Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 26 Radio History

In Mason Adams was born in Brooklyn.

His unique voice was much in demand during the days of bigtime radio, Adams was heard on many radio programs during Radio's Golden Age. A notable recurring role was that of Pepper Young in Pepper Young's Family, which aired from 1947 to 1959. He also portrayed the deadly Nazi Atom Man in a classic 1945 serial on the radio version of The Adventures of Superman.

He is best remembered today as the newspaper boss of Lou Grant in the TV show of that name, and for his commercial voice-overs (i.e. Smuckers Jams).  He died from natural causes Apr 26, 2005 at age 86.

In 1932...Hall of Fame singer/guitarist Johnny Cash was born on this day in 1932. He died Sept. 12, 2003 at 71.

In 1951...WMCA FM changed call letters to WHOM FM in NYC

According to NYC City FM History, the station, purchased by WHOM 1480 AM, initially featured a foreign-language format of 13 languages, including some not widely spoken ones such as Swiss-German, Carpatho-Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and Chinese.

In August 1961, WHOM-FM began a syndicated classical music format under the "Heritage" name. This continued until June 15, 1962 when WHOM-FM began simulcasting the mostly Spanish programming from WHOM-AM.

Charles Baltin, VP of WHOM, noted the many Spanish-speaking listeners moving to New York and said the "WHOM-FM signal will extend farther than the WHOM-AM signal, providing listeners with a radio service they could not otherwise obtain." The simulcast continued until 1970, when the FCC refused an extension of its permit to simulcast the AM.

The station then started broadcasting the "Romantic Sounds Of Stereo," a Latin-type beautiful music program service with Spanish and English announcers, but continued to simulcast the AM station from 5a-9a and all day Sunday.

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.

Howard Stern
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 1954...Michigan rep Ruth Thompson (R) introduces legislation to ban mailing "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy" phonograph (rock & roll) records.

In 1955…Billboard magazine reported that 45-RPM singles were outselling 78s for the first time. The number 45 came from taking 78 and subtracting Columbia's 33 rpm. RCA introduced the first 45 on March 31, 1949. The first 45 to hit the Billboard charts was "'A'-You're Adorable" by Perry Como with the Fontane Sisters on May 7, 1949.

In 1959...comic/actor Lou Costello of the radio/TV & film comedy team Abbott & Costello, died of a heart attack at age 52.

In 1966..."These Boots are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra peaked at Number One on the pop singles chart.

In 1970...Beatles release "Beatles Again" aka "Hey Jude" album

In 1973...WHN 1050 AM NYC changed to country music. After researching the market, Storer converted WHN to a country format in 1973. Mutual bought WHN in the late 1980s. WYNY- FM  flipped to country from 1980 to 1984, hurting WHN’s ratings.

Doubleday Broadcasting bought WHN in 1985, and Emmis Communications bought it the following year. Emmis added sports talk in the evenings, keeping the country format during the day.

In 1987, Emmis announced WHN would become all-sports WFAN.  When Emmis purchased NBC’s New York radio stations in 1988, the company moved WFAN from 1050 AM to 660 AM, formerly occupied WNBC.

Spanish Broadcasting System purchased the 1050 AM license and became WUKQ, a Spanish Adult Contemporary station.  Spanish Broadcasting System wanted to swap 1050 AM with cash for the Jewish Daily Forward’s FM station, WEVD 97.9 FM.  The deal was approved in 1989.

Buy This Book
 WEVD’s call letters and programming moved to the 1050 AM frequency.  The station mainly carried a brokered format of ethnic programs, talk shows and foreign-language programming.  By the mid-1990s, WEVD moved to a left-leaning news-talk format.

An agreement with ABC/Disney brought ESPN’s “The Dan Patrick Show” to WEVD in 2001.  On September 2, 2001, WEVD became “1050 ESPN Radio.”

The call letters were changed to WEPN in 2003, competing directly with WFAN’s all-sports format.  In 2012, WEPN’s programming moved to 98.7 FM.  ESPN Deportes later moved the 1050 AM frequency.

In 1976...Jay Reynolds does last show at 77 WABC NYC almost 6-years to the date when he started.

In 1983...Michael Jackson's Thriller hit Number One on the U.S. album chart, where it stayed for 37 weeks on its way to selling more than 40 million copies worldwide.

In 2006...Radio personality Jack Lazare died

Jack Lazare
In the 1950s heyday of Big Bands, Lazare was host of the popular "Milkman's Matinee'' on WNEW in New York. His studio guests included Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman. Lazare's radio career later took him to Boston, hosting "Music 'til Dawn'' on WEEI, and ``Sounds in the Night'' and a talk show on WHDH.

Born in New York City, Lazare studied communications at the University of California at Berkeley. After serving in the Navy as a pilot, he went on to become executive producer of programming for the Voice of America, supervising 17 Southeast Asia language desks.

As an actor, Lazare was in the film ``See How She Runs,'' starring Joanne Woodward, and ``The Defection of Simas Kudirka,'' starring Alan Arkin.

The New England representative for the Screen Actors Guild of America, Lazare moved to Essex in 1985 and purchased a Meriden-based radio station, WMMW. He also worked in Farmington as program director for WRCH-WNEZ.

