Saturday, February 20, 2016

February 21 Radio History

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

WHK began on July 26, 1921 when experimental station 8ACS signed on under a license obtained by Warren C. Cox in the name of Cox Mfg. Co.  He broadcast on a wavelength of 200 meters (which translates to a frequency of 1500 kHz) from his home at 3138 Payne Avenue.   Only about 1000 listeners were able to hear the first broadcast, and most of them were members of the Cleveland Radio Association.   By 1922, licensees were barred from broadcasting on 200 meters, so Cox applied for a commercial broadcasting license.

Organist Helen Wyant circa 1931
Warren Cox received a commercial license for his station on February 21, 1922 with the callsign WHK (the Commerce Department was still issuing mostly three-letter callsigns to commercial radio stations before April 4, 1922),  and HK standing for the station's first vice-president and general manager, H. K. Carpenter.  It was only the 52nd commercial radio license issued by the Commerce Department.

The station broadcast at a wavelength of 360 meters (a frequency of 830 kHz) which was the standard broadcast frequency for entertainment radio stations at the time. The station started broadcasting on March 5, 1922 from facilities located in the rear of a Radiovox store at 5005 Euclid Avenue.  By 1924, WHK broadcasts had moved to 1060 kHz.

Warren Cox sold the station to Radio Air Service Corporation in 1925.  In the following years, the station facilities underwent a series of moves, including 5105 Euclid Avenue, the Hotel Winton at 1025 Bolivar Road (later the Hotel Carter), the Standard Building at St. Clair and Ontario, the top floor of the Higbee Company on Public Square, and Carnegie Hall at 1220 Huron Road. By 1927, the station broadcasts were heard at 1130 kHz, and the station was broadcasting with 500 watts at night. By 1928, the station was located in the Engineer's Building at 1370 Ontario Avenue.

WHK transmitter room circa 1930
WHK became a CBS affiliate in 1930 and increased its power to 5000 watts for both day and night transmission.

Amerlia Earhart
Radio Air Service Corporation sold WHK in 1934 to Forest City Publishing Company, the parent company of The Plain Dealer. Forest City then organized United Broadcasting Company as the station owner.

On March 29, 1941, WHK like most radio stations changed its frequency as a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. WHK moved from 1390 to 1420 kHz, the frequency it occupies today.

In August 1946 WHK received one of the earliest experimental FM licenses, under the call W8XUB, broadcasting at 107.1 MHz. Upon receipt of a commercial license, the station became WHK-FM at 100.7 MHz, and later in 1968, WMMS.

United Broadcasting sold WHK in 1958 to Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation, which became Metromedia two years later. The new owners soon adopted a rock and roll Top 40 format.

By the early 1960s WHK was Top 40 powerhouse, adopting the slogan "Color Radio" and "Color Channel 14." The station soared with fast-talking deejays like Johnny Holliday, who broadcast from "the glass cage" at 5000 Euclid, and dubbed the station's echo-chamber reverberation its "stratophonic sound." The "Action Central" newsroom included young reporters Tim Taylor and Dave Buckel.

When The Beatles made one of their North American tours in 1964, WHK outmaneuvered rival KYW-AM to sponsor the Beatles appearance at Cleveland Public Auditorium on September 15, 1964.  In the mid-1960s, the WHK DJs adopted the name the "Good Guys" and included Joe Mayer. On the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, a doll wears a sweater emblazoned with "Welcome The Rolling Stones" and "Good Guys", a possible reference to the WHK DJs or maybe a reference to WMCA in NYC.

Late in 1967, WHK stopped rocking to become "The Good Life Station," with easy-listening music and phone-in shows aimed at older listeners. Possibly the biggest reason for the format change at WHK, was the pressure put on the station by newcomer WIXY, an AM station at 1260 which started playing top 40 music in 1966.

Metromedia sold WHK and WMMS in 1972 to Malrite Broadcasting of Ohio (later Malrite Communications), and Malrite moved its headquarters to Cleveland. WHK dropped the beautiful music and tried a modified Top 40 format briefly again in 1973, called Cover Hits and developed by consultant Mike Joseph. The station ended up settling on a country music format in 1974 featuring controversial morning show talk host Gary Dee and famed Cleveland disk jockey Joe Finan as the "housewife's friend" from 10 am to 2 pm, until the eventual format change in '84.

Another notorious personality, Don Imus, also returned to Cleveland in 1978 to do afternoon drive on WHK- one of the few times that he would ever host a non-morning drive position in his entire career. Imus had previously had a morning show on WGAR (AM) for 1½ years, ending in 1971, and lasted at WHK until September 1979 when he returned to WNBC in New York.

Seeking to recapture its past glory again, WHK returned to a nostalgic 1950's and 60s Top 40s music on April 24, 1984 using the designation from their dial position 1420 AM...making it "14K WHK Solid Gold", becoming the first "oldies" totally formatted station in Cleveland, Ohio.

