Thursday, March 30, 2017

One Less Dickey At Cumulus Media

Lew Dickey
Lew Dickey has stepped off the board of Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, the company he started nearly 20 years ago.

According to Rodney Ho at, his reason: “to pursue other professional interests.” His 18-month non-compete clause has expired since he lost his CEO and board chairman position. He still owns a large chunk of Cumulus shares.

But the Dickey presence on the board is not completely over. Former Cumulus VP John Dickey will take over the vice chairman spot.

Dickey founded Cumulus soon after radio deregulation two decades ago. He quickly scooped up small market radio stations and Cumulus became a major player in the radio business.

In 2011, Cumulus purchased Citadel which gave them more major market stations but also weighed the company down with too much debt. By last year, share prices dropped so far below $1 on Nasdaq that they had to do an 8-to-1 share swap to boost it above $1 again. Since then, the price has again fallen below $1 a share again and is now down to 32 cents. Nasdaq will boot the stock off if its exchange if it stays below $1 too long.

The market capitalization of Cumulus, which generates $1.2 billion in revenue a year, is a mere $9.5 million. The Fitz rating firm recently targeted Cumulus as a possible candidate for financial default this year.

Cumulus now owns more than 500 radio stations.

'Failing' NYTimes Shares Increase 30 Percent

President Donald Trump loves to claim that the NYTimes is "failing," but that idea needs to be fact checked, because shares of New York Times Co (NYT). are up 30% since he was elected president.

CNN Money asks, If that's a failure, what's his definition of success?

The company's stock is also up nearly 9% so far this year.

Gannett's (GCI) stock has plunged nearly 15% this year. McClatchy (MNI) is down almost 30%. And the awfully-named tronc (TRNC) (formerly Tribune Publishing) is up just 1%.

And as many others have already noted, the notion that the paper "apologized" to its readers is a Trump fantasy. The Times did admit that the outcome of the election was "unexpected." But it never, in its letter to readers in November, asked for forgiveness for any editorial lapses.

Now, to be fair to the president, it is true that the Times has fallen on hard times over the past few decades due to the massive shift in how people consume media -- and the advertising changes that have come along with the digital revolution.

Shares of the Times are trading at about two-thirds the price they were before the tech bubble burst in 2000. And the stock is more than 80% below the all-time highs it hit in the early 1980s. The company's overall ad revenue is still falling. But digital ad sales were up 11% in the fourth quarter.

And the growth in digital subscriptions has been so strong that it helped lift overall circulation revenue in the quarter, despite a decline in the sale of print editions.

The Time is morphing into a leading digital media company. And that's probably why Wall Street is more excited about its future.

Atlanta Radio: WIGO Is Nation's Steller Station

WIGO Radio 1570 AM has been selected as the 2017 Stellar Award recipient of the Major Market Radio Station of The Year.

According to, the announcement was made during the Annual 2017 Stellar Awards Show in Las Vegas Nevada last Saturday

The honor was achieved despite tough competition from over two dozen or more stations in cities including Atlanta, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Orlando and Los Angeles.

The Stellar Award for Major Market Station is based on the station’s program quality, listener support, community outreach and advertising services.

The WIGO 1570 AM , “Atlanta’s incredible radio”, format is a mixture of Gospel music, Ministries, Talk, News and Sports, Blues and R & B music.

“I was astounded when they called my name”, said Larry Young, WIGO General Manager. “It was amazing”.

Nominees are chosen by the Stellar Gospel Music Academy during first round balloting. The final four nominees in the category are chosen by the public.

“I want to thank our listeners,”Young said. “They voted us in and this win is a really big deal for us”.

Expected FCC Reversal Could Lead To TV Deals

The FCC is planning to reverse an Obama-era rule that prevented major television-station owners from buying stations or readily selling themselves, a move that could touch off a wave of deals among media companies.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the proposal, which would effectively loosen a national cap on audience share for station owners that the rule had tightened, is scheduled to be put before the Federal Communications Commission in late April, an agency official said. Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to announce the plan on Thursday afternoon.

