Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25 Radio History

In 1949…NBC Radio debuted the sitcom "Father Knows Best," which ran for four years before making the transition to television in 1954. Robert Young was the only cast member to continue with the show on TV.

Dick Clark
In 1962...The radio bug bites Dick Clark again - as he announces plans to record a “syndicated” radio series for top-40 stations.

The two-hour programwould be broadcast five days a week and would be produced and distributed byDick Clark Radio Productions and Mars Broadcasting Inc.

Dick Clark says the show will feature artist interviews and records and will be taped at MarsBroadcasting in Stamford, Conn. Clark was a Disc Jockey at WFIL Radio in Philadelphia when he landed the job as host  of TV's “American Bandstand.

In 1962...Fred Wolf celebrates 12 years as the morning man on Detroit’s WXYZ 1270 AM

He started with the station in 1950 and stayed until 1965 when he left the after refusing to play some rock and roll records.

In 1962...Paul Sherman, 1010 WINS, New York replaced Bob (Bob-A-Loo) Lewis on the outlet’s Saturday and Sunday “Freedomland” remote broadcasts. Lewis was days away from joining rival 77 WABC

In 1966...WNBC 660 AM New York canceled the syndicated “Joe Pyne Show” after debuting last March. Billed as “fist-in-the-mouth” radio, WNBC givesno reason for the cancellation

R. Peter Strauss
In 1966...R. Peter Straus, president of radio station WMCA 570 AM New York - appears on aprogram on rival station - WNEW 1130 AM. He was interviewedby Richard Doan on a weekly series titled “The Truth About Radio.”

Straus was told that he probably was one of those broadcasters “who peddles rock ‘n’ roll all day and who refuses to call it by that name,” that maybe he was ashamed of the practice. Mr. Straus denied he was ashamed and asserted that WMCA programmed for the largest possible audience so that its commercials and community messages ofsubstantive content would be exposed to the largest number of people. Straus that if the most popular music next year were say Chamber music or Chinese madrigals “we will be playing them".

In 1971....Former 93 KHJ Los Angeles night DJ Humble Harve Miller,who affirmed his guilt in court, is sentenced for a term of five years to life for killing his wife, Mary.  He plead guilty to second-degree murder – the unlawful killing of a human being with malice, but without premeditation on Aug 2. His seven-year marriage was described as “stormy and tempestuous” and Mrs. Miller as “domineering and literally a witch.” Miller could be paroled in as little as 3 ½ years.

In 1977....It was announced Record executive Irving Azoff would be serving as executive producer on a movie called “FM.” Azoff will coordinate the soundtrack – to include a blend of rock standards, current hits and original compositions written for the movie and take charge of a live rock concert which will be filmed for inclusion in the film.

The movie is about the going’s on  - at a major market FM rock music station and the music business.

In 1989...Former WMCA 570 AM talkhost Alan Colmes is now doing mornings at classic rock WZLX Boston.

In 1989...KLOS Los Angeles morning show hosts Mark and Brian do a no-no. Equipped with hidden mics, they took listeners on an aural Graceland tour for the 12th anniversary of Elvis’ death, but they were caught. Graceland says you’re not supposed to be broadcasting from the premises. They called the duo incredibly rude and distasteful.

In 1994...Radio stations across the country started experimenting with Digital Audio Tape (DAT). Unlike a CD, DAT allows a user to record in crystal-clean digital.

In 1994...Rush Limbaugh was not amused with a parody by the ABC sketch comedy show – “She-TV.” The premiere show – cast member Nick Bakay does a parody of the newly married Limbaugh in which he joked abut Limbaugh’s wedding being performed by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Limbaugh has filed a complaint with ABC. Limbaugh says the skit made him out to be racist.

In 1999...KLOS Los Angeles apologized for a Mark & Brian stunt after they announced plastic gardening tools called “Black Hoes” would be given out.

In 2009...Glenn Beck returned to Fox News Channel after a vacation with fewer companies willing to advertise on his show than when he left, part of the fallout from calling President Barack Obama a racist.

A total of 33 Fox advertisers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Caremark, Clorox and Sprint, directed that their commercials not air on Beck's show, according to the companies and Colorofchange, a group that promotes political action among blacks and launched a campaign to get advertisers to abandon him. That's more than a dozen more than were identified a week ago.

