Saturday, March 22, 2014

Columbia, SC Radio: L&L Launches Rock Fox 102.3 FM

UPDATE MONDAY 3/24/14:  L & L has flipped the former WARQ to Hot AC as the new Q93.5, “Columbia’s Hit Music.”  SVP/Market Manager Mile Hartel said, “Live and Local personalities will keep us well connected to the community, but we will spotlight the music to keep up with the busy and active lifestyles of the people of Columbia.”

Original Posting....

Two of Columbia's Rock and Roll radio stations are merging into one, according to station owners L &L Broadcasting.

Stations Rock WARQ 93.5 FM and Classic rock WMFX 102.3 FM  Fox102 are being merged to create the new station that's described by owners as "powerhouse mainstream rock station" and will be found on only 102.3 FM.  The station will also feature John Boy & Billy in morning drive.

"Rock fans are some of the most passionate fans of music, and they really appreciate a variety of sounds, eras, and music styles," said Mike Hartel, L & L's SVP/Market Manager for Columbia. "Now with the New Sound of Fox 102.3, they can find the very best the rock format has to offer, regardless of when it was made."

WMFX 102.3 FM (6Kw) 60dBu Coverage
LISTEN-LIVE: Click Here.

"We've given Fox 102.3 a complete makeover and all the vital signs are really strong. Not only will it reinvigorate energy and excitement into the station but will also thrive with the live and local team, " adds L & L Broadcasting Director of Programming, Scott Mahalick.

WARQ 93.5 FM (2.8Kw) 60dBu Coverage
L&L Broadcasting has not announced format plans for 93. FM.

Saturday Aircheck: Gary Burbank On the Big One WLW

Gary Burbank
Gary Burbank, born Billy Purser in July 1941,  was heard daily on WLW 700 AM in Cincinnati, Ohio, from June 15, 1981 until December 21, 2007.

Burbank began his radio career in his hometown of Memphis at WMPS in the mid 1960s, where he was known on the air as Johnny Apollo. He continued to use that name in 1967 and early 1968 at WWUN (Jackson, Mississippi). In 1968 he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became an instant hit on WAKY-AM.

It was at WAKY that Billy Purser officially became Gary Burbank, a name taken from radio and television legend Gary Owens, who as a regular on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In would announce that he was broadcasting from "beautiful downtown Burbank."

Burbank left WAKY in 1973; his final program there was an elaborate prank in which he pretended to be fatally shot by a disgruntled listener. At that point, he moved to New Orleans for a brief stint as program director of WNOE. From New Orleans, Burbank went on to CKLW in Detroit/Windsor, and then back to Louisville for a successful, lengthy afternoon gig on WHAS-AM. Burbank left Louisville again for a brief spell in Tampa, Florida at WDAE, but moved to the Ohio Valley in 1981 when he signed with WLW, originally doing morning drive time but later moving to afternoons. It is there that he has enjoyed his greatest success.

March 22 In Radio History

In 1922...WLW Signs-On Cincinnati, OH

In July 1921, radio manufacturer Powel Crosley Jr. began 20-watt tests from his College Hill home, broadcasting "Song of India" continuously under the callsign 8CR. Powell already owned a number of enterprises, including the Crosmobile and a refrigerator-freezer company, and for many years, he held ownership of the Cincinnati Reds baseball club. Powell was innovative, personally inventing or funding the development of many then–cutting edge technological advances in his ventures which he placed in the able hands of his younger by two years brother, Lewis Crosley who was a graduate engineer from the University of Cincinnati.

On March 22, 1922, Crosley and his Crosley Broadcasting Corporation began broadcasting with the new callsign WLW and 50 watts of power. Crosley was a fanatic about the new broadcasting technology, and continually increased his station's capability. The power went up to 500 watts in September 1922, 1000 watts in May 1924, and in January 1925 WLW was the first broadcasting station at the 5000 watt level. On October 4, 1928, the station increased its power to 50 kilowatts.

Again it was the first station at this power level, which still is the maximum power currently allowed for any AM station in the United States.

At 50 kilowatts, WLW was heard easily over a wide area, from New York to Florida. But Crosley still wasn't satisfied. In 1933 he obtained a construction permit from the Federal Radio Commission for a 500 kilowatt superstation, and he spent some $500,000 ($9.11 million in 2014) building the transmitter and antenna.

It was the first large amplifier used in the United States for public domestic radio broadcasting and was in operation between 1934 and 1939. It was an experimental amplifier and was driven by the radio station's regular 50 kW transmitter. It operated in class C with high-level plate modulation. The amplifier required a dedicated 33 kV electrical substation and a large pond complete with fountains for cooling. It operated with a power input of about 750 kW (plus another 400 kW of audio for the modulator) and its output was 500 kW.

In January 1934 WLW began broadcasting at the 500 kilowatt level late at night under the experimental callsign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500 kilowatts during regular hours under the WLW call letters.

On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a ceremonial button that officially launched WLW's 500-kilowatt signal. As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received repeated complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was overpowering other stations as far away as Toronto. In December 1934 WLW cut back to 50 kilowatts at night to mitigate the interference, and began construction of three 50 ft. tower antennas to be used to reduce signal strength towards Canada.

With these three antennas in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935. However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months, and each renewal brought complaints about interference and undue domination of the market by such a high-power station. The FCC was having second thoughts about permitting extremely wide-area broadcasting versus more locally oriented stations, and in 1938, the US Senate adopted the "Wheeler" resolution, expressing it to be the sense of that body that more stations with power in excess of 50 kilowatts are against the public interest.

