Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pandora's Slowing Growth: Speed-Bump Or Wall?

  • Pandora’s earnings results beat expectations; however, the slowing and possibly dead growth has severely wounded the stock.
  • Pandora swears by its unique service and industry-leading algorithms, but is it any special?
Pandora was defenseless as it showed analysts that its growth might be coming to an end.

According to Sean Chandler at SeekingAlpha, investors were quick to underline the lack of sequential growth in active users and listening hours; the attractive year-over-year growth figures were largely driven by growth from prior quarters. Pandora may have beat earnings and topped even its own estimates, but it is meaningless if the service shows no signs of growth.

Pandora believes that its unique radio service is unaffected by on-demand streaming services like Spotify and the company swears by its carefully articulated music algorithms, but does this mean that Pandora can secure a future in such a competitive market?

For its third quarter, Pandora generated $239.6M in revenue, an increase of 40% year-over-year and 9% sequentially. Ad revenue grew 44% year-over year, lifted by a nice 50% increase in mobile ad revenue as monetization shows improvements. These figures handily beat estimates and landed on the high side of Pandora's expectations, but there was little concern for this as growth flattened.

Investors were swift in examining the disappointing changes in active users and listening hours. Active users only grew by a tenth of a percent to 76.5m from 76.4m, and listening hours saw a slight 1% decline from 5.04b to 4.99b hours. On the brighter side, Pandora did secure some market share from terrestrial radio, as its overall US radio market share grew to 9.06% in September from 8.9% in June 2014.

CEO Brian McAndrews tried to address the blow during the conference call by stating that last year's sequential changes from the same quarters was also minimal, but last year's active users saw a decent 2.3% increase, or 1.6m users. While this may be insignificant, it is still the biggest increase since, with the exception of the holiday quarter that generally shows positive growth. On that note, it is likely that the company will show some improvement next quarter, but if it stays flat or starts rolling downhill, a lot investors will lose faith.

Orlando Radio: 'Positive Hits' Again Claims #1

For the second straight month Central Florida Educational's non-com WPOZ 88.3 FM Z88-3 is #1 (6+ AQH) in the October PPMs released Wednesday by Nielsen. The Contemporary Christian station was done a bit 7.0—6.7, but that was enough to grab the top spot.

Cox Media Group's Top40 WPYO 95.3 FM spiked 5.4—6.3 to claim #2. Followed by clustermate Country WWKA 92.3 FM 6.7—6.3 at #3. 

 CBS Radio's Classic Hits WOCL 105.9 FM Sunny moved 5.8—6.0 for #4 and clustermate HotAC WOMX 105.1 MixFM was up a bit 5.3—5.6 to round out the Top5.

Worth Noting: Non-com WMFE is the News/Talk market leader (3.5—4.1), followed by Cox Media's WDBO 96.5 FM 3.4—4.0 and iHeartMedia's WFLF 540 AM / 102.5 T-FM 1.0—1.3

Worth Noting: Sports WDBO 580 AM ESPN 0.8—1.0, WYGM 740 The Game 0.4—0.4

25-54: WPOZ...WWKA tied WOCL...WTKS...WCFB

18-34: WPYO...WWKA...WJRR...WTKS tied WXXL...WOCL


Cume: WXXL-FM 502,400...WMGF-FM 451,500...WOMX-FM 439,200...WPYO-FM 387,200...WJHM-FM 375,300...WOCL-FM 369,200

Top 5 Morning Show 25-54 (M-F 6am-10a)

WTKS Monsters In The Morning
WCFB Tom Joyner Show
WWKA AJ and Ashley
WPOZ Ellis and Tyler
WOCL Rick Stacy
WXXL Johnny's House

Univision: 3Q Radio Revenue Drops 12.3 Percent

Thanks to the World Cup and digital gains, Univision Communications reported an uptick in growth in the third quarter.

Third quarterly net revenue for the Spanish-language media conglom grew 5.2% to $728.9 million, compared to $692.7 million in the same frame last year, spurred by gains in TV and digital, the company said Wednesday. The performance of the radio division, however, continued to slide, according to Variety.

Revenue at Univision's radio division decreased 12.3 percent to $78.9 million compared to $90.0 million in 2013. For the first nine months of the year radio revenue at the Hispanic-focused company is down nearly 11 percent, $221.5 million compared to $248.1 million in 2013.

