Saturday, December 2, 2017

December 3 Radio History

➦In 1923...the first Congressional open session was broadcast on radio.

➦In 1928…A program of classical music, "The Firestone Hour," later re-titled "The Voice of Firestone," began its 28-year Monday night run on the NBC Radio Network.

➦In 1950...Paul Harvey began broadcasting his show nationally.

Paul Harvey Aurandt broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays on the ABC Radio Network.  He also voiced his famous "The Rest of the Story" segments. From the 1950s through the 1990s, Harvey's programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers.

Harvey made radio receivers as a young boy. He attended Tulsa Central High School where a teacher was "impressed by his voice." On her recommendation, he started working at KVOO in Tulsa in 1933, when he was 14. His first job was helping clean up. Eventually he was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and the news.

While attending the University of Tulsa, he continued working at KVOO, first as an announcer, and later as a program director. Harvey, at age nineteen spent three years as a station manager for KFBI AM, now known as KFDI, a radio station that once had studios in Salina, Kansas. From there, he moved to a newscasting job at KOMA in Oklahoma City, and then to KXOK, in St. Louis in 1938, where he was Director of Special Events and a roving reporter.

Harvey then moved to Hawaii to cover the United States Navy as it concentrated its fleet in the Pacific. He was returning to the mainland from assignment when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He eventually enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces but served only from December 1943 to March 1944.

Harvey then moved to Chicago, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR. In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR.

Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946.

On April 1, 1951, the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment "Commentary and analysis of Paul Harvey each weekday at 12 Noon". Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey's introduction. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays. The program continued until his death.

➦In 1955...Elvis Presley's first single release for RCA Victor was announced as "Mystery Train" b/w "I Forgot to Remember to Forget," sides purchased from Presley's previous label, Sun Records. His new record company described Elvis as "The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years."

➦In 1961…The Beatles met Brian Epstein for the first time at his Liverpool record store, NEMS. They met again that evening to discuss Epstein's management of the group.

➦In 1968...Elvis' critically-acclaimed comeback TV special aired on NBC.

➦In 1979...Debut of Shadow Traffic in NYC.

The company originated in 1975 by Michael Lenet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The name was derived from Lenet’s handle, or nickname; he called himself the "Silver Shadow."  Lenet began the operation as an informal traffic reporting service that was provided over citizens' band radio. Soon after, Lenet began providing traffic information to various radio stations in Philadelphia.

(NY Times photo)
The company grew and expanded into other markets, beginning in 1978 with Chicago, Illinois. New York City followed in December, 1979.  This expansion continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s. During that time the company began offering news, weather, and sports services to its affiliates. The primary business philosophy was to provide broadcast services at little or no cost to their affiliates. The majority of the revenue was brought in through sponsorship deals; direct sponsoring of the traffic reports themselves did this.

Today, Metro/Shadow claims to have more than 1,800 traffic reporters, with radio and TV affiliates in all of the major US markets.

➦In 1991...Disc jockey Alan Feed posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

➦In 2003...Canadian broadcast pioneer Allan Waters died in his sleep at the age of 84. Waters founded 1050/CHUM, once one of Canada's most prominent Top 40 radio stations.

Allan Waters
Waters worked in a drug company and quit in 1954 and with partner Jerry Grafstein purchased a then money-losing station, 1050 CHUM. From this small humble station, Waters built his media empire.

Getting ideas from a visit to Florida, Waters returned to Toronto and introduced the CHUM Chart, CHUM Chicks and CHUM bugs to attract teenage listeners.

Waters expanded from radio into the television market by buying Barrie CBC affiliate CKVR in 1969, four television stations in the Maritimes in 1972 which formed the CTV-affiliated Atlantic Television System (ATV), and then Toronto's fledgling CITY in 1978. Today CHUM consists of 33 radio stations, 12 television stations and 21 specialty channels, including MuchMusic, Bravo and Space.

Waters stepped down from the Board of Directors on October 29, 2005.

➦In 2007...Don Imus first show at WABC, NYC

D/FW Radio: Jim Fox To Program KJKK, KVIL

Jim Fox
Entercom Communications Corp. has announced the appointment of Jim Fox as Vice President of Music Programming for the Dallas-Fort Worth cluster effective December 21, 2017.

Fox joined Entercom Sacramento in 2003 and will continue in his current role as Vice President of Programming in the Sacramento cluster until the end of the year. In addition, Jim will serve as Program Director for KJKK JACK 100.3 FM and KVIL ALT 103.7, which launched its Alternative format under Jim’s direction in Dallas on November 17, 2017.

“Jim has guided the alternative format for RADIO 94.7 and 98 Rock to exceptional ratings performance in Sacramento,” said Brian Purdy, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Dallas-Fort Worth. “We can count on him for outstanding leadership, strategy, ideas, operation, coaching and partnership.”

Lance Richard, Entercom Sacramento’s Vice President and Market Manager, announced to staff, “Jim has been an incredible leader here in Sacramento for over 14 years and has been a big part of our success. Under his leadership we have built a portfolio of radio brands that has put us in the enviable position to dominate almost every demographic group. Jim’s impact hasn’t just been limited to just ratings success. Countless employees from programming, to promotions, to engineering, to traffic, to creative, to sales have been impacted by Jim’s coaching and have grown into true radio professionals.”

