It all started with a Facebook post from Geraldo last Wednesday. He said he was told by new CEO Mary Berner and Market Manager Chad Lopez that the company would not be honoring a handshake deal Geraldo made with John Dickey when he was hired. An agreement, Geraldo says, that would have extended his contract through 2016. "The decision to renege on our deal on the eve of Thanksgiving is especially upsetting coming in the wake of my emotionally charged and highly rated coverage of the Paris massacre and frantic efforts by authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice." READ MORE
Geraldo updated his Facebook page Saturday and says Cumulus has locked him out of the studio and he plans to sue the company for breach of contract. "In locking me out of my studio as of last Friday, even though my contract does not expire until December 31st, and in refusing to honor the 2016 deal negotiated by the ousted Dickeys, they have breached my contract. That slight will not go unanswered. Trust me on this, it is not about the money. I have enough and give away to various charities more than most. But because of their unforgivable disrespect I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary."
Three of Casey Kasem's children have filed a wrongful death suit against his widow, accusing her of elder abuse and emotional neglect. The lawsuit filed by Kerri, Julie, and Michael asks for $250,000 for pain and suffering, and states, "Casey's early death occurred as a direct and proximate result of Jean's neglect and physical abuse of Casey." The former American Top 40 host was buried in Norway about a year ago, six months after he died in Washington state. He had been suffering from a progressive form of dementia.
The National Retail Federation says that more than 151 million people shopped during the holiday weekend. And it looks like online shopping is off to a stellar start, at the expense of brick and mortar locations. ComScore reports e-commerce sales were up 9% on Thanksgiving Day to reach $1.1. billion and 10% on Black Friday to $1.7 billion. And, according to Shopper Trak, in-store spending fell on Black Friday -- from $11.6 billion last year to $10.4 billion in 2015. Sales Thanksgiving day dropped from more than $2 billion to $1.8 billion.
That's what Cumulus Senior VP told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and McVay says he was part of the very first FM flip to the holiday format. McVay says it was 20 years ago at KESZ-FM in Phoenix. Then, as a consultant he stole the idea from the Phoenix station and flipped to Christmas in Orlando and Cleveland. McVay explains why the format boosts ratings and why listeners love it. Cumulus flips over 40 stations to Christmas music during the holiday season. READ MORE
The New York Market Radio Association (also known as NYMRAD) is holding its 32nd annual holiday party this Friday from 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. at the Rooftop Lounge of the Empire Hotel in New York City. The annual event includes a magician/mentalist, a tarot card reader and two caricaturists. The event is attended by local and national media buyers, planners, marketers, radio managers and account executives. The Marine Corps will be collecting for The Toys for Tots Foundation.
He announced his retirement back in July and the day before Thanksgiving Ned Foster concluded his final broadcast -- on Bonneville's KTAR in Phoenix -- after more than four decades in radio. Foster's career has included stints at heritage stations across the country, including WBOS-FM and WBZ-AM in Boston, WOWO in Fort Wayne, and KFWB-AM in Los Angeles. In Phoenix, Foster has cracked the mic at KOY-AM and KTAR-AM and FM. Former KTAR morning host Jim Sharpe takes over today.
WRAL in Raleigh is owned by Capitol Brodcasting and Newton becomes the new Promotions Director at the station. He moves to Raleigh from Greensboro where he was Cluster Marketing Director for iHeart. Newton said, "I'm thankful for the opportunity to work alongside great colleagues, and now life-long friends, at iHeartMedia/Greensboro. They've made coming to work the last 13 years a pleasure. At the same time, I'm looking forward to creating new relationships at MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM in Raleigh. After one visit, I knew I wanted this to be my new home." An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated iHeartmedia owned WRAL.
Our thanks to Brian Winnekins for sharing this photo from over the holiday break. Members of the WRDN-AM, Durand, Wisconsin, staff got together for an on air reunion this past Saturday as part of the Durand Improvement Group's Holidazzle event. Staff members from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s were on air from 10-2 with past and current staff member Martha Gingras and Winnekins, who currently owns the station.
Charlotte's Kiss 95.1 WNKS hosted the fourth annual "Secret Santa for the Kiss Kids" radiothon from the Seacrest Studios at Levine Children's Hospital. Roy, LauRen, and Maney (pictured left to right) from Kiss Mornings raised over $44,000 during the 13-hour broadcast for the Kiss Kids staying at Levine Children's Hospital.
Our "Blast From The Past" page in Radio Ink Magazine is one of our most popular features and has been around for 20 years. Thanks to Dave Adair at Cumulus for sending in this classic from the 1960s. It's the WIS-AM studeio (went on air 1930) in Columbia SC. Pictured standing is the late Gene McKay. Seated is John Wrisley (still with us). Both had legendary careers in Columbia radio. This studio was turned into "The Bomb Shelter" designed to broadcast from in the event of nuclear war or other disaster. It had a geiger counter, jugs of water, and boxes of Civil Defense rations of food. We'd love to see yours. Send your classic photos to email@example.com