Tuesday, February 21, 2017

FCC Received Complaints About Madonna's Protest Speech

Madonna stirred up controversy last month when she took the stage to address a massive crowd at the Women’s March on Washington in a speech featuring three F-bombs and musings of “blowing up the White House.”

According to The Morning Consult, the networks that aired that speech, namely CNN and MSNBC, received a lot of flak for the pop star’s words: The Federal Communications Commission received 106 complaints from viewers nationwide about Madonna’s speech, according to documents obtained by Morning Consult.

The complaints primarily targeted the networks’ failure to implement a delay to censor potential vulgar language when they picked up Madonna’s Jan. 21 speech, which came one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

“It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the f*** up,” the pop star said. The speech continued on CNN and MSNBC, and almost exactly two minutes later, she added, “to our detractors, that insist that this march will never add up to anything: f*** you. F*** you!”

Seventy-four of the complaints mentioned CNN, while 21 complaints targeted MSNBC’s failure to bleep Madonna’s swearing, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. One complaint from Missouri questioned why CBS aired the speech and five mentioned C-SPAN.

One person from Birmingham, Ala., wrote to the FCC about both CNN and MSNBC’s coverage, arguing the pop star “is known for using expletives and both networks should have made previsions like tape delay.

Madonna’s most infamous line — “I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything.” — also triggered some of the complaints sent to the FCC.

Several complaints focused on CNN and MSNBC’s failure to cut away or implement a delay of Madonna’s speech after she swore for the first time in her speech (both networks did cut away from the singer’s speech after the third F-bomb had been dropped).

“I can somewhat understand one time, however, in front of my two children the F word was used multiple times,” one individual from Kalamazoo, Mich., wrote. “Our children should not hear this at 2PM in the afternoon on a news channel.”

Children were another recurring theme throughout the 106 complaints.

Several individuals called for the FCC to fine CNN, MSNBC and C-SPAN for airing the expletives. The agency says on its website that while “obscene programming” is not allowed for subscription programming services, the FCC has only enforced indecency and profanity prohibitions against broadcaster services and not cable and satellite services in the past.

The FCC’s rules prohibit the broadcast of profanity between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. However, for material to be deemed “obscene,” it must also “lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,” according to the agency’s website.

DC Radio: Mary Walter Joins WMAL To Cohost Mornings

Mary Walter
Cumulus Media announces that Mary Walter has been named co-host of WMAL in Washington, D.C.’s morning show, “Mornings on the Mall”, joining co-host Brian Wilson.

Walter has been a frequent guest host on the station for the past several years and recently concluded an assignment as evening host at iHeartMedia's WHAS 840 AM in Louisville, KY.

Walter debuts on WMAL 105.9 FM & 630 AM on March 1, 2017.

Previously, Walter was prime fill-in host for several programs on FOX News Radio, and has appeared as a pundit on television’s FOX News Channel.

WMAL 630 AM (10 Kw-D, 5 Kw-N DA2)
She currently handles occasional guest-hosting stints on Sirius XM’s Patriot Channel. Walter also did two stints as host on New Jersey 101.5/WKXW-FM in Trenton, NJ. As host of “Mary in the Morning” on WCTC-AM in New Brunswick, NJ, she was the first woman to anchor a morning radio show in the state.

Bill Hess, WMAL Program Director and Vice President/NewsTalk, Cumulus Media, said: “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

Walter said: "I am really excited about joining ‘Mornings on the Mall’. Bill Hess has built WMAL into a powerhouse and this is an opportunity I just couldn't pass up. I am honored to be working alongside Brian Wilson, and to be on the same station as Chris Plante and Larry O'Connor - it's an incredible line-up! My thanks to Bill, Mike McVay, and Jake McCann for their support.”

WMAL 105.9 FM (28 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” airs weekday mornings from 5am to 9am. The fast-paced morning show updates listeners on all of the top stories of the day – from politics to pop culture, from world news to hometown stories – along with Traffic & Weather Every 10 Minutes First on the 5’s.

Milwaukee Radio: N/T WTMJ To Launch New Mid-PM Show

Scaffidi and Bilstad
N/T WTMJ 620 AM has announced that Steve Scaffidi is joining its mid-afternoon talk show, starting february 28.

