Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Aircheck: Musicradio 89 WLS From March 1977

The late 70s. WLS was the number one station in Chicago, even with FM competitors in the Top 40 format. It’s FM station at 94.7 was WDAI, an Album Rock station that had been around since 1971. WLS AM had been known in the early 70s as the “Rock of Chicago”. With that background, WLS was solidly known as the place for Rock music in the market and there wasn’t a station around strong enough to challenge the brand.

In 1977, WLS is using the “MusicRadio 89″ branding which had proven itself so successful at sister station WABC New York. The jingles at this time are all from JAM Creative Productions in Dallas, Texas, and are all fairly new,  introduced on the air earlier in 1976.

As was common back then, WLS IS dayparted, with the more middle of the road songs being played during Lujack’s Morning Show and Edwards’ Midday Program. By the time Landecker’s show goes on, this is a blowtorch of a station with the hardest rock & disco music out there, and it’s nighttime, with WLS’ signal reaching out to half the United States and Canada, parts of Mexico and even the Caribbean and other faraway places!

Contests are a staple of WLS programming, with constant promotions and on-air giveaways.

Courtesy of Airchexx, this is a full day composite. It starts with Lyle Dean (WLS News) and moves through the days’ different shows including Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, Bob Sirott, Larry Lujack, Steve King and Yvonne Daniels.

April 5 In Radio History

In 1922KOB-AM, Albuquerque, New Mexico began broadcasting.

Ralph Willis Goddard
The station was founded at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University) by Ralph Willis Goddard, and began broadcasting tests in 1919 under the call letters 5XD. On April 5, 1922 the station began regular operation as KOB, a callsign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island.  New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928. In 1933 the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.

In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations passed to Time-Life in 1952 and to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1957. Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986. In order to trade on the well-known KOB calls, the new owners simply added an extra "K" to the radio station's call letters.

KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ) over the use of the 770 kHz frequency. KOB was moved there from 1030 to make room for WBZ in Boston. While the Federal Communications Commission requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to allow the stations to interoperate over large areas, the station refused to comply, encroaching on the range KOB was intended to cover. Only after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue settled, when the FCC assigned KOB to a new license class. KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007; Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.

In 1922…WDZ-AM, Decatur, Illinois began broadcasting.

WDZ started in the office of the James Bush grain elevator in Tuscola, Illinois. The original call sign was 9JR and the original intent of the station was to broadcast grain reports, making it the first radio station to do so. The station later started mixing some music in with the grain reports.

The radio station's power was increased to 1000 watts in 1939 with a new 252-foot (77 m) tower. During that time, WDZ used remote broadcasts that was unique for a rural station. The station started the use of remote broadcasting equipment which included a truck called, the "WDZ 'White Relay Truck"', equipped with a 100-watt transmitter to relay broadcasts from area locations, and some two-watt, battery operated transmitters that could be worn on the backs of assistants when a program originated from remote sites.   The station was on 1020 kHz in 1941, but changed to 1050 kHz, and has remained there since.

1050 kHz has been a Mexican Clear Channel since 1941 (was a U.S. Clear Channel before 1941), and U.S. operations on Mexican Clear Channels was restricted to 1,000 watts and to daytime operations, only, until the "Rio" treaty took effect in the late 1980s (before 1941, 1020 kHz was a U.S. Clear Channel and that, too, was restricted). After "Rio" took effect, it was a simple matter for WDZ to add night operations with as little as 250 watts, and today the station is indeed operating with its pre-"Rio" maximum daytime power and its post-"Rio" minimum nighttime power. Anything more than 1,000 watts days and 250 watts nights very likely would require installation of a directional antenna system at great capital expense. WDZ is diplexed (i.e., it uses the very same vertical radiator) with co-owned WSOY.

WDZ Performer's Studio
In 1949, the station moved from Tuscola to Decatur.   The relocation of WDZ from Tuscola to the west and to Decatur greatly facilitated the eventual allocation of a station on 1080 kHz in Oak Lawn, suburban Chicago, IL.

WDZ Transmitter Studio
On March 31, 2008, the station switched to a sports radio format as part of the Fox Sports Radio network. Within a year the station switched programming from Fox Sports Radio to ESPN Radio.

WDZ and its sister stations WCZQ 105.5 FM Monticello and WDZQ 95.1 FM, 1340 WSOY 1340 AM and WSOY 102.9 FM Decatur, were sold to Neuhoff Media in February 2009.

In 1982…After 36 years, the record industry trade magazine Record World ceased publication and filed for bankruptcy protection.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Report: Storm Clouds For Cumulus

Jerry Del Colliano
Radio industry analyst and author Jerry Del Colliano  of Inside Music Media revealed on Thursday a stunning ratings nosedive across a broad array of formats for Cumulus Media’s Citadel acquisition, reports

In addition to its virtual implosion of its bedrock conservative AM talk stations, Cumulus’ dramatic decline in numbers is meaningful because the Citadel acquisition made the company highly leveraged with $2.23 billion of debt.

