Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 11 Radio History

➦In 1903...bandleader Lawrence Welk was born in Strasburg North Dakota.

The Champagne Music Maker was, early on, a popular staple of radio station WNAX in Yankton South Dakota.  When he settled in for 10 years at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, his dance remotes developed a national radio following. In 1951 Welk began weekly appearances on KTLA Los Angeles, which led to an ABC television show beginning in 1955. His show was near the top of the ratings throughout the 1950’s and ’60s.  His big hit was the 1961 million seller, Calcutta.

He died from pneumonia May 17, 1992 at age 89.

➦In  1948...Audio Engineering Society founded in New York City.

➦In 1969...The Jackson Five signed a contract with Motown Records

➦In 2009...WXRK 92.3 FM NYC changes to CHR.

At 5PM on March 11, 2009, WXRK changed to a Contemporary Hit Radio format known as "92.3 Now FM". The last song played on K-Rock was "Right Now" by Van Halen. It was followed with the sound of a ticking clock, an announcement that K-Rock was moving to 92.3 FM HD2, and a montage of bumpers from stations such as WNBC, WABC, WMCA, WXLO, WQHT, and WHTZ, with a promotion saying in the following minutes, "it will be now".

An introductory montage was then played, followed by the launch of "Now" with the commitment to play "10,000 songs in a row, with zero minutes of commercials", beginning with "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas.  It has been speculated in online forums and trade journals that CBS Radio will continue to unfold or tweak towards similar Top 40 radio stations in other major markets in the coming months leaning towards younger listeners. The station ended the "10,000 Songs in a Row" promotion in early April 2009.

Since the station's flip in 2009, WXRK/WNOW has only held a 2 share trailing Hertiage Top40 WHTZ. In addition, WXRK/WNOW has had a constant turnover of program directors and airstaff, including the sudden releasing of all the then-current airstaff (with the exception of midday host Niko and evening host Toro) on May 21st, 2014, as rumors of a complete rehauling of 92.3's format abounded. The following day at 2 PM, after stunting by giving away $1,000 to callers every 9 minutes for 2 hours,

WNOW-FM relaunched as 92.3 AMP Radio, launching with commercial-free weekends until Labor Day weekend. The final song on "Now" was "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, while the first song on "AMP" was "Summer" by Calvin Harris.  On June 23, 2014, WNOW-FM changed its call letters to WBMP to match the "AMP" branding.

➦In 2011...Longtime New York City area radio host (WNYC, WNSW, WJDM, WNJR, WPAT, WEVD) Danny Stiles died at the age of 87.

Stiles's first radio job was at WHBI in Newark on December 2, 1947, buying the air time for $65 a week.  His career took him to WHOL in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and stations in New Jersey before returning to Newark on WNJR (AM) as the "Kat Man." At WNJR, Danny met Robert Smith, a young Brooklyn native working as a gofer, who would later move to the border blaster XERB-AM and broadcast as Wolfman Jack.

Stiles, who among other alliterative monikers called himself The Vicar of Vintage Vinyl, had a loyal fan following and a distinctive radio presence.  At the end of his life, Danny was being heard on four stations in Metro New York, on WRCA 1330 AM, serving the Boston area, and was streaming 24 hours a day on the Internet. The broadcast material came largely from his personal collection of over 250,000 albums, many in their original 78 rpm format.

After his death, Stiles continued to be heard on the airwaves, with vintage shows re-aired Saturday nights at 8 PM Eastern time on WNYC 820 AM, until its final broadcast on January 3, 2015. His website still offers a stream of archived shows.

➦In 2015...Longtime WGY 810 AM Albany, NY Morning Host Don Weeks died at age 76.

The station called Weeks "legendary" in its announcement -- and it might be difficult to argue that he wasn't, according to the Albany Times-Union.  Weeks joined WGY in December 1980 and retired from his morning show, a ratings juggernaut for years, in 2010.

Known as "Uncle Don" to two generations of WGY listeners, he brought an avuncular presence and a folksy style to a variety format. His conversation with on-air sidekicks meandered across news items, weather updates, school closings and zany comedy bits. Fans found his homespun humor as welcome as a freshly brewed cup of coffee early in the morning.

Weeks retired in 2010 after 30 years on WGY and his 50-year broadcast career included stints as a TV weatherman and in marketing and copywriting.

"He was the most well-known radio personality in the Capital Region and his storied career was known on a national level, too," said David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association, which inducted Weeks into its Hall of Fame. Weeks also won a Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Weeks wanted to be on the radio since he was a young boy, his daughter said. "He used to pretend he was a radio host when he was really little. It was his dream job," she said. His single-minded drive earned him his first job at WSNY of Schenectady just out of high school and he later was hired as a Top 40-format disc jockey on WTRY.

He moved to TV in 1965 and earned a following on WNYT Ch. 13 as a weatherman who used his cartoon drawing skills to create an endearing character known as "Wally Weather." He was a talented artist who also worked as art director at WRGB and as a copywriter for an Albany ad agency. He moonlighted on WABY before joining the morning show at WGY in 1980.

Chicago Radio: Farewell To 'The Loop'

Chicagoans who have their clock radios set to WLUP-FM 97.9 may be in for a rude awakening today as songs like AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” give way to “Jesus I Believe” by Big Daddy Weave, the top song this week on WCKL 97.9 K-LOVE, the station’s new Christian pop format.