Per Nielsen, Univision’s flagship broadcast held the No. 3 spot among primetime 18-34 demo and remained fifth in the ranking of broadcast primetime 18-49 adult demo in the third quarter.

FIFA World Cup incremental ad revenue during the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30 were estimated at $54.1 million and $174.2 million, respectively. However, operating expenses associated with the World Cup were $46.6 million and $136.8 million for the same periods. Given that Univision expected to break even, a margin of profit is encouraging.

Univision is lowering its expectations for mid term election political advertising, given the dearth of competitive races in “high-density Hispanic markets,” CFO Andy Hobson said Wednesday on an earnings conference call. He expects political ad revenue to fall $10 million below the original estimate.

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Houston Radio: Sam Morton Named VP/Sales For CBS Radio

Sam Morton
CBS Radio/Houston has appointed Sam Morton as VP/Director of Sales for the broadcaster's six-station cluster, including Hot AC KHMX-FM, Sports KIKK-AM, Sports KILT-AM, Country KILT-FM, CHR KKHH-FM and Spanish CHR KLOL-FM.

Morton will assume his new post on November 24.

Morton most recently served as Director of Sales for CBS Radio/St. Louis since October, 2013. He previously was GSM for co-owned Sports KRLD-FM, Adult Hits KJKK-FM and Classic Hits KLUV-FM/Dallas.

"Sam is a strategic leader and a creative thinker," said Senior VP/Market Manager Sarah Frazier. "He has a tremendous amount of passion and a strong work ethic. He'll be a great fit for our team that specializes in custom marketing solutions here in Houston, and a great business partner for me."

Morton said, "My family and I are excited about the opportunity to come back to Texas, a place where we have family, and I'm very excited to get to work with Sarah and her team in Houston. The past year has been great and I'm thankful to John for giving me the opportunity in St. Louis. I am proud of what we have accomplished. I'll miss all of my sales managers and AE's but I know they will continue to be the best in town."

Nielsen: Slow, Steady Progress For Consumer Confidence

 Global consumer confidence edged up one index point in the third quarter to a score of 98—an increase of one point from the previous quarter and two points from the start of the year. The index, which has been on a slow and steady rise for two-and-a-half years (since Q1 2012), has now exceeded a pre-recession level of 94 for three consecutive quarters.

In the latest online survey, conducted Aug. 13-Sept. 5, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 65% of the markets measured by Nielsen, compared to 52% in the second quarter. Among the world’s biggest economies, consumer confidence increased four points in the U.S. (108), one point in Germany (97), three points in the U.K. (93) and four points in Japan (77), from the second quarter. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in China held steady at 111 for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Consumer confidence in the North America region improved most, rising four points to 107—a score that matches Asia-Pacific’s index for the first time in Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence history (since 2005). Asia-Pacific’s index increased one point. Confidence also increased three points in the Middle East/Africa (96), one point in Latin America (91) and one point in Europe (78), from the previous quarter.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared to the previous quarter.

  • 52% believed the job market would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, a 2 percentage-point increase from the second quarter.
  • 57% of global respondents rated their personal finances as good or excellent for the upcoming year, compared to the average annual low reported in 2009 of 46%—an 11 percentage-point increase. 
  • North American respondents showed the most dramatic increase in job prospect expectations, as perceptions about employment opportunities rose to 55% in the third quarter—a 9 percentage-point improvement in 12 months (from 46% in Q3 2013).

Facebook: Music 'Likes' Can Determine Voting Preferences

In the US, there is a documentable difference in musical genre preference between Democrats and Republicans?

A comparison of bands "Liked" on Facebook and the political affiliation of the Facebook profile found that some music was more usually liked by Democrats and other music more by Republicans.

Country Music Fest Announced For NYC

Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will be among the main attractions at FarmBorough, a new country music festival coming to New York City over three days next June, according to The NY Times.

The festival, planned for June 26 through 28 on Randalls Island, was announced on Wednesday by Live Nation Entertainment and the New York concert promoter Founders Entertainment, which are presenting it in partnership.

The country genre, led by a new generation of stars like Mr. Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and — until her recent move to pure pop — Taylor Swift, has been surging in popularity for years; on the radio, it has supplanted Top 40 as the most popular format. But even while data have repeatedly shown that New York is a big market for country, the genre’s identification with Nashville and with rural life has historically made it a tough sell in the city.

