Saturday, September 9, 2017

September 10 Radio History

➦In 1933…Singer/pianist/comedian/actor Jimmy Durante made his first appearance on Eddie Cantor's "Chase and Sanborn Hour," and continued to perform on the NBC Radio program for two months. When Cantor left, Durante took over the show as its star for five months in 1934.

➦In 1935…The radio program "Popeye, the Sailor," with Detmar Poppen in the title role, debuted on the NBC Red Network. The 15-minute show was heard three times a week for six months.

➦In 1945...KLS-AM in Oakland California changed call letters to KWBR, eventually becoming KDIA 1310 AM.

For twenty-five years, the call letters KDIA were synonymous with soul music in the Bay Area, according to the Bay Area Radio Museum.  Descended from the pioneering Oakland station KLS — which itself was born from an early experimental station, 6XAM, in 1921 and became KWBR in 1945 — the 1,000-watt station had begun emphasizing programs that targeted the local African-American audience around the end of World War II.

By the late 1950s, while still known as KWBR, the station was competing with KSAN 1450 AM in San Francisco for black listeners with rhythm-and-blues music and popular disc jockeys, including Big Don Barksdale and Bouncin' Bill Doubleday. In July 1959, KWBR was sold for $550,000 to the Sonderling Stations group, operator of the legendary Memphis station, WDIA. On September 4, 1959, KWBR became KDIA, reflecting its new parentage. (Sonderling also owned KFOX in Los Angeles and WOPA in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.)

Under Sonderling ownership and the management of Walter Conroy, KDIA directed its full programming effort toward the emerging black audience, keeping Don Barksdale and Bill Doubleday on its staff and adding high-caliber talent over the years that included Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer George Oxford (previously a competitor at KSAN), John Hardy, Belva Davis (later known for her television work at KRON, KPIX and KQED), Rosko (nom de radieux of William Roscoe Mercer), Roland Porter, Bob White, Bill Hall, Johnny Morris and Bob Jones. The station leveraged its dial position — 1310 AM — into its identity as "KDIA Lucky 13."

In 1965, KDIA's power was raised to 5,000 watts from a new transmitter facility near the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza which also housed the station's new studios and offices. The five-fold increase in power made KDIA a veritable powerhouse and helped to hasten the demise of the old KSAN, which had become KSOL in 1964. (Going full circle, it was another KSOL — this time on 107.7 FM — that would eventually end KDIA's supremacy in the late 1970s.)

The station thrived through the 1970s, but was sold by Sonderling to Viacom International in 1980. KDIA continued with an Urban Contemporary music format under Viacom until 1983, when the station was sold again (along with WDIA) to Ragan Henry. In 1984, KDIA changed hands once more, becoming the property of Adam Clayton Powell III, who flipped the station to All News KFYI.

After the failure of KFYI's news format, the station went off the air on April 9, 1985, only to be revived under new ownership as KDIA in October of that year. In subsequent years, the station was owned by future San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris, and by James Gabbert, who had also owned KIOI and KOFY. In 1997, Gabbert entered into an agreement to air the syndicated "Radio Disney" programming format on KDIA in advance of selling the station to ABC, Inc.  The station's call letters were changed to KMKY on January 20, 1998, and ABC purchased the station for $6.25-million in May 1998.

The KDIA call letters are currently assigned to the religious-formatted station known as "The Light For San Francisco," licensed in the city of Vallejo and operating at 1640 kHz.

➦In 1948…In Washington, DC, Mildred "Axis Sally" Gillars, a Nazi radio propagandist during World War II, was indicted for treason. Upon her conviction she spent 12 years in prison.

➦In 1962...The BBC banned Bobby "Boris" Pickett's Halloween novelty single "Monster Mash," finding it in poor taste. However, in 1973 the radio giant lifts the ban, sending a re-release of the holiday favorite to #3.

➦In 1984...The Federal Communications Commission changed a rule allowing broadcasters to own 12 AM and 12 FM radio stations. The previous limit was 7 of each.

➦In 1992...Howard Stern appeared as Fartman on the MTV Video Music Awards.

➦In 2001...Sean Hannity went into radio syndication

➦In 2004...Ken Minyard, the anchor of "Ken and Company" on KABC-AM, announced his retirement.

Bob Arthur, Ken Minyard
Ken Minyard (born in 1939) was featured on KABC 790 AM's morning Newstalk show in the early 1970s, but he is best remembered as a partner on the radio with Bob Arthur.  The "Ken and Bob Company" was Los Angeles' #1 rated radio show for almost 20 years on KABC.

The pair started their run in 1973, with the more talkative Minyard commenting on news events or quirky happenings, while Arthur, the more authoritative newsman, provided wry one-liners and snappy observations. That chemistry kept their program, “The Ken and Bob Company,” at No. 1 in the ratings for most of their tenure, and the pair never dropped out of the Top 3 among morning radio shows.

The LA Times reports the duo rarely worked from a script, and instead riffed on the day’s headlines. In explaining what made “Ken and Bob” work, Minyard said people appreciated their combination of professionalism and optimism. Arthur explained their popularity and longevity another way: “I've heard it said that it was like eavesdropping on a poker game where the stakes weren't very high.”

6600 Block of Hollywood Blvd.
After Arthur retired in 1990, Minyard soldiered on alone briefly, then partnered with Roger Barkley (of the former Los Angeles morning radio show Lohman and Barkley on KFWB and later KFI) for an additional 6 years, but the morning Los Angeles radio market was growing very competitive, particularly from an increasing number of FM morning talk shows. One Monday morning, Los Angeles tuned in to find that Roger Barkley was gone and Minyard was continuing with a new format. He commented at the time that Barkley was upset, but that the station demanded a change. "Talk radio, and radio in general, is tough", he once remarked. "You won't work forever". But Ken Minyard still had many more good years on Los Angeles radio.

