Saturday, September 16, 2017

September 17 Radio History

➦In 1931...RCA Victor unveils its new invention, the 33 1/3 rpm long-playing or "LP" record, at the Savoy Plaza Hotel in New York.

RCA Victor introduced "Program Transcription" discs, as Victor called them, played at 33 1⁄3 rpm and used a somewhat finer and more closely spaced groove than typical 78s. They were to be played with a special "Chromium Orange" chrome-plated steel needle. The 10-inch discs, mostly used for popular and light classical music, were normally pressed in shellac, but the 12-inch discs, mostly used for "serious" classical music, were normally pressed in Victor's new vinyl-based Victrolac compound, which provided a much quieter playing surface. They could hold up to 15 minutes per side. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, was the first 12-inch recording issued.

Unfortunately for Victor, it was downhill from there. Many of the subsequent issues were not new recordings but simply dubs made from existing 78 rpm record sets. The dubs were audibly inferior to the original 78s. Two-speed turntables with the 33 1⁄3 rpm speed were included only on expensive high-end machines, which sold in small numbers, and people were not buying many records of any kind at the time. Overall record sales in the US had crashed from a high of 105.6 million records sold in 1921 to 5.5 million in 1933, because of competition from radio and the effects of the Great Depression.  Few if any new Program Transcriptions were recorded after 1933 and two-speed turntables soon disappeared from consumer products. Except for a few recordings of background music for funeral parlors, the last of the issued titles had been purged from the company's record catalog by the end of the decade. The failure of the new product left RCA Victor with a low opinion of the prospects for any sort of long-playing record, influencing product development decisions during the coming decade.

The new format to lie dormant for years until Columbia revives it in 1948.

Kate Smith
➦In 1936..the Kate Smith Hour began a decade-long run on CBS radio, presenting weekly a 60-minute mix of music, drama, comedy & human interest.  The show first introduced America to the comedy team of Abbott & Costello, and to the future radio favorite ‘The Aldrich Family.’

➦In 1964...The Beatles break with established practice and agree to add an extra date to their current US tour after the group is offered a then-record $150,000 by the owner of the Kansas City (Missouri) Athletics to perform a gig in KC's Municipal Stadium. The Beatles cannily add their medley of "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" to the setlist, the only time they would play this song in concert in America.

Afterward, their hotel manager sells their unwashed bedsheets to two businessmen from Chicago, who promptly cut them up and sell the pieces for $10 a pop

➦In 1967...Appearing on CBS-TV's Ed Sullivan Show , the Doors are asked to change the line "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" in their hit "Light My Fire." Lead singer Jim Morrison agrees, then sings the offending words anyway, leading to a lifetime ban from the show.

➦In 1967...The Who performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  But that's just part of the story.  Drummer Keith Moon rigged his drumset to explode at the conclusion of "My Generation", which he did for every show during the period.  Only this time, the jokester rigged several times the normal amount of explosives, and didn't tell the rest of the group.  The result of the stunt was a massive explosion on stage.  One of Moon's drum cymbals shattered, causing cuts to Moon's leg and arms was cut.  Guitarist Pete Townshend was closest to the blast, which singed his hair.

➦In 1976...Jay Thomas does first show at WXLO NYC

➦In 1983...The Hot 100..Michael Sembello remained at #1 with "Maniac" with Billy Joel climbing up with "Tell Her About It".  Men Without Hats were up to #3 with "The Safety Dance" and Bonnie Tyler's great song "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" was going to be a serious factor in the weeks to come.  The rest of the Top 10:  two former 1's--the Eurythmics and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) and "Every Break You Take" from the Police, Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" at #7, Taco with "Puttin' On The Ritz", Air Supply roared up from 15 to 9 with "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" and Asia cracked the Top 10 with "Don't Cry".

➦In 1983...on the Album Charts...Synchronicity returned to #1 for the Police on the album chart, temporarily derailing Thriller by Michael Jackson.  The Soundtrack to "Flashdance" was third

➦In 1989...WMCA 570 AM NYC flipped format to religious.

The WMCA Good Guys Meet The Beatles
Throughout the 1960s, WMCA beat other radio stations on most Beatles' promotions, scoring firsts, causing headaches in particular for rival WABC - most notably when Capitol Records printed a photograph of the "Good Guys" line-up - on the back of a limited edition record sleeve for the single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Side 2: "I Saw Her Standing There"). WMCA's Good Guys were also featured at both of the Beatles' concerts at Shea Stadium, on August 15, 1965 and on August 23, 1966.

WABC responded in different ways, scoring a success during the Beatles' second New York visit in August 1964 - when the band stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, rousing thousands of teenage fans into a frenzy - while broadcasting from one floor above the Beatles' rooms.  WABC later went against its own music policies, promising promoter Sid Bernstein that it would play a new group he was handling before any other New York City radio station - if it could get exclusive access to the Beatles. WABC never added records "out of the box" - but it did for Sid Bernstein when it played The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Going To Eat Out My Heart Anymore" - before other radio stations.

