Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Houston Radio: CCM+E Dumps Classic Rock For Hip-Hop

Early New Year’s Eve, KKRW 93.7 FM The Arrow switched from rock to hip hop and R&B.

A press release from owner Clear Channel introduced the change with this line:
“Classic Rocker 93.7 The Arrow KKRW is dead, The Beat takes over as Houston's newest urban station.” 
 93.7 The Beat will feature music from Kanye West, Drake, Chris Brown, J.Cole, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Houston’s own Beyonce and more. Like other Clear Channel radio stations, it will also have contests and giveaways.

 "93.7 The Beat is ready to write a new chapter in Houston radio history. We’re defining what real hip hop and R&B is," said Eddie Martiny, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Houston.

"Many of the biggest stars in this format live in Houston, so to move the station in this direction was a natural choice. In addition, The Beat format will perfectly complement the five other radio stations in our cluster by making us more attractive and diverse to our advertising community."


Fans of the longtime classic rock format on 93.7 expressed displeasure with Tuesday's news on the KHOU 11 Facebook page. Competitor Houston's Eagle was quick to note, however, "Actually there's great news for classic rock fans. You can catch Houston's Eagle on TWO signals: KHPT 106.9 & KGLK 107.5!

KHPT 106.9 FM 60dBu Coverage (49Kw)
KGLK 107.5 FM 60dBu Coverage (50Kw)
During the latest three Nielsen PPMs, KKRW has been 6+ trending has been flat, ranking in the high teens.

R.I.P.: Hawaii Broadcaster Kimo Akane Passes At 58

Kimo Akane
Ashton "Kimo Akane" Kaiuwailani, radio personality and programmer and broadcast mentor, died Monday.

He was 58, according to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

He was PD of Summit Media's KINE 105.1 FM Honolulu and had been hospitalized in a coma for two weeks, after suffering an apparent heart attack in mid-December.

SummitMedia SVP of Programming Bill Tanner remarked of Akane, "He had a wonderfully warm, friendly personality and was a great radio guy. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him."

He is being remembered for reining in radio stations' overly broad music playlists, for mentoring on-air personalities, for his easy laugh, and for his deep, sonorous voice.

Industry colleagues will stage a private celebration of his life, meanwhile, a fundraiser is being planned to help offset medical expenses.

NYC Radio: WWRL Switches To Spanish Wednesday

Another piece of New York’s black radio heritage disappears Wednesday when WWRL 1600 AM switches to a Spanish-language format.

According to media writer David Hinckley at the NY Daily News, the change is mostly historic, since WWRL has not been a “black” station in years. Its most recent format was progressive talk, and morning host Mark Riley was the only major daily link to the station’s “black radio” days.

Still, coming soon after the demise of WRKS 98.7 FM, it underscores the constriction of what was once a more robust tradition of black radio in New York City.

The heyday of WWRL as a black station ran from 1964, when Egmont Sonderling bought the station and switched it to a black music format, to 1982, when new owners switched it to gospel.

During those years, The Soul Brothers on “The Big ’RL” created a cutting-edge spot for R&B music and a community meeting place.

The DJs were a critical part of that success. Besides PD Bobby Jay, the lineup included Enoch Gregory, Gary Byrd, Jeff Troy, Hank Spann and Jerry Bledsoe, and most of the jocks stayed there 10-15 years, remarkable stability for radio.

What ended the ’RL era, says Jay, was the collapse of a plan to transfer the format to FM.

“That was in the late ’70s, when the audience was moving to FM,” he says. “The owners bought an FM, WRVR, that played jazz. The plan was to move jazz to 1600 and the ’RL format to FM.

“If that had happened, we would have given ’BLS a run for its money. But it never did.”

After gospel, WWRL tried classic soul, only to have a big FM suddenly do the same thing. For the last decade, it has tried different talk formats, before finally deciding to go Spanish.

Read More Now

CBS Radio: Chicago, S.F. Personalities Reported OUT

Tom Marker
CBS Radio is closing out the year by parting company with two veteran Chicago radio personalities — Tom Marker of WXRT 93.1 FM and Trish Biondo of WUSN 99.5 FM.

Chicago Media blogger Robert Feder was first to report that Marker’s position as WXRT’s evening personality and “Blues Breakers” host is being eliminated after 33 years at the adult album alternative station, according to insiders. Details of his separation agreement are being negotiated. However, Marker is still listed on the station's website.

Biondo’s contract as US 99.5’s midday personality was not renewed after 27 years at the country music station. Sources said Biondo was unable to reach agreement on non-economic issues.

Jeff Kapugi, program director of US 99.5, said Laura Taylor and other part-timers will fill in until a permanent midday host is named.

