Monday, February 8, 2016

CBS CEO Moonves Sees More Aggressive Move to Digital

(Reuters) - CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, who was given the additional title of executive chairman this week, is planning more original content and looking at taking some of his network's shows off the air and putting them exclusively on its subscription-based CBS All Access service, to compete with the growing popularity of Netflix and Hulu.

It is a bold but not sudden move for the traditional television executive running a network known for its older viewers, who approached the digital TV revolution gingerly but is now pushing his company to its forefront.

The network's push to ramp up its online All Access service - which offers its shows on PCs, tablets and smartphones for $5.99 a month - comes as media companies are rethinking their business models and their relationships with streaming video providers, treating them more like competitors than allies.

Advertising is still important for CBS but the focus is shifting to new revenue streams.

"When I started this job 20 years ago, advertising was everything to this company," Moonves told Reuters in an interview in his Los Angeles office on Monday, as he prepared to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area for the big game. "Advertising will still remain important, but it's not nearly as important as some of these new ways of getting revenue, such as interactive."

Moonves is also considering putting shows on All Access from the CW Network, its joint venture with Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros, which produced the offbeat hits "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Jane the Virgin." Ultimately, Moonves said he wants the service to include content from its Showtime subsidiary, best known for "Homeland" and "Dexter," and possibly shows from other partners.

He would not say which CBS shows - which include hits such as "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife" - would be candidates for exclusive distribution on the All Access service, but suggested it would be original content and shows that have an avid fan base but not necessarily high ratings.

CBS already said last year that its new "Star Trek" series, scheduled for 2017, would premiere on the network then switch exclusively to All Access.

Moonves said CBS could have sold "Star Trek" to Netflix, Inc <AMZN.O> or Hulu for "a pretty nice profit," but instead is betting that it will attract more mobile-savvy viewers willing to pay for subscriptions, which he hopes will be more valuable in the long term.

"Star Trek" is for All Access what "House of Cards" was to Netflix, he said.

Moonves now has complete control at CBS to push his digital agenda. Two days after Moonves spoke to Reuters, longtime CBS chairman and majority owner Sumner Redstone stepped aside and Moonves was handed the chairman role, with the blessing of Redstone's daughter Shari.

The day after that Redstone also stepped aside at his other majority-owned media company Viacom, and his role went to CEO Philippe Dauman, over the objections of Shari.


Moonves, who splits his time between Beverly Hills and New York and describes himself as an “old school media guy,” has spent most of his career in television, developing hits such as “Friends” and “Everybody loves Raymond.”

When Redstone split CBS from Viacom 10 years ago, investors saw the mainstream broadcaster as the slow-moving company catering to an older audience, compared to the young, scrappy Viacom, whose networks include Nickelodeon and MTV. But CBS shares have easily outperformed those of Viacom over the last five years.

Mario Gabelli, the second-largest shareholder of Viacom and CBS, wants to see Viacom take a page out of Moonves' digital strategy playbook. "It's going to be tough to get into the digital world and over-the-top," he told Reuters.

Digital success has helped Moonves gain favor with Shari Redstone, who is vice-chair of the boards of CBS and Viacom, and nominated Moonves for the CBS executive chairman role.

"Les and I get together frequently and he is always asking me what companies I am investing in and what I am seeing,” said Shari Redstone, whose firm, Advancit Capital, invests in early-stage companies in technology and media. "He is fascinated with everything."

The 66-year-old Moonves may not be a millennial but he is more familiar than most of his generation with the latest technology. Delivery service Postmates and route-finder Waze are  two of his favorite apps. Every few months he visits Silicon Valley to see what is new, and said he would be open to a seat on the board of a media technology company one day.

It is unclear how exactly the CBS All Access service, which launched 18 months ago, is doing. The network will not disclose how many subscribers the service has, but Jefferies analyst John Janedis estimates it is around 500,000. That is a fraction of Netflix's tens of millions of viewers.

Moonves believes his relative success in the digital realm may be down to the skepticism he brings from a pre-smartphone era, and not just saying yes to new ideas.

"I am the old-fashioned guy," he said. "My job at the company is to be Dr. No."

Looking back, he is glad CBS said no to buying a stake in online streaming service Hulu, saying his team convinced him it did not make sense and that CBS would be better off controlling its own content.

"It was bold in the sense that they were not afraid of being perceived as a Luddite of a company," said Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser. "It was the right decision because it did not limit their strategic choices in what could be a fast-changing business."

Moonves admits he was worried about losing ratings, upsetting the network's affiliates and cannibalizing its business with the launch of All Access, but is now fully behind it.

"We are investing in the future of All Access, which we think is an important part of our future," he said.

(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Age-Old Debate Rages Again: What Is Country Music?

Since its inception 15 years ago, Green River Ordinance has created music that would seem to fit in several genres — folk, rock, pop and country. For the new album, “15,” frontman Josh Jenkins said the band didn’t set out to write a country record. But, the album’s first single, “Red Fire Night,” penned inside a cabin in McMinnville, Tenn., was inspired by a mandolin lick plucked out by Jamey Ice.

