View Full Version : More articles, from December 2005

01-04-2016, 10:06 AM
More from the voluminous archives...some stuff on Stern's last day, CBS Radio, and other random stuff that hit before the show

CBS Rebrands Infinity Broadcasting As "CBS Radio"
December 14, 2005

With the pending Viacom split, CBS Corporation has unveiled plans to re-brand its radio division, Infinity Broadcasting, as CBS Radio. The division includes 179 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation's Top 50 markets. The announcement was made jointly by Leslie Moonves, Chief Executive Officer and President of the new CBS Corporation, and Joel Hollander, Chairman and CEO of CBS Radio. CBS Radio will continue to be run by Hollander, who will continue to report to Moonves.

"This is a proud moment for all of us who love the CBS name, and who know the storied history of CBS Radio," said Moonves. "It is one of the most revered brands in broadcasting, with a history that predates the television era. CBS Radio was there at the infancy of radio, playing a formative role in shaping and building this dynamic industry, and we're incredibly proud to bring it back."

"In reclaiming the CBS Radio name, our division will embrace that strong legacy of quality and leadership while at the same time look towards the future, leveraging our great brands, talent and market-leading positions as we forge new ground in distribution, content and technology," said Hollander. "It's only natural that we'd want to use the CBS Radio name to re-brand our radio stations, which will continue to innovate and redefine our industry much as they have throughout the last 75 years."

The re-branded CBS Radio will feature as part of its slogan "Broadcast ... HD ... Streaming ... On-Demand," which its stations are now actively pursuing throughout the country. The original CBS Radio was founded in 1928, when William Paley purchased a company comprised of 16 independent radio stations which he turned into one of the first radio networks. The CBS Radio of today includes many of those same stations.

Additionally, the division is home to 29 of the country's sports franchises including teams from MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA, and NHL. Among them are the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Detroit Red Wings.

Upon the separation of Viacom businesses, CBS Corporation will be a mass media company with operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products).

01-04-2016, 10:07 AM
The following report is courtesy of Dan Kadar from Ohio.com:

After years of battling for it, Howard Stern gladly gave up free speech Friday. Sort of. No, the disc jockey didn't relinquish his First Amendment rights. But if you want to hear new broadcasts, it'll cost you $12.95 a month. Stern's 20-year broadcasting career on free radio ended Friday.

"It's difficult to imagine the mornings without him,'' said Bill Louis, program director of WNCX (98.5-FM), which has aired Stern's show locally for 13 years.

Starting Jan. 9, Stern will be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio, where he will program two of Sirius' 120 channels of commercial-free radio. "Best of Stern'' shows will air on WNCX through December 30.

"What (Stern) brought was a very specialized and special form of entertainment that no one is ever going to duplicate,'' Louis said. "Inevitably, we're going to be going off in some different direction. There's that sense of loss, but that sense of looking forward to new horizons.''

On the horizon for WNCX is another flashy morning personality. David Lee Roth, the bombastic former singer for Van Halen, will take over Stern's 6 to 10 a.m. drive-time slot on January 3.

On Stern's last free broadcast Friday, which was also streamed on the Internet, each of the show's cast members offered a farewell while a crowd of thousands packed the streets outside the New York studio. After the show concluded, Stern and company rode a double-decker bus over to the Sirius headquarters. Along the way, Stern talked to the press about his new show.

"What we're programming is second to none,'' Stern said on his broadcast. "There is nothing better than driving in your car and listening to Sirius. It'll be huge the way cable television became huge and bottled water became huge. I know people aren't used to paying for radio, but this $12.95 a month brings you a universe of programming.''

Though the five-year, $500 million contract Stern signed probably didn't hurt, the controversial host also left terrestrial radio to avoid FCC restrictions. On his new show, the 51-year-old will be able to say and do whatever he wants without fearing editing or fines.

In 1995, Infinity Broadcasting, which owns WNCX, paid $1.7 million in FCC fines. In April 2004, Clear Channel fired Stern from six stations because of his show's content, which includes foul language, sex talk and jokes about bodily functions in addition to celebrity and political interviews and Stern's own running monologues.

"The show is going to change in every single way because we don't have to look over our shoulder at the FCC so much,'' Stern said. "This is a show that is reborn and revitalized. We're going to get back to the way we used to broadcast.''

Louis, who has been the program director at WNCX since 1997, referred to Roth's show as the great unknown.

"I have no expectations,'' he said. "I'm as curious as every listener out there. The show, like any show, will change and evolve as time goes on.''

Louis hopes people don't immediately rush to judge Roth.

"If you would have heard Howard 25 years ago, it wouldn't bear a heck of a lot of resemblance to what you heard this week and this year,'' he said. "Polish comes from time.''

He added, "You're not going to be able to put on another Howard -- there's only one of those around, so it's going to be a little bit of a leap of faith.''