Scaffidi will team with WTMJ Executive Producer, News Erik Bilstad to form “Scaffidi & Bilstad,” which will air from noon to 3 p.m., weekdays.  The program will focus on the biggest stories of the day with Steve’s unique perspective – injected into topics ranging from news, politics, events and sports.  Scaffidi has resigned as Mayor of Oak Creek, Wisconsin and his position as an Account Executive at Leonard & Finco Public Relations, in order to join the station.

We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection, to add to his take on the news of the day,” said Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKTI and vice president of radio news, talk, and sports programming, for The E.W. Scripps Company. (NYSE: SSP)  “Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”

WTMJ 620 AM (50 Kw, 10 Kw-N DA2
“I’m looking forward to joining WTMJ to inform and entertain the listeners with honest conversation as a conservative.  Now more than ever we need quality news, information and perspective on-air.  I can’t wait to get started,” said Steve Scaffidi.  “It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Oak Creek.  It will always be home.”

“Scaffidi & Bilstad will take our listeners through the top stories of the day in a fast-paced style,” said Eric Brooks, WTMJ director of programming and news. “The show goes beyond one-note politics to cover many things that are important to Wisconsin.”

With the addition of “Scaffidi & Bilstad” WTMJ's lineup is:

5:00A   Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller
8:30A    Jeff Wagner
12:00N  Scaffidi & Bilstad
3:00P    Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure
6:00P    Sports Central with Greg Matzek

Warner CEO Talks About Country Radio's Staying Power

John Esposito, Warmer Music Nashville CEO, believes that radio is still the straw that stirs the drink for country music.

With CRS in Nashville this week, Nate Rau of The Tennessean had a chance to ask Esposition about the symbiotic relationship between radio and country music.
"I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer that fully. Obviously it has have to start with it's a very big audience that's listening every week. You have a No. 1 record, you have 35 to 40 million people listening to that song every week. I think 100 million people identify themselves as country music listeners on terrestrial radio. You're getting potential consumers to be a part of it. 
John Esposito
"But I think there's something about how we all treasure our genre and we're lucky. We fuss and fight. I mean trying to get your song on the air is a dog fight every day of the week. It's not so much a dog fight for Blake Shelton, but name the brand new artists like William Michael Morgan who takes 58 weeks to get to No. 1. You have to have a combination of tenacity and perhaps a bit of blinders on to stay in that fight. 
"But you recognize as you're in those dog fights, we're all lucky if we get the next Blake Shelton. We're all lucky if we're part of developing the artist that will be the next tent pole. And it's thrilling when artists get much longer lifespans. I mean artists in their 40s having No. 1 records is not heard of in other formats. We're all trying to protect that special opportunity we have."
Last year Esposito changed the direction of the Warner Music promotion team. And he was asked if radio was less important because there are other avenues for people to discover artists now?
"No. And we've done everything in our words and actions to make sure radio is clear they're not less important. And, we've had virtually no pushback on it. We've had people try to make sure they understand. Terrestrial radio is still the No. 1 discovery method for new music in the country genre.  
 Read More Now

Philly Radio: WXTU's Shelly Easton Honored As Best Country PD

Shelly Easton
Shelly Easton has been chosen as Radio Ink’s top Country Program Director for 2017. Easton has been a part of the radio industry since 1987 and at WXTU 92.5 FM as PD since January 1, 2009. She’s been programming Country radio for two decades.

Easton says her biggest accomplishment over the past year has been putting a talented group of caring professionals into the best positions possible to succeed. “If it’s not my greatest achievement it’s certainly what I love most about my job. Thanks to the efforts of our team, 2016 was a great year: We relaunched a morning show. We achieved our highest cume on the radio station in over a decade and we juggled roughly a thousand live station-produced events. The team makes it look easy, but I assure you it’s hard work.”

CBS Radio Philadelphia Market Manager David Yadgaroff told Radio Ink, “Shelly has earned an important place in the country music industry, similar to the level of respect of a top artist.”

Yadgaroff adds: "Shelly has led 92.5 WXTU in Philadelphia and built the XTU brand into a nationally-recognized leader in the Country format. The on-air product she creates is surpassed only by the leadership she displays inside CBS RADIO Philadelphia on a daily basis.”

Click Here for Radio Ink's The 2017 Best PDs In Country Radio list.

Verizon, Yahoo Agree To Discounted Deal

(Reuters) -- Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, said on Tuesday it agreed to buy the core internet business of Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) for $4.48 billion, reflecting a $350 million cut to the original price.

The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, will combine Yahoo's search, email and messenger assets as well as advertising technology tools with its AOL unit.

