Saturday, January 10, 2015

January 11 In Radio History

In 1927...the Royale Theater opened at 242 West 45th in New York City. It became home to several Radio program including "CBS Radio Playhouse".

In 1947..."Murder and Mrs. Malone" first aired on ABC radio.

In 1993...Howard Stern's radio show began airing on WKBW 1520 AM, Buffalo, New York.

In 2006...Ray Hoffstatter died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident from November 20, 2005. Hoffstatter was "Cowboy Ray" on the Mancow Morning Madness radio show.

In 2013…Former disc jockey (Los Angeles radio stations KRLA, KFWB, KDAY; WCAE-Pittsburgh) and network TV host (Shindig!) Jimmy O'Neilldied after many years with a heart condition and diabetes at 73.

O'Neill was born in Enid, Oklahoma.  After taking a broadcasting class at Enid High School, he began his career in radio at WKY in Oklahoma City, OK. One year later O'Neill landed a job at KQV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at age 19.  He also worked at WCAE. He was hired at KRLA in Los Angeles, CA a year after working at KQV.

O'Neill was the first voice heard on KRLA-AM when it switched from a country-western format to top 40.  He worked at KRLA-AM from 1959-1962, then moved to KFWB from 1963 to 1967. He spent two years at KDAY from 1969 to 1971. He also hosted The Jimmy O'Neill Show on KCOP-TV.

After O'Neill moved to Los Angeles, Chuck Barris, then-ABC daytime programming executive, green-lit the pilot for Shindig!. The nationally syndicated show ran from 1964-1966.  He and his show were depicted on The Flintstones television animated sitcom in the season six episode "Shinrock A Go-Go," which originally aired on December 3, 1965. This episode featured O'Neill, as "Jimmy O'Neillstone", hosting the Bedrock analogue of Shindig, called "Shinrock"; that program featured as one of the guest performers The Beau Brummels (as "The Beau Brummelstones") performing their recent hit, Laugh, Laugh.

In the 1970s, he worked at KOB in Albuquerque, then it was on to Omaha, Nebraska, radio stations WOW (now KSXP) and KOIL. He returned to Los Angeles for two more stints at KRLA from 1984-1985 and from 1990-1993.

He retired in the mid 1990s and lived in West Hollywood, California. O'Neill died in his West Hollywood home five days after his 73rd birthday.

Ben Freedman
In 2013...Ben Freedman, owner of the oldest continuously operated radio ID jingle company, died  in Plano, TX at age 64.   Freedman was recovering from an October heart attack when he died.  He was also forced to cope with injuries sustained in a car accident a few years previously.

Freedman established WAY Productions and started producing jingles when he was just 14-years-old in his hometown of Buffalo, NY.

Ben had formed an admiration for the truly great jingle companies PAMS, Pepper and CRC, while serving as a "go-for" at WKBW 1520 AM with the famous jocks including Joey Reynolds, Dan Neaverth, Rod Roddy, Jay Nelson, Jeff Kaye, Stan Roberts and others.

In 1966, he landed his first air shift at Gordon McLendon’s WYSL FM in Buffalo under direct supervision of the Old Scotsman himself.

He first visited Texas in the late 70s and formed a new marketing association with several other audio producers including International Programming Services in Los Angeles, Tommy Calandra Productions in Buffalo, House Q Studios in Buffalo and ATB Productions in London. The new association is called Creative Productions Marketing Group or CPMG Incorporated for short.

In 2013...Cumulus took control of WFME 94.7 FM with simulcast of WPLJ in NYC

The 94.7 FM frequency signed on in 1947 as WAAT-FM, and was owned by the Bremer Broadcasting Company along with sister station WAAT (970 AM, now WNYM).

On January 6, 2012, Family Radio applied to the FCC  to change the license of WFME from noncommercial to commercial. This move followed the sales by Family Radio of stations in the Philadelphia (WKDN-FM, now WKVP) and Washington-Baltimore (WFSI, now WLZL) markets, and quickly prompted conjecture from radio industry monitors that WFME would be sold next. The application was approved on February 7, 2012.

The sale rumors were confirmed on October 16, 2012, when Family Radio announced that it would sell WFME to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media; the originally undisclosed price was later confirmed to be $49.5 million. In addition, Family Radio acquired Cumulus' WDVY 106.3 FM in Mount Kisco, NY. The FCC approved the sale/station trade January 4, 2013, making 94.7 FM a sister station to Cumulus' two existing New York market stations, WABC and WPLJ. Four days later, on January 8, 2013, Cumulus completed the purchase of WFME.  Family Radio programming on 94.7 FM ended on January 11, 2013; prior to signing off of the frequency, station manager Charlie Menut stated that the network's programming would be transferred to 106.3 FM, which became the new WFME on January 15, and that efforts to acquire an AM frequency that would cover the New York City area were being made.  Family Radio would announce in 2014 its acquisition of WQEW 1560 AM, the former East Coast flagship of Radio Disney, which is set to end terrestrial distribution.)

WNSH 94.7 FM (23.5 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
On January 11, 2013, under Cumulus's new ownership, 94.7 FM began a simulcast of WPLJ, which broadcasts a HotAC format. The frequency's call sign was changed three days later to WRXP, a call sign previously used on the 101.9 FM facility in New York City under two different owners and two different stints as an alternative rock station. The WPLJ simulcast ended on January 18 in favor of stunting with a self-described "Wheel of Formats."

