Saturday, February 13, 2016

February 14 Radio History

In 1876…Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone.

In 1894...Comedian and radio/TV host Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky on this day in 1894. He died December 26, 1974 at 80.

A young Jack Benny - undated
Benny had been a minor vaudeville performer before becoming a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show that ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was among the most highly rated programs during its run.

Benny's long radio career began on April 6, 1932, when the NBC Commercial Program Department auditioned him for the N.W. Ayer agency and their client, Canada Dry, after which Bertha Brainard, head of the division, said, "We think Mr. Benny is excellent for radio and, while the audition was unassisted as far as orchestra was concerned, we believe he would make a great bet for an air program." Recalling the experience in 1956, Benny stated that Ed Sullivan had invited him to guest on his program (1932), and "the agency for Canada Dry ginger ale heard me and offered me a job."

With Canada Dry ginger ale as a sponsor, Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program, on May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing for six months until October 26, moving to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with sponsor General Tire through the end of the season. In October, 1934, General Foods, the makers of Jell-O and Grape-Nuts, became the sponsor strongly identified with Benny for ten years. American Tobacco's Lucky Strike was his longest-lasting radio sponsor, from October, 1944, through to the end of his original radio series.

Life magazine ad - April 1949
The show switched networks to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's notorious "raid" of NBC talent in 1948–49. It stayed there for the remainder of its radio run, ending on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeat episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny.

In 1913...Hall of Fame baseball announcer Mel Allen was born. He died June 16, 1996 at 83.

In 1924...U.S. President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential political speech over the radio.

Despite his reputation as a quiet and even reclusive politician, Coolidge made use of the new medium of radio and made radio history several times while President. He made himself available to reporters, giving 520 press conferences, meeting with reporters more regularly than any President before or since.

Coolidge's inauguration was the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio. On December 6, 1923, he was the first President whose address to Congress was broadcast on radio.  Coolidge signed the Radio Act of 1927, which assigned regulation of radio to the newly created Federal Radio Commission.

In 1924...The National Carbon Company became the first network sponsor of a radio program, "The Eveready Hour".

In 1940...MBS, Mutual Broadcasting System, presented the premiere broadcast of the radio play, "The Adventures of Superman."

In 1946...ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), built at the University of Pennsylvania, was unveiled as the world's first general-purpose electronic computer.

In 1971...WABC 95.5 FM becames WPLJ.

The station went on the air on May 4, 1948 under the call sign WJZ-FM, and in March 1953, the station's call letters were changed to WABC-FM following the merger of the American Broadcasting Company with United Paramount Theatres. As most FM stations did during the medium's formative years, 95.5 FM simulcasted the programming of its AM sister station.

In the early 1960s, however, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from 77WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily.  Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market. This was followed by stints with Broadway show tunes and general freeform programming, including broadcasts of New York Mets baseball games. WABC's AM personalities, notably Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, and Bob Lewis, hosted programs on the FM side which were the total opposites of the Top 40-powered sound for which they were better known on AM. WABC-FM did continue to simulcast its AM sister station during Herb Oscar Anderson's morning drive program.

At the start of 1968, ABC split its radio network into four distinct components, one of which was dedicated to FM radio.  The following year, WABC-FM and its sister stations–KABC-FM in Los Angeles; WLS-FM in Chicago; KGO-FM in San Francisco; WXYZ-FM in Detroit; KQV-FM in Pittsburgh; and newly acquired KXYZ-FM in Houston–began carrying an automated, youth-oriented, progressive rock format known as Love.

In late 1970, Allen Shaw, the then-president of ABC's FM station group, announced two big changes for 1971: ABC would drop Love and install completely live-and-local, freeform rock formats, and would also apply for call letter changes for the seven stations.  The New York outlet was slated to be renamed WRIF, but a clerical error on the part of the FCC resulted in those calls being awarded to the former WXYZ-FM (the present-day WRIF) in Detroit–whose own request for WDAI was itself given mistakenly to WLS-FM in Chicago–leaving WABC-FM to start from scratch for its own rebranding.

On February 14, 1971, the station's call letters were changed to WPLJ, chosen after Allen Shaw noticed the letter combination as the name of a song on the 1970 Mothers of Invention record, Burnt Weeny Sandwich. The song, "W-P-L-J", was originally performed by the Four Deuces in 1955 and stood for "White Port and Lemon Juice". On the air, the station hired John Zacherle, Vin Scelsa, and Michael Cuscuna (from WMMR and WXPN in Philadelphia) as personalities.

In September 1971, Allen Shaw and ABC Programming Executive Bob Henaberry designed and pioneered the very first AOR (album oriented rock) format on WPLJ, playing only the best cuts from the best selling rock albums with a minimum of disc jockey talk. The slogan of the station was "Rock 'N Stereo". The station would play the music of artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Elton John, Deep Purple, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and The Allman Brothers. The station would also play pop songs from artists such as James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Carly Simon. The station was different from Top 40 stations (such as co-owned WABC) in that they played more album tracks. The audience ratings shot up dramatically,  and WPLJ became New York's most listened-to FM rock station for most of the 1970s.

In 1980...Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the “CBS Evening News”, and Dan Rather was announced as his replacement, scheduled to step into his shoes the following year. And that’s the way it was.

