Saturday, March 3, 2018

March 4 Radio History

➦In 1877...Emile Berliner, the man behind so many inventions, came up with a thing called the microphone. The Bell System, run by Alexander Graham Bell, came up with a compact way to put Mr. Berliner’s microphone on a wooden box, with a crank, an earpiece, a cradle hook for the earpiece and some wires, and called it the telephone.

➦In 1910...DeForest conducted an experimental Radio broadcast from New York City.

Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. He named himself the "Father of Radio," with this famous quote, "I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite,".

In 1906 De Forest invented the Audion, the first triode vacuum tube and the first electrical device which could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger. The Audion, and vacuum tubes developed from it, founded the field of electronics and dominated it for 40 years, making radio broadcasting, television, and long-distance telephone service possible, among many other applications. For this reason De Forest has been called one of the fathers of the "electronic age". He is also credited with one of the principal inventions that brought sound to motion pictures.

He was involved in several patent lawsuits, and spent a substantial part of his income from his inventions on legal bills. He had four marriages and 25 companies. He was indicted for mail fraud, but later was acquitted.

➦In 1925...President Calvin Coolidge was adminstered the oath of office in Washington, DC. as it was was broadcast over the Radio for the first time.

➦In 1930...“The Redhead”, sportscaster Red Barber, began his radio career on WRUF at the University of Florida in Gainsville. He soon became one of the best known sports voices in America.

➦In 1935..WOR-AM went to 50 Kw power.

1934 WOR Ad courtesy of Faded Signals

➦In 1942...teenager Shirley Temple had the starring role as Junior Miss debuted on CBS radio. The show, costing $12,000 a week, was found to be too expensive to produce and ended after 6 months.  But a 1948 version starring Barbara Whiting as Judy Graves stayed on network radio for 5 years.

➦In 1952...the first seagoing Radio broadcasting station, "Courier", was dedicated by President Harry Truman.

➦In 1955...the first radio facsimile was transmitted across the continent.

➦In 1959...The very first Grammy Awards are held in New York City, and the winners, to no one's surprise, have nothing to do with rock and roll, or, sometimes, even the categories they were nominated in: for some reason, the Champs' "Tequila" wins Best R&B Song, but Record of the Year goes to "Volare" by Domenico Modugno, while Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn soundtrack LP wins Album of the Year.

➦In 1966…In London, the Evening Standard newspaper published an article titled "How Does a Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This." In one small part of the story, Lennon was quoted as saying, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue that. I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus right now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary."

The English public didn't raise an eyebrow over his remarks, but they caused controversy and protest in America when they were reprinted later in the U.S. teen magazine DATEbook. Thousands of Beatles records were smashed at mass rallies and some radio stations quit playing their songs altogether in protest. Lennon later apologized, explaining that what he meant was "the way some people carry on, (screaming at their concerts) you'd think we were more popular than Jesus Christ."

➦In 1982...FCC allows industry to select AM stereo standard

➦In 2001…Singer (In The Navy, YMCA, Macho Man) Glenn Hughes of the Village People died of lung cancer at the age of 50. He was buried in his leather biker outfit.

➦In 2004...Clear Channel Communications paid a record $755,000 fine for indecent material aired during broadcasts of the "Bubba The Love Sponge" program. Today, Todd Alan Clem is the host of The Bubba the Love Sponge Show on WBRN 98.7 FM in Tampa as well as online via RadioIO.

Joel A. Spivak
➦In 2008...Radio program director Fred Horton died at age 56. He was born in Syracuse. In the 80s he hosted the Saturday Night Oldies Party on WYYY Y94 FM. He also worked at WBEE Rochester, NY, Country WGNA Album , WYNY NYC, WRUN 1150 Utica NY.

➦In 2009…Peter Tork of the Monkees underwent extensive surgery after being diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing form of head and neck cancer. A preliminary biopsy discovered that the cancer had not spread beyond the initial site.

➦In 2011…Radio and TV host (WPTR, KILT, WPRO-AM/TV, WJAR, KLAC, WCAU-AM/TV, WWDB, KNBR, WRC/WWRC) Joel A. Spivak, one of the pioneers of talk radio, died of cancer at the age of 75.

➦In 2016…Tennis analyst/National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Famer/Tennis Hall of Famer Arthur Worth "Bud" Collins died at the age of 86.

San Diego Radio: KEGY Turns-Off Energy, Turns-On 'The Machine'

Entercom Friday announced the launch of KEGY 97.3 FM The Machine, Talk that Rocks, in San Diego.

The new station will engage and entertain San Diego’s audience with a unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music. Listeners will also be able to tune in to broadcasts of the San Diego Padres’ spring training and regular season games.

“97.3 The Machine will offer San Diego listeners a one of a kind station that combines all of the elements they have been craving: captivating talent, comedy, rock and sports,” said Bob Bolinger, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom San Diego. “We’re excited to fill this void in San Diego and will continue to add even more compelling content to the station’s lineup to serve both listeners and local partners.”

