TIME radio

Radio Host Casey Kasem’s Body Missing, Says Daughter’s Lawyer

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem poses for photographers after receiving the Radio Icon award during The 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Oct. 27, 2003. Eric Jamison—AP

Wife and daughters embroiled in debate over his care

A judge has placed a restraining order on Casey Kasem’s wife, preventing her from cremating the famous radio host’s remains, but it’s unclear where they remains are.

The restraining order was granted on the behest of Kerri Kasem, the personality’s daughter, who asked a judge to ensure Kasem’s body was held in cold storage and not cremated before an autopsy was completed.

But when Kerry Kasem’s lawyer went to a Tacoma, Washington, funeral home with a copy of the restraining order, he was told the funeral home no longer had Kasem’s remains. Gaffney Funeral Home & Cremation Services confirmed that Kasem’s body was no longer there.

“They said they could not disclose where he had gone or where he would end up,” Kerry Kasem’s lawyer, Scott Winship, told People.

Kasem was the radio host of “American Top 40″ and voice of animated television characters like Scooby-Doo’s sidekick Shaggy. He died at age 82 on June 15 at a hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. He was suffering from dementia and his death followed a lengthy debate over his care between his wife and his three children from his first marriage.


TIME remembrance

Elvis Duran’s Top Casey Kasem Memory

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem on Nov. 10, 2003, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chris Polk / FilmMagic / Getty Images

The Morning Show host discusses the influence of Casey Kasem, who died June 15 at 82

I never met Casey Kasem, but my strongest memory of him is from when I started off in radio. I was 14 years old, growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and I was hired to “board-op” American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Growing up listening to AT40 made me want to get into radio — but when I had to produce the sound of his show on the radio station, I got to know him even better.

They would deliver the American Top 40 show to the station on vinyl albums. I would start at the beginning, he would count down and then he would take a commercial break, and I was the one who put the commercials on. When the commercials were over, I would push the button again and he would start back. One time — it would have been 1980 or 1979 — I went to a commercial break and I came back and put the wrong album on and went directly to the Number 1 song. That’s when I realized the power of Casey Kasem. I realized if I made a mistake how many people were affected by it and how many people hated me instantly, because they would all call and complain.

He was so important for people coming up in the ranks of radio, to understand that connection between the person on the microphone at the station and the person listening. The way Casey told stories with his long-distance dedications and the way he described how these artists were doing everything they could to get their songs to go up the chart, it was listening to a friend tell a story every time he opened his microphone. That’s the connection we still try to maintain every day. That’s what keeps radio alive. — as told to Lily Rothman

Elvis Duran is host of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran and the Morning Show

Read more about Casey Kasem in this week’s issue of TIME

TIME remembrance

Why Casey Kasem Mattered

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem poses for a publicity still circa 1990 in Los Angeles, Calif. Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images

During a tumultuous time, Kasem—who died June 15 at 82—made music less divisive

Casey Kasem was one of the most important disc-jockeys in the history of radio. While Alan Freed is often credited with the rowdy rise of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid 1950s and Tom Donahue with the creation of free-form FM radio in the ‘60s, Kasem’s contribution gently defied the increasingly divisive changes in radio that marked the 1970s. From its first broadcast in 1970, his “America’s Top 40” counted down hit songs in a dizzyingly diverse array of styles. What kept it all together was Kasem himself—that distinctive voice and genial, charmingly earnest on-air persona. As Dick Clark did on television, Kasem helped bring an often splintered nation together around pop music.

Grounded in 1950s and ‘60s regional AM radio, Kasem’s style seemed old school the day he emerged on the national scene. But Kasem was more than a DJ: he was a host. Not long after families had gathered around the TV to watch Elvis or the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Kasem brought the variety-show approach back to syndicated radio, broadcasting coast to coast. Unlike variety hosts of radio’s golden age in the 1930s and 40s (such as Bing Crosby), Casey did not have the artists available in the studio to provide a few words and the personal touch. Instead, Kasem cleverly emphasized artists’ personal lives with engaging facts and brief bios, adding tear-jerking dedications from listeners to the mix.

