Radio Waves: 2/17/17

CBS Trademarks and Entercom

A side-effect of the merger of CBS’ radio division with Entercom, reported here last week, is licensing, considering that CBS plans to keep it’s television division in-house. Namely: what happens to the CBS Radio name and the stations once owned by CBS that carried the CBS name in some way?

Turns out its already been settled. According to Inside Radio (InsideRadio.Com), the terms of the deal spell out “in explicit detail” what will happen with the “CBS Brands,” meaning everything related to the famous eye to the names of stations and programming suppliers themselves. Anything related to trademarks and CBS-centric broadcasting as a whole.

Considering the detail involved, it would appear that this deal has been in the making longer than one would realize.

Here are the basics: The merged company will be called Entercom. Entercom can continue to use some of the CBS brands for a limited time after the date of the merger. CBS Radio, Inc is good for one year, upon which the division that launched CBS as a broadcast company will cease to exist. CBS Sports Radio can be used for the sports radio network until December 31, 2020.

Stations that use the CBS letters in the callsigns – KCBS-FM here in Los Angeles, KCBS in San Francisco and WCBS and WCBS-FM in New York can keep using the identities for the next 20 years.

Radio stations that share common call letters with CBS television stations in various markets will be allowed to keep the calls “perpetually,” according to Inside Radio and other sources. This would include legendary call letters such as KDKA/Pittsburgh, WBBM/Chicago, KYW/Philadelphia, WWJ/Detroit, WBZ/Boston, WCCO/Minneapolis, and WJZ/Baltimore; these stations harken back to the earliest days of radio broadcasting.

Interestingly, the KCBS-FM calls are considered “storied” by some reports; I would argue that longtime Angelenos would more likely consider KNX and KNX-FM to be the storied calls. No one outside of the CBS executive tower ever gave a hoot about using CBS in the call-signs here. Now KNX? There you have something. KNX, by the way, will be allowed to stay forever since it is not tied with any CBS branding or common television call letters. In fact, if I were involved with Entercom, due to the fact that I live in the past I would change KCBS-FM back to KNX-FM.

Now on to the Eye … there is no way CBS will allow that to stay with stations not owned by the remaining CBS corporation. That iconic graphic is so associated with CBS that it may be among the most recognized logos ever produced. Entercom thus has 12 months from the closing of the merger to totally remove the famous eye “from all goods, services, and materials in the Licensee’s possession or control.”

Truly the end of a broadcasting era.

Tweeden Joins McIntyre

Don Barret reports on LARadio.Com (retired? Sure…) that Leeann Tweeden is joining Doug McIntyre on KABC (790 AM) as news anchor, replacing Terri Rae Elmer who was recently let go. Her local experience includes co-hosting LA Today with Fred Roggin on KLAC (570 AM) and co-anchoring Good Day L.A.; national experience includes co-hosting duties on UFC Tonight and being a part of  FSN’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period. She also does social and political commentating on various television and cable programs.

Accepting Nominations

Awards shows are all over television right now; let’s take some time to recognize radio. I am now accepting nominations for your favorite stations and shows; send a note via email or US Mail and let me know what you consider the best of local radio. I’ll compile and we’ll set up time for a future awards column, The Waggies.