In 2001...Last “Jukebox Saturday Night” on WCBS 101.1 FM

Shadow Morton
In 2013…Record producer (Leader Of The Pack, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Society's Child, I Can Never Go Home Anymore, Give Him A Great Big Kiss, Vanilla Fudge's You Keep Me Hangin' On)/songwriter (Leader Of The Pack, Remember-Walking In The Sand, I Can Never Go Home Anymore) George "Shadow" Morton died of cancer at the age of 71.

Moonves Calls 'Carpool Karaoke' A Viral Hit

Les Moonves
During Friday's conference call with finanacial analysts CBS CEO Les Moonves stated The Late Late Show with James Corden has become a social media sensation.

According to Moonves, "every Carpool Karaoke segment he posts is a viral hit. The one he did last month with Adele is now approaching 70 million streams, the most watched YouTube clip ever by a late-night host. And since we now own both of these late-night shows, we can monetize all of this online viewing as well, a number that keeps getting bigger and bigger every week."

He also touted growth across platforms is at CBS News. "Our flagship newscasts are growing viewers faster than any other network. CBS This Morning is attracting the biggest morning audience we've had in 28 years. The show is averaging 1 million more viewers than it did when we launched our new format four years ago, making it more profitable every single year, with lots of upside in this lucrative time period. The CBS Evening News is also on a roll. During the quarter, the show delivered its largest audience in nine years."

Moonves also provided an update on the digital news network CBSN. He stated the service has attracted more viewers every single quarter since being launched in November of 2014. "During the fourth quarter, we had nearly twice as many streams as we had in the third. And engagement levels are very high, which is important to advertisers, with the average viewing session now exceeding 40 minutes." According to Moonves, viewers are 20 years younger than the ones on broadcast or cable news. "Clearly, this is where the future of news is going to be, and we are going to be there."

Moonves also touched upon the demographics to the TV news viewer:  "Cable news is over 70. Fox News, that's the right number, it's like 71 or 72. Broadcast television news -- the three networks that are doing broadcast -- is around low 60s. And we are on our CBSN -- once again, it's not a subscription. It's an advertising-based business. It is about 20 years younger.

"But once again, you have to realize in the news business, a 40-year-old is a young person. So we are really happy to have them. And there are people that currently aren't watching either cable or network, so it is getting younger. I don't think there are a lot of 20-year-olds that are watching yet, but I think that will come.

Beasley Media Reports Q4 Profit

Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. is beginning to show the financial benefits from its swap of stations with CBS Radio.

The Naple, FL Daily News reports Beasley reported fourth quarter profits of $3.3 million, or 14 cents a share, up from $1.8 million, or 8 cents a share a year ago, from its continuing operations.

On a combined basis, the company's revenues grew to $28.4 million, up from $26.7 million a year ago. Those increases were largely attributed to revenue improvements seen at its stations in the Naples-Fort Myers and St. Petersburg-Tampa markets.

On Dec. 1, 2014, Beasley exchanged five of its stations in the Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets for 14 CBS Radio stations in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

In the fourth quarter, the company reported $9 million in station operating income, up from $6.3 million a year ago, from its continuing operations.

Caroline Beasley
In the quarter, Beasley continued to cut operating expenses at its new stations. In St. Petersburg-Tampa and Charlotte, North Carolina, the company trimmed station expenses by more than 6 percent, leading to an almost $500,000 increase in station operating income in these markets, marking the first quarterly increase in these clusters since Beasley implemented its operating and expense management strategies. The results were particularly meaningful because those stations had almost $1 million in political revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014 that they didn't have in 2015, said Caroline Beasley, the company's chief financial officer, in a webcast Friday.

In December, Beasley achieved its goal for its stations to outperform the markets that report to accounting firm Miller Kaplan for the first time, which it expected to be a trend through 2016. The company has stations in seven markets that report to Miller Kaplan and those stations account for about 92 percent of Beasley's total revenue.

The company still faces challenges in several of its markets, including Charlotte and Las Vegas, where it's seeing increased competition from other station operators, hurting ratings and revenues at some of its stations. While revenue in the overall market in Charlotte was down 7.2 percent, Beasley's stations saw a 16 percent dip. In Las Vegas, the market declined by 3.5 percent, compared to Beasley's stations being down 7 percent.

In Tampa-St. Petersburg, Beasley now operates three of the four top stations. It also has three of the top five in Charlotte.

For the year ending Dec. 31, Beasley reported $105.9 million in revenues, up from $58.7 million in 2014, from its continuing operations. Profits rose to $6.4 million, or 28 cents a share, compared to $1 million, or 4 cents a year ago.

Founded in 1961, Beasley Broadcast owns and operates 52 stations in 12 large and mid-size markets in the U.S.

NYC Radio: Bookkeeper Steals Thousands From Joe Piscopo

Joe Piscopo
A 40-year-old Hackettstown, NJ woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing from WNYM 970 AM the Answer morning host Joe Piscopo and agreed to share restitution of $170,805.

