Saturday, February 24, 2018

February 25 Radio History

➦In 1928...The Federal Radio Commission granted the first television license in the United States to the Charles Jenkins Laboratories, Washington, DC.

➦In 1943...Former Beatles member George Harrison was born. He died of cancer on Nov. 29, 2001 at 58.

➦In 1972...As the debut single by his new band Wings, Paul McCartney released "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" in the UK. Its airplay was restricted since it was banned by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg and the Independent Television Authority, however the record reached #1 on the singles charts in the Republic of Ireland and Spain, and despite the air-play ban still reached #16 in the UK. It peaked at #21 in the U.S.

➦In 1995... At a private party for 1,200 select guests on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament, Frank Sinatra sang in front of a live audience for the last time. His closing song was "The Best is Yet to Come," which are also the words imprinted on his tombstone. He died on May 14, 1998.

➦In 2004...The Howard Stern Show was removed from 6 Clear Channel radio stations for indecency.

Bert Lee
➦In 2004...Sportscaster and talk-radio host Bert Lee died in Tuscon, AZ died in 2004.  He was 74.

At the time of his death, he hosted a show on KTKT, Tucson “The Bert Lee Show.”  Lee, who called himself “the old curmudgeon,” started in radio in New York City at WOR when he was 16.

He also worked at WMCA, WHN and WINS.

While living in Tucson,  Lee's show also aired on  KTUC and KNST.   Lee was a faithful 3-pack-a-day Camel smoker.

➦In 2014…Television game show host (The Dating Game, $100,000 Name That Tune, $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, Triple Threat)/radio personality (KGO, KSFO, KFRC, KABL, all in San Francisco, KMPC-Los Angeles, KKSJ-San Jose) Jim Lange died following a heart attack at age 81.

Chicago Radio: WBMX Finds Success Airing Urban Oldies

Todd Cavanah
For the past few months, programmer Todd Cavanah has been experiencing something he can equate only to frequent deja vu. The radio executive will request an Uber, hop in the backseat and, like clockwork, 104.3 JAMS — the “throwback” hip-hop and R&B radio station he and his team at Entercom conceptualized and brought to market, a station that since launching in late November with no commercials or DJs has been dominating the local ratings — will be blasting through the car speakers.

“That’s when it really started to hit me,” the longtime program director for WBBM-FM told The Chicago Tribune one morning sitting in the Entercom office on North Michigan Avenue. “This is going to be even bigger than I thought.”

Exclusively playing urban music from the mid-1990s to the early-2000s — think Ja Rule or Aaliyah, Fat Joe and Outkast to The Notorious B.I.G. — WBMX JAMS (formerly WJMK K-Hits) has infiltrated the FM dial and found immediate success like few new Chicago radio stations before it.

According to the most recent Nielsen Audio ratings, JAMS was ranked No. 1 for the first two weeks of 2018, and in the second week of January alone, the station topped every age demographic, occupying a 9.8 percent market share of total listenership for the 18-34 age range coveted by advertisers. For the month, JAMS was tops in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 groups. And according to Nielsen’s holiday report, JAMS’ audience was split nearly evenly among the major ethnic groups.

“We felt like it would do well, but it’s all happened really quickly,” the station’s music director Erik Bradley says. He chalks up much of JAMS’ initial success to word of mouth and social media buzz, but as Bradley shakes his head and smiles, you sense that despite plotting this project for several years now, even he is blown away by its mammoth reception. “It’s been quite the ride,” Bradley adds.

Both Bradley and Cavanah — who together for the past 25 years have been co-workers at what was formerly known as CBS Radio and is now Entercom — note how when first brainstorming the concept for JAMS several years ago, they kept returning to the longtime success of classic rock radio. But, as they are quick to clarify, it was more specifically that the “classic hits” format, like the former K-Hits, needed be reimagined. As hip-hop fans get older, they thought, the format should no longer be confined to exclusively rock music.

WBMX 104.3 FM (4.1 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“It’s an emotional connection, for sure,” Cavanah says of the station’s undeniable appeal. He excitedly relays a message the station received via social media shortly after launching. “And this gentleman wrote, ‘Oh my gosh … I just discovered this new radio station 104.3 JAMS. Back in the day I was driving a Toyota Camry with a Cerwin-Vega sound system. I was that guy. Today I’m driving a Volvo with a car seat in the back and cheerios on the floor. But I’m still that guy.’”

CableTV News Ad Revenue Enjoys Trump Bump

Linear ratings have continued to fall this season, but ad revenue is on the rise. The national TV advertising spend in January increased 7.1 percent year over year, according to AdWeek citing new data from Standard Media Index.

That January boost includes a 11.1 percent lift in cable ad revenue and a 2.7 percent jump in broadcast spend.

According to the data from SMI, which tracks 70 percent of national ad spending from global and independent agencies, three awards shows in January—the Golden Globes, Grammys and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards—boosted ad revenue thanks to year-over-year increases.

The Golden Globes took in $32 million in revenue, a 7.1 percent jump over last year (with the cost of 30-second spots increasing 5 percent), while the Grammys yielded $61 million in ad revenue, a 3.8 percent lift from 2017. Meanwhile, the SAG Awards saw a 25 percent increase in ad revenue.

“We see that even though audiences are falling, pricing for these major events continues to increase,” said Fennessy. “We expect to see this trend continue, as our research shows an impressive return for advertisers that support live programming. Premium video continues to be the power house of ROAS [return on advertising spend] and, given the fragmentation of audiences and safety issues on other mediums, this won’t change anytime soon.”

