Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 17 Radio History

In 1938...the Radio quiz show "Information Please!" premiered on the NBC Blue Network.

Information Please was one of the most popular radio shows in the 1930s and 1940s. Oscar Levant, Franklin P. Adams and John Kieran were regulars with Clifton Fadiman acting as host. RKO produced a series a films of the radio show and most of them have been lost.

In 1971...In the NYC Market, Country WJRZ 970 AM became Top40 WWDJ..The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the Five Boroughs and was virtually nonexistent on Long Island and western New Jersey. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WEPN-FM), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings.

In November 1973 it was ranked 15th in the Arbitron ratings.WWDJ changed format to Religious on April 1, 1974.

In 2006...NYC and Philadelphia radio personality Long John Wade died at the age of 66.

From the early '70s, listen for a Wade audio clip on 56 WFIL in Philly at the :30-second time mark:

"Long John" was, in reality, Carl Wehde. He worked at WDRC 1360 AM in Hartford, just before coming to WFIL. It was there that Long John worked with another WFIL Boss Jock, Jim Nettleton. Jim did 10 am to 1 pm and Long John did afternoon drive.

Long John wasn't an original 56WFIL Boss Jock when the station flipped format in September of 1966.

However, by Thanksgiving of that same year, Wade had replaced Frank Kingston Smith on the 2 to 6 am overnight shift. He then moved to the 10 pm to 2 am time slot where he became a Philly fixture. He stayed with the station for five years.

Wade said that he got the nickname "Long John" because of his height (6 foot, 4 inches tall). He could always reach the top shelf in the record library.

In August of 1964, the WDRC's PD sent him on tour with the Beatles. Only two U.S. radio people were on the entire Beatles tour, Larry Kane and Long John Wade.

It cost WDRC five grand, in expenses, to have Long John join the whole tour. The station turned that money into a profit when they sold Wade's reports to 11 other radio stations. Long John reported that the young weren't the only ones that loved the Beatles. He said, "I saw newsmen picking up the cigarette butts discarded by Ringo, or an old coffee cup that Paul used."

Wade said that during his stay at WDRC, he was consistenly drawing a 50 percent share in a market of 16 stations. One out of every two radio listeners were tuning in his program.

Long John became radio’s Beatles information expert. He developed a personal friendship with each of the group. The tempermental John Lennon, it has been reported, once punched Long John for asking an impertinent question. The two remained close for years, with John Lennon inviting Wade to join himself and Yoko Ono for their infamous bed-in in May of 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

Of the Beatles, Long John Wade once said: “Personally, I would say John Lennon is the ‘thinker.’ Ringo is the funniest, Paul the friendliest, and George is the quiet one.”

Before his WFIL days, Long John worked at these stations in Massachusetts (some while attending Boston University): WHIL, Medford; WAAB, Worcester; WHAV, Haverhill; WORL, Boston; WTAO, Boston; WSPR, Springfield (where he used the name "Johnny Midnight.") During his prep school days, he ran the campus radio station in New Hampton, NH.

Long John had later stops at WIFI and WCAU in Philadelphia (he did morning drive on FM and then had a talk show on AM). Then, we went to WCBS-FM in New York City.

In 1979, Wade was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder and left the business he loved so much.

Long John Wade suffered a stroke in 1996 which left him with speech problems. He also lost the total use of his right hand. He battled bad health for a decade.

Long John had two brothers, Tom Wehde and Don (known as Don Wade on the air). The late Don and his wife, Roma, former co-host the morning show on WLS-AM Chicago.

George Stephanopoulos Offers On-Air Apology

George Stephanopoulos
After coming under heavy criticism for donating $75,000 to the foundation of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Stephanopoulos on Friday made an on-air apology.

Addressing the revelation that he failed to inform viewers or his bosses at ABC, Stephanopoulos conceded on Good Morning America, "I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the foundation and I now believe directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake."  The former Bill Clinton operative spun the donations, saying, "Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict." He added, "I apologize to all of you for failing to do that."

Continuing with the self-serving retelling, the co-host insisted, "I have made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record."

According to Newsbusters, Stephanopoulos's claim that he only gave money with the intention of helping is at odds with what he told Jon Stewart on the April 28 Daily Show. Then, when the donations weren't known to the general public, he frankly admitted, "But everybody also knows when those donors give that money, President Clinton or someone, they get a picture with him. There is a hope that is going to lead to something."

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post commented on his blog Friday the failure to disclose "are generating a world of trouble for ABC News".

"First, he erred in judgment by making contributions to a charity headed by the country’s premier Democratic family. Second, he committed the evasion of failing to disclose the contributions just when they took on relevance."

L-I Radio: WBZO Rebrands As MaxFM

Connoisseur Media/Long Island has rerebranded its Classic Hits WBZO 103.1 FM as "The New 103.1 MAX FM" with the slogan "Classic Hits of the 70s, 80s and More."

