Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 28 Radio History

In 1922...WEAF New York airs first commercial ("This program brought to you by..."). Announcer H.M. Blackwell spoke about Hawthorne Court, a group of apartment buildings in Queens, New York. The Queensboro Realty Company, of Jackson Heights, bought 10 minutes of commercial air time for $100.

The first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line.

In 1954...“That’s All Right (Mama)” b/w “Blue Moon of Kentucky” became Elvis Presley‘s first hit single on local charts in Memphis. Local DJ Dewey Phillips had debuted the single on his “Red Hot and Blue” radio show on WHBQ.

In 1961...“Cousin” Brucie Morrow starts at 77 WABC.

Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer."

Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on AM 770 powerhouse WABC, another Top 40 outlet. Morrow's return to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the Baby Boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast. His main competition came from his previous station WINS, which featured "Murray the K."

"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.

He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC.

In 1966...the Beatles played Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was their next-to-last live performance.  The Beatles performed in front of a crowd of 45,000 people. After the show, their attempt to escape the stadium in an armored truck went awry when they reached the main gate and found it locked. The Beatles had to spend two hours sitting in the back of the truck before they could leave the stadium.

In 1967...WCBS 880 AM flipped to all news.

By the early sixties, WCBS had evolved into a Middle of the road (MOR) music and personality format, which included limited talk programming. Personalities included legendary morning host Jack Sterling, Bill Randle and Lee Jordan. Like many MOR stations at the time, WCBS did mix in softer songs by rock-and-roll artists, as its ratings at the time were ordinary compared to the higher ratings at WOR and WNEW, both of which also had MOR formats and more distinct identities. Through it all, the variety show "Arthur Godfrey Time" remained a weekday mid-morning staple. Eventually, WCBS gained a foothold in local news coverage (WOR and WNEW's strengths) bolstered by its standing as CBS's flagship radio station.

During the 1960s, CBS chairman William S. Paley was concerned about the station's low ratings, and that concern started a process that would lead to the creation of a news radio format that would become known as "Newsradio 88". This format debuted on August 28, 1967. Its original roster of anchors included Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley, Robert Vaughn (not related to the actor of the same name) and Pat Summerall. Later anchors included longtime anchor Lou Adler, and others like Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Bill Lynch and Gary Maurer.

Initially, the station ran news in the drive time periods but maintained an MOR format during the midday and overnight hours, and within a couple of years, it ran all-news programming for much of the broadcast day except for overnights. "Newsradio 88" began its transformation into an all-news format in 1970, when the overnight American Airlines-sponsored Music Till Dawn ended in January of that year, and completed the process in 1972, when Godfrey's weekday morning variety show came to an end. The station built a reputation as an all-news powerhouse during the 1970s, and has continued with an all-news format to this day.

Although 1010 WINS has usually received the higher Arbitron ratings of the two all-news stations, WCBS has had the stronger ratings in the outlying suburbs because of its broadcast-signal pattern. Its traffic reports and news coverage includes more of Long Island and the northern and western suburbs of New York City than WINS, and it occasionally allows room for longer interviews and analysis pieces than does WINS. The station is less tightly formatted than WINS, and formats at a half-hour cycle instead of a 20-minute cycle.

Courtesy of

WCBS-AM Newsradio88 debuts inauspiciously on its little-heard FM Station on August 28, 1967, because a small plane demolished the transmitter tower on High Island in a fatal crash, knocking the AM station off the air. Interestingly, the debut begins with a staff announcer reading the WCBS-FM sign-on, followed by the "Star Spangled Banner." Then, anchorman Steve Porter reads an account of the air crash. Pat Summerall delivers the sports, Gordon Barnes the weather. The rather ponderous presentation includes few if any commercials, and virtually no news audio. Charles Osgood takes over from Steve Porter at 6:00 A.M. The producer of the broadcast was Mike Ludlum, the editor was Al Wasser. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan, Manager of On-Air Promotion, WCBS.

Part One 8/28/67

Part Two 8/28/67

Courtesy of

30th ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST WCBS's LET'S FIND OUT -- 8/3/97. Hosted by Rich Lamb, this special broadcast looks back at 30 years of Newsradio88. With Charles Osgood, Lou Adler, Art Athens. First of two broadcasts. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan (30:00) Part One: Click Here.

30th ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST WCBS's LET'S FIND OUT -- 8/10/97. Hosted by Rich Lamb, this special broadcast looks back at 30 years of Newsradio88. With Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Rita Sands, Gary Maurer, Ben Farnsworth, Bill Fahan, Neil Busch. Second of two broadcasts. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan (30:00) Part Two: Click Here

Larry Lujack 8/28/87

In 1987...Superjock Larry Lujack knew it was time to go. ABC had already bought out Lujack's contract amid sliding ratings and on Friday August 28, 1987, after a slew of televison cameras, newspaper and magazine reporters joined him for his farewell, a tearful Larry Lujack signed off from radio and from WLS. His tenure at the station spanned three decades.

Despite Lujack's cynical on-air persona, he was actually quite easy to work with, his former boss John Gehron said.

"He was a professional, worked hard at what he did," Gehron said. "He was one of those personalities that surprisingly didn't cause any problems. His feeling was, you pay me and I'll do the job for you, and he worked very hard at it."

After ten years in morning drive, Lujack had moved to PM drive in 1986. Lujack signed off thanking listeners "not just for listening, but also for caring."

In 2012…Boston radio personality (at classical station WCRB for 57 years) David MacNeill, "the voice of the Boston Pops," died at age 80.

Philly Radio: BLM Activist Meets With WPEN-FM Management

Asa Khalif
An organizer of the Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania Chapter has met with management from 97.5 The Fanatic following a fake Black caller scandal.

According to, the meeting with Asa Khalif of the Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania Chapter, follows the suspension of three station employees, including Pat Egan, the producer who created the fake Black character “Dwayne from Swedesboro,” afternoon host Mike Missanelli’s on-air producer Jason Myrtetus, and Matt Nahigian, the station’s program director. (Click Here for story) According to a published report, all three will be able to return to the station on Wednesday.

Mike Missanelli
The station used the character for more than a year as a regular persona on Missanelli’s show before the fake caller was exposed this week. Missanelli said he did not know that the caller was fake.

“With all due respect, I addressed the issue for almost four hours on my show on Tuesday and have nothing more to say about it other than I had no idea Dwayne was a fake caller and the station acknowledges it should have been handled differently,” he said in a statement.

Khalif met with Nahigan and another station executive Friday, whom he did not immediately name.

Khalif was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.

“The meeting went well,” he said. “I think that if we are building the bridge for a true dialogue, people have to start making amends, especially the producer who is involved. We have to reiterate that that type of behavior will not be tolerated, period.”

He said station management has agreed to issue a written apology to the African-American community which should be forthcoming next week.

Redstone Granddaughter Agrees To Deal

Sumner, Keryn Redstone
(Reuters) -- The granddaughter of Viacom Inc's controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone has agreed to let a Massachusetts court dismiss claims brought by former company leaders, a step that will help end a battle over the fate of the media empire.

Lawyers for Keryn Redstone said at a Massachusetts court hearing on Friday they have also agreed to mediate remaining parts of her family dispute and that she will have an in-person meeting with her 93-year-old grandfather.

"There will be peace in the Redstone valley" said Keryn Redstone's attorney Pierce O'Donnell, speaking to reporters after the hearing at Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts.

Shari Redstone
Keryn Redstone's interest in a family trust is worth $1 billion, he said.

While some terms must still be hammered out, Friday's agreements will help end an ongoing legal saga over whether Redstone was mentally competent when he removed former Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and board member George Abrams from a trust that will determine the fate of his media empire.

On Saturday, Viacom announced that it had come to an agreement with Redstone, and his privately-held National Amusements Inc, which owns 80 percent of the voting shares of Viacom and CBS Corp.

Dauman has stepped down as CEO and will receive as much as $90 million in cash and stock-based compensation, according to the agreement.

The LA Times reports Keryn Redstone, 34, is one of five beneficiaries of Sumner Redstone’s trust that holds the controlling stock in two media companies, Viacom and CBS Corp. Sumner Redstone created the trust more than a decade ago with the intention of leaving his valuable shares to his five grandchildren.

The trust was designed to treat his grandchildren equally — but a squabble broke out as to whether that would happen.

Keryn Redstone has been on the opposite side of several disputes with her powerful aunt, Shari Redstone, who will eventually oversee the trust with six other trustees.

Shari Redstone has three children; her youngest son also has been designated as an eventual trustee. Her brother Brent (Sumner Redstone’s only son) has two daughters: Keryn and Lauren.

Keryn Redstone’s Los Angeles lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, had argued that tensions within the Redstone family had already put Keryn Redstone at a disadvantage.

This spring, a planned gift of $6 million to Keryn Redstone was abruptly cut out of Sumner Redstone’s personal estate plan. Keryn Redstone has said that her attempts to visit her grandfather at his Beverly Park mansion were likewise rebuffed. She said she last saw Sumner Redstone on Valentine’s Day.

Sumner Redstone’s lawyer, Robert Klieger, suggested a resolution to provide legal assurances that Keryn Redstone would be treated equally in any trust distributions — and that she be allowed to visit her grandfather.

During an afternoon recess, Klieger, O’Donnell and other attorneys hammered out a deal to clarify a section of the trust to make sure that Keryn Redstone would be on an equal footing with her sister and Shari Redstone’s children, according to Mike Lawrence, a spokesman for Sumner Redstone.

The mogul also agreed to meet with his granddaughter, a visit that is expected to take place in the next few weeks at Redstone’s home near Beverly Hills, Lawrence said.

Spotify Denies Burying Rival Artist Searches

Spotify denied a report that it has been burying search results for music acts who have signed exclusive streaming deals with rivals Apple Music and Tidal.

The NY Post reports a spokeswoman for the Swedish music-streaming service said a Friday report from Bloomberg that it was tweaking its search engine to punish certain acts was “unequivocally false.”

The company declined to comment on other parts of the story, which said that Spotify has told artists their songs won’t be featured on promoted playlists if they sign deals with competitors.

The Friday report came after Frank Ocean’s new album “Blonde” debuted exclusively on Apple Music this weekend, where it is expected to remain for the next week or two before becoming available on Spotify.

Earlier this week, the release of “Blonde” on Apple Music reportedly spurred an internal announcement from Universal Music Group Chief Executive Lucian Grainge, decreeing that the music major will put a stop to exclusive, long-term streaming deals.

The dispute over exclusives comes as Spotify is angling to launch an initial public offering by the end of next year. With about 30 million subscribers, Spotify is currently generating about $2 billion in revenue.

Apple Music, which launched little more than a year ago, said in June it has amassed 15 million paying subscribers without disclosing revenue.

Spotify still isn’t profitable, according to reports, partly because record labels take about 55 percent of that revenue, as well as an additional cut to publishers.

According to Bloomberg,  Apple and Spotify have been feuding since before Apple Music’s debut, and competition between the two ratcheted up again in the last several weeks after Apple proposed changing songwriting royalties in a way that would increase costs for competitors like Spotify by putting its music in a different category that requires a higher rate. Spotify has also accused Apple of blocking a new version of its iPhone app, the latest volley in an ongoing dispute over Apple’s cut of sales from its app store. Apple denied blocking Spotify’s app, saying its rival hadn’t met its terms of service.

Facebook Replaces Editors With Algorithms

(Reuters) -- Facebook Inc has changed its popular "Trending" feature, which shows users the most-talked about topics of the day, to make it more automated and further eliminate the potential for human bias, the company wrote in a blog post on Friday.

The update is Facebook's latest attempt in recent months to stress its neutrality as its influence grows.

The feature came under scrutiny in May after a news report alleged it suppressed conservative news, which prompted a demand from Republican members of the U.S. Congress for more transparency. Facebook said an internal probe found no evidence of bias.

The Trending feature shows users the most-talked about stories and topics on the top right-hand corner of Facebook's home page with one-sentence descriptions. To eliminate the potential for bias, Facebook said it would no longer rely on editors to write descriptions for the topics and would instead show users the topic and how many people are discussing it.

Facebook said in an e-mailed statement that the composition of its Trending team would focus more on technical expertise since it no longer needed editors to write descriptions. The company did not say whether it was laying off employees.

Facebook maintains it is a neutral platform, but its political influence has come under scrutiny, especially as its user base swells. It has 1.7 billion people on its social network, and studies have shown it has the power to influence people's behavior, ranging from registering as organ donors to registering to vote.

After the May news report first surfaced, Facebook penned a lengthy blog post explaining how the Trending feature works, the first time it had done so. Less than two weeks later, the company said it changed some procedures and outlined those changes in an effort to be more transparent.

Report: FCC Unveils Field Offices To Be Closed

The Federal Communication Commission is confirming to RadioWorld that it will begin closing field offices in January 2017. Offices in Anchorage, Alaska, Buffalo, N.Y., Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Norfolk, Va., Philadelphia, San Diego, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Seattle, and Tampa, Fla., will be closed as part of the agency’s modernization plan.

FCC field offices will remain open in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbia, Md., Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco

The FCC announced in July 2015 it was closing the offices and trimming up to 44 positions to better reflect technological advances and in the face of budget reductions. The modernization plan creates rapid response teams to handle special enforcement issues. The FCC says the so-called Tiger Teams, based out of Columbia, Md., and Denver, will be dispatched within 24 hours of an interference crisis.

Before the plan could be implemented the FCC had to reach an agreement over the projected job losses with the union representing FCC Enforcement Bureau field employees. The National Treasury Employees Union has been a vocal critic of the overhaul plan, openly questioning the commission’s ability to safeguard radio spectrum going forward. An FCC spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that the displaced FCC agents will have the opportunity to apply for vacancies in the remaining field offices if a vacancy exists.

Oops! Britney Spears Does It Again In Comeback

By Jill Serjeant

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Britney Spears is hitting up pop culture one more time, releasing a new album, singing retro karaoke hits and about to take the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) stage for the first time since 2007.

Spears, 34, who became a teen pop phenomenon with breathy, sexually-charged hits like "Toxic" and "Oops!.. I Did it Again," released new album "Glory" on Friday ahead of a much anticipated return to the VMA show on Sunday in New York.

She also became the latest superstar to ride, sing and chat  with U.S. talk show host James Corden for his viral "Carpool Karaoke" segment, where both donned the schoolgirl uniforms that shot her to fame as a 16-year old in the 1998 music video for "... Baby One More Time."

Spears dominated pop music before undergoing a personal and   career meltdown in 2006-2007 that included shaving her signature blonde locks, losing custody of her two children and being placed under a court-ordered conservatorship.

She made a comeback in late 2008 and for the past three years has been performing a nightly show in Las Vegas. But the new album and the anticipation surrounding her VMA performance have thrust her back in the national spotlight.

Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield said "Glory" was "another fantastic comeback" for Spears, in which she "goes back to the fizzy electro-stomp mode she does best."

"Glory" was top of the iTunes charts in more than 40 nations on Friday, including Saudi Arabia, Chile and Russia.

Billboard's Jennifer Keishin Armstrong said that with the single and music video for "Make Me", Spear had "reclaimed her standout talent, a distinctive dance style that combines cheerleader precision with slinky bits of burlesque."

Spears will perform "Make Me," with rapper G-Eazy, at the live VMA show, her first appearance there since her halting performance of "Gimme More" in 2007 when her career hit a low.

"She has had such a huge impact on this show throughout her career, so for us to have her back is a no-brainer," said Garrett English, executive producer of the VMA show.

"She embodies what the VMAs is to a large extent and she has had some of the biggest moments on this stage, and I think Sunday night will be the same," English added.

Spears is also to be the subject of a 2017 TV biopic for the Lifetime cable channel that will chart her rise to fame along with her stumbles, and her romances with Justin Timberlake and  ex-husbands Jason Alexander and Kevin Federline.

R.I.P.: Iconic WVA Radio Broadcaster Bill Sahan

Bill Sahan
Veteran broadcasters in Charleston mourned the passing of a local radio icon this week. Bill Shahan, one of the best known radio personalities in the Kanawha Valley for more than two decades, died Thursday evening at the Hospice Unit of Thomas Memorial Hospital. Shahan battled esophageal cancer for nearly a year.

He was 55-years-of-age, accoding to

“Billy was a natural for this business,”said another longtime voice in Charleston Charlie Cooper. “There are some in this business who are fortunate enough to have that personal attitude, sunny disposition, never met a stranger quality, and that intensity that never fades. That’s how Billy was.”

Shahan started his radio career when he was hired as an intern at Charleston radio station V-100 in the early 80’s.

“I don’t even know how he got the job, but he was an intern and like all interns you give them the jobs nobody else wants to do,” said WVAF 99.9 FM V-100 morning man Steve Bishop. “But the weird thing about Shahan was he wanted to do them. He thrived on things like that.”

Bishop recalled how the station’s news department used Shahan’s outgoing personality as a tool for their work.

“They’d send him out to get man on the street interviews which was perfect for him because he was such a people person,” Bishop recalled.

Shahan eventually advanced from intern to full time employee at V-100 and started his DJ career working overnights. During the mid-1980’s he was hired across town at the competing station Super 102. It was there the Shahan legend was born. He became the popular jock among teenagers taking their requests, playing their songs, and entertaining them with personal appearances or working as the DJ for their high school dance.

Around 2000, he returned to V-100, now under the management of West Virginia Radio Corporation.

There he was able to continue to court the following he built in the 1980’s.  Those loyal listeners who had grown up listening to Shahan and the popular music of their teen years, were now listening to new formats of music. Shahan was able to demonstrate his personality could transcend any genre of music. He worked for V-100 playing adult contemporary music, then WKAZ-FM where the format was oldies. Eventually he  transitioned for a stint on the hip-hop station 98.7 The Beat, and eventually became the morning DJ on the company’s country station 96.1 The Wolf.

He had recently been elected to the 2016 class of inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He’ll now be inducted posthumously next month during the induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame in Huntington.

August 27 Radio History

In 1910...James McCurdy sends first aircraft-to-ground wireless message.

In 1960…After almost 12½ years on the air, the series "Louisiana Hayride," known as "The Cradle of the Stars," presented its last performance on radio station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Gracie Allen
In 1964...actress/comedienne Gracie Allen, co-star of radio & TV’s George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, died of a heart attack at age 69.

High Island as seen from Orchard Beach, Bronx County, NY
In 1967...An airplane knocked down transmitting tower on High Island, NY (Bronx County) shared by WCBS 880 AM and WNBC 660 AM (now WFAN).

The pilot died and a passenger died. The crash destroyed the antenna taking WCBS and WNBC off the air.  The mishap occured  just hours before WCBS was to have dropped its full-service format to go all news, challenging Westinghouse's two-year-old 1010 WINS format.

WCBS, WFAN Doghouse
The news format debuted instead on WCBS 101.1 FM, which had itself been readying a new "Young Sound" format. WNBC found a temporary home back in New Jersey, diplexing into the Lodi tower of rival WABC 770 AM, whose audio could be heard not so faintly behind WNBC's on 660 for a time.

WCBS accepted an offer from WLIB 1190 AM to use the site along the East River in Astoria, Queens that it had just abandoned in favor of a site in Lyndhurst, N.J. Within a few weeks, WCBS and WNBC were back on the air from High Island with a temporary tower; it would be the end of the year before both were back to 50 kilowatts from the current tower.

The taller of the towers is 548 ft. The shorter tower is 300 ft and was built in 2001 to replace the emergency tower erected in 1967.

In 2003...Jinx Falkenburg, personality on WEAF/WRCA/WNBC died.

Eugenia Lincoln "Jinx" Falkenburg was an actress, expert swimmer and tennis star, and one of the highest-paid and most ubiquitous cover-girl models in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s - one of the first supermodels. She married journalist and influential publicist Tex McCrary in 1945.

Known as "Tex and Jinx" to most American households, the glamorous couple pioneered and popularized the talk-show format, first on radio and then in the early days of television. They hosted a series of interview shows in the late 1940s and early 1950s that combined celebrity chit-chat with discussions of important topics of the day.

In 1941, Liebmann Brewery, the maker of Rheingold beer, decided it might sell a lot more of the brand if each year it bestowed on some attractive young woman the title Miss Rheingold. Miss Falkenburg was the first. It was a plum for any model, since, for starters, it put her name and face in every store in New York that sold beer.

Falkenburg first met John Reagan "Tex" McCrary when he came to photograph and interview her for a military publication after she opened in Hold On to Your Hats. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Air Forces. They were about to be engaged in 1942 but World War II intervened and, after a globe-trotting romance during the hostilities,  they married on June 15, 1945, in a civil ceremony conducted by New York Supreme Court Judge Ferdinand Pecora, famous for investigating the 1929 stock market crash and its aftermath.

During the war Falkenburg traveled extensively on USO tours entertaining troops. The most arduous was a 42,000 mile 80-stop series of shows in the rugged China-Burma-India theatre of operations. In 1945 she was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal for her contributions.

Backed by some of his well-connected friends like millionaire statesman Bernard Baruch, McCrary convinced David Sarnoff, the chairman of RCA which owned NBC, to give the couple a morning show on the network's New York radio station, WEAF. The show was called "Hi, Jinx" and first aired on April 22, 1946. Reviews ranged from "sprightly" to "rather intense discussions of foreign affairs."  In a cover story about the couple, Newsweek wrote: "A soft-spoken, calculating Texan, Tex McCrary, inched up to the microphone and drawled 'Hi, Jinx.' A voice with all the foam substance of a bubble bath answered, 'Hello Tex.'"  Over time they came to be known as "Mr. Brains and Mrs. Beauty."

The McCrary's radio show was broadcast five mornings a week on New York radio station WEAF, and became a hit with critics and the public for tackling controversial issues like the A-Bomb, the United Nations and venereal disease along with talk about theatre openings and New York nightlife.

McCrary wrote the scripts and taught Falkenburg the art of interviewing and the basics of broadcast journalism. Over time she was considered the better interviewer, eliciting candid responses, often from the show's more intellectual guests. Her technique was to ask questions until she understood the answer and so presumably, did all the housewives at home listening to her.

In January 1947, McCrary and Falkenburg had their first network TV show, Bristol-Myers Tele-Varieties, also known as Jinx and Tex at Home, broadcast Sunday nights on NBC. The program combined film and live interviews of celebrities in their residences. In May 1947, The Swift Home Service Club combined household tips with breezy interviews. Another radio show, Meet Tex and Jinx got such a big audience that in 1947 and 1948 it became a summer replacement for one of radio's most popular shows, Duffy's Tavern.

Falkenburg informally retired from broadcasting in 1958.

She died in 2003 at the age of 84

For her contributions to the television industry, Jinx Falkenburg has a star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine St.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Houston Radio: Michael Saunders Returns As KQBT-FM PD

Michael Saunders
iHeartMedia/Houston announced today that noted radio veteran Michael Saunders has been named Program Director for KQBT 93.7 FM The Beat in Houston, effective immediately.

In addition, Saunders will serve as Urban Brand Coordinator for iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group.

As the Program Director for 93.7 THE BEAT, Saunders will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming. In his new role as Urban Brand Coordinator, he will serve on iHeartMedia’s Urban Brand Management Team, which provides strategic guidance to the company’s Urban music brands and connects keys advertisers with iHeartMedia’s Urban music audience.

Saunders joins iHeartMedia Houston from WCFB 94.7 FM in Orlando, where he has been Program Director for the past five years. He also previously served as Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Detroit and Program Director for iHeartMedia’s Power 105.1 in New York City. In addition, Saunders’s extensive background includes serving as Operations Manager for CBS Radio’s Washington, DC market, Program Director for WJHM-FM in Orlando, Vice President of Client Services for the Left Bank Organization in Los Angeles and Operations Manager and Program Director for WPEG-FM, WBAV-FM and WGIV-AM in Charlotte.

He began his radio career as an on-air personality for WGCD-AM in his hometown of Chester, SC.

“Michael is a proven leader who will bring incredible results to iHeartMedia,” said Marc Sherman, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Houston. “We are excited to bring a programmer of his caliber to Houston and are eager to make history
as we transition to this exciting new chapter of THE BEAT.”

“I’m excited to have Michael back on iHeartMedia’s Urban programming team,” said Doc Wynter, Senior Vice President of Urban Programming and Urban Brand Manager for iHeartMedia. “He is one of the best in the business when it comes to understanding the Urban format and its listeners. I can’t wait to get back into the radio trenches with him.”

KQBT 93.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local CoverageArea
“I’m thrilled to be returning to iHeartMedia to work with the Urban Brand Management Team and the amazing talent and staff in Houston,” said Saunders. “In less than three years, THE BEAT has become Houston’s premiere destination for Hip Hop and R&B and they are a prime example of iHeartMedia’s unparalleled reach with Urban music audiences. I can’t wait to help THE BEAT and all of iHeartMedia’s Urban stations continue to grow and serve millions of listeners.”

Philly Radio: 3 Suspended At Sports WPEN The Fanatic

Matt Nahigian, Jason Myrtetus, Pat Egan
Greater Media have suspended three WPEN 97.5 FM The Fanatic employees for their role in a fake caller scandal that has garnered national media attention, according to quoting sources with knowledge of the situation.

Sources say Pat Egan, the producer who created the “Dwayne from Swedesboro” character, and Mike Missanelli’s on-air partner Jason Myrtetus have been suspended for three days, effective Friday.

Matt Nahigian, the station’s program director, has also been suspended. All three will be able to return to the station Wednesday.

Nahigian was scheduled to meet with Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania organizer Asa Khalif at 10 a.m. Friday.

All three maintain that Missanelli had no clue that “Dwayne from Swedesboro” was a character created and voiced by Egan. On his show Tuesday, Missanelli said he was “sensitive to the racial undertones involved” and thought the character’s racial stereotypes might have pushed “racial bounds.”

National TV Ad Spend Up 3.2%, Radio Off 10%

Total national TV advertising dollars grew by 3.2% in July to $2.46 billion -- in line with overall U.S. advertising growth for the month -- with cable networks posting the strongest results.

MediaPost is reporting Cable networks grew 5.6% to $1.59 billion, with broadcast networks up 1% to $722 million, according to Standard Media Index. The entire market survey was based on data from 70% of national media agency billings.

Cable news networks benefited from higher ratings as a result of strong interest in the presidential election race --- as well as generally high ratings from HGTV, TNT, Food Network and Bravo, according to SMI.

For broadcast networks, NBC had a ratings gain from pre-Olympic programming and “America’s Got Talent” while CBS grew ratings from a major golf tournament.

Broadcast networks witnessed an 11% decline in ad revenue for prime time to $411.8 million, with late-fringe programming down 7% to $31.2 million. Only daytime network programming posted a gain -- 13% -- to $65.7 million. Average 30-second unit costs dipped 10% to $62,400 in prime time and 5% in late night to $18,720.

SMI says total U.S. ad spending improved 3% in July.

Digital media revenues grew 12% for the month-- with social gaining 40%; ad exchanges up 25%; and video, down 23%. Search media witnessed a 2% decline -- the first ever since SMI begin reporting.

Among other media, out-of-home was up 4%; magazines were down 10%; radio also lost 10%; and newspapers slipped 1%.

As Expected, FCC Makes No Changes To Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday released a long-delayed update of its media-ownership rules with few substantive changes, prompting renewed criticism from broadcasters and others, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Notably, the new rules generally leave in place the longstanding newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership prohibition, which dates from the mid-1970s and bars a single individual or company from possessing a daily newspaper and a radio or TV station in the same market. Other rules left in place create high barriers for ownership of more than one local TV station.

Broadcasters on Thursday fired off a letter to the FCC in response, suggesting they would continue to pursue legal challenges to the rules, which make consolidation in many markets difficult.

The National Association of Broadcasters said the FCC “failed to conduct the rigorous media ownership review mandated by Congress,” and termed its decision to maintain the existing broadcast-ownership restrictions “arbitrary and capricious and…contrary to law.”

The FCC had been under growing pressure from federal courts to finish the latest update, which is required by law every four years. Until this month, the last one the FCC had completed was the 2006 cycle.

A three-judge panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, in a case brought by broadcasters, in May threatened to toss out the rules altogether if the FCC didn’t get its effort on track.

Experts say the agency’s update has been hampered by a number of factors, including the tough political infighting involved in making any substantial changes to the media-ownership rules.

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Lawmaker Rips FCC On Media Ownership Rules

Rep. Bob Goodlatte
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on Thursday tore into the Federal Communications Commission's updated media ownership rules, according to The Hill.

The FCC’s rules, released Wednesday, dictate that entities cannot own both a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market. The requirement isn’t new, but the FCC decided this month to keep the regulation in place after a review.

In a statement, Goodlatte said the FCC had “overreacted” and that it was “likely to harm the objectives of smaller media outlets eager to compete.”

Mignon Clyburn
“Today, the FCC continues its recent tradition of advancing unnecessary and burdensome regulations on a partisan basis while ignoring new technologies and market realities, with the likely outcome of harming competition,” he said.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) also noted its disappointment on the ruling in a letter to the FCC, and the group later sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the agency for documents regarding the decision.

The NAB characterized the FCC’s decision as a “ ‘head in the sand’ approach” to the media marketplace.

Ajit Pai
According to the FCC's release, the decision to maintain most of the existing rules came down to a 3-2 vote on Aug. 10.

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn defended the decision in a statement.

“We are on the cusp of seeing major changes to the television landscape,” she said. “There will be fewer broadcast television stations on the air post-auction. Relaxing the Commission’s media ownership rules at this time, will neither increase the number of diverse stations nor will it create additional local voices.”

Commissioner Ajit Pai gave the dissenting statement. Pai highlighted the significant changes that have taken place in media since the rules were drafted in 1975 and expressed his disappointment that the rules have not been altered to keep up with the times.

SF Radio: NBA Warriors Move To KGMZ The Game

The NBA Golden State Warriors have that they’ve ended their 32-year run with KNBR 680 AM  and signed a multi-year deal with KGMZ 95.7 FM The Game starting this coming season.

According to The Mercury News, This is a major move for the franchise–away from KNBR’s monster signal and tradition–but it has been in the works from the moment Warriors executives (led by owner Joe Lacob and president Rick Welts) were infuriated when KNBR moved several Warriors playoff games this spring to a sister station in order to broadcast Giants games.

Big bullet point for Warriors management: 12 of their 24 playoff games this past season were not broadcast on KNBR 680 due to Giants conflicts. Also, eight other exhibition-season or regular season games were moved from 680.

“We’re excited about our new partnership with 95.7 the Game and the opportunity to provide our fans with increased coverage of the Warriors in a centralized location,” said Warriors President Rick Welts in a statement. “Under the terms of this partnership, virtually every Warriors game — including the playoffs — will be broadcast on 95.7. Additionally, our fans will benefit from increased programming overall throughout the year, including extended pre- and postgame shows, more in-season programming, a dedicated offseason presence and numerous call-in shows featuring front office staff, players and broadcasters.”

According to the Warriors, their radio network will include affiliates in San Jose (KRTY 95.3 FM) and Vacaville (KUIC 95.3 FM).

“We are truly excited about this new relationship with the Golden State Warriors,” said David Field, President and CEO of Entercom.  “It is a privilege to partner with such an extraordinary organization.  We look forward to bringing our listeners exclusive, unparalleled coverage of the team both on and off the court.”

“We know that our fans turn to us for the best-in-class sports content from the teams and leagues they care about the most,” said Steve DiNardo, Vice President and General Manager of Entercom’s 95.7 The Game. “The Warriors are one of the most popular basketball teams in the world and we are proud to deliver play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage to local fans in the Bay Area and to be the official home of Warriors basketball.”

The surprise move ends a long-standing relationship between KNBR and the Warriors, who had partnered with the Bay Area’s top sports talk radio station dating to the team’s arrival in the Bay Area in 1962. KNBR, owned by Cumulus, has broadcast the Warriors for the past 32 years and 40 seasons overall.

KGMZ 95.7 FM (6.9 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“We’d also like to thank KNBR and the management at Cumulus for being a valued and trusted partner for nearly four decades,” said Welts in the statement. “KNBR has been a staple of the Bay Area airwaves for many years and we’ve been extremely fortunate to enjoy such a terrific long-standing relationship.”

The Warriors’ release mentions that long-time radio play-by-play man Tim Roye will remain on the call for their games on 95.7. The release does not mention the very popular Tom Tolbert, who has been the analyst for home games and all playoff games the past several years.

Orlando Radio: Dawn Campbell Named PD At WCFB

Dawn Campbell
Cox Media Group (CMG) Orlando has named Dawn Campbell, as its new Director of Branding and Programming for WCFB Star94.5 FM’s Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.

In this role, Campbell is responsible for coaching and developing on-air talent, as well as creating and executing a branding and programming strategy for CMG Orlando’s Urban Adult Contemporary Station.

Stevie DeMann, Operations Director for WCFB-FM, WCFB-HD2, WPYO-FM, WWKA-FM, said, “I’ve had a front row seat to see Dawn grow through her entire career. Her passion, dedication, and knowledge of the brands she’s been able to touch is unmatched. I’m so excited for her personally and have all of the confidence in the world that she will be a great leader for the Star 94.5 brand and the staff.”

Campbell just celebrated her 5th anniversary this month with the CMG Orlando Radio family as Music Director for WCFB-FM & WPYO-FM and Promotions Manager for WCFB-FM. Prior to her time spent at CMG, she was with CBS Orlando for 15 years. Her radio journey began when she was in high school. She started as a research/promotions assistant and within 2 years was promoted to Assistant Promotions Director for WJHM-FM. She spent most of her CBS career as the Music/Promotions Director for WJHM-FM.

Campbell, originally from Chicago, moved to Orlando as a child and has been here with a strong presence ever since.

WCFB 94.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I am excited to step up and lead the great team at STAR 94.5!,” she said. “Our goals haven’t changed - we’ll remain focused on being a leader in our community, engaging our listeners wherever they are, and playing the best music daily for the adult urban audience. The leadership at Cox Media Group has been wonderful to me, and I would like to thank Bill Hendrich, Susan Larkin, Stevie DeMann, Steve Smith, and Tony Kidd for the opportunity to lead this heritage brand.”

Orlando Radio: Country WOTW To Host Police, Families

Orlando Country station WOTW 103.1 FM The Wolf hosts BBQ 4 The Blue, a FREE picnic for Central Florida law enforcement officers and their families, this Saturday 11a-2p at Bill Breeze Park at Starke Lake in Ocoee.

This non-profit event will be staffed by community and radio station volunteers with food donated by Pizza Hut of Central Florida, State Farm, and Hard Rock Café Orlando, entertainment by Winter Park Pony Parties and Merry Minstrel, with tents supplied by Nelsons Tents and Events.

“103.1 The Wolf proudly supports the brave men and women in law enforcement locally and across this great country who protect us day in and day out”, says WOTW Program Director Len Shackelford.  “BBQ 4 The Blue is a wonderful way to bring together our local heroes and families for a down-home backyard picnic.”

WOTW General Manager Chris Ganoudis adds, “We have to thank the City of Ocoee and Mayor Rusty Johnson for helping us host BBQ 4 The Blue – they are great partners and immediately offered the use of Lakeshore Center Park for this non-profit event.”  Ganoudis continues, “We know our community will wrap their arms around law enforcement and come together to show support for all they do for us.”

JVC’s Executive Vice President Shane Reeve adds his remarks, “Community involvement is one of the hallmarks of JVC Media.  Law enforcement officers and their families are true heroes and deserve a day to relax, eat, socialize, and have fun… for FREE!”  Reeve wraps up, “Our partners have stepped up to donate food, supplies, and more to make BBQ 4 The Blue a success.  Invite any heroes you know to this event.  They deserve it!”

Detroit Radio: WDRQ Promotes Jessica Poxson To APD

Jessica Poxson
Cumulus Media has announced that it has promoted Country WDRQ Nash 93.1 FM Midday Host Jessica Poxson to Assistant Program Director, effective immediately.

In her new role, Poxson will report to Detroit Director of FM Programming Robby Bridges and Cumulus Media-Detroit Operations Manager Mike Wheeler. She will continue as On-Air Host of “The Jess Show” weekdays from 10AM-2PM on NASH FM 93.1.

Poxson joined Cumulus Media-Detroit in 2010 and rose through the cluster’s ranks with positions ranging from promotions to news reporting for sister station WJR, on-air for WDVD, traffic on WDRQ and now host of its Midday slot.

Bridges said: "In the longstanding Cumulus tradition of promoting from within, it is a pleasure to enhance Jessica's role here in Detroit as we build DRQ’s brand and profile in the community and continue providing the best country music content to Detroit’s passionate country fans. I am thrilled she'll be working closely with me and our team."

WDRQ 93.1 FM (26.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Poxson said: “It’s a thrill to take on this new role in the city that I love with an amazing team of people who are just as committed to growing this radio station as I am.”

Las Vegas Radio: Da Shaka Launches On 98.5 FM HD2

CBS RADIO Las Vegas has announced the launch of 98.5 Da Shaka, Vegas’ Island and Reggae Station on 98.5 KLUC’s HD-2 frequency. In addition to listening to Da Shaka locally through the HD-2 frequency, listeners can also stream the station through or the app for mobile devices.

Las Vegas has long been considered the Ninth Island by the Hawaiian community and this station will cater directly to that audience.  From current island music like Common Kings, Anuhea and J Boog to current reggae hits from Rebel Souljahs and Katchafire, and even traditional island songs from Keali’I Reichel and IZ, 98.5 Da Shaka will serve the Hawaiian and Island community of Las Vegas.

In addition, 98.5 Da Shaka will participate in concerts and cultural events integral associated with the Hawaiian and Island community. The station is programmed by CBS RADIO Las Vegas Operations Manager JB King and Yung Jon Que (Jon Quiamzon).  Born and raised in Hawaii, Que is a veteran of multiple Hawaiian radio stations, including Island 98.5 & 93.1 Da Pa’ina.  Together, the duo has developed the overall sound and vibe of the station.

“It is very exciting to offer an HD format and live stream for the Las Vegas Hawaiian and Island community, which has been steadily growing in Vegas for well over two decades”, says King. “98.5 Da Shaka will feature a mix of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music. We are very fortunate to have some passionate team members creating the sound on 98.5 Da Shaka.”

98.5 FM HD2 (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Tony Perlongo adds, “The station is unlike any other offering in the market. It brings the music of the islands to Las Vegas and will cater to those looking for a station that soothes and relaxes just like the islands.”

Dr. Drew Exiting HLN Days After Commenting On Hillary's Health

Dr. Drew Pinsky
CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz announced Thursday that "Dr. Drew and I have mutually agreed to air the final episode of his show on September 22."

"Dr. Drew and his team have delivered more than five years of creative shows and I want to thank them for their hard work and distinctive programming," Jautz said in a statement. "Their audience-driven shows, in particular, were innovative and memorable TV. And Dr. Drew has been an authoritative voice on addiction and on many other topical issues facing America today."

It's the latest in changes at HLN, which is CNN's sister network.

In June the network announced that Nancy Grace would be ending her very popular show and leaving after a dozen years as one of HLN's biggest stars.

In its latest reboot, HLN is going for more straight news fare, add shows hosted by CNN’s Erica Hill, Michaela Pereira and Banfield.

On January 5, 2015, Pinsky launched a new weekday program, "Dr. Drew Midday Live with Mike Catherwood," on KABC 790 AM in Los Angeles. In April 2016, Pinsky announced Loveline would wrap up.

The Washington Post is reporting the decision came eight days after Pinsky’s comments on a radio show on Aug. 17 questioning the health and medical care of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president. After looking at bits and pieces of Clinton’s health-care records she made public in 2015, he said he was “gravely concerned not just about her health, but her health care.”

His comments came as the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, along with its surrogates and supporters, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Fox News host Sean Hannity, have attempted to portray Clinton as lacking “the mental and physical stamina” demanded by the job, as Trump has put it.

Pinsky’s views, which he said were shared by another physician with whom he had consulted, aired on KABC’s “McIntyre in the Morning.”

Report: Ed Henry Returning To Fox News

Former Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry will be returning to the network after an almost four-month absence from the airwaves on Monday, The Hill reports.

'He took the summer off to work out some issues,' an insider told the website.

But the 45-year-old will no longer be the network's chief White House correspondent, but will serve as a general assignment reporter - and will not be reporting on the presidential campaign at all.
His first reporting hit will on Monday's episode of 'Fox & Friends' which airs at 6am. He'll based in Washington and will be assigned to a specific 6am to 2pm shift.

Henry, who is married with two children and previously worked for CNN, was sideline by Fox officials after In Touch magazine revealed his affair with Natalia Lima.

Lima, a veteran stripper, said she and Henry engaged in a ten-month affair after meeting in a Las Vegas gentleman's club.

Report: Can Fox News Keep Megyn Kelly?

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly is the most prized anchor in cable news at the moment.

Vanity Fair is reporting when word circulated that Kelly has recently spoken with the Murdochs, “everyone got nervous all over again,” according to one staffer, suggesting that she might be preparing to leave. It turns out that Kelly has spoken multiple times with all of the Murdochs, and has spent the most time with Lachlan, who has been in close touch with her throughout the whole Ailes imbroglio, according to a person familiar with the matter. “Lachlan was the one who talked to her throughout this entire ordeal,” this person added. But both brothers are aligned in their desire to keep the broadcaster, this person added. “James loves Megyn. He believes she’s a big part of the future of this channel.”

Besides a ratings hit, losing Kelly would be devastating for the optics of Fox News. “On top of all their troubles they have, if they lose their ‘It girl,’ they’ll be in even worse shape,” one rival television executive told Sarah Ellison at VF. The Ailes scandal has given her additional leverage.

Bill O'Reilly
Some rival television executives engage in optimistic thinking that one additional wrinkle to keeping Kelly at Fox News is O’Reilly himself. The two of them anchor the channel’s two highest-rated shows, but they rarely interact. O’Reilly tapes his show most days between four P.M. and six P.M. Kelly is on live nightly at nine P.M.

O’Reilly, who also has one year to go on his contract, was one of Trump’s biggest defenders throughout his public battle with Kelly. Rupert Murdoch knows and likes O’Reilly. The brothers, however, reportedly are not fans. The rival news executive floated the possibility that if O’Reilly stays, Kelly is likely to go. She is soon to be a free agent, and like a star player, may decide that whatever the money, she wants to live in a different universe.

One former Fox executive broached that to keep both Kelly and O’Reilly under the same roof, “you’d have to have the world’s greatest interventional therapist to come and sit down with them both.”