Saturday, December 22, 2018

December 23 Radio History

➦In 1900...Canadian wireless expert Reginald Fessenden, working for the US Weather Service at Brant Rock, Mass. near Boston, broadcast the world’s first voice communications by AM (amplitude modulation) radio wave for a distance of 1.6 km between two 13 metre towers. He asked his assistant, ‘Is it snowing where you are, Mr. Thiessen?’

➦In 1907...the longtime host of ABC radio’s Breakfast Club, Don McNeill was born at Galena Illinois.

In Chicago during the early 1930s, McNeill was assigned to take over an unsponsored early morning variety show, The Pepper Pot, with an 8 a.m. timeslot on the NBC Blue Network. McNeill re-organized the hour as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments which McNeill labeled "the Four Calls to Breakfast."

McNeill's revamped show premiered in 1933, combining music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company, beginning February 8, 1941. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

He died May 7, 1996 at age 88.

➦In 1922...the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) broadcast the first orchestral concert, the first program of dance music, the first radio talk program, and the first regular bulletin of general news from London.

➦In station KEX in Portland Oregon began broadcasting. It has been a clear channel 50,000-watt powerhouse at 1190 KHz since 1941.

In 1928...a permanent coast-to-coast NBC Radio network was formed. NBC had been formed two years earlier by General Electric, Westinghouse and RCA, with David Sarnoff as its chief organizer.

NBC's network operations were officially launched with a gala broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern on November 15, 1926. Carl Schlegel of the Metropolitan Opera opened the inaugural broadcast, which also featured Will Rogers and Mary Garden. This broadcast, which included a remote link from KYW in Chicago, was coordinated through WEAF, and carried by twenty-two eastern and Midwestern stations, located as far west as WDAF in Kansas City, Missouri.

On January 1, 1927, NBC formally divided its programming into two networks, called the Red and the Blue. Legend has it that the color designations originated from the push-pins early engineers used to mark affiliates of WEAF (red pins) and WJZ (blue pins), or from the use of double-ended red and blue colored pencils.

The two NBC networks did not have distinct identities or "formats", and, beginning in 1929, they shared use of the distinctive three-note "NBC chimes". The NBC Red Network, with WEAF as its flagship station and a stronger line-up of affiliated stations, often carried the more popular, "big budget" sponsored programs. The Blue Network and WJZ carried a somewhat smaller line-up of often lower-powered stations and sold air time to advertisers at a lower cost. NBC Blue often carried newer, untried programs (which, if successful, often moved "up" to the Red Network), lower cost programs and unsponsored or "sustaining" programs (which were often news, cultural and educational programs). In many cities in addition to New York, the two NBC affiliated stations (Red and Blue) were operated as duopolies, having the same owners and sharing the same staff and facilities.

At this time, most network programs were owned by their sponsors and produced by advertising agencies. The networks had limited control over their schedules, as advertisers bought available time periods and chose which stations would carry a program regardless of what other sponsors might broadcast in other time periods. Networks rented out studio facilities used to produce shows and sold air-time to sponsors. The only network-produced programs were unsponsored programs used to fill unsold time periods (affiliated stations had the option to "break away" from the network to air a local program during these periods) but the network had the "option" to take back the time period if a network sponsor wanted the time period.

On April 5, 1927 NBC reached the West Coast with the launching of the NBC Orange Network, which rebroadcast Red Network programming to the Pacific states and had as its flagship station KGO in San Francisco. NBC Red then extended its reach into the Midwest by acquiring two 50,000–watt clear-channel signals, Cleveland station WTAM on October 16, 1930 and Chicago station WMAQ by 1931. On October 18, 1931, Blue Network programming was introduced along the NBC Gold Network, which broadcast from San Francisco's KPO. In 1936 the Orange Network name was dropped and affiliate stations became part of the Red Network. The Gold Network adopted the Blue Network name.

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.

➦In 1947...In what would be a major development for radio and other electronics, the transistor is invented by three scientists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. The trio would win the 1956 Nobel Prize in for their discovery.

➦In Jack Webb, creator & star of Dragnet, died as a result of a heart attack at age 62.

