Saturday, February 7, 2015

February 8 In Radio History

In 1922...President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.

In 1924...the first coast-to-coast radio hookup took place for a speech by General John Joseph Carty from Chicago.

In 1929...KOY-AM, Phoenix, Arizona, began broadcasting. KOY was the first radio station in the state of Arizona, signing on in 1921 as Amateur Radio station 6BBH on 360 meters (833 kHz). Earl Neilsen was the holder of the 6BBH callsign (there were no country prefixes for hams prior to 1928). At that time, broadcasting by ham radio operators was legal.

In 1922, the station received its broadcast license, under the Neilsen Radio & Sporting Goods Company business name, with the callsign KFCB. While the KFCB call letters were sequentially assigned, the station adopted the slogan "Kind Friends Come Back" to match the callsign.

A Phoenix teenager and radio enthusiast named Barry Goldwater was one of the new station's first employees.

When the AM broadcast band was opened in 1923 by the Department of Commerce, KFCB moved around the dial, as did many stations at the time. It was on 1260, 1230, 1310, and 1390 before moving to its long-time home of 550 kHz in 1941. KFCB became KOY on February 8, 1929.  Today the station is owned by iHeaertMedia and is airing a talk format.

In 1960...The U.S. House of Representatives Special Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight opened hearings on disc jockey "payola" amid allegations of money and gifts illegally being given to secure airplay or TV appearances.

The Subcommittee called many famous radio DJs and rock artists -- most notably Alan Freed, Dick Clark, Bobby Darin, and Les Paul -- to defend themselves against allegations of illegal money and gifts given to secure airplay or television appearances.

In 1978...U.S. Senate deliberations on the Panama Canal Treaties were aired on radio - making it the first time such deliberations had been broadcast over that medium.

In 1996...the "Telecommunications Act of 1996" deregulated Radio ownership.

In 2000...WGN-Chicago morning radio personality and private pilot Bob Collins was killed in a mid-air collision at age 57. His airplane and that of a student pilot collided upon approach to the runway at the airport in Waukegan, Illinois. The student pilot, Sharon Hock, was directly below him and they were unaware of each others' presence until the collision. Collins attempted to steer his plane to a safe landing, but it crashed and burned atop a nearby hospital, killing him and a passenger. Hock crashed three blocks away and also died.

Orlando Radio: Divorce Papers 'Surprise' Was A Bit

Russ Rollins
  • 'Monster' Host Facing Domestic Violence Accusations
WFTV9 in Orlando is reporting morning personality Russ Rollins is now facing domestic violence accusations in a messy divorce which he discussed on-air at WTKS 104.1 FM Real Radio.

See Original Posting: Click Here

The attorney for the wife of Monsters in the Morning host Russ Rollins is demanding transcripts of the “Monsters in the Morning” shows.

The radio station posted video of Rollins supposedly being surprised by divorce papers from wife #4 on January 30, 2015 that outline domestic abuse claims.

“Wow so she had me served on the air. That’s very nice,” Rollins said in the video.

The radio show host acts surprised to see the divorce papers live in his studio, but an affidavit from the process server seems to debunk that story, according to WFTV.

The man said Rollins knew what he was doing and invited him to the studio.

The affidavit from the process server says Rollins picked the time and place to be served with his divorce papers and only acted surprised.

The legal papers claim Rollins battered his estranged wife by choking and striking her.

It lists seven specific dates it allegedly happened.

Brian Williams Taking 'Next Several Days Off'

Brian Williams
UPDATE 7PM 2/7/2015:  Brian Williams stated Saturday he was taking himself off the NBC Nightly News "for the next several days". He issued the following statement:
In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions. 
As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.

Earlier Posting.... 

Richard Esposito has been assigned to investigate the embattled “NBC Nightly News” anchor for lying about dodging danger while reporting in Iraq, sources told the NYDaily News.

Also, Ben Sherwood, the president of Disney-ABC Television Group, reportedly has put together a “secret task force” to comb through years of footage to see if Williams has told any other tall tales, the sources said. ABC officials strongly denied the task force’s existence.

The scandal has left the reporters and producers who work with Williams “shocked, furious and sad.” And they fear that the reputation of an anchor many considered “the most trusted name in news” has been wrecked, the sources said.

“This could be a career-killer for him,” said Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers magazine, which covers the news media and talk radio. “Here’s another highly exalted public figure being brought down and exposed as human.”

Williams has no one defending him. There's so much internal anger at NBC over what he has done and how it all went done.” Williams made no mention of the swirling controversy in his Friday newscast and sources said he continues to man the chair because NBC has not groomed anyone to succeed him.

Lester Holt is considered “more of a cable guy,” they said. And the other option would be replacing him on an interim basis with “Today” show hosts Matt Lauer or Savannah Guthrie.

Deborah Turness

In a statement released Friday after The News broke the story about the investigation, NBC News honcho Deborah Turness said Williams has apologized again to staffers and “specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization.”

The following memo was sent from NBC News President Deborah Turness to NBC news staff on Friday:

This has been a difficult few days for all of us at NBC News. 
Yesterday, Brian and I spoke to the Nightly News team. And this morning at the Editorial Exchange, we both addressed the wider group. Brian apologized once again, and specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization. 
As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We're working on what the best next steps are — and when we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you. 
Since joining NBC News, I've seen great strength and resilience. We are a close-knit family, and your response this week has made that even clearer. 
As a relentless news agenda marches on, thank you again for continuing to do what we do best — bring the most important stories of the day to our audience. 
While Turness appears to be standing behind the $10 million-a-year star, media watchers said it could be anchor away if the fibbing fallout continues to tarnish the company brand.

