Saturday, June 20, 2015

Urban Radio Personalities Respond To Church Massacre

(Photo BNettlesPost&Courier)
It was not a typical Friday morning at New York’s premier hip-hop radio station, Hot 97 — and not because of anything happening in the world of music.

The NY Times reports Ebro Darden, the lead morning-show host and face of WQHT-FM, 97.1 Hot97 could only halfheartedly plug a Wiz Khalifa ticket giveaway before turning to more urgent matters: the killings of nine black congregants by a white gunman at the storied Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday.

“Don’t just try to sweep what’s happening in America under a rug and not deal with the real issues,” Mr. Darden said before breaking down in tears.

“The black church is really all we got,” he continued deliberately, pausing often to collect himself. “It’s the last place that we always know ...” — here again he was overcome with emotion — “that we can bring our families and be safe.”

 “We are basically the newspaper for the African-American community in the city of Atlanta,” said Reggie Rouse, the vice president of urban programming for CBS Radio and program director at WVEE 103.3 FM V103. “When something like this happens, whether it’s Charleston or Ferguson, we have to stop the music and open up the phone lines.”

Frank Ski, a veteran radio host whose show airs on WHUR 96.3 FM in Washington, said that urban stations can serve blacks as right-wing talk radio hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh serve their conservative majority-white listeners. But Mr. Ski also appeared as a guest on WWWQ-99.7 FM in Atlanta, a Top 40 station that he said had a predominately white audience.

In South Carolina, the imperative to discuss the attack was even greater. Stephen Crumbley, the program director at Charleston’s mainstream urban station, W257BQ  99.3 FM the Box (via WMXZ 95.5 FM-HD2, and its UrbanAC sister station, WXST 99.7 StarFM, opted on Thursday to cut into the nationally syndicated programs and instead focus on enhanced local coverage.

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NPR: 'Wait-Wait' Listeners Not Happy With Guest Kardashian

An appearance by Kim Kardashian on the National Public Radio show 'Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!' has angered listeners.

The Daily Mail reports the network received hundreds of complaints about last week's episode of the humorous NPR quiz show, with some suggesting the station had reached new lows.

But the broadcaster who interviewed her, Mike Pesca, has said the loyal fans of the station are 'close-minded'.

Kardashian was in a segment called 'Not My Job,' in which she answered questions about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  She answered two of three questions correctly.

But many listeners were outraged that she was on the Chicago-based show. Some have threatened to stop donating to the nonprofit NPR.
  • Nancy Brooks said: 'Wait, wait...Don't tell me that Kim Kardashian has invaded the NPR air waves!! SO disappointed! 
  • 'NPR is my sanctuary and now it has been sullied by the vapid KK. Please, keep the bar high NPR, even if it is just a game show.
  • Pepe Martinez asked: 'Can she find Korea on a map?'
  • 'NPR is now scraping the bottom (and I mean big bottom) of the barrel.'
  • 'My first impulse after her introduction on the show was to question the meaning of life,' one wrote.
  • John Moore of Decatur, Georgia, who admitted he is an 'NPR snob', wrote to the station saying: 'Everyone is allowed one mulligan, and you just had yours.'
  • Sharonn Flaucher of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, said she was considering dropping her monthly donation.

June 20, 21 Radio History

In 1948...CBS-TV debuts its new variety show, entitled Toast Of The Town, featuring performances by Martin & Lewis and Rodgers & Hammerstein, and hosted by an New York Daily News entertainment columnist and critic named Ed Sullivan.

The first telecast was produced on a meager budget of $1,375. Only $375 was allocated for talent, and the stars of that first show, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, shared $200 of it. In September 1955, the program's name was officially changed to "The Ed Sullivan Show."

It became the longest-running variety show in US history at 23 years.

In 1966…The Beatles released the album "Yesterday and Today" with the controversial "butcher" cover, showing the Beatles smiling amongst decapitated baby dolls. The original photo became a huge publicity problem for Capitol Records. It was quickly replaced by a more conventional cover, glued over the old one and resulting in one of the band's most prized collectibles.

George Harrison said he thought the whole idea "was gross, and I also thought it was stupid. Sometimes we all did stupid things thinking it was cool and hip when it was naïve and dumb; and that was one of them." "Yesterday and Today" was the only Beatles record to lose money for Capitol.

In 1981…Lee Arnold departed Country WHN 1050 AM to capitalize on TV and radio syndication opportunities.

In 1981… WXLO-FM is changed its name to WRKS (Kiss 98.7) – just as soon as the FCC approves the change.