The longstanding ownership cap limits TV groups to a 39% national audience share. But for years, the government said station owners didn’t have to fully count UHF stations in calculating their share because UHF was typically a less powerful signal. The Obama-era FCC eliminated the so-called UHF discount last September, contending that the distinction between UHF stations and VHF stations had effectively disappeared.

The FCC under Mr. Pai is expected to revert to the previous rule in one of a series of actions he is taking as he plans to reverse several policies adopted under his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, who was FCC chairman for much of President Barack Obama’s second term.

TV station owners have contended that fully counting the UHF channels unfairly penalized them at a time when other types of media have been growing rapidly.

While the return of the UHF discount will likely lead to some deals, television executives are also pining for a relaxation of the rules that limit the number of television stations one broadcaster can own in a market.

Currently, one company can own two TV stations in a market only if eight independent TV stations remain afterward. That limits such possibilities to big and midsize markets and leaves out smaller markets where many TV stations are economically challenged, broadcasters say.

Read More Now (Paywall)

Report: Media Companies Pushing For Changes In Ownership Rules

Sinclair Broadcast Group has reportedly been buttering up FCC Chairman Ajit Pai as it seeks regulation reform to further its broadcast TV consolidation ambitions, including a reported bid for Tribune Media.

According to Bloomberg, the broadcaster had Pai speak at a company conference at Baltimore’s ritzy Four Seasons hotel just days after the presidential election. An FCC spokesperson told the publication that the appearance was arranged before the election and that Pai was there to talk about broadcasters’ roles in the media marketplace. Still, the event ended up giving Sinclair close access to the next chairman of the FCC.

Craig Aaron, president of the policy group Free Press, also told the publication that Sinclair is “actively courting” Pai and hoping he will alter ownership rules so Sinclair can do “whatever kind of deals they want to do.”

FierceCable reports broadcasters like Sinclair and Nexstar—which recently completed its $4.4 billion acquisition of Media General—are confident that the new FCC under Pai will relax the ownership rules that have capped the number of stations a company can own in one market.

The current ownership cap, which controls how much reach individual broadcasters can acquire, dictates that a broadcast station group’s audience reach should not exceed 39%. But that cap could be easier to work around if the FCC decides to revamp the UHF discount.

Last year, the FCC changed the UHF discount governing ownership rules for broadcast stations so that UHF stations would now have to count 100% of their reach toward the cap, instead of the previous 50%. Broadcasters like CBS have urged the FCC to reinstate the UHF discount before making any further reforms on the ownership rules.

Sinclair’s push for changes to ownership rules for broadcasters come as the company’s reported pursuit of Tribune Media assets including all of Tribune’s stations and cable networks appears to be on the fast track.

The New York Post recently cited several sources who said the companies are discussing a price of about $40 to $41 per share for a deal that would include all 42 Tribune TV stations and Tribune’s stakes in the Food Network and WGN.

D/FW Radio: Leigh Ann Adam Gets Wake-Up Duty At KDGE

Leigh Ann Adam
iHeartMedia has announced that Leigh Ann Adam has been named morning drive host for KDGE Star 102.1 FM, effective April 3, 2017. Adam will broadcast weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m.

Star Mornings with Leigh Ann will feature Adam discussing the latest news in entertainment and pop culture as well as hosting interviews featuring some of today’s biggest artists.

“I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with Star 102.1 and the DFW community,” said Adam. “Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!”

Adam has captivated millions of listeners around the globe, becoming one of today’s most recognized female voices in radio. Most recently, she hosted afternoons at KVIL for 11 years. She has also served as morning co-host of the Leigh Ann and Charlie Tuna show at KBIG in Los Angeles. From mornings to middays to afternoons, Adam has attracted the attention of the world’s biggest megastars, hosting headline-grabbing interviews with icons like Cher, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, and many more. Leigh Ann is married with three children.

KDGE 102.1 FM (100 Kw_ Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m so excited to have Leigh Ann as the newest addition to our programming team,” said Jay Shannon, Program Director for Star 102.1. “Leigh Ann has been in the DFW market for over two decades and will be a big success on Star. She continues to push the boundaries of entertainment, always leaving listeners thirsty to tune in for more and that’s a perfect fit for our format!”

