Saturday, January 19, 2019

January 20 Radio History

                                        Click Here for more historical events on this date

➦In 1896...legendary entertainer George Burns was born Nathan Birnbaum in New York City. After a lengthy apprenticeship in vaudeville, in 1932 George & wife Gracie became a longrunning hit in radio, films & then TV with The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show [“Say goodnight, Gracie.”]  On Gracie’s retirement he returned to a solo act, winning an Oscar with The Sunshine Boys, followed by another hit film Oh, God!  He died Mar 9, 1996 at age 100.

➦In 1920...Ernst Alexanderson granted US patent for magnetic amplifier.

Ernst Alexanderson
Alexanderson also designed the Alexanderson alternator, an early longwave radio transmitter, one of the first devices which could transmit modulated audio (sound) over radio waves. He had been employed at General Electric for only a short time when GE received an order from Canadian-born professor and researcher Reginald Fessenden, then working for the US Weather Bureau, for a specialized alternator with much higher frequency than others in existence at that time, for use as a radio transmitter. Fessenden had been working on the problem of transmitting sound by radio waves, and had concluded that a new type of radio transmitter was needed, a continuous wave transmitter. Designing a machine that would rotate fast enough to produce radio waves proved a formidable challenge. Alexanderson's family were convinced the huge spinning rotors would fly apart and kill him, and he set up a sandbagged bunker from which to test them. In the summer of 1906 Mr. Alexanderson's first effort, a 50 kHz alternator, was installed in Fessenden's radio station in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. By fall its output had been improved to 500 watts and 75 kHz. On Christmas Eve, 1906, Fessenden made an experimental broadcast of Christmas music, including him playing the violin, that was heard by Navy ships and shore stations down the East Coast as far as Arlington. This is considered the first AM radio entertainment broadcast.

Alexanderson and G.E. continued improving his machine, and the Alexanderson alternator became widely used in high power very low frequency commercial and Naval wireless stations to transmit radiotelegraphy traffic at intercontinental distances, until by the 1930s it was replaced by vacuum tube transmitters.

He also created the amplidyne, a direct current amplifier.

Alexanderson was also instrumental in the development of television. The first television broadcast in the United States was to his GE Plot home at 1132 Adams Rd, Schenectady, NY, in 1927. In 1928, WRGB then W2XB was started as world's first television station. It broadcast from the General Electric facility in Schenectady, NY. It was popularly known as "WGY Television".

Over his lifetime, Mr. Alexanderson received 345 US patents, the last filed in 1968 at age 89. The inventor and engineer remained active to an advanced age, working as a consultant to GE and RCA in the 1950s. He died in 1975 and was buried at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, New York.

➦In 1930....1st radio broadcast of "Lone Ranger" (WXYZ-Detroit)

➦In 1954...America's first black-owned radio network, the National Negro Network, was founded by W. Leonard Evans, Jr. During its brief existence, the network provided up to 45 affiliate stations with programming that included the soap opera, "The Story of Ruby Valentine," starring Juanita Hall and Ruby Dee, as well as the series "It's a Mystery Man," featuring Cab Calloway.

Peter Tripp
➦In 1959...Peter Tripp’s “Stay Awake Marathon” started. Tripp was a Top-40 countdown radio personality from the mid-1950s, whose career peaked with his 1959 record breaking 201 hour wakeathon (working on the radio non-stop without sleep to benefit the March of Dimes). For much of the stunt, he sat in a glass booth in Times Square. After a few days he began to hallucinate, and for the last 66 hours the observing scientists and doctors gave him drugs to help him stay awake. He was broadcasting for WMGM 1050 AM in New York City at the time.  Tripp suffered psychologically, after the stunt, he began to think he was an imposter of himself, and kept that thought for some time.

His career soon suffered a massive downturn when he was involved in the payola scandal of 1960. Like several other disc jockeys (including Alan Freed) he had been playing particular records in return for gifts from record companies. Indicted only weeks after his stunt, it emerged that he had accepted $36,050 in bribes. Despite his claim that he "never took a dime from anyone", he was found guilty on a charge of commercial bribery, receiving a $500 fine and a six-month suspended sentence.

Even his wakeathon record did not endure for long. Other DJs had quickly attempted to beat it (such publicity stunts being common in radio broadcasting at the time) and Dave Hunter, in Jacksonville, Florida, soon claimed success (225 hours). Six years after Tripp's record, it was smashed by high school student Randy Gardner, who lasted 11 days.

After leaving WMGM, Tripp was unable to re-establish himself in the world of radio, drifting from KYA in San Francisco to KGFJ in Los Angeles and finally WOHO in Toledo, Ohio, before quitting the medium in 1967. Returning to L.A., he had more success working in physical fitness sales and marketing. He diversified into freelance motivational speaking, writing and stockbroking before settling into a Palm Springs, California retirement.

Overall he had spent twenty years in broadcasting: he began with WEXL in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1947 then on to Kansas City, Missouri in 1953 where he worked for KUDL (where he adopted the nickname "The Bald Kid In The Third Row", apparently a description made by a parent upon spotting him among many rows of new-borns in a hospital shortly after his birth) and then WHB (restyling himself as "The Curly-headed Kid In The Third Row"; he was not, in reality, bald) where he pioneered the Top-40 format. It was in 1955 that he landed his ill-fated job with WMGM in New York, presenting "Your Hits of the Week".

