Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Radio!

Season's Greetings From Media Confidential!

The Christmas Story - Luke 2:1-20

December 25 Radio History

In 1931...The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City was the subject of a broadcast for the first time. Lawrence Tibbett was featured as vocalist in "Hansel und Gretel". The productionw aired on the NBC Radio network.

In 1937...famed conductor, Arturo Toscanini, conducted the first broadcast of the radio program, "Symphony of the Air", across the NBC Radio netwrok.

In 1939..."A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was recited for the first time over the CBS Radio network.

In 1945...Actor Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on TV's WKRP in Cincinnati was born.

In 1946...Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, of "Margaritaville" fame was born.

In 1948...92.3 FM frequency signed-on in NYC as WMCA-FM. Today the station is WBMP 92.3 FM and is owned by CBS Radio, branding at 92.3 AMP Radio.

For the next year, it operated daily from 3p-9p, simulcasting WMCA, 570 AM, according to the NYC FM History website Angelfire.

In December 1949, Nathan Straus, president of WMCA, announced he was closing down the station because he was losing $4000 a month.

He had said several times that baseball games were cut short on the FM, deliberately to elicit response from listeners and he had received only 2 letters in regard to this practice during all of the summer of 1949.

Straus cited several reasons for the failure of FM: drifting of receivers, difficulty in tuning them, the union rule that announcers who were simulcast on FM and AM be paid double in New York and he said people could already hear WMCA on AM.

Further, Straus said that he had twice tried to give WMCA-FM away and couldn't.

This announcement drew sharp critisim from Major Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of the FM system of broadcasting, who said that Straus was not giving FM a fair chance.

Straus announced that WMCA-FM would quit permanently on December 31, 1949, but the day before, a group of businessmen and people associated with WIBG in Philadelphia announced their intention of buying WMCA-FM for $7500.

So, WMCA-FM continued its 3p-9p schedule throughout 1950, however the negotiations with the WIBG group fell through.

In late 1950, WHOM 1480 AM, announced that it would purchase WMCA-FM. An agreement was reached and 92.3 became WHOM-FM on February 26, 1951.

By 1975, the station had evolved into a Pop/Rock leaning AC format, with calls of WKTU.
On July 24, 1978, WKTU abruptly switched to an "All Disco" format as "Disco 92", which eventually evolved into more of a Rhythmic CHR by the Fall of 1979.

In the summer of 1984, WKTU became a mainstream CHR.

Then, in July of 1985, after airing the Live Aid concert, the station switched to a mainstream AOR format, featuring new and classic rock as WXRK "K-Rock".

In September 1985, Howard Stern (who had been fired from WNBC earlier that year) joined the station, initially for afternoons and in early 1986 switched to mornings.

In 1987, WXRK had instituted a classic rock format and on January 5, 1996, evolved into an alternative/active rock format.

On April 4, 2005, WXRK debuted a mainstream rock format, encompassing music from the 60's to today.

On December 16, 2005, Howard Stern broadcasted his last show on the station, before his anticipated move to Sirius Satellite Radio on January 9, 2006.

On January 3, 2006, 92.3 became an "all-talk" station (with the exception of weekends when it features a rock format) using the "Free FM" slogan and featuring David Lee Roth in mornings. Calls were officially changed to WFNY on January 1. In April 2006, David Lee Roth was replaced with Opie & Anthony.

On May 24, 2007 at 5pm, "K-Rock" returned to 92.3. Calls were changed back to WXRK on May 31, 2007.

On March 11, 2009, 92.3 switched to a CHR format as "92.3 Now FM", with the "K-Rock" format moving to 92.3's HD2 channel.

92.3 changed calls to WNOW on November 8, 2012.

On May 22, 2014 at 2pm, 92.3 re-branded themselves as "92.3 AMP."

Calls changed to WBMP on June 23, 2014.

In 1964...In New York, "Murray The K's Big Holiday Show" went on as scheduled, with the Zombies, the Nashville Teens, and the Hullabaloos, after the U.S. Labor Department lifted a ban on granting British artists work visas. Britain's Musicians Union had retaliated by canceling Fats Domino's upcoming tour, before the whole matter was dropped.

In 1995...Singer, actor and comedian Dean Martin died. He was 78

In 2006...Singer James Brown, nicknamed the "Godfather of Soul, died. He was 73.

In 2008...Singer, dancer and actress Eartha Kitt died. She was 81.

San Jose Radio: KBAY To Launch New Format Sunday

Alpha Media/Silicon Valley has announced that legendary station KBAY will become ‘94.5 Bay FM’.

The only pure classic hits station in the Bay Area, 94.5 Bay FM will play the greatest hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Alpha Media VP of Programming and Bay FM Program Director, Ronnie Stanton commented on the announcement, “This is a hugely exciting moment in the history of these call letters. We will continue to play the artists that made us famous for years as well as adding the best music of the 70s to create an upbeat blend of music’s finest decades.”

John Levitt, General Manager for Bay FM says “I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas. The new 94-5 Bay FM will be a gift to our listeners, advertisers and staff that will be enjoyed for a long time to come.”

