Saturday, November 18, 2017

Entercom Stations To Reduce Commercial Load


Entercom Communications Corp. has announced it will implement three new business policies which better reflect Radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.

These policies will enable the Company's stations to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.

Consistent with Entercom’s culture of continuous improvement, the Company announced plans to:
  • Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners.
  • Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the Company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.
  • Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the Company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.
“With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners,” said Weezie Kramer, Entercom’s Chief Operating Officer.

Field also welcomed new employees in a video. Click Here to view.

“Entercom is the number one creator of live, original local audio content in the United States.”

Ryan Seacrest Denies Misconduct Allegations

Ryan Seacrest
Cable channel E! is conducting an internal investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Ryan Seacrest, according to The NY Post and other media.

The allegation stems from an alleged incident reported by a former stylist who worked at E! News when Seacrest worked there. The incident, the details of which are unknown, is alleged to have occurred roughly a decade ago.

“Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” Seacrest said in a statement Friday.

“If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result. I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices.”

Seacrest is a multi-hyphenate producer and host. He currently co-hosts “Live With Kelly and Ryan” weekday mornings on ABC and is slated to serve as host of that network’s upcoming revival of “American Idol.”  He is also morning show host in iHeartMedia's KIIS 102.7 FM in Los Angeles.  His radio show also airs on other iHM stations nationwide.

New ESPN Radio Weekday Lineup Announced


ESPN Radio’s new lineup will debut January 2, 2018 and will feature a national broadcast of The Stephen A. Smith Show on terrestrial radio stations across the country. The program, which airs from 1 – 3 p.m. ET, returned to ESPN Radio in January 2017, and is currently broadcast terrestrially on ESPN Radio in New York and Los Angeles, as well as on SiriusXM.

The new ESPN Radio weekday lineup will deliver sports fans news, analysis and commentary from a variety of unique and provocative voices. The lineup will include three new programs:
  • The previously announced Golic and Wingo (debuts November 27, 6 – 10 a.m., simulcast on ESPN2), hosted by Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, will deliver the most important sport stories, news and opinion. Mike Golic Jr. will join the show each day from 6 – 7 a.m.
  • Russillo and Cain (3 – 6 p.m., simulcast on ESPNEWS) will pair longtime ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo with frequent ESPN Radio and First Take contributor Will Cain.
  • Spain and Fitz (6 – 9 p.m.) will pair espnW voice Sarah Spain with SEC Network commentator Jason Fitz – who has also hosted a weekend ESPN Radio show with Jordan Rodgers.
The lineup will continue to feature existing programs:
  • The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (10 a.m.- 1 p.m., simulcast on ESPNU) remains in its current slot.
  • Freddie and Fitzsimmons (9 p.m. – 1 a.m.), becomes four hours. The show is currently heard from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • SportsCenter All Night (1 – 4 a.m.) remains in its current slot.
  • First and Last (4 – 6a.m.), hosted by Mike Golic Jr., remains in its current slot.
All ESPN Radio shows will be available live and as podcasts via ESPNRadio.com and the ESPN app, as well as on SiriusXM Channel 80 (live only), Apple Music, TuneIn and Slacker Radio.

“Top to bottom, ESPN Radio will have the strongest, most experienced and most thought-provoking lineup in sports talk radio,” said Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Audio. “Diverse voices with a variety of perspectives will provide listeners with compelling content all day long.”

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Slams Network Critics

Scott Van Pelt
ESPN has become a favorite punching bag for many critics in conservative circles — including President Donald Trump. From SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill calling Trump a white supremacist, to the network honoring Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

According to Mediaite, one SportsCenter anchor is coming forward to blast those who are turning off ESPN for political reasons.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Scott Van Pelt ripped ESPN’s Internet critics, whom he accuses of cowardice.

“This make-believe world where everyone talks shit…this shit-talking, poke-you-in-the-chest virtual whatever it’s just there’s nothing more chicken shit than that, because it’s the easiest thing in the world to do,” Van Pelt said.

