Saturday, September 2, 2017

September 3 Radio History

➦In Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs Arkansas.  His career began in radio in 1935 and he went on to star in films, of which Shane was the highlight.  When his short stature caused his movie career to wind down he returned to radio, and starred in the mystery series Box 13, while guest starring in other Hollywood productions.  Depression and alcoholism contributed to his early death Jan. 29 1964 at age 50.

➦In 1939…In a radio broadcast, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that Britain and France had declared war on Germany. Germany had invaded Poland two days earlier.

➦In 1954...Last new episode of “The Lone Ranger” aired on ABC. Repeat episodes were aired by ABC in 1955 and by NBC in 1956.

Gary Owens
➦In 1965... Los Angeles DJ Gary Owens KMPC 710 AM was signed to the voice for the title role in Roger Ramjet, humorous super hero of a new animated TV series. Owens performs several other voices on the show in addition to the leading character. Roger Ramjet is a super astronaut who fights assorted evildoers with the help of a high- powered “proton” energy pill.

➦In 1966...the final “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” TV show (co-starring son Rick Nelson) aired on ABC.  It had begun on radio 22 years earlier, and moved to TV in 1952.

➦In 1969...The hit song "I've Got You Under My Skin" by The Four Seasons was released to radio

➦In 1970... WMCA in New York City announced the hiring of Los Angeles talk host Bob Grant to do a daily show beginning September 22. The station recently announced it was going full-time (two-way) talk radio ending a long run of playing popular music. The station was the most popular “pop” music station in the country from 1963 through 1967.

➦In 1971...Paul McCartney decided to name his new band "Wings."

➦In 1972...DJ Mike Kelly of Cleveland's WIXY 1260 AM spends 21 days, 3-hours and 58-minutes on a Ferris wheel at nearby Cedar Point Amusement park.

Don Burden

➦In 1976...The FCC orders radio station KOIL 1290 and sister KEFM in Omaha off the air. Licenses for the two stations, plus WIFE-AM in Indianapolis and KISN in Vancouver Washington were revoked by the FCC on grounds of misconduct by operator Don Burden – board chairman and majority stockholder of Star Broadcasting. It’s the FCC’s most severe action to date. Revoking the license means he can’t sell.

Burden was charged with a long list of violations, including running phony contests on the air, billing advertisers twice, slanting news broadcasts and giving free airtime to some political candidates.

➦In 1977..."Best of My Love" by the Emotions was the #1 song again for the third week.  Andy Gibb's former #1 "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" refused to fall further and that meant Rita Coolidge couldn't advance with "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher".  The Commodores ("Easy) and James Taylor ("Handy Man") were stuck as well.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Floaters and "Float On", Crosby, Stills & Nash with "Just a Song Before I Go" at #7, Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop", the Brothers Johnson edged up with "Strawberry Letter 23" and ELO landed their 11th hit and second Top 10 with "Telephone Line".

➦In 1977...Rumours by Fleetwood Mac spent its 17th week at #1 on the album chart, one shy of the all-time Rock Era record by More of the Monkees.  CSN, the solid release from Crosby, Stills & Nash, was #2 followed by the Soundtrack to "Star Wars".  JT from James Taylor was fourth and Moody Blue by Elvis Presley moved from 24 to 5 following his passing on August 16. 

➦In 1979...Don Imus returned to WNBC 660 AM from his Cleveland Exile.

After a stint at WGAR  1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC 660 AM in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label.

Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK, making the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on his first day back in town. During that year, Imus commuted between Cleveland and New York to tape a TV talk show, Imus Plus at WNEW-TV.

In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show.

➦In 1979...Anti disco - WLUP Chicago DJ Steve Dahl’s “Do Ya Think I’m Disco” has sold more than 200,000 copies nationwide in two weeks and many radio stations are playing the anti-disco record. In Detroit  - WWWW morning DJ’s have organized a Death to Disco Ducks society, In Los Angeles, KROQ’s own insane Daryll Wayne is burying disco albums at the beach.  In Kansas City – KYYS DJ Max Floyd is recruiting listeners for an antidisco “Rock ‘n’ Roll Army. Some pop stations are featuring “no disco” music sweeps.

➦In 1985...songwriter Johnny Marks, who wrote the Christmas classics Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and A Holly Jolly Christmas, died at age 75.

Bob Sievers
➦In 2007...long time Fort Wayne, Indiana, radio personality, Bob Sievers, died at age 90.

Sievers worked for WOWO 1190 AM for more than 50 years.

Sievers, 90, retired from his morning show on WO-WO radio in 1987 after more than 50 years at the station.

During his five decades with WOWO, he earned the title of “Mr. WOWO” as host on the popular morning show “Little Red Barn Show” that aired from 5 to 7 a.m., and the Bob Sievers show that aired from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Saturdays.

“I can’t think of anyone more influential in this town, and I’ve been here 35 years,” said Ron Gregory, a close friend and former WOWO radio announcer. “I can’t think of anybody who comes close to the impact that Bob Sievers had. It’s definitely the end of an era.”