Dan Sileo
The new 97.3 The Machine will feature the popular sports-themed program, “The Dan Sileo Show,” on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Following that, the station will air the top syndicated program on Seattle’s KISW, “The Men’s Room,” from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In the evenings, 97.3 The Machine will air all 162 regular season games of the San Diego Padres in addition to 12 of their spring training games. This year’s San Diego Padres broadcast will feature radio play-by-play announcers Ted Leitner and Jesse Agler, expanded pre and post-game shows and complimentary programming throughout the week.

Evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, 97.3 The Machine will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.

On March 29th, 97.3 The Machine will debut it’s morning show “Kevin Klein Live” from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

KEGY 97.3 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Listeners in the San Diego area can tune in to 97.3 The Machine, stream at and connect with the station online via social media at 973themachine on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The Machine will also offer complimentary programming on 97.3 HD2 The Rock Machine and HD3 The Comedy Machine.

Former Energy 97.3 morning co-host Sonic replacing Jeff Hamby on overnights at KBZT Alt 949, with former 97.3 midday host Alexia making the switch to Alt 949.

John Malone Wants iHM To Build Radio Empire

John Malone
John Malone’s vision for a radio empire is coming into focus.

Last week, the billionaire’s Liberty Media swooped in as a potential white knight for IHeartMedia to help the biggest U.S. radio broadcaster ease its debt of more than $20 billion. Malone’s company would sponsor the broadcaster through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in exchange for a 40 percent stake.

Bloomberg reports that would give Malone a stake in traditional, satellite and online radio. On an earnings call Thursday, Liberty Media Chief Executive Officer Greg Maffei, cited “substantial synergies” between the ailing iHM and two other Malone investments: the majority-owned satellite radio giant SiriusXM Holdings Inc. and Pandora Media Inc., the online music company where Liberty took a minority position last year.

“With the advantage we can bring to the table we think we can perhaps reduce some of the risks that are inherent in the business,” Maffei said.

Sirius could help iHeart protect its position in FM radio in cars (SirusXM comes installed in many cars). And Maffei also sees opportunities to cross-promote personalities at the two companies.

Howard Stern is the biggest name at SiriusXM, while iHM has a deal with syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity among others. iHeart and Pandora, meanwhile, could share advertising technology and salesforces, Maffei said. iHeart’s is larger than those at Pandora and Sirius, he said.

Atlanta Radio: Talker Eric Erickson Gets New Deal At WSB

Eric Erickson
Conservative radio host Erick Erickson has signed a new, three-year agreement with Cox Media Group Atlanta’s WSB  750 AM / 95.5 FM that will keep him on-air through 2020.

Erickson joined WSB in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.

“We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived,” said Pete Spriggs, Director of Branding and Programming for WSB.  “The contacts in his phone are a Who’s Who of newsmakers and power brokers. Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”

The new contract ensures that Erickson will cover the next presidential election for WSB.  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5-7 p.m., he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.

“I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host,” said Erickson.  “These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe,” he said.

CMT, iHeartMedia Extend Multi-Year Pact

CMT, the Viacom-owned cable channel focused on country music and lifestyle, and broadcasting giant iHeartMedia have extended a multi-year pact.

In addition, country radio and CMT personality Cody Alan will continue to host iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks’ long-running syndicated program CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan, which celebrates its 25th on-air anniversary this year.

Premiere will remain as the exclusive distribution partner for CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan, which broadcasts weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight ET. According to iHM, the shows can be heard on more than 210 country broadcast stations in over 110 markets, and via and the iHeartRadio app.

The agreement outlines continued collaboration between CMT and Premiere to develop programs and events for multiple platforms. Currently the network airs the series “Nashville,” “CMT Crossroads” and “Music City,” among other shows.

"Music is the center of our brand and we look forward to exploring new avenues of growth with Premiere," said Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land. "Our partnership with Premiere Networks provides endless opportunities and UNRIVALED reach to connect even more with fans everywhere, and on every platform."<

"I'm honored to continue our work with Premiere Networks, and humbled by the ACM nomination for 'National Personality of the Year,'" remarked Cody Alan, Host of After MidNiteand CMT Radio Live. "It's a real testament to the hard work of our team. We take pride in creating engaging content for our fans every day."

Chicago Radio: Cara Carriveau EXITS Hubbard's WSHE-FM

Cara Carriveau
Hubbard's WSHE The New SHE 100.3 FM announced Friday that Cara Carriveau has resigned her position as afternoon host on WSHE 100.3 FM,a position that she has held since March 2015.

"I am so appreciative of all of the wonderful opportunities Hubbard Radio Chicago has given me. To have hosted afternoons on WSHE after hosting middays on WTMX, two of the most impressive radio stations in the country much less Chicago, makes me extremely proud of the past decade in my career. I will deeply miss the amazing people I have worked with for so many years.”

In 1989, she began working at suburban WABT-FM/The Wabbit, where she was an on-air talent and Program Director. After the station was sold in 1995, she joined Shadow Broadcast/Shadow Traffic as Program Director. There she was heard most often as a news anchor/sidekick to Kevin Matthews on WLUP-FM. Additionally, Carriveau may be best known for her eight years as a highly-rated midday host on WLUP-FM (1998-2006).