Specifically, Van Pelt took on those who have bailed on ESPN as a result of the network honoring Jenner.

Indy Radio: Bob Richards Named Emmis VP/.MM

Bob Richards
Emmis Communications has announced Bob Richards has been named Vice President/Market Manager  in Indianapolis, overseeing Sports WFNI 1070 AM / 107.5 The Fan, Soft Rock WXYB B105.7,  News/Talk WIBC 93.1 FM and Country WLHK 97.1 Hank FM.

Also, Taja Graham, currently Director of Sales for Music, is promoted to VP/Director of Sales for the cluster.

Richards joined Emmis in 2009 as Operations Manager, and was named VP/Programming for local Indianapolis group in March of 2014. He replaces Chuck Williams, who was named VP/Market Manager in August, 2016.

"Bob's leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market," said Emmis Communications President Patrick Walsh. "His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary. We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years."

Richards began his career in radio as Program Director of WFMS/Indianapolis and was promoted to Operations Manager of WFMS, WJJK and WRWM (which had been purchased by Cumulus) in July, 2006.

Graham has been with Emmis-Indianapolis since June of 1996, except for a short stint working in marketing for a CPA firm. She has been with Emmis consistently since June of 2003.

"Working alongside of Taja over the past 8 years I have seen her reach some amazing goals on our music stations," said Richards. "I'm thrilled she'll now have that kind of impact on all of our stations."

Tulsa Radio: Brian Jennings To Program KVOO, KXBL


E W Scripps has announced Country KVOO and Classic Country KXBL/Tulsa, OK has added Brian Jennings as PD for its Country KVOO 98.5 FM and Classic Country KXBL 99.5 FM in Tulsa.

Brian Jennings
Jennings fills the vacancy created when Greg Mozingo resigned from the post in October. Jennings most recently served as iHeartMedia/Wichita OM and Country KZSN PD prior to his departure in September.

"We searched the entire country to find the best Program Director to lead KVOO and KXBL, and I know we have found the right person," said Scripps/Tulsa OM Steve Hunter.

"Brian's passion for Country radio is unmatched. We are so excited to have someone as talented as Brian on our team."

Jennings added, "The opportunity to work alongside leaders like David Abel and Steve Hunter at Scripps, which believes in building local brands, is thrilling. It's the kind of radio that breeds passionate, winning teams, and I can't wait to join the Tulsa team."

KVOO 98.5 Fm (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage

R.I.P.: Charlotte Radio Personality Robert Raiford


Longtime radio personality Robert D. Raiford died Friday.  He was 89, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Raiford started on radio as a teenager and left the airwaves only in August 2015, after a stroke robbed him of his mobility and his voice.

For 30 years, Raiford served as “curmudgeon at large” on the “John Boy and Billy Big Show” that originates at Charlotte’s WRFX 99.7 FM and syndicated to 57 other stations nationally

A curmudgeon, Raiford once explained, is a person who provides the public service of observing all things and interpreting them for others. “I call it a curse of sensitivity,” he said.

Wry and stern, his commentaries – all composed on an Underwood manual typewriter he refused to relinquish – were often tough-love fusillades targeting the acolytes of political correctness. They tended to sting – but not wound – and were served with a formal theatrical zeal set a notch below serious.

“Bob Raiford had the mind of a well-read intellectual, trapped in the body of a grumpy old guy who holds court at the end of the counter at Waffle House,” said Johnny Isley, known to listeners as John Boy. “He was a fan of Nat Cole and Sinatra, but could command a rowdy crowd at a bar with a heartfelt rendition of ‘Dixie.’ ”

Co-host Billy James said that Raiford’s unpredictable musings were a key part of the success of the show for three decades.




Raiford hit the professional airwaves in 1944 at age 17 in his native Concord as a play-by-play announcer on WEGO 980 AM for the Concord Weavers, a minor-league team that featured pitcher Tommy Lasorda (who went on to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers). Even then, he had what they call in radio “good pipes”: a voice resonant, distinctive and authoritative.