In 1981…Actor Gordon Jump who portrayed the station manager in “WKRP in Cincinnati” starred in a series of 10 and 30-second spots for radio’s Charter Broadcasting Group.  Stations were KCBQ/San Diego, K101-FM/San Francisco, WOKY-AM/Milwaukee, KSLQ-FM/St. Louis and WDRQ-FM/Detroit.

In 1982...Consultant Mike Josephs said he believes top-40 is at the beginnings of an incredible resurgence. “I feel like it’s 1956 all over again.” His “Hot Hits’ format is now heard on WCAU-FM Philly and WBBM-FM Chicago.

He says the music of today is “very good.” “We’re back to a strong beat and diversified playlist, which is the way to keep radio from sounding stale. And we’re seeing an exciting mix of new and standard artists, a truly mass appeal approach. There’s something for everyone.”

In 1982…WCBM 680 AM Baltimore announced it was switching from adult contemporary to news/talk. KEZL 102.9 FM in San Diego dropped Shulke II (The automated vocal/lite AC service) in favor of live adult contemporary.

In 1982….ABC Radio kills its much-promoted “SuperRadio” satellite fed A/C format. The network was due to premier July 1. The DJ lineup was completed only a few weeks ago when Jack Spector, Bob Dayton and Steve York were signed for weekends.  A lack of affiliates has been cited – with only three-full time stations ready to go. The network just signed WACJ/WWOL Buffalo and KBRA Wichita.

In 1988...WABC 770 AM officially becomed the NJ Devils new home radio.

In 1996…Westinghouse Electric agreed to buy Infinity Broadcasting for $3.9 billion, a deal made possible after the U.S. Congress in February passed the Telecommunications Act permitting expansion of TV and radio station holdings, and removing restrictions on how many stations in one market could be owned by one corporation.

In 2004…Ken Rank died at age 66 from lung transplant complications. Rank worked on KRMG in Tulsa and as “Ken Knight” and on KTCS in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Today: Brian Williams Sits Down with Matt Lauer

Brian Williams (NBC photo)
In his first interview since being suspended from NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams admitted to and apologized for past mistakes, telling Today's Matt Lauer, "I said things that weren't true."

"It has been torture," Williams said, of the months since he was suspended. "Looking back, it has been absolutely necessary. I have discovered a lot of things. I have been listening to and watching what amounts to the black box recordings from my career. I've gone back through everything — basically 20 years of public utterances."

An extensive review by NBCUniversal into Williams' reporting in the field and commentary from a period of more than 10 years found that he made a number of inaccurate statements about his role and experiences in covering events in the field. Williams, who has been suspended since February, opened up about what he says has been a difficult period.

"I was reading these newspaper stories, not liking the person I was reading about, wanting — I would have given anything to get to the end of the story and have it be about someone else, but it was about me. These statements I made, I own this; I own up to this and I have to go through and see and try to figure out how it happened."

On Thursday, NBC announced that Williams would not return as the anchor of Nightly News, naming Lester Holt as the show's permanent anchor. Williams will join MSNBC, where he was an anchor from 1996-2004, as an anchor of breaking news and special reports, beginning in mid-August.

Report: Brian Williams On 'Apology Tour'

Brian Williams
For the first time in four months, suspended NBC News anchorman Brian Williams is meeting with groups of colleagues and apologizing for misstatements that embarrassed the news division.

It's already being dubbed an "apology tour," according to CNN.

Williams spent time with staffers of his former program, the "NBC Nightly News," on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the network made it official that he will not return to the newscast.

It was "incredibly emotional," and some people choked back tears, said an attendee, one of two people familiar with the meetings who described them on condition of anonymity.

Williams then traveled to Washington to meet with staffers at the NBC bureau there on Thursday evening.

That meeting was also emotional, but for different reasons. Some well-known NBC journalists in the Washington bureau are wary of Williams; others are downright hostile.

On a recent visit to the bureau, NBC News chairman Andy Lack faced resistance to the idea of bringing Williams back, and only one correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski, spoke up in support of Williams. The Washington Post has previously described what one article called "strong opposition" to Williams' potential return.

An NBC News spokeswoman declined to comment on the private conversations.

When Network Newscasters Don't Know Write from Wrong

Evening News Stars Often Fail Us. Can You Spot Their Mistakes?

Longtime network newswriter Mervin Block doesn't just watch and hear evening newscasts; he listens.

Block, who wrote for Walter Cronkite and other anchors at ABC, CBS and NBC, has written "Weighing Anchors", a new book that examines today's network anchors, their scripts and their journalism.

Instead of writing about anchors' delivery, wardrobe or favorite desserts, he points out distortions, deceptions, discrepancies and abuses of broadcast writing style.

Block shows how newscasters: fudge facts, tinker with time, label stories exclusive that aren't, utter grammatical grotesqueries, present old news as breaking news, exaggerate medical news, hammer home hype, boast about routine coverage.