The stunting continued until January 21, when WRXP adopted a new country music format branded as Nash FM 94.7.  The first song on "Nash FM" was "How Country Feels" by Randy Houser.

January 10 In Radio History

In 1942..."The Better Half,", a quiz show, was first aired on Mutual Radio.

In 1943...Singer Jim Croce was born. He died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973 at 30

In 1945...Singer Rod Stewart was born.

In 1949...RCA Victor announced the creation of a new record format logically nicknamed the "45," since the two-sided seven-inch vinyl discs were designed to play at 45-RPM. 1949 RCA 9Y7 45 rpm record and radio in bleach blond mahogany with AM radio playing Someone you love by Nat King Cole.

In 1964...The first North American Beatles album, "Introducing The Beatles," was released by Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records. The label was forced to stop selling the disc by the end of the year because of legal complications, after 1.3 million copies of the album had been sold.

In 1965...Howard Cosell does first “Speaking of Everything” program on 77 WABC in NYC.

In 1969...Frustrated by Paul McCartney's dominance during the filming of "Let It Be," George Harrison nonchalantly told the rest of the band that he was quitting immediately and sarcastically said as he walked out, "See you around the clubs." George later stated that while he had a growing backlog of new material, he constantly had to work on Lennon and McCartney's songs before the group would work on his. George was the second Beatle to quit; Ringo had left the group for a brief period a year earlier.

In 1987...NRSC-1 goes into effect to establish AM emphasis/de-emphasis curves. Read more here.

In 2007...Wilks Broadcast Group completed $138 million acquisition of radio stations in Kansas City and Columbus from CBS Corporation

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chicago Radio: Stewart PD, Mason & Remy Mornings At WNUA

Steve Stewart
iHeartMedia Chicago announced today that Steve Stewart has been named Program Director for the new WNUA Big 95.5 FM, Chicago's Hit Country, effective immediately.

"Steve Stewart brings a wealth of experience to Big 95.5 and we look forward to him providing his tremendous programming expertise to the station," said Tommy Austin, Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Chicago.

Stewart most recently served as Regional Program Manager for iHeartMedia St. Louis and Program Director of 93.7 The Bull. Under Stewart's leadership, 93.7 The Bull achieved the highest ratings in the station's history. Stewart's career spans 26 years, which includes various programming and on-air roles for stations in St. Louis, Grand Rapids and Providence.

"This is the job everyone waits for... launching a BIG station in a HUGE market," said Stewart. "I can't be more excited to lead this team in what is a historic station launch of the New BIG 95.5! Thanks to Tommy Austin, Matt Scarano and Gene Romano for their belief in me and for the support of Beth Davis, Carl Anderson and the iHeartMedia St. Louis team."

Also iHM has announced that KSD St. Louis afternooners "Mason & Remy" have been tapped for mornings at Big 95.5, effective January 20.

“We are beyond grateful for the opportunities we’ve been afforded with the team at iHeartMedia and can't wait for this next step in our careers with the Big 95.5," said Mason and Rey "We both visit Chicago regularly and have friends and family in the area so we’re really looking forward to BIG things."

“These are two of the brightest and most talented talents in our industry today," said PD Steve Stewart. "I am proud of the success they have achieved and look forward to continue working with them on the future success of Bid 95.5.”

Despite taking over mornings on Chicago's WNUA-FM later this month, the duo will continue to host afternoons in St. Louis on KSD-FM, according to CRM.
Tom's Take: Somewhat surprised the Bobby Bones Show is not being imported.  Either, the thinking is the market is too important not to be local or perhaps iHM is not that confident in Bobby Bones.

Broadcasting Termed 'Stressful'

According to a new study by, “Broadcaster” is the seventh most stressful job you can have. They looked at 11 different kinds of job demands that evoke stress, both physical and mental.

The Top Ten Most Stressful:
  1. Firefighter
  2. Member of the military
  3. General in the military
  4. Airline pilot
  5. Police officer
  6. Actor
  7. Broadcaster
  8. Event coordinator
  9. Photojournalist
  10. Newspaper reporter
They also ranked the least stressful jobs you can have. That’s usually a combination of job security, a good hiring outlook, salary, and few physical demands or deadlines.

The Top Ten Least Stressful:
  1. Hair stylist
  2. Audiologist
  3. University professor. Specifically ones who have tenure.
  4. Medical records technician
  5. Jeweler
  6. Medical laboratory technician
  7. Tailor
  8. Dietician
  9. Librarian
  10. Forklift operator

Orlando Radio: Two WXXL Personalities Are I-D Theft Victims

Johnny Magic
“Johnny Magic,” the long time morning radio host of “Johnny’s House” on iHM's WXXL 106.7 FM XL106-7, and co-host Brian Grimes have been targeted by credit card and identity thieves.

Magic tells WKMG-TV6, his credit card account shows roughly $500 in purchases that he didn't make between Dec. 24 and 25 including stops at Home Depot on East Colonial Drive and Kangaroo Gas station on Chickasaw Trail in Orlando.

Magic said the thieves tried to fill-up multiple cars with gas on Christmas Day, and that’s when the card was declined.

