Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nashville Radio: Bobby Bones To Be 'Idol' Mentor

Bobby Bones, the 37-year-old host of the country-radio format “Bobby Bones Show,” on WSIX 979.9 The Big 98 and syndicated on more than 100 stations, told listeners Wednesday morning that he has been selected as this season’s “American Idol” mentor.

“I just feel like it’s too good to be true,” Bones told the Austin America-Statesman earlier this month before breaking the news on-air. “I never thought I would get a call back. Then they called about two months ago and said, ‘We really think this could be something for you.’ … A couple days ago they confirmed it, they want me to do it.”

This season’s judges are Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. Bones will appear as mentor on the show for several episodes in April.

“It’s tough for me to even describe it,” Bones told the American-Statesman. “(But I do) bring something different to the show, meaning I’ve worked in a lot of different formats and these singers are going to be singing a lot of different things. I think I’ll bring perspective to that side of it instead of being another singer or another artist. I’ve done a little artist-ing and a little singing and a little breaking of new talent and a lot of radio. I’ve been on both sides of the microphone.”

The new season of “American Idol” kicks off on March 11 on ABC.

Nielsen Starts Rollout Of January '18 PPMs

Nielsen on Tuesday 2/20/18  released the first batch of January 2018 PPM Data for the following markets:

  1  New York

  2  Los Angeles

  3  Chicago

  4  San Francisco

  5  Dallas-Ft. Worth

  6  Houston-Galveston

  8  Atlanta

  9  Philadelphia

20  Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) NY

25  Riverside-San Bernardino CA

37  San Jose CA

42  Middlesex-Somerset-Union NJ

Click Here to view Topline Numbers for Subscribing Nielsen stations.

Net Neutrality Reversal Rules To Publish Thursday

The FCC is expected to publish on Thursday its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rules, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The formal publication in the Federal Register, a government website, means state attorneys general and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order from taking effect.

The Republican-led FCC in December voted 3-2 to overturn rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect.

Congressional aides say the publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the decision. U.S. Senate Democrats said in January they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal, leaving them just one vote short of a majority.

Even if Democrats could win a majority in the Senate, a repeal would also require winning a vote in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a larger majority, and would still be subject to a likely veto by President Donald Trump. Democrats need 51 votes to win any proposal in the Republican-controlled Senate because Vice President Mike Pence can break any tie.

The December FCC order will be made public on Wednesday and formally published on Thursday, the sources said. A spokesman for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not immediately comment.

The approval of Pai’s proposal marked a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

Earlier this month, technology companies including Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc threw their weight behind the congressional bid to reverse the Trump administration’s plan to repeal Obama-era rules designed to protect an open internet.

Suspended Host Tavis Smiley Sues PBS

Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley filed a lawsuit against PBS on Tuesday, saying that the organization used allegations of sexual misconduct against him as a pretext to end a "tense" relationship, reports CNN.

PBS suspended distribution of "Tavis Smiley" in December following what it called "troubling allegations" against the news show's namesake host.

Following an investigation into the accusations, PBS said Smiley had "multiple sexual encounters with subordinates over many years," and engaged in conduct that was not consistent with the organization's standards.

The complaint, filed in superior court in Washington, D.C., accuses PBS of breach of contract, saying the investigation into Smiley was "biased" and carried out "in violation of norms and procedures for conducting workplace investigations."

"PBS was prepared to make its decision to suspend distribution of the show without interviewing Mr. Smiley and providing him with an opportunity to respond to specific allegations," the complaint continued.

The suit also said that "over the years, PBS has acted in a racially hostile manner" against Smiley, who has been "the only person of color to have served as the solo host of a daily national show in the history of PBS."

Until it was suspended, his 30-minute interview show, "Tavis Smiley," has aired weeknights on PBS since 2004.

NYC Radio: WFAN's New PM Drive Show Gets First Report Card

WFAN’s new afternoon show averaged 4.4 percent of the radio audience and ranked sixth in the market among men ages 25-54 from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in its first month on the air, according to Newsday citing Nielsen Audio figures covering Jan. 4 through 31.