Later he partnered with Peter Tilden on KABC and also had a 2-year pairing on a syndicated show with his son, Rick.

Fox News: Eric Bolling Is Out, Charles Payne Returns

Eric Bolling
The Fox News Channel has cut loose Eric Bolling, who was suspended on Aug. 5, and has also canceled his daily program “Fox News Specialists.”

According to The LATimes, the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, investigated allegations that the 54-year-old Bolling used his cellphone to send unsolicited photos of male genitalia to current and former female colleagues at the network. The firm has been handling harassment claims at the 21st Century Fox unit.

“Fox News Channel is canceling the ‘Specialists,’ and Eric Bolling and Fox have agreed to part ways amicably,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “We thank Eric for his 10 years of service to our loyal viewers and wish him the best of luck.”

Earlier Friday, Fox News confirmed that Fox Business host Charles Payne is returning to his job at the network after he was cleared in an internal investigation of sexual harassment claims lodged by a female political analyst who was a frequent guest on his program.

A Fox News representative confirmed that the company’s review of the allegations against Payne has been completed and that he would return to his nightly program “Making Money” on Friday night.

Payne has been off the air since July 6 when he was suspended hours after the LATimes first reported that he was being investigated over allegations of sexual misconduct.

No other details about the results of either investigation were available, but Payne’s return seems to indicate he was cleared, while Bolling was not.

Bolling was a rising star at Fox News. After a career as a commodities trader, he became a commentator at CNBC. He joined Fox Business Network in 2007 and eventually became part of the late afternoon roundtable show “The Five” on Fox News Channel.

After O’Reilly’s departure, “The Five” moved to prime time, but Bolling stayed in the late afternoon slot to head up “Fox News Specialists.” He signed a new multi-year contract earlier this year.

Two-thirds of Adults Get News From Social Media

About two-thirds of American adults are getting “at least some of their news on social media” with two-in-ten doing so often, according to a Pew Research Center survey this week.

Reuters report about 67 percent of American adults somewhat rely on social media platforms such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Snapchat for news, the survey showed, compared with 62 percent in 2016.

For the first time in the Center’s surveys, the research also found that 55 percent of Americans adults over 50 were consuming news on social media sites, up from 45 percent in 2016.

“While a small increase overall, this growth is driven by more substantial increases among Americans who are older, less educated, and non-white,” the research said.

Those under 50 years of age remained more likely than their elders to get news from these sites - 78 percent said they consume news on social media platforms, unchanged from 2016.

Facebook remained as the dominant platform for news with 45 percent of American adults saying they get news from the social media site. Alphabet Inc’s YouTube was next with 18 percent while only about 11 percent of U.S. adults said they get their news on Twitter.

The research also showed about three-quarters of non-whites or 74 percent, get news on social media sites, up from 64 percent in 2016.

Social media news use also increased among those with less than a bachelor’s degree, up 9 percentage points to 69 percent in 2017 from the previous year. Alternatively, among those with at least a college degree, social media news use declined slightly this year.

Pew found that 74 percent of U.S. adults who use Twitter say they get news there, up from 59 percent of the site’s users in 2016.

FTC Takes Hard Line On Disclosures

Social media users who have any relationships with the businesses or people they endorse -- even friendships or family ties -- should disclose those connections when writing reviews, posting on Instagram and tweeting, the Federal Trade Commission advises in newly updated guidance, according to MediaPost.

The FTC has recommended since at least 2009 that online endorsers disclose material connections between themselves and companies that wouldn't otherwise be apparent to consumers. In its newest update, issued this week, the agency continues to take a broad view of the types of connections that require disclosures.

For instance, the FTC discusses a scenario where the owner of a new restaurant invites family and friends to eat for free. If those people discuss the restaurant on social media, they should say that they ate for free, and also that they have a relationship with the owner, the FTC advises.

"It may be relevant to readers that people endorsing your restaurant on social media are related to you. Therefore, they should disclose that personal relationship," the FTC writes. "If someone who eats for free at your invitation posts about your restaurant, readers of the post would probably want to know that the meal was on the house."

Jeff Greenbaum, an advertising lawyer with Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, says the new guidance indicates that to a surprising extent, endorsements on social media remain a high priority.

"I think that many people didn't expect influencers to be such a high priority under the new administration," he says.

He adds that the new recommendations reflect a hard-line position regarding online endorsements.

The FTC also offered some specific guidance about the types of disclosures it is recommending on platforms like Twitter, where space is limited. While the agency says it isn't mandating the use of any particular words, it also says that starting a tweet with #ad "would likely be effective."

People who make endorsements on Snapchat or Instagram Stories should superimpose the disclosure over images, the FTC recommends. "The disclosure should be easy to notice and read in the time that your followers have to look at the image."

R.I.P.: Country Singer Troy Gentry Dead At Age 50

Singer Troy Gentry, of country music group Montgomery Gentry, died in a helicopter crash in New Jersey on Friday, the band’s website said.

Troy Gentry
The singer was 50, according to Reuters.

Details of the crash, which occurred in Medford township were not immediately known, the band said in a statement. Medford police did not immediately respond to a request for information on the crash.

Gentry was due to perform with his bandmate Eddie Montgomery on Friday evening at the Flying W Airport and Resort in Medford. Singer Montgomery did not appear to be involved in the incident.

