Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 20 Radio History

➦In 1901...Fessenden applies for high-frequency dynamo patent.

Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company.

The host of the broadcast was Fessenden. After giving a resume of the program Fessenden played a recording of Handel's "Largo" on an Ediphone thus establishing two records - the first recording of the first broadcast. Fessenden then dazzled his listeners with his talent as a violinist playing appropriately for the Christmas season, "Oh Holy Night" and actually singing the last verse as he played. Mrs. Helen Fessenden and Fessenden's secretary Miss Bent, had promised to read seasonal passages from the Bible including, "Glory to God in the highest -and on earth peace to men of good will," but when the time came to perform they stood speechless, paralyzed with mike fright. Fessenden took over for them and concluded the broadcast by extending Christmas greetings to his listeners - as well as asking them to write and report to him on the broadcast wherever they were.

The mail response confirmed that Fessenden had successfully invented radio as we know it. Technically, he had invented radio telephony or what radio listeners would call "real" radio as opposed to Marconi's Morse code broadcasting. Fessenden could truly lay claim to be the inventor of radio and he fully expected the world to beat a path to his door. Instead, he never received his due recognition, lost control of his patents and the ensuing revenue which made other inventors and companies immensely wealthy. Even today the Encyclopedia Canadiana does not give him a separate listing. Mention of him is only included under the listing for his mother Clementina who established Empire Day in Canada. Reginald is mentioned as one of her four sons, "inventor of the wireless telephone, the radio compass and the visible bullet for machine guns, he also invented the first television set in North America in 1919."

➦In 1920…The Canadian Marconi Company's station XWA (Experimental Wireless Apparatus) in MontrĂ©al gave what it would later claim to be the first scheduled radio broadcast in North America, and quite possibly in the world. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920, and while the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest."

➦In 1960...WRCA in NYC becomes WNBC 660 AM...again.

WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF, owned by AT&T Western Electric. It was the first radio station in New York City.

The call are popularly thought to have stood for Western Electric AT&T Fone or Water, Earth, Air, and Fire (the 4 classical elements).   However, records suggest that the call letters were assigned from an alphabetical sequence. The first assigned call was actually WDAM; it was quickly dropped, but presumably came from the same alphabetical sequence.

In 1922, WEAF broadcast what it later claimed to be the first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line, (the IRT's Flushing-Corona line, now the number 7 line).

In 1926, WEAF was purchased by the Radio Corporation of America, making it a sister station to WJZ. RCA then formed the National Broadcasting Company, which operated two radio chains.

WEAF became the flagship station of the NBC Red Network. The other chain was the NBC Blue Network, whose programming originated at WJZ (now WABC), also owned by RCA. As a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941, WEAF became a clear channel station, and could be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night.

On November 11, 1928, WEAF moved from 610 to 660 AM. The move that solidified WEAF's position as the most pretigious of all broadcasters took place in the autumn of 1933, when NBC moved to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and became the "radio" that gave Radio City its name.

In 1943, the United States Supreme Court ordered RCA to sell off one of its radio networks, citing antitrust concerns. The company decided to keep the Red Network, and it was rebranded as the NBC Radio Network after the Blue Network was divested, along with several stations (including WJZ), to Edward J. Noble and rechristened the Blue Network as the American Broadcasting Company. WEAF's call letters were changed to WNBC in 1946, then to WRCA in 1954, and back to WNBC in 1960.

➦In 1985...the United States began broadcasting to Cuban citizens on "Radio Marti".

➦In 2011…Longtime Pittsburgh radio personality (KDKA, 1973-2001) John Cigna died following a stroke and of complications from emphysema at 75.

➦In 2014...Chicago radio talk show host (WGN, WCFL, WIND)/sports commentator Bill Berg died of complications from Parkinson's disease at 77.

Report: Sports Betting Expected To Boost Advertising

Media companies think they may have hit the jackpot with the Supreme Court’s ruling on sports betting, reports The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited sports gambling, paving the way for states to make their own decisions about allowing legal betting on athletic events.

The ruling has media and advertising executives envisioning a world in which more viewers tune into live televised sporting events and follow more sports coverage in great detail. Those more engaged fans would then attract more advertising dollars, including the marketing spending of gambling companies themselves, executives say.