KBAY 94.5 FM (44 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The change takes place on Christmas Day, December 25th, at 5pm.

LI Radio: 20-Year-Olds Buy Station To Build Media Company

Andrew Adams and Matthew Glaser
Bold Broadcasting will become the parent company, or holding company, for a variety of media companies, spanning live events to digital, radio and eventually print, according to 20-year-old Mathew Glaser, president and general manager.

"The vision is to build a network of media opportunities for businesses to integrate with the local community," Glaser told MediaPost.

No matter how big or small the idea, Glaser said he's motivated to pursue it. "Even if it's as colossal of an idea as buying a radio station and starting to grow a new media company," he said.

On Nov. 1, Glaser and 20-year-old partner Andrew Adams acquired a local East Hampton radio station, WELJ 104.7 FM.

The idea is to offer cross-media and omnichannel marketing and advertising for national and local business in a niche market. "We feel a lot of media conglomerates have become hardliners in staying with their core platforms," he said.

WELJ 104.7 FM (6 Kw)
Companies tend to buy a media company and then build out networks in that same media. "They buy one source of media, create a core network and cling to it for dear life," he said. "We want to give brands an opportunity to reach into other media through the same network."

Within the next year, Glaser said Bold plans to acquire a print magazine likely also located on Long Island, despite the view that radio and print are fading.

While MoffettNathanson Research estimates traditional media will see a 6% decline in advertising next year, Glaser and Adams have a vision for the future in which they hope will change brand perception and investments. The research company estimates consumer magazines budgets will fall 3% in 2017.

Following the acquisition, WELJ on 104.7FM began playing holiday music, but will switch to a new music format the day after Christmas. The station also streams live on

Report: Taylor Swift Fears Butt-Groping CopyCats

Taylor Swift's legal team has asked a court to redact the portions of the July hearing of Swift's sexual assault case against David Mueller, where her 'security details' and 'specific threat made against her' have been mentioned, according to

"The same people who have threatened Ms. Swift in the past, as well as copy cats, may be emboldened by public attention," the 27-year-old pop star's attorney told TMZ claiming that the details may jeopardize the singer's life.

The singer previously accused the radio DJ of grabbing her from behind during a photo session backstage following her performance at the Pepsi Center in 2013. "Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my a** cheek and no matter how much I scooted over it was still there," Swift said in her court videotape deposition claiming that the groping incident was not an accident.

Mueller, however, defended himself from the allegations on iHeart's Mojo In The Morning. "I've never had my day in court. I've never been inappropriate with a woman in my life,' he said. 'I want my reputation back," he said and claimed his innocence. "I was just trying to get my right hand around Taylor. I've got my hand closed and my palm down and I reach behind, toward Taylor. Our hands touched and our arms crossed. My hand was never under her skirt. I never grabbed her," he said denying the allegations that he grabbed Swift's bare butt.

Norway Radio: Goodbye To FM

Norway is all set to become the world's first nation to drop FM radio for good and switch over to digital-only transmissions. Whereas politicians and technology aficionados hail the cutting-edge digital solution, ordinary Norwegians are none too happy about this decision, according to

Starting from January 11, 2017, Norwegian FM stations will plunge into silence. After almost a century of analogue transmissions, the switch to advanced digital broadcasting (DAB) will render millions of radio sets obsolete.

Despite the fact that plans to tune out FM for good have been in the works for years, the majority of Norwegians aren't exactly chuffed about the move. Two thirds of Norwegians (or 66 percent) were found to oppose the FM switch-off, a survey by pollster Ipsos found earlier this week. Conversely, only 17 percent of the people surveyed support the FM funeral, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reported.

Norway's transition to DAB radio will be watched closely by several other countries considering the move, most notably Norway's Nordic neighbors Denmark and Sweden, as well as Switzerland and South Korea.

The controversial decision to become the first country in the world to shut down its FM radio network was made back in 2011, by the Norwegian Labor Party. Earlier in December, a last-ditch attempt to postpone the looming shutdown of Norway's FM radio network failed in Norwegian parliament.

The forcible transition to DAB has been slammed as "sensational disregard for consumer choice" and triggered numerous complaints from across the country. For instance, Norwegian daily Aftenposten slammed the government's obtrusive ways of imposing DAB onto radio listeners and forcibly promoting "a technology shift that has not been met by demand but by strong industry interests," rather than letting consumers choose in accordance with free-market principles. "Norwegian politicians have decided to make 15 million FM radios in Norway completely useless," journalist and digital media expert Jan Thoresen wrote in Norwegian daily Dagbladet earlier this year. "That's a bad idea."

DAB radio is said to offer well over 20 stations in Norway when the switchover takes effect, with more expected to follow. According to the switchover schedule, however, some local radio stations will continue to transmit on the FM range until 2022.

Portland OR Radio: KXTG Add MLB Mariners, New Show

Alpha Media/Portland’s KXTG 750 AM /  K275CH 102.9 FM The Game becomes Portland’s home for Seattle Mariners baseball for the 2017 season. This announcement comes shortly after Alpha Media, Portland announced the addition of Brock & Salk to 750/102.9 The Game’s weekly lineup.

