Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'Full Disclosure' Sought For Political Ads

Key former FCC Democrats have urged the FCC to plug what critics allege is a loophole in existing political advertising law that allows nonprofit groups to protect the identities of donors for some political broadcast attack ads, according to TV NewsCheck.

“This pervasive use of secret money undermines the democratic process,” said Newton Minow, former FCC chairman, and Henry Geller, a former agency general counsel who previously headed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in a petition filed Monday at the FCC. “Full sponsorship disclosure is the law.”

The two Democrats are urging the agency to act, because FCC rules only require disclosure of the actual sponsor of the issue ads — not also the individuals or groups who donated funds to the sponsor of the ads.

In their petition, Minow and Geller insist that the FCC already has the power to require the additional donor disclosure.

“It is the responsibility of the FCC to enforce the long-established rule,” the two said in their petition. “The voting public needs and is entitled to know who is trying to persuade it.”

In their petition, the two Democrats also said $332 million of “dark money” was spent on controversial radio and TV issues ads by so-called social welfare organizations during the last election cycle.

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Report: Streaming In The Car Is Huge Business

"When you get the younger buyer, connectivity is huge. When they see our research, it's the No. 1 reason they purchase a car," says Scott Keogh, president of Audi America, tells Billboard.  Audi has pre-wired its 2015 A3 sedan with an AT&T 4G LTE connection that turns the car into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot with access to thousands of streaming Internet stations.

According to Gartner Research, in five years 70 to 80 percent of all new vehicles will include the high-speed wireless service options. As in the smartphone wars, the same players -- Google, Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry -- are battling for supremacy over the connected car.

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Pandora Targeting Terrestial Radio's Ad Revenue

Once focused on just national advertising, Oakland, Calif.-based Pandora now has sales teams in 35 markets--including top performers Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas—and reportedly has plans to enter four or five more, according to Crain's Business New York.

Ground zero for its ad efforts is New York, home to the company's largest sales force. A new two-floor, 50,000-square-foot office in midtown holds nearly 200 employees, many of them radio-sales refugees from Clear Channel and CBS Radio. That's up from 95 a year ago, and could grow to 350 by next year. Their target: terrestrial radio's $17 billion in annual ad revenue--in particular the $14 billion that comes from local advertisers.

"Half of the salespeople here are laser-focused on broadcast radio," said John Trimble, Pandora's New York-based chief revenue officer.

A lot is riding on their success. It took 14 years for the company to eke out its first profitable quarter: net income of $9 million on revenue of $200 million at the end of 2013. Still, it lost $41 million last year, despite a 56% growth in revenue, to $638 million.

John Trimble
Trimble says that the company is just hitting its stride. Pandora, in addition to being the leader in streaming radio, is also the largest station in its local markets, he said. And he has the data to prove it. Ad agencies now combine Pandora's streaming data with their ratings for broadcast radio stations, producing a "ranker" that shows the streaming service to be No. 1 in New York City, with a bigger audience than terrestrial standbys LiteFM and Z100.

Pandora also sells local advertisers on its ability to target users by age, gender and ZIP code. And its overall reach is huge. The service has 75 million active listeners, a 9% share of total U.S. radio listening and a growing presence on car dashboards.

"Pandora has eaten into the overall radio budget," said Kim Vasey, director of radio for media-buying giant GroupM. "They are making a dent in the space."

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Pandora Hires Congressional Staffer

David Grimaldi
Pandora has hired David Grimaldi, a veteran of congress, as the Internet radio company faces music-licensing regulations on multiple fronts, according to indusrtry newsletter RAIN.

Grimaldi was most recently Chief of Staff for FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Previously, Grimaldi was senior counsel for Mignon Clyburn’s father, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, an appointment made in September, 2010.

Grimaldi joins Pandora at a time when the market-leading Internet radio service faces many negotiations and legal arguments related to the cost of music it streams, and the U.S. government’s regulation of that cost. Pandora is a so-called non-interactive webcaster, which puts it in a different regulatory bucket from Spotify, Rhapsody, Beats Music, and other on-demand services which negotiate directly with record labels. Pandora acquires recorded music via compulsory licenses, and pays royalty rates set by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

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Cridland: Radio Broadcasters Should Start Worrying

James Cridland
Radio futurologist James Cridland blogs at, if you're a radio broadcaster, you should start worrying right now. 

