Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 13 Radio History

In 1897...muck-raking columnist & broadcaster Drew Pearson was born in Evanston Illinois.

He emerged as a powerful radio personality during WWII, and tried to transfer the impact to TV in 1952 with limited success.  His column & many of his broadcasts were titled the “Washington Merry-Go-Round.” He faced 50 libel suits during his 40 year career, but lost only one.

Pearson died Sept. 1 1969 at age 71.

In 1924...KOA-AM, Denver, Colorado, began broadcasting. KOA was originally owned by General Electric. The station started with 5,000 watts, and in 1927, increased to 12,500 watts. In the early 1930s, power was raised to the current level of 50,000 watts. KOA is the dominant clear-channel station on 850 AM.

At night the signal can be heard in over 30 states of the U.S. and over most of Canada and Mexico. KOA sometimes can be picked up in California, and is usually picked up in Central Washington state, both locations are west of the Rocky Mountains, an obstacle that prevents most east coast radio stations from traveling west of the Rockies. KOA is frequently heard in northern Europe, Australia and Japan, and is one of the most frequently reported stations worldwide

In 1926...1926 KXL 400 meters (749.6 K.C.) signed on the air with 250 watts.  KXL’s inaugural broadcast hit the airwaves on December 13, 1926 from the top floor of the Mallory Hotel, beginning with a concert from the Mallory Orchestra. The second hour began with dance music presented by the Lyle Lewis Orchestra.

On September 20, 1927, KXL moved into the “Rose Studio” on the seventh floor of the Bedell Building which featured a plate glass wall for public viewing from the reception room. KXL celebrated the move with a 40 hour broadcast dedication.

Alpha Broadcasting, a newly formed company owned by Larry Wilson, purchased KXL in 2009.  In 2011, KXL’s news/talk programming on 750 AM began simulcasting on 101.1 FM, the former KUFO-FM now called KXL-FM.  KXL’s news/talk format moved exclusively to the FM signal a few months later.  The old 750 AM frequency became KXTG-AM, carrying a sports format.

In 1934...Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman, one of the most popular husband-and-wife teams in the history of country music, were married. Lulu Belle and Scotty were regulars on the National Barn Dance radio show, which originated from WLS in Chicago, from 1933 to 1958. Scotty Wiseman wrote the country music standard “Mountain Dew,” as well as the duo’s biggest hit, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”

In 1964...The American Radio Relay League was founded for HAM radio operators.

In 1974...MC Flashbacks to the year-ender edition of Radio&Records from December 13, 1974.  If you remember, StreetTalk, Parallels...then you remember R&R. The Back Page Chart shows quite a variety...everything from Jethro Tull to Bobby Vinton!

To Read More of this R&R Issue: Click Here.

In 1983...In 1983, Bonneville Broadcasting Co. purchased KYA and the call letters were changed to KOIT.

December 18, 1926, KYA went on the air initially on 970 kc. with 500 watts, but it was planned to later increase its power to 20,000 watts.

In a massive nationwide reassignment of frequencies which took place November 11, 1928, KYA was ordered to the less desirable frequency of 1230 kc.  The station moved again in 1941 in another wholesale frequency shift, this time to 1260 kc.

In 1948, the SF Examiner sold KYA to a group of Stanford professors and instructors, doing business as "Palo Alto Radio Station, Inc." This started a turbulent period in the history of KYA. Over a period of almost twenty years, KYA was operated by no less than eight different owners! The Palo Alto group sold the station to Dorothy Schiff of the New York Post. In the mid-fifties, the station was purchased by Elroy McCaw and John Keating, doing business as KYA, Inc. They in turn sold the station to the Bartell Family Group in 1958, who subsequently sold to Golden State Broadcasters. From 1963 to 1966, KYA was operated by the Churchill Broadcasting Corporation, and in June of 1966 KYA was acquired by AVCO Broadcasting.

Rock'n'roll music made its first appearance on KYA during the Bartell Group days, and then for only a portion of the station's broadcast day. After an initial success, it quickly took over the entire day's schedule. In 1961, a young unknown Georgia disk jockey who called himself Bill Drake was given the task of programming the station. Drake made drastic changes, streamlining the carnival sound of early rock radio, until an entirely new concept was developed.

"The Drake Sound" became an instant success at KYA, and soon spread to other stations. Before long, Bill Drake had redefined rock'n'roll radio nationwide, which became "Top 40" radio. Drake became a multi-millionaire, programming nearly a hundred AM and FM stations from his home in Bel Air in the 1970s. KYA and KFRC shared the important rock radio audience in San Francisco through the '70s.

In 1983, Bonneville Broadcasting Co. purchased KYA and the call letters were changed to KOIT. The original call letters lived on, however, with KYA-FM, which was sold to another owner, KING Broadcasting of Seattle, which operated it together with KSFO. Two of San Francisco's most historic call letters were now resided under one roof.

In 1992...the FCC fined Infinity Broadcasting $600,000 over “indecent” broadcasts by Howard Stern.

In 1999...The performing rights organization Broadcast Music Incorporated declared "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to be the most played (BMI) song of the century on American radio and television, with more than eight million airings. The original and most famous recording of the song is by the Righteous Brothers.

