Thursday, October 19, 2017

FCC Hits Pause On Sinclair-Tribune Merger

The FCC is pausing its review of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed merger with Tribune Media to allow more time for the filing of public comments.

The FCC is more than halfway through its 180-day timeline for review of the merger, which would create a broadcasting giant with 223 TV stations serving 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, and to cover about 72% of U.S. households.

In a statement, the FCC’s Media Bureau said they are pausing the review for 15 days until Nov. 2. Last month, the FCC requested more information from Sinclair on how the transaction will be in the public interest, as well as other concerns, and the company responded earlier this month.

“The Commission has a strong interest in ensuring a full and complete record upon which to base its decision in this proceeding,” the Media Bureau said in a statement. “Pausing the clock will ensure that commenters have additional time to review and comment on this new information.”

Public interest groups lobbying against the deal had been urging the FCC to open a new period for public comments.

Conservatives Fear More Left-Leaning Media

The proposed AT&T merger with Time Warner has some conservatives nervous about its impact on free speech — namely theirs.

The Washington Times is reporting the prospect of another massive, left-tilting media conglomerate running both platforms and content — including Trump nemesis CNN — strikes trepidation in the hearts of right-wingers already feeling the squeeze from Google and Facebook.

Rick Manning
“I think it’s pretty dangerous given that we’re looking at CNN being part of this merger,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. “Consolidating CNN with DirecTV, which is in 26 million households, combined with the other outlets that exist in the context of that merger, you’re creating a pretty massive corporate profit motive for pushing eyeballs to CNN. And CNN has really ended any credibility they have as a news agency.”

At the same time, he said he would be opposed to the deal even if it didn’t mean increasing the clout of CNN.

“I’d still be against it because I think the single greatest challenge to the First Amendment is the consolidation of media,” Mr. Manning said. “In this modern world where speech is under attack on a daily basis from the left, when you consolidate media into mass corporate entities, they decide what’s valid speech and what’s not.”

Not all conservatives would agree. Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the right should stick to its free market guns.

“Conservatives should not be in the business of regulating the size of somebody’s microphone,” Mr. Crews said. “Conservatives are supposed to be in the business of saying, ‘Hey, especially in the internet age, everybody is a broadcaster on their own, and we can always create new microphones.’ And that’s exactly what we do.”

The Justice Department is weighing AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner, which owns CNN, HBO and other television and media content, while AT&T has the nation’s largest pay-TV provider with DirecTV as well as mobile phone service.

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Trump: Media Out to "Bring Down' Administration

President Donald Trump has ratcheted up his media attacks, making it crystal clear Wednesday (Oct. 18) he thinks the mainstream media are indeed enemies of the people, bent on destroying him and willing to stop at nothing.

Broadcasting&Cable reports that came in an e-mail circulating a new "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey on the news media, one of several the Trump Pence campaign fundraising committee has conducted in concert with the Republican National Committee.

"I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the Mainstream Media is out to bring down my Administration.," the President said in the e-mail. "It’s a 24/7 barrage of hit jobs, fake stories, and absolute hatred for everything we stand for as a movement. "They don’t care about the truth. They don’t care about what’s right. They only care about propping up the liberal Democrats they worship and destroying anyone who wants to put America First. There is nothing they won’t do to stop us."

The new survey focuses on four specific news outlets, CNN, NBC, co-owned MSNBC and Fox News, asking whether each can be trusted to report fairly on his presidency. The President has been highly critical of CNN and NBC News, and generally positive toward Fox.

Milwaukee Radio: WTMJ Shuffles Two Shows

WTMJ 620 AM has swapped its two midday talk shows, returning Jeff Wagner to his previous time slot from noon to 3 p.m. and sliding former Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi to the 8:30 a.m.-to-noon shift.

The flip-flop begins Monday. In its statement announcing the move, WTMJ said the switch "positions the conservative news analysis of Steve Scaffidi and the local, town-hall nature of Jeff Wagner’s midday program."

Wagner had been in the early afternoon shift for 18 years at WTMJ before he was moved to the morning slot vacated when talk-show host Charlie Sykes left the station at the end of 2016, after 23 years on the air.

Scaffidi joined WTMJ in February, as an early afternoon host with news executive producer Erik Bilstad. He resigned as Oak Creek's mayor to take the gig.

In a statement issued by WTMJ, director of programming and news Eric Brooks said: “Steve has grown tremendously since joining the station in early 2017. He has capitalized on his unique perspective as a former politician and community leader. His show is quickly growing, and we are excited to put him in the day part where our audience has come to expect political and issue-driven talk.”