“What the person did is they actually took my information and made a card just like mine," Magic said.

Bank of America shut down the card and issued a new account number and card immediately after discovering the bogus purchases.

Grimes estimated that the identity theft has already lowered his credit score by nearly 30 points. He said that in just a few days, the thieves opened credit accounts with five separate bank credit cards, along with a JCPenny card.

“The best they could do was tell me to check the mailbox every day, ”Grimes said. "I’ve alerted the IRS, the Federal Trade Commission and all of the credit bureaus.”

Grimes said, he does most of his shopping online and that it is possible that one of his accounts had been hacked.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Report: Streaming Music is Failing to Meet Industry Needs

Taylor Swift's recent move to leave Spotify has intensified the debate around the impact of streaming on the music industry. A new report Will Royalty Crisis Defeat the Music Streaming Industry found that despite continuous growth in adoption of music streaming services, current players are having difficulty turning music streaming into profit.

"Technology is evolving and changing the way consumers discover, listen to, share, and interact with music, but it is also a significant factor in the decline of music industry revenues. Many artists feel they are under compensated by streaming services, but as currently structured the underlying economics won't support higher royalty payments by these service, particularly for free ad-supported services” noted Leika Kawasaki, Digital Media Strategies (DMS) Analyst and author of this report. “As a result, we may never see the same levels of spending on music as we did a decade ago".

Key findings from the report include:
  • Despite significant growth in revenue and a lower net loss, Spotify average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) has actually declined for both subscription and advertising. Monthly subscription ARPU in 2013 was down 2%, while monthly advertising ARPU was down 37% from 2012.
  • Most companies benefit from economies of scale; however, Pandora and Spotify's content acquisition costs increase in parallel with subscriber growth, preventing them from getting ahead of the cost curve.
  • Pandora earns the vast majority of its revenue from advertising (82%), whereas Spotify earns the majority of its revenue from subscriptions (91%).
Strategy Analytics predicts that overall global recorded music revenue declined 1%, from $22.8 billion in 2013 to $22.5 billion in 2014, as digital music growth failed to offset losses in packaged music revenues. Streaming music (subscription and ad-supported) accounted for about half of digital music revenue in 2014, up 14% year-over-year.

"The industry must increase music streaming services ad revenue while simultaneously transitioning users to paid services” comments Kawasaki. “With too many competitors already in the space, music-centric companies are facing growing competition from tech giants that have a distinct advantage in terms of leveraging their vast product ecosystems to drive growth in the music space. Current music-centric services may not be able to overcome inefficiencies in music streaming economics and increased competition. As a result, we very well may soon be seeing changes in the balance of power."

CBS' Les Moonves: “I Don’t Care Where You Watch Our Shows"

Les Moonves
New technology may be the focus of the Consumer Electronics Show, but CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves argued on-stage Thursday that tech may not be changing his business as much as you might think, accoridng to

“At the end of the day, you still have to tell good stories,” he said during an interview with MediaLink’s Michael Kassan. Moonves contrasted that approach with a presentation from a rival network that focused entirely on the tech and “how they would sell it out there.” Moonves’ conclusion: “The reason for that is their content was crap.”

That said, CBS is moving into new modes of distribution with its subscription streaming service CBS All Access. Moonves credited “our interactive guys” (including CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone) for coming to him 18 months ago and saying they wanted to make the network’s programs available over the top (i.e., not through a cable provider).

Moonves’ initial response was supposedly to provide “12 reasons why it was a bad idea,” but over time his team kept bringing it up, and he decided it was worthwhile to reach the country’s 10 million broadband-only homes.

“I don’t care where you watch our shows — just watch them,” he said. Moonves made a similar comment when discussing Nielsen’s rating system: “We don’t care where you watch it or when you watch it — we just want it to get counted and we want to get paid appropriately.”

Read More Now

Sacramento Radio: Bill White Named PD For KFBK, KSTE

Bill White
iHeartMedia/Sacramento has announced veteran News/Talk programmer Bill White as new PD for Talk KFBK 1530 AM / 93.1 FM  and Talk KSTE 650 AM, effective January 20.

Most recently, White was PD for Journal Broadcast group's News/Talk KQTH 104.1 FM and Sports KFFN 1490 AM in Tucson. Prior to that, White was Director of Programming and News at Tribune's WGN-720 AM in Chicago. Previously, White served as Operations Manager and Director of Programming of News/Talk WBT 1110 AM / 99.3 FM and Talk WLNK 107.9 FM in Charlotte for ten years.

"These legendary stations inform and touch listeners in the Sacramento area every day," said White. "I'm honored to be joining the talented team at KFBK-KSTE and look forward to building on their successes."

KFBK 931. FM (20.5 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
"Bill is one of the most accomplished News/Talk programmers in the business and I'm very glad that he is taking the reins of these two legendary stations," added iHeartMedia/Sacramento VP/Programming Don Parker.

"Bill has the experience and intelligence to lead these stations and very talented staff," said iHeartMedia/Sacramento Market President John Geary. "He will be a great addition to the team."

D-C Radio: Kashon Powell Named New PD For WMMJ

Kashon Powell
Radio One has announced Kashon Powell as new PD for WMMJ 102.3 FM Majic 102-3 as new PD.

