Saturday, January 5, 2019

January 6 Radio History

➦In 1838...Morse Code privately demonstrated

➦In 1939...Carleton E. Morse of One Man’s Family fame, introduced his second-best known radio creation, I Love a Mystery afternoons on NBC’s West Coast network.  It went national as a ni ghtly strip that October and ran for five years. A 30 minute weekly series titled I Love Adventure aired for 13 summer weeks in 1948 on ABC.  In 1949 ILAM was revived with a New York cast (including Tony Randall) and ran for 15 minutes nightly for the next 3 years on Mutual.

➦In Richard Widmark made his first radio appearance in "The Home of the Brave."

➦In 1957…Elvis Presley appeared for the third and final time on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show." After receiving viewer complaints about Presley's first two appearances on the show and worried about getting more negative audience reaction because of Presley's pelvic gyrations, Sullivan demanded that the cameramen shoot Elvis only from the waist up this time. Presley sang seven songs: "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Peace in the Valley" (at the request of the network), "Too Much," and "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again." After the last of Elvis' performances, Sullivan attempted to prevent any further controversy by declaring:"I just wanted to say that this is a real decent, fine boy. We want to say that we've never had a pleasanter experience with a big name than we've had with you."

➦In 1969...Veteran NYC personality Joe O'Brien started at WNBC 660 AM. He died in a car accident in 2005 at age 90.

A Yonkers native, O'Brien began his career in 1935 when he got his first radio job with WMCA-AM in New York City. He worked at the station for 34 years and became one of the Good Guys team of disc jockeys in the late 1960's. They played Top 40 hits and became nearly as popular as the music they played.

They had the same clean-cut hairstyles, wore matching suits and worked together at record hops and personal appearances. They also sang as a group and released an album. During that time, Mr. O'Brien was the No. 1 morning man in New York City.

In 1970 he left for WNBC-AM, where he handled morning duties until he was replaced by Don Imus in 1972. Mr. O'Brien then went to WHUD in Peekskill, N.Y. He retired in 1986, but continued to do weekend specials for WHUD until 2000.

➦In 1971...WJRZ 970 AM sold to Pacific Southern.  It changed its call letters on May 16 of that year and became WWDJ, known on the air as "97-DJ", attempting to take on WABC and replace WMCA as the New York market's second Top 40 outlet.

For a brief time, program director Mark Driscoll began imaging the station as "9-J", giving rise to a recorded parody of the station called "Nine" produced by a group that included future disk jockeys Howard Hoffman and Randy West.

The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the Five Boroughs and was virtually nonexistent on Long Island and western New Jersey. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WEPN-FM), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings. In November 1973 it was ranked 15th in the Arbitron ratings.

➦In 1974...the CBS Radio Network debuted "Radio Mystery Theatre."

Bob LeMond
➦In 1980...the "1940's Radio Hour" closed at the St. James Theater in New York City after 105 performances.

➦In of the last surviving announcers of bigtime radio, Bob LeMond died of complications from dementia at age 94.

Beginning in the 1930’s he was a staff announcer at CBS .. and continued there well into the TV era, on such shows as Leave It to Beaver, The Red Skelton Show, Our Miss Brooks, My Friend Irma, Edgar Bergen’s Do You Trust Your Wife? and Life with Luigi.

➦In 2012...WFME 94.7 FM NYC (now WNSH) license changed from non-commercial to commercial.

MI Radio: Huge Change As WBBL Flips To Country

As Cumulus Media drops sports for country on its WBBL 107.3 FM, Bill Simonson, a longtime Michigan sports personality known for “The Huge Show,” has moved to a new radio network.

According to, WBBL, the flagship station for Simonson’s show, let go a number of employees Friday, according to numerous sources. That included Eric Zane, morning host of “The Eric Zane Show” along with his on-air partner, Ben Glaze, as well as program director Marcus Bradman.

Bill Simonson
Zane said he received a phone call mid-morning informing him of the decision from Bruce Law, the vice president/market manager for Cumulus Media in Grand Rapids.