In 2011…Longtime Kansas City broadcaster Bill Grigsby, for 46 years the radio play-by-play voice of the National Football League's Chiefs, died after a fall while being treated for prostate cancer at age 89.

In 2013...Kelly Ford and Jesse Andy started at WNSH  94.7 FM/

In 2015…After more than a year of public debate, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission passed "net neutrality" rules, allowing the agency to prohibit Internet service providers from granting faster access to companies willing to pay extra for it. The new rules treat broadband providers as "common carriers" -- the same as utility companies that provide gas and electricity -- in which all customers have equal access to the service. As expected, the FCC commissioners voted along party lines with the three Democrats voting for the rules and the two Republicans voting against.

Entercom CEO: "It's All About Local Content"

Suburban Philadelphia's Entercom Communications Corp. thinks it can revitalize the beleaguered sector with its $4 billion deal with CBS Radio.

According to, the stunning merger — recasting the family-owned Entercom into the nation's No. 2 radio group — is the latest shake-out in a radio industry besieged with radio station consolidation, cookie-cutter formats, digital competitors, and a loosening grip on 240 million weekly listeners.

One indication of radio's woes: The nation's No. 1 station group, iHeartMedia, is teetering on bankruptcy, buried under about $20 billion in debt.

Entercom CEO David Field, 53, who will head Entercom/CBS Radio if federal regulators and shareholders approve the deal. has a plan hto grow radio to 8 percent to 10 percent of the advertising pie and boost digital and events revenue. The deal will vault the Bala Cynwyd company, based in a plain multistory office building, into the big time with a sweeping footprint of 244 radio stations in 23 of the top 25 markets, generating $1.7 billion in annual revenues and employing more than 5,000.

It's "all about local" content, Field told the analysts. He believes there's potential for radio to be "rediscovered by advertisers."

Wall Street analysts and industry observers regard Field as a disciplined manager with a solid track record. Entercom's stock — which collapsed in the 2008 fiscal crisis and has yet to regain its pre-crisis levels — has tripled over the last five years.

Mark Fratrik, chief economist at the research-consulting firm BIA/Kelsey, said that "the one thing you have to remember about radio: It's still there. People still listen to the radio when they drive. It is still a very relevant player."

A media giant with a storied past in radio, CBS Corp. is exiting the business as it focuses on television and streaming. Field noted to analysts that CBS Radio employees will be part of a company "where radio is first."

Jay Z: Radio Caters To Young White Women

Rapper Jay Z said in an interview Friday that modern radio often loses sight of the music in its attempt to appeal young white women, reports Fox News.

"You take these pop stations, they’re reaching 18-34 young white females," Jay Z said in an interview with Frank Ocean on Apple’s Beats 1 radio, Time reported.

"So they’re playing music based on those tastes. And then they’re taking those numbers and they’re going to advertising agencies and people are paying numbers based on the audience that they have. So these places are not even based on music. Their playlist isn't based on music. If you think a person like Bob Marley right now probably wouldn’t play on a pop station. Which is crazy. It’s not even about the DJ discovering what music is best. You know, music is music. The line’s just been separated so much that we’re lost at this point in time."

SiriusXM Sued Over Radio Patents

A German research group filed suit against SiriusXM Radio Inc., claiming that the satellite radio provider is infringing four of its patents related to digital transmission and reception technology, according to Bloomberg BNA.

In a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Feb. 22, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft claimed that Sirius XM made and sold radio equipment and services that infringe its U.S. patent Nos. 6,314,289, 6,931,084, 6,993,084 and 7,061,997. The patents cover technology for relaying and receiving digital radio signals.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is seeking damages for the claimed infringement and an order to prohibit SiriusXM from using its patented technology for its radio service and receivers.

Munich-based Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is known for inventing the MP3 digital audio format used to create and share music files.

SiriusXM had a sub-license for the four patents from WorldSpace International Network Inc., which reached an exclusive licensing deal for the patents with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 1998, the complaint said. SiriusXM’s sub-license was terminated in 2012 as a result of WorldSpace’s bankruptcy proceedings, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft said.

In 2015, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft told Sirius that it was infringing its patents, but the radio service said that “it believed that it had authority to continue using” the patented technologies, the research firm said in its complaint.

Augusta GA Radio: Tim Snell Named iHM SVP/Programming

iHeartMedia announced Friday that Tim “Minnesota Fattz” Snell has been named the Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Augusta.

Snell is one half of the Fattz and Cher Morning Show on 96.3 Kiss FM and the program director for the iHeartMedia Augusta urban brands, urban adult contemporary, WKSP 96.3 KissFM and hip-hop formatted WPRW Power 107.7 FM.

Snell will be responsible for day to-day programming operations for six multi-formatted brands including HotAC WBBQ 104.3 FM, Classic Rock WEKW Eagle 102.3 FM, WPRW Power 107, Urban/AC WKSP 96.3 Kiss FM, Country WLUB105.7 FM the Bull and WLUB 106.3 HD2 Bull Icons. He will work closely with the program directors, on-air personalities and sales to oversee the on-air content, digital footprint and music programming for the formats.

