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FCC Proposes Highest Fine Ever for Pirate Operator in Boston


The FCC proposed a $453,015 fine against Gerlens Cesar, the operator of an enterprise identifying itself as "Radio TeleBoston," for apparent unlicensed broadcasting. The action marks the largest fine ever proposed by the FCC against a pirate radio operation. The agency says Cesar used three separate transmitters for his unlawful broadcasts, resulting in three violations.

Cesar allegedly simulcasts Radio TeleBoston on three unauthorized transmitters on two different frequencies. His operation has the potential to cause interference in various locations in and around Boston and at different channels on the FM dial. As a result of the scale of this operation, its potential impacts, and its continuous nature, the Commission has proposed the maximum penalty amount for all three transmitters.

The FCC received complaints from residents of Boston and Randolph, MA, of an illegal station operating at both 90.1 and 92.1 MHz. One of those complaints identified Cesar, owner of GC Computer, as the operator of Radio TeleBoston. FCC Enforcement Bureau field agents were able to locate the transmitters and determine that they far exceeded the allowable power level for unlicensed broadcasting. The Enforcement Bureau issued Cesar multiple written notices that his conduct was illegal and had to cease. Cesar nonetheless continued to broadcast Radio TeleBoston from multiple transmitters and frequencies, none of which were licensed, resulting in the proposed fine.

The FCC has also proposed the maximum allowable fine, $151,005, against Acerome Jean Charles, the operator of a longstanding unlicensed radio station in Boston, called "Radio Concorde." Despite FCC warnings, Jean Charles apparently continued to broadcast radio signals without a license at power levels that require an FCC license. The FCC received a complaint from a local Boston-area licensed broadcaster alleging that Radio Concorde's broadcasting on 106.3 MHz was interfering with the broadcaster's new FM translator station at 106.1 MHz.

FCC Enforcement Bureau field agents investigated the complaint and formally and repeatedly warned Jean Charles, instructing him to cease unauthorized broadcasts, and outlining the consequences if he continued to do so. The apparently illegal radio station was broadcasting at 106.3 MHz from the Mattapan neighborhood in Boston.

Dawn Girocco Named DOS for Three Cumulus/DFW Stations

Media executive Dawn Girocco will rejoin Cumulus as Director of Sales for New Country 96.3/KSCS-FM, 99.5 The WOLF/KPLX-FM and Hot 93.3/KLIF-FM in Dallas, effective December 16. Girocco was most recently Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was General Sales Manager for iHeartMedia's KIIS-FM in Los Angeles. An accomplished L.A. radio professional for more than 20 years, Girocco was honored by Radio Ink magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Radio.

"Being able to get someone of Dawn Girocco's experience and success back in our company to join our Dallas team as a key sales management leader is a great plus for Dallas and our company," said Dan Bennett, Regional Vice President, Cumulus Dallas/Houston. "Dawn's past success in Los Angeles speaks for itself and we can't wait for her to get started here in Texas."

"I am absolutely thrilled to be rejoining Cumulus and a company culture that is built on focus, collaboration and empowerment," said Girocco. "Huge thank you to Dan Bennett, Dave Milner and Mary Berner for the opportunity to be on the Dallas team and back in Texas with these incredible properties."

Liberty Affiliate Seeks DOJ Permission for Larger iHM Stake

Liberty Media
Liberty Media

An affiliate of John Malone's Liberty Media Corp. wants permission from the Department of Justice to acquire a larger stake of iHeartMedia, reports the Wall Street Journal. Liberty currently owns 4.8% of iHeartMedia through its Liberty SiriusXM Group. WSJ says the deal now under consideration could give it control or outright ownership of the broadcaster. However, Liberty hasn't decided what kind of transaction, if any, it would proceed with should it receive permission.

WSJ says Liberty acquired its iHeartMedia stake through the debt it assumed before the company restructured, which converted to equity when the broadcaster emerged from bankruptcy earliery this year.