The Bergen Record report Jennifer Larocca appeared Wednesday afternoon with defense attorney Eduardo J. Jimenez before Superior Court Judge Catherine Enright in Morristown. Under questioning by Jimenez, Larocca admitted that she stole between $500 and $75,000 between September 2010 and 2014 from a person identified as J.P. but whom other authorities identified as Joe Piscopo.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Francine Ehrenberg had Larocca confirm that her husband was employed by the victim to pay his bills and do bookkeeping work. Larocca agreed that she wrote checks to herself from the victim's account to pay personal bills

Piscopo, also known by his nickname "Jersey Joe," starred in the 1980s on Saturday Night Live along with Eddie Murphy. He was known for his impressions of Frank Sinatra and later starred in his own HBO Comedy special show.

Report: Discomfort Inside NBC About 'Morning Trump'

"Morning Joe" Scarborough's relationship with the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald trump has become a subject of frustration among staff, and an increasingly problematic issue for the network's top brass at NBC's Universal headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center.

In background discussions, NBC News and MSNBC journalists, reporters and staffers said there was widespread discomfort at the network over Scarborough's friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate.

"People don't like that Joe is promoting Trump," one MSNBC insider said. Others described Scarborough's admiration for Trump as "over the top" and "unseemly."

CNN reports four of those sources also said that the growing media scrutiny over the two men's relationship has caused the network's leadership to more closely monitor Scarborough's comments.

"The higher-ups are definitely aware about what's going on," said another person within MSNBC. "It's an issue."

"Morning Joe," which airs weekday mornings, is followed closely by Washington and New York's political and media influencers, and is seen as a key platform for political figures.

Report: Twitter To Try Tweaking Election

Milo Yiannopoulos
Associate Editor at, Milo Yiannopoulos, alleged that Twitter is on the verge of collapse and will try to influence November’s presidential election on behalf of the Democratic nominee.

Yiannopoulos, during an interview with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelphia, claims that Twitter’s management is obsessed with shutting down conservative ideas on the social media platform.

“There is absolutely no question that that is precisely what is directed at…It becomes very, very clear once you start looking at who is employed at Twitter. This guy used to work for Obama. This guy used to work for Hillary.”

CBS Local report he believes the company is struggling and will make one last attempt to sway the election while it is still relevant.

“I think Twitter is gearing up to interfere in the election. Twitter, as a company, is dying. The share price is collapsing. They now have finally begun to admit that even their active users [are] going down. On every metric that investors care about, the company is tanking and there’s going to be a fire sale within in the next 6 months…They’re all political operatives for the Democrats. Anyway, this company is now tanking. I think what’s happening is a lot of the employees are saying, we’re going down, but why don’t we just become the most effective liberal attack vector we can as long as we still exist?”

DC Radio: Chris Johnson Returns To WTEM As PD

Red Zebra Broadcasting has announced the hiring of Chris Johnson as Program Director for Sports WTEM AM ESPN 980, which simulcasts on suburban stations WWXT 92.7 FM and WWXX 94.3 FM

Chris Johnson
He succeeds Dan Zampillo, who was PD for less than a year.

The nearly 30-year broadcast vet re-joins ESPN 980, where he worked in various capacities from 1996-2008. He served as the station's Program Director from 2005-08 when it was owned by Clear Channel. Most recently, Johnson worked as a reporter covering the MLB Washington Nationals for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

"We are excited to have someone with Chris's experience and skill to help us build and grow ESPN 980," said Red Zebra Broadcasting Chairman Terry Bateman. "We have a great line-up of talent, and great content and look forward to putting it all together to give our listeners the best sports talk radio in the Washington market."

In addition to the station's daily shows, Johnson will oversee ESPN 980's offering of live game broadcasts, including serving as the flagship station of the Washington Redskins Radio Network.

ESPN Radio To Air 20th NBA All-Star Game

ESPN Radio – in its 20th season of NBA All-Star coverage – will broadcast the 65th NBA All-Star Game this Sunday, Feb. 14, from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. ET with Kevin Calabro describing the action alongside analyst Jon Barry and reporters Marc Stein and Shelley Smith. Additionally, Marc Kestecher will host pregame and halftime coverage with analyst P.J. Carlesimo.

These teams will also provide coverage for State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 13, at 8 p.m., following the Meet The All Stars at 5:30 p.m. ESPN Radio will also broadcast the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. ESPN Deportes Radio will also carry then NBA All-Star Game.

SportsCenter will hit the road from Toronto with weekend-long NBA All-Star coverage, beginning Friday, Feb. 12. NBA Countdown’s Sage Steele will host coverage with analyst Chauncey Billups and Stephen A. Smith on the main set from NBA All-Star media day. Ramona Shelburne will also provide reports throughout the weekend for SportsCenter, with a special focus on Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game. Coverage will include live interviews with NBA players and coaches.

February 13 Radio History

In 1914...The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The Society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members and collect licensing fees from users of music created by ASCAP members, then distribute them to its members as royalties. Its eventual rival performing rights organization, Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), was formed in 1939 as radio was coming to prominence as a source of musical entertainment.

Tennessee Ernie Ford
In 1919...singer Tennessee Ernie Ford was born in Bristol, Tenn.  He began his career as a radio announcer at hometown station WOPI, and continued after WWII at stations in San Bernardino & Pasadena. He joined Cliffie Stone’s Dinner Bell Roundup on KXLA radio, and his Hometown Jamboree TV show. In 1950 he had his first crossover song hit with Kay Starr, I”ll Never Be Free.  His big smash five years later was Sixteen Tons, which propelled him to a six year prime time show on NBC TV.  He has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of fame, for records, television, and radio.  A heavy drinker off stage, Ernie died of increasing liver problems Oct. 17 1991 at age 72.

