Wednesday, May 24, 2017

FCC Declines To Take Action Over Crude Joke

By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON

(Reuters) -- The Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday it would not take any action over thousands of complaints about a crude joke that late-night television host Stephen Colbert told about U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

The oral sex joke was bleeped before the airing of the May 1 episode of CBS Corp's "Late Show with Stephen Colbert," but prompted a social media campaign to get Colbert fired.

FCC spokesman Neil Grace said the agency had reviewed the complaints and "concluded that there was nothing actionable under the FCC's rules."

A CBS spokesman declined to comment on the decision.

FCC rules for programs on broadcast television after 10 p.m. only bar obscene content. For content to be ruled obscene, it must meet a three-pronged test established by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is rare for the FCC to impose fines for obscene or indecent conduct. It has issued just two fines since 2010 to television stations for improper conduct, most recently in 2015 to a Virginia TV station for a sexually explicit video aired during an early evening newscast.

The Parents Television Council, which has criticized the FCC in the past, said it agreed with the agency's decision. "It was crude. It was indecent. But it was protected speech," PTC President Tim Winter said of Colbert's joke.

The bleeped joke, which made reference to Trump's oft-stated admiration for the Russian president during the 2016 election campaign, came at the end of an insult-heavy monologue by Colbert.

It triggered a #FireColbert trending Twitter hashtag, with Trump supporters calling for a boycott of CBS advertisers, some people accusing Colbert of being homophobic, others accusing left-wingers of hypocrisy, and still more defending the comedian, whose show has surged in popularity since he stepped up his attacks on the Republican president.

Addressing Trump, Colbert said: "Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla that got hit in the head."

Colbert told his audience he was responding to Trump's appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" the preceding weekend, when the president told host John Dickerson that he liked to call the Sunday morning news show "Deface the Nation."

Two days later, Colbert told viewers he did not regret the jokes, but acknowledged that some of the words were “cruder than they needed to be."

FCC's Proposed Budget Cuts Budget, Staff

The FCC's 2018 budget features cuts in staff and budget according to the Administration's final budget, released Tuesday (May 23).

According to MultiChannel News, the FCC said it was pleased to present its request for funds to repack and reimburse broadcasters, help close the digital divide, eliminate unnecessary regulations and regulatory "burdens."

The FCC is asking for $322,035,000 in budget authority from "regulatory fee offsetting collections."

The FCC actually funds its own operations through collection of those fees. That is a 5.2% cut from FY2017 levels exclusive of the $16,866,992 it is getting as a one-time funding of its move to a new headquarters.

The FCC also asks for $111,150,000 for 2018 to cover auction/repack-related expenses and future auction and spectrum-related activities, down 5% from FY 2017.

The FCC budget cuts 102 full-time employees (FTEs), from 1,550 to 1,448, a 6.6% decrease.

The FCC also cut $4 million from "travel, rent, contract services, supplies and materials, and equipment."

Fox News Issues Seth Rich Retraction

Fox News on Tuesday retracted a story linking the murder of a Democratic National Committee staff member with the email hacks that aided President Trump’s campaign, effectively quashing a conspiracy theory that had taken hold across the right-wing news media.

It was a rare acknowledgment of error by the network. But it also underscored a schism between the network’s news-gathering operation and one of its biggest stars: the conservative commentator Sean Hannity, who has unapologetically promoted the theory and remained defiant on Tuesday.

Sean Hannity
“These are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask,” Mr. Hannity said on his syndicated radio show, shortly after Fox News announced its mistake. “All you in the liberal media — I am not or I retracted nothing.”

The story of the murdered aide, Seth Conrad Rich, who was 27 when he was shot in the back near his Washington home in July, has been seized on by Mr. Hannity and other right-wing pundits as an alternative narrative to the cascade of damaging revelations about the Trump administration’s ties to Russian officials who meddled in the presidential election.

On Fox News on Tuesday night, Mr. Hannity said that he had been in touch with Mr. Rich’s brother and that, “out of respect for the family’s wishes — for now — I am not discussing this matter at this time.”

