Saturday, June 1, 2024

Radio History: June 2

Marconi 1901
➦In 1896...Marconi files full specs for first (radio) wireless patent. He had succeeded the previous year in sending long-wave radio signals over a distance of about two kilometres. And in 1897, Marconi formed a wireless telegraphy company to develop its commercial applications. In 1901, he sent the letter ”S” across the Atlantic from Cornwall, England to a receiving station in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

➦In 1908...Benjamin Franklin Grauer born (Died from a heart attacked at age 68 – May 31, 1977). He was a radio and TV personality, following a career during the 1920s as a child actor in films and on Broadway.

Grauer's greatest fame lies in his legendary 40-year career in radio. In 1930, the 22-year-old Benjamin Franklin Grauer joined the staff at NBC.  He quickly rose through the ranks to become a senior commentator and reporter. He was the designated announcer for the popular 1940s Walter Winchell's Jergens Journal. Perhaps, most importantly, he was selected by Arturo Toscanini to become the voice of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Grauer took over as announcer in late 1942, and remained until the orchestra was disbanded in June 1954. Toscanini said he was his favorite announcer.

Starting in 1932, Grauer covered the Olympic Games, presidential inaugurations and international events. During his radio career, Grauer covered nearly every major historic event, including the Paris Peace Conference and the US occupation of Japan. Millions remember his NBC coverage of the New Year's celebrations on both radio and TV. Between 1951 and 1969, Grauer covered these events 11 times live from New York's Times Square. He continued covering New Year's Eve for Guy Lombardo's New Year's Eve specials on CBS in the 1970s, with his last appearance on December 31, 1976, the year before both he and Lombardo died. From the mid-1950s until the mid-1960s, Grauer's reports were part of the NBC television network's The Tonight Show, where he worked with Johnny Carson and prior to that, Jack Paar, and Steve Allen. Grauer was also one of NBC Radio's Monitor "Communicators" from 1955 to 1960.

Grauer also was one of five hosts/narrators of "The First Fabulous Fifty", a five-part NBC Radio Network documentary series on the history of the network, featuring soundbites from past NBC programs. The series was broadcast on the occasion of the network's 50th anniversary in the autumn of 1976. Grauer narrated the first installment, which covered the network's first decade on the air, 1926 through 1936.

➦In Walter Tetley was born in New York City.  At age 23 he moved to Hollywood where his radio career as a series of brash teenagers blossomed and lasted more than 25 years, by which time he was in his late 40’s.  His best remembered roles are as Gildy’s nephew Leroy on NBC radio’s The Great Gildersleeve, and as Julius Abbruzio on The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.  He also voiced many popular cartoon characters.  He died at age 60 Sept. 4 1975, four years after a serious MVA had left him confined to a wheelchair.

Charles Farrell, Gil Stratton Jr. "Freddie", and Gale Storm

➦In Gill Stratton Jr. was born in Brooklyn.

While appearing in supporting roles in film in the late 40’s he began working as a radio actor in such shows as Lux Radio Theater, The Great Gildersleeve, and My Little Margie. He worked opposite Judy Garland in the 1950 radio version of The Wizard of Oz, and opposite Shirley Temple in an audio adaptation of The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. In the 1954 television season, Stratton was a regular on the CBS situation comedy That’s My Boy.  That same year he began a 16 year run as sportscaster on KNXT Los Angeles, and over time also covered sports for KNX radio and KTTV.

He died of congestive heart failure Oct. 11 2008 at age 86.

➦In 1932... CKLW first came on the air on June 2, 1932 as CKOK on 540 kilocycles. The Station was built by George Storer and was sold to a group of Windsor-area businessmen led by Malcolm Campbell, operating as "Essex Broadcasters, Ltd." CKOK became CKLW (and moved to 840 kHz) in 1933, when Essex Broadcasters, Ltd. merged with the London Free Press and its station CJGC (now CFPL), and became "Western Ontario Broadcasting", which was co-owned by Essex Broadcasters, and the London Free Press. The "LW" in the callsign is said to have stood for "London, Windsor", considered to be the two chief cities in the station's listening area. When the station's power increased to 50,000 watts, its listening area increased accordingly. In 1934, when London Free Press's station CJGC pulled out of the agreement, the station's ownership became wholly owned by Western Ontario Broadcasters. CJGC later evolved into today's CFPL 980, while CKLW moved from 840 to 1030 kc. in 1934, before settling on its present frequency of 800 kHz in 1941, thanks to a shuffle of frequency allocations.

First Zonecasting Applications Filed With FCC

GeoBroadcast Solutions (GBS), led by Chris Devine, has recently disclosed the initial group of broadcasters who have submitted applications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These applicants are seeking regulatory approval to initiate program origination on a limited basis from an FM booster, which serves as the essential component for GBS’s innovative “ZoneCasting” radio product.

Among the first applicants:

  • Urban WRBJ-FM (97.7) in Jackson, MS, owned by Roberts Broadcasting. The station will utilize ZoneCasting to offer more affordable advertising rates to smaller, minority-owned businesses and provide targeted content for Jackson State University.
  • Country KLCY-FM (105.5) in Vernal, UT, owned by Ashley Communications, serving Northeastern Utah, including a large Ute Reservation, plans to use ZoneCasting to deliver content specific to the reservation, supported by strong community interest and funding from Ute leadership.
  • KADD-FM (93.5) in Las Vegas, operated by Radio Activo, will target high-density Hispanic areas in both Las Vegas and Washington County, UT, addressing the unique needs of Spanish-speaking audiences across state lines and time zones.
  • Evans Broadcast's KKFT-FM (99.1) and KRFN-FM (100.9) in Reno, NV, will create targeted content zones for Carson City and Lake Tahoe, focusing on the distinct needs of Nevada's capital and the vacation destination community.

