Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 15 Radio History

➦In singer Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas was born in Adams County, Ohio. In the 1930’s he performed on radio shows for WLW and WKRC in Cincinnati. In 1940, he moved to Knoxville, where he performed on WNOX with his band, the Gold Star Rangers. In ’43, Copas achieved national fame when he replaced Eddy Arnold as a vocalist in the Pee Wee King band and began performing on the Grand Ole Opry. Hits included “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “Breeze,” “I’m Waltzing With Tears in My Eyes,” “Candy Kisses,” etc.  Copas was killed in a plane crash with Patsy Cline March 2, 1963.  He was only 49.

➦In 1929...“Music and the Spoken Word” debuted on KSL Salt Lake City.  It is still on the air today, the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in the world.  It is a 30-minute Sunday radio/TV/live streaming program of inspiring messages and music produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the music is performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

➦In 2000…Douglas “Jocko” Henderson - WOV, WADO died.

Jocko Henderson
Henderson began his broadcast career in 1952 at Baltimore station WSID, and in 1953 began broadcasting in Philadelphia on WHAT.  He hosted a show called "Rocket Ship" out of New York radio stations WOV and WADO from 1954 to 1964, which was an early conduit for rock & roll.

He was known for a distinctive style of rhythmic patter in his radio voice, which he had learned from a Baltimore deejay, Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert.   Henderson continued on the stations WDAS and WHAT until 1974, as a personality  in Philadelphia and New York as well as hosting concerts in both cities and a TV music program in New York. 

In addition to Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore, Henderson was also broadcast on stations in St. Louis, Detroit, Miami, and Boston.

In 1978, Henderson made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district.   He also made some early rap records, recording 12" singles for Philadelphia International and Sugar Hill Records.

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted Henderson into their Hall of Fame in 2004.

Louisville Radio: Papa John Schnatters Talks With WHAS-AM

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's who admitted to using the N-word in a conference call in May, addressed the backlash he's faced on NewsTalk WHAS 840 AM Friday afternoon.

"No topic off limits," radio and TV personality Terry Meiners tweeted, announcing his 25-minute interview with Schnatter on 840 WHAS.

The interview was recorded Friday morning before University of Louisville announced it will remove Papa John's from the name of its football stadium, according to The Courier-Journal.

Here are the highlights from the interview:
  • Schnatter says he was pressured to use the N-word
"The agency was promoting that vocabulary. ... They pushed me. And it upset me," he said on the radio Friday.  In May, a marketing agency was coaching Schnatter on ways to address sensitive topics, including race. The call was in response to comments he made last year, when he partially blamed NFL protests on declining pizza sales.
  • After racial slur revealed, fall comes swiftly for Papa John Schnatter
He continued:  "It’s caused a lot of grief for my community, for my university. … My employees are distraught, they’re crushed, and it’s all because I was sloppy and I wasn’t as sensitive. It’s the same mistake I made on the NFL comments." Why use the slur instead of saying 'N-word'?
“Well, I was just talking the way the Colonel talked and, again, shame on me.”
  • Now he's no longer Papa John's chairman, what does his day look like?
“Well, my days are full. My plate’s full. That’s not a problem, filling up the day. We’re always involved in some kind of community event or some kind of charity. ... The day-to-day grind, I don’t miss that at all. And haven’t for some time. My days are full and I pretty well get to do what I like to do every day … I just hate this for the community. I mean, this is just not good.”

Schnatter's use of the racial slur was first reported by Forbes on Wednesday. By the end of the day, Schnatter had apologized for his language, stepped down from the University of Louisville board of trustees and left his position as chairman of the board for Papa John's.

On Friday, Papa John’s International Inc announced it will remove founder John Schnatter from its promotions and MLB's New York Yankees suspended business relationships with the company.

Papa John’s said its decision to remove Schnatter from advertisements is the first of several steps to rebuild trust “from the inside-out”.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie said the company would hire an independent expert to audit all of its processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion.

AT&T CEO Downplays DOJ Appeal

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said on Friday that he's not concerned about the government's new challenge to his company's $85 billion merger with Time Warner.

In an interview with CNBC Friday morning, Stephenson said that AT&T was not surprised that the Justice Department appealed a federal judge's decision last month to let the merger move forward.

"This changes nothing I'm doing today, except talking about this issue on camera," Stephenson said. "This changes nothing we'll be doing over the next 30 days or 12 months. We think the likelihood of this thing being overturned or reversed is remote."

The government filed its appeal on Thursday, a month after U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said that prosecutors had failed to prove the merger would hurt competition and consumers.

According to The Hill, the Justice Department has not yet revealed the basis for its appeal, but it argued in court that the merger is anticompetitive because it would allow AT&T to use its control over Time Warner's entertainment offerings to raise prices and put the squeeze on competitors.

AT&T CEO: DOJ appeal doesn't change anything, the transaction is closed and we are executing on it from CNBC.

Meanwhile, AT&T argued that it wanted to make Time Warner content like CNN and HBO as widely available as possible in order to compete for online targeted advertising revenue.

DOJ Appeal of AT&T-Time Warner Merger ‘Clear Gift to Disney’

The Wall Street Journal reports Comcast Corp.’s bid for 21st Century Fox  hit a setback after the Justice Department said Thursday it would appeal a federal judge’s decision to bless a merger of AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc.

Comcast had used the earlier ruling to rebut concerns from Fox that its bid would face regulatory risk. AT&T’s deal for Time Warner married a company primarily focused on distributing content with one that produced it, just like Comcast’s bid for Fox. Comcast made its $65 billion offer for Fox a day after the ruling last month.

The government’s appeal of that earlier decision could weaken Comcast’s position in the eyes of Fox’s board as the cable giant battles with Walt Disney Co. over Fox. Disney followed Comcast by raising its offer to purchase most of Fox’s assets to more than $71.3 billion.