"Never My Love" was the second most-played song, followed by "Yesterday," "Stand By Me," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Rounding out the Top Ten were "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," "Mrs. Robinson," "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Rhythm Of The Rain," and "Georgia On My Mind."

In 2010…In New York, Paul McCartney performed an intimate concert for 1,400 people at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, as part of SiriusXM Radio's celebrations on acquiring 20 million subscribers. The planned 22-song set was followed by two encores of three songs each.

Celebrities in attendance included Keith Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, Simon Le Bon, Kevin Bacon, Tony Bennett, Alec Baldwin, John McEnroe and Howard Stern. McCartney told the audience, "I just want to just soak in the Apollo. I've dreamed of playing here for many a year. This is very special for us British boys. The holy grail."

In 2014…Veteran TV newsman Bill Bonds, who spent 29 years in the anchor chair at WXYZ in Detroit in addition to his stints at the ABC stations in New York and Los Angeles, died of a heart attack at 82.

Tampa Radio: Bubba Sez He Was Talking With Fans, Not Tampering

Bubba the Love Sponge Clem moved Friday to have the ratings-tampering lawsuit against him thrown out of federal court, arguing that he had already been punished and Nielsen can't prove it was harmed by his actions.

Nielsen, a company that measures the popularity of radio and TV shows, sued Clem in October, alleging that the Tampa shock jock offered cash to one of its survey participants in return for listening to Clem's show more often. The company said later he had talked to four more participants, though it didn't accuse him of paying them.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, Clem argued Friday that the first accusation had already been resolved: He apologized, he was suspended and Nielsen briefly stopped publishing ratings for WBRN 98.7 FM, a potentially costly and embarrassing blow for the radio station that airs his show in the Tampa Bay area.

The motion says the other cases were "stray non-fraudulent, fan-initiated contacts" — that he was just talking to fans who had reached out to him.

"That is not fraud, and Nielsen cannot make it fraud by building a nearby tower of allegations of unrelated interactions which it hopes will distract from an otherwise unsupported narrative," the motion says.

The company has said that it was able to take the suspect data out of its survey, so its ratings figures were not affected. Clem argues that means Nielsen wasn't hurt by his behavior, even though the company has claimed $1 million in damages.

"They say in their own complaint that they nipped this in the bud," said Todd Foster, Clem's attorney.

Clem and his attorneys have asked for oral arguments on the motion, but no hearing had been set as of Friday afternoon.

Nielsen: Radio Reaches the Most Americans Each Week

More than 90% of adults listen to Radio each week
Radio has been touting its high weekly penetration forever, but it often gets compared to monthly figures from digital and TV. Nielsen’s inaugural Comparable Metrics Report leveled the playing field and showed that radio has the highest weekly reach across all age groups, as more than 90% of all adults listen each week.

So who tunes in the most? According to Nielsen, African-Americans and Hispanics dominate, spending more than 13 hours listening to the radio. Hispanics are the most avid listeners, tuning in for 13 hours and 36 minutes each week.

When marketers and ad planners look at their choices, TV digital and radio are typically the first three media options. According to several eMarketer reports, TV will account for 37.9% ($74 billion) of the total U.S. media ad spend in 2015, followed by digital with 31.6% ($61.7B) and radio with 8.2% ($16 billion). Nielsen’s AdIntel data affirms this finding, and in the first six months of 2015, TV ad spend exceed $39 billion.

The Comparable Metrics Report shows that the average adult spends 775 minutes in a typical week with radio.

Pandora's CFO Talks Royalties, Streaming and Apple

With a major, bottom line-impacting decision on royalty rates imminent, Pandora's chief financial officer Mike Herring was feeling brisk during an investor's conference call on Thursday, delivering body blows to Apple Music and even Steve Jobs while offering a look inside his company's future in streaming music, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mike Herring
Soon, the Copyright Royalty Board will decide statutory royalty rates to be paid to labels and artists by non-interactive web radio stations like Pandora over the next five years. According to Herring, Pandora paid 40 percent of its Q3 revenue to the labels, "so it's a big deal." Pandora wants to lower its rate from 0.14 cents per stream to 0.11 cents per stream. SoundExchange, which collects and distributes those royalties, wants a rate of 0.25 per stream.

He did caution that a higher rate could potentially land more streaming services in trouble, because "costs are so prohibitive that if you are not really amazing at it you go out of business. That's what happened to Rdio, right?" he said, referring to the service whose core pieces were sold to Pandora as it went bankrupt. "A beautiful product, a great product, but the business is just too hard. The costs are just too high."

Herring's thoughts on Apple were not cheery. "No one subscribes" to Apple Music, he said, even though the app exists permanently on hundreds of millions of phones. "Well, I guess a few million people do, but the reality is you want to get people to choose to do, that is a much bigger trick. You have to have a great product."

Herring said Pandora is trying to bring the music industry back, because "it's had a tough 15 years. I mean Steve Jobs eviscerated the music industry with the launch of iTunes and it's been downhill ever since. And the download was supposed to save it, that didn't happen."

'Today's' Willard Scott Announces Retirement

Ed Walker, Willard Scott 'The Joy Boys WRC Radio Washington DC
81-year-old Willard Scott weather forecaster and centenarian birthday-wisher, who has been with NBC's flagship morning program "Today" for 35 years, is retiring, the show said Friday.