Media companies are already tossing around programming ideas and ways to incorporate more stats and betting options on their digital platforms. The change could even inflate the value of leagues, teams, sports media properties and sports TV rights deals, executives say.

Turner, the Time Warner Inc. division that includes TBS and TNT, could use its Bleacher Report site as a platform to program shows and stats for bettors and potentially partner with third-party online betting platforms, a person familiar with the company’s thinking said.

ESPN/SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt, who has a bettors-focused “Bad Beats” segment on his show, said that big TV networks could potentially create leagues, similar to fantasy sports. Networks could also program to bettors, for example, in the hour before NFL games when there are fewer people watching, he said.

CBS’s chief advertising revenue officer, Jo Ann Ross, said that if gambling is legal, it could lead to the reintroduction of the ad-spending bonanza from fantasy-sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings.

The daily-fantasy sports companies at one point were a huge source of ad revenue for sports networks but have pulled back amid scrutiny over whether they violated gambling laws. (The companies insist their products don’t violate gambling laws because the games involve skill.)

FanDuel spent $189 million on U.S. advertising in 2015, a figure that fell to just $10.7 million in 2016, according to Kantar Media. After spending $247 million in 2015, DraftKings only shelled out $18.4 million in 2016. Those figures were up slightly in 2017.

Albany NY Radio: Money Woes Force 3 AMs Off-Air

Financial problems were behind the decision to pull the plug on Empire Broadcasting Co.'s radio stations, said Joe Reilly, the partner managing the operation.

"The reason was declining revenue," Reilly told the Times-Union Friday morning. "We've been losing money."

Earlier, Empire had said that it was Reilly's retirement that had led to a decision to cease broadcasting, an assertion he disputed. Reilly had stepped down at a board meeting last November.

Empire is the parent company of stations with such legendary radio call letters as WPTR and WABY, as well as of WAIX.

Empire Broadcasting Co. pulled the plug on the stations last Sunday night. Empire filed a notification with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday that it was suspending operations.

Reilly acquired several stations for $1.2 million in September 2012 from Anastos Media Group.

WPTR and WABY in the 1960s competed with WTRY in Troy for the Top 40 rock music audience, with such DJs as Boom Boom Brannigan, Charlie Brown and Bob Badger, who became household names.

WPTR at the time was a 50,000-watt powerhouse at 1540 AM, and it wasn't unusual for personalities such as Brannigan to spin discs at school dances as far north as Montreal.

Recently, WPTR was carrying Bloomberg Financial news on its 1240 AM frequency, while WABY had adopted a contemporary music format previously on WAIX 106.1 FM The Jockey and was broadcasting at 900 AM.

The Jockey had previously been broadcasting at WJKE 101.3 FM, but that station was sold in November for $550,000 to suburban Sacramento, Calif.-based Educational Media Foundation.

NYC Radio: Chuck Todd Sides With Trump On 'Animals' Remark

NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd on Friday sided with President Trump's description of MS-13 gang members as “animals” earlier this week.

“A lot of people have called violent anybodys animals,” Todd said during an appearance on “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” on WABC 770 AM Radio.

“Anybody who is a violent criminal in my book can get called an animal if they're sitting there mauling, killing and raping people. I don’t care where they're from," he added.

According to The Hill, Todd weighed in on media coverage of Trump's remark from a roundtable discussion earlier this week, where the president was responding to a California official asking about MS-13 gang members.
The official, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, had expressed frustration over how the state’s "sanctuary city" laws have limited the ability of local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, specifically in regards to the MS-13 gang.

“These aren’t people. These are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a rate that’s never happened before," Trump replied, referring to gang members in the U.S. illegally.

Todd noted that some initial coverage of Trump's remarks inaccurately portrayed his "animals" comment as a reference to undocumented immigrants more broadly, instead of MS-13 gang members.

“This is where I think that my colleagues do us all harm,” Todd said. “You know, cover this legitimately. There is plenty of legitimate stuff to ding him on, if you think he deserves to be dinged on. Just be careful, don’t be sloppy about it.”

