Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 12 Radio History

In 1904...Radio, TV host Ted Mack was born William Edward Maguiness in Greeley Colorado.

Mack succeeded Major Bowes as host of The Original Amateur Hour for the period 1948-52 on radio, and until 1970 on TV.  His discoveries include Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, & Teresa Brewer.  He also hosted TV’s Ted Mack Family Hour, a show similar to Ed Sullivan.  Mack died July 12, 1976 at age 72

In 1909,...singer/producer Barry Wood was born in New Haven Conn. He was the singing star of radio’s Lucky Strike Hit Parade in the early 40’s just ahead of Frank Sinatra, and went on to perform in lesser-known radio shows.  In the TV era he was host of several shows including Places Please & Backstage with Barry Wood, and producer for The Bell Telephone Hour & Wide Wide World.   He died July 19 1970 at age 61.

Ken Roberts- 1945

In 1910...announcer Ken Roberts Image result for ken roberts announcer was born Saul Trochman in New York City.  He is best remembered as announcer on the daytime television soap operas The Secret Storm, Texas and Love of Life, each for a two-decade span.  During the Golden Age of Radio he was the announcer on such New York-based shows as The Shadow, The Adventures of Ellery Queen, Crime Doctor, Easy Aces, The Hour of Charm, It Pays to be Ignorant, Quick as a Flash, and You Are There. He lived a good long life and died June 19 2009 at age 99.

Del Shabutt
In of the great announce voices of bigtime radio Del Sharbutt was born in Cleburne Texas.

He became a staff announcer for CBS Radio in 1933, and is best remembered as spokesman for Campbell’s Soup (“Mmm mmm Good!”) beginning in the ’30’s.  He was also TV announcer for Your Hit Parade, and worked until retirement in 1976 as newscaster for the Mutual Radio network.

He died April 26, 2002 at the ripe old age of 90.

In 1924…"The Eveready Hour," paid for by the National Carbon Company which at the time owned Eveready Battery, became radio's first commercially sponsored network program. It originated from WEAF (later to be WNBC and now WFAN) in New York City and was hosted for many years by the banjo-playing vocalist Wendell Hall.

Calvin Coolidge
In 1924...Calvin Coolidge, known by many as the “Silent President”, made the first US presidential political speech on radio. The speech originated from New York City and was broadcast on five radio stations. Some five million people tuned in to hear the President speak.

In 1940…"The Adventures of Superman," with Bud Collyer in the title role, began its 11-year run on radio as a syndicated show on New York City's WOR. It became a network show on Mutual in August 1942 as a 15-minute serial airing three to five times a week.

St. John, Age 18

In 1951...New York City Radio Personality, Pat St. John, was born. Most notably known for his airwork on WPLJ-FM.

St. John is one of the U.S.'s preeminent and longest serving radio personalities and voice-over artists.

Known as The Dee-Jay’s DJ, he began his radio career on Windsor, Ontario's CKLW 800 AM in 1969 and '70, followed by WKNR 1300 AM in late 1970 to early '72, followed by WRIF 101.1 FM to April 1973.

Pat is best known for his work in the New York City market on WPLJ, WNEW-FM, WAXQ and WCBS FM.

He is now heard daily on severalSiriusXM's 600s on 6 channel 1 to 5pm (Eastern).

Pat has done extensive television voiceover work, including announcing for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve from 2000 to 2010.

St. John is known for his conversational on-air style with interspersed bits of music trivia, along with "Collectible Cuts" from his extensive record library. Pat has been called a "walking encyclopedia" when it comes to his knowledge of music.

Over the years Pat has had the opportunity to interview all his heroes, from Little Richard to The Beatles, from Eric Clapton to The Rolling Stones, from B.B. King, Freddie King and Buddy Guy to those who he has become friends with like Bob Seger, Leon Russell, and Johnnie Johnson ("Father of Rock'n'Roll" who played piano on almost all of Chuck Berry's recordings and in fact hired Chuck Berry to join his band).

In 1964...The Beatles concert at Carnegie Hall with WMCA 570 AM Good Guys. The late promoter Sid Bernstein speaks about Brian Epstein , The Beatles , their first trip to America in 1964 and Carnegie Hall

In 1999...Baseball broadcaster Jimmy Dudley, play-by-play voice of the Cleveland Indians for nearly two decades and the lead announcer for the short-lived Seattle Pilots in 1969, died at age 89.

In 2015...Longtime L-A Radio personality (KMPC, KFI, KIIS FM, KFWB and KKGO in Los Angeles and KEWB in San Francisco)/TV announcer (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Gong Show, Sesame Street)/actor (Midnight Cowboy, The Love Bug, Diggin' Up Business, Border to Border)/cartoon voicist (Garfield and Friends, Roger Ramjet, Eek! The Cat) Gary Owens died of complications from diabetes at age 80.

Pai Closely Guards Strategy To Restructure Net Neutrality

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The new chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump is keeping under wraps his strategy to revise or reverse the Obama administration's "net neutrality" rules, but emphasized he is committed to ensuring an open internet.

