Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 12 In Radio History

In 1924...WLS-AM, Chicago, Illinois began broadcasting.

After buying time on radio stations in the early days of broadcasting, Sears Roebuck & Co. in Chicago decided to start its own station.  Its first test broadcasts used the call sign WBBX and then WES (“World’s Economy Store”).  On April 12, 1924, the station became WLS (“World’s Largest Store”).

In its first month, WLS started its “National Barn Dance” program, a live country-music showcase that was the direct predecessor of the Grand Ole Opry.

A Chicago radio manufacturer signed on WENR Radio in 1925. The station entered a time-sharing agreement with WBCN Radio.  An investor bought both stations in 1927.  He later sold the licenses to NBC.  The network kept WENR on the air.  It shared a frequency with WLS for decades.  One station would sign off and another would sign on.

Sears sold WLS to the “Prairie Farmer” magazine in 1928.  The radio station became an essential part of agriculture in the Midwest.  Farmers relied heavily on agricultural news, commodity prices and weather reports from WLS.

Audio clips from 1924-1949:

WENR-WLS boosted power to 50,000 watts in 1932, beaming its programming over much of the nation.  Despite its part-time status, the station built a large amount of goodwill and a huge audience.

In addition to farm programming, WLS offered entertainment and educational programs.  It also made history in news broadcasting. WLS reporter Herb Morrison famously said, “Oh the humanity!” as he watched the 1937 Hindenberg crash in Lakehurst, N.J.  The recorded account aired the next day over NBC.

The station also experimented successfully in many forms of news broadcasting, including weather and crop reports. Its most famous news broadcast was the report of the Hindenburg disaster by Herbert Morrison.



For about 15 years WLS shared it's frequency with WENR as part of the NBC Blue Network. In 1941 WLS changed frequency from 870 to 890 kilocycles with 50 kw of power. The transmitter site was in Chicago's south suburb of Crete, Illinois from 1924 to 1938. In 1938, they moved to it's current location in Tinley Park.

WLS was an NBC Blue Network affiliate during radio’s golden age.  NBC was forced to sell the Blue Network, which became ABC.  In 1954, ABC bought a controlling interest in WENR-WLS, combining the two into WLS.  The network bought WLS outright in 1959.

The ABC era brought a major change.  The staid, conservative WLS that brought Midwesterners a steady diet of farm reports, news and weather, general-interest music and entertainment and the “National Barn Dance” became a Top 40 station at 6 a.m. on May 2, 1960.   ABC created one of the nation’s most influential radio stations in the rock era, attracting millions of listeners each week.

Here’s a sample of a 1962 aircheck featuring Dick Biondi:

By the late 1980s, it was an adult contemporary station during the day and offered talk programming at night. WLS switched to its current full-time news/talk format in 1989.  Cumulus Media now owns the station.

In 1935..."Your Hit Parade," was first broadcast on radio.

Your Hit Parade began on NBC April 20, 1935, as a 60-minute program with 15 songs played in a random format. Initially, the songs were more important than the singers, so a stable of vocalists went uncredited and were paid only $100 per episode. In 1936-37, it was carried on both NBC and CBS. Script continuity in the late 1930s and early 1940s was written by Alan Jay Lerner before he found fame as a lyricist. The first number one song on the first episode was "Soon" by Bing Crosby.

Doris Day
Some years passed before the countdown format was introduced, with the number of songs varying from seven to 15. Vocalists in the 1930s included Buddy Clark, Lanny Ross, Kay Thompson and Bea Wain (1939–44), who was married to the show's announcer, French-born André Baruch. Frank Sinatra joined the show in 1943, and was fired for messing up the No. 1 song, "Don't fence me In " by interjecting a mumble to the effect that the song had too many words and missing a cue.

One source says his contract was not renewed due to demanding a raise and the show being moved to the West Coast.  As he zoomed in popularity he was rehired, returning (1947–49) to co-star with Doris Day.

Hugely popular on CBS through the WWII years, Your Hit Parade returned to NBC in 1947.

Dozens of singers appeared on the radio program, including "Wee" Bonnie Baker, Dorothy Collins, Beryl Davis, Gogo DeLys, Joan Edwards (1941–46), Georgia Gibbs, Dick Haymes, Snooky Lanson, Gisèle MacKenzie, Johnny Mercer, Andy Russell, Dinah Shore, Ginny Simms, Lawrence Tibbett, Martha Tilton, Eileen Wilson, Barry Wood, and occasional guest vocalists.

The radio series continued until January 16, 1953.

In 1954…Bill Haley and His Comets recorded "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" at the Pythian Temple, "a big, barn-like building with great echo," in New York City. Most music historians agree that the song, featured in the 1955 film "Blackboard Jungle," ushered in the rock 'n' roll era. It hit #1 on June 29, 1955 and stayed there for eight weeks, remaining on the charts for a total of 24 weeks, and has sold more than 25 million copies.

In 1989...David Cassidy's comeback begins when Los Angeles KLOS, to which the former Partridge Family singer is listening, wonder what happened to him. Before long, he's at the studio, performing three songs that land him a new record deal.

In 2002...WTJM 105.1 FM NYC switched call letters to WWPR

In 2007...Don Imus was fired from his syndicated program by CBS Radio after a week of controversy brought on by racial remarks broadcast a week earlier about the Rutgers women basketball team. One day earlier, Imus' simulcast of his show on MSNBC was canceled.