Unable to service its growing debt, Malrite exited the radio business by selling off all their stations to Shamrock Broadcasting (Roy Disney's family-owned broadcasting company) in 1993.  Shamrock in turn spun off WHK and WMMS to OmniAmerica, headed by former Malrite executive Carl Hirsch, on April 1994. Shortly thereafter, on May 16, 1994, WHK adopted a sports talk format featuring Tom Bush, Les Levine, Tony Rizzo and Pat McCabe, and dubbed itself "The Sports Voice of the Fan."

In 1996, WHK was sold to Salem Communications, while longtime sister station WMMS was sold to Nationwide Communications – the first time ever the two stations operated under separate ownership

Today the station is owned by Salem Communications and airs a Talk Format at 1420 AM.

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

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

Chester Launch (Lum) and Norris Goff (Abner)
In Chester H Lauck, who for 23 years played Lum Edwards in the radio favorite Lum & Abner, died just 12 days after his 78th birthday. Lum & Abner aired from 1931 to 1954. Modeled on life in the small town of Waters, Arkansas, near where Lauck and Goff grew up, the show proved immensely popular. In 1936, Waters changed its name to Pine Ridge after the show's fictional town.

Lauck and Goff had known each other since childhood and attended the University of Arkansas together where they both joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. They performed locally and established a blackface act which led to an audition at radio station KTHS in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Prior to the audition, the two men decided to change their act and portray two hillbillies, due to the large number of blackface acts already in existence. After only a few shows in Hot Springs, they were picked up nationally by NBC, and Lum and Abner, sponsored by Quaker Oats, ran until 1932. Lauck and Goff performed several different characters, modeling many of them on the real-life residents of Waters, Arkansas.

When the Quaker contract expired, Lauck and Goff continued to broadcast on two Texas stations, WBAP (Fort Worth) and WFAA (Dallas). In 1933, The Ford Dealers of America became their sponsor for approximately a year. Horlick's Malted Milk, the 1934–37 sponsor, offered a number of promotional items, including almanacs and fictional Pine Ridge newspapers. During this period, the show was broadcast on Chicago's WGN (AM), one of the founding members of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Effective July 1, 1935, the program was also carried on WLW (Cincinnati, Ohio), KNX (Los Angeles, California), and KFRC (San Francisco, California). Along with The Lone Ranger, Lum and Abner was one of Mutual's most popular programs

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

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

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

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

DOJ, Apple Ratchet Up Rhetoric Over Encryption

(Reuters) -- The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion on Friday seeking to compel Apple Inc to comply with a judge's order to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, portraying the tech giant's refusal as a "marketing strategy."

In response, a senior Apple executive, speaking with reporters on condition of anonymity, characterized the Justice Department's filing as an effort to argue its case in the media before the company has a chance to respond.

The back and forth escalated a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy that ignited earlier this week.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the tech company's help to access shooter Syed Rizwan Farook's phone by disabling some of its passcode protections. The company so far has pushed back and on Thursday won three extra days to respond to the order.

Another senior Apple executive said Congress is the right place for a debate over encryption, not a courtroom.

The executive said Apple was stunned that such a legal request had come from the U.S. government rather than a country with weaker traditions of protecting privacy and civil liberties.

The motion to compel Apple to comply did not carry specific penalties for the company, and the Justice Department declined to comment on what recourse it was willing to seek.

In the order, prosecutors acknowledged that the latest filing was "not legally necessary" since Apple had not yet responded to the initial order.

The clash between Apple and the Justice Department has driven straight to the heart of a long-running debate over how much law enforcement and intelligence officials should be able to monitor digital communications.

Miami Radio: Greg Lemega To Join WSFS Morning Show

Entercom South Florida announced today that Greg ‘Toast’ Lemega will join current morning show host Ashley Owen on their WSFS 104.3 FM new morning show, The Big Mistake with Ashley & Toast. The show will air weekdays from 6a – 10a and feature great content and music to entertain South Florida during the morning commute.

Greg ‘Toast’ Lemega has been in the Miami market since his debut in 1997 on 94.9 Zeta. The majority of his career was spent as on-air producer/sports guy for The Paul & Young Ron Show while also doing time on various Miami sports stations. After a radio sabbatical of nearly 3 years, he began doing nights on 104.3 The Shark in October and will now move to mornings to co-host alongside Ashley O. Toast is married and childless…just the way he likes it.

Gredg and Ashley
Ashley Owen is a native South Florida girl who firmly believes that Coke tastes better from a glass bottle and flip flops are the glass slippers of the south. She is the current morning show host on the Shark and a native South Floridian.

“Ashley and Toast are the perfect combo and will bring a great energy to mornings on the Shark,” said John O’Connell, Program Director of Alternative 104.3 The Shark. “Their knowledge of alternative and pop music, irreverent style and connection to the community will make for a great drive to work!”

Security Becoming Problem For Beyonce Concert Tour

The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police has advised its members to not voluntarily work at a Beyoncé concert scheduled for Nashville's Nissan Stadium in May.  Similar boycotts are planned in Miami, L-A and other cities

The Tennessean reports Nashville's union for police officers outlined that position in a statement released on Friday as FOP chapters in other cities have taken even sharper stands against Beyoncé concerts slated for the pop megastar's upcoming tour.

