Tag Archives: Issue 122

It Was Always a ‘Good Day!’

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

When I started in professional radio, 51 years ago this week, there was a gentleman broadcasting that captivated my attention, his name was Paul H. Aurandt. The radio audience knew him better by his middle name, Harvey; Paul Harvey.

He broadcast six days a week, just like all radio personalities did back in those days. It was a time when all radio was delivered LIVE. Paul Harvey was heard over the ABC Radio Networks with his News and Comment week day mornings and middays. His Saturday noon-time broadcasts were extra special broadcasts that were always sure to surprise and delight his audience of as many as 24-million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried by 1,200 radio stations in America, plus 400 American Forces Network stations broadcasting all over the world.

Page 2

Paul Harvey covers Election Night in 1958.

The first commercial break in each broadcast was clearly announced with the words, “Now page 2.” And it caused me to turn up my radio and give Mr. Harvey my full attention as he told me about another great product that he personally used. The ad copy, just like the news and comments, were all crafted by the mind of Paul Harvey.

I bought my BOSE WAVE radio due to Mr. Harvey telling me how wonderful music sounded coming through its speakers and baffle system design. It started me on the path to owning several BOSE products as a result.

Paul Harvey News had a waiting list of sponsors to get on his program. In 1986 his News & Comment broadcasts were rated #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 in network radio programs when he was the focus of a CBS 48-Hours broadcast commemorating Paul Harvey’s 70th birthday.

Bob Sirott did the profile piece and it showed Paul Harvey as few ever saw him. I encourage you to watch the segment on YouTube by clicking HERE.

Paul Harvey News

On April 1, 1951, ABC Radio Network premiered Paul Harvey News and Comment. His Chicago based broadcasts were often called “the voice of the silent majority” or “the voice of Middle America.”Paul Harvey (2)

Paul Harvey was making so much money for ABC, they added a third daily broadcast to the schedule on May 10, 1976 called, The Rest of the Story. These broadcasts were written and produced by Paul’s son, Paul Harvey, Jr. for its 33-year long run.

While Paul and his son maintained this entertaining feature which was based on true stories, not all critics agreed, including urban legend expert Jan Harold Bunvand.

I know from my own personal experience of the two times Paul Harvey included stories based on my hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, that Mr. Harvey played fast and loose with the facts of the events to tell a good story. It made me wonder how all the other stories I heard might have been so “massaged.”

Iowa

In 2000, I was managing a cluster of radio stations for Connoisseur and Cumulus. We carried Paul Harvey on my 100,000-watt KOEL-FM. It was the only thing, other than local news in morning drive, that stopped the flow of the best in country music.

I remember being in my car at the time Mr. Harvey’s noon-time broadcast came on the air and hitting the scan button to hear Paul Harvey News and Comment on virtually every station my car radio stopped on. In media, that’s called a “road block,” the same program or advertisement, broadcast at the same time on multiple radio or television stations.

$100 Million Dollar Contract

In November of 2000, Paul Harvey had just inked a new 10-year contract with ABC Radio Networks when a few months later he damaged his vocal cords and had to leave the air. It wasn’t until August of 2001 that Paul returned to the air waves, but only with a reduced clarity and vocal presence in his voice.

I remember this very well as I was now back in Atlantic City running a cluster of radio stations, and my AM radio station WOND-AM1400, was the Paul Harvey radio station for South Jersey.

I had been cajoling Mr. Harvey’s secretary in Chicago for months before he lost his voice for customized promotional announcements to be voiced by Paul Harvey to promote his daily broadcasts over WOND radio.

One day in the fall of 2001, a reel-to-reel tape came in an envelope from Chicago addressed to me. It contained my customized, Paul Harvey voiced, WOND announcements. I was thrilled, but just a little disappointed when we played the tape due to the hoarse, raspy sound of Paul’s voice when he recorded them.

Before the end of 2001, Paul Harvey was back to full vocal dynamics.

Touched My Heart

It was after watching the Bob Sirott piece produced for 48 Hours a second time and then sharing my personal Paul Harvey memories with the love of my life, Sue, that I found myself choking up and tearing up about the heartfelt emotional impact that this gentleman from Tulsa, Oklahoma had made on me.

Using only wire copy and his manual typewriter, Paul Harvey crafted a broadcast of words that vividly created in the mind of the listener exactly what he intended. His full vocal range, the power of the dramatic pause and dynamic inflection completed his radio magic, what most like to call radio’s “Theater of the Mind.”

Could you imagine Paul Harvey doing podcasts?

I have no doubt that they would have been as popular as the original SERIAL podcast was from NPR.

Paul Harvey didn’t use any music or sound effects.

Paul Harvey created great radio, that was welcomed into homes all across the globe by his great writing ability and vocal acting talents.

Harvey receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005

Good Day

Paul Harvey died on February 28, 2009 at the age of 90.

Three weeks after his death, ABC Radio Networks cancelled the entire News and Comment franchise.

At the time of his death, he had less than two years left on his 10-year contract.

Paul Harvey called himself a salesman, not a journalist, newsman or anything else. He loved his sponsors, saying “I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is.

He never would have promoted his broadcast as “commercial free,” as he understood that this free, over-the-air medium called radio, was a powerful way to move product for his advertisers and that it was those very folks that paid all the bills for him and the ABC Radio Networks.

Imagine that, radio ads that were as cherished to hear as the rest of the broadcast itself.

That’s the definition of “GREAT RADIO.”

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Meet your MAB Board Member of the week: Mac Edwards

Mac Edwards

With more than 40 years of professional experience in radio, Mac “Edwards” McTindal is Vice President/Market Manager for  Beasley Media Group (Detroit), a company he has served for 30 years, 18 as General Manager or Market Manager.

Mac began his career as on-air talent before adding program director responsibilities. He worked in Spartanburg, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Coastal, N.C. and Austin, Texas before he settled in as PD at Beasley’s WKML in Fayetteville, N.C. in 1991.  He then became GM of WFLB-FM & WAZZ-AM when Beasley acquired those stations in 1996.

He was named Fayetteville Market Manager in 2007 and Detroit Market Manager in 2017. Mac has earned honors as Beasley Market Manager of the Year in 2017, Radio Ink Top GM/Small Market in 2007, Beasley General Manager of the Year in 1999 and Beasley Program Director of the Year in 1994. He is married to Angela McTindal and has three grown daughters Emery, Chatham, and Lauren.

FCC Releases Draft Order to Eliminate Broadcasters’ Obligations to File Contracts

According to the Broadcast Law Blog, the FCC released its draft order proposing to eliminate the requirement that broadcasters file certain contracts relating to ownership and control with the Commission. The disclosure of the documents can be made by either (1) uploading the documents to the station’s online public file, or (2) making available a list of the required documents in the online public file with the documents themselves provided within 7 days to anyone who requests them, including the FCC.

Among the documents that are required to be in the public file are those showing the governance of the license entity (e.g., articles of incorporation and bylaws); options and other documents related to future ownership rights; joint sales and time brokerage agreements; and television network affiliation agreements.

In the draft order, the FCC requires that such documents be included in the online public file (either in full or by inclusion on the list) within 30 days of execution, or within 30 days of any amendment or other modification of the agreement. If only a list of the documents is provided in the file, all the information that is required on an Ownership Report, where such documents are listed, would be required – including the name of the parties involved and the execution and expiration dates of the agreements.

Michigan Democrats Call to ‘End Citizens United’

Seven of Michigan’s Democratic congressional candidates are among the 107 candidates nationally who signed a letter led by the group End Citizens United urging Congress to take up elections reform as a first priority in the 2019-2020 session.

Elissa Slotkin of Holly in the 8th District, Matthew Morgan of Traverse City in the 1st District, Robert Davidson in the 2nd District, Matt Longjohn in the 6th District, Gretchen Driskell in the 7th District, Andy Levin in the 9th District and Haley Stevens in the 11th District all signed the letter.

The letter reads in part: “We share the American people’s impatience and frustration over the lack of reforms and transparency and the role of money in our politics. We hear day in and day out that special interests are drowning out the voices of everyday citizens – to the point where many Americans no longer believe their votes even count.  Restoring faith in our elections and in the integrity of our elected officials should be a top priority that all members of Congress can agree upon.”

President Signs MMA Into Law

NABOn October 11, President Trump signed the Orrin G. Hatch – Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law, putting into effect the first reform of music copyright law in decades.

In a statement released by the NAB, the organization notes that the “NAB supported this legislation, which formally establishes a role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations — ASCAP and BMI. The decrees are essential to a functioning music marketplace, and any action to terminate them must now be preceded by appropriate congressional oversight to protect the interests of songwriters, licensees and music consumers.”

The NAB has summarized the effect to broadcasters here.

FCC Proposes Lessened Interference Protections for Class A “Clear Channel” AM Stations

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

What Does This Proposal Mean for AM Revitalization?

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Late last week, the FCC issued a “Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in its AM Revitalization Proceeding. The FCC has been taking steps over the last several years to attempt to restore AM radio to health. In last week’s Further Notice, the FCC followed up on ideas that it floated in 2016 in a prior order in the AM revitalization proceeding (see our articles here and here) suggesting that protections afforded to Class A AM stations be lessened in order to allow increased power by other more localized AM stations. Class A stations, often referred to as “clear channel” stations, are those 50 kW AM stations that are currently given interference protections both during the day and to their nighttime “skywave” signals (the signals heard hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from the station’s transmitter site after bouncing off the atmosphere). These protections allow these stations to cover large geographic areas, and were particularly important in the early days of radio when these stations provided the only radio services to vast portions of the country that did not have local radio stations. In the Further Notice released last week, the FCC questions whether such protections are still necessary given the proliferation of other sources of audio programming (including radio stations, satellite radio and the Internet), and advances specific proposals that would reduce the protections accorded to these stations to allow some power increases by local AM stations.

This proposal is not without controversy. Obviously, station owners who hold Class A licenses do not believe that the service provided by these stations should be impeded. In fact, they note that many of these stations are among the few profitable AM stations in the country, often providing unique programming and substantial programming diversity to rural residents. These stations have also always been a favorite of long-haul truckers and others driving at night for providing uninterrupted service over vast distances. Perhaps even more importantly, and a question specifically raised for comment by the FCC, is the impact that any loss of service from these stations would have on the EAS network. Many of these stations serve as the primary stations for relaying national emergency messages to the EAS network. In fact, many of these stations have been provided funds by FEMA to improve their facilities to insure that they are available to provide uninterrupted service in the event of a national emergency.

The specific proposals set out by the FCC are likely going to be most easily understood by those with technical backgrounds. They are set forth below:

Daytime hours proposal:

  • During daytime hours, Class A AM stations would protected to their 0.5 mV/m daytime groundwave contour, from both co-channel and first-adjacent channel stations;

Critical hours (two hours before sunset and sunrise) proposals:

  • Alternative 1: During critical hours, Class A AM stations would be afforded no protection from other AM stations, or
  • Alternative 2: During critical hours, Class A AM stations would be protected to their 0.5 mV/m groundwave contour.

Nighttime hours proposals:

  • Alternative 1: During nighttime hours, there would be allowed no overlap between a Class A AM station’s 0.5 mV/m nighttime groundwave contour and any interfering AM station’s 0.025 mV/m 10 percent skywave contour (calculated using the single station method); or
  • Alternative 2: During nighttime hours, Class A AM stations would be protected from other AM stations in the same manner as Class B AM stations are protected, that is, interference may not be increased above the greater of the 0.5 mV/m nighttime groundwave contour or the 50 percent exclusion Root Sum Squared Nighttime Interference-Free (“RSS NIF”) level (calculated using the multiple station method).
  • Currently, Class A stations are protected during the day to their 0.1 mV/m groundwave contour by co-channel stations (and to their 0.5 mV/m contour by adjacent channel stations) during the daytime; to their 0.5 mV/m-50 percent skywave contour by co-channel stations (and to their 0.5 mv/m groundwave contour by adjacent channel stations) at night; and to their 0.1 mV/m groundwave contour during critical hours. The FCC proposals set out above would, in some cases, result in a significant decrease in interference protections accorded to these stations.

The FCC notes that there are differing opinions, even among engineers, as to when a Class A station’s service can reliably be heard by listeners, and the extent to which distant listeners still rely on these services. Because of these differences in opinion, and the natural split between local station owners and those that hold licenses for Class A stations, this proceeding is likely to be controversial. And it may well implicate many of the issues about the future of AM radio more generally (see, for instance, our article here).

The FCC is not proposing at this time changes in the protections of other classes of AM stations, though that possibility had also been raised in earlier proceedings. But the FCC does ask for comments as to whether it should move ahead in a future proceeding with that idea – potentially increasing interference in areas further from some stations in exchange for the potential for other stations to increase power and service to more local areas. That, too, is likely to be a controversial issue – one that will be debated in more detail at a later date.

Comments on the Further Notice will be due 60 days after the document is published in the Federal Register, with replies due 30 days later.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access).

There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership.

C-Band Satellite Registration Deadline Next Week

A reminder to broadcasters that next Wednesday, October 17 is the deadline to register C-Band satellite dishes.

The FCC is exploring allowing additional users into this spectrum, and has warned that only registered users of the spectrum will be entitled to any protections against any new users who may be authorized.

As previously published in MAB News Briefs, the FCC issued a reminder to all operators “of fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band that were constructed and operational as of April 19, 2018″ that the filing window to license or register such earth stations closes on October 17, 2018. This band and is commonly referred to as the “C-Band” and many of the “FSS earth stations” are satellite dishes that receive programming used by both radio and TV stations.

The FCC also stipulated in the public notice that those being protected not only need to have been operating by April 19 and registered by October 17 to be protected, but those entities will need to certify that the information in their registrations is correct on a form that will be made by the agency at a future date.