“We are really thrilled to have a guy with Tim’s kind of experience and longevity in the market to lead our cluster’s programming efforts,” said Brian Michael, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia. “He has a proven track record of driving ratings as an on-air talent and programmer and I know he will be an assest to our cluster’s continued success.”

“I am honored to be given this tremendous opportunity,” said Snell. “iHeartMedia Augusta has great products and a super team who have passion and a winning attitude that continues to grow our brands. I am excited to start another chapter in my career and look forward to the new challenge.”

WKSP 96.3 FM (20 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
With a historic thirty-year broadcasting and programming career, Tim “Minnesota Fattz” Snell has received many local and national accolades. He is the recipient of the 2014 President Barack Obama Community Award and the Boy Scott Eagle Award. Fattz is also a past winner of the Radio Personality of The Year Awards and the BRE Award for Program Director and Station of the Year.

TWH Bars Some News Organizations From Briefing

Journalists depart TWH Press Room (Reuters)
By Ayesha Rascoe | WASHINGTON

(Reuters) -- The White House excluded several major U.S. news organizations, including some it has criticized, from an off-camera briefing held by the White House press secretary on Friday.

Reporters for CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed were not allowed into the session in the office of press secretary Sean Spicer.

Spicer's off-camera briefing, or "gaggle," replaced the usual televised daily news briefing in the White House briefing room. He did not say why those particular news organizations were excluded, a decision which drew strong protests.

Reuters was included in the session, along with about 10 other news organizations, including Bloomberg and CBS.

President Donald Trump has regularly attacked the media and at a gathering of conservative activists on Friday he criticized news organizations that he said provide "fake news", calling them the "enemy" of the American people.

Spicer said his team decided to have a gaggle in his office on Friday instead of a full briefing in the larger White House briefing room and argued that “we don't need to do everything on camera every day.”

Reporters at the Associated Press and Time magazine walked out of the briefing when hearing that others had been barred from the session.

Off-camera gaggles are not unusual. The White House often invites handpicked outlets in for briefings, typically for specific topics. But briefings and gaggles in the White House are usually open to all outlets and they are free to ask anything.

A pool reporter from Hearst Newspapers was included in the gaggle on Friday and gave full details to the entire press corps. Media outlets allowed into the gaggle also shared their audio with others.


Spicer's decision drew a sharp response from some of the media outlets that were excluded.

"Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties," Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, said in a statement.

"We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest."

The White House Correspondents Association, or WHCA, also protested.

"The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House," said Jeff Mason, president of the association and a Reuters reporter.

During the election campaign last year, Trump's team banned a few news organizations, including The Washington Post and BuzzFeed, from covering his campaign rallies for a period of time to protest their coverage.

CNN posted a Twitter message on Friday afternoon saying: "This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless.”

Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, said in a statement: "While we strongly object to the White House's apparent attempt to punish news outlets whose coverage it does not like, we won't let these latest antics distract us from continuing to cover this administration fairly and aggressively."

On Friday, Spicer said the White House plans to fight against what it says is unfair coverage.

"I think we’re going to aggressively push back," he said. "We’re just not going to sit back and let false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there."

February 25 Radio History

In 1928...The Federal Radio Commission granted the first television license in the United States to the Charles Jenkins Laboratories, Washington, DC.

In 1943...Former Beatles member George Harrison was born. He died of cancer on Nov. 29, 2001 at 58.

In 1972...As the debut single by his new band Wings, Paul McCartney released "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" in the UK. Its airplay was restricted since it was banned by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg and the Independent Television Authority, however the record reached #1 on the singles charts in the Republic of Ireland and Spain, and despite the air-play ban still reached #16 in the UK. It peaked at #21 in the U.S.

In 1995... At a private party for 1,200 select guests on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament, Frank Sinatra sang in front of a live audience for the last time. His closing song was "The Best is Yet to Come," which are also the words imprinted on his tombstone. He died on May 14, 1998.

In 2004...The Howard Stern Show was removed from 6 Clear Channel radio stations for indecency.

Bert Lee
In 2004...Sportscaster and talk-radio host Bert Lee died in Tuscon, AZ died in 2004.  He was 74.

At the time of his death, he hosted a show on KTKT, Tucson “The Bert Lee Show.”  Lee, who called himself “the old curmudgeon,” started in radio in New York City at WOR when he was 16.

He also worked at WMCA, WHN and WINS.

While living in Tucson,  Lee's show also aired on  KTUC and KNST.   Lee was a faithful 3-pack-a-day Camel smoker.

In 2014…Television game show host (The Dating Game, $100,000 Name That Tune, $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, Triple Threat)/radio personality (KGO, KSFO, KFRC, KABL, all in San Francisco, KMPC-Los Angeles, KKSJ-San Jose) Jim Lange died following a heart attack at age 81.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Judge Rejects Cumulus' Refi Plan, Stock Drops

(Reuters) -- A U.S. judge on Friday rejected Cumulus Media Inc's bid to proceed with a refinancing plan that the second-largest U.S. radio network hoped would help reduce its $2.4 billion debt load, but was opposed by some lenders.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan came in a lawsuit the Atlanta-based company filed in December, accusing JPMorgan Chase & Co of withholding consent to parts of its refinancing plan.

In its lawsuit, Cumulus said that JPMorgan's actions in its role as administrative agent under a 2013 credit agreement had threatened a deal it reached with bondholders that would deleverage the company by up to $305 million.

