Monday, May 21, 2018

Ed Sheeran Wins Top Artist at Billboard Music Awards

The Billboard Music Awards took place Sunday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Kelly Clarkson played host, with Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar leading the way with 15 nominations each. Sheeran took home the top artist prize.

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in Texas and Florida, while the night also featured show-stopping performances by iconic singer Janet Jackson and K-pop group BTS.

Click Here For The Complete Winner's List

A tearful and emotional Kelly Clarkson, who hosted the awards, opened the show in honor of the 10 people who died Friday at Santa Fe High School, barely able to speak as she urged the audience and the world to do more to prevent deadly shootings from happening. She said she was asked to hold a moment of silence, but chose instead to call for “a moment of action.”

“Once again we’re grieving for more kids that have died ... I’m so sick of moment of silences ... it’s not working,” she said Sunday, almost in tears. “Mommies and daddies should be able to send their kids to school.”

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards featured performances from Janet Jackson, who accepted the 2018 Billboard Music Awards ICON Award and performed for the first time on television in nine years, as well as BTS, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, John Legend, Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran with collaborations from Christina Aguilera featuring Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello and Pharrell Williams, Khalid & Normani, Jennifer Lopez featuring DJ Khaled, Macklemore and Kesha, Salt-N-Pepa featuring En Vogue, Shawn Mendes & Khalid and Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.

Jackson rocked the Billboard Awards with an energetic and powerful performance of her past hits in an epic week that included her 52nd birthday and the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking “janet.” album.

In a glittery gold sweater-dress and thigh-high boots, Jackson sang “Nasty,” ″If” and “Throb” as audience members such as Ciara and Tyra Banks danced along at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“Women have made it clear that we no longer will be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind,” she said onstage.

Taylor Swift won top female artist and top selling album for “reputation.”

She said that before she created “reputation” she “felt really misunderstood by a lot of people.”

“Thank you for making me feel understood again,” Swift said to her fans.

Salt-N-Pepa closed the show with high-energy, performing the hits “Push It” and “Whatta Man” alongside R&B group En Vogue and even Clarkson.

Backstage At The BBMAs With Westwood One

Chris Daughtry performs
It was all hustle and bustle this past weekend at Westwood One’s Backstage at the BBMAs event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

More than 25 top music stations and Westwood One nationally-syndicated shows The Adam Bomb Show, The Zach Sang Show, and WPLJ's Jayde (Donovan) were on hand doing interviews with artists and capturing exciting content for listeners and fans, all leading up to tonight’s broadcast of the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on NBC.

Adam Bomb with BTS

In addition, Westwood One featured exclusive, live backstage performances from In2une Music’s Kim Petras, Records’ Noah Cyrus, Columbia Record’s MAX, Island Record’s Loote, and RCA Record’s Chris Daughtry, with a special appearance by Enrique Iglesias.

WPLJ's Jayde Donovan interviews Kim Petras

Some of the recording artists who stopped by Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAS included wildly-popular K-Pop band BTS, The Backstreet Boys, Kelly Clarkson (host of Billboard Music Awards), Echosmith, En Vogue, Luis Fonsi, DJ Martin Garrix, Bryce Vine, Kygo, and more.

Mike McVay, EVP Content & Programming, Cumulus/Westwood One; Enrique Iglesias; Christina Albee, Cumulus/Westwood One CMO

Nielsen: 29.2 Million Watched The Wedding

29.2 million people tuned into the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle on Saturday May 19, per Nielsen.

As one might expect, viewership of yesterday’s festivities was significantly up from the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 (22.8 million), according to TVNewser.

In the U.S., while coverage varied by network the wedding ceremony of was carried live from approximately 7 a.m. a.m. ET to 8:15 a.m. ET on 15 networks. The networks carrying live coverage of the ceremony included ABC (inclusive of Freeform simulcast), BBC America, CBS, CNN, CNNe, E!, Fox News Channel, HLN, MSNBC, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, TLC and Univision.

NBC News was the big winner of the day. It sent a ton of its talent and resources to Windsor, and it ended up money well spent because the network ended up finishing No. 1 in the TV news ratings race in all measurements.
  1. NBC delivered 6,417,000 total viewers / 2,314,000 A25-54
  2. ABC delivered 6,348,000 total viewers / 1,984,000 A25-54
  3. CBS delivered 4,786,000 total viewers / 1,392,000 A25-54
  4. Fox News delivered 1,941,000 total viewers /425,000 A25-54
  5. CNN delivered 1,793,000 total viewers / 604,000 A 25-54
  6. MSNBC delivered 994,000 total viewers / 241,000 A25-54

Modesto Radio: KMRQ Adds The Woody Show For AM

iHeartMedia’s KMRQ Rock 96.7 FM has announced the debut of The Woody Show, effective Monday, May 28. The top-rated morning show will broadcast on the Modesto station Monday through Friday from 5 – 10 a.m. PT, and Saturdays from 6 – 10 a.m. PT.

