Saturday, May 5, 2018

May 6 Radio History

➦In 1911...comedic actor Frank Nelson was born in Colorado Springs.

Moving to Hollywood in 1929 he soon became a leading man on numerous radio shows. Nelson began his entertainment career in radio and later moved into television and movies. In 1926, at age 15, Nelson played the role of a 30-year-old man in a radio series broadcast from the then-5,000-watt KOA-AM radio station serving the Denver, Colorado market. In 1929, Nelson moved to Hollywood, California and worked in local radio dramatic shows, usually playing the leading man.The first sponsored radio show he appeared in to reach a national market was Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, a situation comedy radio show airing from November 28, 1932, and ending May 22, 1933, starring two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico, and written primarily by Nat Perrin and Arthur Sheekman.

Nelson found fame as the put-upon foil to Jack Benny on Benny's radio show during the 1940s and 1950s. He found fame playing an unctious clerk or customer service worker on Jack Benny’s NBC radio show, and later on the Benny and I Love Lucy TV shows on CBS.  He took the same over-the-top character to numerous other TV shows and commercials, as well as in voicing for cartoons.  He lost a years-long battle with cancer Sept 12 1986 at age 75.

Orson Welles
In Orson Welles was born in Kenosha Wisconsin. Besides his movie work, which began with the great Citizen Kane, Welles was a star of bigtime radio; his Mercury players produced The War of the Worlds and dozens of other hour-long dramas, many under the title ‘Campbell Playhouse’ on CBS. Other radio series starring Welles included The Shadow, Harry Lime, and The Black Museum.  He died following a heart attack Oct. 10 1985 at age 70.

➦In 1937...WLS-AM reporter Herb Morrison describes fiery disaster of zeppelin Hindenburg ("Oh, the humanity!") at Lakehurst, NJ.  Here's a corrected synch of Herb Morrison's recording of the event matched with footage from the Pathe newsreel and the Universal newsreel. Where film isn't available, pictures are substituted.

Some of radio's greatest moments are when the actual event occurs live on the air or while a reporter is recording and the unexpected happens. One such event happened to reporter Herb Morrison on May 6th, 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The mighty German passenger Zeppelin, Hindenburg, was attempting a mooring. The Hindenburg was one of Nazi Germany's finest airships. It was supposed to reflect the greatness of the German Reich and its leader, Adolf Hitler.

Herb Morrison
The airship had made this voyage before and friends and family were at Lakehurst waiting for the arrival of the great zeppelin. Reporter Herbert Morrison was there too thanks to his radio station, WLS, Chicago. The day was rainy and there had been strong thunderstorms earlier. Morrison was recording the event for later rebroadcast. The early part of his recording reflects information about the airship and the day and what is necessary to bring it into mooring under such conditions.

Engineer Charles Nehlsen was manning the Presto Direct Disc recorder. The recorder includes a large turntable with a 16-inch platter, a heavy-duty lathe, which would actually cut into the lacquer disc, and an amplifier. It was important that these recorders be perfectly level and that vibration be avoided. Ultimately, the complete broadcast would be recorded on four 16" Green label lacquer discs.

As the zeppelin arrives, listenMorrison is describing the mooring when suddenly it bursts into flames. Morrison is shocked, but keeps talking though breaking occasionally overcome by the tragedy unfolding in front of him. Later the broadcast continues after the tragedy as the victims are being brought in and survivors are interviewed.

An interesting side note is at the moment of explosion, when Morrison is heard yelling "It burst into flames!" the vibrations from the explosion caused the recorder to bounce on the disc creating deep grooves until Engineer Nehlson is able to momentarily lift the lathe from the disc and place it back down. The discs, which are contained at the National Archives reflect the grooves and the force of the explosion.

It was radio news at its finest; news events reported as they happened. The description is brought home to radio's listeners and we in turn grieve for the dead and injured. This event reflected the potential and power of radio broadcasting immediately before and, later, during World War II as the Murrow Boys and others would bring the war home to America via the airwaves.

While the event was not aired live, it did air later. In those days radio reporting of events was always broadcast live only since the networks had policies forbidding the use of recorded material except for sound effects. But Herbert Morrison, the reporter, was not there to report disaster and had no facility for broadcasting live. Instead, he was there at the behest of his radio station, WLS, Chicago, to record a report on the grand airship.

Later that day, Morrison and his sound engineer, Charlie Nehlsen left New Jersey with the transcription discs and headed back to Chicago. The morning after the disaster is when parts of the recording first aired over WLS. Logs of when it first appeared over NBC are not known to exist. It is known that at least five minutes of the recording did broadcast on May 7th at 11:38 AM in the New York area and over the Red Network. It was later in the day that the longer sections were played to a national audience. This was one of the few times that the networks allowed a recording of an event to be broadcast. (Radio Days)

➦In 1944...Fishers Blend radio stations KJR & KOMO in Seattle swapped frequencies.  KOMO was moved to 1000 kc where its power could be increased, while KJR, now at 950, was sold within two years.  With the new frequency, KOMO was broadcasting at 50,000 watts, sending its signal over several states.

➦In the final hours of WWII, the German radio announcer known as “Axis Sally” made her final propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.

➦In 1975...a ham radio group known as REACT acted early and their warnings kept casualties down to 3 deaths in a tornado that struck Omaha, Nebraska.

➦In 1996...the Howard Stern Radio Show debtued on WCCC-FM, Hartford, Connecticut.

➦In 2015…Veteran radio newsman/talk show host Ty Wansley died of congestive heart failure at 63.

Wansley began in broadcasting as a newscaster in the 1970's at two of St. Louis' powerhouse radio stations, KWK and KATZ. Following several prominent years in his native St. Louis, Wansley was wooed by Sheridan Broadcasting to become the National News Director of the Sheridan Network.