But JPMorgan and a group creditors who objected to the deal million of the company's loans disagreed and argued the transaction was not permitted under the credit agreement, a position Failla adopted. "I do not believe it permits the proposed refinancing," she said.

Cumulus Media shares fell sharply in Friday trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange as the ruling was announced from the bench. Its shares last traded at 75 cents, down 25 percent.

The lawsuit by Cumulus, which owns 447 radio stations, stemmed from its efforts to reduce its debt load, which includes $1.8 billion in secured loans and $610 million of unsecured senior notes due in 2019. Cumulus on Dec. 6 announced a plan to exchange the senior notes for a combination of stock and up to $305 million in secured debt borrowed through a $200 million revolving credit line.

Cumulus said the deal would allow the company to retire the notes at a discount and avoid a "springing maturity" on the $1.8 billion in loans that occurs if more than $200 million of the notes are outstanding in January 2019. The deal was reached with a majority of Cumulus' senior noteholders. Cumulus said the refinancing must be completed by March 13, when the exchange offer is scheduled to expire.

The Cumulus lawsuit sought an order declaring that its credit agreement permitted it to use the revolving credit line as part of its refinancing plan and may amend a restriction that would enable it to access the credit line. It also sought an order requiring JPMorgan to undertake other actions necessary to effectuate the refinancing.

The case is Cumulus Media Holdings Inc. et al v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-09591.

FCC's Pai To Block Stricter Broadband Data Privacy Rules

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will block some Obama administration rules that subject broadband providers to stricter scrutiny than websites, a spokesman said on Friday, in a victory for internet providers such as AT&T, Comcast Corp; and Verizon Communications Inc.  

The rules approved by the FCC in October in a 3-2 vote were aimed at protecting sensitive personal consumer data, but the spokesman said Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, believes all companies in the "online space should be subject to the same rules, and the federal government should not favor one set of companies over another."

FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield said in a statement that the suspension affects only the data security rules, which are set to take effect on March 2. Some other aspects of the rules are under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Pai plans by March 2 to delay the implementation of some rules, which subject companies to stricter oversight than websites under Federal Trade Commission rules, the spokesman said. Such a temporary stay is a first step toward permanently preventing the rules from taking effect.

The rules would subject broadband internet service providers to more stringent requirements than websites like Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc; or Alphabet Inc's Google.

Providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using certain user data for advertising and internal marketing. They would be required to get consent for details like precise geo-location, financial information, health information, children's information, Web browsing history, app usage history and communication content.

For less sensitive information such as email addresses or service tiers, consumers would be able to opt out.

Republican commissioners including Pai, said in October the rules unfairly give websites the ability to harvest more data than service providers and dominate digital advertising.

Pai said in October the FCC "adopted one-sided rules that will cement edge providers’ dominance in the online advertising market." Google and Facebook dominate that market and account for about two-thirds of all revenue.

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who authored the privacy rules, told Reuters on Friday that they are necessary because consumers have few options when it comes to broadband providers. "The fact of the matter is it's the consumer's information," he said. "It's not the network's information."

Berin Szóka, president of TechFreedom, said Pai's decision was a good move because "because the real question isn't a policy question but a legal one: does the FCC even have authority to regulate broadband privacy?"

Headphones: An Enormous Issue For Radio

The radio industry has been concerned about measurement of listening while wearing headphones or earbuds, but until now no one has known just how big the issue could be. Now data released Thursday by Alan Burns and Associates and Strategic Solutions Research suggests that the amount of listening by women while wearing headphones may be far higher than most would have guessed.

“Almost half (49%) of all women 15-54 told us they wear headphones during some of their time spent with radio” said Alan Burns, “and the number is higher among heavy radio listeners (56%) and at work listeners (57%). Those numbers are well beyond ours and most people’s expectations.”

“Many of those women use headphones for a great deal of their time spent listening,” added Strategic EVP Hal Rood. “15% of women told us they use headphones for half or more of their radio listening; if that listening was not accurately measured it can have a massive impact on radio AQH.”

The bigger story, though, may lie in what actual ratings participants said. The Burns/Strategic “What Women Want” survey of 2000 respondents found 142 former ratings survey participants among the sample.

“The numbers escalate dramatically among women who had actually been part of a ratings sample,” said Burns. “More than four out of every ten of them said they wear headphones or earbuds during half or more of their radio listening. That’s enormous; imagine how incomplete measurement of that kind of listening could impact listening estimates. It’s critical that headphone listening be captured and measured fully and accurately, and we know Nielsen is working on the issue.”

Next week’s data from “What Women Want – 2017” will focus on Top 40 and Hot AC listeners and listening. You can register for the free 30-minute webinars by clicking here: What Women Want 2017 Webinar or the What Women Want icons at or

Philly Radio: Talia Schlanger New Host For WXPN's World Cafe

Non-com WXPN 88.5 FM, the member-supported public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania and producer of the NPR-distributed daily music program World Cafe, today announced that Talia Schlanger will succeed David Dye as the program’s host starting on Monday, April 3.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Schlanger joined World Cafe as Contributing Host and Radio Producer in October. She will become only the second host in the show’s 25-year history. Schlanger, age 31, was previously a radio and TV journalist, producer and host for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), based in Toronto. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program, she was also an actress in professional theater productions, including the first US national tour of Green Day’s American Idiot.

