April 5, 2015 at 10:40 am #9142
I believe the NBC Radio name has finally been put six feet under.
There was the original sale of NBC Radio to Westwood One back in ’86 or so when GE bought NBC and divested of all radio – network and O-&-O’s. That hideous ‘merge’ of NBC and Mutual eventually lead to the end of NBC Radio sometime around 1990. I was caught up in the next wave of merger mania in ’94 when Infinity under Mel Karmazin bought WW1 (which owned Mutual), which used the money to buy Unister -and then closed the Unistar news division. I was the Unsitar White House Correspondent.
Sometime in the early 2000’s, Westwood (which was merged with Infinity, which was merged with CBS) resurrected the NBC Radio News name. This was, I believe, AFTER the Mutual Network folded. Visiting DC in 2005, I ran into Ron Kilgore (now a reporter at KNX in LA). He was parked in a studio at the CBS Radio DC bureau. He was rolling on MSNBC, pulling sound, writing a one-minute newscast, then hunting for an NBC TV talent somewhere in NY or DC to voice the thing. If he couldn’t find anyone, he’d voice it himself. It would be all produced and put in the systems by about :50, then fire ‘live’ at :00.
This went on until about 2-3 years ago when Westwood decided to end its deal with CNN to distribute the CNN Radio Network. CNN Radio closed, and WW1 decided to make NBC Radio a ‘real deal.’ They expanded to 2 or 3 minutes, did the casts live with original anchors, and even a couple of reporters.
All that ended last year with the final demise of ‘NBC Radio’ and the introduction of the present generic newscasts. That all happened thanks to WW1’s deal with Cumulus to usurp ABC on Cumulus stations. And the deal with CNN to let WW1 pull unlimited sound from CNN. I don’t believe they have access to any raw material – they may only use what airs on the channel. But WW1 did hire at least five national reporters, based in LA, Dallas, Miami, NY and DC (I think). And they do some original gathering out of their DC headquarters — with is the same room as the CBS Radio Washington bureau.
My memory of all these deals on deals on deals may be faded a bit, but I think that’s pretty close to what’s gone in the past 30 years.
I have a headache now…
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