Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 14 Radio History

In 1923...President Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. president to use Radio (WEAR, Baltimore) when he dedicated the Francis Scott Key memorial in Baltimore.

In 1924...WOKO-AM began broadcasting, as WOKO, at 1290 kHz in New York City, moving in 1928 to Mount Beacon, New York in southern Dutchess County and serving Newburgh and Poughkeepsie at 1430 kHz. Billed "The Voice of the Clouds" for its transmitter site on its namesake mountain, WOKO's signal into the areas it wanted to target was poorer than anticipated and in 1930 the station was sold and moved to Albany, New York becoming the first radio station licensed to that city.

With the move to Albany came an affiliation with CBS whose programming had been previously cleared partially on WGY. The early 1940s saw some key changes as the CBS affiliation went from WOKO to upstart WTRY and the station's frequency changed from 1430 to 1460 in the NARBA frequency shift of 1941. In light of these differences, WOKO evolved into a locally-based format consisting largely of music independent of any network, a rarity in a medium market in that era. Notably, WOKO was a radio affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950s before their move to Los Angeles.

Today the station's call sign is WOPG 1460 AM and airs religious programming.

In 1950...After 13 years on radio, Harold Peary played the title character in "The Great Gildersleeve" for the final time. Willard Waterman took over the role for the next eight years on radio and for several years on TV.

The Great Gildersleeve was a radio situation comedy broadcast from 1941 to 1957. Initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson,  it was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. The series was built around the character Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a regular element of the radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly. The character was introduced in the October 3, 1939 episode of that series. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in four feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.

In 1965...Pioneering newscaster/commentator H.V. Kaltenborn, who provided astute, often ad-libbed radio commentary on world affairs leading up to WWII, died at age 86.

On CBS, Kaltenborn was one of the first news readers to provide analysis and insight into current news stories. His vast knowledge of foreign affairs and international politics amply equipped him for covering crises in Europe and the Far East in the 1930s. His vivid reporting of the Spanish Civil War and the Czech crisis of 1938 helped established the credibility of radio news in the public mind and helped to overcome the nation's isolationist sensibilities. As authors Christopher H. Sterling and John M. Kittross wrote, Kaltenborn reported on the Spanish Civil War "while hiding in a haystack between the two armies. Listeners in America could hear bullets hitting the hay above him while he spoke."

Kaltenborn joined NBC in 1940. On election night in 1948, he and Bob Trout, a former CBS colleague, were at the NBC news desk to broadcast the returns of the White House race between President Harry S. Truman and challenger Thomas E. Dewey. Throughout the evening, the returns were too close to call. As the evening progressed, Kaltenborn could see a swing in Dewey’s favor. It was enough for him to project Dewey the winner, although the returns were still close. What Kaltenborn didn’t foresee was another swing in the votes going to Truman. As evening turned to early morning, Kaltenborn retracted his original projection and announced Truman as the winner.

On his newscast, Kaltenborn described how Truman did an impersonation of the journalist describing how he (Truman) was losing the election. Kaltenborn took the President’s comments with class as he stated, “We can all be human with Truman. Beware of that man in power who has no sense of humor.” Kaltenborn laughed at himself as everyone else laughed with him.

In 1983...Docket 80-90 created new FM Stations.  In 1980, as the non-com band started to fill up in most major metropolitan areas there was a little pressure on the FCC and Congress to make room. Their response was Docket 80-90, 94 FCC 2d 152, 48 Fed. Reg. 29496 (1983). The rule grandfathered the existing short spaced stations and reduced minimum mileage separation between new changes. It also limited new licenses to a maximum ERP of 3 KW, HAAT being 328' or 100 meters. Weaker stations = more stations crammed in. But it did not increase the spacing requirements between Class A and second- and third-adjacent channel Class B stations. Also interesting was that it allowed full-power stations to move-in on Class D stations. forcing some off air. Even though the stated purpose of the rules were to Increase the Availability of FM Broadcast Assignments.

Boston Radio: McPhee Says She'll Beat Assault Rap

McPhee at arraingment 
Talk WMEX 1510 AM drive-time host Michele McPhee kicked off her radio show Friday vowing she’ll be vindicated a day after being charged with assaulting a state trooper and driving while drunk on I-93.

“With everything my team and I know, we are confident that once the facts are out there, there will be absolutely no question about who I am,” McPhee said, according to the Boston Herald.

“I know a lot of you have a lot of questions and I wish I could answer them all for you but under the advice of my legal counsel I can’t discuss the situation until all the facts are out,” she added on air on 1510 AM. “Everyone who knows me knows I respect the law and the process.”

The 45-year-old McPhee is accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer.

McPhee, who was driving a Mercedes SUV on Interstate 93 
northbound in South Boston about 1 a.m. Thursday, was pulled over after a trooper reported he noticed her vehicle was swerving.

McPhee, who needed 20 stitches to close a wound to her head after police say she resisted arrest and kicked a trooper, is due back in court Aug. 4 for a pretrial hearing.