When reached, Law said he “could not comment yet” on the future plans of WBBL. The station also carries high school games and

“The Huge Show” will remain on the air as part of an agreement in principle with the Michigan Media Network and Cumulus Media. The show will be on at its regular 3 p.m. time slot Monday, according to a release from MMN. It won’t be on WBBL, but rather on WJRW 1340-AM in Grand Rapids and WKLQ 1490-AM in Muskegon, with plans to quickly expand.

It will soon be on WJXQ 106.1-FM and a new FM dial spot yet to be determined in Muskegon, according to MMN.

The Huge Show website listed 12 affiliates across Michigan that air is show. Simonson said those will remain intact.

“There won’t be a lot of changes that a lot of you will notice at all,” Simonson said Friday afternoon in a Facebook Live post. “None. Actually, there will be a lot of growth.”

Simonson said plans are still being worked out for online listening. His producer, Brett Hayes will remain with him.

Michigan Media Network is best known for running “Shep, Shower 'n Shave” with Matt Shepherd that airs in the mornings on WDFN 1130-AM in Detroit.

“It’s great to get a chance to work with Bill again,” he said. “Plus, the West Michigan markets now get Shep in the morning, and they are going to love him. The opportunity for West Michigan Sports fans to actually listen and engage in Sports in the mornings again will be well received in West Michigan.”

Shepard, whose show is also presented via the Michigan Media Network to a statewide Comcast audience of 1.1 million households via CN900, is a two-time Emmy winner and two-time MSBA Michigan Sportscaster of the Year. He re-launched his unique 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. radio show last November on WDFN 1130 AM in Detroit and expanded in the Michigan Media Network.

Houston Radio: Armen Williams To Program KILT-AM, KIKK-AM

Armen Williams
Entercom has announced Armen Williams as the new Program Director for SportsRadio KILT 610 AM and CBS Sports Radio KIKK 650 AM in Houston, TX.

“Armen is a born leader and we know that he is the right person to guide SportsRadio forward,” said Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Houston. “His passion, enthusiasm and strategic thinking will help take us to the next level of Houston sports talk.”

“I’m honored to join the Entercom Houston family,” said Williams. “The opportunity to be a part of the heritage SportsRadio 610 brand, at the home of the Houston Texans, is something that I could not pass up. My family and I are extremely excited to make the move back to the Lone Star State.”

Williams is a seasoned radio executive who was recently the Program Director for KKFN in Denver. Prior to that, he held the same role at WTMM in Albany. He began his career in radio as a promotions intern for KSCS in Dallas. In 2008, he was named as afternoon drive producer for 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. Williams was voted as one of Radio Ink’s “Best Programmers” in 2018.

Charlotte Radio: WHQC Re-Launches As All The Hits 96.1 FM

iHeartMedia Charlotte has announced the debut of The New HITS WHQC 96.1.

The New HITS 96.1 will broadcast Top 40 hit music from artists such as Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Maroon 5, Halsey and Shawn Mendes. The highly rated “Ace & TJ Show” will continue to broadcast weekday mornings. “On Air with Ryan Seacrest”, as well as hosts Brooke Morrison, Jordan and Raphael will also host the station’s programming.

“Charlotte is a very competitive market and these updates align the brand in a way that capitalizes on its current strengths,” said A.J., Program Director for The New HITS 96.1. “We’re excited to provide a fresh new experience for our listeners. This is an excellent opportunity for The New HITS 96.1 to be the home of the biggest hits and stars while allowing our audience to gain access to the greatest music and entertainment events in Charlotte.”

“The New HITS 96.1 will bring a fresh, innovative approach to Charlotte radio and digital listening,” said Dave Carwile, President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia-Carolina Region. “The new brand will also resonate more quickly with both listeners and advertisers to drive even better results.”

