Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Report: Expect iHM To Sell Under-Performing Stations

Last week's deal was struck in just the nick of time, hours before the radio giant was set to be shut down by its creditors, and it could well save iHeartMedia, allowing it to be reborn and thrive again.

But, according to an article at Forbes, be assured, the iHeartMedia that emerges from the prearranged bankruptcy worked out last week with creditors will be a very different company—and a lot leaner.

Expect to see a dramatic shedding of radio stations, likely hundreds, many at rock-bottom prices.

According to contributor Gene Ely, never mind statements put out by the company that stations will not be sold off. That’s intended to quell fears among employees and stem any flood of talent.

A station selloff is all but assured for a variety of reasons.

iHM has 850 stations, and some number of them are under-performing—losing money, in plain English—or they’re simply in markets where the company sees no future.

It just makes sense for the company to dump those stations and focus on its most profitable stations and markets where it sees growth potential.

You can bet shedding under-performing stations will be a top priority of the major debt-holders, led by Franklin Advisers, as they assume control of the company under the restructuring.

Valuations for radio stations—what they fetch when put up for sale—have been tumbling in recent years, and they could well be headed for a nose dive.

No.2 Cumulus Media, with some 450 stations, is also in bankruptcy—it filed in late 2017—and it could well be forced to unload a slew of stations as it restructures.

The market could well be flooded with radio properties, according to Ely.

If you are iHM, and you want to unload stations, you’ll want to do so quickly, for whatever price, before the flood begins.

Lowry Mays
Back in the late 1990s, Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel, which became iHeartMedia, transformed the radio business by buying up stations and slashing costs, replacing local on-air talent with piped-in music feeds at a fraction of the cost. He took the local out of radio, writes Ely.

However, that business model was built on one critical assumption: that advertisers, and listeners for that matter, had few other options. With his 1,200 stations, Mays had cornered the market, and advertisers and listeners paid the price.

That business model no longer works.

It began collapsing in the 2000s, and quite early on with the rise of digital. Digital offered advertisers better, cheaper ways to reach local audiences, along with better targeting, and gave listeners better alternatives with Sirius XM and then Pandora and other digital radio services.

That business model was already dead by 2008, when Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners orchestrated the disastrous leveraged buyout that loaded Clear Channel with billions in debt it could never pay off.

February PPMs Released For DC, Boston, Detroit, 9 More Markets

Nielsen on Tuesday 3/20/18  released the second batch of February 2018 PPM Data for the following markets:

 7  Washington DC

10  Boston

11 Miami-Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood

12 Seattle-Tacoma

13 Detroit

14 Phoenix

15 Minneapolis-St. Paul MN

17 San Diego

18 Denver-Boulder

19 Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater

21 Baltimore

23 St. Louis

Click Here for Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations

Pandora Becoming An Ad Tech Platform

The music streaming company Pandora is acquiring AdsWizz, a company that specializes in helping deliver audio ads to streaming music services. The cash and stock deal is valued at $145 million, according to BusinessInsider.

Founded a decade ago, AdsWizz is an early player in the verdant realm of "programmatic audio" advertising. The company's suite of software is not unlike what Google or AppNexus have built in the display advertising business.

AdsWizz's suite of software and tools can be used to buy audio ads, package them for sale, and make sure they are automatically delivered to the right person at the right time. The Belgium-based startup works with streaming companies ranging from Pandora rival Spotify, Cox Media Group, as well as the podcast network Podcast One.

The move to acquire AdsWizz essentially thrusts the streaming media company into another category - essentially it's become a facilitator for the audio ad industry as much as a it remains a company that sells ads and music subscriptions.

To date, Pandora has mostly built its ad business by putting sales reps on the ground in local markets, going after ad budgets that traditional have gone to terrestrial radio. But CEO Roger Lynch, who took the role just five months ago, sees acquiring AdsWizz as accelerating Pandora's - and the industry's - adoption of programmatic audio ads.

Originally AdsWizz was focused on web video ads, until it saw an opening and shifted to audio in 2011. CEO Alexis Vandewyer said his company was not necessarily seeking a buyer, but felt the timing was right when Pandora expressed interest.

Vandewyer said that in some markets in Europe, 80 to 100% of streaming radio ads are already sold via programmatic platforms, which gives him confidence that the same dynamic will play out in the US. "We've seen extremely aggressive growth in some markets," he said. "Our goal is to continue to serve the industry, and it's also a very clear set goal to remain independent."