KJKK 100.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“It’s an underestimation to say that this is an exciting time to be a part of Entercom,” commented Jim Fox. “I’m honored and extremely proud to have the good fortune to leave one incredibly successful Entercom cluster to join another incredibly successful Entercom cluster in Dallas under the leadership of Regional President and Market Manger, Brian Purdy.”

NOLA Radio: Ashley Wilson To Program Country WNOE

Ashley Wilson
iHeartMedia has announced that Ashley Wilson has been named Program Director for 101.1 WNOE, New Orleans Country Station, effective immediately.

 As Program Director, Wilson will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations for 101.1 WNOE. She will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming. In addition, Wilson will serve as the station’s PM drive host.

She will report to Angela Watson, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia New Orleans.

“We’re so excited to have Ashley join New Orleans team,” said Watson. “She has an amazing background that ranges from on-air hosting to social media and I’m confident that she’s going to make a huge impact at 101.1 WNOE.”

Wilson joins iHeartMedia New Orleans from Country station WGNE-FM in Jacksonville, Florida, where she served as the station’s Assistant Program Director and midday on-air personality. Her background also includes Business Development Specialist, Music Director, Traffic Director and Station Manager positions for stations in North Carolina, where she began her career at WMMY-FM.

WNOE 101.1 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m grateful and excited for the opportunity to join the team at iHeartMedia New Orleans,” said Wilson. “101.1 WNOE is an excellent heritage station with a strong connection to its Country music fans. I’m looking forward to taking over the reins and continuing the success of the iHeartCountry brand in New Orleans.”

DC Radio: iHM Moves Toby Knapp To Mornings On WASH

Toby Knapp
iHeartMedia Washington, D.C. has announced that Toby Knapp has been named as the new co-host for the morning show on AC WASH 97.1 FM, Washington’s Variety of the 80’s, 90’s and Today, effective Monday, December 4, 2017.

Knapp will join current co-host Chilli Amar to bring the best variety of music and lifestyle topics to the Washington, D.C. morning commute.

“We’re thrilled to add Toby Knapp to mornings at 97.1 WASH-FM and team him with Chili Amar,” said Jill Kempton, Program Director, 97.1 WASH-FM. “Coming from afternoons at our sister station HOT 99.5, Toby’s the perfect choice to evolve the 97.1 WASH-FM morning show – making it even more of a destination for our already significant work day audience!”

Knapp joins WASH-FM from iHeartMedia’s HOT 99.5, DC’s No. 1 Hit Music Station & Home of “The Kane Show,” where he spent eleven years hosting the afternoon drive show and serving as Assistant Program Director. He will continue his afternoon show on HOT 99.5 through the end of the year. Knapp’s background also includes stops in Columbia, SC, Tampa, FL, Philadelphia, PA and Lancaster, PA. He began his radio career in Stroudsburg, PA. Knapp attended East Stroudsburg University, where he studied Mass Communication.

WASH 97.1 FM (17.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“After over a decade on Hot 99.5 in afternoons, it’s an honor to be given the chance to co-host mornings on D.C.’s monumental 97.1 WASH-FM,” said Knapp. “With the overwhelming support of the iHeartMedia Washington, D.C. team and the resources being readied for us, I’m beyond excited that Chilli Amar and I have the opportunity to bring something truly magical and unique to our nation’s capital.”

Augusta Radio: Kent Dunn Returns To Beasley Stations As MM

Kent Dunn
Beasley Media Group has announced Kent Dunn will return home to once again oversee the company’s cluster of eight radio stations in the Augusta, Georgia market, including: Country WKXC 99.5 FM, CHR WHHD 98.3 FM, Classic Hits WDRR 93.9 FM,  Gospel WGUS 102.7 FM,  Classic HipHop WCHZ 93.1/95.5 FM; News.Talk WGAC 95.1 FM / 580 AM and Sports WRDW 1630 AM.

Dunn most recently served as Vice President and Market Manager of Beasley’s cluster of radio stations in Tampa, Florida. The radio veteran previously held the role of Vice President and Market Manager of company’s cluster of radio stations in Augusta, GA. He joined Beasley in 1991 and worked in the Augusta market as general manager and/or market manager from 1993-2014.

Over the years, Dunn has been named as Beasley’s “General Manager of the Year” on four separate occasions. In addition, he has been the recipient of numerous industry honors.

“Kent leads by example in everything he does,” said Beasley Media Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Beasley. “We look forward to Kent returning to his roots and once again overseeing the cluster and enjoying the similar success he had both in Augusta and Tampa. It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”

“I am very grateful to the Beasley family for providing me with the opportunity to move back home near my family and once again lead the company’s Augusta-based stations,” said Dunn. “I look forward to working with Mark and the cluster’s outstanding team in expanding our presence in the community.”

Former Vice President and Market Manager Mark Haddon will shift his responsibilities to become Director of Sales to focus on the cluster’s overall sales effort.

Report: No NBC Payout On Lauer's Contract

Matt Lauer
NBC will not be paying out any of the millions remaining on the fired Today show host's contract, the Associated Press reported Friday. 

USAToday is reporting Matt Lauer is said to have earned around $25 million a year on his current contract, which runs through 2018 and made him one of TV's highest-paid journalists.

Some NBC News employees who raised the question of Lauer's compensation at a staff meeting Friday were told that he was fired "for cause" and wouldn't be paid beyond his last day, which was Tuesday.