The Chicago Tribune reports hitting the snooze button won’t bring Styx, Van Halen or Led Zeppelin back to “The Loop,” which has ended a 40-year-run as an iconic classic rock station. On Tuesday, owner Merlin Media announced it is selling WLUP to Educational Media Foundation, a California-based religious broadcaster, for $21.5 million.

The Loop provided the long-running soundtrack for a generation of Chicagoans. Its swan song represents the end of an era as traditional radio struggles to stay relevant — and in some cases solvent — in the face of digital competition.

Nearly a dozen Chicago radio stations are run by owners in or on the brink of bankruptcy as listeners and ad dollars migrate to streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify.

“Radio’s product offering and business model is under attack,” said Larry Miller, a radio veteran and director of the Steinhardt Music Business Program at New York University. “It is facing very stiff competition from (digital services) that didn’t exist a decade ago.”

Miller wrote a recent report painting a bleak picture of radio’s future as the car dashboard — once the exclusive province of AM and FM stations — taps into a world of digital platforms.

Traditional radio, he said, is in danger of becoming irrelevant to a new generation of listeners.

“Listenership is declining and aging, a little bit every year,” Miller said. “Younger people are discovering and consuming music in other places.”

Nostalgia for The Loop was in full force Friday, as Dahl, who currently hosts afternoon drive on WLS 89 AM, simulcast his show on The Loop for a farewell broadcast. Meanwhile, the station had a run on black Loop T-shirts, selling 3,000 online at $20 a pop by Friday afternoon, said Marv Nyren, market manager for Cumulus Chicago.

The final hour of music (with no jocks) on The Loop consisted of many songs including the final one making light of the programming replacing it. According to RadioInsight, the final hour of WLUP-FM consisted of:
  • Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
  • Europe – The Final Countdown
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
  • REM – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
  • Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Rush – Limelight
  • Mötley Crüe – Shout At The Devil
  • Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast
  • AC/DC – Highway To Hell
Click Here To Listen To The Format Change.

Entercom CEO: 'We're Making Excellent Progress'

David Field
Revenues at CBS Radio stations fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter and a turnaround isn’t expected until late 2018, Bala Cynwyd radio giant Entercom Communications Corp. said on Thursday.

“We are only 100 days into this transformation and these things take time,” Entercom CEO David Field told analysts. He added that he remained optimistic about radio and still considers acquiring more stations, reports

Entercom closed on its $4 billion deal for CBS Radio last November, including six CBS Radio stations in the Philadelphia market.

Entercom’s revenue almost doubled to $246.6 million because of the consolidation of the CBS Radio stations in the fourth quarter into its operations. Net income available to Entercom common shareholders swelled exponentially to $232.4 million from $10.8 million in the prior-year quarter — but because of a huge noncash benefit from President Trump’s tax overhaul.

Company executives and Wall Street analysts noted the difficulty of comparing Entercom’s profits and revenues for the fourth quarter because of the timing of the CBS Radio deal, federal tax law changes, millions of dollars in merger-related costs, and asset sales.

But Field gave some color to the big changes underway, such as the company hiring of corporate executives, replacing top managers at radio station clusters, cutting costs, and launching advertising initiatives.

“We fully understood that CBS Radio was performing weakly and that job No. 1 was turning that around,” Field said.

While revenues at CBS Radio stations fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter, they fell 3 percent at legacy Entercom radio stations, Field said. The 2016 fourth-quarter revenues were boosted by political spending associated with the Trump election.

Entercom’s revenues in the first quarter at the nation’s second-largest radio station group are “pacing down” about 3 percent, Field said. But, he added, “We are making excellent progress on our goals.”

Baltimore Radio: Bethany Linderman Joins WWMX Morning Show

Bethany Linderman
Entercom announced Friday that Bethany Linderman was named as co-host of “Mix Mornings” on WWMX MIX 106.5 in Baltimore.

Linderman will join longtime host and Baltimore native Reagan Warfield every weekday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET, beginning March 12.

Bethany comes to Baltimore from Albany, NY, where she co-hosted WGNA’s morning show. Prior to that, her career stops included Tampa, FL and her hometown of Olean, NY. Bethany holds bachelors’ degrees in Communications and Film and Media Studies from the University of Tampa.

“We welcome Bethany’s energy, enthusiasm and charisma to MIX 106.5,” said Tracy Brandys, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Baltimore. “We’re looking forward to having her and Reagan refresh mornings in Baltimore and mix it up for our dedicated listeners.”

WWMX 106.5 FM (10.4 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners,” said Bethany. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere HOT AC stations.”

Bob Woodward: Reporters Need To Calm Down

Bob Woodward
Veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward says some journalists have "become emotionally unhinged" while covering President Trump, urging them to keep their personal politics out of their work.

“A number of reporters have at times become emotionally unhinged about it all, one way or the other,” Woodward told Newsweek in an interview published Thursday, citing cable news networks Fox News and MSNBC as examples.

“You will see those continually either denigrating Trump or praising him,” he added. “I think the answer is in the middle … it’s important to get your personal politics out.”

Reporting from Woodward and Post colleague Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. 

According to Joe Concha at The Hill, This isn't the first time the 74-year-old legend has appealed directly to reporters to keep personal feelings out of their work.

