Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 11 Radio History

➦In 1928...WGL-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana began broadcasting.

The station, now 1250 on the AM dial,  was the first to broadcast in the city of Fort Wayne. Chester Keen and Lauer Auto founded what was originally called WCWK when it signed on in 1921. Keen bought the Lauer interests in WCWK in 1925. That same year, WOWO was established by the Main Auto Supply Co., with studios above Main Auto's downtown factory.

In 1928, Keen sold WCWK to WOWO owner Fred Zieg, and the call letters were changed to WGL (What God Loves), taking a callsign previously used by the current WADO in New York City.

WOWO and WGL were owned by the Zieg family until WOWO's sale to Westinghouse in 1936. Westinghouse sold WGL to the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation in 1945. On September 24, 1947, the station's power was increased from 250 W to 1,000 W.

Subsequently it was purchased by the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. The call letters of WGL were reinterpreted as Wayne's Great Lady, referring to Helene Foelliger, who had markedly improved circulation of the News-Sentinel since becoming publisher less than a decade earlier, when she became the youngest, as well as one of the first female, publishers of a major newspaper. William Kunkle, publisher of the morning Journal-Gazette, followed by establishing WKJG (William Kunkle Journal-Gazette) in 1947, but while WKJG established a television station in 1953, WGL had no television license.

In March 2014, Adams Radio Group, LLC entered an agreement to purchase Summit City's cluster (which includes WGL). Days later, Adams announced they would purchase Oasis Radio Group's stations. To meet ownership limits, Adams will retain WNHT, WGL and WXKE, as well as acquiring Oasis Radio Group's WJFX and WBTU, while selling off WHPP to Fort Wayne Catholic Radio, and selling WGL-FM to Calvary Radio Network. WLYV and two translators (on 96.9 FM and 103.3 FM) will also be acquired by Adams. The transaction, at a price of $6.4 million, was consummated on June 2, 2014. As a result, Adams plans on massive format restructuring. WGL flipped to Fox Sports Radio programming on June 3 after "American Pie" by Don McLean bought a close to WGL and WGL-FM's oldies format.

➦In 1928...WOL-AM, Washington, D.C., began broadcasting. The station now at 1450 AM is owned by Urban One.

➦In 1930...NBC first broadcasts from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.

In a major move in 1931, RCA signed crucial leases with the new Rockefeller Center management that resulted in it becoming the lead tenant of what was to become in 1933 its corporate headquarters, the RCA Building, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Under the terms of the lease arrangement, this included studios for NBC and theaters for the RCA-owned RKO Pictures. The deal was arranged through the Center's founder and financier, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with the chairman of GE, Owen D. Young, and the president of RCA, David Sarnoff.

➦In 1973...A "live" Mott The Hoople show is simulcast over several US radio networks, but is later revealed to be the group's actual studio songs with applause overdubbed.

➦In 1974…Radio personality/actor (Easy Aces, Monitor) Jane Ace, who performed on the air with her husband Goodman Ace for more than 25 years beginning in 1930, died at the age of 74.

➦In 1987...Former radio programmer Sebastian Stone WOR FM died.

George Ansbro
➦In 2011...George Ansbro, staff announcer at 77WABC Radio died.  Ansbro was a radio announcer for NBC and ABC for six decades, working with soap operas, big bands, quiz shows and other programs died he was 96. He began at NBC in 1928 as a boy soprano on Milton Cross’ Sunday show, Children’s Hour. Three years later, he was hired as an NBC page in 1931, but he was soon employed as an announcer at NBC. On Friday, May 18, 1934, radio columns in New York newspapers noted that Bert Parks of CBS would be “relinquishing his status as New York’s youngest network staff announcer to the newly appointed George Ansbro on the NBC announcing staff.”

➦In 2003...Actor Art Carney died. Although best known for his character as "Ed Norton" on "The Honeymooners" TV show, Carney was a voice actor in the 1930's on the weekly Radio show "Gangbusters" and part of "The March of Time" repertory company. He also worked jobs in Radio from 1942 - 1949.

Philly Radio: WBEB Returns To B101 Branding

After five years on the air under its current branding, radio station 101.1 More FM has gone back to its former name, B101, but little else about the station will change, a spokesperson said.

The station, WBEB, changed its name to More FM in Dec. 2013. The B101 name debuted in 1993. Prior to that, it was known as EAZY 101 and WDVR.

Despite the change, an Entercom spokesperson said, the station will not change its on-air presentation, personality lineup, or content strategy, reports  The rebranding was instead a "natural choice that honors the station as one of the most beloved and recognized in broadcast history." The station is regularly among the top-ranked stations in the Philadelphia market, according to Nielsen.

The move comes following Entercom's purchase of B101 back in July, when former owner Jerry Lee Radio LLC sold the station for $57.5 million. As part of that deal, Entercom sold county-music station WXTU 92,5 FM to Beasley Media Group in a deal that was reportedly worth $38 million. The sale closed in late September, with former B101 general manager Blaise Howard returning to the station as general sales manager.

"During its storied history, B101 was the most aggressively marketed radio station in the country," a statement from WBEB read. "Our plan is to continue investing in Philadelphia's most-listened-to radio station."

As part of the rebranding, B101 has also debuted a new, redesigned logo that pays homage to the station's former bee-centric theme. It is not clear, however, if Buzzby, B101's former mascot, will also make a return.

