It won’t silence tonight’s inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards on NBC, but a new lawsuit aims to make the newest music awards show a very short-lived affair. A trial date of April 6, 2015, already has been set for the multi-claim trademark infringement and unfair competition complaint filed in federal court earlier this week against Clear Channel and Premiere Radio Networks (read it here). While the live show will go on tonight, plaintiffs Radio Dogs claim that the new show, executive produced by Ryan Seacrest Prods, is far too close to their Radio Music Awards brand. They want an injunction against the show, its online presence shut down, materials destroyed and unspecified monetary damages “including all of Defendants’ profits or gains of any kind resulting from the actions complained of herein.” Radio Dogs registered the trademark Radio Music Awards with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on February 4, 2003.
Sounds pretty strong, especially when you consider that Radio Dogs produced the trademarked Radio Music Awards on the WB in 1999, then on ABC from 2000-01 and on — surprise, surprise — NBC from 2003-05. Add that American Idol frontman Seacrest was the host of those shows and Clear Channel was the major sponsor. And the fact is the two logos do share some characteristics. Read More »
The agreement will expand the reach of radio’s No. 2 talk show host on Clear Channel stations next year. Details will be announced later, and they’ll probably indicate where Sean Hannity‘s shows will be heard in markets where he had been syndicated to stations controlled by Cumulus following reports over the summer that he and the radio power were prepared to part ways. Today’s announcement says that the Fox News commentator will appear on additional Clear Channel Talk stations and non-Clear Channel outlets, with an increase in the number that air his show live. Hannity also will “participate in key live events, touring and iHeartRadio Talk, the first mass market focused audio platform to offer on-demand listener-created talk content side by side with established personalities, celebrities and shows,” Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks says. The new distribution plan will “offer even more exposure and growth for The Sean Hannity Show,” says Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan.
The two-hour show on October 1 will kick off CW‘s 2012 fall season. The broadcast will be built around performances from Clear Channel‘s two-day concert event in Las Vegas on September 21-22. CW will decide after the event which acts it will include in its broadcast. The festival will feature Usher, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Swedish House Mafia, P!nk, Aerosmith, Rihanna, No Doubt, Lil Wayne, Miranda Lambert, Shakira, Brad Paisley, Enrique Iglesias, Green Day, Jason Aldean, Mary J. Blige, Linkin Park, deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Pitbull. “This exclusive broadcast event emphasizes our commitment to bringing great music and content to our audience anywhere they want it,” says Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises President John Sykes.
Related: The CW Sets October Fall Premiere Dates
Rush Limbaugh‘s supporters and critics both claim victory a month after the radio talk-show host made incendiary comments about law student Sandra Fluke. Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks — which syndicates The Rush Limbaugh Show — says that advertisers are coming back. “Contrary to the wishful thinking of the professional special interest groups, reports of sponsors fleeing The Rush Limbaugh Show are grossly exaggerated,” the company says. “In fact, the program retains virtually all of its long-term sponsors who continue to have great success with The Rush Limbaugh Show.” Several advertisers wanted off after February 29: Many people said that Limbaugh crossed the line from acceptable commentary to unacceptable hate speech when he called Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” following her testimony at a congressional meeting in favor of employer health plan coverage of contraceptives. He apologized for using the inflammatory words. Still, sponsors considered him so radioactive that Premiere ordered about 600 stations that carry his show to suspend national barter spots for two weeks. That period ended on Monday. Limbaugh’s defamatory comments about Fluke were “part of the normal day-to-day of talk radio,” Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman told the Associated Press this week.