WHQC 96.1 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
Full Programming Lineup:
  • “The Ace & TJ Show” 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Brooke Morrison 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Jordan 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Raphael 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

CRS Unveils Winners Of Rusty Walker Scholarships

The Country Radio Seminar has announced recipients of The Rusty Walk Scholars-hip Program:

  • Megan Benoit (Promotions Coordinator, CKRY/Calgary, AB, Canada)
  • Shannon Lewis (Digital Managing Editor, KATP/Amarillo, TX)
  • Kristin Monica (On-Air/APD/Digital Director/Program Coordinator, NASH-FM/WFYR/Peoria, IL) 

Each individual will receive an all-expense paid trip and attendance to CRS 2019, to be held Feb. 13-15, 2019. The three scholars, all full-time radio station employees and first time CRS attendees, will be recognized during the CRS 2019 Opening Ceremonies.

The Rusty Walker Scholarship program is named in honor of Country Radio Hall of Fame member Rusty Walker, who passed away in May 2012 at the age of 59.  To honor Walker’s belief in cultivating rising stars, CRS created the scholarship program in his name, enabling young members of the business who may not otherwise have the chance, to attend CRS.

Chances Are: Your CableTV Bill Is Going Up

Giants including Comcast Corp., Dish Network Corp. and AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV plan to raise rates again this year, a move that could boost revenue but risks alienating subscribers who have been ditching their traditional TV subscriptions in record numbers.

Bloomberg reports cable and satellite providers are hoping to squeeze more money from consumers who remain loyal to their packages with hundreds of channels, Philip Cusick, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst, said in a note this week, even though “this strategy could accelerate video sub declines.”

It’s common for pay-TV providers to raise prices in the new year. They are passing on the rising costs they pay to carry networks like CBS and ABC, as well as regional sports channels like the YES Network, which are shelling out more and more for sports broadcast rights.

The latest price increases come as cord-cutting accelerates. In the third quarter, the TV industry saw its largest ever rate of decline, with subscribers shrinking by 3.7 percent, according to MoffettNathanson LLC. Consumers are dropping traditional TV for lower-cost online options like Netflix Inc. and slimmer TV options from Hulu and YouTube.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, is raising its fee for regional sports networks by $1.50 on average and its fee for broadcast channels by $2 a month, according to Cusick. Charter Communications Inc., the second-largest U.S. cable provider, recently boosted its monthly fee for a set-top box by about 50 cents and its broadcast channel fee by about $1.

DirecTV is raising rates on all English-language video packages by $3 to $8 a month while hiking fees for regional sports networks by $1 to $1.90 in most markets. Dish said it’s increasing prices for English-language video packages by $3 to $5 a month. Altice USA, the fourth-largest cable operator, recently raised rates by 3 percent on Optimum subscribers.

A Comcast spokeswoman said the changes were necessary because of rising broadcast television and sports programming costs, “which are the largest drivers of price increases,” while an AT&T spokesman noted some DirecTV plans won’t increase. The other companies didn’t respond to requests for comment.

FNC, MSNBC, Hallmark Channel Are Among Top Cable Channels

America’s most-watched basic cable network remained at the top of the heap in 2018, reports TVNewser.

For the third consecutive year Fox News Channel ranked No. 1 in total viewers, both in prime time and across the 24-hour day (6 a.m. – 6 a.m.)

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, FNC averaged 2.4 million total viewers in prime time during 2018, +26 percent more than the next closest finisher, ESPN, and 1.4 million total day viewers in 2018, +43 percent more than second place finisher MSNBC. In fact, Fox News was the sole basic cable network to average more than a million viewers across the 24-hour day.

The majority of the other top cable entertainment networks posted year-over year declines in 2018. This is likely due to the increase in cord cutting, a trend TV news and other networks which broadcast live programming have seemingly proved immune to.

MSNBC, as noted in previous reports this week, posted the most significant year-over-year audience growth of any top 25 basic cable network (+10 percent in prime time / +12 percent in total day).

ESPN had a pretty strong 2018 as well, only -1 percent from 2017. In this day and age, call that a win.