Twin Cities Radio: Cumulus Drops Hip Hop As LoveFM Returns

Cumulus Media announces that it will deliver the best of the holiday season to Christmas music lovers in the Twin Cities with the launch of its all-Christmas music station, WGVX/LOVE 105.

LOVE 105 turned on the holiday cheer in a big way with the warm sounds of the season, launching Wednesday at 12:00am Midnight with the Christmas favorite, “Let it Snow” by Dean Martin. LOVE 105 will play all Christmas music, all the time, and will offer a nostalgic and fun-filled soundtrack of holiday classics to help listeners make the holiday memories of a lifetime doing the things they love with the people and the music they love most. LOVE 105 will move to an Oldies AC format after the holidays.

Shelly Wilkes, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Minneapolis/St. Paul, said:
“LOVE 105 was a very successful format for us and we are excited to return to it.”

Scott Jameson, Vice President, Classic Rock, Cumulus Media, and Operations Manager-Minneapolis/St. Paul, said: “The snow is already falling in Minnesota, creating a perfect backdrop for the greatest holiday songs ever made. LOVE 105 is back!”

Tribune Media Reports Political Ad Revenue Jumped 90%

Tribune Media said Friday that it swung to a better-than-expected third-quarter profit, driven by strong political advertising momentum ahead of the midterm elections that shows no sign of slowing down.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tribune Media CEO Peter Kern told analysts during a morning call that the 2020 presidential campaign, while a long way off, has already made the company's stations group a potential election ad winner going forward as the political cycle shows no sign of taking a holiday.

During the third quarter, political advertising revenue jumped 90 percent to $42.5 million. "These unprecedented numbers suggest we may be seeing a fundamental shift in spending patterns in this category. Not only have the numbers grown significantly, but we may be seeing the start of an always-on political cycle," Kern argued.

Political parties and PACs spending record dollars during the recent midterm elections produced record advertising numbers for Tribune in recent financial quarters, compared to the 2014 mid-terms. And now that 2020 campaign TV ads have already appeared in Iowa, Kern said the next presidential election bodes well for his political ad revenues during the next two years.

During the latest quarter, earnings from continuing operations of $54.1 million, or 61 cents per share, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $18.7 million in the third quarter of 2017, or a loss of 21 cents per share. In the latest period, the company recorded an income tax benefit of $24 million, or 27 cents per share, due to tax reform.

Quarterly operating profit came in at $37.1 million, compared with an operating loss of $29.5 million for the third quarter of 2017. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), another profitability metric, rose 14 percent to $136.8 million.

Third-quarter revenue rose 11 percent to $498 million. Retransmission revenue climbed 12 percent, while carriage fee revenue rose 30 percent.

Sinclair Broadcast Group's $3.9 billion planned takeover of Tribune Media, which would have created a local TV giant reaching nearly two-thirds of U.S. TV households, was scrapped this summer after a series of developments that cast doubt over the transaction.

NYC Radio: Mike Francesa Just Wants To Talk Sports

A day after escalating a verbal sparring match with fellow WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM host Gregg Giannotti — and making back-page news in The NYPost — Francesa went on the air to try to guide the conversation back to the ostensible topic of his show.

But not before saving a little pity for himself and accusing the media of hypocrisy.

“It’s in one ear and out the other,” Francesa said of the criticisms lobbed his way. “I rarely react, and if I do, it is always a big deal. The way this works is because it is me, they are allowed to beat on me. I’m not allowed to beat on anybody.”

On Thursday, Giannotti, co-host of the “Boomer and Gio” morning show, called Francesa an “insecure bully” who is “narcissistic and miserable.”

Of course, those comments came in response to Francesa saying the “Boomer and Gio” show “stinks” and taking particular umbrage with Giannotti’s impersonations of Francesa.

Francesa had no trouble Friday playing the victim on the same day he and Giannotti appeared on the back page of The Post under the headline “FAN DUEL.”

“It is just a one-way street,” Francesa said. “If I ever open my mouth, then it is a big story. So, I understand that. Listen, make it about sports. Don’t make it about me. When you get a slow news day, [The Post] put me on the back cover for whatever reason.

Amazon To Sell Apple Products During Holidays Inc on Friday said it would carry more Apple Inc products globally in time for the holiday shopping season, as the technology rivals put aside past differences to boost sales, reports Reuters.

In coming weeks, the world’s biggest online retailer will sell the latest editions of Apple’s iPhone, iPad and other devices in the United States, Europe, Japan and India. Amazon sold a limited assortment from Apple previously that included Mac computers and Beats headphones.

The deal underscores how top brands such as Apple and Nike Inc, which long resisted distributing products via Amazon, are increasingly turning to the e-commerce site because it has become a critical channel for reaching customers. Amazon has taken a harder line on counterfeit goods as well.

As of Jan. 4, Amazon will rid its site of Apple products from third-party merchants not authorized by the Cupertino, California-based technology company. Still, shoppers will be able to find non-branded accessories - like headphones - that are compatible with Apple devices.

Third-party merchants will be allowed to sell as they have been through the holiday season, while Amazon will add Apple products to its official Apple at Amazon page.

The lineup will include the Apple Watch but not the Apple HomePod, a high-end alternative to Amazon’s voice-controlled Echo device. Such competition in Silicon Valley has often come at the expense of customers.

