Saturday, August 17, 2019

August 18 Radio History

Walter O'Keefe
➦In 1900...Walter O'Keefe born  (Died – June 26, 1983).  He was avsongwriter, actor, syndicated columnist, Broadway composer, radio legend, screenwriter, musical arranger and TV host.

O'Keefe was born in Hartford, CT, he began as a vaudeville performer in the midwest for several years. In 1925, he went to New York City and became a Broadway performer. By 1937, he wrote a syndicated humor column and filled-in for such radio personalities as Walter Winchell, Edgar Bergen, Don McNeill and Garry Moore. He became the long-time master of ceremonies of the NBC show Double or Nothing and was a regular on that network's Monitor series.

O'Keefe also worked in television, presiding over talk shows and quiz shows for the CBS network. Producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman hired him for their game show Two for the Money. When the show's usual host Herb Shriner had other commitments during the summer of 1954, O'Keefe took over for three months. He was the host for the first Emmy Awards ceremony, held on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of radio. He died in Torrance, California of congestive heart failure at the age of 82.

➦In 1927...Theodore H. Epp (January 27, 1907 - October 13, 1985) started his 'Back to Bible Broadcasts on radio. The broadcasts were heard worldwide on 800 stations in eight languages, until 1985.

➦In 1937...FCC issued first FM construction permit. W1XOJ/W43B/WGTR, Paxton, Mass. (Yankee Network) W1XOJ went on the air May 27, 1939, with 2000 watts on 43.0 MHz. On July 24, 1939, W1XOJ began operating on a schedule of 16 hours a day on the air (8 a.m. to midnight). Broadcasting magazine on Aug. 1, 1939, listed this as one of the four FM stations "in actual operation."

John Shepard
W1XOJ was the result of a partnership between Yankee Network owner John Shepard and FM inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong to explore the potential of inter-city FM networking. Programs were fed from the Yankee studios in Boston to Asnebumskit, and were picked up from there at stations on Mount Washington, N.H. and in Meriden, Connecticut. Other programs were picked up at Meriden from Armstrong's W2XMN in Alpine, N.J. and carried through Asnebumskit to Mount Washington.

In 1941, W1XOJ became commercial outlet W43B, with 300 kW ERP (50 kW TPO) on 44.3, as a sister to Boston's WNAC and WAAB. Two years later, Yankee moved WAAB to Worcester to escape the FCC's new anti-duopoly rule. While WAAB and W43B were nominally sister stations, they were never operated jointly (W43B was treated as a "Boston" station and operated from Yankee's Boston studios), and Yankee soon sold WAAB to new owners.

Edwin H. Armstrong
W43B eventually took new calls WGTR, moving to the new FM band on 103.1 and then on 99.1. In October 1948, the Yankee Network moved its FM operations to Boston, on the new WNAC-FM 98.5. WGTR's license was transferred to Eastern Radio, which apparently operated the station with “Transit Radio”, providing programming heard in city buses. The 1951 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WGTR once again under the ownership of the Yankee Network, but operating from the same 34 Mechanic Street address as WAAB, by then under Olin Company ownership.

WGTR faded from the scene completely within a year or two, as WAAB flirted with television. By 1961, WAAB was in the hands of Waterman Broadcasting, and when its new FM signal signed on that fall, it was as a simulcast of the full-service AM station. The simulcast lasted until 1967, when WAAB-FM split off from the AM with a stereo beautiful music format. In 1969, WAAB-FM became WAAF, adopting a freeform rock format at 107.3 FM that later evolved into album rock.

A power increase in 1970, to 16.5 kW at 780 feet above average terrain, gave WAAF a commanding signal that could be heard across most of Massachusetts, as well as large portions of eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and southern Vermont.

➦In 1961...Dan Daniel started at Top40 WMCA 570 AM.

Dan Daniel
He started as a disc jockey at age seventeen on Armed Forces Radio with the US Navy. His first commercial job was at KXYZ in Houston in 1955 and he then worked at WDGY in Minneapolis before moving to WMCA in 1961.

He started on the graveyard shift overnight but from 1962 to 1968 he played the top 40 hits from 4 pm to 7 pm — the evening drive home slot.  The station produced a survey of the current sales in New York record stores and Dandy Dan gave the countdown of the week's best sellers every Wednesday in this late afternoon slot.  From 1968 to 1970, he did the early morning drive-to-work slot before leaving WMCA after nearly nine years; his final broadcast was on 11 July 1970.

Dan was heard coast-to-coast on NBC Radio's "Monitor" in the summer of 1973.

He subsequently worked on WYNY-FM where he hosted the mid-day slot and later morning and afternoon drives. He then did a stint at WHN playing country music before returning to WYNY-FM. Finally, he moved to WCBS-FM in 1996. He retired from WCBS on December 31, 2002.

WMCA transitioned to talk in 1970, bringing an end of the “Good Guys” era.  It did well until rivals WOR and WABC flipped to talk through the early 1980s.   Salem Communications bought WMCA in 1988, which started the current Christian radio format.

➦In 1984...Flashback From R&R...

➦In 2014...announcer Don Pardo died (Born - February 22, 1918). His radio and television career  spanned more than seven decades.