Under most network employment contracts, on-air talent can be fired for violating terms such as a morals clause prohibiting inappropriate behavior. s

How could Lauer's "appalling behavior" be allowed to happen? NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said Friday he's appointed a team inside NBC to investigate. Plus, he plans to boost sexual harassment training and encourage better communication at the network.

He said a team of "the most experienced NBCUniversal Legal and Human Resources leaders have begun a thorough and timely review of what happened and what we can do to build a culture of greater transparency, openness and respect for each other," the memo read. "At the conclusion of the review we will share what we’ve learned, no matter how painful, and act on it."

Media watchers have suggested that Comcast, NBC's parent company, should bring in an outside panel to independently investigate the Lauer matter, on the grounds that it's problematic for an organization to investigate itself.

Meanwhile, NBC News is bulldozing and erasing all memory of Matt Lauer from 30 Rock by demolishing his office, ripping off his name plate from the building and destroying all pictures of the shamed anchor, according to The NYPost.

Network insiders said Lauer’s office on the third floor of 30 Rock was one of many undergoing renovation, but now they have instead started tearing it apart.

Report: Matt Lauer's Wife Moves Out

Annette Roque
Matt Lauer’s long-suffering wife Annette Roque has fled their home and is rumored to have headed back to her native Netherlands amid his sex harassment scandal.

Multiple sources tell Page Six that Dutch-born former model Annette — Lauer’s wife of 20 years — was last seen at their Hamptons home on Wednesday, the day Lauer’s firing was announced.

One Hamptons source told Page Six, “Annette has taken their two younger kids out of school and is believed to have left the US and gone to her family in her native country.” It is believed her mother lives near Amsterdam.

Amid the scandal, Annette has remained silent. She and Lauer have three children, Romy, 14, son Thijs, 11, and oldest son Jack, who is at a prep school outside Manhattan. It is not known if the kids are with Annette or remained at home with Lauer.

Annette briefly filed for divorce in 2006, claiming she suffered “cruel and inhumane” treatment from Lauer, who she said in legal documents was controlling and demonstrated “extreme anger and hostility.” She withdrew the divorce filing a month later.

Another well-placed source insisted that the reason Annette withdrew her divorce filing is that Lauer offered her a post-nuptial agreement at the time of the filing, offering her up to a rumored $5 million deal to remain in the marriage.

Report: Damage Control At NBC

The top two executives at NBC News tried to quell any in-house suspicions on Friday concerning their handling of Matt Lauer, the longtime “Today” according to the NYTimes.

Their communications with staff members came after competing media organizations had expressed skepticism about the official NBC denial. The network had said on Wednesday that its executive ranks had not been aware of Mr. Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct involving female colleagues until they had learned of a detailed complaint on Monday.

Noah Oppenheim, the news division’s president, met with “NBC Nightly News” staff members at their daily meeting to tell them about recent conversations that took place between Mr. Lauer and NBC News executives.

According to an NBC employee who was present at the meeting and spoke about it on condition of anonymity to discuss internal issues, Mr. Oppenheim said that four executives — including himself and Andrew Lack, the NBC News chairman — had asked Mr. Lauer repeatedly in recent weeks if he had engaged in inappropriate behavior with staff members and that he had denied any wrongdoing.

Oppenheim said that in recent years he had been aware of articles in supermarket tabloids alleging that Mr. Lauer had extramarital affairs, but that was the extent of his knowledge of anything potentially inappropriate in the former host’s off-camera life, the person said.

Oppenheim added that NBC executives began their questioning of Mr. Lauer after learning that reporters from The New York Times and Variety were looking into Mr. Lauer’s workplace conduct.

Geraldo Rivera Apologizes To Bette Midler

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera is once again apologizing for something he’s written. This time it’s his 1991 memoir, “Exposing Myself.”

According to The LATimes, he’s also sorry about what happened with Bette Midler back in the ’70s — or “in the very least” for embarrassing her by mentioning what happened in his book —  though he still doesn’t 100% agree with her version of what happened.

Rivera had tweeted his support for Matt Lauer on Wednesday in the wake of the “Today” host's firing over allegations of sexual misconduct. At the same time, he called journalism a “flirty” business and said the current wave of accusations might be “criminalizing courtship & conflating it [with] predation.” Then he apologized, saying he “didn’t sufficiently explain” that he also thought sexual harassment was a “horrendous problem."

On Friday morning, the Fox News correspondent tweeted:

The memoir — which the Daily Beast described Thursday as a “horndog’s bible of workplace harassment” — came back on the radar on the same day Midler revived a 1991 Barbara Walters interview clip in which the singer talked about what had happened between her and Rivera, as compared to what he had written.

At that time, he was four years into the 11-year run of daytime talk show “Geraldo” (and three years off the cover of Playgirl), and Barbara Walters was sitting down with Bette Midler for an interview.

During an interview in the ’70s, Midler said, Rivera and his producer left their crew in another room, “pushed me into my bathroom, they broke two poppers and put them under my nose, and proceeded to grope me. ... I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly. His behavior was unseemly."

Midler tweeted Thursday, “Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this.”

That’s what he addressed Friday, saying, “Although I recall the time @BetteMidler has alluded to much differently than she, that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically [sic] embarrassing her all those years ago. Bette, I apologize.”