Block's sharp wit will leave you amused, fuming and shaking your head over today's network anchors.

Weighing Anchors gives anyone who watches the evening news the tools and insights to identify write from wrong.

Radio Talkers React To Charleston Church Massacre

Dylann Roof
Glenn Beck is headed to Charleston.

Rush Limbaugh sought to avoid any rush to judgment about the motives of the mass murder in a historic black church.

Michael Savage wondered out loud if a violence-linked prescription drug the shooter had procured illegally was a factor in the massacre of nine.

According to, the national town hall known as talk radio was dominated by discussion, opinions and sympathy for the victims of the mass church shooting in Charleston, apparently by 19-year-old Dylann Storm Roof.

Beck announced plans to travel to the community along with Alveda King, a civil rights and pro-life activist who is a niece of the late Martin Luther King.

Limbaugh concluded: “This is just pure, unadulterated evil, for whatever reason. It’s inexplicable to civilized people. It is just simply inexplicable.”

“I know that the left and the drive-bys (media) are out now trying to hunt a tea party connection,” added Limbaugh. “You know that’s happening. You know they’re turning over every rock, they’re doing everything they can to try to find a way to link this in a way that would advance their political agenda. And all I’m saying is we’re not gonna do that here in any way, shape, manner, or form. We’re just gonna wait ’til whatever there is to be learned about this. His picture – he looks like a kid. So I’m just gonna wait. We all here at the EIB Network are going to wait.”

Photographs of Roof were quickly produced showing him wearing pro-Apartheid gear and sporting a confederate flag on his license plate. The lone attack came after two years of racially charged violence in cities from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore, Maryland. Fears were being expressed about new riots and retribution. Officials announced immediately the attack was being investigated as a “hate crime” – even before the suspect was arrested in the afternoon.

“It’s just frustrating,” added Limbaugh. “It’s anger, all of the emotions, just why? Why in the world would somebody want to do this? You go into a church and you sit and pray with people for an hour and then you open up, you start firing?

Limbaugh said he expected many to try to politicize the tragedy with calls for gun control and other programs to empower government and limit individual rights.

Charleston Heckler Disrupts CNN Live Shot

A CNN live shot in Charleston, S.C. was disrupted Thursday hours after police arrested Dylann Storm Roof for the brutal killing of nine people at a predominantly African-American church.

During a hit by CNN’s John Berman on the scene in Charleston, a woman suddenly appeared and started shouting at the host, repeatedly asking the host if he was “angry.”What do you think?

“There’s a lot of heartbreak to go around in this city today,” Berman started off.What do you think?

“‘No, we’re mad, we’re angry,” the woman started shouting at Berman. “Tell the truth.”

FCC Moves To Restrict Robo Calls

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to make it harder for telemarketers and other businesses to place unwanted robocalls and to expand a government telephone subsidy program for low-income Americans to cover Internet access.

Reuters reports the FCC's Democratic majority voted 3-2 to change autodialing rules and give telephone companies legal cover to offer consumers new technologies to block robocalls.

The regulators also voted 4-1, although two approved only parts of the program, to begin revamping the $1.7 billion Lifeline subsidy to give recipients a choice of using it for phone service, high-speed Internet, or both.

Robocalls and robotexts are by far the most common consumer complaints at the FCC, topping 215,000 last year.

The FCC reasserted on Thursday that companies need the consent of consumers, but allowed one free pass on calls to numbers reassigned to other users without a company's knowledge.

Regulators did, however, create exemptions from the consumer consent requirement for time-sensitive healthcare and financial calls.

Read More Now

Taylor Swift To Apple Music: Drop Dead

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s 1989, which has not been released to any streaming services, will not be available at launch on Apple Music, either, representatives for both Swift’s label Big Machine Records and Apple confirm to BuzzFeed News.

Only Swift’s back catalog, which is currently available on many streaming services that require users to pay for a subscription — including Rdio and Tidal — will be found on Apple Music, the Big Machine rep said.

Swift has famously regarded streaming services with skepticism, saying last year that she believes “music should be consumed as albums.” In November, she removed all of her music from Spotify, the most popular on-demand streaming service, arguing that its free version devalues the art form.

The Big Machine rep said there are currently no plans to release 1989 to any streaming service in the near future, a strategy which forces consumers to either pay for the album in stores or procure it through other means. The strategy has certainly not harmed Swift’s commercial prospects. 1989 has sold nearly 5 million copies since its release last November, making it the best-selling album of both last year and this one.

Justin Bieber, Usher To Face Lawsuit

(Reuters) - Justin Bieber and Usher were ordered by a U.S. appeals court on Thursday to face a $10 million lawsuit claiming the singers illegally copied parts of a song composed by two Virginia songwriters.