While it's unclear what effect, if any, this will ultimately have on Fox and Beck, it is already making advertisers skittish about hawking their wares within the most opinionated cable TV shows.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Philly Radio: Josh Innes Fired At WIP 94.1 FM

He got the word just an hour before showtime  on Sportsradio WIP 94.1 FM Wednesday.

The controversial sports talk host has been fired, sources within the station have told Crossing Broad was first to report the firing.

“We can confirm that Josh Innes is no longer with WIP," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Various station personalities will fill in during the afternoon show until a new host is announced.”

Marc Farzetta and Hollis Thomas will host today's show.

The news comes a day after Innes harshly criticized competitor Mike Missanelli and WPEN 97.5 FM The Fanatic over a story involving a white producer creating a black character to call in to the show.

Innes had been previously suspended by WIP back in January after using a racial epithet on air to describe Eagles center Jason Kelce. The controversial host has had a history of using racially-offensive language on his show.

Recently, Innes was criticized by some listeners for sharing a photo of a performer in blackface in response to the controversy over a fake caller at The Fanatic.

For the ninth-straight month, 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli crushed Innes, who has seen his year-to-year ratings share among the coveted 25-54 male demographic plummet more than 50 percent.

Missanelli ended the slow July ratings period (June 16-July 13) in fourth place, while Innes placed ninth. The results are jarring compared to this time last year, when Innes defeated Missanelli soundly by more than 1.5 share.

WIP beat The Fanatic overall during the July ratings period, ending the month in ninth place in the market compared to The Fanatic’s 10th-place finish. For the fourth straight month, The Fanatic beat WIP overall from 6 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday among men 25-54 (though WIP still has a larger overall audience).

St. Louis Radio: WIL Moves Danny Montana To Middays

Montana and Friend
New Country WIL 92.3 FM has announced that Danny Montana will be taking over the Midday slot, effective immediately.

Montana has been with the St. Louis country station since 1995 as the overnight DJ, then serving as a daytime on-air talent and Show Host, as well as Music Director for the station. In 2003 he was named WIL Assistant Program Director, with responsibilities that include managing all of the country artist meet & greet opportunities and producing all of the WIL country music concerts and shows like WIL’s annual “Jinglefest” concert. Even with his move to Middays on WIL, Montana will continue in the APD and Music Director roles.

Commenting on the Midday host announcement, Danny Montana says, “It has been such a pleasure to be back on the air full time.  The listeners of WIL are absolutely amazing and I feel so fortune to have the opportunity to connect with them on a daily basis.” Danny adds, “I’m blessed to work for a terrific company with some incredibly talented people at a legendary station.”

WIL 92.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WIL Program Director Scott Roddy notes, “Danny worked VERY hard to earn this position - and the competition was tough! Danny’s commitment to the WIL brand, new country, and our passionate followers make me proud to name him WIL’s new Midday personality. Danny compliments an exceptional team on the only live and local new country station in the ‘Lou’.”

NextRadio App Could Derail Smulyan's Bid for Emmis

Jeff Smulyan's offer to take Emmis Communications Corp. private is putting him in an awkward position: downplaying the company's most exciting product.

According to to The Indianapolis Star, shareholders of the Indianapolis-based media company say Smulyan is attempting to buy them out at a lowball price just before Emmis makes a splash with a product that could compete with music apps such as Spotify and Pandora.

Emmis' app, NextRadio, accesses chips in smartphones to let users listen to FM radio for free. Although the app has been available since 2013, investors say Emmis is on the verge of monetizing it after years of piling up heavy losses. Some shareholders want Emmis to remain public so they can reap the benefits.

"NextRadio has enormous potential that will come to fruition in the next few years," John Francis of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Francis Capital Management LLC, wrote in an email. "The board should not consider any buyout transaction that includes NextRadio for at least three years."

That sentiment, echoed by several other shareholders in interviews with IndyStar, threatens to derail Smulyan's third attempt to take Emmis private. Shareholders said Smulyan should offer between $6 and $10 per share — and even then, the deal wouldn't be a no-brainer.

