Saturday, April 29, 2017

April 30 Radio History

➦In 1917...United States singer and Radio host, Bea Wain was born. Best known for the program, "Lucky Strike Hit Parade".

Wain was an American Big Band-era singer born in New York City, New York. On May 1, 1938, Bea Wain married radio announcer André Baruch. Their honeymoon in Bermuda was cut short when Fred Allen called Baruch asking him to return to New York to substitute for his ailing announcer, Harry von Zell. They were married for 53 years. Baruch died in 1991.

Following her musical career, the couple worked as a husband-and-wife disc jockey team in New York on WMCA, where they were billed as "Mr. and Mrs. Music". In 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where for nine years they had a top-rated daily four-hour talk show from 2 PM to 6 PM on WPBR before relocating to Beverly Hills. During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of Your Hit Parade, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings.

➦In 1938...Historic CBS Columbia Square Studios Dedicated. Click Here for the full story on this, and all the CBS studios in California.

Jack Bailey
➦In 1945...“How would you like to be queen for a day?!” was heard for the first time, as Jack Bailey introduced the so-called daily agony show “Queen For a Day” on Mutual radio. The first Queen for a Day was Mrs. Evelyn Lane.  A short time later the radio program moved from New York to Hollywood, where it debuted on TV in 1956 for a further 8 year run.

➦In 1945...Arthur Godfrey began his CBS radio morning show. His theme was ”Seems Like Old Times”.  Arthur Godfrey Time ran for 27 years until this very same day in 1972. Godfrey’s show was different in that he used live talent and not records. His popularity with listeners was the major reason that several sponsors gave Godfrey the freedom to ad-lib their commercials and often joke about the products as well.

➦In 1957…At Radio Recorders in West Hollywood, Elvis Presley recorded "Jailhouse Rock."

➦In 1972...the daily CBS Radio program, “Arthur Godfrey Time,” after 27 years, aired for the final time.

➦In 1996...the "Howard Stern Radio Show" debuted on WKLQ-FM, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

➦In 2004...Radio/TV Newscaster Rolf Hertsgaard died at age 81.

Hertsgaard was born in Minneapolis to first-generation Norwegian-Americans. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and by his early 20s he had gone into broadcasting. He worked at WCCO-AM in Minneapolis until 1955.

Invited to head the radio and TV news division of the National Lutheran Council, he moved to New York City in 1956. Two years later, WBAL-TV hired him as a news anchor.

➦In 2005...WOR moved to 111 Broadway, NYC

➦In 2012...WEPN NYC moved to 98.7 FM, when the Walt Disney Company and Emmis Communications agreed to a 12-year-lease of the 98.7 FM frequency for an undisclosed price.

Layoffs Hit Cumulus Clusters In Chicago, Minneapolis

Several on-air and staffers have been RIFed in Chicago and Minneapolis by Cumulus Media.

In Chicago, Cumulus owns WLS 890 AM and WLS 94.7 FM. It also operates -- via a lease agreement with owner Merlin Media -- WLUP  97.9 FM The Loop and WKQX-FM/101WKQX.

Chicago Layoffs, due to budget restraints, include:

WLS-AM: Christina Filiaggi, Traffic anchors Jen DeSalvo and JoAnn Genette plus sports reporter Rachel Brady

WLS-FM: Marti Jones and evening host Jeff Davis is rumored to be among the cuts. Davis has been doing his shows via his California home.

WLUP-FM:  Evening host  DJ Pyke, aka Jeremy Peterson

In addition to the on-air voices, many off-air employees, especially from WLUP-FM and WKQX-FM, have been let go. Among those is Chicago radio veteran Scott Dirks.

Peter Bowen, vice president and Chicago market manager of Cumulus Media, declined to comment on the layoffs.

In Minneapolis: Longtime personalities Terri Traen (1989) and Brian Zepp (1997) are out of afternoons at Classic Rock KQRS 92,5 FM.

The second largest radio operator in the country, Cumulus Media owns 454 stations in 90 markets.

What Others Are Saying..Saturday

Murdochs Exploring Fox News Options as Pressure on Bill Shine Mounts

Ross On Radio: Mainstream AC...A Sign of the Times on Timing

ESPN Layoffs Not Emblematic of Sports Broadcasting’s Future, NAB Panelists Say

Comcast's CNBC faces a big threat from Fox Business Network

West Palm Radio: Gerrard Campbell OUT At N/T WFTL

Long-stay South Florida morning radio anchor Gerrard Campbell was let go from his job at WFTL 850 AM.

Gerrard Campbell
Just over a month ago Jennifer Ross and Bill Adams joined him during the morning show and Gerrard was super gracious about taking a supporting role, "It'll be good. I can concentrate on news, and Jenn & Bill bring their big names to 850 in a bigger capacity."

According to WPTV5, on Thursday Gerrard says he was called into his manager's office where they said his performance was not in question but his position did not make business sense.

Why the sudden change? This week Alpha Media USA's ownership of  WMEN-AM and WFTL-AM became official. Meaning the radio group can now manage its seven radio signals the way that makes the most budgetary sense.

Before working at WFTL Gerrard was employed at Clear Channel Radio (now iHeartRadio) as the morning anchor for WJNO 1290 AM.

Alpha Media operates six signals in South Florida including 103.1 WIRK 103.1 FM, WEAT Sunny 107.9 FM, WRMF 97.9 FM, WMBX X102.3 FM, Fox Sports WMEN 640 AM, and WFTL-AM.

Trump, Streaming Likely Winners In Potential TV Writers' Strike

Members of Writers Guild On Strike 2008
By Lisa Richwine and Jill Serjeant | LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK

(Reuters) -- U.S. President Donald Trump may finally get a break.

Late-night talk shows and topical satire, including NBC's "Saturday Night Live," will be the first hit if the Writers Guild of America (WGA) goes on strike next week in a stoppage that media analysts say could send viewers flocking irreversibly to streaming services.

Contract talks are likely to go down to the wire this weekend to avert a strike by some 9,000 TV and movie writers should they fail to reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) by Monday night.

"A strike of any duration will drive audiences off broadcast and cable platforms and onto digital," said Jonathan Handel, an entertainment lawyer and contributing editor for the Hollywood Reporter who wrote a book about the last WGA strike in 2007-2008.

At the heart of the dispute is the television revolution in which Netflix Inc, Inc and Hulu have upended the traditional model of fixed "seasons" consisting of around 22 episodes of scripted comedy and drama.

The new trend is for fewer episodes - eight to 10 in many cases - but TV writers are still paid per episode. Royalties (known as residuals) are lower for streaming services than networks, resulting in earnings for the average TV writer-producer dropping by 23 percent in 2015-2016 compared with 2013-2014, the WGA says.

"In a time of unprecedented demand, TV writers are, illogically, earning less," the WGA said in a briefing paper.

"No one wants to strike. The prospect is kind of terrifying," said Los Angeles-based Nadria Tucker, a writer on the WGN drama "Underground." "But the business is changing so quickly that we are all just trying to catch up."

Movie studios are releasing fewer films - 114 in 2013 compared with 204 in 2006 according to a WGA study - and sales of DVDs and rentals have dropped.

Neither side is commenting publicly on the talks, but any strike would quickly affect productions like CBS Corp's "The Late Show," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live," which rely on teams of writers to pen topical jokes.

Trump and his aides have been a chief target of such barbs, including "Saturday Night Live" impressions by Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy.

Daytime soap operas would go dark next, with the impact on scripted comedy and dramas felt later if a strike is prolonged.

"The (scripted) shows for this season have been produced already," said one TV network executive, who wished to remain anonymous because he is not permitted to speak to the media.

"And even if the strike goes for months, writers don’t generally start working on the fall shows until the summer. Some prep work might be missed, but that would be it,” he said.

Indy Radio: J-D Cannon Retires From Full-Time At WLHK

J-D Cannon is on a first-name basis with every country music star on the planet, but he says he’ll mostly miss the listeners after he wraps up his afternoon radio show on WLHK 97.1 FM.

According to The, Friday was the final time Cannon fields calls at the station’s street-level studio on Monument Circle. He’s retiring — well, mostly retiring — from an iconic Indianapolis radio career that began in 1977.

Listeners have tuned in to Cannon when he worked at WFMS- 95,5 FM  — 1977 to 2011, aside from a six-month detour to a Des Moines, Iowa, station in the '70s — and at WLHK, where he joined the staff in 2011.

Cannon is a two-time Country Music Association “large market personality of the year,” and he’s collected a trophy in the same category from the Academy of Country Music.

The Country Radio Hall of Fame made him an inductee in 2002.

Cannon’s career has matched the rising arc of the country genre, which experienced a 54 percent growth in fans ages 18 to 24 between 2005 and 2015, according to a CMA survey.

He said it’s gratifying to see concertgoers ranging from age 16 to 60 when Nashville’s biggest names play Klipsch Music Center each summer.

Throttling down from his WLHK show to part-time weekend shifts will allow 63-year-old Cannon more nights when he doesn’t have to represent the station at events.

Charlotte Radio: Bo Thompson Gets Extended Deal At WBT

Bo Thompson
 Entercom's has announced the re-signing of Bo Thompson at News/Talk WBT 1110 AM / 99.3 FM.

Thompson will continue as Morning News host for at least the next 5-years. Thompson started his career at WBT as an intern in 1990.  He was also part of the Production Team that launched Charlotte's Morning News with Al Gardner.  He did programming and on-air work for several other stations over the next several years, and was a television producer at WCCB for three years.