Jeff Glor Debuts Monday On CBS Evening News

Jeff Glor takes over as the broadcast’s anchor replacing Scott Pelley, who was shown the door — or, rather, sent back across the street to “60 Minutes” — after six years this past spring.

The network also announced Friday that the evening news will be replayed each night at 10 on the CBSN streaming service, an additional viewing opportunity for people who aren’t around a television set at dinnertime.

According to The Associated Press, the shift to a 42-year-old anchor and effort to make the evening news more accessible to more screens represents a generational change.

Glor’s ascendance is evidence of another shift in perception in television news. The evening newscasts had long been the flagships for news divisions, home to leaders like Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. Morning shows are where the money is for broadcasters. Cable news networks, where the light never goes out, suck away attention — even though more than 20 million people sit down to watch the ABC, CBS or NBC newscasts each weekday evening.

When ABC hired David Muir to anchor “World News Tonight,” it turned to a young (he’s 44), lesser-known newsman instead of a glittery, expensive star. The network has been rewarded as ABC eclipsed Lester Holt on NBC’s “Nightly News” in the ratings.

Glor fits that mold. He also shares an upstate New York lineage — Muir grew up in Syracuse, New York, Glor went to college there, and they worked at different Syracuse local news stations at the same time. When Glor’s hiring was announced in October, Muir sent a congratulatory note and bottle of barbecue sauce from that city’s best-known ribs joint.

With youth, Glor has time to become a familiar face to viewers and to change his broadcast’s long-time status as the third most popular show in a three-network race. CBS has made significant progress making its morning news show more competitive; success has proven more elusive in the evening.

John Hockenberry Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Retired public radio host John Hockenberry was accused of sexually harassing several female co-workers, according to a published report Friday night, reports The NYPost.

Hockenberry suddenly stepped away from the NPR station in August at the age 61 — though New York Magazine didn’t say whether complaints led to his departure.

Kristin Meinzer, a producer for Hockenberry, recalled a creepy moment in 2014 when she scored him an interview with Oscar-winning actress Marion Cottillard.  Hockenberry, who uses a wheelchair, responded with unwanted kisses.

“He rolled right up to me at my desk, grabbed my face and started kissing me,” Meinzer said. “I moved my head away and pushed him away, and I said, ‘No, no, please don’t.’ ”

He responded, according to Meinzer, “I just want to kiss you because I’m so thankful.”

Kristen Meinzer
She said no: “A hug is fine, but I don’t want to be kissed.”

Another producer recalled WNYC putting crew up in a hotel ahead of a snow storm in the winter of 2010-11.

“John said, ‘Can we talk about something on the show?’ So I went to his room, which might seem stupid now but didn’t seem crazy then: We worked around the clock,” the woman said.

“He came up and put his arms on mine, and kissed me. Then he said, ‘I love you. We’ve always had this special thing.’ I pushed him away, and said ‘This cannot happen.’ I ran out of the room.”

In statement through his publicist, Hockenberry didn’t deny any of the allegations.

“Looking back, my behavior was not always appropriate and I’m sorry,” he said. “It horrifies me that I made the talented and driven people I worked with feel uncomfortable, and that the stress around putting together a great show was made worse by my behavior.”

December 2 Radio History

➦In 1932..."The Adventures of Charlie Chan" was first broadcast on the NBC Blue Radio Network.

On radio, Charlie Chan was heard in several different series on three networks (the NBC Blue Network, Mutual, and ABC) between 1932 and 1948.  Walter Connolly initially portrayed Chan on Esso Oil's Five Star Theater, which serialized adaptations of Biggers novels.  Ed Begley, Sr. had the title role in NBC's The Adventures of Charlie Chan (1944–45), followed by Santos Ortega (1947–48). Leon Janney and Rodney Jacobs were heard as Lee Chan, Number One Son, and Dorian St. George was the announcer.

➦In 1949...Gene Autry’s song “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” hit the record charts for the first time.

➦In 1963...Jay Nelson did his first morning show on CHUM 1050 AM Toronto.

Jungle Jay Nelson was well-known to Toronto audiences when he arrived at CHUM in December, 1963, succeeding Al Boliska.

Nelson had done the morning show at WKBW for two years and also an afternoon TV show on WKBW-TV.

But who would have thought he'd last 17 years in morning drive at CHUM, finally stepping down in 1980.

On February 18, 1994, Toronto radio fans were shocked at the news that long-time CHUM morning man Jay Nelson had died. Nelson, whose real name was Frank Coxe, anchored some of the greatest radio lineups of all time during his 17 years as morning man at 1050 CHUM.

Nelson went on to gigs at CITY-TV, CKFM, CKEY, CHFI and CJEZ and was teaching radio at George Brown College in Toronto shortly before his death. He remains one of Toronto's most remembered personalities.

➦In 1971...Don Imus signed on at WNBC, New York City.

Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis.  After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California.

He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.  After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California.  His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.

After a stint at WGAR (AM) radio in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts.

Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK, making the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on his first day back in town.

In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good." Although Stern's show aired later in the day, Imus and Stern often made brief appearances on each other's shows, giving the audience an occasional glimpse of an on-and-off-air rivalry that continued for many years.

➦In 1992...WQEW-AM radio replaced WQXR on 1560 AM in New York City.

➦In 2008...Canadian broadcaster/cellular mogul Ted Rogers Jr. died at his home in Toronto, after recently being admitted to hospital with a cardiac condition. While he was best known for Canada's Rogers Cable, his communications empire actually makes more money from the mobile phone business.

