December 31, 2009

Maxwell Pretty Wings Song of the Year 2009

Without a doubt Maxwell's Pretty Wings is the song of the year. We can only hope that Sade's new album generates the same buzz for R&B music and Urban Radio in 2010.

Adam Carolla - Created the #1 Podcast on iTunes After Firing in 2009

Will radio reugees be able to make their own podcast profitable? This could be a question for many radio personalities that are running out of options like Howard Stern, as he contemplates leaving Sirius XM radio in 2010, the last year of his contract.

The Adam Carolla Show was a syndicated morning radio program, which began airing on January 3, 2006 and ended on February 20, 2009. The show was produced by CBS Radio and was based out of KLSX in Los Angeles. On February 20, KLSX changed format from hot talk to Top 40 (CHR) station 97.1 AMP and the Adam Carolla show was canceled.

Carolla's next move was to create a podcast within a month. He soon reported 1.6 million cumulative downloads after only three episodes, and a shocking 250,000 people grabbed the first podcast before it even found its way into the iTunes directory.

The podcast is absolutely hilarious. In a Carlton Banks, LMAO sort of way. On one of the podcast, he chats it up with Brad Garrett from "Everybody Loves Raymond." After you find it listen at the 33:00 mark as they talk about the "bankability" of a podcast and the lost of his radio show. Then listen at the 41:00 mark as he slams most industry executives' inability to know what is and what isn't funny. Listen here

This is how he does it. **explicit content**

But is Adam Carolla making any money from all of this?

Peter Kafko of Media Memo answers that question:

All in all, Carolla estimates he’s spending about $3,000 a month to produce the show, primarily on bandwidth bills. Revenue: Zero.

That’s primarily because Carolla can’t make any money from his show until the end of the year. He’s still getting paid–very well–by CBS, and his contract has a noncompete. But it’s also because it’s unclear how Carolla could actually go about making money from his podcast even if he wanted to.

The basic options: Try to charge his listeners or try to sell advertising. The former hasn’t been done before, and the latter hasn’t made other podcasters much money so far.

“I think that he’s going to have a tough time,” says Marc Horine, VP at ESPN Digital Media, who oversees a stable of podcasts that were downloaded about eight million times a month last year. Even at that volume, Horine says, ESPN has only been able to turn that into a “7-figure-plus” business–and that’s with a large sales staff and the ESPN brand name.

The problem is that podcasts are still considered “experimental” buys for advertisers. And until podcasts can aggregate bigger audiences–and provide marketers with better ways of tracking their ads’ performance–they are probably going to stay that way.

Internet streaming stations, HD radio, satellite radio, podcasts, music apps; will all start to look and sound the same to listeners. I say mobile devices have and will continue to change the radio game in 2010 and beyond. Podcasts profitable??? Maybe sooner than you think...

Julio G Los Angeles Radio Personality says Listeners are Burned Out on Radio

Julio G West Coast and Los Angeles area DJ and radio personality is credited with the rise of gangsta rap as part of the airstaff at the original KDAY and then as part of the team at the legendary radio station 92.3 The Beat.

How in the world can a radio station actually offer an on-air personality of his magnitude, in the #2 radio market in the country, $30,000/year? That would be an insult 30 years ago! However WE know someone did take that job, probably for less.

Julio goes on to say that it would not be right for him to take such an offer in respect for the up and coming personalities that will follow him someday.

Great insights as we head into 2010.

December 30, 2009

BET Celebrates Banner Ratings in 2009

The Network Delivers Its Highest Viewership Ever in the 29-Year History of the Channel

BET Finished the Fourth Quarter as a Top Cable Network Among Adults 18-49

NEW YORK, Dec. 30, Source: PRNewswire --

BET closes 2009 with a bang! The Network had its best year ever in its 29-year history with an average of 512,000 total viewers. For all of 2009, the Network has enjoyed double-digit gains in all four quarters and in all key demographics. This year of historic ratings growth follows an aggressive strategy that included new original programming, big signature specials, key acquisitions and blockbuster movies.

BET is among the cable networks posting the biggest year-over-year gains, up double-digits over last year among total viewers (+17%) and key demographics: adults 18-49 (+19%), and adults 18-34 (+17%). Additionally, BET continues to reign as the #1 cable network among blacks year after year, and the audience continues to grow. Moreover, the fourth quarter of 2009 is the number one fourth quarter performance in BET history.

In 2009 BET scored the number one award show on cable and the number one program among blacks in cable television history with the BET AWARDS '09 which drew 10.7 million total viewers; its number one hip-hop telecast in network history and television's number one hip-hop themed telecast with the 2009 HIP HOP AWARDS; cable's number one late night series among blacks with THE MO'NIQUE SHOW.

The people have spoken! We don't want news or videos. We want reality shows, award shows, comedies, and Mo'Nique baby, you know what I mean sugah. HEYYYYYYY!!!

New Fords Offer HD Radio With iTunes Tagging

Radio industry is not going to let Satellite radio take over HD Radio, Ford installs HD Radio into new vehicles
Source: from Erik Sass Media Daily News
Auto manufacturers are now installing HD radio sets that leverage one of digital radio's "sexy" features: iTunes tagging that allows users to mark songs they like during digital broadcasts for later purchase via Apple's iTunes store. Ford is the first carmaker to offer tagging-enabled HD radio sets pre-installed in some models beginning in 2010.

In addition to the iTunes tagging capability, Ford is touting the other advantages of HD radio over traditional radio, including CD-quality sound and extra "multicast" channels (HD2 and HD3) which broadcasters are using to broadcast niche programming -- for example, all-country or all-classic rock channels.

Ford also noted (somewhat more delicately, in deference to a separate deal with Sirius-XM to offer pre-installed satellite radios) that HD radio is free, unlike Sirius-XM's subscription service.

While Ford positioned the inclusion of HD technology as a boon to car buyers, partnerships with car companies are also key to HD radio manufacturers and broadcasters' strategy for boosting HD radio's consumer awareness and installed base.

