Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rockford Radio: Mid-West Flips Formats

W263BJ 1005. FM (230watts) 60dBu Coverage
News talk radio station WNTA 1330 AM / Translator 100.5 FM became "The River" a greatest hits station at 3PM Friday, leaving longtime newscaster Ken DeCoster and host Doug McDuff out of a job.

At the same time, WRTB 95.3 FM, which has played all kinds of music, became a country music station.

The stations are owned by Madison-Wis.-based Mid-West Family Broadcasting, which also owns Rockford's AC WGFB 103.1 FM; Rock WXRX104.9 FM.

Mid-West bought the stations from Maverick Media in April.

“I did not sleep well last night knowing that this was coming because people were involved. We work with people that make this business great, and that’s one of the things that sucks about making a business decision. It wasn’t something that was taken lightly but for our company to grow and evolve in this marketplace and really survive and thrive we had to make some structural changes," General Manager Mike Paterson told WIFR-TV.

According to The Rockford Register-Star a total five full-time employees were laid off and given severance packages as part of the format change, said Paterson.

Ken DeCoster
DeCoster, who has 30 years of radio experience and was a news reporter and show host on NTA from 10 a.m. to noon on weekdays, had been at the station since 1995, Paterson said. McDuff, with 50 years in radio, hosted a show 6 to 10 a.m. on weekdays. He had been with the station since 1994, Paterson said.
DeCoster did not return a phone call, and McDuff could not be reached for comment.

Paterson said the talk-show format was "not financially sound." And he said country music is highly popular in Rockford and nationwide. He said Mid-West aims to "take at least 50 percent of the revenue from the other country station in five or six years."

WRTB 95.3 FM (1.2kw) 60dBu Coverage
The new country station will be known as 95.3 The Bull and will feature 20 songs in a row throughout the day.

Besides Rockford, Mid-West operates radio stations in markets including Madison, La Crosse and Eau Claire, all in Wisconsin, and Springfield, Ill.

MO Radio: After Just A Week, Randy Miller OUT At KWKJ-FM

Randy Miller
Well, that was fast:  Longtime Kansas City personality Randy Miller walked away from his latest gig on a Warrensburg country radio station at the end of his first week, according to

“The Randy Miller Morning Show” made its debut on KWKJ 985. FM The Bar, on Monday, Feb. 10. On Friday of that week, he reportedly resigned at the end of his show.

When asked what happened, station co-owner Greg Hassler told The Star in an email: “Good question. Guess we were not what he thought. (He) never really gave it a chance.”

Hassler said there had been no dispute between the station and Miller.


No word so far from Miller, who lives in Lone Jack in eastern Jackson County. He told The Star earlier this month that he planned to do his new show from the station at first but eventually add a radio studio onto his house.

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Saturday Aircheck: Ron Lundy On 77 WABC June 23 1981

At this point, 77 WABC was very AC-sounding and within a year would flip to Talk.

February 22 In Radio History

In 1857...physicist Heinrich Hertz became the first person to broadcast & receive radio waves.

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

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

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

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

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

WOR's First Control Room
In 1922...WOR 710 AM signs on. WOR began broadcasting on February 22, 1922, using a 500-watt transmitter on 360 meters (833 kc.) from Bamberger's Department Store in Newark, New Jersey. Louis Bamberger's sale of radio sets to consumers explained their affiliation with the station. The WOR call sign was reissued from the U.S. maritime radio service.

The station initially operated limited hours, sharing time with two other stations, WDT and WJY, which also operated on 833 kc. WOR changed frequency to 740 kc. in June 1923 and shared time with WJY until July 1926, when WJY signed off for good and WOR received full use of the frequency. In December 1924, WOR acquired a studio in Manhattan.

On June 17, 1927, as a result of General Order 40, WOR moved to 710 kc., the channel it currently occupies (unlike most stations, it was not affected by NARBA). Later in 1926, WOR moved from its New York City studio on the 9th floor of Chickering Hall at 27 West 57th Street to 1440 Broadway, two blocks from Times Square.
John B. Gambling 1930
WOR was first a charter member of the CBS Radio Network, being one of the 16 stations that aired the first CBS network program on September 18, 1927.   In partnership with Chicago radio station WGN and Cincinnati radio station WLW, WOR formed the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1934 and became its New York flagship station. Mutual was one of the "Big Four" national radio networks in the United States during the 1930s–1980s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 1924...Calvin Cooldige became the first president to do a radio address

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 21, 2014

FCC Backs-Off On Newsroom Survey Plans

The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday that it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive, according to Fox News.

FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Chairman Tom Wheeler agreed with critics that some of the study's proposed questions for reporters and news directors "overstepped the bounds of what is required."

The agency announced that a proposed pilot study in South Carolina will now be shelved, at least until a "new study design" is finalized. But the agency made clear that this and any future studies will not involve interviews with "media owners, news directors or reporters."

Commissioner Ajit Pai, who was one of the staunchest critics of the proposal, heralded the decision Friday as an acknowledgement that government-backed researchers would not be dispatched into newsrooms, as feared.  

