Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 28 Radio History

In 1922...KHQ-AM, Spokane, Washington, began broadcasting. Louis Wasmer founded the pioneer radio station KHQ in 1922 in Seattle, as part of a motorcyle shop he owned. He later re-established the station in Spokane in 1925.

Although the KHQ calls are no longer used on the AM band, they still exist on TV.

The long time frequency of 590 kHz which KHQ used until 1985 is now occupied by KQNT.

The picture to the right is a view of the KHQ's tower on top of the Davenport Building probably from the 1940's based on the age of the automobiles pictured. KHQ was not using the tower at this time.

The KHQ and KGA signs are attached to the Radio Central Building which was being used by those station at that time.

In 1942...Frank Bonner, WKRP in Cincinnati's salesman Herb Tarlek, was born.

In 1967...the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones. The song was released as the B side to the single “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Most American radio stations played “Ruby Tuesday” because the other song was so blatantly sexual.

In 1969...WABC FM starts “Love” format.  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 simulcast the programming of its AM sister station.

In the early 1960s, however, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from WABC (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.

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.  Click Here for aircheck. Click Here for Part Two.

In 1983...the CBS series M*A*S*H ended after 11 seasons with a special two-and-a-half-hour finale that was watched by an estimated 121.6 million people -- 77 percent of the viewing public.

In 2001...WNSW 1430 AM dropped an adult standards format. Today the station, with the same call letters, airs a Spanish format.

In 2003...Sale of WEVD 1050 AM to ABC approved by FCC.  Today WEPN-AM airs ESPN DePortes.

Hubcap Carter
In 2004...longtime Texas radio broadcaster Ken "Hubcap" Carter died at age 60. Carter billed himself as the "semi-legendary almost king of rock 'n' roll".  Carter, who was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2002, began his career in Lufkin.

He got his nickname early in his career for spinning records — "real records, like spinning hubcaps," Lucia said.

On December 31, 1985, singer Ricky Nelson and his band were en route to KLUV's New Year's Eve Sock Hop, hosted by Ken "Hubcap" Carter. The plane crashed near DeKalb, Texas, killing Nelson and his entourage.

In 2006...CBS Radio sued Howard Stern, his agent, his company, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio for "compensatory and punitive damages for multiple breaches of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation of CBS Radio's broadcast time".  CBS Radio claimed Stern had violated his contract by improperly using his airtime on CBS stations to promote his January 2006 move to Sirius.

Stern "misappropriated millions of dollars' worth of CBS Radio air time for his own financial benefit," the 43-page lawsuit charged.

The contentious lawsuit was settle a few month later when Stern's new employer, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc, agreed to pay $2 million to CBS Radio in return for the rights to the classic recordings.

In 2008...John R. Gambling did his last show at 77 WABC

In 2009...ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey died at the age of 90.

Harvey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The son of a policeman killed in 1921, Harvey made radio receivers as a young boy. He attended Tulsa Central High School where a teacher, Isabelle Ronan, was "impressed by his voice." On her recommendation, he started working at KVOO in Tulsa in 1933, when he was 14. His first job was helping clean up. Eventually he was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and the news.

Medal of Freedom 2005
While attending the University of Tulsa, he continued working at KVOO, first as an announcer, and later as a program director. Harvey, at age nineteen spent three years as a station manager for KFBI AM, now known as KFDI, a radio station that once had studios in Salina, Kansas. From there, he moved to a newscasting job at KOMA in Oklahoma City, and then to KXOK, in St. Louis in 1938, where he was Director of Special Events and a roving reporter.

Harvey then moved to Hawaii to cover the United States Navy as it concentrated its fleet in the Pacific. He was returning to the mainland from assignment when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He eventually enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces but served only from December 1943 to March 1944.

Harvey then moved to Chicago, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR. In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR. Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946.

On April 1, 1951, the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment "Commentary and analysis of Paul Harvey each weekday at 12 Noon". Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey's introduction. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays. The program continued until his death.

Class Action: iHM Sent Illegal Automated Ad Texts

iHeartMedia has been served with a class action lawsuit alleging it violated federal law when it replied to listeners’ song requests and other text messages with texts containing advertisements for online games, apps, convenience stores and other sponsors.

The Cook Country Record reports on Feb. 19, plaintiffs Nicholas Willis, of Illinois, and Beth Shvarts, of New York, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against iHeart Media. The lawsuit said it was filed on behalf of the named plaintiffs, and potentially on behalf of thousands of others who, like them, sent text messages to stations run by iHeart Media.

According to the complaint, iHeart Media has grown its advertising reach by interacting with listeners by way of their mobile phones, regularly asking listeners to text in song requests, enter contests and otherwise interact with their stations of choice.

