Friday, June 23, 2017

Nielsen Issues Updated Snapshot of Audio Today

Nielsen’s latest Audio Today Report reveals that hundreds of millions of Americans continue to listen to the radio each week, despite the increased usage of digital platforms and podcasts..

The latest State of Audio report confirms thast AM/FM radio continues to be the top weekly reach medium with 271 million Americans 6 and over listening to radio each week.  That's because delivery platforms like AM/FM streaming audio, HD radio, and NextRadio are creating new user experiences.

According to Nielsen:



In 2017,Americans have never had more options to hear their favorite music, stories, sports and commentary, and few media prove this the way podcasts do, as this is one realm where there is literally something for everyone.

The profile of an average podcast listener (according to Nielsen Scarborough) is young, educated and affluent. Consumers who watch, listen to or download a podcast are significantly more likely to be higher educated, higher income and career-minded, making them a qualified—and valuable—audience for advertisers and marketers.


According to Nielsen, marketers and brand managers are rediscovering radio: "It's a mass medium that can deliver targetability and message frequency in markets large and small. And as the audio pie continues to grow (Americans are carving out more and more time each day to listen), radio consumers tune in when and where it counts. Listening outside the home and, specifically, in the car is a huge part of the radio ecosystem. This gives advertisers the opportunity to uniquely deliver their message just prior to purchase."

Detroit Radio: WDVD Signs Blaine Fowler to New Deal

Cumulus Media announces that it has signed Detroit HotAC WDVD 96.3 FM morning show star Blaine Fowler to a long-term contract extension.

Fowler’s eponymous morning show has aired weekday mornings since 2003 on the station. “The Blaine Fowler Morning Show” is heard Monday through Friday from 5:30am-9:00am on 96.3 WDVD-FM.

Robby Bridges, Director of FM Programming, Cumulus Media-Detroit, said: "Blaine and Lauren both are special talents and I'm thrilled they'll make their magic on Detroit's 96-3 WDVD for a long time to come.”

WDVD 96.3 FM (20 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Fowler said: "I'm having the most fun I've ever had and I'm excited to continue to set the alarm and join Lauren Crocker each morning on the radio here in the Motor City!!"

MSNBC Signs Radio's Hugh Hewitt For New Show

Hugh Hewitt
MSNBC, which has been soaring lately in both ratings and advertising prices, is giving radio host Hugh Hewitt his own show, adding another conservative voice to a lineup that already includes Fox News poach Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush communications hand Nicole Wallace.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hewitt's self-titled show will air on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. ET, beginning this week, as part of an expansion of the network's weekend programming in July.

In giving Hewitt his own show, MSNBC is sure to raise eyebrows, considering that it has been doing well mostly on the strength of left-leaning opinion journalists like Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. NBC News chairman Andy Lack is known to favor hard news and has programmed the network to feature a broader range of editorial opinions in addition to traditional newsmen like Brian Williams.

Also, as part of the changes, Thomas Roberts will anchor two hours in the evenings on both Saturday and Sunday, with coverage running until 9 p.m. The evening hours on MSNBC were previously filled with reruns of weekday shows and taped programming.

While all the major cable networks have been doing well during the action-packed first few months of Donald Trump's presidency, MSNBC has been particularly ascendant. On Wednesday, Standard Media Index released a report showing that the network has enjoyed a 43% year-over-year increase in ad rates, besting gains for Fox News and CNN.

Jean Kasem Sues Casey's Kids, Others


Jean Kasem, his late wife, is suing Casey's three adult children (from a previous marriage) in a wrongful death lawsuit in which she accuses them of engaging in a “homicidal guardianship scam” that she says led to his death three years ago.

She’s seeking charges in excess of $75K. The actual damages will be determined at trial, according to The Daily Caller.

The defendants named in the case are Julie Kasem Aboulhosn, her husband, Jamil Anis Aboulhosn, their attorney Troy Martin as well as Kerri Helen Kasem and Mike Kasem.

Jean Kasem
According to a release, “The lawsuit claims that the children rendered control of Kasem’s medical care against a judge’s order, chemically restrained him and ordered hospital staff to withdraw food and water, killing the entertainer on June 15, 2014. The alleged motive was to gain control of Casey and Jean’s joint assets.”

The widow is not stopping with the adult children. She’s also going after the hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash, which is where Casey died in June, 2014.

“The truth about my husband’s homicide is so disturbing to confront but I am compelled to seek justice,” Jean Kasem said.