NYC Radio: Pat St. John To Sign-Off At WCBS-FM

Pat. St. John
Veteran Personality Pat St. John will be signing-off Sunday from WCBS 101.1 FM after some 42-years in the market.

His final show on the Classic Hits stations airs 3p to 6p.  His other on-air stints were on WPLJ, WNEW-FM and WAXQ.

"I don't want any tears," St. John told David Hinckley at the NY Daily News. "No one should say they're sad. This is a happy, wonderful moment. I've loved my 42 years here and now I'm moving to something else I love."

He and his wife Jan are leaving NYC for the San Diego area to be closer to their two daugters.

"We've been spending all our vacations there anyway," says St. John. "We've talked about moving for a while and finally we decided we were just missing too much by staying here."


This does not, he stresses, mean he's retiring from radio.

He will continue doing his daily 1p to 5p show on SiriusXM's "Sixties on 6".

"I've been doing the show from home for about 10 years," he says. "Now I'll just do it from a different city. Our new place has a barn, which I will turn into a studio.

"The best thing about the SiriusXM show is that I'm doing it live now. That just makes a difference. So my New York fans can still hear me. They'll just need to cough up a few bucks for satellite."

Read More Now

Philly Radio: 96.5 FM AMPS Up

To no one's surprise CBS Radio flipped WRDW 96.5 FM to Top40 at Philadelphia's New 96.5 AMP Radio Friday at 5 pm.

The station promises area listeners a new destination for the best new pop, pop-rhythmic and dance music.

Established artists such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Rihanna and Calvin Harris along with breakout artists such as Zedd and Wiz Khalifa to name a few will be featured on the station.

The new 96.5 AMP Radio can be heard on-air, online at or by downloading the app for a variety of mobile and tablet devices. The station will have an active local presence on all popular social media channels.

WRDW 96.5 Fm (9.6 Kw) Red=60dBu Local Coverage Area
PD Bobby Smith
"The popularity of today’s pop music is at an all-time high and we’re looking forward to increasing the station’s already powerful reach with advertisers and listeners, both on-air and online,” said Marc Rayfield, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, CBS RADIO Philadelphia.

Newly named Program Director Bobby Smith said, “This is the most exciting time to introduce a new brand as we have an almost unlimited amount of digital opportunities to connect and engage with our local Philly audience. I look forward to 96.5 AMP Radio being the local listener’s first choice for hearing their favorite new hit music!”

W-B/Scranton Radio: WHBS Drops Sports For 80s Rock

On Friday morning, Entercom Communications Corp. launched Max 102 FM on WHBS 102.3 FM.. The '80s-based station is featuring rock hits and will file to change calls to WMQX.

The format replaces Sports Hub 102.3. Ryan Flynn, local general manager, said Sports Hub was not performing to Entercom’s standards.

Entercom continues to provide Sports Hub on HD2 radio. The New York Yankees games, which had been featured on that frequency, are now available for another station to provide.

WHBS 102.3 FM (5.8 Kw) Red=60dBu Local Coverage Area
MAX is offering 5,000 commercial-free “rock hits of the ‘80s and more.”  The station looks to pull listeners from Bold Gold Media’s classic hits WWRR 104.9 FM The River.  Nielsen says WWRR had a 3.0 share (12+) in the Fall survey compared to a 0.5 share for WHBS.

Entercom also operates WKRZ 98.5 FM KRZ, WGGY 101.3 FM Froggy 101 as well as N/T WILK 980 AM / 910 AM /103.1 FM.

Chicago Radio: Tornado Relief Effort Launched By WGN

WGN 720 AM has partnered with The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, WGN-TV, Chicago Tribune and Hoy to launch a tornado relief effort to help our friends and neighbors struggling with the damage, destruction and grief created by the recent tornado outbreak.

The first $500,000 raised will be matched by the McCormick Foundation at 50 cents on the dollar for a total of $250,000 in matching funds. All administrative expenses are paid for by the Foundation and their Partners, ensuring 100% of the donations, plus the match, will go to the communities impacted by the storm to help them rebuild from the devastation.

In addition, Governor Bruce Rauner wants to help his Illinois neighbors affected by the devastating tornadoes. To that end, Governor Rauner is challenging our listeners with a personal donation of up to $100,000 to our Illinois Tornado Relief Effort. You can triple your donation with the Governor Rauner’s Challenge.

Here’s how it works:

You give $10.
The Governor will give $10.
The Foundation will give $10.
Your $10 donation is now $30!

Grants are made to qualified nonprofit organizations, in Illinois, leading the disaster relief and
recovery efforts for those communities in need. The first round of grants will be distributed to the affected communities by May 2015.

There are three ways to donate:
  1. Click here to donate online
  2. Call 1-800-931-5707
  3. Mail to: Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, 23912 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1239

NYC Radio: John Sterling Awarded Replacement Emmys

Yankees radio play-by-play broadcaster John Sterling says he's been blessed to win 12 local Emmy Awards over the course of his career, including a few for YES Network's Yankeeography series.

John Sterling
As sweet as those wins were, though, it was even sweeter for Sterling to receive those accolades a second time on Friday night.

In an on-field ceremony prior to the Yankees-Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium, the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented the venerable broadcaster with a dozen brand new Emmy statues to replace the ones he lost in the January fire that destroyed his Edgewater, N.J. apartment complex.

"It's just a lovely gesture on their part. I thank them," Sterling told's Bryan Hoch after the ceremony. "People have treated me fabulously. That's the best part of it. It's so heart-warming."