The album seems to be resonating with fans of country music. It debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes country chart. Murray pointed out “15” was categorized as country by digital and brick-and-mortar retailers. “Red Fire Night” was added to the prominent Wild Country playlist on Spotify and the Country House Party playlist by iHeartMedia.

On the radio side, The Tennessean reports, the song debuted at No. 1 on the Texas Regional Radio Report and earned spins on some mainstream country stations. The video was added by CMT, and critics with country music publications gave the album favorable reviews. The band was even a featured performer at the Grand Ole Opry this past Saturday night.

As the sales data came in last week, the band and Murray knew the album was going to place well on the charts. The charts’ sales data is compiled by Nielsen Music and then albums are ranked by chart managers with Billboard, which publishes them on Monday. On the eve of last week’s charts, the band was informed by the magazine that it would be categorized as folk and rock, but not country.

The debate about what defines country is nothing new, notes Nashville country music writer and historian Robert Oermann.

“This goes back quite a ways,” said Oermann, who incidentally reviewed “15” as a country album for Music Row magazine. “It goes back to Olivia Newton-John and John Denver winning awards and traditionalists were very upset about it. There was even an alternative organization to the (Country Music Association) that formed.

Mike Dungan, chairman and CEO for Universal Music Group Nashville, said the charts are valuable to record labels. For the “Top Country Albums” chart, the rankings are based strictly on actual sales numbers. In that sense, obviously a higher ranking is meaningful.

“15” registered at No. 8 on Billboard’s rock chart and No. 1 on its folk chart. The album also would have been the No. 1 country debut album last week.

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Waco Radio: Shooter Aims For WACO 100

Different tastes between male and female Waco Country radio listeners shaped the fall Nielsen ratings book, boosting country KRMX 9.2.9 FM ShooterFM over rival WACO 99.9 FM WACO 100) in a younger adult demographic, though WACO regained its No. 1 status among listeners 12 and older, tying Classic Hits KBGO 95.7 FM.

Both WACO and KBGO pulled a 9.6 share in the fall 2015 ratings book with regional Mexican KWOW-FM (104.1, La Ley) next with a 7.0 share.

Pop hits KWTX-FM 97 FM followed with a 6.1 share, then KRMX-FM, Urban KWBT-FM 94.5, The Beat and Top40  KWPW 107.9 FM Power 108 3.9; KBRQ 102.5 FM The Bear 3.5; and Rhythmic KHBT 104.9FM 2.6.

KRMX 92.9 FM (50 Kw)
ShooterFM, according to the Waco Tribune, hit paydirt in the adults 15-54 demographic, besting WACO, thanks in part to sizable male listenership. “We finally got to where we wanted to be,” said Gary Moss, owner of M & M Broadcasters, parent company of KRMX, KBHT, KRZI and KLRK.

At the same time, WACO showed a considerable bump in listenership among women 18-34. Zach Owens, iHeartMedia regional programming director and co-host with Jim Cody of WACO’s morning show, thought the country stations’ programming might have led to the gender divide, with WACO playing more Nashville stars such as Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Sam Hunt and KRMX going for a traditional and rock-flavored sound that characterizes much of Texas and Red Dirt country.

WACO 99.9 FM (90 Kw)

Beyonce, Bruno Mars Heat Up Coldplay's Halftime Show

(Reuters) -- Coldplay headlined at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show, but it was R&B super stars Beyonce and Bruno Mars who delivered the sizzle with a lively, upbeat production that paid homage to previous halftime performers.

Known mainly for mellow hits, British alt-rockers Coldplay amped up the energy, staging "Viva La Vida" on a colorfully illuminated floor surrounded by dancing violinists.

After Coldplay crowd-pleasers "Paradise" and "Adventure of a Lifetime," a black-leather-clad Mars, who headlined the halftime show in 2014, bounced through "Uptown Funk!," with producer Mark Ronson on DJ decks on stage.

But all eyes were on Beyonce, who gyrated her way through her latest single "Formation" - a power anthem to race and feminism that made a surprise debut on Saturday.

The music video features powerful images of a flooded New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also depicts graffiti that reads "stop shooting us," suggestive of the Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in the wake of killings of unarmed black men, several at the hands of police.

Prior to the game, some fans speculated on social media that Beyonce would deliver a politically charged performance.

But, partnered with Mars on the football field, the tone of the performance was lighter than the video. They subtly conveyed the themes of "Formation" with female dancers dressed in black shorts, crop tops and berets, in what was perceived as an homage to the black nationalist Black Panther Party movement of the 1960s and 70s.

Cedric Betts of Millbrae, California, who saw the performance live at the game, said Beyonce's message was clear. "As black people we have to embrace these moments because it's not often we get them," he said.

An ad immediately following the show announced Beyonce's "Formation" world tour beginning in April, her first major tour in three years.

