Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lawmakers Invite Tech Titans To Testify

House Republicans are asking the CEOs of major technology and telecommunications companies to weigh in on the net neutrality debate as the Federal Communications Commission moves to repeal the Obama-era rules, according to The Hill.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a hearing on Tuesday that he has invited the executives to testify before the panel on September 7 to settle the debate.

"A strong consensus is forming across party lines and across industries that it's time for Congress to call a halt on the back-and-forth and set clear net neutrality ground rules for the internet," Walden said.

The move comes as Republicans have been pressuring Democrats to come to the negotiating table to work out a legislative replacement to the FCC's net neutrality rules, which are in the process of being repealed by the agency's Republican leaders.

Democrats and net neutrality supporters have argued that any such bill would unnecessarily water down current FCC protections that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Walden sent invitations to the chief executives of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google parent company Alphabet, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter Communications.

The major tech companies have all voiced support for the FCC's net neutrality rules but have also showed a willingness to support a legislative compromise on the issue. Republicans are hoping that they will say as much during a hearing before the committee to pressure Democrats.

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Fox News Host 'Targeted’ At Brooklyn Bar

Kat Timpf
A Fox News host was ambushed while attending her pal’s campaign event in Brooklyn Monday night — doused head to toe with a bottle of water.

The assault against Kat Timpf, a libertarian co-host on “Fox News Specialists,” occurred at Union Pool in Williamsburg.

A still shaken Timpf told The NYPost Tuesday ​that she was definitely targeted for the ​​attack

“This was a pre-planned thing,” Timpf said. “Just to see someone look you in the eye with that kind of anger and hatred and whip water in your face … is a terrifying thought.”

Timpf said the man was silent ​as he tapped her on the shoulder, dumped water on her head and then splashed it into her eyes. She said the unprovoked incident forced her to cancel her speech at Kissel’s event about criminal justice reform and budget cuts.

“The way things have gotten, it’s just so sick,” she said. “I don’t even have a right to exist in public is how it feels.”

The unknown guy “walks in, clearly here because he knows I’m here, dumps an entire 1.5 liter bottle of water on me, first on my head and then I turn … to look and he splashes it directly on my face and runs out. I’m shocked, I’m stunned. I’m obviously upset. I end up not being able … to speak because of it,” Timpf wrote Monday night.

Police confirmed Timpf filed a harassment complaint Monday night. They described the creep, who said nothing when he attacked, as a 6’2 black male, about 170 lbs. with dreadlocks.

NYC Radio: WABC's Sliwa Cuffed During Station Stunt

Guardian Angels founder and 77 WABC talk host Curtis Sliwa was busted Tuesday for trying to serve Mayor Bill de Blasio with a lawsuit outside Gracie Mansion.

According to The NYPost, the outspoken Sliwa was given a desk-appearance ticket for disorderly conduct for attempting to toss the court papers at de Blasio’s motorcade around 8:30 a.m.

“He ordered them to cuff me and arrest me and called for cop cars from the 19th Precinct. You would have thought I was Pablo Shorty Guzman,” Sliwa told reporters after he was released from the 19th Precinct, in an apparent reference to jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. “There were 20 officers and four cars.”

WABC photos
Sliwa claimed he was able to throw the suit — which seeks to have de Blasio removed from the Working Families Party ticket on a technicality — at the mayor’s car as he took off from Gracie.

“I yelled, ‘I’m serving you, Mr. Mayor,'” said Sliwa, who also plans to sue Public Advocate Letitia James and city Comptroller Scott Stringer. “That’s why we are serving them because they shouldn’t be on the ballot either if they are going to knock off our candidates.”

The paperwork Sliwa was trying to serve de Blasio was related to the Reform Party’s attempt to get de Blasio and some other candidates off the Working Families Party ballot line after claiming that city election rules had been violated in how the candidate were selected.

A spokesman for the NYPD reportedly said in a statement that “Sliwa refused to move from the road and attempted to interfere with the departure of the motorcade. Sliwa was physically removed and charged with disorderly conduct.”

