Thursday, February 22, 2018

CBS News Names Margaret Brennan As New FTN Host

Margaret Brennan
Margaret Brennan, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, will be the next moderator of “Face the Nation,” the network’s prestige Sunday morning public affairs show and one of the most influential venues in American politics.

The NYTimes reports her new role, announced by CBS on Thursday, makes Ms. Brennan, 37, the only woman currently serving as a solo anchor of a major Sunday political affairs show. She succeeds John Dickerson, who left “Face the Nation” in January after less than three years to replace Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning.”

Along with mainstays like NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week,” “Face the Nation” features interviews with prominent lawmakers and White House officials that often make news, and can forge Washington’s political agenda for the week ahead.

For decades, the hosts of these shows have primarily been men.

Ms. Brennan, whose debut is set for Sunday, joined CBS News in 2012 after a decade in financial journalism, working as an anchor and correspondent at Bloomberg Television and CNBC. She said in an interview on Thursday that she hoped “Face the Nation” would offer a dose of civility in a highly charged political moment.

“Sometimes it’s overwhelming for viewers, because there is such an unrelenting news cycle right now,” Ms. Brennan said. “This is a place where we need to have some perspective, have a civil conversation and take a step back.”

Little Rock Radio: KABZ Drops 'Babe' From Bracket Contest

Sports KABZ 1037 FM has renamed its "Babe Bracket," weeks after it became a news topic.

The Babe Bracket is an annual competition that pits female journalists against each other in a March Madness-style competition as part of the morning show on 103.7 The Buzz. The women who make the bracket advance to next rounds based on votes from listeners.

The Buzz posted the following explanation on its website:
The hosts of 103.7 The Buzz’s The Show With No Name announced this week that there will be changes made to the annual on-air event known as “The Babe Bracket”. From now on as part of a natural evolution and in an attempt to better reflect the nature of the segment, the annual, listener-voted contest will now be known as “The Bracket With No Name”. The goal of this event has always been to let Buzz listeners get to know local TV journalists and celebrities better and allow the contestants to have an open forum to show their personality, share what they are passionate about and talk to members of our great community. It is of the utmost importance to hosts Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott and RJ Hawk that the women who are part of the event are treated with respect and celebrated for all of the things that make them so popular with our listeners and their viewers. 
The winner of this year’s Bracket With No Name will receive a spa package and in addition, 103.7 The Buzz will also be making a $500 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.
The contest begins each March with 16 women in eight pairs. Listeners to KABZ 103.7 FM show titled "The Show With No Name" vote on which women they like best. Eventually, 15 are eliminated. Past winners have received a crown and flowers.

One critic Stephanie Sharp, an anchor at KARK television, said that amid an international backlash against sexual harassment, the contest is outdated.

Nielsen Releases January PPMs For D-C, Boston, Miami, 9 Other Markets

Nielsen on Tuesday 2/20/18  released the second batch of January 2018 PPM Data for the following markets:

  7  Washington DC

10  Boston

11  Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood FL

12  Seattle-Tacoma

13  Detroit

14  Phoenix

15  Minneapolis-St. Paul

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.

iHM Senior Lenders Want To Unite All Creditors

Senior lenders to iHeartMedia Inc. are preparing to pitch a new term sheet to junior bondholders in an attempt to unite all the creditor groups behind a common proposal as time runs out for the radio giant’s debt restructuring, according to Bloomberg citing people with knowledge of the conversations.

The senior group, led by Franklin Resources and advised by PJT Partners and Jones Day, held a call Tuesday to finalize terms of the proposal, according to one of the people. The group plans to pitch it this week to holders of iHeart’s 14 percent notes due 2021 and legacy notes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The proposal is the latest step in a series of recent conversations between the different groups.

iHM spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg declined to comment. A spokeswoman for PJT declined to comment, while representatives for Franklin Resources and Jones Day didn’t immediately provide comment.

iHM is teetering ever closer to a default on its $20 billion debt load. The company skipped a $106 million interest payment due Feb. 1 on its 14 percent notes, kicking off a 30-day countdown to an official default. Creditors expect the company to file for bankruptcy by the end of the grace period, and are negotiating with each other and the San Antonio, Texas-based company to reach a pre-arranged plan before time runs out, according to the people.

The senior group is betting that a shared desire to deny current equity owners any stake in a restructured company will get junior creditors on board with their latest proposal, the people said. Cleansing documents filed by the company on Feb. 9 showed that iHM’s insistence on retaining equity stakes for its current owners remains the main obstacle to a consensual deal.

The latest term sheets proposed by both the company and the senior lender group involved a pre-packaged or pre-arranged bankruptcy and offered lenders full ownership of iHM’s healthy billboard subsidiary Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The proposals offered $200 million of new debt and 5.25 percent of new equity in the recapitalized iHM, as well as warrants, for existing holders of the more-junior 2021 and legacy notes.

Pandora Reports Improving Financials

Pandora shares jumped more than 9 percent after reporting significant growth in subscription revenue.

According to CNBC, the music streaming company reported mixed fourth quarter financial results on Wednesday, beating analyst expectations for revenue, but missing on earnings by about 14 cents.

The company reported a 63 percent bump in subscription revenue, an important metric for the music streaming company, bringing the yearly total to $97.7 million. Pandora also tallied 5.48 million subscribers, a 25 percent increase from the previous year.

Pandora also announced intentions to invest $45 million into new growth initiatives, like ad-tech, non-music content, device integration and marketing technology, as it continues to build out its "Premium Access" on-demand services, to better compete with companies, like Spotify.

In the fourth quarter, Pandora reported a loss per share of 21 cents on $395 million in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting loss per share no greater than 7 cents on revenue of $376 million.

“Digital audio is on the verge of massive growth – music consumption is increasing, podcasts are gaining popularity and voice-activated devices are quickly becoming mainstream. Just like video, audio is transitioning from a one-to-many broadcast experience to a one-to-one model with personalization at the core. Pandora’s scale, listener engagement and data position us well to capitalize on these trends,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Pandora, in a statement. Lynch took the helm at Pandora last year.

Sinclair To Spin Off Trib TVs In NY

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc has agreed to sell TV stations in Chicago and New York owned by Tribune Media Co as part of its bid to win approval to acquire Tribune, according to a filing on Wednesday with the FCC.

According to Reuters, Sinclair, which is already the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, announced plans in May to acquire Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households, in a $3.9 billion deal.

In a joint filing by the two companies, Tribune said it will file an application to sell WGN-TV in Chicago and WPIX-TV in New York “in order to come into compliance” with FCC ownership rules. And Sinclair said it does not plan to acquire Tribune station KSWB in San Diego.

Sinclair said that not acquiring the Chicago, San Diego and New York stations will shrink its national audience reach by about 8 percentage points.

Sinclair has agreed to sell stations in markets where it overlaps with Tribune, but has not yet identified which stations it will sell in some markets. Many of the stations it plans to sell are current Tribune stations.

Sinclair said in the filing that to meet other ownership limits it will divest one or more stations in eight markets: Seattle; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; Oklahoma City; Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, North Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Richmond, Virginia; and Des Moines-Ames, Iowa.

Sinclair said it is asking the FCC for consent to retain two stations in each of three markets in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

The FCC said last month it was pausing its informal 180-day timetable for completing its review of the transaction to evaluate Sinclair’s offer of divestitures.

NRA Spox, Sheriff Clash During Gun Town Hall

Sheriff Scott Israel, NRA Spox Dana Loesch
The National Rifle Association spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, took some heat at CNN's town-hall event on gun violence Wednesday night, which featured impassioned dialogue between students, parents, educators, and politicians.

Loesch is also a syndicated radio host and TV pundit.

BusinessInsider reports the discussion at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, had been heated from the start, but seemed to hit a fever pitch once Loesch argued on behalf of the NRA.

Emma Gonzalez, one of the most vocal survivors of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, asked Loesch whether she believes it should be more difficult for people to obtain semi-automatic weapons and modifications like bump stocks that can mimic fully automatic weapons.

"I don't believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever" Loesch said, referring to the 19-year-old Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz. "I do not think that he should have gotten his hands on any kind of weapon."

"This individual was nuts, and I — nor the millions of people that I represent as a part of this organization that I'm here speaking for — none of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm," Loesch said.

The NRA spokeswoman insisted that she is fighting for survivors like Gonzalez, so they won't have to "be in this position again."

That comment apparently did not sit well with some of the attendees, including Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who challenged Loesch on the assertion: "You're not standing up for them until you say, 'I want less weapons,'" Israel said, amid raucous cheering and applause.

Shooting Survivor Claims CNN Gave Him Scripted Question

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab said he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night's town hall but decided not to after the network gave him a "scripted question," quashing one he wrote himself. Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC shielded students while the school was under attack from the shooter, said he was going to ask about using veterans as armed security guards.

"CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted," Haab told WPLG-TV.

Real Clear Politics reports CNN aired a town hall on the Florida school shooting with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) that included NRA's Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel that was moderated by Jake Tapper. Students and parents asked questions about gun control and school safety.

"I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions," Haab said.

"Colton Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC who shielded classmates in the midst of terror says he did not get to share his experience," WPLG's Janine Stanwood explained.

"Colton wrote questions about school safety, suggested using veterans as armed school security guards but claims CNN wanted him to ask a scripted question instead so he decided not to go," Stanwood reported.

CNN Announces New VP/National News

Terrence Burke
Terence Burke, senior vice president of national news for CNN, lost his job Wedneday, replaced by Virginia Moseley, CNN’s senior vice president of Washington newsgathering and deputy bureau chief.

The move is being seen as a budget cut.

She will report directly to boss Jeff Zucker, according to

Virginia Moseley
Burke was promoted to that position in 2011. The job oversees rapid response to breaking news, and in-depth reporting and coverage of national stories. He worked at CNN in various roles going back to 1999.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank Terence Burke for his many years of service to CNN,” said Burke’s now former boss Andrew Morse in staff note. “He has played a critical role in shaping our domestic newsgathering organization, and he has brought great enthusiasm, skill and creativity to every assignment…We wish Terence the very best as he seeks his next role.”

Morse himself will now just oversee CNN Digital, which has seen rapid growth in the past couple of years but recently reduced staff as strategy shifted.

In the past couple of weeks, there have also been cuts at Turner sales in New York and technological services at Turner in Atlanta.

Lexington KY Radio: WVLK-FM Drops Country For Adult Hits

Cumulus Media announces that it has launched Lexington’s newest radio station, 101.5 Jack FM, on WVLK-FM.

The Jack FM station debuted at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 20, and segued from its previous NASH Icons Country format to Jack FM’s popular Variety Hits programming with The Cars’ “Just What I Needed”. The station also launched its new website,

Scott Frazier, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Lexington, said: “We are looking forward to introducing Jack FM to Central KY. Jack is the #1 branded radio format in the country, and the programming energizes listeners with its truly original brand and “we will play anything” attitude.”

WVLK 101.5 FM (9 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Anthony “Twitch” Longo, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Lexington, said: “We are beyond excited to unleash Jack FM upon the fine people of Central Kentucky! Jack is a terrific brand, and a perfect complement to rest of our cluster. I can’t wait for Lexington to get to know Jack! “

Miami Radio: WAXY's Len Weiner To Also Program WQAM

Len Weiner
Entercom has announced Len Weiner as the new Program Director for WQAM 560AM, Miami’s Sports Radio.

Len’s new role is in addition to his current programming responsibilities for Sports Talk WAXY 790 AM The Ticket in Miami.

“Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami,” said Keriann Worley, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom South Florida. “Adding the 560 WQAM Program Director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit. I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

“I’m very excited to be able to work at Miami’s two premier sports radio stations. There is great talent on both teams, and to be part of a heritage station like WQAM and to continue to work on a successful station like The Ticket, is an amazing opportunity,” said Len. “I’m looking forward to it all. Thank you to Keriann Worley, Doug Abernethy, Chris Oliviero, Pat Paxton, Weezie Kramer and David Field for this incredible opportunity.”

WQAM 560 AM CP (4.1 Kw-Da, 1 Kw-N, DA2
Len Weiner has spent most of his career in Sports Radio. He served for almost twelve years as Program Director for the ESPN Radio Network and was the Program Director of various sports stations in Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles. Len is passionate about radio and sports, and also has experience in news and news/talk formats.

West Palm Radio: WRMF's Kevin Rolston Adds WMEN Show

WMEN 640 AM / The Hurricane sports radio in West Palm Beach Wednesday announced that top-rated morning radio personality and self-proclaimed sports fanatic Kevin Rolston of WRMF’s “The KVJ Show” will join 640 The Hurricane (WMEN-AM) starting on February 26th for a daily sports radio show for 3-4pm.

WMEN 640 AM (7.5 Kw-D, 460 w-N, DA-2
Rolston’s local sports radio show appropriately titled, “Kevin’s Other Show” will be part of 640’s all-star national lineup including Colin Cowherd and Dan Patrick. “Kevin’s Other Show,” featuring local topics as well as national sports conversations will be broadcast Monday-Friday on 640 as well as a live daily YouTube and Facebook session at noon. Additional podcast and streaming options as well as original video content will also be available. The show will feature segments like, “Beat My Kid,” where listeners will attempt to beat Kevin’s 9-year-old son in athletic challenges, like pop-a-shot.

Commenting on the show, Rolston said, “I’m not sure if this opportunity is really a compliment to their faith in my broadcasting ability, or just an attempt to stop me from talking about sports on a Hot AC morning show. Either way, I’m pumped!”

Alpha Media Palm Beach SVP/Market Manager Elizabeth Hamma added, “We’re excited to bring something unique, fresh and local to South Florida’s Sports fans. 640 The Hurricane has the largest sports signal in the Palm Beaches so adding talent the caliber of Kevin Rolston whose passion for sports and entertainment make it a natural winner.”

Program Director Paul Mason also commented, “Kevin is a special kind of talent that doesn’t come along too often. His worth ethic, love for this market, and passion for local sports will take WMEN to new heights.” 640-The Hurricane is affiliate for The New York Yankees, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Panthers and is owned by Alpha Media.

February 22 Radio History

➦In 1857...physicist Heinrich Hertz, who became the first person to broadcast & receive radio waves, was born.

Heinrich Hertz
The first successful radio transmission was made by David Edward Hughes in 1879, but it would not be conclusively proven to have been electromagnetic waves until the experiments of Hertz in 1886. For the Hertz radio wave transmitter, he used a high-voltage induction coil, a condenser (capacitor, Leyden jar) and a spark gap—whose poles on either side are formed by spheres of 2 cm radius—to cause a spark discharge between the spark gap’s poles oscillating at a frequency determined by the values of the capacitor and the induction coil.

To prove there really was radiation emitted, it had to be detected. Hertz used a piece of copper wire, 1 mm thick, bent into a circle of a diameter of 7.5 cm, with a small brass sphere on one end, and the other end of the wire was pointed, with the point near the sphere. He bought a screw mechanism so that the point could be moved very close to the sphere in a controlled fashion. This "receiver" was designed so that current oscillating back and forth in the wire would have a natural period close to that of the "transmitter" described above. The presence of oscillating charge in the receiver would be signaled by sparks across the (tiny) gap between the point and the sphere (typically, this gap was hundredths of a millimeter).

In more advanced experiments, Hertz measured the velocity of electromagnetic radiation and found it to be the same as light’s velocity. He also showed that the nature of radio waves’ reflection and refraction was the same as those of light and established beyond any doubt that light is a form of electromagnetic radiation obeying the Maxwell equations.

Hertz's experiments triggered broad interest in radio research that eventually produced commercially successful wireless telegraph, audio radio, and later television. In 1930 the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) honored Hertz by naming the unit of frequency—one cycle per second—the "hertz".

➦In & producer Sheldon Leonard was born in New York City.

He was an active supporting player in bigtime radio, portraying largely Brooklynesque characters.  He had a recurring role on The Jack Benny Show (radio & TV) as a racetrack tout.  In TV he was an ultra-successful producer, with I Spy, Make Room for Daddy, the Dick Van Dyke Show, the Andy Griffith Show, My World & Welcome To It, The Don Rickles Show, etc.

He died Jan 10 1997 at age 89.

➦In 1910...announcer Ken Roberts was born Saul Trochman in New York City.  He is remembered for his huge body of work during the Golden Age of Radio, especially on The Shadow, It Pays to Be Ignorant, Quick as a Flash & Easy Aces, and for announcing the daytime TV soap operas The Secret Storm and Love of Life, each for a two-decade span.

Ken Roberts
His first announcing job was at WMCA in New York lasting three weeks. Next at WLTH in Brooklyn. In an interview for the book The Great American Broadcast, Roberts told Leonard Maltin that he had started at the Brooklyn station in 1930, where his responsibilities included answering phones and sweeping the floors, in addition to on-air roles playing piano and reading poetry.

During the 1930s and 1940s, at the height of the radio era, Roberts' voice appeared widely in live programming to introduce programs, moderate game shows and do live reads for commercials. Despite his Errol Flynn-like good looks and the frequent broadcasts featuring his voice, as often as several times each day, few listeners knew who he was or would have recognized him in public radio historian Jim Cox described Roberts' voice as neither "Yankee, Southern, Western or anything else". It was a voice that didn't "irritate anybody" and that "you just naturally liked to hear", making him "one of the leading lights of radio".  Steve Beverly of The Daily Game Show Fix described Roberts as having "what executives called a golden throat", with a familiar voice that was one of broadcasting's most-recognized anonymous voices. He also found time to narrate dozens of theatrical movie trailers and "intermission" segments for traditional and drive-in theaters during the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1935, Roberts was one of the founders of the American Guild of Radio Announcers and Producers, one of the predecessors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)

He died of pneumonia June 19 2009 at age 99, five years after suffering a stroke.

➦In 1916...Ernst Alexanderson granted US patent for a selective tuning system.

➦In 1918...announcer Don Pardo was born in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Don Pardo
Pardo was hired for his first radio position at NBC affiliate WJAR in Providence in 1938.

He joined NBC full-time as an in-house announcer in 1944, remaining on the network staff for 60 years. The radio programs on which he worked as an announcer include Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator, the sci-fi shows X Minus One and Dimension X. During World War II, Pardo worked as a war reporter for NBC Radio.

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

In the early 1950s, he served as announcer for many of RCA's and NBC's closed-circuit color television demonstrations.

Pardo made his mark on game shows for NBC as the voice of the original The Price Is Right from 1956 until it moved to ABC in 1963. Pardo's next show was Jeopardy!, which he announced from 1964 until the original version of the series ended in 1975. This early version was hosted by Art Fleming. The current syndicated version of Jeopardy! has been hosted by Alex Trebek and since 1984 has been announced by prominent long time announcer, Johnny Gilbert. Pardo also announced New York–based NBC game shows such as Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and Jackpot!, all three of which were Bob Stewart productions.

Pardo squeezed in many other assignments at NBC, including the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (until 1999), WNBC-TV's Live at Five and NBC Nightly News.

Pardo was the on-duty live booth announcer for WNBC-TV in New York and the NBC network on November 22, 1963, and he was the first to announce to NBC viewers that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas.

Best remembered as the announcer for the first 39 years of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ he uniquely scored a 70 year career as announcer for NBC Radio & TV. He was still making weekly flights from his Arizona retirement home to New York to work live on SNL when he died August 18 2014, at age 96.

WOR's First Control Room
➦In 1922...WOR-AM signed on. 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. 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.
John B. Gambling 1930
WOR was first a charter member of the CBS Radio Network, being one of the 16 stations that aired the first CBS network program on September 18, 1927.   In partnership with Chicago radio station WGN and Cincinnati radio station WLW, WOR formed the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1934 and became its New York flagship station. Mutual was one of the "Big Four" national radio networks in the United States during the 1930s–1980s.

In 1941, the station changed its city of license from Newark to New York City. However, for all intents and purposes it had been a New York City station since it signed on, and had actually moved its studios across the Hudson two years after signing on.

Election Coverage 1933
From the 1930s to the early 1980s, WOR was a free-flowing full-service station.

There was an emphasis on news reports and talk programs, but music was played also, usually a blend of pop standards and adult contemporary tunes.

WOR played several songs per hour weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again afternoons from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. They also played about a dozen songs per hour on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Milton Berle
On ratings books, WOR was classified as a MOR/Talk station rather than a News/Talk station until 1984. From 1983 to about 1985, WOR gradually stopped playing music altogether, evolving into its current talk format. Past notable hosts were Ed and Pegeen Fitzgerald, Arlene Francis, Patricia McCann, Long John Nebel, Bernard Meltzer, Barry Farber, Jean Shepherd, Bob and Ray, Jack O'Brian, Bob Grant and Gene Klavan. WOR introduced live, on-air, helicopter traffic reports with pilot reporters "Fearless" Fred Feldman and later George Meade. From 1945 to 1963, Dorothy Kilgallen and her husband Dick Kollmar (1910–1971) co-hosted WOR morning show Breakfast With Dorothy and Dick.

The station was known for its detailed, 15-minute news reports on the hour. Noted newsmen such as Henry Gladstone, Harry Hennessey, John Wingate, Lyle Vann, Peter Roberts, and Roger Skibenes were the backbone of the news department.

Bob and Ray (left)
WOR's most renowned program was morning show Rambling with Gambling, which aired continuously from March 1925 to December 2013 across three generations of hosts: John B. Gambling, John A. Gambling, and John R. Gambling.

➦In 1924...The first presidential radio address from the White House took place featuring President Calvin Coolidge utilizing the rapidly developing new technology. His words were carried over a mere 42 stations.  His first address to Congress had been aired two months earlier.

➦In 1954…ABC Radio's "Breakfast Club" program with host Don McNeill was first simulcast on TV. The telecast bombed, but the radio show continued for another 14 years, making McNeill network broadcasting's longest-tenured host at 35½ years, surpassing Bob Barker's 34 2/3 years and Johnny Carson's 29½ years

➦In 1956...Elvis Presley had his first hit in Billboard's top 10 with "Heartbreak Hotel."

➦In 1982...WABC announced that they will change to a talk format. In Fall 1981,  Jay Clark took over as program director at WABC. Under Clark, the station played current music leaning toward a more Adult Contemporary (AC) sound, trying to appeal to a slightly older audience, as most younger listeners had moved to the FM dial. They also dropped the "Musicradio WABC" slogan and became "77 WABC, New York's Radio Station", the apparent implication being that the station was more than "just" music.

By early 1981, WABC's cumulative audience was down to 2.5 million—rival WNBC, a perennial also-ran, was by this time beating them with 3 million. Fewer people were tuning into WABC, listeners who had switched to FM were not coming back, and, while still moderately successful, the ship was sinking. Jay Clark tried to improve the time-spent-listening.

(WABC 77 New York -Bob Cruz (unscoped) subbing for Dan Ingram - Dec 1978)

In March 1981, Bob Cruz departed, Dan Ingram went back to his familiar afternoon slot, and the team of Ross Brittain and Brian Wilson from Atlanta moved into morning drive. Ross and Wilson, as the show was known, was very information-oriented, playing exactly four songs in an hour except on Saturdays when they played the usual 12 or so songs an hour. A week later, the station also began airing a weeknight sports-talk show with Art Rust, Jr. from 7 to 9 pm. WABC's ratings by this point were mediocre and they were still going down.

Also, that March, WABC became the full-time flagship radio outlet for Yankees baseball games, a distinction the station carried through the end of the 2001 season. Jay Clark reasoned that Yankee baseball would bring back some listeners to the station and that they would recycle back into the music format, but not even the "Bronx Bombers" could save music on WABC.

In the fall of 1981, WABC dropped the remaining heavy-rock cuts and non-crossover urban hits. They began playing more oldies, as well as songs from the adult contemporary chart, and added an "advice" talk show with Dr. Judy Kuriansky from 9 pm to midnight on weeknights. Howard Hoffman and Sturgis Griffin exited at this point. By then, WABC was almost unrecognizable as a Top 40 station, the ratings were languishing, and rumors were rampant that the station would be changing its format.

In February 1982, WABC officially confirmed it would be going to an all-talk format that May.

➦In Alexander Scourby suffered a fatal heart attack at age 71.  One of the great voiceovers/narrators, he is immortalized on the soundtrack of TV’s classic documentary about WWII, “Victory at Sea.”

➦In 2011...announcer Bill Nimmo, whose career in radio & TV spanned seven decades, died at age 93.

He had first come to natiional attention as “Bill the Bartender” on Pabst Blue Ribbon commercials on early TV.  He was Johnny Carson’s first sidekick (before Ed McMahon) on TV’s “Who Do you Trust,” and briefly Jackie Gleason’s announcer, before a year as Regis Philbin’s announcer on his local show in Los Angeles.

Nimmo also hosted a pair of short-lived network TV quiz shows.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nashville Radio: Bobby Bones To Be 'Idol' Mentor

Bobby Bones, the 37-year-old host of the country-radio format “Bobby Bones Show,” on WSIX 979.9 The Big 98 and syndicated on more than 100 stations, told listeners Wednesday morning that he has been selected as this season’s “American Idol” mentor.

“I just feel like it’s too good to be true,” Bones told the Austin America-Statesman earlier this month before breaking the news on-air. “I never thought I would get a call back. Then they called about two months ago and said, ‘We really think this could be something for you.’ … A couple days ago they confirmed it, they want me to do it.”

This season’s judges are Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. Bones will appear as mentor on the show for several episodes in April.

“It’s tough for me to even describe it,” Bones told the American-Statesman. “(But I do) bring something different to the show, meaning I’ve worked in a lot of different formats and these singers are going to be singing a lot of different things. I think I’ll bring perspective to that side of it instead of being another singer or another artist. I’ve done a little artist-ing and a little singing and a little breaking of new talent and a lot of radio. I’ve been on both sides of the microphone.”

The new season of “American Idol” kicks off on March 11 on ABC.

Nielsen Starts Rollout Of January '18 PPMs

Nielsen on Tuesday 2/20/18  released the first batch of January 2018 PPM Data for the following markets:

  1  New York

  2  Los Angeles

  3  Chicago

  4  San Francisco

  5  Dallas-Ft. Worth

  6  Houston-Galveston

  8  Atlanta

  9  Philadelphia

20  Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) NY

25  Riverside-San Bernardino CA

37  San Jose CA

42  Middlesex-Somerset-Union NJ

Click Here to view Topline Numbers for Subscribing Nielsen stations.

Net Neutrality Reversal Rules To Publish Thursday

The FCC is expected to publish on Thursday its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rules, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The formal publication in the Federal Register, a government website, means state attorneys general and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order from taking effect.

The Republican-led FCC in December voted 3-2 to overturn rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect.

Congressional aides say the publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the decision. U.S. Senate Democrats said in January they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal, leaving them just one vote short of a majority.

Even if Democrats could win a majority in the Senate, a repeal would also require winning a vote in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a larger majority, and would still be subject to a likely veto by President Donald Trump. Democrats need 51 votes to win any proposal in the Republican-controlled Senate because Vice President Mike Pence can break any tie.

The December FCC order will be made public on Wednesday and formally published on Thursday, the sources said. A spokesman for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not immediately comment.

The approval of Pai’s proposal marked a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

Earlier this month, technology companies including Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc threw their weight behind the congressional bid to reverse the Trump administration’s plan to repeal Obama-era rules designed to protect an open internet.

Suspended Host Tavis Smiley Sues PBS

Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley filed a lawsuit against PBS on Tuesday, saying that the organization used allegations of sexual misconduct against him as a pretext to end a "tense" relationship, reports CNN.

PBS suspended distribution of "Tavis Smiley" in December following what it called "troubling allegations" against the news show's namesake host.

Following an investigation into the accusations, PBS said Smiley had "multiple sexual encounters with subordinates over many years," and engaged in conduct that was not consistent with the organization's standards.

The complaint, filed in superior court in Washington, D.C., accuses PBS of breach of contract, saying the investigation into Smiley was "biased" and carried out "in violation of norms and procedures for conducting workplace investigations."

"PBS was prepared to make its decision to suspend distribution of the show without interviewing Mr. Smiley and providing him with an opportunity to respond to specific allegations," the complaint continued.

The suit also said that "over the years, PBS has acted in a racially hostile manner" against Smiley, who has been "the only person of color to have served as the solo host of a daily national show in the history of PBS."

Until it was suspended, his 30-minute interview show, "Tavis Smiley," has aired weeknights on PBS since 2004.

NYC Radio: WFAN's New PM Drive Show Gets First Report Card

WFAN’s new afternoon show averaged 4.4 percent of the radio audience and ranked sixth in the market among men ages 25-54 from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in its first month on the air, according to Newsday citing Nielsen Audio figures covering Jan. 4 through 31.

In the 3 ½ hours from 3 to 6:30 p.m. that the show is head-to-head against ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show,” WFAN’s Chris Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray averaged a 4.3 share, tied for eighth in the key demographic. Kay was 12th at 3.5.

Both station’s numbers were down significantly from the fall ratings period, Mike Francesa’s last at WFAN. From October to December, Francesa ranked second with an average rating of 6.6 and Kay was fourth at 5.0.

There has been intense interest in how WFAN’s new “The Afternoon Drive,” will perform in a post-Francesa era, both in comparison to Francesa and in competition with Kay.

Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s vice president of programming, said it is too soon for him to comment in depth on the new show and its ratings beyond saying, “I like the show. They’re doing a lot of right things. Their chemistry is good.”

Radio Talker Mark Levin to Debut On Fox News

Fox News announced Tuesday it will launch the first episode of conservative commentator Mark Levin's new weekend program, "Life, Liberty & Levin," on Sunday at 10 p.m., according to a network release.

"Hosted by nationally syndicated radio talk show personality Mark Levin, the hour-long show will explore the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens," reads the release.

According to The Hill, The first episode will feature an interview with Walter Williams, an economist and George Mason University professor.

“Mark’s passion for the principles found in the Constitution and success in talk radio has made him a distinct figure in the media landscape. We look forward to adding this spirited program to our weekend lineup," Suzanne Scott, Fox News president of programming, said in a statement when the network first announced Levin had been signed to host the weekly offering.

Levin also hosts a syndicated radio program that airs on more than 300 stations across the country and on Sirius XM on weekdays, and he launched the subscription-based "Levin TV" online in 2016.

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC have beefed up their programming on weekends in recent years after largely airing repeats of weekday shows or offering up specials or documentaries in the Saturday and Sunday prime-time hours.

Westwood One Adds Four New Sales Team Members

Westwood One continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization. Joining Westwood One are Stephen Gary as Director, National Sports Partnerships in Los Angeles, Gina LaBanco, as Director, National Partnerships in Chicago, Wesley O’Dell, as Director, National Partnerships and Craig Rossi, Vice President, Spoken Word, also in Los Angeles.

“2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  said Bryan Forbes, President of National Sales, Cumulus and President of Sales, Westwood One.  “In 2018, we continue our evolution with several key hires to our top-notch sales organization, with each bringing diverse and unique experiences. I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”
  • Stephen Gary joins Westwood One with 10 years of global sales, marketing, and distribution experience.  Most recently, he served as SVP, Global Sales CineTel Films. Prior to that, Stephen worked at Hyde Park International and IM Global. 
  • Gina LaBanco joins Westwood One with 23+ years of Chicago media market experience. She comes from NBC 5 Chicago, where for the past 13 years she held the position of Account Executive, responsible for the NHL, NFL, and PGA. Prior to that, Gina was the VP, Local Broadcast at Zenith Media and supervised the Lexus Dealer Association account, as well as being a local spot buyer for the Chicago market across TV, cable and radio. 
  • Wesley O'Dell joins Westwood One with 15+ years of digital sales experience, where he provided digital solutions to Fortune 500 companies on behalf of powerhouse media brands Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Fox Sports, and Rotten Tomatoes, to name a few.  Most recently, Wesley has spent the last five years gaining invaluable experience at programmatic and ad tech start-ups. 
  • Craig Rossi re-joins Westwood One with 20+ years of experience in media sales, business development, management, branding, and talent/personality integrations. Most recently, Craig has acquired podcast and on-demand content experience working with multiple emerging tech companies.