Liberty owns 33% of Live Nation Entertainment, making it the company's largest shareholder, and 71% of satellite radio SiriusXM Holdings Inc. Last year, Liberty's SiriusXM purchased of Pandora Media -- in which it also held a controlling stake -- for $3 billion.


iHM, Einhorn's Epic Productions Partner for Original Podcasts


iHeartMedia and Einhorn's Epic Productions (EEP), an entertainment creative house, have announced a partnership to rollout a slate of iHeartRadio original podcasts that will feature strong female characters and storytelling designed to appeal to the young adult (YA) audience. The first podcast of this multi-show YA slate will be a scripted teen political thriller called "Daughters of DC," to be released in the fall of 2020 in advance of the presidential election and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network.

EEP is known for creating strong heroic franchises. Previously, the two companies partnered to develop the first-ever young adult scripted podcast "Lethal Lit: A Tig Torres Mystery," which is currently being developed for television by producer Dana Brunetti of Cavalry Media ("House of Cards," "The Social Network") and was the only scripted podcast featured on The New York Times' Five Great Podcasts of 2018 list. The second season of "Lethal Lit" is currently in pre-production.

"At EEP, we're all about creating the next generation of heroic, female characters and stories," said Einhorn's Epic Productions CEO Heather Einhorn. "Given the current political climate, we think the time is right for a smart teen political thriller with diverse and dynamic female leads. Our synergy with iHeartMedia is unique, and we can't wait to bring more original stories to the audience that fell in love with ‘Lethal Lit.'"

"The Einhorn team is one of the strongest creative shops we've worked with in podcasting - and their goal is nothing less than building entire universes from scratch - like Marvel and DC have done in the past," said iHeartRadio Head of Podcasting Conal Byrne. "What's more, Einhorn's aim is to accomplish this while staying loser-focused on a female young adult demo - with powerful new female heroes at the center of the stories. We think the potential there is massive, the mission is important, and wanted to support it in any way we could."

The scripted podcast slate will be overseen by Einhorn, CCO Adam Stafaroni and Aroop Sanakkayala for EEP and Head of Podcasting Conal Byrne for iHeartRadio.

Fusion Radio to Acquire FM Translator W277AE Madison WI

Kozacko Media Services
Kozacko Media Services

Fusion Radio has agreed to acquire FM translator W277AE (103.3)/Madison, WI, from Faith Center of Rockford IL for $100,000. W277AE operates with 38 watts and has been rebroadcasting Christian WFEN/Rockford, IL on 88.3 mHz. Plans are to upgrade the signal and change to a commercial operation.

Fusion Radio's principal partner is Rob Austin who operates Jamtrax Media. Jamtrax is a Chicago-based multimedia company that offers radio programming solutions through programming, mix show syndication, production and imaging.

Kozacko Media Services brokered the transaction for the buyer.

Envision to Offer ''A Christmas Special For The Troops''

Envision Networks
Envision Networks

Envision Networks' "The National Defense Radio Show Holiday Special" will be heard around the world by U.S. troops and their families this holiday season on the Armed Forces Radio Network and available free to any radio outlet to broadcast now through the holidays. Hosted by radio veteran Randy Miller and Vietnam veteran Jerry Newberry, the 2-hour special salutes active-duty military, veterans, their families and those who support them.

The show will feature special guests Clint Eastwood from Camp Pendleton, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Steve Hartman of CBS News.

"Christmas is just another occasion when our troops put our interests ahead of their own," said Miller. "We like to do special shows like these to offer these selfless heroes just a little taste of home."

The National Defense also is heard on affiliates across the country and reaches one million American service men and women, DOD, civilians and their family overseas. It's broadcast at bases in 175 countries and on 140 U.S Navy ships at sea.

K-FROG/Riverside Raises $303K For Loma Linda University CH

19th annual Stater Bros. Charities K-FROGGERS 4 Kids Radiothon
19th annual Stater Bros. Charities K-FROGGERS 4 Kids Radiothon

Entercom has raised $303,507 to aid the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in Loma Linda, CA during Country KFRG-FM and KXFG-FM (K-FROG)/Riverside's 19th annual "Stater Bros. Charities K-FROGGERS 4 Kids Radiothon." Proceeds from the event continue to grow via online donations and all contributions will benefit pediatric cancer patients.

