Saturday, November 3, 2018

November 4 Radio History

➦In 1916...David Sarnoff proposes "radio music box" for radio reception.

The curator of Sarnoff's papers found a previously mis-filed 1916 memo that mentioned Sarnoff and a "radio music box scheme" (the word "scheme" in 1916 usually meant a plan).  Here is the memo:
David Sarnoff
"I have in mind a plan of development which would make radio a 'household utility' in the same sense as the piano or phonograph. The idea is to bring music into the house by wireless.  
"While this has been tried in the past by wires, it has been a failure because wires do not lend themselves to this scheme. With radio, however, it would seem to be entirely feasible. For example--a radio telephone transmitter having a range of say 25 to 50 miles can be installed at a fixed point where instrumental or vocal music or both are produced. The problem of transmitting music has already been solved in principle and therefore all the receivers attuned to the transmitting wave length should be capable of receiving such music. The receiver can be designed in the form of a simple 'Radio Music Box' and arranged for several different wave lengths, which should be changeable with the throwing of a single switch or pressing of a single button.  
"The 'Radio Music Box' can be supplied with amplifying tubes and a loudspeaking telephone, all of which can be neatly mounted in one box. The box can be placed on a table in the parlor or living room, the switch set accordingly and the transmitted music received. There should be no difficulty in receiving music perfectly when transmitted within a radius of 25 to 50 miles. Within such a radius there reside hundreds of thousands of families; and as all can simultaneously receive from a single transmitter, there would be no question of obtaining sufficiently loud signals to make the performance enjoyable. The power of the transmitter can be made 5 k.w., if necessary, to cover even a short radius of 25 to 50 miles; thereby giving extra loud signals in the home if desired. The use of head telephones would be obviated by this method. The development of a small loop antenna to go with each 'Radio Music Box' would likewise solve the antennae problem.

"The same principle can be extended to numerous other fields as, for example, receiving lectures at home which be made perfectly audible; also events of national importance can be simultaneously announced and received. Baseball scores can be transmitted in the air by the use of one set installed at the Polo Grounds. The same would be true of other cities. This proposition would be especially interesting to farmers and others living in outlying districts removed from cities. By the purchase of a 'Radio Music Box' they could enjoy concerts, lectures, music, recitals, etc., which may be going on in the nearest city within their radius. While I have indicated a few of the most probable fields of usefulness for such a device, yet there are numerous other fields to which the principle can be extended... 
"The manufacture of the 'Radio Music Box' including antenna, in large quantities, would make possible their sale at a moderate figure of perhaps $75.00 per outfit. The main revenue to be derived will be from the sale of 'Radio Music Boxes' which if manufactured in quantities of one hundred thousand or so could yield a handsome profit when sold at the price mentioned above. Secondary sources of revenue would be from the sale of transmitters and from increased advertising and circulation of the Wireless Age. The Company would have to undertake the arrangements, I am sure, for music recitals, lectures, etc., which arrangements can be satisfactorily worked out. It is not possible to estimate the total amount of business obtainable with this plan until it has been developed and actually tried out but there are about 15,000,000 families in the United States alone and if only one million or 7% of the total families thought well of the idea it would, at the figure mentioned, mean a gross business of about $75,000,000 which should yield considerable revenue.  
"Aside from the profit to be derived from this proposition the possibilities for advertising for the Company are tremendous; for its name would ultimately be brought into the household and wireless would receive national and universal attention."
Sarnoff eventually ruled over an ever-growing telecommunications and consumer electronics empire that included both RCA and NBC, and became one of the largest companies in the world. Named a Reserve Brigadier General of the Signal Corps in 1945, Sarnoff thereafter was widely known as "The General."

Sarnoff is credited with Sarnoff's law, which states that the value of a broadcast network is proportional to the number of viewers.

Walter Cronkite
➦In 1916...Journalist and longtime CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite, once called "the most trusted man in America," was born on this day in 1916. He dropped out of college in his junior year, in the fall term of 1935, after starting a series of newspaper reporting jobs covering news and sports.  He entered broadcasting as a radio announcer for WKY in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1936, he met his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Maxwell (known by her nickname "Betsy"), while working as the sports announcer for KCMO (AM) in Kansas City, Missouri. His broadcast name was "Walter Wilcox".