ZoneCasting represents an intriguing advancement in radio broadcasting. Here’s what you need to know:

ZoneCasting is a technology that enables broadcasters to deliver targeted content to specific geographic areas within their coverage zone. By leveraging FM boosters strategically placed throughout the coverage area, broadcasters can tailor content to local neighborhoods, enhancing relevance and engagement.

The FCC’s Approval and Concerns: The FCC’s green light for ZoneCasting has sparked both interest and apprehension. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has expressed significant concerns about potential disruptions associated with this new approach.

The Lynch-Pin: FM Boosters: FM boosters play a crucial role in ZoneCasting. These boosters amplify signals and allow broadcasters to target specific neighborhoods or even individual streets. The ability to originate content from these boosters opens up exciting possibilities for localized programming.

Public Radio Leads Radio In Staffing Newsrooms

The latest RTDNA/Newhouse School at Syracuse University Survey shows the typical (median) radio news operation has a full-time news staff of 2 for the second year in a row. The average is approaching 4 (3.7). Once again, the larger staff results from public radio. Commercial radio has an average of 2.7 staffers, but the median remains at 1. Non-commercial radio averages 6.7 with a median of 3.

The increases vary across the board. Large and medium markets are up in average staff size; major and small markets each slipped by 0.2. The median staff size is up in major and large markets and remains the same in medium and small markets. Part time mostly is up or even. Overall, mostly a win.

The overall staff size difference between commercial and non-commercial stations remains steady at around 3:1, non-commercial to commercial, but non-commercial stations are more likely to be found in large and major markets.

As usual, the larger the market, the larger the news staff is likely to be. 

The problem isn’t anywhere near the level as it is in TV, but staff burnout in radio is relatively high — with 41.4% of news directors and general managers saying they see more evidence of burnout this year. The problem was the worst in major markets (58.5%) and in the largest newsrooms (62.9%). Non-commercial stations were higher than commercial ones, but the difference was just 4 points. 

Layoffs Reported As WSJ Reorganizes Newsroom

Despite a surge in paid subscribers, strong profits at its parent company, and a new nine-figure licensing deal with OpenAI, The Wall Street Journal has laid off even more journalists. 

The union representing the newsroom, the International Association of Publishers’ Employees, staged an hour-long walkout to object to the job cuts. 

The layoffs affected at least eight reporters who covered national and breaking news. Interestingly, the paper has added some positions back in recent months, but the union tabulation only covers those represented by the local; others have been laid off as well.

Emma Tucker
Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker is leading a broader reorganization of the newsroom, focusing for digital growth, subscription growth, and high-quality journalism. 

In a note to staff, Tucker described the moves as part of a larger reorganization.

“Our Editor-in-chief is reshaping our newsroom with an eye towards digital growth, subscription growth and high-quality journalism,” a spokesperson said in a written statement. “While we recognize change can be difficult, it is necessary to ensure we have the right structure in place to support our objectives.”

In a presentation to investors, Tucker emphasized that the paper’s reporting should start, be part of, and guide “the conversation,” making it “feel real.” However, some current and former Journal employees find her approach vague and seek a clearer mission for the paper’s transformation. Julie Bykowicz, who was laid off from a job covering national politics, expressed discomfort with the upheaval without a clear end in sight1.

The Wall Street Journal, owned by News Corp (controlled by the Murdoch family, which also owns Fox News), faces challenges as it navigates changes in the media landscape.

TV Ratings: Fox News Leads Trump Verdict Coverage

More people watched the guilty verdicts in former President Donald Trump’s porn-star hush-money election-interference trial on Fox News Channel than any other cable or broadcast outlet.

According to citing early data Nielsen provided by Fox News, the network had more than 4.4 million viewers tuned in during the 5 p.m. (ET) hour, when the jury’s decision was read in court.

MSNBC had 3.4 million viewers and CNN had nearly 2.4 million viewers.

The NYTimes reportsreports Fox News scored the biggest audience for breaking coverage of the 34 guilty counts, pulling in 4.7 million viewers from 5 to 6 p.m., according to Nielsen. That is a huge viewership for a weekday afternoon and easily outstripped the audiences for CNN, MSNBC and the broadcast networks that cut into regular programming with special reports.

By the evening, after word of the verdict had spread, viewership surged for MSNBC. In an exceedingly rare prime-time victory, the left-leaning channel outranked Fox News, the perennial No. 1 cable news station, in both total viewers and adults ages 25 to 54, the most important demographic for advertisers.

On broadcast, from just before 5 p.m., when the networks broke into regular programming because verdicts had been reached, ABC News had 3.3 million viewers for 102 minutes of coverage and CBS News had 2.5 million viewers tune in for 71 minutes of coverage. Viewing data on NBC viewership was not available.

Fox News Media’s digital properties notched triple- and double-digit increases versus their 2024 weekday average and delivered their highest level of engagement of the year, according to Adobe Analytics.

NJ Radio: 107.1 The Boss Hosts 'Summer Blast-Off'

 Press Communications’ classic rock WWZY (107-1 The Boss) Monmouth Ocean hosted the 2024 Summer Blast off featuring Joe Nolan’s “Frst day of summer” last Friday May 24th at the Crab’s Claw Inn Lavalette, NJ.