In the 3 ½ hours from 3 to 6:30 p.m. that the show is head-to-head against ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show,” WFAN’s Chris Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray averaged a 4.3 share, tied for eighth in the key demographic. Kay was 12th at 3.5.

Both station’s numbers were down significantly from the fall ratings period, Mike Francesa’s last at WFAN. From October to December, Francesa ranked second with an average rating of 6.6 and Kay was fourth at 5.0.

There has been intense interest in how WFAN’s new “The Afternoon Drive,” will perform in a post-Francesa era, both in comparison to Francesa and in competition with Kay.

Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s vice president of programming, said it is too soon for him to comment in depth on the new show and its ratings beyond saying, “I like the show. They’re doing a lot of right things. Their chemistry is good.”

Radio Talker Mark Levin to Debut On Fox News

Fox News announced Tuesday it will launch the first episode of conservative commentator Mark Levin's new weekend program, "Life, Liberty & Levin," on Sunday at 10 p.m., according to a network release.

"Hosted by nationally syndicated radio talk show personality Mark Levin, the hour-long show will explore the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens," reads the release.

According to The Hill, The first episode will feature an interview with Walter Williams, an economist and George Mason University professor.

“Mark’s passion for the principles found in the Constitution and success in talk radio has made him a distinct figure in the media landscape. We look forward to adding this spirited program to our weekend lineup," Suzanne Scott, Fox News president of programming, said in a statement when the network first announced Levin had been signed to host the weekly offering.

Levin also hosts a syndicated radio program that airs on more than 300 stations across the country and on Sirius XM on weekdays, and he launched the subscription-based "Levin TV" online in 2016.

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC have beefed up their programming on weekends in recent years after largely airing repeats of weekday shows or offering up specials or documentaries in the Saturday and Sunday prime-time hours.

Westwood One Adds Four New Sales Team Members

Westwood One continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization. Joining Westwood One are Stephen Gary as Director, National Sports Partnerships in Los Angeles, Gina LaBanco, as Director, National Partnerships in Chicago, Wesley O’Dell, as Director, National Partnerships and Craig Rossi, Vice President, Spoken Word, also in Los Angeles.

“2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  said Bryan Forbes, President of National Sales, Cumulus and President of Sales, Westwood One.  “In 2018, we continue our evolution with several key hires to our top-notch sales organization, with each bringing diverse and unique experiences. I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”
  • Stephen Gary joins Westwood One with 10 years of global sales, marketing, and distribution experience.  Most recently, he served as SVP, Global Sales CineTel Films. Prior to that, Stephen worked at Hyde Park International and IM Global. 
  • Gina LaBanco joins Westwood One with 23+ years of Chicago media market experience. She comes from NBC 5 Chicago, where for the past 13 years she held the position of Account Executive, responsible for the NHL, NFL, and PGA. Prior to that, Gina was the VP, Local Broadcast at Zenith Media and supervised the Lexus Dealer Association account, as well as being a local spot buyer for the Chicago market across TV, cable and radio. 
  • Wesley O'Dell joins Westwood One with 15+ years of digital sales experience, where he provided digital solutions to Fortune 500 companies on behalf of powerhouse media brands Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Fox Sports, and Rotten Tomatoes, to name a few.  Most recently, Wesley has spent the last five years gaining invaluable experience at programmatic and ad tech start-ups. 
  • Craig Rossi re-joins Westwood One with 20+ years of experience in media sales, business development, management, branding, and talent/personality integrations. Most recently, Craig has acquired podcast and on-demand content experience working with multiple emerging tech companies.

Alpha Media Names Ernie Martinez National Director/Digital Content

Ernie Martinez
Alpha Media names Ernie Martinez National Director of Digital Content. The responsibilities of this role include managing all Digital Content Creators, working closely with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.

