Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 22 Radio History

➦In Hal March was born in San Francisco. He teamed for a time with actor Bob Sweeney & starred in the CBS radio comedy show Sweeney & March.  Early in his television career he appeared on Burns and Allen, The Imogene Coca Show and I Love Lucy. However, he was best known as the host of CBS TV’s $64,000 Question from 1955 to 1958. As a result of the quiz show scandals, the show was canceled and March was out of a job for nearly a decade. He started hosting another show, It’s Your Bet, in 1969, but was diagnosed with lung cancer and died Jan 19 1970 at age 49.

➦In 1935...a half-hour musical variety show headed by personable conductor Meredith Willson began an intermittent run on various radio networks that spanned 19 years.  The first series (eight shows) was on NBC Blue.

➦In 1940...the first all-Chinese commercial radio program was broadcast over KSAN radio in San Francisco. Later, KSAN would become a pioneer in playing “underground rock” music.

NY Times Radio Listing 4/22/1946

➦In 1946
...Tex McCrary and (wife) Jinx Falkenburg arrived at WEAF radio in New York City with an entertaining morning show called, Hi, Jinx, which evolved into The Tex & Jinx Show.

The McCrary's radio show was broadcast five mornings a week on New York radio station WEAF, and became a hit with critics and the public for tackling controversial issues like the A-Bomb, the United Nations and venereal disease along with talk about theatre openings and New York nightlife.[Their guests would be a mix of popular entertainers such as Mary Martin, Ethel Waters and Esther Williams and public figures such as Bernard Baruch, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Truman, industrialist Igor Sikorsky and Indian statesman Krishna Menon.

McCrary wrote the scripts and taught Falkenburg the art of interviewing and the basics of broadcast journalism. Over time she was considered the better interviewer, eliciting candid responses, often from the show's more intellectual guests. Her technique was to ask questions until she understood the answer and so presumably, did all the housewives at home listening to her.  "They developed an audience that was ready to start thinking at breakfast," wrote New York Times columnist William Safire who as a teenager was hired by McCrary to do pre-show interviews of guests.

WEAF later became WNBC and finally WFAN SportsRadio 66.

➦In 1985...Soupy Sales started at WNBC 660 AM. His program was between the drive time shifts of Don Imus (morning) and Howard Stern (afternoon), with whom Sales had an acrimonious relationship. An example of this was an incident involving Stern telling listeners that he was cutting the strings in Sales' in-studio piano at 4:05 p.m. on May 1, 1985. On December 21, 2007, Stern revealed this was a stunt staged for "theater of the mind" and to torture Sales; in truth, the piano was never harmed.  Sales' on-air crew included his producer, Ray D'Ariano, newscaster Judy DeAngelis, and pianist Paul Dver, who was also Soupy's manager.

➦In 1993...Mosaic, the first Web browser, was released

➦In 1996...Paul “Cubby” Bryant started at Z-100 WHTZ 100.3 FM.

Paul "Cubby" Bryant
From 2006-2008 Cubby served as the co-host and sidekick to Whoopi Goldberg on the nationally syndicated morning show Wake Up With Whoopi. Before joining Whoopi Goldberg as co-host of the morning show on WKTU, Bryant was at crosstown sister station WHTZ serving as their Afternoon Drive Disc Jockey and Music Director.

Bryant began his radio career in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA at WGH-FM (97 Star) in 1988, there was where he inherited his current radio name Cubby (a name given to him by WGH DJ's Tony Macrini and Jeff Moreau) for being so young (at the time 16) and in radio. Then, Bryant joined 104.1 KRBE in Houston, TX as Night Host and Music Director from 1990-1996. In 1996, Bryant began his tenure at WHTZ (Z100) in New York as Afternoon Drive Host and Music Director. In 2000, Bryant went around the world with the group Backstreet Boys to promote the release of Black & Blue, the boys traveled around the world in 100 hours to Sweden, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and the US; 55 of the hours were spent traveling and 45 were spent making public appearances.

In mid-2006, Bryant announced he would be leaving WHTZ after a ten-year run with the station to co-host Wake Up With Whoopi. WKTU cancelled Wake Up With Whoopi in November 2007.

In January 2008, Bryant left Wake Up With Whoopi to return to WKTU, this time as the station's morning host.

Report: Judges Question FCC's Ownership Ruling

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. shares dropped Friday after judges questioned a rule change that made way for the broadcaster’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media Co., raising the possibility of turmoil for the $3.9 billion deal.

According to Bloomberg, judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit questioned why the Federal Communications Commission had reinstated a rule allowing owners of some TV stations to count just part of their audience when tallying holdings against a national limit of 39 percent.

The issue is important to Sinclair’s proposed purchase of Tribune, which would leave it covering 72 percent of U.S. households -- or about 45 percent when counting half the audience as allowed under the embattled rule.

