Saturday, February 17, 2018

February 18 Radio History

➦In 1920...announcer/host/panelist Bill Cullen was born in Pittsburgh.  His lifetime association with game shows began in radio, hosting Quick as a Flash. On TV he presided over Name That Tune, The Joker’s Wild, and introduced The Price is Right.  He holds the record for hosting with 23 different game shows.  For a combined 20 years he was a panellist on I’ve Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth.

He died from lung cancer July 7, 1990 at age 70.

➦In 1922...WOC-AM, Davenport, Iowa, went on the air. WOC is widely known as the radio station where future U.S. President Ronald Reagan got his start re-creating Chicago Cubs baseball games.

Ronald Reagan
 WOC traces its roots to 1907, when Robert Karlowa began an experimental station in Rock Island, Illinois. The station was known under several callsigns, including 9-BC, 9-XR and 9-BY.

On February 18, 1922, the government assigned the fledgling station the WOC call letters, and full-time broadcasting commenced. Historians believe WOC to have been the first commercial radio station west of the Mississippi River, and certainly the first in Iowa.

Karlowa continued to operate the station, but the costs quickly became too great. In March, he sold the station to Col. B. J. Palmer, who operated the Palmer School of Chiropractic, later the Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Davenport. The equipment was moved to a small studio on Palmer's Brady Street campus, and a family connection was started that lasted almost 75 years.

WOC was known for many firsts in the radio industry. A short list might include:
  • Broadcasting from the Iowa Legislature.
  • On-air and studio personnel being required to keep logs of such things as electrical consumption and on-air programming (to the second). The programming log also helped the station begin programs on an absolute "minute-and-second" schedule.
  • Use of a fader panel, allowing use of several microphones in the studio at one time.
  • On January 26, 1925, WOC formed a network and joined forces with radio station WEAF. In September 1927, WOC became a charter member of the new NBC radio network.
In 1933, Ronald Reagan got his first broadcasting job at WOC as a sportscaster. Reagan returned to WOC in 1988, when WOC and FM-affiliate KIIK 104 dedicated its new studios on East Kimberly Road.

Courtesy of Faded Signals
Early radio stations often shared frequencies.  One station often would broadcast during the day and the other station at night.

According to Faded Signals, beginning in 1930, WOC in Davenport, Iowa, shared a frequency with WHO in Des Moines.  In 1933, WHO signed on a 50,000-watt transmitter.  The two stations shared the transmitter until 1934 when the owner of WOC-WHO, B.J. Palmer, was able to move WOC back to a full-time frequency in Davenport.

➦In 1927...the first United States Radio Broadcast of "Cities Service Concerts" took place, featuring Jessica Dragonette.

The Cities Service Concerts were musical broadcasts which had a long three-decade run on radio from 1925 to 1956, encompassing a variety of vocalists and musicians.

The concerts began with trial broadcasts in the New York area during 1925 and 1926 Graham McNamee was the announcer for the brass group of Edwin Franko Goldman when the hour-long program began February 18, 1927 on NBC, expanding to a symphonic sound with Rosario Bourdon and a 30-piece orchestra that summer along with the Cavaliers quartet.

On January 3, 1930, Jessica Dragonette brought her repertoire of 500 songs to the series, often doing duets with Frank Parker and generating top ratings during the 1930s. She was replaced by soprano Lucille Manners in 1937. Other performers during this period were Robert Simmons and James Melton. Along with the Cities Service Singers, baritone Ross Graham (1905-1986) arrived in 1939. Graham was also heard on Show Boat. Maestro Dr. Frank Black headed the show from at least 1938 to 1942 along with Manners and Graham.

The title changed to Highways in Melody in 1944 when Paul Lavalle was the orchestra leader. Lavalle continued after the show was retitled yet again as The Cities Service Band of America which experimented with simulcasting (audio broadcast separately over the radio) in 1949 and 1950.  The series came to an end on January 16, 1956

➦In 1949...the CBS Radio Network debuted "Yours Truly Johnny Dollar".

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was a radio drama of "the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed expense account — America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator." The show aired on CBS Radio from January 14, 1949 to September 30, 1962. There were 811 episodes in the 12-year run, and more than 720 still exist today.

Each story started with a phone call from an insurance executive, calling on Johnny to investigate an unusual claim. Each story required Johnny to travel to some distant locale, usually within the United States but sometimes abroad, where he was almost always threatened with personal danger in the course of his investigations. Johnny's file on each case was usually referenced as a "matter," as in "The Silver Blue Matter" or "The Forbes Matter." Later episodes were more fanciful, with titles like "The Wayward Trout Matter" and "The Price of Fame Matter" (the latter featuring a rare guest-star appearance: Vincent Price).