Since WABC knew WMCA already had a relationship with the Beatles, with tapes of the group promoting the station - what could WABC do to achieve the same? In August 1965, WABC came up with what it thought was a brilliant idea - issuing "medals" called "The Order of the All-Americans" - tied to its own DJs.[18] The strategy was to present the medals to each of the Beatles the next time they were in New York. Everything was set.

WABC's Bruce Morrow interview The Beatles August 1965
The goal was to get each Beatle to comment on the "medal" - and then to get each to say the station's call letters, "W-A-B-C." These in turn could be used in station IDs and promotions, etc. - thus matching WMCA's success at getting the Beatles to promote WMCA and its Good Guys. But WABC's plan backfired. The station got its interviews, but none of the band's members would utter WABC's call letters. According to Beatles' historian Bruce Spizer, manager Brian Epstein ordered the Beatles to stop "giving away valuable promotional spots to radio stations for free."

➦In 1997…Comedian/radio and TV host Red Skelton died of pneumonia at age 84.

Red Skelton
Skelton's first radio appearance on Rudy Vallée's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour on August 12, 1937. Vallée's program had a talent show segment and those who were searching for stardom were eager to be heard on it. Vallée also booked veteran comic and fellow Indiana native Joe Cook to appear as a guest with Skelton. The two Hoosiers proceeded to trade jokes about their home towns, with Skelton contending to Cook, an Evansville native, that the city was a suburb of Vincennes.

On October 1, 1938, Skelton replaced Red Foley as the host of Avalon Time on NBC; Edna also joined the show's cast, under her maiden name.  She developed a system for working with the show's writers: selecting material from them, adding her own and filing the unused bits and lines for future use; the Skeltons worked on Avalon Time until late 1939.  Skelton's work in films led to a new regular radio show offer; between films, he promoted himself and MGM by appearing without charge at Los Angeles area banquets. A radio advertising agent was a guest at one of his banquet performances and recommended Skelton to one of his clients.

Skelton went on the air with his own radio show, The Raleigh Cigarette Program, on October 7, 1941. The bandleader for the show was Ozzie Nelson; his wife, Harriet, who worked under her maiden name of Hilliard, was the show's vocalist and also worked with Skelton in skits.

➦In 2011…TV entertainment reporter (E! News Live)/sports reporter (ESPN)/radio show host (WCCO-Minneapolis)/actress Eleanor Mondale, daughter of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale, died of brain cancer at 51.

➦In 2012…Fashion model/actress/radio personality (Miss Monitor on the NBC weekend radio series Monitor) Tedi Thurman died at the age of 89.

Tedi Thurman
Tedi Thurman, NBC radio’s Miss Monitor Weather Girl extraordinaire, posing in the '50s as a femme fatale seductress, costumed in a sun hat with batteries hanging off the side so that no one needs miss a word of her double entendre laden weather reporting.  With the tongue in cheek sash reading “Miss Portable Radio,” take that baby with you everywhere!

Her gig on Monitor made her the most recognizable female voice on radio during the 1950s-1960s. Notably, not only does Tedi have one of the most iconic voices in radio history, and her weather girl antics influenced the entire profession.

➦In 2015…Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton died at the age of 88.

Radio Host Clay Travis Stuns CNN With Comment

Syndicated Radio host Clay Travis shocked CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin on Friday by declaring on live television that he believes “in only two things completely: the First Amendment and boobs.”

But the network really shouldn't have been surprised by Travis's crass remark. He has used the line before, according to The Washington Post.

Travis, who also writes for Outkick the Coverage, appeared on Baldwin's afternoon show to talk about ESPN's handling of “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill, who called President Trump a white supremacist earlier in the week. Travis's position is that Hill ought to be able to say whatever she pleases but that ESPN has acted hypocritically by keeping her on the air, after disciplining other personalities for making politically charged comments.

Travis has participated in similar discussions on other networks, having boosted his profile last month by being first to report that ESPN had reassigned a play-by-play announcer named Robert Lee who was originally scheduled to call a college football game in Charlottesville.

A CNN spokeswoman said Travis would not be invited back on the network's air.

When Baldwin appeared stunned and disgusted by Travis's quip on Friday, he replied, “I say it live on the radio all the time.”

There have been media reports indicating Travis is a Fox Sports Radio personality.  Fox issued the following statement:

According to The Hill, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin penned an op-ed Friday night blasting Travis for saying he believed in “the First Amendment and boobs” during an on-air CNN segment earlier in the day.

“[W]hen I first heard 'boobs' from a grown man on national television (in 2017!!!) my initial thought bubble was: ‘Did I hear that correctly?? There's no WAY he just came on my show and said what I think he said. ... DID HE?’” Baldwin wrote in the piece published by CNN.