Alpha Media, Portland Operations Manager, Bruce Collins commented on the announcement, “We are thrilled to be Portland’s home for Mariners baseball.  The Seattle Mariners have a strong following in Portland, and the future of this organization is extremely bright.”

KXTG 750 AM (50 Kw, 20 Kw-N, DA-N)
“The Mariners are looking forward to the new partnership with The Game, KXTG Radio in Portland. We expect the American League West race to be an exciting one in 2017, and sports fans in the Portland/Vancouver market will be able to follow Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez, all season long,” said Randy Adamack, Senior Vice President, Communications of the Seattle Mariners.

St. Louis Radio: Country WIL Announces 'Make-Good Concert'

Due to the extreme winter weather event that rolled through St. Louis on December 16th, WIL 92.3 FM will be presenting a "make-good concert" for JingleFest ticket holders -starring Granger Smith and new Country group Runaway June - at 7:00 pm on February 8, 2017 at The Family Arena!

All tickets from WIL’s 2016 JingleFest concert on December 16th will be honored at this “make-good” show.

For paid ticket questions - please reach out directly to The Family Arena at their Box Office or by calling 636-896-4200. If you won tickets with 92.3 WIL and have questions regarding the show, please email 92.3 WIL at and the radio station promises to respond as soon as possible, in a timely fashion.

As an added bonus: The Family Arena would like to offer all JingleFest ticket holders – both from the paid Reserved seating and WIL’s FREE ticket blasts - complimentary tickets to see Xtreme International Ice Racing on Saturday night, January 28, 2017!

To claim your tickets simply present your JingleFest ticket at The Family Arena Box Office (Monday - Friday from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm) and they will give you a General Admission ticket to see Xtreme International Ice Racing. This offer is good through the close of business on Friday, January 13, 2017.

DC Radio: Diane Rehm Signs-Off At WAMU, NPR

After 37 years, it's the end of an era. Radio icon Diane Rehm hosted her final live show Friday morning at WAMU 88.5. Her broadcast is produced locally but it is heard by nearly three million loyal listeners each week on 200 NPR stations across the country.

Since her WAMU debut in 1979, Rehm has been celebrated for fostering civil discourse about a range of important topics.

“She brought a kind of directness and fearlessness with people who are in power and empathy for people who don't have power,” said WAMU General Manager JJ Yore.

Diane Rehm
According to WJLA-TV7, she received calls from author Isabel Wilkerson, journalist John Dickerson, Sen. Cory Booker and singer/actress Julie Andrews. She was even serenaded by Judy Collins, who sang “There Are Places I Remember.” Collins also sang “Amazing Grace” at Rehm’s request.

Listeners told her how much they valued her program. Some became emotional as they thanked her for her many years on the radio.

In the new year, Rehm's timeslot will feature a new WAMU show, called "1A,” hosted by Joshua Johnson. It will also be distributed to many NPR stations across the country.

Meanwhile, Rehm insists she is not retiring.

“I am simply stepping away from the daily microphone because it's time,” she told her audience.
The 80-year-old host plans to continue working at WAMU. In fact, she will soon start a podcast.

NYC Radio: Arrest Made In Hit&Run Death of WSKQ DJ

Jean Paul Guerreo
The suspected driver in the hit-and-run death of a popular Latin music radio DJ has turned himself in, according to CBS Local.

The 27-year-old man surrendered Friday morning, police said. Charges are pending in the death of Jean Paul Guerrero, better known as DJ Jinx Paul on WSKQ La Mega 97.9 FM.

Guerrero was hit by a car while crossing a street in Brooklyn early Monday.

He was working a show at Caoba Bistro just down the street. When the party let out, police said he walked in front of a double parked flatbed truck to cross the street and was struck in the center lane.

Police say Guerrero was hit by a black Nissan Maxima going at a high rate of speed. The vehicle then fled the scene, according to investigators.

A worker at a body shop told police that the vehicle in question came in for repairs on Monday, the same day that the 39-year-old radio DJ was fatally struck, police said.

The body shop employee told investigators that the owner of the vehicle appeared like a normal customer except for his insistence that he didn’t want the car parked outside.

R.I.P.: Joey Boots From The Howard Stern Show

Joey Boots
Howard Stern's radio co-star Joey Boots famed for shouting 'Baba Booey' dies aged 49, according to

The radio personality, who was one of Howard Stern's 'Wack Packers', was reportedly found dead at his New York Bronx apartment.

NYPD responded to an emergency call on Friday night for a man in need of medical attention, before pronouncing the actor dead on arrival (DOA).

His fellow 'wack packer High Pitch Eric' reportedly became concerned when he didn't appear for their gig, and visited his apartment.

When Joey didn't answer the door, the building manager was called to enter the residence, where they found him in a chair 'with no pulse'.

Joey was famous for his catch phrase  Baba Booey, and a favourite on the Stern show.

December 24 Radio History

In 1818...Germany's Franz Gruber composes a melody to words written by Austrian priest Josef Mohr, creating the standard "Silent Night." The song is debuted tonight at Midnight Mass in Gruber's hometown of Obendorf.

Reginald Fessenden
In 1906...Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio. The broadcast originated in Brant Rock, Massachusetts.

In the late 1890s, reports began to appear about the success Guglielmo Marconi was having in developing a practical radio transmitting and receiving system. Fessenden began limited radio experimentation, and soon came to the conclusion that he could develop a far more efficient system than the spark-gap transmitter and coherer-receiver combination which had been championed by Oliver Lodge and Marconi.

Wireless Station at Brant Rock, MA
On December 21, 1906, Fessenden made an extensive demonstration of the new alternator-transmitter at Brant Rock, showing its utility for point-to-point wireless telephony, including interconnecting his stations to the wire telephone network. A detailed review of this demonstration appeared in The American Telephone Journal.

A few days later, two additional demonstrations took place, which may have been the first audio radio broadcasts of entertainment and music ever made to a general audience. (Beginning in 1904, the U.S. Navy had broadcast daily time signals and weather reports, but these employed spark transmitters, transmitting in Morse code).

On the evening of December 24, 1906 (Christmas Eve), Fessenden used the alternator-transmitter to send out a short program from Brant Rock. It included a phonograph record of Ombra mai fu (Largo) by George Frideric Handel, followed by Fessenden himself playing on the violin Adolphe Adam's carol O Holy Night, singing Gounod's Adore and be Still, and finishing with reading a passage from the Bible: 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will' (Gospel of Luke 2:14).

He petitioned his listeners to write in about the quality of the broadcast as well as their location when they heard it. Surprisingly, his broadcast was heard several hundred miles away; however, accompanying the broadcast was a disturbing noise. This noise was due to irregularities in the spark gap transmitter he used.

In 1922...the BBC broadcast the first British radio play. It was entitled, "Truth about Father Christmas".

In 1928...the first broadcast of “The Voice of Firestone” was heard on the NBC Blue Radio Network, Monday night at 8:30. “The Voice of Firestone”became a hallmark in radio broadcasting, keeping its same night and sponsor for its entire 27 year run. Beginning September 5, 1949, the program of classical and semiclassical music was simulcast on television.

Lionel Barrymore
In 1939...the classic radio version of “A Christmas Carol” with Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge aired live for the first time on Orson Welles’ Campbell Playhouse on CBS.  On prior Christmasses Barrymore had just read the story beginning in 1934.

In 1944..."The Andrews Sisters’ Eight-To-The-Bar-Ranch" radio program debuted on ABC Radio.

In 1948...Perry Como made his television debut when NBC televised the Chesterfield Supper Club 15-minute radio program.

In 1988....Bulgaria stopped jamming "Radio Free Europe" after more than 30 years.

In 2006…Broadcasting executive Frank Stanton, the president of CBS from 1946 to 1971, died at the age of 98.

Frank Stanton 1939
Stanton served as the president of CBS between 1946 and 1971 and then as vice chairman until 1973. Along with William S. Paley, Stanton is credited with the significant growth of CBS into a communications powerhouse.

Stanton was revered both as a spokesman for the broadcast industry before Congress, and for his passionate support of broadcast journalism and journalists. Former CBS News President Richard S. Salant – a widely respected news chief and an appointee of Stanton's – praised Stanton as a corporate mentor and statesman.

During the period of McCarthyism, Stanton created an office at CBS to review the political leanings of employees.  Although right-wing journalists considered CBS left-leaning, branding it "the Red Network", CBS maintained a questionnaire inquiring about journalists' political affiliations. At Stanton's direction, employees were required to take an oath of loyalty to the US government. Stanton and Paley "found it expedient to hire only those who were politically neutral", not wishing to take a position against the FCC and Congress, nor to jeopardize profit by "tak[ing] a stand against the vigilantes".

Stanton, Time Cover 12/4/1950
According to radio historian Jim Cox, "CBS and the blacklisting became synonymous".   CBS, in response to the culture of blacklisting, instituted a "purge of its own", as had Hollywood and president Truman; Paley was more responsible for policy setting, and Stanton its main executor. Radio producer William N. Robson was one victim of the CBS purge; initially reassured by Stanton that his listing in the anti-Communist Red Channels pamphlet would not mean the end of his career with CBS, Robson eventually found the executive office of CBS non-responsive to his inquiries, and his earnings collapsed.   Good Night, and Good Luck, a 2005 movie portraying this era, left Stanton out of the film as a character, partly because Stanton was still living and might have objected to his portrayal.

Stanton played a role in the infamous controversy involving Arthur Godfrey, CBS's top money-earner in the early 1950s. Godfrey insisted that the cast members of two of his three CBS shows, a group of singers known as the "Little Godfreys," refrain from hiring managers. When one singer, Julius LaRosa, hired a manager following a minor dispute with Godfrey, the star consulted with Stanton, who suggested that he fire the popular LaRosa, then a rising star, on the air – just as he'd hired him on the air in 1951. Godfrey did so on October 19, 1953, without informing LaRosa before the airing. The move caused an enormous backlash against Godfrey. Stanton later told Godfrey biographer Arthur Singer that "Maybe (the recommendation) was a mistake."

In 2009...Disc jockey (WABC-New York, WFIL-Philadelphia, KBTR-Denver, WRIT-Milwaukee, WIL-St. Louis)/TV sports highlights show host (The George Michael Sports Machine) George Michael died of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia at 70.

Michael was born George Michael Gimpel in St. Louis, Missouri on March 24, 1939. He grew up near Tower Grove Park in the city's south side, and graduated from St. Louis University High School. While attending Saint Louis University, he worked as a Midwest promoter for several record labels such as Scepter and Motown. It was also during this time when he made his radio broadcasting debut on a one-hour Sunday night show at midnight on WIL, which invited individual SLU students to be the hosts every week. He earned a full-time job as a disc jockey at the station after he was judged to be the best of the group.

His first radio job outside of his hometown was in 1962 at WRIT in Milwaukee, where he worked the 6-to-10 pm shift until he was reassigned to 5-to-9 am morning drive time in early 1964.  His next stop was at KBTR in Denver later in 1964, working under the name "King" George Michael for the first time. He earned the nickname due to his success in "ruling" evening radio.

He became one of the original Boss Jocks at WFIL in Philadelphia when its new Top 40 rock and roll format debuted on September 18, 1966.  He served as music director and evening deejay for the next eight years. WFIL, which was popularly known as "Famous 56" after the transition, ended WIBG's listener ratings dominance and became the city's most popular station by the summer of 1967.

Michael was the first Philadelphia rock and roll radio personality to read the scores of local high school football and basketball games on the air. He also helped to start the career of Howard Eskin by hiring him to be his engineer.  Decades later, Eskin would be a contributor to The George Michael Sports Machine.   On George's last WFIL show (on September 6, 1974) he played "When Will I See You Again" by the Three Degrees for the first time ever on any radio station. The playing of this on his show broke the song into the mainstream, and within two months was a huge international hit, reaching number one in the U.K., and number two in the United States. George was personal friends with the owners of Philadelphia International Records and the song's writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The aircheck of this can be heard on WFIL's tribute site, where he says,"I don't know if this song will be a hit".

Michael, noted for his energetic style, was hired by 77 WABC in New York City; his first on-air stint there was on the evening of September 9, 1974.  Michael now not only was entering the nation's largest media market; he also succeeded radio legend "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who had jumped to competitor WNBC.  Several incidents from Michael's radio stint there have been chronicled in Morrow's autobiography.  Even though he was reunited with Dan Ingram and Ron Lundy (colleagues from his WIL days in St. Louis), Michael's time at WABC, which ended on November 17, 1979, was mostly frustrating because he was no longer a music director who had any influence on a playlist which was much shorter than the ones with which he was more familiar.  One of the highlights during his time at the station occurred when he anchored its coverage of the New York City blackout of 1977 after the music format was temporarily suspended for the night.

His first experience in sports broadcasting also came in 1974 when he was a television announcer for the Baltimore Orioles on WJZ-TV.  He declined an offer to work for the ballclub full-time in order to accept the WABC position.  As part of the deal to bring him to New York, Michael also worked for WABC-TV as the weekend sports anchor and a color commentator on New York Islanders telecasts for several seasons, paired mainly with Tim Ryan.   He served as an occasional substitute on ABC American Contemporary Network's Speaking of Sports show whenever Howard Cosell, the primary commentator, was on vacation or assignment.

In 2011...Talk personality Lynn Samuels WBAI, WABC NYC died from a heart attack at age 69.

Lynn Samuels
She began her radio career at WBAI in 1979, where in addition to her on-air work she was music director and an engineer and producer. Walter Sabo, in a tribute on the Alex Bennett program (hosted by Richard Bey) on December 27, 2011, stated that Lynn first worked for WOR on Saturdays from 4–6 p.m. "for quite some time".

Samuels was heard on Talkradio WABC from 1987 until 1992, 1993 until 1997, and 1997 until 2002, including two breaks in which she was fired and then rehired. Her third and final dismissal in 2002 was allegedly due to budget cuts.

Samuels was also a call-screener for Matt Drudge. In 2002, she joined WLIE for a brief time before being hired by Sirius in 2003.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Report: Many Bondholders Plan To Reject iHM's Debt Swap Effort

A group of bondholders is planning to reject iHeartMedia Inc.’s latest effort to push out maturities in a setback to the biggest U.S. radio operator teetering under $21 billion in debt, according to Bloomberg.

Almost half the holders of $347 million of bonds coming due in just over a year have banded together to oppose the debt exchange offered by the company, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The unsecured creditors intend to notify the company that they won’t take part in the bond swap that would deliver so-called priority-guarantee notes maturing in 2021 to the holders, the person said. The group is working with law firm Paul Weiss and plans to push for better terms.

iHM spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg declined to comment.

The latest discord presents another roadblock in the radio broadcaster’s attempt to address a mountain of borrowings heaped on it from a 2008 buyout by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The debt-load has complicated Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman’s attempt to win back audiences who have been lured away by online music-streaming providers such as Spotify.