Troy Gentry waited for what must have seemed like an eternity hoping aide from emergency units would show up before his helicopter crashed to the ground.

According to the emergency dispatch audio obtained by The Blast, the helicopter Gentry was aboard made a call to Burlington County, NJ officials reporting mechanical issues.

One of the dispatchers on the audio lets the other responders know to hurry to the Flying W Airport because the helicopter was hovering waiting for the fire department to arrive before attempting an emergency landing.  They make it clear the country star’s chopper had already been hovering for several minutes.

Unfortunately, the helo crashed shortly after emergency crews arrived,

Country music stars paid tribute to Gentry on social media on Friday, including Sheryl Crow, Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton, who tweeted an old photo of himself and Gentry, saying he was “heart broken”. Singer Brad Paisley tweeted, “God bless you Troy Gentry. Heartbroken and in disbelief”.

Kentucky band Montgomery Gentry formed in 1999 and scored hits such as “She Couldn’t Change Me” and “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” across eight studio albums.

The band has won awards from both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association, and has been inducted into Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.

Montgomery Gentry released its most recent album, “Folks Like Us” in 2015.

Montgomery Gentry: A Duo Beset By Tragedy

Eddie Montgomery, Troy Gentry
The country music community was rocked by news Friday afternoon of the death of singer Troy Gentry in a helicopter crash in New Jersey. He was 50.

His duo partner, Eddie Montgomery, was at the airport, waiting for Gentry to arrive, when the crash occurred, according to The Tennessean.

Sadly, it's only the latest tragedy for Montgomery Gentry. Gentry's father, Lloyd, died just last week.

A couple of years ago, Gentry's wife, Angie McClure Gentry, battled breast cancer. She beat it.

Montgomery fought prostate cancer a few years before. Montgomery's dad died from the disease in 1994.

In 2015, Montgomery's 19-year-old son, Hunter, died in Kentucky after an accident that put the teen on life support.

“My son Hunter went to heaven today,” Montgomery said in a statement at the time. “I appreciate all your prayers and love and thank you for giving us privacy as we grieve and say goodbye.”

Gentry's brother, Keith, died in 2014. His mother, Patricia Ann, died of cancer in 2007, according to CMT.

R.I.P.: Country Artist Don Williams

Don Williams
Country music singer Don Williams, one of the biggest stars of the 1970s and 1980s, died on Friday at the age of 78, according to Reuters.

Williams, known as “the Gentle Giant” because of his 6-foot, 1-inch frame, mellow voice and low-key profile, had hits with “Tulsa Time,” “I Believe in You” and “It Must Be Love,” over the course of a 50-year career.

He died on the same day as Troy Gentry, one half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, who was killed in a helicopter crash in New Jersey.

The statement announcing his passing said Williams died of an undisclosed illness but gave no further details.

Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and released his last studio album, “Reflections,” in 2014.

Two years later, he announced his retirement from touring, saying it was “time to hang up my hat and enjoy some quiet time at home.”

Williams was a big influence on other musicians, spanning country to rock. Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend were among those who have recorded his music.

TV Ratings Down For NFL Opener

The NFL season opener, which saw the Kansas City Chiefs upset the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, earned an overnight 14.6 rating among households. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that's down from the 16.5 rating for the comparable outing last year, when the Denver Broncos battled the Carolina Panthers in a Super Bowl L rematch. The 25 share for Thursday's game was also down from last year's 29 share.

According to NBC's total audience delivery metric, 22.2 million viewers, down from 2016's haul of 25.4 million viewers, but up from Sunday Night Football's average for the 2016 season (20.5 million).

This is the second year in a row the first NFL game of the season has brought diminishing returns. The 2015 opener brought in a 17.7 rating among households, 21.4 million viewers and 7.4 rating among adults 18-49, when Tom Brady made a triumphant return following the "Deflategate" scandal and his subsequent four-game suspension, which was thrown out before the opener.

More eyes have been on NFL in recent years as broadcast networks like NBC and CBS — which will continue to split Thursday Night Football games this season — look to live programs to help bolster ratings.

S-F Radio: John Madden Returns To KCBS

John Madden
CBS Radio San Francisco announces that legendary coach and Football Hall of Famer John Madden has returned to KCBS and will be live on Mondays and Fridays at 9:15am PT. His first day back on air was Friday, September 8. Each report features Madden's signature style football analysis and candid sports commentary. The live segments air with several repeats throughout the day. Madden previously hosted live morning drive sports reports on KCBS from August 1997 through July 2016.

"With the start of football season, I thought it was the right time to come back to radio. I am excited to be back with KCBS," commented Madden.

"John Madden is like family to KCBS. His passion for football, stories new and old, and ability to discuss the games' behind-the-scenes and on-field strategy is second to none," said CBS Radio San Francisco Senior VP/Market Manager Doug Harvill. "He also has a keen sense of humor and is well known for his 'Maddenism' quotes that keep our listeners both informed and entertained. We are thrilled that he is back in action and bringing his unique sports banter back to ALL NEWS KCBS."

Madden excelled during his tenure as head coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders. He steered the Raiders to an overall record of 108-32-7, leading the team to seven AFC Western Division titles and a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. His winning percentage (.750) is the best of any head coach in NFL history. Madden has been honored by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with 16 Outstanding Sports Personality/Analyst Emmy Awards and in recognition of his coaching career, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

St. Louis Radio: Frank O. Pinion Headed To KFNS

Frank O. Pinion
Frank O. Pinion has been a fixture in the afternoon drive-time slot at KTRS 550 AM  for 20 years but is about to move up the dial to KFNS 590 AM The Fan.