Following his successful stint at the helm of the Sheridan Network, Wansley returned to St. Louis to become National News Director of Amaturo Broadcasting; overseeing the news departments of radio stations in St. Louis,Miami, Houston, and Detroit. In 1979, Wansley moved up the broadcasting ladder as he traveled to Chicago, where he headed the news department of WBMX and WJPC radio.

In 1982, Wansley transcended the world of reporting and became a popular talk show host at WVON radio with his program,Tell Ty. The popularity of Tell Ty prompted WLS Radio to recruit TY to join the ABC talk show line-up , which evolved into the very unique talk-show tag-team of Ty and colorful politician and prominent attorney Edward R. Vrdolyak. Wansley and Vrdolyak enjoyed immense success on Chicago's ariwaves, which included a popular collaboration on WJJD-A.M.

Chicago Radio: WRME LP-FM Becomes Top 10 Station

Three years after launching, MeTV FM’s eclectic soft oldies format has turned a low-power TV signal at 87.7 FM into a top-10 Chicago radio station, confounding competitors and rewriting the unwritten rules of broadcast radio.

“A lot of people think it’s amazing that we’re doing the kind of numbers we are without all those traditional things,” said Neal Sabin, 61, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting, which operates the station. “But we’ve broken a lot of radio rules here.”

According to The Chicago Tribune, the mastermind behind the national MeTV classic television network, Sabin used his own iPod playlist to create an unlikely radio success story at WRME-LP, which can be heard at 87.7 FM but is actually licensed as Ch. 6, a low-power Chicago TV station.

Owned by Los Angeles-based Venture Technologies Group, WRME has been everything from Spanish language to country to smooth jazz to alternative rock to sports talk in the nine years since it fired up its signal in Chicago, with varying degrees of ratings success.

MeTV FM has steadily built its audience since debuting in February 2015, ranking in the middle of the pack with a solid 2.4 share as recently as January, according to Nielsen. But in February, the station jumped all the way to a 3.6 share and a top-10 ranking.

Nielsen: Chicago's Top 10 6+ March 2018
It proved to be no fluke, with MeTV FM notching a 3.5 share in March, tied for eighth in Chicago and besting such perennial powerhouses as WKSC-FM 103.5 Kiss FM, WSCR 670 AM The Score and WGN 720 AM.

The secret sauce, Sabin said, is an underserved older audience and an enormous playlist of about 3,500 songs. The format draws heavily on mainstays such as the Beach Boys, the Beatles and Billy Joel, but it also brings in more obscure singer-songwriters, one-hit wonders, deep album cuts and plenty of guilty pleasures.

“One of the things it has going for it is the unpredictability of it because of the spectrum that’s covered by having that many songs in there,” said Norm Winer, the longtime program director at WXRT 93.1 FM, who left the seminal Chicago rock station two years ago.

The demise of K-Hits, WJMK-FM 104.3 FM, the classic hits station that new owner Entercom flipped to classic hip-hop in November, no doubt sent some listeners to MeTV FM, but Sabin said the station’s growth has been mostly organic.

Miami Radio: Felisha Monet EXITS WEDR

Felisha Monet
WEDR 99.1 FM afternoon host Felisha Monet is leaving the popular South Florida hip hop and R&B station.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Monet, who has been with the Hollywood-based radio station for more than 10 years, will now be focusing on her nonprofit group, “I Am Greater Than Yesterday,’’ which helps young women discover who they are and their purpose in life.

“I am excited to start this new chapter in my life and career,’’ said Monet who has been in radio for 17 years. “Having a long career with 99 Jamz was a dream and a goal – and I’m happy that I can place a check mark next to that. I’m excited about what’s happening next – and eager to enter into the next chapter.”

“I’m proud of Felisha for honoring her passion and taking the risk to change direction and start a new chapter in her life,’’ said Jill Strada, director of operations at Cox Media Group. “I support her and wish her well. She’ll always have a home with COX Media and 99 JAMZ.”

3 Women Sue Charlie Rose, CBS News

Three women are suing former television journalist Charlie Rose and his former employer CBS News for his “blatant and repeated sexual harassment”.

Katherine Brooks Harris, Syndey McNeal and Chelsea Wei, who are all in their 20s, began working for the 76-year-old broadcaster from 2016 through 2017 as associates or assistants, reports the NY Post citing court documents.

Rose told Harris and McNeal that he hired them because he likes “tall women” before asking about their sex lives, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.

He also touched all three women’s arms, shoulders, waists and backs and even demanded they give him a kiss before leaving for summer vacation, according to court papers.

The lawsuit also accuses CBS executives of failing to warn the employees about Rose’s history of sexual misconduct.

Rose was fired in November from his job as co-host of “CBS This Morning” after the Washington Post reported that eight women alleged he had sexually harassed them. The Post followed up on Thursday with a new report citing another 27 complaints of harassment dating back to the 1980s. The Post also alleges that CBS executives were warned about his behavior and failed to respond.

The three plaintiffs are each cited in Thursday’s Post report. According to the suit, Rose would invite Harris and McNeal out for dinners, and then sexually touched them on their thighs and kissed them on their cheeks. He also quizzed them about their sex lives and suggested they become lovers, according to the suit. The suit also states that Rose referred to Wei as “China doll,” caressed her arms, and whispered in her ear “Happy birthday, dear.”

Redstone Offers Concession

Shari Redstone, the media heiress whose family controls CBS Corp and Viacom Inc, has offered CBS CEO Leslie Moonves to drop her demands for Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to be his No. 2 following a merger, as long as Bakish sits on the combined company’s board, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Shari Redstone
Reuters reports the offer is an attempt by Redstone to resolve an impasse in the deal negotiations. Redstone has been trying to put together a deal that will keep Moonves, a 68-year-old media industry veteran credited with turning CBS around, at the helm, while positioning up-and-coming Bakish, 54, as Moonves’ successor.

CBS shares rose 8 percent after Reuters first reported Redstone’s offer, giving the company a market value of $20 billion. Viacom shares were up 5 percent, giving it a value of $12.6 billion.