Sgt. Danny Hale, president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police said his organization's stance isn't the same as telling officers to outright boycott providing security at the show if they are ordered.

Instead, he said rank-and-file Nashville police officers shouldn’t volunteer to sign up to work the event.

“It’s pretty obvious there’s an anti-policing sentiment in her messages,” Hale said, pointing to Beyoncé's recent halftime show at the Super Bowl earlier this month, which had imagery that critics say is associated with the Black Panther Party.

Hale went on to allege that Black Panther members have been responsible for the deaths of police officers in the past.

“If we volunteer to work her event, we’re basically saying you can say or do anything you want to when it comes to police officers and we’re just going to sit and take it,” Hale said. “We’ve been under attack for the past eight, 10, 12 months. Some things that are done and said are just not fair, and it’s not right.

"All lives matter, including law enforcement officers and citizens, no matter their race."

Erin Andrews Civil Trial vs Marriott To Start

Erin Andrews
FOX Sports reporter and television personality Erin Andrews is returning to Nashville, but this time, she is coming to a courtroom.

Andrews' negligence lawsuit against Marriott hotels, in which she's seeking $75 million, is set for a civil trial beginning Monday, according to The Tennessean.

In 2008 Andrews visited Nashville to cover a Vanderbilt University football game. In her lawsuit, filed two years later, Andrews accuses the hotel and others of allowing David Barrett, then 50, to book rooms next to hers, rig peepholes and film videos of her changing clothes.

Court documents say Barrett then posted those videos on the Internet.

Andrews is suing Marriott International, Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, Windsor Capital Group and Barrett. Her lawsuit accuses Marriott of negligence, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

Barrett was arrested in 2009, pleaded guilty to stalking and shooting the nude videos and was sentenced in 2010 to 30 months in prison. He now lives in Oregon.

Meet Allen Chiang: The 'Retro Radio Farmer'

Despite living in a digital world, Allen Chiang of Redding CT embraces the art of our analog past. He 's an electrical engineer of IT idustry pro with 20-years of experience, but his hobby is fixing old radio. He’s basically a retro radio farmer

Chian states, "I have sold hundreds of these old radios on Ebay for many years under username hemicharger70".

February 20 Radio History

In 1906..character actor Gale Gordon was born Charles T. Aldrich Jr. in New York City.

He is perhaps best remembered as Lucille Ball‘s longtime television foil, and for his role as school principal Osgood Conklin in the early ’50s  radio & TV hit Our Miss Brooks starring Eve Arden. Gordon was also a respected and beloved radio actor all over the dial, making regular weekly appearances on Fibber McGee & Molly, plus assignments on Burns & Allen, The Great Gildersleeve, The Cinnamon Bear, Mr. & Mrs. Blandings, The Joe E. Brown Show, etc., and starring in title roles on Flash Gordon, Granby’s Green Acres and The Casebook of Gregory Hood.

He died of lung cancer June 30, 1995 at age 89.

In 1914...broadcast journalist/TV host John Daly was born in Johannesburg South Africa.

Although best remembered as host of the CBS TV game show What’s My Line, he had a distinguished newscasting career on CBS radio, bringing first word of both the Pearl Harbour attack & the death of President Roosevelt.

He died Feb 24, 1991 at age 77.

In 1922...WGY-AM, Schenectady, NY went on the air. As early as 1912, General Electric company in Schenectady began experimenting with radio transmissions, being granted a class 2-Experimental license for 2XI on August 13, 1912 by the Commerce Department.

WGY signed on on February 20, 1922 at 7:47pm at 360 meters wavelength (about 833 kHz), with Kolin Hager at the mike, or as he was known on the air, as KH. Hager signed on with the stations call letters, explaining the W is for wireless, G for General Electric, and Y, the last letter in Schenectady.

The first broadcast lasted for about one hour and consisted of live music and announcements of song titles and other information. The early broadcasts originated from building 36 at the General Electric Plant in Schenectady. The original transmitter produced an antenna power of 1,500 watts into a T top wire antenna, located about 1/2 mile away, also at the GE plant.

WGY led the way in radio drama. In 1922 Edward H. Smith, director of a community-theater group called the Masque in nearby Troy, suggested weekly forty-minute adaptations of plays to WGY station manager Kolin Hager. Hager took him up on it and the troupe performed on the weekly WGY Players, radio’s first dramatic series.

Kolin Hagar
During their initial broadcast—of Eugene Walter’s The Wolf on August 3, 1922—Smith became the electronic media’s first Foley artist when he slapped a couple of two-by-fours together to simulate the slamming of a door, and radio sound effects were born. While the invisible audience could not see that the actors wore costumes and makeup—which were expected to enhance performance but didn’t and were soon discarded—they could hear the WGY Orchestra providing music between acts.

By May 15, 1923 the station was operating on 790 kHz with a frequency/time share agreement with RPI's WHAZ. Later, WHAZ moved to 1300 kHz allowing WGY to operate full-time on 790 kHz.