One judge on the three-judge panel likened the FCC’s continuing the audience-counting discount, which is based on limitations from an obsolete broadcast technology, to keeping a moribund body on life support.

Most signs point to an FCC loss in the case, possibly a unanimous one, which sets up a race for Sinclair to close before the decision comes out, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Schettenhelm.

If the FCC loses, the court could order the agency to reconsider an approval of Sinclair’s deal, Schettenhelm said.

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said she disagrees that the outcome of the case may pose a risk to the deal. The FCC has a good change of winning, Ryvicker said in a note.

“Even if the FCC does lose, the court cannot ‘force’ the agency to redo its approval of this deal,” Ryvicker said, adding that Sinclair can’t be forced “to unwind the transaction.”

The outcome should have “LITTLE TO NO IMPACT” on the merger, Ryvicker said.

Sinclair is “working to finalize matters” with antitrust regulators who are scrutinizing the deal for its effect on competition at the Justice Department, according to an April 18 filing by the company at the FCC, which also is vetting the merger.

The Maryland-based broadcaster has said it’s willing to sell TV stations to comply with ownership limits. Its purchase as proposed would include 42 Tribune stations, including outlets in New York and Chicago.

Today Is Record Store Day Saturday

For vinyl music lovers, this Saturday is like Christmas Day.

More than 1,400 independent record stores in the U.S. will be celebrating the 11th annual Record Store Day Saturday and thousands more stores worldwide.

That means there are a slew of special, limited-edition vinyl releases to be scored.

Vinyl remains a vital music format even though it had gone dormant for nearly two decades. Last year, sales of vinyl LPs accounted for $395 million, up 10% over 2016, Recording Industry Association of America says.

Want to get in on the Record Store Day action? Check the Record Store Day web site for a list of participating stores.

There you will also find hundreds of the special releases available, but here's a selection of them including something for fans of classic rock, jazz, pop and hip-hop, Click Here.

Tampa Radio: iHM Programmer Travis Dailey Jumps to Beasley Media

Travis Dailey
Beasley Media Group has announced Travis Daily has been named as the new cluster Operations Manager and Program Director of WQYK 99.5 FM in Tampa.

Daily spent the past 17 years at iHeartMedia, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President of Programming of the company’s Tampa and Sarasota radio clusters.

Prior to that, he worked as the Morning Drive Host and Operations Manager for Clear Channel Southern Colorado (including Colorado Springs and Pueblo) and was the Program Director and Morning Drive on Country KCCY. Before joining Clear Channel KCCY, the radio veteran served as the Program Director/Operations Manager for Walton Stations’ Country KKCS-FM.

“I am very excited to have Travis join our talented programming team,” said George Toulas, vice president and market manager of Beasley Media Group Tampa. “His leadership style and winning attitude is the perfect combination for all of our station brands here in the Tampa market.”

WQYK 99.5 Fm (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I could not be more thrilled to be joining what I feel is the most exciting media company in America,” said Daily. “From the moment I started talking to George Toulas, Justin Chase, DJ Stout and Brian Beasley, I knew this was the team I had to be on. I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to be part of such an awesome group in Tampa.”

Philly Radio: WMGK Gets Sex Harassment Suit Extension

Jennifer O'Neil and John DeBella
Beasley Media Group and Classic Rock WMGK 102.9 FM morning personality John DeBella have been given extra time to respond to a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against them by a former co-worker.

Judge Wendy Beetlestone granted an extension until June 21 for the defendants to respond to Jennifer Neill’s claims that DeBella repeatedly sexually harassed and groped her when the two worked together.

InsideRadio reports the defendants and the plaintiffs sought the extension for two reasons. First, attorneys for Neill amended their complaint on March 23, adding an additional party. Second, iHeartMedia and Total Traffic and Weather Network, for whom Neill apparently worked when she began contributing traffic reports to DeBella’s show, filed Chapter 11 on March 14. Extending the response deadline gives Beasley and DeBella sufficient time to respond to the new developments.

Neill, who served as DeBella’s sidekick on the show between 2010 and 2016, names about 30 instances of improper verbal and physical conduct in the lawsuit. She joined the station as a traffic reporter in 2002.

Known as “Jen Posner” on the show, Neill contends in the suit that DeBella, now 66, grabbed her breasts on several occasions during her time at WMGK, and repeatedly asked her to perform oral sex on him, among other inappropriate behaviors.

Additionally, she says in the suit that DeBella pressed his groin against her multiple times, and once put her hand on his genital area. DeBella also allegedly referred to Neill as “Bitch” in the WMGK office, the lawsuit claims.

Philly Radio: WMMR To Observe 50-Years Of Rock

Beasley Media Group announces legendary rock radio station WMMR 93.3 FM will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting in Philadelphia on Sunday, April 29th, 2018.