Cable news ad revenue grew a whopping 25 percent year over year, with MSNBC leading the pack thanks to a 62 percent hike in ad revenue. CNN grew 32 percent, and while Fox News saw a 17 percent increase, it continues to charge the most for a 30-second spot, which averages $13,600 in weekday prime time.

January’s postseason NFL games saw a 5.3 percent year-over-year boost in revenue. That reversed the 1.2 percent regular season decline in ad revenue, as makegoods overtook unit rate increases.

Corporate Partners Back Away From NRA

Credit: Photograph by Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg, Illustration Composite by Ad Age
The National Rifle Association often finds itself on the defensive in the wake of mass shootings. But the NRA is feeling more heat than ever in the wake of last week's massacre at a Florida high school as some corporate partners back away from the organization, reports AdAge.

Rental car giant Enterprise, insurer MetLife, online security firm Symantec and home security provider SimpliSafe are among the companies that have ended discount programs for NRA members in the wake of the assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. The relatively quick responses from corporations that are normally careful to avoid politics suggest that the Feb. 14 shooting has induced a public backlash against the NRA that's unlike previous incidents.

Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University, cited the role of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived the shooting. On social media, cable TV appearances and in public protests, the students have called for new gun control measures. "We've got a group of students that are incredibly engaged and the teachers are engaged and everybody is rallying around them," Calkins says. "There's been basically no mourning period here. It's just been action right from the incident."

He compared the corporate response to the tipping point reached in recent years when mainstream brands began declaring their support for same-sex marriage after years of tiptoeing around the issue. "When it starts to tip, it tends to tip quickly," he says.

The companies are acting as support for gun control grows. A Quinnipiac University National Poll released this week shows that 66 percent of U.S. voters support stricter gun laws, the highest level of support ever measured by the poll. In 2015, 47 percent of respondents supported stricter measures.

InfoWars Inches Closer To YouTube Ban

InfoWars is reportedly one step closer to being banned from YouTube after posting a video promoting a conspiracy theory about the Florida high school shooting.

The channel, run by famed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, received one strike from YouTube for posting that video, according to The Hill citing a CNN report Friday.

If a channel receives three strikes from YouTube within three months, it gets banned from YouTube.

"Last summer we updated the application of our harassment policy to include hoax videos that target the victims of these tragedies,” a YouTube spokesperson told CNN. "Any video flagged to us that violates this policy is reviewed and then removed."

The video in question claimed that survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., were crisis actors. It singled out student David Hogg, who has spoken out publicly after the shooting.

JoJo Wright Named Host Of iHR CHR Countdown

Premiere Networks announced Friday that KIIS 102.7 FM Los Angeles personality JoJo has joined the network as host of the iHeartRadio Countdown.

Effective February 24, JoJo will debut as host of the two-hour CHR weekend program, which currently airs on more than 100 affiliates worldwide, including markets such as New York, Los Angles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. The Los Angeles-based radio and TV veteran will continue to host the nationally-syndicated “JoJo On The Radio,” which originates from KIIS-FM and airs on 60 stations nationwide.

As host of the iHeartRadio Countdown, JoJo will be joined by a major music artist each week as they count down the top 20 CHR songs. The program also spotlights the most-social song of the week, co-host bonus track, iHeartRadio’s “Perfect For” song, “iHeartRadio Exclusive” and “On The Verge” tracks, as well as premieres and sneak-peeks from that week’s guest host. The iHeartRadio Countdown is available in two formats – the CHR version hosted by JoJo, and a Hot AC version hosted by Mario Lopez.

“I’m thrilled to host the iHeartRadio Countdown and I can’t wait to create incredible moments with some amazing artists,” said JoJo. “I’m very excited for this opportunity with Premiere to extend my national brand.”

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome JoJo to the Premiere Networks family,” stated Jennifer Leimgruber, Premiere Networks EVP Entertainment Programming. “JoJo’s dynamic personality and his ability to connect with and engage celebrities and listeners alike is a perfect fit for the iHeartRadio Countdown. We look forward to many years of continued growth and success together.”

Google Raises Price of YouTube TV, Adds Sports, Turner

Alphabet Inc’s Google is raising the price of its YouTube TV online service for new customers as it adds channels from Time Warner Inc’s Turner, National Basketball League and Major League Baseball, the company said Wednesday.

Less than one year after launching YouTube TV, the company is increasing its pricing to $40 per month from $35 per month as it adds Turner’s channels, which include TNT, CNN and TBS, and soon will be adding MLB Network and NBA TV, the company said.

According to Reuters, Google is expanding its offering at a time when a growing number of competing services, such as Dish Network Corp’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Hulu, are vying to win over the growing number of viewers who are cancelling their cable subscriptions to watch their favorite shows online.

The four largest cable and satellite companies lost 1.5 million pay TV customers in 2017.

DirectTV Now has over 2 million subscribers, according to AT&T. Sling TV, Hulu and YouTube TV do not disclose how many users they have, but research firm BTIG estimates they respectively had 2.1 million, 500,000 and 350,000 as of the end of 2017.

The costs for these competing offerings range from $20 for Sling TV’s most basic offering of 30 channels to $39.99 for Hulu’s one with more than 50 channels and its library of shows and movies, which costs $7.99 separately.

Google is betting that its strong sports offering will help win over more subscribers, said Heather Moosnick, director of content partnerships, YouTube TV.

“Sports is really one of the key offerings that a millennial would be willing to pay for a live TV service,” she said.

The new pricing will take effect for new users who sign up after March 13, the company said.

Deeply Indebt, Lisa Marie Presley Sues Ex-Manager

Lisa Marie Presley
Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, inherited his $100m estate in 1993 at the age of 25. Another 25 years later, she says in a lawsuit obtained by US media that she is down to her last $14,000.