01-04-2016, 10:10 AM
DAVID LEE ROTH Offered To Non-CBS Stations Via Simulcast

According to Billboardradiomonitor.com, when CBS Radio unveiled in late October the personalities who will replace morning man Howard Stern on 27 of its stations, president/CEO Joel Hollander hinted that the company might also syndicate them to stations it doesn’t own. CBS-managed Westwood One announced Tuesday it would exclusively distribute Stern replacements DAVID LEE ROTH (ex-VAN HALEN) and Adam Carolla to non-CBS stations nationwide. The deal also makes Westwood One the exclusive national advertising representative of the two new morning drive shows. Roth will broadcast from CBS-owned WXRK (soon to be WFNY) New York beginning January 3. Sister stations KLLI Dallas, WYSP Philadelphia, WBCN Boston, WRKZ Pittsburgh, WNCX Cleveland and WPBZ West Palm Beach will simulcast his show.

01-05-2016, 11:19 AM
A Studio for the Coolest Guy in the Room

Published: December 16, 2005

LIVE large. Vent large. David Lee Roth, attired in several layers of urban black outerwear and very much at home in this penthouse suite at the W New York hotel, is doing both. And no, that's not the air-conditioning that's inexplicably cranked up: He has, on purpose, left the door to the patio wide open to admit the frigid evening air. Bracing! Similar to a large dose of him.


No wonder the prognosticators at Infinity Broadcasting are giving Diamond Dave with his singular pair of lungs - he calls his voice the audio version of ripped, wrinkled and rowdy vintage blue jeans or, in Japanese: wabi-sabi - a crack at reinventing himself next month behind a microphone in Howard Stern's kingless kingdom.

"The Hollander brothers are adventurous, danger-loving visionaries for hiring a guy like me," Mr. Roth announces. "I'm getting total control! Such an aberration in this industry! As an artist, this is a pre-eminent performance!" (Yes, he's excited about the new job.)

Would it be uncool to ask how come the wintry temperature en suite? Or to ask why the heck the former mouthpiece of Van Halen, the now-estranged assemblage known for hits like "Jump," "Panama" and "Runnin' With the Devil," slaps on a baseball cap and a moderately menacing headset before he acquiesces to having his picture taken? Maybe, but who cares? Not him. Turns out he is a tad sensitive about his unkempt mousy brown hair; the headset is a leftover from helicopter flying today in proud pursuit of a pilot's license he has craved since he read and watched "M*A*S*H."

Between bouts of self-generated hysteria - refreshing to see a guy from the jaded, celebrity side of the coin still able to get such a kick out of himself - he is a virtual open book, and even offers up, unsolicited, his bedside manner: "It's not who you sleep with," warns the never-married Mr. Roth, "it's who wants to sleep with you again." No fooling.

Best to get back to the weather in here. The patio door to the Great Outdoors is open because Mr. Roth, effervescent and vociferously verbal at 51 despite being 20 years past his rock-star prime, is a fresh air freak, even with the temperature hovering at freezing. Press him and he is liable to display slides of his treks to the Himalayas, New Guinea and other exotic spots.

To fend off the chill, his sips from a glass mug of black coffee are interspersed with giddier gulps from a tiny bottle of Courvoisier: Mr. Roth is no stranger to the joys of minibars. Besides, he has protocol on his side: "Oh please, it's Happy Hour," he rasps.

It is terminally clear who the coolest person in the room is: him, even if he did chop off his peroxide gold, titan-of-old-school-rock mane last year when the enlistment bug hit and he joined up, in quasi-anonymity, as an emergency medical technician. Talk about your unanticipated career segue. Now, he's metamorphosing again. Only this time, he's banking on his rocker reputation and talk is his new currency.

Same voice: "I think I'm the one single voice who has united the liberal left with the Nascar voting bloc," he says of the audience for his music, which encompasses six multiplatinum Van Halen albums and eight solo releases. Different gig: Mr. Roth is just a few weeks from taking over what he describes as "the hottest seat in American radio," Mr. Stern's at WXRK-FM, a job for which he deems himself uniquely qualified: Sure he can sing, but as a conversationalist, just wait, he will knock your socks off.

Not to digress - a specialty of Mr. Roth's, whose conversation has much in common with a ricocheting bullet - but his willingness to ingratiate himself with his not-as-hip interlocutor is less flattering than might be expected.

"Come on, I can bond with a fire hydrant," he says, explaining his faith in his conversational prowess. "I can interview a Dalmatian," he adds. "It's about the capacity to entertain, like at a really good Algonquin table. I've got a fourth-degree black belt in conversation; I think in bold caps!" Obviously.

HE is not, by the way, out to attempt anything so gauche as to replace Mr. Stern. "I'm not the new Howard," Mr. Roth says. "Your editorial bias is entirely based on your memories, and I couldn't think of more diverse backgrounds than between the two of us. The only thing I have distinctly in common with Howard is a wicked sense of humor. And Hanukkah."