Powell joins the Urban AC from Norfolk State University's WNSB-FM, where she currently serves as Prior to WNSB, Kashon was with Clear Channel's Urban WOWI 102.9 FM 103-Jamz and Urban AC WKSA 92.1 FM Kiss-FM Norfolk for more than 2 years.

Her lengthy resume also includes six years with CCM+E Philadelphia as APD/MD of WUSL (Power 99) and WDAS and a decade with KBXX (The Box)/Houston.

WMMJ 102.3 FM (2.9 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
She replaces Dionne Burkett-Lewis.

NC Radio: Beasley Taps Tap Money New PD For WZFX

Tap Money
Beasley Broadcast/Fayetteville, NC, has appointed Tap Money as Program Director of Urban WZFX 99.1 FM Foxy, effective January 12.

He comes to Beasley from WJMH 102.1 FM 102Jamz in Greensboro where he most recently served as Assistant PD, Music Director and afternoon host. Money began his journey in radio at WJMH in 1995 and worked his way up from the earliest position of street coordinator to APD.

VP/Market Manager Mac Edwards commented, "We're excited to have Tap join the team at the Big Stick FOXY 99. Tap's experience and success working with Brian Douglas & 102 JAMZ in Greensboro made him, by far, the best candidate. His leadership and team-building skills will be key ingredients in fueling the next phase of growth for our talented team at FOXY 99."

WZFX 99.1 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
Edwards added, "This also allows Mike Tech, FOXY's larger-than-life air personality known as 'The Crowd Motivator' to concentrate on his popular show and on super-serving FOXY 99 listeners and the community."

Ryan Seacrest: Why Snapchat Is My Favorite Social App

Producer, Television Host and Radio Host Ryan Seacrest discusses the future of media with Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

SiriusXM Pulls Plug On Oprah Channel

SiriusXM satellite radio axed the Oprah Channel on Jan. 1, ending an expensive eight-year media marriage in which satellite operators coughed up staggering sums of money simply to cash in on Oprah Winfrey’s name, according to the NY Daily News.

“Harpo Radio and SiriusXM have announced that the production of Oprah Radio content on SiriusXM ended effective Jan. 1,” SiriusXM said in a statement. “Since its launch, the channel has provided informative and uplifting daily programming for SiriusXM listeners who are striving to live their best lives.”

Winfrey’s original deal, signed in February 2006, stunned the radio world. It paid her a whoppping $55 million over three years to put her name on a channel for which she would personally provide only about an hour of programming a week.

The rest of the channel consisted original shows, by Oprah pals like Gayle King, that repeated many times to fill the 24-hour format.

Oprah’s value to XM was largely strategic. At the time of the deal, XM and Sirius were fierce competitors, and there was concern over whether both services could survive.

Kroft Affair Called 'A Private Matter'

CBS News said Thursday that Steve Kroft's newly exposed extramarital affair is a private matter.

The veteran "60 Minutes" correspondent admitted this week to having had a three-year extramarital affair with a New York City lawyer. His acknowledgment followed a National Enquirer report that detailed their meetings and correspondence in vivid detail.  See our original post: Click Here.

"I had an extramarital affair that was a serious lapse of personal judgment and extremely hurtful to my wife and family, and for that I have nothing but regret,” Kroft said in a statement. “My wife and I are committed to each other and are working hard to get past this, and consider it a private matter.”

Reached by email, "60 Minutes" spokesperson Kevin Tedesco told POLITICO, "It's a private matter." He did not comment further.

Baltimore Radio: Two Familiar Voices Have Returned

Gina Crash (Sun Photo)
Gina Crash, late of the region's much-loved WHFS-FM  has joined Greg Carpenter as co-host of the morning show on CBS Radio/Baltimore's WLIF 101.9 FM.

Crash had most recently been on the air at WMMR in Philadelphia.

"I'm psyched to be here in Baltimore," Crash said in a statement released by CBS Radio/Baltimore.

"I have a lot of friends and family here, so I feel like I'm back where I belong."

The WLIF morning show airs weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Maria Dennis
Over at sister FM station WWMX 106.5 FM Mix, veteran personality Maria Dennis is back on the air after spending much of the last half of 2014 undergoing treatment for leukemia, according to the statement.

"No words can describe how happy we are that Maria is back on the air on Mix 106.5," CBS Radio/Baltimore Vice President of Programming Dave Labrozzi said in a statement. "What a journey she has been on. She is now cancer free. What a way to welcome the New Year."

Dennis returns to her original 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekday slot at Mix 106.5.

Toronto Radio: Ghomeshi Plans To Plead 'Not Guilty'

Jian Ghomesdi
Three more women have stepped forward alleging former CBC radio personality Jian Ghomeshi assaulted them.

News of the new complainants broke during Ghomeshi’s court appearance in Toronto on Thursday morning, accord to CFPL 980 AM radio.

There are now a total of six women who have filed formal complaints against Ghomeshi and three additional charges of sexual assault have been laid against him.

Ghomeshi was already charged with five criminal counts, four counts of sexual assault and one of choking. After his first appearance in court, Ghomeshi’s lawyer said he intended to plead not guilty and confirmed Thursday he’ll do the same with these newest charges.

His next court date is set for February 4th, but it’s not expected he’ll appear in person.