“After an exhaustive forensic investigation following Casey’s death and autopsy, there was no other choice but to bring this lawsuit. The facts unambiguously point to defendants’ deceit, self-dealing and fraud, which demand to be exposed. I have taken this action for my daughter Liberty and for my husband of 35 years, as I’m certain Casey would have done the same for me. I pray the justice we seek is quick and thoroughly delivered, not only for us, but for all of the vulnerable and elderly who are subjected to the same predatory and abusive conduct by those who are anxious for them to die for illicit and immediate financial gain.”

Leading up to his death, Casey allegedly had Parkinson’s Disease or Lewy body dementia. Whatever the medical reality, he lost his ability to speak in the last few months of his life.

Keri Kasem
News reports indicate that Jean Kasem cut off contact between Casey and his children beginning in 2013.

In 2015, the children filed a suit against Kasem’s wife for “wrongful death,” which charged her with “elder abuse” and “emotional neglect.” They sought $250K. LA prosecutors chose not to file elder abuse charges against Jean Kasem. But a judge ruled that the children would receive a $2 million payout since Casey had matching life insurance policies at the time of his death – one for his children, another for his wife.

The widow’s lawsuit was officially filed on June 14. She’s demanding a jury trial.

Meanwhile, Kerri Kasem, 44, fired back at Jean Kasem's wrongful death suit , according The NY Daily News.

"Nobody unplugged my dad," Kasem told the Daily News, adding that Jean was the one forcing hydration and nutrition onto Casey when his body failing. "It's the last thing I wanted to do," she continued, sharing that it's very hard to hear that.

Report: Amazon To Charge $2.8M For NFL Ad Packages

By Jessica Toonkel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is looking to charge advertisers $2.8 million for packages that include 30-second spots during the Thursday night National Football League games it will stream live to its Prime customers this coming season, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The offering will be closely watched by the advertising and broadcasting industries as the world's largest online retailer and cloud-computing company makes its first high-profile push into live sports.

Amazon is paying $50 million to the NFL to stream this season's 10 Thursday night games, sources told Reuters in April. The games will be shown simultaneously on either CBS Corp or Comcast Corp's NBC, which are broadcasting five games each.

Amazon takes over from Twitter Inc, which paid $10 million to stream Thursday night games last season.

The live-streamed games will only be available to subscribers to Amazon's $99-per-year Prime service, which includes fast shipping and free video.

Streaming NFL games - regularly the most-watched events on U.S. television - is the latest move by Amazon to get customers to its website, in the hope they will subscribe to Prime and spend more online.

It is also a source of revenue in its own right, although it is unclear that the sale of ads will offset the cost of acquiring the rights to stream the games.

"We are offering a range of options at various price points, depending on advertiser objectives," Amazon representative Kristin Mariani told Reuters in an email, declining to discuss specific ad prices.


PACKAGE DEAL

For each game, Amazon can sell 10 30-second spots, one of the sources said.

The spots run on the live-stream while local ads air on network TV. Under the terms Amazon is offering, buyers also get to run ads on Amazon.com throughout the football season, which runs from September to February. National spots run by network broadcasters will also be shown on the live-stream.

The move by Amazon to offer live sports online is just one of the Seattle-based online retailer's recent moves into new markets. Last week it struck a deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc for $13.7 billion, its biggest deal to date.

Amazon's deal with the NFL is a potential challenge to rival Netflix Inc, the world's leading video streaming company, which has so far not ventured into live sports.

It is not clear if Amazon will be able to sell the ads at the intended price, or will be able to make a profit from them. Amazon has traditionally prioritized growth into new markets over profitability and has not shied away from pouring money into new ventures if only to learn about the area.

Its pricing appears to be lower than Twitter's, which charged advertisers $2 million to $8 million for packages of ads that included the games as well as spots on NFL highlights, according to media reports.

Amazon's ad packages are higher than the $550,000 to $590,000 that NBC and CBS typically charge for their on-air national ads, according to industry sources, although Amazon is also offering ads on its website as part of the deal.

How many viewers will watch the live-streamed games on Amazon is an open question. Amazon does not publicize its number of Prime subscribers, but analysts estimate more than 50 million.

By comparison, Twitter has more than 300 million monthly users, but only a small fraction of those watched its live-streamed games last season. NBC and CBS averaged about 17 million and 14.7 million viewers for Thursday night games last season, respectively.  

