Saturday, January 7, 2017

January 8 Radio History

KGO Building circa 1926
In 1924...After several late-night test broadcasts, using the experimental call letter 6XG, radio station KGO signed on the air from General Electric's Oakland, electrical facility (the original two-story brick building, constructed specifically for the station on East 14th Street, still exists on the site), as part of a planned three-station network comprising WGY in Schenectady, New York, and KOA in Denver, Colorado.

The General Electric Company had been one of the giants of the electrical industry since its founding by Thomas A. Edison in the nineteenth century. After conquering the worlds of power generation and electric lighting, the company became one of the pioneers in the radio field as a partner with Westinghouse in the new RCA manufacturing conglomerate. As a major early manufacturer of radio receivers, they, like Westinghouse, saw the value in operating broadcast stations to promote the sale of radio receivers. General Electric constructed and operated WGY at its manufacturing facility in Schenectady, New York in 1922.

With the success of WGY, General Electric began making plans to build two other high-powered radio stations. One station was to cover the mountain and plains states, while the third was to be heard on the Pacific Coast. They immediately began investigating the San Francisco area as a base for the Pacific station, because of its location midway along the coast, and because of the ample supply of musical talent in the area. Originally, General Electric announced plans to build the station on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, and had drawn up plans for several ornamental antenna structures to be built there. However, they finally settled on a site in Oakland, at a G. E. power transformer manufacturing facility there, located at East 14th Street and 55th Avenue. At the time, what is now known as East Oakland was only sparsely populated, and G. E. had just completed their sprawling plant on a 24-acre site earlier that year.

Construction was begun on the studio and transmitter buildings in June of 1923, about a year before the company's third station, KOA in Denver, was begun. The license was applied for and the call letters KGO assigned. Those call letters had previously been held by a radio store in Altadena, near Los Angeles. That station had gone off the air after less than a year of operation.

Meanwhile, newspapers in the area were heralding the coming of a great new super-station to the Bay Area. The "Examiner" headlined, "Plans Ready for Biggest Radio in the West". It announced that the new thousand-watt station would be strong enough to "throw the human voice one third around the world ... more powerful than any station west of Schenectady, New York," referring to G. E.'s eastern operation.

KGO was first known as the "Sunset Station"; at that time it operated with a then-impressive 1000 watts.  As was the custom with early radio stations, the programming consisted of performances by local talent, including the KGO Orchestra which provided some of the music; and a dramatic group known as the KGO Players, which performed weekly plays and short skits, often under the direction of Bay-area drama instructor Wilda Wilson Church. The station's music, which was also performed by other local orchestras and vocalists, would include classical selections as well as popular dance music the next night. Due to GE's involvement in RCA and RCA's launch of the NBC radio network, KGO was soon operated by NBC management as part of the NBC network.

Click Here for 1950 Program Schedule

KGO Transmitter Room - Date Unknown
By the 1928 Band Plan, 790 kHz was allocated to Oakland, California, and to KGO, which was then owned by General Electric, on an internationally cleared basis. In order to obtain a clear channel in Schenectady, New York, for what would become the present-day WGY, GE effected a breakdown of 790 kHz, whereby WGY would assume the maximum permissible power, and KGO would be lowered in power to 7.5 kW, which was then lower than the minimum permissible power for a clear channel station (10 kW), but higher than the then maximum permissible power for a regional channel station (5 kW). Both stations retained omnidirectional antennas. Therefore, GE effectively removed from the West one of its eight clear channels and added an additional clear channel to the East thereby giving the East nine clear channels and the West only seven. The other "regions" in the Band Plan all retained their allotted eight clear channels. In 1941, stations on 790 kHz were moved to 810 kHz. On December 1, 1947, KGO was directionalized, and power was increased to 50 kW, the new minimum (and maximum) power for a U.S. clear channel. An article in Broadcasting magazine noted that the increase "retired the nation's oldest regularly operating transmitter -- a 7,500-watter ... in use since Jan. 8, 1924."

KGO's tower falls after the Loma Prieta earthquake (1989)

In 1926...Soupy Sales, an American comedian, actor, radio-TV personality and host, was born.

He was best known for his local and network children's television show, Lunch with Soupy Sales; a series of comedy sketches frequently ending with Sales receiving a pie in the face, which became his trademark.

Sales hosted a midday radio show on WNBC 660 AM in New York from March 1985 to March 1987. His program was between the drive time shifts of Don Imus (morning) and Howard Stern (afternoon), with whom Sales had an acrimonious relationship. An example of this was an incident involving Stern telling listeners that he was cutting the strings in Sales' in-studio piano at 4:05 p.m. on May 1, 1985. On December 21, 2007, Stern revealed this was a stunt staged for "theater of the mind" and to torture Sales; in truth, the piano was never harmed.  Sales' on-air crew included his producer, Ray D'Ariano, newscaster Judy DeAngelis, and pianist Paul Dver, who was also Soupy's manager.

When Soupy's show was not renewed, his time slot would be taken over by D'ariano. Near the end of his contract, Sales lost his temper on the air, and began to speak very frankly about how he felt he had been treated poorly by the station, and how he felt betrayed that D'ariano would be taking over the show. The show went to break after a commercial - Sales was off the air, replaced without comment or explanation by program director Randy Baumgarten. Soupy would not return to the air. He died October 22, 2009 at age 83.

In 1929...the CBS Radio Network purchased WABC in New York City. The WABC calls were once used previously on CBS Radio's New York City outlet, before adopting their current WCBS identity in 1946. Network founder William S. Paley appeared for the first time on the Columbia Broadcasting System to announce that it had become the largest chain of stations in radio’s short history.