Comcast executives believe that the Justice Department is likely to lose its appeal given the strong wording of the prior decision and industry precedents, including Comcast’s own 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal, people familiar with their thinking said. However, the appeal could push Comcast to narrow its focus to one of the main prizes in the Fox chase: European pay-TV operator Sky PLC.

Report: Radio Shack Is Baaack

While the twice-bankrupt electronics chain didn’t totally disappear from the retail landscape, it will soon reestablish a more significant footprint across the country, The NYPost is reporting.

The hobbled 97-year-old chain has signed a deal with HobbyTown USA to open “express stores” inside 50 of its partner’s stores, both companies said Friday.

The deal was signed this week, and potentially, the express stores could be opened in up to 100 of HobbyTown’s 140 stores. If successful, they could expand to all the hobby chain’s locations.

The first express stores will open next week.

RadioShack emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in January with 400 stores — most of them in rural locations. The HobbyTown deal will bring the stores to more suburban towns.

“This will expand their footprint quickly,” HobbyTown President Bob Wilke told The Post, adding that “Radio Shack’s merchandise and customers complement ours.”

HobbyTown is purchasing the RadioShack merchandise and offering it to its hobbyist customers who need the tools, wires and other accessories that RadioShack makes.

While the HobbyTown deal will bring RadioShack to a much larger audience, it will still pale compared with the more than 7,000 stores the chain had at its peak in 1987.

It operated more than 1,700 stores as recently as last year when it filed for Chapter 11.

'NYT' To Launch Marketing Campaign For 'The Daily'

The New York Times’ popular audio show "The Daily" is set to launch its first nationwide marketing campaign Sunday, July 15. 

According to MediaPost, the campaign revolves around a central message: "This moment deserves to be understood." It will first appear in three U.S. cities, including highway billboard and wallscape spots in Los Angeles, a light rail wraparound in Portland and a marketing takeover of Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago.

The campaign will also include other outdoor media.

Following these physical launches, “The Daily” host Michael Barbaro will appear in 15- and 30-second spots across television, Hulu and YouTube. The ads will also run across streaming radio, such as Spotify and acast and terrestrial stations. 

Since its launch in 2017, “The Daily” has drawn 5 million unique monthly listeners and airs on 30+ radio stations nationwide. Those stations include five of the top 10 public radio stations distributed by American Public Media.

"Daily" producer Theo Balcomb told IndieWire: “What we found on ‘The Daily’ is that actually what people respond to is context and understanding," adding it "doesn't need to be the most breaking information." 

In addition to its radio success,"The Daily" became the most downloaded new show on Apple Podcasts in 2017.

The company announced last month that the audio series would become a TV show called The Weekly, set to air on FX and Hulu. The 30-minute show will air on Sunday nights on FX, streaming the day after on Hulu.

July 14 Radio History

Douglas Edwards
➦In 1917...broadcast newsman Douglas Edwards was born in Ada Oklahoma.  He became CBS radio’s premier news reader, and anchored TV’s first network newscast from 1948 to 1962 when Walter Cronkite succeeded him.  He then went back to radio, but continued with a 5 minute midday TV newscast.

He retired in 1988, and died Oct 13, 1990 at age 73.

➦In 1927...NBC newsman John Chancellor was born in Chicago. He succeeded Dave Garroway as host of Today, then became anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1970-82.  When Tom Brokaw replaced him he stayed on ‘Nightly’ doing commentaries. During the 1976 election he introduced the concept of Red and Blue states, which survives to this day.

He died of stomach cancer July 12 1996, two days shy of his 69th birthday.

➦In 1957…Master satirist Stan Freberg debuted a new weekly comedy program on CBS Radio in the time slot previously occupied by Jack Benny.

In addition to Freberg, the cast included June Foray, Peter Leeds, and Daws Butler. Billy May arranged and conducted the music. The program failed to attract sponsors and the network cancelled the series after 15 episodes. It was the last U.S. network radio show to devote itself purely to comedy.

➦In 1969...WBZ 1030 AM, Boston increased its talk programming to a full 10 1/2 hours-a-day.

Increased competition in the top 40 format — first from WMEX 1510 AM which had programmed a top 40 format since 1957, then from WRKO, which adopted the format in 1967 — led WBZ to shift its music programming to adult contemporary in 1969, playing several songs an hour between 6 and 9 a.m. (though it was not unheard of for Carl DeSuze to play only one, if any, song an hour during his show), 10 to 12 songs an hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and 4 to 6 songs an hour between 4 and 7 p.m..

At night, WBZ programmed talk shows, with such hosts as Guy Mainella, a pioneer in sports talk; Jerry Williams in the evenings; and Larry Glick's overnight show. Music was also programmed during the day on weekends.

Beginning in the late 1960s, WBZ made a major push into live play-by-play sports. From 1966 through 1979, and again from 1991 through 1994, WBZ was home to radio broadcasts of New England Patriots football.  In the fall of 1969, WBZ regained the radio rights to the Boston Bruins (which it had lost in 1951), and also began carrying Boston Celtics basketball. The Bruins stayed through the 1977-78 season.

During the 1970s, WBZ was one of a number of clear channel AM stations that petitioned to be allowed to increase their power; WBZ would have used 500,000 watts transmitting from Provincetown, Massachusetts to reach all of New England during the day. A backlash from smaller stations led to the petition being denied and station protections limited to a 750-mile radius, in effect canceling the entire clear channel service.

➦In 1984...FLASHBACK..from R&R Week of July 13, 1984:

➦In 1988…At the height of "Elvis is Alive" phenomenon, Nashville radio station WYHY offered $1 million to anyone who showed up at the studios with proof that Elvis Presley was still alive.