WMMR’s Birthday week will officially kick off on Monday, April 23rd, 2018. Legendary Host Pierre Robert, who has been a fixture at the station for all but 13 of its 50 years, will host a daily 90-minute feature focusing on the 5 decades of music and Philadelphia events beginning each day at 12 noon.

  • Monday: 2018 to 2008
  • Tuesday: 2008-1998
  • Wednesday: 1998-1988
  • Thursday: 1988-1978
  • Friday: 1978-1968
On Saturday, April 28th, the station will be dedicated to playing the top 50 live performances culled from the MMaRchives. It will feature literally hundreds of live performances recorded at WMMR studios, as well as local venues and venerable Sigma Sound recording Studio. These will include early performances from Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon, America, Billy Joel, The Go-Gos and Robin Trower to recent private performances from Chris Cornell, Bon Jovi, Cage the Elephant, Smashing Pumpkins and many more.

Pierre Robert
Pierre Robert will celebrate WMMR’s 50th Birthday on Sunday, April 29th by doing a rare weekend show to count down the top 50 rock songs played on WMMR, one from each year 2018 to 1968. In addition, the station will present a 50th Birthday concert featuring 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Bon Jovi at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. The event will be hosted by MMR’s Afternoon Drive Host Jaxon, Pierre Robert and Nighttime Air Talent, Jacky Bam Bam. The station has chosen local band, Foxtrot & The Getdown to open the show

WMMR will continue to celebrate 50 years rocking Philly with additional music events, along with special programming and themed weekends, which will highlight specific years in music and events. These include a new daily feature at 1:30pm, Live From The MMaRchives and a planned summer reunion with station alumni. There is a line of “throw-back” t-shirts and merchandise from the many station designs created over the years available for listeners to purchase at, where fans can also find details on the birthday edition of the annual MMR*B*Q Music Festival, which takes place May 19th at BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ.

“To have a radio station go 50 years without changing format is remarkable … for a rock station, it is unprecedented,” said Program Director Bill Weston. “I’m humbled by the talent and hard work of WMMR’s current staff, plus all the alumni who have walked these hallways and the listeners who have supported this amazing rock station for over the past five decades.  Thank you!

WMMR is regarded by the industry as the longest running rock station in the country. It continues to expose new artists as well as play a familiar mix of ‘Everything that Rocks’ since its inception on April 29, 1968, when the very first record played on the air, ‘Flying’, came from a new album called Magical Mystery Tour.

WMMR 93.3 FM (16.5 Kw) Red+local Coverage Area
Formerly known as WIP-FM, the station's call sign was changed to WMMR on July 1, 1966.  The call sign reflected the name of the station's owner, "Metromedia" (Radio).  Beginning in 1968, WMMR began adopting a progressive rock format, similar to that of several Metromedia-owned stations including WNEW-FM in New York City. WNEW-FM and WMMR had a close relationship, ran similar promotions, and sometimes featured each other's disc jockeys on the air. WMMS in Cleveland, KMET in Los Angeles and KSAN in San Francisco were also part of the Metromedia chain and also helped pioneer the progressive rock format in the 1960s.

AT&T Plans New Steaming Video Service

AT&T is planning to launch a new streaming video service called “AT&T Watch” in the coming weeks, CEO Randall Stephenson said Thursday. The service will cost $15 per month, and would be free to certain AT&T wireless subscribers.

MediaPost reports Stephenson revealed the new product while on the witness stand during the antitrust trial brought by the Department of Justice to prevent the company’s takeover of Time Warner.

At $15 per month, the bundle of streaming channels will be priced at less than half that of the company’s existing streaming bundle, DirecTV now, which starts at $35 per month.

The unusual venue meant that Stephenson did not elaborate on what channels will be included, but did say that the bundle will be so cheap because it would not include sports channels.

National Enquirer Parent Faces Mounting Debt, Shrinking Sales

The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., has said the tabloid’s plentiful and positive coverage of President Donald Trump has been good for business.

If so, it hasn’t been enough to boost the company’s overall performance.

Nonpublic AMI financial reports reviewed by The Wall Street Journal reveal a company with ballooning debt, falling revenue and shrinking newsstand sales at its print magazines, including the flagship Enquirer as well as OK! and Star.

Revenue for the fiscal year that ended in March 2017 was $203.8 million, down 9% from the prior year and 29% from 2014, when the company completed a substantial restructuring. Its outstanding debt load stood at $920 million at the end of December. Acquisitions of Us Weekly and Men’s Journal in 2017 helped increase revenue in the first three quarters of fiscal 2018 to $195.5 million, from $154 million in the year-earlier period, but they also added more than $100 million in debt.

Aggressive cost-cutting has kept AMI hovering around profitability on an operating basis, but the company has routinely booked quarterly and annual losses in the tens of millions of dollars due to amortization costs related to its debt, the financial reports show.

