Tuesday, June 18, 2024

On V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!


Taking some time off!  Stay Safe!  Thanks for your support.

Fox News Digital Leads News Brands Platforms

FOX News Digital
finished May as the top news brand with multiplatform minutes and views while seeing month-over-month grow across both categories, according to Comscore. 

FOX News Digital closed out the month reaching 3.2 billion total multiplatform minutes, 1.7 billion total multiplatform views, and 100 million total digital multiplatform unique visitors.* 

Additionally, FOX News Mobile App reached 5.8 million unique visitors in May.** FOX News Digital also led news brands with 2.7 average views per visit, seeing 2% growth month-over-month.

FOX News was once again the most engaged brand on social media in the competitive set in May, with 26.4 million total social interactions, marking the 117th consecutive month FOX News has placed on top, according to Emplifi. 

FOX News drove 7.8 million interactions on Facebook, 16.8 million Instagram interactions and 1.9 million X interactions. On YouTube, FOX News secured 175.3 million video views, according to Shareablee.****

drove 177 million multiplatform views in May, surpassing CNN Business for the 26th straight month and Bloomberg.com for the 37th consecutive month, while seeing 9% month-over-month growth. 

Additionally, the business site delivered 255 million multiplatform minutes (up 13% month-over-month) and 23.3 million multiplatform unique visitors .*** FOX Business’ videos on YouTube remained the most viewed among the business news competitive set for the 30th straight month, achieving 60.6 million views in May, seeing 14% growth month-over-month.*****


Multi-Platform Total Views
  • FOX News Digital – 1,692,000,000 (up 10% vs. April 2024)
  • CNN.com – 1,190,000,000 (down 3% vs. April 2024)
  • NYTimes.com – 1,619,000,000 (up 4% vs. April 2024)
Multi-Platform Total Minutes
  • FOX News Digital – 3,215,000,000 (up 8% vs. April 2024)
  • CNN.com – 1,996,000,000 (up 12% vs. April 2024)
  • NYTimes.com – 1,703,000,000 (up 7% vs. April 2024)
Total Digital Multi-Platform Unique Visitors
  • FOX News Digital – 100,267,000 (down 4% vs. April 2024)
  • CNN.com – 105,994,000 (flat vs. April 2024)
  • NYTimes.com – 77,163,000 (up 5% vs. April 2024)

Fox News Promotes Peter Doocy, Jacqui Henrich

FOX News Media has promoted Peter Doocy to Senior White House correspondent, announced president and executive editor Jay Wallace. In this role, Doocy will continue to provide coverage of the President of the United States’ domestic and international activities as well as the issues that affect the administration.

In making the announcement, Wallace said, “Peter’s commitment to providing viewers with hourly news and insight from the White House has remained steadfast since he started in this role straight off the 2020 campaign trail and we’re thrilled to have him continue doing so.”

Peter Doocy
Doocy added, “I am honored to continue bringing our viewers the latest on the news that impacts them the most from White House and around the globe.”

In his role as White House correspondent, Doocy has covered a variety of major news stories including most recently the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as President Biden on the campaign trail over the last year.

Concurrently,  FOX News Media has elevated Jacqui Heinrich to senior White House correspondent, announced its president and executive editor Jay Wallace. In this capacity, she will continue covering all facets of the White House beat, the President of the United States’ national and international activities and the issues impacting the administration. She will also continue co-hosting FOX News Audio’s FOX News Rundown podcast.

In making the announcement, Wallace said, “Since being named to the White House beat in 2021, Jacqui has distinguished herself with persistence, tenacity and professionalism and we’re proud to have watched her career flourish at FOX News.”

Jacquie Heinrich
Heinrich added, “Covering the White House has been the privilege of my career, and I am humbled and grateful to continue serving our viewers in this capacity. From the North Lawn to foreign summits to the campaign trail, it is my daily honor to seek answers for the American people on the issues impacting them most.”

Throughout her tenure reporting on the White House, Heinrich has provided live coverage on various domestic and global issues impacting the administration, including America’s border crisis, the 2023 Iran prisoner swap, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization bill, the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. She has traveled with President Biden to 17 countries and her questions posed to the president, administration officials and in the White House press briefing room regularly generate headlines and advance news stories on a wide array of topics. In 2022, Heinrich was elected by the White House press corps to represent her peers on the White House Correspondents Association’s board for a three-year term.

Heinrich joined the network as a general assignment reporter based in New York in 2018. 

NFL Commissioner Defends Broadcast Strategy

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell took the stand Monday to defend the league’s broadcast strategy against claims by Sunday Ticket subscribers that they were forced to pay inflated prices to watch out-of-market games on DirecTV.

Courthouse News Service reports Goodell told the jury in downtown Los Angeles that the league’s exclusive deals with CBS and Fox to broadcast the Sunday afternoon games for free is a crucial part in the NFL’s success in growing its fan base. The Sunday Ticket package, he said, had always been a complimentary product for avid fans who want to watch more football than is available through their local CBS and Fox affiliates.

“We want to reach the largest audience we can, preferably on free TV,” Goodell said under questioning from Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for the NFL.

According to commissioner, it has never been a secret that the league didn’t want the Sunday Ticket subscription package, which is now on Google’s YouTube TV, to undermine TV network broadcasts.

The networks, he said, invest a lot of money in producing high quality and innovative broadcasts with the best announcers, and the vast majority of fans will be able to see all their hometown teams’ games for free. The revenue from the licensing agreements with the networks in turn is shared equally by the teams, which Goodell said, helps keep a competitive balance among them and produces the close and competitive games fans want to see.

According to the suing subscribers, the NFL received $23 billion in licensing revenue from CBS and Fox over the 11-year period that their lawsuit covers, as well as $18 billion from DirecTV.