➦In 2010…Chicago Cubs broadcaster/former MLB 3rd baseman Ron Santo died of complications from diabetes and bladder cancer at age 70.

Friday, December 1, 2017

iHM Promotes John Ivey To President of CHR

John Ivey
iHeartMedia announced today that its National Programming Group has elevated noted programming veteran John Ivey to the new position of President of CHR (Contemporary Hits Radio) Programming Strategy.

He will report to Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia.

In his new role, Ivey will oversee iHeartMedia’s CHR and RCHR brand formats and work to improve the company’s Top 40 brands in its over 150 markets. In addition, he will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of CHR programmers and on-air talent, and book artists for events including the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour and KIIS FM’s Wango Tango. Ivey will also remain in his role of Program Director of iHeartMedia’s KIIS FM, LA’s #1 Hit Music Station.

“For over 15 years, John has played a key role in the success of our Los Angeles market brands and CHR stations nationwide,” said Rich Bressler, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for iHeartMedia. “We’re thrilled that he’s taking an even larger role within our National Programming Group and helping groom our next generation of extremely talented CHR Program Directors and top on-air personalities. He will be a valuable resource to Greg Ashlock, President of the iHeartMedia Markets Group and to our Division and Region Presidents.”

“John is one of the foremost talents in media today when it comes to programming Top 40 radio and he is a driving factor in why KIIS FM is the most listened to station in its market,” said Tom Poleman. “He knows what CHR listeners want to hear and we’re confident he’ll help bring similar success to our stations in other markets.”

Ivey is a 40-plus year radio veteran who most recently served as Senior Vice President of Programming, and CHR Brand Manager for iHeartMedia. He began his radio career as an on-air personality and Music Director in his hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky and later led programming efforts for stations in Rochester, New York; Nashville, Tennessee; and Boston. He joined iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2001 and has served as Vice President of Programming for the market and Program Director of KYSR FM and KHHT FM. Since Ivey joined KIIS FM as its Program Director, the station has been the #1 Arbitron ranked position in the market and is the most listened to station in LA with approximately 4 million weekly listeners. Most recently, Ivey was named one of Billboard magazine’s Top Pop Radio Programmers for 2017.

“Throughout my career I’ve always loved the opportunity to help new artists and young talent and programmers grow and I’m thrilled my new position as President of CHR Programming Strategy makes the things I love top priority,” said Ivey. “Thank you to iHeartMedia for allowing me to get past the 20 year mark in Los Angeles and to continue working with our amazing CHR programming and on-air teams.”

iHeartMedia Creditors Reject Another Offer

A key group of creditors rejected iHeartMedia Inc.'s latest debt restructuring proposal, and countered with their own deal that requires the company to file for chapter 11, the company disclosed on Thursday.

DowJones report the latest development in long-running restructuring negotiations at iHeart, the largest radio network in the U.S. by number of stations, comes a day after Cumulus Media Inc., the second-largest, filed for bankruptcy, succumbing to billions of dollars of debt and competitive pressures from digital platforms.

"The industry's best days are behind it, even though it's going to be around for years," said Lance Vitanza, managing director and analyst at Cowen Inc.

A large group of bond and loan holders led by Franklin Resources rejected iHeart's latest proposal even after the company increased the cut of equity offered the group to more than 87% in both the iHeart radio business and the company's controlling stake in its Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. billboard unit, the company said.

Under the company's latest proposal, iHeart's private-equity owners Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, would retain 12.5% of the shares in both.

Discussions between iHeart and the Franklin-led group will continue, however, according to the filing on Thursday.

The Franklin-led group, advised by PJT Partners Inc., has tweaked its initial offer, but largely stuck to its guns, demanding the company hand over 95% of the equity in its radio network, and all of iHeart's equity in Clear Channel, and offering the private-equity owners and junior bondholders 5% of the equity in the radio business and warrants in Clear Channel, according to several bondholders.

The company's plan would cut $7.7 billion of iHeart's $15.5 billion in debt, and the proposal by the Franklin-led group would reduce even more debt.

The company has given ground since late October when it disclosed a term sheet offering the creditor group over 49% in the radio business and 70% of the shares iHeartMedia owns in publicly traded Clear Channel Outdoor. IHeartMedia owns 89.5% of Clear Channel, long considered the company's crown jewel.

IHeartMedia has been trying to restructure $15.5 billion in debt since March, when it launched a public tender for a debt swap. The debt swap garnered little interest, and the company started engaging various creditor groups. It sweetened its offer in July in a bid to avoid bankruptcy.

L-A Radio: Entercom Fires KROQ's Ralph Garman

Ralph Garman
To the shock of loyal KROQ 106.7 FM listeners early Thursday morning, radio personality Ralph Garman announced that it would be his last day on the station’s “The Kevin & Bean Show,” according to The LA Daily News.

Garman has been a part of the show, alongside hosts Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter, for 18 years. Not only did he contribute more hard-hitting entertainment news via his Movie Beat and Showbiz Beat segments, but he was responsible for a slew of impressions and voices for gags that were sprinkled in throughout the morning program.

The Daily News Garman was given the opportunity to go on-air and actually deliver a heartfelt and tearful goodbye to his loyal devotees. “I’m glad I had the chance to do it. A lot of people don’t in the world of radio, when it all ends, they don’t get a chance to say anything, they just become a footnote,” he said choking up on air during his final Showbiz Beat.