The station launches with an expanded playlist and expanded signal. By obtaining ownership of Connecticut's "102.9 The Whale," the company was able to "MAXimize" its signal will give 103.1 MAX FM the ability to reach nearly 400,000 people that it did not reach in the past.

"We are very grateful to be able to so dramatically expand the coverage of 103.1," said Connoisseur Media Owner/CEO Jeff Warshaw. "It is exciting and very unusual for this to happen in a major market that affects so many listeners."

"It's like 103.1 FM has been MAX-imized," added GM/Market Manager Jim Condron. "We're now able to bring a great product to more of Long Island's towns, villages and hamlets allowing the station to deliver even stronger results for advertisers and community groups. It's the perfect brand for this expanded signal because it's so versatile and there's no controversial or questionable music, it's the hits that make everybody want to sing along."


"We knew this was the time to introduce a new station for Long Islanders," commented PD Patrick Shea. "MAX is a fun sounding, family friendly station that's filled with familiar classic hits... there isn't a song on the station that you don't know. We've also added weekday commercial free hours so we can play even more music and really MAX out on what our audience wants."

WBZO 103.1 FM (1.55 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The station will musically focus on artists like, Boston, Queen, The Rolling Stones and of course Long Islands own Billy Joel. Monday the station unveils an exciting on-air line up to with “Jim and Kelly”….Jim Douglas returns to Long Island from NYC and is joined by Kelly Dyson. Middays will be hosted by Patrick Shea who has spent 12 Years as a Staple on WALK. Rounding out the Ride home is PD Ralph Tortora, most recently with WAXQ-FM NYC.  The station will also feature two hours of commercial-free music starting at 9am weekdays.

Denver Radio: Josh Everett New PD At KHOW, KKZN

Josh Everett
iHeartMedia/Denver has announced that Josh Everett has been named Program Director at Talk KHOW 630 AM and Real Talk KKZN 760 AM.

The appointment is effective July 1.

Everett most recently served as Program and News Director for iHeartMedia's WGY 810 AM / 103.1 FM and Sports WOFX 980 AM in Albany, New York.

Prior to that he programmed WLAP 630 AM in Lexington, Kentucky.

He will report to Greg Foster, Vice President, News/Talk/Sports Programming for iHeartMedia Denver.

"Josh is a rising star in our industry," said Foster. "We're fortunate to have a programmer of his caliber at the helm of these unique spoken word stations."

"I'm thrilled to be chosen as the new Program Director of KHOW and KKZN," said Everett. "The opportunity to work with talented staffs of both stations, and the entire team at iHeartMedia Denver, is truly special. I can't wait to move west."

Boston Radio: John Dennis Returns Monday To WEEI-FM

John Dennis
John Dennis, co-host of WEEI 93.7 FM morning-drive “Dennis & Callahan” program, said he plans to return to the airwaves Monday after three weeks of being treated for alcohol addiction.

Dennis last appeared on the station on April 13, the day of the Red Sox’ Fenway Park opener. He attended the game that day, but called in sick the next morning and has yet to return to work.

“The smartest thing I did was to come out of the alcoholic’s closet, to steal a phrase,” he told the Boston Herald Friday. “The thing that held me back, the thing I was most afraid of, was going public with this and hearing the response and the reaction, or the criticism, whatever. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Dennis said that when the news broke of his plan to enter rehab on April 16, “Over the course of the next few days . . . on Twitter I had over 900 tweets at me, and 899 of them were saying, ‘We’re behind you,’ ‘Proud of you,’ ‘Fight the good fight.’ All those things. And one guy out of 900-plus said, ‘I hope you get AIDS and die in a house fire.’ While that seems a little harsh, one of 900 was remarkable.

Dennis said he spent two weeks undergoing in-patient treatment at McLean Ambulatory Treatment Center at Naukeag, located in Ashburnham. He said he is now attending an outpatient program at Emerson Hospital in Concord. He is completing his work week at Emerson and will continue with the program next week, he said, while returning to the morning-drive program he does with co-hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane.

SiriusXM Features the Music Of B.B. KIng

SiriusXM D Friday announced that its blues channel, B.B. King's Bluesville, which was created in partnership with blues legend B.B. King, will pay tribute to the beloved musician's life and career with special programming through Sunday and over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

B.B. King's SiriusXM channel, devoted to authentic blues from the past to the present, will feature special tributes showcasing music from King's iconic career including his work with other artists such as U2 and Eric Clapton. The channel invites listeners to call in to share personal memories, favorite songs and more.

Listeners can call 866-267-0454.

SiriusXM's B.B. King's Bluesville will air only B.B. King's music all weekend until Monday, May 18 at 12:00 am ET.  Also over Memorial Day Weekend, B.B. King's Bluesville will feature an extensive, weekend-long tribute to B.B. King featuring music, artist remembrances and tributes from listeners.