By a 3-0 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond revived a May 2013 lawsuit by Devin Copeland, an R&B singer known as De Rico, and his songwriting partner Mareio Overton, saying a lower court judge was wrong to dismiss it.

The plaintiffs claimed that three versions of the song "Somebody to Love" recorded by Bieber, Usher or both shared the beat pattern, time signature, and similar chords and lyrics with their song with the same name.

"After listening to the Copeland song and the Bieber and Usher songs as wholes, we conclude that their choruses are similar enough and also significant enough that a reasonable jury could find the songs intrinsically similar," Circuit Judge Pamela Harris wrote for the appeals court.

Among the other defendants were publishers such as Vivendi SA's Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony Corp's Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Defense lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Duncan Byers, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, in an interview said the panel "recognized what my clients have said all along: it's the same melody and the same chorus."

The lawsuit will return to the lower court.

One version of "Somebody to Love," recorded by Bieber and credited to him as a co-writer, peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010.

The plaintiffs alleged that music scouts had played their song, which was written in 2008, for Usher, who liked what he heard and then brought it to Bieber.

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen dismissed the lawsuit in March 2014, saying no reasonable jury could find copyright infringement.

Harris, though, said even the lyric "somebody to love" was delivered in an "almost identical rhythm and a strikingly similar melody."

The judge also said it did not matter that the Bieber and Usher versions qualified as "dance pop, perhaps with hints of electronica" while the Copeland version was "squarely" R&B.

She said to rule otherwise could give artists too wide a berth to profit from others' songs, such as through unlicensed reggae or heavy metal versions of the Beatles' "Hey Jude" that had a different "concept and feel."

The case is Copeland et al v. Bieber et al, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 14-1427.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr).

SiriusXM To Broadcast Firefly Music Fest

SiriusXM announced Thursday that it will broadcast performances, interviews, and backstage reports from the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, from Friday, June 19 through Sunday, June 21, across multiple music channels.

The exclusive broadcast will include The Killers, Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant, Hozier, Modest Mouse, Foster the People, Spoon, Bastille, Walk the Moon, Gary Clark Jr, Big Data, Awolnation, Sublime with Rome, Cold War Kids, and many more.

"We are excited to bring performances by some of the top alternative rock and indie artists today directly to our subscribers who are unable to attend Firefly," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "With performances airing across multiple channels, our broadcasts from Firefly are another example of SiriusXM going where music fans are, bringing the excitement, vibe and great music of the music festival to wherever listeners may be."

SiriusXM's Firefly Music Festival broadcast will air on Alt Nation channel 36, beginning Friday, June 19 at 1:00 pm ET through Sunday, June 21. Select performances will also air on The Spectrum, channel 28; SiriusXMU, channel 35 and Jam On, channel 29.

The broadcast will also be available through the SiriusXM App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at

Glenn Beck Visits The Howard Stern Show

Two broadcasting superstars from opposite sides of the radio world collided on Wednesday morning as Glenn Beck sat down with Howard Stern for an extended interview on Stern’s SiriusXM radio show.

The interview lasted well over an hour and covered a wide array of topics, some of which Beck has never addressed, even on his own radio and television shows.

Of course, the conversation also included a discussion of the 2016 presidential contest.

Click Here for more audio.

Art Bell's New Show Adding Traditional Radio

Art Bell
Last week, M-C reported the return of Art Bell via streaming and shortwave, turns out he is being picked up also by terrestrial stations.

His new show is 'Midnight In The Desert and in an interview with USA Today, Bell said that the terrestrial broadcasters have to agree to carry only six minutes of commercials an hour, way below the typical talk radio load of 15 to 20 minutes every hour. Why? “Because I want more content and more content,” he said.

There are other restrictions for affiliates that have more to do with logistics and controlling costs.

For instance, terrestrial stations may not run the show on their own internet streams, principally because of the additional licensing cost for Art’s famous bumper music selections. And the stations’ ads can only be inserted during two fixed breaks–the rest of the show’s schedule will not adhere to a strict clock.

Click Here for list of traditional radio affiliates.

NYC Radio: Personality Ed Baer Retiring

Ed Baer today
It will be the end of an era with the final airing of “Pop Rewind with Ed Baer,” Sunday, June 28, 2015 from 7 – 9 a.m. on WHUD 100.7 FM.  After more than 30 years on WHUD-FM, Ed ends almost 54 years on the radio in the New York Metropolitan area.

WHUD-FM program director Steven Petrone calls it, “the end of an era,” with one of New York’s radio greats.”  Ed began his run on 100.7 WHUD in 1986 when he took over the morning show from retiring morning man, Joe O’Brien.  For 14 years, Ed woke up the Hudson Valley with his top rated “Ed Baer Affair.”

In 2000, Ed retired from the morning show and began “Pop Rewind,” which began its 16th year on WHUD in April.

Said Ed, “the more than 30 years spent on WHUD were probably the most fun I’ve had in my entire broadcasting career.  I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.  I will miss the fine folks I worked with, but most of all, I will miss the many loyal listeners who continue to stay in touch with me.  I hope they will continue to do so.”

Ed Baer yesterday
Ed began in New York radio at WMCA 570 AM in the fall of 1961, at age 25, the youngest member of the air staff.  He remained there for 12 years, doing music, news and talk shows. Then, on to WHN 1050 AM, playing Country Music for 10 years, followed by 4 years at WYNY, where he also did sports on the NBC Radio Network.

In 1986, he took over mornings with the Ed Baer Affair on 100.7 WHUD while also beginning fill-in stints on WCBS-FM, and often heard on their Radio Greats Weekends.   After retiring from the WHUD morning show in 2000 and the start of his weekend show, “Pop Rewind,” Ed also began a four year run with Sirius Satellite Radio, where he did the morning show on the 50’s and 60’s channels.

Detroit Radio: WNIC To Air Alan Almond Tribute

Several former co-workers will remember longtime Detroit personality Alan Almond tonight on WNIC 100.3 FM as the station airs a two hour tribute.

The legendary Alan Almond was found dead of an apparent heart attack earlier this week.  He was 68.

Alan was a popular host of the program “Pillow Talk” on WNIC for more than 25 years. Alan’s show featured love songs, but it was his incredibly unique voice and delivery that set him apart from all others. The show was heard in several markets, syndicated across the country. One of the most popular radio programs on WNIC during his tenure, “Pillow Talk” was unlike any other radio program before, during and since Alan’s time on the air.

Click Here to listen.

WNIC's Jay Towers In The Morning pay tribute to WNIC's legendary Alan Almond, host of "Pillow Talk," and share listeners' memories of Alan and what he means to them.

June 19 Radio History

In 1934...Communications Act of 1934 created Federal Communications Commission

In 1962...WMCA 570 began using “The Good Guys”.   Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

In 1964...KDKA 1020 AM, Pittsburgh banned the song “Beans In My Ears” by the Serendipity Singers. The ban follows complaints from listeners and area doctors who claim that children have been putting foreign objects into their ears at an increased rate since the single was released.

In 1965...Since WINS went all-news in April, New York’s remaining rockershave been going at it - head to head. It’s the WMCA Goodguys vs. the WABC All-Americans. They’re the only two places on the New York dial to hear Top40.

The post-WINS Pulse ratings showed the stations neck-in-neck - WABC at a 16 and WMCA at a 16.3 rating. But WMCA has about one-third the signal of WABC, so it performs better with no WMCA competition - in the outlying suburbs.

WMCA was running a “Good Guy Derby” contest where you have the guess the WMCA Good Guy who will win his race “in the sport of kings.” Go-Go radio, WABC is doing a “prize of the day” A prize a day goes into the “Go Go Grab Bag” for end-week awarding.

Both stations were battling airplay of the new Beatles album -“Beatles VI” - and both stations were saying they had the exclusive on the album.  Actually, WABC had the album three hours before WMCA did - a rarity. WMCA usually scoops WABC on most records, including the Beatles.

In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM said it will drop duplicating talk WOR 710 AM on June 30 and go rock ‘n’ roll - the first FM station to go full-time rock . Robert S. Smith, vice president of both WOR AM/FMsays - “We will not have shouting disk jockeys on FM, but if there can be a quality rock station, that is, what we will be. We’re going after the WABC and WMCA audience.” The change in policy is a result of a recent FCC rule that FM stations in major cities may no longer duplicate more than 50% of their AM affiliates.

In 1973...Wolfman Jack, heard on KDAY Los Angles announced he's going to WNBC, New York.

In 1973...Watermark has produced a three-hour special called “the 40 Greatest Disappearing Acts of the Rock Era.” Hosted by Casey Kasem, it will replace American Top-40 July 7-8.

In 1973...93 KHJ AM program director Paul Drew confirmed that the Real Don Steele and Mark Eliot have left the station.

Billboard 1973
In 1973...89 WLS  program director Tommy Edwards said the station is expanding its playlist and is cutting back on the use of jingles form 40 to five key jingles. Plus, - elimination of meaningless chatter by jocks, dayparting of music (more rock at night for example). WCFL was giving WLS a run in the ratings.

In 1973...KSFX 103.7 FM San Francisco launched a complete sound-alike format of WABC, New York, whose program director (Rick Sklar) is consulting the station. The first “Music Radio KSFX” playlists have been distributed to record stores.

Dixon's Wrecked Auto 
In 2005...legendary southern DJ, Mason Dixon, was injured in an auto accident which practically split his car apart.

Dixon suffered a collapsed lung, 2 broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. Dixon has been affiliated with legendary stations including Tampa's WRBQ-FM, where he was still employed at the time of his accident.

When his wife finally showed him pictures of his prized 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible, split in half in a crash over the weekend, there were more tears.

"There were angels watching out for me," he told reporters huddled around his bed at St. Joseph's Hospital. "They wanted me to learn something, and I have. Now, I've got to go back out there and do their work. And I'll be happy to."

Dixon, 55, whose real name is Jimmie Crawford, was critically injured after leaving a Father's Day promotional event.

In 2009…Radio/TV announcer Ken Roberts died of pneumonia following a stroke at age 99. In 1935, he was one of the founders of the broadcast performers' union now known as AFTRA.

In Media Confidential one year ago...

Radio's “Share of Ear” Measures At 52 Percent:  Click Here

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Official: Lester In..Brian Williams To MSNBC

Andrew Lack, Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, on Thursday announced that Lester Holt will be named the permanent anchor of "NBC Nightly News."

Holt, 56, has been a television news reporter for thirty-four years. He joined NBC in 2000 and became the full-time anchor of "Weekend Nightly News" in 2007. He also anchors "Dateline" and co-anchors "Weekend TODAY."

"Lester has done outstanding work for NBC News over the last ten years, and he's performed remarkably well over the last few months under very tough circumstances," Lack said. "He's an exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience. In many ways, television news stands at a crossroads, and Lester is the perfect person to meet the moment."
Lester Holt

Lester Holt said, "This is an enormous honor. The respect and admiration I have for the Nightly News team has only grown deeper over the last several months that we've been together. Day-in and day-out under an uncomfortable spotlight they have produced world-class journalism. I'm very proud and grateful to be part of such an unflappable and dedicated team of professionals as we move forward together."

Lack and Steve Burke, CEO of NBCU, have decided that Brian Williams will not be the anchor of "Nightly News." Williams, who was an anchor at MSNBC from 1996 to 2004, will now join MSNBC as anchor of breaking news and special reports. He will work with Mark Lukasiewicz, SVP of Special Reports for NBCU News Group, who will help lead a team to strengthen MSNBC's daytime coverage by further leveraging NBC News' expertise in breaking news. In addition, Williams will serve as a breaking news anchor for NBC News live special reports when Holt is not available. He will begin the new role in mid-August.

Brian Williams
NBCUniversal conducted a review of Brian Williams' significant reporting in the field and commentary related to that reporting on NBC News platforms and in other public appearances over a period of more than ten years. The review was overseen by Kim Harris, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NBCUniversal, who previously served as Deputy White House Counsel and as Senior Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. It was conducted by Richard Esposito, who leads the investigative unit at NBC News.

The extensive review found that Williams made a number of inaccurate statements about his own role and experiences covering events in the field. The statements in question did not for the most part occur on NBC News platforms or in the immediate aftermath of the news events, but rather on late-night programs and during public appearances, usually years after the news events in question.

Lack said, "Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone's trust. His excellent work over twenty-two years at NBC News has earned him that opportunity."

Burke continued, "As you would imagine this was a difficult decision. Brian Williams has been with NBC News for a very long time and he has covered countless news events with honor and skill. As I said in February, we believe in second chances, and I am hopeful that this new beginning will be good for Brian and the organization. This matter has been extensively analyzed and deliberated on by NBC. We are moving forward."

On his return to NBC, Williams said: "I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100% as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it."

Note: An interview with Brian Williams, conducted over the last two days in New York by Matt Lauer, will air on TODAY on Friday morning and on NBC Nightly News on Friday evening.

Denver Radio: iHM Names Jim Lawson SVP/Programming For Cluster

Jim Lawson
iHeartMedia/Denver has announded Jim Lawson as SVP/Programming for the cluster.

He has been Regional SVP/Programming for iHM's clusters in Colorado Springs, Puebo and Ft. Collins.  Additionally, he has been the company's National Hispanic Brand Manager

"I could not be more excited and honored to lead an already successful Denver team. I look forward to exceeding our clients and listeners expectations while growing our brands with great content across all of our platforms. Thank you to Hartley Atkins, Brad Hardin and Pat Connor for giving me this incredible opportunity in a dream company surrounded by the best of the best," said Lawson.

"We are excited to have JIM join the iHeartMedia team here in DENVER, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in driving ratings growth across multiple platforms and providing strong advertiser ROI," said Denver Market President Pat Connor.