In Kansas City, he joined the United Press in 1937.  He became one of the top American reporters in World War II, covering battles in North Africa and Europe,  and in 1943 turned down a job offer from Edward R. Murrow of CBS to relieve Bill Downs in Moscow.  Cronkite was one of eight journalists selected by the United States Army Air Forces to fly bombing raids over Germany in a B-17 Flying Fortress part of group called the Writing 69th, and during a mission fired a machine gun at a German fighter. He also landed in a glider with the 101st Airborne in Operation Market Garden and covered the Battle of the Bulge.

Art Carney
He died on July 17, 2009 at 92.

➦In Art Carney  was born in Mount Vernon NY.

He was a busy member of the New York radio actor’s pool, in shows such as Gangbusters, Casey Crime Photographer, and the Henry Morgan Show.  He also specialized in impressions like FDR and General Dwight Eisenhower.  The zenith of his career was on TV playing Ed Norton on Jackie Gleason’s ‘Honeymooners.’  Gleason once said Carney was 90% responsible for its success.

He died Nov. 9, 2003, at age 85.

Shirley Mitchell 2007
➦In 1919...actress Shirley Mitchell was born in Toledo Ohio.

She started in Chicago daytime radio drama but quickly moved to Los Angeles, and became much in demand on such OTR favorites as ‘Fibber McGee and Molly,’ ‘The Rudy Vallee Show,’ ‘The Joan Davis Show’ and ‘The Life of Riley.’  Her best-known role was as the charismatic Southern Belle and love interest Leila Ransom on ‘The Great Gildersleeve.’   She had recurring roles on such TV shows as ‘Pete and Gladys,’ ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,’ ‘Bachelor Father,’ ‘Green Acres’ and ‘The Red Skelton Hour.’

She died of heart failure Nov. 11, 2013 at age 94

➦In 1946...This ad for a WHN 1050 AM program appeared in the NY Times...

➦In 1946..This advertisement appeared in the NY Times...

➦In 1949…The popular radio soap opera "One Man's Family" began a 2½-year run as a weekly primetime television show and featured future stars Eva Marie Saint, Tony Randall and Mercedes McCambridge. "One Man's Family" was the longest-running uninterrupted serial in the history of American radio.

➦In 1957...In an unusual chart anomaly, the top six Billboard singles on the pop and R&B charts are exactly the same: Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" sits at #1 on both charts, followed by "Wake Up Little Susie" by the Everly Brothers, "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke, "Silhouettes" by the Rays, "Be-Bop Baby" by Ricky Nelson, and "Honeycomb" by Jimmie Rodgers

➦In 1963...The Beatles performed for Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon at the Royal Variety Performance in London.  It was here that John Lennon famously said "Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands.  All the rest of you, rattle your jewelry."

➦In 1967...WOR FM switched from a progressive rock format  to the “Drake” Top 40 format. The line-up:
Hal Mitchell, Sebastian Stone, Tony Taylor, Jim O'Brien
One theory for the change was that the format pull audience away from WABC and WMCA so the winner would then be sister station WOR 710 AM.  It had a talk format so would appear better in the ratings if Top 40 competitors WABC 770 AM and WMCA 570 AM lost audience.

The progressive WOR-FM had created its own audience rather than luring them away from WABC and WMCA.  That didn’t help WOR-AM.

In 1967 the big advertising dollars came from AM stations so if FM could help AM by stealing a few listeners from the competition, it was worth a try.  Or so management thought.  The other reason, according to the tribute website,,  was that Bill Drake was now the boss and he simply didn’t have any use for progressive rock radio.  He had developed a rapidly growing format for KHJ 930 AM in L-A and KFRC 610 AM in San Francisco and wanted to program it in New York.

➦In 2004..Gary Wergin died. Wergin worked for WHO-AM, Iowa and was the "voice of farming" for 10 years on "The Big Show".

➦In 2012…ESPN Radio's NBA play-by-play voice Jim Durham, who previously had called Chicago Bulls games for 18 years and had stints as a play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Astros, and Chicago White Sox, died at the age of 65.

The Time To 'Fall Back' Is Here...

Most of the United States has basked in an extra hour of daylight since the spring. But that's coming to an end. On Nov. 4, most Americans will set their clocks back an hour, as daylight saving time comes to an end for the year. These spring and fall clock changes continue a long tradition started by Benjamin Franklin to conserve energy.

According to LiveScience, Benjamin Franklin takes the honor (or the blame, depending on your view of the time changes) for coming up with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy, according to David Prerau, author of "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time" (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005). By moving clocks forward, people could take advantage of the extra evening daylight rather than wasting energy on lighting. At the time, Franklin was ambassador to Paris and so wrote a witty letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784, rejoicing over his "discovery" that the sun provides light as soon as it rises.

