Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18 Radio History


In 1913...comedian/actor Danny Kaye was born David Daniel Kaminski in Brooklyn.

While most of his impact was on the big screen, he had his own radio show in the 1940’s, and his own TV show in the 60’s.  Surprisingly, he has only two appearances listed for the Ed Sullivan Show.  As a partner in Kaye/Smith Broadcasting he was a co-owner of KJR AM/FM in Seattle & KJRB, Spokane.

He died Mar 3, 1987 at age 74 after a heart attack.


In 1914...announcer/actor Rod O’Connor was born in Houston.

In Chicago he became announcer for both Don McNeill‘s Breakfast Club and The First Nighter Program. While serving in WWII he met comedian Red Skelton, who offered O’Connor an announcing gig on his Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1945.  He stayed on when Skelton went to television.  O’Connor also worked with some of the biggest names in radio including Art Linkletter, Dennis Day, Rudy VallĂ©e and Danny Thomas.

He died June 5 1964 at age 50 after losing a battle with cancer.




In 1929...Walter Winchell, the "New York Daily Mirror" columnist, began on Radio. He began his career in journalism by posting notes about his acting troupe on backstage bulletin boards. Joining the Vaudeville News in 1920, Winchell left the paper for the Evening Graphic in 1924, and in turn was hired on June 10, 1929 by the New York Daily Mirror where he finally became the author of what would be the first syndicated gossip column, entitled On-Broadway.

Walt Winchell
Using connections in the entertainment, social, and governmental realms, he would expose exciting or embarrassing information about celebrities in those industries. This caused him to become very feared, as a journalist, because he would routinely impact the lives of famous or powerful people, exposing alleged information and rumors about them, using this as ammunition to attack his enemies, and to blackmail influential people. He used this power, trading positive mention in his column (and later, his radio show) for more rumors and secrets.

He made his radio debut over WABC in New York, then a CBS affiliate, on May 12, 1930.

His newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, and he was read by 50 million people a day from the 1920s until the early 1960s. His Sunday-night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people from 1930 to the late 1950s.


In 1948..."The Original Amateur Hour," hosted by Ted Mack, a spinoff of Major Bowes' popular radio series, debuted on the Dumont Television Network. Mack had been Bowes' field assistant who scouted and auditioned talent for the program. During its 22-year run, the TV series aired on all four networks and introduced acts such as Teresa Brewer, Pat Boone, Ann-Margret, and Irene Cara.



In 1964..Fifty-one years ago today, the Beatles appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time.

The band's breakthrough, and ultimately, pop culture-redefining, first U.S smash, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 45.

The issue was dated Jan. 18, 1964.

The following week, the song rocketed to No. 3. It became the Beatles' first of 20 No. 1s the following week (Feb. 1, 1964).


The Beatles' 20 toppers remain the most by any artist in the Hot 100's history. When Billboard ranked the top acts of the chart's first 55 years this past August, the Beatles ranked at No. 1.


In 1971...Canadian AM radio stations were required for the first time to play 30% Canadian music content. Many stations such as CKLG and CKVN in Vancouver ran marathon Beatles or “rock music” specials over the previous weekend before the rules came into effect. CanCon – a contraction of the words Canadian content – requiring that, from 6 a.m. to Midnight, 30% of all music aired on Canadian radio must be by Canadian artists. As originally prescribed, the recorded performances count as Canadian if two of the following four characteristics are met: *Music composed entirely by a Canadian, *Artist is Canadian, *Produced in Canada, *Lyrics written entirely by a Canadian.




In 1983...First GUI/mouse computer, the Apple Lisa, was unveiled.


In 1985...Cleveland, Ohio was chosen to be the site of the permanent home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


In 2004...Harry Fleetwood died. He was a commentator on WNBC-AM's "Music Through the Night" in 1954. In 1975 he left that station and went to WNCN where he hosted classical music.