B.B. King's Bluesville airs via satellite on channel 70 and through the SiriusXM App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at

May 16 Radio HIstory

In 1925...WHAS 840 AM, Louisville, Kentucky, originated the first network broadcast of the Kentucky Derby.

In 1946...Jack Mullin demonstrates Magnetophon at Institute of Radio Engineers convention. The Magnetophon tape recorder was one of the first recording machines to use magnetic tape in preserving voice and music.

In 1960...Billboard magazine reports that Detroit music mogul Berry Gordy is thinking of starting three new record labels, including one called Motown.

In 1994...the Howard Stern Radio Show debuted on WTKS 104.1 FM, Orlando.

In 2013…Radio programmer (RKO Radio, Radio Marti, KHJ-Los Angeles, KFRC-San Francisco, WIBG-Philadelphia, CKLW-Windsor-Detroit)/former disc jockey (WAKE, WGST, WQXI, all in Atlanta) Paul Drew died at the age of 78.

Paul Drew
Drew, a graduate of Wayne State University in his native Detroit, began his professional radio career in 1961 as a DJ with Atlanta station WAKE. He later moved crosstown to WGST and then WQXI, where he was promoted to program director. Leaving WQXI in 1967, Drew moved on to programming gigs at CKLW in Windsor, Ontario-Detroit, WIBG in Philadelphia, KFRC in San Francisco and former Los Angeles powerhouse top 40 KHJ.

In the early ‘70s, he was appointed VP of programming for RKO Radio, a nationwide chain whose roster at one time included KHJ and sister KRTH, KFRC, WOR & WXLO (99X) New York and WHBQ Memphis, among other stations in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. Their formats ranged from top 40 and adult contemporary to classical, oldies and talk.

During the course of his career, Drew worked with and/or mentored a diverse array of radio personalities, programmers, consultants and industry writers. That list includes consultants Jerry Clifton and Guy Zapoleon, writers Gerry Cagle (Network 40), Walt “Baby” Love (Radio & Records) and Jerry Del Colliano (Inside Radio), as well as air personalities Rick Dees, Dr. Don Rose, Jay Thomas and Charlie Van Dyke.

When personality Don Rose died in 2005, Paul Drew paid tribute to one of the brightest stars of the local radio business throughout the 60's - 80's. Full of energy and endless wit, he was the number one rated air personality everywhere he went: ie. Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nielsen Handicaps The PPM Ponies For Summer

With the second leg of the Triple Crown set to get underway this weekend in Baltimore, horse racing is once again enjoying its annual moment in the spotlight.

Over on the radio dial, Nielsen reports it’s also a big time of year for jockeying; that is, tracking the fortunes of major radio formats with summer right around the corner.

In March, Nielsen saw Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and Classic Rock bolt out of the gate strong, and with the release of Nielsen’s April portable people meter (PPM) results, Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) and Country are also looking to show in the race for summertime success on the airwaves.

Historically, the crown of ‘format of the summer’ is awarded to the major format that sees the most audience growth during June, July and August compared to the first five calendar months of the year. There’s still a ways go around the yearly track, but as we head towards the first turn, let’s examine the pole positions for some of radio’s most popular formats.

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After a spike last month among all listeners aged 6 and over, Pop CHR dipped slightly in April (going from 8.7% to 8.5%) but is still ahead of its pace looking back over the past four years. The format held steady with 18 to 34 year olds since March (12.8%), and in the 25-54 demographic, the format trended down just a tenth of a share-point (9.5% to 9.4%).

However, the real headline story this month is the record-setting pace that Classic Rock. Nielsen says for the third straight month, the format went out and set new records for audience share. Classic rock is enjoying more than just a few hot monthlies.
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Speaking of a record-setting pace, Nielsen says Hot AC isn’t far behind Classic Rock this month. While we haven’t mentioned the format recently, it has been quietly having another great year and breaking records along the way. In April, Hot AC set new records for its best share under PPM measurement for both listeners 6 and older.
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Overall, April was a good month for Country, which saw positive share growth across all three age groups, posting its best month since last November.
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Note: Nielsen Audio officially has 48 measured PPM markets, but three of them (Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, and San Jose) are included in the larger New York and San Francisco metro areas. Therefore, the listening data from those markets are included in these results even though we did not break them out separately.

Milwaukee Radio: WMIL, WTMJ Retain 1-2 Rankings

WMIL 106.1 FM and WTMJ 620 AM maintained their hold on the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the radio ratings race in April.

According to Nielsen Audio (6+ TW AQH) data, Country WMIL had a 10.5 share of the overall audience from March 26 through April 22. That was down from a 10.7 share in the previous month.