Chicago Radio: Andrew Finnegan Leaving WTMX

Andrew Finnegan
Evening personality Andrew Hart a.k.a. Andrew Finnegan at Hubbard's AC WTMX 101.9 FM The Mix has announced he's leaving the station for a role on the morning show at KOIT in San Francisco.

The 23-year-old began Chicago radio career started in February 2008, when Finnegan as hired as a part-time weekend host for WKSC-FM/103.5 Kiss FM, as well as doing weekend voice tracking for a handful of other Clear Channel-owned stations, including the St. Louis and Jacksonville markets.

On his personal Facebook page today, Finnegan/Hart wrote:
"At this time, I have to keep the details short. With that said, I have announced my resignation at 101.9 THE MIX. I was approached, and have accepted an exciting Morning Show opportunity on the west coast. 
After over 5 amazing and indescribable years in Chicago, the city that I now call home, I'll be making a new home out west. I want to thank each and every one of you for listening to me on Kiss-FM and THE MIX the past 5 years. It truly means the world to me. To say that the people I have met and had the chance to work with in Chicago, are first class, is an understatement. 
My best memories have been made right here in this city and it's impossible to describe my experiences. More than anything, I just want to thank you for welcoming me with your friendship and hospitality. 
Next week will be my last week on the air at THE MIX as I host the Afternoon Show for Koz. More to come, soon! Love you all! ...I guess the only way to end this is by saying one thing... GO HAWKS!!!"

Radio Disney Unveils Plans For Country Network

Radio Disney will launch Radio Disney Country, a modern, multi-platform country music-focused network for families, this fall.

It was announced Friday at CMA Fest by Phil Guerini, Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Radio Disney, who was accompanied by country music's youngest rising stars Hunter Hayes, Maddie & Tae and Kelsea Ballerini. The 24/7 network will feature chart-bound young artists and today's biggest country hits, including Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Maddie & Tae, The Band Perry, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and RaeLynn.

"Country music continues to grow in popularity among tweens and teens. As a trusted name in family entertainment, Radio Disney is delighted to introduce a new music outlet dedicated to country music and expand upon the engaging content we successfully deliver through Radio Disney's multi-platform network," said Guerini.

Radio Disney's Phil Guerini, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes and Maddie & Tae 
The channel launch will coincide with the 2015 Country Music Association Awards in November and will live on the Radio Disney App, as well as on third party digital platforms. Multi-platform offerings will include music videos, in-studio interviews and performances.

"I am so excited about Radio Disney launching a country channel," said Ballerini. "It's so cool to get a new generation and a new group of ears on my music…and all of the awesome music coming out of Nashville. I think it will be great for the format, it's been great for me, and I'm hopeful to do more with them in the future."

Disney/ABC TV Group Cancels Layoff Plans

Just two weeks ago, the Disney ABC Television Group told a team of approximately 30 to 35 application developers that they were being laid off. Their jobs were being moved to an IT contractor with large offshore operations. Some were told their last day would be at the end of July.

But, according to, on Thursday, the Disney ABC TV Media Technology & Strategy development team told the developers that their layoffs were being rescinded.

Kevin Brockman, the Disney ABC spokesman, said that in the course of making a technology upgrade, "we look at a myriad of options to achieve our goals. We're clearly on an alternative path to achieve our goals that we think is better suited to our business."

The employees were notified of their impending layoffs on May 28. Some had already begun working on the "knowledge transfer" process of training employees of IT services contractor Cognizant Technology Solutions, a U.S.-based firm with major offshore operations.

The reasons behind Disney's change of heart are unclear. One affected Disney ABC IT employee speculated that the decision is linked to the uproar over the outsourcing at another division, Parks and Resorts, which runs the theme parks.\

The workers are skeptical about Disney's decision to rescind the layoffs. They don't know if the contractor has been called off, or if there has been a change in the future direction of the IT operations. Disney may be simply waiting until the heat dies down, said one worker who didn't want to be named.

Disney would not comment on the contractor’s status.

Twin Cities: iHM Launches Pride Radio 96.7

iHeartMedia Minneapolis-St. Paul has launched 96.7 Pride Radio, the pulse of LGBT Twin Cities.

The new 96.7 Pride Radio, the only FM radio station in the country with programming devoted to local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) listeners and allies, will kicked off  5pm Friday with 24 hours of Madonna’s hits, followed by two weeks of non-stop commercial-free music.

96.7 Pride Radio on W244CS  107.9 FM is being fed via KQQL 107.9 FM-HD3, a broadcast extension of the popular digital station Pride Radio on iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one streaming music and digital radio service, will play the hottest dance remixes and pop hits from artists such as Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Zedd, Nick Jonas, Rihanna and others.

The station’s on-air programming will include an emphasis on local community news, plus several music and entertainment shows throughout the day with popular on-air personalities: Ricky, from 6 – 10 a.m.; Delana, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Houston, from 2 – 6 p.m.; Pacey, from 6 – 10 p.m.; and Christie, from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

W244CS 96.7 FM (170watts)
“June is Pride Month, and I can imagine no better time to launch a station this important to the Twin Cities community,” said Hartley Adkins, Executive Vice President of Operations for iHeartMedia.