Before wrapping up one of the signature moments of America's biggest sporting event, Beyonce and Mars joined Coldplay frontman Chris Martin for a quick re-visit to "Uptown Funk!," ending on Coldplay's uplifting ballad "Fix You." Images honored past halftime performers including Stevie Wonder, Black Eyed Peas and the late Michael Jackson, whose military-style wardrobe inspired Beyonce's costume Sunday.

Even for music's biggest stars, the Super Bowl halftime show is the largest stage of their careers, drawing more than 100 million viewers to the live event and lighting up social media.

This year's halftime show garnered a total of 3.9 million tweets. Beyonce dominated the conversation on social media during the halftime performance, with 1.3 million tweets about the singer according to figures from Twitter. Coldplay followed with 774,000 tweets, while Mars garnered 341,000 tweets. The most-tweeted song was "Formation."

Last year, Katy Perry garnered 3 million tweets during her halftime performance.

All three acts of this year's performers quickly became top trends on Twitter, with sentiments towards Coldplay's halftime show measuring overall positive, according to social media analytics firm Zoomph, with twice as many positive tweets than negative tweets.

(Additional reporting by Melissa Fares and Anjali Athavaley; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy,; Editing by Sara Catania and Mary Milliken)

Puppymonkeybaby, Chip-Craving Fetus Stand Out In SB Ad Lineup

"First Date" tops the Ad Meter Results at USA Today

Puppymonkeybaby, chip-craving fetus stand out in tame Super Bowl ad lineup
Advertisers played it safe and light with the most expensive ever Super Bowl ad slots on Sunday, shunning previous years' attempts to be outrageous, emotional or thought-provoking.

Mountain Dew rolled out a creature made from a puppy, a monkey and a baby while Doritos had a fetus on ultrasound reaching for a chip, in two of the most unusual spots.

The commercial which drew the most tweets was shown by Allstate Corp's Esurance unit before the game, promising viewers a chance to win $250,000 if they tweeted. More than 2 million had done so as of late Sunday night.

The low-risk approach may have been a reaction to last year, when Nationwide Mutual Insurance drew heat for featuring a dead boy speaking to viewers in an ad about child safety.

“Brands played it safe, using a lot of levity and humor,” said Derek Rucker, professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “We didn't see too many emotional or too many deep ads. Most of them played it really safe, really light-hearted," he said, noting the contrast to Nationwide's 2015 spot.

PepsiCo Inc, which owns the Doritos and Mountain Dew brands, went furthest into the strange. Doritos ads inspired 238,770 tweets during the game, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence, a marketing technology company. About 47 percent were positive mentions, the highest among the most-tweeted-about ads, Amobee said.

The Mountain Dew spot, which launched the hashtag #puppymonkeybaby online, generated more than 68,000 tweets during the game. But it came across as “weird,” said Jim Joseph, chief integrated marketing officer at communications and public relations agency Cohn & Wolfe.

Esurance, which opted for a spot before kickoff, drew 835,101 tweets during the game by offering those who retweeted the hashtag #EsuranceSweepstakes a chance to win the big money prize.

Ads in the second half of the game that drove social media traffic included a T-Mobile USA Inc spot with comedian Steve Harvey that played on a televised faux pas last year in which the actor mistakenly announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant. There were nearly 50,000 tweets about T-Mobile during the game, according to Amobee.

About 29 percent of the tweets were negative, Amobee said, the most among the top-tweeted ads. That may have been because the Harvey-inspired hashtag #Ballogize has caught on as a euphemism for messing something up, rather than a comment on T-Mobile, Amobee suggested.

Advertisers paid up to a record $5 million for 30 seconds during the championship game on CBS Corp's flagship network, in which the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, 24 to 10.

One of the most popular ads early on in the game was by carmaker Audi featuring the song "Starman" by the recently deceased David Bowie. “That one really resonated," Joseph said.

The Super Bowl ad battle starts weeks before the game when brands post commercials or shorter teasers online. This year’s spots were viewed more than 374 million times before kickoff, according to research firm

Some brands also ran teasers for the Super Bowl commercials on television. Anheuser Busch InBev SA's Bud Light spent $5 million, according to iSpot, to air an ad featuring comedian Amy Schumer and actor Seth Rogen preparing for a political rally.

Anheuser Busch had its own victory immediately after the game ended, when the Broncos' winning quarterback Peyton Manning said he planned to celebrate by drinking Budweiser. The company tweeted that it had not paid for the mention.

(Additional reporting by Melissa Fares; Editing by Bill Rigby)

National Obsession For Sports Growing

A new report from Nielsen details just how central sports have become to Americans’ media habits.

Of the top 100 live TV programs on television last year, 93 percent were sporting events. That’s up from 14 percent in 2005, astonishing growth.

Further, Nielsen found that sports accounts for half of all conversations related to TV on Twitter last year, though they made up just 1.4 percent of all content on television.

And smartphone users spent 1.2 million hours on sports-related sites, up 22 percent from the previous year.

New media has clearly had a big role in the rise of sports, reports MediaLife.

Viewership of live TV overall has fallen the past 10 years. Nielsen notes that only 66 percent of viewing for dramas now takes place live.

