Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 17 Radio History

Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake
In Arthur Lake was born in smalltown Kentucky.  He is forever memorable and beloved for bringing Dagwood Bumstead, the bumbling husband of Blondie, to life in radio, television and film. The radio version ran weekly for 11 years, from 1939-50, debuting on CBS, and later on each of the major networks.  Lake suffered a heart attack and died Jan. 9 1987 at age 81.

In 1922...San Francisco pioneer radio station KPO (later KNBR) went on the air from the 6th floor of Hale Bros. Dep’t Store.  It began with a power of 50 watts at 833 khz.

In 1923...Newscaster Harry Reasoner was born. He died Aug. 6, 1991 at 68.  After WW2, Reasoner went into radio with CBS in 1948 and then worked for the United States Information Agency in the Philippines. When he returned stateside, he went into television and worked at station KEYD (later KMSP) in Minneapolis. Reasoner later joined CBS News in New York, where he eventually hosted a morning news program called Calendar on top of doing commentator and special news narration duties.

After a stay of several years in the '70s at ABC. Reasoner returned to CBS and 60 Minutes where he remained until his retirement on May 19, 1991.  He died three months after his retirement from a blood clot in the brain received from a fall at his home in Westport, CT

In 1934...WLW Cincinnati licensed to operate at 500kW.

In January 1934 WLW began broadcasting at the 500 kilowatt level late at night under the experimental callsign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500 kilowatts during regular hours under the WLW call letters. On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a ceremonial button that officially launched WLW's 500-kilowatt signal.  As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received repeated complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was overpowering other stations as far away as Toronto.

In December 1934 WLW cut back to 50 kilowatts at night to mitigate the interference, and began construction of three 50 ft. tower antennas to be used to reduce signal strength towards Canada. With these three antennas in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935.

However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months, and each renewal brought complaints about interference and undue domination of the market by such a high-power station. The FCC was having second thoughts about permitting extremely wide-area broadcasting versus more locally oriented stations, and in 1938, the US Senate adopted the "Wheeler" resolution, expressing it to be the sense of that body that more stations with power in excess of 50 kilowatts are against the public interest. As a result, in 1939 the 500-kilowatt broadcast authorization was not renewed, bringing an end to the era of the AM radio superstation.  Because of the impending war and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942.

In 1962 the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation again applied for a permit to operate at 750 kilowatts, but the FCC denied the application.

In 1935…After more than a year as a local program on WENR in Chicago, "Lights Out" debuted to a national audience on NBC Radio. In June of 1936, Chicago writer Arch Oboler took over from series creator Wyllis Cooper and stayed with the program until 1943. The series continued until the summer of 1947.

In 1964…Washington's FBI lab reported it could not determine the lyrics to "Louie Louie."

In 1965…RCA and the LearJet Corporation announced the development of the combination 8 track tape player and car radio that would become available in next fall's new cars.

In 1970...the Apollo 13 astronauts splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft en route to the Moon.

In 1971..."Joy To The World" by Three Dog Night peaked at number one on the pop singles chart, where it remained for six weeks.

Anthony Perkins, Peter Potter, Troy Donahue
In 1983...Peter Potter, DJ on KMPC, KFWB, KLAC L-A and host of the ABC-TV Show Juke Box Jury in the '50s, died at 78

In 1986...WRFM 105.1 FM NYC switched from beautiful music to soft rock as WNSR.

In 1994…Former NBC and CBS newsman Peter Hackes, seven-year host of the daily radio program "Mature Focus" for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), died after a heart attack at 69.

In 1996...Bob Grant did last show at WABC NYC.

Grant was hired by WABC in 1984 and at first hosted a show from 9-11 p.m., before moving to the 3-6 p.m. afternoon time slot. The Bob Grant Show consistently dominated the ratings in the highly competitive afternoon drive time slot in New York City and at one point the radio station aired recorded promos announcing him as "America's most listened to talk radio personality." The gravel-voiced Grant reminded listeners during the daily introduction that the "program was unscripted and unrehearsed".

Grant's long stay at WABC ended when he was fired for a remark about the April 3, 1996 airplane crash involving Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Grant remarked to caller named, Carl of Oyster Bay, "My hunch is that (Brown) is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it's because, at heart, I'm a pessimist." When Brown was found dead, Grant's comments were widely criticized, and several weeks later, after a media campaign, his contract was terminated.

After being fired, Grant moved down the dial to WOR to host his show in the same afternoon drive-time slot. Grant's age began to show while broadcasting at WOR. He was less engaging with the callers, and not as energetic during his broadcasts. For a time, the Bob Grant show went into national syndication, but has been a local only show since 2001. Grant and his WABC replacement Sean Hannity would sometimes throw jabs at each other. Hannity defeated Grant in the ratings from 2001–2006.

Grant's WOR run ended on January 13, 2006. After several fill-in stints at WABC, Grant returned to WABC in August 2007.  His finals stint lasted less than a year and a half, until his regular nightly show was pulled by WABC in late November 2008 as part of a programming shuffle stemming from the debut of Curtis Sliwa's national show, and later Mark Levin's show expanding to three hours, leaving no room for Grant.

In 1998...Photographer Linda McCartney, wife of former Beatles member Paul McCartney, died of cancer. She was 56.

Laura Ingraham Drops F-bomb During Tech Glitch

Laura Ingrahamm
Audio has emerged revealing talk show host Laura Ingraham cursed on-air while apparently experiencing technical issues during her syndicated radio show.

