Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 17 Radio History

In 1937...the show "Kay Child, Stepmother" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network.

In 1949..."The Goldbergs" was first broadcast on CBS-TV. The show had been on the radio since 1931.

In 1964...the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “There! I’ve Said It Again” byBobby Vinton. This song was considered the last No. 1 song before the British invasion. After four weeks at No. 1, Vinton gave way to the Beatles and their first U.S. hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

In 1986...Radio personality Joel Sebastian died.

Sebastian  began his radio career in his native Detroit at station WXYZ. He moved to Chicago in 1966, after working at stations in Dallas, New Haven, Conn., and Los Angeles.

For 20-years+, he was DJ and morning on-air personality at eight Chicago radio stations, including WCFL, WLS, WGN, WMAQ and, most recently, WJMK-FM (104).

He began his Chicago career at WCFL as a talkative morning disc jockey. He would open each show with the greeting ``Good morning Chicago, baby,``

He also worked at WNEW, WKHK, WHN and WNBCin New York City, returning to Chicago in June 1983 to WJMX.

In 1989...Scott Shannon last show at WHTZ Z100 NYC.

Shannon founded the "Z Morning Zoo" concept and he was the driving force in helping Z100 become the top-rated FM station in New York City within a mere 74 days of signing on the air.

In 1989, Shannon left Z100 for Los Angeles to start up Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s began, Top 40 radio experienced a decline, and eventually Pirate Radio struggled as well, leading to Shannon's departure.

In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ.

In 2004...TV talk show host, Jerry Springer, began a new radio show on WCKY-AM, Cincinnati.

In 2012...Disc jockey/bandleader/drummer/singer/songwriter (Willie And The Hand Jive) Johnny Otis died at the age of 90.

Report: Iran Releases Jailed WaPo Reporter, 3 Others

Jason Rezaian
UPDATE 2:30PM 1/16/16:  Iran released Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and three other detained Iranian Americans on Saturday in exchange for seven people imprisoned or charged in the United States, U.S. and Iranian officials said, a swap linked to the imminent implementation of a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

Iranian officials said Rezaian, 39, was freed from Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison after 18 months of captivity and was to be promptly flown out of the country with the three other released detainees.

Iran’s judiciary announced the release in Tehran as part of an exchange, according to Iranian news media.

U.S. officials said Iran is also freeing a fifth American, a student detained in Tehran some months ago, separately from the exchange.

A senior administration offical identified the fifth American as Matthew Trevithick. “Matthew was a young man studying in Iran” and was “detained in recent months,” the official said. “We wanted him obviously to be a direct part of this, and made clear to Iranians that [his release] would be an appropriate humanitarian gesture.”

Trevithick’s family said in a statement that he went to Iran in September for a four-month language program only to be arrested and spend 40 days in Evin Prison.

UPDATE 11:15am 1/16/16: Iran has released four U.S.-Iranian dual citizens for prison, state television said on Saturday, naming them as Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi.

State news agency IRNA said the United States would also release seven Iranian nationals from jail as part of a prisoner swap. The exchange came as a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was set to be implemented, leading to the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran.

Earlier Posting...

Four U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, have been freed in a prisoner swap.

All four are duel U.S.-Iranian citizens, according to the semiofficial Mehr and Fars news agencies. Rezaian has been held since July 2014. There was no official confirmation from the United States.

News of the exchange came as world leaders converged in Vienna Saturday in anticipation of the end of international sanctions against Iran in exchange for significantly curtailing its nuclear program.

The nuclear agreement will take effect when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran has met its commitments under the deal it signed last July with six global powers, including the United States.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry flew from London to Vienna in the early afternoon local time. He went immediately into a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Coburg Palace Hotel, the scene of months-long final negotiations last summer that led to the deal between Iran and the world powers.

WLS-TV Reports News Staffer Murdered In Belize

Anne Swaney
WLS-TV ABC7 Chicago is reporting one of its colleagues was found murdered Friday while traveling in Belize, according to police in the Central American nation and the U.S. State Department.

Anne Swaney was executive producer of online operations at She was 39. Autopsy results determined that she was strangled.

Anne was an avid world traveler and on a vacation in the Cayo District of western Belize, a popular destination for American adventure travelers and horse enthusiasts. She was staying at the Nabitunich Farm near a tiny town called San Jose Succotz. Hotel owner Santiago Juan tells the I-Team she was killed on "public land" near the hotel. Juan reported her missing Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, Anne was supposed to go on a group horseback trip through the woods, but there were more riders than horses, so she stayed back. She came down to a wooden deck on the river to do yoga and never returned.

"A horse riding tour returned in the afternoon and found her personal effects on the deck. This looked suspicious so they went to her cabin and she wasn't there. They told the owner who called the police. The police came with their canine unit and the scent led them along the river but due to the darkness the search was called off for the night before finding her," Supt. Arzu told WLS-TV.

Police teams resumed searching Friday morning, when her body was found face down in the river. Police said there were obvious signs someone had killed her.

Rupert Murdoch Dimisses Article About Roger Ailes

Rupert Murdoch is refuting a published report that he has upped his presence at Fox News as Roger Ailes has become "a diminished force" at cable's top-rated news network.