The company has been pulling all levers to clean up its balance sheet, including a rare maneuver to forgo repaying a portion of debt held by its subsidiary. That surprising move irked some creditors and triggered payouts on $749 million of credit-default swaps.

Philly Radio: Matt Cord Exits WMMR-FM For WBEN-FM

Matt Cord
Longtime WMMR 93.3 FM night host Matt Cord will switch to mornings at BEN 95.7 FM.

Cord made his announcement Thursday on WMMR alongside Pierre Robert, and prior to a broadcast Friday morning called the BEN-FM gig “the next chapter” in a Twitter posting:

BEN-FM program director Chuck Damico says Friday’s show was “practice” for Cord, who will be joined by co-host Kristen Herrmann, mid-day DJ and production director at BEN-FM, in future broadcasts.

The pair officially takes over morning son the station on Jan. 3, according to

Over at WMMR, program director Bill Weston says that "overnight superstar (and Pierre Robert protege) Jacky Bam Bam is the heir apparent" for Cord's 7 p.m. time slot.

The move puts Cord in a time slot formerly occupied by Marilyn Russell, who the station laid off in November. She had been with BEN-FM full-time since 2007.

Cord’s run at WMMR began in 2005, when the host replaced Dee Snider’s nighttime show, House of Hair. Prior to hosting at WMMR, Cord worked at the now-defunct Y100.

Broadcast TV Nets Gain 4% In Q4 TV Ad Revs

TV networks had a solid advertising fall -- all due to big upfront advertising deals made in the summer.

MediaPost reports five broadcast networks were a collective 4% higher in national TV advertising, pulling in $7.06 billion. That's ooking at all dayparts from September 19 through December 22, according to estimates from It was $6.79 billion for the same time period a year ago.

NBC pulled in $2.01 billion, up 9% from the $1.843 billion over the same time period a year ago. The network five games from big TV series “Thursday Night Football.”

CBS was next at $1.99 billion, virtually even to the $2.01 billion a year ago. CBS gave up a few “Thursday Night Football” games -- now sharing the series with NBC.

ABC was 14% higher at $1.29 billion versus $1.13 billion. Fox slipped 2.5% to $1.57 billion versus $1.61 billion. The CW rose 10% to $204.5 million from $186.5 million.

Three broadcast networks -- NBC, CBS, and Fox -- pulled in around 40% of its total national TV advertising revenues from NFL programming. The first half of the NFL season witnessed some viewership declines -- now recovering slowly.

Looking at some big cable TV networks, ESPN was virtually flat

$866.2 million against $867.9 million; TNT was at $474.4 million against $402.2 million; USA Network, $330.4 million versus $196.8 million

TV news channels did well, given the strong political TV advertising season: Fox News Channel virtually tripled its results from a year ago --  $315.5 million against $91.8 million. CNN also did well -- $220.9 million versus $81.5 million; MSNBC was at $59.5 million against $34.2 million.

PEOTUS Trump Sets Communication Team

Sean Spicer
By David Alexander

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer will serve as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's press secretary in the White House when he takes office next month, Trump announced on Thursday.

Hope Hicks
To round out his communications team, the president-elect  appointed loyalists from his upstart presidential campaign. Hope Hicks, Trump's sole spokeswoman when he began what was considered a longshot candidacy in June 2015, will be director of strategic communications.

Jason Miller was appointed director of communications and Dan Scavino was named director of social media.

Spicer, 45, served as RNC spokesman during Trump's presidential campaign, alongside party chairman Reince Priebus, who stood by Trump amid furious opposition from establishment Republicans and was rewarded with the chief of staff position.

Acerbic and professional, Spicer, a Navy Reserve commander, has been openly critical of media coverage of Republican candidates and the president-elect, but insists the future U.S. leader has a high regard for press freedom.

Jason Miller
"We understand and respect the role that the press plays in a democracy. It is healthy, it's important. But it's a two-way street," Spicer told Politico recently, before bashing the news outlet for what he said was exclusively negative coverage.

Spicer, who has been a spokesman for the Trump transition team, has a long background in public affairs.

He led a turnaround in the RNC's public affairs operation after taking over as communications director in 2011. He beefed up social media operations, built an in-house TV production team and created a rapid response effort to reply to attacks.

Dan Scavino
Spicer worked in President George W. Bush's administration as the assistant U.S. Trade Representative for media and public affairs. Before that, he was communications director for the Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Spicer has tried to reassure news organizations that Trump will not try to ban them from covering him, as the president-elect sometimes sought to do during the election campaign.

But Spicer and other Trump aides have indicated the new president would shake up the status quo in White House dealings with the media, including re-examining the need for daily televised news briefings and the practice of assigned seating in the briefing room.

"I think we have to look at everything," Spicer told Fox News when asked about the briefings. "And so I don't know that it needs to be daily. I don't know that they all need to be on camera."

D/FW Radio: iHM Unveils Line-Up For New KDGE

iHeartMedia Dallas announced Thursday the debut of MainstreamAC KDGE Star102.1 FM , the new home of Mainstream Adult Contemporary (AC) for Dallas / Fort Worth, effective December 26.