Houston Chronicle Retracts Eight Stories

The Houston Chronicle has announced that they had retracted eight stories after an internal investigation found they relied heavily on sources who seemingly did not exist, according to The Wrap.

“The relationship between a newspaper and its readers is one of trust,” said Chronicle executive editor Nancy Barnes in a piece explaining the decision. “This investigation points to an egregious breach of that trust that is an offense to readers and journalists alike. We apologize to our readers, and to the Houston community.”

“We will be correcting or retracting all of the affected stories in order to set the record straight to the best of our ability, as I promised when this was first brought to my attention,” she added.

In September, the Texas daily was rocked by scandal after questions were raised about the reporting of Austin bureau chief Mike Ward. A lengthy investigation was unable to identity a number of sources Ward quoted on the record for his stories. He ultimately resigned from the paper after being confronted by Barnes.

The Chronicle then began an extensive effort to investigate all of Ward’s reporting to identify if there were any other instances of phony sourcing during his career there. The paper brought in Pulitzer Prize winner David Wood to lead the effort. The results of his investigation led to the the paper’s decision to retract the stories.

“Of the 275 people quoted, 122, or 44 percent, could not be found. Those 122 people appeared in 72 stories,” said Wood. “It’s impossible to prove that these people do not exist, only that with extensive research and digging, the team could not find them. And in this age of online records, including property ownership and court filings, almost everyone can be found quickly.”

52nd Annual CMA Awards Set for Wednesday, Nov 14

Lauren Alaina, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, and Chris Stapleton with Maren Morris and Mavis Staples have been added as performers for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” as well as just added special appearances by Lindsay Ell, Vince Gill, Sierra Hull, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy, Jon Pardi, Carson Peters, Marty Stuart and Cole Swindell. Country Music’s Biggest Night™, hosted for the 11th consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will air live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8:00 PM/ET (7:00 PM/CT) on the ABC Television Network.

Previously announced performers for the CMA Awards include Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Midland, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Underwood, Keith Urban and Brett Young. Presenters will be announced next week.

November 10 Radio History

➦In 1938...Radio star Kate Smith introduced Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America' to her CBS radio network audience. Smith was only 32 and already the undisputed Queen of Network Radio. Her variety hour on CBS had Thursday’s Top Ten for two years and in 1939 she would move to Friday and dominate the night’s ratings for the next four consecutive seasons.

"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.

Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside.

In 1938, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation Russian immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer." (In her first broadcast of the song, Kate Smith sang "that we're far from there" rather than "for a land so fair".)

➦In 1950...a radio comedy series The Magnificent Montague starring Monty Woolley debuted on NBC. It may rank as radio’s last original sitcom. Ironically, its final airing was exactly one year later, as TV continued to steal the radio audience.

➦In 1951…Mayor M. Leslie Denning of Englewood, New Jersey called his counterpart in Alameda, California, to mark the beginning of direct-dial, coast-to-coast U.S. telephone service.

➦In 1956...Billboard magazine's DJ survey reveals that Elvis Presley is the country's number one male artist on both the pop and country charts.

➦In 1966...British newspapers break the news that the Beatles will indeed refuse all future offers to tour.

Struggling to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans, the band had grown increasingly bored with the routine of performing live. Recognizing that their shows were no longer about the music, they decided to make the August 1966 tour their last. The last US concert was at Candlestick Park, San Francisco on August 29, 1966.  A crowd of 25,000 saw the Beatles final concert which began at 8:00 pm.The support acts,in order of appearance,were the Remain, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle and the Ronettes.The Beatles played from 9:27 pm until precisely 10:00 pm on a stage five feet high and fully encaged by a six foot high wire fence surrounded by security and police

The famous and very final Beatles concert would be the famous Rooftop concert January 30, 1969.

➦In 1973...The Hot 100..Eddie Kendricks, former lead singer of the Temptations, earned the #1 song with "Keep On Truckin'".  That meant Gladys Knight & the Pips had an abbreviated stay of two weeks at #1 with "Midnight Train To Georgia".  The Rolling Stones' former #1 "Angie" was third followed by "Heartbeat - It's A Lovebeat" from the DeFranco Family.  The rest of the Top 10:  Marie Osmond's "Paper Roses", Ringo Starr had his fourth solo hit and third straight Top 10 with "Photograph", moving from 11 to 6, Billy Preston's instrumental "Space Race" came in at position #7, Cher's former #1 "Half-Breed" was #8, Art Garfunkel slipped up to #9 with "All I Know" and the Carpenters were an amazing 10 of 14 in earning Top 10 hits, registering their eight consecutive Top 10 with "Top Of The World"

➦In 1975...The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks suddenly in Lake Superior during a storm, killing all 29 men aboard and inspiring Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot to write a song about the tragedy, "The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald."

Freeman Gosde and Charles Correll
➦In 1982...Freeman Gosden, the radio actor who portrayed "Amos" on the Radio show "Amos 'n' Andy", died at age 83.

➦In 1984...The Hot 100..Billy Ocean remained at #1 with "Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)".  Stevie Wonder's former #1 "I Just Called To Say I Love You" wasn't going away, Prince remained at #3 with "Purple Rain" and Wham! had #4--"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go".