In 1924, the transmitter site was moved to its current location in the Town of Rotterdam known as South Schenectady. From this site, the station's power levels were increased first to 5,000 watts, then 10,000 watts and finally to 50,000 watts on July 18, 1925. Temporary broadcasts were carried out at the 100 KW (August 4, 1926) and 200 KW (March 9, 1930) power levels. From those broadcasts, the station received reception letters and telegrams from as far away as New Zealand. Plans were to make those power increases permanent, but were never carried out.

WGY also used the first Condenser microphone, developed by General Electric for radio studio applications, on February 7, 1923.

Amelia Earhart
In 1923, WGY formed the first radio network with WJZ and WRC, however the station also broadcast programs from rival station WEAF. Later in 1925, the New York State radio network was formed with WMAK, WHAM, WFBL, and WGY. In 1926, WGY affiliated with the WEAF-based NBC Red Network, and after the split of the sister NBC Blue network into today's ABC Radio, WGY remained with NBC Radio until it folded in 1989.

To add to their laurels, six years later the Players performed an old spy melodrama titled The Queen’s Messenger in the world’s first dramatic program to be broadcast simultaneously over both radio and the new medium called television.

“Radio station WGY had cornered the market on talk and music by 1928,” the Daily Gazette recalled. “Scientists from the General Electric Co. could have winked to their audience and said, ‘You ain't seen nothing yet.’ The smart guys who developed amplifiers, transmitters and bright lights were working on that next step—sound and pictures. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 1928, they succeeded. WGY became the first radio station in the world to televise a drama on separate radio channels.”

In 1941, WGY changed frequency from 790 kHz to 810 kHz to comply with the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement also known as NARBA. In 1942, during World War II, a concrete wall was built around the base of the tower to prevent saboteurs from shooting out the base insulator on the tower and taking the station off the air.

WGY was the flagship station of General Electric's broadcasting group until 1983 when it was sold to Empire Radio Partners, Inc. General Electric also owned pioneering sister stations in television (WRGB-TV, signed on as WGY-TV in 1928) and FM radio (W2XOY, later WGFM, then WGY-FM, and today WRVE, signed on 1940).

As the golden age of radio ended, WGY evolved into a full service middle of the road format, slowly evolving as programming tastes changed. The station changed from full service to news/talk on Memorial Day Weekend, 1994.

Dame Media, Inc acquired WGY and WGY-FM the during proceedings in the Philadelphia bankruptcy court, late 1993. Dame moved the studios to One Washington Square at the end of Washington Avenue Extension, in the west end of Albany, New York late 1994, where they remained until 2005.

In 1999, Dame Media sold its entire radio group to Clear Channel, whose ownership remains to this day. Clear Channel combined all of its radio station studio operations into the former CHP (Community Health Plan) building on Route 7 (Troy-Schenectady Road) in Latham August, 2005.

On September 20, 2010, WGY began simulcasting its programming on 103.1 FM (the former WHRL, which took the calls WGY-FM, previously on 99.5 FM). WGY 103.1 FM broadcasts at 5,600 watts power.

In 1949...future teen singing idol, Ricky Nelson, began performing on his parents' Radio show. (Ozzie and Harriet Nelson).

In 1950...WOL-AM in Washington DC swaps calls with WWDC

In 1971...Natl Emergency Center erroneously orders US radio & TV stations to go off the air. Mistake wasn't resolved for 30 minutes.

Walter Winchell
In 1972..gossip columnist & iconic radio star Walter Winchell died of prostate cancer at age 74.  His weekly broadcasts in the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s began: “Hello Mr. & Mrs. North America & all the ships at sea, let’s go to press.”  A later generation would only know him as narrator on the TV series The Untouchables.

Rosemary DeCamp
In 2001...actress Rosemary De Camp succumbed to pneumonia at age 90. She shine in many roles on bigtime radio, including the longrunning part of nurse Judy Price on CBS’ Dr. Christian. On TV she was Peg Riley on Life of Riley, and also had feature roles on The Bob Cummings Show & That Girl.

In 2006...Sportscaster Curt Gowdy, who spent 15 years with the Boston Red Sox, 13 years at NBC, had brief stays at CBS and ABC, and is enshrined in 22 sports Halls of Fame, died of leukemia at age 86.

In November 1942, Gowdy made his broadcasting debut in Cheyenne calling a 'six-man' high school football game from atop a wooden grocery crate in subzero weather, with about 15 people in attendance. He found he had a knack for broadcasting, and worked at the small KFBC radio station and at the Wyoming Eagle newspaper as a sportswriter (and later sports editor). After several years in Cheyenne, he accepted an offer from CBS's KOMA radio in Oklahoma City in 1946. He was hired primarily to broadcast Oklahoma college football (then coached by new-hire Bud Wilkinson) and Oklahoma State college basketball games (then coached by Hank Iba).

Curt Gowdy
Gowdy's distinctive play-by-play style during his subsequent broadcasts of minor league baseball, college football, and college basketball in Oklahoma City earned him a national audition. Gowdy began his Major League Baseball broadcasting career working as the No. 2 announcer to Mel Allen for New York Yankees games on radio and television in 1949–50. There, he succeeded Russ Hodges, who departed to become the New York Giants.