In 1935...Elvis Presley was born. He died Aug. 16, 1977 at 42.

In 1944...Billboard magazine published the first country music chart under the name Juke Box Folk Records. "Pistol Packin' Mama" by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters was its first #1 song.

In 1946...For his 11th birthday, Elvis Presley was taken by his mother to the Tupelo Hardware Company. Instead of the rifle he wanted for a birthday gift, Elvis received his first guitar, priced at $7.75. 

In 1995...Eddie Vedder from "Pearl Jam" played host to a national Radio broadcast called "Self Pollution Radio" which originated from Seattle, Washington.

In 2004...John A. Gambling, heir to a WOR-New York morning radio dynasty begun by his father and continued by his son, died of heart failure at 73. Gambling worked at WOR radio from 1959 until 1991 when he retired. He succeeded his father, John B. Gambling, who began the show in 1925. After an eight-year stint at crosstown WABC, John R. Gambling (son of John A., grandson of John B.) continued the family business on WOR until his retirement on December 20, 2013.

Bob Pittman Talks Radio Content, New On-Demand Services

Bob Pittman
iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman, during a “Fireside Chat” Thursday with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, his longtime friend/onetime corporate teammate, said he saw radio as an unparalleled opportunity from early on.

Discussing his decision to helm Clear Channel Radio after successful leading roles with the likes of MTV, AOL, Century 21 and Pilot Group, Pittman told Armstrong that “there was this huge platform and no one was doing anything with it. It was like heroin to me. Clear Channel had huge reach but it was just a bunch of radio stations in markets.”

Taking on the company, he said, “Everyone thought radio would decline like TV and newspapers, but the idea was, Let’s take on this platform. It turns out radio is companionship. People crave companionship, they develop a real relationship with our talent, and from this we created a digital platform.”

According to InsideRadio, Pittman said he had his eye on Pixar in terms of how to most effectively brand iHeartMedia. “Let’s build a master brand,” he said. “Let’s pool our resources and create huge events around iHeart.” It worked, he said, citing in-house stats that positive impressions are 30% higher when consumers associate a radio station under the iHeart umbrella.

Pittman added that so many companies have a video strategy, a content strategy, an events strategy “and they have all these strategies and you ask, What’s your sound strategy and they go, huh? For iHeart, we look to embed sound everywhere we can. If radio is your companion, how do we put your companion everywhere?”

Also this week, Pittman discused radio content, new on demand services, teaming up with Napster and the company’s debt load. He speaks on “Bloomberg Markets” from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

With just weeks to go before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, Pittman told CNBC he was disappointed by the fact that political advertising wasn't stronger during the campaign season. "Trump didn't spend near the amount that had been spent before, and Hillary spent less than expected as a result," he said.

In the wake of the election, Pittman said talk radio is doing "extraordinarily well," and the company is working to make sure that it's offering content for all segments of the population, particularly those who feel their voice isn't being heard.

As for the business where Pittman first made his mark, MTV, he says he's bullish about the value of MTV and Viacom's other brands and the potential for the struggling company to turn things around.

Forbes Calls Bobby Bones The Most Powerful Man In Country Music

Over the past three years, iHeart's syndicated radio star Bobby Bones has slowly and methodically become the most powerful man in country music. He is also—without a doubt—the busiest man in country music, according to a profile piece in Fortune

If you aren’t familiar with Bobby Bones (born Bobby Estell in Hot Springs, Arkansas), the 36-year-old is the host of iHeart’s marquee morning program, The Bobby Bones Show. The program is syndicated on nearly 100 stations coast to coast to more than 3 million listeners each weekday morning. He also hosts the weekly countdown show Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones.

When Bones was tapped by iHeartMedia executives to move to Nashville to host a syndicated morning show in 2013, he admittedly wasn’t much of a country-music guy. His radio background—which he detailed in his 2016 No. 1 New York Times Best Selling, rags-to-riches memoir—had always been in other formats. The Bobby Bones Show began as a Top 40 format show broadcast out of Austin.

Philanthropy is an important part of Bones’ life because he grew up with almost nothing. Most of his childhood was spent in a rural Arkansas trailer park with an alcoholic mother and elderly grandmother. Bones’ father left when he was five. Bones was bullied as a kid, self-conscious about growing up poor, and ashamed that his mother sometimes stole to keep food on the table. He admits his charitable efforts now are driven not only by a desire to give back, but also by a deep-rooted fear of being poor again one day.

He’s the frontman of the comedy band The Raging Idiots.  Bones’ band of misfits has raised millions for various charities, including more than $2.2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (Bones’ radio show raised another $1.3 million in a single day last year as part of the St. Jude Radiothon efforts.)

On Monday, Bones will host his second-annual Million Dollar Show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium to raise even more for St. Jude. He’ll be joined by friends Rascal Flatts, Sam Hunt, The Band Perry, Caitlyn Smith and more.

Read More Now

D/FW Radio: Nathan Fast Gets Wake-Up Duty At KVIL

Nathan Fast
Nathan Fast will join CBS Radio's  KVIL 103.7 FM as the station’s new morning host (weekdays, 5:30– 10:00 am) beginning Monday, January 9th.

Fast joins 103.7 from Southern California, where he was most recently the nighttime host at KHTS-FM in San Diego and a weekend host on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles. He also appeared weekly on stations in more than 80 markets across the country including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas-Fort Worth as a contributor on the iHeartRadio Countdown.