"We need to calm it down and listen more," the 18-time New York Times best-selling author told The Atlantic in March 2017. "Be on the surface respectful, but never stop the inquiry.”

"I worry, I worry for the business, for the perception of the business, not just Trump supporters, they see that smugness… I think you can ride both horses, intensive inquiry, investigation, not letting up… at the same time, realize that it's not our job to do an editorial on this," Woodward also told Axios last year.

'The Mooch' Apologizes To MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci apologized to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow after suggesting Friday morning she and other liberals should take a “suppository” to treat their “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

Anthony Scaramucci
“I apologize to @maddow: that was a lighthearted joke that could be blown out of proportion. She is extremely talented and while we may disagree on some stuff she has an important voice in our national discourse,” Scaramucci tweeted.

Scaramucci made the controversial remark during an interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Friday morning, according to The Washington Examiner.

The show highlighted a segment from Maddow’s show Thursday night, during which she criticized President Trump’s decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and said it could be “a risky or unwise move.”

“You can tell she’s got a little bit of that Trump Derangement Syndrome, which I like,” Scaramucci told Fox News. “I'm hoping that one of these comedians will come up with anti-anxiety medication for liberals. Just take one tablet a day, maybe a suppository, and take it easy.”

“It’s morning. I had to wake everybody up with that,” Scaramucci continued as the hosts reacted with surprise to his statement. “The president is doing the right thing for the American people, but he’s also doing the right thing for the world.”

Facebook, MLB Reach Streaming Deal

Facebook Inc. has reached a deal with Major League Baseball for exclusive rights to stream 25 afternoon games on the social network in the U.S.

According to Bloomberg, it’s the first time a major U.S. league has agreed to show regular season games exclusively on Facebook, which has been building a portfolio of live sports. MLB owners unanimously approved the move, the league said. Neither MLB nor Facebook disclosed the financial terms, though people with knowledge of the matter put the price at $30 million to $35 million. They asked not to be identified because the terms are private.

“Much like the migration of sports from broadcast to cable, you’re reaching these milestones where the combination of the financial incentive and the audience allow you to make the next great leap,” said Lee Berke, an industry consultant. “This is part of the next great leap.”

The games add to Facebook’s growing sports lineup. Last year, the company struck deals with Fox Sports to stream the UEFA Champions League and with Univision to broadcast live games from Mexico’s top soccer league. The company also had 20 non-exclusive MLB games last season and acquired exclusive rights to stream 47 college basketball games involving smaller conferences this year.

With 1.4 billion active daily users, the world’s biggest social network is also still growing, in contrast with conventional TV networks that have been losing viewers and advertising. Facebook’s ad revenue last year totaled $40 billion.

All of the games will take place on weekday afternoons, primarily Wednesdays. The agreement begins with the April 4 game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. Viewers will be able to watch on smartphones, tablets, computers and other connected devices, including home TVs.

The games will be produced by the MLB Network, meaning they’ll have a broadcast look and feel. For Facebook, however, the rights allow for experimentation with things like social integration and graphics during the broadcast, enhancements popular with younger viewers drawn to digital platforms.

Detroit Radio: Joanne Purtan OUT At WXYZ-TV

Joanne Purtan
JoAnne Purtan, a fixture on WXYZ TV for 20 years, is getting cut from the station, Crain's Detroit Business reports.

In a Facebook post Friday, the daughter of legendary radio personality Dick Purtan writes that she was "shocked" and "disappointed" to learn her contract as anchor is not being renewed after this month.

She's anchor of the noon newscast and a 4 p.m. newscast called "The Now Detroit," as well as doing consumer reports and a weekly segment on mothers who are entrepreneurs.

Purtan came to the station in 1998 after seven years as an anchor and reporter in Albany, N.Y. "I just knew from the time I was a little girl this is what I wanted to do," the Emmy winner says in a bio at the ABC affiliate's site. "I love telling people's stories and bringing viewers important information."

WXYZ has recently lost some star power. Anchor Stephen Clark just retired. And morning Anchor Malcom Maddox was removed from the air this week following a lawsuit by former reporter Tara Edwards, who accuses him of lewd, sexual misbehavior.

R.I.P.: Former WCKY Cincy Broadcaster Hugh Lutton

Versatile radio host Hugh Lutton, best known for his work on WCKY-AM, died Wednesday at his Bridgetown home.

He was 69, according to

Born James Hugh Lutton in Flint, Mich., he came Cincinnati in the early 1970s to work for sister stations WCKY-AM and WWEZ-FM. He also worked for the old WLQA-FM with Stan Matlock, WSAI-AM, WEBN-FM, WNOP-AM, "Stereo 96" in Hamilton, and as a weekend announcer on WLWT-TV, said Joy Lovejoy, his wife of 38 years.

Lutton did a variety of tasks for WCKY-AM's news-talk format in the 1980s – producing talk shows; covering press conferences and election returns; hosting the Sunday morning call-in "Tradio" show; and operating the audio board for remote broadcasts, including live broadcasts from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the Indianapolis 500 race.

