Saturday, August 20, 2016

August 21 Radio History

Ken Carpenter
In 1900... the man who, for 27 years was the announcer for Bing Crosby, Ken Carpenter was born in Avon Illinois. He became a staff announcer at KFI Los Angeles, and called USC & UCLA football games in the early 1930′s, and the Rose Bowl game in 1935.  In 1936 he began his career-long association with Crosby.  He also announced for Al Jolson and Edgar Bergen, The Life of Riley, Great Gildersleeve,  The Halls of Ivy, from 1952-55 Lux Radio Theatre, followed by Lux Video Theatre (1953-57.)

He died following a brief illness Oct. 16 1984 at age 84.

In of early TV’s most prolific sportscasters Chris Schenkel (below) was born in Biuppus Ind.  Although he did playbyplay for ABC TV on college football, Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, golf and tennis tournaments, boxing, auto racing, and the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, he is best remembered today as the voice of Professional Bowling for more than 35 years. He died of emphysema Sept. 11 2005 at age 82.

Jack Buck
In 1924...sportscaster Jack Buck was born in Holyoke Mass. His deep gravelly voice is best remembered for his baseball playbyplay of the St. Louis Cardinals over more than 40 years.  He also did NFL football on TV, plus World Series Baseball and (for 20 years) Monday Night Football for CBS radio. He died of lung cancer June 18 2002 at age 77.

In 1935...the Benny Goodman Orchestra played a concert that’s considered to be the beginning of the Swing Era. The band’s exhuberant performance was at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, and was heard by millions coast-to-coast on radio.

In 2003...longtime voice of the Boston Red Sox Ken Coleman died of bacterial meningitis at age 78.  Early in his career in Cleveland he called every touchdown scored by football great Jim Brown.

In 2005...the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, Robert Moog passed away at age 71, four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.  Dr. Moog built his first electronic instrument, a theremin , at the age of 14 and made the MiniMoog, “the first compact, easy-to-use synthesiser” in 1970

Traditional Radio Continues To Evolve

The history of radio dates back to the early 1800s. Wireless telegraphy pioneers like David Edward Hughes, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz and Nikola Tesla fought to understand the unseen forces of radio waves. However, it was Guglielmo Marconi who built the first crude radio in 1895 and broadcasted the very first transatlantic signal in 1901.

August 20, National Radio Day, celebrates the achievements and birth of modern day mass media, writes Matthew V. Libassi at

Now, over 120 years later, the age of radio is being reborn once again.  And who better to reflect on radio’s past and look ahead to the future than America’s favorite DJ and National Radio Hall of Famer, host of 'Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,' Elvis Duran.

Over three decades in radio, Duran has seen the industry change first hand.

“Thirty years ago I had no idea radio was going to turn into this digital monster it is now just becoming” Duran told in an exclusive interview.

“Radio in my beginning days was going into a room for four hours, playing a bunch of music and screaming about the artists… radio now has come out of the radio, on to the net and on to video and on stages, it’s a multiplatform thing. It’s nothing I expected ever to see“ says Duran.

Broadcasting out of WHTZ 1003. FM Z100 in New York since 1996, the 'Elvis Duran and the Morning Show' is the number one nationally syndicated radio morning show. The show gets the attention of more than 10 million listeners across 80 plus markets, as well as exposure across digital platforms and social media. Duran and his team continue to push the medium's boundaries.

“We use it all… Facebook hit on and then Twitter. We have evolved with whatever is hot. Right now it’s all about snapchat; we are waiting with whatever is next. We are going to be on it. We have to be, because that’s where our listeners are going” says Duran.

“Traditional radio is not going to die, it's going to evolve."

Shake-Up Looms At Viacom

(Reuters) --As Viacom Inc  prepares for the impending departure of CEO Philippe Dauman, his interim replacement, Thomas Dooley, is planning to reach out to investors, setting a new tone for a company that has kept communications minimal.

Dooley plans to set up meetings between shareholders and heads of Viacom networks, which include Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, two people familiar with the situation said on Friday. The move to engage is not unusual for a new CEO but marks a stark about-face from the closed, secretive culture that has surrounded Dauman and the $17 billion media company, investors and analysts told Reuters.

Viacom has been embroiled in a legal battle between Dauman and some members of its board on one side and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari Redstone, on the other, over control of Redstone's $40 billion media empire, which includes Viacom and CBS Corp. Redstone's privately held movie theater company, National Amusements Inc, owns 80 percent of the voting shares of both Viacom and CBS.

Sumner Redstone, Philippe Dauman, Thomas Dooley
On Friday, Dooley told employees the two sides had come to an agreement under which he will replace Dauman, 62, who will stay on as executive chair until Sept. 13, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

Dauman will be allowed to present a plan to sell a minority stake in Paramount Pictures to the Viacom board, the sources said. Dauman will receive about $72 million under the agreement, they said.

Dooley, 59, has long been Dauman's right-hand man. In the memo, he said he will stay on as interim CEO until Sept. 30, at which time the board will make a decision on succession plans.

Under the settlement, the board would add five directors that National Amusements put forward in June, bringing the board to 15 directors after Dauman departs, according to the memo. Three of the existing directors are expected to step down after Viacom's annual meeting next year, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Before the most recent legal fight, investors and analysts say they rarely met the heads of the businesses at the company and very few met Dauman other than seeing him at industry events.

"You read about the people who run the networks in the trades but I have never met them or Dauman," said Salvatore Muoio, whose firm New York-based S. Muoio & Co has owned voting shares of Viacom for six years. "I can't remember the last time they had an analyst day." In fact, the last analyst day was in 2006.

Dooley is hardly guaranteed to get the top job, making his outreach campaign important for himself as well as for the company. Some investors believe it would be better for the role to go to an outsider with a more creative background who could attract new talent and improve programming across Viacom, which has been struggling with lagging ratings. Others want Viacom to merge with CBS, also controlled by the Redstone family.