Star 102.1 will broadcast music from popular recording artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Pink and Madonna. The station’s programming lineup will include 20-year radio veteran personality Ryan Lovet, American Women in Media on-air personality of the year winner Rick O’Bryan, and newcomer to the DFW radio landscape, Amanda Flores.

KDGE 102.1 FM (100 Kw)
“The early feedback on Star 102.1 has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Patrick Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Dallas / Fort Worth.

“Our Star 102.1 team, led by Program Director Jay Shannon, has been working around the clock to get the new Star 102.1 ready to launch at the stroke of midnight on December 26. We are very excited to get the station on the air and fill a void that DFW radio has been missing.”

Programming Lineup:
Ryan Lovet 6 a.m. – noon
Rick O’Bryan Noon – 6 p.m.
Amanda Flores 6 p.m. – midnight

Boston Radio: Rock WAAF Adjusts On-Air Line-Up

Rock WAAF 107.3 FM Boston announces a shift in dayparts for two personalities and the addition of two new air talents in a major reshuffle at the station.

WAAF simulcasts on WKAF 97.7 FM, in West Borough Ma.

New to afternoon drive are Matty Blake and Nick Stevens, while longtime WAAF midday host Mike Hsu re-joins the Hill-Man Morning Show and afternoon fixture Mistress Carrie moves into the midday chair. The new line-up begins on Tuesday, January 3.

Blake, a comedian, is also a TV, film and commercial actor. Nationally, he hosts “The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down” on The History Channel. Raised in Central Massachusetts, he returns to Boston for the new afternoon gig with his comedy cohort, Nick Stevens. Stevens, a native of Boston’s South Shore, has been doing stand-up in New York for 20 years. He also makes TV appearances and is a commercial voiceover actor.

WAAF 107.3 FM (9.6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Massachusetts native Mistress Carrie is among WAAF’s most recognized air personalities. She began her career as a station intern in the early 90’s, ultimately making her way to the microphone. Carrie hosted afternoons on WAAF for the past 11 years and now returns to her original midday (10am-3pm) slot. Likewise, Mike Hsu, another Boston area native, took over middays on WAAF in 2005. His move to The Hill-Man Morning Show is a reunion of sorts with Greg Hill, Hsu originally served as the program’s News Director until 2004.

WKAF 97.7 FM (2.06 Kw)
“WAAF has always been a brand built on engaging and unorthodox personalities,” said PD Ron Valeri. “As one of America’s longest standing rock stations, this new line up positions WAAF to thrive in the New Year and for many years to come.”

Roanoke Radio: K92’s Danny Meyers Signs-Off

Danny, Monica and Zack
Danny Meyers, a third of the WXLK 92.3 FM K92 morning show team, including Zack Jackson and Monica Brooks, signed off after 14 years with the station.

Meyers is moving into unchartered territory. He and Jackson have worked together all 14 years in Roanoke, at two other stations prior to Roanoke and were friends in college.

“We are so intertwined in terms of our friendship and our families. He talked about it today he met his wife through me,” said Meyers.

It’s a bond he shares with Monica as well, who joined the duo 8 years ago.

“We share all sorts of things about our lives with each other, both on and off the air, so moving into a situation that strange is very weird,” added Meyers.

Meyers is moving to Virginia Beach to take on a role at another station, yet undisclosed.

Christie Vows To Revisit Newspaper 'Revenge Bill' In 2017

Gov. Chris Christie
Gov. Christie on Thursday night blasted the newspaper industry as hypocritical for fighting against a bill that would lift a state requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers.

On his "Ask the Governor" radio show on WKXW New Jersey 101.5 FM, Christie said newspapers had been "unmasked" in the legislative fight as "feeding like pigs at the government trough."

The bill, which stalled this week, would allow legal notices for things such as foreclosures, proposed ordinances, and public contracts to be posted free online, according to

Christie called the mandate to publish paid legal notices a "government-ordered ripoff" and scoffed that anyone finds them valuable except newspapers.

"No one reads this stuff," he said.

The New Jersey Press Association, citing a 2011 survey, said the annual cost of the legal ads is close to $20 million, with one-third of that paid by governments with taxpayer funds.

Christie has argued that the figure was $80 million. He said on the radio program that his administration came up with the figure from a review of newspapers, but he declined to get into details.

Instead, he questioned the $20 million estimate and challenged newspaper publishers to open their accounting books.

Christie vowed to revisit the issue in 2017, his final year in office.

Louisville Radio: Salem Media Exits Market Via LMA

Salem Media Group announced Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with Word Broadcasting Network to transfer the operation of Salem’s Louisville stations under a local marketing agreement.

The stations ins the cluster:

  • Christian Teaching/Talk: WFIA 900 AM and WFIA 94.7 FM
  • Chrisitian Talk: WGTK 970 AM / The Answer

Word Broadcasting Network owns and operates 12 radio stations, AM, FM, short wave, and Channel 21 in Louisville.