With such a wide stylistic range of songs in the countdown, there were always songs you didn’t like; nevertheless, you continued to listen. Who could tune out? What song would be number one? “As the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger,” Casey would often tease. You felt like you knew the artists, the other listeners, and the optimistic, well-wishing master of ceremonies. This was more than a radio show: it was a gathering of friends. While Kasem also enjoyed a broad range of success as an announcer and voice actor, it is this work as radio host that has made its mark in history.

John Covach is Director of the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music.

Read more about Casey Kasem in this week’s issue of TIME

TIME Music

No, Streaming Will Not Kill Your Radio


But just in case...

This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

Considering Internet radio has been around since 2000, you’d expect the market to have shaken out by now. But competition has actually become more fierce. Spotify has grown to 50 million users, with ten million of them paying to access the service each month. Pandora continues to grow with 250 million registered users; around 77 million are active. Apple made several big moves in the category, introducing iTunes Radio last year and buying Beats by Dre and its music streaming service for $3 billion last month. And last week, as expected, Amazon introduced its own competitor: Prime Music.

And then there’s iHeartRadio, the streaming music service owned by terrestrial giant Clear Channel. The company today announced it has crossed 50 million monthly active users.

That reach makes Clear Channel’s streaming offering a formidable competitor to Pandora, Spotify, Apple, and Amazon. But Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman is not as concerned with Internet radio as one might think. Digital radio makes a lot of noise, but only accounts for 10% of the overall radio market. (A market that, conveniently, is dominated by Clear Channel.)

“If it were not for the fact that radio is so large, you’d say, ‘Wow these are big numbers,’” Pittman tells Fortune. “There are one billion FM radios in the US and 160 million smartphones and 160 million PCs, so it’s still a subset of the FM marketplace.”

Pittman doesn’t believe streaming hours will overtake traditional radio in his lifetime. “Music collections always replace each other and radio always tends to be yet another choice,” he says. “Satellite didn’t kill FM. AM didn’t kill FM. (Streaming music) one more choice and one more device you can listen to the radio on.”

With that perspective, why would Clear Channel waste resources getting 50 million people to use a streaming service like iHeartRadio to begin with? The product draws resources from a number of Clear Channel’s businesses, including live shows, tech, operations and advertising. As Pandora’s investors know too well, it is not cheap to license music streaming rights from the record labels.

The short answer, Pittman says, is growth. He maintains that digital is an important growth area for the business, even if the $17 billion or so that advertisers spend on radio each year is slow to move over to the Web.

For the rest of the story, go to Fortune.com.

TIME radio

Casey Kasem: The Voice of America

As the host of 'American Top 40,' and the cartoon voice of Scooby-Doo's pal Shaggy, Kasem provided the nation with the solid sound of optimism

For decades, like uncounted other disc jockeys, Casey Kasem played the hits. But he did it as the host of American Top 40, a countdown show heard on more than a thousand radio stations in 50 countries. The program’s format was so simple that the chief attraction had to be not the music but the man behind it — the voice of the world’s most listened-to record spinner.

Kasem, who died today at 82 in Gig Harbor, Wash., after a debilitating siege of Lewy’s disease, was also the amiably doltish voice of Shaggy Rogers on the Scooby-Doo cartoon TV show. It’s no exaggeration to say that generations of American kids and teens, from the ’70s to today, grew up on a sound track of Casey Kasem.

(SEE: Casey Kasem’s life in pictures)

In an era of angry radio, of bombast and discontent, Kasem brought the sound of anachronistic good cheer — puppy-friendly and syrup-smooth — that was its own apotheosis and self-parody (though Harry Shearer did a sublimely unctuous Casey impression on The Simpsons and on his Le Show podcast). On American Top 40 the Kasem voiced soared and swooped, like an expert aural acrobat, through promos, jingles and dedications, usually rising to a dramatic peak for the top-selling song of the week. The show first aired in 1970 on July 4 — an apt date for the national breakthrough of Casey Kasem, the voice of America.

Kamal Amin Kasem was born in Detroit to Lebanese immigrants who ran a grocery store. Like many children of Lebanese heritage who preceded him (Paul Anka, Michael Debakey, Ralph Nader, Danny Thomas, Helen Thomas, Tiny Tim) and followed him (Doug Flutie, Catherine Keener, Terrence Malick, Johnny “Football” Manziel, Tony Shalhoub and Vince Vaughn), Kasem had the big American dream. And, in a half-century of radio and TV work, no one sounded more like America than Kamal — make that Casey.

(READ: TIME’s Nolan Feeney on the Casey Kasem legacy)

After graduating from Wayne State University he joined the Army, DJ-ing for Armed Forces Radio, then got civilian gigs at stations in San Francisco, Cleveland, Buffalo and Los Angeles. With Don Bustany he dreamed up American Top 40, which premiered on seven stations and quickly became a weekend staple on hundreds more. He kept at it until 2005, when Ryan Seacrest, already ensconced on American Idol, assumed the role of America’s top host.

Among tons of TV voice work, including serving as the chief prime-time announcer for NBC, Kasem spent decades behind the mic as Shaggy. Modeled on the Maynard G. Krebs character played by Bob Denver on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Kasem’s Shaggy voice was an octave higher than his own, suggesting a teen arriving late to puberty, and occasionally sullen or fretful, but always supportive of his pal Scooby. A vegetarian, Kasem quit the role in 1995 when asked to do a Burger King commercial in Shaggy’s voice. He returned seven years later when the producers agreed that Shaggy would also be a vegetarian.

(SEE: Casey Kasem voicing Shaggy Rogers on the Jerry Lewis Telethon, c. 1986)

When the red light wasn’t on, the man with a mild voice could flash a molten temper — as in one famous YouTubed rant in which he was to read a death notice about a Cincinnati listener’s recently deceased dog. Incensed that the lead-in song was inappropriately perky, Kasem protested, “When you come out of those uptempo goddamned numbers, man, … and then you gotta go into somebody dying…” He eventually escalated into a rage that might leave Bill O’Reilly slack-jawed with envy: “I want somebody to use his f–kin’ brain to not come out of a goddamn record that’s uptempo and I gotta talk about a f–kin’ dog dyin’!”

His last years merited a more morose fury. Stricken with the progressive dementia of Lewy’s disease, he was left unable to walk, eat or — the final curse — speak. His daughter Kerri fought in the courts with his second wife Jean over Casey’s custody, finally winning the right last week to grant her father’s wish and allow him to die.

Whatever his private ordeals, his professional voice always oozed with optimism; he would end each broadcast with the motto, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Casey Kasem not only played the music of the stars, he also reached the sunniest-sounding celebrity on his very own. Listening to him on the radio, you could hear America smiling.


TIME Media

NPR Lays Off 28, Cancels Tell Me More

NPR New Headquarters
Bill Clark—Getty Images

The radio network, which has hundreds of member stations across the U.S., announced the cuts as part of a larger effort to cut costs by $7 million this year

NPR announced Tuesday that come August 1, the public broadcaster will eliminate 28 jobs and end its weekday show Tell Me More due to budget cuts.

An NPR spokesperson told Poynter in an email that eight of the eliminated positions are not currently filled. Tell Me More host Michel Martin and executive producer Carline Watson will stay at NPR to continue covering race, faith, gender and family.

“These times require that we organize ourselves in different ways and that we’re smarter about how we address the different platforms that we reach our audiences on,” Kinsey Wilson, NPR’s Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, said in a statement. “We’re trying to make the most of the resources that we have and ensure that we keep radio healthy and try to develop audience in the digital arena.”

The network hopes to reduce its costs by $7 million a year with the aid of these cuts and a combination of buyouts.

Last March, NPR canceled Talk of the Nation, although executives said that it had nothing to do with the company’s deficit.

TIME Technologizer

TuneIn’s Revamp Makes Streaming Audio More Social


The online radio service borrows some tricks from Twitter to help listeners discover new stuff

The single service I use most often to listen to radio stations and podcasts–on the web, on my phone and on my iPad–is TuneIn. Oddly enough, though, I’ve rarely discovered anything to listen to there, mostly because its features for searching and browsing shows and stations have been pretty spartan.

