Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Aircheck: Big "D" WDRC-FM 2010

Celebrating 50 years of Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Soul!

On this aircheck, Rockin' Ron recreates the Big D the way it sounded in the Swingin' Sixties! All Request Saturday Night on 102.9 DRC FM - America's FIRST commercial FM radio station!

Saturday Aircheck: Gary Gears AFVN Saigon 1969

Gary Gears (courtesy of Jeff Roteman)
“… I’m gonna count the rockets for ya. I’ll give the final count on the hour.”

Courtesy of Airchexx,  This is actually an audition personality Gary Gears recorded at the AFVN (Armed Forces Vietnam Network), studios in Saigon.

The recording was made to send to KQV Pittsburgh.

According to another AFVNer, Paul Bottoms, what you hear is not really represented of what US troop heard in-country.  First of all, AFVN 540 AM did not use reverb and talent had to identify themselves with the service branch and rank.   Never-the-less, the recording is fun to hear and it worked! Gary Gears got the KQV gig upon returning stateside.

Listen for Lots  of PAMS jingles, reverb (at times)… and notable, Gears mentions toward the end of this recording that he could swear he just heard missiles go off outside.

Gary Gears was first heard on the airwaves at age 14 on a small radio station in St. Louis Park, Minn.

He came to Chicago in his early 20s and became a disc jockey for radio stations WLS, WCFL and WIND.  He was also the voice of WLS-TV for a time and simultaneously recorded announcements and station identifications for Radio Moscow and Radio M, another Soviet station; for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); for Radio Luxemburg`s English language program; for a program from Ireland, Atlantic 101; and for an Italian radio station in Milan.

Gears died of a heart attack in 1991 at age 46.

More at the AirChexx Facebook page.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Rush Limbaugh Gives iPad To 13-year-old Climate Skeptic

Radio host Rush Limbaugh is giving an iPad to a 13-year-old who said he found evidence that human-induced global warming is a hoax through books at a local library.

“It was really easy for me to find this evidence, really easy,” said Alex, who called in to Limbaugh's show Thursday from Wilmington, Ind. “I believe the reason that the liberals do not have the evidence is because they do not want the evidence, they do not want to hear that it is wrong.”

The Hill reports after Alex told Limbaugh that he went to the local library, Limbaugh replied: “I am surprised you find evidence of this at a library. That is heartening.”

Limbaugh told Alex that if his parents agreed, he would send him an iPad.

“If there is anybody who would put one of those things to good use, that would be you, and it is light, it is portable, you can take it anywhere you want to go,” Limbaugh said. After getting permission, noted he was sending the device.

“I guarantee you there are people who heard that call that want to find out where that library is that he found evidence of the hoax of global warming, so they can tell the authorities about it,” Limbaugh told his listeners after talking with Alex.

ACM Awards Set for Sunday

Blake Shelton can't take credit for the smart pairing of he and Luke Bryan as co-hosts of this Sunday's ACM Awards. As soon as Reba announced she was unable to continue as the broadcast's hostess, the "Boys 'Round Here" singer just assumed they'd hire another female artist to take her place.

"But they came to me and asked what I thought about Luke as a co-host," he tells The Boot. "I love Luke, so I instantly said, 'That's the guy we've gotta get!' And he's kinda girly, so it works."

The night's co-hosts will also perform on the broadcast, as will Miranda Lambert, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Hunter Hayes, The Band Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Stevie Wonder, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw.

The 2013 ACM Awards air live from Las Vegas this Sunday, April 7, at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.

CBS This Morning: Country Is King

Country music is hugely popular on the radio. And CBS-TV's Manuel Bojorquez spoke with some of the industry's biggest names at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.

Chio Resurfaces In San Diego

Chio, former morning host at Beasley’s WRDW Wired 96.5 FM in Philadelphia has landed morning at CCM+E’s Rhythmic AC KSSX 95.7 KISS-FM in San Diego.

Chio was fired in Philly in December and becomes the first personality hire for CC’s three-month-old KISS-FM.

"Perfect weather, beautiful beaches, the largest media company in America, the city that gave me my first major break in my career, the first jock on 95.7 Kiss FM -- this is an incredible opportunity," said Chio. "I can't wait to entertain and get to know San Diego's listeners."

His previous experience includes KHTS (Channel 933), XHRM and the late KKLQ (Q106). His other major market experience includes Z100/New York, KPTY/Phoenix and eight years at Clear Channel Top 40 WIOQ (Q102)/Philly.

"We are excited to launch KISS FM's on-air programming with someone of Chio's caliber," said a visibly excited John Peake, VP of Programming for CCM+E San Diego. "Not only will he bring tremendous experience to San Diego’s newest radio station, Chio also will bring a great level of enthusiasm for the Rhythmic AC format and radio in general.”

He starts Monday (4/8) morning.

Phoenix Radio: Tim Richards To KMLE

Tim Richards
Former CCM+E Phoenix KZZP-FM PD Tim Richards has moved across the street to become the new Program Director of CBS Radio’s Country KMLE-FM.

A radio veteran with 20-years experience, has also programmed in Detroit, Chicago and Tucson and began his career as APD/MD in Boston at MIX 98.5. He’s a Chicago native and got his degree in radio from Columbia College.