WTMJ’s weekday lineup - Effective Monday, October 23:

5:00 a.m. Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller
8:30 a.m. Steve Scaffidi with news anchor Erik Bilstad
12:00 p.m. Jeff Wagner
3:00 p.m. Afternoon News with John Mercure
6:00 p.m. Sports Central with Greg Matzek
9:00 p.m. Clark Howard

Report: Female Pop Stars Facing Identity Crisis

The Wall Street Journal is reporting R&B/hip-hop has surpassed rock for the first time to officially become the biggest music genre in America, according to Nielsen Music, which tracks online streams and digital and physical albums. As of Oct. 12, R&B/hip-hop has driven 24% of music consumption in 2017—more than rock’s 21% and double pop’s 12% share.

So far this year, 20 of the 25 most-streamed songs on Spotify, Apple Music and other on-demand audio services are by R&B/hip-hop acts such as Kendrick Lamar, Migos, Childish Gambino and Lil Uzi Vert, Nielsen’s data shows. Two are by male pop stars (Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars). Not one is by a female pop artist.

At the same time, a string of white A-list arena-pop stars—Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, even Taylor Swift—have stumbled over the past year amid poor reviews, underperforming singles or disappointing sales.

It’s a real shift going on with pop music—we’re showing that hip-hop is pop music,” says Andre Torres, vice president of urban catalog at Universal Music Enterprises, a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest music company. He says female pop artists who “are unsure about who they are and who they want to be” are finding it harder to navigate today’s pop landscape.

Hit machines Katy Perry and Lady Gaga—who together have produced 12 chart-topping songs in the past decade—have both failed to deliver a No. 1 song with their new albums.

Five of the 10 songs to hit No. 1 on the singles chart this year have been rap, the most ever, Billboard notes. The other five include one R&B, one Latin and two male pop songs. The only female pop single to hit No. 1 was Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”

Meanwhile, R&B/hip-hop artists like Drake, Rihanna and BeyoncĂ© have more easily crossed over into pop in the past decade and now dominate mainstream culture. The expanding genre is squeezing traditional white female pop stars off the stage. “With young streaming subscribers bypassing female pop acts in favor of hip-hop and R&B, A&R execs are combing SoundCloud looking for the next Drake or Kendrick, rather than the next Taylor,” says Craig Marks, editorial director at Townsquare Media , which owns over 300 U.S. radio stations.

Historically, the core of the traditional pop-diva audience has been teen girls. Yet several experts say these same fans aren’t as interested in the staged artificial personas of many pop stars such as Lady Gaga. They are now interested in hip-hop where lyrics are often more direct and true to life.

Nielsen: NFL Ratings Down 7.5% Through Week 6

Although the numbers have improved somewhat since Nielsen’s week three prognosis for NFL ratings, the audience metric firm says that ratings are still down from the 2016 season.

According FierceCable, The firm says that an average of 15 million people are watching games through the first six weeks this year, down 7.5% from the average 16.2 million people that watched through week 6 last season. Those numbers represent an improvement over Nielsen’s analysis after three weeks into the season, when it said viewership was down 11%.

However, Monday Night Football on ESPN is averaging 11.2 million viewers, up 6% from where it was after week 6 of last season.

When the 2017-2018 NFL season opened with slightly lower viewership, coverage of Hurricane Irma was cited as a possible reason for the ratings erosion, much like the 2016 presidential election affected NFL viewership.

Regardless of the reason for the viewership struggles with the NFL, analysts are warning investors that earnings season for NFL broadcast partners including CBS could be impacted. Analyst firm Credit Suisse in particular thinks that CBS could see a downturn in advertising revenue.

The firm recently warned that 21st Century Fox could be in line for some financial fallout due to the NFL’s ratings.

Streaming Is Bright Spot For Viewing NFL

Ratings for the NFL this year haven’t exactly rebounded from last season’s 8% dip through the first several weeks of the season. according to USAToday.

While the audience size has continued on a downward trend, there has been one bright spot: Streaming. While it makes up less than 5% of the audience for NFL games, the number of people streaming games has seen a roughly 25% gain over the same time period last season, according to information provided by NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN.

“What we have seen is that the walls between (broadcast) TV and digital TV are breaking down,” Campbell Foster, director of product marketing at Adobe Primetime, a division of Adobe that provides analytics to broadcasters, told USAToday Sports. “It will become a meaningless distinction.”

Adobe is the leading provider of the authentication service used by broadcasters. To use many streaming apps provided by broadcasters, you’re required to enter your cable or satellite account. Adobe partnered with The Diffusion Group to study the trends in sports streaming, the results of which were provided to USAToday Sports.

The survey polled 2,000 U.S. consumers in July on their viewing habits to stream sports on any screen-- such as phones, computers and tablets-- as well as on their television via streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku and video game consoles.

The NFL had the most enthusiastic fan base as the the survey found that 48% of the respondents ranked themselves at a 9 or 10. (The 10-point scale started at 1 as “definitely not a fan” to a 10, “a super fan.”)