A member of the Television Hall of Fame, Pardo was noted for his 70-year tenure with NBC, working as the announcer for early incarnations of such notable shows as The Price Is Right, Jackpot, Jeopardy!, Three on a Match, Winning Streak and NBC Nightly News. His longest, and best-known, announcing job was for NBC's Saturday Night Live, a job he held for 39 seasons, from the show's debut in 1975 until his death in 2014.

Pardo's first radio position at NBC affiliate WJAR in Providence starting in 1938. He joined NBC full-time as an in-house announcer in 1944, remaining on the network staff for 60 years. During World War II, Pardo worked as a war reporter for NBC Radio.

For more than 30 years, Pardo was one of the rotating announcers on the KFOG San Francisco radio show "Ten at Ten", appearing at 10 a.m. and in syndication with Dave Morey on KFOG HD Radio.

➦In 2018...Radio personality Scott Shannon reached a milestone - his 1000th broadcast at Classic Hits WCBS 101.1 FM NYC. Shannon joined WCBS-FM in March 2014 after he 'retired' from the morning show at WPLJ 95.5 FM.

Bob Pittman's Spotify Listening Figures Disputed

iHeartMedia's Bob Pittman
Bob Pittman came out swinging against Spotify in iHeartMedia’s recent Q2 earnings call. Now, according to Digital Music News reports Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has responded.

Pittman noted that quarterly digital revenue for iHeart increased by 32.8% year-over-year.  iHeart now reaches around 275 million Americans each month, which Pittman was quick to point out is more than the company’s two closest broadcast radio competitors.

Later in the call, Pittman fired shots at Spotify when explaining a fundamental difference between streaming and radio platforms.  Pittman said that 75% of iHeartMedia’s listening comes from 34% of its audience.  He contrasted that against Spotify and Pandora, attacking both streaming services.

Pittman cited the following stats for those services:
  • 73% of Spotify listening comes from 3% of their audience
  • 72% of Pandora listening comes from 5% of their audience
Without delving into specifics, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek quickly offered a retort on Twitter.

And now, the folks at Edison Research provide some clarification:

Twin Cities Radio: Brian Oake OUT At 89.3 The Current

Brian Oake and Jill Riley
Popular morning host Brian Oake and public radio station KCMP 89.3 The Current parted ways Friday after he was kicked out of a concert and responded with an angry, expletive-ridden Facebook post.

“Brian Oake is no longer with the Current,” said Angie Andresen, managing director for communications at Minnesota Public Radio. “We are grateful for his contributions over the past three years and we wish him all the best.”

He has been off the air without explanation for two weeks.

Oake raised ire and eyebrows the previous week with a now-removed Facebook post detailing how he and his 20-year-old daughter were kicked out of a July 31 concert by one of his favorite bands, Tenacious D.

According to his post, a staffer at the Palace Theatre escorted the two out after Oake’s daughter was caught taking a sip from his drink. He contended his daughter was simply taking ice out of the otherwise empty cup to stave off the heat, and he publicly called out the First Avenue/Palace staffer who ousted them.

Oake’s co-host, Jill Riley, also has been off the air. One of the Current’s longest-tenured staffers, she previously hosted the morning show for several years with Steve Seel, who is now in MPR’s classical department. She was on vacation last week, and fill-in hosts have been substituting this week.

Both her Twitter account and Oake’s have been suspended, apparently for posting songs in violation of the social-media site’s rules.

Oake joined the Current in March 2016 after leaving rival adult-pop station KTCZ Cities 97. In his three years at the Current, he often quipped on air about the rigidly corporate environment at his former station, which is owned by iHeartMedia/Clear Channel.

San Diego Radio: KMYI Teams Jesse & Tati For New Morning show

Jesse Lozano
KMYI Star 94.1 FM, San Diego has announced the debut of “Jesse and Tati in the Morning,” effective August 26. “Jesse and Tati in the Morning” will broadcast weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The show brings popular San Diego on-air personalities Jesse Lozano and Tati Santiago together as co-hosts.

“‘Jesse and Tati in the Morning’ will be an entertaining, San Diego-centric morning show that focuses on relatability, giving listeners a great variety of music to get their day started,” said Joe Haze, Program Director for Star 94.1 FM and Channel 93.3 FM.

Tati began her radio career in Honolulu, Hawaii at KIKI-FM. She then moved to San Diego in 2006 after accepting a position at XHTZ-FM. Her radio career took her to the east coast in 2013 to co-host morning drive at WPGC-FM in Washington, D.C. and after three years, Tati returned to San Diego where she most recently served as morning co-host at JAM’N 95.7.

Tati Santiago
Jesse is a San Diego native who began his radio career at Channel 93.3 FM as “Boy Toy Jesse.” In 2007, Jesse made the move to Los Angeles as host of afternoon drive at 102.7 KIIS-FM. While maintaining his afternoon drive show at 102.7 KIIS-FM, Jesse came back to San Diego in 2012 where he most recently served as host of “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” at Star 94.1 FM. 

