Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 22 Radio History

➦In 1932...'The Father of AM" Reginald Fessenden died at age 65. The broadcasting inventor, engineer, had 300 radio patents.  He broadcast the world’s first program of voice and music to ships at sea Christmas Eve, 1906.

➦In 1963…The Beatles' first U.S. album, "Introducing The Beatles" was pressed by Vee-Jay Records. When it was released in January 1964, Capitol Records filed an injunction against Vee-Jay in an attempt to keep them from "manufacturing, distributing, advertising, or otherwise disposing of records by the Beatles." The trial that followed resulted in Vee-Jay being allowed to release Beatles records only until October 15, 1964

Jack Lescoulie
➦In 1987..WNEW 1130 AM Radio/TV personality, former Today Show host Jack Lescoulie died

On radio, he was billed as the "Grouchmaster" on The Grouch Club (1938–40), a program in which people aired their complaints about anything,  created by future TV legend Nat Hiken, creator of The Phil Silvers Show /You'll Never Get Rich and Car 54, Where Are You?. In the 1940s, he was morning-drive partner to Gene Rayburn on WNEW radio (now WBBR) in New York City, before turning over his role in the team to Dee Finch. The Lescoulie and Finch pairings with Rayburn provided what are believed to be radio's first two-man morning teams.

During World War II, Lescoulie served as a war correspondent, flying in Air Force planes on bombing missions over Italy.

Today's Frank Blair, J. Fred Muggs Dave Garroway
In the fall of 1947, Lescoulie became the "all night radio man" on the Mutual Broadcasting System's New York affiliate WOR 710 AM. On April 12, 1948, he portrayed a mysterious newscaster in "Twelve to Five," a Quiet, Please fantasy drama which recreated an all-night request radio program so convincingly that some listeners phoned in with requests. He returned to Quiet Please June 4, 1949, in the horror drama, "Tanglefoot."

On today, he was teamed with Dave Garroway for over nine years, covering sports, news and features. The tall, blond performer was called ''the saver'' by Mr. Garroway because of his ability to enliven lackluster interviews with his wit. Often characterized as a good-humored, all-American boy, his frequently lighthearted tasks for ''Today'' included wrestling a walrus, interviewing a penguin and eating six breakfasts in one sitting. He Left 'Today' in 1961.

During the 1950's, Mr. Lescoulie made commercials for Milton Berle, was an announcer for ''The Jackie Gleason Show'' on CBS and was the host of an NBC sports-interview series called ''Meet the Champions.'' He also filled in as host of NBC's ''Tonight: America After Dark,'' a show that briefly replaced the ''Tonight'' show in 1957. The next year, he was co-host of an NBC quiz show called ''Brains and Brawn.''

Kimberley Guilfoyle OUT At Fox News Channel

Fox News said Friday that Kimberly Guilfoyle, a longtime co-host of the afternoon panel show “The Five,” had left the network, an abrupt end to a 12-year tenure during which she became one of the cable news channel’s most recognizable pundits.

Guilfoyle, 49, had become an increasingly prominent figure in Republican politics, according to The NYTimes.   The cause of her departure, though, was not entirely clear.

Fox News, in a terse statement, said only that the network “has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle.” But two people familiar with the circumstances of her exit, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a delicate situation, said Guilfoyle had been forced to leave after questions were raised internally over inappropriate workplace behavior.

Guilfoyle & Trump Jr.
Guilfoyle, who had not appeared on Fox News since last week, could not be reached for comment. One person supportive of her, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of legal restrictions, disputed that any misconduct was involved.

She is considering a new role at America First, the political organization created by President Trump’s allies to support his agenda and the campaigns of candidates who share his worldview, the person said.

Guilfoyle has recently been dating the 41-year-old Donald Trump Jr. and on Friday, he reposted a tweet by his spokesman, Andrew Surabian, that praised Ms. Guilfoyle and her newfound role.

Guilfoyle started her career as a prosecutor in California. She jumped to television in 2004, hosting a show on Court TV and appearing on CNN as a legal analyst. She joined Fox News in 2006, and became a co-host of “The Five” in 2011.

What’s clear is that Fox News management is not in the least upset that Guilfoyle is leaving, reports Vanity Fair. For the past year, she’s been a management nightmare, according to VF citing sources. Her entanglements, romantic and otherwise, with Trumpworld have been a part of this. Before Don Jr., Guilfoyle was publicly linked to former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and she was widely rumored to be in the running for a job in the West Wing communications shop. But more than the perceived complications her romantic life generated, Guilfoyle’s high-handedness rankled Fox executives. One Fox staffer told me Guilfoyle went on a “witch hunt” to find out who leaked rumors she was dating the Mooch. Another source said Guilfoyle used Fox News makeup artists before going out to personal events.