➦In 1990...Howard Stern debuted in the New York market on WWOR-TV in 1990 as host of a talk show featuring his trademark of outrageous humor. The program entered national syndication in January 1991 and ultimately ended on August 8, 1992 because of the growing production costs.

➦In 2009…The iTunes Music Store reached 1.5 billion Apps downloaded.

➦In 2015…Former ABC News anchor/vice president Marlene Sanders died of cancer at age 84.

Friday, July 13, 2018

NYC Radio: WEPN Gets New Deal With Kay, La Greca

WEPN's Dan La Greca and Michael Kay
WEPN ESPN New York 98.7FM has reached a contract extensions with radio hosts Michael Kay and Don La Greca to continue airing weekday afternoons on The Michael Kay Show (3-7 p.m.). They will continue to work alongside Peter Rosenberg.

“There isn’t another place I would want to do radio than at ESPN,” said Kay. “I love the people I work with and the people I work for. I also think we do the best, most entertaining radio show in the country and I want to continue to make our listeners laugh and learn every day.”

La Greca added, “As the first voice of this station, I could not be prouder to sign a contract that will take me through two decades with the ESPN family.”

“Michael and Don have been the cornerstone of the station since our inception. Their commitment and passion are evidenced in their strong ratings and listener loyalty,” commented Tim McCarthy, senior vice president of ESPN Radio Group.

Kay, who will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame this October, has been an original member of ESPN New York’s talent lineup since 2001 and has hosted the station’s afternoon drive show since then.  He is noted for his insightful commentary, his trademark “See-ya” home run calls and his work on YES network as play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees. Kay is also host of the network’s CenterStage series and various other programming specials on YES.

La Greca was the first voice listeners heard when ESPN New York launched in 2001 and has been a part of The Michael Kay Show since 2002. He is a versatile commentator and served as host for the New York Jets pre- and post-game shows for over a decade. La Greca is also host and play-by-play voice of New York Rangers’ broadcasts and the creator and host of Game Misconduct, his NHL-focused podcast.

Ryan Hurley, program director of ESPN 98.7FM, said, “Having produced The Michael Kay Show and having worked with both Michael and Don for close to 15 years, I learned quickly these are two of the hardest working and entertaining people in our industry. It has been a great pleasure and to have them with the ESPN family for years to come is something I look forward to.”

WEPN 98.7 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
The NYPost reports Kay, 57, has been busy securing his work future this summer. Last month Kay and YES Network agreed to keep him as the highest-paid local play-by-play announcer in baseball with a three-year deal that can be extended to five by YES. Between the two contracts, Kay is making well more than $2 million per year, sources said.

The hosts on the “Kay Show” get to double dip because of the radio show’s simulcast on YES. YES pays a fee to ESPN for the show, then a portion is paid out in the hosts’ contracts.

The 50-year-old La Greca, who was an original voice when ESPN Radio began on 1050 AM, will continue to be the No. 2 Rangers radio play-by-player behind Kenny Albert.

ESPN Re-Signs Paul Finebaum

Paul Finebaum
ESPN has reached a multiyear contract extension with radio personality Paul Finebaum to remain a key contributor on ESPN and SEC Network. Finebaum will continue his presence across a number of high-profile network shows and programming, including as the host of The Paul Finebaum Show and as an analyst on SEC Nation.

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the ESPN family and look forward to continuing our show on SEC Network,” Finebaum said. “I consider myself incredibly blessed to do this every day, and I’d like to thank everyone at ESPN, as well as all of our loyal listeners and viewers, for their support.”

Finebaum, easily the most recognizable voice of the SEC, launched his eponymous show on ESPN Radio in August 2013, and has brought his signature reporting style and colorful callers to the airwaves ever since. Airing weekday afternoons on SEC Network, the program showcases Finebaum’s fascinating fan base and his extensive knowledge of the SEC.

Complementing his daily hosting duties on The Paul Finebaum Show and weekly appearances on SEC Nation throughout the fall, Finebaum is featured on a variety of additional ESPN programming, including Get Up!, First Take, SportsCenter, College Football Live, Finebaum Film Room and College GameDay.

“Paul is one of the most compelling personalities on SEC Network and ESPN,” said Stephanie Druley, Senior Vice President, ESPN events and studio production. “His passion for the SEC and its fan base is evident every day on The Paul Finebaum Show. Over his years on SEC Network, Paul and his callers have delivered daily with captivating debate and light-hearted humor. We look forward to enjoying The Paul Finebaum Show, and Paul’s varied and valued contributions to our studio show programming, as we head into yet another jam-packed football season.”

MS Radio: David Mueller Says Taylor Swift Ruined His Life

David 'Jackson' Muller
Almost one year after he was found guilty of assault and battery for grabbing Taylor Swift’s bare butt, radio personality David Mueller this week  told that the singer ruined his life.

The radio host vehemently denied to Radar Swift’s claims that he latched on to her “bare a** cheek” in 2013 at a meet and greet in Denver, Colorado. Mueller also shared what he would say to the singer if given the chance.

“How can you live with yourself? You ruined my life,” Mueller said. “I was not ready for the photograph. I admit it was awkward but I never grabbed her. It’s not even close to what happened.”

The five-day trial between Swift and Mueller garnered national attention in August 2017. As a result, the disgraced DJ compared his post-trial life to being locked up behind bars.

“Now I’m afraid to even talk to women. I feel like I’m in a prison,” Mueller continued. “I’m not myself anymore. I don’t even go near women.”

In January 2018, Mueller landed a new gig at Country WMYQ 92.7 FM in Mississippi. He said he still receives jokes about the highly-publicized trial, which he believes is undeserved.

Muller said that he knew he was going to lose in court but does not regret suing Swift in the first place.