Tripp died at the age of 73 following a stroke, leaving two sons and two daughters. His four marriages all ended in divorce

➦In 1964...Capitol Records released the album "Meet the Beatles."

➦In 1965...DJ Alan Freed, (WINS, WABC in New York City, WJW-Cleveland, WAKR-Akron)/concert promoter/movie actor (Rock Around the Clock, Go Johnny Go!, Rock Rock Rock!, Don't Knock the Rock, Mister Rock and Roll), the person credited with coining the term rock 'n' roll, died of uremia and cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 43.

Alan Freed
While attending Ohio State University, Freed became interested in radio. Freed served in the Army during World War II and worked as a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. Soon after World War II, Freed landed broadcasting jobs at small radio stations, including WKST (New Castle, PA); WKBN (Youngstown, OH); and WAKR (Akron, OH), where, in 1945, he became a local favorite for playing hot jazz and pop recordings.

Freed is commonly referred to as the "father of rock'n'roll" due to his promotion of the style of music, and his introduction of the phrase "rock and roll", in reference to the musical genre, on mainstream radio in the early 1950s. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by African-American artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences.  Freed appeared in several motion pictures as himself.

Initially interred at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, his ashes were moved in 2002 to their present location in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On August 1, 2014, the Hall of Fame asked Alan Freed's son, Lance Freed, to permanently remove the ashes, which he did. The Freed family later announced the ashes would be interred at Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery

➦In 1996...WPAT 93.1 FM, New York, switched from beautiful music to a English-Spanish format Suave

➦In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show premiered on KKND-FM in New Orleans, Louisiana.

➦In 2000...the FCC established a new noncommercial licensing category for Low Power FM radio stations (LPFMs), with transmitter power limited to 100 watts, signals reaching from three to five miles, and initially confined to small markets and rural communities.

And The iHeartRadio Podcast Award Winners Are...

Over the last few years, podcasts have become increasing popular to listen to, as there really is a podcast out there for everyone. All of these amazing podcasts were celebrated by iHeartMedia (the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally), during the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One®.

The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards recognized podcasts in over 20 categories including True Crime, Comedy, Music, Health, History, Entertainment, and more. Taking home the coveted title of Podcast of the Year was "Slow Burn," produced by Slate Plus, and hosted by Leon Neyfakh. The show touches on major political scandals including the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and his controversy with Monica Lewinsky (season two) and the Watergate scandal (season one).

Other winners of the night included Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" for Breakout Podcast, Joe Rogan's "The Joe Rogan Experience" for Best Comedy Podcast, Jana Kramer's "Whine Down" for Best Entertainment TV Podcast, and so many others.

NPR was also honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award. The radio network was recognized for being a driving and innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry with the renowned non-profit multimedia organization's groundbreaking contributions to podcasting's expanding role in today's popular culture. The award was accepted by NPR's Head of Programming Anya Grundmann.

2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Nominees & Winners:

Mueller Disputes Bombshell Buzzfeed Trump Story

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller rocked the media industry Friday night by refuting a bombshell BuzzFeed News report that would have directly implicated President Trump in a crime – but instead provided critics of modern journalism with their latest round of ammunition.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller.

The statement came nearly a day after BuzzFeed published the story, citing two anonymous law-enforcement sources, that set off a firestorm in Washington. The chairmen of two House investigative panels had said earlier Friday they would probe the report’s allegations.

While liberal news organizations couldn’t confirm BuzzFeed’s report, they did use it as the impetus to talk about impeachment for much of the day.

Industry insiders were skeptical from the jump, as prestigious news organizations such as the New York Times couldn’t match the damaging report. Trump’s legal team immediately dismissed the account, the details of which have not been confirmed by Fox News. Many news organizations were quick to add disclaimers such as "if true" throughout the day as they covered the report.

Then, in an unprecedented move, the office of the special counsel released a statement that pushed back hard against BuzzFeed’s alleged scoop.

BuzzFeed News reported late Thursday that Mr. Cohen had told Mr. Mueller that Mr. Trump had directed him to tell Congress in his 2017 testimony that negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January 2016, when in fact they had continued through June of that year—a month after Mr. Trump effectively won the GOP nomination.

BuzzFeed also reported that Mr. Mueller had evidence corroborating Mr. Trump’s direction of Mr. Cohen, including interviews and documents.

Late Friday, responding to the statement from the special counsel’s office, BuzzFeed said it was confident in its story. “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing,” Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, said on Twitter.

D-C Radio: WJFK, Junkies Agree On Extension

Entercom announced a new long-term contract extension. John Auville, Eric Bickel, Jason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim, will remain on WJFK 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C., weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET.

"Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies' have driven the sports conversation in Washington D.C. and we couldn't envision The Fan without them," said Phil Zachary, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Washington D.C. "As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team."

"It's an honor and a privilege to talk sports with our friends every morning," said Flaim. "We're so thankful to those that have supported us all of these years. After 23 years, we feel like we're just hitting our stride."