Advertising is a small but growing part of Amazon's $136 billion in annual revenue last year. Although the company does not disclose figures, its sponsored listings advertising business took in $1.4 billion in revenue in 2016, up seven-fold in the past four years, according to Barclays analysts.

Olympics: NBC Monitors Korea Tensions


An ice sculpture of the Olympic rings is illuminated during the Pyeongchang Winter Festival, near the venue for the opening and closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

By Liana B. Baker | SAN FRANCISCO

(Reuters) -- U.S. broadcaster NBC is monitoring the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and so far does not expect to change its plans to send a more than 2,000-person workforce to the Winter Games in South Korea, NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said in an interview on Thursday.

Tension has been high for months over North Korea's nuclear and missile development, and due to fears it will conduct a sixth nuclear test and more ballistic missile launches in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Asia's first Winter Olympics outside Japan will see South Korea's alpine town of Pyeongchang and the coastal city of Gangneung host thousands of athletes and officials when the Games start in February.

"There are obviously geopolitical issues," Zenkel said, speaking by telephone. "I don't think there's an Olympics or any global sporting event without them.

"We're all aware of the issues facing that particular location and we're playing close attention and staying in touch with the different organizations and the experts we have access to," Zenkel said, adding the network gets information from the U.S. State Department.

NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp, is the U.S. exclusive broadcaster for the Olympics, and it usually uses the games to host its best advertisers and clients on site.

It hosted hundreds of clients in Sochi in 2014 and about 1,500 in Rio last year.

In South Korea, however, NBC would not be inviting guests to the Games and would instead be hosting them in the U.S. ski town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Zenkel said.

Contrary to media reports, Zenkel said NBC made that decision as far back as 2014, and it was because of limited accommodations near the Olympic venues, unrelated to any security concerns.

NBC's priority was finding housing for its workers, many of whom are coming from abroad, Zenkel said. Clients who want to go can still be invited by sponsors which are doing hospitality at the Games, he added.

A 13-hour time difference between New York and South Korea could actually work to NBC's advantage for showing live events such as skiing and figure skating in U.S. prime time, Zenkel said, adding that events for U.S. ski racers Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin should be a draw.

"The events in morning or early afternoon will take place in prime time when our largest audience comes together," he said.

Boston Radio: Neil Chayet To Retire From WBZ-AM


Boston radio listeners have heard the name or chuckled at one of his puns, but you certainly recognize the signature tag line of “This is Neil Chayet – Looking at the Law!” This month will
mark the retirement of Neil Chayet’s famously popular “Looking at the Law™” radio feature after a nearly 42-year broadcast career on radio stations all across the country.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and Neil Chayet jointly announced his retirement Thursday, having created more than 10,000 episodes of the daily radio feature that examined court decisions from all around the world and condensed each into a 60-second script. The segment aired daily on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and on CBS RADIO news stations across the country.

“While there is an endless supply of court cases and material to continue, ‘Looking at the Law™’ for years to come, I feel that 42 years is the right number for me and it leaves more time to continue the other passions I’ve worked on tirelessly over the years,” said Chayet.

Although Neil has certainly earned his retirement, he wants his “Looking at the Law™” family to know that he is fighting an aggressive cancer and being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Looking at the Law™”, Neil Chayet’s signature opening and closing line, intoned and stretched as only Neil can do, has brought enjoyment to millions of listeners for over four decades on CBS RADIO stations and affiliates, including the worldwide Armed Forces Network. This remarkable program translates complex and lengthy legal decisions into short segments that are interesting, entertaining and always end with a twist.

Chayet still has the first script he ever wrote.

“Neil has never missed an opportunity for a pun in 42 years,” said Former Massachusetts Governor, William Weld. “You can hear an audible chuckle coming from cars all over New England as they listen to Neil on WBZ,” added Peter Casey, WBZ Director of News & Programming.

Twin Cities Radio: KDWB's Dave Ryan Plays Taps At Military Funerals

The playing of taps is something we expect to hear at a veteran's funeral. In fact, it's their right.

But, reports KMSP-TV Fox9,  the difficulty in finding enough people to play taps sometimes leads to a recording of the music being played instead of a live version.

Now, iHM's Top40 KDWB 101.3 FM Morning Host Dave Ryan is bringing attention to the issue by grabbing his trumpet and becoming a volunteer.

Dave Ryan
The 24-note song is the ceremonial good-bye, and in recent years, it's been tough to find enough volunteers to perform that duty at funerals.

“My dad was a WWII veteran. If there's anything I can do to honor veterans, I'd be happy to do it."