"He seems detached and removed," an anonymous Fox source told New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, a frequent chronicler of Fox News. Sherman's  piece, published Wednesday night, relies on "four high-placed Fox sources," according to the article.

Murdoch responded by praising Ailes in a tweet before the Thursday Republican debate on Fox Business Network, and he addressed the article directly in an interview Friday with Fortune magazine.

Roger Ailes
"He's got an agenda," Murdoch said of Sherman. Asked by Fortune if Ailes is suddenly "taking a backseat" at Fox News, Murdoch said, "It's bullshit. Absolutely."

Last year, Ailes signed a multiyear contract to remain chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network. Sherman writes that it bothered Ailes when 21st Century Fox issued a press release clarifying that Ailes would be jointly reporting to Murdoch and his two sons, Lachlan and James, who were recently elevated to executive co-chairman and CEO, respectively.

"Since that stinging public rebuke, executives have noticed Rupert around the Fox News hallways. 'He's marking his territory,' one person briefed on the matter told me," Sherman writes. Sherman also writes that, since June, Murdoch has been attending Ailes' "secretive afternoon" gatherings where "some of the most sensitive decisions about running the channel are discussed."
A Fox News insider disputes that characterization, telling The Hollywood Reporter that Ailes conducts two editorial meetings daily, and nowadays Murdoch typically attends the second one simply because he thrives on the news business.

"I stand by my reporting," Sherman told The Hollywood Reporter.

Fox, News Corp To Remain In Midtown Manhattan

21st Century Fox and News Corp. won’t be moving to the World Trade Center after all.

Real estate sources told The NY Post, and the companies later confirmed, that the separate media giants controlled by Rupert Murdoch have decided to keep their headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Midtown.

2 World Trade Center
“After much careful consideration we have decided to maintain our New York headquarters and other business operations” at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Ave, the companies said in a joint statement.

“We have extension options that could continue our occupancy on Sixth Avenue through 2025,” the statement said.

Fox and News signed a non-binding letter of intent last June to lease 1.3 million square feet of office and studio space at Larry Silverstein’s planned 2 World Trade Center. The 2.8 million square-foot tower was to be designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.

Sources said the decision not to move was entirely for business reasons, and not to do with any issues involving the World Trade Center site.

But a source said that 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, Fox and News Corp. Executive Co-Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, and News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson agreed that the complex move would distract from the companies’ global operations and require investment “which would be better directed elsewhere.”

Baltimore Radio: Iconic Personality Johnny Dark Exits WTTR

Johnny Dark  - 2012
Seasoned Baltimore radio personality Johnny Dark has resigned from suburban WTTR 1470 AM.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Dark contends that management allowed another employee to run roughshod over the then-program director, Betsy Santos -- who also happens to be Dark’s girlfriend.

“I’ve been in this business for 62-and-a-half years. I’ve never seen anything this ridiculous in all that time,” Dark said.

Dark’s girlfriend, Betsy Santos, also resigned Jan. 4.

Jeff Laird, an owner of WTTR for the past two years, declined to reveal details about the situation, which he defined as “internal," but said Dark is being immature.

“They have been replaced, and we are moving forward,” Laird said. “I wish him luck.”

WTTR 1470 AM (1 Kw, DA-N) Red=Local Coverage
The station, which is licenced to Westminster MD, is known for playing “the greatest hits of all time,” was owned for 10 years by Sajak Broadcasting Corp. -- which was partly owned by “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak. In 2013, it was sold to Hilltop Communications.

Laird said that an FM station for WTTR is in the works. The station also has plans to tweak the music, making it less “oldies-focused” in preference of classic hits.

Back in the day, Dark's ratings were routinely in the 40s and went as high as 63. That's no misprint.

His show was listened to by 63 percent of the nighttime audience, most of them young people, and the other stations divided up the remaining 37 percent.

ID Radio: KID Increases Footprint On 3 Additional Frequencies

In a major expansion of its KID broadcasting reach, Rich Broadcasting Friday announced the addition of three more frequencies that will carry the newsradio station’s programming and advertising.

In making the announcement, Rich Broadcasting President and CEO Richard Mecham said KID 590 AM & 92.1 FM, in Idaho Falls ID now will be heard, effective Monday, January 11, also on Idaho Falls station KQEZ 106.3 FM, as well as Jackson, Wyoming, stations KSGT 1340 AM / 96.3 T-FM, significantly adding to its programming reach.

KIDJ 106.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“KID has served the eastern Idaho market since 1928,” Mecham said, “and we are both pleased and excited to substantially expand its impact and coverage with the addition of three more frequencies, which not only will substantially expand its geographical reach but also, and very significantly, will enhance its night-time coverage.

KIDG 92.1 FM (12 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“For a long time, KID has been, and continues to be, the predominant news and information resource in the region,” he continued.

“With the addition of 106.3 FM, it now will be heard regionally from Ashton to Pocatello. Additionally, we are very pleased to expand the KID brand into the Teton County radio market, and in the process enhance the synergy between the eastern Idaho and Jackson markets.”