But 95 percent of sports viewership occurs live. That’s an important distinction for advertisers, who often have time-sensitive messages. If, for instance, a sale is taking place the day after a program airs, it’s worthless for the ad about that sale to be seen a week later through timeshifting.

Because of sports’ time-sensitive nature, they’ve gotten more important to advertisers as they simultaneously become more popular.

Few Complain To FCC About Daily Fantasy Sports Ads

Despite the social media outrage over what some television viewers said was an excessive, even obnoxious, barrage of ads for daily fantasy sites, the actual government regulators who oversee such content received just about a dozen complaints during the height of the ads last fall.

According to ESPN, the 15 complaints, provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Outside the Lines, cited viewers' displeasure with the content of the ads, as well as issues with the contests themselves.

They include complaints received from August through Nov. 24, 2015. During that time, DraftKings and FanDuel ran a combined 60,000 advertising spots across more than 60 networks, according to

The Federal Communications Commission regulates broadcast content on network and cable television programming and allows viewers to submit complaints via mail and online. It has specific rules for advertisements for gaming and lotteries that relate to state laws on gambling. To date, the FCC hasn't taken any action against either daily fantasy company and has not taken a position on whether they violate any gambling advertising rules.

While daily fantasy companies have insisted they are not gambling, that designation is being tested legally in a number of states, and some have outright banned it.

To give some idea of the volume of complaints the FCC usually receives, more than 200 letters came in after NBC's broadcast of the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI halftime show that featured rapper M.I.A., who at one point was seen giving the middle finger to the camera.

GOP Debate: Good Night for The Governors

(Reuters) -- Republican White House contender Marco Rubio struggled at a debate on Saturday at the worst possible time, potentially confounding his bid to emerge as Donald Trump's chief rival in New Hampshire and giving hope to three rivals desperate for a strong showing.

Under assault from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his level of experience as a first-term U.S. senator from Florida, Rubio retreated time and again to canned statements from his stump speech and looked uncomfortably rattled for the first time after seamless performances at seven prior debates.

"Marco, the thing is this," Christie said during one heated exchange early in the night, "when you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person."

While Rubio recovered later in the debate, the timing of his performance was terrible, coming three days before New Hampshire Republicans register their choices on Tuesday in the nation's second nominating contest. The debate at St. Anselm College was the last face-off of the candidates before the vote.

Rubio's tough moments may breathe new life into the campaigns of Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich, three experienced politicians who, like Rubio, represent establishment Republicans.

All three have suffered from the dominance of front-runner Trump in the Republican race. They are badly in need of a breakout moment to change the trajectory of the battle in New Hampshire, where the polls show Trump in the lead, Rubio in second and Texas Senator Ted Cruz in third place.
TV Ratings: Preliminary ratings for Saturday's ABC Republican primary debate look promising for a big night for the network. According to early numbers from Nielsen, the debate had a 9.3 household rating. The last Republican debate, hosted by Fox News, had a household rating of 8.4 and 12.5 million viewers. The presence of Donald Trump, who skipped the Fox News debate, likely helped the ratings. As did the timing, between when Iowa and New Hampshire vote when coverage of the primary is at a fever pitch.
Trump did not have his best debate. He looked flustered in a fight with Bush over the use of eminent domain in advancing the interests of public use projects and private industry.

But he seemed to do well enough to possibly win on Tuesday in what would represent his first victory of the 2016 race, erasing the pain from a loss in the Iowa caucus last week, where he finished second to Cruz and just ahead of the surging Rubio.

A victory in New Hampshire could put Trump on track for more wins in South Carolina on Feb. 20 and beyond on the way to the Nov. 8 election.


For the second debate in a row, Bush looked polished and sounded like the candidate many establishment Republicans had pinned their hopes on. His problem is it may be too late.

Kasich, likely to end his candidacy if he does not do well on Tuesday, delivered a positive message that could appeal to New Hampshire Republican voters, who famously make up their minds late and never seem in the mood to follow the lead of the Iowa caucuses, won by Cruz.

The trouble for Rubio began soon after the debate started when the ABC News moderators asked Christie about Rubio's experience in the U.S. Senate, and Christie pressed his case.

Rubio critics have made much of the fact that his experience is akin to that of much-derided Democratic President Barack Obama, elected in 2008 when a first-term senator.

Rubio's defense was that his and Obama's world views are different, not that Obama has simply led the country down the path it is on because of inexperience.

"Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Rubio said.

When Rubio repeated the same line again, Christie sought to reinforce the charge that Rubio is so inexperienced that he relies on well-worn talking points and cannot think on his feet.

"There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody," Christie said.

Rubio repeated the line enough that someone created a Twitter profile called @RubioGlitch that repeated his line about Obama.


Bush attacked Trump for using eminent domain, which allows governments to seize private lands for projects for the public good, to help him build casino complexes in Atlantic City. Eminent domain is a frequent target of criticism from conservative and anti-government groups.