Even so, DST didn't officially begin until more than a century later. Germany established DST in May 1916 as a way to conserve fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe came onboard shortly thereafter. And in 1918, the United States adopted daylight saving time.

Though President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep daylight saving time after WWI ended, the country was mostly rural at the time and farmers objected, partly because it would mean they lost an hour of morning light. (It's a myth that DST was instituted to help farmers.) And so daylight saving time was abolished until the next war brought it back into vogue. At the start of WWII, on Feb. 9, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt re-established daylight saving time year-round, calling it "War Time."

After the war, a free-for-all system in which U.S. states and towns were given the choice of whether or not to observe DST led to chaos. And in 1966, to tame such "Wild West" mayhem, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act. That federal law meant that any state observing DST — and they didn't have to jump on the DST bandwagon — had to follow a uniform protocol throughout the state in which daylight saving time would begin on the first Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.

Fewer than 40 percent of the world's countries observe daylight saving time, according to However, those that do are taking advantage of the natural daylight in the evenings.

Seattle Radio: KBKS Plans Moving Molly Mesnick To Mid-Day

Planned C-C-Changes at iHeart Media's KBKS 106.1 KISS FM, one of Seattle’s two major Top 40 stations,has gotten attnetion from The Seattle Times.  Seattle listeners tuning in for their dose of Ariana Grande, 5 Seconds of Summer and other hitmakers have been greeted with announcements saying that the station is “under construction.”

Last week, KISS-FM seemed to have started the process of switching formats, according to an on-air message from iHeartMedia’s Pacific Northwest regional president Robert Dove. “Over the last year or so our radio station’s ratings have shown declines and it’s become increasingly clear that you just did not care anymore,” Dove says in the message. “Over the past several months we’ve reached out to the community in various ways and it became very clear to us that we just needed to do something different.”

Molly Mesnick
But apparently listeners cared enough for station brass to table plans to shift away from its Top 40 format, which KISS just recalibrated to this spring, after fan feedback.

Nevertheless, KISS isn’t staying static, as its DJs have been noticeably absent of late. The departure of longtime morning-show host Bender Cunningham, who joined the station in 2001, has triggered the most outcry from listeners. On Monday, Cunningham thanked fans on social media for “making me a part of your morning routine” for nearly 18 years.

Cunningham’s co-host Molly Mesnick will stay with KISS but move to midday. according to The Times.

KISS has launched a promotional search campaign to find “Seattle’s funniest person” for its revamped morning show, offering $10,000 to anyone who refers a successful candidate. Citing feedback on social media and the station’s request lines, Dove said in his message that listeners wanted a station that’s more positive and locally connected, and not morning-show segments with “fake actors and fake callers” — an apparent jab at rival station MOViN 92.5.

“We are dedicated to being a station about Seattle and for Seattle; a station that sounds like Seattle,” Dove says in his taped message. “There will be no format change today, but starting right now, 106.1 is under construction.”

On-air audutions for a morning show host are planned for January 2019.

Cape Girardeau Radio: Sean Hannity On Location Monday

Talk show host, Sean Hannity will be broadcasting his weekday, nationally syndicated “The Sean Hannity Show” live from KZIM KSIM in Cape Girardeau ahead of President Donald Trump’s arrival for a campaign rally early next week.

KZIM KSIM announced yesterday morning Hannity’s plans to broadcast on Monday, Nov. 5 from 2-5 p.m. News director, Faune Riggin says Hannity’s visit was prompted by the President’s scheduled rally at the Show-Me-Center.

“The midterms are essential to keeping Trump's agenda alive and it's no secret Hannity supports that,” says Riggin. “This is very much because Trump is coming to town. The momentum is palpable and KZIM KSIM is excited and proud to support the Commander in Chief in his efforts to get his real message to the people of America. Hannity understands that and perpetuates the truth on our airwaves every weekday.”

“He has not broadcast here prior, but it is a major honor to have such a great patriot and American in our studios,” says Riggin.

It should also be noted that Cape Girardeau is the boyhood hometown of Rush Limbaugh.

D/FW Radio: KDMX Promotes Carter, Adds Brooke Morrison

iHeartMedia/D/FW has  announced Carter as Assistant Program Director and PM Drive Host on  HotAC KDMX-FM 102.9 Now.  The move is effective December 3.