K242BU 96.3 FM Jackson (140 watts)
Rich Broadcasting General Manager DeLyn Hendricks underscored the business-related and commercial significance of KID’s now-expanded and wide regional coverage. “We understand the impact and success that KID has had in eastern Idaho since 1928,” she said.

KID 590 AM 5 Kw-D, 1 Kw-N
“With the substantially expanded coverage of adding 106.3 FM, as well as KSGT 1340 AM and 96.3 FM in Jackson, we are excited, and now able, to deliver our advertisers’ messages more effectively, to an expanded range of consumers in eastern Idaho and the Upper Valley, as well as in Jackson Hole.

Apple To Start Charging For iTunes Radio

Apple Inc said it will soon start charging for iTunes Radio, its music-streaming service that competes with Pandora Media Inc.

ITunes Radio, which was announced in 2013, will no longer be free from the end of January, Apple said in statement.

The ad-supported service, available only in the United States and Australia, will be folded into Apple Music, which costs $9.99 a month.

Reuters reports Beats 1, the global 24/7 radio station, will now be the free music option for listeners.

Apple sent out an email to iTunes Radio users notifying them that starting Jan. 28, this music streaming service, which was launched to take on Pandora, will no longer be free.

"We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January," said an Apple spokesperson to BuzzFeed News. "Additionally, with an Apple music service, listeners can access dozens of radio stations curated by our team of music experts, covering a range of genres, commercial-free with unlimited skips."

The spokesperson added Apple Music's free three-month trial features radio.

If you wish to listen to Apple's hired DJs thru Beats 1, you will not fork out any penny from your pocket. However, if you prefer radio stations based on your favorite genre or artist, you need to splurge $10 every month to subscribe to Apple Music after the free three-month trial for new subscribers.

Report: CBS' Charles Osgood Thinking Retirement

The beloved bow-tied anchor of "CBS Sunday Morning" has met with network brass to discuss his future and is expected to end his two decade run as host of the popular weekend show this year, The NY Daily News is reporting.

Earlier this week, Osgood, 83, met with his longtime pal, Rand Morrison who serves as "CBS Sunday Morning" executive producer. "We talked vaguely about his future," Morrison said, "and that's as far as it goes."

Meanwhile, Osgood is scheduled to undergo knee-replacement surgery in the next few weeks and is expected to be off the air for some time recovering, Morrison said. .

Osgood’s current deal with CBS News expires at the end of next December and some at the network had been planning to announce his departure from “CBS Sunday Morning” in May.

Insiders have pegged Jane Pauley, 65, as an early favorite to take over as host of the popular program — although there have been no formal discussions with the former NBC News star yet.

Osgood, who is known as CBS’ “poet in residence” has been the face of the highly-rated morning show for more than 20 years. He took over the telecast from legendary broadcaster, Charles Kuralt.

Since 1971 Osgood has hosted a short, daily program on CBS Radio stations, called “The Osgood File” and is expected to continue that show for the foreseeable future.

Pauley, a former “Today” co-host and anchor of “Dateline” on NBC, joined “CBS Sunday Morning” in April 2014 as a correspondent and occasionally substitutes as host for Osgood.

iHeartRadio Music Fest Returns In September

iHeartMedia announced Friday the return of the annual star-studded iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 23 and 24 in Las Vegas, and its Daytime Village which will return to the Las Vegas Village across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino on Saturday, September 24.  The company also announced the return of the "Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star" talent search.

The 2016 Daytime Village will feature live performances by both popular and emerging artists, including the first revealed artists Sam Hunt and Alessia Cara, with more to be announced. The Daytime Village will also feature fan zones and interactive experiences by iHeartRadio's brand partners.  Tickets for the Daytime Village go on sale today at 10 a.m. PT and start at $39 plus taxes and fees. Fans can visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

The "Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star" talent search will also return for the fifth year in a row providing emerging artists the chance to perform on the same stage as music's biggest superstars at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival and select Macy's events this fall.

Starting in early May, iHeartRadio listeners and Macy's shoppers will once again have their chance to cast their votes for their favorite up-and-coming artists, and by voting, fans will also be entered for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival.

The iHeartRadio Music Festival will broadcast live on iHeartMedia Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) stations across the country that weekend including the iconic Z100 in New York; KIIS-FM in Los Angeles; Y100 in Miami; KISS FM in Dallas, Chicago and Boston; as well as many more, and will also be featured as an exclusive national television broadcast special on The CW Network at a later date.

vBloggers Interview President Obama

President Obama says modern politics are overly loud and obnoxious – suggesting that’s part of the reason Donald Trump is getting so much attention.

Breitbart reports Obama lamented that modern politics had become “too rancorous” and says people are allowed to “make up facts,” paint their opponents as unpatriotic, and flip-flop on political positions.

“That is I think a result of a lot of forces, you know a media that’s much more splintered, you’ve got sort of talk radio habits creeping into politics,” he said. “A lot of times it’s like the comments section or trolling where people just feel like they can vent without really thinking about what they say ahead of time,” he said.

Obama hosted a series of interviews with YouTube personalities this afternoon, including one interview with Adande Thorne or “sWooZie” as he is known on the internet.

