Saturday, December 28, 2019

December 29 Radio History

➦In 1891...Thomas A. Edison patented "transmission of signals electrically" (radio).

Wendell Niles, Marilyn Monroe 1952
➦In of the prominent announcers of big-time radio & early TV Wendell Niles was born in Twin Valley Minnesota.

Niles worked on such radio shows as The Charlotte Greenwood Show, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, The Man Called X, The Bob Hope Show, The Burns & Allen Show, The Milton Berle Show and The Chase and Sanborn Hour. On February 15, 1950, Wendell starred in the radio pilot for The Adventures of the Scarlet Cloak along with Gerald Mohr.

Wendell Niles
He began in entertainment by touring in the 1920s with his own orchestra, playing with the Dorsey Brothers and Bix Beiderbecke. In the early 1930s, Niles was an announcer at radio station KOL in Seattle. He moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1935 to join George Burns and Gracie Allen.

He and his brother, Ken, developed one of the first radio dramas, which eventually became Theatre of the Mind.

He toured with Bob Hope during World War II. Among his film credits are Knute Rockne, All American (1940) with Ronald Reagan and Hollywood or Bust (the last Martin & Lewis comedy, 1956) as himself.

Wendell Niles was the announcer for TV's "America's Show Of Surprises"... It Could Be You, and for the Hatos-Hall production Your First Impression. Niles was also the original announcer for Let's Make a Deal during that show's first season in 1963 and 1964; he was later replaced by Jay Stewart.

Niles and his brother, Ken, are the first brothers to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He died March 28 1994 at age 89.

➦In 1945...Sheb Wooley recorded the first commercial record made in Nashville. The song was recorded at the studios of WSM-AM and released by the Bullet label; but it would be 13 years before Wooley would finally score with a big hit (“The Purple People Eater” was #1 for six weeks in 1958.)

WSM is credited with helping shape Nashville into a recording industry capital. Because of WSM's wide reach, musical acts from all across the eastern United States came to Nashville in the early decades of the station's existence, in hopes of getting to perform on WSM.  Over time, as more acts and recording companies came to Nashville, the city became known as the center of the country music industry. Disc jockey David Cobb is credited with first referring to Nashville as "Music City USA", a designation that has since been adopted as the city's official nickname by the local tourism board.

➦In 1945...The mystery voice of "Mr. Hush" was introduced to the audience of the radio show, "Truth or Consequences", which was hosted by Ralph Edwards.

Ralph Edwards
Born in Merino, Colorado,  Edwards worked for KROW Radio in Oakland, California while he was still in high school.  Before graduating from high school in 1931, he worked his way through college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1935. While there, he worked at every job from janitor to producer at Oakland's KTAB, now KSFO. Failing to get a job as a high school teacher, he worked at KFRC and then hitchhiked across the country to New York, where, he said, "I ate ten-cent ($2 as of 2014),  meals and slept on park benches".

After some part-time announcing jobs, he got his big break in 1938 with a full-time job for the Columbia Broadcasting System on WABC (now WCBS-AM), where he worked with two other young announcers who would become broadcasting fixtures - Mel Allen and Andre Baruch.

It was Edwards who introduced Major Bowes every week on the Original Amateur Hour and Fred Allen on Town Hall Tonight. Edwards perfected a chuckling delivery, sounding as though he was in the midst of telling a very funny story. This "laugh in the voice" technique served him well when 20th Century Fox hired him to narrate the coming-attractions trailers for Laurel and Hardy movies. He later used the conspiratorial chuckle frequently when surprising someone on his programs.

In 1940, Edwards created the game show Truth or Consequences, which aired for 38 years on radio and television. Contestants were asked to perform (often ridiculous) stunts for prizes of cash or merchandise.

➦In 1958...the first radio broadcast from space occurred when the voice of President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men Everywhere".

➦In 1963...Much to the chagrin of the disc jockeys at 50,000-watt 77WABC in New York, the 5,000-watt blowtorch known as WMCA 570 AMand its famed “Good Guys” became the first New York radio station to play the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It didn’t take long for WABC to get revenge. WABC played the record an hour later and started calling itself the “official” Beatles station (W-A-Beatle-C).

Throughout the 1960s, WMCA would continue to beat other radio stations on most Beatles' promotions, scoring firsts, causing headaches in particular for rival WABC - most notably when Capitol Records printed a photograph of the "Good Guys" line-up - on the back of a limited edition record sleeve for the single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Side 2: "I Saw Her Standing There"). WMCA's Good Guys were also featured at both of the Beatles' concerts at Shea Stadium, on August 15, 1965 and on August 23, 1966.

WMCA Good Guys: Johnny Dark, Joe O'Brien, Jack Spector, B. Mitchel Reed. Harry Harrison
WABC responded in different ways, scoring a success during the Beatles' second New York visit in August 1964 - when the band stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, rousing thousands of teenage fans into a frenzy - while broadcasting from one floor above the Beatles' rooms.  WABC later went against its own music policies, promising promoter Sid Bernstein that it would play a new group he was handling before any other New York City radio station - if it could get exclusive access to the Beatles. WABC never added records "out of the box" - but it did for Sid Bernstein when it played The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Going To Eat Out My Heart Anymore" - before other radio stations.