Departing Analyst Rips Fox News As 'Propaganda Machine'

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a longtime analyst for Fox News, told colleagues he is done with the network he says has become "a propaganda machine" for President Trump.

Peters said in an email first reported Tuesday by BuzzFeed that he chose not to renew his contract as a paid contributor with Fox News on March 1 because he was "ashamed" of the network.

He said the 21st Century Fox-owned cable channel has gone from being a valuable conservative voice to "assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers."

The LA Times reports Peters' comments directly targeted the network's opinions hosts — which include Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham — for their consistent attacks on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is also looking into whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired James B. Comey from his post as FBI director.

But Peters' remarks are noteworthy because as a Fox News national security analyst for 10 years, he has been a foreign policy hawk who frequently criticized the Obama administration. He was once suspended from the network for a week in 2015 after an appearance on the Fox Business Network in which he used a vulgar term to describe former President Obama's fortitude in combating terrorism by Islamic extremists.

Peters' email notes that his condemnation of Fox News does not include the hard news reporters at the operation whom he called "talented professionals in a poisoned environment." He also excluded the Fox Business Network, "where numerous hosts retain a respect for facts and maintain a measure of integrity."

CableTV Ratings: FNC, MSNBC Most-Watched -- Even With NCAA...

After Shepard Smith set off some internal Fox News Channel bickering over his description of "entertaining" opinion programming, a glance at the cable television rankings reveals the extent to which political talk has become a pastime for millions of Americans.

The Nielsen company said 26 of the 40 most-watched programs on cable television last week were political shows on Fox News or MSNBC, including each weeknight telecast by Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity and Lawrence O'Donnell.

According to the AP's David Bauder, seven were telecasts of games from opening week of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament and four were professional wrestling. Only three scripted programs — AMC's "The Walking Dead," an HGTV episode of "Fixer Upper" and a Hallmark movie — made the list.

Maddow's Tuesday evening telecast on MSNBC, with 3.42 million viewers, was the most-watched news program on cable last week, Nielsen said. Hannity was in second and third place. Sixteen of the 26 political programs were on Fox, with the other 10 on MSNBC. Fox, which averaged 2.31 million viewers in prime time last week, was the most-watched cable network while MSNBC was second with 1.98 million, Nielsen said.

CNN, which averaged 1.11 million viewers in prime time last week, has been losing ground to its rivals recently as viewers settle into political camps.

CBS was the most-watched broadcast network last week, averaging 7 million viewers. NBC had 5.6 million, ABC had 4.7 million, Fox had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 1 million.

Following Fox News and MSNBC, the remaining three networks in cable's top five were boosted by the NCAA men's basketball tournament. TBS averaged 1.78 million, TNT had 1.77 million and TruTV had 1.55 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.8 million. NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.7 million.

Chicago Radio: SoftAC WRME Paces Sixth 6+

WRME MeTV FM, 87.7 FM in Chicago, continues its upward climb in the February book, hitting a 3.6 Share in Persons 6+, its highest share to date, beating most heritage stations in the market including WLS-FM, WDRV-FM, WLIT-FM, WXRT-FM, WLUP-FM, WSHE-FM, WKQX-FM and WGCI-FM. The station also delivered a weekly TSL of 3:45 and an AQH of 22,100 (Persons 6+). Ratings data are from the recently completed February 2018 Nielsen PPM survey period.

MeTV FM actively supports affiliates with daily promotional TV announcements that advertise the radio affiliate in each market. Both the television and radio formats present timeless and memorable entertainment that resonates with a broad audience.

“The uniqueness of the MeTV FM music format and its presentation seem to have overcome these obstacles in a manner no other broadcaster has been able to accomplish in this or any other market utilizing the 87.7 frequency,” said Neal Sabin, vice chairman of Weigel and the creator of MeTV.

MeTV FM began broadcasting as WRME in February 2015 on 87.7 FM, a part of the dial not accessible on all radios in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest media market. Within a year, 87.7 was competitive in the market. Now, in 2018, its market share has continued to grow. MeTV FM is currently ranked 6th in Persons 6+ in the Chicago market.