In 1934...WNEW 1130 AM NYC Signed on

The station's origins go back to 1922 as WAAM and 1925 as WODA. A radio institution throughout the majority of the 20th century, WNEW was known for its music selection as well as its staff of radio personalities including Martin Block, Dee Finch, Gene Rayburn, Gene Klaven, Ted Brown and William B. Williams. WNEW is credited with pioneering the role of the disc jockey, as well as for developing the modern morning radio show format and debuting the first all-night radio show. In addition to its music and entertainment programming, WNEW featured an award-winning news desk and became "the voice of New York sports" for its coverage of New York Giants football games. After years of declining ratings and management changes in the 1980s, WNEW was purchased by Bloomberg L.P. in 1992 and changed call letters to WBBR.

WNEW was acquired in 1934 by advertising executive Milton Biow and watch manufacturer Arde Bulova after the Amalgamated Broadcasting System failed and began selling off its radio stations. New York socialite Bernice Judis was hired as WNEW's first General Manager.

As a small, independent radio station, WNEW lacked the funds larger networks Columbia Broadcasting System, Mutual Broadcasting System, and the National Broadcasting Company used to produce daily programming common for that time such as comedy shows, soap operas and dramatic programs. However, Judis was not discouraged, and even welcomed the opportunity to develop her own schedule of innovative programming that included playing recordings of popular music throughout the day, creating the first all-night radio show, Milkman's Matinee, and cultivating a line-up of popular morning radio show personalities.

In 1935, WNEW pioneered the concept of a disc jockey when staff announcer Martin Block needed to fill time between new bulletins during his coverage of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial of Bruno Hauptmann. Block did not have access to a live orchestra to play music during the breaks as most network stations did, so he played records instead.  Soon afterward, he piloted a 15-minute experimental show called the Make Believe Ballroom, during which he played records from popular bands and singers, posed as a live performance in an imaginary ballroom. During Block's tenure as host of Make Believe Ballroom, the show attracted 25% of the listening audience in New York City. The show continued in sporadic runs until the station's end in 1992.

In 1935...The “Make Believe Ballroom” debuts on WNEW

In 1936, as the popularity of recorded music grew, WNEW was the defendant in a lawsuit initiated by bandleaders Paul Whiteman, Sammy Kaye and Fred Waring claiming that the playing of records on radio broadcasts was undermining performers' network contracts, which often called for exclusive services. The court ruled that WNEW, after purchasing each record, was allowed to broadcast it regardless of the resistance from artists. WNEW's victory subsequently authorized radio stations across the country to start playing recorded music and brought about the modern radio programming landscape.

In 1942, Judis set up a broadcast desk at the New York Daily News and WNEW became one of the first stations to carry hourly newscasts, something that would become commonplace in the industry over the next fifteen years.  The station ended its association with the Daily News in 1958 and went on to build its own news department with 13 reports and writers.

In 1947...the Mutual Broadcasting System aired "Family Theatre" for the first time.

In 1949..."Pat Novak For Hire," Jack Webb's first radio crime drama, began a one-year stay on the ABC Radio Network.

In 1956...Disc jockey/concert promoter Alan Freed signed a deal with Coral Records to compile and front four rock 'n' roll dance and party albums over the course of the next year.

In 1956...KYW 1060 AM in Philadelphia PA gives calls to WTAM Cleveland. Philadelphia’s KYW has a long (and mobile) history.

KYW began in 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. It was jointly owned by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Commonwealth Edison. Westinghouse later bought out ComEd's share and became sole owner of the station. In 1927, Westinghouse aligned its four radio stations (KYW, KDKA in Pittsburgh, WBZ in Boston and WBZA in Springfield, Massachusetts) with the NBC Blue Network, which originated from former sister station WJZ (the present-day WABC) in New York City. Westinghouse had been a founding partner of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC's original parent company.

In 1934, the assignment of clear channels took a frequency away from Illinois and gave it to Pennsylvania, resulting in Westinghouse moving KYW to Philadelphia.  Upon arriving, KYW supplanted WFI and WLIT (which merged as WFIL in 1935) as Philadelphia's Blue Network affiliate – an affiliation that lasted 20 years (according to the June 14, 1940 edition of the Philadelphia Daily News, KYW used the frequency of 1020 AM at the time).

Circa 1946
In March 1941, KYW changed frequencies to 1060 AM as part of a nationwide shift of radio frequencies mandated by the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. KYW and the other Westinghouse radio stations remained with NBC after RCA was ordered by the FCC to break up its radio networks, aligning with the former Red Network (the predecessor of modern-day NBC) in 1942. KYW acquired a television counterpart when Westinghouse bought WPTZ (channel 3) – the nation's third commercial television station and NBC's second television affiliate – in 1953.

In June 1955, Westinghouse agreed to trade KYW and WPTZ to NBC in exchange for the network's properties in Cleveland, WNBK television and WTAM-AM-FM. Westinghouse also received $3 million in cash compensation.  The main impetus for the trade was NBC's desire to acquire an owned-and-operated television station in the fourth-largest American television market. NBC had to seek a waiver for the swap since KYW and NBC Radio's New York City flagship, WRCA (now sister station WFAN) were both clear channel stations; at the time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) normally did not allow common ownership of clear-channel stations with overlapping nighttime coverage. After clearing final regulatory hurdles, the swap went into effect on February 13, 1956. NBC took over the Philadelphia stations, rechristening 1060 AM as WRCV (for the RCA-Victor record label), and Westinghouse moved the KYW call letters to Cleveland.