Since WABC knew WMCA already had a relationship with the Beatles, with tapes of the group promoting the station - what could WABC do to achieve the same? In August 1965, WABC came up with what it thought was a brilliant idea - issuing "medals" called "The Order of the All-Americans" - tied to its own DJs.  The strategy was to present the medals to each of the Beatles the next time they were in New York. Everything was set. The goal was to get each Beatle to comment on the "medal" - and then to get each to say the station's call letters, "W-A-B-C." These in turn could be used in station IDs and promotions, etc. - thus matching WMCA's success at getting the Beatles to promote WMCA and its Good Guys. But WABC's plan backfired. The station got its interviews, but none of the band's members would utter WABC's call letters. According to Beatles' historian Bruce Spizer, manager Brian Epstein ordered the Beatles to stop "giving away valuable promotional spots to radio stations for free."

NYC Radio: Don Imus Put WFAN 'On the Map'

Don Imus, WFAN
Although Imus In the Morning aired on a sports station, it dabbled in news, politics and entertainment. The show has been credited with helping the station establish its footing in the New York City market by providing a highly-rated lead-in to other programming.

"Imus put this station truly on the map," said Mark Chernoff, WFAN's vice president of programming. "And he was the springboard for the success that came afterward."

1010 WINS reports that Chernoff, in an interview with WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM Friday, added, "It really was an amazing 14 years working with Imus. We'd go on the road to do remotes in cities where we had affiliated stations. It was amazing -- we could do a remote here in New York and six people might show up sometimes. But you'd go to Bangor, Maine, and there would be 2,000 people in an auditorium. He was kind of taken for granted in New York in a lot of ways which is really pretty funny because of all the ratings and all the things he had done."

He added, "I saw so many of the good things that people didn't always see."

WFAN Host Mike Francesa, who co-hosted the "Mike and the Mad Dog" afternoon drive show for nearly all of Imus' run on WFAN, called into the station Friday to discuss his friend and mentor.

"When you write the history of radio, Paul Harvey's name will be there. Howard Stern's name will be there. Hopefully Mike and the Mad Dog's name will be somewhere near the top. But Don Imus will be in the top three or four, for sure," Francesa said. "He was one of the real radio icons.

"The idea of a sports station taking off at the beginning was crazy. No one thought it was possible. And because of what Imus gave us in terms of revenue, in terms of name value, in terms of branding, in terms of stability allowed the rest of us to build a sports legacy on top of what he had already established. And that's where FAN came from, and that's why FAN is now one of the iconic brands in the history of radio."

Imus' unsparing on-air persona was tempered by his off-air philanthropy, raising more than $40 million for groups including the CJ Foundation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He ran a New Mexico ranch for dying children, and often used his radio show to "solicit" guests for donations.

A pediatric medical center bearing Imus' name was opened at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

TV Ratings: Fox Network Poised for 18-49 Broadcast Win

Broadcast TV saw a shakeup in the Nielsen rankings this autumn, with Fox poised to grab its first fall TV ratings win among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic in a decade, and NBC set to snap CBS’ 18-year total viewers winning streak, reports The Wrap.

Fox is also going to claim its first-ever fall ratings victory among the key demo when counting entertainment shows only — so excluding the ratings it gets for sports programs like “Thursday Night Football” — thanks mainly to “The Masked Singer,” which premiered its second season in September, and the strong ratings for Season 3 of Ryan Murphy’s first-responder drama “9-1-1.”

Meanwhile, NBC’s first fall win in total viewers in 20 years is thanks to the continued success of “Sunday Night Football” (the highest-rated and most-watched primetime program), “This Is Us” and “The Voice.” The viewership for Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” dramas doesn’t hurt either.

The Wrap notes it’s important to note here that NBC’s domination over CBS in overall eyeballs comes in the first fall since long-running sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” which was both a ratings and viewership winner, ended.

While “fall” doesn’t officially end for Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC until Dec. 29, individuals with knowledge of the Nielsen data tell TheWrap these rankings aren’t likely to be affected by this past week’s primetime numbers — which are famously low due to the Christmas holiday. So Fox and NBC’s respective wins are pretty much on lock.

Most-Watch Networks of 2019 (Total Viewers)

Courtesy of Variety

Top 15 Broadcast Networks Of 2019 (Adults 18-49)

Courtesy of Variety

Spotify To Suspend Political Ads In 2020

Spotify is suspending the sale of political advertising on its platform, the company told Ad Age Friday.

Spotify said in a statement that it will pause political advertising in early 2020 across its ad-supported tier—which boosts 141 million users— as well as the streaming giant’s original and exclusive podcasts, some of which include “The Joe Budden Podcast” and “Amy Schumer Presents.” The move only applies to the U.S., as Spotify doesn’t run political ads in other countries.

“At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” the company said in a statement to Ad Age. “We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”

Presidential hopefuls such as Bernie Sanders and organizations such as the Republican National Committee have both advertised on Spotify. Though the company declined to share how much revenue it generates from political ads, a person familiar with its advertising business said it's not a significant revenue generator for the company, especially when compared to Spotify's largest money makers, such as entertainment ads for movies or shows.

Spotify joins other tech companies like Twitter and Google, which are grappling in their own ways with political messaging ahead of a likely-polarizing 2020 presidential election. For its part, Spotify says it has opted to work on its tech before reintroducing political ads to its platform at a future, unknown date.