AMI Chief Executive David Pecker has sought to turn the company around, in part by pursuing acquisitions. Earlier this year, the company bid $325 million to acquire several former Time Inc. publications from Meredith Corp. , but was rejected, according to people familiar with the matter. The move was partly aimed at bolstering AMI’s digital strategy, the people said.

AMI isn’t alone in struggling as younger readers shift away from print. The decline in newsstand sales the company has experienced is in line with its competitors.

NYC Radio: Bernie&Sid Talk Conflicts of Interest With Chuck Todd

NBC News’ Chuck Todd was called out for hypocrisy regarding conflicts of interest during an appearance on 77 WABC’s “Bernie & Sid” radio show on Friday morning, but the “Meet the Press” moderator doesn’t seem to think his wife’s conflicts should stick to him.

Fox News reports Todd has been vocal about his disagreement over how Fox News handled mainstream media outrage over Sean Hannity’s relationship with Trump attorney Michael Cohen. However, political commentator Jeffrey Lord has chronicled conflicts of interest surrounding Todd and his wife, who is a Democratic political consultant.

Radio hosts Sid Rosenberg and Bernie McGuirk started their chat with Todd by admitting their friendship with Hannity, which resulted in the “Meet the Press” moderator claiming his beef was with Fox News for not forcing Hannity to explain his relationship with Cohen whenever the subject comes up.

“Just in the same way that any time that I’ve interviewed somebody that my wife has professionally worked for, I let people know,” Todd said.

McGuirk fired back, “Some say you haven’t done that all the time.”

Todd claimed that anyone who would accuse him of not disclosing relationships didn’t do the proper research. It’s safe to assume he was referring to Lord, who penned a story earlier Friday for The American Spectator pointing out Todd’s potential conflicts.

According to Lord, Kristian Todd, who is married to Chuck, worked with Jim Webb on a 2006 Senate campaign in Virginia, though the relationship wasn’t mentioned when Webb appeared on “Meet the Press” in 2017.

Lord also pointed out that the NBC News star’s wife also donated to 2016 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine, and that  her company received millions from the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Google, Twitter May Testify Next

The CEOs of Google and Twitter may be next to follow Mark Zuckerberg into a gauntlet of congressional hearings, reports AdAge.

Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune said he's considering another public hearing on data privacy and spoke with representatives of Alphabet Inc.'s Google this week, suggesting the company send CEO Sundar Pichai to answer questions.

"I've told them I'd like to have them come in and talk to us about data privacy and maybe some of the other social media platforms as well," Thune says. "It'll help to really know what they're doing, and it'll help and instruct what we might be thinking about doing. We haven't scheduled anything yet, but we're having conversations with them."

Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, spent about 10 hours over two days this month answering a barrage of questions from lawmakers in House and Senate hearings triggered by revelations that a British firm with ties to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign harvested information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. The use of the data by Cambridge Analytica has prompted questions about Internet privacy and calls for potential government regulation to protect personal data.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, who originally sought to schedule all three major social media company CEOs before Zuckerberg became the focus of the inquiries, said this week he may seek testimony from Pichai and Twitter's Jack Dorsey. He sent them letters the day of the Zuckerberg hearing asking about their data privacy practices and actions to counter foreign interference in U.S. elections. He told them he wanted answers by April 25.

Representatives of Google and Twitter declined to comment.

ASCAP Reports Record-High Revenue

ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, announced record-high revenues and distributions in 2017. The organization, which today represents more than 660,000 members, collected approximately $1.144 billion in revenues last year and distributed for the first time more than $1.007 billion to its songwriter, composer and music publisher members. Total ASCAP revenues increased by 8 percent and distributions were up 10 percent year-over-year.

Revenues from ASCAP’s licensing efforts in the US alone grew nearly 11 percent in 2017 to $846 million, up $86.9 million over 2016.

Elizabeth Matthews
Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the US also increased, to $723 million, up 15 percent over 2016.

ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews commented: “ASCAP is privileged to represent the creators of the world’s best-loved music. ASCAP is securing a strong future for our members by successfully closing key licensing deals and launching innovative digital tools that will enhance the lives of our members and make it easier for licensees to do business with us. Our healthy 2017 financial results are proof positive that we are succeeding in our strategic transformation and our mission to support music creators and music publishers for a sustainable future in the digital economy.”

Among the deals the performance rights organization is benefiting from is an agreement struck in Dec. 2016 with the Radio Music License Committee. Covering the 2017-2021 term, the deal boosted the amount of money paid by radio stations for use of ASCAP’s 11.5 million song repertoire.

In addition to broadcast radio, ASCAP also collected more royalties from music streaming services and other audiovisual media. That includes a new licensing agreement with YouTube that in addition to paying songwriters more will also give ASCAP additional data which it says will improve the accuracy and reliability of the metadata attached to musical works.