Read More Now

Chopper Whopper: How The Story Broke

Few are buying the anchorman Brian Williams  chopper whopper explanation and he has become a butt of jokes on social media.

Williams' story unraveled when Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper, asked the chopper crew members about that day — and they refuted his version of events.

The anchorman arrived on a different helicopter about an hour after a Chinook with the 159th Aviation Regiment was shot down by enemy fire, the paper reported.

Williams' celebrated coverage of Hurricane Katrina is also being questioned — in particular, his account of seeing a body float by his window of his French Quarter hotel, his claim that gangs invaded the hotel, and his claim that he got dysentery from ingesting floodwater.

There wasn’t widespread flooding in the quarter, although there was — at times — some water around the Ritz-Carlton, the New Orleans Advocate reported Friday.

Also, a medic who was in charge of the area after the storm told the news outlet he couldn't recall a single case of dysentery.

Asked about marauding gangs, Ritz-Carlton marketing manager Darren Crumpton told The NY Daily News, “I have no comment on that” but added that their guests “were protected and secure.”

Rosie Walks From 'The View'

Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell is saying goodbye to " The View" for a second time, according to CNN.

O'Donnell, 52, was co-hosting the ABC daytime chat show after departing back in 2007. Next week will be her last after nearly five months on the job.

She's leaving the show to focus on her family after she split from her wife, Michelle Rounds, in November, her publicist said in a statement Friday.

"Rosie has teens and an infant at home that need her attention," the statement said. "This has been a very stressful situation. She is putting her personal health and family first."

Before her marriage to Rounds three years ago, she was married to Kelli Carpenter.

ABC said it supports her decision.

There was no word on who will replace her.

Read More Now

February 7 Radio History

In 1915...First train-to-station radio message, Binghamton, NY

In 1963...B. Mitchel Reed starts at WMCA

March 15, 1963
In 1963…The Vee-Jay label released the first Beatles single in the U.S., "Please Please Me" b/w "Ask Me Why." The first pressings became valuable collectors' items because their name on the label was misspelled "Beattles." Dick Biondi, a disc jockey at WLS in Chicago at the time and a friend of Vee-Jay executive Ewart Abner, played the song on the radio perhaps as early as February 8, 1963, thereby becoming the first disc jockey in the United States to play a Beatles record on the radio. "Please Please Me" peaked at #35 after four weeks on the WLS music survey, but did not show up on any of the major national American record charts. The label re-issued the single in January 1964 to a much better result: it peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, trailing only the group's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You."

In 1964...Just after 1:00 p.m. EST, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 landed at New York City's JFK Airport. An estimated 5,000 screaming fans were waiting to greet the Beatles as they arrived for their first U.S. tour and an appearance on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In the United Kingdom, the Beatles had experienced popularity since the start of 1963. But in the US, Capitol Records, owned by the band's record company EMI, had for most of the year declined to issue any of the singles.

The phenomenon of Beatlemania in the UK was regarded with amusement by the US press, once it made any comment. When newspaper and magazine articles did begin to appear towards the end of 1963, they cited the English stereotype of eccentricity, reporting that the UK had developed an interest in something that had come and gone a long time ago in the US: rock and roll.

In late 1963, Capitol Records agreed to release the single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" with a large accompanying promotional campaign, due to Ed Sullivan's agreement to headline the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles American television debut was on 18 November 1963 on The Huntley-Brinkley Report, with a four-minute long piece by Edwin Newman.

On 22 November 1963, the CBS Morning News ran a five-minute feature on Beatlemania in the UK. The evening's scheduled repeat was cancelled following the assassination of John F. Kennedy the same day. On December 10, Walter Cronkite decided to televise the piece again on the CBS Evening News,[10] and the resulting interest led to the rush-release of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and—only weeks before The Beatles' arrival—a US commercial breakthrough.

Eleven weeks before the Beatles' arrival in the U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The nation was in mourning, in fear, and in disbelief. The assassination came after a fifteen-year build-up of Cold War tension. The motivation and identity of the assassin, would be doubted by many Americans for decades even after the Warren Commission issued its report in September 1964. As the U.S. tried to restore a sense of normality, teenagers in particular struggled to cope, as their disbelief began to be replaced by a personal reaction to what had happened: in school essays, teenagers wrote that "then it became real", and "I was feeling the whole world is going to collapse on me", and "I never felt so empty in all my life".

When the Beatles first hit American shores in 1964, radio personalities scrambled to befriend them and scoop other stations.   Media writer Peter Kanze recapped the radio battle for The Beatles in 1989 and it was reprinted recently at

According to Kanze, Rick Sklar was WABC’s Program Director from 1962 through 1976, and he remembered that “WABC never deviated from its standard policy with and artist, including the Beatles.   In order to get played on the station, the artist had to be established first.  Once they made it, fine, but we weren't going be the station to take a chance.  “WABeatlesC” went on the first American Beatles releases, but only because of their track record in England.  I don’t think that it was very significant that WMCA played “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” before we did.  As far as we were concerned, the Beatles weren't known yet.  Once the Beatles were known, though, we always tried to have the exclusive. “

(Courtesy of the WABC Tribute Website  Find out more, visit the Beatles Page: Click Here.)