Dooley and Dauman have worked together for more than 30 years. They have been at Viacom twice, most recently returning in 2006 after Viacom was spun off from CBS when Dauman became CEO and Dooley was chief administrative officer, eventually being promoted to chief operating officer.
"I would prefer somebody with a fresh perspective who has a stronger background in entertainment and media," said Ben Strubel, a principal with Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based wealth manager Strubel Investment Management, which owns non-voting shares of Viacom.

Viacom has taken steps to improve its programming and Dooley hopes to better convey those steps as well as what the company is doing to provide advertisers with better data on its viewers, the sources said. Dooley, who was an architect of Viacom's strategy around data, plans to work with the company's board to assess Viacom's turnaround strategy, according to the memo.

Viacom has been struggling to turn around its declining ratings as more of its viewers cancel cable to get content online. Domestic ad revenue sank 4 percent in the third quarter and Viacom's stock is down 50 percent over the past two years.

For investor Mario Gabelli, whose firm is the second-largest owner of voting shares after Redstone, the real question is whether Viacom will be put back together with CBS and run by CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.

"I believe that Les can run this," he said.

Nashville Radio: WRVW To Host Rooftop Pool Party

iHeartMedia/Nashville Top 40 WRVW 107.5 FM The River has  announced an exclusive Rooftop Pool Party with Republic Records recording artists Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas. The event will take place September 7 in the rooftop pool area of the brand new Hilton Garden Inn in Nashville, TN.

The pool party is closed to the public, but listeners have the chance to win VIP wristbands exclusively from 107.5 the River between August 22 and September 2, 2016. VIP attendees will gain exclusive access to the rooftop pool area and bar, where Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas will co-host with 107.5 the River on-air personalities.

All winners will have the opportunity to take pictures with both artists as well.

“Nashville is Music City, and 107.5 the River has a long history of connecting our listeners with their favorite music and artists,” said Jonathan Shuford, Program Director for 107.5 The River. “This is going to be an incredible opportunity for us to give some lucky fans an experience with their idols that they will remember for the rest of our lives. Can. Not. WAIT!”

Former Radio PD Randy James Arrested for Bank Robbery

Randy James Fitzsimmons, a former program director forWMMX Mix 107.7 FM in Dayton from 1991-94, is in jail on charges that he committed a Nebraska bank robbery in Lincoln by passing a note to a teller, according to WHIO-TV.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that police arrested Fitzsimmons, 57 and listed in court records as James R. Fitzsimmons, on Tuesday.

Fitzsimmons left a US Bank branch without taking anything July 29, according to police, but not before passing a note that claimed gunmen and bombs that could be detonated remotely were inside the bank.

The Journal Star reported that according to court documents, the former radio program director also known as Randy James instructed the teller to place money in a bag and to not call police. No weapons or explosives were found. No one was injured.

Police said Fitzsimmons left in an older-model, four-door white vehicle bearing Ohio license tags.

A judge has set bail at $100,000. Fitzsimmons is expected back in a Lancaster County courtroom in early September.

In March 2013, he was program director for contemporary Christian WAKW STAR 93 3 FM in Cincinnati when he announced his resignation to launch his new media company, TRUTH2VALUE.

Fitzsimmons also is accused of faking his death in 2015.

L-A Radio: Veteran Market Personality Paul Freeman Retires

Paul Freeman
Paul Freeman, who started his broadcast career as a junior in high school and has been heard on Los Angeles airwaves since 1970, has hung up his headphones and will soon join his family in the state of Washington.

According to Richard Wagoner at the LA Daily News, a low-powered station set up in the basement of his childhood home led to his first job reading news, but he hit the big time when he landed at KEZY, now KGBN 1190 AM in 1970 soon after obtaining his broadcasting license at the William B. Ogden Radio School. KEZY was Anaheim’s answer to KHJ 930 AM and was a powerhouse of talent throughout its history.

In 1976, he arrived at KHJ and soon after KIIS AM/FM, which at the time was programmed by Charlie Tuna. Freeman stayed at KIIS (later on FM only, 102.7) through numerous formats: pop, disco and dance. Then came the station’s move into Top-40 in the early 1980s, which saw the talented staff work its way to the top of the Los Angeles ratings.

“That is my favorite radio memory — working at KIIS-FM when the station earned a 10 share in the Arbitron ratings,” Freeman told me. “It was so much fun ... you could feel the vibe when you stepped off the elevator on the 11th floor of the Motown Records building (where the studios were located). KIIS rocked the ’80s. ... We owned the city.”

His resume includes KODJ/KCBS-FM (93.1 FM), KZLA (now KXOS, 93.9 FM), KYSR (98.7 FM), KBIG (104.3 FM), and of course KKGO Go Country 105 FM, where he has worked the past nine years.

Christine Martindale has returned to the station to take over Freeman’s afternoon drive show.

R.I.P.: Actor, Radio Personality Jack Riley Passes at 80

Jack Riley 1935-2016
Jack Riley, the veteran comic actor who appeared on “The Bob Newhart Show,” died Friday, August 19, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 80.

Riley’s wife Ginger Lawrence told Deadline that the actor died of pneumonia after a long illness.

He appeared on dozens of TV shows over a career that spanned five decades, but he may have been best known to television audiences as neurotic and self-absorbed patient Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show.” He appeared in 49 episodes of the sitcom. The character was so popular he reprised the role on “St. Elsewhere” and “ALF.”

He was also familiar to younger audiences as the voice of Stu Pickles in “Rugrats” and its spinoff, “All Grown Up!”

He had recurring roles on several notable television comedies, including “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Night Court,” and “Son of the Beach.” On film he was a regular in Mel Brooks films like “High Anxiety,” “History of the World: Part I,” and “Spaceballs.”

Riley was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 30, 1935.  During the '60s, Riley became a popular radio personality in Cleveland, along with his radio partner and "straight man" Jeff Baxter; The Baxter & Riley Show on WERE 1300 AM featured not only music but comedy sketches and a slew of offbeat characters that Riley and Baxter voiced.

He then moved to Los Angeles where fellow Ohioan Tim Conway helped get him work as a writer.