Amid the controversy, Wheeler had already told lawmakers the commission had "no intention" of regulating reporters' speech. He also directed that the controversial questions be removed from the survey entirely.

The initial proposal for the study called for looking into issues like "perceived station bias" and "perceived responsiveness to underserved populations." The proposed questions for the interviews with members of the media raised alarm bells, including questions about "news philosophy" and how much community input goes into story selection and whether reporters ever had "a story with critical information" rejected by management.

Read More Now

S-A Radio: Two Medical Crises Hit Former Personality

Lisa Gonzales Kerkez
Now, former radio personality, Lisa Gonzales Kerkez — who was best known for her bubbly role on the  wildly popular KTFM 94.1 FM Morning Show in the late ’80s alongside Sonny Melendrez, Elizabeth Ruiz, Albert Flores and Cindy Casiano — needs your help.

According to, Lisa has been hit with not only one, but two, medical crises. When diagnosed with breast cancer late last year, doctors discovered another serious problem: an aortic aneurysm.

Here’s her story: “Imagine waking up one day and thinking it’s going to be like any other.  It was Sunday, Oct 13, 2013, the day after my 48th Birthday, and I decided to do a self breast exam in the shower.  I noticed something that had not been there before, but I said nothing to no one, thinking that it would be gone the next morning.  Unfortunately, it was still there and I knew at that point that I really needed to get it checked out.

“After a mountain of tests, I received the dreaded call on October 28, 2013 … ‘Lisa, we got a little bit of cancer going on in your right breast.’  From that day on, my entire life changed!

“During my breast cancer testing, it was discovered that I had an enlarged heart.  On Nov. 11, 2013, my enlarged heart turned out to be an aortic aneurysm.  So now I am dealing with two major medical crises.”

The aneurysm needed immediate attention and took priority over her breast cancer.  She had surgery in December to repair it. As soon as she heals from that, she will go into surgery again — for a double mastectomy.

On Saturday, you can visit with “Lisa-Lisa” and many of her former radio colleagues, including Melendrez, Flores and the original gang, at a fundraiser barbecue benefiting her cause as well as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure San Antonio.

Details: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the D-Spot, 6322, San Pedro Ave., San Antonio.

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Lawsuit Seeks Millions In Royalties For 'Idol' Singers

Sony Music breached contracts and shorted royalty payments to former American Idol contestants and the series' music company 19 Recordings, according to a federal lawsuit filed today, The Tennessean reports.

The suit — which is seeking at least $10 million in damages — was brought by 19, which entered into licensing agreements with Sony for recordings by several former Idol contestants including Nashville residents and recording artists Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler.

Other artists cited in the suit are Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, David Archuleta and David Cook. According to the suit, Sony then shorted 19 and the artists on royalty payments because of "systemically incorrect calculations."

According to the suit, 19, which was founded by Simon Fuller, discovered the shortfalls from audits performed by two separate accounting firms. More shortfalls likely would be discovered if Sony gave 19's accountants full access to the appropriate documents, which the suit alleges Sony has refused to do.

Pai Reiterates Concern With FCC Study

Ajit Pai
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Thursday night he is concerned about a study by the agency that would send researchers into America’s newsrooms because he believes that “the government has no place in the newsroom.”

The FCC drew the ire of free-press advocates and lawmakers after proposing a "study of critical information needs," which one dissenting commissioner said would let researchers "grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

Pai said on “On the Record” that he is worried about the First Amendment implications of the study, saying journalists could be inadvertently coerced into not reporting stories.

“If you are holding a broadcast license that the FCC issues, you are not going to feel like it’s entirely voluntary if you have to answer this battery of questions in this 70-some page study,” Pai said.

Wheeler Sez FCC Has No Intention of Regulating News

FCC's Tom Wheeler
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has told the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee that the FCC "has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters" via its Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs, but says he is working on changes to the study to address those concerns.

That, according to Broadcasting&Cable, came in a letter to House E&C chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.), in response to a letter from the committee's Republican leadership and members asking the chairman to suspend the study since tit included provisions for "FCC funded agents to question the editorial decisions of journalists, producers, and other news professionals."

They saw that as the FCC putting itself back in the business of controlling political speech, the "back" being a reference to the former Fairness Doctrine requirement that broadcasters seek out opposing viewpoints on issues of importance.

Wheeler indicated that changes would be coming, but that that might change the cost of the study. He also pointed out that the study was launched to fulfill the FCC's statutory mandate to 'identify and eliminate "market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the provision and ownership of telecommunications services and information services."

The FCC has also been instructed by a federal appeals court to better justify initiatives to promote that diversity.

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RTDNA: FCC News Study Belongs On 'Trash Heap'

Critics of a proposed Federal Communications Commission study that would send researchers into newsrooms across America say the new chairman's vow to tweak the plan doesn't go far enough -- with one leading media group calling on the agency to scrap the study entirely, according to Fox News.