In April 1951 at the age of 31, Gowdy began his tenure as the lead announcer for the Red Sox. For the next 15 years, he called the exploits of generally mediocre Red Sox teams on WHDH radio and on three Boston TV stations: WBZ-TV, WHDH-TV, and WNAC-TV (WBZ and WNAC split the Red Sox TV schedule from 1948 through 1955; WBZ alone carried the Red Sox from 1955 through 1957; and WHDH took over in 1958). During that time, Gowdy partnered with two future baseball broadcasting legends: Bob Murphy and Ned Martin. Chronic back pain caused Gowdy to miss the entire 1957 season. He also did nightly sports reports on WHDH radio when his schedule permitted.

He left WHDH after the 1965 season for NBC Sports, where for the next ten years he called the national baseball telecasts of the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week and Monday Night Baseball during the regular season (and the All-Star Game in July), and the postseason playoffs and World Series in October.

In 2012...Longtime Seattle radio personality (KOL, KBSG) Danny Holiday died at the age of 68. Always filled with tenacity, vim and vigor, Dan began his career sweeping floors at KRKO at 8 and the rest is history. Dan's career was marked with lasting friendships and encounters with the greats of R&R. He knew the history first hand. Dan was an inductee into the NW Music Hall of Fame in 1990, creator of the Danny Holiday Rock and Roll Time Machine

In 2014…Professor of broadcasting and journalism at the State University of New York at Oswego/former television network newsman (NBC, ABC, CNN)/moderator (Meet the Press)/PBS opera program host (Live from the Met) Garrick Utley died of prostate cancer at age 74. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

China Clamping Down On Media

(Reuters) -- Chinese state media must tell China's story to the world better and become internationally influential, President Xi Jinping said on Friday, during a visit to three of the country's main media outlets.

Chinese news outlets spanning television, radio and the Internet have been expanding across the globe with state encouragement, aiming, Chinese leaders have said, to combat the negative images of China they feel are spread by world media.

State news agency Xinhua has opened dozens of news bureaus around the world; China Central Television (CCTV) has launched a 24-hour English-language channel in the United States, and the official China Daily newspaper publishes several regional editions across the globe.

President Xi
Visiting the People's Daily, CCTV, and Xinhua, Xi said China must increase its ability to broadcast internationally, increase its voice on the global stage and "tell China's story well", state television said.

China must also create "flagship media with strong international influence" aimed at foreign audiences, Xi added.

State television broadcast images of Xi visiting CCTV's control room and making a video call to CCTV's Washington-based North America branch.

China's efforts to expand its global media footprint have been controversial.

Reuters has found that state-owned China Radio International (CRI) has little-known ownership stakes in a global network of private radio stations from Houston to Finland to Bangkok in partnerships with overseas Chinese.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice have said they are investigating a California firm whose U.S. radio broadcasts are backed by CRI. Click Here to read more.

Xi also signaled that the ruling Communist Party would not be relaxing its tight grip on the media any time soon.

Media must follow the party line, uphold the "correct guidance of public opinion" and promote "positive propaganda as the main theme", the reports paraphrased Xi as saying.

Critical articles must be "accurate and have objective analysis", he added.


Meanwhile, a Chinese ministry has issued new rules that ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China, effective next month, according to

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s new rules could, if they were enforced as written, essentially shut down China as a market for foreign news outlets, publishers, gaming companies, information providers, and entertainment companies starting on March 10.

“Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services,” the rules state. Any publisher of online content, including “texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios, and videos,” will also be required to store their “necessary technical equipment, related servers, and storage devices” in China, the directive says.

Foreign media companies including the Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and the New York Times have invested millions of dollars—maybe even hundreds of millions collectively—in building up China-based news organizations in recent years, and publishing news reports in Chinese, for a Chinese audience. Many of these media outlets are currently blocked in China, so top executives have also been involved in months of behind-the-scenes negotiations to try to get the blocks lifted.

Trump Slams Murdoch Over NBC/WSJ Poll

Donald Trump hasn't taken kindly to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll that put him in second place for the first time this primary season.

"That phony Wall Street Journal poll that came out yesterday was, in my opinion, it was a fix....It was a Rupert Murdoch hit. It was just a Rupert Murdoch hit," Trump told SiriusXM's Breitbart News Daily on Thursday.

CNNMoney reports Murdoch responded to that accusation in a tweet on Thursday afternoon: "Trump blames me for WSJ poll, fights FoxNews. Time to calm down. If I running anti-Trump conspiracy then doing lousy job!" he wrote.

The poll, which shows Trump two points behind Texas Senator Ted Cruz among Republican primary voters, deviates significantly from other recent national polls that give Trump a commanding lead over the rest of the field. Polls from CBS News, Quinnipiac and USA Today/Suffolk conducted within the last week give Trump between a 15 to 20 points lead.

"Every single poll that has come out over a long time has me up 15 to 20 points nationally. All of a sudden out of nowhere the Wall Street Journal poll comes out and I'm essentially even, but I'm down two points to Cruz of all people -- and Cruz can't get elected dog catcher," Trump told Breitbart News Daily.