MeTV FM was created as a musical companion to America’s #1 all classic television network, MeTV. The radio format is known for its deep, eclectic playlist that mixes a variety of genres. It is curated for long listening enjoyment and features music from an active library containing more than 3,500 songs across four decades of great music.

Stations interested in more information about MeTV FM should visit the MeTV FM web page, or contact Envision Networks at or call 216.831.3761.

Indy Radio: Boomer Layfield To Program Country WFMS

'Boomer' Layfield
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed radio programming professional Christopher “Boomer” Layfield as Operations Manager for its three-station group in Indianapolis, IN, and Program Director for Country-formatted WFMS 95.5 FM.

Layfield heads to Indianapolis from Charlotte, NC, where he was Program Director for iHeartMedia. He has also held programming positions in markets including: St. Louis, MO, Richmond, VA, San Diego, CA, and Nashville, TN.

Tom Stemlar, Vice President and Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Indianapolis, said: “We are so lucky to be able to add a programming star of Boomer’s caliber to help us continue to outgrow a very competitive Indianapolis radio market.”

WFMS 95.5 FM (13 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Layfield said: “Cumulus has assembled quite a talented team in Indianapolis getting great results with a pair of the market’s iconic radio brands in Classic Hits WJJK and Country WFMS, as well as the exciting new CHR Energy 93.9. For me, it’s a privilege and a thrill to join such a thriving operation in one of America's great cities and work alongside such passionate people to elevate these brands even higher...I can't wait to get started! I have to thank Indianapolis VP/Market Manager Tom Stemlar, Cumulus VP/Programming Operations Doug Hamand and Cumulus EVP/Content & Programming Mike McVay for this incredible opportunity.

Seattle Radio: Michael Kraig Mason Lands Nights At KNUC

Michael Kraig Mason
Hubbard Radio/Seattle announces the appointment of Michael Kraig Mason as the Evening Personality at Country KNUC 98.9 FM.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to be back on the air in my hometown! Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye, Greg Strassell and Kraig Kitchin for believing in me and making this happen! I’ve never been more excited in my life” said Michael Mason.

Program Director Lisa Adams said, “Michael is a Pacific Northwest native that is incredibly creative, unique with high energy! Seattle nights are in for something very special!”

KNUC 98.9 FM (68 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Michael Kraig Mason got his start in radio in Portland Oregon at Z100 and most recently handled production and video for the nationally syndicated show “Delilah.” Additionally, he hosted afternoon drive in Seattle at former 104.9 The Monkey for five years.

Seattle Radio: KJR-AM's Chuck Powell Moving To Morning Drive

Chuck & Puck
iHeartMedia Seattle’s SportsRadio KJR 950 AM announced Tuesday the debut of the new Chuck and Buck in the Morning show and The Jason Puckett Show, effective March 26.

Chuck and Buck in the Morning will broadcast weekdays from 6 – 10 am and The Jason Puckett Show will broadcast weekdays from 10 am – 1 pm.

The Chuck & Puck midday show will become The Jason Puckett Show. Puckett has been with Sports Radio 950 KJR AM for 15 years in a variety of roles, and will remain cohost of the new midday show.

Chuck and Buck in the Morning will be hosted by Chuck Powell, who will move to mornings after co-hosting the station’s Chuck & Puck midday show for the last three years, and Bucky Jacobsen, local former MLB Seattle Mariners player who has contributed to the station for several years. Listeners will enjoy the balance and industry experience of a radio veteran and a former pro athlete on the show, which will feature storytelling, wit, and fun energy in the mornings.

Dick Fain, current host of Sports Radio 950 KJR’s morning show, will co-host the station’s new afternoon show with Dave “Softy” Mahler, weekdays from 3 – 7 pm.

KJR 950 AM (50 Kw, DA-2)
“I couldn’t be more excited for this new era at Sports Radio 950 KJR,” said Rich Moore, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Seattle. “We just got bigger and stronger today. We added depth for compelling sports talk, knowledge, and aligned our strong personalities to be Seattle’s strongest local sports talk station.”

TX Radio: Frontier Names Jeff Newsom As OM

Frontier Media LLC/Texarkana Radio Center has named Jeff Newsom Operations and Program Director.

He'll be overseeing News-Talk KTFS 740 AM-K288FI 98.7 FM ; Country KBYB-K257FY, 101.7/99.3 Hot FM; Top 40 KTFS-F, 107.1 The Fox; Urban AC KTOY, Jammin' 104.7 and Classic Hits KTTY, Hits 105.

Newsom was formerly PD of Sports KCBF-AM, 820 Sports and Country KWDD, Wild 94.3, Fairbanks, AK.

President/CEO Richard Burns said, "We are pleased to be able to welcome Jeff back to the senior management team at this exciting growth phase of our company.  Our brands in Texarkana are extremely well positioned and well equipped with amazing brand new digital studios and master control that give our team the best facilities in the region.  Jeff’s deep experience working with the company in the past means he has hit the ground running”.

Newsom said, “My wife and I were enthusiastic about moving to Texarkana when this opportunity came. Laura grew up in the Piney Woods of East Texas, so this is like coming home for her. I am excited about returning to the company. There are so many opportunities to grow in Texarkana. I really look forward to working with my new team”

Station Manager Shannon Thompson added, “We are excited to welcome Jeff to our team.  Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge and love for radio.  He is extremely talented on air and likes to be involved in the community.  Community involvement is one of the many things that sets TRC apart from the other radio groups in the market – he will help our team enhance that.  Jeff is very suited for his role with our team and we happy to have him.”

'#DeleteFacebook' Gains Momentum

People are moving to delete their Facebook accounts and are sharing the news on Twitter, where the hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending earlier this week.

The Wrap reports that after The New York Times and The Guardian reported past weekend that the data of 50 million unsuspecting Facebook users had been taken and then used by a data analysis firm linked to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Cambridge Analytica, to create psychological profiles of them so they could be targeted with political ads.

U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica got the user data several years ago from the creator of a personality test app, called "thisisyourdigitallife," who claimed to be getting the information for psychological research purposes, which some 270,000 people downloaded.

Because of Facebook's rules at the time, the app was able to pull data from the Facebook friends of those 270,000 people, which is how they got information from 50 million people who never knew about it and didn't give permission.

The researcher, Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan, gave all that data to Cambridge Analytica in 2014 which, under Facebook's rules, he wasn't supposed to do. Facebook changed the rules in the years since so that friends' data can no longer be scraped that way, and it claims that it removed Kogan's app when it learned in 2015 that it had misused the data. But for many users, the news highlighted the danger of Facebook having the personal information of more than two billion users.

NYC Radio: WQHT Host Gets Pushback Over 'Trash' Comments

Ebro Darden
Teachers are not happy with the host of a popular morning radio show after he slammed the Jersey City school district and its educators last week, calling the city's school system "trash," reports The Jersey Journal.

During WQHT Hot 97's "Ebro in the Morning" show on Friday, host Ebrohim "Ebro" Darden was critical of the teachers after they walked off the job Friday morning to strike for a new contract with lower health costs.

Darden, a Jersey City resident for 15 years, received voicemails and angry social media posts about his comments, prompting a discussion yesterday morning about the strike -- which ended Sunday night -- and the city's school district.

"Jersey City public schools is trash ... and I was pissed that they was on strike," he said during Monday's show when talking about the backlash. "Are we striking and our schools is trash?"

Darden, whose argument didn't get much support from co-hosts Peter Rosenberg and Laura Stylez, said the schools underperform and blamed teachers, district officials, and even Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.

"Jersey City teachers went on strike, they deserve a contract, they deserve better health benefits they say. I don't disagree," Darden said. "I don't know all your health benefits but look, anyway to make it better I'm for it but dammit, the school system in Jersey City is not good. It's trash, basura. So that makes everyone involved trash, and those of us that live in Jersey City, same, it's a reflection of all of us."

A Jersey City teacher named Silvia called and told Darden he was doing everyone a "disservice" by only pointing to the ratings of the 29,000-student district as an overall reflection of how teachers do their jobs.

Jersey City Board Education President Sudhan Thomas said in a statement that he "was deeply disappointed" by Darden's comments.

He said while there areas the district can make improvements, it does not mean schools and teachers are trash.

Spotify CEO Eligible To Sell Up To $2B Stake

Daniel Ek, the CEO and co-founder of streaming music leader Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N), is eligible to sell up to 15.8 million shares of the company worth up to $2 billion in its direct listing, according to Reuters citing a company filing on Tuesday.

In an amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Spotify said it expected current shareholders to sell up to 55.7 million ordinary shares when the stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange on April 3.

