Saturday, May 18, 2019

May 19 Radio History

➦In 1926...inventor Thomas Edison spoke at a dinner for the National Electric Light Association in Atlantic City, NJ. Reportedly, when asked to speak into the microphone, he said, “I don’t know what to say. This is the first time I ever spoke into one of these things … Good night.”

➦In 1960...On this day in 1960, the man who coined the term, "Rock And Roll", Alan Freed, along with Mel Leeds and 7 other NYC disc-jockeys were accused of taking payola.

The others  included: Peter Tripp of WMGM, Hal Jackson of WLIB, Tommy (Dr. Jive) Smalls of WWRL and  Jack Walker, ex-WOV.

Peter Tripp was immediately fired from his popular late afternoon air shift at WMGM.

After departing from 1010 WINS, Freed for a time was employed in New York by WABC 770 AM around 1958, about two years before it evolved into one of America's great Top 40 stations by launching its "Musicradio" format.

At this time, WABC (unlike Top40 WINS) was more of a full-service station which began implementing some music programming elements.

Freed was fired in 1959 by WABC during a dispute where he refused to sign a statement certifying that he had never accepted payola.

➦In 1994....Humorist Henry Morgan died at age 79 from lung cancer (Born - Henry Lerner Van Ost Jr.).  He first became familiar to radio audiences in the 1930s and 1940s as a barbed but often self-deprecating satirist; in the 1950s and later, he was a regular and cantankerous panelist on the game show I've Got a Secret as well as other game and talk shows. Morgan was a second cousin of Broadway lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner.

He began his radio career as a page at New York City station WMCA in 1932, after which he held a number of obscure radio jobs, including announcing. In 1940, he was offered a daily 15-minute series on Mutual Broadcasting System's flagship station, WOR. This show was a 15-minute comedy,[which he opened almost invariably with "Good evening, anybody; here's Morgan."  He also was a personality for WOR, WNBC and WNEW-AM.

In his memoir, Here's Morgan (1994), he wrote that he devised that introduction as a dig at popular singer Kate Smith, who "...started her show with a condescending, 'Hello, everybody.' I, on the other hand, was happy if anybody listened in."

Morgan targeted his sponsors freely. One early sponsor had been Adler Shoe Stores, which came close to canceling its account after Morgan started making references to "Old Man Adler" on the air; the chain changed its mind after it was learned business spiked upward, with many new patrons asking to meet Old Man Adler. Morgan had to read an Adler commercial heralding the new fall line of colors; Morgan thought the colors were dreadful, and said he wouldn't wear them to a dogfight, but perhaps the listeners would like them. Old Man Adler demanded a retraction on the air. Morgan obliged: "I would wear them to a dogfight." Morgan later recalled with bemusement, "It made him happy."

Later, he moved to ABC in a half-hour weekly format that allowed Morgan more room to develop and expand his topical, often ad-libbed satires, hitting popular magazines, soap operas, schools, the BBC, baseball, summer resorts, government snooping, and landlords.

He continued to target sponsors whose advertising copy rankled him, and those barbs didn't always sit well with his new sponsors, either. He is alleged to have said of his sponsor's Oh Henry! candy bar (after exhorting listeners to try one), "Eat two, and your teeth will fall out."

Life Savers candy, another early Morgan sponsor, dropped him after he accused them of fraud for what amounted to hiding the holes in the famous life saver ring-shaped sweets.

Morgan had his fans and his professional admirers, including authors Robert Benchley and James Thurber, fellow radio humorists Fred Allen, Jack Benny, and Fanny Brice, future Today Show host Dave Garroway, and Red Skelton.

➦In 2010…Longtime Seattle radio personality Bob Liddle, with more than 50 years on the air in the Pacific Northwest died at age 88.

Bob Liddle
Liddle spent much of his nearly 60-year radio career announcing, spinning big-band records, hosting easy-listening shows and reading the news on Seattle's KIXI 880 AM. He is perhaps best known for his years hosting KIXI's "Sunday Brunch."

But in his long career he also worked as the station's program director and often hosted New Year's Eve "Tuxedo Junction" celebrations at the downtown Seattle Westin Hotel.

➦In 2016...Newly retired TV newsman and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer died at age 84. During his lengthy career he brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into American living rooms in the 1960s, and was a mainstay of the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades.

'CBS This Morning' Explores The Evolution Of The Car Radio

From pop hits to preachers, and pretty much everything in-between, the car radio has been part of our lives for almost 100 years. Nancy Giles talks with a familiar radio voice, Bruce Morrow – "Cousin Brucie" – and radio historian Donna Halper about the evolution of entertainment on the road.

More Than 10M Workers May Skip Out After 'GoT' Finale

The series finale of “Game of Thrones” could be responsible for a lot of empty office desks on Monday, according to Fox Business citing new survey data.

An estimated 10.7 million U.S. employees say they plan to skip work on Monday, the day after the long-awaited conclusion to HBO’s hit fantasy series, according to a survey from the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated. However, absences may just be part of the problem for employers, as about 27.2 million employees said the finale could cause them to miss work, show up late, work from home or otherwise be less productive than they would on a normal Monday.

While employers may be tempted to chastise workers who experience “Game of Thrones” hangovers, any attempt to embrace the massive television event could have a positive effect on office morale.

“What do we say to the God of Absence? Not today – or at least organizations can if they embrace, not avoid, a cultural phenomenon like the 'Game of Thrones' series finale,” said Joyce Maroney, executive director at the Workforce Institute. “Empower employees with flexible schedules and the ability to request time off or swap shifts from anywhere, at any time so they can enjoy moments that matter in their lives, and don’t be shy to use pop culture common ground to build camaraderie with employees and managers.”

The final season of “Game of Thrones” has shattered HBO viewership records, and that trend will undoubtedly continue for the finale. About one-third of all employed U.S. adults, or 34 percent, plan to watch the live broadcast, according to poll data.

Nashville Radio: Phil Valentine Re-Ups With Super Talk WWTN

Cumulus Media announces that it has signed popular Nashville radio personality Phil Valentine to a new long-term contract as host of SuperTalk WWTN 99.7 FM’s “The Phil Valentine Show”.

“The Phil Valentine Show” debuted over 24 years ago and remains a top-rated program on Cumulus Nashville’s WWTN-FM, Middle Tennessee’s leading news talk radio station. The show airs weekdays from 3pm-7pm on 99.7 SuperTalk WWTN-FM.

In addition to his award-winning afternoon show on WWTN-FM, Valentine will work with Cumulus Nashville on a variety of projects, including the development and creation of original content podcasts, and other multimedia projects and events. The first in a series of podcasts to launch is PodGOATS, hosted by newcomer Campbell Valentine and co-hosted by Phil Valentine (Campbell’s father). PodGOATS debuted in February, and is the first podcast presented by Cumulus Nashville.

Episodes are available now at and on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, Audioboom and other podcast services. New episodes are available on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Allison Warren, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media Nashville, said: “Phil Valentine is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with our audience and our clients. We are excited to extend our partnership with Phil, continuing to deliver compelling content across any and every platform.”

Phil Valentine noted: "I was the morning guy when we launched SuperTalk 99.7WTN back in 1995. That's where I started in talk radio. I plan to finish my career at WTN sometime way down the road. This is home, and I'm glad to be here for the long haul."

Campbell Valentine added: "My dad started at WTN the week I was born, so it just feels right to be a small part of the team now. Cumulus and WWTN provide a broad local and regional platform and I am excited that PodGOATS will be distributed through their platform. Co-hosting an original show with my dad, Phil, has been extremely rewarding for a variety of reasons. I am looking forward to the endless possibilities this partnership with Cumulus Nashville presents.”

iHM Names Michael Jordan Country Brand Coordinator

Michael Jordan
iHeartMedia announced Friday that Michael Jordan, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Kentucky-Indiana Region, has been named Brand Coordinator for iHeartCountry.

Within this role, he will report to Rod Phillips, Executive Vice President of Programming for iHeartCountry.

Jordan will be responsible for overseeing the growth, roll-out and execution for all local and live Country music-based events for iHeartMedia’s Country stations. Jordan will continue his role as Regional Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Kentucky-Indiana Region.

Jordan is a media veteran and has held several positions at iHeartMedia Lexington and Louisville, including Senior Vice President of Programming, Program Director for WMAZ and WBUL, Director of NTR and Promotions for iHeartMedia Lexington and began his career at WTKT-FM.

Also, both professionally and personally, community involvement has always been an integral part of Jordan’s career through his philanthropy involvement with organizations such as University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky Barnstable-Brown, Diabetes Center and Lexington Cancer Foundation.

Seattle Radio: Country KNUC Adds Wingnut For Middays

New Country KNUC 98.9 The Bull has announced the addition of  Wingnut back to the airwaves in Seattle as he steps into a Midday show from 9am – 2pm with added APD/MD duties at the station.

Program Director Scott Mahalick said, “You can have the best strategy, in the best building in the world, but if you don’t have Wingnut in your hallways you’re only half steppin’. I’m proud to say we have us a Wingnut in OUR hallways!”

Wingnut joins Fitz in the Morning and Corey Dillon in afternoons as the live and local stampede takes over the airwaves in Seattle.

“It is a dream come true to work at Hubbard Radio with Scott Mahalick, Ann Marie Mulholland and Greg Strassell. Finally, I get to do radio fast, loud and bigger than life – just like a stampede!” Wingnut exclaimed.

Wingnut was previously at KKWF/Seattle as their PM Drive personality and APD/MD since 2005. Prior to KKWF, Wingnut’s stops were at KBWF/San Francisco, KWOF/Denver and KNTY/Sacramento.

The midday opening was created when Seth Hughes walked across the hall to sister AC KRWM Warm 106.9 for mornings.

CBS Interested In Acquiring Starz

Lions Gates Entertainment offered to sell cable channel Starz to CBS Corp for $5.5 billion after rebuffing a lower offer, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The counter offer was made by the film studio behind the Hunger Games movies after CBS made an informal $5 billion bid for the cable network, the sources said.

CBS’s informal offer was made by Joseph Ianniello, the interim chief executive officer of CBS, about six weeks ago and Lions Gate Entertainment sought a higher valuation, the sources said.

The approach underscores the scope of CBS’s ambitions to compete more aggressively in a world in which it is squeezed by deep-pocketed tech companies on one side and rapidly consolidating peers on the other.

The news lands 12 days before a board meeting where it will review its options that is believed to include initiating merger discussions with Viacom Inc. Both companies are controlled by National Amusements, which is owned by the Redstone family.

Lions Gate bought Starz for $4.4 billion in a cash-and-stock deal in 2016.

CBS, home to popular shows such as the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “The Big Bang Theory” has been looking at the deal as a possible complement to Viacom Inc, which CBS also is considering purchasing, the report said.

While media majors Walt Disney Co and AT&T Inc are tapping into their extensive film and TV libraries to launch streaming rivals to Netflix and’s Prime Video, smaller players CBS and sister company Viacom Inc are focusing on providing original content to other distributors.

Bobby Bones Launching 'Raging Idiots' Tour

IHeartMedia's Nationally syndicated country radio personality Bobby Bones is bringing his quirky musical comedy to fans all this year.

He and The Bobby Bones Show producer Eddie Garcia will team up for another tour as Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, dubbing this run It’s Just The Two Of Us (…Sorry).

Set to begin on July 19th in Denver, Colorado, and continue through November 22nd in Louisville, Kentucky, the It’s Just the Two of Us (…Sorry) Tour will include more than a dozen dates concentrated in the nation’s heartland, while also stretching out to visit Delaware and Nevada.

Along the way, American Idol alums Emma Klein and Walker Burroughs will be featured as opening acts, while Bones and Garcia deliver lighthearted fan favorites from their upcoming EP, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots Live in Boston.

More, Longer Commercials Noted On YouTube

YouTube is one of the pioneers of the six-second ad format, launching the six-second “bumper” ad in 2016.

However, according to MediaPost, new research from the advertising intelligence platform MediaRadar suggests that ads on the video platform have slowly been getting longer.

MediaRadar ran an analyses of video ads across digital video platforms, including YouTube, from January 2018-February 2019.

Among the findings: the percentage of six-second ads on YouTube declined by 20% year-over-year to 16.5% of all ads. By comparison, the number of 30-second ads rose by 19% year-over-year to 24% of all ads. Fifteen-second ads made up a plurality of YouTube ads, accounting for 47% of ads on the Google-owned video platform.

The shift toward longer ads suggests that YouTube and advertisers are seeing value in the longer formats. Consumers may be acclimating to a video environment with slightly longer commercial interruptions or pre-rolls.

YouTube has made some significant changes to its ad model over the past year.

Most notably, it allowed certain creators to stack two commercials together, effectively recreating commercial pods from traditional TV. The company has also expanded the availability of 15-second non-skippable ads.

Fifteen-second ads “might be the video advertising sweet spot; balancing the desire to keep things short, but long enough to drive an emotional impact,” Krizelman added.

Of course, YouTube isn’t abandoning the six-second format. It is a format that still resonates with younger consumers.

Facebook Pushes Back On Break-Up Critics

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's No. 2 executive, pushed back Friday on the growing calls to break up the social media company, arguing that it would not address the issues that have prompted worldwide public scrutiny, reports The Hill.

"You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don't address the underlying issues people are concerned about," Sandberg said in an interview with CNBC. "They're concerned about election security, they're concerned about content, they're concerned about privacy and data portability."

And after meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week, Facebook's chief operating officer suggested that the half-trillion-dollar company is a countervailing force to Chinese tech giants.

"Obviously any concerns we have are ones we need to answer but let me share with you something else I've heard in my meetings in D.C., and I've heard this in private meetings from both sides of the aisle, that while people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there's also a concern in the United States about the size and power of Chinese tech companies and the realization that those companies are not going to be broken up," Sandberg said.

Still, there's a growing constituency of lawmakers and 2020 presidential candidates who want to at least explore splitting up Facebook. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have both said it's an idea worth considering, while progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have explicitly backed breaking the company up.

Man Gets Prison Time For Threatening FCC's Pai

A California man was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Friday after pleading guilty for threatening to kill the family of U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai over the regulator’s successful effort to repeal net neutrality rules.

According to Reuters, the Justice Department said Markara Man, 33, of Norwalk, California, sent the email threats “in hopes it would cause (Pai) to reverse his position on net neutrality.”

The FCC did not immediately comment after the sentencing by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Led by Pai, the FCC in December 2017 repealed landmark net neutrality protections, which required internet service providers to provide users equal access to all data, regardless of their kind, source or destination.

Liberal Talker Bill Press Ending Radio Show

Bill Press
Longtime liberal radio talk show host Bill Press is ending his daily program at the end of the month, he announced Thursday on Twitter.

"In case you missed it: We’ve had a great 14 year run of daily shows, but it’s time to transition," Press, 79, wrote to his more than 32,000 followers. "The last daily show will be May 31, but don’t worry! My voice will still front and center as we enter the 2020 election. Big news coming soon!"

Press, who is also an opinion contributor for The Hill, has been in broadcasting for more than 50 years. "The Bill Press Show" has been airing since 2005.

May 18 Radio History

Meredith Wilson (far left) and band at KPO Studios, San Francisco
➦In 1902...Composer/bandleader/radio personality Meredith Willson was born in Mason City, Iowa.

Besides his celebrity as the creator of the Broadway smash, ‘Music Man.’ Willson was a giant in radio.

In San Francisco, Willson was concert director for radio station KFRC, and then as a musical director for the NBC radio network in Hollywood.[His on-air radio debut came on KFRC in 1928 on Blue Monday Jamboree.

His work in films included composing the score for Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940) (Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score), and arranging music for the score of William Wyler's The Little Foxes (1941) (Academy Award nomination for Best Music Score of a Dramatic Picture).

During World War II, he worked for the United States' Armed Forces Radio Service. His work with the AFRS teamed him with George Burns, Gracie Allen and Bill Goodwin. He would work with all three as the bandleader, and a regular character, on the Burns and Allen radio program. He played a shy man, always trying to get advice on women. His character was ditsy as well, basically a male version of Gracie Allen's character.

He suffered heart failure and died June 15, 1984 at age 82.

➦In 1934...‘The Hour of Charm’ debuted, beginning an intermittent 14-year run on the CBS and NBC radio networks.  The musical half-hour featured Phil Spitalny and his All-Girl Orchestra.

➦In’s espionage adventure drama 'Counterspy' premiered on the Blue Network/ABC. The 30-minute show with the distinctive theme (Love of Three Oranges) would last on radio for 15 years, including runs in the 1950s on NBC and Mutual.

➦In 1966...there was  a Top 40 battle in Denver between KIMN 950 AM and KBTR 710.

Listeners were tuning in to hear Gary Todd, Robert E. Lee, Jim O’Brien, Chuck Buell, Hal Moore, JayMack, Johnny Presley, George Michael.

KEWB Playlist - circa 1960
➦In 1966...KEWB 910 AM San Francisco switched from Top40 to easy listening. The station was probably anticipating the arrival of Drake-formatted KFRC 610 AM.  KEWB switched its call letters to KNEW and mimicked sister station WNEW in NYC.

➦In 1966..93KHJ, Los Angeles was a solid #1. The station has just raised its advertising rates for the fifth time to about $70.00 a spot.

WMID Playlist -circa 1967
➦In 1969...WMID 1340 AM Atlantic City, NJ sounding a lot like WABC NYC, gets a 42 share in the latest Pulse ratings.

➦In 1969...KNEW 910 AM flipped formats again. It was talk, but is now presenting a hip, easy listening music format featuring Simon and Garfunkle, Dionne Warwick, Gary Puckett, Frank Sinatra etc. The only talkhost staying is Hilly Rose, which airs from 10pm to 2am. KNEW had tried a low-key music format in 1966, when the station flipped to KNEW from KEWB.

➦In 1969...“Love” - the new syndicated album rock format from ABC Radio, launched amonthly album list. It will be available in area record stores in all markets offeringthe show. Call letters of the individual stations will be on the list. It was about 21 inches long on heavy stock paper. ABC says it will not be based on sales of albums, but on the total number of cuts from each album played each month on “Love.” The format is hosted by John Rydgren.

➦In 1969...Top-40 started airing more oldies. First on  WOR-FM, WMCA NYC.  Also WHK, Cleveland and WEEL,Washington. Drake formatted stations like KHJ, Los Angeles and WRKO, Boston featured “Million Dollar” weekends.

➦In 1969...Clark Race. highly-rated evening deejay on KDKA, quit claiming that radio in Pittsburgh has become boring because he no longer has a say in the music. He has a TV pilot pending at NBC and ended-up on KMPC 710 AM Los Angeles

➦In 1975...American composer/conductor Leroy Anderson succumbed to cancer at age 66.  He is best remembered for his light concert instrumentals  such as Blue Tango, Sleigh Ride, the Syncopated Clock, the Typewriter, and Bugler’s Holiday.

➦In 1979...Rick Dees joined 93KHJ Los Angeles for mornings… Dusty Street is doing mornings at crosstown KROQ. M.G. Kelly departed Top40 KTNQ 1020 AM L-A saying he’s leaving radio to concentrate on television. He has a new 30-minute “The M.G. Kelly TV Show,” now in production.

➦In 1979...Speaking at an advertising seminar...Rick Sklar argued that disco played on a contemporary station doesn’t make that station a disco station. Sklar pointed to “unheard of skews of demographics” among disco stations. He was talking about WKTU-FM – a station that was now beating WABC, Sklar went on to say that the station has a 21 share among single listeners and a 17 share among divorced listeners.

➦In 1979...Steve Marshall departed KNX-FM L-A as program director to join “WKRP In Cincinnati” as writer and story editor.

➦In 1979...Matrix Communications signed Charlie Tuna to voice something called “The Radio Picture Show” – six 90-minute TV music specials. The show will feature video performances by leading pop-rock-disco artists in a top-40 rotation. A series of jingles and mini-features with visual accompaniment have been produced to be inter-spaced throughout the musical countdown.

Ruth Meyer with Jack Spector, Barbara Mandrell
➦In 1985...Ruth Meyer is now station manager of WHN, New York. Her boss is Gary Stevens, President of Doubleday. She was once Gary’s boss when he was a WMCA Good Guy during the 1960’s. She programmed WHN when is switched to country in 1973.

➦In 1986...Bobby Jay started full time at WCBS 101.1 FM NYC.

➦In 1989...New York ratings...Z100 – 5.2...Oldies WCBS-FM 5.0...WPLJ-3.5…WXRK mornings with Howard Stern – 5.8.

In Los Angeles...KIIS-FM 6.2…Pirate Radio is flat at a 2.7. Rick Dees mornings at KIIS AM/FM – 7.4 share. Rival Jay Thomas at KPWR 5.7.

➦In 1989.... John Rio, the voice of “Mr. Leonard” on WHTZ, the Z-100 morning zoo singed a new, exclusive five-year deal with Malrite, Z100’s owner and will work out a separate contact to keep working with Scott Shannon’s “Rockin’ America” countdown and perhaps with Shannon’s “Pirate Radio” in Los Angeles.

➦In 2005..."Crazy Cabbie” ( Lee Mroszak) - best know to Howard Stern listeners - is sentenced to a year in prison for income tax evasion. He had pleaded not guilty - but admitted to doing so on the Stern show (opened his mouth).

➦In 2011…Worcester, Massachusetts radio legend Dick Smith, who spent 30 years as a broadcaster for WORC, died at the age of 84.

➦In 2012...WRKS  NYC changed calls to WEPN-FM.

➦In 2017…Fox News Channel founder/ex-chairman/CEO Roger Ailes died of head injuries suffered in a fall in his bathroom at the age of 77.

Friday, May 17, 2019

CBS News' Steve Kroft To Retire From '60 Minutes'

Steve Kroft
Steve Kroft will retire from 60 MINUTES at the end of his 30th season on America’s most-watched news program.

The 73-year-old correspondent is currently the newsmagazine’s longest-tenured reporter, having reported nearly 500 60 MINUTES stories – many among the broadcast’s biggest moments. Kroft will announce his plans to step down this Sunday, May 19 after the broadcast’s 51st season finale. 60 MINUTES will celebrate his 50-year career as a journalist with a special tribute broadcast this September.

“Steve Kroft’s reporting for 60 MINUTES has been as important as any correspondent’s in the history of this broadcast,” said 60 MINUTES executive producer Bill Owens. “Steve, with his sharp eye for detail, rich writing and demanding journalism, has set the bar at 60 MINUTES for three decades.”

“From the moment Steve Kroft arrived at CBS News in 1980, he has been shot out of a cannon and wherever he landed his stories broke news, had depth, and a strong sense of humanity,” said Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior executive producer. “From Central America to a tour of duty in London, and back to New York, his destiny was clear – Kroft’s investigative instincts and ability to unravel the most complex stories made him a perfect fit for the 60 MINUTES team.”

Kroft’s last segment this Sunday will be an investigation into bank fraud. It’s a fitting coda for a correspondent who won most of his awards for investigations, including all five of his Peabody Awards. Two of the coveted medals came in the same year in a feat no other 60 MINUTES reporter duplicated, for segments on the astronomical costs of end-of-life care and the vulnerability of infrastructure to computer hackers.

When Kroft came to 60 MINUTES in 1989, he joined a journalists’ Murderers’ Row of Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Harry Reasoner and Ed Bradley. Determined to compete with these television news stars on a top-five program, he went to radioactive Chernobyl to report an eerie tale that won an Emmy and immediately took its place on the broadcast’s highlight reel. The next season, Kroft’s rare, tough look into how the military disciplined a veteran officer for a deadly friendly fire incident earned him his first Peabody Award. Then he landed the historic interview with Bill and Hillary Clinton that CBS broadcast to 34 million people after the 1992 Super Bowl.

In another historic sit-down, Kroft interviewed President-elect Barack Obama in a television event that drew over 25 million in November 2008 and remains the largest 60 MINUTES audience since 1999. He interviewed Obama 11 times as president.

Kroft’s career began in the U.S. Army as a correspondent-photographer for Pacific Stars and Stripes in Vietnam after his graduation from Syracuse University in 1967. He got his master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School in 1975, and worked in Jacksonville and Miami where he won local television awards for his reporting on political corruption and the thriving drug trade there. CBS News hired him in 1980; he was named a correspondent in 1981. Kroft covered the civil war in El Salvador and the invasion of Grenada before he was posted to the London Bureau, where his reporting on European affairs and terrorism on the CBS EVENING NEWS caught the attention of executives. They brought him back in 1987 to be the principal correspondent on “West 57th,” a fledgling newsmagazine that became a stepping-stone to 60 MINUTES.

TBBT Goes Out With A Bang

The finale of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” finale on Thursday racked up a huge audience according to Variety citing preliminary Nielsen estimates.

The hourlong airing of back to back episodes garnered a substantial 3.1 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and was watched by just under 18 million total viewers. For comparison, the “Big Bang” spinoff “Young Sheldon” came in second on Thursday night with a 2.2 rating and 13.7 million viewers for its season finale, followed by a large drop-off to the “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale, which drew just under 6 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating. The finale also topped the other main demographic of 25-54 (4.7).

That initial rating is the show’s highest since January, 2018, and represents the highest-rated episode of “Big Bang”‘s twelfth and final season by far, while the total viewership figure is the highest the show has produced since September, 2015. The previous season 12 high was 2.57 for the February 7 episode, and the average for the season to-date was 2.2 prior to last night’s finale.

The “Big Bang” bump boosted “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to a blockbuster 3.8 household rating for the night. Colbert’s featured an extended interview with the cast of “Big Bang.”

Biden Leads In Cable News Mentions

Since former Vice President Joe Biden entered the Democratic primary race for president in late April, he has been a cable news magnet, getting almost as much attention as all the other candidates combined, reports

That continued last week, according to the data we’ve been collecting from the TV News Archive, which slices TV news into 15-second clips that we access via the GDELT’s Project Television API.

Biden again led the Democratic field in the number of cable news clips that mentioned him; he was followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was mentioned in about a third as many clips as Biden was. For the third week in a row, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris were in third and fourth, though they’ve traded those positions.

Day 4: Nielsen Releases Final April 2019 PPMs

Nielsen on Thursday, May 16, 2019 released the final batch of April 2019 PPM data for the following markets:

   33  Austin

   38  Raleigh-Durham

   39  Indianapolis

   41  Milwaukee-Racine

   43  Nashville

   44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

   45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

   46  Jacksonville FL

   47  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

   48  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point

   51  Memphis

   52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here To View topline Numbers For Subscribing NielsenAudio Stations.

Tampa Bay Radio: Bubba the Love Sponge Is Off Air

It's could be the end of an era for a well-known voice on the Tampa Bay radio.

Bubba the Love Sponge Clem will no longer be heard on WHBO AM 1040. ABC ActionNews reports the radio personality said he could not reach a deal with the radio station to air his program.

‪”Myself and am1040 couldn’t come up with a deal today,” he wrote on Facebook.  Fans of Bubba the Love Sponge can still listen to him on his website.

Earlier this week it was learned Bubba (Clem) the Love Sponge faced foreclosure on his Tampa broadcast studio and a racetrack he owns in Ocala, FL

In a suit filed April 16 in Marion County, Valley National Bank says Bubba Clem, as he is legally known, and Bubba Raceway Park, LLC, owe a total of $94,373. That includes nearly $3,000 to cover property taxes that have not been paid for 2017 and 2018.

In a separate suit filed the same day in Hillsborough County, Valley is foreclosing on the studio near Tampa International Airport owned by Clem, BRN Studios, LLC and Bubba Radio Network. That action stems from a $77,510 judgment filed against Clem last year for defaulting on a line of credit.

Records also show Clem owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $140,000 in taxes. He also sold his waterfront Pinellas County home for $1.285 million in March.

Once among the nation’s best-known shock jocks, Clem has indicated he is in financial straits.

Earlier this year, he sued a former employer, Cox Media Group, claiming it had tried to destroy him professionally and personally after he left one of its stations to join a rival. The alleged actions by Cox and two of its employees damaged Clem’s reputation and caused him to sustain “losses in the tens of millions,″ the suit said.

Abrupt departures have become somewhat of a norm for Clem, according to The Tampa Bay Times.  In 2014, he was suddenly let go from 102.5 the Bone and replaced by his former intern-turned shock jock in his own right, Mike Calta. Earlier this year, Clem filed suit against Cox Media, which owns the Bone, and Calta, his chief radio rival, claiming they conspired to personally defame him and ruin his career.

After the Bone, Clem went to WBRN-FM 98.7 in January 2015, but was let go in December 2016 after Nielsen sued him over a ratings-tampering scandal dating back to his Bone days. He then joined the am1040 family in February 2017, bringing his morning show to WWBA-AM 820.

Clem first came to the bay area in 1992 and, after switching to an all-talk shock jock style, became the biggest name in Tampa Radio. He was a darling of Howard Stern and by the early 2000s had a nationally syndicated show and an uncensored Sirius XM satellite radio show.

His star status hasn’t come without controversy.

In 2002, he was arrested for animal cruelty after allowing a wild hog to be castrated and slaughtered in the 98 Rock parking lot but was found not guilty. Then there was the controversial Gawker leak of a sex tape featuring Clem’s then wife Heather having sex with famed wrestler Hulk Hogan. Hogan is also suing Cox and Calta over the leak, claiming they were responsible for it in a vendetta against Clem.

There was also his feud with Todd Schnitt, another Tampa radio personality, in which Clem’s lawyers were accused of setting up Schnitt’s lawyer C. Phillip Campbell to be arrested for drunk driving. As a result, a police officer was fired and Clem attorney Stephen Diaco, along with two other lawyers, were permanently disbarred.

Heavy Listeners As Important As Frequent Flyers

Frequent flyers on American Airlines account for just 13% of total passengers, yet they deliver 50% of annual revenue. These business travelers generate 6.7 times more revenue than the typical passenger who flies American just once per year. In a similar way for radio, consumption is driven by the heavy listeners who deliver on average 4 times the occasions and TSL as light users.

“Flights have never been so full, but not all passengers are created equal. Frequent flyers travel more often and spend more per trip, so airlines are increasingly super serving this small group to build relationships that foster loyalty. The same is true for radio, we deliver the most reach, but our heavy listeners are our bread and butter and deliver a disproportionate impact,” said Andrew Curran, President and COO, DMR/Interactive.

Andrew Curran
For Delta’s part, when a life event such as a new born baby, a job transfer or an illness provides a downturn in travel, the newly launched program Reclaim My Status allows their best customers to maintain their Medallion status. According to an airline spokesperson, “We’re always looking for new ways to take care of our customers and that includes injecting even more empathy into travel … Loyalty goes both ways.”

Radio knows firsthand the impact of life events on listening. When a natural disaster strikes, radio listening surges. On the other hand, with the school year set to wrap up in the comings weeks, PUMM levels will predictably change.

Curran continues, “With a strategic focus on the heavy listeners who matter most to your ratings and revenue, relationship marketing, recruits, segments and engages members of the target audience with the most listening to give.”