He worked closely with Bob Braun, Nick Clooney, Marilyn Harris and Don Herman – although most of his work was off the airwaves. The obituary sent to me by his wife says:

"His career passion was radio production. He said radio production allowed him to combine creativity with technical skills. He loved to write the scripts; locate and edit music and sound effects to enhance the commercial spots or informational shows; serve as the voice talent; and finally, mix all of the elements to produce a memorable listening experience that would send listeners to the sponsor to purchase goods and services.

March 10 Radio History

➦In 1876...Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful test of his new invention, the telephone, in Boston, a month after patenting the device. He transmitted the first intelligible speech, room to room, telling his assistant, ‘Come here, Watson. I need you.' 

➦In 1920...singer/mandolinist Kenneth C. (Jethro) Burns was born near Knoxville Tennessee.  He was half of the famous country comedy team of Homer and Jethro, who first teamed up at age 12.  They appeared together many times on the WLS National Barn Dance.  He died Feb. 4 1989 at age 68.

➦In 1922...'Radio Sweeping Country-Million Sets In Use' headlines Variety.

➦In 1922...KLZ-AM, Denver, Colorado began broadcasting.

Two years earlier, Dr. William "Doc" Reynolds, a dentist, founded Colorado's first experimental radio station, 9ZAF, at his 1124 S. University home in Denver.

The studio was on the front porch and the transmitter was in the back yard.

On March 10, 1922, the station's call sign changed to KLZ, then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover granted Reynolds one of the first commercial broadcasting licenses in the country, and KLZ became Colorado's first commercial radio station.

1920s-Era Radio Receiver
➦In 1922…Variety magazine greeted readers with the front-page headline that read, "Radio Sweeping Country - 1,000,000 Sets in Use."

➦In 1934...announcer/disc jockey Gary Owens  was born in Mitchell, South Dakota. At 18 he began working as a news reporter at local radio station KORN, and two years later was made news director.

After several moves in the midwest he became a DJ in Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Denver, Sacramento and San Francisco, before finally settling in Los Angeles. He spent two decades playing music with humorous word play in PM drive at KMPC, and became nationally known as the ear-cupping announcer (above) on TV’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Owens is believed to have recorded some 30,000 commercials.

He died Feb. 12 2015 of complications from his life-long diabetes, at age 80.

➦In 1949…In 1949, Nazi propaganda broadcaster, 48-year-old Mildred E. Gillars, also known as “Axis Sally,” was convicted of treason following a six-week trial in Washington, DC. Gillars was sentenced to 10-to-30 years in prison; she was paroled after serving 12.

Gillars made her most notorious broadcast on June 5, 1944, just prior to the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, in a radio play written by Koischwitz, Vision Of Invasion. She played Evelyn, an Ohio mother, who dreams that her son had died a horrific death on a ship in the English Channel during an attempted invasion of Occupied Europe.

Gillars' remained in Berlin until the end of the war. Her last broadcast was on May 6, 1945, just two days before the German surrender. Having converted to Roman Catholicism while in prison, Gillars went to live at the Our Lady of Bethlehem Convent in Columbus, Ohio, and taught German, French, and music at St. Joseph Academy, Columbus.

Gillars died of colon cancer ain Columbus on June 25, 1988.

➦In 1952... WBZ 1030 AM  Boston began 24-hour a day programming.

➦In 1955..."The Silver Eagle" program was broadcast for the last time on radio. ABC began broadcasting The Silver Eagle during the summer of 1951. The stories centered on Sergeant Jim West of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, played by Jim Ameche (Don's kid brother). The show followed the traditions of Fran Striker's The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon.  Listeners could hear The Silver Eagle every Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

➦In 1962...First New York Mets radio broadcast on WABC. Under PD Sam Holman, WABC achieved No. 1 ratings during much of 1962, after WMGM reverted to WHN. By the summer of 1963, WMCA led the pack, with WABC at No. 2 and WINS slipping to third place.  WABC aited the Mets for these two years only.

➦In 1980…Radio-TV broadcaster/creator of the Ronald McDonald character for McDonald's Corporation restaurants/commercial spokesman Willard Scott became the weather forecaster on NBC-TV's "Today" show. After more than a decade in that role, he is now the substitute for weatherman Al Roker on the program and appears twice weekly to wish centenarians happy birthday.

From 1955 to 1972, Scott teamed with Ed Walker as co-host of the nightly Joy Boys radio program on WRC 980 AM (now Sports-WTEM). (This was interrupted from 1956-1958 when Scott served on active duty with the U.S.Navy.)

Scott routinely sketched a list of characters and a few lead lines setting up a situation, which Walker would commit to memory or make notes on with his Braille typewriter (he was blind since birth).

In a 1999 article recalling the Joy Boys at the height of their popularity in the mid-1960s, The Washington Post said they "dominated Washington, providing entertainment, companionship, and community to a city on the verge of powerful change". The Joy Boys show played on WRC until 1972 when they moved to cross-town station WWDC 1260 AM (now Talk-WWRC) for another two years. Scott wrote in his book, The Joy of Living, of their close professional and personal bond, saying that they were "closer than most brothers".

n late 2015, Walker was diagnosed with cancer and retired from The Big Broadcast on non-com WAMU-FM in DC to focus on his health and spend more time with his family. His last show aired from 7:00 to 11:00 PM on October 25, 2015. It was recorded the week before from his room at Sibley Memorial Hospital where he had been receiving treatment. He died just three hours after that last broadcast concluded.