Smulyan, though, countered that investors who oppose his offer are merely negotiating in public for a higher price. The Emmis CEO on Thursday offered $4.10 per share to take Emmis private, a 3.5 percent premium on that day's closing price, which would amount to about $46.5 million. The deal must be approved by a special committee and company shareholders. It's likely to be a monthslong process for Smulyan, who also tried to take Emmis private in 2006 and 2010.

Francis, who declined to say how many shares his firm owns, said he has "spoken with a number of shareholders, and a $4.10 deal is a nonstarter."

Read More Now

Terre Haute Radio: Emmis Stations May Be 'On The Block'

Four Terre Haute radio stations may be sold as part of Emmis Communications chief executive’s latest bid to take the company private.

The Indianapolis-based company is interested in selling Country WTHI 99.9 FM, Rock WWVR 105.5 FM, Top40 WFNB 92.7 FM and Sports WFNF 1130 AM to address the company’s debt, CEO Jeff Smulyan wrote in a company-wide message last week.

On Tuesday, Smulyan declined to comment on sales specifics but did say he is involved in “active discussions,” according to

Country powerhouse WTHI-FM has long dominated Wabash Valley Nielsen ratings, but Terre Haute is the smallest of the company’s six markets. Smulyan said the community doesn’t fit in future plans.

Smulyan said listeners shouldn’t expect any programming changes unless a sale is finalized. Emmis is also seeking buyers for one New York station and the publishing division, excluding “Indianapolis Monthly.”

Bonuses will be provided to keep employees if an offer is negotiated, Smulyan wrote in a company-wide message. Severance packages will be given to those let go if the properties are sold, he added.

The company doesn’t anticipate selling any other assets at this point, Smulyan told the Tribune-Star.

Universal Music Steps Away From Streaming Exclusives

A resurgent music business on Tuesday saw its biggest label feeling strong enough to take a stand against the “exclusive” releases favored by Tidal, Apple Music and other streaming services.

According to The NY Post, Universal Music — the world’s largest music company, with a 33.5 percent market share — reached a “strategic commitment” to keep from offering exclusives to a single music streamer.

The decision came “after months of experimentation and dialogue,” the source said. Others labels are expected to follow Universal’s lead.

The label, headed by Lucian Grainge, believes the move is best for its artists and their fans over the long term, the source said.

“They no longer want their artists seduced by short-term money,” the source said.

Compensation for exclusives has been offered by Tidal owner Jay Z, whose service further benefits his wife, Beyoncé, Kanye West and others through ownership stakes.

Apple Music is also exclusive-driven, having paid Drake a hefty amount for a seven-day monopoly on his “Views” album and cutting deals with Pharrell Williams before its launch in June 2015.

The biggest criticism of exclusives-as-marketing-ploys is their alienating fans who don’t subscribe to the chosen platform.

Philly Radio: Fake Caller Pushes Racial Bounds On WPEN-FM

Mike Missanelli
On his Tuesday show, WPEN 97.5 FM The Fanatic host Mike Missanelli reiterated that he didn’t know frequent caller “Dwayne from Swedesboro” was really a character created by producer Pat Egan, according to

“I didn’t know that “Dwayne from Swedesboro” was not a real person,” Missanelli said to open his show, noting that seemingly everyone at the station, including on-air partner Jason Myrtetus, was in on the bit.

“I would not have authorized a racially charged caller like that,” Missanelli said, noting that a white producer creating a black character with some racial stereotypes might have pushed "racial bounds."

"If I had known it was a fake, I would have shut down this immediately because I was sensitive to the racial undertones involved," Missanelli said.

Missanelli made it clear that neither Myrtetus nor Egan would be punished for the incident.

Missanelli devoted nearly the entire first two hours of his show to responding to the story, first reported by Crossing Broad’s Kyle Scott, about a fake caller frequently calling into the show.

Missanelli apologized to anyone who was offended on racial grounds, but struggled to understand why it had become such a big story.

Midwest To Acquire 5 Stations From Red Rock Radio

Midwest Communications has agreed to acquire five outlets and three translators in Minnesota from Red Rock Radio Corp. Terms were not immediately disclosed.