For more insights on the parallels between airline frequent flyers and heavy radio listeners, read DMR/Interactive’s latest blog, This is Your Captain Speaking: Lessons from 39,000 Feet

NAB: Time To Look Closely With Digital HD AM Radio

It’s time for the Federal Communications Commission to formally look into allowing AM radio stations to voluntarily (and solely) broadcast in all-digital, so says the National Association of Broadcasters.

RadioWorld is reporting the NAB supports the comments submitted by Bryan Broadcasting, which asked the commission to initiate a proceeding that would look at allowing AM stations to solely operate in the MA3 all-digital mode of HD Radio service. According to a May 13 filing by the NAB, such a service would “provide substantially improved sound quality that could help AM stations to retain and attract listeners in the increasingly competitive audio marketplace.”

According to NAB, the combination of industry interest, experimental testing and real-world implementation of all-digital AM means the commission should consider revamping rules in a way that could help facilitate broadcasters’ voluntary transition to all-digital AM service.

The NAB filing detailed the technical challenges facing broadcasters, ranging from the proliferation of noise-causing devices like fluorescent light bulbs, computer monitors and other Part 15 devices. This higher noise floor is causing pervasive interference to AM radio stations, the NAB said.

“In turn, AM listenership and station revenue have significantly declined and show few signs of recovery,” the NAB said. “As [Bryan Broadcasting] explains, a voluntary transition to all-digital AM service could help to reverse this trend by enabling broadcasters to provide a pristine signal, free of the interference that plagues analog AM service and deters listeners.”

Reading Radio: 1 Successful Bid Reported For The Reading Eagle

MediaNews Group, a nationwide media company, has made the sole qualified bid for Reading Eagle Company's assets.

In a statement to employees this afternoon, company President and CEO Peter D. Barbey, said:
"We have received two bids to purchase Reading Eagle Company's assets. One of the bids is unqualified. The other bid is qualified. The qualified bid is from MediaNews Group, which also operates under the name Digital First Media. Since there is only one qualified bid, the auction has been cancelled. The qualified bid has neither been accepted nor rejected, and we continue to work with MediaNews Group to resolve certain outstanding issues."
With only one qualified bid, a scheduled auction of the company's assets set for Friday has been canceled, according to the paper.

Officials from MediaNews Group could not immediately be reached Thursday.

MediaNews Group is a Denver, Colo.-based company that owns 97 publications across the country, according to its website. The company owns 14 publications in Pennsylvania, including The Mercury in Pottstown, The Times Herald in Norristown and the Daily Local News in West Chester.

The bid from MediaNews Group would have to be approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. A hearing for that purpose is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Reading.

The family-owned Reading Eagle Company filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 on March 20, saying its financial situation had become untenable. It has continued to operate while a search was undertaken for a buyer.

Reading Eagle Company includes the Reading Eagle, WEEU 830 AM, the weekly South Schuylkill News, Pretzel City Productions and its commercial printing subsidiary REP. The company has 234 employees.

The company began running into financial difficulties in 2009 after borrowing several million dollars to expand its headquarters along Penn Street to house a new press and distribution center. The company defaulted on the loan later that same year, owing Sovereign Bank about $25 million.

At the same time, the company's revenues, mainly from advertising, were falling.

Hedge Firm Loses Out On Gannett Bid

The two largest newspaper chains in the country, USA Today publisher Gannett and Chicago Tribune owner Tribune, may reignite merger talks, now that both have dispatched with hostile takeovers by smaller suitors.

Sources tell Media Ink at The NY Post that there have already been back-door reach-outs in recent months.

“A Gannett-Tribune merger remains a live possibility, while McClatchy seeks the right partner,” said Ken Doctor, who writes the Newsonomics column for the Nieman Journalism Lab.

Gannett, of course, emerged victorious on Thursday after successfully beating back a bid by Alden Global Capital-owned MNG Enterprises to land three insurgents on the Gannett board.

Heath Freeman, the CEO of Alden, hoped that he and two allies would crack the Gannett board and help pave the way to approving a $1.36 billion hostile takeover by the much smaller MNG, owner of the Denver Post and Boston Herald. Instead, the Gannett shareholders backed all eight incumbent candidates, sinking any hopes of pulling off the takeover.

Tribune in recent months was also busy fending off an unwanted bid from debt-heavy McClatchy Co., owner of the Miami Herald and Kansas City Star, which was attracted by Tribune’s debt-free balance sheet.

“It is likely that consolidation will continue,” said Michael Kupinski, an analyst at Noble Capital Markets. “In my opinion, the newspaper industry needs scale to survive.”