Johnny usually stuck to business, but would engage in romantic dalliances with women he encountered in his travels; later episodes gave Johnny a steady girlfriend, Betty Lewis. Johnny's precious recreational time was usually spent fishing, and it was not uncommon for Johnny's clients to exploit this favorite pastime in convincing him to take on a job.

Each story was recounted in flashback, as Johnny listed each line item from his expense account.

In 1964...While vacationing in Miami during their first trip to America, the Beatles engage in a photo shoot with heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay, better known later as Muhammed Ali. Clay: "You guys got to be making a lot of money. You ain't as dumb as you look." John Lennon: "No, but you are." That night the group visits a local drive-in to watch the new Elvis film Fun In Acapulco.

➦In 1992...WOWO 1190 AM's legendary host Jack Underwood passed away.

➦In 1993...Howard Stern's radio program debuted in Rochester, New York.

➦In 1994...Longtime Toronto radio personality (CHUM, CKFM, CHFI, CKEY, CJEZ) Jay Nelson, also remembered for his work in Buffalo, New York as a midday disc jockey on WKBW 1520 AM Radio and as "Jungle Jay," host of a daily late afternoon television show that featured jungle movies on WKBW-TV, died at the age of 57.

➦In 1998...Baseball broadcaster (Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals)/restaurateur Harry Caray died after a heart attack at the age of 83.

➦In 2012...Radio personality Patti Wheeler, a four-decade on-air presence in Birmingham, Alabama, died following surgery to remove brain tumors at age 71.

CNN Jabs Fox News Over Page Views Claim topped "all competitors in multi-platform visitors, mobile visitors, video starts, and social" in January, the news organization claimed Friday.

According to TheHill, CNN also jabbed Fox News for their previous claim that had more page views than other competitors, including CNN.

"CNN also beat Fox News in page views. Reports to the contrary are bananas," CNN said in a release.

Fox News had cited comScore traffic numbers that showed had more page views in January than

CNN argued that the numbers were based on a "subset" of CNN's traffic, rather than taking into account the full spectrum of CNN's online brand.

"For Internet nostalgia enthusiasts, CNN also beat Fox News in page views," CNN noted in their contrasting release on Friday, which also cited comScore.

CNN's comScore numbers were "based on CNN Brand entity compared to a custom list of single brand competitors in the news/information category," the network release states.

"For January 2018, CNN Digital continued its winning streak, registering more multiplatform visitors, mobile visitors, video starts and a greater social reach than any other news outlet for the month," the statement said.

Overall, according to the numbers CNN released, the network led the way in multiplatform visitors with 122 million last month, its twentieth straight month at the top. Yahoo News was second at 98 million unique visitors and The New York Times brand got third, with 92 million, according to comScore.

Boston Radio: Red Sox Express Concerns To WEEI

Add the Red Sox to a growing list of complainers about a negative turn in tone and content on sports talk radio station WEEI 93.7 FM, according to The Boston Herald.

That WEEI carries Red Sox games through a contract that lasts until the 2023 season gives the Red Sox every right, according to president and CEO Sam Kennedy, to express their “frustration and disappointment” with the station’s corporate owners.

“We have had a growing level of concern, and we’ve expressed that very clearly to their management, especially over the past year — and in the past week and in the past few days,” said Kennedy.

He added, “this pattern of controversial incidents is exhausting, I think, for listeners and fans in general. It’s something that Entercom (WEEI’s parent company) is smart to address.”

In the wake of calls from the Red Sox as well as recent defections among advertisers, the station took the unusual step of announcing that it would suspend live programming for 12 hours on Friday in order for its staff to receive mandatory sensitivity training.

“We’ve shared our frustration and disappointment dating back to really last year,” said Kennedy. “It seems like there’s been a pattern that’s sort of emerged in terms of a different culture throughout the station. There are always one-off controversies in talk radio and we get that; we’re talking about different highly charged subjects. Since last year we’ve expressed our displeasure and concern to Entercom’s corporate leadership down in Philadelphia. They’ve listened to us, we’ve had productive dialogue, but as you know, there have been a series of incidents that have sort of become a pattern.”

Last month, WEEI suspended Alex Reimer after he called Tom Brady’s daughter — who appeared in a Brady-authorized documentary — a “pissant.” Then last week, WEEI suspended midday host Christian Fauria for an insensitive impersonation of Brady’s agent, Don Yee, who is Asian-American. Fauria’s remarks came while mocking a prank that led to Herald columnist Ron Borges writing a story that proved to be based on false information.