"Some bittersweet news. After 65 years at NBC -- 35 of them on this show -- our beloved friend, Willard Scott, is retiring," "Today" host Matt Lauer said.

Though Scott hasn't been the regular weather forecaster on "Today" since 1996, when Al Roker took over full time, he has been a regular and comforting presence on the show with his greetings to 100-year-old celebrants.

Willard, a Washington-area native, started with NBC's Washington radio station WRC in 1950 as a page. Through the years, he has been a radio host, a children's television character, a local weather forecaster and a "Today" mainstay.

From 1955 to 1972, Scott teamed with Ed Walker as co-host of the nightly Joy Boys radio program on WRC 980 AM. (This was interrupted from 1956 to 1958 when Scott served on active duty with the U.S.Navy.) Scott routinely sketched a list of characters and a few lead lines setting up a situation, which Walker would commit to memory or make notes on with his Braille typewriter (Walker was blind since birth).

Walker, Scott
In a 1999 article recalling the Joy Boys at the height of their popularity in the mid-1960s, The Washington Post said they "dominated Washington, providing entertainment, companionship, and community to a city on the verge of powerful change". The Joy Boys show played on WRC until 1972 when they moved to cross-town station WWDC for another two years. Scott wrote in his book, The Joy of Living, of their close professional and personal bond which continued until Walker's death in October 2015, saying that they are "closer than most brothers".

Scott spent the 1960s balancing his radio career with jobs as the host of children's television programs. He appeared on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., playing characters such as Commander Retro and Bozo the Clown. In 1970, Scott began appearing on WRC-TV as a weekday weatherman.

And, of course, he was Ronald McDonald for several years, something the burger chain remembered Friday.

WSJ Launching Podcasts

The Wall Street Journal is introducing WSJ Podcasts, expanding its on-demand digital news offerings with 12 podcasts highlighting award-winning reporting from the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch. The podcasts range from daily updates with What’s News, Your Money Matters and Tech News Briefing to the weekly Opinion: Potomac Watch and Free for All with Jason Gay.

The WSJ Podcasts provide need-to-know information by delving into markets, world and political news, with briefings on tech, money and top headlines. The shows include three daily and nine weekly podcasts and showcase popular columns, writers and sections from the Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s.

Starting on December 11, the WSJ Podcasts will be distributed in partnership with The Slate Group’s Panoply podcast network.

WSJ Podcasts are available for listening at and via download at iTunes, Stitcher, Deezer, and SoundCloud.

“WSJ Podcasts give voice to the Journal’s world class reporting, creating new opportunities for audiences to engage with our news, analysis and commentary,” said John Wordock, Executive Producer, WSJ Podcasts.

“Through WSJ Podcasts, advertisers can develop an even deeper relationship with our ambitious audience; the world’s most important decision makers,” said Trevor Fellows, Global Head of Advertising, The Wall Street Journal. “We’re looking forward to helping clients tell their stories via this new platform.”

The WSJ Podcast lineup includes:
  • What’s News: Updates on business, the economy and politics, mirrored after the popular Journal column and the new app
  • Tech News Briefing: What’s hot and happening in technology featuring WSJD and MarketWatch reporters
  • Your Money Matters: Insights on Wall Street, investing, personal finance trends and strategies for watching your wealth with Veronica Dagher
  • Opinion: Potomac Watch: Paul Gigot, editor of the WSJ editorial pages, hosts a lively weekly roundtable
  • Opinion: Foreign Edition: The Journal’s Bret Stephens and Mary Kissel tackle hot-button issues overseas
  • Free for All with Jason Gay: Sports, fun and more from the Journal’s pages with columnist Jason Gay
  • Off Duty: A guide to life and leisure with updates on travel, food, drinks, gadgets, style and design
  • WSJ Speakeasy: Celebrity interviews and updates on movies, TV and arts with WSJ Speakeasy staffers
  • MoneyBeat: An entertaining look at the markets and money with the Journal’s Paul Vigna and Stephen Grocer
  • Heard on the Street: Market news, fresh insights and financial analysis from the Journal’s Heard on the Street team
  • MarketWatch Money, Markets & More: Consumer tips, personal finance insights and Millennial Mailbag with MarketWatch’s Catey Hill and Quentin Fottrell
  • This Week with Barron’s: Highlights from the latest edition of Barron’s Magazine
WSJ Podcasts join the Journal’s recently enhanced suite of digital products, including What’s News, WSJ City, the fully responsive and new apps for both iOS and Android, as well as an Apple Watch app.

Daily Fantasy Sports Wins Reprieve In NY

By Michael Erman and Suzanne Barlyn

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leading daily fantasy sports companies FanDuel and DraftKings won a temporary reprieve allowing them to keep operating in New York through the New Year, reversing for now an order by a state judge to close the businesses in the state.

New York State Appeals Court Judge Paul Feinman temporarily suspended an injunction granted earlier in the day by New York Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez.

Mendez had stopped short of deciding whether daily fantasy sports are a game of skill or chance under New York law, but ruled that there was a likelihood that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would be able to prove that the games are illegal if the matter goes to trial.

The short-term stay, issued in an emergency appeal filed by FanDuel and DraftKings on Friday, allows the companies to do business in New York until at least Jan. 4, a DraftKings lawyer said. After that a panel of judges will rule on whether the injunction granted by Mendez was appropriate.