Les Moonves
Moonves has agreed to run the combined company for at least two years, as long as CBS Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello will be president and chief operating officer of the combined company, so he can succeed him, sources have previously said.

Redstone, daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone, has offered not to give Bakish any executive role in the combined company, but still wants him to sit on the board of directors and eventually succeed Moonves, the sources said on Friday.

Moonves does not want Bakish to be part of the combined company at all - either as an executive or board member - because he is seeking as much autonomy as possible in running the combined company, said one of the sources.

As a result of the impasse over Bakish’s role, CBS executives have serious doubts that a deal will happen, the source said. CBS and Viacom have also disagreed about the stock exchange ratio that should be used in a merger, although the two sides are making progress on that front, the sources added.

Keep Reading

D/FW Radio: KVIL Hires Jen Marino As First Host

Jenn Marino
Entercom has named Jenn Marino as the first on-air host for Alternative KVIL 103.7 FM Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Marino is the first to join KVIL since its commercial-free launch with the Alternative format. Marino was previously a co-host for "Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx," syndicated by Premiere Networks. Before that, Marino was co-host of Priestly & Jenn on WWMX-FM/Baltimore. Prior to joining the station in 2007, she hosted middays on Alternative WHFS-FM/Baltimore-DC.

"We have an opportunity to build a powerful brand with ALT 103.7 and it begins with identifying incredibly talented people," said Senior VP/Market Manager Brian Purdy. "Jenn is passionate about radio and driven to win and we're looking forward to having her energy and drive on-air."

"I'm beyond elated to work with Jim Fox, Brian Purdy and the entire Entercom Dallas- Fort Worth team," added Marino. "I'm looking forward to getting to know the alternative music fan base in Dallas-Fort Worth."

KVIL 103.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
She also had stints at WIYY-FM (98 Rock) in Baltimore and Classic Rock KRXO-FM in Oklahoma City.

Fox in Talks to Reboot "Last Man Standing"

One year after sitcom "Last Man Standing" was canceled by ABC (despite still respectable ratings), 20th Century Fox TV is reportedly close to signing a deal for its return for a seventh season on sibling Fox.

According to ProgrammingInsider, Tim Allen is confirmed to return, while other cast members and creative members are in conversations to participate. But two of those cast members, Nancy Travis and Hector Elizondo, are committed to other comedies. Travis is appearing in upcoming Netflix comedy "The Kominsky Method," while Elizondo is part of the cast of NBC pilot "Guess Who Died."

Last year's unexpected cancellation of "Last Man Standing" sparked immediate interest by Fox and cable network CMT. But nothing came of it and the surprise success of the "Roseanne" reboot on ABC has fueled continued interest in its return.

Survey: Fewer Agree Giving Up TV Would Be Hard

An estimated 96.5% of U.S. households have a television. Yet only about a third of Americans say it would be “very hard” to give up their TV – substantially lower than the share of U.S. adults who say the same thing about their cellphone or the internet, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January.

Today, just 31% of Americans say it would be very hard to give up their TV, down 13 percentage points from a 2006 survey by the Center. In total, just over half of U.S. adults (55%) say their TV would be at least somewhat hard to give up.

In contrast, roughly half (52%) of cellphone owners say it would be very hard to give up their cellphone or smartphone, and a similar share of internet users (50%) say it would be very hard to give up the internet. Each represents a notable increase compared with 2006. In total, 74% of cellphone owners say it would be at least somewhat hard to give up their mobile device, and 73% of online adults say the same about the internet in general.

Although a growing share of Americans use various social media platforms, just 14% of these users say it would be very hard to give up social media entirely. That figure is largely unchanged from a survey conducted in 2014. At the same time, the share of social media users who say these platforms would be at least somewhat hard to give up has increased by 12 percentage points over that time (from 28% in 2014 to 40% today).

Report: Facebook Testing Paywall

Facebook Inc. has been conducting market research in recent weeks to determine whether an ad-free version paid by subscriptions would spur more people to join the social network, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

The company has studied such an option in the past, but now there’s more internal momentum to pursue it in light of Facebook’s recent privacy data scandal, the people said. The plans aren’t solid and may not go forward, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Facebook declined to comment on the possibility of a subscription-based ad-free service.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has long considered such an alternative -- not to replace the social network’s business model, but to remove a common reason people give for leaving the service. The company generated virtually all its $41 billion in revenue last year by selling ads targeted with user data. Internal company research in past years concluded consumers wouldn’t be receptive to a subscription option, seeing it as Facebook being greedy and asking for money for something it said would always be free, the people said.

Now, Facebook thinks consumer sentiment may be changing.

Atlanta Radio: WMLB Set To Go Silent This Month

Radio owner Joe Weber has decided to shut down his sublimely eclectic AM music station WMLB before the end of the month after 21 years on the air.

According to Rodney Ho at, the lease for his studios is up later this month so he decided this was a good time to close the doors on the station he dubbed “The Voice of the Arts.” He didn’t cite a specific shut-down date but on-air personalities said it will probably be mid May.

WMLB started at 1190 in 1997 before moving up the dial in 2006 to 1690, a signal which he purchased for $12 million. Weber, 73, who was a successful bakery supply company owner in his younger days, said the media world shifted around him and made it impossible for him to make any money on the AM dial with two stations.

“The stations,” he said in an interview today, “were never profitable. My timing was akin to a man who bought two state-of-the-art buggy whip manufacturing facilities in 1914… Once the iPod and the iPhone were out, people had so many other ways to get music and entertainment.”

Weber recently sold his second news/talk station 1160/WCFO-AM for $750,000 to a religious broadcaster but is holding onto 1690. He still owns the tower (which has two other tenants) and will keep the radio license for now though the station will effectively go dark the studios are closed.

WMLB 1690 AM (10 kw-D, 1 Kw-N, DA2
Weber left Atlanta for Beverly Hills three years ago after his wife passed. “After she died,” he said, “I didn’t have much appetite to do a show anymore or invest emotion or energy into the station.”

