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<font size="4" style="line-height:120%">Nielsen begins web ratings beta-tests.</font>

Nielsen begins web ratings beta-tests.

There’s a light at the end of the long measurement tunnel for digital radio. Nielsen says it’s made “good progress” in developing streaming audio measurement capabilities as it begins beta-testing a web radio ratings service.

Journal to merge with Scripps.

Journal Communications has announced it will merge with The E.W. Scripps Company in a deal that will bring together a radio and TV portfolio covering 27 markets. The companies plan to spin-off the newspaper division. The merged broadcast and digital media company, based in Cincinnati, will retain The E.W. Scripps Company name. The newspaper company will be called Journal Media Group. The companies say the merger will create about $35 million in cost savings. MORE

Five high-profile personalities to host Marconi Awards.

marconiThe industry jokes will increase by a factor of five during the Marconi Awards Dinner & Show at September’s Radio Show in Indianapolis. To mark the 25th anniversary of the prestigious awards, the National Association of Broadcasters has slated five personalities to serve as emcees and presenters. Each previously hosted the awards on their own. MORE

Vin Scully commits to season No. 66.

Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vic Scully will return for a 66th season agreeing to call games in 2015. The announcement came last night during the second inning of the Dodgers-Atlanta Braves game on the jumbotron in Dodger Stadium. The crowd gave the Hall of Fame broadcaster a standing ovation. “All I can say is thank God – and ask, please God, for another year,” Scully told listeners. MORE

West Coast gets a bigger focus from Sirius XM.

Sirius XM Radio has never disclosed the geographic breakout of where its subscribers live, but a new initiative targeting potential West Coast users suggests it thinks it can use content to appeal more to people tuning in from the Pacific Time zone. “We want to do better in the West Coast drive time,” says CEO Jim Meyer. MORE

Now it’s a New York sports talker on ice.

While Boston’s sports talk controversy begins to settle down, there’s a new personality in hot water. ESPN has pulled Stephen A. Smith from “ESPN New York 98.7” WEPN and ESPN2’s “First Take” after the host made provocative comments about domestic violence. He’ll be off the air for one week, though ESPN’s brief two-sentence statement didn’t call it a suspension. MORE

Radio, TV unite to fight hunger in North Carolina.

Radio, TV unite to fight hunger in North Carolina.

Radio One’s three radio stations in Raleigh teamed up with WRAL-TV to host a 13-hour fundraiser to raise money and shine a spotlight on the critical issue of hunger in North Carolina. In the works for nearly a year, the first-ever MediaThon aired on radio and TV and played across the web and social media. More than $112,000 was raised for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, according to WRAL-TV. DETAILS

Missouri broadcasters fight booze ad restrictions.

A year and a half after Zimmer Radio and the Missouri Broadcasters Association challenged Missouri’s strict and complex alcohol advertising law, they’re asking a federal judge to skip the trial and overturn the statute on First Amendment grounds. MORE

MMTC takes tougher stand to revive tax certificate.

Quiet cajoling and behind the scenes conversations haven’t added up to enough change, so the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council says it’s going to start playing hardball. Speaking at the group’s annual Access to Capital Conference yesterday in Washington, president David Honig said that more aggressive attitude includes pushing Congress to revive the minority tax certificate program. MORE

Dickey’s Barbecue fires up more radio ads.

With 400 locations in 40 states, the fast-casual chain Dickey’s Barbecue has begun the most significant repositioning effort in its 73-year history. Radio is part of the recipe. MORE

Diversity gains in radio’s newsrooms.

For the second consecutive year there were more minority general managers at work in radio. Yet the Radio Television Digital News Association’s annual newsroom survey finds that nine of every ten general managers are white. And men fill 82% of those positions, the report shows. MORE

Pandora’s a step closer to FM ownership.

Pandora wanted the FCC commissioners’ attention and now it’s got it — and soon the webcaster may become a station owner. The FCC has agreed to decide whether Pandora should be allowed to close a pending deal to buy hot AC “Hits 102.7” KXMZ, Rapid City, SD from Connoisseur Media. MORE

Tesh to launch TV version of his radio show.

John Tesh is using his syndicated radio show to fuel a return to television. “Intelligence for Your Life” TV will launch September 15 on 130 TV stations, with seven in the top 10 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Boston. MORE

Learfield heads to farm country for CMS.

Marketers love wrapping themselves in sports and it’s no different in rural America. That’s the target of a cross-platform marketing deal between Learfield Sports and CMS. The energy, grains and food company will leverage Learfield’s radio, digital and social media assets to use college football to raise its profile among farmers and ranchers. The ad package includes giving CHS commercial time during a dozen football broadcasts covering 24 universities in 19 states. CHS will also sponsor a “Farm Family of the Year” photo contest with Learfield.

Towson Tigers jump to CBS Radio.

Towson University announces its football and men’s basketball games will air on CBS Radio’s “CBS Sports Radio 1300” WJZ, Baltimore in the coming year. Tigers play-by-play previously aired on “Sports Talk 1570” WNST. MORE

Rhapsody hits two million subscribers.

Rhapsody is crediting its partnership with T-Mobile for growing its subscriber ranks to two million users. The granddaddy of subscription streamers launched in 2001. But the one-month old UnRadio service on T-Mobile, which costs $4 per month, is helping it catch up to newer companies like Spotify. The ad-free UnRadio allows listeners to skip an unlimited number of songs.


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