Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 20 Radio History

In 1902...Nathan Stubblefield demonstrated ship-to-shore broadcast to multiple receivers in Washington, DC.

He made public demonstrations of voice and music transmission to five receiving locations on the courthouse square in Murray on January 1, 1902, witnessed by at least 1,000 people, apparently using voice frequency transmission through earth conduction, to a radius of one-half mile.

Stubblefield with wireless phone
Later he demonstrated wireless telephony in Washington, D.C. on March 20, 1902, where voice and music transmissions were made over a third of a mile from the steamer Bartholdi to shore. He demonstrated wireless telephony as well in Philadelphia on May 30, 1902 to a distance of a half mile.

He joined wireless inventor Archie Frederick Collins and stock promoters in the Collins Wireless Telephone Company. In December, 1909 Collins Wireless Telephone Company became a part of the Continental Wireless Tel. & Tel. Company, with A. Frederick Collins as Technical Director. Stubblefield resigned as a director in December 1911, because of what he described in a letter as their sometimes-fraudulent stock promotion practices. The other principals of the company were later convicted of fraud.

Back home in Murray, he continued to experiment with wireless telephony, using large circular conduction coils to transmit voice frequencies to receiving stations. In 1903, he could transmit 375 feet without earth connections, using induction. In 1904, he could transmit 423 yards.

The total wire required for the transmitting and receiving coils was of a greater length than what would be required to simply interconnect the transmitter and receiver, but the invention would allow mobility.

On May 12, 1908, he received U.S. patent 887,357 for his Wireless Telephone, using the voice frequency induction system. He said in the patent that it would be useful for "securing telephonic communications between moving vehicles and way stations". The diagram shows wireless telephony from trains, boats, and wagons. In foreign patents he showed wireless telephony with cars. However, there is no indication that he was using voice-modulated continuous high frequency waves, as used for radio today.

In Ozzie (Oswald George) Nelson was born in Jersey City NJ.

He & wife Harriet Nelson were regulars on the Red Skelton radio show, before he developed The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for ABC radio from 1944 to ’54. It developed quite a following & moved to TV from 1952 to ’66.  As son Rick Nelson became a recording star in real life, the program focussed more on him, ending each show with a performance.

Ozzie died of cancer June 3, 1975 at age 69.

In 1908...the future president of CBS Dr. Frank Stanton was born in Muskegon Mich.

Instrumental in the development of television he served as chief executive at CBS for 25 years beginning in 1946.  With company founder William Paley he built Columbia into a communications powerhouse.

He died in his sleep Dec. 26 2006 at age 98.

In 1922...WIP-AM, Philadelphia, went on-the-air.

Founded by Gimbels department store, the station first went on the air on as Philadelphia's first commercial radio station with the call sign WIP, which people mistakenly think stands for "Wireless In Philadelphia," "We're In Philadelphia" or "Watch Its Progress." In fact, WIP was a call sign randomly issued by the federal government.

In 1938, the station began a full 24 hour a day broadcast schedule and used the slogan "Philadelphia's Pioneer Station." In 1940, the station was granted a power increase to 5,000 watts and the transmitter site was moved to Bellmawr, NJ. The previous tower at 21st and Hamilton was dismantled and the property sold.

Wayne Cody
From the begining, one of the most popular personalities on the station was children's show host "Uncle Wip." While Uncle Wip was portrayed by several people, one of the longest running was Wayne Cody. By 1933, Uncle Wip's "Kiddie Club" had over 500,000 names on its list, and over 750,000 by 1941. In addition to making numerous appearances, some of Uncle Wip's other activities included an Aviation Club, a "Toyland Parade" and a "Drum and Bugle Corps."

In 1958, WIP AM and FM were sold for $2,500,000 to WIP Broadcasting, Inc., a new syndicate headed by Benedict Gimbel, Jr., the station's former General Manager.

In 1960, the Metropolitan Broadcasting Division of Metromedia, Inc., owned by John W. Kluge, purchased WIP AM and FM for $2,700,000. This essentially ended any connection the station had with the Gimbel family or retail concern. On May 11, 1961, WIP's licensee name was changed to the parent company name, Metromedia, Inc.

In 1935...the Lucky Strike Hit Parade premiered on NBC, featuring the top 15 tunes of the week.  The show would be a Saturday night radio staple for the next 24 years…second in longevity only to Grand Ole Opry.

In 1965...B. Mitchel Reed did last show at WMCA NYC.

He was known as "The Fastest Tongue in the West," for the speed in which he spoke to his audience. He left KFWB for WMCA in his home state of New York on February 7, 1963. He soon became part of a team of disc jockeys known as "The Good Guys," among them Jack Spector, a fellow alum from Boys High School in Brooklyn who had graduated two years ahead of him.

By 1965, Reed decided to return to Los Angeles. His last show at WMCA was on March 20. Thousands of his fans cheered him at the airport upon his departure. Many fans who were thrilled of his return greeted him when he arrived in LA. This ushered in his second stint at KFWB and The Wide Wide Weird World of BMR.

In 1972...actress/singer Marilyn Maxwell died after a heart attack at age 50.  She was a radio singer before signing a film contract with MGM, singing & being ogled on the Abbott & Costello radio show. She was most famous as the blonde bombshell (read “whistle bait”) on Bob Hope’s many USO tours around the world.

In 1974...newscaster Chet Huntley, a veteran of west coast radio before co-anchoring the nightly Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC TV, died of lung cancer at age 62. He had started his radio career at KIRO Seattle after graduating from the University of Washington in 1934.

In 1989…After 37 years with the program, Dick Clark announced his intention to discontinue hosting "American Bandstand" on ABC-TV.

In 1989…Bandleader (for Arthur Godfrey's radio and TV shows)/arranger/record label founder (Cadence) Archie Bleyer died of the effects of Parkinson's disease at the age of 79.

In 2005...Ted Brown, Personality WOR, WMGM, WNBC, WNEW NYC, died.

In 1953, Ted Brown began working at WNEW 1130 as an air-personality. He worked there off and on and at one point he worked at WMGM playing rock and roll. He returned to WNEW and then worked at WNBC from the late 60s to the early 70s. At that point he went back to WNEW as afternoon drive air personality. He moved to mornings in 1978. When WNEW began evolvng in 1979 from Adult Contemporary to Adult Standards/Big Bands by 1981, Ted remained.

He continued working at WNEW until 1989 when he semi-retired. In the 1990s he helped host New York Giants football games on WNEW. From 1993 to 1995, Ted worked middays at WRIV, a standards station in Riverhead, New York and on WVNJ 1160 Oakland, New Jersey playing standards and big bands from early in 1996 to about 1998 when he suffered a stroke. He signed-off his show with the phrase "Put on the coffee Mama. I'm coming home."

Hulk Hogan Wins $115M In Sex-Tape Suit

By Jared Leone

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida jury on Friday awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million with the possibility of more after finding the Gawker website violated his privacy by publishing a sex tape of the celebrity wrestler.

After deliberating six hours, the jury awarded Hogan $60 million for emotional distress and $55 million for economic damages.

"This is a victory for everyone who has had their privacy violated," Hogan's attorney, David Houston, said.

As the award was announced, the 62-year-old mustachioed wrestling icon cried and hugged Houston.

The case has drawn attention as a digital-age test of a celebrity's privacy rights and freedom of the press under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Nick Denton
Gawker publisher Nick Denton said the website would appeal the verdict. A Gawker attorney previously said a loss could put the website out of business.

"We all knew the appeals court will need to resolve the case," Denton said in a statement. "We feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately."

The jury is to remain sequestered until Monday when it will consider punitive damages and other matters in the case.

Hogan, whose legal name is Terry Bollea, had sought $100 million in damages over the edited video that Gawker, a New York-based outlet known for gossip and media reporting, posted online in 2012.

The jury of two men and four women agreed with Hogan that his privacy had been violated, that the violation had caused him harm and that Hogan had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Data curated by PrettyFamous

Clay Calvert, a professor of law and mass communications at the University of Florida and a First Amendment expert, said such a large verdict was almost certain to be pared back on appeal, if not reversed.

"Juries generally do not like the media," he said after the verdict. "The appellate court is a little more neutral."

Gawker's one-minute, 41-second video depicted Hogan engaged in sex with the wife of his then-best friend, radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

Hogan, a longtime star of World Wrestling Entertainment, said he did not know the consensual encounter had been recorded when it occurred nearly a decade ago in Bubba's home.

Gawker's video included excerpts from a 30-minute sex tape the company obtained without knowing its origin.

Hogan testified that he still suffers from the humiliation of a video that went viral. The video was viewed 2.5 million times on the Gawker site.

Hogan wore a signature black bandana during the two-week trial in St. Petersburg, Florida, near his home. Testimony touched on media ethics, website analytics and Hogan's statements about his sex life, including descriptions of his genitalia.

Gawker said the posting was in keeping with its mission to cover true and interesting subjects, stressing that Hogan had made his sex life a public matter.

Denton and the editor responsible for the post, A.J. Daulerio, were called as defense witnesses. Both were named in the lawsuit and they stood by the post, which Denton said "stands up to the test of time."

Fox: Trump's Megyn Kelly 'Obsession' Is 'Deplorable'

Fox News on Friday issued a harsh condemnation to Donald Trump in defense of one of the network's most popular reporters, calling the Republican front-runner's "obsession" unfit for a presidential candidate.

"Donald Trump's vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate," the conservative cable news network wrote in a statement.

"Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America — we’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults."

The statement from Fox, which is part of the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, comes in response to a recent onslaught of negative comments from Trump to Kelly, resparking a months-long feud between the two.

The quarrel began in August when, during a Fox News-hosted Republican debate, Trump blasted Kelly over questions she posed to him regarding his history with women, including his references to some women he didn't like as "dogs" and "fat pigs."

Trump upped the ante shortly thereafter, saying that Kelly had become so incensed, "you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her - wherever," which many viewed as Trump insinuating that Kelly was menstruating.

The Trump campaign later issued a statement saying that by "her wherever," Trump meant Kelly's nose.

Still, the damage had been done, and the relationship between the billionaire businessman and the longtime Fox News anchor has remained strained.

Beginning Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to blast Kelly, tweeting and retweeting a series of messages referring to her as "Crazy Megyn," and calling for supporters to boycott her weeknight news program, "The Kelly File."

Fox News responded by saying: "As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for (Kelly)to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job.”

The Trump campaign stood by the negative tweets, calling Kelly "highly overrated" in a statement, and accusing her of biased reporting.

According to CNNMoney, Trump's campaign kept up the barrage Friday night, putting out a statement that said in part, "Fox News has begged Mr. Trump to do a prime time special to be broadcast on the Fox Network, not cable, with Megyn Kelly. He has turned them down."

Fox recently announced plans for Kelly to do a special on the broadcast network in May, but a Fox News spokesperson said Friday night, "No one associated with Megyn Kelly's upcoming Fox Broadcasting special reached out to Donald Trump for an interview."

A Fox representative made clear that neither Kelly nor Bill Geddie, the executive producer of the Fox program airing in May, ever reached out to Trump for an interview.

Kelly has kept quiet throughout the many attacks by Trump, a fact the Trump campaign noted in its Friday night statement.

"Unlike Megyn Kelly, who resorts to putting out statements via Fox News, Mr. Trump will continue to defend himself against the inordinate amount of unfair and inaccurate coverage he receives on her second-rate show each night," the campaign said.

This was the most intense attack in a campaign against Kelly that Trump began last August, when he complained that she had treated him unfairly during the first Republican presidential debate.
Since then, Trump has frequently accused Kelly of bias and unfair coverage, often with little to no evidence of any specific offense.

Donald Trump Bends Television To His Will

Conversations with more than a dozen reporters, producers, and executives across the major networks reveal internal tensions about the wall-to-wall coverage Trump has received and the degree to which the Republican frontrunner has — or hasn’t — been challenged on their air.

BuzzFeed reports two network sources also confirmed the unprecedented control the television networks have surrendered to Trump in a series of private negotiations, allowing him to dictate specific details about placement of cameras at his event, to ensure coverage consists primarily of a single shot of his face.

Network officials say the ratings have borne out commercial incentives to devote their campaign coverage to largely unfiltered streams of Trump talking.

While there are journalists who have aggressively challenged Trump — notably Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, NBC News’ Chuck Todd, and CNN’s Jake Tapper — much of the coverage, including broadcasting his rallies and events live in their entirety, has been uncritical and even unfiltered, some of it conducted by interviewers unwilling or unable to provide much more than a platform for the candidate.

Several network and cable news staffers rationalized the amount of Trump coverage as a response to the demand of the viewers and as accurately reflecting his position in the race.

The symbiotic relationship between television news and Trump began, innocently enough, as a summer fling. The cable networks found their answer to the typically slower summer news cycle the moment Trump descended the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy to a lobby full of onlookers, some of them paid actors. Producers at several networks said they initially treated his candidacy as a joke, albeit a highly entertaining one.

Trump’s rallies became must-see daytime and primetime television on cable, pre-empting regularly scheduled newscasts and driving the day-to-day news cycle. Even when he was embroiled in controversy, Trump’s availability to the media for interviews, either on camera or by phone, shocked producers accustomed to dealing with difficult-to-book candidates.

As one veteran producer said, “He’ll throw a hand grenade in, and then will come on to us to talk about it.”

Read More Now

SF Radio: KCBS Staff Votes To Unionize

Employees at all-news radio station KCBS 740 AM / KFRC106.9 FM in San Francisco have voted in favor of joining SAG-AFTRA.

Production assistants, writers and newsroom assistants will join the union with an existing bargaining unit of editors at the station. Other CBS bargaining units represented by the union include KPIX-TV and KLLC-FM, according to Variety.

Editor and shop steward Joe Rogers said, “Our writers, production assistants and newsroom assistants have shown a lot of courage and determination. Because of their vote for SAG-AFTRA, the entire KCBS news team now stands united at a time when the company is contemplating drastic changes in how this station gathers and reports the news.”

News of the unionization came three days after CBS announced plans to sell or spin off its radio assets in the coming year, acknowledging that the business has become slow-growth and a drain on resources that can be better directed to content production and digital endeavors.

Production assistant and producer Nick St. Charles said, “Volatility in the news business and skyrocketing living costs in the Bay Area make union representation essential. I’m glad to have SAG-AFTRA in my corner.”

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, air personalities, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals.

Tribune’s Antitrust Battle Highlights a Changing Media Landscape

The evolution in how people consume news is expected to figure heavily into a brewing antitrust battle over Tribune Publishing Co.’s bid to become a major media player in Southern California, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In an antitrust lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice says consumers and advertisers would be hurt by a $56 million cash deal that would give Tribune, which publishes the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, control of practically every major newspaper in Southern California.

U.S. District Judge AndrĂ© Birotte Jr. in Los Angeles late Friday sided with the Justice Department and granted the government’s request for a temporary restraining order, putting the brakes on Tribune’s proposed purchase of Freedom Communications, the publisher of the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Tribune, in defending its bid to acquire Freedom Communications out of bankruptcy, finds itself in the position of arguing something that publishers have been loath to admit: The rise of the Internet means consumers and advertisers have similarly good options besides print.

“The Internet has exploded with new news and information sites,” Tribune said in a Friday bankruptcy court filing. “For better or worse, the court and the government need only look at the phone in their pocket to understand that the trend [toward] digital content is accelerating.”

At stake in the battle between Tribune and federal antitrust regulators is the fate of Freedom Communications, the bankrupt publisher that Tribune is looking to acquire, as well as what it means to be a news organization in the digital age.

To win, Tribune must show that its newspapers can be reasonably substituted with anything from the BBC in London to Craigslist. For the government to win, it must show that there is no reasonable substitute for a local newspaper.

Time is of the essence. Freedom Communications is expected to run out of money on March 31 and must be sold before that date to avoid shutdown, although there are other bidders besides Tribune, albeit with lower offers, waiting in the wings.

Read More Now

Taylor Swifts Helps Open New Seacrest Studio

Ryan Seacrest on Friday opened a radio studio in Nashville — one unlike any other in Music City — and invited his friend Taylor Swift to celebrate.

The "American Idol" host and disc jockey was in town to celebrate the launch of Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The 723-square-foot facility will let hospital patients into the recording/broadcasting process and will be the site of interviews, musical performances, video shoots and other programs.

The glass-encased studio overlooks the hospital entrance and lobby. It's the 10th facility the Ryan Seacrest Foundation has built in a pediatric hospital.

"We've always wanted to be at this facility in Nashville because there's a constant flow of entertainment coming to this city," Seacrest told The Tennessean. "The folks that we've talked to, both in music and outside of music, are really excited to have this — to be able to come in and talk to all of the kids at once in one place."

Swift's appearance was a perfect example — and a total surprise for the studio guests. "Perhaps you'll recognize my friend," Seacrest said to his audience as the singer came into view.

Swift said she first got to visit one of Seacrest's studios in Philadelphia two years ago, and saw "an opportunity for the kids to find excitement and to express their creativity."

Some Documents in Sumner Redstone Case To Be Unsealed

Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) -- A Los Angeles judge tentatively ruled on Friday that certain documents can be made public in a lawsuit that challenges the mental competency of 92-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone.

Medical records will remain sealed to protect Redstone's privacy, Judge David Cowan said. But he said 15 documents should be unsealed, including emails written by Redstone's nurses and a December letter from Redstone to his daughter.

Redstone's attorneys had asked the court to seal certain information in the case in order to protect the billionaire' s privacy. The Los Angeles Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter argued the information should be released in the public interest, given Redstone's role as controlling shareholder of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp.

Redstone's ex-girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, is challenging her removal last year as the mogul's healthcare agent, saying he was not mentally competent to make that decision. His attorneys say he was fully aware of his actions. The case is set for trial in May.

A psychiatrist hired by Herzer, Dr. Stephen Read, filed a 37-page report about the results of a Jan. 29 exam of Redstone. That document has not been made public.

R.I.P. Clare Alden MacIntyre-Ross, Inspiration For Song 'Taxi'

Clare Alden MacIntyre-Ross
She came from swank Scarsdale, N.Y. He was a guitar strummer from Brooklyn.

They met as summer camp counselors in the early 1960s, and the result was a weepy love song, “Taxi,” a hit for Harry Chapin in 1972.

Clare Alden MacIntyre-Ross, who spent her final years in Falls Church, Va., died March 9 of complications from a stroke at age 73, according to The Wall Street Journal. The daughter of Malcolm MacIntyre, a lawyer who headed Eastern Airlines from 1959 to 1963, she had an on-and-off romance with Chapin in the early 1960s.

Her parents weren’t enthusiastic about the match, family members say.

Their split inspired the song, described by the musician as about 60% accurate, according to his biographer, Peter M. Coan.

In the song, a cabdriver discovers his old flame, now wealthy, in the back of his taxi. She hands him $20 for a $2.50 fare and says, “Harry, keep the change.”

In real life, the two drifted apart and married other people. Though Mr. Chapin once considered becoming a taxi driver, his musical aspirations prevailed.

Ms. MacIntyre lived in Argentina with her first husband before moving to New York and working as an institutional securities sales executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the 1970s, when few women held such jobs. Her Spanish-language abilities helped her find Latin-American clients.

Chapin never completely got over Ms. MacIntyre, according to Mr. Coan: “She was the love of his life.” He died died at age 38 in 1981 on the Long Island Expressway when a truck slammed into his Volkswagen Rabbit.

March 19 Radio History

In 1912...orchestra leader Russ Case was born in Hamburg Iowa. Still in his teens he joined radio station WOC Davenport Ohio as an arranger.  He produced & led the band for some of Perry Como’s classic recordings as A &R man for RCA Victor, and became the NBC studio orchestra first on radio, then TV. He was working as arranger for The Jackie Gleason Show when he died Oct 10 1964 at age 52.

In 1918...Standard Time Act establishes Standard and Daylight time in the U.S.

In 1928...Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll left WGN radio in Chicago to head across town to WMAQ radio.

They weren’t able to take their previously popular radio show names (Sam & Henry) with them due to contractual limitations. So they came up with names even more popular … Amos and Andy, and continued as radio mainstays for another 30 years.

In 1987...Arch Oboler died, a radio writer best known for the series "Lights Out". he was 77.

In 2003...Harry Harrison did last show at WCBS 101.1 FM in NYC.

In 1953, Harrison worked at WCFL as a summer replacement, yet remained there eight months, substituting for the permanent DJs.  Harrison became program director at WPEO, Peoria in 1954 and hosted the morning show as the "Morning Mayor of Peoria." In just six months, Harrison made WPEO the top station.

In 1959, Harrison joined WMCA, New York, as the mid-day "Good Guy." Joe O'Brien (mornings) and Harrison gave WMCA a "one-two punch" for over eight years.  Other WMCA "Good Guys" included Jack Spector, B. Mitchel Reed, Dan Daniel and Johnny Dark, and talk show host Barry Gray. Harrison became popular with his "Housewife Hall of Fame” feature.

Often, he scored the highest ratings on WMCA. WABC program director Rick Sklar took note.   In 1968, when WABC morning man Herb Oscar Anderson left the station, Rick Sklar hired Harrison to replace him. Harrison was followed in the WABC day by Ron Lundy.

Every year, Harrison played seasonal songs, such as his holiday greeting "May You Always” in the winter (the Amy records single of this song made the Billboard Christmas charts in 1965), and Allan Sherman's summer camp novelty, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh", throughout the summer months.

WABC personalities included, along with Harrison, Charlie Greer, Scott Muni, Bob Lewis, Lundy, Johnny Donovan, Dan Ingram, "Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow, Chuck Leonard, Bob Cruz, Frank Kingston Smith, and Roby Yonge, and others.

Harrison had a number of "trademark" phrases, such as "Morning, Mom", "Every brand new day should be opened like a precious gift", "Stay well, stay happy, stay right here" and "Harry Harrison wishing you the best... because that's exactly what you deserve!”

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

In March 1980, Harrison became the morning personality at WCBS-101.1 FM, playing oldies music. In 1984, with Lundy joining the station, they were once again heard back-to-back. Harrison would interact with Morning Crew engineer Al Vertucci, Phil Pepe, who reported sports, and joke about "wacky weather" and toupee warnings with Irv “Mr. “G” Gikofsky (weather), Mary Jane Royce, and Sue Evans.

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

On March 19, 2003, after a 44-year career in New York radio, Harrison left WCBS-FM, saying "I am not retiring." His farewell to his loyal radio friends (from 5:30 to 10:00am) was held before a live audience at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City. It offered old airchecks plus guest appearances by WCBS-FM colleagues Don K. Reed, Bobby Jay, Steve O'Brien, Randy Davis and Dan Taylor, his replacement, as well as his son and daughter, Patti. Harrison took phone calls from Bob Shannon, Mike Fitzgerald, Ed Baer, and Ron Lundy.

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

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

On Memorial Day, May 30, 2005, Harry and "Cousin" Bruce Morrow were guests on WABC Radio’s annual Rewound show. Four days later, on June 3, WCBS-FM ended its "oldies" format, in favor of the new "Jack" format.  However, as a result of listener disapproval, the WCBS-FM Oldies format was brought back on July 12, 2007, in a 'Classic Hits' modernized form.

In 2004...Tom Rivers died of bronchial asthma at age 38. Rivers worked at WQYK-FM, Tampa and WUSN-FM, Chicago. (Note: not to be confused with the CHUM personality Tom Rivers.) Listeners of WQYK-FM 99.5 loved his amiable, conversational patter during morning drive time.

Rivers was a veteran of 17 years in country radio, most of it spent at WQYK-FM Tampa, Fla., where he served, at various times, as PD, morning host and VP/GM. His career also included a stint as PD/morning host at WMZQ Washington, D.C.

The industry heaped awards on him, including the rare double honor as top personality of the year in both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

Country stars such as Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire and Mary Chapin Carpenter - whose rise to prominence in the early 1990s paralleled Mr. Rivers' own meteoric ascent in country radio - counted him as a genuine friend.

Rivers died after going to sleep March 19 in Chicago, where he worked the last year of his life as operations manager at WUSN-FM. According to his mother, The cause of death was bronchial asthma, a chronic condition he battled much of his life.

He started working the 7 p.m. to midnight shift at Tampa's WQYK-FM . By 1990, at just 24, he had moved up to program director, launching WQYK's era of ratings dominance and eventual recognition by the CMA as the nation's top country station.

In 2005...Morris Blum died from cancer at age 95. Blum started WANN-AM in 1947 in Annapolis, Maryland and pioneered the idea of black programming, playing gospel and rhythm and blues.

Morris Blum
Blum served in the merchant marine as a radio operator aboard a tanker and later in radio intelligence for the FCC during WWII, according to his son.

"When my father returned home, he witnessed a lot of racism and recognized the barriers many in the Annapolis community faced. He loved nothing more than having guests in the air studio who had never spoken their mind freely before. This was an amazing thing for African-Americans, too."

Carl Snowden, a civil rights activist and former Annapolis City councilman, told the Baltimore Sun that Blum "spent the better part of his life fighting against bigotry. He averted a catastrophe in Annapolis at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King's death in 1968. He opened the station and allowed the African-American community to come of the radio and voice its concern. There were uplifting comments that allayed fear here."

In 2006... Bill Beutel, ABC Radio & TV news anchor died at age 75.

His first radio job was in Cleveland before moving to CBS Radio in New York City in 1957.  Beutel moved to ABC on October 22, 1962 as a reporter with ABC News and as anchor at the network's New York flagship, WABC-TV.

In 2012…Film critic/entertainment journalist (Chicago Daily-News, WMAQ-TV)/former radio disc jockey (WIND-Chicago, WCKY-Cincinnati)/ newsman Norman Mark died of multiple myeloma at the age of 72.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hulk Hogan Awarded $115M In Gawker Sex Tape Case

UPDATE 7:30pm 3/18/16: A Florida jury on Friday awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million with the possibility of more after finding the Gawker website violated his privacy by publishing a sex tape of the celebrity wrestler.

Reuters reports the jury deliberated for six hours.  The jury awarded Hogan $60 million for emotional distress and $55 million for economic damages. They remain sequestered until Monday when the jury will consider punitive damages and other matters.

"This is a victory for everyone who has had their privacy violated," Hogan's attorney, David Houston, said.

As the award was announced, Hogan cried and hugged Houston.

Gawker publisher Nick Denton said the website would appeal the verdict.

Hogan had sought $100 million in damages over the edited video that Gawker, a New York-based outlet known for gossip and media reporting, posted online in 2012.

The jury of two men and four women agreed with Hogan that his privacy had been violated, that the violation had caused him harm and that Hogan had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Gawker's Nick Denton
The case drew attention as a digital-age test of a celebrity's privacy rights and freedom of the press under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Gawker's one-minute, 41-second video depicted Hogan, 62, engaged in sex with the wife of his then-best friend, radio "shock jock" personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

Hogan, a longtime star of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), said he did not know the consensual encounter had been recorded when it occurred nearly a decade ago in Bubba's home.

Gawker's video included excerpts from a 30-minute sex tape the company obtained without knowing its origin.

Hogan, whose legal name is Terry Bollea, testified that he still suffers from the humiliation of a video that went viral. The video was viewed 2.5 million times on the Gawker site.

Both named in the lawsuit, they stood by the post, which Denton said "stands up to the test of time."

UPDATE 7PM 3/18/16:   The jury in Hulk Hogan's invasion of privacy suit against Gawker Media awarded the ex-wrestler $115 million Friday. The six person jury -- four women and two men -- deliberated for nearly six hours. Hogan, dressed all in black including a black bandana, cried when the verdict was announced.

UPDATE 2PM 3/18/16:   Nearly three weeks after they first learned that the 62-year-old former wrestler Hulk Hogan had appeared in a sex tape, six jurors began deliberating Friday in a case that tests the bounds of the First Amendment.

Earlier Posting.....

A judge Thursday denied Gawker Media's request to play for a jury the full 30-minute Hulk Hogan sex tape.

Attorneys for Gawker had hoped to show jurors the original video they received in late Sept. 2012 that showed the former wrestler having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, Tampa DJ Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. They have argued that because Gawker didn't publish the entire video, the website's editors acted responsibly by only showing clips that emphasized the writer's point about the banality of celebrity sex tapes.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, rather than posting all the footage, Gawker editors winnowed it down to a one-minute and 41-second excerpt, of which nine seconds showed actual sex. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued over the video, arguing it violated his privacy, and demanded $100 million. The case could go to the jury as early as Friday.

That highlight reel, which was watched by some 2.5 million people online, is all that jurors will be allowed to see. And they will not watch it in the courtroom, as had been previously discussed, but will see it in the jury room when they break for deliberations.

Hogan appeared on the stand last week, but Thursday's depositions gave Gawker one more opportunity to raise questions about Hogan's discomfort with some aspect of his sex life going public.

In a 2014 deposition, Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was shown an advertisement he did for the web hosting company Hostamania. The ad parodied the music video for Miley Cyrus' hit single "Wrecking Ball," and closed with a shot of Hogan's exposed derriere.

Gawker argues that its publication of the sex tape is protected by the First Amendment in part because of how much Hogan has made his sex life a matter of public interest.

Hogan's attorneys have countered that argument by claiming that there is a difference between his wrestling persona and the man behind the character.

According to CNNMoney, after saying that his in-ring persona is both wholesome and family-oriented, Hogan was asked in the deposition if he felt embarrassed that the ad is available on the internet.

"No, because it's an advertisement for a promotional piece in character," he said. "I think it's fun."

In another 2014 deposition, Gawker's attorneys played a clip of a lewd interview between Hogan and Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem, the radio host who recorded the sex tape. The tape showed Hogan having sex with Clem's wife at the time, Heather Cole. Hogan settled with both Clem and Cole out of court.

Hogan said in the deposition that he did the interview in character.

"I thought we were doing a skit, a comedy routine, so privacy never entered my mind at that time as best as I can recall," he said.

George Beasley Takes Medical Leave From Broadcast Group

George Beasley
Beasley Broadcast Group today announced that George G. Beasley, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, will be on a medical leave of absence, effective immediately.

The Company also announced that Caroline Beasley, Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer during Mr. Beasley’s absence. Mr. Beasley will continue to serve as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Caroline Beasley, 53, has served as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary since 1994 and as a Director since 1983. She joined the Company in 1983 and since that time has served in various capacities including Business Manager, Assistant Controller and Corporate Controller. Ms. Beasley currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters and on the Board of Directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. She is also a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors.

Caroline Beasley
She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Radio Music License Committee and on the Board of Directors and the Radio Executive Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters. Ms. Beasley has a B.S. from the University of North Carolina. Ms. Beasley is the daughter of George G. Beasley and the sister of Bruce G. Beasley, President, Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Company and Brian E. Beasley, Vice President of Operations and Director of the Company.

Ms. Beasley commented, "George’s passion for radio and entrepreneurial spirit have made a positive and lasting impact on the industry and in the development and long-term success of Beasley Broadcast Group. On behalf of Company employees, family, friends and business associates, our heartfelt thoughts are with George during his medical leave. Out of respect, we will be honoring his request for privacy and will not be commenting further on his condition at this time.

“Given the life-long participation in the radio industry and at Beasley Broadcast Group of President and Chief Operating Officer, Bruce Beasley; Vice President of Operations, Brian Beasley; myself, and our strong team of corporate and local management and personnel, I am confident that our operations will remain completely on course during George’s leave.”

Ms. Beasley received total compensation of $842,279 in 2014, including salary of $440,273, stock awards valued at $231,000 and a bonus of $150,000.

Radio Ad Spending Up 22% In February

U.S. ad revenues swelled across all media sectors, except the print market, during the second month of the year, according to global advertising data company Standard Media Index (SMI). The total market rose by 10% in February compared to the same period last year.

Healthy television ad revenues during the month contributed to solid results (5% YoY) for the sector despite flagging ratings evident across the board. Notably, this awards season appeared to lose its luster with weak performances from both the Grammy Awards and Oscars broadcasts.

It was still a mixed bag for TV despite its overall growth. Broadcast’s revenues shed -2% for the month, however cable and all other TV sectors recorded year-on-year percentage growth in the single to double-digit range.

“While February continued to see ratings under pressure it looks like most of the cable networks have been able to wash a lot of their audience make goods through their systems and are starting to book some pretty healthy year on year revenue gains. TV continues to prove it’s the most powerful medium for reaching large, easily targeted and engaged audiences,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO.

“Advertisers are also seeing that adding video to a TV buy multiples the effect and ROI of their campaigns and we’re seeing this in the very considerable and consistent growth levels delivered by video on both premium sites and through social platforms. We expect to see this trend accelerate through 2016 as measurement continues to improve.”

There were 21% more advertising dollars invested in the thriving digital sector this February over 2015, which comes as advertisers continue to favor the medium as a more effective way to reach their audiences. Digital's share of total ad spend has increased to 27%, rising by 3 points in February compared to 2015.

In traditional media, radio advertising spending (22% YoY) in February eclipsed even digital media’s performance in a surprising result, while newspapers (-17%) and magazines’ (-5%) ad revenues delivered negative year-on-year results.

SMI’s data showed that out of home (10%) advertising continues to be another bright spot in the market, maintaining the momentum it generated in late 2015.

Interestingly, U.S. consumer spending sputtered in February, according to a report released by the Census Bureau, while advertising spending continues to grow. Retail sales have now fallen for two consecutive months, a sign that the ad market might soon experience a knock-on effect.

Feb PPMs Released For Austin, Nashville, Memphis, 9 More Markets

Nielsen on Thursday 03/17/16 Released February PPM Data for the following markets:

   35  Austin

   38  Indianapolis

   40  Raleigh-Durham 

   41  Milwaukee-Racine

   43  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

   44  Nashville

   45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

   46  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC

   48  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

   49  Jacksonville FL

   51  Memphis

   52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown

Click Here for Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations. 

Nielsen: Campaigns Driving News/Talk Format

The release of Nielsen’s February portable people meter (PPM) ratings for 48 markets in the  U.S. reveals that election-mania has pushed News/Talk to new highs.

The format is nearly in double-digit listener share territory— a level it hasn’t been since the last Presidential election in 2012. News/Talk is up two-10ths from January to February (9.7% to 9.9%) among all listeners (aged 6 and older). Listenership for adults 25-54 also climbed two-10ths to a 6.9% share in February while listener share for adults 18-34 remain flat at 4.1%. With more than seven months to go before the election, News/Talk radio should remain a political powerhouse on the radio dial.

Without post-season football and all the Super Bowl hype, February tends to be a slow month for the Sports-Talk format. Shares dropped nearly a full point among all listeners 6 and up (5.1% to 4.2%) from January to February. Listener share for adults 18-34 dropped from 3.4% to 3.0% over the same period, while share for adults 25-54 dropped from 5.6% to 4.7%.

February's Top Radio Formats...

While Americans spend the most time with TV, radio reaches the most people in the U.S.—93% of Americans tune in to radio each week. But how are voters using this medium? Nielsen looked at each of Experian's major voter segments to how these groups break out across the top five radio formats nationally.

Not surprisingly, News/Talk has the greatest amount of people who have already “made up their minds” whether Republican or Democrat. Meanwhile, Urban Adult Contemporary (AC) and Contemporary Hits Radio (CHR) are great for the “register to vote initiative.” And Republican and Demoracte listenership levels are almost equal for Country.

Fitch: CBS's Ratings Unaffected by Radio Divestiture

CBS Corporation's (CBS) 'BBB' Issuer Default Rating is not affected by the announcement that the company is pursuing strategic alternatives for its radio station business, according to Fitch Ratings. CBS had approximately $8.5 billion of debt outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2015.

While potential transaction details have not been disclosed, Fitch expects that CBS will structure a transaction in a leverage neutral manner and that the company's financial policy, namely its commitment to a leverage target of between 2.5x-2.75x, remain unchanged. Fitch anticipates that the majority of proceeds received by CBS in connection with the radio divestiture will be distributed to shareholders and that the company will take steps to reduce debt to maintain leverage in line with Fitch's 2.75x gross leverage target for the current ratings.

From Fitch's perspective, the potential divestiture of the radio business is aligned with CBS' content-centric business strategy, which focuses on more stable and recurring revenue streams and positions the company to reduce its exposure to more volatile advertising revenues. The company's exposure to advertising revenues declines to 45% pro forma for the divestment of its radio business from approximately 50% during the year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

The anticipated exit from the radio business would enable the company to focus on long-term revenue growth opportunities and de-risk its business model by reducing its exposure to volatile advertising revenues. CBS highlighted its plan to leverage its content-centric strategy to increase revenues by an incremental $3.75 billion through 2020. The company intends to capitalize on its strong content position to drive long-term revenue growth in retransmission and reverse compensation and international distribution while capturing revenue growth opportunities presented by changing media consumption patterns and emerging devices with over-the-top video services, skinny bundles and monetization of time-shifted viewing.

CBS is the second largest operator of radio stations in the U.S. with 117 radio stations, with a majority concentrated in the top 25 largest radio markets. Fitch estimates that CBS's radio business generated approximately $1.3 billion of revenue during 2015, representing 8.8% of consolidated revenues. Radio segment revenues declined 6% during 2015 reflecting the weak advertising environment, fewer radio stations, and lower political revenues. Fitch believes that secular headwinds will continue to dampen the operating profile within the radio segment. Listenership will remain under moderate secular pressure from competitive alternatives, and Fitch anticipates low- to mid-single-digit annual advertising revenue declines (excluding digital).

Competitive alternatives and new Internet and mobile entrants will reduce time spent listening to terrestrial radio, although the audience reach should not decline substantially.

Report: How Radio Can Help TV Reach Consumers

It's getting tougher for traditional TV to reach consumers; however, Pierre Bouvard, CMO of Cumulus and Westwood One, has just blogged about how radio can help.

Bouvard cites a half-dozen reasons that “while still a powerful medium for advertisers, it’s getting harder to find the eyeballs on TV these days.”

Key points include:
  • Total TV audiences are down. Primetime ratings were down 7% January 2015 versus January 2016, according to media analysts MoffettNathanson.
  • Millennial TV viewing is seeing an even sharper drop. Only 73% of 18- to 34-year-olds are reached by TV in a week, according to Nielsen.
  • Nearly half of primetime viewing is time shifted. Nielsen reports only 56% of primetime viewing is live.
  • Netflix is responsible for 50% of TV viewing erosion. MoffettNathanson recently calculated that half of U.S. TV’s viewing drop is due to Netflix.
Heavy streaming usage among young demographics explains the drop in TV viewing. Nielsen reports:
  • Half of U.S. homes have Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video.
  • Among upscale homes with $75,000+ incomes, streaming subscriptions soar to nearly two-thirds.
  • 74% of homes headed by Millennials 35 and younger subscribe to one of the video streaming services.
  • 1 in 5 American homes have a smart TV, according to Nielsen. Prevalence is even higher in upscale homes.
Pierre Bouvard
“Despite these six challenges, TV is still an excellent ad medium. There is a way to improve TV impact: adding radio to the media plan boosts exposure among consumers who are only lightly exposed to a TV campaign,” Bouvard writes.