The complaint alleged iHeart then would send back replies thanking the sender for their text messages, with an advertisement for certain products, stores and other sponsors added at the end.

Willis and Shvarts, for instance, said they texted iHeart Media using station-provided “short codes,” such as “55100,” to enter iHeart contests. The complaint cited one particular text message reply from iHeart’s Elvis Duran Show, which said: “Thanks for texting the studio! While you’re at it play us in the brand new version of Words with Friends!” The message also included a link to access the game.

Other text message replies cited in the complaint included similar ads for a trampoline park, a “school of media arts” and Circle K Convenience Stores.

The complaint alleged these text messages violated federal telecommunications law because the advertisements were sent for companies and products not affiliated with iHeart, and were sent without any kind of notice or warning to listeners that they might receive an advertisement in their text inbox.

The complaint said iHM’s use of the text messaging short codes with automated replies serves as little more than a way for the broadcasting group to collect mobile phone numbers and use them to increase advertising revenue.

The complaint asked the court to order iHeart to pay unspecified “actual and statutory damages,” plus attorney fees, and issue an injunction barring iHeart from sending any more automated replies with advertising.

FL Radio: Country WCTQ Moving Down the Dial

iHeartMedia/Sarasota has announced  the debut of Suncoast Country WCTQ at 92.1 FM.

WCTQ programming will continue on its current 106.5 FM dial position through March 7.

"We're moving down the dial to 92.1, the position it began at in 1986, to better serve listeners on the Suncoast. Now CTQ fans can hear us from Bradenton in the north, to North Port in the southern-most part of our community" said Eddie Rupp, Senior Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia Sarasota.

WCTQ 92.1 FM (11.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Suncoast Country is encouraging listeners to reset their preset to 92.1 CTQ to win cash. Starting Monday, March 7, 92.1 CTQ will begin giving away $10,000 in cash to Suncoast listeners who "Reset the Preset." Tune in March 7 for details.

92.1 CTQ will continue to feature Maverick and Lulu in the Morning, Sarah middays, Big Kat Kris Stevens during afternoon drive, and Drew Thomas in the evening.

Now word yet on iHM's plans for the 106.5 FM frequency after March 7..Stay Tuned.

Harrisburg PA Radio: DJ Charged With Assault of Infant Daughter

DJ Sami
A central PA radio personality is facing charges resulting from a three-month investigation that began when police say her 4-month-old daughter sustained a fractured skull.

Samantha Dee Eary, known as DJ Sami on WWKL Hot 93.5 FM, is charged with felony aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of her child, according to a criminal complaint filed by Swatara Township police.

Police said in the complaint that Eary’s daughter had no injuries when she visited her pediatrician on the morning of Nov. 9, and the baby appeared to be unharmed when Eary posted her photo on Facebook that afternoon.

WHTM-27 News reports at 6 p.m. that evening, however, Eary told police she noticed a large lump on her daughter’s head while her roommate was holding the baby. Eary took the girl to Harrisburg Hospital where the medical staff discovered the fracture.

In the complaint, Detective Thomas Robbins said the baby’s injury was consistent with blunt force trauma to the head. He said the injury could have come from a significant fall greater than 30 inches from the floor or from another external force exerted on the child’s head.

Eary was released on $20,000 unsecured bail following a preliminary arraignment Friday afternoon. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled on March 24.

Eary, 32, was a host of the Morning Madhouse with Puff & Sami show that airs weekday morning on HOT 93.5FM. Ron Giovanniello, a vice president with the Cumulus Media, said Friday that Eary "is no longer employed by us." He declined further comment.

NYC Radio: WNSH Launches NASH Next Tour

NASH Next winners, Breaking Southwest, with NASH FM 94.7’s Shila Nathan
WNSH NASH FM 94.7 kicked off the NASH Next Tour this past Tuesday at Gramercy Theater in New York City!

In December, Texas-based trio Breaking Southwest was crowned the first-ever winners of NASH Next, the talent competition searching for the next Country music stars. Breaking Southwest, who are now signed to Big Machine Label Group, performed along with all the NASH Next finalists. To cap off the night, Country artist RaeLynn took the stage, performing several songs including her hit, “God Made Girls”.

The NASH Next Tour will travel to Dallas next month.

February 27 Radio History

In 1891...David Sarnoff was born - a United States pioneer in Radio and TV. He eventually became the head of RCA Victor.

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

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

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

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

In 1926, RCA purchased its first radio station (WEAF, New York) and launched the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the first radio network in America. Four years later, Sarnoff became president of RCA. NBC had by that time split into two networks, the Red and the Blue. The Blue Network later became ABC Radio.