He started in radio as a deejay & failed comic, then found success as the lead in “Pat Novack For Hire.”  In 1949 he started playing Sgt. Joe Friday on NBC radio, taking “Dragnet” to TV in 1951, where it continued until 1959.

A second run of the show began in 1967, during which Webb developed the spin-off “Adam 12.”

➦In 1987..."Good Morning, Vietnam," starring Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby, and J.T. Walsh, opened in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters.

Stan Brooks
➦In 2013...Stan Brooks, longtime newsman at 1010 WINS died.

He was 86, and had worked until a month before his death, delivering his last report from City Hall on Nov. 20.

Brooks joined WINS, 1010 on the AM dial, as news director in 1962, when it was still one of the dominant Top40 music stations in the country, with a lineup of popular disc jockeys including Murray Kaufman, known as Murray the K.

When Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the station’s owners, decided to make WINS an all-news operation soon after Brooks’s arrival, he helped assemble the staff and lay the groundwork for one of the first all-news radio stations in the country — and the first in the city.

The switch took place on April 19, 1965. The blackout on Nov. 9 that year, which plunged most of the Northeast into darkness, put Brooks’s news team on the aural map.

By tapping into a transmission line based in New Jersey, WINS was one of the few radio outlets that managed to stay on the air. From a 19th-floor studio in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Brooks and his reporters broadcast news and information throughout the night.

After several years as an executive and then a national correspondent for the Westinghouse Broadcasting radio station system, Mr. Brooks became a local reporter at WINS in 1970. His voice has been on the city’s airwaves almost every day since.

In understated dispatches between 30 seconds and one minute long, he reported on plane crashes, race riots, municipal near-bankruptcies, the tall ships, the Son of Sam, the Attica prison uprising and every mayoral administration from John V. Lindsay to Michael R. Bloomberg.

He liked the precision of short-form journalism. “When you’ve got 35 seconds, you’ve got to tell people what they need right away,” he said in an interview last year. “You want to get to the spine of the story.”

Gordon Hinckley
➦In 2013...Gordon Hinkley, whose Milwaukee radio career spanned more than a half century and whose voice was as familiar as an old friend to thousands of listeners, died at age 88.  Known as the “Granddaddy of Milwaukee radio,” his “Ask Your Neighbor” show ran on WTMJ 620 AM for more than 30 years.

Advertisers Drop 'Tucker Carlson' But Many Remain

More than a dozen advertisers are stopping media schedules or have no plans to air on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after Carlson  said immigrants made the U.S. “poorer and dirtier.”

Yet many TV advertisers remain, according to MediaPost.

Over the recent December 17-20 period, says “Carlson” pulled in $2.5 million in advertising (177 airings of national/regional commercials). For the previous four-day period, the show pulled in $3.1 million -- 228 airings of commercials.

Overall, reports says Fox News Channel has not lost much, if any, revenue -- advertisers simply move budgets to other shows.

In a statement given to Media Confidential Saturday afternoon, Fox News stated:

 "We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants. Attempts were made last month to bully and terrorize Tucker and his family at their home. He is now once again being threatened via Twitter by far left activist groups with deeply political motives. While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view.”

Since Monday through Thursday night, according to, top advertisers include:

Sirius Satellite Radio airing 11 airings of its commercials; 23andMe, six airings; NFL Network, five; Sandals Resorts, four; Pajamagram, four; Visiting Angeles, four; Progressive Insurance, three; Alka-Seltzer, four; Qunol, My Pillow, ASPCA, ClearChoice, Jewelry Exchange, Plexaderm, and Otezla, all each with three.

Those with two airings over the period are: Red Lobster, Energizer, IHOP, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Infiniti, Zona Health, Samsung Mobile, Samsung TV, Navage, SanDisk, Minted, Dremel, Duluth Trading Co., Massage Envy, Worx, Just For Men, Fisher Investments, ,GMC,  YMCA, Senior Helpers, and Sheex.

In addition, Fox News Channel has aired 13 on-air promos, Fox Nation, the new OTT platform, 10; and Fox, nine.

Pacific Life was the the first “Carlson” advertiser that announced early in the week it was dropping its schedule. The insurance marketer tweeted on Friday about its disagreement with Carlson's remarks.