“Everybody has the big myth that New York City for some reason has not been a supportive country music market,” said Brian O’Connell, Live Nation’s president for country touring, “but it’s just not true.”

Mr. O’Connell pointed to recent touring successes in New York, like sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden by Mr. Shelton, Mr. Bryan and Eric Church. Tours like those have been helped by promotion on WNSH 94.7 FM NashFM.

Among the other performers expected for FarmBorough are Brandy Clark, Kip Moore, Randy Houser, Ashley Monroe, Maddie & Tae, Wade Bowen and the Cadillac Three. Tickets will be sold only as three-day passes costing $225, not including fees. They go on sale next Thursday.

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Fresno Radio: Jennifer Lipp Leaving N/T KMJ

Jennifer Lipp
Jennifer Lipp, who has been on Fresno radio for 20 years, is leaving KMJ 580 AM / 105.9 FM. Her last day partnering with John Broeske for“The John and Jen Show” morning show— is Friday, Oct. 31.

According to the Fresno Bee, she’s headed to Arkansas where her husband has taken a job. Lipp isn’t looking to get back into radio. She plans to be a stay-at-home mom for the couple’s three children.

“We are ‘Beverly Hillbilly-ing‘ backwards,” Lipp says.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone here. I came to Fresno from the East Coast and from the moment I got here, everyone has been so warm and welcoming,” Lipp says. I will always be thankful the people in this Valley have let me do what I do.

“I have a lot of interests and getting to be on different formats gave me a chance to grow and change.”

Being on the air in any radio market for two decades is a major accomplishment. Lipp worked at various local radio stations and on radio formats from rock to talk.

Before teaming with Broeske in January 2013 for the program that aired 9-11 a.m. weekdays, Lipp was the host of her own morning program starting in 2012. The Philadelphia native worked at The Beat (103.7 FM) until 2005 and then at The Blaze (105.1 FM) from 2008-2011.

Westwood One News Inks Content Deal With CBS Radio

Westwood One has announced that its new customized news product--Westwood One News, a next-generation, full-service news network powered by CNN—has signed on four CBS Radio stations in Top 10 markets — 1010 WINS in New York, WBZ 1030 AM in Boston, KYW 1060 AM in Philadelphia, and WNEW 98.1 FM in Washington, D.C.

“Westwood One is proud to have major market CBS Radio stations join our Westwood One News Network from the outset,” said Dennis Green, Westwood One’s SVP, Affiliate Sales.  “These stations are among the most innovative and trusted brands in radio news.  To have major news brands become early adopters of this service speaks volumes to broadcasters looking for superb content by which to build their local news brands.”

Scott Herman, Executive Vice President of Operations & NY Market Manager for CBS Radio, said “We are very excited to be part of the launch of Westwood One News.  The ability to get in on the ground floor and help establish what our all news stations needs are was very enticing for us.  Our stations have a huge appetite for news material and Westwood One News gives us the flexibility to get what we need when we want it.”

Westwood One News, which will launch at the end of the year, was created to offer stations greater flexibility and local branding opportunities. Stations have the option to select one to five minute newscasts based on needs and preferences, allowing them to integrate network news into their local operation.  Westwood One News will include special reports, correspondent two-ways, newsmaker sound bites, live feeds of breaking news events, and other elements that affiliated stations have come to expect from Westwood One as a respected network news provider.

Westwood One owns, manages, and operates Westwood One News.  Four top reporters were recently announced--Steve Kastenbaum, Bob Constantini, Jim Roope, and Alan Scaia--and news anchors will be announced soon.  As momentum and buzz continue to build, other major station groups are lining up to align with this innovative news product.

Philly Radio: WPHT Moves Rich Zeoli up To PM Drive

Rich Zeoli
Talk Radio WPHT 1210 AM has announced that Rich Zeoli will be the host in the 3p-6p slot on 1210AM starting Wednesday, November 5th.

Rich will discuss local and national policy, the economy, the biggest news stories and issues that affect all Philadelphians, coupled with interviews of the day’s news and decision makers.

“We are thrilled that Rich is moving to afternoons at WPHT.  He’s a smart, energetic, entertaining talk show host who can tackle a variety of issues that relate to his audience.” said Marc Rayfield, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, CBS Radio Philadelphia.