"Year after year, our listeners step up to help the kids and families at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital," said Entercom Riverside Senior VP/Market Manager Michael Valenzuela. "I am proud of our station's efforts to work with the hospital to fight against pediatric cancer in our community. Both my son and K-FROG's on-air host Heather's daughter have been treated at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital and it is an honor to be able to give back to an institution that means so much to our families."

"Stater Bros. Charities K-FROGGERS 4 Kids Radiothon" was broadcast live from Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA on Wednesday, December 4. Listeners donated through the station's phone bank and website. The 15-hour radiothon featured testimonies from current patients and families impacted by cancer, as well as messages from K-FROG on-air hosts David Bugenske, Ginny Harman, Heather Froglear, Anthony Donatelli, Vicki Pepper and Dana Swearingen.

Over the past 19 years, K-FROG has raised $6.7 million in partnership with Stater Bros. Charities for Loma Linda University Children's Hospital with the funds being used for improvements to rooms, including beds, televisions, sleeper chairs for parents and more.

WSSP's 13th Annual WSSP Toy Drive Raises Over $200,000

13th Annual WSSP Toy Drive
13th Annual WSSP Toy Drive

Entercom raised over $200,000, in cash and the value of toys, to benefit Children's Wisconsin and Robyn's Nest during WSSP-AM (105.7 FM The Fan)/Milwaukee's 13th annual "WSSP Toy Drive." This marks a record-breaking year for the fundraiser, topping the $160,000 that the station raised in 2018.

"The 'WSSP Toy Drive' being in its 13th year is truly remarkable," said Entercom Milwaukee Senior VP/Market Manager Chuck Sullivan. "Our listeners have gone above and beyond to help benefit Children's Wisconsin and Robyn's Nest and put smiles on children's faces."

The "WSSP Toy Drive" was broadcast live from Blain's Farm & Fleet in Oak Creek, WI from 5am to 6pm on Monday, December 2 to Friday, December 6. Programming featured several special guests including former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler, former Milwaukee Buck Jon McGlocklin and Milwaukee Brewers General Manger David Stearns.

Robyn's Nest houses and provides new and gently used clothing, hygiene products, infant items, toys, books, and other household goods to families within its foster care system and to those identified to have unmet needs through Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.


BMG/Southwest FL Sets New Record with Marine Toys for Tots

Second Annual Beasley Bike Drive
Second Annual Beasley Bike Drive

Beasley Media Group/Fort Myers and its Southwest Florida radio stations partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation of Lee County to host the Second Annual Beasley Bike Drive. WXKB-FM, WJPT-FM, WRKX-FM, WWCN-FM, WRXK-HD2 and WJBX-AM collected 947 bikes and $17,750 in gift cards and cash. The six stations joined forces on Tuesday, December 10th from 6am-6pm to benefit the Toys for Tots Foundation at Wal-Mart in Estero, FL to broadcast live and encourage listeners and businesses to stop by and donate a bike or unwrapped toy.

"Thanks to everyone who helped make Christmas special for many children in Southwest Florida," said Vice President Market Manager Brad Beasley. "Because of our thoughtful listener and clients, many needy children in the area will have a nice Christmas."

"WXKB's Morning Host Big Mama was a superstar and led the charge of the Beasley Bike Drive," added Operations Manager Adam Star. "I am proud of the Fort Myers cluster and what they were able to accomplish in one day. There are going to be a lot of smiles in our community during the holidays this year."

"I always make miracles happen, but on this day, Southwest Florida made thousands of miracles happen," said WXKB's Jason "Big Mama" Jones. "The magic of a Christmas miracle happened right before my own eyes."