In 2011…The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a $28 billion merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CRS 2017 To Explore Mobilization of Country Radio

In association with Edison Research, Country Radio Seminar will present newfound research on the continued advancement and popularity of mobilized music options available to listeners. Country radio listeners are loyal to Country radio stations, however with the popularity of smartphone applications, where listeners can stream, listen and interact with artists directly, this is effecting the impact radio has on its faithful yet distracted audience.

“The Mobilization of Country Radio” is scheduled for February 23rd and will be presented by Edison’s Larry Rosin, Tom Webster and Megan Lazovick, as well as mobile expert Tim Hayden, co-author of “The Mobile Commerce Revolution.”

With mobile devices playing a central role in so many lives, how do Country listeners compare to those of other formats? How is the smartphone changing the way that users listen to radio and consume music? What else are they using those devices for, and how can radio capitalize on those behaviors. Edison Research surveyed and conducted one-on-one interviews with 1,500 participants to investigate their mobile-usage habits as well as observed a day-in-the-life to fully understand a typical day’s mobile usage and to “put a face with the phone.”

The panel, coined “The Mobilization of Country Radio,” will explore the diversity of radio usage, streaming behaviors, and online music consumption of today’s Country music fans. The panel dives deep into tracking mobile usage across a variety of categories. Country radio is more than just the music played, understanding and applying that knowledge of how listeners incorporate radio on-the-go, will substantially ease the disconnect between traditional radio and the advancement of mobile listening, giving programmers an advantage in how to engage their audiences going forward.

To review more of this year’s agenda, please visit www.CountryRadioSeminar.com or download the CRS mobile app. As in previous years, the CRS app provides attendees with an expanded CRS agenda, panel descriptions, speaker bios, live performances, CRS after-hour activities and more.

Registration for Country Radio Seminar 2017 is available at at www.CountryRadioSeminar.com.
A limited number of Omni Nashville rooms are still available. 

To book a room, please call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) or reserve online by visiting here.

iHM Announces the Return of the iHeartCountry Festival

iHeartMedia announced today the return of the iHeartCountry Festival on Saturday, May 6. For the fourth straight year, Country music's biggest superstars will perform at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas in a live celebration of all things country.

The Country music of the iHeartRadio app will come to life with an extraordinary lineup including Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and The Raging Idiots with more to be announced.

"The iHeartCountry Festival has become an annual family reunion for the biggest stars in country music," said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises, iHeartMedia. “These artists grew up together and you can truly feel their deep friendships when they join each other on stage."


iHeartCountry has more than 145 Country broadcast radio stations across the U.S. reaching more than 98 million Country music listeners per month, making it the largest Country broadcast radio group in America.

“The iHeartCountry Festival has become one of Country Music's biggest nights, and this year’s show promises to be yet another amazing event," said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Group, iHeartMedia. “Country continues to be one of the top genres in music and we are excited to showcase another amazing lineup of artists for our listeners."

Tickets go on sale to the general public on January 21 at 10 a.m. CT via TexasBoxOffice.com. iHeartMedia’s Country music radio stations will broadcast the event live in their local markets and at iHeartRadio.com. Streaming details will be announced soon.

Tampa Bay Radio: Bubba Alleges He's A Victim

In a series of allegations longtime Tampa Bay Radio Personality Bubba The Love Sponge Clem asserts he's the victim of an elaborate conspiracy and sting.

Bubba was ousted last month from his morning show with Beasley's WBRN 98.7 FM, now airing a MainstreamAC format in the market.

Attorney's for Bubba have come up with legal maneuvering which claims Cox Media Group and Nielsen "entered into a conspiracy" to keep him from competing against CMG's WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone. Bubba alleges that after his contract was not renewed by Cox, and he was hired by Beasley, Cox and new morning man Mike Calta conspired with Nielsen after ratings on Bubba’s former station WHPT declined and ratings on his new affiliate WBRN increased.

