Saturday, June 4, 2016

June 5 Radio History

In 1910...character actor Herb Vigran was born in Cincinnati.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1939, and with his unique voice was frequently cast in scores of network radio dramas and variety shows, performing with the likes of Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Jimmy Durante. He appeared in more than 350 TV shows and bigscreen films, most notably in Dragnet, Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy.

He died of complications from cancer Nov. 29 1986 at age 76.

In 1954…Billboard magazine reported that, as of July, major record labels would supply radio stations with 45-RPM singles rather than 78-RPM singles.

In 1956...Elvis Presley appeared on The Milton Berle Show, causing a national uproar with his hip-swiveling performance of "Hound Dog.

In 1973…CFRB-Toronto radio newsman Gordon Sinclair aired an editorial, later released as the recording "The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion)," his reaction to the growing amount of U.S.-bashing around the world. Another recorded version of his dissertation, "Americans" by CKLW-Windsor/Detroit radio news director Byron MacGregor, peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974 and became one of the most popular spoken-word recordings of all time.

In 1977…DJ Charlie Van Dyke did his last show on KHJ 930 AM, Los Angeles.

In 1982…DJ Cousin Brucie returned to New York City Radio on WCBS 101.1 FM.

In 1998...actress Jeanette Nolan died following a stroke at age 86.

During the golden age of radio she played a variety of characters on such programs as “The March of Time”, “Cavalcade of America“, “The Court of Missing Heirs”, “The Adventures of Mister Meek”, “Life Begins” and “Manhattan at Midnight”.  She appeared in more than 300 television shows, including “Perry Mason” (1957), “I Spy” (1965), “MacGyver” (1985), “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (1955), and as a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” (1963) and “The Virginian” (1962). She received four Emmy nominations.

Ronald Reagan
In 2004...Ronald Reagan who broadcast baseball on midwest radio, and hosted Death Valley Days & GE Theatre on TV, and who 1n 1980 was elected the 40th President of the US, died of Alzheimer’s at age 93.    His specialty was creating play-by-play accounts of games using as his source only basic descriptions that the station received by wire as the games were in progress.

In 2013…Radio personality (original host of the syndicated American Country Countdown from 1973 to 1978, KDEO-San Diego, KEWB-Oakland-San Francisco, KDWB-Minneapolis-St. Paul, WKDA-Nashville, KRZK-Branson)/ commercial announcer (Bank of America, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pace CB Radios)/actor (The Las Vegas Hillbillys, Hillbillys in a Haunted House) Don Bowman died at age 75.

Report: The RNC Pushes For Talk Radio To Save The GOP

Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh (Credit: AP/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman/Reuters/Chris Keane/Micah Walter)
The Republican National Committee has wooed Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and other prominent conservative talk radio hosts to prevent the party breaking apart, according to The Washington Examiner.

The party began reaching out to powerful conservative voices months ago, when the prospect of a contested convention, and grassroots confusion and anger about the primary process, became a gathering storm over Republican chances of taking the White House.

The party brass took those conservative voices for granted in the past, but when Republicans headed to Florida for their spring meeting in late April, RNC bigwigs took a detour to visit Limbaugh.

Mark Levin
While the media spotlight was on battles over convention rules and delegate selection, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and chief strategist and communications director Sean Spicer, were among top Republicans who met Limbaugh at his studio.

While there, Spicer and RNC spokesman Marlon Bateman waited behind the glass for the final 30 minutes of Limbaugh's show, listening while a caller ripped the RNC as "the most pathetic group" who wanted only power and did not care about voters.

The Priebus-Limbaugh meeting, scheduled to last 30 minutes, went on for an hour-and-a-half, Bateman said. Half of it was about the business of the GOP, and the rest was the two men getting to know each other.

The GOP's effort appeared to have paid off for all sides. Bateman, who is heavily involved in the party's effort to marshal talk radio, said Priebus gave talk radio high priority as part of his daily media diet. Bateman is a former producer of Hugh Hewitt's radio show.

"These top talkers, they're principled guys, they're not going to sell out their audience for anybody," Bateman said. "They've done it their way. And especially people like Levin, Hewitt, Rush, [Sean] Hannity, they're not changing for anybody. It's what they do. And all we can do is engage with them and answer their questions."

Michael Harrison
Radio leads all other media in reaching "opportunity voters," defined as those undecided about who to support and whether to vote, in Colorado, Texas and Virginia, according to a Nielsen survey commissioned by the Katz Radio Group.

The survey polled 1,007 adults spread across Colorado, Texas and Virginia, from January 25 through February 5, and found that one-third of "opportunity voters" spent more time listening to radio than watching television.

Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers, the top trade publication covering the radio industry, said he thinks talk radio on whole is more interested in maintaining a relationship with their audience than cultivating political influence or taking a specific perspective because of its potential benefit for business. But Harrison also described talk radio as an "entertainment medium with the ultimate reality show that deals in political reality" that has seen an extraordinary boom from the political turmoil.

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Redstone Opposes Speeding Up Viacom CEO's Legal Case

Philippee Dauman, Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) -- Attorneys for media mogul Sumner Redstone filed a motion on Friday opposing the request by Viacom Inc Chief Executive Philippe Dauman to move up the trial over his removal from Redstone's trust, Massachusetts state court papers showed.

In the filing, Redstone's lawyers said the claims by Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams were motivated by "self interest."

A spokesman for Viacom was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, Redstone removed Dauman and Abrams from the trust that would determine the future of CBS and Viacom after controlling shareholder Redstone, 93, dies or is declared mentally incapacitated.

Dauman fired back with a lawsuit questioning Redstone's mental capacity. He argued that the moves to replace him and Abrams on the trust and the National Amusements Inc board would lead to an unlawful corporate takeover by Sumner's daughter, Shari Redstone.