Sterling's home was destroyed back in January, along with the homes of many other people, and he lost everything he had, including 4 of 5 World Series rings he received as the Yankees' announcer. The fire reportedly was started by a workman's welding torch.

He has been living in a hotel since that day, but come May 1, Sterling will have a new mantle to place his new Emmys on, inside a new apartment that will bring another sense of normalcy back to his life.

People from across the nation jumped at the chance to help Sterling when the news broke of his home being destroyed, including Alex Rodriguez, who offered up his apartment to Sterling until he found a new place.

R.I.P.: WBZ-AM Boston Newsman Mark Katic

Mark Katic
NewsRadio WBZ 1030 AM reporter and anchor Mark Katic passed away on Friday following a battle with cancer, according to WBZ.

Katic began working at WBZ in 1999 as a sportscaster. About two years later, Katic became a news reporter and anchor at the station.

“You could tell he loved radio and loved what he did. I think we’d all agree that his calls during our marathon coverage were second to none,” said WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Assistant News Director Jon MacLean. “He will always remain a part of the fabric of this newsroom and his influence both on and off the air will live on.”

Katic battled cancer for the last several months, but despite his illness his colleagues say he remained upbeat and was quick to bring a smile to the newsroom.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 reporter Carl Stevens said Katic will be remembered for many things, but his laugh in particular.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful guy. That laugh of his really was a reflection of that life of his… It was its own music, that’s for sure.”

Among the highlights of Katic’s broadcasting career are several Associated Press and regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

April 11 In Radio History

In 1921...KDKA-AM became the site of the first live sporting event to be broadcast on Radio. It was a boxing match featuring Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.

In 1929...KLO-AM, Ogden, Utah began broadcasting.

KLO originally signed on in the mid-20s as KFUR. Its current calls came about in the 1930s in honor of Mt. Lomond located near Ogden. KLO was the flagship of the Interstate Broadcasting Corporation, later the Intermountain Network.

Today, KLO is a Talk station at 1430 AM with power of 25Kw-D, 5 Kw-N

In 1964…The Beatles set another music industry record by having 14 songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1973...Norm N. Nite did his first show on WCBS-FM, New York, New York. Nite was instrumental in bringing the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.

In 1985...WJMK-FM, Chicago, Illinois held its "Rock 'N' Roll Reunion."

A year earlier WJMK "Magic 104" flipped to oldies. Initially, it was similar to what RKO's 103.5 WFYR was playing, except that WJMK played more '50s and early '60s music. WJMK initially also played '70s and '80s music along with a new song every hour. By early 1985, all songs released after 1972 were dropped.

The station focused primarily on songs released between 1964-1969 with a good amount of '50s music as well. In 1991, the station's moniker was changed from "Magic 104" to "Oldies 104.3".

WJMK dropped the moniker "Oldies 104.3" by 2001, and returned to their former moniker "Magic 104.3".

In 1998, they began to add more '70s music to the format. In 1999, with new competition from the new "Jammin Oldies format of WUBT "The Beat", WJMK added a few disco songs and more '70s and early '80s songs to the playlist.

After WUBT dropped Jammin' Oldies for CHR in 2001, WJMK continued with their oldies format, though they modified the playlist over the years, dropping older music in favor of more recent material. In 2003, the station once again changed monikers, going from "Magic 104.3" back to "Oldies 104.3" and began airing Dick Bartley's syndicated "Rock and Roll's Greatest Hits" to Saturday nights (which they'd drop at the beginning of June 2004 to return the 70s show "Saturday Night 70s"). By the winter of 2004/05, the station dropped the "oldies" moniker and became known as just "104.3 WJMK".

Today, WJMK is playing Classic Hits branding as  'K-Hits'.

In 1986...KXA-AM in Seattle WA changes call letters to KRPM

In 1991...New York's "Museum of Broadcasting" changed its name to the "Museum of Radio & Television"

In 1991...Scott Shannon started at WPLJ 95.5 FM.  WPLJ had been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host. At the outset, the station's direct rival was Z100, and used the slogan "Mojo Radio," downplaying the WPLJ call letters, but the approach was eventually changed. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill (from WFLY Alabany NY) to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized.

In 1992…America's first commercially-licensed radio station, 50,000-watt KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh, replaced its 72-year-old music format with news, talk and information.

In 2007...the cable simulcast of Don Imus' nationally syndicated radio show was canceled by MSNBC after Imus became embroiled in a controversy over racial comments made about the Rutgers women basketball team.

Friday, April 10, 2015

L-A Radio: KLAC-AM Could Benefit From Dodgers' Low TV Ratings

Vin Scully on SportsNet set
The Los Angeles Dodgers this week kicked off the 2015 season with two stadium sellouts and an uneven performance in the TV ratings.

According to the LA Times, Monday afternoon's opening day telecast on the team-owned cable channel, SportsNet LA, generated a .79 household rating and an estimated 58,146 viewers. That's slightly more than turned out at Dodger Stadium for the sold-out game that culminated with a win over the San Diego Padres.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which were on the road Monday against the Seattle Mariners, generated a 1.35 household TV rating in Southern California and 88,415 viewers. The Fox Sports West cable channel carries the Angels' games.

The Dodgers' TV audience took a tumble on Wednesday. The game mustered a .58 household rating and just 35,000 viewers -- far fewer than showed up at Dodger Stadium for the sold-out game.

Fox Sports West is carried by all of the major pay-TV distributors -- making it available in nearly 4.5 million homes in the region.