“From beginning my radio career in Hawaii to now being able to work mornings with Jesse Lozano on Star is something I could’ve never dreamt up,” said Tati. “I’m excited to interact, laugh and dig the ‘sleepies’ out of my eyes with the San Diego community every morning.”

“I’ve been a fan of Tati's for a very long time and I feel so lucky to be teaming up with her,” said Jesse. “Adding her brand to Star mornings is an incredible opportunity and our listeners are in for a good time.”

CNN Analyst Plans To Sue Feds Over Suspension

Karem's back, Gorka Facing Camera
Playboy senior White House reporter and CNN political analyst Brian Karem said Friday he intends to sue the federal government over the temporary suspension of his White House hard pass credentials last month.

Karem’s credentials were taken away after an altercation with former White House aide Sebastian Gorka during a conservative social media summit in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 11.

Gorka and Karem got into a shouting match that was captured on video, after Karem described the summit participants as a “group of people that are eager for demonic possession."
After a bit of back and forth, Gorka shouted at Karem, “You're a punk, you're not a journalist, you're a punk.” Karem then told Gorka to “get a job.”

At one point, Karem suggested they take their conversation “outside,” although they were already in the Rose Garden.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a letter said she based the suspension decision on Karem’s “insulting invited guests,” threatening a physical altercation and not leaving when asked by a White House staffer during the event.

A letter written by Karem’s legal team Friday said the suspension violates his First Amendment and due process rights and was “yet another example of this administration’s unconstitutional campaign to punish reporters and press coverage that President Trump doesn’t like.”

Dierks Bentley To Host End of Summer Special

Dierks Bentley
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One has announced that multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will host Westwood One’s annual “Workin’ Hard Country” music special. This four-hour, end-of-summer blowout is available for radio stations nationwide to air over Labor Day weekend.

Bentley will showcase work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits from his own catalog and tunes from Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, and many other A-list Country stars. Many of the artists will also share stories about their pre-fame jobs.

Stations can air Westwood One’s Workin’ Hard Country with Dierks Bentley any time Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2, 2019, between 6:00 am and 12 midnight.

Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 6.4 billion overall digital streams.

The “ultra-personal material” (Rolling Stone) behind his current single “Living” follows Bentley’s 18th career No. One and ACM award-winning hit “Burning Man,” as he continues to reveal ambitious, complex sounds with lyrics inspired by his own personal journey through the writing and the recording of THE MOUNTAIN.

For more information, contact

R.I.P.: Actor Peter Fonda, Counterculture Icon

Peter Fonda, son of one of the great stars of the classic Hollywood era and a key player in the cinematic revolution that was “Easy Rider,” died Friday at his home in Los Angeles at age 79.

According to The L-A Times, the cause of death was given as respiratory failure due to lung cancer.

Son of Henry Fonda, brother to Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda truly made a name for himself with “Easy Rider,” the 1969 countercultural road trip saga, which he starred in, co-wrote and produced. The film, directed by Dennis Hopper, captured the uneasy moment of late ’60s America and is widely seen to have helped usher in a new era for Hollywood.

“Easy Rider” became the fourth highest-grossing movie of 1969 at the U.S. box office and was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998.

It also earned Fonda his first of two Academy Award nominations, for the film’s original screenplay co-written with Hopper and Terry Southern. His second came in the lead actor category for the 1997 independent film “Ulee’s Gold.”

Although, unlike his father and sister, Fonda never took home an Oscar, he did win two Golden Globes — for his supporting performance opposite Helen Mirren in the 1999 television film “The Passion of Ayn Rand” and for “Ulee’s Gold.” He received three additional nominations over the years.

In a statement on Friday, Jane Fonda said, “I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”

A separate statement from his family read, “In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. … And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

August 17 Radio History

➦In 1900...Quincy Howe born (Died from cancer at age 76 – February 17, 1977). He was best known for his CBS radio broadcasts during World War II.  Howe served as director of the American Civil Liberties Union before the Second World War, and as chief editor at Simon & Schuster from 1935 to 1942.

Quincy Howe
He once said that life began for him in 1939, when he began to broadcast news and commentary on WQXR radio in New York City.

Howe joined CBS in June 1942, doing the opening news summary on the radio network's The World Today newscast. He left CBS in 1947 to join ABC. In the fall of 1955, he hosted four episodes of the 26-week prime time series Medical Horizons on ABC before he was replaced in that capacity by Don Goddard.

Howe moderated the fourth and final Kennedy/Nixon debate on October 21, 1960. Howe retired from broadcasting in 1974.

➦In 1943...writer Norman Corwin’s first success debuted on CBS radio. It was Passport for Adams, starring Robert Young who played a small town newspaper editor. Norman Corwin earliest and biggest successes were in the writing and directing of radio drama during the 1930s and 1940s.

Corwin was among the first producers to regularly use entertainment—even light entertainment—to tackle serious social issues. He also wrote and produced such radio classics as This is War, An American in England and We Hold These Truths.

➦In 1963...Ed Gardner died at age 62 (Born - June 29, 1901). He is best remembered as the creator and star of the radio's popular Duffy's Tavern comedy series.

In the early 1940s, Gardner worked as a director, writer, and producer for radio programs. In 1941, he created a character for This Is New York, a program that he was producing. The character, which Gardner played, became Archie of Duffy's Tavern.