Woody Fife
The Woody Show is highly-interactive, socially-engaging appointment radio.  Featuring Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas, The Woody Show is described by listeners as “authentic,” “raw,” “unapologetic” and “recess/happy hour on the radio.”

In 2016, the popular program was a NAB Marconi Radio Award finalist for “Major Market Personality of the Year,” and it was launched into national syndication by Premiere Networks in 2017. Fans can follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“I’m thrilled that Rock 96.7 made the decision to #JoinFun and go #ALLIN with #TheWoodyShow,” said Woody. “Without #Modesto, and PD Louie Cruz, my quest for worldwide (or at least California) #domination would simply be a dream.”

KMRQ 96.7 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“The Woody Show is a proven winner and we’re excited to bring them to Northern California,” said Louie Cruz, iHeartMedia Modesto/Stockton SVP Programming/Program Director. “The Woody Show is a destination program – it’s fun, addictive and bound to bring new fans to Rock 96.7 and create fanatics of current listeners! This is a big step in building the Rock 96.7 brand toward our ultimate goal of world domination, or at least California’s Central Valley!”

CO Radio: Grand Junction Media To Acquire 4 FMs

Grand Junction Media Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the Redrock Radio Group, which operates four FM radio stations in the Grand Valley.

The deal is subject to approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

Grand Junction Media owns and operates The Daily Sentinel.

If approved, Grand Junction Media would own Oldies KGJX Redrock 101.5 FM, K284AP Juan 104.7 FM, CHR Kiss 94.3 FM (KGJX-HD3) and K297BR Canyon Country 107.3 FM (KGJX-DH2). The idea would be to infuse more local news into these stations' broadcasts.

"We're really excited about the possibilities and potential not just for this company, but for the community as well," Grand Junction Media Executive Vice President Jay Seaton said.

The deal became possible in November 2017 when the FCC eliminated a ban on cross-ownership between media entities. It also made it easier for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets and to jointly sell advertising time or space.

"It's an exciting and unique opportunity that wasn't available a couple of years ago," Redrock Radio Group Owner Tom Troland said.

KGJX 101.5 (3.02 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
FCC approval could take up to three months. The sale will be submitted to the FCC this week with the hope that the sale will be official in August.

Seaton said that he believes this is one of the first deals of this kind after the FCC lifted its ban.

G-R Radio: 'Producer Joe' Scheduled For Abuse Trial Tuesday

Joseph Grassman
A personality on the popular radio program "Free Beer and Hot Wings" is scheduled for trial Tuesday on two domestic battery charges.

Joseph Gassman, 35, pleaded not guilty in April to two misdemeanor counts that stemmed from an altercation in Naperville, Ill. on March 18.

Gassman, known as "Producer Joe" on the radio show, was suspended from his job last month after he was charged in DuPage County, Ill.

"Free Beer and Hot Wings" is produced in Grand Rapids at WGRD 97.9 FM and can be heard at more than three dozen radio stations around the country.

Court documents give more details into domestic battery charges.

Gassmann was charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery while in Naperville, Illinois, which is just west of Chicago. According to his online bio, Gassmann is a Chicago native.

The complaint record filed by Naperville Police alleges that Gassmann, 35, picked up his girlfriend and threw her to the ground during the altercation. The woman landed on concrete which caused marks to her shin, hand and breast area, according to the complaint.

Lyor Cohen: YouTube's Rocky Past With Music Industry Is Over

Lyor Cohen
To hear Lyor Cohen tell it, the long-running conflict over music licensing between YouTube and the major record labels is over.

"We're now starting to have real connective tissue," said Cohen, YouTube's global head of music who was in San Francisco promoting the upcoming launch of YouTube's latest subscription music service. "We're working together in building these products."

That's a big statement. For the past two years, leading up to the recent licensing negotiations, the music industry has routinely labeled YouTube as an enemy of recording artists. Music videos helped turn YouTube into an entertainment juggernaut, but in return the world's largest video-sharing site paid peanuts to artists, or at least that was how the record companies saw things.

But that was before the top three labels, Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group completed licensing deals earlier this year with YouTube. Far fewer complaints are coming out of the record companies now, and Cohen said the improved relationship is about more than just money.

According to him, Spotify and Apple Music, the top two subscription services, frighten record executives far more than YouTube does.

"Forget the past," Cohen told BusinessInsider on Friday.

He said that YouTube is now "working in collaboration with the industry because the industry is terrified that this could be a two-horse race" between Apple and Spotify. The music industry thinks partnering with YouTube to distribute music could prevent such a duopoly, he said.

The suggestion is that Spotify and Apple Music pose a threat to the labels. Should they obtain too much power over the distribution, they could, presumably, dictate terms to the record companies.

L-A Radio: KIIS-FM Airs Woman & Child Reunion

In 1998, a jogger found a newborn baby buried alive in the foothills of Altadena, his umbilical cord still attached. The baby, not more than a few hours old, hovered near death, reports The L-A Times.

For decades, Azita Milanian would wonder what happened to the boy after he recovered at a Pasadena hospital and was put up for adoption. This week, 20 years to the date of when she found him, the two were reunited.

"I was waiting for you for 20 years," a tearful Milanian said as she hugged Matthew Whitaker.

It was a reunion that came about in an unlikely way. The mother of one of Whitaker's friends wrote into the KIIS 102.7 FM radio station explaining Whitaker's story and asking for a 23andMe DNA kit so he could learn more about his ancestry.

Whitaker agreed to take the test and have the results revealed during the "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" program. When one of the show's producers, Patty Rodriguez, read a 1998 Los Angeles Times story of Milanian finding him, she decided to try to reunite them.

Ahead of the program's taping Wednesday morning, Milanian waited anxiously in a nearby room, with a bag filled with clothes that she had brought for Whitaker. In the bag was a card, with an envelope reading, "Happy Birthday! Baby Christian Mountain Angel Mathew."

When Milanian walked into the studio and saw Whitaker, she began to cry, sobbing into his shirt as he hugged her and called her an angel.

"Finally, all my dreams came true," Milanian said. Many in the studio cried.

On the program, Milanian shared the story of how she found Whitaker on a Saturday night when she had been invited to go dancing, but decided instead to go running.

May 21 Radio History

Dennis Day
➦In 1916...comic actor/singer Dennis Day was born in New York City. He came to stardom as the longtime singing fixture.. and character .. on radio’s Jack Benny Show. He went on to star in his own NBC radio sitcom (Dennis Day Show.) On TV he appeared in 237 episodes of the Benny Show, plus about a dozen guest acting gigs. He died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease June 22 1988 at age 72.

➦In 1931...WOR radio in New York City premiered The Witch’s Tale. Beginning in 1934 the pioneering horror show was broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System (of which WOR was the flagship station) where it aired until 1938.

➦In 1955...Comedian Ernie Kovacs begins a daily morning radio show (6-9a) over WABC 770 AM NYC.

➦In 1960...KFAX 1100 AM in San Francisco debuts a news and information format. It’s the first new radio format without a single record. No music anywhere. The format consists of a 15-minute newscast on the hour, a five-minute summary onthe half-hour, plus news analysis commentary, editorial and features to fill-outeach hour. (KFAX is still on-air, owened by Salem Media, and airs Christian teachnig programs.)

➦In 1961...Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp. purchased easy listening WPAT 930 AM  in Patterson, NJ for $5 million. It's  the first company purchase of a station outside a “capital city.” They own WTEN-TV/WROW-AM - Albany, WPRO-TV/Radio -Providence and WTVD-TV/Raleigh-Durham. WPAT is a successful stationserving the New York area.  In 1986, following the Cap Cities purchase of ABC, WPAT was sold to Park Communications.

➦In 1963... MGM Records was promoting a deejay-listener contest, tied to Connie Francis’ new single - “If My Pillow CouldTalk.” Participating deejays are asking their listeners “If Your Pillow Could Talk, WhatWould It Say?”

Writer of the winning lettergets a $100 U.S. Savings Bond, a phone call from Connie Francis and a complete library of her albums.

The deejay that receives the winning letter gets a week’s vacation at the Americana Hotel in Puerto Rico

Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Bob Crane
➦In 1963...It was announced that Los Angeles Disc Jockey Bob Crane will be a regular on the “Donna Reed Show” in the Fall. Bob has slowly built his acting career ever since he began doing mornings on KNX 1070 AM in 1956.

Barry Gray
➦In 1966..."two-way talk radio" is making a name for itself and is a viable format on some stations. On the East Coast, Barry Gray is one of the best-known two-way radio hosts. He conducts his show on music station WMCA 570 AM from 11p to 1a.

This week, Barry Gray signs a new contract with WMCA, which will take him into1970. The new arrangement is expected to give Gray $150,000 annually - a 50% raise!

WMCA was anxious to keep the high-rated talker. One reason, WCBS-AM made a bid for his services. Gray will actually split the show’s profits - 50/50. Atthe going rate (and his show is sold-out between 11p and 1a).

WMCA has been riding higher than high in the New York ratings. The musicstation topped all its competitors again in the recent Hooper and Pulse ratings.

Bob Grant
➦In 1971...Los Angeles radio talk transplant Bob Grant now does an afternoon talk show over WMCA 570 NYC. Grant says that New York is not like Los Angeles, where he spent many a year doing telephone talk radio over KABC and KLAC.

“L.A. radio is really hip compared to New York. Here the scene is very provincial and ethnic and liberal. Being a conservative, I am referred to by most of my callers as the house right-winger or fascist. Actually, it gets pretty funny because they do more yelling at me than engaging in useful debate. The audience in Los Angeles was much more sophisticated. Since WMCA started Dialog Radio, it’s really shot up in the ratings, we’ve gone from around 12th to third in the market.  One of the things WMCA is big on, though, is newsmaker calls and I do a lot of them."

➦In 1973...singer and bandleader Vaughn Monroe died shortly after stomach surgery at age 61. An immensely popular performer on radio and records, Monroe had more than 50 hits on the Billboard charts in the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era. Among his number-one records were 1945′s “There I’ve Said It Again” — revived by Bobby Vinton in 1963 — and 1949′s “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

➦In 1975...More than ever, disco music is spilling over to top-40.

The influence of the Discotheque – big in New York, is spreading. Disco records have been breaking into the top-40 more and more because of the initial play at discos. The so-called discotheque came to the U.S. from France during the early 1960’s, but the current trend came from gay clubs. Tom Moulton, who writes about the disco scene for Billboard – summed it up by saying New York is the hub of America’s disco scene. “The disco scene has doubled in New York in the last two years. New discos are opening all the time. In the New York area there are about 600 discos and about 30 key discos that you can look at to find out what songs are popular.”

➦In 1980...FCC realigns AM Clear Channel Stations.

The FCC votes to limit the coverage of so-called “clear channel” AM stations to 750 miles. The restriction covers 25 clear channel stations including KFI, Los Angeles, WCBS, WABC, WNBC in New York City, WLS, WBBM and WMAQ, Chicago and WSM - the home of the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville. These stations are “protected” so that their nighttime signals can be heard in outlying areas, providing radio service to rural communities at night where there was no radio service. The FCC modified the rules in the mid-40’s, to allow new nighttime stations to operate on some of the channels, but the distance between stations was far away (WABC- KOB, Albuquerque) and only two operated (at the most) on one channel at night in the continental USA. Some channels still remain clear, such as WCCO in Minneapolis and WSM, which can still be picked-up thousands of miles away from Nashville on a clear channel.

The new rules will allow smaller stations to broadcast at night, thereby “interfering” with the distant broadcasts. The FCC says it will make room for 125 more nighttime AM stations.

Other stations with clear channel status - WSB - Atlanta, WBAP - Ft Worth, WLW  - Cincinnati, WJR - Detroit, KDKA - Pittsburgh, KMOX - St Louis, WWWE - Cleveland, WHAM, Rochester, WCAU - Philadelphia, WOAI - San Antonio, WHO - Des Moines, WOR - New York, WWL - New Orleans, KSL - Salt Lake City, WBZ - Boston.

Certain mediumwave frequencies were set aside under the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) for nighttime use by only one or two specific AM stations, covering a wide area via skywave propagation; these frequencies were known as the clear channels, and the stations on them are thus clear-channel stations. Where only one station was assigned to a clear channel, the treaty provides that it must operate with a nominal power of 50 kilowatts or more; stations on the other clear channels, with two or more stations, must use between 10 kW and 50 kW, and most often use a directional antenna so as not to interfere with each other. In addition to the frequencies, the treaty also specified the specific locations where stations on this second kind of channel (known as class I-B) could be built.

Some of the original NARBA signatories, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, have implemented bilateral agreements that supersede its terms, eliminating among other things the distinction between the two kinds of clear channel: the original "I-A", "I-B", and "I-N" station classes are now all included in class A.

Clear-channel stations, unlike all other AM stations in North America, have a secondary service area—that is, they are entitled to protection from interference to their nighttime skywave signals. Other stations are entitled, at most, to protection from nighttime interference in their primary service area — that which is covered by their groundwave signal.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 20 Radio History

➦In 1901...Fessenden applies for high-frequency dynamo patent.

Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company.

The host of the broadcast was Fessenden. After giving a resume of the program Fessenden played a recording of Handel's "Largo" on an Ediphone thus establishing two records - the first recording of the first broadcast. Fessenden then dazzled his listeners with his talent as a violinist playing appropriately for the Christmas season, "Oh Holy Night" and actually singing the last verse as he played. Mrs. Helen Fessenden and Fessenden's secretary Miss Bent, had promised to read seasonal passages from the Bible including, "Glory to God in the highest -and on earth peace to men of good will," but when the time came to perform they stood speechless, paralyzed with mike fright. Fessenden took over for them and concluded the broadcast by extending Christmas greetings to his listeners - as well as asking them to write and report to him on the broadcast wherever they were.

The mail response confirmed that Fessenden had successfully invented radio as we know it. Technically, he had invented radio telephony or what radio listeners would call "real" radio as opposed to Marconi's Morse code broadcasting. Fessenden could truly lay claim to be the inventor of radio and he fully expected the world to beat a path to his door. Instead, he never received his due recognition, lost control of his patents and the ensuing revenue which made other inventors and companies immensely wealthy. Even today the Encyclopedia Canadiana does not give him a separate listing. Mention of him is only included under the listing for his mother Clementina who established Empire Day in Canada. Reginald is mentioned as one of her four sons, "inventor of the wireless telephone, the radio compass and the visible bullet for machine guns, he also invented the first television set in North America in 1919."

➦In 1920…The Canadian Marconi Company's station XWA (Experimental Wireless Apparatus) in MontrĂ©al gave what it would later claim to be the first scheduled radio broadcast in North America, and quite possibly in the world. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920, and while the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest."

➦In 1960...WRCA in NYC becomes WNBC 660 AM...again.

WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF, owned by AT&T Western Electric. It was the first radio station in New York City.

The call are popularly thought to have stood for Western Electric AT&T Fone or Water, Earth, Air, and Fire (the 4 classical elements).   However, records suggest that the call letters were assigned from an alphabetical sequence. The first assigned call was actually WDAM; it was quickly dropped, but presumably came from the same alphabetical sequence.

In 1922, WEAF broadcast what it later claimed to be the first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line, (the IRT's Flushing-Corona line, now the number 7 line).

In 1926, WEAF was purchased by the Radio Corporation of America, making it a sister station to WJZ. RCA then formed the National Broadcasting Company, which operated two radio chains.

WEAF became the flagship station of the NBC Red Network. The other chain was the NBC Blue Network, whose programming originated at WJZ (now WABC), also owned by RCA. As a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941, WEAF became a clear channel station, and could be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night.

On November 11, 1928, WEAF moved from 610 to 660 AM. The move that solidified WEAF's position as the most pretigious of all broadcasters took place in the autumn of 1933, when NBC moved to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and became the "radio" that gave Radio City its name.

In 1943, the United States Supreme Court ordered RCA to sell off one of its radio networks, citing antitrust concerns. The company decided to keep the Red Network, and it was rebranded as the NBC Radio Network after the Blue Network was divested, along with several stations (including WJZ), to Edward J. Noble and rechristened the Blue Network as the American Broadcasting Company. WEAF's call letters were changed to WNBC in 1946, then to WRCA in 1954, and back to WNBC in 1960.

➦In 1985...the United States began broadcasting to Cuban citizens on "Radio Marti".

➦In 2011…Longtime Pittsburgh radio personality (KDKA, 1973-2001) John Cigna died following a stroke and of complications from emphysema at 75.

➦In 2014...Chicago radio talk show host (WGN, WCFL, WIND)/sports commentator Bill Berg died of complications from Parkinson's disease at 77.

Report: Sports Betting Expected To Boost Advertising

Media companies think they may have hit the jackpot with the Supreme Court’s ruling on sports betting, reports The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited sports gambling, paving the way for states to make their own decisions about allowing legal betting on athletic events.