“I know that if I didn’t do it I would have never been able to live with myself,” the radio host added. “At least now that my life is totally screwed up I’m proud of myself.”

iHM Makes Executive Changes In Philly, Detroit

iHeartMedia announced Thursday that Paul Corvino has been named Region President for iHeartMedia Detroit and Nick Gnau has been named Region President for iHeartMedia Philadelphia. Gnau and Corvino will report to Tom McConnell, President of iHeartMedia’s East Division.

As Detroit Region President, Corvino will work with the programming, business and sales teams for all station brands in Detroit to oversee on-air and digital programming as well as create new business and revenue opportunities. Gnau will have the same responsibilities for iHeartMedia’s market-leading radio station brands in Philadelphia.

Nick Gnau
“Nick and Paul are great leaders with successful track records and who have done an extraordinary job for us across multiple markets and platforms,” said McConnell. “Their vast experience and proven leadership and performance results have shown that they are the perfect candidates to continue to further accelerate growth and innovation across these regions.”

Phil Corvino
Gnau has been with iHeartMedia for over 25 years and most recently served as Region President for iHeartMedia Detroit, where he oversaw the Detroit, Grand Rapids, Toledo and Muskegon, Michigan markets. His background also includes serving as a Regional Market Manager and Vice President in a variety of markets including Dayton, Lima and Marion in Ohio. Gnau is a board member for Detroit Radio Advertising Group and is part of the Ad Council Local Advisory Board.

Corvino joins iHeartMedia Detroit from Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, where he most recently served as Regional President for its Midwest Region. He brings over 25 years of executive management experience to his new role, including positions at AOL, the New York Times and Cablevision Systems. Corvino was also the founder and president of, an advertising, sponsorship and business development organization.

In addition, iHeartMedia announced that Rich Lewis will transition to the role of Vice President of Multi-Market Partnerships, lending his executive leadership and expertise to iHeartMedia’s Multi-Market Partnerships/Total Traffic & Weather Network team and reporting to Julie Donohue, Senior Vice President of Multi-Market Partnerships.

Day 3 PPM June 2018 PPMs Released

Nielsen on Thurssday 7/12 released the third batch of  June 2018 PPMs results.  The markets  included are:

  22  Portland OR

  24  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC


  26  San Antonio

  27  Sacramento

  28  Pittsburgh

  29  Salt Late City-Ogden-Provo UT

  30  Las Vegas

  31  Orlando

  32  Cincinnati

  34  Cleveland

  35  Kansas City

  36  Columbus OH

Click Here for topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Seattle Radio: Raftery, Bosch Returning To KIRO-FM

Jillian Raftery
Bonneville Interation / Seattle has announced Jillian Raftery is returning to N/T KIRO 97.3 FM as midday news editor and Heather Bosch is joining the station to serve as afternoon news anchor.

Raferty has been working as a sales and marketing consultant in Vancouver, BC for the past two years.  She says, “I fell in love with radio andstorytelling listening to KIRO Radio growing up.  I started my career at the station in 2011 as an intern and after graduating from college returned and worked my way through many roles on the digital and news teams, serving as digital editor, social media manager, midday and morning editor, reporter, as well as filling in on anchor shifts…I am thrilled to come home and get to know the ever-changing Seattle landscape all over again.”

Heather Bosch
Bosch has been serving with CBS Radio News in New York as a national correspondent for the past five years.  She comments, “I’m thrilled to be back at KIRO Radio – my broadcast home for 10 years!  After five years as a Manhattan-based CBS Network News correspondent, I’m eager to share what I’ve learned while covering big, breaking news stories like the Boston Marathon bombing, and investigating more complex issues, such as the experience of women serving in the US military.”

KIRO-FM, director of news and programming Ryan Maguire adds, “Heather and Jillian are great additions to our award-winning and diverse news team.  I want to thank our managing editor Colleen O’Brien for her work in these very thorough job searches.  We’re proud that KIRO continues to attract the best and brightest in the industry.”

Heather has won six Murrows, three Gracie Awards and two Headliner Awards in her illustrious career

Des Moines Radio: Maxwell Schaeffer Joins iHM Cluster

Maxwell Schaeffer
iHeartMedia announced Thursday that Maxwell Schaeffer has been named Director of Promotions and Marketing for iHeartMedia Des Moines.

In his new role Schaeffer will be responsible for leading the day-to-day promotional and marketing operations of the radio stations, overseeing promotional campaigns and events for the market, including on-air, online, social media, station personalities and live events. Schaeffer will also make on-air appearances across all Des Moines stations, including KDRB 100.3 FM The Bus and NewsRadio WHO 1040 AM, making a special appearance on the Van and Bonnie In The Morning show during the 2018 Iowa State Fair.

“Everyone in Des Moines knows Maxwell,” said Joel McCrea, Area Market President-Iowa. “He is a friend to many charitable organizations as well as the arts, and the business community, giving him a solid understanding and connection to the market.”

Schaeffer joins iHeartMedia Des Moines from Des Moines Radio Group where he served 23 years as a morning show host on KIOA-FM. He began his career at KVIC-FM in Victoria, Texas and is a graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Schaeffer is also a member of the Iowa Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

“I’m thrilled to continue my relationship with Iowa’s passionate radio fans and the community that I’ve known for decades,” said Schaeffer. “We have an amazing team at iHeartMedia Des Moines and we’re looking forward to continuing to use our stable of station brands to help our business and advertising partners best serve consumers and listeners.”

FCC Fracas

Jessica Rosenworcel
The Federal Communications Commission passed a proposal to overhaul the agency's procedures for processing consumer complaints Thursday in a contentious party-line vote.

Commissioners clashed over the plan with the Republican majority insisting that the new rules are only clarifying longstanding procedures for filing and responding to complaints.

But Democrats at the agency and on Capitol Hill say the change will make the FCC less responsive to informal complaints, and force consumers to go through a formal proceeding to file grievances that costs $225.

"This is bonkers," Jessica Rosenworcel, the sole Democrat on the commission, said at the FCC's open meeting Thursday. "No one should be asked to pay $225 for this agency to do its job."

According to The Hill, the new rules largely focus on formal complaints, making changes intended to streamline the agency's process for adjudicating them. But the new order also eliminates text from existing rules regarding the "Commission's disposition" in handling informal complaints.

DOJ Wants AT&T-Time Warner Merger ReDo

The Justice Department is trying to undo AT&T Inc.’s purchase of Time Warner Inc., appealing the ruling that last month struck down one of the era’s highest-profile antitrust challenges, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The government initiated the appeal Thursday with a two-page notice in federal court, a month after U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rejected Justice Department arguments that the more than $80 billion cash-and-stock deal would suppress competition in the pay-TV industry.

AT&T closed the acquisition a short time after Judge Leon’s ruling, but agreed to keep Time Warner’s cable networks in a business unit separate from AT&T’s communication assets for now, in case the government chose to appeal.

The appeal won’t change anything at AT&T while the district court’s ruling remains in effect, but comes as an unwelcome distraction for the company, where executives were eager to plunge into the high-profile world of show business.

The matter now goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where a three-judge panel will consider the Justice Department’s claims that Judge Leon was incorrect. The appeals process could take many months, leaving lingering uncertainty over AT&T’s plans.

The Justice Department’s lawsuit against the merger was one of the most anticipated antitrust cases in a generation, and Judge Leon’s ruling was one of the department’s most stinging losses.

The NY Times reports the combination of the two companies has created a media and telecommunications giant with television stations, a movie studio, nearly 160 million wireless customers and a nationwide satellite television service, DirecTV. An AT&T executive is already in charge of Time Warner properties like HBO and the news network CNN.

The judge’s decision had almost immediately set off a round of intense deal talks among many of the biggest names in the industry, including Comcast and 21st Century Fox. Many media executives, including those at AT&T and Time Warner, say mergers among their companies are necessary to better compete against tech giants like Netflix and Amazon.

R.I.P.: KTTS-FM Springfield MO PD Mark Grantin

Mark Grantin
Country radio is mourning the passing of Scripps Country KTTS 94.7 FM PD Mark Grantin after a six-year battle with cancer.

He was 55-years-of-age.  He programmed KTTS-FM for the past eight years.

Grantin had been with KTTS for eight years, following time with iHeartMedia Country WBUL/Lexington, KY.  His radio resume includes, Midwest Family Broadcasting Country WWQM/Madison as PD air personality, and sister station Oldies WHIT, as well as PD/on-air personality at Midwest Communications former Sports Talk WAKX/Duluth, MN.

Under Grantin's guidance KTTS enjoyed one of the more significant years in 2018. Besides ratings success, the longt-time Country outlet earned national industry recognition, gaining the 2018 Academy Of Country Music Broadcast Award for Small Market Station Of The Year; a Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for excellence in journalism; and a 2018 NAB Crystal Radio Award, with KTTS being one of only two Country stations earning the latter honor.

KTTS announced his funeral will be Friday, July 20th at 4 p.m. at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in Springfield.

A fundraiser has been set up to help the family with medical and funeral expenses.

R.I.P.: Radio News Anchor Sam Hall

Sam Hall
Sam Hall, a former newscaster at WQXR who enjoyed a long career at many radio stations in New York City and across the country, died on May 17th. He was 81, according to the WQXR website.

Sam concluded his working life in 2006 as WQXR’s News Director and morning news anchor, retiring after more than a decade with the station. Before then he had worked in many prestigious local radio newsrooms, among them WOR, WNBC and WYNY, WNEW, and at the NBC and RKO radio networks.

Sam’s 58-year career began because of bad weather. His father was a Baptist minister who also hosted a 15-minute morning radio program from his study desk in the family home in Indiana. When his dad was stranded out of town by a snowstorm, 13-year-old Sam was pressed into service. He’d heard his dad on the air, so he knew how to take a story from the news, couple it with appropriate scripture, and create a short on-air homily. All was going well in that first broadcast — except for the noisy parakeet that lived in a cage in the study. So, explaining the situation to the audience, Sam took the bird out of its cage, placed it in the desk, closed the drawer, and finished the program. When he got to school later that morning, he learned about the power of radio: Sam couldn’t believe how many people had heard him. They didn’t say much about his homily, but they were very interested in what happened to the parakeet!

After that, Sam began spending time at the local station, gradually working there more and more. After college and two years in the Army, Sam worked in local television, but it was radio where his career settled. He came to New York and became a reporter and anchor at WNEW-AM in New York, when that station had one of the largest local news staffs in the city. At the NBC Radio Network, his newscasts were heard on hundreds of stations across the country.

At the top of his profession in New York, Sam worked with many celebrated broadcast names of the day, alongside the Gamblings at WOR, Charles McCord (and Don Imus) at WNBC, and it was none other than the legendary Wolfman Jack, also at WNBC, who announced that the upcoming newscast would be delivered by “Long, tall Sam Hall!”

July 13 Radio History

➦In 1898…Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his radio technology.

Marconi, just twenty years old, began his first experiments working on his own with the help of his butler. In the summer of 1894, he built a storm alarm made up of a battery, a coherer, and an electric bell, which went off if there was lightning. Soon after he was able to make a bell ring on the other side of the room by pushing a telegraphic button on a bench.

One night in December, Guglielmo woke his mother up and invited her into his secret workshop and showed her the experiment he had created. The next day he also showed his work to his father, who, when he was certain there were no wires, gave his son all of the money he had in his wallet so Guglielmo could buy more materials.

In the summer of 1895 Marconi moved his experimentation outdoors.  After increasing the length of the transmitter and receiver antennas, arranging them vertically, and positioning the antenna so that it touched the ground, the range increased significantly.  Soon he was able to transmit signals over a hill, a distance of approximately 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi).  By this point he concluded that with additional funding and research, a device could become capable of spanning greater distances and would prove valuable both commercially and militarily.

Marconi wrote to the Ministry of Post and Telegraphs, then under the direction of the honorable Pietro Lacava, explaining his wireless telegraph machine and asking for funding. He never received a response to his letter which was eventually dismissed by the Minister who wrote "to the Longara" on the document, referring to the insane asylum on Via della Lungara in Rome.

In 1896, Marconi spoke with his family friend Carlo Gardini,Honorary Consul at the United States Consulate in Bologna, about leaving Italy to go to England. Gardini wrote a letter of introduction to the Ambassador of Italy in London, Annibale Ferrero, explaining who Marconi was and about these extraordinary discoveries. In his response, Ambassador Ferrero advised them not to reveal the results until after they had obtained the copyrights. He also encouraged him to come to England where he believed it would be easier to find the necessary funds to convert the findings from Marconi's experiment into a practical use. Finding little interest or appreciation for his work in Italy, Marconi travelled to London in early 1896 at the age of 21, accompanied by his mother, to seek support for his work; Marconi spoke fluent English in addition to Italian. Marconi arrived at Dover and at Customs the Customs officer opened his case to find various contraptions and apparatus. The customs officer immediately contacted the Admiralty in London. While there, Marconi gained the interest and support of William Preece, the Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office.

The apparatus that Marconi possessed at that time was similar to that of one in 1882 by A. E. Dolbear, of Tufts College, which used a spark coil generator and a carbon granular rectifier for reception.  A plaque on the outside of BT Centre commemorates Marconi's first public transmission of wireless signals from that site. A series of demonstrations for the British government followed—by March 1897, Marconi had transmitted Morse code signals over a distance of about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) across Salisbury Plain. On 13 May 1897, Marconi sent the world's first ever wireless communication over open sea. The experiment, based in Wales, witnessed a message transversed over the Bristol Channel from Flat Holm Island to Lavernock Point in Penarth, a distance of 6 kilometres (3.7 mi). The message read "Are you ready".  The transmitting equipment was almost immediately relocated to Brean Down Fort on the Somerset coast, stretching the range to 16 kilometres (9.9 mi).

From his Fraserburgh base, he transmitted the first long-distance, cross-country wireless signal to Poldhu in Cornwall.

Impressed by these and other demonstrations, Preece introduced Marconi's ongoing work to the general public at two important London lectures: "Telegraphy without Wires", at the Toynbee Hall on 11 December 1896; and "Signaling through Space without Wires", given to the Royal Institution on 4 June 1897.
Marconi watching associates launch a kite used to lift an antenna in 1901 at St. Johns, Newfoundland
 Numerous additional demonstrations followed, and Marconi began to receive international attention. In July 1897, he carried out a series of tests at La Spezia, in his home country, for the Italian government. A test for Lloyds between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island, Ireland, was conducted on 6 July 1898. The English channel was crossed on 27 March 1899, from Wimereux, France to South Foreland Lighthouse, England, and in the autumn of 1899, the first demonstrations in the United States took place, with the reporting of the America's Cup international yacht races at New York.

Marconi sailed to the United States at the invitation of the New York Herald newspaper to cover the America's Cup races off Sandy Hook, NJ. The transmission was done aboard the SS Ponce, a passenger ship of the Porto Rico Line.  Marconi left for England on 8 November 1899 on the American Line's SS St. Paul, and he and his assistants installed wireless equipment aboard during the voyage. On 15 November the St. Paul became the first ocean liner to report her imminent return to Great Britain by wireless when Marconi's Royal Needles Hotel radio station contacted her sixty-six nautical miles off the English coast.

➦In 1913...broadcaster Dave Garroway was born in Schenectady NY.  He was one of the first practioners of a conversational approach on the air, as opposed to ‘announcing’ to the audience.  He had a popular late night jazz radio show in Chicago before being featured in Garroway at Large in the earliest days of the TV era, and then being named first host of the NBC Today Show. He was fired ten years later after lying down in the studio to press his contract demands. Sadly he committed suicide July 21 1982, just days after his 69th birthday.

➦In 1928…actor Bob Crane was born in Waterbury Conn.  While he had excellent radio credentials from his KNX Hollywood breakfast show, he is best remembered as the star of TV’s zany German prison sitcom, Hogan’s Heroes. He was found murdered in his hotel room in Scottsdale, AZ June 29, 1978 at age 49.

➦In 1960…KDBQ-AM, San Francisco, California changed its call letters to KYA-AM.

KYA was for many years the leading Top 40 music radio station in the Bay Area, until the stronger-signalled KFRC switched to the format in 1966. From time to time, up through 1970, KYA would again beat KFRC in the Arbitron ratings, but KYA's dominance was truly over after the mid-60's.  Former KYA morning man and legendary radio programmer Bill Drake went on to consult KFRC to its ratings success; it was at KYA that Drake first made his mark as program director. KYA was also instrumental in the careers of future sportscaster Johnny Holliday, audio and electronics store pitchman Tom Campbell, Hall of Fame disc jockey and underground radio pioneer Tom Donahue (a/k/a "Big Daddy"), and Tommy Saunders, who retired from KYA's successor, KOIT, in 2006.

KYA Tribute Station: Click Here.