➦In 2003...Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines told an audience in London, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” That unleashed a firestorm of criticism back home in the US that included radio stations banning their music and protests outside their concerts.

➦In 2013…Newsman/staff announcer (WGN-TV, WGN-Radio, ABC Radio) Marty McNeeley died at the age of 86.

During 17 years with WGN television and radio, McNeeley took on a variety of roles. He was a weekend TV news anchor, co-hosted a radio sports talk show, delivered on-the-hour newscasts for Eddie Schwartz's overnight radio show and provided the voice-over introduction for Channel 9's weekly horror movie program, "Creature Features."

McNeeley grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. His first broadcasting job, while he was still in high school, was with a small Youngstown radio station, WFMJ-AM.

He studied at what is now Youngstown State University before being drafted into the Navy, where he wound up with Armed Forces Radio in San Francisco. After the war, he took a job as an announcer in Cleveland. He then worked in radio in Detroit and Philadelphia, moving into TV as an anchorman in the 1960s.

McNeeley joined WGN in 1969 as the primary news anchor of the overnight news show "Night Beat," which would last for 20 or 30 minutes before the station signed off at 1:30 a.m.

McNeeley resigned from WGN in 1986 and moved to New York. After brief stints at news stations WNEW 1130 AM and WINS 1010 AM, he found a home as an anchor for ABC Radio, where he worked until retiring in 1993.

➦In 2014…Radio station and sports team owner (Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Nets) Jospeh Zingale died of Parkinson's disease at the age of 80. Joe was one of the owners of WIXY-Cleveland.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Infinite Dial: AM/FM Drives Audio In Vehicles

According to the latest Infinite Dial results, 82% of respondents ever tune in to AM/FM radio. That rate is the same as was reported in 2017, and down from the 84% in 2016.

AM/FM radio also took the crown as the most-used source of audio in cars. In 2018, 56% of the survey respondents said it was their top choice in audio, down from the 63% reported in 2016.

CDs and owned music collection were grouped together and have held a 15% share for the past three years. Online audio has shown growth in the last two years, reaching 9% in 2017 and 12% in 2018. Podcasts inched up from a 1% share of the replies to 3% in 2017, and it still commands that sliver.

Use of in-dash information and entertainment systems has been rising at a gradual rate. The latest results found that 15% of respondents have in-dash systems in their cars, which is an estimated population of 42 million.

For More on Thursday's The Infinite Dial presentation: Click Here

Year-Round DST In Florida Troubles Radio, TV

The nation springs-forward this weekend when Daylight Saving Time returning Officially at 2 AM Sunday, but if the proposed year-round Daylight Savings Time goes through in Florida, radio and TV along with listeners/viewers could be impacted.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, a bill called the “Sunshine Protection Act’’ that calls for Florida to stay on Daylight Saving Time all the time is on its way to Governor Rick Scott’s desk after the state Senate okay’d the bill 33-2 March 6.

If Scott signs the bill, it may affect your TV viewing because the state will be one hour later than the rest of the East Coast, including big TV markets like New York City, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. (Northwest Florida is on Central time.)

Here is a glimpse at how the DST time change could create a TV programming domino effect. in the Sunshine State.
  • Morning news: National morning shows such as NBC’s “Today”, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” most likely wouldn’t start broadcasting in South Florida until after 8 a.m. instead of the current 7 a.m. slot. The same goes for the cable news networks morning programs.
  • Prime time: Prime time shows which now start at 8 p.m. wouldn’t begin until 9 p.m. and finish around midnight. So NBC’s “This Is Us” would be “This Is Late.”
  • News at 12: The local TV stations’ late newscasts, which are now at 11 p.m., wouldn’t get started until midnight. One possible exception may be WSVN-Ch. 7, the Fox affiliate in North Bay Village. Their popular hour-long 10 p.m. newscast with Belkys Nerey and Craig Stevens could easily slide into the 11 p.m. hour when the station has a half hour newscast and a rebroadcast of its gossip show “Deco Drive’’.
  • The Jimmys and Stephen: But shifting the local news to an hour later would also mean that NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,’’ and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’’ on CBS would (y-a-w-n) move well past 12:35 a.m. That would also move the following late, late shows with Seth Meyers and James Corden to later.
Radio stations airing network fed programming would also be impacted. Three examples:
  • Rush Limbaugh would air starts at 1pm vs. 12n
  • Coast-To-Coast would air 1am to 6am
  • Non-Coms airing NPR programming would also be impacted
Florida Association of Broadcasters is now racing to convince the governor that the bill—which easily won widespread approval in both houses of the legislature—should be rejected. “It sounds like a good idea, but it’s the dumbest thing in the world,” FAB president Pat Roberts said.

Florida broadcasters have more than just worries about what time daytime-only AMs sign-on. Roberts said the impact on programming could be severe. Network radio programming would suddenly be an hour later. Television stations are even more alarmed since it would mean primetime TV would run from 9pm-12am with local news running at midnight in the state. “It’s a disaster—it throws all the networks off,” Roberts said.

Roberts told InsideRadio businesses and school systems in the state are only now coming to grips with the impact. What had been seen as a long-shot bill aimed at promoting the state’s tourism marketing position quickly has secured broad support in the legislature. Governor Scott, who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat, hasn’t said whether he intends to sign the bill. If he does, the proposal will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will then present its findings to Congress. “If he signs it, then we’ll be fighting it in Washington,” Roberts vowed.