He went on to study communications at the University of South Carolina and by the early 1950s was a leading announcer on Charlotte’s WBT 1110 AM, one of the nation’s pioneer radio stations, then known as the “Colossus of the South.”

Raiford has been fired many times – usually for good reason, he would readily admit – and his career at WTOP in Washington DC ended with a prank when he lit off a firecracker in the studios. “I had half a jar of corn liquor in me,” he later admitted.

He found his way back to Charlotte in the early 1970s with a morning talk show on the old hard-rock WIST-AM and uncloseted his liberal views.

At WIST, Raiford railed against Richard Nixon, fundamentalist preachers and cast himself as a middle-aged hippie. His in-your-face weather report: “It’s the same as it was last month. When it changes, I’ll let you know.”

November 18 Radio History


➦In 1951…The newsmagazine and documentary series "See It Now," hosted by Edward R. Murrow and created by Murrow and Fred W. Friendly, began its 6½-year run on CBS-TV. The show was an adaptation of radio's "Hear It Now," also produced by Murrow and Friendly.

➦In 1954…At radio station WGST in Atlanta, Georgia, Ray Charles recorded "I've Got A Woman."




➦In 1954...ABC radio and T-V banned “Mambo Italiano,” a hit by Rosemary Clooney for so-called “offensive lyrics,” most likely due to the exaggerated Italian vernacular, including the words “goombah” and “gidrool.”

➦In 1957…At Master Recorders in Hollywood, Ricky Nelson recorded "Stood Up" and "Waitin' In School" with James Burton playing lead guitar on a Nelson session for the first time.

➦In 1963…The Beatles first appeared on U.S. television in a feature story on NBC-TV's "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" that included a film clip of the band performing in England.


➦In 1985...Howard Stern debuted on WXRK, New York.

➦In 1987...CBS Inc. announced that it had agreed to sell its record division to Sony Corp. for approximately $2 billion.

➦In 1994...the inimitable Cab Calloway died in a Delaware nursing home following a stroke. He was 86.

The big band leader, who became nationally known through radio broadcasts in 1931, had never recovered from a stroke he suffered June 12 at his home. He was best known for his trademark “hi-de-ho” song “Minnie the Moocher.” He was also featured in the movie “The Blues Brothers.” In October of ’94, the month previous, he’d been honored at a White House ceremony by President Clinton for his contribution to the arts.

➦In 2000...President Bill Clinton conducted his Saturday morning radio address from Hanoi, Vietnam.



➦In 2004...Howard Stern handed out 500 SIRIUS radios in downtown Manhattan plus 20,000 vouchers for free radios with SIRIUS subscriptions.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Entercom Launches 'Audience Analytics'


Entercom Communications Corp. today announced the launch of Entercom Audience Analytics, a tool to offer advertisers unique data and analytic insights designed to optimize their advertising campaigns and improve return on investment.

The enhanced analytics capability is powered by an exclusive partnership in Entercom markets with AnalyticOwl, a broadcast analytics platform used to measure effectiveness and audience response of radio advertising. The company is based in Orlando.

Entercom Audience Analytics tracks and quantifies the impact of on-air advertising campaigns on web conversions and online lift. Armed with this data, Entercom can provide its clients with advanced analytic insights regarding the advertising copy, airtime, and offers that resonate most with listeners. As a result, advertisers can identify opportunities to optimize spend, creative and placement during campaigns in nearly real time to maximize the return on their investment.

“As the number one reach medium in the United States delivering outstanding ROI to customers, Radio is an optimal medium for advertisers to reach their targeted audiences, and Entercom Audience Analytics further enhances our value to our clients,” said David Field, Entercom’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Entercom Audience Analytics will enable us to develop a more consultative relationship with our advertising partners and more effectively measure and validate the important role of Radio in the consumers’ path to purchase,” said Bob Philips, Entercom’s Chief Revenue Officer.

“This is a tremendous step toward improving campaign effectiveness and ROI for our advertisers.”
Entercom Audience Analytics is an expansion of a preexisting CBS Radio property that will be enhanced and rolled out throughout the entire Entercom footprint. This is part of Entercom’s strategy to invest in growth and to adapt best practices from both companies to deliver a best-in-class capabilities to advertisers and partners.

