Saturday, September 19, 2015

September 20 Radio History

In 1921...KDKA in Pittsburgh established the world's first radio newsroom and started one of the first daily radio newscasts in the country, reporting from the city desk of The Pittsburgh Post.

In 1930...Longtime NYC Personality Harry Harrison was born in Chicago.

Harrison was a popular radio personality for over 50 years. Harrison is the only DJ to be a WMCA "Good Guy", a WABC "All-American", and on the WCBS-FM line-up when the New York station flipped to the "Jack" format in June 2005.

Harrison worked at WCFL in the early 50s as a summer replacement, yet remained there eight months, substituting for the permanent DJs. In 1954, Harrison became program director at WPEO, Peoria and hosted the morning show as the "Morning Mayor of Peoria."  In just six months, Harrison made WPEO the top station.

In 1959, Harrison joined WMCA, New York, as the mid-day "Good Guy." Joe O'Brien (mornings) and Harrison gave WMCA a "one-two punch" for over eight years.  In 1965, he recorded the nationally charted holiday narration "May You Always" on Amy Records.

Harrison became popular with his "Housewife Hall of Fame” feature, and participated in the 1966 WMCA Good Guy picnic. Often, he scored the highest ratings on WMCA. WABC program director Rick Sklar took note.

In 1968, when WABC morning man Herb Oscar Anderson left the station, Rick Sklar hired Harrison to replace him. Harrison was followed in the WABC day by Ron Lundy.

Every year, Harrison played seasonal songs, such as his holiday greeting "May You Always” in the winter (the Amy records single of this song made the Billboard Christmas charts in 1965).

Harry with Ron Lundy
Harrison had a number of "trademark" phrases, such as "Morning, Mom", "Every brand new day should be opened like a precious gift", "Stay well, stay happy, stay right here" and "Harry Harrison wishing you the best... because that's exactly what you deserve!” Also, on the last day of every year, Harrison would bring his four children to work with him and at the end of his shift, he would join them in giving listeners New Year's wishes.

Harrison was let go from WABC as the station changed direction in November 1979.

In March 1980, Harrison became the morning personality at WCBS 101.1 FM, playing oldies.

In 1984, with Lundy joining the station, they were once again heard back-to-back. Harrison would interact with Morning Crew engineer Al Vertucci, Phil Pepe, who reported sports, and joke about "wacky weather" and toupee warnings with Irv “Mr. “G” Gikofsky (weather), Mary Jane Royce, and Sue Evans. At 7:20 AM, Harrison opened the "birthday book" and announced listener and celebrity birthdays.

On April 25, 1997 New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani issued a proclamation, naming April 25 "Harry Harrison Day" in honor of the second "Mayor."

On March 19, 2003, after a 44-year career in New York radio, Harrison left WCBS-FM, saying "I am not retiring." His farewell to his loyal radio friends (from 5:30 to 10:00am) was held before a live audience at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City.

Shortly after he left WCBS-FM, Harrison's long-time wife, Patti, who he had always referred to as "Pretty Patti" on the air, died.

Harrison returned to WCBS-FM with a Saturday morning show in 2004. It offered two hours of variety and two hours of Beatles music and memories.

In 1953...Jimmy Stewart debuted NBC's radio western, "The Six Shooter".

Circa 1969
In 1969...Frustrated by what he sees as a lack of artistic fulfillment, John Lennon announces privately to the rest of the Beatles that he will be leaving the band.

The announcement, which comes at one of several grueling financial meetings designed to untangle the band's mismanaged assets, comes abruptly and takes everyone by surprise: when Paul announces that the band should go out on tour anonymously, playing small clubs to get back the feel of band unity, Lennon declares "I think you’re daft. I want a divorce."

The band realizes they cannot go on without him, but agrees to delay the announcement until after the release of the Let It Be soundtrack -- an agreement Paul will break. On the same day, ATV (Associated Television) of Britain buys up controlling interest in the Beatles' songwriting catalog.

In 1973...The great Jim Croce, who was on the verge of superstardom, died at age 30 when his light plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

In 1986...Billboard's Hot 100...Huey Lewis & the News grabbed the #1 spot with "Stuck with You" but Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson were close behind with their song "Friends and Lovers".  Lionel Richie fell after peaking at 2 with "Dancing on the Ceiling".

The rest of the Top 10:  Run-D.M.C. with their remake of the Aerosmith classic "Walk This Way" (never remake classics...).  The rest of the Top 10:  Canada's Glass Tiger with "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)", Daryl Hall's solo hit "Dreamtime", Janet Jackson had "When I Think of You" which moved from 14 to 7, Stacey Q and "Two of Hearts", Berlin was down with their former #1 "Take My Breath Away" and Billy Ocean's sixth but next-to-last Top 10 "Love Zone" was #10.

In 1997…Bob Hudson, of the radio and recording comedy duo Hudson & Landry, died at age 66.

"Emperor" Bob Hudson (born Robert Howard Holmes on October 7, 1929 in Erie, Pennsylvania) got his start in radio while serving in the United States Air Force in Anchorage, Alaska. He began his civilian career in radio during the mid-fifties first in Erie, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; and San Francisco before settling in the Los Angeles area.