Included in the deal are
  • Rock 100kW KQDS 94.9 FM Duluth
  • AC 100kW WEVE 97.9 FM Eveleth
  • Country 100kW KGPZ 96.1 FM Coleraine
  • Classic RoCk 63kW WXXZ 95.3 FM Grand Marais
  • ClassiC Rock 33kW KAOD 106.7 FM Babbitt
Plus affiliated translators W252AN/Hibbing, W288AI/Ely and W221AU/Virginia.

Midwest Communications is a Wisconsin-based company headed by Duke Wright and owns 73 radio stations throughout Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota. Red Rock Radio, is a Minnesota-based company headed by Kathy Lau and Shawn Skramstad and owns 24 radio stations in Minnesota.

Kalil & Co., Inc. is the broker for this transaction.

Saginaw Radio: Joe Volk Exits Z93 After 25-Years

Joe Volk of the long running “Joe and the Poorboy” show is no longer with WKQZ 93.3 FM, his co-host, Adam Shilling, said Monday.

The Joe and the Poorboy show is no longer listed on Z93’s main website. Listed under “shows” for weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m., the normal Joe and the Poorboy time slot, is “Z93 … Relentless Rock.”

The WKQZ Wikipedia page states “As of August 22nd, 2016 Joe Volk, the lead performer of the “Joe and the Poorboy” program, is no longer employed by the station or its owner Cumulus Media. No reason for his separation has been announced yet.”

The Midland Daily News reports many people have posted to the Z93 The Rock Station! Facebook page seeking an explanation.

“I do believe someone there owes morning show listeners an explanation to what’s going on. You have a lot of loyal people that listen every morning, That now don’t know what to think,” one post reads.

In April, Cumulus parted ways with the Johnny Burke and Blondie morning talk show, which aired on WHNN 96.1 FM. The decision resulted in lawsuits on both ends.

Milwaukee Radio: Eric Lauer Named GSM For WKTI-FM

Eric Lauer
Scripps Broadcasting has announced that Eric Lauer has been named General Sales Manager for Country WKTI 94.5 FM

Lauer will join the company September 26 from Cox Media Jacksonville where he served as GSM for the six-station cluster for the past three years.

Lauer will also serve as Mgr./National Sales for Scripps in Milwaukee.

"We're pleased to have Eric join our Scripps Milwaukee leadership team as KTI Country's GSM," said WKTI VP/GM Tom Langmyer.

"He comes to us with tremendous experience -- and a thoughtful, customer-focused approach. Eric has worked with several much-admired stations -- and he hails from a company that shares many of the same principles and business philosophies as Scripps. He'll be a great fit to lead WKTI sales and drive national business for both WKTI and WTMJ. Eric will partner with Jason Bjorson, who is GSM of WTMJ and our sports properties."

"What a thrill to join Tom and his superb team," said Lauer. "Scripps has a fabulous reputation, and I have a deep admiration for these powerful brands and a contagious fondness for the communities they serve. It feels good to come home, and I'm grateful for the chance to help lead Milwaukee's Radio City into the future."

NYTimes: Suspected Russian Hackers Target Moscow Bureau

(Reuters) -- The New York Times said on Tuesday its Moscow bureau was targeted by a cyber attack this month but that there was no evidence the hackers, believed to be Russian, were successful.

"We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told the newspaper. "We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised."

Earlier on Tuesday, CNN, citing unnamed U.S. officials, reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other U.S. security agencies were investigating cyber breaches targeting reporters at the Times and other U.S. news organizations that were thought to have been carried out by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

"Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organizations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said," CNN reported.

The FBI declined a Reuters' request for comment. Representatives for the U.S. Secret Service, which has a role in protecting the country from cyber crime, did not reply to a request for comment.

A government official briefed on the inquiry told the Times the FBI was looking into the attempted cyber attack but was not carrying out similar investigations at other news organizations.

The Times had not hired outside firms to investigate the attempted intrusion, contrary to the CNN report, Murphy said.

News of the cyber attack comes amid a wave of similar attacks targeting major U.S. political parties that have surfaced in recent weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The Democratic National Committee, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign and the party's congressional fundraising committee have all been affected.

Hackers have also targeted the computer systems of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Republican Party organizations, sources have told Reuters.

A breach at the Times would not be the first time foreign hackers infiltrated a news organization. Media are frequently targeted in order to glean insights into U.S. policies or to spy on journalists.

In 2013, a group of hackers known as the Syrian Electronic Army attacked the Times and other media outlets. Chinese attackers also infiltrated the Times that year.

BuzzFeed Splits Into News, Entertainment Departments

(Reuters) -- Online media outlet BuzzFeed will split itself into two new departments that will focus on news and entertainment, CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in a memo sent to employees.

The move to create two departments - BuzzFeed News and BuzzFeed Entertainment Group - comes at a time when online media companies are grappling with the balance between covering news and politics, and lighter fare like social media, entertainment and lifestyle.

BuzzFeed will integrate some existing groups like the health team and video news into BuzzFeed News, which will be run by Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed.

"In this new structure, video won't be the job of just one department. Having a single video department in 2016 makes about as much sense as having a mobile department," Peretti said in the memo, a copy of which was made available to Reuters.

BuzzFeed Entertainment Group will now become the umbrella for all entertainment news and will be headed by the president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, Ze Frank, who will assume the role of president of BuzzFeed Entertainment.

"Instead of organizing around a format or technology, we will organize our work to take full advantage of many formats and technologies," Peretti said.

The company is best known for online list-based articles and quizzes and is trying to better attract more young internet-focused audiences who have different consumption patterns from their parents.

Benztown Makes Prestigious Inc. List Again

Radio imager Benztown announced Tuesday that Inc. magazine has named the company one of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for the fourth consecutive year. Benztown increased sales 48% since the start of 2011, placing it firmly on this year’s list of 5,000 companies.

Benztown is one of only five media companies making the list for four years.

The Inc. 5000 is an exclusive annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, ranked according to percentage revenue growth rate over a three-year period. Companies must have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2012 and at least $2 million in 2015 to qualify for the listing. They must also be U.S. based, privately held, independent and for-profit. Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, Under Armour, Timberland, Jamba Juice, Zipcar, Clif Bar, Vizio, Oracle and many other well-known companies gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

Andreas Sannemann, Benztown Chief Executive Officer said: “It is an absolute honor to be represented on this extraordinary list for the fourth year running. It is incredible and clearly showcases that even in a challenging economic environment, thinking differently and delivering effective solutions with a dedication to creating the best possible product can drive success. Every day I am thankful to work with the best people out there! Big thanks to the team!”

Dave “Chachi” Denes, Benztown President said: “To make the list once is an achievement in and of itself, but to do it four times in a row is something only about one in 10 Inc. 5000 companies are able to do. This accomplishment would not be possible without our exceptional team and incredible clients. Andy and I are humbled and incredibly grateful for their support.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000 can be found at

For more information about Benztown and its products and services, visit, or call Masa Patterson at (818) 842-4600.

BFA Helping Flooded Broadcasters

The Broadcasters Foundation of America reports it is moving swiftly to provide emergency grants to broadcasters whose lives and property have been severely damaged by the floods in Louisiana and the wildfires in California.

The Emergency and Disaster Grant Program features an abbreviated vetting process that gets emergency funds to victims within a week.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation acted speedily to award $250,000 in one-time emergency grants of $1,000 each to 250 broadcasters. The Foundation also moved quickly following the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Hurricane Sandy in the New York area.

Dan Mason
“It’s imperative that we get these emergency funds into the hands of broadcasters within days,” stated Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. “The Broadcasters Foundation has a track record of moving quickly and nimbly in emergencies, while thoroughly screening the abridged applications for need.”

The Broadcasters Foundation contacted the Louisiana and California Broadcasters Associations last week to distribute emergency grant application information among its members.

Emergency grants already have been awarded to broadcasters in Louisiana from Cumulus Media, Guaranty Broadcasting, Nexstar Broadcasting, Raycom Media, Townsquare Media, and others.

Requests for aid from Louisiana flood victims are coming in almost hourly, and the Foundation is reviewing completed applications immediately to rapidly deliver emergency grants to those who are approved.

To be considered for the Broadcasters Foundation Emergency and Disaster Emergency Grant Program, applicants must have worked in Radio or Television Broadcasting and be facing extreme financial hardship due to a natural or environmental disaster.

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has distributed millions of dollars in aid to thousands of broadcasters and their families who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy. Donations can be made as a personal gift to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative. In addition, a bequest may be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society. For more information, please visit, or call 212-373-8250.