ESPN, Fox Sports Courting Peyton Manning

Both ESPN and Fox have Manning atop their list to be their primetime game analyst, sources told The NYPost. Manning has been approached multiple times about becoming a TV analyst since he retired, but has been reluctant.

Manning’s ultimate goal is to be like John Elway and have an ownership stake in a team, while running football operations, he has said. Multiple TV officials who have spoken to him believe that remains his long-term target, but Manning has not fully ruled out TV in the interim.

Before last season, Fox reached out to Manning to see if he would be interested in going into the studio or being a game analyst. As he has told all the networks annually, he did not want to become a broadcaster at that time. Fox will try again, but, at this point, it is ESPN that is being far more aggressive.

In the words of one source, ESPN is willing to “back up the truck” for Manning, wanting to make a splash in replacing Jon Gruden as the analyst on “Monday Night Football.” Gruden was reportedly the highest-paid ESPN employee, making more than $6.5 million before leaving for a 10-year, $100 million coaching deal with the Raiders.

While lead play-by-player Sean McDonough is currently in place, ESPN executives have considered a total reboot of their Monday night booth, sources said.

If ESPN is unable to convince Manning to join the “MNF” booth, the network is planning to hold auditions for its internal candidates, a source said.

Meanwhile, Manning is the first person Fox wants to talk to about its Thursday night package that it just acquired for a reported $3.3 billion for five years. This weekend, Manning is scheduled to drive the pace car at the Daytona 500, which will be televised by Fox. Top Fox executives will be at the event.

Before settling on a lead play-by-player, Fox would like to have its analyst set. Gus Johnson is a candidate to be Fox’s play-by-player on Thursday night football. He currently is its lead college football and basketball announcer.

Both Joe Buck and Burkhardt work the MLB postseason for Fox and Sunday NFL games, which would make it logistically difficult to call Thursday night football.

D/FW Radio: Al Farb Joins Country KSCS As APD, PM Driver

Al Farb
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Al Farb as Assistant Program Director and Afternoon Drive On-Air Talent for New Country KSCS 96.3 FM in Dallas, TX.

Farb is a 10-year radio broadcasting professional and joins Cumulus from Cox Radio in Houston, where he was Executive Producer and On-Air Talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.

Prior to that, he was Assistant Program Director and Executive Producer for Clear Channel Radio/iHeartMedia’s KTRH-AM and KBME-AM in Houston. He is a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and serves on the Speakers Committee and the Lamb and Goat Committee.

Mac Daniels, Program Director, 96.3 KSCS, said: “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”

KSCS 96.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Farb said: “I am so excited for the opportunity to join Mac and the amazing team at KSCS and Cumulus Dallas/Ft. Worth. I can’t wait to make the short drive up I-45 and get to work.”

Tampa Radio: Kristy Knight Joins CMG's WWRM

Kristy Knight
Cox Media Group (CMG) Tampa Radio has announced longtime Tampa on-air personality Kristy Knight as its new mid-day talent and Assistant Program Director for A/C WWRM Magic 94-9 FM.

“We are so thrilled to have Kristy join our Magic team,” said John Larson, CMG Tampa Radio’s Director of Branding and Programming for WWRM and WXGL. “Her experience and well-known name in the Tampa Bay market, along with her stellar reputation will be an incredible addition to our Magic team. Audiences love her. Clients love her and our entire staff loves her. It’s just a win-win and we can’t wait for her to join CMG Tampa to do what she does best: live, local radio.”

For the past 24 years, Knight has worked for iHeart/Clear Channel Communications as on-air talent, Music Director and Production Director at stations including WMTX and WSSR.

WWRM 94.9 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Cox Media Group and do live radio on a huge brand like Magic 94-9,” said Knight. “I am just thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from highly admired programmers John Larson and Rick Thomas.”

Milwaukee Radio: Country WMIL Adds Quinn As APD/MD

iHeartMedia announced Friday that Quinn has been named Assistant Program Director and Music Director for WMIL 106.1 FM, Milwaukee’s Best Country!.

As Assistant Program Director and Music Director, Quinn will assist in the day-to-day operations of the station’s music programming and scheduling of music logs. She will remain afternoon drive host, broadcasting weekdays 3 – 7 PM. Quinn reports to Kerry Wolfe, Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Milwaukee.

“I look forward to having Quinn take the reins as my right hand person,” said Wolfe. “She always brings great energy to the team. She also has great ears, impressive social skills and can help keep me in line.”

