Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 21 Radio History

Dennis Day
➦In 1916...comic actor/singer Dennis Day was born in New York City. He came to stardom as the longtime singing fixture.. and character .. on radio’s Jack Benny Show. He went on to star in his own NBC radio sitcom (Dennis Day Show.) On TV he appeared in 237 episodes of the Benny Show, plus about a dozen guest acting gigs. He died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease June 22 1988 at age 72.

➦In 1931...WOR radio in New York City premiered The Witch’s Tale. Beginning in 1934 the pioneering horror show was broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System (of which WOR was the flagship station) where it aired until 1938.

➦In 1955...Comedian Ernie Kovacs begins a daily morning radio show (6-9a) over WABC 770 AM NYC.

➦In 1960...KFAX 1100 AM in San Francisco debuts a news and information format. It’s the first new radio format without a single record. No music anywhere. The format consists of a 15-minute newscast on the hour, a five-minute summary onthe half-hour, plus news analysis commentary, editorial and features to fill-outeach hour. (KFAX is still on-air, owened by Salem Media, and airs Christian teachnig programs.)

➦In 1961...Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp. purchased easy listening WPAT 930 AM  in Patterson, NJ for $5 million. It's  the first company purchase of a station outside a “capital city.” They own WTEN-TV/WROW-AM - Albany, WPRO-TV/Radio -Providence and WTVD-TV/Raleigh-Durham. WPAT is a successful stationserving the New York area.  In 1986, following the Cap Cities purchase of ABC, WPAT was sold to Park Communications.

➦In 1963... MGM Records was promoting a deejay-listener contest, tied to Connie Francis’ new single - “If My Pillow CouldTalk.” Participating deejays are asking their listeners “If Your Pillow Could Talk, WhatWould It Say?”

Writer of the winning lettergets a $100 U.S. Savings Bond, a phone call from Connie Francis and a complete library of her albums.

The deejay that receives the winning letter gets a week’s vacation at the Americana Hotel in Puerto Rico

Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Bob Crane
➦In 1963...It was announced that Los Angeles Disc Jockey Bob Crane will be a regular on the “Donna Reed Show” in the Fall. Bob has slowly built his acting career ever since he began doing mornings on KNX 1070 AM in 1956.

Barry Gray
➦In 1966..."two-way talk radio" is making a name for itself and is a viable format on some stations. On the East Coast, Barry Gray is one of the best-known two-way radio hosts. He conducts his show on music station WMCA 570 AM from 11p to 1a.

This week, Barry Gray signs a new contract with WMCA, which will take him into1970. The new arrangement is expected to give Gray $150,000 annually - a 50% raise!

WMCA was anxious to keep the high-rated talker. One reason, WCBS-AM made a bid for his services. Gray will actually split the show’s profits - 50/50. Atthe going rate (and his show is sold-out between 11p and 1a).

WMCA has been riding higher than high in the New York ratings. The musicstation topped all its competitors again in the recent Hooper and Pulse ratings.

Bob Grant
➦In 1971...Los Angeles radio talk transplant Bob Grant now does an afternoon talk show over WMCA 570 NYC. Grant says that New York is not like Los Angeles, where he spent many a year doing telephone talk radio over KABC and KLAC.

“L.A. radio is really hip compared to New York. Here the scene is very provincial and ethnic and liberal. Being a conservative, I am referred to by most of my callers as the house right-winger or fascist. Actually, it gets pretty funny because they do more yelling at me than engaging in useful debate. The audience in Los Angeles was much more sophisticated. Since WMCA started Dialog Radio, it’s really shot up in the ratings, we’ve gone from around 12th to third in the market.  One of the things WMCA is big on, though, is newsmaker calls and I do a lot of them."

➦In 1973...singer and bandleader Vaughn Monroe died shortly after stomach surgery at age 61. An immensely popular performer on radio and records, Monroe had more than 50 hits on the Billboard charts in the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era. Among his number-one records were 1945′s “There I’ve Said It Again” — revived by Bobby Vinton in 1963 — and 1949′s “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

➦In 1975...More than ever, disco music is spilling over to top-40.

The influence of the Discotheque – big in New York, is spreading. Disco records have been breaking into the top-40 more and more because of the initial play at discos. The so-called discotheque came to the U.S. from France during the early 1960’s, but the current trend came from gay clubs. Tom Moulton, who writes about the disco scene for Billboard – summed it up by saying New York is the hub of America’s disco scene. “The disco scene has doubled in New York in the last two years. New discos are opening all the time. In the New York area there are about 600 discos and about 30 key discos that you can look at to find out what songs are popular.”

➦In 1980...FCC realigns AM Clear Channel Stations.

The FCC votes to limit the coverage of so-called “clear channel” AM stations to 750 miles. The restriction covers 25 clear channel stations including KFI, Los Angeles, WCBS, WABC, WNBC in New York City, WLS, WBBM and WMAQ, Chicago and WSM - the home of the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville. These stations are “protected” so that their nighttime signals can be heard in outlying areas, providing radio service to rural communities at night where there was no radio service. The FCC modified the rules in the mid-40’s, to allow new nighttime stations to operate on some of the channels, but the distance between stations was far away (WABC- KOB, Albuquerque) and only two operated (at the most) on one channel at night in the continental USA. Some channels still remain clear, such as WCCO in Minneapolis and WSM, which can still be picked-up thousands of miles away from Nashville on a clear channel.