Baldwin detailed how she first thought Travis said “booze,” but when she asked him to clarify and he confirmed “boobs,” she decided to have the CNN control room cut off his mic.

“It is 2017, and this grown man is on my show talking with me -- a female host -- about boobs. Is this seriously happening?" Baldwin wrote. “I invite a variety people on my show with wide-ranging opinions -- sometimes even my jaw hits the floor, too -- but I let them speak.”

Skipper To ESPN Staff: We're About Sports, Not Politics

"ESPN is about sports." It is "not a political organization."

John Skipper
That's what ESPN president John Skipper said in a memo to staffers on Friday afternoon, after a bruising week for the sports network, reports CNN Media.

Skipper's memo came in the wake of anchor Jemele Hill's calling President Trump a "white supremacist" in a series of tweets on Monday that triggered days of news coverage, criticism, and a presidential broadside against the network.

"We have issues of significant debate in our country at this time," Skipper acknowledged. Yes, he said, ESPN upholds certain values about tolerance and diversity. Yes, ESPN's employees are also citizens who have opinions about politics. But the network has social media policies for good reasons, Skipper said, because personal comments "will reflect on ESPN."

"In light of recent events," he said, "we need to remind ourselves that we are a journalistic organization and that we should not do anything that undermines that position."

Here is the full memo, obtained by CNN:
"I want to remind everyone about fundamental principles at ESPN. 
"ESPN is about sports. Last year, we broadcast over 16,000 sports events. We show highlights and report scores and tell stories and break down plays. 
"And we talk about sports all day every day. Of course, sports is intertwined with society and culture, so "sticking to sports" is not so simple. When athletes engage on issues or when protests happen in games, we cover, report and comment on that. We are, among other things, the largest, most accomplished and highly resourced sports news organization. We take great pride in our news organization. 
"We have programs on which we discuss and even debate sports, as well as the issues that intersect with sports. Fans themselves love to debate and discuss sports.ESPN is not a political organization. Where sports and politics intersect, no one is told what view they must express. 
"At the same time, ESPN has values. We are committed to inclusion and an environment of tolerance where everyone in a diverse work force has the equal opportunity to succeed. We consider this human, not political. Consequently, we insist that no one be denigrated for who they are including their gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual identity. 
"We have issues of significant debate in our country at this time. Our employees are citizens and appropriately want to participate in the public discussion. That can create a conflict for our public facing talent between their work and their personal points of view. Given this reality, we have social media policies which require people to understand that social platforms are public and their comments on them will reflect on ESPN. At a minimum, comments should not be inflammatory or personal. 
"We had a violation of those standards in recent days and our handling of this is a private matter. As always, in each circumstance we look to do what is best for our business. 
"In light of recent events, we need to remind ourselves that we are a journalistic organization and that we should not do anything that undermines that position. 
"We also know that ESPN is a special place and that our success is based on you and your colleagues' work. Let's not let the public narrative re-write who we are or what we stand for. Let's not be divided in that pursuit. I will need your support if we are to succeed."

ESPN Could Be Liable If Hill Is Disciplined

Jemele Hill
Any disciplining of the host, Jemele Hill, however, might be out of legal bounds for ESPN, The NYTimes is reporting.

 The network is based in Bristol, Conn., and a Connecticut statute provides free-speech protections beyond the First Amendment, making it illegal for ESPN to punish Hill, according to some labor lawyers.

Hill posted a series of derogatory comments about the president on Monday, calling him a white supremacist. ESPN issued a statement that said her comments did not reflect the views of the company, and that she recognized that they were inappropriate. But the issue has become part of the intensely charged political atmosphere now gripping the country and raised questions as to whether a sports commentator should be restrained from making such remarks publicly.

The Connecticut Constitution’s free-speech provision largely mirrors the United States Constitution’s and is concerned with actions of the government, not private employers. Connecticut is one of many at-will states in this country, which means private employers can generally (with some exceptions) fire employees for any reason, or for no reason at all.

But Connecticut also has General Statute 31-51q, which reads in part that any employer, including private employers, “who subjects any employee to discipline or discharge on account of the exercise by such employee of rights guaranteed by the first amendment to the United States Constitution” is liable for damages caused “by such discipline or discharge.”

“That statute would prohibit ESPN from disciplining or discharging her based on that speech,” said Todd Steigman, a partner at Madsen, Prestley and Parenteau who was part of the team that tried a major case defining the scope of the statute.

ESPN declined to make a company lawyer available for an interview, and Hill’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNBC's Cramer: Market's Wrong About CBS Radio, Entercom

Investors may have grown hesitant about a merger between CBS Radio and Entercom Communications, but CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks they may have been wrong to worry.

The deal would combine the spun-off CBS Radio with Entercom, creating an entity that could reshape the U.S. radio industry. Entercom's stock surged over 10 percent when news of the deal broke in February, but it has since sold off, shedding almost $6.