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

Sarnoff retired in 1970, at the age of 79, and died the following year, aged 80. He is interred in a mausoleum featuring a stained-glass vacuum tube in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

In 1922...Commerce Secretary, Herbert Hoover, convened the first National Radio Conference.

In 1940...In Actor Howard Hesseman, Dr. Johnny Fever of WKRP in Cincinnati was born.

In 1942...J. S. Hey discovered that the sun was emitting radiowaves.

Murray Kaufman
In 1965...Murray the K did his last show at WINS 1010 AM.

By the end of 1964, Murray found out that WINS was going to change to an all news format the following year. He resigned on the air in December 1964 (breaking news about the sale of the station and the change in format before the station and Group W released it) and did his last show on February 27 prior to the format change that occurred in April 1965.

A year later, in 1966, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that AM and FM radio stations could no longer simply simultaneously broadcast the same content, opening the door for Murray to become program director and primetime dj on WOR-FM — one of the first FM rock stations, soon airing such djs as Rosko and Scott Muni in the new FM format. Murray played long album cuts rather than singles, often playing groups of songs by one artist, or thematically linked songs, uninterrupted by commercials. He combined live in-studio interviews with folk-rock — he called it "attitude music" — and all forms of popular music in a free-form format. He played artists like Bob Dylan and Janis Ian, the long album versions of their songs that came to be known as the "FM cuts". Al Aronowitz quotes Murray as saying about this formula, "You didn't have to hype the record any more. The music was speaking for itself."

WOR switched to an oldies format and Murray the K left New York radio to host programs in Toronto - on CHUM -and on WHFS 102.3 FM in Bethesda, MD in 1972. He returned to New York after his short stint on WHFS on the weekend show NBC Monitor and as a fill-in morning dj, and then in 1972 moved to a regular evening weekend program on WNBC radio where Don Imus was broadcasting; he was joined there by the legendary Wolfman Jack, a year later.

Although it was low-key, Murray's WNBC show featured his own innovative trademark programming style, including telling stories that were illustrated by selected songs, his unique segues, and his pairing cuts by theme or idiosyncratic associations.  In early 1975, he was brought on for a brief stint at legendary Long Island alternative rock station WLIR, and his final New York radio show ran later that year on WKTU-FM after which — already in ill health — he moved to Los Angeles. The syndicated show Soundtrack of the 60s mentioned below was heard in New York City on WCBS-FM. Gary Owens succeeded Murray as its host.

In 1968...Singer Frankie Lymon, of the group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, best known for their song, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," died of a heroin overdose. He was 25.

In 1984...WRC-AM in Washington DC changes call letters to WWRC

In 2003...Fred Rogers, creator and host of the PBS children's TV show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, died. He was 74.

In 2008...Pittsburgh journalist/sportscaster/author/National Radio Hall of Famer Myron Cope, color commentator on Pittsburgh Steelers radio broadcasts for 35 years and inventor of the Terrible Towel, died of respiratory failure at age 79.

Friday, February 26, 2016

St. Louis Radio: Bud And Broadway To Wake-Up WIL 92.3 FM

Bud & Broadway
This morning, Country WIL 92.3 FM announced the impending arrival of their new Morning Show hosts.  Beginning Monday, March 14th, St. Louis’s New Country station will debut the “Bud and Broadway” Show weekdays from 5am to 9am.

According to St. Louis Vice President and Market Manager John Kijowski, “Hubbard Radio is always searching for and developing the most unique, fun and entertaining live local talent.  We’ve found a compelling and humorous new Morning Show that will connect with our WIL listeners.”

“Bud and Broadway” – also known as Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway - have been making audiences laugh out loud since they met in 2010. Most recently, the duo attained #1 status at I Heart Media’s.KTGX Twister 106.1 FM in Tulsa, Oklahoma for three years.

For starters, we'd like to say thanks. Whether you're in Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, or in some foreign...
Posted by Bud and Broadway on Friday, February 26, 2016

Both Ford and Broadway have also been program directors during their professional radio careers.

Bud and Broadway love country music, and their motto is “REAL LIFE. REAL PEOPLE. REAL FUN.”

Bud is the single guy still looking for love. He is Mr. GQ, a germaphobe and, believe it or not, is a meteorologist and TV weather anchor. Broadway is the good ole boy who loves power tools, makes furniture and has been married for 22 years with three kids. They truly are the odd couple but they put their lives on the air every day.  The duo is also on the stand-up comedy tour circuit.                                                                                                                                                                            
VP Market Manager John Kijowski broke the news to staff members earlier this morning stating, “Bud and Broadway are extremely gifted at emotionally connecting to listeners through their unique brand of storytelling and comedy”.  Kijowski adds, “Bud and Broadway make the listeners the star, while the butt of the joke is usually on themselves.”
                                                                                                                                                                 “Hubbard Radio is a company that still believes in live, local talent. We feel like we just won the lottery. The two of us are looking forward to becoming an integral part of St. Louis and working with the superstars at WIL,” notes Bud Ford. “Thanks for welcoming us to the family.”