The “exclusive” or “scoop” (a record that has been obtained first by one radio station in a given area and no other) was all-important in those days, and still is to some extent with superstar performers.  In the case of the Beatles, it was meant to convey the impression that one radio station had a closer relationship to the group than the other.  Hence, newer music, better gossip, etc.

As recounted at, WABC had a huge advantage when The Beatles visited New York City. As the flagship station for the ABC radio network, it had access to lots of high tech equipment. This included wireless RF microphones. During The Beatles first 1964 visit to New York, when they stayed at The Plaza, it was impossible for virtually any of the media to get access to them.

So, during their second 1964 visit when they stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, WABC mounted an all out offensive. The suite above The Beatles was rented by WABC and was used to set up a remote studio. Using those wireless microphones, WABC disc jockeys Scott Muni and Bruce Morrow wandered around the hotel ready to broadcast anything that might have to do with The Beatles. It gave the station a huge edge. And, it didn’t hurt that as many security and hotel staff people as possible were presented with "gifts" from WABC. Needless to say, there were very few places where the WABC people could not roam.

By now most of the 10,000 teenagers who packed the streets outside of the hotel were listening to WABC on their transistor radios. When WABC disc jockeys Scott Muni and Bruce Morrow asked them to sing WABC jingles as they were playing on WABC, the entire crowd was able to do so in unison.


The power of all of this was best illustrated when Ringo Starr lost his gold Saint Christopher’s medal which was attached to a chain around his neck. Apparently as he was entering the hotel, an over zealous fan inadvertently snatched it.   Bruce Morrow and Scott Muni learned this while interviewing him over the air at the hotel. WABC listeners also heard this and so did the girl who had the medal, Angie McGowan. She had her mother call Cousin Brucie that night. But, program director Rick Sklar, ever the master promoter, could see the advantages of stretching out this drama a while longer. Even though WABC recovered the medal within a few hours, Rick arranged for the girl to stay overnight, safely secluded with her mother in a hotel room while the station continued to broadcast appeals for the medal's safe recovery. As you would expect, this became a media sensation and WABC held all the cards. By the time the following evening rolled around, everyone was listening to WABC to see if the medal would ever be recovered. Twenty-four hours after its initial loss and subsequent recovery, WABC reunited the medal with Ringo over the air. It was a publicity bonanza for the station.

In 1976...the Federal Communications Commission raided and closed down pirate radio station WCPR, operating out of Brooklyn, New York.

In 2000...Robin Scott died at the age of 79. Scott was responsible for launching England's BBC Radio 1 in 1967.

In 2014... Scott Shannon last show at WPLJ.

On February 25, 2014, WCBS 101.1 FM announced that Scott Shannon will be hosting a brand new Morning Show entitled Scott Shannon in the Morning which started on March 3

Friday, February 6, 2015

US Copyright Office Proposes Huge Music Licensing Shake-Up

In a 245-page report issued on Thursday, the U.S. Copyright Office is throwing its weight behind what would be the most radical changes to how music is licensed in nearly a half century.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, many of the current copyright laws governing music were first erected at the time that player pianos became popular and have developed through the advent of radio, new recording devices and, most recently, digital networks. Maria Pallante, director of the Copyright Office, believes the law is behind the times.

"The structures that evolved in the previous century to facilitate the lawful exploitation of musical works and sound recordings, while perhaps adequate for the era of discs and tapes, are under significant stress," states the report. "From a copyright perspective, we are trying to deliver bits and bytes through a Victrola."

Some of the proposals figure to spark controversy, debate and furious lobbying should the U.S. Congress tackle a broad overhaul of music licensing.

For example, the Copyright Office wants to extend the public performance right in sound recordings to terrestrial radio broadcasts — a big shift from the time when publicity was seen at payment enough to copyright owners. Also proposed is fully federalizing pre-1972 recordings, a change that would come on the heels of lawsuits against SiriusXM, Pandora and others who have been exploiting older sound recordings without compensation to their owners.

Many of the changes would be boon to those who hold or manage public performance rights.

The Copyright Office endorses reconsidering 75-year-old antitrust decrees for ASCAP and BMI and also wishes to give music rights owners such as publishers the ability to withdraw streaming rights from services. What's more, the proposal would essentially turn performance rights organizations into "music rights organizations" with the ability to bundle reproduction, distribution and performance rights together.

Other changes including allowing SoundExchange to administer record producer payments; having those in the music industry work on creating an authoritative public database of music data; and taking care of songwriters and recording artists who want more transparency in the deal-making between labels and publishers on one side and services like Spotify on the other.

Read the full report: Click Here

Triton Digital Mobile Listening Up 50 Percent Y2Y

Rob Favre
Triton Digital unveiled its monthly Ranker for November 2014, providing insights into listening trends measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform.

The November 2014 Ranker shows an overall increase in streaming audio listening of around 25 percent compared to November 2013, despite a disruption during the week of Thanksgiving, which saw an 11 percent decline in Average Active Sessions. Also notable was the growth in mobile listening, up 50.7 percent compared to November 2013.

“While it was interesting to see the dramatic disruption in listening during Thanksgiving, the general trend for streaming audio continues to be a positive one,” said Rob Favre, CCO/GM Measurement & Analytics at Triton Digital. “Mobile listening truly shined in our November 2014 numbers, with strong growth year over year, and very little disruption over the holidays.”