Ajit Pai, 44, a Republican lawyer who has served as a FCC commissioner since 2012, strongly opposed former Democratic President Barack Obama administration's 2015 net neutrality rules that reclassified broadband providers and treated them like a public utility.

"I believe, as I think most Americans do, in a free and open internet and the only question is what regulatory framework best secures that," Pai said in an interview in his FCC office, where several storage boxes remain to be unpacked. "Before the imposition of these Depression-era rules, we had for 20 years a bipartisan consensus on a regulatory model."

In December Pai vowed to take a "weedwacker" to unneeded rules and has not backed away from his prior criticism of net neutrality, when he again said net neutrality's "days are numbered."

The net neutrality rules bar internet access providers from slowing consumer access to web content. A federal appeals court upheld the rules last year.

Internet providers fear net neutrality rules make it harder to manage internet traffic and make investment in additional capacity less likely, while websites worry that without the rules they might lose access to customers.

 Unlike Trump, Pai cannot simply issue an order doing away with the net neutrality rules, but must go through an administrative process. Pai is keeping his cards close to the vest, only saying he will mount a "careful look at the regulatory framework."  

Last month, then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said reversing the net neutrality rules "is not a slam dunk" and will face the "high hurdle" of "a fact-based showing that so much has changed in just two short years that a reversal is justified."

Pai faces opposition on Capitol Hill and from many on social media to reversing net neutrality, with Democrats urging him not to favor the "big broadband barons" as one called them.

"There is no problem that needs to be fixed," said Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. "Net neutrality rules ensure those with the best ideas, not simply the best-funded ideas, have the opportunity to share their content with the world."

Pai said in 2015 that the FCC had adopted the sweeping new net neutrality rules at Obama's behest and would result in "higher broadband prices, slower speeds, less broadband deployment, less innovation, and fewer options for American consumers."

Pai's goal is "a modern flexible framework that gives everybody a level playing field."Wheeler last month urged the next FCC not to "undo something that is demonstrably working" and says broadband investment has remained high.

Earlier this week, a key Republican on telecommunications policy, Representative Marsha Blackburn said Congress will let the FCC "make the first move" on net neutrality.

Last Friday, Pai sent letters to Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc to notify them that the FCC was closing investigations into "sponsored data" or "zero rating" programs in which mobile phone companies give customers free data for using certain video services. FCC had previously raised concerns about their data policies.

"My position is the government should not be in the position of prohibiting companies in a competitive marketplace from offering free data," Pai said.

Pai has taken steps to make the FCC more transparent, including a pilot program to circulate proposals before they voted on. "A lot of involves divestment of power from the chairman's office," he said.

Spectrum Auction Bidding Ends At $19.6B

(Reuters) -- The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Friday that bidding in the wireless spectrum auction has ended at $19.6 billion, significantly less than many analysts had initially forecast.

The so-called broadcast incentive spectrum auction is one of the commission's most complex and ambitious to date and should be complete by April.

The FCC said last year that 62 bidders made upfront payments to take part, including AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Dish Network Corp, T-Mobile US Inc and Comcast Corp.

Of the nearly $20 billion raised, more than $6 billion will go to reduce the U.S. deficit, more than $10 billion will go to broadcasters that chose to relinquish spectrum rights, and up to $1.75 billion for other broadcasters that incur costs in changing channels.

The final price for 84 megahertz of spectrum could rise above $20 billion as buyers may hike final bids for specific frequency blocks before the sale is complete.

In June, the FCC said sellers had initially sought $86.4 billion for 126 megahertz of television airwaves taken from broadcasters to be sold for wireless use.

Many analysts had expected broadcasters to earn substantially more in the auction, with some forecasting in 2016 $30 billion in proceeds.

Twentieth-First Century Fox Inc's Fox Television unit said this week it would receive about $350 million in proceeds from spectrum sales. Tribune Media Co said it expects $190 million in proceeds from the auction.

Gray Television Inc said it expects to receive $90.8 million and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc expects to receive $313 million. Others did not participate. E. W. Scripps Co said Friday it had opted not to take part because it thought prices were too low.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the closing of bidding is a "major milestone," adding the spectrum will boost wireless service.

"These low-band airwaves will improve wireless coverage across the country and will play a particularly important role in deploying mobile broadband services in rural areas," Pai said.

The spectrum will transition over 39 months. Some stations will transition to a new band and a new channel, while others will move off-air. Those going off the air must give at least 30 days notice.

Many public TV stations also took part in the auction.

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly raised concerns about the auction. He said it was not a "failed auction" but said "significant review is necessary to understand how the FCC rules and auction design impacted the results."

Grammys Shaping Up As Clash Of Pop Divas

(Reuters) -- The Grammy awards are shaping up to be the ultimate showdown between pop's two biggest female stars as Beyonce and Adele go head-to-head for song, record and album of the year on Sunday.

Despite 62 total Grammy nominations and 20 awards, Beyonce, 35, has never won the coveted album of the year, despite topping the charts with all six of her studio records.