The successful radio program aired on CBS from 1941 to 1942, on the NBC Blue Network from 1942 to 1944, and on NBC from 1944 to 1951. Speaking in a nasal Brooklyn accent, and sounding like just about every working class New Yorker his creator had ever known, Gardner as Archie invariably began each week's show by answering the telephone and saying, "Duffy's Tavern, where the elite meet to eat, Archie the manager speaking, Duffy ain't here—oh, hello, Duffy."

Duffy the owner never appeared, but Archie did, with Gardner assuming the role himself after he could not find the right actor to play the role.

➦In 1969It was the third and final day the Woodstock Music Festival in Bethel, NY.  Performing were Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After, John Sebastian, Sha Na Na, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, the Band, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. 

➦In 1982...The first commercial compact disc was produced. It was a recording from 1979 of Claudio Arrau performing Chopin waltzes (Philips 400 025-2). Arrau was invited to the Langenhagen plant to press the start button. The first popular music CD produced at the new factory was The Visitors (1981) by ABBA.

Larry Johnson
➦In 2011...Radio personality Larry 'The Legend' Johnson died at age 78. The early years of his career included a stint at WKDA-AM, a Top 40 station in Nashville. He returned to WKDA after military service during WWII and then worked on-air and in management at WDXB-AM in Chattanooga.

Business connections led to work at WGN-AM and then WIND-AM in Chicago. He got tired of working nights and quit his job in Chicago. He ended up on television at WLUK-TV in Green Bay.

During the 1970s, he found a new gig at WZUU in Milwaukee, where his southern accent and on-air style proved popular. Later, he worked for WISN.

Radio listeners loved his unorthodox spin on the news. When garbage workers made headlines, he went to work with them, returning to the air with a newfound respect for those who did that job every day. He liked being involved with charitable causes, raising money for his "Love Fund" to benefit those in need.

Marge Thrasher
➦In 2012…Longtime Memphis TV and radio personality Marge Thrasher died at the age of 78.

Thrasher became a public figure when she joined the worlds first all-girl radio station, WHER, in Memphis in 1960. Seven years later she expanded her role on the station with a listener call in show, said to be the first such format in Memphis radio. It worked so well, Memphis television station WHBQ-TV hired her to do a morning interview and call in program on Channel 13. The show was called "Straight Talk," She continued in the role of morning show host for nearly 20 years.

"'She could have been the white Oprah Winfrey,' her friend, radio personality George Klein told The Commercial Appeal. She especially enjoyed her interviews with such notables as Elvis Presley, Julia Child, Dolly Parton, Nancy Reagan, and Billy Graham

After television, Marge Thrasher had a career in Memphis real estate.

➦In 2012…Denver radio personality Charley Martin, who was part of the dominant morning team from the 1970s to 1990s KHOW radio, died at age 67.

Charley Martin
He was half of "Hal and Charley," the dominant morning team on Denver's KHOW, launched in 1976 and lasting for decades. The two started in radio in Des Moines, Iowa, when Martin was in high school, working weekends with Moore at KSO, a top-40 station.

Martin holds a key place in Denver radio history.  "When humorous deejays were the big thing on AM radio, he and Hal Moore were among the best," said Dusty Saunders, the longtime media critic for the Rocky Mountain News and a current contributor to The Denver Post. "Morning drive time belonged to them," and they regularly scored "enormous ratings," he said.

The duo holds a claim to broader pop-culture history as well: in the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film "The Shining," Hal and Charley's KHOW show can be heard on the car radio on the approach to the hotel.

"Hal and Charley, they were the brand, like Huntley and Brinkley. They shaped Denver media in the '70s and '80s," said Chuck Lontine, a longtime radio executive who worked with the pair early in their career.

KHOW dropped the show in 1995 when it switched to a more issue-oriented talk format.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Jimmy Kimmel, Others Draw Hefty FCC Fines

Simulated wireless alert tones used in a “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” skit making fun of a presidential alert test have cost Walt Disney Co’s ABC $395,000 in civil fines with the FCC, according to Reuters.

AMC Networks separately on Thursday agreed to pay a $104,000 fine for using an alert tone in a February 2019 episode of the “The Walking Dead.” The commission handed down smaller fines to Discovery’s Animal Planet and Meruelo Radio Holdings for other violations.

The use of emergency alert system or wireless emergency alert tones are barred by FCC rules “to avoid confusion when the tones are used, alert fatigue among listeners, and false activation of the system by the operative data elements contained in the alert tones,” the agency said.

Discovery agreed to pay a $68,000 civil penalty because during an episode of Animal Planet’s “Lone Star Law” contained an actual wireless emergency alert tone. The crew was filming Texas Game Wardens following Hurricane Harvey and caught the tone of a real wireless alert received by phones during filming.

Meruelo paid $67,000 for broadcasting a simulated signal in a promotion for its morning show on southern California-based radio stations KDAY and KDEY-FM.

ABC said in a statement it takes “regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue.” In its consent decree with the FCC, it admitted it did broadcast the tones “in the absence of an actual emergency” or authorized test in an Oct. 3, 2018 broadcast.

The late-night comedy show used a simulated wireless emergency alert tone three times during a sketch regarding the nationwide presidential wireless emergency alert test that took place that day.

ABC told the FCC the tones were improperly included in the episode because a “misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible.” The FCC said ABC took steps to remove the portion of the episode containing the tones from its website and other online streaming sites, and decided not to rebroadcast the episode.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in October 2018 sent presidential wireless alerts to millions of mobile phones that triggered a loud tone, a special vibration and a message reading: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Warren Urges Closer Scrutiny Of Media Mergers

Democratic President hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling for federal regulators to look more closely at a wave of mergers involving entertainment giants, reports The Hill.

“First Disney acquired 21st Century Fox. Now CBS and Viacom are merging. Consolidation raises serious concerns for consumers, employees, and the entire sector. The Department of Justice should be paying close attention,” Warren tweeted Thursday.

The planned CBS-Viacom merger, announced Tuesday, would result in an entertainment conglomerate bringing in more than $28 billion in revenue.

In another high-profile merger earlier this month, Gannett and Gatehouse, the two largest newspaper companies in the nation, announced they would combine.

Warren has frequently warned that consolidation among America’s biggest companies that may run afoul of antitrust laws, often specifically addressing the tech sector.

In March, the Massachusetts senator published a plan to break up major tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, arguing their market domination has stifled competition.

San Diego Radio: Delana Extends PM Drive Shift On KMYI

Delana Bennett
iHeartMedia's KMYI Star 94.1 FM, San Diego has named Delana Bennett as 2-6 PM Drive Host, effective September 3.

Bennett will broadcast weekday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to hosting afternoon drive, Bennett has also been named Assistant Program Director for Star 94.1 FM.

Bennett has been a familiar voice in San Diego for almost 20 years. She is known for her fun, outgoing personality and the ability to make people smile with her unique brand of humor. As afternoon drive host, Bennett will provide entertaining features that focus on celebrity gossip with “Delana’s Dish,” heartwarming and inspiring stories with “Good News,” and crazy headlines and happenings from the great state of Florida with “WTF: What The Florida.”

Bennett, who previously served as an on-air personality on “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” on Star 94.1 FM since 2012, was also an on-air personality on the “Jeff and Jer Showgram.” Prior to her tenure at Star 94.1 FM, she also co-hosted the “Greg & Delana Show” on XHRM-FM in San Diego. Originally from Florida, Bennett graduated from the University of Florida and began her career at WRUF-FM in Gainesville, Florida.

“No doubt with Delana’s brand and market equity, she will elevate the listening experience every afternoon for San Diego commuters,” said Joe Haze, Program Director for Star 94.1 FM and Channel 93.3. “Delana’s ability to connect with listeners and relate to Star 94.1 FM’s busy adult audience makes her an ideal host for afternoon drive.”

“What an incredible opportunity,” said Bennett. “I can’t wait to entertain San Diego on the way home and connect with our listeners. A special thank you to iHeartMedia for believing in me and Jesse Lozano and our morning crew for an incredible seven years together.”

Bennett has been voice-tracking part of the afternoon hour already.

Relevant Radio To Acquire 9 Stations, 4 Translators From Salem Media

Relevant Radio has entered into an agreement with Salem Media Group to purchase nine AM stations and four FM translators in eight markets. 

Salem Media Group has agreed to sell stations to Relevant Radio in Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, St. Louis, Denver, and Youngstown for $8,732,125. This transaction, combined with purchases earlier this year of Salem stations in Washington, D.C., Miami, and Tampa, will allow Relevant Radio to expand its reach by an additional 60,000,000 persons.

In total, Relevant Radio is purchasing 14 AM stations and 7 FM translators from Salem for $17,700,000. The addition of these new stations will give Relevant Radio overall coverage of 220,000,000 people in the United States over a network of 163 owned and operated and affiliate stations.

The stations involved are: Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta...Spanish Christian WWDJ 1150 Boston...Spanish Christian KTNO 1440 Dallas...Business KDMT 1690 Denver...Business 1110 KTEK / K241CM 96.1 FM Houston...Conservative Talk KRDY 1160 San Antonio...Gospel WSDZ 1260 Belleville IL / K236CS 95.1 FM St. Louis... Conservative Talk KXFN 105.3 FM /  287BY St. Louis and WHKZ 1440  AM /W298CX 107.5 FM Youngstown, OH.

“We are grateful to God and our supporters that we can reach more souls with our inspiring and life-changing programs, spreading a message of hope and peace across America,” said Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio. “Salem has a well-earned reputation of maintaining their stations in excellent condition and we are fortunate to make this purchase at this time”, said Hoffman.

With the purchase of these stations, Relevant Radio will broadcast in all top ten markets, and 22 of the top 25 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Tom Vorpahl, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “It is very humbling and rewarding to experience how powerful the message of the Gospel is and can be to our listeners. We look forward to continuing our Mission of sharing the Truth and Beauty of the Church in these new markets.”

Mark Jorgenson of Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage facilitated the transaction, with Mark Denbo serving Relevant Radio as FCC counsel and Nicolet Bank of Green Bay, Wisconsin providing the financing.

Indy Radio: iHM Launches Spoiler CHR 97.5 KissFM

iHeartMedia/Indianapolis has announced the debut of the new CHR W248AW 97.5 KISS FM via WOLT 103.3 FM-HD3.  The station is launching with a commercial-free promotion.

The new station will also broadcast a blend of Contemporary Hit Radio music from top artists including Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone and Drake. Listeners can also tune in to hear an array of on-air personalities including KD, Rucker, Jake B and Catalina.

“We are thrilled that our listeners can now listen to their favorite songs and hit music that they love without commercial interruption,” said Dave Hill, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Indianapolis. “97.5 KISS FM is going to energize our listeners and shakeup the Hit Radio/Top 40 landscape.” The station becomes the third CHR signal in the market.

“We are thrilled to bring the KISS-FM brand to Indy,” said Brett Beshore, Market President for iHeartMedia Indianapolis. “The music, events and personalities featured on 97.5 KISS FM is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.”

'Hot Mic' Catches Norah O'Donnell Comment

During a Tuesday night segment on the sexual harassment accusations against opera star Placido Domingo, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell was caught on a hot mic saying what sounded like, “Sounds like somebody else here…”

According to The Wrap, O’Donnell was overheard during a portion of the report in which Domingo said he believed all relationships in his past were consensual. But her comment was scrubbed from the audio when the clip was uploaded to the CBS website.

CBS has faced plenty of scrutiny during the #MeToo era. O’Donnell’s former “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose was dropped by the network in 2017  after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.

In 2018, while still on “CBS This Morning.” O’Donnell addressed the forced resignation of network CEO Les Moonves, which came after multiple women accused the media mogul of sexual harassment or assault.

She said Moonves had always treated her “fairly and with respect,” but she’d had “another sleepless night” thinking about the accusations against him.

Advertisers Blacklisting Online News Stories

More and more companies are insisting their ads for online news sites do not appear near articles that contain any of a long list of words, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Big advertisers have been burned several times in recent years when their digital ads appeared next to offensive content, including fabricated news articles, hateful or racist videos on YouTube and pornographic material.

Wall Street Journal graphic
Such miscues happen, in part, because of the complexities of online ad-buying, where brands generally target certain kinds of audiences rather than specific sites or types of content. It has become clear to advertisers that one way to protect themselves is to stipulate the websites or types of web content they want to avoid, and ensure their partners—digital ad brokers and publishers—honor those wishes.

Marketers have used blacklists for years to sidestep controversy. Airlines avoided articles dealing with airline crashes, for instance. Now those blacklists are becoming more sophisticated, specific and extensive, ad executives said.

The ad-blacklisting threatens to hit publications’ revenue and is creating incentives to produce more lifestyle-oriented coverage that is less controversial than hard news. Some news organizations are investing in technologies meant to gauge the way news stories make readers feel in the hopes of persuading advertisers that there are options for ad placement other than blacklisting.

Consumer-products company Colgate-Palmolive Co. , sandwich chain Subway and fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. are among the many companies blocking digital ad placements in hard news to various degrees, according to people familiar with those companies’ strategies.

Some companies are creating keyword blacklists so detailed as to make almost all political or hard-news stories off-limits for their ads. “It is de facto news blocking,” said Megan Pagliuca, chief data officer at Hearts & Science, an ad-buying firm owned by Omnicom Group Inc.

The use of lengthy keyword lists “is going to force publishers to do lifestyle content and focus on that at the expense of investigative journalism or serious journalism,” said Nick Hewat, commercial director for the Guardian, a U.K. publisher. “That is a long-term consequence of this sort of buying behavior.”

NYC Radio: WQHT's Nessa Rips Jay-Z Over NFL Deal

Colin Kaepernick's longtime girlfriend slammed Jay-Z's partnership with the NFL Wednesday, saying he was working with an organization that had blackballed Kaepernick. reports NBC News.

“I don’t mind you doing a business deal — but I do mind you wrapping it in social justice when you’re working with an organization that denies someone an opportunity," Nessa Diab said on WQHT Hot 97 radio station.

Diab was reacting to statements Jay-Z made at a news conference Wednesday with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell where the two discussed a new partnership.

The NFL and Jay-Z's entertainment and sports representation company, Roc Nation, announced Tuesday they were teaming up for events and social activism.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, said the deal had been in the works over the last seven months. Wednesday's news conference was held on the third anniversary of Kaepernick's first pre-game protest.

Kaepernick was invoked multiple times at Wednesday's news conference. The first question Jay-Z was asked was why he partnered with the NFL despite its fraught relationship with Kaepernick.

“We forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” Jay-Z responded. “In that case, this is a success. This is the next thing, because there are two parts to the protest — you go out and protest, and the company and individual says, ‘I hear you. What do we do next?’”

Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the 2016 season, when he began kneeling through the national anthem before games to protest police brutality against people of color and racial inequality.

Jay-Z has been among Kaepernick’s most public supporters. He said Wednesday he had spoken to Kaepernick, but declined to provide details about their conversation.

Diab said this was untrue and that Kaepernick was never included in any discussion with Jay-Z or the NFL ahead of the deal being announced.

Steve Gorman Of The Black Crowes To Host Radio Show

Steve Gorman
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announced Thursday that it will launch a new live weeknight show for Classic Rock radio, Steve Gorman Rocks!

The five-hour program is hosted by The Black Crowes co-founder and former Fox Sports Radio personality. Steve Gorman Rocks! will launch on more than 20 stations on September 9, 2019, and will air live Monday through Friday, 7 pm to Midnight, in all time zones across America.

Steve Gorman is the drummer and founding member of the iconic American rock band The Black Crowes. For three decades he has toured the world relentlessly, performing with artists who are mainstays of Classic Rock playlists today, from AC/DC to ZZ Top, including the Stones, Aerosmith, Heart, Metallica, and Jimmy Page. With Steve Gorman Rocks! Steve is serving up a fresh take on Classic Rock radio. The show will feature timeless Classic Rock music while weaving in Steve’s extraordinary storytelling and perspective from the road and the main stage. The show will also have special guest artists and friends, up-to-the-minute information on concert tours and festivals, music news, and other topical lifestyle subjects. Steve Gorman Rocks! will feature interactive live listener engagement on-air and via social media.

April Rose
The program will include audio and video content from April Rose, a well-known social media personality with more than two million followers. Rose’s past work includes on-camera host and content creator for and She’s hosted MTV Spring Break in Cancun, been a season regular on MTV and MTV2’s break-out shows “Guy Code” and “Girl Code,” plus VH1’s “I Love The 2000’s” and “Top 100 Hottest Rock Stars of All Time.”

“I’ve toured the world for over 25 years, leaving a small piece of my sanity at every stop,” says Steve. “’Steve Gorman Rocks!’ is a natural extension of the life I’ve lived. I’ve got a unique perspective on the rock music we all love and plenty of stories to share. We’re gonna have a blast!”

“Steve brings current, relatable experiences from the rock world to the radio. The guy’s really compelling!” said Kirk Stirland, President of Programming, Westwood One. “With a foundation firmly planted in the rock music scene and real time use of social media and live interaction, Steve Gorman Rocks! will be a talked-about show on Classic Rock stations.”

“Steve Gorman is a great addition to the line-up of star power here at Westwood One,” added Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “He will both anchor and amplify weeknights on Classic Rock radio.”

Steve Gorman began his radio career in 2011 with Steve Gorman SPORTS!, which aired in Nashville. The show was later syndicated nationally on Fox Sports Radio. Over the last year, Gorman penned his memoir, “Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes,” which is being published by Hachette next month. His current band, Trigger Hippy, is planning an October album release titled “Full Circle and Then Some.”

Executive producers for Steve Gorman Rocks! will be Troy Hanson, well-known rock radio programmer, who’ll lead the production team, and Classic Rock radio expert Scott Jameson, from hugely successful KQRS-FM/Minneapolis, who will program the music.

For more information on how “Steve Gorman Rocks!” can rock your station at night contact Todd Alan (212) 735-1107.

Global Smart Speaker Sales Soar

Global sales of smart speakers continued to soar in the second quarter of 2019, reaching 30.3 million units, nearly double the same period in 2018, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

With a 21.9% share Amazon remained the leading brand, although its share has fallen from 29.1% in Q2 2018. Google retained second place, followed by Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi. Apple’s smart speaker sales increased 81% compared to a year earlier, but its share fell slightly and it remained in sixth place.

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Smart Speakers and Screens (SSS) service, Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q2 2019 can be found here.

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “Q2 sales increased in all regions, both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, and Asia-Pacific remained the largest region. The continued surge in demand for smart speakers in China has led us to marginally increase our full year 2019 global forecast to 148.8 million units and we now expect the global installed base of smart speakers to exceed 260 million units by the end of the year.”

David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics, added , “Demand for smart speakers shows little sign of plateauing, even in more mature markets like the US where ownership has now reached 30% of households. Huge potential remains in untapped regions where local language support has been limited. The arrival of language localized devices in large markets like Russia, Mexico and Brazil will support further demand growth in the coming months and years.”

Westwood One News Marks Woodstock Anniversary

 This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Westwood One News will have full coverage all weekend, featuring correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reporting from Bethel Woods, New York and 50-year old sound from the Westwood One News archives.

It was the summer of 1969. Four hundred thousand people converged on a local farm in upstate New York to hear 32 of the top musical acts of the time. The 600-acre farm was overwhelmed with intense heat, rain and mud, and Woodstock became a legendary scene of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It also spawned an Academy Award winning film, soundtrack album, and major hit song.

In addition to this weekend’s coverage, Westwood One will also celebrate Woodstock’s golden anniversary with a half-hour special, Woodstock: A Festival for the Ages. The news retrospective, hosted by correspondent Mike Moss, will run Labor Day weekend and will explore Woodstock’s legacy with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews.

This special Westwood One News content is available to affiliated stations for unlimited use from Thursday, August 29, 2019 through Monday, September 2, 2019.

Stations interested in learning more about Westwood One News can contact Jim Jones at or (202) 840-7933.

