ms. Jones on Fox45 News at 5:00 tonight for a live interview. We had a constructive conversation with her earlier today and she has accepted our invitation and will join us for a live interview at 5:30.”
WBFF reps have not elaborated on how the edit made it on to the air.

Philly Radio: Sports Talker Anthony Gargano OUT At WIP 94.1 FM

Anthony Gargano
SportsRadio WIP 94.1 FM PM  Drive host Anthony Gargano has left the station after 15 years.

According to the Philly Business Journal, Gargano's contract expires at the end of the year and he reportedly rejected an offer of a one-year extension— less than the multi-year extensions signed this month by morning show hosts Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti.

Gargano is one of several former Philadelphia Inquirer sports writers that migrated to WIP along with Cataldi, Morganti, Glen Macnow and Mike Missinelli (now at 97.5 FM The Fanatic). He started as a midday host but moved with Macnow to the afternoon drive shift when Howard Eskin vacated that time slot a few years ago.

Macnow was replaced by Rob Ellis last year but stayed with WIP and parent company CBS Radio. CBS Radio management is reportedly grooming night time host Josh Innis, a Missouri native who joined WIP earlier this year from a Houston station, to succeed Gargano.

WI Radio: WW One's Jim Bohannon Visits N/T WCLO

L-R: Tim Bremel, Jim Bohannon, Vet Stan Van Hoose
Monday, live from Janesville, WI, Westwood One talker Jim Bohannon was on location with Newsradio WCLO 1230 AM.

Jimbo talked on air with WCLO Operations Manager and talk host Tim Bremel and two World War II veterans about VetsRoll, an organization that provides safe ground transportation and an enjoyable experience for World War II and Korean-era US Military Veterans and “Rosie-the-Riveters” to visit THEIR war memorials, and other related sights, in and around Washington, DC, as soon as possible.

The two vets, Stan Van Hoose and Mitch Bliss, have gone on previous VetsRoll trips and shared their stories.

The BFA Establishes The Bill Burton Memorial Fund

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has established The Bill Burton Memorial Fund in honor of radio’s most ardent ambassador,  known for his trademark words of encouragement, “Be Fabulous.”

Burton passed away last Saturday as a result of head injuries suffered from a fall at his home.  At 85, he remained an active advocate for radio and the head of the Detroit Radio Automotive Group, traveling the country giving “Why Radio?” presentations to top decision-makers in the advertising community.

“Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business,” observed long-time friend and colleague Carl Butrum, former Broadcasters Foundation executive and previous President of Eastman Radio, where he worked with Burton for many years.  “Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him.  We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with The Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”

Bill Burton started his radio career at Eastman Radio, eventually leading the rep firm as its President and Chairman.

Donations to the Bill Burton Memorial Fund are being accepted at the Broadcasters Foundation website at, or by calling 212-373-8250, or emailing  

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has distributed millions of dollars in aid to thousands of broadcasters and their families who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year and can make a difference in the life of a colleague who has fallen on desperate times.  Donations can be made as a personal gift to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.  In addition, a bequest may be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society

December 24 In Radio History

In 1818...Germany's Franz Gruber composes a melody to words written by Austrian priest Josef Mohr, creating the standard "Silent Night." The song is debuted tonight at Midnight Mass in Gruber's hometown of Obendorf.

Reginald Fessenden
In 1906...Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio. The broadcast originated in Brant Rock, Massachusetts.

In the late 1890s, reports began to appear about the success Guglielmo Marconi was having in developing a practical radio transmitting and receiving system. Fessenden began limited radio experimentation, and soon came to the conclusion that he could develop a far more efficient system than the spark-gap transmitter and coherer-receiver combination which had been championed by Oliver Lodge and Marconi.

Wireless Station at Brant Rock, MA
On December 21, 1906, Fessenden made an extensive demonstration of the new alternator-transmitter at Brant Rock, showing its utility for point-to-point wireless telephony, including interconnecting his stations to the wire telephone network. A detailed review of this demonstration appeared in The American Telephone Journal.

A few days later, two additional demonstrations took place, which may have been the first audio radio broadcasts of entertainment and music ever made to a general audience. (Beginning in 1904, the U.S. Navy had broadcast daily time signals and weather reports, but these employed spark transmitters, transmitting in Morse code).

On the evening of December 24, 1906 (Christmas Eve), Fessenden used the alternator-transmitter to send out a short program from Brant Rock. It included a phonograph record of Ombra mai fu (Largo) by George Frideric Handel, followed by Fessenden himself playing on the violin Adolphe Adam's carol O Holy Night, singing Gounod's Adore and be Still, and finishing with reading a passage from the Bible: 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will' (Gospel of Luke 2:14).

He petitioned his listeners to write in about the quality of the broadcast as well as their location when they heard it. Surprisingly, his broadcast was heard several hundred miles away; however, accompanying the broadcast was a disturbing noise. This noise was due to irregularities in the spark gap transmitter he used.

In 1922...the BBC broadcast the first British radio play. It was entitled, "Truth about Father Christmas".

In 1937...Mae West performed a skit about Adam & Eve on the NBC Radio network which subsequently got her banned from there.

The outrageous sketch was written by Arch Oboler, and starred West and Don Ameche as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden on NBC. She told Ameche in the show to "get me a big one... I feel like doin' a big apple!"  This ostensible reference to the then-current dance craze was one of the many double entendres in the dialogue.

Days after the broadcast, the studio received letters calling the show "immoral" and "obscene".  Women's clubs and Catholic groups admonished the show's sponsor, Chase & Sanborn Coffee Company, for "prostituting" their services for allowing "impurity [to] invade the air".

The Federal Communications Commission later deemed the broadcast "vulgar and indecent" and "far below even the minimum standard which should control in the selection and production of broadcast programs".

There is some debate regarding the reaction to the skit. Catholic groups took umbrage far more swiftly than the mainstream. These groups already had it in for West, whom they despised, for her outspoken use of sexuality and sexual imagery, which she had employed in her career since at least the Pre-Code films she had made in the early 1930s. The groups reportedly warned the sponsor of the program they would protest her appearance.

NBC blamed West personally for the incident and banned her (and the mention of her name) from their stations.  They claimed it was not the content of the skit, but West's tonal inflections that gave it the controversial context.  West would not perform in radio for a dozen years, until January 1950, in an episode of The Chesterfield Supper Club, which was hosted by Perry Como.  Ameche's career did not suffer any serious repercussions, however.

In 1944..."The Andrews Sisters’ Eight-To-The-Bar-Ranch" radio program debuted on ABC Radio.

In 1988....Bulgaria stopped jamming "Radio Free Europe" after more than 30 years.

In 2006…Broadcasting executive Frank Stanton, the president of CBS from 1946 to 1971, died at the age of 98.

Frank Stanton 1939
Stanton served as the president of CBS between 1946 and 1971 and then as vice chairman until 1973. Along with William S. Paley, Stanton is credited with the significant growth of CBS into a communications powerhouse.

Stanton was revered both as a spokesman for the broadcast industry before Congress, and for his passionate support of broadcast journalism and journalists. Former CBS News President Richard S. Salant – a widely respected news chief and an appointee of Stanton's – praised Stanton as a corporate mentor and statesman.

During the period of McCarthyism, Stanton created an office at CBS to review the political leanings of employees.  Although right-wing journalists considered CBS left-leaning, branding it "the Red Network", CBS maintained a questionnaire inquiring about journalists' political affiliations. At Stanton's direction, employees were required to take an oath of loyalty to the US government. Stanton and Paley "found it expedient to hire only those who were politically neutral", not wishing to take a position against the FCC and Congress, nor to jeopardize profit by "tak[ing] a stand against the vigilantes".

Stanton, Time Cover 12/4/1950
According to radio historian Jim Cox, "CBS and the blacklisting became synonymous".   CBS, in response to the culture of blacklisting, instituted a "purge of its own", as had Hollywood and president Truman; Paley was more responsible for policy setting, and Stanton its main executor. Radio producer William N. Robson was one victim of the CBS purge; initially reassured by Stanton that his listing in the anti-Communist Red Channels pamphlet would not mean the end of his career with CBS, Robson eventually found the executive office of CBS non-responsive to his inquiries, and his earnings collapsed.   Good Night, and Good Luck, a 2005 movie portraying this era, left Stanton out of the film as a character, partly because Stanton was still living and might have objected to his portrayal.

Stanton played a role in the infamous controversy involving Arthur Godfrey, CBS's top money-earner in the early 1950s. Godfrey insisted that the cast members of two of his three CBS shows, a group of singers known as the "Little Godfreys," refrain from hiring managers. When one singer, Julius LaRosa, hired a manager following a minor dispute with Godfrey, the star consulted with Stanton, who suggested that he fire the popular LaRosa, then a rising star, on the air – just as he'd hired him on the air in 1951. Godfrey did so on October 19, 1953, without informing LaRosa before the airing. The move caused an enormous backlash against Godfrey. Stanton later told Godfrey biographer Arthur Singer that "Maybe (the recommendation) was a mistake."