Presley blames her former manager Barry Siegel for her precarious finances, and filed a suit last week against him accusing him of “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her inherited estate.

In the suit, first reported by the US website the Blast, she claims that her cash reserves were whittled down because of Siegel’s poor investment decisions. He has countered that Presley is to blame, alleging in a lawsuit of his own that she squandered much of her fortune. He is demanding $800,000 in damages for non-payment.

The Presleys
According to The Guardian, Elvis Presley’s fortune had dwindled to a few million dollars at the time of his death in 1977, but the power of the Presley brand – including the tourist attraction Graceland – meant that assets were built back up into the $100m trust that Lisa Marie inherited on her 25th birthday.

Siegel sold off 85% of her share in the Elvis Presley Enterprises company in 2005, a deal that he says “cleared up over $20m in debts Lisa had incurred and netted her over $40m cash and a multi-million dollar income stream”. Presley says it lost her millions thanks to a subsequent investment in Core Entertainment, the company behind American Idol that went bankrupt in 2016.

According to reports in the US, tax filings show the family’s Presley Charitable Foundation has operated at an annual loss in every tax year since 2009, with reported annual revenue down to just $26 in one year. The foundation’s endowment, reported to be just north of $100,000, is in Siegel’s care. The foundation did not return the Guardian’s calls.

Presley, who has recorded three albums of her own, is already in a battle over assets in the wake of her divorce from Michael Lockwood, her fourth marriage after short-lived partnerships with Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. According to reports of her divorce proceedings last week, she claims she is $16m in debt. Lockwood disputes the figure, arguing “she has not disclosed her assets or their values”.

PA Radio: WCNS Latrobe Drops N/T For A/C

Latrobe-based AM radio station WCNS 1480 announced Friday a change in its programming format from talk to adult contemporary music, branding as Lite Favorites 1480 WCNS.

The move comes as Laurel Highlands Total Communications — the parent company of LHTC Media, the station's owner — anticipates FCC approval for W247CX translator FM sister station at 97.3 FM that would simulcast the AM station.

W247CX 97.3 FM (90 watts)
According to General Manager Brandon Kail, WCNS will continue to air coverage of Greater Latrobe High School football and basketball as well as Saint Vincent College football and basketball.

“We'll continue to have local news updates,” Kail said in a press release, adding that the station's “weekend talk blocks will continue as will the Sunday church services we broadcast.”

Kail explained the new music format, geared to those 45 and older, features songs spanning five decades, back to the 1970s — from artists like Adele, Celine Dion and Billy Joel.

The talk format that had aired on WCNS can be heard on PA Talk 98.7 FM, which simulcasts WAVL 910 AM in Apollo, PA.

WCNS 140 AM (500 watts-D, 1 Kw-N)
In June, the company finalized acquisition of several stations in the Morgantown/Fairmont area of West Virginia, including WZST-FM, the flagship station for West Virginia University sports; WRLF-FM, a classic rock station; WMMN-AM, a Fox Sports affiliate; and WTCS-AM.

“Our goal is to have four FM frequencies in Morgantown,” Kail said.

R.I.P.: Barbara Ann Alston, Leader Singer For The Crystals

The Crystals 1963
Barbara Ann Alston, one of the most influential singers in rock and roll music in the ‘60s, has died

Barbara Ann Alston
The Charlotte Observer reports Alston – who died Feb. 16 in Charlotte at age 74 – was the lead singer for Phil Spector’s girl group The Crystals, which had a string of hits including “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me.”

Cause of death was the flu.

The Crystals were among the hottest of the ‘60s pop acts, a category that included the Supremes, the Shirelles, the Ronettes and Martha and the Vandellas. Rolling Stone magazine called such groups “a cornerstone of the Sixties,” and music historians credit The Crystals with having some of the genre's most-beloved songs.

Between 1961 and 1963, Billboard magazine reports their hits included: “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” (1962, No. 20); “Uptown” (1962, No. 13); “He’s A Rebel” (1962, No.1); “Da Doo Ron Ron” (1963, No. 3); “Then He Kissed Me” (1963, No. 6); and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” (1963, No.11). At that time, the group’s members consisted of Alston, Kennibrew, Mary Thomas, Merna Girard and Patsy Wright.

Donielle Prophete, 47, is one of Alston’s three surviving children and she said her mother was not above singing her hits around the house as she cleaned or cooked. Her mother enjoyed continuing to get royalty checks for her hits, Prophete said, but there was never a hint of regret that she gave up performing.

Alston died a happy woman, knitting, cross stitching and tending five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, Prophete says.

February 24 Radio History

➦In 1924...WPOW NYC signs-on as WBBR. Judge Franklin Rutherford, successor to the Jehovah Witness founder, Charles Taze Russell, dedicated WBBR, at Rossville in southwestern Staten Island.

Franklin Rutherford
WBBR's programming schedule included programs in several languages, including Yiddish and Arabic.

Judge Rutherford later expanded the radio operations into ownership of at least 7 stations in the United States and Canada, including outlets in the Chicago, Toronto, and Oakland areas.

On August 5, 1928, Rutherford broadcast on a chain of  96 stations, the largest radio network organized till that time, according to New York Radio History.  But, Rutherford's attacks on other religions led many stations to drop his programs, sometimes cutting him off before he was finished.

WBBR started off on a frequency of 1230 AM in 1924, then moved to 1100 later that year. In 1925, the station moved to 720 AM, unauthorized. In 1927, WBBR moved again to 1170, and in 1928 to 1300 - in both instances, sharing time with other stations.