Behind The Scenes With SiriusXM's Pat St. John

Radio's best friend art Vuolo Jr. proived this inside look at Sirius XM's popular 60's on Six personality, Pat St. John, at his new home studio in California.

After 40+ years on New York's WPLJ 95.5 FM, WNEW 102.7 FM and WCBS 101.1 FM, he is now exclusively on satellite radio nationwide. thanks Art!

R.I.P.: Longtime Austin Radio Personality Paul Ray

Paul Ray - 2005
Paul Ray, Texas Radio Hall of Famer and host of “Twine Time” on KUTX, died Friday.

He was 73, according to KUT Radio.

Ray hosted “Twine Time” on KUTX 98.9 FM – which spun out of KUT 90.5 FM as a full-time music service in 2013 – since 1978 when he teamed up with KUT music hosts Bill Bentley and Pat Crumhorn for the monthly rhythm and blues show, which went weekly in 1979.

For nearly 40 years, “Twine Time” has been the de facto soundtrack for Austin’s Saturday night. Occasional specials celebrated everything from Elvis’ birthday to gospel music – all of it fueled by Ray’s encyclopedic knowledge, passion and a music collection that numbered more than 5,000 records.

“There’s no doubt that Paul left an indelible mark on the Texas music scene – from his early years performing in Dallas, to his nearly 50 years in Austin as both a musician and a radio host,” said Matt Reilly, KUTX program director. “His legacy will live on through the countless musicians he inspired and the fans who looked to him as an encyclopedia of musical history. He will always be an Austin treasure.”

KUT and KUTX will air a special tribute to Ray at 7 p.m. Jan. 23.

January 16 Radio History

 In of the great announcers of bigtime radio Dwight Weist was born in Palo Alto Calif.  As well as being the commercial announcer on Inner Sanctum Mysteries & host of We the People, among many announcing assignments, he also had acting roles as the very first Mr. District Attorney, one of several Commissioner Westons on The Shadow, and one of the male actors to play Burton on the soap The Second Mrs. Burton. He suffered a fatal heart attack July 16 1991 at age 81.


Click Here to Flashback to Radio January 16, 1926. How's this for an astounding headline?

In 1947...Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Schlessinger's first appearance on radio was in 1975 when she called in to a KABC show hosted by Bill Ballance. Impressed by her quick wit and sense of humor, Ballance began featuring her in a weekly segment. Schlessinger's stint on Ballance's show led to her own shows on a series of small radio stations. By 1979 she was on the air Sunday evenings from 9:00 to midnight on KWIZ in Santa Ana, California. That year, the Los Angeles Times described her show as dealing with all types of emotional problems, "though sex therapy is the show's major focus".

In the late 1980s, Schlessinger was filling in for Barbara De Angelis' noon-time relationship-oriented talk show in Los Angeles on KFI, while working weekends at KGIL in San Fernando. Her big break came when Sally Jessy Raphael began working at ABC Radio, and Maurice Tunick, former Vice-President of Talk Programming for the ABC Radio Networks, needed a regular sub for Raphael's evening personal advice show. Tunick chose Schlessinger to fill in for Raphael.

Ultimately, Schlessinger began broadcasting a daily show on KFI which was nationally syndicated in 1994 by Synergy, a company owned by Schlessinger and her husband. In 1997, Synergy sold its rights to the show to Jacor Communications, Inc., for $71.5 million. Later, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications and a company co-owned by Schlessinger, Take On The Day, LLC, acquired the production rights. The show became a joint effort between Take On The Day, which produced it, Talk Radio Network, which syndicated and marketed it to radio stations, and Premiere Radio Networks, (a subsidiary of Clear Channel), which provided satellite facilities and handled advertising sales. As of September 2009, Schlessinger broadcast from her home in Santa Barbara, California with KFWB as her flagship station.[24] Podcasts and live streams of the show have been available on her website for a monthly fee, and the show was also on XM Satellite Radio.

At its peak, The Dr. Laura Program was the second-highest-rated radio show after The Rush Limbaugh Show, and was heard on more than 450 radio stations.

In May 2002, the show still had an audience of more than 10 million, but had lost several million listeners in the previous two years as it was dropped by WABC and other affiliates, and was moved from day to night in cities such as Seattle and Boston. These losses were attributed in part to Schlessinger's shift from giving relationship advice to lecturing on morality and conservative politics. Pressure from gay rights groups caused dozens of sponsors to drop the radio show as well.  In 2006, Schlessinger's show was being aired on approximately 200 stations. As of 2009, it was tied for third place along with The Glenn Beck Program and The Savage Nation.

On August 17, 2010, during an appearance on Larry King Live, Schlessinger announced the end of her radio show saying that her motivation was to "regain her First Amendment rights", and that she wanted to be able to say what is on her mind without "some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent."  Several of her affiliates and major sponsors had dropped her show after her on air use of a racial epithet on August 10.

On January 3, 2011, Schlessinger's show moved exclusively to Sirius XM Radio.

In 1986...evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and longtime leader of the Worldwide Church of God, and original voice of the longtime radio/TV religious broadcast, “The World Tomorrow,” died at the age of 93.  His son and fellow preacher,Garner Ted Armstrong, succeeded him on the air in 1957 and became much more well-known.