Click To Enlarge

Thanksgiving week saw a general decrease in listening:
  • Overall Average Active Sessision declined 11.3 percent during the week of Thanksgiving (M-F 6A-8P) when compared to the three weeks prior. Total AAS was down 30 percent on the Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving week when compared to the other Thursdays and Fridays during the month.
  • Mobile listening was near to flat (-0.9 percent) while desktop dropped by 24.3 percent. PurePlay listening was down just 8.3 percent, while broadcast streams declined by 29.5 percent.
  • 69.2 percent of all listening took place on a mobile device (M-F 6A-8P) in November 2014. Compared to November 2013, mobile listening was up 50.7 percent.
Looking at listening on mobile vs. desktop in November 2014, Houston had the largest percentage of mobile listening (79 percent), followed by Los Angeles and Dallas-Ft. Worth, each at 76 percent. Boston and Washington DC were the least mobile listeners at 64 percent each.

Full results of the November 2014 Ranker:  Click Here.

Pandora Stock Plunges On Revenue Miss

Pandora Thursday announced its fourth-quarter earnings, and the stock is down more than 23% after hours on revenues that missed Wall Street estimates.

The company reported Q4 revenue of $268 million, lower than the company's expectations of $273 to $278 million. Analysts were expecting about $276 million.

Pandora's Q1 2015 revenue guidance also disappointed analysts and investors. Pegged at $244 million, it came in at between $220 million and $225 million.

People listened to 20.03 billion hours of music on Pandora in 2014, which is up 20% from the year before. There were 81.5 million total active listeners, which is up 7% year over year (for reference, Spotify reports over 60 million active listeners).

Brian McAndrews
Generally, the number of hours of music listened to is more imporant than the number of active users, because it is the time that dictates how much advertising Pandora can sell, according to Business Insider.

Advertising revenue was $220.1 million, a 36% year-over-year increase. Subscription and other revenue was $47.9 million, a 24% year-over-year increase.

Brian McAndrews Chairman, President and CEO of Pandora, said:
"We end 2014 in a very good position, with stronger relationships across the music community, record monetization metrics and highly engaged users. We’re looking forward to an exciting and productive 2015. We have spent the past two years building our monetization capabilities and infrastructure to a point where we are driving healthy gross margins and are cash flow positive. 2015 will be a year in which we optimize Pandora’s potential for long-term growth. We enter the year with energy and focus on what comes next –further migrating radio budgets from terrestrial to digital, defining the future of mobile marketing and advancing Pandora’s leading role in the future of the music industry."

News Corp Reports Strong Digital Performance

News Corp unveiled its second-quarter fiscal 2015 earnings on Thursday after the stock markets closed, reporting earnings per share (EPS) of $0.24 per share on $2.3 billion in revenue.

The performance essentially nailed Wall Street’s projections, according to estimates by both Bloomberg and Zacks.

EPS was down versus the same three-month period last year, when News Corp reported $0.31. Revenue was up slightly compared to the $2.2 billion from 2014.

News Corp cited its strong digital real estate revenues, which was up $51 million, or 50 percent, compared to the same time last year primarily thanks to the acquisition of online realtor “Move” in the final quarter of 2014.

Book publishing was also a bright spot, up $78 million, or 20 percent, compared to the same time last year by way of the success of  “Harlequin” and strong performances in children’s and general books.

Rupert Murdoch, Robert Thompson
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Robert Thomson said:

“The development of the new News Corp continued apace in the second quarter as we began the transformation of the just acquired, which has certainly exceeded our expectations in traffic growth in recent weeks. We were clearly buffeted by currency headwinds, but the strength of our brands, the breadth of our reach, the intensifying focus on cost discipline and the power of our portfolio meant that we saw continued growth in revenue and increasing upside in our long-term prospects. Our digital personality has evolved quickly, with® having given us a new and influential platform, digital subscribers on the rise at our news mastheads, robust growth at REA, and healthy e-book sales at HarperCollins. The vision we outlined for the company is becoming a reality, and while we have much work ahead, the foundations we have laid over the past 18 months put us in a strong position for enduring success and increased shareholder value.”

Twitter Reports 97 Percent Revenue Increase

Twitter posted fourth-quarter 2014 revenue of $479 million — up 97% year over year — and beat analysts’ earnings estimates for the period.

The No. 2 social service (behind Facebook) had 288 million average monthly active users in Q4, up 20% from the year-earlier period and a net increase of 4 million from the previous quarter.

According to Variety, Twitter reported a net loss of $125.3 million for the quarter, which included $177 million of stock-based compensation expense. Its adjusted non-GAAP net income excluding that was $79.3 million, or 12¢ per share. Wall Street analysts had projected adjusted EPS of 6¢ and $453 million in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Dick Costolo
“We closed out the year with our business advancing at a great pace,” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in announcing the results. “In addition, the trend thus far in Q1 leads us to believe that the absolute number of net users added in Q1 will be similar to what we saw during the first three quarters of 2014.”

Last month, the company noted in its earnings release, Twitter launched a new video feature that lets users capture, edit and share videos up to 30 seconds from within the Twitter mobile app. In addition, the company debuted a recap feature with a “while you were away” heading that displays top tweets, as well as a group-based direct messaging feature for private conversations involving up to 20 people.

Report: Les Moonves Would Like To Buy CBS

Les Moonves
CBS CEO Les Moonves, fearful a merger with Viacom will be forced upon his company after majority owner Sumner Redstone dies, is discussing ways to buy out the broadcaster’s controlling shareholder, National Amusements Inc., sources told The NYPost.

the 65-year-old Moonves believes a merger with Viacom will leave him in an inferior position and could shortchange CBS minority shareholders, sources said.