Related: AOL Pulls Ads From Rush Limbaugh’s Show Read More »
Here’s the latest indication many sponsors consider him to radioactive: Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks, which syndicates Rush Limbaugh, told stations yesterday that it has suspended its national ads on his show for two weeks, according to industry trade site Radio-Info.com. ”Please replace/re-traffic any Premiere barter spots immediately,” the memo says. “Contractual requirements to run barter spots are being suspended for these two weeks only. Replace them with Lifelock and Lear Financial or a local spot of your choice.” About 140 advertisers have publicly said that they don’t want to be on Limbaugh’s show according to a tally being kept by the politically progressive group Think Progress. The latest directive, which Radio-Info characterizes as “unusual,” follows the company’s circulation last week of another memo telling stations that 98 major advertisers asked to be kept off of shows such as Limbaugh’s that are “likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.” The controversy began Read More »
The environment is becoming chilly for commentators who traffic in incivility. Clear Channel’s syndication unit Premiere Networks gave its sales force a list of 98 companies — including major auto makers, insurance companies, and restaurant chains — that want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public,” according to a memo obtained by Radio-Info.com, a trade news site. And lest there be any doubt, the order says: “They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).” Companies asking to avoid those shows included Ford, GM, Toyota, Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm, McDonald’s, and Subway. Read More »
The exodus from Rush Limbaugh‘s syndicated radio show didn’t seem to slow today following his apology for calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” He made the comments last week after she urged Congress to require employer health insurance plans to cover contraception. The number of advertisers who’ve said that they’re withdrawing their support for the show rose to 35 according to a count by the politically progressive Web site Think Progress. The list now includes AccuQuote Life Insurance, Service Magic, PolyCom, Hadeed Carpet, Thompson Creek, and St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut. In addition, two radio stations have dropped Limbaugh: KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii and WBEC in Pittsfield, Mass. WBEC said that it would stop carrying the show beginning March 15 because ”Rush’s defamatory and disparaging remarks about Ms. Fluke clearly violated the standards we have set for our stations.” Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks, which syndicates Limbaugh, said that ”in an attempt at absurdist humor to illustrate his political point, Mr. Limbaugh used words that unfortunately distracted from the message he was trying to convey.” It added that he “did the right thing” by offering “his sincere and heartfelt apology to Ms. Fluke.” Bloomberg commentator Michael Kinsley says though, that ”the self-righteous parade out the door by Limbaugh’s advertisers is hard to stomach. Had they never listened to Rush before, in all the years they had been paying for commercials on his show? His … Read More »
Freelancer Cari Lynn is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of the All Things D Conference.
UPDATE, 10:30 AM: Clear Channel and Ryan Seacrest have a lot to offer each other in the investment deals announced earlier today, the radio giant’s CEO Bob Pittman says. The TV personality is now “one of our biggest stars,” Pittman told a conference sponsored by All Things D. Meanwhile, the radio company — which also has big ambitions in television and live entertainment — can provide Seacrest with marketing firepower. “We have 238M (listeners) per month, with 250 city affiliates,” Pittman says. “Why can’t we use our own advertising to cross promote (Seacrest)?” Pittman remains bullish on traditional broadcast radio. “We tried HD, commercial-free radio, and no one came. Why? They’ve already got 200 choices.” What’s more, he says that fans of Internet and satellite radio also “listen to more broadcast radio than the average user.”
PREVIOUS: 3:49 AM: This morning’s announcement involves two deals: First, Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners are putting $300M into Ryan Seacrest Media, the radio and TV personality’s investment holding company. And, second, Clear Channel — which is controlled by the investment firms — is buying a minority stake in Ryan Seacrest Productions, responsible for TV shows including Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Clear Channel chief Bob Pittman has said that he wants to expand and diversify the radio giant’s media presence. The companies didn’t disclose specific terms of their deals. Here’s the release: Read More »
Pittman’s long-time pal will lead the charge into television and live events as president of Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises. Here’s the release:
NEW YORK– Clear Channel announced today that music, entertainment and media executive John Sykes will join the company in the newly created role of President, Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises. He will report to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman.
In his new position, Sykes will use the unparalleled assets of Clear Channel – including its 238 million monthly broadcast radio listeners, the 141 million people it reaches with Outdoor in the United States and the 374 million internationally, as well as the more than 75 million monthly listening hours for its digital properties – to develop new businesses for the company across a range of media, including television and live events, as well as create value for Clear Channel advertisers and key partners. Sykes’ new group will work closely with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan and his team as well as Clear Channel Outdoor, both in the United States and internationally.
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Bob Pittman’s executive skills may be open for debate following his role in the AOL Time Warner debacle. But one thing’s for sure: He likes to think big, and bring PR sizzle to his businesses. The latest example? The CEO of Clear Channel Media Holdings just re-branded Clear Channel Radio — it’s now Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. The announcement follows the hot-ticket party for Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio that Pittman threw in Las Vegas at this week’s 2012 International CES.
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Bob Pittman has always loved splashy events, and his planned two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival certainly qualifies. Clear Channel says it will stage “the biggest live concert festival in radio history” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept 23-24, with Ryan Seacrest hosting hitmakers including Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Steven Tyler, The Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Usher and Sting. The goal is to “celebrate the launch of the New iHeartRadio,” Clear Channel’s online radio streaming service, with a festival that will reach “the largest combined U.S. radio and online audience ever,” says Pittman – a former MTV and AOL Time Warner honcho who’s now the No. 1 radio company’s chairman of media and entertainment platforms. The event, he adds, ”underscores Clear Channel’s transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the U.S.” Video and audio streams will be accessible at iHeartRadio.com and at all websites for Clear Channel’s radio stations. The New iHeartRadio will offer broadcast radio stations as well as Pandora-like free, customized services that will have no commercials at least to the end of this year. Seacrest calls the concert “a once-in-a-generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country.” Tickets to the live event will go on sale July 16.