Friday, January 15, 2016

NYDN To Cruz: Drop Dead Ted

Ted Cruz - be careful who you mess with.

Never shy in defense of their city, New Yorkers came out swinging - via social and traditional media - on Friday after the Texas Republican's comments about New York "values" during a presidential debate.

Reuters reports Cruz's remarks, aimed as a put-down of campaign rival Donald Trump during Thursday evening's sour-toned Republican debate, sparked a backlash from city and upstate dwellers, politicians and ordinary citizens alike.

One theme emerged in particular as New Yorkers piled in: the idea that the senator may be less fastidious when it comes to financing his campaign to be his party's nominee for the November presidential election.

"I’m sure Ted Cruz was very negative about New York money," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan, calling on Cruz to apologize to all New Yorkers.

"I’m sure he’s not going to accept any money from any New Yorker. I’m sure if he has, he’s going to return all of those contributions," said Cuomo, a Democrat.

Cruz, top challenger to front-runner Trump in the Republican race, has lately been denouncing "New York values" to try to connect the real estate mogul to the city's liberalism and to reinforce his own standing as a conservative.

During Thursday evening's debate, Cruz said on the values issue, "And listen, there are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York. But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay-marriage, focus around money and the media."

Trump responded with an emotional tribute to the resilience his home city showed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

According to Twitter Inc data, that exchange between Cruz and Trump was the second-most tweeted moment during the debate.

Among tweets shared on Friday was the cover of the New York Daily News, which curtly told Cruz: "Drop Dead, Ted."

Michael Bruno (@MikeJBruno) tweeted on Friday: “@tedcruz you, sir, wouldn’t last 2 minutes in New York. We don’t take kindly to people like you. And that’s our #NewYorkValues.”

Nicholas Dyer (@NicholasDDyer), who identifies himself as a Comedy Central producer on Twitter, said: "@tedcruz is the kind of guy who takes his family to the Times Square Applebee's for dinner. #NewYorkValues." He was referring scathingly to a chain restaurant that is normally filled with tourists from out of town.

Sean Penn Expresses Regret With 'El Chapo' Story

(Reuters) -- Actor-turned-celeb-journalist Sean Penn regrets the fallout from his Rolling Stone article on Mexican kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, which was aimed at discussing the drug war, Penn said in an interview released Friday with CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose.

"I have a terrible regret," Penn told Rose in the interview recorded late Thursday in Santa Monica. "I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy on the War on Drugs."

Guzman was recaptured last week, six months after staging a spectacular prison break through a tunnel in his cell floor.

While on the run, Guzman met secretly with Penn at a jungle hideout - a move the government says was "essential" to his capture.

The article based on the interview by Penn, 55, was published in Rolling Stone magazine on Saturday, and quotes Guzman boasting about his drug shipments and the laundering of money through major Mexican and foreign companies.

The actor refuted claims that his interview led to El Chapo's arrest.

Mexican officials wanted to encourage drug cartels to blame Guzman's capture on the meeting, Penn said, because the government was embarrassed that Penn and his coworkers found the drug kingpin before they could.

Penn said he could be in danger but was not afraid of potential threats.

Report: Radio Expected To Lose 1.2 Percent In Revenue

A new Borrell Associates report predicts that local advertising will climb 16.4% from $113 billion in 2015 to $132 billion this year, a bolder prognostication than the single-digit growth more commonly expected for local.

Driving that growth will be $5.5 billion from state and local election advertising and $17 billion more spending from local business on digital media. Digital will comprise half of local advertising expenditures, the report finds, rising to two-thirds of all ad expenditures by 2020.

Breaking ad spending down by medium, Borrell sees digital leading dramatically, taking a 49.8% share ($65.9 billion) followed by newspapers with 10.3% ($13.5 billion), television at 9.1% ($12 billion) and radio at 7.6% ($10 billion).

According to TV Newscheck, Categorically, online also has the biggest growth rate at 36.4%. TV trails with 19.7% and cable with 5.6%, while outdoor and magazines will see marginal growth with 1.6% and 1.1%, respectively. Some categories will see loses, the report says, the biggest being directories (-6.2%), followed by newspapers (-4.6%), direct mail (-4.5%) and radio (-1.2%).

ESPN Is Becoming A Problem For Disney

In a note to clients on Friday, Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar downgraded shares of Disney to "Underweight" from "Equal Weight," citing increasing investor attention around the struggles at ESPN, Disney's flagship sports network.

According BusinessInsider, Barclays argues that as the traditional cable bundle begins to fall apart, ESPN — which as we've noted time and again is the most expensive network for carriers to broadcast — is the most exposed to what Venkateshwar calls a "secularly fragmenting media environment."

And this argument basically says the traditional cable bundle is going away and not coming back.

Here's Venkateshwar:
"In a secularly fragmenting media environment, ESPN is the most exposed. This is because ESPN's business model depends on the cross subsidy of the pay TV bundle. Consequently, given ESPN's fixed cost structure and variable revenue model, subscriber losses are likely to have a disproportionate impact on the business model. In our opinion, ESPN accounts for a disproportionate share of Disney's cash flow and the gap between OCF (7%) and EBIT growth (17%) over the last 2 years likely already points to this pressure from subscriber losses. 
This issue could be compounded by potential step ups in cost recognition."