Since acquiring Citadel in September 2011, Cumulus’ ratings plunge has resulted in stunning losses of audience share for 39 of 42 major stations, including such flagships as:
  • WABC/NY down 44%
  • KABC/LA down 52%
  • WLS/CHI down 57%
  • KGO/SF down 58%
  • KSFO/SF down 38%
  • WBAP/DAL down 32%
  • WLS-FM/CHI (Classic Hits) down 45.9%
  • KLOS-FM/LA (Classic Rock) down 24.6%
  • WGVX-FM/MN (Sports) down 80.8%
  • WKDF-FM/Nashville (Country) down 45.2%
  • WDVD-FM/Detroit (Hot Adult Contemporary) down 38.3%
  • KBEE-FM/SLC (Hot Adult Contemporary) down 50%
As the data reveals, the decline has been broad-based and steep in a host of genres that have previously been considered bulletproof, like Country and Sports. In addition, Cumulus’ ratings vortex has eviscerated its traditionally strong talk radio audience, which has been a stanchion of the grassroots conservative movement for over twenty years.

Del Colliano says Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey “has lost talent, fired what remained,” and “singlehandedly killed talk radio.”

Last year, conservative luminary Sean Hannity sent shockwaves through the radio world when he decided to dump the Dickeys and Cumulus for Clear Channel.  The results for Cumulus have not been pretty. Hannity replacement Michael Savage has seen a 49% loss in the all-important 25 to 54 age demographic on WABC-NY and WBAP-AM Dallas.

Read More Now

Univision Radio Cuts, Centralizes Programming

Univision Communications is restructuring its radio division, eliminating dozens of workers at stations around the country as the company centralizes its programming functions, according to The LA Times.

Univision confirmed Thursday that there had been layoffs, but it declined to say how many people had lost their jobs as part of this week's realignment.

The nation's largest Spanish-language media company, which owns 68 radio stations, this week began trimming programming staff and some on-air hosts, including in Chicago, in an effort to cut costs.

Rather than rely on staff at the various stations, the company instead is creating three programming centers -- in Los Angeles, San Antonio and Miami -- to produce entertainment for the station chain.

“The content teams ... will provide customized and localized content across all of our markets, digital, and beyond,” Jose Valle, president of Univision Radio, said this week in an open letter distributed by Univision.
Stations will continue to employ local staff members to work with advertisers.

“Local promotions and activation teams, as well as local DJs, will continue serving clients and local audiences in each and every market,” Valle wrote.

The privately held Univision has been reviewing its operations in advance of a planned public offering of its stock, which could come this year or early next year.

Some of the company's owners have been looking for an exit, according to knowledgeable people who declined to be identified discussing internal matters.

Read More Now

NYC Radio: Boomer Apologizes For 'Insensitive Comments'

WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM morning co-host Boomer Esiason says he’s reached out to the New York Mets and is “truly sorry” for “insensitive comments” made earlier this week regarding second baseman Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave.

Esiason issued the apology at the start of Friday’s “Boomer & Carton” show:

“I want to say again on this radio show that in no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do. I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that. That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do. And the other thing, too, that I really felt bad about is that Daniel Murphy and Tori Murphy were dragged into a conversation, and their whole life was exposed. And it shouldn’t have been."

Hartford Radio: John G. Rowland Resigns From WTIC-AM

John G. Roland
Former Gov. John G. Rowland, who was named Monday as a conspirator in a criminal case involving a friend's 2012 congressional campaign, abruptly announced his resignation Thursday as a WTIC 1080 AM radio host as his drive-time talk show was ending at 6 p.m, accortding to

"Alright, tomorrow the Red Sox will be on at this hour, and you'll be enjoying them," Rowland said, his voice composed. "But I also want to say that today will be my last show as I leave the station to take care of some personal issues."

Rowland, 56, once again the target of federal prosecutors nearly a decade after a previous scandal chased him from office, never identified the personal issues, but documents made public Monday indicate he is likely to soon face a federal conspiracy charge.

“We accept Mr. Rowland’s decision to step down at this time," Jenneen Lee, the station's program director, said in a statement posted on the station's website soon after Rowland went off the air.

The Rev. Will Marotti, who was Rowland's spiritual adviser and served as his co-host when Rowland went on the air in September 2010, will take over the 3-to-6 p.m. show on the CBS Radio station beginning Monday, Lee said.

Read More Now

Little Rock Radio: Three Ousted At N/T KARN 102.7 FM

UPDATE 4/5 6AM: Adam Thomas is replacing Dave Elswick as PD at KARN/Little Rock. He's been News Director at both WCCO/Minneapolis and KTAR/Phoenix. Thomas says he is a believer in “full service local news and information that is accessible to the entire market” and adds, “News and information will define KARN-FM’s future.”

Earlier Posting...

Newsradio KARN 102.9 FM seems to be undergoing some unexpected changes with the departure of three well known radio hosts.

Dave Elswick has announced via social media that he has been let go from Cumulus Media, along with morning host Bob Steel and News Director Jack Heinritz.

There is no word at this time who will replace the hosts.

The schedule on KARN's web page currently lists paid programming between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

KARN 102.9FM (50Kw) 60dBu Coverage
The following is the statement on Facebook from Elswick:
"I ask for your prayers tonight. After nearly 14 years on KARN I was fired by Cumulus Media. Bob Steel and News Director Jack Heinritz were also fired. I have no idea what will be on the station tomorrow. Know that I love everyone of you who have supported me over these years. God Bless"

ACM Awards Show Is Sunday

The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions have announced that Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow, Lee Brice, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts will all perform on the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

It was also announced that presenters including Thea Andrews,Guy Fieri,LL COOL J, Jewel, Olivia Munn, Nancy O’Dell, Chris O’Donnell, Clay Walker and Trisha Yearwood will appear on the ceremony which will be co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton and broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.