The CBC fired Ghomeshi, who was the host of their popular radio program Q, in October. Officials said they decided to terminate him after seeing what they called “graphic evidence” that Ghomeshi had caused physical injury to a woman.

Ghomeshi has said that he participated in “rough sex” but insisted it was always consensual.

NBC Sports Radio Plans Super Bowl Coverage

NBC Sports Radio travels to Arizona during Super Bowl week to provide insight and analysis throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1, 2015. Super Bowl XLIX will be broadcast by NBC (TV) and Westwood One.

Programs hitting the road include:
  • ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio, hosted by  Mike Florio, creator of ProFootballTalk on and co-host of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN
  • Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs, hosted by TV and radio personality Newy Scruggs
  • Under Center with McNabb & Malone, which leverages the unique perspective of Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone, two former NFL quarterbacks
  • The Jon Stashower Show, hosted by sports talk radio veteran Jon Stashower
  • Going Deep with Amani & Dan, featuring  former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer and host Dan Schwartzman
The programs will air on-site at “Radio Row” from the Super Bowl XLIX Media Center in Phoenix, and feature interviews with industry insiders, and current and former players and coaches. On Friday, January 30, Under Center with McNabb & Malone will broadcast live alongside the Sunday Night Football bus at the NFL Experience, the league’s interactive theme park.

For more information on programming, visit  For a complete schedule of shows, bios, exclusive audio content, and a list of radio stations airing NBC Sports Radio, log on to

Official: MLB Cubs Will Return To WGN-TV

The Cubs have announced a new five-year deal with WGN-TV to carry 45 games, completing the team's television broadcast schedule.

In December, the Cubs and WLS-TV/ABC 7 Chicago announced a partnership for television rights through 2019. The other Cubs games will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

WGN-TV has been the Cubs' television home since 1948, but the team opted out of an agreement after the 2014 season ended. Doing so made 70 games available, which now will be split between WGN-TV (45 games) and WLS-TV/ABC 7 (25 games).

The length of the contracts with WLS-TV/ABC 7 and WGN-TV are key, because the Cubs would like to get their broadcast and cable rights in sync after the 2019 season. At that time, the team could launch its own regional sports network.

WLS-TV/ABC 7 is expected to air most of the Cubs' weekend games.

Television broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will handle the broadcasts on all three stations.

CA A-G Auditing Pacifica Foundation

The California attorney general is conducting an audit of Pacifica Foundation Radio — a network of nonprofit radio stations headquartered in Berkeley — to investigate the foundation’s finances, according to The Daily Californian.

The audit includes requests for documents that encompass many of the organization’s financial and governance records. Pacifica has until Feb. 17 to provide the attorney general with the documents, according to Margy Wilkinson, the network’s national board chair and interim executive director.

The audit comes after a year of controversy, in which Pacifica’s former executive director Summer Reese was fired and occupied the national headquarters for about two months and a coalition of national board members launched unsuccessful legal action against the termination. Although Reese’s supporters alleged that she was fired due to discrimination, some members of the board cited her mismanagement of the organization as reason for the dismissal.

The audit follows a complaint made in March by eight former board members to the California attorney general. The complaint outlines concerns about the organization’s recent hiring and firings, bookkeeping and accountability, including an allegation that Reese was fired at a board meeting without advance notice or all members being present.

However, the attorney general’s office did not disclose why it initiated the audit.

R.I.P.: Veteran ND, MN Radio/TV Personality Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn, whose broadcasting career on the airwaves in North Dakota and Minnesota spanned almost seven decades, died Monday.

He was 88-years-of-age, according to

Rohn got his start in 1946 on the radio at KSJB-AM in Jamestown following his service in World War II.

After a few years, he moved to Fargo when sister station KXJB-TV was launched, where he was a fixture for many years as a weatherman, among other roles.

He was known to viewers who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s as “Captain Jim,” his persona in a children’s show, a name that stuck among viewers of a certain age for years afterward.

Rohn’s career took him to KCMT-TV in Alexandria, Minn., in 1972, where he worked as a weatherman for 18 years. He returned to his radio roots in 1990, when he joined the morning team at KIKV-FM in Sauk Centre, MN, where he stayed until retiring in December 2014.

“He loved coming to work every day, but his age and his health caught up with him,” Dave Vagle, general manager at KIKV 100.7 FM said Wednesday.

Rohn’s decades on the airwaves, and the connections he made with viewers and listeners, made him a revered figure to many.

January 9 In Radio History

In 1922...KQV-AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began broadcasting. Jeff Roteman's Tribute website.

KQV was one of Pittsburgh's five original AM stations, signing on as amateur station "8ZAE" on November 19, 1919, predating KDKA which was granted the distinction of being, as KDKA claimed, the world's first commercially licensed station, on November 2, 1920. KQV did not receive a commercial license until January 9, 1922, despite having started transmitting three years earlier. KQV's call letters reportedly stand for "King of the Quaker Valley".

Only five radio stations east of the Mississippi River have call letters which start with K: along with KQV and KDKA, the others are KYW in Philadelphia (though the KYW callsign has in the past been used in Chicago and Cleveland), KTGG in Spring Arbor, MI, and KFIZ in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. KQV and KTGG are the only two of these such stations that have never had an associated TV station.