R.I.P.: Celeb DJ Tim Bergling

Tim Bergling
Tim Bergling, the Swedish D.J. and electronic dance music producer who rose to fame under the stage name Avicii, was found dead on Friday in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

He was 28, according to The NYTimes.

His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman, Diana Baron, who did not specify a cause. He was in Oman, a popular vacation destination on the Arabian Peninsula, to visit friends, she said.

Avicii became famous with his 2011 hit “Levels” and was part of a wave of electronic dance music D.J.s who achieved pop-star levels of prominence. His songs have been streamed more than a billion times on Spotify.

He was nominated for two Grammy Awards for best dance recording, in 2012 and 2013, and his most well-known song, “Wake Me Up,” reached the No. 4 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

He also released two albums: the platinum “True,” in 2013, and “Stories,” in 2015. Both “Levels” and “Wake Me Up” were certified platinum; the singles “Waiting for Love,” “The Nights,” “You Make Me” and “I Could Be the One” — a collaboration with Nicky Romero — went gold.

He produced music for Madonna and Coldplay and became one of the highest paid D.J.s. In 2015, Forbes ranked him as the world’s sixth-highest-paid D.J., estimating his annual earnings at $19 million.

But Avicii retired from international touring in 2016 at age 26 after a series of health scares that struck while he was on the road.

He had his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014. Before that, at 21, he learned he had acute pancreatitis, which he said was related in part to excessive drinking.

April 21 Radio History

➦In 1940... the radio quiz program, “Take It or Leave It”, made its debut on CBS. Host Bob Hawk offered contestants a top prize of just $64. Hawk left in a salary dispute after the first year, and was succeeded by Phil Baker.  Despite the tiny prize money by today’s standards the show was a bona fide hit and ran for 12 years, the last two as “The 64 Dollar Question” on NBC Radio. Jack Paar and Eddie Cantor also took a turn or two at being the quizmaster.

Dick Clark
➦In 1960…Dick Clark testified before a congressional committee investigating payola. He admitted that over a period of 28 months he'd had a financial interest in 27 percent of the records he played on his "American Bandstand" TV show. Clark was ordered to sell off some of his conflicting interests, but had his name cleared -- unlike disc jockey Alan Freed, who refused to admit that payola was an illegal or immoral practice.

Alan Freed and Dick Clark both played important parts in the rise of rock ’n’ roll (Freed embodied the incendiary spirit of the music more than Clark, refusing to play white cover versions of black songs, such as Pat Boone’s “Tutti Frutti”). And though they both denied ever accepting payola, it’s almost impossible to imagine two young, popular jocks not succumbing to a little temptation. Guilty or not, it was Freed who ended up taking the fall for DJs everywhere.

Why did the committee single him out? Freed was abrasive. He consorted with black R&B musicians. He jive talked, smoked constantly and looked like an insomniac. Clark was squeaky clean, Brylcreemed, handsome and polite. At least on the surface. Once the grilling started, Freed’s friends and allies in broadcasting quickly deserted him. He refused—“on principle”—to sign an affidavit saying that he’d never accepted payola. WABC fired him, and he was charged with 26 counts of commercial bribery. Freed escaped with fines and a suspended jail sentence. He died five years later, broke and virtually forgotten.

Previous to the trial, Dick Clark had wisely divested himself of all incriminating connections (he had part ownership in seven indie labels, six publishers, three record distributors and two talent agencies). He got a slap on the wrist by Committee chairman Oren Harris, who called him “a fine young man.” As Clark told Rolling Stone in 1989, the lesson he learned from the payola trial was: “Protect your ass at all times.” Surprisingly candid words from the eternal teenager.

After Freed went down in 1960, Congress amended the Federal Communications Act to outlaw “under-the-table payments and require broadcasters to disclose if airplay for a song has been purchased.” Payola became a misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and one year in prison.

➦In 1970…Sportscaster Curt Gowdy received the George Foster Peabody Award for achievement in radio and television.

➦In 1982...the final episode of “WKRP in Cincinnati” was telecast (after four seasons and 90 episodes).  A new syndicated version of “WKRP” surfaced on September 1991 and ran for two seasons.

➦In & radio-TV host Peter Lind Hayes died at age 82. He and his wife Mary Healey appeared together in latter day radio & early TV, and costarred in the 1960 sitcom Peter Loves Mary.  Together they introduced the commercial jingle ‘See the USA in Your Chevrolet’ in 1950, two years before Dinah Shore made it her own.

➦In 1998...Giant Records used the Internet to distribute the first single from Brian Wilson‘s album “Imagination” to four U-S radio stations. The company called it the first time the Internet was used to distribute a song to radio.