Verizon had been trying to persuade Yahoo to amend the terms of the agreement to reflect the economic damage from two cyber attacks.

Under the amended terms, Yahoo and Verizon will split any future liabilities and costs that arise from the data breaches.

In late January, more than a month after Yahoo had disclosed its second breach, Verizon Chief Executive Lowell McAdam sat with two of his top lieutenants in the company’s Basking Ridge, N.J., offices and weighed his options, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal reports McAdam still felt owning Yahoo made sense—and further delay would prevent Verizon from getting going on its ambitious plans to take on Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. in digital advertising. Verizon is looking for sources of growth as its core cellphone business matures and faces tough competition from rivals.

Mr. McAdam decided to proceed with the deal—but Verizon would need a discount because of the uncertainty, the people said.

Radio Commercials: Length Does Matter

YouTube has announced that they will no longer support 30-second ads that viewers can’t skip, starting 2018.

Why? A YouTube spokesman said…
"We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers."
This change will not affect shorter ads – the 20-second videos and six-second bumpers will continue as before. But they are, by definition, shorter.

Obviously, radio is no stranger to shorter ads, but it’s my observation as a listener and a professional in the space that there are still way too many longer ads out there, and “30-seconds” does not begin to describe the duration of the longest. Indeed, the recent trend to endorsements has, if anything, made ads even longer as tiresome duration is cloaked under the guise of “content.”

This, suggests veteran media strategist Mark Ramsey, is fooling no one.

According to Ramsey, listeners last year were asked how likely they would be to pay attention to different ad messages possessing different characteristics. While you can’t strictly predict what folks will attend to from their own statements, you can certainly read their preferences for content.

In a blog posting, Ramsey noted that EVERY ad duration shorter than 30 seconds is preferred over a 30-second ad. And in case you predict that shorter is always better, note that consumers indicate they’re more likely to pay attention to a 5-second spot than a 2-second one.  Note, too, that 15-second spots perform much better than 30’s. As do one-sentence promotional mentions.

Ramsey concludes radio needs to wake up: "The world is moving to shorter ad formats because that’s where consumer demands are driving us. Following this path will no doubt get some push-back from advertisers (who too often want to buy time rather than effectiveness), but it’s good for you to remember that they are being pressured on all sides for shorter messages and for the same reasons."

The bottom-line: Give the audiences what they want and give the advertisers what works.

Women+Connected Cars: More Than Ever

Six out of every ten women in America can connect to the Internet in their car, according to the Alan Burns and Associates/Strategic Solutions Research study of 2000 women, and the study says AM/FM radio is still the dominant audio choice in those connected cars.

“Most women now know they can connect to the Internet through their phone or the built-in dashboard entertainment system,” said Strategic EVP Hal Rood. “Yet those women continue to listen to radio most. 71% of them listen to radio most in their car. The components of that are 65% to the over the air signal of a local AM/FM station, 4% to the online stream a local station, and 2% to the stream of a station in another city. By comparison, only 14% choose to listen to a pure play streamer most, and 6% to satellite radio.”

In comparison, the numbers from “What Women Want – 2017” show that among women who can’t or don’t know they can connect to the Internet in their cars, the “listen most” sources are 81% to AM/FM radio over the air, and 2% to radio streams. “Radio’s numbers are lower in connected cars, but not to the degree I think most people expected,” said Burns founder Alan Burns. “In aggregate, that’s a loss of only about 15% for radio in the connected car. That’s significant, but certainly not a disaster.”

Burns added, "Women still love the radio station they listen to most (58% love, 96% love or like) and in most areas, radio's images are very consistent with our data from five years ago. They still feel like their P1 radio station is a good or even best friend (76%), and the 'best friend' vote has actually grown to around one in five women."

The Burns/Strategic study results are being released in a series of four free webinars. The next, on Thursday, February 23 at 2pm EST/11am PST. The Thursday installment of "What Women Want-2017" will reveal not only radio's best defense against pureplay encroachment, but also what's happening in connected cars. Register for the free 30-minute webinars by clicking here.

Number of Mobile-Only Internet User Soars

The number of mobile-only internet users is rising quickly, boosted by lower data prices for smartphone plans and an increasing disdain for the clunkiness of desktop devices, which offer none of the convenience of mobile.

A new forecast from eMarketer projects mobile-only users will hit 40.7 million this year. That’s up 27 percent from 2015, when there were only 32.1 million of them.