Study: Support Wanes For ESPN

A new study suggests that just 6% would pay for a modestly priced over-the-top digital TV ESPN package, but that nearly 60% of people would drop ESPN to save $8 a month from their traditional pay TV monthly service.

MediaPost reports BTIG Research had the study conducted by consumer marketing company Civic Science, which surveyed 1,582 consumers. Eighty-seven percent of these respondents subscribed to multichannel TV packages.

Fifty-six percent of consumers surveyed said they would remove ESPN/ESPN2 -- 60% female respondents and 49% male respondents. BTIG says the results did not vary by age group, with Millennials, Gen-xers and boomers reporting similar results.

Media analysts have been concerned that ESPN could see some additional steep subscriber declines.

The cable sports network had witnessed subscriber drops, resulting a drop in parent company Walt Disney’s stock price and causing a ripple effect for other media companies.

The study says only 6% would subscribe to ESPN/ESPN for $20 a month under a direct-to-consumer model; 85% say they would not pay for this package; and 9% were not sure.

Denver Radio: Mark Schlereth To Join KKFN Morning Show

Mark Schlereth
Sports Radio KKFN 104.3 FM The Fan Pogram Director Armen Williams announced today that Mark Schlereth will be joining Mike Evans to host “Schlereth and Evans”, weekdays from 6am-9am beginning Monday, January 25th, 2016.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection and 1997 All-Pro, Schlereth played 12 NFL seasons after being drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 10th round in 1989 out of the University of Idaho. In all, Schlereth spent six seasons with the Redskins (1989-94) and six with the Denver Broncos (1995-2000), earning three Super Bowl rings (1992, 1998 and 1999).

Schlereth joined ESPN in 2001 as an NFL analyst. He can be seen on NFL Live, First Take, SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, and annually contributes to ESPN’s Super Bowl week and NFL Draft coverage. “Hosting mornings on The Fan combines three things I love…early mornings, sports, and goofing around,” says Schlereth. “I’m honored to be a part of Denver’s morning commute!”

KKFN 104.3 FM  (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Mark represents everything that Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan stands for, which includes a strong connection to the Broncos and the Denver community,” says Williams. “We’re thrilled to have Mark join Denver’s sports station in a market that deserves to hear his passionate takes and opinions on a daily basis. “Schlereth and Evans” are the perfect combination to entertain sports fans in the Mile High City every weekday morning.”

Comcast Channel Changes Irk Networks

The country’s largest cable company has joined the race to get skinny.

Comcast has started ripping up agreements with cable networks and moving them out of basic onto digital tiers, The NY Post  is reporting.

Already, Spike, CMT and Pop, the former TV Guide channel, have been moved to digital tiers, the companies told The Post. The changes means fans of the affected networks could have to pay $9.99 a month, or more, to tune in.

It also means the affected networks will have a less broad reach.

Comcast said the moves are aimed at keeping down costs for its customers, but at least one company — Spike- and CMT-owner Viacom — is irked by the move.

“This action is in direct violation of our agreement and will increase costs for customers who will now have to pay more for networks that were previously included in less expensive packages,” Viacom said in a statement.

The media conglomerate, which owns a dozen entertainment brands, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, in addition to the networks switched by Comcast, wants customers to know the extra fees go into Comcast’s pocket — not theirs.

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Trump-Cruz 'Bromance' Is Over

By Steve Holland and James Oliphant

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and top challenger Ted Cruz ended a longstanding truce in spectacular fashion on Thursday night with bitter exchanges during what may have been Trump's strongest debate performance to date.

The New York billionaire and the Texas senator appeared to have a split decision by the end of the night, a sign that for all the bluster, little took place that could derail Trump from his lead position with a contest in Iowa on Feb. 1 to begin the search for a Republican presidential nominee.

Projections that the debate would be a free-for-all were accurate. Beyond the Trump-Cruz theatrics, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida turned in a pugnacious performance with attacks on Cruz and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Florida Governor Jeb Bush presented himself as a voice of reason against Trump.

A Google snap poll showed viewers believed Trump, who in the most recent debates was at times less engaged, won the night with 37.3 percent to Cruz's 26.6 percent and Rubio's 12.1 percent.

Until the Fox Business Channel debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, Trump and Cruz had been friendly because they have both been chasing conservatives of the Tea Party movement and did not want to anger them.

With Trump now needing to fend off Cruz's rise in Iowa, he pushed his charge that Cruz may not be constitutionally qualified to serve as president because he was born in Canada. The U.S. Constitution says only "natural born" citizens can become president of the United States.

"Who the hell knows if you can even serve in office?" Trump told Cruz, drawing a scattering of boos in the audience.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, to a U.S. citizen mother and a Cuban father, Cruz accused Trump of bringing up his birthplace simply because Cruz was leading some polls in Iowa.

Cruz said Trump, who led the movement questioning whether the Hawaiian-born President Barack Obama was really from the United States, had asked his lawyers to look into the issue of Cruz's birth in September and concluded there were no issues.