“Cara will be missed at the New SHE 100.3 and by our listeners. I thank her for all of her hard work, positive attitude and spirit” said WSHE Program Director Cat Thomas.

SHE 100.3 will announce a new afternoon show soon.

Sinclair Planning To Spin-Off WGN-TV9..Sorta...

Sinclair Broadcast Group plans on selling WGN-TV to a Maryland auto dealer but would remain in control of the station in what critics say is a bid to skirt ownership limits and win federal regulatory approval for its proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media.

According to The Chicago Tribune, under the terms of the $60 million station sale, filed Wednesday with the Federal Communications Commission, Sinclair would provide everything from programming to advertising sales to the buyer, essentially running WGN-Ch. 9 through a services agreement.

The licensee of WGN would be a newly formed company headed by Steven Fader, a longtime business associate of Sinclair Executive Chairman David Smith. Sinclair will have an option to buy back the station for the same price, subject to adjustments, within eight years.

The services agreement puts Sinclair in charge of advertising sales and gives it the right to provide local news and other programming to WGN. Sinclair would keep 30 percent of all ad sales and receive a $5.4 million monthly service fee for operating the station during the first year, with annual increases and performance bonuses.

Fader is CEO of Atlantic Automotive Corp., a Towson, Md.-based auto dealership group in which Smith holds a controlling interest, according to Sinclair financial statements. Fader also is chairman and co-founder of private equity firm Atlantic Capital Group.

Daily Facebook Usage Peaks

The percentage of Americans ages 12 and older who say they use Facebook has dropped to 62% this year, marking the first decline in a decade. That’s the word from Edison Research and Triton Digital who teased this result ahead of their upcoming release of the latest Infinite Dial study.

The 62% of respondents reporting ever using Facebook use is down from 67% last year, and matches the figure from 2015. The researchers note that usage is either down or flat in each age group, gender and race/ethnicity.

This comes after a report from Forrester Research just a couple of months ago that suggested that teen usage of Facebook in the US may have peaked.

Recently, a forecast from eMarketer called for a decline in the number of Facebook users ages 12-17 and 18-24 this year for the first time. The company also predicted that not all of the 2 million Americans under the age of 24 who will abandon Facebook will migrate to Instagram. Instead, Snapchat – a darling of the youth crowd – is expected to add more users ages 12-24, and continue to outpace Instagram in that demographic, despite having fewer users overall.

A review of MarketingCharts’ own US Media Audience Demographics study confirms that Snapchat has a younger skew in its audience than Instagram. In the report, 18-24-year-olds comprised almost one-quarter (23.7%) of Snapchat’s adult (18+) audience, compared to 18.5% of Instagram’s adult audience. As for Facebook? Just 14.7% of its adult audience in the US is in the 18-24 bracket.

CBS World News Roundup Is Nation's Longest-Running Newscast

CBS News Radio’s WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP, America’s longest-running newscast, will celebrate 80 years on the air with special programming on Tuesday, March 13.

The programming will explore the first broadcast in 1938, its significance to the history of radio at the time, and how the WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP has evolved to remain relevant today.

CBS THIS MORNING, the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH JEFF GLOR, CBSN and will all feature reports on the milestone.

“People have lots of choices for news, so achieving 80 years on the air is an incredible landmark,” said Craig Swagler, General Manager of CBS News Radio. “We are proud that millions of Americans rely on the reporting of CBS News every day. We continue to provide our affiliates and their listeners with the most accurate and relevant information they can trust. From shortwave and the Murrow Boys to smartphones and our stellar correspondents, THE WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP is still the leader setting the standard in quality journalism.”

CBS News Radio made broadcasting history on March 13, 1938 when it aired a riveting 38-minute program anchored by Robert Trout that reported the Nazi invasion of Austria. Revolutionizing news coverage, THE WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP gave listeners access to live reports from multiple correspondents on the field, including a young CBS executive making his on-air debut in Vienna that night, Edward R. Murrow.

In the decades that followed, legendary CBS journalists, including Douglas Edwards, Dallas Townsend and Christopher Glenn, anchored the program. Today, WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP (weekdays at 8:00 AM, ET) is anchored by Steve Kathan and is produced by Paul Farry. Dave Barrett anchors the late edition of the WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP (7:00 PM, ET), which is produced by James Hutton. The program is also available as a daily podcast. CBS News Radio has a weekly audience of more than 16 million listeners and is carried by more than 450 radio stations across the country.

The program was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.

The CBS World News Roundup remains an active part of the CBS Radio Network lineup, making it America's longest running network newscast on radio or TV. The 10-minute newscast airs every morning on CBS Radio affiliates nationwide at 8 a.m. Eastern and 7 a.m. Pacific. A late edition airs at 7 p.m. Eastern time and runs for 9 minutes. Westwood One handles the distribution.