By 2021, there will be 52.3 million mobile-only users, representing nearly a fifth of all U.S. internet users.

And according to MediaPost, the number of desktop-only users is falling as mobile-only rises. This year, there will be 17.9 million. By 2021, that will fall to just 10.7 million.

Of course, a good number of people will continue to use both mobile and desktop. That’s in part owing to the fact that desktops remain the preferred format for work.

For several years now, more people have browsed the web using mobile devices than desktop. And the pricing of both smartphones and data plans has begun to fall.

And Gen Z strongly prefers mobile to desktop, having grown up with smartphones and using them to perform all manner of communications their parents did on desktop.

Ex-Teen Idol David Cassidy Says He Has Dementia

David Cassidy
(Reuters) -- Former teen idol David Cassidy said on Monday he was suffering from dementia, a day after weekend performances in California in which he forgot his words and appeared to fall off stage raised concern about his health.

The former Partridge Family singer and actor, 66, told People magazine he was fighting dementia, a disease which his mother also suffered from.

"I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," Cassidy told People.

Cassidy told the magazine he had decided to stop touring as a musician to concentrate on his health.

"I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I've been, without any distractions," he said. 'I want to love. I want to enjoy life."

Cassidy's publicist said his comments were accurate but gave no further details.

His comments followed videos taken by fans of the singer struggling to remember words to some of his old hits at small venue concerts in southern California on Saturday and Sunday. At one point, he appeared to fall off the side of a small stage before climbing back up.

Cassidy, whose hits "Cherish" and "I Think I Love You" had teenage girls swooning in the 1970s, has struggled with drinking and financial troubles in recent years.

In 2015, he had to auction his Florida home after a bankruptcy filing. He was arrested three times for drunken driving between 2010 and 2014, and was ordered to rehab as part of his sentence in 2014.

Cassidy appeared in several stage shows after his career as a solo singer declined. He played an aging former teen heartthrob in the short-lived 2009 TV comedy "Ruby & the Rockits" and was a member of the "Celebrity Apprentice" reality TV show in 2011.

CPAC Cancels Yiannopoulos invitation

(Reuters) -- A leading U.S. conservative conference rescinded its invitation to provocative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos and a publisher canceled his book deal on Monday after old internet videos of him recirculated in which he discusses pedophilia.

Yiannopoulos, in a Facebook video post, denied he ever condoned pedophilia and said one video of him was edited to give a misleading impression.

Yiannopoulos, a Briton, was banned from Twitter last year after making highly controversial statements. He has infuriated liberals with provocative comments on race, religion and sex and appears to delight in his ability to offend.

The chairman of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, said on Sunday the group rescinded an invitation to this year's Wednesday-Saturday event "due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia."

"We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient," Matt Schlapp, chairman of the union, said in the Twitter post.

CPAC is a high-profile annual gathering of conservative activists. President Donald Trump is among the scheduled speakers this year along with Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior Trump adviser Stephen Bannon. Yiannopoulos is also an editor for the right-wing Breitbart News, which Bannon once headed.

The latest controversy stems from a video in which Yiannopoulos seems to suggest the standard for pedophilia is whether the younger partner has gone through puberty.

At another point in the video, however, Yiannopoulos says the established age of consent, which is 16 to 18 years old in the United States, is "about right."

In his Facebook statement on Monday, Yiannopoulos denied condoning pedophilia.

"I find those crimes to be absolutely disgusting. I find those people to be disgusting," he said, while expressing regret he used the word "boys" instead of young men while discussing the benefits of relationships between men with large age differences.

Book publisher Simon & Schuster said it canceled the publication of Yiannopoulos' book "Dangerous," which was due out on June 13.

"After careful consideration @simonschuster and its @threshold_books have cancelled publication of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos," spokesman Adam Rothberg said on Twitter.

Yiannopoulos acknowledged in a separate Facebook post: "They canceled my book."

R.I.P.: Fox News Host Brenda Buttner

Brenda Buttner
Brenda Buttner, host of Fox News Channel's "Bulls and Bears," has passed away at age 55 after a battle with cancer, according to Fox News Insider.

Based in New York, she joined the network in 2000, after hosting CNBC's "The Money Club" and serving as the network's Washington correspondent.

Buttner graduated with honors from Harvard University with a B.A. in social studies and went on to become a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she graduated with high honors in politics and economics.

Neil Cavuto offered a heartfelt tribute to Buttner on "Your World," praising her intelligence, heart and sense of humor.