The event featured live performances by John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band, Gary US Bonds and others all for free. 

The event also serves as a fundraiser for The Maureen E Nolan Foundation that offers scholarships to Catholic High School students in the state. 

The broadcast was hosted by the station’s Robby and Rochelle in the Morning Show (on which Nolan is traffic anchor) along with Michele Amabile and Ralphie Aversa.  

The Summer Blast  originated with the former WPLJ in 1993 when Nolan was with Scott Shannon and continued when they both moved to WCBS-FM. After a few years on internet only, the Blast Off landed on The Boss in 2022. Cafferty had appeared at two previous events, one on PLJ and one on CBS-FM.

Decision Time Approaches For Redstone

Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Paramount Global in coming days will weigh whether to approve a merger of the entertainment company with Skydance Media after a special committee of its board agreed to recommend that deal, or pursue a sale of her family’s holding company at a premium, reports The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the situation.

Redstone’s National Amusements owns 77% of the voting shares of Paramount, as well as a movie-theater chain. She has been a champion of a potential Paramount merger with Skydance, a production company whose CEO is David Ellison, the son of billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

But with that deal within reach, Redstone is weighing the alternative path of only selling National Amusements, which would transfer control of Paramount to someone else but may not lead to a merger with another entertainment company. Redstone has yet to see the terms of the latest Skydance offer, according to people close to the situation.

In recent weeks, she has received expressions of interest from at least two parties in buying all or part of National Amusements. Steven Paul, a Hollywood producer, has been lining up financing to make an offer for National Amusements of around $3 billion, people familiar with the matter said. At least one other investor group has expressed interest in buying National Amusements, they said.

Paramount, which owns the renowned movie studio, CBS and cable networks such as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, has been controlled by the Redstone family for nearly four decades. Making the right decision is personal for Redstone, as she wants to protect her family’s legacy, people close to her have said. Critics of Redstone, including some investors, say she has pursued sale options without fully considering what is best for all shareholders.

Live Nation Probes Ticketmaster Hack

Live Nation Entertainment is currently investigating a data breach that occurred within its Ticketmaster unit. The breach was discovered on May 20, and Live Nation promptly reported it to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Here are the key details:

Unauthorized Activity: Live Nation detected “unauthorized activity” in a third-party cloud database primarily containing Ticketmaster data. The company is collaborating with forensic investigators to assess the extent of the breach.

ShinyHunters’ Claim: Last week, a relatively unknown cybercrime group called ShinyHunters claimed responsibility for stealing user data from over 500 million Ticketmaster customers. However, Live Nation’s SEC filing did not explicitly mention ShinyHunters.

Response and Cooperation: Live Nation is actively working to mitigate risks for its users and the company. Law enforcement has been notified, and regulatory authorities are also being informed about the unauthorized access to personal information.

Antitrust Lawsuits and Business Impact: Coincidentally, Live Nation faces antitrust scrutiny due to allegations of inflating concert ticket prices illegally. Despite the breach, Live Nation believes it won’t significantly impact its business or financials.

R.I.P.: Scott Ginsburg, Former Radio Owner

Scott Ginsburg ('52-'24)
Former Radio Broadcaster Scott K. Ginsburg passed away May 26, 2024, at the age of 72. His legacy includes contributions to both radio and luxury automobiles.

Here are some key points about his career:

WCFL-AM Acquisition in Chicago: In 1983, Scott Ginsburg gained national recognition when he acquired WCFL-AM 1000 in Chicago. The $8 million deal marked the beginning of his successful career in the radio industry. WCFL-AM was a big-market property, and this acquisition was a significant milestone for Ginsburg.

Prolific Career in Radio: Following the WCFL-AM acquisition, Scott K. Ginsburg continued to make waves in the radio industry. He owned and operated several stations, including WAPE-AM & FM in Jacksonville, an AM station in the Miami market, and two properties in Tallahassee, Florida. His career spanned over a decade, during which he played a crucial role in shaping the industry.

Chancellor Broadcasting and Exit from Radio: In 1998, Ginsburg sold Chancellor Broadcasting, capping off his twenty-year career in radio. Chancellor Broadcasting was a significant player in the industry, and Ginsburg’s leadership contributed to its success. After leaving radio, he embarked on a new venture.

Luxury Automobile Dealership: Scott Ginsburg transitioned from broadcasting to the automotive world. He founded a luxury automobile dealership in the Dallas area, distinguishing himself by bringing Porsche to Plano, Texas. His entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen extended beyond radio, leaving a mark in the automotive industry as well1.

R.I.P.: Phil Markert, Syracuse R/TV Personality

Phil Markert (1932-2024)

Syracuse radio/TV personality Phil Markert has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 92 at his home. 

His contributions to Syracuse television and radio were significant, and he left a lasting legacy. 

Sign-On Show and Morning Radio: In 1962, Phil Markert hosted the sign-on show at NewsChannel 9, which was the precursor to our current program, Bridge Street. During the 1960s, he served as the station’s lead news anchor before transitioning into morning radio. His show, “The Markert Place,” laid the groundwork for what we now recognize as our own Bridge Street format.

Phil also worked with Powerhouse 62 WHEN Radio and other stations during his career.

Talented Musician and Entertainer: Beyond broadcasting, Phil was known for his piano-playing and songwriting abilities. Many listeners fondly remember his daily rendition of the school lunch menu, where he playfully gave kids the choice to “Buy it or Bag it.”  He even appeared in films like David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” and “Marie” alongside Sissy Spacek.