You probably know Ryan from his popular morning show on KDWB. But, he can also play taps on the trumpet. Understanding the need, he decided to audition with an organization called Bugles Across America to play at funerals. And, he got the green light.

Ryan’s rather, an Air Force veteran, was a navigator on B-24 liberators during WWII, and he was the person who encouraged Ryan to play taps in the first place.

“My dad told me if I learned to play taps, he'd buy me an official Boy Scout bugle. I worked really hard to hit that high note and once I hit that note, he bought me the bugle and I've played it many times since then," Ryan said.

"We all have to remember it's not about us. It's about the veteran and their family."

Wrong Gender Pronouns Now Illegal In Canada


Canada passed a law last week making it illegal to use the wrong gender pronouns. Critics say that Canadians who do not subscribe to progressive gender theory could be accused of hate crimes, jailed, fined, and made to take anti-bias training.

Canada’s Senate passed Bill C-16, which puts “gender identity” and “gender expression” into both the country’s Human Rights Code, as well as the hate crime category of its Criminal Code by a vote of 67-11, according to LifeSiteNews.


Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto, and one of the bill’s fiercest critics, spoke to the Senate before the vote, insisting that it infringed upon citizens’ freedom of speech and institutes what he views as dubious gender ideology into law.

“Compelled speech has come to Canada,” stated Peterson. “We will seriously regret this.”

“[Ideologues are] using unsuspecting and sometimes complicit members of the so-called transgender community to push their ideological vanguard forward,” said the professor to the Senate in May.

FCC Proposes $120M Fine For Robocaller

(Reuters) -- The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday proposed a $120 million fine on a Florida resident alleged to have made almost 100 million spoofed robocalls to trick consumers with "exclusive" vacation deals from well-known travel and hospitality companies.

The man, identified as Adrian Abramovich, allegedly made 96 million robocalls during a three-month period by falsifying caller identification information that matched the local area code and the first three digits of recipient's phone number, the FCC said.

The calls, which were in violation of the U.S. telecommunications laws, offered vacation deals from companies such as Marriott International Inc, Expedia Inc, Hilton Inc and TripAdvisor Inc.

Consumers who answered the calls were transferred to foreign call centers that tried to sell vacation packages, often involving timeshares. These call centers were not related to the companies, the FCC said.

In a statement, TripAdvisor said FCC's action would help better protect consumers from others attempting similar tactics in the future.

NYC Radio: WCBS-AM To Observe 50 Years As News Station

A station renowned for its storytelling, Newsradio WCBS 880 AM will present “Celebrating 50 Years of News: A Night of New York Stories” on Tuesday, August 8 at the PlayStation Theater in NYC’s Times Square.

Hosted by 880AM’s Wayne Cabot and Alex Silverman, the event will celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary by bringing together some of NYC’s most notable names in news, politics, sports and entertainment. The evening will close with a special interview and song performance by the legendary Tony Bennett.

“Newsradio 880 is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news,” said Marc Rayfield, Senior Vice President/Market Manager CBS RADIO New York. “We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York and will continue to tell the stories of the people, places and happenings from all around this great city. This special night is a chance to gather with listeners, station personalities and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean well into the future.”

Throughout the evening, WCBS 880AM will welcome a range of memorable personalities who will share stories that have shaped New York City over the last 50 years.



Station personalities including Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott and Michael Wallace will take part in the program. Among the special guests sharing their New York stories on stage will be Jeff Fager and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), former New York Giants Co-Captain George Martin, Late Show with David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets Manager Bobby Valentine.

Doors open at 6:30 PM; the program begins at 8:00 PM. Tickets go on sale today, Friday, June 23 at 10:00 AM, ET, via www.axs.com. Ticket prices range from $55 to $150. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Exploring the Arts Foundation, Tony Bennett’s charity organization dedicated to transforming the lives of young people through arts education.


WCBS flipped from MOR to news August 28, 1967.

By the early sixties, WCBS had evolved into a Middle of the road (MOR) music and personality format, which included limited talk programming. Personalities included legendary morning host Jack Sterling, Bill Randle and Lee Jordan. Like many MOR stations at the time, WCBS did mix in softer songs by rock-and-roll artists, as its ratings at the time were ordinary compared to the higher ratings at WOR and WNEW, both of which also had MOR formats and more distinct identities.