"This is a necessary first step on the road to an appeal," said DraftKings' attorney Randy Mastro, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn. "We are confident we will prevail in appeal because daily fantasy sports are legal in New York."

Schneiderman last month sent cease and desist letters to the companies demanding that they stop taking money from players in the state.

FanDuel stopped letting New York state residents play the games after receiving the letter, but DraftKings has continued operating as usual.

Since FanDuel stopped taking money from New Yorkers, entry fees in the company's weekly National Football League (NFL) games have dropped by about 25 percent, according to data from fantasy sports analytics company SuperLobby.

Over that same period, entries into DraftKings' NFL guaranteed prize pool contests are down around 12 percent.

Professional football is the most popular sport for daily fantasy contests.

Data curated by FindTheCompany


The legal sparring comes amid nationwide scrutiny at the state and federal level as to whether the games amount to gambling. A New York decision has the potential to ripple throughout the country as eight other states have gambling laws similar to New York's, according to DraftKings.

Fantasy sports started in 1980 and surged in popularity online. Participants typically create teams that span an entire season in professional sports, including American football, baseball, basketball and hockey.

Daily fantasy sports, a turbocharged version of the season-long game, have developed over the past decade. Players draft teams in games played in just one evening or over a weekend.

This has enabled fans to spend money on the games with a frequency that critics say is akin to sports betting.

The companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors including Fox Sports, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, KKR & Co LP, Raine Group, Google Capital and the venture arms of Time Warner Inc and Comcast Corp.

DraftKings also partnered with Major League Baseball to advertise in ballparks while FanDuel signed partnerships with several NFL teams.

Privately-held FanDuel and DraftKings may have painted targets on their own backs with aggressive advertising at the start of the NFL season that promised large winnings.

Bernstein research estimates that 59 percent of total TV ad revenue growth in the third quarter alone was from spending on daily fantasy football ads.

FanDuel has said it planned to pay out $2 billion in cash prizes this year.

Data curated by FindTheCompany

The companies could also be saved in New York's state legislature where a number of bills of have been introduced to make the games legal. But the level of support for these bills is unclear and lawyers said the state's attorney general could challenge any such laws as being unconstitutional.

(Reporting by Michael Erman and Suzanne Barlyn; editing by G Crosse)

Candidate Carson Threatens To Bolt GOP

On Friday Ben Carson became the second GOP presidential candidate to indicate the possibility of leaving the Republican party.

Following only Donald Trump, Carson announced that he could leave the GOP following reports that party officials discussed plans for a brokered convention. In a brokered convention, delegates could be replaced by a consensus nomination if no single candidate secures enough delegates to win the nomination by a wide enough margin. The reports indicated that this was the first time a brokered convention had been discussed as a possibility.

Data curated by InsideGov

Philly Radio: Sid Still Spinnin' Sinatra Songs

Frank Sinatra, Sid Mark
 "Your grandfather listened. Your mother listened. And now you listen."

History records that Frank Sinatra died in 1998, but Sid Mark has kept the Chairman of the Board alive by continuing one of the most remarkable tribute shows in radio history

For four hours each week, Mark opens up his vast vault of Sinatra records and takes listeners for a brisk walk down memory lane on CBS Radio's Talk station WPHT 1210 AM.

Sinatra would have turned 100 today, a milestone that leaves Mark amazed.

"Honestly, I thought he'd be here," Mark said. "He seemed to have that fortitude. His last show, in Palm Springs [in 1995], was his best. As he was coming offstage, he said 'I think I'm ready to go back on the road.'"

According to, Mark's "Sounds of Sinatra" show started accidentally. He was a deejay working the graveyard shift for WHAT in 1956 when a colleague failed to show up. With the extra airtime, Mark played a full hour of Sinatra. He's been doing it now for 59 years.

CLICK HERE for NYTimes: How 'New York, New York' Made It To Yankees' Games

One of the hallmarks of Mark's radio show is the commercials between the songs. Many of them are voiced over by Mark without a script. He often ad libs during the spot to make it even more intimate. Pica's Restaurant in Upper Darby is one of his original advertisers and Mark will discuss how his son raves about the chicken parm and his grandson loves the pizza and warm bread.

Robert called it "conversational broadcasting."

Mark is 82 years old, and his company Orange Productions, named after Sinatra's favorite color, also produces a show each week that is syndicated to 100 stations throughout the country.

Data curated by PrettyFamous

December 12 Radio History

In 1896...Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of radio at Toynbee Hall, London.

In 1901...Marconi sends first Atlantic wireless transmission

Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean, disproving detractors who told him that the curvature of the earth would limit transmission to 200 miles or less. The message--simply the Morse-code signal for the letter "s"--traveled more than 2,000 miles from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Signal Hill in Newfoundland, Canada.

Born in Bologna, Italy, in 1874 to an Italian father and an Irish mother, Marconi studied physics and became interested in the transmission of radio waves after learning of the experiments of the German physicist Heinrich Hertz. He began his own experiments in Bologna beginning in 1894 and soon succeeded in sending a radio signal over a distance of 1.5 miles. Receiving little encouragement for his experiments in Italy, he went to England in 1896. He formed a wireless telegraph company and soon was sending transmissions from distances farther than 10 miles. In 1899, he succeeded in sending a transmission across the English Channel. That year, he also equipped two U.S. ships to report to New York newspapers on the progress of the America's Cup yacht race. That successful endeavor aroused widespread interest in Marconi and his wireless company.