Today, however, TuneIn is launching new versions of its site and apps for iOS and Android that aim to make it easier to stumble across content you’ll like, from its 100,000 stations and four million on-demand programs. And it’s doing it by giving itself a social-networking angle especially reminiscent of Twitter.

Up until now, you could “favorite” stations and shows, an action that was essentially just a form of bookmarking so you could find them later. That’s been replaced by following, which works similarly to the way it does on Twitter. You can follow a station or other provider (such as KQED, CNN or Slate), a particular program or a topic, as well as other TuneIn listeners. Other people can see what you follow–assuming you make your profile public. (For current members, profiles are private by default, so people aren’t startled to discover that their listening habits are suddenly visible to others.)

You can also create “Echoes,” which are tweet-style brief messages about a particular audio stream. Content providers, meanwhile, can send out their own echoes and manage their profile pages on TuneIn, which hopes that such companies will be excited about interacting with their fans on a service that–unlike Facebook and Twitter–actually features their audio programming. (The company says that 95 percent of the stations on the service already have more followers on TuneIn than they do on Facebook and Twitter–they just don’t know it yet, because the totals have never been exposed.)

TuneIn uses the items you follow to create a feed of streaming content that represents an evolution of the TuneIn Live interface it introduced in February of last year. Assuming that you actually do take the time to follow a bunch of providers, the feed should ensure that you’ll never launch TuneIn and stare blankly at its Browse section, unsure of where to go next.

I got a preview of the new version and a bit of hands-on time with it on my iPhone. It’s tough to judge it until a fair percentage of the service’s 50 million users and all those content providers get their hands on the update: It’ll only have a big impact on the experience if they want the service to be more social, and take advantage of the new features. It looks promising, though–and I’ve already used it to follow some shows up my listening alley that I’d never, ever have found in the old TuneIn.


iTunes Radio Adds NPR as Its First News Station

Doug Aamoth / TIME

There’s been no shortage of ways to stream NPR audio before today – apps, web-based streaming, pulling up next to a Subaru with its windows down — but mark today as the day that an additional way was added.

Apple’s iTunes Radio now features NPR as a streaming station, with a blog post on NPR’s site mentioning that content will be streaming 24-hours a day. Re/code reports that what’s being streamed is a mish-mash of “live news with segments from prerecorded shows.”

Here’s the link to open NPR in iTunes — NPR’s blog post adds that the iTunes Radio stream will get additional content from member stations later this spring.

Starting Today, Find NPR Shows And Newscasts On iTunes Radio [NPR]

TIME radio

This Radio Station Has Been Playing Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre’ for 20 Straight Hours

NYC's HOT 97 FM Radio Celebrates Summer Jam X - Show
Nelly performing in NYC. KMazur—WireImage/Getty Images

Latino Mix 105.7 started playing "Hot in Herre" at 3pm Friday. Will it ever end?!?!

It is really, really, really hot in here.

That’s because a San Francisco Latin radio station has been playing Nelly’s 2002 butter jam “Hot in Herre” for at least 20 hours, straight. Since 3pm on Friday. Nonstop.

Why, you may ask, has a radio station been playing a 12-year-old hit on repeat for nearly a day? (Also, you may be wondering whether the DJs have hanged themselves.)

As to the first question, radio stations are known to engage in “nonstop” stunts to gain some publicity before a big change. And there’s been some speculation that the radio station, Latino Mix 105.7 , has been prepping for a launch as “Hot 105.7,” according to Radio Insight.

If the rumors are true, it’s good to know Hot 105.7 is getting warmed up before it launches.

TIME Media

Addicted: Americans Spend 11 Hours a Day on TV, Phone, Radio and Gaming


Television and radio still dominate.

The average American adult spends nearly 11 hours a day with electronic media, according to a recent Nielsen report.

A chart from the statistics site Statista breaks down our day based on data from the Nielsen Cross-Platform report.

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