“We are extremely excited to add one of the nation’s top radio talents to the 103.7 on-air team,” said Program Director Jay Michaels. “In addition to his amazing personality, Nathan brings extensive knowledge of pop culture as well as expertise in local branding and social media.”

KVIL 103l7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Fast began his radio career as a part-time overnight host in Las Vegas and later worked as nighttime host at KSAS-FM in Boise.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

Fast replaces Mike Kannon, who joined KVIL in March 2015.

Austin Radio: Bama, Rob & Heather Re-Up At KVET

iHeartMedia/Austin has announced it has extended its agreement with Bama Brown, Rob Mason, and Heather White, on-air personalities for Country KVET 98.1 FM’s morning program.

Under the new multi-year agreement, Bama, Rob and Heather will continue to host The Bama, Rob & Heather Show, which provides the latest entertainment, pop culture, music, and family topics for Austin listeners. The program broadcasts on weekday mornings from 6 – 10 a.m. CST.

“We are thrilled to continue doing what we love on KVET FM,” said Mason. “We are proud to have called iHeartMedia home for many years, and knowing this relationship will continue is simply amazing.”

KVET 98.1 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“We are so fortunate to have this amazing team in the iHeartMedia family," said Breeanna Malik, Region President for iHeartMedia's Central Texas Region. "They are true Austin celebrities and we know our listeners and sponsors are ecstatic that they will be here for many years to come.” -

2016: Giant Leap For Video Streaming Services

Americans spent 22.6 percent more on subscription video streaming services like Netflix in 2016 compared with the prior year, helping the entire home entertainment business eke out a 1.4 percent annual gain, according to industry statistics out Friday.

In all, Americans spent $6.2 billion on video streaming subscriptions in 2016, according to a report from the Digital Entertainment Group.

The NY Post reports streaming subscriptions are the second-largest home entertainment category — behind only purchases of DVDs and digital movies. But with its rapid growth — thanks in part to Hulu, Amazon and YouTube entering the sector — it is poised to become America’s favorite form of home entertainment.

Total spending on digital home entertainment rose to $10.3 billion in 2016, according to the DEG. The US box office sold $11.8 billion in tickets, the group said.

The subscription video-on-demand market is set to grow with new services coming online.

AT&T Says Time Warner Purchase Could Avoid FCC Scrutiny

(Reuters) --  AT&T Inc expects to be able to bypass a powerful telecommunications regulator in its planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc (TWX.N), the companies said in regulatory filings on Friday.

Time Warner said that since it does not plan to transfer any Federal Communications Commission licenses to AT&T, it would likely not need FCC approval and would only need the consent of the U.S. Justice Department.

AT&T could forego the FCC by unloading a Time Warner broadcast station, analysts say. Despite its big media footprint, Time Warner has only one FCC-regulated broadcast station, WPCH-TV in Atlanta. But it has other more minor FCC licenses.

Time Warner said in its filing it does not anticipate it "will not need to transfer any of its FCC licenses to AT&T in order to continue to conduct its business operations after the closing."

The deal faces other hurdles. For example, President-elect Donald Trump has said he opposes the merger, and on Friday a transition official told Reuters that Trump still was against the deal the deal.

Time Warner shareholders will meet on Feb. 15 to decide whether to approve the deal.

The Justice Department has to prove a proposed deal harms competition in order to block it. But the FCC has broad leeway to block a merger it deems is not in the "public interest" and can impose additional conditions.

AT&T and Time Warner filed a premerger notification with the Justice Department on Nov. 4, and on Dec. 8 the Justice Department issued a second information request.

AT&T, which has repeatedly clashed with the FCC over the past several years over major industry regulations, said in October that one benefit of its purchase is that Time Warner is "lightly regulated compared to much of AT&T's existing operations."

Megyn Kelly Signs-Off At Fox News

After more than a dozen years with Fox News Channel, Megyn Kelly is leaving the network for NBC.

During her final sign-off on "The Kelly File" Friday night, Kelly offered a heartfelt goodbye to her viewers.

"Night after night, you have invited us into your homes for some of the biggest moments in recent history. We have tried to live up to the honor of being there," Kelly said. "I am sincerely grateful for your trust, your patience and your good humor over the years."

She said that saying goodbye is hard, but she's lucky to have had a job that's ending is so bittersweet.

"I leave you knowing I am better for having been here. I hope you feel the same. Thank you for everything."

Indy Radio: Non-Com WFYI-FM Adds News Staff

WFYI 90.1 FM is bolstering its news department from 11 to 15—thanks to grants running through 2018—at a time many commercial print and broadcast news departments are downsizing.

WFYI will use $600,000 from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation to hire four employees by April 1, launch a health news bureau, and expand the reach of its Side Effects health-related programming.

The public radio station will use another $100,000 from The Glick Fund to pay for a reporting position dedicated to covering “poverty, wealth and inequity,” according to WFYI President Lloyd Wright. The person filling that position is already on staff.

“Issues around poverty, inequity and health are closely related,” Wright said.

While the public radio station still likely has a smaller news staff than commercial station WIBC-FM 93.1 (WIBC wouldn’t divulge the size of its news staff), WFYI’s health news bureau represents the latest wave in a sea change in the station’s news department, which has grown dramatically over the last 10 years, reports the Indy Business-Journal.

WFYI 90.1 FM (10 Kw) Red=Local  Coverage Area
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation was established in 1986 by Richard M. “Dick” Fairbanks, founder and owner of Fairbanks Communications Inc., a private company with holdings in radio, television, real estate and transportation.

Dick Fairbanks did not specify how the foundation should be directed, according to the foundation’s website. His two primary wishes were that grants be awarded to organizations in and serving Indianapolis and that a primary emphasis be on health.