May 5 Radio History

➦In 1899...Radio actor, Freeman Gosden, was born in Richmond, Virginia. He was "Amos" on the famed "Amos 'n' Andy" Radio show.

Freeman Gosden was born in Richmond, Virginia. During World War I he served in the United States Navy as a wireless operator, which prompted his great interest in the young medium of radio. While attending school in Richmond, Gozzie worked part-time in Tarrant's Drug Store at 1 West Broad Street.

Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll
In 1921, Gosden first teamed up with Charles Correll to do radio work, presenting comedy acts, sketches, and hosting variety shows. They met in Durham, North Carolina, both working for the Joe Bren Producing Company. Their first regular show came in 1925 with their WEBH Chicago show Correll and Gosden, the Life of the Party. On this show the two told jokes, sang, and played music (Correll played piano and Gosden banjo).

In 1926, Gosden and Correll had a hit with their radio show Sam & Henry on Chicago radio station WGN. Sam & Henry is considered by some historians to have been the first situation comedy.

From 1928 to 1960, Gosden and Correll broadcast their Amos 'n' Andy show, which was one of the most famous and popular shows on radio in the 1930s. Gosden voiced the characters "Amos", "George 'Kingfish' Stevens", "Lightning", "Brother Crawford", and some dozen other characters.

In 1969, Gosden was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio. He died from congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California in 1982 at the age of 83

➦In 1900...The Billboard, a magazine for the music and entertainment industries, began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. The name was later shortened to Billboard.

Perry Como - circa Early '40s
➦In New York City Perry Como recorded “It’s Impossible.” When it peaked a few months later at #10 on the pop music chart, it meant Perry had notched hits in four consecutive decades – the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. He added another hit single in 1973 with his recording of Don McLean’s “And I Love You So,” which peaked at #29.

➦In 1986…Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chairman Ahmet Ertegen announced that Cleveland, Ohio had been chosen as the city where the Hall would be built.

➦In 2008...John R. Gambling rejoins WOR 710 AM NYC.

When WOR ended Rambling with Gambling in 2000 after 75 years on the air, John R. Gambling moved up the dial to WABC, taking over the post-morning-drive 10 a.m. - noon slot. Gambling was fired by WABC on February 29, 2008 in a cost-cutting move.  On April 30, 2008, WOR announced the return of John R. Gambling to its air waves in his old morning-drive timeslot starting May 5, 2008.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Seattle Radio: iHM Brings Back KUBE 93.3 FM

iHeartMedia Seattle announced Thursday that iconic RythmicCHR KUBE 93.3 FM, Seattle’s No. 1 for Hip Hop, is back. The station will return with 14,000 commercial-free songs in a row.

KUBE 93.3 will play the hottest hip hop from artists including Drake, Rihanna, Post Malone, Cardi B, The Weeknd, Migos and more. The station will also entertain listeners with Carla Marie & Anthony in the morning, Shay in middays, Eric Rosado during the afternoon drive and Bootleg Kev in the evenings.

Morning hosts Carla Marie and Anthony will remain.

 Two years ago, Seattle’s long-running rap station went pop as part of a larger shake up by its parent company, radio power iHeartMedia. In the switch, KUBE relocated to Tacoma — out of range for much of Seattle and the Eastside — and the 93.3 FM spot became Power 93.

Rich Moore, iHeartMedia Seattle’s VP of programming, said Power 93 was doing “fine” in the ratings, “but we made a move obviously to make us bigger and stronger.”

“Everybody in the city and what they listen to, everybody was screaming they wanted it back,” Moore said. “And they wanted it back now.”

“An iconic brand has been missing in Seattle radio,” said Robert Dove, Region President for iHeartMedia Seattle. “KUBE is a name that’s been part of Seattle’s music conscience and lifestyle for over 20 years. Listeners have spoken how they’ve missed KUBE. Well Seattle, KUBE is back!”

“We heard you loud and clear, Seattle,” said Andrew Jeffries, Executive Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s West Division. “Hip Hop and KUBE 93.3 are back, and we’re giving you 14,000 songs in a row – commercial free. This is how you welcome back a legend!”

The station looks to primarily compete with Hot 103.7, the throwback rap station now home to longtime KUBE personality and program director Eric Powers.

KUBE 93.3 FM (100 kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Full Programming Lineup:
  • Carla Marie & Anthony 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • Shay 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Eric Rosado 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Bootleg Kev 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Seattle Radio: Smokey Rivers To Program KSWD-FM

Smokey Rivers
Entercom has named Smokey Rivers as Program Director for KSWD 94.1 FM The Sound in Seattle, effective May 21.

Rivers, a seasoned programmer and brand leader, was previously Director of Operations and Program Director for KMXZ in Tucson.

“Smokey joins The Sound at a great time as we are already experiencing phenomenal growth with the station. Our on-air hosts John Fisher and Delilah are just getting started,” said Jack Hutchison, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Seattle. “We are thrilled and excited Smokey will be joining our talented team of Program Directors here in Seattle.”

“To program an Entercom station with John Fisher hosting mornings and Delilah hosting middays is a dream role for me,” said Rivers. “Thanks to Dave Richards, Jack Hutchison and Nikki Nite for inviting me to join their high-performing team. I’m looking forward to getting to know Puget Sound listeners.”

Prior to joining Entercom, Rivers was Vice President of Programming at iHeartMedia in Phoenix and Vice President, Adult Contemporary Stations for CBS Radio.

KSWD 94.1 FM (73 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
94.1 The Sound launched December 2017 to provide Seattle’s music fans with a unique mix of soft rock hits from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The station features John Fisher in the morning and nationally recognized radio personality Delilah at midday.

Detroit Radio: WMGC Bounces Kayne

Kanye West's recent comments outraged a lot of people this week. And, according to CNN,  there's one group who no longer wants to hear any of it: the morning show hosts at Detroit radio station 105.1 The Bounce.