While broadcast ratings continue to lag, there appears to be no letup in streaming for NFL games. Each TV partner offers apps and, in some cases, their own streaming TV options that don’t require cable or satellite subscriptions.

“Ratings are down, yes,” said Michael Greeson, director of research for The Diffusion Group. “Declines in legacy broadcast television has been too often tied to Nielsen’s ratings, which don’t take into account the viewing of connected devices used by people to watch live sports.”

Regulating Internet Ads Gains Bipartisan Support

John McCain
U.S. legislation that would impose new disclosure requirements on political ads that run on Facebook and other websites received support on Wednesday from Senator John McCain, giving a bipartisan boost to a bill already popular among Democrats.

According to Reuters, McCain, a longtime supporter of regulating campaign finances, and two Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner, plan to introduce the legislation on Thursday, according to a statement from their offices on Wednesday.

Republicans control the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, so bills generally need Republican support to advance.

Online political ads are much more loosely regulated in the United States than political ads on television, radio and satellite services.

The lack of regulation was highlighted last month when Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Twitter Inc said that they had found election-related ad buys on their services made by people in Russia in the run-up to last year's U.S. presidential election. Non-Americans are generally not allowed to spend money to influence U.S. elections.

The legislation from the three senators would put online ads under the same rules as television, radio and satellite, so that who paid for them and other information would need to be disclosed.

Millennials, Gen Z Adults Prefer Texting Over Talking In Person

If the emoji movie wasn’t symbolic enough of today’s youth, perhaps this will rattle your foundation: A new survey finds that 7 in 10 millennials and the younger Gen Z prefer to communicate digitally — mostly by text message — than in person.

Researchers at LivePerson, a business solutions provider, polled more than 4,000 young adults under between age 18 and 34 in a handful of Western nations, helping them discover the priorities and preferences of today’s millennials and Gen Z.

According to, globally, 65 percent of those surveyed indicated they talk to peers more frequently via texting or a mobile, but that number is even higher in English-speaking nations. In both the United States and in the United Kingdom, about 74 percent of millennials and Gen Z communicate digitally more frequently with others.

As for the tool of choice for digital correspondence, about 73 percent of Americans and 74 percent of those in the UK prefer text messages. That number dipped to about 69 percent globally.

The survey also discovered another odd quirk of today’s young adults: about 62 percent would rather forget their wallet at home than their phone when going out.

Seventy percent of the participants said that they slept within arm’s length of their phone, and a  hair more than half said they’d check their phone for any notifications should they wake up in the middle of the night.

When it comes to bathroom breaks, nearly 66 percent brought their device with them to the toilet, which highlights the ubiquity of connectivity.

Large minorities believed it was fine to use their phone in contexts that would likely be considered improper by elders, such as at the dining table (42 percent) or in the middle of a conversation (28 percent).

NAB Announces 2018 Broadcast Leadership Training Class

The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) announced today the 2018 class of the Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program. The BLT program is the foremost executive training program for the broadcast industry, for which participants are selected through a competitive application process. The current roster of participants is available here.

Now in its eighteenth year, the 10-month, MBA-style program teaches the fundamentals of purchasing, owning and operating radio and television stations to senior level broadcast executives who aspire to advance as group executives or station owners.

The BLT program comprises weekend sessions held once a month for 10 months at NAB's headquarters. Participants have the opportunity to network with session instructors, including broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff, communications attorneys, members of the banking community and academic faculty, while learning how to apply the skills taught in the program to real-world situations.

"The BLT program continues to attract some of the best and brightest talent in our industry," said Diane Sutter, founder, president and CEO of ShootingStar Broadcasting and the founder and dean of the BLT program. "We are pleased to have a group of senior level participants who are committed to their growth and that of the broadcast industry."

“We are excited to welcome another talented group of broadcast leaders into the program. They will join the accomplished BLT graduates who continue to excel and contribute to our dynamic business,” said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander.

Sponsors of the BLT program include: Beasley Broadcast Group, Cox Media, Fox TV Stations, Futuri, Gray Television, Hearst Television, Legend Communications, Morgan Murphy Media, NAB, Nielsen Foundation, Quincy Media, and Scripps. Additional program information is available here.

Cox Media Group Cares To Provide Storm Relief

While Tampa Bay was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, many local businesses were still greatly impacted by the storm. Some were left without power, lost inventory, or even had to close their doors for days. Today, Cox Media Group (CMG) has announced it will launch its philanthropic initiative, Cox Media Group Cares Tampa Bay. With the generous support of sponsors, The Miggs and Swigg Radio Show, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Pepin Distributing Company and Great Bay Distributors, Cox Cares will help small businesses recover after Irma through marketing and promotional outreach.