But, he promised his viewers, “I am not going to stop doing my job.”

He added, “At the proper time, we shall continue, and talk a lot more.”

Citing unnamed sources, Fox News’s website published an article last week suggesting that Mr. Rich’s death was in retaliation for his sharing D.N.C. emails with WikiLeaks — a theory that, if true, would undercut the notion of Russian political interference and, in turn, offer cover for Mr. Trump.

No evidence to support that theory has emerged, and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department is still investigating the death of Mr. Rich.

Total Viewers: Colbert Bests Fallon For TV Season

Fallon, Colbert
Stephen Colbert has done it. The “Late Show” host came from behind to unseat Jimmy Fallon as the most-watched late-night television host of the September-May television season.

The CBS 11:35 p.m. series did most of its damage after Donald Trump entered office. Since the week after this POTUS’ inauguration, Colbert has been No. 1 for the day part in terms of overall audience members.

According to The Wrap, here’s how the players stand, per episode, with three nights remaining:

Colbert: 3.195 million total viewers
Fallon: 3.173 million
Jimmy Kimmel: 2.198 million

This is pretty much the first time since 1994-1995 that CBS could claim the top slot in total viewers — at least, on an apples-to-apples basis. In 2009-2010, when NBC replaced Jay Leno with Conan O’Brien, CBS took advantage of the instability and took the overall eyeball crown.

“The Late Show” was the only late-night program to post year-to-year growth in total viewers, rising 11 percent from last season’s 2.89 million.

“The Tonight Show” still beat its competition among viewers 18-49, however. And lately, Fallon has increased his lead there and tightened the total viewer one. Also, late-night doesn’t really adhere to the same traditional season that primetime does — it’s more of the 12-month variety.

Tucker: CNN, MSNBC Slow In Covering Terror Attack

Fox News' Tucker Carlson took mainstream media, particularly CNN and MSNBC for their coverage of Monday's terror attack in Manchester.

According to Carlson, the mainstream media are so hyperfocused on bringing Pres. Trump down with alleged Russia collusion story that it didn't treat the aftermath of the Manchester attack as important as they should.

Carlson's media comments start at the 27:54 time mark:

Chicago Radio: John Farneda Returns To WXRT

John Farneda
CBS RADIO Chicago has appointed John Farneda to the position of Music Director for WXRT 93.1 FM.

Farneda has been working in this capacity on an interim basis since early April. This marks a return to the station for Farneda who previously held the MD position at XRT for more than 13 years from 2001-2014.

John will report to WXRT OM/PD Greg Solk, who commented, “Christmas has come early to WXRT. John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner. John is WXRT.”

“I’m very fortunate to rejoin my beloved colleagues at WXRT,” stated Farneda. “I’m extremely excited to finally have the opportunity to work with Greg Solk. He’s a proven winner and I’m looking forward to working closely with him to steer WXRT to a new level of programming excellence.”

WXRT 93.1 FM (6.7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Farneda began as a public affairs intern for WXRT midday host Terri Hemmert in 1983 and shifted to Assistant Music Director under then Music Director and current WXRT morning host Lin Brehmer in 1985. He was subsequently promoted to Assistant Program Director/Music Director of 93XRT in 2001.   He later added Operations Director duties for the station, prior to leaving the music business altogether in 2014 to focus on the extensive renovation of his historic Frank Lloyd Wright landmark home in west suburban Riverside.        

NYC Radio: Ron Kuby OUT At 77 WABC

Ron Kuby, the outspoken criminal-defense and civil-rights lawyer and one half of the daily “Curtis & Kuby” radio show with Curtis Sliwa, has been let go by Cumulus' WABC 770 AM.

It was apparently due to budget reasons, according to The Villager.   Kuby, who formerly lived in the East Village, announced the news in a gracious statement on his Facebook page today:

“Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people. I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I have no reason to doubt that explanation.

“I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December. The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest-working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades.

“Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years. Thanks to my audience with whom I have a love/hate relationship. I will miss at least half of you more than half as much as I should.

“My deepest thanks and best wishes to Curtis Sliwa, who taught me this business and frequently took the matches out of my hands after I splashed the gasoline around. Bryan and Justin — you guys made the show fun to do and you are both deeply decent people. And Hipster Mike, ‘I think I’ll miss you most of all.’ — Ron”

West Palm Radio: Alpha Media Builds Cluster

Alpha Media, West Palm Beach announces the purchase of WFTL and WMEN.

News Talk WFTL 850 AM and Sports WMEN 640 AM will join current stations, WRMF 97.9 FM, WEAT Sunny 107.9 FM, Country WIRK 103.1 FM, WMBX X102.3 FM , and W242CI Beatz 96.3 FM.

Alpha Media Chairman, Larry Wilson commented on the announcement, “We are delighted to add WFTL and WMEN to our dynamic group of stations in South Florida.  Elizabeth Hamma and her outstanding team are the best in the business and this acquisition represents our confidence in their ability to continue to dominate the Palm Beach market.”

“We are extremely proud to officially welcome News Talk 850 WFTL and 640 Sports WMEN to our vibrant portfolio. This acquisition gives us the opportunity to meet the large demand for news and sports in South Florida with strong local brands that provide our advertisers with additional choices to drive results,” remarked Elizabeth Hamma, Alpha Media, West Palm Beach, SVP/Market Manager.

Westwood One Adds Delanne Lang, Diane Johnston to Sales Team

Delanne Lang
Industry veteran sellers Delanne Lang and Diane Johnston have both been named Director, National Partnerships at Westwood One, the largest audio network. They will work closely with national brands and agency partners to provide strategic marketing solutions leveraging Westwood One’s portfolio of multimedia assets, award-winning content, digital audio, insights, and experiential opportunities.

Delanne is based in New York City and reports to Ron Russo, EVP, Northeast Sales. Diane is based in Detroit and reports to Doug Johnston, EVP, Midwest Sales.

Delanne has more than 16 years of sales experience. She comes to Westwood One from AdLarge, where she was a National Accounts Manager for six years. She also spent five years as a National Account Manager at Premiere Radio Networks and five years at MediaAmerica.

"Adding an experienced pro like Delanne to our staff will have an immediate impact on our business,” said Ron Russo. “Delanne will play a large part in building our brand relationships and boosting revenue.”

Diane Johnston
Delanne said, "The audio marketplace is demanding innovation and agility. I am excited to be a part of the winning team at Westwood One and represent its high profile content, research, and smart marketing insights."

Diane joins Westwood One from iHeart Media’s Premiere Radio Networks. She has more than 30 years’ experience buying, selling and managing network TV, cable, syndication, and spot television business, as well as selling and buying spot, network, syndication, programmatic, streaming audio, digital, social, and events.

Diane said, “I'm thrilled be on the Westwood One Team. Westwood One’s assets are second to none and I cannot wait to work with national brands to create custom campaigns within our live sports, music and entertainment, spoken word, and all the high-profile events.”

“We are elated to have Diane join our team in the Midwest,” said Doug Johnston. “Her 30 years of experience and strong agency and client relationships dramatically elevate Westwood One’s access and experience in the Detroit advertising community.”

Steve Shaw, President, Westwood One Sales, added, “It’s extremely gratifying to know that we have created an environment where sellers want to work and grow. It’s a true testament to our company and our reputation in the industry.”

U-K Fans Urge Justin Bieber To Cancel Hyde Park Concert

By Jill Serjeant and Piya Sinha-Roy | LOS ANGELES

(Reuters) -- Fans of Justin Bieber pleaded on Tuesday for his upcoming British tour dates to be canceled, underscoring the potential repercussions to music acts with a young fan base from the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Canadian heartthrob Bieber, 23, is due to play an open air concert at London's Hyde Park in July. But fans flooded social media saying his appearance should be axed for the safety both of fans and the singer himself.

"Cancel Justin's concert in the UK, please! We want him to be safe, please," a person using the handle marhrukhh wrote on the Instagram account of Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun.

Braun also manages Grande, also 23, a former Nickelodeon star whose huge female fan base, many of them tweens, were out in force for her concert in Manchester on Monday night when a suicide bombing killed 22 people and injured dozens.

The "Problem" singer flew to Florida on Tuesday to spend time with her family, the Daily Mail website reported. Representatives at Grande's record company did not return calls on whether the remainder of her world tour, with stops in London and Europe, would go ahead.

Grande Back returns (Mail Photo)
Leanne Murray, 20, who lives in Ireland, has tickets to see Bieber play in Dublin next month. But she said that after Monday's bombing she is contemplating selling them.

"I just don't want what I would hope to be a great night to end in something like last night," Murray, who paid 180 Euros ($200) each for two tickets told Reuters.

"It's frightening to think that it could have been any of us and it really shows that you never know what's around the corner," Murray added.

Representatives for Bieber did not immediately respond to Reuters on the status of his upcoming performances.

Touring has been one of the top sources of income for musicians in recent years. The top 10 worldwide tour acts grossed a combined $1.67 billion in 2016, according to music industry publication Pollstar, with Bruce Springsteen bringing in $268.3 million alone.

Pop acts like Taylor Swift, Bieber, One Direction and Grande are also among the top earners. Grande grossed more than $25 million from touring between April 2016-April 2017, according to Pollstar figures, while Bieber grossed $163 million in 2016.

Robin Wolff, from Agoura Hills, California, said she has accompanied her 15-year-old daughter Brooke to Miley Cyrus and One Direction concerts. Her daughter has only more recently attended a couple of concerts without parental supervision.

Asked if she has concerns for her children attending concerts in the wake of the Manchester attack, Wolff said, "Absolutely."

"It's scary. Especially if you're not there for them, that's even scarier. Me going with them, I'm OK with that," she said.

Joe Reinartz, news editor at Pollstar, said that although he believes security is already strong at music venues and will no doubt be stepped up, parents would likely be more cautious.

"In the short term, there are going to be concerns for any large gathering where there will be young people, and that doesn't necessarily mean a Justin Bieber show. It means a high school football game, or an event at a fair ground," Reinartz said.

Jim Donio, president of the Music Business Association, said he would be surprised to see musicians cancelling tours because of the attack at the Grande concert.

But he said fans will be more aware and prepared. "Will parents make more informed decisions? Yes, that's possible, so there can be some impact there."

May 24 Radio History

➦In 1844...Samuel F.B. Morse gave the first public demonstration of his telegraph by sending a message from the Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to the B&O Railroad "outer depot" (now the B&O Railroad Museum) in Baltimore. The famous message was, "What hath God wrought?"

➦In 1935...the 9-month old Mutual Broadcasting System aired its first live event–the first-ever night baseball game featuring the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. Mutual would be the radio home of the World Series for the next 21 years.

➦In 1958…The United Press and International News Service merged to form United Press International.

➦In 1963...The Beatles recorded the first program of their own BBC radio series, “Pop Go the Beatles”. The theme song was a version of “Pop Goes the Weasel”.

➦In host & frequent guest George Jessel, who often performed with the nickname “America’s toastmaster general,” died after a heart attack at age 83.

➦In 2008...comedian Dick Martin, a co-star with Dan Rowan on NBC TV’s iconic “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”, died of respiratory problems at age 86.  Early in his career he’d written for radio’s “Duffy’s Tavern.”

➦In 2011…Veteran broadcaster (WJJD-AM and WAIT-AM in Chicago, WXYZ-AM and WWJ-TV in Detroit) Hugh Copland died at the age of 79.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bealsey Media Group Names New Format Captains

Top: Bill Weston, Cadillac Jack Bottom: John Candelaria, DJ Stout
Beasley Media Group, Inc., has designated WMMR-FM/WMGK-FM Program Director (PD) Bill
Weston, Boston Operations Manager & WMJX-FM/WBQT-FM PD Cadillac Jack, Las Vegas Operations Manager & KOAS-FM/KVGS-FM PD John Candelaria and WSOC-FM/WBCN-FM Charlotte Operations Manager & PD DJ Stout to thenewly created positions of Format Captains.

Under the new structure, Cadillac Jack will be working with CHR/AC, Candelaria will be helping Urban, Weston will be supporting Rock, and DJ Stout will be collaborating with Country.

“This is the next step in the evolution of Beasley’s new programming structure,” said Chief Executive Officer Caroline Beasley. “The Format Captain positions will serve as another valuable layer of corporate resources for our stations.”

“Not only will these programmers offer additional insight and assistance for our other PDs, they will also create more synergy and leverage in order to better compete in the markets we serve,” said Justin Chase, executive vice president of Programming. “We feel this team, with their unique strengths, will provide incredible support when situations arise.”

Added Vice President of Programming Buzz Knight, “We believe the abilities of our new Format
Captains will result in more creativity and proactive problem solving at Beasley which will ultimately make us stronger.”

Austin Radio: iHM Launches Spanish CHR TU 103.1

iHeartMedia Austin announced today the debut of K276EL TU 103.1 FM, the new home of Spanish Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) music for Austin, TX. The station will be feb via KVET 98.1 FM HD2 and will kick off with commercial-free music featuring around-the-clock Spanish and English songs.

Beginning June 1, Enrique Santos will host Tu Manana con Enrique Santos from 5-9 a.m. The full programming lineup will be announced at a later date.

“We are so excited to introduce the new TU 103.1 to the Austin community,” said Brian Gann, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio. “We truly believe this format will resonate well with our Austin listeners, and is a perfect complement to our other stations in the region.”

“I am thrilled to help wake the great people of Austin on weekday mornings with the best music and entertainment,” said Santos, Morning Show Host and Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of iHeartLatino, iHeartMedia’s new Hispanic platform. “Everything is bigger in Texas…but better in Spanish! I’m proud to represent mi gente on the new TU 103.1.”

K276EL 103.1 FM (250 watts)
“The addition of this new Spanish-language station adds a new dimension to our cluster and the Austin community,” said Matt Martin, President of iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio. “We have an amazing team in place and I am excited for what’s to come!”

Allegations: Fox Radio Anchor Called Females ‘Sluts’ and ‘Whores’

On Monday, yet another lawsuit was filed against the network by two female employees who said they faced racist harassment and were fired over their pregnancies, and a third who said she faced regular sexual harassment from a male colleague, reports Claire Landsbaum at

The latter, which was filed by Fox News Radio shift editor Kathleen Lee, claimed that radio anchor Ron Flatter subjected her to “unrelenting sexual harassment” after he was hired in 2013.

In her suit, Lee claimed the following allegations:

The suit also alleges that Flatter’s behavior was catching on — because of his comments, “other male employees were emboldened to similarly demean and threaten female co-workers,” it reads. In one instance, another male colleague told Lee he hoped she “choked to death,” which prompted a female co-worker of Lee’s to email Fox News Radio VP Mitch Davis. “No one should have to deal with abuse like that,” the female co-worker wrote. “Please address this ASAP.”

According to the suit, Davis did nothing to address the situation, and when Lee brought the issue to him herself, he told her to “deal with it.” She went to an HR higher-up, but that person also “looked the other way and failed to act.”

U-K Bombing: Police I-D Suicide Bomber

By Michael Holden and David Milliken | MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

(Reurters) -- British police on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who killed 22 people, including children, in an attack on a crowded concert hall in Manchester, and said they were trying to establish whether he had acted alone or with help from others.

The suspected attacker was named as Salman Abedi, aged 22. Two U.S. officials who have been in contact with British authorities said he was believed to have traveled to Manchester from London by train.

"Our priority, along with the police counter-terrorism network and our security partners, is to continue to establish whether he was acting alone or working as part of a wider network," Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

Police raided houses in the northern English city and arrested a 23-year-old man after Monday evening's attack, the deadliest in Britain for 12 years.

Prime Minister May
Prime Minister Theresa May called it an act of "sickening cowardice" targeting "defenseless children and young people".

Islamic State, now being driven from territories in Syria and Iraq by Western-backed armed forces, claimed responsibility for what it called a revenge attack against "Crusaders", but there appeared to be contradictions in its account of the operation.

"All acts of terrorism are cowardly," May said in a statement outside her Downing Street office after a meeting with British security and intelligence chiefs.

"But this attack stands out for its appalling sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives."

She said security services were working to see if a wider group was involved in the attack, which fell less than three weeks before a national election. The election campaign has been suspended for now as a mark of respect.

May spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and several other foreign leaders on Tuesday about the attack, her spokesman said. She also visited the police headquarters and a children's hospital in Manchester.

Reuters photo


Desperate parents and friends posted heart-wrenching messages and pictures on social media in the search for their loved ones who had been at the concert by Ariana Grande, a U.S. singer who has a large number of young and teenage fans.

"Please...please retweet. Looking for my daughter and her friend," Michael MacIntyre wrote on Twitter, alongside an image of his daughter Laura and her friend Eilidh.

Police raided a property in the Manchester district of Fallowfield where they carried out a controlled explosion. Witnesses in another area, Whalley Range, said armed police had surrounded a newly built apartment block on a usually quiet tree-lined street.

Manchester remained on high alert, with additional armed police drafted in. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said more police had been ordered onto the streets of the British capital.

Monday's attack was the deadliest in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in 2005. But it will have reverberations far beyond British shores.

Attacks in cities including Paris, Nice, Brussels, St Petersburg, Berlin and London have shocked Europeans already anxious over security challenges from mass immigration and pockets of domestic Islamist radicalism. Islamic State has repeatedly called for attacks as retaliation for Western involvement in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.


Witnesses related the horror of the Manchester blast, which unleashed a stampede just as the concert ended at Europe's largest indoor arena, full to its capacity of 21,000.

"We ran and people were screaming around us and pushing on the stairs to go outside and people were falling down, girls were crying, and we saw these women being treated by paramedics having open wounds on their legs ... it was just chaos," said Sebastian Diaz, 19. "It was literally just a minute after it ended, the lights came on and the bomb went off."

A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media.

Queen Elizabeth held a minute's silence at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London.

The White House said Trump had agreed with May during their telephone conversation that the attack was "particularly wanton and depraved".

Macron and senior French ministers walked to the British embassy in Paris to sign the condolence book

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it "will only strengthen our resolve with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhumane deeds".

Singer Grande, 23, said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

Express graphic


Islamic State, while claiming responsibility on its Telegram account, appeared to contradict British police's description of a suicide bomber. It suggested explosive devices were placed "in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders".

"What comes next will be more severe on the worshippers of the cross," the Telegram posting said.

It did not name the bomber, which it usually does in attacks it has ordered, and appeared also to contradict a posting on another Islamic State account, Amaq, which spoke of "a group of attackers". That reference, however, was later removed.

London police said extra armed officers would be deployed at this weekend's soccer cup final at Wembley and rugby at Twickenham. Security would be reviewed also for smaller events.

British police do not routinely carry firearms.

In March, a British-born convert to Islam plowed a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. The man was shot dead at the scene.

In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping center in the center of Manchester in April 2009.

U-K Terror: Ariana Grande Concert Ends With Death, Horror

By Michael Holden and Andrew Yates

UPDATE 9:40a 5/23/17: ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

In a statement translated from Arabic, ISIS said that a soldier of the caliphate placed explosives among a gathering of crusaders -- meaning Christians -- at the Manchester Arena. The statement said about 30 were killed and about 70 were wounded.

The man believed to be the lone attacker died at the scene after using an improvised explosive device, officials said, but police are still determining if the attacker acted alone or as part of a wider group, said United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May.

Earlier Posting...

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - At least 22 people, including some children, were killed and 59 wounded when a suicide bomber struck as thousands of fans streamed out of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack, making it the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005.

Police said the attacker detonated the explosives shortly after 10:33 pm (2133 GMT) at Manchester Arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people. Children were among the dead, police said.

Ian Hopkins
"We believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man," Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters. "The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.

"We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity," said Hopkins, who declined to answer questions about whether the attacker was British.

The explosion occurred shortly after Grande left the stage at the arena, which has a capacity of around 21,000. Grande has a strong following among teenage girls and children

A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building.

A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media.

"We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters.

"It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out."

Ariana Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."  May, who faces an election in two-and-a-half weeks, said her thoughts were with the victims and their families. She and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning ahead of the June 8 election.

"We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," May said in a statement. "All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."

May is due to hold a crisis response meeting and finance minister Philip Hammond will cut short a trip to Brussels to return to London.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences to Queen Elizabeth while French President Emmanuel Macron said he would discuss the fight against terrorism with May.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but U.S. officials drew parallels to the coordinated attacks in November 2015 by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris, which claimed about 130 lives.

British police were on alert for any further attacks. Central London's Victoria coach station and roads around it were closed after discovery of a suspect package, the BBC said.

Islamic State supporters took to social media to celebrate the blast and some encouraged similar attacks elsewhere.

Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe", meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely.

British counter-terrorism police have said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism.

In March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. The man was shot dead at the scene.

In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping center in the center of Manchester in April 2009.


Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue.

Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones who attended Monday's concert while the wounded were being treated at six hospitals across Manchester.

"Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde girl with flowers in her hair.

Paula Robinson, 48, from West Dalton about 40 miles east of Manchester, said she was at the train station next to the arena with her husband when she felt the explosion and saw dozens of teenage girls screaming and running away from arena.

"We ran out," Robinson told Reuters. "It was literally seconds after the explosion. I got the teens to run with me."

Robinson took dozens of teenage girls to the nearby Holiday Inn Express hotel and tweeted out her phone number to worried parents, telling them to meet her there. She said her phone had not stopped ringing since her tweet.

"Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children," she said. "There were lots of lots children at Holiday Inn."

Study: Nearly 60% of Likely PPM Participants Listen to Radio At Work

NuVoodoo Media Services, a data-driven media marketing, programming and content intelligence provider, announces that its recent NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of nearly 5,700 respondents across all PPM markets revealed that, among likely PPM participants, nearly 60% listen to radio at work – far more than the number of those who predict they wouldn’t participate in PPM.

Though residential landline penetration continues to decline, NuVoodoo’s findings point to an opportunity for radio stations to reach likely PPM participants at work for information and data capture through telemarketing to business landlines. Even among likely PPM respondents, over half listen at work on a personal device, but likely PPM respondents over-index for controlling a shared listening device at work.

Mike O’Connor, Executive Vice President, Marketing, NuVoodoo Media Services said: “There is a surprising receptivity among likely PPM participants to at-work conversations with radio stations. This enables quick gathering of information and significantly fewer calls to obtain critical data and insights than through at-home telemarketing.”

In addition, NuVoodoo’s study identified 9:00 a.m. as the best overall time for workday contests.

Leigh Jacobs, Executive Vice President, Research Analysis, NuVoodoo Media Services observes: “9 AM remains the emotional starting point for the workday. Getting a jump on a competitor may be a reason to play for the slightly lower numbers between 8 AM and 9 AM. We also see that some demos would prefer to play during the lunch hour.”

➤FOR MORE: Contact Carolyn Gilbert at: or at 888.9VooDoo (888.986.6366)

Cause For Alarm! Fox News Ratings Tumble

Fox News last week fell into third place during primetime in the coveted advertising demographic of 25-54 year-old viewers, the first time it had done so in 17 years, as rival network MSNBC surged into first place.

TVNewser reported that last week was the first time that Fox finished third among cable-news networks in the coveted demo since June 2000, when the right-leaning network was still in its infancy.

According to Nielsen, MSNBC led the three cable networks between 8-11 p.m., averaging 611,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, while dominating with 2,440,000 viewers overall.

CNN came in second with 589,000 in the coveted demographic, while remaining in third in total viewers with 1,649,000. Fox slid to to third with 497,000 viewers in the demo, and 2,405,000 overall.