Dauman has asked the court to hold a trial by the end of September. A hearing on that request is scheduled for Tuesday in Massachusetts. Shari Redstone has said her father made his own decisions.

In Friday's motion, Sumner Redstone's attorneys argued that Dauman and Abrams were enacting "an acutely self-interested legal strategy that they began plotting months earlier to secure their tenuous positions with Viacom."

They also said a majority of the other trustees had ratified the removal of Abrams and Dauman. "Plaintiffs are therefore off the trust, and off the board, even if they could somehow prove the allegations in their complaint," the motion said.

Sumner Redstone's privately held movie theater chain National Amusements holds 80 percent of the voting stock in both Viacom and CBS.

The mogul's attorneys also asked the Massachusetts court to let the case be handled in California, where Sumner Redstone is seeking an order validating Dauman and Abrams' removal. That request was assigned to Judge David Cowan, who in May dismissed a lawsuit by an ex-girlfriend who claimed Sumner Redstone was mentally incompetent.

The outcome of the court cases, and who ends up controlling the trust and the National Amusements board, will have wide-ranging implications for Viacom and CBS shareholders and could result in changes at the top of both companies, possibly through mergers and acquisitions.

Adams Radio Promotes Scott Smith To VP/Programming

Scott Smith
The Adams Radio Group has announced Scott Smith has been promoted to VP/Programming for its stations in Ft. Wayne, IN, Suburban Chicago/Northwest Indiana, Las Cruces, MN and Salisbury-Ocean City MD.

Smith has been with Adams since it acquired stations in Northwest Indiana.

Since 2012 he has been Program Director  for Country WLJE 105.5, Classic Rock WCRD 103.9, News Talk WZVN 107.1 FM and Oldies WAKE 1500 AM.

Before joining Adams Radio Group, Smith was an air personality for CBS Radio's WCFS 105.9 FM Chicago, where he hosted afternoons and later the morning show. Smith's background also includes hosting morning shows in Tulsa and South Bend IN, where he was also an Assistant Program Director and Music Director.

According to CEO Ron Stone, "Scott has been an integral part of the management team in Northwest Indiana and his leadership has truly stood out. The on air products that we acquired in Northwest Indiana continue to set the standard for us. Scott will continue his day to day duties in Northwest Indiana along with his new duties of working directly with our country PDs in all ARG markets to assist in the continued growth of our country formats.”

“I look forward to this opportunity to build on the success of our stations in Northwest Indiana and contribute to the growth of the country stations in all Adams Radio Group markets," said Smith. "This expanded role allows me to work directly with our excellent team of programming talent.”

R.I.P.: Muhammad Ali: 'Greatest' Boxer, Showman

By Bill Trott

(Reuters) - More than 60 years ago, a bicycle thief in Louisville, Kentucky, unknowingly set in motion one of the most amazing sports careers in history.

An angry 12-year-old Cassius Clay went to a policeman on that day in 1954, vowing he would find the thief who took his bike and have his revenge. The policeman's advice was to learn to box first so Clay, who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali, went to a gym, where he learned quite well.

He would go on to be a record-setting heavyweight champion and also much more. Ali was handsome, bold and outspoken and became a symbol for black liberation as he stood up to the U.S. government by refusing to go into the Army for religious reasons.

As one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, Ali did not believe in modesty and proclaimed himself not only "the greatest" but "the double greatest."

He died on Friday at the age of 74 after suffering for more than three decades with Parkinson's syndrome, which stole his physical grace and killed his loquaciousness.

Americans had never seen an athlete - or perhaps any public figure - like Ali. He was heavyweight champ a record three times between 1964 and 1978, taking part in some of the sport's most epic bouts. He was cocky and rebellious and psyched himself up by taunting opponents and reciting original poems that predicted the round in which he would knock them out in. The audacity caused many to despise Ali but endeared him to millions.

"He talked, he was handsome, he did wonderful things," said George Foreman, a prominent Ali rival. "If you were 16 years old and wanted to copy somebody, it had to be Ali."

Ali's emergence coincided with the American civil rights movement and his persona offered young blacks something they did not get from Martin Luther King and other leaders of the era.

"I am America. I am the part you won't recognize," Ali said. "But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me."

Ali also had his share of fights outside the ring - against public opinion when he became a Muslim in 1964, against the U.S. government when he refused to be inducted into the Army during the Vietnam War and finally against Parkinson's.

Malcom X, Ali
The one-time Christian Baptist became the most famous convert to Islam in American history when he announced he had joined the Black Muslim movement under the guidance of Malcolm X shortly after he first became champion. He eventually rejected his "white" name and became Muhammad Ali but split from Malcolm X during a power struggle within the movement.

The U.S. Army twice rejected Ali for service after measuring his IQ at 78 but eventually declared him fit for service. When he was drafted on April 28, 1967, he refused induction and the next day was stripped of his title by the World Boxing Association. In June of that year he was found guilty of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in jail.

"Man, I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me a nigger," Ali said in a famous off-the-cuff statement.

He never went to jail while his case was on appeal and in 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction. Still, Ali's career had been at a standstill for almost 3-1/2 years because boxing officials would not give him licenses to fight.

Sportscaster Howard Cosell, Ali

He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a name shared with a 19th century slavery abolitionist. His early boxing lessons led to several Golden Gloves titles in his youth and his career took off when he won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

His first professional fight was a six-round decision victory on Oct. 29, 1960, against Tunney Hunsaker, whose day job was police chief in Fayetteville, West Virginia.

Despite an undefeated record, Ali was a decisive underdog 3- 1/2 years later in Miami when he faced Sonny Liston, the glowering ex-convict who was then the heavyweight champion.

Ali's credo in the ring was "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" and his dazzling hand and foot speed confounded Liston, as it would many bigger, more powerful opponents to come. Ali became world champion when Liston did not answer the bell for the seventh round.

The Fab Four with The Greatest


Joe Frazier became the heavyweight champion while Ali was dormant appealing against his draft conviction and, after Ali's 1970 return to the ring, the two took part in three classic fights.

The first, billed as the "Fight of the Century" in New York in 1971, was a tremendous battle that showed Ali still possessed his skills. Frazier dropped him with a left hook in the last round and, even though Ali rose quickly, Frazier won the fight on a decision. It was Ali's first defeat after 31 victories.

Frazier lost the title to Foreman in January 1973 but the second Ali-Frazier bout still drew enormous attention in 1974 with a 32-year-old Ali winning a unanimous decision.

Then came the "Rumble in the Jungle" match against Foreman for the heavyweight crown in Kinshasa, Zaire, on Oct. 30, 1974. Ali had a surprise ploy - a passive "rope-a-dope" strategy in which he laid back against the ropes, essentially hiding behind his arms and inviting the larger, stronger Foreman to hit him until he was too tired to hit anymore.

It paid off in the eighth round, when Ali knocked out the weary Foreman with a left-right combination.

It was one of the brightest moments of Ali's career, confirming him as one of the greatest fighters of all time.

Ali defended his title three times in 1975 before meeting Frazier once more in October in the "Thrilla in Manila." The bout was fought in brutal heat and Ali won when Frazier's trainer would not allow him to go out for the final round.

Jackson 5, Ali
On Feb. 15, 1978, a careless, lethargic Ali lost his title to little-known Leon Spinks in a 15-round decision. Seven months later, he reclaimed the title with a 15-round decision over Spinks. The victory, when Ali was four months shy of 37, came 14 years after he had won his first championship.

However, Ali, whose entourage helped him to spend several fortunes, needed money and refused to leave the sport even when it was apparent that age had sapped his talents.

He retired about a year after beating Spinks but came back in 1980 to fight former sparring mate Larry Holmes, losing a lopsided bout that was stopped after 10 rounds.

A year later, he ignored pleas to retire and lost to journeyman Trevor Berbick in the Bahamas. Then he retired for good with a record of 56 wins, including 37 knockouts, and five losses.


Ali did not have to be in a boxing ring to command the world stage. In 1990, a few months after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein held dozens of foreigners hostages in hopes of averting an invasion of his country. Ali flew to Baghdad, met Saddam and left with 14 American hostages.

A nation that once questioned his patriotism cheered loudly in 1996 when he made a surprise appearance at the Atlanta Games, stilling the Parkinson's tremors in his hands enough to light the Olympic flame. He also took part in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, looking frail in a wheelchair.

In November 2002 he went to Afghanistan on a goodwill visit after being appointed a U.N. "messenger of peace."

Ali, Elvis
Ali was married four times, most recently to the former Lonnie Williams, who knew him when she was a child in Louisville. He had nine children, including daughter Laila, who became a boxer.

The diagnosis of Parkinson's syndrome, which has been linked to head trauma, came about three years after Ali retired from boxing in 1981. He helped establish the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at a hospital in Phoenix.

R.I.P.: Former WBCN Boston Radio DeeJay Mark Parenteau

Mark Parenteau
Former WBCN disc jockey Mark Parenteau, who was a force on the Boston airwaves for more than 20 years but saw his career and life go off the rails after he was arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old boy, died early Friday morning after a long illness.

He was 66, according to The Boston Herald.

“He had a great career but it was a tough end to his life,” Parenteau’s longtime friend and former co-worker, WZLX’s Carter Alan told the Track. “He was having good days and bad days, but I didn’t think he’d go this quickly.”

Parenteau died recovering from surgery. He had been ailing in recent years, suffering from a number of conditions including spinal stenosis that made it difficult for him to walk.

“I know many of you might have been offended or even angered at things Mark did in his life; but he also was a legendary talent; the best DJ I ever heard behind a mic and one from whom I learned so much of what I do on the radio,” Alan, who visited with Parenteau regularly in his final days, wrote in a Facebook post on May 30. “At this point, please allow compassion to trump judgement in your hearts. Please say a prayer for Mark.”

Parenteau had one of the most successful radio careers in Boston history, with a 20-year run, first on the former WCOZ then spending 19 years as the afternoon-drive talent on WBCN. But his 2004 arrest for having sex with a minor marked the end of his days on the air.

Parenteau was working at the former XM satellite radio in Washington, D.C. when prosecutors alleged that he enticed teenage boys to come to his D.C. apartment to drink, smoke marijuana and have sex. Parenteau, who claimed he did not know the boy he was charged with molesting was under age, agreed to plead guilty to one count of child sexual abuse and was sentenced to three years in prison.

A Worcester native, Parenteau began his career at 15 on WORC-AM in his hometown. He worked at WLLH in Lowell and WKNR and WABX in Detroit before returning home to Massachusetts, first landing at WCOZ before finally getting his dream job at WBCN.

Declining ratings and belt-tightening at the former Rock of Boston led to Parenteau being let go in 1997. After leaving ‘BCN he did fill-in work on WRKO and WTKK in Boston and a stint at Q104 in New York.

June 4 Radio History

In 1917...broadcast journalist Charles Collingwood was born in Three Rivers Michigan.

As a protege of Edward R. Murrow he was a top-level CBS news correspondent from WWII through Viet Nam. He went on to become chief correspondent of CBS and host of its “Eyewitness to History” TV series. He took over hosting of Murrow’s live celebrity interview show “Person to Person” for the final two years of the series (1959-61).

Retiring from CBS in 1982, he died from cancer Oct 3, 1985 at age 68.

In 1942…Capitol Records opened for business, becoming the first major record label based on the U.S. west coast. The company had been established earlier in the year – by songwriters Johnny Mercer and Buddy De Sylva with Glenn Wallichs – as Liberty Records. It was Wallichs, Capitol's manager, who invented the art of record promotion by sending free copies of new releases to disc jockeys.

Clem McCarthy
In 1962...legendary sportscaster Clem McCarthy died at age 79. McCarthy was the first to announce the running of the Kentucky Derby back in 1928 and called every Derby through 1950. He also announced early boxing matches for NBC radio.

In 1962...The Beatles signed their first record contract with EMI, though it's merely to produce a series of demos. The band will have to pass its upcoming audition to get signed to make actual records.

In 1963…"Pop Go the Beatles" was first broadcast on BBC radio.

Each edition of Pop Go The Beatles began and ended with a rock ‘n’ roll version of the nursery rhyme Pop Goes The Weasel recorded by The Beatles.

In 1973…WNBC 97.1 FM  switched format to “The Rock Pile”

In 1998… WNWK NYC changes call letters to WCAA

The station first came on the air on 105.9 FM in 1964 as WHBI, which was originally owned by Hoyt Brothers Inc.. In the 1980s, the station - by then property of Multicultural Radio Broadcasting - went by the call letters WNWK, and aired leased-access ethnic programming.

In 1998, the station, under new ownership, started playing hit Spanish music as "Caliente 105.9" ("Hot 105.9"), with the call letters WCAA. In September 1999, the station changed its slogan to "105.9 Latino Mix" ("105.9 Latin Mix"). In February 2004, the station's owner, Univision Communications bought the 92.7 FM frequency in Garden City, New York which was the home of WLIR-FM and made it a western Long Island simulcast of 105.9 under the call letters WZAA.

In 2010...Himan Brown, who created immensely popular radio dramas like “Inner Sanctum Mysteries,” “CBS Mystery Theatre,” “The Adventures of the Thin Man” and “Dick Tracy,” employing an arsenal of beguiling sound effects that terrified or tickled the listeners, died at his home in Manhattan at age 99.

Friday, June 3, 2016

iHM Settles Spam Message Class Action Suit

iHeartMedia Inc. has agreed to pay $8.5 million to resolve allegations that the mass media company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending out unsolicited text messages to its radio listeners.

According to the iHeartMedia TCPA class action lawsuit, the company sent marketing text spam to the cell phones of consumers without prior express consent, which is required under federal law.

In addition to establishing a Settlement Fund, iHM has also agreed to change its company procedures to make sure it obtains the consent of listeners to receive text messages on their cell phones before sending out advertisements.

Those who are eligible to benefit from this TCPA class action settlement include anyone who received an advertising text message from iHM (or one of its radio stations) between Oct. 16, 2013 and Apr. 19, 2016 without giving their consent ahead of time.

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

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

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

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

Report: AM-FM Radio Tops American Audio

In the latest Westwood One blog post, the Westwood One Insights team examines Edison Research’s Q1 2016 Share of Ear data to explore the continued strength of AM/FM radio and emerging audio trends.

The new report, AM/FM Radio: The Centerpiece of American Audio, has one key takeaway – AM/FM radio dominates the audio landscape with mass reach and significant time spent.

Here are the key findings from Edison Research's Q1 2016 “Share of Ear” study:
  • Despite advertiser perceptions, AM/FM radio is the king of all audio. AM/FM radio’s 52% share is 9 times bigger than Pandora and 17 times bigger than Spotify.  
  • Pandora stalls, Spotify grows. For the first time ever, Spotify beats Pandora among 18-24 Millennials. No wonder FMR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett concludes, “Pandora pioneered something really interesting, really special with their free ad-based streaming music…(but now) the early adopters are moving to on-demand, and mainstream America is still in love with AM/FM radio.”
  • Time spent with streaming grows at the expense of owned music, not AM/FM radio.  Americans are now renting their music versus buying. The growth of on-demand platforms like YouTube and Spotify means less time for the music people purchase.
  • SirusXM’s audience to their ad-supported channels is a microscopic one share.  SiriusXM’s share of time spent to their commercial free channels is five times bigger than their ad-supported share.
  • Podcasting resonates with Millennials.  Among 18-34’s, podcasting has an impressive 5 share of audio time spent.

Report: Radio's Slice Of Ad Pie Will Be 11 Percent

In the spring update to its U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2016, BIA/Kelsey forecasts the overall local media marketplace to experience consistent growth from 2015-2020, reaching approximately $172.2 billion by 2020 (CAGR: 4.2%).

This growth will be driven by exceptional increases in mobile and social advertising, continued strong political advertising in even-numbered years, and an overall growth in the U.S. economy.

Growth in online/digital advertising revenues will be stronger than originally predicted, with a 2015-2020 CAGR of 12.8 percent. Over the same period, traditional advertising revenues will remain flat, with a CAGR of 0.0 percent.

By 2020 local online/interactive/digital advertising revenues will be $71.6 billion, representing 41.6 percent of total local media advertising revenues, up from 28.0 percent in 2015.

“While digital’s impressive growth, driven by mobile and social, comes mainly at the expense of traditional print media, it’s important to note other traditional media segments are maintaining a position in the local marketplace,” said Mark Fratrik, chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “National and local businesses still utilize a mix of advertising platforms, comprised of digital and traditional formats, capitalizing on the strengths of various media to get the message out.”

The BIA/Kelsey U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2016 is a five-year forecast that delivers a national overview of total U.S. spending in local markets and individual media breakouts for direct mail, local video, local over-the-air television, local cable television, out-of-home/OOH video, newspaper, online, radio, mobile, directories, social and local magazines.