Twitter has placed a permanent kibosh on political advertising. While Google’s effort on the matter is more nuanced, as it’s removed the ability to micro-target individuals based on their political affiliation through Google Search and YouTube. Facebook, meanwhile, is firmly entrenched with its decision not to fact check political ads run on its platform.

Spotify's latest policy covers political organizations such as candidates for office, elected and appointed officials, Super PACs, nonprofits and political parties. It also removes content that advocates for or against political entities and legislative or judicial outcomes. The company will not, however, control political ads that are embedded in for third-party podcasts, though they will still be subject to Spotify’s content policy.

Analyst: Apple Sold $6B Worth Of AirPods In 2019

Wearables are easily among the most exciting market opportunities for Apple, with CEO Tim Cook saying the segment is enjoying "explosive growth," reports USAToday.

Based on Cook's habit of measuring revenue relative to the Fortune 500, Apple's wearables revenue is now approximately $18.9 billion. The broader wearables market saw global unit volumes nearly double in the third quarter, according to recent estimates from market researcher IDC.

With 2019 winding down, Apple may have sold $6 billion worth of AirPods throughout the year. That could more than double in 2020.

In a recent research note to investors, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi pegged Apple's 2019 AirPods revenue at $6 billion. The analyst believes that AirPods units could more than double to 85 million in 2020, bringing in $15 billion in sales next year. That would represent around 3.5% of Apple's total expected revenue for the year.

The tech giant released second-generation AirPods in March, followed by higher-end $249 AirPods Pro in October. Apple has also launched other hearables under its Beats brand.

However, the flip side of AirPods' incredible popularity and blistering growth is that sales could potentially peak soon. "Growth tends to slow down a lot once you reach the top of the curve, and AirPods are simply growing so fast today that they risk reaching the top in record time," according to Sacconaghi.

"Given AirPods' extraordinarily steep adoption curve and rapid saturation of the iPhone installed base, we see a dramatic deceleration in AirPods revenue growth by 2021 or 22, to single digit growth rates or possibly lower," the analyst wrote.

December 28 Radio History

➦In 1915...announcer Dick Joy was born in Putnam, Connecticut.

Starting in local LA radio while a USC journalism student he became the youngest staff announcer in CBS radio history at age 21. On radio he worked on The Danny Kaye Show, The Sad Sack, Vox Pop, The Adventures of Sam Spade, Blue Ribbon Town, Dr. Kildare. Silver Theatre, New Old Gold Show, The Saint, and The Danny Thomas Show.  On TV his assignments included December Bride, Perry Mason, Have Gun – Will Travel, Daktari, Lost in Space, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., and Playhouse 90.

He died Oct. 31 1991 at age 75.

➦In 1953...Bob Pittman, CEO of iHeartMedia was born.

The son of a Methodist minister, Pittman was born in Jackson, Mississippi, but raised in Brookhaven and became a radio announcer at the age of 15 to earn money for flying lessons.

He was an announcer in a number of cities and then successfully programmed radio stations in Pittsburgh, Chicago and finally at the NBC flagship station, WNBC-AM, in New York when he was 23 years old. He also produced and co-hosted a music video and news show in 1978 that ran on NBC's O&O Television stations.

He did learn to fly, and has been a pilot for almost 40 years: He now has over 6,000 flight hours; currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot's license for airplanes; and is rated for helicopters and 3 types of jets.

➦In 1981...WEA Records (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) raised the price of its 45 rpm records from $1.68 to $1.98. The company was the leader of the pack with other labels soon boosting their prices. Within a few years, the 45 rpm record was “boosted” right out of existence by the arrival of the CD.

Friday, December 27, 2019

R.I.P.: Iconic Radio Personality Don Imus, Dead At 79

Don Imus July 23, 1940-December 27, 2019
Legendary, cowboy hat-wearing radio personality Don Imus, who hosted the radio show Imus in the Morning for nearly 50 years, has died.

Imus was 79. His passing was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Imus passed away on Friday morning at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, after being hospitalized on Christmas Eve, a representative said. The cause of death was not given.

"Don loved and adored Deirdre, who unconditionally loved him back, loved spending his time watching Wyatt become a highly skilled, champion rodeo rider and calf roper, and loved and supported Zachary, who first met the Imus family at age 10 when he participated in the Imus Ranch program for kids with cancer, having battled and overcome leukemia, eventually becoming a member of the Imus family and Don and Deirdre’s second son," Imus' family said in a statement.

John Donald Imus Jr. known for his radio show Imus in the Morning which aired on various stations and digital platforms nationwide until 2018. He attended broadcasting school in the 1960s and secured his first radio job in 1968 at KUTY in Palmdale, California. Three years later, he landed the morning spot at WNBC 660 AM in New York City; he was fired in 1977.

In 1979, Imus returned to WNBC and stayed at the station until 1988 when the show moved to WFAN. He gained widespread popularity when the show entered national syndication in 1993. He was labelled a "shock jock" radio host throughout his later career. He retired from broadcasting in March 2018 after nearly 50 years on the air, and died the following year.