"We're excited to continue waking up Washington on 106.7 The Fan for many years to come," said Bickel.

Plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington D.C. to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region. "The Sports Junkies" is consistently rated number one among Washington, D.C. men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.

Listeners can tune in to 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM) in Washington D.C. on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Republicans Say News Media Don’t Understand

by Jeffrey Gottfried & Elizabeth Grieco

A majority of Americans believe the news media do not understand people like them, and this feeling is especially common among Republicans, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Overall, 58% of U.S. adults feel the news media do not understand people like them, while 40% feel they are understood, as reported in a recent Pew Research Center study.

Republicans, however, are nearly three times as likely to feel that news organizations don’t understand them (73%) as they are to say they feel understood (25%). By comparison, most Democrats (58%) say they feel understood by the news media, while four-in-ten say they do not.

Not only are Republicans far more likely to feel misunderstood by the news media, they feel this way regardless of their media habits and demographic characteristics, according to the analysis of data collected Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018, among 5,035 U.S. adults.

About three-quarters of Republicans who are very interested in the news (74%) say news organizations do not understand people like them – about the same share as among those who are somewhat interested (70%) and not interested in the news (78%).

Among Democrats, however, news interest plays a large role in whether they feel misunderstood. About a quarter of Democrats who are very interested in the news feel misunderstood (27%), compared with about four-in-ten of the somewhat interested (39%) and roughly half of those not interested (52%). Still, Democrats at all levels of news interest are much less likely than Republicans to feel misunderstood by the news media.

Republicans differ little across various demographic groups in saying people like them are misunderstood by the media. For example, Republicans have high levels of feeling misunderstood across sex, age and education groups (between 70% and 76% in each group say they feel misunderstood).

Vinyl Album Sales Grew 15% in 2018

Vinyl album sales continue to be a bright spot among an otherwise bleak album sales picture, according to Billboard.

16.8 million vinyl albums were sold in 2018, according to Nielsen Music (up 14.6 percent) — marking the 13th consecutive year of growth for the format. 16.8 million is also a new yearly high for vinyl album sales since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.

Comparatively, overall album sales (vinyl LP, CD, digital, cassette, etc.) in 2018 fell 17.7 percent to 141 million.

Vinyl LP sales accounted for 11.9 percent of all album sales in 2018 (16.8 million of 141 million). In 2017, the format comprised 6.5 percent of album sales.

Perhaps not surprisingly, vinyl LPs were 19.1 percent of all physical album sales (CDs, LPs, cassettes, etc.) in 2018. That’s a new Nielsen-era record share for the once-dormant format, up from 14 percent in 2017.

Vinyl’s growing share of the physical album market isn’t shocking, considering CD album sales continue to falter.

In total, physical album sales equaled 88 million in 2018, down 15.8 percent. And of that sum, CD album sales were 70.7 million — down 20.9 percent.

The CD format continues to be the leader for all album purchases, while the digital format is the runner-up with 53.4 million digital albums sold in 2018 (down 20.7 percent).

Infographic: The Surprising Comeback of Vinyl Records | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


The top-selling vinyl albums artist in 2018 was the Beatles, with 321,000 copies sold of their catalog on vinyl. Their biggest seller was Abbey Road, which finishes the year as the No. 4 largest-seller, with 76,000 copies. The Fab Four also have two more titles among the year’s top 15-sellers: their self-titled (White Album) is No. 11 (56,000) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is No. 13 (50,000).

The top 10-biggest selling vinyl acts of the year are rounded out mostly by classic and veteran rock acts: Pink Floyd (177,000), David Bowie (150,000), Panic! at the Disco (148,000), Fleetwood Mac (139,000), Led Zeppelin (138,000), Michael Jackson (131,000), Jimi Hendrix (119,000), Metallica (116,000) and Queen (113,000).

FCC Urged To Protect Expanded C-Band Spectrum Use

Two U-S Representatives sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai this week expressing concerns regarding the the agency's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking examining expanded operations in the C-band. While supporting the Commission's efforts to close the digital divide, they requested that the agency ensure any broadband proposals reflect the importance of existing services that may be affected that use the spectrum. This includes content producers that deliver news, sports and other content each day via satellite.

"In seeking a balanced approach, the Commission must further endeavor to avoid disruptions in the services American consumers currently enjoy. The Commission must also carefully consider the potential for interference from new terrestrial users to incumbent operations and, if it finds the benefits outweigh the harms, tailor its technical rules appropriately to avoid such interference," the letter from Reps. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) stated.

The letter continued, "These considerations are especially critical for the Commission as it considers permitting new commercial wireless services and shared use in the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum band, as proposed in the Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted on July 12, 2018. This spectrum band, also known as the "C-band," is licensed to satellite companies and is heavily relied upon by a vast number of stakeholders in rural and non-rural areas alike, including those that deliver content for television and cable programming."

For years, radio and television broadcasters, as well as cable providers, have been relying on C Band satellite systems for reliable distribution of programming content. Some estimates place the number of C Band downlink sites in the United States at more than 27,000, and demand for new facilities shows no signs of letting up.

But as RadioWorld has reported, the C Band isn’t something that broadcasters should take for granted. The system is in imminent peril of being rendered useless by terrestrial interference, at least according to some observers.

