January 2, 2012 |
Migration has always been crucial to the success of the Phelps family of Venezuela. The study of bird migration led William Henry Phelps, a Harvard student, to South America in 1896. The ornithologist would go on to become one of Venezuela's most prominent businessmen, launching Radio Caracas, one of the country's first radio stations, in 1930 and Radio Caracas Television, its first privately owned television station, 23 years later. But four years ago, the Venezuelan government knocked the family-owned broadcast TV station off the air, accusing it of plotting against President Hugo Chavez and participating in a coup attempt.
November 1, 2011 |
More than 70 years after Orson Welles panicked thousands with radio reports of a Martian invasion in Grover's Mill, N.J., another spoken-word broadcaster shook up the status quo Monday, at least regarding radio ratings in Los Angeles and Orange County. Talk station KFI-AM (640) finished first in October, according to Arbitron figures released Monday, knocking pop station KIIS-FM (102.7) out of the top spot for the first time all year. KFI last won the local ratings race in September 2009.
October 3, 2011 |
An entertainment industry veteran best known as the co-founder of MTV has been named chief executive of the parent company of Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio station operator. Bob Pittman, 57, joined the company in November as an investor and chairman of its media and entertainment platforms. He is the first head of Clear Channel — which has 850 radio stations across the nation — not from the founding Mays family. The company was bought by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2008, and is laboring under close to $20 billion in long-term debt at a time when traditional radio faces intense competition from online and satellite operations.
September 8, 2011 |
For three-quarters of a century, commercial radio in America has had a simple measuring stick: attract more ears — life is good; attract fewer ears — life is not so good. It's when you have to come up with a new plan to attract ears that life in radio gets interesting. Two years ago, KFWB-AM (980) switched from its 41-year all-news format to a news/talk mix. Today's anniversary finds the station being interesting, indeed. An unexpected, cataclysmic five minutes during a live broadcast last year (more on this in a bit)
August 24, 2011 |
Three years ago, radio stations in Los Angeles and Orange County thought they knew who was listening to them, and where they stood in the horse race among their competitors. They found out differently. In August 2008, the Arbitron radio ratings service published numbers for this market from a new survey method, ditching a decades-old diary system that relied on participants recalling from memory what stations they had listened to, and for how long, over the previous week. In its place came Portable People Meters, or PPMs, pager-sized devices that automatically registered everything the wearer heard — whether it was a favorite station they listened to in the car, the radio blaring at the corner café or a broadcast streamed over the Internet at work.
July 25, 2011 |
Before "The Soup" or any number of cable television shows filled their airtime with celebrity mockery and current-events satire, morning radio hosts made such bits their stock in trade. Now, some of those radio hosts will turn the tables and bring their snark and silliness to TV viewers around the country. "Dish Nation" puts cameras in the studios of drive-time radio shows in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Detroit and gives viewers a best-of collection of jokes and interviews from that day's programs.
July 16, 2011 |
Covering " Carmageddon " is driving some local television and radio stations a bit crazy. One news director bluntly told the traffic reporter not to expect much sleep for the next two days. A news crew from another station will be living in a recreational vehicle near the 405 freeway. Still another station is avoiding using the "C" word in its coverage, hoping that the dire predictions for gridlock will not materialize. Although varied in their approaches, local news stations uniformly are increasing staff, planning live cut-ins and using real-time driving reports and social networking to keep viewers abreast of the impact of the weekend closure.
May 25, 2011 |
Radio host Rob Meyer — homeless and haggard since a tornado destroyed his house Sunday — had another shift coming up soon. He had slept for only five of the previous 48 hours, filling the rest with coffee and soda. And talk. Hours and hours of talk, in fact, many with the confused and enterprising residents of Joplin. Callers' voices broke as they asked if anyone had heard news about their daughters, friends and nephews who had disappeared during the storm or its aftermath. Others asked seemingly unanswerable self-help questions, such as: If the bank is destroyed, how can I get my safe-deposit box?
May 5, 2011 |
Bob Pittman, best known for his stints as the founder of MTV, the president of AOL Inc. when it was still called American Online, and the chief executive of Six Flags Entertainment Corp., has coasted over to Clear Channel Communications Inc. as the radio conglomerate's chairman of media and entertainment platforms. For the 57-year-old New York-based executive, the move in November to the nation's largest radio broadcaster was not so much a stretch into yet another entertainment medium as a return to his roots.