He was consistently ranked among the top 10 DJs in Southern California from 1957 until his retirement in 1988. Hudson worked at a variety of LA radio stations, including KFWB, KBLA, KEZY, KFI and KGBS, and came to prominence when he replaced Bob Eubanks as morning man on KRLA in 1963. In 1966, Billboard ranked Hudson #1 in his morning drive time slot.

After Hudson & Landry split up, Hudson continued working in radio, including a stint at WMEX, later WITS, in Boston, until his retirement.

Suspended KTTS, KSGF Radio Host Quits

A Springfield, MO radio host who was suspended for suggesting on air that the recent shooting deaths of two Virginia journalists caught on tape were a hoax is not backing down from his remarks and has quit his job.

In follow-up comments made on social media, the employee, Rick Kennedy — who goes by the on-air name Rick Masters — said he stands by his comments made on the Sunday morning call-in show “Cracker Barrel” and that his suspension was unfair.

On Friday, he told the News-Leader he still believes the shooting was faked.

“There is no question in my mind it’s a hoax,” said Kennedy, who worked part time at the station.

As for why any group would pull such a hoax, Kennedy said, “Why? Who knows? Probably to create more conversation about gun laws. You know Sandy Hook was the granddaddy of that stuff.”

Kennedy also believes the Sandy Hook school shooting was a conspiracy, he said

Kennedy had worked as a telephone screener on the Sunday morning call-in show “Cracker Barrel,” which airs on Country KTTS 94.7 FM, N/T KSGF 104.1 FM / 1260 AM. The show’s host, Joe Rios, was also suspended. The stations are owned by the E.W. Scripps Company.

Stations manager Rex Hansen on Thursday confirmed that Kennedy had quit. Hansen declined to comment further.

The remarks were made during the Aug. 30 episode of “Cracker Barrel,” four days after television reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the WDBJ7 station in Roanoke, Virginia, were shot by a former co-worker on live television.

Kennedy and Rios said on air their suspicions about the event were spurred by videos that had been posted on the Internet. Kennedy said he believed the shooting was a hoax and that others should decide for themselves.

The E.W. Scripps Company issued an apology for the segment, and both Kennedy and Rios were suspended.

Kennedy said he’s looking for another job in radio.

Emmy Winers Get Their Hardware Sunday

Jon Hamm of Mad Men

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It's an honor just to be nominated for an Emmy given the more than 400 scripted TV shows broadcast or streamed on U.S. television in a year, but only a few will take home a Primetime Emmy Award on Sunday.

Here are four key races to be decided at Sunday's award show which will be broadcast on Fox at 8 pm ET.


The biggest prize in the TV industry looks like a close race between "Mad Men" and "Game of Thrones."
  • "Mad Men" - the 1960s advertising show ended in May. If it wins on Sunday, it will make Emmy history as the winningest drama ever, with a record five victories.
  • "Game of Thrones" - the fantasy series based on the books of George R.R. Martin has a huge fan base and a leading 24 nominations overall. It has never won the top award in four years on the air.
Last year's winner: "Breaking Bad."


The award for the funniest show on TV shapes up as a three-way tie.
  • "Modern Family" - the mockumentary about families of many hues has never lost this category since it first aired in 2009. A sixth win would make Emmy history.
  • "Transparent" - the show about an older man transitioning to become a woman put's original TV content on the map.
  • "Veep" - the satirical look at dysfunctional White House politics aired its fourth season just as the 2016 U.S. presidential race was heating up.
Last year's winner: "Modern Family."


A race between two actresses of color. No African-American actress has ever won an Emmy in this category
  • Viola Davis, "How to get Away With Murder" - Davis missed out on an Oscar in 2012 for "The Help" and here she plays tough but vulnerable criminal defense attorney Annalise Keating who's not above bending the law.
  • Taraji P. Henson, "Empire" - The hit series about a hip-hop family business was snubbed in the best drama category but Henson is nominated for playing strong-willed matriarch Cookie Lyon.
Last year's winner: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife."


A three-way contest between two established comediennes and a rising star.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep" - The former "Seinfeld" star's bumbling, egotistical Selina Meyer captures the worst of Washington politics, and has won three times.
  • Amy Schumer, "Inside Amy Schumer" - Star and creator of her own irreverent sketch show, Schumer is comedy's brightest newcomer, boosted by her hit summer movie "Trainwreck."
  • Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie" - Beloved actress Tomlin's hippie art teacher Frankie Bergstein struggles to start a new life after her husband leaves her for another man.
Last year's winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep."

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Andrew Hay)

MLB Cards Renew KMOX Radio Deal

The St. Louis Cardinals and CBS Radio’s KMOX 1120 AM have announced a multi-year extension to their current radio rights agreement. With the extension, KMOX will continue as the flagship station for the Cardinals, broadcasting all 162 regular-season games, any post-season contests, as well as select spring training games. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Cardinals will continue to produce the game broadcasts and veteran announcers Mike Shannon, John Rooney and Mike Claiborne will continue to handle the play-by-play coverage.

John Rooney and Mike Shannon
“We are pleased to extend our agreement with our partners at KMOX,” said Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III, “KMOX is an iconic station in St. Louis, and we are proud to extend our partnership with them which includes so much shared history and tradition.”

“The Cardinals are a world class organization both on and off the field, and our partnership has never been stronger,” said John Sheehan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, CBS RADIO St. Louis. “There is something special and enduring about the tradition of hearing Cardinals baseball on KMOX - that is important to the fans. We consider it a privilege to broadcast games to Cardinal Nation."

During the Cardinals’ partnership with KMOX, game broadcasts have consistently been among the top-rated radio programs in the St. Louis market. As part of the extension, the Cardinals will continue selling the advertising during the broadcast. In addition to game broadcasts, KMOX will carry a variety of other Cardinals-related programming throughout the year, including the popular “Hot Stove League Show” that runs during the off-season. Listeners can also hear the games on FM through HD Radio receivers in the St. Louis area on CBS RADIO’s KEZK-HD3.

The vast majority of the Cardinals Radio Network will also stay the same under the new arrangement. The network consists of 140 stations in nine states (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee) and has the potential to reach 21.3 million people in 11 states.

WGRF Radiothon Raises $140K+ For Make-A-Wish

Larry Norton
Over 21 years, one Buffalo radio host has helped raise millions for the Make-A-Wish foundation, and on Thursday, it neared another milestone.

With the help of the western New York community, 97Rock / WGRF 96.9 FM raised $140,000 for the charitable organization. That brings the total funds raised by the Cumulus radio station and its morning show host Larry Norton to $2.9 million over more than two decades.

Although Norton, the long-time host of the Norton Show, and radio veteran of 40 years, announced his impending retirement during the radio-thon, he announced on Friday his company invited him to rejoin the company on-air for the next radio-thon in 2016 to help break the barrier and raise $3 million.

WIVB-TV4 reports during the radio-thon, Norton stayed on air for 28 consecutive hours and played any song a listener would request — so long as they pledged to the Make-A-Wish.

Don Henley Calls Out David Geffen On CBS Sunday Morning

Don Henley
Don Henley predicts the Eagles will end "in the next couple of years" in an interview on "CBS Sunday Morning."

"I don't want be the one to call if off," Henley tells Anthony Mason. Henley says it will be Glenn Frey's choice.

"I think Glenn will probably be the one to call off the Eagles thing," Henley says. "I think it will be his decision when it's time to stop. And I'm going to leave it to him."

"CBS Sunday Morning" airs at 9 a.m. (Eastern). Henley will promote the solo album "Cass County," which is out next week. Henley says he would tour again with the Eagles, but he will be fine when the band calls it quits.

Henley also answers music executive David Geffen, who dismissed Henley as a "malcontent" in a documentary about the Eagles. The Eagles battled Geffen's record label in a contract dispute.

"I think Glenn and I both, when we detect dishonesty and unfairness, we are malcontents, as we should be," Henley says. "And we smelled a rat pretty early on. So if that makes me a malcontent, then I'll own it."

Don Henley Attends SiriusXM Town Hall

SiriusXM hax announced that Don Henley sat down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners for the SiriusXM "Town Hall" series at the ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas.

"SiriusXM's Town Hall with Don Henley," moderated by fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Seger, features Henley answering questions from SiriusXM listeners about his career, including his new album Cass County, which is scheduled to be released on September 25. The "Town Hall" also features Henley performing songs from his new album, as well as solo hits. The live performances feature special guests Martina McBride and Jamey Johnson.

"Whether listening to him perform with the Eagles or to his stellar solo work, Don Henley has one of the most distinguished and unforgettable voices in all of rock," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "We are thrilled to present his new album for fans in this unique setting, with Don talking with Bob Seger—a legend in his own right--and debuting his new work for SiriusXM listeners with a special performance."

The "SiriusXM's Town Hall with Don Henley" will premiere on Monday, September 21 at 8:00 pm ET on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country via satellite on channel 60 and through the SiriusXM App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online.

After the broadcast, "SiriusXM's Town Hall with Don Henley" will be available on SiriusXM On Demand for subscribers listening via the SiriusXM App for smartphones and other mobile devices or online at

"SiriusXM's Town Hall with Don Henley" is part of SiriusXM's "Town Hall" series, featuring iconic entertainers and figures sitting down with studio audiences of SiriusXM listeners. Previous SiriusXM "Town Hall" specials have featured Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Billy Crystal, Quentin Tarantino, Carol Burnett, KISS, Coldplay, Ringo Starr, Taylor Swift, Hugh Jackman, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Roger Waters, the surviving members of Nirvana, Gregg Allman, Usher and Tony Hawk

Keith Richards Documents Rock Roots

Keith Richards
A new film about Keith Richards unexpectedly evolved from the story of making his latest solo album into a study of the huge influence of blues, country and even reggae on his music, the renowned Rolling Stones guitarist said on Thursday.

The documentary "Keith Richards: Under the Influence," had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday ahead of its release on Netflix Sept. 18.

The movie was originally meant to document the making of "Crosseyed Heart," his first solo album in more than 20 years. But under director Morgan Neville, who won an Oscar for "20 Feet from Stardom," the focus shifted to where his music comes from.

"There was no plan on this. At the same time, during the making of it, at least halfway through, I realized that that was what was happening," Richards told Reuters ahead of the premiere.

Richards, 71, said both the film and making the album, which features rock, reggae and country songs, gave him a new appreciation of his influences, including less obvious ones such as the role of his music-loving mother.

Growing up in post-war Britain, Richards said his home was filled the music of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.

"It was all good stuff. In other words if you're growing up at 4 years old and you can sing Billie Holiday songs, you realize that 'ya, brought up on the blues without even knowing it,'" he said.

Richards said when the band first came to America, they found it "astounding" blues wasn't better known.

September 19 Radio History

In 1921..WBZ radio, which now broadcasts at 1030 kHz AM and is the oldest surviving commercial radio station in New England, began broadcasting from Springfield, MA.

The station has long been one of the highest-rated stations in the Boston area, and covers much of the eastern United States and Canada at night with its 50,000-watt clear-channel signal from its transmitter location in Hull, Massachusetts, which has been used by the station since 1940. The transmitter is a two tower directional array where each tower is 160 meters (520 ft) tall. The signal is intentionally directionalized from their coastal location for maximum power transmitted into the continental United States, giving WBZ outstanding multi-state coverage after sunset.

WBZ's initial license, for operation in Springfield, was issued by the Department of Commerce to the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company on September 15, 1921; it was the first license to specify broadcasts on 360 meters (833 kilohertz), and was subsequently deemed to be the first license for a commercial broadcast station. However, other stations, such as WWJ in Detroit, 1XE/WGI in Medford Hillside, and sister station KDKA in Pittsburgh, were already broadcasting under different license classifications.

Original Studio on Page Blvd.
The station's original transmitter and studios were located at the Westinghouse factory on Page Boulevard in East Springfield. However, WBZ's inaugural program, on September 19, 1921, was a remote broadcast from the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield.

The original format was general entertainment and information, which included live music (often classical music and opera), sports, farm reports, special events, and public affairs programming. Despite WBZ being housed in Springfield, it somewhat difficult to attract top-flight artists to the station,  leading Westinghouse to open a studio at the Hotel Brunswick in Boston on February 24, 1924.  WBZ also expanded its news programming via a partnership with the Boston Herald and Traveler.  It also carried a considerable amount of sports broadcasts, including Boston Bruins hockey, Boston Braves baseball, and Harvard Crimson football.

Circa 1932
Because of its comparatively wide reach, the station often referred to itself as "WBZ, New England" as opposed to associating itself solely with Springfield or Boston. However, even after several power boosts (the station broadcast at a power of 100 watts in 1921, but was using 2,000 watts in April 1925, the station still had some trouble reaching Boston, leading Westinghouse to sign on WBZA, a 250-watt station at 1240 kHz, on August 20, 1925.  Efforts were soon made to operate WBZA as a synchronous repeater of WBZ, by then at 900 kHz; this process was difficult, as the two transmitters often interfered with each other even in Boston, and WBZA went back and forth between the two frequencies for nearly a year before finally going to full-time synchronous operation in June 1926.

WBZ also continued to boost the power of its primary East Springfield transmitter; it was granted permission to operate with 5,000 watts on March 31, 1926, and by 1927 it was operating with 15,000 watts. Meanwhile, a combination of WBZ's growth and continued difficulties with the WBZA signal led the station to move its Boston studio to the Statler Hotel (now the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers) on June 1, 1927 and activate a new WBZA transmitter on June 9.  The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) moved WBZ and WBZA to 990 kHz on November 11, 1928.

Amidst the technical changes, WBZ also began engaging in network activities. By 1925, it often shared programs with WJZ in New York City (which Westinghouse had also started in 1921, but sold to the Radio Corporation of America two years later), and a WBZ special commemorating the 150th anniversary of Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride" was also fed to WRC in Washington, D.C. and WGY in Schenectady, New York. This paved the way for the station to become a charter affiliate of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on November 15, 1926, carrying the WJZ-originated NBC Blue Network beginning on January 1, 1927.

In 1932...the soap opera “Just Plain Bill” was first heard as an early evening quarter-hour on a regional CBS network from Chicago.

It was “The real life story of people just like people we all know.”  Stories centred around the town barber (just plain) Bill Davidson and his daughter, Nancy, who lived in (just plain) Hartville.  The broadcast moved to New York at the end of the year, and to NBC daytime in 1935, where it continued daily for another 20 years.

In 1955...Bill Cullen starts at WRCA 660 AM.

Bill Cullen
Cullen's broadcasting career began in Pittsburgh at WWSW radio, where he worked as a disc jockey and play-by-play announcer or color commentator for Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Hornets games. In 1943, Cullen left WWSW to briefly work at rival station KDKA before leaving Pittsburgh a year later to try his luck in New York. A week after arriving in New York he was hired as a staff announcer at CBS. To supplement his then-meager income, he became a freelance joke writer for some of the top radio stars of the day including Arthur Godfrey, Danny Kaye, and Jack Benny; he also worked as a staff writer for the Easy Aces radio show.

His first venture into game shows was in 1945 when he was hired as announcer for a radio quiz called Give And Take.  Between 1946 and 1953 he also worked as announcer for various other local and network shows, including the radio version of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman's first game show, Winner Take All, hosted by Ward Wilson; Cullen took over as host four months later when Wilson left.

After a brief stint at WNEW in 1951 he later hosted a popular morning show at WRCA radio from 1955 to 1961.  His last regular radio job was as one of the hosts of NBC Radio's Monitor from 1971 to 1973.

In 1970...Ed Baer does last show at WMCA 570 AM  NYC.

Aircheck from 1964 (note: Video Slate in incorrect..the year is 1964)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Survey: Radio's Big Problem..Big Radio

Ask media buyers what word best describes the state of radio, and their first choice is “struggling.”

The reason radio is struggling, many believe, is because of consolidation that has concentrated radio ownership in the hands of a few industry giants. That’s led to the slashing of budgets at stations around the country and the replacing of local on-air talent with syndicated shows.

Yet, according to Media Life,  these same buyers remain huge fans of radio as an advertising medium, believing it to be superior to almost all other media in reaching consumers and driving sales.

In short, their beef is not with the medium but its largest owners.

These are the key findings of recent Media Life polls on radio as it expands coverage of the medium with its fall editorial series “The new face of radio in America” and the launch of The Media Life Radio Newsletter for media planners and buyers.

In the most recent poll, Media Life asked, “What do you think are the biggest problems facing radio today?” Readers were invited to choose more than one answer.

Slightly over half chose: “Control of the industry in the hands of a few giants.”

Second, at just under half, was: “Decline of local radio with its deep communities ties.”

Third was “Competition from digital players like Pandora.” Fourth was “Ad clutter.” Other top choices were “Lack of innovation” and “Lack of compelling content. Same old music and talk.”

One thing is very clear in buyers’ responses: Their deep belief that radio at its best is a hyper-local medium with local on-air personalities listeners relate to.

Think of the DJ who shows up to broadcast live whenever there’s a parade, street festival or big school event. Or it’s an event for children and he’s there, mike in hand, maybe in a costume.

That’s old radio, before consolidation.

Media buyers would like to see it return.

Read More Now

Expresssway From Katz Placing GEICO Radio Ads

Katz Radio Group, the largest radio representation company in America representing more than 3,000 radio stations as their exclusive agent for National Spot Inventory, in partnership with GEICO and Horizon Media, announced today the first-ever live programmatic transaction for spot radio, in a pilot test utilizing its new advertising exchange, Expressway from Katz.

The activation is airing on multiple Entercom Radio stations, across various markets this week.

Expressway from Katz, an agnostic programmatic buying exchange designed to include all radio broadcasters, is being developed by Katz Radio Group to make radio even more attractive and easier to buy, allowing advertisers and agencies to achieve improved ROI through better audience segmentation and consumer targeting; transparency of campaign delivery through real time monitoring; and improved efficiency.

Ted Ward
“An industry-wide programmatic buying solution in audio allows us to better identify the most effective, targeted and efficient audio environments, enabling marketers to create a richer and more engaging connection with consumers,” said Ted Ward, VP of Marketing at GEICO. “This platform will give us better visibility into what programs, stations and day-parts have the best opportunity for increased engagement to further reinforce the value of audio as a key driver in our marketing mix.”

"A programmatic buying solution in the audio industry gives the agency and advertiser more viewability in real time on key data sets and streamlines the negotiation process,” said Lauren Russo, SVP, Managing Director of Audio and Promotions at Horizon Media. “The ability to track in real time provides greater accountability and the opportunity to not only optimize, but more importantly to prove and reinforce the ROI associated with investments in audio."

Mark Rosenthal
“With more and more dollars being shifted to programmatic buying, it was crucial for our industry to evolve our capabilities to allow for the inclusion of radio in this rapidly growing segment of the advertising industry,” said Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Katz Media Group.

“Radio has a phenomenal opportunity to drive new, substantial revenue to our sector by creating the media world’s first industry-wide programmatic buying exchange. Katz, with its incredible footprint across the country, is uniquely positioned to deliver the industry-wide programmatic solution. Through programmatic, radio can provide new tools to advertisers to buy more effectively and achieve improved ROI – a huge win for advertisers, agencies and the radio industry.”

Expressway from Katz is scheduled to launch in early 2016.

Wheeler: No "Free Spectrum" for Ailing AMs

Tom Wheeler
In case there were any doubts about his feelings on a proposed filing window that would allow AM stations exclusively to apply for FM translators, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made things clear today, according to RadioWorld.

Pressed by a journalist in a press conference after the FCC open commission meeting, Wheeler said curtly that it’s not the policy of the commission to give away free spectrum.

“The [radio broadcast] industry came to us and said ‘Here are the kind of technical modifications that we need to the rules in order that we can function better,’ Wheeler said. “I think those [requests] make a lot of sense and we should be helping them do that.”

But, reports RadioWorld,  he said, then came a second request that was tagged onto the first. “There was also, ‘Let us tag onto this [a request for] some free spectrum. Everybody has the right to ask for free spectrum, but it's not the general policy of this agency to give away free spectrum.”

The industry continues to wait for the commission to act on AM revitalization, and lately the agency staff has been considering a possible waiver of rules limiting how far existing translators can move. AM advocates have said that would not be sufficient.

Ajit Pai
Commissioner Ajit Pai pushed back against the chairman’s assessment of the move as a giveaway.

“The AM translator window is a critical part of the revitalization effort,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. ”It was a core proposal for the commission in October 2013 when we unanimously adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” Pai recited a tale from a Kansas broadcaster who said acquiring a translator boosted advertising revenue and listener levels because the station and the ability to reach people during drive time.

“The AM translator window … is not a giveaway,” Pai said. “To the contrary, it is giving a broadcaster a chance to do what they do best … and that’s something I really believe is critical if we are going to revitalize AM radio.”

Read More Now

iHR Musc Fest Returns

Janet Jackson and The Who  have cancelled
The much awaited iHeartRadio Music Festival will return again at Las Vegas today and Saturday.

The two-day annual event will showcase an amazing night together with the big names in the music industry as well as high-profile celebrities.

The much-awaited star-studded event will be lead by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Duran Duran, Coldplay and the very controversial Kanye West. They will also be joined by The Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Jared Leto, Rita Ora, Joe Jonas and Josh Hutcherson.

The entire music festival will be live streamed on Yahoo Live. Too, people can listen to the simultaneous broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations across the country, which will both begin at 7:30 p.m.

Additionally, if they still didn't able to catch the live shows, they still have other option to witness the spectacular affair. The concert series can be later watch on The CW for an exclusive two-night special beginning on Sept. 29 at 8 p.m.

Miggy Santos New PD For KLLY-FM

Miggy Santos
Alpha Media/Bakersfield announced Thursday Miggy Santos, has been named Program Director and afternoon host of KLLY 95.3 FM / Energy 95.3.Miggy’s career in radio includes stops in Fresno CA, Boise ID, New Orleans LA and most recently Las Vegas NV.

Alpha Media Bakersfield Operations Manager, Rene Roberts, commented on the announcement, “Miggy will be a huge boost to the team we already have. We are really excited to have Miggy on board.”

“I am super excited to join the Alpha Media team at Energy 95.3 in Bakersfield! Snacks & Mary G, Dj Jess and Joseph Gomez are a dream team and I have no doubt we will do great things for the community in Bakersfield,” added Santos.

He also stated, “I would like to thank Market Manager Mary Lou Gunn, Operations Manager, Rene Roberts and VP/Programming, Phil Becker for giving me this opportunity. Alpha Media is a growing company and I am so happy to be a part of the family.”

KLLY 95.3 FM (12.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Miggy Santos starts on Monday September 21, 2015.

NFL Opening Week Scores TD

The National Football League may have had its share of off-the-field distractions in recent years, but its TV ratings have never been higher.

With an average audience of 19.9 million viewers for games last Thursday, Sunday and Monday, the NFL saw its largest-ever Week 1 tune-in, according to Nielsen. The previous high of 19.6 million came for the 2013 Kickoff Weekend.

And for the sixth consecutive year, more than 105 million viewers watched at least some of the Kickoff Weekend game across CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC.

Variety reports Thursday’s opener on NBC between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl champion New England Patriots was the week’s most-watched program with 27.4 million viewers, according to same-day Nielsen estimates — the second most-watched Kickoff game ever. It was the first appearance for the Patriots and their quarterback Tom Brady since the four-game suspension for his part in Deflate-gate was overturned, and that likely boosted viewership.

And NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” opener, a classic NFC East matchup between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, averaged 26.8 million viewers and is the second best in the 10-year history of the NBC franchise.

NY Daily News Hacks At Sports Coverage

(Reuters) -- The daily fare of a big city tabloid such as the New York Daily News includes provocative gossip, arresting headlines, snappy features and at its heart and soul, sports.

That's why sweeping layoffs in its sports department on Wednesday caught many off-guard.

"It doesn't bode well for that newspaper continuing. In fact, if they continue and gut the sports department ... I'm not sure why one would bother to buy it at the newsstand or as a business," said Mike Cramer, director of The Texas Program in Sports and Media at the University of Texas-Austin.

Mort Zuckerman
Publisher Mort Zuckerman tried to sell the paper this year but found no buyers. He had wanted $200 million.

"The best estimates are it loses between $20 million and $30 million a year," said Ken Doctor, media analyst for Newsonomics in Santa Cruz, California.

How much Zuckerman will spend to keep propping up the newspaper at a time when print advertising revenue industry-wide has fallen precipitously, is the main question, Doctor said.