Report: Twitter More Likely To Spread Fake News

A new study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that false news stories are 70 percent more likely to spread on Twitter than true stories.

According to The Hill, MIT researchers looked at roughly 126,000 stories shared by around 3 million people on Twitter from 2006 to 2017.

“Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information,” researchers wrote of their findings for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

They noted that human users were more likely to spread false stories as opposed to bot accounts, which push real and fake stories at similar rates.

The study comes amid heightened concern about the impact that fake information spread across platforms like Twitter and Facebook can have and the role of fake news stories in shaping political discourse.

Journalist Settles Suit With Fox New Channel

Diana Falzone
Journalist Diana Falzone has settled a gender discrimination lawsuit she filed against Fox News and left the company, her lawyer said on Thursday.

“Confirmed,” her lawyer, Nancy Smith, tweeted to Reuters when asked if Falzone had reached a settlement and no longer worked at the television channel.

In her complaint in New York state court, Falzone said she was abruptly taken off air by Fox News after writing an article in January 2017 about her struggle with endometriosis, a medical condition that would likely leave her infertile.

She said Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, discriminated against her on the basis of sex and disability in violation of New York City law.

Fox executives decided she did not conform to their image of on-air women as “physically perfect” once she disclosed her condition, Smith said in a statement at the time.

In its June 23 response to Falzone’s complaint, Fox said it maintained an equal employment, harassment-free work environment where personnel decisions were made on the basis of merit, and retaliation was prohibited against anyone who reported a discrimination claim.

Fox News has faced a number of legal claims that it ignored employees’ complaints of sexual harassment and gender and race discrimination.

Michael Smith Following Jemele Hill Out The ESPN Door

The ESPN anchor will host his last “SportsCenter” show Friday, first reported by Sports Illustrated and confirmed by The NYPost, just over a month after his partner, Jemele Hill, left the show to focus on her work with The Undefeated.

Smith’s departure from “SC6,” the 6 p.m. edition ESPN launched last February as a mix of sports highlights and pop culture, appeared imminent after Hill walked away Jan. 26 under unusual circumstances. While Hill explained her decision as a desire to return to her “true love,” which is writing and reporting, there was more to the story.

ESPN executive Norby Williamson, who assumed control over all of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” content in September, revealed days later that a change in the show’s strategy may have pushed Hill out. Once the dust settled, Smith passionately confirmed Williamson’s concession, blaming management for stunting his and Hill’s show of personality in favor of promoting more traditional anchor roles.

Benztown Unveils 50 Best Imaging Voices

Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover, programming and jingles, today released its fourth annual Benztown 50 List of Radio’s Biggest Imaging Voices, the radio industry’s exclusive listing of the top 50 voiceover artists in the U.S. and Canada. Benztown enlisted P1 Media Group to compile and analyze industry data that was the foundation for the list. 

This year’s Benztown 50 reflects increased industry participation and interest, with more than 300 U.S. and Canadian radio groups providing information for this prestigious annual list. The Benztown 50 was analyzed and evaluated by P1 Media Group’s proprietary algorithm, and is based on several criteria, including number of radio station affiliates, station size and market. 

Dave “Chachi” Denes, President of Benztown, said: “Four years ago, we launched the Benztown 50 to raise awareness of the critical role that voiceover professionals play in creating powerful radio brands. Today, the value of voiceover professionals in the ever-evolving business of audio branding is undeniable. As an industry leader in producing high quality radio voiceover, imaging and audio branding, Benztown is proud to again recognize our industry’s most accomplished voiceover talent across the U.S. and Canada. We congratulate the talented people who comprise this year’s Benztown 50, and thank them for their continued contributions and leadership, as they set the highest standards of excellence in audio branding.” 

The voiceover professionals who comprise this year’s Benztown 50 will be honored at a reception at the W Hotel Hollywood on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Worldwide Radio Summit. In addition, Benztown 50 honorees are invited to attend an afternoon voiceover intensive course, led by Marice Tobias, Director, Tobias Entertainment Global, hosted at Benztown’s U.S. headquarters in Glendale, CA.
To view the list online, please visit:

Disney's Iger: Joy Behar Apologized For Mocking Christian Faith

ABC News’ “The View” star Joy Behar has reportedly apologized for recent comments that mocked Vice President Pence’s Christian faith.

According to Fox News, Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the Q&A portion of a shareholder meeting on Thursday that Behar apologized directly to Pence on the phone.

The shareholder who asked the question was Justin Danhof, who is the general counsil for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Danhof told Iger that some of Disney’s recent decisions are “strange when trust in media is at an all-time low” and referred to Disney’s ESPN as a “24/7 anti-Trump tirade channel” before bringing up the Behar controversy.

VP Pence
“What do you say to the tens of millions of Christians, and President Trump supporters, that your networks have so blatantly offended and ascribed hateful labels?” Danhof asked. “Specifically, do you think, like Mrs. Hostin and Mrs. Behar, that the Christian faith is akin to a dangerous mental illness?”

Iger responded by saying, “I don’t know where I start. First of all, Joy Behar apologized to Vice President Pence directly. She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate.”

A spokesperson for Pence did not immediately respond when asked for confirmation. 