Seattle Radio: Bender To Stick Around At KBKS

iHeartMedia Seattle has announced it has renewed and extended its agreement with Bender, on-air personality for the Bender & Molly in the Morning show on KBKS 106.1 KISS FM.

Bender (Cunningham) is a radio veteran with 30 years of experience, and he recently celebrated his 16-year anniversary with 106.1 KISS FM. His interactive morning show covers everything local and pop culture. He also leads the efforts for Bender’s One Big KISS for Seattle Children’s Hospital, an annual radiothon that has raised nearly $15 million for the hospital over the last 16 years. The Bender & Molly in the Morning show broadcasts weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.

“I am ecstatic that Bender has decided to make 106.1 KISS FM his home for years to come!” said Justin Riley, Program Director for 106.1 KISS FM. “His passion for the brand is unwavering, and his dedication to our listeners and the community is what really sets him apart from other personalities. Bender’s passion for drumming up local support for Seattle Children’s Hospital is just astounding.”

KBKS 106.1 FM (73 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“16 years and I've still got the greatest gig in the world,” said Bender. “I'm extremely happy to extend the ride." - See more at:

More Evidence Emerges That Pandora Is Losing TSL

Recent trends - supported by a number of independent research companies - including Bridge Ratings - confirm music streaming service Pandora is experiencing attrition in time-spent using the service and its number of weekly visits is decreasing as well.

Dave Van Dyke
Bridge Ratings has been tracking Pandora consumption since 2007 and the increasingly improving landscape of streaming services is contributing to Pandora’s audience attrition.

According to Dave Van Dyke, President/CEO at Bridge Ratings, he has found that much of the erosion is credited to Spotify and, in particular, as fans of streaming music platforms become familiar with both Pandora and Spotify, they are becoming more sophisticated in the manner in which they use these platforms.

An increasing number of music streaming consumers are utilizing more than one platform to satisfy their listening preferences and our latest study exposes how Spotify has stunted Pandora’s growth.

This latest study includes what streamies (users of steaming music platforms) deem to be the most important features of a streaming service, how many Pandora users have added Spotify to their streaming service choices and compares user satisfaction scores between the two services.

Click on this link to go direct to the study or go to our website at and click on “Pandora vs Spotify Satisfaction Study”.

Pandora Losing Listeners And Money

Pandora Media Inc. co-founder Tim Westergren took over for his second run as chief executive officer in March 2016 to revive the online radio company and avert a potential sale, reports Bloomberg.

Once a rising star that brought old-fashioned radio online, Pandora has been losing listeners and money. Its travails have attracted activist investor Corvex Management LP, which has carved out an 8.8 percent stake and is pressuring Westergren to consider other options. While the CEO publicly opposes a sale, several board members are open to the idea or at least giving Corvex seats on the board, according to people familiar with the matter.

Westergren, 51, has preached swift action since taking over as CEO, and asked for patience to execute the company’s plans to enter two new businesses -- concert ticketing and on-demand streaming.

Bloomberg graphic

Yet patience is wearing thin in some quarters. Pandora reported a year-over-year drop in listeners in each of the past three quarters, while Spotify added more than 20 million paying customers in less than year. Advertising growth has slowed, and the shares, issued at $16 in June 2011, peaked at $40.44 in March 2014 and are now trading at $11.69.

Pandora, meanwhile, has extended the deadline for shareholders to propose new directors, giving investors like Corvex time to ponder their next moves and spurring speculation among current and former employees that other actions may be afoot. Two directors will be up for re-election at the company’s next shareholder meeting -- Westergren and Tony Vinciquerra, a media executive to Corvex’s liking.

Here Comes Judge Napolitano

Andrew Napolitano
Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano returned to the air on Wednesday morning and stood by the unsubstantiated wiretapping claims that got him in hot water with his network nearly two weeks ago.