The morning edition of the World News Roundup is anchored by Steve Kathan, and produced by Paul Farry. The full show runs for 10 minutes, although many stations - including CBS Radio's own all-news stations - take only the first eight minutes. There is also a local cut-away at four minutes past the hour for the early edition (like the network's other top of the hour newscasts) and five minutes past the hour for the late edition. The late edition was hosted by Bill Whitney, and produced by Greg Armstrong. Bill Whitney left CBS in December 2016 and the late edition is now hosted by Dave Barrett. The morning program was hosted for many years by Christopher Glenn, who died in 2006 and was succeeded by Nick Young and later Steve Kathan.

The longest tenure of one anchor with the Roundup was that of Dallas Townsend, who hosted the morning broadcast for 25 years. Townsend was followed by Reid Collins and then Bill Lynch before Glenn took over. Douglas Edwards also had a long tenure anchoring the evening show in the 1970s and 80s, when it was The World Tonight. Glenn took over as nighttime anchor after Edwards retired.

Follow CBS News Radio on Twitter, Facebook and online at

South Bend Radio: Jon Thompson Retires From WSBT

After 42 years of broadcasting in the community, Jon Thompson, of 'JT in the Morning,' retired. His last morning show on SportsRadio WSBT 960 AM / W241AD 96.1 FM ended Friday at 9 a.m.

“God bless you Michiana. I love you, I am so appreciative of your being tuned in, and we’ll be talking to you down the road.”

Jon Thompson
With that tearful sign-off Friday morning, the red “On air” sign above the WSBT studio door turned off for Jon Thompson — or "JT in the Morning,” as listeners have known him — ending more than four decades on local radio.

According to The Tribune, Thompson learned Monday that WSBT’s owner, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, decided to replace his program with ESPN’s morning sports show and that Friday would be his final show.

“I believe the people at WSBT made this decision with a heavy heart with regard to me,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week.

He added that, at age 70, he thought he would probably retire in another year or two, which he would have preferred.

For Thompson, WSBT’s programming change reflects a trend in the radio industry that listeners have accepted, even if they miss the presence of local personalities.

“It’s gotten to the point where almost all AM stations are syndicated,” he said. “From a business standpoint, I believe syndication is what is helping many stations survive, and people have accepted syndication.”

Thompson got his first job in radio in 1971 at a station in New Hampshire. Over the next four years, he worked at stations in Worcester, Mass.; Greeley, Colo.; and Lebanon, Pa., where he had his longest stint, from 1973 to 1975, before coming to South Bend.

Thompson started work at WSBT on Dec. 29, 1975, after he answered an ad for a morning show host in Broadcasting magazine.

"People have been very gracious in allowing me to come into their homes and help them get their day started, and they've helped me get my day started, so it's really a two-way package."

Thompson said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Marilyn, and they plan to travel. He also said he plans to play more golf – and sleep in.

March 3 Radio History

➦In 1847...Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was born. He died Aug. 2, 1922 at 75.

➦In 1885...American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) was incorporated

➦In 1922...WWJ-AM, Detroit, Michigan began broadcasting.

WWJ first signed on the air on August 20, 1920 under the call sign 8MK, and was founded by The Detroit News; the mixed letter/number calls were assigned to the station by the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Navigation, the government bureau responsible for radio regulation at the time. The 8 in the call sign referred to its location in the 8th Radio Inspection District, while the M in the call sign identified that the station operated under an amateur license. It is not clear why the Detroit News applied for an amateur license instead of an experimental license. As an amateur station, it broadcast at 200 meters (the equivalent of 1500 AM).

8MK was initially licensed to Michael DeLisle Lyons, a teenager, and radio pioneer. He assembled the station in the Detroit News Building but the Scripps family asked him to register the station in his name, because they were worried this new technology might only be a fad, and wanted to keep some distance.

The Scripps family were also worried radio might replace newspapers if the medium caught on, so the family financially supported Michael. In fact, most early radio stations were built, for the same reason, by families who owned newspapers – out of concern that radio would put them out of business, on the basis that newspaper readers would find it more timelier to tune to listen to the headlines on radio at any given time than wait to read them in a daily newspaper the next day.

On October 13, 1921, the station was granted a limited commercial license and was assigned the call letters WBL. With the new license, the station began broadcasting at 360 meters (833 AM), with weather reports and other government reports broadcast at 485 meters (619 AM).

On March 3, 1922, for reasons that are not known, the call letters, 'WWJ, were assigned to the station. Some believe the new call letters are an abbreviation for stockholders William and John Scripps, but on page 82 of a book published by the Detroit News in 1922, WWJ-The Detroit News, it stated that "WWJ is not the initials of any name. It is a symbol. It was issued to the Detroit News by the government in connection with the licensing of this broadcasting plant."

Ty Tyson was the original “voice” of the Detroit Tigers was 39 years old that first radio summer of 1927.

Today Newsradio WWJ 950 AM is owned by CBS Radio.

➦In 1925...KFWB Los Angeles signed-on.

The station was launched by Sam Warner, a co-founder of Warner Brothers. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Although some think its call letters stand for Keep Filming Warner Brothers or (K)-Four Warner Brothers, actually the callsign was sequentially issued by the Department of Commerce, predecessor to the FCC (March 1925) at the same time as KFWA in Ogden, Utah (Feb 1925) and KFWC for San Bernardino (also Feb 1925).