However, Goodell argued that the exclusive deals with the networks benefit the fans because the quality of their broadcasts is “incredible.” The same live broadcasts are repackaged in the Sunday Ticket bundle and shown simultaneously outside the local teams’ markets.

The commissioner also rebuffed the argument by one of the subscribers’ expert witnesses, who testified last week that the NFL wanted the Sunday Ticket package on DirecTV only because the satellite TV provider has a smaller subscriber base than the large cable networks and wouldn’t cut into the viewership of the networks’ broadcasts.

Goodell counters that the NFL went with DirecTV because it had a national network as opposed to the cable TV providers, whose distribution was limited to their specific geographical areas. The satellite service is also available in rural communities that don’t have cable, he said.

And under cross-examination by Bill Carmody, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Goodell defended the league’s position that the Sunday Ticket bundle should be premium priced, even though he insisted the NFL didn’t set the price and that DirecTV was able to offer it for free.

D/FW Radio: KRLD-AM Adds Chad Benson for Middays

Audacy has announced a Dallas-Fort Worth version of “The Chad Benson Show” will now be heard on Newsradio 1080 KRLD weekdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. CT. Benson’s show will deliver news, insights and information relevant to DFW listeners and nationwide via the Audacy app.

“We know our listeners trust KRLD for news updates, and now more than ever, where you get your information matters,” said Drew Anderssen, News & Talk Format Vice President, Audacy, & Brand Manager, NewsRadio 1080 KRLD and Texas State Networks. “We're excited to bring Chad and his wildly popular show to KRLD and deliver trusted news and insights to our listeners. His conversational, informative and funny takes on issues will be a refreshing addition to our weekday programming.”

“I'm so excited to be a part of KRLD, a legendary station with a long history in DFW and North Texas,” said Benson. “I look forward to connecting with listeners about the biggest issues we're facing today.”

Benson is an accomplished talk show host with over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He started in music radio in the 1990s at Audacy’s K-Earth (KRTH-FM) in Los Angeles as the Executive Producer of the “Robert W. Morgan Show.” He has also been the voice of several cartoon characters over the years, including Hanna Barbera’s Droopy the Dog.

📻Listeners can tune in to Newsradio 1080 KRLD AM in Dallas on-air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via X, Facebook and Instagram.

Tegna Names Michael Steib To Succeed CEO David Lougee

TEGNA Inc. Monday announced that Michael Steib, 48, will succeed David Lougee, 65, as President, CEO and a Director as of August 12, 2024. At that time, Lougee will retire from these roles and become Senior Advisor.

Steib is currently CEO of Artsy, the world’s largest online platform for discovering and collecting art, after serving as President and CEO of XO Group, parent company of The Knot. Previously, he spent 10 years in executive positions at NBCUniversal and Google launching, scaling, and acquiring advertising-supported businesses. Steib has a track record of developing high-performing teams that build industry-defining products and brands and deliver extraordinary shareholder returns. He is a published author and has hosted a podcast on leadership and professional development.

Chairman of the Board Howard Elias said, "Dave has had a great run at TEGNA. The Board and I deeply appreciate all he has done to build the company into an industry leader with a strong financial position and a commitment to the communities in which we operate, but we understand his desire to retire as CEO at this juncture. Over the past year, the Board has engaged in a thoughtful and comprehensive succession process to identify TEGNA’s future leadership. We are fortunate that Mike Steib will be Dave’s successor working with a top-notch team.

Mike Steib
"Mike is a dynamic executive with technology and digital savvy, a passion for local journalism, deep advertising and media experience, a history of developing high performance teams, and a track record of successfully building businesses and driving business model transformation. We are confident he has the broad skill set that will be necessary to chart TEGNA’s future at a time of unprecedented change in our industry."

Mike Steib said, "I believe deeply in the power of local news to connect our communities and strengthen our democracy. And I am excited about the many opportunities to leverage technology to enhance this service and generate substantial value for shareholders. With strong operations in more than 50 key markets across America, a history of exceptional journalism, strong cash flow, and a talented and passionate team, TEGNA is incredibly well positioned to seize this moment and build a bright future for local news and community in our country."

TEGNA Adds Two New Independent Directors

TEGNA’s Board of Directors, as part of its regular refreshment process, has appointed two new independent Directors, Catherine Dunleavy, a senior finance and media executive formerly President of Away, and Denmark West, who heads Market Intelligence and Strategic Engagements at X, The Moonshot Factory, a division of Alphabet. They will join the Board on July 1, 2024.

NJ Radio: Bill Spadea, Morning Host At WKXW, To Run for Governor

Bill Spadea
Media personality and longtime New Jersey 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea made it official, launching his campaign for governor, according to a posting at the website of WKXW New Jersey 101.5 FM.

"I'm an outsider they can't control and because I'm unapologetically conservative: Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Trump," Spadea says in a nearly 3-minute campaign video released Monday morning.

Speaking over images of a "drag queen story hour" and headlines about crimes committed by people in the country illegally, Spadea says he is "running for governor to fight for you."

"I'll make the tough budget cuts that scare the career politicians. We'll fix the way we fund schools so suburban parents pay less property tax. Give kids an education at school, not indoctrination. "We'll stop Joe Biden from using our state as a dumping ground for his illegals and end the handouts they get from Phil Murphy and weak sellout Republicans."

Spadea joins an already crowded race in the wide-open 2025 contest. Gov. Phil Murphy is barred from running again because of term limits.

Political observers say Spadea had been hinting at a run for at least a year. He launched the Common Sense Club political action committee in 2023, supporting local and statewide candidates in every election. Last year, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll on potential candidates found he had high favorability and name recognition among GOP voters.