And the GOP frontrunner slammed Fox News and the broader Rupert Murdoch empire for its open adoration of donor-class favorite Sen. Marco Rubio.

As Breitbart News has previously reported, Rubio has been Congress’s biggest champion of Rupert Murdoch’s open borders advocacy efforts. Trump explained that Fox News has “protected” Rubio — constantly buoying his campaign, even as he has continued to perform dismally.

“They’re in love with Rubio. Why? I have no idea, but they’re in love with Rubio,” Trump declared on Thursday’s program of Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM Patriot 125.

“They are in love with Rubio and it’s amazing to me,” Trump said.

Glenn Beck Pushes Back Against MSM

Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck, who has been in South Carolina campaigning for Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz this week, called in to his eponymous radio program Tuesday to talk about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. What he said garnered a strong reaction from the media, which he is now calling “outrageous.”

TheBlaze reports Beck’s radio show co-host Pat Gray could not wrap his mind around why God would allow Scalia to have passed away in a moment when the U.S. is so divided politically. Beck, hoping to provide an answer, called into The Glenn Beck Radio Program from the road to explain his view.

“You’re welcome. I just woke the American people up. I took them out of the game show moment, woke enough of them up to say, ‘Look at how close your liberty is to being lost,’”

Beck said, trying to articulate what he believes would be God’s point of view. “You replace one guy and you now have 5-4 decisions in the other direction. And just with this one guy, you’ve lost your liberty.”

Beck went on to say that the Constitution is “hanging by a thread,” adding that, with Scalia’s death, “that thread has just been cut.” The radio host said that the only way to “survive” is by appointing a “true constitutionalist.”

Shortly after his radio show ended, several media outlets — including Mediaite, Raw Story and CNN — reported that Beck said “God killed Scalia” — a claim the radio show host pushed back against strongly late Wednesday night.

As I am driving to the airport to come home I check the news.Apparently the MSM is reporting that I said "God killed...
Posted by Glenn Beck on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Beck went on to write that he believes in “divine providence,” something he says Americans have historically endorsed, which he uses as the linchpin for his argument that God might have “allowed Scalia to die.”

PPMs Out For Portland, Orlando, K-C, 9 More Markets

Nielsen Thursday 02/18/16 Released January PPM Data for the following markets:

  23  Portland OR

  24  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rick Hill NC

  26  Pittsburgh

  27  San Antonio

  28  Sacramento

  29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo UT

  30  Cincinnati

  31  Las Vegas

  32  Cleveland

  33  Orlando

  34  Kansas City

  37  Columbus OH

Click Here for Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations. 

Ex-BGF: Redstone Victim Of 'Undue Influence'

Maneula Herzer, Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) -- Media mogul Sumner Redstone was under "undue influence" from people around him when he replaced his designated healthcare agent last fall, his ex-girlfriend argued on Thursday in her lawsuit challenging the elderly billionaire's mental competence.

The ex-girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, has sued over her removal as 92-year-old Redstone's healthcare agent in favor of Viacom Inc Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman. She claims Redstone was not mentally competent to make that decision in October 2015.

Herzer's attorneys said in a court filing on Thursday Redstone "is vulnerable to, and has become the victim of, undue influence, fraud, manipulation and chicanery."

Redstone gave up his roles as executive chairman of Viacom and CBS Corp earlier this month. He still controls about 80 percent of the voting shares in both companies.

His attorneys have moved to dismiss Herzer's case, saying Redstone was fully aware of his actions and arguing that Herzer has filed her lawsuit for financial gain.

In October, Redstone also revoked a part of his estate plan that would have given Herzer a $70 million inheritance, his lawyers said in an earlier filing. Redstone instead directed those assets to his charitable foundation, they said.

A Los Angeles judge is set to consider on Feb. 29 whether to throw out Herzer's lawsuit.

Shari Redstone
In Thursday's filing, Herzer's attorneys said Redstone is "frail" and "isolated in a virtual intensive care unit." Daughter Shari Redstone "exploited his isolation" and "manipulated her incapacitated father to her own financial advantage," they said.

A spokeswoman for the daughter said: "Shari Redstone is not going to dignify today’s baseless and mean-spirited attack on the Redstone family with any comment."

Lawyers for Herzer also said a letter to the Viacom board that praised Dauman's leadership was a "fraud" written by Dauman himself but was portrayed as coming from Sumner Redstone. A Viacom spokesman had no comment.

Portions of Thursday's filing were redacted, including details of a Jan. 29 examination of Redstone by Stephen Read, a geriatric psychiatrist hired by Herzer.

There was no public indication Read had changed his opinion from November, when he filed a court declaration saying he believed Redstone lacked the mental capacity to change his healthcare directive.

Redstone's personal physician, Richard Gold, and geriatric psychiatrist James Spar have told the court they believe the mogul was competent to make that decision.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Dan Levine; Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul Tait)

Analyst Sees Opportunity In Battered Media Stocks

Media stocks have been hit hard by selling pressure in the past year, but Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Kraft sees the dip as a buying opportunity for selective media investors.