Mr. Roth grew up in Indiana, and after his father attended medical school on the G.I. Bill, the family moved to Pasadena, Calif., where he encountered the Van Halen brothers and attended integrated schools, his explanation for cultivating a voice that "on a good day sounds like it belongs to a 75-year-old black guy." Muhammad Ali, James Brown and Errol Flynn (because he always got the girl) were templates; so was the Scarecrow from "The Wizard of Oz." Mr. Roth, who has an East Side apartment and an East Village office, values his brain.

His 6-to-10-a.m. slot starts Jan. 3 at the newly dubbed FREE FM, his home studio in New York City. (The first guest is his Uncle Manny Roth, who ran the storied Cafe Wha in Greenwich Village.) His only diva-esque request for revamping Mr. Stern's space was the installation of a 10-by-10-foot patch of parquet floor. He is an incorrigible pacer - "I call it Dave's famous walk to nowhere" - and plans to do his show standing up. Wearing army boots.

Go figure.

01-05-2016, 11:20 AM
More talk, less rock on the radio

Friday, December 30, 2005


Is it ironic that David Lee Roth's latest comeback spells the end of new rock in New York?

Or is it a sign of things to come?

On Tuesday morning, the former Van Halen vocalist will take over the weekday morning show on 92.3 FM, the station that Howard Stern vacated in December when his show jumped to the Sirius satellite radio network.

Roth's turn from rock star to talk show host is only one part of a massive facelift happening at 92.3 FM, New York's only new rock radio format. The former K-Rock will be re-branded FREE FM and it will now broadcast only talk shows during weekdays. (Other announced hosts include Penn Jillete, the larger, louder half of magic duo Penn & Teller; and Leslie Gold, the former WNEW personality better known as the Radio Chick.) Rock music will play only on the weekends.

The loss of K-Rock leaves the classic rock station Q104.3 as New York's only all-rock format. It is also one of a few format changes that have jolted the region's airwaves. Last May, the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision launched LaKalle 105.9, a bilingual reggaeton format known as Hurban, which caters to a Hispanic, urban market. A month later, CBS Radio (formerly Infinity Broadcasting, which is also the parent company of K-Rock/FREE FM) pulled the plug on the oldies station CBS 101.1 to launch an all-automated jukebox format called Jack. The switch, which occurred almost literally overnight, set off a firestorm from fans of the three-decade-old format and caused the station's ratings to plummet.

Industry analysts say that format changes, which occur more frequently outside the New York region, reflect how the terrestrial radio industry (as opposed to satellite) is responding to the new ways in which people now hear music. "Once upon a time, radio was the way that consumers found out about new music," says Ken Freedman, station manager of Jersey City-based WFMU 91.1. "That's just not the way anymore."

Increasingly, terrestrial radio finds itself competing with its Internet and satellite counterparts; downloading; networking Web sites like myspace.com; and, of course, word of mouth. Radio signals are becoming available through cell phones, and eventually digital radios and on-demand programming will become standard. "The array of choice is dizzying," says Tom Taylor, editor of Inside Radio, which is owned by the broadcaster Clear Channel.

So to thrive long term, terrestrial radio must invent unique programs that snag listeners, industry analysts say. "Everybody has music programming," says Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media, a Detroit-based consultancy that once worked with K-Rock. "You could program a pretty good rock station on your iPod."

But no one else has David Lee Roth.

Still, not everyone is pleased by the sweeping changes. Jeff Pollack, chairman and CEO of Pollack Media Group, a consultancy whose clients include MTV, called the loss of rock radio in New York and beyond "distressing."

"So many stations in the past 12 months have switched away from rock," says Pollack, whose firm is based in Pacific Palisades, Calif. During the past year, Philadelphia lost two major modern rock stations.

The problem with that, Pollack says, is that this shortchanges radio in the long-run. Talk radio is popular with 25- to 54-year-old men, a demographic that advertisers crave. But new rock tends to reach a younger and, in the eyes of advertisers, less desirable crowd. (Why? They have less disposable income.) But by chasing that market, Pollack says that the industry is not cultivating the listening habits of younger people. Members of this generation will be less likely to tune in when they become adults, he says.

One New Jersey-based broadcaster also regarded format changes as unnecessary experimentation. "Consistency is key," says Dan Finn, the vice president and regional general manager of Greater Media, which operates seven radio stations in the state. He sees the format changes as a way to alienate current listeners. "Every time they (radio stations) change, they shake off the listeners they had, and they never regain their audience."

Some in the industry would disagree, but Finn says he has proof that consistency counts. One Greater Media station, WDHA 105.5 of Morristown, has broadcast new and classic rock music across North Jersey for 25 years and it is "extremely healthy," Finn says.

WDHA also prides itself on being a Jersey-based rock radio station. Perhaps its success also points to the one thing that terrestrial radio has over satellite radio: It is local. Industry analysts say that localism is what helped radio survive the TV age and the same will be true during this era.

"At the end of the day, that was the charm of radio," Jacobs, the radio consultant, says. "In a big way, that's what gave radio a way to get over the hump."