During the week, advertisers that said they would be departing or have no current media plans to buy the show include: Leesa, Lexus, ScotteVest, Takeda, Samsung, SodaStream, NerdWallet, Zenni Optical, Just for Men, Pfizer’s Robitussin, Jaguar-Land Rover, TD Ameritrade, and SanDisk.

Deals: New Suitors May Emerge For iHM After Split

iHeartMedia Inc. and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. finalized their long-anticipated divorce that will see Clear Channel spun out when iHeart emerges from bankruptcy early next year.

According to Bloomberg, the separation frees Clear Channel from constant demands for cash from private equity-backed iHeartMedia, which used the outdoor advertising company to shore up its own balance sheet. iHeartMedia in turn emerges as a leaner company that can capitalize on its dominance in the radio broadcasting space -- and as an attractive target for a potential buyer. Clear Channel, too, has attracted potential suitors.

iHM controls Clear Channel’s board, top management and most of its common stock, which enabled the parent to arrange an intercompany loan for itself that totaled about $1 billion by the time iHM went bankrupt in March. Clear Channel will gain its independence and remains solvent, but $850 million of that loan won’t be repaid.

“The way things were was not good strategically,” Philip Brendel, a distressed debt analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said. “This is like erasing the chalkboard.”

iHeartMedia filed for bankruptcy with $20 billion of debt and a creditor-supported plan that included a spin-out of Clear Channel. Although Clear Channel never filed for bankruptcy itself, iHM held an equity stake of about 90 percent in Clear Channel. Private equity owners Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners loaded the largest U.S. radio broadcaster up with debt as part of its 2008 leveraged buyout.

Under a reorganization plan that a federal judge will consider next month, iHM would be taken over by senior lenders and shed about $10.3 billion in debt.

iHM’s emergence from bankruptcy was contingent on reaching a settlement with some of Clear Channel’s minority shareholders, who have sued to recoup their losses associated with the intercompany loan. The company won initial approval this week from the bankruptcy court for an accord.

The radio giant likely remains a target for a strategic buyer such a Apple or Liberty Media Corp. after its emergence from bankruptcy, but that activity likely won’t heat up until bankruptcy is well behind it, Brendel said. Liberty Media bid $1.16 billion for 40 percent of the company in June, but iHeart and its creditors rejected the bid as insufficient. The radio company said at the time it was still open to offers .

Nexstar Wants To Be Undisputed King of Local Media

On Dec. 3, Sook’s Nexstar Media Group bought Tribune Media for $6.4 billion, including debt. It’s a deal will make the Dallas-based Nexstar–which presently owns or operates 171 stations across the U.S., most of which are broadcast affiliates in small to medium-sized DMAs–the largest owner of local TV stations in the U.S. with more than 200 stations that cover about 39 percent of TV homes.

The deal will also give the company a presence in America’s three largest markets for the first time: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Nexstar was able to swoop in and strike the deal with the Chicago-based company after Tribune’s deal with Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group was terminated in August amid concerns from the Federal Communications, led by FCC commissioner (and Trump appointee) Ajit Pai, who said the conservative-skewing Sinclair breached its contract by misleading regulators during the transaction’s approval process.

Sook told Variety that Nexstar is bracing for what will surely be a long regulatory review of the Tribune acquisition. He says fully aware of the 15-month Sinclair-Tribune dealmaking process that resulted in disaster, and claims Nexstar is ready to make necessary divestitures to comply with FCC rules — something Sinclair failed to do.

So, who is Sook? Well, TV Newser reports he’s a Northeast Pennsylvania native who actually got his start as a radio DJ in Punxsutawney, Pa., and later briefly worked as a news anchor in Clarksburg, WV. But he was drawn to the sales side of the business. He worked for Cox and the national advertising sales rep firm Telerep. Sook founded Nexstar in 1996 with one station in Scranton.

U-S Senator Calls Talk Radio Hosts Tyrants

Senator Bob Corker
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker called conservative talk radio hosts tyrants following their criticism of the lack of a deal to fund the border wall.

USAToday reports Corker's comments came as the federal government heads to the midnight deadline Friday for a government shutdown.

Trump has made building a border wall one of the major promises of his presidency since the days of his campaign for the White House. Democrats, though, have repeatedly vowed to keep that promise from coming true, and at least two conservative talk show hosts have begun criticizing Trump as a result.