Signal Hill, Newfoundland
Marconi's greatest achievement came on December 12, 1901, when he received a message sent from England at St. John's, Newfoundland. The transatlantic transmission won him worldwide fame. Ironically, detractors of the project were correct when they declared that radio waves would not follow the curvature of the earth, as Marconi believed. In fact, Marconi's transatlantic radio signal had been headed into space when it was reflected off the ionosphere and bounced back down toward Canada. Much remained to be learned about the laws of the radio wave and the role of the atmosphere in radio transmissions, and Marconi would continue to play a leading role in radio discoveries and innovations during the next three decades.

In 1909, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics with the German radio innovator Ferdinand Braun. After successfully sending radio transmissions from points as far away as England and Australia, Marconi turned his energy to experimenting with shorter, more powerful radio waves. He died in 1937, and on the day of his funeral all British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stations were silent for two minutes in tribute to his contributions to the development of radio.

In 1913...longtime CBS correspondent Winston Burdett was born in Buffalo NY.  He was one of the original “Murrow’s boys” who covered Eastern Europe, North Africa and Italy during WWII and afterwards, for 22 years based in Rome. He died May 19, 1993 at age 79.

Data curated by PrettyFamous

In 1915...Legendary singer Frank Sinatra, dubbed "Ol' Blue Eyes" and the "Chairman of the Board," was born. He died May 14, 1998 at 82.

In 1937...the Federal Communications Commission was upset with NBC radio. The FCC scolded the radio network for a Sunday skit on the Charlie McCarthy Show that starred Mae West.

The satirical routine was based on the biblical tale of Adam and Eve and, well, it got a bit out of hand by the standards of the day. So, following the wrist-slap by the FCC, NBC banned Miss West from its airwaves for 15 years. Even the mere mention of her name on NBC was a no-no.

In 1957...KEX, Portland, Oregon Disc Jockey Al Priddy, was fired for playing Elvis Presley's rendition of "White Christmas." He violated the radio station's ban against the song. The station had banned Presley’s interpretations of Christmas carols, believing that such a sexually-charged performer had no business recording religious music.

In 1961...Ham radio satellite Oscar 1 was launched with military Discoverer 36.

In 1968..  flamboyant actress Tallulah Bankhead died of pneumonia at 65.  She was hostess of NBC Radio’s 90-minute Big Show 1950-52, and the following year, was one of the rotating hosts on NBC-TV’s All-Star Revue.  Her last screen appearances were as the Black Widow on TV’s Batman in 1967.

In 1971...David Sarnoff, who founded the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and throughout most of his career led the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), died at age 80.

Throughout most of his career he led the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in various capacities from shortly after its founding in 1919 until his retirement in 1970.

He ruled over an ever-growing telecommunications and consumer electronics empire that included both RCA and NBC, and became one of the largest companies in the world. Named a Reserve Brigadier General of the Signal Corps in 1945, Sarnoff thereafter was widely known as "The General."

Unlike many who were involved with early radio communications, viewing radio as point-to-point, Sarnoff saw the potential of radio as point-to-mass. One person (the broadcaster) could speak to many (the listeners).

When Owen D. Young of the General Electric Company arranged the purchase of American Marconi and turned it into the Radio Corporation of America, a radio patent monopoly, Sarnoff realized his dream and revived his proposal in a lengthy memo on the company's business and prospects. His superiors again ignored him but he contributed to the rising postwar radio boom by helping arrange for the broadcast of a heavyweight boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier in July 1921. Up to 300,000 people heard the fight, and demand for home radio equipment bloomed that winter. By the spring of 1922 Sarnoff's prediction of popular demand for broadcasting had come true, and over the next eighteen months, he gained in stature and influence.

In 1926, RCA purchased its first radio station (WEAF, New York) and launched the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the first radio network in America. Four years later, Sarnoff became president of RCA. NBC had by that time split into two networks, the Red and the Blue. The Blue Network later became ABC Radio.[3] Sarnoff was sometimes inaccurately referred to later in his career as the founder of both RCA and NBC, but he was in fact neither.

Sarnoff was instrumental in building and established the AM broadcasting radio business which became the preeminent public radio standard for the majority of the 20th century. This was until FM broadcasting radio re-emerged in the 1960s despite Sarnoff's efforts to suppress it (following FM's initial appearance and disappearance during the 1930s and 1940s.

In 1995...the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) announced the Radio Canada International service would end on March 31.

In 2003...Unkle Roger McCall, a long-time DJ on Classic Rock WCMF 96.5 FM, Rochester, New York, was fatally wounded by a gunshot in a robbery attempt.  His killer has never been brought to justice.

Unkle Roger
McCall was gunned down in December 2003 in his son’s driveway by “just a boy” who disappeared forever under the cover of a darkening night and a sudden snow squall — leaving behind holes in Roger’s stomach, in his family and in a wide circle of close friends, listeners and fellow musicians who knew him as Unk, Unki, Unkle Roger.