Spadea, a 55-year-old Marine veteran and married father of two who lives in Princeton, has been honing his conservative and populist message for many years as a TV and radio broadcaster following a career in real estate. He has been the morning show host on New Jersey 101.5 since 2015 and previously anchored a nightly local news program on WWOR-TV and Fox 29 in Philadelphia.

Spadea will remain on the air and host New Jersey 101.5’s morning radio drive-time show until he qualifies to run for governor, the station’s owner, Townsquare Media, said this morning.

“Until he becomes a legally qualified candidate, Bill will continue to fulfill his employment responsibilities entertaining and informing the local audience on NJ 101.5 airwaves and digital platforms, as he has done for the last nine years,” the company said in a statement.

Radio History: June 18

➦In 1854....Edward Willis Scripps (Died – March 12, 1926). He was a newspaper publisher and founder of The E. W. Scripps Company, a diversified media conglomerate, and United Press news service. It became United Press International (UPI) when International News Service (INS) merged with United Press in 1958. The E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University is named for him.

Both E. W. and his half-sister Ellen worked with his older half-brother, James when he founded The Detroit News in 1873. E. W. started as an office boy at the paper. In 1878, with loans from his half-brothers, E. W. went on to found The Penny Press (later the Cleveland Press) in Cleveland. With financial support from sister Ellen, he went on to begin or acquire some 25 newspapers. This was the beginning of a media empire that is now the E. W. Scripps Company.

In 1907, Scripps created United Press Associations, later the UPI news service, from smaller regional news services. Scripps later said "I regard my life's greatest service to the people of this country to be the creation of the United Press", to provide competition to the Associated Press.

➦In 1905....James Kern Kyser born in Rocky Mount NC (Died at age 80 from a heart attack – July 23, 1985).  Known as Kay Kyser, he was a bandleader and radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s.

Kay Kyser
"Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge." aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1938 and then moved to NBC Radio from 1939 to 1949. The show rose in the ratings and spawned many imitators. Kyser led the band as "The Ol' Perfessor," spouting catchphrases, some with a degree of Southern American English terms: "That's right—you're wrong", "Evenin' folks, how y'all?" and "C'mon, chillun! Le's dance!"

Although Kyser and his orchestra gained fame through the "Kollege of Musical Knowledge," they were a successful band in their own right. They had 11 number one records, including some of the most popular songs of the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The band scored more than two dozen top 10 hits, including “Three Little Fishes”, “Jingle, Jangle, Jingle”, “The Old Lamplighter”, “There Goes that Song Again”, “Ole Buttermilk Sky”, “Managua Nicaragua”, “On a Slow Boat to China” & “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” One of his singers, Mike Douglas, went on to be a star of daytime TV.

➦In 1908...Bud Collyer  born Clayton Johnson Heermance Jr. in NYC, (Died – September 8, 1969). He was  was a  radio actor/announcer who became one of the nation's first major television game show stars. He is best remembered for his work as the first host of the TV game shows Beat the Clock and To Tell the Truth, but he was also famous in the roles of Clark Kent/Superman on radio and in animated cartoons, initially in theatrical short subjects and later on television. He also recorded a number of long-playing 33 1/3 R.P.M. record albums for children. Some of these had Bible stories, in keeping with his strong connections with his church & deep spirituality.

Bud Collier
Collyer's best-remembered radio starring role began in early 1940 in The Adventures of Superman on the Mutual Broadcasting System, a role he also performed in the subsequent Superman cartoons. Collyer supplied the voices of both Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent, opposite radio actress Joan Alexander as Lois Lane. Every Superman episode featured a scene in which Clark Kent changed into his Superman costume, an effect which Collyer conveyed by shifting voices while speaking the phrase "This is (or "looks like") a job for Superman!" his voice always dropping when becoming Superman.

Collyer got his first helping of game shows when he co-hosted ABC's (the former NBC Blue network) Break the Bank with future Miss America Pageant mainstay Bert Parks; and, when he was picked to host the radio original of the Mark Goodson-Bill Todman team's first game, Winner Take All. Collyer went on to host the television versions of both shows.

In 1911...Sportscaster Russ Hodges (June 18, 1910 – April 19, 1971) was an American sportscaster who did play-by-play for several baseball teams, most notably the New York and San Francisco Giants.

Born in Dayton, Tennessee, Hodges began his broadcasting career in 1934. He was sports editor of WBT, Charlotte, North Carolina until October 1941, when he moved full-time to WOL in Washington, D.C., where he had already been doing play-by-play for the Washington Redskins.[2] He worked for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, and Cincinnati Reds before landing in New York City with the New York Yankees and New York Giants, who during much of the 1940s only broadcast home games and shared the same radio team — lead announcer Mel Allen and No. 2 man Hodges.

From April 14, 1948 to April 22, 1949, Hodges hosted the 15-minute DuMont series Scoreboard, also known as Russ Hodges' Scoreboard. In 1949, Hodges became a No. 1 announcer when the Giants and the Yankees separated their radio networks to each broadcast a full, 154-game schedule. He would be the voice of the Giants for the next 22 seasons on both coasts.

Hodges was at the mike for Bobby Thomson’s 1951 home run, the so-called ‘Shot Heard Round the World.’  “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”  He suffered a sudden & fatal heart attack April 19 1971 at age 59.

➦In 1939… the CBS radio network first aired radio drama The Adventures of Ellery Queen.

With Hugh Marlowe in the title role, Ellery Queen moved to NBC radio in 1942, airing until 1944. From 1945 to 1947, it was heard once again on CBS, returning to NBC in 1947 and then moved to ABC radio (1947–1948). The premise was that a mystery would be dramatized, but then interrupted when a panel of celebrities would attempt to solve it.

Dave Garroway
➦In 1955...NBC’s Monitor program expands to 8 AM Saturday to Midnight Sunday.  According to the Monitor tribute site,  it had everything -- news, sports, comedy, interviews, remote pick-ups from around the world, music -- a true magazine of the air. Listeners could tune in or out at any time during the weekend, wherever they were -- at home or in their cars. During any "Monitor" hour, dozens of different people, places and things were presented -- all presided over, live, by host "communicators" in mammoth New York studios NBC named "Radio Central."

If "Monitor" had failed, NBC Radio would have disappeared decades before it did. But it worked -- indeed, it was a smash hit with listeners, advertisers and critics. It quickly became NBC Radio's biggest moneymaker and kept NBC in the radio business. Simply put, "Monitor" became the biggest thing in radio.

➦In 1961…CBS Radio aired the final episode of "Gunsmoke." In the late 1940s, CBS chairman William S. Paley, a fan of the Philip Marlowe radio serial, asked his programming chief, Hubell Robinson, to develop a hardboiled Western series, a show about a "Philip Marlowe of the Old West". Robinson instructed his West Coast CBS Vice President, Harry Ackerman, who had developed the Philip Marlowe series, to take on the task.

Ackerman and his scriptwriters, Mort Fine and David Friedkin, created an audition script called "Matt Dillon Goes to Gouge Eye" based on one of their Michael Shayne radio scripts, "The Case of the Crooked Wheel" from the summer of 1948. Two versions were recorded. The first, recorded in June 1949, was very much like a hardboiled detective series and starred Michael Rye (credited as Rye Billsbury) as Dillon; the second, recorded in July 1949, starred Straight Arrow actor Howard Culver in a more Western, lighter version of the same script. CBS liked the Culver version better, and Ackerman was told to proceed.

The radio series first aired on CBS on April 26, 1952 with the episode "Billy the Kid", written by Walter Newman, and ended on June 18, 1961. The show stars William Conrad as Marshal Matt Dillon, Howard McNear as Doc Charles Adams, Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell, and Parley Baer as Dillon's assistant, Chester Wesley Proudfoot.

➦In 1965...The call letters of KYW-AM, Cleveland, Ohio returned to Philadelphia.

In June, 1955, Westinghouse agreed to trade KYW and WPTZ to NBC in exchange for the network's Cleveland properties, WNBK-TV and WTAM-AM/FM, as well as $3 million in cash.

After clearing regulatory hurdles, the swap went into effect on February 13, 1956.

According to phillyradioarchives.com, NBC changed the 1060 call letters to WRCV and Westinghouse moved the KYW call letters to Cleveland.

NBC had been interested in acquiring a VHF TV station in Philadelphia for years, the largest market in which it did not own one.  After being rebuffed more than once, NBC (according to Westinghouse) threatened to drop its network affiliation (and programming) from WPTZ and Westinghouse's Boston TV station unless they agreed to the trade.

Not long after the station swap in 1955, the government started an investigation into the transfer that ultimately led to a bitter and complex 10 year skirmish for control of the stations. The battle involved a large list of government and corporate players including the FCC, Congress, Department of Justice, RCA, Philco, Westinghouse and RKO-General. Ultimately, the swap was reversed, and Westinghouse regained control of the stations, renaming them KYW TV and KYW AM.

 In September 1965, KYW 1060 AM became an all-news station.

➦In 1975...WNBC-FM becomes WNWS (Now WQHT 97.1 FM)

➦In 1975...NBC News & Information Service debuted.

NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (also referred to as "NIS"), which provided up to 55 minutes of news per hour around the clock to local stations that wanted to adopt an all-news format.

Not surprisingly, NIS achieved clearances on NBC's FM stations in New York (WNBC-FM, which became WNWS), Chicago (WJOI, the former WMAQ-FM which was renamed WNIS) and San Francisco (KNAI, the former KNBR-FM). WRC-AM in Washington DC also picked it up, migrating their Top 40 format onto FM sister station WKYS (which would be blown up weeks later in favor of disco music). Other major affiliates for the NIS service included WBAL-FM in Baltimore, KHVH in Honolulu, and KQV in Pittsburgh.

The NIS service attracted several dozen subscribers, but not enough to allow NBC to project that it would ever become profitable, and it was discontinued after two years.

➦In 1984...Alan Berg, a combative radio talk show host at KOA 850 AM in Denver died of multiple gunshot wounds after being ambushed outside his condominium. The 50-year-old Berg had reported death threats to police several times.

Monday, June 17, 2024

And The 2024 Radio Hall Inductees Are..

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of eight new inductees into the RADIO HALL OF FAME for 2024. The 2024 Radio Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the in-person 2024 Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on Thursday, September 19, 2024, at the Omni Nashville Hotel in Nashville, TN. Tickets are on sale now at: www.radiohalloffame.com. A portion of ticket purchases is a tax-deductible charitable donation to the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

  • The Crook & Chase Countdown (Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase)
  • Lee Harris
  • Phil Hendrie
  • Jaime Jarrin
  • Kraig Kitchin
  • Barry Mayo
  • Mary McCoy
  • Matt Siegel
Six inductees were determined by a voting participant panel comprised of more than 900 industry professionals and two inductees were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. The confidential ballot was conducted by Votem.com and overseen by Miller Kaplan’s Andrew Rosen.

Dennis Green, Co-Chair of the Radio Hall of Fame, said: “The Radio Hall of Fame welcomes eight new members that have made a lasting impact on the industry. This class, like the ones before it, exemplifies the highest standards of excellence that radio broadcasters have upheld throughout radio’s rich history, making this medium so special to generations of listeners. These individuals have entertained, informed, and enriched listeners with their special talents, and it is an honor to recognize them as the Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2024.”

David Plier, Chairman, The Museum of Broadcast Communications, said: “Congratulations to each of our inductees this year on this well-deserved recognition. I am grateful to the members of the Nominating Committee for presenting a diverse and inclusive group of nominees again this year for industry consideration.” He added: “Co-Chairmen Dennis Green and Kraig Kitchin are providing excellent leadership in involving so many industry voices to this annual induction process. I am appreciative of their many years of service and leadership.”

Fans and industry professionals can find more information, including photos of the inductees, at www.radiohalloffame.com.

Tribute Book ads for the 2024 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony are available for purchase now. Contact Linde Thurman at: Linde@radiohalloffame.com for more information and to buy a Tribute Book ad for the September 19th event.

The Radio Hall of Fame was founded by the Emerson Radio Corporation in 1988. The Museum of Broadcast Communications took over operations of the Hall in 1991.

Scooter Braun Retires from Artist Management

Scooter Braun and some major clients

Scooter Braun announced Monday that he is officially retiring from managing some of the music industry's biggest stars as he fully embraces his role as CEO of Hybe America and spends more time with his children.

NBC News reports it is not entirely unexpected as headlines last year that Braun’s firm, SB Projects, parted ways with singers Demi Lovato and Idina Menzel. Reports also speculated that Braun was potentially on the outs with Justin Bieber, one of his oldest clients, and Ariana Grande.

But Braun issued a statement officially declaring that after more than 20 years, "this chapter as a music manager has come to an end." The move was at least two years in the making, but Braun said that a conversation with a client last year solidified the decision.

"One of my biggest clients and friends told me that they wanted to spread their wings and go in a new direction," Braun said. "We had been through so much together over the last decade, but instead of being hurt I saw it as a sign."

As a talent manager, Braun noted that he was constantly on call for some of the industry's biggest stars 24 hours a day without a day off.

CNN Debate Simulcast Comes With Strings Attached

The scheduled June 27 presidential election showdown between the presumptive nominees, President Biden and former President Trump, is the first time in history that a single TV network has landed exclusive rights to present a general election debate.

The first presidential debate in 2020 between the same two candidates attracted an audience of 73 million viewers, making it one of the last mass audience experiences left in a highly fragmented TV landscape. It’s a much-needed win for the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned news network that has been racked by executive shakeups, budget cuts and declining ratings in recent years.

And CNN isn’t going to let such a stature-building opportunity go to waste, according to The LA Times. Instead of the blue background showing the constitution, as seen in previous presidential debates, viewers will see the red CNN logo. The event will provide a major platform for CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, who will serve as moderators at the network’s studio in Atlanta.

Jake Tapper, Dana Bash

But the potential for blockbuster ratings on CNN will be mitigated by the network’s decision to provide a feed of its production to other networks and digital outlets. Every presidential debate held since 1960 has aired commercial free across the major broadcast networks and, in later years, on cable news outlets CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

So, in order to maximize the opportunity the debate offers, CNN is putting restrictions on the use of the simulcast, right down to what it should be called. A list of conditions has gone out to outlets interested in carrying the event, according to The LA Times citing several executives who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The CNN’s on-screen logo — or “bug,” as its often called — must appear throughout the simulcast, according to the network’s conditions. Other networks can put their bugs on the screen as well, but they can’t obscure CNN’s graphic.

Edison Research: Sports Often A Family Activity

Th e Sports Audio Report)from Edison Research, SiriusXM Media, and GroupM explores sports fandom in the U.S. and the role that audio content plays in fans’ engagement with sports and leagues.

Audio plays an integral role in sports fandom: 64% of sports fans frequently or occasionally listen to sports content throughout the last year via audio, such as radio, podcasts, or SiriusXM. 

Findings were presented in a webinar by Gabriel Soto, Senior Director of Research at Edison Research, Melissa Paris, Vice President of Sales Research at SiriusXM Media, and Jen Soch, Executive Director, Channel Solutions at GroupM US.  

“The idea that sports is more than just a game is at the core of what drives fandom, audio consumption, and the benefits advertisers receive from sports audio. Family, community, and emotion drive this passion unlike any other. What brand wouldn’t want to be associated with this level of devotion?”  Gabriel Soto, Senior Director of Research, Edison Research

Top findings among sports fans include: 

  • Sports is a wide-reaching pastime as two-thirds of the American population, 186 million people age 13+, identify as sports fans. 
  • The majority of fans use sports to keep their family ties strong: 68% of sports fans say it brings their family closer together. 
  • Younger sports fans are interested in athletes’ lives beyond the field (or court, track or pool). The majority of Gen Z and Millennials closely follow the personal lives of athletes they like, beyond their sports careers. 
  • Top findings among those who listen to sports audio: 
  • The vast majority of sports audio listeners say they listen at least some of the time with other people. Sports podcast listeners and SiriusXM sports listeners are even more likely to co-listen.  
  • Sports listening has changed in the last 5 to 6 years. While the majority of sports audio listening still comes from AM/FM radio, podcast’s share of sports listening has almost doubled since 2018. 
  • Younger sports audio consumers are driving the momentum towards digital listening. 13–34-year-olds spend more of their sports audio listening time with podcasts than radio, at a 3:1 ratio. 
  • There’s demand for all kinds of viewpoints. Opportunity alert: 40% of sports audio listeners say there aren’t enough audio programs that cover the sports they like or follow; 40% say there aren’t enough that give different perspectives. 
  • Sports audio consumers take action: 63% of sports audio listeners have gathered more information about a company or product after hearing an ad on a sports podcast or sports audio program. Over half have ever purchased a product or service after hearing an ad on a sports podcast or sports audio program. 
  • Nearly 1 in 4 sports fans have cried because of the outcome of a sporting event they watched or listened to. 23% say yes, they have nearly cried and 26% say they have come close to crying.

➤To View The Completer Sports Audio Report, click: HERE

Biden, Trump Campaigns Agree To Debate Logistics

With less than two weeks until the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, CNN has released additional details on the parameters agreed upon by the Trump and Biden campaigns.

The debate, which will be hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash in Atlanta on June 27, will mark the first in-person showdown of the 2024 campaign between President Joe Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

Both candidates have accepted the network’s invitation and agreed to accept the rules and format of the debate, as outlined in letters sent to the campaigns by the network in May. The 90-minute debate will include two commercial breaks, according to the network, and campaign staff may not interact with their candidate during that time.

Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip.

Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak. While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

Some aspects of the debate – including the absence of a studio audience – will be a departure from previous debates. But, as in the past, the moderators “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion,” according to the network.

In order to meet CNN’s qualifications for the debate, candidates must satisfy the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution to serve as president. Both Biden and Trump meet those requirements, as do Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein, who are running on non-major-party tickets.

Participants must also file a formal statement of candidacy to the Federal Election Commission. All five have done so.

All participating debaters must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting. 

Polls that meet those standards are those sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Though not impossible in Kennedy’s case, it is less likely that candidates other than Biden and Trump will meet those requirements.

Kennedy has received at least 15% in three qualifying polls so far and is currently on the ballot in six states, making him currently eligible for 89 Electoral College votes.

Country's George Strait Breaks Single Concert Attendance Record

Country King George Strait

George Strait broke the record for the largest U.S. ticketed show when he stepped onstage at Kyle Field at Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday.

The "Amarillo By Morning" singer played to a crowd of 110,905 fans in south Texas, breaking an all-time attendance record previously set by the Grateful Dead nearly 50 years ago, reports Fox News Digital.

In 1977, 107,019 fans packed into New Jersey's Raceway Park to catch the Dead show. Strait bested that number on Saturday by nearly 4,000 tickets sold, according to Billboard.

"We got some Aggie’s out there? Oh yeah! I’m ashamed to say this, but this is my first time to ever be in Kyle Field… damn," Strait told the crowd. "Just invite me back, I’ll come!" 

Prior to the show, he sent out a message on X (formerly known as Twitter) and encouraged his fans to arrive early and stay hydrated because they were in for a treat.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was in the crowd to see Strait debut two new songs, "MIA in MIA" and "The Little Things," from his upcoming album, "Cowboys and Dreamers."

Strait has the most No. 1 singles of any artist in any music genre, and he's the only artist to chart a top 10 hit every year for 30 years.

6/17 WAKE-UP CALL: Business Warming Up To Trump

A range of chief executives are flocking to meet Donald Trump again after seeing the chance of a victory by the former president, and are listening carefully as he promises more tax cuts. Business leaders like Jamie Dimon and Brian Moynihan, who historically avoid making endorsements, have shown signs of warming to Trump’s policies or spoken out about Biden’s. Businesses have largely thrived under Biden's administration, with high stock prices and corporate profits, but the FTC has been among the most aggressive in recent years, trying to block mergers and rein in giant companies.

➤OBAMA LEADS BIDEN OFF-STAGE BY HAND: President Biden appeared to freeze up on stage and had to be led off by Barack Obama at the conclusion of a star-studded campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles Saturday night. The awkward moment took place after Biden and his predecessor sat for a 45-minute interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel at the Peacock Theater. As the men stood for applause, Biden’s gaze seemed to become fixed on the crowd for a full 10 seconds until former President Barack Obama took his wrist and led him offstage.

➤SOUTHWEST EXPENSES BALLOONING: Southwest became the biggest U.S. airline by doing things its own way. Trouble is, that’s no longer working. The airlines’ expenses have ballooned and profit margins lag behind some rivals’. Southwest is backtracking on pieces of an aggressive expansion strategy at a time when Americans are booking more flights than ever. To boost its finances, the airlines is looking at making some big changes, like assigning seats, revamping boarding, and offering extra-legroom rows for a fee. It has even started listing fares on Google Flights, a site it used to avoid to drive customers to its own website and app.

➤ISRAEL 'PAUSING' FIGHTING:  Israel is pausing fighting along a route in southern Gaza to let in aid. Israel said it would halt fighting along a strategic route that begins at Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing into the enclave each day during daylight hours until further notice to help the distribution of humanitarian aid. This is the first time Israel has announced a daily pause in fighting in certain areas of Gaza since November. Still, the army said fighting elsewhere in the southern city of Rafah and the rest of the enclave would continue.

NuVoodoo Research: Ratings Respondents are Getting Rarer

The percentage interested in participating in radio ratings methodology continues to ebb. In the latest national study from NuVoodoo, Ratings Prospects Study 24, the percentage who model through as likely to participate in metered or diary methodologies drops from 17% in January of this year to 15% in the latest study. Ratings Prospects Study 24 was fielded May 29 – June 1, 2024 and includes data from 3,188 respondents aged 14-64 nationwide.

Labeled “RPS Yes” in the chart below, the percentage who profile as likely ratings participants – among an already research-friendly sample – is now at 15%, down from 17% earlier this year and at least 20% in two studies in 2023.

This suggests that ratings samples will be further challenged as the ratings services work to maintain profitability in a less cooperative environment. Station marketing efforts will be made more difficult as ratings respondents – proverbial needles in a haystack – become even harder to find. While stations that place digital media buys on behalf of clients can do the same for themselves at CPMs below what they’d pay for managed services, this narrowing of the likely ratings respondents makes it even more critical that targeting is absolutely optimal.

To duplicate NuVoodoo’s approach to targeting, you’d start by profiling the anonymized data of tens of thousands of radio research respondents across a dozen formats while paying close attention to the subsets showing the greatest proclivity toward participating in a ratings-type study. You’d extrapolate those insights to the wider universe and use them to model a look-alike audience in your market. This would allow you to target more precisely, reduce wasted impressions, and increase the odds of connecting with people who can meaningfully impact your ratings.

With spring ratings results starting to roll out July 9 and the fall book starting September 12, most markets will have less than two months to make fall marketing plans. Station budgets are under extraordinary strain during this election year with inventory in high demand – increasing CPMs and reducing the margin for error.

First Presidential Debate Of 2024 To Air On CNN

The first of two scheduled Presidential debates agreed to by President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will take place on Thursday, June 27 at 9 p.m. (ET). The debate will air on CNN with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash the moderators. Jake Tapper is the host of The Lead and Dana Bash is the host of Inside Politics and both anchor CNN’s State of the Union. Forbes reports the first debate will take place at CNN Studios in Atlanta. Georgia. Battleground state Georgia will be one of the more hotly contested states this election year. There will also be no live audience during the debate.

The second Presidential debate is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10 on ABC News, with the location and yet to be announced. The two moderators are expected to be ABC World News Tonight anchors David Muir and Linsey Davis.

Music Publishers Urge States to Investigate Spotify

A trade group representing songwriters and music publishers filed a complaint against Spotify with the Federal Trade Commission last week, alleging the music streaming platform’s decision to bundle subscriptions is deceiving consumers.

Ajc.com reports Georgia is one of 10 states to which the National Music Publishers Association sent its complaint, encouraging attorneys general to investigate the matter on behalf of the Spotify customers in their states. The selected states, which also include Tennessee and North Carolina, have a strong interest in protecting songwriters and robust consumer protection laws, said David Israelite, the NMPA president and CEO, during the organization’s annual meeting this week.

The NMPA alleges Spotify deceived users by changing their music-only subscriptions to bundled audiobook-and-music subscriptions without their consent. As a result, subscribers are paying for products and services they did not intend to purchase, according to the complaint. This month, Spotify announced it would increase the costs of its Premium plan — its second price hike this year. For an individual tier, the subscription will increase from $10.99 to $11.99, and the duo plan will increase from $14.99 to $16.99.

R.I.P.: Paul Brian, WLS-AM Chicago Radio Host

Brian ('51-'24)
Paul Brian, host of the Saturday morning program “Drive Chicago” for more than 20 years on WLS 890 AM died on June 11 following a short illness, according to The Sun-Times.

Brian took listener calls and discussed everything from hubcaps to automotive nostalgia. He stayed away from trouble shooting car problems — he wasn’t good under the hood.

While at WLS, his colleagues Steve Dahl and Garry Meier occasionally imitated Mr. Brian’s famous voice on their show to great comedic effect; sometimes Mr. Brian joined them.

Brian drove a different car every week for years because manufacturers constantly delivered various models to his home to test out and hopefully talk about.

Paul Brian Warhanik (he dropped his last name for radio) was born Feb. 6, 1951, in Chicago. Both his parents owned hot rods. Mr. Brian realized the allure and effect cars could have at a young age.

“I think it was that cars offered me equal footing to the jocks when I was a kid, to be honest,” he told media journalist and former radio producer Rick Kaempfer in a 2008 interview.

Brian bounced around the media landscape. Before working at WLS, Mr. Brian worked at WGN-AM (720) in a variety of on-air positions. One was covering pre-game shows from Soldier Field during the Bear Super Bowl championship season.

R.I.P.: Mark James, Hit-Making Songwriter of ‘Suspicious Minds'

Mark James, a chart-topping songwriter who channeled his own longings in the hit “Suspicious Minds” made famous by Elvis Presley, and whose upbeat “Hooked on a Feeling” became a 1970s staple with an improvised “ooga-chaka” intro, died June 8 at his home in Nashville. He was 83, according to The Washington Post.

After mostly shifting from performing to song crafting in the 1960s, James’s soulful ballads and country-infused pop were covered by stars including B.J. Thomas, Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam. Nelson’s 1982 version of the wistful “Always on My Mind” — which Mr. James co-wrote with Wayne Carson and Johnny Christopher — won Grammy awards for song of the year and best country song.

By 1968, Mr. James had his first successes as a songwriter. Thomas, a friend from Houston, covered “The Eyes of a New York Woman” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1969.

One night in Memphis, Mr. James was toying with melodies on his Fender guitar and Hammond organ. He was married, but was still smitten by his childhood sweetheart. She was married, too. “My wife suspected I had those feelings,” he recalled, “so it was a confusing time for me. I felt as though all three of us were all caught in this trap that we couldn’t walk out of.”

So begins “Suspicious Minds”: “We’re caught in a trap/ I can’t walk out/ Because I love you too much, baby.”

James first recorded the song in 1968, but the single received little attention. His producer, Lincoln “Chips” Moman, had an upcoming recording session with Presley. Moman felt he had a hit on his hands, and he and James introduced Presley to the song. His version, released in 1969, soared to the top of the charts (Presley’s last No. 1 single) and became one of his signature songs at concerts for years.

“Elvis had been out of the market a while,” Mr. James recalled. “Tom Jones was the big thing then. There were questions about how old can a rock artist be. But I bet on Elvis.” Rolling Stone lists “Suspicious Minds” among the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Presley recorded five songs by James, including “Always on My Mind” in 1972 and “Moody Blue,” on an album of the same name released shortly before Presley’s death in 1977.

And “Hooked on a Feeling” was sent into a surprising direction. In 1971, singer Jonathan King added a chanting “ooga-chacka” opening. The Swedish band Blue Swede kept the “ooga-chacka” prelude in a version that topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.

James was born Francis Rodney Zambon in Houston on Nov. 29, 1940. (He took the name Mark James after Houston club owners said they didn’t like Francis Zambon.) 

R.I.P.: Jeremy Tepper, SriusXM Outlaw Country PD

Jeremy Tepper (1964-2024)

Jeremy Tepper, who helped grow so-called “outlaw” country music into an industry force, died Friday night of a heart attack in Jackson Heights, New York. He was 60, according to Deadline.

“I am heartbroken to share the news of the passing of my husband, Jeremy Tepper, who died suddenly today of a heart attack here in Jackson Heights,” said a post from his wife, Laura Cantrell, on Facebook. “Jeremy was an amazing, unique person, a loving father, son, brother, and friend who was close with so many of you, especially his many friends in the music world. We will share more soon about plans to celebrate his life, but we are devastated by this unimaginable loss and ask for privacy and time to grieve.

Tepper was the program director for SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel since 2004, and also helmed the Willie Nelson-centric “Willie’s Roadhouse” and the “Road Dog Trucking” channel, devoted to that industry.

He fronted a band called the World Famous Blue Jays, and in 1990, founded the record label Diesel Only Records in Brooklyn, New York. The label sought to was to revitalize and maintain 45’s for truck stop juke boxes, compilations of truck driving songs, and giving a label home to the country subgenre.

The label is known a 1996 compilation Big Rig Deluxe, that included songs by Marty Stuart, Buck Owens, and Steve Earle. Dale Watson, Ween, and Amy Allison also released albums on the label, as did Laura Cantrell, who Tepper would marry in 1997.

He was brought to SiriusXM by actor/musician Steven Van Zandt, who started the XM Outlaw Country Channel in 2001. As “DJ RigRocker,” Tepper hosted the 6 a.m. to noon shift, then took over the channel in 2004.

Radio History: June 17

➦In 1926.
..Colonel George Johnston and E. G. Hauselt took over WDBO, Orlando from Justice Lee and Maxwell Green.

According to cflradio.net, WDBO began in 1924 as a physics class project. In May  E.F.  Wineberg, a Rollins College math, physics and engineering professor, launched  a 50-watt radio station in a small wooden building on the Winter Park campus.

The first night's programming - less than an hour - included talks by college officials, a violin solo and a performance by the men's glee club, according to the Rollins newspaper that week. It was the first radio station in Orange County and only the third in  Florida. WDBO operated at 1250 on the dial with 50 watts of power for thirty hours a week. There are some conflicting stories surrounding the call letters.

Some research says the call letters were issued in alphabetical sequence as was the policy of the time. There was WDBN Bangor, Maine, and WDBP, in Superior, Wisconsin. That would make the next set of call letters WDBO. Other research shows a request for the call letters WDBO to stand for "Way Down By Orlando."

Rollins College decided the $600 budget to run WDBO was too much and gave the station to Col. George C. Johnston. Johnston was a radiologist from Pennsylvania who headed an investment bank called The Morris Plan, Co. Johnston named the corporation that took ownership of WDBO, The Orlando Broadcasting Company.

Today, WDBO 580 AM airs News/Talk.

➦In 1927...WOR switched to 710 AM.

WOR began broadcasting on February 22, 1922, using a 500-watt transmitter on 360 meters (833 kc.) from Bamberger's Department Store in Newark, New Jersey.

The station's first broadcast was made with a home made microphone which was a megaphone attached to a telephone transmitter, while Al Jolson's "April Showers" was played.  Louis Bamberger's sale of radio sets to consumers explained their affiliation with the station.

The WOR call sign was reissued from the U.S. maritime radio service. The station initially operated limited hours, sharing time with two other stations, WDT and WJY, which also operated on 833 kc. WOR changed frequency to 740 kc. in June 1923 and shared time with WJY until July 1926, when WJY signed off for good and WOR received full use of the frequency. In December 1924, WOR acquired a studio in Manhattan.

On June 17, 1927, as a result of General Order 40, WOR moved to 710 kc., the channel it currently occupies (unlike most stations, it was not affected by NARBA). Later in 1926, WOR moved from its New York City studio on the 9th floor of Chickering Hall at 27 West 57th Street to 1440 Broadway, two blocks from Times Square.

➦In 1941...Experimental W2XBS received a commercial license under the calls WNBT (for "NBC Television"), thus becoming one of the first two fully licensed commercial television stations in the United States, along with CBS' W2XAB on channel 2, which became WCBW. The NBC and CBS stations were licensed and instructed to sign on simultaneously on July 1 so that neither of the major broadcast companies could claim exclusively to be "first."

However, WNBT signed on at 1:30 p.m., one full hour before WCBW. As a result, WNBC (and essentially, NBC) inadvertently holds the distinction as the oldest continuously operating commercial television station (and television network, respectively) in the United States, and also the only one ready to accept sponsors from its beginning.The first program broadcast at 1:00 EST by the sign-on/opening ceremony with the national anthem of the United States of America "The Star-Spangled Banner", followed by an announcement of that day's programs and the commencement of NBC television programming.

WNBT originally broadcast on channel 1. On its first day on the air, WNBT broadcast the world's first official television advertisement before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The announcement for Bulova watches, for which the company paid anywhere from $4.00 to $9.00 (reports vary), displayed a WNBT test pattern modified to look like a clock with the hands showing the time. The Bulova logo, with the phrase "Bulova Watch Time", was shown in the lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern while the second hand swept around the dial for one minute.

Today the station is WNBC-TV.

➦In 1945...Art Bell born (Died at age 72  – April 13, 2018). Bell was a broadcaster and author. He was the founder and the original host of the paranormal-themed radio program Coast to Coast AM, which is syndicated on hundreds of radio stations in the United States and Canada. He also created and hosted its companion show Dreamland.