As a result, in 1939 the 500-kilowatt broadcast authorization was not renewed, bringing an end to the era of the AM radio superstation. Because of the impending war and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942. In 1962 the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation again applied for a permit to operate at 750 kilowatts, but the FCC denied the application.

In 1929...KIT-AM in Yakima WA signed-on.

KIT-AM was originally licensed to Portland, Oregon, but the station's original owner, Carl E. Haymond, decided, since Yakima had no radio station, that moving the station there would be more advantageous in regards to serving the community and in generating station operating revenue. KIT began broadcasting on 1310 kHz with 500 watts, but later switched to its present frequency of 1280 kHz so it could increase power.

In 1948...The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.

Sample of show from May 1948:

The Voice of Firestone is a long-running radio and television program of classical music. The show featured leading singers in selections from opera and operetta. Originally titled The Firestone Hour, it was first broadcast on the NBC Radio network on December 3, 1928 and was later also shown on television starting in 1949. The program was last broadcast in 1963

Firestone's 25th anniversary program was broadcast November 30, 1953, and it was heard on radio until 1956.

In 1999...WNJR changed format to Adult Standards. Call sign today is WNSW.  The change was made in repsonse to WQEW-FM becoming Radio Disney. Because of the station's limited coverage area, the Adult Standards were not a big hit and by mid-2000, the format was eventually eliminated as more ethnic programming began to fill in the hours. The format officially ended on February 28, 2001 with the playing of Frank Sinatra's, "Softly As I Leave You."

In 2008…Disc jockey (WKBW, WMEX, CHUM, KFI, KTNQ, WKBW, WIXY, WKYC, WAYS) Jack(son) Armstrong died of injuries suffered in a fall at his home at age 62. His last gig was at WWKB, Buffalo in 2006

In 2011…Radio-television personality (KTLK-Denver, KQV-Pittsburgh, WJAS-Pittsburgh) "Big" Steve Rizen died at the age of 75.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nielsen: Hot AC Format Reaches Historic Ratings High

Records fell left and right in both the spoken word and music arenas on radio according to Nielsen’s February portable people meter (PPM) data.

February's Top 5 Formats:

Following up a record-breaking month in January, Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) upped the bar once again in February with new all-time highs for listening share in three different demographics (6+, 18-34 and 25-54). Urban Contemporary also set records’ of its own across the board, and Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and Country had their best February showings yet.

At the same time, the All News format, found mostly in major markets, matched its historic best, as several major winter storms impacted Americans across the country. Across the dial, however, Sports radio followed its annual pattern of a February soft patch, with the meat of the NFL playoff push in the rearview mirror, and the arrival of March Madness and baseball's opening day still on the horizon.

Below are some highlights from Nielsen’s February PPM data across 45 markets using the full-week (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-midnight) daypart and audience shares for the 6+ demographic.
  • Hot AC just keeps getting hotter. Following its best year ever in PPM markets in 2013, January set records for the format across all three demographics, which were topped by the February results of 6.1 share for listeners 6+, 6.9 for 18-34 and 6.8 for 25-54, all up from the previous months’ 5.9 , 6.7 and 6.6, respectively. This format has grown tremendously in the past few years—increasing 65 percent since February 2011, when Hot AC’s 6+ share was 3.7.
  • Urban Contemporary built on a record-setting 2013 by setting new highs across all three demographics in February. The format posted a 3.2 share (listeners 6+), 5.9 share (18-34) and 3.5 share (25-54), respectively.
  • The All News headline this month was its 3.1 share (for listeners 6+), tying its all-time record set in November 2012 during the last Presidential election. Since the Holiday 2013 survey, All News shares have grown nearly 25 percent during this historic winter.
  • Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and Country, two of the leading formats nationwide, also had good February showings with a few records of their own. Each format had its’ best February on record in the PPM markets across all three demographics. Over the past two years, these formats have battled it out for the unofficial ‘format of the year’ honor, and 2014 is shaping up to be another interesting race based on the first two months of data.
  • Finally, the Sports format hit its seasonal soft patch in February, with 6+ shares dropping by a full share point from the January results (to 3.7 from 4.7). This follows the same pattern we’ve seen for Sports in each February of the previous three years. However, if history holds true again in 2014, the start of the Major League Baseball season will likely boost listening levels as we head into the spring and summer.
NielsenAudio Thursday completed the release of February PPM data. Markets released include:
To see the Topline numbers for Nielsen subscribers: Click Here.

Mega Deal: Media General to Acquire LIN For $1.6B

Station groups Media General and LIN are poised to merge in a $1.6 billion cash and stock deal that will create the nation’s second-largest pure-play broadcast group, according to Variety.

The combination will bring together 74 stations, most of the network affiliates, in 46 markets, reaching 23% of U.S. TV households. The deal unveiled Friday calls for Media General to acquire LIN with $763 million in cash and the remainder in stock. With LIN’s roughly $1 billion in debt included, the deal has an enterprise value of $2.6 billion.

The Media General-LIN union continues the breakneck pace of consolidation in the TV station sector during the past two years. The combo will make Media General the second-largest owner of TV stations behind Sinclair Broadcast Group, which has 167 outlets.

Broadcasters maintain they need more size and scope to give their local outlets clout in dealing with national advertisers and MVPD giants — an arena that promises to see more consolidation a la the pending union of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

The agreement calls for LIN prexy-CEO Vincent Sadusky to become CEO of the enlarged Media General, based in Richmond, Va. Media General’s J. Stewart Bryan III will continue as chairman of the board.

J. Stewart Bryan
“Combining Media General and LIN Media will create the second largest pure-play TV broadcasting company in the United States, a financially strong organization that will have opportunities for profitable growth greater than either company could achieve on its own,” Bryan said.