According to RadioInk, Clem alleges Nielsen’s motivation for participating in the conspiracy with Cox was:
  1. To appease Cox, one of its largest customers, by using its monopoly power to interfere with Clem’s contractual relationship with Beasley and artificially increasing Cox-owned WHPT’s share in the Tampa Market
  2. To encourage Cox to enter into new contracts to purchase expensive products and services from Nielsen 
  3. To conceal the fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees and the various other serious flaws in its ratings methodology caused by, among other things, Nielsen’s internal policies that promote the manipulation of ratings for the benefit of larger clients and its total failure to maintain and/or implement and/or fairly apply quality control
The conspiracy theory claim also alleges that that Nielsen unfairly applied its rules and imposed “unprecedented sanctions” on Beasley to cause it to end its contract with Bubba.

The Bubba counterclaim also alleges that Cox encouraged Calta’s on-air defamatory statements about Clem. “Cox clearly adopted Calta’ s defamatory statements as well.

The proposed counterclaim and third-party suit alleges that in the first half of  2015, WBRN beat WHPT in Persons 25-54 and Men 25-54. In June, Cox and Nielsen allegedly conspired to try and eliminate Clem's show in the market, first with Calta's airing of an allegedly defamatory phone call on the air that claimed Bubba was tampering with the ratings.

Bubba’s legal team also says a court modification is necessary because all but 66 pages of the 80,000 pages of discovery material Nielsen produced in the case has been designated by Nielsen as confidential. The defendants claim their use of the discovery materials “has been severely limited” by the protective order.

Bubba’s attorneys say they’ve been trying to resolve the confidentiality issue directly with Nielsen but have been unsuccessful, arguing that they don’t think any of the info referenced in their Proposed Counterclaim and Third Party Complaint is actually confidential. Nielsen’s position is that the deadline for asserting counterclaims or third party claims passed on Dec. 19, 2016. Bubba’s lawyers disagree, saying they have until Jan. 19 to amend pleadings.

Steve Harvey Talks About The Trump Backlash

During his first radio show after meeting with Donald Trump last week, Steve Harvey said on Monday that he was "hurt" by the backlash he received for meeting with President-Elect Donald Trump, according to NBC26 in Green Bay.

Harvey met with Trump on Friday in Trump Tower. Harvey said Trump put him in touch with his appointee for HUD Secretary Ben Carson to discuss housing issues in inner cities.

"A lot of y’all hurt me,” Harvey said. “I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce. I also understand if I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent.

"I’m from the hood. I’ve been putting in the work for years. I care about these inner cities because that’s where I’m from.”

Listen to "The Steve Harvey Morning Show" on Spreaker.

Despite outside criticism, it appears Harvey considered Friday's meeting productive.

“When I walked away, (I felt) there might be a real chance for some positive to come out of what many feel is doom and gloom,” Harvey said on Monday.

CNN Shows Support For Disrupter Jim Acosta

Jim Acosta
The Trump transition team's calls for an apology from CNN correspondent Jim Acosta are being met by something else: a strong statement from CNN supporting Acosta.

"Being persistent and asking tough questions is his job, and he has our complete support," the network said Monday morning.

Acosta attracted President-elect Donald Trump's ire during a contentious press conference last Wednesday. After Trump criticized CNN from the podium, Acosta interjected and forcefully tried to ask a question.

"I felt it was only fair that if our news organization is going to be attacked, that we get a chance to ask a follow-up question about what Donald Trump was talking about," Acosta said on television afterward.

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer has repeatedly said that Acosta should apologize.

Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, Spicer said, "The idea that he took no responsibility for his behavior was highly unacceptable and inappropriate, and he does owe us and his fellow members of the press corps an apology for his behavior."

Acosta and CNN have declined to apologize.

TWH Pressers Could Include Talk Radio Hosts

Talk radio hosts and bloggers could be given greater access to official White House press briefings once the Trump administration takes office, under a highly irregular proposal being floated that may also remove briefings from the West Wing, according to The Guardian.

Trump’s pick for White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said on Sunday that due to “off the chart” interest in the new administration, the president-elect was considering moving briefings from the James S Brady press briefing room, which has been used by presidents to address the media since 1970, to a venue with a greater capacity.

“I know change is difficult sometimes,” Spicer told Fox News. “But sometimes change can actually be better.”