"What Donald Trump did was use eminent domain to try to take the property of an elderly woman on the strip in Atlantic City. That is not public purpose. That is downright wrong,” he said.

Trump said eminent domain was “a good thing” and was necessary to building roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. “Certainly, it’s a necessity for our country,” he said.

“He wants to be a tough guy, and it doesn’t work very well,” Trump said of Bush, telling the son and brother of former presidents to be quiet.

When the crowd booed, Trump said, “that’s all his donors and special interests out there.”

Trump, known for his tough stances with calls to ban Muslims from visiting the United States and deport immigrants without the proper documents, also called for a more empathetic view of the Republican call to repeal Obamacare insurance coverage for Americans.

"There will be a certain number of people who will be on the street dying, and as a Republican I don’t want that to happen,” he said.

Trump captured the biggest share of the conversation on Twitter during the debate, winning 33 percent of the conversation followed by Rubio at 20 percent and Cruz at 15 percent.

(Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson and Alana Wise in Washington; Writing by Steve Holland and John Whitesides; Editing by Mary Milliken, Paul Simao and Robert Birsel)

ICYMI: GOP Debate Started with Botched Intros

The eighth Republican presidential debate on ABC Saturday night got off to a rocky start as the seven remaining GOP contenders stumbled over themselves — and each other — to make it to their podiums.

It was downright odd. Moderators David Muir and Martha Radditz called out each name and it was almost as if the candidates themselves had forgotten what should happen next  (more likely if the candidates starting wirth Ben Carson didn't hear their names announced).

CNN Pushes Back On Cruz Claims

Sen. Ted Cruz knowingly misstated CNN's reporting during Saturday's Republican primary debate, despite the fact that CNN's reporting was correct all along.

Cruz blamed CNN for a message his campaign sent to supporters the night of the Iowa caucuses suggesting Carson was going to suspend his campaign.

"My political team saw CNN's report breaking news and they forwarded that news to our volunteers, it was being covered on live television," Cruz said during the debate.

Cruz also claimed CNN had inaccurately reported that Carson was suspending his campaign "from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15," and "didn't correct that story until 9:15 that night."

That is false, says CNN. CNN never reported that Carson was suspending his campaign and never issued a correction, because there was no need to do so.

In a statement out Saturday night, CNN responded, "What Senator Cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false. CNN never corrected its reporting because CNN never had anything to correct. The Cruz campaign's actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN's reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing."

The controversy stems from a CNN scoop that was broadcast last Monday night, minutes before the Iowa caucuses began. Reporter Chris Moody received information from the Carson campaign that he would be taking a break from the campaign trail after Iowa.

Moody, and the other CNN reporters who followed up on the report, said Carson would continue campaigning after taking a break at home in Florida. His next stop, they said, would be Washington, D.C., for the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

During CNN's live coverage, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash called the move "very unusual," but said nothing about Carson dropping out of the race.

Nevertheless, the Cruz campaign sent a message to supporters in Iowa suggesting that Carson might be suspending his campaign.

Most Adults Following News Of The Campaigns

According to a new survey of 3,760 U.S. adults by Pew Research Center, about nine-in-ten U.S. adults (91%) learned about the election in the past week from at least one of 11 types of sources asked about, ranging from television to digital to radio to print.

This is true even among younger Americans, as 83% of 18- to 29-year-olds report learning about the presidential election from at least one stream of information, according to the survey conducted Jan. 18-27, 2016, using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.

This high level of learning about the 2016 presidential candidates and campaigns is consistent with recent research that has shown strong interest in this election, even more so than at the same point in the previous two presidential elections.1

Americans are divided, though, in the type of sources they find most helpful for that news and information.

When asked if they got news and information about the election from 11 different source types, and then asked which they found most helpful, Americans were split: None of the source types asked about in the survey was deemed most helpful by more than a quarter of U.S. adults.

At the top of the list is cable news, named as most helpful by 24% of those who learned about the election in the past week. That is at least 10 percentage points higher than any other source type. Our past research indicates though, that the 24% is likely divided ideologically in the specific network they watch and trust.

After cable, five source types are named as most helpful by between 10% and 14% of those who got news about the election: Local TV and social networking sites, each at 14%, news websites and apps at 13%, news radio at 11% and national nightly network television news at 10%.

In the bottom tier are five source types named by no more than 3% of Americans who learned about the election. This includes print versions of both local and national newspapers, named by 3% and 2% respectively. It also includes late night comedy shows (3%) as well as the websites, apps or emails of the candidates or campaigns (1%) and of issue-based groups (2%).

As a platform, television and the Web – and even radio to a lesser degree – strongly appeal to certain parts of the public, while print sits squarely at the bottom. As many people name late night comedy shows as most helpful as do a print newspaper.

Age, education level and political party account for some of the differences here. Cable television’s overall popularity is pronounced among those who are 65 and older and also among Republicans, while social media is the clear favorite among the youngest age group, 18 to 29-year-olds.