“This groundbreaking station represents a place for amazing music and entertainment, but also a platform for the LGBT community. 96.7 Pride Radio is a destination to express opinions, be heard and connect.” The launch of 96.7 Pride Radio follows the success of Pride Radio, iHeartRadio’s digital entertainment destination for the LGBT community, which is consistently one of iHeartRadio’s most listened-to dance hit and remix stations.

“We’re thrilled to bring 96.7 Pride Radio to the Twin Cities LGBT community,” said Don Parker, Pride Radio Brand Manager and Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia.

“Our Pride Radio programming and content has proven to develop a strong connection with the community on a national level through our iHeartRadio digital platform. With Minneapolis-St. Paul having one of the most active LGBT communities in the nation, we look forward to an even greater bond with local listeners, who will now have a customized version of Pride Radio available on FM in the Twin Cities!"

Katie Couric Renews With Yahoo! News

Katie Couric
You can call Katie Couric the $10 million anchor.

That’s how much Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is forking over to retain the Web portal’s global news anchor, several sources told The NY Post on Friday.

The new contract, agreed to in the last several days but not yet finalized, gives Couric a stratospheric annual pay package in line with that of NBC’s suspended Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.

The 58-year-old journalist, who had been negotiating a second contract for the past few months, won a significant raise. While the new deal contains a few targets that need to be hit for her to reach the 10-figure pay package, it is a step up from her current deal — valued at $5 million-to-$6 million.

Couric, who broke records with a $15 million anchor’s salary at CBS, wil  continue to host news-making short videos that are showcased on Yahoo!’s homepage. This week, Couric interviewed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who just announced his candidacy for president.

Fargo Radio: KFGO Hosts Listeners During Annual Picnic

The annual listeners picnic was held this past week in the parking of of Midwest Communications N/T KFGO 790 AM.

The Hunts
Among the 1,800 who showed-up were Bob and Linda Hunt of Stillwater, KS.  The couple drove 900 miles on-way to attend.  They big fans of the station and listen online.

KFGO reports the Hunts had no previous ties to Fargo or KFGO. After listening to the online stream years ago, including during the 1997 flood, the Hunts were hooked. Bob and Linda's radios (they have multiple in their home) are always tuned to KFGO. They said the station's commitment to the local community and the way in which it connects people across many divides were things missing in their local radio stations in Kansas.

The retired physics professor and dental hygienist, Bob and Linda decided to take a road trip to Fargo to see KFGO, meet its personalities, experience Fargo, and of course, attend the annual KFGO picnic.

As Bob puts it, "we just wanted a hamburger!" But they got much more:  the titles of "King and Queen of KFGO," a score of people wanting to meet them, airtime on the radio and lifelong friends.

June 13 Radio History

In 1897...Reuben Larson was born. Larson was a missionary pioneer who co-founded the World Radio Missionary Fellowship in 1931. The organization has been located in Opa Locka, Florida since 1969.

In 1946...Edward Bowes, who was the Radio host on "Major Bowes Amateur Hour", died at age 71.

Maj. Edward Bowes
Bowes made his first business success in real estate, until the cataclysmic San Francisco earthquake of 1906 wiped out his fortune. He then went to New York City, in search of other opportunities. He soon realized that the theatrical world was lucrative, and he worked busily in New York as a musical conductor, composer, and arranger. He also produced Broadway shows, such as Kindling in 1911-12 and The Bridal Path in 1913.

He became managing director of New York's imposing Capitol Theatre, which he ran with military efficiency and bearing. He insisted on being addressed as "Major Bowes". His nickname sprang from his earlier military rank, though historians are divided on whether he was an active-duty officer in World War I or held the rank as a member of the Officer Reserve Corps.

In 1934, Bowes brought his best-known creation to New York radio station WHN in 1934. He had actually hosted scattered amateur nights on smaller stations while manager of the Capitol. Within a year of its WHN premiere, The Original Amateur Hour —its original name, according to historian Gerald Nachman, was Major Bowes and His Capitol Family — began earning its creator and host as much as $1 million a year, according to Variety.   The show lasted on radio until 1952. It lasted on television from 1948 to 1970.

The rapid popularity of The Original Amateur Hour made him better known than most of the talent he featured. Some of his discoveries did become stars, including opera stars Lily Pons, Robert Merrill, and Beverly Sills; comedian Jack Carter; pop singer Teresa Brewer; and, Frank Sinatra, fronting a quartet known as the Hoboken Four when they appeared on the show in 1937.

The show consistently ranked among radio's top ten programs throughout its entire run. Bowes's familiar catchphrase, "...around and around she goes and where she stops nobody knows", spoken in the familiar avuncular tones for which he was so renowned, whenever it was time to spin its "wheel of fortune," the device by which some contestants were called to perform. In the early days of the show, whenever a performer was simply too terrible to continue, Bowes would stop the act by striking a gong (a device that would be revived in the 1970s by Chuck Barris's infamous The Gong Show). Bowes heard from thousands of listeners who objected to his terminating these acts prematurely, so he abandoned the gong in 1936. Nachman recorded that Bowes, "a businesslike fellow with a mirthless chuckle who, unlike most emcees, had a gift for nongab," went out of his way to make contestants feel at ease, habitually taking them out to dinner before their appearances. Nachman credits Bowes for featuring more black entertainers than many network shows of the time.