He got his first semi-regular role in the sitcom “Occasional Wife” in 1966. He was a frequent sitcom guest star before his stint on “The Bob Newhart Show” and was even more in demand afterward. Between the 1960s and 1990s he logged guest appearances on “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Barney Miller,” “Silver Spoons,” “Friends,” and “Seinfeld.”

August 20 Radio History

Alan Reed

In Alan Reed was born Herbert Theodore Bergman in New York City.  He was a strong, burly presence on film and TV but he would be better remembered for his equally strong, distinctive voice.

His work involved featured roles on Abie’s Irish Rose; as the “Allen’s Alley” resident poet Falstaff Openshaw on Fred Allen‘s NBC Radio show, as Officer Clancey on the NBC Radio show Duffy’s Tavern; as Shrevey the driver on several years of The Shadow; as Chester Riley’s boss on NBC Radio’s The Life of Riley, and as Italian immigrant Pasquale in Life with Luigi on CBS Radio.

He is perhaps best remembered as the voice of Fred Flinstone in the ABC-TV cartoon series.

He sufered a fatal heart attack June 14 1977 at age 69.

Andre Baruch
In 1908...veteran golden-voiced announcer Andre Baruch was born in France. He tried to begin his career as a pianist for NBC Radio but got into the wrong line of applicants; he was in the announcers’ line and was hired on the spot.

Over an almost 60 year career he announced for such OTR programs as The American Album of Familiar Music, The Fred Waring Show, The Kate Smith Show, The Shadow, Your Hit Parade and The United States Steel Hour.

Fulfilling a 20-year dream, in 1954 he was named to the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast team, for whom he worked for two years on WMGM radio and WOR-TV.

He died Sept. 15 1991 at age 83.

In 1920...In Michigan, the Detroit News founded radio station 8MK, operating at first using an amateur license until granted a limited commercial license in October 1921. In March 1922, the call-letters were changed to WWJ, which they have remained ever since.

In 1959...A Motorola 6 plus 2 transistor radio was advertised for $29.95. Six transistors and 2 diodes. "Hour after hour of top flight listening on a single inexpensive battery. Built-inantenna, Built-in easel for convenience. Slips into purse or pocket."

In 1960...19-year-old Marv Alpert, a journalism major at Syracuse University was working at WMGM 1050 AM radio in New York during the summer in the record library and news department.

In 1960...Mel Allen, often called the voice of the Yankees, will do the play-by-play of the New York Giants football team over CBS Radio.

In 1963...WCPO in Cincinnati goes “All Hootenanny” - all folk music ...

In 1963...It was announced that all-night talk show host Long John Nebel - heard on WOR 710 AM in New York would also be heard on WNAC 680 AM in Boston, also owned by RKO-General.

In 1963...NYC Deejay Stan Z. Burns at 1010 WINS, New York has the magic touch. After playing “That Sunday, That Summer” off of Nat King Cole’s latest album with tremendous response, Capitol Records announced it will release it as a single.

Rick Sklar
In 1963...Many in the industry are stunned by the promotion of Rick Sklar, director of community services at 77 WABC Radio in New York, to Program Director, replacing Sam Holman. The announcement was made by newly-appointed vice-president and general manager Walter Schwartz. “Sam Holman, who has done so much to bring WABC to its present enviable position in the market, willcontinue to be a front-line piece of talent for us (Holman is also a DJ).

With the responsibilities of running a major radio station in the nation’s first market, it is necessary that we have a man in charge of the program department who would not be faced with the dual responsibility of an air show. Sklar has an excellent track record (he was formerly with 1010 WINS and WMGM 1050 AM) and will be given complete authority on all matters involving programming.” Sklar says: “There will be changes and innovations forth coming in conjunction with our fall campaign.

In 1963...the CBS radio network established a new dimension in network broadcasting. Net Alert systems were just installed in more than 200 stations of the CBS radio network. This will now allow newsrooms in New York or Los Angles to notify local or other network programs of an important news story.

In 1967...With FM radio making some ratings noise in New York, it was announced that a new kind of transmitting antenna was available to improve FM reception. WABC 95.5 FM & WCBS 101.1 FM in New York, began transmitting in September with a circularly polarized antenna from the Empire State Building.

FM transmissions are either horizontal or vertical or both, which means your radio antenna must be positioned the same way. Circularly polarized transmitting antennas means you will be able to set your FM antenna anywayyou want and reception should be good on any plane.

In 1967....The New York Times published a report about a noise reduction technology for tape recording that had been developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. Checkmate Records was the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings.

In 1976...Gordon Lightfoot released his soon-to-be hit single, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, from his album Summertime Dream, about an ore carrier which sank on Lake Superior. It would reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1997...Talk show host Bob Grant sued his former radio station – Talkradio 77 WABC New York which he says, tried to blacklist him after he made controversial remarks about deceased commerce secretary Ron Brown.

In 2009...keyboard player and guitarist Larry Knechtel, who was a studio musician on such classic recordings as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mother And Child Reunion, Swayin' To The Music, Rockin' Pneumonia-Boogie Woogie Flu, Mac Arthur Park, Stoned Soul Picnic, Good Vibrations, Up Up And Away, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Monday Monday, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Christmas-Baby Please Come Home, Eve Of Destruction, Summer Breeze, Dance With The Guitar Man, Taking The Long Way)/guitarist (Stoney End, The Guitar Man, Light My Fire, Mr. Tambourine Man, Surf City and who was a member of the 1970′s group Bread, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 69.

In  2015…Retired broadcast meteorologist Harry Volkman, who reported the weather on four different Chicago television stations over the course of four decades, died of a respiratory ailment at 89.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Nashville Radio: Ryan McKiddy Named New APD/MD At WSIX

iHeartMedia/Nashville announced today that Ryan McKiddy has been named Assistant Program Director and Music Director for WSIX 97.9 FM The BIG 98 WSIX, effective September 1.