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Top Acts Trot Out For CRS

Country Radio Seminar kicks off today at the Omni Hotel in Nashville with the usual mixture of music, mentoring and how-to’s for radio programmers and their bosses. Produced annually by Country Radio Broadcasters, the convention will wrap up Wednesday night with the New Faces of Country Music show.

This event is open only to registrants and accredited members of the media.

Although some record labels and media companies will be hosting private parties and showcases throughout the three days, here are some of the official musical highlights of the seminar:

  • Keith Urban receives CRB Artist Humanitarian award.
  • The Grand Ole Opry recreates its stage at the Omni with performances (7-9::30 p.m.) by Trace Adkins, Ashley Campbell, Easton Corbin, Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence, Maddie & Tae, Martina McBride and David Nail.
  • Inspirational speech by Iraq war veteran and former Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway.
  • Universal Music Group lunch and performance featuring Lauren Alaina, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Charles Kelley, Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, David Nail, Jon Pardi, Eric Paslay, Darius Rucker, Canaan Smith, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban.
  • “The Story of the Tortoise and the Hare: A Discussion of Country Chart vs. Pop Chart” panel discussion including Lee Brice, whose “Love Like Crazy” spent a record-setting 56 consecutive weeks on the country chart.
  • CRS After Hours shows will follow both the seminar’s regular sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and will spotlight Smith & Wesley, the Josh Abbott Band, Love and Theft, LoCash, Blackjack Billy and Cold Creek Country.
  • Nashville Access Superpick Showcase with Amber’s Drive, Jake Worthington, James House, Hannah Bethel, Ward Davis and Kylie Morgan.
  • Bob Kinglsey’s Acoustic Alley features some of country music’s top songwriters, including Rhett Akins, Rodney Clawson, Ross Cooperman, Andrew Dorff, Josh Kear, Shane McAnally, Heather Morgan, Tim Nichols, Josh Osborne, Jonathan Singleton and Jimmy Yeary.
  • Acoustic stage performance featuring Macy Martin.
  • Big Machine Label Group lunch and performances by Jennifer Nettles, Justin Moore, Drake White, Tara Thompson and Tucker Beathard.
  • “Transcending and Evolving With Tim McGraw,” a session during which the singer discusses his 21 years as a charting artist.
  • The New Faces of Country Music Show with performances by Brothers Osborne, Cam, Chris Janson, Kelsea Ballerini and Old Dominion.

Accuser Sent Jian Ghomeshi eMails After Alleged Assault

Jian Ghomeshi
The unearthing of 13-year-old emails in an attempt to discredit a woman accusing the former CBC Q host Jian Ghomeshi of sexual assault underscores the growing importance of “digital debris” in criminal and civil trials, experts say.

The Canadian Press reports lawyers and technology experts say the Internet has allowed for extensive records to be kept of one’s movements and comments unlike anything in the past, but most people still don’t consider the potential permanence of their words when firing off a message.

The amount of electronic data, records and documents introduced in trials can be “overwhelming,” said David Fraser, an Internet and privacy lawyer with McInnes Cooper.

“There’s also a tendency for people to put in email messages things that would be relatively casual that they earlier would have picked up the phone to communicate,” he said.

“Picking up the phone wouldn’t have created a record, but as soon as (the recipient has) an email message and they’re not inclined to delete it, all of a sudden you have a record.”

Defence lawyer Marie Henein has grilled two female complainants on their correspondence with Ghomeshi after the alleged assaults. A third has yet to testify.

On Friday, Henein produced a racy email sent by Lucy DeCoutere mere hours after she alleges Ghomeshi choked and slapped her in 2003, as well as a handwritten letter sent a few days later in which DeCoutere wrote “I love your hands.”

The “Trailer Park Boys” actress testified she didn’t remember sending the email. She said firmly that the note — as well as other warm and even romantic dispatches she sent to Ghomeshi — didn’t mean the alleged assault didn’t take place.

Ghomeshi has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. In a 2014 Facebook post he acknowledged engaging in rough sex but said it was consensual.

While 13 years is a bit further back than most people’s saved correspondence stretches, Fraser said it’s increasingly common to hang on to emails forever, given that web-based clients like Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail have practically unlimited storage space.

R.I.P.: Former Baltimore Personality Reggie Reg

Reggie Reg
Reggie Reg, who had worked at Baltimore radio station 92Q and was a well known disc jockey on the city's club music scene, died Saturday evening at St. Agnes Hospital.

He was 50, according to The Baltimore Sun.

His sister said that he had been in declining health and died of congestive heart failure.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake said in a statement. "I was terribly saddened to hear of Reggie's passing. He was one of the best DJs of my generation, with a personality bigger than life. He will definitely be missed."

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon, wrote on her campaign page, "Reggie was a pioneer in Baltimore radio and paved the way for many who came after him."

Friends said he was well established in the city's club music scene by the time he joined the staff of 92-Q radio, also known as WERQ 92.3 FM, as a disc jockey in the mid-1990s. He remained on the air for a decade.