In 1941, WBBR's license was transferred to the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society, the religion's publishing arm, and in March of that year, WBBR (and its share-time partners) moved to 1330 AM. In 1946, power was increased to 5000 watts.

In 1957 the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society sold its station to H. Scott Killgore's Tele-Broadcasters Of New York Inc. for $133,000.  Call letters were changed to WPOW on May 1, 1957, the religious talks and placid string and organ music disappeared, and the new station embarked on a series of changes that would repeatedly make it something of a pioneer in New York area radio.

On the morning of September 5, 1957, WPOW became the first New York station to play a form of rock music during most of its daily schedule.

The remainder of WPOW's schedule was filled with easy-listening music, paid religious programs including "Glad Tidings Tabernacle" and "The Hebrew Christian Hour".

Under its share-time arrangements, WPOW often broadcast at unusual times, occasionally signing on at 3a and then leaving the air while the morning drive-time audience was at its peak.

In February 1958, the station moved to foreign-language programming, mostly Spanish but also including some Polish, French, Armenian and Byelorussian.

In July 1959, Killgore sold WPOW for $250,000 to John M. Camp, an Illinois-based advertising agent and broker of religious broadcast time.  In 1973, Camp purchased share-time station WHAZ in Troy NY and starting operating it as a daytimer, opening up Monday nights for WPOW.

In 1979, WPOW's other share-time station on 1330 AM, WEVD, was sold to Salem Media, and became WNYM.  In the early 1980's, Salem bought out WPOW for $4 million, most of that sum simply for the Staten Island real estate.

On December 31, 1984, WPOW signed off without ceremony, and the last time-sharing arrangement in New York AM radio came to an end.

Today, the WBBR call letters are being used by Bloomberg on 1130 AM. The WPOW calls are being used by Beasley Broadcasting for one of its FM's in Miami. And WPOW's 1330 AM frequency in NYC is occupied by religious WWRV.

➦In 1942...the Voice of America (VOA) radio service signed on, as a US propaganda tool during WWII.  The shortwave transmitters (many located in Greenville North Carolina) continued to beam a variety of programming around the globe through the cold war, but service cuts began shortly thereafter and accelerated in the 21st century as the internet became more universal as a communication tool.

➦In 1987...Radio personality Larry King was stricken with a heart attack.

➦In 1987...Jim Connors, legendary radio personality died at age 47.

Jim Connors
Jim Connors earned thirteen Gold records for discovering artists during his career including Harry Chapin and his hit song "Taxi". Chapin later went on to write "W*O*L*D," a song inspired by Connors' life. This song was based on a phone call Harry overheard while in studio with JC at WMEX-Boston. The men began discussing what life as a "jock" is like, which was Harry's inspiration for the hit song.

Connors also earned gold with Chuck Berry for "My Ding-a-ling," Wayne Newton for "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast," Joe Simon for "Power of Love," and Mouth & MacNeal for "How Do You Do," along with many others, for exposing the songs to the mainstream audience.

Connors was well known amongst radio programmers of the 1960s and 1970s for his programming and promotional abilities along with his Think Sheet. The 'Think Sheet' was a monthly publication he wrote and distributed to fellow radio programmers making recommendations on airplay for new artists, along with jock jokes and trend analysis based on market research.

WJET Erie, Pennsylvania was his first official radio job outside of duties performed in the U.S. Air Force. At WJET, he held the title of Production Director for WJET Radio & WJET Television channel 24. Initially, he was the midday host for WJET and was rated #1 in the market ahead of the morning drive team. It wasn't long before JC was promoted to the AM drive shift.

After a long run at WJET, Connors was hired at WMEX in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was the Music Director and AM drive host. His daily program was consistently rated #1 in the New England marketplace in the early 1970s.

After having great success in Boston, and becoming nationally renowned by many record executives for his programming and promotional abilities, JC moved towards Erie, Pennsylvania to be closer to his children from his first marriage. The impact of Chapin's song "W*O*L*D" hit his ex-wife hard, as the local 'Jocks' in Erie would often take their shots at him and his life on air.

Soon he found an opening at WYSL in Buffalo, New York, where he could be closer to his children while working through some family concerns. Connors was the AM Drive host in Buffalo, NY.  JC had great success in Western New York, and on WYSL he frequently featured many of the well-known performers with whom he had connections.

While in Buffalo, JC met his second wife, and the couple would find out they were pregnant with their first of two children shortly before moving to Rochester, New York for a job at WROC as Operations Manager & AM Drive Host.

After the passing of his father, JC wanted to be back in New England with the rest of his family. He was offered a position with WCIB in Falmouth, Massachusetts and Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he was appointed Vice President of Operations and AM Drive Host, with multiple levels of on-air production responsibility.

 His career in the northeastern United States soon came to an end, as he packed up and headed for another new beginning, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. While living in the Bay Area of Tampa, Florida JC frequently recorded commercials and appeared in numerous local spots.

His time in Florida was brief. On February 24, 1987, on a trip returning to Rhode Island, JC was killed in a car crash on I-95 in Greensville County, Virginia.

➦In 1991…Radio and television newsman/Vice President of ABC during the 1950s/TV quiz show host (What's My Line?, Who Said That?) John Daly died of cardiac arrest at 77.

➦In 1994...Dinah Shore, star of radio, T-V, records and movies, died in Beverly Hills, California, of ovarian cancer, just 5 days short of her 78th birthday. She joined the Eddie Cantor radio show in 1941, and two years later had her own program. She began her T-V career in 1951, with “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show.”  She once said that people identified her most with the slogan from that show — “See the U-S-A in your Chevrolet.”

➦In 2000...First Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio

➦In 2004..."Bubba The Love Sponge" was fired by Clear Channel Communications/Tampa.