After four years of marketing, the installed base of HD radio sets in the United States remains fairly small: 1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from about 600,000 at the end of 2008. Much of this increase is due to deals with carmakers to include pre-installed HD radio sets as a factory option on new cars.

Similar partnerships with carmakers are also crucial to future growth for satellite radio, which currently has about 18.5 million subscribers -- down from 19 million at the end of 2008. Analysts have warned that satellite radio may be approaching market saturation for stand-alone receivers and subscriptions -- part of the reason Sirius and XM merged in 2008. However, there is still considerable potential demand among new car buyers.

The deals with carmakers are important enough that when the Sirius-XM merger was still being debated, the HD Radio Alliance, an industry consortium created to promote HD digital radio, demanded that satellite radio broadcasters be required to cancel their existing partnerships with carmakers as a condition for the merger going forward. (This condition was never instituted by the FCC.)

Still working to increase HD Radio penetration, the HD Radio Alliance is preparing a fresh wave of publicity in the New Year, with radio spots touting the availability of free HD2 and HD3 channels.

December 29, 2009

Charlemagne Calls New MTV Show 'Wild 'N Out Meets Best Week Ever'

Nick Cannon has tapped “Hood State of The Union” hosts Lil Duval and Charlemagne Tha God, for their own MTV show appropriately called “Hatin.”

“It’s like Wild ‘N Out meets Best Week Ever,” Charlemagne, a former radio personality for Philadelphia’s 100.3 The Beat told VIBE.

“Hatin” is a spin-off of the comical webisode “Hood State of The Union,” which features Charlemagne and comedian Lil Duval bluntly commentating on urban entertainment.

“We’ve done nine [episodes] so far,” Charlemagne says. “We been doing it since the summertime. Not to toot my own horn, but people were in-tuned to it. And Nick was one of the guys that were in-tuned to it. And he reached out. And they wanted to do some other things at MTV too. So first things first.”

Earlier today, Nick Cannon took to Twitter to excitedly announce the show, which is set to air starting January 1. “HATIN stars a lot of Fresh funny people!” Cannon wrote.

The show will air at the following times:

Fri - Jan. 1, 2:00pm
Fri - Jan. 1, 9:30pm
Sat - Jan. 2, 3:30am
Sat - Jan. 2, 9:30pm
Sun - Jan. 3, 1:30am
Mon - Jan. 4, 12:00am
Tue - Jan. 5, 6:30pm


Clear Channel Radio's "I Heart Radio" Debuts Android App

Another example of how your mobile phone is now your radio, music, and all around entertainment source

Following the success of its BlackBerry and iPhone apps, Clear Channel Radio's IHeartRadio is rolling out a parallel app for smartphones with the new Android mobile operating system distributed by Google.

Android users can find the app for IHeartRadio, a multiplatform digital content emporium that allows users to access streaming audio from about 400 Clear Channel Radio stations, online at the Android store or the IHeartRadio Web site.

The free app requires users to have Android 1.5 or any subsequent version of the operating system; it is compatible with a variety of models, including the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris and MyTouch, and Samsung's Moment. Currently, Google estimates there are 18 name-brand phone models using Android.

In addition to the roughly 400 audio streams from Clear Channel stations, IHeartRadio also gives users access to a number of digital-only Clear Channel properties, such as eRockster, Pride, Christina Aguilera Radio, Eagles Radio and the White House Brief. It also supplies entry to a variety of on-demand audio and video content.

In October, Clear Channel introduced daily video-on-demand service to its IHeartRadio app for iPhones. The rollout of mobile video content followed high adoption rates for the app among iPhone and BlackBerry users. In the first two weeks of availability in April of this year, BlackBerry users downloaded the app over a quarter million times, making it the second-most-popular application offered by BlackBerry at that time.

Around the same time, it was the third-most-popular music download app at the Apple App store, following Pandora and Shazam.

Source: Media Daily News

Related Post: From Black Web 2.0 "With Web TV What's the Point of Cable?"

Good question, especially when full length streaming content from Comcast will be available to mobile devices very soon.

DirecTV to replace XM with SonicTap

Starting on February 9th, DirecTV subscribers will find that their XM satellite radio channels will have disappeared - and have been replaced with channels from SonicTap, according to DirecTV's website.

Now, why is this more strange than "the usual" content distribution deal gone bad?
For one thing, Liberty Media (which has a 40 percent stake in Sirius XM Radio Inc.) also owns DirecTV - so you think there would be a baked in partnership between the two. But not so.

On February 29th, 2010, SonicTap will be the new source of music for 18 million DirecTV subscribers. The lineup of genres will remain relatively the same - but with one exception.

The one large notable difference is that there's some 10 more Hispanic music channels added in addition to the other channels. Could this have been the deciding factor for the change? It's hard to say for sure, but I can't imagine why both Liberty-owned companies would part ways unless there was a clear differentiator between the two.

Then again, who knows what kind of reasoning is behind the switch. It would be nice to see some level of transparency to explain to subscribers why exactly the change is happening... but I'm not holding my breath.


Here's an interesting comment from the Orbitcast website:

I suspect the following reasons.

1) There have been a lot of complaints about too much DJ chatter... I wonder if DirecTV people complained and they decided to try something new instead.

2) Like it or not, SiriusXM is not the "sexy" thing in the media anymore. Right now its all about stuff that is truly innovative. Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, etc. I think other people are starting to notice, and try out these new things. The "buzz" is no longer on SatRad, it's now considered part of the "old media" establishment.

December 28, 2009

Keith Sweat lands "The Quiet Storm" Gig at WBLS

(CHOKE, CHOKE) ...wait, here's a glass of water... here take another sip

Singer/songwriter/producer and syndicated Urban AC host Keith Sweat will join the 107.5 WBLS lineup as host of Premiere Radio and Clear Channel's The Quiet Storm show, which will air from 7p-midnight. Sweat will continue to host The Keith Sweat Hotel, (7p.m.-12mid. ET) which is syndicated by Premiere Radio along with The Steve Harvey Morning Show also heard on WBLS.

"I couldn't be happier to be heard in my home town on the station I grew up listening to," Sweat said. "WBLS is the must-listen-to station for R&B fans in New York, and I want to thank them for this tremendous opportunity.”