Quinn most recently served at iHeartMedia Albany’s 99.5 The River as Morning Show Co-Host for The River Morning Show with Kevin & Shanna. She also worked on-air and in promotions for Entercom Buffalo, graduated from Buffalo State College and resides in Bayview, WI.

WMIL 106.1 FM (12 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
I’m so excited to take my career to the next level as Music Director and APD with FM106.1,” said Quinn. “The whole iHeartMedia Milwaukee team has been wonderful and very supportive, and I am looking forward to this new position.”

8 Days Of Olympics Yields Dip TV Ratings

After eight days of coverage of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, NBC TV viewing results -- from all platforms -- continue to post slightly lower numbers than in Sochi four years ago.

According to MediaPost, prime-time viewing of this year’s Olympics is down 7% to 22.6 million when looking at all NBC platforms -- NBC Television Network, sport cable network NBCSN, and viewing from NBC’s digital platforms -- from Sochi Winter Olympics 24.3 million.

NBC calls its data “Total Audience Delivery” -- which looks at average minute viewing of all platforms, with traditional TV network data coming from Nielsen.

One major point here: The 2014 Sochi Olympics had no simultaneous live streaming and no competing prime-time Olympic cable coverage. That said, NBC touts many more total hours of programming versus four years ago.

For the eight days so far, NBC says average minute viewing for just the NBC Television Network has averaged 20.4 million. Adding in viewing from cable and digital platforms secured a 11% increase to 22.6 million.

Hartford Radio: WUCS To UConn Sports

IMG Friday announced a transformative 10-year, multimillion-dollar partnership with iHeartMedia and WUCS 97.9 ESPN, Hartford’s Sport Station, to serve as the Home of the UConn Huskies.

Uconn sports aired 26-years on WTIC 1080 AM.

97.9 ESPN will become the new home for the UConn-IMG Radio Network beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. Following the conclusion of the current UConn athletic seasons, it will serve as the exclusive terrestrial radio home for UConn Athletics airing regular season and post-season play-by-play for football, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s hockey. Additionally, iHeartMedia plans to broadcast select UConn Olympic sports contests.

“Our new relationship with iHeartMedia and 97.9 ESPN provides UConn Athletics with a powerful reach and the prospect of building an extensive affiliate network throughout the state and the Northeast,” director of athletics David Benedict said.  “Our new partnership with a dedicated sports platform hosted by the most powerful sports and media company in the country, will offer fans and listeners more opportunities to interact with our teams and coaches.”

WUCS 97.9 FM (3.4 Kw)
The relationship between the UConn-IMG Radio Network and 97.9 ESPN will also include pre- and post-game shows as well as the UConn Women’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Geno Auriemma, the UConn Men’s Basketball Coach's Radio Show with Kevin Ollie, UConn Football Coach’s Radio Show with Randy Edsall, and the UConn Hockey Coach’s Radio Show with Michael Cavanaugh.

“This partnership joins three iconic brands,” said Steve Honeycomb, Region President for iHeartMedia. “Having UConn sports on iHeartMedia’s 97.9 ESPN has been our long term goal.  This is the perfect partnership and offers even more entertaining programming for UConn Nation.”

In the event of conflicting game schedules, iHeartMedia will broadcast UConn Athletics events on an affiliate station. IMG also provides fans a variety of ways to follow UConn Athletics audio broadcasts including on their mobile device with the Tunein App and on satellite radio via partnerships with Sirius/XM radio.

“We couldn't be happier about teaming up with the University of Connecticut Athletics and finally having UConn sports on our station,” said Ben Darnell, Program Director for 97.9 ESPN.

IMG is the exclusive multimedia rights holder for UConn Athletics.

Philly Radio: WTEL Adds Reading Phillies To Line-Up

WTEL 610 AM is celebrating its 30th year of having an all-sports format by welcoming the Reading Fightin Phils to its lineup this season.

The Fightins and Beasley Media Group Inc. announced Friday that they have reached a deal for Reading's 2018 games to be broadcast on 610 AM Sports.

Scott Hunsicker, the team's general manager, said the new partnership is a win-win for everyone, reports WFMZ-TV69.

"It's better for our fans, it's better for our radio advertising partners," he said. "It's exciting to know that Phillies fans throughout the tri-state area will be able to listen to Reading Fightins games this season."

"610 AM Sports is a legacy radio station, and a powerful radio station," Hunsicker said. "I grew up listening to 610 AM Sports. The Reading Fightin Phils are proud to be considered a legacy Double-A franchise. When the opportunity presented itself for the Reading Fightins to partner with 610 AM Sports, it really was a no-brainer."