The incident happened during Friday's broadcast of The Laura Ingraham Show, the Daily Mail reported.

Ingraham lashed out a producer at one point.

The 52-year-old Ingraham was heard saying: 'What's going on? What do I do guys?' 'I can't hear anything. What do I do?'

She continued, talking to executive producer Drew Carmichael: 'Drew can you hear something in yours? No, right?'

'Are you on "Best of?" Are you on "Best of?" We have dead air?'

Then a version of the song Proud Mary could be heard during the broadcast.

'We gotta put a "Best of" on, Drew.'

'We're gonna lose every f****** station we have. This is unbelievable.'

'I don't know what to do. What do I do? Just read stories?'

SF Radio: Elroy RC Smith New OM/PD For KBLX, KRBQ

Elroy RC Smith
Entercom San Francisco announced Friday the appointment of Elroy R.C. Smith to a newly created position of Operations Manager and Program Director for KBLX 102.9 FM  and KRBQ 102.1 FM as part of a re-organization to enhance collaboration, and natural synergies between brands as well as operational innovation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elroy to the Bay Area and to the Entercom family,” commented Steve DiNardo, Vice President and Market Manager of Entercom San Francisco. “He is a career Urban and Rhythmic Programmer who has competed at the highest levels in major markets like Chicago and Philadelphia. His acumen in both programming and operations will be invaluable to our continued success and momentum in the marketplace.”

He added, “We also thank Stacy Cunningham and Trevor Simpson for their contributions and wish them continued success in their future endeavors”.

Smith said, “I could not be more excited and grateful to begin my journey in San Francisco! Entercom is the fastest growing and best performing broadcaster in America, and its San Francisco cluster is poised for continued growth. I look forward to working with a stellar team in super-serving our audience with great music, promotions and events and building listener engagement across all of our brands and platforms.”

Smith added, “I want to thank, Steve DiNardo, VP & Market Manager of Entercom San Francisco & Pat Paxton, President of Programming for Entercom, for giving me this amazing opportunity to join such a well accomplished and respected company.”

Smith, an icon in the radio industry, was most recently Summit Media’s Operations Director in Greenville, South Carolina. Previously he served as radio strategist for numerous syndicated shows and programming formats. He is highly awarded with accolades such as WGCI R&R Urban Station of the Year (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006), Radio Music Awards Urban Programmer of the Year (2005), Marconi Radio Award for Urban Station of the Year (2006) among others.

D/FW Radio: Atom Smasher Replaces Chris Jagger At KDGE-FM

Chris Jagger is out at KDGE 102.1 FM  as The Edge announced Friday that long time Texan radio host Atom Smasher will take over mornings on 102.1 The Edge with The Atom Smasher Show, beginning Monday, May 2, 2016.

The Atom Smasher Show will feature host Atom Smasher weekday mornings on 102.1 The Edge from 6-10:00 a.m. Additional co-hosts will be announced soon.

“I’m so excited to have Atom join the EDGE team,” said Jay Shannon, Program Director for KDGE-FM. “Atom has a winning track record, including his time here in Dallas, and will be a big part of improving KDGE’s market position. He’s creative, extremely entertaining and has an exceptional work ethic. I look forward to seeing Atom’s “energy” on the station!”

“I’ve wanted to make the move to rock radio for some time,” said Smasher. “This opportunity is huge and I’m really ready to get going on the Edge and do what I love to do.”

“We are thrilled to add Atom to the Edge lineup,” says Patrick Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming. “This will be a big win for the loyal Edge fans and the Dallas / Ft. Worth metroplex!”

KDGE 102.1 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Atom began his career in Baton Rouge and New Orleans before making the big jump to KRBE Houston in 1998 where he spent 8 years hosting nights, afternoons and eventually mornings. He then did a 2 year stint at KHKS Dallas, 5 years at WSTO Evansville, IN, and most recently 18 months at KHMX Houston.

Augusta GA Radio: More Bull From iHM

iHeartMedia/Augusta announced Friday the return of the iconic Bull to the market.

WSCG 105.7 FM has been rebranded as The Bull and will program the hottest Country hits including the newest tracks from artists such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line.

Meanwhile, W292EE 106.3 FM Bull Icons, 'The Country that made Augusta Great', will offer classic country favorites like George Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba, Alabama and Garth Brooks.

WSCG 105.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“We’re excited to have the iconic Bull brand return to Augusta giving country fans two great choices with the best new country on 105.7 The Bull and all of your past favorites and classics on Bull Icons at 106.3,” said Brian Michel, Region Senior Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia Augusta.

W292EE 106.3 FM (250 watts)
“We are very excited to expand our footprint within the Country format. We look forward to providing the best content for our listeners, and delivering the best results for our valued partners,” said Ivy Elam, Market President, iHeartMedia Augusta.

Milwaukee Radio: WTMJ Restrutures Via Promotions

WTMJ 620 AM announced several promotions and structural changes behind the scenes in its news and programming operations Friday.

Eric Brooks, who was named program manager last fall, was promoted to director, programming and news. Producer-reporter Erin Dismeier was promoted to executive producer, WTMJ programming, continuing as producer of WTMJ's afternoon news show.

Erik Bilstad, WTMJ's lead reporter, reportedly will get more time in that job while keeping his role as executive producer, WTMJ News.