Cridland writes:
I spent two days in Las Vegas "on vacation", as our American cousins would say. I hired a car, and went to see some of the local tourist hotspots: the Hoover Dam, the Red Rock Canyon, the Neon Museum, and even the Atomic Testing Museum. My car, a Nissan Almera, didn't have a connected dash. It didn't even have HD Radio. Instead, the radio had four buttons - AM, FM, AUX and Bluetooth.  
For the first hour, I flicked through the FM channels, feeling more disappointed with every click. Syrupy, national, NPR programming; a heavily-promoted "Morning Zoo" (though I only heard back-to-back music, and no actual radio personalities); a poor copy of JACKfm called Bob FM; Christian Rock; Spanish music; and financial advice... after the fifth play of Pharrell Williams's "Happy" I desperately needed something else.  
In the car park of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge (I know how to live), I navigated the primitive controls to pair my phone. And realised why radio has a lot to lose from a connected dash - even one as relatively dumb as this one.  
From thereon in, choosing "Bluetooth" on the car stereo automatically connected to my phone, and the millions of tracks I have access to via Google Play Music (and my unlimited data tarrif - even in the US). Jumping out of the car puts the phone automatically in pause. Starting the car again automatically put it back into play mode. Hitting the 'seek' button flicked to the next track.  
The user experience was just like music-intensive radio: but with my music choice: not someone else's. Better - the music dipped every so often, while Google Maps told me where to turn. (I'd have missed those turn instructions if I were listening to FM radio).  
For the rest of my trip, I was listening to Google Play's personalised 'radio' service. Not to FM radio.
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List: The 10 Most Influential Radio Personalities

With mobile and online listening emerging as it has, especially with young listeners, it’s easy to think the idea of public radio might be losing ground. Yet, there are still a lot of listeners in radio who want to hear interesting original stories, the kind that This American Life and other public radio shows excel at. But even the public radio format has gotten hip with the times and some of their most popular shows are often available in podcast form.

Conservative talk radio has many of the highest-rated shows in the medium. A resurgence in the format began in the 1990’s and it continues to dominate progressive talk radio. Conservative shows vastly outnumber progressive radio programs and usually have two to three channels in each market compared to one progressive channel.

With the current state of radio being as diluted and fractured as it is, Max Blatherwick at writes there are still voices and broadcasters come out above the rest. They are the ones who have built huge audiences, who broadcast to millions of people. They have figured out a way to insert their unique personality into the public consciousness. The most influential radio personalities are the ones who have carved out a particular niche, which has helped elevate their voices above the rest of the chatter.

The Richest has come up with a list of the 10 Most Influential Radio Personalities.  There are some surprises.  On the list, the usual suspects such as Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern.  But also making the list are Delilah, and NPR’s Terri Gross.  Find out the entire Top 10 List and the ranked order:  Click Here.

Detroit Radio: Pistons Partner With Greater Media

PD Jason Dixon, Piston's Dennis Mannion, Grater Media Market Manager Steve Chessare
Palace Sports and Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Dennis Mannion and Steve Chessare, Market Manager of Greater Media Detroit, have announced that the team has signed a multi-year agreement with the radio broadcasting company for all Pistons games to be aired on the FM dial on Detroit Sports WMGC 105.1FM beginning immediately.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Greater Media Detroit and look forward collaborating on innovative ways to enhance coverage of Detroit Basketball for our fans,” said Mannion. “Detroit Sports 105.1’s alignment with ESPN Radio is a natural fit for our organization given its extensive coverage of the NBA. We are also pleased to have the ability to partner with Greater Media sister stations like WRIF 101.1 FM and WCSX-FM 94.7 FM to provide ancillary Pistons programming as well as PS&E concert and event promotions.”

“We are delighted that fans will find themselves tuning to Detroit Sports 105.1 to hear all the excitement of Pistons games,” said Greater Media’s Chessare. “We are thrilled to have the ability to deliver a thoughtful, passionate and progressive listening experience for our fans. Adding NBA play-by-play to Detroit Sports 105.1 is yet another significant step forward in fulfilling our commitment to offer fans the finest in consistent sports programming like they’ve never had before.”Chessare, Market Manager of Greater Media Detroit.

Chessare added, “Advertisers who have been part of the Pistons broadcast have an improved and consistent platform to have their message shared with fans like they’ve never had before.”

Under the new agreement, Detroit Sports 105.1 will provide around the clock coverage of the team, including daily Pistons’ Minutes on the stations, talking about all aspects of the team throughout the broadcast week. In addition, Detroit Sports 105.1 will serve as the flagship station for the Pistons Radio Network which includes stations throughout Michigan and northwest Ohio.

Detroit Sports 105.1′s HD2 signal will also carry additional content throughout the day, including expanded game day coverage, Pistons features, game replays and more.   This content will be distributed on digital platforms such as the Pistons and Detroit Sports 105.1 mobile apps as well as each entity’s web site.
The agreement also calls for Pistons game broadcasts to be streamed on the station and team websites as well as their mobile apps.

Pistons broadcasters George Blaha, Mark Champion and Rick Mahorn will continue their play-by-play and analyst roles under the new agreement.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Palace Sports and Entertainment,” said Detroit Sports 105.1 Program Director Jason Dixon.  “This agreement is more than a standard rights agreement; it’s a content creation agreement.  The Pistons and Detroit Sports 105.1 will be generating an unprecedented amount of team related content that will be distributed over multiple platforms.  The structure of this deal allows for creativity and innovation that we intend to take advantage of.   I truly believe it could become a model for future professional sports rights agreements.”

Philly Radio WMGK’s DeBella to Host Largest Canine Event

On Sunday, May 4 from 11am to 3pm, at picturesque Green Lane Park (2144 Snyder Rd Green Lane, PA 18054) in Montgomery County, WMGK 102.9 FM morning man, John DeBella (weekdays 6a-9a) will host the 12th Annual DeBella Dog Walk, the largest canine carnival in the area.

Over 7,000 people attended last year’s event; an even bigger turnout is expected this year.

The Dog Walk is a FREE, outdoor gathering for people and their dogs that features entertaining dog demos & interactive games, the ability to get advice from experts such as trainers and veterinarians as well as the opportunity to learn about various breeds from the twenty five to thirty shelters & rescue groups on-site.  Throughout the event, people can get information that will help them become better pet owners while enjoying a super-sized playdate with their four-legged best friend.

The day’s dog demonstrations will feature a variety of talented canines including frisbee dogs, ‘dancing’ dogs, and a member of the Abington Police Department’s K9 unit. Dogs can take part in games such as lure coursing, musical hoops (musical chairs for dogs) and doggie tic-tac-toe to win treats.  Both dogs and owners can win prizes in the ‘longest kiss between owner and dog contest’ as well as the ‘Simon Says’ contest.  Photo opportunities abound as owners can take their pooch’s photo inside the “Dogs Playing Poker” painting and the Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album cover (George Harrison will be holding a dog leash).

John DeBella
One dog will be even be crowned ‘Mayor of Dogville’ as a result of an online photo submission contest that John DeBella is conducting.  There will also be a food vendor and two caricature artists on-site.  More information on the event can be found at the station’s website,

John DeBella has dedicated himself to the welfare of animals throughout his over thirty years on-air in Philadelphia.  He hosted the DeBella’s Dogs segment on NBC’s 10! Show for years.  In 2008, he was honored with an award at the Morris Animal Refuge’s 11th Annual Fur Ball Fundraiser.

Colbert Visits Letterman

Sporting a fancy pair of glasses, Stephen Colbert arrived on the “Late Show” Tuesday night to sit down with David Letterman and chat about the future — a future that will, of course, see Colbert take over for Letterman next year when the iconic late-night host retires sometime in 2015, according to WaPo.

“You look right at home,” Letterman said approvingly to the Comedy Central star as he sat down to wild applause.

What followed was a breezy, entertaining conversation, chock full of one-liners and self-deprecation, things that each late-night host excels at. Both Letterman and Colbert — who was obviously himself, and not his satirical “Stephen Colbert” character — seemed to enjoy the chat while simultaneously acknowledging the inherent weirdness of the situation. Case in point: Colbert  brought his own Top 10 list, and Letterman seemed genuinely confused that Colbert got the traditional Top 10 intro music and graphics before he read the list out loud.

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Survey Profiles Today's Radio Newsroom Leaders

A survey released by the Radio Television Directors News Association shows Radio news directors averaged about 3 years younger than TV news directors (46.4) -- but the median age was just about the same (49).  News directors' ages ranged from a youngster of 19 to as old as 83. Commercial station news directors were 5 years older than non-commercial ones.

The survey was conducted by Bob Papper is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Hofstra University and has worked extensively in radio and TV news.  This research was supported by the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 among all 1,659 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 3,263 radio stations. Valid responses came from 1,300 television stations (78.4%) and 249 radio news directors and general managers representing 649 radio stations.

The average radio news director has been news director at his or her station for just over 9 years (9.2)... although the median was just 5. In other words, some serious longevity on the part of some radio news directors masks the more typical moving around. Still, radio is not nearly as nomadic as TV. Radio news directors were most stable at commercial stations versus non-commercial and in both the largest and smallest markets.

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R.I.P.: Eastern Kentucky Personality Randy Walters

Randy Walters
Well known Eastern Kentucky radio personality Randy Walters has died.

He was 63, according to

He worked for several radio stations and newspapers through the years. Randy Walters spent most of the 1980's with WSGS 101.1 FM in Hazard, KY and WKIC 97.9 FM in Hyden, KY, where he attracted a huge audience with his morning show.

Walters interviewed some of the biggest country and bluegrass music stars at the time, and many people will never forget his jokes, impressions and characters like "Cowboy Jim".

Walters worked for other radio stations and newspapers through the years... Including a long stint as co-owner of the Perry county news.

April 23 In Radio History

In 1995...Howard Cosell, ABC Radio Sports, died

After the war, Cosell began practicing law in Manhattan, primarily in union law. Some of his clients were actors, and some were athletes, including Willie Mays. Cosell's own hero in athletics was Jackie Robinson, who served as a personal and professional inspiration to him in his career. Cosell also represented the Little League of New York, when in 1953 an ABC Radio manager asked him to host a show on New York flagship WABC featuring Little League participants. The show marked the beginning of a relationship with WABC and ABC Radio that would last his entire broadcasting career.

Cosell hosted the Little League show for three years without pay, and then decided to leave the law field to become a full-time broadcaster. He approached Robert Pauley, President of ABC Radio, with a proposal for a weekly show. Pauley told him the network could not afford to develop untried talent, but he would be put on the air if he would get a sponsor. To Pauley's surprise, Cosell came back with a relative's shirt company as a sponsor, and "Speaking of Sports" was born.

Cosell took his "tell it like it is" approach when he teamed with the ex-Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher "Big Numba Thirteen" Ralph Branca on WABC's pre- and post-game radio shows of the New York Mets in their nascent years beginning in 1962. He pulled no punches in taking members of the hapless expansion team to task.

Otherwise on radio, Cosell did his show, Speaking of Sports, as well as sports reports and updates for affiliated radio stations around the country; he continued his radio duties even after he became prominent on television. Cosell then became a sports anchor at WABC-TV in New York, where he served in that role from 1961 to 1974. He expanded his commentary beyond sports to a radio show entitled "Speaking of Everything".

Cosell's style of reporting very much transformed sports broadcasting. Whereas previous sportscasters had mostly been known for color commentary and lively play-by-play, Cosell had an intellectual approach. His use of analysis and context arguably brought television sports reporting very close to the kind of in-depth reporting one expected from "hard" news reporters. At the same time, however, his distinctive staccato voice, accent, syntax, and cadence were a form of color commentary all their own.

In 2004…Southern California radio-TV sportscaster Bill Brundige died of heart failure at age 89.

Brundige served as West Coast sports director for the Armed Forces Radio Network during World War II and received the Helms Athletic Foundation award for his entertainment contributions to the men and women serving in the Pacific.

Later, Brundige was an announcer for baseball's Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Senators, and football's Detroit Lions. It was Phil Wrigley, owner of the Cubs, who brought Brundige to Southern California to broadcast games for the Angels, a minor league team that had the name long before Gene Autry purchased an American League expansion team that began play in 1961.

In 1964, Brundige founded an auto glass company in Orange County that bears his name. He retired after ending a broadcasting career of more than 40 years with a talk show on Anaheim's KEZY.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Justices Express Concern Over a Sweeping Aereo Ruling

With no less than the future of free, over-the-air TV at stake, Supreme Court justices expressed concerns about issuing a ruling that would have the unintended consequences of impacting cloud computing.

But, according to Variety, they also queried both broadcasters and Aereo’s attorneys on why the startup should not be considered a cable service, with a full slate of legal requirements including payment of royalties and retransmission fees.

From oral arguments, it was hard to read exactly which direction the high court was moving, a notoriously unpredictable prospect in copyright cases. But the case undoubtedly touched a nerve in the entertainment industry, as an array of broadcast executives, copyright lawyers and tech advocates crowded the chambers. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that Aereo is “the only player that is paying no royalties whatsoever” for broadcast content.

Justice John Roberts questioned whether Aereo was merely designed to exploit a loophole in copyright law. Stations argue that its system of copying live signals and then transmitting them to subscribers via dime-sized antennas was a public performance and therefore fell within the bounds of the Copyright Act.

Roberts even seemed to make light of Aereo’s notion that its copying of broadcast signals, for transmission to subscribers, somehow made it different from other cases of infringement.

“You are saying your copy is different from my copy,” he said to some laughs.

While cable and satellite providers pay fees to retransmit broadcast signals, Aereo argues that it is merely supplying the antenna equipment and letting individuals direct what they watch and when.

Nevertheless, plenty of time during the oral arguments was paid to the future of technology, and why Aereo was any different from a host of in-home devices that have disrupted entertainment in the past, like the VCR and the DVR.

Going into the hearing, many in the broadcast industry had been optimistic about their prospects. The Supreme Court didn’t have to take the case now, but did so after they petitioned the justices when the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and a district court refused to grant an injunction to shut Aereo down. Moreover, the U.S. Solicitor General filed a brief favoring the broadcast side, and one of the deputies, Malcolm Stewart, argued before the justices on Tuesday.

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US Adult Time Spent With Digital Grows 23 Percent

In 2013, time spent with digital media among US adults surpassed time spent with TV for the first time—with mobile driving the shift. This year, that trend will continue, according to new figures from eMarketer, as time spent with mobile devices continues to grow much faster than usage of all other media.

US adults still spend considerably more time with TV than with any other single medium, and in 2014, they’ll be in front their televisions for an average of 4 hours 28 minutes per day, eMarketer estimates. That’s down from 2013, but by a mere 3 minutes.

Combining online and mobile devices, however, eMarketer expects US adults to spend 5 hours 46 minutes with digital media daily this year, increasing digital’s lead over television to well over 1 hour per day. Digital media, in our definition, includes all online, mobile and other nonmobile connected-device activities, such as video streamed through over-the-top services.

That increase is almost exclusively attributable to mobile. In 2014, US adults will spend 23.0% more time with mobile on an average day than in 2013, according to eMarketer’s forecast—and that’s led to mobile cannibalizing time spent with just about every other category. Even desktop time will drop this year, both in absolute terms and as a share of time spent with all media. Last year, mobile time (excluding voice calls) lined up evenly with time spent online on desktops and laptops, at 2 hours 19 minutes each. This year, mobile will pull far ahead, to 2 hours 51 minutes, vs. 2 hours 12 minutes spent online on PCs. Overall, TV will account for 36.5% of total time spent with media in 2014, compared with mobile at 23.3%, which is now firmly in second place.

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CCM+E Launches iHeartRadio Networks

Clear Channel Media+entertainment has announced the IHeartRadio Networks.

CCM+E says this new, unified platform will "better maximize Clear Channel's powerful collection of assets, providing the targeted impact marketers need and what they are accustomed to receiving from television networks," the company said in a press release.

The new Network offers advertisers' access to the 840 live radio stations, plus digital channels, local website properties, nationally-syndicated programs and satellite radio channels.  The network also includes specialized and proprietary options like talent endorsements, organic DJ mentions and product placements, commercial roadblock messaging across the entire network and nimble copy change capability since all the assets are owned and operated by Clear Channel.

Darren Davis
"The new unified network has the tremendous capability to give advertisers the massive reach they'd expect from a radio or television network, but with the effective frequency and enhancements not typically available in the network advertising space," said Pres./Clear Channel Networks Darren Davis.  "It's truly the best way for a brand to reach American consumers in a much more affordable way than television networks -- and with greater ROI."

The company is also introducing a range of iHeartRadio Targeted Networks designed to reach specific demographic and psychographic groups -- including Country, Hispanic, African-American, Millennial, Women, Men and Holiday.

Emmis Invests In Funkmaster Flex Digital

Funkmaster Flex
Emmis Communications Corporation has entered into a joint venture with Flexco, owned by popular Emmis personality Funkmaster Flex, to build a network of owned and operated digital platforms for Emmis' biggest personalities.

One of radio's most visible personalities, Flex has built a large online and mobile audience with and the DJ Funk Flex Mobile app.  Flex will be working with other personalities in New York and in other Emmis markets to develop similar digital footprints.  Emmis plans to develop a network of sites, apps and social networks with the unique entertainment and news content young audiences and advertisers desire.  Flex has already launched for Angie Martinez, Afternoon Drive Personality on WGHT 97.1 FM Hot97, for DJ Enuff on Hot 97 and is working on a digital project for Hot97's morning show personality Ebro Darden.

"We're thrilled to invest in Flex's digital assets and work closely with him to continue to innovate in the digital space," said Patrick Walsh, CFO, COO and Emmis Radio Division President.  "Flex has built a successful mobile and online platform that reaches more than 5 million people monthly and he already has started work with other talented Emmis personalities at Hot 97 to expand their digital presence.  We expect this partnership to enable us to rapidly expand our digital content offering for our passionate fans and advertisers."

"Today's digital world has changed how personalities and DJs interact with listeners and music fans," Flex said. "We must reinvent ourselves to stay relevant and grow.  I jumped in feet first to learn what it takes to create an audience online. The partnership with Emmis provides the foundation we need to turn our brands and personalities into a real digital business.  The opportunity to share what I have learned is exciting, and our future lives in doing digital with our biggest brands and best personalities."

While financial terms were not disclosed, the investment will give Emmis a 40% ownership in Flexco.

Olympics Pace NBC Universal Earnings

Comcast Corporation today reported results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

Brian Roberts
Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, said, "Our operating momentum is continuing as we enter 2014 and is highlighted by our second consecutive quarter of video customer growth, as well as strength in high-speed Internet and business services. Our focus on the customer experience continues to drive our success as we deliver the most innovative products in the industry and make measurable progress in customer service. At NBCUniversal, we had another superb quarter with double-digit revenue and operating cash flow growth driven by the tremendously successful Sochi Olympics and the best season-to-date broadcast ratings in a decade. Overall, the company is performing well and the more planning we do for our proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, the more excited we are by the opportunities for the combined company. Comcast has tremendous momentum right now, and we believe the TWC transaction will strengthen a truly world-class organization that will be well positioned to compete and yield meaningful benefits to our customers, employees, and shareholders."

Consolidated 1st Quarter 2014 Highlights:
  • Consolidated Revenue Increased 13.7%, Operating Cash Flow Increased 10.0% and Operating Income Increased 16.3%
  • Earnings per Share Increased 31.5% to $0.71; Excluding Gains on Sales and Acquisition-Related Items, EPS Increased 33.3% to $0.68
  • Quarterly Dividends and Quarterly Share Repurchases Increased 35.5% to $1.3 Billion
Cable Communications 1st Quarter 2014 Highlights:
  • Cable Communications Revenue Increased 5.3% and Operating Cash Flow Increased 4.3%
  • Cable Communications Customer Relationships Increased by 124,000 to 26.8 Million
  • Video Customers Increased by 24,000, the Second Consecutive Quarter of Customer Growth
  • High-Speed Internet Customers Increased by 383,000; Revenue Growth of 9.0% Is the Strongest Rate of Growth in Two Years
  • Business Services Revenue Increased 23.9%, Approaching a $4 Billion Annual Run-Rate
NBCUniversal 1st Quarter 2014 Highlights:
  • NBCUniversal Revenue Increased 28.8% and Operating Cash Flow Increased 37.6%
  • Broadcast Revenue Increased 17.0%, Excluding Olympics, and Is Ranked #1 Season-to-Date Among Adults 18-49
  • Film Operating Cash Flow Increased Over $200 Million
  • The Sochi Olympics Generated Over $1.1 Billion in Revenue

LA Radio: CCM+E Moves Bill Denton To AM Station Sales

Last week, Clear Channel corporate mandated a reduction in the sales force. A couple of sources indicated that 300 employees were laid off, including six sales people in the Los Angeles cluster.