Instead of a traditional IPO, Spotify plans a direct listing, which will let investors and employees sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite the offering.

Spotify is valued at roughly $19 billion on the private markets but has not set an opening share price for its direct listing. The company has hired Morgan Stanley & Co (MS.N) to help evaluate buy and sell orders on the NYSE to help set an opening price.

But the company, which was founded in Sweden, disclosed for the first time how many shares Ek, its 35-year-old chief executive, would be able to sell. The stake is worth between $775 million to $2 billion at the most recent private market prices, which ranged from $48.93 to $131.88 for the month of March, according to Spotify’s updated filing.

The move allows Ek to sell the shares but does not obligate him to do so, and Ek has given no public indication he plans to sell them. Ek will retain 37 percent voting power in Spotify regardless of how many of the newly registered shares he sells. Ek and fellow Spotify co-founder Martin Lorentzon together control more than 80 percent of the voting power in the company.

FNC's Bret Baier Books James Comey Book Tour Stop

Bret Baier has booked fired former FBI Director James Comey for April 26. The Special Report booking will mark Comey’s first appearance on Fox News Channel in promotion of his upcoming book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, which comes out April 18.

James Comey
According to Deadline-Hollywood, Fox promises that chief political anchor Baier also will discuss the ongoing Russia investigation, the Trump administration and other topics.

Lots to work with: In its bio of Comey, his publisher notes he served as director of the FBI from 2013-17 and was appointed to the post by President Obama. Comey previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and was the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush.

The content of Comey’s book is top-secret stuff. Flatirons is using a password-protected electronic system on the project, and all who touch it — including shipping workers — have to sign NDAs, Politico reports.

'My Girl', 'Sound Of Music', 'Rumors' Added To Recording Registry

It began with a simple two-note figure: one long, two short, played on the bass, the genesis of what became the first No. 1 hit for Motown Records' group the Temptations back in 1965.

Now "My Girl" is also one of 25 sound recordings being honored with election to the National Recording Registry, a compendium of recorded works singled out by the Library of Congress for their historical, cultural or aesthetic significance, reports The LATimes.

"It's a dream come true for me, man," the song's co-writer, William "Smokey" Robinson, 78, told The Times on Tuesday. "When I write something, I try to write something that will mean something — and mean something from now on, or in this case, from then on."

"My Girl," which Robinson wrote with his bandmate in the Miracles Ronald White, is joined this year by two dozen other typically diverse recordings being added to the registry, which was established by Congress as part of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000.

They include Run-DMC's 1986 breakthrough rap album "Raising Hell" and Tony Bennett's signature 1962 pop ballad "I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Also included is news coverage of proceedings that led to the creation of the United Nations and Bill Haley and His Comets' 1954 call to teenage action on the dance floor, "Rock Around the Clock."

Fleetwood Mac's 1977 blockbuster rock album "Rumours" is also newly headed into the registry along with the 1965 soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" featuring Julie Andrews, a 1972 live album "An Evening with Groucho" documenting the famed comedian's performance at Carnegie Hall and pianist Artur Schnabel's set of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas recorded from 1932 to 1935.

Other notable entries include Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” ″Le Freak” by Chic and  Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”.

For Run-DMC member Rev Run, news of "Raising Hell" joining the registry is "a massive honor. I could not believe that something we put together so many years ago was going to be honored at such a high level. I had to ask my manager two times if this was for real.

The newly designated recordings span nearly the entire 20th century. Included is a 1911 recording by Victor Herbert and his orchestra of Herbert's operetta "Dream Melody Intermezzo: Naughty Marietta," as well as a 1996 album from cellist Yo-Yo Ma that premiered contemporary cello concertos by Richard Danielpour, Leon Kirchner and Christopher Rouse.

Recordings must be at least 10 years old before they become eligible for the registry. The choices are not limited to music, although music represents the vast majority in the registry.

There are also spoken-word recordings and noteworthy newscasts, including NBC Radio's World War II-era coverage of the gathering in San Francisco of people from around the world that led to the creation of the United Nations.

March 21 Radio History

Howard Cosell with Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali)
➦In 1918...influential sportscaster Howard Cosell was born in Winston-Salem NC.  He started sports broadcasting with 77 WABC Radio in New York in the 1950’s, joining WABC-TV as sports anchoir in 1961. He came to national attention televising boxing, specifically the career of Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali.  His notoriety skyrocketted as commentator on Monday Night Football beginning in 1970. He died of a heart embolism April 23 1995 at age 77.

➦In 1921...Walter Kerr Theater opened at 223 W 48th St NYC.  It was operated by ABC as a radio and then television studio between 1943 and 1965.

➦In 1922...KGW-AM, Portland, Oregon began broadcasting.

The Oregonian newspaper created KGW-AM (now Sports KPOJ 620 AM RipCity, owned by iHeartMedia) by purchasing an existing transmitter from the Shipowners Radio Service. The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed the station, and it began broadcasting on March 21, 1922

The studio was housed on the 11th floor of The Oregonian Building Tower at Sixth & Alder Streets. The transmitter was located on the 13th floor. The antenna consisted of a 70-foot, four-wire inverted "L"-type flattop, suspended between a 60-foot mast on top of the building and a 95-foot tower on the nearby Northwestern Bank Building.

R.G. Calvert supervised the operation and Richard “Dick” Haller was the program director. Their aim was to give their listeners news fresh from the press with the best music and outstanding speakers. KGW’s early announcers and writers were usually former newspaper employees, and the first engineers and technicians came from the ranks of former maritime wireless radio operators.

When the station first went on the air, 5,000 radio sets were said to have tuned in. Speakers included The Oregonian’s Editor, Edgar Piper and Mayor George Baker. There was also an opera singer, a novelist and a live musical presentation. Dick Haller became known as KGW’s “Million-Dollar Voice” and his broadcasts were very popular. He would go on to a successful career with NBC in San Francisco.

As an early radio station experiencing tremendous popularity, KGW implemented many innovative new broadcasting ideas. KGW set itself apart from the other stations by having the first radio variety show in the nation, the first audience participation show, the first quiz program, the first library program, the first radio debate, the first in-school listening program and the first singing commercial. In 1925, on-air advertising became a source of KGW’s operating revenue. KGW produced the first-ever singing commercial for Sears, Roebuck and Company in the late 1920s.

KGW was the first station in Oregon to affiliate with a national broadcasting service when they carried the inaugural program of the National Broadcasting Company’s Orange Network on April 5, 1927. The Orange Network was known as the NBC Pacific Coast Network.

The nationally famous Hoot Owls, officially known as "The Order of Hoot Owls Roosting in the Oregonian Tower" aired from 1923 to 1933 as a 2-1/2 hour variety show that was broadcast to over one million listeners. Their slogan soon became "Keep Growing Wiser," whose initial letters represented the KGW call letters.

One of the performers on the Hoot Owls program, Mel Blanc, achieved fame as the author of cartoon characterization in later years in Hollywood where he became the nation’s voice for cartoon characters such as Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Blanc, who received his high school education in Portland, joined the program in 1927. Nicknamed "The Grand Snicker" on the Hoot Owls, Blanc became well known for his comedy, as well as his skills as a storyteller, ad-libber, musician, vocalist, and, later, orchestra pit conductor.

Blanc left KGW in 1933 and moved down the hall to perform on sister station KEX in the popular "Cobwebs and Nuts" program, before moving to Hollywood in 1935.

➦In 1924...WJZ-AM, New York City, became the first station to broadcast a foreign language course.

The WJZ callsign was first used on what is now WABC in New York City. The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, located originally in Newark, New Jersey. WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York, and in 1926 WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network. In the 1929 movie The Cocoanuts the station was name-checked by Chico Marx in a sequence of running gags between Chico and Groucho: Chico uses the station's call-sign as the punchline of a punning joke based on his confusion over the meaning of the word "radius", which he confuses with 'radios', leading to the mention of the station's call-sign. NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942. ABC later established WJZ-FM and WJZ-TV at the same time in 1948.

In 1953 ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, and changed the call letters of their New York area stations to WABC, WABC-FM (now WPLJ) and WABC-TV. Four years later, Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired Baltimore television station WAAM (channel 13) and changed its call letters to WJZ-TV, which remained an ABC affiliate until 1995 when the station switched to CBS.

➦In 1925...the voice of Lowell Thomas was first heard on radio. Thomas was heard talking about “Man’s first flight around the world,” on KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA.

➦In 1939…Kate Smith recorded "God Bless America," a 1918 Irving Berlin composition that he had revised and she had introduced on her radio show in November 1938.

