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Posts Tagged ‘WFAN’

Mike Francesca Gets to Know Julie Stewart-Binks

It started in April, when a caller to Mike Francesca‘s WFAN radio show that is simulcast on FoxSports 1 joked that his radio colleague, John Minko, had done a great job of magically transforming into an attractive blonde female TV reporter. Francesca stumbled a bit during the call and later apologized to the hockey reporter in question, Julie Stewart-Binks.

Today, Newsday sports media and sports business reporter Neil Best highlights more of what has transpired since. The Canadian-born Stewart-Binks subsequently appeared on Francesca’s show, during the Rangers-Canadiens series, and is hoping to be back in-studio next week when the Stanley Cup Final moves to Madison Square Garden:

Francesa can’t be blamed for not initially knowing Stewart-Binks. Few Americans did until recently.

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From Howard Stern Intern to CBS Radio Exec

RadioInkCover_March10_2014There’s a fun passage in Radio Ink ‘s cover story about Chris Oliviero, executive vice president of programming at CBS Radio. It concerns his mid-1990s career start.

Prior to interning with The Howard Stern Show, Oliviero tried to get a similar position at his favorite radio station, WFAN. He was rejected. Eric Spitz, the guy who turned Oliviero down – and who now also just happens to work at CBS Radio as director of sports programming – gamely revisited that decision for Radio Ink:

“Yes, I did reject Chris when he first applied for an internship at WFAN,” Spitz says. “Apparently, when Michael Jordan was a high school sophomore, he was cut by the varsity basketball coach. Mistakes happen. Both Chris and Michael used these rejections as motivation to excel in their respective fields — and can now both say that they have graced the cover of a magazine.”

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WLTW Expands Overall Ratings Lead for February

Not to be redundant, but it’s another winning month for WLTW/Lite-FM.

The Clear Channel number one mainstay kept residence in its familiar spot with a 7.6 in the overall Arbitron ratings. That’s a .4 boost from January.

By contrast, WCBS-FM slipped to a 6.2 in the current PPM.

WBLS also dropped by .2 to 5.5, while WHTZ/Z100 lost .3 to 5.1.

WINS was next with 4.7, a .2 gain. Sister station WCBS 880 also saw a .2 upgrade to 3.8.

The big news is tracking NASH-FM/WNSH, the city’s first Country station in more than 15 years. NASH in its first full ratings survey notched a 1.6. Just below NASH was ESPN’s WEPN-FM at 1.3, a drop from 1.6. More dramatically, ESPN has lost a point since November.

WFAN-FM kept its distance from its rival. But the ‘FAN, which simulcasts on 660 AM and 101.9 FM, had an uncharacteristic drop of 1.2 to 2.5 for February.

There’s more from the monthly ratings after the jump.

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Is CBS Sports Radio Ready to Take Over 660?

A report is swirling today that the upstart network is about get its much needed New York home–at the venerable 660 AM. That would mean, according to the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman, WFAN would no longer be a simulcast, just the 101.9 FM signal.

While WFAN and CBS Radio Sports officials offered no comment today, in October when the FM deal with Merlin Media was first announced, Mark Chernoff, the station operations manager, said, “We’re looking at it as a pure simulcast until further notice.”

Speculation is CBS Sports Radio could have a full time slot at 660 as early as next Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. The News says the WFAN group, led by Mike Francesa, “believes more people listen to the station on 660 (that might be because FAN has an older audience that doesn’t dial up FM) and leaving that frequency would be a terrible business move.”

Christmas Cheer for Lite-FM, Winning the Holiday Arbitron Book

The tree is now mulch and the lights are back in the attic. But the holidays aren’t over until Arbitron releases its seasonal ratings… and it has!.

Lite-FM/WLTW got a big boost from its annual Christmas programming. The Clear Channel perennial number one had an 11.3 for the holidays, up from an 8.4 in December.

By contrast, number two remains WCBS-FM, which slipped .2 to 6.6.

WBLS is still a powerhouse with new YMF owners. The Urban station stands at number three with a 5.9, although losing .2 for the book.

But Z100/WHTZ had a .5 drop to 4.6.

Spanish station WSKQ was next at 4.5, off .3 from December’s figures. Rival WXNY was also on the negative side of the ledger (.1) at 4.2.

WINS saw gains, jumping .5 to 4.2. WCBS 880 slipped .1 to 3.5.

In the sports on FM battle, WFAN is the clear winner! The original all-sports station registered a 3.1, off .1, while WEPN (ESPN)/98.7, is still trying to find its footing on FM. It scored no gains at 1.8.

Also of note, the final rating for WOR under the ownership of Buckley Radio, was 1.1, down .4.

Cumulus made waves this week with the flip to Country at 94.7. That station hasn’t made the survey yet, but the company’s WPLJ was 2.3, off .3. WABC dropped .6 to 2.2.

WNBC’s Bruce Beck Nails Sixth Straight New York Sportscaster of the Year Award

Think of the New York Yankees of the 1940s and 1950, or to a lesser degree the Joe Torre era of the late 1990s. All the teams did was win. Well, Bruce Beck has become a local TV news dynasty.

For the sixth consecutive year, the WNBC sports anchor has been selected as the New York State Sportscaster of the Year. Beck shares the honor with SNY/Mets announcer Gary Cohen.

There’s no truth to the story that the annual award recipient chosen by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association has been renamed the “Beck Award.”

“Well it’s not like winning a Barmash award – that’s a goal of mine,” Beck jokes.

In all seriousness, he says being recognized for the award a half-dozen times in a row is the mark of consistency.

“We strive for that in our field — just like the athletes we cover,” Beck tells FishbowlNY.

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The Annual Hungerthon Underway on CBS Radio Stations; Dedicated to Pete Fornatale

WhyHunger is the organization at the heart of Hungerthon, the yearly charity event broadcast today on many stations, primarily owned by CBS Radio.

Started in 1975, this year’s event takes on a special need–victims of Superstorm Sandy. The devastation altered the airing of Hungerthon, which traditionally runs close to Thanksgiving.

“Hurricane Sandy created a crisis that was front and center in everyone’s minds and life experience,” Noreen Springstead, director of marketing and fundraising for WhyHunger, tells FishbowlNY. “Families who had never before been without food or shelter were forced to endure these hardships for the first time, and many are still struggling to meet their basic needs.”

Despite the agency’s focus on the long-term poverty crisis, WhyHunger partnered with numerous tri-state groups to provide essential food and water to those struggling in the days and weeks since Sandy.

“Through Hungerthon’s many public service shows we are shining a spotlight on those organizations and also raising funds for their work,” Springstead says. “We have long-term relationships with the most effective organizations in New York and New Jersey that are solving the hunger problem and are able to support them during this critical time.”

Springstead says those in need can call the national hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry for assistance.

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WFAN to Begin FM Simulcast Friday

The deal is done! WFAN makes its debut as a FM simulcast of 660 AM Friday morning at 12:01.

Mike Francesa told listeners today that WFAN programming will duplicate on 101.9 FM, the frequency is currently owned by Merlin Media with its Alternative Rocker WRXP.

As we reported earlier this month, CBS Radio is acquiring the Merlin slot for $75 million. At the time, operations manager Mark Chernoff told FishbowlNY that the WFAN simulcast, which will use the call letters WFAN-FM, is until further notice. He said the next step for CBS Radio is to formally purchase the station.

Mel Karmazin to Resign From SiriusXM

After much speculation about the future of CEO Mel Karmazin at SiriusXM, a decision was made today. Karmazin told the Board of Directors that he’ll be leaving the satellite radio company February 1, 2013, when his current employment contract expires and after a transition period. All Access reports that the media executive will also step down from the Board of Directors.

In August, Liberty Media acquired additional shares of SiriusXM, in a bid to take over the company. Thus began Karmazin’s internal battle with his future of SiriusXM.

Karmazin, 69, joined Sirius as CEO in 2004. He was instrumental in hiring Howard Stern two years later as one the satellite network’s signature voices.

Read Karmazin’s statement after the jump

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CBS Radio Submits Application to FCC Looking to Avoid Any Station Sell Off

With CBS Radio acquiring Merlin Media’s WRXP for its WFAN-FM simulcast, now the question is what happens to its New York stations? Speculation almost immediately had CBS forced to sell off one of its seven radio stations (with the WRXP completed deal) and two TV channels.

But not so fast.

CBS has filed an application with the FCC. CBS first addressed the Local Ownership Rule, stating:

“…The common ownership of eight radio stations, no more than five in the same service, is permitted in the New York Metro. Therefore, CBS’s acquisition of a controlling interest in WRXP complies fully with the FCC’s local radio ownership rule.”

There is also the Radio-Television Cross-Ownership Rule, under which CBS may have found its loophole.

“…The noise-limited DTV contour of WLNY-TV, whose transmitter is located in a distant corner of the New York Metro – on Long Island, some 50+ miles from the center of New York City – does not entirely encompass New York City, the city of license for all seven radio stations. Additionally, the relevant contours for all seven radio stations do not entirely encompass Riverhead, New York, the city of license for WLNY-TV.”

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