“So I appreciate the powers that be at KROQ giving me the opportunity to say goodbye to everybody and that’s what I really wanted to do more than anything else because the highlight of this whole experience for me has been the people who listen and I just can’t thank you enough for having spent some time with me for the past almost two decades."

On top of being a radio personality, Garman has also lent his voice to several characters on “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “Robot Chicken.” He’s had small roles in feature films like “Yoga Hosers,” “Tusk” and “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” He also co-hosts a popular podcast with director and actor Kevin Smith, “Hollywood Babble-On.”

Where Garman was much more humble and gracious with his ousting, Smith didn’t hold back as he showed support for his longtime friend and blasted KROQ via his Twitter page.

Nielsen PPMs: DC, Boston, Detroit, 9 Other Markets

Nielsen on Thursday 11/30/17 released the second batch of November PPM Data for the following markets:

  7  Washington DC

 10  Boston

 11  Miami-Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood

 12  Seattle-Tacoma

 13  Detroit

 14  Phoenix

 15  Minneapolis-St.Paul

 17  San Diego

 18  Denver-Boulder

 19  Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater

 21  Baltimore

 23  St. Louis

Click Here to view topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

What Did NBC Know And When Did They Know It?

People in and outside NBC are raising questions about the network’s assertion that it had never received complaints about fired Today show co-anchor Matt Lauer before Monday, pointing to shifting language in the network’s own statements about the fired star.

The initial Wednesday morning memo on Lauer’s firing, signed by NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, referred to a woman who had come forward to complain about Lauer on Monday night, saying that it was “the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News.”

NBC’s second statement, released later Wednesday, said, “We can say unequivocally that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.”

According to Politico, employees at NBC News especially noted the wording shift from “in 20 years” to “current NBC News management,” according to a network staffer. Lack’s current tenure at NBC News began in 2015, though he had previously headed the news division from 1993 to 2001. The tweak raised questions over whether NBC brass was suggesting that past executives may have heard of inappropriate behavior.

At least one, CNN president and former “Today” executive producer Jeff Zucker, addressed the issue on Thursday. At Business Insider’s Ignition conference, he denied any knowledge of bad behavior by Lauer.

"What’s missing in coverage of most media scandals, sex harassment or otherwise, is a willingness to confront systemic causes that led to the scandal, including the culpability of management in allowing scandals to take place," Mark Feldstein, a broadcast journalism professor at the University of Maryland and a former news executive at NBC, CNN and ABC told USAToday.

Lauer Still Wants $30M From NBC

Matt Lauer
Lawyers representing former NBC host Matt Lauer are reportedly seeking to get the longtime anchor upwards of $30 million after he was fired this week over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Page Six at the NYPost reports that Lauer's team is seeking for NBC to pay the host for the remainder of his $20 million per year contract, which still had a year and a half left before he was fired.

“They are currently looking at his contract and determining whether the claims against him, which clearly would affect any moral clause in his contract and his ensuing termination would cut off his contractual rights to be paid through to the end of his contract," a source close to Lauer's team told the outlet.

Morality clauses are often added to contracts allowing companies to fire employees for publicly embarrassing situations that damage the company's image.

NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announced Lauer's firing in a memo to employees Wednesday morning, suggesting that more allegations would likely be uncovered, according to The Hill.

Reports emerged later that day on other allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the former NBC anchor dating back to 2001.

Megyn Wants Matt

NBC host Megyn Kelly on Thursday invited Matt Lauer and his accusers onto her show, stating she remains "committed to telling people's stories if they choose to come forward."

The invitation comes one day after the 59-year-old Lauer was ousted from NBC amid sexual harassment allegations.

“As hard as it is to report on one of our own colleagues, we remain committed to telling people’s stories if they choose to come forward,” said the "Megyn Kelly Today" host, according to Entertainment Weekly. “The women in this case, too — the Matt Lauer case — are invited and welcome to do exactly that on this show."

Kelly departed from Fox News in January despite being offered a reported $100 million to stay, citing a desire to be home with her husband and young children during evening hours.

The 47-year-old former attorney was reportedly crucial to an internal investigation into sexual harassment claims against Fox’s late former chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes.

The Hill reports...with Lauer gone, Kelly becomes the highest paid employee in broadcast news along with ABC's Robin Roberts, with each at a reported $18 million a year, according to Variety.

Bette Midler Says Geraldo Rivera Drugged And Groped Her

Bette Midler has tweeted a video of an interview she did with Barbara Walters in 1991 in which she said journalist Geraldo Rivera groped her in the 1970s.

The video resurfaced Thursday, a day after Rivera, now a Fox News reporter, defended Matt Lauer after he was fired as a "Today" show co-host over allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Tomorrow is my birthday," Midler wrote on Twitter. "I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me. Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this."

Midler concluded the tweet with a #MeToo hashtag, which has become synonymous with speaking out against sexual harassment and abuse.

In the interview, Midler tells Walters, "Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the '70s, the early '70s. And this was when he was very, sort of, hot. And he and his producer left the crew in the other room. They pushed me into my bathroom. They broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me."

"Poppers" is slang for the recreational drug alkyl nitrite.

"Grope?" Walters asks, looking surprised.

Midler responds, "Groped me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was ... he was unseemly."

A representative for Midler told ABC News that she had no further comment beyond her tweet.