In 1966, Imus enrolled at the Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood after seeing a newspaper advert; he was thrown out for being "uncooperative", but studied enough to obtain a broadcasting license as required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's night club, he worked as a singer-songwriter with Otis serving as his manager.  After hearing a morning radio DJ at KUTY in Palmdale, California, Imus went to the station and successfully persuaded the owner to hire him. He signed on the air on June 2, 1968.  It was at KUTY where Imus began his on-air character Billy Sol Hargus, a radio evangelist named and inspired by preacher Billy James Hargis and businessman Billie Sol Estes. Imus was an instant success at the station; in two months, he had become number one in the ratings for his time slot and earned a Billboard Award for Air Personality of the Year in a medium-sized market.

Imus then had a short stint at KJOY in Stockton, California, from which he was fired. Imus moved to KXOA in Sacramento, California, which became known for his prank call to a local McDonald's restaurant as a National Guard official to order 1,200 burgers for troops. The segment influenced a later FCC ruling that required all radio DJs to identify themselves when they make phone calls on the air.  In 1970, Imus left KXOA for WGAR in Cleveland, Ohio, for a $50,000 salary.[14] In 1971, he won his second Billboard Award, this time in the major radio market category.[9]

On December 2, 1971, less than three years into his radio career, Imus started his morning show at WNBC in New York City,  with a $100,000 per year salary.  On his second day, he overslept and missed the show.

Imus was involved in various projects during his time at WNBC. He released three albums containing radio segments and songs: 1200 Hamburgers to Go (1972), One Sacred Chicken to Go (1973), and This Honky's Nuts (1974). The latter features material from his stand-up comedy at Jimmy's club in Manhattan.

Imus started to drink heavily during this period which soon affected his working life. He started to miss work and became increasingly unmanageable. He missed 100 days of work in 1973.  In August 1977, WNBC decided to reformat the station and let go of their on-air staff.  Imus described himself as "awful" and "a jerk" during this time.  He returned to Cleveland and began an afternoon drive show on WHK in 1978. He found the experience humiliating, but took the job in order to earn money and "get my act together".During this time, Imus recorded episodes of IMUS, plus..., a late night talk show on WNEW-TV5 in NYC..

On September 2, 1979, Imus returned to the air in mornings at WNBC from 5:30 am.  By this time, Imus had started to use cocaine until he quit in 1983. He continued to drink, and his on- and off-air behavior became erratic; he turned up for work without shoes and slept on park benches with large amounts of money in his pocket.

In April 1981, Imus renewed his contract with WNBC with a five-year deal worth $500,000 a year with bonuses if he surpasses ratings targets. Following the addition of Howard Stern in afternoons in 1982, he and Imus began a longtime feud though both were paired on WNBC print and television advertisements.

In July 1981, Imus released his first book, God's Other Son, a novel about the life of his on-air character Billy Sol Hargus that he wrote with McCord.  It was republished in 1994 and spent seven weeks on The New York Times best seller list.  By October 1981, Imus was the most popular radio DJ in the US, reaching 220,000 regular listeners and number one in 12 of 13 demographic categories.

On October 7, 1988, after WNBC was sold to Emmis Broadcasting, the station permanently signed off the air to have WFAN, the nation's first all-sports station, move to the station's signal. All the station's staff was let go apart from Imus and his radio show team, who stayed to become WFAN's morning show.

In 1989, Imus signed a five-year deal to continue his show on WFAN.   In April 1989, Imus was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

The show became nationally syndicated in June 1993 when it was simulcast on WEEI in Boston, followed by four other stations nationwide. The began simulcasting on MSNBC in 1996.

On January 22, 2018, Imus announced that the show would air its final episode on March 29, 2018. While his contract with Cumulus Media was set to end in December, the company requested that he retire sooner as a cost-savings measure due to the company's bankruptcy.

Day 2: December PPMs Released For 12 More Markets

Nielsen on Thursday, December 26, 2019 released the second batch of December 2019 PPM data for the following markets:

    7  Washington DC

   10  Boston

   11  Mami-Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood

   12  Seattle-Tacoma

   13  Detroit

   14  Phoenix  

   15  Minneapolis-St.Paul

   16  San Diego

   18  Tampa- St.Petersburg-Clearwater

   19  Denver-Boulder

   21  Baltimore

   24  St. Louis

Click Here For Topline Numbers For Subscribing Nielsen stations

Amazon Stock Surges After Record Holiday Sales

Amazon stock gained more than 4% Thursday after the company claimed a record holiday shopping season.

CNBC reports Thursday was the best day for Amazon stock since January 30th, putting the company positive for December after a bumpy start to the month.

The e-commerce giant issued a statement Thursday morning that went over many claimed accomplishments, but the most impressive were related to its logistics efforts.

“This holiday season, the number of items that were delivered with Prime Free One-Day and Prime Free Same-Day Delivery nearly quadrupled compared to the same time period last holiday season, making this Amazon’s fastest holiday yet,” the company said. It also said that 60 percent more customers shipped items to an Amazon pick-up point, rather than their homes or businesses, compared with last year.

The logistical improvements Amazon had to make to achieve this week’s delivery numbers are impressive and likely paving the way for the stock rise, as it sets the company up for long-term success past the holiday season. Amazon has been ramping up efforts to grow its own delivery network, especially after the company started offering one-day delivery on items for Prime members. The company has spent at least $800 million this year to expand the program.