WTMJ had a 10.1 share, up from a 9.1 share in March. The AM news/talk/sports station has been gaining in the overall ratings, scoring a 10.1 share in the winter quarter ratings book that ended in March.

Oldies station WRIT 95.7 FM ranked third in the April radio ratings, with a 7.8 share, up from a 7.0 the previous month. News/talk WISN 1130 AM and adult-contemporary WMYX 99.1 FM tied for fourth, with a 5.7 share; WISN dropped from a 6.6, while WMYX edged higher from a 5.4 in the March ratings period.

Cume: WRIT-FM 500,800...WMIL-FM 479,500...WMYX-FM 455,700...WXSS-FM 424,800...WTMJ-AM 352,100

Of note:
  • WKLH-FM, which rebranded itself during the survey from “Classic Rock” to “Hometown Rock,” jumped 0.3 of a share;
  • WLDB-FM which rebranded itself from B93 to “Trending Radio” and adopted a Hot AC format in competition with WMYX – and dropping Jane Matenaer in the process – dropped 0.8 of a share, the biggest decline in the survey. WMYX jumped 0.3

Nielsen Completes April PPM Releases

Nielsen released the final batch of April PPM data on Thursday for the following markets:

 35  Austin

 38  Milwaukee-Racine

 40  Indianapolis

 42  Raleigh-Durham

 43  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

 44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

 45  Nashville

 46  Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point  

 48  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

 50  Jacksonville FL

 51  Memphis

 52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

To see the Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations: Click Here

NYC Radio: Anita Marks Joins ESPN 98.7 FM

Anita Marks
Versatile sports radio and television broadcaster Anita Marks will join ESPN New York WEPN  98.7FM as a weekend host beginning Sunday, May 17, at 11 a.m. ET.  She will then co-host Ruocco & Rothenberg with host Ryan Ruocco for four days, May 18 - 21 from noon – 1 p.m. each day, filling in while Dave Rothenberg is on vacation.

Additionally, she will provide SportsCenter updates regularly on weekdays and host or co-host multiple shows as needed. ESPN New York 98.7FM will be the exclusive radio home to Marks.

“I am thrilled to be joining ESPN New York 98.7FM and look forward to getting started next week,” Marks said. “There is so much passion for sports in the New York market and, after hosting national radio shows the last few years, I’m excited at the opportunity to focus on this amazing sports town, to cover these storied local teams and to talk sports with one of the best fan bases anywhere.”

Added Tim McCarthy, General Manager, ESPN New York 98.7FM, “Anita has vast sports knowledge and she will focus on bringing listeners behind the scenes, utilizing her experience as an athlete, reporter and host of a variety of national and local shows.”

Marks has more than a decade of sports talk radio experience, including such markets as New York, Baltimore and Miami, and most recently was the host of The Anita Marks Show on NBC Sports Radio (2013 – 2015).  She also appeared this past NFL season as an analyst on CBS Sports Network’s That Other Pregame Show and has covered the New York Giants for and MSG Network for several years. Marks had previously hosted shows on WFAN and Sirius XM, among others, and has served as a fantasy football analyst for Bleacher Report and Bloomberg Sports.

WEPN 98.7 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
A former quarterback for the Miami Fury and Florida Stingrays of the Women’s Professional Football League, Marks graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Communications

iHM Sez Cutting Skywave Protection Would Hurt Big AMers

In the on-going debate about how to help AM station owners, a visit this week to the FCC by iHeartMedia EVP Engineering & Systems Integration Jeff Littlejohn sheds light on how one station owner thinks about handling skywave protections, according to RadioWorld.

In a meeting that included Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake, Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle and other FCC staff, Littlejohn noted that iHeart accessed Nielsen’s National Regional Database of diary and Portable People Meter ratings to see how many potential listeners a Class A could lose if the skywave protections were lowered to those equivalent for a Class B.

The NRD allows Nielsen clients to capture listening outside the standard market definitions.

The study showed about 600,000 existing listeners of Class As account for 3 million+ hours of listening per week, would potentially lose service if skywave protections were relaxed, according to an ex parte filing.

Quality and expensive full-service news and sports programming with reliable coverage is often what drives listeners to Class As, he noted. “National and regional advertisers expect wide-area, multistate coverage, especially at night, from Class A AM stations, so that the loss of listeners outside of standard Metro areas would undercut the profitability of Class A stations and reduce the ability to continue the high-quality programming expected by their audiences,” according to the meeting summary.

AMs are losing listeners to FM because of electromagnetic interference on the band. If current protections were relaxed, interference to higher class AMs stations would likely rise.

Pandora Loses To BMI

Pandora Media Inc. has lost a legal battle over the royalty rates it pays songwriters and composers, marking a victory for publishing rights group BMI.

The LA Times reports a federal rate court Thursday ruled in favor of BMI -- Broadcast Music Inc. -- which had asked the court to raise Pandora's payments to 2.5% of its revenue from 1.75%, according to statements from both parties.