He added: "The audience doesn't need to consider the Daily News as a must read for sports as much as it did 10 years ago."

Several members of the sports staff reported on Twitter that they had been cut, including well-known writers Bill Hammond, Filip Bondy and Wayne Coffey, along with former managing editor for sports Teri Thompson. Rival newspapers said baseball writer Bill Madden also lost his job.

The status of columnist Mike Lupica, the biggest name in the News' sports department, remained unknown.

The Daily News' total average circulation has declined to 441,618 in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2014 from 525,145 in the same period in 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. That figure does not include Sunday circulation which is larger.

"Old school sports reporting in a traditional sense has become a dying art," said David Carter, executive director of the USC Marshall Sports Business Institute in Los Angeles.

"Combine this with trends in sports news consumption, including popular niche websites and social media, and newspaper reporting finds itself being on the brink," said Carter.

(Reporting By Daniel Bases; Editing by David Gregorio)

NY Post Targets Chicago

In a bold and surprising move, the New York Post, the notoriously sensational tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is entering the Chicago market beginning Monday.

The Chicago Tribune reports Promotional copies of the paper were handed out to commuters at Union Station on Thursday morning.

Executives confirmed that the newspaper is going to enter the market in a bid to export its distinctive if controversial brand of journalism to the Midwest.

"The rumors are indeed true," New York Post publisher Jesse Angelo said in a statement Thursday.

"As of next week, The New York Post is coming to Chicago. We wanted the great people of Chicago to have just a little more fun and a little more NYC in their daily media diet."

The daily newspaper will be available at newsstands, with no home delivery, according to a New York Post spokeswoman. The paper will sell for $2 and will be identical to the New York edition, with no additional Chicago coverage planned, sources said.

The Chicago Tribune Media Group said it will distribute copies of the New York Post to "major retail locations" in the suburbs beginning Sept. 21 but will not be involved in printing the newspaper.

NOLA: More News LayOffs At Times-Picayune

NOLA Media Group announced Thursday that it is restructuring its news operation to reinforce its core journalistic mission. The changes are designed to focus on topics that are important to readers and have driven the substantial readership growth of, making it one of the country's top local news websites.

The restructuring will also lead to operational efficiencies and will result in an overall reduction of 28 full-time and 9 part-time content staffers – or 21 percent of the overall content operation's full-time employees, according to NOLA Media Group President Ricky Mathews. Despite the reduction, the remaining 118 full-time journalists on staff as well as more than 50 correspondents covering news, sports, entertainment, food and dining and neighborhood news across metropolitan New Orleans, make | The Times-Picayune by far the largest news-gathering force in the New Orleans region, Mathews said.

The content team will be comparable in size and in some cases larger than other American newsrooms in similar-sized markets, Mathews said.

"It's a difficult day for us and our colleagues who are losing their jobs," said Mathews. "We wish them the very best. Aligning our costs with the business realities faced by media organizations around the country is a tough challenge. But it's also important for our readers to know that we remain the largest and most experienced news staff, and the most widely read newspaper and website in the area."

The company also recently announced that it is creating and staffing a New Orleans area facility to design and produce the pages of The Times-Picayune and its four sister newspapers in Alabama and Mississippi. The new print lab will be completed later this year and will be housed in The Times-Picayune's former East Jefferson bureau along Interstate 10 in Metairie.

Over the past three years, has increased its average daily readership by 74 percent and reaches more than 700,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through its social media channels, Mathews said. Moreover, 71 percent of readers now get their news and information from smartphones and tablets – up from 29 percent in August of 2012. During the same period, the audience for video has increased 350 percent, he said.

NBA Pelicans Land On WRNO-FM

The New Orleans Pelicans have announced that they have signed a multi-year deal with iHeartMedia New Orleans to broadcast all Pelicans games live on WRNO 99.5 FM beginning with the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The broadcast team features play-by-play announcer Sean Kelley, who begins his eleventh season with the Pelicans, and color analyst John DeShazier, who returns for his fourth season with the team. Victor Howell will serve as an alternate color analyst for select regular season games while DeShazier serves his role as Senior Writer and Digital Media Contributor for the New Orleans Saints.

In addition to full game coverage, the agreement includes a pre-game and post-game show, plus a weekly coach’s show on Thursday nights with Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry hosted by Sean Kelley. Pelicans studio host Daniel Sallerson will broadcast the latest updates from pre-game, halftime and post-game live from the radio studio at the Smoothie King Center.

“We’re excited to announce a new radio partnership with iHeartMedia New Orleans and are thrilled about the opportunity to broadcast all Pelicans games live on WRNO 99.5 FM,” said Pelicans Owner Tom Benson. “We couldn’t be happier about this partnership for Pelicans fans.”