In a new report, Kraft adjusts Deutsche Bank’s price targets on several top media stocks and reveals which names are the firm’s top picks for investors, reports

“We believe the underperformance of media stocks over the past year combined with fundamentals that are more stable now than most thought they would be 6 months ago have created a selective buying opportunity in media stocks,” Kraft explained. He notes that valuations of several top names are currently at multi-year lows.

National TV ad revenue growth was flat in 2015, and Deutsche Bank is projecting it to be slightly positive in 2016 before dipping modestly into negative territory in 2017.

Toledo Radio: Mary Beth Zoilik To Exit WRVF

Mary Beth Zolik announced the decision to listeners Wednesday during the Mary Beth and Rick morning show that she has hosted for nearly 10 years with Rick Woodell from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. on WRVF 101.5 FM The River.

Their last show together will air March 23 on the iHeartMedia station.

Zolik, who says her age is “close enough that it should be retirement time,” is excited to join her husband in the relaxation period of their lives.

“We thought it is time to take the dogs on vacation. We thought it was time to start doing the things we wanted to do as a twosome,” she said, adding that her three children are grown and pursuing higher education or established in their careers.

Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2012, an aggressive but also curable cancer, she said her health is “very good.”

Upbeat and comedic, her voice has lifted Toledoans’ spirits for 36 years, 26 of those as part of the Mitch and Mary Beth franchise, which earned her and Jack Mitchell a spot in the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Akron.

She and Mitchell’s on-air alliance began at WSPD-AM (1370), then moving to country station WKKO-FM (99.9) where the “Mitch and Mary Beth” franchise was born in 1986. It was then moved to WRVF-FM (101.5) in 2001.

The search is already underway for Mrs. Zolik’s replacement.

“It's obviously a very bittersweet task and big shoes to fill,” said Kellie Holeman-Szenderski, area president for iHeartMedia Toledo (formerly Clear Channel). “We're going to spend as much time as necessary to find the right fit for Rick and the station. We're doing a national search, so the timing is dependent on the candidate we find.”

She added that if the right candidate isn’t found before March 23, Woodell would continue the morning broadcast solo.

Ottawa Radio: More C-C-Changes At N/T CFRA 580 AM

Ottawa radio host Mark Sutcliffe was laid off Wednesday morning, immediately following the broadcast of his popular CFRA Today show.

Sutcliffe was called into a meeting at 10 a.m., where he was told that the station was taking the morning show in “a different direction.”

“I was shocked,” he admits. “It was a complete blindside.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Bell Media Radio, which owns CFRA 580 AM, confirmed Sutcliffe’s “departure,” as well as those of hosts John Counsell, Ron Corbett and Nick Vandergragt. “We truly appreciate their many contributions to the station,” it read, “and wish each of them the very best in their future endeavors.”

Sutcliffe’s history with CFRA, now owned by Bell Media, extends back to 1987, when he was first hired to deliver the overnight news.

Sutcliffe is a philanthropic pillar in the community, sitting on numerous boards. He was last year’s co-chair of Ottawa’s United Way campaign, and also chaired the Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s a small silver lining in this,” said Sutcliffe, “which is that I can take my kids to school tomorrow morning. Usually when they wake up, I’m not here.”

CFRA 580 AM (50 Kw-D, 30 Kw-N) Red=Local Coverage
Bill Carroll
Later Thursday CFRA announced that former KFI 640 AM Los Angeles and Toronto veteran radio personality Bill Carroll is the new host of its all-new morning program The Morning Rush, premiering Monday, March 7 at 6 a.m.

In addition, CFRA announced a new evening lineup, welcoming well-known journalist, host, and columnist Brian Lilley as host of Beyond The News, also premiering Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome Bill while celebrating the return of Brian to 580 CFRA,” said Richard Gray, Vice-President and General Manager, Radio and TV, Bell Media, Ottawa and Pembroke. “Both are exceptional talents, and their permanent addition to our inimitable lineup of strong opinionators reinforces our committed and ongoing investment in the future of talk radio here in the Ottawa market.”

NYC Radio: NYMRAD Issues Bullish Q4 Report

In its 4Q 2015 “State of the New York Radio Market” report, the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association (NYMRAD) reports a robust ad picture, with a 3% increase in spot revenue during the fourth quarter.

Total revenues were up 5% in 2015 in the nation’s No. 1 radio market, per Miller Kaplan Arase data, led by growth within the communications, healthcare, and food and beverage categories.

“Virtually every category imaginable is represented among the over 200 new advertisers to New York radio,” said NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan, noting that spending by each of the new accounts exceeded $25,000 during 2015. “In fact, 26 of these new advertisers invested over $300,000 each in their radio ad spending, demonstrating strong advertiser confidence in radio.”

While automotive continues to lead the way among product categories, wireless carriers increased their spending by 10% for the full year 2015 and public utilities by 22%. Virtually every category was represented among the over 200 new advertisers to New York Radio in 2015. Each new advertiser spent at least $25,000 with 26 investing over $300,000 within the calendar year.

The research has also offered great proof that Radio has the greatest rate of return. Compared to every other advertising medium, every $1.00 devoted to Radio advertising can generate up to $17 of revenue per listener exposed to the message. Department stores ($17) saw the largest payback followed by mass merchandisers, ($16.37), home improvement ($9.48), and quick-service restaurants ($3.01).