Jerry Broadway adds, “We couldn't be more excited about bringing our show to St Louis and 92.3 WIL.  We are looking forward to having some early morning fun with our listeners.”

WIL 92.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WIL’s new Program Director Scott Roddy comments, “Bud and Broadway's local morning show will quickly become the preferred way St. Louisans will start their day! They are real, informative, and of course FUNNY!  I invite the St. Louis community to be a part of the fun weekdays 5-9am on 92.3 WIL!”

Albany NY: iHM's WGY Starts Petition Drive To 'Save AM Radio'

When the sun goes down, AM radio signals travel much farther. You can listen to 50,000-watt stations such as WGY 810 AM hundreds of miles away.

But, reports the Albany NY Times-Union,  that could soon change, if the Federal Communications Commission goes through with a plan to let more local stations broadcast through the evening hours and potentially makes changes in the daytime signal of WGY and other powerful stations.

The proposed change in protections to Class A stations such as WGY would ease restrictions on the smaller stations, which are now required to reduce power or change the direction they broadcast their signal so they don't conflict with the more powerful Class A stations.

WGY has begun an online petition drive to oppose the changes.

Called "Save AM Radio," the petition opposes reducing WGY's so-called "protected service area."

The changes, WGY says, "will make it very difficult for many of our listeners to receive our programming, especially at night and during morning and evening drive times."

The station says it was licensed in 1922 and that part of its mission was to provide emergency weather alerts and other important information "in a large, interference-free coverage area."

WGY 810 AM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The FCC, meanwhile, says the changes are being considered in an effort "to help revitalize the AM service."

But WGY's parent, iHeart Media, told the FCC its 18 Class A stations "are among the only AM stations that garner substantial listenership."

It said those stations would lose an average of 46 percent of their audience with a proposed change in daytime broadcast rules and that rural listeners would be adversely affected by changes in nighttime rules.

The FCC is accepting comments through March 21 and replies through April 18, at www.fcc/ecfs. Click on "submit a filing." The proceeding number is 13-249.

Nielsen Releases 2016 State of the Media: Audio Today

Nielsen has released its Audio Today Report 2016 and it reveals Radio leads all other platforms when it comes to weekly reach (93%) among adult consumers - and with new insights available to compare radio to other platforms on a regular basis, it’s clear that radio is an integral part of media consumption for millions of Americans.

Today the words “radio” and “audio” mean many different things to many different people: music, commentary, podcasting, digital listening, in-car entertainment and on and on. What’s certain is that the radio consumer is a highly qualified audience, delivered in real-time across hundreds of markets every single day. Most radio listeners are in the workforce and are reached when they’re away from home and ready to buy.

In a time of intense competition for audience attention, radio reaches more Americans each week than any other platform. Ninety-three percent of adult consumers (18+) use radio on a weekly basis, more than TV or smartphones.

Today the words “radio” and “audio” mean many different things to many different people: music, commentary, podcasting, digital listening, in-car entertainment and on and on. What’s certain is that the radio consumer is a highly qualified audience, delivered in real-time acrosshundreds of markets every single day. Most radio listeners are in theworkforce and are reached when they’re away from home and ready to buy.

In this year’s report Nielsen examines a host of new and different angles of the American radio audience, including network radio’s national footprint, and the lifestyles and habits of radio’s heaviest contributors.

Click Here To View The Report

And for the first time Nielsen leveragies insights from Nielsen Entertainment to highlight which songs were the most played, purchased and streamed. Building strong radio brands requires more insights than ever before, and at Nielsen our goal is to continue arming broadcasters and content
creators with the right tools and knowledge to engage audiences and cut through today’s crowded media world.

Source: Nielsen National Regional Database, Spring 2015, M-SU 6AM-MID, all listeners 12+, AQH Share
*Country = Country + New Country
**News/Talk = News/Talk/Information + Talk/Personality
***Adult Contemporary = Adult Contemporary + Soft Adult Contemporary

Townsquare Media Gets Boost From Live Events Acquisition

Townsquare Media, Inc. reported robust revenue and earnings growth for full year 2015. The radio broadcasting company owns 309 radio stations and more than 325 local websites in 66 U.S. markets.

Net revenue for the final quarter of 2015 increased over 20 percent to $113.0 million, and was driven by a $16.1 million increase in Live Events. Net income soared as a result to $10.2 million for full year 2015, versus a loss in 2014.