In 1948...WBAM becomes WOR FM in NYC

In Media Confidential one year ago...

Boston Radio: CCM+E Has Gone Country On 101.7 FM: Click Here

Friday, June 12, 2015

O’Rielly Rips FCC For Excessive Enforcement Penalties

Commissioner Michael  O’Rielly Thursday ripped into the FCC's Enforcement Bureau for excessive penalties.

In a presentation to the Federal Communications Bar Association, O'Rielly said the bureau was “dangerously misguided.” He faulted the bureau for excessive settlement amounts from companies.  O'Rielly called levied fines as excessive and a display of  self-aggrandizing fanfare.

Michael O'Rielly
 “The Commission seems more intent on obtaining newspaper headlines trumpeting accusations and eye-popping fines,” he said.

O’Rielly said he had heard from "a couple of parties" who were subjected to enforcement actions.

In trying to first discuss their issues with the Enforcement Bureau, O’Rielly says they were told any potential settlement would generate a penalty “in the multiple-hundreds of millions or billions and require an admission of guilt.

“In the few settlements that have occurred, parties have told me that settling for unfair terms was just a better option than years of prosecution and having their company name dragged through the mud,” O’Rielly said.

He accused the Enforcement Bureau of ratcheting up proposed penalties “beyond the original intent of the statute,” at times basing them, not on the actual violation, but a number that “seems to be picked out of a hat, loosely based on a company’s revenues.”

Although O’Rielly didn’t mention FCC Enforcement Bureau chief Travis LeBlanc. Under his direction, the Bureau recently extracted $1.12 million  from Viacom and $1 million from iHeartMedia in civil penalties for EAS violations.

Cumulus Promotes Bill Hess To Corporate PD N/T

Bill Hess
Cumulus Media announces that it has promoted Bill Hess to Corporate Program Director/News-Talk. Hess will continue in his role as Program Director for WMAL-FM-AM in Washington, D.C.

Hess’ 38-year radio career has spanned positions on-air and in talk programming as Program Director for stations including: WTEM (Sports Talk) in Washington, D.C.; WHJJ in Providence, RI; and WHYN AM and FM in Springfield, MA. He was also Brand Manager for Clear Channel Radio/iHeart Media and served as Senior Vice President/Programming for Air America Radio in New York City. In addition, Hess has programmed music stations including WASH and WBIG in Washington, D.C. and WSNE and WWBB in Providence, RI.

John Dickey, Executive Vice President, Content and Programming for Cumulus said: "Bill is one of the format’s best minds and we look forward to sharing him within our company.”

Mike McVay, Senior Vice President, Content and Programming for Cumulus said: “This promotion enables us to take advantage of Bill’s previous experience as a corporate programmer and rewards him for the amazing job that he’s doing at WMAL.”

Hess said: “I deeply appreciate, and am incredibly energized by, this opportunity to work with John Dickey, Mike McVay, and our team of talented programmers as we continue to drive the success of the industry’s leading platform of Newstalk brands, both on-air and digitally.”

Milwaukee Radio: iHM's WMIL Ties WRIT For #1 In May PPMs

iHeartMedia's Oldies WRIT 95.7  FM tied clustermate Country WMIL 106.1 FM for first place in the May A.C. Nielsen radio ratings for the Milwaukee market released Thursday.

WMIL dropped a share 10.5-9.5, while WRIT spiked 7.8-9.5 for the month.

Scripp Radio' third ranked WTMJ 620 AM,  E.W. Scripps Company’s talk sports and information station dropped 10.1-8.4.

Rounding out the top five are Entercom’s HotAC station WMYX 99.1 FM jumped .6 of a share point, to 6.3 and iHM’s Talk WISN-AM held steady at 5.7.

PPMs Released For Austin, Nashville, 10 Other Markets

Nielsen released the final batch of May 2015 PPM data Thursday for the following markets:

 35  Austin

 39  Indianapolis

 40  Milwaukee 

 42  Raleigh-Durham

 43  Norfolk-Viriginia Beach-Newport News

 44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

 45  Nashville

 46  Greensboro-Winst-Salem-High Point

 49  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

 50  Jacksonville

 51  Memphis

 52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT 

To See The Topline Numbers for subscribing Nielsen Stations: Click Here

Philly Radio: Sports Hosts Turn Up The Trash Talk

Mike Missanelli
One day after SportsRadio WIP 94.1 FM host Tony Bruno took to Twitter to celebrate another big ratings win with co-host Josh Innes, frustrated WPEN 97.5 FM The Fanatic host Mike Missanelli slammed both on air during an aggressive rant on his show, according to

In a three-minute tirade on Thursday’s show, captured by Crossing Broad, Missanelli responded to jabs offered by Bruno and Innes, calling Bruno a rat, tagging Innes as a “fatass out of towner with man boobs” and claimed The Fanatic morning host Anthony Gargano nearly made Innes pee himself.