"Clearly the market isn't as enthusiastic for this big radio tie-up as we first thought. But what if the market is misreading this CBS Radio deal?" the "Mad Money" host said. "It's a complex transaction. I think the negative sentiment here is giving you a fabulous buying opportunity."

The merger will happen via a Reverse Morris Trust, where one company (in this case, CBS) spins off part of its business in order to merge it with another, smaller company. The tax-free deal will give CBS majority control over the combined company, which will still be called Entercom.

In Cramer's eyes, this will be a monumental deal for Entercom. The new entity will preside over 244 radio stations across 47 U.S. markets.

Entercom..after the merger

"They'll be the No. 1 creator of local audio content in America. More important, they'll also have a gigantic sports business, broadcasting games from 45 professional teams [and] numerous college teams" on stations like New York's WFAN and Washington, D.C.'s 106.7, Cramer said.

The "new Entercom" will also become the United States' second-largest radio company by revenue with the best balance sheet in the industry, the "Mad Money" host said.

And while iHeartMedia, the industry's top player, is in danger of going bankrupt, Cramer said that the radio business has more potential to it than many investors might think.

After all, radio's penetration is widespread, with over 240 million weekly listeners. Entercom CEO David Field, who will continue to preside over the combined company, said that "radio reaches more Americans than any other entertainment medium" on the conference call about the merger.

"In short, while online competition's been devastating to television, radio is different because most people listen to radio in the car," Cramer said. "You can't play with your smartphone when you're driving — you need to keep your eyes on the road. All you can do is listen, which is why radio is still relevant."

Entercom's management expects the deal to be immediately additive to earnings and is experienced at integrating new acquisitions, having completed two deals in the last three years.

Wall Street's main concern about the deal was how it was structured. Entercom will have to issue 105 million new shares, which isn't what the existing shareholders necessarily wanted.

Report: Broadcast Coverage Of Trump 91% Negative

The broadcast network evening newscasts remain as hostile as ever towards President Trump and his agenda, although the networks appear to be easing up on their obsessive wall-to-wall coverage of the administration, according to

Since Inauguration Day (January 20), Media Research Center analysts have reviewed every mention of President Trump and top administration officials on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, including weekends. As of August 31, coverage of the administration has totaled nearly 74 hours (4,418 minutes) of airtime, or about 39 percent of all evening news coverage.

For comparison purposes, coverage of the Obama administration in all of 2015 and 2016 totaled 59 hours (3,544 minutes), or roughly 10 percent of the available broadcast airtime. In other words, Trump has already received more coverage in his first 224 days in office than Obama received in his final two years as President.

Analyzing the networks’ spin makes it clear that the goal of all of this heavy coverage is not to promote the President, but to punish him. In June, July and August, broadcast evening news coverage of Trump was 91 percent negative — worse than the astounding 89 percent negative spin we calculated during the first three months of the administration, usually a traditional honeymoon period for new presidents.

MTV Sees First Summer Ratings Growth In Six Years

Viacom Inc’s  MTV network had its first summer of ratings growth in six years, the network told Reuters this week, a sign that the company is seeing progress wooing back coveted younger viewers who watch shows online.

Viacom is in the midst of a turnaround to improve declining ratings and ad revenue by focusing on six core networks, including MTV under its new Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish.

Once known as the edgy network for cool kids, MTV lost its luster in recent years as the former Viacom management failed to invest in programming or a digital strategy.

In recent months, MTV has brought in new creative talent, re-engineered a number of existing shows and made an effort to reach a younger audience through social media, said Chris McCarthy, who was named president of MTV last year.

Turning MTV around is crucial for Viacom as it makes up about 15 percent of the company’s media network revenue, according to John Janedis, a Jefferies analyst. In the third quarter, media network revenue was $2.56 billion, 76 percent of Viacom’s $3.36 billion total revenue.

Summer is a key time for networks like MTV that cater to younger viewers because kids are home from school.

During primetime, in its target audience aged 18 to 34 years, MTV saw a 31 percent ratings increase in August. The spike was helped by its new reality show “Siesta Key,” according to Nielsen data provided by Viacom.

From June through August, MTV saw the first three months of consecutive ratings improvement year over year in six years, the company said.

September 16 Radio History

➦In host/producer Allen Funt (Candid Microphone, Candid Camera) was born in New York City.  He died Sept 5, 1999, just days before his 85th birthday.

➦In 1919....singer Andy Russell was born in Los Angeles. He was the star of radio’s Your Hit Parade for several years beginning in 1946.

➦In Lawrence Dobkin was born in New York City.  He was one of the most used character actors on network radio out of Hollywood in the 1940’s & 50’s, then seamlessly made the transition to TV.  He worked into directing, but was still appearing in supporting roles on TV a year before his death in 2002 at age 83.