Beth Neuhoff To Be Honored During NAB/RAB Radio Show

Beth Neuhoff
The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group has announced that Neuhoff Communications President and Chief Executive Officer Beth Neuhoff has been named the 2016 MIW Trailblazer.

Neuhoff will receive the 8th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award on Wednesday, September 21st during the 2016 Radio Show Wednesday Headliner: ‘Cutting Edge Trends in Marketing, featuring Dave Ramsey and John Rich.’

The 2016 Radio Show, held September 21 – 23, 2016 in Nashville, is jointly produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and chief executive officer of BMI and one of the original MIW Radio Group members.

In August of 2012, President and CEO Beth Neuhoff assumed control of Neuhoff Communications, a privately held broadcast and digital media company that operates 20 radio stations and 16 digital media sites in six Midwest markets.

“Beth Neuhoff is an accomplished broadcaster who blazes new trails and heights in everything she touches,” says MIW Radio Group Spokesperson Kay Olin. “Beth has been a passionate and enthusiastic ambassador for Radio and especially women throughout her career. She sets a tremendous example for all women in broadcasting through her bold decision-making and inspiring leadership. Beth is intelligent, caring, approachable and the natural choice to be honored as our 2016 MIW Trailblazer.”

“There is no greater honor than to be recognized by those you most admire,” comments Beth Neuhoff. “I am so grateful to the MIW's for continuing to raise me up, push me forward and cheer me on.  In the spirit of the original Trailblazer, Frances Preston, I vow to do my best to live up to the accolades you've bestowed on me... then pay it forward.”

When Beth Neuhoff receives the MIW’s 8th Annual Trailblazer Award at the 2016 Radio Show, she will join an illustrious group of female media professionals, respected for their leadership and commitment to the radio industry including: Kim Guthrie (2015), Diane Sutter (2014), Weezie Kramer (2013), Caroline Beasley (2012), Ginny Hubbard Morris (2011), Lynn Anderson (2010) and Erica Farber (2009).

August 24 Radio History

In 1911...announcer/host Durward Kirby was born in Covington Kentucky.  After war service starting in 1946 he co-hosted Club Matinee with Garry Moore on NBC Blue, then moved to TV in ’49 and worked on Garry Moore & Perry Como’s TV shows throughout the ’50′s.  In the ’60′s he co-hosted Candid Camera with Allen Funt.

Durward Kirby
Kirby was born in Covington, Kentucky. His family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, when he was 15. Kirby graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, then entered Purdue University to study engineering. However, he dropped out to become a radio announcer. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. Following the war, he hosted Club Matinee in Chicago with Garry Moore on the NBC Blue radio network before moving to television in 1949 as an announcer. He was a regular on Moore's television shows from 1950 to 1968. Kirby also appeared as a host, announcer, or guest on other television programs, including serving as one of NBC Radio's Monitor.

Kirby stood 6 ft 4 in tall and had a mellow personality that served well as a foil for the stars with whom he worked. A versatile performer, he acted in sketches, sang, and danced. He moved with ease from slapstick to suave sales pitches for the sponsor's product. Critic John Crosby called him "one of the most versatile muggers and comedians on the air."

Durward Kirby died of congestive heart failure in Fort Myers, Florida, in 2000 at the age of 88.

In 1917...TV announcer/host Dennis James was born in Jersey City New Jersey.

Dennis James
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, James began his career in radio with WNEW (now WBBR) and moved to television in 1938, working for the soon-to-become-DuMont Television Network station WABD, which helped to found the DuMont network in 1946. (WABD is now WNYW.) James became the host of many game shows, such as the ABC version of Chance of a Lifetime (1952–53) and served as commentator for DuMont's wrestling and boxing shows, such as Boxing From Jamaica Arena (1948–49) and other DuMont boxing and wresting shows such as Amateur Boxing Fight Club (1949–50). He hosted the DuMont daytime variety show Okay, Mother (1948–51) with Julia Meade.

James often addressed the TV audience as "Mother", a practice he had begun when discussing the finer points of wrestling during his sports broadcasts. He feared the men in the audience would be insulted by the implication that they didn't already know the rules (even if they didn't), but would accept that James was merely explaining things for the benefit of women viewers.