During the 1960s, CBS chairman William S. Paley was concerned about the station's low ratings, and that concern started a process that would lead to the creation of a news radio format that would become known as "Newsradio 88". This format debuted on August 28, 1967. Its original roster of anchors included Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley, Robert Vaughn (not related to the actor of the same name) and Pat Summerall. Later anchors included longtime anchor Lou Adler, and others like Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Bill Lynch and Gary Maurer.

Initially, the station ran news in the drive time periods but maintained an MOR format during the midday and overnight hours, and within a couple of years, it ran all-news programming for much of the broadcast day except for overnights. "Newsradio 88" began its transformation into an all-news format in 1970, when the overnight American Airlines-sponsored Music Till Dawn ended in January of that year, and completed the process in 1972, when Godfrey's weekday morning variety show came to an end. The station built a reputation as an all-news powerhouse during the 1970s, and has continued with an all-news format to this day.

WCBS-AM Newsradio88 debuts inauspiciously on its little-heard 101.1 FM station on August 28, 1967, because a small plane demolished the AM transmitter tower on High Island in a fatal crash, knocking the AM station off the air. Interestingly, the debut begins with a staff announcer reading the WCBS-FM sign-on, followed by the "Star Spangled Banner." Then, anchorman Steve Porter reads an account of the air crash.

June 23 Radio History


➦In 1891...Nikola Tesla granted patent 454,622 for the coupled tuned circuit radio-frequency oscillator.

Nikola Tesla
Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant. His work in the formative years of electric power development was also involved in the corporate struggle between making alternating current or direct current the power transmission standard, referred to as the war of currents.

Tesla went on to pursue his ideas of wireless lighting and electricity distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs and made early (1893) pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. He tried to put these ideas to practical use in his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission; his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.

In his lab he also conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillator/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He even built a wireless controlled boat which may have been the first such device ever exhibited.

Tesla was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal "mad scientist." His patents earned him a considerable amount of money, much of which was used to finance his own projects with varying degrees of success.  He lived most of his life in a series of New York hotels, through his retirement. He died on 7 January 1943.

Tesla's work fell into relative obscurity after his death, but has experienced a resurgence in interest in popular culture since the 1990s.


Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone
➦In 1905...Mary Livingstone, the wife of Jack Benny, was born Sadye Marks in Seattle.  She was raised in Vancouver BC.  They married in 1927, and she joined him in some of his vaudeville routines, though she suffered attacks of stage fright.  The affliction continued when they moved into radio beginning in 1932.  In the mid 1950’s, at the height of his popularity she retired from show business, but lived another thirty years.  She died from cardiovascular disease June 30 1983 at age 74.


Edward P. Morgan 1954
➦In 1910...radio commentator & writer Edward P. Morgan was born in Walla Walla Wash.

After two decades in print journalism, from 1955-67 Morgan broadcast an evening radio program of news and commentary, “Edward P. Morgan and the News,” on ABC, that in 1956 won him the George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting’s most venerable honor. Later he would become one of the rotating anchors on TV’s ABC Evening News.

He died Jan 27, 1993 at age 82.

➦In 1933...Don McNeill debuted as host of The Breakfast Club.



The Breakfast Club is a long-run morning variety show on NBC Blue Network/ABC radio (and briefly on television) originating in Chicago, Illinois. Hosted by Don McNeill, the radio program ran from June 23, 1933 through December 27, 1968. McNeil's 35½-year run as host remains the longest tenure for an M.C. of a network entertainment program, surpassing Johnny Carson (29½ years) on The Tonight Show and Bob Barker (34⅔ years) on The Price is Right.

From 1993...



McNeill Breakfast Club combined music with informal talk and jokes often based on topical events, initially scripted by McNeill but later ad-libbed. In addition to recurring comedy performers, various vocal groups and soloists, listeners heard sentimental verse, conversations with members of the studio audience and a silent moment of prayer. The series eventually gained a sponsor in the Chicago-based meat packer Swift and Company. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.


➦In 1936...the Canadian Radio Act was passed, laying the groundwork for the CBC and more stable program funding than the current Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, through an annual license fee of $2.50 per radio set.   The CBC was also made the governing body of the airwaves.


➦In 1941...Front Page Farrell was heard for the first time on Mutual radio. In 1942, the program moved to NBC and stayed on the air until 1954. Sally and David Farrell were the central characters. A young actor, who would become a major motion picture star, played the role of David Farrell. He was Richard Widmark.