The decision is an enormous victory for the more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and publishers that BMI has the privilege to represent," BMI said in a statement. "This is an important step forward in valuing music in the digital age."

Pandora pledged to appeal the ruling.

"We remain confident in our legal position," said David Grimaldi, Pandora's head of public affairs.

"We strongly believe the benchmarks cited by the court do not provide an appropriate competitive foundation for a market rate."

The ruling follows two recent legal victories for Pandora. A federal appeals court last week ruled against BMI's biggest rival, ASCAP, to keep Pandora's rate at 1.85%. In a separate dispute, the Federal Communications Commission cleared the way for Pandora to buy a South Dakota terrestrial radio station, a move that the company hopes can pave the road to lower royalties.

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R.I.P.: B.B. King Is Gone

RIP B.B. King
B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname "King of the Blues," died late Thursday.

He was 89.

Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg confirmed the death to NBC News. Earlier, attorney Brent Bryson told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas.

Although he had continued to perform well into his 80s, the 15-time Grammy winner suffered from diabetes and had been in declining health during the past year. He collapsed during a concert in Chicago last October, later blaming dehydration and exhaustion.

He had been in hospice care at his Las Vegas home.

Born Riley B. King on Sept. 16, 1925, on a tenant farm near Itta Bena, Mississippi, he was raised by his grandmother after his parents separated and his mother died. He worked as a sharecropper for five years.

For most of a career spanning nearly 70 years, King was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists, who included Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Keith Richards. He recorded more than 50 albums and toured the world well into his 80s, often performing 250 or more concerts a year.

PA Radio: WROZ Is Now 'Fun 101.3' FM

Hall Communications has announced a rebranding of it's WROZ 101.3 FM in the Harrisburg, Lancaster, York PA markets.

The station dropped 'The rose' at noon Thursday for 'Fun 101.3'.

The format continues as A/C leaning more toward HotAC and one staffer has been moved to a clustermate station.

General Manager Billy Baldwin said: "The foundation of our brand will be more music, less talk, and songs that will make the workday more fun. Our music, on-air talent, and promotions are all about fun. We decided to adopt a new name that brings it into focus: The All-New Fun 101.3."

"Being contemporary means giving our listeners and clients a clutter-free experience," added Baldwin. "Fun 101.3 is about more music, less talk, and always six songs in a row whenever we start the music."

WROZ 101.3 FM  (7.4 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Fun 101.3 will continue WROZ' annual flip to all-holiday music.

Stephanopoulos Regrets Clinton Donations

George Stephanopoulos
ABC's George Stephanopoulos, host of the Sunday morning political affairs show This Week and co-anchor of Good Morning America, said yesterday that he shouldn't have donated money to the Clinton Foundation, and that he will not moderate a Republican primary debate on February 6th being sponsored by ABC News.

Stephanapoulos said he gave three donations of $25,000 each in 2012, 2013 and 2014 because of the organization's work on global AIDS prevention and deforestation.

He said he'd thought the donations were a matter of public record, but now realizes he should have gone the extra step and disclosed them.

Addressing the February debate, he told Politico, "I think I've shown I can moderate a debate fairly. That said, I know there have been questions made about moderating debates this year. I want to be sure I don't deprive viewers of a good debate."

The network issued a statement supporting Stephanopoulos, who joined ABC News in 1997 after having served as communications director on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, and then communications director and senior adviser to Clinton in the White House.

The issue of that background has come to the fore again with Hillary Clinton running for president. Republican candidate Senator Rand Paul said yesterday that Stephanopoulos should be barred from moderating any debates during the 2016 presidential campaign, and GOP Senator Mike Lee of Utah also contended that he should recuse himself from all 2016 campaign coverage.

Country Hit List With Fitz Goes Interactive

Sun Broadcast Group has announced the Country Countdown Show "The Hit List With Fitz" has gone interactive powered by Shazam for Radio.

Listeners can use Shazam to get access to additional content, allowing them to interact with what they are listening to in real time. In addition, the show also includes "hidden" interactive content, including behind the scenes video, exclusive contests and insider information on featured artists.

Also, listeners can immediately replay what they've heard and share it with their friends across social media, e-mail and text. The show also features an interactive segment, "The Fitz Challenge," where listeners can play along live using Shazam.

"We are changing the way listeners interact with radio by allowing them to get content in real time, as they listen to the radio," said Fitz. "When my partners at Sun Broadcast Group told me about incorporating Shazam for Radio into our broadcasts, every hair on my body stood up. Now my 'P1's since D1' are even more engaged and listening longer. This is our way of securing the future of radio in this new digital world."