Prime Time  (Total Viewers) / YoY % Change
  1. Fox News Channel (2,434,000) / +1 percent
  2. ESPN (1,929,000) / -1 percent
  3. MSNBC (1,802,000) / +10 percent
  4. HGTV (1,314,000) / -6 percent
  5. USA (1,291,000) / -9 percent
  6.  TBS (1,262,000) / –10  percent
  7. TNT (1,171,000) / FLAT
  8. Hallmark (1,105,000) /  +1 percent
  9. History (1,038,000) / -8 percent
  10. Investigation Discovery (1,007,000) / FLAT
Missing In Action: CNN

Cook Points to China for Apple's Lackluster Q1

by Sarah Feldman, Statista

For the first time since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Apple has overestimated the demand for its products and services. Yesterday Tim Cook released a statement warning investors about the revised estimates for Q1 2019. Cook attributed the reduced revenue to the staggered iPhone launch, a strong U.S. dollar, and the slowdown in the Chinese economy.

The points Cook emphasized in his letter point to the deceleration of the Chinese economy in the second half of 2018, which was exacerbated by trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Apple believes that this is what contributed to lower than expected iPhone revenue sales in this key emerging market. iPhone market upgrades in developed markets were also weaker than expected.

Infographic: Cook Points to China for Apple's Lackluster Q1 | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Apple's sales in the first quarter (September to December) are now forecast to drop to $84 billion instead of the $91 billion estimated by analysts. Up until now, China was the third largest Apple market making up about a fifth of their business. The U.S. and Europe were the two markets ahead of China, making up 40 percent and 24 percent of Apple’s business respectively.

CBS Settles Ramsey $750M Defamation Lawsuit

Burke Ramsey's $750 million defamation case filed against CBS Corp. and other parties who participated in a controversial 2016 documentary about the murder of his sister JonBenet Ramsey has been settled, but those involved aren't discussing terms of the agreement.

According to The Daily Camera in Boulder, Burke Ramsey's Atlanta-based lawyer, Lin Wood, tweeted a news account concerning the settlement in which he was quoted saying that the suit had been "amicably resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," and added the note, "After handling many defamation cases for them over the past 20 years, hopefully this is my last defamation case for this fine family."

According to Burke Ramsey's lawsuit, which is filed in December 2016 in the Circuit Court for Wayne County, Mich., the gist of the documentary was "that Burke Ramsey killed his six-year-old sister," and that such a claim is "false and defamatory per se" and "Burke Ramsey did not kill his sister and had no involvement in her brutal murder."

Burke Ramsey
Judge David A. Groner signed an order of dismissal on Wednesday, and that a settlement conference set for March 20 has been canceled, with the notation "case disposed."

A clerk in Groner's office on Friday said the order declares that the claims against those producing the documentary "are dismissed with prejudice and without costs or attorney fees. This is a final order and the case is closed."

The term "with prejudice"means that an action cannot be refiled.

In addition to the CBS Corp., other defendants named in the suit were the production company Critical Content, LLC., plus Jim Clemente, Laura Richards, A. James Kolar, James Fitzgerald, Stanley Burke, nationally known forensic scientist Henry Lee and forensic pathologist Werner Spitz, all of whom participated in the CBS production.

JonBenet was found murdered in the basement of her parents' University Hill home the afternoon of Dec. 26, 1996, several hours after her mother, Patsy Ramsey called 911 to report JonBenet was missing and that she had found a ransom note demanding $118,000 for her safe return.

L-A Sues IBM Over Weather Channel App

The Los Angeles city attorney’s office alleges in a lawsuit that a subsidiary of IBM deceptively mined the private location data of users of the Weather Channel app and sold it to advertising and marketing companies.

When users download the app, a prompt asks them to grant access to their location so the app can provide “personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts.” The app then tracks the user’s movements, allowing the Weather Company, which operates the app independent of the Weather Channel and uses its data to fuel IBM’s Watson Advertising products, to sell that information to hedge funds, advertising firms and corporate clients like McDonald’s and Subway.