Carter most recently served as the night personality. In addition, he's also held several on-air and programming positions, including Program Director for KWTX/Waco TX, as well as an air personality for KJYO/Oklahoma City, WFLZ/Tampa, WAPE/Jacksonville and WWWQ/Atlanta. He began his career at WBGG in Miami.

"I'm thrilled to have Carter transition to afternoon drive host on 102.9 Now," said Program Director Jay Shannon. "Carter has a true connection with our listeners and his upbeat personality really makes him the perfect fit."

Brooke Morrison
"I enjoyed working nights on 102.9 Now, but to say I am excited to transition to afternoon drive would be an understatement," added Carter.

"Now, I will finally be able to attend all of the great concerts that come to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I'm thrilled to begin this new chapter."

Carter succeeds Freddy Rivera, who has left the company.

With Carter transitioning to afternoons, 102.9 Now names Brooke Morrison as its new night host, weekdays from 7-12midnight.

Brooke began her career at KCOU at the University of Missouri as an air talent and has also been heard on WHQC/Charlotte and KSLZ/St. Louis.

Here's Why Apple Won't Be Reporting Unit Sales Anymore

During its fourth quarter earnings call, Apple made a surprise announcement, dealing a major blow to analysts and data enthusiasts such as ourselves: going forward, the company will not be sharing unit sales figures for its products. For the past few years, analysts and investors have tended to focus their attention on one number, iPhone sales, and Apple apparently no longer wants its entire business to be reduced to that one indicator.

“Our product ranges for all the major product categories have become wider over time and therefore a unit of sale is less relevant for us at this point compared to the past because we’ve got these much wider sales prices dispersion,” the company’s CFO Luca Maestri pointed out during the call, omitting another aspect that may have contributed to the decision: looking at unit sales makes Apple look worse than looking at revenue.

When smartphone sales (naturally) started to slow down due to market saturation and slower technological progress, Apple decided to delve even further into the premium segment, bringing its average iPhone selling price to unprecedented heights and re-accelerating growth in its iPhone business. There is a disconnect though: while revenue growth has sped up with the release of the iPhone X, unit sales growth has remained flat. As the following chart shows, iPhone unit sales and revenue growth have been pretty well-aligned over the years. According to Filex Richter at Statista that is no longer the case and Apple wants us to focus on the number that is more likely to be positive going forward.

Report: Newsrooms Are Less Diverse Than Workers Overall

Newsroom employees are more likely to be white and male than U.S. workers overall. There are signs, though, of a turning tide: Younger newsroom employees show greater racial, ethnic and gender diversity than their older colleagues, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

More than three-quarters (77%) of newsroom employees – those who work as reporters, editors, photographers and videographers in the newspaper, broadcasting and internet publishing industries – are non-Hispanic whites, according to the analysis of 2012-2016 American Community Survey data. That is true of 65% of U.S. workers in all occupations and industries combined.

Newsroom employees are also more likely than workers overall to be male. About six-in-ten newsroom employees (61%) are men, compared with 53% of all workers. When combining race/ethnicity and gender, almost half (48%) of newsroom employees are non-Hispanic white men compared with about a third (34%) of workers overall.

When it comes to gender, however, younger newsroom employees look like U.S. employees overall. Newsroom employees ages 18 to 29 are just as likely as workers overall to be men (51% in both groups). Among older workers, newsroom employees are disproportionately male: About two-thirds of newsroom employees ages 30 and older are men, compared with a little over half of all U.S. workers.

Putting these demographic measures together, 38% of the youngest newsroom employees are both non-Hispanic white and male. This is still a higher share than among workers overall (30%), but this 8-percentage-point gap is smaller than among older age groups. Newsroom employees age 50 and older are 17 percentage points more likely to be white men than all workers in the same age group, while those ages 30 to 49 are 15 points more likely.

The racial, ethnic and gender differences by age are notable because the bulk of newsroom employees are in the younger age groups. About seven-in-ten newsroom employees are younger than 50: 28% are ages 18 to 29 and 42% are ages 30 to 49. Only about three-in-ten newsroom employees are 50 and older.

These data for all newsroom employees tend to correspond with data on specific media sectors. For example, newsroom surveys conducted by the American Society of News Editors in 2012-2015 estimated that newspaper employees were 87%-88% white, 63%-64% male, and 56%-57% white and male. Surveys by the Radio Television Digital News Association in 2012-2016 estimated that television newsroom staff were 77%-79% white and 56%-60% male, while radio newsroom staff were 87%-91% white and 61%-69% male.

Sony Music London Scene Of Stabbings

Two men were arrested after a stabbing incident in which both were injured at Sony Music’s London office on Friday.