His last day at KTRS is scheduled for next Thursday, his debut at KFNS on Oct. 2, according to

Dan Caesar reports KFNS Owner Randy Markel has made many lineup changes in his tenure of less than two years, which once was the dominant local sports-talk station. But its fortune faded after missed payrolls, lawsuits and even a fistfight in the office between a host and the man running the station. It finally went off the air before Markel and a partner essentially bought it out of bankruptcy.

All of Markel’s previous moves were to bolster the station’s sports presence. “We’re sports, I don’t want this other (stuff) and we’re going to be sports,” he insisted.

But O. Pinion’s show has little — usually nothing — to do with sports. And he said he won’t change his approach of long-form storytelling, cracking jokes and selling. He is an expert salesman who is adept at steering the subject at hand into talking about, or to, his advertisers.

“I don’t know sports,” O. Pinion, 67, acknowledged in a lengthy meeting this week. “No one knows less about sports than me.”

He has had and will keep an unconventional business structure for his show.  He owns the show and is given four minutes of advertising to sell per hour, which he uses to pay himself and his staff.

KFNS 550 AM (1Kw, DA2)
He will have a similar arrangement at KFNS — he’ll average four minutes an hour to air his own ads, with the station having 12 minutes. He will keep 90 percent of that ad revenue he generates, with the station having the other 10 percent. But with his rate about 4½ times greater than that of the regular commercials, he figures to do well. And he said 13 of his 14 core advertisers are staying on board.

Markel said there also is a signing bonus and a salary for the first two years of O. Pinion’s deal, which runs through Dec. 31, 2020.

Though they would not get into specifics, it is believed that O. Pinion’s total compensation for the two-year period is to be between $400,000 and $500,000 — not including what he generates from advertising, minus what he pays to his staffers.

O. Pinion announced in July that he was terminating his stay at KTRS. He has said he was not happy with how business was being conducted there.

September 9 Radio History

➦In Ed Prentiss was born in Chicago.

He is best remembered as the radio voice of the children’s hour aviation hero, Captain Midnight (1940-49).  He was announcer on another kid’s radio favorite, Jack Armstrong the All-American Boy.  He was also the narrator for a daily hour of NBC radio soap operas, including The Guiding Light, Today’s Children and Woman in White, and was a cast regular on The Romance of Helen Trent. He was a doctor on TV’s Days of Our Lives, and was much in call for many of TV’s early westerns. Prentiss starred in his own syndicated radio show, This is the Story, which advertised him as radio’s greatest storyteller.

He died March 18 1992 at age 83.

➦In 1926... the National Broadcasting Company was created by RCA, the Radio Corporation of America.

NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States. In 1986, control of NBC passed to General Electric (GE), with GE's $6.4 billion purchase of RCA. GE had previously owned RCA and NBC until 1930, when it had been forced to sell the company as a result of antitrust charges.

After the 1986 acquisition, the chief executive of NBC was Bob Wright, who remained in that position until his retirement. He was succeeded by Jeff Zucker. The network is currently part of the media company NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast, which formerly operated NBCUniversal in a joint venture with General Electric from 2011 to 2013 (and before that, jointly owned by GE and Vivendi). As a result of the merger, Zucker left NBC and was replaced by Comcast executive Steve Burke.

The radio network officially launched Nov. 15, 1926.

Elvis outside the Lamar-Airways Shopping Mall in Memphis 1954
➦In 1954...Rising young star Elvis Presley performs at the opening of Memphis' Lamar-Airways shopping mall, and, afterward, meets audience member Johnny Cash for the first time.

➦In 1956...Elvis Presley makes the first of three contracted appearances on Ed Sullivan's CBS show. (Sullivan had previously announced he would never have such an act on, but ratings prevailed and Sullivan offered Elvis a record $50,000 for the three shows.) Charles Laughton hosts, filling in for an ailing Sullivan. Elvis performs "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Ready Teddy," and "Hound Dog."  A record 54 million viewers -- nearly 83 percent of the nation's sets! -- are tuned in to the event.

➦In 1958...Stereo records and phonographs were introduced.

➦In 1965...The Hollywood Reporter ran the following advertisement; ‘Madness rock & roll musicians, singers wanted for acting roles in new TV show. Parts for 4 insane boys.’  Thus The Monkees were born.

➦In 1967...It was a magical time in music as "Ode to Billie Joe" by Bobbie Gentry was the #1 song, having taken over from the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love".  That song replaced "Light My Fire" by the Doors, which was the successor to "Windy" from the Association.  On its way up from 15-5 was "The Letter" from the Box Tops.  In between--"Reflections" from Diana Ross & the Supremes (as they were billed at the time), Bobby Vee's "Come Back When You Grow Up" at #3 and "Baby I Love You" by Aretha Franklin.  The rest of the Top 10:  "All You Need is Love", "You're My Everything" by the Temptations, "Light My Fire" from the Doors, Jay & the Techniques with "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" and the great sound of the Animals with "San Franciscan Nights", which moved from #25 to 10 on this date.

➦In 1972...Chicago V landed at #1 again for the fourth week on the album charts.  Rod Stewart's Never a Dull Moment came in second followed by Big Bambu from Cheech & Chong.  Elton John's Honky Chateau was #4, itself a former #1 album.

The rest of the Top 10:  Moods from Neil Diamond, Carney by Leon Russell, Trilogy at #7 for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles!  Live!, Seven Separate Fools by Three Dog Night at #9 and Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits coming in tenth.