"She took stock of life much more than any stock in life," Cavuto said. "It's what separated her from everyone else in this business. Not just dollars, you see, Brenda had depth."

"Let it be known that Brenda Buttner made us want to watch a business show with heart. Her heart, her spirit," Cavuto said. "She democratized dollars and just made sense."

"Business journalism is never going to be the same. I just don't know, now that she's gone, whether we'll ever be. Brenda Buttner, gone way too soon at 55."

R.I.P.: Radio, TV Sports Personality Rod Simons

Rod Simons
Rod Simons, a longtime Twin Cities and former Seattle and Pacific Northwest sports personality, has died while covering the Minnesota Twins spring training in Fort Myers Fla., according to the Twins.

He was 56, according to The Seattle Times.  A cause of death was not given.

A graduate of Washington State, Simons spent more than 20 years in the sports-media profession, and he worked for multiple causes including his Golf for the Gift charity that helped raise funds to help families with adoption grants.

Before moving to Minnesota, Simons anchored the launch of FOX Sports Net’s “Regional Sports Report” in the Pacific Northwest and Detroit Regions while also hosting KOMO-AM sports in Seattle. In all, Simons spent 18 years as a lead news and sports anchor at KSTW-TV (CBS/UPN) in Seattle; KOIN-TV (CBS) in Portland; KJR-AM in Seattle and KVI-AM in Seattle. His body of work as sports director at KSTW included covering Rose Bowls, the Mariners’ AL playoff runs from 1995-2001 and the Sonics’ 1996 trip to the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

February 21 Radio History

In 1922…WHK-AM, Cleveland, Ohio, signed-on-the-air.

WHK began on July 26, 1921 when experimental station 8ACS signed on under a license obtained by Warren C. Cox in the name of Cox Mfg. Co.  He broadcast on a wavelength of 200 meters (which translates to a frequency of 1500 kHz) from his home at 3138 Payne Avenue.   Only about 1000 listeners were able to hear the first broadcast, and most of them were members of the Cleveland Radio Association.   By 1922, licensees were barred from broadcasting on 200 meters, so Cox applied for a commercial broadcasting license.

Organist Helen Wyant circa 1931
Warren Cox received a commercial license for his station on February 21, 1922 with the callsign WHK (the Commerce Department was still issuing mostly three-letter callsigns to commercial radio stations before April 4, 1922),  and HK standing for the station's first vice-president and general manager, H. K. Carpenter.  It was only the 52nd commercial radio license issued by the Commerce Department.

The station broadcast at a wavelength of 360 meters (a frequency of 830 kHz) which was the standard broadcast frequency for entertainment radio stations at the time. The station started broadcasting on March 5, 1922 from facilities located in the rear of a Radiovox store at 5005 Euclid Avenue.  By 1924, WHK broadcasts had moved to 1060 kHz.

Warren Cox sold the station to Radio Air Service Corporation in 1925.  In the following years, the station facilities underwent a series of moves, including 5105 Euclid Avenue, the Hotel Winton at 1025 Bolivar Road (later the Hotel Carter), the Standard Building at St. Clair and Ontario, the top floor of the Higbee Company on Public Square, and Carnegie Hall at 1220 Huron Road. By 1927, the station broadcasts were heard at 1130 kHz, and the station was broadcasting with 500 watts at night. By 1928, the station was located in the Engineer's Building at 1370 Ontario Avenue.

WHK transmitter room circa 1930
WHK became a CBS affiliate in 1930 and increased its power to 5000 watts for both day and night transmission.

Amerlia Earhart
Radio Air Service Corporation sold WHK in 1934 to Forest City Publishing Company, the parent company of The Plain Dealer. Forest City then organized United Broadcasting Company as the station owner.

On March 29, 1941, WHK like most radio stations changed its frequency as a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. WHK moved from 1390 to 1420 kHz, the frequency it occupies today.

In August 1946 WHK received one of the earliest experimental FM licenses, under the call W8XUB, broadcasting at 107.1 MHz. Upon receipt of a commercial license, the station became WHK-FM at 100.7 MHz, and later in 1968, WMMS.

United Broadcasting sold WHK in 1958 to Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation, which became Metromedia two years later. The new owners soon adopted a rock and roll Top 40 format.