➦In 1928...WGL changed call letters to WOV in New York (now WADO 1280 AM).

This station was launched as WGL on January 30, 1927, and was owned by the International Broadcasting Corporation. WGL president Colonel Lewis Landes stated on the inaugural broadcast,

"The International Broadcasting Corporation's aim is to adhere to truth, to be free of partisanship, religious or political."

WGL was the first station to protest the frequency allocations of the Federal Radio Commission in May 1927. WGL was authorized to move to 1170 AM, but wanted to go to 720, occupied by WOR.

When WOR was awarded the 710 frequency, both stations went to court, with WOR eventually winning the case. Finally in June 1927, WGL moved to 1020 AM and shared time with Paterson station, WODA.

In August 1927, studio manager Charles Isaacson announced one of the city's first attempts at local news coverage. WGL was organizing listeners to volunteer as radio reporters and call the station with breaking news stories.

On September 16, 1928, WGL changed calls to WOV and was sold to Sicilian-born importer John Iraci. The WGL call sign was then picked up by a Fort Wayne station, which uses them to this very day.

➦In 1941...the "The Arkansas Traveler" debuted on CBS Radio. The show was later renamed "The Bob Burns Show."

➦In 1989...The Hot 100 Gloria Estefan had the #1 song with "Don't Wanna' Lose You", Milli Vanilli had #2--"Girl I'm Gonna' Miss You" and Warrant was at 3 with "Heaven".

The rest of the Top 10:  New Kids on the Block and "Hangin' Tough", Surface with "Shower Me with Your Love", Paula Abdul's former #1 "Cold Hearted" was at #6, Cher's comeback song "If I Could Turn Back Time", Skid Row with "18 And Life", the Jeff Healey Band had song #9 with "Angel Eyes" and Madonna hit the Top 10 with "Cherish".

➦In 2011...News Anchor Jack O’Rourke WNBC 660 AM, NBC Radio Net died

➦In 2011...Citadel merged with Cumulus Media.

Starting in June 2010, Cumulus made multiple unsuccessful offers to buy out Citadel Broadcasting after its emergence from bankruptcy.   In February 2011, Cumulus was again said to be in "exclusive negotiations" to acquire Citadel for $2.5 billion paid to Citadel shareholders, according to CNBC. Some Citadel shareholders were said to have been pushing the board to consider a sale.  On March 10, 2011, Citadel Broadcasting stations announced via email that Cumulus had purchased Citadel Broadcasting. Citadel was made up of 225 radio stations in over 50 markets, as well as Citadel Media, one of the largest radio networks in the United States.

The deal was finalized on September 16, 2011, after acceptance by the FCC and Citadel's shareholders.   As part of the deal, Cumulus Media will have to place 14 stations into a separate trust to comply with ownership limits.

In an effort to focus on accretive large market consolidation as well as further de-leveraging of their balance sheet, Cumulus and Townsquare Media ink a deal to swap 65 radio stations in 13 markets, with majority of the 65 stations being sold to Townsquare.

➦In 2014...Clear Channel announced that it has become iHeartMedia, reflecting the company’s success in becoming a one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company with unparalleled reach and impact.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Nielsen: 2017 Was Another 'Classic' Summer

Classic Rock, for the second straight year, saw the most growth in audience share when comparing tune-in during the first five months of the year to June, July and August, the dog days of summer, according to Nielsen.

In 2017, the race came down to Classic Rock and Classic Hits, which have become shoe-ins for the format of the summer crown over the past few years. It’s important to note that this distinction does not go to the format with the largest overall audience share (News/Talk). Rather, it goes to the format that sees the most growth during the summer months. There were four formats in the race for format of the summer this year, with Classic Rock emerging on top again.

When taking the long view, it’s clear that audiences gravitate to music from decades ago during the summer months when listening habits and routines change. Classic Hits, the 2014 and 2015 summer winner, generally plays more pop music from the very same eras as Classic Rock, the 2016 and 2017 winner.

And just as those summertime habits changed the way Americans listen to the radio, so do the events of the past few weeks, as major hurricanes have affected the Gulf Coast, Florida and the southeast.

When the September PPM results become available in a few weeks, Nielsen will be keeping a close eye on news listening and radio usage with a particular focus on markets in Texas, Florida and beyond.

The last time there was such a major hurricane storyline in America was in 2012, when Sandy moved up the East Coast and made landfall in New York. Along the way, the storm passed seven PPM markets from Washington to Boston, and in the first few days after Sandy hit New York, the radio audience in those northeastern markets jumped 50% as consumers turned to radio for information and updates. What’s more, the share of listening among news stations in New York (both commercial and non-commercial) surged dramatically; on the day Sandy made landfall in New York, half of all radio listening in the market was to a News/Talk or All-News station.