Upon his release, Sliwa has asked Eboni K Williams, a licensed attorney and co-host of “The Curtis and Eboni Show” on WABC, to represent him in his upcoming court appearance.

GropeGate: Future Earnings Testimony To Be Allowed

David Mueller
Former radio personality David Mueller, who is suing music star Taylor Swift in federal court in Denver will be allowed to present expert testimony on economic loss he’s suffered since being fired, but it will be limited.

Acccording to The Denver Post, defense attorneys representing Swift filed a motion to quash testimony by Jeffery B. Opp, an “expert witness” on behalf of plaintiff David Mueller, a former KYGO 98.5 FM radio personality, known as 'Jackson'..

Swift alleges that Mueller inappropriately touched her buttocks during a June 2013 backstage meet-and-greet at a Pepsi Center concert. Mueller was fired after the allegations and filed a 2015 lawsuit against the singer.

On Tuesday U.S. District Judge William Martinez ruled that Opp can testify in an upcoming trial, although the judge limited his testimony.

Opp “may not offer opinions stating his own view” of Mueller’s “quantified value” in the radio industry, nor can he opine on Mueller’s “employability.” Opp will, however, be allowed to offer opinion on “past and future wage loss” to a limited extent.

“Analysis of lost future earnings is inherently subject to uncertainty, including the possibility that an employee might not continue his or her employment as long as desired, for a variety of reasons,” Martinez ruled.

Mueller, according to a report written by Opp, had planned to work in radio for another six and a half to 11 and a half years.

Fox News: And The Lawsuits Just Keep Coming...

An ousted Fox executive has fired back at the network, charging in a 54-page lawsuit filed in New York that the network used him as a “scapegoat” in order to polish up its own damaged image.

According to The Washington Post, former Fox News Vice President Francisco Cortes claims the network purposely commented on the harassment settlement between Cortes and ex-Fox contributor Tamara Holder in order to “demonstrate that it aggressively handles sexual harassment complaints,” the complaint states.

The suit, filed against Twenty-First Century Fox America, Inc. and two John Does, is seeking $48 million in damages.

The brainchild of network head Ailes, Fox News Latino went live in October 2010 with Cortes at the helm.

But the entire Fox News ecosystem was upset last year following allegations about Ailes’s sexual harassment, first lobbed at the powerful media figure in a lawsuit filed by anchor Gretchen Carlson. Following similar allegations from Megyn Kelly and 18 other female Fox employees, Fox’s parent company forced Ailes out in 2016. Instead of ending the scandal, however, Ailes’ departure unleashed further allegations and firings, with figures like co-president Bill Shine, Fox Business host Charles Payne, and ratings-heavyweight Bill O’Reilly all leaving the company.

Amid the scandal, he New York Times reported in March that Fox News’ parent company had reached a $2.5 million settlement with Holder, an attorney and on-air contributor. According to the paper, Holder had informed the network that in February 2015, Cortes had tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in his office. In response to the Times’s article, both Fox and Holder released a joint statement saying Cortes had been fired after the company learned about and investigated Holder’s claim in early 2016.

In a Statement from a Fox News Channel spokesperson said: “The allegations in this lawsuit are frivolous and without merit.”

NOLA Radio: WWL Lands Influential Sheriff For Show

Sheriff Newell Normand is trading his badge, 40 years in law enforcement and 37 years with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office for the microphone and a new challenge – host of WWL Radio’s midday show left vacant when Garland Robinette retired.

“It was a tough decision, because I love my work, my officers and the people of Jefferson parish, but this is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said an excited Normand. “I always listened to Garland and admired his voice in our community. He played a pivotal role in New Orleans’ recovery & rebirth from Katrina. Plus, good leaders know when it’s time to move on. I’m satisfied that Jefferson Parish is in great shape. The crime rate hasn’t been this low since 1974. And strong leadership is ready to step in and take over a great team – one I care about deeply and will miss dearly,” continued Normand. Newell Normand was elected sheriff 3 times and sustained approval ratings of 92%, 91% and 88%.

