Friday, May 3, 2013

CCM+E Reports 1Q Radio Revenue Down 1%

Bob Pittman
CC Media Holdings, Inc. Thursday reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

"The strength of our businesses was clear in the company's solid first quarter results, which included growing returns from our strategic investments in key digital assets," Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman said.

"Across the company, we are creating unique, engaging solutions for clients that use our unparalleled multi-platform reach. With our advertisers, we are innovating new ways to use our assets to reach consumers more effectively wherever they are -- which is increasingly out of their homes. Rather than staying in their connected homes as once predicted, people are now making more mobile connections than ever before. This trend toward the connected consumer plays to the strengths of Clear Channel in broadcast and digital radio and outdoor displays, and we are beginning to make progress in monetizing it."

Tom Casey
"Thanks to our operating discipline, we contained costs and kept building momentum in our outdoor and our media and entertainment businesses during the quarter," said Tom Casey, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

"We made solid progress in our broadcast, syndication and digital businesses. Our operating leverage in Americas outdoor drove strong results from last year's investments, while International outdoor delivered double-digit topline growth from emerging markets. Companywide, past strategic investments are positively contributing to this quarter's results, and we will continue to be proactive about investing in growth areas and refocusing our Outdoor business in Europe. We were also opportunistic in our capital management and successfully completed a private offering due 2021 to help pre-pay all of our 2014 bank debt maturities."
  • Consolidated revenues decreased $18 million, or 1%, year over year, to $1.34 billion in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $1.36 billion in the same period of 2012. Excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates(1) , as well as an $8 million impact from the divestiture of two businesses during the third quarter of 2012, revenues declined $9 million, or less than 1%.
  • Media and Entertainment ("CCM+E") revenues decreased $15 million, or 2%, driven primarily by the traffic business, which continues to reflect  integration activities. Offsetting this decline was strength in radio stations, including national and digital operations.
  • Americas outdoor revenues rose $6 million, or 2%, on a reported basis and adjusted for movements in foreign exchange rates, driven by higher occupancy and capacity on digital displays, strong growth in posters on new advertisers, and growth in airports.
  • International outdoor revenues increased $2 million, or less than 1%, after adjusting for an $8 million revenue reduction due to the divestiture of two businesses during the third quarter of 2012 and a $1 million decrease from movements in foreign exchange rates. More robust economic conditions in emerging markets and certain other geographies were offset by weakened economic conditions in other markets, particularly Western Europe. On a reported basis, revenues decreased $7 million, or 2%, compared to the first three months of 2012.

Journal Reports 1Q Radio Revenue Increases 6.7%

Steven J. Smith
Journal Communications, Inc. Thursday  announced results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

“We are very pleased to report that Journal Communications experienced revenue growth in the first quarter at both our television and radio stations and improving trends at the Journal Sentinel daily newspaper,” said Steven J. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Journal Communications.

  • For the first quarter, broadcasting revenue increased 31.1% to $58.2 million or 6.0% on a same-station basis. Total broadcast political advertising revenue decreased 61.4% to $0.5 million. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, was up 25.1%, or 3.2% on a same-station basis. National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 41.0%, or 7.5% on a same-station basis. Retransmission revenue increased 145.1% to $5.4 million. Broadcasting operating earnings of $9.5 million increased 41.9%.

  • Revenue from television stations for the first quarter increased 43.4% to $42.3 million, or 7.6% on a same-station basis. Television political advertising revenue was $0.4 million compared to $1.2 million. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 36.7%, or 3.2% on a same-station basis, primarily due to an increase in automotive advertising. National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 50.1% or 9.5% on a same-station basis, primarily due to increases in media and restaurant advertising. Operating earnings from television stations were $7.1 million, an increase of 84.3%. Television operating expenses increased 37.2%, or 10.4% on a same-station basis, excluding acquisition costs, primarily due to increases in network fees and employee-related costs.

  • For the first quarter, revenue from radio stations increased 6.7% to $15.9 million, or 2.8% on a same-station basis. Radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million in each of 2013 and 2012. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 7.2%, or 3.3% on a same-station basis, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising. National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 2.1%, but decreased 1.3% on a same-station basis, primarily due to a decrease in communications advertising. Operating earnings from radio stations were $2.4 million compared to $2.9 million, a decrease of 15.3%. Radio operating expenses increased 11.9%, or 8.1% on a same-station basis, primarily due to employee-related expense increases and a non-cash building impairment charge of $0.2 million.

Print Circ Has Falls 42% At Top Papers Since 2005

While the Alliance for Audited Media reported Tuesday that combined print and digital circulation at newspapers in the last six months fell by 0.7% on weekdays, print-only circulation actually declined by 9.9% in the same period at the 25 largest papers in the country. The AAM is an industry-funded group formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Alan Mutter
The long-term circulation trend is sobering, according to Alan D. Mutter in his blog Reflections Of A Newsosaur.

The AAM archives show that weekday print circulation at the top 25 papers has plunged 41.6% since March, 2005, the year the industry achieved all-time high advertising sales of $49.4 billion. In a stunning reversal of fortune that has roiled the industry ever since, ad sales in 2006 commenced a seven-year slide that brought aggregate industry revenues to $22.3 billion by the end of 2012.  