"From the first time I put ‘Make It Last Forever’ on the turntable at my college radio station back in the mid-‘80s, I knew this man would have a lasting impact," WBLS OM/PD Skip Dillard stated. "From Harlem to the world, Keith Sweat is truly one of the best in R&B."

Source: All Access Music Group

Add your comments click here

Does one of the best in R&B make you a good let alone top-notch radio host? Which you expect to hear in NYC. First Nick Cannon, now Keith Sweat! This is a new low for New York radio. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think Keith Sweat would make it on the air in New York City. I won't desecrate the memory of Percy Sutton, but I know for sure that Frankie Crocker is spinning in his grave. It makes me think that Clear Channel forced WBLS to take on Keith Sweat or lose Steve Harvey in the future. However I've come to the realization that at this point in time, the DJ or on-air personality is no longer necessary. Most listeners' memories of personality-driven Black radio have long since faded. So as long as Keith Sweat's breaks between songs are not too long and the computerized playlist is programmed correctly, most people won't mind who's behind the microphone as long as the music doesn't make them want to change the station. Meanwhile still no replacement for Wendy Williams on WBLS.

Smooth Jazz 107.3 The Wave Waving Goodbye

Update: Yes there are still Smooth Jazz stations around the country waiting for their death notice: "You're going online only and moving to a HD2 channel!"

Your Cleveland radio dial will be getting a big makeover if you have smooth jazz station 107.3 programmed as a favorite. The channel will switch over today at noon from 107.3 The Wave to 107.3 The Boom. The Boom will feature a wide variety of music from classic rock to today's names in alternative music. Their website states "107.3 Boom! Playing great songs from an eclectic mix of eras and genres, is as much an experiment as it is a destination for great music."

If you are a fan of the old format, your not completely out of luck. If you have an HD Radio, The Wave will be moved to 107.3 HD2 and also will be streamed online.

Source: The Cleveland, Radio

Another Smooth Jazz station KOAS-FM (105.7) flips to rhythmic AC. It will keep the former smooth jazz slogan as “The Oasis,” while featuring “the greatest music of all time” from the likes of Donna Summer to Soul II Soul.

Related Post: Smooth Jazz Making a Comeback, Yeah Right Read about the Cleveland Smooth Jazz station's GM comments a year ago. Interesting yet unenlightened comments about the propects of the Smooth Jazz format's ability to survive.

Spike Lee Directs Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' (video)

Michael Jackson - This Is It - Directed by Spike Lee from 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks on Vimeo.

The video for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" is directed by Spike Lee. Spike puts his imprint on it. It feels like a Spike Lee Joint. A Joint that turns out to be a tribute to the King of Pop.

Percy Sutton Dies at Age 89

There's simply no way to put into a few words the magnitude of Percy Sutton's impact in Harlem and around the world. To simply say he was the owner of WBLS, the premiere Black radio station in the country through the 70's, 80's and 90's, or Malcolm X's former lawyer, or a civil rights leader, would not justify the measure of this man... Here's a column from Errol Louis of the New York Daily News that provides a fitting tribute to Mr. Sutton.

As a mogul, politician, trailblazer, war hero, Percy Sutton was a man of ambition

by Columnist Errol Louis New York Daily News original post

The early newspaper obituary descriptions of Percy Sutton - politician, civil rights lawyer, media mogul - barely scratch the surface of what Sutton meant to Harlem and America.

He was uniquely gifted and successful, but also part of a greatest generation of black leadership that came of age during the darkest days of Jim Crow segregation and tenaciously set about the business of dismantling it.

The fortysomething black professionals of my generation have spent a fair amount of time trying to crack the code of this spectacularly talented cohort, whose story has never been fully told. Even growing up near and around them, Sutton and his contemporaries seemed a legion of supermen and women whose drive, daring and achievement could be admired but never equaled.

The long, horrific shadow of legal segregation was still firmly in place when Sutton was born 89 years ago - his father was a slave, for God's sake - but that didn't stop a wave of men and women from becoming doctors, dentists, judges and businessmen.

And bona fide war heroes. Sutton was one of the legendary Tuskeegee Airmen, who flew more than 1,500 combat missions during World War II. Then he set up shop as one of only a handful of black lawyers serving Harlem in the 1960s.

I remember the pride and hushed admiration in my mother's voice when she told me some obscure bit of routine family business had been handled by Sutton, who was Malcolm X's lawyer. It was a big deal.

Many years later, it was a big deal for me to sit next to Sutton at a college lecture in commemoration of the late Andy Cooper, another Sutton contemporary who founded and published the now-defunct City Sun black newspaper.

In the few minutes before the program started, I got a chance to chat with Sutton. Upon telling him I had recently been named a columnist and Editorial Board member of the Daily News, he responded with the same crisp, commanding voice I'd heard on TV so often.

Sutton: "Excellent. So when are you planning to move [on]?"

Me: "Well, umm ..."

Sutton: "I salute your achievement. But whenever you take a job, you should be planning for the next one."

Point taken.

Sutton himself was a man of restless, driving ambition. In a feat of near-suicidal work ethic, he worked two full-time jobs - one on the overnight shift - while attending Brooklyn Law School. It was something I remembered while doing my own slog through the law school's evening division after full days at the newspaper.

After settling on politics as a career, Sutton launched a series of failed campaigns before winning an Assembly seat, moving up to Manhattan borough president and then launching a bid for mayor in 1977. Along the way, he also helped plan and stage the audacious political coup that unseated Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the legendary Harlem congressman, and installed Charlie Rangel.

Ex-Mayor David Dinkins, a close friend of Sutton's, has always maintained that Sutton's unsuccessful run for mayor in 1977 set the stage for his own historic election 12 years later as New York's first black mayor. What Sutton established, says Dinkins, was a level of credibility and classiness that made the notion of a black mayor possible.

AND WHEN Sutton decided he'd had enough of politics, he made history again as a media operator, with flagship station WBLS-FM and its star jock, Frankie Crocker, winning monster ratings and defining urban radio nationwide. Later forays into cable television and renovation of the fabled Apollo Theater brought controversy along with riches.

