Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Aircheck: Dick & Doug Morning Show Yanked Off WCFL

From March 12, 1976:  Dick Sainte and Doug Dahlgren didn’t make it through their last regularly scheduled show on Top40 Super CFL.

Listen and read the details.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Augusta GA Radio: CCM+E Debuts New Country Station

Friday, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Augusta announced the debut of Georgia-Lina's New Country G105.7, effective immediately.

Georgia-Lina's New Country G105.7 will play today's hottest Country hits including the newest tracks from artists such as Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen and Miranda Lambert.

 The new station will give the Central Savannah River Area a new choice for Country music.

102.3 FM 60dBu Coverage
To make way for the new country station, the company blew-up Top 40 WZNY Y102.3 FM and moved sister Classic Rock “Eagle 105.7” WEKL to 102.3 FM.

105.7 FM 60 dBu Coverage
"There is an unmistakable connection between the listeners here in Georgia-Lina and the music coming out of Nashville.  The fact that Lady Antebellum is from Augusta and Darius Rucker is from right up the road, as well as a slew of other up and coming artists that are shaping the sound of new Country music says it all," said Travis Dylan, Operations Manager, Clear Channel Augusta. 

"We are ready to serve our listeners loyally with Georgia-Lina's New Country G105.7."

"We are very excited to introduce Georgia-Lina's New Country G105.7 to the Country music lovers in our community," said Ivy Elam, Market Manager, Clear Channel Augusta.  "Country music has never been more popular and with the addition of G105.7 to our portfolio, Clear Channel Augusta now offers a wide variety of music choices for our listeners and exciting new ways for local businesses to connect with our community."

WKXC 99.5 FM 60dBu Coverage
WZNY registered a 2.2 share in the Spring 2013 ratings, Beasley’s Country “Kicks 99” WKXC 99.5 FM is #1 with a 10.1 share.

Cincy Radio: CCM+E Chris Williams Named iHeartRadio VP

Chris Williams
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announced today that veteran radio programmer Chris Williams has been named Senior Vice President of iHeartRadio Programming, effective immediately.

Williams will be based in New York City and will report to Darren Davis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of National Programming Platforms and work closely with Brian Lakamp, President of Digital and his team.

In this newly created position, Williams will oversee all digital content programming, curation and marketing strategies for iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's industry leading digital radio platform. iHeartRadio continues to introduce a variety of new features and programs to its users such as iHeartRadio Talk and mood-related stations "Perfect For" any activity. In addition, Clear Channel has launched partnerships with a broad spectrum of consumer brands, including Macy's, Nickelodeon, Wendy's and many others, designed to integrate branded and themed digital stations to the iHeartRadio platform.

Williams will work closely with the National Sales, Marketing and Partnership team, the Digital team and the editorial and marketing teams to coordinate digital contesting and live streaming events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Pool Party and iHeartRadio Album Release Parties which have included artists such as Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban, Katy Perry and One Direction. Williams will also identify new and strategic programming opportunities for iHeartRadio's digital-only stations, Custom Stations, "Perfect For" and iHeartRadio Talk features as well as assist with social marketing strategies.

Williams most recently served as Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel Cincinnati, where he oversaw all programming for the market's seven stations. He has been with Clear Channel since 2005, serving in a variety of programming roles in both the Cincinnati and Atlanta markets. In 2011 Williams expanded his role with the company, becoming the Active Rock Brand Coordinator as Clear Channel's in-house format expert.

"With almost a decade of programming experience at the local level, Chris understands the importance of aligning our on-air and digital content and marketing strategies across all platforms," said Davis. "His programming knowledge and vision will be a great asset to iHeartRadio's continued growth and to its hundreds of millions of listeners."

"This is a rare opportunity to help shape a new media frontier at an incredibly exciting time," said Williams. "My last eight years at Clear Channel have been a great learning experience, and I'm looking forward to taking it to the next level -- working with iHeartRadio's innovative and focused team as we continue positioning this incredible brand and product as the leader in the industry."

iHeartRadio Claims 40+ Million Registered Users

iHeartRadio today announced that it has surpassed 40 million registered users and 260 million downloads.

CCM+E says these figures mark significant milestones for iHeartRadio — and does not include the millions of users who listen to the service’s live streaming radio stations -- available without registration --  which makes iHeartRadio’s total reach even greater. iHeartRadio reached this milestone faster than any other digital service, second only to Instagram.

The entire iHeartRadio network has surpassed 68 million digital unique visitors in October, the highest figure across its network since its launch.

“The 40 million user mark is an indication of the type of platforms and content consumers want to access digitally,” said Brian Lakamp, President of Digital for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “The strides we’ve made this past year in our offerings have paid off and we plan to increase both the availability and breadth of our product in the months to come.”