 He returned to WBT in 2012 to succeed Gardner as host of Charlotte's Morning News.

“BO builds on the incredible reputation of WBT as we take our news content to the next level,” said VP/Market Manager Matt Hanlon. “He represents the next generation of great broadcasters and we’re happy to continue to work with him as we move WBT into an audio everywhere, multiplatform experience for our listeners.”

WBT 1110 AM (50 Kw, DA-N)
“Five years in, I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with WBT’s MORNING NEWS and I’m excited about where we are going” said Thompson.  “I started my career here and look forward to building the reputation of this iconic institution.”

WBT 99.3 FM (11 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area

Charlotte Radio: Mike DeAmicis Named DOS For Entercom

Mike DeAmicis
Entercom/Charlotte has appointed Michael DeAmicis as Director of Sales for WBT 1110 AM / 99.3 FM, WLNK 107.9 FM and WFNZ 610 AM.

De Amicis has over 20 years of sales experience in radio and previously served as the General Sales manager for Radio One in Atlanta for 6 years. Before that, he was VP/Director of National Sales for Interep National Radio Sales from 2004-2008 in Atlanta and VP/General Manager for Root Communications in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, FL, from 2001-2004.

"We are excited to welcome Mike to the Entercom Charlotte team" said Entercom Charlotte VP/Market Manager Matt Hanlon. "His experience and success in radio along with his commitment to making a difference in the community make him a great fit for our team and our stations in this city."

"I am looking forward to this new role at Entercom Charlotte," added De Amicis. "This is an incredible organization and a top notch portfolio of stations and I am excited to be a part of it."

De Amicis has previously served on the board of directors for the Rickey Smiley Foundation, The Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club and the Atlanta Marketing Association.

FNC To Debut 'The Specialists' At Five

Fox News Channel announced Friday that "The Fox News Specialists" - hosted by Eric Bolling, Katherine Timpf and Eboni K. Williams - will debut on Monday at 5:00pm ET.

The new one-hour political talk show will air live each night at 5pm and it will kick off on May 1st with an interview with President Donald Trump.

"It will be his first business day after the 100 days are up," Bolling said.

Each night, "The Fox News Specialists" will feature Bolling, Timpf and Williams alongside two special guest experts. The daily "specialists" will join the co-hosts to provide unique and unpredictable analysis on the stories trending that day.

On "Special Report" on Friday, Bolling revealed that the "specialists" on Monday's show will be billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and journalist Mark MacKinnon.

"Eric, Katherine and Eboni's diverse opinions and backgrounds will provide our audience with an hour of informative and entertaining analysis on daily stories that are most important to Americans. The combination of the co-hosts' expertise in business, millennial and legal topics, respectively, will make for lively and compelling discourse," said Suzanne Scott, Fox News Executive Vice President of Programming.

Bolling previously co-hosted "The Five" - which now airs at 9pm ET on Fox News Channel - and still hosts "Cashin' In" on Saturdays at 11:30am ET.

Williams joined Fox News as a contributor in 2015, appearing on "Outnumbered," "The Five," and other programs.

Timpf joined Fox News in 2015 as a contributor, appearing regularly on "The Greg Gutfeld Show" and on other Fox News and Fox Business Network shows.

Sports Personalities Slinging Mud After ESPN Layoffs

The massive ESPN staff chop has spawned strong opinions about who did and did not deserve to remain at the network.

Jeff Pearlman
Stephan A Smith
According to The NY Post, former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman used Stephen A. Smith as the face of the problem with ESPN’s layoffs — and the industry as a whole. In an essay, which specifically noted it was not Smith’s “fault” that he is paid exponentially more than anyone who was fired this week, Pearlman decried the state of a society that values highly paid screamers more than well-reported stories.

Despite all the backhanded compliments Smith received, you knew the “First Take” host would not let it stand without a retort.

“Mr. Pearlman’s not black, maybe that’s why he doesn’t understand where I’m coming from,” Smith said, in comments transcribed by The Big Lead.

Kirk Minihane
Jemele Hill
“Maybe that’s why he’s so quick to talk about what I have deserved. I gave ya’ll my resume. I transferred from newspaper to television, from television to television and radio. I’ve done this. My credentials speak for themselves. I’m so sick and tired of people coming at me. If you want to talk credentials, name the time and place. Tell me what level I didn’t work on.”

Another noteworthy journalist battle that has spilled out in the wake of ESPN’s layoffs has nothing to do with standards or the direction of the business. It was personal. WEEI 93.7 FM Boston  host Kirk Minihane — best known nationally for calling Erin Andrews a “gutless b—h” — called out “SportsCenter” host Jemele Hill for being allowed to stay on at ESPN.