But to his credit, Sutton remained true to Harlem, never leaving for a wealthy suburb.

You'd see him moving here and there, always dressed to the nines, ready with a smile and a wave and the look of a man looking for the next adventure.

His generation's excellence was born of social and cultural pressures that many people can scarcely imagine or remember. It acted the way geologic heat and pressure convert coal into diamonds.

That is how Sutton will be remembered uptown: as a leader, a legend and a shining jewel of a man.

Related Articles from the New York Daily News

Harlem 'trailblazer' Percy Sutton dies at 89

City's flags fly at half-staff for Sutton

December 26, 2009

ABC News Nightline and Steve Harvey Examine 'Why Are Many Black Women Single?'

Nicole Marchand is celebrating another birthday. A 31-year-old black woman, she's already a prosecuting attorney in Atlanta and running for state court judge.

What is keeping African-American women from walking down the aisle? Personable yet direct, Marchand isn't the kind of woman you find standing by passively on the sidelines of life. But you would find her, for example, at the Georgia Dome, cheering on the Atlanta Falcons pro football team.

You've heard of a man's man. Marchand is the quintessential man's woman: She appears to have it all. And, yet, she's still single.

She has plenty of company. Forty-two percent of U.S. black women have never been married, double the number of white women who've never tied the knot.

"I look forward to the day," Marchand said. "I look forward to being married."

It's just not that easy. For starters, there are 1.8 million more black women than black men. So even if every black man in America married a black woman today, one out of 12 black women still wouldn't make it down the aisle if they hoped to marry a black man.

Let's take 100 black men. By the time you eliminate those without a high school diploma (21 percent), the unemployed (17 percent) and those ages 25-34 who are incarcerated (8 percent), you have only half of black men, 54 percent, whom many black women find acceptable.

As a prosecutor, Marchand sees this problem firsthand every day.

"It is sad to see that the majority of the defendants that we prosecute are black males," Marchand said. "Those numbers can be very disappointing."

"Nightline" broached the serious dilemma with comedian-turned-relationship-guru Steve Harvey, author of the book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man."

Read More Source: ABC News Nightline

Could it be that... Steve Harvey's popularity across the board with the success of his #1 best selling book-

Is the top radio story of the year?...

December 24, 2009

Sportscaster, Top 40 Radio DJ, and Record Promoter, George Michael Dead at 70

Michael's multi-faceted career landed him in the roles of record promoter, Top 40 radio DJ, local and national sports anchor

Washington sportscasting legend George Michael has died from cancer at age 70. According to his former employer, NBC4 News Washington, he had been battling the disease for the past two years.

Michael was NBC4's sports anchor from the early 1980's until 2007 when he left the station due to cutbacks. A station spokesperson said, "George Michael was our friend and colleague for more than 25 years. He was a dynamic force around our newsroom and in the entire Washington area."

In addition to his gig with NBC4, George Michael also hosted the popular "George Michael Sports Machine" show where he discussed Redskins and other sports teams with former pro athletes and reporters. The show eventually went national in 1984.

In 1981, he chose radio host Donnie Simpson as his back-up anchor for the George Michael Sports Machine sports show on NBC's Washington television outlet, WRC-TV.

Before TV Michael was a radio host and music director of the pioneering sound of Top 40 radio at “Famous 56” WFIL in Philadelphia and moved on to "Musicradio 77 WABC" New York in 1974.

Listen Here to an aircheck Dec. 19, 1974 at WABC New York

Courtesy of

He won several national Billboard radio personality of the year awards. Michael had done record promotion for Motown and Scepter and DJ'd in Milwaukee (WRIT) and Denver (KBTR) before he came to WFIL in 1966. He remained in New York radio until 1980 when he moved to D.C. to become the sports anchor at Channel 4 WRC.

December 23, 2009

"Barry From DC" calls into talk radio program and surprises Va. Governor

Watch CBS News Videos Online

President Barack Obama had quite a surprise for outgoing Governor Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as he called into Kaine's monthly radio show, "Ask the Governor" on CBS Radio affiliate WTOP, Washington. Obama first introduced himself as "Barry from DC" before revealing his identity and congratulate Kaine on four years of public service.

December 22, 2009

Radio One Shareholders Approve Reverse Split

Radio One Inc., the largest African-American owned radio stations, said Tuesday that its shareholders have approved a reverse stock split.

At its annual stockholders meeting, Radio One said it received approval for a reverse split ranging from 1-for-2 to 1-for-50 to be done before the next annual shareholders meeting.

But the company's board said it has not yet decided whether to set a reverse split.

In a reverse split, a greater number of shares are exchanged for a smaller batch, with a goal of reducing the number of shares outstanding and increasing the stock price.

Radio One also said that Terry Jones, Brian McNeill, Catherine Hughes, Alfred Liggins III, D. Geoffrey Armstrong, Ronald Blaylock and B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr. were elected as directors.

Radio One's shareholders meeting was delayed for three months to accommodate changes recommended by the Securities and Exchange Commission on certain disclosures in its 2008 earnings report, the first quarter of 2009 and proxy statement.

The SEC wanted better clarity on executive compensation, impairments, liquidity, major customers, among others.

Radio One is based in Washington and owns 53 stations in 16 cities. Its shares were up 1 cent to $3.78 in afternoon trading.
Source: Associated Press

Tom Joyner Interviews President Obama

Click Here to listen to the interview.

Obama said one in five African Americans does not have health care; that like many African Americans, "It's not that Michelle and I don't have relatives" hurting and unemployed because of the economy, and he urged that young people, particularly, be vaccinated for the H1N1 virus.

When Joyner noted that some of Obama's cable-news critics (Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News commentators) were eating and drinking at the White House holiday party, Obama said he and Michelle Obama "try to kill 'em with kindness. These guys fundamentally are entertainers." Urging civility, he said, "Everybody's an American; I've got the birth certificate to prove it."

April Ryan Interviews President Barack Obama

April Ryan White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks interviews President Obama on a number of topics including the Health Care Reform Bill. The full post and audio are posted on the Huffington Post website.