Each Saturday between Oct. 21 and Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25, local companies will be featured on Cox Media Group radio stations. The businesses will receive free on-air, online and social media promotion throughout the week. The supporting station will also be on-site at each business location that Saturday. Cox Cares will provide assistance to more than 40 small businesses in the Tampa Bay area with approximately $250,000 in promotional support.

“CMG understands local businesses are an important part of our communities,” said Keith Lawless, Vice President/General Manager for CMG Tampa. “The disruption from Hurricane Irma has greatly impacted these businesses. We are proud to help support them at a time when they need it most. With the help of our local sponsors, we are promoting Tampa Bay area businesses across all six of our CMG radio stations.”

Interested business owners can apply for Cox Media Group Cares Tampa Bay online at or through any of the Cox Media Group Tampa radio station websites (,,,, and The deadline to apply is November 10, 2017.

October 19 Radio History

Bern Bennett
➦In 1921...announcer Bern Bennett was born. He was on staff at CBS from 1944 to 2003, nearly 60 years, beginning in radio, then on such TV shows as Toast of the Town (Ed Sullivan), Beat the Clock, To Tell the Truth, and Match Game, subbing for Johnny Olson.  Bennett was the voice of TV soaps ‘The Young & the Restless’ for 19 years, and ‘The Bold & the Beautiful’ for 17.  He died May 29, 2014, at age 92.

Claire Trevor, Edward G. Robinson
➦In 1937...the radio classic, “Big Town“, made its debut on CBS radio. Star reporters at the Illustrated Press, Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne, were played by Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor. In 1942 they were succeeded by Edward Pawley and Fran Carlon, who carried the show for most of its 14 year run.

➦In 1953...Julius LaRosa was fired live on-air by Arthur Godfrey.

La Rosa was on Godfrey's shows from November 19, 1951 to October 19, 1953. When Archie Bleyer, Godfrey's bandleader, formed Cadence Records in 1952, the first performer signed was La Rosa. Cadence's first single, which was also La Rosa's first recording, was "Anywhere I Wander." It reached the top 30 on the charts, and his next recording, "My Lady Loves To Dance", was a moderate success.

After La Rosa's third recording, and a dispute with Godfrey over his failure to attend a Godfrey-mandated dance class required of all cast members, La Rosa hired his own agent and manager: Tommy Rockwell.

With hit recordings and his appearances on Godfrey's shows, La Rosa's popularity grew exponentially. At one point, La Rosa's fan mail eclipsed Godfrey's. A year after La Rosa was hired, he was receiving 7,000 fan letters a week.  Godfrey did not react well to LaRosa hiring Rockwell as his manager. After consulting with CBS President Frank Stanton, on the morning of October 19, 1953 (in a segment of the show broadcast on radio only), after La Rosa finished singing "Manhattan" on Arthur Godfrey Time, Godfrey fired La Rosa on the air, announcing, "that was Julie's swan song with us." La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his "break".

➦In 1958...Brenda Lee, still weeks short of her 14th birthday, recorded a Johnny Marks song destined to become a seasonal classic, ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.’ Floyd Cramer played piano for the Nashville session, Boots Randolph was on sax.

➦In innovator & writer Phillips H. Lord died at age 73.  In the 1920′s he created & acted the character Seth Parker in a program of rural humour & music.  It became a weekday feature of NBC.  In the 1930′s he created Gangbusters, a violent weekly show based on actual crime cases, which ran first on NBC, then CBS and  various networks for 21 years.  His other major success, Mr. District Attorney, ran 13 years..

➦In 1991...Grant Turner, WSM-Nashville and Grand Ole Opry announcer for 49 years, died at the age of 79.
Grant Turner
Jesse Granderson "Grant" Turner was born May 17, 1912 in Baird, Texas, near Abilene. In 1928, while in high school, he performed as Ike and His Guitar announced for Abilene, TX. Turner majored in journalism at college and worked for Texas and Louisiana newspapers during the 1930s, but he returned to radio announcing in 1940 at KFRO in Longview, TX., before joining a station in Sherman, TX.

In 1942, he moved to Knoxville, TN.. Turner rode an all-night bus to Nashville and auditioned for WSM, where he joined the staff on June 6, 1944, which was D-Day, the day the Allies invaded Europe in World War II.

He first announced early-morning programs, but a few months later joined George D. Hay's staff of Saturday night Grand Ole Opry announcers. Turner became announcer for R. J. Reynolds's NBC network half hour of the Grand Ole Opry, in the late 1940s: the Prince Albert Show, piped weekly to some 170 stations and some 10 million listeners by 1953. In the early 1950s he hosted WSM's Mr. DJ, USA program, featuring guest DJs from around the nation, and in the mid-1950s became the third regular announcer for Ernest Tubb's WSM Midnight Jamboree, a job he held until 1977

Turner for years hosted the pre-Opry Grand Ole Opry Warmup Show-spinning records and taking requests on the Opry House stage. He worked the Friday and Saturday night Opry shows, besides the summer matinees, until the night before he died. Grant Turner was one of three original members to be inducted into the Country Music D J Hall of Fame in 1975. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981.