Walmart Stops Sale Of Lynching T-Shirts

Custom T-shirt design company Teespring is once again on the defensive after a media group found it was selling a T-shirt about lynching journalists on its site and as a third party seller on

USAToday reports Walmart was alerted to the shirt's presence on its site on Wednesday by the Radio Television Digital News Association and that same day removed it from sale. The T-shirt read "Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED”.

The discovery highlights the ongoing problems created by technology companies that largely lean on software to screen out harmful or abusive content. These automated systems are cost effective, underwriting healthy profit margins, but have made Internet companies  — including Facebook and Google — vulnerable to individuals that figure out how to skirt the system for harm.

Teespring is a San Francisco-based company that has raised millions of dollars from Silicon Valley sources such as start-up incubator Y Combinator and venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures.

Its business model is to act as an intermediary: Customers upload designs for custom T-shirts and other logo items. They then sell the items either on the Teespring site or on their own sites. Teespring takes a cut of all sales from users.

Multiple examples of inappropriate material have dogged the company. Teespring was in the news in May after shirts saying “Black Women are Trash” were discovered for sale on the site.

In a statement to USA TODAY, Walmart said the item was sold by a third-party seller on its marketplace and clearly violates its policies. "We removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention, and are conducting a thorough review of the seller’s assortment," the statement read.

Your Boss May Soon Be Hiring Alexa

Amazon has built a wide lead in the field with its popular at-home Echo speaker, which was launched in late 2014. The company is now counting on its new service, dubbed Alexa for Business and available immediately, to spark a surge in voice computing in the workplace.

The online retail giant announced the initiative here Thursday at the annual conference for its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing unit, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Even before Amazon made a push into business, RBC Capital Markets predicted that by 2020, Alexa device installations could reach 128 million. Over that same period, the voice-activated internet could result in more than $10 billion in revenues for Amazon, according to the firm.

Still, it remains to be seen how many companies will want to buy Echo speakers for every conference room, as well as design programs for unproven technology in the workplace. In addition, companies may not want workers talking to devices in crowded offices. As for company secrets, Amazon has said its Echo devices don’t send anything to the cloud until users wake the devices with its name, typically “Alexa.”

The effort to expand Alexa’s reach into the workplace comes as the service faces increased competition from virtual assistants created by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc.’s Siri, and Microsoft Corp.’s Cortana. Windows 10 computers, increasingly rolling out into workplaces, include the ability to speak to Cortana and get audio responses, for example.

That competitive pressure, in part, has led Amazon to add hundreds of engineers to the Alexa program and give it hiring preference over other divisions.

D/FW Radio: Hot 93.3 To Stuff A Bus With Toys

Scotty K and Bret Mega Mornings on KLIF Hot 93.3 FM will live on a bus for 5 days as they attempt to cram as many new and gently used toys into it for underprivileged kids living in the D/FW area.

Benefiting the Salvation Army, Stuff-A-Bus returns for its second year at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco on Thursday, December 14 and run through Tuesday, December 19.

“With the amazing success of last year's Stuff-A-Bus, and being inspired by the generosity of the DFW community, we are excited to announce that Stuff-A-Bus is back!” – Bret Mega, Morning Show Co-Host. “This year will be even bigger, in turn helping more kids in DFW than ever before. Stuff-A-Bus brings the community together so that every single kid can feel the joy of opening a present for the Holidays.”

“It breaks our hearts to think that there are thousands of kids who will have nothing.” Scotty K added. “That is why, once again, we are committed to LIVING on the bus 24/7, around the clock, collecting toys to be there for them!"

“We are so proud to bring Stuff-A-Bus back for a second year!” Hot 93.3 Station Program Director, Dustin Kross. “After seeing the amazing success and how much it helped the community last year, I knew it was something we needed to bring back! We are looking forward to collecting as many toys as we can and helping underprivileged children in the area!”

Philly Radio: Country WXTU Presents Toy Truck Parade

Entercom’s WXTU 92.5 FM, Philadelphia’s Country Station is inviting listeners to participate in its 18th Annual Toy Truck Parade to collect toys for The United Service Organization (USO) and The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Participants are encouraged to get in the holiday spirit by decorating their cars, trucks, SUVs and emergency vehicles and filling them with new and unwrapped toys.  The event will include participation from WXTU 92.5 FM on-air personalities, including Frank and Andie from the Morning Show.

Participating vehicles will line up in front of the Walmart Supercenter in Hatfield and judges will walk the lines of cars and trucks to judge the best decorated in four categories: Big Rig, Commercial, Personal and Emergency.  Vehicles will then parade down a four-mile route on Bethlehem Pike beginning at Walmart Supercenter and end at the Montgomery Mall, to deliver the toys to the center court.

Five children from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will lead the parade of vehicles as this year’s Grand Marshalls. WXTU-FM personalities will hand out special trophies to this year’s Grand Marshalls and to the best decorated trucks.

The fun continues inside once the toys are delivered. A local school will sing Christmas Carols in front of the mountain of toys, there will be a photo booth for fun keepsake photos, and members of the Armed Services and the Boys and Girls Clubs will be on hand to help build the mountain of toys.

Elvis Duran's Carney Awards Debuts on TV Saturday

The Elvis Duran Group’s 2017 Carney Awards, which honors Hollywood’s leading character actors for their outstanding achievements, gathered the most recognizable faces in TV and film recently at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Calif. 

