Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 30 Radio History

Vladimir Zworykin
➦In 1889...Vladimir Zworykin, called the “Father of Television” was born in Russia. He invented the iconoscope in 1931 while in the employ of RCA, the parent company of NBC.  He died July 29 1982 on the eve of his 93rd birthday.

➦In writer John Meston was born in Pueblo Colorado.  He is best remembered as the co-creator and main screenwriter for both the radio & TV versions of the iconic western series ‘Gunsmoke.’  He supplied 183 half-hour scripts for the CBS radio show, and 196 mostly-hour-long scripts for the -CBS-TV version, which ran for 20 years.  He died of a cerebral hemorrhage March 24 1979 at age 64.


➦1930...the long-running radio crime drama The Shadow aired for the first time on CBS.  It would be a radio favorite for the next 24 years, mostly on Sunday afternoons on Mutual.

➦In 1937...the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was organized. It was part of the American Federation of Labor. The union was for all radio performers except musicians. The union later became The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to include TV folk, as well.

➦In 1942...Stage Door Canteen began its three-year run on CBS Radio. Bert Lytell MC’d the weekly show aired live from Times Square in New York City; 500 servicemen were entertained each week by celebrities who freely donated their time for the war (WWII) effort.

➦In 1942...crooner Frank Sinatra waxed the last of his 90 recordings with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on RCA Victor. His last side was There are Such Things, which became #1 the following January. Sinatra moved on to the Columbia label (1943-1952) as a solo singing sensation.

Arthur Peterson, Mercedes McCambridge, Helen Behmiller, Henrietta Ledro
➦In 1952...the popular radio soap opera, The Guiding Light, was seen for the first time on CBS television. It debuted on NBC radio Jan. 25 1937.  The daytime drama aired its final telecast Sept. 18 2009.

➦In 1954...Elvis Presley made his professional concert debut in two shows at Memphis.  He was one of several acts opening both afternoon and evening performances by country star Slim Whitman.  His leg-hip gyrations drove the female part of the crowds wild.

In 1964...station WNEW 1130 AM in New York - a top-rated adult music station, bans all comedy records that “ridicule the United States Government, its processes, institutions, officials, lawmakers and political candidates.” The station said the new policy was triggered by a new album entitled “I’d rather Be Far RightThan President.” - an album that spoofs Republican Presidential nominee BarryGoldwater.

Says John Sullivan, vice president and general manager of WNEW -“I would say the situation came to a head because of national conventions andan election year. But the taste level of some of these comedy recordings hasgrown progressively worse and there is a lot of cheap, badly done stuff in thefield. What I resent is that anyone can put something on a record and it is passedoff as entertainment. The radio industry should take a look at what it plays.”WNEW plays music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Steve andEydie, Dean Martin and other popular non-rock artists

➦In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM, New York changed it's programming to a Rock format.

The original WOR-FM disc jockeys were Scott Muni (formerly of WABC and WMCA), Murray “the K” Kaufman (formerly of WINS), Rosko (Bill Mercer) and Johnny Michaels.

According to, WOR-FM became extremely popular on college campuses.  It began to carve out an audience that had not been served by radio up until then.  It was achieving decent ratings (for an FM station) without taking audience away from the AM stations by appealing to new listeners.  This was significant.  A Columbia University survey of its undergraduates found that 93% listened to FM as well as AM and that they listened to WOR-FM for 3 1/2 hours daily as compared with AM stations WMCA (1 1/2 hours) and WABC (1 hour). WOR-FM grossed anywhere from $500 to $1000 a week from record company commercials because of its reach into the college campuses.

Even so, owner RKO wasn’t satisfied.  Bill Drake had been consulting RKO’s two West Coast stations; KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco.  These were both extremely successful AM Top 40 stations built around the “Drake-Chenault” philosophy of playing just the hits while minimizing almost everything else.  In July of 1967 RKO hired Drake to consult its remaining radio properties which consisted of CKLW, Detroit; WRKO, Boston; WGMS, Washington DC; WHBQ, Memphis and, of course, WOR-FM.

The first sense of change came when memos appeared from management dictating to the air staff not to play certain cuts. Next the disc jockeys were removed from the new record listening sessions and not allowed to have input on the playlist. Next the playlist became all singles with only an occasional new record and it had to be from an established artist.

Murray the K had the highest rated FM show in New York; a 4 share on one ratings survey, a 3 on the next. This was higher than many AM shows and a terrific FM rating for New York.  He would have no part of these changes and his protests cost him his job.  He was fired by the station in September 1967.  His parting comment about the changes at WOR-FM was “Who can live with that?  Music has reached a maturity... people in radio are still treating it as if it is for teenie boppers."

Murray had a point. WOR-FM was different from the other RKO properties in that it was FM stereo as opposed to AM.  It had built a solid audience by attracting a different group of people.  Giving up on it after only a year seemed premature. Record companies had found the station highly valuable at influencing sales of rock albums especially of new artists and groups like Cream, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  The format was noted for playing new records first, often playing new artists that the local AM stations wouldn't play.

➦In 1984...The FCC raises the number of radio and television stations that a company may own from a total of 14 radio stations and 7 TV stations to a new ceiling of 24 radio stations and 12 TV stations.