The ruling has media and advertising executives envisioning a world in which more viewers tune into live televised sporting events and follow more sports coverage in great detail. Those more engaged fans would then attract more advertising dollars, including the marketing spending of gambling companies themselves, executives say.

Media companies are already tossing around programming ideas and ways to incorporate more stats and betting options on their digital platforms. The change could even inflate the value of leagues, teams, sports media properties and sports TV rights deals, executives say.

Turner, the Time Warner Inc. division that includes TBS and TNT, could use its Bleacher Report site as a platform to program shows and stats for bettors and potentially partner with third-party online betting platforms, a person familiar with the company’s thinking said.

ESPN/SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt, who has a bettors-focused “Bad Beats” segment on his show, said that big TV networks could potentially create leagues, similar to fantasy sports. Networks could also program to bettors, for example, in the hour before NFL games when there are fewer people watching, he said.

CBS’s chief advertising revenue officer, Jo Ann Ross, said that if gambling is legal, it could lead to the reintroduction of the ad-spending bonanza from fantasy-sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings.

The daily-fantasy sports companies at one point were a huge source of ad revenue for sports networks but have pulled back amid scrutiny over whether they violated gambling laws. (The companies insist their products don’t violate gambling laws because the games involve skill.)

FanDuel spent $189 million on U.S. advertising in 2015, a figure that fell to just $10.7 million in 2016, according to Kantar Media. After spending $247 million in 2015, DraftKings only shelled out $18.4 million in 2016. Those figures were up slightly in 2017.

Albany NY Radio: Money Woes Force 3 AMs Off-Air

Financial problems were behind the decision to pull the plug on Empire Broadcasting Co.'s radio stations, said Joe Reilly, the partner managing the operation.

"The reason was declining revenue," Reilly told the Times-Union Friday morning. "We've been losing money."

Earlier, Empire had said that it was Reilly's retirement that had led to a decision to cease broadcasting, an assertion he disputed. Reilly had stepped down at a board meeting last November.

Empire is the parent company of stations with such legendary radio call letters as WPTR and WABY, as well as of WAIX.

Empire Broadcasting Co. pulled the plug on the stations last Sunday night. Empire filed a notification with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday that it was suspending operations.

Reilly acquired several stations for $1.2 million in September 2012 from Anastos Media Group.

WPTR and WABY in the 1960s competed with WTRY in Troy for the Top 40 rock music audience, with such DJs as Boom Boom Brannigan, Charlie Brown and Bob Badger, who became household names.

WPTR at the time was a 50,000-watt powerhouse at 1540 AM, and it wasn't unusual for personalities such as Brannigan to spin discs at school dances as far north as Montreal.

Recently, WPTR was carrying Bloomberg Financial news on its 1240 AM frequency, while WABY had adopted a contemporary music format previously on WAIX 106.1 FM The Jockey and was broadcasting at 900 AM.

The Jockey had previously been broadcasting at WJKE 101.3 FM, but that station was sold in November for $550,000 to suburban Sacramento, Calif.-based Educational Media Foundation.

NYC Radio: Chuck Todd Sides With Trump On 'Animals' Remark

NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd on Friday sided with President Trump's description of MS-13 gang members as “animals” earlier this week.

“A lot of people have called violent anybodys animals,” Todd said during an appearance on “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” on WABC 770 AM Radio.

“Anybody who is a violent criminal in my book can get called an animal if they're sitting there mauling, killing and raping people. I don’t care where they're from," he added.

According to The Hill, Todd weighed in on media coverage of Trump's remark from a roundtable discussion earlier this week, where the president was responding to a California official asking about MS-13 gang members.
The official, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, had expressed frustration over how the state’s "sanctuary city" laws have limited the ability of local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, specifically in regards to the MS-13 gang.

“These aren’t people. These are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a rate that’s never happened before," Trump replied, referring to gang members in the U.S. illegally.

Todd noted that some initial coverage of Trump's remarks inaccurately portrayed his "animals" comment as a reference to undocumented immigrants more broadly, instead of MS-13 gang members.

“This is where I think that my colleagues do us all harm,” Todd said. “You know, cover this legitimately. There is plenty of legitimate stuff to ding him on, if you think he deserves to be dinged on. Just be careful, don’t be sloppy about it.”

Rochester Radio: Megan Carter Has Left The WPXY Building

Megan Carter
Rochester radio personality Megan Carter is no longer co-host of WPXY 97.9 FM’s morning show or employed by station owner Entercom Communications, Bob Barnett, vice president of station programming, confirmed Friday.