Logo Today
However, almost immediately after the trade was finalized, Westinghouse complained to the FCC and the United States Department of Justice about NBC's coercion and an lengthy investigation was launched.  In August 1964, NBC's license for WRCV radio and television was renewed by the FCC – but only on the condition that the 1956 station swap be reversed.[9] Following nearly a year of appeals by NBC, Westinghouse regained control of WRCV-AM-TV on June 19, 1965 and subsequently restored the KYW call letters to the radio station (the television station became KYW-TV at this point).   To this day, the KYW stations insist that they "moved" to Cleveland in 1956 and "returned" to Philadelphia in 1965. However, the two stations' facilities remained the same.

On September 21, 1965, shortly after Westinghouse regained control of 1060 AM, the newly rechristened KYW once again dropped its NBC radio affiliation and was converted into one of the first all-news stations in the country

In 1995...The Howard Stern Radio Show begain airing on KIOZ-FM in San Diego, California.

In 2007...Premiere Radio Networks announced that American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest had passed the 400-station mark worldwide. Seacrest also enjoyed a #1 rating in New York and Los Angeles with the target demo of adults 18-34.

In 2015…Veteran news reporter Stan Chambers, whose tenure at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles spanned six decades before he retired in 2010, died at the age of 91.

Friday, February 12, 2016

DC Radio: Jason Kidd Joins WRQX For PM Drive

Jason Kidd
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed 25-year radio veteran Jason Kidd as afternoon drive personality for Washington, D.C.’s WRQX 107.3 FM.

Kidd debuts on MIX 107.3 on Monday, February 15, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Kidd joins Cumulus from New Generation Radio in Washington, D.C., where he has been President and Advisor/Brand Developer.

Kidd’s career includes a decade at CBS Radio, most recently at WPGC in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he programmed CBS stations WQSR Baltimore, WWMX Baltimore and KQBT Austin. Before joining CBS Radio, Jason spent five years with Clear Channel Entertainment programming WKST Pittsburgh and WWHT Syracuse. He also worked at Sirius/XM for six and a half years.

WRQX 107.3 FM (19.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage  
Louie Diaz, MIX 107.3 Program Director said: “Jason Kidd is an incredible talent and brings “Stationality” to MIX 107.3 in afternoon drive. We are thrilled to have him driving our listeners home in Washington, D.C.”

 Kidd said: "I just couldn't stay away! It is so great to be back in the Nation's Capital! I grew up with this frequency, along with the Jack Diamond Morning Show. It is so exciting to be a part of such an iconic brand and an honor to join the list of so many great talents who have graced the airwaves on 107.3 over the years. I want to thank Market Manager, Jake McCann, Program Director, Louie Diaz, and Mike McVay, Cumulus’ SVP Content and Programming for this awesome opportunity!"

SiriusXM-Canada Planning To Go Private

Owners of SiriusXM-Canada (XSR.TO) are planning to take the company private in a deal that would value the satellite radio provider at close to $750 million, according to a source familiar with the proposed transaction, the Globe & Mail reported.

The deal could see American company Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI), which operates the U.S. arm of North America’s dominant satellite radio brand and owns roughly 32% of the Canadian company, join forces with Canadian owners to buy out the more than 30% of 105 million outstanding shares that are publicly held.

The buyout price would be $4.25 a share in cash, and the valuation would include about $192 million in debt, the report said. Sirius XM refused to comment. Sirius XM Canada has about 2.7 million users in Canada and has been growing steadily, adding 14,000 paying subscribers in its last quarter, despite competition from online streaming alternatives.

But. according to,  its stock price has fallen about 40% over the past year, to $3.68 at Thursday’s close on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Coming Political Boom For Radio

Radio’s role during election season is usually serving as a destination for those non-political advertisers who have been squeezed off of local TV by the deluge of political ads that land just before voters head to the polls.

And this year radio will benefit from plenty of that business again. But it will also be receiving more of the political advertising itself.

Already this year candidates have been very active on the radio in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and buyers say they expect that to continue through primary season and into the fall.

Indeed, experts such as Borrell Associates, the Williamsburg, Va., ad tracking firm, project that spending on radio will rise in this election year, from $803 million in 2012 to $827

That’s a 3 percent gain, a substantial number for a medium that’s been losing overall ad dollars for years. If you include the primary spending in 2015, total radio spending will hit $1.19 billion, the first time political has ever surpassed $1 billion on radio.

“Radio hasn’t always pulled in the same political spending dollars as TV, however that is slowly changing,” one buyer told MediaLife Magazine.

“In 2016, expectations are that 10 to 15 percent of the political spending will go into radio. The radio political experts believe could be as much as $1 billion.”

Why the gains for radio? Two main reasons. First, TV has become cluttered with political ads. From local broadcast to cable to syndication and all the other forms of TV ads, candidates and their PACs will spend nearly $5.8 billion this year.

That certainly makes it hard to stand out.

Second, it’s cheaper, which is appealing to candidates at this point in the race. Many of them are facing financial constraints – Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio reportedly have money troubles – and so radio ads may be preferable to more expensive TV ones.