The new rules will allow smaller stations to broadcast at night, thereby “interfering” with the distant broadcasts. The FCC says it will make room for 125 more nighttime AM stations.

Other stations with clear channel status - WSB - Atlanta, WBAP - Ft Worth, WLW  - Cincinnati, WJR - Detroit, KDKA - Pittsburgh, KMOX - St Louis, WWWE - Cleveland, WHAM, Rochester, WCAU - Philadelphia, WOAI - San Antonio, WHO - Des Moines, WOR - New York, WWL - New Orleans, KSL - Salt Lake City, WBZ - Boston.

Certain mediumwave frequencies were set aside under the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) for nighttime use by only one or two specific AM stations, covering a wide area via skywave propagation; these frequencies were known as the clear channels, and the stations on them are thus clear-channel stations. Where only one station was assigned to a clear channel, the treaty provides that it must operate with a nominal power of 50 kilowatts or more; stations on the other clear channels, with two or more stations, must use between 10 kW and 50 kW, and most often use a directional antenna so as not to interfere with each other. In addition to the frequencies, the treaty also specified the specific locations where stations on this second kind of channel (known as class I-B) could be built.

Some of the original NARBA signatories, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, have implemented bilateral agreements that supersede its terms, eliminating among other things the distinction between the two kinds of clear channel: the original "I-A", "I-B", and "I-N" station classes are now all included in class A.

Clear-channel stations, unlike all other AM stations in North America, have a secondary service area—that is, they are entitled to protection from interference to their nighttime skywave signals. Other stations are entitled, at most, to protection from nighttime interference in their primary service area — that which is covered by their groundwave signal.

News Outlets: Leaks Undermining President

The constant flow of leaks the media has eagerly reported over the last week are coming from within the White House -- and are clearly intended to undermine the president.

According to, that's the conclusion coming from the news media itself, which is the obvious benefactor from the torrent of embarrassing intel being transmitted from the West Wing directly to major media newsrooms.

"It has to be acknowledged that had there are folks in the White House that are leaking things are not advantageous to the president and that’s a reality that he’s going to have to deal with,” MSNBC's Hans Nichols said Friday afternoon.

"President Trump is dealing with something other presidents haven’t necessarily had to deal with," Nichols explained. "That is, a remarkable amount of leaking within his own administration."

"I’ve covered the previous two presidents," he continued. "You just didn’t get readouts of things that the president of the United States was saying to his foreign leaders, not in real-time but at least ten, 12 days later. You had to wait weeks if not months, years for that to come out."

Charles Krauthammer reported the same.

"What’s unusual is the Niagara of leaks coming out of this White House," Krauthammer said on Fox News Friday night. "As you said, this had to have been somebody in the room, somebody who took the notes, who picked up the phone and read the notes."

"The problem here is an inner circle of people who have lost faith or are betraying or whatever," he continued. "But it is certainly not a leak problem that ought to interest us. It’s a loyalty problem inside the White House.”

The New York Times's David Brooks, whose paper published the most recent anti-Trump scoop, is also acknowledging the role Trump's own staff is playing in his undoing.

"The most interesting thing is that the White House staff and the people under Donald Trump at least some portion of them, seem to have turned against Donald Trump," Brooks said Friday night on PBS NewsHour.

"I have not talked to the reporters that broke this story, but if I read it correctly, some senior White House official with top secret clearance read the readout to a reporter. That's breaking the law, that means you need to be Deep Throat, you need to undermine this guy, you need to get the truth out about this guy."

And in the Nixon administration, there were a couple of deep throats, there was a guy off in the FBI, who was willing to leak," the columnist continued. "But in this administration, they seem to be in every closet, and behind every desk, I'm exaggerating a little -- but there are squads of deep throats. And so that means this story's not only a legal investigation it is a dissolution of an administration."

CBS' CEO Moonves Says Viacom Undervalued

By Jessica Toonkel | NEW YORK

(Reuters) -- CBS Corp (CBS.N) Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said in response to a shareholder question on Friday that he believed shares of Viacom Inc (VIAB.O), which the network considered merging with last year, were undervalued.

Asked at the annual CBS shareholder meeting in New York if it would revisit a merger with Viacom, Lawrence Tu, senior executive vice president and chief legal officer, said CBS was focusing on its current strategy that includes diversifying its revenue stream.

Shares of Viacom rose $1.22, or 3.6 percent, to $35.20 late Friday afternoon. Shares of CBS rose $1.37, or 2.3 percent, to $61.75.

Some Wall Street analysts anticipate consolidation in the media industry as growing numbers of television viewers cancel cable subscriptions to watch shows online, and the advertising market slows.

National Amusements Inc, the privately held movie theater company through which media mogul Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari control the majority of voting shares of CBS and Viacom, last year proposed that the two companies consider merging.