"I met Reggie about 1984 when he was an up-and-coming DJ," said Frank "Ski" Rodriguez, a radio and television personality. "He was kinda finding his space, and Reggie hung out with everybody. He hung out at beauty shops and at record stores. Everybody gravitated to him."

February 8 Radio History

In 1922...President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.

In 1924...the first coast-to-coast radio hookup took place for a speech by General John Joseph Carty from Chicago.

In 1929...KOY-AM, Phoenix, Arizona, began broadcasting. KOY was the first radio station in the state of Arizona, signing on in 1921 as Amateur Radio station 6BBH on 360 meters (833 kHz). Earl Neilsen was the holder of the 6BBH callsign (there were no country prefixes for hams prior to 1928). At that time, broadcasting by ham radio operators was legal.

In 1922, the station received its broadcast license, under the Neilsen Radio & Sporting Goods Company business name, with the callsign KFCB. While the KFCB call letters were sequentially assigned, the station adopted the slogan "Kind Friends Come Back" to match the callsign.

A Phoenix teenager and radio enthusiast named Barry Goldwater was one of the new station's first employees.

When the AM broadcast band was opened in 1923 by the Department of Commerce, KFCB moved around the dial, as did many stations at the time. It was on 1260, 1230, 1310, and 1390 before moving to its long-time home of 550 kHz in 1941. KFCB became KOY on February 8, 1929.  Today the station is owned by iHeaertMedia and is airing a talk format.

In 1960...The U.S. House of Representatives Special Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight opened hearings on disc jockey "payola" amid allegations of money and gifts illegally being given to secure airplay or TV appearances.

The Subcommittee called many famous radio DJs and rock artists -- most notably Alan Freed, Dick Clark, Bobby Darin, and Les Paul -- to defend themselves against allegations of illegal money and gifts given to secure airplay or television appearances.

In 1978...U.S. Senate deliberations on the Panama Canal Treaties were aired on radio - making it the first time such deliberations had been broadcast over that medium.

In Marvin Miller died at age 71 after a heart attack.  He was best known as the Signal Oil announcer on CBS Radio’s memorable series The Whistler, and as Michael Anthony, the man who passed out a weekly cheque on CBS-TV’s hit series The Millionaire in the late 1950’s.

In 1994...Barry Manilow launched a 28 million dollar lawsuit against Los Angeles radio station KBIG over its pledge to not play his music and its TV ad campaign in support of the “No Manilow” policy.

In 1996...the "Telecommunications Act of 1996" deregulated Radio ownership.

In 2000...WGN-Chicago morning radio personality and private pilot Bob Collins was killed in a mid-air collision at age 57. His airplane and that of a student pilot collided upon approach to the runway at the airport in Waukegan, Illinois. The student pilot, Sharon Hock, was directly below him and they were unaware of each others' presence until the collision. Collins attempted to steer his plane to a safe landing, but it crashed and burned atop a nearby hospital, killing him and a passenger. Hock crashed three blocks away and also died.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February 7 Radio History

In 1915...First train-to-station radio message, Binghamton, NY

In 1963...B. Mitchel Reed starts at WMCA

March 15, 1963
In 1963…The Vee-Jay label released the first Beatles single in the U.S., "Please Please Me" b/w "Ask Me Why." The first pressings became valuable collectors' items because their name on the label was misspelled "Beattles." Dick Biondi, a disc jockey at WLS in Chicago at the time and a friend of Vee-Jay executive Ewart Abner, played the song on the radio perhaps as early as February 8, 1963, thereby becoming the first disc jockey in the United States to play a Beatles record on the radio. "Please Please Me" peaked at #35 after four weeks on the WLS music survey, but did not show up on any of the major national American record charts. The label re-issued the single in January 1964 to a much better result: it peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, trailing only the group's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You."

In 1964...Just after 1:00 p.m. EST, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 landed at New York City's JFK Airport. An estimated 5,000 screaming fans were waiting to greet the Beatles as they arrived for their first U.S. tour and an appearance on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In the United Kingdom, the Beatles had experienced popularity since the start of 1963. But in the US, Capitol Records, owned by the band's record company EMI, had for most of the year declined to issue any of the singles.

The phenomenon of Beatlemania in the UK was regarded with amusement by the US press, once it made any comment. When newspaper and magazine articles did begin to appear towards the end of 1963, they cited the English stereotype of eccentricity, reporting that the UK had developed an interest in something that had come and gone a long time ago in the US: rock and roll.

In late 1963, Capitol Records agreed to release the single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" with a large accompanying promotional campaign, due to Ed Sullivan's agreement to headline the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles American television debut was on 18 November 1963 on The Huntley-Brinkley Report, with a four-minute long piece by Edwin Newman.

On 22 November 1963, the CBS Morning News ran a five-minute feature on Beatlemania in the UK. The evening's scheduled repeat was cancelled following the assassination of John F. Kennedy the same day. On December 10, Walter Cronkite decided to televise the piece again on the CBS Evening News,[10] and the resulting interest led to the rush-release of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and—only weeks before The Beatles' arrival—a US commercial breakthrough.

