Saturday, August 10, 2019

August 11 Radio HIstory

➦In 1942...Actress Hedy Lamarr (Hedy Kiesler Markey) and composer George Anthiel received U.S. patent for Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), a method of transmitting radio signals by rapidly switching a carrier among many frequency channels, using a pseudorandom sequence known to both transmitter and receiver. It is used as a multiple access method in the frequency-hopping code division multiple access (FH-CDMA) scheme.

Spread-spectrum signals are highly resistant to deliberate jamming, unless the adversary has knowledge of the spreading characteristics. Military radios use cryptographic techniques to generate the channel sequence under the control of a secret Transmission Security Key (TRANSEC) that the sender and receiver share in advance.

By itself, frequency hopping provides only limited protection against eavesdropping and jamming. Most modern military frequency hopping radios also employ separate encryption devices such as the KY-57. U.S. military radios that use frequency hopping include the JTIDS/MIDS family, HAVE QUICK and SINCGARS.

In the US, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) amended rules to allow frequency hopping spread spectrum systems in the unregulated 2.4 GHz band, many consumer devices in that band have employed various spread-spectrum modes.

Some walkie-talkies that employ frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology have been developed for unlicensed use on the 900 MHz band.

Lamarr died in Casselberry, FL on January 19, 2000, of heart disease, aged 85.

➦In 1966…The Beatles staged their fourth concert tour of America, and it was the last commercial tour they undertook.

Lasting a total of 19 performances, with 17 shows in American venues and two in Canada, it was plagued with backlash regarding the controversy of John Lennon's remark about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus", death threats, and the band's own dissatisfaction with the noise levels and their ability to perform live. Although it was a commercial success, ticket sales had declined since the group's previous visit, in August 1965. Late in the tour, the band returned to Shea Stadium in New York, where they performed to an audience of 45,000, compared with the 56,000 world record attendance they had achieved the previous year. After the 1966 tour, they would become a studio band and focused exclusively on record production.

In March 1966, Maureen Cleave interviewed John Lennon and the rest of the Beatles as part of a London Evening Standard series on the theme "How Does a Beatle Live?" During the Lennon interview at Kenwood, Cleave noted Lennon's interest in Christianity and religions, to which he replied:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first – rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

Although the article went largely unnoticed in the United Kingdom, the American magazine Datebook printed the quote containing Lennon's words on the front cover of its August issue.

Fearful of the possibility that protesters or radicals would try to kill them for their supposed "anti-Christ" stance, the group's manager, Brian Epstein, contemplated cancelling the tour altogether. However, during the tour's stop in Chicago, he arranged for a press conference to address the controversy and for Lennon to explain himself. Lennon stated that he was only commenting on the decline among churchgoers, that he made a mistake in using the Beatles' following in comparison with that of organised religion, and that he "never meant it as a lousy anti-religious thing". Despite this explanation, Lennon continued to be asked about the topic in subsequent press conferences throughout the American tour, often visibly exasperating not only him, but his bandmates as well.

➦In 1972...Long John Nebel aired his last show at WNBC 660 AM NYC.

Jim Harmon, author of “the Great Radio Heroes” appears on Long John Nebel’s show and discusses Old Time Radio. This broadcast is from 1967 and was heard on WNBC.

➦In 1984..."We begin bombing in five minutes" is the last sentence of a controversial, off-the-record joke made by US President Ronald Reagan in 1984, during the "second Cold War".

While preparing for a scheduled radio address from his vacation home in California, President Reagan joked with those present about outlawing and bombing Russia. This joke was not broadcast live, but was recorded and later leaked to the public. After some brief military confusion, the Soviet Union denounced the president's joke, as did Reagan's then-opponent in the 1984 United States presidential election, Walter Mondale. Reagan's impromptu comments have had significant staying power, being referenced, cited, and used as literary inspiration as recently as 2017.

It was prior to the speech itself, while the president was joking with the National Public Radio audio engineers during soundcheck, that he riffed on his own speech, saying:

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

This sort of levity was not uncommon for Reagan; he was known to inject soundchecks, outtakes, and downtime with his humor throughout his career in both show business and politics.

In the minutes before the president gave his speech, a live feed from Rancho del Cielo was still being transmitted to radio stations around the United States. Many broadcasters were already recording the feed, and therefore the president's pre-speech joke, to be ready for the official transmission. While many in the media heard the president's impromptu remarks as he gave them, they were not broadcast live.

Alice Faye and Phil Harris
➦In 1995...Philip Harris died from a heart attack at age 91 (Born June 24, 1904). He was a comedian, actor, singer, and jazz musician. He was an orchestra leader and a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with Jack Benny, then in a series in which he co-starred with his wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years. Harris is also noted for his voice acting in animated films. He played Baloo the bear in The Jungle Book (1967), Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats (1970), and Little John in Robin Hood (1973).

In 1936, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Show Starring Jack Benny (later renamed The Jack Benny Program), singing and leading his band. When he showed a knack for giving snappy one-liners, he joined the cast, portraying himself as a hip, hard-drinking Southerner whose good nature overcame his ego. In 1946, Harris and wife Alice Faye began co-hosting The Fitch Bandwagon, a comedy-variety program that followed the Jack Benny show on Sunday nights.

The Fitch Bandwagon started as a showcase for big bands, including Harris's, but then it became a situation comedy, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. Harris played a vain, stumbling husband, while Faye played his sarcastic but loving wife. Gerald Nachman has written that Harris was a soft-spoken, modest man off the air. In On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio John Dunning wrote that Harris's character made the show popular. The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show appeared until 1954. Harris continued to appear on Jack Benny's show from 1948 to 1952.

➦In 2010…Nelson Joseph "Nellie" King died at age 82 from Parkinson's disease(Born March 15, 1928). He was a professional baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and later a member of the Pirates' radio announcing team with Bob Prince.