“In 2015, we delivered net revenue growth of 18%, driven by growth across all segments and the acquisition of North American Midway Entertainment (“NAME”). We believe our diversified strategy remains sound, demonstrated by the stability of our Local Advertising business and the outsized growth in our other businesses,” commented Steven Price, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Townsquare.

“In addition, we further diversified our business, with approximately half of revenue now derived from sources other than the sale of terrestrial radio advertising.”

Mr. Price continued, “2015 was an exciting year for Townsquare. We completed two strategic transactions, refinanced our capital structure, locking in long-term, favorable interest rates, and voluntarily repaid a portion of our term loan debt. On a pro forma basis, net revenue grew 5.4% in 2015 and both revenue and EBITDA were in line with the guidance that we provided at the start of 2015.”

Fourth Quarter Highlights

As compared to the fourth quarter of 2014:
  • Net revenue increased 20.6%
  • Local Advertising net revenue excluding political increased 3.5%
  • Live Events net revenue increased 298.7%
  • Other Media and Entertainment net revenue increased 44.1%
Full Year Highlights
  • As compared to 2014:
  • Net revenue increased 18.0%
  • Local Advertising net revenue excluding political increased 1.9%
  • Live Events net revenue increased 138.5%
  • Other Media and Entertainment net revenue increased 33.4%
  • Excluding NAME, net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA were $412.5 million and $93.7 million, respectively
  • Nearly 50% of pro forma net revenue was derived from sources other than the sale of terrestrial radio station advertising
Quarter Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to the Quarter Ended December 31, 2014

Liberty Media Reports Strong Results

Liberty Media Corporation today reported fourth quarter and year end 2015 results.

Highlights include:
  • SiriusXM reported strong fourth quarter and full-year 2015 results
  • Net subscriber growth in 2015 of 2.3 million, up to 29.6 million
  • 2015 revenue up 9% to a record $4.6 billion
  • Net income of $510 million
  • Yesterday Liberty Media settled litigation with Vivendi Universal for $775 million
  • Liberty Media’s ownership of SiriusXM stood at 62.1% as of January 29th
“SiriusXM had another outstanding quarter and year, reaching record revenue and adjusted EBITDA, ending the year with 29.6 million subscribers. SiriusXM continues to focus on its world-class exclusive content and announced a long-term agreement with Howard Stern that includes Stern’s extensive audio and video library, in addition to channels with David Bowie, Billy Joel, Hank Haney and Nigel Barker,” stated Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media.

“At Liberty, we are very pleased to announce a settlement of litigation with Vivendi which resulted in a payment of $775 million, of which we will net after-tax proceeds of approximately $420 million. We continue to make progress on our plan to recapitalize into three tracking stock groups and expect to hold a shareholder vote in April.”

Liberty Media announced today that it has entered into a settlement of its lawsuit against Vivendi Universal S.A., pursuant to which Vivendi S.A. has paid Liberty Media $775 million in settlement of all claims related to a dispute that arose from a 2001 transaction. Following the payment of a contingency fee to its legal counsel, as well as amounts payable to Liberty Global plc, a former subsidiary which was a plaintiff in the action, Liberty Media expects to net after-tax proceeds of approximately $420 million in cash.

Alpha Media Creates Fourth-Largest Radio Company

Alpha Media Portland, OR announced Thursday they have closed the purchase of Digity radio stations.

Alpha Media will add the Digity markets to the one hundred thirty-seven stations currently in the Alpha Media portfolio. The closing of Digity, LLC brings the total number of stations owned or operated by Alpha Media to 251 in 53 markets. With the acquisition of Digity, LLC Alpha Media has become the 4th largest broadcast company in the country in terms of station count and the 3rd largest in terms of market count.

Larry Wilson, Chairman of Alpha Media commented on the announcement, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done resulting in making Alpha the 4th largest radio company in America. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets; bigger markets like West Palm Beach and San Jose, to smaller markets like Mason City, Iowa and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster, Dean Goodman, and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.”

“I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel as individual and collective entrepreneurs with Alpha. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at top of the industry. I wish Larry, Donna, Bob and team all the best, they have assembled a great platform.” Dean Goodman, CEO of Digity, LLC remarked.

RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as sole financial advisor and Cooley LLP as transaction and regulatory counsel to Digity.

Analyst: iHM Should Be Able To Meet Debt Obligations

iHeartMedia Inc.’s loss in the fourth-quarter widened to $93.3 million as the company paid out higher sales commissions and other expenses, the company reported Thursday.

iHeartMedia, which also owns 90 percent of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc., lost $68.08 million during the same period in 2014, the company said. For the year, iHeartMedia narrowed its losses to $754.62 million from $793.76 million in 2014. iHeartMedia is one of the largest owners of radio stations in the world.