Ann Coulter published a column that called Trump "gutless" and said in a radio interview that she won't vote for Trump in 2020 if he doesn't deliver on the wall.

"Nor will, I think, most of his supporters. Why would you?" she asked, arguing that Trump's time in office will one day go down as "a joke presidency that scammed the American people."

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Trump had "gotten word" to him that he would either be "getting funding to the border or he's shutting the whole thing down." That was after Limbaugh complained a day earlier that it appeared "Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything, including control of the House."

CNN reporter Manu Raju reported on Friday that Corker criticized the radio hosts and how Trump has responded.

“Do we succumb to tyranny of radio talk show hosts?” Raju quotes Corker as saying. “We have two talk radio hosts who influenced the president – that’s tyranny isn’t it?”

Carr FCC Nomination Process No Longer On Hold

Brendan Carr
A pair of senators have lifted their respective holds on a Republican FCC commissioner up for renomination, paving the way for the Senate to confirm him before the holidays.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday lifted his hold after the agency promised to prioritize rolling out funding for wireless broadband in rural areas.

Manchin announced the hold on FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr last week after the commission announced it would pause the funding program while it conducts an investigation into coverage data submitted by major wireless carriers.

Also The Hill reports, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) also announced that he would be lifting a hold he had placed on Carr's confirmation, over concerns about the FCC's work on rural healthcare.

"After receiving concrete commitments and timelines from Chairman Pai to get the Rural Health Care program back on track in Alaska, Senator Sullivan lifted his hold on Commissioner Carr last night," the senator's office said in a statement.

Poll: Holiday Favs...It's a Wonderful Life, Silent Night

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is the highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 holiday hit in 60 years, but Americans still prefer hearing carols such as “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells,” a new poll shows.

With Christmas next week, 12 percent of Americans named “Silent Night” as their favorite holiday song followed by “Jingle Bells” at 8 percent, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The open-ended question showed that “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a fan favorite among holiday films, followed closely by a mix of recent comedies and classics.

Nine percent of respondents listed the 1946 Frank Capra classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” as their favorite film. Jimmy Stewart plays a conscientious family man who faces a seemingly insurmountable debt and attempts to end his life, but is stopped by a guardian angel on Christmas Eve.

“It’s a story of redemption,” said Michael Germana, 65, who called the film his favorite. The California native is also among the 21 percent of adults 60 and older who choose “Silent Night,” which was first performed 200 years ago.

“It’s a song of inclusion,” Germana said. “There’s no strife.”

Americans under 30 are more likely than those older to name “Jingle Bells” (12 percent) and Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” (7 percent) as their favorite.

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” was named by 3 percent of adults overall, while “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” which has drawn criticism in the #MeToo era and led some stations to stop playing it, was named by 5 percent.

Song About Sausage Rolls Is Chart-Topper In U-K

Perennial chart-topper Ariana Grande has lost the race to top the British singles chart at Christmas - to a blogger who posts about fatherhood and sings about sausage rolls, reports Reuters.

Mark Hoyle
LadBaby, whose real name is Mark Hoyle, recorded his version of Starship’s 1985 hit “We Built This City” with his wife and two sons, changing the lyrics to pay tribute to the British snack, a puff pastry roll filled with sausage meat.

“Thank you everybody in the UK who has got a sausage roll to the top,” the 31-year-old said. “...I’m honestly speechless.”

LadBaby, who posts videos about his experience of fatherhood and won a “Celebrity Dad of the Year” award in June, has just under three million followers on Facebook and more than 470,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.

The Official Charts Company said his single had clocked up 75,000 sales, 18,500 ahead of his closest rival.

Proceeds from the single’s sale go to UK foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust.

“We Built This City” pushed last week’s chart-topper, Grande’s “Thank U Next”, to no. 3 while Ava Max’s “Sweet but Psycho” song was at no. 2.

Artist Neil Young Launches Streaming Service

Spotify, Apple Music… and Neil Young? The folk-rock legend — who has long advocated for music available to consumers with higher-quality sound — is taking matters into his own hands, according to MediaPost.