Active and Vibrant at 92: Remarkably, Phil remained active even at the age of 92. He was still booked to play the piano at upcoming events.

June 1 Radio History

➦In 1921...Conductor & musician  Nelson Riddle was born in Oradell New Jersey.  His career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. His work for Capitol Records kept such vocalists as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith household names.

He found commercial and critical success again in the 1980s with a trio of Platinum albums with Linda Ronstadt. His orchestrations earned an Academy Award and three Grammy Awards.

He died of liver ailments Oct 6, 1985 at age 64.

➦In 1936...the NBC Blue network’s Lux Radio Theater moved from New York City to Hollywood. On the first show from Tinseltown, program host and “producer” Cecil B. DeMille introduced Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich in The Legionnaire and the Lady. It attracted a remarkable (for the era) listening audience of 40 million.

➦In 1945...WLB-AM in Minneapolis MN changed call letters to KUOM.

➦In 1961..WVNJ 100.3 FM signed-on (today it is iHeartMedia's WHTZ Z100). 100.3's origins date back to 1942 when it was WMGM, licensed to New York. The station went off the air in February 1955. During 100.3's down time, the frequency was allocated to WFHA in Red Bank. On June 1, 1961, 100.3 was resurrected as WVNJ, now licensed to Newark. WVNJ featured an easy listening/jazz format that continued until August 2, 1983, when WHTZ "Z100" was born.

➦In 1961...FM stereo began.  At 12:01 a.m., GE's WGFM 99.5 FM (now WRVE) Schenectady, NY became the first FM station in the United States to broadcast in stereo.  The station, which had been simulcasting WGY 810 AM,  started airing classical music.

The first commercial FM broadcasting stations were in the United States, but initially they were primarily used to simulcast their AM sister stations, to broadcast lush orchestral music for stores and offices, to broadcast classical music to an upmarket listenership in urban areas, or for educational programming.

By the late 1960s FM had been adopted by fans of "Alternative Rock" music ("A.O.R.—'Album Oriented Rock' Format"), but it wasn't until 1978 that listeners to FM stations exceeded those of AM stations in North America.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Top 40 music stations and later even country music stations largely abandoned AM for FM. Today AM is mainly the preserve of talk radio, news, sports, religious programming, ethnic (minority language) broadcasting and some types of minority interest music. This shift has transformed AM into the "alternative band" that FM once was.

➦In 1967
...The Beatles released 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' album.

➦In 1968...'Mrs. Robinson' by Simon and Garfunkel hit Number One

Don Imus
➦In 1968...Don Imus started at KUTY in Palmdale, CA.  He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.  After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California.

Three years later, he landed the morning spot at WNBC in New York City before his firing in 1977.

Friday, May 31, 2024

TV Ratings: ABC WNT Stands As Week's Top Show

Heading into the Memorial Day weekend, Fox News was the only news network to see week-to-week gains in total viewers and the advertiser-coveted Adults 25-54 demo during both dayparts. FNC’s winning streak has now stretched to 171 consecutive weeks.

Meanwhile, MSNBC was the only network to see week-to-week drops in both measured categories during both dayparts.

TV Newser citing Nielsen live plus same-day data for the week of May 20 reports FNC saw average 2.009 million total viewers and 214,000 A25-54 viewers during primetime. Compared to the week prior, the network was up in total viewers by +1% and scored a double digit bounce of +15% in the demo. In total day, Fox News averaged 1.308 million total viewers and 152,000 A25-54 viewers for week-to-week gains of +1% and +9%, respectively.

Fox News ranked third in total primetime viewers among all basic cable networks and rose two places to land in fourth in the primetime demo. In total day, the network held onto its No. 1 position in total viewers and third place in the demo.

MSNBC’s primetime line-up averaged 1.091 million total viewers and 103,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo for week-to-week declines of -5% and -7%, respectively. MSNBC remained fourth among the cable networks in total primetime viewers and jumped from 17th to 15th place in the demo, for a three-way tie with the History Channel and Investigation Discovery.

CNN averaged 481,000 total viewers and 91,000 A25-54 demo viewers during primetime. It dropped by -1% in total viewers, but achieved a +10% demo gain compared to the previous week. In primetime, CNN moved from 12th place to 10th place in total viewers and rose five spots from 24th to 19th place in the demo. In total day, it once again ranked as No. 5 in total viewers and fell one spot to No. 11 in the demo.

LayOffs Spreading At Alpha Media

Alpha Media, which operates more than 200 local radio stations in 44 markets, has recently laid off staff at stations in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota1. The layoffs have impacted radio stations in Mankato, Austin/Albert Lea, and Luverne, among other cities in these states. While Alpha Media has not officially commented on the purge, reports indicate that the layoffs include on-air talent at these stations.

 Additionally, the staff of has also been affected. Market manager Theron Hayse confirmed the layoffs to Bring Me the News.

In Minnesota, the impacted stations include:

  • Mankato: Mix 99.1, Country 103.5, River 105, and Rock 95.
  • Austin: KAUS-1480 and 99.9 Quick Country.
  • Albert Lea: KATE-1450 and 94.9 The Breeze.

Outside of Minnesota, on-air staff have been laid off at stations in Mason City, Grinnell, and Fort Dodge, Iowa, as well as three South Dakota markets: Brookings, Watertown, and Madison. The company has not publicly outlined the reasons for the layoffs or what comes next for its stations. However, there are indications that Alpha Media stations will shift programming toward national syndication

WNBA Sets More TV Ratings Records

 The WNBA has been making waves in terms of viewership records recently. Let’s dive into the details:

🠊ION Media: Over the Memorial Day weekend, the WNBA set several viewership records, with ION leading the way. The game between the Indiana Fever and the L.A. Sparks on Friday drew an impressive 724,000 viewers during the late primetime window (10 pm ET tip). Notably, this matchup featured the No. 1 pick, Caitlin Clark, facing off against the No. 2 pick, Cameron Brink. This figure represents the highest viewership for a WNBA game on ION so far. It’s worth noting that ION is in the second year of its WNBA rights deal, and this was their first Fever game this season, according to The Sports Business Journal.

🠊CBS: On Saturday afternoon, CBS carried the game between the New York Liberty and the Minnesota Lynx, attracting a record 704,000 viewers. This marked the highest viewership for a WNBA game on CBS. The previous record was set last season during a Phoenix Mercury-Liberty match in June 20231.

🠊NBA TV: NBA TV also had a significant viewership milestone. The game between the Fever and the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday night (9 pm tip) averaged 333,000 viewers, making it the network’s best-performing WNBA game yet. Keep an eye out for more records when the figures for Tuesday’s Fever-Sparks game are released later today. NBA TV has been stepping up its WNBA coverage, and this season’s viewership has been impressive compared to last year’s numbers1.

In addition to these specific games, the WNBA’s 2023 season as a whole has been a success. 

It delivered record-breaking viewership across its national television partners, including ABC, CBS, ESPN, and ESPN2. Viewership was up 21 percent compared to the 2022 season, making it the most-watched regular season in 21 years. The league also achieved new highs in digital platforms, social media engagement, and sports betting.

5/31 WAKE-UP CALL: Guilty 34 Times

 A New York jury found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 counts, making him the first former president in U.S. history convicted of a crime. The presumptive Republican nominee can still run for president. His poll numbers remained steady during the trial, though some voters have said they might be less likely to vote for him if he were convicted. 

A prison sentence is unlikely; other possible penalties range from a fine to probation. Trump is certain to appeal, which could take months or years to resolve; that could be further complicated if he’s elected in November. Trump faces three other prosecutions, though none might go to trial before Election Day. Many observers considered the hush-money case, which centered on allegations that Trump falsified business records to cover up a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 White House bid, the least serious of the four.

Donald Trump slammed the “rigged, disgraceful trial” in his first comments after a Manhattan jury found him guilty on all 34 counts in the historic hush money criminal case against him. A sour-looking Trump, 77, addressed reporters moments after the jury — five women and seven men — delivered its decision. “The real verdict will be Nov. 5 by the people … I’m a very innocent man,” the glum ex-president told reporters, blaming the ordeal on President Biden. “I’m fighting for our country, I’m fighting for our constitution,” Trump said. “We’re a nation in decline.”

🠊Donald Trump is the first former president convicted of a crime in U.S. history, but it won't stop him from running for president again. His conviction on Thursday does not bar him from seeking a return to the Oval Office in the meantime, even if his possible sentence makes that more difficult. Twelve Manhattan jurors found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records after prosecutors showed he covered up reimbursements to his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about an alleged sexual affair ahead of the 2016 election. Trump denies taking part in a tryst with Daniels. He is expected to appeal the verdict.

🠊TV news networks broke into special coverage across the board as a historic guilty verdict was delivered in Donald Trump’s criminal fraud trial on Thursday in Manhattan.  Broadcast networks preempted planned programming for special news coverage of the 34 felony charges, which came back guilty one by one and were read by each network live on air. Meanwhile, cable news networks initiated additional special coverage plans for the evening following the verdict, after airing coverage of the trial relentlessly for weeks.

➤TRUMP'S POPULARITY SOARING:  Donald Trump currently enjoys his highest net approval rating since December 2021, according to surveys conducted by polling company Civiqs. Data from the pollster showed on Monday that 41 percent of American registered voters had a favorable view of the former president and 2024 presumptive GOP White House contender, against 55 percent who had an unfavorable view, giving a net favorability of -14. This is his best performance since December 29, 2021 and a substantial improvement on his net rating of -22 in October 2023.

Radio Works - And You Can Take That to the Bank

Financial institutions need to convey a wide range of brand attributes in their messaging in order to distinguish themselves from competitors and win over prospective clients. With its mass reach, local influence, and receptive audience, radio is an ideal platform for these financial brands to make people aware of their offerings and grow consideration among consumers. 

Katz conducted brand lift studies for two commercial banks running robust radio campaigns across the country during 4th Quarter 2023. The studies found that both brands' investments in radio successfully boosted interest in opening a bank account with them. Brand consideration increased an average of +20% among those who heard the campaigns.

Not only were listeners more likely to open an account with the respective bank after hearing radio advertising, they were more likely to take other actions as well. 64% of consumers said radio advertising could encourage them to learn more about the bank itself, and about opening an account in the future. A reason that radio advertising helped grow brand consideration and the desire to learn more is that listeners are receptive to financial ads on the radio. 8 in 10 listeners believe it is smart for financial companies to use radio advertising to make people aware of their offerings.

Cleveland Radio: iHM Promotes Two In Sales

iHeartMedia Cleveland proudly announces the advancement of two esteemed sales leaders. Cindy Hunter has been named Senior Vice President of Sales, and Lauren O’Brien has been promoted to Vice President of Digital,. Hunter and O’Brien will report to Keith Hotchkiss, Market President for iHeartMedia Cleveland.

Cindy Hunter
“We are delighted to announce the well-deserved promotions of Cindy Hunter and Lauren O’Brien within our sales leadership team,” said Hotchkiss. “Their exceptional skills, dedication, and vision will undoubtedly propel our market forward and reinforce our commitment to delivering innovative solutions and remarkable experiences for our clients.”

With over 30 years of experience in radio and marketing in Northeast Ohio, Hunter brings a wealth of knowledge and a profound understanding of the local market dynamics. 

Lauren O'Brien
Known for her unparalleled work ethic and unwavering dedication to clients and team members, Hunter has been a driving force behind the market’s success. In her previous role as Vice President of Sales, Hunter significantly enhanced broadcast, event, and digital revenue streams. Additionally, she will continue to represent iHeartMedia as the zone political point for the state of Ohio, further solidifying her influence in the region.

Lauren O’Brien has been promoted into the role of Vice President of Digital for the Cleveland Market. O’Brien’s expertise in digital marketing positions her as a strategic leader in expanding opportunities for clients to leverage the growing digital audio landscape, including podcasting, streaming, and other digital platforms. Her focus on enhancing iHeartMedia’s presence across streaming audio, OTT, social media, and email marketing channels will drive increased engagement and growth for our client base.

eMarketer: Advertisers Are Pulling Money From Linear TV

Key stat:
43% of US advertisers are pulling spend from linear TV to increase investment in programmatic connected TV (CTV) advertising, per November 2023 data from Proximic.

Beyond the chart:

  • US linear TV ad spend will decline by 13.3% next year, while CTV ad spend will increase by 13.3%, according to our forecast. (2024 is an outlier for linear TV due to increased ad spend from the election and Olympics.)
  • Programmatic advertising will account for 84.2% of the $32.09 billion going toward US CTV video ad spend in 2025, per our forecast.
  • CTV is considered a “must-buy” for 69% of advertisers, according to a March 2024 study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Advertiser Perceptions and Guideline.

Generative AI To Impact Virtually Every Sector of Society

According to a new survey conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, here are some key findings regarding the public’s perception of generative AI in news across six countries (Argentina, Denmark, France, Japan, the UK, and the USA):

Awareness and Usage: ChatGPT is the most widely recognized generative AI product, with approximately 50% of the online population in the surveyed countries having heard of it.  In terms of use, ChatGPT is by far the most widely used generative AI tool in the six countries surveyed, two or three times more widespread than the next most widely used products, Google Gemini and Microsoft Copilot. Younger people are much more likely to use generative AI products on a regular basis. Averaging across all six countries, 56% of 18–24s say they have used ChatGPT at least once, compared to 16% of those aged 55 and over.

However, frequent use of ChatGPT remains rare. Only 1% of respondents in Japan, 2% in France and the UK, and 7% in the USA use it on a daily basis. Many users who have tried generative AI have used it just once or twice, and it has not yet become a routine part of their internet use. Only 5% have used generative AI to get the latest news, although that rises to 10% in the U.S.

Radio History: May 31

➦In 1898...Author, Columnist and radio minister Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was born in Bowersville Ohio. For 54 years (from 1935 to 1989), Peale hosted the weekly radio program The Art of Living.  He was best known for the best selling book The Power of Positive Thinking.  He served as mentor to televangelist Robert Schuller. He died Dec 24, 1993 at age 95.

➦In 1908...Entertainer Don Ameche was born Dominic Felix Amici (Died at age 85 from cancer – December 6, 1993), He was an Actor, voice artist and comedian. After playing in college shows, stock, and vaudeville, he became a major radio star in the early 1930s, which led to the offer of a movie contract from 20th Century Fox in 1935.

As a handsome, debonair leading man in 40 films over the next 14 years, he was a popular star in comedies, dramas, and musicals. In the 1950s he worked on Broadway and in television, and was the host of NBC's International Showtime from 1961 to 1965. Returning to film work in his later years, Ameche enjoyed a fruitful revival of his career beginning with his role as a villain in Trading Places (1983) and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Cocoon (1985).

➦In 1943...The comic strip Archie Andrews came to radio on the Blue Network for the first time. Archie, Veronica and the gang remained on network radio for some nine years.

➦In 194?..Longtime Philadelphia and NYC Radio Personality Ross Brittain was born.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Poll: Radio's Best Decade..The 90s, The Worst..Now

It’s fascinating how our perception of different decades in radio programming can vary. According to a recent YouGov survey, conducted from February 29 to March 5, 2024, a majority of Americans believe that the current era of radio is the worst1. Let’s break down the findings:

Best Decades for Radio Programming:

  • The 1990s emerged as the most favored decade, with 12% of respondents considering it the best. This preference was notably higher among younger age groups and Hispanics, with 19% of the 18-29 age group and 16% of Hispanics favoring the 1990s.
  • The 1980s came in a close second, with 11% considering it the best. This sentiment was particularly strong among those aged 45-64 and Republicans.
  • The 2000s received a favorable nod from 10% of respondents, especially among the 18-29 age group and those with higher family incomes.

Worst Decade for Radio Programming: The dubious honor of being the worst decade for radio programming goes to the 2020s. This view was especially pronounced among older age groups and those identifying as Independents and Republicans. The 1930s and 1940s also received some criticism, with 9% and 3% of respondents respectively viewing these decades as the worst.

Other Insights:

  • Alongside radio, the 2020s were overwhelmingly viewed as the worst decade for both music and news reporting. However, interestingly, it is considered the best decade for television.
  • Fortunately for radio, despite these findings, AM/FM radio remains America’s number one mass reach medium. Nielsen’s Q3 2023 Total Audience Report ranks over-the-air radio as America’s most widespread media among adults 18 and older, surpassing social media, online video, and various TV formats. Among 18-49-year-olds, radio ties with social media for the highest weekly reach.
Results of the Polling were first psoted at RadioInk.

Radio Remains Top Audio Platform

Podcast reach continues to grow in the US, with almost half of Americans ages 12 and older now listening to podcasts on at least a monthly basis. Along with this audience expansion, podcasts are increasing their share of ad-supported audio listening time in the US, according to data from Edison Research in collaboration with Nielsen.

The researchers examined the share of US adults’ daily time spent with various ad-support audio types, noting that ad-supported audio “represents the most important part of the audio landscape to advertisers.”

The analysis reveals that podcasts occupied 20% share of US adults’ daily ad-supported audio time during the first quarter of the year, ahead of ad-supported streaming audio (10%) and ad-supported satellite radio channels (3%).

Radio was by the far the dominant form of ad-supported audio listening, at 2 in every 3 minutes (67% share).

However, when narrowing to adults ages 18-34, the data shows that podcasts are growing to rival radio. Indeed, young American adults spent 37% of their daily ad-supported audio time with podcasts during Q1, close behind radio (45% share).

FNC Adds More Viewers YOY Than Any Other Cable News Network

FOX News Channel (FNC) finished the month of May as the highest-rated cable news network, sweeping CNN and MSNBC in all categories during the month of former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial.
Notably, FNC claimed nearly every cable news telecast in the top 100, occupying the top 97 shows in the 25-54 demo and 94 shows among total viewers, while CNN netted zero. Throughout the month, FNC posted double-digit increases versus last year as the competition managed to lose younger viewership despite the intense news cycle. 

In fact, FNC added more viewers year-over-year than any other cable news network, solidifying its place as the go-to destination for breaking news. 

As FNC nearly quadrupled CNN, the network hit a new low, marking the lowest-rated month in primetime younger viewership dating back to 1991. 

Reaching 40 months as the number one channel in primetime and 39 months as the most watched in total day, FNC was the largest audience in all of cable television in total day viewers and third largest in 25-54 demo, finishing behind only sports driven TNT and ESPN. Additionally, FNC occupied its largest share of audience in cable news since March 2023, with more than half or nearly half of the genre’s consumers tuning into the network during primetime in viewers, 25-54 and 18-49 viewers. While remaining the home to the most politically diverse audience with more Democrats and Independents watching FNC than CNN and MSNBC, FNC continued as the number one cable news destination for Hispanic 25-54 demo viewers in primetime.

In Total Day:  FNC delivered 1.3 million viewers and 147,000 in 25-54 demo, beating CNN by 176% and MSNBC by 58% with total viewers. During primetime (7-11 PM/ET), FNC averaged 2 million viewers and 190,000 in 25-54 demo, garnering a 267% advantage over CNN and 77% advantage over MSNBC with total viewers. 

Notably, FNC posted double-digit growth in every category versus same time last year and showed the largest increases among the competition. FNC was up 32% in primetime viewers and 37% in the 25-54 demo, while CNN and MSNBC were both down in the 25-54 demo, losing 14% and 9% of their younger audience, respectively. In total day, FNC was also the only network to see growth in both categories, up double digits (+19% P2+ and 18% A25-54) while CNN and MSNBC both lost younger 25-54 viewership.

Throughout the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump in New York City, FNC has attracted the highest viewership in every category. Beginning on April 15th through May 26th, FNC’s total viewership drew 1.3 million viewers and 149,000 in the 25-54 demo, crushing CNN and MSNBC again by double digit percentages. In comparison to the prior month, FNC was the only network to post growth versus April 2024 in total viewers, while CNN and MSNBC both lost viewers in both categories. In primetime, CNN and MSNBC also lost viewership with CNN shedding 16% of its total viewership and 15% in 25-54 demo, while MSNBC was also down in both categories.

Edison: Where Audio Ads Can Reach Potential Voters

A new report ftrom Edison Research has shed light on the impact of audio advertising in reaching voters, particularly as election campaigns gear up for November. Let’s dive into the findings:

Audio Ads Reach Voters:

The Share of Ear dataset reveals that 84% of the voting-age population engages with ad-supported audio daily. This highlights the continued potency of audio ads as a communication tool.

Republicans stand out as heavy supporters of AM/FM radio, with 9% higher engagement compared to the average population. This preference provides a targeted avenue for reaching Republican listeners with tailored political messages.

Democrats, on the other hand, demonstrate a significant affinity for podcasts, indexing 21% higher than the norm. The focused nature of podcast topics and their engaging format make them ideal for campaigns aiming to appeal to Democratic voters with specific interests or concerns.

Independents, a pivotal group in tightly-contested elections, exhibit diverse audio preferences. They engage most with ad-supported streaming music and YouTube music videos, which offer both visual and auditory stimuli.

R.I.P.: Bob Mackowycz Sr., Legendary Canadian Radio Personality

Bob Mackowycz Sr.
Canadian adio broadcaster Bob Mackowycz Sr., whose visionary programming injected a certain artistic flair into Toronto's cultural scene, has died.

 His son says Mackowycz suffered a sudden and unexpected illness. He died Wednesday at age 75, according to The Canadian Press.

Mackowycz began his radio career at Toronto rock and roll station Q107 (CILQ-FM) during its first broadcast year in 1977; he would later move into sports programming at the city's the Fan 590 (CJCL-AM).

At both jobs, and his many others, he found ways to shake up the system, remembered Bob Mackowycz Jr., himself a radio and TV broadcaster.

When Mackowycz joined Q107, he strived to be both. It helped that he was working within a formative period of Toronto's media landscape as Citytv experimented with new ideas.

His rise at Q107 came fast. He first hosted a daily roundup of local arts events called "Street Beat," which led to his weeknight series "Six O’Clock Rock Report," an hour-long news journal where he interviewed everyone from rock royalty to local musicians.

But "Psychedelic Sunday" arguably left the biggest impression, with Mackowycz diving into albums from the likes of Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane. The program ran for three decades until it signed off in 2018 with host Andy Frost.

Mackowycz left Q107 in 1987 for a job as special projects co-ordinator at Standard Broadcasting. His other roles included leadership positions at Toronto's CFRB-AM and the Fan 590 (CJCL-AM), where he found a creative solution to at least one enormous problem.

After a stint in Washington, D.C., Mackowycz returned to Canada with his eye on bringing Sirius satellite radio to Canada. David Bray said he joined his friend to draft the regulatory application.

Buffalo Radio: Cumulus Stations Raise$430K+ For Children's Hospital

Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) announces that Cumulus Buffalo radio stations 103.3 The Edge/WEDG-FM, Classic Hits 104.1/WHTT-FM, and 97 Rock/WGRF-FM joined forces with its listeners on Tuesday, May 21st, to raise over $430,000 for Buffalo’s John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital (OCH) through the first-ever Giving Day for OCH Radiothon. 

The successful 24-hour fundraising effort leveraged Cumulus Buffalo’s popular on-air and online music platform and passionate listener community to raise funds for critical programs, services and care for the most vulnerable moms, kids, and babies in Western New York.

Stephen Turkovich, MD, President, Oishei Children’s Hospital, said: “It was such an honor and an incredible opportunity to share all of the stories of the patients we have the privilege of caring for here and the tales of the teamwork that helps get kids back to being kids. It was such an emotionally charged, amazing day to see the community come together for Oishei Children’s Hospital.”

Turkovich noted: “The energy was just phenomenal. The energy from all of radio stations, from the callers, the social media reactions. Even being in the room with the radio stations in our New Era Pavilion, it was just such a warm, exciting day. We didn’t know what to expect, as it was our first Giving Day. I think it just exceeded everyone’s expectations. It really was because of the energy that was brought to the room and brought to the radio from all of our partners at Cumulus.”

He added: “Thank you can’t go far enough. The money that people donated is going to go far and wide to help kids, not only with their medical needs, but their psychological needs, social needs and making sure that children, when they come to the hospital, have the absolute best experience, the best technology, the best care providers, the best talent. We can’t do this without the support of the community.”

Beth Coughlin, Regional Vice President, Cumulus Media, commented: “Cumulus Media was extremely proud to be a part of the first Giving Day for Oishei Children’s Hospital and we thank our listeners and partners for their generosity and support. Oishei’s team mission helps kids, every day, to get back to being a kid. We are honored to use our airwaves and digital marketing to help build a better future for families and children.”

5/30 WAKE-UP CALL: Jurors To Resume Deciding Trump's Fate

Former President Donald Trump’s fate rests in the hands of 12 Manhattan jurors in his historic hush money trial, with the verdict carrying the potential to alter the 2024 presidential campaign. The jury sent a note shortly before 3 p.m. EDT requesting to review four sections of testimony from the trial, three from media executive David Pecker, and one from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Almost an hour later, the jurors sent a second note asking to re-hear the jury instructions. Jurors were sent home for the day at 4:07 p.m. EDT. They will resume deliberations Thursday.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday after hearing six weeks of testimony from a parade of 22 witnesses, including a felon convicted of perjury, a porn actress, and the former head of the parent company for the National Enquirer tabloid.

➤TRUMP CONSIDERS ADVISORY ROLE FOR MUSK:  Donald Trump is weighing an advisory role for Elon Musk should the presumptive Republican nominee reclaim the White House. The two men discussed ways to give the Tesla CEO formal input and influence over policies related to border security and the economy, issues Musk has grown more vocal about, people familiar with the talks said, though they added it might not happen. It’s the latest sign that Trump and Musk’s once-frosty relationship has thawed. Musk, along with the billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, briefed the former president on their plan to invest in a voter-fraud prevention project, according to some of the people. The two also told Trump about gatherings that Musk and his political allies host to try to convince powerful business leaders not to support President Biden’s re-election campaign.

➤TRUMP, GOP FAVORED TO WIN: Trump, GOP, favorites to win White House, Congress . . . Former President Trump and the GOP are the favorites to win the races for the White House and for both chambers of Congress a little more than five months before Election Day, according to a forecast model released Wednesday by Decision Desk HQ and The Hill. The model gives Trump a 58 percent chance of winning the presidency and shows him with slight leads in most of the key swing states in the presidential race. Republicans are a more comfortable favorite in the House and Senate, the model says. The GOP holds a 79 percent chance of winning the Senate majority and a 64 percent chance of holding its House majority.