Trish Biondo
CRM notes that last year, US99.5 was looking at replacing Biondo. This was primarily because of management's wishes that she do her show live and local from the US99.5 studios, thus connecting better with fans and advertisers, as opposed to only being in the studios two or three days per week, which has been her arrangement for the last few years.

CBS Radio placed ads for a new Country DJ for the station and was very close to naming a new host and a new rearranged lineup. However, in mid-December 2012, the station decided to instead pick up Biondo's contract option for one more year and reassess the situation at the end of this year.

Once again, this year's contract negotiations became hung up on Biondo's unwillingness to work from the US99.5 studios in downtown Chicago, so that she could spend more time with her family.

In San Francisco, All Access is reporting CBS Radio Alternative KITS Live 105 Steve Masters has exited as morning host. There has been no word on who will replace him as of yet.

Masters reportedly is still involved with KITS via endorsements, appearances and specialty shifts.

NY Radio: Pamal Donates AM To Keep It On-Air

A struggling  radio station has a new lease on life after its owner gave it to the smallest NPR station in the United States rather than shut it down.

WGHQ 920 AM, Kingston, N.Y., will start broadcasting as part of non-profit WHDD-FM, Sharon, Conn., known as "Robin Hood Radio," Tuesday or New Year's Day, officials of both stations said.

The ownership change, viewed among fans as snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, is a result of a last-minute deal in which WGHQ owner Pamal Broadcasting Ltd. agreed to donate the station's license and transmitter to WHDD owner Tri-State Public Communications Inc., Tri-State co-founder Marshall Miles told United Press International.

The papers were signed Monday, he said.

Tri-State will initially operate the station under a local marketing agreement with Pamal, pending Federal Communications Commission approval.

It announced Dec. 20 it would shutter financially struggling WGHQ at the end of the year.   But Pamal owner and President James J. Morrell changed his mind last week after Miles, who worked for WGHQ in the 1970s, approached him with the idea of donating the station to Tri-State to keep it from going dark.

The station, operating from the second floor of a pre-Revolutionary War stone building, developed a strong community identity over the years but struggled financially in the 1990s with the proliferation of FM stations, and owner Walter C. Maxwell and his family sold it in 1999.

Pamal bought the station in 2007.

Beyonce Criticized For Sampling Challenger Disaster Audio

Beyonce has drawn criticism for the “insensitive” inclusion of audio from the space shuttle Challenger disaster in her video for a newly released love song, according to The NY Post.

Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center on January 28, 1986, killing all seven crew members.

The song “XO,” about a troubled relationship, features the voice of now-retired NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt, commentating as the shuttle was seen breaking apart on live television.

“Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction,” Nesbitt is heard saying. The brief audio clip runs for six seconds.

Beyonce issued a statement: “My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. The song ‘XO’ was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you.

“The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”

Former and current astronauts, NASA employees and Challenger family members see it differently.

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee and a founder of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, expressed her disappointment in the singer’s decision.

Retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson told ABC News, “For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least.”

Read More Now

Beyoncé’s new song “XO” doesn’t appear to be a hit with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to wsj.com.  The agency has responded to the song’s use of an audio clip from the disastrous Space Shuttle Challenger launch on Jan. 28, 1986.
“The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized,” the agency said in a statement. “NASA works everyday to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe.”

Rdio shutters Vdio

Subscription music service Rdio has announced that it was closing over-the-top video streaming service Vdio less than nine months after formally launching the service on April 2, according to multi-channel.com.

The move is the latest example of how some companies, such as Rdio and Intel, have been pulling back from the launch of over-the-top video services. Reports have also circulated that Amazon may have decided to postpone or shelve its plan for the TV set-top box.

In a statement posted on Vdio.com, the company noted “We have decided to discontinue the Vdio beta service. Despite our efforts, we were not able to deliver the differentiated customer experience we had hoped for. We want to thank all customers who have tried our service, and we have given gift cards to all those who have purchased content or have unused rental content.”

Nashville Radio: Personality Gerry House To Release Book

Gerry House’s new book "Country Music Broke My Brain: A Behind-The-Microphone Peek At Nashville’s Famous & Fabulous Stars", will be released March 4, 2014. It will be published by Bella Books.

As host of the nationally syndicated, top-rated morning show, Gerry House & The Foundation, House was part of Nashville radio WSIX for more than 25 years. He has won numerous broadcasting awards, including a place in the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

House has also written songs for George Strait (“The Big One”), Reba McEntire (“Little Rock”), LeAnn Rimes (“On the Side of Angels”) and Pam Tillis (“The River and the Highway”).

In Country Music Broke My Brain, Gerry shares his stories from the other side of the microphone. He reveals never-aired, previously unpublished conversations with Country artists including Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley and McEntire, who also penned the book’s forward.