Originally from Dallas, TX, Ernie began his career in radio at the age of 19. In 1997, he joined Radio Disney as a Producer and quickly worked his way up becoming Director, On-Air Programming. He relocated to Los Angeles in 2008 and mastered the art and importance of telling stories on digital platforms. After departing from Disney, Ernie quickly jumped into the digital content space as a VP, Talent Partnerships at mitĂș, a digital media company creating short and long form content for an American Latino audience.

Alpha Media VP of Content, Phil Becker commented on the announcement, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings. His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

“I am extremely excited to join Alpha Media and lead this new group of creators. I am looking forward to collaborating with Phil Becker, Scott Mahalick, Ronnie Stanton and the other great talent at Alpha to create digital strategies that engage our audiences and amplify the already successful music and on-air strategies, both on a national and local level,” remarked Ernie.

Louisville Radio: Summit Names Lee Cagle Operations Manager

Summit Media/Louisville has announced Lee Cagle has been named Operations Manager for the four station cluster.

Lee Cagle
Cagle will oversee Country WQNU Q-103.1, Classic Country WRKA 103.9 The Hawk, AC WVEZ 106.9 PLAY, and Classic Rock WSFR 107.7 The Eagle.

He succeeds SHANE COLLINS, who has departed the cluster after ten years.

"We chose Lee due to his extensive experience",  said Summit Media/Louisville market president Todd Pitt. "He is the right person to guide our four stations to their fullest potential."

Added Caglew, “I am very excited to join the Summit Media team. Summit’s passion for radio matches my own, and I look forward to working with SVP/Programming Bill Tanner, National PD John Olsen and Todd Pitt take our great stations in Lousville to the next level."

K-C Radio: Cumulus Names Eric Jewell Cluster GSM

Eric Jewell
Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed veteran radio sales executive Eric Jewell as General Sales Manager of Cumulus Media-Kansas City.

Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia-Memphis, TN, where he was Senior Vice President, Sales. He brings over 20 years of radio sales management experience to Cumulus, and has held leadership positions including Director of Sales for Entercom in Gainesville, FL, and General Manager of Rocket City Broadcasting in Huntsville, AL.

Donna Baker, Midwest Regional Vice President and Kansas City Market Manager, Cumulus Media, said: “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it. Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth. We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

Jewell said: “I am thrilled to join this outstanding Cumulus KC team. Creating the sales team expansion with the passion and excitement that these brands deserve is going to be fun, and we are going to move fast!”

The Kansas City cluster inludes: Classic Rock KCFX 101.1 FM, Classic Hits  KCMO 94.9 FM, Urban KCHZ 95.7 FM. Talk KCMO 710 AM, R&B KMJK 107.3 FM and Alternative KCJK 105.1 FM.

Westwood One News To Simulcast CNN Town Hall

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida last week has sparked a renewed call for lawmakers to take action, and some of the loudest voices demanding change are not even old enough to vote.

Westwood One News this evening will provide a live simulcast of the CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” from 9:00 pm until 11:00 pm ET.

Led by the students, the South Florida community is demanding answers on how the shooting at their school could have occurred and what steps federal and state authorities will take to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. To help facilitate the discussion, Westwood One will simulcast CNN’s nationally broadcast Town Hall with the victims' classmates, parents and community members, live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Participants are still being finalized. So far, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch, Sen. Bill Nelson, and Sen. Marco Rubio have accepted an invitation to participate. CNN anchor Jake Tapper will moderate.

This Town Hall event will be available to Westwood One News stations for live broadcast or excerpting. For more information, contact Jim Jones at or (202) 840-7933.

Judge Nixes AT&T Access To Trump Information

A federal judge on Tuesday undercut AT&T Inc.’s plans to argue that the Justice Department is challenging its acquisition of Time Warner Inc. for political reasons, ruling that the company can’t have information on internal government deliberations, reports The Wall Street Journal.

AT&T has argued that the government’s case was influenced by President Donald Trump’s opposition to the deal and his disdain for Time Warner’s CNN, a network he has criticized repeatedly.