He cites a recent Nielsen case study that found radio doubles campaign frequency among the 40% of Americans who were lightly exposed to the TV campaign.

“TV time spent and reach are down. Younger and upscale consumers are spending more time with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Radio can compensate for the loss of TV tuning and reach by amplifying impact among light and medium TV viewers.”

DC Radio: WRQX Promotes, Re-Signs Ashley Nickels

Ashley Nickels
Cumulus Media announces that it has re-signed popular on-air host Ashley Nickels as Midday Personality of WRQX MIX 107.3 FM in Washington, D.C. and has promoted Nickels to Music Director of MIX 107.3, effective immediately. 

Nickels joined the station in 2014 as On-Air Personality, Nights. Prior to that, she hosted Nights at KDND in Sacramento. Nickels grew up in Las Vegas and began her radio career at her hometown station, TOP40 KLUC. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies, she moved to Sacramento to do nights at 107.9 The End.

Louie Diaz, Program Director of MIX 107.3, said: “Ashley’s on-air sound and work ethic make her a perfect fit for Middays and Music Director, as we continue to roll out the return of MIX 107.3 to Washington, D.C.”

Nickels said: “I am BEYOND excited and honored to be part of this next phase with such a wonderful team at the new MIX 107.3! I would like to thank Louie Diaz, Jake McCann and Mike McVay for giving me the opportunity to continue growing within Cumulus on-air, and allowing me to now branch out off-air into the role of Music Director.”

WRQX 107.3 FM (19.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area

Report: Programmatic A Ways Off For Radio Buyers

Many different media have pushed quickly into programmatic buying.

Magazine companies such as Time Inc. have set up exchanges to sell print inventory.

NBCUniversal recently rolled out an exchange to be used across its cable and broadcast networks. A handful of Super Bowl commercials have been purchased programmatically since 2015.

Out of home has experimented with automated buying, too.

And of course digital immediately embraced automation.

There’s one glaring absence from that list, though: Radio.

Radio would seem ideally suited to programmatic considering how much total volume of advertising is bought and how many local ad reps are needed to do it.  But radio has been very slow to embrace programmatic at the local level, which accounts for the bulk of radio advertising. In fact, Jon Mansell, vice president of marketplace innovation at Magna Global, says less than 1 percent of all radio buys are made programmatically.

Why so low?

Well, a major reason is lack of opportunity. As one agency contacted by Media Life pointed out, nearly all the existing programmatic options are for national radio buys.

“We’re hoping to test it locally once more options role out,” the agency noted.

Mansell agrees that radio options have been slow to develop.

Another hurdle: Disorganization.  There are dozens of vendors rolling out programmatic buying exchanges across different media. The industry is still so young that there isn’t any one brand that’s emerged as the industry standard, as Nielsen quickly became for TV ratings, for instance.

For radio, that’s complicated by the fact that individual stations then could choose any of those platforms. Buyers might have to deal with a dozen different exchanges for just one market.

But perhaps the most difficult thing to overcome will be the disdain for programmatic within some segments of the buying community.

“I would not buy programmatically, not even at the national level. Strategic radio planning requires actual conversations with a station’s seller, promotions director, and/or program director about what makes their station distinctive and how it’s a good fit (or not) for a particular client,” another buyer says.

Still, Magna’s Mansell says within a few years, more than half of radio buys will be handled programmatically. He says attribution will drive heavy adoption of the technology.

NPR: Podcast Mentions To Be Informational, Not Promos

Chris Turpin, NPRs VP/News programming and operations issued a new policy concerning on-air references to podcasts.  According to Turpin, “We are also fielding more and more questions from news staff and Member stations about our policies for referring to podcasts on air.”

Turpin write there must be no “call to action” to listen to podcasts on the part of on-air staff.  “We won’t tell people to actively download a podcast or where to find them. No mentions of, iTunes, Stitcher, NPR One, etc.” The rules “apply to all podcasts, whether produced by NPR or by other entities.”

The new podcast policy seems to be a nod from NPR Stations, who pay the largest share of NPR’s bills. Also, NPR’s board is majority station managers.

On-air hosts don’t have to completely pretend that podcasts don’t exist. Turpin provides examples of good and bad ways to acknowledge the wildly popular form of audio programming:
As podcasts grow in number and popularity we are talking about them more often in our news programs. We are also fielding more and more questions from news staff and Member stations about our policies for referring to podcasts on air. To that end, we want to establish some common standards, especially for language in back announces. Our hope is to establish basic principles that are easy to understand and allow plenty of flexibility for creativity. These guidelines apply to all podcasts, whether produced by NPR or by other entities. 
— No Call to Action: We won’t tell people to actively download a podcast or where to find them. No mentions of, iTunes, Stitcher, NPR One, etc. 
“That’s Linda Holmes of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and our blogger on the same subject and Bob Mondello, NPR’s film critic. Thanks so much. 
“OK, everyone. You can download Alt.Latino from iTunes and, of course, via the NPR One app. 
— Informational, not Promotional: When referring to podcasts, and the people who host, produce, or contribute to them, we will mention the name of the podcast but not in a way that explicitly endorses it. References should not specifically promote the content of the podcast (e.g., “This week, the Politics Podcast team digs into delegate math.”) If you feel a podcast title needs explaining (e.g. Hidden Brain), some additional language can be added (e.g., “That’s Shankar Vedantam, he hosts a podcast that explores the unseen patterns of human behavior. It’s called, Hidden Brain”). Just to repeat: Be creative in how you back announce podcasts, but please avoid outright promotion. 
— No NPR One: For now, NPR One will not be promoted on the air.