➦In 2016...the singer-songwriter, actor, multi-instrumentalist, philanthropist, dancer and record producer known as Prince, died from an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Minnesota home.  He was aged 57.

➦In 2016...Lonnie Mack, the blues-rock pioneer who influenced an entire generation of guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, died of natural causes at age 74.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Survey: Radio Continues To Command Share of Ear

New 1Q 2018 data from Edison Research shows AM/FM radio continues to dominate Share of Ear in the marketplace.

According to Edison,  terrestrial radio (AM, FM and online) owns 50% “share of ear”.  However, broadcast radio receivers are far and away the top device for listening to audio.

InsideRadio reports Edison’s quarterly Share Of Ear studies have become the de facto way to stack various audio sources up against one another to see how Americans allocate their audio time. With AM/FM, streaming and podcasts each measured by different measurement providers, using different methodologies, Share Of Ear has emerged as the definite single-source barometer for all things audio.

At 50%, the amount of time Americans 13+ spend with AM/FM is more than triple that for streaming audio (16%), which ranks second, followed by owned music (14%), SiriusXM (8%), TV music channels (5%) and podcasts 4%.

Despite the ubiquity of smartphones and the quick adoption of smart speakers, most AM/FM content is consumed on a traditional radio receiver. Breaking out audio consumption time by device, AM/FM radio receivers have a commanding lead (47%), more than double that of mobile devices (23%) and computers (10%). After that it’s SiriusXM receivers (6%), TV audio channels (6%), CD players (4%), internet-connected TV/devices (1%) and smart speakers (1%).

Although AM/FM radio remains dominant overall, regular podcast listeners show markedly different behavior. Podcasts command a 33% share for those who have listened to one within the past 24 hours. “Podcasts are the No. 1 source of audio for podcast listeners,” Webster said. “If you are a podcast consumer, you spend 33% of your audio time listening to podcasts.” For these podcasts enthusiasts, AM/FM radio is second (25%), followed by a near-tie between owned music (15%) and streaming audio (14%).

Day 4: Final March PPMs Out For Austin, Indy, Nashville & More

Nielsen on Thursday 4/19/18  released the final batch of March 2018 PPM Data for the following markets:

 33  Austin

 38  Raliegh / Durham NC

 39  Indianapolis

 41  Milwaukee / Racine WI

 43  Nashville

 44  Providence / Warwick  / Pawtucket

 45  Norfolk / Virginia Beach / Newport News

 46  Jacksonville FL

 47  Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point NC

 48  West Palm Beach / Boca Raton FL

 51  Memphis

 52  Hartford / New Britain / Middletown CT

Click Here to view topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

AT&T CEO: Antitrust Claims Are 'Absurd'

AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told a judge the Justice Department’s antitrust claims against his company’s planned purchase of Time Warner Inc. were “absurd” and rejected the government’s arguments that the enlarged company would use its powers to raise prices, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In testimony Thursday in defense of his company’s proposed $85 billion acquisition, Stephenson called it a “vision deal” that is crucial for AT&T to compete in a rapidly shifting digital-media landscape.

Randall Stephenson
Taking the witness stand shortly after noon, the AT&T chief in a dark suit and blue tie explained his long history with the company and how he came to believe that AT&T, with its wireless and satellite assets, needed to own a media company like Time Warner, which owns the Turner networks, HBO and Warner Bros. studios.

Stephenson said AT&T was focused on growing so it could compete for advertising dollars with technology giants like Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google owner Alphabet Inc., rather than the traditional TV providers that vie for its customers today.

The Justice Department sued to block the deal in November, saying it would hurt consumers and competition by allowing AT&T to charge cable-TV rivals higher prices for Time Warner channels like TNT and CNN. Executives for both AT&T and Time Warner have said the government’s suit defies logic at a time when streaming services from Netflix Inc., Amazon and others offer consumers plenty of alternatives to traditional pay TV. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is deciding whether to allow the deal to go ahead.

The digital giants have become masters of keeping customers engaged on their platforms, including through the use of premium video, and AT&T wants to do the same, Mr. Stephenson said. To achieve that, “we need to own content,” he said.

Americans Don't Want Government To Censor Fake News

People may view misinformation online as problematic, but that doesn't mean they want the government to get into the censorship business, a new report by the Pew Research Center suggests.

"When asked to choose between the U.S. government taking action to restrict false news online in ways that could also limit Americans’ information freedoms, or protecting those freedoms even if it means false information might be published, Americans fall firmly on the side of protecting freedom," Pew writes in a study released Thursday.

For the report, researchers polled a total of 4,734 Americans by telephone in February and March. Most respondents (58%) wanted to protect freedom of speech from governmental interference, even if aimed at combatting false information.

According to MediaPost, that sentiment "cuts across nearly all demographic groups studied, with strong sentiments among young Americans, the college educated and men, as well as both Democrats and Republicans."