They called off the effort in December after the two sides could not come to an agreement on Viacom's valuation.

Since then, CBS shares have fallen nearly 3.5 percent, and Viacom has dropped 12 percent. Viacom trades at a lower price-to-earnings multiple than its peers.

"If VIAB shares (or earnings) continue to decline due to accelerated cord-cutting, we wouldn't be surprised to see CBS+VIAB vol. 2," Steven Cahall, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note on Friday.

In opening remarks at the meeting, where shareholders re-elected all of the company's directors, Moonves thanked Redstone, whom the company said was listening by phone, for his advice and friendship over the years.

Redstone, 93, on Friday officially gave up his voting role on the CBS board, remaining chairman emeritus.

"Everyone at CBS owes his thanks to Sumner for everything he has done for this company," said Moonves, also thanking Shari Redstone, who is vice chair of CBS.

The company also announced on Friday that its board approved a quarterly dividend of $.18 per share, payable on July 1 to shareholders of record on June 9.

Nashville Radio: Gerry House Returning To The Air

Gerry House is set to return to Nashville radio. The legendary radio personality will sign on at iHeartMedia’s WNRQ 98.3 FM beginning May 26 at 7 a.m. He will be joined by Mike Bohan.

House is a CMA and ACM award-winning American radio personality, and was the voice of WSIX 97.9 FM The BIG 98’s Gerry House and the House Foundation from 1983-2010 winning countless National Personality of the Year Honors.

As host of the nationally syndicated, top-rated morning show, Gerry House & The Foundation, House was part of Nashville radio station WSIX for more than 25 years. He has won numerous broadcasting awards, including a place in the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  He retired from WSIX at the end of 2010.

WNRQ 98.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
House has also written songs for George Strait (“The Big One”), Reba McEntire (“Little Rock”), LeAnn Rimes (“On the Side of Angels”) and Pam Tillis (“The River and the Highway”).

Poll: More Americans Now Trust Media Than TWH

When it comes to public perceptions of trust in America’s major institutions, a few weeks can make a big difference. That’s a main takeaway from a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey on who voters trust more — the national political media or the White House.

In the new poll, a plurality (38 percent) of registered voters said they trust the national political media to tell the truth more than they trust President Donald Trump’s White House (32 percent). It’s a pretty stark swing from a previous Morning Consult survey taken days before the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in late April, when a plurality of adults sampled (37 percent) said they trusted the White House to be honest with the American people more than the media (29 percent).

Given that registered voters in surveys tend to be more approving of Trump than adults in general, the shift toward the media could be even more dramatic.

Voters of all political persuasions appear to be losing trust in the president following a series of news cycles in which Trump undermined White House officials’ messaging on various subjects, from the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey to the circumstances surrounding the disclosure of highly sensitive classified information to Russian officials.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of Democrats said they trust the national political media more, compared with 54 percent who said so in late April. A slim plurality of independent voters previously favored the White House over the media, 28 percent vs. 25 percent, but now 35 percent say they trust the media more, compared with 26 percent who still trust Trump more.

The shift among Republicans was less pronounced: Eleven percent of Republicans trust the media over the president — up 1 point from pre-WHCA dinner numbers — but while 72 percent of GOP said they trusted Trump before, that number has dipped to 65 percent.

Almost All WannaCry Victims Were Running Windows 7

One week after it first hit, researchers are getting a better handle on how the WannaCry ransomware spread so quickly — and judging from the early figures, the story seems to be almost entirely about Windows 7, reports The Verge.

According to data released today by Kaspersky Lab, roughly 98 percent of the computers affected by the ransomware were running some version of Windows 7, with less than one in a thousand running Windows XP. 2008 R2 Server clients were also hit hard, making up just over 1 percent of infections.

Windows 7 is still by far the most common version of Windows, running on roughly four times as many computers as Windows 10 worldwide. Since more recent versions of Windows aren’t vulnerable to WannaCry, it makes sense that most of the infections would hit computers running 7. Still, the stark disparity emphasizes how small of a role Windows XP seems to have played in spreading the infection, despite early concerns about the outdated operating system.

CRB To Honor Martina McBride, Mike Dungan

Martina McBride
The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. have announced Martina McBride as the recipient of the 2017 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award, and Mike Dungan as the recipient of the 2017 President’s Award.

Both awards will be presented during the Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, June 21st at 6 p.m. at the Marriott Nashville.  

2017 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award recipient, Martina McBride, is a multiple Grammy nominated country singer, whose incomparable vocals have kept her at the top of the charts, garnering six #1 hits and 20 Top 10 singles. Selling more than 18 million albums to date, McBride has earned 14 Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications. She’s been honored with more than 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. 2017 marks a milestone in McBride’s illustrious career – it is her 25th year of touring and the 25th anniversary of her debut album “The Time Has Come.” She is currently touring North America on the LOVE UNLEASHED TOUR.

The CRB Artist Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual artist or act that, through their creativity, vision, performance or leadership has made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of country music and country radio.  