Among them are Mark and Karen Johnson, principals of LinkUp Communications Corp., who recently traveled to Washington to make their case before the commission.

The problem is the FCC’s consideration of changing the rules to allow 3.7–4.2 GHz to be shared by other services. The move is being spearheaded by broadband companies, including Google and Verizon, who are asking the commission to turn over some or all of the spectrum to internet providers for future 5G technology.

But syndicators and networks such as Premiere, Westwood One and NPR as well as many radio and television broadcasters stand opposed to the proposed changes, claiming that interference from terrestrial services could render satellite reception all but impossible.

January 19 Radio History

                                                Click Here for more historical events on this date

➦In 1903..the first Transatlantic Radio broadcast took place. King Edward VII and President Theodore Roosevelt spoke with one another in a coded radio transmission between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Cornwall, England.

➦In radio writer/producer, Anne Schumacher Hummert, was born.  With her husband Frank she produced some of radio’s most memorable melodramas, including Our Gal Sunday, The Romance of Helen Trent, Mr Keen Tracer of Lost Persons, Betty & Bob, and Backstage Wife.  The Hummerts also produced several simple down-home musical series, like Waltztime and The American Album of Familiar Music. Their “radio factory” produced as many as 125 series, 61 of them soap operas. Anne Hummert died July 5 1996 at age 91.

➦In 1908...comic singer Ish Kabibble was born Merwyn Bogue in rural Pennsylvania.  He sang and played trumpet with Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge on radio & record in the 30’s and 40’s. His dim witted characterization was said to be a later inspiration for Jerry Lewis. He died June 5, 1994 at age 86.

➦In Guy Madison was born Robert Ozell Moseley in Bakersfield Calif.  He is best remembered as western hero Wild Bill Hickok on radio & TV in the 1950’s.  He died of emphysema Feb 6, 1996 at age 74.

George Klein
➦In 1923...WMC 790 AM in Memphis, Tennessee began broadcasting. WMC was first owned by The Memphis Commercial Appeal and its call letters reflect the M and C from its owner's initials. In the 1930s, WMC carried the NBC Radio Red Network, while rival WMPS, owned by the Memphis Press-Scimitar, aired the NBC Blue Network. Starting in the 1930s, the station used a riverboat whistle as its sounder, a nod to Memphis' location on the Mississippi River—a practice that continued well into the 1990s.  The station currently airs ESPN and Fox Sports Radio.

In addition to sports talk shows, WMC-AM features longtime Memphis disc jockey George Klein's weekly tribute program to Elvis Presley. Klein and Presley were close friends and confidantes during the latter's lifetime and the former's long stint on WHBQ-AM.

The station's license is currently held by Entercom Communications, which it purchased from CBS in September 2006.

➦In 1927...KGRC-AM (now KONO) San Antonio signed-on. KONO is the fourth-oldest radio station in San Antonio, officially signing on in January 1927. KONO began as a hobby for Eugene Roth in a room over his garage in downtown San Antonio. As the broadcasting industry grew, Eugene Roth's son, Jack Roth, began working with his dad, later inheriting the station. At first, KONO was powered at only 100 watts, broadcasting on 1370 kilocycles and having to share time on the air with other stations. It later moved to AM 1400 before relocating to its current home on AM 860.

In February 1947, an FM station was added, KONO-FM at 92.9 MHz.  The FM station later took the call sign KITY. Eugene Roth served as the president of Mission Broadcasting while Jack was the station's general manager.

In the 1950s, KONO's format was country & western music. In 1957, Mission Broadcasting put Channel 12 KONO-TV (now KSAT-TV) on the air. It was San Antonio's third television station, an ABC Network affiliate.

In the 1960s and 70s, KONO, "The Big 86," was one of the leading Top 40 stations in San Antonio. Some of the on air personnel were Howard Edwards, Don Couser, Woody Roberts, Skinny Don Green, Lee 'Baby' Simms, Dave Mitchell, Johnny Shannon, Charlie Scott, Nick St John and Frank Jolley. KONO won national awards in the 60s for its popularity and creativity. In 1965, Bob Pearson and Howard Edwards were selected as two of the top radio personalities in the country. KONO and its sister station KITY, would remain at 317 Arden Grove, attached to the KSAT 12 building, until the early 1990s, when they moved to a location on NE Loop 410.

In the 1970s, KONO and 550 KTSA battled in the Top 40 format. Although KONO's more recurrent-based style frequently played second-fiddle to the more current-oriented KTSA, it continued to do well. The two stations provided a nice 1-2 punch that made WOAI regret its brief flirtation with the top-40 format in the mid-'70s

KONO began the 1980s with the same recurrent-heavy Top 40 format it had in the 1970s but with a softer sound than before. KONO's days as a true contemporary hits station were numbered, as AM Top 40 stations were rapidly losing audience to FM upstarts. KONO began to evolve to a gold-based Adult Contemporary sound while its Top 40 format on KONO-FM replaced the AC format on sister 92.9 KITY.

Today, KONO AM / FM are owned by Cox Media Group.  860 AM airs a 60s & 70s oldies format, while KONO-FM usually leads the market with its Classic Hits format.