Bob Sievers at age 90
In the days when the station’s 50,000-watt signal was not competing with the number of stations it does today, Sievers’ voice – and popularity – stretched across the country and around the world.

WOWO listeners could be found in 28 states and even overseas, and Sievers would often receive letters from devoted listeners across oceans, like missionaries in Africa, Gregory said. In addition to his time on the radio, Sievers also made public appearances for organizations, churches and clubs on his personal time.

Report: Kelly Can't Stop Trump From ‘Binge-Watching Fox News’

John Kelly, President Trump
President Trump was in an ornery mood recently after staff members suggested he refrain from injecting politics into day-to-day issues of governing and he responded by lashing out at the most senior aide in his presence.

It happened to be his new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, reports The NYTimes.

Kelly, the former Marine general brought in five weeks ago reacted calmly, but he later told other White House staff members that he had never been spoken to like that during 35 years of serving his country.

Like every other new sheriff in town Trump has hired to turn things around at the White House. What is different this time is that Trump, mired in self-destructive controversies and record-low approval ratings, needs Kelly more than Kelly needs him.

In his short time at the White House, Kelly, a 67-year-old native of Boston, has regimented, as no one has ever done before, the flow of paper, people and information inundating an omnivorous and undisciplined Mr. Trump.

“I now have time to think,” a surprised Mr. Trump has told one of his senior aides repeatedly over the last few weeks.

The NYTimes reports Kelly cannot stop Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering. But Trump does not have a web browser on his phone, and does not use a laptop, so he was dependent on aides like Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist, to hand-deliver printouts of articles from conservative media outlets.

Now Mr. Kelly has thinned out his package of printouts so much that Mr. Trump plaintively asked a friend recently where The Daily Caller and Breitbart were.

Report: ABC Fuming Over Michael Strahan's Vacation

Michael Strahan
ABC brass are fuming at Michael Strahan, sources say, after the Houston native and “Good Morning America” anchor did not cut his vacation short to return and cover the Hurricane Harvey disaster.

A source told Page Six at the NY Post: “ABC News asked Strahan to come home from his vacation. He’s from Houston. But he refused and is still floating around on a yacht in Greece somewhere. ABC is really upset with him.”

Another source said that ABC staffers “just cannot believe he didn’t come back.”

But Michael Corn, senior executive producer of “GMA” told us, “I spoke with [Strahan] every day. Michael was very clear he wanted to be part of the coverage, and we decided the best plan was for him to lead the charge covering the recovery.”

Strahan’s rep further said, “They did not ask him to come back. He’s been in direct contact with his family — and thankfully they are doing fine. He is headed [to Houston] next week and will help in any way that he can.”

Miffing colleagues even more, Strahan was on the second week of his yacht vacation, sources said, having recently gone on a safari.

“GMA” vet Robin Roberts returned from her end-of-summer getaway to cover the tragedy. We hear Roberts was not asked to return, but did so voluntarily.

Strahan’s vacation ends Monday, and  he’s expected be in Houston next week for ABC and “GMA” beginning Tuesday.

Myrtle Beach Radio: WRNN Drops Sports for Throwbacks

Alpha Media,/Myrtle Beach announced the launch of G 105.5 “Myrtle Beach’s The Throwback Station!”

WRNN 1450 AM / W288DK 105.5 FM, previously ESPN, is now airing throwbacks like The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Destiny’s Child and many more.

Energy 92.1 Program Director, Zack Williams commented on the announcement, “We’re crazy excited to bring throwbacks to Myrtle Beach. You can take your radio to the beach, cruise up and down Ocean Blvd and have a great time listening to the best throwback Hip Hop and R&B!”

W288DK 105.5 FM (250 Watts)
“While I’ve been programming the alternative station here, I grew up listening to this music and DJ-ing in nightclubs and bars all throughout my life. This station is going to be a great addition to Myrtle Beach and the Alpha Media family. To quote Dre, ‘It ain’t nuthin but a G thang baby’,” remarked Crash, WKZQ 96.1 Program Director.

Apple Gives Siri A New Boss

Apple Inc has transferred responsibility for Siri, its voice assistant, from content chief Eddy Cue to operating systems chief Craig Federighi, a sign that the company is looking to embed the voice assistant more deeply into its core systems amid rising competition from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Inc.

Apple made the change in an update to the company’s executive biography pages. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the change to Reuters but did not comment beyond the changes.

Cue, a senior vice president, had overseen Siri since 2012 when Scott Forestall, Apple’s software chief at the time, was fired by CEO Tim Cook.

Cue is primarily known as Apple’s chief content dealmaker, negotiating the company’s pivotal deals with record companies during the iTunes era and more recently its Apple Music streaming deals and its television content efforts. But Cue also runs Apple’s internet-based services such as iCloud.

In recent years, though, Apple has embedded its voice assistant more deeply into its iOS and macOS operating systems, letting it control things like adding calendar appointments, and expanded it from phones to laptops. Siri now controls third-party apps to do things like summon a ride or book a table.

Federighi, a senior vice president, oversees those operating systems.