But, reports VF, a source close to Guilfoyle disputed that Fox was unhappy, maintaining that The Five co-host is leaving entirely on her own terms, and that the reason is because she plans to join Don Jr. on the campaign trail. “Kim is going to get more political,” the source said, adding that the relationship between her and Don Jr. is getting “very serious.” “They are talking a possible wedding in the future,” the source said.

NYC Radio: Joe Benigno Takes 'Leave of Absence' From WFAN

Joe Benigno
Well, sports fans you can forget listening to Joe Benigno on WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM this Monday.  That's when he was expected to return from vacation.  On Thursday, a spox for Entercom Communications told the NY Post that Benigno would be back on-air as usual Monday.

But plans have changed.

WFAN's Benigno is now taking a 'leave of absence' from the station, two days after he was named in a salacious sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee, multiple sources familiar with Benigno’s employment confirmed to The NYPost.

Benigno had conversations with close associates about not returning immediately to WFAN to avoid having the conversation on talk radio become about him, rather than about baseball and the station’s Subway Series coverage, a source told The Post.

WFAN has launched an internal investigation into the sexual harassment claims against Benigno laid out in the lawsuit, according to a source. There is no set date for when the radio host will return to the air, a source said.

Benigno, 64, has been accused in a lawsuit sexually harassing a former female ad executive — allegedly pressuring her on several occasions into “threesomes” and then damaging her career after getting rebuffed.

Esther Mireya Tejeda, a spokeswoman for Entercom, which owns WFAN, declined to comment on Friday.

Fox News Bigger Than Ever, 2 Years After Ailes

FNC's Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham
Saturday marks two years to the day since Roger Ailes, Fox News’ longtime chairman and CEO and the programming genius behind its overwhelming success and influence, parted ways with the network amid sexual harassment allegations.

As a result, more major changes — both in front of and behind the camera — have occurred at Fox since July 21, 2016, than did in the previous 20 years combined.

Joe Concha at The Hill writes not only has Fox survived but it has exceeded its pre-Ailes numbers, despite losing huge names such as Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, who comprised 75 percent of Fox's primetime lineup.

With those 7, 8 and 9 p.m. hosts gone in the span of nine months, between September 2016 and April 2017, the challenge was to reinvent itself in the evening without going outside the shop to do it.

Enter Tucker Carlson, Martha MacCallum and Laura Ingraham, three former hosts at other networks who had settled in with Fox's audience over the years — to the point that the whole get-to-know-you stage could be avoided, if inserted into primetime.

Keep Reading

July 21 Radio History

Himan Brown
➦In’s most prolific producer Himan Brown was born in New York City.  Over a span of 65 years Brown produced more than 30,000 radio programs, including The Adventures of the Thin Man, The Affairs of Peter Salem, Bulldog Drummond, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, The General Mills Radio Adventure Theater, Grand Central Station, The Gumps, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Joyce Jordan, M.D., Marie, the Little French Princess, The NBC Radio Theater,  Terry and the Pirates, numerous daytime soap operas, and many lesser known programs.

After the end of most network radio programming in the early 60’s Brown persisted with such series as the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, thereby keeping the art of radio drama alive for another generation. He died June 4 2010 at age 99.

➦In 1969...Six hours after first landing on the moon, American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, stepped on the Moon at 2:56:15 AM and the world watched and listened, all made possible by the transmission of radio waves.

➦In 1980...WMCA 570 AM, New York, hosted a reunion featuring Joe O'Brien, Harry Harrison, Dan Daniels, Jack Spector and B. Mitchel Reed.

In 1960, WMCA began promoting itself by stressing its on-air personalities, who were collectively known as the Good Guys. Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio,  this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

In the early 1960s, the top 40 format was still young, and the field was crowded in New York City. Two major 50,000-watt stations, WMGM (now WEPN) and WINS, had battled each other, playing pop music for years. Then in 1960, WABC joined the fray and started featuring top 40 music. Ultimately, it was WMCA's earnest competition with rival WABC that forced WMGM (in early 1962) and then WINS (in spring 1965) to abandon the top-40 format. There was so much attention on the high-profile WMCA-WABC battle that WMGM and WINS were each summarily forced to find a new niche.

➦In 2011...WRXP 101.9 FM NYC changes call letters to WEMP


➦In 2013…Cabaret singer Page Morton Black, who sang the Chock Full o' Nuts coffee jingle in radio and TV commercials during a two-decade run in the middle of the 20th century, died at age 97.

➦In 2016…Roger Ailes resigned as CEO/Chairman of Fox News in the wake of sexual harassment allegations made by former Fox host Gretchen Carlson and as many as 20 other current or former female employees of the cable network.

➦In 2016....Longtime Pittsburgh radio personality (WJAS, WIXZ, WPEZ)/TV host Bill Cardille, who for 37 years handled local segments of the annual Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day telethon, died of liver cancer at age 87.