➦In 1947...Wendy Warren and the News debuted on CBS radio. The broadcasts continued until 1958. The program was not a newscast, in the traditional sense. It was a serial — one of many of the time. The unique thing about this particular show, however, was that Wendy Warren and the News did utilize a real three-minute newscast to open the show. The newscaster, delivering the news as part of the show, chose not to stay in the entertainment side of radio, but continued to be a true journalist and a legend at CBS. That newsman was Douglas Edwards, who within a year became the network’s first TV anchorman.





Dick Summer
➦In 1968...Dick Summer did his last show on WBZ 1030 AM, Boston. Summer was a pioneer in the evening "romance" style programming.

He manned the overnight shift at what was then a 50,000 watt powerhouse in Top 40 music, WBZ. His show was heard in 38 states and up in parts of Canada, too. You may find his voice familiar due to his commercial voice over work on radio and television for such clients as Resolve Carpet Cleaner and Binder & Binder.

Summer resume includes stops at  Indianapolis (WIBC and WISH), St. Louis (WIL) and New York (WNEW, WPLJ).


➦In 1986..This week's Street Talk From Radio&Records...

➦In 1995…Radio and television news anchor (ABC Radio Network, KUSI-TV San Diego, WABC-TV and WNBC-TV New York, KGO-TV San Francisco, KMOX-TV St. Louis, WXIX-TV Milwaukee) Roger Grimsby, who won six Emmy Awards during his 18-year tenure at WABC-TV, died of lung cancer at 66.


➦In 2006...Phil Hendrie did his last syndicated radio program and turned his attention to a full-time acting career.


➦In 2009…Radio/Television announcer/sidekick Ed McMahon died of bone cancer and pneumonia at age 86.


➦In 2009…Journalist/radio-TV host (WBBM-AM, WBBM-TV, WTTW-TV all in Chicago)/documentarian John Callaway, who hosted "Chicago Tonight"on WTTW for fifteen years, winning 16 Emmys and a Peabody Award, died after a heart attack at 72.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bezos To Media: 'You can't shrink your way into relevance'


Jeff Bezos made his fortune founding Amazon, and spent $250 million of his riches to buy The Washington Post in 2013.

After nearly four years running the Post, which Bezos says turned a profit in 2016 and is expected to do the same this year, Bezos has some valuable lessons to pass along to the rest of the news industry, which is struggling to compete for ad dollars against online juggernauts Google and Facebook.

According to CNBC, Bezos delivered some of this advice at the Future of Newspapers conference in Turin, Italy, on Wednesday. Here are the highlights:
  • Focus on readers first, not advertisers. In response to a question about similarities between running Amazon and the Post, Bezos said: "We run Amazon and The Washington Post in a very similar way in terms of the basic approach. We attempt to be customer-centric, which in the case of the Post means reader-centric. I think you can get confused, you can be advertiser-centric — and what advertisers want, of course, is readers — and so you should be simple-minded about that and you should be focused on readers. If you can focus on readers advertisers will come."
  • You can't shrink your way to relevance. When he took over, Bezos said, the Post already had an "outstanding" tech team and newsroom, and a top-notch editorial leader in Marty Baron. But the newsroom kept eliminating people, which wasn't working. "What they needed was a little bit of runway and the encouragement to experiment, and to stop shrinking. You can't shrink your way into relevance." Since then, the paper has added about 140 reporters and significantly expanded the tech team — and it's worked.  "We've grown our way into profitability instead of shrinking our way into profitability."
  • Don't look for a patron or expect charity. Bezos was adamant that the Post should be run as a profit-making business, and that news organizations shouldn't hold out for rich patrons who are willing to lose money indefinitely.
  • Use technology, but don't be a slave to it. One thing the Post has done is create a publishing platform called Arc, which it is selling to other papers including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. It also uses data to do things like test headlines and understand how engaged readers are with particular stories.

Report: Charter Eying Cox Communications

Charter Communications — the nationwide cable giant whose properties include Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Cable — is weighing a fresh plan to acquire Atlanta-based Cox Communications, three sources told The NY Post.

Charter Chief Executive Tom Rutledge is eyeing family-owned Cox despite the fact that the latter has repeatedly rejected overtures from larger rivals, industry insiders say.

“Tom wants to buy Cox,” said one highly placed cable source. Another confirmed the news, but stressed there have been no formal approaches.

Cox, the third-largest cable company in the US with 6.2 million customers, has long said it isn’t for sale.

“Cox has been very clear and consistent that we are not for sale and, in fact, we’re aggressively investing in our network, products and strategic partnerships and investments of our own,” Cox spokesman Todd Smith told The Post on Wednesday. Charter declined to comment.