By the early 1960s WHK was Top 40 powerhouse, adopting the slogan "Color Radio" and "Color Channel 14." The station soared with fast-talking deejays like Johnny Holliday, who broadcast from "the glass cage" at 5000 Euclid, and dubbed the station's echo-chamber reverberation its "stratophonic sound." The "Action Central" newsroom included young reporters Tim Taylor and Dave Buckel.

When The Beatles made one of their North American tours in 1964, WHK outmaneuvered rival KYW-AM to sponsor the Beatles appearance at Cleveland Public Auditorium on September 15, 1964.  In the mid-1960s, the WHK DJs adopted the name the "Good Guys" and included Joe Mayer. On the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, a doll wears a sweater emblazoned with "Welcome The Rolling Stones" and "Good Guys", a possible reference to the WHK DJs or maybe a reference to WMCA in NYC.

Late in 1967, WHK stopped rocking to become "The Good Life Station," with easy-listening music and phone-in shows aimed at older listeners. Possibly the biggest reason for the format change at WHK, was the pressure put on the station by newcomer WIXY, an AM station at 1260 which started playing top 40 music in 1966.

Metromedia sold WHK and WMMS in 1972 to Malrite Broadcasting of Ohio (later Malrite Communications), and Malrite moved its headquarters to Cleveland. WHK dropped the beautiful music and tried a modified Top 40 format briefly again in 1973, called Cover Hits and developed by consultant Mike Joseph. The station ended up settling on a country music format in 1974 featuring controversial morning show talk host Gary Dee and famed Cleveland disk jockey Joe Finan as the "housewife's friend" from 10 am to 2 pm, until the eventual format change in '84.

Another notorious personality, Don Imus, also returned to Cleveland in 1978 to do afternoon drive on WHK- one of the few times that he would ever host a non-morning drive position in his entire career. Imus had previously had a morning show on WGAR (AM) for 1½ years, ending in 1971, and lasted at WHK until September 1979 when he returned to WNBC in New York.

Seeking to recapture its past glory again, WHK returned to a nostalgic 1950's and 60s Top 40s music on April 24, 1984 using the designation from their dial position 1420 AM...making it "14K WHK Solid Gold", becoming the first "oldies" totally formatted station in Cleveland, Ohio.

Unable to service its growing debt, Malrite exited the radio business by selling off all their stations to Shamrock Broadcasting (Roy Disney's family-owned broadcasting company) in 1993.  Shamrock in turn spun off WHK and WMMS to OmniAmerica, headed by former Malrite executive Carl Hirsch, on April 1994. Shortly thereafter, on May 16, 1994, WHK adopted a sports talk format featuring Tom Bush, Les Levine, Tony Rizzo and Pat McCabe, and dubbed itself "The Sports Voice of the Fan."

In 1996, WHK was sold to Salem Communications, while longtime sister station WMMS was sold to Nationwide Communications – the first time ever the two stations operated under separate ownership

Today the station is owned by Salem Communications and airs a Talk Format at 1420 AM.

In 1938...Roy Acuff and his band debuted their morning radio show on WSM-AM Nashville.

In 1943…the "Blue Network" (eventually ABC Radio Network), premiered "Free World Theatre".

Chester Launch (Lum) and Norris Goff (Abner)
In 1980...actor Chester H Lauck, who for 23 years played Lum Edwards in the radio favorite Lum & Abner, died just 12 days after his 78th birthday. Lum & Abner aired from 1931 to 1954. Modeled on life in the small town of Waters, Arkansas, near where Lauck and Goff grew up, the show proved immensely popular. In 1936, Waters changed its name to Pine Ridge after the show's fictional town.

Lauck and Goff had known each other since childhood and attended the University of Arkansas together where they both joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. They performed locally and established a blackface act which led to an audition at radio station KTHS in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Prior to the audition, the two men decided to change their act and portray two hillbillies, due to the large number of blackface acts already in existence. After only a few shows in Hot Springs, they were picked up nationally by NBC, and Lum and Abner, sponsored by Quaker Oats, ran until 1932. Lauck and Goff performed several different characters, modeling many of them on the real-life residents of Waters, Arkansas.