The former New Jersey Superior Court judge had not been on the air since March 16 as he became enmeshed in the controversy over President Trump’s still-unproven claim that his predecessor had ordered surveillance of Trump Tower.

Napolitano, citing unnamed sources, had said that the British foreign surveillance agency “most likely” provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s recorded calls.

FBI Director James B. Comey said his agency and the Department of Justice have "no information" to support Trump's allegations that President Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump and his campaign.

While Fox News never made an official statement about a change in Napolitano’s status, he was conspicuously missing from its coverage last week on the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Napolitano was taken off the air and management had addressed the matter with him, said people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to comment.

According to The LA Times, Napolitano returned on “America’s Newsroom” with only a passing reference to his absence made by anchor Bill Hemmer, who, after introducing him, said, “You've had a few quiet days.”

A representative of Fox News said the “matter was addressed internally” and declined to comment further.

FCC Moves To Shake Up Telecom Program

By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON

(Reuters) -- The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to reverse an Obama era decision that allowed it to approve companies to offer government-subsidized telecommunications services to low-income families, the agency's Republican head said on Wednesday.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has said telecoms service providers exploited loopholes in the "Lifeline" program for their own gain and states should decide which companies provide the internet, mobile phone and fixed line services to poorer Americans.

Ajit Pai
Democrats say Pai's moves are aimed at winding down the program, but Pai has said he just wants to reform Lifeline to prevent fraud.

On Wednesday Pai said the commission would not approve about three dozen pending applications from companies that wanted to join Lifeline. He said the agency would not defend prior FCC actions with regards the program in a case pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Twelve states have challenged the FCC’s order before the appeals court allowing the agency to approve companies to offer services. Pai said the FCC would ask the court to send the case back to the agency so it can reverse the decision and let states take the lead on approving companies.

"Congress gave state governments, not the FCC, the primary responsibility for approving which companies can participate in the Lifeline," Pai said.

Putting the approval process in the hands of state utility commissions is essential to police against fraud, he added.

A group of U.S. House Democrats said Pai's decision was an effort "to inflict death by a thousand cuts" to Lifeline, which has provided more than $1.5 billion in annual subsidies in recent years.

Mignon Clyburn
"Through lawyerly maneuvering, the FCC is trying to disguise its efforts to eliminate a system designed to make it easier for anyone who needs access to broadband to get it," they said in a statement.

In March 2016, the FCC voted to expand the $9.25 a month telephone subsidy to include internet access. Pai said over 3.5 million Americans were currently receiving subsidized broadband service through Lifeline from 259 providers.

The FCC has estimated that 95 percent of U.S. households with incomes of at least $150,000 have access to high-speed internet, while less than half of households with incomes lower than $25,000 have Internet access at home.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said Wednesday Pai's decision means "low-income Americans will have less choice for Lifeline broadband, and potential providers who want to serve low-income Americans will face greater barriers to entry and regulatory uncertainty."

ESPN Radio Starts 20th MLB Season

ESPN Radio’s 20th Major League Baseball season of 71 games will include multiple appearances from several top teams including the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton return this year as ESPN Radio’s lead commentator team.

The season begins on Opening Day as Kris Bryant and the Cubs visit Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, April 2, at 7 p.m. ET*. ESPN Radio will also broadcast the Cubs’ home opener on Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m. against the Dodgers – a rematch of last year’s National League Championship Series.

Among the other highlights this season include: Seven games showcasing the defending Champion Cubs; seven New York Yankee games; six St. Louis Cardinal matchups; and the New York Yankees visiting the Boston Red Sox on July 16. In addition, ESPN Radio will be the exclusive radio home for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and the 88th MLB All Star Game from Marlins Park in Miami, on Monday, July 10, and Tuesday, July 11, respectively.

Every MLB postseason game will broadcast for the 20th consecutive year. Postseason coverage will include any potential tie-breaker games, Wild Card games, National and American League Division Series, National League Championship Series, the American League Championship Series and the World Series.

All MLB games on ESPN Radio will be preceded by the Baseball Tonight pregame show offering news, previews and analysis of upcoming games. As the season progresses, additional matchups on ESPN Radio will be announced. All games will be available on ESPN Radio, and the ESPN app.