Memphis Tigers Radio Network Snags New Affiliates

Tiger Sports Properties (TSP), the multimedia rightsholder for University of Memphis Athletics and locally-based Learfield IMG College team, has announced new affiliate radio partners and staff changes for the Memphis Tiger Radio Network.

The Memphis Tiger Radio Network added three affiliates for the 2019 football and men's basketball seasons, expanding into nearby Arkansas and Mississippi. The three stations are owned by Force 3 Radio Network.

In Mississippi, Tiger broadcasts can be heard on WNEV 98.7 Friars Point.  In Arkansas, KAKJ 105.3 FM Marianna and KCLT 104.9 FM West Helena will carry Memphis football and men's basketball games.

The new stations join returning affiliates WNQM 1300 AM in Nashville; WKBQ 93.5 FM in Covington; and WJAK 1460AM/96.1 FM in Jackson, Tennessee.

According to Force 3 Radio President & CEO Raymond Simes, "We're very excited to have Tiger broadcasts on the maximum music force, Delta Force 3. Our three radio stations now include the great sounds of Memphis football and men's basketball for all the fans in our listening area."

 Additionally, TSP announced plans to honor former pre/post-game host Forrest Goodman for the 2019 season. The broadcast desk will be called the Forrest Goodman Broadcast Desk and all radio staff will wear FG pins in his memory during the year. A long-time member of the Tiger Radio Network, Goodman passed away in June.   

The voice of the pre/post-game shows from the Forrest Goodman Broadcast Desk will be Jeff Brightwell. Brightwell assumes duties as the football and men's basketball show host, along with hosting duties of the seasonal Coach Mike Norvell and Penny Hardaway Radio Shows.

Taking over the sideline duties this season will be Greg Gaston, a long-time member of the Mid-South broadcasting community, including his current role as the co-host of Middays with Greg & Eli on Sports56 WHBQ. The former sports director for ABC24/UPN30 for 12 years, Gaston also served as a host on WKNO's Sports Files for four years.

NAB Issues Congressional PSAs

Public service announcements (PSAs) featuring members of Congress have been distributed to television and radio stations across the country through the 2019 NAB Congressional PSA Campaign. The program invites members of Congress and their families to be featured in free, professionally-produced spots that address issues of importance to their constituents.

A total of 303 members of Congress (or their spouses or family members) participated in this year’s PSA campaign. NAB has hosted the biannual campaign in off-election years since 1985.

"The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign provides legislators and their families an opportunity to share pro-social messages that can have a positive impact on communities across America," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. "Local radio and TV broadcasters will be generously donating airtime for this initiative as part of our commitment to serving local communities."

The PSAs will air on local stations in congressional districts and/or states through the end of 2019. PSA topics include support for veterans, prescription drug / opioid abuse prevention, support for small businesses, cancer prevention, mental health awareness, and encouraging blood donations.

R.I.P. CJ Morgan, Longtime NOLA, Memphis Radio Personality

C.J. Morgan, a popular and top-rated morning radio host in New Orleans for nearly two decades, has died.

He was 63, according to WWL-TV4.

Friends and fellow broadcasters, as well as Morgan’s former employer, WQUE 93.3 FM, posted the news of his death Wednesday. He had suffered from health problems in recent years, friends said.

Morgan, whose real last name was Monix, spent nearly 15 years as a morning radio co-host on Q-93. 

He was known for his smooth on-air style and positive personality, as well as his ebullient catchphrase, “Good Morgan! Good Morgan! Good Morgan!”

A native of Clarksdale, Miss., who attended Memphis State University as a music major, Morgan came to New Orleans in the late 1980s after a successful run on Memphis radio. He also worked in radio in Tampa.

In 2007, he was fired from his job at Q-93 when its corporate owner decided to replace local programming with a syndicated show.

Morgan later joined the talk radio staff at WBOK-AM. He more recently worked at WLOK in Memphis, where his career began.

R.I.P.: Bill Parker, Revered Binghamton NY Radio Broadcaster

Bill Parker
Broadcasting legend Bill Parker has passed away at the age of 91, Parker's daughter told WNBF 1290 AMon Thursday.

Known and loved by thousands Bill Parker had a storied broadcasting career at WNBF Radio and WNBF Televison Channel 12 (now WBNG).  His career spanned well over six decades.

He passed away overnight at the Vestal Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Vestal, NY.

Bill Parker came to the market in 1948 to begin his career at WNBF Radio.  Shortly after he was a key personality as WNBF TV began operation.  He spent decades hosting his variety program on WNBF Radio. He combined music, interviews and entertainment to earn a large following.  On television, thousands of children appeared on his "TV Ranch Club". Others joined him on the "Officer Bill Show"  He also became a popular personalty as "The Atlantic Weatherman".

Upon his full-time retirement from WNBF Radio in 1999, he continued to work on various freelance projects and made numerous personal appearances in the area, according to the WNBF website.

Known as "The Dean of Broadcasting", Bill was honored at WNBF's 90th Anniversary Gala celebration at the Roberson Museum. He received numerous awards and honors during his career.  He was inducted into the Binghamton Broadcaster's Hall of Fame and in 2015 was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame in New York City.