At the same time, most respondents (56%) said they favored tech companies taking steps to fight fake news. Here, a larger proportion of Democrats (60%) were in favor of tech companies taking action than Republicans (48%).

That partisan divide may not be surprising, given some Republicans' sentiments that Silicon Valley leans to the left.

It also should not be shocking that most people don't want the government to start censoring news that officials deem false. If anything, the surprise is that only 58% of Pew's respondents resisted the prospect of government interference -- especially considering that censorship by the authorities is almost always unconstitutional.

What's more, the concept of fake news is itself vague: Some posts described as fake may contain empirically false information, but others only contain propaganda.

Chicago Radio: Showbiz Shelley Joins WKSC For Middays

Showbiz Shelly
iHeartMedia/Chicago announced Thursday that Showbiz Shelly has been named Midday Host for WKSC 103.5 KISS FM,­­­­­­­ Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station.

Shelly can be heard live in studio weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Shelly will report to Tommy Austin, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region.

“Showbiz Shelly is a Chicago institution,” said Matt Scarano, President of iHeartMedia Markets Group’s Chicago Region. “Shelly is a true radio pro with tremendous Chicago roots and I am honored that she chose to join the iHeartMedia Chicago team.”

Shelly, a Chicago native, is the former morning show co-host for WBBM-FM. She is a regular entertainment contributor to CBS and FOX, and has also appeared on NBC, ABC and TMZ. Shelly is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she was head of the Arts and Entertainment division for the Northwestern News Network.

WKSC 103.5 FM (4.3 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m so thrilled to be joining 103.5 KISS FM and the iHeartMedia Chicago family,” said Shelly. “I’m thankful to Matt Scarano and Tommy Austin for the opportunity and look forward to what’s ahead!”

Atlanta Radio: Lyndsey Marie Returns To WNNX-FM

Lindsey Marie
Cumulus Media has announced that radio personality Lyndsey Marie returns to Atlanta as On-Air Host, Middays, for WNNX Rock 100.5 FM.

Lyndsey, who moved from Atlanta to Chicago in 2014 to host Middays on former Cumulus Classic Rock station WLUP-FM, has hosted Rock 100.5 Middays remotely since that time. She returns to Atlanta on May 1st. Her show airs weekdays from 10am-3pm on Rock 100.5.

Greg Ausham, Program Director, WNNX-FM, said: “It will be great to have Lyndsey back in Atlanta, bringing her enthusiasm and natural wit to the hallways of Rock 100.5.”

Lyndsey said: “I am excited to go back “home”. Georgia’s been on my mind since I left it, and I’m ready to make some noise with Jesse Kage and my old friends, Southside Steve and Jason Bailey. We get to call Atlanta our playground. I don’t know if it gets much better than that.”

WNNX 100.5 FM (13.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Lyndsey is also heard on Cumulus Media stations KXXR-FM in Minneapolis, MN; WFTK-FM in Cincinnati, OH; KGGO-FM in Des Moines, IA; WIXV-FM in Savannah, GA; and KKGL-FM in Boise, ID.

Chicago Radio: WKQX Adds Nick Draeger For Imaging

Nick Draeger
Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed Nick Draeger as Creative Imaging Director for Chicago Rock WKQX 101.1 FM.

Draeger joins Cumulus from Entercom-Sacramento, where he imaged Entercom’s various Rock formats, including KKDO (ALT 94.7). His career also includes imaging work for GrooveWorx, Apple Music and Magic Broadcasting in Los Angeles.

Troy Hanson, WKQX Program Director/Vice President, Operations, Cumulus Media-Chicago and Vice President, Programming, Rock, Cumulus Media, said: “We talked with many strong candidates, but we kept coming back to Nick’s excellent grasp of cut-through messaging for the brands he’s worked on. Nick will work with our voiceover pros Dan Stone and Wendy K. Gray to continue to deliver the top-notch writing and sonic feel of WKQX. We’re excited to have Nick on board!”

WKQX 101.1 FM (5.7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Draeger said: “Chicago. The City by the Bay. The Mile High City. City of Brotherly Love. (Geography was never my strong suit.) I’m so excited to be taking over the imaging reins for WKQX! Alternative has always been my passion, and I can’t wait to put my own stamp on this world-class radio station. Working closely with Dan Stone and Wendy K Gray, with guidance from Troy, we’ve got all of the elements we need to continue to take this thing into the stratosphere! (Insert Mike Ditka gif here).”

IA, IL Radio: KOKX, WCEZ To Sign-Off This Month

Country KOKX 1310 AM and Classic Hits WCEZ 93.9 FM are in jeopardy of permanently signing off. But there is an effort underway to try to keep them on-air.