The rest of the Top 10:  A solo hit from Chaka Khan ("I Feel For You") moved from 10-5, Hall & Oates had their 25th hit and sixth straight Top 10 song with "Out Of Touch", Tina Turner's comeback was complete with "Better Be Good To Me", David Bowie's "Blue Jean" was #8, Chicago dropped with their great song "Hard Habit To Break" and Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung picked himself up a solo Top 10 with "Desert Moon".

➦In 1992...First AM HD Radio broadcast with audio codec.

An audio codec is a device or computer program capable of coding or decoding a digital data stream of audio.

In software, an audio codec is a computer program implementing an algorithm that compresses and decompresses digital audio data according to a given audio file format or streaming media audio format. The objective of the algorithm is to represent the high-fidelity audio signal with minimum number of bits while retaining the quality. This can effectively reduce the storage space and the bandwidth required for transmission of the stored audio file. Most codecs are implemented as libraries which interface to one or more multimedia players.

In hardware, audio codec refers to a single device that encodes analog audio as digital signals and decodes digital back into analog. In other words, it contains both an Analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and Digital-to-analog converter (DAC) running off the same clock. This is used in sound cards that support both audio in and out, for instance.

➦In 2003…Chicago Sun-Times newspaper columnist (Kup's Column for six decades)/syndicated TV talk show host/Chicago Bears radio color commentator/Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (1935) Irv Kupcinet died of complications from pneumonia at 91.

➦In 2010...the radio/TV voice of the Seattle Mariners for their entire 33 year history, Dave Niehaus was silenced forever after a heart attack at age 75.  He has since been immortalized with his own “statue” on the concourse at Safeco Field.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Nashville Radio: Cumulus Re-Signs Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook
Cumulus Media announces that it has entered into a multi-year contract extension with Charlie Cook as Vice President, Country Formats, Cumulus Media, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Nashville, and Program Director, WSM-FM (NASH ICON) in Nashville.

A veteran Country programming professional, Cook oversees programming for Cumulus Media’s Nashville radio stations, including: WKDF, WWTN, WGFX and WQQK.

Mike McVay, Executive Vice President, Content & Programming, Cumulus Medisa and Westwood One, said: “Charlie Cook is not only one of the best known and most successful country programmers in the history of the format, he is a solid and strategic thinking multi-format radio expert. We are excited to continue this partnership with him.”

Allison Warren, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Nashville, said: “I am thrilled that Charlie has agreed to extend his employment agreement for another three years. Since joining Cumulus five years ago, he successfully launched two of the hottest country brands in Nashville, 95.5 NASH ICON and NASH FM 103.3, capitalized on the combined strength of Cumulus Media’s NASH brands and delivered consistent ratings performance. Most importantly, Charlie’s collaboration with our Nashville programming team to develop and execute the right long-term strategy for our stations positions Cumulus Nashville for continued success in the future.”

Cook said: “I have enjoyed my five years here in Nashville with Cumulus. I could not ask for better partners than Dave Milner, Mike McVay and Allison Warren. I have been in the business for many years and honestly, this is as good a group of professionals as I have ever been blessed to work with day in and day out. I look forward to continuing in my roles with the company.”

Disney Profit Boosted By Parks, Movies

Walt Disney Co results beat Wall Street estimates on Thursday thanks to summer crowds that swarmed into its theme parks and filled theaters showing Marvel movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Reuters reports the family entertainment company also revealed plans for a new “Star Wars” video series for its forthcoming streaming service, that it has named Disney+ and plans to launch late next year, aiming to make up for the continuing loss of subscribers from ESPN and other cable networks.

Disney is trying to transform itself into a broad-based digital entertainment company as audiences move to Netflix Inc, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and other digital options. It is on the verge of gaining new film and television properties in a $71.3 billion purchase of assets from 21st Century Fox Inc.

Overall revenue in the quarter rose 12 percent to $14.3 billion, above analysts’ average estimate of $13.73 billion. Net income climbed 33 percent to $2.3 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $1.48 for beat analysts’ consensus of $1.34.

Shares of Disney, which have gained nearly 8 percent this year, rose 1.7 percent in after-hours trading to $118.

Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger said Disney will give a first look at the Disney+ app and its programming at an investor conference in April.

The CEO also was upbeat about the prospects for Hulu, an on-demand and live TV service. Disney will own 60 percent of the streaming service after the Fox purchase, and Iger told CNBC that Disney would be interested in buying the remaining stakes from Comcast Corp and AT&T Inc if they were willing to sell.

Iger said he saw “an opportunity to increase investment in Hulu, notably on the programming side,” and he believed there was room to raise prices.For the just-ended quarter, the media networks unit, Disney’s largest, reported a 4 percent year-over-year rise in operating income of $1.5 billion as broadcaster ABC saw higher program sales and fees from channel distributors.

The ESPN cable network continued to shed subscribers, the company said, as viewing moves to digital platforms.

Disney+ could lift the company’s stock if the streaming service can challenge Netflix and Inc, said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at global financial platform,

In the just-ended quarter, the theme parks division reported operating income of $829 million, an 11 percent increase from a year earlier, as guest attendance and spending at Disney’s U.S. locations rose during the busy summer months.

Profit at Disney’s movie studio more than doubled to $596 million thanks to hits such as “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Incredibles 2.”