Salem CEO Ed Atsinger stated, “Salem rarely leaves a market because we desire that our unique formats will continue to serve the needs of audiences in cities like Louisville. This agreement is unique in that Word Broadcasting is like-minded with us in shared mission, shared values, and passion for our formats. For some time our two organizations have discussed how we could consolidate our respective operations in the interest of greater stewardship of our resources. We believe this agreement sets the stage to achieve that objective of increased service to our audiences and stakeholders.”

The agreement is scheduled to become effective January 3, 2017.

Seattle Radio: KOMO Plaza Sells For $276M

KOMO Plaza, which hosts the local ABC-affiliated TV and radio stations in the shadow of the Space Needle, has been sold for $276 million in one of Seattle’s biggest real-estate deals of the year.

According to the Seattle Times, an entity linked to San Francisco-based investment firm GI Partners purchased the two-building campus along Denny Way, between Fourth and Fifth avenues, from an affiliate of Houston-based Hines Securities, according to sales records filed this week.

Hines made a big profit, after buying the plaza for $159.4 million from the station’s old owner, the former Fisher Communications, in 2011.

The buildings, built in 2003, have been used as the exterior for the fictional hospital in the “Grey’s Anatomy” TV show set in Seattle. In real life, it also houses Univision Seattle, KVI Radio, Star 101.5 radio and a data center.

No changes are expected anytime soon that would affect KOMO and the various restaurant and retail tenants in the buildings, which total 294,000 square feet. Hines said it is staying on as the building manager. KOMO is believed to be under a long-term lease at the campus.

December 23 Radio History

In 1900...Canadian wireless expert Reginald Fessenden, working for the US Weather Service at Brant Rock, Mass. near Boston, broadcast the world’s first voice communications by AM (amplitude modulation) radio wave for a distance of 1.6 km between two 13 metre towers. He asked his assistant, ‘Is it snowing where you are, Mr. Thiessen?’

In 1907...the longtime host of ABC radio’s Breakfast Club, Don McNeill was born at Galena Illinois.

In Chicago during the early 1930s, McNeill was assigned to take over an unsponsored early morning variety show, The Pepper Pot, with an 8 a.m. timeslot on the NBC Blue Network. McNeill re-organized the hour as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments which McNeill labeled "the Four Calls to Breakfast."

McNeill's revamped show premiered in 1933, combining music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company, beginning February 8, 1941. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

He died May 7, 1996 at age 88.

In 1922...the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) broadcast the first orchestral concert, the first program of dance music, the first radio talk program, and the first regular bulletin of general news from London.

In station KEX in Portland Oregon began broadcasting. It has been a clear channel 50,000-watt powerhouse at 1190 KHz since 1941

In 1947...In what would be a major development for radio and other electronics, the transistor is invented by three scientists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. The trio would win the 1956 Nobel Prize in for their discovery.

In Jack Webb, creator & star of Dragnet, died as a result of a heart attack at age 62.

He started in radio as a deejay & failed comic, then found success as the lead in “Pat Novack For Hire.”  In 1949 he started playing Sgt. Joe Friday on NBC radio, taking “Dragnet” to TV in 1951, where it continued until 1959.

A second run of the show began in 1967, during which Webb developed the spin-off “Adam 12.”

In 1987..."Good Morning, Vietnam," starring Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby, and J.T. Walsh, opened in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters.

Stan Brooks
In 2013...Stan Brooks, longtime newsman at 1010 WINS died.

He was 86, and had worked until a month before his death, delivering his last report from City Hall on Nov. 20.

Brooks joined WINS, 1010 on the AM dial, as news director in 1962, when it was still one of the dominant Top40 music stations in the country, with a lineup of popular disc jockeys including Murray Kaufman, known as Murray the K.

When Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the station’s owners, decided to make WINS an all-news operation soon after Brooks’s arrival, he helped assemble the staff and lay the groundwork for one of the first all-news radio stations in the country — and the first in the city.

The switch took place on April 19, 1965. The blackout on Nov. 9 that year, which plunged most of the Northeast into darkness, put Brooks’s news team on the aural map.

By tapping into a transmission line based in New Jersey, WINS was one of the few radio outlets that managed to stay on the air. From a 19th-floor studio in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Brooks and his reporters broadcast news and information throughout the night.

After several years as an executive and then a national correspondent for the Westinghouse Broadcasting radio station system, Mr. Brooks became a local reporter at WINS in 1970. His voice has been on the city’s airwaves almost every day since.

In understated dispatches between 30 seconds and one minute long, he reported on plane crashes, race riots, municipal near-bankruptcies, the tall ships, the Son of Sam, the Attica prison uprising and every mayoral administration from John V. Lindsay to Michael R. Bloomberg.

He liked the precision of short-form journalism. “When you’ve got 35 seconds, you’ve got to tell people what they need right away,” he said in an interview last year. “You want to get to the spine of the story.”

Gordon Hinckley
In 2013...Gordon Hinkley, whose Milwaukee radio career spanned more than a half century and whose voice was as familiar as an old friend to thousands of listeners, died at age 88.

Known as the “Granddaddy of Milwaukee radio,” his “Ask Your Neighbor” show ran on WTMJ 620 AM for more than 30 years.