During a Facebook live video of the station's early show on Thursday, The Morning Bounce's hosts Shay Shay and BiGG announced they'll no longer play the rapper's songs.
"We are over it. We don't want to hear Kanye's music, we don't want to play Kanye on our show, we don't want to talk about Kanye anymore," they said. "So we are taking a stand and we aren't playing his music anymore; we just are refusing to give him a platform."

The hosts said their decision followed West's controversial statements about slavery, adding the hashtag #MuteKanye.

On Tuesday, West appeared at TMZ's headquarters, where he said: "When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... For 400 years? That sounds like a choice."

During the Thursday morning radio show, Shay Shay also called West "reckless" for saying icons like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X are "too far in the past and not relatable."

CBS Reports Stellar 1Q Results

CBS Corporation Thursday reported results for the first quarter of 2018, including record first-quarter revenue and all-time quarterly highs in adjusted operating income and adjusted diluted earnings per share.

"CBS' phenomenal first-quarter results once again affirm that we have the right strategy to successfully monetize our premium content now and in the future," said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.

Les Moonves
"We achieved these record results thanks to the many ways we are delivering our must-have content, including our direct-to-consumer services -- CBS All Access and Showtime OTT -- which continue to grow rapidly and are now contributing meaningful dollars to our bottom line while attracting younger viewers. We are just beginning to reap the benefits from our position as an industry leader in delivering content over-the-top while others are just entering this business. Beyond direct-to-consumer, our Company-wide growth in paying subscribers is an extremely important and unique part of our success.

"Specifically, when you combine our CBS and Showtime subs across traditional MVPDs, virtual MVPDs (aka "skinny bundles"), and direct-to-consumer services, CBS Corporation's subscribers are not only growing, but the growth is also accelerating. And the average rate per sub is increasing strongly as well. Looking ahead, we are confident that the demand for our programming will only increase when we unveil our new primetime lineup for the CBS Television Network later this month.

"In addition, we have a very successful slate of new and returning series at Showtime that continues to drive its rates and subscribers, and we have the midterm elections this fall. All of this is leading to another record year for the CBS Corporation in 2018, and with today's terrific results, we are even more confident in the very strong full-year growth outlook that we laid out three months ago."

First Quarter 2018 Results
  • Revenues for the first quarter of 2018 increased 13% to $3.76 billion from $3.34 billion for the same prior-year period, with growth across all of the Company's significant revenue streams. 
  • Affiliate and subscription fee revenues were up 16%, led by 25% higher retransmission revenues and fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations as well as growth from digital initiatives, including the Company's owned streaming subscription services. 
  • Content licensing and distribution revenues were up 18%, benefiting from growth from the international licensing of new series as well as the start of renewal periods for licenses of library programming. 
  • Advertising revenues increased 8%, which includes the Company's acquisition of Network Ten in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Operating income for the first quarter of 2018, which included merger and acquisition-related costs of $9 million, increased 6% to $772 million from $726 million for the same prior-year period. Adjusted operating income increased 8% to $781 million from $726 million, reflecting the revenue growth, which was partially offset by a higher investment in programming and digital initiatives.
  • Net earnings from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2018 increased 13% to $511 million from $454 million for the same quarter last year. Adjusted net earnings increased 17% to $518 million from $441 million. These increases are mainly a result of the higher operating income.
  • Diluted EPS from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2018 increased 21% to $1.32 from $1.09 for the same quarter in 2017. Adjusted diluted EPS increased 26% to $1.34 from $1.06, benefiting from growth in net earnings as well as lower weighted average shares outstanding. During the quarter, the Company repurchased 3.8 million of its shares for $200 million.
Variety reports CBS is under some pressure to demonstrate robust activity at its operations. Shari Redstone, who controls the company via her family’s National Amusements Inc., has asked CBS and her family’s other holding, Viacom, to pursue a merger. Discussions have wavered over price and executive positions in the new company. By showing how CBS is generating new revenue from distributors as well as subscription video, Moonves and his team are making a case for his leadership at present and down the road.

Pandora Reports Smaller-Than-Expected Loss

  • Q1 Revenue was $319.2 million, growing 12% year-over-year excluding ANZ & Ticketfly
  • Q1 Subscription revenue was $104.7 million, growing 63% year-over-year excluding ANZ & Ticketfly
  • Ad RPM hit an all-time Q1 high of $55.52, growing 9% year-over-year
  • Total subscribers were 5.63 million, growing 19% year-over-year
  • Q1 Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA significantly exceeded forecast
  • Announced acquisition of AdsWizz, creating the largest digital audio advertising ecosystem
Pandora Thursday announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018.

“Music streaming and digital audio continue to see massive growth, and this quarter we took key steps to position Pandora to capture this significant opportunity,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Pandora. “We improved audience metrics—in part by increasing usage of Premium Access, which gives ad-supported listeners the ability to enjoy Pandora Premium after viewing a 15-second ad. We also accelerated our ad-tech roadmap with the acquisition of AdsWizz, and launched exciting new product features like personalized playlists. Looking ahead, Pandora is exactly where we want to be: at the center of a growing market with huge potential.”

Yankees On YES Off To Best Start Since 2012

The YES Network is enjoying its best start to the New York Yankees season since 2012, with the network's Yankees game ratings through April 30 up by 9% year-over-year in the New York DMA.

YES' Yankees games averaged a 3.71 TV Household rating through April 30 of this year, compared to a 3.39 rating during the same period last season.