All of these artists join previously announced performers including Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Shakira, George Strait, Keith Urban, The Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line, and Lady Antebellum with legendary musician Stevie Nicks as well as previously announced presenters including Garth Brooks and Florida Georgia Line.

Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow will perform, “I Hold On,” Lee Brice will perform his hit single, “I Drive Your Truck,” Brad Paisley will make the national television debut of his new single “River Bank” from his forthcoming album with a special performance at MGM Grand’s Talent Pool, Darius Rucker will perform “Wagon Wheel,” and Rascal Flatts will be performing “Rewind” at the 4th Annual ACM Fan Jam via live remote at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

David Letterman Announces Retirement Plans

Late-night TV host David Letterman is throwing in the towel, after a 32-year run.

Mr. Letterman, 66, announced during a taping of CBS’s “Late Show” on Thursday that he would retire when his contract expires in 2015, bringing an end to his reign as the longest-serving late-night talk show host in television history.

Indy Radio: David Letterman Got His Start In Radio

David Letterman
David Letterman's decision to retires comes less than two months after NBC's long-dominant talk show host Jay Leno, 63, handed the reins of "The Tonight Show" to Jimmy Fallon, who is 24 years his junior. That shift followed ABC's decision last year to move another young host, Jimmy Kimmel, into the 11:35 p.m. late night slot.

Letterman had long been a strong No. 2 in the late night rankings to Mr. Leno, according to But Mr. Fallon has trounced the competition since his debut, especially among younger viewers. Mr. Letterman, whose average viewer is 58.6 years old, has this year ranked third behind both Mr. Fallon and Mr. Kimmel in the 18-49 age group that advertisers covet.

Mr. Letterman began his career in radio as a talk show host before moving into comedy. After appearing as a regular guest on "The Tonight Show," then hosted by his mentor Johnny Carson, he moved into late night in 1982 as the host of NBC's "Late Night." When Mr. Carson retired in 1992, Mr. Letterman was seen as an obvious successor, but NBC opted instead for Mr. Leno. Mr. Letterman left to head up CBS's "Late Show," where he quickly established himself as a cultural force.

Letterman began his broadcasting career as an announcer and newscaster at the Ball State University's student-run radio station—WBST—a 10-watt campus station which now is part of Indiana Public Radio. He was fired for treating classical music with irreverence. He then became involved with the founding of another campus station—WAGO-AM.

He credits Paul Dixon, host of the Paul Dixon Show, a Cincinnati-based talk show also shown in Indianapolis while he was growing up, for inspiring his choice of career:  "I was just out of college [in 1969], and I really didn't know what I wanted to do. And then all of a sudden I saw him doing it [on TV]. And I thought: That's really what I want to do!"

Letterman also was a radio talk show host on WNTS (AM), and on Indianapolis television station WLWI (now called WTHR) as an anchor, and weatherman. He received some attention for his unpredictable on-air behavior, which included congratulating a tropical storm for being upgraded to a hurricane and predicting hail stones "the size of canned hams."  He also starred in a local kiddie show, made wisecracks as host of a late night TV show called "Freeze-Dried Movies" (he once acted out a scene from "Godzilla" using plastic dinosaurs), and hosted a talk show that aired early on Saturday mornings called "Clover Power," in which he interviewed 4-H members about their projects.

Here is an aircheck  Michael Griffin on then-WNAP Indianapolis, followed by Cris "Moto" Conner. Look for a very early comedy bit by David Letterman around the 7:15 time mark. The last couple minutes are various cuts from various Indy stations around and before that time.

Despite the recent reshuffling by rival broadcast networks and the changing economics of late night that have forced budget cuts, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves had told Mr. Letterman that he wanted him to stay on board. But Mr. Letterman sent a strong signal of his intentions last year when he only renewed his contract by 12 months into 2015.

"When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn't make the moment any less poignant for us," said Mr. Moonves in a statement.

CBS Radio Unveils New Website, Streaming Player

CBS Radio has announced the unveiling of a new website for and a new streaming player.

According to CBS Local Digital Media President Ezra Kucharz, the redesigned website features more than just live audio and video simulcasts of our stations, also presents original programming, live webcasts, exclusive editorial features and storytelling, and interviews with some of the biggest artists and personalities in the world.  Indeed, we have taken a different strategy than others in the industry by recognizing that this “other” content has tremendous value to our audiences.

With this latest upgrade he claims the website has now been transformed the platform into an unparalleled destination -- an interactive music network.

Highlights of the new player include:
  • Fresh look and feel, with improved interactivity
  • Ability to be embedded on other sites
  • Improved ad insertion capabilities
  • Better-quality playback and streaming
  • Program schedules available in real-time
  • Expanded social media opportunities
  • Play history
  • Artist and track information integration
  • Simple song purchase
  • Enhanced station guide and navigation experience
Ezra Kucharz
Kucharz states, "Our company sets itself apart because we embrace digital.  With U.S. consumers now owning an average of four digital devices and spending 60 hours per week consuming content across these various platforms, according to Nielsen, we are at an advantage to reach the consumer whenever and however they access content.  Having forged decades-long relationships with such consumers, our long-term business has been and continues to be built on credibility, trust, innovation, and providing superior content."