As a result, Moonves has been having discussions with Wall Street heavy hitters about backing such a buyout, sources said.

“[Moonves] has been talking to a few banks and private equity firms about buying CBS,” said a well-placed source.

It is unclear how far such discussions have progressed. The buyout plan is one of a number of options Moonves has, sources close to the conversations stressed.

One obstacle Moonves faces is that any NAI buyout would need the approval of the majority of the members on a trust that will take control of NAI down the road after Redstone dies.

Read More Now

NYC Radio: WPAT-FM Signs Luis Jimenez For Mornings

Luis Jimenez (Times photo)
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) Thursday announced the return of Latino personality Luis Jimenez to weekday mornings on WPAT 93.1 FM /AmorFM.

The new morning-drive show, “Sin Censura con Luis Jimenez” (“Luis Jimenez – Uncensored”) will air weekdays from 6am to 10am and will include a supporting cast of co-hosts, pranksters and outlandish characters.

Jimenez has long been a mainstay of popular, cutting-edge Latino humor, having previously ranked #1 in the overall New York radio ratings as host of “El Vacilón de la Mañana” (“the Morning Jive”) on sister station WSKQ 97.9 FM /MegaFM during the past two decades.

WPAT 93.1 FM (4 Kw) 60dBu Coverage Area
“I’m excited to be back home at SBS,” crooned Jimenez, “and I’m looking to shake things up again on WPAT mornings – including giving my old gang at WSKQ a run for their money.”

“Luis is a uniquely gifted entertainer and we’re thrilled at the opportunity of presenting him to his legion of fans in New York City on WPAT 93.1FM, on selected stations throughout the country over Aire Radio Networks and globally via the LaMusica Smartphone App,” stated SBS Chairman and CEO, Raúl Alarcón.

Jimenez abruptly disappeared last July from WXNY 96.3 FM, where he had hosted mornings since 2008.  There has been speculation about graphic content, which has always been part of Jimenez’s show, and about whether parent Univision wants to cut costs in anticipation of a sale it has been pursuing.

Billboard Unveils Power 100 List For 2015

Lucien Grainge
Billboard has revealed its Power 100 List for 2015 and Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grainge is ranked as the most powerful person in the music industry.  Placed second last year, Grainge moves to the top following a stellar 2014 for UMG.

"The industry broke five new artists in 2014, and we broke four of them," Grainge told Billboard. UMG artists Iggy Azalea, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande and Sam Smith, each sold more than 1 million albums and track equivalents in the U.S. in 2014, according to Nielsen Music. UMG also distributed seven of the top 10 albums, including the year's best seller, Taylor Swift's 1989, and led the industry in market share with 38.7 percent -- 10 points higher than its nearest competitor, Sony Music.

Eighth was iHeartmedia chairman Bob Pittman, who has expanded the company into outdoor music festivals but its strength still relies on its radio network of 858 stations.

Billboard's Power 100 List: The Top Ten

1. Lucian Grainge
2. Michael Rapino
3. Irving Azoff
4. Martin Bandier
5. Jimmy Iovine
6. Coran Capshaw
7. Doug Morris
8. Bob Pittman
9. Rob Light
10. Eddy Cue & Robert Kondrk

Billboard Power 100: Click Here

Tucson Radio: D-Wayne Chavez New PD For KRQQ, KOHT

iHeartMedia/Tucson has announced  D-Wayne Chavez has been named Program Director of KRQQ 93.7 FM and KOHT 98.3 FM /Hot98.3.

The change is effective immediately.

As Program Director Chavez will oversee all programming operations for Top40 93.7 KRQ and Hip-Hop Hot98.3. He is a Tucson native and started his radio career at iHeartMedia Tucson in 1998 as a mixer and weekend on-air talent.

"I'm looking forward to working with the great team at 93.7 KRQ, on a heritage station with so much history," said D-Wayne. "I am excited for the continued success and future of both stations."

KRQQ 93.7 FM (93 Kw) 60dBu Coverage Area
In addition, iHeartMedia Tucson announced that Rameen Madani has been named Assistant Program Director for KRQQ and KOHT in addition to his duties as Digital Content Coordinator, effective immediately.

"D-Wayne’s successful programming experience, knowledge of the Tucson market, respect of his peers and commitment to win make him the perfect choice. We are thrilled to expand his position to lead both our legendary KRQQ and KOHT programming efforts and continue to grow our strong brands and outstanding talent," said Debbie Wagner, Market Manager, iHeartMedia Tucson.

NYC Radio: Mobli, iHM Partner On Live Video

Angie Martinez
Mobli, a social video and photo platform, and iHeartMedia/New York have inked a new partnership that brings WWPR 105.1 FM /Power105.1 air personality Angie Martinez's namesake radio show to listeners around the world by exclusively broadcasting her daily interviews and special behind-the-scenes content, on the mobli app.

Users can stream the daily live broadcasts by downloading the mobli app and subscribing to Angie's Channel, @AngieMartinez.

Mobli is a social video and photo platform that has become a key channel for many music artists allowing them to reach new audiences, engage more effectively with followers and provide access and materials to listeners, including live broadcasts. The focus on supporting creative talent was boosted by the recent launch of the mobli Beach House in Venice Beach, CA, where artists and bands regularly perform, record new music and even shoot music videos.