The Justice Department has denied the charges, accusing the companies at a court hearing Friday of raising a Trump-bias “sideshow” as a way to justify an anticompetitive merger.

The companies said they didn’t relish raising the bias issue, but said they had reason to question whether they had been treated fairly. They argue their $85 billion deal won’t hurt consumers and shouldn’t have been challenged by the Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s seven-page ruling Tuesday said there are high legal hurdles for defendants seeking access to government communications to build a bias defense and the companies “have fallen far short” of overcoming them.

The companies “have not made a credible showing that they have been especially singled out” by the Justice Department’s lawsuit, Judge Leon wrote.

AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson has called the tensions between President Trump and CNN the “elephant in the room,” and has noted that the department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, came to the position after serving as a deputy White House counsel for Mr. Trump.

Entercom Names Jim McCloud EVP/Nat'l Business Development

Jim McCloud
Entercom Communications has announced the appointment of Jim McCloud as Executive Vice President of National Business Development for Entercom.

In this newly created role, McCloud will focus on leveraging Entercom’s national scale and robust portfolio of leading radio, digital and live events to engage national advertisers across the country.  McCloud joins Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he most recently served as Group Director & Vice President of Sponsorship Sales & Client Services.

McCloud will work closely with the Entercom executive leadership team to initiate, develop and grow relationships with existing Entercom partners. Additionally, he will be building a national client development team focused on identifying and engaging new potential Entercom advertising partners and providing comprehensive advertising solutions across Entercom’s news, entertainment and sports portfolio.

“We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom,” said Weezie Kramer, Chief Operations Officer, Entercom. “Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the talented Entercom team at this exciting time for the company,” said Jim McCloud. “Entercom’s powerful scale presents tremendous opportunities to create unique experiences for millions of consumers and drive results for our partners.”

NPR Report Cites 'High Level Of Distrust' Of Management

An outside legal review of NPR's handling of allegations against its former top news executive, Michael Oreskes, found that questions were raised about his behavior toward women even before he was hired. And concerns about misconduct were reportedly flagged throughout Oreskes' 2 1/2-year tenure at the network right up to the day he was fired.

Repeated warnings from the network's top leadership about Oreskes' inappropriate conduct and expenditures proved ineffective, the review by the law firm Morgan Lewis noted.

"Attempts to curtail Oreskes' conduct and attention to women were not successful," the report stated. "While management made multiple attempts to counsel Oreskes about his conduct, he was not deterred from pursuing conversations and dinner meetings with women inside and outside of NPR that were inappropriate and served a nonbusiness purpose." Oreskes was forced to resign on Nov. 1.

According to NPR, the nine-page report on the review's findings was released to NPR staffers Tuesday afternoon, as NPR CEO Jarl Mohn and Chief Operating Officer Loren Mayor had promised. Morgan Lewis conducted the review from December to February, interviewing 86 current and former NPR employees, 71 of whom are women.

The law firm also surveyed the culture at NPR and found a "high level of distrust" in management to address such problems effectively. More broadly, it found a "perception of a culture at NPR that favors men," in a way that it said many employees believe "can foster harassment and bullying."

Morgan Lewis suggested several fixes: NPR should require all employees to undergo sexual harassment training, preferably in person; NPR should contract with an outside firm to conduct investigations into sexual harassment complaints, at least for now, as a way of rebuilding trust; NPR's board of directors should monitor complaints, processes and resolutions; and NPR should conduct a gender equity study of pay and promotion.

Keep Reading

Charles Krauthammer Slowly Recovering From Surgery

Conservative columnist and pundit Charles Krauthammer said in a statement read on Fox News on Tuesday that he is still recovering from surgery and that his progress is moving "steadily slower" than he would like.

Still, he expressed optimism about an eventual return to TV, reports The Washington Examiner.

FNC's "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier shared the brief update on Krauthammer on his evening show Tuesday, where Krauthammer has long been a panelist. Baier, who said he constantly keeps in contact with Krauthammer, said that of all the questions he gets from viewers on social media, Krauthammer's status tops the list.

"Things are progressing steadily slower than I would like, but steadily," Krauthammer message said. "Still I wish I could give you — and myself — a better idea of when this marathon ends. I am sure it is strange for your viewers that a regular panelist should disappear for months without warning and without any real explanation."

"After my surgery, there were serious complications that took several months to stabilize," the message continued. "My improvement has finally allowed me to concentrate on intensive rehabilitation to recover my strength and stamina. This too is progressing well but as usual is intense and slow. Nonetheless, I am determined to make it back. I've got to — I can't let you guys have all the fun."

Krauthammer, 67, became permanently paralyzed below the waist due to a diving accident while he attended Harvard Medical School. He later finished his degree but later left the field of psychiatry for journalism. He has worked for a number of publications over the years and won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1987.

Live365 Resurfaces

Live365, a pioneer in internet radio and broadcasting services, and EmpireStreaming, a leading audio-centric CDN and services company, announced Tuesday that both are now part of Media Creek, Inc., a newly-formed Delaware holding company of audio-centric companies.

As part of the acquisitions, Media Creek recently added a roster of new leadership team members with substantial digital audio experience.  Digital Audio industry vets Rockie Thomas and Sean Lozensky, both formerly with AdsWizz, will join Jon Stephenson as Media Creek partners, co-founders, and executive leadership. Thomas will lead business and revenue efforts as Chief Revenue Officer, Lozensky will lead technology and development efforts as Chief Technology Officer, and Stephenson remains Media Creek’s Chief Executive Officer.

Also joining the team as Media Creek’s General Manager overseeing the company’s corporate infrastructure and leading royalty compliance is industry vet Johnire Floater. In addition, Jason Stoddard has joined Media Creek as Vice President of Broadcasting, leading the reboot of Live365 focusing on publisher platform development and satisfaction while Dragos Pana joins as Head of Demand, focusing on total publisher yield optimization and managing ad operation services. 

“Our goal is to assemble the most talented and innovative team in Digital Audio. Thomas and Lozensky are known in the industry as the ‘Dream Team’ for their 20 plus years of digital audio business, technology innovation, and experience with literally every angle of our industry”, said Stephenson, Media Creek Inc.’s CEO. 

“Floater’s musical licensing experience spans to before collection societies even had licenses for streaming; he will be instrumental in ensuring Media Creek’s companies continue to provide legal pathways for royalty compliance for webcasters.  Stoddard was with Live365 during the early, mid, and late years. Bringing him back from eBay will provide the bridge of large historical Live365 knowledge with future Live365 innovation.  Pana, also a former AdsWizz staffer, brings an immense background in audio ad tech and recently lead development of a native ad SSP for a large gaming platform” said Stephenson, Media Creek Inc.’s CEO.

“When you add this new leadership to our already strong staff of full blown digital audiophiles, expect some pretty incredible innovation from Media Creek companies”, Stephenson continued.

St. Louis Radio: Baby DJ Born Live On WARH

Hubbard’s Adult Hits WARH 106.5 The Arch morning show co-host Cassiday Proctor - of "Spencer's Neighborhood" - gave birth LIVE on the air Tuesday morning, 2/20/18!

According to her co-host Spencer Graves, "Throughout her pregnancy, Cassiday shared every aspect of expecting a baby - including all of the ups and downs and the anticipation of baby's arrival - with the 106.5 The Arch listeners across St. Louis. And today, she and her husband Jerry were gracious enough to share the most intimate part of it with us".

Other fun fact: St. Louis listeners helped name her baby boy Jameson, who arrived this morning weighing in at a healthy 7lbs, 6oz!

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 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.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Olympic Ratings Bounce Back From Weekend Low

The 2018 Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, South Korea, bounced back on Monday night from the low set over the weekend, according to Variety.

The combined coverage on NBC and NBC Sports for the second Monday of competition drew an 12.6 rating in metered market households. That is up from the 10.4 drawn on Saturday and 11.8 on Sunday. However, the first Monday drew a combined 14.5 rating, meaning this Monday was down approximately 13 percent in that measure.

In the fast affiliate numbers, NBC’s primetime coverage drew a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.7 million viewers. That does not include West Coast viewers, those who watched on NBC Sports, or those who watched on NBC’s various streaming platforms.

With 1.31 billion live streaming minutes via and the NBC Sports app through Sunday, NBC Sports Digital has more than tripled the Sochi total (420 million minutes) with one week to go, according to NBC citing data from Adobe Analytics. In addition, NBC Sports Digital has delivered 11.6 million uniques for live content – up 174% from this point in the Sochi Olympics (4.3 million)

Sunday’s NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage delivered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) average of 18.2 million viewers, according to live plus same day fast national data released Monday by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

The NBC/NBCSN average Sunday night of 18.0 million viewers dominated the TV competition with an advantage of 82% over the combined 9.9 million primetime viewers for ABC, CBS and FOX. NBC Sports Digital delivered an average minute audience of 170,000 for Sunday night’s coverage.

Nashville Radio: Brian Wilson Gets Wake-Up Duty At WWTN

Brian Wilson
Cumulus Media announces that it has signed veteran broadcaster Brian Wilson as the Host of Nashville’s Morning News on Nashville’s premier News Talk radio station SuperTalk WWTN 99.7 FM, airing weekdays from 5:00am-9:00am.

Wilson heads to Nashville from Washington, D.C., where he was most recently Co-Host of the popular morning show on Cumulus News Talk station WMAL-AM/FM.

Wilson previously served as a senior correspondent and anchor for the FOX News Channel. Based in the nation’s capital, he covered the White House, Capitol Hill, and everything in between. Prior to his time at FOX News. Wilson co-anchored the Emmy Award-winning FOX 5 Morning News on WTTG in Washington, D.C.

He has twice served as chairman of the 2500 member Capitol Hill Radio TV Correspondents Association and graduated with distinction from American University with a Master’s Degree in Print Journalism.

A native of Odessa, TX, Wilson began his career in radio news and racked up a string of statewide awards when he was only 19. Wilson began his television career in Amarillo, TX, at the age of 21 and spent time as a reporter and anchor in Mobile, AL, before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1986.   

Dan Mandis, Program Director, SuperTalk 99.7 WWTN-FM, said: “Brian has spent decades telling stories, whether covering the White House in Washington, D.C. or local stories from America’s heartland, and he’s seen it all. As Brian has been covering Nashville’s Morning News on WWTN, listeners have already been responding to his perspective and insights. I’m thrilled that he’s committed to moving to Nashville and hosting Nashville’s Morning News full time. He’s a great addition to an already outstanding radio station.”

WWTN 99.7 Fm (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Wilson said: “Even though I was born in Texas and spent the bulk of my professional career in Washington, D.C/, I always felt at home when I visited Nashville. Beyond the great music scene, I’ve been impressed with the friendliness and common sense of the folks here. I’m thrilled to be out of the Washington swamp and to be establishing roots in Music City. I’m also pleased to renew my association with Cumulus.

"Thanks to my old Cumulus boss in D.C., Bill Hess, and Cumulus/Westwood One EVP of Content & Programming Mike McVay, for their instrumental role in making this happen. I look forward to working with my new Nashville bosses, Allison Warren, Charlie Cook, Dan Mandis — and WTN’s top-flight morning team — to make Nashville’s Morning News the dominant show in its time slot. In Nashville, they often say that the formula for a good Country song is, “three chords and the truth.” I’ll leave the guitar playing to the Nashville Cats, but I’ll do my very best to give Music City the truth as best I can discern it.”

Allison Warren, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Nashville, said: “Today’s announcement helps solidify SuperTalk 99.7 as Nashville and Middle Tennessee’s premier live and local news talk station. Nashville and Middle Tennessee residents craving topical and relevant news, weather and traffic are about to be challenged, entertained and engaged like never before.”