Nellie King
After his retirement from baseball, King moved into sports broadcasting in 1959 for radio stations in Greensburg and Latrobe, both small cities near Pittsburgh. He was hired as the third member of the Pirates' broadcasting team for the 1967 season, joining Bob Prince and Jim Woods. King replaced Don Hoak, who had moved back onto the field as a major league coach. Woods left the Pirates after the 1969 season and was replaced by Gene Osborn. When Osborn was fired after one year, the Pirates went with a two-man team, Prince and King.

The broadcasting duo remained in place until 1975, when Prince and King were told their contracts would not be renewed. Prince had issues with management at KDKA, which held the broadcast rights. King was swept out in the station's desire to start with a completely new team. The Pirates offered King a job heading the team's speakers bureau, but he declined. He was hired as sports information director at Duquesne University, and started a career that lasted more than 20 years at the university. King also served as color commentator on Duquesne basketball broadcasts and coached the golf team from 1988 until 2004.

King continued to do freelance broadcasting work and was employed by various radio stations, including KDKA, WWSW, WEEP, WTAE, and WEDO. He also served as color analyst on radio broadcasts of Carnegie–Mellon football.

King returned to the Pirates' broadcast booth as a guest commentator for a game in the final season at Three Rivers Stadium on October 1, 2000. In 2009, he published a book titled Happiness Is Like A Cur Dog: The Thirty-Year Journey of a Major League Baseball Pitcher and Broadcaster.

Denver Radio: Candidate Hickenlooper Quits KHOW Interview

Dan Caplis, KHOW
Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper handed an interview over to a member of his staff after being asked about abortion during an interview he thought was only going to be about gun violence.

"Listen, I thought you wanted to talk about gun safety," Hickenlooper complained to KHOW 630 AM Denver radio host Dan Caplis, before telling him he'd only be giving him two more minutes to speak with him.

Caplis told Hickenlooper he'd been told by his staff that all topics were open for discussion, and accused Hickenlooper of attempting to escape after being asked a tough question.

"Two minutes, are you kidding me?" Caplis said. "I'm sorry sir, that's a joke. I ask you a tough question on abortion, which you refuse to answer directly, now you tell me you have two minutes."

The conversation quickly devolved into an argument over the agreed upon terms of the interview.

Google Now Includes Podcasts In Search Engine

Google continues its push into the world of podcasts, not only through its own podcast app but also by adding a new podcast feature to search, according to

If you enter a search term like "grilling podcasts" into Google, you'll now see playable podcast episodes right in the results page. In the future Google plans to tweak the feature to allow search to include podcast results even if you don't specify "podcast" in the query.

In addition, later this year Google Assistant will begin suggesting podcasts for you to listen to, and Google Podcasts for web will let you play episodes through your browser without needing to download an app.

This is all very convenient for podcast listeners. However, not all podcast producers will be happy about the change. The BBC, for example, pulled its podcasts from the Google Podcast app earlier this year. The broadcaster, which is supported by public money, objected to Google siphoning off traffic from its own app, saying it needed that user data to assess audience numbers.

Google hints that it is offering a truce with podcast producers on this issue though. A Google spokesperson said it will soon be adding "the ability for publishers to specify a playback destination, such as a third-party website or app," so that "people can discover podcasts that may be exclusively available by purchase or subscription on third-party podcast providers."

Mike Emrick Headed To Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Mike Emrick
Mike "Doc" Emrick, the lead play-by-play announcer for the "NHL on NBC," will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in December.

The 73-year-old has been involved with hockey broadcasts for 46 years and has called the Stanley Cup Final 14 times. He is among 10 people who will be inducted at a ceremony Dec. 17.

Emrick has won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-By-Play, for a record-setting six straight years, and seven of the past nine. He was the first hockey broadcaster to receive the award.

"Each time it makes you in awe," Emrick said May 21. "You look at the crowd with all those network execs, many of whom hired you at various places. You realize how long you've been blessed to have a career, especially after cancer. So it does sort of grab you at that point."

Emrick was diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer in 1991 and has been cancer-free for more than 25 years.

He received the Lester Patrick Award in 2004 and the Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to hockey broadcasting in 2008.

The other inductees are Steve Anderson, Mary Ellen Carlyle, Bud Collins, Bob Fishman, Bob Ley, Jerry Gepner, Roger Penske, Doug Wilson and Ken Woo.

Emrick was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame in June.

D-C Radio: Sonny Jurgenson Announces Retirement

Sonny Jurgenson
Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen, the lone holdover from the “Sonny, Sam and Frank” radio broadcast trio that provided the soundtrack for the Redskins’ three Super Bowl-winning seasons, announced his retirement before Washington’s preseason opener Thursday in Cleveland, reports The Washington Post.

“I’ve decided to hang up my headphones and my clipboard,” Jurgensen said in a recorded presentation during the pregame show on the Redskins Radio Network. “It’s been a great 55 years in Washington. I want to thank our Redskins fans for being so generous to me and our teams. We owe it all to you."

This season would have been Jurgensen’s 39th consecutive year in the booth.

The former quarterback, who will turn 85 later this month, played 11 seasons with the Redskins from 1964 until his retirement after the 1974 season.

He spent six years calling games for CBS before teaming with Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff and local sportscaster Frank Herzog on WMAL in 1981, legendary coach Joe Gibbs’s first season in Washington. They remained together until Herzog, whose “Touchdown, Washington Redskins!” call was synonymous with the team’s glory years, was replaced by Larry Michael before the 2004 season.

Huff was 78 and in failing health when he retired after 38 years as a Redskins radio analyst in 2013.

August 10 Radio History

Ted Husing
➦In 1962...Edward Britt "Ted" Husing died from complications of a brain tumor at age 60 (Born - November 27, 1901).

He was an early radio sportscaster and was among the first to lay the groundwork for the structure and pace of modern sports reporting.