Eleven weeks before the Beatles' arrival in the U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The nation was in mourning, in fear, and in disbelief. The assassination came after a fifteen-year build-up of Cold War tension. The motivation and identity of the assassin, would be doubted by many Americans for decades even after the Warren Commission issued its report in September 1964. As the U.S. tried to restore a sense of normality, teenagers in particular struggled to cope, as their disbelief began to be replaced by a personal reaction to what had happened: in school essays, teenagers wrote that "then it became real", and "I was feeling the whole world is going to collapse on me", and "I never felt so empty in all my life".

When the Beatles first hit American shores in 1964, radio personalities scrambled to befriend them and scoop other stations.   Media writer Peter Kanze recapped the radio battle for The Beatles in 1989 and it was reprinted recently at

According to Kanze, Rick Sklar was WABC’s Program Director from 1962 through 1976, and he remembered that “WABC never deviated from its standard policy with and artist, including the Beatles.   In order to get played on the station, the artist had to be established first.  Once they made it, fine, but we weren't going be the station to take a chance.  “WABeatlesC” went on the first American Beatles releases, but only because of their track record in England.  I don’t think that it was very significant that WMCA played “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” before we did.  As far as we were concerned, the Beatles weren't known yet.  Once the Beatles were known, though, we always tried to have the exclusive. “

(Courtesy of the WABC Tribute Website  Find out more, visit the Beatles Page: Click Here.)

The “exclusive” or “scoop” (a record that has been obtained first by one radio station in a given area and no other) was all-important in those days, and still is to some extent with superstar performers.  In the case of the Beatles, it was meant to convey the impression that one radio station had a closer relationship to the group than the other.  Hence, newer music, better gossip, etc.

As recounted at, WABC had a huge advantage when The Beatles visited New York City. As the flagship station for the ABC radio network, it had access to lots of high tech equipment. This included wireless RF microphones. During The Beatles first 1964 visit to New York, when they stayed at The Plaza, it was impossible for virtually any of the media to get access to them.

So, during their second 1964 visit when they stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, WABC mounted an all out offensive. The suite above The Beatles was rented by WABC and was used to set up a remote studio. Using those wireless microphones, WABC disc jockeys Scott Muni and Bruce Morrow wandered around the hotel ready to broadcast anything that might have to do with The Beatles. It gave the station a huge edge. And, it didn’t hurt that as many security and hotel staff people as possible were presented with "gifts" from WABC. Needless to say, there were very few places where the WABC people could not roam.

By now most of the 10,000 teenagers who packed the streets outside of the hotel were listening to WABC on their transistor radios. When WABC disc jockeys Scott Muni and Bruce Morrow asked them to sing WABC jingles as they were playing on WABC, the entire crowd was able to do so in unison.


The power of all of this was best illustrated when Ringo Starr lost his gold Saint Christopher’s medal which was attached to a chain around his neck. Apparently as he was entering the hotel, an over zealous fan inadvertently snatched it.   Bruce Morrow and Scott Muni learned this while interviewing him over the air at the hotel. WABC listeners also heard this and so did the girl who had the medal, Angie McGowan. She had her mother call Cousin Brucie that night. But, program director Rick Sklar, ever the master promoter, could see the advantages of stretching out this drama a while longer. Even though WABC recovered the medal within a few hours, Rick arranged for the girl to stay overnight, safely secluded with her mother in a hotel room while the station continued to broadcast appeals for the medal's safe recovery. As you would expect, this became a media sensation and WABC held all the cards. By the time the following evening rolled around, everyone was listening to WABC to see if the medal would ever be recovered. Twenty-four hours after its initial loss and subsequent recovery, WABC reunited the medal with Ringo over the air. It was a publicity bonanza for the station.

In 1965...Billboard published a story about Scott Muni being dropped from the 77 WABC line-up.

Muni is best known for his time at WNEW-FM, where he arrived in 1967 and remained for 31 years. Also known as "Scottso" and "The Professor," Muni began his New York radio career as a "Good Guy" on top-40 WMCA in the late '50s. He then moved to WABC in 1960, where he played an integral role in breaking the Beatles before leaving the station in 1964.

Muni's arrival at WNEW as program director helped usher in the progressive rock format, which quickly spread to other major U.S. cities, providing an outlet for countless seminal artists largely ignored by the dominant top-40 stations of the day.

Artists he interviewed in the '70s, including Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Pete Townshend, counted him among their friends.

Muni left WNEW in 1998 and moved over to WAXQ.

He passed away in September 2004 at age 74 after suffering a stroke

In 1976...the Federal Communications Commission raided and closed down pirate radio station WCPR, operating out of Brooklyn, New York.

In 2000...Robin Scott died at the age of 79. Scott was responsible for launching England's BBC Radio 1 in 1967.

In 2014... Scott Shannon last show at WPLJ.

On February 25, 2014, WCBS 101.1 FM announced that Scott Shannon will be hosting a brand new Morning Show entitled Scott Shannon in the Morning which started on March 3