He will also serve as night on-air personality for the station.

iHeartMedia has massive consumer reach and influence across multiple platforms and delivers more live programming than any other media company, and McKiddy will be responsible for delivering a night-time program for Nashville’s Country music fans and supporting the Programming department as the Assistant Program Director and Music Director for The BIG 98.

McKiddy joins iHeartMedia Nashville from KCYY Y100.3 FM in San Antonio, where he served as an afternoon on-air personality and Music Director. He began his radio career as a programming intern at iHeartMedia Chicago’s 103.5 Kiss FM and was a weekend on-air personality for US99.5 in Chicago. McKiddy is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

“Ryan is a stand out on-air personality and radio pro whose competitive spirit and passion for winning, tremendous relationships and love for country music make him uniquely qualified to serve as our ambassador to both fans and the Nashville record label community,” said Michael Bryan, iHeartMedia Nashville’s Senior Vice President of Programming. “I can’t wait to have him working his magic at The BIG 98.”

WSIX 97.9 FM (100 kw) Red=Local Coverage 
“Words cannot even begin to describe how ecstatic I am to be joining the iHeartMedia Nashville team,” said McKiddy. “A BIG 98 thank you to Tony Coles, Rod Phillips, Dan Endom and Michael Bryan for making this happen.”

CEO Dauman Gets $72M To Walk Away From Viacom

(Reuters) -- Viacom Inc and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone have come to an agreement on terms of a settlement that would result in the departure of Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

An announcement is expected to come Thursday night, sources said.

The settlement would end the battle for control over Redstone's $40 billion empire that includes Viacom and CBS, and which has been a source of shareholder angst and months of uncertainty.

It would also conclude the legal battle between Dauman and Redstone in Massachusetts over the CEO's removal from National Amusements Inc, the privately held company that holds Redstone's Viacom and CBS Corp voting shares, as well as the trust that will determine the fate of both media companies when the 93-year-old dies or is deemed mentally incapacitated.

Philippe Dauman
Under terms of the settlement, if finalized, Dauman, 62, will be replaced by Viacom Chief Operating Officer and his longtime right-hand man, Thomas Dooley, who will be interim CEO until Sept. 30, and then may stay on longer, according to the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because the discussions are confidential.

As part of the agreement, Dauman will stay on as executive chairman until Sept. 13 and be allowed to present his plan to sell a minority stake in Paramount Pictures to the Viacom board, the sources said. Dauman will receive about $72 million under the agreement, they said.

Spokesmen for Viacom and National Amusements declined to comment.

Sumner Redstone in May removed Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Inc Trust. A spokesman for Redstone said the media mogul had been unhappy with the company's performance and about Dauman's plans to sell a stake in Paramount Pictures.

Dauman and Abrams shot back with their own lawsuit to prevent their removal from the trust, arguing that Redstone was being manipulated by his daughter, Shari. Shari Redstone called the allegation "absurd" and said her father made his own decisions.

Redstone also moved to kick Dauman and four other directors off the board in June, sparking litigation in Delaware to block the attempt.

Under the settlement, the board would add the five directors that National Amusements put forward in June. It is unclear when the directors that National Amusements moved to replace will leave the board.

Sumner Redstone's granddaughter, Keryn Redstone, has filed a cross-complaint in connection to that lawsuit, and is planning to proceed with her lawsuit even if there is a settlement, according to a source familiar with the situation. However, that suit is unlikely to affect the removal of Dauman from Viacom and Redstone's trust.

Since he became CEO in 2006, Dauman has received over $409 million in reported compensation, according to Equilar.

Viacom-CBS: What's Next For Les Moonves?

Les Moonves
62-yerar-old Philippe Dauman long considered overpaid by his many critics on Wall Street. And the severance package that was supposed to be ratified in the settlement is not likely to quell those protests, reports Variety.

The Viacom boss had seen his fortunes rise as the acquisitive Redstone built Viacom into a behemoth, with a market value that now stands at $19 billion. But his stature dipped precipitously, especially with the increasing struggle of the conglomerate’s sprawling cable television outlets against a regiment of new media competitors. With Paramount also falling at, or near, the bottom of the box office rankings in recent times, the company’s stock has declined more than 45% from its 2014 high of more than $88 a share.

The son of French immigrants will leave his post with the question of corporate succession still not entirely settled. While the agreement only guarantees Dooley the interim CEO position, it also makes him eligible to win the post permanently. But some insiders and most independent analysts believe that Viacom’s reconstituted board almost surely will turn to someone else.

One theory is that the Viacom board – including five new members who will take their seats once the settlement takes full effect, according to sources – will appoint CBS Corp. CEO and chairman Les Moonves to the same roles at Viacom.

CBS and Viacom had been joined as a single corporation until 2006, when Redstone cleaved the two into separate operations, saying that they needed to be more nimble and specialized in a new media landscape tilted toward digital programming. While there has been speculation that CBS and Viacom could be rejoined, most observers believe that would present too many governance and value complications.

Moonves’s elevation would seem to solve, at least temporarily, concerns about Viacom’s flagging performance.

The one-time actor is known to be a favorite of Shari Redstone, 62, the former prosecutor and tech investor who sits on the boards of both of the family companies and is viewed as having an outsized role in their future. Shari has long touted Moonves’s management skills and business savvy, in contrast to those of Dauman, who she viewed as overly cautious. The Redstone heiress was seen huddling with Moonves at this spring’s Allen & Company moguls retreat in Sun Valley Idaho.

Indy Radio: Smulyan Wants To Take Emmis Private

Emmis Communications Corp. CEO Jeff Smulyan has again proposed taking the radio and publishing firm private—the third time in the last 10 years, reports The Indy Business Journal.

E Acquisitions Corp., the company that Smulyan has established to complete the acquisition, would purchase all shares of publicly traded Emmis for $4.10 each, according to a proposal announced late Thursday. Smulyan stated that he had secured financing from Falcon Investment Advisors, a Boston-based private equity firm.

With approximately 12.2 million Emmis shares outstanding, the deal would be worth about $50.3 million.