Other notable disc jockeys who plied their trade on KYA's airwaves in the 1960s included Les Crane, (air name Johnny Raven), Jim Stagg, Bobby Mitchell, Norman Davis, "Emperor" Gene Nelson, Peter Tripp, Tony Bigg, Russ "The Moose" Syracuse, Chris Edwards (aircheck below), Ed Hider, Johnny Holliday, Casey Kasem, Bill Holley (a cousin of Buddy Holly), Bwana Johnny, Jeff Serr, and Ron O'Quinn. In the mid-1960s, a group of KYA DJs, led by Holliday, formed a basketball team known as the KYA Oneders. The team played many Bay Area high school faculties, helping the schools raise funds for a variety of programs. Perhaps the most famous of the Oneders was Rick Barry, who played for the team during the 1967-68 campaign before jumping from the NBA's San Francisco Warriors to the ABA's Oakland Oaks. During the 1960s, the radio station issued weekly tabloid newsletters and hit sheets, The KYA Swingin' Sixty and later the KYA Beat (also known as The Official Top 30). These popular flyers were available at Bay Area record stores and other sponsor locations. The station's under-promoted news team included Mark Adams(Don Allen), Terry Sullivan, Larry Buller, (air name of Larry Brownell), Tony Tremayne (air name of Mel Fritze) and Brad Messer, who would later be inducted in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

KYA's dominance was basically over by the late 1960s when FM stations began playing Rock 'n' Roll and gained large chunks of the audiences. King Broadcasting took over on November 1, 1977, and changed the format to Adult Contemporary.

➦In 1968…Announcer (March of Time newsreels)/newsman (Mutual Broadcasting System) Westbrook Van Voorhis died of cancer at age 64.

➦In 1969...more than 100 US radio stations banned The Beatles‘ new single ‘The Balled Of John and Yoko’ due to the line ‘Christ, you know it ain’t easy’, calling it offensive.

➦In 1984.... RadioTV sportscaster Howard Cosell said that he was “tired of being tied to the football mentality” and asked to be released from duties on ABC's Monday Night Football. Roone Arledge obliged. In fact, Cosell was removed from television altogether a year later

➦In 2008…Radio-TV talk show host/recording artist (Desiderata) Les Crane died at the age of 74. One of his five wives was "Gilligan's Island" actress Tina Louise, whom he married in 1966 and divorced in 1971.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Emmis Reports 1Q Revenue Drop

Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its first fiscal quarter ending May 31, 2018.

Emmis' radio net revenues for the first fiscal quarter were $26.4 million, down from $38.7 million in the prior year. Pro forma for all radio station sales, Emmis' first quarter radio revenues as reported to Miller Kaplan, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, were down 4% in markets that were down 6%.

On April 30, the company finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations and used the net proceeds to repay credit facility debt, resulting in approximately $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding.

"Emmis has made tremendous strides in paying down our debt and giving ourselves the financial flexibility to pursue new areas of growth," Jeff Smulyan, CEO & Chairman of the Board of Emmis said. "We see opportunities both inside and outside of traditional media as we look to transform the company in the coming months and years."

Nielsen Release Day 2 Of June PPM Results

Nielsen on Wednesday 7/11 released the second batch of  June 2018 PPMs results.  The markets  included are:

   7  Washington DC

  10  Boston


  11  Miami-Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood

  12  Seattle-Tacoma

  13  Detroit

  14  Phoenix

  15  Minneapolis-St.Paul

  17  San Diego

  18  Denver-Boulder 

  19  Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater

  21  Baltimore

  23  St.Louis

Click Here to see topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Twin Cities Radio: KQRS Launches 50th Anniversary Celebration

Cumulus Media announces the launch of its 50th Anniversary celebration of KQRS 92.5 FM, one of the original Progressive/AOR radio stations in the U.S.

The station will mark its Golden Anniversary by recognizing and thanking 50 years of loyal KQ listeners with special events scheduled through year-end. Since its debut in 1968, KQRS has grown into one of America’s leading Classic Rock stations with heritage personalities having a combined tenure at the station of over 140 years, anchored by National Radio Hall of Fame inductee Tom Barnard, host of the “KQ Morning Show” since 1986.

Highlights of KQ’s 50th Anniversary celebration include: 12 consecutive days broadcasting live from the Minnesota State Fair, attended by 1.9 million people in 2017, and a listener party hosted by KQ’s legendary morning man Tom Barnard in KQ’s private suite at the September 4th Metallica concert. Listeners can participate in a contest called, “Be a Metallica VIP with Tommy B”.

The 50th Anniversary celebration will culminate in KQ’s “50th Anniversary Concert with “Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band” December 12th at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. KQ listeners have the opportunity to experience VIP seating and win autographed vinyl albums from Bob Seger’s legendary recording career.

Scott Jameson, Vice President, Classic Rock for Cumulus Media and KQRS Program Director, said: “We’re celebrating 50 incredible years of loyal listeners by thanking them with exciting events and premium experiences, and by broadcasting classic KQ moments throughout the year.”

Jameson added: “In tandem with KQ’s 50 years on-air in the Twin Cities, we’re partnering with Bob Seger and Punch Andrews to celebrate “50 Years of Bob Seger”, highlighting his amazing career that also began in 1968. This terrific opportunity to recognize Bob’s contribution to Rock radio will be shared across other Cumulus Classic Rock stations nationwide and through our national network, Westwood One.”

Mike McVay, Executive Vice President, Content & Programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One, said: “There is a certain pride that lives on in the music as it is played on KQ. We’re blessed to have the heritage of a great brand that has evolved over the years and continues to evolve today.”

The KQRS digital design team has created a special 50th Anniversary website.

FCC Proposes Changing Comment System

The chairman of the FCC has proposed an overhaul of the agency’s online comment system after millions of fake comments were posted about a recent FCC rule change, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The FCC’s Ajit Pai said in a letter to two senators that he was proposing “to rebuild and re-engineer” the commission’s electronic comment system “to institute appropriate safeguards against abusive conduct.”

Ajit Pai
In the July 6 letter to Sens. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, Mr. Pai said he has asked Congress for permission to shift funds to pay for the comment system overhaul.

Pai’s move comes after The Wall Street Journal uncovered thousands of fraudulent comments on regulatory dockets at five federal agencies, including the FCC—some using what appear to be stolen identities posted by computers programmed to pile comments onto the dockets.