The company also claimed that more people signed up to try Amazon Prime, its subscription service, than ever before.

The Best-Selling Amazon Devices Worldwide this Holiday Season Included Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Show 5.

Amazon Highlights:
  • It was a record holiday season for Amazon Devices and Alexa – customers worldwide purchased tens of millions of Amazon Devices.
  • Shoppers purchased millions more Amazon Devices compared to last holiday and the best-selling devices worldwide included Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Show 5.
  • The most searched for holiday movie on Fire TV with Alexa was Home Alone, followed by Elf and The Grinch.
  • Alexa helped customers connect with family and friends near and far tens of millions of times this holiday season, through video calling, messaging, and drop-in.

Smart Speakers Again Popular Gifts

Amazon’s Echo line of products, along with Google’s Nest family, were popular gifts this season, judging from app download numbers.

The Alexa app — which is required to set up a number of Amazon devices — has made its way to the top of the App Store’s free charts, surpassing Disney+ and YouTube. The Fitbit and Google Home apps, meanwhile, both are in the Top 10, reports The NY Post.

Amazon’s app had 262,000 downloads globally, according to research firm Apptopia, with 135,000 downloads in the US. Google Home beat that number with 303,000 global downloads, but trailed in the US with 98,500.

Both numbers, however, reflect the growing popularity of smart speakers. In 2018 the Alexa app saw 234,000 global downloads while Google had 278,000. And in 2017 Alexa was downloaded 197,000 times on Christmas to Google’s 236,000.

Alexa’s domestic numbers were 142,000 on Christmas 2018 and 137,000 in 2017, while Google Home had 91,000 last year and 96,000 the year before.

Fitbit — which was recently acquired by Google after releasing the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch — saw its app downloaded 130,000 times on Christmas, up from 122,000 in 2018 and 113,000 in 2017.

Streaming Ad Revenue Will Soon Eclipse Pay TV Revenue

Revenue from ads on streaming will soon be larger than revenue from traditional pay-TV services according to a report from Bloomberg.

“In the long run, the total addressable market for streaming video is all TV money, period,” said Scott Rosenberg, a senior vice president and general manager of Roku’s platform business. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming “lets advertisers do things that they’ve gotten used to in digital but which hasn’t been possible on TV,” such as individually targeting consumers based on user-specific data.

Cord Cutter News reports this report comes as Roku, in the third quarter of 2019, saw revenue from ads and subscriptions jump $112.2 million up 59% over the same period in 2018. This is compared to revenue from streaming player sales that was just $6.2 million.

When asked about how much money Roku makes off its hardware, Roku’s CEO said: “We don’t really make money… we certainly don’t make enough money to support our engineering organization and our operations and the cost of money to run the Roku service. That’s not paid for by the hardware. That’s paid for by our ad and content business.”

More and more we are seeing ad companies put more dollars into digital advertisements. While TV ad sales are still huge, as subscriber counts drop ad companies have started to look at other ways to reach their audience.

Roku seems to be one of the big winners when it comes to streaming ads on your TV. They are one of the largest sellers of streaming ads on TVs, and they are well placed to continue their dominance in the world of streaming video ads on your home TV. The question now is how quickly will ad spenders move their money from traditional TV placements to streaming services.

Denver Radio: Big Al Re-ups With iHM's KOA

Big Al & JoJo Turnbeaugh
iHeartMedia/Denver has announced a new five-year broadcast agreement extension for veteran air personality Alfred 'Big Al' Williams.  Williams co-hosts the Big Al & JoJo PM Drive show on KOA 850 AM / 94.1 FM.

Prior to joining the iHeartMedia News/Talk outlet in September, 2019, he served as sports air personality at crosstown Bonneville KKFN-FM and has been a staple for the sports community for decades. As a former NFL player, Williams retired from the Denver Broncos after his team received Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998. In addition, he has been recognized as a standout linebacker for the University of Colorado and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

"Big Al has set the standard for afternoon drive radio," said iHeartMedia Denver President Tim Hager. "This long-term renewal is a testament to Al's impact and importance to iHeartMedia, KOA, our partners and his legion of fans throughout Colorado. Not only is he a tremendous talent and a great man, but he is the type of guy who you want on your team no matter what you are doing and we are so glad he's a part of our team."

"I'm happy and excited to sign a multi-year extension with one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the world," added Big Al. "I've learned so much in a short time about the strength of iHeart and I've met radio giants and artists that would make anyone blush. I'm still learning about all the areas that I can contribute to and I'm amazed by the many opportunities this role gives me to connect with the Denver community and do what I love."

LI Radio: WALK-FM to Import WEZN Morning Show

Connoisseur Media's WALK 97.5 FM, Patchogue, New York, and serving Long Island has announced the addition of "The Anna and Raven Show" to mornings.

The show is imported from co-owned WEZN 99.9 FM Star 99.9 in Bridgeport, CT, where they spend the past four years. The new program will simulcast both Star 99.9 and WALK 97.5 weekdays beginning at 5am.

"We are very excited to join the Long Island family," commented host Anna Zap. "Thank you to Jeff Warshaw, Kristin Okesson, Jim Condron, Keith Dakin and Patrick Shea for giving us this massive opportunity."

"We are humbled by the faith and investment by Connoisseur Media in the Anna and Raven show and honored to join such a heritage brand on Long Island," added Raven.