Its media networks unit was up 9% to $5.96 billion, despite lower advertising revenues. Total cable network revenues were up 5% to $4.1 billion. ESPN revenues were comparable to the prior-year quarter, with gains on affiliate revenue growth. At the same time, that network recorded lower advertising revenue.

Broadcasting -- its TV networks and TV stations -- witnessed 21% more revenues to $1.8 billion. Disney pointed to the higher program sales of two Marvel TV series and the ABC network show “Black-ish.” Also, its TV stations gained in political TV advertising revenues.

Speaking on CNBC, Bob Iger, CEO, Walt Disney said: “Traditional subscriber losses were abated substantially... That growth [from digital multichannel video program distributors] has continued, but we are not getting specific in terms of updating it.”

New Radio Company Headed By Tom Langmyer

Great Lakes Media Corp. has announced its intentions to invest in local broadcasting and digital media opportunities through the acquisition of local radio stations and digital platforms in small markets.

The company is looking to acquire properties in small markets, focusing on opportunities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Tom Langmyer
“Smaller communities are making a big comeback. This new generation of people, to whom quality of life and community are very important, are building their lives and businesses in these places,” says Tom Langmyer, President & CEO of Great Lakes Media Corp.

“Over the years, the shifting economy and technology had ended an era of localism in media. Today, people are once again in search of real community and the greater connection that comes with being a part of a ‘place.’ Local media builds that connection – particularly in smaller markets.”

The company is meeting with investors and brokers – and others who are interested in specific markets; and plans to announce appointments of officers and partners in the weeks ahead.

Langmyer, a longtime media executive, believes in the opportunity to better develop a deeper local content experience in markets – and he looks favorably at radio as the way to bring more consumers to the mix.

“The need is clear as many of the broadcast media platforms have been providing white-labelled, generic, unremarkable content. And while it’s growing, the digital space is in dire need of compelling content to make it a more robust advertising and revenue platform. Radio and Digital complement each other, as it’s not an either/or proposition. There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms – and expanding the emotional connection between consumers and local brands,” stated Langmyer.

Report: Comedian Serious About Buying Tribune Media

Byron Allen, the comedian turned media mogul, is in the hunt to buy Tribune Media, the 42-station TV network, which went on the block for a second time earlier this year, according to The NYPost.

Allen, who paid $300 million for the Weather Channel in April, owns LA-based Entertainment Studios, an independent movie production company, and has been on the prowl to expand his media footprint.

Byron Allen
Three other bidders are also said to be in the hunt for the company.

It’s a second go-round on the auction block for Tribune Media, which thought it had a sale to conservative Sinclair Broadcast network — until that $3.9 billion deal was unexpectedly blocked by the Federal Communications Commission three months ago.

In the new round Tribune Media was drawing interest from another conservative mogul, Tom Hicks Jr., the boss of private equity firm Hicks Equity Partners. Hicks also heads America First, a super PAC that’s aligned with President Trump.

He’s submitted a joint bid with Cerberus Capital, the buyout firm headed by billionaire Stephen Feinberg.

Allen’s rival bid has backing from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Nexstar Media Group, which owns 171 stations, is also on the hunt as is Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management.

Second-round bids are expected by mid-December.

San Antonio Radio: CMG's Ben Reed Sets Retirement Date

Ben Reed
After more than 41 years in the media industry, Ben Reed, Cox Media Group’s (CMG) vice president and market manager for the San Antonio Radio market, has announced his desire to retire, effective December 31, 2018.

“When looking back on the last four decades and the opportunities I’ve been afforded in my career, all I can say is I’m blessed – it’s that simple,” said Reed. “The success we’ve achieved as an organization and the expectations we’ve exceeded year after year in the San Antonio market is truly remarkable. The camaraderie I share with my team and colleagues at CMG will live in my heart forever.”

Prior to his station being acquired by Cox in 1997, Reed worked for NewCity Communications as the general sales manager and Katz Broadcasting as an account executive. When he joined Cox as the general sales manager in San Antonio, his broad media experience allowed him to expand his scope of responsibility throughout his tenure, including oversight of CMG’s Atlanta Radio and newspapers in Austin.

Today, he oversees content and sales for CMG’s award-winning radio stations in San Antonio, including KISS 99.5, KONO 101.1 & 860, KTKX 106.7, KKYX 680 & 104.9, KCYY 100.3 and KSMG 105.3, and has played a vital role in the success of the San Antonio market and CMG Radio. His expertise and passion for the industry and the people he leads is truly remarkable.

“Ben Reed’s career story is about the success he has had making a positive impact on the people he leads,” said Bill Hendrich, executive vice president, CMG. “In multiple roles for both NewCity and CMG, Ben has led his teams to success by helping them develop and grow to their full potential. We will all miss Ben’s positive attitude, friendly advice and great sense of humor.”

“It takes a great deal of passion, dedication and grit to be successful in the radio industry and Ben possesses these qualities and so much more,” said Kim Guthrie, CMG president. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with him throughout my career at Cox and know firsthand that he is a true broadcaster and respected leader whose positive impact can be seen across many markets in our business. He is a valued colleague and friend who will be greatly missed by all of us at CMG.”