According to the LA Times, the suit alleges that the disconnect between that prompt and the company’s ultimate use of the data constitutes fraudulent and deceptive business practices. The suit seeks an injunction against the company, which would require it to stop the practices, and civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation in California.

“Think how Orwellian it feels to live in a world where a private company is tracking potentially every place you go, every minute of every day,” Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer said at a news conference Friday. “If you want to sacrifice to that company that information, you sure ought to be doing it with clear and advanced notice of precisely what’s at stake.”

The Weather Channel app has 45 million monthly users, and the company’s suite of weather apps have been downloaded more than 200 million times, according to the company.

"The Weather Company has always been transparent with use of location data,” said Saswato Das, an IBM spokesperson. “The disclosures are fully appropriate, and we will defend them vigorously."

The suit cited an investigation by the New York Times last month that found at least 75 companies that collected precise location data via smartphone apps — in one case pinging a user’s location 14,000 times in one day — then used it to fuel consumer insight research and the $21-billion location-based advertising industry.

“We zeroed in on the Weather Channel app because this app touches all demographics,” Feuer said. “This is not an ideologically driven app, it’s not a geographically driven app — it touches all of us.”

The practice of collecting and monetizing location data is widespread across mobile apps. Google and Facebook are leaders in the location-based advertising industry, using data from their own suite of mobile products.

R.I.P.: Christine McGuire, Eldest Singing McGuire Sister

Dorothy, Christine and Phyillis McGquire
Christine McGuire, the eldest of the singing McGuire Sisters, who struck gold on the pop charts in the 1950s with “Sincerely,” “Sugartime” and other close-harmony hits that won young American hearts not quite ready for rock ′n’ roll, died on Dec. 28 at her home in Las Vegas.

She was 92, reports The NYTimes.

With their identical dresses and hairdos, synchronized movements and sweetly innocent voices, the McGuire Sisters — Christine, Dorothy and Phyllis — were the musical embodiment of popular culture in their day, singing for audiences who watched “Your Hit Parade” on television and listened to Perry Como, Patti Page and the lingering postwar strains of the big band era.

After appearing on “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” in 1952, the McGuire Sisters soared to national fame. They were regulars on Mr. Godfrey’s morning shows for six years and remained one of the nation’s most popular vocal groups into the 1960s, singing on television, in nightclubs and on records that sold millions, even as teenage rebellion, Elvis Presley and rock ′n’ roll transformed the music world.

The fashion-conscious Christine chose the sisters’ matching wardrobes, Dorothy kept track of finances, and Phyllis did most of the talking for the trio. Their million-selling records included two No. 1 hits, “Sincerely” in 1955 and “Sugartime” in 1958.

They were inducted into the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1994.

R.I.P.: Doug Johnson, Longtime Houston TV Weatherman

Doug Johnson
Longtime KPRC2 weatherman Doug Johnson died Thursday.

He was 79, according to Click2, Houston.

A fifth-generation Texan, Johnson attended Reagan High School, Texas Christian University and schools in Alaska. During his time in Alaska, Johnson got his start in broadcasting when he took a job at a radio station.

He joined Houston’s first television station in 1962. He became a household name while co-anchoring the "Scene at 5" newscast with Ron Stone.

His rapport and friendship with Stone was apparent to anyone who watched the duo. That chemistry is what made the newscast so enjoyable, according to Bruce Bryant, who directed the show.

“It had humor in a place that you wouldn’t normally find humor,” Bryant said.

The personality-driven newscast featured stories that were on the lighter side of news and finished with a chat segment that showcased the pair’s innate ability to connect with people.

In a segment that became the stuff of television lore, Johnson employed a chicken to help him tell the weather, but Wilma the Weather Chicken had her own ideas of what to do on television. Instead of pecking on the rain cloud or sun, Wilma took flight and landed on top of a camera. Johnson was bitten when he went to retrieve the fowl from her roost.