One member of Sony staff told the BBC that the men, both catering workers, had been “running around, chasing each other.” Both were later arrested by police, who confirmed that the injuries are non-life-threatening.

The police were called at 11am London time to the incident, and the music label’s office was evacuated. The authorities said that no firearms were involved and it is not being treated as a terror-related incident.

“Officers, including firearms officers, and London Ambulance Service are in attendance,” a Metropolitan Police statement said. “Evacuations have taken place as a precaution. Two people have suffered stab injuries – their conditions are not life-threatening or life-changing.” The identities of the arrested people were not immediately released.  The wounds were not life threatnening.

According to Variety, Sony Music’s London office issued a statement after the incident: “Sony Music confirmed there was an incident at Derry Street resulting in the building being evacuated. Two members of the catering team were involved in a violent altercation. The incident is now in the hands of the Metropolitan Police.”

Envision Networks Launches Daily Videos for Websites

Listeners are devouring video entertainment on their phones and mobile devices and Envision Networks is ready to help radio stations grab a larger slice of the market. Today, if you aren’t delivering video content, you’re leaving digital dollars on the table. With 87% of online marketers now using videos, we have what you need to deliver new revenue streams.

Snackable Daily Videos is the new service from Envision Networks® and Norstar Media for radio stations to place up-to-date, short and topical video segments on their web pages, apps and other digital platforms. Snackable Videos adds new segments daily for news, sports, lifestyle and music stories without the station having to create, edit, distribute and monetize the content each and every time.

“The most demanded audience – millennials- are the video on the go audience that you can build in your market – online, on mobile, on your apps for enhanced revenue opportunities,” said Norstar Media CEO, Laurence W. Norjean. “Radio needs to be the new video star, radio has a voice, a social media presence and the local power that can deliver new more-involved audiences and media convergence for increased revenue locally and nationally.”

Snackable Daily Videos feature fresh news, sports, entertainment and weather content daily
With videos from over 400 sources, we deliver over 3,000 new pieces of video every day! Place the hottest topics in your audience’s hands. Every day, the video segments feature a rotating lineup of the most talked about and popular news, sports and entertainment topics. The topics are broken down into categories representing each topic for easy viewing and skimming by your listeners, so they stay on your sites longer.

“Video will represent 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019,” said Envision Networks CEO, Danno Wolkoff. “Snackable Daily Videos is one more way that we can help radio stations drive traffic to their apps and websites with a constant and original video feed that will create new revenue streams.”

November 3 Radio History

➦In 1946...This photo appeared in the NY Times...

➦In 1962...Billboard magazine drops the "Western" from its "Country and Western" chart title.

➦In 1961...Newscasters and deejays returned to the air on Top40 KFWB 980 AM in Los Angeles after a strike which lasted 122 days. Major provisions included raising base wages of staff announcers (disc jockeys) for the first year as of May 1 to $187.50 a week, $197.50 the second year and $205 the third year. Base wages of three returning newsman will be increased to $195 a week as of December 1st.

The strike took its toll on the station as it slipped a bit in the ratings, seeing most its audience erosion dial over to competitor KRLA 1110 AM. KFWB has been the areas’ #1 station overall with its “Color Radio” format developed by Chuck Blore. The station is owned by Crowell-Collier Broadcasting. Over the next year, KFWB will be instrumental for bringing the “surf sound” to Top40 radio.

➦In 1979...The Hot 100..M went all the way to the top with "Pop Muzik".  The Eagles were closing fast with "Heartache Tonight" and Donna Summer was in the mix with "Dim All The Lights".  The previous #1 "Rise" from Herb Alpert fell to #4 and the Commodores' new hit "Still" moved from 8 to 5.

The rest of the Top 10:  Michael Jackson with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", Styx snuck up from 14 to 7 with "Babe", "Tusk" from Fleetwood Mac was #8, Kenny Rogers was up to 9 with his great song "You Decorated My Life" and the collaboration of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer--"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" moved from 33 to 10.

➦In 1985...From R&R...

➦In of US public radio’s most popular personalities, Tom Magliozzi died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at age 77. Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as “Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers” on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. For 25 years they bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports 10.6% Jump In Net Revenue

Beasley Broadcast Group today announced operating results for the three-month and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2018.

As previously reported, on May 1, 2017, the Company completed the sale of six stations in GreenvilleNew Bern-Jacksonville, and on December 19, 2017, Beasley completed an asset exchange transaction whereby the Company exchanged its Boston adult contemporary station WMJX-FM and $12.0 million for Boston’s sports station WBZ-FM. On September 27, 2018, Beasley completed the acquisition of WXTU-FM in Philadelphia from Entercom Communications Corp. for $38.0 million.