"Since the launch of the platform, the number of Shazams during broadcasts have increased dramatically" said Sun Broadcast Group's Senior VP Programming

NPR's Jarl Mohn Says He's Having Fun

Dan Reed, Jarl Mohn
"I'm about to celebrate my first anniversary, and have committed to a minimum of five years," Jarl Mohn said Thursday with WXPN on-air personality and conference producer Dan Reed in a one-on-one chat at the noncommercial radio broadcasters' meeting, Non-COMMvention, at WXPN/World Cafe Live. "One of the things that helps me with this job is that I don't really need it. Someone gave me the perfect sign that now hangs in my office. It reads, 'You can't hurt me.' "

At NPR, which has 26 million radio listeners and more than 30 million unique visitors a month online, Mohn's biggest success so far has been in marketing the heck out of Morning Edition, reports

"Public radio has a lot going on, and the tendency is to want to promote it all," he said. "But that dilutes the messages and the brand." So he persuaded "a bunch but not all NPR stations" to commit to a concept he called the "Spark Project" - a super-focused promotion "of just two or three elements appearing on Morning Edition - with promos repeating about 100 times a week - a lot to ask."

The results? "Ratings for KPPC in Los Angeles are up 30 percent in morning drive. KUT in Austin, Texas, is now No. 1 in the market. Other stations are up as much as 70 percent. In overall ratings, our 'control group' of stations that haven't gone along with the concept are down 13 percent, while those that went with Spark are up 2 percent. Hey, 'Haters gonna hate.' "

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TX Radio: WayFM To Acquire Non-Com KVRK-FM

Research Educational Foundation, Inc., the nonprofit owner/operator of Christian rock – formatted KVRK 89.7 FM, Dallas (licensed to Sanger TX) has announced that they have entered into an agreement to sell the station to WAY Media.

The station signed on the air in 1999.

Dallas will be the largest market for Colorado Springs-based WAY-FM, which was founded in the late 1980’s by Bob and Felice Augsburg.

Stan Thomas, President of KVRK, said about the transfer to WAY-FM, “KVRK 89.7 FM is pleased to announce that we will be selling the station to WAY-FM. When our board decided to make a change at the station, we knew that because WAY-FM had long been a leader in Christian music broadcasting, their format would make an excellent addition to the Dallas/Fort Worth market. We welcome Bob Augsburg and his team to Dallas!”

KVRK 89.7 FM (14 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Bob Augsburg stated, “Our 2020 Vision compels us to reach more people and impact more lives for Jesus through our various channels of ministry including FM signals. We are thrilled and honored that the board of KVRK-FM chose WAY-FM to carry on the legacy of ministry which Power FM began in the Metroplex nearly two decades ago. We look forward to introducing the WALLY Show, the Brant Hansen show, Carlos and Joy, Justin Lairsey, and the WAY-FM brand of Uplifting, Upbeat, and Real to the Dallas – Fort Worth area. We also remain committed to continuing our legacy of strong local community involvement with the new station.”

TX Radio: Alpha Media Drive Helps Tornado Victims

Alpha Media East Texas have announced the completion of its emergency drive to assist victims of the E3 tornado in Van, Texas. Early morning May 11, the community of Van, Texas, was devastated by an E3 tornado that ripped through the heart of the town. 30% of the town’s structures were damaged or destroyed. 2 citizens lost their lives, dozens were injured, some critically, and the area was in serious need of emergency assistance.

Alpha Media radio stations; KOYE, KKUS, KYKX, and KOOI in partnership with local TV station CBS19, organized an impromptu drive, urging East Texas residents to donate nonperishable items, cash, and clothing to help in Van’s time of need. Each station broadcast from locations that also served as dropoff points for donations. The studios were also designated as dropoff locations. In less than 24 hours, the stations raised about $5000 in funds, and filled a box truck and 5 other vehicles with approximately $10,000 worth of food, water, clothing, and personal hygiene items, enough to nearly fill a storage building.

The items were delivered by staff members on Tuesday, May 12th, directly to the relief agencies at the storm’s ground zero.

Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming, Scott Mahalick commented on the announcement, “It’s because of our great live and local team, that we are able to pull off such extraordinary efforts. I’m proud not only of our East Texas teammates but of the Tyler and Longview communities for opening their arms and generously embracing their own in need.”

Alpha Media East Texas Market Manager Ginger Dockery added, “Like no other media, local radio provides a unique way to immediately address the needs of a community. We are so very fortunate to be able to harness the power of local radio, combined with a dynamic crew, to execute an emergency drive like this smoothly and successfully.”

Dru Laborde, Alpha Media East Texas Operations Manager, commented on listener response, “It never ceases to amaze me what East Texans will do for each other when emergencies arise. They give until it hurts, and then give some more. I am proud to be a part of a community that pulls together for its neighbors, and even prouder of my co-workers who rose to the challenge and made this effort so successful.”