Friday, July 20, 2018

NYC Radio: Joe Benigno Expected To Return To WFAN Monday

UPDATE 7/21/18: Wrong! Joe takes leave of absence Click Here

Earlier Posting...

Sports talker Joe Benigno will be back on the air at WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM Monday.

Benigno, 64, on vacation this week, was accused in a bombshell lawsuit this week of sexually harassing a former female ad executive — allegedly pressuring her on several occasions into “threesomes” and then damaging her career after getting rebuffed.

“He’ll be back on the air next week as per usual,” Esther-Mireya Tejeda, a spokeswoman for Entercom, which owns the station, told The NYPost.

Joe, Terry Bernigno
Benigno co-hosts a daily WFAN show with Evan Roberts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Roberts addressed the lawsuit when he opened up Thursday’s show by saying he was aware of the suit — but couldn’t comment on it.

The company has said it will fight the allegations made by former ad sales executive Laura Lockwood that the station, owned by CBS Radio during her 2006-to-2017 tenure, was run like a frat house.

In the suit, Lockwood claims that Benigno tried to pressure her into group sex with his wife and a prostitute, showed her naked pictures of his wife, and then tried to derail her career when she turned him down.

Benigno’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, said he will vigorously defend the claims so that “Joe’s good name is cleared.”

“He’s denying everything she alleged,” said Aidala, who in the past has represented Sid Rosenberg, Benigno’s former co-host, and NFL great Lawrence Taylor.

“[Joe] never showed a naked picture of his wife,” the lawyer said. “That’s absolutely insane. He never propositioned her in any way, shape, or form.”

The suit names CBS Radio, which sold the station last year, and two ad executives. Lockwood was fired last year.

Philly Radio: 'Crown Jewel of Radio' Sold

It’s an end of an era in Philadelphia radio is how calls it.

Entercom, which is based in nearby Bala Cynwyd announced Thursday that it was purchasing WBEB 101.1 More FM from Jerry Lee Radio LLC for $57.5 million. More FM was the last major independent station in the country.

More FM, which was rebranded from B101 in 2013 and is well-known for shifting to an all-Christmas-music format every December, generally ends each month as the top-ranked station in the Philadelphia market, according to Nielsen ratings.

“We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group,” Entercom CEO David Field said in a statement. “I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.”

Lee, the chairman of More FM who first joined the station shortly after it was founded as WDVR in 1963 by former partner David L. Kurtz, also praised Entercom and said his employees and the “crown jewel of Philadelphia radio” will be in good hands.

“I’ve known them forever. I just think the world of the family,” Lee said. “Once you’re on top as a dominant station, you’ve really got to screw things up to lose that spot.”

To make room for the station, Entercom is selling the country-music station WXTU 92.5 FM to Beasley Media Group, which owns six stations in the Philadelphia market. According to Beasley, that deal is worth $38 million.

“Unfortunately, we have had to make some difficult choices,” Entercom senior vice president David Yadgaroff said in an email announcing the deal obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News. Field said employees at the station “will be in great hands.”

Boston Radio: Sports WEEI-FM Swaps Two Shows

Entercom has announced lineup changes for WEEI 93.7 FM in Boston, effective Aug. 13.

The new lineup is as follows:

5:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: “Kirk & Callahan” hosted by Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: “Dale & Keefe” with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.:   “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” hosted by Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and                                               Christian Fauria
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: “Mut at Night” with Mike Mutnansky
10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.: “WEEI Late Night”

“We are proud to deliver the power of local connection to our listeners and advertisers through an elite roster of talent that provides premier sports audio content in Boston,” said Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston. “This move allows us to return Glenn and Dale to the show times that have been synonymous with their legendary careers in Boston, while also providing Rich, Christian and Lou with new, exciting challenges moving forward.”

The new lineup is a return to afternoon drive for Glenn Ordway, former host of WEEI’s “The Big Show” from 1995 to 2013. Lou Merloni joined the station in 2008 and has co-hosted “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” since 2011. Christian Fauria has co-hosted the show since his tenure at the station began in 2014.

Dale Arnold has been a fixture at WEEI since the station’s inception in 1991, notably hosting “The Dale and Holley Show” from 2005 to 2011, after which he transitioned to Sunday mornings. “The Dale and Holley Show” was re-launched in 2014 in the weekday afternoon timeslot. Rich Keefe joined WEEI in 2016.

WEEI 93.7 FM (34 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area)
Kirk & Callahan announced the news Thursday morning.

“I’m happy for them,” Kirk Minihane said. “They’ve done a great job. As I outlined it a little while ago, it was enjoyable to watch a show become a show. At first they didn’t have any chemistry, they were trying to figure stuff out, but they are now a really fun show. They’re a really good listen. I personally think they’re going to do great in the afternoon.