Prior to the acquisition closing, on July 23, 2018, the Company began operating WXTU-FM under a local marketing agreement (“LMA”). During the term of the LMA, the Company included net revenues and station operating expenses, including the associated LMA fee from operating WXTU-FM, in its consolidated financial statements.

The reported results reflect the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017.
The results also reflect approximately two months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the three
and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017.

The $6.2 million, or 10.6%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2018, reflects the inclusion WBZ-FM Boston and a partial quarter contribution from WXTU-FM Philadelphia, partially offset by the disposition of WMJX-FM Boston. Net revenue in the 2018 third quarter increased year-over-year in the Company’s Tampa, Philadelphia, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Augusta, Boca Raton and Boston clusters compared to the same period of 2017.

The year-over-year decrease is primarily attributable to $1.7 million of additional bad debt expense due to financial issues at USTN and higher station operating expenses related to the operations of WBZ-FM Boston, WXTU-FM Philadelphia and our Tampa-Saint Petersburg market cluster.

Commenting on the financial results, Caroline Beasley, Chief Executive Officer, said, “In the third quarter, we continued to execute on our integration strategy focused on premium local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership at acquired stations, while remaining opportunistic in further building our scale and revenue diversification to drive growth and SOI margin expansion.

Apple, iHM Talks 'In Early Stages'

Apple has held talks with iHeartMedia to buy a stake in the U.S. radio company, according to a new Financial Times report citing people familiar with the matter.

iHeartMedia is currently $20 billion in debt, with audiences gradually turning away from radio in favor of digital music services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. The radio group filed for bankruptcy in March, and has been in contact with several potential investors ahead of a deadline later this month to file a reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court.

iHeartMedia is hoping Apple will take an equity stake worth millions of dollars, according to FT sources, although discussions between the two companies are still in the early stages and no deal has been agreed. Apple declined to comment, while iHeartMedia did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

According to MacRumors, the report suggests Apple is angling for a deal in order to gain a platform for wider distribution of its Beats 1 radio station and increase awareness of Apple Music:
A partnership could see Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station, which is only available through its apps, make its debut on broadcast radio. Extra distribution would give Beats 1 and Apple Music greater awareness among older audiences who are later adopters of streaming services. A deal would also put the Apple station into more cars or kitchens.
Despite being billions of dollars in debt, iHeartMedia remains the largest radio broadcaster in the United States, with more than 850 stations operating across the country. One music industry executive who spoke to FT described the potential deal as a "power move" by Apple, as it aims to persuade more artists and labels to strike exclusive or early releases for its streaming service instead of its biggest rival, Spotify.

Apple Music surpassed 50 million subscribers and free trial users earlier this year, giving it a bigger share of listeners in the U.S. than Spotify, although Spotify is still the global leader with more than 80 million paying users around the world. Earlier this year, Apple acquired music recognition app Shazam for $400 million in order to improve Apple Music's listening recommendations.

Apple's iPhone Data Goes The Way Of Its Headphone Jacks

Apple on Thursday said that it will stop reporting unit sales data for its iPhone, iPad and Mac computer products, the latter of which it has given out since 1998. Analysts and investors use the figures to calculate the average selling price of Apple’s devices and gauge the health of the company.

Reuters reports Apple said the data is less relevant to the strength of its business as customers bundle products, such as an iPhone paired with its wireless AirPods headphones, along with paid subscription services like Apple Music to listen to songs and iCloud storage for photos. Analysts were skeptical.

“Companies typically stop reporting metrics when the metrics are about to turn. This is not a good look for Apple,” said analyst Walter Piecyk from BTIG Research.

The move cost Apple dearly, helping to send shares down about 7 percent in after-hours trading. They later settled at $207.81, about 6.5 percent below their previous close.

But now, Apple will give cost-of-sales data for both its total product businesses and its total services business, which will let investors evaluate a gross margin for both. In the past, Apple gave only an overall gross margin figure for the company.

The new numbers are important for two reasons. First, they will show just how lucrative Apple’s hardware business really is. But more importantly, for the first time they give margin information on Apple’s services business, which reached $10 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, up 17 percent.

Many of Apple’s fastest-growing businesses are subscription based, like its $9.99 a month Apple Music service. And investors tend to value subscription business through a combination of their revenue growth rate and margins - information that Apple investors will now have, said Tien Tzuo, chief executive of Zuora Inc, a company that helps subscription businesses track their finances.