'The Simpsons' Will Recast Character Voices

'The Simpsons will not be killing off any of the characters voiced by Harry Shearer even though he is exiting the show at the end of this season.

Showrunner Al Jean revealed that they plan to recast the characters "with the finest voiceover talent available."

TMZ is reporting, however, that producers are hoping to still work things out with Harry. A source explained, "It was difficult for him not to come back.

He loves all 23 of his characters. If there's a way to work this out and continue to have a career in addition to 'The Simpsons' he would be delighted."

Executive Producer James L. Brooks even tweeted,

Attention Spans Are Getting Shorter

We'll make this quick.

Finding yourself easily distracted by shiny objects?

You're not alone.

A new study from Microsoft shows that our attention spans are rapidly dropping. Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 Canadians and monitored the brain activity of 112 people to come to their conclusion. They found the Canadian attention span has dropped from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to just eight seconds today. That's sad when you consider the attention span of the average goldfish is believed to be nine seconds.

Researchers note, "Canadians with more digital lifestyles... struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed." Overall, 44 percent of survey respondents said they struggle to focus on tasks, and 37 percent admitted their inability to use time well forces them to work late or on the weekends.

R.I.P.: Radio Personality, Programmer Rob Hunter

Robert “Rob” Hunter, also known at Rex Holiday, died Wednesday at his home  in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.

He was 57-years-of-age and his death was unexpected.

Hunter worked most of his career in radio media in various cities throughout the Southeast, including Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Kentucky. Stations included WZYP, WSKZ, WWKZ, WHHT, WQLT and WEPG, several of which he programmed

He was the recipient of numerous regional, state and national media awards.

R.I.P.: South Padre Island Radio Personality Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson
For well over a decade, Jim William Wilson ruled the airwaves of Deep South Texas with his deep, resonating voice and his throwback style and delivery, reminiscent of the golden era of radio.

Wilson passed away May 5 in Corpus Christi.

He was 72-years-of-age according to

He will long be remembered as a creative, engaging and entertaining personality whose radio career spanned five decades and included multiple radio assignments at stations across the U.S., in Puerto Rico and the Philippines, ending with a 10 year stint on South Padre Island.

“Most people on the lower coast remember Jim’s voice but few knew about his long and illustrious career,” said Logan Hawkes, the last general manager of KZSP-FM and KESO-FM before the stations were sold to Border Media in 2006.

“But among his peers, he has long been recognized and respected as one of the major voices and personalities of the radio industry.”

Wilson ended his career at the Island stations after serving six years at KZSP-KESO as operations and production manager and five years at KVPA-FM in Port Isabel, a station owned by the late Charlie Trub.

R.I.P.: Penn State Radio Voice Fran Fisher

His radio voice stayed strong and true until the end.

Fran Fisher, who died Wednesday night at 91, will be remembered as much for the way he embraced the Penn State community as for being the longtime voice of the Nittany Lions.

The York Daily Record reports in recent weeks he was still writing commercials and ad spots, watching spring football practice and enjoying meals with longtime friends.

Fisher joined the Penn State Football Radio Network as an analyst in 1966 — Joe Paterno's first year as head coach. He went on to call some of the Nittany Lions' most memorable victories, including the 1983 Sugar Bowl. He served as the Lions' play-by-play voice from 1970-82 and returned to the booth from 1994-99, working alongside analyst, sidekick and good friend George Paterno.

"He was around for so many great days," said former assistant coach Jay Paterno. "Every time I saw him, I felt like a piece of my uncle George or my dad was around.

Fisher actually saw his first Penn State game as a kid in 1932, watching Waynesburg upset the Lions at old Beaver Field. He attended Penn State in the 1940s and played saxophone in the Blue Band, but he never graduated after World War II took him away, according to longtime friend Lou Prato, an author and Penn State sports historian.

Fisher, a lifelong Pittsburgh Pirates fan, reportedly met Honus Wagner, saw Babe Ruth hit the final three home runs of his career at Forbes Field and worked the historic Game 7 of the 1960 World Series for a radio station in Greensburg, Pa.

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May 15 Radio History

In 1923...WJZ moves to New York City.

The WJZ call sign was first used on what is now WABC in New York City. The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, located originally in Newark, New Jersey.

WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York, and in 1926 WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network.  NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942. ABC later established WJZ-FM and WJZ-TV at the same time in 1948.

In 1953 ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, and changed the call letters of their New York area stations to WABC, WABC-FM (now WPLJ) and WABC-TV. Four years later, Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired Baltimore television station WAAM (channel 13) and changed its call letters to WJZ-TV, which remained an ABC affiliate until 1995 when the station switched to CBS.

In 1961...Peter Tripp of WMGM 1050 AM in NYC found guilty of 35 counts of "commercial bribery".  Tripp was a Top-40 countdown radio personality from the mid-1950s, whose career peaked with his 1959 record breaking 201 hour wakeathon (working on the radio non-stop without sleep to benefit the March of Dimes). For much of the stunt, he sat in a glass booth in Times Square. After a few days he began to hallucinate, and for the last 66 hours the observing scientists and doctors gave him drugs to help him stay awake. Tripp suffered psychologically, after the stunt, he began to think he was an imposter of himself, and kept that thought for some time.

His career soon suffered a massive downturn when he was involved in the payola scandal of 1960. Like several other disc jockeys (including Alan Freed) he had been playing particular records in return for gifts from record companies. Indicted only weeks after his stunt, it emerged that he had accepted $36,050 in bribes. Despite his claim that he "never took a dime from anyone", he was found guilty on a charge of commercial bribery, receiving a $500 fine and a six-month suspended sentence.

Even his wakeathon record did not endure for long. Other DJs had quickly attempted to beat it (such publicity stunts being common in radio broadcasting at the time) and Dave Hunter, in Jacksonville, Florida, soon claimed success (225 hours). Six years after Tripp's record, it was smashed by high school student Randy Gardner, who lasted 11 days.

Peter Tripp- WMGM
After leaving WMGM, Tripp was unable to re-establish himself in the world of radio, drifting from KYA in San Francisco to KGFJ in Los Angeles and finally WOHO in Toledo, Ohio, before quitting the medium in 1967. Returning to L.A., he had more success working in physical fitness sales and marketing. He diversified into freelance motivational speaking, writing and stockbroking before settling into a Palm Springs, California retirement.

Overall he had spent twenty years in broadcasting: he began with WEXL in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1947 then on to Kansas City, Missouri in 1953 where he worked for KUDL (where he adopted the nickname "The Bald Kid In The Third Row", apparently a description made by a parent upon spotting him among many rows of new-borns in a hospital shortly after his birth) and then WHB (restyling himself as "The Curly-headed Kid In The Third Row"; he was not, in reality, bald) where he was pioneer in the Top-40 format. It was in 1955 that he landed his ill-fated job with WMGM in New York, presenting "Your Hits of the Week".

Tripp died in 2000 at the age of 73 following a stroke, leaving two sons and two daughters. His four marriages all ended in divorce.

In 2001...XM Satellite Radio completes satellite system

XM Satellite Radio (XM) is one of two satellite radio (SDARS) services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM channels are identified by Arbitron with the label "XM" (e.g. "XM32").

From 2008...

The company has its origins in the 1988 formation of the American Mobile Satellite Corporation (AMSC), a consortium of several organizations originally dedicated to satellite broadcasting of telephone, fax, and data signals. In 1992, AMSC established a unit called the American Mobile Radio Corporation dedicated to developing a satellite-based digital radio service; this was spun off as XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc. in 1999. The satellite service was officially launched on September 25, 2001.

From 2005...

On July 29, 2008, XM and former competitor Sirius Satellite Radio formally completed their merger, following U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, forming Sirius XM Radio, Inc. with XM Satellite Radio, Inc. as its subsidiary.[1] On November 12, 2008, Sirius and XM began broadcasting with their new, combined channel lineups.[2] On January 13, 2011, XM Satellite Radio, Inc. was dissolved as a separate entity and merged into Sirius XM Radio, Inc.

Fred White
In 2013…Longtime Kansas City Royals broadcaster Fred White died of complications from cancer at 76.

White was best known for the 25 years, 1974-98, that he teamed with Denny Matthews in the Royals' radio booth.

White, originally from Homer, Ill., did his first baseball broadcasts calling American League games in Hastings, Neb.

He became the voice of Kansas State University athletics in the 1960s-70s and was sports director of WIBW in Topeka. He was nationally known for his TV basketball coverage, notably in the Big Eight and later the Big 12.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chicago Radio: WLIT Returns To Local AM Show June 1

Kristina Zsenyuk
iHeartRadio/Chicago has announced the eddition of Kristina Zsenyuk to the airstaff of WLIT 93.9 MyFM.  Known professionally as Kristina with a K, she'll take-over the morning show on A/C WLIT starting June 1.

The station has been airing Paul 'Cubby' Bryan since July 2013. He'll continue his NYC Show and syndication in other markets.

The 34-year-old Kristina arrives from Portland, OR where she had be working on three different iHR stations.

The move reunites Kristina with Mick Lee, WLIT program director and afternoon host. They previously worked together at KKRZ-FM in Portland OR, where Kristina was midday host and music director.

WLIT 93.9 FM (4 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m so excited to have Kristina join our team at 93.9 MyFM,” Lee said in a statement. “Her talent, creativity and charismatic personality will fit well in Chicago.”

In 2005, she represented Illinois in Miss Plus America Elite, a national beauty pageant for full-figured women.

Things are about to change for me....BIG TIME!
Posted by Kristina With A K on Thursday, May 14, 2015