The Highlights:
  • YES finished the month of April with a 3.71 average TV Household rating in the New York DMA for its New York Yankees telecasts, YES' best Yankees start since 2012
  • The 3.71 rating was a 9% increase from the same period in the 2017 season, when YES averaged a 3.39
  • Nine YES Yankees telecasts this season have averaged a 4.0 rating or greater, while just three such telecasts achieved a 4.0 rating over the same period in 2017
  • YES' Yankees Pre-Game Show ratings through April 30 were up 20% year-over-year (.90 vs. .75) and marked the network's best Pre-Game Show ratings through April 30 since the 2010 season
  • YES' Yankees Post-Game Show ratings through April 30 were up 6% year-over-year (1.34 vs. 1.26) and marked the network's best Post-Game Show ratings through April 30 since the 2012 season
  • YES' Yankees Batting Practice Today ratings through April 30 were up 7% year-over-year (.45 vs. .42) and marked the best start ever since this show debuted on YES in 2002
The Michael Kay Show…

Ratings for The Michael Kay Show for the month of April 2018 (.35) were the best April ratings for any radio simulcast on YES since the network launched in 2002. The .35 rating marks a 21% increase over the same period last year (.29)

Source: Nielsen, Yankees on YES (In-game & Live Studio Shows), Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) Rating, NY DMA, Live +SD

WWO's 'Sterling On Sunday' Hits Affiliate Milestone

Westwood One announces  that its Sterling on Sunday talk show featuring longtime radio executive, innovator, and storyteller Walter Sabo a/k/a Walter Sterling, has signed its 50th affiliate – WBAP-AM in Dallas.

The program, a mix of lifestyle, entertainment, and social conversation, launched in August 2017. Sterling on Sunday airs live from 10:00 pm ET to 1:00 am ET. The show also airs on WLS-AM/Chicago; WPHT-AM/Philadelphia; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington DC; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; KDKA-AM/Pittsburgh; KMOX-AM/St. Louis, and other stations around the country.

Walt Sabo
“Successful talk stations are aggressively widening their topic offerings and I’m delighted to be heard on 50 of them…and counting,” adds Sabo “Sterling on Sunday resonates with audiences because it’s a reflection of their real lives. We talk about life with family, life at work, life at the mall. It’s all very relatable. The power of the mirror always wins.”

“Walter is doing something unique in radio today -- live radio on Sunday nights in a style that is truly his own,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “The show delivers a very human transition from weekend to weekday and there is nothing like it out there. Kudos to Dennis Green and his affiliate sales team for understanding the unequalled value of Walter’s show and for amassing the affiliate support he deserves.”

Walter Sabo has compelled positive change in radio's C-Suite and on the air for decades, from his early days at NBC, ABC, and RKO to the creation of Sirius Satellite Radio and New Jersey 101.5/WKXW, the most listened-to FM talk station in the world. In November 2014, Sabo took on the moniker “Walter Sterling” and began hosting a weekly show on CBS' WPHT/Philadelphia. The show has developed a strong following of highly engaged fans intrigued by Sterling’s stories of bad in-laws, trouble with neighbors, demands for air conditioning, and his hatred of cell phone companies and commercial banks.

Stations interested in Sterling on Sunday should contact Stuart Greenblatt at or (212) 419-2946.

Entercom Takes Equity Position In U-S Traffic Network

United States Traffic Network announced Thursday that they have signed a new agreement with Entercom Communications Corp.

The new deal includes an equity position for Entercom in USTN. Further terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This marks the first major USTN announcement since the completion of a management-led buyout in March that transitioned ownership of the company from an international, publicly-traded ownership to a private U.S.-based company.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Entercom and look forward to their new role as an equity-holder as we continue to build out the new face of U.S. Traffic Network,” said Ivan Shulman, Chairman and CEO, USTN.

“Involving media groups at an equity level is an unprecedented move in the industry, and we couldn’t be more excited about our prospects for the future. As one of the largest radio companies in the United States, Entercom is and will remain an invaluable part of our company, and this partnership is just the first step in revolutionizing the broadcast traffic industry.”

“We are pleased to announce our new partnership with USTN”, said David Field, President and CEO of Entercom. “Their new management team has moved quickly to fix their issues and establish a solid business model following the company’s separation from its former corporate parent. We look forward to participating in their future growth as they capitalize on the significant opportunities in this attractive market segment.”

L-A Radio: KNX Celebrates 50-Years As All-News

Entercom and Newsradio KNX 1070 AM  in Los Angeles are celebrating 50 years as Southern California's only 24-hour news and traffic station.

According to the company, more than 1.5 million people tune in to KNX every week for its coverage of local, national and international news in addition to its traffic and weather updates every 10 minutes on the 5's. Traffic and news content is provided daily by the area's largest team.

"We are proud to be a part of the fabric of the Los Angeles community," said Senior VP/Market Manager Jeff Federman. "We look forward to continuing to inform and engage with Southern California listeners for the years to come."

"Since 1968 we have seen nine presidents, six governors, and six mayors" added Entercom Los Angeles Director of Programming Ken Charles. "Through it all, KNX has been that one consistent source for integrity, trust and credibility."

During its first 18 months on-air, KNX covered the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Manson murders and man's landing on the moon. The station has also covered the 1984 Olympics, the Rodney King trial, The Northridge Earthquake in 1994 and the O.J. Simpson trial, in addition to numerous other major news events.

CBS purchased and began operating KNX as its West Coast flagship station in 1936, ending CBS's eight-year affiliation with KHJ. In 1938, the CBS Columbia Square studios were dedicated for KNX as well as West Coast operations for the entire CBS radio network. That October, the station carried Orson Welles' celebrated version of The War of the Worlds . Several legendary performers from the Golden Age of American network radio broadcast from there, including Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, George Burns, Edgar Bergen, Gene Autry and TV situation comedy star Bob Crane, who was KNX's morning host between 1957 and 1965 at the same time he was appearing as a featured supporting player on the ABC television network's The Donna Reed Show.

KNX was a strong competitor in the Los Angeles market while Crane was a morning personality, but began declining in popularity after he left to star in the CBS television series Hogan's Heroes. Following the example of corporate sister station WCBS in New York City, which had enjoyed renewed success with an all-news format, KNX then became an all-news station in the spring of 1968.

Entercom acquired KNX when it merged with CBS Radio in 2017.