CCM+E CFO to Pandora: Prove It

Richard Bressler
During a conference call with financial analysts and investors Thursday Clear Channel Media+Entertainment CFO Richard Bressler touted radio and took a swipe at Pandora for its number of listeners claims.

Berssler said “radio also has a unique distribution, broadcasting to the entire population of a market.”  He said radio is a true mass media, not delivery to a single user. Hel also stated radio listening is backed by accredited media metrics. “Rather than internally generated statistics, we use third-party data.”

“Advertisers know who is actually listening to our content. In a market like New York City, the monthly reach of just one of our stations broadcasting from the top of the Empire State building is 3x larger than a collection of every single Pandora stream in the market,” according to Bressler.

According to Bressler, AM/FM radio dominates listening with the latest figures as reported last week in The Wall Street Journal showing AM/FM radio at 92% of all radio listening.

“This means that 8% of all listening is digital. And of that 8%, it's estimated that Pandora is only 4% to 5% of that. And, of course, we are also a part of that digital 8% with iHeartRadio and local radio stations where franchises go nicely into digital as well.”

Other highlights of Bressler’s comments:
  • Radio station brands backed by local personalities, guest artists talking to our listeners, 20,000 annual local events, local content and almost 3,000 local sellers engaged in their communities
  • It's a real relationship with our listeners who tune in for companionship and to find out what's going on in the world
  • Radio is engagement. It's interactive and it's highly targetable
  • Clear Channel has the largest U.S. reach of Hispanics, African Americans and moms

Disney Reports 12 Percent 3Q Profit

Disney revealed Thursday that it will release the next movie in the “Star Wars’’ franchise to theaters on Dec. 18, 2015, according to The NYPost.

Disney bought “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion last year and with an eye toward releasing three more films. “Star Wars: Episode VII” will start filming in spring 2014 and will be directed by J.J. Abrams.

“This, obviously, is one of the most important movies we have in the next few years, and we’ve chosen a date we believe will allow the creative team the time to make a great film,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call with analysts.

Disney’s third-quarter profit rose by 12 percent to $1.4 billion. Earnings per share were 77 cents, beating analysts estimates of 76 cents. Revenue rose 7 percent, to $11.56 billion, versus expectations for $11.4 billion.

Broadcasting was the dark spot in an otherwise rosy quarter for the Mouse House.

The ABC network and TV stations were plagued by higher costs for scripted programs such as “Scandal,” compared with cheaper reality shows last year. Operating income plunged 18 percent, to $158 million in the latest quarter.

The cable network division, home to ESPN and Disney Channel, also had a negative quarter, posting a 7 percent drop in operating income, to $1.3 billion.

Disney said the issue was a reduction in the recognition of previously deferred ESPN affiliate-fee revenues; otherwise, operating income would have risen by $77 million instead of falling by $95 million.

Nielsen Reveals 2014 Goals for Audio

Nielsen has announced plans to increase the sample size of Nielsen Audio's PPM panel in 2014. The news came in a blog message to clients and the industry. It calls the the panel increase the first in a series of investments they’ll be making in its newly acquired audio business in the second half of 2014.

First, Nielsen plans to create a more stable data sample by expanding the panel size in the portable people meter (PPM) markets where the need is greatest. This will increase our overall PPM panel by approximately 6 percent, with most of the expansion taking place in markets 31-48. (The average increase across these markets will be approximately 20%.)

MNielsen also says it will also be working to include in panels those demographics that are typically challenging to recruit. By investing in sample improvements to recruit the hardest to reach demos where it is needed most our sample will be even more representative of the overall U.S. population, further enhancing our ability to provide our clients with the most accurate measurement of audio reach and engagement.

Finally, Nielsen will be looking to improve in-station monitoring of PPM encoding—the audio codes that only a PPM can capture and identify which stations a consumer is listening to—by automating alerts and adding additional monitoring sites.

"We created this action plan around the core broadcast radio business following a series of conversations with our clients,” said Mitchell Habib, Chief Operating Officer, Nielsen. “As we make progress against the plan we will share additional insight into our investments."

'Time' Cover: Captions Chris Christie 'The Elephant in the Room'

This week's issue of Time magazine features three articles on New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, who won re-election by a landslide on Tuesday (November 5th) and is widely expected to be a presidential contender in 2016.

But what's raised a few eyebrows is the cover, which features a silhouette of Christie's ample profile, along with the headline, "The Elephant in the Room."

While that refers to the Republican Party's elephant mascot, it also pretty clearly refers to Christie's weight. The 51-year-old Christie had lap-band surgery in February, and told the New York Times earlier this week that he's more than halfway to his weight loss goal.

Christie hasn't shied away from poking fun at his own weight, and has said that it's, quote, "fair game" for comedians.

Gov. Chris Christie will appear on four Sunday morning talk shows.  The Republican governor will make the rounds to NBC's "Meet the Press," CBS's "Face the Nation," ABC's "This Week," and "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace.

Madison Radio: Candy & Potter To Leave WWQM

The married-duo of Candy & Potter have announced they’re leaving mornings at Mid-West Family’s Country station WWQM 106.3 FM / Q106 in Madison, WI.  They expect to leave in early January for an new opportunity in a larger market. 

They’ve been doing mornings there since January of 2012 after a sting at CBS Radio’s KMPS in Seattle. They resume includes stops in Charlotte at WLNK and Albany, NY at WFLY.

Next stop: least for now.

Richmond Radio: Bevins, Perkins To Leave WTVR-FM

Shelly Perkins, Bill Bevins
Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins, the longtime morning-show duo who have hosted the “Lite 98” morning show for Clear Channel Soft AC WTVR-FM for the past 13 years, confirmed Thursday that they have resigned and will leave at the end of the year, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“We did resign, that is a fact,” said Bevins, who will leave one day shy of 19 years at the station.

“We both have jobs lined up outside of radio,” he said, declining to comment further.
Bevins said, however, that neither is leaving Richmond.

“We’re both Richmonders,” he said. “We have kids to feed and to send to college. Richmond is our home (and) there are no plans to leave.”

Perkins, who joined “Lite 98” in 1999, also declined to talk about specifics of the resignation, citing contractual issues.

“We would like to thank the listeners of this radio station for their unwavering support and dedication to us throughout the years,” Perkins said. “We love them very much.”

Clear Channel Program Director Dave Symonds said Bevins’ and Perkins’ decision not to renew their contracts “was absolutely their decision,” adding that he is searching for new hosts for the show but has not chosen anyone yet.

“What Bill and Shelly have been doing is so terrific,” he said. “The people I’ve been talking to have been very similar in their approach because the audience isn’t changing.”

Aussie Radio: 2DayFM Loses Round In Court

Christian, Grieg
The Federal Court of Australia has found that broadcast regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority can determine whether radio station 2DayFM breached its licenses condition or committed a criminal offense when it aired what has become known as the Royal  prank call last December.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 2DayFM owner Southern Cross Austereo had asked the court to find that ACMA was overreaching its powers if it determined a breach of 2DayFM’s license. Instead SCA argued the courts, rather than broadcast regulator, should determine if any local laws had been broken.

In December 2012, 2Day FM dj’s Michael Christian and Mel Greig called the hospital where Kate Middleton was staying while suffering from morning sickness. 

Jacintha Saldanha
During the on-air call, the duo pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William's father Prince Charles. British nurse Jacintha Saldanha took the call and fell for the ruse, passing the phone to a colleague who divulged information regarding Middleton’s condition. The prank made global headlines and Saldanha died of an apparent suicide several days later.

"The ACMA welcomes this decision," said ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman. "It provides clarity over the operation of the license condition that prohibits broadcasters from using their broadcasting service in the commission of an offense. The Federal Court confirmed that the ACMA has the power to form an opinion as to whether a broadcaster has breached the license condition, independently of any conviction for a criminal offense."

ACMA is now set to finalize its investigation.

Rochester NY Radio: Vets Group To Honor Brother Wease

Brother Wease In Vietnam
Brother Wease is Rochester's most well known and successful radio personality. 

He's opinionated. 

He makes some people laugh and offends others. 

Now the man who has no problem making others squirm is squirming himself thanks to the Veterans Outreach Center

WROC-TV has the story…

Monday, 11/11 is Veteran's Day.

Houston Radio: A Classical Music Bloodbath

A controversial $9 million sale that saw Rice University's college radio station KTRU 91.9 FM come under the umbrella of Houston Public Media may have triggered a ticking time bomb that would eventually destroy any hopes of establishing a long-term 24-hour classical music station that highlights the local arts scene.

A source tells CultureMap that Houston Public Media's main classical music personalities, including veterans Bob Stevenson, Elaine Kennedy, Chris Johnson and Chris Hathaway, plus a handful of behind-the-scenes KUHA 91.7 FM employees, were laid off Thursday morning.

Lisa Trapani Shumate
CEO Lisa Trapani Shumate met with staffers individually to terminate their positions. Shumate provided a letter that promised a 30-day severance package.

Employees were told that lack of funds accrued from the recent nine-day fundraising campaign, which a source described as a colossal failure, was to blame. When the fundraising drive ended on Friday, KUHA was $74,000 short of its $200,000 goal while KUHF was only able to secure $800,000 of its $1 million goal — losses that had never before been experienced in appeals for funds in years past.

Despite the dismissals, Shumate has found money in her budget to create other jobs. She's hired more than 15 people since the summer for positions in customer service, finance, development and production. Shumate is reported to make $270,000 a year.

TomTom Index Shows the Worst For Traffic

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu remain most congested cities in the U.S.
  • Drivers Lose An Average of 8 Working Days Per Year Due to Traffic Congestion

Here Are The Types Of Websites Americans Visit Most

Which types of websites are people visiting on at least a weekly basis?

That was the question posed by Ipsos OTX in a recent survey that spanned 25 countries around the globe. Among American respondents, a leading 68% reported visiting a search engine site at least once a week, with social networking sites (59%) and portal sites (for checking email, such as Gmail) next (50%).

R.I.P.: Buffalo Radio Personality ‘Iron Mike’ Benson

Michael Miller of Amherst, who spent years on the radio in Buffalo and St. Catharines, where he was known as 'Iron Mike Bensson', died Thursday Nov. 7, 2013 from esophageal and stomach cancer.

He was 60, according to The Buffalo News.

Miller had been at CHTZ 97.7 FM in Hamilton, Ont. since 1995. Previously he worked at Buffalo stations WBYR (now WLKK) and WUFX (now WEDG), as well as at WJJL-AM in Niagara Falls, and worked as a DJ at many local clubs.

“It takes a certain kind of guy to be crowned ‘The Iron One,’” but some of us were lucky enough to know one person that fits that description perfectly. … Many of us lost a very good friend,” HTZ-FM program director Bruce Gilbert wrote about Miller.

Listeners saddened by the news of Miller’s death placed bouquets of flowers on the front steps and near the sign of the radio station where he worked, and many expressed their sorrow on the station’s Website.

Miller, who was born in Buffalo, was also mourned by former Western New York co-workers who became lifelong friends.

Iron Mike
Tony Magoo, who now works in Mississippi, first met Miller in the mid 1970s when they worked for a mobile DJ service called Moving Music Machine. Magoo started at WJJL in the fall of 1976 and Miller joined him there about a year later. Magoo said, “He used to tell people that he heard me on the air and he thought, ‘If that idiot can do that, so can I.’”

In 1986, Magoo recommended to program director and operations manager John “JP” Piccillo that Miller be hired to do the morning show with him at WBYR, 107.7 “The Bear.” The pair worked there for a few years, then worked together again at WUFX, 103.3 FM, “The Fox,” said Magoo.

The two worked together there from about 1989 until 1992. “We had a hell of a team there,” said Magoo, who is writing the eulogy he will deliver for his friend at services planned for the weekend.

“We were both in radio for the right reasons, we both loved music,” said Magoo. “Mike had this real hard exterior, but I don’t think people really understood his taste in music and his love for his family, his wife Amy. He and Amy had been together forever. His on-air thing in St. Catharines was the tough guy, ‘Iron Mike’ Bensson,” said Magoo. “But if you look at pictures of him hanging with old people and babies, that’s the real Mike.”

Piccillo, who works the midday shift at WGRF 96.9 FM, 97 Rock, called Miller “one of the great personalities I’ve ever known or worked with, not only on the radio but off air, too. He was one of the coolest cats I ever knew. We’d sit in my office and talk; I liked talking music with Mike.

“He was a big music guy, he definitely knew his music, everything from the rock that we played to the heavier rock he went on to play at CHTZ-FM to funk and Motown. He was just a real good broadcaster, really personable on the air. He could come up with some crazy catchphrases, and he connected with his audience, and I’m very proud to say I was the one who gave him his first job here in the Buffalo market.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

FCC: Wheeler Reiterates He’s A Supporter of Competition

Three days into his job as the top U.S. telecommunications regulator, Tom Wheeler does not want to talk specifics about the Federal Communications Commission's agenda but, according to Reuters,  has a mantra that he repeats over and over:

"I am an unabashed supporter of competition."

The Democrat now at the helm of the agency stressed that at his Senate confirmation hearing, and again on Wednesday when asked about his vision for the agency's role in a rapidly evolving telecommunications industry.

"In many instances competition can be an unnatural act," Wheeler told Reuters. "Competition is not something that happens by itself. There are forces that align, for good reason, to try and limit competition and so therefore there is a crucially important role for the commission to both promote and protect competition."

Wheeler, a former cable and wireless industry lobbyist who recently served as an adviser to President Barack Obama, was sworn in on Monday, and a day later addressed the agency's staff with a promise of a more nimble, more current and less risk-averse regulatory body.

San Diego Radio: J.D. Hayworth Sues The Mighty 1090

J.D. Hayworth
Former Arizona congressman and Phoenix media personality J.D. Hayworth has sued XEPRS The Mighty 1090 in San Diego. Hayworth has sued Broadcast Company of the Americas, LLC after being fired from San Diego sports station XEPRS-1090 AM.

He was part of the Hacksaw and Hayworth morning show on the sport station.

Hayworth, a former U.S. congressman from Arizona who had worked as a political commentator on radio stations in Phoenix and San Francisco, was lost talking sports. Writer John Maffie at says Hayworth was especially lost trying to match wits with Hamilton.

Hired on March 8, Hayworth was dismissed on Aug. 30, six months into a two-year deal. As a result, Hayworth has filed a lawsuit against the Broadcast Company of the Americas, LLC — 1090’s parent company.

The suit claims that “Defendant (1090) induced plaintiff (Hayworth) to accept co-host position of a morning radio show and to relocate from Arizona to California under promises of a guaranteed two-year term of employment and compensation package. Defendant then unilaterally terminated plaintiff’s employment without giving him any opportunity to cure any alleged breach or violation.”

Clear Channel: 3Q Broadcast Revenue Increases 3 Percent

CC Media Holdings, Inc. today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013.

"Strategically and financially, our third quarter results reflect the growing strength of our Media+Entertainment business, while we continue to make meaningful progress in moving Outdoor forward internationally and in the Americas," said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"At Media+Entertainment, we outperformed the entire radio sector in revenue growth, including in our major markets. Increasingly, our radio business is benefiting from our strategic approach to advertising that sets us apart in the marketplace."

"Thanks to our integrated media assets and unmatched reach, we can develop custom multi-platform market solutions that nobody else can," Pittman added.

"This year's iHeartRadio Music Festival generated unmatched benefits for our advertising partners across multiple platforms - including live broadcasts over our radio stations nationwide, live streaming on Yahoo!, exciting outdoor promotions, a two-night primetime TV special on The CW Network and record-breaking listener engagement across all social media platforms. So our investment in building our national advertising platform pays off nationally and has benefits locally as well."

Bob Pittman
"Radio was the first true mobile and social medium, and we continue to see radio's powerful social impact as mobile emerges as the most important platform for interacting with consumers," Pittman concluded.

"Audio and social media are two of the most critical pillars of mobile, and we saw this firsthand when the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival generated 2.3 billion social impressions, doubling the 2012 total and even surpassing the social media buzz from the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show. Looking ahead, we will stay focused on creating one-of-a-kind marketing campaigns - like our recent launches of albums for Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Paul McCartney, and our innovative programs with Warner Music Group artists to break new music and market established artists - while also accelerating the pace of our outdoor digital investments. Combining our broadcast radio reach of 243 million monthly listeners with outdoor's unskippable brand messages, digital's developing platforms and our fast-expanding events business also allows us to take full advantage of the out-of-home trend worldwide."

Third Quarter 2013 Highlights:
  • Consolidated revenues totaled $1.59 billion, consistent with the third quarter of 2012. Excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates, as well as a $3 million impact from the divestiture of businesses during the third quarter of 2012, revenues were up $3 million, or less than 1%.
  • Media+Entertainment revenues increased $25 million, or 3%, driven primarily by local, national and digital sales, as well as an increase in revenues from the traffic business due to improved sales strategies and expanded services including weather.
  • Americas outdoor revenues decreased $4 million, or 1%, on a reported basis and $3 million, or less than 1% adjusted for movements in foreign exchange rates, driven by declining revenues at airports due to lost contracts and from the absence of our digital billboard revenue in the City of Los Angeles. Partially offsetting these declines were higher occupancy and rate on bulletins, as well as strong growth from rising rate, capacity and occupancy of digital bulletins in other markets.

Radio One Reports 3Q Radio Revenue Increased 7.7 Percent Y2Y

Radio One, Inc. today reported its results for the quarter ended September 30, 2013.
  • Net revenue was approximately $118.4 million, an increase of 7.7% from the same period in 2012.
  • Station operating income was approximately $44.8 million, an increase of 9.7% from the same period in 2012.
  • The Company reported operating income of approximately $21.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013, compared to operating income of $21.5 million for the same period in 2012.
  • Net loss was approximately $13.2 million or $0.28 per share compared to a net loss of $13.1 million or $0.26 per share, for the same period in 2012.
Alfrd C. Liggins III
Alfred C. Liggins, III, Radio One's CEO and President stated, "Overall I am pleased with our 12.5% increase in adjusted EBITDA2. Our radio business, including Reach Media, grew revenues by 3.4% year-to-year despite the toughening political comparatives.

Excluding political, our Q4 radio revenues are currently pacing up mid-single digits. Despite the $6.1 million of cyclical political revenue that we booked in Q4 2012, we expect Q4 radio revenues to finish approximately flat, which will be quite an achievement given that 2012 was a record year for our political revenues."

Net revenue increased to approximately $118.4 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, from approximately $109.9 million for the same period in 2012, an increase of 7.7%.

Net revenue from the radio business, including Reach Media, increased 3.4% for the quarter ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.

Nielsen Holiday Forecast: Consumers Fiscally ‘Cautious’

The end-of-year holiday shopping season seems to start earlier and earlier each year, as retailers are already rolling out their holiday promotions, according to Nielsen.

 And those efforts appear to be working, as nearly one quarter (22%) of U.S. consumers report that they’ve already started their holiday shopping, according to the Nielsen’s 2013 Holiday Spending Forecast. Holiday shoppers can also be notorious procrastinators, as 60 percent say they will wait a bit before they start their shopping.

So what does this mean for U.S. retail sales this year? According to James Russo, SVP Global Consumer Insights at Nielsen, this holiday shopping season will be marginally stronger than last year, with dollar sales rising just about 2 percent, buoyed by the strongest consumer sentiment in six years.

However, even with the increase in overall consumer sentiment, there are still plenty of people feeling the effects of the Great Recession. Twenty percent of consumers say they have no spare cash, and 68 percent say they still feel like they’re in a recession. With respect to spending ability, 48 percent say they’re living comfortably or spending freely, while 52 percent say they’re limited to spending on only the basics.

With the economy still on many American minds, dollar amount spending this holiday season appears consistent with last year, as 30 percent of consumers from all income ranges say they plan to drop between $250 and $500 this season. Twenty percent say they’ll spend between $500 and $1,000, while only 6 percent will open their wallets wide enough to spend more than $1,000.

Read More Now

CBS Posts Best-Ever 3Q Results

CBS Corporation Wednesday reported the Company's best-ever third quarter results across key metrics, including revenues, OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization), operating income, and diluted earnings per share.

"CBS's third quarter proves once again why content is king," said Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman, CBS Corporation. "Our programming is becoming more valuable all the time as we continue to take advantage of the ever-expanding multiplatform world. With Les and his team leading the way, I know that CBS is poised for continued success for many years to come."

 "Our record third-quarter results--driven by double-digit revenue growth--are the continuation of a phenomenal first half, and provide more clarity on what will be another amazing full year for the CBS Corporation," said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. 

Les Moonves
"We continue to launch new hits--from Under the Dome and Ray Donovan this summer to the top three new comedies on television this fall. Through our studio, we have an ownership interest in most of these shows, meaning that their success not only boosts our base business, but also our newer revenue streams as well, including very strong growth in retransmission consent fees, reverse compensation, international sales and all the opportunities afforded to us by exploding advances in technology. 

Plus, we are working toward a new advertising model in which we get paid for the significant, additional viewing that is increasingly taking place after a show first airs."

  • Revenues of $3.63 billion for the third quarter of 2013 grew 11% from $3.27 billion in the same prior-year period, driven by increases in each of the Company's major revenue types.
  • Content licensing and distribution revenues grew 18%, led by domestic licensing revenues from the first-cycle availabilities of NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife.
  • Advertising revenues increased 4%, driven by the strength of network advertising, which grew 13%.
  • Affiliate and subscription fee revenues rose 23%, principally reflecting the benefit from a Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view boxing event, as well as steady growth from retransmission revenues and fees from CBS Television Network-affiliated television stations.

Twitter Shares Open At $45.10

UPDATE 11:15 AM 11/07/2013:  Twitter shares opened at $45.10 per share — 73% over its initial public offering price — as investors clamored to get a piece of the as-yet unprofitable social company’s business.  Twitter shares began trading at about 10:50 a.m. Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol “TWTR.” 

Earlier Posting...

Twitter late Wednesday priced its shares at $26, as the social networking firm prepared to go public Thursday morning in the splashiest initial share offering since Facebook's (FB) May 2012 market debut.

According to Marketwatch, that price came in above the microblogging firm's expected range, indicating strong investor demand for the company's stock. Twitter on Monday increased the range to between $23 and $25 after initially setting it at $17 to $20.

The company raised more than $1.8 billion in the offering. The $26 per share price values Twitter at more than $14 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that will be available after the IPO.

The San Francisco-based short messaging service is offering 70 million shares in the IPO, plus an option to buy another 10.5 million.

Shocker! Darryl Parks OUT At Clear Channel

Darryl Parks
He often referred to himself at “EE”, as in Essential Employee, in his Facebook page posts, but no longer.  Darryl Parks has been fired by Clear Channel Media+Entertainment.

New York-based company spokesperson Angel Aristone confirmed the move with a “he’s no longer with the company” comment and would not elaborate. 

Parks had set the attitude and oversaw the programming for The Big One, WLW in Cincinnati since 1997.  He was so successful at his job that WLW ranked #1 in all but two months during his tenure.  And since 2010, Parks also pulled double duty with corporate responsibilities as VP for N/T Operation.

Weekends and holidays often found the 54-year-old Parks pulling duty as an on-air as host.  Parks was indeed not only CC’s essential employee, according to media writer John Kiesewetter, he was arguably the most influential person in Cincinnati radio.

Facebook postings expressed shock and dismay:
  • Anyone can play music, read sports scores, or buy billboard advertising. Darryl understands tapping in to the passion of the audience and truly connecting with the listener in a way that makes them fiercely loyal to the station, personalities and brand. He puts his heart into his work and expects nothing short of greatness. Listener
  • Can't believe it!! You are certainly a force that will be missed. Clear channel is crazy! Listener
  • Cincinnati radio lost an icon today. I'm sorry to hear that you were let go. Listener
  • Sad to hear the news that Clear Channel let you go. Their restructuring process must include having lower ratings and revenue.
  • Stunned too ... but not. We all know what we all know. Good things are to come for you. Of this I'm certain. Carolyn Gilbert
  • Aw Darryl.....I will help you make great content any time and anyplace! Mark Ramsey
  • He is Exhibit A for the powerful effect great radio has on listeners. It becomes a part of your life and you don't realize how attached you are until it's pulled out from under you. Listener
  • Unbelievable. Clear Channel is certifiably nuts to have let go of Darryl Parks, former WLW programming director and weekend talk show host. As an avid listener and occasional caller to his show, I will miss him tremendously. He is Exhibit A for the powerful effect great radio has on listeners. It becomes a part of your life and you don't realize how attached you are until it's pulled out from under you. Listener
Kiesewetter addsed:  "Parks had a hand in almost every aspect of WLW-AM: talk show topics; the self-effacing promotions; network feeds for Bill Cunningham, Gary Sullivan, the Reds and Bengals; driving the audience to podcasts and online videos and blogs; helping launch Jerry Springer’s national radio show from WCKY-AM; and planning the dozens of studios when WLW-AM, WEBN-FM, WKRC-AM, WCKY-AM and WSAI-AM moved from Mount Adams to Kenwood.

He also supervised Gary Burbank, Jim Scott, Mike McConnell, Eddie Fingers, Tracy Jones, Andy Furman, Dale “Trucking Bozo” Sommers, Steve Sommers, Tom Gamble, Richard Skinner, Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty and everyone else heard on the “Big One” for the past decade."

Did This Blog Post Get Parks Fired?

Darryl Parks
In early October, Darryl Parksposted on his WLW personality page a scathing blog about the FCC’s plans to ‘revitalize’ the AM radio band.

Parks called the piece “A Serious Message To The Broadcasting Industry” and was posted for a short time on the WLW 700 AM website. 

Parks piece criticized the 6-part plan proposed by Acting FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn to fix the AM band and called September's NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando "the yearly circle jerk gathering of broadcasters."
"If you would allow me the indulgence of being the radio suit that I am in real life for just one blog, because something has me irritated in a major way. 

CMA Awards: George Strait 'Entertainer of the Year'

Kenny Rogers wins the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at “The 47th Annual CMA Awards,” live Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville 

Married country superstars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton took home matching Country Music Association awards for female vocalist and male vocalist of the year, respectively, for the fourth straight year, while George Strait, who is retiring from touring, was honored with entertainer of the year.

Shelton also won album of the year for "Based on a True Story." Florida Georgia Line won single of the year for its huge crossover hit, "Cruise," as well as vocal duo of the year, while Kacey Musgraves won new artist of the year and thanked her grandmother: "That woman was my booking agent when I was 10 years old. She didn't make me sign a contract or anything."


The 2013 CMA Awards Winners List:

George Strait
Entertainer of the Year
Taylor Swift
Jason Aldean
WINNER: George Strait
Blake Shelton
Luke Bryan

Male Vocalist of the Year
WINNER: Blake Shelton
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Keith Urban
Eric Church

Female Vocalist of the Year
Taylor Swift
WINNER: Miranda Lambert
Carrie Underwood
Kacey Musgraves
Kelly Clarkson

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Thompson Square
WINNER: Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
The Civil Wars

Kacey Musgraves
New Artist of the Year
Florida Georgia Line
Lee Brice
Kip Moore
WINNER: Kacey Musgraves
Brett Eldredge

Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
WINNER: Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Musical Event of the Year
Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly, “Cruise”
WINNER: Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Blake Shelton feat. Pistol Annies, “Boys ‘Round Here”
Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush”
Jason Aldean feat. Luke Bryan and Eric Church, “The Only Way I Know”

Album of the Year
WINNER: Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story
Carrie Underwood, Blown Away
Taylor Swift, Red
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park
Little Big Town, Tornado

Florida Georgia Line
Single of the Year
WINNER: Florida Georgia Line, “Cruise”
Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”

Song of the Year
WINNER: Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round”
Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”

Music Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”
Blake Shelton feat. Pistol Annies, “Boys ‘Round Here”
Lady Antebellum, “Downtown”
WINNER: Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Little Big Town, “Tornado”

Musician of the Year
Brent Mason (Guitar)
Dann Huff (Guitar)
WINNER: Mac McAnally (Guitar)
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Sam Bush (Mandolin)

Chicago Radio: Keith Moreland Leaves Cubs Broadcast Booth

Keith Moreland
Radio WGN 720 AM announced Wednesday that former Cub and Cubs radio baseball color analyst Keith Moreland has made the decision to leave the broadcast booth to spend more time with his family.

In a note to the WGN staff, Moreland stated, “I would like to thank the fans, the folks at WGN Radio, my colleagues in the booth, the Ricketts family, and the Cubs for this great opportunity. After spending three years doing it, I’ve simply decided that I want to spend more time at home in Texas.”

Moreland became a permanent fixture with play-by-play broadcaster Pat Hughes in February of 2011. “I immensely enjoyed my three years with Keith. He was fun to be around, insightful, and a team player. Like our listeners, I feel like I learned a little more about baseball each day from him. I wish Keith all the best and I will miss him greatly,” said Hughes.

WGN Radio Sports Director Dave Eanet said, “On behalf of WGN Radio, we want to thank Keith for three great years in the booth. He’s been a terrific member of our Cubs broadcast team, on and off the air. We’ll miss his baseball insight, his energy, and upbeat personality.”

Moreland spent six of his 12 major league seasons with the Cubs (1982-87), helping the Cubs to the 1984 National League East crown. “Keith was a terrific player and great voice for baseball on WGN,” said Crane Kenney, President of Business Operations for the Chicago Cubs. “Keith gave Cubs fans a great perspective on baseball and they trusted him with calling every game. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Miami Radio: Sports WINZ, Marlins Ink MLB Broadcast Deal

The Miami Marlins announced Wednesday a partnership with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Miami, making 940 WINZ-AM the official English radio broadcast home of the Marlins, beginning with the 2014 season.

940 WINZ-AM, Miami's Sports Animal, will feature full Miami Marlins coverage with live game broadcasts, pre- and post-game analysis, as well as daily game recaps with coaches and players. In addition, The Hot Stove Report, a half-hour long show covering Marlins and Major League Baseball news, will air each weekend during the off-season. 940 WINZ-AM is also the radio broadcast home of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Gators football and basketball and carries NFL games throughout the season.

"The Miami Marlins are extremely pleased to enter this new partnership with Clear Channel," said Marlins President David Samson. "Our fans throughout South Florida will benefit from Clear Channel's expansive network of stations. The Marlins new long-term home on 940 WINZ will give our fans the ability to follow the Marlins throughout the year."

"Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Miami is thrilled to partner with the Miami Marlins and provide comprehensive game coverage for our listeners," said Lonny Anger, Market President, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Miami. "As two-time World Series Champions, they have proven they have what it takes to succeed, and we look forward to serving their loyal fan base."

WINZ has 50kw day, 10kw night.

Madison Radio: Personality Abby Rhodes Robbed

Abby Rhodes
Madison radio personality Abby Rhodes survived a violent, armed robbery, but regrets her bold actions after the thief put a gun to her head.

"I just saw the gun, right here," Rhodes, the mid-day host at WMAD 96.3 FM Star Country, tells 27 News, referring to her temple.

Police officials say a man surprised Rhodes in a business' parking lot Monday just after 5 p.m.

Rhodes tells 27 News she felt the man grab her purse, as she spoke to a friend on her cell phone. Even after she saw the gun pointed at her, Rhodes struggled with the man, falling to the ground, as the man eventually yanked the purse out of her hand and took off.

"She started screaming," Rhodes' friend Katie Sommers says. Sommers was on the other end of the cell phone call, in Florida. "It was horrible."

WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rhodes suffered bruises and cuts, and an injured elbow. She tells 27 News she acted on instinct, but says the lingering emotion over her tense experience involves the criminal's hand gun.

"I was very lucky that he chose not to use that gun," Rhodes says.

Miley Cyrus Talks Tour Plans With Ryan Seacrest

Twerking Queen Miley Cyrus is officially going on tour and has revealed what fans can expect at her show.

The 20-year-old Bangerz singer phoned in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on 102.7 KIIS FM to talk about her upcoming tour, which kicks off in February, being the most popular Halloween costume this year, working with Kanye West, and her 21st birthday plans.

FCC Hands Out EAS Alert Sound Fines

The FCCissued a $25,000 fine on Wednesday against Turner Broadcasting System for using emergency alert sounds in a promotion for Conan O'Brien's late night talk show.

The FCC also reached agreement with Kentucky television station WNKY-TV for apparent misuse of the actual Emergency Alert System. The complaint alleged misuse of the EAS Attention Signal in an advertisement for “The Fan Wear & More Store.”

The "Conan" promotion used the emergency weather tones to gain attention for a commercial promoting Jack Black's appaerarance on April 26, 2012, according to the FCC.

“Today’s enforcement action sends a strong message: the FCC will not tolerate misuse or abuse of the Emergency Alert System,” said Enforcement Bureau Acting Chief Robert H. Ratcliffe. “It is inexcusable to trivialize the sounds specifically used to notify viewers of the dangers of an incoming tornado or to alert them to be on the lookout for a kidnapped child, merely to advertise a talk show or a clothing store. This activity not only undermines the very purpose of a unique set of emergency alert signals, but is a clear violation of the law."