Beasley Names Rick Radzik WBZ-FM/Boston Program Director

Rick Radzik
Rick Radzik

Beasley Media Group appoints Rick Radzik as the new Program Director at WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)/Boston, effective immediately. Radzik is the second individual to serve as PD in the station's decade-long history and has been the Sports outlet's Assistant PD since the station signed on back in August, 2009. Previously, Radzik spent 15 years as a producer at WBZ-AM, overseeing the Boston Bruins broadcasts. The sports radio vet began his career at the former WEEI, producing the Bruins and Boston Celtics broadcasts, as well as various talk shows.

"Rick is a highly respected member of The Sports Hub team," said Beasley Media Group Vice President and Market Manager Mary Menna. "We are looking forward to many more decades of wins under his leadership."

"Rick has been a key member of the Sports Hub programming team since the station's inception," added Beasley Media Group's Boston Director of Programming Cadillac Jack. "The knowledge he has amassed over the past decade, coupled with his relationships and passion for continuing our winning history make him uniquely qualified to lead the Sports Hub into the 2020's and beyond."

Radzik replaces veteran sports programmer Mike Thomas who is leaving the station to become Market Manager at WMVP-AM (ESPN 1000)/Chicago. Thomas will remain on as a consultant for 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Entercom Taps Andy Slater as SVP/Digital Sales, East Coast

Andy Slater
Andy Slater

Entercom adds Andy Slater as Senior Vice President of Digital Sales/East Coast, effective immediately. In this role, Slater will lead East Coast sales for RADIO.COM. He joins the company from Midroll Media, the ad sales division of Stitcher, where he was most recently was Regional VP/Sales, East. In addition, he oversaw ad sales on the Stitcher app. Previously, Slater has served in sales roles at Orbitz.com, Senior Director of Sales at Move Inc.'s Realtor.com and Senior VP/Sales at Theatermania.com.

Slater's over 25-year career also includes experience in radio, including National Sales Manager positions for now Entercom WFAN/New York and WLIR-FM, WBAB-FM and WBLI-FM/Long Island, NY. He's also served as Local Sales Manager for WQCD-FM and WAXQ-FM/New York.

"Andy has a tremendous track record leading sales strategy across numerous digital platforms, most recently in podcasting," said Entercom Executive VP/Digital Sales Ken Lagana. "His unique combination of experience in broadcast radio and digital will prove to be a major asset as we continue developing and expanding our position as leaders in the digital audio marketplace."

"Considering my background in radio and, most recently, my experience in the podcast space I found this opportunity at Entercom to be a truly exciting one," added Slater. "From broadcast radio to audio streaming to podcasting, I'm looking forward to bringing our end-to-end audio solutions to advertisers and agencies."

PRX to Launch TRAX Podcast Network for Tweens in 2020


PRX, the public media organization that produces and distributes audio programming, has announced TRAX, a network of original podcasts for pre-teens and teens, ages 9-13 years old. Funded by a $1.6 million grant to PRX from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, TRAX will feature podcasts from Gen-Z Media, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Cocotazo Media, members of the team behind Night Vale Presents and more. The network is set to launch in 2020.

"As steward of the federal appropriation for public media, CPB works to ensure we are serving the American people in ways that respond to their media needs today with trusted, relevant content," said Corporation for Public Broadcasting President/CEO Pat Harrison. "Reaching untapped audiences on the platforms they access most is essential and CPB is pleased to collaborate with PRX in the development and launch of TRAX."

"TRAX will bring public media's high standards of curation to a mix of both established podcasts and new productions, and will expand to include programming from a variety of ambitious independent creators, established producers, and emerging voices," added PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman.

PRX has developed the network with guidance from Gen-Z Media, a publisher of audio content for youth and their families. Gen-Z produces and curates podcasts spanning from action-adventure to science education, including "Pants on Fire," "Tumble," "Molly of Denali" and "Earth Rangers."