When the Quaker contract expired, Lauck and Goff continued to broadcast on two Texas stations, WBAP (Fort Worth) and WFAA (Dallas). In 1933, The Ford Dealers of America became their sponsor for approximately a year. Horlick's Malted Milk, the 1934–37 sponsor, offered a number of promotional items, including almanacs and fictional Pine Ridge newspapers. During this period, the show was broadcast on Chicago's WGN (AM), one of the founding members of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Effective July 1, 1935, the program was also carried on WLW (Cincinnati, Ohio), KNX (Los Angeles, California), and KFRC (San Francisco, California). Along with The Lone Ranger, Lum and Abner was one of Mutual's most popular programs

Murray Kaufman
In 1982…Murray The K – 1010 WINS NYC, Died from cancer just before his 60th birthday.  Kaufman's big break came in 1958 after he moved to WINS-AM to do the all-night show, which he titled "The Swingin' Soiree." Shortly after his arrival, WINS's high energy star disk jockey, Alan Freed, was indicted for tax evasion and forced off the air. Though Freed's spot was briefly occupied by Bruce Morrow, who later became known as Cousin Brucie on WABC, Murray soon was moved into the 7-11PM time period and remained there for the next seven years, always opening his show with Sinatra and making radio history with his innovative segues, jingles, sound effects, antics, and frenetic, creative programming.

Murray the K reached his peak of popularity in the mid-1960s when, as the top-rated radio host in New York City, he became an early and ardent supporter and friend of The Beatles. When the Beatles came to New York on February 7, 1964, Murray was the first DJ they welcomed into their circle, having heard about him and his Brooklyn Fox shows from American groups such as the Ronettes (sisters Ronnie and Estelle Bennett, and their first cousin, Nedra Talley), also known as Murray's "dancing girls".

The Ronettes met the Beatles in mid January 1964, just a few weeks before, when the Harlem-born trio first toured England (the Rolling Stones were the group's opening act). Murray got into the Nedw York’s Plaza Hotel after telephoning Ronnie of the Ronettes and asking her to pave the way and get him into the hotel to meet the Ronettes' new friends, the Beatles. Thanks to Ronnie, Murray got into the hotel and did his radio show from their Plaza Hotel room their first night in New York (there is a picture of "Ronnie" being interviewed by Murray the K, as Paul McCartney and George Harrison look on, in the hotel.
Cynthia Lennon, John and Murray 
 Murray also accompanied them to Washington, D.C. for their first U.S. concert, was backstage at their The Ed Sullivan Show premiere, and roomed with Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Miami, broadcasting his shows from there. He came to be referred to as the "Fifth Beatle," a moniker he said he was given either by Harrison during the train ride to the Beatles' first concert in Washington D.C. or by Ringo Starr at a press conference before that concert.  His radio station WINS picked up on the name and billed him as the Fifth Beatle.

This historical recording features interviews with the Fab Four in early 1964. The interview was mailed out through the Murray the "K" Fan Club.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Survey: 73% Oppose Eliminating Federal Funding for Public TV

A new national survey conducted jointly by leading Republican and Democratic researchers reveals that voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose eliminating federal funding for public television and that more than 7 in 10 see public television as a good or excellent value for their tax dollars, on par with investments in highways, roads and bridges.

The telephone survey of 1001 registered voters was conducted in early January by a bipartisan polling team from American Viewpoint (R) and Hart Research Associates (D) on behalf of public television.

In a joint memo released today, the pollsters write, “Our survey finds that while the country may be deeply divided on many issues, the importance of federal funding for public television is not one of them. In fact, with remarkable consistency, majorities of voters of all political stripes support federal funding for public television and do not want to see it eliminated. Voters see public television as a good value proposition for the American taxpayer, and express high levels of concern about the consequences should federal funding for public television be eliminated.

Key findings of the survey include:
  • 73% of voters oppose eliminating federal funding for public television and GOP voters oppose it by almost a 2-1 margin (62%-32%).
  • Public television is rated as an excellent or good value for their tax dollars by 72% of voters, on par with highways, roads and bridges (73%). Among GOP voters, public television received higher taxpayer value ratings than unemployment benefits, federal aid to college students, agricultural subsidies, environmental protection, and foreign aid
  • 3 in 4 voters want federal funding for public TV increased or maintained at current levels. 66% who voted for President Trump favor increasing or maintaining federal funding for public TV, as do 86% of those who voted for Hillary Clinton.
  • 83% of voters – including 70% of those who voted for President Trump and 93% of those that voted for Hillary Clinton – say they would tell their elected representatives to find other places in the budget to save money if asked their opinion about eliminating federal funding for public television. This holds true regionally in the Northeast (88%), South (80%), Midwest (82%) and West (84%). Notably, this number is even higher among voters in states that flipped from blue to red in the 2016 election, with 85% of voters wanting savings to come from somewhere other than public television.
  • More than 8 in 10 voters have a great deal or fair amount of concern that ending federal funding for public television could eliminate local stations’ public safety communications services like AMBER Alerts and severe weather warnings. Similarly, 76% of voters express concern about public television having to significantly cut educational shows that help children prepare for success in school.
  • PBS/public television enjoys a very high image rating among the electorate (69% positive v. 7% negative). Among those that voted for President Trump, PBS/public television has a much higher positive image rating (60%) than the traditional broadcast networks (37%), cable TV networks (41%) and newspapers (24%).
  • 2 in 3 voters think it is very or fairly important for America to have a strong public television system.
  • A top reason for protecting federal funding for public television is that it provides more than 120,000 trusted learning tools and free resources for teachers, parents, and caregivers to use in the classroom and at home. 67% of Republicans, 73% of independents, and 87% of Democrats found this to be a convincing reason.
Arguments for eliminating federal funding for public television do not resonate strongly with voters of any political affiliation. Common arguments for eliminating federal funding for public television, such as the number of channels available on cable and other pay television services, were found convincing by just 21%-26% of voters.

“These results show that Republican and President Trump voters overwhelmingly support public television and strongly oppose eliminating its federal funding,” said Linda DiVall of American Viewpoint. “The voters that elected the President, including a majority of Republicans, put the taxpayer value delivered by public television on par with building highways, roads and bridges. Both are seen as high-value investments in America and its future.”

“The enormous benefits that public television delivers in terms of public safety and children’s programming are recognized across party lines,” said Geoff Garin of Hart Research Associates. “In a time of deep division in Washington and around the country, the strong bipartisan support for continued federal funding of public television is remarkable.”

iTunes Called Most Popular Music Platform

At this point, it seems clear that streaming services will be the dominant way people consume music going forward. If anything, BusinessInsider reports we might have hit that point already: A January report from Nielsen found that Americans got more music from on-demand streaming than from digital downloads in 2016.

But while the future of music downloads may look bleak, this chart from Statista suggests it’s still too soon to write off the format completely. According to a recent survey of roughly 10,000 consumers by PayPal and SuperData Research, the service that popularized digital album sales, Apple’s iTunes, is still the most popular music platform in the US. Leading streaming services Pandora and Spotify come in second and third.

The finding might not mean much — PayPal points to iTunes’ popularity among “non-millennials” for its place atop the list, and Apple itself continues to invest in its own streaming service — but it does go to show just how enduring Apple’s changes to the music business have been.

NJ/NY Radio: WNYM's Joe Piscopo Considering Running For Governor

A new poll that has the potential to shake up this year's race for New Jersey governor shows still-undeclared comedian and WNYM 970 AM morning host Joe Piscopo is just six points behind Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno among Republican primary voters.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll released on Thursday found at least half of Republican and Democratic primary voters in the state haven't made up their minds about who to support in this very early going.

But it gives Guadagno, the Republican frontrunner, just an 18 percent to 12 percent edge over comedian Piscopo.

Joe Piscopo
"This is likely to grab attention, because you've got someone who's been in statewide elective office for two terms and remains within the margin of error with someone who has no political experience and hasn't even declared his candidacy," said Krista Jenkins, the poll's director and a political science professor at FDU. "That's gotta hurt."

Piscopo, who's considering a run as a Republican but lately has been leaning towards running as an independent, told NJ Advance Media he was "intensely humbled" by the positive voter reception, and that "this very well might make me re-think the approach I am going to take."

He's got until April 3 to declare himself as a Republican but GOP officials from each county will be meeting in the next few weeks to make endorsements and award the favored party line that usually makes a big difference with primary voters. He has until June 6 to declare himself an independent candidate.

But whether Piscopo, who rose to national prominence in the 1980s alongside Eddie Murphy on "Saturday Night Live," can parlay his name recognition into a meaningful political advantage remains to be seen.

According to The NYTimes, Piscopo has formed the skeleton of a platform: a focus on increasing manufacturing for distressed communities; resuscitating the state’s once-booming pharmaceutical industry; a property tax cap; using public-private partnerships to rebuild the state’s infrastructure; eliminating the state income tax for teachers, firefighters and the police; and, with his show business roots, working to “make Atlantic City the film capital of the Northeast.”  Despite a relatively conservative platform, Mr. Piscopo is very pro-union.

FCC Call Sign Activity For January 2017