Portland OR Radio: KFXX Snags Ducks Sports

Entercom and the University of Oregon today announced a four-year broadcast agreement with Portland’s KFXX 1080 AM The Fan through the 2022 season.

Highlights of the partnership include play-by-play broadcast rights of the university’s football, basketball and baseball games, including all Ducks preseason, regular and post-season games, as well as pre and post-game coverage and weekly specialty shows.

“As the top radio destination for local sports fans, we are thrilled to welcome the Oregon Ducks to the Entercom Portland family,” said Bill Ashenden, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Portland. “Entercom is the leader in local audio sports rights across the nation and we value this partnership with the University of Oregon. We look forward to bringing fans comprehensive coverage of the Ducks via all of our platforms.”

“The University of Oregon is proud to have Entercom Portland and 1080 The Fan as the official radio broadcast partner and the new home for the Ducks,” said Rob Mullens, Athletic Director, University of Oregon. “We look forward to this partnership that will continue to bring Ducks games to our tremendous fan base in the Portland area.”

“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership between the University of Oregon and the leader in sports talk radio in the largest market in the state,” said Chris Bjork, General Manager, Oregon IMG Sports Marketing. “Entercom will expand the reach of Oregon Athletics and its corporate partners with a strong local and national presence.”

KFXX 1080 AM (50 Kw-D, 9 Kw-N)
The partnership between Entercom and the University of Oregon was facilitated by IMG College, the exclusive multimedia rights partner of Oregon Athletics.

Twitter Tells Users To Change Passwords

The company's chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, said in a blog post that it had recently found a bug that stored passwords, unmasked, in an internal log.

"We have fixed the bug, and our investigation shows no indication of breach or misuse by anyone," he wrote. "We are very sorry this happened."

CEO Jack Dorsey echoed Agrawal, saying in a tweet that the company believes "it’s important for us to be open about this internal defect."

The San Francisco-based company advised its 336 million users to change their password on Twitter and any other service where they may have used the same password.

Report: Sinclair Preps To Challenge Fox News

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which for months has denied any interest in challenging Fox News while awaiting approval of a merger with Tribune Co., is gearing up to do just that.

According to Politico, Sinclair executive chairman David Smith has been holding meetings with potential future employees, including former Fox News staff members, and laying out a vision for an evening block of opinion and news programming that would compete with Fox’s top-rated lineup, according to a person familiar with the meetings.

Sinclair currently owns the Tennis Channel, and, as part of the $3.9 billion Tribune deal pending before the Federal Communications Commission, would acquire WGN America, a cable network that currently reaches 80 million homes.

Smith, who has been personally involved in at least some of the meetings, still appears to be working through several aspects of the plan, including which of those networks would house his news and opinion programming. He has been discussing a block of at least three hours, but also potentially up to six.

Smith is settled, though, on basing his new operation in Washington, D.C., just down the road from Sinclair headquarters in Baltimore, said the person familiar with the discussions. The company already owns local Washington station WJLA, where it produces some of its national content.

Keep Reading

Denver Post Editor Who Challenged Hedge Fund Owner Resigns

The editorial page editor at The Denver Post resigned on Thursday, a few weeks after he wrote a column criticizing the paper’s owners, The Hill reports.

The Denver Post reporters and local news outlet Denverite reported that Charles Plunkett resigned from his post, the latest casualty at a paper that has been ravaged by layoffs in recent years.

“It’s a tragedy what Alden Global Capital is doing to its newsrooms and what it’s doing to The Denver Post,” Plunkett told Denverite. “It’s an act of apostasy to our profession and I could no longer abide it.”

In an editorial published April 6, Plunkett wrote a piece fiercely criticizing Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns The Denver Post and several other papers across the country.

“Since Alden took control, the decline of local news has been as obvious as it’s been precipitous,” he wrote.

“The smart money is that in a few years The Denver Post will be rotting bones. And a major city in an important political region will find itself without a newspaper,” he continued.

The photo associated with the column, which shows the sharp reduction in staff when the paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 compared to its staff in April, quickly went viral.

May 4 Radio History

➦In 1886...The graphophone, a link between the earlier gramophone and the modern phonograph, is patented, featuring wax cylinders which conducted music better than Thomas Edison's original tinfoil ones.

It was invented at the Volta Laboratory established by Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C., United States.

Its trademark usage was acquired successively by the Volta Graphophone Company, then the American Graphophone Company, the North American Phonograph Company, and finally by the Columbia Phonograph Company (later to become Columbia Records), all of which either produced or sold Graphophones.

It took five years of research under the directorship of Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell at the Volta Laboratory to develop and distinguish their machine from Thomas Edison's phonograph.

Among their other innovations, the researchers experimented with lateral recording techniques as early as 1881. Contrary to the vertically-cut grooves of Edison phonographs, the lateral recording method used a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a "zig zag" pattern across the record. While cylinder phonographs never employed the lateral cutting process commercially, this was later to become the primary method of phonograph disc recording.

Bell and Tainter also developed wax-coated cardboard cylinders for their record cylinders, instead of Edison's cast iron cylinder which was covered with a removable film of tinfoil (the actual recording medium) which was prone to damage during installation or removal.  Tainter received a separate patent for a tube assembly machine to automatically produce the coiled cardboard tubes which served as the foundation for the wax cylinder records. The shift from tinfoil to wax resulted in increased sound fidelity as well as record longevity.

Besides being far easier to handle, the wax recording medium also allowed for lengthier recordings and created superior playback quality. Additionally the Graphophones initially deployed foot treadles to rotate the recordings, then wind-up clockwork drive mechanisms, and finally migrated to electric motors, instead of the manual crank that was used on Edison's phonograph.

➦In 1922...KNX-AM, Los Angeles, California began broadcasting.