If Smulyan’s proposal is successful, Emmis would cease to be a public company, according to the proposal. Emmis shares were trading at $3.96 at market close on Thursday, meaning Smulyan was offering a scant markup for the shares.

Jeff Smulyan
This is not the first time Smulyan—the company's controlling shareholder—has tried to take Emmis private. He also made attempts in 2006 and 2010 but hit obstacles with shareholders.

This time, it appears he has a good shot at succeeding.

“I would think there is a reasonable chance this could go through at this time. Given how small the market cap is, I don’t see any major holders that will dig in their heels and say, 'They’re not paying us a fair price,'" said Mark Foster, a stock analyst with Columbus-based Kirr Marbach. “It’s a decent premium based on where the stock was trading two months ago.”

“The company must think word leaked on this proposal pushing the stock price up in recent days,” Foster said. Shares had been trading near $3 before a sudden spike in the second week in July.

The company soon might look different than it does today, if the transaction goes through. Emmis is considering options to reduce its debt and “exploring strategic alternatives”—Wall Street lingo for exploring a sale—for its publishing division, according to the proposal. It also might sell some of its radio stations.

Smulyan started Emmis in 1979 with the acquisition of a Shelbyville radio station. The company went public in 1994.

Emmis has the ninth-largest radio portfolio in the U.S., according to the company. It owns 19 FM and four AM radio stations in Indianapolis, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Austin, Texas. The company's best-known stations include WIBC-FM (93.1) in Indianapolis, KPWR-FM (105.9) in Los Angeles, known as Power 106, and WQHT-FM (97.1) in New York, known as Hot 97.

Report: Pandora Nears Deals For On-Demand Streaming

Pandora Media Inc. is aiming to start expanding its internet-radio service as soon as next month, offering its hallmark free tier as well as two new monthly subscription options that will mark its foray into on-demand music streaming, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Pandora is close to inking deals with major record companies that will allow it to do so both in the U.S. and in new overseas markets, though the agreements haven’t been finalized, these people said.

While the music industry broadly supports the new paid tiers, some record-label executives are still wary of granting Pandora permission to launch its free service in new foreign markets without the ability to control which songs they put on the free tier.

Until now, the 16-year-old outfit hasn’t had to secure permission from record labels to use their music because it doesn’t let users listen to particular tunes on demand. It also had limited its service to the U.S., Australia and New Zealand—the few countries that make music licensing essentially automatic for internet-radio firms, as long as they pay rates mandated by federal judges or licensing collectives.

Pandora plans to roll out its new subscription tiers in the U.S. and then in other English-speaking countries before launching elsewhere, these people said.

The foreign expansion could jump start growth for Pandora, which has seen its listenership plateau in recent years at about 80 million active monthly users. Most listeners use Pandora’s free tier, with about 4 million subscribing to an ad-free version of its service, Pandora One, for $5 a month.

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Gawker To Shutdown Next Week

Adam Peck - New Republic Composite
Univision Communications has no plans to operate after acquiring Gawker Media’s assets for $135 million, a source told Forbes on Thursday. According to the source, the Spanish-language media organization will operate sites like Jezebel and Deadspin, but will shutter Gawker’s namesake site.

That was further confirmed on Thursday in a post on that said the site will end operations next week. Another source noted that Univision had already explored the possibility of selling the blog but had been unsuccessful in finding any takers.

Even if did find a home, founder Nick Denton, who is expected to leave the company once the sale is finalized, would have been prevented from operating the site due to a non-compete agreement with Univision. Denton informed Gawker’s newsroom of Univision’s plans in a meeting on Thursday. Politico first reported on Denton’s expected departure on Wednesday night.

“Sadly, neither I nor, the buccaneering flagship of the group I built with my colleagues, are coming along for this next stage,” Denton said in a memo to staff. “Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky.”

The shuttering of would mean the end for an 13-year-old blog that has pushed the boundaries of news with an aggressive, sometimes caustic style. In 2007, the site wrote about the sexuality of PayPal cofounder and investor Peter Thiel, noting that he was gay. Five years later, it published a story on the sexual exploits of former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan along with clips from a sex tape with the wife of Tampa radio personality Bubba (Clem) The Love Sponge.

That post led to an invasion of privacy suit, which Gawker Media lost earlier this year. With a $140 million jury verdict hanging over its head, the company filed for bankruptcy, leading to its eventual sale by auction to Univision on Tuesday. FORBES was the first to reveal that Thiel had been secretly funding Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker in May.

Gawker is currently appealing the Hogan verdict, a process that is expected to take years to play out in court. Both sides, meanwhile, are reportedly still engaged in settlement talks.

Boston Radio: Official! John Dennis Steps Away From Morning Show

John Dennis, Gerry Callahan, Kirk Kirk Minihane
Sports WEEI 93.7 FM yesterday confirmed John Dennis will not be 
returning to the “Dennis & Callahan” morning show.

The station said in a statement that Dennis, who has been on the air with partner Gerry Callahan for 19 years, is leaving for “health reasons” and “on advice of his doctors that he reduce his workload.”

The release went on to say that Dennis will continue with the station “in a moderated capacity,” working with advertisers (read that to mean commercial endorsements), as an ambassador to sponsors and community organizations, and will “occasionally host WEEI programs.”

Dennis will also continue to work on the station’s annual Jimmy Fund Telethon and will co-host it Aug. 29 and 30 with Callahan and Kirk Minihane.

“I’m so looking forward to finally sleeping in,” Dennis told the Boston Herald, declining further comment.

Insiders told The Herald Dennis has had it with Minihane and that Dennis told management the toxic relationship was hazardous to his health!

According to The Boston Globe,  Dennis, whose contract is up in September 2017, threatened to quit two weeks ago after a Twitter war of words regarding Minihane. WEEI management wanted him to stay on because of his appeal to certain advertisers and sponsors.

Rio: Matt Lauer HiJacked The Story, Did Billy Bush Get The Shaft?