610 AM Sports, an ESPN Radio affiliate, is already home to "The Bull Season" with former Philadelphia Phillies left-fielder and Reading hall of famer Greg Luzinski, Villanova University football and men's basketball, and the Delaware 87ers.

WTEL 610 AM (5 Kw, DA)
"Heritage Sports Talker 610 AM is proud to be associated with another heritage brand," said Joe Bell, Beasley Media Group's vice president and market manager. "We look forward to highlighting the Phillies stars of tomorrow TODAY!"

UMG Reports 10 Percent Revenue Growth in 2017

Universal Music Group produced 798 million euros ($901.7 million) in operating income on revenues that grew to 5.67 billion euros ($6.41 billion), for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017.

According to Billboard, that represented a 16.2 percent (18.5 percent in constant currency) increase over the 687 million euros ($724 million) the company produced in the prior year when revenues were 5.27 billion euros ($5.5 billion), or a 7.7 percent increase (10 percent in constant currency) in revenue.

With streaming revenue coming on strong and outpacing the decline of the revenue provided by the sales model, i.e. CDs and downloads, all boats are rising in the music industry, and like the other majors, UMG is enjoying the ride. Its operating margin has improved to 14.1 percent of revenue from 13 percent it had in 2016.

In the past, Vivendi executives have speculated on the valuation that UMG would command if it was separately listed as its own stock, but yesterday during a conference call with analysts, it sidestepped that issue when asked about it. "I will keep on repeating that there is no plan yet as we go out to any kind of a listing," CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine said during a conference call with analysts, according to a Seeking Alpha transcription of that call. But he added, "in due time for the right reasons at the right rationale… we keep that possibility as an option, but as we speak there is no plan for such move."

Another Man Source of Garrison Keillor Allegations

Garrison Keilor
The person who first accused Garrison Keillor of inappropriate behavior wasn’t a woman — it was an angry man.

According to The Star-Tribune, Dan Rowles, a close associate of Keillor’s and a 16-year employee of “A Prairie Home Companion,” spoke up after he was dumped from the show last summer and rejected a severance offer from Minnesota Public Radio, according to seven people who have worked on the show.

Rowles’ disclosure triggered internal and external investigations by MPR that concluded Keillor had engaged in “dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents … over a period of years,” including “unwanted sexual touching,” according to MPR. All of the alleged misconduct involved a longtime female writer for the show.

Some staff members now accuse Rowles of exploiting that writer’s pain in an effort to obtain a larger financial package. They note that the woman did not come forward with her own account until two months after Rowles told MPR officials of Keillor’s alleged misconduct.

Dan Rowles
Attorney Frances Baillon, who represents both Rowles and Keillor’s alleged victim, declined to address why the writer chose to wait until last fall to lodge a complaint against Keillor.

Baillon declined to say what either is seeking, but said Rowles was not acting from selfish motives. “Because our client believes people should feel safe at work, he raised his concerns about inappropriate workplace conduct,” she said.

Keillor, who has denied the allegations and described himself as a victim of “extortion,” declined to comment for this story, saying he is still “tied up” in his own talks with MPR to settle their legal separation.

A longtime Twin Cities musician, he joined the show in 1985 as a stagehand but soon worked himself into a spot on the cast, performing in some of the show’s most beloved recurring skits, including “Guy Noir” and “Buster the Show Dog.” He also began contributing ideas as a writer.

February 17 Radio History

➦In 1908...Hall of Fame baseball announcer Red Barber was born. He began calling play-by-play baseball on the radio in Cincinnati, rose to prominence as the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and finished up with the New York Yankees.  In his latter years he was a weekly fixture on NPR’s Morning Edition from his retirement home in Florida. He died Oct. 22 1992 at age 84.

➦In 1947...VOA began transmissions to Soviet Union

➦In Joseph Kearns, one of bigtime radio’s busiest regulars, best remembered as Mr. Wilson in TV’s Dennis the Menace, died after a cerebral hemorrhage at age 55.  He was The Man in Black in the early years of CBS Radio’s ‘Suspense,’ and played Ed the security guard for Jack Benny’s underground vault.

➦In 1967...At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles began recording a new John Lennon composition "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite." The track was completed on March 31. It was one of three songs from the "Sgt. Pepper" album banned from airplay on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase "Henry the horse" combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin. Lennon denied the connection.

➦In 1972...After obtaining tapes of unreleased material stolen from producer Marshall Chess' home, KDAY-Radio in Los Angeles played two new Rolling Stones tracks non-stop for 18 hours.