Jim Katz, Elvis Duran, David Katz
The show was taped exclusively for NBC Universal’s COZI TV and airs this Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 9:00pm EST.  This marks the first time The Carney Awards will be broadcast in homes nationwide.

David Katz commented, “Elvis and I, along with the family of Art Carney are so fortunate and proud to present The Carney Awards for the first time ever on television. The show we produced was hugely attended by our radio brethren including Dan Mason, Jubal, Jim Loftus, John McConnell, Ronn Owens, Eric Weiss, Keith Kauffman and so many others.  And for that, Elvis and I say thank you!”

Named in honor of the late, great Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother Jim Katz, an Emmy Award winning producer, and Brian Carney, actor/voice-over artist and Art’s son. The Carney Awards is a joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures. National radio personality Elvis Duran, the Katz brothers and Carney are executive producers. 

This year William H. Macy, Wendie Malick, William Fichtner, Richard Kind and Xander Berkeley were honored while Allison Janney, Jeff Garlin, Clark Gregg, Dan Lauria and Titus Welliver presented.  ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was host.

Now in its third year, The Carney Awards honors Hollywood’s leading character actors each year for their outstanding achievements in character acting. Past honorees include Gary Cole, Stephen Tobolowsky, Dan Hedaya, Conchata Ferrell, Steve Buscemi, Bob Balaban, Michael Ealy, Bruce McGill, David Paymer, CCH Pounder and Jonathan Banks.

ACM Changes Radio Awards Criteria

The Academy of Country Music® announced changes today to the ACM Awards radio categories’ criteria and open submissions date for the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards®. For the first time ever in the National On-Air Personality of the Year category, submissions will be accepted from terrestrial, satellite and internet radio personalities, if all eligibility requirements are met. The Academy has also removed the requirement to be a current Academy member to be eligible to submit for all radio categories.

Additional changes to On-Air Personality of the Year, National On-Air Personality of the Year and Radio Station of the Year categories include a shorter aircheck, and a streamlined essay portion with a maximum length of five hundred words – replacing the individual written summaries of industry or community work, etc. For additional details, please visit

Open submissions for the 53rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards® will begin Wednesday, January 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM PT / 11:00 AM CT at and will end at 5:00 PM PT / 7:00 PM CT on Monday, January 15, 2017. The 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards will air LIVE next spring from Las Vegas on a date to be announced, on the CBS Television Network.

The Academy of Country Music Awards telecast recognizes winners for the previous calendar year. The radio eligibility period is between November 24, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

Nominees for the Academy of Country Music radio awards categories, outlined below, will be announced in the spring of 2018.

  • On-Air Personality of the Year – National
  • On-Air Personality of the Year – Major (Markets 1-25)
  • On-Air Personality of the Year – Large (Markets 26-50)
  • On-Air Personality of the Year – Medium (Markets 51-100)
  • On-Air Personality of the Year – Small (Markets 101+)
  • Radio Station of the Year – Major (Markets 1-25)
  • Radio Station of the Year – Large (Markets 26-50)
  • Radio Station of the Year – Medium (Markets 51-100)
  • Radio Station of the Year – Small (Markets 101+)

SiriusXM To Add SEC Sports Channel

On Thursday SiriusXM announced it had reached a deal with the SEC and will be launching a new, exclusive 24/7 sports channel which include new shows as well as simulcasts of SEC Network shows

“College sports have always been an important part of SiriusXM’s lineup, and the launch of a dedicated SEC channel breaks new ground and brings our college sports programming to another level,” Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer said. “SEC fans have tremendous passion for their colleges and universities and we are focused on giving those fans the kind of access, news and analysis that keeps them connected to their teams, wherever they live and wherever they go.”

The station is set to launch early next year. It will also have live play-by-play from a variety of sports. 

“SiriusXM’s new SEC-dedicated channel results from our fans’ loyalty and passion, which demands we continue to expand the reach of the Conference in new and innovative ways,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.  “SEC fans have an interest in news and information, which they can now access through a SiriusXM channel that provides another opportunity to access timely, reliable and entertaining content about the Southeastern Conference.”

Earlier, the SEC signed an agreement multi-year extension of their play-by-play broadcast agreement.

WaPo Drops Garrison Keillor Columns

Garrison Keillor
Days after carrying an op-ed byGarrison Keillor in which he argued the calls for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to step down are “absurd,” The Washington Post confirms that it will no longer run his syndicated columns, according to 11Alive.

In a statement provided by representative Azhar AlFadl Miranda, editorial page director Fred Hiatt said, “Readers are entitled to a basic level of transparency from the columnists they read in The Washington Post. Garrison Keillor failed to meet that standard this week. Knowing he was under investigation for his workplace behavior, he should not have written a column on that subject; or, if he was going to write, he should have told his editors and readers that he was under investigation. Instead, he wrote a column defending Sen. Al Franken without any disclosure of his own situation.”

He added, “We also are very troubled by Minnesota Public Radio’s report that Keillor engaged in inappropriate behavior in the workplace, a charge that he denies. MPR, which terminated its relationship with Keillor for that behavior, has given us no information beyond the statement they made public.”

Hiatt expressed admiration for many of the weekly columns Keillor submitted as part of the Washington Post syndication service over the last year and a half. Nevertheless, he concluded, "We do not intend to publish his columns in the future.”