Bill Denton
According to LA Radio, the biggest story in Los Angeles involves Bill Denton. He’s generally accepted as one of the most well-liked radio executives with the ad agency world, which also includes being recognized as a top-notch salesman who extracts a large percentage of the ad buys. When he was in charge of sales at KROQ, he was known for working miracles.

Last year Clear Channel lured Bill from CBS to be general sales manager at KIIS and KYSR. Among all of the recent changes, the big surprise to many was Denton being reassigned as the new general sales manager for the CC/LA AM stations: KFI, KEIB, and KLAC. Many feel that CC made the change asking Bill to work his magic on KFI, a station that has seen revenues decline.

Agencies refused to buy spots on previous ratings leader Rush Limbaugh’s program, purportedly due to the storm over the Sandra Fluke incident and other controversies.

“We are always looking for ways to improve,” emailed Greg Ashlock.

“The fact is that we need as much focus as possible on KFI and with the large number of sales people that we have on our talk products, we needed to have a lower sales manager to account executive ratio. Bill Denton is a huge consumer of talk radio, is wildly passionate about the platform and is experienced in the intricacies of direct response dating back to his days with Newmark.”

“Darren McMillan has done a phenomenal job leading our efforts on the AM’s and will continue to play a critical role. This move wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity for more help,” continued Ashlock. “David Howard’s position remains the same.”

Experian Reports 'Cord Cutters' Continue To Increase

Experian Marketing Services has published its cross-device video analysis, which shows that 48 percent of all U.S. adults and 67 percent of young adults watch streaming or downloaded video during a typical week.

With the explosion of smartphones and digital tablets and the steady rise of Internet-connected home devices, consumers are watching more video when and where` they want than ever before. Mobile is the first screen for watching, streaming or downloading video, with 24 percent of all U.S. adults and 42 percent of smartphone owners watching this type of video each week.

The popularity of cross-device video streaming has led to a rise of “cord-cutting,” where consumers are using high-speed Internet and not cable or satellite TV. An estimated 7.6 million U.S. homes today are considered cord-cutters, up from 5.1 million homes in 2010, a relative increase of 44 percent.

Users of Netflix and Hulu are the most likely to be cord-cutters.“While we are seeing the way we view video drastically changing, television is likely to remain the primary device for consumer video; we just are witnessing the transition of the definition of television,” said John Fetto, senior analyst, marketing and research, Experian Marketing Services. “A third of Americans live in households with Internet-connected TVs, giving them the option to stream or download video to the television either directly or with devices such as Kindle Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.”

Other findings from the analysis include:
  • Video viewing on a smartphone jumps after the work day ends, with the most viewing occurring between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • While smartphone video viewing generally is lower during the day, there is clear evidence of a video “lunch” and a late-afternoon video “snack” break when smartphone video viewing spikes, especially among young adults
  • The top three video properties across desktops and smartphones are: YouTube, Netflix and CNN
  • Viewers of online video generally are more receptive to advertising, though only 27 percent of adults who watch video on a smartphone and 31 percent of those who view video on a tablet say that they find video ads on these devices useful
“While the growing trend in cord-cutting is understandably disturbing to cable and satellite companies and disruptive to the television advertising revenue model overall, the growth in online viewing creates opportunities for marketers,” said Fetto. “That’s because online video viewers can be targeted more easily and served up advertising that is more relevant, responsive and measureable. Marketers also can be more confident that their online ad actually was seen given that viewers typically are unable to skip ads.”

CBS Responds To Attkisson's Allegations

Sharyl Attkisson
CBS News on Monday responded to its former employee Sharyl Attkisson’s claims that the network indirectly discouraged her from doing investigative reporting critical of the Obama administration, according to The Blaze.

Attkisson reported extensively on Benghazi and the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.

The ex-CBS reporter later revealed that she didn’t run into the same roadblocks while reporting on issues that hurt former President George W. Bush. She blamed a lot of the bias problems on special and corporate interests.

In response to Attkisson’s public comments, CBS News issued a statement to TVNewser:
“CBS News maintains the highest journalistic standards in what it chooses to put on the air. Those standards are applied without fear or favor.”
The spokesperson did not address Attkisson’s allegations specifically.

In a Sunday interview with Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources,” Attkisson said it appeared that politics sometimes kept some of her stories from making it on the air.

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