The Journal contacted thousands of people who said they didn’t draft or authorize comments that were posted in their names. Pai cited 7.5 million identical comments that came from 50,000 individuals whose addresses didn’t appear to exist.

Among the changes proposed by the senators and accepted by Mr. Pai was to require commenters to fill out a Captcha—a system designed to prove humans rather than bots provided the information.

Raleigh Radio: Dave Cooper Named GSM For Country WQDR

Curtis Media Group has announced that Dave Cooper as General Sales Manager of Country WQDR-94.7 FM in Raleigh-Durham NC.

Dave Cooper
He was most recently served as General Sales Manager for Entercom/CBS Radio's Hot AC KYKY-FM (Y98) and AC KEZK-FM/St. Louis, where he had served in a variety of roles over the past fourteen years. Cooper begins his new role on Monday, July 16.

Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery commented, "We are very pleased to welcome Dave to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group. His many years of broadcast and digital sales experience make him a great addition to our Raleigh management team, and I am confident he will lead WQDR to even greater success."

Cooper added, "I am thrilled and honored to join Curtis Media Group, one of the most respected broadcasters in America and WQDR, the CMA large market station of the year. I am very excited to work with the talented sales and programming team that has made WQDR the Raleigh-Durham market leader, developing customer marketing solutions for advertisers that produce results."

Comcast Boosts Sky Bid to $34B

Comcast Corp. boosted its bid for Europe’s Sky TV to $34 billion on Wednesday evening in its global I-can-do-you-one-better takeover battle with Rupert Murdoch, according to

Comcast acted swiftly after Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox announced Wednesday morning that it would pay the equivalent of $32.5 billion for Sky, topping Comcast’s $31 billion offer for a business that many believe could be facing modest future growth in its core satellite-television business as Europeans look more to streaming entertainment.

Sky, based in the United Kingdom, has more than 20 million subscribers in several European countries, in addition to a content arm that includes Sky News.

The bidding for Sky and the broader protracted fight over ownership of Murdoch’s entertainment assets between Comcast and the Walt Disney Co. seems no closer to a conclusion after Wednesday actions, which were surprising only in that both Comcast and Fox seemed eager to get the fight on.

“It’s by no means a knockout bid,” Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst with New Street Research, said Wednesday evening of Comcast’s offer. “It’s above Fox’s bid, but [Comcast] did not go high enough so that it could thwart Fox coming back.”

Chaplin and other analysts are hoping that Fox, Comcast, and Disney can back off a bidding war over Murdoch’s entertainment empire, with Comcast taking Sky for $34 billion and Disney taking the rest of the Fox entertainment assets for $71 billion. Those assets include Fox’s Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, international networks, and 39 percent stake in Sky.

The Wall Street Journal reports the bidding in the U.K. was a main topic a world away amid the desert hills of Sun Valley, Idaho, where media and technology’s elite gathered for the annual Allen & Co. conference. Media executives spent much of the conference’s first full day trying to decipher whether Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts intends to continue the chase for the Fox assets.

If Comcast winds up only acquiring Sky, the company believes it would make strategic sense. “It’s basically a mini-Comcast-NBCU,” the person familiar with the matter said, referring to Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal, which created a mix of distribution and content assets like those that Sky owns.

Local Radio Networks Shifts to Skyview Networks

In a move that it says will change the paradigm of the 24/7 music format business for small and medium market stations, Local Radio Networks (LRN) is collaborating with Skyview Networks and ABC Radio to expand distribution, drive network sales revenue and power additional content.

As part of the agreement, Skyview Networks will provide its advanced satellite distribution platform for unprecedented reliability and flexibility and become the exclusive network sales partner for LRN’s industry-leading 24/7 music formats.  ABC Radio will provide its worldwide resources to drive additional programming opportunities to LRN and its affiliates.  The agreement between the parties is effective January 1, 2019.

Twelve expertly programmed 24/7 music formats including AC, Country, CHR, and Rock along with localization, major market talent, large libraries, and uncompressed audio are hallmarks of the LRN affiliate experience.  The satellite technology provided by Skyview Networks amplifies the delivery options local radio owners and operators have at their fingertips.

“This is really an exciting time for Local Radio Networks.  Launching this relationship with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks allows us to expand our 24/7 programming footprint and distribute our music formats with dual delivery platforms of cloud-based and now satellite delivery via XDS smart receivers to potentially thousands of stations, effortlessly and efficiently,” said Steve Swick, Chief Executive Officer, LRN.  “Steve Jones and ABC Radio bring some very special content opportunities to the table, as well.”

“We’re very pleased to welcome LRN to the Skyview family and deepen our relationship with ABC Radio.  Skyview is in a tremendous period of growth, which is a result of dynamic partnerships and investments,” said Ken Thiele, President of Skyview Networks.  “Our next-generation distribution technology allows us to provide the marketplace and local owners new and better 24/7 music formats from LRN, which is great news for the industry.”

Earlier this year, LRN and ABC News Radio initiated their relationship with an arrangement to deliver ABC’s award-winning news to LRN affiliates.
                                                                                                                                                            Regarding the growing business relationship with LRN, Steve Jones, Vice President & General Manager, ABC Radio commented, “The 24/7 music format business is a storied part of ABC Radio’s heritage, so this is a natural extension of the ABC Radio brand.  We’re already providing an ABC News Radio option for LRN affiliates, so taking this next step in our relationship just makes sense.  Congratulations to Steve Swick on the growth of LRN and to Ken Thiele and the Skyview Networks team.  This demonstrates our shared commitment to moving our business forward.”

Radio stations that would like more information on LRN may contact Donna Halverson at 214-307-5087, or Jim Ortega at 720-500-3810.  ABC Radio will handle affiliate services for the news products. For ABC Radio affiliation information, contact Heidi Oringer at 212.456.5541.