Insiders say Today's Matt Lauer hijacked new colleague Billy Bush’s Ryan Lochte scoop when Lauer landed his own exclusive interview with the dodgy swimmer on Wednesday night from the Rio Olympics after Bush broke the story.

According to The NY Post, Bush — who just joined “Today” from “Access Hollywood” — nailed the scoop of the games in Rio on Sunday when he randomly ran into Lochte while shopping with “Access Hollywood” co-host Kit Hoover and interviewed the swimmer on an iPhone about being the alleged victim in a dramatic robbery.

But on Wednesday, as the story exploded, NBC Olympics host Bob Costas introduced an update on the Lochte story, because the swimmer’s tale seemed fishy — but it wasn’t Bush who was introduced, but instead Lauer, who reported he had just done his own interview with Lochte on the phone.

Buzz around NBC is that Bush was expected to do a follow-up, but Lauer swooped in. “Matt has a history of demanding interviews, and it’s Billy’s first big story as anchor,” said an insider. “It was his story. NBC snubbed Billy and let Matt do it. Billy got burned.”

Ashleigh Banfield Succeeding Nancy Grace On HLN

Ashleigh Banfield
Ashleigh Banfield ended Thursday’s edition of CNN’s Legal View telling viewers she is ending her run as host of the noon ET program on August 23. She explained she is going to host a primetime show on HLN that will be a “unique brand of social and legal issues oriented program.”

“It is really tough to tell you I am going to be leaving,” said Banfield, who has been with CNN since 2011. But, according to, she cast the move as “joining my friends” who have been shifted over to HLN as that network undergoes yet another re-branding.

“Ashleigh’s new show will air live, M-Thu, 8–9 PM ET, and will premiere on Monday, October 17. She will bring her legal experience and views to HLN prime, tackling the day’s most pressing social and legal issues mixed with her own passionate point of view and spirited conversation. Ashleigh and her distinct journalistic style is the perfect fit as we continue to refocus on our news roots and increase our live hours of programming.”

Media Wants Court To Force Release Of Pulse Videos

Attorneys for almost two dozen media groups are arguing in federal court in Florida that a lawsuit demanding the release of 911 calls involving the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando should be moved back to state court.

Attorneys for The Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times and other media groups are arguing Thursday that the case doesn’t belong in federal court.

The NY Post reports the case pits the City of Orlando against media companies seeking the release of recordings of dozens of 911 calls as well as communications between gunman Omar Mateen and the Orlando Police Department. Mateen was killed by police early June 12 after a lengthy standoff in the shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.

The media groups argue that the recordings will help the public evaluate the police response to the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The city, which is the custodian of the recordings, claims the recordings are exempt under Florida public records law and that the FBI insists releasing them may disrupt the ongoing investigation.

In court papers, the Department of Justice argues the recordings are federal records and not subject to Florida’s public records law.

The media companies argue that the Department of Justice is “one of perhaps many parties standing on the sidelines” and aren’t a proper party to the lawsuit.

“This case is a dispute solely between the News Media and the City,” the media groups said in court papers.

San Diego Radio: KBZT Plans For MLB Padres Broadcasts

(Chris) Cantore + (Steven) Woods, Weekday Mornings on FM 949 - San Diego's Alternative
Entercom San Diego and the San Diego Padres officially announce their partnership to bring the 2017 baseball season, live for the first time on the FM dial, exclusively to KBZT 94.9 FM.

Padres’ broadcasters Ted Leitner and Jesse Agler will continue to handle the play by play duties. Each broadcast will also feature 30 minutes of pre and post-game coverage during afternoon/evening drive times and weekends.

The San Diego Padres and Entercom are eager to engage fans through an innovative FM format for the 2017 baseball season. “A partnership with Entercom’s alternative rock station KBZT 94.9 FM is a perfect way to attract new fans, and to enhance the fidelity of broadcast for more traditional sports programming listeners,” said Entercom’s President of Programming, Pat Paxton. “At the heart of the partnership, is a desire to innovate and evolve broadcasting to increase accessibility to local content for our listeners and fans.”

Entercom strives to engage their audiences through meaningful local and live programming, whereby a relationship with San Diego’s favorite MLB team, is a grand slam. KBZT 94.9 - FM is thrilled to offer another desirable asset in addition to to their quality music programming. “Baseball is a great fit for our millennial audience at KBZT,” says Entercom San Diego’s market manager Bob Bolinger. “It provides the opportunity for us to super serve our audiences with music and sports, fueling their appetitive for great entertainment.  Short of being at the ball park or attending a concert, baseball and music will be greatly experienced on KBZT 94.5FM!”

The partnership also brings Entercom San Diego’s Sunny 98.1 and KSON-FM into the fold for additional cross-promotion and listener engagement, building value for The Padres, Entercom listeners and clients alike.

"We are very excited about our partnership with Entercom and the ability to offer Padres
games on the FM dial," said Padres Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Partello. "As we aim to connect with all of San Diego, Entercom San Diego's ability to reach 1.1 million people per week across all of their stations will play a large part in these efforts."

Triad Radio: WMAG-FM Names Gary Nolan New PD

Gary Nolan
iHeartMedia has announced that Gary Nolan has been named Program Director for AC WMAG 99.5 FM and will assume duties on Monday, August 22, 2016.

Nolan previously worked as the Program Director for KCMO-AM and FM in Kansas City. He has also served as Program Director for KOSI 101.1 FM in Denver and for KRWM WARM 106.9 FM in Seattle.

“I’d like to thank Rich McMillan, Jeff Wyatt, Meg Stevens, Dave Carwile and Bill McMartin for this amazing opportunity,” said Nolan.

“It’s an honor to take over the reins of this heritage radio station. I’m also looking forward to working with the incredibly talented Lora Songster. We’re going to have a blast and do great radio. I can’t wait to get started!”

WMAG 99.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Nolan most recently served as Operations Manager of Cumulus Media’s Pensacola FL cluster.