Young, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, has launched a subscription streaming music service, built around his music,  available in “XStream by NYA,” a proprietary streaming technology that delivers higher-quality sound.

The streaming service, called The Neil Young archives (NYA), will have a free tier with a song of the day, a free album and other select content. To access Young’s full library and the other content, however, you need to subscribe for $19.99 per year, or $1.99 per month.

As music shifted from CDs to digital files, Young criticized the quality of the sound, arguing that file compression was distorting the music. He subsequently launched his own company and released his own digital music player, Pono, which provided “high-resolution” 24-bit music tracks.

St. Louis Radio: WIL-FM Collects More than Ten Thousand Toys

For the third consecutive year, Bud and Broadway collected a record number of “Bikes, Balls and Barbies” 10,000 Toys for Girls and Boys! The New Country WIL 92.3 Home Team collected More than 10,000 toys during the 36 hour weekend toy drive, benefiting the patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis.

Bud and Broadway and the New Country 92.3 Home Team collected toys over two days - December 13th and 14th at 7 area Sam’s Club locations across the St. Louis metro area, in order to bring joy (and toys!) to kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children over Christmas.

Program Director Scott Roddy notes, "Hubbard continues to be the platinum local standard. CMA award-winning Bud and Broadway, Kelly from Arnold and the entire Home Team worked tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most this Christmas. Thank you to our New Country 92.3 listeners across the bi-state for answering the call!"

D-C Radio: After 35-years, Judy Taub Retires From WTOP

by Rick Massimo, WTOP News

WTOP's Judy Taub
After 35 years at the WTOP editor’s desk, Judy Taub’s last day in the newsroom came on Friday. As she neared her well-earned retirement, those at the station who learned from her – which is pretty much everyone – stopped to reflect on what she brought to the culture of WTOP and the influence that she’ll have long after she’s gone.

“We will miss her immeasurably. She has been a mentor and a guiding force,” anchor Debra Feinstein said on the air Friday afternoon. “The heartbeat of the newsroom,” anchor Mark Lewis added.

Joel Oxley, WTOP’s senior vice president and general manager, called Taub, a former news director at the station, “the true heart and soul of the WTOP newsroom. … We all owe Judy the deepest gratitude.”

Taub announced her departure in October, and the newsroom has had two months to prepare for her departure. It hasn’t helped much. But Mike McMearty, WTOP’s director of news and programming, pointed out a bright spot: the tributes and remembrances “and the accolades that she’s been able to enjoy” from current and former co-workers. “I think it’s really meant the world for her. … There’ve been quite a few tears and hugs, and I think that’s great.”

On her last day in the WTOP newsroom, Taub sat at the editor’s desk accepting hugs and handshakes, but also double-checking the work of young editors Madeleine Simon and Anagha Srikanth on the day’s news — stories ranging from the impending government shutdown to an interview with the Santa Claus at Tysons Corner.

December 22 Radio History

➦In 1899...Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America registered.

➦In 1901...orchestra leader Andre Kostelanetz was born in Russia.

Arriving in the US in 1922, he conducted concerts for radio, and in the 30s he was given his own weekly show on CBS, Andre Kostelanetz Presents. He was known for arranging and recording light classical music pieces for mass audiences, as well as orchestral versions of popular songs and Broadway show tunes. His numerous recordings garnered sales of over 50 million and became staples of Beautiful Music radio.

He succumbed to pneumonia Jan. 13 1980 at age 78.

➦In show host/announcer Gene Rayburn was born in Christopher Illinois.

He was half of the first two-man radio morning show team on WNEW 1130 AM New York (Rayburn & Finch), and broke into TV as announcer for Steve Allen on the original Tonight Show.

Besides Match Game, for which he is best remembered, he also hosted the TV games Make the Connection, Choose Up Sides, Dough Re Mi, and Tic Tac Dough. He died Nov 29, 1999 at age 81.

➦In 1920...WEAF in New York City, aired the first broadcast of a prize fight from ringside. The fight was broadcast from Madison Square Garden where Joe Lynch defeated Peter Herman to retain the bantamweight title.

➦In New York radio station WEAF once again proved to be the pillar of radio promotion. This time they broadcast radio’s first double wedding ceremony. 4,000 spectators watched as the two couples exchanged vows at Grand Central Palace. The broadcast was made in conjunction with the American Radio Exposition. The couples each got $100; a hefty sum in 1922.

➦In 1962...The Tornados became the first British group to have a #1 record in the U.S. when they topped the singles chart with their instrumental "Telstar."

In of the golden voices of big time radio Jimmy Wallington was stilled forever.

He was 65. 

He had been announcer for dozens of network shows including Eddie Cantor, Fred Allen, Burns & Allen & Texaco Star Theater, and was the voice of radio’s last major attempt to stave off the TV onslaught, NBC’s The Big Show of the early 1950’s.  He ended his career as an announcer with the Voice of America.

➦In 2000...SIRIUS Satellite Radio completed its satellite system.  But it would be more than a year before the service was introduced in the first four US states.

➦In 2010...Radio and TV announcer (The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, The Dick Cavett Show, The Generation Gap)/National Radio Hall of Famer Fred Foy died at the age of 89.

Shortly after graduating from high school in 1938, Foy began in broadcasting with a part-time position at WMBC, a 250-watt independent station in Detroit. He moved to WXYZ in 1942, but World War II interrupted his radio career.

He was inducted August 28, 1942, entering the American armed forces September 11, 1942.

Attached to the 14th Special Service Company, Sergeant Fred Foy became the American voice on Egyptian State Broadcasting, delivering news and special programs to the Allied Forces in Cairo. He handled the distribution throughout the Middle East of American recordings, in addition to local broadcasts of Command Performance, Mail Call, Personal Album, Radio Bric-a-Brac and Front Line Theatre. He also announced The American Forces Programme. For Stars and Stripes he did American News Letter, a weekly summary of news from America, plus sport flashes and items from various theatres of war. For Cairo cinemas, he announced Headline News of the Day. Foy helped stage and announce USO sponsored programs, including a Jack Benny broadcast from Cairo to New York and an Andre Kostelanetz concert with Lily Pons.

After the war, Foy returned to WXYZ in Detroit. He took over the position of announcer and narrator for radio's The Lone Ranger beginning July 2, 1948 and continuing until the series ended on September 3, 1954.

Friday, December 21, 2018

iHeartMedia & Clear Channel Outdoor To Split

  • William Eccleshare to Become Chief Executive Officer of the New Standalone CCOH
 iHeartMedia, Inc. and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. announced that they have reached an agreement on the material terms to fully separate CCOH’s business from iHeartMedia, which currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.

The separation is expected to occur in conjunction with, and is subject to, iHeartMedia’s emergence from its ongoing restructuring process.  The material terms of the separation are outlined in CCOH’s Form 8-K, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, December 17, 2018.

Effective upon iHeartMedia’s emergence, William Eccleshare will become Chief Executive Officer of CCOH. Mr. Eccleshare, who currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International (CCI), has deep experience in creating value for advertisers across the out-of-home industry.

William Eccleshire
He joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA), before assuming his current role, in which he is responsible for overseeing CCI’s business operations in 22 countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America. Mr. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.

Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO, driving innovation and a customer-centric focus at the business. He will report to Mr. Eccleshare.

Until the company exits the restructuring process, Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler will continue their current leadership roles for CCOH, with Mr. Pittman as CEO and Mr. Bressler as President and Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Eccleshare will also be a member of the new Board of Directors of CCOH, which will be announced prior to the separation.

Bob Pittman
“Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense, and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. and current CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. “Although both businesses are powerful advertising platforms, they each have valuable but different touch points within the advertising community and pursuing separate, highly-targeted strategies will unlock their full potential as freestanding companies.”

“William Eccleshare has a long, successful track record at CCOH, and throughout his career in the advertising industry, and has played an instrumental role in driving growth across CCOH’s business, especially in digital,” said Mr. Pittman. “Scott Wells will continue his successful leadership of CCOA, fostering deep relationships with advertising partners and growing the company’s offerings in exciting areas such as programmatic. With these strong leaders and CCOH’s creative, innovative and dedicated team, the future standalone company will be very well positioned for future growth and success.”

CCOH’s current leadership and Board of Directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and Board will assume their responsibilities.

Boston Radio: Toucher & Rich Re-Up At The Sports Hub

Where do I sign?