KQV was extremely successful as a top 40 station during the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, owned by ABC for nearly all of that period with Count John K. Chapel as the radio personality. Known variously as "Colorful KQV," "Audio 14," "Groovy QV," and "The Big 14" over the years, KQV premiered its top 40 format on January 13, 1958, and is remembered for its high-profile, high-energy personalities, such as Chuck Brinkman, Hal Murray, Dave Scott, Steve Rizen, Dex Allen, Jim Quinn, future game show announcer Rod Roddy, and their large-scale promotion of a Beatles concert at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena in 1964, and its former showcase studios at the Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Pittsburgh, where the disk jockeys could be watched through a large window.

"Jeff Christie"
Dominant with young listeners throughout the 1960s, the station was a major force in breaking new music and introducing Pittsburgh to new artists such as Sonny & Cher, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes, the Beach Boys, the Dave Clark Five and others. KQV slowly began to decline after 1970 with the advent of new competition from WJAS and the rise of FM radio (including its then-sister station WDVE, which began life as KQV-FM).

One of KQV's top-40 personalities in the 1970s, with the on-air name of "Jeff Christie," later became famous as a talk-show host under his real name, Rush Limbaugh.

In 1929...KDB-AM in Santa Barbara, California began broadcasting.

In October 1929, KDB’s license was cancelled for failure to comply with regulations from the Federal Radio Commission. At issue were broadcasts of “The Crusaders,” which promoted the repeal of Prohibition. Station management put up a vigorous fight and KDB returned to the air by the end of the year.

Over the next couple of decades, KDB was bought and sold a few more times. It was Santa Barbara’s first 24-hour station, broadcasting on both AM and FM. KDB-AM and KDB-FM were bought in 1971 by the Pacific Broadcasting Company.

In 1990, KDB-AM and KDB-FM were split apart due to an owners’ dispute.

Currently owned by Rincon Broadcasting, KDB-AM is now KSPE.

In 1956...At the KHJ Studios in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded "You Make Me Feel So Young."

In 1958...John Tukey coins term "software" in American Mathematical Monthly

Radio Bart and Krusty
In 1992...Sting guest appeared on the TV cartoon series "The Simpsons," as "Radio Bart."

In 2006...Howard Stern began his new program on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

In 2007...SIRIUS paid Howard Stern an $83 million dollars stock bonus for subscriber goals.

In 2007...WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC became WWFS.
The 102.7 FM frequency was first assigned in the mid-1940s as WNJR-FM from Newark, New Jersey. Initially intended to be a simulcasting sister to WNJR (1430 AM, now WNSW), the FM station never made it to the air despite being granted several extensions of its construction permit. WNJR finally gave up and turned in the FM license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1953.

In 1955 the FCC awarded a new permit for 102.7 FM to a group called Fidelity Radio Corporation, based in West Paterson, New Jersey.  The station was later granted the call sign WHFI, and a year later the community of license was moved back to Newark from West Paterson. Once again, the owners failed to put the station on the air.

In November 1957, the WHFI construction permit was purchased by the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation, which already owned WABD (later WNEW-TV) and earlier in the year bought WNEW radio.   In January 1958, WHFI was renamed WNEW-FM  and DuMont completed its build-out, moving the license to New York City. The station finally came on the air on August 25, 1958, partially simulcasting WNEW (AM) with a separate popular music format.   DuMont Broadcasting, meanwhile, would change its corporate name twice within the next three years before settling on Metromedia in 1961.

WNEW-FM's early programming also included an automated middle-of-the-road format, followed quickly by a ten-month-long period (July 4, 1966, to September 1967) playing pop music—with an all-female air staff.  The gimmick was unique and had not before been attempted anywhere in American radio. The lineup of disc jockeys during this stunt included Margaret Draper, Alison Steele (who stayed on to become the "Night Bird" on the AOR format), Rita Sands, Ann Clements, Arlene Kieta, Pam McKissick, and Nell Bassett. The music format, however, was a pale copy of WNEW-AM's adult standards format and only Steele, Sands, and Bassett had broadcast radio experience. The all-female disc jockey lineup endured for more than a year, changing in September 1967 to a mixed-gender staff.

On October 30, 1967, WNEW-FM adopted a progressive rock radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry. The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

In 2008...Former radio personality (KGIL, KMPC-Los Angeles)/television producer (Gene Autry: America's Cowboy)/actor Johnny Grant, the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, died at age 84.

In 2013...Announcer/emcee/Country Music Hall of Famer Frank Page, a broadcaster for 65 years, died of a respiratory infection at age 87.

On October 16, 1954, Wilkinson introduced radio listeners to Elvis Presley when the Memphis teenager first performed at Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium on KWKH's live music show, the "Louisiana Hayride," the state's version of the Grand Ole Opry.

During a year-long series of Presley appearances on the program, Wilkinson was the first to tell an audience, "Elvis has left the building."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pandora Claims It's Number One In 14 Top Markets

Tim Westergren, Mike Herring
  • "Traditional Radio Isn't Even Close"
Pandora, the number one music listening website and app, has now become the world's most popular radio station, according to USAToday.

Pandora, which offers personalized music stations based on your tastes, is now "no. 1 in 14 of the top 15 radio markets," Pandora Chief Financial Officer Mike Herring said at an edition of #TalkingTech live @CES2015.