Rochester Radio: Megan Carter Has Left The WPXY Building

Megan Carter
Rochester radio personality Megan Carter is no longer co-host of WPXY 97.9 FM’s morning show or employed by station owner Entercom Communications, Bob Barnett, vice president of station programming, confirmed Friday.

Barnett said he was not at liberty to discuss the details of Carter’s departure — only that it happened about a month ago, according to the Rochester Democrat&Chronicle.

#TeamPXY with Carter & Corey, featuring Carter and Corey James, debuted in late 2014 (although Carter’s on-air career with WPXY began in 2008). It replaced a long-running morning show hosted by Scott Spezzano and Sandy Waters, who moved to Entercom sister station WBZA 98.9 FM and launched The All New Breakfast Buzz with Spezzano and Sandy. 

Whitney Young, who previously hosted a midday show on WPXY (97.9), is James’ new co-host on the #TeamPXY morning show, which airs from 5:30 to 10 a.m.

Redstone Urged To Let Moonves Run CBS, Viacom

Bob Wright
In the fight to control CBS, former NBCUniversal CEO Bob Wright has placed all bets on Les Moonves, who he called one of "two really, really good media executives in this country."

CNBC reports he says CBS' ongoing resistance to a merger with Viacom will put an end to dual share structures at companies, once and for all.

"There's no benefit that Shari [Redstone] is bringing to the table with 10 percent ownership and trying to control all the board. It doesn't make sense anymore," Wright said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

National Amusements, owned by the Redstone family, has been trying to merge CBS and Viacom, both of which fall under its umbrella. But CBS and Viacom have not been able to come to terms on some aspects of the merger, and CBS has been fighting what it called interference by the Redstone family.

CBS wants to cut National Amusement's voting power by issuing a special dividend to shareholders.

As it stands, the share structure of CBS enables Shari Redstone, through theater and media holding company National Amusements, to maintain voting control over CBS, despite only owning about 10 percent of shares. Wright said these types of dual share structures can be helpful at the advent of a company, so "the guys that built it can protect the company for a while."

Furthermore, Wright said the merger Redstone is pushing between CBS and Viacom would be damaging, insofar as it ousts Moonves. If Redstone is "smart," Wright said, she will relinquish some of her voting power and allow Moonves to take charge of a merged CBS and Viacom.

Meanwhile, analyst Porter Bibb of Media Tech Capital Partners discusses why he believes the battle for CBS is unfair to shareholders.

CBS battle heats up from CNBC.

Judge Rejects Lawsuit Against Fox By Andrea Tantaros

Andrea Tantaros
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Fox News filed by a former on-air host, Andrea Tantaros, who had alleged that the network retaliated against her after she complained about being sexually harassed.

The NYTimes reports Tantaros had claimed that Fox News’s founding chairman, Roger Ailes, arranged for her to be illegally surveilled, and that the network’s executives had schemed to create fake social media accounts, known as “sock puppets,” that defamed her online.

On Friday, however, Judge George B. Daniels of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that Ms. Tantaros’s allegations were “based primarily on speculation and conjecture.” In dismissing the suit, the judge noted that Ms. Tantaros “fails to adequately make out the basic elements of her claims.”

“Plaintiff’s sole allegation with respect to physical surveillance is that she observed black SUVs driving by and parked outside her New York City residence and her vacation home, and that on one occasion she recognized one of the drivers as a member of Ailes’ personal security detail,” he wrote. “Plaintiff does not allege that either the individual she recognized from Ailes’ security detail, or any other driver of a black SUV, intercepted a wire, electronic or oral communication of hers, as is required under the Wiretap Act.”

It was the second legal action against Fox News to conclude this week, as the network looks to move on from a series of scandals that started nearly two years ago. On Tuesday, Fox News reached a $10 million settlement to end a group of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits.

Report: 'Good Guy With Gun' Story Ignored By MSM

A Fox News commentator railed against national media outlets for what he perceived as lackluster coverage of a thwarted mass shooting at an Illinois high school.

"An amazing thing took place Wednesday but I bet you didn't hear much about it," Greg Gutfeld, a host on Fox News' "The Five," said in his in his opening monologue. "So the obvious question is, why isn't this all over the news?"