Spicer argued the proposal would mean “you can involve more people, be more transparent, have more accessibility”. He suggested that this would mean outlets that are not traditionally part of the White House press corps would be able to ask questions during presidential press briefings.

“There’s a lot of talk radio and bloggers and people that can’t fit in right now and maybe don’t have a permanency because they’re not part of the Washington elite media,” Spicer said, “but to allow them an opportunity to ask the press secretary or the president a question is a positive thing. It’s more democratic.”

TWH Press Room Seating Chart
Around 200 journalists make up the White House press corps. The Brady press briefing room holds 49 permanent seats for major media organisations, which are granted space by the White House Correspondent Association (WHCA).

Laura Ingraham Considering US Senate Bid


Talk radiohost and TV pundit, Laura Ingraham, is eyeing a Senate run in Virginia and a challenge to Hillary Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine.

Knowledgeable sources said that several party insiders have approached the media giant to run and that she is considering it.], according to The Washington Examiner.

In preparation for a bid, her business partner, Peter Anthony, has begun buying website domains for Ingraham to use should she decide to move forward. It includes: ingrahamsenate.net, ingrahamsenate.com, ingrahamforvirginia.com and ingraham2018.com.

Ingraham wouldn't comment on any run.

While it would be considered an uphill fight, Ingraham brings her well-known personality and several influential backers to a race that could translate into immediate media and fundraising opportunities.

Ingraham also would come to the race with a powerful media enterprise behind her. Besides her popular radio show, she also heads the news site Lifezette.com.

Ingraham, a Fox News contributor and former Supreme Court clerk, is also a New York Times bestselling author who has earned a reputation for delivering zingers. In fact, one of her books is titled Of Thee I Zing.

Lexington KY Radio: Dave Kruser Named PD For N/T WVLK-AM

Dave Kruser
Cumulus Media announces that it has promoted 18-year News/Talk WVLK 590 AM on-air personality Dave "Kruser" Krusenklaus to Program Director.

Kruser will also move from Middays to host Afternoon Drive on WVLK-AM. Kruser, who has been on WVLK-AM as an on-air host since 1999, was previously a Program Director and Morning Host in both Rock and Classic Hits formats. Kruser takes the PD reins from Scott Johnson, who assumes a new role as News Director for WVLK-AM and the Cumulus Lexington cluster.

Scott Frazier, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Lexington, said: "I look forward to Kruser delivering the same powerful analysis and spirited attitude he has brought as an on-air personality to programming central Kentucky's heritage News Talker, 590 WVLK!"

WVLK 590 AM (5 Kw-D, 1 Kw-N, DA2)
Kruser said: "I am thrilled and honored to be named Program Director at News Talk 590 WVLK, a legendary radio station in a city that I love. It will be challenging and fun to take this institution into the Trump era and beyond and make Talk Radio ROCK again!

NFL Playoffs Draw Huge Numbers


The NFL playoffs are shaping up to be big, with Fox’s afternoon NFC divisional game once again leading the way.

According to Variety, Fox’s Sunday telecast of the Green Bay Packers-Dallas Cowboys brawl, which dashed hopes of a hate-watchers’-dream Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl when the Packers edged the Cowboys out 34-31, drew a massive average audience of 48.5 million, the most-watched divisional round game in history; and above last year’s NFC Championship (45.7) and just a hair below 2015’s (49.8 million).

The game pulled in a 28.2 overnight household rating. For perspective, the record-shattering Game 7 of this year’s World Series, which ended up drawing 40 million viewers, had an overnight household rating of 25.2.

NBC’s nighttime AFC match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs was also a big winner, drawing an average audience of 37.1 million. It had pulled in a 21.9 overnight household rating, a record for primetime playoff games, for the close game that ended with a Steelers win (18-16).

Bonus Time For iHM's Pittman & Bressler, Cumulus' Berner

Robert Pittman, chairman and chief executive of iHeartMedia, stands to pocket up to nearly $9 million in bonuses this year, reports The NY Post.

Pittman received a retention bonus of $1.75 million last week and stands to earn up to an additional $7 million under an executive incentive plan, the San Antonio, Texas, company said in a regulatory filing.

Richard J. Bressler, iHeart’s president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, received an identical retention bonus and can earn up to $3 million in 2017 under the recently adopted incentive plan.

The company is operationally profitable but is saddled with $20.2 billion in debt.

Meanwhile, Cumulus Media has awarded Chief Executive Mary Berner a $1.1 million bonus.

Berner received the one-time cash payout “in recognition of, among other things, her exceptional efforts and contributions during 2016,” the company said in a late Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Berner was instrumental “in the initial phase of [the Cumulus] operational turnaround plan and ongoing operational and financial restructuring,” the company said in the filing.

Estimates Show Pay TV Audience Edging Lower


One in five US adults will not watch traditional pay TV programming in 2017, according to eMarketer's new estimates. The total number of households subscribing to cable, satellite, or telco TV packages will inch down 0.7% to 98.7 million. And that figure will continue to decline in tiny increments.

This year, 1.7 million US adults will cut the cable/satellite cord, as many of them opt for on-demand OTT services instead. But pay TV is still the dominant medium. This year, 201.8 million US adults will watch traditional cable and satellite TV, while 175.4 million adults will watch digital video.

Meanwhile, time spent with traditional TV in 2017 will drop slightly to 4 hours 1 minutes per day, still far surpassing time spent with digital video, which will reach 1 hour and 12 minutes per day.

Listen to eMarketer's Paul Verna and Marcus Johnson discuss the evolving pay TV and digital video market in the latest episode of the Behind the Numbers podcast.


OTT services will add more users this year than pay TV will lose. Still, said eMarketer Senior Analyst Paul Verna, "traditional pay TV remains an attractive option for many consumers, mostly because it still delivers content that's not readily available on streaming platforms, such as news and live sports."

As their choices widen, users are opting for hybrids of traditional and digital rather than one or the other, Verna said. "The bottom line is consumers love TV programming, whether it's delivered via the internet, cable, satellite or antennas. As long as that remains the case, content owners and distributors will be able to keep monetizing this content through advertising, subscriptions, or some combination of both."

Report: Institutional Trust Declining Worldwide

Trust in institutions such as the media, government and business leaders continues to decline all over the world.

According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, faith in the media is at an all-time low in 17 countries out of 28 surveyed, while trust in government dropped in 14 markets across the world, and is the least-trusted institution in half of all countries evaluated. Trust in business leaders is also imperiled, dropping in every market surveyed.

Indeed, more than half (53%) of the global respondents felt the system was working against them, offering little help for the future. (Only 15% believed it was working for them; the remainder felt uncertain.) Although trust was higher among informed members of the public, more than half of them said the system was failing.

Kathy Beiser
“We see a growing and continuing disparity in trust levels between the mass population and the informed public, with the mass substantially less trusting than those with higher levels of income and education,” Kathy Beiser, global chair of Edelman's corporate practice, tells Marketing Daily. “This crisis in trust has profound implications for institutions and their leaders—the mass population simply doesn’t believe the system works for them anymore.”

The decline in institutional faith suggests the organizations need to adopt a “new operating model” that moves beyond the traditional top-down, siloed structure to one that suggests shared responsibility in creating solutions, Beiser says. “For business, it requires a long-term mindset that looks beyond quarterly numbers,” she says.

For marketers, the implications mean a continued need to work on consumer engagement, rather than top-down marketing. According to the research, consumers find a company’s social media channel more believable than its advertising. “With employees now the most credible spokesperson for an organization on any topic, business needs to empower and leverage these individuals to reach their stakeholders, a trend that has profound implications for how marketers approach consumer engagement,” Beiser says.

January 17 Radio History


In 1937...the show "Kay Child, Stepmother" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network.


In 1949..."The Goldbergs" was first broadcast on CBS-TV. The show had been on the radio since 1931.


In 1964...the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “There! I’ve Said It Again” byBobby Vinton. This song was considered the last No. 1 song before the British invasion. After four weeks at No. 1, Vinton gave way to the Beatles and their first U.S. hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”


In 1986...Radio personality Joel Sebastian died.