With nine nominations, many fans are hoping Beyonce will overcome her Grammys' curse with "Lemonade," the personally and politically charged album many believe to be about the artist's troubled marriage to rapper Jay Z, layered with themes of black and female empowerment.

Standing in her way, however, is Britain's Adele, 28, who swept the Grammys in 2012 with six wins for "21." She returns with five nominations this year for "25," a collection of personal coming-of-age songs including the power ballad "Hello."

The televised Grammy awards will honor winners in more than 80 categories, voted for by members of the music industry.

Beyonce and Adele have overlapping audience, says Billboard magazine senior editor Jem Aswad, adding that Adele fans likely skew older than the younger "Beyhive" that her rival draws.

"Adele has more fans who are casual music consumers - if they're going to buy one album a year, it'll be hers," Aswad said. "Beyonce's audience are more involved, more active and more interested in what she's doing."

"Lemonade" notched 3.1 million total sales in 2016 while "25" notched 3 million, according to figures from BuzzAngle Music, which measures sales data from retailers and streaming consumption.

Canadian rapper Drake however takes the crown for the year's top-selling album - "Views," nominated for eight Grammy awards including album and record of the year.

High sales do not necessarily translate into a Grammy win, as Beyonce learned in 2014 when her self-titled album, which had clocked more than 350,000 total sales units, lost out to a record with less than a tenth of the sales, Beck's "Morning Phase."

Among music heavyweights Beyonce, Adele, Drake and Justin Bieber's "Purpose" are competing for album of the year, along with Americana singer Sturgill Simpson, who is "unquestionably" the dark horse in this year's race with "A Sailor's Guide to Earth," Aswad said.

The joke is not lost on Simpson, nominated for album of the year and best country album, who is selling T-shirts with slogans questioning who he is on his website ahead of the ceremony.

Myrtle Beach Radio: Colonial Stunting On WJXY 93.9 FM

Colonial Media and Entertainment announced that it has closed on its acquisition of two former Cumulus stations, WJXY 93.9 FM and WXJY 93.7 FM in the Myrtle Beach market.

The new stations become part of a group that will include five FMs and two AMs in the fast-growing southeastern US market.

The news-talk format on 93.9 FM has disappeared replaced with an hourly spin of the Wheel of Formats.

Jeff Andrulonis
Company Chairman/CEO Jeff Andrulonis says there are several formats under consideration. “With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’ve thought about an all love song format featuring Air Supply, Barry Manilow, and even yacht rock from the 70s. We’d call it Loveland 93.9FM. But then again, I’m a Pennsylvania native, so the all-polka format is appealing to me. 93.9FM The Accordian would play Eddie Stankey, Frankie Yankovic and the Pennsylvania Polka. We might even get wild and crazy and play some Lawrence Welk and punk polka from Polkacide. There are literally tens of people in the Myrtle Beach area who’d love The Accordian.”

Other formats that are on the Wheel of Formats include All-Alabama as The Bowery 94 Stereo, All-Christmas (Santa 94) and All-Elvis (The King 93.9FM).

Andrulonis promises he’ll make a format decision on Monday, 13 at 3pm.

Meanwhile, as of Friday morning, WXJY is becoming “Georgetown’s Inspiration Station” playing Urban Gospel. Long time Myrtle Beach air personality on WMIR 1200 AM, Reggie Dyson, is also working on 93.7 Rejoice FM.

The new 93.9FM and 93.7 Rejoice FM join WMIR (heard on 103.5 FM and 1200 AM in Atlantic Beach and coming soon to 95.5 FM in Conway) and WNMB (heard on 900AM and coming this summer to FM) as part of Colonial’s efforts in the Myrtle Beach market.

Seattle-Portland Radio: A Tale Of Two Cities For "Carson"

iHeartMedia announced Friday that Todd “Carson” Zarnitz has been named the Afternoon Drive personality for KKRZ Z100.3 FM, Portland’s No. 1 Hit Music Station, and KPWK Power 93.3 FM, Seattle’s New No. 1 For Hit Music, effective February 15.

“We are excited to add Carson to our teams here in Portland and Seattle,” said Tim Herbster, Senior Vice President of Programming of the Pacific Northwest Region for iHeartMedia. “His passion, enthusiasm and wealth of experience will be a great addition to help us grow Z100 and Power 93.3.”

Carson served as the weekend personality at WHTZ in New York City, WIOQ in Philadelphia and WIHT in Washington, D.C. He also worked as an on air personality for radio stations in Tampa, Orlando and Houston, and worked for more as an Account Executive.

“I couldn’t be happier that Carson has decided to join us in dominating the northwest between Portland and Seattle. This unique position will be well served by his experience, passion and drive – literally because he’ll be spending a lot of time commuting between the two markets!” Justin Riley, Program Director for Power 93.3.

Milwaukee Radio: Good Karma Sells WRRD For $760K

The former Madison radio host who launched a progressive-talk station in Milwaukee is paying $760,000 for the station’s assets, according to a filing with the FCC, reports the Business Journal.

Michael Crute, co-host of “Devil’s Advocates Radio” on WRRD 1510 AM is listed as majority owner of the buyer, New WRRD LLC. The seller is Good Karma Broadcasting Inc. of Milwaukee, which is managed by Craig Karmazin.

WRRD 1510 AM (23 Kw-D, 20 Kw-CH
Good Karma bought the station in April 2004 for $2 million and ran ESPN radio, local and national programming on the frequency with the call letters WAUK-AM.

The challenge for the station at 1510 AM always has been that its FCC license allows full-power  (23Kw) broadcasting only during daylight hours. That limits the signal and audience for late afternoon, night-time and early-morning hours.

Crute holds 82 percent of the voting shares in New WRRD LLC, according to the document filed with the FCC on Tuesday. The other 18 percent is split evenly between Kathleen Lucey and Bruce Lucey.

Crute’s group is acquiring all assets used in operating the station, including the real estate and improvements for the broadcast tower site.

The station also carries national progressive talk shows including those hosted by Bill Press, Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartman.

Indy Radio: WLHK's JD Cannon Sets Retirement

J-D Cannon
JD Cannon, WLHK 97.1 Hank FM in Indianpolis MD/afternoon personality has announced his retirement from full-time radio effective Friday, April 28.

Cannon will remain with the station in a Brand Ambassador role.

"May will mark 44 years that I have been blessed with this wonderful career in Country music," said Cannon.  "Lots of great memories to carry me the rest of my life. I’m so grateful, but I’m also ready to start the next chapter. Not quitting, just slowing down a bit. I’ll never get Country radio out of my blood.”

Cannon is a 2004 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee and has been with WLHK since 2011.  He joined the station after a 32-year run with Cumulus crosstown Country WFMS.

"I've had the pleasure of working with my friend JD for more than two-thirds of my career,” said Hank PD Fritz Moser. “While it’s going to be different not hearing him every day, I’m excited that he’ll continue as Brand Ambassador for Hank FM. JD is going to stay on to do some part-time swing shifts and you’ll likely run into him at concerts and events, too.”

Shreveport Radio: Dusty Hayes New OM For Townquare

Dusty Hayes
Dusty Hayes is the new OM for Townsquare Media's Shreveport-Bossier market.

The cluster includes Talk KEEL 710 AM, Country KXKS 93.7 FM , AC KVKI 96.5 FM, Top40 KQHN 97.3 FM and Active Rock KTUX 98.9 FM.

"I'm honored to be joining the staff of Townsquare," said Hayes. "Thanks to Amy Bloxom, Kurt Johnson and Todd Lawley for this incredible opportunity. I look forward to continue winning both on-air and online with the team in SBC!"

“I’m delighted to have Dusty take the programming helm,” said Market Pres. Amy Bloxom. “Erin Bristol has done a terrific job in the role for the past three years, and with Dusty taking the OM duties on she will be able to focus on her talents on her #1 Country morning show with Gary McCoy on KXKS as well as programming the legendary KVKI. I truly couldn’t ask for a better team!”

February 11 Radio History

In 1906...a man who was instrumental in bringing The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet to the airwaves, James Jewell was born.  He was a busy actor, producer and director at radio station WXYZ, Detroit, where owner George W. Trendle opted to drop his network affiliation and create his own programming.   Jewell was made Director of Drama, and was part of the station staff that worked out the original concepts for The Lone Ranger.  He’s also credited with selecting The William Tell Overture as the theme. “Ke-mo sah-bee“, Tonto’s greeting to the masked Ranger, was derived from the name of a boys’ camp owned by Jewell’s father-in-law.  When he departed for Chicago in 1938 he became director of another classic kid’s radio serial, Jack Armstrong the All American Boy.
When that series ended in 1951 he became director of ABC Radio’s Silver Eagle.

He suffered a fatal heart attack in 1975 and died at age 69

1938…Bob Hope's first feature film, "The Big Broadcast of 1938," co-starring W.C. Fields, Martha Raye and Dorothy Lamour, opened in theaters and introduced Hope's signature song, "Thanks For The Memory."

In 1940... NBC radio presented “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” for the first time. The famous Blue network series included several distinguished alumni — among them, Dinah Shore and Zero Mostel. The chairman, or host, of “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” was Milton Cross.

Milton Cross
He would say things like, “A Bostonian looks like he’s smelling something. A New Yorker looks like he’s found it.” The show combined satire, blues and jazz and was built around what were called the three Bs of music: Barrelhouse, Boogie Woogie and Blues.

In 1941...1st Gold record presented (Glenn Miller-Chattanooga Choo Choo)

In 1949...the private-eye radio drama Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar debuted on CBS Radio, with Charles Russell in the title role.  It amazingly survived five changes in the lead actor during its 13 year run.

In 1964...At the Colosseum in Washington, DC, the Beatles played their first U.S. concert. They sang "Roll Over Beethoven," "From Me to You," "I Saw Her Standing There," "This Boy," "All My Loving," "I Wanna Be Your Man," "Please Please Me," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Twist and Shout," and "Long Tall Sally."

Because of the stage setup, the band was forced to move their equipment three separate times in order to give everyone in the audience a chance to see them. The opening acts were Tommy Roe, the Caravelles, and the Chiffons.

In 1993...the Howard Stern Radio Show began airing on on WRQI-FM in Rochester, New York.

In 1994…Actor William Conrad, who provided the voice of Matt Dillon in the radio version of "Gunsmoke," died of heart failure at 73.

In 2012…Whitney Houston died at the age of 48. Six weeks later, the Los Angeles Coroner's report indicated Houston drowned accidentally and autopsy results revealed heart disease and her recent and chronic cocaine use were contributing factors. It was unclear if she suffered a heart attack before drowning.

In 2013…Bassist/Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Huxley, a founding member (1958-1970) of the Dave Clark Five, died after battling emphysema at the age of 72.

In 2013…Foreign correspondent Tom Aspell, a 28-year veteran of NBC News, died of lung cancer at age 62.

In 2015…Veteran CBS News correspondent (60 Minutes) Bob Simon died when the car in which he was a passenger was involved in an accident in New York City at age 73.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Poll: Trump Trusted More Than News Media

The first poll of Boston's Emerson College Spring 2017 semester shows the nation is split on Donald Trump’s performance as President so far with 48% of registered voters approve of the job that Trump is doing, versus 47% that disapprove. Republicans approve of Trump 89%/5%, while Democrats disapprove of the President by a margin of 81% to 17%. Trump’s failure to pass the 50% threshold for approval can be accredited to his standing among independents, who disapprove of him 52%/41%.

A key finding of the poll shows that voters find the Trump administration to be more truthful than the news media. The Trump administration is considered truthful by 49% of voters, to 48% of voters who consider it untruthful. Meanwhile, the news media is considered untruthful by a 53%-majority of voters, to only 39% who find them truthful (a 14-point gap). Numerous members of the Trump administration – including Trump himself – have been criticized frequently for making false statements. The partisan split on this topic is clear – 91% of Republicans find the Trump administration truthful, versus 78% of Democrats who find the administration untruthful. Conversely, 62% of Democrats find the news media truthful, while a whopping 88% of Republicans consider them untruthful. Independents consider the Trump administration untruthful by a margin of 38%/56% and were split on the news media at 48%/48%.

Kellyanne Conway, a frequent face of the administration on television who recently made headlines by coining the phrase “alternative facts,” holds a favorability ratio of 39%/45%, a net favorability of -6%. Significantly less popular is Steve Bannon, a controversial figure in the administration who is viewed favorably by only 34% of voters, while 47% view him unfavorably – a net favorability of -13%.

Report: Bobby Bones’s Podcast Gold Mine Of Insider Info

Bobby Bones with Kelsea Ballerini
Apparently, it takes about 11 minutes before a country singer is comfortable enough to start spilling secrets.

Not on purpose — sometimes, it’s just what happens when the artist is relaxing in a cozy armchair, curled up to a microphone for an interview that just feels like a chat between friends. That’s the setting of iHeartMedia’s Bobbycast, a podcast by country WSIX 97.9 FM Big 98 personality Bobby Bones, whose primary job is hosting a syndicated morning radio show in Nashville that reaches about 5 million listeners.

As the podcast hits its six-month anniversary and 35th episode, the Washington Post reports “Bobbycast” has unwittingly become a treasure trove of unusually candid anecdotes and inside information about country music. The casual conversations often expose how the genre really works, as singers, songwriters and Nashville experts share stories behind hit songs; how and when they actually get paid for making music; and their genuine frustrations with the industry.

Bones started the podcast because he wanted to have longer conversations without the time constraints of radio, where he has to leave time for music and daily segments.

His podcast questions are relatively straightforward. However, during hour-long conversations, particularly with people who don’t typically do in-depth sit-downs, it’s easy to forget you’re being recorded. The stories naturally pour out.

“There’s about an 11-minute mark when people start to crack — because usually no one gets interviewed, ever, for longer than that,” Bones, 36, said recently during an interview in Washington. “You can feel people start to put their guard down … and they can actually just speak from the heart.”

Read More Now

Pandora Still Can't Make Money

Pandora (P) got close, but once again the world's largest Internet streaming operator failed to break a profit, according to The Street.

As the company announced a month ago, Pandora's fourth-quarter revenue of $392.6 million exceeded earlier analyst expectations of $374 million. The 17% jump in sales, the Oakland, Calif., company said Thursday, was due in part to an acceleration of subscriptions to its $5 per month radio streaming service known as Pandora Plus.

Advertising revenue in the quarter jumped by 16% to $313.3 million. Subscription and other revenue totaled $59.8 million, a 5% increase.

Nonetheless, Pandora posted a loss of $30.4 million in the fourth quarter, adjusted for some costs. A year earlier, Pandora reported a loss of $24.8 million.

Shares of Pandora were down 2.8% in after-hours trading to $12.27 after closing down 2.4% at $12.62.

For the past two years, Pandora has struggled to increase the size of its active listener base, and this past quarter was no different. Pandora said it had 81 million active listeners at the end of 2016, little changed from a year ago, when the total stood at 81.1 million.

Users of Pandora's free ad-supported radio service hear songs based on their listening preference. Pandora regularly touts its technology as being better than that of rival streaming operators at delivering music that their listeners like to hear.

In light of its struggles to reach profitability, Pandora on Jan. 12 said it would lay off 7% of its workforce. The job cuts excluded employees at Ticketfly, its concert ticketing operation, in addition to offices in New Zealand and Australia.

Pandora has made sweeping management changes over the past year as it seeks to become profitable amid increased competition from Spotify, Apple (AAPL) Music and similar offerings from Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google. CEO Tim Westergren returned to the position in March, and finance chief Mike Herring plans to move into a strategic position as president once his replacement is named. Sara Clemens, Pandora's chief operating officer, left the company last month.

Pandora investors, meanwhile, are eager to see the expected launch of its much-anticipated $10 per month on-demand service, Pandora Premium, sometime this quarter. A beta of Pandora Premium has been made available to a small number of users. Pandora Premium will compete more directly with Spotify, Apple Music and Jay Z's Tidal.

News Corp Revenue Exceeds Expectations

News Corp., whose assets include the Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins and The NY Post, reported adjusted earnings that beat analysts’ expectations as revenue from its digital properties surged.

News Corp. shares rose 1.6 percent, to $12.59, in after-hours trades Thursday.

The media conglomerate said revenue from its online real estate sites, which include, rose 16.3 percent in the quarter, to $242 million.

Revenue at News Corp.’s news and information business fell nearly 7 percent, to $1.3 billion.

Chicago Radio: Greg Solk To Program WXRT, WJMK

Greg Solk
CBS Radio/Chicago has announced the appointment of program veteran Greg Solk to the position of Program Director and Operations Manager for Triple A WXRT 93.1 FM and Classic Hits station WJMK  104.3 FM KHits.

“Greg grew up listening to XRT as a teenager and spent decades programming against it.  This is an unbelievable opportunity for us to have not only a true fan of XRT but a strategic thinker to make XRT the number one rock choice in Chicago,” said Todd Cavanah, CBS Radio Chicago VP/Programming.

“His deep knowledge of music’s past, present and future will keep XRT evolving forward by remembering the heritage of this unique Chicago brand. For KHits, Greg brings tremendous knowledge to the Classic Hits format and we welcome him as a partner on our programming team.”

“I have been blessed in my career to work for some amazing stations in my hometown, but this opportunity is off the charts,” said Solk. “Everyone knows there is no station or staff anywhere in the world that can rival the 45-year heritage of WXRT — ‘Chicago's Finest Rock.’ I am humbled to be a part of its brilliant legacy.

“To be asked to also take the reins of KHits makes this the most exciting move I can imagine. I can't wait to join the great team of professionals at CBS Radio. I am honored by the confidence Tim Pohlman, Todd Cavanah and Chris Oliviero have placed in me.”

Solk, a 30-year radio programming veteran and Chicagoland native, began his career as a 15-year-old intern at WLUP Chicago in 1977. Most recently, he was SVP/Programming at Hubbard Radio overseeing seven markets including Chicago, Washington DC, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati. His lengthy radio experience includes programming and building iconic Chicago radio brands including The Loop (WLUP), The Drive (WDRV), The Mix (WTMX), and KFOG-FM in San Francisco.

Knoxville Radio: Mickey Dearstone OUT At Sports WNML

Mickey Dearstone
Longtime Knoxville radio personality Mickey Dearstone said Thursday he has been fired as program director and early-morning talk-show host at Cumulus' WNML 990 AM / 99.1 FM, according to

Dearstone, who had worked at the station for 36 years, said he was fired following his Tuesday morning show, "First Quarter." Although he had told the station he planned to retire in 2018, he was surprised by the timing.

"They said it was for cost-cutting reasons," said Dearstone, who had been program director since 2005. Before that, he had been the station's promotions director.

Ken Salyer, the station's vice president and marketing manager, wouldn't confirm the firing.

The firing will not affect Dearstone's role with the Lady Vols, whose games are carried on WNML, the flagship station of Tennessee athletics.

His role with the Lady Vols made him one of the most popular radio personalities in Knoxville. He also became well known as host of the "Doc, Jeff and Heather in the Morning" show, which included Jeff Jacoby and Heather Harrington since January 2006.

Jacoby, a longtime fixture on Knoxville radio, died on Christmas Day following a long battle with cancer.

Detroit Radio: WDVD To Fete Women At Blaine's Best Banquet

WDVD 96.3 FM’s Blaine Fowler Morning Show will partner with Sweet Magnolia’s Southern Cooking in Southfield to honor exceptional local women at the Blaine’s Best Banquet.

Blaine Fowler
Blaine’s Best nominations have been rolling in over the past few weeks.  These nominations tell extraordinary stories of Southeastern Michigan women who have made outstanding contributions in their community, their workplace, or at home.

“The response has been overwhelming and extremely heartening,” said host, Blaine Fowler.  “We knew we’d get some great stories, though we never expected that we would receive so many!  These stories tell of extraordinary commitment, determination, strength, selflessness, caring, and love.”

“I tell you … we’ve gone through a range of emotions with these over the last few weeks, but the biggest of those emotions is pride.  We are so thankful for the significance of what these ladies have accomplished and for the differences they have made in the lives of the people they have touched.”

The event will recognize 10 nominated ladies who were hand-selected by Blaine to be honored in front of their friends and families.  Blaine will be telling each of their stories, as well as presenting the honorees with a Blaine’s Best commemorative award.

Nashville Radio: WQQK's Connie Denell Sets Retirement

Connie Denell
After 3 decades of service to the Nashville community, Cumulus Nashville’s 92Q – WQQK 92.1 FM has announced the retirement of our Gospel Diva, Connie Denell at the end of 2017.

Connie Denell has been with 92Q – WQQK since 1983 and has been hosting her Gospel Diva program since 1987. Connie has won numerous awards for her efforts including a Stella Award and NAACP Award as well as continuous recognition for her tireless work in the community.

“When I first started this show, I brought flowers to every church in this city. We’ve been here for over 3 decades helping those in need in Nashville each week. I take your friendship and that of Cumulus Nashville as a blessing each week.”

Says Connie Denell, Gospel Diva. “I look forward to seeing you throughout the year at 92Q Events.”

“We’ve been blessed to have Connie Denell as part of the lineup at 92Q – WQQK for over 3 decades.” Says Kenny Smoov, Program Director of 92Q – WQQK. “It’s been amazing to watch Connie’s commitment to the Nashville community. Stay tuned for details about events to honor Connie Denell before she says goodbye on-air on 92Q.”

Survey: Digital News Readers May Not Recall Source

News outlets are looking to social media as a way to gain readers, but new research suggests that digital news consumers may not recall where they got their news from.

USAToday reports Social media and direct surfing to news organizations' web sites were nearly equally likely to be the most common ways users got news online, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, conducted with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and released Thursday.

The 2,004 online news consumers surveyed from Feb. 24-March 1, 2016, said they got news by going directly to a news outlet's site 36% of the time and through social media 35% of the time. About two-thirds (65%) said that more than half the time they used the same method of getting news.

Upon visiting a news site, consumers could recall the name of the news outlet, on average, 56% of the time, the survey found. That means 44% of the time, they could not remember what  source they had gotten the news from.

And consumers were more likely to remember the source if they got the link directly from the news outlet, via email or text alert, than from social media or from a friend's email or text message, the survey found. Among those who clicked on news links, 14% mentioned CNN, 12% mentioned Fox News and 10% simply listed Facebook as the source.

According to the Pew Survey, Younger and older online news consumers follow news links at the same rate, but younger adults are less likely to remember the source. When 18- to 29-year-old online news consumers clicked on news links, they remembered the source about half the time (47%), at least 10 percentage points less than their elders (57% for 30- to 49-year-olds and 61% for those 50 and older). And these younger online news consumers got their news through social media 47% of the time on average, about double the rate of those 50 and older (23%), and about on par with those ages 30 to 49 (42%). Those 50 and older, on the other hand, stand out for their heavier reliance on news organizations’ emails, texts and alerts.

"What Women Want From Media" Webinars Set

Alan Burns and Associates, in partnership with Strategic Solutions Research, will begin releasing results of a new national study of women's media consumption next week. The study, the latest in a series began by Burns in 2010, will profile women's attitudes toward and usage of radio, streamers, music and other media. 

The Burns/Strategic Solutions study will be released in four parts in a series of weekly webinars beginning February 16.

"Nielsen data shows some important changes in consumption of radio over the past few years, and one of the things we probed deeply in this study is -- why? What does this mean for the future? And what, if anything, can radio do about it?" said Burns and Associates founder Alan Burns. "With this study we'll be able to trend women's attitudes toward and perceptions of radio over the last five years, and show some exciting insights. For example, the data we will show regarding the usage of headphones and earbuds while listening to radio will rock the industry."

"We're elated to be partnering with Alan Burns & Associates on this research," added Strategic Solutions Research Partner & Executive VP Hal Rood. "This study provides a deep view into how women perceive radio compared to other choices they have. Women are not daunted by this myriad of choice, and they have a clear idea of what they like and don't like about each. Radio is still important and highly valued by a huge group of female consumers, and the good news is there are ways to deepen that connection."

Brooke Shields To Host SiriusXM Talk Show

SiriusXM has announced that actress, model, and best-selling author Brooke Shields, will host a new weekly one-hour talk show exclusively on SiriusXM's Stars channel.

Brooke Shields Now will feature inspiring, passionate conversations between Brooke, experts and celebrity guests as they discuss topics and issues ranging from parenting and relationships to fashion, the arts and more.  A private person at heart, Brooke will share personal secrets and stories of her good and not so good life experiences, the lessons learned, and mistakes she's made along the way.

Taking calls from listeners, Brooke Shields Now launches Monday, February 13 on SiriusXM's Stars channel 109.  Guests confirmed to join Brooke on-air during the special limited-run series include InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown, and TODAY Show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

"I've always been a believer in having honest, frank conversations – the kind so many women crave," said Brooke Shields. "At SiriusXM, I've found the perfect place for that, and look forward to sharing the conversations with my friends, special guests, and listeners nationwide."