The news Thursday that Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, hosts of WBZ 98.5 FM The Sports Hub’s morning drive program, had agreed to a multiyear contract extension might have come as somewhat of a surprise to listeners who had been tuning in recently, reports The Boston Globe.

After all, Toucher — the more acerbic of the duo — had occasionally offered vague suggestions in recent weeks that the show could be changing, or perhaps going elsewhere in a different format.

As it turns out, the hosts did do their due diligence regarding other opportunities. But in the end, according to Shertenlieb, there was really no consideration at all to leaving.

Sports Hub PD Mike Thomas told Barrett Sports Media in an email that the station’s success is the result of featuring great talent like his morning show, and being able to hang on to them.

“We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of successes on The Sports Hub thanks to our incredible talent and the extremely dedicated Boston sports fans,” said Thomas! “Toucher & Rich will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of The Sports Hub.”

Thomas praised the duo for being the most creative guys he’s known, and insisted that he is lucky to work with them. Congratulations to Thomas, Toucher & Rich, and the entire Beasley Boston team.

Pittsburgh Radio: Country Y108 Lures Stoney Richards To Return

Kristen, Stoney Richards and Cowboy Curt
Entercom has announced Stoney Richards’ return to WDSY 107.9 FM Y108 in Pittsburgh as morning drive co-host beginning on January 2. In this role, Richards will co-host “Y’d Awake,” which will also feature co-host Kristen Buccigrossi and producer Cowboy Curt. “Y’d Awake” will air weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET.

“Stoney Richards means country in Western PA,” said Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Pittsburgh. “He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike. We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to Y108 every weekday.”

“I’m proud to be part of Entercom, a company that puts artists first,” said Richards. “It’s good to be back with Michael Spacciapolli, Mark Anderson [Vice President of Programming, Entercom Pittsburgh] and this great cast of people in this house we all built at Y108.”

WDSY 107.9 FM (17.5 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
Richards has most recently held fill-in on-air roles for the station, as well as for sister station NewsRadio KDKA 1020 AM in Pittsburgh. He previously held an on-air role for Y108’s afternoon drive and served as the station’s Assistant Program Director and Music Director from 1998 to 2014, when he left to pursue an acting career.

Pittsburgh Radio: Wendy Bell, Lynne Hayes-Freeland Join KDKA-AM

Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland will be joining KDKA 1020 AM on Jan. 3, Entercom Communications Corp. announced Thursday.

Wendy Bell
Bell will co-host the afternoon drive with station veteran Marty Griffin weekdays 2-6 p.m. Bell joins Entercom after spending 18 years as an anchor and reporter for WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. She is a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner.

“KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people,” Ms. Bell said in a statement. “Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.”

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
WTAE-TV fired Ms. Bell in 2016 after comments she made on her public WTAE Facebook page about a mass shooting in Wilkinsburg were deemed racially insensitive.

A federal race discrimination lawsuit Ms. Bell filed against WTAE’s owner, Hearst Stations, was settled earlier this year.

KDKA-AM also will be adding Hayes-Freeland to host the midday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. time slot. Ms. Hayes-Freeland previously served as a reporter, producer and talk show host for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh since 1977. This is Ms. Hayes-Freeland’s second stint with KDKA-AM, having begun her broadcast career as a producer for the station in 1976.

“Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day,” Ms. Hayes-Freeland said. “It feels great to be back home on KDKA.”

KDKA 1020 AM (50 Kw) Red= Daytime 2 mV/m Contour
Other programming changes include an expanded time slot for the station’s morning show. Larry Richert and John Shumway will air weekdays 6-10 a.m. Afternoon drive host Robert Mangino will transition to host in the 6-10 p.m. time slot on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Mr. Mangino also will host shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, according to the Post-Gazette.

San Antonio Radio: Roger Allen To Retire From KONO-AM/FM

Roger Allen
After more than 40 years in the radio industry, Roger Allen, Cox Media Group’s (CMG) director of programming for KONO 860 AM / 101.1 FM, has announced his desire to retire, effective Jan. 11, 2019.

“Roger Allen operates at the highest level of performance and is manager of a team that seems to defy gravity – a true testament to his industry knowledge, skills and leadership,” said Ben Reed, vice president and general manager for CMG San Antonio. “KONO is among the highest-rated brands and so much of this stations success can be attributed to Roger.”