Known as the "Dean of Game Show Hosts", James started his game show hosting career by hosting the first network game show, Cash and Carry on the Dumont network from 1946 to 1947. During the 1953–54 season, James was the announcer of the quiz program Judge for Yourself, which aired on NBC, with Fred Allen as the emcee.

He died of lung cancer June 3, 1997 at age 79.

In 1950...the summer replacement radio show for Suspense, titled Somebody Knows, was heard for the final time on CBS Radio. The program offered a reward of $5,000 for information that led to the solving of crimes. Somebody Knows began with the introduction, “You out there. You, who think you have committed the perfect crime — that there are no clues, no witnesses — listen. Somebody knows.”

In 1999...actress Mary Jane Croft, who frequently appeared in Lucille Ball’s TV & film projects, died of natural causes at age 83. She was a much-in-demand Hollywood radio regular from the 1940′s through the 70′s, with supporting roles in dozens of series such as One Man’s Family, Suspense, Sam Spade, Our Miss Brooks and Sears Radio Theatre.

Dale Sommers
In 2012...legendary radio truck show host Dale Sommers, The Truckin’ Bozo died of complications from diabetes and Addison’s disease at age 68.  For 20 years beginning in 1984 he hosted an overnight show for truckers on WLW Cincinnati, then went to XM Satellite Radio with an afternoon talk show also geared toward long distance truck drivers.

Born Glen Council in Humboldt, Tennessee, Sommers moved to Cincinnati with his family at the age of 15. The next year (1959), be began working for WAEF. Sommers worked for other local radio stations in Cincinnati, as well as in Evansville, Indianapolis, Seattle, San Diego, Miami, and Kansas City, before settling back at WLW in 1984.His nickname "The Truckin' Bozo" reportedly came from his former boss at WLW, Randy Michaels. During a station remodeling, Michaels saw Sommers kick a wall. Unfortunately, its supports had been removed and it came crashing down across a desk, prompting Michaels to call Sommers “a bozo.”  Sommers retired from WLW in 2003 but shortly thereafter assumed work at XM, joining the Open Road channel in a daytime slot. Sommers would remain with the channel through its merger with Sirius's Road Dog Trucking channel up until shortly before his death.

"The Bozo" made national headlines when he helped to catch a robber at a convenience store in Camilla, Georgia. Sommers was talking live on the air with regular caller Linda Driskill, known as "Mississippi Lady" to listeners, when he heard Driskill admonish someone not to come behind her counter. She then hung up the phone. Sommers was concerned for her safety, so he called the Camilla police (who knew Driskill from Sommers' show). The police responded to Driskill's store and quickly apprehended the robber.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Local Ad Revenues Reach $146 Billion

Local ad revenues will hit $146.3 billion this year, growing to $172.2 billion by 2020. This according to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2016. It measures localized ad media, both traditional and digital.

BIA/Kelsey analyst Abid Chaudhry recently unpacked some of the forecast takeaways and drivers. His analysis zeroes in on what the data indicate for SMB advertising, and the local media organizations that sell to them.

The short version: local ad growth comes with a continued shift towards mobile, social and service commerce. The name of the game is guiding SMBs, while balancing a high-touch consultative approach (read: costly) with healthy margin.

The video presentation is embedded below. Meanwhile, you can view other recent forecast drill downs, such as the mobile segment. The entire entire forecast can be accessed here.

L-A Radio: PPM 'Irregularities' Don't Involve Stations

A Nielsen spokesperson tells RadioInk this latest issue with meters was “an isolated personnel issue.  There is no indication that this involved any media entities.” Monday afternoon, Nielsen informed radio subscribers that there were “irregular compliance patterns” in PPM homes in Los Angeles. Here are the details…

“We conducted an extensive investigation and we have determined that Nielsen’s quality standards were not followed. Thirty-five households were removed.” Nielsen said that represented “55 average daily in-tab persons for the first two weeks of August. This accounts for 2% of the average daily in-tab in the L.A. metro area. Combined, the affected meters contributed less than 1% of the quarter hours of listening for these weeks.” The August Week 3, Week 4, and monthly data releases will exclude those homes and the data will be released as originally scheduled.