Added Zeoli, “This is a passionate town and we have opinions on everything. I love nothing more than challenging the audience and they challenge me right back. There are many local issues that impact our lives and we need a place to talk about them. That’s what the show is all about and what I plan to bring to afternoon drive on WPHT – a place for the Delaware Valley to talk. I’m just as interested in talking about pop-up beer gardens as I am about NSA spying. What makes this town like nowhere else in America is its passion, and we’ll share a lot of passion on the drive home together.”

Zeoli joined WPHT in 2010 as a freelance part-time talk show host. He was hired full-time in October 2012, and has hosted evenings, 6-9pm since then.  Zeoli grew up in New Jersey and spent his career advising candidates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania running for all levels of political office including Governor, U.S. Senate, and Congress. He was the youngest chair of a political party in New Jersey history.

NYC Radio: Get 'Shannon In The Morning' Seven Days A Week

CBS Radio and United Stations Radio Networks are pleased to announce a brand new four-hour program to be broadcast weekends on CBS RADIO’s Classic Hits stations, including WCBS 101.1 FM in New York City: "Scott Shannon Presents: America's Greates Hits”

The new weekend show will debut this Sunday on WCBS-FM from 7am -11am.

Each hour will be highlighted by artist interviews, song countdowns, one-hit-wonders and commentary.

Shannon previously was the founder and voice of the nationally distributed “True Oldies” channel which was broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide from 2004-2014. His career has spanned more than four decades, having spent over 25 years as a broadcaster in New York.

“I love the medium of radio… everybody knows that… and I’ll grab any chance possible to play the greatest hits of all time and tell stories about the artists, and the songs and the era that they come from, ” said Shannon.

Additional affiliates will be announced at a later date.

MS Radio: K106 Jock Says He's Behind Creepy Clown Sightings

McComb Creepy Clown
There's been copycat Creep Clown Sightings reports for the past 10-days or so..and why not it's Halloween season.

In McComb, Mississippi, WAKH 105.7 FM K-106 on-air personality Dave Hughes has revealed that he was behind the mysterious McComb clown sightings. He said he never expected the clown to attract as much attention as it did, but that he did it with one specific reason, according to The Clarion Ledger.

"A lot of people live their lives every day like, 'I have to go to work, I have to pick up the kids, I don't know how I'm going to pay the bills,'" he said. "It's nothing but depressing and we're all stuck in a rut. We forget how awesome it was when we were kids and everything was magical and mysterious, and you never know what you're going to do next."

The clown, for a week, gave the people of McComb, and eventually all areas of the state, something to wonder about, something to smile about, and something to take their mind off the grownup business of life.

WAKH 105.7 FM (100Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Ultimately, Hughes would have rather let the identity of the clown forever remain a mystery.
Some have criticized Hughes, calling the clown a publicity stunt.

"I'm on a 100,000 watt radio station. If I can't use that platform to brighten people's day and give them excitement to brighten their life, what good is it? Everything can't be about money and depressing news and nothing else. Sometimes you have to use what you have to work with to improve people's lives in some way," he said. "Yes, the radio station has gotten a ton of publicity out of it, much more than I ever intended for it to, but the goal that I had set for myself was to make some people smile. As far as I'm concerned, it was a success, any way you judge it."

National Radio HOF Sets Entertainment For Induction Ceremony

For the first time in the 25-year history of the National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the event comes to Los Angeles on Sunday, November 9.

The black-tie optional dinner and live national broadcast begins at 4 p.m. at the intimate dinner club Cicada in downtown Los Angeles.

In addition to live performances by Melissa Etheridge and Ingrid Michaelson, a special tribute honoring Casey Kasem will also take place.

“This is an event that brings us all together to honor and celebrate the best in our business,” says National Radio Hall of Fame Chairman Kraig T. Kitchin. “We have an opportunity to show our support and ensure the vitality of this institution by attending. And if that’s not possible, please consider making a donation to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, which provides a showcase for the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago year round.”

To date, noted broadcasters participating in the ceremony include Ryan Seacrest, Larry King, Rick Dees, Delilah, Michael Jackson, Kerri Kasem and more. To purchase tickets or make a donation click here. Deadline to purchase tickets is November 5. For event information click here.