According to the forecast, the top five media (revenues and share of market) contributing to the local media pie in 2016 are:
  • Direct Mail: $36.9 billion (25% share)
  • Local TV: $21.9 billion (15% share)
  • Newspapers: $17.4 billion (12% share)
  • Online / Interactive: $17.3 billion (12% share)
  • Radio: $15.4 billion (11% share)
BIA/Kelsey defines local advertising as all advertising platforms that provide access to local audiences for national, regional and local marketers.

DC Radio: Tony Kornheiser Exiting WTEM

Red Zebra Broadcasting announced Thursday that Tony Kornheiser will do his last show on ESPN 980 near the end of this month. The “Pardon the Interruption” co-host and former Washington Post columnist said that he will launch a podcast in September.

“I have loved every minute on the radio at WTEM,” Kornheiser said in a statement. “But I felt it was time to pursue a new and appealing challenge. I will be launching a podcast this September. I am excited that this endeavor will allow me to continue to work with so many of the people who have been a part of my radio show for over the past 20 years. But I will miss all of my friends and colleagues at WTEM.”

According to The Washington Post, The 67-year-old Kornheiser began hosting “Sports Radio 570 — The Team” in 1992 when the radio show debuted; the station moved to 980 AM in 1998. In May, Kornheiser’s show moved from the 10-12 slot to 11-1 as part of a shakeup that saw Kevin Sheehan, a frequent newsman on the show, join Chris Cooley from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“Tony is a pillar in the Washington, D.C., sports community and we would like to express our sincerest gratitude and thank him for his dedication,” Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman said in a statement.

No replacement for Kornheiser’s show has been announced yet.

Doctor: Redstone Has Capacity To Make Trust Decisions

Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) -- A psychiatrist who examined Sumner Redstone twice last month found the 93-year-old retained the mental capacity needed to remove Viacom Inc Chief Executive Philippe Dauman from the trust that will eventually control the company, according to a spokesman for the media mogul.

Dr. James Spar said Redstone displayed only a "mild degree" of age-related cognitive impairment when he saw the mogul at his Los Angeles area home on May 20 and May 24, according to a statement issued by Redstone's spokesman on Thursday.

Spar concluded Redstone had the "legal mental capacity" required when he removed Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Trust on May 20, the statement said. The trust will determine the future of Viacom and CBS Corp when Redstone dies or is declared mentally incapacitated.

Redstone is the controlling shareholder of both companies, and his mental status is a subject of dispute. Dauman and Abrams have sued to reverse their removal from the trust, arguing that Redstone is under undue influence of his daughter, Shari Redstone. She has called that allegation "absurd" and said her father made his own decisions.

Philippe Dauman
The outcome of the court case, and who ends up with control over the trust, will have wide-ranging implications for shareholders of CBS and Viacom, the owner of cable TV networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon.

Redstone told Spar he felt Dauman had "done a bad job running Viacom" and he was upset with Dauman's decision to sell part of movie studio Paramount Pictures, according to the statement from Redstone's spokesman.

Spar is a specialist in geriatric psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. The doctor has examined Sumner Redstone numerous times since 2014, according to the mogul's spokesman.

Les Fagen, an attorney for Dauman, said in a statement that Spar's evaluation was the work of a "paid medical expert" and did not answer whether Sumner Redstone "had sufficient capacity to make complex decisions impacting the governance of billion dollar publicly held corporations" or "acknowledge that undue influence was exercised".

Fagen said a "complete and objective" examination was needed.

Regarding Paramount Pictures, Fagen said there is not yet a deal to oppose. "Such a deal if it matures will be the subject of evaluation and review by all board members," Fagen said.

Report: Media CEO's Near Top of Pay Scale

WSJ has published its annual review of CEO compensation and, as usual, media honchos are near the top, including Viacom’s Philippe Dauman, CBS’s Leslie Moonves and Disney’s Bob Iger.

Read More Now

iHM Promotes Owen Grover To EVP/GM Content Development

Owen Grover
iHeartMedia has announced the promotion of  Owen Grover as Executive Vice President & GM of Content Development & Distribution.

The announcement was made in a memo to the staff from Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks.

 "He will oversee the creation and distribution of content across our network of station and personality sites, and to the many third party social platforms that have become such critical engagement vehicles for us. He and his team will be charged with establishing new standards, systems, and best practices for the development of compelling, innovative editorial & video assets as well as the audience growth strategies to ensure that our key digital platforms continue to flourish. This team will unite several currently distinct teams to take best advantage of our scale and resources. Owen will work closely with our sales team, our marketing team, Ina Burke and her short-form video production team, and our digital product teams to maximize revenue and distribution opportunities."

Grover will oversee teams that create and distribute content across iHeartMedia’s network of station and personality sites, as well as third party social platforms such as iHeartRadio’s Snapchat Discover channel. Using iHeartMedia’s national scale and resources, Grover’s team will develop innovative editorial and video assets and focus on audience growth to ensure the company’s key digital platforms continue to flourish.

Previously, Grover served as the Senior Vice President & GM of iHeartRadio. In Grover’s 10+ years of experience at iHeartMedia he has set a standard for the company’s digital network, developed the iHeartRadio brand and established key entertainment properties such as the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Seattle Radio: Official! John Clayton Joins KIRO-AM

John Clayton
John Clayton, renowned ESPN writer and commentator, is expanding his role on KIRO 710 ESPN Seattle with a new local morning show.

“John Clayton” will air weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon on 710 ESPN Seattle beginning Monday, June 6.

Clayton, a.k.a. “The Professor,” will also host an original weekly podcast and write for Clayton can still be heard every Saturday on “The John Clayton Show” from 9 a.m. to noon, as well as daily on “Brock and Salk” at 7:15 a.m. and “Danny, Dave and Moore” at 4 p.m.

“I’ve spent 30 years in the Pacific Northwest, and the time couldn’t have been better to expand my local presence here at 710 ESPN Seattle,” Clayton said. “I’m also excited to focus on the Seahawks, Mariners and the Seattle sports scene in an expanded role for”

Clayton, 62, joined ESPN as senior NFL writer and commentator in 1995 after working as an NFL and Seahawks beat writer for The News Tribune. He was inducted into the writers’ wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Clayton has hosted his weekly radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle since the station’s inception in 2009.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to include the most highly acclaimed local sports media personality to our local weekday lineup,” said Dave Pridemore, Vice President and General Manager of 710 ESPN Seattle. “With over 1.4 million Twitter followers and a Hall of Fame résumé, John Clayton will be a tremendous addition for both 710 ESPN Seattle and”

San Diego Radio: MAX-FM Adds Cha Cha For PM Drive

Broadcast Company of the Americas has announced Karen “Cha Cha” Harlow as the new Afternoon Drive Host for XHPRS 105.7 MAX FM.

Making TV news and creating a social media buzz, Cha Cha made her "public plea" for the job high atop a Scissors-Lift 30 feet above Clairemont Mesa Boulevard next to the giant 105.7 MAX FM billboard.

Karen 'Cha Cha' Harlow
Based on this creativity and showmanship and a one day on-air audition Thursday afternoon, where she received a warm welcome home from San Diego listeners, Cha Cha was officially hired by MAX FM and begins her permanent shift immediately.

The native San Diegan and SDSU graduate is no stranger to the San Diego Market as a former Morning and Afternoon talent on XHTZ-FM / Z90 for 12 years and Afternoon Drive Host on KHTS-93,3 FM for another 10. Cha Cha has most recently been with CBS Radio as an Anchor, Host and Reporter for Newsradio KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles.

“Cha Cha dominated afternoon drive in San Diego during the 80s, 90s and all the way through 2006, and we’re excited to bring her back to play many of those same feel good songs on 105.7 MAX FM. Her energy, passion and audience engagement is amazing… Welcome Home Cha Cha!” adds Broadcast Company of the Americas Vice President of Programming & Operations, Mike Shepard.

When Cha Cha was offered the position as 105.7 MAX FM’s new Afternoon Drive Host, she exclaimed, “Sweet home, San Diego! I’m here from back in time. Get ready, it’s going to be a fun and awesome and, like, totally 80s summer at MAX FM!!”

Grand Rapids Radio: iHM Cuts Reese Rickards Loose

Reese Rickards
Reese Rickards, a fixture at Country WBCT 93.7 FM B-93 and N/T WOOD 1300 AM / 106.9 FM for 24 years, wrote on social media Thursday that he has been dismissed from his position at the Grand Rapids-based iHeartRadio-owned properties.

Rickards wrote:
"Good morning, My job was eliminated on Wednesday. I will be shutting down this facebook page in a few days. My current email addresses have been terminated, and this facebook page is the only way to contact me. If you would like my new email address, send me a message. Thank you very much for all of your support at B-93 and Wood Radio over the last 24 years."
Rickards, 61, had been the morning drive DJ on 93.7 FM with Neal Dionne until being moved to the WOOD news director role in 2014, according to

The radio personality at B-93 helped usher in the station's popular free Birthday Bash concerts from their infancy to a regional attraction that draws some of country's biggest names. This year's event, held June 18-19 at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, lists Cole Swindell and Brandy Clark among its lineup.

He and Dionne, who were a ratings powerhouse for much of the 1990s and early 2000s, were also the forces behind the annual charitable "Roofsit" that directed proceeds to West Michigan agencies that benefit children. The station picked up the 1998 Broadcast Excellence Award for public-affairs programming.

Rickards' message of his dismissal evoked emotion from fans and friends, many of whom expressed sadness over his job loss.

Don't Laugh: Tribune Publishing Changes Name To 'tronc'

Tribune Publishing Co. Thursday announced that the Company will change its name to tronc, Inc., a content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content across all channels. tronc, or tribune online content, captures the essence of the Company’s mission. tronc pools the Company’s leading media brands and leverages innovative technology to deliver personalized and interactive experiences to its 60 million monthly users.

Michael Ferro
The name change will become effective on June 20, 2016.

The Company also announced that it will be transferring its stock exchange listing from the New York Stock Exchange to The Nasdaq Global Select Market. tronc expects its common stock to begin trading as a Nasdaq-listed security under the new ticker symbol “TRNC” on June 20.

Chairman Michael Ferro said, “Our industry requires an innovative approach and a fundamentally different way of operating. Our transformation strategy – which has attracted over $114 million in growth capital – is focused on leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the user experience and better monetize our world-class content in order to deliver personalized content to our 60 million monthly users and drive value for all of our stakeholders. Our rebranding to tronc represents the manner in which we will pool our technology and content resources to execute on our strategy.”

The Company also plans to launch, a visual content portal that will curate tronc’s premium content across all of its award-winning brands in one convenient place. The Company’s corporate website and investor relations pages will live within that platform after the transfer to Nasdaq on June 20.

NYC Radio: Mets Radio Voice Adds UCLA Football

UCLA has hired Josh Lewin as the school’s play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball to replace Bill Roth, who has departed after a year behind the mic.

Lewin is in his fifth season handling radio play-by-play duties for the New York Mets and will be starting his 12th season as the voice of the San Diego Chargers this fall. He takes over for Roth, who quit last month to return to the East Coast, where he spent 27 years in a similar role for Virginia Tech’s football and men’s basketball teams.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero announced Lewin’s hiring on Thursday, rpeorts The NY Post.

Lewin has also called NHL games and college football and basketball during his career.

Last November, Lewin called the Chargers’ 29-26 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore, then chartered a private plane at his expense to get to New York in time for Game 5 of the World Series between the Mets and Kansas City Royals. (Click Here for post)

Report: NBC Pulls 'Nightly News' Anchor After Prince News

Tamron Hall
Tamron Hall was meant to fill in for Lester Holt as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” on Thursday and Friday, sources said — but the network pulled Hall from the show upon learning the medical examiner’s report on Prince’s cause of death was leaked, according to The NY Post.

Hall has revealed that she and the late singer shared a close relationship.

On Thursday, a report by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, Minn., revealed that the pop icon’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.

A source told us, “Tamron and NBC News execs discussed it and decided together it was best for her to not fill in [Thursday or Friday]. She’s been open about her friendship with Prince, so for her, this is more than a news story. She’ll fill in again soon.”

Radio Legend Garrison Keillor Suffers Seizure

Garrison Keillor
Radio perssonality Garrison Keillor says he suffered a 'nocturnal brain seizure' over the weekend. The "Prairie Home Companion" host revealed the incident on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon.

According to his publicist, David O'Neill, Keillor was treated in Washington D.C. before doing shows this past Friday and Saturday.

In his posting, Keillor said he flew to the Mayo Clinic for further testing.

"Saw an MRI image of my skull with a black hole where a previous stroke struck close to the language center of the brain, so I came away feeling vastly fortunate," he wrote.

Keillor said he is on a anti-convulsant that makes him feel lethargic, but "I intend to fight this."

"I have five more shows and want them to be terrific," said Keillor who will depart the show he created in early July. "Plenty of time for lethargy in August."

R.I.P.:Rochester Radio Promo Legend Orest Hrywnak

Orest Hrywnak
Orest Hrywnak, a promotions wizard in Rochestra NY radio for three decades, has died.

He was 59-years-of-age according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Back in the day he first made his mark as WBBF-AM's Captain Cash in the 1970s.

"If you had your WBBF bumper stick on your car, then Captain Cash might pull you over and give you $95," recalled Dino Kay of Stephens Media Group in Rochester, one of Mr. Hrywnak's best friends and a long-time on-air personality. "And he'd be driving in around in the Happy Honker. That was the name of the car."

Hrywnak, who underwent open heart surgery on Feb. 18, died early Thursday morning of a heart attack in his sleep , according to his brother Dr. Sev Hrywnak.

"He was everybody's friend. Half of Rochester knew him."

Hrywnak was a 1974 graduate of Jefferson High School and studied at SUNY-Potsdam. He spent a good part of three decades in Rochester radio, primarily in promotions.

June 3 Radio History

In 1940...WPG-AM, Atlantic City, New Jersey, consolidated with WBIL-AM and WOV-AM to become the "New" WOV-AM.

WPG, "The Voice Of The World's Play Ground", signed on January 3, 1925.

Owned by the municipality of Atlantic City, they had no trouble finding public property to house the station.

WPG cost the city $13,000, but since it promised millions of dollars in publicity, the management felt comfortable exaggerating the figure to $50,000.

During the summer of 1927, WPG hired popular announcer Norman Brokenshire, who quickly became a local celebrity tooling around the "World's Play Ground" in a blue-and-orange Packard.

He broadcast from the glass-enclosed "Marine Studio" at the Steel Pier and once lowered a mike from the booth to allow the world to hear the ocean waves.

Almost every club and hotel provided a venue for WPG's broadcasts, and in 1929, the station was granted permission to sell commercial time.

In May 1929, the facilities were moved to the newly opened Convention Hall, with the "Neptune" and "Marine" studios, and a listening room, open to the public.

In 1931, under economic difficulties associated with the Depression, WPG joined the Columbia Network. The network leased the station, assumed the operating costs and shared the profits with Atlantic City. The affiliation lasted until 1935 and yielded no profit.

Starting in 1928, WPG shared time with WLWL (later WBIL) from Kearney on 1100 (see below). However, by 1935, WLWL was seeking full-time hours on the frequency.

The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) cited both stations on a failure to reach an agreement on their time-sharing and granted only a temporary license renewal to both of them.

By July 1938, WPG had become a burden to the city government, with the station adding $10,000 to its annual debt.

Despite protests from the Atlantic City business community, the station was sold for $275,000, and 1100 AM was taken over by WBIL.   

Programming on WBIL consisted mainly of Italian language shows.

On January 3, 1940, WBIL was dissolved into WOV.  WOV would eventually become WADO 1280 AM.

Today, Talk WPGG 1450 AM brands itself as WPG.

In 1946...Mutual Radio debuted “The Casebook of Gregory Hood” starring Gale Gordon, as a summer replacement series for Sherlock Holmes. ‘Hood’ was popular enough to win its own time slot in the fall, and continued for three years.  A variety of other radio veterans played musical chairs with the title role, including George Petrie, Elliott Lewis, Jackson Beck and Martin Gabel.

In 1949...singer/songwriter Hank Williams made his last appearance on Shreveport’s “Louisiana Hayride” radio show before moving to Nashville.

In 1949...the last episode of “The Admiral Broadway Revue” was broadcast. The first comedy variety program on television ran only 7 episodes, and starred Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca. The program had aired Friday nights simultaneously on NBC TV & Dumont.

In 1949…Dragnet (with Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday) was first broadcast on radio (KFI in Los Angeles).  It went national on NBC Radio a month later and continued through 1957; it began on TV in December 1951.

In 1975...bandleader/actor/producer Ozzie Nelson lost his battle with liver cancer at age 69. After leading his own dance band & being musical director for radio’s Red Skelton Show, he got his own radio sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet in 1944, which he transferred successfully to TV in 1952.

In 1987...the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first female artist, Aretha Franklin.

In 1993...Bob Fitzsimmons, NY radio DJ (WNEW AM/WABC AM/WHN AM), died at 53.

He was the morning man on WNEW-AM from 1989 until the station's demise in late 1992.  He began his broadcasting career in 1962 as an assistant to Ted Brown and William B. Williams at WNEW.

He appeared as the character Trevor Traffic with the team of Gene Klavin and Bob Finch.  Bob later appeared on WRKL in Rockland County, NY, WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio, and WPEN in Philadelphia.  From 1970-73 he was a talk show host for WHN in New  York before returning to WNEW.  Before returing to WNEW in 1989 he was a talk show host and announcer for WABC.

In 2005...Infinity Broadcasting changed formats of two of the country's most notable Oldies-formatted stations: WCBS 101.1 FM in New York and WJMK 104.3 FM in Chicago. 

Both stations adopted the "Jack" format while the former Oldies FM stations were moved to online versions. In New York WCBS-FM was renamed "101.1 Jack FM" and in Chicago, WJMK-FM became "104.3 Jack FM.

The "Jack" format experiment at WCBS-FM is widely regarded, inside and outside the industry, as one of the greatest failures in modern New York radio history, as the station fell to the very bottom of the ratings of full-market-coverage FM stations in the New York market.

CBS Radio dropped the Jack Format on HD1 on July 9, 2007 and resumed ‘oldies’ under a Classic Hits umbrella.

On March 9, 2011, CBS announced that on March 14, beginning at 1:04 p.m., WJMK would switch to a classic hits format known as "K-Hits", dropping the Jack FM format and brand. The change marked the station's return to an updated version of the oldies format it dropped in 2005.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pat St. John Targets A July 5 Return To SiriusXM

SiriusXM radio personality Pat St. John continue to mend and is targeting a July 5 return to his 60s On 6 Show on SiriusXM.

He posted the good news in a Facebook update.

St. John recounted that on the evening of April 6th be took a freak backward fall off a tall porch
and suffered a burst L1 fracture. (Click Here for posting)

"Recovery has been a long, slow, painful process, complete with a body brace I’m supposed to wear when not in bed. When I’m in bed, “put the brace back on!” I was told at one of the hospitals to stay away from “BLTs” (no bending, lifting or twisting”). Keep that in mind when you need to call for help when you’ve just dropped the remote again, it’s pretty frustrating, which brings me to my wife and best friend Jan."

Here's his post:

Hello Dear Friends, 
I want to give you an update on the progress of my broken back. What you see here is not an actual photograph of Pat’s spine but it does depict what a “burst L1 fracture” looks like, and somewhere in there as well is a “T12” compact fracture, described by one of the ambulance guys as “oh that’s nothing”. OK 
On the evening of April 6th I took a freak backward fall off a tall porch (which now has safety rails installed where they should have been originally, this is not the time to give me a lecture on safety procedures so let’s not go there). 
Recovery has been a long, slow, painful process, complete with a body brace I’m supposed to wear when not in bed. When I’m in bed, “put the brace back on!” I was told at one of the hospitals to stay away from “BLTs” (no bending, lifting or twisting”). Keep that in mind when you need to call for help when you’ve just dropped the remote again, it’s pretty frustrating, which brings me to my wife and best friend Jan. As always Jan is my angel and is taking such good care of me, which ain’t easy ‘cause I can’t do nothin’! (Well I can walk which is a huge blessing. It’s the getting up and getting down that’s so excruciating). I’m trying to keep it positive here so let me just say “I’m sure glad I don’t have a cold”. 
I’m finally able to make it out to my studio to do the kind of rehab which I’ll need in order to do my radio show live again every day (without yelling out expletives every time my leg muscles go into spasms, which of course “sounds” like fun, but runs just short of that). 
Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff... I’m missing you guys so very much & can’t wait to get back on the air! I’ve read every one of your e-mails and have tried to answer each one but have found that to be impossible, yet I’m still working on that so “when you least expect it…” 
All of my doctors, nurses, and rehab people have all told me ‘typically recovery time is usually 12 weeks, and while this is not a “typical” break by any means, I’m proceeding as if it is so, my goal is to return to the show on Tuesday, July 5th, & get back to music (the best therapy of all), the memories, and the laughs. The good word is that I’m healing, a little better every day, on my way back to a full recovery.  
I love you guys! 

Report: Trump Actually Loves The Media

Donald Trump's attacks against "sleazy" reporters and the "dishonest media" belie the fact that he loves the media.

Yes, loves, writes Brian Stetler at CNN Money.

Trump craves media attention and courts it doggedly. He consumes coverage of himself voraciously. The media is his lifeline.

"He's an attention junkie. He really is," CNN media analyst Bill Carter said on "New Day." "He likes being the center of attention... He does need the media."

Trump's desk is littered with web stories about him and magazines with his face on the cover. His televisions are usually tuned to Fox News or CNN. And he is in regular contact with media moguls like Rupert Murdoch.

This behind-the-scenes engagement is in stark contrast to the vitriol he directs at media outlets practically every day.

On Tuesday, he harshly challenged reporters who questioned him about donations to veterans groups. He obviously watched and read the reactions: Eight hours later, he tweeted, "I am getting great credit for my press conference today."

Trump resumed his critique on Wednesday morning: "I raised/gave $5,600,000 for the veterans and the media makes me look bad! They do anything to belittle -- totally biased."

In a lengthy interview with Michael Wolff for The Hollywood Reporter, published on Wednesday, Trump called Murdoch a "tremendous guy;" said CBS CEO Les Moonves is "the greatest"; said he knows Fox News chief Roger Ailes and CNN chief Jeff Zucker "very well"; and said he thinks NBC News chair Andy Lack is doing a "very good job."

Wolff observed that "he's vague on all subjects outside himself, his campaign and the media. Everything else is mere distraction."