NYC Radio WLIB's James Fortune Recovering After Accident

James Fortune
Requests are circulating on social media platforms for people to pray for gospel-recording artist James Fortune, who was hit by a drunk driver in a four-car accident Wednesday night. Fortune was headed to church at the time of the crash, according to the Gospel Herald.

Fortune, 38, is a two-time Grammy Award-nominated gospel music recording artist, songwriter and producer. He also is a radio personality on 1190 AM WLIB in New York.

His team posted messages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to let everyone know that God spared his life. But his camp also asked for prayers for a speedy recovery.

At 7:30 am Thursday, Fortune posted the following statement to his Facebook fan page: "Family, I'm sore but I'm alive! Thank you so much for your prayers, love and support! I am so grateful! I'll be back soon, let's all love and forgive. Tomorrow is not promised. God Bless You All."

January 7 Radio History

In 1904...the Marconi Company made a proposal that there be an international Radio distress signal. "C.Q.D" meant "Stop Sending and Listen" although many eventually thought it to mean "Come, Quick, Danger". The code began use February 7, 1904 and was replaced in 1908 by "S.O.S."

In 1924...At the age of 26, composer George Gershwin began writing his classic, "Rhapsody in Blue," which he completed three weeks later. He passed the score to Paul Whiteman's arranger Ferde Grofé, who orchestrated the piece, finishing it on February 4, just eight days before its premiere in an afternoon concert by Whiteman and his Palais Royal Orchestra at Aeolian Hall in New York City.

In 1939...comedian Red Skelton was given his first national starring vehicle as ‘Avalon Time’ debuted on the NBC Red radio network.

In 1940..."Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch" first aired on the CBS Radio Network. It stayed on the air for 16 years.

In 1941...The NBC Blue Radio Network debuted "The Squeaky Door". The show was later became known as "Inner Sanctum."

In 1943...Physicist/engineer/inventor/futurist Nikola Tesla, best remembered for his design of the alternating current (AC) electricity supply system and his contributions to the invention of radio communication, died of a coronary thrombosis at the age of 86.

Nikola Tesla
Tesla's theories on the possibility of the transmission by radio waves go back as far as lectures and demonstrations in 1893 in St. Louis, Missouri, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the National Electric Light Association.  Tesla's demonstrations and principles were written about widely through various media outlets. Many devices such as the Tesla Coil were used in the further development of radio.

In 1898, Tesla demonstrated a radio-controlled boat—which he dubbed "teleautomaton"—to the public during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden.  The crowd that witnessed the demonstration made outrageous claims about the workings of the boat, such as magic, telepathy, and being piloted by a trained monkey hidden inside. Tesla tried to sell his idea to the U.S. military as a type of radio-controlled torpedo, but they showed little interest.   Remote radio control remained a novelty until World War I and afterward, when a number of countries used it in military programs.

In 1900, Tesla was granted patents for a "system of transmitting electrical energy" and "an electrical transmitter." When Guglielmo Marconi made his famous first-ever transatlantic radio transmission in 1901, Tesla quipped that it was done with 17 Tesla patents.

This was the beginning of years of patent battles over radio with Tesla's patents being upheld in 1903, followed by a reverse decision in favor of Marconi in 1904. In 1943, a Supreme Court of the United States decision restored the prior patents of Tesla, Oliver Lodge, and John Stone.  The court declared that their decision had no bearing on Marconi's claim as the first to achieve radio transmission, just that since Marconi's claim to certain patents were questionable, he could not claim infringement on those same patents  (there are claims the high court was trying to nullify a World War I claim against the U.S. government by the Marconi Company via simply restoring Tesla's prior patent).

In 1949...Radio personality Bill Gable was born.

Bill Gable got his start in radio as a teenager in Allentown, Pennsylvania and went on to work in the biggest markets in North America, including Detroit-Windsor at CKLW (The Big 8) in the 1970s.

He retired March 2014 from AM 740 in Toronto.

In 1950...Nova Scotia-born Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb made their first appearances at “The Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville.  Ernest also did a 15-minute radio program each day that became very popular in West Texas. So popular, in fact, that he bought the radio station that had aired the program for years and years: KGKL in San Angelo, Texas.

In 1968...KMPX in San Francisco, a pioneer in "underground" FM radio, holds a "grass ballot" vote for national office among its listeners. The results: Bob Dylan is elected President; Paul Butterfield, Vice-President; George Harrison, US ambassador to the UN. Jefferson Airplane are all elected Secretaries of Transportation and the Grateful Dead are all elected Attorneys General.

In 2013...Radio engineer Bill Mouzis died in LA at age 90.

Bill Mouzis 1965
Mouzis was already at AM station KHJ  as an engineer and board operator when the station shifted in 1965 to a rock and roll format promoted as Boss Radio.   He was the format’s first production director.

KHJ became a big deal in baby boomer Los Angeles, with on-air personalities such as Sam Riddle, Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele.

Mouzis became the production director for the station and for its signature piece of work, an ambitious compilation of records and interviews that KHJ aired as a 48-hour special "The History of Rock and Roll" — radio's first "rockumentary," they called it.

Friday, January 6, 2017

SiriusXM, Pandora Romance Appears To Be Over

Shares of the world's largest internet radio service tumbled Friday morning after would-be merger partner SiriusXM, gave every indication that it's not focused on a company-changing merger or acquisition. Pandora's stock has been lifted at various points over the past year on speculation that Sirius, the satellite-radio operator controlled by billionaire media mogul John Malone, had delivered a buyout offer.