➦In 1972...Gilbert O'Sullivan logged a sixth week at #1 with "Alone Again (Naturally)".  The Hollies couldn't get higher than #2 with "Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress".  Al Green had song #3--"I'm Still in Love with You" and Mac Davis was looking good with "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me".

The rest of the Top 10:  Looking Glass and their former #1 "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)", "Back Stabbers" from the O'Jays, Gary Glitter with "Rock and Roll Part 2", Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around with Jim", Three Dog Night with their ninth Top 10 "Black & White" and Chicago jumped in with "Saturday in the Park".

➦In 1974...George Michael does first show at 77WABC. From December of that year...

➦In 1997…Baseball Hall of Famer and Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Richie Ashburn died following a heart attack at the age of 70.

Friday, September 8, 2017

And The 2017 Marconi Award Winners Are...

Back Row L to R: John Beck, KSHE-FM; Bruce Avery, WRHU-FM; Steve McIntosh, Ted Woodward, KNSS-AM; Tucker Young, KNDE-FM; Joel Oxley, WTOP-FM; Mike Fredrick, WKRQ-FM; Jeff Catlin, KTCK-FM; Ken Thomas, WJJY-FM

Second-to-Last Row L to R: Jim Loftus, WBEB-FM; Representative from WLIB-AM; Mike Wild, WPBG-FM; Alex Cadelago, KRBE-FM; Mac Daniels, KPLX-FM; 

Second Row L to R: Dan Lawrie and Levi May, KRMG-FM; Pete Spriggs, WDBO-FM; Katy Dempsey, KNBE-FM; Scott Herman, CBS Radio

Front Row L to R: Rickey Smiley, Reach Media; KRBE-FM Representative; Marc Rayfield, WCBS-AM

Winners of the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards were announced Thursday night at the 28th annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show, sponsored by Xperi and held at the Radio Show in Austin.

Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio.

This year's NAB Marconi Radio Award recipients are:

Legendary Station of the Year
WCBS-AM, New York, NY

AC Station of the Year
WBEB-FM, Philadelphia, PA

Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year
Rickey Smiley, Reach Media Inc.

CHR Station of the Year
KRBE-FM, Houston, TX

Major Market Personality of the Year
Funkmaster Flex, WQHT-FM, New York, NY

Classic Hits Station of the Year
WPBG-FM, Peoria, IL

Large Market Personality of the Year
Linda Lee, WYCD-FM, Detroit, MI

Country Station of the Year
KPLX-FM, Dallas, TX

Medium Market Personality of the Year 
Steve McIntosh & Ted Woodward, KNSS-FM, Wichita, KS

News/Talk Station of the Year 
WDBO-FM, Orlando, FL

Small Market Personality of the Year
Ken Thomas, WJJY-FM, Brainerd, MN

Non-commercial Station of the Year
WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY

Major Market Station of the Year
WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.

Religious Station of the Year
WLIB-AM, New York, NY

Large Market Station of the Year
WKRQ-FM, Cincinnati, OH

Rock Station of the Year
KSHE-FM, St. Louis, MO

Medium Market Station of the Year
KRMG-FM, Tulsa, OK

Sports Station of the Year
KTCK-FM, Dallas, TX

Small Market Station of the Year
KNDE-FM, College Station, TX

Urban Station of the Year
WHQT-FM, Miami, FL

Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.

The NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show also featured a performance by Grammy Award-winning country music band Asleep at the Wheel. Top-rated syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley served as the event’s emcee.

Chicago Radio: WTMX Fires Kathy Hart

Kathy Hart, one-half of the most successful morning team in Chicago radio history, has been handed her walking papers from WTMX 101.9 FM.

According to Chicago Media Watcher Robert Feder, Hubbard Radio, owner of the HotAC station known as The Mix, announced Thursday that it has severed ties with Hart, who’s been missing since late April from the top-rated morning show she co-hosted for 21 years with Eric Ferguson.

“We wish her all the best as she moves on to the next phase of her career,” said Jeff England, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago. “To our listeners and clients, rest assured that Eric, the morning show team, and all of us at The Mix will continue to serve you as we enter a new era of morning radio on the station.”

Terms of the separation were not disclosed.

Ferguson and Hart were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame only 10 months ago. Twice since 2013 they were named Major Market Personalities of the Year in the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Awards. They’ve been a ubiquitous presence on billboards throughout the city and suburbs for years.

Hart, 53, who’d been incommunicado during what the station called a leave of absence, broke a four-month silence on August 17 when she released a brief statement asking fans to “support and respect the personal nature of why I have been off the air,” and saying: “Please stay tuned as I fully intend to be back on the air!” She did not explain the reason for her absence.

While Hart sat out month after month (through a succession of agents), her absence seemed to have no effect on the station’s ratings. In Nielsen Audio figures released this week, The Mix remained No. 1 with a commanding 7.4 percent share of all morning-drive listeners and an 8.8 share of adults between 25 and 54. By all accounts, “The Eric & Kathy Show“ continued to do very well without Kathy.

August PPMs Released For Charlotte, S-A, Orlando 9 More Markets

Nielsen on Thursday 9/7/17 Released  the third day of August 2017 PPM Data for the following markets:

   23  Portland OR
   24  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC

   26  San Antonio

   27  Pittsburgh

   28  Sacramento

   29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo

   30  Las Vegas

   31  Cincinnati

   32  Orlando

   33  Cleveland

   35  Kansas City

   37  Columbus OH
Click Here to view Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

NYC Radio: Don Imus Rips WFAN's Carton and Francesa

Don Imus and Sid Rosenberg, speaking Thursday during “Imus in the Morning” on WABC 770 AM, took shots at both WFAN personalities on 660 AM /101.9 FM. Craig Carton was arrested Wednesday by the FBI for his alleged involvement in a ticket scam.