"Where it really needs to go is onto the trash heap," Mike Cavender, director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said in a statement.

The FCC drew the ire of free-press advocates and lawmakers after proposing a "study of critical information needs," which one dissenting commissioner said would let researchers "grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler pledged to work with the contractor to "adapt the study" in response to concerns that have been raised.

"Before moving forward, however, it is imperative that the FCC ensure that any study, with any agents acting on its behalf, stays out of newsrooms," committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said in a statement.

"The courts have rightfully struck down the Fairness Doctrine, and any attempt to revive it, through study or any other means, should not be attempted by the FCC or any other government agency."

Cavender was unsparing in his criticism of what he called an "ill-conceived study."

The new project also would include newspaper and Internet content and is expected to start this spring with a field test in Columbia, S.C.

Read More Now

CC's CFO Sez 'Do The Math' On Pandora's Claims

Richard Bressler
On Thursday's conferenca call, Clear Channel CFO Richard Bressler reminded financials analysts that AM/FM radio still makes up 92% of all listening, and acccording to Bessler that means digital accounts for just 8% of all listening. And then you break that 8% up between iHeart, iTunes, Pandora and other services, and what you really get down to is digital is not substituting for terrestrial radio, but it's providing additional listening opportunities for Clear Channel.

Bressler stated, "if you look at us (iHeart Radio) on a comparison basis, it's really not apples to apples. You've heard us talk about this before. Pandora's a playlist. What we have is called custom radio. We think it's a feature. We don't think it's a freestanding service."

Concerning Pandora's claims that its the #1 radio station in most markets, Bressler reminded those on the conference call that "it's really important just to do the math for a second. And less than 40% of all customers -- consumers today can even stream. And if Pandora remarkably got 100%, remarkably, would get 100% of all the people, of all the customers that stream, they still couldn't make it to the #1 in any market because the #1 station, like in New York where we have -- WLTW (106.7 FM) is close to 60%, like our -- and we have 90% of the cluster, it's mathematically impossible for them to be #1 in these markets."

"And quite frankly, if you add up all the Pandora streams in New York, they wouldn't even be in the top 10. I think they're like at 17% or 18%, and again, that's mostly self-reported data."

Chicago Radio: Steve Stones Returns To WSCR

Steve Stone
Steve Stone did not sit on the sidelines for very long.

According to CRM, Stone is returning the the station he worked with for the eight years prior to joining WLS 890 AM. Starting next month, Steve Stone will be the baseball analyst for WSCR-AM, appearing multiple times each week on the sports talk station's various shows. Exact days and times for Stone's appearances are still being finalized this week.

WSCR-AM Program Director Mitch Rosen told CRM: "Its great to have the best baseball analyst back on Chicago's #1 sports radio station where he belongs."

Terms of Stone's deal with WSCR-AM are not released.

Stone will also continue his full-time job as color analyst for the Chicago White Sox television broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV.

Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe OUT At CBS' The NFL Today

Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino
CBS is getting ready to beef up its football coverage, but without two of its longtime correspondents.

According to TV Guide, former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and former Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe will not return for CBS' NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today, next season. The duo will be replaced by ex-Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who just retired after the 2014 Pro Bowl.

"Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective," CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement Tuesday. "As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate. We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports.

"While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade," McManus continued. "Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best."

Olympic Hockey: Loser Keeps Bieber

A spot in the 2014 Olympic men's hockey final should be high enough stakes for players from the USA and Canada, but one billboard in Illinois proposes that there should be more on the line in Friday's semifinal game.

Singer Justin Bieber hails from Canada, but he resides in California and has been in the headlines around the United States for all of the wrong reasons lately. The star's bad behavior has even led to a petition being sent to the White House to deport him.

So, according to, an Illinois freight broker, Command Transportation, decided to put an electric billboard to good use. Here is what's on the line in the semifinals.

Katz Launches Health Care Strategies Unit

Katz Radio Group has announced it is creating a new Health Care Strategies group to take full advantage of radio’s massive reach and scale in order to deliver compelling health care media solutions for advertisers.

KRG’s newly developed Health Care Strategies group will provide a higher level of focus and expertise in the health care category.  LaTonya Chenault-Qawwee will lead this effort as Vice President of Health Care Strategies.

In her new role, Chenault-Qawwee will oversee all sales operations, developing strategic plans for advertisers by leveraging KRG’s unmatched reach, research and expertise in developing innovative media solutions.  She will work closely with nation’s leading health care companies, as well as federal and state exchanges, to incorporate the latest health care reform needs into high-impact advertising packages. This new position underlines KRG’s continued commitment to be the leading advocate for radio, and to further expand its business by providing advertisers hyper-focused expertise in specific categories.

“This new Health Care Strategies group will enable us to harness our powerful relationships, creative talent and unique capabilities in order to work with health care stakeholders and develop results driven radio campaigns,” said Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Katz Radio Group. “LaTonya is an innovative and effective leader and has been successful in all of her roles at this company.  Her extensive experience in consumer and political radio advertising makes her the perfect candidate for this important new leadership role.

Music May Effect Food Taste

Do you listen to tunes while you chow down?  According to Women's Health, new research finds that music may be affecting the taste of your food.

To find this, researcher gave participants either chocolate or red peppers and then had then listen to four different types of music-- jazz, hip hop, classical and rock. Researchers then had participants rate how much they liked their food. Researchers found participants who ate the peppers did not experience any change in taste, but those who ate the chocolate reported liking it more when they listened to jazz music, and least when they ate it while listening to hip hop.

Researchers say it all comes down to mindfulness.

Jazz tends to be soothing and may be more likely to put one in a reflective mood, while hip hop tends to be more aggressive and may make make one feel on-edge, the more relaxed you are the more likely you are to appreciate your food and savor each bite.

Bill For 'Casey's Law' Introduced In CA

Casey Kasem
Ailing radio legend Casey Kasem may inspire a new law based on his children's attempts to visit him, according to ABC7 LA.

The legendary radio DJ has been suffering from Parkinson's disease for years. His family has been embroiled in a battle over the right to visit him, which has prompted a state lawmaker to take action.

It's been a frustrating court battle for Kasem's kids. But now one of his daughters says she has new hope.

"To be blocked for no reason when he needs us the most has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through," said Kerri Kasem. Now Kerri is joining Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) in proposing new legislation."

Current law does not provide for any information to be given to the adult children of somebody who might be sick and elderly. We want to change that," said Gatto.

Casey Kasem signed off the air in 2009 due to Parkinson's disease and is now hospitalized. Kasem's kids have protested outside his home to see him and recently battled in court.

Read More Now

AMS Gets A Visit From Kelli Pickler

NASH-FM's America's Morning Show Thursday welcomed the beautiful and bubbly voice of Kelli Pickler!

Kellie gave the scoop about writing her new album The Woman I Am, as well as accepting her image of being real and unfiltered as an artist- hilariously, too! She also took listener questions on the air and gave an update on life after Dancing With The Stars!

CRS: Using Data to Discover The Hits

"Cracking The Code: Using Data To Discover The Hits" took advantage of Stone Door Media Lab's Jeff Green and MusicMetric's Mark Tindle to identify data that can predict chart success, according to Country Aircheck.

Findings include:

  • Increases in Facebook Fans, SoundCloud plays, Shazam tags, VEVO plays, Shazam tags per Radio Spin and BitTorrent file sharing were early online drivers for chart success.
  • Shazam and sales-per-spin ratios are powerful in predicting airplay success at an early stage. (The data also supports a link between being No. 1 most added and reaching No. 1.)
  • The average chart-peak of a No. 1 Most-Added single is 6, while the average peak of a No. 2 Most-Added single is 12. Both outperform the average peak of all country singles, which is 20.
"There is no foolproof method for determining probabilities for hits, but we're seeing that data can provide a competitive edge in identifying a new single's potential many weeks earlier in the artist development process," said Green. "These statistics prove that what many thought were hunches are really true." Green was also able to identify spin thresholds necessary for singles to reach familiarity in specific dayparts.

Report: Coach Pitino Social Media 'Poisons'

Rick Pitino doesn't like it and believes his Louisville team is better when players stay away from it.

"Every hour, it's like taking a little bit of poison," Pitino said during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike." "It poisons their minds.

"I think technology is a great thing in many instances, and I think it's poison in others, and for people in sports especially."

Pitino has banned his players from tweeting, and if it were up to him, he wouldn't let them use any other social media forum either.

Kentucky coach John Calipari, however, disagrees with that view entirely.

"This is no disrespect," Calipari said on "Mike and Mike" during an appearance Thursday. "The coaches you mentioned [Pitino, Tom Izzo], they know nothing about social media. Nothing. They don't do it. They feel it's another job."

Pitino said his players concede they use social media at least four hours a day.

"I'm trying to get our players to read more, pay attention to important things," the Hall of Fame coach said.

Pitino believes using social media impedes a player's ability to communicate.

NYC Radio: Report..WBAI Can't Pay Severance

Village Voice graphic
It was August when Pacifica Radio's executive director, Summer Reese, took to the airwaves to announce that most of the station's paid staff, including its entire news department, was being laid off.

According to, Reese told listeners on the afternoon of August 9 that "we will laying off virtually everyone whose voice you recognize on the air."

At the end of this month, unemployment benefits will run out for the 19 employees who lost their jobs last summer -- and all of them are still waiting for severance checks from Pacifica Radio. At least three of them face becoming homeless.

As part of the agreement the employees' union, SAG-AFTRA, brokered with Pacifica, the network must pay its former employees by the end of March or face the possibility of a lawsuit.

The problem, according to WBAI general manager Berthold Reimers, is neither the station nor network has the money to make good on those promises.

Read More Now 

R.I.P.: NBC Newsman Garrick Utley

Garrick Utley
The veteran reporter, a frequent substitute anchor on “NBC Nightly News” and former moderator of “Meet the Press,” passed away following a long battle with cancer.

He was 74.

Utley served as weekend anchor during much of the 1970s, and frequently substituted for John Chancellor during that decade and for Tom Brokaw in the 1980s on NBC Nightly News. Utley also served as weekend anchor Sundays,1987–1990 and Saturdays 1990- 1993 of NBC Nightly News.

In the 1970s, Utley frequently hosted newsmagazine-style programs for NBC News. In the UK he covered the February 1974 British General Election, and appeared on the BBC election night program. In the US, from January 1989 to December 1991, he moderated NBC's long-running public affairs discussion program Meet the Press, while simultaneously hosting the newly-debuted Sunday version of the Today Show.

In 1992, Utley issued a controversial commentary essay at the close of a weekend newscast, expressing a view that then-President George H.W. Bush should forgo reelection in the interest of the country.

Most recently Utley was a professor of broadcasting and journalism at State University of New York - Oswego and was a senior fellow at the SUNY Levin Institute of the State University of New York, in Manhattan, from which he retired as head in December 2011.

He also hosted Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on public television.

From 2009...

February 21 In Radio History

In 1922…WHK-AM, Cleveland, Ohio, went on the air.

In 1938...Roy Acuff and his band debuted their morning radio show on WSM-AM Nashville.

In 1943…the "Blue Network" (eventually ABC Radio Network), premiered "Free World Theatre".

Murray Kaufman
In 1982…Murray The K – 1010 WINS NYC, Died from cancer just before his 60th birthday.  Kaufman's big break came in 1958 after he moved to WINS-AM to do the all-night show, which he titled "The Swingin' Soiree." Shortly after his arrival, WINS's high energy star disk jockey, Alan Freed, was indicted for tax evasion and forced off the air. Though Freed's spot was briefly occupied by Bruce Morrow, who later became known as Cousin Brucie on WABC, Murray soon was moved into the 7-11PM time period and remained there for the next seven years, always opening his show with Sinatra and making radio history with his innovative segues, jingles, sound effects, antics, and frenetic, creative programming.

Murray the K reached his peak of popularity in the mid-1960s when, as the top-rated radio host in New York City, he became an early and ardent supporter and friend of The Beatles. When the Beatles came to New York on February 7, 1964, Murray was the first DJ they welcomed into their circle, having heard about him and his Brooklyn Fox shows from American groups such as the Ronettes (sisters Ronnie and Estelle Bennett, and their first cousin, Nedra Talley), also known as Murray's "dancing girls".

The Ronettes met the Beatles in mid January 1964, just a few weeks before, when the Harlem-born trio first toured England (the Rolling Stones were the group's opening act). Murray got into the Nedw York’s Plaza Hotel after telephoning Ronnie of the Ronettes and asking her to pave the way and get him into the hotel to meet the Ronettes' new friends, the Beatles. Thanks to Ronnie, Murray got into the hotel and did his radio show from their Plaza Hotel room their first night in New York (there is a picture of "Ronnie" being interviewed by Murray the K, as Paul McCartney and George Harrison look on, in the hotel.
Cynthia Lennon, John and Murray 
 Murray also accompanied them to Washington, D.C. for their first U.S. concert, was backstage at their The Ed Sullivan Show premiere, and roomed with Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Miami, broadcasting his shows from there. He came to be referred to as the "Fifth Beatle," a moniker he said he was given either by Harrison during the train ride to the Beatles' first concert in Washington D.C. or by Ringo Starr at a press conference before that concert.  His radio station WINS picked up on the name and billed him as the Fifth Beatle.

This historical recording features interviews with the Fab Four in early 1964. The interview was mailed out through the Murray the "K" Fan Club.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Barn Collapses At Dairy Farm Owned By Talker Doug Stephan

Nationally syndicated morning host Doug Stephan owns  a dairy  farm in Framingham, suburban Boston, where a barn collapse killed at least two cows Tuesday.  Stephan said that of the eight cows rescued Wednesday, four are already back to work as dairy cows, according to  

Three that were hurt are showing signs of getting better, he said, but one is on the fence.

"I'm concerned if she'll make it or not," Stephan said Thursday afternoon. "She’ll need another 24 hours. She's battered and bruised, and visibly in pain, so she needs to be more closely monitored."

The barn roof collapsed from the weight of a a foot and a half of snow between 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, which was when farm employees found the wreck. Two cows were found dead amid the rubble.

The four cows that were able to walk out of the barn's ruins Wednesday "are up and were milked Wednesday -- they had scratches, cuts and bruises but they're OK," Stephan said.

WHDH-TV 7News Boston

Fire officials had to use forklifts and front end loaders to free some of the trapped cows.

Survey: More Ad Buyers Eye Streaming

A recent survey of advertising agencies found that while social media and streaming/online video were major areas of focus for advertisers in the fourth quarter of 2013, the majority of agencies are unsure of the value these channels are delivering to clients.

The survey, conducted by STRATA, the leader in media buying and selling software, found that more than 87% of agencies polled were interested in using social media in client campaigns, while 98% said they were either more interested or equally as interested in streaming/online video than they were a year ago.  Given all the new channels available to agencies, it’s not surprising that media mix was cited as the second largest concern for agencies, and up 20% since last quarter.

Facebook is still the dominant social media channel for advertisers with 81% of respondents indicating they would use Facebook in their clients’ campaigns. On Facebook, respondents were most likely to buy Standard External Website Ads (33%), Promoted Posts (31%) and Page Post Ads (31%).

Other popular social channels for agencies include YouTube (57%) and Twitter (48%). Agencies also indicated a big shift in sentiment towards Pinterest, as 35% said they would use the channel, up from just 22% one year ago.  LinkedIn is also gaining popularity with agencies, as 33% of agencies indicated they would consider using it in clients’ campaigns. This represents an increase of 56% since last year.

While interest in social media advertising continues to grow at astronomical rates, the value of social media remains in question for advertisers. 54% of respondents said they would buy more social media ad spots if the value was more obvious, and 41% would be more open with a set of changes including an easier process, more obvious effectiveness, lower minimum volumes and less complex targeting.

Online and streaming video and radio also gained popularity with agencies:
  • 65% of respondents say they are more interested in streaming/online video than they were a year ago
  • 60% said that they believe an online video impression is equal to a TV impression.
  • Traditional radio continues to experience a drop off (interest in is down 67% since 2010)
  • Interest in online/streaming radio is growing tremendously, with 59% of respondents more interested in the medium than they were a year ago. 
Regardless of ROI challenges, business is booming for agencies, as 35% indicated that they expect to see in increase in business over the next quarter. Nearly 50% of agencies project that future growth will be better in the first half of 2014, compared to the last half of 2013.

Clear Channel: 4Q M+E Revenue, Losses Increase

  • Media+Entertainment (up 4% excluding political1), with Outdoor flat 
  • 2013 OIBDAN1 reached $1.7 billion, including 4% growth at Americas Outdoor, 9% increase at International Outdoor, excluding foreign exchange and divestitures, and 2% decline at Media+Entertainment 
  • Fourth quarter revenues flat (excluding political, revenues rose 4%, with Media+Entertainment up 8%) 
CC Media Holdings, Inc. today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013.

Bob Pittman
"With our unmatched reach and unparalleled assets, we outperformed the radio market and capitalized on the growing out-of-the-home consumer trend in 2013," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman said.

"Clear Channel continued to create new businesses based on the strength of our core assets and to provide customized multi-platform market solutions to advertising partners that nobody else can. At Media+Entertainment, we further expanded our events business -- reaching nearly 4 billion social impressions with December's Jingle Ball national tour, following up on September's iHeartRadio Music Festival's 2.3 billion social impressions. We also partnered with The CW Network to air 7 shows on broadcast TV, reaching over 50 million TV viewers. Our results at Outdoor reflected our sharp focus on rolling out new digital products in the U.S. and internationally, and on taking advantage of fast-growing emerging markets in Latin America and Asia. As America's leading multi-platform media company as measured by reach, we look forward to continuing to serve advertisers and consumers even better in 2014."

Richard Bressler
"We succeeded this year in delivering a steady financial performance while investing for future growth across the company, despite challenging economic conditions," said Rich Bressler, President and Chief Financial Officer.

"We hired top-caliber leaders at both Media+Entertainment and Outdoor, while executing on our revenue and efficiency initiatives that are building a strong foundation for our long-term success. Importantly, our capital markets activities over the past months -- including extending our maturities and selling non-core assets, like our stake in radio assets in Australia/New Zealand -- have given us the financial flexibly to continue to grow our businesses."

Full Year 2013 Results

Consolidated revenues decreased less than 1% to $6.24 billion for the full year 2013 compared to $6.25 billion in 2012. Excluding political advertising, revenue was up 2%(1) . Growth at Media+Entertainment and Americas outdoor was offset by declines at International outdoor, as well as our media representation business for which political revenues decreased $40 million compared to 2012, a presidential election year.
  • Media+Entertainment revenues grew $47 million, or 2% (up 4%, excluding political1), compared to 2012, driven primarily by stronger national and digital advertising, as well as promotional and event sponsorship with the expansion of the Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Music Festival and album release events, partially offset by the decline in political advertising spend. 
Fourth Quarter 2013 Results

Consolidated revenues totaled $1.7 billion, consistent with the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding political advertising, revenue was up 4%.(1)
  • Media+Entertainment revenues increased $24 million, or 3% (up 8%, excluding political1), due primarily to stronger national and digital advertising, as well as promotional and event sponsorship with the expansion of the Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Music Festival and album release events. 
 The Company's consolidated net loss was $302 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to a consolidated net loss of $197 million in the same period of 2012. This was due primarily to equity in losses of nonconsolidated affiliates and higher interest expense, and offset in part by greater operating income and reduced losses on the extinguishment of debt.

Radio One Reports 4Q Revenue Increased 5.4 Percent

Alfred C. Liggins, III
Radio One, Inc. today reported its results for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.

Net revenue was approximately $111.6 million, an increase of 5.4% from the same period in 2012.  Station operating income1 was approximately $39.1 million, an increase of 9.9% from the same period in 2012. The Company reported operating income of approximately $17.4 million compared to operating income of approximately $14.6 million for the same period in 2012.

Net loss was approximately $16.4 million or $0.35 per share compared to net loss of $17.2 million or $0.34 per share, for the same period in 2012.

Alfred C. Liggins, III, Radio One's CEO and President stated, "Our core radio business remains very robust: excluding political advertising, revenue for our combined radio and Reach Media segments increased approximately 5.0% over Q4 2012. Consolidated net revenue excluding political increased 10.6% over Q4 2012. I was pleased that once again we delivered a double digit increase in Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA2, which increased 10% year over year, and that our Interactive division achieved profitability on an Adjusted EBITDA basis for both the fourth quarter and the full year."

Jimmy Fallon: Brian Williams, Lester Holt Doing Rapper's Delight

On Wednesday's Tonight Show.  Jimmy Fallon 'presented' NBC Nightly News managing editor and anchor Brian Williams rapping The Sugar Hill Gang's classic "Rapper's Delight".

Nielsen: Country Format Jump-Starts The New Year

Predictably, some of the major music formats that saw audiences shrink as a result of Christmas music bounced back in January, according to Nielsen.

Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and Country, reclaimed the top two spots, respectively, in the 18-34 and 25-54 demographics. At the same time, Adult Contemporary (AC) fell from its top spot during the all-Christmas peak.

Elsewhere, Hot AC opened 2014 with a record-breaking month, after closing out its best year ever in 2013. In the spoken word arena, the NFL playoffs and intense stretches of winter weather in many major markets jump-started the results for Sports, All News and News/Talk in January.

Below are some highlights from Nielsen’s January PPM data across 45 markets using the full-week (M-S 6 a.m.-midnight) daypart and audience shares for the 6+ demographic.

  • Country claimed the title of America’s top national format last year, according to Nielsen’s new Audio Today report, and it opened 2014 with a significant jump in the January PPM results. Country’s 7.7 share in January was 11 percent higher than in the Holiday survey and was its best start to the year since we began following these trends in 2011.
  • Hot AC, fresh from its banner year in 2013, picked up right where it left off by posting its personal highs for listening share in January in the three major demographics we profile (5.9 for listeners 6+, 6.7 for 18-34 and 6.6 for 25-54).
  • Not surprisingly, the three most-popular formats airing Christmas music over the holidays (AC, Soft AC and Classic Hits) all saw their shares decline in January. This change is consistent with trends in previous years. Of note this year, this January’s 6+ shares for AC (7.4) and Classic Hits (4.8) are lower than the formats’ January results from 2010-2012. This follows a season where holiday programming rated lower than it had been in prior years.
  • News/Talk and All News both had big months, as weather made headlines across the country, leaving these programmers eager for even more snow. News/Talk reclaimed the top spot on the 6+ ranker by climbing to a 9.3 share in January, a 15 percent increase from its Holiday rating. All News came within a 10th of a share-point of matching its’ all-time best with a 3.0 share this month, up 19 percent from its Holiday level.
  • The Sports format had an impressive January as the NFL playoffs were in full swing. This month’s 4.7 share represented a 12 percent jump from the Holiday book, and similar to some of the other formats profiled this month, its January results were the best we’ve seen yet in PPM.

CRS: Opening Ceremony Features Awards, Keynote

"As everybody knows here, the country music fan base is created by radio. The careers of artists, songwriters, the success of concerts and albums are all dependent on radio broadcasters."

According to Country Aircheck, that was Nashville Mayor Karl Dean at CRS 2014 Opening Ceremonies Wednesday morning.

The event also featured the "Star Spangled Banner" by Brett Eldredge, recognition of CRS Rusty Walker Scholarship winners Alana Lynn (KAWO/Boise), Katelyn Maida (KKBQ/Houston) and Nate Chester (KWRK/Lupton, AZ) and this year's CRS Artist Humanitarian Of The Year, Carrie Underwood. "I really hope you guys feel just as much ownership of this as I do, and are as proud of it as I am ... together we do amazing things," she said.

Gavin McGarry
Keynote speaker Gavin McGarry took the stage with "11 Reasons Social Media Could Save The Radio Business."

McGarry discussed the importance of social platforms and knowing how to use them.

"It should be used as a second microphone," he said, encouraging stations to make social media a priority with all levels of staff, especially air talent.

Here are McGarry's 11 reasons social media could save radio:

11. It’s free
10. The networking effect – a sharing economy, with Facebook as a younger person’s Internet.          
  9. Woman rule the world: 85% of brand purchases are made by females.
  8. Your audience is already on it. Facebook usage dwarfs every other social media choice.
  7. Build local global communities. One billion people speak English.
  6. Social is local on mobile: think SO (Social); LO (Local); MO (Mobile)
  5. It brings passion back to radio. Air talent sees instant results when they can accumulate thousands of             likes on a post within minutes.
  4. Radio is a trusted legacy brand.
  3. Keeps your brand top of mind.
  2. Free data. Facebook pages provide audience insights, allows likes to build organically. “Care about               engagement, not Facebook fans”.
  1. Facebook can sell radio. He demonstrated how to target advertiser needs on a local basis using                     Facebook user data.

The entire presentation can be downloaded here.

CRS: Meet The Millenials

Edison’s Larry Rosin and Megan Lazovick, along with Jayne Charneski, presented the latest Country music study from Edison Research, MeetTheMillennials, at the 2014 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on February 19.

Among study's finding:
  • 90% use “Internet video sites.”
  • 87% mention “personal audio collection.” 
  • 86% say “personalized online radio.” 
  • 80% use “on-demand music.” 
  • 80% are into “streamed FM radio.”
  • SiriusXM is at 79%. 
Edison conducted a national online survey of 1,550 respondents age 12-34 in November 2013. This was followed with in-person interviews of Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – who listen frequently to Country music. The in-person interviews were conducted in cities across the country.

The presentation slides are available here.

CRS: Carrie Underwood Honored As Humanitarian

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood remembers seeing her parents pull their car over to offer money to people in need. She remembers them setting examples by helping people at church. And since she’s been in a position to follow their lead and start giving back, Underwood has made helping children and animals her passion.

“They need us,” the country star told The Tennessean Wednesday. “They haven’t made any wrong decisions in their lives. They haven’t done anything to anyone that could be malicious. It’s our jobs to take care of them.”

Underwood was honored for her efforts with the Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Humanitarian Award during the opening ceremonies of the Country Radio Seminar at the Nashville Convention Center.

Underwood’s charitable highlights include donating $1 million of her last tour proceeds to the American Red Cross, starting her own foundation C.A.T.S. Foundation (Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation) to help with general causes, needs and services in her hometown of Checotah, Okla., and extensive volunteer work including cleaning out kennels at the Checotah animal shelter.

LI Radio: Group Files Complaint Over Gay Birthday Hoax

A media watchdog group has filed a complaint with the FCC over a Long Island radio station’s hoax involving an invitation from two gay dads to their daughter’s seventh birthday party, according to 1010 WINS.


Last week, Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson, the hosts of WKJY 98.3 FM K-98.3′s morning show, posted to Facebook the invitation along with a bogus response from another parent, which read in part, “I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’”

Listeners were not told it was a complete fabrication. The hosts later admitted they made up the story and said they were “attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic.”

Harper and Karlson have been suspended for a week, and the station posted an apology on its Facebook page.

Citing “grossly irresponsible” use of public airwaves, the Fair Media Council, which says it advocates for “quality local news as vital to the health and well being of the community,” filed a complaint against the station, whose call letters are WKJY, with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FMC also issued complaints with the station’s parent company, Connoisseur Media, and WKJY’s general manager, and called for the morning show hosts to be fired.

K-98.3 claims it quickly responded to the complaint with a statement to the media, saying the company immediately investigated and took “substantial” action by suspending Harper and Karlson.

“We acted immediately in a forthright, transparent and ethical manner,” said spokeswoman Alissa Marti.

Report: Gender Diversity Stagnant In Newsrooms

According to Women's Media Center,  Gender Diversity remains stagnant in newsrooms and horrendous in sports journalism.

Those are just some of the conclucsions in “Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014,” the annual report released by the Women’s Media Center, which tracks the depiction, participation and representation of women across various areas of journalism and entertainment.

Released on Wednesday and comprising statistics from numerous news outlets and advocacy groups, the 67-page report is an amalgam of stubbornly persistent statistics coupled with occasional hints of progress. Where women media professionals have made inroads in some disciplines, their representation has flat-lined or even regressed in other areas.

Of women in radio news departments....
Among the findings:
  • The number of women in radio news jumped 8 percent from 2012 to 2013, narrowing one of the historically widest gender gaps in the new industry. Elsewhere in broadcast news, there were losses in female on-air talent and broadcast maanagers.
  • Two women, 1.09 percent, were among the 183 sports radio hosts on Talkers magazine 'Heavy Hundred' List.  The Top Ten among Talker's news talk show 'Heavy Hundred' included no women.
Those making the list:
  • No. 24 Andrea Tantaros
  • No. 42 Dr. Joy Browne
  • No. 49 Randi Rhodes
  • No. 50 Kim Komando
  • No. 53 Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • No. 61 Rose Tennent (of The War Room With Quinn & Rose)
  • No. 64 Terry Gross (NPR)
  • No. 80 Heidi Harris (of Heidi Harris, Brian Whitman and Gelnn Shapiro)
  • No. 81 Leslie Marshall
  • No. 83 Dana Loesch
  • No. 99 Amy Iverson (of Amy Iverson & Jay McFarland)
Female general managers in radio now comprise 14 percent of all general managers down from 2012's 19.3 percent.