House wrote his own daily radio material and also stand-up jokes and TB scripts for other shows for years, including the ACM Awards, the CMA Awards, the CMT Awards, and others.

Remembering Celebs Who Died In 2013

From Fox News Channel...

December 31 In Radio History

In 1923...In London, the BBC first aired the chimes of Big Ben.

In 1923...the first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice occurred between Pittsburgh and Manchester, England

In 1929...Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time during their first annual New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Roosevelt Grill in New York. The show was broadcast on the CBS Radio network and became the longest-running annual special program in radio history.

In 1940...ASCAP prevented the radio industry from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months. It was in reaction to a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers and Publishers.

In 1943...Country singer John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf. He died in a crash of an experimental plane he was piloting on Oct. 12, 1997 at 53.

In 1948...Disco diva Donna Summer was born. She died on May 17, 2012 at 63

In 1951...The "Wild Bill Hickok" TV series was replicated on radio following its success on television.

In 1963...the "Dear Abby Show" premiered on the CBS Radio network. It ran eleven years. On this day in 1966, "Pirate Radio 390" (Radio Invicata)an off-shore station near England, resumed broadcasting.

In 1970...Paul McCartney sued the other members of the Beatles for a legal dissolution of their "partnership." On the same day, the British magazine Melody Maker announced that the Beatles were looking for a new bass player. Four years to the day later, the four of them came to terms and made the separation final.

In 1972...TV producer Dick Clark initiated a new holiday tradition with "Three Dog Night's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on NBC. The headliners, along with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy, and Al Green, appeared in performances that had been pre-taped in the Grand Ballroom of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. Clark himself did not appear on the initial program. In 1973, he began hosting the special, its name shortened to "New Year's Rockin' Eve." The show moved to ABC-TV in 1974.

In 1982...the "CBS Mystery Theater" aired its final episode after 8 years on radio.

In 1982...the NBC Radio network cancelled practically all of it's daily features.

In 1985...Singer/actor Ricky Nelson, his fiancé Helen Blair, and five members of the Stone Canyon Band, died in the crash of his private DC-3 airplane (which was previously owned by Jerry Lee Lewis) near DeKalb, Texas, while en route to a concert appearance in Dallas. The pilot was attempting an emergency landing after a fire, caused by a malfunctioning gas heater, broke out on the plane. Nelson was 45.

Monday, December 30, 2013

ESPN Hires Tim Tebow As Analyst

Tim Tebow
Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow has agreed to a multiyear deal to join ESPN as an analyst for the SEC Network, it was announced Monday.

"I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity," Tebow said in a statement. "When I was six years old, I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC."

Tebow's primary role will be as an analyst for SEC Nation, a traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week. The show will debut at the Texas A&M-South Carolina game in Columbia, S.C., on Aug. 28, 2014.

The former Florida Gators quarterback will also contribute to a variety of ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and the network's Heisman Trophy coverage.

Tebow will make his debut as an analyst on Jan. 6 during ESPN's pregame coverage of the Vizio BCS National Championship Game.

"Tim is a SEC icon with a national fan base and broad appeal. He will be a significant contributor to the compelling content we will deliver with the SEC Network," said Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president, programming, college networks. "Tim brings a wealth of knowledge about the game, the conference and the passion among SEC fans."

Tebow's role with ESPN will not preclude him from continuing to pursue playing opportunities in the NFL.

ABC Radio News Correspondent Vic Ratner Retires

Vic Ratner, who has covered the news for ABC News Radio in 47 countries and 49 states, is retiring as of Tuesday.

Named a general assignment correspondent for ABC News in 1973, he is primarily assigned to cover Congressional activities on Capitol Hill, but also reports on a variety of major news stories for “World News This Morning”, “Good Morning America” and the ABC Radio Networks.

Ratner was the lead Congressional correspondent for ABC Radio’s extensive coverage of the impeachment investigation and trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999. That was his second impeachment assignment; upon joining ABC News, he covered the original Watergate burglary trial and the subsequent investigations, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

A veteran space reporter, Ratner was the only radio network correspondent on the air live when the space shuttle Challenger blew up. He remained on the air that day for over five hours, providing on-the-scene information and background on the tragedy for ABC News audiences.

Previously Ratner served as correspondent, news director and anchor for radio and television stations in several major cities, including New York and Philadelphia.


ABC News President Ben Sherwood sent the following note to the news division just before Christmas announcing Ratner's retirement from ABC News Radio at the end of the month.
I am writing with news that Vic Ratner – our legendary work horse, Capitol reporter, war correspondent and space enthusiast – is retiring. 
Most careers can be captured in words.  Vic’s career is captured in sounds. 
In his incredible 40 years on the air for ABC News Radio, Vic has painted vivid pictures for our listeners with a rich and imaginative vocabulary that brought stories to life and gave meaning to “Gemini” and “Apollo” and even “filibuster” and “quorum.”  With every syllable, Vic defined and embodied excellence. 
When Vic arrived at ABC in 1973, one of his first assignments was the trial of the “Watergate Seven” in Washington.  He has covered every presidential campaign, political convention, inauguration and State of the Union since then, plus almost every space shuttle launch. He has reported from 54 countries and 49 states.  
For the record book, only South Dakota — the Mt. Rushmore State — has  escaped his attention. 
Vic wanted to let you know the following: 
“I have been fortunate to work with and learn from exceptionally talented and innovative people at ABC.  Thanks to all of you for the collaborative effort, which makes us the best.” 
Vic’s last day in the office will be December 31.  We’ll warmly acknowledge his amazing career at an event in the Washington bureau during the last week of January. 
Until then, please join me in thanking Vic for 40 unforgettable years on the air.  Also please join me in expressing our gratitude to his wife Judy for sharing Vic all these years.  We wish them both the very best in the years ahead. 

NYC Radio: Michael Savage Starting PM Drive on WABC

As of Wednesday, WABC’s long-time afternoon anchors — Rush Limbaugh at noon and Sean Hannity at 3 p.m. — move to WOR 710 AM.

WABC has not announced a host for Limbaugh’s spot. But Michael Savage is taking Hannity’s, and all eyes will be watching to see who’s on top when the dust starts to settle.

Savage thinks he offers a strong alternative to Hannity, according to The NY Daily News.

“I know what Sean does,” he says. “He works from Republican Party talking points. He says he doesn’t any more, but he does.

“I don’t. You can’t drone on about the Bill of Rights. It’s just not interesting radio. My show is also an Obamacare-free zone. Who wants to hear about that?”

It’s not that Savage never talks politics, or hot-button issues. Ask any listener who has heard him crank it up on immigration, border security or what he sees as the ever-growing tentacles of big government and the entitlement society it encourages.

“My views changed during the year I was a social worker in New York,” says the 71-year-old Savage, who was born in the Bronx, graduated from Jamaica High and Queens College and now lives in the San Francisco area.

“I was working for the Department of Welfare, and I began to realize people who were on welfare — my clients — were living better than I was. That opened my eyes and changed my political beliefs.”

Regular Savage listeners have heard him expound on this subject in dire tones, warning that the “50% of the country” that doesn’t want to work is suffocating the 50% that does.

Read More Now

Tom's Take: Someone is missing an opportunity at WABC. As of this writing there's no mention of Michael Savage starting Wednesday on the WABC Homepage.

Report: CES To Spotlight In-Car Digital Race

Bloomberg photo
Technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. AAPL are about to expand their battle for digital supremacy to a new front: the automobile, according to wsj.com

Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and German auto maker Audi AG plan to announce that they are working together to develop in-car entertainment and information systems that are based on Google's Android software, people familiar with the matter said.

They also plan to disclose collaborative efforts with other automotive and tech companies, including chip maker Nvidia Corp., to establish Android as an important technology for future vehicles, these people said. The aim is to allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones, these people added.

The coming announcements signal Google's response to an initiative launched last June by Apple to integrate iPhones and other devices running its iOS operating system with car makers' dashboard control panels. Apple so far has the support of BMW, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division, General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co.

Read More Now (Subscription Required)

CNN Pundit: Media May Have ‘Overreacted’ to Boston Bombing

CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter delivered what he felt would be “an unpopular opinion” to CNN Newsroom host Carol Costello Friday, according to Mediaite.

In a discussion of the media’s coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing, Stelter said “I wonder if there was an overreaction in the press, considering the relatively low number of deaths and injuries.”

“I wonder if the press, overall, in retrospect, overreacted to the attacks in Boston,” Stelter said. “It was a very scary week. I was scared, along with the rest of the country. In retrospect, I wonder if there was an overreaction in the press, considering the relatively low number of deaths and injuries, whether it was taken out of proportion, given all the other violence we see all the time.”

He concluded, “Because the word ‘terrorism’ was applied, I think there may have been an overreaction.”

Read More Now

GMA's Robin Roberts Confirms She Is Gay

Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts has confirmed that she is gay.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (December 29th), Roberts reflected on her battle with cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome, and said that she was grateful for her longtime girlfriend Amber Laign.

She wrote, "At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude.  I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health. I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life. I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together."

An ABC spokesperson confirmed to E! News that Roberts have been with Amber for ten years. Amber is a licensed massage therapist who specializes in working with people recovering from injuries. The two met through mutual friends.

Amber is originally from the Bay Area.

Shortly after Robin's posted her note on Facebook, Russell Simmons congratulated her on coming on, tweeting, "sending good thoughts to Robin Roberts. #LoveIsLove."

Jeffrey Schneider, Senior Vice President of ABC News released a statement to E! News, saying, "Love Robin and Amber, and have known Amber for a long time. We were all touched by Robin's FB message today, so glad she has so much incredible support in her life."

Report: Mike Huckabee Reflects On Syndicated Show

Mike Huckabee (Brian Wilson photo)
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate reflected in a recent interview with Mackenzie Weinger at Politico on the good and the bad during his stint as a radio talker.

Cumulus Media had billed the show as “more conversation, less confrontation” in an effort to install Huckabee as a Rush Limbaugh alternative. But when Cumulus re-signed Limbaugh this summer for a number of its station, Huckabee — who announced at the end of November that his show would go off the air Dec. 12 — said he realized that it didn’t look as though the syndicator would make any attempt to broaden his program’s reach, at least in the near future.

As a medium, talk radio is “a very important force in American culture and certainly in politics,” Huckabee said. And there’s also a “a certain sort of vicarious thrill that people have of listening in on other people’s conversations — it’s like being a junior NSA agent,” he said.

From April 2012 to December 2013, Huckabee’s show offered listeners everything from song parodies to interviews with guests from across the political spectrum and many from far outside the world of politics.   “Frankly, some of the things that I enjoyed most were the things that were non-political,” he said.

“Willie Nelson was a lot of fun,” Huckabee, 58, said, calling his chat with the country legend one of his favorite interviews. “He’s just a great guy … one of the nicest people around and just an unbelievably gracious and humble person.”

Vin Scully Grand Marshal For 2014 Rose Parade

Vin Scully, Rose Prez Scott Jenkins
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ longtime announcer Vin Scully will lead the 2014 Rose Parade as the grand marshal on Wednesday.

The legendary broadcaster joins the ranks of dozens who have served as the leader of the annual event in Pasadena, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Richard Nixon.

Speaking at the announcement ceremony at the tournament’s Orange Grove Boulevard house in Pasadena, Scully recalled riding in the parade on a Dodgers float, saying it reminded him of the sound of the crowd he heard when listening to football games on the radio as a boy, according to KTLA.com.

“That turn, when you suddenly start going down Colorado, it’s like going through a canyon of people, not walls of stone. And the crowd begins to roar at the floats, and there I am, once again, 8 years old, curled up under the radio,” Scully said. “It’s a remarkable experience. I’m humbled over the thought that I will experience it again as the grand marshal.”

The marshal rides in the New Year’s Day parade and tosses the coin before the Rose Bowl Game, which on Jan. 1 will mark its 100th anniversary.

Hall of Fame broadcaster and sports icon Scully, 85, began his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950. He came with the team to Los Angeles in 1958.   Scully’s wife Sandra will ride in the parade with him, Scully said.

The Tournament of Roses’ 2014 parade — the 125th — is themed “Dreams Come True.”

Read More Now

R.I.P.: San Diego TV Journalist Loren Nancarrow

Loren Nancarrow
Loren Nancarrow, a longtime San Diego TV journalist, died Saturday night, according to his employer and a family posting on his Facebook page.

He was 60, according to utsandiego.com.

The posting said that “our husband, father, friend and hero” passed away about 6:30 p.m. surrounded by his family. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in February.

Nancarrow, a weather forecaster, author and environmentalist, worked for Fox 5 news and was seen on other news stations over a 30-year career.

“He meant the world to everybody at Fox 5, as a colleague and as a person,” said Rich Goldner, station news director. “He was extremely energetic in every facet of his life. We will miss him.”

Read More Now

December 30 In Radio History

In 1936...The famous radio feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen began. After a 10-year-old performer finished a violin solo on "The Fred Allen Show," Allen said, "A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing." It didn't take long for Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted ten weeks on both comedian's radio shows, and gave them material they continued using over the next 20 years.

In 1942...the radio program, "Mr. and Mrs. North", began it's run on the NBC Radio network.

In 1942...Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a four-week engagement, but turned into eight weeks because of its popularity. Police were called to help curb the excitement among the screaming teenage girls known as bobbysoxers -- a phenomenon not seen before for a pop singer

In 1943...Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was born

In 1945...Singer Davy Jones, "the cute one" on TV's The Monkees, was born. He died February 29, 2012 at 66

In 1950...At the National Studios in New York City, the Dominoes, a group that included Billy Ward and Clyde McPhatter, recorded the sexually suggestive novelty song "Sixty Minute Man," with Bill Brown taking the lead vocal. In the spring of 1951, despite being banned by many U.S. radio stations, the record rose to #1 on the R&B charts, where it remained for 14 weeks.

In 1962...Radio/TV talker Sean Hannity was born

In 2005...Longtime Seattle radio disc jockey (KOL, KJR) Lan Roberts died of lung cancer at 69.

In 2004...Scotty Rhodarmer did his last show on WWNC-AM 570, in Asheville, North Carolina. Rhodarmer did the morning show for 50 years beginning in 1954.

December 29 In Radio History

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

In 1945...Sheb Wooley recorded four songs for Bullet Records at the studios of WSM Radio, the first commercial recordings made in Nashville.

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

In 1963...WMCA 570 AM first station in New York to Play “I Want to Hold Your Hand " at 12:50 PM

In 1980...the Mutual Broadcasting Service cancelled the "Sears Radio Theater" program.

In 1985...Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator hosted a special program called the "Citizens’ Summit" via satellite Television.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Survey: Kimye 'Least Desireable Celeb Neighbors'

In the seventh annual Celebrity Neighbor Survey, Zillow.com  asked Americans which celebrities they would most like to have as their neighbor, as well as those with whom they wouldn’t dare share a fence.

Most Desirable Neighbors for 2014

On top of a laundry list of other accomplishments this year, comedian and late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon landed “Saturday Night Live” its highest ratings in 2 years when he hosted last week’s holiday episode with Justin Timberlake. Now, he gets to add “Most Desirable Celebrity Neighbor.”

With 11 percent of the vote, Fallon was the top choice for a neighbor in the coming year. His popularity was highest among young adults surveyed (14 percent) and slightly more popular among females (12 percent) compared with males (10 percent). For those on the East Coast, you may have more luck borrowing a cup of sugar from the Fallon family. In 2011, he purchased a stunning 1800s farmhouse-style home that sits on more than 2 acres of Sagaponack, NY real estate.

Worst Neighbors of 2013

Reality-TV personality Kim Kardashian and music mogul fiancé Kanye West topped the list of worst neighbors this year. One-quarter of surveyed Americans found the couple — who had a baby, got engaged and are renovating the Bel-Air home they purchased earlier this year — to be the most undesirable neighbors of 2013.

Kardashian and West moved up from second place in the 2012 worst neighbor rankings, where they landed 18 percent of the vote behind the cast of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Only 2 percent of respondents said they would prefer to live next to “Kimye”.

Saturday Aircheck: Big Jay Sorensen On WCBS-FM 2011

Big Jay Sorenson
Jay Sorensen has been assaulting the airwaves for four decades, in some really extraordinary places, as Disc Jockey, Talk Show Host, News Anchor, Beat Reporter, Commercial Production Director ... and occasionally even as Program Director and Operations Manager.

Currently, Jay can be heard on WCBS-101.1 FM in New York City.

Previous stops have included Sirius Satellite Radio, the legendary 66 WNBC-AM in NYC, New Jersey 101.5 FM, KLIF-AM in Dallas, and various radio places in Philly.

A three-time Clio Award nominee, Jay has also been recognized by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association for his expertise in commercial production.

2013's Incredible News Bloopers

Dead air, accidental sexual innuendo and on-air F-bombs are among the many flubs and bloopers that took place this year on live newscasts.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Nielsen Releases December Numbers For 12 More PPM Markets

NielsenAudio continues to roll out more December ratings results in PPM markets.  The 'December' monthly is actually covering dates November 7 through December 4.

The fortcoming 'Holiday' book covers the rest of December and is expected to greatly benefit FM stations airing Christmas/Holiday music.

Released Thursday are:

Washington DC





Plus these markets:
  • Phoenix AZ
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MN
  • San Diego CA
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL
  • Denver-Boulder CO
  • Baltimore MD
  • St. Louis MO
To see the Topline numbers for the subscribing stations in these markets, Click Here.

Phoeniz Radio: Rimshots KMVA, KEXX Merging Programming

Two Phoenix, AZ rimshot signals are merging programming to simuklcast as Hot 97.5 / 103.9 Trending Radio.

Hot AC KEXX My 103.9 FM licensed to Gilbert, AZ is owned by Riviera Broadcasting and Hot AC KMVA Hot 97.5 FM licensed to Dewey-Humbolt, AZ is owned by Trumper Communications.

The new FM simulcast is scheduled to begin at January 1, 2014.

KMVA 97.5 FM 60dBu Coverage
“I am beyond excited by this merger,” Trmper Communications CEO Jeff Trumper said. “By combining resources, we are able to extend the reach of the Hot radio brand and give our audience more of what it wants. We’ll be serving the hottest trends in music along with hip and engaging lifestyle events that will appeal to music fans, foodies, fashionistas, and families. We are confident our listening audience will be energized by this change and will feel an even stronger connection to this newly-combined station.”

KEXX 103.9 FM 60dBu Coverage
 “We’re excited to merge these two terrific brands,” Riviera COO Jose Rodiles said. “This newly-created mega station will not only benefit the Phoenix radio audience but will also bring tremendous value to the advertising community. With a focus on ‘live and local’, Hot 97.5/103.9 Trending Radio will engage listeners with the hottest music and trends not only from around the country but also right here in the Valley.”

Tampa Radio: Hannity Contract Bumps Todd Schnitt On WFLA

Todd Schnitt
The new year will see some changes in the line-up at CCM+E's N/T WFLA 970 AM.

Starting January 6, the Todd Schnitt show loses its live clearance on WFLA getting delayed to evenings 6p-9pm.  However, Schnitt will be heard live in the Tampa market on cluster mate WHNZ 1260 AM.

The reason?

According an open letter to listeners, Schnitt cites a new Hannity contract that contracturally guarantees a live clearance on CCM+E stations, where it had been previously delayed.

According to Schnitt the moves will allow for a new levels or control and revenue growth, which he claims will further cement his commitment and ability to talk with listeners every day.

In addition to the radio show listeners will now have better access 24 hours a day online and on mobile phones through the all new Schnitt Show web site.

Schnitt did express disappointment that he's losing his 10-year affiliate CCM+E's WSCC 94.3 FM in Charleston, SC.  He did announce to new affiliate in the market WQSC 1340 AM / 950 AM weekdays 6 PM to 8 PM.

The Schnitt Show also starts 2014 with the addition of several new stations, including KNEW 960 AMin San Francisco.

NYC Radio: Elliot Segal Couldn't Say No To WOR Gig

Elliot Segal would be happy never to hear the phrase “shock jock” again, according to David Hinckley at The NY Daily News.

“I never really understood what it meant,” says the incoming host of the morning show on WOR 710 AM. “Is it someone who says provocative things? Fortunately, I think it’s over.”

Segal may have some sensitivity here, because he’s heard that tag a few times since he left Z100 in 1999 for WWDC in Washington.

But it may be the least of his challenges come Jan. 13, when he moves into the WOR slot vacated last week by John R. Gambling.

While Gambling became more forceful in his opinions when he began his second stint at WOR in 2008, he was widely considered a throwback to the gentler, politer days of radio.

His arrival is part of a major WOR makeover that’s focused on the arrival of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in the afternoon.

The 44-year-old Segal was Elvis Duran’s partner at WHTZ for years before heading to Washington, and his show still has “morning zoo” elements.

The WOR deal came together “very recently and very quickly,” says Segal, so he’s been scrambling to get moved  and figure out when his wife and two pre-teen sons will join him.

“I wasn’t looking to make a move,” he says. “But mornings in New York on WOR, that wasn’t something I could turn down.

Read More Now

DC Radio: Broadcasters Give Jim Farley A Memorable Sendoff

The staff applauded as Farley came out of his office to receive his ''Let It Snow'' cake, a nod to his ratings-generating wish every winter. (WTOP photo)

Jim Farley
Hundreds of broadcasters from across the country attended a retirement sendoff for WTOP vice president of news and programming Jim Farley at the Newseum Wednesday night.

According to the Washington Business Journal, the evening's tone was mostly flattering to Farley's contributions and accomplishments, but not without a jab or two from his staff.

Farley told the audience he has gotten credit over the years for many things he didn't do.

"Mostly what I do is sit in my office and play solitaire. That's what I do on my computer," said Farley.

Farley, who came to WTOP as news director in 1996, has shepherded the radio station through three ownerships and overseen programming changes that took the station from No. 14 in the Washington market's rankings to the consistently top-rated radio station, and has more than tripled its listenership.

His accomplishments have included persuading its owners to reinvest profits — and they have been large — back into newsroom operations, expanding regional coverage of news and improving ratings by pouncing on audience-grabbing events, like snow.

"I love snow,'' Farley said.

Farley also oversaw the station's transition from the AM dial to FM, a first among all-news stations, boosting its following among young listeners.

Farley's trademarks that are more apparent to listeners include coining familiar phrases, including "the glass-enclosed nerve center" and "Your favorite radio station doesn't play songs," both aimed at making the station memorable in the minds of listeners with ratings diaries.

Before moving to Washington, Farley spent two decades at ABC- and NBC-owned radio network operations in New York, and started his career as a copyboy at New York City's all-news radio station WINS.

Farley officially retires at the end of December, but will remain a consultant for two years after his retirement.

Read More Now

December 27 In Radio History

In 1932...Radio City Music Hall, in New York City, began operation with the first event open to the public.

In 1939...the radio program, "The Glenn Miller Show", debuted on the CBS radio network.

In 1947...Bell Labs invented the transistor.

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

In 1963..."The Animals" performed on the BBC radio show, "Saturday Club", their first radio appearance.

In 1968...Don McNeils' "The Breakfast Club" signed off the ABC Radio network, after 35 years of successful broadcasting.

R.I.P.: Milwaukee Radio's Gordon Hinkley Passes

Gordon Hinkley, whose Milwaukee radio career spanned more than a half century and whose voice was as familiar as an old friend to thousands of listeners, died this week.

He was 88, according to jsonline.com.

Once called the "Granddaddy of Milwaukee radio," whose "Ask Your Neighbor" show ran on WTMJ 620 AM for more than 30 years, Hinkley died Monday.

"He was the cornerstone of WTMJ radio for so many years," said Steven J. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Journal Communications, publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"He knew how to connect with an audience, and you could tell he just loved being on that radio," said Smith, the former vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKTI radio. "People just believed in him."

Gordon Lyle Hinkley was born in Port Edwards, Wis., in 1925 and married Joyce Berryman, his high school sweetheart, in 1943.

Hinkley's radio career began in 1941, when he hosted a Sunday piano show at WFHR in Wisconsin Rapids after an audition for a talent contest sponsored by the station.  Hinkley, who also emceed a Saturday show for teens, served three years in the U.S. Army in Europe and did some announcing for the Armed Services Radio Network.

He also worked for WSAU radio in Wausau, and in 1950, he became an announcer with WTMJ radio, where he began hosting the station's morning show.

In 1961, Hinkley introduced the "Ask Your Neighbor" program, where he invited listeners to call and exchange information, such as household tips, advice on how to find a good spot remover and other everyday questions.

"People would call in asking about recipes or how to remove gum stuck to corduroy," recalled Steve Wexler, executive vice president for TV and radio of the Journal Broadcast Group, who listened to the show as a young boy and met Hinkley while interning at WTMJ radio in the mid-1970s.

"Listeners loved him. Advertisers trusted him. And all of us who knew him learned from him."

Read More Now

Thursday, December 26, 2013

R.I.P.: MLB Indians Radio Broadcaster Mike Hegan

Mike Hegan
Mike Hegan, a former major league player who was a longtime broadcaster with the Cleveland Indians, has died.

He was 71, according to The Sporting News.

The Indians say Hegan had his family by his side when he died Wednesday morning in Hilton Head, S.C. No other details were provided by the team.

Hegan was a radio and TV broadcaster for the Indians for 23 years. He retired after the 2011 season. He also spent 12 seasons as a broadcaster with the Milwaukee Brewers.

His father, Jim Hegan, was a catcher for the Indians. Jim Hegan was a member of the Indians' 1948 World Series champion team and their 1954 AL champion team that won 111 games.

He made the AL All-Star team with the Seattle Pilots in 1969 and helped the Oakland Athletics win the 1972 World Series. He also played in the 1964 World Series with the New York Yankees.

Read More Now

iTunesRadio Becomes top Priority For Apple

Apple leadership has given the iAds team a new mission: always be selling iTunes Radio. And while the sales team is busy pushing Apple radio inventory, the company will build a real-time bidding exchange to automate selling in-app ads, multiple sources said told AdAge.

Indeed, there is a new focus within the company’s advertising unit, and the mantra came direct from Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of software. In a staff meeting before the holidays, Cue indicated that iTunes Radio is the top priority, and app ads are not.

“The message that came across was basically if you’re not working on iTunes Radio, you’re irrelevant,” an Apple insider said.

Apple’s iAds business has undergone a number of changes since launching in 2010. Its sales team has been integral in helping developers monetize apps; most of the revenue from iAds comes from in-app advertising.
However, Apple is trying to ramp up revenue from iTunes Radio, a Pandora-like service that was released widely this fall. Pandora has been on an advertising push, manning local sales forces with hundreds of new hires in the past year. And just last week, Spotify introduced its ad-supported mobile radio service. All these companies are chasing traditional and digital radio dollars.

A source familiar with iAds said Apple has kept its real-time initiative under close wraps and is “not casting a wide net.” That may be because the company is figuring out how to gradually transition from earlier aggressive sales efforts that had iAd prices starting at $1 million a pop. “It’s a rare advertiser that is going to be willing to pay those rates,” said the source.

Read More Now

NielsenAudio Releasing December PPM Results

NielsenAudio this week is releasing results of the December results in the PPM Markets. Rleased, so far this week:

New York City

Los Angeles


San Francisco

Dallas-Ft. Worth TX

Also Released so far:
  • Houston-Galveston TX
  • Philadelphia PA
  • Atlanta GA
  • Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) NY
  • Riverside-San Bernardino CA
  • San Jose CA
  • Middlesex-Somerset-Union NJ
To See The Topline number for Nielsen Subscribing Stations, Click Here