Updated mobile apps will be available in the coming months.

SiriusXM Radio: Opie And Anthony Diss Obamacare

The hosts of “Opie & Anthony Show” on SiriusXM Radio went off on Obamacare Thursday after revealing their health care plans have been cancelled due to new regulations.

According to TheBlaze, Greg “Opie” Hughes, who has a wife and two kids, said he recently received a cancellation notice in the mail, voiding a health care plan that was “perfect” for him and his family. He also angrily described just how complicated the associated paperwork is, which he said might be done on purpose.

“I don’t know why we’re not having a revolution at this point,” Hughes said.

“We should!” Anthony Cumia, the show’s co-host, replied.

Cumia also sarcastically called Hughes out for pushing lies being created by the Republican Party.

“You’re lying though, because this didn’t happen to anybody,” he joked.

The notion caused Hughes to launch into a fiery tirade on how “millions” of people are being called liars for pointing out that Obamacare has forced them to lose their health insurance. So why would they all be lying?

“Because they can’t f***ing grasp that Obama lied to the American people when he said you can keep your insurance,” Cumia answered.

Cumia also blasted people who are always shouting for the wealthy to pay their “fair share,” saying they have “no f***ing clue” how much people in higher income brackets are actually paying.

“Let me come over and take over half of your money and see how you feel about it,” he added.

Listen to the entire segment below — the Obamacare talk starts at around 6:00 (WARNING: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE):

NAB Show To Offer Digital Strategy Sessions

Television and radio broadcasters are utilizing new digital strategies to execute campaigns across multiple platforms, engage viewers and generate new revenue. Next week at NAB Show in Las Vegas, two conference programs will address this evolution: Digital Think Tank for television on Tuesday, April 8 and the Digital Strategies Exchange for Radio on Wednesday, April 9, both part of the Broadcast Management Conference.

These session tracks are designed for general managers and principal digital managers of stations and groups who have major responsibility for developing content and/or generating digital revenue.

During NAB Show's Digital Think Tank, held April 8, from 2:30-6 p.m., digital experts from companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter will discuss strategies, products and services that impact digital revenue including native advertising and ad exchanges. The program's networking events and reception will give digital managers and station general managers the opportunity to exchange ideas. Digital Think Tank is sponsored by Internet Broadcasting.

On Wednesday, April 9, at 9:30 a.m., GM Primer: Digital Agencies focuses on issues that management must consider when deciding how to package and market the station's digital services. Twenty-five digital managers will also participate in a special Google AdWords Certification training class.

The Digital Strategies Exchange for Radio (DSX4r), presented by NAB Labs, is a one-day workshop on Wednesday, April 9. It focuses on the new technologies affecting radio and provides non-technical managers with the tools needed to leverage their digital assets. Radio digital leaders will share a variety of best practices and updates on connected car technology, hybrid radio, digital audience measurement, branding, hiring, social media and new products. Additionally, there will be a lunchtime global digital perspectives keynote with radio futurologist, James Cridland of Media UK.

The NAB Show, held April 5-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, is the world's largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums.

April 4 In Radio History

In 1922...WAAB, Baton Rouge, Louisiana became the first station in the United States to have call letters that began with "W".

In 1996...the Howard Stern Radio program debuted on KJFK-FM, Austin, Texas.

Don Imus
In 2007...Don Imus called the Rutgers women basketball team "nappy-headed hos". The comment erupted into a firestorm of condemnation which a week later led to him being fired from his nationally syndicated radio show.

On April 4, 2007, during a discussion about the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, Imus characterized the Rutgers University women's basketball team players as "rough girls," commenting on their tattoos. His executive producer Bernard McGuirk responded by referring to them as "hardcore hos". The discussion continued with Imus describing the girls as "nappy-headed hos" and McGuirk remarking that the two teams looked like the "jigaboos versus the wannabes" mentioned in Spike Lee's film, School Daze; apparently referring to the two teams' differing appearances.

After outrage from the initial reports, Imus dismissed the incident as "some idiot comment meant to be amusing".  He also stated that "nappy-headed hoes" is a term that rap artists use to refer to African-American women.

He said: "That phrase [nappy-headed ho] didn't originate in the White Community. That phrase originated in the Black community. Young Black women all through that society are demeaned and disparaged and disrespected by their own Black men, and they are called that name in Black hip hop."

In response to mounting public censure, Imus issued a statement of apology:

I want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning regarding the Rutgers women's basketball team, which lost to Tennessee in the NCAA championship game on Tuesday. It was completely inappropriate and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry.

On April 9, Imus appeared on Al Sharpton's syndicated radio talk show, Keepin' It Real with Al Sharpton, to address the controversy. Sharpton called the comments "abominable", "racist", and "sexist", and repeated his earlier demand that Imus be fired. Imus said, "Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far. Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it."