As illustrated, weekday print circulation in the last seven years has fallen by more than half at the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Arizona Republic, Houston Chronicle, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Newark Star-Ledger, Orange Country Register, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and San Diego Union-Tribune.  Only one of the 25 papers on the list reported selling more print copies in 2013 than in 2005: The Tampa Bay Times.

Thus, the 25 titles that collectively sold 15.1 million papers on the average weekday in 2005 sold only 8.8 million papers on the average weekday in 2013.

Read More Now.

Mutter began his career as a newspaper columnist and editor at the Chicago Daily News and later rose to City Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. In 1984, he became No. 2 editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He left the newspaper business in 1988 to join InterMedia Partners, a start-up that became one of the largest cable-TV companies in the U.S. Mutter was the COO of InterMedia when he moved to Silicon Valley in 1996 to join the first of the three start-up companies he led as CEO.

Aereo: Nets Bluffing On Cable Switch Threat

Chet Kanojia
Aereo Inc. Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia challenged CBS Corp. (CBS) and News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox broadcast network to follow through on threats to go off the air and switch to cable to prevent the Internet startup from retransmitting their shows without permission. According to

Lower advertising revenue from cable and pressure from lawmakers will make it difficult to put the switch into practice, Kanojia said in an interview yesterday.

CBS and News Corp. have both threatened to take their broadcast signals off the air if Aereo, backed by billionaire Barry Diller, is allowed to continue reselling network programming over the Internet without paying a retransmission fee. The two networks would be sacrificing billions of dollars in ad revenue by making the switch, Kanojia said.

“The reality is, they want to get paid twice, and Aereo is just an excuse to articulate that business strategy,” Kanojia said. “Good luck to them.”

Broadcast and cable networks have two main sources of revenue: advertising sales and fees from pay-TV such as DirecTV (DTV) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) that carry their programming.

While broadcast advertising trumps cable advertising because the audiences are much bigger, CBS and Fox say they must be compensated for their programming. CBS could go off the air if courts don’t stop Aereo, Leslie Moonves, the New York-based network’s CEO, said this week.

NAB Accepting Marconi Award Nominations

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced today that it will accept nominations for the 2013 NAB Marconi Radio Awards until May 31. The Marconi Radio Awards recognize overall excellence in radio broadcasting.

To be considered for a 2013 NAB Marconi Radio Award, general managers may nominate their station in the categories of "Station of the Year by Market Size," "Station of the Year by Format," "Personality of the Year by Market Size," "Spanish Format Personality of the Year" and "Legendary Station." Stations may also submit nominations for the category of "Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year."

Nominations must be submitted online and received by May 31. Finalists will be announced in July. Guidelines are available to help radio stations build stronger entries.

On September 19, the winners will be announced during the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Radio Show, held in held in Orlando (September 18-20).

Denver Radio: Uncle Nasty, Keefer Bounce Back

Uncle Nasty
Two very popular Denver radio personalities have bounced back from well-publicized blowouts from their long-term employer, Clear Channel Communications, and have migrated to new mics.

Both Uncle Nasty (whose signature gravel voice long rocked the Rockies on KBPI, 106.7-FM) and Keefer (a fixture behind the scenes and on the air at "World Class Rock," KBCO, 97.3-FM) endured the latest Clear Channel purge and now have new gigs.

"There is life after Clear Channel," Nasty tells Joanne Ostrow at The Denver Post.

Nasty (legally known as Gregg Stone) is doing voice-over work for Jack (KJAC, 107.1-FM) and hopes to launch a new show elsewhere this summer — not music-related, and not as raunchy as his old style; it will be geared to the PG-13 audience.

Keefer (known to the government as David Fulgham) is serving as promotions coordinator and host for Colorado Public Radio's new alternative music station Open Air (KVOQ, 1340-AM, in stereo online). He's on-air less than he used to be but is learning new skills.

NYC Radio: New Tower Set Atop One World Trade Center

Nine years after its initial ground breaking, One World Trade Center is nearly ready to reach its peak.

The mast that will crown the centerpiece skyscraper at the rebuilt World Trade Center site soared to the buildings roof Thursday, a final step before the spire is hoisted into place at a yet-to-be-announced date. Once installed, the 408-foot spire and radio antenna will bring the tower to a maximum height of 1,776 feet.

The final piece, weighting 22 tons, is a shiny, spaceship-like capsule containing a giant LED beacon that’s expected to shine for miles from the top of the building. A crowd of construction workers and reporters wearing bright green vests watched as a crane lifted the structure from the ground, a process that took several minutes.

The Wall Street Journal noted Thursday also marks the second anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, although the event wasn’t meant to coincide; the spire had been scheduled to rise on Monday before weather forced a delay.

NYC Radio: WBLS' 'Open Line' Cut Back For More Music

Picket, Slade, Mtume
Sundays are sounding more like weekdays on WBLS 107.5 FM as the station cuts back on “specialty” programming to play more music in the mid-day, writes David Hinckley at

For some listeners, though, this comes at a price: a cutback in “Open Line,” one of the few black talk shows on a major commercial city radio station.

“Open Line,” which launched on the late WRKS in 1989 and several times made the Talkers Magazine “Heavy Hundred” list, is now heard 8-9 a.m., rather than 10 a.m.-noon.