While there was the lighter side to his job, Johnson guided Houstonians through some of the worst natural disasters the city has ever experienced.

In addition to his television duties, Johnson also hosted a talk show on KPRC’s radio station for several years.

In 1994, Johnson signed off from broadcasting.

January 5 Radio History

➦In 1923...Legendary music producer Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records who discovered Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, was born. He died July 30, 2003 at 80.

➦In of radio’s big hit shows “The Shadow” debuted on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). It would be almost 6 years before Orson Welles became the biggest name to play the title role… just for a year. The melodrama mystery was produced for 22 radio seasons .. and remained on the air for many more years in repeats.

➦In 1935...the CBS Radio Network program, "The Hour of Charm", featured Phil Spitalny’s All-Girl Orchestra.

➦In 1940...the FCC, Federal Communications Commission, was given its first demonstration of FM radio.

➦In 1965...53 years ago this week

➦In 1973…Bruce Springsteen released his first studio album "Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ." It was recorded in a single week at lower-priced 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York to save as much money as possible from the advance given by Columbia Records. It sold about 25,000 copies in the first year of issue. Two tracks from the album, "Blinded By The Light" and "Spirit In The Night," were released as singles but neither made a dent in the charts.

➦In 1979...FCC eliminated Third Class operator requirement for stations

➦In 1980...Donna Summer's compilation On the Radio-Greatest Hits-Volumes I & II moved to #1 on the album chart with the double-album compilation Bee Gees Greatest moving to #2.  Cornerstone by Styx continued to hold down #3 while Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants by Stevie Wonder and the previous #1 The Long Run from the Eagles were close behind.

The rest of an incredible Top 10:  In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin, The Wall from Pink Floyd moved from 20-7, Damn the Torpedoes by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Tusk from Fleetwood Mac and Michael Jackson had his biggest career album to date with Off the Wall.

➦In 1985...Madonna remained at #1 with her first chart-topper "Like a Virgin".  Duran Duran was second with "The Wild Boys" while the Honeydrippers edged up with their remake of "Sea of Love".  The New Edition was right behind with "Cool It Now" and Pat Benatar had another smash with "We Belong".

The rest of the Top 10:  actor Jack Wagner with "All I Need", Hall & Oates were on the way down with "Out of Touch", Bryan Adams moved in with "Run to You", Chicago collected hit #38 with "You're the Inspiration" and John Lennon's son Julian had a Top 10 hit with "Valotte".

➦In 1998...Pop star-turned-Republican politician Rep. Sonny Bono, Cher's ex-husband and former showbiz partner, died in a skiing accident. He was 62.

➦In 2004...the first HD Radio receiver - a Kenwood KTC-HR 100 model - went on sale commercially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

➦In 2014…Baseball broadcaster (San Diego Padres, California Angels, New York Yankees)/former MLB manager (Padres)/former infielder (Yankees)/Baseball Hall of Famer and WW2 hero Jerry Coleman, who called Padres games for 33 years, died of complications from brain bleeding and surgery at 89.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Chicago Radio: James Howard Replaces Tommy Austin At WKSC

James Howard
iHeartMedia announced today that James Howard has been named Senior Vice President of Programming for the Chicago Region and Program Director for CHR WKSC 103.5 KISS FM, effective January 16.

As Senior Vice President of Programming and Program Director for 103.5 KISS FM, Howard will be responsible for all programming and digital operations that deliver a strong return on investment for clients reaching consumers through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets, including on-air, online, social media, personalities and live events.

Tommy Austin
He will report to Matt Scarano, President of the Chicago Region for iHeartMedia. In addition, Tommy Austin joins the National Programming Group, reporting to Jon Zellner, Executive Vice President of Programming Operations for iHeartMedia.

Howard joined iHeartMedia more than 16 years ago and has held programming positions in the Orlando, Albany, Atlanta and Tampa regions. Most recently, Howard was Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Washington, D.C Region.

“Our Chicago brands and dedicated teams that operate them are some of the finest in our industry,” said Howard. “I’m excited to help them continue to make an indelible impact on our Chicago communities.”