Of her new role, Schlanger said, “Like our listeners, I’m here as a music fan first. Discovering, sharing and connecting over artists is our collective passion, and it’s my mission to serve that as best I can on World Cafe. David Dye is so beloved and respected because for 25 years, audiences have been able to feel the genuine curiosity, excitement and care he has for the music he plays and for the artists who make it. I know this is a big change, but I hope our devoted World Cafe crowd will feel the same degree of passion and care coming from me as we charge forward with amps blaring.”

“Talia brings great storytelling, digital fluency, and a love and knowledge of music to our marquee program,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay. “She adds a fresh perspective to a program that continues to give new artists a national platform and audience.”

A unique daily program of musical discovery, World Cafe is where more than half a million listeners each week are introduced to an eclectic blend of contemporary sounds from both legendary and up-and-coming artists, through exclusive interviews, performances, and special features. It is recorded and produced at WXPN in Philadelphia, with additional exclusive content from its Nashville contributor and gathered from locations across the globe. World Cafe is distributed to more than 200 U.S. radio stations by NPR, and can be heard on WXPN from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

In November, David Dye announced that he would step down as World Cafe host and producer after March 31. He will, however, continue to contribute to the program on a part-time basis. Dye will also host a new, one-hour, weekend music program on WXPN starting on Sunday, April 2 called Dave’s World, that can be heard Sundays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

WXPN 88.5 FM (2.65 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WXPN will pay tribute to David Dye for his 25 years as host and producer of World Cafe with a private special event in Philadelphia on March 1. The 25th anniversary of World Cafe will be celebrated by WXPN donors and members with two special concerts taking place on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Scripps: Politicals Drive Revenue, Radio Off Slightly

The E.W. Scripps Company today reported operating results for the fourth quarter of 2016.

For the quarter, net income from continuing operations was $38.3 million or 46 cents per share. In the prior-year period, the net loss from continuing operations was $21.1 million or 25 cents per share, including a non-cash settlement charge of $45.7 million and Journal-related transaction and acquisition integration costs of $1 million. As previously reported, excluding these charges, income from continuing operations would have been $7.8 million or 9 cents per share.

For the quarter, total revenue was $273 million compared to $205 million the prior year. This 33 percent increase is due to the factors noted below.

Business Highlights
• Election-year political advertising revenue for the television division was $56.2 million in the fourth quarter and $100.8 million for the year.
• In 2016, retransmission revenue increased 62 percent to $221 million. During the fourth quarter, we renewed two contracts covering 3 million households, which will help fuel an estimated 20 percent increase in retransmission revenue in 2017.
• Digital revenue grew 42 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by strong organic growth and acquisitions. For the full year, digital segment revenue grew to $62 million, compared to $39 million in 2015.
• RightThisMinute is on track to launch into a seventh season next fall. The ABC-owned station group has renewed the viral video show (a partnership among Scripps, Cox and Raycom) for the 2017-2018 television season. This season, the show is cleared in 94 percent of the country on 212 stations nationwide and one market in Canada.
• Newsy recorded 1.3 billion video views in 2016, an increase of 74 percent above 2015. The increase in viewership was driven primarily by the company’s expansion onto over-the-top television distribution services. These platforms contributed 48 percent of Newsy’s total viewership in the fourth quarter and 29 percent for all of 2016.
• Mary McCabe Peirce, 68, a great-granddaughter of the company’s founder, will retire from the company’s board of directors when her term expires in May. Peirce has served as a director since 2008.

Rich Boehne
Commenting on the fourth-quarter and year-end results, Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Rich Boehne said:

“Our broadcast television division delivered record revenue in 2016, despite the headwinds of an uncommon presidential election combined with the short-term absence of some advertisers who avoided jockeying with political campaigns for airtime. While the presidential race spending did not rise to the level we had expected, we were encouraged by the strong spending levels for U.S. Senate and House races in our markets.

“Looking ahead now to the 2018 mid-term election, we are focused on 10 Senate seats up for grabs in our footprint as well as a meaningful gubernatorial year, with 16 governors’ races across the Scripps markets.

Fourth-Quarter Operating Results

Revenues increased $67.9 million, or 33 percent, to $273 million, compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase was primarily a result of increases in political advertising revenue, retransmission revenue and our growing digital businesses.

Costs and expenses for segments, shared services and corporate were $187 million, up from $173 million, primarily driven by higher network programming fees and costs in our digital businesses.

Fourth-quarter results by segment compared to prior-period amounts were:

In the fourth quarter of 2016, revenue from our television group was $233 million, up $62.7 million or 37 percent. Retransmission revenue increased $24.7 million, and political advertising revenue was $56.2 million in the presidential election year, compared to $2.1 million in 2015.

Advertising revenue broken down by category was:

• Local, down 11.3 percent to $80 million
• National, down 14.5 percent to $32.8 million
• Political, $56.2 million, compared to $2.1 million in 2015

Our core local and national advertising revenue was down 12 percent in the fourth quarter due to displacement from political advertising.