CBS Shows Profit, Shares Slip, Radio Off 5 Percent

(Reuters) -- CBS Corp profit rose in line with Wall Street expectations on Thursday as the media company reported a bump in network advertising and said international sales of its television shows were strong.

Still, shares fell 1.4 percent to $42.95 in after-hours trade following a hectic session for the overall market.

CBS and other media companies are under pressure to show they can survive and thrive as younger viewers turn away from traditional television.


The owner of Showtime and CBS Sports Networks, radio stations and the Simon & Schuster publishing house has rolled out a streaming service called CBS All Access. The subscription product will begin to make a "positive impact" on financial results this year, executives told analysts on a conference call.

"I don’t think there is anything in the numbers that doesn’t suggest that the strength of the business remains good," Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant said of CBS. "There are a lot of other forces that are right now impacting the movement in stocks."

Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves, who was just named chairman in place of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, said he did not plan to change strategy. He said that Redstone had given him "free reign" for many years. CBS will continue "business as usual," he told analysts.

Advertising revenue, which is typically the strongest in the fourth quarter, rose marginally to $2.16 billion. Advertising at the CBS network was up 8 percent, but local television stations faced difficult comparisons with a year earlier, when they had strong political ads.

Content licensing and distribution revenue rose more than 16 percent to cross $1 billion in the fourth quarter, accounting for about 28 percent of total revenue in 2015 and reflecting increased licensing of television shows abroad.

CBS has made efforts to rely less on advertising revenue, which can be volatile. The company diversified its business by licensing content to streaming services and pressing for higher fees from pay TV operators.

CBS Radio revenues were down 5%, reflecting continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising.

Total revenue rose 6.2 percent to $3.91 billion in the fourth quarter, the company said.

Net income from continuing operations fell to $251 million, or 53 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $402 million, or 77 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 92 cents per share.

Analysts' on average had expected revenue of $3.80 billion on a profit of 92 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Additional writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Benard Orr)

Pandora Reports Active Users Slips

Pandora Media Inc. reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results after markets closed Thursday.

For the quarter, Pandora reported 81.1 million active users at the end of December 2015 compared with 81.5 million at the end of 2014. Listener hours totaled 5.37 billion in the quarter up 3% from 5.2 billion in the same period a year ago. That active listener number alone could drag down the share price, but the profit outlook is not pretty either.

Meanwhile, The NY Times is reporting Pandora Media has held discussions about selling the company, according to people briefed on the talks.

Pandora is working with Morgan Stanley to meet with potential buyers, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The talks are preliminary and may not lead to a deal, the people said.

For Pandora, it would be a curious time to sell. Its shares are yielding a market value of $1.8 billion, down from more than $7 billion two years ago. The stock has fallen more than 60 percent since October.

Pandora has the largest number of users for music streaming, but the competition is encroaching. Spotify is said to be arming itself with another $500 million in capital, and Apple Music recently surpassed 10 million paying users. Pandora’s users peaked at 81.5 million at the end of 2014, and, after falling to about 78 million in the third quarter of 2015, ended the year with 81.1 million.

The company is spending heavily to attract users, and its ability to make money from those users may be waning.

In its financial results, which Pandora announced Thursday afternoon, the company had $336 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, but spent $143 million in “content acquisition costs,” which includes music licenses, and $112.6 million on sales and marketing. For the quarter, the company reported a net loss of $19.4 million, in contrast to $12.3 million in net earnings for the same period the year before.

For all of 2015, Pandora had $1.16 billion in revenue, up from $921 million the year before. But the company also reported a net loss for the year of $169.7 million, which included $111.6 million in stock-based compensation and nearly $58 million to settle a royalty dispute with the music industry over recordings made before 1972.

Brian McAndrews
On the analysts conference call Thursday, CEO McAndrews was asked about projected listenership growth in the coming year.

McCandrews replied, "We don't forecast listener growth, but we're not expecting significant growth in 2016 because of the competitive environment and continued existence of free on-demand services and significant competitive spending. But we are investing to maintain growth and we do expect to see some continued increase in engagement."

As for longer-term growth, McAndres stated, "our overall market share (is) past 10% for radio listening in the U.S. and yet it's under 2% in cars and cars represent nearly half of radio listening. So as we continue to grow in cars and we've seen significant increase in our number of integration as these cars become connected kind of the final phase and the user experience continues to get better and better, we think we've just tremendous upside there.

"Similarly consumer electronic devices aren't slowing down, that's where people are moving and listing in all different ways and we're in over a thousand of them and saw significant increase as I talked about in terms of up to 32 million activations now, and 15.5 million in the car. So, we think we can get to 100 million listeners in the next three years to five years, and so that's kind of where we're basing our estimates off of, that kind of growth and that kind of continued penetration."

Entercom Q4 Reports 16 Percent Revenue Increase

Entercom Communications Corp. Thursday reported financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2015.