In its statement announcing the moves, WTMJ said the structural changes were designed to boost local news coverage and content.

Is Talk Radio On the Take?

The political blog Reality Check has dug into Ted Cruz FEC Filings and discovered the Cruz PACs paid a Talk Radio Insider over $8 Million Dollars, and the endorsements of Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and others quickly came in.

One FCC rule is 47 U.S. Code § 317 or the Payola Rule.  Simply put, Radio/TV Stations and their employees are not allowed to take money to put content in their programming, mention items, talk about candidates, etc. unless that sponsorship is disclosed.

In other words, if a Talk Show host like Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt or others was paid money by a campaign to talk glowingly, defend or endorse a candidate, and not disclose that they were paid on-air to the audience, or the radio stations they are broadcast on, they’d be in violation of the law.  The station could lose it’s license and the host could be jailed and fined.

If  radio hosts are doing it on their own, with no payment, it’s perfectly legal.  However, if money is flowing to them, and they are not disclosing it, they are violating Federal Law.

The question is, are these talk show hosts becoming Pro-Cruz on their own volition?  Or are they being paid big money to sway the election in Cruz’s favor?

A look at Ted Cruz PAC filings (Keep The Promise I &  Keep The Promise PAC) turns up expenses totaling $8,467,466.00 to a company out of Plano Texas called Rigel Strategies LLC.

Rigel Strategies, LLC is owned by a man named Dennis Sternitzky.  Sternitzky is the only employee of Rigel Strategies, LLC according to Reality Check. Sternitzky is a former sales rep for Salem Communications (now known as Salem Media Group), which owns 117 radio stations across the United States.  Salem also owns the website Red State which puts on the “Red State Gathering” that is hosted by Erick Erickson.  The Red State Gathering notoriously banned Donald Trump from appearing at it’s latest get together in Denver Colorado.

According to Sternitzky’s LinkedIn Profile, he was the National Account Manager for Salem Communications (syndicator for Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Erick Erickson and Hugh Hewitt) from August 2005 to August 2011.  Before that Sternitzky worked for Premeire Radio Networks (syndicator for Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Meghan McCain).

The question becomes, what is Rigel Strategies doing with these payments?

Is Cruz’s “Keeping the Promise I” and “Keep The Promise PAC”, through Rigel Strategies, LLC. paying conservative talk show hosts and media pundits for their endorsements, their defense of Cruz and to attack his opponents?  If so, this would be a blatant violation of the FCC’s Payola and Plugola laws as the hosts mentioned have not disclosed on the air the payments made in exchange for their programming.

April 16 Radio History

Joan Alexander
In Les Tremayne was born in England, but moved to Chicago at age 4. Landing his first radio job in 1930, he went on to appear in scores of serials and shows using a variety of voices and accents, including leads in First Nighter, The Thin Man & The Falcon.  He is believed to have worked on more than 30,000 broadcasts, with as many as 45 radio shows a week in the 30s and 40s. In TV he had recurring roles in One Man’s Family, Ellery Queen, Rin Tin Tin & General Hospital, as well as scores of guest roles.  Late in life he turned to voiceover cartoon work.  He died of heart failure Dec 19, 2003 at age 90.

In 1915...actress Joan Alexander was born in St. Paul, Minn. She played Lois Lane on the radio serial The Adventures of Superman (1940-51) for more than 1600 episodes, and Della Street on the CBS radio daytime drama Perry Mason.  On TV she appeared as a regular panelist on the 1951–1955 ABC-TV game show The Name’s the Same.  She died at age 94 due to an intestinal blockage on May 21 2009.

In 1935...the highly popular "Fibber McGee & Molly" Radio program was first broadcast.
Episode Titled The Blizzard 1942. Original Air Date Was 01/27/1942.

In 1956...the first solar powered radio went on sale.

In 1956...ABC Radio debuted “Rhythm Parade,” a a nationally broadcast rock and roll show from the Flame Show Bar in Detroit.

In 1962...The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite debuted. Over 18 years, Cronkite became known as "The Most Trusted Man in America."

In 1987...the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sternly warned U.S. radio stations to watch the use of indecent language on the airwaves. This was directed at shock jocks, like Howard Stern, and those on your neighborhood radio station. Some stations, the FCC noted, had gone way beyond the seven dirty words made famous by comedian George Carlin in a routine from the early 1970s.

In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show debuted on WRQC-FM in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota.

In 1999…Pittsburgh radio personality (KDKA)/actor/cartoon voicist Rege Cordic died of brain cancer at the age of 72.

Rege Cordic
Cordic was born in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh and attended Central Catholic High School. He started in radio as a staff announcer and substitute sportscaster at WWSW-AM. When morning host Davey Tyson left the station in 1948, Cordic was one of a number of staffers given the opportunity to replace him. At first a straightforward announcer, Cordic began introducing comedy to his program—first in subtle ways, such as reading a sports score for "East Overshoe University" along with the real scores, and later by adding a repertory company of supporting comic characters. The morning show, renamed "Cordic & Company," became the most popular in Pittsburgh.

In 1954, "Cordic & Company" moved to KDKA-AM on Labor Day, one of the first times that an American radio station had hired a major personality directly from a local competitor. Popular Bette Smiley had decided to retire from her full-time KDKA wake-up show "Radio Gift Shoppe of the Air" and move to a Sunday-only condensed version on WCAE in August 1954 in order to raise her young son Robbie. Cordic's immediate predecessor in the morning slot was the "Ed and Rainbow" show, featuring Ed Schaughency with Elmer Waltman cast in the role of Rainbow, the janitor. Waltman was dropped, and Schaughency was moved to the afternoon with a show called "Schaughency's Record Cabinet."