"Angie's unique relationship with both artists and listeners as well as her compelling interview style make her the reigning Queen of radio," said iHM Senior VP/Programming Major Markets Thea Mitchem. "Teaming up with mobli allows Angie and iHeartMedia New York to extend our reach to new platforms and further share our original content each day."

CableTV: MSNBC Hits All-Time Ratings Low

MSNBC registered its lowest full-day rating in nearly a decade on Tuesday, a devastatingly low benchmark that shows just how severe the network's decline has become.

According to TVNewser, the liberal cable news network drew an average of 55,000 viewers in the all-important 25- to 54-year-old demo on Tuesday, its lowest full-day rating since July 2005, according to Nielsen ratings provided by an industry source. CNN had nearly three times as many viewers in the demo, Fox News nearly five times as many.

That low reflects a more general decline in recent years. In January, MSNBC's daytime ratings for January were down 20 percent in total and 37 percent in the demo when compared to the previous year. In prime time, total viewership was down 23 percent, while the demo dropped by 39 percent.

On his Thursday show,  Rush Limbaugh took some shots at MSNBC for prioritizing “silly diversity” over actual content.

"Do you realize there are more people going to the bathroom at one time in this country than are watching MSNBC?  And, by the way, this all happens to coincide with my ban on playing any sound bites from that network."

Network President Phil Griffin knows MSNBC needs to turn those numbers around quickly, and multiple insiders tell TheWrap, Griffin is in the process of deciding what potential changes to make, including tinkering with primetime.

One well-placed insider told TheWrap that the ratings-challenged “All In” with Chris Hayes — airing in the cable news sweet spot of 8 p.m. ET — might get uprooted for a different timeslot. It’s not clear who will replace Hayes in the event that he gets yanked from 8 p.m., but since Keith Olbermann’s 2011 exit, MSNBC has filled the all-important timeslot with internal talent rather than seeking hosts from the outside.

ESPN "Hometown' To Target Market-Specific Audiences

ESPN Sales Launches “Hometown” to Serve Brands Targeting Market-Specific Audiences

ESPN is launching Hometown, a new division of ESPN’s Customer Marketing and Sales group that will focus on serving national brands looking to connect with fans in specific markets at their greatest passion point – their love of their favorite teams.

The group will represent in-market activations available across ESPN’s digital, mobile, radio and digital audio assets. Hometown’s introduction precedes the redesign of, which will unveil newly designed clubhouse pages with sophisticated geo-targeting capabilities and enhanced personalization of the fan experience.

JonPaul Rexing
“These opportunities allow an advertiser to complement a national buy or create a standalone market-level campaign,” said Wendell Scott, senior vice president of Multimedia Sales.

“ESPN Hometown will target specific markets with scale, through an unmatched combination of technology, personalization and team-focused content.”

Based in New York, N.Y., Hometown will be led by JonPaul Rexing, senior director of Hometown sales, who will report into Matt Genova, vice president of Multimedia Sales.

U-K Radio: Digital Listening Overtakes Analog

More people are listening to digital radios in the home than ever, statistics show, as digital overtakes analogue for the first time, according to The Telegraph.

More than 46 per cent of people who listen to the radio at home now do so on digital sets, compared with 45.6 per cent on analogue, in what will be seen as something of a milestone for the industry.

It is the first time digital, which includes DAB radios, the internet and radio stations on television, has overtaken the old style of radio, with 52 per cent now using a digital platform at least once a week.

The breakthrough will be seen as another step towards the digital switchover, which was once predicted to have happen by 2015 but has suffered some setbacks in take-up.

Latest figures, released by Rajar and analysed by Digital Radio UK, show digital listening makes up 37.9 per cent overall, encompassing those tuning in at home, work and on the move. Those listening in cars are still more likely to tune in to analogue radios.

Analogue listening across the board is at its lowest level ever, at 56.2 per cent nationally and already below half in London and the North West regions.

The change in listening habits has been fuelled by the sale of new digital radios and stations which can only be heard online and through DAB or television.

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Report: Teens Blasting Music Via Streaming Services

Results from a fall 2014 study by Edison Research suggest teens are a prime audience for the audio streaming industry. The research found that US teen consumers studied spent more time with streaming audio each day than AM/FM radio.

eMarketer reports streaming platforms such as Pandora and Spotify grabbed 64 minutes of teens’ daily time, vs. 53 minutes with broadcast radio and online streams of AM/FM stations. A spokesperson for Edison noted that AM/FM led by a “significant margin” among all other age groups, indicating a future shift in music consumption as younger consumers choose their listening method.

According to Edison, teens spent an average 4 hours, 2 minutes listening to music each day, so their music listening isn’t restricted to those two means. Indeed, research from Piper Jaffray found that MP3s—for example, songs from iTunes and other downloaded music, played on devices such as iPods—grabbed the largest share of time spent listening to music among US teens, at 42%.

However, streaming services came in second, as Pandora combined with “other” streaming radio services such as Spotify and Songza to account for 31%. In comparison, local radio grabbed just 16% and CDs only 6%.

Chopper Whopper: Hole Deepens For Brian Williams

NBC News anchor Brian Williams's problems got worse Thursday, even though in a CNN interview, Rich Krell, a pilot of the Chinook helicopter that carried Williams and a crew in Iraq in 2003, said that it did indeed sustain small-arms fire, but wasn't hit by RPGs. Krell said that Williams would have been aware the aircraft was hit.