"Adding Jim’s leadership to an already very talented team of Programmers will help drive even more success to iHeartMedia Denver."

"Jim Lawson's experience and reputation for success make him the perfect fit to lead our Denver programming team," said EVP/Programming Brad Hardin.  "His depth of knowledge in multiple formats and leadership as a Brand Manager will be tremendous assets in continuing to ensure our market leading brands operate at peak performance."

NAB Radio Show To Honor George Beasley

George Beasley
George G. Beasley, chairman, chief executive officer and founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., will receive the National Radio Award during the Radio Luncheon on Wednesday, September 30.

The 2015 Radio Show, produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), will be held September 30-October 2 in Atlanta.

“George Beasley’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for our business have made a very positive and lasting impact on all of Radio," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "The NAB is proud to recognize a true family broadcaster for a remarkable and honorable legacy in broadcasting.”

Beasley began his broadcasting career in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia when he launched his first radio station in 1961 in Benson, NC. At that time he was serving as assistant principal at a public high school in Ringgold, VA. In 1962, Beasley accepted the position of principal of Meadow High School in nearby Benson in order to be closer to the radio station. During his seven years at Meadow High, Beasley worked at the station evenings and on weekends. In mid-1969, he left education in order to pursue his entrepreneurial goal of broadcasting on a full-time basis.

Beasley Media Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, is headquartered in Naples, Florida, and now owns and operates 53 radio stations (34 FM and 19 AM) located in 12 large and mid-size markets across the United States.

Report: Brian Williams To MSNBC, Holt Nightly News Anchor

NBC is planning to announce on Thursday that Brian Williams will not return to his position as the anchor of its “Nightly News” show, four months after the network suspended him for exaggerating his experiences during a helicopter attack in Iraq, according to two people briefed on the decision.

The NY Times reports Williams is expected to move to a new role at NBC News, primarily at the cable news network MSNBC, which would probably be in a breaking-news capacity at the beginning, according to one of the people.

Lester Holt, who has been filling in for Mr. Williams as anchor, will permanently assume the position as anchor of NBC’s evening newscast, one person said. Mr. Holt was previously the anchor of NBC’s weekend evening news broadcasts.

The people who spoke about NBC’s decision insisted on anonymity because the discussions were private and the decision had not yet been announced.

Chicago Radio: WSCR Suspends Dan Bernstein Over Tweet

WSCR 670 AM The Score has suspended talk host Dan Bernstein after he posted a tasteless tweet (since removed) about the Blackhawks and a local TV reporter.

The Score radio host took an untimely shot at the Blackhawks and WLS-TV7 reporter Cheryl Scott as the city launched into a Stanley Cup celebration on Monday night.

Dan Bernstein
Bernstein was referencing unsubstantiated rumors. Several people came to Scott’s defense, including co-worker Jerry Taft.

Producer Matt Abbatacola filled in for Bernstein on Wednesday and said the 20-year Score veteran would be back on the air on Thursday with partner Terry Boers. The station offered no explanation about Bernstein’s whereabouts on Wednesday.

The Sun-Times report Bernstein had his hand slapped in March for a sexist tweet about Comcast SportsNet’s Aiyana Cristal. Though he never removed that tweet, Bernstein did offer an on-air apology.

Bill Blocking Net Neutrality Funding Headed For Vote

Republicans moved forward with their efforts to cripple the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules. Using its budgeting power, the House appropriations committee voted 30-20 on a broad funding bill that contains a provision which prohibits the FCC from spending money to enforce the open internet rules until the pending court challenges are resolved.

The financial service and general government appropriations bill now moves to the House floor for a vote.

The FCC’s open internet rules took effect on June 12, but are being challenged by cable and telecom internet service providers in the DC circuit court of appeals, a proceeding that many believe could take months if not years to resolve. reports the bill gives the FCC $73 million less than what the agency asked for, and require the FCC to publicly release the text of its proposed rules 21 days ahead of a vote.

NASH-TV Partners With Qello Concerts For Global Streaming

Cumulus Media has announced that NASH TV will now be available globally through a strategic partnership with Qello Concerts, the worldwide leader in streaming long-form concert films on demand.

Qello Concerts will feature NASH TV’s  original content across its worldwide OTT streaming platform, which includes web access, as well as:

  • Smart TVs from Samsung and Sony
  • Connected devices, including streaming players and consoles: Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, PlayStation, XBOX and Google Chromecast
  • Mobile devices: iOS, Android and Windows

NASH TV features compelling original content based on the Country lifestyle including music, fashion/beauty, cooking, sports and original artist interviews filmed at the NASH campus in Nashville. Regular programming includes “NASH Nights Live,” “Grits & Hits,” “America’s Morning Show,” and “Real Live Performances.”