On Wednesday morning, 19-year-old Matthew Milby opened fire on students who were rehearsing for their graduation. Milby, who was using his mother's semiautomatic rifle, exchanged gunfire with Dixon, Illinois police officer Mark Dallas.

According to BusinessInsider, Milby received non-life threatening injuries and was the only person hurt during the shooting. He was released from the hospital the same day and was taken to Lee County Jail, where he was charged with three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Gutfeld argued that the would-be mass shooting did not meet what he called the media's "seal of approval."

"The problem is, in this case, the media isn't interested in what doesn't happen," Gutfeld said. "Lives were saved, thankfully, so the story didn't fit the narrative."

Gutfeld went on to suggest that media outlets did not report on the foiled shooting because the officer fired his weapon to stop the suspected gunman.

R.I.P.: KMEN, KHJ Radio Personality Bill Watson

Bill Watson
Bill Watson, a popular Inland radio disc jockey who was instrumental in bringing the Rolling Stones to San Bernardino for their first concert in the United States, died Tuesday, May 15, in San Diego.

He was 88, according to

Watson helped propel San Bernardino-based KMEN into the top radio station in the region in the 1960s.

“He was able to project himself as a really cool guy,” said Chuck Street, a San Bernardino native and longtime radio personality. “He had a presence on the radio. He had a swagger. All that adds up to charisma.”

Watson was working at San Bernardino-based KMEN when the Rolling Stones performed at the now-defunct Swing Auditorium on June 5, 1964.

He had been sent a Rolling Stones album, which he played on the air in its entirety, and the phones exploded, Street said.

Watson told Street he found the name of Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham in the record label and called him in London, asking if the band would play in San Bernardino.

“The manager asked, ‘Where’s San Bernardino?”

“It’s a suburb of Hollywood,” Watson told him.

Clemans was in the car with Watson when they picked up the Rolling Stones from the Ontario Airport for the first show. He said the young musicians seemed weary of all the attention they were receiving.

“They were really, really arrogant,” Clemans said. “Bill and I never said a word to them.”

Clemans said Watson worked with promoter Bob Lewis, who paid $6,000 for that first appearance. The band came back a year later and the cost was $60,000, he said.

Watson began his broadcasting career in the mid-1950’s in Sacramento as rock ‘n’ roll started taking over the airways. He moved south and ended up at KMEN as the afternoon drive host and program director.

At its peak, the station pulled in 70 percent of the listening audience in the region.

The 1290 AM station’s call sign became KMEN in 1962 and was changed to KKDD in 1998 to accommodate Disney satellite programming. The station is now 1290 NewsTalk.

Watson went on to help create the “Boss Radio” format when AM radio was the only option most listeners had, working with such stations as KHJ and KMPC in Los Angeles.

May 19 Radio History

➦In 1926...inventor Thomas Edison spoke at a dinner for the National Electric Light Association in Atlantic City, NJ. When asked to speak into the microphone, he said, “I don’t know what to say. This is the first time I ever spoke into one of these things … Good night.”

➦In 1960...On this day in 1960, the man who coined the term, "Rock And Roll", Alan Freed, along with Mel Leeds and 7 other disc-jockeys were accused of taking payola.

The others  included: Peter Tripp of WMGM, New York, Hal Jackson-WLIB, New York, Tommy (Dr.Jive) Smalls of WWRL-New York, JackWalker (The pear-shaped talker) - exWOV, New York.

Peter Tripp was immediately fired from his popular late afternoon air shift at WMGM.

After departing from 1010 WINS, Freed for a time was employed in New York by WABC 770 AM around 1958, about two years before it evolved into one of America's great Top 40 stations by launching its "Musicradio" format.

At this time, WABC (unlike Top40 WINS) was more of a full-service station which began implementing some music programming elements.

Freed was fired by WABC (1959) during a dispute where he refused to sign a statement certifying that he had never accepted payola.

➦In 1974...The #1 Popular song on the Radio was "The Streak" by Ray Stevens

➦In 1994....Henry Morgan, former personality at WMCA, WOR, WNBC, WNEW died of lung cancer at age 79.

➦In 1999...Last broadcast of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Tribute website: Click Here

Bob Liddle
➦In 2010…Longtime Seattle radio personality Bob Liddle, with more than 50 years on the air in the Pacific Northwest died at age 88.  Liddle spent much of his nearly 60-year radio career announcing, spinning big-band records, hosting easy-listening shows and reading the news on Seattle's KIXI 880 AM.