Unkle Roger was 52 and despite having a microphone in front of him for 30 years working as disc jockey for WCMF, he had a relatively well-kept secret.

Several years before he was killed, he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was terminally ill. He didn’t discuss his illness — though others on the radio did — said his wife, Denise McCall, because he didn’t want that to define what remained of his life.

In 2008...Spike O'Dell did his last broadcast on WGN-AM. He spent 21 years with the station, 8 of them doing mornings.

Spike O'Dell
Odell’s first radio hosting position was at WEMO-AM in East Moline at the age of 25.  While working at the factory, he disc jockeyed on weekends there as well as doing some fill-in slots. In 1977 Spike took another part-time job with WQUA radio in Moline Illinois. Following this, he obtained a full-time morning position at KSTT-AM, where he affectionately was referred to as “Spike at the Mic”. This proved to be a significant position, as it allowed O'Dell to move, in 1981, to a Major Market Morning Radio spot at WBT-AM in Charlotte, NC. After a brief stint as "morning guy," he returned to KIIK-FM. In 1987, Billboard Magazine awarded Spike “Top 40 Air Personality of the Year” in a Medium Market.

The Billboard magazine award lead to a call from then program director Dan Fabian to interview at WGN-AM in Chicago. In 1987, O'Dell was hired as the afternoon drive host for the station. Spike would go on to work 21 years at WGN. He remained at the top of the ratings in all the dayparts he hosted while at the station. O'Dell moved around a few times during his tenure at WGN, with notable stints in the afternoon, and ultimately, in the morning drive slot. The move to mornings occurred after the untimely death of then host Bob Collins.  O'Dell now enjoys spending time with his 5 grandchildren, golfing, photography, watercolor and acrylic painting, and sleeping late.

During the course of his career, he worked at:
  • 1976-1977 WEMO-AM East Moline
  • 1977-1978 WQUA Moline, IL
  • 1978-1980 KSTT-AM Davenport, IA
  • 1980-1982 WBT-AM Charlotte, NC
  • 1982-1987 KIIK-FM Davenport, IA
  • 1987 WGN-AM Chicago, IL Spike was hired as afternoon host 3-7pm and moved to mornings on February 9, 2000 after Bob Collins was killed in a tragic plane crash.
  • 2008 Final Broadcast of “The Spike O’Dell Show” at the Metropolis Theatre on December 12.

In 2012...Veteran broadcaster (KABC-Los Angeles, KLAC-Los Angeles, KIEV-Los Angeles, KGIL-Los Angeles, KING-Seattle) Ray Briem, who ruled the Los Angeles overnight airwaves with his radio talk show for 27 years (1967-1994), died of cancer at 82.

In 2013…TV quizmaster Mac McGarry, host of "It's Academic" on Washington DC's WRC for 50 years and concurrently on Baltimore's NBC affiliate for 27 of those years, died of pneumonia at 87.

With an easy-going baritone that sounded like a throwback to the days of fedoras and big bands, McGarry thrived well into the Internet age. As host of “It’s Academic,” which launched in 1961 and became the longest-running quiz program in TV history, he liked to describe himself as the area’s most inquisitive man.

A Washington radio and TV personality, he carved a multifaceted career spanning six decades.  He was working for a radio station in western Massachusetts before a Fordham classmate, the celebrated baseball announcer Vin Scully, urged him to apply for a summer announcing job at WRC-TV in 1950.

During his first five years at the NBC affiliate, Mr. McGarry was a general staff announcer, providing voice-overs for all occasions.

He covered presidential inaugurations and the start of the Korean War. He also hosted a big-band radio show, was an early TV sparring partner of Willard Scott and appeared with a young Jim Henson and his Muppets.

Among the many teenage contestants who competed for scholarship money on the Saturday program were future First Lady Hillary Rodham, Washington Post Chairman Donald E. Graham, political commentator George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, and actress Sandra Bullock.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Report: Cool Remix For iHeartMedia Debt

iHeartMedia — which is juggling $21 billion of debt left from its private equity buyout — has a novel plan to cut its debt payments and help persuade its lenders to give it more breathing room.

According to the NY Post, the company has bought a sizable portion of its unsecured debt and is planning to convert it into equity, which would lower its interest payments to the point that it would reach breakeven, said a source.

That, in turn, would help the company restructure the rest of its debt and extend maturities on more senior loans, the source added. Calls for comment from iHeartRadio were not returned.

iHeartRadio was taken over in a nearly $18 billion buyout at the peak of the market in 2008.

With traditional radio declining and most of its cash going toward debt payments, iHeartRadio is facing mounting losses. The company is projected to lose $50 million this year, $80 million next year and $120 million in 2017, the source said. And iHeartRadio’s cash pile, which stood at $380 million as of Sept. 30, is dwindling.