Sebastian  began his radio career in his native Detroit at station WXYZ. He moved to Chicago in 1966, after working at stations in Dallas, New Haven, Conn., and Los Angeles.

For 20-years+, he was DJ and morning on-air personality at eight Chicago radio stations, including WCFL, WLS, WGN, WMAQ and, most recently, WJMK-FM (104).

He began his Chicago career at WCFL as a talkative morning disc jockey. He would open each show with the greeting ``Good morning Chicago, baby,``

He also worked at WNEW, WKHK, WHN and WNBCin New York City, returning to Chicago in June 1983 to WJMX.




In 1989...Scott Shannon last show at WHTZ Z100 NYC.

Shannon founded the "Z Morning Zoo" concept and he was the driving force in helping Z100 become the top-rated FM station in New York City within a mere 74 days of signing on the air.

In 1989, Shannon left Z100 for Los Angeles to start up Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s began, Top 40 radio experienced a decline, and eventually Pirate Radio struggled as well, leading to Shannon's departure.

In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ.


In 2004...TV talk show host, Jerry Springer, began a new radio show on WCKY-AM, Cincinnati.



In 2012...Disc jockey/bandleader/drummer/singer/songwriter (Willie And The Hand Jive) Johnny Otis died at the age of 90.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fox News Brings Bob Beckel Back To 'The Five'

Bob Beckel
Bob Beckel, who offers a liberal counterpoint on the network’s late-afternoon panel show “The Five,” will return Monday evening as a co-host of the 5 p.m. program, which he left in June of 2015.

“Bob was missed by many fans of ‘The Five’ and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News Channel and its corporate parent, 21st Century Fox, in a prepared statement.

According to Variety, Beckel, who in the past served as a political consultant as well as a campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, was one of the original co-hosts of the program. He left in 2015 while recuperating from back surgery in a split that was seen as less an amicable.

Beckel’s re-hire continues to put a spotlight on Rupert Murdoch’s influence at the cable-news outlet, which had been run for years by Roger Ailes. Murdoch was also said to be instrumental in the move of conservative journalist Tucker Carlson to a one-hour program. Carlson’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” launched in November on Fox News and has since been moved to the network’s 9 p.m. slot – a berth previously occupied by Megyn Kelly.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to go home again and join my television family around the table of ‘The Five’,” said Beckel, in a prepared statement. “I have no doubt it will be a vigorous yet entertaining debate.”

“The Five” has been the most-watched cable-news program in its timeslot for 66 consecutive months, according to data from Nielsen.

Monica Crowley To Forego Post In Trump Administration

Monica Crowley
(Reuters) -- Monica Crowley, the foreign policy adviser tapped for a White House job under President-elect Donald Trump, will relinquish the post, a transition official told Reuters on Monday.

Crowley had been chosen to serve as senior director of strategic communications at the National Security Council. Her appointment had been shadowed by reports of plagiarism in news outlets including CNN and Politico.

“After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” she said in a statement quoted by the Washington Times.

“I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”

A CNN review found this month that Crowley plagiarized thousands of words of her 2000 dissertation for her Columbia University Ph.D.

In addition, Politico reported that it found more than a dozen examples of plagiarism in Crowley's Ph.D. dissertation.

She had been hired to work for Trump's national security adviser, retired General Michael Flynn, who said in a statement quoted by The Times that he will miss the opportunity to have Crowley on his team.

Report: Trump Team Embraces FCC Remake Blueprint

The incoming Donald Trump Administration is said to have signed off on an approach to remaking the Federal Communications Commission offered by the FCC transition team majority, one that squares with the deregulatory philosophies of FCC Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, who will be two of the three Republican votes on the commission, and one of them possibly the chair.

According to Multi-Channel News, that approach would be to restructure FCC bureaus to better reflect the convergence of the digital age as a first step, and, eventually, move functions deemed "duplicative," like, say, competition and consumer protection, to other agencies, particularly the Federal Trade Commission.

While some have described the plan as one to eliminate the FCC, and certainly many if not most of its functions could be reapportioned, landing team members Jeff Eisenach and Rosyln Layton have argued that what remains would be "a more coherent and streamlined " agency that "would more effectively serve the goals of consumers, competitors, and Congress."

According to sources familiar with the meeting, Trump officials got together with the FCC transition team Friday to vet their regulatory/deregulatory blueprint for the agency.

Read More Now

FCC's Wheeler: Don't Mess With Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler
That was the message from departing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler Friday in his last speech as head of the agency.

According to c/net, Wheeler warned the incoming Republican administration against a hasty repeal of the controversial open internet rules. He said getting rid of the rules and taking a "hands-off approach" to regulating broadband and wireless networks would be a mistake and a move backward. He added that changing the rules would threaten innovation.

"The open internet is currently the law of the land," he said. "Tampering with the rules means taking away protections consumers and the online world enjoy today."

Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally.

Whether you're checking Facebook, posting pictures to Instagram, shopping on Amazon, streaming Netflix movies or watching cat videos on YouTube, all the information traveling across the Internet to you and from you should be treated the same. This means that your Internet service provider -- whether that's a broadband company like Comcast or a wireless carrier like AT&T or Verizon -- can't block or slow down your access to that content. And it means that these companies shouldn't favor their own content and services over their competitors' offerings.

Wheeler's warnings are likely falling on deaf ears. There's not a lot that Wheeler or other Democrats can do to stop Republicans from striking down the foundation of the net neutrality rules. Once Wheeler steps down on January 20, the Republicans will hold a 2-1 majority. Commissioners Mike O'Rielly and Ajit Pai, who will remain at the FCC, have already indicated they want to dismantle net neutrality. And Trump's transition team is also full of opponents to the rules.

Trump Team Considering Removing Reporters From TWH


(Reuters) -- President-elect Donald Trump's team could move the White House press briefing room from the West Wing to another location that accommodates more media from around the country, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday.

Esquire magazine reported on Saturday that the Trump administration planned to relocate White House reporters from the press room to the White House Conference Center or the Old Executive Office Building next door.

Reince Priebus
Speaking on ABC's "This Week", Priebus said the team discussed moving news conferences out of the small West Wing briefing room to the Old Executive Office, which is part of the White House complex. He said no decision had been made.

"I know that some of the folks in the press are uptight about this, and I understand," Priebus said. "The only thing that's been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press ... the press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny."

"So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the number of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country ... That's what we're talking about."

Such a move would mark a potential change in access for reporters as the current briefing room is only steps from the Oval Office. The White House Conference Center had been used as a temporary press room during the George W. Bush administration.

Jeff Mason
The current press room has about 49 seats. Trump has long had contentious relations with what he refers to derisively as the "mainstream media," banning some news outlets during the presidential campaign and publicly criticizing individual reporters.

Those tensions escalated last week after some news organizations reported unsubstantiated allegations that suggested the president-elect could be blackmailed by Russia.

The White House Correspondents' Association objected in a statement to "any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps," and said that it would fight to keep the briefing room and access to senior administration officials open. Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent, is president of the WHCA.

On CBS' "Face the Nation," Vice President-elect Mike Pence said there was a "tremendous" amount of interest in the incoming administration.

"The interest of the team is to make sure that we accommodate the broadest number of people who are interested and media from around the country and around the world," Pence said.

The briefing room was built in 1970 by Richard Nixon over an old swimming pool installed by Franklin Roosevelt that was used regularly by John F. Kennedy but underutilized by later administrations. But the presence of reporters at the White House dates back even farther.

In addition to theater-style seats where the White House press secretary conducts daily briefings, the press area of the White House includes workspace for television, radio, print and online news organizations that cover the administration on a daily basis.

Bocelli, Holliday Won't Perform At Inauguration

Opera star Andrea Bocelli has backed out of singing at Donald Trump's inauguration after receiving death threats - joining the list of celebrities to decline or cancel on the president-elect.

Andrea Bocelli
The Daily Mail is reporting the revelation of death threats came as another singer - Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday - pulled out of Trump's festivities on Saturday after being threatened and branded an 'Uncle Tom'.