The Rutgers basketball team held a news conference at which coach C. Vivian Stringer stated that the team would meet with Imus to discuss his comments. Several of the players expressed their outrage over his remarks. Team captain Essence Carson said Imus' remarks had "stolen a moment of pure grace from us".

On April 11, 2007, Steve Capus of NBC News, announced that MSNBC would no longer simulcast Imus in the Morning, effective immediately. The next day, CBS Radio canceled Imus in the Morning, effective immediately. CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves stated:

From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent. There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.  Moonves had met with Sharpton and Jesse Jackson shortly before the announcement was made.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Emmis Reports 4Q Radio Revenue Is Up 11 Percent

Emmis Communications Corporation today announced results for its fourth fiscal quarter and full-year ending February 28, 2014.

Emmis' radio net revenues for the fourth fiscal quarter were up 11%, from $29.1 million to $32.4 million.

Excluding 98.7 FM in New York, which is being programmed by ESPN pursuant to an LMA, radio net revenues were up 12%.  These results outperformed Emmis' local radio markets in which revenue growth improved 4% during the quarter.

For the full year, radio net revenues were $145.4 million, compared to $138.6 million in the prior year, an increase of 5%.  These results also outperformed Emmis' local radio markets in which revenue growth improved 3% for the year.

Jeff Smulyan
"Fiscal 2014 marked the fourth consecutive year we have outperformed our local radio markets and the radio industry as a whole.  Our strong operating performance is the result of sound strategy and its execution by a phenomenal workforce that makes me so proud.  We are very excited about the addition of WBLS and WLIB in New York and the momentum behind NextRadio as we head into fiscal 2015," Jeff Smulyan, President & CEO of Emmis said.

For the fourth fiscal quarter, operating income was $0.7 million, compared to a loss of $0.4 million for the same quarter of the prior year.  Emmis' station operating income for the fourth fiscal quarter was $6.9 million, compared to $7.1 million for the same quarter of the prior year.  The decrease in station operating income in the fourth fiscal quarter was due in part to recognition of incentive compensation expense based on full-year operating results that were achieved based on strong fourth quarter results, as well as several non-recurring items, including $0.7 million in severance associated with the integration of WBLS and WLIB.

For the full year, operating income was $22.2 million, compared to $16.5 million in the prior year.  Emmis' station operating income in fiscal 2014 was $48.4 million, compared to $42.9 million in fiscal 2013.

Pandora Sez Listener Hours Were Up 14 Percent In March

Pandora announced today new metrics that were reached in the month of March 2014.

Listener hours for Pandora during the month of March 2014 were 1.71 billion, an increase of 14% from 1.49 billion during the same period last year.

Share of total U.S. radio listening for Pandora in March 2014 was 9.11%, an increase from 8.05% at the same time last year.

Active listeners were 75.3 million at the end of March 2014, an increase of 8% from 69.5 million during the same time period last year.

As previously noted on March 6, 2014, Pandora intends to discontinue its monthly disclosure of key audience metrics. The final monthly release will be provided in June 2014 (covering audience metrics for May 2014). The company's standard practice of providing listener metrics on a quarterly basis will continue unchanged.

To help advertisers make informed buying decisions, Pandora began monthly disclosure of information regarding users and usage in March 2012.

FCC Chairman Defends JSA Crackdown

Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is defending a controversial move to limit broadcast companies’ ability to cooperate as merely an attempt to defend the laws on the book, according to The Hill.

At a summit put on the by the American Cable Association on Wednesday, Wheeler accused broadcasters of carrying on a “charade”  to skirt the rules.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out,” he told the supportive cable industry crowd.

“This concept of competition and diversity and localism was being undone by legal legerdemain,” he said.

Defenders of the broadcaster cooperation deals, known as joint service agreements, say that they allow small companies to compete in a tough marketplace. The agreements enable broadcasters to control another station’s advertising sales.

On Monday, the FCC voted 3-2 to place strict limits on those agreements. Under the commission’s proposal, any station that controls another’s ad sales is considered to own the station. Existing FCC rules prohibit one company from owning more than one of the top four stations in a market.

Republicans in Congress and on the FCC have opposed the measure and say it will hurt small and minority-owned companies.

Read More Now

NC Radio: Jamz Personality Apologizes For Slur-Filled Tweets

Brian MCLaughlin
Radio personality Brian “B-DAHT” McLaughlin apologized Wednesday to an openly gay Winston-Salem State University student whom he had criticized last week in a string of slur-filled posts on Twitter, according to

McLaughlin was the public-address announcer for WSSU’s football and basketball games last season and is a morning radio host for Hip Hop WJMH 102.1 FM Jamz in Greensboro.

McLaughlin wrote in the tweets, which appear to have been deleted sometime late Tuesday, that Aaron McCorkle shouldn’t be elected Mr. WSSU because pictures posted online show McCorkle wearing women’s clothing.

“I’d like to publicly express my sincerest apologies to Mr. WSSU Royal Court Candidate, Aaron McCorkle, his family, and his friends, for the offensive and unprofessional tweets that I publicly posted,” McLauglin said in statement released through his publicist, Casey Adams.

“I was wrong and I know my comments hurt not only Aaron, his family and friends, but others as well,” McLaughlin said. “I’d also like to apologize to the Winston Salem State University student body, staff and alumni, the entire LGBT community, and anyone else I offended with my offensive comments.”

Kevin Geary, a spokesman for Entercom Communications Corp., the owner of 102Jamz, said that company officials didn’t approve of McLaughlin’s tweets. Geary declined to comment on McLaughlin’s job status at the station.

Read More Now

Chicago Radio: Angela Martin Gets New Partner On WGRB

Inspirational WGRB-1390 AM, a music and talk-formatted radio station operated by CCM+E/Chicago, has introduced a new morning show:  Angela and Mark In The AM.

Mark Smith joined longstanding WGRB morning show host Angela Martin as co-hosts of the station's new morning show.  She has been a part of WGRB's morning show since the year 2000.   She most recently hosted mornings at the station with John Hannah.

Smith, whose resume includes stints as a performer in both theater and television, including plays at Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theater and the NBC series "Chicago Fire" and ABC's "Mind Games," also is pastor of a church in west suburban Aurora, IL.

Smith said of his new role at WGRB-AM: "The 1390 family is a ministry and entertainment at its finest, and I'm looking forward to be a part of the the team."

Clear Channel Media Chicago's Director of Urban Programming Derrick Brown also is optimistic about his new team, of course: "Angela and Mark will be an incredible combination. Mark is a multi-faceted, engaging communicator, and his versatility is unparalleled."

MN Radio: KBEK 95.5 FM Suspends Programming

KBEK 95.5 FM, licensed to Mora, MN has gone dark.

Money is the issue according to a posting on the station's website, "on March 31, 2014 KBEK 95.5 FM suspended broadcast and the station will undergo a review of its finances and organizational structure."

The suspension interrupts 18-years of broadcasting.

According to local station management,  office functions are being maintained; however, future plans for the station are currently undetermined.

KBEK 95.5 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
The station's Colleen McKinney thanked  sponsors and listeners for their support.  She stated, "Despite many challenges, losses, and changes, it has been a tremendously meaningful experience.  We provided a valuable service and I am proud to have been a part of that effort.  KBEK touched people's lives and communicated information about life in our area in such a way that we all became more connected to each other.  I hope that the contributions of all those at KBEK who brought you live and local radio will be recognized and remembered."

IN Radio: Midwest Brings Back WBOW For New AC

With a new radio tower about to power up, Midwest Communications is converting its news talk WIBQ from FM to AM and implementing a new FM adult contemporary music station, according to

The changes will take place on Thursday, said Amy Dillon, market manager, and Steve Cannon, operations manager, of Midwest Communications in Terre Haute.

“Midwest Communications bought a tower in town. It is hugely impactful,” Dillon said. “We have been updating it and getting it back up.”

The move will shift the news talk WIBQ, now broadcast on 98.5 FM, to an improved 1300 AM. The AM station will have a broadcast range of 150 miles, joining the FM’s range, according to Dillon. (Tom Notes: WIBQ loses 50Kw on FM for 350watts-D, 58watts-N!!!)

In addition, the move allows the call letters WBOW, which had not been used since July 2012, to return to Terre Haute air waves in the 98.5 FM spot. That new FM format will feature adult contemporary music.

“It expands our product line. There was an audience of females 35 to 54 [years old] that was being underserved. There was not a station specifically for that [demographic] and that is what this format” will serve, Dillon said.

WBOW 98.5 FM (50Kw)  54dBu Coverage
Crossroads Communications used the WBOW call letters for its 102.7 FM station, which was sold to Midwest Communications. Midwest converted that station to WDWQ, a country music station, in 2012, Cannon said.

Midwest Communications owns FM stations 98.5, 95.9, 100.7 and 102.7, along with AM stations 1300 and 1440 and reaches beyond cities such as Champaign and Effingham in Illinois and to Bloomington, Martinsville and Bedford in Indiana.

Philly Radio: KYW Newsrooms Relocate

Since the early 1970s, all-news radio KYW 1060 AM had been broadcast "from Independence Mall" - a touchstone for the region.

KYW anchors peppered the radio waves daily with that location as they fired off news bulletins that informed listeners of "the world" in 22-minute stretches.

"We had a gorgeous view," morning anchor Carol MacKenzie told recently of KYW's 10th-floor studios at Fourth and Market Streets. "The sunrises there were spectacular. I had so many pictures on my cellphone. It was a great place to be. We were part of the fabric of that part of the city."

MacKenzie and the other KYW personnel are now adjusting to a new Philly neighborhood with very different views: brick rowhouse rooftops stretching into gritty North Philadelphia.

KYW's employees relocated last month to the sixth floor of the former SmithKline pharmaceutical factory on Spring Garden Street, sharing a huge, seemingly endless, former factory floor with the CBS3 and the CWPhilly television stations. KYW now airs from "the CBS Broadcast Center in Spring Garden."

In a typical week, about one million people in the Philadelphia area listen to the radio station.

CBS executives said in an interview that relocating KYW's studios enabled CBS to consolidate office leases in the Philadelphia market and integrate television, radio, and staffs for more efficient news coverage.

KYW's 75 employees and CBS3's 125 account for the manpower in the combined newsroom.