Class of 2014 inductees include:
  • Charlie & Harrigan
  • Barry Farber
  • Ira Glass
  • Stanley E. Hubbard
  • Jon Miller
  • Agnes Moorehead
  • Dick Orkin
Premiere Networks personality Delilah will host the event with Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon serving as the broadcast’s announcer. Making a special appearance, actress Marion Ross, best known as Marion Cunningham on the television hit Happy Days, will speak about inductee Agnes Moorehead.

Premiere Networks will produce and distribute the broadcast in association with the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Toronto Radio: Actress Claims Abuse by CBC Radio Host

Lucy DeCoutere
Canadian actress Lucy DeCoutere ("Trailer Park Boys") has come forward to identify herself as someone who was allegedly abused by former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio personality Jian Ghomeshi. (See original post: Click Here)

Including DeCoutere, eight women have now claimed that Ghomeshi, 47, either sexually and/or physically abused them. The popular "Q" radio host was fired Sunday by the CBC. He claims that he hurt no one, and that he was just living a BDSM lifestyle.

DeCourtere "alleges Ghomeshi, without warning or consent, choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head".

She goes on to say Ghomeshi did not ask if she was into it.

SF Radio: Former KSFO Talk Host Beaten By Daughter

A Moraga, CA woman is in jail after reportedly beating her mother, a former local television personality and conservative radio talk show host, on the front lawn of their home this week, according to the Mercury News.

Police were called after neighbors said they saw Patricia Simpson, 42, kicking her mother then dragging her inside their home. Patricia Simpson has been arrested and charged with felony elder abuse.

Her mother, 77-year-old Barbara Simpson, a former KSFO 560 AM radio talk host and news anchor for KTVU and KQED, was taken to John Muir Hospital where she was treated for numerous bruises and a concussion.

Monday's incident was not the first time police have had contact with Patricia Simpson, who has been arrested on public intoxication charges and an outstanding warrant in the past. Last year, she was reported missing by her family. Barbara Simpson is known to many radio listeners as "The Babe in the Bunker," titled after one of her columns in which she described what it was like to be a conservative in the ultraliberal Bay Area.

October 30 In Radio History

In 1745...Invention of the Leyden jar (the first capacitor) by Dean Ewald Jurgen von Kleist of the Cathedral of Cammin

In 1925...KUT-AM in Austin Texas began broadcasting.

The actual beginning date of radio broadcasting on the UT-Austin campus has never been fully substantiated. There is an unofficial reference to an on-campus radio operation as early as 1912. But the most reliable information indicates that the first broadcast license — bearing the call letters 5XY — was issued to the University on March 22, 1921.

A year later, a new license was issued, bearing new call letters WCM, which the station used to identify itself until 1925.

In these first years, the station was used for a number of purposes, beginning as a demonstration project in the Physics Department, whose Professor Simpson L. Brown had persuaded the administration to let him build the station in the first place.

Beginning in 1923, though, funding concerns prompted a transfer of operational control to the University's Extension Division for extension teaching. One of the stipulations of the transfer agreement was that funds would be provided for operations and maintenance to put the station in a "first-class" condition. The funds, however, did not materialize and broadcasting suffered until a state agriculture official needed a means to broadcast daily crop and weather reports.

A deal between the official and UT's Extension Division allowed agriculture broadcasts for one hour per day in exchange for equipment maintenance. At other times of the day, the University would broadcast items of interest from the campus, including a number of faculty lecture series.

But by the end of 1924, the Physics Department decided it wanted the station back, and with the approval of the Board of Regents, the Physics Department regained control in the summer of 1925. They had a new license granted on October 30 and it bore, for the first time, the call letters KUT.

KUT's early years were ambitious but, by 1927, ambition had outrun the funding. The expense of operating and maintaining the station had simply become too great for the Physics Department to sustain. University President Harry Benedict appointed a committee to study the matter, and the committee recommended that the project be discontinued. The station was dismantled and the equipment returned to the Physics labs for experimentation.

KUT would not re-emerge for 30 years.

In 1938...Orson Welles's radio adaptation of HG Wells's War Of The Worlds caused panic in the US by convincing many listeners that Martians had really landed in New Jersey.

During the '30s, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.  Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air.

Welles reflected in February 1983:
"Radio is what I love most of all. The wonderful excitement of what could happen in live radio, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was making a couple of thousand a week, scampering in ambulances from studio to studio, and committing much of what I made to support the Mercury. I wouldn't want to return to those frenetic 20-hour working day years, but I miss them because they are so irredeemably gone."
In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio's Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series' April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish's verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.