On February 8, 1937, KFWB opened a new facility on the south end of the Warner Brothers lot. It included six large studios, one of which was a 500-seat theater, and a "multi-manual pipe organ, built especially for broadcasting."

In 1946, KFWB imported two disc jockeys from New York City: Maurice Hart of WNEW, whose drive-time show Start the Day Right was described as "Words and Music Straight from the Hart," and Martin Block, who coined the phrase "Make-Believe Ballroom," which was later used by Al Jarvis when Block returned to New York. In those days, disc jockeys selected their own music, either from KFWB's extensive record library, or new songs brought to them by "song pluggers." Old and new, vocal and instrumental were mixed together to the disc jockey's choice.

KFWB was sold to its long-time general manager, Harry Maizlish, in 1950, and soon after moved off the Warner Brothers lot to join Maizlish's FM station, KFMV, on Hollywood Boulevard.

In 1958, the original "Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen" took Rock and Roll into its first major market, at KFWB.

Also in 1958, under new owners Crowell-Collier Broadcasting, program director Chuck Blore transformed the station into a Top 40 format called Channel 98 Color Radio. The station became one of the most highly listened to stations in the Southland and in the nation. The air staff during the glory days included Bill Ballance, B. Mitchell Reed, Bruce Hayes, Al Jarvis, Joe Yocam, Elliot Field, Ted Quillin. and Gene Weed. Their staff of highly respected newscasters included Cleve Herrmann, Charles Arlington, John Babcock, Beach Rogers, Mike Henry, Hal Goodwin, Al Wiman, Bill Angel, J. Paul Huddleston and Jackson King. But times changed, and in the mid-60's, KFWB was overtaken by rival KRLA.

Then KRLA was put in second place by the launch of Boss Radio at 93/KHJ, and this relegated KFWB to the position of the third-place pop music station in the L.A. market.

KFWB was later purchased by Westinghouse in 1966. On March 11, 1968, the station was relaunched as an all news radio station. The station promoted itself with its slogan, "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world," as first used by New York Westinghouse station WINS, although the station's format used a 30 minute news cycle.

Until spun off into a trust, KFWB was owned by CBS Radio, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, formerly known as Westinghouse, which also owns KNX, the only all-news station in Los Angeles. KFWB and KNX famously feuded as all-news rivals for years, both on radio and in television advertising. Like its former sister stations (and fellow all-news stations) WINS in New York and KYW in Philadelphia, KFWB had a running Teletype sound effect in the background during regular newscasts.

On Sept. 22, 2014, KFWB became "The Beast 980", an all-sports format...and on March 1 2016, The Beast ended operations as an all-sports station after the station’s asset trust sold the business to Universal Media Access KFWB-AM LLC headed by Charles W. Banta of Buffalo NY. for $8M.

Universal Media Access launched a South Asian format branding as “Desi 980“, on March 1, 2016.

➦In 1945...mystery fans remember this day when they gathered around the radio set to listen to the Mutual Broadcasting System as Superman encountered Batman and Robin for the first time. POW! ZING! BONK!

➦In 1952...“Whispering Streets” debuted on ABC radio, remaining on the air until Thanksgiving week, 1960. The end of that show brought down the curtain on what is called “the last day of the radio soap opera” (November 25, 1960).

Whispering Streets was a romantic soap-opera drama old time radio serial with a special twist.  The stories are told in a somewhat serial format with the next week's story using a minor character's point of view.  It is a highly unusual format and quite enjoyable, especially trying to guess which minor character will be the major character in the next week.

Whispering Streets had multiple well-known hostesses/narrators throughout the show's run including Bette Davis, Cathy Lewis, Hope Winslow, Ann Seymour, Gertrude Warner.  The most dramatic narrator of the show's run is Bette Davis who begins each show with a "Hell-low" and ends with "Goohdd-bye."

➦In 1956...Elvis‘ first single for RCA Victor “Heartbreak Hotel,” entered the Billboard top 100 at #68.  Just weeks later it would be #1 for almost two months, becoming the best-selling single of the year.

➦In 1993...the Howard Stern radio show debuted in Boston on WBCN-FM.

Jack Kelk, Ezra Stone of 'The Aldrich Family'
➦In 1994...the star of The Aldrich Family for most of its 14 year run on radio, Ezra Stone(who played Henry Aldrich), was killed in a New Jersey automobile crash at age 76.

➦In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show debuted on WRCQ-FM in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

➦In 2008...The Beatles’ engineer Norman Smith died at the age of 85. Smith who worked on every studio recording the band made between 1962 and 1965, was nicknamed “Normal Norman” by John Lennon.

➦In 2014...Scott Shannon launched "The Big Show" mornings on NYC's Classic Hits WCBS 101.1 FM.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Malone Buys iHeartMedia Debt

GSO Capital Partners, which played a key role in restructuring talks over iHeartMedia Inc.’s debt, exited its position as the biggest U.S. radio broadcaster headed toward a bankruptcy filing, according to Bloomberg citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The credit unit of Blackstone Group sold roughly $400 million of iHeart debt to billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Malone’s company accumulated a position in the debt to inject itself into restructuring talks for iHeart in an effort to take control of its radio business.