When blind tenor Bocelli announced he would not sing at this Friday's celebration, it was widely reported it was because fans had said they would boycott his concerts and records.

But a source said the 58-year-old had been determined to 'press ahead' and sing but had pulled out on the advice of his security team after receiving threats to his life.

Jennifer Holiday
A source close to Bocelli, a friend of Trump's, said: 'Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk.'

Toby Keith
The president-elect's inaugural committee had announced Friday that Holliday - a Tony award winner who is black - would perform in a concert at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve of the tycoon's inauguration, joining a lineup featuring country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood.

She pulled out after disgruntled fans - including many from the LGBT community, where she has developed a loyal following - took to Twitter to denounce her slated participation.

Country star Toby Keith responded to critics of his decision to perform at Trump's inauguration.  In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the 55-year-old country singer defended his choice: 'I don't apologize for performing for our country or military.'

Toby also said continued: 'I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.'

NYC Radio: Gov. Christie Hints At Radio Career

Chris Christie
In a 20-minute phone call to Mike Francesa's sports-talk radio show Friday, NJ Gov. Chris Christie sounded open to the idea of taking over Francesa's program next year -- or at least to launching some kind of broadcasting career once his final term is up.

The New Jersey governor said he "can't imagine" ever running for elected office of any kind again.

The Republican governor, who hasn't held a news conference in 129 days, ended up chatting about a number of topics -- including the rumor that he might fill Francesa's seat after the host leaves his program on WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM in December after 30 years.

Francesca's departure nearly coincides with the end of Christie's second and final term on Jan. 18, 2018. And speculation about what Christie will do next has been rampant.


Christie, a major sports fan who has often guest-hosted on another WFAN show, "Boomer & Carton," told Francesa he has three criteria for his next job: "One, I want to have fun. Two, I want to make money. And three, I want to be able to spend more time with my kids."

Francesa responded: "I can think of a job that fills all those -- the one that I'm going to vacate on the 15th of December. You have been mentioned as a candidate."

"I can tell you this: You and I are speculated about what we're going to do next as much or more than anyone in this New York metropolitan area," Christie replied. "And only you and I know what we're willing to do and what we're not willing to do."

"But I'm gonna have wide-open ears," he added. "It's the first time I'm a free agent."

NY Radio: 'Lack of Content' Dooms Progressive Talk WNYY

Beginning on February 1 WNYY 1470 AM, the progressive talk station owned by Cayuga Radio Group will be changing format to oldies.

For more than a dozen years, the progressive talk format featuring the likes of Jon Grayson, Leslie Marshall and the Car Doctor, Ron Annanian, has aired in Ithaca at 1470 AM and at W249CD 97.7 FM.

When news broke, listeners of the station began calling in and, because of the election season, some began to cry conspiracy. However, this is not the case, reports ithaca.com.

"We're losing so many shows on that station we can't cover a full schedule anymore," WHCU News Director Kyle Robertson said in a Facebook message. "So we're getting rid of progressive talk entirely and changing it to a music station. WHCU (the conservative talk) will be staying the same, and that's made some people upset."

WNYY 1470 AM (5 Kw, 1 Kw-N)
Cayuga Radio Group President Chet Osadchey provided a fuller explanation of what's happening.
We always had a good following of listeners and advertisers on WNYY. Our Progressive Talk format was comprised of the traditional “syndicated” shows, meaning these shows are contracted with local radio stations (affiliates).  The business models is that the syndicator retains some of the commercial inventory to sell to national advertisers, and the local radio station also has commercial inventory to sell the remaining to local businesses.  Even today that model can work well on terrestrial radio.   
What has happened to WNYY in the last couple years is that for various reasons many of the shows we carry from the syndicators have gone away from syndication (no longer available to a local station):  Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Ring of Fire, Ed Shultz, and now Bill Press and Jon Grayson (and Leslie Marshall going from 3 hours daily to 1).  When I say “gone away”, that means these shows are no longer available for a local station like WNYY radio…so when that happens, we have no product to put on the airwaves..  So without product to air… you don’t have a station.