Back on Feb. 13, “The View” panel criticized Pence's faith when co-host Sunny Hostin said, “I don’t know that I want my vice president, um — speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”

Behar chimed in, adding that hearing from Jesus is actually called “mental illness.” Pence himself didn’t appreciate the comments and slammed ABC News.

“To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong,” Pence said during an appearance on C-SPAN following the controversial remarks. “It is simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

Meanwhile, liberal hero Oprah Winfrey recently told CBS’ “60 Minutes Overtime” that God has not told her to run for president despite widespread speculation that her infamous Golden Globes speech was a preview of a potential 2020 matchup with President Trump.

Behar, an outspoken liberal, did not accuse Winfrey of having mental illness.

Report: Millennials Tire From Social Media

Even millennials are getting sick of Instagram.

More than half of users between the ages of 18 and 24 revealed they are “seeking relief from social media,” according to The NY Post citing a survey.

The poll, taken in December, found that 34 percent of young users reported having deleted social-media accounts entirely. Forty-one percent of respondents said they waste too much time on social media, and 35 percent agreed that people their age are too distracted by their online lives.

The most popular apps to quit permanently are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as the dating app Tinder. Snapchat, on the other hand, escaped most teens’ wrath.

Those who stick with social media are increasingly likely to involve it in more aspects of their lives, the survey found. Sixty-five percent of respondents reported that they follow brand profiles, with 43 percent saying that they have made a purchase through a social-media platform.

More than half of the 1,000 members of Gen Z — those born in the year 1994 or later — said that an ad in their social media feed drove them to make a purchase. Fifty-seven percent said that a celebrity endorsement of a product helped them make a purchasing decision.

FCC Call Sign Activity For February 2018

During February 2018, the FCC accepted applications to assign call signs to, or change the call
signs of the following broadcast stations.

R.I.P.: Philly Radio Legend Frank X Feller

Philadelphia radio legend Frank X. Feller died Tuesday at age 91, reports

Feller first made his name locally at the long-gone WIBG 990 AM, better known as “Wibbage” in the Philly area, from 1963 to 1968. A trailblazing rock-n-roll format radio station at the time, WIBG featured Feller on-air from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weeknights.

Frank X Feller
Feller was one of several extremely popular DJs at WIBG at the time, which was known for its “Good Guys” roster of talent. The list included legendary radio personalities like Joe Niagara, Dean Tyler, Jerry Stevens, and Hy Lit.

Today, the WIBG call letters are used by a Ocean City, New Jersey-based station that plays Spanish hits. WNTP-AM, a conservative talk-radio station, now broadcasts on WIBG-AM’s former 990 frequency.

Prior to joining at WIBG, also known as Radio 99, Feller also had stints at radio stations in North Carolina and New Jersey, as well as Stroudsburg, where he began his career in the 1950s, according to the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia website.

Through the 1970s, Feller helped build the then-newly established WYSP 94.1 FM, first serving as program director and then as the station’s general manager. Then known as a rock station, WYSP changed to the sports—talk-oriented WIP-FM in 2011.

Feller, however, departed from the station long before that change, having joined 860 WWDM-AM in the early 1980s as a host. He also became the president of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia during that period, serving in the position from 1981 to 1982. He retired from radio in 1990.

March 9 Radio History

KJR Transmitter 1927
➦In 1922...KJR-AM, Seattle, Washington, began broadcasting.

Vincent I. Kraft
According to John Schneider at The Radio Historian: KJR, begun by amateur radio operator Vincent I. Kraft, was the first radio station to be licensed in the Pacific Northwest.

After World War I, the civilian radio stations that had been ordered closed during the war were allowed to reopen.  One was Vincent I. Kraft’s amateur station 7AC in Seattle.  Kraft operated a small radio parts store in downtown Seattle, and in his spare time played with a small 5 Watt deForest Wireless telephone transmitter, transmitting from his home at E. 68th Street and 19th NE.  An antenna hung from a 90 foot tower in the back yard.

He soon applied for and received the experimental license 7XC for “wireless telephone” transmission.  He moved a phonograph and a piano into the garage adjoining his home, and tacked carpeting on the walls to improve the acoustics.  7XC went on the air on 1110 kc. starting in 1919, transmitting voice and music programs.  He played phonograph records, coaxed a local piano teacher into performing, and asked a neighbor boy to play the violin.  There was no regular schedule.  Every so often he would get a call from one of the few people that had a crystal radio set in Seattle, and he would turn on the transmitter and broadcast so they could demonstrate the new "wireless" to their friends.

In 1921, the U.S. Department of Commerce created a new class of license for radio broadcasting stations. At the same time, a new law was issued that prohibited amateur stations from broadcasting music.  So Kraft immediately applied for and received the license KJR, and transferred his 7XC operations to this new license.  Unlike its amateur station predecessor, KJR operated on a regular schedule of several hours per day, 3 days a week.

Beginning in the 1950s and lasting until 1982, KJR was a pioneer Top 40 radio station owned by entertainer Danny Kaye and Lester Smith, "Kaye/Smith Enterprises".

In the 1960s, under the programming guidance of Pat O'Day, the station was top rated in Seattle and well known for introducing the Pacific Northwest to many recording stars such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts and the Ventures.  Today, the call letters are used by KJR-FM, which broadcasts a format that includes many of the songs and shows (including original American Top 40 shows from the 1970s) from that era.