“Tony Bruno is a rat, okay.” Missanelli said, in response to Bruno noting his Fanatic show beat WIP before being forced out at the station. “He never, at any point, was number one here, unless he confuses number one with number seven.”

Bruno took to Twitter to respond:

Missanelli saved his worst comments for Innes, who he described as “some fatass out of towner with man boobs.”

“A kid who got beat up on the schoolyard every day of his life, kid who was afraid to take his t-shirt off in phys. ed class because he had manboobs. A kid that’s never played a sport in his life. A Howard Stern imitator. He’s what’s bringing you to sports talk radio in Philadelphia? Please”

Missanelli also described a confrontation between Innes and former WIP host Anthony Gargano, who was upset over being replaced and badmouthed by Inness on the air.

Louisville Radio: Sarah Jordan Promoted to PD At WXMA

Sarah Jordan
Alpha Media Louisville, KY announced today current mid-day host and Promotions Director, Sarah Jordan, has been promoted to Program Director for HotAC WXMA102.3 FM "The Max".

Sarah Jordan has been at Alpha/Louisville since 2006 where she began as an intern for WXMA. In 2007, Sarah was promoted to night show host, then, in 2008 segued over to WDJX as their night show host. In 2012, Sarah was elevated to mid-day host and assistant Music Director for WDJX. In February of 2014, she went back to WXMA as the Promotions Director, as well as Midday host.

Alpha Media’s SVP/Market Manager, Dale Schaefer commented on the announcement, “As with her other positions she has held with our company, Sarah will be an outstanding Program Director for WXMA. She has great leadership skills, a tremendous feel for Hot AC music and promotions and she has an incomparable passion for the radio industry. It has been extremely exciting to see Sarah grow and develop as a leader over the past few years and this is a natural progression in her development.”

Alpha Media’s Operations Manager, Ben Davis, said, “Sarah is a natural! For as long as I’ve known Sarah, she has always shown great drive and leadership. I am excited to see WXMA grow under her direction and am happy to watch her further her career here with Alpha/Louisville; she’ll do an amazing job!”

Sarah Jordan added, “Radio has always been more than my job, but my passion, and Alpha Media Louisville is more than just my coworkers, but my family. I could not be more excited and honored to take on this next opportunity as Program Director of WXMA. WXMA has one of the strongest radio teams that I have ever seen, and that I have had the pleasure of working with. Together, we represent a station and a group of personalities that the community trusts. I am over the moon for this next phase of my radio career, with the best team by my side!”

WXMA 102.3 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
With Sarah’s promotion to Program Director, Alpha Media has begun an immediate search to find a high-energy, creative, experienced Hot/AC-Promotions Director. Any interested Promotions Director candidate should send their resume’ to Operations Manager, Ben Davis at

Benztown to Rep "Dawson McAllister Live with Jessica McVay"

Benztown Radio Networks has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Dawson McAllister Productions to market and affiliate its weekly talk radio show, Dawson McAllister Live with Jessica McVay (DMLive).

Jessica Mcy, Dawson McAllister
Hosted by internationally recognized youth communicator, Dawson McAllister and co-hosted by Jessica McVay, DMLive is heard on over 50 stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The show provides a forum where teenagers and young adults can talk about the problems they are facing, including: divorce, depression, cutting, suicide, drug addictions, eating disorders and family issues. The three-hour weekly show is available for cash or barter through Benztown.

McAllister began his national radio show in the early ‘90’s on various Christian radio stations. Starting with only five stations, his call-in talk show, DMLive grew to nationwide distribution, and in 1994 was voted National Religious Broadcaster’s Talk Show of the Year.

Compelled by the burgeoning needs of hurting young callers, McAllister created TheHopeLine — an off-air call center where one-on-one conversations might truly effect change in the lives of teenagers and young adults. He also grew the show’s outreach through affiliations across mainstream radio.

Benztown President Dave “Chachi” Denes said: “Our partnership with Dawson and his team started a few years ago when we started to image his show. We are proud to expand our relationship and offer this one-of-a-kind show to radio stations across the country. DMLive and TheHopeLine have helped prevent thousands of teen and young adult suicides each year and provide a lifeline and a message of hope that every community can benefit from. Through DMLive, Dawson connects with teens and young adults each week in a very real and powerful way. We are thrilled to make this important programming available to stations of all formats and market sizes for cash or barter.”

Host Dawson McAllister adds: “I am so excited to partner with Benztown. There are so many teenagers and young adults who need help. Together we can make a life changing difference. We are asking programmers to join us.”

For more information and to get Dawson McAllister Live with Jessica McVay in your market, or contact Masa Patterson at Benztown at or (818) 842-4600.

Atlanta Radio: PD David Clapper OUT At WSRV, WTSH

David Clapper
Cox Media Group has parted company with David Clapper, Program Director for Classic Hits WSRV 97.1 FM and Altanative WTSH 107.1 FM.

The move was apparently because of the budget.