“iHeartMedia New Orleans, especially WRNO 99.5 FM, is excited about our new partnership with the New Orleans Pelicans,” said Nicky Sparrow, iHeartMedia New Orleans’ Senior Vice President of Sales. “iHeartMedia New Orleans, with its eight leading brands and with the largest audience in the New Orleans metro area, are very proud to be the new flagship radio partner of the New Orleans Pelicans.”

iHeartMedia New Orleans’ eight leading brands will market and promote Pelicans basketball to the New Orleans metro area, as well as throughout Louisiana and the Gulf South Region. iHeartMedia New Orleans is the leading media outlet in the New Orleans market and its programming and content are available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio — with its more than 700 million downloads, more than 75 million social media followers and 87 million digital uniques across the network

Prospective Cabelvision Owner Targets Salaries

By Malathi Nayak

NEW YORK (Reuters) --  If you earn more than $300,000 at cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp <CVC.N>, watch out - your new boss-in-waiting has his eye on you.

Patrick Drahi, whose European telecoms group Altice <ATCA.AS> has just sealed a deal to buy Cablevision, on Thursday signaled that big changes were coming at the cable company long controlled by the Irish-American Dolan family.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York, Drahi said more than 300 employees at Cablevision earn over $300,000 a year.

"This we will change," the French-Israeli billionaire added.

Drahi, a serial acquirer in the past 22 months, is known for sending in a team of executives after each acquisition to cut costs on everything from software to staff, often sparking rows with suppliers and employees.

Cablevision, which serves the affluent suburbs of New York City, spends $49 a month in operating expenses per customer, compared to $14 a month at Altice's French cable operator Numericable, Altice said in a slide presentation.

At Suddenlink, a smaller St Louis-based cable provider that Altice bought earlier this year, the equivalent monthly cost is $32 and Drahi aims to cut it to $25.

"We believe there is a significant rationalization opportunity there on the cost side," Altice Chief Executive Dexter Goei said on a conference call, pointing to steps like simplifying billing, making truck outings more efficient and modernizing its network.

Overall, Altice is aiming for $900 million in annual cost cuts at Cablevision, a target analysts called ambitious.

"These cost savings imply a nearly 47 percent margin profile, superior to any U.S. cable operator, even those with materially higher scale and more benign competitive environments," analysts at Jefferies said in a research note.

While Drahi may have a free hand cutting fat when it comes to managers at Cablevision, he may face a tougher ride with its rank and file workers, some of whom engaged in a long-running fight with the Dolans over their right to form a union.

The three-year standoff ended in February with a two-year contract deal that was ratified shortly thereafter.

In France, Drahi's tough tactics led to the appointment of a mediator to arbitrate between Numericable-SFR and its suppliers after the operator demanded a 20-40 percent cut in prices on contracts.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Additional reporting by Leila Abboud and Peter Henderson; Writing by Christian Plumb; Editing by Tiffany Wu)

Toyota Selects Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services

SiriusXM and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. have announced that Toyota has selected Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services Inc., a unit of SiriusXM, to provide an exciting variety of next-generation connected vehicle services for Toyota and Lexus vehicles, in addition to the popular services already offered today.

"At Toyota, we are always working to give our customers the best driving experience possible, and this new agreement with SiriusXM assures we can do just that with the best connected vehicle services across a broader range of Toyota-brand vehicles than ever before for many years to come," said Sandy Lobenstein, Toyota VP of Connected Vehicle Technology and Planning. "Our customers expect a world-class offering of connected services. And as those services in safety, security and remote convenience continue to evolve, we will work with SiriusXM to offer a superior driving experience to our customers."

"SiriusXM has been providing connected vehicle services to Toyota since 2009, and we are thrilled to have been selected as their next generation telematics service provider to continue this important relationship," said SiriusXM CEO, Jim Meyer.  "We are proud that Toyota values the suite of in-vehicle services provided by SiriusXM.  Along with our unparalleled audio entertainment offerings, customers have an unbeatable combination that will enhance the driving experience of Toyota and Lexus vehicles."

Radio 103.9 WNBM To Parade In Harlem

NYC Radio -- Cumulus Media announces that Urban-formatted Radio 103.9/WNBM is the official radio station and sponsor of the 46th Annual African American Day Parade to be held on Sunday, September 20, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. between 111th and 136th Streets in Harlem. This year’s parade will honor the African American business community by showcasing and celebrating its accomplishments and positive contributions to the African American community and society at large.

Tom Joyner
Tom Joyner of Radio 103.9’s The Tom Joyner Morning Show is a Grand Marshal for the parade.

Other grand marshals include: Henry (Hank) Carter of the Wheelchair Charities, Inc.; Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant; Pat Stevenson, publisher of Harlem News Group Inc.; Clifford James, President and CEO of Unity Funeral Chapels, Inc.; and Robert Horsford, President and COO of Apex Building Group. Assemblyman Keith Wright will host his annual African American Day Parade Breakfast.

Mr. Carl E. Heastie, the first African American to be elected Speaker of the New York State Assembly, will be among the participants. He will join Ms. Hazel Dukes, a longtime civil rights activist and a leader in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and 11-year-old Amari Avery, two-time World Amateur Golf Champion and the reigning Southern California Junior PGA Tour Champion.

The parade will kick off with the Lincoln University Marching Band from Oxford, Pennsylvania. More than 200 organizations and bands are participating in this year’s parade, comprising the largest cross-section of organizations from throughout the country.