Schaughency lasted less than two years in that role before he was replaced by Art Pallan, who also came over from WWSW. Schaughency took on a new role as a news reader and moved back to mornings, delivering the newscasts during "Cordic & Company." The Cordic show's ratings continued to grow until, at some points, it had an 85 share—meaning that 85% of all radios in Pittsburgh were tuned to "Cordic & Company" while it was on. By the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh, Cordic was reportedly earning $100,000 a year, a huge sum for a radio host at the time.

One of Cordic's most memorable running gags at both WWSW and KDKA were fake advertisements for "Olde Frothingslosh", "the pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom." The beer was supposedly brewed by Sir Reginald Frothingslosh at Upper Crudney-on-the-Thames. In 1955, Pittsburgh Brewing Company began issuing special Christmas-season cans and bottles of Olde Frothingslosh filled with real beer. Since the Cordic ad read "The foam is on the bottom", the bottles & cans were packed upside down in the cases. The humorous labels changed every year and became favorites of collectors. The brewery (as well as a few other small local Pittsburgh breweries such as Tech Beer) released new editions of Olde Frothingslosh even after Cordic left Pittsburgh, continuing until 1982 and then reviving the brand in 1998, and more recently in 2007.

In 1965, CBS Radio offered Cordic the morning drive-time spot at KNX-AM in Los Angeles. The spot was being vacated by Bob Crane, who was leaving radio to star in Hogan's Heroes. Cordic accepted the offer in July 1965, but KDKA owner Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation refused to release Cordic from his contract until it ended in November 1965. KNX's morning ratings dropped precipitously during the four months that the show had no permanent host. They improved somewhat when Cordic arrived, but not enough to offset the drop, and the station switched to an all-news format after 18 months with Cordic as the morning host. The flair for Pittsburgh-centered satire, it seems, was difficult for Cordic to import to the more sophisticated Los Angeles radio market, despite the successes of similar personalities like Jim Hawthorne.

Cordic, still being paid for the remaining time under his KNX contract, studied acting, and began getting television roles. He first appeared on television in The Monkees in 1967 and The Flying Nun in 1968. He had small parts in a few films, but was primarily a television actor. Over the years, he appeared several times on Gunsmoke, and also had roles in Kung Fu, Nichols, Columbo, Barnaby Jones, The Waltons, and McCloud, among many others. From the late 1970s until 1991, he was heard in cartoon voice roles, starting with The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour in 1976, and also including Jabberjaw, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Transformers, and a voice part in the 1977 animated film The Mouse and His Child. While he lived in Los Angeles, Cordic would regularly fly back to Pittsburgh to tape segments for WTAE-TV's Sunday Afternoon Movie. Cordic had an uncredited part, as a featured party guest in Woody Allen's 1973 movie, "Sleeper."

Cordic returned to morning radio for a brief time in late 1981, taking over at oldies station KRLA/Pasadena. He signed on for a year, but left the job after just four months. He spent the rest of his career in the lucrative voiceover field, lending his voice to many national commercials.

In 2005...NRSC adopts NRSC-4 (United States RBDS) and NRSC-5 (United Sates IBOC) standards

In 2013…former NFL placekicker and sportscaster Pat Summerall, the lead play-by-play voice of NFL football for first CBS, then Fox and ESPN, suffered cardiac arrest and died at age 82.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Music Industry Lobbies On Performance Royalties

More than 200 musicians and songwriters lobbied Congress on Thursday to pass legislation that would make terrestrial radio broadcasters pay performance royalties when their songs are aired, according to The Tennessean.

The proposal, co-sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, is a priority for the Recording Academy, whose members say such a law would bring the U.S. more into line with the rest of the world, keep pace with changes in the technology of music consumption and fairly compensate artists whenever AM or FM radio plays their songs.

“Their product is still being used as a product that an entity profits from — they’re making money on it — but the individual that created that product doesn’t get any share of that,” Blackburn said Thursday.

Blackburn and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., are sponsoring the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which would end the practice among AM and FM radio stations of not paying royalties to artists and labels, based on the premise that radio play is a form of promotion and drives record sales.

George Flanigen, chairman emeritus of the Recording Academy, was among the musicians and songwriters who fanned out across Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet with lawmakers and press them to support the legislation. He said the old model no longer works in the modern world of satellite radio and Internet streaming.

But the proposal is strongly opposed by the National Association of Broadcasters. It calls the idea a performance tax that would financially burden local radio stations, which still reach 265 million Americans a week.

“It is disappointing that this bill retreads years-old policy positions rather than advancing the copyright dialogue through policies that help grow the entire music ecosystem,” NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said when the bill was introduced.

Instead, the broadcasters are advocating for legislation that would prohibit payment of royalties by broadcast radio stations. It's picked up 225 co-sponsors in the U.S. House.

Old People Yell At Dem Debate

(Reuters) -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders challenged each other's judgment and experience in a fiercely combative U.S. presidential debate ahead of Tuesday's crucial nominating contest in New York.

Clinton and Sanders attacked each other over Wall Street, gun control and other issues on Thursday in a series of exchanges that laid bare the mounting pressures on them both but seemed unlikely to change the dynamics of the race.