According to InsideRadio, Nielsen isn’t saying what triggered its response there’s no indication the problem was the result of the actions of station employees. It may simply be a bad habit that’s become commonplace among panelists says one broadcaster, while others point out participants have often run afoul of rules by either incorrectly docking their meter at night or forgetting to dock it altogether.

For now, broadcasters seem to be taking the news in stride. “Nielsen is being upfront and honest and we appreciate their transparency,” says Thom Callahan, president of the Southern California Broadcasters Association. “Nielsen always has high standards and they are being very transparent in describing what they see as an irregularity.”

It is not the first time the Los Angeles market has seen a cloud cast over PPM data. Two years ago, an employee at KSCA was fired after it was determined the station was in contact with at least one panelist in an incident that forced Nielsen to reissue several months of ratings data.

Steady Climb For Smartphone Streaming

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Triton Digital has released its monthly Ranker for June 2016, providing insights into the month’s top streaming audio providers, as well as listening trends for the month of June.

Key findings from the June 2016 Ranker include:
  • All measured clients within the Domestic U.S. reported a total of 4,750,318 Average Active Sessions (AAS) during the Monday-Friday 6:00AM-8:00PM daypart, and 3,971,906 AAS during the Monday-Sunday 6:00AM-Midnight daypart.
  • Overall streaming has seen steady growth when compared to June 2015. Both Pureplays and AM/FM Broadcasters showed positive growth during the Monday-Friday 6:00AM-8:00PM daypart and the Monday-Sunday 6:00AM-Midnight daypart.
  • Mobile listening represented 77.6 percent (M-F 6A-8P) of total listening in June 2016, compared to 22.4 percent on desktop.
  • In terms of top devices, 40 percent of listening took place on an iOS device, followed by Android at 31 percent, Google Chrome at 9 percent and Flash Player at 8 percent.

Triton Digital’s Monthly Ranker is a listing of its top 20 clients’ digital audio stations and networks measured by the Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited Webcast Metrics® audience measurement platform.

Streaming Hits Record High During RIO Games

Video streaming every competitive event at the Olympics may have been too much of a good thing for NBC, according to The LA Times.

The prime-time TV audience over 17 nights for the Rio Games averaged 25.4 million viewers, the lowest since the 2004 Games in Athens, which averaged 24.9 million viewers. Nielsen data showed an 18% decline from the 31.1 million who watched the  2012 Games in London.

But online streaming of live video on NBC’s apps reached 2.7 billion minutes, nearly double the amount for all previous Olympic Games. When online viewers of replays and highlights are added in, the total is 3.3 billion minutes. NBC said its digital coverage had 100 million unique users, a 29% increase over the 2012 Games.

When NBC executives return from Rio, their first job will likely be analyzing how much streaming cannibalized the traditional TV audience. Every event was available live online and a stream of the prime-time coverage was offered as well.  Live Olympics coverage was also carried on NBCUniversal's cable networks, in effect competing with the broadcast network coverage.

NBC has the rights to the Olympics through 2032 across all TV and digital viewing platforms.

NBC executives expected the Rio Games to show a ratings improvement in over London, as more live competition could be shown from the time zone-friendly venue.

Amazon May Launch Half-Price Streaming Service

Amazon wants to launch a music subscription service that would work the same way services from Apple, Spotify and many others work: $10 a month, for all the music you can stream, anywhere you want to stream it.

But, according to,  Amazon is also working on a second service that would differ in two significant ways from industry rivals: It would cost half the price, and it would only work on Amazon’s Echo hardware.

Industry sources say Amazon would like to launch both services in September, but has yet to finalize deals with major music labels and publishers. One sticking point, sources say, is whether Amazon will sell the cheaper service for $4 or $5 a month.

The $10-a-month service would replicate features that used to be hard to find, but are now common: Unlimited, ad-free music you can play on any device you want and also download for offline playback.

The lower-priced service would represent a novel approach. Other services have tried, without success, to offer subscriptions in the $5 range. But those have usually been variants of web radio services, which don’t let users play any song they want, whenever they want.

Amazon’s discount service would be different, industry sources say, because it would work like Spotify or Apple Music — unlimited, ad-free music on demand — but it would be constrained to Amazon’s Echo player, and wouldn’t work on phones.