D/FW Radio: Alternative Rock Returns, Now On KVIL 103-7

Entercom Communications today announced that alternative rock returns to radio in the largest media market in Texas with the launch of KVIL ALT 103.7 FM, DFW’s New Alternative.

ALT 103.7 will give music fans a true cutting edge alternative – an expertly crafted playlist with local, informed curation. Eschewing the hype of traditional radio formats, ALT 103.7 is celebrating the launch by putting the music first and kicking-in full force. Listeners will hear 10,000 songs in a row, back-to-back, 100% commercial-free starting at 11:00 a.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. CST today.

Listeners can tune in at 103.7 FM in the Metroplex and around the world at alt1037radio.com.

KVIL 103.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“We are thrilled to bring alternative back to Dallas-Ft. Worth,” said Pat Paxton, Entercom’s President of Programming. “With the launch of ALT 103.7, we will cater to the core audience who helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to rewrite history.”

Chicago Radio: Entercom Flips WJMK To HipHop & R&B

Entercom Communications today announced that WJMK-FM is ‘The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks,’ the ultimate destination for classic Hip-hop and R&B.

The New 104.3 JAMS will define the most memory-making era in music and super-serve the entire Chicago community. To celebrate the launch, the station is keeping it real by airing 10,000 songs in a row, back-to-back, and 100% commercial-free. Listeners can tune in at 104.3 JAMZ and around the world at 1043jams.com.

The New 104.3 JAMS, will capture the essence of Chicago from when The Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.  “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago,” said Pat Paxton, Entercom’s President of Programming.  “Hip-hop and R&B always makes you feel a certain way. The memories will come back to you immediately.”

WJMK 10.43 FM (4.1 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
For the first time since Nielsen started measuring music consumption in the United States, the combined genre of Hip-hop and R&B took the number one spot this year – and is responsible for more than 25% of all music consumption in the U.S.

NYC Radio: Entercom Scuttles AMP 92.3 For Alternative

Entercom Communications today announced that alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of WBMP ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.

ALT 92.3 will give music fans a true alternative – an expertly curated playlist with local, informed discovery.  Eschewing the hype of traditional radio formats, ALT 92.3 is celebrating the launch by putting the music first and kicking-in full force.  Listeners will hear 10,000 songs in a row, back-to-back, 100% commercial-free starting at 10:00 a.m. today. Listeners can tune in at 92.3 FM in the New York area and around the world at alt923radio.com.

“In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City,” said Pat Paxton, Entercom’s President of Programming.  “With the launch of ALT 92.3, we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”

WBMP 92.3 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
One in every 38 Americans currently lives in New York City – that’s no “alternative fact.”  Radio remains the #1 medium in terms of reach (93% of the U.S. population), serving over 271 million people and continues to be the driving force in new music discovery.

S-F Radio: Jim Archer To Program KMVQ NowFM

Jim Archer
Bonneville International Corporation announced today that it has promoted “Jazzy” Jim Archer as Program Director for KMVQ 99.7 NowFM, San Francisco's new hit music station.

Archer has served as KMVQ's has been Assistant Program Director and Music Director of KMVQ since 2011.  He was also Program Director of KYLD/SF from 2005 to 2008.

"Jazzy is the natural choice to continue 99.7 Now's amazing run to the top in Bay Area radio," said Carl Gardner, Market Manager for Bonneville San Francisco. "He knows the street and has the feel for what's hot right now."

Bonneville will begin operating the station under a local marketing agreement with the Entercom Divestiture Trust, on completion of the Entercom/CBS merger.

KMVQ 99.7 FM (40 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Bonneville currently owns and operates stations in Seattle (KIRO-FM, KTTH & 710 ESPN), Phoenix (KTAR-FM, KMVP-FM & ESPN 620), Denver (KOSI-FM, KYGO-FM, KKFN-FM & KEPN-AM) and Salt Lake City (KSL TV-NBC, KSL NewsRadio-AM/FM, KSFI-FM & KRSP-FM).