➦In 1943...the FCC endorsed Restricted Radio Operator Permits.

➦In 1943...Rock singer Janis Joplin was born. She died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970 at 27.

➦In 1967…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles began recording "A Day In The Life," which had the working title "In the Life of..." The basic track was refined with remixing and additional parts added at recording sessions the next day and on February 3. The track was completed with the recording of the orchestral part on February 20. The total length of time spent recording "A Day in the Life" was 34 hours. By comparison, their first album, "Please Please Me," was recorded in its entirety in just 10 hours.

➦In 1998...Hall of Fame rockabilly singer Carl Perkins died. He was 65.

➦In 2000...Actress Hedy Lamarr died at age 85. Lamarr was also the co-inventor of the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping communications, used by the U.S. military during World War II to control torpedoes, and more recently incorporated into Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology.

➦In 2005...Clear Channel Radio began its rollout of HD Digital Radio Multicasts in 28 Markets.

➦In 2006...Singer Wilson Pickett died. He was 64.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Sony Music Drops R Kelly

Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly, Variety has learned.

No external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future, says a source, who added that Kelly’s presence on the RCA website (where he remains listed) will not indicate his departure from the company, as his back catalog will remain with RCA/Sony. Kelly’s last release with the label was a Christmas-themed album in 2016, although he has released several songs independently since that time, presumably with Sony’s consent, and Tweeted earlier this year that he has a new album on the way.

Contacted by Variety, reps for both RCA Records and its parent company, Sony Music, declined comment.

The move comes after years of public calls, and even a petition from members of the #MuteRKelly movement, for the company to part ways with Kelly.

Those calls intensified in the wake of Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which multiple women accuse him of sexual misconduct. In recent weeks a plane commissioned by the women’s organization UltraViolet and carrying a sign reading “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly” flew over Sony Music’s Los Angeles offices and a protest was staged outside of Sony’s New York headquarters.

Chicago Radio: Julia Lepidi Lands Evening Gig On B96

Julia Lepidi
Entercom Communications today announced Julia Lepidi as evening drive host for WBBM B96 FM in Chicago. Lepidi will be on air weekdays from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. CT, beginning on January 28.

“Julia’s energetic, vibrant personality coupled with her high engagement on social media will make for a tremendous addition to our team,” said Jimmy de Castro, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. “We are confident that Julia will connect with nighttime listeners and help further extend the station’s reach.”

“When the opportunity came to become a part of the legendary B96 staff, it was a no-brainer,” said Julia. “Thanks to Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah [Program Director for B96] and Erik Bradley [Music Director for B96] for this opportunity. I am genuinely humbled and beyond ecstatic to join the team in the great city of Chicago.”

WBBM 96.3 FM (3.3 Kw) Red=54dBu Coverage Area
Most recently Lepidi served as on-air host and Promotions Coordinator for sister station 987 The Breeze (then 98.7 AMP Radio) in Detroit, MI. Prior to joining Entercom, Lepidi held an on-air role for 96.9 WBTI in Port Huron, MI.

NYC Radio: WNYC Reports Record Audience Levels In 2018

WNYC—New York City’s flagship public radio station—achieved record audience levels in 2018, the station announced today.

According to data from Nielsen Audio, WNYC 93.9 FM’s December average weekly audience of 969,300 was the largest for any month, and the Fall 2018 average weekly audience of 947,100 was the largest for any quarter. Further, the other three quarters of 2018 (Winter, Spring, Summer) represent the station’s next largest quarterly averages.

Nielsen data also shows that in 2018, WNYC-FM reached its most diverse audience ever, with Black and Hispanic listeners comprising 30 percent of the station’s audience.

“WNYC’s record broadcast audience demonstrates that even in the nation’s media capital, with fierce competition from digital, TV and on-demand audio, WNYC FM is attracting a growing number of people looking for thoughtful, trusted, and engaging news, conversation and storytelling throughout the day,” said Laura Walker, President and CEO, New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC. “Our robust midterm election coverage, impactful investigative journalism, and the addition of significant new voices including Tanzina Vega, Alison Stewart, and Amy Walter gave new listeners even more reason to tune in.”

WNYC programs include Morning Edition, The Brian Lehrer Show, All of It, All Things Considered, The Takeaway, Radiolab, On the Media, and more. The WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 broadcast schedules may be found here.

WNYC 93.9 FM (5.2 Kw) Red=54dBu Coverage Area
Source:Nielsen Audio New York Metro Average Weekly Cume, Persons 6+ and Black and Hispanic Persons 6+, Mo-Su 6a-12m, December 2018, and Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2018, sublicensed through the Radio Research Consortium.

NYC Radio: 'WOR Tonight' Debuts In February

Joe Concha
WOR 710 AM The Voice of New York, announced Thursday the debut of “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl,” effective February 4. The program will broadcast weekdays from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Hosted by The Hill reporter and columnist Joe Concha and best-selling author Lis Wiehl, “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues. Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.

Lis Wiehl
“The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues,” said Tom Cuddy, 710 WOR Program Director. “Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.”

In addition to his work as a reporter and columnist for The Hill, Concha, a media analyst, is frequently seen on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel shows. Concha also often guests on both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s radio programs, along with 710 WOR’s Mark Simone and NPR’s Air Talk.

“Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day,” said Concha. “We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.”

Wiehl, a Harvard Law School graduate and third generation federal prosecutor, served as Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel for Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during President Clinton’s impeachment and later worked as a reporter and legal analyst for NPR and NBC News. She also served as a Fox News legal analyst for 15 years and is a New York Times best-selling author who has written 18 books in both fiction and nonfiction.

“This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio,” said Wiehl. “You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media. Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners and pop culture enthusiasts.”

NYC Radio: WCBS-AM Unveils Mets Broadcast Team

Entercom has announced the radio broadcast team for New York Mets broadcasts on WCBS 880 AM,  the new flagship station of the team.

Veteran broadcaster Howie Rose will continue as the lead voice in the Mets radio booth where he will be joined by former pregame and postgame host Wayne Randazzo.

Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast. WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage.

“This is an exciting time for WCBS 880 as we launch our inaugural season of New York Mets broadcast coverage,” said Susan Larkin, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom New York. “Mets fans are some of the most passionate fans in baseball, and we trust, behind Howie, Wayne and the rest of the broadcast team, they will consistently turn to this historic station for coverage of their favorite team.”

“We’re thrilled once again to be part of the Entercom family that enables our fans to enjoy Mets baseball on such a historic station like WCBS 880 with a tremendous reach,” said Lou DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, New York Mets.

WCBS 880 will air 10 spring training games, beginning with the Mets’ spring training opener on Saturday, Feb. 23 against the Atlanta Braves in Port St. Lucie before broadcasting the team’s regular season.

Pittsburgh Radio: Steve Blass To Retire From Pirates Broadcasting

Steve Blass
Longtime Pirates broadcaster and 1971 World Series hero Steve Blass announced Tuesday that he will retire from the broadcast booth at the conclusion of the 2019 season, his 60th season as a member of the Pirates organization.

The 2019 season will mark Blass' 34th as a Pirates color analyst, making him the longest-tenured broadcaster in franchise history, surpassing long-time play-by-play announcer Lanny Frattare (33 years, 1976-2008). Moving forward, Blass will remain involved with the Pirates organization as an alumni ambassador.

"Sixty seasons with the Pirates, one organization in one city, I am so very proud of that. It ranks right up there with anything I have ever done on the baseball field. It has been a wonderful run," said Blass.

The Pirates will honor Blass and his many contributions to the organization throughout the 2019 season, culminating in an on-field celebration prior to the game on Saturday, September 28, against the Cincinnati Reds.

"Steve is as synonymous with Pirates baseball as anyone in the history of our organization. Steve leaping up into the air following the final out in his second complete game victory of the 1971 World Series is one of the most iconic moments in Pirates history," said Bob Nutting, Pirates Chairman. "For 60 seasons, Steve has represented the Pirates with humility, grace, pride and passion. Words cannot express how appreciative we at the Pirates organization are for his dedication or how beloved he is and always will be."

Blass' association with the Pirates goes back to June 27, 1960, when he signed his first professional contract as a pitcher and began his playing career that summer for the Kingsport Pirates of the Appalachian League. Blass made his big league debut at 22 years of age on May 10, 1964, before joining the Pirates permanently in 1966. He went on to pitch a total of 10 seasons in the big leagues, compiling a 103-76 record, 57 complete games and 16 shutouts in 282 games (231 starts). Blass still ranks seventh on the club's all-time strikeouts list (896).

Blass was one of the game's most successful pitchers over a five-year stretch from 1968-72 after going 78-44 with 50 complete games and a 3.05 ERA, which included a career-best 19 wins in 1972.

Beginning in 1983, Blass worked with Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Bob Prince on Pirate cable telecasts. He then officially joined the Pirates radio broadcast crew in 1986.

Clay Travis Fox Sports Radio Reach Affiliate Milestone

Clay Travis
FOX Sports Radio, a division of Premiere Networks, has announced that "Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis" has reached a broadcast milestone of 300 affiliates.

Among the show's recent affiliate additions are KKSE-AM & FM/Denver, WGFX-FM/Nashville, WEEX-AM and WTKZ-AM/Allentown PA, KQQL/Minneapolis and WBCN-AM & W234BY/Charlotte.

Travis joined the 24/7 sports radio network in 2016 to lead its weekday morning lineup in the 6-9am ET slot. Originating from Nashville, the program features Travis' commentary on the latest sports headlines, as well as interviews and listener interaction.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the growth of Outkick the Coverage," said Premiere Networks Senior VP Sports Programming Don Martin, and Premiere Networks VP of Sports Programming Scott Shapiro in a joint statement. "Clay and his team have consistently set new listening records, which promises for continued momentum and a lot more success in the future. We are excited to share many more achievements with our affiliate partners around the country."

Travis, who recently joined FS1's first-ever, daily gambling TV show "Lock It In" as a co-host alongside Rachel Bonnetta, "Cousin Sal" Iacono and Todd Fuhrman, continues to host his "Outkick The Show" webcast and podcast.