“It’s a great move for the station.”

Ordway, Merloni & Fauria formed in middays back in 2015 when Glenn Ordway returned to the station after being relieved in 2013 and joined Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria. Since, OMF has become a dominant voice in middays in Boston, finishing as the highest rated sports midday show this past spring book.

“They’re going to like what they hear,” Gerry Callahan said of the afternoon drive listeners. “These guys do have fun. They’ve evolved, they have great chemistry.

“They don’t just do the boring sporty topics. They have some laughs, they have some fun.”

Ordway opened OMF Thursday discussing the switch.

“The three of us have developed chemistry and we love and hate each other which is what you need in radio,” he said. “You need to have that love-hate relationship. We’ve all been together in all of this and I think that’s why a lot of it works in radio. You have to have people that are working with you that you can ride – people that you can sit there and beat up and when you go to break, there’s so much respect that you’re sitting there and laughing your ass off with each other. Those are the radio shows that work, and we’ve formed a little wolf pack.”

Boston Radio: WBZ-FM's Zolak and Bertrand Debut TV Simulcast

Beasley Media Group and NBC Sports Boston will team up to launch the highly anticipated simulcast of WBZ 98.5 FM  The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand Midday Show beginning Monday, July 23rd, 2018.

This will mark the first time the popular radio show will be available to TV audiences, throughout New England and across the country, on NBC Sports Boston. “The Zolak and Bertrand Show” will air weekdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston, and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and

Since 2010, Felger & Massarotti’s, afternoon show which airs Monday-Friday 2pm-6pm, has been simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. 98.5 The Sports Hub will continue this simulcast as part of the multi-year agreement.

 “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston to include our Top rated Midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state of the art studios,” said Beasley Media Boston Vice President and Market Manager Mary Menna.

“We are pleased to expand our relationship with The Sports Hub and Beasley Media by adding the popular Zolak and Bertrand midday show to our programming line-up and extending the successful Felger & Mazz simulcast,” said Princell Hair, SVP and General Manager of NBC Sports Boston. “With the addition of these shows, NBC Sports Boston will now offer 13 straight hours of live, real-time sports programming every weekday from 10AM-11PM. This continuous lineup allows us to super serve the Boston sports fans in all dayparts.”

“Eight hours each weekday, you can enjoy Zolak & Bertrand and Felger & Mazz on multiple platforms, whether you’re in Boston or Bakersfield. This is an exciting time for us and Sports Hub fans around the country, who always want to be in the know on the latest Boston Sports news,” said Program Director Mike Thomas.                                             

Scott Zolak is a former New England Patriot quarterback and Marc Bertrand is from Quincy and went to UMASS-Amherst to launch his sports radio career. Both Scott and Marc have been on 98.5 The Sports Hub since the station launched in August 2009.

MLB Yankees YES Network Reports Number 1 Ranking

New York Yankees games on the YES Network this season rank #1 in average TV HH ratings in Primetime in the New York DMA, beating the Primetime averages of all other broadcast and cable TV networks in the market. More than 4 billion minutes of Yankees games on YES have been consumed so far this season on YES in the New York market, and 95% of viewers watching the Yankees on YES are watching live.

YES' First-Half Yankees Highlights
  • Primetime Yankees games on YES are averaging a 4.14 TV Household rating, out-delivering the Primetime schedules of all other cable and broadcasting television networks in the New York market
  • More than 4 billion minutes of Yankees games on YES have been consumed so far this season in the New York market, which is half a billion minutes more than the amount of minutes consumed in the first half of the 2017 season; YES is on pace to surpass the 6.94 billion minutes of Yankees games on YES that were consumed in the New York DMA for all of the 2017 season. 
  • YES is averaging a 3.91 TV Household rating for all of its Yankees games this season, a 10% increase from 2017 (3.56) and YES' best first-half game delivery since 2012 (4.13)
  • 95% of those watching Yankees games on YES are watching live, compared to the 93% of viewers who watch broadcast sports in general live in the New York DMA
  • YES have had 30 Yankees telecasts average a 4.0 TV Household rating or better in the first half; by comparison, YES had 35 Yankees telecasts average a 4.0 rating or better for all of 2017
Among the demos experiencing year-over-year increases include:
  • Men 18-49, up 5% 
  • Persons 18-49, up 6%
  • Persons 25-54%, up 5%
  • Females 25-54, up 17%
Yankees games on YES have experienced significant year-over-year ratings growth in the following markets:
  • Hartford/New Haven +53%
  • Scranton/Wilkes-Barre +52%
  • Binghamton +47%
Also, YES' live simulcasts of ESPN Radio New York's The Michael Kay Show are enjoying their best first-half ratings (0.31) for any radio show simulcast on YES since the network's 2002 launch

MLB Braves On FOX Sports Rank No. 1 in NL

Through 91 games of the 2018 MLB season, Atlanta Braves ratings on FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast delivered a 3.09 average household rating in the Atlanta DMA. This is a 51% uptick versus the same number of games in 2017, marking the highest year-over-year (YoY) household ratings growth of any National League team, and the second highest across all MLB teams.