James Mtume, who had cohosted the show with Bob Slade and Bob Pickett since 1995, announced he was leaving the show on April 21, the same day listeners learned about the scheduling change.

None of the hosts commented on that change. Mtume said he was moving on to other projects.

But the change concerned some community groups, who have criticized commercial radio in general for giving little time to black talk shows.

Another WRKS Sunday talk show, “The Week In Review,” did not survive the merger of WBLS and WRKS in April 2012. Activists worried at the time that with only one adult-targeted major black commercial station left in town, community voices would go unheard.

WBLS still carries two other talk shows on Sunday: “Imhotep Gary Byrd,” 7-9 p.m., and “The Rev. Al Sharpton,” 9-10 a.m.

Jax Radio: Pastor Calls Out Clear Channel For Hip-Hop Songs

Michael T. Smith is a man with a plan. The pastor of The Church of Jacksonville took to the pulpit Sunday to talk about one of the most controversial topics around: hip-hop.

"It's no mystery that you can turn on the radio and hear people talking about gun violence, dealing drugs, trafficking cocaine," he tells 47WTEV.

Smith wrote a letter to Clear Channel, asking for a "change in broadcast policy." He believes the songs often heard on 93.3FM aren't ones that uplift the community, and in fact, influence the disportionate number of blacks in prisons, on drugs and involved in homicides.

"You're a company that broadcasts black artists in a negative light and white artists not in that negative light. Don't tell me don't listen. Change your policy No. 1," he said.

In response, Clear Channel issued us the following statement:

"The Beat FM 93.3 is a popular station in Jacksonville that has a great relationship with the local community, playing music that our listeners want while abiding by all government regulations as a responsible broadcaster. We are a solid community partner, participating in many local charitable events including the MLK Parade, local school health fairs, feed the city with the Clara White Mission, MAD DADs pledge to help keep kids drug free, as well as national campaigns with the United Negro College Fund and the national mentoring Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Smith doesn't see it that way. He believes the more negative messages played, the more executives unfairly profit. He says he's not giving up any time soon.

SF Radio: Four KCBS Staffers Nominated To Bay HOF

Four members of the on-air staff at KCBS All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM have been nominated for the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

They include morning-drive sports anchor Steve Bitker, and reporters Mike Colgan, Mike Sugerman and Barbara Taylor.

Bitker is nominated in the sports category, while Colgan, Sugerman, and Taylor are nominees in the news category.

Public voting to select the inductees runs through June 30 at this website. 

The results will be announced on July 20 at the California Historical Radio Society’s Bay Area Radio Museum in Berkeley.

The entire class of 2013 will be inducted in the fall with the San Francisco Chapter of Broadcast Legends.

Birmingham Radio: Ex-JOX GM Sues Cumulus

Bill Thomas
The former general manager at Birmingham sports-talk stations WJOX FM and AM has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his old employer, claiming Cumulus Media fired him six days after he told his superiors he had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Bill Thomas -- who also oversaw the day-to-day operations at four other Cumulus stations in Birmingham, as well as The Paul Finebaum Radio Network -- filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Birmingham, according to a story at

Thomas' lawsuit claims Cumulus violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Attorneys for Thomas have requested a jury trial and are asking that Thomas get his old job back, as well as receive back pay from the date of his termination, plus attorney fees and other damages.

Thomas -- who also had been named in a 2011 breach-of-contract lawsuit that WJOX sports-talk host Paul Finebaum filed against Cumulus subsidiary Citadel Broadcasting -- was fired on Feb. 17, 2012, according to his lawsuit.

John Dickey
Six days earlier, the lawsuit says, Thomas had emailed Cumulus chief operating officer John Dickey and human resources manager Malea Turner to tell them he had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure but was still able to perform his duties as general manager.

On the day that Dickey and Cumulus co-COO Jon Pinch drove from Atlanta to Birmingham to fire him, Thomas asked Dickey if he had read the email Thomas sent him, the lawsuit says.

"Yeah, yeah . . .," Dickey replied, according to the lawsuit. "We all have health problems as we get older. . . . I have gout."

When Thomas told Dickey that his health problem was more serious than gout, Dickey left the room, the lawsuit says.

John Tesh Launching TV Show

Musician, author, broadcast personality and media entrepreneur John Tesh announced today that his Tesh Media group is launching "Intelligence for Your Life TV." The new broadcast venture will serve as the video extension of his "Intelligence for Your Life" nationally-syndicated radio program, which reaches 8 million listeners each week.

The "Intelligence for Your Life" radio show can be heard each week in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The program offers advice on topics such as health and wellness, relationships and finances.

The new ground breaking half hour television program, slated to launch June 1, 2013, will connect listeners to experts in various fields and feature short, sharable segments in Tesh's most popular radio categories.  The show will be hosted by Tesh, Connie Sellecca, who serves as the host of "Intelligence for Your Health Radio," and Gib Gerard.

Dr. Drew Checks Out of “Celebrity Rehab”

Dr. Drew
The physician and reality TV star recently confirmed to the Zach Sang & the Gang radio program that there will be no more seasons of "Celebrity Rehab," mainly because he's tired of getting blamed when a celebrity he's treated ends up dying from their drug addiction.

"I don't have plans to do that again, " Pinsky said. "I'm tired of taking all the heat. It's just ridiculous."

Pinsky, who starred in and co-produced five seasons of "Celebrity Rehab," said that doing the show has become too stressful for him, due to the fact that everyone is quick to point fingers at him when one of his celebrity patients relapses.

"It's very stressful and very intense for me, " Pinsky said. "To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame? Rodney King has a heart attack and I take blame for that?"

Lindsay Lohan Checks-Out Of Rehab Already

Zach Sang Radio Gang posted this photo on FB, purportedly showing Lohan packing 270 outfits for rehab
Lindsay Lohan's legal situation has more drama than a Lifetime movie and more twists and turns than a high-speed car chase. And it could land the actress in jail soon.

CNN reports Lohan, 26, was supposed to start a 90-day stint in a "lockdown" rehab center Thursday, an alternative to a three-month jail term for two misdemeanor convictions and a probation violation finding in March.

But she abruptly left the Southern California facility where she had gone Thursday morning because "she was not happy with the place," her father said.

Michael Lohan said he was not happy with it either over the revelation that the facility -- Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach -- can't provide alcohol and drug rehab treatments because California officials revoked its license.

None of Morningside's several locations in California are licensed, Tidwell said. The company previously had three licenses, but they were all revoked. The state's licensing agency is in litigation with Morningside's unlicensed Newport Beach facility, she said.

It's unclear whether Los Angeles Superior Judge James Dabney knew Morningside was unlicensed when Lohan's lawyer Mark Heller informed him in court Thursday morning that she would spend her rehab sentence there.

Nashville: Star-Studded Memorial For George Jones

WSMV Channel 4

Thursday, May 2, 2013

TheBlaze Gets Picked-Up By Tri-State Cable Provider

Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck’s incessant shilling during his radio for his TV channel TheBlaze has paid-off with a new deal announced Wednesday.

The Blaze reported audiences in the New York tri-state area will soon have access to everything TheBlaze TV has to offer thanks to deal struck with Cablevision Systems Corp.

Cablevision’s Optimum TV audiences in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will now have access to TheBlaze TV programs, including “The Glenn Beck Program,” “Real News,” and “B.S. of A.,” as well as documentaries and original specials.

“Optimum TV is the only cable provider in the Tri-State area to bring our customers original programming from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, and the independent network will add more diversity to our strong line-up, providing our customers with more choices that our customers appreciate,” Bradley Feldman, Cablevision’s vice president of video product management, said in a statement.

This is the latest step in TheBlaze’s ongoing efforts to expand its network to a wider audience since first launching on Sept. 12, 2011.  Formerly known as GBTV, TheBlaze TV has quickly grown into one of the world’s largest online streaming networks with over 300,000 subscribers.

“TheBlaze is the rare independent network that has a built in passionate audience, and therefore adds value to Optimum TV’s channel line-up,” TheBlaze President of Business Development Lynne Costantini said in a statement. 
“TheBlaze serves a growing conservative and libertarian audience, and we are pleased to work with Cablevision on bringing our network to Optimum TV customers.”
Some radio affiliates are complaining about Beck’s constant self-promotion and the endless pitches for his entrepreneurial efforts.  They say more engaging content is needed to shore-up the sagging radio ratings in many markets.

FCC: Eyes Turn To Wheeler’s Confirmation Process

White House photo
When President Obama officially nominated Tom Wheeler to be the next FCC chairman Wednesday, he said that he wanted to “thank the Senate now for what I am sure will be a speedy confirmation process,” according to a story by Ted Johnson at Variety.

The president’s comment at a White House ceremony was a quip, a testament to the now unpredictable nature of a process that at times felt like a rubber stamp.

With praise for Wheeler coming from industry, former colleagues, some public interest advocates and the current FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, there is as of now little doubt that he will be confirmed, particularly if his nomination is paired with an as-yet-nominated  Republican for the FCC other vacancy.

ICYMI:  Blog sez Wheeler critical of broadcasting. Click Here.

But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which will conduct the confirmation hearing, pushed for his former aide Jessica Rosenworcel, now an FCC commission, to get the spot.

CBS Corp. Profit Soars 22%

The Super Bowl helped CBS Corp. rake in more than $4 billion in revenue in the first quarter. According to  Meg James at the LA Times, that amounted to a 6% increase compared with the first quarter of 2012 -- and a record haul for the media company.

For the quarter that ended March 31, CBS' profit soared nearly 22%. The New York media company earned $463 million, or 73 cents a share, compared with $394 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier.

"CBS delivered the most successful quarter in the company's history," Chief Executive Leslie Moonves told analysts on a Wednesday afternoon conference call to report earnings.

CBS expects to finish the current TV season in first place among all key measurement categories, including total viewers and adults ages 18 to 49. It would mark the first time since the 1991-92 season that CBS could claim the trophy for having the most viewers in the key 18-to-49 advertising demographic.

Local TV and radio stations benefited from a bump in advertising. The segment generated revenue of $638 million, compared with $622 million in the first quarter of 2012. That represented growth of 2.6%.

The company, which is controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone, said it took a non-cash $11 million impairment charge related to divestiture of certain radio stations.

Fargo Radio: Jim Ingstad Shuffles His Portfolio

Ingstad (Forum)
After selling his six-station radio group here Tuesday, Jim Ingstad could have just walked the six blocks up 25th Street South to take the helm of the longtime competitor he bought hours later – a lightning-speed, three-way ownership shuffle that unfolded in the area radio industry Wednesday.

In the end, the two major commercial radio station groups in Fargo-Moorhead – headquartered just blocks apart on opposite sides of 25th Street, near The Hub – swapped an owner.

According to the deal was finalized about midnight Tuesday.  Ingstad sold his Radio Fargo-Moorhead station cluster – which includes KFGO 790 AM – for $25 million to Midwest Communications of Wausau, Wis.

On Wednesday, the owner of the metro area’s only other six-station cluster, Triad Broadcasting, sold off 32 radio stations in five markets – including six in Fargo – to Portland, Ore., based L&L Broadcasting (Live and Local), owned by longtime radio owner Larry Wilson for $21 million.

At about noon Wednesday, L&L Broadcasting announced it would sell the six Fargo radio stations it had just officially taken over to Ingstad for $9.5 million. The sale is pending based on approval of the Federal Communications Commission but L&L said in a news release Ingstad will take immediate control of the stations under a local marketing agreement.

The deal gives Ingstad control of the stations that were owned by Triad Broadcasting: KQWB 1660 AM (True Oldies); KPFK 107.9 FM The Fox; KLTA 105.1 FM; KVOX 99.9 FM Froggy; KBMW 1450 AM; and KQWB 98.7 FM (Q98).

In addition to KFGO, the stations Ingstad sold to Midwest Communications include KVOX 740 AM The Fan; WDAY 93.7 FM Y94; KBVB 95.1 FM Bob 95; Talk KRWK 101.9 FM; and KMJO 104.7 FM.

While Ingstad, who is the son of radio pioneer Bob Ingstad, is no stranger to the radio market business, it is unclear what the station swapping could mean for on-air personalities or the station’s formats.

Read More Now

Tom's Take: One would wonder why Ingstad's sale to Midwest didn't include a non-compete.

Boise Radio: Feds Sue Journal Over Contesting Fine

KJOT-FM 105.1 FM in Boise held a grand-prize giveaway event at a sponsor's business, drawing listeners hoping to win 15 prizes - including a 2001 Honda car, a dirt bike, appliances and gift cards - packed into a garage. All of the prizes went to the one person who ended up with a key to the garage, reports

Nine days later, someone filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, saying the station - then called J105, now Variety Rock 105.1 -had not made clear that the contest was winner-take-all. The commission ultimately agreed.

Journal Broadcast Corp., the station's owner, refuted the allegation, but the FCC this past March ordered the company to pay a $4,000 "forfeiture" for violating commission rules governing radio contests. The company didn't pay.

On April 8, it asked the FCC to reconsider, saying the forfeiture order was based on incomplete information, misapplied a precedent and denied the media company due process.

And now…on April 26 - five years to the day of the prize giveaway - Idaho's U.S. attorney, Wendy Olson, sued in federal court in Boise seeking the initial penalty plus interest.

According to the government, only two of the 10 promotional transcripts provided by Journal Broadcast indicated that all of the prizes would go to one person. Journal Broadcast argued that the contest's name, "Ultimate Garage," also indicated that everything in the garage would go to one person, according to court documents.

No court date has been set for this case, but a federal judge has ordered plaintiff and defendant to come up with a litigation plan by mid-July.

Journal Broadcast Corp. owns TV and radio stations in 12 U.S. states, including the Boise-Nampa and Twin Falls markets.

Knoxville Radio: Journal Closes On WNOX

Arbitron 25-54
C-c-c-changes are in store in the Knoxville media landscape. One of which involves WNOX-FM.

Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcasting has its has closed on its p$6M purchase of  WNOX 100.3 FM.  On Wednesday, the sign at their West Knoxville headquarters was changed to show the WNOX logo.

Journal received a waiver from the FCC in order simulcast its WCYQ 93.1 FM (2650 watts) country format on WNOX’s 100.3 FM signal (50kw) for two weeks. It will then be in direct competition with hertiage country WIVK.

Ironically, Q93/100.3 PD Mike Hammond worked for 39 years at WIVK 107.7 FM and was fired by the Cumulus station last year.

LISTEN-LINE:  Click Here.

WNOX 100.3 FM 60dBU Coverage
A new format will be unveiled on 93.1 FM. Sources expect the new format to be classic hits.

WCYQ 93.1 FM 60dBU Coverage
Most of the former WNOX talk line-up is moving to WKVL 850 AM.  The 50kw (days) is dropping its classic country format for talk.

This news comes at the same time as another change in the Knoxville media landscape.

Rating numbers from company Arbitron shows for the first time in more than three decades, longtime country powerhouse WIVK-FM, lost their top spot in listeners 25 to 54 years old.

AC WJXB 97.5 FM, claimed the first place spot for the first time ever.

Seattle Radio: PBB Flips KZIZ To Smooth Jazz

Last Friday, Chris H. Bennett, Chairman of Kris Bennett Broadcasting (KBB), announced a a format change for KZIZ 1560 AM (licensed to Pacific, WA), “I’m proud to announce that we have acquired the exclusive rights to the Smooth Jazz format, and will be the officially licensed Pacific Northwest affiliate for the Smooth Jazz Network effective May 1, 2013,” Bennett told

“We are thrilled to bring the smooth jazz network to the Seattle area once again,” says Smooth Jazz Network president Allen Kepler. “Our history in the market goes back to the mid-90’s, and even very recently we have continued to hear the outcry from former supporters of the format.”

According to Bennett, the Smooth Jazz format consistently ranked in the top ten for radio listeners in this market for over 5 years.

“We hope to fill a void in the marketplace and provide this huge under-served audience in the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett metro area with our Jazzy “Z” KZIZ radio station and internet streaming,” said Bennett. “It certainly allows KBB, Inc. to diversify and market the various formats to include this particular listening audience.”

In order to make room for the Smooth Jazz format, KBB will implement the following changes: The Gospel format currently on 1560 AM KZIZ will move to 1420 AM KRIZ. The Blues format on 1420 will be cut back to accommodate gospel format. The talk shows – Community Potpourri, Rev. Al Sharpton, and GameTime Sports – heard on 1620 MA KYIZ will not be affected as the 1620 lineup will remain the same.

Book: MTV's Original VJs Reminisce

"This is it. Welcome to MTV -- music television, the world's first 24-hour stereo video music channel...Behold, a new concept is born: the best of TV combined with the best of radio. Your favorite tunes are never too far away any time you tune in...Right now, you'll never look at music the same way."
Those were the words uttered by Mark Goodman on MTV's first-ever broadcast on Aug. 1, 1981. When the network launched, it ushered in the video era that would transform the music industry and catapult artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Duran Duran and Prince to stardom.

But, according to David Chiu at, aside from the videos, a huge part of the channel's early history was its on-air talent -- or VJs -- who for the first several years consisted of five personalities -- Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, the late J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn. They presented the videos, conducted interviews, and delivered concert and music news -- and in the process became part of pop culture history.

Now four of the original VJs are telling their stories in a new book, "VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave," co-written with Gavin Edwards.

Dishy, hilarious, wild, and poignant at times, "VJ" offers a frank, behind-the-scenes look at what happened at the network on and off the set. It has stories of the VJs' recollections of the many rock stars they met; the typical excesses of the decade from fashions to drugs; travels on the road and fan contests; and the impact of working at MTV had on the VJs' personal lives.

Next Disruption In Music Expected In Terrestrial Radio

During the Disrupt Confab, Lady Gaga’s manager and Atom Factory founder, Troy Carter, suggested that the area ripe for disruption in the music industry by technology is terrestrial radio.

For those who still get in their car to listen to music, Carter told there are openings for startups to build on top of the platform to bring people what they really want to hear.

He shared: “I think the opening right is figuring out terrestrial radio, that’s the one space that Sirius could have done it with subscription radio, but you look at Clear Channel and CBS, it’s not what people want. People just get in a car and turn on a local station. It’s going to be interesting when you get in your car and you’re listening to a 17-year-old kid in Russia.”

While calling out Sirius as somewhat of a failure in disrupting radio the way that we thought it would, it comes as a bit of a shock that a music mogul like Carter wants to re-focus on radio.

R.I.P.: Tucson Radio Personality Nixon Low

Nixon Low
Nixon Low, Tucson radio's self-proclaimed "Chinese Guy," died Wednesday morning after a brief battle with the rare cancer sarcoma.

Qccording to, Low was 52 and was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive cancer in March and had undergone surgery at University of Arizona Medical Center in early April. He was readmitted to the hospital this week after suffering complications, said his Cumulus radio co-worker Shannon Black of the KIIM FM 99.5 FM Max, Shannon & Porkchop morning show.

Black and her co-hosts made a tearful announcement of Low's death during Wednesday's show, and Facebook and Twitter tributes quickly began popping up, recalling Low's kindness and sense of humor.

Low, who moved to Tucson when he was a teen, had been on and off Tucson radio since the 1980s, taking turns behind the mic at KRQ93.7 FM and K-Hit 107.5 FM when it was on the AM dial. He also did a short stint with a San Diego radio station.

Low, a fixture on Tucson radio since the 1980s with DJ roles on KRQQ, KNST, KQYT, KFXX, KHYT and KWFM, eschewed social media and technology in general. He walked around Cumulus - where he was a promotions manager for KIIM and its four sister stations - carrying a legal pad with the letter "I" on it. He called it his iPad. A book with a picture of his face was his Facebook, and he refused to get a smartphone. He had the same basic phone for six years and got a new one only when the zero button broke off and he no longer could punch in the number with a pen.

"There's nobody who met Nixon who didn't like him," added Black, who knew Low since they worked together at KRQ more than 20 years ago. "He was the nicest, sweetest guy. If you were having a down day, he would make you feel better."

R.I.P.: Rapper Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly, one-half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died Wednesday at an Atlanta hospital after he was found unresponsive at his home.

He was 34, according to CNN.

How Kelly died isn't known, and the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office said an autopsy is planned for Thursday.

Kelly, together with Chris Smith, shot to stardom in 1992 with "Jump," which spent eight weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

The duo opened for Michael Jackson that year on his Dangerous World Tour.

And their penchant for wearing their clothes backward were, at least for a time, widely emulated.

Kelly and Smith were 13-year-olds when they were discovered in 1991 at an Atlanta mall by producer Jermaine Dupri.

Going by the stage name Mac Daddy (with Smith known as Daddy Mac), the pair followed up their smash "Jump" with the single "Warm It Up."

Together, the songs pushed their debut album, "Totally Krossed Out," to multiplatinum status.

Next came 1993's "Da Bomb."  And it did.  The album failed to find the following of the duo's debut, in large part because the boys had hit puberty and they were marketed with a tougher image.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

FCC: President To Nominate Thomas Wheeler For Chairman

Thomas Wheeler
President Obama plans to nominate venture capitalist Thomas Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission, USA Today has learned from White House officials.

Wheeler, managing director at Core Capital Partners, a venture-capital firm based in Washington, D.C., also has worked at several start-up companies and been a top lobbyist for the wireless and cable industries.

Obama will make public the nomination on Wednesday, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the president's formal announcement.

If the Senate confirms the nomination, Wheeler would replace Julius Genachowski, a law school classmate of Obama's who has headed the agency since June 2009. He announced in March that he would step down.

Mignon Clyburn, an FCC commissioner and a Democrat, will be acting chair of the FCC pending Wheeler's confirmation.

Wheeler, 67, co-founded online news service SmartBrief. From 1979 to 1984, he served as president of the National Cable Television Association. His résumé also includes a stint as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

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Jax Radio: Cox Shifts WOKV Simulcast To 104.5 FM

The 48+ hours of stunting ended in the still of the night, as calendars flipped to May 1.

Cox Media Group has given its News/Talk property WOKV a new home on FM, shifting from 106.5 FM to 104.5 FM early this morning. 

Sunday evening, the company pulled the plug on heritage Rock 104.5 WFYV.  Then came a stunt loop urging rock listeners in Jacksonville  to tune-in two other rock-oriented Cox stations in Jacksonville – Alternative WXXJ 102.9 FM and  Classic Hits WJGL 96.9 FM The Eagle. See original posting, Click Here.

And then this morning,  Cox started simulcasting WOKV on 104.5 FM.  Actually, there’s a N/T tri-cast of 690 AM, 104.5 FM and 106.5 FM.

The 104.5 FM signal is powered with 98,800 watts vs. 6000 watts at 106.5 FM. The frequency shift greatly increases the listening area in North Florida for WOKV.

“Our listeners told us loud and clear that we needed more power”, says WOKV’s Program Director, Mike Dorwart. “Moving to 104.5 FM means that, for the first time ever, our listeners can hear WOKV everywhere in northeast Florida, any time they want.”

The Radio Discussion Board is humming.  Click Here.

The benefits to the new signal can be heard across the entire Jacksonville metropolitan area, and the massive new 104.5 FM signal also covers the areas north of Jacksonville to Brunswick, Ga., south to Daytona Beach, southwest to Gainesville, and west to Lake City, Fla.

"The most noticeable improvement will be heard by listeners in Baker, Clay, St. Johns, and Nassau counties. They now have full coverage from WOKV, 24/7, on 104.5 FM." Dorwart continued.

Cox also say those who listen at work will notice a big difference. Besides its home county of Duval, the new signal also provides reliable coverage to listeners in Flagler, Putnam, Bradford, Union and Columbia counties in Florida; as well as Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.”

LISTEN-LINE: Click Here.

WOKV’s weekday lineup of conservative talk shows is now on 104.5 FM, including “Jacksonville’s Morning News” with Rich Jones (6am), Herman Cain (9am), Rush Limbaugh (12pm), Sean Hannity (3pm), and Andy Dean (6pm).

For a short time, WOKV will continue to operate on 106.5 FM while telling listeners to make the change to the new frequency of 104.5 FM.  No plans for a new format on 106.5 FM has been announced.  The company also says WOKV 690 AM will continue to air news/talk.

Houston Radio: Walton & Johnson Are Back

And unexpectedly, they’re back in the Clear Channel family.

Walton & Johnson are now doing mornings at KPRC 950 AM.  

LISTEN LINE: Click Here.

The move was unexpected because the duo were dropped from Clear Channel’s KKRW (93.7 FM) last December and have since been replaced with a show hosted by former St. Louis radio host J.C. Corcoran.

The show returned Tuesday morning on KPRC, according to the station’s website. It replaces the Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo show imported from WOAI in San Antonio.

“We are thrilled to have Walton & Johnson back on KPRC,” said Bryan Erickson, Clear Channel Houston’s director of AM programming. “They have a proven track record of great ratings and we look forward to them continuing that success on KPRC.”

Neither John Walton nor Steve Johnson were immediately available to discuss the move.

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Miami Radio: CCM+E’s WBBG Makes Offer to Tim Tebow

A day after Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets, he's already getting the post-playing-days job offers. And by that, we mean radio.

WBBG Big 105.9 FM's the Paul and Young Ron Morning Show have offered Tebow a gig on their classic rock morning-drive radio program. And, according Paul and Ron's agent, Backup Jesus is seriously considering it. Or maybe he's just being the polite Christian and saying he's considering it.

"The show has been in touch with Tebow's agent and offered to have him on regularly as a sports commentator," Stu Opperman of tells New Times via email.

"[Tebow] is said to be evaluating the opportunity."

"Tim's a winner, and we like his work ethic," said Paul Castronovo, who is a University of Florida graduate and huge fan of Tebow's. "Now that Tim is away from the enemy, we've made an offer for him to be a sports contributor on [the show] and are currently in negotiations to make that happen."

Tebow's agent, Jim Denton, has reportedly been reviewing the offer. Denton was told Tebow's role would be similar to that of Reggie Bush last season, when he would appear often on the program to talk all things Dolphins and football. Bush is also a Denton client.

The Paul and Young Ron Morning Show can be heard mornings from 6 to 10 on BIG 105.9 FM in Fort Lauderdale and Real Radio 94.3 and 101.7 FM in West Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast.

LA Radio: Shotgun Tom Kelly Honored With WOF Star

K-EARTH 101 radio personality Shotgun Tom Kelly was honored Tuesday when Hollywood’s Famous Walk of Fame unveiled his very own star.

The star is located at the corner of LaBrea and Hollywood and hundreds of his fans, many from San Diego, where he got his start, were watching.  Kelly’s friend Stevie Wonder was also there.

Kelly started working in radio as a teenager when his mom urged him to go see a DJ broadcasting live from a shopping center. After stints at several stations in San Diego, plus Oxnard, Bakersfield, Phoenix, and San Francisco, he moved to LA in 1997 to take over for "The Real" Don Steele, who had died of lung cancer. He's been at K-Earth ever since.

K-EARTH photos
His trademark hat goes back to his youth as well. His family went camping, and he loved the park rangers and their hats. It stuck as a visual trademark that, he says, worked  especially well when he hosted kids shows on TV.  His kids’ show has also earned him two Emmys.

Les Moonves Calls Aereo “Illegal”

Les Moonves
CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves had a few choice words for Barry Diller and his Aereo property Tuesday.

"It's illegal. They’re taking our signal," he said on a stage in Beverly Hills at the Milken Global Conference, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That Aereo stories are "on the front of the trade papers every day is silly," Moonves said, given the company has been around for 18 months and has just 2,000 subscribers.

Moonves said if the networks lose in courts, he'll take the case to Congress, and consumers won't be happy if they lose access to CBS content because of a dispute with Aereo.


Diller, said Moonves, has "done what he likes to do: disrupt everybody." He added, though, "We don't lose sleep" over Aereo.

"I don't think they’re going to hurt us with 2,000 subscribers in New York City," he said.

Moonves was speaking duringa panel discussion called The Big Picture for Global Media and was on stage with Valhalla Entertainment CEO Gale Anne Hurd, Sony Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and Clear Channel Communications CEO Robert Pittman.

Outlook: Higher Subscription Fees At SiriusXM

While subscriber gains have usually been the focus of most discussions concerning Sirius XM, the increase in average subscription fee is another important factor governing the satellite radio company's growth. Sirius XM's average subscription fee rose by roughly 5% in 2012, amounting to $124 per subscriber per year.

According to, this was primarily driven by the price increase that the company implemented last year, and the impact will be visible in 2013 as well due to the gradual roll-out.

Going forward, Seeking Alpha expects Sirius XM's average subscription fee to continue to increase at a moderate rate of close to 5%. While the adoption of Internet add-on, a compelling radio service, and rising royalty costs could push the average subscription fee higher, growing competition and promotional discounts are offsetting factors.

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Curb Records Sues Singer Tim McGraw

McGraw, Borchetta
Country music star Tim McGraw’s newest chart-topping album “Two Lanes of Freedom” is the focus of a new copyright infringement suit filed in federal court by his former record label Curb Records, marking the next chapter in their ongoing legal battle.

According to a story at The Tennessean, Curb alleges McGraw recorded the album’s 15 tracks – including three hit singles, “Truck Yeah!” “One of Those Nights” and “Highway Don’t Care” – while he was still under contract with Curb.

“Two Lanes of Freedom,” released Feb. 15, is the first album Tim McGraw has cut for his new label Big Machine Records, the Nashville recording company founded by record executive Scott Borchetta. The album quickly rose to No. 1 on Billboard’s country charts.

Paramedic Testifies In MJ Wrongful Death Trial

Richard Senneff, a Los Angeles paramedic testified Tuesday in Michael Jackson's wrongful death lawsuit.

Michael's mother Katherine has accused concert promoters AEG Live of being negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray for Michael's comeback concerts in London back in 2009.

According to Reuters, AEG has denied any wrongdoing, saying that Michael kept his addiction to propofol a secret and that they never had a contract with Dr. Murray. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter of Michael through an overdose of propofol.

Senneth testified that when he got to Michael's rented Los Angeles mansion, he had no idea that it was indeed the pop icon laying on the bed.
  • He said, "The patient appeared to be chronically ill to me. He was very pale and underweight. I thought perhaps this was a hospice patient."
  • He said that Conrad appeared "frantic," but never mentioned that Michael had taken propofol. He testitifed, "He was pale, he was sweating, he was very busy."
  • The trial will go into more details about Michael's drug addiction and his finances -- he was allegedly $400 million in debt at the time of his death.
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009.