The Atlanta Constituion quotes Pete Spriggs, program director at sister station News WSB 750 AM / 95.5, “I love Dave,” Spriggs said. “He’s a great guy. It’s just unfortunate.”

There have been no announcement from Cox concerning a replacement for Clapper.

Clapper, on his Facebook page, posted:
"After 13 years with Cox Radio Atlanta, I am officially unemployed for the first time in 20 years. It was a good run!!! What’s next?!?!? “The only constant in life is change!”
Clapper had been the program director at the River since 2012 and has been active with the River since its launch in early 2006. He also handled X107.1 duties when that station debuted a year ago. He also handled promotions at Cox Radio Atlanta from 2002 to 2012.

The River is the market’s most popular rock station in overall listeners. It ranked eighth in last month’s Nielson Audio ratings with a 4.3 share (6+) . Last year, the station averaged a 5.3 share, good for sixth place overall.

Report: NPR To Break Even This Year

Jarl Mohn
After years of leadership changes and funding deficits, NPR's new president and CEO says the public radio network has turned a corner and is positioning itself to grow its already sizable audience, along with its journalistic content and funding from donors, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Jarl Mohn, a longtime radio and television executive who created E! Entertainment Television, helped launch MTV and VH1 and formed his own venture capital firm, has led NPR for nearly a year. While Mohn may seem like an outside choice for public radio, his commercial media roots, investments in new media and his 12 years on the board of Southern California Public Radio may prove critical in charting NPR's future.

For the first time in six years, NPR is set to break even financially in 2015 with its $190 million budget, Mohn told a group of Associated Press journalists this week. Its audience of 28 million to 30 million listeners remains strong but mostly flat, though the amount of time spent listening has declined. That's something he wants to fix.

Behind the scenes, the Washington-based network has struggled with annual deficits of $4 million to $6 million, leading to cuts in staffing and other costs. The network also drew on reserve funds to cover shortfalls. Mohn is NPR's fifth acting or permanent CEO in six years. He has signed on for five years.

With the nonprofit network on firmer financial footing, Mohn said NPR is looking to grow its audience and raise its ambitions in fundraising to draw larger donations from foundations and wealthy individuals and more corporate sponsorships.

Read More Now

Court Says No To Net Neutrality Delay

The new federal rules for net neutrality will be allowed to take effect Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Thursday.

"Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," the ruling from the three judge panel said.

The Hill reports the court denied a request for a stay that would have put the rules on hold until a broader court battle is settled. It ruled that it will expedite the underlying case.
The ruling is not on the final merits of the challenge, but hands an early victory to net neutrality advocates.

Tom Wheeler
The regulations reclassify Internet providers as utilities, giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) more powers to regulate them. That includes stopping providers from selectively slowing the delivery of content to users.

“This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open.”

Industry groups expressed disappointment at the decision not to stay the rules but cheered the ruling that the case should receive faster consideration.

While many in industry hoped that the rules might be stayed, providers have been taking steps to avoid becoming the targets of complaints when the rules go into effect on Friday.

Read More Now

Meanwhile, Commisdsioner Michael O'Rielly isn't on-board with net neutrality...

Ex-Exec Sues Al Jazeera America

Shannon High-Bassalik
A former Al Jazeera America exec is taking legal action against the channel, with a fired employee saying she witnessed those at the channel forgo “journalistic objectivity” to “advance a pro-Arabic/Middle Eastern agenda, often at the expense of Jewish people.”

Variety reports the suit is being filed by Shannon High-Bassalik, who was formerly the senior vice president of programming and documentaries at Al Jazeera America. High-Bassalik also accused the network of discriminating against female and non-Arabic employees.

“The allegations made against Al Jazeera America are by a former employee whose conduct and performance went through a full process of investigation led by an external law firm before her employment ended, during which Ms. High-Bassalik made none of the allegations she makes in her complaint,” the channel said in a statement on Thursday.

“Al Jazeera values and respects all of its employees, and has zero tolerance of any form of discrimination,” the statement goes on.

The suit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, and also alleges that management at the channel pushed a 9/11 conspiracy theory that the CIA was behind the 2001 attacks. High-Bassalik was fired from AJAM in February.

Billings Radio: Mike Sanders New OM for Townsquare Cluster

Mike Sanders
Townsquare Media/Billings has announced the appointment of Mike 'Sandman' Sanders as Operations Manager for its four station cluster.

He'll start his new duties on June 19.

The Billings cluster includes Classic Rock KMHK 103.7 THE HAWK, Top40 KKBR 97.1 FM, Country KCTR 102.9 FM Cat Country and News/Talk KCHH 95.5 FM.

Sanders is a 25-year vet in the industry with stops in Denver, Charlotte and Jacksonville.

He stated “It is an exciting opportunity to work with the solid-veteran  personalities at Country outlet KCTR 'The Breakfast Flakes' and Becky Brenner from Albright-O'Malley Consultants. I just returned from HIVIO 2015 in Los Angeles, and it took every bit of restraint not to spill the beans on my move to Billing. Such a great Western city, great live venues, creative people, and passionate listeners!  An alacritous and heartfelt thank you to Kurth Johnson, Kevin Godwin and GM Mike Sutton for giving me this unique opportunity to 'saddle up' and join the Townsquare Media team.”