Lansing Radio: Deb Hart To EXIT WMMQ And Radio

Deb Hart
Radio Personality Deb Hart, of classic rock WMMQ 94.9-FM, made it public Thursday she will part ways with the station

Hart's last on-air shift will be from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Jan. 24, according to the Lansing State Journal.

"While it's been a wonderful career and wonderful adventure, it's time to step out of my comfort zone and take on some new challenges," Hart said.

Hart, 50, said she plans to pursue her love of teaching yoga full-time. She also plans to write books: fiction, non-fiction and even poetry.

Hart is one of the last radio veterans left on the Lansing airwaves who has multiple decades of experience.

She's been a morning show co-host at WMMQ with radio personality Joey Pants for seven and a half years and previously worked at rock station WJXQ 106.1-FM with Tim Barron.

Pants, whose real name is Joe Schneider, grew up in Webberville and said Thursday afternoon that WMMQ management has told him he will likely get another co-host for the morning show.

"The fact she is able to emerge from a 30-year broadcasting career with that warm soul still in tact, it's remarkable," Schneider said. "This business will chew you up and spit you out."

Hart has worked 29 years in Lansing's radio market. Her first job, at 19, was at a station called WMPX 1490-AM in Midland.

What's the key to longevity in the radio business? It's important to be adaptable, Hart said.

"I thought I'd be in Lansing for two years, and I've been here 29 because I love Lansing," Hart said. "The people here are so nice and genuine."

D/FW Radio: Entercom Names Mary Rogers VP/DOS

Mary Rogers
Entercom Communications has announced the appointment of Mary Rogers as Vice President and Director of Sales for Entercom Dallas, effective January 28.

In this role, Rogers will oversee sales efforts for 100.3 JACK FM (KJKK-FM), 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM), 100.3 JACK FM (KJKK-FM), 98.7 K-LUV (KLUV-FM), ALT 103.7 (KVIL-FM), La Grande 107.5 (KMVK-FM) and News Radio 1080 (KRLD-AM).

“Mary is a well-respected executive with remarkable experience and we are looking forward to welcoming her to Dallas,” said Brian Purdy, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Dallas.

“I am confident she will lead the sales team to sustained revenue growth in 2019 and beyond.”

“I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside Brian Purdy and his amazing team,” said Rogers. “I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”

Rogers brings over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, development and management to this role. For the past six years, she served as Director of Sales for Cox Media Group in San Antonio, TX developing strategies to exceed revenue targets. Rogers has served on numerous boards, including the San Antonio Youth Educational Sports Foundation, Transplants for Children, Child Abuse Network, American Women in Radio and Television and Go Red for Women.

AZ Radio: Yavapai Broadcasting Announces Staff Changes

Yavapai Broadcasting Corporation, an independent broadcasting company with offices and studios in Cottonwood, Flagstaff and Prescott Valley, Arizona, has announced several staff changes to fill the void left when Operations Manager Rich Malone (Richard D. Nearing) succumbed to cancer in October 2018.

Malone wore many hats. Besides being operations manager for all Yavapai Broadcasting stations, he also was program director and the long-time “Morning Man” at AAA KVNA-FM.
  • Bryan James, program director of Top 40 KQST The Q 102.9 will add the duties of operations manager for all six Yavapai Broadcasting radio stations. 
  • Juli Page, program director of Classic Hits KKLD (95.9 The Cloud) adds the title of program director for AAA KVNA-FM.  Juli was the wife of Rich Malone and is fully vested in his vision for the station. She does the midday show at KVNA-FM using the air name “Jules.”
  • Doug Brannson is new to the Yavapai Broadcasting staff. He joins as KVNA-FM music director and “Morning Man.” Doug grew up in Minneapolis in the late 80’s and early 90’s when the Alternative movement was just taking off. He’s a 25-year radio vet.
Mike Puetz, Yavapai Broadcasting general manager, says, “After the loss of long time operations manager, program director and morning announcer Rich Malone, and with the guidance of our AAA consultant Dennis Constantine, I am very happy that Rich’s dream and direction for KVNA-FM, Northern Arizona’s Adult Alternative station, will be in the very capable hands of new program director Juli Page and new morning announcer and music director Doug Brannson. Both Juli and Doug have a tremendous amount of experience, and I look forward to working with them and listening to them as they guide KVNA-FM into the future.

KVNA-FM Program Director Juli Page says of her new role, “As the new program director of KVNA-FM, I’m pleased to be able to keep the station on course to reach the potential my husband Rich knew it had. I have been blessed with an amazing support crew — the award-winning programmer Dennis Constantine and our new addition, MD and Morning Host Doug Brannson.”

Doug Branson added, “I love the AAA format because it’s all about the music and the artists. I couldn’t have a better mentor that Dennis Constantine who knows more about the format than anyone. I give a lot of credit to the owners of Yavapai Broadcasting for supporting this format like they do.”

Yavapai Broadcasting Corporation operates six radio stations and a TV station in Northern Arizona. The radio stations are: AAA KVNA-FM 100.1, Top 40 KQST (The Q 102.9), Classic Hits KKLD (95.9 The Cloud), Country KVRD 105.7, Adult Standards KYBC and Sports KVNA-AM (ESPN 600).