Report: ESPN Tried To Keep Jemele Hill Off SC6

ESPN did practically nothing after one of its top hosts launched a racially inflammatory diatribe against President Trump. But that wasn’t always the plan, according to Media reporter Howard Kurtz  at

Kurtz reports the network’s management initially considered firing Jemele Hill, the co-host of "Sports Center," according to several ESPN staffers speaking on a not-for-attribution basis. Then the brass considered suspending the African-American journalist, but decided against that too.

Next, management asked Hill to apologize. She countered by questioning whether she was being ordered to apologize for the Trump tweets or just asked to apologize. When told it was the latter, she refused, according to these sources.

Finally, ESPN tried to yank Hill from "Sports Center" on Wednesday night. But this effort failed as well, the sources say, as first reported by Think Progress. When her African-American co-host, Michael Smith, refused to do the show without her, and two other black hosts followed suit, the network gave in rather than using white hosts as substitutes. ESPN has denied this account.

The result is that both liberal and conservative employees are confused and resentful over the lack of clear standards at the network. In short, ESPN has escalated the outrage.

NBC News To Launch Media Coverage

Claire Atkinson
NBC News and sister network MSNBC are getting into the media reporting game with its first unit.

According to, Claire Atkinson, a former media reporter from The New York Post, will lead the initiative, which will include a host of internal and external contributors.

According to a spokeswoman, Atkinson has tapped Recode’s Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith, ex-Time editor in chief John Huey, journalist Steven Brill and Vanity Fair’s Gabe Sherman for media insight across technology, politics, business and culture. NBC News’ Jim Rainey and Jo Ling Kent, a NBC News and MSNBC correspondent, will also contribute to the report.

In her new role, Atkinson, whose official title is senior editor and reporter, will report to Catherine Kim, executive editor of NBC Digital. The media unit, which has yet to be named, will launch in the coming weeks on and on its various platforms.

“Media is one of the biggest stories of 2017, cutting across the busy intersection of politics, technology, business and culture,” wrote NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, MSNBC president Phil Griffin and Nick Ascheim head of digital for NBC News Group in a memo circulated Friday morning.

“From Silicon Valley to the White House to your smartphone, the landscape is changing dramatically. We see it every day. Competition for attention on screens is fierce. Credibility is under attack. Innovation is constant. And we want to cover this moment — in our own unique way.”

The move is a way for NBC to compete with the likes of CNN, who has an large media team.

DC Radio: Poet Taylor Joins WPGC For Mid-Days

Poet Taylor
CBS Radio, Washington, D.C.’s  WPGC 95.5 FM has announced that Poet Taylor will begin hosting middays, weekdays from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM beginning Monday, September 18.  WPGC 95.5 celebrated its 30th anniversary in June and continues to be one of the most listened to stations in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Poet started her radio career at WERQ-FM in Baltimore after winning a station contest seeking to expand their talent roster. She served as the Executive Producer for the Joe Clair Morning Show on WPGC 95.5 in 2014 and was most recently the Segment Producer of Good Morning Washington on ABC-7 and hosted weekends on WPGC 95.5.

“I am so excited that Poet will be taking over midday fulltime for WPGC 95.5,” said Steve Davis, Vice President of Programming, CBS RADIO Washington, D.C. and Program Director of WPGC. “Poet has been an incredible advocate for WPGC in her part-time role.  She is excellent on-air, understands social media and loves the DMV.  I have no doubt she will be a great success in middays!”

WPGC 95.5 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
"I'm beyond blessed and super excited to be given the opportunity to bring #Edutainment to the DMV as the new Midday host on WPGC 95.5FM,” said Poet. I look forward to continuing to build upon the WPGC brand, encouraging our listeners to embrace their greatness and giving back tenfold all that my #BaconBits have invested in me!"

Cleveland Radio: iHM, MLB Indians Extend Broadcast Deal

iHeartMedia/Cleveland has announced ink a multi-year agreement for WTAM-AM and WMMS-FM to continue as the Flagship Home of the streaking MLB Cleveland Indians through at least 2023.

As part of the deal, WTAM will air all regular season games and WMMS will simulcast the majority of Indians games. iHM Cleveland will also air 15 live Spring Training games and will continue to distribute Tribe games to the entire Cleveland Clinic Indians Radio Network, which consists of 27 stations across Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

"The Cleveland Indians are thrilled to continue our 20-year partnership with iHeartMedia," said Cleveland Indians Senior Director of Communications Curtis Danburg. "We are fortunate this partnership continues to provide our fans great access to Indians baseball on WTAM and WMMS for years to come."

"We are excited to extend our successful relationship with the Cleveland Indians," added iHM North Ohio Region President Keith Hotchkiss. "This multiyear agreement allows us to continue to deliver Cleveland Indians programming and coverage to millions of fans on WTAM and WMMS and throughout the country on iHeartRadio."

The Indians and iHM Cleveland will continue to also provide non-game programming like weekly shows "Tribe Talk" and "Hot Stove Weekly."