➦In 1991...Dan Ingram debuted at WCBS-FM.  Here's an un-dated WCBS-FM aircheck:

➦In 1994...comedienne/singer/actress Martha Raye died after a lengthy illness at age 78. The big-mouthed comic appeared with Al Jolson on radio, and had her own weekly TV series 1954-56. Thereafter she was a frequent guest on numerous TV variety shows.

➦In 2010…"Boom Boom Brannigan," a popular Albany, New York radio personality (WABY, WPTR) for 50 years, died at age 82.

Born in Utica as Joseph Charles Motto, he became well known during the 1960s as a disc jockey at Albany-Troy giant WPTR 1540-AM. Brannigan was going by the name Ronny Victor at a Buffalo radio station when he landed the job at WPTR during the early 1960s.

In a 1998 interview, Brannigan said he was trying to think of a new name for the Capital Region market when he tuned in his new employer and learned his stage identity had already been chosen. “I heard this jingle that said ‘Boom Boom is coming’ and then there would be this sound of drums,” he said.Brannigan remained at WPTR until 1975, when the popularity of disc jockey-driven rock ’n’ roll had been replaced by album-oriented rock formats and talk radio.

Later, he would buy small radio stations like WKOL in Amsterdam and WSCG in Corinth
and turn them into more prosperous businesses.

Brannigan had chances to move to bigger broadcasts in New York City and Philadelphia to compete against national talents such as Dick Clark and Wolfman Jack, but Brannigan didn’t want to move.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pai: FCC Cannot Revoke Licenses Based On Content

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t have the authority to revoke a broadcast network’s license based on content, Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday in response to President Trump’s call on it to challenge NBC’s FCC licenses.

“I believe in the first amendment. The FCC under my leadership, will stand for the first amendment,” Pai said in response to a question about calls from Trump to revoke the licenses of broadcasters who, according to the president, broadcast “fake news.”

“Under the law, the FCC does not have the authority does not have the power to revoke license of a broadcast station based on content of a program,” Pai, who was appointed by Trump as FCC chairman, said at an AT&T policy event.
Brian Schatz

The Hill reports the FCC Chairman also stressed that it is “not within the FCC’s jurisdiction to handle fake news.”

Trump tweeted last week that NBC’s broadcasting license should be challenged and potentially revoked after it published a story that said he had called for the nation’s nuclear stockpile to be increased by a factor of 10.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) blasted the chairman's response.

“[Ajit Pai’s] statement is better than nothing, but it is merely a reiteration of the FCC’s authorities under the law,” Schatz said in a statement on Tuesday.

“What we needed is a full-throated defense of the independence of the FCC against political interference. When the president announced his intent to retaliate against a broadcaster based on content, the FCC should have rejected it,” the Hawaii senator said.

Pandora Research: AM/FM Finding New Place In Audio Landscape

A study of American audio consumption by music streaming service Pandora has, as would be expected, talked up the growth of music streaming and podcasting, but has also acknowledged that traditional analog broadcast radio is still strong, but is "finding a new place in the audio landscape."

The report says:

America’s century-old mass medium is still alive, kicking, and serving throngs of listeners every day. Despite what some media pundits say about broadcast media, radio isn’t dead, it isn’t on life support, and isn’t even in the emergency room. But radio might benefit from a sober self-assessment of its role in a digitally disrupted media landscape.

Radio has prospered for so many decades because it’s free, easy to use, and there are tons of devices around. Until recently, it was the only way to enjoy music without having to invest in a record collection, or to hear news, sports and traffic information while on the go.

But AM/FM faces serious competition from personalized, digital alternatives. Waze and Google Maps, for example, offer real-time traffic updates on individual routes; listeners can choose the play-by-play team of their choice, even if it’s out-of-market; and Pandora leads the way in serving music that’s personalized for each listener.

As much as the radio industry loves to promote its wide reach, another critical metric, time spent listening, has been riding a steady decline. Daily time spent listening to AM/FM has fallen by 34% between 2007 and 2017.3, 20 Clearly, listeners are not using AM/FM for as long or as often as they did before.

Time spent listening to AM/FM will continue to fall as consumers take advantage of unlimited mobile data plans, acquire more digital media devices in homes and cars, and as radio’s most loyal demographic, Americans aged 50+, embrace the digital revolution. Persons aged 50-64 who have mobile devices are, for the first time in the past year, spending more time with mobile apps than they are listening to AM/FM radio.

The report says that use of smartphone apps has surged ahead of AM/FM radio usage, especially while driving. It also says that "commercial clutter" is the number one reason for the decline in radio time spent listening.

Radio's Role For New Music Discovery Facing 3 Threats

What impact do new devices such as smart speakers and new ways of listening to music like Spotify have on radio’s long-standing role of introducing the latest new music to listeners?  Do smart speaker owners now turn to Alexa to find out what’s new instead of their local CHR personality?

Integr8 Research recently talked with 3,140 15- to 39-year-olds who are partisans to a local CHR, Rhythmic CHR, Urban, Alternative, or Country station to find out.

What they uncovered is both encouraging and sobering for radio broadcasters.

The good news is that local FM radio stations remain the leading source for 15- to 39-year-old listeners to learn about new music. Unfortunately, radio no longer wins that by a landslide as other music listening options are catching up.

There are three factors that most threaten radio’s role in new music discovery:

1) Being young: For listeners over 30, radio remains the dominant way the majority of listeners learn about new music. Among teens, however, only 34% typically hear the latest new music first from a local FM radio station, while almost as many hear new music first from an on-demand audio service or YouTube.

2) Subscribing to an on-demand service: When listeners regularly use Spotify or one of its clones, the on-demand service takes on a much bigger role in new music discovery. Only 41% of weekly on-demand audio users hear new music first on FM radio, while 34% hear new music first on an on-demand audio service.

On-demand services have had a more significant negative impact on FM radio’s role in new music discovery than all the other new ways of consuming music that came before it—including Pandora, Sirius/XM, internet radio*, and even YouTube.

3) Owning a connected car:  When listeners acquire a car with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, their music consumption behavior and FM radio’s role in new music discovery both change dramatically.

Like all listeners, connected car owners are most likely to spend time with a local FM station. However, they are also far more likely to be weekly users of a wide variety of alternatives to traditional radio, from Pandora, Sirius/XM, and online-only internet radio, to Amazon Music and Soundcloud. By far, however, the biggest increase goes to Apple Music. 42% use Apple Music weekly, compared to only 18% of all 15- to 39-year-olds.

Should Radio be pessimistic in light of these trends? No. Integr8 says Radio is the sole proprietor of a secret weapon it can deploy to remain the new music discovery king.

The reserach company is presenting a webinar on Thursday, October 26th at 2:00 P.M. EDT / 11:00 A.M. PDT to learn how to launch it.  In the webinar, you’ll also learn:
  • Why the disappearing AM/FM radio at home is a serious problem—and whether Amazon Echo is the solution
  • The popular smart device radio is ignoring that can bring local station back into living rooms today.
  • The one thing radio stations can do today to grow listening on smart devices
  • PPM’s role in undermining radio’s new music discovery role.
  • The one tool radio has that none of its competitors have—and how your station can use it to remain the new music discovery king.
Click Here to register.

NFL Policy On Anthem Kneeling Unchanged

National Football League officials weighed the fervor of players protesting racism against U.S. President Donald Trump’s anger at their autumn meeting on Tuesday with supporters of the players kneeling outside in solidarity.

Reuters reports the NFL did not seek commitments from its players to stop kneeling during pregame renditions of the U.S. national anthem but rather focused on helping them in their political activism.

“We spent today talking about the issues that our players have been trying to bring attention to. About issues in our communities to make our communities better,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters.

Trump’s repeated denunciation of the players as unpatriotic for kneeling during the national anthem, which he reiterated as recently as Monday, has only made the practice more widespread.

His calls for fans to boycott games if players persist is an unwelcome prospect even for the world’s highest-grossing sports league and have forced the topic high up the agenda of this week’s regularly scheduled meeting in New York City.

The small but growing number of players who have taken to kneeling during the national anthem are protesting the killing by police of unarmed black men and boys across the United States, as well as racial disparities in the criminal justice system. More than half of all NFL players are black.

According to Nielsen data, the various NFL telecasts—including the Sunday regional and national games and the prime-time Sunday, Monday and Thursday night packages—are averaging 15.6 million viewers through Week 6, which is down just 5 percent from a year earlier. Household ratings are also down 5 percent to a 9.1 rating, off a half-point versus fom the period a year prior.

According to AdAge, ratings for two NFL windows, ESPN's "Monday Night Football" and the standalone NFL Network "Thursday Night Football" telecast, are up year-over-year, while deliveries for the CBS/NFL Net "TNF" simulcast package is flat. Fox's high-octane national windows are down 7 percent with an average draw of 24.2 million viewers and a 13.5 household rating, while NBC's "Sunday Night Football" juggernaut has slipped just 5 percent with an average turnout of 19 million viewers and a 10.8 household rating.