➦In 1979…Garrison Keillor's radio variety show "Prairie Home Companion" was first broadcast nationally as part of National Public Radio's "Folk Festival America."

➦In 1986...Howard Stern's radio show returned to morning Radio in New York City on WXRK-FM.

➦In 1991…DJ/personality Gary Gears (KQV-Pittsburgh, WCFL-Chicago, WLS-Chicago, WDAI-Chicago, CHUM-Toronto, AFVN South Vietnam 1968)/commercial voiceover announcer died after a heart attack at 46.

Gary Gears AFVN circa 1969
Gary Gears may have had one of the best voices of all. According to Jeff Roteman's WLS Tribute website, The "Big G" joined WLS in 1971 after a brief stop at WCFL. Gary started at the Big 89 doing the 1-5 am overnight shift. By 1972, Gary had moved to middays working 9 til 12 noon replacing Joel Sebastian. In 1973, Gary was replaced by J.J. Jeffrey.

Gary Gears spent time at the legendary KOIL in Omaha before joining and serving in the US Armed Services. Gary was heard on AFVN radio in Vietnam. After his time in the service, Gary went to KQV in Pittsburgh from Minneapolis St Paul. After leaving Pittsburgh , Gary spent most of his career in Chicago at legendary stations WCFL, WLS and many others including  WDAI, WIND, WJEZ, WJJD, WKQX, WMAQ and WRQX.  He also spent time at CHUM in Toronto.

Gary Gears , Fred Winston, and Kris Erik Stevens all worked in Pittsburgh at ABC owned and operated KQV before joining WLS.

Gary's voice was heard on commercials all over the country in the 70's.  You'll remember his voice from the many spots he did for Sears Auto Centers.  You may have even bought tires or a battery after hearing Gary.

➦In 1994...Radio personality Barney Pip, WCFL Chicago, WGLI Long Island WPIX FM NYC, died at the age of 57 in a car accident in Indianapolis.

Pip also worked at WJET Erie, Pa., WEEP Pittsburgh, WGLI Babylon, N.Y., WOKY Milwaukee, WIFE Indianapolis, WHHY Montgomery, Ala.

➦In 2004...Syndicated Radio personalities, Don and Mike, returned to the airwaves after a two-week unpaid suspension. They apologized for saying the word "Bullshit".

Friday, February 16, 2018

CBS Reports 11% Jump In 4Q Revenue

CBS posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter revenues -- but the company executives were relatively mum about a possible re-combination with Viacom.

According to MediaPost, CBS posted an 11% improvement in revenues in the period to $3.9 billion. Media analysts were expecting $3.7 billion.

Content licensing and distribution revenues were revenue generators -- up 33% to $1.2 billion. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues were 20% higher -- with 31% growth coming from retransmission revenues and fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations -- to $923 million.

Advertising revenues -- still the biggest revenue generator for CBS -- fell 3% during the last three months of 2017 to $1.75 billion, due to unfavorable comparisons to a year ago. That's when many other TV stations groups had record political advertising sales.

Les Moonves
Les Moonves, chairman/CEO of CBS Corp. says scatter pricing -- the cost per thousand viewers -- at CBS is up 40% for prime time, daytime and late-night programming. CBS didn’t disclose overall scatter revenue for those dayparts.

CBS TV stations -- its local media business -- fell 14% in revenue to $450 million -- due to lower political ad revenue versus the same time period in 2016. But TV stations could recover this year, due to midterm Congressional elections. CBS’ Moonves says: “We anticipate a very big political year.”

CBS says two new OTT services will begin in the coming months, including CBS Sports HQ, a free, ad-supported news, highlight and analysis service to debut before the NCAA March Madness men’s college basketball event. CBS will also start up a service based on the syndicated magazine show “Entertainment Tonight,” scheduled to debut in the fall.

For 2017, advertising revenues were down 9% -- mostly due to higher results the year before -- including the 2016 broadcast of Super Bowl 50 on the CBS Television Network and political advertising revenues. For the entire year, CBS saw revenue gains of 26% from higher affiliate and subscription fees.

Both CBS and Viacom have each created special committees to examine a possible merger. CBS declined to comment during the earnings phone call.

FCC's Ajit Pai Probed Over Sinclair-Tribune Deal

The Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is being investigated by the agency's inspector general.

The inspector general wants to know whether Ajit Pai improperly pushed through rules in an effort to benefit the Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to the NYTimes on Thursday.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on House Commerce Committee and an outspoken critic of Pai, confirmed the report in a statement and praised the move.

"I am particularly concerned about reports that Chairman Pai may have coordinated with Sinclair to time a series of commission actions to benefit the company," he continued. "I am grateful to the FCC's Inspector General that he has decided to take up this important investigation."

Conservative-leaning Sinclair is proposing a takeover of Tribune Media. The combined local television stations would be able to reach more than two-thirds of the country’s television audience. Broadcasters are currently capped at 39 percent.

Pai’s critics have noted that he has pushed through a number of deregulatory proposals that appear to clear obstacles from Sinclair’s proposed expansion, reports The Hill.

Pai's office declined to comment on the report, but the chairman has denied his deregulatory agenda was intended to benefit any one company. He's also accused Democrats of singling out Sinclair for criticism because of its editorial leanings.

An FCC spokesman said in a statement that allegations that Pai has shown favoritism toward Sinclair are "absurd," noting that the FCC recently handed the broadcaster a $13.4 million fine.

Chicago Radio: Lindsay Lazar Named GSM For WEBG, WLIT

Lindsay Lazar
iHeartMedia/Chicago has announced that Lindsay Lazar has been named General Sales Manager for WEBG BIG 95.5, Chicago’s New Country, and WLIT 93.9 LITE FM, The Best Variety From the 80’s, 90’s and Now for Chicago, effective.

As General Sales Manager, Lazar will be responsible for managing sales opportunities for BIG 95.5 and 93.9 LITE FM that deliver a strong return on investment for clients reaching consumers through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets, including on-air, online, social media, personalities and live events. She will report to Adam Kurtz, Senior Vice President of Sales for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region.

“Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success,” said Kurtz. “She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”

Lazar brings 20 years of broadcast sales experience to the iHeartMedia Chicago Region. She was most recently the Cluster Sales Manager at Entercom/CBS. Lazar has also held sales and account management positions at Total Traffic and Weather Network and Premiere Networks. She is a graduate of Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Broadcasting in Bloomington.

“This is such an exciting opportunity,” said Lazar. “iHeartMedia has a tremendous reputation coast to coast and particularly here in Chicago, so being asked to join its leadership team is a career high. The station group is strong and respected. Stewarding their continued success and growing their impact in the community is beyond thrilling.”

Cash Infusion Ads Haunt Radio Industry

They were the radio industry’s equivalent of payday loans. Big station groups facing revenue shortfalls traded cut-rate advertising air time for quick cash.

According to, these cash infusion deals helped publicly traded radio station groups, among them Bala Cynwyd’s Entercom Communications, hit financial targets and please Wall Street.

They also deluged radio airwaves with commercials discounted 20 percent to 60 percent from what local stations themselves sold to advertisers. Now cash infusion deals are haunting businesses struggling with debt and digital competition from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

Entercom is the nation’s second-largest radio group, with a  portfolio of more than 200 stations.

CBS Radio, formerly part of CBS Corp., pumped the well of cash infusion deals and Entercom has said it will end the practice and, at the same time, cut its ad inventory by 5 percent. Fewer ads could boost radio’s TSL. Experts said that eliminating cash infusion is expected over time to bring pricing discipline back to radio ads if the ban can hold — a big if for an industry awash in ad spots.

Radio insiders have cheered Field’s attempt to tame cash infusion deals. But they also question whether his ban will hold as they became like a narcotic for radio executives as ad revenue slowed but station owner groups were still expected to hit their numbers.

Cash infusion deals were initially intended to be used on a limited basis. But they became more prevalent and station groups used them repeatedly. They would do a cash infusion deal one year. Then the next year, they might have to do another to beat revenue based on the prior-year cash infusion-inflated performance.

Over time, specialty firms have stockpiled large amounts of discounted radio ad inventory. At times, firms can offer advertising spots at cheaper rates than the local radio station themselves, say radio and marketing officials.

Seattle Radio: Country KNUC Adds Tim Leary Showgram

Claire, Tim and Karen
Hubbard Radio/Seattle has announced a new Morning Show for KNUC Country 98.9.

Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss are an award winning Morning Show from Savannah, Georgia. The trio has been together for three years and is well-known for their community service, humorous and listener driven content. They are busy working on their relocation plans and will be announcing their on air date shortly.

Tim said “This is really so over whelming and unbelievable, we’re still trying to take this all in. To Ginny Morris, Drew Horowitz, Dave Bestler, Greg Strassell, Marc Kaye, Lisa Adams, and Steve Reynolds we can’t thank you enough for your support and believing in us! To our agent Jim Robinson, you’re the best in the industry! And I wouldn’t have the show any other way than with the most talented co-hosts anywhere; Claire and Red! (PS to my wife Karen, I promise not to break any more of your grandmother’s China when we unpack it in Seattle!). We can’t wait! This is going to be a blast!!!”