Bubba Clem
On February 27, 2001, while on the air at WXTB in Tampa, Florida, Clem slaughtered and barbecued a wild Florida boar that had been captured by a professional hunter. Sound effects of hogs feeding were broadcast to lead listeners to believe the hog was being harassed and aggravated. Based on the incident Clem, his Executive Producer Brent Hatley, and two other people were charged with animal cruelty. The trial received coverage outside Florida including Court TV. All four defendants were acquitted by the jury.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability of $755,000 against four stations owned by Clear Channel Communications (including its flagship station, WXTB) on January 27, 2004 for objectionable segments of "Bubba the Love Sponge" . The fine consisted of the maximum of $27,500 for each of 26 airings of a segment plus $40,000 for record-keeping violations. The segments included graphic discussions about sex and drugs and according to the FCC were "designed to pander to, titillate and shock listeners". One segment featured the cartoon characters Alvin and the Chipmunks, George Jetson and Scooby-Doo discussing sexual activities.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Loesch Confronted Over Charge that Media 'Loves Mass Shooting'

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota confronted NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch on Friday morning over her statement that the media "loves mass shootings," calling the charge "malicious."

"I don’t know anybody in the media who likes mass shootings, you’re wrong on every single level," Camerota said.

"We pray that there’s never another one. The idea of them being ratings gold ... Guess what? They’re not ratings gold. Americans have reached saturation level. They’re so sick of it."

According to The Hill, the contentious interview comes one day after Loesch in an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference said that "many in legacy media love mass shootings."

In Friday's interview, Loesch doubled down in response to a question from Camerota, saying that many in the media like the high ratings that comes from coverage of mass shootings.

"Many in the media do because they like the ratings aspect of it, and it’s true because it’s wall-to-wall coverage," Loesch said.

Loesch also attacked CNN over its town hall event Wednesday night on guns, accusing the CNN host of the event, where Loesch and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were jeered and booed, of losing control.

Comprehensive Music Licensing Bill Expected Soon

U-S Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, plans to introduce an umbrella music licensing bill in March, a clear indication that long-sought federal copyright reform could be enacted in 2018.

Goodlatte's staff briefed other Congressional staffers and key music industry stakeholders last week, multiple sources told The Tennessean.

According to sources who received the briefing, the broader bill from Goodlatte will include the Music Modernization Act, the Classics Act and the AMP Act. A House Judiciary aide said the committee expects to mark-up a package of copyright bills in the coming weeks, but provided no additional details.

The Music Modernization Act would overhaul the digital mechanical licensing process and lead to better payouts for songwriters, according to advocacy groups representing songwriters and publishers. The Music Modernization Act was filed after more than a year of negotiations, spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and Sen. Lamar Alexander, between songwriters, publishers and streaming companies.

The Classics Act would require digital radio companies to pay artists and labels royalties for songs recorded prior to 1972.  And the AMP Act would codify the existing practice of paying music producers compensation stemming from digital royalties earned by artists.

Those three bills have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of advocacy groups representing virtually every corner of the music industry.

Goodlatte has overseen roughly five years of hearings and debate about music copyright reform. The Virginia Republican is not seeking re-election, and 2018 is viewed as the last, best chance to pass a broad scale music copyright reform, which hasn't happened in decades.

Milwaukee Radio: News/Talk WTMJ Adds FM Signal

WTMJ Radio is now broadcasting on FM in addition to its AM signal to expand the reach for Wisconsin’s most powerful radio station. The FM signal operates at W277CV 103.3 FM and covers Milwaukee and its adjacent suburbs.

“For 90 years, Milwaukee has depended upon WTMJ for news, local talk and sports. It’s important to make our content easy to find and we’re excited to add an additional platform at 103.3 FM along with our digital distribution platforms,” said Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKTI and vice president of news, talk, and sports, for The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).

“Our play-by-play sports partners, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks will be heard on ‘WTMJ-FM’, as well.” The new FM translator signal is the latest initiative by WTMJ to make its content universally available. WTMJ is now serving hourly “flash briefings” on Amazon’s Alexa platform along with streaming, podcasts and an HD signal on 94.5 WKTI (FM) HD-2.

W277CV 103.3 FM (250 watts)
“The community relies on WTMJ to provide vital 24-hour news updates, weather and traffic coverage for Milwaukee,” said Eric Brooks, director of programming and news for WTMJ. “Bringing WTMJ to FM will make us available to a wider audience.”

PPMs Out For Portland OR, Orlando, San Antonio, 9 More Markets

Nielsen on Thursday 2/22/18  released the third batch of January 2018 PPM Data for the following markets:

22  Portland OR

24  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC

26  San Antonio

27  Sacramento

28  Pittsburgh

29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo

30  Las Vegas

31  Orlando

32  Cincinnati

34  Cleveland

35  Kansas City

36  Columbus OH

Click Here To View Topline Numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations

Report: Fox to Buy Tribune Stations In 6 Markets

21st Century Fox is closing in on an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy at least six TV stations, a transaction that stems from Sinclair’s pending $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media.

According to Variety, the Tribune stations expected to be sold to Fox are: Seattle (KCPQ), Denver (KDVR), Salt Lake (KSTU), Sacramento (KTXL), Cleveland (WJW), and Miami (WSFL).deal.  The pact also ensures the Sinclair will lock in long-term Fox Broadcasting Co. affiliation deals for dozens of other stations it owns that are currently Fox affiliates.

The sale is contingent on Sinclair closing its acquisition of Tribune Media. The regulatory review process on the Sinclair-Tribune merger is coming to a head at the FCC and Justice Department now that Sinclair has filed its plan for station divestitures. The Tribune acquisition will put Sinclair well over the limit of the FCC’s TV station ownership rules, forcing some divestitures.