Deal Done: Entercom Closes On CBS Radio

Entercom Communications Corp. today announced that it has completed its merger with CBS Radio Inc., creating a leading American media and entertainment company and one of the top two radio broadcasters in the country.

David Field
Entercom is now the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content in the United States and the nation’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio. With a nationwide footprint of 235 stations, Entercom will engage over 100 million people weekly with a premier collection of highly-rated, award-winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events.

“We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS Radio and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom,” said David Field, Entercom’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers. We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars. We also look forward to helping to elevate the Radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 Reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Les Moonves
CBS Corporate today also announced the completion of the split-off of CBS Radio Inc., which was merged with a subsidiary of Entercom Communications through a “Reverse Morris Trust” transaction. The closing of the merger followed the previously announced expiration of the Company’s exchange offer. As a result of the merger, participating CBS stockholders will receive one share of Entercom Class A common stock in exchange for each whole share of CBS Radio common stock they received in the exchange offer.

“The separation of our radio business is part of a broader strategy to make CBS even more focused on our content and all the ways we can monetize it,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.

“We started on this path several years ago with the split-off of our outdoor advertising business. And just as we did with outdoor, we believe our radio transaction will allow us to unlock more value for our shareholders and further grow our revenue. As a result, we think CBS will be even better positioned to take advantage of all the new growth opportunities before us, and we feel very good about our future as a pure content Company.”

Twin Cities Radio: MLB Returns To Entercom's WCCO


WCCO 830 AM returns as the Minnesota Twins' Twin Cities metropolitan area affiliate, highlighting a fully integrated radio partnership announced Friday by the organization in conjunction with Entercom Communications Corporation.

Starting with the 2018 season, WCCO will air all Twins regular-season and postseason games as well as Spring Training coverage across the metro area, reports mlb.com.

"The Minnesota Twins are ecstatic to be in partnership with Entercom and eager to play a role in helping the company implement a new vision for their radio properties across our marketplace," Twins president and CEO Dave St. Peter said.

"The Twins are beyond thrilled to have this opportunity to return our radio broadcasts to WCCO AM 830.

"Twins baseball on WCCO Radio was an Upper Midwest tradition for more than four decades. We look forward to building on that tradition with a new era of Twins baseball starting in 2018."
Twins games were aired on WCCO AM 830 for the club's first 46 seasons from 1961-2006. As part of the partnership, the Twins will continue to produce all game broadcasts, including 30-minute pregame and postgame shows.

On the programming side, WCCO AM 830 and other Minnesota-based Entercom properties -- including 104.1 JACK FM and BUZ'N @ 102.9 -- are committed to a year-round lineup of baseball coverage featuring Twins players, coaches and broadcasters.

WCCO 830 AM (50 Kw)
All Entercom properties will feature comprehensive Twins coverage during the season, including special promotions and gameday shows originating on location in and around Target Field, from Fort Myers, Fla., for Twins Spring Training and at community events across Twins Territory.

"We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO," said Mike Dee, Entercom's president of sports.

"As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.

"Clearly the Twins are a blue chip franchise on the rise. As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us. With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball."

Philly Radio: WMGK's John DeBella Observes 35-Years

Beasley Media Group, Inc. announces Classic Rock WMGK 102.9 FM Morning Personality John DeBella celebrated his 35th Anniversary on the Philadelphia airwaves on Thursday, November 16th!

The WMGK-FM staff, led by Program Director Bill Weston, Beasley Media Group Philadelphia’s Vice President Market Manager, Joe Bell and the entire staff burst into the studio and surprised legendary morning show host during his show to congratulate him for on being the on-air in Philadelphia for 35 years.

During that time, DeBella has dedicated himself to serving the community. He has raised over $1.1 million for local veterans in his Veterans Radio-thon, collected over nine thousand turkeys annually for less fortunate individuals during his DeBella Turkey Drop and assisted hundreds of local dog rescue groups and shelters in his annual John DeBella Dog Walk. He is being honored by the Philadelphia Kennel Club at this year’s National Dog Show for his tremendous dedication to the welfare of animals.

“It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way, and is still going strong, 35 years into the game,” said WMGK-FM Program Director Bill Weston.

ESPN's Mike & Mike Sign-Off


Friday, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, hosts of ESPN Radio’s iconic Mike & Mike show, signed off the air for the last time this morning, after nearly 18 years together.

During the program, Greeny and Golic discussed the usual top headlines in sports and also aired several messages fans, as well as from prominent sports figures and celebrities including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.


Also, ESPN president John Skipper joined the Mikes on set to deliver an announcement – ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike& Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization, KaBOOM.

FCC Votes To Loosen Media Ownership Rules


The FCC Thursday voted to remove key roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new deals among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better compete with online media.

Reuters reports the Republican-led FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate the 42-year-old ban on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV stations in the same market, and for local stations to jointly sell advertising time and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets.

Mignon Clyburn
Big media companies including Tegna Inc, CBS Corp and Nexstar Media Group Inc have cited the expected rule change as motivation for considering expansion opportunities.

“This is really about helping large media companies grow even bigger,” said Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, adding that Republicans were “more intent on granting the industry’s holiday wish list early rather than looking out for the public interest.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defended the rule change, saying it was “utter nonsense” that rules banning cross ownership of a newspaper and broadcast station were still in place after massive changes in media over the last four decades.

Moody’s said on Thursday the move was credit-positive for TV broadcasters. “Under the revised FCC rules, U.S. television broadcasters will benefit from the ability to consolidate local market ownership through acquisitions and station swaps,” said Jason Cuomo, author of the Moody’s report. “Broadcasters that increase their scale in local markets will attract more advertising, improve their negotiating leverage and bring down their costs.”

Bill Nelson
A federal appeals court, which has been grappling with the FCC’s media ownership rules for more than a decade, is expected to hear challenges to the new rules.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, said the vote “will pave the way for massive broadcast conglomerates to increasingly provide local viewers with nationalized cookie-cutter news and corporate propaganda that’s produced elsewhere.”

But the National Association of Broadcasters said the rules were “not only irrational in today’s media environment, but they have also weakened the newspaper industry, cost journalism jobs and forced local broadcast stations onto unequal footing with our national pay-TV and radio competitors.”

Pai is also expected to call for an initial vote in December to rescind rules prohibiting one company from owning stations that serve more than 39 percent of U.S. television households, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing two people briefed on the matter.

FCC Approves New TV Tech That Gives Better Pictures


U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the use of new technology that will improve picture quality on mobile phones, tablets and television, but also raises significant privacy concerns by giving advertisers dramatically more data about viewing habits.

Jessica Rosenworcel
According to Reuters, FCC Commissioners voted 3-2 (along party liners) to allow broadcasters to voluntarily use the new technology, dubbed ATSC 3.0, which would allow for more precise geolocating of television signals, ultra-high definition picture quality and more interactive programming, like new educational content for children and multiple angles of live sporting events.

The system uses precision broadcasting and targets emergency or weather alerts on a street-by-street basis. The system could allow broadcasters to wake up a receiver to broadcast emergency alerts. The alerts could include maps, storm tracks and evacuation routes.

The new standard would also let broadcasters activate a TV set that is turned off to send emergency alerts.

Current televisions cannot carry the new signal and the FCC on Thursday said it was only requiring broadcasting both signals for five years after deploying the next-generation technology.

Ajit Pai
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the new technology would force consumers to buy new televisions. “The FCC calls this approach market driven. That’s right — because we will all be forced into the market for new television sets or devices.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defended the proposal, calling concerns about buying new devices “hypothetical.” He added five years is “a long time. We’ll have to see how the standard develops.”

One issue is whether broadcasters will be able to pass on the costs of advanced broadcast signals through higher retransmissions fees and demand providers carry the signals.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents Tegna Inc, Comcast Corp, CBS Corp, Walt Disney Co, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and others, petitioned the FCC in April 2016 to approve the new standard. “This is game-changing technology for broadcasting and our viewers,” the group said Thursday..