Mike Dungan
2017 President’s Award recipient, Mike Dungan, is Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, the largest music company in the country music business.  Dungan leads charge for the label group that operates four label imprints – Capitol Nashville, EMI Records Nashville, Mercury Nashville, and MCA Nashville; that label group is now home to 35 artists, including Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, George Strait, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Darius Rucker, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Gary Allan, and Vince Gill.  Dungan has appeared on Billboard’s annual Power 100 list four consecutive years (2013-2016), and was named Billboard’s Country Music Executive of the Year in 2016. A longtime Country Radio Broadcasters board member, Dungan serves on the organization’s Executive Committee, and is only the third active board member to receive the President’s Award in the 20-year history of the honor.

The Country Radio Hall of Fame event will also honor the “Class of 2017” radio inductees that were announced during Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2017. Six radio personalities and three off-air broadcasters will be honored, and include Tim Closson, Charlie Ochs, Mel Owens in the radio category and Joe Wade Formicola, Linda Lee, Jim Mantel, and The Good Morning Guys (KUAD/Ft. Collins, CO) in the on-air category.  

The Country Radio Hall of Fame was founded in 1974 and is dedicated to the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the Country format.

May 20 Radio History

➦In 1901...Fessenden applies for high-frequency dynamo patent.

Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company.

The host of the broadcast was Fessenden. After giving a resume of the program Fessenden played a recording of Handel's "Largo" on an Ediphone thus establishing two records - the first recording of the first broadcast. Fessenden then dazzled his listeners with his talent as a violinist playing appropriately for the Christmas season, "Oh Holy Night" and actually singing the last verse as he played. Mrs. Helen Fessenden and Fessenden's secretary Miss Bent, had promised to read seasonal passages from the Bible including, "Glory to God in the highest -and on earth peace to men of good will," but when the time came to perform they stood speechless, paralyzed with mike fright. Fessenden took over for them and concluded the broadcast by extending Christmas greetings to his listeners - as well as asking them to write and report to him on the broadcast wherever they were.

The mail response confirmed that Fessenden had successfully invented radio as we know it. Technically, he had invented radio telephony or what radio listeners would call "real" radio as opposed to Marconi's Morse code broadcasting. Fessenden could truly lay claim to be the inventor of radio and he fully expected the world to beat a path to his door. Instead, he never received his due recognition, lost control of his patents and the ensuing revenue which made other inventors and companies immensely wealthy. Even today the Encyclopedia Canadiana does not give him a separate listing. Mention of him is only included under the listing for his mother Clementina who established Empire Day in Canada. Reginald is mentioned as one of her four sons, "inventor of the wireless telephone, the radio compass and the visible bullet for machine guns, he also invented the first television set in North America in 1919."

➦In 1920…The Canadian Marconi Company's station XWA (Experimental Wireless Apparatus) in MontrĂ©al gave what it would later claim to be the first scheduled radio broadcast in North America, and quite possibly in the world. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920, and while the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest."

➦In 1960...WRCA in NYC becomes WNBC 660 AM...again.

WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF, owned by AT&T Western Electric. It was the first radio station in New York City.

The call are popularly thought to have stood for Western Electric AT&T Fone or Water, Earth, Air, and Fire (the 4 classical elements).   However, records suggest that the call letters were assigned from an alphabetical sequence. The first assigned call was actually WDAM; it was quickly dropped, but presumably came from the same alphabetical sequence.

In 1922, WEAF broadcast what it later claimed to be the first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line, (the IRT's Flushing-Corona line, now the number 7 line).

In 1926, WEAF was purchased by the Radio Corporation of America, making it a sister station to WJZ. RCA then formed the National Broadcasting Company, which operated two radio chains.

WEAF became the flagship station of the NBC Red Network. The other chain was the NBC Blue Network, whose programming originated at WJZ (now WABC), also owned by RCA. As a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941, WEAF became a clear channel station, and could be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night.

On November 11, 1928, WEAF moved from 610 to 660 AM. The move that solidified WEAF's position as the most pretigious of all broadcasters took place in the autumn of 1933, when NBC moved to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and became the "radio" that gave Radio City its name.

In 1943, the United States Supreme Court ordered RCA to sell off one of its radio networks, citing antitrust concerns. The company decided to keep the Red Network, and it was rebranded as the NBC Radio Network after the Blue Network was divested, along with several stations (including WJZ), to Edward J. Noble and rechristened the Blue Network as the American Broadcasting Company. WEAF's call letters were changed to WNBC in 1946, then to WRCA in 1954, and back to WNBC in 1960.

➦In 1985...the United States began broadcasting to Cuban citizens on "Radio Marti".

➦In 2011…Longtime Pittsburgh radio personality (KDKA, 1973-2001) John Cigna died following a stroke and of complications from emphysema at 75.

➦In 2014...Chicago radio talk show host (WGN, WCFL, WIND)/sports commentator Bill Berg died of complications from Parkinson's disease at 77.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Again: Bob Beckel Is OUT At Fox News

Bob Beckel
For the second time in his career, Bob Beckel is out at Fox News

“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” the network said in a statement.

According to, the human resource department at Fox News was informed of the incident, which involved Beckel making an “insensitive remark” to an African-American employee, on Tuesday night.

After investigating the complaint, the network came to the conclusion that the longtime co-host on The Five needed to be terminated. He was informed of the decision Friday morning.

The decision also comes as 23 plaintiffs, including Fox News reporter and anchor Kelly Wright, are suing the network for alleged racial discrimination and harassment. Wright claims that he "has been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a 'Jim Crow' -- the racist caricature of a Black entertainer."

Douglas Wigdor, an attorney who represents several current and former employees who have alleged racial discrimination at Fox News in a lawsuit, said he is representing the employee who complained about Beckel.

In a statement, Wigdor alleged Beckel “stormed out of his office” when an African-American information-technology employee came to service his computer, “telling our client that he was leaving his office because he was black.” Wigdor alleged Fox News executives tried to get the employee to withdraw the complaint. “As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week,” Wigdor said.

Kelly Wright
Beckel, a longtime Democratic political consultant, joined Fox News in 2000, and was one of the original co-hosts on The Five. He left the network in 2015 in a less-than-amicable split (former Fox News executive Bill Shine said in a statement at the time Beckel “took tremendous advantage of our generosity”) before returning in 2017 after a brief stint on CNN.

Beckel has a history of making controversial statements on air. Back in 2014, he made a racial slur about Chinese people on The Five that aired live.

Prior to his career in television, Beckel was the campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign and has worked on several political campaigns as a consultant.

New Study Confirms Anti-Trump Media Bias

A major new study out of Harvard University has revealed the true extent of the mainstream media’s bias against Donald Trump.

According to Heatstreet, academics at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzed coverage from Trump’s first 100 days in office across 10 major TV and print outlets.

They found that the tone of some outlets was negative in as many as 98% of reports, significantly more hostile than the first 100 days of the three previous administrations.

Broadcast TV Maintains Media Dominance

Despite some small declines, national TV networks still have a dominating reach among all U.S. consumers, especially compared to digital media, reports MediaPost.

Pivotal Research Group says that during April 2017, national TV platforms reached 98.1% of all people. Among networks owned by the largest media owners, reach against all people declined on average by 2% per network.

By comparison, YouTube reached 73% of all people ages 13+ in April. (This excluded reach on mobile devices for 13-to-17-year-olds). Looking at another popular platform, Snapchat reached 24% against all people 13 and older.

Reach -- which refers to the total number of different people or households exposed at least once to a medium during a given period -- is an important metric for marketers because it can determine less duplication of customers.

Among all network media platforms, broadcast networks still command the best reach overall.

CBS reached 67.3% of all people during April, with ABC, NBC and Fox coming in between 64% to 58%. The CW and TNT were next, in the 40% range. These were followed by a number of cable networks including AMC, TBS, FX, USA, ESPN and HGTV in the low 30% range.

U.S. Ad Market Sinks 1% In April

The U.S. advertising market remained relatively flat for April -- with digital media up a scant 3% and TV flat.

According to MediaPost, Big gainers for digital media include social media, 12% higher; advertising network/ad exchange business, up 10%; and pure-play video, gaining 6%; digital TV network business, adding 3%; and search up 2%, according to Standard Media Index.

Losers in the digital space came with mobile ad networks/exchanges down 10%; pure-play content business also off 10%; digital business from print companies 3% lower; and Internet radio down 2%.

“The digital market hasn’t rebounded from the viewability and safety concerns that came to the forefront late last year. Advertisers are yet to jump back in and show they are confident that these issues have been meaningfully addressed,” stated James Fennessy, chief executive officer of Standard Media Index.

Broadcast's big gain came almost entirely from the final three games of NCAA’s March Madness men’s college basketball tournament on CBS. A year before, TNT ran those games. SMI says taking those games out of the picture meant a 5% decline for broadcast.

Three cable news networks continued to gain in advertising revenue -- as well as viewership. Ad gains for Fox News Channel grew 12%; CNN, 16%; and MSNBC, a whopping, 63%.

Local TV did much better: Local spot cable added 20% with local broadcast spot TV  up 4%. National syndication dipped 6% in the month.

Looking at specific national TV advertising categories a big  decline came from automotive vehicles/dealerships, down 17 %. telecommunications business dropped by 12%, and food lost 4%.

Increases came from prescription pharmaceutical advertising, 2% higher, and fast-food restaurants, adding 7%.

Older traditional media platforms continued to slide: Magazines were down 16% for the month; newspapers, 21% lower; radio, losing, 17% and out-of-home slipping 8%.

Nielsen Releases April PPMs For Austin, Nashville, Indy, 9 Other Markets

Nielsen on Thursday 5/18/17 Released the final batch of April 2017 PPM Data for the following markets:

    34  Austin

    38  Raleigh-Durham NC

    39  Indianapolis

    41  Milwaukee-Racine

    43  Nashville

    44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket RI

    45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

    46  Greensboro-WinstonSalem-High Point NC

    47  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

    48  Jacksonville FL

    51  Memphis

    52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here to view Topline Numbers for subscribing Nielsen Stations

St. Louis Radio: Maurice DeVoe Named PD At KMJM

Maurice DeVoe
iHeartMedia announced Thursday that noted programming veteran Maurice DeVoe has joined its St. Louis market as Program Director for KMJM 100.3 FM The Beat, STL’s Hip Hop and R&B.

DeVoe will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of 100.3 The Beat. He will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming.

“I’ve always admired Maurice’s strong leadership skills, format track record and ability to thrive at community involvement,” said A.J., Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia St. Louis. I am honored to welcome him into our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia St. Louis.”

DeVoe joins iHeartMedia from Cumulus Media, where he served as Corporate Program Director for its Urban and Rhythmic formats and Program Director of KMJK-FM in Kansas City, Missouri. He has over 30 years of radio experience, including 16 years as a Program Director, and has programmed Mainstream Urban, Urban AC, Top 40 and Rhythmic Top 40 formats in Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas and other markets. In 2016, DeVoe was named one of the Top 50 Program Directors in America by Radio Ink.

KMJM 100.3 FM (17 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m very excited about joining iHeartMedia in St. Louis and this huge opportunity to lead and grow the iconic 100.3 The Beat brand,” said DeVoe. “Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their support and this incredible opportunity.”

Santa Barbara Radio: Matthew Florence New PD At KVYB

Matthew Florence
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Matthew “Doughboy” Florence as Program Director and On-Air Personality, Afternoons, for Rhythmic CHR station KVYB 103.3 FM The Vibe.

Florence joins 103.3 The Vibe from CHR Z106.3 in Albuquerque, where he was Assistant Program Director and On-Air Host, Afternoons. Florence joins 103.3 The Vibe on June 1.

Sommer Frisk, Regional Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Oxnard/Ventura, said: “To say that we’re excited to have Matthew “Doughboy” Florence join our Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara team is a total understatement. We are ecstatic! We have no doubt that “Doughboy” is the right choice to continue to fuel the success of 103.3 The Vibe. He can’t get here soon enough!”

KVYB 103.3 FM (105 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Florence said: "I'm really excited to get to Ventura and work with the team to make 103.3 The Vibe a major force in the market. I'd like to thank Chris Cox, Sommer Frisk, and the rest of the team at Cumulus Media for this great opportunity.”

YouTube, Music Industry Relationship Gets Testy

Major record labels are preparing to hit back at a Google-funded report that touts the value of YouTube to the music industry, ridiculing the report’s conclusion that YouTube boosts business for artists and their labels by giving them better exposure.

According to The NYPost, the beef is escalating as music labels are mounting legal challenges here and in Europe against so-called “safe harbor” provisions in copyright laws that don’t hold Web-based platforms like YouTube liable for infringing content that’s posted by third parties on their sites.

In YouTube’s defense, its owner, Google, backed a 104-page study from UK-based consultant RBB Economics called “Value of YouTube to the Music Industry.”

The report claims that without YouTube, 85 percent of its users would be headed to lower-paying services.

“It’s hard to even understand which services are even available that pay less than that,” said one music source.

Top-level music sources say the remaining 15 percent of YouTube users are hugely valuable because there are so many of them. Even that small slice of YouTube users headed to paid service would be three times more beneficial to music industry coffers than the current percentage of ad revenue and per-stream rate of 3 cents, according to one source.

According to the RBB report, paid streaming music services have continued to grow alongside YouTube. The report says that YouTube is aiding the music industry by helping promote sales rather than hindering them. The report also states that YouTube has generated $1 billion in revenue for the music labels.

YouTube. which is led by CEO Susan Wojcicki, is projected to reach $7.05 billion in ad revenue in 2017, a 26 percent jump, according to eMarketer data. YouTube has 185.9 million monthly users in the US, the company said.

Universal Music and Sony Music want YouTube to pay higher rates that are more akin to what paid streaming services such as Spotify and Apple cough up.

International music organization IFPI says paid streamers paid up $3.9 billion to the music labels in 2016 on just 212 million users.

Facebook To Show MLB Games Live on Friday

(Reuters) -- Rival U.S. internet firms are racing for similar programming. Twitter Inc announced an agreement this month with the WNBA to show professional women's basketball, and last month Inc said it would stream men's professional football in a deal with the NFL.

For the baseball broadcast, Facebook said it will use a feed from a participating team's local broadcast rightsholder.

"Baseball games are uniquely engaging community experiences, as the chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the diamond," Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, said in a statement.

"By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can re-imagine this social experience on a national scale," he said.

Facebook says it has some 182 million daily active users in the United States and Canada.

Security 'Manhandles' Reporter At FCC Meeting

Security guards at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters manhandled a well-regarded reporter at a public hearing today and forced him to leave the premises after he had tried to politely ask questions of FCC commissioners, the reporter said.

John Donnelly
John M. Donnelly of CQ Roll Call, is an award-winning journalist.

The National Press Club reported Donnelly ran afoul of plainclothes security personnel at the FCC when he tried to ask commissioners questions when they were not in front of the podium at a scheduled press conference.

Throughout the FCC meeting, the security guards had shadowed Donnelly as if he were a security threat, he said, even though he said he continuously displayed his congressional press pass and held a tape recorder and notepad. They even waited for him outside the men’s room at one point, he said.

When Donnelly strolled in what he said was an unthreatening way toward FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to pose a question, two guards pinned Donnelly against the wall with the backs of their bodies until O’Rielly had passed, Donnelly said. O’Rielly witnessed this and continued walking, Donnelly said.

Donnely said one of the guards, Frederick Bucher, asked why he had not posed his question during the press conference. Then Bucher proceeded to force Donnelly to leave the building entirely under implied threat of force, Donnelly said

“I could not have been less threatening or more polite,” Donnelly said of today’s encounter. “There is no justification for using force in such a situation.”

On Thursday evening Variety quoted FCC spokesperson Neil Grace as saying, “We apologized to Mr. Donnelly more than once and let him know that the FCC was on heightened alert today based on several threats.”

Fate of Ailes Harassment Lawsuits Unclear After His Death

By Jessica Toonkel and Daniel Wiessner | NEW YORK

(Reuters)  --  The death of Fox News founder Roger Ailes could pose a major hurdle to a series of lawsuits that claimed he sexually harassed female anchors and contributors at America's most-watched cable channel.

The sexual harassment claims against him could be complicated by a 19th-century New York state law that bars people with stakes in lawsuits from testifying about private conversations with parties who have died.

Ailes, 77, died from bleeding on the brain caused by a fall last week at his home in Florida, according to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner.

His departure from Fox News in July amid a sexual harassment scandal abruptly ended his 20-year reign at the cable channel that helped reshape American politics with conservative-leaning hosts such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Former anchor Andrea Tantaros and contributor Julie Roginsky have claimed in lawsuits that Ailes harassed them and that Fox News retaliated against them for rebuffing him. The Tantaros case is in arbitration in New York and the Roginsky case is pending in Manhattan State Supreme Court.

The law, commonly known as the "dead man’s statute," is rarely invoked outside of cases involving disputed wills and estates, lawyers and law professors said. But if the law is raised by Fox or Ailes’ estate, it could set back Tantaros and Roginsky, whose key claims are based on private conversations with Ailes.

"If no one else was there, you probably have to build your proof another way," said Stephen Gillers, a professor at NYU School of Law. The law would only apply to lawsuits in which Ailes is named as a defendant.


Fox News, which Ailes started in 1996 with the backing of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, raised the temperature of on-air debate on U.S. television, generally taking a hardline conservative view. It has had a mixed relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, a longtime friend of Ailes, but was instrumental in his election victory in November.

Ailes received a severance package of about $40 million when he left Fox News, owned by Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, according to a source familiar with the situation. He went on to serve as an informal adviser to Murdoch.

"Everybody at Fox News is shocked and grieved by the death of Roger Ailes," Murdoch said in a statement.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have," he added. "Roger was a patriot, who never ceased fighting for his beliefs."

Hannity paid tribute on his show to his former boss.

“Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors," he said in a statement read on the channel. "For decades, RA (Roger Ailes) has impacted American politics and media. He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape single-handedly for the better."

Democrats also weighed in on someone they often saw as a foe. "I knew Ailes. Competed against him in campaigns," said David Axelrod, ex-adviser to former President Barack Obama, on Twitter. "Railed against him many times. But appreciated our frank, back-channel conversations."


Loved and Loathed, Roger Ailes Transformed Media Landscape

By Bill Trott

(Reuters) -- Roger Ailes, who became one of the most powerful figures in both U.S. politics and media by turning the Fox News network into a booming voice for conservatives before he was brought down by sexual harassment charges, has died at the age of 77.

Ailes worked as a media strategist for Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before launching Fox News in 1996.

His wife Elizabeth said in a statement on Thursday he was a patriot who was profoundly grateful for the opportunities his country gave him.

As founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, Ailes became one of the most influential figures in the Republican Party, and the network was integral to U.S. President Donald Trump's successful run for the White House in 2016.

From the start, Ailes had a clear conservative vision of what he wanted Fox to be as he took the network to the top of the cable news ratings and made it a major profit center for Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc media empire.

But accusations of Ailes' treatment of women would be his downfall.

In July 2016, Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who appeared on the popular "Fox and Friends" morning program before being given her own show, sued him. She said he had made sexual advances toward her and then hurt her career in retaliation after she rejected him.

Two weeks later, Ailes was ousted from the network with a $40 million severance package. His departure came during the Republican National Convention and at a time when the network was scoring record ratings. Shortly afterward, he began advising the Trump campaign.

Star cable host Bill O'Reilly himself left the network after he was accused of sexual harassment.

Ailes had run Fox News under the slogan "fair and balanced" and conservatives found it a much-needed antidote to the perceived liberal slant of traditional media. Critics denounced it as a cynical and polarizing right-wing propaganda machine.

"He helped market a brand of pseudo-journalism that revolves basically around hate, rhetoric, divisiveness, pitting people against each other," Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, told Reuters. "That seeps into the culture and into politics."

The story of Fox News was the story of Ailes. His conservative red-white-and-blue beliefs set the narrative for the network's stories, and critics said it was difficult to determine where Ailes' agenda ended and Republican Party talking points began. No potential Republican presidential candidate stood much of a chance without Ailes' blessing.

"I want to elect the next president," he told Fox executives at a 2010 meeting, according to the 2014 biography "The Loudest Voice in the Room" by Gabriel Sherman, a writer for New York magazine.

"Ailes' power and ruthlessness ... allowed him to take over the Republican Party and mold it to fit his paranoid world view," Sherman told the Washington Post in 2016.


Suicide Suspected In Death of Soundgarden Frontman Chris Cornell

(Reuters)  -- Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has died unexpectedly at 52, his publicist said on Thursday, and police in Detroit said they are treating the death as a possible suicide.

Seattle-born Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his hotel in Detroit on Wednesday night, hours after the grunge band played a concert in the city.

"His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing," Cornell's publicist Brian Bumbery said in a statement. He said the family would work closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.

A Detroit police spokesman said officers were called to Cornell's hotel around midnight by a friend of the musician.

"When officers went to the room they found Chris Cornell laying in his bathroom, unresponsive and he had passed away. We are investigating it as a possible suicide but we are waiting on the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death," said Detroit Police Department spokesman Dan Donakowski.

He declined to give further details.

Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and later Audioslave, had tweeted earlier on Wednesday: "#Detroit finally back to Rock City !!!! @soundgarden."

“What I look forward to the most -- because I tour so much, especially the last couple of years, by myself -- is the camaraderie. It’s what we missed when we weren’t a band,” Cornell had posted on Facebook on Tuesday. The band had been in the middle of a U.S. tour.

Soundgarden was one of the leading bands in the grunge music movement in the 1980s and '90s, releasing albums such as "Badmotorfinger" and the Grammy-winning "Superunknown," which brought the band mainstream music scene success.

Cornell had spoken openly in interviews of his struggles with drugs as a teenager, and later with alcohol. But he said in 2007 that he had been sober since checking himself into rehab in 2002. He also spoke of periods of depression and agoraphobia.

Led Zeppelin singer Jimmy Page led tributes on Thursday to Cornell, calling him on Twitter "Incredibly Talented, Incredibly Young, Incredibly Missed."

Kiss singer Paul Stanley tweeted he was "Stunned to hear the death of Chris Cornell," while Aerosmith's Joe Perry called his passing "a sad loss of a great talent to the world."

Soundgarden broke up in 1997 and Cornell in 2001 joined members of Rage Against The Machine to form Audioslave, which earned acclaim with its self-titled album.

Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and embarked on the current U.S. tour in April.

Cornell also had an extensive solo career as a singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist and worked with various other musicians over three decades in the music business.

May 19 Radio History

➦In 1926...inventor Thomas Edison spoke at a dinner for the National Electric Light Association in Atlantic City, NJ. When asked to speak into the microphone, he said, “I don’t know what to say. This is the first time I ever spoke into one of these things … Good night.”

➦In 1960...On this day in 1960, the man who coined the term, "Rock And Roll", Alan Freed, along with Mel Leeds and 7 other disc-jockeys were accused of taking payola.

The others  included: Peter Tripp of WMGM, New York, Hal Jackson-WLIB, New York, Tommy (Dr.Jive) Smalls of WWRL-New York, JackWalker (The pear-shaped talker) - exWOV, New York.

Peter Tripp was immediately fired from his popular late afternoon air shift at WMGM.

After departing from 1010 WINS, Freed for a time was employed in New York by WABC 770 AM around 1958, about two years before it evolved into one of America's great Top 40 stations by launching its "Musicradio" format.

At this time, WABC (unlike Top40 WINS) was more of a full-service station which began implementing some music programming elements.

Freed was fired by WABC (1959) during a dispute where he refused to sign a statement certifying that he had never accepted payola.

➦In 1974...The #1 Popular song on the Radio was "The Streak" by Ray Stevens

➦In 1994....Henry Morgan, former personality at WMCA, WOR, WNBC, WNEW died of lung cancer at age 79.

➦In 1999...Last broadcast of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Tribute website: Click Here

Bob Liddle
➦In 2010…Longtime Seattle radio personality Bob Liddle, with more than 50 years on the air in the Pacific Northwest died at age 88.  Liddle spent much of his nearly 60-year radio career announcing, spinning big-band records, hosting easy-listening shows and reading the news on Seattle's KIXI 880 AM.

Liddle is perhaps best known for his years hosting KIXI's "Sunday Brunch." But in his long career he also worked as the station's program director and often hosted New Year's Eve "Tuxedo Junction" celebrations at the downtown Seattle Westin Hotel.

➦In 2011...Worcester, Massachusetts radio legend Dick Smith, who spent 30 years as a broadcaster for WORC, died at the age of 84.

➦In 2016...Newly retired TV newsman and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer died at age 84. During his lengthy career he brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into American living rooms in the 1960s, and was a mainstay of the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades.