Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The AM Rundown: Biden Says 'America Is Back'

NY Times 11/25/20

BIDEN INTRODUCES NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM: President-elect Joe Biden introduced his national security team Tuesday, stating, "Together, these public servants will restore America globally, its global leadership and its moral leadership. It’s a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it." The team stood spaced apart and wearing face masks behind Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at a theater in Wilmington, Delaware. Their names had largely been reported on Monday, including: former deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser Antony Blinken as secretary of state; Alejandro Mayorkas as homeland security secretary; Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations; Jake Sullivan as national security adviser; and Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA as director of national intelligence. Former Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry will be given the administration's lead role in fighting climate change.

Meanwhile, one day after the General Service Administration ascertained Biden as the "apparent winner," finally clearing the way for the transition process to begin, President Trump signed off Tuesday on allowing Biden to receive the presidential daily brief, the highly classified intelligence briefing. Biden said in an NBC Nightly News interview about the start of transition process since the approval was given: "[T]he outreach has been sincere. There has not been begrudging so far. And I don’t expect it to be." However, Trump is still not conceding, tweeting yesterday, "[T]he GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be." His legal team also continued to bring challenges to the vote count in battleground states, none of which have been successful so far, even as Pennsylvania and Nevada certified their election results yesterday with wins for Biden.

➤U.S. HAS MOST DAILY CORONAVIRUS DEATHS SINCE EARLY MAY: There were nearly 2,100 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. on Tuesday amid the continued fall surge, the highest daily number of deaths since May 6th, as nine states also all reported a record number of deaths, the Washington Post reported. That grim news came as hospitalizations continue to rise. The Covid Tracking Project reported that there were more than 88,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 across the country yesterday, setting a new record for the 14th day in a row. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Fox News yesterday that the surge is mainly being driven by asymptomatic people gathering indoors. He said, "The real driver of this epidemic now is not the public square. It really is driven by the silent epidemic -- the asymptomatic infections largely in individuals between the ages of say 12 and 35." 

➤GRANDPARENTS ARE LYING TO THEIR KIDS SO THEY CAN SEE THEIR GRANDCHILDREN :The pandemic has now lasted over eight months, and people are getting tired of the ever-changing local guidelines, loneliness, mask-wearing, and limited social contact. But it seems grandparents are perhaps having the hardest time with it. A Google search reveals there are a number of guides aimed at helping adults navigate their frustrations when their parents fail to adhere to mask mandates and social distancing guidelines. It turns out older adults are also more likely to believe conspiracy theories about COVID-19, as well as buy into anti-mask propaganda. Psychiatry professor, Dr. Jessi Gold explains, “When it comes down to those decisions, if you haven’t been super good about it, and your kids have, I think what happens is [grandparents] are like, Well, I don’t have COVID, so it’s not like I’m going to give [my family] COVID, so what’s the harm in me just saying I’m cool, come over, we’ll social distance and hang out?” Gold encourages families to keep themselves safe, but also to approach their frustrated parents with grace. She adds, “It doesn’t help to scream and it doesn’t help to yell and it doesn’t help to shame. I think it helps to try to understand and have conversations, and that often is starting from a place of empathy. I think that it’s appropriate to continue to have boundaries and enforce them—it’s your children and your choice. But I think that you also probably want to take into consideration the health of your parent and think about why they might be lying.”

➤REPORT: TRUMP SAYING PLANS TO PARDON FLYNN: President Trump has told confidants that he plans to pardon his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pled guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts during the transition after Trump's 2016 election, Axios reported last night, citing two unnamed sources. The sources further said Flynn's pardon will be one of a series of pardons Trump will issue before he leaves office in January. More than two years after Flynn's sentencing was delayed because of his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, Flynn in January 2020 sought to withdraw his guilty plea. A federal prosecutor appointed to review the case by Attorney General Bill Barr recommended that the charges be dropped. However, Judge Emmet Sullivan asked for outside legal experts to weigh in on the highly unusual request to drop the case. An appeals court in August sided with Sullivan on allowing him to review the request. 

➤PURDUE PHARMA PLEADS GUILTY IN OXYCONTIN CRIMINAL CASE: OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pled guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges for its part in fueling the opioid epidemic, acknowledging it hadn't maintained an effective program to prevent prescription drugs from being diverted to the black market, even though it had told the Drug Enforcement Administration that it had, and that it gave misleading information to the DEA as a way to boost manufacturing quotas. It also admitted paying doctors through a speakers program to prod them to write more OxyContin prescriptions, and paying an electronic medical records company to send doctors information on patients that encouraged them to prescribe opioids. The guilty pleas were part of a settlement announced last month between the company and the U.S. Justice Department, which has angered critics that say Purdue owners and officials should be held legally accountable, not just the company. While the deal includes $8.3 billion in penalties and forfeitures, the company only has to pay $225 million to the government. 

➤DOW JONES CLOSES ABOVE 30,000 FOR FIRST TIME: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 for the first time Tuesday, rising 455 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 30,046. According to the AP, factors in yesterday's surge included progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines, news that the presidential transition to President-elect Joe Biden was finally beginning, and reports that Biden will choose former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary.

🦃WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A NAP ON THANKSGIVING: Go ahead and take a nap on Thanksgiving tomorrow. Sleep scientist Sara Alger says that naps have a stigma attached to them when you’re an adult—society says we should only take them if we’re sick or if we're lazy. She adds that she's all for naps, except for those who suffer with insomnia. But the idea that we should be constantly productive during what we now consider normal working hours is fairly new. Anthropologist Matthew Wolf-Meyer says in the 1800s farmers and tradespeople could choose to rest in the hottest part of the day, and might do simple tasks during a wakeful period in the middle of the night, between two distinct bouts of sleep. Eventually staying asleep all night came to be seen as normal, and with that came society’s expectation that we should be highly productive during the day. Wolf-Meyer adds, “Even on a holiday, we’re not exempt from those expectations about productivism. Even on Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to be doing something, even if it’s watching TV. Our labor on holidays is to interact with our relatives. So the nap is kind of a problem.” So give yourself permission to shake society’s expectations and enjoy a nice nap, or two, on Thanksgiving this year if you’re so inclined.

🦃POLL: 61 PERCENT HAVE CHANGED THANKSGIVING PLANS:  While many Americans are planning to go forward with plans to get together with extended family and friends for Thanksgiving despite the warnings against it, a new poll finds that a majority have gotten the message and have changed their plans for the holiday because of the ongoing fall surge of the coronavirus across the country. In the Axios-Ipsos survey out yesterday, 61 percent said they'd changed their Thanksgiving plans. The most common changes reported were only celebrating with immediate household members and having a smaller dinner than originally planned. Nine percent even said they're no longer planning to celebrate at all. There was a partisan divide in the results, however, with 75 percent of Democrats saying they've changed their Thanksgiving plans, compared to 49 percent of Republicans.

🏀OPENING WEEK OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL, DISRUPTED BY PANDEMIC, BEGINS TODAY: The college basketball season begins today, but the opening week has already been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, with cancellations and postponements across the country. Number 2 Baylor, Number 9 Duke, and the Number 3 UConn women are just a few teams that have canceled games because of the coronavirus. The NCAA is trying to play the season after last season's March Madness championship tournaments for both men and women were canceled in March at the start of the pandemic.

⚾RAYS OUTFIELDER AROZARENA ARRESTED IN MEXICO, RELATED TO CUSTODY DISPUTE: Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena has been arrested in Mexico for issues related to an apparent custody dispute. The Yucatan state prosecutors' office said Tuesday that Arozarena was arrested, quote, "for problems relating to his ex-partner." While the office didn't say what those problems were, ESPN said social media video suggested it may have involved a dispute over a child. Arozarena won the Babe Ruth award for Most Valuable Player in the postseason two weeks ago, after his rookie year. Arozarena hit .377 with 10 homers and 14 RBIs in 20 postseason games for the Rays, who lost the World Series to the L.A. Dodgers.