➦In 1986...RCA Victor Records dropped John Denver from its roster after the release of his single, ‘What Are We Making Weapons For’. The song reportedly upset the record label’s new owner, General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the US.

➦In 2004...Shock duo Opie and Anthony announced they are joining XM Satellite Radio beginning Oct. 4. They were yanked of the air back in August of 2002 after broadcasting a live account of a couple having sex inside St. patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.

➦In 2012...Al Brady Law - WOR FM, WWDJ, WXLO, WNBC, WABC (PD) died at age 67.

Al Brady-Law
Al first came to New York as Al Brady late in 1969 as the night jock at WOR FM. Late in 1970 he left for WINZ in Miami but promptly turned back up in New York as the night jock at WWDJ. He eventually moved to afternoons and then left again for Denver. But he returned once more, this time as program director at WWDJ. In 1973 he moved over to WXLO as program director.

In March of 1974, Al would move on to WNBC where did some weekend shows and was also the station's assistant program director. In September of 1974, he became the station's program manager, but only for a month. He would go back to weekends and the APD spot. In 1976, it was off to Boston and in 1978 he took over as program director of the NBC Owned and Operated stations. After a brief sojour down to Washington, DC, Al returned to New York, yet again, this time as program director of WABC. In 1979, WABC was still reeling from the "disco inferno" of the October/November, 1978 book where WKTU rocketed to the top. They were, in essence, trying to right the ship. Brady did what he had to do. In fact, he came under a lot of criticism when three of his moves involved letting go Harry Harrison, George Michael and Chuck Leonard. Al always defended his moves and always insisted it was the right thing to do. He always said he never regretted any of it.

From WABC, Al returned to Boston and then one more time to New York where he was to assume the position of Vice President and General Manager of WYNY. Under Al's guidance, WYNY became a major presence in the New York market, finally cracking the ratings top 10 in the Summer, 1981 book.

From WYNY, al took over as Vice President of Programming of NBC Radio. After leaving this post, Al moved around the country working at various radio stations. His most recent being the operations manager at KABC in Los Angeles.

Al was a very important part of New York radio history. From disc jockey to management, he was always top-notch. Al Brady was one of those disc jockeys that I always listened to in awe. He was great.

Terry Lee
➦In 2013…Longtime Pittsburgh radio and TV personality (WIXZ, WMCK, WIIC-TV, KDKA-TV, WPGH-TV) Terry Lee died of lung cancer at 70.

He started working as a DJ at teen dances at 16. That launched his radio career at the former WESA-AM in Charleroi, which was followed by stints at stations in Carnegie and Canonsburg. At 21, he joined the former WMCK-AM in McKeesport, which later became WIXZ (1360). That little station was the place where Mr. Lee really began shaking up the airwaves. His evening show was one of the most popular in the city throughout the '60s.

In the late '60s throughout the '70s, Mr. Lee hosted dance shows on TV: "Come Alive" on the former WIIC (now WPXI) and "The Terry Lee Show" on WPGH and later on KDKA.

A Pair Of Johns To Run AT&T When Deal Closes

John Stankey
AT&T Inc said on Friday that its executives will head its media and wireless businesses following the close of its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc.

John Donovan
As of Aug. 1, John Stankey, who currently leads DirecTV and other entertainment businesses for the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, will lead the team charged with Time Warner's integration before transitioning to chief executive of the media business once the merger is complete. John Donovan, currently chief strategy officer, has been named chief executive of AT&T Communications, which will include AT&T's wireless and DirecTV businesses.

Reuters reports the deal, expected to close by the end of the year, would give AT&T control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros and other coveted media assets. It still needs approval from the U.S. Justice Department.

AT&T also said that Lori Lee will lead AT&T's international business in addition to her responsibilities as global marketing officer.

The three executives will continue to report to AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson, AT&T said.

A source told Reuters earlier this month that AT&T would run its wireless and DirecTV satellite television businesses separately from Time Warner Inc's media assets following its acquisition of the entertainment group.

Chicago Radio: Report..Kathy Hart Not Returning To WTMX

Kathy and Eric
Kathy Hart has been missing since late April from the top-rated morning show she co-hosts with Eric Ferguson. “The Eric & Kathy Show” on HotAC WTMX 101.9 FM for the past 20-years.  The show has been a ratings juggernaut for Hubbard Radio for more than 20 years.

So what’s new? According to longtime Chicago Media writer Robert Feder, this week marked the end of Hart’s personal leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which permits employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family and medical reasons.

Feder reports the company is hoping to resolve the matter once and for all in the coming days. With Hart’s contract up in December, there’s strong speculation of a financial settlement and a parting of the ways.

Even with Hart out of The Mix for three months, ratings for the morning show have not suffered. If anything, there’s been an easing of tension in the studio that’s been discernible to longtime “Eric & Kathy” listeners. Ferguson leads a seasoned ensemble cast that includes Melissa McGurren, Brian “Whip” Paruch, John Swanson and Cynthia DeNicolo.

It was only last November that the duo was inducted in the National Radio Hall of Fame.

People at the station seem as baffled by the turn of events as everyone else.

“Whatever has happened has been Kathy’s choice,” one insider said. “It’s a scenario that she created — leaving, not coming back, not responding, not having contact with anybody. No one did that to her. It’s all been a strategic choice on her part. And nobody here knows why.”

Charlotte Radio: J T Bosch To PM Drive/APD At WKKT

J T Bosch
iHeartMedia Country WKKT 96.9 The Kat in Charlotte has announced that JT Bosch has been named Assistant Program Director and Afternoon Host, effective August 14. Bosch will host weekdays from 2 – 7 p.m.

Bosch will assist in overseeing the station’s on-air and music programming.

“I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT,” said Dave Carwile, President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia-Carolina Region. “He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”

Bosch most recently served as Assistant Program Director and Night Host for for WMZQ-FM Washington, D.C. He has also handled both on-air and programming duties with stations in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

WKKT 96.9 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to join the amazing iHeartMedia team in Charlotte,” said Bosch. “I’ve spent many years in North Carolina so it’s like a second home for me. My wife and I are excited to raise our family here and I can’t wait to serve the listeners and community in Charlotte.”

Charlotte Radio: Bob & Sheri Get Contract Extension

WLNK The Link 107.9 FM Charlotte has announced an extension of contract with morning hosts Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch to continue their morning program "Bob & Sheri," currently syndicated in 40 markets.

The duo will continue to start the day weekdays from 5:30am-10am. Bob and Sheri have been nominated for nine Marconi Awards and Sheri is the recipient of six Gracie Awards, presented by The Alliance for Women in Media.

"This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America," said Entercom Charlotte VP/General Manager Matt Hanlon. "We're fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the 'Bob and Sheri Show' brings to the airwaves every day."

"As our show continues to grow and evolve, partnering with Entercom gives us extraordinary opportunities to innovate and better serve our listeners and advertisers," added Sheri Lynch. "We could find no better place to be than at home with Entercom in Charlotte."

Katie Couric Goes Part-Time With Oath

Katie Couric is ending her flagship Web interview show for Yahoo, as well as a range of other online news programming, Oath confirmed after Recode contacted the company about the development.

Instead, the Verizon-owned company has struck a deal to do work with the longtime television news star on a “project” basis.

“Over the last four years, Katie has created a vast portfolio of work that has been equal parts inspiring, thought-provoking and fun to watch,” said an Oath spokesperson. “We're proud of everything she has accomplished and look forward to exploring ways to work together in the future."

According to Recode, the move brings to an end a very high-profile deal that was struck by former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She got Couric to sign with the Silicon Valley internet giant in late 2013 to become its global news anchor and launch an interview show to give the company a big-media sheen.

The broadcast journalist had a longtime interest in digital distribution and jumped into her job at Yahoo with gusto, the biggest effort by Mayer to convince advertisers that the site was a media destination.

But, like a lot of Mayer’s schemes, it did not work as planned.

Tidewater Radio: WGH Drops Black Gospel For Oldies

What's old is new again as Max Media has announced the re-launch of the legendary WGH 1310 AM.

WGH AM (World's Greatest Harbor) was one of the country’s first Top40 radio stations and is again airing '50s and '60s Oldies with a smattering of early '70s.

Max Media says the new format is a complete restoration that will honor the original WGH, while creating a fun, new and exciting spot on the dial that offers timeless music complete with audio flashbacks and recordings.

WGH was a Tidewater Icon and primary outlet of the greatest time in pop culture and music.  It was the #1 station for 18 years– From the beginning of Rock & Roll, Pop, and R&B Top 40 Hits spanning the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s.

1960s on-air performers included George Crawford, Dave Cummins, Bob Calvert, Gene Loving, Keith James, Dick Lamb, Roger Clark (Program Director until 1967), Glenn "The Turtle" Lewis, Russ Spooner, Chuck Adams, Don Robertson, Bob Chesson (Production), Jim Lawrence, John Garry (who was also Program Director from 1967 until 1970, when he left WGH to program WIST-AM in Charlotte), Larry O'Brien, Tom Scott and J.J. Bowman.

The 1970s talent lineup on WGH-AM included such names as George Crawford, J.J. Bowman, Rob Wayne, Sean Grabowski, Lee Fowler, Scott Christensen, Ron James, Tom Scott, Dale Parsons, Jim Stewart, Jim Conlee, Jeff Davis, Mike Patrick, Neal Steele, Bill Tucker, Nick O'Neil, Dan O'Brien, Pat Holliday, Bob Canada, Pat O'Day, Ed Rodriquez, Bill Jordan, Jon St. Jon, Pat Banks and Phil Beckman.

For many years, the WGH News Department was honored by the Associated Press as the Best News Operation in Virginia.  For most of the 1960s and well into the 1970s, Jim Moore was News and Public Affairs Director.

In 1983, the stations were sold to an Ohio company, CommCor, whose management changed the call letters of both WGH AM and FM to WNSY and instituted a soft rock format.  In 1985 the station was sold to Susquehanna Broadcasting and the WGH call letters were restored to both stations.   During the late 1980s WGH-AM aired a simulcast of the WGH-FM Top 40 format.  In 1990, WGH-AM broadcast CNN Radio News during the Gulf War, with a switch to country in 1991 and then to all sports in 1992, becoming Virginia's first all sports radio station.

WGH was sold in the mid-1990s to Barnstable Broadcasting, which also picked up other stations in the area. One of the stations they purchased, WCMS, was later sold to Davidson Media.  Barnstable didn't want to lose the WCMS call letters, so they assigned them to 1310 AM, which became known as ESPN Radio 1310 WCMS.  The WGH call letters remained with 97.3 The Eagle.

WGH 1310 AM (20 Kw-D, 5 Kw-N DA-20
In 2005, Max Media purchased the stations owned by Barnstable Broadcasting and the call letters WGH were restored to 1310.  On October 5, 2009, WXEZ-FM (94.1) swapped formats with WGH-AM (1310).  WXEZ-FM adopted the sports programming and changed their call letters to WVSP-FM ("ESPN Radio 94.1").  As a result of the switch WGH-AM became Gospel formatted "Star 1310 AM".

Houston Radio: Successful Promotion Irks Some KKBQ Listeners

Some families hoping to get a free day at a popular water park are upset after waiting in line and never getting inside.

Country KKBQ 93Q, held a promotion stating that if people arrived between 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at Typhoon Texas, they would be able to get in for free.

Parents took to the radio station’s Facebook page and sent messages to KPRC Channel 2 complaining that people were turned away around 8:15 a.m.

“I was going to surprise my three kids with a day at a water park because we haven’t been this summer and seemed like a great opportunity,” said Micki Malbrough, who has a 2-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 8-year-old daughter.   She said 93Q Country did respond to her and her family will be able to go to the water park at a later date.

The water park said they were well under capacity, but with such a long line, they knew not everyone would get through security check by 9 a.m.

Typhoon Texas issued this response:
"Guests were entitled to free admission from 7-9 a.m. this morning as part of a local promotion. The response generated tremendous interest and unfortunately, not everyone waiting in line would have entered the park by 9 a.m. We therefore notified those in line who would not be able to enter the park by 9 a.m., giving them the option to enter as a paying guest or to return at another time. The park was well under capacity. However, the free admission offer was available only to those who entered the park by 9 a.m."
Some parents were upset with the radio station because there wasn’t a mention of a cut off. Some said they took the day off or drove from a far location to be there before 9 a.m.

Jim Rome Crowns 2017 'Smack Off' Winner

It was a tight race, but Leff in Laguna was crowned the winner of this year’s “Smack Off,” Jim Rome’s annual CBS Sports Radio show celebrating sports radio smack talk. This is Leff’s second consecutive win, scoring him $5,000 and eternal bragging rights.

Once again, Leff in Laguna showed up at Rome’s studio in Irvine, Calif. This year, the 2016 champion recreated a 1996 Sports Illustrated photoshoot with other diehard Clones. Leff rounded up the original group, some of whom haven’t been heard from in years.

Left to right: Irie Craig, Rich in Anaheim Hills, Benny in Wisco (Back), Trapper in Dana Point, Silk in Huntington Beach (Behind), Jim Rome, Joe in Lemon Grove (Way Back), Pat the CEO in So Cal (Middle), Coach Tom, Rich Flores (Back), Jim Benton, Kerwin in Riverside (Back), Terrance in Sierra Madre, Leff in Laguna Smack-Off Champion (Back), Randel in the OC playing Raider Mike

Jim Rome commented, “This was the best Smack Off ever and the toughest one to decide a winner, but Leff in Laguna won it with a great call that somehow included an incredible in-studio reunion of the guys from the 1996 SI photo shoot. Truly an amazing moment in show history and one that I will remember forever.”

This year’s top 12 finalists are:
1)      Leff in Laguna
2)      Mike in Indianapolis
3)      Jeff Passan (Smack Off debut)
4)      Marc in Hollywood
5)      Benny in Wisconsin
6)      Caleb in Green Bay
7)      Marc in Boston
8)      Chael Sonnen (2012 Champion)
9)      Vic in Northern California
10)    Trapper in Dana Point
11)    Matt in Vancouver
12)    Tyler in Edmonton

Click Here to listening to winning rant.

Rome has been the outspoken host of “The Jim Rome Show” since the launch of CBS Sports Radio in January 2013, broadcasting live weekdays from 12:00-3:00 PM, ET. A one-hour highlight version of the show, titled “Jim Rome’s Daily Jungle,” is available as a daily podcast exclusively on CBS RADIO’s network. Rome also anchors three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature the “CBS Sports Minute,” heard on hundreds of stations nationwide including WFAN (New York), WSCR (Chicago) and WIP (Philadelphia).

R.I.P.: Longtime Des Moines Radio Personality Pam Dixon

Longtime Des Moines radio host Pam Dixon has died, radio station KIOA 93.3 FM announced on its website Friday.

Dixon’s broadcast career spanned nearly 35 years, and she brought Iowa listeners along with her during her 10-year battle with breast cancer.

She had retired earlier this year to focus on her health and live life to the fullest.

“For the last decade, she battled cancer with the most amazing courage and spirit,” KIOA posted. “Eventually, her physical form was no match for the disease, but her will to live a rich life – filled with fun and laughter, never yielded. With the help of prayers, hugs, and medicine, she managed to find hope at every turn – through every hill and valley of her long struggle…

“We think Pam would want us all to continue her work, to tell her story and to keep love, hope, and laughter at the heart of living.”

July 29 Radio History

Florence Freeman
➦In ‘soap opera queen’ Florence Freeman was born in New York City.

She starred for more than a decade in the title role of two longrunning daytime dramas, NBC’s Young Widder Brown and CBS’s Wendy Warren & the News, and was a prominent cast member of Pepper Young’s Family, John’s Other Wife and Valiant Lady. She was also a regular on Maxwell House Show Boat and Abie’s Irish Rose.

She died April 25 2000 at age 88.

➦In 1914...transcontinental telephone service began in the US with the first test phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.

➦In 1936...despite the very few TV sets in existence, in New York RCA showed the first real TV program, comprised of dancing, a film on locomotives, a Bonwit Teller fashion show, some comedy, and a monologue from the play Tobacco Road.  It would be more than a decade, after WWII, before commercial television really took hold.

➦In 1938...Reporter/anchor Peter Jennings was born in Toronto.  His father, Charles, was a CBC announcer and executive, and at age 9, Peter hosted a half-hour weekly children’s show on the network.

After dropping out of Trinity College School, he joined the CBC as host of a public-affairs program, then in 1962 co-anchored the CTV News. In 1964, he moved to New York and became a correspondent for ABC, then anchor of ABC Nightly News (1965-67). He returned to reporting in 1968, served as ABC’s chief foreign correspondent in London. He was appointed sole ABC anchor when the show moved to New York City in 1983.

He died of cancer Aug 7 2005 at age 67.

Clint Buehlmann
➦In 1977...Clint Buehlmann did his last show on WBEN 930 AM, Buffalo, New York. He had been a highly-rated morning personality for about 40 years.

➦In 1984...orchestra & chorale leader Fred Waring, who emceed the longrunning radio show Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, and continued the program for 6 years in early TV, died suddenly following a stroke at age 84.

➦In 1995...bandleader Les Elgart died of heart failure at age 76. Elgart’s recording of Bandstand Boogie was adopted by Dick Clark as the theme for American Bandstand. Elgart also had two top-selling albums in the 50’s: The Elgart Touch and For Dancers Also. He often jointly led a band with his brother Larry in the 1950s and 60s.

➦In 2005...the single-named society singer Hildegarde, one of the most popular vocalists on North American radio in the 1940’s, died at the age of 99.

Tom Snyder
➦In 2007...Newscater/Talk Host Tom Snyder died.

Snyder had loved radio since he was a child and at some point changed his field of study from pre-med to journalism. He once told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tim Cuprisin that broadcasting became more important to him than attending classes, and he skipped a lot of them.  Snyder began his career as a radio reporter at WRIT (unrelated to the present-day FM station) in Milwaukee and at WKZO in Kalamazoo (where he was fired by John Fetzer) in the 1950s. For a time he worked at Savannah, Georgia, AM station WSAV (now WBMQ).

Snyder at WRIT
After moving to television in the 1960s, he was a news anchor for KYW-TV in Cleveland (now WKYC-TV) and, after a 1965 station switch, Philadelphia, and WNBC-TV and WABC-TV in New York City.

He talked about driving cross country in an early Corvair from Atlanta to Los Angeles around 1963, where he landed a news job at KTLA, then on to KNBC-TV, also in Los Angeles, where from 1970 to 1974 he was an anchor for the 6 p.m. newscast working with KNBC broadcaster Kelly Lange, who was then a weather reporter before serving as a long-time KNBC news anchor.

Lange later became Snyder's regular substitute guest host on the Tomorrow program, prior to the hiring of co-host Rona Barrett in the program's last year. Even after attaining fame as host of Tomorrow, Snyder kept his hand in news anchoring with the Sunday broadcasts of NBC Nightly News during 1975 and 1976.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports 2Q Revenue Increased 3%

Entercom Communications today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Second Quarter Highlights
  • Net revenues increased 3% to $125.0 million, compared to $121.6 million in the second quarter of 2016
  • Operating income was $16.4 million, compared to $27.6 million in the second quarter of 2016
  • Net income per diluted share was $0.15, compared to net income per diluted share of $0.26 in the second quarter of 2016
  • Same station net revenues increased by 1% excluding political
  • Adjusted EBITDA decreased 13% to $26.7 million
David Field
David J. Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated:

“We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS Radio that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending. As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead. Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political. Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one time only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger. We expect expense growth to recede in the 3rd quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”

Today, the Company announced that, as permitted under its merger agreement with CBS Radio, it would pay a special one-time dividend of $0.20 per share on August 30th to shareholders of record on August 15th. This dividend will be in addition to the Company’s regular quarterly dividend of $0.075 per share, which will be paid on September 15th to shareholders of record on August 15th.

Second quarter results include $5.8 million in merger and acquisition costs related to the Company’s pending acquisition of CBS Radio, which were primarily for legal and consulting services.

St. Louis Radio: Frank O. Pinion To EXIT KTRS

Frank O. Pinion
After more than 20 years on the air, radio personality Frank O. Pinion announced his departure from KTRS 550 AM.

Pinion (real name John Craddock) made the announcement during Thursday’s edition of his ‘Large Morning Show in the Afternoon’ program. The final episode will air September 14, he said.

Pinion stressed that he "wasn't fired, I resigned."

Craddock said he could not talk about the specific reasons for his departure, but did say it was not amicable, reports

"It's not the way I wanted it to be, and it certainly ended before I wanted it to," he said.

While at KTRS, Craddock has reportedly become one of the highest-compensated media people in local history, thanks to an arrangement that allows Craddock to run his show as an independent business. Instead of a salary, Craddock gets a certain amount of commercial minutes that he personally sells to advertisers.

Craddock has been a voice in STL radio for more than 35 years.

He left a radio job in South Carolina in the mid-1970s and came to St. Louis to work at an advertising agency and leaving radio.

In 1982, he was drawn back into the business when the Gannett-owned KSD and KUSA hired him as a morning host. It was there he created the character Ed E. Torial, who parodied the solemn commentaries by KMOX kingpin Robert Hyland.

Then in 1984, working at KUSA as a country-music jock, Craddock created his signature character. In 1987, he jumped to STL's other main country station at the time, WKKX-FM ("Kix Country"). He eventually returned to KSD and stayed until 1995.

Boston Radio: WEEI's Kirk Minihane Suddenly Takes 'Personal Time'

Kirk Minihane
Button-pushing WEEI 93.7 FM co-host Kirk Minihane has disappeared from the airwaves after insulting the owners of his station’s multimillion-dollar partner, the Red Sox, on his morning-drive show Monday.

But yesterday, Minihane’s bosses insisted that the sports yakker hasn’t been sanctioned and is instead taking some “personal time.”

Minihane, who declined to comment to the Boston Herald, has a previously scheduled vacation next week that will keep him off the air until Aug. 7.

On Monday’s show, Minihane went ballistic on the Red Sox organization, blasting everyone from owner John Henry to his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, to co-owner Tom Werner.

Minihane’s scathing tirade came after a story appeared on about the team’s — and WEEI’s — history of racial controversy. The piece mentioned Adam Jones, a Baltimore Orioles outfielder who said he was the target of racial slurs during a game at Fenway Park in May.

What appeared to set Minihane off was the statement from Red Sox corporate spokeswoman Zineb Curran, which read, “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox. We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line. At times, we feel the same way.”

That did not sit well with Minihane.

“There is an institutional arrogance from the Red Sox. It starts at the top and it bleeds all the way down to the bottom,” Minihane said on the Red Sox’ flagship airwaves. “All we did was say we don’t believe that Red Sox fans are inherently racist. The Red Sox disagree. Red Sox fans, your organization thinks you’re racist or, by and large, think many of you are racist.”

Jon Kelly Buys Control Of Summit Media

SummitMedia has announced that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly has reached an agreement to purchase the controlling interest held by Highpoint Holdings in the company.

SummitMedia Chairman/CEO Carl Parmer stated, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder pending FCC approval. His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Kalil and Co. Founder and President Frank Kalil added, “Jon Kelly has been a dominant force in both radio and television ownership. It is great to see such a successful and experienced broadcaster committed to backing radio, and in a big way.”

U.S. Bank Senior VP/Media, Communications and Beverage division Garret Komjathy stated, “Given U. S. Bank’s longstanding relationship with SummitMedia, we are very pleased to continue our relationship and support of SummitMedia and its investor group. We are looking forward to this next phase in SummitMedia’s growth and expansion.”

The Conclave: Alexa, CBS Radio-Entercom Good For radio

As technology keeps changing how Americans consume media, a prominent radio chief sees a “big pot of gold” for the industry in all the digital disruption. Enormous ad budgets once reserved for newspapers and TV are now in play for radio sellers as well. That’s how Bill Hendrich, executive VP, Radio at Cox Media Group, put it at The Conclave, according to InsideRadio.

Bill Hendrich
When Hendrich first cut his teeth in radio sales, there were “hundreds of millions of dollars” allocated solely to newspapers and TV—budgets radio couldn’t touch. Then along came digital disruption, which “decimated newspapers and is doing the same thing to television,” Hendrich told the crowd at The Conclave in Minneapolis during its “Ask Me Almost Anything” keynote session Thursday morning.

“Local radio sellers now have more [money] available to them to go after than they’ve ever had in their entire career,” he said. So massive is the growth opportunity that Hendrich predicted some radio sellers “will look back at these as the good old days of their career because they’re making so much money selling integrated campaigns.”

The veteran broadcaster also sounded a positive note about new voice-activated smart speakers, which he said are “giving us our turf back in houses,” urging the crowd to understand and embrace the technology.

Read More Now

With Entercom’s CBS Radio merger inching toward the closing table, the epic deal naturally became a hot topic at the Conclave in Minneapolis. InsideRadio reports that while group execs from competing companies generally agreed a new major player would be good for the industry as a whole, they also discussed how it might impact smaller companies, especially as it relates to national ad business.

The emergence of a third company with a large national footprint “will quite possibly have an impact on national revenue before it gets to the rep companies,” Bill Hendrich said during the Conclave’s “Ask Me Almost Anything” keynote session Thursday morning. Companies without that level of national scale will have to “get the national you can get but really be great at local,” Hendrich added.

Kevin LeGrett spent six years at CBS Radio as a market manager in Rochester, NY before eventually joining iHeartMedia, where he now serves as president of its Southwest division. “I’m a huge CBS Radio fan, they paid my mortgage for a really long time,” he quipped.

Folding the company into Entercom will create more competition, he said, not necessarily within the radio industry but on the larger media landscape. It will “make radio more competitive in media,” LeGrett said, while helping the industry fight for a larger share of ad dollars. “We need to come together as an industry and talk about all the great tools we have and all the great things we’re doing so that we can propel ourselves [to not be] thought of as an old medium,” LeGrett said. “I think [Entercom CEO David Field] and the crew are going to do that.”

Scripps, XAPP Media Partner On Alexa Skills

XAPPmediab Thursday announced it was selected by The E.W. Scripps Company to bring the company’s 34 radio stations in 13 states to Amazon Alexa-supported devices.

“Amazon Alexa has quickly become a very important platform for the radio industry,” said Rob McCracken, a director in the digital solutions group for Scripps. “Gartner forecasts that 75 percent of US households will have at least one Alexa-like device by 2020, and numerous studies show that audio entertainment is one of the top two use cases for the devices. Radio must be available on Alexa today while consumers are forming their listening habits. It is an opportunity for Scripps stations to increase time spent listening both at home and eventually in the car.”

“We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content,” said Ryan Higbie, vice president of sales, XAPPmedia. “The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand. XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”

“It was critical to have a skilled partner like XAPP help us launch our radio stations on Alexa,” said McCracken. “We looked at all of the leading technology companies in the market, but XAPPmedia’s technology, years of experience and credentials with Amazon, Google and Microsoft were important factors in the decision.”

“This is a big step forward for us,” said Steve Wexler, vice president of radio for Scripps. “It’s important that we go where our audience goes, and this new partnership makes the Scripps radio stations easily accessible to our listeners across multiple platforms.”

Consumers have purchased over 11 million Amazon Echo devices enabled with the Alexa voice assistant, and that number is expected to hit nearly 20 million in 2017. Because these are household devices, that device total will represent audience reach of about 50 million Americans in 2017 and over 200 million in three years. In addition, Ford and other auto manufacturers expect to produce about 20 million vehicles with Alexa support in 2017.

You can learn more about radio and Amazon Alexa here:

Amazon Profit Plunges Inc on Thursday reported a jump in retail sales along with a profit slump, as its rapid, costly expansion into new shopping categories and countries showed no sign of slowing.

Reuters reports the world's largest online retailer posted second-quarter revenue of $38 billion, up 25 percent from a year earlier. The breakneck growth stood in contrast to the fate of many brick-and-mortar rivals, who have struggled to find their footing as more people shop online.

Yet Seattle-based Amazon posted a 77 percent drop in quarterly income, and even said it could lose up to $400 million in operating profit during the current quarter. Beyond reflecting retail's notoriously thin margins, the forecast signaled Amazon would invest heavily to maintain its dominance.

Amazon had a nice run: TIAA Investments' Stephanie Link from CNBC.

Shares - up nearly 40 percent this year - fell 3.2 percent to $1,012.68 in after-hours trading. The company had earned 40 cents per share instead of $1.42 as analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Brian Olsavsky
"Q3 is generally a high investment period," Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with reporters, citing spending on fulfillment and hiring to prepare the company for the Christmas holiday rush. He added, "Our video content spend will continue to grow, both sequentially and quarter over quarter."

Olsavsky said video content included with Prime membership has helped Amazon retain subscribers and persuade those on a free trial to sign up for $99 per year in the United States. A cornerstone of the company's strategy, Prime encourages shoppers to buy more goods, more often from Amazon.

Subscription sales including Prime fees rose 51 percent in the second quarter to $2.2 billion. Cowen & Co analysts have estimated that more than 50 percent of U.S. households will have Prime membership by the end of 2017.

"The fact that they are investing on so many fronts right now just speaks to the opportunity that they have before them," said Edward Jones analyst Josh Olson. "We are giving them the benefit of doubt here because they have executed so well historically."

Read More Now

Jeff Bezos Was Briefly The World’s Richest Person

Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world for a time on Wednesday, with a fortune of over $90 billion.

According to Forbes and Bloomberg, the Amazon CEO had a net worth of over $89 billion as of the close of markets Wednesday, while Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had a net worth of just over $90 billion.

Even if Bezos didn't end the day as the richest man, he will likely take the crown from Gates more permanently in the coming days and weeks.

When he hits the mark, Bezos, who started selling books from his garage 22 years ago, becomes the first man to bump Gates from his perch in seven years and is only the sixth man to hold the "richest person" title in the past 30 years, according to Forbes.

Bezos' rise carries important symbolic weight — signaling Amazon's unbridled power and value, presenting a new face of outsized wealth to the world and heralding a new kind of billionaire who is skeptical of philanthropy and has massive reach in culture, technology and media. Bezos will be a stark contrast to his fellow Seattle-area resident Gates, who has topped the list for much of the past quarter-century and devotes his time and money to philanthropy.

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person from CNBC.

What's most astounding about Bezos' rise is his recent wealth surge. He has been a billionaire for nearly 20 years, first making the Forbes list in 1998 with a net worth of $1.6 billion after Amazon's IPO. He chugged along for the following decade, reaching $4.4 billion in 2007, gradually rising to $18.4 billion by 2012, ranking him 26th on the list.

But over the past two years, as Amazon's stock has soared, so has Bezos' fortune.

Scaramucci Lashes Colleagues In Obscene Rant

Open warfare erupted inside President Donald Trump's inner circle as his new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, attacked senior White House colleagues in obscene comments published on Thursday.

According to Reuters, Scaramucci blasted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in an article in The New Yorker based on a telephone conversation on Wednesday night between one of the magazine's correspondents and Scaramucci.

Amid a stream of vulgar language, the former Wall Street financier named to the communications post last Friday called Priebus a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic" and accused Bannon of trying to build his own brand "off the f#%king strength of the president."

In a Twitter message after the article appeared online, Scaramucci said:

Asked about the article, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration was focused on healthcare and other items.

"He used some colorful language that I don't anticipate he'll do again," she told reporters. Any apology "needs to happen personally between them," she said.

Priebus and Bannon had no comment.

Read More Now

Nielsen Reports Increased 2Q Earnings

Net income rose 15.9% to $131 million, or 37 cents a share, from $113 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues rose 3% to $1.6 billion.

Revenues for the Watch segment rose 10.3% to $821 million. Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote, revenues for audience measurement of video and text increased 4.3%.

“Our revenue in the quarter reflects solid growth in Watch, robust growth in Buy emerging markets and the contribution from our recent acquisition of Gracenote.” said CEO Mitch Barns.

“This was partially offset by continued softness in our U.S. Buy business which reflects the challenging operating environment for our large fast moving consumer goods clients. Our rigorous cost and commercial discipline in the quarter enabled us to deliver margin expansion, while also investing in our key growth initiatives.”

NYTimes Reports Strong Digital Growth

Robust digital growth powered The New York Times Company to one of its strongest quarters in recent years, as rising digital advertising revenue and new online subscriptions offset continued declines in print advertising.

The company said on Thursday that digital advertising revenue in the second quarter rose 23 percent, to $55 million. That represents nearly 42 percent of total advertising revenue, compared with 34 percent in the same quarter last year.

The company also added 93,000 net digital-only subscriptions for its news products, driving revenue in that category to $83 million, a 46 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Including subscriptions for its crossword product, The Times has more than 2.3 million digital-only subscriptions.

Print advertising remained a challenge, as it has across the industry. Revenue in that category fell 11 percent in the quarter, to $77 million. But total advertising revenue, bolstered by strong growth on the digital side, bucked an industry trend and grew slightly, to $132 million, from $131 million in the same quarter last year.

Sarah Palin Plans To Subpoena 23 NYTimes Reporters

Sarah Palin's legal team plans to subpoena 23 current and former staff members of The New York Times, including writers and editors, for a defamation lawsuit, according to court papers filed in a federal district court in Manhattan, according to The Hill.

The legal team will demand the newspaper turn over "every internal communication it has had about the former vice presidential candidate since 2011."

Palin filed the suit against the Times in June, alleging defamation. The case concerns an opinion piece written by the paper's editorial board that directly linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) to a political ad publicized by Palin. The ad put Democratic districts up for reelection in a logo symbolizing crosshairs.

The Giffords shooting, which happened in Tucson, Ariz., also left six others dead.

The court filing shows Palin claiming the newspaper wrongly accused her of "inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011."

The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee, 53, also said in court papers that the paper intentionally printed information that it "knew to be false."

The editorial came one day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot along with three others at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia.

After blowback that included PolitiFact giving the paper a "false" rating for linking Palin to the Giffords shooting, the Times issued a correction but did not delete the editorial.

Her legal team is the same as the one that represented Hulk Hogan, or Terry Bollea, against Gawker Media in a defamation suit after the publication posted a sex tape of the wrestler.

The Times says it made an “honest mistake” with the Palin editorial and is asking the court to throw out the lawsuit.

Katy Perry To Host MTV VMAs

Katy Perry will host the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) in August, MTV said on Thursday, and will also perform and compete for some top awards.

The hosting gig will kick off a busy 12 months for Perry, who embarks on a world tour in September and will be a judge in 2018 on the new version of television talent show "American Idol."

Perry, who released her latest album, "Witness," in June, is the most followed person on Twitter, with more than 100 million followers.

According to Reuters, Her big-budget video "Chained to the Rhythm" will compete in four categories at the VMA show, but she was snubbed in nominations for the top two categories of video of the year, and artist of the year.

The "Roar" singer was also nominated with Calvin Harris in the best video collaboration category for "Feels", pitting her directly against her pop rival Taylor Swift, who got a nod for her duet with Zayn Malik for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever."

The MTV Video Music Awards are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, and will be shown live on MTV.

NFL Ratings Drop: It Was The National Anthem

Respondents in a new J.D. Power survey named the national anthem protests that began with Colin Kaepernick as the top reason that they watched fewer NFL games last season, when viewership was down.

The poll surveyed nearly 10,000 people who attended a football, basketball or hockey game, and 26 percent of them named the national anthem protests for why they watched fewer games.

That was followed by 24 percent who named the NFL's off-field image issues, such as domestic abuse, and game delays, such as penalties.

Twenty percent said that it was because of too many commercials, and 16 percent said it was because they were paying attention to the presidential election. Kaepernick hasn't been picked up by any team this season, and there have been suggestions the quarterback is being blackballed because of the anthem protests.