But because of a bitter fee dispute, Time Warner Cable, which distributes SportsNet LA, is the only major pay-TV provider that offers that channel in Southern California. Other providers have balked at the price that Time Warner Cable has been demanding to carry the channel, leaving more than 70% of the region without regular TV access to Dodger games.

There currently are no negotiations planned and both sides have since refused to budge -- frustrating some advertisers and thousands of Dodgers fans who are unable to watch the games.

"The ratings have been really low," said Mary Jo Sobotka, chief integrated media officer for the Phelps advertising agency in Santa Monica. "A lot of advertisers are thinking about radio (KLAC 570 AM) as an option."

Read More Now

Saga Names Bob Lawrence VP/Group Program Director

Bob Lawrence
Saga Communications Thursday announced that Bob Lawrence is joining the company as Vice President and Group Program Director.

Bob previously was President and CEO of Pinnacle Media Worldwide, a company that worked with radio clients in the areas of strategic research, product direction, and brand focus.

Ed Christian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saga Communications, Inc. said, “We had excellent candidates express interest in the position of Vice President and Group Program Director for Saga. We have worked with Bob Lawrence and Pinnacle for years and have always been impressed with his radio knowledge, analysis, and solutions to problems. He already understands the Saga culture and this will be a seamless transition for him and us. I welcome Bob as a member of our team.”

Bob Lawrence said, “I’m so very honored and thrilled that Ed Christian has invited me to join the many talented managers and programmers at one of the most respected and successful media companies in the industry. Leaving such a labor of love as Pinnacle Media after so many years is indeed, difficult. I have created so many wonderful, lifelong friendships but I am very blessed and grateful for this new and exciting chapter with Saga.”

Louisville Radio: Personality Terry Meiners ReUps With WHAS Radio

Terry Meiners
NewsRadio WHAS 840 AM announced that longtime afternoon personality Terry Meiners has renewed with the station. Meiners, who marks 30 years with NewsRadio 840 WHAS this year, will continue to inform and entertain Kentuckiana every weekday from 3-6:00 p.m. ET.

"We're so happy Terry will continue doing what he does best," said Kelly Carls, Senior Vice-President of Programming, iHeartMedia Louisville. "Terry is a true gentleman on the air and off, and a tremendous asset to our community."

"I am delighted to continue with my iHeartMedia family. I love my on-air radio team and cannot imagine life without them," said Meiners. "Thanks to Regional Market President Bill Gentry, SVPP Kelly Carls, SVPO Kevin LeGrett, and iHeartMedia for their incredible support."

Meiners joined WHAS in 1985.

NM Radio: Tony Lynn Joins NASH Icon For PM Drive

Tony Lynn
Cumulus Media, Inc. has announced that longtime Albuquerque country radio morning show host Tony Lynn is joining Cumulus Media’s KBZU 96.3 FM NASH Icon for afternoons.

Lynn started his career in Albuquerque at KRST in the 80’s. He would later join crosstown rival KBQI, and between the two stations, logged over 20 years entertaining Albuquerque country music fans.

Kris Abrams, FM Operations Manager for Cumulus, said: “96.3 NASH Icon IS Tony’s radio station. He played Albuquerque ‘all the songs that made country great’ when they were new. NASH Icon is the country format that unites generations, crosses all boundaries and gets people of all ages excited about listening to the radio. So does Tony Lynn.”

Jeff Berry, Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Albuquerque said: “Tony is the real deal; a talent that has not only a strong companionship with the audience but also a trusted partnership with the business community. We could not pick a better ambassador for 96.3 NASH Icon.”

KBZU 96.3 FM (17.5 Kw) Red=60dBu Local coverage Area
As for Tony Lynn, as usual, he will do his talking on the radio. He returned to the air Thursday on 96.3 NASH Icon.

'Fair Play Fair Pay' Legislation Proposed By Lawmakers

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) along with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) will introduce "Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015" on Friday, legislation that would force radio broadcasters to begin paying royalties in exchange for artist airplay.

The music industry has been clamoring for such a bill since terrestrial radio is currently exempt from performance fees by compensation through promotional airplay. The bill is also expected contain a provision requiring Internet radio and satellite radio companies to begin paying artists and labels when songs recorded before 1972 are played.

Congress has considered adding a performance royalty to broadcast radio before, most recently in 2009, but that proposal and others have faced steep opposition.

 In response, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:
"NAB will strongly oppose the legislation reportedly being introduced by Rep. Nadler on Monday. It is disappointing that this bill retreads years-old policy positions rather than advancing the copyright dialogue through policies that help grow the entire music ecosystem. NAB stands ready to work with Congress on a balanced music licensing proposal that promotes innovation and recognizes the benefit of our free locally-focused platform to the benefit of artists and listeners. We're pleased that, in a little over three months into the new Congress, 147 House Members and 11 Senators already agree that the fees proposed by Rep. Nadler would kill jobs, hurt artist promotion and devastate local economies across America."

DOJ Action May Lead To Higher Streaming Fees

The Justice Department is poised to make changes to decades-old music industry regulations that could impose significant new costs on Pandora and other digital streaming services, according to Alex Byers at Politico.

The DOJ is leaning toward giving music publishers like Universal and Sony/ATV, which represent songwriters and composers, more flexibility in how they sell their songs to online music platforms, the sources said. The publishers would be able to continue the current system of using so-called performance rights organizations to collect royalties from traditional outlets like radio stations but would be given the ability to negotiate directly with services like Pandora to seek higher payments, the sources said.

The change, pushed by artists ranging from Melissa Etheridge to Richie Sambora to Tom Waits, could give songwriters and publishers more negotiating power with streaming services — and even allow them to withhold songs if talks break down. For Pandora, which has more than 80 million active users but has never had a profitable year, the revision could add to expenses and create new business hurdles.

Read More Now

HD Radio Ad Net Aims To Grow HD Revenue

The HD Radio Ad Network has expanded to 60 markets, comprised of inventory from radio groups like CBS Radio, Hubbard and Greater Media, and IBiquity Digital Corp.  is inviting more stations to join.

“We’ve built a way to push out ads through their studio automation systems,” using an ad server, iBiquity SVP Marketing/Broadcast Business Joe D’Angelo tells RadioWorld. The ad server inserts spots into the on-air programs; it also produces affidavits and invoices.

The ad flights vary, depending on whether an advertiser wants to buy the whole network or certain markets, according to D’Angelo. Network advertisers include GEICO, McDonalds, Best Buy and AT&T.

Using its technology, iBiquity takes the creative from the ad agencies and pushes the ads out on stations’ HD2 and HD3 channels, he said. The rates have not been publicly disclosed.

The HD Radio Ad Network started in 2014 and iBiquity says the audience for those ads is growing, mostly due to the proliferation of HD Radio tuners in new cars combined with those already on the road, which now totals more than 25 million. IBiquity cites Nielsen data: Fall 2014 Nielsen Nationwide ratings reveal HD2/HD3 station listening Average Quarter Hour growth to be 348% and Total Weekly Cume growth of 312% since the Fall 2011 studies. That listening is helped as stations broadcast their multicast HD channels on FM analog translators.

Broadcast TV Ratings Highlights

CBS's The Talk  topped  ABC's The View” in both viewers and women 18-49 for the second time in four weeks, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending April 3. The Talk averaged 2.55m vs. “The View's” 2.49m.  Among the key women 18-49 demographic, The Talk averaged 0.7/05, +17% ahead of “The View's” 0.6/05.  This marks THE TALK's fourth win in viewers and second in women 18-49 this season.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” have dominated late-night ratings for the week of March 30-April 3, outscoring their ABC and CBS time-period competition in every key measure — adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.  In the 11:35 p.m. ET hour, Fallon outdelivered ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” in all key measures. Meyers prevailed over Corden in the 12:35 a.m. hour in every key category and won his head-to-head 12:30-1 a.m. half-hour versus “Nightline” in each of those measures.

Season to Date, ABC's This Week” is outdelivering NBC's Meet the Press in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54 for the 2nd Year in a Row Seeing its Largest News Demo Lead in 21 Years ABC News’.

ABC News’ “Good Morning America” finished as the No. 1 morning newscast in Total Viewers (5.251 million) and Adults 25-54 (1.901 million) for the week of March 30, 2015, based on Live +Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research.  “GMA” led NBC’s “Today” (4.610 million and 1.772 million, respectively) by 641,000 Total Viewers and by 129,000 Adults 25-54.   Season to date, “GMA” is the No. 1 morning newscast in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54.  “GMA” is leading “Today” by 618,000 Total Viewers and by 150,000 Adults 25-54.  In fact, “GMA” has increased its season margins over “Today” versus the same point last season in both Total Viewers (+2% - 618,000 vs. 607,000) and Adults 25-54 (+63% - 150,000 vs. 92,000).

iHM Closes On Sale of Radio Towers

iHeartMedia, Inc. has announced that the first closing of the sale of a select portfolio of its tower assets to Vertical Bridge has occurred.

Initial closing proceeds were approximately $369 million prior to fees and customary adjustments for prorated items. Additional closings are expected to occur.
There will be no impact on the company’s broadcast capabilities and operations; the company has entered into a lease with respect to the sold tower assets that will ensure the ability of its broadcast operations to continue without interruption. The company also reiterated that investors should expect incremental lease expense as a result of the transaction.

“We are very pleased that this transaction has closed, and will continue to seek other opportunities to efficiently operate our portfolio of assets while maximizing liquidity,” said Richard J. Bressler, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.

Canada: Bell Media Ousts President Over News Meddling

Kevin Crull
The president of the Canada’s largest communications company abruptly left his post Thursday, two weeks after he admitted to trying to influence national news coverage by one of its subsidiaries, according to The Canadian Press.

A corporate statement announcing the departure of Bell Media president Kevin Crull left little doubt of the link between his leaving and his interference in CTV’s coverage of the country’s broadcast regulator.

“The independence of Bell Media’s news operations is of paramount importance to our company and to all Canadians,” George Cope, head of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., said in a release.

Crull sparked widespread criticism last month for demanding CTV journalists not give any airtime to Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

He was apparently unhappy with Blais’s announcement of rule changes requiring broadcasters to offer a low-cost package to cable TV consumers and to allow them to “pick and pay” other individual channels.

Crull was replaced by Mary Ann Turcke, who takes over responsibility for Bell Media’s national broadcast and digital operations, Cope said.

Turcke, who also joined Bell in 2005, was formerly a media sales group president.

Read More Now

Twin Cities Radio: Arrest Made In Mary Lucia Stalking Case

Patrick Kelly
We’re learning more about the man accused of stalking a popular Twin Cities radio host, causing her to take a leave of absence.

On Wednesday, Mary Lucia from The Current posted a blog on the station’s website saying she’s been the victim of a stalker for the last year.

Prosecutors have charged an Eden Prairie man in the case. His trial is set to begin next week.  On Thursday, WCCO-TV took a look at what court documents reveal.

In a letter to her fans, Mary Lucia describes how a stranger has tormented her.

“This has been a tough year for me,” she said. “I have been stalked, by someone I do not know, at both work and home.”

She added: “My life over the last year has involved a series of restraining orders, seemingly endless calls to 911.”

Police say 56-year-old Patrick Henry Kelly of Eden Prairie is the accused stalker.

He’s now faces a felony charge.

Twin Cities Radio: WCCO To Honored For Public Service

WCCO 830 AM to receive 2015 Service to America Award from the National Association of Broadcaster’s Education Foundation (NABEF). The award will be presented at the annual awards banquet in Washington D.C. on June 16, 2015

The Service to America Award honors radio and television broadcasters for campaigns, projects or programs that service the public good or otherwise provide exemplary service to their local communities.

Through PSA’s, events and fundraisers 830 WCCO-AM helped the hungry through year-round outreach. With “Let’s Kick Hunger Day,”

Bob Shomper
WCCO engaged listeners, celebrities and charity groups to replenish food shelves across 59 counties. Teaming up with local congregations, civic groups, corporations and listeners, WCCO helped power the month-long Food Share campaign, the largest food drive in the country. In partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers, WCCO supported the “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive,” which collected 1.73 million pounds of food. Finally, the 11th Annual Union Gospel Mission Radio-thon featured stories of those whose lives had been touched by such efforts and broke a new record, providing help for the homeless, poor and addicted.

“It’s an honor that our peers recognize and appreciate the excellence we try to achieve on WCCO every day. I’m very proud of our staff,” said WCCO Program Director, Bob Shomper.

Westwood One News Reaches 700+ Affiliates

Today marks 100 days that Westwood One News is on the air, with a lineup of more than 700 affiliated stations and more to come—a milestone moment for this next-generation, full-service news network powered by CNN.

Westwood One News is filling a void in the marketplace by catering to stations looking to leverage customized news content with greater flexibility and local branding opportunities.  In just its first 100 days, Westwood One News has been on the scene for major breaking stories around the world and across the U.S., offering affiliates newscasts, special reports, two-ways, newsmaker sound bites, live feeds of breaking news events, and other programming which allows them to customize their news content for their audience.

Some of the many influential news, talk, and information stations clearing Westwood One News include WABC/NY, WINS/NY, KABC/LA, WLS/Chicago, KGO and KSFO/ San Francisco, WBAP and KLIF/ Dallas, KYW/Philadelphia, WBZ/Boston, WMAL/ DC, WYAY, Atlanta, WNEW-FM/ DC, WJR/Detroit, and KPAM/Portland, OR.  

Bart Tessler, Westwood One’s EVP News & Talk, said, “As the trades have noted, from our exclusive reporting from Tehran to Havana, and our coverage from France, the Mideast and across the U.S., we’re proud of the programming we have provided to our affiliates in the first 100 days of Westwood One News and we are very gratified by the feedback.”

“We are proud to be bringing the news from around the world to stations in an innovative manner,” added Dennis Green, SVP, Affiliate Sales. “In a short period of time, over 700 stations have joined our growing network and can now provide their listeners with news that offers greater flexibility than any other national radio new network.  The future truly is now, and we look forward to welcoming more stations in the next 100 days and beyond!”

For more information, contact Jim Jones at or (202) 895-2339.

Scott Shannon Reaches 75 Affiliates For America's Greatest Hits

Scott Shannon's syndicated weekly Classic Hits show has reached a milestone. “Scott Shannon Presents America’s Greatest Hits” is now being cleared by 75 affiliates.

Co-produced by United Stations Radio Networks and CBS RADIO and launched last fall.  USRN reports that the most recent additions to the show’s affiliate lineup have come from all over the country including: WOLX, Madison; KKCL, Lubbock; KEYF-FM, Spokane; and WHPY, Nashville.

Each hour of “AMERICA’S GREATESTS HITS” will be highlighted by artist interviews, song countdowns, one-hit-wonders and commentary from Scott Shannon himself.

Shannon previously was the founder and voice of the nationally distributed “True Oldies” channel which was broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide from 2004-2014. His career has spanned more than four decades, having spent over 25 years as a broadcaster in New York.

“I love the medium of radio… everybody knows that… and I’ll grab any chance possible to play the greatest hits of all time and tell stories about the artists, and the songs and the era that they come from, ” said Shannon.

Rick Dees Weekly Top40 Expands In Nigeria

Radio Express, the world’s leading supplier of entertainment programming to radio outside the U.S., announces that it has partnered with L’Oreal to brand and distribute the radio show, Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 to radio stations throughout Nigeria.

The countdown program is sponsored exclusively by L’Oreal Central West Africa to drive awareness around their Blue Ice Deodorant.

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 airs across 10 stations in the largest cities of Nigeria, including: Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt. The show also airs on two university radio stations to target young adults on their campuses and in surrounding areas.

The four-hour weekly show features the hottest Top 40 Pop/CHR music and has been a mainstay program on Cool FM, Lagos, for over 10 years.

Kelly Clarkson Visits Zach & the Gang

This week on Westwood One’s Zach Sang & The Gang, singer and new Mom Kelly Clarkson announced that she has babies on the brain and is hoping for a boy next time around!