Fourth-quarter segment profit in the television division was $96 million, compared to $41.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Radio revenue was $18.8 million, down from $19 million in the 2015 quarter. Expenses were $14.6 million compared to $15.2 million in 2015.

Segment profit in the radio division was $4.2 million in the fourth quarter, up from $3.9 million in the 2015 quarter.

Digital revenue was $18.8 million, up $5.6 million or 42 percent from the prior period. Excluding the impact of Cracked, which was acquired in the second quarter of 2016, total revenue increased 30 percent.

Expenses for the digital group were $21.7 million, an increase of $4.5 million from the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of Cracked, expenses increased about 13 percent.

Reported segment loss in the digital division was $2.9 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $3.9 million in the 2015 quarter.

FCC Loosens FM Translator Rules

The Federal Communications Commission Thursday expanded the site locations where FM translators can rebroadcast AM radio stations. The amended rule provides greater flexibility for an AM station to place a rebroadcasting FM translator in a location where it will better serve its AM station’s listeners.

AM radio stations that want to improve their service area with a clearer signal can do so by using an FM translator, which receives the AM signal and re-broadcasts it on an FM frequency. This is particularly useful for the many AM stations forced to reduce their power at night, since the FM translator can operate at the same power 24 hours a day.

At issue is a current FCC rule that may make finding a location for these translators unnecessarily challenging. Under the old rule, an AM station could place a rebroadcasting FM translator either within its daytime service contour or within a 25-mile radius of its transmitter, whichever distance was less. The new rule allows the rebroadcasting FM translator to be located anywhere within the AM station’s daytime service contour or anywhere within a 25-mile radius of the transmitter, even if the contour extends farther than 25 miles from the transmitter.

The current rule proved too restrictive for some AM broadcasters, especially those whose transmitters were far from their communities of license. AM transmission systems require large amounts of land, and many AM broadcasters have been forced to relocate to sites far from the cities they serve, where land is available or affordable. The rule change today especially benefits these AM stations, and also helps other AM stations whose highly directionalized technical facilities currently limit the area where they can locate a cross-service FM translator.

The Commission first authorized AM stations to rebroadcast over FM translators in 2009. In 2016, two filing windows opened that enabled more than 1,000 AM stations to acquire and relocate FM translators to rebroadcast their signals. Because of these actions, nearly 2,000 FM translators are currently rebroadcasting AM station signals, allowing many AM stations previously forced to reduce or eliminate nighttime power to now provide 24-hour service to their communities.

The Commission stated that Thursday’s Order furthers its efforts to assist AM broadcasters in providing vital radio service to consumers throughout the country.

The National Association of Broadcasters thanked the Commission for changing the rule that will make life easier for some station owners. “Broadcasters appreciate chairman Pai’s leadership on the issue of AM revitalization, and we will continue working with him and commissioners Clyburn and [Michael] O’Rielly to strengthen the AM radio band,” it said in a statement.

Nielsen Releases Day Three PPMs For January 2017

Nielsen on Thursday 02/23/17 Released the third batch of January 2017 PPM Data for the following markets:

    23  Portland OR

    24  Charlotte-Gastonia_Rock Hill NC

    26  San Antonio

    27  Pittsburgh

    28  Sacramento

    29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo UT

    30  Las Vegas

    31  Cincinnati

    32  Orlando

    33  Cleveland

    35  Kansas City

    37  Columbus OH

Click Here to view Topline Numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Digital Media Ad Growth Slow, Radio Shows Strength

In January, digital media advertising growth continued its slowdown to single-digit percentage gains -- off from its big double-digit hikes in previous periods.

Standard Media Index says that for the second month in a row, digital advertising spend had modest growth: For January this was 6.3%, well off the 15% to 20% growth for most of 2016.

According to MediaPost, bright spots for digital came in the categories that are increasingly competitive to traditional TV. Digital video advertising on pure-play platforms rose 33%, while social media ad spending had nearly the same growth, at 29.5%. Pure play internet radio was next at 17.7%.

Digital categories with a mediocre performance include search advertising, which grew only 2.9%; content advertising, which slipped 0.8%; ad network/ad exchange, which improved 3.3%; and mobile ad network/ad exchanges, which were down 2.2%.

Overall TV networks’ digital advertising revenue declined to 2.9%

But traditional TV advertising continued to have strong results -- confirming, in part, what senior TV network executives have said about a healthy scatter market. In January, network TV grew 5.7% -- cable networks climbed 8.2%; with broadcast networks up by around half that amount -- 2.8%.

Much of the national broadcast TV spending results came from sports programming. Taking out those results yielded just a 0.2% hike; with cable still up 7.5%.

Total TV -- including local TV spot and syndication -- was up 3.5%.

All TV ad spend comes from SMI AccuTV -- a new product that combines 70% of total national agency spend exclusively, with data model for the remaining 30%.

Print media continued to face challenges with magazines virtually flat -- down 0.1% -- and newspapers sinking 25.5%.

But radio climbed 3.9%, while out-of-home scored the best results for traditional media -- with a 9.7% improvement. SMI says billboard advertising grew 29% in January.

Shake Up At Fox Sports1

Kate Nolan crashes Jay & Dan's set
FoxSports1 is making a “big bet on opinion-based sports programming” is doubling down in the hope its viewers really like the “Garbage Time” host Kate Nolan — a lot.