Richards' new gig marks a return to CBS Radio and a reunion with CBS Radio SVP of Programming Greg Strassell, with whom Richards worked at WBMX/Boston until 1996.

“I couldn’t be more excited to work with CBS Radio Management and the KMLE team”, said  Richards. “KMLE is a legendary station and it’s an honor to be chosen as the next leader of this incredible brand.”

“Tim was the perfect choice to lead our programming efforts at KMLE,” said Tim Pohlman, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS RADIO Phoenix. “His leadership, prior success and positive attitude will add so much to an already great team.”

Programmer JT Bosch Relocating To Austin

JT Bosch
Programmer J. T. Bosch is on the move from Harrisburg, PA to Austin, TX to be PD at CCM+E’s KASE and KVET.  He starts April 22.

Most recently Bosch has been PD for Country WRBT and OM for Harrisburg.  He’s also been Program Manager for CC’s stations in Lancaster/Reading, Williamsport and Allentown.

"JT has shown incredible leadership in Harrisburg, managing that cluster along with his regional oversight in Allentown, Reading, Lancaster and Williamsport," said SVP of Programming Brad Hardin. "JT has proven his programming skills with an exceptional track record of winning. We're excited to add JT to our Austin team."

Facebook 'Home' Debuts 'Chatheads' for Messaging

At a demonstration Thursday afternoon, Facebook unveiled 'Chatheads,' a new messaging experience that allows users to message friends from any point on their phone's interface. 'Chatheads' is part of 'Home,' the new family of apps for the "Facebook Phone."

Cleveland’s Plain Dealer to Cut Delivery

Ohio's largest newspaper will seek to compete in the digital age as a daily, published seven days a week, but subscribers no longer will enjoy seven-day home delivery.

In a break from longstanding tradition, The Plain Dealer will be delivered to homes only three days a week beginning later this summer.

The long-awaited changes, announced to employees Thursday, will coincide with the emergence of a new company, the Northeast Ohio Media Group, which will partner with The Plain Dealer Publishing Co. to produce news and information in both print and electronic formats.

The launch of the new company and the new delivery schedule will occur later this summer. The company has said that The Plain Dealer will be home-delivered on Sunday and on two days yet to be named.

The Plain Dealer is owned by New York-based Advance Publications, which owns two other separate news organizations in the region: and The Sun News.

Dial Global Consolidation Hits 24/7 Formats

Dial Global is apparently consolidating its 24/7 Formats which has resulted in a number of lay-offs at its Valencia facilities in CA.  One report says six full-timers and 10% of the part-timers have been layed-off, another says 28 of 35 on-air people have lost their jobs.

Those remaining will be making the 35-mile move to DG’s Culver City studios.  A few will be shifting to DG facilities Dallas and Denver.

Many of those who voiced DG’s 24/7 format are not full-timers and moving to Dallas or Denver isn’t an option. 

'Mancow' And Family To Star In Reality TV Show

Camera crews have started filming a new reality TV show featuring Chicago radio and TV show host Erich "Mancow" Muller.

Mancow told Jamie Sotonoff at his contract prevents him from giving details, but the show will air on "a major network" this summer and will include footage of him with his wife's family in Barrington, and also with his family in western Missouri.

Cameras already have captured Mancow's daily routine, which involves getting out of bed at 2:30 a.m. to do his high-energy, nationally syndicated morning radio and TV show, "The Mancow Experience," on Elmhurst-based 1530-AM and FOX-owned WPWR Channel 50. A new highlights show, "The Mancow Mashup," airs on Channel 50 at 11 p.m. Saturdays.

The reality TV show is the latest project for Mancow, a polarizing radio personality since he ruled the Chicago airwaves with "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" in the mid 1990s and early 2000s. His outspoken personality, guns-and-babes focus, and right-wing politics attract a legion of loyal fans (called the Mancow Militia) but also plenty of haters.

Mancow — who's been repeatedly sued, fired and fined over the years for his on-air behavior — says the critics don't get to him.

NYC Radio: Emmy Visits Elvis

Emmy Rossum from Showtime's Shameless stopped by to chat with Elvis Duran at WHTZ Z100 NYC about achieving her acting dreams and her new album "Sentimental Journey"!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nurse Indicted In Death of Station Owner

Bill Norman
An Horry County, NC grand jury has indicted a suspended nurse in the death of a North Myrtle Beach radio owner/personality, who was her patient, last year, according to court records.

Janet Kupka, 54, of Myrtle Beach was indicted on a charge of first-degree assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, according to a story at

Kupka’s nursing license also was suspended Dec. 13 until the charges are resolved, according to the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Police arrested Kupka on Dec. 5 after allegations that she gave Bill Norman too much medication while he was being treated at Grand Strand Regional Medical center after suffering a stroke in October. Kupka has been free on $20,000 since her arrest.

Norman was the owner of Norman Communications’ WNMB-AM 900 and co-owner of WVCO-FM 94.9 “The Surf.”

Janet Kupka
An investigation into Norman’s death began on Oct. 19 – five days after the 63-year-old’s death – after police received a report from hospital officials that a patient possibly was over medicated.

Kupka told a witness that she had given the victim 20 mg of morphine, which was a dose much higher than what had been prescribed and possibly life-threatening, according to the report. Later the same day, the witness said Kupka took a bottle and tubing of Diprivan, which is a general anesthetic, from another patient’s room and went into Norman’s.

Norman’s health monitors sounded, and the witness told police that Kupka was in his room and said she had given him the Diprivan , according to the report. Norman died a short time later.

Clear Channel Coughs Up $200M

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO), which operates more than 750,000 outdoor advertising displays on five continents, agreed to declare a $200 million dividend to settle a shareholder lawsuit that challenged a $1 billion loan, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The agreement is subject to approval of a Delaware Chancery Court judge at a later hearing, the San Antonio-based company said in preliminary settlement documents posted Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clear Channel “denies all allegations of wrongdoing” in agreeing to the accord, and officials have considered “the strengths and weaknesses of plaintiffs’ claims,” company lawyers said in a memorandum filed with the SEC.

An investor, the City of Pinellas Park Firefighters Pension Board, sued Clear Channel on March 7, 2012, contending company directors wrongfully approved an unsecured loan worth as much as $1 billion and transferred more than $600 million to parent Clear Channel Communications Inc., a radio broadcaster.

The parent is owned by the private-equity funds Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.

Charlotte Radio: CCM+E Makes Jeff Wyatt OM

Jeff Wyatt
Jeff Wyatt has been named operations manager of CCM+E's Charlotte radio cluster. He will also be regional programming manager for CC radio stations in the Charlotte and Raleigh markets. Wyatt used to be vice president of Clear Channel's Mid-Atlantic region, including Washington.

He's also served as operations manager for WMZQ and Hot 99.5, and worked for Red Zebra.

More recently, Wyatt worked for CBS all-newser WNEW. His past experience includes working for Gannett, CBS Radio and Emmis.

"Thanks to Clear Channel’s senior teams in Charlotte and Raleigh for this great opportunity to rejoin the most forward reaching company in media entertainment today," said Wyatt.
"Jeff is a proven leader and we are excited to have him join the team," said Regional Market Manager Charlie Wilkinson.  "His years of experience in radio and programming expertise will be a tremendous asset."

Tenn. Radio HOF To Induct Four Radio Legends

UPDATE:  The Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame will officially induct its second class of broadcast honorees on May 4 during a gala event. In all, Sixteen broadcasters – seven in the Career category and nine in the Legacy category. Read More Now.

Earlier Posting...

Four legendary Memphis radio personalities will be inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame next month.
Rick Dees
Rick Dees, George Klein, Dewey Phillips and Rufus Thomas are among this year’s 16 inductees, according to WREG TV.

Dees became nationally known in the late 1970′s while working at WMPS Radio, when he wrote and recorded the novely hit “Disco Duck”. Dees also worked at WHBQ Radio before moving to Los Angeles.

George Klein
Klein, best known as being one of Elvis Presley’s closest friends, has spent the last 50 years on radio and television at several Memphis area stations.

Dewey Phillips
Phillips was the Mid-South’s most popular radio personality in the 1950′s — hosting his “Red, Hot and Blue Show” on WHBQ. He was also the first DJ to play an Elvis Presley record on the air.

Rufus Thomas
Until his death in 2001, Thomas spent more than 50 years on the air at WDIA — the nation’s first radio station programmed by African-Americans.

WDIA is also being honored at this year’s induction banquet as this year’s Legendary Station.

The banquet will be held on May 4th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro.

Hartford Radio: Mike Picozzi OUT At WCCC

Mike Picozzi
The rumors began 24 hours ago and  WCCC Mike Picozzi denied, denied, denied it because well, he says he didn’t know.  But by the end of the business day Monday, it was. Picozzi is gone fromWCCC “The Rock” 106.9, according to  Mary Ellen Fillo at The Hartford Courant.

The veteran station personality, who went from deejay to program director at the station owned by Marlin Broadcasting, was shown the door, adding yet another facet of the controversy swirling around the Hartford-based station.

“We finally agreed to disagree,” is all Picozzi had to say via an email Tuesday morning about his departure. Station general manager Boyd Arnold could not be reached for comment. Music director Mike Karolyi will take Picozzi’s place.

Picozzi’s  dismissal comes in the wake of a significant change in the music format at the station that was known for its edgy hard rock playlist. A few weeks ago, station head honchos decided to change things up and focus on “soft rock” igniting a firestorm prompting a public protest  and a “Save the Rock” Facebook page aimed at forcing station owner Woody Tanger to reconsider the change.

Tanger also took exception to claims of a station format change, noting that WCCC is still playing rock music but has expanded the boundaries of the kind of rock it plays.

“We have put the welcome mat out to men and women 35 and older,” he said about the new mix of music. “We have eliminated the music that was most offensive to the most people.”

Chicago Radio: WJMK Adds Jeffrey T. Mason To Line-Up

Jeffrey T. Mason
Jeffrey T. Mason is back on the Chicago airwaves after over ten years away. Mason has been hired by WJMK-FM/104.3 K-Hits for weeknights 7p to midnight, according to Chicago Radio & Media.

Mason now fills a vacancy that the station has had for six months, since George McFly exited K-Hits' nights in early October 2012.

For ten years, Mason was heard on Chicago radio. He began with Big City Radio's suburban WKIE-FM when it was 92.7 Kiss FM in December 1998, being the first live DJ on the air there. In August 1999, he moved over to sister-station WXXY-FM to be the evening DJ and music director for that short-lived all-80s station. For the first half of 2001, Mason worked nights for Chicago's ABC Radio-owned WZZN-FM, playing 80s and 90s music on "The Zone." By the second half of 2001, he was back with suburban Big City Radio, working as a morning, then evening DJ on WKIE-FM/WKIF-FM/WDEK-FM, known as the dance station Energy 95.7. By the start of January, 2003, that station was no more and Jeffro moved on.

He most recently had been working at Phoenix, AZ's KOOL-FM as a midday DJ & Assistant Program Director, as well as a DJ on sister-station KMLE-FM. He exited KMLE-FM in August 2010 and exited KOOL-FM this past November. Like Chicago's WJMK-FM, Phoenix's KOOL-FM is CBS Radio-owned station with a Classic Hits format. Mason has worked at approximately 30 radio stations nationwide.

Chicago Radio: Fred Winston OUT At WLS-FM

Fred Winston
Fred Winston, who’s been hosting afternoons on Cumulus Media classic hits WLS-FM 94.7-FM since October, was cut Wednesday from the station’s lineup. According to Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago, he learned it was his last show at the end of his shift.

As of Thursday, weekend personality Danny Lake will be filling in from 2:30 to 6pm Monday through Friday.

“We’re going in a different direction,” said Donna Baker, Cumulus Media Chicago market manager, who confirmed the change in afternoons.

 “There are some really good things going on with WLS and we’re very excited about them.”

Baker declined to comment further, but it’s clear the move was in response to ratings, which have plummeted at WLS-FM since the station switched from oldies to classic hits and revamped its talent lineup last fall.

Winston was one of a cadre of legendary Chicago radio personalities assembled by Jan Jeffries, senior vice president of programming for Cumulus Media and program director of WLS-FM.

Fresno Radio: Latest Trends Indicate KMJ Rebound

The latest trend ratings numbers from Arbitron, a leading monitor of radio listening trends, show the move of nationally syndicated talk shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others to KALZ (FM 96.7) attracted listeners when the move was made in January. But those listeners didn't hang around in February.

Arbitron reports that in January, listeners 12 and older gave KALZ a 6.2 share of the market, good enough for third place. In February, KALZ posted a 1.6 share and dropped to 19th place.

The Fresno Bee notes trends are preliminary numbers and things could change before the spring ratings book is released.

Jeff Negrete, general manager of the local Clear Channel radio stations that include KALZ, could not be reached for comment.

The news was better for KMJ AM 580/105.9 FM, the Resno station that lost those syndicated programs. The 5.5 share it posted in February was enough to move KMJ up from seventh to fourth place.

Triton Digital Ranks Pandors, Clear Channel At Top

Triton Digital has released its monthly online audio Top 20 Ranker for February 2013 and Pandora and Clear Channel remain 1, 2.

The Ranker is a listing of the top-performing Internet audio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics® audience measurement platform. Webcast Metrics® is accredited by the Media Rating Council.

Webcast Metrics® uses a proprietary platform to track audience data and convert it to audience metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers.

Audience rankings are done on the basis of “Average Active Sessions”, with "Session Starts" and “Average Time Spent Listening” also displayed. Average Active  Sessions (AAS) is defined as “Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by hours in the reported time period.”

TLH is defined as the total number of hours that the station/publisher has streamed during sessions with duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period. Session Starts (SS) is defined as “the number of different requests for streams (i.e., stream requests) with a duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period. ”Average Time Spent Listening (ATSL) is defined as “the average number of hours for each session with a duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period. Calculated as total time spent listening divided by active sessions.”

Rankers are divided into “Domestic” and “All Streams.” The “Domestic” Ranker quantifies listening done inside the U.S. based on log-based information provided by the station, this report is not MRC accredited. The “All Streams” Ranker merely verifies the quantity  streams without qualifying where they are being consumed, and is MRC accredited.

NBC Confirms ‘Tonight” Show Changes

NY Daily News illustration
NBC has released a statement confirming the long-suspected rumor that Jay Leno will be vacating the Tonight Show desk. Jimmy Fallon has been confirmed as his replacement.

The change reportedly will occur in February following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Russia. NBC plans to use the games to promote Leno's farewell and Fallon's debut.

The show will also be relocating from Los Angeles to New York -- where it first began. Jay told the NYTimes, "The main difference between this and the other time is I'm part of the process. The last time the decision was made without me. I came into work one day and -- you're out. There really aren't any complications like there were the last time. This time it feels right."

Also Must-Read: Fallon marks generational shift at NBC's 'Tonight Show”. Click Here.

Jay also discussed his tenure hosting the show saying, "I'm glad I've kept it No. 1. When I started people said, 'Oh the only reason you're winning is because of 'ER,' or 'The only reason you're winning is because Hugh Grant came on and said that one thing.' Well, at least now I can say the only reason we're winning is cause we're winning."

He added that after the end of his reign as host he plans to be "back on the road, being a comedian again."

Fallon will be the Tonight Show's sixth host.

Rolling Stones Announce Tour

The Rolling Stones have announced the initial dates for their 2013 50 & Counting tour. The band -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ron Wood -- so far have nine North American stops on their itinerary in addition to their two UK festival appearances at Glastonbury and Hyde Park.

The Stones, who will once again feature former guitarist Mick Taylor as their special guest, will kick off the trek in early May at L.A.'s Staples Center -- with the actual date still TBA due to pending NBA and NHL playoff schedules.

Throughout May and June the band will hit Oakland, San Jose, and Anaheim, California; Las Vegas; Toronto; Chicago; Boston and Philadelphia. More shows will be announced.

NYC Radio: DJ Megatron Killer Gets 21-Years

Corey McGriff
The man accused of firing a fatal gunshot into the chest of former WQHT Hot 97 DJ Megatron in a botched robbery almost two years ago took a plea Tuesday and will spend the next 21 years behind bars, according to the

William Williams, 22, faced trial in Staten Island on a second-degree murder rap and, if convicted, a potential prison sentence of 25 years to life. He instead pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.

The 32-year-old disc jockey, aka Corey McGriff, was a former radio personality on Hot 97 and a regular on BET’s “106 & Park.”

Megatron was about a block from his Stapleton home when he was slain in March 2011. Williams and an accomplice, Richard Cromwell, had been stalking him, seeing the rising star in the hip hop world as a good mark, prosecutors said.

When they made their move, Williams blasted Megatron, and the duo made off with a wad of the deejay’s cash and a wristwatch given to him by his daughter, then just 11 years-old.

NYC Radio: DJ Clue Arrested on Drug, Traffic Charges

Ernesto Shaw
Celebrity deejay and WWPR Power 105.1 radio personality DJ Clue has been arrested on drug-and traffic-related charges after police stopped him at a checkpoint in lower Manhattan Wednesday morning and found he was driving with a suspended license, law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York.

DJ Clue, whose real name is Ernesto Shaw, was driving a black Range Rover with New Jersey plates when he was stopped at the checkpoint.  Police checked his driving record and found the 38-year-old deejay was driving with a license that had been suspended eight times, according to law enforcement sources.

When police went to arrest him on the suspended license charge, they searched him and found three pills wrapped in foil, law enforcement sources said.

DJ Clue launched his career in the mid-'90s with signature mixtapes that were high-quality production and featured exclusive songs. One 1994 tape featured unreleased work by The Notorious B.I.G., accelerating his rise to fame.

DJ Clue joined Hot 97 as a radio personality in the late 1990s before releasing two major label releases via Rock-A-Fella/Def Jam. He later created his own label, Desert Storm, and left WQHT Hot 97 for WWPR Power 105.1.

DJ Charged With Unemployment Fraud

Mark Thomas
A Wilkes-Barre, PA radio personality has been charged with fraudulently collecting more than $25,000 in unemployment benefits despite holding two jobs.

Mark Charles Thomas, 52, of Wilkes-Barre, is charged with felony counts of theft by deception and tampering with public records and a misdemeanor count of unsworn falsification. He is free on $10,000 unsecured bail, according to The Citizens Voice.

Court records say Thomas works at Motor World Auto Group in Wilkes-Barre and is a disc jockey for WDMT The Mountain 102.3 FM.

But he didn’t tell unemployment officials about that.

Instead, Thomas filed a claim using the Unemployment Compensation Internet System on July 9, 2010, and was deemed eligible for a payment of $226 per week, according to a police affidavit filed in court.

When the benefits expired in January 2011, Thomas reapplied for the benefits, qualifying for a new payment of $230 per week, according to the affidavit.

He also worked as a vice president at WVIA-TV for more than eight years.

Read More Now

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chicago Radio: Brotha Fred Gets Contract Extension

Angi, Brotha Fred
Brotha’ Fred just signed on for four more years as morning personality at WKSC-FM 103.5 Kiss FM. Although his current contract runs through December, Clear Channel bosses rewarded with him an early, long-term renewal.

 “I always dreamed of the opportunity to do mornings in Chicago and to earn the loyalty of this great city,” he told Robert Feder. “This contract extension represents not only Clear Channel’s long-term investment in me but to the Chicagoland community.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kiss FM is on a roll, with 2012 revenue of $21.1 million — up $5.5 million from the previous year. Fred, whose real name is Christopher Frederick, and co-host Angi Taylor are tied for third in mornings among women between 25 and 54, according to the latest Arbitron survey.

Tommy Austin, new vice president of programming at Clear Channel Chicago, said in a statement: “Brotha’ Fred has endeared himself to the 103.5 Kiss FM audience for nearly three years, and we look forward to his continued growth and success.”

Read More Now.

Arbitron: One In Three Listen To On-Line Radio

One in three Americans aged 12 and older now listen to all forms of online radio on a weekly basis according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms.

Among the many other findings:
  • Fifty-three percent of all Americans aged 12 and over (an estimated 139 million people) own a smartphone; three-quarters of those aged 18-to-34 own these devices
  • Weekly online radio listeners report listening for an average of 11 hours 56 minutes per week, up by more than two hours over last year's listening levels (9 hours 46 minutes in 2012), and nearly double that reported in 2008 (6 hours 13 minutes). During the same span of time, Arbitron's RADAR service indicates that AM/FM Radio has grown to 243 million weekly listeners and time spent listening has remained approximately two hours a day
  • More than one in four Americans (27 percent) check their social network several times per day, estimated at 71 million people
  • AM/FM radio is an "almost all of the times" or "most of the times" in-car choice for nearly six in ten adults aged 18 and over; dashboard AM/FM radio (58 percent) far outpaces frequent in-car use of CD players (15 percent), portable digital audio/MP3 players (11 percent) and satellite radio (10 percent)
  • AM/FM Radio delivers far more consumers (49 percent) than other media during the half hour before they arrive to shop, more than twice the number reached by the next closest medium (advertising on Billboards at 21 percent)
  • Twenty-nine percent own a tablet; this is up more than 70 percent in the last year, compared to 17 percent ownership in 2012
  • Among the nearly half of Americans (45 percent) who say it is important to learn about and keep up-to-date with new music, AM/FM Radio is the top source for new music discovery at 78 percent
Bill Rose
"We are now seeing the highest levels of weekly online radio listening with the increasing strength of AM/FM streams and other online radio brands and the near ubiquity of devices in which consumers can listen," said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Arbitron.

"In the smartphone, the majority of Americans now have powerful computers in their pockets, which has irrevocably altered not only out-of-home listening behavior, but out-of-home purchase behavior as well," added Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research.

This study, as well as previous studies, may be downloaded free of charge via the Arbitron and Edison Research websites at and Or scroll below.

Battle Ground: In-Car Listening

In-car media choices are rapidly changing, driven in part by the growing availability of Bluetooth connections between smartphones and the car stereo and while automakers are racing to include infotainment systems in their new models, Arbitron-Edison data shows the technology is still in its infancy with only 6% of drivers/riders reporting having one.

Study: More Young Adults Tuning Out Terrestrial Radio

According to The NPD Group in fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012, Pandora and other subscription-based and free Internet radio services accounted for nearly one quarter (23 percent) of the average weekly music listening time among consumers between the ages of 13 and 35, an increase from a share of 17 percent the previous year.

As Internet-radio listening rose among this age group, listening to AM/FM radio, which now accounts for 24 percent of music-listening time, declined 2 percentage points. In the 36-and-older age group, by contrast, Internet radio accounted for just 13 percent of music listening, while AM/FM radio dominated listening methods with a 41 percent share.

“Driven by mobility and connectivity, music-streaming services are rapidly growing their share of the music listening experience for teens and young adults, at the expense of traditional music listening methods,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

As listening to music on mobile devices increases, NPD’s “Music Acquisition Monitor” also reported a decline in consumers listening to CDs and digital music files. In fact, more than half of Pandora and iHeartRadio users used their mobile phone to access those services. Roughly one in five Pandora or iHeartRadio users are also currently connecting to those services in their cars, which has in the past typically been the bastion of AM/FM radio listening.

Among music listeners between the ages of 13 and 35, Pandora has a significant lead in terms of usage:

D/FW Radio: Tony & Julie To Wake-up KVIL Mornings

KVIL 103.7 Lite FM has to announced its new morning team of Tony Zazza and Julie Fisk. “Zazza and Julie” will premiere Monday, April 8th

“Tony brings energy and purpose to KVIL mornings,” said Ron Harrell, Director of Music Programming for CBS Radio Dallas-Fort Worth. “He has market equity and his connections to local celebrities will infuse this show with a new swagger. We needed a female co-host to exude strength and have a voice, and I found her in our building. Julie Fisk is smart, experienced and has a proven chemistry with Tony. This show will be strong.”

Tony Zazza
Zazza has been with Lite FM since 2009 as our midday host.

Fisk joined CBS Radio Dallas-Fort Worth in 2006, where she currently fills various roles, including morning traffic reporter and film critic for NewsRadio 1080 KRLD as well entertainment reporter for 100.3 Jack FM.

A native of San Diego, Zazza came to Texas on a baseball scholarship at Hill College in Hillsboro and later at Tarleton State University.

While in college, he was a local correspondent for and also worked at Stephenville’s KCUB-FM. He has received industry honors from Radio and Records, the Radio Music Awards, and the American Women in Radio and Television (now known as American Women in Media).

Fisk’s radio career began in Atlanta and later took her to South Carolina and New Mexico before she moved to Dallas in 1998 to become the nighttime host at KDGE-FM. The next year, she began co-hosting the station’s morning drive program.

Also Read: A Legendary Radio Station Gets A New Morning Team by Ken Foote. Click Here.

Syracuse Radio: Another ‘Water Bit’ Gets A Twist

Monday WNTQ 93Q Syracuse morning hosts Ted and Amy devoted much of their show today to exposing the potential “hazards” of a substance known as DHMO.

According to, complete with pre-recorded PSAs and “interviews” with a “DHMO expert,” the pair told viewers how athletes everywhere are using the substance to enhance their performance. They talked about marriages are better when couples use DHMO, but even “just a thimbleful” of this “colorless, odorless substance” can be dangerous to one’s health if used the wrong way. Yet, it’s a relief that reasonable amounts “are not harmful” because DHMO is “everywhere.”

If you were paying attention closely enough to the broadcast, you may have caught them explain that DHMO stands for “dihydrogen monoxide.” And if you remembered even a tiny bit of high school chemistry, you know that’s just the wordy way of describing the chemical formula H2O — also commonly known as plain ol’ water.

If listeners didn’t figure out the gag from what was being said on-air, they hopefully realized it when they visited, at Ted and Amy’s urging,, a real website for the not-so-real “Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division” of the fictitious “United States Environmental Assessment Center.”

Grand Rapids Radio: WJQK Adds Sabrina & Ace For Mornings

Sabrina Fairchild
Veteran West Michigan broadcaster Sabrina Fairchild and Ace McKay will be the new morning team at WJQK-FM 99.3 , according to

“The Ace & Sabrina Show” replaces “The Chris & Emilee Show” after nearly four-year run on JQ99. Chris and Emilee Danielson last were on the air at JQ99 on March 22.

The WJQK-FM website today is ticking down a clock with no other details.

“The Ace & Sabrina Show” will debut on April 8, on the Contemporary Christian station based in Holland/Zeeland.

Sabrina Fairchild, a 20-year veteran of West Michigan radio, formerly was the morning co-host with Steve Kelly on Star 105.7 from 2005 to 2007. Before that she was on air at WSNX-FM 104.5 from 1993 to 2005.

More recently, Fairchild in January 2011 joined the staff at WLHT-FM (95.7) as the Townsquare Media station’s midday personality, rebranded as Channel 957.

Ace McKay most recently was on WLAB-FM in Fort Wayne, Ind., and previously was based in Huntsville, Alabama, and Tallahassee, Florida.

Chicago Radio: WVON Celebrates 50th Anniversary

No Chicago radio station had more of a ripple effect than WVON-AM, writes David Hoekstra at the Sun-Times.

The voices of the on-air “Good Guys” — Moses “Lucky” Cordell, Herb “The Cool Gent” Kent, Pervis “The Blues Man” Spann and others — spoke with empowering warmth. If they sounded like they were in a narrow gold mine, there was light at the end of that tunnel.

The bass on the 1960s hits of Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Sly and the Family Stone reverberated across Chicago. The 1450 frequency of WVON was a fancy number if it had been a North State Street address. But WVON-AM was the voice of an emerging black community.

WVON stood for “Voice of the Negro.”  It is a cultural giant.

WVON’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated this weekend in no small fashion:

The “IMPACT 50” gala features six-time Grammy winner Toni Braxton at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Chicago Theater, 175 N. State ($100-$500,, 800-745-3000).

WVON is now found at 1690 AM, and the call letters of the independently owned talk station stand for “Voice of the Nation.” Melody Spann-Cooper is president and chairman.

The 1450 frequency once was WHFC, spinning hits from Germany and Lithuania. In 1963, Chess Records owners Leonard and Phil Chess acquired the station as a way to promote the black artists they were recording. (An FM station was thrown in for free. That turned out to be WSDM, which during the 1970s was Chicago’s first all-female smooth jazz station, now WLUP.)

Like a shrewd baseball general manager, Leonard Chess drafted the best on-air talent he could find, ranging from the late “Mad Lad” program director E. Rodney Jones to talk show host Wesley South, whose “Hotline” is regarded as the first African-American radio talk show.

WVON was powered by only 1,000 watts a day and 250 watts at night, but its high ratings caught the attention of rock ’n’ roll giants.

“WLS [then ‘the Big 89’] was saying, ‘Who are these guys?’ ” recalled the 84-year-old Cordell, who assumed the late morning shift when he came to WVON in 1965. “We were first in certain time periods. Ridiculous. Young white people were becoming more aware of black music. And other stations didn’t play Muddy Waters.” Berry Gordy debuted most of his Motown tunes at WVON, because the station was about the echo of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”

Jay-Z's Newest Client: Yankees' Robinson Cano

Rapper and record producer Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter is branching out into the world of sports agency, and he has landed the biggest available fish in all of baseball as his first client.

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, the team's best player, is hiring Mr. Carter and his partners to represent him as he heads for free agency this fall, according to Mr. Carter's company, Roc Nation.

NBC Confirms Jay Leno To 'Retire' Next Spring

UPDATE 04/032013 1:30p: On Wednesday, Jay Leno confirmed the rampant reports that he's once again departing "The Tonight Show," presumably for good this time. He'll wrap up his 22-year run as host in spring 2014, with Jimmy Fallon officially signing on as his replacement.

Earlier Posting....

Jimmy Fallon's march to inherit The Tonight Show is nearly complete. The Late Night host has closed a new deal with NBC that will pave the way for him to replace Jay Leno in the 11:35 p.m. slot, a well-placed source says.

It is understood the deal will include that he will succeed Jay Leno as host of the “Tonight” show at some point.

The Hollywood Reporter says the timing and nature of the Fallon announcement is said to be in flux, with some at NBC said to believe that the network should wait to confirm the Tonight transition until it can close a deal with Fallon's replacement.

The strong frontrunner for that 12:35 a.m. job is said to be Saturday Night Live stalwart Seth Meyers.

Hudson Valley Radio: WGNY Adds ESPN

Poughkeepsie fans have a new option for getting their sports fix.

Orange County-based Sunrise Broadcasting began carrying ESPN Radio on its WGNY 1220 AM station Monday, filling a void that had existed in the Hudson Valley for almost a decade.

“There was no full-time sports station. The closest was in New York City,” market manager Bob DeFelice told the Poughkeepsie Journal, referring to the likes of the Big Apple’s WFAN (660 AM) and ESPN Radio affiliate WEPN (98.7 FM); the latter rarely reaches Dutchess County. “Now you can hear it loud and clear all the time. That’s why we brought it here.”

Currently available locally on FOX’s 1220 AM station, the ESPN Radio content — everything from “Mike & Mike in the Morning” to “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” — also will be available in Poughkeepsie on its 97.3 FM station by the end of the week, DeFelice said.

Read More Now.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NYC Radio: WFAN’s Mike Francesa Inks Contract Extension

Mike Francesa
WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM afternoon man, whose contract expires after next year's Super Bowl, has re-signed to remain with the station.

Mike Francesa has signed a long-term agreement to remain as afternoon drive personality for several more years. Some reports have put it as through 2017, according to a story by longtime NYC Media Writer Vince Santarelli at

Francesa first started with WFAN when they first went on the air back in 1987. He started as afternoon host with partner Mad Dog Russo on September 5, 1989. Russo, of course, left the show in 2008 and Francesa has been running solo ever since.

In his time at WFAN, Francesa has been honored with two NAB Marconi Awards and has been voted top sports personality by Talkers Magazine and Radio Ink.

“Mike has earned his place in radio history as a great broadcaster,” said CBS Radio president/CEO Dan Mason.

Added Mark Chernoff, Vice President, Sports Programming, CBS RADIO and WFAN Program Director, “Mike represents the heart and soul of WFAN, and we’re proud he will continue to make the station his long-term broadcast home. Like no one else, Mike can take a story to the next level and involve his listeners in thought provoking ways with topical and opinionated conversation. He has set the standard for what represents an entertaining and informative radio program.”

“I’m very proud of what we have accomplished at WFAN,” says Francesa. “I am also honored and thankful to CBS RADIO for its continued commitment, and most of all to the listeners for their enduring loyalty.”

According to the New York Daily News, as part of his deal, the Pope’s (as he's often referred to in Gotham sports circles) Sunday morning sermon, aka “The NFL Now,” will now be heard on CBS Sports Radio (it will still be on WFAN) and will be made available to more than 250 affiliates across the country.

Atlantic City, NJ Radio: Mary Walter Talks Relationships

Mary Walter
Talk radio will be taking a personal tone as host Mary Walter brings her relationship advice show to weekday evenings on WTKU-FM 98.3 in the Ocean City, NJ market..

"Life! With Mary Walter" will broadcast 9 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays starting April 8.

According to a story at, Walter is probably best known for her work hosting "Passion Phones" on WKXW-FM 101.5.

Walter said Monday her new show would follow a similar format, with listeners seeking - and offering - relationship advice.

"Seeking out relationship advice is as old as the hills," Walter said. "We are going to let the audience call in and give the advice."

"People love to give advice. People love to tell other people what they are doing wrong," she said.

Walter will have an all-talk format, a change for the station, which normally plays songs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

"It's a change for us," said Paul Kelly, vice president of broadcast operations for Longport Media, which owns the station, in a prepared statement. "But it's a change we believe our listeners will enjoy."

Tampa Radio: Sports Talker Steve Duemig Returns To WDAE photo
After being off-air for about a week over a contract dispute WDAE-AM (620) host Steve Duemig has returned to the air.returned.

And Eric Deggans at The Feed at reports, though he stops short of saying he’s happy how his negotiations turned out, the host insists his absence was a result of WDAE owner Clear Channel Radio’s hardball negotiating tactics.

“I was told to sign a document before our negotiations were done,” noted Duemig, who said back when he left the air that the company wanted him to sign a new agreement before a window opened in his contract allowing him to negotiate with competitors. When he refused, Duemig said, he was taken off the air.

He now declines to say if he talked with any competitors – most obviously WHFS-FM 98.7 The Fan owned by CBS Radio. But Duemig does say that he didn’t get any extra money from the deal, which lasts three years from his current contract’s end in mid-May.

Read More Now.

TB's Take:  Steve could use some guidance from Todd Schnitt on how to negotiate a deal.

FCC To Review Radio/TV Decency Policy

U.S. regulators on Monday launched a review of policy governing the way it enforces broadcasts of nudity and profanity on radio and television and asked for public comment on whether its current approach should be amended.

According to Reuters, the Federal Communications Commission issued a public notice inviting comment on whether it should focus its efforts on pursuing only the "most egregious" cases in which rules are broken, or focus on isolated cases of nudity and expletives uttered on radio and TV shows.

The public notice follows a Supreme Court ruling in June 2012 against a government crackdown some 10 years ago on nudity and profanity.

"We now seek comment on whether the full Commission should make changes to its current (egregious cases) broadcast indecency policies or maintain them as they are," the FCC said on Monday.

It asked for public input over the next 30 days on whether, for example, it should treat cases of nudity in the same way as profanity, and whether "deliberate and repetitive" use of expletives is necessary to prove indecency.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, the FCC said it had focused its enforcement on "egregious cases" and had handled a backlog of more than 1 million complaints since June 2012.

The Supreme Court said that the FCC rules were vague and that it had not given fair notice of a tougher stance that resulted in three-high profile incidents that resulted in complaints and fines against U.S. networks.