"Brooke is a multi-talented star whose fans span generations and we are thrilled to launch Brooke Shields Now and have her lead wide-ranging conversations our listeners will enjoy," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "She is known not just for her incredibly successful entertainment career, but also for her much-welcomed frankness on real life matters. On her new SiriusXM program listeners nationwide will get a glimpse into Brooke's world, listen in on her revealing conversations with fellow celebrities and friends, and be able to talk with the star and her guests themselves."

PodcastOne, Edison Unveil Podcast Ad Results

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norman Pattiz and Edison Research VP of Strategy Tom Webster Thursday announced the results of a series of comprehensive studies looking at the results of advertising tests with five major national consumer brands across five different product and service categories.

This first-ever study of pre- and post-campaign brand lift for podcast advertisers was conducted over the last half of 2016, and showed the significant positive impact of podcast advertising on brand recall, intent to purchase and recall of specific messaging.

Key findings from the studies include the following:
  • Over 60% of listeners mentioned a specific grocery brand post-campaign, up from 7% among listeners in the pre-study.
  • Unaided product awareness increased from the pre-study to the post-study by 47% for a financial services product, by 37% for an automobile aftermarket product and by 24% for a lawn and garden product.
  • In the post-study, over one-third of respondents had a "very favorable" opinion of an automobile aftermarket product, up from 18% in pre-study. In the post-study, 22% said they were "very likely" to consider using a lawn and garden product, up from 16% in the pre-study.
  • Awareness of a specific campaign message for an automobile aftermarket product increased by 60% from the pre-study to the post-study, and for a casual dining restaurant by 76%.
Norm Pattiz
Edison Research conducted three separate studies in 2016 on behalf of PodcastOne to examine the effectiveness of podcast advertising for five national brands. Some of these brands were well known, but launching new messaging, while others were lesser-known brands looking for increased awareness and trial.

In all cases, online surveys of the audiences of several leading podcasts were conducted before the podcast advertising campaigns ran, and again after each brand had run 4-6 weeks' worth of advertisements on those podcasts, using the same methodology in each case. The results of these pre- and post-campaign studies showed that these podcast audiences were receptive to brand messages, and showed an increased willingness to consider and/or purchase those brands.

Tom Webster
"Our core focus has always been to independently verify that the podcast format provides enhanced brand impact well beyond traditional advertising formats," said PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norman Pattiz. "These results further validate our multi-tiered approach to integrated advertising and measurement."

"We were excited to partner with PodcastOne and these five leading brands in order to independently measure the impact of podcast advertising," said Tom Webster, Edison Research Vice-President of Strategy. "Because our methodology allowed us to study these audiences before and after the campaigns ran, we were able to definitively show that podcast advertising has a significant impact on a variety of key effectiveness measures."

For more information about the study or PodcastOne, please contact Amanda Deutchman at

Phoenix Radio: KMVP, D-Backs Extend MLB Broadcasts

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Sports KMVP 98.7 FM have agreed to a five-year extension that will keep Arizona Sports 98.7 as the official radio home of the D-backs through 2022.

“There’s nothing like listening to baseball on the radio, and that’s why we take great pride in being the exclusive D-backs radio partner since day one,” said Scott Sutherland, VP/Market Manager of Bonneville/Phoenix. “We are honored that Arizona Sports 98.7 FM will continue to broadcast D-backs baseball for many years to come.”

Arizona Sports 98.7 features 12 hours of live, local programming each day beginning with Doug & Wolf (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.), Off the Edge with Bertrand Berry (10 a.m. to 12 noon), Bickley & Marotta (12 noon to 2 p.m. ) and Burns & Gambo (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

All 162 D-backs games every season can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 and brother station ESPN Phoenix 620 AM with Greg Schulte, Tom Candiotti and Mike Ferrin on the call.

“I’ve long believed that we have the best radio broadcast team in baseball on the No. 1 sports station in the Southwest,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We are thrilled to extend that partnership long-term alongside some of the most well-known sports personalities in the Valley.”

Schulte, who has been behind the mic for every major moment in D-backs history, returns to handle play-by-play duties for his 20th season, while former big league pitcher Candiotti enters his 12th season as the D-backs’ radio color analyst. Ferrin will begin his second season as a member of the D-backs’ broadcast team, serving as the secondary radio play-by-play announcer and pre- and postgame show host.

Returning in 2017 is a half-hour postgame talk show called “Diamond Talk.” The show, hosted by Ferrin, will follow the network postgame show after most regular season home games, adding an additional 35 hours of D-backs programming again this season.

KMVP 98.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Diamond Talk” will include analysis of the game and interviews from the clubhouse, while Ferrin will be joined each night by other members of the D-backs broadcast team. Ferrin will also host “D-backs BP Show,” a pregame show that starts half an hour before first pitch that features interviews, analysis and late–breaking news from around Major League Baseball.