Atlanta Braves telecasts on FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast in the Atlanta DMA also rank #1 in prime on cable TV with a 3.29 primetime HH rating average since the start of the season, beating the average of all other cable networks. Among all television in the Atlanta DMA, Braves games on the networks rank #2.

The networks’ social media platforms have also delivered substantial gains since Opening Day with Braves content on FOX Sports South’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts; engagement is up 554% and video views are up 134% versus the first half of the 2017 season.

Additional ratings highlights for the first half of the 2018 season (Atlanta DMA):

• Highest-Rated Game: Monday, July 2, at New York Yankees (5.46 HH rating) on FOX Sports Southeast.
• Highest-Rated Braves LIVE Pregame Show: Sunday, July 15, versus Arizona Diamondbacks (1.54 HH rating) on FOX Sports South.
• Highest-Rated Braves LIVE Postgame Show: Sunday, May 20, versus Miami Marlins (3.61 HH rating) on FOX Sports South.
• Highest Peak Rating: Monday, July 2, at New York Yankees (6.87 HH rating in 10:00-10:15 p.m. ET window) on FOX Sports Southeast.
• Highest-Rated Series: Three games at New York Yankees on July 2-4 averaged a 4.49 HH rating on FOX Sports Southeast.
• Tuesday, June 12, versus New York Mets (3.41 HH rating) on FOX Sports Southeast outperformed ESPN’s telecast of the same game by 142%.

Report: Radio Powers Amazon Prime Day 2018

According to Amazon, their 2018 Prime Day Sale was their biggest success yet, with Prime members buying more than 100 million products. Amazon leveraged a healthy media mix of AM/FM radio, TV, and online advertising to build awareness of the event.

How did media fare?

Westwood One, the largest audio network in the U.S., partnered with research firm Ipsos to understand how advertising helped Amazon drive sales and reach its key demographics.

 Key findings from the study conducted by IPSOS of 2010 respondents during the full Amazon Prime Day 36-hour event:

Technological glitches were felt!
  • 18% of those who shopped experienced issues with the site.
  • 28% of Amazon Prime members had issues with the site.
Awareness skewed older: Consistent with our findings from the first day, awareness among the 55+ demo was the highest at 82%.

Purchases skewed younger: Though older demographics were more aware, Millennials 18-34 were bigger purchasers with 25% buying something from the sale.

Sales conversion was strong for radio: For adults 18+, sales conversion for radio was 25%, nearly equal to the sales version of online ads which was 26%. Both were higher than television.

Heavy radio listeners made more purchases: Heavy radio listeners were more likely to make an Amazon Prime Day purchase than heavy TV viewers and heavy online users.

Radio’s audience composition of those who recalled Prime Day advertising was younger than TV’s: 32% of those who recalled Prime Day radio advertising were Millennials. Only 21% of those who recalled Prime Day TV advertising were in the 18-34 age bracket. Those who recalled Prime Day TV advertising skewed older, as 45% of the audience fell in the 55+ range. Only 34% of those who recalled Prime Day radio ads were 55+.

Frequent listeners of highly engaged formats purchased more: Formats like Spanish radio (54%), Sports (38%), Top 40 (31%), NPR (31%), and R&B/Hip-Hop (30%) saw a higher percentage of Amazon Prime Day purchases.

Catfight On 'The View'

Whoopi Goldberg and Jeanine Pirro got into an explosive argument backstage at “The View” on Thursday — after an intense on-the-air exchange got even more heated behind-the-scenes, sources exclusively tell Page Six at The NYPost.

The confrontation ended with liberal Goldberg allegedly shouting, “F–k you, get the f–k out!” at President Trump supporter and Fox News host Pirro.

During the screaming match, Pirro told Goldberg, “I’ve done more for abused women than you will ever do,” we hear.

The trouble, sources told us, started before Pirro even went on-air to promote her new book, “Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy” — when Pirro arrived at “The View” to learn that anti-Trump CNN contributor Ana Navarro was filling in for Joy Behar.

“When Jeanine arrived on set she was looking for a fight and refusing to be on with Ana, demanding [Ana] not be in the segment,” an insider said. “[Pirro] was yelling at [‘The View’] executive producer and her staff like, ‘You need to handle this.’”

Another source told us that Pirro “was upset that Ana was there because she wasn’t told until the last minute. Ana is 24-7 anti-Trump. Jeanine wasn’t yelling, but you could tell they felt like the segment was being hijacked by shoving in an anti-Fox, anti-Trump person.”