Michele Tafoya Joins NBC Sports Radio

Michele Tafoya
NBC Sports Radio Thursday announced that Michele Tafoya, NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-winning Sunday Night Football sideline reporter, will be joining the network as its NFL Insider for the upcoming football season. Tafoya, a radio and TV sports veteran, will be a featured contributor across NBC Sports Radio programming and will do interviews with affiliated stations.

Tafoya said, “I began my broadcasting career in radio, and I absolutely love the medium.  Sports talk radio offers a certain freedom to talk more conversationally than most formats.  NBC Sports Radio has been a fun platform for me over the past couple of seasons, so I'm looking forward to this extended role.”

“We are lucky to have someone of Michele’s caliber join us this season in a more permanent role,” said Suzanne Grimes, Westwood One’s President and EVP, Corporate Marketing. “She’s got game, for sure. Her reporter’s eye-view from the sides give her an exceptional take on what’s really happening on the field. Plus, her years of experience and incredible insider’s knowledge make her the perfect asset to our in-depth football coverage on NBC Sports Radio.”

Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures, added "Michele is one of the very best in the sports broadcasting business, and our listeners will love hearing her insights on a regular basis."

Tafoya is the sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, primetime television’s #1 show for five consecutive years (2011-15). She joined NBC Sports Group in 2011, and in her first year with NBC, Tafoya was awarded the Sports Emmy for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter.” On December 13, 2015 in Houston, Tafoya worked her milestone 200th game (regular season and playoffs) on the NFL sidelines. She most recently reported on Swimming from The 2016 Rio Olympics.

Prior to joining NBC Sports Group, Tafoya spent more than a decade at ABC/ESPN where she saw her profile rise steadily through a variety of on-air roles, most notably as a reporter for Monday Night Football and ESPN’s NFL studio programs. Before that, she worked for CBS Sports as a game reporter and studio host for NFL, college football, and college basketball telecasts, in addition to other major sporting events. Tafoya previously hosted The Michele Tafoya Show on WCCO/Minneapolis-St. Paul. Early in her career, she worked as a host and Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter for KFAN-AM/Minneapolis and also served as a Minnesota Timberwolves host and sideline reporter for the Midwest Sports Channel.

In 2014, Tafoya won the Gracie Award for “Outstanding On-Air Talent in a Sports Program” for her work on Sunday Night Football. The American Sportscasters Association voted Tafoya among the top female sportscasters (No. 4) in 2009, while the Davie-Brown Index ranked her among the most likeable TV sports personalities in 2006, including “Biggest Trend-Setter.”

CBS Sports Radio Revamps Weekend Line-Up

CBS Sports Radio Thursday announced the schedule for the network’s football-focused weekend programming, broadcasting reports and coverage on over 330 affiliate stations across the country.  Listeners can tune in to CBS Sports Radio on-air, streaming online at or by downloading the app for mobile devices.

Kicking off the season is EYE ON FANTASY FOOTBALL, which will begin Saturday, Aug. 20 and feature senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg on a rotating basis.

Broadcasting from two locations – the CBS Sports Radio studios in New York and the studios in Fort Lauderdale – from 10:00PM- 12:00Midnight, ET, the show will air on various CBS RADIO local sports stations including Sports Radio 660 and 101.9 FM WFAN (New York), 105.3 The Fan (Dallas/Fort-Worth), Sports Radio 610 (Houston), 106.7 The Fan (Washington, D.C.), 105.7 The Fan (Baltimore), and 93-7 The Fan (Pittsburgh) – pending local scheduling.

Starting Saturday, Sept. 3, CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host EYE ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL weekly.  From 12:00Noon-8:00PM, ET, Ackerman will provide the newest updates from all of the top college football games, as well as interviews with coaches, players, writers, broadcasters and more.

Then on Sundays, CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amendolara will be the host of SUNDAY MORNING FOOTBALL from 9:00-11:00AM, ET beginning Sunday, Sept. 11, and will preview the day’s football games, as well as recap the college football games from earlier in the week.  Amendolara, known by his fans as D.A., regularly hosts the network’s popular evening program, “The D.A. Show” weeknights from 6:00-10:00PM, ET.’s FANTASY FOOTBALL TODAY also returns Sunday, Sept. 11.  A simulcast of the website’s show, the program will be broadcast from 11:00AM-12:00Noon, ET featuring co-hosts Nick Costos, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg.  FANTASY FOOTBALL TODAY will bring fans the latest fantasy football news.

Finally, Ackerman will host EYE ON FOOTBALL also beginning Sunday, Sept. 11.  From 12:00Noon-8:00PM, ET, the program will focus on the current news and scores from every NFL game, as well as featured interviews and more.

Here is a complete look at CBS Sports Radio’s weekend lineup:

Saturdays (all times ET)
  • 2:00-6:00AM: host Paul Nanos
  • 6:00–10:00AM:  hosts Moose and Maggie (Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray)
  • 10:00AM–12:00Noon: Eye on Baseball, hosted by Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski
  • 12:00Noon-8:00PM: Eye on College Football, hosted by Rich Ackerman
  • 8:00–10:00PM: host Jody McDonald
  • 10:00PM-12:00Midnight: Eye on Fantasy Football, hosted by Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg
Sundays (all times ET)
  • 12:00Midnight–2:00AM: host Bill Simonson
  • 2:00-6:00AM: host Paul Nanos
  • 6:00–9:00AM: host John Kincade
  • 9:00-11:00AM: Sunday Morning Football, hosted by Damon Amendolara
  • 11:00AM-12:00Noon: Fantasy Football Today, hosted by Nick Costos, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg
  • 12:00Noon-8:00PM: Eye on Football, hosted by Rich Ackerman
  • 8:00PM-10:00PM: host Jody McDonald
  • 10:00PM-2:00AM: host Ken Carman

Country Artist Jason Aldean To Host Labor Day Special

Summer will not go quietly, if RIAA’s top digital Country male artist of all time, Jason Aldean, has anything to say about it!

The multi-platinum Country superstar will host Workin’ Hard Country, Westwood One’s Labor Day salute to America’s work force. Westwood One's holiday music specials have become a welcome tradition with hundreds of programmers, millions of listeners, and local advertisers.

Aldean will fire up the party with his signature wide-open sound, including his wistful new single "A Little More Summertime,” his 17th career #1, "Lights Come On,” and more new music from his seventh studio album THEY DON’T KNOW (Broken Bow Records), available September 9.

The four-hour music-intensive end-of-summer blowout will feature music from the Platinum singer/songwriter's A-list buddies, including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Kelsea Ballerini, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and more.

Stations can air Westwood One’s Labor Day holiday special Workin’ Hard Country any time Saturday, September 3 - Monday, September 5, 2016 6:00 am and 12 midnight. For more information, contact Donny Walker at (615) 727-6987 or

Report: Fox News, Gretchen Carlson Settlement ThisClose

Gretchen Carlson
For Gretchen Carlson, a big settlement in her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes might be the best outcome personally, according to Margaret Sullivan, media writer at The Washington Post.

Sullivan writes, the former Fox News host would get to make her point, pick up an eight-figure check, pay her legal bills and move on with her life, which includes raising two middle-school-age children.

A settlement — which could happen within days — would allow the whole thing to fade away. Ailes might pay part of it, as Sarah Ellison at Vanity Fair has reported, but with his reported $40 million golden parachute, that wouldn’t hurt him much. And 21st Century Fox can certainly afford whatever it costs; the news division earns over $1 billion a year in profit.

If the settlement also includes a nondisclosure agreement — essentially, “we pay, and you keep your mouth shut” — the whole subject goes quiet again, at least from Carlson.

A trial, on the other hand, would keep this important subject alive and in the public eye. While it would take many months, maybe even years, to get to court, it would eventually bring all of the ugliness out into the light of day.

Cross Platform Media Files For Bankruptcy

Cross Platform Media, a conservative-leaning Raleigh company that did business under several names in its three-year history – from USA Radio Networks to Christian Press to Christian News Service – has shuttered and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to Triangle Business Journal.

CEO Sam Hassell said Thursday that capital “seemed to dry up in the broadcasting industry.”
“We needed investors to be able to continue and it never materialized,” he said, adding that he had no additional comment. “I’m trying to move forward.”

In 2014, Hassell told Triangle Business Journal his firm, which had about 50 employees at the time, was a “content development distribution company” operating in the national space and planning to consolidate its operations across the country into a Raleigh headquarters. He claimed his company syndicated 20 conservative-leaning talk radio shows, including "Dani Johnson Show," "Bill Martinez Live" and others.

Martinez said in an email he hadn't been affiliated with Cross since late 2015, and a spokeswoman with Johnson said that show, too, had moved on to a different syndicator.

In a bankruptcy petition filed Wednesday, the firm listed total liabilities of nearly $1.5 million and assets of just $1,200. Debts include several business loans, including one for $600,000 claimed by another Hassell company, Marketel Media, as well as $200,000 to Hargett Street LLC, listed as “landlord,” and more than $92,000, listed as “Associated Press Debt." Employees, too, were listed as being owed thousands, with one owed $40,000, according to the filing.

The company claims to have made $2.5 million in gross revenue in 2015 and $300,000 in 2014, and made moves in the past year to improve its financial situation, such as selling equipment and receivables associated with USA Radio Network to Arizona-based Anthem Broadcasting. The sale was valued at $151,165.

Des Moines Radio: Jan Mickelson Returns To WHO

Jan Mickelson
Longtime WHO 1040 AM talk show host Jan Mickelson returned to the microphone Thursday at the WHO Radio iHeart Studio at the Iowa State Fair.

Mickelson suffered a stroke last November and guest hosts have been filling in.

Mickelson announced that he will return to his show on a limited basis, from 11-11:30 a.m. each day.

Mickelson spent several months in China going through herbal and acupuncture therapy. He said the doctor there told him they used 2,400 needles on him while he was there. He is continuing that treatment with a Chinese doctor now in West Des Moines.

In his time away from Iowa, Mickelson said he really was looking forward to Iowa sweet corn. The first thing he did on his way home from the airport was stopping to buy a big batch of sweet corn. The longtime host showed some of the dry humor which has been his trademark over his tenure.

August 19 Radio History

In 1903...writer Fran Striker was born in Buffalo New York. He was best known for creating the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon characters for young listeners with half-hour melodramas aired from the studios of George W. Trendle’s WXYZ Detroit, from the early 1930’s into the TV era.  At his peak Striker was writing 156 Lone Ranger scripts a year. He died in a car crash while moving with his family Sept. 4th 1962 at age 59.

In 1929…"Amos 'n' Andy," the comedy program starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, heard in Chicago and then in syndication since March 1928, made its network debut on NBC Radio. The program stayed on the air in different lengths and forms, switching networks to CBS in 1939, until November 1960.

In 1955...
1010 WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of R&B (DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's)

In 1974...Cousin Brucie started at WNBC 660 AM.

He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC; after three years there, he left the airwaves to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of stations.

In 1975...WQIV 104.3 FM NYC ended it AOR format at 2:00 PM

WQIV was a short-lived FM rock station (November 7, 1974 - August 25, 1975) owned by Starr Broadcasting that replaced classical WNCN. The station was called WQIV because it broadcast in quadraphonic stereo sound (although very few people had quad-capable receivers.)

The move to a rock format was highly controversial and was challenged in court. A Chicago group headed by William Benton forced Starr to accept an offer from GAF Broadcasting of $3 million for the station or risk a license challenge before the FCC. GAF returned the station to a classical music format. However, GAF itself was under upheaval and when a new chairman was elected, he sold WNCN to Clear Channel for $100 million. In December of 1993, the call letters were changed to WAXQ.

In 1983...Having been sporadic since it was originally shut down in 1968, "pirate radio" station Radio Caroline makes its comeback on board the ship Ross Revenge in the North Sea's international waters. Six years to the day later, it would be shut down again.