“If I lost my job at ESPN today and knew this dogs–t show with Jemele and Michael Smith still existed I’d lose my mind,” Minihane wrote on Twitter.

Hill was suspended by ESPN in 2008 for harsh comments she made about Boston that played off the city’s racist reputation. It’s unclear if that is the source of Minihane’s anger or he just really hates the new 6 p.m. SportsCenter.

April 29 Radio History

In 1940..."Young Dr Malone" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network. It was an American soap opera which had a long run on radio and television from 1939 to 1963. The producer was Betty Corday who later was a co-creator with husband Ted Corday of NBC Daytime's Days of Our Lives.

Sponsored by General Foods and Post Cereals, the radio serial began on the Blue Network on November 20, 1939. The 15-minute program aired daily at 11:15am, continuing until April 26, 1940. Without a break, it moved to CBS on April 29, 1940, where it was heard for two decades, first airing at 2:00pm weekdays (1940–1944) and then 1:30pm (1945–1960).

In 1945, Procter & Gamble assumed sponsorship of the program.

In 1953...Coke Time with Eddie Fisher began a simulcast run on NBC-TV and Mutual radio. Fisher, a pop music singer, was seen and heard on more TV and radio stations in 1954 than any other entertainer.

In 1963...KRE-AM in Berkeley CA changed call letters to KPAT.

KRE circa 1922
The Maxwell Electric Company put KRE on the air on March 11, 1922, with studios and transmitter at the Claremont Resort Hotel. In May of that year, KRE was sold to the Berkeley Daily Gazette. It was bought in January 1927 by the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, which moved the studios and built a new transmitter. In January 1930, the Chapel of the Chimes (an Oakland funeral home) bought KRE. Ownership passed in December 1936 to Central California Broadcasters, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chapel of the Chimes.

On June 11, 1972, KRE commemorated its fiftieth anniversary with a huge celebration. In an unusual event, the FCC gave permission to KPAT to revert to its previous three-letter call sign.  However, today the call letters are KVTO 1400 AM and is airing a Chinese format. Licensed to Berkeley, California, USA, the station serves the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 1996...the "Howard Stern Radio Show" debuted on KFRR-FM, Fresno, California.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Report: Fox Quietly Searching For New News Chief

The company has quietly put out feelers for a possible new head of Fox News with the preference, say sources, that it be a woman.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Murdochs may be preparing for a leadership change at Fox News. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, CEO and co-chairman of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox, have quietly put out feelers for a new head of Fox News. And the preference, according to two sources familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking, is that the new leader be female.

The move comes as pressure is building on Bill Shine, a 20-year Fox News veteran whom Rupert Murdoch elevated to co-president, with Jack Abernethy, of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network in the wake of the ouster of founding CEO Roger Ailes last summer.

Shine runs the programming arm of the media empire, while Abernethy, also a longtime Fox News executive, runs the business side of the company including ad sales, finance and distribution.

On April 24, a few days after the network dismissed Bill O'Reilly, Rupert Murdoch took Shine and Abernethy to lunch; the outing was interpreted as a public show of support and chronicled on multiple media sties.

In December, Shine and Abernethy announced a new head of human resources.

Sean Hannity Worried Over 'Total End Of FNC'

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity took to Twitter Thursday to defend embattled Fox News co-president Bill Shine following a report that suggested Shine’s future with the network could be on unsteady ground, reports Variety.

“Gäbe i pray this is NOT true because if it is, that’s the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done. Best Sean,” Hannity tweeted, with a link to Gabe Sherman’s New York magazine story citing unnamed sources who claimed that Shine has become worried about what he perceives as lack of public support for him from 21st Century Fox leaders Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch. Hannity then apologized for inserting a diaeresis into Sherman’s name, writing, “Ha. Gabe sorry about the 2 dots. I couldn’t do that again if I tried. Best Sean.”

Hannity and Shine have a long history at the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet. Hannity recommended that Fox News hire Shine early in the network’s history, and Shine was an early producer on “Hannity & Colmes,” one of the first primetime programs on the network’s schedule.

Bill Shine
Meanwhile, The NYTimes is reporting it is unusual for a television anchor to weigh in publicly on sensitive internal matters at a network. But Shine’s job security has been a matter of intense speculation inside Fox News’s Manhattan newsroom, which is still reeling from the forced exit of Bill O’Reilly in the wake of revelations that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News had paid millions to settle accusations of harassment.

Shine was a loyal lieutenant to Ailes, and his continued role in newsroom leadership has been cited by women’s groups and some newsroom employees as a sign that Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, is not serious about reforming the workplace culture embodied by Mr. Ailes and Mr. O’Reilly.