Liddle is perhaps best known for his years hosting KIXI's "Sunday Brunch." But in his long career he also worked as the station's program director and often hosted New Year's Eve "Tuxedo Junction" celebrations at the downtown Seattle Westin Hotel.

➦In 2011...Worcester, Massachusetts radio legend Dick Smith, who spent 30 years as a broadcaster for WORC, died at the age of 84.

➦In 2016...Newly retired TV newsman and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer died at age 84. During his lengthy career he brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into American living rooms in the 1960s, and was a mainstay of the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Research: Streams Make-Up 8 Percent of Broadcast Radio

The annual conference of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers is running this week in Denver, and Edison Research is giving four different presentations on best practices in survey research.

One of these presentations is from Edison VP Randy Brown, who is documenting the issues that come from implementing surveys online that attempt to measure internet behaviors. You can download the complete presentation here.

The report claims streaming behaviors will be overstated in a survey implemented online because it is difficult to reach lighter internet users from internet sample frames, even if one is using high-quality internet samples. Beyond that, about 10% of Americans still have no online access and are entirely invisible to online research.

The report also documents the steps Edison takes to make sure that their research represents the total population – using our Share of Ear® studies as his example.

One prime example of why these steps need to be taken can be seen with regard to listening to the content produced by America’s broadcast radio stations.  Share of Ear® determines whether listening to radio content is coming via the over-the-air signal (whether analog or HD) or from the station’s streams.

Edison estimates 8% of the combined listening to broadcast radio content is from the streams and 92% is from over-the-air.

Edison also notes quite a difference based on the type of content.  For news, sports and personalities, streams comprise 12% of the total listening, whereas for music the streams are 6%.  Perhaps this speaks to streaming being more vital for radio’s more unique aspects.

PPMs Released for Austin, Nashville, Milwaukee, 9 Other Markets

Nielsen on Thursday 5/17/18 completed releasing April 2018 PPMs results.  The markets  included the following markets:

33 Austin

38  Raleigh-Durham NC

39  Indianapolis

41  Milwaukee-Racine

43  Nashville

44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket RI

45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

46  Jacksonville FL

47  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC

48  West Palm-Boca Raton

51  Memphis 

52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here for Topline Numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Showdown As CBS Board Defies Shari Redstone

Early Thursday, a Delaware court handed Shari Redstone and her family-owned National Amusements an important legal victory in a fight for control of CBS.

Just hours later, CBS' board of directors responded with a vote to reduce Redstone's control – but the battle is far from over, reports CBS News.

Redstone's National Amusements is the controlling shareholder of CBS, and the court's ruling Thursday lets it challenge the vote by CBS' board.

The vote by CBS' board would let it issue a dividend that dilutes Redstone's preferred stock voting power to roughly 20 percent from the current 79 percent. Such a move would effectively give CBS independence from National Amusements.

CBS had sought a restraining order this week to block Redstone, president and controlling shareholder of National Amusements, from making changes to the board. The court's decision could boost Redstone's long-stated efforts to merge CBS with entertainment giant Viacom, which National Amusements also controls.

"The court's ruling today represents a vindication of National Amusements' right to protect its interests," the company said in a statement. "As we intend to demonstrate as the case proceeds, the actions of CBS and its special committee amount to a grievous breach of fiduciary duties and show no regard for the significant risk posed to CBS and its investors."

CBS has said combining with Viacom is not in the best interests of shareholders.

Although Delaware court Chancellor Andre Bouchard said in the ruling there was no legal precedent for granting CBS's request for a restraining order, he said the company could challenge National Amusements in court if it takes actions that could harm shareholders. In a statement, CBS signaled that it may pursue further legal action against National Amusements.

In what may end up as a largely symbolic move, CBS announced late Thursday that its board of directors had voted to issue a dividend equivalent to 0.5867 in non-voting shares for each voting share. That would dilute Shari Redstone's preferred stock voting power to roughly 20 percent from the current 79 percent.

CBS also said it is postponing its annual shareholders meeting, which had been scheduled for Friday.