After news broke Thursday that late-night sports highlight show “Fox Sports Live” would be canceled and “Garbage Time” would be retooled, Sporting News reported the network will amp up Nolan’s presence across its programming slate.

The site quoted one anonymous executive as saying, “You’re going to see zero Jay and Dan, but you’re going to see five times as much Katie Nolan.”

“Jay and Dan” refers to “Fox Sports Live” hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, whose contracts were not renewed by the network after their show was canceled.

The NY Post reports FS1 vice president of content Charlie Dixon released a statement Thursday afternoon: “Throughout the evolution of FS1, we’ve been committed to creating programming that resonates with sports fans,” Dixon said. “As part of that commitment, we are constantly assessing all of FS1’s studio offerings, and despite changes to the format of ‘Fox Sports Live’ and the popularity of Jay and Dan as individuals, we’ve made the difficult decision to move forward with other projects.”

The end of “Fox Sports Live” should not come as a shock: The “SportsCenter” imitator never was a ratings success and has lagged far behind ESPN’s flagship program in viewership since its debut in 2013.

Onrait and O’Toole were billed as having the same kind of rapport as the “SportsCenter” hosts who made that show a hit in the 1990s, but audiences consistently chose the real thing over the Canadian knockoff.

James O'Keefe's 'CNN-Leaks' Fall Flat

James O'Keefe
For a few days earlier this week, Project Veritas founder and conservative activist James O'Keefe has been hyping the release of what he said were hundreds of hours of undercover audio recordings of employees at CNN.

Some staffers at CNN were legitimately alarmed that O'Keefe would be releasing tapes that could be embarrassing for the network. O'Keefe is known for his undercover video recordings, though questions over deceptive editing and concerns about the questionable tactics used to obtain those recordings have plagued some of his prior work. Before releasing the tapes Thursday, O'Keefe was featured on The Drudge Report and on Sean Hannity's radio show, where he previewed their release.

Instead, what O'Keefe released on Thursday landed with a dull thud in the media world. Though not all the hours of tapes have been made available for review, and damning recordings could still come out, O'Keefe made clear the audio he obtained is from 2009 and for the most part features lower-level staffers at the network, according to Politico.

Meredith Broadcast Acquires WPCH-TV From Time-Warner

Meredith is buying independent WPCH from Time Warner for $70 million, according to a filing with the FCC.

According to TV NewsCheck, Meredith has been operating the station through joint sales and shared services agreements since 2011. It said in a press release that it expects to win FCC approval of the deal and close it by June 30.

Time Warner is in the process of merging with AT&T and WPCH is its only station. Disposing of the station might help Time Warner to side-step FCC review of the merger, which the parties have been pushing for in Washington.

Meredith owns WGCL Atlanta so purchasing WPCH would give it two stations in the market. But in their filing the parties say the proposed duopoly would be permissible under the FCC local ownership limits because 12 independently owned stations will remain in the market after the close (at least eight are required) and WPCH is not among the markets top-four rated stations.

WPCH has an important place in TV history. After purchasing the UHF station (then WTCG) in 1970, Ted Turner took advantage of changes in FCC rules to relaunched the station as a "superstation," distributing it out of market to cable systems via satellite across the country. It became the foundation of Turner's media empire.

Andy Grammer To Perform at 2017 Golden Mike Awards

The Broadcasters Foundation of America announced today that BMI songwriter and S-Curve Records recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2017 Golden Mike Award this coming Monday, February 27, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The annual black-tie gala is a major fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation’s charitable mission to provide financial assistance to broadcasters in need. This year, the Broadcasters Foundation honors Paul Karpowicz, President of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group, with the Golden Mike Award and Bill Hoffman, retired President of Cox Media Group (CMG), with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

New York-born Andy Grammer first earned his stripes as a pop star on the Santa Monica Promenade. After signing with BMI and S-Curve, he became the first male pop star in a decade, since John Mayer, to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles. Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic pop hits.

His debut album featured the platinum singles “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.” Andy’s second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the triple platinum infectious smash hit “Honey, I’m Good,” which was one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem “Good to be Alive (Hallelujah).” Expanding a veritable catalog of hits, “Fresh Eyes” is pacing to become his biggest song yet. After reaching #27 on Spotify’s Global Chart, the song has surpassed 160 million Spotify streams and 20 million cumulative YouTube/VEVO views.

As previously announced, three of the most highly influential leaders in broadcasting will help present this year’s Golden Mike Award -- Steve Lanzano, President of the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB), Mike O’Neill, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), and Gordon Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

The Golden Mike Award dinner attracts a who’s who of broadcast media executives and celebrities. For information on how to reserve a seat or a table, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, or email

The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy. Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society. For more information, please visit, call 212-373-8250, or email

Steve Bannon Presses Line Against Media

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon, the chief strategist for President Donald Trump, blamed reports of internal rivalries and chaos in the administration on an intensifying feud with the media that he vowed would continue as the White House pushes to tighten immigration enforcement and cut federal regulations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Mr. Bannon told activists gathered Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md. “Every day, it is going to be a fight.”

On Thursday, Bannon picked up that line, describing the president as an underdog and the reporters covering him as “the opposition party.”