KKBR 97.1 FM (28 Kw) Red=Local coverage Area

Boston Radio: WMEX Host Michele McPhee Arrested For Assault

Michele McPhee
A WMEX 1510 AM radio host accused of assaulting a state trooper while being arrested for drunken driving early this morning appeared at her arraignment in South Boston District Court this afternoon with a facial injury.

The Boston Herald reports Michele McPhee, 45, of East Boston, pleaded not guilty to charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer.

State Trooper Patrick J. Cadeliere stopped McPhee’s Mercedes SUV on I-93 northbound in South Boston around 1 a.m. today after noticing her vehicle was swerving in and out of lanes and coming “within mere inches of sideswiping the jersey barrier on right side of the road,” according to court documents.

When Cadeliere spoke with McPhee, she allegedly admitted to drinking wine with dinner, told him she had “defended cops for 30 years” and demanded that he contact high-ranking members of the state police about pulling her over, court documents show.

Cadeliere, who suffered a leg injury during the dispute, said he had to radio for backup to help place McPhee under arrest. McPhee suffered a head injury during the struggle to put her in cuffs, court documents show.

McPhee’s defense lawyer, Chaz Fisher, said she spent six hours at Tufts Medical Center overnight and needed more than 20 stitches to close a wound to her head. He declined to comment after the arraignment.

McPhee, who did not have a prior criminal record, was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Aug. 4 for a pretrial hearing.

WMEX issued the following statement:
"Michele McPhee is a respected member of the 1510 WMEX family, and the management of 1510 WMEX stands behind her in this difficult time as we would any friend or family member. We respect Michele's privacy, and ask that any further questions regarding this event be directed to her counsel. We leave it to the judicial system of the State of Massachusetts to provide due process and justice to Michele, while we continue to support her within our family, and wish her a speedy recovery from the serious injuries that she sustained in the course of this event."

Pandora Partners With Ford For County Built Episodes

Otis Gibbs
Pandora has joined with Ford F-Series Trucks to produce a first of its kind experience – Country Built. Like Ford Trucks, the genre of country music exemplifies the principles of toughness and being built to last. Through this relationship, Country Built pays respect to the grit and endurance that have shaped the sounds of country music. The experience celebrates its riveting history while highlighting select next-generation artists carrying the torch into the future through a series of custom-curated mixtapes, interviews, exclusive performances and behind-the-scenes videos.

The episodic radio program is narrated and hosted by songwriter Otis Gibbs and guides Pandora listeners through the genre’s greatest tales and its impact on American culture. The series kicked off with a deep dive into “The Roots of Country” with a themed mixtape, expert interviews and a session performance with the buzzy Nashville newcomer Cale Tyson and will continue through 2015, delving into the landmark eras of country with the stories and legends that shaped them. Upcoming guest interviews include Jay McDowell, curator at The Musician's Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, noted author and journalist Barry Mazur and Peter Cooper from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Our content team worked closely with Ford to create a station where the content matches the product perfectly. Generations of country music have played on the radios of Ford F-Series pickups over the past 60 years, and we built a station that celebrates both the heritage and vibrant present of country music,” said Pandora Senior Vice President Music Makers Group, Lars Murray.

This relationship is the latest example of Pandora's efforts to connect artists and listeners in unique and interesting ways. This series with Ford Trucks demonstrates our ability to create compelling, customized content that translates to personalized experiences for country fans.

R.I.P.: Country Artist Jim Ed Brown

The smooth-voiced singer Jim Ed Brown, a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1963 and a 2015 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, died Thursday.

He was 81, according to The Tennessean.
Jim Ed Brown

Last September, he revealed that he had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer. In early 2015, Mr. Brown announced that he was in remission, but on June 3 of this year, his daughter Kim posted on Facebook that her father's cancer had returned—although not in his lungs—and that he had resumed chemotherapy. One day later, when Mr. Brown's condition appeared unlikely to improve, his dear friend and country legend Bill Anderson visited Mr. Brown in his hospital room to present him with a Country Music Hall of Fame medallion, five months ahead of the official induction ceremony.

James Edward Brown was born on April 1, 1934 in Sparkman, Arkansas; later, his family of seven would move to Pine Bluff, Ark. Growing up, he'd listen to Opry stars like Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe, and sing with his older sister Maxine and younger sister Bonnie.

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R.I.P.: Ria Denver VP/CFO Of All Access

Ria Denver
The radio and music industry is mourning the death of Ria Denver, wife of All Access President and Publisher Joel Denver.

She died Thursday morning in Santa Monica, CA of a sudden heart attack at age 60.

She and her husband started All Acces in 1995 and worked tirelessly to help turn it into the wide-ranging enterprise that it is today, but also served as a friend, mentor and confidant to everyone who has ever worked at the website publication.

Those who knew her say she was a one-woman support system for each member of her All Access family.

Information regarding a memorial service will be announced.