Veteran producer Michelle Smawley will lead TRAX as its executive producer. Smawley has produced and developed programming featured on NBC, PBS, CBS and A


KUPL-FM/Portland Inks Danny Dwyer to Multi-Year Contract

Danny Dwyer
Danny Dwyer

Alpha Media/Portland, OR, names Danny Dwyer as Assistant Program Director for Country KUPL-FM (98.7 The Bull) while signing him to a multi-year contract, effective immediately. He'll continue his daily midday hosting duties from 10am-3pm along with his Music Director duties. Dwyer is KUPL's longest term employee after hitting his 21-year mark with the station earlier this year. During his tenure, he's worked in every daypart and held many posts from Promotions Director and traffic reporter to midday host and Music Director.

Senior VP/Market Manager Lisa Decker commented, "The energy and dedication Danny brings on and off the air to our Bull Nation listeners, musicans, artists, labels, advertisers and community partners are an incredible asset to our station. His leadership with station events and promotions including our St. Jude Radiothon and Countryfest concert are irreplaceable."

Content Director and Country Format Captain MoJoe Roberts added, "To say I'm proud of his contributions to the team is an understatement. I'm thrilled to add APD duties to Danny's responsibilities. He has been an integral part in the success of The Bull. Danny's energy and passion for our listeners, our clients and country music is contagious. I look forward to Danny's continued growth in his expanded programming role with 98.7 The Bull."

"I'm very excited to grow into this role and grateful to Lisa Decker, Phil Becker, Gene Sandbloom and MoJoe Roberts for believing in me and for this opportunity to continue to grow. We have a great team at Alpha Media Portland, and I look forward to fighting in the trenches side-by-side with them day in and day out," stated Dwyer.

Dwyer also is a dedicated volunteer advocating for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital along with many other local charities.

USRN Partners with ACM's Talent Lineup for Imaging

USRN and ACM Talent
USRN and ACM Talent

United Stations has closed a deal to partner with voiceover management company ACM Talent to offer radio stations voiceover talent for their imaging needs from coast to coast. The partnership announcement comes jointly from United Stations EVP/Programming Andy Denemark in New York and from ACM Talent Co-Founder Marc Guss, also in New York.

Denemark commented, "Radio imaging has long been one of the key on-air components of how a radio station establishes its value proposition to its listeners, and production tools have been part of our arsenal for our affiliates for a long time as well. But, up until now, we didn't have a consistent offering on the voice talent front, and we are thrilled that we do now. I've known Marc since he pioneered the business of radio imaging representation at William Morris. The trusted talent management team at ACM are the industry standard."

Guss added, "The area of radio imaging has always been a passion of mine. This alliance will redefine the possibilities for all radio imaging talent who will have ACM voiceover representation and support in all categories across the entire VO spectrum. I've known Andy and the team at United Stations for a long time, and we're equally thrilled that ACM has grown to a point where an arrangement such as this one with a network who embodies a top notch creative and sales force makes sense."

For more information, visit www.unitedstations.com/ACMRadioVoices.

26th Annual AOB Pre-CRS Seminar Set for Nashville

Country Radio Specialists Mike O'Malley and Becky Brenner have announced that their 26th annual Pre-CRS seminar will be held Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 8:30-11:30 am at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Nashville. The firm will present the first highlights from its 15th annual online perceptual study, "Roadmap 2020." This is the largest study of Country P1's in the U.S. and Canada. Attendees will discover trends in music tastes, radio usage, digital consumption, social networking and more.

In 2019, 91% of Country P1's said they listened to country radio "the same or more" in the past 12 months. Facebook was the most used social media platform with 73% using it every day, but this was down from 2018. Instagram was second, with 32% using it every day, and Snapchat was flat at 22%. 2019 was the first year that no new Social Media platform was mentioned by listeners. Will that change in 2020? Will Facebook see additional erosion in usage and has radio retained that loyalty into 2020?

Attendees will also have the opportunity to see presentations on personal career growth, owning your market and additional tips to help grow ratings and revenue in 2020.

BMLG Record's Danielle Bradbery is this year's featured artist. Bradbery first reached fans on NBC's "The Voice" in 2013, winning at age 16. The Texas native has achieved multiple ACM nominations as well as CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year in 2018. Bradbery will be celebrating the release of her new music in early 2020. Guests will enjoy an acoustic performance; plus, a meet and greet opportunity.

Partner Mike O'Malley pointed out, "Inspiration and innovation come from events like this, the country radio seminar, and anywhere information is shared; and "what if" is celebrated. Providing an annual opportunity for this knowledge/idea sharing is important to us because, while this is a country-centric event, the takeaways go beyond a single format. In the end, it's about great radio and ways to make long lasting connections with listeners."

Brenner added, "We are thrilled to be back at the Omni in partnership with our friends at Country Radio Seminar. This fast paced 3.5 hours are some of the most talked about at CRS. It is an opportunity to share, learn, grow and re-energize for the new year."

The Pre-CRS Seminar is free to all of the company's clients, as well as any broadcasters in non-competitive situations.

KLOL/Houston Raises $408,193 for Texas Children's Hospital

KLOL/Houston Raises $408,193 for Texas Children's Hospital
KLOL/Houston Raises $408,193 for Texas Children's Hospital

Entercom raised $408,193 to benefit Texas Children's Hospital during KLOL-FM (Mega 101)/Houston's 9th annual "Mega Radiothon." All funds raised benefit Texas Children's Hospital to offer services to children in the local community who would otherwise not have access to proper medical attention. Texas Children's Hospital is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to create a healthier future for children and women by leading in patient care, education and research.

"I am thankful to our faithful listeners that helped us achieve our goal," said Entercom Houston Senior VP/Market Manager Sarah Frazier. "Texas Children's Hospital delivers selfless, admirable work and we are honored to be able to contribute to their efforts of providing medical resources for children in the community."

The "Mega Radiothon" was broadcast live from the Mega 101 FM studio from 5am-7pm on Thursday, December 5 and Friday, December 6. The event was also televised on KTMD-TV (Telemundo)/Houston. Programming included an interview with special guest and former patient at Texas Children's Hospital, Leo, who shared his story with on-air host Liz Arreola.

Florida Man Radio Adds ''The Cats Roundtable Show''

Florida Man Radio
Florida Man Radio

JVC Broadcasting adds "The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis" to Florida Man Radio on WDYZ-AM and W288CJ-FM/Orlando and WYGC-FM (104.9)/Gainesville, effective Sunday December 8. Florida Man Radio debuted in September anchored by long-time veteran Orlando talk host Shannon Burke, syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, radio hosts Scott Ledger and Ed Tyll, American journalist, author & former television host Bill O'Reilly and Attorney Justin Clark.

The Cats Roundtable is hosted by John Catsimatidis, the President & CEO of the Red Apple Group, headquartered in New York. The Red Apple Group is a privately held company valued between $5-6 billion with holdings in energy, refining, real estate and Manhattan supermarkets.

Following a close but unsuccessful run for Mayor of New York City in 2013, Catsimatidis chose to remain in the public eye and started a radio program in January, 2014. His Sunday morning program quickly grew while being added to more stations around the country. The program has hosted guests in Government, Religion, Finance and Health & Science from around the world including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

"The Cats Roundtable radio show is perfect for Florida Man Radio. John's unique take on the news and his 'A-list' celebrity interviews are fascinating conversations that keep listeners coming back for more. We have been very successful with his show on our Long Island News/Talk radio station and know this is a great fit for our growing Florida Man Radio Network," said JVC Broadcasting President/CEO John Caracciolo.


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Quick Snaps
WMAL-FM/Washington: Listeners donated $523,866 during WMAL-FM's two-day radiothon last Friday and Saturday, December 5-6, for the benefit of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides temporary housing and support for families of injured service members at more than 85 houses across the country. Over past 17 years, WMAL listeners have donated over $7 million to the foundation. L-R: WMAL PD and Cumulus News/Talk VP Bill Hess, WMAL hosts Larry O'Connor, Chris Plante and Vince Coglianese, and Fisher House President Dave Coker.