Apple’s decision to make major changes to its reporting structure from the next quarter — and stop reporting the break-down on unit sales — is a “defining moment” in the company’s history, according to an analyst.

The iPhone-maker is making a transition from being a big hardware player to a services business, Jay Srivatsa, CEO of Future Wealth, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box ” on Friday. He explained that most of the tech giant’s hardware products in recent years have been “evolutionary” instead of “revolutionary.”

“Barring a major introduction of a new product, like an iPhone, in the next few years, we’re not going to see the company’s hardware revenues grow in any big fashion,” Srivatsa said. “It becomes a services business. I think part of the reason why they’re no longer going to split it up is because of that transition that the company’s going to go through.”

“I think this is a defining moment in the company’s history going forward,” he added.

Saga Reports Quarterly Net Revenue Increase

Saga Communications, Inc. today reported net revenue increased 4.6% to $31.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2018.
  • Income from continuing operations (net of tax) increased $730 thousand to $3.7 million compared to $3.0 million last year.  
  • Operating income decreased 3.4% to $5.3 million and station operating expense increased 7.7% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  
  • Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.62/share in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $0.50/share during the same period in 2017.
  • Free cash flow from continuing operations was $5.2 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared to $4.0 million for the same period last year. 
  • On a same station basis for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 net revenue was flat with the same quarter last year at $29.6 million.
The Company announced on October 30, 2018 that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of WOGK(FM), WNDT(FM), WNDD(FM) and WNDN(FM), from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC.  All the stations serve the Gainesville-Ocala, Florida radio market.

CBS Beats Expectations

CBS Corp. turned in a strong quarterly financial showing, powered by subscription and advertising growth at its main broadcast-TV unit, after months of corporate turmoil in the upper ranks of the company.

The Wall Street Journal reports the media company on Thursday said subscriber revenue had hit a record at its direct-to-consumer streaming services including CBS All Access and Showtime OTT, which acting Chief Executive Joe Ianniello said CBS was significantly expanding.

Revenue from pay-TV distributors and its own affiliates also rose significantly and ad revenue increased by 14%.

Ianniello said he didn’t anticipate any dramatic changes in strategy or approach to the media business.

“Our priorities are first and foremost to reinvest in our business and that’s content creation, I don’t see any change in our philosophy,” Mr. Ianniello told Wall Street analysts.

The earnings call was the first for CBS since Mr. Ianniello was named acting chief executive in September after longtime Chairman and Chief Executive Les Moonves resigned in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Mr. Moonves has denied the allegations.

CBS’s net profit fell to $488 million, or $1.29 a share, from $592 million, or $1.46 a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, profit rose to $1.24 a share from $1.11 a share a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2.9% to $3.26 billion, including a 14% increase from advertising and an 8% increase from content licensing and distribution.

Scripps, Summit Close On 19 Station Deal

The E.W. Scripps Company has closed on its last group of radio outlets -- 19 radio stations in four markets -- to SummitMedia for $47 million. This is the fourth and final transaction in the sale of Scripps' radio assets. The sales of these stations totaled $83.5 million, and the group's 2017 segment profit was $11.6 million. The company announced in January its intent to sell its portfolio of 34 radio stations in eight markets.

SummitMedia LLC has purchased:
  • KFDI (101.3 FM), KICT (95.1 FM), KFXJ (104.5 FM), KYQQ (106.5 FM) and KFTI (1070 AM) in Wichita, KS
  • KTTS (94.7 FM), KSPW (96.5 FM), KSGF (104.1 FM and 1260 AM) and KRVI (106.7 FM) in Springfield, MO
  • KEZO (92.3 FM), KSRZ (104.5 FM), KQCH (94.1 FM), KKCD (105.9 FM) and ESPN station KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha, NE
  • WWST (102.1 FM), WCYQ (100.3 FM), WKHT (104.5 FM) and WNOX (931. FM) in Knoxville, TN
Scripps previously announced the sale of five radio stations in Tulsa to Griffin Communications; two Milwaukee-based radio stations to Good Karma Brands; and eight stations in Boise, Idaho, and Tucson, Arizona, to Lotus Communications Corp. Those have all closed.

"SummitMedia's focus on growth in the radio industry make it a good home for these stations," said Scripps President/CEO Adam Symson. "With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences. With our sale of these 19 stations, Scripps has completed the sale of our entire radio station group. This is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead."