Fourth Quarter Highlights
  • Net revenues for the quarter increased 16% to $117.7 million
  • Station expenses increased 21% to $76.7 million
  • Station operating income increased 7% to $41.0 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% to $35.2 million
  • Adjusted net income per share increased 3% to $0.35
  • Free cash flow increased 9% to $25.5 million
Full Year Highlights
  • Net revenues for the year increased 8% to $411.4 million
  • Station expenses increased 11% to $286.5 million
  • Station operating income increased 3% to $124.9 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 3% to $102.7 million
  • Adjusted net income per share increased 6% to $0.87
  • Free cash flow increased 9% to $61.4 million
Fourth quarter and full year operating results include the impact of the transaction with Lincoln Financial Media and the station exchange with Bonneville International Corporation which started in July.

David J. Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “I am pleased to report that Entercom’s performance continued to accelerate into fourth quarter capping a very successful 2015 for the Company. Fourth quarter same-station revenues increased by 5%, excluding political advertising. This marked the second straight quarter of mid-single digit organic growth. We are very well positioned for success in 2016 with an expanded market footprint, strong station ratings growth, and enhanced digital and customer marketing capabilities. Our pacings look strong and we are optimistic about our potential to deliver excellent results for our shareholders in 2016 and the years ahead.”

Nielsen Reports Increase In Profit

Media-ratings firm Nielsen NV increased its fourth-quarter profit as customers began to adapt its new tools for measuring digital viewership. Results were above analysts' expectations.

 Nielsen has been under fire from some networks for a methodology they say isn't adapting quickly enough to changing media-consumption habits such as smartphone viewing and streaming media.

Nielsen recently launched its "total audience measurement" framework that tracks viewership across live TV, DVRs, streaming devices and video on demand. These new products haven't yet become the near-universally used industry standard like its TV ratings. Still in Nielsen's Watch segment for media producers and advertisers, revenue rose 2.8%, or 5.2% adjusted for currency fluctuations, driven by adoption of the new tools.

In December, Nielsen authorized a new share buyback program of up to $500 million. In January, Steve Hasker added chief operating officer to his title, becoming Nielsen's global president and COO.

Clinton, Sanders Vie For Minority Votes

by John Whitesides

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed sharply in a debate on Thursday over their support for President Barack Obama, with Sanders accusing Clinton of "a low blow" after she compared him to Republicans.

As the Democratic race moves to states with large minority populations, both candidates openly courted black and Hispanic votes during a debate that was far more restrained and cordial than last week's contentious debate in New Hampshire.

In the sharpest exchange of the night, Clinton attacked Sanders for being too critical of Obama, who is extremely popular with the black voters who will play a big role in the outcome in South Carolina and other upcoming nominating contests.

"The kind of criticism that we've heard from Senator Sanders about our president, I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama," said Clinton, who served as secretary of state during Obama's first term.

"Madam Secretary, that is a low blow," said Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont. Sanders said he had been an Obama ally in the Senate even if he did not always agree with him.

"Do senators have the right to disagree with the president?" Sanders said.

Clinton, who has eagerly embraced Obama's legacy, said Sanders had called Obama weak and a disappointment, and "that goes further than saying we have our disagreements."

With Clinton looking to rebound after her crushing 22-point loss to Sanders in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, the two also differed over healthcare and Wall Street.

Even so, the restrained exchange on Thursday was unlikely to change the trajectory of a race that has intensified dramatically over two weeks.

Clinton accused Sanders of misleading Americans on his healthcare. She said his proposal for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all healthcare plan would mean dismantling the program known as Obamacare and triggering another intense political struggle.

"Based on every analysis I can find by people who are sympathetic to the goal, the numbers don’t add up," Clinton told Sanders. "That's a promise that cannot be kept."

Sanders said he was simply moving to provide what most industrialized countries have - healthcare coverage for all.

"We're not going to dismantle anything," Sanders said. "In my view healthcare is a right of all people, not a privilege, and I will fight for that."

Sanders also repeated his accusation that Clinton is too beholden to the Wall Street interests she once represented as a U.S. senator from New York, noting her Super PAC received $15 million in donations from Wall Street.

"Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people," he said. "Why in God's name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it, they want to throw money around."

Clinton said the donations did not mean she was in Wall Street's pocket, and noted that President Barack Obama had taken donations from Wall Street during his campaigns.

"When it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street," she said.


With an eye to on the minority vote, both candidates decried the high incarceration rate of African-Americans and called for broad reforms of the criminal justice system. Sanders said the disproportionately high rate of incarceration for black men was "one of the great tragedies" in the United States.

He called for "fundamental police reform" that would "make it clear that any police officer who breaks the law will in fact be dealt with."

Clinton criticized what she called "systemic racism" in education, housing and employment. "When we talk about criminal justice reform … we also have to talk about jobs, education, housing and other ways of helping communities of color," she said.

They both agreed on the need for immigration reform, an important issue to Hispanic voters, though they clashed over the Obama administration's actions on handling a wave of undocumented children who entered the country alone. Clinton criticized Sanders for voting against a reform measure in 2007, which Sanders defended because of a provision in the bill for guest workers.

Clinton entered Thursday's debate under acute pressure to calm growing nervousness among her supporters after her drubbing in New Hampshire and a razor-thin win the prior week in the Iowa caucus. Both states have nearly all-white populations.

For his part, Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, hoped to harness the momentum and enthusiasm he gained from the first two contests and prove he can be a viable contender to lead the Democratic Party to victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

"What our campaign is indicating is that the American people are tired of establishment politics," Sanders said. "They want a political revolution."

Clinton dodged an opportunity to distance herself from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's recent controversial comments that there was "a special place in hell" for women who don't support other women.

"Look, I think that she's been saying that for as long as I've known her, which is about 25 years. But it doesn't change my view that we need to empower everyone, women and men, to make the best decisions in their minds that they can make," she said.

On the foreign policy front, Sanders criticized Clinton for her warm relationship for Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under Republican President Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War. Sanders called Kissinger "one of the most destructive secretaries of state."

Asked by Clinton about who his foreign policy advisers were, Sanders shot back: "Well it ain't Henry Kissinger."

The race now moves to what should be more favorable ground for Clinton in Nevada and South Carolina, states with more black and Hispanic voters, who, polls show, have been more supportive of Clinton so far.

(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker, Alana Wise and Megan Cassella in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Cruz Pulls Political Ad Featuring Soft Porn Actress

Amy Lindsay
Ted Cruz wound up red-faced after he inadvertently cast a former porn star in one of his political ads, it was reported Thursday.

The Republican Texas senator — who has heavily courted the religious right during his run for the White House — produced an 30-second spot featuring actress Amy Lindsay.

Lindsay, unbeknownst to him, is a skin-flick veteran who has appeared in such soft-core films as “Deviant Whores,” “Carnal Wishes” and “MILF.”

The NY Post reports when it found out, the Cruz camp nixed the ad, titled “Conservatives Anonymous.”

It featured actors playing a group of dismayed former Marco Rubio supporters in a therapy session, according to BuzzFeed. Lindsay played the role of a member of that support group.

Lindsay — who said she is deciding between Cruz and Trump — told BuzzFeed that she was under the impression that the campaign knew about her previous work.

Trump, Univision Settle $500M Lawsuit

(Reuter) -- Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Thursday he has settled a $500 million lawsuit against Spanish-language television network Univision over its decision not to broadcast the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

The settlement resolved a lawsuit filed in June after Univision said it would not air the Miss USA pageant, an event Trump then half-owned, due to what the network called insulting remarks made by Trump about Mexican immigrants.

Terms of settlement were not disclosed. The announcement came two days after Trump won the New Hampshire primary, in a big boost to his status as front-runner in the race to be the Republican nominee in November's U.S. presidential election.

Detroit Radio: Sports 105.1 FM Adding Live Morning Show

Greater Media/Detroit has announced Sean Baligian, Tom Mazawey & Marc Fellhauer have been named as the new local morning show from 6-10a on Detroit Sports WMGC 105.1 FM.

The trio, who can currently be heard on the station from noon-3pm, will begin their new on-air duties on Tuesday, February 16th.

They will replace ESPN’s nationally syndicated Mike and Mike, who have been on Detroit Sports 105.1 since the station officially launched in August of 2013.

“We feel this new lineup will give our dedicated motor city sports fans a more local sports experience,” said Detroit Sports 105.1 Program Director Dave Shore. “We are very grateful to ESPN’s Mike & Mike for their contributions to the station. “

WMGC 105.1 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
New Detroit Sports 105.1 Lineup:
6am:   Sean Baligian, Tom Mazawey & Marc Fellhauer
10am: Ryan & Rico
2pm:   Matt Dery & Drew Sharp

Boston Radio: JW Willis & Lori OUT At WKLB

Longtime Greater Media Country Country WKLB 102.5 FM has part4d company with the morning duo JW Willis & Lori Grande, known as JW & Lori left the station Thursday/

Greater Media/Boston VP/Market Manager Mary Menna released this statement: “We are grateful to JW and Lori for their contributions to ‘Country 102.5’ over the years and wish them the very best. A new show will be unveiled in the near future.

Lori will continue to be a Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) employee providing traffic reports.”

GM expects to announce a new morning show soon.

Chicago Radio: Piolin Returns on 97.5 Poder FM

W248BB 97.5 PODER FM listeners will wake up to a familiar and much-loved voice with the return of Radio Hall of Famer “PiolĂ­n” to Chicago radio beginning Monday, February 15, 2016, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Noon.

El Show de Piolin morning show features family-friendly humor with cross-cultural appeal, Regional Mexican music, and interviews with actors, musicians, athletes and other celebrities.

Alfredo Lopez, General Manager, 97.5 PODER FM, said: “We at PODER 97.5 FM are honored to be working with a pristine representative of the radio industry, Mr. Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo. He has always been a top-notch radio talent who dignifies and embodies our Hispanic culture. Piolin is one of the most recognized and valued broadcast leaders for over two decades. We welcome Piolin to our Chicago home, PODER 97.5FM.”

W248BB 97.5 FM (250 watts) Red=Local Coverage
Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, host of El Show de Piolin said: “I am beyond excited to be back with my friends in Chicago and on the all-new 97.5 PODER FM. It feels like I’m coming home and I can’t wait to reconnect with my listener family in one of the greatest cities in the world. We are going to make mornings on 97.5 PODER FM a daily party that can’t be missed—and everyone is invited!“

97.5 FM PODER represents a powerful Mexican Regional format with a blend of music, entertainment and information, targeting Hispanic Adults. As the third highest-ranked Hispanic DMA in the USA, PODER delivers high-impact opportunities for Chicago area listeners and advertisers.

For more information on El Show de Piolin, visit: or contact:   Ed Krampf, Alliance Radio Networks, at: and 310.909.3226.