WKSC 103.5 FM (4.3 Kw) Red=54dBu Coverage Area
“James Howard has a winning track record,” said Scarano. “His breadth of knowledge, leadership and programming creativity will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

Atlanta Radio: Jade Novah, J-R Join Frank Ski On WVEE

Jade Novah
Entercom has announced the addition of Jade Novah and JR to WVEE V-103 FM in Atlanta as co-hosts of the station’s morning show alongside current host Frank Ski.

The move is part of the station’s strategic shift to a revamped morning show featuring music, lifestyle, comedy, entertainment, politics, sports and community information. Frank Ski, Jade Novah and JR will be on air weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET, effective January 22. In addition to their roles as co-hosts, Jade Novah and JR will create content for V-103’s digital platforms.

“With Frank Ski, an accomplished radio pro with an established presence in Atlanta, and the addition of Jade Novah and JR to the morning lineup, V-103 is set to expand its influence as Atlanta’s Urban Leader,” said Rick Caffey, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Atlanta. “In addition to mornings on-air, the show will be an integral part of V-103’s digital content initiative. We look forward to celebrating the city’s urban culture and to providing our listeners with fresh, engaging content on all the platforms we know they love.”

Frank Ski
“I look forward to joining the team at V-103 and kicking off 2019 by hitting the ground running,” said Novah. “Atlanta is where I started my career as a solo artist and content creator and I’m excited to come back to the city to represent the voice of a free thinking generation.”

Novah is a singer, songwriter, actress, and internet sensation having garnered over 55 million views for her covers, skits, and original music. Novah has performed background vocals for several artists including Rihanna, Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga. In 2018, Novah served as vocal producer and mentor on Fox’s music competition show, “The Four: Battle for Stardom,” and released her highly anticipated debut album, “All Blue,” which debuted at #2 on the iTunes R&B charts and has already amassed over 6 million streams.

“I’m honored for the opportunity to continue working with Entercom and to get to know the Atlanta community,” said JR. “I look forward to getting to know the city’s unique culture – from the arts to sports and everything in between.”

WVEE 103.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
JR joins V-103 after most recently serving as on-air personality for sister station WFAN (WFAN-FM/AM) in New York. JR built “JRSportBrief” into the most popular sports blog on YouTube before transitioning to mainstream broadcast roles. He has held roles with NBC Nonstop TV, CNN Headline News and Bleacher Report.

Exiting are : Wanda Smith and Miss Sophia (drag queen Joe Taylor).

NOLA Radio: KKND 106.7 Launches Classic Hits

Cumulus Media announces that its New Orleans radio station KKND debuted on Thursday, January 3rd, as KKND 106.7 The Krewe.

The new Classic Hits station plays hits from the 70’s and 80’s, and is programmed with a sound that is distinctly New Orleans. The station previously broadcast as an Urban AC station, Old School 106.7, which moved to its new position on the dial at 102.9 in early December.

Cumulus New Orleans also announces KKND – 106.7 The Krewe’s new morning show, The Spud Show, hosted by New Orleans icon, Spud McConnell. The Spud Show will debut on Monday, January 14, 2019, and will air weekdays from 6am – 10am.

Spud McConnell
McConnell, a performer with international acting credits, was also the #1 Radio Talk Host in New Orleans for 10 years. His live coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath was part of a team effort that won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Broadcasting Excellence. Spud is also an award-winning satirical cartoonist and will be contributing content to KKND’s digital media.

Pat Galloway, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus New Orleans, said: “Everything about this radio station will be New Orleans! Incredible Classic Hits from the 70’s and 80’s, a logo like a Mardi Gras doubloon, and a morning show that features a New Orleans icon, Spud McConnell! New Orleanians will love it!”

Paul Cannell, KKND Program Director, said, “What a great way to kick off the New Year! This 100,000 watt Classic Hits station, featuring incredible personalities like Spud - and the best music ever made - is sure to be a hit here in New Orleans. We couldn’t be more excited, and we know that listeners and advertisers will love the way 106.7 The Krewe sounds!”