"We are very excited to welcome the Scripps teams in Wichita, Springfield, Omaha and Knoxville into the SummitMedia family," said SummitMedia LLC Chairman/CEO Carl Parmer. "Together, we are very confident we can inspire our audiences, serve each of our individual communities and create value for our clients."

SummitMedia is a Birmingham, AL-based company with a focus on radio and digital media. The Scripps stations will join its portfolio of 31 radio stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.

NYTimes Adds 200K On-Line Subs

The New York Times Co., assailed by a U.S. president who brands it as “failing,” signed up more than 200,000 paying online subscribers in the third quarter, helping it top Wall Street estimates for both profit and revenue.

Online subscriptions have become central to the Times’ future as revenue from print advertisements dry up and the increase was the highest since a bump at the start of last year driven by President Donald Trump’s repeated mentions of the paper.

Shares in the publisher rose 8 percent after quarterly results showed digital-only subscribers rose to 3.1 million at the end of September, the result of a combination of aggressive discounting and heavy spending on marketing.

The company’s stock has now risen 54 percent this year.

The paper has faced repeated criticism from Trump on its coverage of the administration. The president attacked the paper several times with tweets, saying the paper was “failing”.

When asked about the president’s comments, Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson told Reuters that the White House receives many copies of the paper and said they were very loyal, long serving subscribers.

“And we always admire and thank our subscribers,” Thompson said.

The paper has continued to discount heavily while marketing itself as a source of unbiased reporting in a deeply divided America. Some digital subscriptions begin at just $1 a week.

The company’s digital advertising revenue, now responsible for over 70 percent of overall advertising revenue, jumped about 17 percent to $57.8 million in the third quarter, while print advertising revenue continued to decline.

CNN Zucker: The Audience Wants Donald Trump Talk

CNN President Jeff Zucker said his network's audience would dwindle if its news programming shifted away from covering President Trump.

In an interview published in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Zucker said the reason why CNN spends much of the day reporting on Trump's day-to-day activities and his rhetoric is viewer demand.

“People say all the time, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk about Trump, I’ve had too much Trump,’ ” Zucker told Vanity Fair. “And yet at the end of the day, all they want to do is talk about Trump."

"We’ve seen that anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away," he added. "So we know that, right now, Donald Trump dominates.”

Zucker said he wants CNN to be a home for both supporters and opponents of the president, despite harsh criticism of the news outlet from Trump and other Republicans.

The Hill reports CNN is projected to report its most profitable year ever, a source familiar told Vanity Fair, though it lags behind both Fox News and MSNBC in average prime-time viewership.

Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday suggested it was time for CNN to embrace a "new business model."

The president frequently trashes CNN and its ratings, and has taken aim at Zucker in the past. He wrote in August on Twitter that CNN's parent company should fire Zucker over CNN's ratings, which have improved significantly since Zucker took over.

"The hatred and extreme bias of me by @CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function," the president tweeted. "But actually, as I have always said, this has been going on for a long time. Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck, & AT&T should fire him to save credibility!"

Day 4: Final October PPMs Released By Nielsen

Nielsen on Thursday 11/1/18 released the final batch of  October 2018 PPMs results.  The markets included are:

 33  Austin

 38  Raleigh-Durham ND


 39  Indianapolis

 41  Milwaukee-Racine

 43  Nashville

 44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket RI

 45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

 46  Jacksonville FL

 47  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC

 48  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton FL

 51  Memphis

 52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here to view topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Detroit Radio: WDRQ, WDVD PD Robbie Bridges EXITS

Robbie Bridges
Robbie Bridges, a 17-year empooyee at Cumulus Media, is exiting his positions as Program Director for Country WDRQ 93.1 NashFM and HotAC WDVD 96.3 fM in Detroit.  He also hsoted PM drive on WDVD.

"It is with many mixed emotions to share I have chosen not extend my agreement and will be leaving Detroit by the end of the year. Totally my choice, company has been terrific as I made the decision also," he stated on Instagram.

"It's been an amazing 11 year ride with Cumulus that's given me incredible opportunities, found me lifelong friends and left me with unforgettable memories. None more so, than in the Motor City! I knew full well the legendary history of WDRQ when I came to town 5 years ago and am incredibly proud of the station we've built as NASH FM, its really made its mark in the market and the country format. I can't wait to watch what it does next!"

Bidges added special thank you's to Mike Wheeler and Mike McVay. "I wouldn't be here today without them."

He plans to moved back to Providence and focus on family.