CPB President Defends Budget Request

Corporation For Public Broadcasting President Pat Harrison defended the corporation’s 2020 budget request before a House subcommittee this week, answering several pointed questions from the panel that oversees public broadcasting’s federal outlay.

According to, the appearance was Harrison’s first before the subcommittee in 10 years as CPB’s future federal appropriations, including $445 million for fiscal year 2020, appear to be in the budget-cutting bullseye. President Trump indicated in his recent initial budget proposal that he plans to defund the corporation.

In a generally friendly two-hour session, Harrison defended CPB’s level funding request for FY20 as well as FY2018 requests of $30 million for the Ready To Learn early literacy initiative and $55 million for public broadcasting’s interconnection upgrade. She also explained to the 13-member Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee why zeroing out CPB would essentially end public media and stressed the services stations provide to communities nationwide.

Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a longtime public broadcasting champion, asked Harrison what she’d do if CPB’s appropriation were doubled.

Harrison said her wish list would include expanding American Graduate, launching a 24/7 history channel for local content, increasing funding for the Ready To Learn early literacy initiative, bolstering work focusing on veterans and programming from the National Minority Consortia, funding more international reporting for NPR and creating a leadership channel “for kids to learn about courage, commitment, perseverance and grit.”

“I’d be happy to make a real presentation,” Harrison said.

Trump is expected to release his full budget later this spring. It will then go to the House and Senate for their changes and approval.

CBS' Chief Programmer Sidelined By Heart Attack

Glenn Geller
CBS disclosed Wednesday that its head of entertainment, Glenn Geller, will take a medical leave of at least two months to recover after suffering a mild heart attack this month. according to The LA Times.

Geller, 45, has been CBS’ chief programmer since September 2015. His health scare occurred March 17, in the midst of a one of the busiest times of the year in network television, when programming executives put together their new fall schedules.

Networks evaluate pilot projects and then pick their new shows in early May. The networks then take turns unveiling their prime-time lineups to advertisers in New York during a week of presentations known in the industry as “the upfront.”

CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and other senior network executives are expected to become more involved in the programming decisions. On Wednesday, Moonves asked his team in Studio City to pitch in while Geller is recovering.

“Fortunately, Glenn’s medical prognosis is good and he is recovering nicely,” Moonves said in an email to his staff. “We are fully supportive of Glenn focusing on restoring himself to 100%. At the same time, it’s clear that we must now adjust ourselves to a new situation as we finish our pilots and head into the upfront.”

Last week, CBS announced that the network had given early renewals to more than a dozen shows. CBS is the most-watched TV network in America and executives have been working to improve the prime-time ratings among the key demographic of viewers ages 18 to 49. The final push could improve the network’s competitive standing as it seeks higher rates from advertisers for its commercial time.

NBCUniversal Slightly Ahead of Sochi for 2018 Winter Olympics Ad Sales

By Tim Baysinger

(Reuters) -- Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal is pacing ahead in the amount of advertising inventory it has sold for next February’s Winter Olympics compared with the same time four years ago, NBC Sports executives said on Wednesday.

NBCUniversal is paying $963 million for the right to broadcast the Winter Olympics from PyeongChang, South Korea, as part of a $4.38 billion media rights deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that carries through the 2020 Summer Olympics from Tokyo.

NBCU has a separate $7.65 billion deal with the IOC for U.S. rights through 2032.

NBC Sports executives met with advertisers on Wednesday to get them to purchase ads for next year's Olympics.

NBC Sports executives said on a conference call with reporters that they were “a little bit” ahead of where they were at this point four years ago. Executives would not give any dollar amount for the advertising commitments for PyeongChang, which is costing NBC nearly $200 million more than the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which cost the network $775 million.

NBC brought in more than $800 million in ad sales for the Sochi Olympics.

The Winter Olympics begin Feb. 8, 2018, only four days after NBC’s airing of Super Bowl LII. Dan Lovinger, executive vice president, said NBC will offer advertisers the chance to package ad buys across both events. It will be the first time since 1992 that any U.S. network will air both events in the same year.