KKND 106.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
Spud McConnell said: “Glad to be back on the radio at KKND. Nobody knows New Orleans like The Krewe from right here at home! I’m riding ‘shotgun’ with y’all every morning - getting the day started with your phone calls on the top news stories, a couple laughs, and great tunes to rock rush hour. Plus, time, traffic and weather to keep you on track. The Krewe 106.7 is Where Y’at, Baby!”

Chicago Radio: Mancow Returns To WLS 890 AM

After nine months off the air, radio personality Erich "Mancow" Muller returned to Chicago airwaves Thursday, reports Chicago-TV5.

Muller was last heard on the city's former WLUP, known as "The Loop," before it was sold to a Christian broadcaster in March 2018.

A Chicago shock jock since 1994, Muller's new home is WLS-AM 890 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

"Look, I have developed such - I mean, look at the phones are packed right now - such friendships with the listeners, I mean, they're like my extended family," Muller said in his first few minutes on air.

"So to be back and talk with them - and that's the point of the show, that's what I'm trying to do, is I want to give the people of Chicago a voice," he added.

He kicked his new show off with a bizarre stunt: mailing himself to the station from his home in suburban Wilmette, making the journey inside a massive cardboard box.

"It was weird being in that box," he said of his stunt, which extended all the way into his studio, where he popped out just in time to go on air. "I figured, I get everything from Amazon. So I decided to ship myself to the radio station."

Muller said his new show is different from his time on "The Loop," focused more now on news, entertainment and politics. His first guests for Thursday's show were actor William Shatner and Chicago mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti.

2018 Radio, TV M&A Posts Second-Largest Deal Volume Since 2008

U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions (M&A) volume reached $4.31 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, as tracked by Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In the largest deal of the quarter and year, Nexstar Media Group announced on Dec. 3 that it would acquire all of Tribune Media's assets for $46.50 per share. Kagan estimates the broadcast assets to be worth $3.51 billion.

Ranking second in deal value for the year was the $3.44 billion merger of Gray Television Inc. and Raycom Media Inc. from the second quarter. The top radio deal of the fourth quarter was the Hubbard Radio LLC's $88.0 million purchase of Alpha Media LLC. It also ranked as the second-largest radio deal of 2018, topped only by Bonneville International Corp.'s $141.0 million purchase of eight radio stations from Entercom Communications Corp. in August.

In total, 2018 closed with an $8.87 billion deal volume for U.S. broadcast station M&A, representing an increase of 8% compared to 2017.

Other leading TV station M&A in the fourth quarter:

On Oct. 29, Cordillera Communications announced the sale of all but one of its TV stations to E.W. Scripps Co. for $521.0 million. In addition to 15 main programming stations, the deal comes with eight low-power translators.

The only Cordillera station not sold to E. W. Scripps was NBC affiliate KVOA in Tucson, Ariz., as Scripps already owns the ABC and CW affiliates in that market. Instead, on Nov. 9, Cordillera filed the sale of its last station to Quincy Media for $70.0 million.

Earlier, on Oct. 31 Quincy Media also agreed to buy WSIL-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Paducah, Ky.-Cape Girardeau, Mo.-Harrisburg-Mt. Vernon, Ill. market, coming with a full-power and a low-power translator, for a total of $24.5 million.

On Dec. 4, following the Cordillera purchase, E.W. Scripps also agreed to buy independent TV station WHDT in the West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla., market from Marksteiner AG Inc. for $25.0 million.

The only significant radio deal in the fourth quarter was Hubbard Radio's $88.0 million purchase of Alpha Media's largest cluster by revenue, comprising six stations in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. market. The quarter featured eight other radio deals worth over one million dollars each, the largest being Saga Communications Inc.'s purchase of four FM stations in the Gainesville-Ocala, Fla., market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation LLC for $9.3 million.