Here is one of April Ryan's questions: "Speaking of the African American community, this seems to be a shift in black leadership, as it relates to supporting you. You have the CBC that's upset with you about targeting on the jobs front -- African Americans, 15.6 percent unemployment rate, expected to go to 20 percent; mainstream America 10 percent. Then you have black actors who supported you -- Danny Glover, who's saying that you've not changed, your administration is the same as George W. Bush. What are your thoughts about the fact that black leadership is grumbling, and the fact that people are concerned with you being the first African American President, and they thought that there would be a little bit more compassion for black issues?

How did The President respond?

Click here to hear the full interview along with a transcript of the interview session

Stephen A. Smith Quite Frankly Wants His Money and His Column Back

Newspaper union wants The Philadelphia Inquirer to pay $100,000 and to restore him as a columnist at the paper, meanwhile The Inquirer continues to ignore the arbitators ruling.

Richard Prince's Journalism

The dispute between sports commentator Stephen A. Smith and the Philadelphia Inquirer escalated when the Newspaper Guild of Philadelphia took the dispute to federal court, seeking an order that the Inquirer "publish and promote Stephen A. Smith’s columns" and pay him $100,000 in back pay.

The Inquirer fired Smith in 2007 and now refuses to publish his work even though an arbitrator ordered the Inquirer to reinstate him with back pay. Meanwhile, Smith has been visible as a commentator on cable television, has signed a contract with Fox Sports Radio to host a morning drive-time radio show and broke stories that the Inquirer refused to publish.

"The employer complied with the award to reinstate Smith, but on his first day back, was told in order to publish his columns, Smith would have to pledge to agree to an Inquirer code of ethics, and wanted to prohibit Smith's outside work," Bill Ross, executive director of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers Association of America Local 38010, told Journal-isms last month. The Guild filed a grievance.

Ross said Friday via e-mail, "In 22 years of representing employees, I have never seen an employer defy an Arbitrators award, so willfully, and arrogantly, that the union is forced to file in Federal Court to have it enforced. Brian Tierney should be embarrassed as the Publisher of the Inquirer. I'm pretty confident, once Stephen's personal lawyers get done with him, he will be." Smith retained trial lawyer Willie R. Gary as one of his attorneys.

Inquirer Editor William R. Marimow has consistently refused to comment on Smith's situation, saying he cannot discuss personnel matters.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, recounts the history of the dispute, including an Oct. 27 award by arbitrator Richard R. Kasher that directed the Inquirer to reinstate Smith within 15 days "as a General Sports Columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer or the Philadelphia Daily News, and Mr. Smith shall have the option to declare his preference. Mr. Smith will occupy a 'protected beat.' "

He also directed the newspaper to continue Smith’s salary at $225,000 and to "continue to promote Mr. Smith’s columns to the best advantage of both parties,” as well as to continue Smith's health and dental benefits as a full-time Guild member. The lawsuit says the Inquirer has not reimbursed Smith for the cost of his medical and dental insurance.

It was Smith's salary that prompted Marimow to attempt to get rid of Smith, according to a Sept. 3 report in the Guild Reporter, a national Guild publication.

"Smith, a columnist with an unblemished disciplinary record for 13 years, was regarded so highly by the Inquirer that he became its best-paid staffer and was featured in its advertising campaigns," Andy Zipser wrote.

"Eventually he became a sought-after radio and television commentator, and when ESPN offered him a daily show in 2005, he approached management to negotiate an arrangement allowing him to continue his column on a more limited basis. >>
Read more

Smith will host a national weekday program beginning Jan. 4 on Fox Sports Radio.

December 21, 2009

"Hewlett Packard Computers Are Racist!" there he said it...

This YouTube video posted over the wekend shows Desi, an African-American man and his white co-worker Wanda, playing around with the face-tracking software in a HP webcam. Any conspiracy theorist out there? What does this say about the future access of digital media?

Common's "Announcement" Wins the Year End Award for...

"The Best Song Not Added to Corporate Radio Playlists." In fact the entire album was pretty much slammed by the music critics also. The lyrical content is a definite departure for Common, who usually raps on a conscious level. The track, released in early 2009, maybe should have been released in the summer. Can't you feel the summer groove it has? "This is Hip Hop Baby!" Maybe not... Despite Microsoft's effort to connect Common's buzz at time with a Zune 3.0 commercial, the entire record, along with the first track from album "Universal Mind Control" just fizzled like the Zune player.

Former media star, Jon Robinson Reveals Dark Life and Past

He's now facing homelessness, fighting addiction, waiting to hit bottom; Jon Robinson is telling his story because "I don't want to be a fraud, anymore."

Source: Mark Washburn TV/Radio Writer

Former TV anchor, radio host and stadium announcer Jon Robinson, (pictured here in 1992), 49, is now jobless. His Gastonia, NC home is in foreclosure. He expects to move into a homeless shelter.

Spotlight and shadow, Jon Robinson lived a double life.

High school basketball star who went to play for Lefty Driesell at the University of Maryland. Morning host on WBT-AM. News anchor on Channel 3. Stadium announcer for the Carolina Panthers. Cancer survivor.

And most recently, host on WKQC-FM ("K" 104.7), where he catered to the world of suburban soccer moms and bid them a cheery day.

"I was lying the whole time and the crazy thing is people loved me for it. What I really wanted to say is, 'I shot heroin last night and smoked crack and watched eight hours of pornos.'

"I'm a fraud."

Robinson, 49, is now jobless. His Gastonia home is in foreclosure. He took out the last $1,400 of his savings this month, $300 of it earmarked to pay off a drug debt. Now the rest is gone, too. He expects to move into a homeless shelter.

He is gaunt, awash with despair and has thought of suicide. It is a stunning contrast to the handsome, athletic, vibrant professional image cultivated over two decades in the media limelight. Read more

Another Radio Company, NextMedia Files for Bankruptcy must be the season for bankruptcy or let's get the books right before the end of the year. Source: Reuters / Yahoo News

NextMedia Group Inc filed for bankruptcy protection under a pre-arranged plan that will hand over control of the U.S. radio station operator and outdoor advertising company to certain creditors, court papers showed. In a statement on its website, NextMedia said the reorganization process will have no impact on day-to-day operations and will not result in any changes to senior management or any reduction to employee headcount.

Greenwood Village, Colorado-based NextMedia operates 36 AM and FM radio stations and has just under 500 employees.

December 20, 2009

It's official - Citadel Broadcasting files for pre-arranged Bankruptcy

The company that syndicates The Michael Baisden Show, Big Boy's Neighborhood and the Urban AC format known as "The Touch"; files for bankruptcy.

Much of Citadel's debt burden stems from its $2.7 billion purchase of ABC Radio from the Walt Disney Co. in 2007. If the company continues on its same path, will the Michael Baisden show and Big Boy's Neighborhood survive?

Early this year Citadel pulled the plug on the Brian McKnight and the Doug Banks syndicated shows.

Source: David Pitt AP Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the nation's third-largest radio broadcasting company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday in an effort to restructure its hefty debt load as it continues to face declining advertising revenue.

Citadel owns and operates 224 radio stations, including KABC-AM in Los Angeles, WLS-AM in Chicago, WABC-AM and WPLJ-FM in New York and KGO-AM in San Francisco. Citadel's WABC is home to several syndicated hosts, including Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough and Mark Levin.

In documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Las Vegas-based Citadel listed total assets at Oct. 30 of $1.4 billion and total debt of $2.46 billion. The company said in a statement it has reached an agreement with more than 60 percent of its lenders on a deal that would erase about $1.4 billion of debt in exchange for control of the company.

"Our business will continue as usual and the company will work to emerge from the restructuring process as quickly as possible," CEO Farid Suleman said in a statement. Citadel has retained turnaround specialist Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC as its restructuring adviser.

Read more from Yahoo News

December 19, 2009

At WFLZ-FM radio Turkey Frying Radio Stunt Goes Bad, Real Bad

A turkey-frying stunt Friday by the MJ Morning Show on WFLZ-FM 93.3 will be investigated by the State Attorney’s Office after the intentional blaze destroyed a van and injured a firefighter.

Source: St. Petersburg Time/ (TAMPA) — A turkey-frying stunt Friday by the MJ Morning Show injured a firefighter, destroyed a van and alarmed fire department officials, who say the intentional blaze was unauthorized.

Tampa fire spokesman Capt. Bill Wade said he was "very disappointed."

Officials from WFLZ-FM 93.3 were not available to comment.

The DJs used a crane to drop a turkey carcass through the open roof of a plumbing van that had a vat of burning oil inside. An inflatable snowman stood near the van's open side doors. Clear Channel broadcast the whole thing live from its studio parking lot at 4202 Gandy Blvd.

For the first few minutes, the broadcast focused on a large silver pot smoking on a burner inside the open van. Then the smoke turned to flames that shot through the van's roof.

When the turkey finally reached the pot, flames engulfed the van. Radio employees ran around the van, first laughing, then trying to put it out with handheld fire extinguishers.

"How we going to put this thing out?" one DJ asked.

"I don't know," said another, laughing.

Tampa firefighters soon arrived in full gear and began spraying down the van. Wade said Capt. Ken Licata, 47, a 26-year veteran of the fire department, hurt his back during the incident and was hospitalized.The radio station issued a written statement in response to the incident.

The radio station issued the following statement: "Our intent was to show how dangerous it was to cook a turkey in a situation like this. We were prepared to extinguish a modest fire. Once the fire got out of control, we quickly called the fire department."

See video from local TV news report

Power 92 Makes Morning Show Cuts

Power 92 (WPWX-FM) Chicago has reduced the size of their morning show team due to budget cuts. Trey Da Choklit Jok will now handle wakeup duties by his lonesome. The other morning show members, Alexx Dupri, Lisa Finkle and Shawn Dell are out in the cost cutting move.

December 18, 2009

Pandora Has Reached 40 million Subscribers

The next big thing??? Is that Pandora "P" reaching iconic status like the facebook "f" and the twitter "t"? Maybe it's time to rethink all of this because of the iPhone. Singers and rappers instead of trying to figure out a way to get your music played on the radio, Maybe you should be asking 'How do I get my music played on Pandora?'

Source: Tech Crunch by MG Siegler "As Online Music Falters, Pandora Doubled To 40 Million Users This Year."

Online music services have had a bad few weeks. Imeem got bought by MySpace for next to nothing, Lala got bought by Apple for something ranging from a little to not-very-much. Spotify continues to be a no-show in the U.S. But at least one service, Pandora, appears to be doing quite well for itself.

The service has announced that it surpassed 40 million registered users earlier this month. That means the service had doubled its size in 2009. And it’s adding 600,000 new registered users a week now. Even more remarkable is that half of those new users are coming from mobile devices. And of those, the iPhone continues to lead the way with 10 million Pandora users of its own. That number has grown some 400% this year.

These good numbers follow the news earlier this year that Pandora had officially been “saved” after reaching an acceptable deal with the music companies for the royalty rates they have to pay. Pandora, unlike the other music services mentioned above, is much more of a radio service in the traditional sense of the word because you can’t pick exactly which song you’re going to listen to. But a proposed rate hike, which almost went into effect, would have severely hampered Pandora’s ability to survive as a business. Instead, with the new deal, they expect to be profitable by next year.

And that certainly seems possible given that Pandora is now apparently accounting for 44% of all Internet radio listening hours, Ando Domestic Ranker and their own internal numbers confirm. And they have great demographics to serve up ads to. Amongst 18-24 year-olds, Pandora has twice as many daily visitors as Hulu and ESPN, according to comScore. That said, the more music Pandora streams, the more they have to pay, so they need those ads to be effective. But that seems to be the case.

And while you might think the surge in mobile usage might be bad for Pandora which relies heavily on the ads that blanket its website, number indicate they have been able to monetize these mobile users as well. Read more

A Last Word on Reform that did not happen in the Health Care Bill

While you had your eye on Tiger Woods the things that really matter go unnoticed in the media... MSNBC's Keith Olbermann thoughts on the "watered down" version of the Health Care bill. Olbermann stresses that he does not support the current “perversion of health care reform,” urging Senate Democrats to drop the bill.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

December 17, 2009

Chicago's Jonathan Brandmeier Lashes Out at Radio Industry

He's ready to just sit back and let the ship sink

Former WLUP 97.9 "The Loop" (Chicago) Classic Rock Morning man Jonathan Brandmeier plays the part of a rapper named “Johnny B. The Unemployed Radio Mo Fo.” The video is laced with attacks on the radio industry and the decisions radio executives make to cut cost. On November 30, 2009, Brandmeier was released from his contract from WLUP and Emmis Communications. The firing came three months before the end of his contract.


Interesting note: Brandmeier, a mainstream classic rock DJ, chooses to take on a hip hop/rapper persona to show in displeasure. Probably, no other genre of music would be as effective at expressing his anger. Has he effectively sealed his fate for landing another radio gig?

Frank Ski's 2009 Celebrity Wine Tasting and Auction

Frank Ski of V-103 Atlanta and his Frank Ski Kids Foundation's Celebrity Wine Tasting and Live Auction, his signature annual fundraiser benefitting his foundation for kids.

December 16, 2009

Nick Cannon lands Morning Radio Gig in New York

A Shake My Head Moment... (SMH) But it's really another WTFhhhck is going on in the radio industry

CBS Radio CHR WXRK-FM (92.3 Now)/New York taps actor, comedian and musician Nick Cannon as the station's morning drive host, weekdays from 6-10am beginning January 19. Cannon's show will be heard on-air, online and through mobile devices such as the iPhone. The San Diego native is well-known for his success as the host of NBC's "America's Got Talent."

Who in their right mind STILL hires an actor to do morning radio? Didn't Whoppi Goldberg teach you radio execs a lesson. There's no way Nick Cannon is going to... -LIVE in the studio. NO WAY! Picture this... Nick leaving Mariah's side every morning between 3:30 and 4 a.m, to take that ride over to the radio station on a cold January morning in New York...yeah right... how long will it be before the PD is encouraging him to have his wife call into the show... What's he gonna do when Mariah says... "Baby, I want you to call in sick this morning?" WHAT would you do?

Another WTF SMH moment: I actually heard a professional on-air host on Power 99 say "vass-a-seen " when reporting on the recall of the H1N1 flu vaccines. That would be "VACK-seen", bruh. His co-host corrected him, but how can you crack the mic and not know how that word is pronounced???

Pandora Coming to a Car Radio Near You

Source: Sherry L. Smith Black Web 2.0

Any one that has tried Pandora Radio out has to admit it’s pretty sweet. The internet radio provider lets you create your own music stations and listen to them from virtually anywhere. Whether its your cell phone or your computer Pandora is there. You could even get it in your car — provided you were willing to jerry-rig a setup using your Pandora-enabled phone or iPod.

Thankfully the days of MacGyver-ing your phone to get Pandora in your car may soon be over. According to GigaOm, the internet radio provide is looking to make a dedicated leap towards cars. Cheif Technology Officer Tom Conrad said that the initial push would still rely on smartphone apps that would be controlled from a steering wheel or dashboard interface. Eventually they would eliminate the need for apps altogether, integrating Pandora into web-connected autos outright.

There is already a deal between Pandora, Ford Motors, and some as of yet unnamed auto companies to include in-dashboard controls for mobile handsets. The devices would be held in place and drivers could access Pandora without having to fumble around with their devices which could be an accident in the making. Read more

In my opinion: Pandora and other online music applications have an initial pizzazz with consumers that works very well for them. However these apps are comparable to when folks were riding around with the 100 CD changers in the trunk of their cars. Soon the novelty wears off. Especially when the obscure track from the playlist pops up from nowhere and you're searching for the skip button to change the song. There will always be the need for people to have the intimacy that radio broadcasting provides. Now when will the radio industry take full advantage of that remains to be seen.

December 15, 2009

Atlanta's V-103 Teams Up for Toy Drive this Holiday Season

DeVyne Intervention teams up with Jermaine Dupri and V-103 for a Holiday Toy Drive to benefit the Southside of Atlanta, GA. With 15% of families in Georgia living below the poverty level, the Holiday Toy Drive intends to give an early Christmas to underserved children living on the Southside, as well as those living at the pediatric hospital, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. A donation to the Holiday Toy Drive serves as admission to the party. The Holiday Toy Drive Party will be broadcast on V-103 via live remote.

The event will take place on Sunday Dec. 20th from 7:00-10:00 p.m. at Club Ritz located in Riverdale, GA. Akon, Monica, Yung Joc, Kandi Burruss, Sim, Mr. Collipark and more are expected to appear.

DeVyne Intervention is a foundation established to inspire and empower young people through music and music-related initiatives, developed in local hospitals, recreational centers and after school programs, primarily in the state of Georgia. Created by entertainment entrepreneur Devyne Stephens, DeVyne Intervention was inspired by Stephens' belief that music has the universal power to heal.

December 14, 2009

San Francisco, Oakland, Bay Area Hip Hop Launch Online Radio Station

Instead of a protest at a corporate radio station, west coast hip hoppers north of L.A. make their own space on the internet.

Source: Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

It’s launch day for AllDayPlay.FM, a music blog, radio stream, and podcast platform featuring a roster of prominent San Francisco Bay Area DJs.

The latest online venture from Oakland-based award-winning producer Youth Radio; AllDayPlay.FM provides one stop listening, downloading, and news for fans of “urban eclectic” music, encompassing electronica, hip hop, soul, and rock.

As traditional broadcast radio stations become increasingly formatted and
narrow, All Day Play is programmed by DJs and musicians pushing the
envelope: playing diverse, undiscovered talent and writing original
perspectives on music industry developments.

The radio stream is comprised of legendary mix DJs like Sake 1, Pam the
Funkstress, and Davey D, as well as vibrant young crews like the Krazy Kids and the Oakland Faders. Recent stories on AllDayPlay.FM include a feature on what rappers can learn from American Idol’s Susan Boyle, an inquiry into SNL star Andy Samberg’s Grammy nomination, and E-40’s spin on whether older rappers should move off the scene to make room for up-and-coming talent.

Breakdown FM can now be heard on All Day Play radio

NABJ Executive Director Resigns

Karen Wynn Freeman Held the Job Three Years

Karen Wynn Freeman, has resigned, NABJ (National Association of Black Journalist) President Kathy Times said on Friday. Times added that the organization remains challenged financially but declined to say why or exactly when Wynn Freeman resigned.

Wynn Freeman did not respond to a request for comment.

"She continues to work with us to tie up some loose ends," Times said of Wynn Freeman. "She's pursuing other options. It's a personnel matter."

Drew Berry, a former television general manager and news director who is a past chairman of NABJ's Finance Committee, will step in as a consultant, Times said. NABJ will not have to pay the remainder of Wynn Freeman's contract, she said.

Times said she would speak with NABJ members via the Internet "as soon as possible," saying, "It's important for us to inform the membership of some specifics."

She characterized the organization's finances as "very similar to what we told" the membership "just a little over two months ago."

Then, Times said NABJ had run into higher expenses than projected at its summer convention and was reducing staff, imposing furloughs and asking members for one-time tax-deductible donations.

The organization had to pay penalties for unused hotel rooms for the Tampa, Fla., event.

"While we exceeded our sponsorship goals and attendance goals, we are not surprised that we did not meet our contracted room block at the convention," Times said then. "Understandably, many people either doubled up or tripled up in rooms, leaving many rooms empty. Nobody knew when the contract was signed in 2005 that we would be facing the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression."

Times maintained again on Friday, "We really need our members to step up" and said the organization would announce the program for its summer convention in San Diego earlier than usual — at the end of January — to generate excitement.

Wynn Freeman came to NABJ in 2006 after a financial crisis. The organization discovered it had ended 2005 with a $200,000 deficit. The financial and management issues, undisclosed to the organization's membership, led to the surprise and sudden resignation of Tangie Newborn, at the time one of NABJ's longest-serving executive directors.

Wynn Freeman, a veteran association manager who had served as co-executive director of APICS — The Association for Operations Management — was chosen from among more than 45 applicants during a two-month national search, NABJ said at the time.

NABJ is the largest of the journalist-of-color associations and in September counted 2,820 members. Many more claim to be, even though their memberships have expired.

December 11, 2009

Los Angeles Hip Hop Community Protest at Power 106

A protest? What is this? West Coast Hip Hop want their civil rights!

When do they want it? "NOW!"


What's next? Bus boycotts?...In all seriousness, rappers organizing against radio. That's such a twist. Despite all the noise and grind of putting music out "in the streets" and having it bangin' in da clubs, there still seems to be a need for today's hip hoppers to turn to corporate radio to get recognition. They can't "eat" without radio; is what they are saying.

Snoop makes some good points about the state of Hip Hop (see video) in areas outside of the South. There's such a disconnect between what's so-called "hot in the streets" and what's played on the radio on the East coast as well as the West coast. You don't hear local artist on the radio. Maybe on the weekend late night mix show. But you sure enough will hear rappers from the South all over the radio in places like Atlanta and Houston. Turn on the radio in New York or LA and you'll hear the same. "Why is that?" is what they're saying.

For the rest of the country, long gone are the days when listeners tuned into the radio hear the hottest songs. Radio listening for great music content is an after thought now. As long as a song doesn't make people want to turn off the radio then it's OK to play. The WOW factor has been replaced by the do not offend factor. There's a phrase that says familiarity breeds contempt. Well radio is not going to risk losing listeners on playing a record from an artist nobody has ever heard of beore. Radio breaking records and generating record sales is a thing of the past. It's just not done that way. At least not on a grand scale anymore. Many people have contempt for their radio.

So botton line is this: If radio invested in their talent and allowed them (DJ's, on-air host, whatever you want to call them) to do what they do, then listeners would come back to the radio to hear a personality, not just music. Those host would in turn drop in those local artist into the music rotation of their show. The star in radio is the person that cracks the mic, not the music that's being played. Some how corporate radio got it twisted. (Well they understand this and they have now grabbed control.) And for a whole generation of radio listeners, they know no better.

Maybe Cornel West is right (yeah, you know that religion professor from Princeton University talking with Nas); Hip Hop might have to die in order to be reborn. "Where there is no death, there is no rebirth." See video at 3:19 Same could apply to Black radio too.

Snoop Dogg Nation Launches on Sirius XM Radio

SIRIUS XM Radio announced that it will launch Snoop Dogg Nation, a week-long, commercial-free channel featuring music, interviews and specials celebrating the career of the hip-hop icon, from his early days with Dr. Dre to his newest album, Malice N Wonderland.

The limited-run channel will launch on Monday, December 14 at 12:00 pm ET and will run until Sunday, December 20 at 10:00 pm ET on SIRIUS channel 40 and XM channel 67.

December 10, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Defends Himself Against Media

From the Media Matters post titled: Rush Limbaugh on "stories" about how "the black frame of mind is terrible": "Tiger Woods' choice of females not helping 'em out"

Audio: Rush defends himself on the Black frame of mind comments

Rush Limbaugh: (on Tues. 12/8) "I got two more stories in the stack today about how black unemployment is through the roof. Black unemployment is terrible. The black frame of mind is terrible, they're depressed, they're down -- Obama's not doing anything for 'em. How is that hoax and change workin' for ya? They're all livid. I mean, they thought there were gonna be an exact 180-degree economic reversal and it's done nothing but get bad for everybody, but they're especially upset about it because they look at him as one of them, and now they feel abandoned. And I'm sure Tiger Woods' choice of females not helping 'em out with their attitudes there either."

I guess this is a step in the right direction, Limbaugh says he is only "reporting" stories. Now, of all the things that Rush spouts on a daily basis over the airwaves, WHY would a Media post (picked up by the Huffington Post by the way) get under his skin. Maybe even he realizes what he says is ridiculous. Read more