June 12 Radio History

In 1851...early Radio pioneer, Oliver Joseph Lodge, was born in England.

John Lodge
He was a British physicist and writer involved in the development of key patents in wireless telegraphy.

On 14 August 1894, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University, Lodge gave a lecture on the work of Hertz (recently deceased). 

There he conducted a demonstration of Hertzian (radio) based wireless telegraphy, transmitting messages between two buildings, showing their potential for communication.   

This was one year before Marconi demonstrated his system for radio wireless telegraphy.

In 1947…After nine years as a 15-minute radio serial on WXYZ-Detroit, "Challenge of the Yukon" expanded to a 30-minute format and began its 11-year network run, eight years on radio – first on ABC, then on the Mutual Broadcasting System – followed by three years on CBS-TV, with episodes mostly filmed in Ashcroft, Colorado. In 1951, the show was re-named "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon."

In 1955Monitor debuts on the NBC Radio Network. The weekend program "Monitor," the brainchild of NBC radio and television network president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, began its 19½-year run on NBC Radio. The initial broadcast lasted eight hours. After an introduction by Weaver, news headlines from Dave Garroway and a routine by Bob and Ray, Garroway cued a music remote featuring live jazz by Howard Rumsey and the Lighthouse All-Stars at the Lighthouse CafĂ© in Hermosa Beach, California.

In 1989…Former disc jockey Vivian Carter, co-founder with Jimmy Bracken (later her husband) of Vee-Jay Records (the label name formed from their initials) died following a stroke and complications from diabetes at the age of 69. Vee-Jay was the largest black-owned label of the 1950s and over its 13-year lifespan had a talent roster that included the Spaniels, the Dells, Jimmy Reed, Rosie & The Originals, John Lee Hooker, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, Betty Everett, Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler, the 4 Seasons and, briefly, the Beatles. Vee-Jay went bankrupt in 1966.

In 2007…Citadel took  control of Disney/ABC radio stations

In 2013…Veteran radio personality/programmer (WLS-Chicago, WDRQ-Detroit, WXTR-Washington, WIZF-Cincinnati, WLHT, WTRV and WGVU-Grand Rapids) Bill Bailey died of a heart attack at age 66.

In Media Confidential One Year Ago...

LA Radio Ratings 'Inconsistencies'Date Back To Summer 2013: Click Here

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hubbard Names Radio Vet Greg Strassell SVP/Programming

Greg Strassell
Hubbard Radio today announced that veteran programming executive, Greg Strassell, will join the company as SVP/Programming.

Strassell will start his new position on June 15, 2015 and will be based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

Strassell will work in partnership with current SVP/Programming, Greg Solk, to lead the programming, brand and content strategies for Hubbard Radio’s 28 radio stations in its seven largest markets.

“We are thrilled to bring someone of Greg’s talent on to the Hubbard team,” said Drew Horowitz, President/COO of Hubbard Radio. “The combination of Greg Strassell and Greg Solk gives us one of the most dynamic programming duos in the industry. As the importance of creating entertaining and compelling content across all platforms continues to be a critical ingredient of growth, this move strengthens the company for the future.”

Strassell believes Hubbard Radio is the perfect fit for his approach to programming and content. Commented Strassell, “I am proud and excited to join Hubbard Radio, as it expands the programming department for further audience engagement and content development. It will be a pleasure to team-up with Greg Solk and the management and programmers to make great radio and the most compelling brands available, regardless of the platform.”

Strassell joins current SVP/Programming Greg Solk to lead Hubbard’s programming initiatives. “I’m so proud to work for a company that is so committed to its brands and understands the need to heavily invest in talent and programming,” commented Solk.

“As the audio entertainment landscape continues to evolve we are doubling down on our investment in the content creation areas of our business,” said Hubbard Radio Chair/CEO, Ginny Morris. “Greg’s passion for the business and his track record of success in markets across the country make him an exciting addition as we continue to maximize our broadcast and digital brands in the Hubbard markets.”

Most recently Strassell was the SVP Strategic Services, National Programming Platforms for iHeartRadio.Prior to his position at iHeartRadio, Strassell spent ten years as SVP Programming for CBS Radio.

Report: Rupert Murdoch Getting Ready to Step Down

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, according to numerous sources close to the Murdoch family.

CNBC is reporting an announcement is expected in the near term, while it's unclear whether the reorganization would take place this year or at the start of 2016. Rupert Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company.

As part of the management reordering at Fox, COO Chase Carey will step down and take on a yet undefined role as an advisor at the company. Carey was widely expected to exercise his right to an early release from his contract, allowing him to leave the company at the end of this year. Now, sources tell me, he is likely to remain in some capacity through 2016. He did not return a call for comment,

While James Murdoch, 42, would take over the day-to-day management of Fox, he will work in tandem with his 43-year-old brother Lachlan and his father. Sources who have spoken with the Murdochs in recent weeks tell me they have shared their plans openly and describe the Murdoch brothers' new roles as a "partnership."

A Fox spokesperson said that the matter of succession is on the board of director's agenda at its next regularly scheduled meeting and declined further comment.

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