"Anna and Raven are a couple of the most relatable and dynamic personalities in the business. We're thrilled to be able to welcome them into the Long Island community," said Connoisseur Media/Long Island Operations Manager Patrick Shea.

Erie Radio: iHM Launches Podcast Channel On WLTM

iHeartMedia Erie, PA, has flipped WLTM 95.9 Lite FM to a iHeartPodcast Channel.

The station will spoken word content showcasing today's most popular podcasts.  The new station will be a one-stop shop for a variety of podcasts including trendy shows such as the fan-favorites "Stuff You Should Know," "Part-Time Genius," "Broken Harts" and more.

"We're thrilled to welcome the iHeartPodcast Channel to the Erie community," said iHeartMedia Erie Senior VP/Programming Joe Lang.

"Now our local listeners have even more access to a variety of their favorite iHeart podcasts, while helping them discover new podcast content all through the power of radio. "From true crime to history, comedy to food, this station will offer a wide variety of topics every week."

WLTM 95.9 FM (820 watts) Courtesy of
The iHeartPodcast Channel first launched in March, 2019 in Allentown, PA, on WSAN 1470 AM and broadcasts more than 15 of the most popular podcasts from the iHeartPodcast Network. For more information on the iHeartPodcast Channel, listeners can visit the station's website.

Binghamton NY Radio: Paige Rockwell New VP/Sales For iHM

Paige Rockwell
iHeartMedia has named Paige Rockwell as VP/Sales for Binghamton, NY.

She joins the Binghamton cluster from Townsquare Media in Utica, NY, where she was the Director of Digital Strategy/Digital Sales Manager for the past seven years. Rockwell has also held several leadership posts throughout her career, including General Sales Manager for WOLF Inc. in Syracuse, NY. She also served as a senior account executive for both Regent and Citadel Broadcasting.

"I am thrilled to have Paige lead our sales organization in Binghamton," said iHeartMedia/Hartford Area President Robert Morgan. "I know she will bring her passion, tireless energy, creativity and leadership talents to help us further grow our business and expand upon our partnerships."

"I am delighted to head to the Southern Tier and join the talented iHeartMedia team," added Rockwell. "iHeartMedia is the industry leader in the audio, digital media, global multi-media and entertainment platforms. I am thrilled to work with the sales team in Binghamton and to be able to share the market's story with our advertisers and community."

Concert Tickets Were Even More Expensive During 2019

Concert tickets are more expensive than ever and The Wall Street Journal reports fans seem more than willing to pay the price.

The Rolling Stones had the highest-grossing tour across North America this year, raking in $177.8 million, according to trade magazine Pollstar. Though the British rock band played just 16 dates, a hefty price tag—tickets averaged $226.61 a pop—helped the group top the list.

Nine of the 10 highest-grossing concert tours this year had average ticket prices above $100, Pollstar reported. Over the past decade, the average ticket price for the top 100 North American tours has increased 55% to $94.83. The average gross per show more than doubled over the decade to $958,000.

The run-up comes as artists are relying more on touring for income, promoters have smartened up about pricing, and as ticketing companies are offering new technology to squeeze out scalpers and make more money the first time a ticket is sold. The high prices have caught the attention of the U.S. government, which has investigated concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc. over its market power.

The boom in the live-events business fills a gap in many artists’ revenue streams. As piracy decimated recorded music sales starting in the early 2000s, artists began to rely on touring, ever more so in the past decade. Live shows account for some 75% of musicians’ income, compared with around 30% in the 1980s and 1990s,

CNN Covers for ABC News: Omits Epstein Story

CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter omitted the spiked ABC News story about convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein from his year-end list of top media stories, reports Fox News.

Last month, Project Veritas published footage showing ABC News anchor Amy Robach claiming higher-ups at the network killed a story that would have exposed Epstein three years ago, but the Disney-owned network says it wasn't up to their standards.

“I’ve had the story for three years… we would not put it on the air,” Robach said on the hot mic. “It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything.”

Robach quickly admitted the authenticity of the video, which has not been independently verified by Fox News, but dismissed the notion of unethical journalism.

“As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations,” Robach said in a statement provided to Fox News.

The controversy quickly evolved into a manhunt by ABC for the alleged leaker and that lead to the firing of CBS News staffer Ashley Bianco, a former "Good Morning America" producer who claimed she wasn't the one who leaked the video of Robach. Meanwhile, Project Veritas went on to publish an open letter from the alleged "ABC insider" exposed the cover-up to the right-wing outlet.

However, none of this appeared to be noteworthy to CNN's media guru

Report: MLB Yankees Team With Amazon For Streaming

The Yankees may soon become a major-league thorn in the side of New York’s cable providers.

The Bronx Bombers, working with tech giant Amazon, are gearing up to become the first Major League Baseball team to let fans watch games on their phones or laptops without a cable subscription — a bid to win over millennials who are cutting ties with cable TV, The NY Post has learned.

The plan by the Yankees’ YES cable-TV network is to allow online streaming for a limited number of Yankees games — possibly on Amazon’s Prime Video service — starting as soon as the 2020 baseball season, sources said. The ultimate goal is to provide an annual streaming package at a cost — say one year for $99, sources said.