"Since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed, but the poll numbers have," Cruz said. "And I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are dropping in Iowa, but the facts and the law here are really clear."

Trump said Democrats would sue if Cruz were on the Republican ticket, putting their party's chances of winning at risk.

Cruz shot back that he had spent many years studying constitutional law: "I'm not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump."

The birthright issue has dogged American politics before: 2008 Republican nominee John McCain survived questions about his birth in Panama because he was born on a U.S. military installation there and it was judged to be U.S. soil.

In 1967, Republican candidate George Romney faced questions about his birth in Mexico, but his candidacy never advanced far and the issue was abandoned.


While Cruz seemed to have parried the attack for now, he was stung by Trump on another issue: Whether people who live in New York City have the same values as other Americans. Cruz has lately begun denouncing "New York values" to connect Trump to the city's famous liberalism.

"Everyone understands that the values of New York City are socially liberal, are pro-abortion, are pro-gay marriage," Cruz said.

Trump, in perhaps his most heartfelt remarks of the night, harked back to New York's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to defend his home city.

"The people in New York fought and fought and fought, and we saw more death, and even the smell of death... And it was with us for months, the smell, the air.

"And we rebuilt Downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers. And I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made," Trump said.

Rubio, in third place behind Trump and Cruz in Iowa and hoping a strong outcome there will help him in the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, frequently inserted himself into arguments and tried to put pressure on Cruz.

He accused Cruz of proposing a value added tax as part of     his tax plan and of being soft on immigration.

"That is not consistent conservatism," he said. "That is political calculation."

He attacked Christie as well, accusing him of have liberal positions on education policy and abortion. Christie interrupted a Rubio-Cruz exchange with this blast:

"I'd like to interrupt this debate on the floor of the Senate. You had your chance, Marco you blew it," he said.

Cruz, who has taken the lead in some polls of Iowa Republican voters, did well on social media. Social media monitoring tool Zoomph saw total positive mentions for Cruz climb by more than 150 percent while he sparred with Trump.

Trump is far ahead nationally.

A Reuters/Ipsos rolling national poll on Jan. 12 showed Trump had 39 percent of the vote, Cruz 14.5 percent, Bush 10.6 percent, Carson 9.6 percent, while 6.7 percent favored Rubio.

(additional reporting by Emily Stephenson, Ginger Gibson, and Megan Cassella; Writing by Jeff Mason; editing by Grant McCool)

Report: With Ailes Missing, Fox News Drifting

According to four high-placed Fox sources, Rupert Murdoch is upping his presence at Fox while Roger Ailes has become less visible to anchors and producers, signaling a shift that marks a new chapter in the network’s history.

According to New York magazine story, the most visible change is that, since June, Murdoch has been attending Ailes’s daily executive meeting held on the second floor of Fox headquarters. The secretive afternoon gathering in Ailes’s conference room is attended by about a half-dozen of the network’s most senior lieutenants. It’s where some of the most sensitive decisions about running the channel are discussed.

Murdoch has so far been a quiet observer, but his presence at the table is striking to Fox executives.

Some interpret it as a sign that the 84-year-old, newly engaged Australian mogul is preparing for a future where the 75-year-old Ailes is no longer in the picture.

News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch tweeted a message of support to Fox News chief Roger Ailes on Thursday as a report surfaced suggesting Murdoch was taking more control of Fox News.

It’s one of the most significant decisions Wall Street will be watching: Fox is valued at north of $15 billion and generates as much as 30 percent of Murdoch’s profits. “He wants a smooth handover,” one executive told me. Right now the two leading internal candidates are Michael Clemente, who’s in charge of news, and Bill Shine, who oversees Fox Business.

New York magazine reports he succession question seems to be taking on new urgency after three sources say Ailes threatened to quit this summer when Murdoch elevated his sons, Lachlan and James, to take over the media empire. After their promotions were announced, Ailes put out his own statement on Fox Business that declared he would continue reporting directly to Rupert. Eventually, an uneasy accord was reached: Rupert gave Ailes a new contract, but Fox issued a follow-up press release clarifying that Ailes would report to Rupert as well as Lachlan and James.

Meanwhile, Fox hosts and producers tell me Ailes has been a somewhat diminished force at the network. In 2014, he took an extended leave of absence after a health scare. He still has trouble walking and rarely ventures out of his executive suite. A friend who ran into Ailes in Palm Beach over the holidays remarked that he was using a walker. “He seems detached and removed,” one Fox personality tells me. “He’s not around as much,” says another friend of Ailes. “He doesn’t have as many meetings with talent.”

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CBS Morning News Scores Ratings Spike

ABC's "Good Morning America" had the most viewers last week. The program has won the count for 16 weeks in a row this season, and it ranks first for the fourth season in a row.

However, the Orlando Sentinel reports NBC's "Today" was first in the 25-to-54 age group.  It has beaten "GMA" for 18 of the last 19 weeks in the count and stands at No. 1 this season in both the 25-to-54 and 18-to-49 age groups.

But "CBS This Morning," which ranks third, is setting auspicious figures of its own. The Charlie Rose-Norah O'Donnell-Gayle King program is bringing CBS its biggest audience in those hours in -- get this -- 22 years.