KNUC 98.9 FM (68 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Marc Kaye, Market Manager for Hubbard Radio Seattle, said “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them. I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”

Lisa Adams, Program Director, can be reached at or 425-653-1164.

Utica Radio: Townsquare To Acquire Heritage Rocker WOUR

Townsquare Media, Inc. Wednesday announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire classic rock WOUR 96.9 FM in Utica, NY from Galaxy Communications. In addition, pursuant to a Joint Sales Agreement, Townsquare will take over all sales efforts for the Station effective immediately.

“We are pleased to announce this strategic acquisition which will strengthen our market leading position in Utica, NY,” commented Townsquare Co-Chief Executive Officer Bill Wilson. “Our existing asset portfolio of three FM stations and one AM station currently captures the number one revenue and audience share in the market. Adding WOUR, the leading classic rock station in Utica, will expand the marketing solutions we offer our local clients while also significantly expanding our local audience and advertiser base. We are confident that our strong local team, led by Karen Carey, Market President/Chief Revenue Officer of Townsquare Utica, will drive continued success in the market.”

WOUR 96.9 FM (19.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Karen Carey added, “We are excited to add the powerful WOUR brand to our portfolio of top performing local stations, local digital platforms and local live events. WOUR is a heritage station in Utica with a valuable loyal audience and great advertiser relationships. We feel that WOUR is the perfect complement to our existing brands (Big Frog 104, Lite 98.7, 96.1 The Eagle and WIBX) and will allow us to offer more robust marketing solutions to our clients.”

WOUR-FM will join Townsquare’s existing Utica, NY stations: WFRG-FM 104.3, WLZW-FM 98.7, WODZ-FM 96.1 and WIBX-AM 950. Pro forma for the Acquisition, Townsquare will own 318 radio stations in 67 small and mid-sized markets, maintaining its position as the third largest owner of radio stations in the United States. Townsquare expects the Acquisition to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to closing conditions and customary regulatory approvals.

NYC Radio: Warner Wolf Sues Don Imus For Age Discrimination

Don Imus, Warner Wolf
Longtime New York sportscaster Warner Wolf says he was fired from Don Imus’ radio show because of his age, according to a lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court on Thursday.

The 80-year-old Wolf also says he wasn’t paid severance of nearly $100,000 that he says he was owed, reports Newsday.

Wolf was a regular personality on Imus’ WABC 770 AM morning show until November 2016, when he was replaced by Sid Rosenberg.

The lawsuit says Wolf agreed in October 2016 to reduce his salary from $195,000 to $80,000 so he could continue doing the Imus broadcasts via satellite from his home in Naples, Florida.

According to the lawsuit, Imus changed his mind less than two weeks later, writing to Wolf in an email, “You asked me if I was OK with you doing sports from Florida. I said I was. We tried it. It [expletive].”

Wolf’s last broadcast for WABC was four days after that email.

The lawsuit, which also names three WABC executives as defendants, does not specify the amount of money it seeks in damages. WABC representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Imus, 77, is scheduled to end “Imus in the Morning” on March 29.

Tulsa Radio: Marty Young Jumps To Country KVOO

Marty Young
Country KVOO 98.5 FM Tulsa has named Marty Young  morning co-host on the station's "The Voo Crew" wakeup show, staring Monday, March 5th.

Young joins KVOO from Curtis Media country WQDR/Raleigh Durham, where he's been a longtime member of the station's "Q Morning Crew," which has been recognized as Large Market Personality of the Year by both the CMA (2013) and the ACM (2017). 

He fills the vacancy left by Rowdy Yates when he left after six years last September.

"This is the kind of high-profile talent we’ve been looking for," said KVOO PD Brian Jennings. "Marty brings enormous passion for country, faith, and family. He identifies deeply with our audience. And he brings an enthusiasm to win that has made KVOO a legendary station. I’m thrilled to have him on the team."

KVOO 98.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Added Young, "I’ve been with the same company in Raleigh since 2002, so I knew if I was ever going to leave, it would have to be something extremely special. Tulsa is a Country music town. That was a must for me. I knew from my first conversation with Brian [Jennings] that this is where I wanted to be. The team they’ve assembled in that building is insane, and that’s from the top to the bottom, which is rare. I can’t wait to hit the air with [existing co-host] and see what Tulsa's all about!”