“Our two companies share a deep commitment to operating top-rated stations, to providing our local markets with excellent journalism and to engaging in meaningful ways with the communities we serve. The prospects for digital media growth are particularly exciting.”

Media General’s largest market is San Francisco, where it owns the indie KRON-TV, one of the few stations in the group not affiliated with a network. Most of its stations are in small- and mid-sized markets such as Tampa, Fla., Columbus, Ohio and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. LIN’s largest outposts are in Portland, Ore. and Indianapolis.

Media General projects $70 million in operational savings within three years of the deal closing.

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Sinclair Proposes Changes to Allbritton Deal

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has proposed several changes to its $985 million deal to buy eight television stations from Allbritton Communications, moves designed to push the acquisition through the Federal Communications Commission, according to The Baltimore Business Journal.

If approved by the FCC, Hunt Valley, MD-based Sinclair would drop plans to use so-called "sidecar companies" as part of the deal. When a broadcaster acquires TV stations in a market in which it already owns stations, it sometimes sells them to another owner and continues to provide services like sales. The move allows the company to bypass certain FCC rules which prevents broadcasters from owning multiple stations in a single market.

Sinclair, in a letter to the FCC on Thursday, said it will sell stations in Harrisburg, Pa.; Charleston, S.C.; and Birmingham, Ala. The company also agreed to not provide any services to the stations.

In each of the three markets, Sinclair is buying the ABC affiliate from Allbritton.

Sinclair's proposal comes nearly eight months after the company proposed to buy the stations from Arlington, Va.-based Allbritton.

Liberty Media Ranks as Most Profitable Media Company

Takeovers loomed large in SNL Kagan's ranking of the most profitable media and entertainment companies for 2013, with newly consolidated subsidiaries driving a reshuffling of the top companies.

Liberty Media Corp., a company often reshaping itself, saw its fortunes surge in 2013 after a one-time gain associated with its takeover of Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

Liberty Media ended the year with net income of about $8.99 billion, enough to snatch the crown of most profitable media and entertainment company from Walt Disney Co., which came in third also behind 21st Century Fox Inc., according to SNL Kagan data.

Liberty Media recorded a gain of about $7.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013 associated with the application of purchase accounting for its holdings in Sirius XM, according to a Form 10-K. The company obtained a controlling interest in Sirius on Jan. 18, 2013, after purchasing 50 million shares from a financial institution. Previously, Liberty Media had treated its holdings in Sirius as an equity interest.

More recently, Liberty Media indicated it wanted to make Sirius its wholly owned subsidiary — making an offer to Sirius shareholders to convert each share of the satellite radio company's stock to 0.0760 of a share of a Liberty Media series C stock — but later dropped the proposal in favor of a new tracking stock structure.

Maffei (Bloomberg)
Under Liberty Media's new plan, the company would split into two tracking stocks: Liberty Broadband Group, which would include the company's interest in Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc., as well as unit TruePosition Inc. and certain associated obligations and liabilities; and Liberty Media Group, would include all of the existing company's businesses, assets and liabilities other than those specifically attributed to the Liberty Broadband Group, including the company's interest in Sirius XM.

"Depending on market conditions, we look forward to further discussions with the SiriusXM Special Committee," said Liberty Media President and CEO Gregory Maffei in a March 13 statement, adding, "We remain enthusiastic owners of 53% of SiriusXM."

Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan said that Maffei's comments seemed to suggest Sirius may ultimately reach a deal with Liberty Media Group following the tracking stock split, though the analyst expressed some caution on Sirius following comments at an industry event.

"The best approach may be to isolate the winnings on the Sirius XM deal with the new tracker while raising cable deal capital," Harrigan said in a March 14 research note.

TWC Cable CEO To Get $80M For 2 Months Work

Robert Marcus
In news that's fuel for the 99 percenters' fire, a regulatory filing out yesterday (March 20th) showed that Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus, who's been on the job for just two months, will get nearly $80 million in a severance payment if the merger with Comcast goes through.

The New York Times said that works out to more than $1 million a day since he took over as chief executive.

There are huge golden parachutes for other Time Warner execs as well -- the CFO will get $27 million, the chief technology officer will pocket $16.3 million, and the chief operating officer will get $11.7 million.

However, Marcus' stands out for how much money it is for such a small amount of time on the job.

CA Radio: Copper Thieves Knock KFRG, KCAL Off Air

The theft of copper wiring knocked two San Barmardino radio stations off the air this week, according to .

Harvey Wells, vice president of CBS Radio for Southern California, said his station, KFRG 95.1 FM, was off the air for about 90 minutes. It also had to transmit at reduced power, limiting its signal’s reach, for about two hours.

The transmitters for three stations, KFRG, KCAL 96.7 FM and KSGN 89.7 FM, stand in a remote area off North Waterman Avenue north of the San Bernardino city limits. KCAL was off the air for about four hours, said its general manager, Jeff Parke. KSGN was not affected, Wells said.

Wells said someone stole wiring from the building that powers the transmitters.

Copper thieves, who steal from construction sites, building air conditioning units and street lights, among other places, recycle the metal for cash.

“These guys knew what they were doing,” Wells said. “People who don’t could die. If you cut the wrong thing, you will electrocute yourself.”

KFRG 95.1 FM (50Kw) 54dBu Coverage
KFRG is designated as a station that receives emergency alerts about severe weather, missing persons and earthquakes, among other things, and retransmits them to other stations for broadcast.

Rush Limbaugh Finalist for Book Author Of The Year

The Children’s Book Council and its Every Child a Reader program released on Thursday their author-of-the-year finalists for their annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, according to CNN.

However,  Rush Limbuagh's nomination has prompted outrage on social media, given the host’s often-incendiary nature.