Talk Radio News Service reports, Christopher Simeone and Allan Kelly, also pilots of Williams's helicopter, strongly disputed Krell's account. Joe Summerlin, a soldier who was on the helicopter that was forced down by enemy fire, said Williams's helicopter was part of a different mission and at least 30 minutes behind theirs. His account is supported by Simeone and Kelly.

Stars and Stripes newspapers reported Thursday that Williams's helicopter took no fire and landed later beside the damaged helicopter due to an impending sandstorm from the Iraqi desert, according to Sgt 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft that carried the journalists.

For now, NBC News appears to be standing behind him. He renewed his contract in Dec, apparently for $10 million a year for five years

Veteran war correspondents have reacted with considerable anger to the story, saying that it tarnishes their reputations, which they work very hard with the troops to establish. However, former CBS anchor Dan Rather, who left the network under a cloud after an inaccurate report, came to Williams's defense Thursday. Can Williams survive this?

Report: Tom Brokaw Wants Brian Williams Out Of Anchor Chair

Tom Brokaw
NBC’s most revered journalist is furious that Brian Williams is still in the anchor chair after he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t traveled on a helicopter hit by enemy fire.

“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source told PageSix at the NY Post. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”

On Wednesday, Williams, 55, acknowledged that he had repeatedly said he was aboard a chopper that had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq, when he was actually safely traveling in a different aircraft.

Brokaw, 75, was still the “Nightly News” anchor when Williams came back from his Iraq expedition — and an insider said he knew the story Williams later spouted was bunk.

“Tom Brokaw and [former NBC News President] Steve Capus knew this was a false story for a long time and have been extremely uncomfortable with it,” the source said.

NBC News execs had counseled him to stop telling the tale.

Williams still took the anchor’s seat for his “Nightly News” broadcast Thursday evening — and was working at 30 Rock all day despite calls for his dismissal. He didn’t address the issue during the broadcast.

“He is not going to be suspended or reprimanded in any way. He has the full support of NBC News,” a network source said.

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Report: Steve Kroft Apologized To Colleagues

Steve Kroft
Married CBS “60 Minutes” newsman Steve Kroft has apologized to his fellow correspondents after lurid details of his three-year affair with an attractive lawyer became public.

The NY Post reports an embarrassed Kroft, 69, has made private, personal apologies to his co-workers, “60 Minutes” correspondents including Lesley Stahl and executive producer Jeff Fager.

It was revealed that the veteran correspondent had a series of hotel hookups with New York attorney Lisan Goines, and sent her a series of sexy texts, which left some of Kroft’s female colleagues “creeped out” and “cringing.”

Lisa Goines selfie
While Kroft is well-known for socializing and drinking with his colleagues after hours, another source told The Post’s Leonard Greene that, privately, Kroft is dismissive about his colleague Stahl.

“He told his mistress that Lesley Stahl was deluding herself into thinking that she would be the next Barbara Walters,” the source added.

While admitting the affair, Kroft insisted, “This was a personal failure, not a professional one, and had no impact whatsoever on my job as a journalist.”

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February 6 In Radio History

In 1924…the first worship service heard over radio was aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation in England. The service originated from St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London.

In 1925…WMCA signed-on at 880 AM. In 1928 it moved to the 570 kHz frequency, sharing time for the next three years with municipally-owned WNYC.

In 1945, host Barry Gray began dropping music and adding talk with celebrities and later call-in listeners; he is thus sometimes considered "The Father of Talk Radio", and his show lasted on WMCA through several decades and format changes.

WMCA began playing rock music in the late 1950s with a Top 40 format. Among its disc jockey staff were future legends Scott Muni and Murray "the K" Kaufman.

In 1960, WMCA 570 AM began promoting itself by stressing its on-air personalities, who were collectively known as the Good Guys. 

Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more"on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

 In the early 1960s, the top 40 format was still young, and the field was crowded in New York City. Two major 50,000-watt stations, WMGM 1050 AM (now WEPN) and WINS 1010 AM, had battled each other for years. Then in 1960, WABC 770 am joined the fray and started featuring top 40 music. Ultimately, it was WMCA's earnest competition with rival WABC that forced WMGM (in early 1962) and then WINS (in spring 1965) to abandon the top-40 format. There was so much attention on the high-profile WMCA-WABC battle that WMGM and WINS were each summarily forced to find a new niche.

In 1929…RCA Victor formed. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world's largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous "Victrola") and phonograph records (in British English, "gramophone records"). The company then became RCA-Victor. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the famous Nipper trademark.

In September 1931, RCA Victor introduced the first 33⅓ rpm records sold to the public, calling them "Program Transcriptions". These used a shallower and more closely spaced implementation of the large "standard groove" found on contemporary 78 rpm records, rather than the "microgroove" used for post-World War II 33⅓ rpm "LP" (Long Play) records. In the depths of the Great Depression, the format was a commercial failure, partly because the new playback equipment they required was expensive. After two or three years the format was abandoned and two-speed turntables were no longer offered in consumer products, but some Program Transcriptions lingered in the company's record catalog throughout the decade.

In 1943…Frank Sinatra first appeared as a vocalist on the radio show, "Your Hit Parade."

In 1974…the "CBS Mystery Theater" premiered on the CBS Radio Network.