“Their (quarterly and annual) numbers showed real strength. They were much better than I expected. I was pleased with the progress from the operating and liquidity standpoint,” Lance Vitanza, a stock analyst who follows the company for CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Connecticut, said in an interview following the company’s conference call with analysts.

iHeartMedia generated about $1.8 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, after adjusting for foreign exchange rates, which was slightly higher than the fourth quarter of 2014. For the year, consolidated revenues fell 1 percent to $6.5 billion.

Companywide debt increased during the year to $20.87 billion as of Dec. 31, up from $20.33 billion the year before. Much of the debt stems from 2008 when two Boston-based private equity firms, Bain Capital Partners LLC and THL Partners purchased 70 percent of the company, then called Clear Channel Communications.

According to, the company is in talks with its biggest lenders for a standstill agreement in which iHeartMedia would pause asset sales and won’t talk to other creditors about debt deals, according to Bloomberg News. In exchange, the top lenders would agree not to file default notices, Bloomberg reported.

Vitanza said the company should not have trouble meeting its debt obligations.

The company is banking on the 2016 presidential election to increase revenue from political advertising this year.

iHeartMedia generated $105 million in new revenue from political advertising alone in the 2012 presidential election. In the congressional election year of 2014, advertising sales were $87 million from political ads.

Radio One Reports Q4 Ad Revenue Down 5.2 Percent

Radio One, Inc. Thursday reported its results for the quarter ended December 31, 2015.
  • Net revenue was approximately $109.4 million, a slight decrease of 0.3% from the same period in 2014.  
  • Station operating income was approximately $41.0 million, a decrease of 3.5% from the same period in 2014. 
  • The Company reported an operating loss of approximately $11.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2015, compared to operating income of $19.4 million for the same period in 2014. 
  • Net loss was approximately $24.3 million or $0.50 per share compared to $13.5 million or $0.28 per share, for the same period in 2014. 
Alfred C. Liggins, III, Radio One's CEO and President stated, "Overall, our radio advertising revenue was down 5.2% for the final quarter of 2015.  We underperformed our markets in Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston, but outperformed in Washington DC. Our audience ratings have generally shown strong growth year over year, and I anticipate that we will monetize these audience gains in 2016.

"While our gross cable television advertising revenues were up by 11% for the quarter, the liability incurred due to under delivery against rate card meant that overall TV advertising revenue was down by 3.5% for the quarter. This was more than offset by the 27.5% increase in cable television affiliate fees. Management remains focused on turning around underperforming radio markets and advancing our digital and cross platform sales strategies. We have had a number of significant client successes with our One Solution cross platform sales and marketing effort, and I expect that momentum to continue into 2016."

GOP Debate: Fight Night

By Emily Stephenson

HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz ganged up on front-runner Donald Trump at a raucous debate on Thursday in a last-ditch bid to keep the billionaire from winning victories next week that could set him up to clinch the presidential nomination.
11 AM Update: TV Ratings: Thursday night's GOP debate on CNN and Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo brought in some of the highest ratings for a presidential debate in months, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. Early overnight ratings show 9.0 household rating on CNN and a 0.9 rating on Telemundo for a 9.9 rating overall. Full ratings will be out later in the day, but the household rating suggests that viewership will be somewhere in the 13-16 million viewership range.
The CNN-hosted debate at the University of Houston was the two first-term senators' last, best chance to try to shake up the race for the Republican nomination. The contest is dramatically shifting toward Trump, who is leading in opinion polls in nearly all 11 states set to make their choices on next Tuesday.

Rubio and Cruz landed blows on Trump, took some withering fire in return and may wonder why they did not pursue such a strategy in the debates of past weeks and months when former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, now out of the race, was the lead Trump attacker.

A confident-sounding Trump was unbowed and dismissed the attacks from his center-stage position. He declared Rubio a "choke artist" for a faltering debate in New Hampshire, again labeled Cruz "a liar" and urged his rivals to take their best shot.

"Swing for the fences," he said, wielding a baseball metaphor.

Rubio, who got some momentum with a second-place finish to Trump in South Carolina last Saturday and has picked up some Bush supporters, gave his most aggressive performance to date. The senator from Florida wants to be the last Trump opponent standing and perhaps stretch the contest to the Republican nominating convention in July.

He brought up Trump's four past bankruptcies and his use of imported Polish workers to work at a Florida resort, and pointedly suggested the New Yorker would not be where he is today in the real estate business without a family inheritance.

Without the family money, Rubio said, "You know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan."

Significantly, Rubio sought to raise doubts about the depth of Trump's policy knowledge, a point of attack that Trump's critics in the Republican establishment have been urging candidates to pursue for months.

Rubio pointed out that Trump's sole plan to replace and repeal Democratic President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law is to allow insurance companies to operate across state lines.

When Trump repeated the same point twice, Rubio interrupted.

"Now he's repeating himself," said the senator, who was skewered at a debate in New Hampshire last month for robotically repeating his talking points.

Trump fired back: "I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago, and I gotta tell you it was a meltdown. I watched him melt down on the stage like I've never seen anybody."

Cruz, who needs to win his home state of Texas when it votes on Tuesday, also piled on Trump, saying his rival would be a weak Republican opponent to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 general election because he had donated to the Clinton Foundation founded by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Cruz said Hillary Clinton would say to him, "'Gosh, Donald you gave $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. I even went to your wedding.' ... He can't prosecute the case against Hillary."

Trump ridiculed Cruz for his inability to win more than the early voting state of Iowa and taunted him for being behind Trump in opinion polls in Texas. Since a second-place finish in Iowa, Trump has won New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

"If I can't beat her (Clinton), you're really going to get killed aren't you? ... I know you're embarrassed, but keep fighting," Trump said.

The crossfire was so intense that CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer lost control of the proceedings at times.

Among the other two candidates on the stage, Ohio Governor John Kasich turned in a positive performance with an optimistic message, hoping Rubio and Cruz will falter and he will end up as the central Trump alternative.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, flagging in the polls, provided some comic relief. He said that, as president, when considering potential Supreme Court nominees he would look at "the fruit salad of their life" and asked plaintively for more time to talk: "Can someone attack me please?"

Even with his bombast, Trump turned in a more measured performance than usual, defending his moderate positions on Planned Parenthood and retaining popular parts of the Obamacare law, perhaps mindful that he is closing in on a victory in the Republican race.

He said he would not support a ceasefire deal about to go into effect in Syria and declared that Libya would be better off had Colonel Muammar Gaddafi not been toppled from power by a U.S.-backed uprising in 2011.

Pressed on whether he would release his tax records as 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney said he should do, Trump said he would eventually do so after a "routine audit" is completed.

This did not satisfy Romney, who tweeted that there was no legitimate reason for withholding them even if they were under audit.

Rubio went after Trump hard on illegal immigration. He said Trump may talk tough on illegal immigration now, but previously said Romney lost his race against Obama by promoting the idea that illegal immigrants should self-deport.

"A lot of these positions that he's taken now are new to him," Rubio said.

Trump said Romney lost in 2012 because he was a terrible candidate.

"Excuse me, he ran one terrible campaign," Trump said.

While Trump has scored early victories and is well ahead in national opinion polls, he has some ways to go to clinch his party's nomination, which is decided by the number of delegates sent to the July party convention following the state-by-state nominating contests.

So far Trump leads the race with 81 delegates, with Cruz and Rubio well behind at 17 apiece. To secure the nomination, a candidate needs 1,237 delegates.

Super Tuesday will be critical because there are nearly 600 delegates at stake in Republican races that day.

(Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson and Valerie Volcovici in Washinton; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney, Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)

Trump Knocks Debate Moderator Hugh Hewitt's Show

Donald Trump on Thursday night took aim at Salem Radio talk host Hugh Hewitt and knocked the conservative radio host’s ratings after he asked the GOP presidential front-runner about his tax returns.

“First of all, very few people listen to your radio show, that’s the good news, which happens to be true – check out the ratings,” Trump said.

The Hill reports Hewitt, who was one of the moderators at CNN’s GOP debate in Houston, pointed to an interview with Trump on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” from a year ago when the real estate mogul said he would release his tax returns.

Trump has been recently been under fire, mainly by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for not releasing those documents.

“I want to release my tax returns, but I can’t release it while I’m under an audit,” Trump said, adding that he’ll release them “as soon as the audit is done.”

Apple Calls FBI iPhone Request 'Unprecedented'

(Reuters) -- Apple Inc on Thursday struck back in court against a U.S. government demand that it unlock an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, arguing such a move would violate its free speech rights and override the will of Congress.

The high-stakes fight between Apple and the government burst into the open last week when the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a court order requiring Apple to write new software and take other measures to disable passcode protection and allow access to shooter Rizwan Farook's iPhone.

The clash has driven to the heart of a long-running debate over how much law enforcement and intelligence officials should be able to monitor digital communications.

Arguing that the court should throw out the order that it issued last week, Apple said in its brief on Thursday that software was a form of protected speech, and thus the Justice Department's demand violated the constitution.

"The government's request here creates an unprecedented burden on Apple and violates Apple's First Amendment rights against compelled speech," it said.

Apple also contended that the court was over-stepping its jurisdiction, noting that Congress had rejected legislation that would have required companies to do the things the government is asking Apple to do in this case.

"No court has ever authorized what the government now seeks, no law supports such unlimited and sweeping use of the judicial process, and the Constitution forbids it," Apple said in its filing.

The government argues that the All Writs Act, a broad 1789 law which enables judges to require actions necessary to enforce their own orders, compels Apple to comply with its request.

But Apple argued in its filing that prosecutors wrongly applied a key U.S. Supreme Court case, which involved a telephone company, to the San Bernardino situation. Since Apple is not a utility, and because Congress declined to force companies like Apple to build "backdoors" into their products, Apple said it should not be forced to help the government hack into the San Bernardino iPhone.

The Justice Department won the order from the federal court in Riverside, California last week, without the company present. The judge allowed Apple to respond in the brief on Thursday, and a hearing is scheduled for next month.

Boston Radio: WKLB Adds Renee Castle For Evenings

Renee Castle
Greater Media has announced Renee Castle has been named as the new nighttime personality at WKLB 102.5 FM in Boston.

She will begin her new position from 7pm-midnight on Monday, February 29th.

The San Jose, California native most recently worked at NASH-FM in Nashville. She also has been heard across America on the Westwood One Radio Network. Prior to that Castle worked at MIX 92.9 in Nashville.

“Renee brings an enthusiasm and excitement for radio and Boston that is contagious,” said WKLB-FM Program Director Mike Brophey. “Her entertainment experience is awesome, and we are elated to have her on our team. She’ll feel right at home on the air at Country 102.5.”

“I can’t wait to light up the nights in Boston,” said Renee. “I’m honored to be joining the accomplished and prominent team at Country 102.5!”

WKLB 102.5 FM (14 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The California State Long Beach graduate initially began her career as an actor before eventually serving as a reality television producer  on  “Hell’s Kitchen,” “World’s Strictest Parents,”  and “True Beauty,”  as well as “The 5th Wheel,” “Blind Date,” and “Battle of the Bods.”

Louisville Radio: Mary Walter Gets WHAS Time Slot

Mary Walters
Radio talk show veteran Mary Walter will host two hours of weekday evening call-in conversation on NewsRadio WHAS 840 AM, starting Monday, Feb. 29, station owner iHeartMedia Louisville announced in a press release.

Walters will be on air from 6-8 p.m.

Walter first gained notice as host of “The Passion Phones” on WKXW New Jersey 101.5 FM.  A student of both human relationships and current events, she has since entertained and informed listeners in cities such as Omaha, Phoenix, Denverand Washington, D.C.  Walter has also appeared as a contributor on SiriusXM Radio and the Fox News Channel.

WHAS 840 AM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“We’ve had the pleasure of working with Mary as a fill-in host," Kelly Carls, director of morning programming for iHeartMedia Louisville told the Courier-Journal. "She’s always prepared, keeps her finger on the pulse of the news and does a great job connecting with our listeners."

Louisville Radio Sports WKRD Adds Lindsey, Coffey

Howie Lindsey
iHeartMedia/Louisville has announced the launch of a new morning drive radio program hosted by Howie Lindsey. The show, Cards First, will be airing each weekday morning from 7:00 – 10:00 a.m. on Cards Radio WKRD 790 AM.

Lindsey is the premier authority on University of Louisville athletics and has covered sports throughout Kentuckiana for over a dozen years. A well-known Louisville radio contributor, TV personality and reporter, Lindsey also serves as Editor and Director of Operations for, the University of Louisville’s fan site for the network.

“I am thrilled to be joining iHeartMedia at such a transformational time. The opportunity to work with their first class team and host this new program is something I am truly excited about,” said Lindsey. “I look forward to bringing new energy and the latest in UofL news each morning to Louisville radio,” he said.

Lindsey will be joined in-studio multiple times per week by local sports voices Katie George and Matt Willinger. A former Miss Kentucky and current sports reporter for WDRB TV, George was a standout volleyball player at the University of Louisville.

Nick Coffey
“We’re very excited to expand our local sports coverage on Cards Radio 790 KRD," said Kelly Carls, Director of AM Programming, iHeartMedia Louisville. "Mornings, middays and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.

Also joining the Cards Radio 790 KRD lineup is Nick Coffey. Coffey will host a new local sports talkshow from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays. He is an online entrepreneur and founder of TheCardinalConnect.Com. Coffey has also hosted a daily sports talkshow in Southern Indiana for the last five years.

Lindsey and Coffey join a lineup which also includes Dan Patrick from 10 a.m. to noon and Tony Vanetti & Dave Jennings on The Afternoon Underdogs from 3-5:30 p.m.

WKRD 790 AM (5 Kw-D, 1 Kw -N) Red=Local Coverage Area
Both new programs debut Monday, March 7, on Cards Radio 790 KRD.