As of Sept. 30, 2015, iHeart had approximately $20.8 billion in consolidated debt. Debt held at iHeart was $15.9 billion and consisted of:
  • $6.3 billion secured term loans due 2019;
  • $190 million secured receivable based credit facility due 2017;
  • $6.3 billion secured PGNs, maturing 2019-2023;
  • $1.7 billion in senior unsecured 12% cash pay / 2% PIK notes maturing in February 2021;
  • $730 million senior unsecured 10% notes due 2018 (net of FinCo holdings of $120 million);
  • $668 million senior unsecured legacy notes, with maturities of 2016-2027 (net of FinCo holdings of $57 million.)
Debt held at Clear Channel Worlwide Holdings was $4.9 billion and consisted of:
  • $2.7 billion in senior unsecured 6.5% notes due 2022;
  • $2.2 billion in subordinated 7.625% notes due 2020.
However, iHeartRadio can become cash-flow positive if it converts $2.4 billion in unsecured debt — for which it pays more than $100 million in annual interest — into equity.

If the company is able to convert enough debt to break even, it has a shot at convincing lenders to extend its debt maturities, the source said.

Denver Radio: Mike Rosen Steps Away From Daily Show

Mike Rosen announced Thursday he is stepping down from his daily show on iHeartMedia’s KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM and will transition to a contributor role, serving as a regular weekend host and political commentator.

In addition, Rosen will be heard as an occasional guest host on both KOA NewsRadio and TalkRadio 630 KHOW. Rosen’s final live weekday show will air on December 24.

 “Doing my brand of radio, with 24/7 research and show prep, takes a work week of more than 60 hours. After 35 years on-air, I’ve decided to give myself a little more well-earned leisure time as I pass my 71st birthday,” said Rosen.

“I’ve been with KOA for almost 30 years and have loved every minute of it. It’s a wonderful station with a glorious history and a great team of people. I couldn’t bring myself to just walk away from it, and a full-fledged retirement wouldn’t suit a Type-A guy like me. So, I’m delighted to still have a presence with KOA as a part-time on-air contributor. While this may disappoint my long-time loyal listeners, to whom I’m eternally grateful, I hope they will find a little of Mike Rosen at least better than none at all. I’m passing the baton to Mandy Connell in the midday time slot, who’s done a great job on KHOW in the morning. You’ll like her.”

Click Here for the On-Air Announcement

Rosen has been KOA’s midday host since 1988. He has been an editorial-page columnist for both The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News for more than 30 years, and his columns have appeared in numerous national publications. Rosen has been featured as a political analyst on several media outlets, and has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America and CNN Tonight. In addition, Rosen has served as a guest host of The Rush Limbaugh Show.

KOA 850 AM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage 
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Mike,” said Tim Hager, Market President of iHeartMedia Denver. "His commitment to our community, his listeners and our advertisers is second-to-none. Although he’s stepping down from his daily show, we’re fortunate that Mike will continue in a contributor role with KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM."

Mandy Connell has been named the new midday host on KOA NewsRadio, effective January 4.

Connell will bring more than 18 years of experience to KOA NewsRadio. She’s currently the morning host on KOA’s sister-station, TalkRadio 630 KHOW. Connell has also held on-air positions at radio stations in Louisville, Orlando and Fort Myers. In addition, she has been heard nationally, guest-hosting both America Now and The Weekend with Joe Pags for Premiere Networks.

“Joining the team at KOA NewsRadio is the culmination of a dream I've had for a long time,” said Connell. “KOA NewsRadio has a special place in this community and I am truly honored to have the opportunity to take the baton from Mike Rosen.”

“Mandy has a knack for creating solid, entertaining shows,” said Greg Foster, Program Director of KOA NewsRadio. “Nobody can replace Mike Rosen, but we’re confident that Mike’s fans will connect with Mandy and she’ll bring a new perspective to KOA NewsRadio."

L-A Radio: Letty B New Midday Host At KIIS-FM

Letty B
Top40 102.7 KIIS 102.7 FM has announced that Letty B has been named the new mid-day host, effective immediately. Letty will host weekdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. PST.

Letty has a long history at KIIS, having started as a Promotions Assistant almost 10 years ago and having served as a part-time fill-in personality at the station for the past six months.  She was born and raised in LA.

While attending school at Cal State Long Beach, she joined KIIS FM as part of the Street Team, and eventually received a degree in Broadcast Journalism.  Post-graduation, Letty held down the mid-day slot at stations in Palm Springs, Monterey and San Francisco before returning home to KIIS earlier this year.

“When Letty was on our Street Team, she came in my office and said, ‘I wanna be on the air,’” said John Ivey, Senior Vice President of Programming at iHeartMedia and Program Director of KIIS FM.

“I told her that was great, but she’d have to leave to get her start.  She did what we’ve all done, paid her dues, worked hard in other markets and earned her way back to Los Angeles.  This is great day for KIIS, as we have another talent that really knows and loves the station, and is achieving her life goal by working here full time ON THE AIR!”

KIIS 102.7 FM (8 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“Growing up in Los Angeles, it was always my dream to be on the air at KIIS.  Leaving to start my career was the scariest things I’ve done, but I always knew I’d be back," said Letty.

"I am very fortunate to have a mentor in John Ivey, and I never stopped bugging him with air checks.  Words can’t describe how excited and humbled I am to be a part of this legendary station alongside amazing talent that I have looked up to for years.”

San Diego Radio: Steve Kramer Joins Geena For KHTS Mornings

Steve Kramer
iHeartMedia/San Diego has announced that Steve Kramer will join "Geena the Latina" to debut "Kramer & Geena," as the station's new morning show on Top40 KHTS Channel 93.3 FM weekdays from 6-10:00 a.m., beginning January 4, 2016.