In 1998...Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys died of cancer. He was 51

In 2000…Former WMCA Good Guy Joe O’Brien retired

In 2005...Karl Haas, host of the long-running syndicated classical music radio program "Adventures in Good Music," died of multiple organ failure at 91. Haas began his radio program Adventures in Good Music on WJR in Detroit, Michigan in 1959.  Syndicated broadcasts of the show across the United States began in 1970 on WCLV, Cleveland, Ohio. The show was eventually syndicated to commercial and public radio stations around the world and became the world's most widely listened-to classical music radio program.

In 2006….ABC announced plans to sell 24 radio stations to Citadel.

In 2014…Baseball announcer/former MLB outfielder (Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians)/Baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, who was a New York Mets broadcaster for more than 50 years, died while battling Bell's palsy at the age of 91.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

L-A Radio: iHM To Launch Real 92.3 FM Friday

Doc Wynter
iHeartMedia/Los Angeles has announced the debut of Real 92.3 on KHHT 92.3 FM, the new home of Hip Hop and R&B for Los Angeles.

Real 92.3 will kick off at 9:23 AM tomorrow morning -- Friday, February 6 - with “10,000 joints in a row” commercial-free, featuring hits from major Hip Hop and R&B artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Usher, Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

The company also announced today that Doc Wynter, iHeartMedia’s Senior Vice President of Urban Programming and the country’s foremost urban programmer, has expanded his responsibilities and will become Program Director of the new station.

Doc Wynter has been with iHeartMedia since 1988. Throughout his tenure, Doc has been instrumental in creating a number of iHeartMedia’s legendary urban stations, including New York’s popular Power 105.1 urban station and most recently 103.5 The Beat in Miami and 93.7 The Beat in Houston, and also oversees the urban stations for iHeartMedia and on iHeartRadio, the company’s industry-leading digital radio platform. Now adding this new role as Program Director to his other responsibilities, Doc will manage all programming operations for Real 92.3 in Los Angeles.

"The all-new Real 92.3 will be LA’s new home for REAL Hip Hop and R&B —it's what LA listeners have been waiting for,” said Doc. "Starting tomorrow morning at 9:23, we’ll start rollin’ 10,000 joints in a row!"

KHHT 92.3 Fm (42 Kw) 60dBu Coverage Area
“This is an exciting and robust addition to our portfolio of iHeartMedia brands that reach more than 9 million people in Los Angeles each week through broadcast radio, digital, social and events.  Hip Hop is thriving and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have leading the charge than Doc Wynter,” said Greg Ashlock, President of Southern California, iHeartMedia.

“Doc is the best urban programmer in America,” said Tom Poleman, iHeartMedia’s President of National Programming Platforms. “His leadership, passion and creativity — and his incredible track record of success — will have a huge impact on Real 92.3. We’re thrilled to expand his role with us.”

Real 92.3’s all-new programming lineup will be announced soon. Fans can listen to Real 92.3 on the station's website as well as on and the iHeartRadio mobile app, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one music streaming and digital radio service.

The launch comes amid Emmis efforts to keep it morning host, Big Boy, in its stable at crosstown KPWR 106.7 FM /Power 106.  Emmis has filed a lawsuit against Big Boy for contract breach.

SiriusXM Reports 4Q Increase In Revenue

  • 2014 Revenue Climbs 10% to $4.18 Billion
  • Net Income Increases 31% to $493 Million in 2014
  • Record Adjusted EBITDA of $1.47 Billion in 2014, up 26%
  • 2014 Free Cash Flow Reaches Record $1.16 Billion, up 25%
  • $2.5 Billion of Stock Repurchased in 2014
SiriusXM today announced fourth quarter and full-year 2014 operating and financial results, including record revenue of $1.09 billion and $4.18 billion for the fourth quarter and full-year, respectively, up 9% and 10% versus the prior year periods.

Net income of $143 million and $493 million in the fourth quarter and full-year 2014, respectively, compared to $65 million and $377 million in the fourth quarter and full-year 2013.  Net income per diluted common share was $0.03 and $0.08, respectively, in the fourth quarter and full-year 2014, versus $0.01 and $0.06 in the fourth quarter and full-year 2013. Adjusted EBITDA was $381 million and $1.47 billion, respectively, in the fourth quarter and full-year, up 17% and 26% versus the prior year periods.

Jim Meyer
"As our results demonstrate, SiriusXM had a great year by delivering to subscribers new and exciting music, sports, and talk programming; executing on our growth plan; and driving 36% growth in free cash flow per diluted share, all while investing in the future of the connected car," said Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM.

"We have once again set ambitious targets for 2015 to grow our subscriber base, revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow to new, record-high levels. I'm confident in our ability to be creative and innovative as the leader in audio entertainment, making our superior service an even better experience for our subscribers in 2015," added Meyer.

4Q 2014 Highlights:
  • Strong fourth quarter net subscriber gains. SiriusXM recorded 576,689 net new subscribers in the fourth quarter, marking the largest fourth-quarter increase since 2007. 
  • Subs now total 27.3 million
  • Self-pay net subscriber additions were 508,032 in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to 411,484 in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Full-Year 2014 Highlights:
  • Full-year subscriber gains exceed targets. SiriusXM reported 2014 total and self-pay net subscriber additions, respectively, of 1,751,777 and 1,440,821, each ahead of the company's original full-year guidance of 1,250,000. 
  • The company ended 2014 with 27.3 million total paying subscribers and 22.5 million self-pay subscribers, each up 7% from the end of 2013.
2015 Guidance:
  • Net subscriber additions of approximately 1.2 million,
  • Revenue of approximately $4.4 billion,
  • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.6 billion, and
  • Free cash flow of approximately $1.25 billion.