While far short of the brawls that have characterized Republican debates, the tone reflected a contentious turn in the Democratic contest. Clinton and Sanders out-shouted each other while a split crowd roared its approval.

"If you’re both screaming at each other, the viewers won’t be able to hear either of you," moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN warned during the debate at the historic Navy Yard in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

As the two-hour debate ended, social media analyst Brandwatch said Sanders had more than 173,000 mentions on Twitter, 55 percent of them positive, while Clinton had more than 191,000 mentions, 54 percent of them negative. Clinton mentions were more negative than positive in two out of the three previous debates.

Sanders, 74, will take a quick break from the campaign trail on Friday to fly to the Vatican, where he will give a brief speech at a conference on the world economy and social justice. Sanders, who will be back in New York to campaign on Sunday, has said the trip is not a political appeal for the Catholic vote but a testament to his admiration for Pope Francis.

Clinton needs a New York win to stop a recent streak of seven victories in the last eight contests by Sanders, and expand her commanding lead in pledged delegates to her party's nominating convention, also in July.

Clinton leads Sanders by 251 bound delegates to the July Democratic convention, where 2,383 delegates will be needed for the nomination. Her lead balloons to almost 700 when the support of superdelegates - party leaders who are free to back any candidate - are added.

Sanders, who had questioned the former secretary of state's qualifications to be president, conceded during the debate she was qualified but said she had shown poor judgment by taking money from Wall Street for speeches, by voting as a U.S. senator to back the 2003 Iraq invasion and by supporting free trade deals.

Clinton, 68, responded the charges were also an attack on President Barack Obama, who as a candidate raised money on Wall Street and utilized Super PACS, outside funding groups that can raise unlimited sums of money, but still fought for tough regulations on the financial services industry.

"This is a phony attack that is designed to raise questions when there is no evidence or support," she said.

Atlanta Radio: Frank Ski Returns To V103

Frank Ski receives a warm welcome
Radio industry veteran sFrank Ski aid Wednesday he has signed a contract with CBS radio and is returning to affiliate WVEE V-103.3 FM, the station where he spent 15 years and had a top-rated morning show.

He will be on the air hosting shows starting April 23, working Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 7 to 11 p.m.

“It feels good,” Ski said. “I was in the station for the first time in about three years this morning. The reception was very good from the staff but was exceptionally good from the sales department. They were very excited to see me coming back.”

Ski spent two years, from the end of 2013 to the end of 2015, working at a radio station in Washington and commuting back and forth home to Atlanta. Two months ago he signed a deal with Bounce Television as an on-air talent and consultant to help develop its digital platforms.

“We’re excited about bringing Frank on,” said Rick Caffey, senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio Atlanta. “He’s an addition to an already deep lineup. Where most stations have prime time Monday through Friday, ours is really seven days a week and now we have another pillar of talent on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Ski left Atlanta’s CBS affiliate V-103 in late 2012 after 14 years as morning host, most of it spent as No. 1 in the market, to take his show national.

He moved to Washington D.C.’s WHUR-FM, where he helmed afternoons for two years. Last September, Ski announced his departure from the station but didn’t indicate his next move.

WVEE 103.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“We are the best place for him, this is home,” Caffey said. “This is also the type of station that taps into Frank’s strengths. We were very happy with our existing lineup. We love what Ryan (Cameron) and Wanda (Smith) have done in the morning and Big Tigger in the afternoon, so we had no space in that area. But we tried to find a creative way to make it happen.”

Bakersfield Radio: EJ Tyler Returns

EJ Tyler
American General Media's KGFM 101.5 FM has announced the return E.J. Tyler to the Bakersfield Radio Market.

Tyler is no stranger to listeners in Bakersfield, as he spent nearly a decade in the city, many of those years in Morning Drive radio. EJ will bring his creativity, expertise in the Hot Adult Contemporary format and natural wit to the airwaves beginning Monday, April 18.

KGFM President and General Manager, Rogers Brandon said, "This has been a long search because we wanted just the right person to grow and engage our audience in harmony with the heritage brand of Bakersfield's only Contemporary Adult radio station, 101.5 KGFM. E.J. is a special addition to our line-up because his show presents smart, real life humor combined with a true understanding of the special qualities of our Bakersfield community".

“There are times when companies look for great talent and have to adjust the plan depending upon who applies. This is one of those rare occasions where we’re lucky to have the absolute right person in E.J. Tyler for Mornings on 101.5 KGFM”, said AGM Director of Operations & Programming Robert Lewis.

E.J. Tyler added, “I'm beyond excited to be joining 101.5 KGFM and returning to the Bakersfield airwaves to have fun each and every morning! I am looking forward to catching up with old friends, making new ones and working to craft a morning show that seamlessly fits the heritage KGFM brand.”

KGFM 101.5 FM (6.7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Mostly recently Tyler has been doing on-air work for Entercom in Portland OR

Columbus OH Radio: Christian WCVO Ruled "Public Worship"

A nonprofit Gahanna radio station that plays Christian music is a place of "public worship" and thus exempt from property taxes, a divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.

The 4-3 ruling overturns the state tax commissioner's finding that the property of WCVO 104.9 FM The River  owned by Christian Voice is a commercial enterprise, with its property used exclusively as a radio station -- not as a church.

But, Tax Commissioner Joseph Testa improperly failed to "consider whether Christian Voice exhibits the essential qualities of a church," wrote Justice Sharon L. Kennedy in the majority opinion.

She said "the record clearly demonstrates that the primary use of Christian Voice’s land and building is for church purposes" and the evidence demonstrates that Christian Voice “has dedicated all its land and buildings to charity and religion, and … [has] the necessary attributes of a church.”

WCVO 104.9 FM (6 Kw)  Red=Local Coverage
Kennedy also wrote, “The fact that Christian music makes up the majority of the broadcasting strengthens, not weakens, Christian Voice’s arguments that its purpose is religious.”

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the property has a market value of $1.7 million, with Christian Voice paying about $54,000 a year in property taxes. About $30,000 goes to Gahanna Jefferson schools. The nonprofit's lawyer, Brian Zets, said it would seek a refund of about $400,000 in taxes paid since 2008.

In a strongly worded dissent, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor accused the majority justices of “blatant activism” for its use of misguided case law “flown in on a wing and prayer” to rule in favor of Christian Voice and its station, dubbed "The River."

The majority found that the "broadcast of 'adult contemporary Christian' music mystically transforms its radio station into a tax-exempt house of worship," O'Connor wrote. "If that framing were proper, we would face a church-state issue that poses complex constitutional conundrums." The public does not gather at the station for religious services, she said.

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Nielsen Completes Release Of March PPMs

Nielsen on Thursday 04/14/16 Released March PPM Data for the following markets:

   35  Austin

   38  Indianapolis

   40  Raleigh-Durham

   41  Milwauke-Racine

   43  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

   44  Nashville

   45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

   46  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point

   48  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

   49  Jacksonville FL

   51  Memphis

   52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

To view Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations, Click Here

Media Buyers Divided Over CBS Radio

In a recent poll about big radio, Media Life readers were asked what they saw as the future of CBS Radio now that it was on the block.

Key to it all, of course, is just how valuable CBS Radio really is, both whole and broken up.

The largest share of respondents, 41 percent, agreed with this statement: “It will not find a buyer and will be sold off in pieces.”

Twenty-eight percent agreed with this statement: “The fact that CBS chief Les Moonves wants to dump the unit tells you its future is none too bright.”

Few think it will be bought up by a major player in the radio industry, which is understandable with the two top players, iHeartMedia and Cumulus, struggling under hefty debt loads. Just 5 percent of respondents thought so.

A number of respondents commented that a spinoff made the most sense, with the taxes advantages that come with an initial public offering. They note CBS spun off its outdoor division in 2014. Radio would go the same way.

“It will be spun off as a separate radio entity similar to what CBS did with its outdoor business,” wrote one respondent.

“Will take this out as an IPO and dividend it out to existing CBS holders–similar to CBS Outdoor,” wrote another.

Some readers think that would be good for radio. As one put it, “The spinoff of CBS to their own company will be the best thing that happened to the industry in years.”

Sumner Redstone Won't Need To Testify After All

Sumner Redstone
By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California judge declined to order a deposition of Sumner Redstone after lawyers for the 92-year-old media mogul said on Thursday they do not plan to call him to testify at a trial over his mental competence.

Attorneys for Redstone's former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, had argued in court filings that they should be allowed to take the deposition because he had planned to testify at a trial scheduled to start on May 6.  

At a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, lawyers for Redstone said they do not plan to call Redstone as a witness. Redstone has a “severe” speech impediment that becomes more pronounced in stressful situations, attorney Robert Klieger said. “We can’t responsibly put him through that.”  

Judge David Cowan said he saw no need to order a deposition if Redstone would not testify at the trial.    Herzer has filed a lawsuit arguing that the multi-billionaire was not mentally competent last October when he removed her as the person designated to make his health care decisions if he is not able.  

A trial could cause further embarrassment for the ailing Redstone and his family, and act as a continued distraction for media company Viacom Inc, which is majority-owned by Redstone. He is also the controlling shareholder of CBS Corp.  

The deposition of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman in the case is scheduled for April 29, according to a lawyer for Herzer. Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, will be deposed on April 19.  

Settlement talks between lawyers representing Redstone and Herzer have broken down, according to Herzer’s court filing on Wednesday.     “We’d like to resolve this,” Pierce O’Donnell, an attorney for Herzer, told reporters after the court hearing on Thursday. “We hit some snags. Maybe after today things will be different.”

O'Donnell said the defense hurt its case by declining to produce Redstone as a witness.

"Without Redstone testifying, they cannot demonstrate his mental competency in the face of distinguished expert psychiatric reports and a mountain of evidence that Redstone is tragically incapacitated," O'Donnell said in a statement.    

Gabrielle Vidal, an attorney for Redstone, said his team was “deeply gratified that the court continues to protect Mr. Redstone’s privacy and dignity.”

"Ms. Herzer’s eagerness to subject a 92-year old man with a severe speech impairment to these intrusive proceedings is offensive," Vidal added.

Nielsen, Bubba Make More Pre-Trial Claims

The back and forth between lawyers for Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge (Todd Clem) continued this week.

InsideRadio report the parties have entered the pretrial discovery phase of the measurement giant’s unprecedented ratings tampering lawsuit against the syndicated host, and the rhetoric shows no signs of slowing.

In a filing overflowing with legalese, Clem’s team responded to a motion by Nielsen to strike 11 of the 15 “affirmative defensives” asserted in Clem’s answer to Nielsen’s amended complaint. Specifically, Clem asked the court to deny Nielsen’s motion to strike 9 of the affirmative defenses, requested that one be stricken without prejudice and consented to striking another one.

Much of the filing has to do with the issue of what obligation Clem has, if any, to Nielsen in light of the fact the he is not a Nielsen ratings subscriber nor a direct employee of Beasley Broadcast Group, a ratings subscriber that airs his show in Tampa.

There’s a lot riding on the case for both parties. For Clem, it’s $1 million in damages sought by Nielsen plus a hefty legal bill, to say nothing of his reputation. A conviction for fraud, violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, conspiracy and other nasty things wouldn’t go far in helping The Sponge soak up more affiliates.

For Nielsen, it’s about defending the integrity of its PPM ratings currency and sending a clear message that efforts to distort the numbers won’t be tolerated.

While the filings keep on flying, Clem’s Tampa ratings are declining. According to Nielsen’s March survey, Clem ranked fourth in men 25-54 in Tampa with a 5.6 share, down from a 7.4 last November when he was No. 1 in the demo.

NY Times to Launch International Initiatives

The New York Times Thursday announced a $50 million investment in an international digital expansion. NYT Global, a new team headed up by Joe Kahn on the editorial side and Stephen Dunbar-Johnson on the business side, will focus on developing a series of new sites in several languages and growing their audience abroad.

The move comes at a time when U.S. papers, especially major metros like The Times, are looking to leverage anything they can to boost revenues and offset steep print advertising and circulation losses.

“The difficult U.S. newspaper environment has driven the industry to hunt for new audiences,” Gordon Borrell, president and CEO of ad tracking firm Borrell Associates, tells Media Life.

And The Times has an advantage over many of its international rivals.

It has an excellent digital product. Its U.S. site draws more than 50 million visitors per month, according to comScore, and it now has more digital-only subscribers than print ones.

“While they’ve had a decent overseas audience (about 220,000 subscribers for the International Times), there’s much more to be gained abroad, especially if papers like LeMonde or The Times of London aren’t keeping pace with the demands of digital readers,” says Borrell.

“The NYT could steal some of their readership, as well as that of other newspapers.”

According to Media Life magazine, The Times set a goal last October of doubling digital revenue by 2020. At the time, it said it would be targeting younger readers as well as those outside the United States.

The Times has long competed with The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times to be the national newspaper of record.

Longtime NY Post Editor Col Allan Retires

Col Allan
Col Allan, editor-in-chief of the New York Post and the longest-serving editor at News Corp., announced on Thursday that he intends to retire at the end of this month after a distinguished career that has included the editorship of two of the world’s leading newspapers.

Commenting on Mr. Allan’s decision, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp., said: “Col Allan is one of the most outstanding editors of his generation. Col’s intelligence, insight, humor and unrelenting energy have created the New York Post that today stands as a newspaper of great influence, in print and online.”

During his editorship, the paper has also expanded its digital audience more than tenfold, to a record 31.5 million unique users in March, and expanded its national reach in the US. That success followed his tenure as editor of The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, where he built the paper into one of the most influential and successful in Australia.

Col Allan commented: “It has been an enormous privilege to edit this great paper. Journalists at The Post, from the reporters, to the sub editors, to the photographers to the columnists, are the best in the business, and I know that the paper will continue to grow in scale and influence.”

Stephen Lynch, currently Sunday editor of the New York Post, has been appointed to succeed Col Allan, beginning on May 1, 2016. Lynch will report to Jesse Angelo, publisher and chief executive of The Post.

Cumulus To End Country Weekly In Print

Cumulus Media's "NASH Country Weekly" will relaunch in a daily, digital-only form after the publication of the Friday, April 22 print edition.

Cumulus acquired the "Country Weekly" magazine in 2014 and turned it into "NASH Country Weekly."

Editor-in-Chief Lisa Konicky will stay and said "“NASH Country Weekly will relaunch as NASH Country Daily, with Country lifestyle content available exclusively digitally, via Cumulus’ extensive digital footprint, reaching over 1,000,000 Country enthusiasts monthly. This obviously far exceeds the magazine’s current 35,000 print circulation and will enable more up-to-the-minute distribution of content."

Mike McVay, Cumulus Media & Westwood One EVP/Content and Programming added, "“This is a win-win. While enabling exponentially more Country music fans to access NASH content, when and where they choose, it frees significant resources for us to laser-focus and double down on our investment in the properties and platforms of the powerful NASH brand that present the greatest growth potential.  We remain deeply committed to NASH, proud of its cultural significance and influence in the Country community, and optimistic about its future.”

OKC Radio: WWLS To Launch BBJ Memorial Golf Tourney

WWLS 98.1 FM the Sports Animal, a Cumulus Media radio station, has announced that it will present the Bob Barry, Jr. Inaugural Memorial Golf Classicon Monday, August 8, 2016, at The Greens Country Club in Oklahoma City.

The event will honor the late Bob Barry, Jr., the beloved longtime Oklahoma City sportscaster and WWLS morning show personality who passed away last June.

BBJ, as he was known, served as host of Sports Morning on WWLS since 1993, co-hosting the weekday 9AM-noon talk show with former Oklahoma State University football coach Pat Jones. Tickets to the Bob Barry, Jr. Inaugural Memorial Golf Classic go on sale today.

Bob Barry Jr.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Warriors for Freedom and Folds of Honor.The Bob Barry, Jr. Inaugural Memorial Golf Classic will feature two rounds. The first round is a listener round with a shotgun start at 8am. The listener round is priced at $500 per team, which includes: golf for four, two golf carts and breakfast.

Gina Barry, wife of Bob Barry, Jr., said: “When the family was approached about creating an event months ago, we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate and honor Bobby. He loved doing his daily show on WWLS, cherished talking sports with his callers, and was always championing our service men and women. Just like all of his many callers and listeners on the radio, we miss him every single day. This will be a great event and a perfect opportunity for everyone to get together, enjoy some golf, and share favorite stories and memories of Bobby."

R.I.P. Shreveport Radio Personality 'Cat Daddy'

Cat Daddy
Shreveport radio personality 'Cat Daddy' has died.

Clarence Spurs, known as the King of nighttime radio, died Thursday. A close friend confirms with NBC 6/FOX 33 News that Cat Daddy died from a heart attack.

He was on KDKS 102.1 FM weeknights from 9 pm – 2 am. In addition to his role on the radio, he was also the owner of Cat Daddy’s Old School Cafe.

Any listener can attest that Cat daddy's famous phrase was "Come on!" and he signed off with, "I love you by the pound."

"Cat was a wonderful man, was a great family man, was a great co-worker was just a great giver of life," said Alpha Media market manager, Cary Camp.

He was known as the king of night time radio on KDKS. His voice was on the airwaves for nearly 20 years, according to

"Blues, old school, [he] did a wonderful job with it. Everybody knew him. he had a huge listener base. "You're never ready for it but we all knew Cat's faith. He has a tremendous faith in God," said Camp.

April 15 Radio History

Jim and Marian Jordan
In actress Marian Jordan was born in Peoria Illinois. She is  most remembered for portraying  Molly McGee, the patient, common sense, honey-natured wife of Fibber McGee on the NBC radio comedy hit Fibber McGee and Molly from 1935–1959. She starred on this series opposite her real-life husband Jim Jordan.  She died of cancer April 7 1961 at age 62.

In 1912…After midnight, two wireless radio operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland heard the last of the RMS Titanic's distress calls.

At 2:27 a.m., the "unsinkable" ocean liner sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg the evening before.

There were 711 survivors. A total of 1,517 people died, of which 328 bodies were recovered. Those too badly damaged or deteriorated were buried at sea, and the remaining 209 were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they were claimed from the morgues or buried over an 11-day period starting May 3.

In 1956…Columbia Records music director Mitch Miller, disc jockey Alan Freed, and two psychiatrists appeared on Eric Sevareid's TV program "CBS Sunday News" to discuss the "potentially negative effects of rock 'n' roll on teenagers."

In 1994...In Cleveland, WMMS-FM's Jeff & Flash, & entire station staff, were fired.

WMMS, aka "The Buzzard", ruled the Cleveland airwaves through much of the 1970s and 80s. The morning team of Jeff Kinzbach and Ed "Flash" Ferenc were at the top of the ratings until their departure in 1994.

In 2013…In Boston, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, killing three people and causing injury to more than 260 others, the worst act of terrorism in America since 9/11. Two prime suspects were identified later that day as Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan was shot by police. An unprecedented manhunt led to Dzhokhar's capture on April 19. According to FBI interrogators, Dzhokhar and his brother were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs, but "were not connected to any known terrorist groups."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

CBS Radio Promotes Chad Fitzsimmons to VP/Music Initiatives

Chad Fitzsimmons
Chad Fitzsimmons has been named Vice President, Music Initiatives, CBS RADIO, it was announced today by Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO.

Based in Los Angeles, Calif., Fitzsimmons will be responsible for the creation and execution of the division’s marquee concert series, including annual flagship properties such as WE CAN SURVIVE and THE NIGHT BEFORE.  He has served as Director, Music Initiatives for the division since 2013.  The appointment is effective immediately.

“The exponential growth and critical acclaim that our national events have experienced over the last few years is a direct result of Chad’s vision and passion for the unique and powerful marriage of radio and the music industry,” said Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS RADIO.  “Today’s announcement recognizes the significant leadership role he plays and will continue to play as we strengthen the bond between our stations, listeners, clients and of course, artists.”

In this role, working with Michael Martin, Senior Vice President, Programming and Music Initiatives, CBS RADIO, Fitzsimmons will continue to develop and launch a variety of unique partnership opportunities for record labels to promote today’s most popular artists, as well as up-and-coming musicians, to millions of music fans across the country – both through the CBS RADIO’s stations and suite of digital assets, including

In addition, he will work closely with the division’s integrated sponsorship team to develop exclusive one-of-a-kind experiences that allow listeners and brands to engage directly with their favorite artists.

Prior to being named Director, Music Initiatives for the division, Fitzsimmons held the Director of Integrated Marketing role for 97.1 AMP Radio (KAMP-FM), 93.1 JACK FM (KCBS-FM) and the World Famous KROQ (KROQ-FM) in Los Angeles.

Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Fitzsimmons began his career in radio in 1999 as a promotion assistant at WKQX-FM in his hometown.  He went on to work at a variety of stations in Charlotte, N.C. including WNKS-FM, WEND-FM and WKQC-FM.  In 2005, Fitzsimmons took on the role of Marketing Director for Los Angeles’ KCBS-FM, a classic hits station at the time.  When the station rebranded later that year, he was an integral part of the shift into making 93.1 JACK FM an Adult Hits station.