“Qello Concerts is a powerful platform to catapult our distribution into hundreds of millions of households across the globe through the connected TV market, bringing our popular lifestyle and entertainment programming to Country music fans to enjoy anytime, anywhere,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President of Content and Programming for Cumulus.

“Country music is core to Qello Concerts and who better to grow that with than Cumulus and their amazing NASH TV content and industry-leading brand,” said Richard Johnson, co-founder of Qello Concerts.

Cumulus created the NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle in January 2013 starting with the flagship “America’s Country Station” NASH FM 94.7 in New York City. In addition to dozens of Country format radio stations, the NASH brand includes NASH Country Weekly magazine, concerts/events, online and TV content, the NASH Icon joint venture with Big Machine Label Group and the upcoming NASH Next talent competition.

Report: Trump Paid For Campaign Launch Crowd

One day after Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign in his trademark bombastic style, it was reported Wednesday that actors were paid $50 to attend and cheer at the announcement in New York's Trump Tower.

The Hollywood Reporter said that a New York-based company called Extra Mile Casting sent out an email to its clients last Friday looking for extras to boost attendance at the event.

The email, which the Hollywood Reporter obtained, said, "We are looking to cast people for the event to wear T-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement."

However, E! News reports that Trump's camp said the claim isn't true, and they aren't issuing a statement about it.

The story came after reports on Tuesday that Trump's people were grabbing people off the street to come in for the announcement.

PASR: Sports Consultant Rick Scott On Missed Opportunities

Rick Scott
There have been a few names that have been uttered more than a single time in this podcast’s short history.  Rick Scott is one of those names.  He’s, arguably, the guy in the country who has touched the most different radio stations, networks, program directors and hosts in the entire country.

Rick Scott is the President/CEO of Rick Scott & Associates–a sports radio programming and marketing consultation firm that has helped hundreds of stations and hosts improve their sound and image over the years.  He recently spoke with the Podcast About Sports Radio and told host Zach McCrite about how this business came about, the future of the radio medium, what he calls the mistakes program directors are making these days and much more.


Rick on how he got the bug for radio. [3:49]
Rick talks about the first station he ever flipped to the sports format. [4:43]
Rick compares the early days of the sports radio format to now. [6:59]
Rick talks about how sports radio consulting became a business for him. [8:45]
Rick on the most common mistakes program directors are making. [11:10]
Rick on the most common opportunity hosts are missing. [12:57]
Rick on the common denominator in all ‘great’ hosts. [13:38]
Rick on the ‘perfect host.’ [14:50]
Rick on what program directors look for in out-of-market talent. [17:43]
Rick talks about what makes a guest air-worthy. [19:46]
Rick talks about the characteristics of those few markets that are most different from the rest. [21:09]

Louisville Radio: Amy Nic Added To WAMZ Morning Show

Amy Nic
iHeartMedia/Louisville has announced the addition of Amy Nic to the morning show on  Country WAMZ 97.5 FM.

She will be joining existing morning personality Chris Randolph effective immediately.

"We are very fortunate to bring on someone with Amy’s vision, creativity, energy, sense of humor and sass," said WAMZ PD Michael Jordan.

"Amy knows great morning shows are more than just a few songs played back-to-back; it's becoming a part of the community, being real, having fun and making a difference in listeners’ daily lives."

Most recently with crosstown Summit Media, Nic is a Louisville native and a graduate of Western Kentucky University.

“This is a dream come true!," she said. "I can't believe it. I'm absolutely thrilled to be working for the station I was raised listening to, and on top of that I get to be Chris Randolph's partner - what an honor to be working with such a pro!"

WAMZ 97.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage

Survey: ESPN Not Most Wanted CableTV Channel

What channels would consumers actually pay for if they could pick and chose?

Variety reports the answer to that question may surprise you, and is bad news for at least some cable networks.

Take ESPN, for example. The Disney-owned sports network is often quoted as the prime reason for people not cutting the cord, and is by far the most expensive cable network. But a new survey from Digitalsmiths found that only 35.7 percent of consumers would add ESPN to their personal a la carte lineup of TV channels if they had the choice.  That ranks the cable network 20th in the survey, behind Discovery Channel at 62 percent, History Channel at 57 percent, and behind the Weather Channel’s 39.9 percent.

TV Channel Package Favorites - Click to Enlarge
Despite the harm it will do to many of the channels lower in the rankings, the financial benefit for customers is obvious, write Alex McCown at Currently, the largest percentage of subscribers pay an average of $125 a month, with a good portion paying upwards of $150 monthly. The study makes the case that consumers’ ideal compilation of channels—approximately 17 total—would run them an average of $38 a month.