Thus far, the regional games have experienced the biggest drop in viewership. Through Week 6, the 1 p.m. games and single-headers are down 11 percent to 13.9 million viewers and an 8.2 household rating. Nonetheless, the only prime-time entertainment series to average a higher audience threshold is CBS's "Big Bang Theory," which over the course of its first three episodes of 2017-18 has averaged just under 15 million live-same-day viewers.

And advertisers have been steadfast in their interest. Through Week 6, in-game commercial inventory in the NFL broadcast windows has generated an estimated $1.24 billion in revenue, up 14 percent from the equivalent period last year.

Attendance is also nowhere near as shaky as Trump would like to believe. Season-to-date, NFL stadiums are averaging a draw of 64,277 fans per week, which marks a slight 3 percent year-to-year decline compared to the 66,496 fans who passed through the turnstiles during each of the first six weeks in 2016.

D-C Radio: Trump Administration Hosts Talk Radio Row

The Trump Administration Tuesday hosted talk radio row in the Old Executive Office Building in a push to get grass roots support for his tax reform package.

National hosts like Hugh Hewitt and Chris Plante broadcast their programs alongside select local radio hosts like Chris Stigall from WPHT 1210 Philadelphia, Tony Katz WIBC 93.1 FM Indianapolis, and Mary Walter & Vince Coglianese from WMAL 630 AM /105.9 FM Washington DC.

WMAL's Chris Plante Interviews President Trump

Bill Hess, Cumulus' VP News/Talk & WMAL PD, chats with Vice President Pence, a regular WMAL listener 
According to Mediaite, the event was a coordinated strategy by the White House communications team to bypass mainstream media and get their messaging directly to Americans in their cars on their way to work.

WIBC's Tony Katez chats with VP Mike Pence
Guests like Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump were all put forth for interviews on the programs. Each moving from broadcast station to broadcast station to sit with the various hosts for a segment broadcast on each of the city’s morning and mid-morning programs. There were no conditions on any of the interviews but the focus was almost entirely on the tax reform package and how it might impact the middle class.

Syndicated host and Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher also interviewed President Trump:

CNN Reporter Scoffs At President's Helping Hand

CNN political reporter Daniella Diaz sent a tweet on Monday pointing out that President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell locked hands while walking up stairs at the White House following their Rose Garden press conference. Diaz seemed to be mocking the Republican duo – but while followers quickly pointed out that the Kentucky senator is a polio survivor, the tweet remained on her feed 24+ hours later.

“That hand-lock between Trump and McConnell, though,” Diaz wrote with video of the incident.

According to Fox News, a CNN colleague called out Diaz, quoting her tweet and explaining the situation.

“McConnell is a polio survivor, a reason why stairs can be tricky at times,” CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju wrote. “McConnell often goes up a step at a time, sometimes needs railing for assistance. This time, used Trump for balance.”

Many users commented on Diaz’s tweet, saying it needs to be removed and criticizing the CNN reporter for the message. “You're making fun of the President of the United States helping a polio survivor that stumbled. Stay classy CNN, stay classy,” one user responded.

iHM, FOX Team To Launch New Talent Showcase

Fox Broadcasting Company will team up with iHeartMedia on the new music competition series THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM.

FOX will work with iHeartMedia, with its more than a quarter billion monthly listeners in the U.S., to support auditions, assist in the search for talent and boost the careers of artists throughout the run of the competition. As part of the grand prize, the winner of THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM will also be part of iHeartMedia’s coveted “On the Verge” artist development program, which will support the winning talent with airplay across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide.

THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM begins where most competitions end: with the four finalists. Four super-talented singers, chosen from auditions by the show, will defend their coveted spots on the stage, as they are challenged individually by new singers determined to replace them. If the existing four outperform their challengers, they survive to sing another week, until the end of the season, when the final four face off against each other. Only one will claim the ultimate prize for an aspiring artist: a team of elite star-makers – the series’ panel of judges – all committed to launching and guiding the winner’s music career.

“At iHeartMedia we pride ourselves on discovering and breaking new talent,” said John Sykes, iHeartMedia’s President of Entertainment Enterprises. “Our ‘On the Verge’ initiative has helped launch the careers of artists like Sam Smith, Fifth Harmony, Nick Jonas and many others. We are excited to collaborate with FOX to find the next new artist who will receive this rare opportunity.”

Additional details will be announced soon.

'The Daily' Is Podcast Hit For The NYTimes

Within nine months of its launch, it looks like The New York Times has more than a success on its hands.

According to Ken Doctor at The Street,"The Daily" is becoming a phenomenon, an out-of-the-blue hit that is forcing print-based business leaders to think anew about the revolutionary power of digital audio.

"The Daily"'s numbers impress. The five-day-a-week, 20-plus-minute podcast just passed a big milestone: 100 million downloads with daily downloads growing 34% since June. "The Daily" keeps its place in the multiple Top 10 podcast charts. This week, it ranks No. 4 on iTunes, behind the splashy debut of the Los Angeles Times' true life crime tale of "Dirty John," which tops the charts, with 5 million "listens" counted this week.

In August, 3.8 million unique visitors listened to "The Daily," the Times said. Able to obtain ad rates equaling video ad sales, the Times now plans to build a "franchise" around The Daily's success.

"It just really feels like a franchise," said Sam Dolnick, assistant masthead editor at the Times, who oversees the paper's now-expanding audio team as part of his wide-ranging digital/mobile advocacy.

Dolnick painted the larger picture of the Times becoming an audio player: "What is it like to take a Daily lens to the world of culture or to big interviews outside of politics?

Host Michael Barbaro
"I think you could picture all kinds of shows.

"Some of the shows that get the biggest response are more narrative than newsy. Can you blow that out and do a narrative series? A 'Serial' with an eight-, 12-week episode narrative. What does it look like for 'The Daily' to expand into that? ... That are almost miniature 'This American Life.' We've built a flexible enough frame that I think lots and lots of different things can fit inside of it."

Already, Andy Mills, who came to the Times from audio pioneer RadioLab, is at work on a "big narrative project."

That ambition is still in the planning stage, but already "The Daily" franchise has broadened. In late summer, the Times spun off "The New Washington," a Saturday interview with the Schumers, Rubios and Flakes. Early next year, "The Daily" will add a sixth day weekend day to its weekly output.

Further, expect "The Daily"'s numbers to take another leap. Within the next several weeks, Times readers will be able to access "The Daily" directly from their apps and browsers without using a separate podcast app. The newsy Daily often receives prominent placement on the well-used app. Now, reduced friction -- the enemy of much news consumption -- should further boost listening time.

October 18 Radio History

➦In 1922…The BBC, the British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation), was founded in London.

➦In 1931…Inventor (phonograph, long-lasting electric light bulb, motion picture camera, stock ticker, mechanical vote recorder) Thomas Alva Edison died from complications of diabetes at the age of 84.

➦In 1943...the first broadcast of Perry Mason was heard on CBS radio. In the 15-minute daytime drama, Perry was played by Barlett Robinson, Santos Ortega, Donald Briggs and finally & most memorably by John Larkin as Perry Mason and Joan Alexander as Della Street on the CBS daytime radio program. Larkin played the role the longest and was reportedly very disappointed when Raymond Burr got the gig on TV (1957).

➦In 1954…Six years after Bell Laboratories developed the first prototype, Texas Instruments announced the first production model of a transistor radio, a small portable receiver using transistor-based circuitry.

➦In 1954...WNBC 660 AM, New York City, changed its call letters to WRCA-AM (as a tie-in to their parent company RCA) and back to WNBC on June 1, 1960.

➦In 1957...Paul McCartney made his debut appearance with the Quarry Men (led byJohn Lennon) in Norris Green, Liverpool.

Chris Russo
➦In 1959...Sports personality Christopher Michael Russo known as "Mad Dog," was born in Syosset, NY.   Russo is best known as the former co-host of the widely popular Mike and the Mad Dog sports radio show with Mike Francesa, which was broadcast on WFAN in New York City and simulcast on the YES Network. Russo joined Sirius XM Radio in August 2008 and is in charge of his own channel, Mad Dog Radio.

Prior to joining WFAN, Russo worked for WKIS in Orlando, Florida between 1984 and 1987 and WMCA in New York City between 1987 and 1988.  He got the "Mad Dog" nickname from New York Daily News Sports TV and Radio critic Bob Raissman.

➦In 1964...The Beatles recorded “I Feel Fine,” which marked the earliest example of the use of feedback to enhance a recording.

➦In 1997…Journalist Nancy Dickerson, the first female correspondent at CBS, died after a stroke at age 70. She reported for NBC News from 1963 to 1970. She is the mother of current Face The Nation host John Dickerson.

➦In 2005...longtime San Francisco sportscaster Bill King died of a pulmonary embolism suffered during hip surgery at age 78.  For 25 years the Oakland A’s play-by-play man, at various times he had been the voice of almost every team in the  Bay area.

➦In 2013…News reporter (WLS-TV, WBBM-TV, WBBM-AM) Hugh Hill, a Chicago broadcast journalist for 43 years, died at the age of 89.

The son of a coal miner from the southern Illinois town of Gillespie, Hill graduated on the G.I. Bill from the University of Missouri journalism school and worked at radio stations in St. Charles, Aurora and Hammond before joining WBBM 780 AM in 1953.