Gary Lockwood was THE big morning show on Seattle radio in the 1980's as AM radio was fading out in Seattle. KJR was playing Oldies then.

KJR would switch to soft adult contemporary in 1982. In 1988, the station shifted to oldies, playing the music that had made the station famous throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

KJR's shift to sports programming was a gradual evolution starting in 1989, when the station added some sports-themed shows in mid-days and afternoons. The rest of the music programming would be phased out in September 1991.

On November 4, 2011, at 7 AM, KJR began simulcasting on 102.9 FM, replacing country-formatted KNBQ. This ended on June 13, 2013, when KNBQ (now KYNW) reverted to an Adult top 40 format. During this time, Clear Channel did not transfer the KJR-FM calls from 95.7 to 102.9, instead co-branding the station as "Sports Radio 950 AM and 102.9 FM KJR".

A collection of some of the country's greatest air personalities entertained Seattle listeners like Larry Lujack, Scotty Brink, Norm Gregory, Burl Barer, Pat O'Day, Eric Chase, Bob Shannon, "World Famous" Tom Murphy, Bobby Simon, Jerry Kaye, "Emperor" Lee Smith, Lan Roberts, Robert O. Smith, Charlie Brown, Bwana Johnny, Matt Riedy, Marion Seymour, Sky Walker, Tracy Mitchell, and Bob Brooks. Gary "Lockjock" Lockwood, a.k.a. L.J., was the disk jockey who had the longest tenure on the "Mighty Channel 95," from 1976-1991.

➦In 1945...the program "Those Websters" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network.

➦In 1982...Announcer (The Adventures of Ellery Queen, Suspense)/commercial spokesperson (Reynolds Aluminum, Esso, Auto-Lite, Maxwell House)/TV news anchor (WPIX-New York) Rex Marshall died following a heart attack at the radio station he owned in White River Junction, Vermont. He was 64.

➦In 1996...comedian George Burns died at the age of 100. His long career was one of a handful to span all the prime years of both radio & TV.

Burns and Allen first made it to radio as the comedy relief for bandleader Guy Lombardo, which did not always sit well with Lombardo's home audience. In his later memoir, The Third Time Around, Burns revealed a college fraternity's protest letter, complaining that they resented their weekly dance parties with their girl friends listening to "Thirty Minutes of the Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven" had to be broken into by the droll vaudeville team.

In time, though, Burns and Allen found their own show and radio audience, first airing on February 15, 1932 and concentrating on their classic stage routines plus sketch comedy in which the Burns and Allen style was woven into different little scenes, not unlike the short films they made in Hollywood. They were also good for a clever publicity stunt, none more so than the hunt for Gracie's missing brother, a hunt that included Gracie turning up on other radio shows searching for him as well

➦In 2005...Dan Rather did his last "Dan Rather Reporting" radio segment for the CBS News Radio Network afer 20 years. (After 24-years to the date he started, Rather also left as anchor of CBS Evening News on this date.)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

On The Rise: Rapid Growth For Smart Speakers

The 2018 Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital® unveils the latest research in digital audio, social media, mobile, smart speakers, and podcast consumption.

The two most talked-about sectors in audio today – podcasting and Smart Speakers – post significant gains in this year’s Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Podcasting continues to steadily grow, as 44% of Americans 12+ now say they have ever listened to a podcast, up from 40% from last year. Podcasting’s in-car gains continue as well: a year ago, 18% of podcast listeners described the car as the place they most often listened to podcasts; this year, that number is 22%.

The 2018 Infinite Dial study, the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that covers consumer usage of media and technology, has tracked many new platforms as they develop and redefine the media landscape. This year’s report spotlights the growth of Smart Speakers, voice-controlled devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Today, 18% of Americans 12+ (an estimated 51 million people), live in households that have at least one Smart Speaker. This means that Smart Speaker ownership has more than doubled from 7% just one year ago, which shows Smart Speaker adoption at a faster rate than the early days of the smartphone, which showed only 4% growth in a comparable timeframe.

The Infinite Dial has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, Internet radio, ad agencies, and the financial community. The study uses the gold standard of nationally representative survey research—a random probability telephone sample – comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of all Americans ages 12 and older.

Among the many other highlights:
  • Weekly Online Radio audience is now 180 million Americans, or 64% of Americans 12+, due to growth in Spotify, Apple Music and Alexa-driven Amazon Music listening
  • Despite the rise of other services, Pandora continues to lead in the online radio space—31% of Americans have listened in the past month
  • The portion of Americans 12+ using Facebook has declined from 67% to 62%
  • As Smart Speaker ownership rises (18% of Americans own a Smart Speaker), there is a continued decline in standalone radio ownership (29% do not own an AM/FM radio in the home)
  • 44% of Americans 18+ have ever listened to an audiobook

“With twenty years of historical data, The Infinite Dial is the authoritative source in the growing and dynamic online audio industry.” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “Triton is pleased to once again partner with Edison Research to uncover and present this data.”

Tom Webster, Edison’s Senior Vice President noted, “With the surge in smart speaker ownership, and the continued growth of podcasting and streaming audio, it is more important than ever for brands to have a holistic audio strategy.”