"With respect to all the chatter about acquisitions, you have to look at them as sort of being not very likely," Sirius CFO David Frear said Thursday after the close of trading at the Citi Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.

On Frear's comment, Pandora shares were down 5.2% on Friday to $12.33. Pandora declined to offer a rebuttal, according to The Street.

For Pandora, these are times of high expectations following a year in which the stock stood largely in place -- dropping 2.8% -- and the company reported losses of more than $250 million.

Co-founder and CEO Tim Westergren, who returned to Pandora's top job in March, is pushing to roll out the company's on-demand music service, Pandora Premium, sometime this quarter. The service is viewed as a complement to Pandora's free, ad-supported radio service that plays songs based on a user's musical preferences.

With an eye toward growing revenue, Westergren also orchestrated a series of executive changes in the fourth quarter that included the resignation last month of Sara Clemens as chief operating officer and Mike Herring moving in November from finance chief to a strategy-focused position as president. Pandora remains without an official chief financial officer.

Yet it's Pandora Premium that Westergren is betting will help it reverse a decline in total users -- 77.9 million at the end of the third quarter, compared with 78.1 million during the same period a year earlier -- that has heightened investor concern about the company's long-term health.

Tampa Radio: Beasley Goes MainstreamAC On WBRN

Beasley Media Group Tampa has announced a new Mainstream Adult Contemporary station WBRN The New B98.7 FM launched late Thursday afternoon with 10,000 songs in a row, featuring Today’s Hits and Yesterday’s Favorites from a wide variety of artists like Maroon 5, Pink and Journey.

“Our entire staff is geared up to launch B98.7, a seamless complement to our cluster of Classic Hits, Country, Spanish CHR, Rhythmic CHR and Financial Talk!” said Tampa Market Manager Kent Dunn. “Our programming team put together an amazing product that will surely be a success in Tampa and St. Pete!”

The station soon will feature Tampa’s top-rated AC Morning Show stars Chadd & Kristi (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas) who will host the station’s “10,000 Songs in a Row” until the new show debuts on Monday, Feb 6. The married duo recently exited crosstown WWRM Magic 94.9 FM.

“Chadd and I are absolutely delighted to be part of creating a new radio station! We are excited about our new home for our special brand of radio in Tampa Bay, which is a place we cherish and where we have chosen to raise our family!” said Kristi.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Beasley Media Group family, which shares our love of family, community and, of course, the awesome power of radio!” added Chadd.

WBRN 98.7 FM (42 Kw) Red=Local Coverag Area
“For nearly two decades, Chadd & Kristi have developed a deep relationship with the Tampa listening audience and we are thrilled they decided to join us in the process of building a new and great AC brand in the market,” added Justin Chase, EVP of Programming, Beasley Media Group. “Both Chadd and Kristi are all about family and community, which is a perfect fit for Beasley’s company culture. We expect great things from them and The New B98.7!”

Houston Radio: KROI Flips To Fill To-40 Hole

After kicking it old school, Radio One Houston has moved from its Classic Hip-Hop format to the new sound of NOW!

Today, Radio One announced its new format, 92.1 RADIO NOW, a cutting edge Top 40 radio station for the NOW generation. 92.1 RADIO NOW launches on KROI 92.1 FM with 92 hours of commercial free music.

92.1 RADIO NOW will feature artists such as; Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Shawn Mendes, Chainsmokers, Twenty One Pilots, The Weeknd, Nick Jonas and more.

“The New 92.1 Radio Now will reflect emerging music, trends and culture for the NOW generation of 18-34 year old millennials here in Houston,” said Terri Thomas, Operations Manager/Program Director of Radio One Houston.

KROI 92.1 FM (22 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“With recent changes in the Top 40 radio landscape in the Houston market, we believe that Houston is ready for this new sound,” said Gary Spurgeon, Vice President and General Manager, Radio One Houston.

Radio One’s Senior Vice President of Programming, Jay Stevens said, “We’re excited about this opportunity to bring a fresh innovative approach to Top 40 Radio in H-Town.”

Chicago Radio: iHM Promotes Johnnie D To PD At WGCI-FM

Johnnie D
iHeartMedia Chicago announced Thursday that Johnnie D has been named Program Director of WGCI 107.5 FM, effective immediately. He’ll work closely with Derrick Brown, Director of Urban Programming for iHeartMedia Chicago.

“Johnnie has made a significant impact since joining WGCI in 2015,” said Brown. “[His] passion and vision for our brand has enhanced our signature concert events like Big Jam and Summer Jam, plus his work in helping launch the city’s only live and local urban morning show has made the Chicago Morning Takeover a dominant force in the market. It’s a pleasure to recognize Johnnie’s hard work with this promotion and it certainly comes with great expectations as he manages all facets of the 107.5 WGCI-FM brand.”

Johnnie D most recently served as the Assistant Program Director of 107.5 WGCI-FM and V103/WVAZ-FM. Prior to joining iHeartMedia, he was the former Music Director and Executive Morning Show Producer of The Ryan Cameron Morning Show with Wanda Smith at WVEE-FM in Atlanta.

WGCI 1097.5 FM (3.7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“This is like a dream come true, and I am humbled to be chosen as Program Director of my hometown radio station 107.5 WGCI-FM,” said Johnnie D. “My top priority is to maintain the legacy of 107.5 WGCI-FM through impactful ratings and unparalleled support of the Chicagoland community.”

SiriusXM Surpasses Subscription Goal

SiriusXM Thursday announced that it ended 2016 with over 31.3 million subscribers, adding more than 1.7 million net subscriber additions in the year, exceeding the company's increased guidance of 1.7 million net subscriber additions.