The move comes as the Yankees saw its TV ratings drop 17% this year — despite the team winning their division. While earlier game times were a main culprit, cord-cutting also played a role, sources said.

Making the move possible is a unanimous vote last month by all MLB team owners to OK the streaming of local games, a practice known as in-market streaming. Prior to that vote, in-market streaming rights belonged to MLB, not the teams, and MLB sold those rights to individual regional sports networks, or RSNs, like Fox and YES for $2 million a year.

The vote may seem like a game-changer, but it could be years before most teams are able to start streaming their games due to complicated contracts with local cable providers and the regional sports networks that carry their games.

The Yankees have it easier because the team owns 20% of its local TV network, which means it won’t be fighting with YES over the streaming rights.

Report: Comcast May Acquire Free TV Service Xumo

Comcast Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire video-streaming company Xumo LLC, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter, as the cable giant prepares to launch its own streaming service.

Talks between the two companies are exclusive, and it is possible that negotiations could break down, some of the people said. Financial terms of the prospective deal couldn’t be learned.

Xumo is one of a handful of companies that offer a free, ad-supported video-streaming service across a range of internet-connected TVs. Others include ViacomCBS -owned Pluto TV, which was acquired for $340 million in January, and Tubi TV.

Irvine, Calif.-based Xumo TV was formed in 2011 by Viant Technology LLC, which was then known as Interactive Media Holdings. One of Xumo’s shareholders is magazine and TV company Meredith Corp. Xumo’s app is available on services including Roku and on smart TVs from manufacturers such as Vizio, Panasonic and Samsung.

The potential acquisition would come as Comcast’s NBCUniversal prepares to launch its streaming service, Peacock, in April. Xumo could provide technical and business support for Comcast’s streaming efforts across its pay-TV service, Xfinity, Peacock and European pay-TV giant Sky, which Comcast acquired last year, some of the people said.

Xumo also powers free, ad-supported streaming services from other companies. It is used by LG Electronics Inc. for its free video product LG Channels. Xumo also repackages traditional TV content into new digital channels, a capacity that some traditional TV programmers have used as they transition to video streaming.

Comcast has said that Peacock, which will have a library of original content and classic shows such as “The Office,” would rely heavily on advertising rather than subscriptions.

December 27 Radio History

➦In 1932...Radio City Music Hall, at 1260 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, opened to the public.  Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it is the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company.

The name "Radio City Music Hall" derives from one of the complex's first tenants, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), who planned a mass media complex called Radio City on the west side of Rockefeller Center.

Radio City Music Hall was built on a plot of land that was originally intended for a Metropolitan Opera House. The opera house plans were canceled in 1929, leading to the construction of Rockefeller Center.

One of the more notable parts of the Music Hall is its large auditorium, which was the world's largest when the Hall first opened. The new complex included two theaters, the "International Music Hall" and the Center Theater, as part of the "Radio City" portion of Rockefeller Center. The 5,960-seat Music Hall was the larger of the two venues. It was largely successful until the 1970s, when declining patronage nearly drove the Music Hall to bankruptcy. Radio City Music Hall was designated a New York City Landmark in May 1978, and the Music Hall was restored and allowed to remain open. The hall was extensively renovated in 1999.

Although Radio City Music Hall was initially intended to host stage shows, it hosted performances in a film-and-stage-spectacle format through the 1970s, and was the site of several movie premieres. It now primarily hosts concerts, including by leading pop and rock musicians, and live stage shows such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The Music Hall has also hosted televised events including the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the NFL Draft.

➦In 1939...“The Glenn Miller Show”, also known as “Music that Satisfies”, started on CBS radio. The 15-minute, three-a-week big band show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes and was heard for nearly three years.

➦In 1943...Broadcast journalist Cokie Roberts was born in New Orleans.  The child of two members of the U-S Congress she joined an upstart National Public Radio in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News.  She was still on the ABC payroll at age 75 when she died Sept. 17th 2019 due to complications from breast cancer.

Howdy Doody & Bob Smith
In 1947...The children's TV program Howdy Doody program first aired on NBC. It continued until September 24, 1960. It was a pioneer in children's television programming and set the pattern for many similar shows. One of the first television series produced at NBC in Rockefeller Center, in Studio 3A, it was also a pioneer in early color production as NBC (at the time owned by TV maker RCA) used the show in part to sell color television sets in the 1950s.

Bob Smith created Howdy Doody during his days as a radio announcer on WNBC 660 AM. At that time, Howdy Doody was only a voice Smith performed on the radio. When Smith made an appearance on NBC's television program Puppet Playhouse on December 27, 1947, the reception for the character was great enough to begin a demand for a visual character for television. Frank Paris, a puppeteer whose puppets appeared on the program, was asked to create a Howdy Doody puppet.

➦In 1947...Bell Labs invented the transistor.

➦In 1958...Buddy Holly made his first appearance in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas since becoming a major recording star. Along with broadcasting live over KLLL radio from a fruit and vegetable store, he returned to the station's studios to record "You're The One," a song that station management challenged him to write in half an hour.

➦In 1968...Don McNeil's "The Breakfast Club" signed off the ABC Radio network, after 35 years.