Barnett said he was not at liberty to discuss the details of Carter’s departure — only that it happened about a month ago, according to the Rochester Democrat&Chronicle.

#TeamPXY with Carter & Corey, featuring Carter and Corey James, debuted in late 2014 (although Carter’s on-air career with WPXY began in 2008). It replaced a long-running morning show hosted by Scott Spezzano and Sandy Waters, who moved to Entercom sister station WBZA 98.9 FM and launched The All New Breakfast Buzz with Spezzano and Sandy. 

Whitney Young, who previously hosted a midday show on WPXY (97.9), is James’ new co-host on the #TeamPXY morning show, which airs from 5:30 to 10 a.m.

Redstone Urged To Let Moonves Run CBS, Viacom

Bob Wright
In the fight to control CBS, former NBCUniversal CEO Bob Wright has placed all bets on Les Moonves, who he called one of "two really, really good media executives in this country."

CNBC reports he says CBS' ongoing resistance to a merger with Viacom will put an end to dual share structures at companies, once and for all.

"There's no benefit that Shari [Redstone] is bringing to the table with 10 percent ownership and trying to control all the board. It doesn't make sense anymore," Wright said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

National Amusements, owned by the Redstone family, has been trying to merge CBS and Viacom, both of which fall under its umbrella. But CBS and Viacom have not been able to come to terms on some aspects of the merger, and CBS has been fighting what it called interference by the Redstone family.

CBS wants to cut National Amusement's voting power by issuing a special dividend to shareholders.

As it stands, the share structure of CBS enables Shari Redstone, through theater and media holding company National Amusements, to maintain voting control over CBS, despite only owning about 10 percent of shares. Wright said these types of dual share structures can be helpful at the advent of a company, so "the guys that built it can protect the company for a while."

Furthermore, Wright said the merger Redstone is pushing between CBS and Viacom would be damaging, insofar as it ousts Moonves. If Redstone is "smart," Wright said, she will relinquish some of her voting power and allow Moonves to take charge of a merged CBS and Viacom.

Meanwhile, analyst Porter Bibb of Media Tech Capital Partners discusses why he believes the battle for CBS is unfair to shareholders.

CBS battle heats up from CNBC.

Judge Rejects Lawsuit Against Fox By Andrea Tantaros

Andrea Tantaros
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Fox News filed by a former on-air host, Andrea Tantaros, who had alleged that the network retaliated against her after she complained about being sexually harassed.

The NYTimes reports Tantaros had claimed that Fox News’s founding chairman, Roger Ailes, arranged for her to be illegally surveilled, and that the network’s executives had schemed to create fake social media accounts, known as “sock puppets,” that defamed her online.

On Friday, however, Judge George B. Daniels of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that Ms. Tantaros’s allegations were “based primarily on speculation and conjecture.” In dismissing the suit, the judge noted that Ms. Tantaros “fails to adequately make out the basic elements of her claims.”

“Plaintiff’s sole allegation with respect to physical surveillance is that she observed black SUVs driving by and parked outside her New York City residence and her vacation home, and that on one occasion she recognized one of the drivers as a member of Ailes’ personal security detail,” he wrote. “Plaintiff does not allege that either the individual she recognized from Ailes’ security detail, or any other driver of a black SUV, intercepted a wire, electronic or oral communication of hers, as is required under the Wiretap Act.”

It was the second legal action against Fox News to conclude this week, as the network looks to move on from a series of scandals that started nearly two years ago. On Tuesday, Fox News reached a $10 million settlement to end a group of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits.

Report: 'Good Guy With Gun' Story Ignored By MSM

A Fox News commentator railed against national media outlets for what he perceived as lackluster coverage of a thwarted mass shooting at an Illinois high school.

"An amazing thing took place Wednesday but I bet you didn't hear much about it," Greg Gutfeld, a host on Fox News' "The Five," said in his in his opening monologue. "So the obvious question is, why isn't this all over the news?"

On Wednesday morning, 19-year-old Matthew Milby opened fire on students who were rehearsing for their graduation. Milby, who was using his mother's semiautomatic rifle, exchanged gunfire with Dixon, Illinois police officer Mark Dallas.

According to BusinessInsider, Milby received non-life threatening injuries and was the only person hurt during the shooting. He was released from the hospital the same day and was taken to Lee County Jail, where he was charged with three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Gutfeld argued that the would-be mass shooting did not meet what he called the media's "seal of approval."