Self-pay net subscriber additions in 2016 were 1.66 million, exceeding the company's increased guidance of 1.6 million and resulting in self-pay subscriptions of approximately 26 million at year end.

The company also announced that it expects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.

"SiriusXM had an incredible 2016. In addition to topping 31 million subscribers, our business is running efficiently and we are attaining records in revenue, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, and free cash flow. Our relationships with our OEMs have never been stronger and demand for our product continues to grow," said Jim Meyer, SiriusXM's Chief Executive Officer.

"We continue to make substantial investments in new products, content and technologies, including investments in new satellites, our next-generation 360L platform, wideband chipsets, and new marketing capabilities. In 2017, we expect to continue our never-ending focus on bringing our customers the best content bundle available, and our strong record of delivering cost-effective growth and returning substantial capital to stockholders through stock buybacks and our recently-introduced dividend," added Meyer.

The company also issued 2017 guidance for self-pay net subscriber additions, revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow:
  • Self-pay net subscriber additions of approximately 1.3 million,
  • Revenue of approximately $5.3 billion,
  • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $2.025 billion, and
  • Free cash flow of approximately $1.5 billion.
SiriusXM expects to announce its complete results for the fourth quarter and full year 2016 in early February 2017.

Tucker Carlson Starts Monday In Fox 9PM Slot

Tucker Carlson will take over for Megyn Kelly on Fox News next week, the network announced Thursday.

Carlson, a conservative commentator and founder of The Daily Caller web site, is well-known to Fox fans. His two-month-old show "Tucker Carlson Tonight," an out-of-the-box ratings success at 7 p.m., will move to the 9 p.m. hour.

According to CNNMoney, the shift leaves Fox with an all-white-male prime time lineup for the first time in its twenty-year history. Some cable news observers had speculated Fox would replace Kelly with one of the four women who had filled in for her at 9 p.m.

Instead, one of those fill-ins, Martha MacCallum, will take over Carlson's 7 p.m. time slot for at least a few months.

Fox said in a press release that MacCallum's new show, "The First 100 Days," will "chronicle the beginning of the new administration and run through President-elect Trump's first 100 days in office."
In the spring, MacCallum could become the permanent host of the 7 p.m. hour. Fox said that she recently signed a new multi-year deal with the network.

Martha MaCallum
As for the 9 p.m. hour, "Tucker Carlson Tonight" has many of the qualities that make a compelling Fox News show, making the move a logical decision by Rupert Murdoch and the executives who run the cable news channel.

Ever since the show debuted on November 14, Carlson has shown a knack for selecting topics of interest to conservative viewers; hosting fiery debates with liberals; and criticizing Fox's rivals in the mainstream media.

At the end of every show, Carlson says his broadcast is "the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink."

According to Fox, Since its debut, Tucker Carlson Tonight has averaged 2.8 million viewers and 515,000 in the 25-54 demographic, up 23% in viewership and 26% in 25-54 compared to the same period last year. According to Nielsen Media Research, Carlson currently tops both MSNBC and CNN combined in total viewers and all three major demographics – 25-54, 18-49 and 18-34.

MacCallum joins FNC’s primetime from America’s Newsroom, which she has anchored since 2010 alongside Bill Hemmer. America’s Newsroom recently delivered its highest-rated year since the program’s launch in 2016 and routinely outpaces CNN and MSNBC combined during its timeslot, according to Nielsen Media Research. While MacCallum anchors The First 100 Days, FNC’s Shannon Bream will co-anchor America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer. Bream currently serves as the network’s Supreme Court reporter and anchors the Sunday afternoon news program America’s News Headquarters.

Report: NBC Talent In A Frenzy Over Megyn Kelly

Guthrie Interviews Kelly
NBC talent is in a frenzy that Megyn Kelly is being groomed to eventually take over Savannah Guthrie’s role at the “Today” show” after NBC News boss Andy Lack stunned everyone this week by signing her.

Multiple sources told Page Six at The NY Post the talk at 30 Rock yesterday was that Kelly could take the top job at “Today.”

“There is a rumor on set that Megyn would eventually get the lead anchor role on ‘Today,’ pushing Savannah out,” an insider said.

Kelly had been in talks with rivals ABC and CNN, but opted for NBC after she was promised a daytime slot and a Sunday night show.

But “the 9 a.m. hour of ‘Today’ is likely not her goal. She is angling for something else,” an insider told us of the gossip around 30 Rock.

But a high-level NBC source countered that Guthrie, who is on maternity leave, just signed a five-year deal with “Today.” “We just signed Savannah to a massive deal that is longer than Megyn’s. A lead anchor role at ‘Today’ isn’t part of the conversation for Megyn. The goal was simply to get someone of Megyn’s talent and caliber through the door at NBC. We have not made a decision on her daytime slot. It is being discussed.”

Official: Greta Moving To MSNBC

Greta Van Susteren
Fox News veteran Greta Van Susteren will be joining MSNBC next week to anchor a new evening show called "For the Record with Greta," network executives announced on Thursday.

"Greta is a true pro with a proven record of tough journalism," Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, said in a statement. "Her broad range of experience and sharp news judgment will be of great value to MSNBC as we build on our momentum going into a new year and a new administration."

Van Susteren is just the latest high-profile former Fox anchor to join the Peacock family. On Tuesday NBC News announced that former Fox News host Megyn Kelly will be joining its network, set to anchor a new one-hour daytime program through the week and launch a Sunday evening news magazine show.

Van Susteren leaves behind a long career at Fox News Channel, where she hosted the show "On the Record" for 14 years. Before that she served as a legal analyst and anchor at CNN for more than a decade, building off her previous career as a criminal defense and civil trial attorney.

iHM Officially Launches Subscription Streams

 iHeartMedia Thursday announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the official release of its new on demand services iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access powered by Napster, the first fully differentiated streaming music services that use on demand functionality to make radio truly interactive.  iHeartRadio All Access powered by Napster is now available on desktop and select consumer electronic devices as well as on the previously launched iOS and Android smartphones.

84 percent of iHeartRadio users do not currently subscribe to an on demand service – and now, for the first time, can subscribe to a streaming music service that provides the best of live radio combined with easy-to-use on demand functionality -- unlike all current on demand players that simply add on demand functionality to a music collection experience.

Darren Davis
"In the beta phase alone, we have already seen an incredible response from our users and have experienced our best month of listening since our official launch of iHeartRadio in 2011," said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio. "iHeartMedia is the only media company that has the assets, platform and reach to drive massive consumer awareness and successfully introduce two new subscription services, built around real radio, so rapidly. iHeartRadio has truly differentiated itself by offering features that no other services can."

Listeners can visit to begin their 30-day free trial and experience the first-ever combined live radio and music collection service, which includes the unique ability for users to instantly replay and save music from live and custom Artist Radio stations to their playlists, unlimited skips in custom Artist Radio stations, search and play their favorite songs and create personalized playlists – all in one, easy-to-use service.
Details of the two new subscription services:

iHeartRadio Plus, $4.99 a month, completely transforms live and custom Artist Radio station listening with the addition of:
  • Replay: Giving subscribers the ability to instantly replay songs from live and custom Artist Radio stations and then return to the station in progress;
  • Save: Save songs from live radio and custom Artist Radio stations directly to their My Music playlist for playback any time;
  • Search: Search and play any song from a library of millions of tracks; 
  • Unlimited skips: Subscribers listening to custom Artist Radio stations will no longer have a limit on the number of songs they can skip.
iHeartRadio All Access powered by Napster, $9.99 a month, combines the interactive radio functionality of iHeartRadio Plus with a complete music collection and library that is linked seamlessly to the radio listening experience.  Given that 70 percent of consumers -- which includes users of on demand music services -- have cited radio as their primary source of music discovery, there is finally a service that allows them the convenience and accessibility of merely pushing a button to add a song immediately to their music collection at the same time they hear it on the radio -- something no other music collection service can offer.

This new offering is the best of all worlds, combined in one service with the ability to:
  • Listen Offline:  Subscribers can take their music and playlists with them everywhere where they go, without needing an internet connection or using mobile data;
  • Build subscribers’ personal music libraries: Completely create, control and curate playlists from a library of millions of tracks; 
  • Give subscribers total flexibility to listen to their music the way they want, when they want: With no playback cap and the ability to delete and sequence their playlist experience as well as manage unlimited playlists.
 Aside from the two new subscription on demand services, iHeartRadio will remain free.  iHeartRadio offers users thousands of live radio stations, personalized custom Artist Radio stations created by just one song or seed artist and the top podcasts and personalities. With over a billion downloads, iHeartRadio has had tremendous momentum — reaching 85 percent brand awareness among consumers in less than 5 years as well as 95 million registered users faster than any other radio or digital music service  — and even faster than Facebook.

iHeartRadio Unveils Integrations at CES 2017

iHeartMedia Thursday announced five new integrations at the Consumer Electronics Show. These integrations will provide iHeartRadio’s more than 95 million registered users with new ways to access iHeartRadio’s vast collection of live radio, custom Artist Radio stations, podcasts and more.

iHeartRadio will be integrated with devices across in-home connectivity, wearable technology and mobile applications including:
  • Google Home: Listen to iHeartRadio on Google Home, the voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Coming soon to Google Home, playing iHeartRadio will be as easy as saying “Ok Google” followed by your favorite radio station or artist, giving users access to thousands of iHeartRadio’s live radio stations, custom Artist Radio stations, millions of songs and more.
  • Samsung Family Hub: A new integration with Samsung Family Hub will allow users to listen to iHeartRadio stations right from their refrigerator. Samsung Family Hub features a touch-enabled screen that resides on the door of a Samsung refrigerator, creating a focal point for families to share notes and photos, coordinate calendars, and now - listen to their favorite music via iHeartRadio. Through this integration, families can enjoy live radio stations, personalized custom Artist Radio stations, and other great iHeartRadio content through the iHeartRadio application. Attendees can check out a demo on the CES show floor, Central Hall, booth 15006.  
  • Samsung Gear S3: With the Gear S3, the smartwatch that’s engineered for adventure, iHeartRadio users can control their music listening experience right from their wrist. This integration with Samsung gives Gear 3 users free access to thousands of live radio stations, custom Artist Radio stations and podcasts, on top of all of the core features of the Android iHeartRadio app. 
  • DISH Music: Recently launched by DISH, DISH Music is a new mobile app powered by DTS Play-Fi that provides a complete, room-to-room music entertainment experience by enabling users to stream music on TV audio systems throughout the home and control this content via their Android or iOS smartphones and tablets. Through an integration with iHeartRadio, DISH Music users can now enjoy thousands of live and custom Artist Radio stations, as well as podcasts from iHeartRadio, syncing the same music across rooms, or playing different stations throughout the home. DISH Music will be available on all Hopper 2 and Hopper 3 DVRs. Attendees can see a demo on the CES show floor, Central Hall, booth 11421.
  • Speak Music Melody: iHeartRadio and Speak Music have teamed to launch Melody, a hands-free listening experience. Melody is Speak Music’s new voice-enabled platform that gives users the ultimate hands-free listening experience via a free iOS app — a personal music assistant with access to millions of songs and thousands of radio stations. Melody is the perfect solution for the music lovers on the go who can now connect with a vast selection of audio and musical content while multitasking, driving and working out, all with the convenience of simple voice commands. Through this integration, Melody users will be able to listen to iHeartRadio’s live and custom Artist Radio stations through the Melody app or via connected Bluetooth enabled iHome devices.
“We are always committed to making iHeartRadio available on the devices and platforms that our listeners want and expect us to be on,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio. “These new integrations allow our users to access the music and personalities they love most across even more apps, wearables and connected home devices they use every day.”