He has been cited in at least four lawsuits against the network brought by current or former employees. Among the accusations are claims that Mr. Shine ignored or dismissed concerns about harassment, enabled or concealed Mr. Ailes’s harassment and, in one instance, made racially charged remarks.

Mr. Shine has denied all wrongdoing.  A spokesman for 21st Century Fox declined to comment on Thursday.

But Rupert Murdoch, its executive chairman, went to lunch this week with Mr. Shine and Fox News’s other co-president, Jack Abernethy, at a prominent restaurant on Central Park South, which was widely seen as a sign of support.

Americans Give Media Poor Marks

As political journalists prepare to gather at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday to celebrate their work, a new Morning Consult poll is likely to make many of them cringe.

In the new poll, roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media “is out of touch with everyday Americans,” compared with 28 percent who said it “understand the issues everyday Americans are facing.”

President Donald Trump, a frequent public antagonist of the press and the first president in 36 years to skip the confab, is also slightly more trusted than the national political media. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.

iHM Buys Time: Again Extends Debt Exchange Offer

San Antonio-based iHeartMedia Inc. on Thursday extended the deadline — for the third time — on a $14.6 billion distressed debt exchange offer after it attracted little interest from bondholders and lenders.

According to, the debt-strapped company is trying to refinance about $8.3 billion in bonds and about $6 billion in loans. Only $30.9 million, or less than 1 percent, of the bonds has been exchanged since the offer was made March 15, iHeart said in a news release. The company didn’t say whether any of the loans have been renegotiated.

The radio and billboard giant said it extended the April 21 deadline to May 12 so it could “continue discussions” with the lenders and bondholders.

FitchRatings said in an April 25 report that iHeart will probably have to file for bankruptcy.

IHeartMedia employs roughly 19,500 workers and owns more than 850 radio stations in 150 U.S. markets. It also owns 90 percent of billboard giant Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. in San Antonio.

Austin Radio: Alex Jones Loses Primary Custody Of Children

Kelly Jones
After nine hours of deliberation, a Travis County, TX jury in the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones child custody trial gave Kelly Jones a great victory, awarding her joint custody with the right to have their three children make their primary residence with her instead of her husband for the first time since their 2015 divorce.

Nationally syndicated radio talk host Alex Jones will share joint custody, which means that he will have visitation rights, but Kelly Jones and her lawyers want to begin the new arrangement with a period of time in which the children live exclusively with her while they adjust to the new situation, followed by increased visitation with their father.

The Austin-American reports she also wants the family involved in a program for undoing parental alienation, the phenomenon in which one parent turns the children against anothe parent, which she and her lawyers argued was what happened to her when the children began living with her husband. She said during the trial she is thinking of writing a book about.

“I am so grateful to God that he has kept me and my family strong through this,” Kelly Jones said after the verdict. “I just pray that from what’s happend with my family people can really understand what parental alienation syndrome is and get an awareness of it and we can stop this from happening in the future.”

As the last juror left, unlcocking his bicycle from a bike rack outside the courthouse for the ride home on the cooly comfortable night, he said the jurors thought both Joneses were good parents - “that’s why we deliberated so long.”

The juror, who did not identify himself, said that Infowars did not figure in the verdict.

What Others Are Saying..Friday

Mainstream Media Slams Trump's Tax Plan as 'Tax Cuts for the Rich'

ESPN Layoffs: A List of Which Employees Have Been Fired

ESPN Yanks Poem Honoring Cop-Killer Assata Shakur

Bias Alert: NYTimes Scraps 'female genital mutilation' For Being 'culturally loaded' Term

Jeff Bezos Is Just $5 Billion Away From Being the World's Richest Person

Trump Says He Thought Being President Would Be Easier Than His Old Life

SiriusXM Acquires Connected-Car Provider Automatic Labs

SiriusXM has announced the acquisition of Automatic Labs Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of connected vehicle services for consumers and enterprises.

Automatic’s data-driven platform enables vehicle owners to be safer and drive smarter. The company’s proprietary Automatic Pro and Automatic Lite connected car adapters (available at retailers and provide vehicle diagnostic alerts, emergency crash assistance, fuel monitoring, access to parking information, live vehicle location tracking and much more. Automatic also works with insurance carriers to enable usage-based savings and teen driver coaching, and works with automotive dealers to provide tools that help manage their vehicle inventory and customer service relationships.

SiriusXM holds a unique position in the connected vehicle ecosystem, offering unparalleled audio entertainment and data services in vehicles from every major carmaker. With the acquisition of Automatic, SiriusXM’s position is further strengthened with data collection and analytical tools that will enrich key elements of the connected vehicle experience.

“The acquisition of Automatic is a natural fit for SiriusXM as we continue to expand and improve our connected vehicle services,” said Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM. “Automatic’s innovative products have brought safety and intelligence data and analytics to the forefront of vehicle connectivity. We are excited to welcome the talented employees at Automatic to SiriusXM as we expand the possibilities of connected vehicle offerings and services for manufacturers, drivers, and enterprises.”