Why radio? “This allows me to lead in a different way,” said Normand. “These are volatile times. People don’t know what to believe, who to trust, where to turn. I’d like to help cut through the confusion and fog. I have a unique perspective, and WWL radio is a huge stage with so many platforms to reach people. Together we can be a strong force for good. My goal is simply that–to be the voice of positive change. Same mission as a sheriff… different venue. We’ll not only make honest assessments of our cities, state and country, but our leaders. And, yes, we’ll ask questions…but anybody who knows me knows this…we’ll demand answers,” said Sheriff Normand.

Why Newell? “He’s an extraordinary leader and a good man. Newell Normand’s opinion matters. When he talks everybody listens,” says Chris Claus VP/GM of Entercom Communica-tions New Orleans. “We knew Garland’s replacement had to be someone special. Someone with strong opinions, great intellect…someone who earned the respect, not just of the citizens in our community, but leaders too.”

How did this union happen? “I can honestly say we surprised Sheriff Normand,” said Diane Newman, WWL Operations and Program Director. “Called him out of the blue one day & asked if he’d consider a career change. It was a long shot – he’s one of our most popular and effective leaders—a powerful man with one powerful voice. But, just as Garland always seemed bigger than the box called television, Newell always seemed more than the uniform. His voice will be amplified behind the WWL mic, allowing him and us to make even deeper connections with our community. There are sides to Newell Normand that most people don’t know. This show will give him room to expand – to display not just his unmatched smarts & institutional knowledge, but that passion & love of community that he always had to reign in as sheriff. Talent as big as the stage,” declared Newman.

And what does recently-retired Garland Robinette think about his replacement? “He’s an inspired choice,” said Robinette. “I honestly thought there was no way they could pull it off. Sheriff Newell Normand is one of the most powerful people in Louisiana. Many thought he’d be governor one day. Law enforcement around the country admire and consult this man. My response to this news, honestly, is WOW! Newell will be a compelling host & a magnet for great guests. Everybody’s going to want to be on that show. Everybody’s going to listen. I know I will,” smiled Robinette.

WWL 870 AM (50 Kw DA)
Newell Normand will officially retire as Jefferson Parish Sheriff August 31st. He’ll take over WWL radio’s 10am to 1pm time slot Monday, September 11th.

WWL 105.3 FM (96 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“There’s a lot I have to unwind, now that the secret’s out. I want to leave the sheriff’s office & parish clicking on all cylinders,” explained Normand.

AT&T's Quarterly Profit Tops Estimates

AT&T Inc's quarterly profit topped Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier lowered operating costs and introduced new promotions bundling video with phone service that helped it compete in a fierce market for customers, according to Reuters.

AT&T is battling industry leader Verizon Communications Inc and smaller rivals Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc for customers in a market where most people already have cell phones.

Verizon in February reintroduced an unlimited data plan for the first time in more than five years, and other carriers have since then sweetened their own offers.

AT&T, which is in the process of buying Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion in an effort to turn itself into a media powerhouse, has sought to compete by bundling mobile service with video entertainment.

In June, it announced that it was offering its unlimited wireless plan with its internet streaming service DirecTV Now for an additional $10 a month.

Such product bundles helped win new subscribers as well as keep hold of old ones, Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said on a post-earnings conference call with analysts.

The company lost 199,000 video subscribers in the period overall. Its DirecTV Now streaming service added 152,000 subscribers, bringing the total to 500,000 since the service was launched in November. But that failed to offset losses by its satellite and U-verse pay-TV offerings.

Net income attributable to AT&T rose to $3.9 billion, or 63 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $3.4 billion, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

AT&T continues to expect the Time Warner deal to close by year-end.

Report: Viacom Looking To Acquire Scripps Networks

Viacom Inc has informed Scripps Networks Interactive it is willing to pay all cash to acquire the U.S. TV network operator, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the move by Viacom, which had $12.17 billion in debt as of March 31, could potentially mean that the $14.3 billion media company would lose its investment-grade status to buy the $10.6 billion Scripps. Last year Moody's downgraded Viacom's debt to the lowest level of investment grade - a status they would likely lose as a result of the deal.

Viacom is bidding for Scripps, which owns channels such as HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, against Discovery Communications, which is not expected to make an all-cash bid, according to the sources, all of whom wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.

Making an all-cash bid would mark an aggressive move for Viacom Chief Executive Bob Bakish, who has pledged to turn around the struggling media company, which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures.

A deal with Scripps would create a $24.9 billion cable network that brings together non-scripted programming and scripted programming, including children's shows and a movie studio.

By acquiring Scripps, Viacom can gain cost savings and scale. Larger programmers are thought to have more leverage in negotiations with cable and satellite providers to carry their shows.

Viacom has been talking to cable and satellite companies about launching a so-called skinny bundle of non-sports networks for less than $20 per month. By acquiring Scripps programming, Viacom has more to offer its pay TV partners for such a bundle.

Total Viewers: Colbert's Margin Increases

“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” scored its biggest margin of victory in total viewers ever thanks to the CBS late-night show’s “Russia Week” for the frame ending July 21.

According to Variety, the week of shows covered the host’s recent trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow. It won the week in viewers by its largest margin since the show’s premiere in September of 2015, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings, with an average of 2.87 million viewers per episode. The show topped “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” by 450,000 viewers for the week, with the “Tonight Show” averaging 2.42 million viewers per episode. “The Late Show” was also up 14% compared to the same week last year.

However, Fallon was still the top-rated late night show in adults 18-49. “The Tonight Show” averaged a 0.59 rating in the key demo, topping Colbert (0.43) and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel (0.37).

Colbert and Fallon have been battling it out in the ratings for months, with Colbert’s total viewer numbers surging ever since Donald Trump’s election.

Nielsen Digital Ratings Now Included Hulu, YouTubeTV

Eligible TV viewing from Hulu and YouTube TV is now measured and reported through Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings and contributes directly to C3/C7 currency, Nielsen announced today. With this inclusion, Nielsen measurement will provide media buyers and sellers with a more comprehensive and transparent view of audiences engaging with linear TV programming across digital devices.

Combining digital viewing of eligible Live, DVR and On-Demand TV on Hulu’s live service and YouTube TV with traditional linear audience metrics, Nielsen will capture audiences watching linear TV through these services on desktop, tablets and smartphones. This capability will provide broader audience coverage and inclusion and allow Nielsen clients to more effectively monetize content across platforms.

“The inclusion of eligible TV viewership from Hulu and YouTube TV viewership in C3 and C7 through Digital in TV Ratings is a major accomplishment in delivering Nielsen Total Audience to the marketplace,” said Megan Clarken, President of Product Leadership at Nielsen. “We are proud to be able to deliver this solution to our clients as part of our commitment to provide trusted, independent measurement of the evolving modern media landscape.”

Launched in 2015, Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings provides a method for programmers and buyers to account for all viewers across desktop and mobile devices as long as the program content and commercials match the linear TV airing. This capability brings together census-based data, persons demographics and Nielsen’s high-quality, representative panels to report audiences across national and local markets.

“We built YouTube TV to bring the most popular ‘must watch’ TV to today's video ​streaming audiences, ​and we're already seeing that ​live TV represents the majority of time spent watching on the service. Our network and advertising partners will benefit from Nielsen DTVR measurement of Y​o​uTube TV,” said Heather Moosnick, Director of Content Partnerships for YouTube TV.

“Our goal is to make it possible for viewers to watch their favorite shows whenever and wherever they want—and be able to measure that viewership. We are pleased with Nielsen’s launch of this capability and look forward to the new insights it enables,” said Cindy Davis, EVP Consumer Experience of Disney-ABC Television Group.

Rapid Growth Reported For Connected TV

The use of connected TV devices continues on a sharp upward path, with another year of double-digit growth in the US.

In total, 168.1 million people in the US will use an internet-connected TV this year, up 10.1% over 2016. Usage of smart TVs, which have connectivity built in and need no secondary device, are the largest single subgroup within the category.

Smart TV users will make up nearly half of all connected TV viewers, with 81.2 million users in 2017. That's a sharp 30.8% increase over 2017 levels.

In fact, the growth of smart TV usage has led eMarketer to downwardly revise its latest forecast of total connected TV viewers.

"Essentially, more people are buying smart TVs than previously anticipated, which holds back demand for third-party connectivity devices," said Paul Verna, principal video analyst at eMarketer.

Growth in usage of connected-TV devices remains robust, nevertheless. eMarketer estimates that 38.9 million Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month, up 19.3% vs. 2016. As a result, the device will capture 23.1% of all connected TV users.

Chicago Radio: WGN Radio To EXIT Tower

WGN 720 AM will be leaving its longtime headquarters at Tribune Tower next year to relocated to 303 East Wacker Drive.

Chicago Media write Robert Feder first reported the Tribune Broadcasting move.

WGN Radio will join two other units of Tribune Media in moving across the river to the Illinois Center complex, occupying two floors of the 28-story high-rise at 303 East Wacker Drive. Tribune Media sold the 1925 landmark neo-Gothic Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue last year to Los Angeles-based developer CIM Group in a $240 million deal.

Word of the move also comes as WGN Radio is on track to be sold as part of the $6.6 billion acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“I’m pleased to tell you that we have decided to relocate WGN Radio to 303 E. Wacker, the same building in which the broadcast and technology groups will be working,” Larry Wert, president broadcast media for Tribune Media, wrote in a memo to staff.

“We purposely chose this space in order to remain together as a broadcast ‘family.’  The new space is being custom-designed for the radio station and will be state-of-the-art.  While we will give up the showcase studio on Michigan Avenue, listeners will hear no difference in the outstanding programing WGN has provided for nearly nine decades.

From 2012, a tour of the current WGN facilities on the 7th floor...

Sinclair CEO: No Plans To Take On Fox News

Chris Ripley (Baltimore Sun Photo)
Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley dispelled rumors that his company was looking to compete against conservative news outlet Fox News.

In an interview with Variety, Ripley said that after Sinclair acquired Allbritton Communications in 2014, his company “looked hard” at launching a national cable news channel but ultimately decided against it.

“Our strength is local news. The market for national cable news is very well served,” Ripley told the publication.

According to FierceCable, the speculation over Sinclair’s desire to take on Fox News comes from the broadcaster’s must-run commentary segments—which have drawn criticism for leaning toward conservative viewpoints—as well as the company’s potential $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media.

Sinclair will be buying Tribune’s 42 television stations in 33 markets, cable network WGN America, digital multicast network Antenna TV, minority stakes in the TV Food Network and CareerBuilder, and a variety of real estate assets. Should the deal be approved, and factoring in other Sinclair deals like the recently completed Bonten Media acquisition, Sinclair will hold 233 stations in about 108 markets.

But Ripley’s comments seemingly negate any thoughts that Sinclair might try to compete by launching its own national network. The comments also seem to fly in the face of recent reports that Sinclair was seeking to snag new TV shows from Fox News expat Bill O’Reilly and current Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Justin Bieber Apologizes For Abandoning Tour

Justin Bieber has apologized to his fans for the sudden cancellation of the remainder of his world tour, saying he needed some rest after being on the road for two years.

His manager, Scooter Braun, also apologized but said the Canadian-born Bieber's "soul and well being" are the top priority.

Reuters reports Bieber's decision to pull out of the remaining 14 dates of his "Purpose" world tour, citing only "unforeseen circumstances," caused concern and frustration among his fans but also brought support, including from American singer-songwriter John Mayer.

Bieber, 23, had been on tour since March 2016, playing more than 150 dates around the world before canceling the last shows in North America and Asia on Monday.

He told celebrity media who caught up with him in the southern California beach city of Santa Monica late on Monday that he was fine, and was looking forward to "just resting and getting some relaxation."

"I love you guys, I think you guys are awesome. I'm sorry for anyone who feels, like, disappointed or betrayed, it's not in my heart or anything and have a blessed day," he said in a message to fans.

Braun, who discovered Bieber when he was 12, said in an Instagram posting late on Monday that Bieber "gave it all night after night."