"The problem is, in this case, the media isn't interested in what doesn't happen," Gutfeld said. "Lives were saved, thankfully, so the story didn't fit the narrative."

Gutfeld went on to suggest that media outlets did not report on the foiled shooting because the officer fired his weapon to stop the suspected gunman.

R.I.P.: KMEN, KHJ Radio Personality Bill Watson

Bill Watson
Bill Watson, a popular Inland radio disc jockey who was instrumental in bringing the Rolling Stones to San Bernardino for their first concert in the United States, died Tuesday, May 15, in San Diego.

He was 88, according to

Watson helped propel San Bernardino-based KMEN into the top radio station in the region in the 1960s.

“He was able to project himself as a really cool guy,” said Chuck Street, a San Bernardino native and longtime radio personality. “He had a presence on the radio. He had a swagger. All that adds up to charisma.”

Watson was working at San Bernardino-based KMEN when the Rolling Stones performed at the now-defunct Swing Auditorium on June 5, 1964.

He had been sent a Rolling Stones album, which he played on the air in its entirety, and the phones exploded, Street said.

Watson told Street he found the name of Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham in the record label and called him in London, asking if the band would play in San Bernardino.

“The manager asked, ‘Where’s San Bernardino?”

“It’s a suburb of Hollywood,” Watson told him.

Clemans was in the car with Watson when they picked up the Rolling Stones from the Ontario Airport for the first show. He said the young musicians seemed weary of all the attention they were receiving.

“They were really, really arrogant,” Clemans said. “Bill and I never said a word to them.”

Clemans said Watson worked with promoter Bob Lewis, who paid $6,000 for that first appearance. The band came back a year later and the cost was $60,000, he said.

Watson began his broadcasting career in the mid-1950’s in Sacramento as rock ‘n’ roll started taking over the airways. He moved south and ended up at KMEN as the afternoon drive host and program director.

At its peak, the station pulled in 70 percent of the listening audience in the region.

The 1290 AM station’s call sign became KMEN in 1962 and was changed to KKDD in 1998 to accommodate Disney satellite programming. The station is now 1290 NewsTalk.

Watson went on to help create the “Boss Radio” format when AM radio was the only option most listeners had, working with such stations as KHJ and KMPC in Los Angeles.

May 19 Radio History

➦In 1926...inventor Thomas Edison spoke at a dinner for the National Electric Light Association in Atlantic City, NJ. When asked to speak into the microphone, he said, “I don’t know what to say. This is the first time I ever spoke into one of these things … Good night.”

➦In 1960...On this day in 1960, the man who coined the term, "Rock And Roll", Alan Freed, along with Mel Leeds and 7 other disc-jockeys were accused of taking payola.

The others  included: Peter Tripp of WMGM, New York, Hal Jackson-WLIB, New York, Tommy (Dr.Jive) Smalls of WWRL-New York, JackWalker (The pear-shaped talker) - exWOV, New York.

Peter Tripp was immediately fired from his popular late afternoon air shift at WMGM.

After departing from 1010 WINS, Freed for a time was employed in New York by WABC 770 AM around 1958, about two years before it evolved into one of America's great Top 40 stations by launching its "Musicradio" format.

At this time, WABC (unlike Top40 WINS) was more of a full-service station which began implementing some music programming elements.

Freed was fired by WABC (1959) during a dispute where he refused to sign a statement certifying that he had never accepted payola.

➦In 1974...The #1 Popular song on the Radio was "The Streak" by Ray Stevens

➦In 1994....Henry Morgan, former personality at WMCA, WOR, WNBC, WNEW died of lung cancer at age 79.

➦In 1999...Last broadcast of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Tribute website: Click Here

Bob Liddle
➦In 2010…Longtime Seattle radio personality Bob Liddle, with more than 50 years on the air in the Pacific Northwest died at age 88.  Liddle spent much of his nearly 60-year radio career announcing, spinning big-band records, hosting easy-listening shows and reading the news on Seattle's KIXI 880 AM.

Liddle is perhaps best known for his years hosting KIXI's "Sunday Brunch." But in his long career he also worked as the station's program director and often hosted New Year's Eve "Tuxedo Junction" celebrations at the downtown Seattle Westin Hotel.

➦In 2011...Worcester, Massachusetts radio legend Dick Smith, who spent 30 years as a broadcaster for WORC, died at the age of 84.

➦In 2016...Newly retired TV newsman and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer died at age 84. During his lengthy career he brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into American living rooms in the 1960s, and was a mainstay of the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades.