Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 30 Radio History

In 1745...Invention of the Leyden jar (the first capacitor) by Dean Ewald Jurgen von Kleist of the Cathedral of Cammin.

Renzo Cesana
In Renzo Cesana was born in Rome Italy.  He is best remembered as The Continental, the suave debonair “latin lover” host of his own early TV series. He is also credited with creating the radio programs “Art Linkletter’s House Party”, “Stop That Villain”, and the “Radio Hall of Fame.” Cesana succumbed to lung cancer November 8 1970 at age 63.

Fred W. Friendly with Edward R. Murrow
In 1915...broadcaster Fred W. Friendly was born in New york City.  He rose to prominence through his close working relationship with Edward R Murrow.  He was executive producer of CBS Reports from 1959-64, and president of CBS News from ’64-’66. He died March 3 1998 at age 82, after a series of strokes.

In 1925...KUT-AM in Austin Texas began broadcasting.

The actual beginning date of radio broadcasting on the UT-Austin campus has never been fully substantiated. There is an unofficial reference to an on-campus radio operation as early as 1912. But the most reliable information indicates that the first broadcast license — bearing the call letters 5XY — was issued to the University on March 22, 1921.

A year later, a new license was issued, bearing new call letters WCM, which the station used to identify itself until 1925.

In these first years, the station was used for a number of purposes, beginning as a demonstration project in the Physics Department, whose Professor Simpson L. Brown had persuaded the administration to let him build the station in the first place.

Beginning in 1923, though, funding concerns prompted a transfer of operational control to the University's Extension Division for extension teaching. One of the stipulations of the transfer agreement was that funds would be provided for operations and maintenance to put the station in a "first-class" condition. The funds, however, did not materialize and broadcasting suffered until a state agriculture official needed a means to broadcast daily crop and weather reports.

A deal between the official and UT's Extension Division allowed agriculture broadcasts for one hour per day in exchange for equipment maintenance. At other times of the day, the University would broadcast items of interest from the campus, including a number of faculty lecture series.

But by the end of 1924, the Physics Department decided it wanted the station back, and with the approval of the Board of Regents, the Physics Department regained control in the summer of 1925. They had a new license granted on October 30 and it bore, for the first time, the call letters KUT.

KUT's early years were ambitious but, by 1927, ambition had outrun the funding. The expense of operating and maintaining the station had simply become too great for the Physics Department to sustain. University President Harry Benedict appointed a committee to study the matter, and the committee recommended that the project be discontinued. The station was dismantled and the equipment returned to the Physics labs for experimentation.

KUT would not re-emerge for 30 years.

In 1938...Orson Welles's radio adaptation of HG Wells's War Of The Worlds caused panic in the US by convincing many listeners that Martians had really landed in New Jersey.

During the '30s, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.  Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air.

Welles reflected in February 1983:
"Radio is what I love most of all. The wonderful excitement of what could happen in live radio, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was making a couple of thousand a week, scampering in ambulances from studio to studio, and committing much of what I made to support the Mercury. I wouldn't want to return to those frenetic 20-hour working day years, but I miss them because they are so irredeemably gone."
In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio's Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series' April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish's verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.

In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables, which he did with great success. Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio.  Les Misérables was one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements on radio, and marked the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre.

That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.

After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited the 23-year-old Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

The Mercury Theatre's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame.

When the show began at 8 p.m., a voice announced, “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells."  In 1938, Sunday evenings were prime time in the golden age of radio and millions of Americans had their radios turned on.

On Sunday nights in 1938, most Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the audience had missed the introduction and the story of the Martian invasion was well underway.

Welles introduced his radio play with a spoken introduction, followed by an announcer reading a weather report. Then, seemingly abandoning the storyline, the announcer took listeners to “the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Amon Raquello and his orchestra.” Dance music played for some time, and then the scare began.

An announcer broke in to report that “Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory” had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the dance music came back on, followed by another interruption in which listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grover’s Mills, New Jersey.

The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question.  Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion.

When news of the real-life panic leaked into the CBS studio, Welles went on the air as himself to remind listeners that it was just fiction. There were rumors that the show caused suicides, but none were ever confirmed.

The Federal Communications Commission investigated the program but found no law was broken. Networks did agree to be more cautious in their programming in the future.

Welles's growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.

In 1943...WINS switched to 1010 AM.

The station began broadcasting first during 1924 on 950 kHz as WGBS, named after and broadcasting from its owner, Gimbel's department store. It moved to 860 kHz sometime around 1927, and to 600 around 1930, settling on 1180 around 1931. The station was bought by William Randolph Hearst in 1932, and it adopted its present callsign (named after Hearst's International News Service) the same year, effective January 15.

WINS relocated from the Hotel Lincoln to the WINS Building, 114 East 58th Street, June 19, 1932.

It changed its frequency from 1180 to 1000 on March 29, 1941 as part of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement and then eventually to 1010 on October 30, 1943. The Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation announced its purchase of the station from Hearst in 1945, though it would be over a year before Crosley would take control of WINS, in July 1946

In 1967...WNEW-FM adopted a 'progressive rock' radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry. The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

Disc jockeys would broadcast in ways that bore out their personalities:
  • morning fixture Dave Herman was not afraid to mix Erik Satie or Donna Summer into the playlist;
  • noontime stalwart Pete Fornatale promoted the Beach Boys when it was not fashionable and later started his eclectic weekend Mixed Bag program;
  • afternoon legend Muni would use his gravelly voice to introduce largely unknown British artists on his "Things from England" segments;
  • nighttime host Schwartz was a raconteur who would sneak in the Sinatra pop standards that he not-so-secretly liked better than rock;
  • overnight presence Steele would play space rock groups in between readings of her equally spacey poems;
  • weekend personality Vin Scelsa started his idiosyncratic Idiots' Delight program, which soon gained a devoted following.
Other well-known disc jockeys who worked at the station included Dennis Elsas, Pete Larkin, brothers Dan Neer and Richard Neer, Jim Monaghan, Pam Merly, Thom Morrera, Meg Griffin, and John Zacherle.