While on the show, the “American Idol” winner told Zach that if she could form the ultimate girl group, she would have Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence in the band. She also mentioned that she binge watches the Walking Dead and once got a $100 tip from Wes Craven when waitressing in Texas.  Adding to the fun was a rousing game of Wine Pong with the Gang!  A good sport, and a good time!

Click Here for Video of Interview

FCC Releases New Broadcast Station Totals

Morgantown WV Radio: Kay Murray Signs-Off At WAJR

Kay Murray
Kay Murray turns-off the mic for the last time today. Murray, who turns 72 next week, is retiring after hosting the morning radio talk show on WAJR 1440 AM in Mortgantown, WV for 35 years.

Murray had an unlikely entry into radio, according to  In the late ’70s, Kay decided to return to the workforce after raising her two children.  She started at WAJR 37 years ago as a receptionist. When a talk show position opened up, then-general manager Dale Miller pushed Kay for the job.

Kay was stunned with the offer, but agreed to at least give it a try. The rest, as they say, is history.

Kay had no formal radio training, but she had other qualities that were far more important. She grew up in Morgantown and knew the community. She was warm with an easy laugh, but not a pushover.

Through the years, Kay had several different co-hosts—Carl Becker, Bill Nevin, Jim Stallings—but Kay was the constant. She became synonymous with the show, and with radio in Morgantown. The last two weeks have been filled with well-wishes, on-air and off, from so many people.

WAJR is airing a special two-hour Morgantown AM with a series of special guests to give her an appropriate send-off.

Newsweek Goes Inside The Opie&Anthony Break-Up

Opie and Anthony
SiriusXM broke up the Opie and Anthony Show last July when they fired Anthony after his Twitter comments were deemed offensive.

Opie and Jim Norton eventually re-signed with SiriusXM to continue on, and Anthony launched his own subscriber based streaming show, The Anthony Cumia Show.  Even though they had officially gone separate ways, the relationship between them was amicable– at least superficially– until recently.

Long time fans say they have noticed the strained relationship for years, but it wasn’t until last week, when an offhand comment seemed to spark an outpouring of anger, hurt, and resentment between the two radio hosts. The divide between the two former partners was so great, that they never spoke to each other directly, instead opting to air out their feelings via Twitter, Facebook, and through “monologues” on their respective shows beginning last Friday, and continuing through early this week.

Newsweek reporter Polly Mosendz spent a total of over three hours talking separately with Anthony Cumia, Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Jim Norton about the blow up, where it started, and where everyone stands now.  the piece includes the airing of dirty laundry, name calling, and even some tears and confessions.

Read More Now

Chicago Radio: Former Engineer Indicted for Felony Theft

John Valenta
Former College of DuPage employee has been charged with stealing from the campus radio station in a scheme similar to one he pulled off four years ago at another local college, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Retired radio engineer John Valenta was arrested Thursday after being charged with stealing more than $200,000 from WDCB 90.9 FM, a professionally run jazz station largely supported by tax dollars and listener donations.

Authorities allege that while working at the station, the 65-year-old Valenta submitted phony invoices from his side business between June 2006 and December 2013 for materials the school never received and work he never performed. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

April 10 In Radio HIstory

In 1922...WBT Charlotte, NC began broadcasting.

The station actually dates back  to December 1920, when Fred Laxton, Earle Gluck and Frank Bunker set up an amateur radio station in Laxton's home. Four months later, the station received an experimental license as 4XD. The trio decided to go commercial in 1922, and incorporated as the Southern Radio Corporation.

On April 10, the station signed on as the first fully licensed radio station south of Washington, D.C. WSB in Atlanta was the first station in the Southeast to actually broadcast, a month before WBT. However, the Commerce Department only authorized WSB to broadcast weather reports until it received its license a few months after WBT.

In 1925, the original owners sold WBT to Charlotte Buick dealer C.C. Coddington, who promoted both the radio station and his auto dealership with the slogan "Watch Buicks Travel." Coddington built a transmitter at a farm property he owned on Nations Ford Road in south Charlotte, where it remains today. He sold WBT to the two-year-old CBS network in 1929; CBS wanted to make WBBM in Chicago full time on 780 AM, which was a shared frequency with KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska and in order to do that they moved KFAB to 1110 AM. That was accomplished by directionalizing the signal of WBT. A series of power increases brought WBT to its current 50,000 watts.

New Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations forced CBS to sell the station to Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, forerunner of Jefferson-Pilot, in 1945, though it remained a CBS affiliate.

For much of its history, WBT aired a variety of programming including news, sports, soap operas, and musical programs such as "Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks." Smith, best known for writing the song that became the Deliverance theme "Dueling Banjos", went to work at WBT at age 20 at the invitation of station manager Charles Crutchfield. He played guitar and fiddle for musical programs on WBT before getting his own show. Crutchfield believed that Charlotte, not Nashville, could have ended up being the country music capital because of the station's early "Briarhoppers" and "Carolina Hayride" shows, which may have inspired The Grand Ole Opry.

WBT's Grady Cole
Grady Cole was WBT morning host for 32 years, replaced in 1961 by Ty Boyd, who hosted the morning show until 1973, playing such artists as Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee and Petula Clark. Then he moved to WBTV. He returned to WBT in 2008 to co-host the morning show while its regular hosts took time off.