Spotify, Indie Music Publishers Battle Escalates

Seven independent music publishers sued Spotify in Nashville on Wednesday for using their songs without the necessary licenses, ramping up the legal battle with the music streaming giant.

According to The Tennessean, Spotify already settled  two multi-million-dollar lawsuits with publishers and songwriters making similar claims.

Then in July, Bluewater Music and Bob Gaudio filed separate lawsuits against the company in Nashville. On Wednesday, A4V, J&J Ross Co., Lakshmi Puja Music, Lindabet Music Corp., Music By Shay, Music of the West and Swinging Door Music joined together to sue Spotify as well.

The new lawsuit is related to claims that songs such as "Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)," "Cool Water," and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" were used without proper licenses by Spotify.

Both of the July lawsuits and the new suit on Wednesday were filed by prominent entertainment law attorney Richard Busch. The catalogs for each of the new plaintiffs are administered by the Brentwood, Tenn.-based Songwriters Guild of America.

The Nashville lawsuits have received substantial interest among music industry stakeholders because of a surprising legal argument by Spotify. In its response to the Bluewater lawsuit, Spotify implied that it does not have to obtain a mechanical license in order to stream a song.

Under copyright law, streaming companies must contact a publisher directly, or contact the U.S. Copyright Office and alert them of the intent to stream a song so that the publishers and songwriters can be paid for their copyright work.

The lawsuits claim that Spotify hasn't done that.

"Spotify’s illegal behavior and its willful and deliberate disregard of United States
copyright laws is clearly demonstrated in this case, which shows specific efforts by plaintiffs, through SGA, to gain compliance from Spotify to no avail," the publishers claimed in Wednesday's lawsuit.

In a separate legal filing on Wednesday, Bluewater aggressively argued against Spotify's claim that it doesn't have to obtain a mechanical license. Pointing to federal case law along with Spotify's own statements in hearings with the federal Copyright Royalty Board, Bluewater argues the company must pay publishers their mechanical license fees.

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Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace Gets Extended Contract

The Fox News Channels has re-signed the anchor Chris Wallace to a multiyear deal, Fox News Channel's president of news Jay Wallace said Thursday.

"After almost 14 years as the anchor of Fox News Sunday, I think I am starting to get the hang of it," Chris Wallace quipped.

Fox News wasn't specific about the length of Wallace's new deal, except to confirm that he will be there for the next presidential election. according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Wallace, the biological son of 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace and stepson of former CBS News president Bill Leonard, earned kudos from both the right and the left in 2016 for his professionalism in moderating the third general presidential debate, the first time a Fox News host was invited to do so.

Prior to that, Wallace co-moderated the first Republican primary debate of the most recent presidential cycle, attracting 24 million viewers and setting a record for the most-watched non-sports cable telecast in history.

"Rupert Murdoch has asked me to stay on the beat well past the 2020 election. I am honored by his confidence, and excited to keep reporting as part of the Fox News team," Wallace said.

Wallace, 69, got his start in news as a 16-year-old assistant to legendary anchor Walter Cronkite. Prior to joining Fox, he also worked at ABC News and NBC News.

Political Pundit Meghan McCain EXITS Fox News Channel

Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain, the political scion who turned a stint as a blogger and TV show host into a role as a contributor at Fox News Channel, is leaving the network, reports Variety.

McCain is the oldest daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican and 2008 presidential candidate, who in July was diagnosed with brain cancer following a procedure to remove a blood clot above his left eye. She was seen on Fox News as one of the co-hosts on “Outnumbered,” an afternoon program that added a different male guest each day to a rotating group of female contributors.

“Meghan has been a valuable part of ‘Outnumbered’ and the Fox News team,” the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet said in a statement. “We’re sad to see her go, but we wish her all the best.”

“I’m so thankful to Fox News for the chance to be on ‘Outnumbered,’ but I’m leaving to focus on other things,” McCain said in a statement. “I have no doubt the show will continue to do well and wish all my friends and colleagues at the network nothing but success.”

At the time Senator McCain’s diagnosis was revealed, she said via Twitter that “the news of my father’s illness has affected every one of us in the McCain family. My grandmother, mother, brothers, sister and I have all endured the shock of the news, and now we live with the anxiety about what comes next.” Since that time, Senator McCain has received treatment for the disease, but maintained an active role in government.

Houston Radio: NFL Texans Pull Josh Innes Credentials

Josh Innes
The Texans have revoked media credentials for KBME 790 AM talk show host Josh Innes and his producer, Jim Mudd, for "repeated violations of our media policies," a spokesperson for the team said this week.

The Houston Chronicle reports team officials would not elaborate, but a podcast of Innes' Aug. 22 broadcast reflects that Mudd broadcast live reports from a practice that was open to the public, using his cellular phone to speak with Innes on the air while describing plays and formations, and reported live on which players were and were not participating in drills.