Comcast, Verizon Looking At 21st Century Fox Assets

Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc have both expressed interest in acquiring a significant part of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s assets, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

News of competing interest in some of Murdoch’s assets broke even though the U.S. Justice Department was preparing a lawsuit to block AT&T Inc, the largest pay-TV provider in the United States, from buying Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion, according to a source. This raised questions about the U.S. government’s willingness to allow large media industry mergers.

The Fox assets that buyers have expressed interest in include Fox’s movie and TV production studios, cable networks FX and National Geographic, and international assets such as the Star network in India, and the European pay TV provider Sky Plc. These units have also been the subject of recent talks between Fox and Walt Disney Co, one of the sources said.

Fox shares jumped nearly 8.0 percent in after-hours trading after the Wall Street Journal first reported the news. Shares of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp also rose more than 2.0 percent, a sign investors may see them as potential targets also.

Comcast has approached Fox about its interest, and talks are in early stages, the source added, requesting anonymity. There is no guarantee that talks between the companies will result in a deal.

Fox, Comcast and Verizon declined comment.

After Comcast first bought a stake in NBCUniversal in 2011, buying the Fox assets would give Comcast, the largest cable provider in the United States, an international distribution footprint through ownership of Sky and Star in India.

Comcast has steadily boosted its ownership of content over the years and acquiring Fox’s assets would further position Comcast as a diversified conglomerate to rival Disney, analysts said.

Verizon, which has said it is launching a new streaming service, could have more targeted advertising with a vertically integrated platform, he added.

Traditional cable television networks have been struggling with faster-than-expected subscriber erosion in the competition with streaming services like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

The moves come after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to remove key roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new deals among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better compete with online media.

Dashboard Infotainment Screens Called 'Dangerously Distracting'


If you recently purchased or rented a car, you may have found yourself struggling to navigate a dashboard that looks similar to an airplane cockpit.

CBS' Don Dahler reports on the most distracting systems.



L-A Radio: KSWD Signs-Off, KKLQ Launches

At 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, classic rock station KSWD 100.3 FM 'The Sound' went off the air with side two of The Beatles' Abbey Road.

The move came as a result of a deal The Sound's new  parent company, Entercom, struck with the FCC to divest three of its stations in exchange for regulatory approval of its $1.7 billion merger with CBS Radio, which also owns several stations in the L.A. market, including KROQ.

The 100.3 FM frequency was sold to Educational Media Foundation for an undisclosed amount. EMF, based in Rocklin, owns 770 FM stations and translators and specializes in Christian music. After The Sound went off the air, the new owners immediately flipped KKLQ 100.3 FM's format to K-LOVE, a Christian contemporary station, which specializes in light rock songs with Christian themes, such as Chris Tomlin's "Jesus Messiah" and Matthew West's "Grace Wins."

KKLQ 100.3 FM (5.4 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
"We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, ‘Positive & Encouraging’ K-LOVE at 100.3 FM," EMF CEO Mike Novak told Variety. "The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.”

During The Sound's final hours, most of the station's DJs and on-air personalities dropped by the studio to say their goodbyes, including longtime DJs Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Rita Wilde and Mimi Chen, and morning-show hosts Andy Chanley and Gina Grad, according to The LA Weekly.

"We always pretty much shut up and let the music talk," Chanley said, before playing side two of Abbey Road, whose last song, "The End," concludes with one of the best-known lyrics in the classic-rock canon: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

After that, Chanley signed off with a simple, "This has been KSWD Los Angeles. This is The Sound."

Here is a scoped aircheck of the final 5 hours of 100.3 The Sound featuring Andy & Gina and Uncle Joe Benson, and others.  Also includes the format change to K-Love.

Detroit Radio: Matt Shepard Returning To WDFN

More than seven months after the plug was pulled on his longtime, sports-talk radio show, Matt Shepard is preparing for a comeback on iHeartMedia's WDFN 1130 AM.