WBT was the number one station in Charlotte for many years; among its employees were Charles Kuralt and Nelson Benton. But by 1970, WBT was down to number nine, and national advertising representative Blair Radio Network wanted ratings to improve. Jefferson Standard did not like the idea of change, but Blair enlisted Mel Goldberg to research what programming Charlotte needed. Even Crutchfield gave in, and WBT let go 28 staffers and spent $200,000 on changes that included new studios. It also canceled many programs that advertisers supported but which didn't attract enough listeners.

WBT's H.A. Thompson
Henry Boggan
On March 15, 1971, WBT switched to adult contemporary music during the day; Rob Hunter and H. A. Thompson were new DJs. Bob Lacey started at WBT in 1972 with a nighttime talk show "Lacey Listens". Two years later, WBT had reached number one again, reaching the highest Arbitron numbers on record to this day. Around the same time, the station dropped its longtime affiliation with CBS Radio and joined ABC. WBT won Billboard adult contemporary station of the year in 1976 and 1978. In 1979, "Hello Henry" Boggan began his nighttime talk show.

WBT made changes to its format on December 10, 1990, hoping to attract more women. The station dropped James K. Flynn, Thompson and Tom Desio, generating numerous protests.

John Hancock
Don Russell had hosted "Russell & Flynn" in the morning; the show was renamed "Russell & Friends." John Hancock became midday host, and WBTV personalities Mike and Barbara McKay began an afternoon program. Boggan, whose show had run in the afternoon, returned to his evening slot, replacing Desio, but was sometimes pre-empted by sports programs.

Lincoln Financial Group bought Jefferson-Pilot in 2006. The merged company retained Jefferson-Pilot's broadcasting division, renaming it Lincoln Financial Media. In January 2008, Lincoln Financial sold WBT-AM-FM and WLNK to Greater Media of Braintree, Massachusetts. It sold its three television stations, including WBTV, to Raycom Media--thus breaking up Charlotte's last heritage radio/television cluster. Greater Media had long wanted to expand into the fast-growing Charlotte market; its owner had wanted to buy WBT after hearing its signal at night on Cape Cod.

In 1967…The 13-day strike by the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists (AFTRA) ended, less than two hours before the 39th Academy Awards presentation was to go on the air.

In 1978...NYC Radio personality Long John Nebel WNBC died.

Long John Nebel
In the mid-1950s, radio throughout the United States was floundering and trying to redefine itself after the explosive popularity of television. Over several years, Nebel had become friends with many people at various New York radio stations when he bought commercial time to advertise his auction house. WOR, one of New York's leading stations, faced poor ratings in 1954 when Nebel proposed an interview show. The format "would be devoted to discussing strange and unexplained topics".

WOR's management was not especially impressed by Nebel's idea. However, deciding they had little to lose, WOR offered him a midnight to 5:30 am time slot, the poorest-rated hours. Building on the modest fame of his auction house (and also hoping to generate more business), he used the same name, Long John, when he went on radio.

To the surprise of WOR's management, Nebel's show was a quick success among New York's night-owls and early risers. Unidentified flying objects were discussed almost daily, alongside topics such as voodoo, witchcraft, parapsychology, hypnotism, conspiracy theories, and ghosts. Perhaps fittingly for an overnight show, one of Nebel's sponsors was No-Doz caffeine pills.

Within a few months Nebel was getting not only high ratings, but press attention from throughout the United States for his distinctive and in many ways unprecedented program (WOR's powerful signal assured that Nebel's show was broadcast to over half of the United States' population).

WOR was worried about some of Nebel's guests or callers uttering a swear word on the air. Nebel used one of the first tape delay systems in radio, giving engineers a chance to edit unacceptable language before it was broadcast. In 1956, engineer Russell Tinklepaugh invented the system Nebel used. He built a modified Ampex 300 tape deck with an additional set of heads. The deck was able to record on a loop of 1/4" tape, and carry the tape around the perimeter of the deck to be played on the second set of heads. This resulted in a delay of several seconds, enough time to hit the "stop" button to avoid airing foul language.

In 1970…Paul McCartney made public the Beatles' secret breakup by issuing a press release to announce that he had left the group.

It was done in the form of a fake interview: "Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones? PAUL: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know." John Lennon was furious, especially since the breakup was announced a week prior to the UK release of McCartney's first solo album. When a reporter tracked down Lennon for his thoughts, he replied, "Paul hasn't left. I sacked him."

In 1987...Newsman Dick Smythe ended an 18-year run at CHUM-FM and walked across the street to CFTR-FM.  Earlier in his career, Smythe was news director at The Big 8 CKLW.

In 1998...NYC Radio Personality Eddie O’Jay, WLIB, WWRL died.

Eddie O'Jay
O'Jay was from the old fast-talking school, and the signature phrase most cited Tuesday was the famous "Don't lose your head. You need your head. Your brain is in it. You hear?

His career began in 1951 as a Disc Jockey at WOKY in Milwaukee. From there, he went to WABQ in Cleveland, and WUFO in Buffalo, finally working my way to the "Soul at Sunrise" show on WWRL, WBLS and WLIB in New York City. After a distinguished 27 year career in radio in the United States, he expanded to include an internationally syndicated radio program on "Swazi Music Radio," in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1980.

He's been inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame.

While at WABQ, O'Jay discovered a group of five young beginners in the business called The Mascots from Canton and Masilon, Ohio.  O'Jay was asked to manage and direct the group which took hi name, The O'Jays. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 2013…Radio programmer (WOKY and WRIT-Milwaukee)/manager (WDRQ-Detroit)/broadcasting executive (Bartell executive VP) George Wilson died of complications from an earlier heart attack at age 83.