Kramer is a popular morning show personality who has previously entertained audiences in Panama City, Tampa and Phoenix.

During the past 10 years, Kramer has produced Top 5 ratings success in every market he worked. "It's an honor to join Geena on the No. 1 listened to radio station in San Diego," said Kramer. "I have some big shoes to fill, but with Geena's help, I hope to come close."

"Kramer's personality and experience are a natural fit with our programming line-up," added Joe Haze, KHTS Program Director. "I'm confident our listeners and advertisers will agree."

KHTS 93.3 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Kramer will replace Frankie V, who recently returned to his hometown of Boston and remains with iHeartMedia as the morning show co-host on WJMN 94.5 FM in Boston.

Tampa Radio: Bubba's Future "Up In The Air"

Nielsen has filed suit against Todd Clem aka Bubba The Love Sponge in October, saying he tried to change that listener's behavior and claiming $1 million in damages. Clem has apologized.

Todd Clem
But the latest allegations suggest that it wasn't a one-off mistake. Nielsen now says Clem asked five people — four in the Tampa Bay area and one in South Carolina — to help him boost his numbers as early as last year. In the initial case, he's accused of offering weekly cash payments and performance bonuses.

Clem's attorney Todd Foster, declined to comment on the accusations, but said he will move later this month to have U.S. District Judge James Whittemore dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the case doesn't belong in federal court.

"There are three sides to every story — their side, my side and the truth. And two sides of this story hasn't been told yet," Clem said Tuesday.

The allegations have raised the possibility that Clem's show could be pulled from the air by Naples-based Beasley Broadcast Group, which airs the program on stations including Tampa's WBRN 98.7 FM 98.7 a  prospect Clem acknowledged this week.

"It's up in the air. It is. I'm gonna be honest with you," Clem said on his Tuesday show.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Soni Dimond, a spokeswoman for Beasley, said the company had no comment on the case.

Nielsen's latest allegations suggest Clem had been talking to survey participants for months, which the company says violates its rules.

In one case, Nielsen says it noticed sudden changes in its panelists' listening habits. It alleges, for example, that one man in the Tampa area listened to WBRN for 189 hours in a month after logging just over an hour in the previous three. He later told Nielsen that he worked at night and usually slept while Clem's show was on-air.

NYC Radio: Geraldo Sues Cumulus, WABC

Geraldo Rivera has sued Cumulus Media Inc., claiming that the national radio station owner backed out of a $600,000 deal for him to host a daily news talk-radio show on WABC 770 AM in New York -- and locked him out of his studio, for good measure.

Rivera contends in the suit that Cumulus’s new owners locked him out of his studio and office at the radio station chain’s WABC-AM after refusing to honor a one-year agreement for 2016. He says his agent negotiated the deal with Cumulus’s former owners, who lost control of the company in September, and that the new owners have wrongfully refused to honor it.

Bloomberg reports the lawsuit asserts that in an e-mail to Rivera on September 30, John Dickey, executive vice president at Cumulus at the time, acknowledged the employment agreement, writing: “Thanks Geraldo. I admire your work and your loyalty. Glad you will be covering the election on 77 WABC next year...”

“It is not about the money,” Rivera said in a November Facebook posting. “Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”

Davidson Goldin, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Cumulus, didn’t immediately comment Thursday on Rivera’s suit. Goldin runs a New York-based public relations firm.

The case is Rivera v. Cumulus Media Inc., Case No. 654121/2015, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan)

Las Vegas Radio: Beasley Promotes Johnny Candelaria To OM

John Candelaria
Beasley Media Group has announced the appointment of John Candelaria to Operations Manager for the Las Vegas cluster. Candelaria joined the company in 2012 as Program Director for Old School KOAS 105.7 FM and AC KVGS 107.9 FM in Las Vegas, Nevada

Candelaria will be responsible for the overseeing programming, marketing, and promotions, together with the Beasley Las Vegas Program Directors.

“It has been an amazing year,” John remarked. “I am eager to be a part of the growth of the Las Vegas cluster moving forward. I want to thank Tom Humm, Justin Chase and Executive Vice President of Operations Brian Beasley for having the confidence in me to help build their products. I’m thrilled to work with season veterans Mike O’Brian (96.3 KKLZ), John Shaffer (720 KDWN), Kris Daniels (102.7 KCYE), Shayla Martinez (Las Vegas Marketing Director) and our sales and digital departments.”

“John has led Old School 105.7 to new ratings and revenue increases, year after year,” said Las Vegas Market Manager Tom Humm. “Additionally, John has assisted the Las Vegas Program Directors on a daily basis, while working with Vice President of Programing Justin Chase to launch new rhythmic formats across the country. I am excited to have John manage and lead our Las Vegas stations to even greater success in the years ahead.”

"It's been a great year for John,” said Vice President of Programming Justin Chase. “Just a few months ago, he was named Beasley Media Group's Program Director of the Year. And now, he's been promoted to Operations Manager! Of course, all of the above happened because John has been programming one of our company's most successful and consistent Urban stations for four years and has shown incredible leadership. I'm extremely pleased that he'll be able to work with our roster of top-notch Program Directors in Las Vegas to lead the programming strategy for the cluster."