Netflix Beats On Subscriber Growth, Misses Slightly On Revenue

Netflix Inc. continued to expand its customer base at a rapid clip in the fourth quarter thanks to strong growth overseas, but increased spending on content weighed on the streaming-video giant’s profit and it forecast slower revenue growth for the current quarter, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Netflix added 8.8 million paid subscribers in 2018’s final period, up 34% from a year earlier and exceeding both its and analysts’ expectations by more than a million.

Revenue grew 27% to $4.19 billion, less than the $4.21 billion analysts expected. The company forecast revenue growth of 21% for the first quarter—a pace that most media companies would relish but below what is normal for Netflix.

Fourth-quarter profit fell to $134 million, or 30 cents a share, from a year-earlier $186 million, or 41 cents a share.

Its operating margin fell due to the number of new titles that launched in the quarter, meaning more production costs were booked.

Companies including AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia and Walt Disney Co. are preparing their own content-streaming services to launch later this year. They will be competing with Netflix to sign up consumers and stock their services with content.

Their entry could drive up Netflix’s programming costs even further, including for popular reruns.

“We want to win,” said Netflix Chairman and Chief Executive Reed Hastings when asked about all the new competition. On the company’s earnings call, Hastings said the goal is still to provide a better environment with incredible content and “no advertising.”

Netflix said Thursday it was “ready to pay top-of-market prices for second run content.” At the same time, it is making more of its own content in-house as it aims to be less reliant on outside suppliers for original shows and movies.

Les Moonves To Fight CBS Over $120M Severance

Leslie Moonves
Former CBS Corp. head Leslie Moonves is challenging the company’s decision last month to deny him a severance package of $120 million, CBS said Thursday, a move that will further prolong a months long drama at the media conglomerate.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Moonves, who was forced to resign as chairman and chief executive amid accusations of sexual harassment in September, was denied his severance after a CBS board investigation concluded that he had violated company policies, breached his employment contract and intentionally failed to fully cooperate with the investigation. The terms of his exit agreement from CBS allow Mr. Moonves to challenge the board’s decision in arbitration.

Moonves’s decision, which CBS disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, comes as the network is looking to move past months of uncertainty and upheaval following his departure. The company overhauled its board and commissioned an investigation into its culture after allegations against Mr. Moonves surfaced last summer, but it has yet to appoint a permanent successor. The selection process is complicated by the prospect of an eventual merger between CBS and sister media company Viacom Inc., which is championed by controlling shareholder Shari Redstone.

The decision to take CBS to arbitration was expected. A lawyer for oonves said at the time of the severance denial that the board’s conclusions were without merit. “Mister Moonves vehemently denies any nonconsensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators,” said Andrew Levander of Dechert LLP.

The next step will be for the two parties to agree on an arbitrator through the American Arbitration Association, where the claim was filed Wednesday. Typically for complex situations, a panel of three arbitrators is retained.

The two sides could still try to hammer out their own settlement.

Gladys Knight To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl

Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem during Super Bowl LIII. The seven-time Grammy-winner’s performance will take place during the pre-game festivities and be televised live on CBS before the game’s kickoff, reports Variety.

“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” Knight said. “The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year.”

Knight is best known for her hits “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” which both reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1973 and 1986, respectively. Additionally, she has 11 more Billboard No. 1 R&B singles and six No. 1 R&B albums. In 1996, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with her band, the Pips.

The Empress of Soul joins fellow legendary artists who have sung the Super Bowl National Anthem, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, and Neil Diamond.

Maroon 5 and Travis Scott will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Feb. 3. Both Maroon 5 and Travis Scott’s involvement has drawn backlash in light of the recent NFL national anthem protests.

Gov't Shutdown Will Not Delay Net Neutrality Case

A federal appeals court said on Thursday it would not delay oral arguments set for Feb. 1 on the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules governing internet providers, reports Reuters.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday asked the court to delay the arguments over its December 2017 repeal, citing the partial government shutdown. Without comment, the court denied the request.

A group of 22 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia have asked the court to reinstate the Obama-era internet rules and block the FCC’s effort to pre-empt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open internet.

Several internet companies are also part of the legal challenge, including Mozilla Corp, Vimeo Inc and Etsy Inc, as well as numerous media and technology advocacy groups and major cities, including New York and San Francisco.

The FCC voted to reverse the rules that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization. The FCC said providers must disclose any changes in users’ internet access.

The net neutrality repeal was a win for providers like Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, but was opposed by internet companies like Facebook Inc, Inc and Alphabet Inc.

Lincoln Radio: NAB To Honor KFOR With Crystal Heritage Award

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) will honor KFOR AM/FM, Lincoln, NE with the esteemed NAB Crystal Heritage Award.

The award will be presented during the We Are Broadcasters Celebration, held Tuesday, April 9 during the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts. Only seven other stations have received this honor in the 32-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.

“KFOR AM/FM has proudly served the Lincoln, NE region for over 94 years, and our commitment to the community has never wavered," said Alpha Media Lincoln’s Market Manager Julie Gade. "We are so proud of our team’s accomplishments both on and off the air and are honored that this dedication is being rewarded with a coveted NAB Crystal Heritage Award.”

Radio stations can submit entries for a Crystal Radio Award until January 31.