Despite the primetime dip last week, Fox is still above MSNBC and CNN in primetime and total-day ratings this month.

BusinessInsider reports the ratings slump came as primetime programs notably avoided and counter-programmed major news revelations last week, including reports that President Donald Trump disclosed classified information with Russian officials and that he had nudged former FBI director James Comey to lay off investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Last Monday, primetime Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity largely ignored a report on Trump's revelation to Russian officials. They instead focused the bulk of their programs criticizing the media's coverage of the presidency, as well as instances of violence at protests and Comey's firing.

The same was largely the case on Tuesday, when both hosts again took aim at the media while MSNBC and CNN offered wall-to-wall coverage of a New York Times report regarding Trump's nudge for Comey to end the Flynn probe.

The news also came amid a larger shakeup of Fox's primetime schedule, which saw its highest ratings ever last quarter.

Charlotte Radio: WLNK Extend Matt & Ramona

Entercom Charlotte inks a multi-year extension with WLNK 107.9 FM The Link afternoon hosts Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway.

The duo first met in Columbus, OH, working on the "Morning Zoo." In 2000, they teamed up as a show for the first time in Norfolk for Spanish CHR WVNZ-FM. The show came to Charlotte after a year on the air in 2001 and has continued to be one of the top-rated afternoon shows for the last 17 years.

"Matt and Ramona's commitment to our listeners and the community set them apart from any other afternoon entertainment in Charlotte," said Entercom Charlotte VP/Market Manager Matt Hanlon. "That is precisely why they continue to be the dominant ratings leader for WLNK-FM. Their commitment to community, brilliant entertainment and passion for our listeners make them an ideal program for the culture we foster at Entercom Communications."

WLNK 107.9 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
"We are excited to work with Pat Paxton, Matt Hanlon, Darrin Arriens and the top media company in the land, Entercom Communications," said Harris.

"We will continue to build our relationship with the listeners and the community of Charlotte and its surrounding areas,"added Ramona Holloway. "We are thrilled to be staying here at WLNK-FM."

Nashville Radio: Gerry House To Join iHM's 98.3 FM

iHeartMedia Nashville officially announced Monday that Gerry House will once again hit the airwaves as an official voice talent for W252CM 98.3 FM (via WSIX 97.9 FM HD2) effective May 26th at 7a.m.

After years of retirement, the legendary radio personality will once again be heard in Nashville. Gerry will be joined by his “long-time male companion” Mike Bohan, who will accompany House on-air.

“The truth is, the good times, the spirit and the hits we played back when the House Foundation morning show was on the air will be on The BIG Legend at 98.3,” said House. “While this won’t be a full time show, all the laughs we had will be heard once again. Fun never gets old, and as always I blame Mike Bohan.”

A Country Music Association (CMA) and Academy Of Country Music (ACM) award-winning American radio personality, House was heard on WSIX-FM in Nashville, Tennessee on the morning show Gerry House and the House Foundation from 1983 to 2010. House has won the CMA, ACM, Billboard, and Marconi awards for Personality of the Year numerous times. House is also a songwriter, who has written songs for George Strait (“The Big One”), Reba McEntire (“Little Rock”), LeAnn Rimes (“On the Side of Angels”) and Pam Tillis (“The River and the Highway”). He has also had his songs recorded by Brad Paisley, Randy Travis, Trace Adkins, Mark Collie, Clint Black, Neal McCoy, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Big & Rich, among others.

W252CM 98.3 FM (250 watts)
“No Gerry is not coming back to do a full show, but Gerry back on the radio, in any form, is can’t miss radio,” said Gator Harrison, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Nashville. “In addition to classic House Foundation moments in Morning Drive, Gerry will be The BIG Legend at 98.3’s voice. Think of it as on-air Twitter. He thinks it, he says it, and we all laugh. The BIG Legend is all about reliving the moments and the music, but it just wouldn’t be complete without Gerry House”.

Mike Bohan, who co-hosted with House from 1995 until the end of his morning show in 2010 will also return with House.

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