CMG is launching a nationwide search for a Vice President/Market Manager to lead the company’s award-winning radio stations in San Antonio. For more information or to express interest in the role, please contact CMG Regional Vice President of Radio Rob Babin at

NYC Radio: Family Feud At Sports WFAN

WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM morning show co-host Gregg Giannotti fired back at afternoon host Mike Francesa on Thursday after the big guy lambasted him, his on-air schtick and the "Boomer and Gio" program on Wednesday.

"He's an insecure bully who thinks those things are going to affect me, affect us, and it just doesn't," Giannotti said, adding that "it's radio," he doesn't care when he's mocked because he and co-host Boomer Esiason do it too and that he was "laughing at it, more than anything else" when informed of Francesa's ripjob.

Mike Francesa
According to, Francesa blindsided Giannotti, saying he was "short on ability" and that his show "stinks" after, Francesa claimed, he listened to the show for an hour Wednesday morning while driving to LaGuardia Airport to pick up his wife.

While listening, Francesa was not impressed by the program's hypothetical discussion on the morning show about WFAN midday voice and former Jets star Bart Scott being in a fight with former professional wrestler Tazz, who hosts a national CBS morning sports show.

The show features former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason and sidekick Giannotti, who often does a dead-on impersonation of Francesa that gnaws at the radio legend, according to The NYPost.

Francesa may be the biggest bully in the schoolyard, but he is seldom present. There is a feeling his comeback has put a cloud over the station, even if he usually works from home.

Francesa returned to the FAN after his short retirement, citing the need to promote his personal app. He had no other substantial offers and came back for less money. He used the app as cover to justify the potential embarrassment of his return.

Francesa, 64, has been more cranky on the air — especially in recent weeks, write Andrew Marchand at The Post.  He has pressure on him, as in the latest rating week recorded he lost to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay Show, 6.6-6.0, in the coveted men 25-54 age range, according to sources.

Ratings books are fully judged in three-month periods. In the first month, Francesa beat Kay, 6.3-5.5. Francesa — having never lost a ratings book to Kay’s team, and with FM and AM dials, as well as Kay being on YES diverting eyes and ears — still remains the clear favorite, but it is now a ballgame.

Francesa’s app has been widely written about. While no official numbers are known or have been reported, Francesa has claimed to have more than 800 subscribers for his $8.99-per-month service.

Francesa has been shouting for attention, says Marchand.

NOLA-Baton Rouge Radio: Jeff Haber New PD For WFMF, KVDU

Jeff Haber
iHeartMedia Baton Rouge and New Orleans announced Thursday that Jeff Haber has been named Program Director for CHR WFMF 102.5 FM, Today’s Hit Music for Baton Rouge and Variety Hits KVDU 104.1 The Spot, We Play Anything |New Orleans.

As Program Director, Haber will work with on-air personalities and sales to oversee music programming as well as broadcast and digital operations for both stations. In addition, he will serve as the midday on-air personality at 102.5 WFMF. He will report to Bob Murphy, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Louisiana.

“We’re excited to have someone of Jeff’s caliber leading our day-to-day operations at 102.5 WFMF and 104.1 The Spot,” said Murphy. “102.5 WFMF has been the leader in Contemporary Hit Radio in Baton Rouge since 1979 and 104.1 The Spot is gaining traction as ‘New Orleans’ We Play Anything’ station. Jeff will be an incredible asset as both stations continue to grow.”

Haber joins iHeartMedia Baton Rouge and New Orleans from Power 94.7 FM in Redding, California, where he most recently served as the Program Director. He previously worked for iHeartMedia Los Angeles as the producer for Dave Styles at 104.3 MY-FM and nationally syndicated Big Boy’s Neighborhood. He began his career at Q104.3, iHeart Media NY and is graduate of Ithaca College.

WFMF 102.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
“I’m so happy for the opportunity to work with an innovative, collaborative team that shares the same vision for what listeners want to hear,” said Haber. “iHeartMedia has always felt like home and I’m excited to make 102.5 WFMF and 104.1 The Spot the best stations they can be. I can’t wait to surround myself with that southern hospitality and become a part of the Baton Rouge and New Orleans communities.”

Salem Radio To Debut 'America First' with Sebastian Gorka

Sebastian Gorka
Salem Media Group announced Thursday the launching a new talk show hosted by Dr. Sebastian Gorka. The show—“America First with Sebastian Gorka”—will debut January 1, 2019 and will air daily in the 3pm to 6pm ET daypart on the Salem Radio Network.

Gorko will be replacing the Michael Medved show.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have talent like Sebastian Gorka joining the Salem lineup,” said Salem Media Group’s CEO Edward Atsinger. “He’s a perfect fit. Brilliant, insightful, educated and uniquely experienced. A great addition to the best faculty in Talk Radio.”

Michael Medved commented, “I feel grateful for the more than 21 years I’ve worked with Salem Media Group, and I wish continued success to my friends and colleagues at the network. Together with my team of producers here in Seattle, we’ll be continuing our daily broadcast with no interruption, making it available to our devoted listeners in an exciting new format. We’ll also move forward with our emphasis on history programs and commentary to encourage public appreciation of the real blessings of this amazing country. Stay tuned.”

Gorka is Fox News Channel’s National Security Strategist and is a regular guest on Hannity and the FOX Business Network. He writes for “The Hill” and is the nationally bestselling author of Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies—With No Apologies (Regnery) and Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War (Regnery). Gorka was an advisor to candidate Donald Trump and served on the staff of the White House in 2017 as Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategy.