With Pandora's 76 million listeners monthly, traditional radio, "isn't even close," he added.

Herring and Pandora founder Tim Westegren spoke with Jefferson Graham of USAToday on the CES the convention floor. Former film composer and jazz pianist Westegren founded Pandora over 10 years ago, as a way to create a better music experience for listeners, using computerized tools to find songs attuned to our tastes.

Now, Pandora has over 250 million registered users, and is at CES meeting with next generation companies to get Pandora on tomorrow's devices.

The next frontier for the company, the pair said in our chat, is autos and wearable gadgets.

Folks are tuning in to Pandora, which ended the year as the 6th most downloaded free iPhone app of 2014, after Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. The Pandora audience listened to over 1.65 billion hours of music on Pandora in September, and averaged 20 hours per month.

Nielsen Reports 164 Billion Songs Were Streamed In 2014

Nielsen has released the 2014 U.S. Music year-end report for the 12-month period of December 30, 2013 through December 28, 2014.

“The continued expansion of digital music consumption is encouraging, as is the continued record setting growth that we are seeing in vinyl LP sales.”

Streaming continued to show significant growth in 2014, with over 164 billion songs streamed on-demand through audio and video platforms. Physical album sales declined, with weakness in CDs despite record-setting strength in Vinyl LPs. Digital Albums and Digital Tracks also showed declines versus 2013, although digital consumption overall (sales and streams) showed growth. Total consumption for the year, based on Albums plus Track Equivalent Albums and Streaming Equivalent Albums, was down slightly versus 2013.

David Bakula
"Music fans continue to consume music through on-demand streaming services at record levels, helping to offset some of the weakness that we see in sales,” says David Bakula, SVP Industry Insights, Nielsen. “The continued expansion of digital music consumption is encouraging, as is the continued record setting growth that we are seeing in vinyl LP sales.”

Nielsen provides music research and monitoring services for the entertainment industry. Nielsen’s airplay, sales and streaming data represents music consumers of all ethnicities and languages, and is featured weekly in Billboard’s charts, including the iconic Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, and is widely cited as the standard for music measurement.

Nielsen Music 2014 Highlights:
  • On-Demand Streaming grew 54.5% over 2013, with Audio On-Demand (+60.5%) and Video On-Demand Streaming (+49.3%) both experiencing significant increases.
  • The soundtrack to the movie Frozen ranked #1 for overall consumption this year (Album Sales + Track Equivalent Albums + Streaming Equivalent Albums) with over 4.47 million album equivalent units. Taylor Swift/1989 ranked second with 4.40 million units.
  • Taylor Swift had the best-selling album of the year with 3.66 million sales for her album 1989. The album also had the best debut week of the year and the biggest opening week for an album since 2002 with nearly 1.3 million albums sold in the first week. 1989 also had the second biggest digital album sales week in history. In its debut week, 1989 comprised a full 22% of all album sales for the week.
  • 2014 had two albums that sold over 3.5 million units during the calendar year (Taylor Swift’s 1989 and the Frozen Soundtrack) – this is the first time since 2005 that two albums have sold over 3.5 million albums in a calendar year.
  • Vinyl LPs had another record-breaking year, with 9.2 million sales, surpassing last year’s record of 6.1 million units. This is the ninth consecutive year of growth for Vinyl sales. Vinyl now comprises over 6% of physical album sales.
Genres performed differently across the different types of consumption, showing how different music fans prefer to access their favorite music.
  • Rock is the dominant genre for album sales (over 33% of albums) and of total consumption (29%). However, on a track sales basis, Pop (21.1%) is nearly as big as Rock (21.3%). R&B/Hip-Hop is the dominant genre for Streaming (28.5%) followed by Rock (24.7%) and Pop (21.1%).
  • Country consumers still prefer Albums (11.8%) and Track Downloads (12.0%) over Streams (6.4%).
  • Pop music consumers are buying individual hit songs much more than albums. While 21% of digital track sales are in the Pop genre, only 10.8% of album sales are Pop.
  • Some genres, particularly R&B/Hip-Hop, EDM and Latin perform particularly well in Streaming. While R&B/Hip-Hop only comprises 13.9% of Album sales, it makes up 28.5% of Streaming.
  • Electronic/Dance (EDM) only makes up 2% of album sales, but makes up nearly 7% of Streaming, making the genre a bigger share of Streaming than Country.
  • Latin music also performs particularly well at Streaming, with 5% of Streaming coming from Latin music, while just 2.4% of album sales are Latin.

Americans still love music, and are listening all the time
  • 93% of the U.S. population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week listening to their favorite songs.
  • When surveyed about their activities in the past year, 75% of respondents said they actively chose to listen to music, even ahead of watching television at 73%.
  • Nearly 25% of all music listening happens in the car; listening at work or while doing chores at home each account for around 15% of our weekly time spent with music.
  • Listening to music on smartphones now exceeds listening to music on iPods, with 41% of listeners accessing music on their smartphones in a typical week, an increase of over 20% versus last year.
  • Smartphone penetration grew from 69% at the start of 2014 to 76% of U.S. mobile subscribers by October 2014.