At age 16, he joined the National Guard and in World War I was assigned to stand watch over New York's harbor. Following the war, he floated between jobs such as carnival barker and payroll clerk.

After he won an audition over 500 other applicants for announcer at New York City radio station WHN, Husing found his life's calling. He was schooled under the tutelage of pioneer broadcaster Major J. Andrew White. There he covered breaking news stories and political conventions and assisted White during football commentaries.

By 1926, Husing was working at WJZ, which made him "its specialist in announcing dance programs." A newspaper article reported that Husing was selected for the job "out of 610 applications for the position of announcer at station WJZ."

As an announcer, his use of descriptive language combined with a commanding voice made his broadcasts must-listen events. By 1927, he was voted seventh most popular announcer in a national poll. Following a pay dispute, he moved to Boston, where he broadcast Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves) baseball games.

Later in 1927, he returned to New York and helped his mentor, J. Andrew White, start the new CBS chain. After cigar mogul William S. Paley bought the cash-strapped network in 1928, Ted Husing rose to new heights of glory and fame.

At CBS, Husing took on a wide variety of events. In 1929, he was named studio director of WABC (the CBS flagship station) in addition to continuing his work as an announcer for the network.

He was the original voice of the popular March of Time program and an announcer for shows such as George Burns and Gracie Allen. Above everything, his work on sports gave Husing the greatest prominence. He covered events as diverse as boxing, horse racing, track and field, regattas, seven World Series, tennis, golf, four Olympic Games, Indianapolis 500 motor racing, and especially college football.

In addition to his sports preeminence, Husing also did news/special events coverage for the CBS Radio Network. In the 1930s, he gave early tutelage to a budding CBS Radio announcer, Mel Allen, who, like Husing, would become a legendary sportscaster.

In 1946, Husing moved from CBS to WHN (later WMGM) to pursue a career as a disk jockey. Husing's popular music show the Ted Husing Bandstand ran from 1946 to 1954. He continued to busy himself with sports assignments, including boxing on CBS and DuMont television, one year (1950) as the radio voice of New York Giants football, and as host of DuMont's Boxing From Eastern Parkway from May 1952 to March 1953. Perhaps he was best known as the voice of Army football from 1947 to 1953. By that time, Husing's yearly salary was close to half a million dollars.

In the spring of 1954, an operation to treat a malignant brain tumor left him blind and forced him to retire.   In 1963, Husing became the second inductee of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.  In 1984, Husing was part of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame’s inaugural class which included sportscasting legends Red Barber, Don Dunphy, Graham McNamee and Bill Stern.

➦In 1964...Hooper ratings in Los Angeles had KRLA then-1110 AM leading rival top-40 station KFWB 980 AM:  KRLA 16.7....KFWB 13.6.  KFWB had recently tightened up their music playlist. KRLA jocks included Bob Eubanks, Casey Kasem, Dick Biondi, Wink Martindale and others.

In 1965, KHJ started its “Boss Radio” Top 40 format, which launched it to the No. 1 position.  KRLA was the second-place Top 40 station.  KFWB abandoned music and flipped to all-news in 1968.

➦In 1964...R&B WYNR 1390 AM in Chicago was about to go all-news on September 3. The station, operated by Gordon McLendon, will change call letters to WNUS.

When WYNR suddenly switched to all-news WNUS in 1964, McLendon bought WFMQ 107.5 FM (now WGCI-FM) and changed the call letters to WNUS-FM, creating an FM simulcast of the all-news station. This 1966 advertisement is looking for WNUS “newsmen.”  McLendon was paying $88,800 a year in 2011 dollars.

All-news was catching on in big markets across the country. Westinghouse’s WINS 1010 AM in New York switched to all-news in 1965.  In 1968, CBS and Westinghouse decided to flip many of their stations to all-news.  In Los Angeles, KNX (CBS) and KFWB (Westinghouse) both switched to all-news.   McLendon’s All-News XTRA could not compete with the fully staffed news operations of KNX and KFWB.  He pulled the plug on the format.

The same happened in Chicago when CBS flipped powerful WBBM-AM to all-news.  WNUS-AM-FM became an easy-listening station.  Globetrotter Communications, the owners of soul music station WVON, bought WNUS-AM-FM in 1975.  It wanted to move WVON-AM to the more powerful 5,000-watt allocation that WNUS used at 1390 AM.

WNUS-FM became urban WGCI-FM, which is a very successful Chicago radio station today.  The AM station became WGCI-AM in 1984.  Today it’s WGRB, a gospel station.  Clear Channel owns both stations.

➦In 1964...WNBC 660 AM, New York morning man Big Wilson, joined Lynda B. Johnson to serve as master of ceremonies at the first Folk Music Concert ever presented under the auspices of The White House. Big Wilson was personally asked by President Johnson to emcee the folk concert with participants Theodore Bikel, Nancy Ames, the Serendipity Singers and the comedy team of Stiller and Meara.

➦In 2001...Chicago Cubs broadcaster/Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau died of cardiac arrest at age 84. Boudreau did play-by-play for Cub games in 1958–59 before switching roles with manager "Jolly Cholly" Charlie Grimm in 1960. But after only one season as Cubs manager, Boudreau returned to the radio booth and remained there until 1987. He also did radio play-by-play for the Chicago Bulls in 1966–68.

➦In 2008...Artist and WRKS NYC Personality Isaac Hayes died from an apparent stroke.

➦In 2016....Sportscaster John Saunders, who worked for ESPN for almost 30 years, died at age 61. Cause of death was an enlarged heart together with complications from diabetes.

➦In 2017...Taylor Swift testified in court that Denver radio personality David Mueller groped her.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Reading PA Radio: iHM Flips WRAW To N/T

iHeartMedia Reading announced today the debut of Newsradio WRAW 1340 AM , effective Monday, August 12, at noon.

R J Harris
The launch of NEWSRADIO 1340 will mark the return of “The Rush Limbaugh Show” to the Reading community airwaves. The station will also feature leading talk radio shows including “The Sean Hannity Show,” “The Glenn Beck Program,” and “The Buck Sexton Show.” In addition, mornings will be anchored by “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show,” beginning August 13. Harris is a fixture in Central Pennsylvania radio and was born and raised in Reading.

“We’re thrilled to bring this all-star lineup of Talk radio programs to Reading with the launch of NEWSRADIO 1340 WRAW,” said Jeff Hurley, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Allentown and Harrisburg. “We’re confident that NEWSRADIO 1340 WRAW will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk and entertainment!”

“WRAW is where I got my start in radio at 16 years old, so I’m excited to contribute to the re-launch of an all-new Talk station with some of the biggest names in the format,” said Harris.

WRAW had been featuring Spanish-language programing as "Rumba 1340." Listeners will continue to hear Rumba on 92.3 FM.

Full Weekday Program Lineup:
  • The RJ Harris Breakfast Show: 5 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • The Glenn Beck Program: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • The Rush Limbaugh Show: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • The Sean Hannity Show: 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • The Buck Sexton Show: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Crime Stories with Nancy Grace: 9 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Tribune Media Reports 2Q Revenue Drop

Tribune Media, which owns 42 TV stations, cable network WGN America and WGN 720 AM Chicago and has agreed to be acquired by broadcasting giant Nexstar Media Group for $4.1 billion, on Friday reported lower, but better-than-expected second-quarter earnings as higher retransmission and carriage revenue was more than offset by lower political advertising and other revenue, as well as higher programming expenses.

“The increase in programming expense was primarily due to an increase in network affiliate fees mainly due to the renewal of network affiliation agreements in eight markets with Fox Broadcasting Company during the third quarter of 2018,” the company said.

Tribune Media CEO Peter Kern and his team won't hold a conference call with analysts due to the pending Nexstar deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Quarterly operating profit came in at $73.3 million, down 25 percent from the second quarter of 2018 due to higher programming expenses and lower revenue. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), another profitability metric, fell from $160.8 million to $135.4 million.

Second-quarter revenue dropped 1 percent to $484 million driven by a drop in political advertising revenue, while retransmission fees and core and digital advertising revenue climbed.

Day 4: PPMs For Austin, Nashville, Indy, 9 More Markets Released

Nielsen on Thursday, August 8, 2019 released the final  batch of July 2019 PPM data for the following markets:

    33  Austin

    38  Raleigh-Durham NC

    39  Indianapolis

    41  Milwaukee-Racine WI

    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 NC

    51  Memphis

    52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here to view topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations

Kellie Rasberry Honored With 2019 MIW Airblazer Award

Kellie Rasberry, longtime co-host of The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, the most listened-to contemporary morning radio show in America, was honored with the 2019 MIW Airblazer Award Thursday during the 31st Annual Talentmasters Morning Show Bootcamp (MSBC) at the Swissotel Chicago.

Now in its 5th year, the MIW Airblazer Award stems from an alliance formed in 2015 between the MIW Group and MSBC, and honors a deserving on-air personality in radio annually.

In addition to her work as co-host of The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, Rasberry also co-hosts the weekly podcast, "A Sandwich and Some Lovin’” with her husband, Allen Evans. Kellie is also on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Kidd’s Kids, which takes children with life altering conditions and their families on all-expenses paid trips to Disney World.

Erica Farber, President/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau Kellie Rasberry;
and 2018 Mercedes Martinez, Mix 94.1 in Las Vegas, NV.
After more than two decades in radio, Kellie has won several Favorite Female Radio Personality of the Year awards. She was a co-host on FOX Television’s “Dish Nation”, co-hosted the syndicated radio show, “Love Letters with Matthew & Kellie”, co-hosted the webcast of the “Blockbuster Entertainment Awards”, co-hosted “Live! With Regis” during their Women of Radio Week, and played a role in the made-for-TV movie “Holiday In Your Heart” starring LeAnn Rimes. She has also commentated for the REELZ Channel docu-series, “The Price of Fame.”

The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show is syndicated by YEA Networks, and heard on more than 65 Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations across the country, as well as the American Forces Radio Network, weekdays from 5am-10am CST.

YEA Networks Promotes Shawn Nunn to President

Shawn Nunn
YEA Networks, one of the top independent radio and podcast companies in the U.S., announces that it has promoted media executive Shawn Nunn to President.

In the newly created position, Nunn will oversee YEA Networks’ popular nationally syndicated radio programs, including: The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, Tino Cochino Radio, and The Hollywood 5, as well as YEA Networks’ growing family of podcasts. He has served as Executive Vice President, Sales, for YEA Networks since 2016.

Nunn joined YEA Networks after five years with Townsquare Media, where he was Vice President of National Sales. Prior to that, Nunn was Vice President of Sales at GAP Broadcasting for four years. He has worked in all aspects of the media industry for nearly 30 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle and Colorado Springs markets. A Texas native, Nunn earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Texas State University.

George Laughlin, Chief Executive Officer, YEA Networks, said: “I’ve had the privilege of working with Shawn for more than 20 years. He is a trusted advisor and a highly effective leader, who has been essential to the incredible growth and expansion of the company over the past three years. Under his leadership, YEA Networks will continue to deliver the highest quality products and services to the audio industry.”

Nunn said: “I am more than grateful to George for this opportunity. I have worked with many on the YEA team for much of my career and I am honored to take the lead. George’s vision and passion for this industry is immeasurable and I look forward to continuing this journey with him.”

Texarkana Radio: Brian Sines To Manage Townsquare Cluster

Townsquare Media Inc. announced Thursday that Brian Sines has been promoted to Market President and Chief Revenue Officer for its Texarkana cluster.

Sines will lead the local media team in Texarkana, which includes market leader KKYR-FM, along with KPWW-FM, KYGL-FM, KMJI-FM and KOSI-AM. He will report to Townsquare Senior Vice President Todd Lawley.

Brian Sines
“I have worked with Brian over the past five years and watched him build Cedar Rapids into one of the top performing clusters at Townsquare,” said Todd Lawley. “In fact, the Cedar Rapids market hasn’t missed a budget in three years and holds a dominant position with both their broadcast and digital performance. I’m confident that Brian will quickly build upon the high performing team that serves the community, our listeners and the clients of Texarkana. It is extremely rewarding to again have the ability to promote from within the Company, which is a direct reflection to the level of talent we have at Townsquare.”

“I am excited to join the team in Texarkana, “said Brian Sines. “Townsquare is fortunate to have such a long tenured team in place that truly cares about our clients, our listeners and super serves the community. I look forward to working with the number one media team in the market and starting a budget busting streak of our own.”

Townsquare COO – Local Media, Erik Hellum added, “Brian’s performance, combined with his passion for the industry and commitment to winning, makes him the right candidate to lead our Texarkana market. Texarkana had been handled by a Market President in another market, but given our “Local First” focus we wanted to make sure that our talented team in Texarkana had a leader dedicated to helping them win in their market.”

Prior to joining Townsquare, Mr. Sines held senior management positions at Clear Channel Radio in the Midwest and worked with University of Iowa sports properties through Learfield Sports.

Lexington KY Radio: WLXX Promotes Deirde Ransdell

Deirde Ransdell
Cumulus Media announces that it has promoted Country radio veteran Deidre Ransdell to Program Director of Country radio station WLXX NASH FM 92.9.

Ransdell has been a Lexington Country radio fixture for 18 years following a 15-year career in education. She joined WLXX’s Bandy and Bailey and the B-Team Morning Show in 2001 and in 2012, took afternoon drive and midday positions at the station. In 2018, Ransdell added overnights at 95.5 WSM in Nashville, TN, and in Westwood One markets across the U.S.

Scott Frazier, General Manager Cumulus Lexington, said: “Having Deidre Ransdell as WLXX Program Director is like naming Justin Verlander as your Starter in Game 1 of the World Series. She brings talent, experience, drive and the ‘Will To Win’ to the station. I’m very much looking forward to working with her.”

Anthony “Twitch” Longo, Operations Manager, Cumulus Lexington, said: “It’s a great day when we get to promote someone as talented and hardworking as Deidre! She is a force to be reckoned with, and to say that I am excited to have her at the helm of NASH FM 92.9 is an understatement!”

“I have learned from some of the best in the business: Michael Bandy, Jason Bailey, Keith Yarber, Doug Hamand, Barry Fox, Dale O’Brien, Bob Raleigh, Charlie Cook and the current leadership at Cumulus Lexington Scott Frazier and Anthony “Twitch” Longo. I look forward to the challenges ahead and am driven to make the turn for WLXX in a run for the top!”

Billtown PA Radio: Backyard Rejoins Nielsen

Nielsen and Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC has reached a multi-year agreement for Nielsen audio measurement. This agreement encompasses all of Nielsen’s local syndicated products and services available to mid-market radio broadcasters.

Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC is based in Williamsport, Pa. The company owns radio stations WILQ-FM, WLMY-FM, WWPA-AM, W267BJ, Williamsport; WZXR-FM, South Williamsport; WCXR-FM, Lewisburg; and WBZD-FM, Muncy.

The latest in a series of high-profile customer “win-backs,” Nielsen can once again count Backyard Broadcasting among its valued clients. The gold standard in radio audience measurement, Nielsen audio’s long-established legitimacy, agency acceptance, and widespread use among media buyers were referenced as primary factors in the broadcaster’s decision to renew ties with the global research firm.

“It’s good to be back, and we are excited to be working again with Nielsen,” said Dan Farr, President, and CEO of Backyard Broadcasting PA, LLC. “We are looking forward to using Nielsen data to help us achieve our income potential in national and regional dollars—and the sales team is ecstatic about getting Tapscan back to help them plan the best radio strategy for their local clients.”

“Good-byes are never easy, but they do make the homecomings particularly sweet,” said Brad Kelly, Managing Director of Nielsen Audio. “We are thrilled to welcome Backyard Broadcasting back into the Nielsen Audio client family. Despite the accelerating pace of fragmentation we are seeing across all forms of media these days, the future of AM/FM radio and audio-based advertising platforms is looking remarkably bright. We could not be more excited about rejoining forces with the team of marketing pros at Backyard to help Williamsport, PA area advertisers build their businesses, move product off the shelf, and optimize their ad dollars. “

Salem Media Reports 2.4% Revenue Dip

Salem Media Group Thursday issued its earning reports for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2018:

  • Total revenue decreased 2.4% to $64.7 million from $66.3 million;
  • Total operating expenses decreased 9.0% to $59.1 million from $64.9 million;
  • Operating expenses, excluding gains or losses on the disposition of assets, stock-based compensation expense, changes in the estimated fair value of contingent earn-out consideration, depreciation expense and amortization expense (1) decreased 1.0% to $54.5 million from $55.1 million;
  • Operating income increased to $5.6 million from $1.3 million;
  • The company’s net loss increased to $3.6 million, or $0.14 net loss per share compared to $2.2 million, or $0.08 net loss per share;
  • EBITDA (1) increased 59.9% to $9.6 million from $6.0 million;
  • Adjusted EBITDA (1) decreased 9.4% to $10.2 million from $11.2 million; and
  • Net cash used by operating activities decreased 57.0% to $1.2 million from $2.8 million.
  • Broadcast revenue decreased 2.9% to $49.1 million from $50.6 million;
  • Station Operating Income (“SOI”) (1) decreased 14.6% to $11.4 million from $13.3 million;
  • Same Station (1) net broadcast revenue decreased 1.9% to $48.9 million from $49.8 million; and
  • Same Station SOI (1) decreased 13.8% to $11.5 million from $13.4 million.
Digital Media
  • Digital media revenue decreased 2.9% to $10.0 million from $10.3 million; and
  • Digital Media Operating Income (1) increased 24.1% to $2.3 million from $1.9 million.
  • Publishing revenue increased 3.5% to $5.6 million from $5.4 million; and
  • Publishing Operating Loss (1) remained consistent at $0.1 million.
Salem reported the following transactions were completed since April 1, 2019:
  • On July 25, 2019, the company acquired the website and related assets for $0.5 million in cash.
  • On July 10, 2019 the company acquired certain assets including a digital content library from Steelehouse Productions, Inc. for $0.1 million in cash.
  • On June 27, 2019, the company sold a portion of land on its transmitter site in Miami, Florida, for $0.9 million in cash. The company recognized a pre-tax gain of $0.4 million reflecting the sales price as compared to the carrying value of the land.
  • On June 6, 2019, the company acquired the website and the related financial newsletter assets and deferred subscription liabilities for $0.6 million in cash. 
  • On May 14, 2019, the company sold radio station WSPZ-AM (previously WWRC-AM) in Washington D.C. for $0.8 million in cash. The buyer began programming the station under a Time Brokerage Agreement (“TBA”) on April 12, 2019. The company recorded an estimated pre-tax loss of $3.8 million as of March 31, 2019, based on its plan to sell the station and the probability of the sale, which reflects the sales price as compared to the carrying value of the radio station assets and the estimated closing costs. The company recorded an additional loss of $32,000 upon closing based on the actual closing costs incurred.
Pending transactions:
  • On July 25, 2019, the company entered into an agreement to sell radio stations WWMI-AM and WLCC-AM in Tampa Florida and WZAB-AM and WKAT-AM in Miami, Florida for $8.2 million in cash. The company recognized an estimated pre-tax loss of $4.7 million on July 25, 2019, which reflects the sales price as compared to the carrying value of the assets of the radio stations and the estimated closing costs. This transaction is subject to the approval of the FCC and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.
  • On July 10, 2019, the company entered into an agreement to sell radio station WORL-AM in Orlando, Florida for $0.9 million in cash. The company recognized an estimated pre-tax loss of $1.6 million on July 10, 2019, which reflects the sales price as compared to the carrying value of the radio station assets and the estimated closing costs. The company also entered a LMA effective September 2, 2019, under which the radio station will be operated by the buyer pending the closing of the sale of the station. This transaction is subject to the approval of the FCC and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.
  • On January 3, 2017, Word Broadcasting began operating our Louisville radio stations (WFIA-AM; WFIA-FM; WGTK-AM) under a twenty-four month TBA. We received $0.5 million in cash associated with an option for Word Broadcasting Network to acquire the radio stations during the term. In December 2018, Word Broadcasting notified the company of their intent to purchase our Louisville radio stations. The TBA contained an extension clause that allowed Word Broadcasting to continue operating the station until the purchase agreement was executed and the transaction closed. On June 28, 2019, the TBA was amended to include an additional 24 months under which Word Broadcasting will program the radio stations with the option to acquire the stations extended to December 31, 2020.
  • On April 29, 2019 the company entered into an agreement to exchange FM Translator W276CR, in Bradenton, Florida with FM Translator W262CP in Bayonet Point, Florida. No cash will be exchanged for the assets.
  • On April 26, 2018, the company entered an agreement to exchange radio station KKOL-AM, in Seattle, Washington for KPAM-AM in Portland, Oregon. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019. No cash will be exchanged for the assets.

Facebook Working On Licensing With News Media

Facebook Inc. is offering news outlets millions of dollars for the rights to put their content in a news section that the company hopes to launch later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting representatives from Facebook have told news executives they would be willing to pay as much as $3 million a year to license headlines and previews of articles from news outlets, the people said.

The outlets pitched by Facebook on its news tab include Walt Disney Co.’s ABC News, Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones, The Washington Post and Bloomberg, the people said.

Facebook’s plans come as the company is facing growing criticism for its role in the news industry’s struggles by sucking up much of the advertising revenue that used to go to newspapers. Combined, Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google earned 60% of all digital advertising revenue in the U.S. last year, according to eMarketer.

The news-licensing deals between Facebook and news outlets would run for three years, some of the people said. Facebook is planning to launch the section sometime in the fall, the people said. It isn’t known whether any news outlets have formally agreed yet to license their content to Facebook.

Pew Reserch: 7 Facts About Black Americans And News Media

This week, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) holds its annual meeting in Miami. The meeting comes amid increased attention to the role of black journalists in the United States and recent changes to black-oriented news media organizations, such as a decision by the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper founded in 1905, to cease printing (though it will remain available online).

Pew Research Center has studied black Americans’ attitudes toward the news media – as well as their news consumption habits – for years. We have also examined minority representation within U.S. newsrooms.

To coincide with the NABJ conference, Pew came up with seven key facts about black Americans and the news media:
  • Black adults stand out for their trust in local news organizations.
  • Black adults are more likely to feel connected to their main source of news. 
  • The news media’s watchdog role is seen as more of a necessary check among black adults than among whites.
  • Black Americans are less concerned about made-up news than other national issues.
  • Black Americans prefer getting their news from TV
  • Black newspapers are small, community-oriented publications.
  • Black Americans tend to be underrepresented in U.S. newsrooms. 

Poll: Audiences Prefer Shorter Podcast Episodes

  • 54% of adults have never listened to a podcast, but 44 percent of adults under 30 listen to one at least once a month.
  • Music was the most appealing genre of podcast, with 60% saying it appealed to them.
  • 47% of adults who listen to podcasts less often than several times a month said the major reason they didn’t listen to podcasts more frequently was that they preferred to listen to music.
Podcasts appear to be the hot new medium in the entertainment industry, with celebrities launching their own programs, Spotify Technology SA acquiring big name podcasting companies and Hollywood tapping into podcasts to create a new wave of prestige television shows. While new data shows that more than a quarter of the public listens to podcasts at least once a month, it also offers clues as to how the industry can draw in new listeners and give current ones more of what they are looking for in their audio entertainment.

Spotify has been making moves in the podcast realm this year, announcing in February that it had acquired podcasting companies Gimlet Media Inc. and Anchor in a deal worth roughly $340 million, as well as snatching up podcast storytelling studio Parcast in March. In its most recent earnings report, Spotify said that its podcast audience grew by 50 percent quarter over quarter, with “tens of millions of users” streaming podcasts monthly.

And new polling indicates there’s plenty of room for growth: A July 25-27 Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter survey of 2,201 U.S. adults found that 28 percent of the public — including 44 percent of those ages 18-29 — listens to a podcast at least once a month. However, more than half of all respondents (54 percent) said they never listen to podcasts, and just 10 percent said they listen at least several times a week.

For those who listen to podcasts a few times a month or less, 47 percent said a major factor was a preference for music, while more than one-fifth (21 percent) said they didn’t like downloading podcasts to their phone or computer, and 18 percent said they found the programs to be boring.

Forty-one percent of adults said they would be more likely to listen to a podcast if it had a host they were already a fan of, and 39 percent said they would be more likely to listen to a show if it came recommended by family members or friends.

Twenty percent said they would be less likely to listen if the episode lasted longer than one hour, and 35 percent said they would be less likely to listen if it lasted more than two hours.

Viacom, CBS Report Bullish Earnings

Viacom Inc. posted revenue growth thanks to its first uptick in domestic advertising in 20 quarters, a sign that the media giant’s performance is improving after a prolonged slump.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Viacom, the parent of Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, said third-quarter revenue edged up 3.7% to $3.36 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, revenue rose 6%. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting revenue of $3.32 billion.

Bob Bakish
The results are a sign that Viacom’s performance has improved since Bob Bakish took over as chief executive at the end of 2016--an indication that Viacom is on stronger footing to negotiate a merger with sister company CBS Corp. than when the two sides held talks last year.

Viacom and CBS are in advanced talks to merge and recently reached a working agreement on the management team for the combined company. A deal could be announced before the end of the month, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company said it wouldn’t be responding to questions about mergers and acquisitions at the beginning of the call, and executives didn’t discuss CBS in their remarks.

On an earnings conference call Thursday, Mr. Bakish said the advertising growth “represents a significant milestone,” noting that Viacom’s sales effort was bolstered by partnerships with pay-TV companies.

Meanwhile, CBS Corp.’s investment in content and streaming-services expansion helped deliver better-than-expected revenue growth in its second quarter.

The WSJ reports New York-based CBS reported revenue for the quarter rose 9.9% from a year earlier to $3.81 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $3.72 billion.

The company said quarterly profit rose 10% to $440 million, or $1.17 a share. On an adjusted basis, the company reported a profit of $1.16 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet anticipated $1.12 a share for both profit and adjusted profit.

The company said subscriptions from direct-to-consumer streaming services—anchored by CBS All Access and Showtime—helped drive a 13% increase in affiliate and subscription revenue in the quarter.

Without disclosing actual subscription figures for those services, CBS said it remains on track to reach its goal of 25 million combined subscribers by the end of 2022. The 25 million target doesn’t include subscriptions from international services, company officials had said.

August 9 Radio History

➦In newscaster Robert McCormick, for more than 30 years a feature member of the NBC news corps, was born in Danville, KY.

The Depression curtailed his formal education, one day he dropped in at the old Washington DC Daily News in hopes of getting a baseball game pass. Instead, he was hired at 18 as a copy boy. He stayed at the News six years as a sports editor, city editor and columnist. He then became Washington correspondent for Colliers magazine, then a major and influential publication.

In 1942, when Colliers refused to send him abroad as a World War II correspondent, he moved to NBC. The following year he became central Pacific correspondent, based first at Pearl Harbor and then at Guam. He roamed much of the Pacific and was shot at by Japanese snipers while covering the conquest of Iwo Jima. Many years later he was shot at by rebels in Angola while covering the rebellion against Portuguese rule.

In this country, Mr. McCormick's assignments included many political conventions. They included the 1948 Democratic and Republican conclaves, the first to be covered by television.

When he returned from Europe in 1955 and to his home in Bethesda, he was assigned first to the State Department and then the Capitol, particularly the Senate. He was praised on the Senate floor when he retired from the network in 1976.

For some time Mr. McCormick struggled with alcoholism. Not only did he win, but he became so interested in the lack of treatment for the disease that he wrote a book about it, "Facing Alcoholism," recently reprinted.

He died of heart failure at age 74.

Rex Stout
➦In 1942...CBS radio broadcasts the debut of "Our Secret Weapon." Our Secret Weapon (1942–1943) was a radio series created to counter Axis shortwave radio propaganda broadcasts during World War II.

Writer Rex Stout, chairman of the Writers' War Board and representative of Freedom House, would rebut the most entertaining lies of the week. Sponsored by Freedom House and Philco, the 15-minute weekly series was broadcast Sundays at 7 p.m. ET through October 18, 1942, then Fridays at 7:15 p.m. ET through its final broadcast October 8, 1943.

"Secret Weapon was designed to whip up and excite the nation to a greater war effort — in industry in buying war bonds, in every avenue toward victory," said series creator Sue Taylor White of Freedom House.

➦In 1945....Radio brought news of the dropping of a second atomic bomb which caused Japan’s surrender ending World War II. The US Air Force exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, instantly killing an estimated 39,000 people. The explosion came just three days after a similar atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

➦In 1955...Bill Stern , ABC radio network sports commentator was injured in an auto crash on the NYC's Henry Hudson parkway. 20 years ago,Stern’s left leg was amputated because of injuries suffered in another auto accident. This time, he suffered a concussion,cuts, bruises and internal injuries

In 1964...Storer-owned WJBK 1500 AM in Detroit, dropped Top40 music and adopted an easy-listening format.

In 1954, WJBK moved to its current frequency at 1500 AM with 10,000 watts. By this time, Storer Broadcasting owned WJBK-AM-FM and had also signed on WJBK-TV on channel 2 as Detroit's CBS TV affiliate. In 1956, WJBK became the first radio station in Detroit to feature the Top 40 format 24 hours a day; WJBK also published Detroit's first printed survey of the station's most popular songs for distribution at local record stores, dubbed "Formula 45" (which became the station's catchphrase). WJBK's chief competitor in the format during the late 1950s and early 1960s was WXYZ/1270, and the two stations were frequently neck-and-neck in the ratings. 

Since WJBK had retained ownership of the "Jack the Bellboy" name after Ed McKenzie left the station, there were several more "Jack the Bellboy"s at Radio 15 during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Tom Clay (known for creating a romantic aura on the air), Dave Shafer, Terry Knight and Robin Walker. Other popular WJBK personalities included longtime morning host Marc Avery, midday host Clark Reid and afternoon drive personality Robert E. Lee (who claimed to be an actual descendant of the legendary Confederate Civil War general and opened his show every afternoon with a "Rebel Yell").

In 1962, WJBK was granted 50,000 watts day and 5,000 watts, night.

Then, WKNR "Keener 13" was launched at 1310 AM on Halloween 1963, burying the Motor City's Top 40 competition - including WJBK - in its wake with a shorter playlist and a tighter, more energetic presentation than any other station in the market. WJBK gave up the fight in 1964 and switched to an easy listening music format. In 1966 the station tweaked to an early version of what would today be called Hot Adult Contemporary, featuring a mix of softer Hot 100 chart hits from the likes of the Mamas & the Papas, B.J. Thomas, Nancy Sinatra and Bob Dylan, and select album cuts. Through the changes, ratings remained low. The station made a second attempt at Top 40 in 1969 with a lineup of disc jockeys that included K.O. Bayley, Lee 'Baby' Simms, Tom Dean, Jim Hampton and CKLW mainstay Tom Shannon, but it lasted only a few months.

WJBK made another run at Top 40 format in 1969.  The format lasted only a few months. WJBK dropped Top 40 late in 1969 and became WDEE, airing a country format.  It used a Top 40-style sound to present country sound, driving old-style country competitor WEXL out of the format. WDEE also aired a racy program called “Fem Forum,” in which female listeners called in to share their sexual frustrations.

Today 1500 AM is WLQV and airs religious programming.

➦In 1978...The great 88-day NYC newspaper strike began.  During the strike, leader William J. Kennedy delighted his union's members, but angered managers at The Daily News, The New York Post and The New York Times, by digging in against the newspapers' demands to cut back the number of people operating their printing presses.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

iHeartMedia Debuts ‘Sunday Night Podcasts’ On Radio

iHeartMedia, the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac, announced today the premiere of its new “Sunday Night Podcasts” programming. Sunday Night Podcasts will air the most popular and highly-anticipated podcasts from the iHeartPodcast Network across multiple genres, including comedy, true crime, business, history, technology, culture and more, on hundreds of iHeartMedia broadcast stations – enabling these podcasts to reach millions of new listeners.

Sunday Night Podcasts will debut with season two, episode one of “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” an iHeartRadio Original Podcast co-produced by iHeartMedia and Funny Or Die, this Sunday, August 11 across 270 of iHeartMedia’s broadcast stations, spanning a variety of music and spoken word radio formats including CHR, Hot AC, Country Rock, Urban, News/Talk and more.

Sunday Night Podcasts is part of iHeartMedia’s innovative “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” initiative that utilizes the company’s unparalleled consumer reach to introduce the rapidly growing podcast sector to iHeartMedia’s quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners. The upcoming Sunday Night Podcasts include but are not limited to:

(Broadcast times and podcasts vary by station format)
“We’re thrilled to bring some of the world’s best and most popular podcasts to our broadcast listeners every Sunday,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “iHeartMedia reaches 91 percent of the U.S. population with just our broadcast radio stations alone, so we’re uniquely able to provide the scale critical to introducing podcasts to the millions of Americans who aren’t yet familiar with them. Research shows that more than two-thirds of the population still are not dedicated podcast listeners -- many have never even heard a podcast before -- and Sunday Night Podcasts will help introduce different audio series from a variety of genres to a whole new audience.”

iHeartMedia’s “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” strategy has shown proven results with shows like the hit true-crime podcast “Disgraceland,” which aired on more than 70 Classic Rock broadcast radio stations in March of this year and saw a massive increase in listening yielding more than double the amount of the podcast’s typical downloads in the week following the broadcast. In addition, iHeartMedia has premiered episodes of “Family Secrets” and “Monster: The Zodiac Killer” exclusively on iHeartMedia’s broadcast radio stations across the country before they were available anywhere else.

iHeartMedia first leveraged its “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” strategy in October 2017, when Mark Ramsey’s much lauded “Inside Psycho” aired as a 1-hour special on more than 70 iHeartMedia News/Talk stations across the country. In June 2018, iHeartMedia announced a first-of-its-kind agreement with actor Anna Faris and Unqualified Media to bring her hit podcast, “Anna Faris is Unqualified,” to Top 40 broadcast radio and the iHeartPodcast Network.

iHeartMedia has continued to invest heavily in podcasting, from acquiring HowStuffWorks in 2018 to producing an ongoing slate of new iHeartRadio Original shows like “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” “Disgraceland,” “Chelsea Handler: Life will be the Death of Me,” “Noble Blood” and “Committed,” as well as fostering over a hundred shows from its on-air talent like the popular “Bobbycast” and “The Breakfast Club” radio show podcasts. These shows are distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app, which additionally distributes more than 250,000 shows.