Click Here To Read The Entire Report

Radio listening in New York mirrors national stats, with more than 90% in the market dialing in each week. The average New York listener is tuned in for more than 9 hours per week; the most popular radio formats are hot AC (11.1%) and top 40 (8.6%).

Massena NY Radio: WMSA Host Sandy Cook Arrested

Sandy Cook
It would be hard to find somebody in Massena NY and the rest of St. Lawrence County who doesn't recognize the name Sandy Cook.

The larger than life Cook has been the WMSA 1340 AM morning show host for 42 years. His chatty show, The Extravaganza, is one of the longest-running radio shows in New York State. His folksy radio style, tailor-made for small-town America, made him a household name not only in Massena but throughout St. Lawrence County.  It was rare when he didn't know a name offered for his Birthday Club announcements.

The Seawall News reports then it came to popularity, Cook was to Massena and area residents what Max Keeping was to Ottawa and the valley: A legend.

WMSA 1340 AM (910 watts)
When Cook celebrated his 40th year at WMSA, the Malone Telegram told readers, "It is reassuring to hear Sanford T.’s voice in the morning" and that Cook told his audience "everything we need to know to begin our day. Sandy lets us know about school activities, tells students and seniors what is for lunch each and the schedule for upcoming sporting events."

But after police raided his home Friday afternoon and took the veteran radioman and his house mate away in handcuffs, Cook's sterling reputation took a beating. His career may be over. Win, lose or draw, it is almost impossible to recover a soiled reputation in a small town.

Cook, 60, and Edward Slade, 24, were charged with cocaine and heroin possession.

Daytona 500 Starts NASCAR Season On SiriusXM

SiriusXM will begin its 15th season covering NASCAR with comprehensive coverage of the 58th running of the DAYTONA 500 on February 21.  Subscribers nationwide will have access to the live race broadcast, in-car audio from some of the sport's top drivers, and daily coverage from Daytona International Speedway on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90).

On DAYTONA 500 race day, SiriusXM will offer 15 hours of live programming from the speedway starting at 7:00 a.m. ET. Subscribers will hear every turn of the "The Great American Race" (green flag approximately 1:30 pm ET) plus full pre- and post-race coverage with expert analysis, reports from pit road and the garages, driver introductions and interviews with the race winner and other drivers.

SiriusXM will also offer additional Driver2Crew Chatter™ channels that will carry the in-car audio of several drivers as they compete in the DAYTONA 500. Drivers featured will include reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, 2015 DAYTONA 500 winner Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, and rookie sensation Chase Elliott, who drove the famed #24 car to this year's DAYTONA 500 pole position.

Scott Greenstein
"As we embark on our 15th season of covering NASCAR, we're proud to continue to offer SiriusXM listeners nationwide the most extensive coverage of the sport available anywhere on radio, with live broadcasts of every race and 24/7 coverage on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer. "Throughout Daytona 500 weekend, and throughout the season, we will bring our listeners closer to everything happening on and around the track."

SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will also provide live coverage of the Can-Am Duels, the 150-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying races, on Thursday, Feb. 18 (6:00 p.m. ET), the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Feb. 19 (7:00 p.m. ET), and the Power Shares QQQ 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Feb. 20 (3:00 p.m. ET).

Each day leading up to the DAYTONA 500 fans will get up-to-the-moment news, analysis and interviews with drivers, owners and crew members on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, which will broadcast live from Daytona every day.

Report: Pandora's Future Looks Iffy

Pandora, the pioneer in online radio, has a huge number of subscribers and brings in substantial advertising, but it isn’t making money. It’s 16 years into its existence and has yet to make a sustained profit.

Simply put, Pandora’s business model doesn’t work.

Media Life magazine reports tts very popularity works against it. The more songs played by subscribers, the higher its copyright fees go, eating into revenues. Advertising has not been able to keep up.

It’s also being challenged by newer entrants like Spotify.

When reports surfaced earlier this week that Pandora was on the block, it was hardly a surprise. Though analysts say Pandora still has potential, something has to change, and soon.

“Pandora has opted to invest heavily in ad sales infrastructure, as well as strategic investments, in order to pursue its long-term vision,” observes Mark Mulligan, managing director and analyst at MIDiA Research.

“Pandora’s business model has the potential to be much more profitable than Spotify’s, due to the different rates it gets from Soundexchange, while Spotify has to license directly from labels as it is fully on demand while Pandora is a semi-interactive radio service.”

Pandora needs to figure out how to make that happen.

While Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music are lumped together as direct competitors, they use very different technologies that offer very different user experiences.

Spotify and Apple Music allow users to curate playlists, assembling favorite songs and being able to play them as they choose. Pandora is a streaming service offering listeners radio channels based on their likes and dislikes.

“Although they are very different models, Wall Street views the streaming model as a single whole and thus Pandora lacks a growth story in a dynamic growth market.”

Pandora is attempting to address its technology gap. Last year it acquired Rdio, a service much like Spotify, for its on-demand capabilities, with the idea of integrating them into its offerings.