"Automatic is thrilled to join forces with SiriusXM at such an exciting time for the connected car,” said Gary Clayton, Automatic’s CEO. “Automakers, enterprises, and consumers are looking for the best products with world-class capabilities, and our teams will continue to bring innovation to the connected vehicle landscape under SiriusXM."

Amazon Earnings Surge

By Jeffrey Dastin and Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) -- Inc's retail and cloud-computing sales rose in the first quarter, inching above Wall Street's expectations and sending the company's shares to an all-time high in extended trading.

The world's largest online retailer said on Thursday net sales rose 23 percent to $35.7 billion, just beating analysts' average estimate of $35.3 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

More fees from Amazon's Prime shopping club and media streaming services, along with growing advertising revenue, also boosted results.

Profit, which has traditionally been fleeting at a company that focused on growth, was also ahead of expectations. Net income rose 41 percent to $724 million, or $1.48 per share, marking the eighth straight quarter that the company posted a net profit. Analysts on average were expecting $1.12 per share.

Amazon's revenue has soared in recent years as shopping has moved online and businesses have moved their computing operations to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest player. AWS accounts for a majority of Amazon's operating profit.

Some investors worried that mounting competition from rival cloud providers like Microsoft Corp and price cuts at AWS would slow the company's momentum. Many also expected Amazon's staggering array of investments - from new warehouses, TV and movie production to research on artificial intelligence - to weigh on profits.

But those fears proved unfounded for the first quarter.

"The core e-commerce segment remains very healthy," said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research. "Subscription services and advertising are growing much faster, and beginning to move the needle, which also helps increase profit margins."

Shares of the company rose 3.9 percent to $954 in after-hours trading, adding nearly $3 billion to the personal fortune of founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

Alphabet Reports Strong Ad Sales For Google, YouTube

(Reuters)  -- Google parent Alphabet Inc posted a surge in profit and revenue on Thursday as its core advertising business continued to grow at an extraordinary rate and problems such as an advertiser boycott of YouTube had little impact.

Alphabet's profit beat Wall Street estimates and rose 29 percent to $5.43 billion, a performance that analysts called exceptional for a company so large.

"For a company of Google’s size to post the growth that it has is just a testament to the quality and usefulness of the products they make," said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners. “They are the dominant force in digital advertising."

Shares of the company rose 2.8 percent to $916.80 after the bell on Thursday.

Like its arch-rival Facebook Inc, Google has aggressively shifted the focus of its business to mobile advertising. The two companies accounted for 99 percent of the industry growth in digital advertising in 2016, Pivotal Research said in a report this week, demonstrating market power that some advertisers complain amounts to a duopoly.

"It underscores a macro theme we are seeing in the internet space, which is that the bigger players are getting bigger and the smaller players are treading water or shrinking," said analyst James Wang of ARK Investment Management.

Google is expected to command a 61.6 percent share of the search ad market worldwide in 2017, up from 60.6 percent in 2016, according to research firm eMarketer. Mobile ads command lower prices than desktop ads, but growing volume is more than making up the difference, Wang said.

"Our great properties -- like Search, Maps, YouTube and Google Play -- are the 'prime time' for the mobile world, where people are actively engaged and interested," Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said during a call with analysts.

Google's revenue rose 22.2 percent to $24.75 billion from $20.26 billion in the quarter ended March 31.

Paid clicks, where an advertiser pays only if a user clicks on ads, rose 44 percent. Analysts on average had expected a rise of 29.7 percent, according to FactSet StreetAccount.

Net income rose to $5.43 billion, or $7.73 per share, from $4.21 billion, or $6.02 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on an average had expected a first-quarter profit of $7.34 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during the earnings call that "YouTube revenues continue to grow at a significant rate," dispelling concerns about the possible impact of an advertiser boycott of the video service.

YouTube had come under fire for ads appearing alongside videos carrying homophobic or anti-Semitic messages, prompting a number of companies to suspend their digital ads on the video service.

“Advertisers can be fickle and certainly the approval of the advertiser is critical, but less so than the approval of the user," said Phil Bak, CEO of ACSI Funds, an asset manager.

Joe Breezy New Host For Celebrity Top Ten Countdown Show

Joe Breezy
United Stations Radio Networks (USRN) has  named Joe Breezy to take over the hosting duties of its weekly CHR and Hot AC program, the "Celebrity Top Ten Countdown."

He succeeds Jackson Blue beginning the weekend of May 6-7. With the addition of Breezy to the show, the radio station where he is based, Midwest Communications-owned WNFN 106.7.FM Nashville, becomes the new flagship affiliate of the program.

Blue exits the program following the addition of mornings at WKLB-FM/Boston. He will continue to hosts a nightly daypart program for USRN. Breezy, who had been doing some fill-ins for Blue, previously spent four years at WODS-FM (AMP Radio)/Boston prior to moving to Nashville. He got his start in the promotions department at KYLD-FM/San Francisco where he eventually hosted nights. He then moved into on-air positions at KKFR and KZON/Phoenix, KHTS/San Diego, KDND/Sacramento and WWVA/Atlanta.

USRN Executive VP/Programming Andy Denemark commented, "Joe Breezy totally gets it. We followed his career over the past few years and when it came time to expand our roster of hosts, we were very excited that he could handle this show for us."

Breezy added, "It's been a dream of mine to host a major network show so I am totally stoked, and so are the folks within Midwest Communications. It's a chance for all of us to shine, and we appreciate the opportunity."

"The Celebrity Top Ten Countdown" isn't a music or chart countdown program, it's a look at the top trending celebrity stories of the week. It features news and hot topics out of Hollywood, the music industry or other celebrity sources presented in a four-hour music intensive format. The program began in October, 2010 under the auspices of John Garabedian's Radiocraft Inc. and it became a United Stations property at the start of 2013 when USRN acquired the assets of Radiocraft.

iHeartRadio Launches EDC Radio

Insomniac and iHeartMedia have announced an unprecedented multi-platform collaboration, including the launch of the brand new EDC Radio on iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia will act as the premier on-air host of Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas 2017 content across more than 100 broadcast radio stations nationwide.

Beginning Friday, April 28 listeners can visit to enjoy EDC Radio, a 24/7 dance music station featuring original content, dedicated dance genre programming and nonstop tracks from thousands of fans’ favorite electronic artists everywhere iHeartRadio is available – across more than 90 unique device platforms. Additionally through the collaboration, exclusive EDC Las Vegas content, announcements and chart-topping tracks will be heard on more than 100 iHeartMedia Top 40 radio stations throughout the United States leading up to EDC Las Vegas.

"I'm extremely excited for this collaboration! It will allow millions of EDC fans around the world to tune in together,” said Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac. “EDC Radio gives Headliners a 24/7 station packed with tracks from the best tastemakers in dance music. Check out our very special EDC Las Vegas announcement on iHeartRadio this Friday at 6 p.m.”

“We’re excited to be the on-air home for all things Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas.  As the largest multiplatform media company in the country, we are uniquely able to share the energy and vibrant music of the Electric Daisy Carnival with hundreds of millions of listeners nationwide, across our live broadcast stations, socially, and digitally on iHeartRadio’s new EDC Radio,” said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Group for iHeartMedia.  “Listeners have grown to expect iHeartMedia to be the go-to place for one-of-a-kind music experiences and teaming up with our friends at EDC is yet another opportunity to give fans exclusive access to the music they love.”

EDC Las Vegas returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, June 16 – 18 for a momentous three-day celebration Under the Electric Sky. Attracting more than 400,000 dance music fans from around the globe, EDC turns 21 with parades of beautiful costumed performers, industry-leading stage designs, awe-inspiring visual displays, full-scale carnival rides, interactive art installations, and a diverse community of accepting individuals.

Tech Firms Race To Spot Video Violence

Graymatics employees pretend to fight as they record footage to be used to 'train' their software to watch and filter internet videos for violence, at their office in Singapore. REUTERS
By Jeremy Wagstaff

SINAGPORE (Reuters) - Companies from Singapore to Finland are racing to improve artificial intelligence so software can automatically spot and block videos of grisly murders and mayhem before they go viral on social media.

None, so far, claim to have cracked the problem completely.

A Thai man who broadcast himself killing his 11-month-old daughter in a live video on Facebook this week, was the latest in a string of violent crimes shown live on the social media company. The incidents have prompted questions about how Facebook's reporting system works and how violent content can be flagged faster.

A dozen or more companies are wrestling with the problem, those in the industry say. Google - which faces similar problems with its YouTube service - and Facebook are working on their own solutions.

Most are focusing on deep learning: a type of artificial intelligence that makes use of computerized neural networks. It is an approach that David Lissmyr, founder of Paris-based image and video analysis company Sightengine, says goes back to efforts in the 1950s to mimic the way neurons work and interact in the brain.

Teaching computers to learn with deep layers of artificial neurons has really only taken off in the past few years, said Matt Zeiler, founder and CEO of New York-based Clarifai, another video analysis company.

It's only been relatively recently that there has been enough computing power and data available for teaching these systems, enabling "exponential leaps in the accuracy and efficacy of machine learning", Zeiler said.

NYC Radio: S-C Anchor Agrees Politics Hurting ESPN

ESPN’s sweeping staff cuts are not just the result of ambitious TV rights deals and an overburdened budget, popular “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn suggested Thursday.