Rosenberg opened a segment dedicated to sports news of the day by mentioning the Patriots and Chiefs begin the NFL season Thursday night.

“What’s the point spread on that?” Imus asked.

“Just in case Carton is listening,” Bernard McGuirk, Imus’ producer, quipped.

While they were discussing the nature of Carton’s alleged crimes, Imus provided a morbid observation.

“He’s going to get whacked,” Imus said.

Rosenberg proceeded to talk about what he sees as Carton’s gambling addiction, and mentioned Imus’ recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. He said Imus could appreciate Carton’s plight.

“Well, I don’t,” Imus said. “I should have stopped drinking and doing cocaine when someone first mentioned it me. But I was an a–hole, wasn’t I?”

Later in the show, they decided to replay Francesa’s comments about Carton’s situation.

“Is English a foreign language for him?” Imus asked after Francesa’s meandering non-statement about WFAN’s statement ended.

Carton's Downfall Shows Fraudulent Nature Of Talk Radio

Craig Carton
As a former radio talk show host who worked for many years in several major markets, John Ziegler has spoken often about what a fraud most of the industry is and how it is getting worse now that the medium’s business model is badly broken.

In an Op-Ed piece for, Ziegler writes he found Craig Carton to be a dishonest person.
"The New York-based national sports talk host Carton was arrested on federal charges of running a Ponzi scheme to pay off massive gambling debts. According to Ziegler,  at first glance this may not say much about the talk radio industry or our politics, but, he adds,  if you understand the larger picture, it actually does. 
John Ziegler
"First, I obviously don’t know for sure that Carton is actually guilty, though it appears that the case is very strong and it seems unlikely that the Feds would bring such charges unless this was real.
"Ever since we briefly worked together, I have always believed Carton to be a horribly dishonest person and that his rise within the talk radio business, in both sports and general talk, was a damning indictment of the entire industry. 
"Back in 2000, we were both working at WIP, the legendary sports radio station in my hometown of Philadelphia. At the time, neither of us had a permanent shift and we would be placed wherever needed, with Craig, who was clearly one of those guys who was willing to say anything just to get a rise out of the audience, ahead of me on the depth chart. 
"One night, during a slow news period, Craig was doing an overnight shift and called me at like 1 or 2 am to tell me that his wife was about to give birth and that he needed someone to come in to replace him. Even though I was exhausted and unprepared to do a show, realizing what I thought was the gravity of the situation, I rushed into the studio and did the remainder of his program. 
"I remember thinking that Craig didn’t seem nearly as frazzled as I would have been under similar circumstances, but it never occurred to me that I was simply being used as an easy mark. You see, Carton’s wife never gave that night and it later became clear that she was never going to. Craig simply wanted out of doing a crappy overnight shift and knew he could take advantage of his situation. 
"While this certainly told me a lot about Carton as a person, the reaction of the station was extremely telling with regard to the culture of talk radio. Our boss, Tom Bigby, an extremely powerful person within all aspects of talk radio at the time, literally and empathically blamed ME for the situation because, get this, I should have known not to trust Craig Carton! 
"Think about that. One of the most influential people in talk radio thought so little of the trust-worthiness of a talent that he would end up help make a star that he thought it was absurd for someone to believe him, even when he is claiming his wife is about to give birth! 
"My primary point here is that the talk radio industry, a medium which often pretends to fight for good/justice, is largely populated by very bad and trashy people. They are simply not to be trusted on important matters. The Craig Carton example may be extreme, but it is hardly unique, or even unusual."
John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud  

Triangle Radio: Jimmy Goodmon To Head Capitol Broadcasting

Jimmy Goodmon
A management shift at Capitol Broadcasting Company keeps the firm's top management in the family, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

The media company behind WRAL-TV announced late Thursday that James F. Goodmon Jr. – known as Jimmy Goodmon – has been named president and chief operating officer. He succeeds his father, Jim Goodmon, who has served as president of the firm since 1975.

Jim Goodmon will remain CEO and chairman of the board.

In a prepared statement, Jim Goodmon said his son brings the necessary background and experience to lead.

“He will continue this Company’s commitment to the communities we serve, our customers, and the employees of CBC,” he stated. “I could not feel better about our future.”

According to CBC, it was Jimmy Goodmon who negotiated WRAL’s network affiliation change, as the station aligned with NBC last year.

Jimmy Goodmon, like his father, grew up in the media business, having started as a 16-year-old camera operator for WRAL’s morning news. In 2005, he launched the company’s new media group, where he has served as vice president and general manager for the past 12 years. In that role, he helped develop as a competitive media outlet. He also oversees operations of WRAL-FM (Mix 101.5) and Microspace Communications in Raleigh. He serves as vice president and general manager of Sunrise Broadcasting, a five-station radio group, and WILM-TV, both in Wilmington.

Philly Radio: WMMR Voted Best AOR Station Of All Time

One of Philly's radio stations was recently voted the best album-oriented rock station of all time on a poll from a radio industry trade publication.

93.3 WMMR was voted by readers of Radio Ink as the greatest rock station of all time.

Album-oriented rock is a radio format that focus on album tracks by rock artists.

"We were honored to find ourselves on the list with these great stations; some of which are still bringing the Rock n Roll to their cities, and a few that [sadly] have switched formats over the years, but all have carved a notch in radio radio history," WMMR said on its website.

Radio Ink, a radio-industry trade publication that is published bi-weekly for the radio management sector of the radio broadcasting industry, said it asked its readers to vote for several weeks on the top 20 album oriented stations of all time.

"Thank you," WMMR said on its website, "we're excited to be sharing the award with all of our listeners as we approach our 50th year rockin' Philadelphia."

Below is the full list of the top 20 greatest album-oriented rock stations of all time as voted by Radio Ink readers:

  1. WMMR Philadelphia
  2. KLOS Los Angeles
  3. WRIF Detroit
  4. KSHE St. Louis
  5. WEBN Cincinnati
  6. KQRS Minneapolis
  7. KMET Los Angeles
  8. WNEW New York
  9. WNOR Norfolk
  10. WRAT New Jersey
  11. WFBQ Indianapolis
  12. KISW Seattle
  13. WKLC Charleston, West Virginia
  14. WMMS Cleveland
  15. KNAC Los Angeles
  16. WBCN Boston
  17. WDVE Pittsburgh
  18. KQRC Kansas City
  19. WSHE Miami
  20. WGRF Buffalo

Portnow: Artists No Longer Thank Radio

Neil Portnow
Neil Portnow, CEO of the Recording Academy, has criticized the radio industry in an op-ed for RadioInk, noting the sector’s failure to implement an industry standard for paying performance royalties to artists whose music is played on air.

According to Variety, Portnow identified the issue as the driving force behind a widening chasm between artists and the radio industry, illustrated by the complete lack of artists thanking radio during their Grammy acceptance speeches; according to Portnow, thanking radio used to be standard in such speeches. Portnow also pointed out that the audience segment that listens to radio in the car is literally dying out, as new generations increasingly turn to streaming services on their cell phones and in the car.

“The lack of a radio performance rights is the only instance in our economy where one party can use another’s intellectual property without permission or compensation,” he wrote.

As head of the Recording Academy, which represents music creators, including artists, songwriters, producers, and studio professionals, and puts on the annual Grammy Awards, Portnow has long advocated royalty reform. He previously penned an op-ed titled “The Penny Paradox” in 2016 in which he also criticized streaming services for their notoriously low royalty payments to artists.

Under the current statutes, songwriters are paid for broadcasts of their songs, but the artists who perform those songs are not. There are several bills currently winding their way through Congress and the DOJ that address royalty reform, including the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which directly focuses on the broadcast royalty issue, and the Copyright Accountability Act, which seeks to make the Register of Copyrights a presidential-appointed, Senate-confirmed position.

Boston Radio: WBZ 98.5 FM, Patriots Extend Broadcast Deal

CBS RADIO and the five-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots jointly have announced ta multi-year contract extension to keep Patriots games on Boston’s WBZ 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub.

Team President Jonathan Kraft joined Thursday's pre-game show to share the news. Bob Socci and Scott Zolak will continue as play-by-play host and color analyst, respectively.  CBS RADIO has served as the flagship radio partner of the Patriots since 1994 when the games aired on WBZ-AM, before transitioning to WBCN-FM in 1995.

“Our continued partnership with the New England Patriots underscores CBS RADIO’s leadership in sports radio,” said Andre Fernandez, President and CEO, CBS RADIO. “We have enjoyed an incredible relationship with this storied franchise for over 20 years and are proud to continue our partnership into the future.”

“The New England Patriots are proud to extend our partnership with 98.5 The Sports Hub,” said Murray Kohl, Patriots vice president of sales.

“It has been a great relationship since they launched in 2009, and extends a relationship that we have had with CBS RADIO since the Krafts bought the Patriots in 1994. Fans have become reliant on the nine hours of coverage every game day, highlighted by the best broadcast tandem in the industry. There is no play-by-play announcer more prepared and polished in his delivery than Bob Socci, and Scott Zolak not only provides unique insight, but has quickly become an iconic fan-favorite in New England. We look forward to many more years teaming with 98.5 The Sports Hub.”

“Since our launch in 2009, the New England Patriots have been a key partner of 98.5 The Sports Hub. We are honored to continue broadcasting the five-time Super Bowl Champions to avid Patriots fans and Sports Hub listeners throughout New England,” said Mark Hannon, SVP/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Boston.

Las Vegas Radio: Skyview Networks Land NHL Golden Knights

National Hockey League’s (NHL) newest franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, and Skyview Networks have announced a multi-year partnership for the team’s inaugural season. This partnership will help maximize the signal distribution of Vegas Golden Knights programming broadcasted on their flagship radio partner, Lotus Broadcasting, throughout their entire network of radio affiliates.

At season start, Skyview will provide the Golden Knights with their turnkey satellite distribution, as well as AdView Inventory Management and Live Read Logging software for full control of the organization’s advertising inventory. The seamless communication between Skyview’s full menu of services will allow the highest quality of broadcast management from advertiser to on-air performance.

“We are thrilled to partner with Skyview Networks in our organization’s inaugural season,” said Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz. “Skyview is an innovative leader in the broadcast technology industry. Their expertise in this space will ensure that our network affiliates receive best-in-class broadcast quality and business services.”

With Skyview’s next-generation satellite receivers, the Golden Knights will have affordable network reliability for every game’s play-by-play broadcast. Within that broadcast, AdView Inventory Management software will provide an all-encompassing view of the inventory, with the ability to schedule spots, track revenue and generate real-time logs and reports from anywhere with an internet connection. Additionally, live reads will be treated as a standard commercial unit with instant affidavit generation for contract fulfillment.

“We are excited to begin working with the Vegas Golden Knights during their inaugural season,” said Matt Stys, Vice President, Business Development of Skyview Networks. “We are pleased to call the Golden Knights a partner and believe our package of services will provide a high-quality broadcast to its network affiliates and a streamlined approach to inventory management.”

The Golden Knights radio broadcast can be heard on their flagship stations KRLV-FM 98.9 and AM 1340.

Cumulus Extends "Next" Competition To Rock

Warning: rock’s popularity is on the rise again, and what better way to discover the nation’s newest rock star than a national and local grassroots search led by Cumulus Media. Kicking off today, Cumulus’ neXt2rock 2017 competition pays tribute to the great tradition of radio as a launch pad for our favorite musical talent and celebrates rock music in all its irreverent, loud, poetic and powerful formats.

Cumulus is home to some of radio’s most iconic rock stations, including KLOS, KQRS, WLUP, KATT, WGRF and KSAN --- all of which were recently included in Radio Ink's list of the Greatest AOR Stations of All Time.

The neXt2rock 2017 contest is being announced on-air by iconic Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, with the winner of this four-month-long competition receiving a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.

neXt2rock 2017 is Cumulus Media’s second installment of its “Next” franchise, which was launched last year with NASH Next, the successful country version of the competition. While television boasts several talent competitions, only the “Next” franchise contests offer its winners coveted radio play, which is the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career.

Mary Berner
Sixty-one Cumulus stations in 47 markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Minneapolis, will conduct local grassroot searches, with additional national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated rock shows. 

“By launching neXt2rock under Cumulus Media’s “Next” franchise, we are putting a stake in the ground to support the next generation of music talent, further signaling to listeners, advertisers and business partners that Cumulus is invested in the future of music and radio,” said Mary Berner, CEO and President, Cumulus Media. She added, “With the renewed interest in the rock genre among Millennials and Gen Xers, Cumulus has even more opportunities for growth, providing expanded exclusive content and programming for fans, and an even larger audience for America’s newest rock star.”

Emerging artists will first be rated by Cumulus listeners and judged by local music industry professionals in their communities. Finalists, and the 2017 winner, will be selected by a panel of music luminaries, including Gavin Rossdale, Scott Borchetta, founder, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the world’s #1 independent record label, famed music producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, and Phish), Songwriters Hall Of Famer Desmond Child (Kiss, Cher, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez), and legendary rock guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.

Beginning today, local artists may enter the competition via participating local station websites (see full station list at

Philly Radio: KYW Launches New Public Affairs Show

Cherri Gregg
Newsradio KYW 1060 AM introduces “Flashpoint,” a new 30-minute program designed to provide a forum for local and national influencers, as well as listeners, to share their points of view on the most relevant Philadelphia news stories of the week.

The show airs on KYW Newsradio every Sunday morning at 8:30 AM.

Hosted by KYW Newsradio Community Affairs reporter, Cherri Gregg, “Flashpoint” offers context on the week’s headlines with a particular focus on community affairs, political news, civil rights and grassroots issues impacting the Philadelphia area.

“I am very excited to be a part of this effort to provide a platform to flesh out issues affecting our community,” said Gregg. “With so much happening in the news, it is imperative that we create a forum where we can dig deeper and more fully explore multiple points of view.”

“We’re excited about this new KYW venture, and in particular, Cherri’s proven ability to stay connected to our community and get the right players to the table for these spirited and meaningful discussions,” said Steve Butler, Vice President of News for CBS RADIO and KYW Newsradio’s Director of Programming.

The show is presented in three segments: The Flashpoint Debate, a Newsmaker interview, and a non-profit “Change Maker of the Week,” which highlights an individual or group making a difference in the community.

Some of the program’s early debate topics have included race relations under the Trump Administration, when does free speech become a crime?, and whether the statue of Philadelphia mayor, Frank Rizzo, should stay or be taken down.  “Flashpoint” also recently aired one of the first in-depth interviews with Kelley Hodge, the new acting DA of Philadelphia and the first African American woman to hold that office.

L-A Radio: KCSN, KSPR Merge To Launch The New 88.5

A long-simmering, long-distance courtship between two humble members of the Southern California radio community will culminate Tuesday in a marriage that aims to create a new power couple in the hyper-competitive world of Los Angeles radio.

KSBR 88.5 FM 6 Kw
According to The LATimes, the two noncommercial stations soon to be united are KCSN-FM, based at Cal State Northridge, and KSBR-FM at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo in south Orange County, both of which have been operating for years on the same 88.5 FM frequency.

The joint agreement to share programming will bring the adult album alternative (AAA) format that KCSN has developed in recent years to a potential audience of 11 million listeners, according to KCSN general manager and program director Sky Daniels, making it one of the most ambitious expansions of a broadcast operation’s reach in public radio history.

Sheryl Crow will headline an Oct. 23 concert at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood to raise awareness — and money — for the new entity.

KCSN 88.5 FM 37-watts
Until now, KCSN and KSBR have been within earshot of about 1 million listeners apiece. By combining forces, the stations’ signals will span a region from Santa Clarita to San Clemente, Daniels said.

The intent is to transform what has been a signal interference problem in the large middle ground between the stations into a significant advantage for both.

The shared programming deal stands to allow them to compete more effectively with higher-profile noncommercial outlets such as KCRW-FM (89.9) and KPCC-FM (89.3) as well as the plethora of commercial stations that rule the all-important Nielsen audience surveys.

The stations will switch to joint broadcast on Tuesday at 10 a.m., during the morning program of veteran radio host Nic Harcourt, who moved to KCSN from his former longtime home at KCRW in Santa Monica.

The combined operation will use “The New 88.5 FM” as the station ID and brand.