Navaro did appear in Pirro’s segments, and things came to a head on the ABC show when the “Justice with Judge Jeanine” host accused left-wing Goldberg of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

Paramount TV Fires President Over Alleged Remarks

Amy Powell
Paramount Television President Amy Powell has been fired after making inappropriate comments, the movie and TV studio’s Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos told staff Thursday, according to The LATimes.

In a memo obtained by The Times, Gianopulos told staff multiple people raised concerns about Powell’s unspecified comments last week, sparking an internal investigation by the company. It was not immediately clear what Powell said that led to her ouster, but a person familiar with the matter said she made racially charged remarks in a meeting attended by multiple people.

“Having spent the past several days conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and speaking to those who were present, our Human Resources and Legal teams came to the same conclusion, and we have made the decision to terminate Amy's employment, effective immediately,” Gianopulos said.

Powell has denied making the insensitive comments.

“There is no truth to the allegation that I made insensitive comments in a professional setting — or in any setting,” she said in a statement. “The facts will come out and I will be vindicated."

The firing comes a month after Netflix ousted its chief communications officer for using a racial slur on at least two occasions in the workplace. Company CEO Reed Hastings said in a memo to employees he dismissed Jonathan Friedland after deciding that what he said wasn’t “in line with our values as a company.”

Powell was named president of the Viacom Inc.-owned Paramount Television in 2013

Heart Surgery Set For CNN Chief Jeff Zucker

Jeff Zucker
CNN President Jeff Zucker will be out of action for at least six weeks as he undergoes elective heart surgery to correct a long-standing condition.

The LATimes reports the 53-year-old Zucker told staff of the impending medical leave on Thursday..

“He assured everyone he is going to be just fine,” CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter wrote on Twitter following the network’s morning meeting.

Michael Bass, executive vice president of programming for CNN, will oversee editorial operations in Zucker’s absence.

He chose to have the procedure now because August is typically a slower news month.

Zucker has been the driving executive force behind CNN since he took over the cable news operation in 2013. His hands-on leadership style has made him well-liked among the journalists there.

CNN, a unit of WarnerMedia (the former Time Warner), has topped $1 billion in profit in each of the last two years, thanks in large part to surging viewership during the political rise of President Trump.

R.I.P.: 'Good Morning Vietnam' DJ Adrian Cronauer

Adrian Joseph Cronauer, best known for co-writing the original story for the film "Good Morning Vietnam" about his time as an Air Force DJ in Vietnam, died on Wednesday at the age of 79, according to CBS News citing an obituary posted by a Virginia funeral home.

Robin Williams starred as Cronauer in the 1987 film, which earned the actor an Academy Award nomination.

Cronauer's obituary states that he served as a confidential advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense from 2001 through 2009, representing "the POW/MIA Office at meetings within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at various outside functions including liaison with the leadership of veterans service organizations as well as family and activist groups. ... For his efforts, he holds the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service."

Cronauer was a former U.S. Air Force sergeant and sat on the Board of Directors of the National D-Day Memorial.

Cronauer served as a DJ for the Air Force as the quirky and irreverent host of "Dawn Buster" from 1965 to 1966 in Saigon, where he used his signature line, "Good morning, Vietnam." Later, in 1979, he moved to New York and co-wrote the original story for the film. Robin Williams received an Oscar nomination for portraying Cronauer in the film, although many aspects of the movie were fictional.

According to Stars&Stripes, the film was a departure from other Vietnam war movies that focused on bloody realism, such as the Academy Award-winning "Platoon." Instead, it was about irreverent youth in the 1960s fighting the military establishment, The Associated Press reported.

"We were the only game in town and you had to play by our rules," Cronauer told The AP in 1987. "But I wanted to serve the listeners.

The military wanted conservative programming. American youths, however, were "not into drab, sterile announcements" with middle-of-the-road music, Cronauer told the wire service, and the battle over the airwaves was joined.

"Yes, I did try to make it sound more like a stateside station," he told The AP in 1989. "Yes, I did have problems with news censorship. Yes, I was in a restaurant shortly before the Viet Cong hit it. And yes, I did start each program by yelling, 'Good Morning, Vietnam!'"

The rest is what he delicately called "good script crafting."

Later, Cronauer continued to work in broadcasting, including working on TV and in radio. He also taught broadcasting and wrote a textbook on radio and TV announcing, his obituary states.

Cronauer was living in Troutville, Virginia, at the time of his death. A cause of death was not revealed.

July 20 Radio History

Loomis in 1865
➦In 1872...Mahlon Loomis was awarded a patent for wireless technology heralding the beginning of radio. Loomis was the first wireless telegrapher.

Loomis was also a dentist, the inventor of artificial teeth (patent #10,847 May 2, 1854), and the earliest inventor of wireless communication (patent #129,971).

He claimed to have transmitted signals in October 1866 between two Blue Ridge Mountain-tops 14 miles apart in Virginia, using kites as antennas, but without having identified the names of independent witnesses.

He was born July 26, 1826 in Oppenheim, New York, and died October 13, 1886 in Terra Alta, West Virginia.

➦In 1890...character actress Verna Felton was born in Salinas Calif.

With her distinctive voice she was much in demand in bigtime radio’s heyday, playing The Mom in The Cinnamon Bear, Junior the Mean Widdle Kid’s grandmother on Red Skelton‘s radio series, Hattie Hirsch on Point Sublime, and Dennis Day‘s mother on The Jack Benny Program.

She was a regular cast member in CBS-TV’s December Bride, and the spinoff Pete & Gladys, in a role she introduced on radio.

She died of a stroke December 14, 1966,

➦In 1935…NBC Radio debuted "G-men," renamed "Gangbusters" in January 1936 when it moved to CBS. The series ran for 21 years.

➦In 1937…Inventor Guglielmo Marconi, often credited as being the inventor of radio, died after a series of heart attacks at age 63. As a tribute, all radio stations throughout the world observed two minutes of silence on the next day.

When Marconi made his famous first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901, rival inventor Nikola Tesla claimed that it was done with 17 Tesla patents. Thus began years of patent battles over radio with Tesla's patents being upheld in 1903, followed by a reverse decision in favor of Marconi in 1904. In June 1943, the United States Supreme Court restored patent rights to Tesla, saying their decision had no bearing on Marconi's claim as the first to achieve radio transmission, just that because Marconi's claim to certain patents was questionable, he could not claim infringement on those same patents.

➦In 1940...Billboard magazine published its first singles record chart. The first Number One song was "I'll Never Smile Again," by Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra.

➦In 2015…Songwriter (Always On My Mind, The Letter, Neon Rainbow, Somebody Like Me)/Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Wayne Carson died of congestive heart failure at 72.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Philly Radio: Entercom To Acquire WBEB For $57.5M

Entercom Communications Corp. today announced a definitive agreement to acquire WBEB 101.1 MORE FM from Jerry Lee Radio, LLC in Philadelphia, PA for $57.5 million in cash.

The company also announced that it has entered into an agreement to divest WXTU 92.5 FM to Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. for $38.0 million in cash.

The transactions are immediately accretive to Entercom and are leverage neutral.

The acquisition of WBEB-FM, Philadelphia’s #1 rated station, is a complementary addition to Entercom’s existing portfolio of leading stations in the market that includes Newsradio KYW 1060 AM, SportsRadio WIP 94.1 FM, HotAC WTDY 96.5 FM, Classic Hits WOGL 98.1 FM and Talk Radio WPHT 1210 AM.

“We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group,” said David Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entercom. “It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community. I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built B101 into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades. We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU, but know that they will be in great hands.”

WBEB 101.1 fM (14 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
A Local Marketing Agreement for WXTU will begin Monday, July 23. The transactions are expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

WXTU 92.5 FM (15 Kw) 
Entercom was advised by MVP Capital, LLC on the WBEB transaction. Methuselah Advisors acted as financial advisor to WBEB-FM.

Commenting on the proposed transaction, Caroline Beasley, Chief Executive Officer said, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-ten market. Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.

“As the former owner of WXTU-FM, Beasley originally launched the station’s country music format in 1983 against the advice of a number of industry pundits who believed it wouldn’t succeed in the Philadelphia market. Instead, the station thrived and resulted in our successful exchange of WXTU-FM in 2014, as part of a larger asset exchange agreement with CBS Radio. Today, WXTU-FM remains one of the best and most listened-to country music stations in America. We are proud of this heritage and confident in our ability to continue the growth and success of WXTU-FM as part of the Beasley family of stations.

Comcast Drops Bid For 21st Century Fox

Comcast Corp. is walking away from a hugely expensive takeover battle for 21st Century Fox with the Walter Disney Co. and will instead focus on buying European Sky satellite-TV business.

According to, the decision announced Thursday morning by Comcast came after Disney seemed willing to spend whatever it took to buy Fox — its current offer stands at $71 billion — while Rupert Murdoch seemed equally determined to sell the Fox entertainment empire to Disney, snubbing Comcast.

Comcast also faced a potentially hostile Justice Department over an antitrust regulatory review of a Comcast/Fox deal.

The Justice Department has said it will appeal a federal judge’s decision approving the AT&T/Time Warner deal, which could make future so-called vertical mergers difficult to pass regulatory muster.

Comcast’s decision seemed in harmony with the views of many analysts who hoped that Fox, Comcast, and Disney would 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.

In a statement, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts said, “I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company.”

But settling for Sky represents a comedown for Comcast, which is looking for ways to grow and compete with Netflix.

Sky is 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.

Report: Private Equity Firm Offers iHM Investment Deal

Private-equity firm Silver Lake has reached out to iHeartMedia Inc. and its largest creditor group with an offer to invest about $500 million in the radio station operator, according The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.

iHeartMedia’s largest creditor group, led by Franklin Mutual Advisers Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., hasn’t accepted Silver Lake’s offer.

Silver Lake, known for its investments in technology and media companies, would invest through convertible preferred shares, a hybrid instrument between debt and equity. Convertible preferred shares  typically pay interest, and get paid before common equity. They also come with an option to convert to common equity at a specified share price.

Silver Lake views iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., as an attractive growth investment opportunity, according to two of the people familiar with the proposal.

John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. had initially proposed investing $1.16 billion for a 40% equity stake in iHM in February, before the company’s March bankruptcy filing. But in June, Liberty backed out of the deal, saying iHM’s results were below expectations. Still, the parties involved have continued informal talks in an effort to revive the deal, according to the people familiar.

The goal for both Liberty and Silver Lake is to negotiate a deal to invest in the company before it emerges from bankruptcy, the people said. iHeartMedia faces a Nov. 24 deadline to file a reorganization plan and has until March 2019 to get the bankruptcy court to confirm the plan.

If iHeartMedia and its creditors are able to reach a deal with either Liberty or Silver Lake, the investment would bring in more money to distribute to creditors.Report

AC, Country, Classic Hits Vying For Format of Summer Honors

Seasonality is still playing a large role in how Americans use radio, and format preferences always shift during the warmest months of every summer. A number of factors drive this shift, including work (and commuting) schedules, the summertime music cycle and listeners seeking the musical vibe to match their seasonal mindset.

Nielsen thoroughly documented the history of these behavior shifts since the inception of electronic audience measurement (the PPM system) seven years ago. And with the month-to-month cadence of ratings results, we have become accustomed over time to the ebbs and flows of a handful of major music formats during the middle of the year, namely, for Classic Hits, Classic Rock and Country radio.

In fact, looking back at the past six summers, these three formats (along with Pop Contemporary Hit Radio, CHR) have seen the most uplift in audience share during June, July and August compared with the first five months of the year. This yearly accounting has come to be known as the race to be the “format of the summer,” and since 2014, only Classic Hits and Classic Rock have won the title...both taking the crown in two year stretches.

Ad for the Summer of 2018, the June PPMs gives the first look at this summer’s race among the top music formats nationwide. The July and August surveys will complete the picture.

Radio listenership in June was good for both Classic Rock and Classic Hits, which comes as no surprise considering that these two categories have each won format of the summer honors twice in the past four years. This year, listenership for both formats is pacing ahead of the average of the first five months of this year, but Classic Hits continued to break records in June. The format’s share of audience among persons 6+ was 5.9% in June, the highest mark for Classic Hits we’ve ever recorded.

Country is also performing well this year, as tune in to this format has been stronger than in the past few years. You have to wind the clock back five years, to the summer of 2013, to find the last time Country went on such a warm weather hot streak; in fact this was the same year it took home 'format of the summer’ honors. Summer is always the biggest time of year for Country radio listening, according to Nielsen.

Report: Smart Speakers Enter The Mainstream

With smart speaker ownership over 43M in the U.S. (18+), smart speakers have quickly expanded beyond first adopters. According to tje report, new smart speaker owners are emerging as a distinct audience in terms of user profile and behavior according to new research from The Smart Audio Report, which for the first time offers a preview into the realities of mainstream use, and reveals opinions about brand activations and messaging within the voice assistant ecosystem.

“First adopters” (those who have owned a smart speaker device for more than one year) demonstrate more advanced use of the voice assistant and smart speaker – for instance, using it to control home security and other household devices. By contrast, new, “early mainstream” users (who have owned a smart speaker device for less than one year) are relying on the technology for a wider range of daily activities including ordering food, making calls, getting traffic reports, researching products, shopping, and even facilitating family/social time.

“Voice-activated tools have become part of our daily lives and are bringing dramatic changes to
consumer behavior,” said NPR CMO Meg Goldthwaite. “As the research shows, smart speaker owners are turning off their TVs and closing down their laptops to spend more time listening to news, music, podcasts and books — fueling the demand for more audio content.”

“In homes that have had smart speakers for at least a year, they are now the number one device for consuming audio. This has profound ramifications for anyone in media and advertising. For millions of Americans, smart speakers are truly the new radio,” says Tom Webster, Senior VP of Edison Research.

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, is a reoccurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available here.

The report also puts forth a smart speaker adoption curve (based on the Rogers Adoption Curve), where two dates (Jan 2017 and Jan 2018) are positioned in the curve. We are now in the Early Majority of smart speaker adoption, leaving behind the Early Adopters phase.