The network may be losing the subscriber revenue not just because of cord-cutting, Cohn allowed, but because viewers are increasingly turned off by ESPN inserting politics into its sports coverage.

“That is definitely a percentage of it,” Cohn said Thursday on the Bernie and Sid show on WABC 770 AM when asked whether certain social or political stances contributed to the stupor that resulted in roughly 100 employees getting the ax this week. “I don’t know how big a percentage, but if anyone wants to ignore that fact, they’re blind.”

According to the NY Post, Cohn agreed with the argument that certain sports fans may have disapproved of the way ESPN covered polarizing figures such as Roger Goodell, Colin Kaepernick and Caitlyn Jenner.

Cohn, a 25-year ESPN veteran, toed the company line.

“You know, when you work for a big company, you have to follow in line, you have to pay the bills,” she said. “But you just kind of look in the mirror and do what you think is right no matter what else is going on around you. And that’s what I always tried to do.”

Norfolk Radio: Dave Parker Named PD For WUSH-FM

Dave Parker
Effective immediately the new program director for WUSH US 106.1 FM will be Dave Parker, who has been on US 106.1 since the day it went live on the air in 2007. Dave has been a member of the Hampton Roads media, including television, radio and print, for 20 years.

Since leaving television news in 2006, he has been a member of the Sinclair Communications family. He has been an active member of the Hampton Roads community as well, with over 400 speaking engagements during his career. He and his wife Joy reside in Virginia Beach and have two daughters currently in college.

Brandon O’Brien, who has been an integral part of US 106.1 since 2008, has resigned to relocate to Nashville, TN to manage family real estate properties. He was instrumental in the success of the radio station from when he started and will continue to be involved in country radio from Nashville.

WUSH 106.1 Fm (11 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The new lineup for the station will be:

• The Bobby Bones Show from 6 – 10:30 a.m.
• Dave Parker from 10:30 – 3 p.m., and
• Allen Fabijan from 3 – 7 p.m.

Springfield IL Radio: Greg Bishop Exits WMAY Morning Show

Greg Bishop
Greg Bishop has left his morning talk show on WMAY 970 AM / 94.7 FM radio in Springfield, but maintains his full-time job with Illinois News Network, an independent project of the Illinois Policy Institute.

Bishop, 33, said he “loved every minute” of his more than 10 years at WMAY, and said he will now “be able to provide even more focus on the Statehouse for newsrooms across the state” through his continued reporting for INN and the Illinois Radio Network, which has been a division of INN for more than a year.

Acccording to, Bishop started his radio career at Midwest Family Broadcasting, the owner of WMAY, and “strove to be a part of the station because I knew it was a place for the community to sound off on the important issues happening in our backyard.” He said he can’t thank the company enough for the “incredible opportunities” he had there.

The new morning talk-show host on WMAY is Ray Lytle, a longtime radio personality who has had past talk shows on that station as well as WTAX.

Chicago Radio: Trisha Yearwood Cooks In The CBS Culinary Kitchen

Marci Braun- US99 Music Director/Assistant Program Director, Trisha Yearwood, Mandy McCormack- SVP Radio Promotion & Marketing | Artist Strategy, Pearl Records
WUSN US99 FM hosted Gwendolyn Records recording artist and Food Network star Trisha Yearwood, for a cooking demonstration inside the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen. The visit coincides with the newly announced partnership between Williams Sonoma and Trisha Yearwood.

Trisha Yearwood with Drew Walker
From her new line, Yearwood made “unfried chicken” using her UNFRIED CHICKEN SEASONING KIT and SUMMER IN A CUP showing the audience just how simple it can be to serve up delicious baked chicken that has the texture and taste of fried chicken, along with her family’s signature cocktail. The event was hosted by US99 midday personality Drew Walker and occurred in front of a live studio audience of approximately 30 guests.

Passes to be part of the in-studio audience were given away on-air this week on Drew Walker’s show and online at Fans were able to watch a live stream of the cooking demonstration with US99 on Facebook, beginning at approximately 3:30 PM CT. The recording is available on-demand at

“We are beyond excited that the extremely talented Trisha Yearwood paid a visit to our CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen,” said US99 Music Director, Marci Braun. “She has truly become a food and lifestyle maven and we were very honored to have her give our audience a first look at some items from her new line.”

Yearwood’s debut single in 1991, “She’s In Love With The Boy” reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and launched a successful music career, selling over 15 million albums worldwide. She has achieved much music industry recognition, not the least, receiving Grammy and Academy of Country Music Awards. Yearwood is currently on tour with her husband and fellow country music superstar, Garth Brooks. In 2013, she received an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Culinary Program” for her show on the Food Network, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.