As it did with the 2016 Rio Olympics, NBC is working with Snap Inc’s Snapchat, giving the mobile app access to Olympic content, which will be curated by BuzzFeed. NBCU, which is famously guarded about giving access to official Olympic video to other outlets, has invested in both companies.

For the Winter Olympics, NBC will be able to sell Snapchat’s geofilters and lenses for advertisers to sponsors, which can cost as much as $700,000 for 24 hours. It will be the first time Snap has allowed a third party to sell those to advertisers.

Store Music Can Make You Buy More

Major restaurant chains, including McDonalds and TGI Fridays are installing specially-designed sound systems that make customers spend as much as 10 per cent more. reports The Daily Mail.

The system, called Soundtrack Your Brand, plays music that reflects a brand's values, evoking a range of positive emotions in customers and increasing guest satisfaction.

Researchers from HUI Research, a research-based consulting firm in Stockholm, conducted the largest ever academic study of background music, to design the system.

Professor Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, who led the study, said: 'This is without doubt the largest field study on the influence of music in restaurants to date, and we've analysed an enormous pool of data.
'When done right, music has a major positive effect on sales, largely stemming from guests purchasing more items such as desserts and sides.

'Play the wrong music, and you just might find that you're alienating that very same customer and selling significantly less.'

While most restaurants play music in an attempt to shape their customers' experience, they choose their songs casually and without much thought.

Over the course of five months, across 16 McDonalds restaurants in Sweden, the researchers analysed a pool of nearly two million unique transactions. In particular, sales of desserts and sides rose by more than 11 per cent, while the sales of smoothies and milkshakes increased by 15 per cent

But the researchers believed that the right music could have a huge return for restaurants.

Over the course of five months, across 16 McDonalds restaurants in Sweden, the researchers analysed a pool of nearly two million unique transactions.

The results showed that the difference was 9.1 per cent over the period of the study.

Music that fit the brand made customers more likely to buy additional items than if the restaurant played random popular music.

The formula for success appeared to be a mix of popular and less known songs that still had a good brand fit.

Ola Sars, CEO of Soundtrack Your Brand, told MailOnline: 'The Soundtrack Your Brand technology takes into account factors such as the time of day and the type of people likely to be in a certain location, creating a tailored atmosphere for both the brand and consumer.

March 30 Radio History

In 1922...KGY-AM, Olympia, Washington, began broadcasting.

KGY has a long history in Olympia, going back to Saint Martin’s College (now Saint Martin’s University). It was there that Benedictine monk Father Sebastian Ruth began experimenting with radio, and when the FCC first started licensing radio stations, KGY was one of the first stations in Washington State to be licensed. “In fact, the three letter call stations are a heritage, the oldest around,” Kerry said.

In 1939 Nick Kerry’s great-grandfather Tom Olsen, an Olympia native, purchased the business. In 1960 KGY moved to its current location on Marine Drive overlooking Budd Inlet and neighbor to Swantown Marina and Hearthfire Grill. It was built on pilings and has dramatic views of Budd Inlet and the Olympic Mountains. “This was the perfect location for an AM tower. The radials went into the saltwater which they believed created a stronger signal,” said Kerry.

Barbara Olsen Kerry ran the stations until the mid-2000s and today the family continues to remain owners, the majority of whom live in Olympia.

In 1922...WWL-AM, New Orleans, Louisiana, began broadcasting.

Circa the '50s

After receiving permission from the Vatican, the Jesuits at Loyola University started WWL on March 31, 1922, with a piano recital and a three-minute request to listeners to support construction of a new classroom building on campus.  The advertisement above says the 10-watt transmitter was “made from $400 worth of spare parts from a Goverment War Surplus Ship.  The studio audience — 20 Loyola students —- gave a spontaneous cheer at [the] conclusion of [the] historic broadcast.”

The advertisement also claims other firsts.  For instance, the 1922 broadcast of a recording of John McCormack singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” is claimed as the first music broadcast in the South.

Over the years, WWL moved to different positions on the dial and steadily increased its power.  In 1938, WWL boosted its signal to 50,000 watts, sending the sounds of New Orleans across much of North America.

WWL became a CBS affiliate in 1935.  During World War II, Loyola University offered WWL’s facilities to train soldiers in radio operations. The station also produced wartime radio programs.  WWL again allowed the government to use its facilities in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

WWL-AM avoided the turn toward rock in the 1950s and became well known in the region for its broadcasts of local Dixieland jazz bands and big band music.  The Leon Kelner Orchestra was popular for its broadcasts from the Roosevelt Hotel’s Blue Room.  The broadcasts were heard far and wide over WWL’s 50,000-watt signal. The LPB radio history site says comment cards were received from as far away as Finland.

In 1971, the station started a long-running overnight country music show targeted at long-haul truck drivers called “The Road Gang.”

Loyola sold the WWL stations to separate companies in 1989.  WWL-AM and WLMG-FM are now owned by Entercom.-Faded Signals

In 1936...the radio serial, Backstage Wife, made a move across the radio dial from the Mutual Broadcasting System to NBC radio. Once there, the program continued on for the next 23 years. Claire Niesen played the title role for the last 17 years.

In 1938...Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge began a decade-long weekly run on NBC radio, which was followed by a daily series for a year on ABC.  During the late 40’s there was also a TV version on NBC.

In 1941...The Great AM Frequency Re-alignment.

The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement, usually referred to as NARBA, is a treaty that took effect in March 1941 and set out an international bandplan and interference rules for mediumwave AM broadcasting in North America. NARBA accommodated much of the U.S. bandplan of 1928, with accommodation to Canada and Mexico.

Listen: A commercial explaining the changes in dial position of radio stations which took place on March 29, 1941. Click Here.

Although mostly replaced by other agreements in the 1980s, the basic bandplan of NARBA has remained to the present day. Among its major features were the extension of the broadcast band from its former limits of 550 kHz to 1500 kHz to its 1941 limits of 540 kHz to 1600 kHz to its present limits of 540 kHz to 1700 kHz and the shift of most existing AM stations' frequencies to make room for additional clear-channel station allocations for Canada and Mexico.

The agreement eventually governed AM band use in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. In accordance with the treaty, clear channel frequencies were set aside across, roughly, the lower half of the radio dial (with a few regional channels thrown in), and regional channels across, roughly, the upper half of the radio dial (with a few clear channels thrown in).

The replacement 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450, and 1490 kHz local channels (formerly 1200, 1210, 1310, 1370. 1420 and 1500 kHz) were reserved for local channel stations (these are regional channels if located outside the North American continent, in which case regional channel stations could be allocated to those channels).

The agreement also officially reduced the "same market" minimum channel spacing from 50 kHz to 40 kHz, although Mexico elected to enforce a 30 kHz "same market" channel spacing, unless such reduced spacing was in conflict with an abutting nation's "border zone" allocations, in which case 40 kHz was enforced.

It required that most existing AM stations change frequencies according to a well-defined "table", which attempted to conserve the electrical height of the extant vertical radiator(s) and thereby controlling possible interference, while resulting in a wholesale yet predictable shuffling of radio station dial positions.

There were about 100 stations which were not changed according to the "table" and in these cases every attempt was made to move an existing clear channel station to a possibly distant clear channel (and not to a regional channel) and to move an existing regional channel station to a possibly distant regional channel (and not to a clear channel); local channel stations were not moved outside of the "table" as the "table" accommodated every eventuality, including even the cases of stations on the two highest local channels, 1420 and 1500 kHz, an 80 kHz spacing, as the new "same market" spacing of 40 kHz accommodated this case (these moved stations would be allocated to 1450 and 1490 kHz, a 40 kHz spacing).

In 1945...the Dreft Star Playhouse was heard for the final time on NBC radio. For the prior two years the show had been paying up to $3,000 per week to attract “name” talent to the daytime quarter hour serializing movies & other stories. Dreft, the show’s sponsor, was a popular laundry detergent of the 40’s.