WNEW-FM was among the first stations to give Bruce Springsteen significant airplay, and conducted live broadcasts of key Springsteen concerts in 1975 and 1978; Springsteen would sometimes call up the DJs during records. Later, Dave Herman featured a "Bruce Juice" segment each morning. John Lennon once stopped by to guest-DJ along with Dennis Elsas and appeared on-air several other times during his friend Scott Muni's afternoon slot. Members of the Grateful Dead and other groups would hang out in the studio; Emerson, Lake & Palmer's visit to Muni's show is often credited for popularizing the group in America. In addition to music, youth-oriented comedy recordings such as from Monty Python would also be aired.

In 1996...Leon Lewis, a radio talk show host for WMCA-AM, New York, died at age 81.

Lewis was the nighttime voice of WMCA from 1970 to 1980. On ''The Leon Lewis Talk Show,'' he took calls from listeners, debated public issues, offered advice to the troubled or merely provided a sympathetic ear, greeting each caller with a soothing ''Hello, my friend.''

Before he joined WMCA, Mr. Lewis was the moderator of ''Community Opinion,'' a call-in show on WLIB in Harlem. In 1967, the station won a George Foster Peabody award for the show, which was credited with helping to defuse racial tension.

Mr. Lewis, who was born in Bloomington, Ind., began his radio career at WABY in Albany. After working as a disk jockey and in advertising sales, he moved to New York City in 1954 and became circulation manager for The Amsterdam News. He left the paper in 1957 and joined radio station WWRL as news director before moving to WLIB.

In 2000...Radio/TV host Steve Allen died of a heart attack resulting from a minor automobile accident earlier in the day. Autopsy results concluded that the accident had caused a blood vessel in his chest to rupture, causing blood to leak into the sac surrounding his heart. He was 78.

Steve Allen 1977
Allen's first radio job was on station KOY in Phoenix, Arizona, after he left Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University) in Tempe, while still a sophomore. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was trained as an infantryman. He spent his service time at Camp Roberts, California, and did not serve overseas.

Allen became an announcer for KFAC in Los Angeles and then moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1946, talking the station into airing a five-nights-a-week comedy show, Smile Time, co-starring Wendell Noble. After Allen moved to CBS Radio's KNX in Los Angeles, his music-and-talk half-hour format gradually changed to include more talk on a full-hour, late-night show, boosting his popularity and creating standing-room-only studio audiences. During one episode of the show reserved primarily for an interview with Doris Day, his guest star failed to appear, so Allen picked up a microphone and went into the audience to ad lib for the first time.  His radio show attracted a huge local following, and in 1950 it replaced Our Miss Brooks, exposing Allen to a national audience for the first time.

Allen's first television experience had come in 1949 when he answered an ad for a TV announcer for professional wrestling. He knew nothing about wrestling, so he watched some shows and discovered that the announcers did not have well-defined names for the holds. When he got the job, he created names for many of the holds, some of which are still used today.

After CBS radio gave Allen a weekly prime time show, CBS television believed it could groom him for national small-screen stardom and gave Allen his first network television show. The Steve Allen Show premiered at 11 am on Christmas Day, 1950, and was later moved into a thirty-minute, early evening slot. This new show required him to uproot his family and move from LA to New York, since at that time a coast to coast program could not originate from LA. The show was canceled in 1952, after which CBS tried several shows to showcase Allen's talent.

Allen achieved national attention when he was pressed into service at the last minute to host Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts because Godfrey was unable to appear. Allen turned one of Godfrey's live Lipton commercials upside down, preparing tea and instant soup on camera and then pouring both into Godfrey's ukulele. With the audience (including Godfrey, watching from Miami) uproariously and thoroughly entertained, Allen gained major recognition as a comedian and host.

Leaving CBS, he created a late-night New York talk-variety TV program in 1953 for what is now WNBC-TV. The following year, on September 27, 1954, the show went on the full NBC network as The Tonight Show, with fellow radio personality Gene Rayburn (who later went on to host hit game shows such as Match Game, 1962–1982) as the original announcer. The show ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the East Coast.

While Today developer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver is often credited as the Tonight creator, Allen often pointed out that he had previously created it as a local New York show. Allen told his nationwide audience that first evening: "This is Tonight, and I can't think of too much to tell you about it except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever... you think you're tired now. Wait until you see one o'clock roll around!"

It was as host of The Tonight Show that Allen pioneered the "man on the street" interviews and audience-participation comedy breaks that have become commonplace on late-night TV.

In 2007...Alberta-raised singer, actor Robert Goulet, while awaiting a lung transplant, died at age 73. His career began as an announcer at Edmonton radio station CKUA; he went on to sing frequently on CBC-TV. His Broadway debut in Camelot launched an award-winning stage and recording career (If Ever I Would Leave You, My Love Forgive Me).  As well as starring in numerous televised musicals (Carousel, Brigadoon, Kiss Me Kate) he appeared 16 times on Ed Sullivan, and starred in a short-lived ABC WW2 series, Blue Light.

Poll: National Anthem Protests Leading Cause For NFL Ratings Drop

There are many reasons why the NFL’s ratings are down in 2016. According to Matt Dolloff at CBS Local/Boston, one may be dismissive of the very idea that the backlash to the national anthem protests, sparked by the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, has played a role in the NFL’s TV ratings, which have dropped by about 12 percent year-over-year. To continue to dismiss that is to blatantly ignore legitimate data on the subject.

A fresh poll from Seton Hall surveyed 841 adults across the U.S. Each respondent was asked to identify seven separate factors as a reason for the NFL ratings drop, allowing them to answer “yes” or “no” for each of them. The leading factor, according to the poll, was the national anthem protests, which scored “yes” at a rate of 56 percent.

Other answers also scored “yes” at a high rate, including 50 percent of “yeses” for coverage of the presidential election, 47 percent for the league’s handling of domestic violence cases, 44 percent for the over-saturation of the market, 39 percent for increased interest in postseason baseball, and 33 percent for controversy over head injuries and player safety.

Interestingly enough, the lowest score, tied with player safety at 33 percent, was “a decline in quality of play on the field.” Many would cite this as the overriding factor to all of this, and it certainly is factoring in. It’s easier to turn the games off for other reasons if the games aren’t fun to watch in the first place.

The point here, however, is that there are many Americans out there who view the players’ national anthem protest as a sign of disrespect to the American flag, the sanctity of which they take very seriously. Hundreds of fans have emailed Dolloff on the subject, and many of them agreed with Kaepernick’s right to protest injustices but disagreed with his method of doing so.

Howard Stern Streaming Video Launch Set For 2017

The upcoming Howard Stern streaming video service that the talk show host and satellite radio platform SiriusXM have been touting is on track to launch next year, according to CEO Jim Meyer.

The company also announced that it has surpassed 31 million subscribers and is set to add 1.7 million net subscribers in total in the year 2016.

SiriusXM appears to be on a roll these days, according to TechTimes.  As streaming competitors like Pandora and Spotify continue to bleed cash, the satellite radio giant is quietly adding to its coffers as well as gaining new subscribers despite the plethora of music streaming alternatives.

The company announced that its quarterly earnings for Q3 shot up by 16 percent to $194 million, earning the company four cents per share as compared to three cents in the same period a year ago, and beating Wall Street analyst's expectations by a penny.

"SiriusXM's performance in the third quarter was exemplary," said CEO Jim Meyer. "Our business is operating more efficiently than ever before, and we are pleased to increase our revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance for the second time this year." He touted newly hired talk show talent, increased focus on the country music genre, and various one of a kind music events as part of the reason for the company's strong growth.

The jewel in the company's crown, however, remains Howard Stern. The talk show host is just finishing up the first of a 5 year contract that reportedly pays him a reported $90 million per year for his four hour long, three days a week morning show on SiriusXM, and which crosses over nicely with the company's music offerings. A-list musical artists such as Green Day, Lady Gaga and Metallica have all performed live on the show during the past month.

Meyer also confirmed that although no concrete launch date has been established for Stern's upcoming "revolutionary" video streaming app, which has been delayed from its previously announced 2016 debut, it should be available sometime in 2017.

Poll: Fox News Viewers See The World Differently

New data shows that Fox loyalists, when compared to the public at large, are far more pessimistic about America's future; are far more critical of President Obama's performance; are far more fearful of Hillary Clinton; and are more forgiving of Donald Trump.

According to Brian Stelter at CNNMoney, the sharp differences in opinion extend to beliefs about political corruption, voter fraud and media coordination with campaigns. Fox fans, when compared to fans of other networks, are far more likely to express concern about November's election results being manipulated.

They are also more likely to agree with the sentiment that divisions in the United States are deeper than in the past.

The data -- from a new national poll by Suffolk University -- shows deep divisions, indeed. And it demonstrates why 21st Century Fox patriarch Rupert Murdoch recently told the Wall Street Journal that it would be "business suicide" to change Fox's editorial direction.

Overall, the poll finds that the country is split about Clinton, with 46% of all respondents having a favorable view of her versus 47% unfavorable. Among people who rate Fox News as their most-trusted source of news, however, sentiments are much more solidly anti-Clinton, with 84% viewing her unfavorably, versus just 13% favorably.

Similarly, 54% of all Suffolk respondents approve of President Obama's job performance, versus 41% who disapprove. But among Fox loyalists, the numbers are radically different, with 16% approving of the president's performance and 80% disapproving.

During the Obama presidency Fox News positioned itself as a voice of the opposition. Fox's most popular shows, like "The O'Reilly Factor," reinforced these sentiments.

If Clinton is elected president, Fox's audience will expect more of the same.

Fox News says it reaches many independents and some Democrats. But several surveys, including Suffolk's, shows that Fox's base is passionately pro-Republican, aligning with GOP positions and GOP candidates.

Steve Tyler, Joe Perry Meet Obama Aboard Air Force One

Joe Perry, Steve Perry aboard Air Force One (Aerosmith photos via Instagram)
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry got to play excited fans abroad Air Force One on Friday and sang 'Walk This Way' with President Obama in an impromptu meeting.

Perry, Tyler on the tarmac
According to The Daily Mail, The legendary musicians landed in Florida after a five-week tour of Mexico and South America when they spotted the president's aircraft on the tarmac of Orlando International Airport.

Tyler and Perry took a few pictures of the plane, and before they knew it, they had an invitation to play at the White House, with the Sweet Emotion singer concluding: 'He's something else.'

Aerosmith, whose official fanclub is incidentally called Aero Force One, returned to the US from Mexico City when they realized Obama was in town.

Perry told the music website Vanyaland they got out of their plane to snap some pictures before they were suddenly invited on board and offered a tour, although the president wasn't around at the time.
Obama, who was busy in Florida campaigning for Hillary Clinton, didn't want to miss a thing - and told the rock stars he would return if they were willing to wait.

When they met, the president said he was a big fan of their work, and invited them to play at the White House - even though they'll have to act quickly if they want cash in on the offer.

Bob Dylan Will Accept Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan (Reuters)
(Reuters) -- American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this month, has now told the Swedish Academy that he will accept the prize.

The notoriously media-shy Dylan had not made any comment on the 8 million crown ($900,000) prize, despite repeated attempts by award-givers the Swedish Academy to contact him since it named him as the winner on Oct. 13.

The Nobel Foundation said in a statement that Dylan this week told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, that he now accepts the prize.

The committee that awarded the Nobel Prize to Dylan had said it was up to him whether to attend the prize-giving ceremony later this year or not.

"It has not yet been decided if Bob Dylan will attend any events during the Nobel Week in Stockholm in December," the Nobel Foundation said on Friday.

"The Nobel Foundation will share information as soon as it is available."

Separately, Dylan told British daily the Telegraph in an interview that he will be at Nobel Prize ceremony, if he can.

Portland OR Radio: Alpha Media Makes Strategic Moves

Alpha Media, Portland, OR announced several strategic changes Friday:
  • Milt McConnell, SVP/Market Manager of Portland has been promoted to VP, National and Group Sales Strategy. 
  • Lisa Decker joins Alpha Media to fill the role as Portland SVP/Market Manager
  • Amy Leimbach moves into VP Sales, Portland- Live Performance Lounges.  
These changes will be effective Monday, November 7, 2016.

Alpha Media President/CEO, Bob Proffitt commented on the changes, “This is an exciting time for Alpha Media. With our major growth in 2016, we have been focused on recognizing key players and evolving to the next level. Milt has always been a high performer, even back in the Citadel days. In his new role, he will work closely with our National Rep Firms as well as our Business Development team.

Lisa Decker, originally from the area, built her radio career in the Pacific Northwest. She is a seasoned, talented broadcaster with experience in corporate and local managerial roles for CBS and iHeart.  She will be a huge asset to Alpha.

Amy Leimbach has been integral within the Alpha Media sales management team for the past 7 years. Originally, serving as a Director of Sales in Portland, and most recently as Regional Director of Business Development makes her the right choice to lead our sales portfolio of now seven stations (KWEE-FM LMA) and our live performance venue, Skype Live Studio.”

R.I.P.: NYC TV Cool Ghoul, Radio Personality John Zacherle

John Zacherle, one of the first of the late-night television horror-movie hosts, who played a crypt-dwelling undertaker with a booming graveyard laugh on stations in Philadelphia and New York in the late 1950s and early ’60s, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan.

He was 98, according to The NYTimes.

John Karsten Zacherle was born in Philadelphia in September 1918. After graduating from Germantown High School, Mr. Zacherle enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an English degree in 1940. He enlisted in the Army at the start of World War II and served in England, Italy and North Africa with the Quartermaster Corps, rising to the rank of major.

Returning to Philadelphia after the war, he joined the Stagecrafters, a small theater troupe in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Before long he found work doing commercials for local drug companies.

“I guess my first horror gig was posing for before-and-after pictures for some new tranquilizer,” he told The Daily News in New York in 2000. “In the ‘before’ shot, I was chasing my wife with a carving knife. Then, after I took the pill, I was a kind and loving husband.”

In 1953 he began appearing as characters on “Action in the Afternoon,” a live western series shot in a vacant lot behind the studios of WCAU. “The idea was to get somebody in trouble on Monday, and either get him out of trouble, shoot him or hang him by Friday,” he told The Daily News in 1959.

In late 1958, Zacherle moved to New York, “flapping in on leathery wings of fame,” as The Journal of Frankenstein, a monster magazine, put it. He took over “Shock Theater” at WABC, Channel 7, and added a “y” to his name to avoid confusion about how it should be pronounced. After the show tripled its ratings in the first year, it was renamed “Zacherley at Large.”

When WABC had run through its stock of horror films, Mr. Zacherle took his act to Channel 9 and then Channel 11, where he became the host of “Chiller Theater,” “The Mighty Hercules Cartoon Show” and, briefly, “The Three Stooges Show.”

He moved to the New York album-rock radio station WNEW 102.7 FM in 1967 as a morning D.J. and two years later began hosting a program at night. He later worked at another rock station, WPLJ 95.5 FM , and in 1992 joined WXRK, known as K-Rock. That job ended four years later when the station changed its format from classic rock to alternative rock.

 Zacherle was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame in 2010.

"In his day, he was one of the first superstars of radio and television in the Delaware Valley," said Gene Kolber, a member of the Broadcast Pioneers.

R.I.P.: Former WXCM Owensboro Radio Host Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan
Former WXCM 97.1 FM mornng host Jeff Morgan died sometime overnight Thursday at the age of 54.

"Like someone turned off the mic today," says Melissa "Spiff" Goodall. She, and Rob Nichols, worked with Jeff Morgan at 97X.

"On-air, he was like this larger than life, rock and roll guy, who knew everything about any sort of rock question you can think of," says Goodall.

"He had certain bands he really, really liked, and he made an effort to meet them in person," says Nichols.

Off-air, they say he'd go out of his way to help anyone.

Morgan hosted the 'Morgan in the Morning' show for nearly nine years, also serving as programming director at Cromwell.

"Very shocked because I thought Morgan was doing a lot better lately," Nichols said. "He had been battling a few other health issues. He seemed like he was on the upswing. So his death was really a shock and a surprise."

October 29 Radio History

In 1930...the radio deejay who would become the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson)with the smash hit Chantilly Lace, was born in Sabine Pass, Texas. He died in the same 1959 plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.

In 1983...The Hot 100..Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton scored a #1 song together with "Islands In The Stream".  Bonnie Tyler finally took a back seat with "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" after four weeks.  Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" was #3 followed by the timeless "True" from Spandau Ballet.

The rest of a solid Top 10:  The Fixx with "One Thing Leads To Another", Air Supply's "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All", the Police remained at #7 with "King Of Pain", Prince and "Delirious", Sheena Easton was at #9 with "Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)" and Billy Joel registered his sixth Top 10 with "Uptown Girl".

In 1983...The Album Chart..Synchronicity by the Police continued to hold off Michael Jackson's attempt to return to #1 on the Album chart with Thriller.  Metal Health by Quiet Riot was a very distant third with An Innocent Man from Billy Joel #4.

The rest of the Top 10:  Faster Than the Speed of Night by Bonnie Tyler, Pyromania by Def Leppard, the Soundtrack to "Flashdance" at #7, Air Supply with their Greatest Hits album, Kenny Rogers with a new entry--Eyes That See in the Dark and, although she had changed musical direction, it didn't affect her success as Linda Ronstadt reached the Top 10 yet again with What's New.

In book stores..Howard Stern’s “Miss America.” Lawyers for the actual Miss America pageant believed the title infringed on their good name.

In 2003…According to the results of a study by the Neilsen ratings company, a third of the sales of "Beatles 1" were to fans aged 19 to 24, skewing the band's fan base even younger than it had been previously.

In 2005...Julian Breen, former Assistant PD at WABC NYC and PD at KFRC San Francisco, died.

Following success at WABC New York and KYA San Francisco, Julian was largely responsible for developing two radio formats.

First, “Back Seat Music,” established at WPEN in 1975.  It was Julian's belief that people cherished most the music that was popular at the time that they lost their virginity.  He could never quite back it up with research, but didn’t let that stop him.

He also developed the Magic format that was launched at WMGK and cloned nationally.  “It was beautiful music for people who didn’t feel old,” Julian said.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Sac Radio: FCC Designates KDND License Renewals For Hearing

UPDATE 10/28/16 2PM:  Entercom CEO David Field has released the following statement concerning KDND-FM:
“What happened at KDND in 2007 was a terrible tragedy that pains us deeply. 
Throughout our 48-year history, we have had a steadfast commitment to being a caring and responsible corporate citizen, firmly committed to public service. We take great pride in all of the work we have done to serve our communities. Nonetheless, we fully recognize that all of our good work cannot undo that tragic event nine years ago. 
We do believe it is important to note that the jury that heard this case concluded that Entercom Communications Corp. was not negligent. What happened was the result of unauthorized and appalling actions by certain station employees who violated corporate procedures. None of that diminishes our sadness and we remain committed to continuous improvement in our efforts to serve the public.”
Earlier Posting...

The death of a contest participant is at the core of a FCC order for a hearing desgination for the 2005 and 2013 license renewals for Entercom's Top40 KDND 107.9 FM The End in Sacramento.

The Commission has cited petitions to deny from Media Action Center and Ed Stolz and an informal objection by Roger Smith for the hearing designation.

According to the FCC "Information now before the Commission raises serious questions as to whether Entercom operated Station KDND in the public interest during the most recent license term."

The "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest was staged in January 2007. by the hosts of the KDND-FM "Morning Rave" show.

Jennifer Lea Strange, 28, died after participating in the water-drinking contest to win a Nintendo Wii video game system, valued at $250.  During the contest, local media reported  a listener - self-identified as a nurse - called the live radio broadcast and warned that the game was dangerous.

"I want to say that those people drinking all that water can get sick and die from water intoxication," said the caller.

"Yeah, we're aware of that," replied a DJ. "They signed releases so we're not responsible, okay?"

During the contest, participants were given two minutes to drink an 8-ounce bottle of water and then given another bottle to drink after a 10-minute break.  Strange was second to last to stop drinking, and when she bowed out, she did say on the air that she was not feeling well.

In all, according to witness reports, Strange may have drunk nearly two gallons. Afterward, she appeared ill. About five hours later, Strange – who had three children - was found dead by her mother at her home in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

During the contest, participants were given two minutes to drink an 8-ounce bottle of water and then given another bottle to drink after a 10-minute break.

According to the Sacramento County coroner, autopsy findings indicated she died of water intoxication.

In 2009 Strange’s husband won $16.5 million compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit against Entercom.

A total of ten station employees were fired for "violating terms of their employment agreements". Among those fired were Program Director Steve Weed, now SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia for Central California,  morning hosts Steve Maney, currently at WNKS Charlotte, Lukas Cox, currently at KRBB Wichita, and Trish Sweet, currently Jayde Donovan, a cohost on the morning show at WPLJ-FM in New York.

Forecast: 75 Percent Of Internet Use Will Be Mobile In 2017

(Reuters) -- Seventy-five percent of internet use will be mobile in 2017, up slightly from this year, as a growing number of consumers around the world access the web on smartphones and tablets, media buying agency Zenith forecast this week.

Zenith previously estimated that 71 percent of internet consumption would be mobile in 2016. Sixty percent of global internet advertising dollars will come from mobile advertising in 2018, Zenith said, following the release of its "Mobile Advertising Forecasts" report on Thursday.

Mobile advertising expenditure in 2018 will total $134 billion, which "is more than will be spent on newspaper, magazine, cinema and outdoor advertising put together," it said.

Zenith, a unit of French ad agency Publicis Groupe SA (PUBP.PA), had estimated global mobile advertising expenditure in 2016 to be $71 billion.

As more ad dollars shift to the digital realm from television, brands are rushing to Facebook Inc (FB.O), Snapchat and Google (GOOGL.O) where they can market to viewers.

"In four years, you've gone from 40 percent to 70 percent (of total internet use) in mobile," said Scott Singer, a digital media executive and managing director of innovation consultancy firm DDG Inc.

This trend is driving a shift in ad dollars to mobile and stoking deals in the media, entertainment and communications businesses, he added.

The rise of mobile data consumption, including video, is pushing telecommunications companies to marry content and digital distribution. They are betting that they can lure viewers to online video and other content that are relayed over their internet and wireless networks, while also attracting advertisers to grow ad revenue.

Nielsen Releases Final Batch of October 2016 PPMs

Nielsen on Thursday 10/27/16 Released the final batch of October 2016 PPM Data for the following markets:

   35  Austin TX

   38  Indianapolis

   40  Raleigh-Durham NC

   41  Milwaukee-Racine WI

   43  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket RI

   44  Nashville

   45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

   46  Greensboro-WinstonSalem-High Point NC

   48  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

   49  Jacksonville FL

   51  Memphis

   52  Hartford-NewBritain-Middletown CT

To view the topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations, Click Here

Gannett, Tronc Deal Now In Doubt

Banks financing Gannett Co.’s potential takeover of Tronc Inc. have backed out, according to people familiar with the matter, putting a merger of the newspaper companies in doubt, according to Bloomberg.

Gannett and Tronc had agreed to a deal price of about $18.75 a share, but several lenders withdrew over concerns about the health of the two companies’ businesses at that valuation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Talks between Gannett and Tronc continue in the hopes of salvaging their effort to merge, the people said.

Shares of Tronc plunged 28 percent to $12.27 at the close Thursday in New York, their biggest drop in more than two years. Gannett fell 17 percent to $8.21, the most since June 2015.

Gannett, the owner of USA Today, has been trying to buy Tronc for months to create a company with the scale to compete more aggressively with online news sites for national readers and advertisers. A deal would marry Gannett’s portfolio of more than 100 dailies and 1,000 weeklies with Tronc’s Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and other publications.

Though Gannett is already the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. by daily circulation, Tronc offers something Gannett lacks: big-city newspaper brands with national reach. After USA Today, Gannett’s most widely circulated paper is the Arizona Republic.

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges On Mobile, Video Ads

(Reuters Photo)
By Julia Love and Narottam Medhora

(Reuters) -- Google parent Alphabet Inc bested analysts' estimates for third-quarter profit and revenue on Thursday as the search company showed it has honed its core business for the mobile era and is closing in on the next wave of computing.

Propelled by strong advertising on mobile devices and video site YouTube, Alphabet's net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion. Revenue jumped 20 percent to $22.45 billion, marking the search giant's seventh straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth.

The company authorized a $7 billion repurchase of its Class C stock, pleasing investors who had been craving more after a $5 billion repurchase last year.

Google is competing fiercely with social network Facebook Inc for dominance in the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai touted the company's gains in the space, and was bullish about recent product launches such as the Google Assistant, the Google Home smart speaker and refinements to the enterprise cloud business.

The products are aimed at the rise of voice search, which many analysts believe will succeed keyboards and touch screens as a primary way users interact with devices.

"We feel well positioned as we transition to a new era of computing," Pichai said in an conference call. "This new era is one in which people will experience computing more naturally and seamlessly in the context of their lives, powered by intelligent assistants and the cloud."

Shares of Alphabet, the world's No. 2 company by market value, were up 1.6 percent in after-hours trading.

The company posted third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $9.06, beating expectations of $8.63 a share on revenues of $22.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.

Google has been dogged by concerns about how it would nudge its vast web advertising business toward mobile, but the company's recent performance has reassured Wall Street that the transition is well underway, said analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

"It’s showing that even though they've hit lifetime highs, there’s still room to run," he said.

Advertising revenue, the company's lifeblood, rose 18.1 percent to $19.82 billion in the third quarter. Paid clicks, or ads for which advertisers pay only when users click on them, rose 33 percent, compared with a rise of 29 percent in the second quarter.

Cost-per-click, or the average amount advertisers pay Google, fell 11 percent in the latest period, but investors are willing to forgive the slump, for now, as it suggests strong mobile growth, said analyst Kerry Rice of Needham & Co.

YouTube continued to post robust gains, Pichai said. Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter Inc have all doubled down on video, a format where advertisers are willing to pay a premium for a few seconds of users' undivided attention.

Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google's total revenue in the quarter, and analysts are eager for the company to tap new sources of growth.

One of the leading contenders is Google's cloud business, which drove a 38.8 percent rise in the company's "other revenue."

"As we head into 2017, I expect cloud to be one of our largest areas of investment," Pichai said.

A relatively late entrant to the cloud business, Google is trying to steal market share from industry leaders Inc and Microsoft Corp. Amazon on Thursday reported a 55 percent revenue increase in its cloud business.

"I would hesitate to say they are competing head-to-head, but they are making up for lost ground," Rice said.

Alphabet's "Other Bets" unit generated revenue of $197 million, primarily from Nest, Google Fiber and Verily units, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during the call.

Alphabet said this week it was pausing the rollout of Fiber, a high-speed internet service, in some U.S. cities and that its leader, Craig Barratt, would leave.

Porat played down analysts' concerns of instability at Other Bets, which has suffered a wave of executive departures, including Nest founder Tony Fadell, self-driving car technology chief Chris Urmson and, most recently, Barratt.

"As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impact in the longer term, it's inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way, and that some efforts will be more successful than others," Porat said.

Other Bets, which also includes research unit X, reported an operating loss of $865 million, down from a year-ago loss of $980 million. The narrowing loss suggests Porat is instilling the financial discipline investors have long hoped to see from the company, said Gillis.

"Everybody loves Ruth," he said.

Facebook Feels The Heat Of Content Controversies

By Kristina Cooke, Dan Levine and Dustin Volz 

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- After Facebook's removal of an iconic Vietnam war photo stirred an international uproar last month, the social network's executives quickly backtracked and cleared its publication.

But the image - showing a naked Vietnamese girl burned by napalm - had previously been used in training sessions as an example of a post that should be removed, two former Facebook employees told Reuters.

Trainers told content-monitoring staffers that the photo violated Facebook policy, despite its historical significance, because it depicted a naked child, in distress, photographed without her consent, the employees told Reuters.

The social network has taken great pains to craft rules that can be applied uniformly with minimal discretion. The reversal on the war photo, however, shows how Facebook's top executives sometimes overrule company policy and its legions of low- and mid-level content monitors.

Facebook has often insisted that it is a technology company - not a media company - but an elite group of at least five senior executives regularly directs content policy and makes editorial judgment calls, particularly in high-profile controversies, eight current and former Facebook executives told Reuters.

One of those key decision-makers - Justin Osofsky, who runs the community operations division - wrote a Facebook post acknowledging that the removal of the war photo was a "mistake.”

“Sometimes,” he wrote, “the global and historical significance of a photo like ‘Terror of War’ outweighs the importance of keeping nudity off Facebook.”

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen declined to comment on the company’s use of the photo in training sessions.

Facebook has long resisted calls to publicly detail its policies and practices on censoring postings. That approach has drawn criticism from users who have had content removed and free-speech advocates, who cite a lack of transparency and a lack of an appeals process for many content decisions.

At the same time, some governments and anti-terror groups are pressuring the company to remove more posts they consider offensive or dangerous.

FCC Approves New Broadband Service Privacy Rules

(Reuters) -- The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 to adopt new privacy rules that will subject broadband internet service providers to more stringent requirements than websites like Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc or Alphabet Inc's Google.

The rules will force companies like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp to obtain consumer consent before using certain user data for advertising and internal marketing.

The final regulation is less restrictive than the initial plan proposed by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in March and closer to rules imposed on websites by the Federal Trade Commission. Republican commissioners said the rules unfairly give websites the ability to harvest more data than service providers and dominate digital advertising.

Wheeler said that by February he will propose rules that could bar internet service providers from using mandatory arbitration clauses to prevent consumers from going to court for billing or other disputes.

The new rules are aimed at protecting sensitive personal consumer data, and providers must get affirmative consent for details like precise geo-location, financial information, health information, children’s information, web browsing history, app usage history and communication content. For less sensitive information, like email address or service tier information, consumers will be able to opt out.

The FCC is also imposing new rules requiring disclosure of data breaches and stronger transparency about information collected.

Free Press policy counsel Gaurav Laroia said the action "on privacy isn’t perfect, but it takes tremendous strides forward. It gives internet users far more control over how their personal information may be used by AT&T, Comcast and other carriers."

AT&T senior vice president of federal regulators affairs Joan Marsh said in a statement that new FCC rules depart from the FTC rules governing websites "in significant and illogical ways, most importantly in the treatment of web browsing and app history data."

She said the approach will confuse consumers who see ads generated by websites even after notification from service providers that consent is required.

Some analysts said the rules could hinder AT&T's goal of using data from its planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner to enhance advertising.

Comcast in a statement criticized the FCC for a decision "that unfortunately will likely do more harm than good for consumers, competition, and innovation in the all-important internet ecosystem."

The Internet & Television Association trade group said the FCC adopting "a cobbled-together approach that abandons principles of fair competition is profoundly disappointing. Instead of creating a consistent and uniform approach to privacy that consumers can easily understand, today’s result speaks more to regulatory opportunism than reasoned policy."

Several commissioners said the government should work to better harmonize the FTC and FCC rules.

Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, praised the move. "These broadband privacy rules are the next logical step since enshrining net neutrality in our telecommunications playbook. These rules will ensure that as technology changes, our core values do not - that consumers, not corporations, have control over their personal information," he said in a statement.

Trump Suggests He May Sue NBC Over '05 Video

Republican nominee Donald Trump on Thursday said it was “an illegal act” for NBC to release earlier this month a 2005 videotape of him making lewd comments about women, and threatened to take legal action against the network, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that aired Thursday, Mr. Trump once again defended his comments—in which he said of groping women, “when you’re a star, they let you do it”—as “locker-room talk,” and added: “The microphone was not supposed to be on—not that I make that as an excuse for myself, but certainly it was an illegal act that was NBC. It was not supposed to be on.”

Trump's comments about the video start at time market 7:34...

Asked to clarify whether he thought it was illegal that NBC had released the tape, from a filming of “Access Hollywood,” he said, “Oh, absolutely. You know that was a private dressing room—yeah that was certainly illegal, no question about it.” The tape shows Mr. Trump speaking on a bus with the show’s name on it as he arrived on the set of the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

On whether he would seek legal action against NBC, Mr. Trump said “you’re going to see after the election,” and added, “We’re gonna find out soon enough, I will tell you.”

Earlier this month, both the Washington Post and NBC reported on tapes obtained from the “Access Hollywood” filming in which a recently married Mr. Trump professed his penchant for kissing women—“Just kiss. I don’t even wait”—and said, “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Mr. Trump was speaking to then-“Access Hollywood” anchor Billy Bush, who has since been fired by the network.

Twitter's Video-Sharing Mobile App Vine To Close

Twitter Inc announced Thursday that it would discontinue the video-sharing mobile app Vine, as it moves to cut 9 percent of its workforce worldwide to keep costs down after beating Wall Street quarterly earnings expectations.

The decision comes on the heels of a failed attempt to sell Twitter as it fights against stagnant user growth and mounting competition from other social media platforms.

In a post published jointly by Twitter and Vine to the blog platform Medium, the social media services said that the Vine website would stay live even after the mobile app is discontinued, giving users the chance to download and save any videos.

A Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters the app will shutter in coming months but did not specify a date.

Twitter introduced Vine in January 2013 as a way for users to share small snippets of video that were six seconds or less. The service was popular with members of the microblogging site and spawned several so-called "Vine stars," attracting millions of followers.

Social media users reeled over the news and Vine quickly became the top-trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. with over 1.64 million tweets.

Pollster Frank Luntz: Trump Campaign ‘is an absolute joke’

Frank Luntz
Conservative pollster Frank Luntz sat down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric Wednesday and explained why he thinks Donald Trump’s presidential bid is “the worst campaign that I have ever seen in my professional life.”

Perhaps best known as the wordsmith behind many Republican talking points, Luntz had quite a few zingers about Trump, including one about the GOP nominee’s sometimes stilted delivery of prepared speeches.

“Stevie Wonder reads a teleprompter better than Donald Trump,” he jested.

He also suggested that Trump’s campaign should do whatever it takes to keep its candidate away from his hyper-aggressive Twitter account. “Break his fingers, take the iPhone away,” he joked.

But Luntz also offered some serious analysis on why Trump’s campaign was such an unexpected success in the primaries and where, he thinks, the candidate has since gone wrong.

When Luntz’s focus-group participants are asked what they think is wrong with the country, he said they always have an answer, and it’s usually a “very deep, very emotional, very personal” one. “Often, we’ll have women and men almost in tears” when talking about issues like the depletion of manufacturing jobs and unemployment in general, their feelings of a lost sense of security or their concerns about police.”

“Trump spoke to those people,” he said. “This candidate tapped into something unique [but] has absolutely lost his focus.”

The problem with Trump’s campaign, Luntz argued, “is that it’s become too much about him and not about the people he represents.”

Luntz also said he was grateful not to have been involved with the candidate’s White House bid.

“This is a campaign that is an absolute joke,” he said.

Providence Radio: WWKX Launches New Morning Show

Cumulus Media and Top 40/Rhythmic radio station WWKX HOT 106.3 FM in Providence announce the launch Thursday of the all-new HOT Morning Show, with a live and local line-up featuring native Rhode Islanders Bekah Berger and Mike D.

The HOT Morning Show airs weekdays from 6AM-10AM onHOT 106 and joins the current weekday programming line-up of: Ms. E-Klass, Middays from 10AM-2PM, Nick Giuliano, Afternoon Drive from 2PM-7PM, and longtime Hot 106personality Big Stress, weeknights from 7PM-12AM.

Berger, a Cranston, RI native, joined HOT 106 in August, 2012, after spending several years covering entertainment news for fellow Cumulus Media-Providence station News Talk WPRO 630 AM / 99.7 FM. Berger who was known as WPRO's, "Princess of Pop Culture" hosted the Saturday afternoon entertainment news talk show, "This Week in Entertainment with Bekah Berger." She took Morning co-hosting duties on HOT 106 in November 2015. Berger has been a frequent contributor to entertainment news segments on NBC10 and CBS-TV’s, "The Rhode Show".

Mike D, from Pawtucket, RI, is new to Mornings on HOT 106, but has been an on-air personality on the station since 2014.  HOT 106 fans formerly knew him as Intern Mike.

Holly Paras, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Providence said: "The opportunity to discover and develop local talent was a high priority for us. We are lucky to have found that in Mike D. He is an exciting and welcome addition to the HOT 106 morning line-up."

WWKX 106.3 Fm (1.15 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Davey Morris, HOT 106 Program Director said: "HOT 106 has always been such an important part of the local community in Providence, and keeping it live and local is key to its success. Bekah and Mike D are homegrown talent that know all the ins and outs ofour close-knit community and are a perfect pair to carry on the HOT 106 brand in the mornings.”

Berger said: "There are so many ways to interact with our audience now - specifically when it comes to social media, and we look forward to incorporating that and starting offour listeners’ mornings with trending topics, exclusive prize opportunities and of course, the hottest music!”

The Conclave Sets 2017 Dates

The Conclave, which celebrates 41 years of educating radio broadcasters this year, announces that the 42nd Conclave Summer LearningConference will take place from July 26-28, 2017, at The DoubleTree by Hilton, Minneapolis-Park Place.

From strategy sessions on generating ratings and revenue to the most effective uses of social, mobile, video and podcasting, The Conclave Summer Learning Conference attendees will gain actionable takeaways to implement at their stations immediately.The conference will feature many popular events including: “Ask Me ‘Almost’ Anything,” where radio’s respected leaders will take questions on radio’s opportunities and growth.

The third annual “Conclave Speed Mentoring Breakfast” also returns in 2017. Mentors that have given their time to share their advice with broadcasters at Conclave Speed Mentoring Breakfasts in the past few years include: Ginny Morris, Chair and CEO, Hubbard Broadcasting; Tony Coles, EVP, iHeartMedia; Jim Ryan, SVP, Programming, CBS Radio; andErica Farber, President and CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).

“The Conclave Summer Learning Conference is about offering radio professionals of all market sizes and formats and at all levels of their careers with unique access to many of radio’s most well-respected leaders and decision makers – many of whom attendees otherwise would not have access to,” said Conclave Chair Lori Lewis.

“It’s important to the Conclave Board to connect people in our industry in an educational and fun setting and to help them grow in their professional broadcasting careers.”

The early registration rate of $199 is available now until January 2, 2017. The registration rate will increase after January 2, 2017. To register now and for other information, Click Here.

ABBA To Reunite For 'New Digital Experience'

ABBA - Now
(Reuters) -- Swedish pop group ABBA is set to reunite for a "new digital experience" in 2018, more than 30 years after their last public performance together, it was announced on Wednesday.

Band members Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad will team up with "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller and Universal Music Group for the collaboration.

ABBA - Then
"We are exploring a new technological world, with Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence at the forefront, that will allow us to create new forms of entertainment and content we couldn't have previously imagined," Fuller said in a statement.

Over a 30-year-career, Fuller has managed singers Annie Lennox, The Spice Girls and Amy Winehouse, English soccer player David Beckham, tennis player Andy Murray, racing driver Lewis Hamilton and a trio of "American Idol" champions: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and David Cook.

ABBA, known for a string of 1970s and early 1980s hits such as "Waterloo", "Dancing Queen" and "Take A Chance On Me", split up in 1982.

"Our fans around the world are always asking us to reform and so I hope this new ABBA creation will excite them as much as it excites me!" Lyngstad said in a statement.

Further details of the collaboration will be announced next year.