KNX began as a five-watt amateur radio station, 6ADZ, which Fred Christian put on the air on September 10, 1920, broadcasting on a wavelength of 200 meters (1500 kHz). In December 1921, the station moved to 360 meters (833 kHz) and became KGC, sharing time with other stations that broadcast on the same frequency.   On May 4, 1922, the station increased power to 50 watts and became KNX. Power was raised to 100 watts in 1923. A year later, Fred Christian sold KNX to Guy Earle, owner of the Los Angeles Evening Express.

During the 1920s KNX, like most stations across the country, changed frequencies several times, landing on 1050 AM as a result of the Federal Radio Commission's reconfigurations of the AM radio band in 1927 and 1928. In 1929, the station's transmitter was upgraded from 500 to 5,000 watts, and in 1932, was raised to 10,000 watts of power. During this time, the station changed owners and was then operated by the Western Broadcast Company. In 1933, the station moved its studios to another part of Hollywood, and was granted permission by the FCC to raise its output to 25,000 watts. The following year, KNX's transmitting power was raised to the nationwide maximum of 50,000 watts, which the station continues presently. It changed to its current 1070 AM channel in 1941.

Broadcasting ad 1935
CBS purchased and began operating KNX as its West Coast flagship station in 1936, ending an eight-year affiliation with KHJ.  In 1938, the CBS Columbia Square studios were dedicated for KNX as well as West Coast operations for the entire CBS radio network.

George Burns, Gracie Allen
Several legendary performers from the Golden Age of American network radio broadcast from there, including Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, George Burns, Edgar Bergen,  and situation comedy star Bob Crane, who was KNX morning man between 1957 and 1965 at the same time he was appearing as a featured supporting player on the ABC television network's The Donna Reed Show.

KNX was a strong competitor in the Los Angeles market while Crane was a morning personality, but began declining in popularity after he left to star in the CBS television series Hogan's Heroes. Following the example of corporate sister station WCBS in New York City, which had enjoyed renewed success with an all-news format, KNX then became an all-news station in the spring of 1968;  its first major breaking news coverage was of the assassination of Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, in June of that year.

Bob Crane
In August 2005, KNX moved out of Columbia Square after operating there for 67 years, and began broadcasting from new studios in the Miracle Mile district on Wilshire Boulevard.

In 2009, KNX adopted the slogan "All News, All the Time." It was previously used for 40 years by KFWB, KNX's historic rival in the news radio wars before both became sister stations through the 1995 merger of Westinghouse Electric (KFWB's owner) and CBS. KFWB's format change to news-talk in September 2009 now leaves KNX the only all-news outlet in the Los Angeles area, which is now emphasized in its alternate slogan, "L.A.'s only all-news radio station".

➦In 1957...The "Alan Freed Show," prime-time network television's first rock 'n' roll program, debuted on ABC. The first show in the series featured performances by Guy Mitchell, the Dell-Vikings, the Clovers, Sal Mineo, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

➦In 1959...In Los Angeles, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held. Domenico Modugno's "Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)" won Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Henry Mancini's "The Music from Peter Gunn" won Album of the Year. The Champs' "Tequila," took home the trophy for Best R&B Performance.

➦In 1965...Radio announcer/TV game show announcer/TV host Norman Brokenshire died at age 66. His broadcasting career began in 1924 at WJZ. His signature greeting was "How do you do ladies and gentlemen, how DO you do!"

➦In 1975...Singer/radio and TV personality (Mutual Broadcasting System, Chicago's WGN-Radio, WJJD-Radio, WIND-Radio, WGN-TV, WBKB-TV, WCIU-TV) Dick "Two Ton" Baker died at the age of 59.

In June or July of 1938 he took his first radio job, doing a two-hour show called "Sunday Morning Party" on WJJD in Chicago and simulcast over WIND in Gary, Indiana. It was during these early days in radio that a fellow worker suggested the nickname Two Ton "to add a little zip."

In 1943, he was hired by WGN.  He had an early show, at 8:15 a.m., then his Mutual network show at various times in the midafternoon. After that came "Baker Spotlight" at 4:30, then, two to three times a week, a show for Sealy Mattress company. And he participated in a Sunday afternoon quiz show called "Mr. & Mrs." He also talks of appearing regularly on "Chicago Theater of the Air," a star-laden program that ran on WGN from 1940 to 1956 and that was relayed nationwide on the Mutual Broadcasting System.

➦In 1981...“Rockline” premiered on KLOS FM in Los Angeles

➦In show producer and emcee Jack Barry, whose career began in radio & nearly ended in the scandal surrounding TV’s Twenty One, but who bounced back in the 70’s with The Joker’s Wild, died of cardiac arrest at age 66.

➦In 2008...Talk show host (radio stations WIOD, WAME and WINZ in Miami, WDAE and WPLP radio plus WTSP-TV in Tampa) John Eastman, called the "dean of Tampa Bay talk radio," died of emphysema at 79.

Eastman, who had a popular radio show on WDAE in the 1970s and a morning talk show on WTSP, Channel 10, in the 1980s, suffered from chronic emphysema. In 2005, he collected more than $3.2 million from Philip Morris USA and the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. It was the first time that Philip Morris, the world’s largest cigarette maker, paid a judgment in an individual case.Eastman Jr. does voiceover work and has appeared on the Home Shopping Network.

Eastman was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on in August 1928. He once told The Tampa Tribune that he started smoking at age 12. He started his broadcast career in the early 1950s as an announcer at a Sioux City, Iowa, radio station. He worked at radio stations in Cedar Rapids, Jacksonville, Mobile, Ala., Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. By the 1960s he was in Miami, where he worked at WIOD, WAME and WINZ. He came to Tampa in 1977, and his “Talk of the Town” radio show, about a local issues and personalities, was a hit for two years on WDAE. He then went to WPLP radio, and in 1980 he began hosting “The John Eastman Show,” which ran on WTSP, Channel 10, for four years.

Eastman also served as the host of an annual March of Dimes telethon that was broadcast locally.

➦In 2010...Sports broadcaster/Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell, the Detroit Tigers' radio play-by-play announcer for 42 years, died of bile duct cancer at 92.