Sinclair surprised the industry on Wednesday by unveiling its decision to sell Tribune’s WPIX-TV New York and WGN-TV Chicago — albeit with a caveat that Sinclair hopes will allow the company to still operate the New York and Chicago stations through a contract arrangement with the new owner. Sinclair has a buyer (or buyers) lined up for WPIX and WGN but did not disclose them in Wednesday’s FCC filing. Fox would not be able to buy those stations because it already owns two outlets in both New York and Chicago, and FCC rules bar a single entity from owning more than two top-rated stations in the same market.

Four of the six Tribune stations that Fox aims to acquire are in markets with NFL teams — a priority for Fox in its hunt for additional TV stations. Fox has doubled down on its investment in NFL programming through the megabucks five-year deal it struck late last month for rights to “Thursday Night Football” games starting next year.

States Refile Lawsuits To Block Net Neutrality Repeal

A coalition of 22 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia on Thursday refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration’s repeal of landmark rules designed to ensure a free and open internet from taking effect, reports Reuters.

The FCC officially published its order overturning the net neutrality rules in the Federal Register on Thursday, a procedural step that allows for the filing of legal challenges.

The states, along with Web browser developer Mozilla Corp and video-sharing website Vimeo Inc, had filed petitions preserving their right to sue in January, but agreed to withdraw them last Friday and wait for the FCC’s publication.

The Republican-led FCC in December voted 3-2 to overturn 2015 rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content on the internet.

“Repealing net neutrality will allow internet service providers to put corporate profits over consumers by controlling what we see, do, and say online,” said New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the coalition. Other members of the group include California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The attorneys general argue that the FCC cannot make “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policies and that it misinterpreted and disregarded “critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is confident the order will be upheld, his office said in a statement

The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect. That could take months.

Congressional aides say the publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the FCC’s decision. U.S. Senate Democrats, who hold 49 seats in the 100-person chamber, have the backing of 50 senators for repeal, leaving them one vote short of a majority.

NRA Chief Offers Fierce Defense of 2nd Amendment

The head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, leveled a searing indictment on Thursday against liberal Democrats, the news media and political opportunists he said were joined together in a socialist plot to “eradicate all individual freedoms.”

According to The NYTimes, LaPierre’s remarks, his first since a gunman took the lives of 17 people at a Florida high school last week, seemed aimed at blunting the rising public pressure for stricter gun control. Conservatives, he said, needed to push back even as liberals tried to smear them.

“The shameful politicization of tragedy — it’s a classic strategy, right out of the playbook of a poisonous movement,” he said to a friendly but largely restrained crowd at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. “They hate the N.R.A. They hate the Second Amendment. They hate individual freedom.”

The solution Mr. LaPierre offered was not to pass new laws but to better enforce the existing background check system and, he said, “harden our schools” with more armed guards.

Mr. LaPierre’s name was initially left off the program. Then, on Thursday morning, the conference’s organizers released a revised schedule with both Mr. LaPierre and Dana Loesch, an N.R.A. spokeswoman, added as speakers.

Loesch, a syndicated radio talk host and NRA spokesperson,  also saw fault for the shooting in the news media, saying killings were always good for business. “Many in legacy media love mass shootings,” she said. “Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back.”

But the temperature on stage was noticeably hotter than in the audience, which gave Mr. LaPierre and Ms. Loesch polite but mostly unenthusiastic applause.

Mr. LaPierre evidently noticed, prompting him to comment on the stillness in the hall, which he wrote off as fear over the government oppression he warned was coming. “I hear a lot of quiet in this room,” he said. “I sense your anxiety. And you should be anxious. You should be frightened.”

He repeatedly returned to his attacks against gun control advocates as socialists lying in wait.

Loesch: I Wouldn't Have Made It Out Without Security Detail

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch joined Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity live at CPAC Thursday night to react to CNN's Wednesday night town hall on gun violence.

During the event -- which was organized in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting -- Loesch was confronted by victims' families and survivors, in addition to an extremely hostile crowd.

“You heard that town hall last night, they cheered the confiscation of firearms,” Loesch said at CPAC Thursday morning, noting there were thousands in attendance. "I had to have a security detail to get out. I wouldn’t have been able to exit that if I did not have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming 'burn her.' And I came there to talk solutions.”

CNN Called Out For 'Dishonest' Gun Coverage

A Bloomberg View has called out CNN for its biased reporting in the wake of the Parkland school shootings.

Watch the network, read its website or scroll through its Twitter feed, and the overall message will come through loud and clear: Assault weapons should be banned, Republicans should be put on the spot for their votes to the contrary, and anyone who disagrees is on the take from the National Rifle Association.

The website has featured one pro-gun-control story after another. A sample headline: “Some of the most powerful quotes from the #NeverAgain rallies.” (“To every lawmaker out there: No longer can you take money from the NRA.”)

Alisyn Camerota asked two survivors of the Parkland shootings now calling for gun regulation if they knew they were up against the money of the NRA. (They did.) Fair enough -- except that no CNN anchor is going to mention Planned Parenthood’s political contributions in a segment about late-term abortion. And Camerota didn’t mention the millions of voters for whom the NRA speaks, voters from whom it gets that money in the first place.

Anchors also promoted gun control on their own Twitter feeds. Chris Cuomo retweeted a fake story about a 20-year-old who had allegedly bought an AR-15 in five minutes, and then angrily defended himself from critics when the account was exposed as untrue. When President Donald Trump brought up the idea of arming teachers as a defense against school shootings, Brian Stelter responded, “Music to the gun lobby’s ears?” He could have said, “This will please gun-rights supporters.” But he has never tweeted the phrase “gun rights.” He has never tweeted about the “gun-control lobby” either. He uses hostile terminology for one side of this debate.

The point isn’t that CNN’s point of view is crazy or extreme, or even wrong. But, according to the Bloomberg piece,  CNN presents itself as an institution that reports the news straight. That’s the point of its “This is an apple” ad campaign. The idea is that in an atmosphere of pervasive distrust and no shared agreement about what’s true, it’s more important than ever to trust reliable and neutral sources of information. The network is not marketing itself as an explicitly progressive media outlet, the way Mother Jones and the Nation do. It’s not even an all-but-explicitly partisan outlet like Fox, which dropped its “fair and balanced” slogan last year.

Miami Radio: Cox Media Promotes Jill Strada, Crystal Gans

Jill Strada
Cox Media Group (CMG) Miami has named Jill Strada as Director of Operations and Crystal Gans as Integrated Sales Manager for Miami Radio.

“We are very happy when we have an opportunity to promote successful leaders from within our company,” said Rob Babin, CMG Regional VP. “Crystal and Jill are proven leaders who have demonstrated incredible success at Cox Media Group Miami. Their success lies in commitment to their teams and the passion they each have as leaders. I look forward to the impact Crystal and Jill will make in their new roles.”

Crystal Gans
Strada will oversee HipHop WEDR, CHR WFLC, SoftAC WFEZ and UrbanAC WHQT as well as marketing, promotions, and digital content. Prior to this role, she was Director of Branding and Programming for WEDR and WFLC.

“It is an honor to elevate Jill,” said Ralph Renzi, General Manager for CMG Miami. “She is a passionate, capable leader who will help CMG Miami continue its superior level of content delivery.”

Gans will lead Miami Radio sales strategies across multiple platforms. Prior to this role, she was Digital Sales Manager for Miami Radio.

“Crystal’s track record of overperformance, her intelligence, and her high-level of engagement have had a positive impact on our team and our clients,” said Renzi. “We will all benefit from this well-deserved promotion.”

Report: Tensions High At NBC As Lester Holt’s Ratings Slip

David Muir and Lester Holt
ABC News has been crowing about its flagship “World News Tonight With David Muir” taking the gold medal during the Winter Olympics, putting rival Lester Holt and his “NBC Nightly News” in the silver spot.

But sources tell Page Six at The NYPost, that, with Muir passing Holt in overall audience and closing the gap in the all-important 25-to-54-year-old demographic, Holt’s bosses at NBC are beginning to sweat. And to make things even more awkward, Brian Williams — whom Holt replaced on “Nightly News” after Williams was caught telling fibs on the air — is a smash hit at his new gig at MSNBC.

Meanwhile, sources tell us that if Holt’s stats were ever to get into terminal territory and the network needed to make a change in the anchor’s chair, the Peacock Network’s recent crises would put them in a major bind.

An NBC News insider said, “Lester is beloved at the network, is doing outstanding work, and has ‘Nightly News’s’ longest-winning demo streak in over 4 ¹/₂ years.” Industry insiders were at pains to point out that Muir only beat Holt in parts of the country where their shows aired at the same time during the games, because Holt has been on early in some areas due to sports coverage.

St. Louis Radio: Entercom Makes Management Change

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that Choppy waves swept away a top executive Thursday, as KMOX chief John Sheehan was replaced as general manager of CBS Radio in St. Louis.

John Sheehan
Several sources in local radio said Sheehan was told of the changes during a late-morning managers' meeting with executives from Entercom Communications.

Sheehan will be replaced by Becky Domyan, who had been the St. Louis market sales manager for Emmis Communications.

Sheehan had been in charge of the CBS stations here since 2007, after having worked in radio sales for 14 years in the Kansas City area. He is married to St. Louis television reporter Rebecca Roberts, who has worked at KTVI (Channel 2) and KSDK (Channel 5).

Becky Domyan
In February 2017, Entercom bought three CBS stations in St. Louis: legendary talk-radio KMOX 1120 AM, and two adult contemporary stations, KYKY 98.1 FM and KEZK 102.5 FM.

Then last month, Entercom purchased two stations from Emmis: conservative talk KFTK 97.1 FM and adult contemporary KNOU 96.3 FM.

The Indianapolis-based Emmis sold its two other local stations to Hubbard Radio: classic rock KSHE 94.7 FM and alternative-rock KPNT 105.7 FM.

Hubbard, based in St. Paul, Minn., already had a presence in the area: country music WIL 92.3 FM, sports talk WXOS 101.1 FM and adult contemporary WARH 106.5 FM.

With Emmis leaving the St. Louis market, local radio will be dominated by Hubbard, Entercom and iHeart, which owns eight local stations.

As part of its previously announced agreements in principle to sell its St. Louis stations, Emmis Communications announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell its St. Louis stations KSHE-FM and KPNT-FM to Hubbard Radio for $45 million, and KFTK-FM KNOU-FM to Entercom for $15 million. The transactions are subject to FCC approval.

NYC Radio: WFAN Reaches Deal With Yankees' Aaron Boone

Aaron Boone
Entercom/NYC has announced the addition of  New York Yankees Manager Aaron Boone.

As part of the deal, Boone joins SportsRadio WFAN 660 AM & 101.9 FM, the flagship station for the Yankees.

Beginning March 1, Boone will be live on-air every Thursday at 5pm ET on WFAN's afternoon show hosted by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott to talk Yankees baseball. He'll will also be interviewed by WFAN personality and Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldman during all Yankees pre-game shows throughout the season.

"As part of our commitment to delivering premiere live, New York-centric sports audio content, we are proud to continue the tradition of partnering with the Yankees Manager. It's a tradition that goes back to Joe Torre and continued with Joe Girardi," said Senior VP/Market Manager John Fullam. "We are excited to welcome Aaron."

All-Staff Meeting At NPR Reported To Be Tense

NPR's senior management and board members faced skepticism as they sought to rebuild trust with the network's workforce following the release of a report on the network's failure to curb inappropriate behavior by former top news executive Michael Oreskes.

On Thursday, NPR board members faced tough questions from employees at an open Board of Directors meeting and then a tense all-staff meeting.

NPR reports senior management is seeking to reassure staff that it is tackling NPR's workplace culture issues. At the board meeting, CEO Jarl Mohn described the tumultuous past few months as "humiliating and humbling, because it happened on my watch."

"I wish I had seen the pattern earlier," he added, expressing a wish that the changes being made could "set the standard" for public media and other industries.

An independent legal review of the way senior managers handled allegations against Oreskes, released to staff earlier this week, revealed that leadership repeatedly received information about inappropriate behavior.

That included a warning about Oreskes during the hiring process, and concerns raised throughout his time at NPR. Oreskes repeatedly pursued "conversations and dinner meetings with women inside and outside of NPR that were inappropriate and served a nonbusiness purpose," according to the report. He also repeatedly expensed these meals to NPR.

The NPR board stated Thursday that it has full confidence in Mohn and his team. It also agreed to implement recommendations from the law firm, such as conducting background checks during hiring and retaining an outside firm to look into sexual harassment complaints for "some period going forward." NPR had already committed to some of the recommendations, such as conducting a pay equity study and clarifying its complaint process for harassment.

NAB Unveils Crystal Award Finalists

The National Association of Broadcasters announced the 50 finalists for the 31st Annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards. Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service. Winners will be announced and the finalists honored at the new We Are Broadcasters Celebration, held Tuesday, April 10 during the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

This year's finalists are:

KBFB-FM Dallas, Texas, KYGO-FM Denver, Colo., KBHP-FM Bemidji, Minn.,WBLK-FM Buffalo, N.Y., KCYY-FM San Antonio, Texas, WCCO-AM Minneapolis, Minn., KFOR-AM Lincoln, Neb.,WDRV-FM Chicago, Ill., KFTK-FM St. Louis, Mo., WEZL-FM Charleston, S.C., KGSR-FM Austin, Texas, WFLC-FM Miami, Fla., KHJK-FM La Porte, Texas, WHKO-FM Dayton, Ohio, KLVB-FM Citrus Heights, Calif., WINS-AM New York City, N.Y., KMOK-FM Lewiston, Idaho, WJJY-FM Brainerd, Minn., KMVP-FM Phoenix, Ariz., WKAQ-AM San Juan, P.R.

Also; KNDE-FM College Station, Texas, WKML-FM Fayetteville, N.C., KOYE-FM Tyler, Texas, WKRQ-FM Cincinnati, Ohio, KPEK-FM Albuquerque, N.M, WLBC-FM Muncie, Ind., KRLC-AM Lewiston, Idaho, WOR-AM New York City, N.Y., KRSP-FM Salt Lake City, Utah, WRLT-FM Nashville, Tenn.. KSFI-FM Salt Lake City, Utah, WSB-AM Atlanta, Ga., KSL-AM Salt Lake City, Utah, WSHE-FM Chicago, Ill., KSRO-AM Santa Rosa, Calif., WSOY-AM Decatur, Ill., KSTP-FM St. Paul, Minn.

Also:  WTMJ-AM Milwaukee, Wis., KTAR-FM Phoenix, Ariz., WTMX-FM Chicago, Ill., KTMY-FM St. Paul, Minn., WVAZ-FM Chicago, Ill., KTTS-FM Springfield, Mo., WWJ-AM Detroit, Mich., KUPL-FM Portland, Ore., WWPR-FM New York City, N.Y., KXKT-FM Glenwood, Iowa, WYRK-FM Buffalo, N.Y., KXLG-FM Watertown, S.D., WZFX-FM Fayetteville, N.C.

Ten Crystal Radio Award recipients will be chosen by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms. Also at the We Are Broadcasters Celebration, television and film actress Kristen Bell will receive the NAB Television Chairman's Award.

Kylie Jenner Tweet Makes Snapchat Tumble

The Kardashian-Jenner brand isn't just strong in reality television. It also seems to be powerful in the world of finance, according to USAToday.

A tweet sent by Kylie Jenner Wednesday afternoon criticizing the popular social network has sent the company's stock tumbling Thursday, resulting in the loss of nearly $1 billion in market value.

The company's stock dropped 8%, at one point wiping nearly $1.5 billion from the company's market value. A late rally has since helped lessen the blow with the company closing Thursday down just over 6%, a drop of over $850 million in value.

Kylie Jenner
Jenner is far from the first person to criticize the social network after it began rolling out its redesigned app over the past few weeks.

A petition garnered 1.2 million online signatures and even a response from the company that in essence said that the redesign was here to stay. Some users have even been sharing tweets and Instagram posts online with of a step-by-step "hack" on how to force the iOS App Store to download the old design, even if the solution is only temporary.

In response to the continued backlash to the update, CNBC reports that Citigroup downgraded the stock to a sell rating in a note sent out to clients on Tuesday.

But with 24.5 million followers on Twitter, 104 million followers on Instagram and a robust presence on Snapchat, few have the platform or influence Jenner has with the target demographic Snapchat relies on.