In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables, which he did with great success. Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio.  Les Misérables was one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements on radio, and marked the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre.

That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.

After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

The Mercury Theatre's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame. The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question.  Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion.

Welles's growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.

In 1943...WINS switched to 1010 AM.

The station began broadcasting first during 1924 on 950 kHz as WGBS, named after and broadcasting from its owner, Gimbel's department store. It moved to 860 kHz sometime around 1927, and to 600 around 1930, settling on 1180 around 1931. The station was bought by William Randolph Hearst in 1932, and it adopted its present callsign (named after Hearst's International News Service) the same year, effective January 15.

WINS relocated from the Hotel Lincoln to the WINS Building, 114 East 58th Street, June 19, 1932.

It changed its frequency from 1180 to 1000 on March 29, 1941 as part of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement and then eventually to 1010 on October 30, 1943. The Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation announced its purchase of the station from Hearst in 1945, though it would be over a year before Crosley would take control of WINS, in July 1946

In 1967...WNEW-FM adopted a 'progressive rock' radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry. The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

Disc jockeys would broadcast in ways that bore out their personalities:
  • morning fixture Dave Herman was not afraid to mix Erik Satie or Donna Summer into the playlist;
  • noontime stalwart Pete Fornatale promoted the Beach Boys when it was not fashionable and later started his eclectic weekend Mixed Bag program;
  • afternoon legend Muni would use his gravelly voice to introduce largely unknown British artists on his "Things from England" segments;
  • nighttime host Schwartz was a raconteur who would sneak in the Sinatra pop standards that he not-so-secretly liked better than rock;
  • overnight presence Steele would play space rock groups in between readings of her equally spacey poems;
  • weekend personality Vin Scelsa started his idiosyncratic Idiots' Delight program, which soon gained a devoted following.
Other well-known disc jockeys who worked at the station included Dennis Elsas, Pete Larkin, brothers Dan Neer and Richard Neer, Jim Monaghan, Pam Merly, Thom Morrera, Meg Griffin, and John Zacherle.

WNEW-FM was among the first stations to give Bruce Springsteen significant airplay, and conducted live broadcasts of key Springsteen concerts in 1975 and 1978; Springsteen would sometimes call up the DJs during records. Later, Dave Herman featured a "Bruce Juice" segment each morning. John Lennon once stopped by to guest-DJ along with Dennis Elsas and appeared on-air several other times during his friend Scott Muni's afternoon slot. Members of the Grateful Dead and other groups would hang out in the studio; Emerson, Lake & Palmer's visit to Muni's show is often credited for popularizing the group in America. In addition to music, youth-oriented comedy recordings such as from Monty Python would also be aired.

In 1982..The Hot 100..Men At Work accomplished the tough task of hitting #1 with their debut single ("Who Can It Be Now?"), putting an end to a streak of four weeks at the top for "Jack & Diane" by John Cougar (Mellencamp).  The Alan Parsons Project had their biggest career hit with "Eye In The Sky" and Michael McDonald's solo song "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" was at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes remained at 5 with "Up Where We Belong", Olivia Newton-John's "Heart Attack" was a surprise #6, Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby" and "I Ran (So Far Away)" from A Flock of Seagulls remained the same and Neil Diamond reached the Top 10 for the 13th and final time with his 56th career hit "Heartlight".

In 1996...Leon Lewis, a radio talk show host for WMCA-AM, New York, died at age 81.

Lewis was the nighttime voice of WMCA from 1970 to 1980. On ''The Leon Lewis Talk Show,'' he took calls from listeners, debated public issues, offered advice to the troubled or merely provided a sympathetic ear, greeting each caller with a soothing ''Hello, my friend.''

Before he joined WMCA, Mr. Lewis was the moderator of ''Community Opinion,'' a call-in show on WLIB in Harlem. In 1967, the station won a George Foster Peabody award for the show, which was credited with helping to defuse racial tension.

Mr. Lewis, who was born in Bloomington, Ind., began his radio career at WABY in Albany. After working as a disk jockey and in advertising sales, he moved to New York City in 1954 and became circulation manager for The Amsterdam News. He left the paper in 1957 and joined radio station WWRL as news director before moving to WLIB.

In 2000...Radio/TV host Steve Allen died of a heart attack resulting from a minor automobile accident earlier in the day. Autopsy results concluded that the accident had caused a blood vessel in his chest to rupture, causing blood to leak into the sac surrounding his heart. He was 78.

Steve Allen 1977
Allen's first radio job was on station KOY in Phoenix, Arizona, after he left Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University) in Tempe, while still a sophomore. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was trained as an infantryman. He spent his service time at Camp Roberts, California, and did not serve overseas.

Allen became an announcer for KFAC in Los Angeles and then moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1946, talking the station into airing a five-nights-a-week comedy show, Smile Time, co-starring Wendell Noble. After Allen moved to CBS Radio's KNX in Los Angeles, his music-and-talk half-hour format gradually changed to include more talk on a full-hour, late-night show, boosting his popularity and creating standing-room-only studio audiences. During one episode of the show reserved primarily for an interview with Doris Day, his guest star failed to appear, so Allen picked up a microphone and went into the audience to ad lib for the first time.  His radio show attracted a huge local following, and in 1950 it replaced Our Miss Brooks, exposing Allen to a national audience for the first time.

Allen's first television experience had come in 1949 when he answered an ad for a TV announcer for professional wrestling. He knew nothing about wrestling, so he watched some shows and discovered that the announcers did not have well-defined names for the holds. When he got the job, he created names for many of the holds, some of which are still used today.

After CBS radio gave Allen a weekly prime time show, CBS television believed it could groom him for national small-screen stardom and gave Allen his first network television show. The Steve Allen Show premiered at 11 am on Christmas Day, 1950, and was later moved into a thirty-minute, early evening slot. This new show required him to uproot his family and move from LA to New York, since at that time a coast to coast program could not originate from LA. The show was canceled in 1952, after which CBS tried several shows to showcase Allen's talent.

Allen achieved national attention when he was pressed into service at the last minute to host Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts because Godfrey was unable to appear. Allen turned one of Godfrey's live Lipton commercials upside down, preparing tea and instant soup on camera and then pouring both into Godfrey's ukulele. With the audience (including Godfrey, watching from Miami) uproariously and thoroughly entertained, Allen gained major recognition as a comedian and host.

Leaving CBS, he created a late-night New York talk-variety TV program in 1953 for what is now WNBC-TV. The following year, on September 27, 1954, the show went on the full NBC network as The Tonight Show, with fellow radio personality Gene Rayburn (who later went on to host hit game shows such as Match Game, 1962–1982) as the original announcer. The show ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the East Coast.

While Today developer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver is often credited as the Tonight creator, Allen often pointed out that he had previously created it as a local New York show. Allen told his nationwide audience that first evening: "This is Tonight, and I can't think of too much to tell you about it except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever... you think you're tired now. Wait until you see one o'clock roll around!"

It was as host of The Tonight Show that Allen pioneered the "man on the street" interviews and audience-participation comedy breaks that have become commonplace on late-night TV.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DC Radio: WTOP #1 6+, Big Demo Winner Is WIHT

Hubbard's News station WTOP 103.5 FM is still the market leader (6+ AQH) , even though it lost some share 7.8—7.5. Expect a bounce-back with winter approaching.

Howard U's UrbanAC WHUR 96.3 FM was up 6.5—6.9, but remains at #2 in the October PPMs released Tuesday by Nielsen.

,iHeartMedia's Top 40 WIHT 99.5 spiked 6.1—6.6 to move up to #3. Hot 99-5 was the market's big winner. It's #1 25-54, 18-34, 18-49 AND it leads in Cume.

American U's N/T WAMU 88.5 FM lost 6.3—6.1 to fall back to #4. Rounding out the Top 5 is iHeartMedia's AC WASH 97.1 FM which spiked 4.3—4.6.

Worth Noting: Red Zebra's WTEM 980 AM, which is caught in the 'Redskins' nickname pusshback was up 2.0—2.8.

Worth Noting: WMAL 630 AM / 105.9 FM is defying the Talk Radio norm these days. The station latest trending 3.7--3.9--4.2 6+ and scored its best-ever share 25-54.




Cume: WIHT-FM 1,328,600...WASH-FM 1,168,500...WTOP-FM 1,100,800...WPGC-FM 870,200...WIAD-FM 856,700...WBIG-FM 791,300