Limbaugh's book is titled, "Rush Revere and The Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans" – a time-traveling tale of colonial America and the latest of two books in the "Rush Revere Series" published last year by Simon & Schuster.

The Children’s Book Council issued a public letter defending its finalist selection process following the uproar online and insisting that the author of the year finalists "are determined solely based on titles’ performances on the bestseller lists."

"Some of you have voiced concerns over the selection of finalists from bestseller lists, which you feel are potentially-manipulable indications of the success of a title. We can take this into consideration going forward, but cannot change our procedure for selecting finalists after the fact," the organization said in the letter.

The CBC letter goes on to say the kids, who will start voting next week, ultimately decide which author wins in each of the six categories, including best author. The letter goes on to assure that the organization has a procedure in place to protect against fraud and adult's voting in the contest.

CMT 'All Access' Launches This Weekend

Carrie Underwood, Cody Alan
As CMT All Access with Cody Alan kicks off this weekend on more than 100 affiliates nationwide, the one-hour, Country music and entertainment program will welcome six-time Grammy Award winning Country artist Carrie Underwood.

The Premiere Networks syndicated program featuring the latest news, information and interviews with artists, along with the best in Country music, will originate from the CMT Radio studio in Nashville and will also be available on and the iHeartRadio mobile app, Clear Channel's all-in-one free digital listening service.

Among the stations debuting the program this weekend are: WSIX-FM in Nashville, Tenn., WMZQ-FM in Washington, D.C., WUBL-FM in Atlanta, Ga., KNIX-FM in Phoenix, Ariz., KEEY-FM in Minneapolis, Minn., and WFUS-FM in Tampa, Fla.

CMT All Access joins an exciting lineup of Premiere Networks and CMT programming hosted by Alan, which includes CMT After MidNite, the highly-acclaimed Country music radio program reaching nearly two million weekly listeners on more than 200 radio stations, as well as the award-winning nightly program CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan.

CCM+E Sez Office 'Mist' Is Low Cost Revenue Generator

Bob Pittman
Concerning The NY Post story concerning a 'mist tunnel' at Clear Channel officies in NYC, we get word that it's not exactly a tunnel, but a mist effect and actually located in a hallway approaching the reception desk from the elevator.

The story, which ran in the tabloid’s “Page Six” gossip section, chided Pittman for the expense amid the company's $20.5 billion debt and several rounds of layoffs at its radio stations nationwide.

A Clear Channel spokesperson, said Thursday that the effect is actually a low-cost tool for generating revenue. “It’s part of the innovative presentation capability of our new offices, all of which we use to help advertisers see how their brands and products can be maximized in the context of Clear Channel’s multi-platform assets.”

CBS Radio: Katie Forte To Lead Special Events, Partnerships

Katie Forte
Katie Forte has been named Senior Producer, Strategic Events and Partnerships, CBS RADIO, it was announced today by Amy Stevens, Senior Vice President of Strategic Events and Partnerships, CBS RADIO.

The appointment is effective on Monday, March 31 with Forte based in New York.

In this newly created position as part of CBS RADIO’s growing live events division, Forte will play a key role in the development and management of signature programs that provide audiences and advertisers with one of a kind experiences with their favorite artists, sports stars, newsmakers and CBS RADIO personalities.

Additionally, Forte will serve as a liaison with local venues, arenas and CBS RADIO’s current roster of partners in the entertainment industry, while cultivating new business relationships and opportunities.

“We are fortunate to bring someone of Katie’s caliber to CBS RADIO, having a unique background in marketing, events, social and digital media,” said Stevens.  “I’ve worked hand-in-hand with Katie in the past and I look forward to having her skills and enthusiasm back on my team.  She will be an important influence in our day-to-day execution and long range planning.”

Forte joins CBS RADIO from the Madison Square Garden Company where she was most recently Director, Concerts Marketing, Digital and Social Media.  She began her tenure there in 2006 and has been associated with a variety of high-profile events, award shows, concerts, and press conferences at The Garden, Theater at MSG, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre.

Boston Radio: Jason Wolfe Joins Sportstalk Boston

Jason Wolfe
Jason Wolfe, the former top executive in Boston for Entercom New England, has joined as chief content officer, according to The Boston Business Journal.

Wolfe's first day on the job is April 10. He joins former colleague Glenn Ordway, a long-time fixture in Boston sports radio who was jettisoned from the afternoon drive-time slot at WEEI last year.

Officially launched this week, is an online broadcaster featuring Ordway as well as many of his former guests — including former Boston College and NFL players Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie as well as local radio personality Pete "The Meat" Sheppard — who were regulars on "The Big Show," the long-time afternoon program slotted on WEEI. The new venture's primary program, "Big Show Unfiltered," runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and can be accessed through a traditional web browser.

In February 2013, Ordway announced he was leaving WEEI, owned by Entercom, after more than 20 years as a broadcaster and producer at the station.

His departure from "The Big Show" was part of a broader shakeup at the local sports-radio network, a key player in an increasingly competitive sports-media community in Boston.

VA Radio: C-ville Expecting Three New LPFMs In 2014

Charlottesville, VA radio offerings are about to get beefed up with the addition of several new low-power FM radio stations that have received preliminary FCC approval and could be on air by summer, according to

This week, five months after they put in their FCC application, the founders of one of those stations are finally spilling the beans on their programming plans: They’ll air progressive talk radio all day and hip-hop at night.

“There are needs in the market that aren’t currently being met,” said Jeff Lenert, a probation officer who co-founded the station, WPVC 94.7FM, with local businessman Rod Howard. Lenert, who has served as the executive director for PACEM, the nonprofit that provides shelter for the homeless, pointed out that while Charlottesville already has a variety of local and nationally syndicated conservative talk radio shows, it doesn’t fill what he sees as a hunger for locally produced progressive radio content.

“This is a progressive city, and it stands to reason that it would support this kind of programming,” he said.

Among the successful FCC applicants for other local frequencies are former longtime WNRN station manager Mike Friend, who plans to put a rock station at 92.3 on the FM dial, and Dave Mitchell, the former owner of 107.5FM. While FCC rules require that each station operate independently, Lenert and Friend said there are opportunities for cost saving collaboration.

“These stations have reasonably small coverage areas, so you have to get together and support each other or you’re going to have a problem,” said Friend, who expects the first of the local stations to begin airing this summer and the rest to be sending out signals by the end of the year.

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Teen Climbs Antenna Tower At 1 World Trade Center

Justin Casquejo
A New Jersey teenager who was apparently obsessed with 1 World Trade Center managed to gain access to the building in the middle of the night, climb to the top and take pictures, according to Port Authority police.

Sixteen-year-old Justin Casquejo, of Weehawken, is charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

He allegedly broke in around 4 a.m. Sunday. He had no identification, but may have been dressed like a construction worker.

Police say he accessed 1 World Trade Center through a 1-foot-by-1-foot hole in the fence, and an elevator operator took him to 88th floor. He then climbed to 104th floor and walked past a sleeping guard. That guard has since been fired.

Coming Quickly: Apps by the Dashboard Light

Starting next month, many car buyers will be getting a novel feature: Internet connections with speeds similar to those on the fastest smartphones—and even a few early dashboard-based apps, engineered to be as dumbed-down as possible, according to Technology Review.

Backseat passengers could get streaming movies and fast Wi-Fi connections to smart watches and tablets in (and near) the car. For drivers, high-resolution navigation maps would load quickly, and high-fidelity audio could stream from Internet radio services. But the first dashboard apps will be limited, spare versions of familiar ones like the Weather Channel, Pandora, and Priceline.

The first U.S. model with the fast wireless connection—known as 4G LTE, around 10 times faster than 3G connections—is expected to be the 2015 Audi A3, which goes on sale next month for a starting price of $29,900. Data plans will cost extra—an average of around $16 a month.

GM says it expects to sell 4G-equipped 2015 Chevrolets and other models starting in June. Many other carmakers, including Ford and Toyota, are following suit, both in the U.S. and worldwide, using partnerships with wireless carriers to deliver the connectivity.

By providing apps, carmakers see an opportunity for product differentiation and steady revenue streams. They also suggest that connectivity can lead to new safety features, and that using these onboard services will be safer than furtively glancing at phones.

But when drivers browse the GM AppShop, they shouldn’t expect what they get on an iPhone or a Galaxy phone. GM expects to provide just 10 apps initially, most of them mapping, news, and radio services.

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Listen To the Morning Paper

Tribune Digital Ventures, a technology unit of Chicago-based Tribune Co., is introducing a new mobile app Thursday to provide audio streaming of newspaper stories, enabling listeners to create their own customized news radio stations.

The Newsbeat app aggregates content from hundreds of newspapers and websites, voicing some 7,000 national and local stories each day through announcers and text-to-speech technology.  Available free for iOS and Android devices, the format includes local weather and traffic updates in real time.

"Newsbeat offers a new way to experience the best print and online news in a personalized audio streaming format," Shashi Seth, president of Tribune Digital Ventures, said in a statement. "We've married high-quality journalism from respected reporters and publications with mobile technology to extend its reach and appeal to an audience that is often on-the-go."

Newsbeat will cull stories from hundreds of licensed news sources including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other major newspapers. Overall, some 70 percent of U.S. newspapers are on board as of the launch, according to Seth. The content partners will be paid for use of their stories, while the product will be supported by targeted audio ads inserted in the programming.

Aimed at commuters, Newsbeat can pair mobile devices with Bluetooth systems in cars for a radio-like experience. Drivers can skip or rewind stories, in some cases using voice commands, a process which helps the app learn a user's preference, shaping its content over time.

Listeners can also actively customize the program with areas of interests, sports teams, newspaper sections and favorite publications.

Generally, only the first few paragraphs will be voiced, with the full text available on the mobile device.

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Twin Cities Radio: Love In/On The Air At CCM+E

Falen Bonsett
With only a month to go before their wedding, Falen Bonsett and Paul "Meatsauce" Lambert seem relatively relaxed.

According to, the morning show radio personalities -- she's cohost of "The Dave Ryan Show" on KDWB 101.3 FM and he's with "The Power Trip" on KFXN 100.3 FM  K-FAN -- laugh and banter as they talk about their upcoming nuptials and budding romance that started with Bonsett thinking Lambert was a "weirdo."

"It wasn't love at first sight," Bonsett explained. "Paul isn't my traditional guy. I'm not into sports. The guys I've dated have been rocker-looking kind of guys. He was different. I thought he was a total weirdo, but he was funny."

Paul 'Meatsauce' Lambert
Although they both work for Clear Channel-owned stations located in the same St.
Louis Park building, the two didn't meet for a couple months after Bonsett started at KDWB in February 2012. But the 29-year-old from New Washington, Ind., knew she liked Lambert's sense of humor before that thanks to his Twitter feed.

They ended up meeting in April 2012 at a KDWB Skyroom performance by singer Ellie Goulding. A first date followed that summer -- and that was all it took for Bonsett.

"When we went on our first date, I just knew," she said. "I just had a feeling I would probably marry him."

Baltimore Radio: Get Well wishes For Maria Dennis

Maria Dennis
Radio personality Maria Dennis announced on the air Thursday morning that she has just been diagnosed with leukemia, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Dennis is one third of the popular "Maria and The MIX Morning Show with Reagan and Jon." She explained her three-week absence from the show to listeners on the CBS affiliate WWMX 106.5 FM by describing how she initially went in for a routine colonoscopy.

"My blood work came back all over the ballpark, and they didn't know why," Dennis told her co-hosts Reagan Warfield and Jon Boesche. "So they did further tests, one thing led to another, and they decided that I have A.L.L., which is leukemia. It was a shock to me."

Since the broadcast, thousands of get-well wishes have poured into the station in messages that have been texted, left on the station's Facebook site and tweeted under the hashtag "#getwellmaria."

Dennis said during the broadcast that she doesn't know when she will be released from the hospital. Her main concern, she said, is helping her 7-year-old and 9-year-old sons cope with her absence and prepare for changes in her appearance.

Listeners are urged to send get-well wishes to Dennis through the station's Facebook page or through the mail at Maria Dennis, Mix 106.5, 1423 Clarkview Road, Baltimore, MD 21209.

Label Promo Rep Beaten In Pittsburgh

Bill Macky
Black River's promotions rep Bill Macky was attacked Wednesday night while waiting for a cab in the Pittsburgh area.

The label said "Although Bill's injuries are not life-threatening, we are asking our Country music family to join us in offering prayers for Bill, his family and the medical staff attending to him."

Macky was in the Pittsburgh with a new artist, John King, making the rounds of visiting radio stations.  The label reports King was not with Macky at the time of the attack.

Police are investigating.

Johnny Cash's GrandNiece Murdered In Nashville

Courtney Cash
A 27-year-old man has been charged with fatally stabbing the great niece of legendary country entertainer Johnny Cash, according to The Tennsessean.

Wayne Masciarella of Cape May, N.J. was charged with first-degree murder in the Wednesday death of 23-year-old Courtney Cash. He was also accused of stabbing her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson.

Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews said Masciarella had gotten into a dispute with Johnson and Cash at their Baxter home before he allegedly stabbed them both and fled. The three were believed to be friends, the sheriff said.

After the attack, Johnson took his 20-month-old daughter to a Sparta hospital. The baby was not injured, but Johnson was treated for multiple wounds. His daughter was later taken to a relative's house.

When police arrived at the Baxter home, they found the body of Courtney Cash hidden in a cedar box.

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March 21 In Radio History

In 1921...Walter Kerr Theater opened at 223 W 48th St NYC.  It was operated by ABC as a radio and then television studio between 1943 and 1965.

In 1922...KGW-AM, Portland, Oregon began broadcasting.

The Oregonian newspaper created KGW-AM (now KPOJ) by purchasing an existing transmitter from the Shipowners Radio Service. The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed the station, and it began broadcasting on March 21, 1922

The studio was housed on the 11th floor of The Oregonian Building Tower at Sixth & Alder Streets. The transmitter was located on the 13th floor. The antenna consisted of a 70-foot, four-wire inverted "L"-type flattop, suspended between a 60-foot mast on top of the building and a 95-foot tower on the nearby Northwestern Bank Building.

R.G. Calvert supervised the operation and Richard “Dick” Haller was the program director. Their aim was to give their listeners news fresh from the press with the best music and outstanding speakers. KGW’s early announcers and writers were usually former newspaper employees, and the first engineers and technicians came from the ranks of former maritime wireless radio operators.

When the station first went on the air, 5,000 radio sets were said to have tuned in. Speakers included The Oregonian’s Editor, Edgar Piper and Mayor George Baker. There was also an opera singer, a novelist and a live musical presentation. Dick Haller became known as KGW’s “Million-Dollar Voice” and his broadcasts were very popular. He would go on to a successful career with NBC in San Francisco.

As an early radio station experiencing tremendous popularity, KGW implemented many innovative new broadcasting ideas. KGW set itself apart from the other stations by having the first radio variety show in the nation, the first audience participation show, the first quiz program, the first library program, the first radio debate, the first in-school listening program and the first singing commercial. In 1925, on-air advertising became a source of KGW’s operating revenue. KGW produced the first-ever singing commercial for Sears, Roebuck and Company in the late 1920s.

KGW was the first station in Oregon to affiliate with a national broadcasting service when they carried the inaugural program of the National Broadcasting Company’s Orange Network on April 5, 1927. The Orange Network was known as the NBC Pacific Coast Network.

The nationally famous Hoot Owls, officially known as "The Order of Hoot Owls Roosting in the Oregonian Tower" aired from 1923 to 1933 as a 2-1/2 hour variety show that was broadcast to over one million listeners. Their slogan soon became "Keep Growing Wiser," whose initial letters represented the KGW call letters.

One of the performers on the Hoot Owls program, Mel Blanc, achieved fame as the author of cartoon characterization in later years in Hollywood where he became the nation’s voice for cartoon characters such as Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Blanc, who received his high school education in Portland, joined the program in 1927. Nicknamed "The Grand Snicker" on the Hoot Owls, Blanc became well known for his comedy, as well as his skills as a storyteller, ad-libber, musician, vocalist, and, later, orchestra pit conductor.

Blanc left KGW in 1933 and moved down the hall to perform on sister station KEX in the popular "Cobwebs and Nuts" program, before moving to Hollywood in 1935.

In 1924...WJZ-AM, New York City, became the first station to broadcast a foreign language course.

The WJZ callsign was first used on what is now WABC in New York City. The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, located originally in Newark, New Jersey. WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York, and in 1926 WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network. In the 1929 movie The Cocoanuts the station was name-checked by Chico Marx in a sequence of running gags between Chico and Groucho: Chico uses the station's call-sign as the punchline of a punning joke based on his confusion over the meaning of the word "radius", which he confuses with 'radios', leading to the mention of the station's call-sign. NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942. ABC later established WJZ-FM and WJZ-TV at the same time in 1948.

In 1953 ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, and changed the call letters of their New York area stations to WABC, WABC-FM (now WPLJ) and WABC-TV. Four years later, Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired Baltimore television station WAAM (channel 13) and changed its call letters to WJZ-TV, which remained an ABC affiliate until 1995 when the station switched to CBS.

In 1939…Kate Smith recorded "God Bless America," a 1918 Irving Berlin composition that he had revised and she had introduced on her radio show in November 1938.

In 1948..."Stop the Music" debuted on the ABC Radio Network starring Bert Parks.

In 1952...Alan Freed hosts first rock concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, at the Cleveland Arena.

At the time, its most remarkable feature was its mix of black and white musical performers, in a revue intended for a racially mixed audience, at a time when almost all performances, radio stations and record labels were de facto segregated by race. One popular belief is that this fact predisposed the authorities to seek reasons to limit or bar the show.

The concert was organized by Alan Freed (a disc jockey considered to have coined the term "Rock and Roll" at WJW-Radio), along with Lew Platt, a local concert promoter, and Freed's sponsors, including Leo Mintz, owner of the Record Rendezvous store. More tickets were printed than the arena's actual capacity, in part due to counterfeiting, and a printing error (tickets for a follow-up ball were sold with the same date printed after the first had sold out). With an estimated 20,000 individuals trying to crowd into an arena that held slightly more than half that — and worries that a riot might break out as people tried to crowd in — the fire authorities shut down the concert after the first song by opening act Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams ended. Freed made a public apology on WJW the next day.

Cleveland rock radio station WMMS 100.7 FM attempted to stage a revival of the concert in 1986 under the name "Moondog Coronation Ball II"; then-program director John Gorman had intended for the event to serve as an oldies rock and roll tribute concert – part of the campaign to bring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland. For legal reasons, the event never materialized.

A few years later in 1992, Gorman, then at local oldies radio station WMJI 105.7 FM, successfully organized a 40th anniversary concert called "Moondog Coronation Ball '92". The concert has been held every year since, featuring oldies rock and roll acts, and sponsored by WMJI. In recent years, the event has been held at Quicken Loans Arena.

In 1989...Dick Clark announced he was stepping down as host of American Bandstand after 33 years

In 1995...the city of New York sold the two Radio stations it owned: WNYC AM and FM.

WNYC is one of the oldest radio stations in the United States. Funds for the establishment of the station were approved on June 2, 1922 by the New York City Board of Estimate and Apportionment. WNYC made its first official broadcast two years later on July 8, 1924, at 570 AM with a second-hand transmitter shipped from Brazil. With the commencement of WNYC's operations, the City of New York became one of the first American municipalities to be directly involved in broadcasting.

In 1928 WNYC was forced into a time-sharing arrangement on 570 AM with WMCA, another pioneering New York radio outlet. This situation lasted until 1931, when the Federal Radio Commission (a forerunner to today's FCC) moved WNYC to 810 AM. The frequency move did not help WNYC from an operational standpoint as it now shared its frequency with the more-powerful WCCO in Minneapolis, over 1,200 miles to the west. WNYC was now limited to daytime-only operations, broadcasting from sunrise to sunset.

Shortly after assuming the mayoralty in 1994, Rudolph W. Giuliani announced he was considering selling the WNYC stations. Giuliani believed that broadcasting was no longer essential as a municipal entity, and that any financial compensation would be used to help the City cover budget shortfalls. The final decision was made in March 1995: While the City opted to divest WNYC-TV (now WPXN-TV) through a blind auction, WNYC-AM-FM was sold to the WNYC Foundation for $20 million over a six-year period–far less than what the stations could have been sold for if they were placed on the open market.

While this potential sale put an end to the occasional political intrusions of the past, it required the WNYC Foundation to embark on a major appeal towards listeners, other foundations, and private benefactors. The station's audience and budget have since continued to grow since the split from the City.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FCC's Clyburn Urges 'Balanced' Approach To Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission should seek a “balanced” approach to its plans to tighten broadcast TV ownership rules in order to help small broadcast owners, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn told reporters March 18, according to

The FCC is planning to vote March 31 on an order that seeks to adjust the agency's media attribution rules to take into account the use of some joint sales agreements (JSAs) and shared services agreements (SSAs) among broadcast TV stations. JSAs and SSAs, which combine advertising and resources between TV stations that compete in the same market, are sometimes used to circumvent the commission's media ownership rules.

Some critics of the FCC's forthcoming media ownership rulemaking argue that restricting the use of JSAs and SSAs could harm minority media ownership and other public interest goals.

“There are abuses that need to be addressed, but there are also opportunities we want to nurture and support,” Clyburn said at an event hosted by the Free State Foundation. “What you'll see on the March 31st agenda is a pathway towards a balanced process that will take into account both goals.”

Mignon Clyburn
Clyburn, a Democrat who served as the first African American FCC chairwoman in the interim period before FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was appointed and confirmed. She plays a critical role in Wheeler's effort to adjust media ownership rules. The two Republicans on the five person commission have voiced their opposition to the proposal and a vote by Clyburn against the rulemaking would sink the order.

Clyburn declined to say how she planned to vote on the order.

The FCC currently prohibits broadcast companies from owning two or more full power television stations in the same local market. If the rule change is approved an owner of one broadcast station in a market that sells 15 percent or more of the advertising time for another competing station in the same market will be considered to have an ownership interest in that station.