Don McNeil 1942
In Chicago during the early 1930s, McNeill was assigned to take over an un-sponsored early morning variety show, The Pepper Pot, with an 8 a.m. time-slot on the NBC Blue Network. McNeill re-organized the hour as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments which McNeill labeled "the Four Calls to Breakfast."

McNeill's revamped show premiered in 1933, combining music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

The program featured Fran Allison (later of Kukla, Fran and Ollie fame) as "Aunt Fanny", plus Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers and various comedy bits. Every quarter-hour came the "Call to Breakfast" -- a march around the breakfast table. A featured vocalist on the show, under her professional name of Annette King, was Charlotte Thompson Reid, who later became an Illinois congresswoman for five terms (1962–71). Eileen Parker became a vocalist with the program in 1953.

The Breakfast Club initially was broadcast from the NBC studios in the Merchandise Mart. In 1948, after 4,500 broadcasts from the Merchandise Mart, the program moved to the new ABC Civic Studio. It was also heard from other Chicago venues: the Terrace Casino (at the Morrison Hotel), the College Inn Porterhouse (at the Sherman House) and "the Tiptop Room of the Warwick Allerton Hotel on Chicago's Magnificent Mile," as well as tour broadcasts from other locations in the U.S. It remained a fixture on the ABC radio network (formerly the NBC Blue Network; it became known as ABC in 1945), maintaining its popularity for years and counting among its fans Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas.

Don McNeil with comedian Sam Cowling 1956
After ABC Radio was split into four networks in 1968, The Breakfast Club was moved to the new American Entertainment network, and was known for its last months on the air as The Don McNeill Show.

➦In 1974...The 'Dear Abby' 5-minute show ended airing on CBS Radio after 11 years.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Day 1: Dec PPMs Released For NYC, L-A, Chicago, 9 More Markets

Nielsen on Monday, December 23, 2019 released the first batch of December 2019 PPM data for the following markets:

    1  New York

    2  Los Angeles

    3  Chicago

    4  San Francisco

    5  Dallas-Ft. Worth

    6  Houston-Galveston  

    8  Atlanta

    9  Philadelphia

  20  Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island NY)

  25  Riverside-San Barnardino CA

  37  San Jose CA 

  42  Middlesex-Somerset-Union NJ

Click Here for Topline Numbers for Subscribing Nielsen stations.

TV Ratings: Eddie Murphy Delivers For NBC

With Eddie Murphy aboard as host after a decades-long absence, the NBC show earned its biggest audience since 2017, according to The Associated Press citing Nielsen data.

Just shy of 10 million viewers tuned in to see Murphy back on the late-night comedy show that helped launch his career. His last appearance was in 1984.

Murphy reprised some of his landmark “SNL” characters on last Saturday’s show, including Mr. Robinson, Gumby and Buckwheat. The actor-comedian was joined during his opening monologue by Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan.

NBC also earned bragging rights for its prime-time performance last week with an average 6.2 million viewers, powered by its Sunday night NFL telecast. The network is No. 1 for the season to date, the first time since 1999 that it has led in total viewers at this point in the TV year.

CBS was second with an average of 4.95 million, Nielsen said. Fox had 4.3 million, ABC had 2.9 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, Univision had 1.24 million, Telemundo had 790,000 and the CW had 700,000.

Broadcast Prime-Time:

1. “NFL Sunday Post-Game Show,” Fox, 20 million.
2. “Sunday Night Football: Kansas City at Chicago,” NBC, 17 million.
3. “”Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC. 13.3 million.
4. “The OT,” Fox, 13.1 million.
5. “NFL: Indianapolis at New Orleans,” ESPN, 11.4 million.
6. “NCIS,” CBS, 11.1 million.
7. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 9.8 million.
8. “The Voice,” NBC, 8.8 million.
9. “The Voice (Tuesday)”, NBC, 8.7 million.
10. “Thursday Night Football: L-A Rams at San Francisco,”   NFL Network, 8.5 million.

11. “FBI,” CBS, 8.47 million.
12. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 8.4 million.
13. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 7.1 million.
14. “Thursday Night Football Pre-Kick,” NFL Network, 7 million.
15. “The Voice,” NBC, 6.7 million.
16. “Survivor,” CBS, 6.5 million.
17. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 6.44 million.
18. “Bull,” CBS, 6.4 million.
19. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 6.2 million.
20. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 6.1 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts with an average of 8.8 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was next with 7.9 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.8 million viewers.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most-watched cable network, averaging 3.1 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.2 million, MSNBC had 1.8 million, Hallmark had 1.7 million, and CNN had 1.5 million.

2019 Was Great Year For Streaming Music

by Felix Richter

Thanks to strong growth in streaming subscriptions, music industry revenues in the United States grew 18 percent in the first half of 2019. According to the mid-year report of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), 2019 will likely mark the fifth consecutive year of growth for the music industry that had previously struggled with declining revenues for 15 years.

As Statista's chart, based on RIAA data, illustrates, the music industry really has the rise of streaming to thank for its resurgence. While downloads were never quite able to fully offset the declines in CD sales in the early 2000s, streaming revenues have now been able to compensate for declining physical format and download revenues for four and a half years.

Infographic: The Streaming Takeover | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

In the first half of 2019, music streaming, both subscription-based and ad-supported, accounted for 80 percent of U.S. music revenues, up from just 5 percent at the end of the last decade.