GSO along with Franklin Resources had until recently been the leading force in a senior lender group negotiating with iHM. The company’s talks with holders have extended well over a year without a resolution.

IHM, which is strapped for cash in part because of debts run up by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners after a 2008 leveraged buyout, is preparing for a bankruptcy filing as early as this weekend, people with knowledge of the discussions said. Advisers to some of iHeart’s senior creditors have been shown bankruptcy papers that would be used on the first day of court proceedings.

Earlier this week, Liberty Media emerged as a potential white knight for iHM, proposing a tie-up with Sirius XM Holdings Inc. to sponsor iHeart through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in exchange for a 40 percent stake in the reorganized company, according to a news release. Liberty is still negotiating with the senior creditor group.

FCC's Ajit Pai Declines NRA Award

Ajit Pai
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has turned down the National Rifle Association award he received at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week.

Pai was given the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award for the public kickback and targeted threats he received for repealing Obama-era net neutrality rules. The award included a Kentucky handmade long gun, which Pai has since declined to collect at the NRA’s museum where it is being held.

In a letter sent to the NRA and the American Conservative Union, which is the group that organizes CPAC, Pai said he was “surprised” by the award and said he would not be able to accept it, citing advice of ethics officials at the FCC, according to a Politico report.

“Therefore, upon their counsel, I must respectfully decline the award,” Pai wrote in his letter, according to an FCC source who relayed the text of the letters. “I have also been advised by the FCC’s career ethics attorneys that I would not be able to accept the award upon my departure from government service.”

According to The Washington Examiner, senior director and general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center Larry Nobel said government ethics rules would generally prevent FCC officials from accepting awards worth more than $200 without written clearance from their agency’s ethics officials.

Amazon Prime Currently Streaming 'Corporate FM'

It’s taken a long time for people to be able watch the documentary Kansas City filmmaker Kevin McKinney released in 2012. But, according to Melissa Lenos at NPR's Morning Edition,  he’s at peace with that.

After all, the problems he explored in "Corporate FM" – the corporatization and consolidation of local commercial radio – still exist. And he’s OK with the fact that audiences can watch it now because it’s streaming through Amazon Prime.

Amazon might not seem like the ideal distribution choice for a filmmaker so concerned with media conglomeration, but McKinney felt compelled to embrace the wider release so that more people would have access to the information.

“I’d rather give the movie away than for high finance to continue to strangle stations,” he says. “If I help one station, this is worth it.”

McKinney’s talking about the kind of locally owned commercial music stations where humans with entertaining personalities decided which records to play and contributed to a city’s sense of place. Some of them still exist, even in Kansas City, but far fewer than communities need, McKinney's film argues.

Music lovers often blame the internet for the decline in these types of stations. After all, why would anyone listen to the potentially unpredictable radio when they can choose their own music via satellite and streaming?

But McKinney’s film argues that the real reasons are more complex and predate the invention of file-sharing sites like Napster.

In 1983, he notes, 90 percent of the mass media in the United States was owned by 50 different corporations. By 2012, that 90 percent was owned by six corporations.

After the Telecommunications Act of 1996 reduced regulation on media mergers, conglomerates such as Cumulus, Entercom, and Clear Channel (rechristened iHeartMedia in 2014) began buying locally owned radio stations all over the country. The corporations purchased the stations in a way that shifted the debt liability to the stations themselves.

The buyout practice, which McKinney and the people he interviews note was not sustainable in 2012, is the key cause of iHeartMedia’s current economic decline.

Leveraged buyouts and other economic aspects of commercial radio can be baffling until McKinney outlines the processes with helpful and entertaining line animations. The film is informative and engaging, full of interviews with local musicians, current and retired DJs and national artists such as folk singer Jewel and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

It also includes interviews with several popular DJs who were pushed out of work after conglomeration began. These are the types of changes McKinney notes cannot be blamed on the internet.

Report: Turmoil On Madison Avenue

The world’s biggest marketers are taking aggressive steps to change how they buy ads, triggering upheaval across the advertising industry, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday that it slashed spending on digital advertising by more than $200 million last year, after a recent push for more transparency had revealed such spending to be largely wasteful.

The cut is a sliver of P&G’s overall annual ad spending, which was $7.1 billion in the fiscal year that ended in July, but it represents an important shift after years of marketers raising digital ad spending almost reflexively.

Meanwhile, WPP PLC, the world’s largest ad agency company, on Thursday logged its worst performance since the financial crisis, posting a decline in net sales for the year and projecting no growth in 2018. Among the reasons: Big clients like P&G and Unilever PLC have been stepping up their campaigns to cut ad agency costs.

The developments highlight the fallout as marketers reassess their relationships with ad agencies and big tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in an increasingly complex media environment.

Marketers aren’t cutting their ad spending overall. Global ad spending is projected to rise 4.3% this year, according to GroupM. But, as they contend with pressures on their businesses, marketers are focusing on how to rein in costs paid to agencies, limit the number of agencies they work with, and make ad spending more efficient. They are also bringing in-house some creative and ad-buying functions once handled by agencies.

Keep Reading (Paywall)

Ad-Supported Media TSL Declining

Even as consumer time spent with media continues to expand -- inching up 0.3% last year -- the percentage of time consumers spend with ad-supported media continues to decline, according to MediaPost citing the 2018 edition of an annual report tracking and forecasting consumer media usage.

The study, which was previewed by Research Intelligencer, comes as a major industry futurist -- Publicis’ Rishad Tobaccowala -- predicts that ad-supported media exposure is about to experience a cliff effect, declining as much as 30% over the next five years as consumers shift their attention to non-ad-supported media.

The good news is that the total amount of time Americans spent consuming media rose to 70.7 hours per week last year. The bad news for Madison Avenue is that the share of time spent with ad-supported media fell to 44.4%, its lowest point ever.

The report, published by PQ Media, projects that ad-supported media’s share of consumer time will fall to 42.5% by 2021, as consumers shift more of their time and attention to media that has little or no advertising in it -- mainly subscription services for consuming video, audio and other forms of media.

Keep Reading

Liberty Media Revenue Increased 8% During 2017

Liberty Media Corporation Thursday reported fourth quarter and year end 2017 results.

Highlights include :
  • SiriusXM reported strong full year 2017 results
  • 2017 revenue climbed 8% to $5.4 billion
  • Self-pay net subscriber additions of 1.56 million in 2017
  • 2017 net income totaled $648 million after $185 million charge related to Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Adjusted EBITDA(2) grew 13% to a record $2.12 billion in 2017
  • SiriusXM beat 2017 financial and subscriber guidance, confirmed expectations for growth in 2018
  • SiriusXM’s Board of Directors approved additional $2 billion to share repurchase program
  • Liberty Media’s ownership of SiriusXM stood at 70.4% as of January 29th

“SiriusXM delivered another outstanding year of results and continues to innovate with the launch of 360L. When Liberty completed its purchase of F1 last January, we knew the business would require investment to achieve its full potential. Chase Carey and team made great progress on their strategic goals and we look forward to more in 2018,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO. “The Atlanta Braves increased revenue in 2017 by an astounding 47%, demonstrating the appeal of the new SunTrust Park and Battery Atlanta.”

Tucker: Trump Betraying Core Campaign Promises On Guns

President Donald Trump has taken some heat this week over his nebulous positions on gun control, reports BusinessInsider.

In the weeks after the deadly Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Trump has, at turns, been sympathetic to student survivors who are demanding action to address gun violence, and he has sought to appease gun-rights proponents who are impervious to calls for reform.

Trump has also bounced from blaming Democrats for not doing enough to act on gun control, to telling a bipartisan group of lawmakers, "I like taking the guns early," and pivoting away from Republicans on how to limit access to guns when mental illness is a factor.

During that same bipartisan meeting on Wednesday, the president needled Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania: "I think you're afraid of the NRA," Trump said.

"Trump met w/ lawmakers on gun control where he bullied GOP who defend the 2A & said govt should 'take guns first, go through due process second,'" Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Thursday night, indicating his disapproval of Trump's conversation with lawmakers a day earlier. Carlson is usually supportive of Trump and his policies.

"Imagine Obama saying something similar? He'd been denounced as a dictator. Congress would talk impeachment. Some would mutter secession," Carlson said.

A little more than an hour later, Trump — who makes no secret of his preference for Fox News, and often tweets in response to things he sees on the network — tweeted: "Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!"

Trump offered no additional context, but Chris Cox, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, claimed Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had indeed meet with him Thursday night.

NBC's Megyn Kelly Lands Interview With Putin

Megyn Kelly with Vladimir Putin Thursday
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed as "propaganda" claims that Russia and the West have entered a new "cold war."

The Hill reports in an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly in Moscow, Putin said his earlier comments that Russian ballistic missiles could penetrate any missile defense systems on the planet were not a declaration of a new "cold war" as some defense analysts suggested.

"My point of view is the individuals who have said that a new cold war has started are not really analysts, they do propaganda," Putin said in the interview that first aired Thursday night on "NBC Nightly News."

"If you were to speak about arms race, then an arms race began at exactly the time and moment when the U.S. opted out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," he added.

The Russian leader's comments to NBC follow remarks delivered to Russian lawmakers earlier Thursday in which Putin claimed new Russian warheads would render defense systems "useless."

"Missile defenses will be useless against it," Putin said. "Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now," he added, calling out Western powers for their treatment of Russia on the world stage.

Buffalo Radio: WYRK's Dale Mussen Steps Away From Morning Show

After nearly 34 years on the WYRK 106.5 FM morning host Dale Mussen is stepping away from the daily grind. " I'm not leaving the radio station, I'm stepping away from the morning show to do other things here."

In a website posting, Mussen stated, "It was about a year ago that management asked me what my plans for the future might be and I expressed how difficult it sometimes is to wake up at 3:30 in the morning and drive to the station in the worst of weather.  Often I'm out even before the snowplows have cleared the way.

"Plus I'm stepping away because I can.  Because the two I've been working with on the show now are two of the most talented people I've ever worked with.  They obviously can handle the work load, so not much will change."

Mussen plans to return on occasion to do fill-in work and "you'll still see me at events like the Taste of County, our acoustic shows, the Erie County Fair and other summertime events, plus Bills and Sabres games."

"This is a career I chose before I was even a teenager and it's hard to just walk away.  The old saying is if you can get paid for a hobby you'll never work a day in your life.  That's been pretty much the truth for me.  When it stops being fun, that's when I'm done."

Twin Cities Radio: KLBB 1220 AM Plans Final Sign-Off

From its home above a storefront on North Main Street in downtown Stillwater, KLBB 1220 AM has been the voice of Stillwater and the St. Croix Valley in Minnesota for almost 70 years.

According to, the owner of the local radio station, known for broadcasting local church services and Stillwater Area High School Pony football games, announced Wednesday that the station will cease broadcasting March 31.

“It’s so difficult to do,” said Dan Smith, owner and general manager. “I don’t want to do it, but it’s so difficult running an AM radio station on the fringe of a large metro. It’s been a real challenge.”

Smith announced last year that KLBB planned to sell 3.6 acres of land in Stillwater that houses the station’s 203-foot tower. The tower, built in 1949, had exceeded its lifespan and needed to be replaced, he said.

KLBB 1220 AM (5 Kw-D, 254-watts-N)
A Twin Cities nonprofit, plans to build senior housing on the site, which is just north of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Ecumen will close on the property on March 30; the station will cease broadcasting at midnight March 31. Smith would not disclose the sale price.

SiriusXM Launching Show About SiriusXM

Michelle Collins
SiriusXM announced Thursday that Michelle Collins, comedian, talk show host and former co-host of The View, will host an uncensored daily show exclusively on SiriusXM’s Stars.

The Michelle Collins Show will feature Collins’ interviews with celebrity guests, newsmakers, experts and reality TV stars. Collins will also share personal stories and discuss a variety of topics including pop culture and entertainment, shopping and beauty, and the trending news of the day. Collins will also take calls from listeners while diving into deeper discussions about current events.

Listeners can hear The Michelle Collins Show live starting Monday, March 5, on SiriusXM’s Stars channel 109 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices. The program will air live weekday mornings from 8:00 – 10:00 am ET, as the lead-in program to The Jenny McCarthy Show.

“I was ecstatic when I heard Michelle Collins was joining our SiriusXM family,” said SiriusXM host Jenny McCarthy. “She will quickly learn what I learned working here, which is she will no longer have to try to get her point of VIEW across in four words or less before being interrupted. The mic is hers and we want to hear what she has to say. She is funny, intelligent, and loves to make fun of The Bachelor as much as I do, and I can’t think of a better lead in for me. Welcome home, Michelle.”

“Talking without interruption has been a childhood dream of mine,” said Michelle Collins. “And, having the freedom to do it at SiriusXM five days a week is that dream fulfilled. I want to get into the stuff that makes us tick – reality TV, online shopping addictions, dating, first-world problems and balancing those with more serious news and current events. Every morning on the Stars channel will be a new adventure fueled by my passion for almost everything.”

Boston Radio: iHM Debuts Conservative Talk 1200 AM

iHeartMedia Boston has announced the debut of the new TALK 1200 WXKS-AM, Boston’s Conservative Talk.

TALK 1200 will broadcast premier conservative programming featuring America’s top talk radio personalities including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Buck Sexton, Mark Levin and more. The station’s programming will simulcast on WJMN 94.5 FM HD2.

“We are excited to have this powerful lineup of conservative talk on a new channel here in Boston,” said Alan Chartrand, President of iHeartMedia’s Boston Region. “We are confident that with the biggest names in the talk radio format, we’ll be able to serve our listeners and advertisers well.”

“We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on TALK 1200,” said Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Boston Region. “With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

WXK 1200 AM (50 Kw, DA-2)
Full Programming Lineup:
  • The Glenn Beck Program 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • The Rush Limbaugh Show 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • The Sean Hannity Show 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • The Buck Sexton Show 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • The Mark Levin Show 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Seattle Radio: Emily Raines Joins KKWF Morning Show

Emily Raines
Entercom Communications and its top-rated Seattle country station KKWF 100.7 The Wolf have announced that Emily Raines has been named as co-host of the morning show, beginning Monday, March 5. Raines joins co-host Matt McAllister on “The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister,” which airs weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. PT.

“We are excited to welcome Emily to our Morning Wolfpack show alongside Matt McAllister. She is a very talented personality, compelling storyteller and has a competitive spirit that understands what it takes to play at the highest level of major market radio,” said Jack Hutchison, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Seattle.

“I am thrilled to be the newest member of the Wolfpack and look forward to waking up Seattle alongside Matt,” said Emily. “It is a great time to be part of an amazing radio company like Entercom and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

KKWF 100.7 FM (68 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
100.7 The Wolf is a part of Entercom Communications, a leading American media and entertainment company and one of the top two radio broadcasters in the country. Entercom is the nation’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio. With a nationwide footprint of 235 stations, Entercom will engage over 100 million people weekly with a premier collection of highly-rated, award-winning radio stations, digital platforms, and live events.