➦In 1948..."Stop the Music" debuted on the ABC Radio Network starring Bert Parks.

➦In 1952...Alan Freed hosts first rock concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, at the Cleveland Arena.

At the time, its most remarkable feature was its mix of black and white musical performers, in a revue intended for a racially mixed audience, at a time when almost all performances, radio stations and record labels were de facto segregated by race. One popular belief is that this fact predisposed the authorities to seek reasons to limit or bar the show.

The concert was organized by Alan Freed (a disc jockey considered to have coined the term "Rock and Roll" at WJW-Radio), along with Lew Platt, a local concert promoter, and Freed's sponsors, including Leo Mintz, owner of the Record Rendezvous store. More tickets were printed than the arena's actual capacity, in part due to counterfeiting, and a printing error (tickets for a follow-up ball were sold with the same date printed after the first had sold out). With an estimated 20,000 individuals trying to crowd into an arena that held slightly more than half that — and worries that a riot might break out as people tried to crowd in — the fire authorities shut down the concert after the first song by opening act Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams ended. Freed made a public apology on WJW the next day.

Cleveland rock radio station WMMS 100.7 FM attempted to stage a revival of the concert in 1986 under the name "Moondog Coronation Ball II"; then-program director John Gorman had intended for the event to serve as an oldies rock and roll tribute concert – part of the campaign to bring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland. For legal reasons, the event never materialized.

A few years later in 1992, Gorman, then at local oldies radio station WMJI 105.7 FM, successfully organized a 40th anniversary concert called "Moondog Coronation Ball '92". The concert has been held every year since, featuring oldies rock and roll acts, and sponsored by WMJI. In recent years, the event has been held at Quicken Loans Arena.

➦In 1995…The TV sitcom "NewsRadio," starring Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Khandi Alexander, and Phil Hartman, began its five-season run on NBC.

➦In 1995...the city of New York sold the two Radio stations it owned: WNYC AM and FM.

WNYC is one of the oldest radio stations in the United States. Funds for the establishment of the station were approved on June 2, 1922 by the New York City Board of Estimate and Apportionment. WNYC made its first official broadcast two years later on July 8, 1924, at 570 AM with a second-hand transmitter shipped from Brazil. With the commencement of WNYC's operations, the City of New York became one of the first American municipalities to be directly involved in broadcasting.

In 1928 WNYC was forced into a time-sharing arrangement on 570 AM with WMCA, another pioneering New York radio outlet. This situation lasted until 1931, when the Federal Radio Commission (a forerunner to today's FCC) moved WNYC to 810 AM. The frequency move did not help WNYC from an operational standpoint as it now shared its frequency with the more-powerful WCCO in Minneapolis, over 1,200 miles to the west. WNYC was now limited to daytime-only operations, broadcasting from sunrise to sunset.

Shortly after assuming the mayoralty in 1994, Rudolph W. Giuliani announced he was considering selling the WNYC stations. Giuliani believed that broadcasting was no longer essential as a municipal entity, and that any financial compensation would be used to help the City cover budget shortfalls. The final decision was made in March 1995: While the City opted to divest WNYC-TV (now WPXN-TV) through a blind auction, WNYC-AM-FM was sold to the WNYC Foundation for $20 million over a six-year period–far less than what the stations could have been sold for if they were placed on the open market.

While this potential sale put an end to the occasional political intrusions of the past, it required the WNYC Foundation to embark on a major appeal towards listeners, other foundations, and private benefactors. The station's audience and budget have since continued to grow since the split from the City.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ESPN Radio’s TV Simulcasts to Have One Home

Beginning Monday, April 2, the TV simulcasts of ESPN Radio’s weekday morning Golic and Wingo and mid-day’s The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will join afternoon’s The Will Cain Show on ESPNEWS, making the network the TV home of ESPN’s three weekday national radio simulcasts.

Golic and Wingo has been seen on ESPN2 since its launch in November and will continue from 6 – 10 a.m. ET.  The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz has aired on ESPNU since September 2015 and is seen 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  The Will Cain Show has aired 3 – 6 p.m. on ESPNEWS since it debuted January 2.

“We thought it important to bring the ESPN Radio simulcasts together, for one-stop-shopping, as it were, on ESPNEWS,” said Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Audio.  “There are benefits in this move for advertisers and viewers alike, and with the other changes to the daily programming on our networks, the time was right.”