The figures for last week in total viewers: "GMA" with 5.095 million, "Today" with 4.805 million and "CBS This Morning" with 3.870 million.

CBS was up 8 percent from the comparable week last year while ABC was off 10 percent and NBC was down 6 percent.

In the 25-to-54 age group, "Today" averaged 1.881 million while "GMA" drew 1.743 million and "CBS This Morning" pulled in 1.191 million.

In that count, CBS was up 11 percent from the same week a year ago while ABC was off 17 percent and NBC was flat.

Phoenix Radio: Chris Matthews Moves to Mornings

Chris Matthews
CBS Radio/Phoenix has announced that midday host Christopher Matthews Wagnon is moving into the co-host position of the morning show on Country KMLE 107.9 FM.

He joins Nina D. who has been with the KMLE morning program since November, 2012.

Wagnon was the station's Assistant PD/MD and midday air personality. He's also been Director of Marketing and Promotions for Cumulus/Tucson.

"Chris is a remarkable talent and an ideal fit to co-host mornings with Nina on the New KMLE," said CBS Radio Phoenix VP/Programming Tim Richards. "He is a stellar talent, but more importantly he's a great person. We are looking forward to big things from Chris and Nina in 2016."

KMLE 107.9 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Matthews remarked, "I am beyond excited for the opportunity to work with Nina D. She is truly a superstar! I can't wait to bring my unique outlook and perspective to mornings on KMLE. Besides, with a seven month old baby I was already up this early."

Olivia Munn Vents About Media

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn, went off on a rant about the media blaming Rodgers’s struggles on their relationship.

During a Wednesday appearance on Opie Radio on SiriusXM she lashed out and the tone of the interview was tense from the start.

The Daily Caller reports when the topic of Rodgers came up the “Ride Along 2” star responded by saying, “now I’m going to talk to you about how ignorant you are at that statement,” to a person she called “a man in the back whose just coming up with some shit.”

Munn went off to list all the other reasons the Packers might have struggled throughout the season, and targeted the source of the rumors as somebody who was bigoted and racist.

CBS Radio To Deliver Extensive Super Bowl 50 Coverage

CBS RADIO Thursday announced it will provide extensive commentary and analysis across a wide range of over-the-air and digital assets in anticipation of historic SUPER BOWL 50 beginning on Monday, Feb. 1.

CBS will exclusively broadcast SUPER BOWL 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7.

Numerous CBS RADIO sports stations from across the country will broadcast live from “Radio Row,” located at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and feature breaking news reports, athlete and celebrity guest interviews, and commentary on the day’s top stories.  CBS Sports Radio, the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market sports radio network heard on more than 315 stations nationwide, will also offer week-long, around-the-clock coverage across multiple platforms.

CBS Local Digital Media will feature a variety of content, including first-hand reporting and exclusive editorial from San Francisco, live blogs and special video features such as the “Best Super Bowl Commercial” and “Fan Essentials: Greatest Super Bowl Plays.” CBS Local Sports will also launch a special hub, aggregating the best coverage from CBS RADIO stations nationwide.

Andre Fernandez
Additionally, CBS RADIO is primed to present its third annual concert event, THE NIGHT BEFORE, on the Saturday prior to the Super Bowl. Rock legends Metallica will headline this year’s sold-out, one-of-a-kind experience for Bay Area music fans on Feb. 6 at AT&T Park.

“This is a special year, not just for our division, but for all of CBS as we join together in celebrating this historic moment in sports,” said Andre Fernandez, President, CBS RADIO.  “As the leader in sports radio, there’s no bigger event than the Super Bowl for our stations with listeners having come to depend on expert analysis from our hosts during this exciting time of year.

“But the game is just one part of the Super Bowl. As a truly unique sports and entertainment event, we are thrilled to welcome Metallica as the featured performer at THE NIGHT BEFORE in the band’s hometown.”

Local sports stations from Boston (WBZ-FM), Chicago (WSCR-AM), Dallas (KRLD-FM), Houston (KILT-AM), New York (WFAN-AM/FM), Sacramento (KHTK-AM) and Washington, D.C. (WJFK-FM) will broadcast live from Radio Row throughout the week.

Here is a complete look at CBS Sports Radio’s coverage from San Francisco (all times ET):

Monday, Feb. 1
12:00 Noon-3:00 PM: THE JIM ROME SHOW*

Tuesday, Feb. 2
9:00AM-12:00 Noon: TIKI AND TIERNEY*
12:00 Noon-3:00 PM: THE JIM ROME SHOW*

Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Friday, Feb. 5
6:00-9:00 AM: GIO AND JONES
9:00 AM-12:00 Noon: TIKI AND TIERNEY*
12:00 Noon-3:00 PM: THE JIM ROME SHOW*
6:00-10:00 PM: THE DA SHOW*

Sunday, Feb. 7
2:00-4:00 PM: TIKI AND TIERNEY Live From Levi’s® Stadium

Monday, Feb. 8
9:00 AM-12:00 Noon: TIKI AND TIERNEY

*Broadcast from Radio Row

THE JIM ROME SHOW and THE DOUG GOTTLIEB SHOW will also be simulcast on CBS Sports Network throughout the week.