Bieber, who has had several run-ins with the law after shedding his clean-cut teen image, was banned last week from performing in China for what authorities there called his bad behavior.

Mayer gave Bieber credit for looking after his mental health. "When someone pulls remaining dates of a tour, it means they would have done real damage to themselves if they kept going. We've lost so many great artists lately. I give Justin (two thumbs up) for realizing it was time to call it," the "Gravity" singer wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Billboard is reporting Concert promoter AEG Presents isn't sweating the loss on the cancellation of the remaining dates on Justin Bieber's Purpose World Tour. Company sources say, overall, the 154-concert tour was very successful, but some of the final dates weren't selling that well. After playing sold-out arena dates all over the country, Bieber might have been pushing his luck trying to return and play stadium shows without releasing a new album, sources say.

Just one of the 14 shows left on the tour was a sellout.

SiriusXM: Darius Rucker To host Golf Show

Darius Rucker
Three-time Grammy Award-winning musician Darius Rucker, an avid golfer and passionate fan of the game, will host a new monthly show on SiriusXM's 24/7 golf channel, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.  On Par with Darius Rucker will debut July 26 (3:00-4:00 pm ET) and will feature Rucker's perspective on the game as a devoted player (he is a single-digit handicap) and fan.

Rucker is friendly with many active players on both the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, and he is a partner at MGC Sports, a sports agency that currently represents golfers and other athletes.  He will invite the game's stars as well as other celebrities with a passion for golf on the show for conversations that will span the worlds of golf and entertainment.

"They say that rock stars want to be pro athletes, and pro athletes want to be rock stars, and there is definitely some truth to that," said Rucker.  "It's no secret that music and golf are two passions of mine.  I've been lucky enough to play with and get to know well some of the best golfers on tour.  While we're on the course, I'm looking for swing tips and all they want to do is talk music. SiriusXM is the perfect place to blend both of those worlds into one show, and I am really excited to get started."

"Darius is a very talented and versatile entertainer.  He is also a fun-loving and engaging guy who is absolutely infatuated with the game of golf, which is something so many of us can relate to," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer.  "SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio is an excellent forum for him to share that passion for golf and we are very excited to work with him on what will be a very unique and entertaining show."

Darius Rucker first attained multi-platinum status as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish.   Since re-introducing himself to the world as a solo country artist, his musical life has had a remarkable second act that has featured many chart-topping hits. Rucker's as-yet-untitled fifth Capitol Records Nashville album will be released later this year.

VMA Nominations Announced

Rapper Kendrick Lamar earned a leading eight MTV Video Music Award (VMA) nominations on Tuesday for his searing critique on the excesses of fame and social media in his "Humble" music video, while Katy Perry and The Weeknd scored five nods each, according to Reuters.

Lamar's "Humble" video, in which the rapper is seen lying on piles of cash, recreating Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting "The Last Supper" and with his hair on fire, will contend for video of the year, the top prize at the fan-voted, youth-orientated awards show.

Also nominated in the category is The Weeknd's "Reminder," Bruno Mars' "24K Magic," Alessia Cara's "Scars To Your Beautiful" and DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller.

Perry's big budget video for "Chained to the Rhythm," which saw her in a retro-futuristic theme park called Oblivia, landed four nods including best pop and visual effects and she also landed a nomination for best collaboration as a featured artist on Calvin Harris' summer track "Feels."

However, the pop singer was snubbed in the video and artist of the year categories, while The Weeknd made the shortlist for both.

The MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live from Inglewood, California on Aug. 27, has a reputation for irreverence, shock tactics and unpredictable moments.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. To Join NBC

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Upon the completion of his final season as a full-time driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is planning to join the broadcasting booth at NBC.

Earnhardt Jr. has long been a fan favorite, so racing fans can take solace in knowing that he isn't out of the sport cold turkey. Earnhard Jr.'s contract includes opportunities beyond broadcasting, including partnerships between NBC and some of his other business ventures.

Of the partnership, Earnhardt Jr. released a statement that said:

It is a tremendous honor not only to join NBC Sports next year but to begin a new career alongside people who love NASCAR as much as I do. To be reunited with Steve Letarte, to be able to call legends like Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty teammates rather than just friends, to be able to continue going to the track and connecting with race fans, it's a privilege I don't take lightly. I will devote my heart and soul to this broadcast team and pledge my very best to the millions who watch it."

The specifics of Earnhardt Jr.'s role are unclear as of now. However, it is clear that NBC has been eyeing Earnhardt Jr. for some time, reports CBS Sports.

Kansas City Radio: KU Sports EXITS KCSP

Kansas City’s KCSP 610 Sports Radio will no longer be the home of Kansas men’s basketball and football games, the station announced on its website Tuesday. This ends a previous 18-year agreement between Entercom, which owns 610 Sports, and KU Athletics.

“We greatly appreciate all the years we had with them (at KU). They’re good people down there,” said Dave Alpert, vice president and general manager of Entercom Kansas City. “We certainly appreciate their desire to be on a station where they’re not going to be bumped by other sports.”

The main challenge, Alpert said, came in September and October when KU football would often conflict with Royals games. Because both KU and Royals broadcasts required multiple consecutive hours of airtime — including pregame and postgame shows — Entercom was forced to move KU some football broadcasts to KMBZ 980 AM.

Denver Radio: Report Has KDSP Going All Broncos, All The Time

According to multiple network sources, Denver Sports KDSP 760 AM, an iHeartMedia station, is transforming into Orange and Blue Radio and will cover the Broncos and only the Broncos 24/7. The new station is a 50-50 partnership with the Broncos and will soon be housed in a new studio being built at the team’s Dove Valley headquarters.

The Denver Post reports Orange and Blue will launch Thursday morning, when the Broncos begin training camp.

iHeartMedia’s local stations have undergone numerous changes to their cast of daily shows on Denver Sports 760 and their Broncos gameday broadcasts on KOA 850 AM. In April, former Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey announced he would be leaving both his daily show on 760 with Andy Lindahl and Romi Bean, as well as his role as color commentator on KOA’s game-day broadcasts.

KDSP 760 AM (50 Kw-D, 1 Kw-N DA2)
According to a source, the full lineup for Orange and Blue is “90 percent set.”

Berkeley Radio: KPFA Cancels Discussion Of Islam

Public radio station KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley, California, has canceled a planned book discussion and fundraiser next month with author and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins, who's known for his best-selling 2006 book, The God Delusion, charging that comments he's made about Islam are "abusive speech."

Dawkins had been scheduled to talk about his new book, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Realist, and tickets had sold for the event as part of a station fundraiser.

But KPFA canceled Dawkins' appearance after people brought his comments about Islam to their attention. They charged he used, quote, "Islamophobic rhetoric," stating, "The speech we reviewed included assertions during his current book tour that Islam is the 'most evil' of world religions, Twitter posts denigrating Muslim scholars as non-scholars and other tweets."

Dawkins fired back, saying the station hadn't checked the facts or contacted him, and denying he'd ever used abusive speech about Islam.

He said instead that he has criticized Islamism, movements that seek to impose Islamic law and theology, often through force and violence, saying, "Far from attacking Muslims, I understand . . . that Muslims themselves are the prime victims of the oppressive cruelties of Islamism." He also questioned why the station didn't seem to have a problem with critical things he's said about Christianity, saying, "Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticize Christianity but not Islam?"

July 26 Radio History

Burns & Allen
➦In 1895...George Burns’ longtime partner & wife Gracie Allen was born in San Francisco. She performed in vaudeville, radio, TV, and on stage as comedienne with her husband. The Burns & Allen Show debuted on radio in 1932, and ended on TV with Gracie’s retirement 25 years later.

She died after a heart attack Aug 27, 1964 at age 69.

➦In 1903...orchestra leader Donald Voorhees was born in Allentown Pa.  He is best remembered as the musical director of NBC radio’s Bell Telephone Hour, which began an 18 y]ar run in 1940, and continued for another 10 years on television.  Voorhees conducted for the entire 28 years.

He died of pneumonia Jan 10 1989 at age 85.

Jean Shepherd
➦In 1921...unique storyteller/radio/TV broadcaster Jean Shepherd was born in Chicago.

His noteworthy broadcasting started in 1955 when he began weaving detailed stories and anecdotes as well as poetry readings into his overnight shifts on New York’s WOR 710 AM.  He continued in various time slots on WOR until 1977, working largely without a script.   ‘Shep’ is best remembered today as the author and narrator of the classic 1983 film A Christmas Story, which is now telecast many times each holiday season.  Comedian Jerry Seinfeld credits Shepherd’s broadcasts with helping to form his comic style and presentation.

He died Oct. 16 1999 at age 78.  In 2005 he was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

➦In 1947...the Abe Burrows Show premiered on CBS radio, as the comedy writer got his own 15 minute program.  A year later it grew to 30 minutes.

➦In 19??...WCBS 101.1 FM PD Jim Ryan was born.

Jim Ryan
Ryan joined CBS RADIO in April 2010 as Program Director of WWFS-FM and Vice President, Adult Contemporary Programming. He was named Program Director of WCBS-FM since early 2014. 2014.

From September 1996 to April 2008, Ryan worked for iHeartMedia’s WLTW 106.7 Lite-FM. During his time at the station, Ryan programmed and served as Director of Adult Contemporary Programming, went on to become Vice President of AC Programming and was later elevated to Senior Vice President of AC Programming.

Prior to working in New York, Ryan played an instrumental role in establishing WBEB 101.1 FM in Philadelphia as a market leader. He began his broadcasting career, and later went on to work in Denver, Pittsburgh, Miami and Detroit, before his first group programming job in 1981 overseeing stations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.

Pete Fornatale
➦In 1964...WCBS moved to 524 W. 57th St.

➦In 1969...One of the pioneers in FM Rock, Pete Fornatale started at WNEW 102.7 FM.  Fornatale hosted a weekly program, "Campus Caravan," on Fordham University's WFUV from 1964 to 1970. He began professionally in 1969 at WNEW-FM and also worked at WXRK. He returned to WFUV in 2001 and was heard weekly on his shows, "Mixed Bag" and "Mixed Bag Radio," which is also on XM satellite radio. He won the Armstrong Excellence in Broadcasting Award in 1983.

Fornatale died at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City at age 66 on April 26, 2012 after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AdLarge Media Launching Syndicated Evening Music Show

AdLarge Media introduces The Serene & Pearl Show, an upbeat, personality-driven program for music-formatted radio stations.

The 5-hour, 7pm-12midnight program airs Monday through Friday and is hosted by dynamic sisters, Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. Along with co-host Danny Valdes, their genuine style resonates with audiences in the 25-54 demographic.

“Radio listeners want current personalities with whom they can identify,” stated Cathy Csukas, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of AdLarge Media. “Listeners connect with Serene & Pearl and relate to their day-to-day experiences. The Serene & Pearl Show is the perfect solution for music stations that want to grow their evening audience.”

“When I first heard Serene and Pearl, I recognized that rare, engaging star-quality that the best radio hosts possess,” said Randy Lane, President of the Randy Lane Company. “Serene and Pearl have big, authentic personalities and a lively chemistry that listeners embrace.”

Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Serene & Pearl have a remarkable story. With 18 children between them, they are wildly successful entrepreneurs and influencers who are considered experts in healthy living, family, parenting, work/life balance, and much more. They have two best-selling books with a third coming out this fall, a weekly podcast, and a huge following of fans, including across social media.

“Serene & Pearl deliver to radio a multimedia juggernaut that is homespun and ready to become part of the fabric of radio stations across the country,” said Jessica Sherman, Vice President of Affiliate Marketing for AdLarge Media. “There’s always lots of laughter on The Serene & Pearl Show, and the encouragement that continually lets listeners know that ‘we’re all in this together’.”

To hear a demo of the Serene & Pearl Show, please visit the website at Stations interested in learning more about The Serene & Pearl Show may contact Jessica Sherman at 646-759-8431 or