“Radio has always been my first love, since I listened to talk radio late at night on a transistor radio as a child,” said Gorka.

“There is a culture war going on in this country, and Dr. Gorka is uniquely qualified to take this fight to talk radio,” said Salem Radio Network Senior Vice President, Phil Boyce. “His program will deal with the hot breaking news stories of each day, and help listeners understand what to make of it.”

“The Listener feedback we receive each time Dr. Gorka fills in for one of our Network hosts is overwhelming,” added Salem Broadcast Division President David Santrella. “I think Dr. Gorka is the right person at the right time and the Salem Radio Network is definitely the right place.”

Atlanta Radio: WBZY Rebrands As Z105.3 FM

iHeartMedia Atlanta announced today the debut of the new WBZY Z105.3, Tu EstaciĆ³n Para Super Hits.

Z105.3 (Bowden-Atlanta) will broadcast Spanish Contemporary Hit Music, including songs from artists such as Daddy Yankee, Shakira, Ozuna, Romeo Santos, Maluma, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Enrique Iglesias. The station will also feature the latest lifestyle and entertainment content as well as showcase Atlanta’s top local DJs.

“With the launch of Z105.3, we are proud to continue the tradition of being the innovator and leader of Atlanta’s Hispanic media landscape,” said Brian Michel, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Atlanta. “With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging musical tastes, this move puts us in a position to super-serve our listeners, advertisers and the community.”

WBZY 105.2 FM (61 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
Full Programming Lineup:
  • Karla Rodriguez 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Orlando Rosa 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Luis Trevino 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Jessi Dee 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.

TV Ratings: NFL Showing Modest Gains

Three of the league’s television partners have shown increases after the first nine week of the season while one remains flat. That is welcome news after ratings decreased 9.7 percent last season and 8 percent in 2016, reports the Associated Press.

“I’m glad the league has turned the corner. The top teams are very exciting and there are plenty of high-scoring games,” said Neil Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports who now runs his own sports television consulting company.

Pilson said a major ratings driver has been the emergence of young quarterbacks like the Rams’ Jared Goff, Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky. That has created a buzz not only with their teams but throughout the league.

Another factor is that player protests against social and racial injustice during the national anthem have not been a major storyline this season. Pilson noted that “a few of those folks who said they were going to stop watching I don’t know how many did.”

➤NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” package has shown the biggest improvement with an eight percent increase from last season. It is averaging 19.7 million viewers, compared to 18.3 million last season.

➤ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” is averaging 11.418 million, which is up three percent (11.135 million). Pilson has been critical of scheduling for Thursday and Monday nights in past seasons, but he said the league has made improvements in those areas. ESPN will have one of the marquee games of the season on Nov. 19 when Kansas City faces the Los Angeles Rams in Mexico City.

➤CBS’ Sunday afternoon games are averaging 15.713 million viewers, which is up one percent from last season (15.528 million). This past Sunday’s slate of five games, which was headlined by Pittsburgh at Baltimore, had a 10.0 household rating, which was up 23 percent from the same week last season.

➤Fox’s Sunday afternoon coverage is averaging more viewers than CBS at 17.299 million, but this is a decrease of less than one percent from last season (17.414 million).

➤The only package that has sharply declined is Thursday Night Football. It is averaging 12.522 million viewers in its first season on Fox, which is down from the 14.134 million on CBS last season.

Report: Most Watch Netflix For Favorite Shows

Netflix has overtaken live TV as the platform where TV viewers watch their favorite show, according to Hub Research’s 2018 “Conquering Content” study.

According to MediaPost, Hub has published the study for each of the past five years, tracking viewer behavior on both traditional linear and online content sources.

The study asks the respondent about the favorite shows they have watched in the past year and the platform where they watched it. 2018 marks the first time a plurality of respondents -- at 32% -- cited Netflix as the source for the favorite show.

Live TV, which had previously led the category, only secured 26%.

Hub says this continues a trend seen since 2014, with Netflix improving each year and live TV declining each year. In 2014, 45% of respondents said their favorite show was on linear TV, compared to 14% for Netflix.

The 2017 edition of the study marked the first time a plurality of respondents said they watched their favorite show online, as opposed to on a set-top box. The 2018 edition of the study saw that shift accelerate.

Some 56% of respondents said they watched their favorite shows online, compared to 44% who watched through a set-top box -- up 4% and down 4% year-over-year.

The research also shows a contrast between online and linear in the effectiveness of advertising with regard to discovering new shows. Hub found that for shows watched on set-top boxes, a majority of respondents learned about the show through advertising. For shows watched online, a plurality -- at 35% -- found out through word of mouth and social media. Only 29% found the show through advertising.

Indy Radio: IBA Honors Country WFMS As 'Station of The Year'

Cumulus Media has announced that Indianapolis Country WFMS 95.5 has been recognized as Radio Station of the Year by the Indiana Broadcasters Association at its 2018 Spectrum Awards Luncheon.

The luncheon was held during the 2018 Indiana Broadcasters Conference in Carmel, IN. This marks the third year that 95.5 WFMS has been honored as Station of the Year, with previous wins in 2008 and 2012.