In 2009...Disc jockey (WABC-New York, WFIL-Philadelphia, KBTR-Denver, WRIT-Milwaukee, WIL-St. Louis)/TV sports highlights show host (The George Michael Sports Machine) George Michael died of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia at 70.

Michael was born George Michael Gimpel in St. Louis, Missouri on March 24, 1939. He grew up near Tower Grove Park in the city's south side, and graduated from St. Louis University High School. While attending Saint Louis University, he worked as a Midwest promoter for several record labels such as Scepter and Motown. It was also during this time when he made his radio broadcasting debut on a one-hour Sunday night show at midnight on WIL, which invited individual SLU students to be the hosts every week. He earned a full-time job as a disc jockey at the station after he was judged to be the best of the group.

His first radio job outside of his hometown was in 1962 at WRIT in Milwaukee, where he worked the 6-to-10 pm shift until he was reassigned to 5-to-9 am morning drive time in early 1964.  His next stop was at KBTR in Denver later in 1964, working under the name "King" George Michael for the first time. He earned the nickname due to his success in "ruling" evening radio.

He became one of the original Boss Jocks at WFIL in Philadelphia when its new Top 40 rock and roll format debuted on September 18, 1966.  He served as music director and evening deejay for the next eight years. WFIL, which was popularly known as "Famous 56" after the transition, ended WIBG's listener ratings dominance and became the city's most popular station by the summer of 1967.

Michael was the first Philadelphia rock and roll radio personality to read the scores of local high school football and basketball games on the air. He also helped to start the career of Howard Eskin by hiring him to be his engineer.  Decades later, Eskin would be a contributor to The George Michael Sports Machine.   On George's last WFIL show (on September 6, 1974) he played "When Will I See You Again" by the Three Degrees for the first time ever on any radio station. The playing of this on his show broke the song into the mainstream, and within two months was a huge international hit, reaching number one in the U.K., and number two in the United States. George was personal friends with the owners of Philadelphia International Records and the song's writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The aircheck of this can be heard on WFIL's tribute site, where he says,"I don't know if this song will be a hit".

Michael, noted for his energetic style, was hired by 77 WABC in New York City; his first on-air stint there was on the evening of September 9, 1974.  Michael now not only was entering the nation's largest media market; he also succeeded radio legend "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who had jumped to competitor WNBC.  Several incidents from Michael's radio stint there have been chronicled in Morrow's autobiography.  Even though he was reunited with Dan Ingram and Ron Lundy (colleagues from his WIL days in St. Louis), Michael's time at WABC, which ended on November 17, 1979, was mostly frustrating because he was no longer a music director who had any influence on a playlist which was much shorter than the ones with which he was more familiar.  One of the highlights during his time at the station occurred when he anchored its coverage of the New York City blackout of 1977 after the music format was temporarily suspended for the night.

His first experience in sports broadcasting also came in 1974 when he was a television announcer for the Baltimore Orioles on WJZ-TV.  He declined an offer to work for the ballclub full-time in order to accept the WABC position.  As part of the deal to bring him to New York, Michael also worked for WABC-TV as the weekend sports anchor and a color commentator on New York Islanders telecasts for several seasons, paired mainly with Tim Ryan.   He served as an occasional substitute on ABC American Contemporary Network's Speaking of Sports show whenever Howard Cosell, the primary commentator, was on vacation or assignment.

In 2011...Talk personality Lynn Samuels WBAI, WABC NYC died from a heart attack at age 69.

Lynn Samuels
She began her radio career at WBAI in 1979, where in addition to her on-air work she was music director and an engineer and producer. Walter Sabo, in a tribute on the Alex Bennett program (hosted by Richard Bey) on December 27, 2011, stated that Lynn first worked for WOR on Saturdays from 4–6 p.m. "for quite some time".

Samuels was heard on Talkradio WABC from 1987 until 1992, 1993 until 1997, and 1997 until 2002, including two breaks in which she was fired and then rehired. Her third and final dismissal in 2002 was allegedly due to budget cuts.

Samuels was also a call-screener for Matt Drudge. In 2002, she joined WLIE for a brief time before being hired by Sirius in 2003.