The shift in Siri’s leadership comes as Apple faces increased competition to get users speaking to its devices. Though Apple was the first major tech company to release a voice assistant in 2011, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s voice assistant have emerged to jostle for consumers attention.

WaPo Writer Rips Bezos In HuffPo Op-Ed

Jeff Bezos
Washington Post writer Fredrick Kunkle on Friday ripped the newspaper’s owner Jeff Bezos in a scathing Labor Day op-ed, accusing the Amazon founder of mistreating workers within his business empire.

According to Fox Business, Kunkle, who writes for the Washington Post’s Metro desk and serves as co-chair of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, challenged Bezos for expressing a desire to increase his philanthropic efforts despite a record of "treating [his employees] poorly." In the op-ed, he writes that Bezos “should remember that his vast wealth came in part from labor.”

“As the owner of an institution that’s critical to democracy, he should go out of his way to set a tone of progressive stewardship toward employees in all his businesses,” Kunkle wrote in an op-ed published by the Huffington Post Opens a New Window. . “Instead, Bezos has shown that he views his employees as parts in a high-tech machine, that income inequality is someone else’s problem, and that modern corporations owe little more to their employees than a paycheck.”

Kunkle accuses Bezos of various missteps within the Post newsroom, including cutting retirement benefits, freezing a company pension plan and holding severance payments “hostage” by requiring outgoing employees to drop any legal claims to receive payment.

The Washington Post declined to comment on Kunkle’s op-ed.

Bezos, who purchased the Washington Post in 2013, previously drew criticism in 2015 after a New York Times Opens a New Window. expose criticized Amazon’s “bruising” workplace culture. The article alleged that Amazon’s employees “are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meeting, toil long and late, and held to standards that the company boasts are ‘unreasonably high.’”

NFL Ratings: First-Responders Protest NFL Browns Flag Protest

Cleveland safety forces have backed out of a plan to hold a large flag on the field for the opening game, reports Fox8 Cleveland.

A dozen Browns players created a firestorm during a recent preseason game by not standing during the anthem. They created the largest demonstration in the NFL during the anthem since former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his protest more than a year ago.

Some police officers and paramedics are doing something about it. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association and ILA Local 1975, representing the city's dispatchers, EMTs and paramedics, said the Browns came to them weeks ago, and the team wanted city safety forces to hold the flag on the field for the opening game.

EMS union president Daniel Nemeth said it sounded great until a group of Browns players took a knee during the anthem.

"This hit home with me. I am a veteran, an 8-year veteran with the U.S. Marine Corps. So, to disrespect the flag by taking a knee is not something I was going to be a part of," Nemeth said.

A city spokesman said the police have been told the Browns will replace the officers, paramedics and firefighters with members of the military.

Linebacker Christian Kirksey recently explained the demonstration by saying, “We respect our veterans, respect our military. We're not protesting against them. We just have our reasons of why we're doing what we're doing.”

Earlier during the debate over the demonstration, the Browns issued this statement:
“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad. We feel it's important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression."

NYTimes Looks to Philanthropy to Help Fund Journalism Projects

The New York Times is exploring another source of funding: philanthropy.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper said one of its top editors, Janet Elder, will be setting up an operation to seek nonprofit funding that can help support ambitious newsroom projects.

“Over the past year a host of philanthropies and universities have come forward asking to help support our journalism,” the paper said in a Friday note signed by Editor In Chief Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joseph Kahn. “There are opportunities to extend the reach and impact of our journalism with additional support.”

The Times, like all legacy news outlets, is battling steep declines in print advertising. And though it has enjoyed a surge in digital subscriptions and solid digital ad growth recently, the company said nonprofit funding can provide greater flexibility.

“We think there are journalism projects we are eager to pursue that could be more ambitious and have greater impact with outside support,” the note from Messrs. Baquet and Kahn said.

Publications like The Times have often done stand-alone projects with nonprofits or philanthropic organizations, but the new arrangement with Ms. Elder formalizes the process and signals a bigger commitment to nonprofit partnerships.

The Times said Ms. Elder’s first job will be to explore which types of funding to bring in and which initiatives it should pay for. She will also look at the legal or ethical questions associated with taking donations.

Streaming A Cash Bonanza For UMG

Universal Music Group’s labels generated $1.05B in revenues from streaming in the first half of 2017.

According to Music Business Worldwide, that’s a jump of 45.1% year-on-year, and the equivalent of over $40M every week, or around $6M every day. Or about $250,000 every single hour.

Sales from downloads fell 18% year-on-year to $382M in the six months, while physical recorded music revenues dipped by a tiny 1.8% to $524M.

Overall, UMG’s global recorded music business saw sales rise 15.6% in Jan-June 2017, to $2.3B.

Including UMG’s music publishing operation and other activities, total group revenues rose 14% to €$2.9B.

September 2 Radio History

➦In 1896...singer/musician/actress Amanda Randolph was born in Louisville Ky.

She is best remembered as Kingfish’s mother-in-law in Amos & Andy, both radio & TV. In the late 1930’s she had been featured on the radio soaps Young Dr. Malone, Romance of Helen Trent and Big Sister.  She was one of several actresses to play Beulah on TV, and was a cast member on The Danny Thomas Show.

She suffered a fatal stroke August 24, 1967, a week short of her 71st birthday.

➦In 1906...writer/comedienne Barbara Jo Allen was born in New York City.

She created the inimitable radio character Vera Vague in the late 1930’s, and played the wise-cracking man-chasing spinster to the hilt in her regular spots on Bob Hope’s Pepsodent radio programs. She was part of his USO troupe during WWII. In addition to an extensive radio resume she appeared in some 60 films, and hosted (as Vera) the CBS TV audience participation show Follow the Leader in 1953. She died Sept. 14 1974, just 12 days after turning 68.

➦In 1931...the radio show, "15 Minutes with Bing Crosby", debuted on CBS.

In 1923, Crosby had been invited to join a new band composed of high school students a few years younger than himself. Al Rinker, Miles Rinker, James Heaton, Claire Pritchard and Robert Pritchard, along with drummer Crosby, formed the Musicaladers, who performed at dances both for high school students and club-goers. The group did perform on Spokane radio station KHQ, but disbanded after two years.

By 1925, Crosby had formed a vocal duo with partner Al Rinker, brother of singer Mildred Bailey. Bailey introduced Rinker and Crosby to Paul Whiteman, who was at that time America's most famous bandleader. Hired for $150 a week in 1926, they made their debut on December 6 at the Tivoli Theatre in Chicago. Their first recording was "I've Got The Girl", with Don Clark's Orchestra, but the Columbia-issued record did them no vocal favors, as it was inadvertently recorded at a speed slower than it should have been, which increased the singers' pitch when played at 78 rpm. Throughout his career, Crosby often credited Mildred Bailey for getting him his first important job in the entertainment business.

Even as the Crosby and Rinker duo was increasing in popularity, Whiteman added a third member to the group. The threesome, now including pianist and aspiring songwriter Harry Barris, were dubbed "The Rhythm Boys". They joined the Whiteman touring act, performing and recording with musicians Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Lang and Hoagy Carmichael, also appearing together in a Whiteman movie.

Crosby soon became the star attraction of the Rhythm Boys, and in 1928 he had his first number one hit with the Whiteman orchestra, a jazz-influenced rendition of "Ol' Man River". However, Crosby's reported taste for alcohol and his growing dissatisfaction with Whiteman led to his quitting the Rhythm Boys to join the Gus Arnheim Orchestra. During his time with Arnheim, the other two Rhythm Boys were increasingly pushed to the background as the emphasis was on Crosby. Harry Barris wrote several of Crosby's subsequent hits including "At Your Command", "I Surrender Dear", and "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams". But the members of the band had a falling out and split, setting the stage for Crosby's solo career.

From 1942...

On September 2, 1931, Crosby made his solo radio debut.  Before the end of the year, he signed with both Brunswick Records and CBS Radio. Doing a weekly 15-minute radio broadcast, Crosby quickly became a huge hit.  His songs "Out of Nowhere", "Just One More Chance", "At Your Command" and "I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)" were all among the best selling songs of 1931.

➦In 1945…Aboard the USS Missouri, Japan formally surrendered to the United States, ending World War II, six years and one day after it began.

➦In 1963..."The CBS Evening News," anchored by Walter Cronkite, became network television's first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, lengthened from its original 15 minutes.


➦In 1968...Music Directors at radio stations across the country received a new 45 from a new group called Creedence Clearwater Revival.  They didn't know much about them other than their first single was called "Suzie Q".  They played it, and the rest is history.

➦In 1973...Some of The Top Albums of 1973* were out on this date.  Chicago VI remained at #1, Pink Floyd moved back up to #2 with The Dark Side of the Moon, Foreigner from Cat Stevens was fourth while the Allman Brothers Band moved from 13 to 4 with the biggest album they would ever have--Brothers and Sisters.  The rest of the Top 10:  Touch Me in the Morning from Diana Ross, A Passion Play from Jethro Tull dropped from 2, Machine Head by Deep Purple had been out a year and was moving up to #7, We're An American Band from Grand Funk moved from 15 to 8, Made in Japan by Deep Purple was #9 and Fresh by Sly & the Family Stone completed the list.

➦In 1974...Reunion released "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)" on this date. Many custom versions were made for Top40 stations across the country. WCFL 1000 AM in Chicago had one. Here is the version for crosstown rival WLS 890 AM...

➦In 1986...WAPP changed to WQHT 103.5 FM.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Nielsen, WWOne Blog Refute 'Grim' Radio Industry Report

Larry Miller
An in-depth study released this week by New York University professor Larry Miller portraying a grim outlook for the terrestrial radio industry generated a not-so-surprising backlash from key players in the traditional radio industry, especially big radio broadcasters and radio audience measurement firm Nielsen.  (Click Here for our original story)

The report centers on radio's inability to connect with younger listeners -- especially millennials and so-called “Generation Z” cohorts who grew up in an era of abundant digital audio alternatives to terrestrial radio broadcasting, as well as the failure of the radio industry to respond quickly enough to the newfound competition.

Among other things, the report notes that one of radio’s strongest technological bases -- the automobile -- has begun to erode thanks to the introduction of digital audio receivers competing with or supplanting conventional terrestrial radio devices in many new car models, reports MediaPost.

Citing the radio industry’s gold standard for radio audience measurement -- Nielsen’s portable people meter sample -- Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer of Westwood One, takes the report to task, analyzing six years worth of listening data indicating that radio’s audience levels among three key younger demos -- children 6-11, teens 12-17, and adults 18-24 -- has been "virtually unchanged since May 2011."

While Miller’s report also makes an explicit attack on the validity of Nielsen’s radio audience measurement, noting that “radio’s ratings system can be gamed and fails to deliver on the specifics that advertisers demand,” Nielsen issued a statement refuting those observations.

The Nielsen statement points out that its radio measurement methodology continues to be “the industry accepted currency for the buying and selling of radio advertising,” and links to the recent findings of its Total Audience Report showing that younger radio audiences have been stable:

“In Nielsen's latest Total Audience Report 2017, Q1 data shows that Generation Z spent over 35 hours per month listening to AM/FM radio and 88% of Generation Z use radio each week.

Meanwhile, Nielsen’s Ethnic Audio Today report cites that nearly 75 million weekly radio consumers are Black and Hispanic - up from 73 million a year prior.”

Facebook's Watch Challenging YouTube For Ad Dollars

Facebook Inc launched its Watch video service to U.S. users on Thursday with plans to allow people to submit shows, as the No. 1 social media network vies with Alphabet Inc’s YouTube for advertising revenue, reports Reuters.

Advertisers are shifting more of their budgets from television to online as viewers have migrated to watching shows on smartphones and tablets.

On Watch, which Facebook began testing earlier this month, users can see hundreds of shows from the likes of Vox, Buzzfeed, Discovery Communications Inc, A&E Networks, Walt Disney Co’s ABC, as well as live sports like Major League Baseball.

Americans spend more than 73 minutes a day watching digital video, up more than 7 percent from last year, according to eMarketer data. TV watching has dropped 2 percent from last year to 244 minutes a day, a trend that is expected to continue.

Facebook is initially paying some content creators for shows to drive interest. The company is paying $10,000-$35,000 for shorter form shows and up to $250,000 for longer shows, sources told Reuters in May.

The company declined to comment on how much it was spending on shows.

Facebook does not intend to make buying content a core piece of its strategy, Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships at Facebook, told Reuters.

Facebook plans to eventually open the platform to everyone to submit shows for approval and share 55 percent of ad revenue, Rose said.

Orlando Radio: Curran In Charge For Cox Media

Paul Curran
Cox Media Group (CMG) has named Paul Curran Market Vice President for Orlando, effective immediately.

In this new role, he will lead a converged market of trusted radio and TV brands, including WFTV (ABC) and WRDQ (Ind), News/Talk WDBO 96.5 FM, Country WWKA K92.3 FM, Classic Hits WMMO 98.1, UrbanAC WCFB Star 94.5 FM, Hip-Hop WPYO Power 95.3 FM , Translator 107.3 Solo Exitos, SportsTalk WDBO 580 AM ESPN Orlando, CMG Local Solutions and Cox Events Group.

“Paul has been a highly successful member of the Cox Media Group team for many years,” said Executive Vice President Bill Hendrich. “He has created engaging work environments that drive success and he has been a great partner with our Radio stations, fostering collaboration in sales, news, marketing and events.”

Prior to his new role, Curran served as VP and General Manager of Orlando TV stations WFTV and WDRQ. He also has worked as CMG’s VP of Sales, strategically managing sales revenue across TV, Radio and Newspaper properties. Curran began his Cox career in 1995 as an Account Executive at KTVU Television in San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose. Other career highlights include working as Director of Sales in Pittsburgh.

Currently, Paul serves on the boards of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Orlando Economic Partnership, Florida Association of Broadcasters and Florida Citrus Sports.

“The opportunity to bring together the talented people and dynamic products of CMG Radio and CMG TV under one entity in Central Florida is an exciting one,” said Curran. “No other media company can match our combined TV, Radio, and Digital footprint here, and the possibilities to build on collaboration and improve the experience for our viewers, listeners, and customers are limitless.  I can’t wait to get started.”

In July, longtime Orlando radio exec Susan Larkin unexpectedly exited Cox Media to take a similar position with Entercom overseeing Orlando and Jacksonville.

Glenn Beck's Blaze Announces Mass Layoffs

Glenn Beck has laid off more than 20 percent of staff at TheBlaze, his right-wing news organization, and the Mercury Radio Arts, his production company.

According to, the cuts were announced Thursday by Beck  in an op-ed on The company’s total payroll once reached approximately 300, but cuts in the last few years halved that number. Various reports put the headcount affected by this round of layoffs between 100 and 150, which means anywhere from 20 to 30 people lost employment.

In an op-ed titled “A message from Glenn Beck: A Heavy Heart and the Road Ahead,” he laid out the problems his company faces.

“Today, we said goodbye to just over 20 percent of the combined workforce of Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze (with most of the changes happening at TheBlaze),” he said. “We are losing a lot of talented and committed colleagues, who are some of the best human beings I know  —  some have been friends of mine for 30 years.”

“We are not PBS,” he added. “No government institution is going to write us a giant check. The structural challenges facing media companies today are real; but, when someone  — anyone  — tells me that something can’t be done, it only makes me more determined to prove them wrong.” Beck did not specify the “structural challenges” facing his organization.

TheBlaze was founded by Beck in 2011 and broadcasts on regional cable networks across the United States.

The online conservative media space has become increasingly crowded, with the Blaze going up against the likes of Breitbart, Drudge Report and the Daily Caller. But marketers, fearing brand safety issues, often add those sites to their blacklists.

“The percentage of Fortune 500 or even Fortune 1000 companies that advertise on Conservative Media vs. Media in general is very low,” Mercury Radio Arts President Jonathan Schreiber writes in a blog post, explaining sites like the Blaze have to rely on direct-response advertising.

The problem with direct-response ads, though, is that their goal is getting users to click away from sites, which is in direct conflict with publishers wanting to increase dwell time.

Tom Calderone EXITS Spotify

Tom Calderone
Spotify Ltd. is parting ways with Tom Calderone, the head of original video and podcasts, after the music-streaming company’s initial round of programs failed to catch on with audiences.

According to Bloomberg, the online pioneer confirmed Calderone’s departure in an email Thursday. Spotify will focus its video efforts around Rap Caviar, the service’s most popular playlist, Rock This and other features, a spokesman said.

With the move, Spotify is narrowing its video ambitions. Calderone, the former head of cable network VH1, commissioned a dozen series from producers including Tim Robbins and Russell Simmons. He also oversaw podcasts, an area of growing importance at the world’s largest paid music service. Now the company is making clearer that it wants videos on the service to stay closer to the music industry.

While Spotify has known for some time it wants to offer more programming beyond music, the company has struggled to settle on a strategy.

Despite efforts, video never been featured prominently within Spotify, a source of frustration for many partners. No series has broken out.

Louisville Radio: WXMA Drops MaxFM For Variety Hits JackFM

Alpha Media/Louisville announced the addition of 102.3 Jack FM to WXMA. The station previously known as 102.3 The Max, switched to Jack FM Thursday.

WXMA 102.3 FM (6 Kw)
Jack 102.3 FM will play hits from artists like Aerosmith, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Kid Rock and more. Louisville radio veteran, Sarah Jordan will continue as Program Director of Jack 102.3 FM.

Alpha Media VP of Programming, Ronnie Stanton commented on the announcement, “What an exciting day for Alpha Media and the great city of Louisville. Jack will be a breath of fresh air both musically and in its fun attitude.”

“We are about to change the radio landscape in Louisville. We are ‘jacked’ to launch 102.3 Jack FM…an unpredictable radio station that breaks all the rules. Listeners are going to enjoy a new, fresh approach to hearing their favorite songs, and advertisers are going to love reaching a larger audience,” remarked Bill Gentry, Alpha Media, Louisville SVP/Market Manager.

Terre Haute IN Radio: The Fan Drops Sports For 'Timeless Classics'

WFNF 1130 AM / 99.5 FM “The Fan” is no longer broadcasting ESPN sports programming at 1130 AM and 99.5 FM (Translator W258BA). It has been replaced with Timeless Classics with new call letters:  WAMB.

The new format, called “Timeless Classics,” also known as “adult standards” features a mix of music from the late 1950s through the ‘60s and ‘70s and into the ‘80s, Dave Crooks, president and general manager of DLC media said in announcing the change.

W258BA (250 watts)
Artists featured in the programming provided by the Westwood One network include the likes of the Carpenters, Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra and Nora Jones, said Crooks.

“It’s kind of an easy mix,” he said. “The plan is to flank our current light hits station, WFNB 92.7, which has a nice soft adult format. A lot of the songs we’re featuring [on WAMB] are songs that you rarely hear on the radio anymore.”

WAMB 1130 AM (500 watts-D, 20 watts-N)
The format change is a “no brainer,” Crooks said, noting Vigo and Clay counties are home to 55,000 residents aged 45 and older. He said his company is also “more comfortable” programming music than news/talk or sports.

With 28 stations licensed to communities in Vigo and surrounding counties, according to, and several more signals reaching the area, the Wabash Valley is an especially competitive radio market.

“The Fan” has been struggling for years to gain a significant hold, said Crooks, who took over the station last winter as part of a group purchase.

Nashville Radio: Bobby Bones' Joy Week Surpasses $300K

Four days into the annual Joy Week at The Bobby Bones Show' on WSIX 97.9 FM The Big 98 the weeklong in-studio concert series has raised $300,000. The goal was $50,000.

According to The Tennessean, the show's cast, which includes Bones, Amy Brown and Dan “Lunchbox” Chappell, will donate the original goal of $50,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The other $250,000 — and the rest of the money raised by end of show Friday — will go to the Red Cross for relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“I’ve never asked (listeners) for something for someone else and they haven’t given,” Bones said. “The storms were just crushing. I’m watching it on TV, and I’m seeing people who are struggling and so are my listeners. I know they are looking for ways to help, so I just wanted to put it out there in the easiest way possible.”

Joy Week sprang out of the show's Pimpin’ Joy movement, which was inspired by the cancer battle of Brown's mother, Judy.

The team created a Pimpin’ Joy line of apparel, the sales of which benefit multiple charities. Since its inception in 2014, more than $1.6 million has been raised for donation through sale of the clothing.

Bones started Joy Week three years ago as a way of spreading joy, it morphing into a fundraiser only recently. He asked himself what he could do that no one else could. The answer was to have artists come into the studio to perform on his show for no other reason than making people happy. His first calls were to Brad Paisley and Dan + Shay, who said yes immediately. By year three, Bones had artists lined up the hallway waiting to come into the studio, sing a couple of songs and then leave to make room for the next artist.

Bobby Bones, Maren Morris, Amy Brown
This year he changed it up by inviting singers to come in with their full band and play for an hour on "The Bobby Bones Show." Walker Hayes launched Joy Week on Monday with a song he wrote years ago, “Joy Like Judy,” before Maren Morris took the microphone for the next hour. Brett Eldredge played Tuesday, and Dustin Lynch sang Wednesday. Rascal Flatts played during Thursday’s show, with the week culminating with Friday’s surprise guest, Luke Bryan.

NextRadio Apps Got Workout As 'Harvey' Arrived

The NextRadio data team has tracked listening during several storms, including Hurricane Harvey, and a definite pattern emerged.

People use their phones to tune to radio in massive numbers. As Harvey made landfall on Friday, August 25 at Corpus Christi, TX, local NextRadio listening was up 186% and session starts up 124% as compared with an average Friday. Total listening minutes were down 3% and TSL per session down 54%.

As the storm continued to pound Houston on Sunday, August 27, the number of NextRadio listeners there rose 50% and session starts rose 22%. Total listening minutes were down 11% and TSL per session down 26%. This echoes what the firm saw during a 2016 tornado in Kokomo, Indiana. The number of NextRadio listeners spiked 4.2 times the daily average. Yet session minutes were down. The company saw a correlation of sessions going up but length going down as they believed people are checking back more frequently for up-to-the-minute news.

Listening to radio on your phone trended similarly in Texas markets not directly impacted by Harvey. In Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, the number of listeners tuning to radio via the NextRadio app was up 79%, 52% and 34%, respectively. TSL by session was down 27%, 29% and 8% for these markets.

Texas Association of Broadcasters President Oscar Rodriguez led an effort to remind people with Android phones to download the NextRadio app. On Friday, he encouraged all stations to mention listening via the app, citing benefits of the FM chip in preserving battery life and data packages.

Pete Rose OUT At Fox Sports

Pete Rose
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader will not continue at the cable network, where he was slated to return to the desk as part of its coverage of postseason games.

Fox Sports declined comment.

The news follows recent allegations that Rose had a sexual relationship with an underage girl in the 1970s. The claim is part of a defamation suit Rose filed last year against attorney John Dowd, who served as MLB's outside counsel in the investigation that led to the former slugger's lifetime ban from the sport in 1989 for betting on games featuring the Cincinnati Reds when he was the team's manager.

A sworn statement by the woman, identified as Jane Doe, in a motion filed July 31 by Dowd’s defense attorney, alleges that Rose had a relationship with her for several years, beginning before she turned 16, the age of consent in Ohio, where the woman and Rose lived at the time. Rose acknowledged in court documents that he had sex with the woman but thought she was 16 at the time. Rose would have been 34 then and was married with two children.

The statute of limitations means that Rose will not face criminal jeopardy.

The decision to sever ties with Rose comes as 21st Century Fox has been rocked by systemic harassment allegations at Fox News that have resulted in millions of dollars in settlements.

Philly Radio: Matt Nahigian OUT As WPEN-FM PD

Matt Nahigian
It appears that Matt Nahigian is out as Program Director at Beasley's WPEN 95.7 FM The Fanatic.

According to, he’s led the radio station to a decade of solid growth and success. Under Nahigian’s watch, sports radio programs on 950AM moved to the FM dial, changing the radio station’s position to 97.5 The Fanatic. Top local stars such as Mike Missanelli and Anthony Gargano signed on to host shows on the station, and the 76ers and Flyers moved their games over after previously airing on local market competitor Sports Radio 94WIP.

Sports Media consultant Jason Barrett says the moves paid dividends as The Fanatic began battling WIP for local ratings bragging rights. In fact, The Fanatic’s success was strong enough to earn recognition from the National Association of Broadcasters, receiving a nomination for the 2017 Marconi Awards.

Why Nahigian is no longer in charge of The Fanatic’s programming department isn’t clear but the radio station now has big shoes to fill. The one positive for the next PD is that they’ll inherit a strong brand with top talent in a passionate sports city.

Detroit Radio: LineUp Changes Unveiled For WMGC The Bounce

Beasley Media Group, Inc. has announced WMGC 105.1 The Bounce will welcome more home grown “Ambassadors” to the station’s new weekend line-up beginning on Saturday, September 2nd at 10am in the Motor City.

Starting Labor Day weekend, Cortney Hicks will now be heard on every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm. Cortney is known for her many years of hosting popular shows on several Detroit stations, plus shows in other major cities, including Chicago, Washington D.C. and Charlotte N.C.

When asked about her return home and her new role on the Bounce, Cortney commented, "Nothin better than being on the radio in your hometown. Many thanks to Beasley Media Group for the opportunity to stay on board and serve my beloved city!"

In addition, 105.1 The Bounce recently added Detroit Hip Hop radio favorite A.P. “The Absolute Princess” (A.P.) to the team, following a year-long social media campaign in which listeners actually encouraged the station to put her on the station. A.P. will now be heard starting at 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday nights.

“Being back on the radio seems surreal,” said AP. “Just a year ago, I campaigned to be on this station when it launched in the Detroit Market. I spoke it into existence and here I am! Major shout out to "Big AP" Al Payne for putting me back on air I'm grateful for the opportunity. Let’s bounce!”

“Our goal is to assemble a team of the finest in Detroit radio, as well as the best Hip Hop personalities, to navigate our fans through each experience listening to this iconic music,” said Bounce Program Director Al Payne.

“That’s why all of our announcers are known as Ambassadors. Cortney and A.P. are shining examples of this mission and I look forward to what they have in store.”

Payne added, “Beginning on Tuesday September 5th, Detroit’s ‘Cuzzin’ Reggie Regg will now be heard every Monday through Friday from 7 to 10pm with his new “Bounce Fam Time” show, followed by DJ Dinero hosting the highly rated ‘Set It Off Radio Party Mix’ from 10pm until midnight. Dinero will also host the all new “Bouncin’ After Dark” slow jam show from midnight – 2am, where we’re going to devote time to “slow bounce” Detroit’s best R & B! This is the only station now able to take you from the bar to the bedroom, with Dinero’s Set It Off Radio Party Mix and Bouncin’ After Dark back to back.”

Network Sports Chiefs Disagree On NFL Ratings

National anthem protests during the 2016 season played a role in the declined NFL ratings, says the president of one major sports network.

The NY Post reports CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus feels confident making the statement after his network conducted internal research to determine what contributed to the drop, he told reporters at the NFL’s annual Media Day in New York City on Wednesday. Overall, networks reportedly saw an eight percent drop in NFL ratings between the 2015 and 2016 season.

“We did research and it was relatively proprietary research, to be honest with you. But I think if you look at some of the reasons why NFL viewership was down last year, that is the reason, that is a reason that’s mentioned by a fair amount of viewers,” McManus said of players’ anthem protests, via Sports Illustrated.

“It is something they don’t find attractive or they don’t find compelling in coverage of the football game. How big a factor it was? I don’t really know. But it was one of the factors that I think perhaps led to the slight decreased in ratings last year.”

The controversial protests started with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first began kneeling during the anthem during the 2016 preseason to raise awareness about police brutality against black people.

As NFL ratings began to drop, some pointed at the players’ public displays of politics. Others, like Fox Sports’ executive vice president of research Mike Mulvihill, disagree.

Mike Mulvihill
According to Sports Business Journal, he said some of the factors that hurt last season’s ratings have been mitigated.

Earlier this month, he gave a presentation at a Fox Sports seminar filled with talent producers and directors who work on NFL games. He laid out three factors that affected NFL ratings last year and three factors that didn’t. The three factors that affected NFL ratings last year:

1. The election

Before the election — during weeks 1-9 last season (Sept. 11-Nov. 6) — cable news networks averaged 6.29 million viewers in prime time, which was up 82 percent from the previous year. After the election — during weeks 10-17 (Nov. 13-Jan. 1), they were up 18 percent (4.17 million viewers). Conversely, NFL games were down 13 percent in total viewing from weeks 1-9 and essentially flat in weeks 10-17.

Even if news networks continue their current pace, NFL games should be OK, Mulvihill said.

2. The absence of stars

The NFL started last season with Peyton Manning retired, Tom Brady suspended and Tony Romo injured. Plus, the returning NFC championship game contenders — Carolina and Arizona — were not big national draws.

This season, the networks have to deal with Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension, but the Cowboys are expected to remain a big TV draw. Other big draws like New England, Pittsburgh and Green Bay are entering the season at full strength, barring preseason injuries. For Mulvihill, that should help the networks get a good start.

3. The expansion of football windows

Network executives have complained about the added NFL windows for a long time — like the expansion of “Thursday Night Football” and the added London games. They believe the added windows diluted the ratings. The NFL has 110 windows during the course of a season. In 1994, when Fox started carrying NFL games, that figure was at 92.

“Over the course of our participation in the league, we’ve had a 20 percent expansion in the number of game windows,” Mulvihill said. “When you increase the number of windows, you increase total consumption, but the average viewership goes down.”