The FCC will provide companies who exceed current ownership restrictions two years to unwind their relationships or they may seek a waiver from the new rules.

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NAB: FCC Should Look at 'Collusive' Cable Ad Sales

NAB's Gordon Smith
In the spirit of the best defense is a good offense, the National Association of Broadcasters wants the FCC to look into cable ad buying consortia it argues are collusive arrangements that allow them to game the system and charge above-market rates, according to Broadcasting And Cable.

Cable ops brand the NAB effort as 'desperate.'

Cable operators have been cheering on an FCC proposal to limit TV station joint sales agreements (JSAs), which they see as a way to unfairly coordinate retrans negotiations, and seeking similar help in Congress, while broadcasters have been arguing that the arrangements are beneficial and should not be circumscribed because they promote localism by "increasing broadcast programming, especially local news, supporting the development of diverse and niche programming, and encouraging technological investment."

"We believe that collusion in the pay-TV advertising business deserves better oversight from the FCC," said NAB president Gordon Smith.

In a filing with the commission, which is preparing to vote March 31 on limiting JSAs, NAB pointed to interconnects as evidence that broadcasters faced their own coordinated competition, but did not specifically ask it to look into the practice.

But NAB said Wednesday the FCC needs to investigate.

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NYC Radio: Official! John Gambling Returns April 14

In a surprise move, John Gambling will return to New York radio as of April 14, reports the NY Daily News.

He will be heard from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily on Salem's WNYM 970 AM, The Answer station general manager and vice president Jerry Crowley said Wednesday.

Gambling left his longtime morning show at WOR 710 AM in December, saying he was ready to retire.

While he had called in to his friends at 970 since he left, it surprised many people in radio — including Crowley — that he would return full time.

"I think when he left WOR he really was done," said Crowley. "He was set to go.

"But listeners missed him. We had many callers who said they used to listen to him on WOR and they didn't know where to go now.

"So I begged and begged and it paid off."

Judge Tosses Eddie Sotelo Extortion Suit

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed an extortion lawsuit brought by popular Spanish-language radio personality Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo against six former staff members of his canceled Univision Radio show — and ruled that Sotelo may be liable for his adversaries’ legal fees, according to the LA Times.

In a civil lawsuit filed in August, Sotelo claimed that he was the victim of a shakedown by the former workers and their attorneys.

Sotelo maintained that the group banded together to demand $4.9 million from him in exchange for their silence — or else they would go public with additional allegations about boorish behavior on his Univision Radio show, which had been canceled a month earlier.

Judge Richard A. Stone dismissed Sotelo's lawsuit late last week, finding that Sotelo had failed to prove that he would prevail with his extortion claims during a trial. The judge also said the former workers could file a petition demanding that Sotelo pay their legal costs.

Sotelo's attorney, Jeffrey Spitz, vowed to appeal.

“Piolin” means Tweety Bird, and Univision agreed to end their partnership in July a few months after a producer on the show, Alberto “Beto” Cortez, complained to the network that Sotelo had sexually harassed him over a three-year period.  Afterwards, everal others who had been involved with Sotelo’s show brought their concerns to the lawyers who were representing Cortez in his dealings with Univision.

Sotelo, who now has a morning show on SiriusXM satellite radio, has described his former staff as ungrateful and opportunistic.

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Miami Radio: Len Weiner To Program The Ticket

Len Weiner
Lincoln Financial Media has announced that Len Weiner will be the new phoram director for it's Sports simulcast WAXY 790 AM/104.3 FM in Miami.

Weiner most recently was VP/Programming for Genesis Communications in Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne.

"I'm excited that Len's joining our Ticket Team," said Maureen Lesourd, SVP/GM of LFM/Miami. "His depth of experience as a sports radio programmer, producer and talent developer plus his solid track record for strengthening big brands makes him the perfect choice."

Weiner commented, "I can't wait to get started at The Ticket. It's a thrill and honor to join the team and continue to build and grow this great brand. I would also like to thank Maureen and (LFM SVP of Programming & Operations) John Dimick for this opportunity."

WAXY 1043.FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage

Jax Radio: NFL Jags Sign Deals For New Media Outlets

The Jacksonville Jaguars have reached agreements with new flagship radio and TV broadcast partners for carriage of their on-air programming in and around the Jacksonville area.

For the first time, Jaguars games and official team radio programming will be heard on Sports WJXL 1010AM/92.5 FM, the team’s flagship radio partner. In addition, the games will be simulcast on Renda Broadcasting's WGNE 99.9 FM Gator Country.

WJXL 92.5 FM (1.7Kw) 60dBu Coverage
The TV programming, which includes preseason game broadcasts, will return after 11 years to WJXT-TV Channel 4, and in addition the preseason games will air in the Orlando market on Channel 4’s partner station, WKMG Local 6. WJXT was previously the Jaguars’ local television partner in 2001-02.

“We’re very proud to team with all of these partners – 1010XL, 99.9 Gator Country and WJXT Channel 4 and WKMG – and we look forward to expanding our radio and TV programming with them,” Jaguars President Mark Lamping said in making the announcement. “Given the size of the Jacksonville market, it is critical that we reach all current and potential Jaguars fans.  Our new partners will help us do that in Jacksonville as well as the surrounding region, including the important market of Orlando.

“1010XL brings a broad audience of loyal listeners and avid sports fans, 99.9 Gator Country gives us greater reach with our game day broadcasts to an important new demographic, and no TV station is more focused on Jacksonville and the local market than Channel 4,” Lamping added.

WGNE 99.9 FM (48Kw) 60dBu Coverage
The partnerships are multiyear agreements and terms are undisclosed.