According to The Detroit News, Shepard will relaunch his show, “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave,” this Monday, and it will air weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. The goal is to eventually get the show on stations all across the state, and there are discussions about a statewide television component, too.

“We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN,” said Tony Travatto, senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia/Detroit, in a statement released Thursday. “Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

Shepard began hosting his morning show on WDFN in 2001, before it was canceled in late April amid a deep round of iHeartMedia budget cuts.

Since, Shepard has launched a podcast — that’s where the show’s new name comes from — with his son, Chad, that aired three days a week. He also has continued his work on Fox Sports Detroit, and as the radio voice of Michigan basketball and Eastern Michigan football, among other ventures, including with the Big Ten Network.

WDFN 1130 AM (50 Kw-D, 10 Kw-N, DA2)
Shepard’s niche is sticking almost exclusively to sports, while the competition — namely, at 97.1 The Ticket, the only round-the-clock sports station in the Detroit market — often drifts away from sports.

BuzzFeed To Miss Budget By $70M

Digital publisher BuzzFeed is on track to miss its revenue target this year by a significant amount, the latest sign that troubles in the online-ad business are making it tough for new-media upstarts to live up to lofty expectations.

BuzzFeed, one of several digital-media outfits that have grown quickly in recent years, had been targeting revenue of around $350 million in 2017 but is expected to fall short of that figure by about 15% to 20%, people familiar with the matter said. BuzzFeed said in a statement that it would still show revenue growth for the year and had made steady gains in increasing its audience.

The Wall Street Journal reports other digital-media companies also are struggling to meet investor expectations in an increasingly fierce advertising environment. Though digital advertising is growing, the competition has intensified. Vice Media, the biggest in the emerging sector by revenue, also is expected to miss its revenue target of more than $800 million this year, people close to the company said.





Mashable, a site known for tech and pop-culture content, agreed on Thursday to sell itself to trade publisher Ziff Davis for $50 million, people familiar with the matter said, a fraction of the $250 million valuation it received in its last investment round in March 2016.

Across the industry, digital-media companies are finding that lines of business that caught fire for them early on—like creating custom content for brands—are becoming harder to scale up. Meanwhile, with each passing year, Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are tightening their grip on the online-ad market.

That “duopoly” is expected to command a combined 63% of U.S. digital-ad spending in 2017, according to eMarketer, boosting competition among everyone else for what is left.

At BuzzFeed, some investors have become worried about the company’s performance and rising costs for expansions in areas like news and entertainment.

L-A Radio: Senator Franken Apologizes To KABC Anchor

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) faced swift condemnation and bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation Thursday after he was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a broadcaster and model while traveling overseas in 2006.

The Washington Post reports the allegations against Franken by Leeann Tweeden, who traveled with him on a USO trip to the Middle East before he was elected to the Senate, comes amid a growing swell of accusations of sexual misconduct by men in powerful positions.

Beloved by liberals for his fierce attacks on President Trump, Franken found few defenders as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) called for the ethics committee to investigate his actions.

“Sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated,” Schumer said in a statement.

In an online essay published Thursday morning, Tweeden wrote that Franken had forced his tongue in her mouth during a rehearsal for a skit and then groped her while she was sleeping during a flight home — a moment that was captured in a photograph.

“You knew exactly what you were doing,” she wrote. “You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later and be ashamed.”


After initially issuing a brief apology for his behavior, Franken released a lengthier statement expressing contrition.

“I’m sorry,” said the senator, who skipped a series of votes Thursday. “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

Tweeden said she accepted Franken’s apology.

“Yes, people make mistakes, and, of course, he knew he made a mistake,” she said at a news conference in Los Angeles, where she works as a radio news anchor for KABC 790 AM. She said she would leave any disciplinary action up to Senate leaders and was not calling for Franken to step down. “That’s up to them. I’m not demanding that.”

The hasty condemnations of Franken’s behavior by fellow Democrats underlined the tinderbox atmosphere surrounding allegations of sexual harassment by influential figures.