Radio Remains Top Source for Music Discovery, With Pop and Country Leading the Way
  • Radio remains the top method of music discovery, and its local nature makes it an integral part of the daily lives of hundreds of millions of consumers in markets large and small. 51% of consumers use radio to discover new music.
  • 59% of music listeners use a combination of over-the-air AM/FM radio and online radio streams to hear music
  • 243 million U.S. consumers (aged 12 and over) tune in each week to radio. That’s 91.3% of the national population tuning in across more than 250 local markets.
  • Across the 48 Nielsen portable people meter (PPM) markets, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and Country were the leading music formats amongst all listeners in 2014, followed by Adult Contemporary (AC), Hot AC and Classic Hits.
  • Country radio grew significantly with 18-to-34-year-old audiences through the first half of the year, peaking in June with its all-time best audience share, before ending the year on a downtrend. For the year, Country ranked second across the Nielsen PPM markets.
  • Hot AC increased its share of audience, moving from fifth to third this year among audiences aged 18 to 34. 2014 marked the best year ever for the format.
Click here to see the breakdown of the national listening landscape for the top 10 most popular radio formats of 2014 for the 18-34 audience in Nielsen’s PPM markets.

Emmis Reports 3Q Radio Revenue Surges 29 Percent

Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its third fiscal quarter ending November 30, 2014.

Emmis' radio net revenues for the third fiscal quarter were up 29%, from $34.8 million to $44.9 million. This includes reported revenue from New York's WBLS 107.5 FM and WLIB 1190 AM, which Emmis began operating pursuant to a Local Marketing Agreement on March 1, 2014. On a pro forma basis, assuming results for WBLS and WLIB were included in the same quarter of the prior year and consistent with Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, Emmis' radio net revenues would have been up 6%.  This compares favorably to Emmis' local radio market revenues, which were down 1.6% during the fiscal quarter on the same basis.

Consistent with Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, Emmis' pro forma radio net revenues are pacing up mid-single digits for its fourth fiscal quarter.

For the third fiscal quarter, operating income was $13.1 million, compared to $8.7 million for the same quarter of the prior year.  Emmis' station operating income for the third fiscal quarter was $18.1 million, compared to $14.1 million for the same quarter of the prior year.

Jeff Smulyan
"It is a credit to our employees that Emmis' stations again dramatically outperformed our markets, marking the 12th consecutive month of share gains. Power 106 in LA was up 18% in a flat market, and our New York cluster was up for the quarter and is now significantly outperforming the NY market," Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis said.  "With an improving labor market and lower energy prices helping to put more money into the consumer's hands, we are excited about the economic backdrop as we head into 2015."

"NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, launched a new version in October with LiveGuide" that has been extremely well received by consumers," Smulyan added. "NextRadio is pre-loaded in 33 smartphone models, with more coming in 2015, and we've had more than 1.4 million activations. All major radio companies support the effort, and our integrated auto platform, with our strategic partner, iBiquity, is being unveiled at CES in Las Vegas this week. I couldn't be more pleased with the effort and the momentum we have coming into the new year."

Philly Radio: WMMR's Steve Morrison Discloses Cancer Operation

Steve Morrison
On Wednesday's Preston and Steve show, longtime WMMR 93.3 FM morning host Steve Morrison revealed that he had undergone surgery for prostate cancer. Morrison, who missed only three days of work after robotically having his prostate removed, is now cancer-free.

"Four or five hours after the surgery, I was walking around," Morrison told Molly Eichel at "The next day I was doing 2 or 3 miles on the treadmill."

Morrison said he decided to go public with his diagnosis because he wanted to raise awareness for the simple tests that could catch prostate cancer in its early stages.

Men, who make up a large portion of Preston and Steve's audience, often find it difficult to go to the doctor to get checked out, he said.

"We tend to just want soldier on and take it," Morrison said. "Also, guys want to be in control and you have to surrender your ego a bit. You put on a gown and you feel out of your element. The truth of the matter is, when it's framed in a way that's not you succumbing, or rolling over, it's you doing what you have to do to take care of your family, your wife, your children."

Morrison credits early detection for his relatively easy bounce back. He was diagnosed in October even though he displayed no symptoms.

Morrison kept his diagnosis on the down-low for a reason.

"I didn't want to this to be a Lifetime movie, I wanted to make it more inviting," he said. "It can make a difference. Guys, go get your series of tests. A lot of this is survivable."

FCC's Tom Wheeler Confirms Net Neutrality Vote Timetable

Tom Wheeler
After months of tense debate the Federal Communications Commission will vote on net neutrality -- a set of proposed rules intended to ensure equal Internet access speeds for all websites -- on Feb. 26, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Wednesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to USNews.

"We're going to circulate it to the commissioners on February 5th and vote on it February 26th," Wheeler said during an on-stage conversation with Gary Shapiro, chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association.

Wheeler also hinted during the convention that the final version of the proposed rules will enforce net neutrality by using some of the regulatory power the FCC claims over phone companies through Title II of the Communications Act. But he declined to go into detail.

"You'll notice that I have not addressed any of the specifics," Wheeler said. "You have to wait until February to see the specifics."

The debate over net neutrality sparked months of scrutiny from both consumer protection advocates and telecom lobbying groups, who were each concerned for different reasons that the new programs would damage innovation online. Consumer advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and Democrats including Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont have argued that enabling providers to charge for faster Internet speeds would disadvantage websites that could not afford the fees.