Streaming Overtakes Digital Music Sales

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canadian rapper Drake helped music streaming services explode in 2016, rising by 76 percent in the United States to overtake digital sales of music for the first time in history, Nielsen Music said on Thursday.

Americans used on demand streaming platforms, such as Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music, to listen to 431 billion songs in 2016, led by hip hop and R&B artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Kanye West and Rihanna, Nielsen said in its 2016 U.S. year-end report.

Some six songs, including New York rapper Desiiigner's "Panda" and Rihanna's "Work," surpassed 500 million total on demand streams in 2016, compared with just three that hit that mark in 2015.

The growth in streaming was more than enough to offset declines in other formats, particularly digital sales, leading to an overall 3 percent increase in music consumption compared with 2015, the report said.
The music industry continues to grow at a healthy rate, and 2016 showed us that the landscape is evolving even more quickly than we have seen with other format shifts," said David Bakula, senior vice president of industry insights at Nielsen Music.

Drake, 30, was by far the biggest beneficiary. The singer had the most digital song sales, the most streams - more than 5.4 billion - by a huge margin, and the most heavily consumed album of the year with "Views."

But the "Hotline Bling" singer had competition from Britain's Adele and rock star Prince.

Adele's 2015 release "25" was the best-selling album of 2016 for the second straight calendar year with total sales of 1.7 million units. It was also the best-seller for 2015.

Prince became the best-selling artist in terms of album sales, selling more than 2.2 million units following his death in April at age 57 of an accidental painkiller overdose. The day after his demise, Prince sold over 1 million digital songs and more than 200,000 digital albums. His catalog was tightly controlled on streaming services.

Among other bright spots for 2016, physical album sales became a larger share of total album sales than the prior year for the first time in a decade, the report said.

Vinyl continued an 11-year upward trend, reaching sales of 13 million in 2016 - the largest number since 1991.

Report: Nielsen Backtracks On Total Content TV Ratings Rollout

Nielsen is giving in to TV network concerns over its new measurement of content viewed across platforms and devices by allowing them to cherry-pick the data that is shared with agencies.

According to AdAge, the measurement behemoth had previously said that on Jan. 1 it would give media agencies access to a toolset that would allow them to see Total Content Ratings for all networks that have implemented the software. Now that Jan. 1 has come and gone, many agency executives say they still not seen any data.

All sides of the TV industry are closely watching Nielsen's effort to deliver a new ratings system that counts all viewing no matter where it takes place, including streaming platforms and mobile devices, in the hopes that they will rediscover some of the consumers that have disappeared each year from traditional TV audiences. If that happens, they can also start selling those consumers to advertisers once again. But TV networks have become worried about the methodology of the new ratings, which are supposed to become widely available to Nielsen clients this spring.

A Nielsen spokesman said it is in discussions with networks and could still make some of the new ratings data available to agencies this month. But instead of giving agencies access to an online portal with all of the same data that the networks get to see, agencies will receive reports with customized data that networks have approved.

"At the behest of our television network clients, we have modified the way in which we will be sharing data during the agency evaluation period which begins in January," the Nielsen spokesman said in an email to AdAge.

"This decision is not based on any methodological issues, but rather, client readiness and their need to further evaluate data," the spokesman said.

The Nielsen spokesman said the March 1 date has not been changed. The company's Senior Research Council will meet at the end of January to discuss "the best mechanisms to make additional content ratings data available over the course of 2017," he said.

Report: Restructuring Layoffs Hit KOMO-TV In Seattle

KOMO -TV4 has cut several positions in Seattle, including its investigative reporting team, according to several sources who asked not to be identified because of their affiliations with the network.

The Seattle Times reports KOMO’s parent company confirmed the cuts, saying that 10 positions were eliminated, including three in the newsroom.

The cuts were announced to the newsroom Wednesday morning. The TV station’s Problem Solvers investigative team, which includes well-known reporters Jon Humbert and Tracy Vedder, was dissolved.

Humbert, Vedder and producer Kelly Just are being laid off, and Michelle Esteban will become a general assignment reporter, two sources said.

KOMO’s parent company, Cockeysville, Md.-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, confirmed the cuts Thursday, adding that it is cutting 54 positions across the country. The company has more than 4,000 employees total in the U.S.

Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s vice president of news, said Sinclair is still hiring for more than 600 open positions.

“It’s certainly a difficult situation and it is necessary from time to time to restructure some aspects of news operations and station operations,” he said.

KOMO, an ABC affiliate, laid off nearly 20 people in 2013, though Sinclair never confirmed the cuts. Sinclair, which owns or operates 173 stations around the country, bought KOMO parent Fisher Communications that year.

Local KOMO management “has been supportive, caring and helpful toward the next steps for us all,” one employee whose job was eliminated said Thursday.

The reductions come at a time in which financial pressures are leading to widespread layoffs and uncertainty at media companies nationally and locally.