Still, insiders say Charter may have reason to believe a change of heart is afoot.

In April, Cox Enterprises, the corporate parent of Cox Communications, named Alex Taylor, the great-grandson of the founder James Cox, as the company’s next CEO. He will take over on Jan. 1.

Cox was once public but returned to private ownership in 2004.

Atlanta Radio: WKHX Unveils New AM Show, New Positioner

Cumulus Media announces that Country WKHX Kicks 101.5 FM in Atlanta debuted its new morning show today.

The new show, “Caddy, CJ and Ali”, hit the airwaves at 6am with co-hosts Cadillac Jack, CJ and Ali Mac.

Former morning show co-host Dallas McCade, who was promoted to Kicks 101.5 Music Director earlier this week, also debuts today as host of Middays on Kicks 101.5 from 10am-3pm, her new permanent time slot. New morning co-host Ali Mac formerly hosted Middays on Kicks 101.5, while CJ segues to Mornings from his previous Kicks 101.5 PM Drive show (3pm-7pm).

Caddy, CJ and Ali got the party started immediately this morning with contests for Kicks 101.5 listeners to win VIP experiences with Kicks 101.5 Country Fair 2017 artists Darius Rucker and Randy Houser, and the station’s Crock Fest 2017 headliner, Toby Keith.

The “Caddy, CJ & Ali” show will also pay a personal visit next week to one lucky listener who will win a VIP experience with Brantley Gilbert.

In addition, music from NASH Next 2017 contestants will air on the new morning show, and NASH Next contestant selfie videos will be featured on Kicks 101.5’s social media platforms to encourage participation before the NASH Next 2017 June 30th deadline.

WKHX 101.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Concurrent with the line-up changes, Kicks 101.5 adopts the new slogan, “Georgia’s Country For Life”.

Program Director Scott Lindy describes the positioner as: “A phrase that embodies what Kicks 101.5 has meant to Atlanta and North Georgia for years. Millions of country fans heard Georgia-born country stars like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown, Thomas Rhett and Billy Currington for the very first time in their lives while listening to Kicks 101.5 and that tradition continues today. The future of country music is what our history is all about.”

CT Radio: iHM's WWYZ To Launch Damon & Cory Morning Show

Damon Scott
Cory Myers
WWYZ Country 92-5 FM, Connecticut Country Music, announced today the debut of its new morning show “Damon & Cory,” effective July 5. “Damon & Cory” will broadcast weekdays from 5 – 10 a.m.

Hosted by Connecticut radio veteran Damon Scott and long-time morning host Cory Myers, “Damon & Cory” will provide the Hartford region with the latest and greatest in Country music and entertainment news along with a mixture local information and community events.

“We are excited that a well-known local personality like Damon Scott is joining long-time morning host, Cory Myers, on Country 92-5,” said Steve Honeycomb, President of iHeartMedia’s Hartford Region. “Damon Scott is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Connecticut for years. He understands how to connect with listeners and the local community as well as what it takes to be successful in radio.”

Scott has served as Afternoon Drive Personality at WTIC-FM for the past 27 years. Additionally, Scott serves as Master of Ceremonies for the Hartford Wolf Pack ice hockey home games.

WWYZ 92.5 FM (17 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
“When you leave on a high note after 27 successful years, you need a special plan for your return,” said Scott. “I am excited to take the next step by joining Country 92-5 and the iHeartMedia Hartford team.”

CBS Radio Slapped With Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

CBS Radio has been hit with a lawsuit filed by a former employee who claims that she suffered “racial discrimination, gender discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment.”

TheWrap is reporting  the lawsuit was filed against CBS Radio Services, CBS Corporation and others in federal court in New York on Tuesday.

 Makeda Alexander says that she was hired as an account services manager in September 2014. The complaint alleges, “immediately upon beginning her job,” Alexander was “subjected to a hostile work environment.”

One employee, the lawsuit says, would bang his hands on his desk and exclaim “B—-!” on “an almost daily basis” and repeatedly pounded his desk while screaming “Shizzle my Nizzle!” at Alexander.

The suit further alleges that Alexander was repeatedly referred to as “Obama” in an effort to “intimidate, harass and taunt Plaintiff because of Plaintiff’s race.”

Alexander said that she complained to supervisors twice, but that no “reasonable or immediate action” was taken.  According to the suit, Alexander was fired in November 2016 in retaliation.

The suit also says that Alexander has suffered from physical ailments because of the alleged treatment of her.