Philly Radio: Buster Satterfield Named PD At WRDW-FM

Buster Satterfield
Beasley Broadcast/Philadelphia has announced the promotion of Brandon  “Buster” Satterfield to Program Director WRDW 96.5 FM Wired in Philadelphia. With the radio station since 2012, Buster was most recently the station’s Assistant Program Director, Music Director and Afternoon Host. Buster has eagerly begun his new duties and he reports to Vice President and Market Manager Natalie Conner.

His radio career began in his hometown of Detroit, where he interned and gained  weekend on-air experience at WKQI-FM. From there, Buster traveled to Fresno, CA and KSXE-FM for a full time position as night jock, production director and assistant music director. Buster’s first large market opportunity  arrived in 2007 when he was hired back by WKQI-FM in Detroit. It was at Channel 995 that he honed his on-air  and programming skills, while serving additionally as a show producer. After spending two years in Detroit, Buster traveled to New York City in 2009 for late night and assistant music director duties at WXRK-FM. From WXRK he moved to Philadelphia and to Beasley as Wired 96.5’s night show host.

Vice President of Programming Justin Chase comments, “The last couple of years, Buster has shown incredible passion and leadership making him the obvious choice to lead our talented team in Philly. Beasley has a long history of developing talent that now leads the industry in various positions within Beasley and outside of our company as well. I’m confident that we’ll see big things from Buster in the future.”

Vice President and Market Manager Natalie Conner adds, “From the first day that Buster walked into the
Wired 96.5 studios, he has shown a genuine desire to learn and a dedicated drive to win. Today’s
announcement proves that this has worked in his favor; he knows the CHR genre inside and out and he’s team leader and hard worker who is respected and loved by the staff.”

WRDW 96.5 FM (9.6 Kw) 54dBu Coverage
Buster commented, “This is an amazing opportunity, not only for me but for #TeamWired as we're excited to show our listeners and the industry what this generation of WRDW is capable of achieving. Thank you to Natalie Conner, Justin Chase, & Bruce Beasley for presenting me with this position and this incredible opportunity, and to the many people who have been enormously influential in my career leading up to now."

Jenn Marino Named New Sixx Sense Co-Host

Jenn Marino
Premiere Networks has announced that veteran radio personality Jenn Marino will return to her first passion, rock radio, as she joins international rock icon Nikki Sixx as co-host of Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx and The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx.

Marino will make her debut today on Sixx Sense, the popular rock music program which reaches 2.9 million weekly listeners on more than 100 stations nationwide in addition to airing on iHeartRadio. She will join The Side Show Countdown this weekend, April 5 and 6.

Marino previously served as co-host of the popular afternoon program Priestly & Jenn on Baltimore's WWMX-FM. Prior to joining the station in 2007, she hosted middays on Baltimore/Washington, D.C.'s Rock Alternative WHFS-FM. The Oklahoma City native got her start in radio while in college, and moved on to host various timeslots at 98 Rock/WIYY-FM in Baltimore, Classic Rock KRXO-FM in Oklahoma City and other stations.

"I'm incredibly excited for this insane opportunity," stated Marino. "I've been a fan of Nikki for years, and respect him not only as a radio host, but also as an artist. I look forward to creating something incredible with him and the entire Sixx Sense team. To say this is a dream job is an understatement."

"From the moment I met Jenn, we had great chemistry," stated Sixx. "Not only does she have a strong connection to the world of Rock music, but she's also charming, funny and relatable. I think the audience is going to love her, and I couldn't be more excited to welcome her to the team!"

Kerri Kasem, who joined Sixx for the launch of Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx and The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx in February 2010, recently announced her decision to leave the programs.

NYC Radio: WFAN Diss Met's Murphy Over Paternity Leave

When you host a sports talk radio show for several hours every weekday, things are bound to go off the rails every now and again.  On Wednesday, WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM's Mike Francesa didn’t just go off the rails, according to,  he went off the map completely.

Francesa took a call on Daniel Murphy of the Mets taking paternity leave to be with his wife and newborn son.  Believe it or not, there are truly some things more important than sports – the birth of your son is one of them.  And although the idea of paternity leave is commonplace in society, word hasn’t gotten to Mike Francesa yet…

In the morning, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton did the same thing and went even further than Francesa with the “get your @$$ back to work” faux machismo…

Charlotte Radio: WFNZ To Air 49ers Sports

The Charlotte 49ers, through the university’s media rights holder, IMG College, have completed an extensive partnership with Sportsradio WFNZ 610 AM, that will land the 49ers radio broadcasts on the market’s largest sports station, according to CBS/Charlotte.

All Charlotte 49ers football and men’s basketball games will be broadcast on WFNZ The Fan, unless the games are in direct conflict with Charlotte Hornets basketball.  Sister station WBCN 1660 AM will carry any such conflicts as well as the 49ers Coaches shows.

In addition, the stations will be broadcasting a number of baseball and women’s basketball games.

Both WFNZ and WBCN were ranked in Arbitron’s top 20 AM and FM stations in the Charlotte market, this past fall, and the two joined WBT-AM as the only AM stations in the top 20.

“We have taken substantial steps to put our program in front of more and more people throughout this region,” said 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose.  “Last year, we struck a deal with WCCB to televise football and basketball games throughout the Charlotte area, and now we are able to announce that our radio broadcasts will reach a greater audience of sports fans as well on the area’s top sports station.  We are thrilled to not only land our game broadcasts on a powerful platform, but to also capitalize on the local programming and large listenership 610 AM enjoys throughout the day.”

“WFNZ is thrilled to be welcoming back Charlotte Basketball and now Football,” said WFNZ program director D.J. Stout.  “We had a great relationship for many years and are excited to use our properties to help give Charlotte Athletics the most coverage they have received by using 610am, 1660am, our HD channels and our digital properties. WFNZ is the premier Sports Station in Charlotte and the Southeast, and we are very excited that Charlotte chose us to be their Flagship station as they continue to grow their Athletic Department.”

49ers current flagship is WZGV 730 AM ESPN Radio.

Jacobs: Radio Needs To Partner With Automakers

Following a presentation at the annual Radiodays Europe confab  in Dublin last week, Fred Jacobs urged Radio to motivated and activated to become car connected.

Trevor Dann of Radiodays Europe caught up with Fred Jacobs for a quick interview.

CCM+E's iHeartRadio Inks Amazon Deal

 iHeartRadio, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment's all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service with more than 300 million app downloads, has announced that it will be available out of the box on Amazon Fire TV. iHeartRadio was also one of the first apps available and optimized on Amazon's line of Kindle Fire tablets.

On Wednesday, Amazon introduced a small black box called Amazon Fire TV that enables television sets to access Internet programming, including streaming shows from its Amazon Prime subscription service, and a giant library of video games.

iHeartRadio's integration with Amazon Fire TV will provide consumers instant access from the comfort of their living room to more than 1,500 Live Radio stations from across the country and hand curated iHeartRadio digital only stations, as well as the ability to create their own stations from a library of more than 450,000 artists and 18 million songs – all for free. Other optimized features include the ability to save and easily access favorite stations, skip songs on Custom Stations, thumbs up / thumbs down songs and more.

Today's news comes on the heels of several other integrations already made this year including Apple's CarPlay, Samsung's Gear 2 Smartwatch, Qualcomm's AllPlay and new auto partnerships with AT&T Drive, GM, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia and Volvo. iHeartRadio also just announced the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which will be televised live from Los Angeles, May 1st on NBC with a live audio stream on iHeartRadio.

"iHeartRadio's launch onto Amazon Fire TV is another key step in our pledge to be everywhere listeners want us to be, whether they want to hear the music and radio stations they love in their living rooms or on the go," said Brian Lakamp, Clear Channel's president of digital. "We're excited to continue our relationship with Amazon and be able to extend our reach to even more consumers through Fire TV's simple and affordable in-home platform."

Spotify Dramatically Updates Design And Functions

The new design, which rolled out Wednesday for the desktop player, web player and iPhone app, features a new dark color scheme, new fonts and icons and creates a more consistent look and feel across platforms.

One of the major focal points of the redesign is around content and discoverability. The dark theme — which is similar to Beats Music — was specifically chosen to make content really "pop" within the app and to put cover art and other iconography front and center.

Beyond just making content pop, according to Mashable, Spotify now makes it easier for users to manage and browse their actual music collection. In the past, to add an album or song to your Spotify account, you needed it needed to be starred or belong to a specific playlist. As a result, people such as myself wound up with literally hundreds of playlists of favorite albums.

Back in December 2012, Spotify previewed some of its planned new features, which included the ability to add albums to a more centralized "collection." That feature is now baked into the new Spotify. Albums, songs and artists can be added to a collection without the need for a specific playlist.

Stitcher Radio For Podcasts 6.0 Features iOS 7 Redesign

The popular on-demand Internet radio app Stitcher Radio for Podcasts has just been updated to version 6.0 with an all-new design and a number of significant improvements, according to

Of course, the new design of the app takes its cues, both visual and functional, from iOS 7. This is especially evident in the app’s iPad edition, which has been fully refreshed.

The newly redesigned Stitcher Radio notably features a revamped Front Page, which includes news, trending stories, new episodes from favorite podcasts, and recommendations based on listening history. The updated app also boasts simplified navigation, offering quick access to playlists from anywhere in the app with a single swipe.

Moreover, it features redesigned player controls, including a new Mini Player. Swiping the Mini Player up brings the Now Playing screen into view, from which the app’s car mode and sleep timer are now accessible.

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First Digital Media Shutters Centralized News Project

An initiative by Digital First Media to centralize the production of national and digital news for its 75 newspapers is closing, a cost-cutting move stemming from a continued decline in print advertising as more readers flock to online sources.

While other newspaper companies, including USA Today publisher Gannett, have adopted the approach, DFM's experiment -- called Project Thunderdome -- was one of the earliest industry efforts to allow local newspaper staffs to focus on local news while a separate team of reporters and editors produced national news and digital-first content at another centralized location.

John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media, has been a leading advocate of the urgency for print newsrooms to heighten their digital news offerings, and launched Thunderdome in 2012 to eliminate repetitive reporting, produce content quickly, and enhance several areas that were emerging at the time -- data journalism, video production, website and mobile developments.

The stories and other types of multimedia content produced by the Thunderdome team were distributed to DFM's newspapers, including San Jose Mercury News, The Denver Post, Contra Cost Times and Los Angeles Daily News.