Allen started his radio career right out of high school at KONO AM in 1981, working in research and weekend overnights. Over the next 17 years, he spread his wings and worked in a variety of roles at stations throughout San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Salt Lake City, including: program director at KQDX-FM (Capital Broadcasting), operations manager/program director at KHFI-FM/KMXX (Rusk Communications), vice president/creative director for The Ross Agency and director of programming for KUBL-FM (Citdel Communications).

In 1998, Allen returned to San Antonio and accepted the role of program director for Classic Hits KONO-FM and Oldies KONO-AM.

During his time with CMG, Allen was awarded Radio Ink’s Best Program Directors in Radio in 2011 and NAB Marconi Award Winning Classic Hits Station of the Year in 2015. Under his leadership, KONO was also a finalist at the 2017 NAB Marconi Awards (Classic Hits Station of the Year) and the 2017 NAB Crystal Radio Awards.

“We have an exceptional team at KONO FM and AM – a group that delivers great content with passion and emotion,” said Allen. “It’s been a humbling experience serving the San Antonio community, the Cox family and our loyal listeners. Thank you to Ben Reed and our team for a memorable 20 years.”

CMG is launching a nationwide search for a director of programming. For more information or to express interest in the role, please contact CMG Regional Vice President of Radio Rob Babin at

St. Louis Radio: WXOS, ESPN Extend Broadcast Deal

WXOS 101 ESPN – the Pride of St. Louis Sports – signed a five-year contract extension with the ESPN Radio Network, effective January 1, 2019. This new five-year extension coincides with the station’s 10-year anniversary.  The station was  launched on January 1, 2009.

For the past 10 years, Hubbard Radio's 101 ESPN has been the only LOCAL and LIVE premiere sports/talk radio station and online source for sports fans, consistently delivering quality sports programming and innovative features and online content for St. Louis and regional sports in and around the bi-state area. 101 ESPN and and their show hosts and contributors have been nominated and awarded various and numerous industry accolades, awards and recognition - including two back-to-back nominations for the prestigious National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Award for Sports/Talk Radio in both 2017 and 2018.

ESPN Radio Network programming available on 101 ESPN includes:
  • “Sports Center” (all night, overnight)
  • “First and Last” (3a-5a)
  • “Golic and WIngo” (5a-7a) Monday-Friday
  • “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” (7p-10p) (tape-delayed after “The Fastlane”)
  • “Freddie and Fitzsimmons” (10p-12a)
And various ESPN play-by-play programs and signature sports event, including MLB (Sunday Night Baseball Game of the Week, All Star Game, MLB Post Season, and World Series); NBA (regular season, All Star game, Playoffs, Conference Finals and NBA Finals); NFL games; and College Football games, College Football Playoffs and the National Championship Game.

WXOS 101.1 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
According to Program Director Chris “Hoss” Neupert, “Hubbard Radio management and the 101 ESPN team want to thank our listeners and the St. Louis community for their continued support over the last 10 years.”

Neupert adds, “Our entire team is looking forward to the strengthening of our partnership with the ESPN Radio Network, and the opportunity to offer innovative content and exclusive interviews, analysis and coverage for St. Louis’ sports fans.”

Chicago Radio: WSCR Scores New MLB Cubs Broadcast Deal

Entercom Communications, the Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have announced a multi-year contract extension.

He'll remain as the radio play-by-play announcer for the team on WSCR 670 AM The Score. Hughes, who joined the Cubs radio broadcast in 1996, will enter his 24th season alongside radio color analyst Ron Coomer.

"Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at 670 The Score and Entercom Chicago," said Entercom Chicago Senior VP/Market Manager Jimmy de Castro. "Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide. We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come."

WSCR 670 AM (50 Kw) Red=Daytime 2 mV/m contour
"For more than two decades, Pat has brought Cubs games to life for our fans as the radio voice of the Cubs," added Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney. "He has delivered countless monumental play-by-play calls from walk-off victories to no-hitters and of course, our 2016 World Series win. We look forward to Pat continuing to make history with our team and deliver many more memorable moments for our fans."

Hughes was named the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year eight times.