CBS Radio told TheWrap, “This claim is without merit.”

CableTV Ratings: Fox, MSNBC Dominate


Fox News and MSNBC continue to dominate as the most-watched networks on basic cable, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week of June 12 to June 18.

For Fox, the No. 1 ranking in total viewers marks the 24th consecutive week it has finished in the top spot, even beating traditional cable network powerhouses such as ESPN, HGTV, TBS and USA Network, according to The Hill.

Overall, the 21st Century-owned network averaged 2.35 million viewers in primetime and averaged 1.508 million in total day (6 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST).

In the key 25-54 demographic that advertisers covet most for the full week — including on the weekend — the network averaged 460,000 viewers in primetime to MSNBC's 435,000 and CNN's 348,000.

MSNBC is also enjoying its best year in its 21-year history, finishing second with an 1.942 million total viewers in primetime and third in total day behind Fox and Nickelodeon with 1.009 million total viewers.

The Comcast-owned network also won a close race with Fox in the key 25-54 demographic June 12 to June 16 on weekday nights, delivering an average of 540,000 in the category against Fox's 537,000 and CNN’s 392,000.

CNN, which is also up nearly 50 percent year-over-year, ranked seventh in primetime in total viewers with 1,028,000 and fifth in total day with an average of 831,000.

Ad Spending Rose In May, Radio Flat

Reversing a slight April decline in U.S. advertising spending, May posted a 7% gain over the same month in 2016, according to MediaPost.

Digital media returned to its strong double-digit percentage gains -- up 16%, according to Standard Media Index. Big gainers here were social media up 59%; mobile ad networks 20% higher, search 18% more and content advertising, 15% higher.

Total TV spend grew 7% in the month. National TV improved 2% -- with broadcast up 1% and cable adding 2%. Spot TV buying tacked on a big 21% hike and syndication added 12%. TV networks’ digital advertising business grew 15%.

Other media showed weakness: magazines down 21%; newspapers, 23% lower; radio flat; and out-of-home off 5%.

May’s overall 7% gain was a sharp improvement from the month before, which had an 1% decline in U.S. ad spending in April -- with digital media up 3% and all television ad spending flat.

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What Did CBS' Les Moonves Know And When Did He Know It

Moonves, Redstone
CBS chairman Leslie Moonves will be dragged into the legal drama surrounding Sumner Redstone after all, as a California judge switched gears after tentatively granting a motion to quash a subpoena served to him.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 94-year-old Redstone is suing two of his former companions for elder abuse, and is seeking to reclaim millions in gifts he'd given them. Both Sydney Holland and Manuela Herzer are also currently suing his daughter Shari Redstone for interfering with their inheritances — and now his business activities may be scrutinized and Moonves will join the fray.

Shari Redstone
Holland and Herzer in the fall of 2015 were each ejected from the elder Redstone's Beverly Park estate and his life. They maintain Shari orchestrated the ouster by enlisting her father's household staff to spy on them.

Herzer fired first in court, alleging that Redstone was being unduly influenced by his daughter and lacked the competency necessary to revoke her control over his health care directive. Los Angeles Superior Court judge David J. Cowan tossed that matter mid-trial, after a video of Redstone's deposition showed him calling Herzer "a f—ing bitch." She responded with a $100 million spying suit against Shari. Holland sued on similar claims in December, after the elder abuse suit was filed.

During last year's fight over Redstone's health care directive, court documents revealed his funeral plans — which included a eulogy by Moonves. In that same probate matter, the court gave Herzer the green light to depose then-Viacom chief Philippe Dauman.

Holland wants to subpoena Moonves, as well as CBS and Viacom, claiming the exec has knowledge about Redstone's romantic relationships that is relevant to allegations that she manipulated him out of millions.

Redstone flanked by Manuela Herzer and Sydney Holland
Variety reports Holland’s attorneys subpoenaed Moonves in March. Redstone’s attorneys moved to quash the subpoena the following month, arguing that the request was overly broad and was designed to “harass and embarrass Sumner and Moonves.”

On Wednesday, Judge Robert Hess sided with Holland, ruling that her attorneys will be able to seek the documents. The judge also allowed her attorneys to seek documents from Viacom and CBS related to Redstone’s oversight of the two companies between 2010 and 2016.

Holland’s attorneys believe the records will show that Redstone was mentally fit enough to manage two large public companies, undermining the argument that he unwittingly handed over millions of dollars to his ex-companions.