In 1946...the anthology series Academy Award, which did half-hour adaptations of award-winning movies, debuted on CBS radio. The first drama was titled, Jezebel and starred actress Bette Davis.

Gabriel Heater
In 1972...Radio newsman/commentator (Mutual Broadcasting System, from the late 1930s to the early 1960s)/author (There's Good News Tonight) Gabriel Heatter, who appeared as himself in the 1951 motion picture "The Day the Earth Stood Still," died of pneumonia at age 81.

In 1985...Actor (Blondie, Willy, The Great Gildersleeve, Gildersleeve's Bad Day, Gildersleeve on Broadway, Gildersleeve's Ghost, Clambake, Seven Days' Leave, Look Who's Laughing, Here We Go Again, Comin' Around the Mountain, Country Fair, Port of Hell, Outlaw Queen, Invisible Diplomats) Harold Peary, the radio voice of "The Great Gildersleeve," died after a heart attack at 76.

In 1992...WNSR NYC changed call sign to WMXV

In 2012...America's two actors unions – the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – merged to become SAG-AFTRA.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Supreme Court Refuses Pre-'72 Hits Case

By Andrew Chung

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by major record labels to revive copyright infringement claims against video-sharing website Vimeo LLC for hosting content that included songs by famed bands such as the Beatles, the Jackson 5 and the Beach Boys without permission.

The high court's action was a blow to Vivendi SA's Capitol Records and units of Sony Corp, which warned of rampant online copyright abuse if a ruling by a lower court shielding Vimeo from liability remained in place. Vimeo is owned by media mogul Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp.

The case was being closely watched by Hollywood and the recording industry, which are seeking stronger protections for their copyrights, as well as high-tech companies wary of having to police user-generated content.

The dispute centered on the interpretation of a 1998 U.S. law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, which protects internet service providers from liability when users upload copyrighted content, so long as they remove infringing material once they receive notice or otherwise become aware of it.

The labels in 2009 sued Vimeo, alleging infringement over music in 199 videos that Vimeo users had uploaded to the site. A New York federal court in 2013 threw out claims related to the most of the videos, but said Vimeo should face allegations related to content with sound recordings made before 1972.

That court said the federal DMCA protections were not applicable to recordings from before 1972, the year Congress first included them in the scope of federal copyright law. Pre-1972 recordings are protected by state law.

Last year, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the DMCA applied to infringement claims brought under federal and state law, including oldies songs. It said service providers should not have to incur the heavy burden of monitoring every posting to ensure it did not contain pre-1972 recordings.

The record labels asked the Supreme Court to hear their appeal of the circuit court ruling, but the justices declined.

Report: Labels Drop Royalties Suit Vs. CBS Radio

A group of record labels has reportedly agreed to drop their royalty case against CBS Radio over its use of pre-February 15, 1972 sound recordings. The judgement, filed Friday (March 23) in U.S. District Court in New York, calls for each side to pay their own legal fees, according to InsideRadio.

The plaintiffs – ABS Entertainment, Barnaby Records, Brunswick Record Corp. and Malaco Inc. – sued in New York and California claiming CBS Radio stations and online streams didn’t obtain performance rights licenses or pay performance royalties for the pre-1972 recordings, which aren’t covered by federal copyright protections.

ABS owns recordings by Al Green, the Chi-Lites, the Everly Brothers and other older works. It and the other labels party to the suit contended that a remastering of those records doesn’t fundamentally change the original recordings and, therefore, doesn’t qualify as a new recording. But in its defense CBS argued that if the tracks were remastered after 1972, then federal copyright law applies, since they’re essentially new records.

In a decision in the California case handed down in late-May 2016, U.S. District Court judge Percy Anderson accepted CBS Radio’s position, agreeing that the remastered versions of the recordings aren’t protected by California state law and thus CBS doesn’t have to pay to use them. Looking to extend its precedent-setting win in California to the East Coast, CBS last June alerted the federal court in New York that another judge’s ruling was worth a close look.