Chuck Fredrick, Vice President/Market Manager, CUMULUS MEDIA-Indianapolis, said: “95.5 WFMS is Central Indiana’s heritage Country station and has enjoyed great success by putting our loyal listeners first and providing them with the very best Country programming. On behalf of the entire 95.5 WFMS team, we thank the Indiana Broadcasters’ Association for this incredible recognition.”

The Country Station, 95.5 WFMS has the longest-running format among the Indianapolis market’s top 10 stations and has been recognized with several national country music awards and nominations over the years.

Click Here for the complete list of 2018 Spectrum Award winners.

Seattle Radio: At Least Six Stations Affected By Tower Fire

Firefighters responded to a 200 foot radio tower fire Thursday morning atop Tiger Mountain.

The fire started shortly before 7 AM on the tower. The tower is used by several Seattle stations, including: KQMV 92.5, KSWD 94.1, KJAQ 96.5 , KNUC 98.5, KZOK 102.5 , and KBKS 106.1 . All were forced to use auxiliary sites for a time.

However, there were no reports of fire damaging transmitter housing.

The fire burned for about an hour.

Nov 9 Radio History

George D. Hay
➦In 1895...George D. Hay, the founder of the “Grand Ole Opry,” was born in Attica, Indiana.

While he was an announcer at WLS in Chicago, Hay helped begin the “National Barn Dance” program. He then moved to WSM in Nashville, where he started a similar barn dance program in 1925. The “WSM Barn Dance” officially became known as the “Grand Ole Opry” two years later. Hay so named the program because it followed a broadcast by the NBC Symphony. He was largely responsible for developing the Opry into country music’s premiere showcase.

Hay was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame two years before his death in 1968.

➦In 1925...KQP in Portland Oregon signed-on and the station changed its call sign to KOIN on April 12, 1926.

It became an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), now known as the CBS Radio Network, on September 1, 1929.  During the golden years of radio, KOIN was one of Portland's major radio stations, with an extensive array of local programming, including live music from its own studio orchestra.

As a CBS radio affiliate, KOIN was the local home for CBS radio programs such as the CBS World News Roundup, Lux Radio Theater and Suspense. An FM station, KOIN-FM at 101.1, was launched in 1948. Both stations were owned by Field Enterprises, Inc. from 1947 until sold in 1952 to the Mount Hood Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.

KOIN and KOIN-FM were sold on May 1, 1977 to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company, and effective May 12, 1977 their call signs changed to KYTE (both AM and FM).  Its affiliation with CBS ended, and the CBS Radio Network's programming in the Portland market moved to KYXI at that time.

The stations using the former KOIN frequencies currently are KUFO (AM) and KXL-FM.

➦In 1930...sportscaster Charlie Jones was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas. For more than 30 years he called NFL football for NBC Sports.  He also broadcast baseball, golf, tennis, track & field at the Olympics, and soccer.

Jones died June 12 2008 at age 77.

➦In 1948...“This is Your Life” debuted on NBC radio. Ralph Edwards hosted the radio show for two years and for nine more (1952-1961) on television.

➦In 1965...At dusk on November 9, the biggest power failure in U.S. history occurred as all of New York state, portions of seven neighboring states, and parts of eastern Canada are plunged into darkness. The Great Northeast Blackout began at the height of rush hour, delaying millions of commuters, trapping 800,000 people in New York's subways, and stranding thousands more in office buildings, elevators, and trains. Ten thousand National Guardsmen and 5,000 off-duty policemen were called into service to prevent looting.

Here's how it sounded on 77 WABC with Dan Ingram.  The audio also includes Ingram on November 10...

The blackout was caused by the tripping of a 230-kilovolt transmission line near Ontario, Canada, at 5:16 p.m., which caused several other heavily loaded lines also to fail. This precipitated a surge of power that overwhelmed the transmission lines in western New York, causing a "cascading" tripping of additional lines, resulting in the eventual breakup of the entire Northeastern transmission network.

All together, 30 million people in eight U.S. states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec were affected by the blackout. During the night, power was gradually restored to the blacked-out areas, and by morning power had been restored throughout the Northeast.

➦In 1968...big-voiced actor Gerald Mohr suffered a fatal heart attack at age 54. He had logged 4,000 radio appearances, including the title role in 119 episodes of The Adventures of Phillip Marlowe.  He also had more than 100 TV acting credits of all stripes.

➦In 1999...The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announces the century's big winners, sales-wise: The Beatles have sold the most albums (106 million), with Garth Brooks and Barbra Streisand the most successful male and female solo artists. Elvis Presley leads the pack on gold and platinum certifications with 77 (singles) and 80 (albums), while Elton John's "Candle In The Wind '97" (rewritten as a tribute to the recently-deceased Princess Diana) is the best-selling single of the century. The best-selling album, suprisingly, is the Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975, which has just overtaken Michael Jackson's Thriller.

➦In 2003...TV/radio/film great Art Carney died in his sleep at 85 years of age.

He had been enormously popular as Jackie Gleason’s sewer-worker pal Ed Norton in the TV classic The Honeymooners. He began as a radio actor, appearing regularly on Gangbusters and The March of Time, among many others. Carney also won the Best-Actor Oscar for the film Harry and Tonto (1974).

➦In 2013…Longtime Chicago radio personality for WDRV-FM, WLUP-FM, Carla Leonardo died of acute myeloid leukemia at 63.