iHeartMedia and Creditors Agree to Mediation. The legal battle between iHeartMedia and 15 creditors goes into mediation after the parties agreed to extend the existing Temporary Restraining Order the media giant won preventing Notices of Default going into effect. This stems from iHeartMedia’s December 2015 transfer of a million shares of class B common stock in Clear Channel Outdoor into a shell company called Broader Media. The creditors believe this move violates the terms of their loans; iHM believes it does not. If the Notices of Default are allowed to go into effect, that could force iHeartMedia to have to try to pay back some $15 billion in debt within 60 days, something that is not possible and could force the company into bankruptcy. The parties will work until May 16 to resolve the conflict.
Adam Wiener Named to Succeed Ezra Kucharz at CBS Local Digital Media. Named to take over for Ezra Kucharz as EVP and general manager of CBS Local Digital Media is Adam Wiener, who is promoted from his SVP, content, community and operations position. He will report to both CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez and CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn. Kucharz is transitioning to the new role of special advisor to the chief executive officer of CBS Corporation. Fernandez comments, “Our digital effort is well on its way to realizing our vision of a powerful and compelling destination for viewers and listeners in our local markets. Adam’s proven track record within the digital industry will be vital to the ongoing expansion of our assets and distribution strategy moving forward, and we are thrilled to have him assume this leadership role.”
The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, The White House Correspondents Dinner, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy, Louisville Confederate Monument Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Indiana primary election; reactions to the routines from Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State; renewed controversy over U.S. immigration policy and treatment of illegal aliens; the legal battle over the status of a Confederate statue in Louisville; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hulk Hogan Sues Gawker Again; Adds WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta and Buchwald & Associates’ Tony Burton to List of Defendants. The recent court victory by Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea, over media organization Gawker, in which he was awarded $140 million for the publication of a portion of a video of him having sex with Tampa-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem, is not the end of his legal endeavors. Hogan is now suing Gawker again for publication of the video, but this time because the racist language he used in the video cost him his employment with the WWE. In this suit, WHPT, Tampa personality Mike Calta and his agent Tony Burton (of Don Buchwald & Associates) are being named among the defendants for allegedly conspiring – along with Tampa radio personality Matt “Spice Boy” Lloyd to have the video released. Hogan is seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.
Bold Gold Foundation Names Citizen Award Winners. On June 14, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders – will honor Pride Mobility Products owners Scott Meuser and Dan Meuser with the foundation’s 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship. Scott and Dan will be honored during The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent James Rosen. Foundation president Vince Benedetto says the award is being presented annually to individuals who, “through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue. We’re extremely proud to be celebrating and honoring both Scott and Dan Meuser with the 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship. Whether through their efforts in building and leading the magnificent company that is Pride Mobility, their ongoing investments in Northeast Pennsylvania, or serving the local community in the countless ways that they continually do, they embody all the attributes that the Atlas Award seeks to honor.” The Bold Gold Foundation has had an ambitious past 12 months, helping to complete the building of Hillsdale College’s first broadcast radio station and studio in Hillsdale Michigan, as well as an additional production studio at the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. The Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting but it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting advancement in the various spoken-word and informational formats such as news/talk.
Odds & Sods. This weekend’s Kentucky Derby is being carried on SiriusXM, thanks to a partnership between the satcaster and Horse Racing Radio Network. The deal includes coverage of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and runs through 2018. The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One…..This year’s Stanley Cup Final series will be offered to AM/FM radio affiliates via NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One. The broadcast team will be Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti…..Talk host William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is launching his weekly talk show – “The Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Chicago this Saturday morning (5/7) at 9:00 am.
By Steven J.J. Weisman
BOSTON — The country was shocked and saddened to see and hear the news on Sunday of the killing of three people by racist and anti-Semite Frazier Glenn Cross, who has also been known as Glenn Miller, particularly when he ran for the United States Senate from Missouri in 2010. To those who might question why I, a lawyer, refer to Cross/Miller as a “killer” when he has not been convicted in a court of law and is entitled to a presumption of innocence, I respond that it is abundantly clear that Cross/Miller did indeed kill 14-year-old Reat Underwood and his grandfather Dr. William Corporon who had the misfortune to be attending a singing contest at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas. By the way, neither of them was Jewish. We also know that Cross/Miller killed an elderly woman at the nearby Village Shalom senior living facility. Cross/Miller is entitled to a legal presumption of innocence in determining whether he is legally responsible for these killings, but make no mistake about it, he killed these three innocent people. During his arrest, he was recorded screaming “Heil Hitler.”
What makes Miller’s case of particular interest to broadcasters goes back to 2010 when he ran as a write-in candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri. Under federal law, radio stations and television stations are not required to carry political advertisements, but if they do choose to carry political advertising, the stations must not discriminate among candidates. They must carry the advertising of any bona fide candidate who wishes to advertise on their stations. In 2010, Glenn Miller produced and spoke in a number of racist and anti-Semitic rantings under the guise that they were political advertisements for his candidacy. Here is a link to a YouTube video of some of his ads. Be forewarned, they are extremely offensive:
As you can well imagine, Missouri broadcasters that carried political advertisements were very upset when confronted by Miller demanding advertising time on their stations. Some broadcasters carried the advertisements preceded by apologies and disclaimers while others donated the money paid by Miller to local chapters of the NAACP and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Ultimately, the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Broadcasters Association requested a declaratory ruling from the FCC as to whether Miller was indeed a “bona fide” political candidate and thus was entitled to air his venomous political advertisements or was he just a racist, anti-Semite trying to exploit what he perceived as a loophole in the law. The petition by the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Broadcasters Association argued, “Whatever Miller’s commitment might be, it is not about getting elected in the general election, but simply to pervert the campaign laws to his true purpose of requiring FCC licensees to broadcast his non-campaign messages to an unsuspecting public.” Specifically, the petition indicated that Miller did not have a campaign committee, an office or issue press releases, all of which the FCC used as standards as to whether a write-in candidate qualified as a bona fide candidate. Finally, after months of carrying Miller’s advertisements, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued an informal ruling that “on the facts and pleadings submitted by all parties, including Mr. Miller, it would not be unreasonable for Missouri broadcasting stations to determine that Miller is not a bona fide write-in candidate and therefore, Missouri broadcasters may deny him access to their stations.” Immediately thereafter the advertisements were dropped and little was heard from Glenn Miller by a national audience. That is until Sunday.
Steven J.J. Weisman, a practicing attorney, is a senior partner in the talent management firm Harrison Strategies, LLC. He is also legal editor for TALKERS magazine and publisher of the websitewww.scamicide.com. He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Steven J.J. Weisman is available as a guest to discuss the subjects of identity theft and scams.