After being informed by a team media representative that he could not talk on the phone while on the sidelines, Mudd continued talking live with Innes on the air outside the gate to the practice field and later from the spectator section.

The Texans' media policy, a copy of which is posted on the team's website and which is referenced on credentials, prohibits live broadcasts from practice, including the use of social media, and the broadcast of live interviews on social media.

Telephone calls are allowed from the sideline only after practice has concluded, and the team also limits topics that can be reported from practice, prohibiting reports on game strategy, personnel lineups and conversations on the field involving players and/or coaches.' Credentials

Norfolk Radio: New WTAR Line-Up Starts Monday

Sinclair Communications has announced that starting Monday September 18th 2017, Sports Radio will have a fresh new lineup including a local talk show in afternoon drive.

The new lineup will be:

6-9am- Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage
9-12pm- The Dan Patrick Show
12-3pm- The Herd with Colin Cowherd
3-5pm- The Nick Bailey Show
5-8pm- The Rich Eisen Show

“We are excited to give the people of Hampton Roads premiere sports talk every weekday. I think the lineup gives a fresh entertaining spin on sports no matter what time of the day you tune in. Plus, local sports talk starting at 3pm will be a nice addition to the market” said Nick Bailey, Program Director of Sports Radio 850.

WTAR 850 Am (50 Kw-D, 25 Kw-N, DA2)
The Nick Bailey Show will be from 3-5pm and will feature Jason Dick, from 101X in Austin, Texas. He is one of the top rated alternative rock DJs in the country. It will also include Tim Murray from Washington DC. He is a nationally syndicated talk show host, part of SBNation AM and formerly of The Steve Czaban Show.

Chattanooga Radio: Randy Smith Joins Sports WFLI

Randy Smith
Longtime Chattanooga radio and TV sports personality Randy Smith will bring his sports knowledge and opinions back to the air waves.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 18, at 1 p.m. ET, Smith will join the weekday line up on the newly relaunched WFLI 1070 AM/ Mr. Smith is best known for his work as the 6pm and 11pm sports anchor at WDEF-TV (News 12) in the 70s and 80s and more recently from 1995 through 2009 with WRCB-TV (Channel 3). 

According to The Chattanoogan, Smith was also a fixture for two decades on the statewide Vol Radio Network as part of their pre-game, half-time and post-game features. Mr. Smith, who is semi-retired, is excited about his new endeavor.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to join the team at WFLI. I'm also thankful for this great opportunity to be on the air again and to inform the many thousands of sports fans about issues in the sports world today," Mr. Smith said.

WFLI General Manager Evan Stone is happy to add the longtime broadcasting professional saying, "Randy is a true sports broadcasting legend, and we are excited to bring him to the legendary WFLI. Randy's almost 50 years of experience in sports broadcasting makes him uniquely qualified to deliver a 2-hour radio show, second to none in the market."

WFLI 1070 AM (50 Kw-D, 2.5 Kw-N, DA2
The program will mark the second live weekday show on the now News/Talk/Sports formatted radio station. The information intensive morning show, the Morning's News Watch, hosted by Stone and Mike Powers, which features local and national news, sports, and highlights traffic and weather every 10-minutes all morning, continues to anchor the station's weekday line up.

Lexington KY Radio: WVLK Moves Larry Glover To Mid-Days

Larry Glover
Cumulus Media has announced that it has named award-winning Lexington, KY-based talk radio personality Larry Glover as Midday Host of News/Talk WVLK 590 AM.

Glover moves from his 6pm-8pm drive time slot on 590 WVLK-AM, where he has hosted “Larry Glover Live” since January 2008. Glover’s new Midday show debut this week and will air weekdays from 12 Noon-3pm. Concurrently, syndicated talk radio host Chris Plante will move into the 10am-12 Noon position on News Talk 590 WVLK-AM.

News Talk 590 is now simulcast on FM at 97.3.

Glover was the radio voice for the Lexington Legends for seven seasons and nearly 1,000 games at Applebee's Park before returning to his radio roots at WVLK-AM in 2008. His peers subsequently honored him as the 2008 Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year.

Scott Frazier, Vice President/Market Manager of Cumulus Media-Lexington, said: “We are very excited to have Larry Glover join our midday lineup on News Talk 590 WVLK. I've always believed that Larry possessed the ability to reach beyond the world of sports talk to offer entertaining and informative commentary on a broad range of topics. He will now have that opportunity and I think our listeners will love what they hear!”

WVLK 590 AM (5 Kw-D, 1 Kw-N, DA2)
Kruser, WVLK-AM Program Director, said: "For many years, Larry Glover has been a staple of the News Talk 590 WVLK lineup. Over that time, he has proven to be an authoritative voice on U.K sports and sports of all sorts. But he's also shown versatility on news matters and politics. That mix will be valuable in the Noon to 3pm position. And it will be good for WVLK to be local in that time slot again."