Riverfront Broadcasting, which is based in Yankton, SD, purchased KOKX-AM and WCEZ-FM (Radio Keokuk) about two years ago. Carolyn Becker, who is listed as one of the owners of Riverfront Broadcasting, told Tri States Public Radio via email this week that the company plans to close the stations unless new owners are found.

“We would definitely like to find a buyer and get the stations in the hands of someone who could continue to operate them,” said Becker. She said all of the employees at the Keokuk stations have been laid off, but she did not provide a date as to when the stations would sign off if new owners are not found.

WCEZ 93.9 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Radio personality Leah Jones told TriStates Public Radio this week she plans to do everything she can to keep that from happening.

Jones is currently leading the effort to find a new owner or owners for Radio Keokuk. She said she’s been meeting with city leaders, local economic developers and business people since she learned of the planned closure.

“What we are really trying to do right now is use the shop local initiative, but put it towards our local radio station,” said Jones. She said the response she's received, both personally and to the idea of local ownership, has been amazing.

Jones said it’s her understanding that the stations will remain on-air through the end of the month. She said beyond that remains to be seen.

“The citizens of Keokuk and the surrounding area don’t want this to happen,” said Jones. “They want to have KOKX. They want to have their local radio and we feel very passionate about it to keep this going. We are in no way off the air right now."

IA Radio: 'The Round Guy' Is Fired From Country KBOE

Steve Pilchin
Steve "The Round Guy" Pilchen is off the air again. This time he says it's permanent.

Pilchen returned to central Iowa airwaves in January 2016 at Country KBOE 104.9 FM  in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The station fired him March 29.

Pilchen is 64 and turns 65 in November. He hopes to find work to make ends meet until he turns 65, when he qualifies for Medicare.

But, sadly for central Iowa listeners, his next stop will not be on any radio dial.

"I'm looking for a job, but not a radio job," Pilchen told the Des Moines Register. "I've had enough. It's a tough, vicious business, and I don't feel like being stabbed in the back again."

The Round Guy is best-known to scores of central Iowa radio listeners for his decade-long association with Larry Morgan and Lou Sipolt on the top radio morning show "Lou & Larry" on KGGO-FM in Des Moines from 1991 to 2011.

Pilchen was the show's designated clown about town.

When Morgan left KGGO to focus on sports broadcasting and advertising sales, the Round Guy joined the show as a permanent fixture.

Sipolt and Pilchen were later joined by Heather Burnside.

The media conglomerate Cumulus Broadcasting bought KGGO in September 2011. In December, they fired Pilchen and pushed aside Sipolt and Burnside, who both later left the company.

But Pilchen was the odd man out.

He couldn't catch on at any of the stations in Des Moines. He found it more difficult to get comedy gigs, the genre where his media star began to rise nearly 40 years ago.

Radio, TV Pundit Awarded $4M For Short-Lived Talk Show

Mark Steyn
Conservative commentator Mark Steyn, who appears on Fox News and as guest host on Rush Limbaugh, won a $4 million judgment Thursday against the company that canceled his online talk show after less than two months on the air.

According to the NYDailyNews, Steyn had sued the online startup, CRTV, for wrongfully axing Steyn’s show in February 2017, damaging his reputation.

Steyn had said the show was bungled in pre-production and that the studio didn’t hold up its end of the bargain or provide him with a functional set.

On Thursday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten affirmed an arbitration decision in awarding Steyn $4 million.

“CRTV had no right to do what they did,” the Canadian-born author known for his criticism of Islam and the environmental movement said. “They picked this fight.”

Steyn had said he sued in part to protect the staff on his short-lived show. But the arbitration decision in Steyn’s favor said he rubbed some staff the wrong way.

Nashville Radio: Carrie Underwood Visits The Bobby Bones Show

After announcing a new album and on Sunday returning to the spotlight to debut a song at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Carrie Underwood has checked off another first since an injury kept her laying low for several months.

She gave her first interview on Thursday morning, visiting the Bobby Bones Show studio in Nashville to talk about her new album being released in September, "Cry Pretty," her husband Mike Fisher's return to the Predators and the fall last year that left her in need of dozens of stitches.

"I went to catch myself and I just missed a step," Underwood said of tripping over a step and falling while taking her dogs outside her Nashville-area home in November.

Having received stitches around her mouth, Underwood told Bones she "didn't know what it was going to heal like."

"I was at a point where I didn't know how things were going to end up," she said. "I didn't know what was going to go on."

Since the fall in November, Underwood has remained out of the spotlight.

During that time, Underwood told Bones one of the most frustrating parts of waiting to heal "was trying to work out with a broken wrist."

The Nashville Tennessean reports Underwood, who announced told fans earlier this year she was "not quite looking the same" after her fall and surgery, told Bones she had been "very fortunate in the healing process."

"I don’t know if I’ll ever be done talking about it, because it was an event in my life,” Underwood said. “And, I mean, I’m OK talking about it."