He added: “They’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has.”

Bannon said President Trump is “maniacally focused” on delivering on campaign promises, including a continued push for deregulation, which Bannon referred to as “deconstruction of the administrative state.” The senior White House official also vowed that the president’s budget proposal would help fulfill other campaign promises.

NYTimes Launching New Ad Campaign

The New York Times is taking the unusual and expensive step of advertising during the Academy Awards on Sunday, joining companies like McDonalds, Samsung and Anheuser-Busch in paying top dollar for commercial spots during the awards show.

According to Politico, the newspaper is using the Oscars platform to launch a multi-faceted ad campaign, centered around the Times’ pursuit of “The Truth.” It’s the paper’s first television brand campaign in a decade, and according to Times executives, is likely the first time they’ve ever advertised during such a popular primetime TV event.

The 30-second ad spot is simple. A white background with black text starts with the words “The truth is our nation is more divided than ever,” while a woman’s voice, meant to sound like a news clip, reads the same line. The lines change, though “The truth is” stays in place.

Thirty second ad spots for the Oscars can run as much as $2.5 million each, according to Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, meaning the Times is paying a hefty fee for their splashy campaign. Over the past decade, Academy Awards broadcasts have averaged between 34 and 44 million live viewers, an audience only matched by NFL games.

In addition to the Oscars ad, the Times is taking out a national television and digital ad buy, and is setting up billboards in Los Angeles, Washington, New York and San Francisco, said David Rubin, senior vice president and head of brand.

Report: 'Today' Staffer Leaked Trump-Bush Video

The infamous “Access Hollywood” tape — in which President Donald Trump bragged about grabbing women — was an inside job, leaked by an NBC News staffer on Billy Bush’s own “Today” show, multiple sources tell Page Six at The NYPost.

“The tape was leaked by the NBC News division, by somebody at the ‘Today’ show,” says one source. “NBC News knew for a while about the existence of the tape. Billy himself had told them about it. People in the news division became frustrated that ‘Access Hollywood’ was taking too long to air it and decided it had to come out.”

The leak got Bush fired from “Today,” which was, according to the source, part of the plan.

“The leaked tape served a dual purpose: It helped get Bush out of the way — Matt Lauer didn’t like him and felt he was a liability — and NBC thought it would derail Trump,” says the source.

When Bush first came to “Today,” sources told Page Six he did not get along with the cast, who considered him a “frat boy.” Then, he wrong-footed with his Ryan Lochte story about the supposed Rio robbery. And Lauer wasn’t happy that Bush was being hailed as his heir apparent. “The leak was not just a political move,” another source tells us. “Lauer felt threatened.”

The leaker is still at NBC and has not been disciplined, says the source, who adds, “There was no investigation, no internal witch hunt by NBC into who leaked the tape. It served their purposes.”

iHR Music Awards To Honor Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars
The iHeartRadio Music Awards is planning to honor Bruno Mars on March 5 with its most prestigious award of the evening, the 2017 iHeartRadio Innovator Award, Yahoo Music has exclusively learned ahead of the official announcement.

The award recognizes the 21-time Grammy Award nominee and multiple Grammy winner for his unparalleled contribution to popular culture and the music industry. In addition to a highly anticipated performance, the critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, producer, and director, who recently released his second single, “That’s What I Like,” from his third studio album, is also nominated in the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards’ Best Cover Song category.

“I’m incredibly honored to be presented with this year’s iHeartRadio Innovator Award,” said Mars in a statement. “I’m excited to take the stage for the first time at the annual iHeartRadio Music Awards.”

Mars has sold over 170 million singles, making him one of the bestselling artists of all time.

VA Radio: Twin Island Media To Acquire WCTG, WOWZ

Twin Islands Media Group has agreed to acquire radio stations WCTG 96.5 FM and WOWZ 101.5 FM, both licensed to Chincoteague Island, VA effective April 1st, 2017.

WCTG is currently owned by Sebago Broadcasting. WOWZ is owned by Jackman Holdings. Both stations are currently operated under a Local Marketing Agreement with GSB Broadcasting. Twin Islands will also take control of WDCO 87.7 LPFM in Salisbury, MD under a local marketing agreement.

Twin Islands Media Group is a privately held company that focuses on creating local radio to benefit the local businesses and the communities they serve. Principles include Christopher Roth, a programming veteran with stops in DC, North Carolina and Alabama; Joshua Bohn, a broadcast engineer and principle in Bohn Broadcast Services; and Dana Ryan, a veteran on-air host with stops at WAFL Milford DE, WUBE Cincinnati and WMJJ Birmingham.

WOWZ 101.5 FM (5 Kw)
“Going through a radio station sale can be an unpleasant experience,” said Twin Islands partner Chris Roth. “Of course, none of us like that – so we’re not gonna make it unpleasant! Our goal is to have fun, make great radio and have fun. In that order. We love what Greg Bojko has done, and we plan to grow more from the incredible foundation that he has put down for us.”

WCTG 96.5 FM (5.3 Kw)
“We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to get these incredible stations,” stated Bohn. “The staff is an amazing group of radio pros and the product is top notch! This is the perfect example of what local radio should be – fun, engaging and serving the community.”