  • Houston Texans at Detroit Lions - 12:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys - 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
  • Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers - 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

🏈MINNESOTA-WISCONSIN FOOTBALL GAME CANCELED, ENDING 113-YEAR STREAK: This Saturday's scheduled football game between Wisconsin and Minnesota has been canceled due to positive coronavirus cases in Minnesota's program. Under Big 10 policy, the game won't be rescheduled and will be ruled a no contest. That ends the longest uninterrupted series in FBS history, with Minnesota and Wisconsin having played for 113 consecutive years from 1907 to 2019.

🏀ADEBAYO AGREES TO FIVE-YEAR, $163 MILLION EXTENSION WITH HEAT: Bam Adebayo has agreed to a five-year, $163 million extension with the Miami Heat, the NBA team and his agent said TuesdaY. The deal will be the richest contract in terms of total value in Heat history. The extension will begin after the final year of Adebayo's rookie contract this season. He averaged 15.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists this past season, numbers matched only by two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

⚾BRAVES SIGN MORTON TO ONE-YEAR, $15 MILLION DEAL: The Atlanta Braves signed veteran pitcher Charlie Morton to a one-year, $15 million deal on Tuesday (November 24th). The 37-year-old, two-time All-Star helped the Houston Astros win the World Series in 2017, and helped the Tampa Bay Rays reach the World Series this season.

TV Ratings: FOX News Slips Following Election Vote

In a bizarre video retweeted Tuesday by President Donald Trump, a sinister-looking Randy Quaid is seen in a closeup with flashing lights illuminating his bearded face as he intones, “Fox News daytime ratings have completely collapsed.”

Did the actor, who posted his proclamation nearly two weeks ago, know what he was talking about?

Citing Nielsen data, The Associated Press reports Fox’s daytime viewership dropped 32% from the two weeks prior to Election Day to the two weeks after, the Nielsen company said.

The post-election, weekday average daytime viewership of 1.63 million was roughly equivalent to that of CNN (1.68 million) and MSNBC (1.71 million). CNN was up 33% and MSNBC up 9% during that time period, Nielsen said.

It’s not unusual for a cable news network popular with fans of a certain candidate to see its audience to drop off when that candidate loses; MSNBC’s ratings briefly collapsed four years ago when Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The difference here is that Trump has been actively encouraging his followers to abandon Fox and hasn’t actually conceded. Newsmax, the conservative network that Trump has been touting, saw its daytime average viewership jump from 88,000 the two weeks prior to the election to 474,000 the two weeks after, Nielsen said.

For the year to date, Fox has been averaging 2.06 million viewers in daytime, compared to MSNBC’s 1.41 million, CNN’s 1.17 million and Newsmax’s 85,000, Nielsen said.

It’s important to emphasize that the decline is only a two-week slice of time. Fox’s prime-time viewership, while down 38% in the two weeks post-election, is still well ahead of its rivals.

Fox News was the top-rated cable network in primetime last week, averaging 2.98 million viewers. ESPN averaged 2.58 million, MSNBC had 2.18 million, CNN had 2.05 million and Hallmark had 1.43 million.

NBC was the top-rated broadcast network last week with an average of 6.3 million viewers. Fox had 5.8 million, CBS had 4.5 million, ABC had 4.2 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 990,000 and Ion Television 980,000.

➤Top 20 Prime-Time Show (Total Viewers):

1. NFL Football: Kansas City at Las Vegas, NBC, 19.57 million.

2. NFL Football: Arizona at Seattle, Fox, 15.23 million.

3. “NFL Postgame” (Sunday), Fox, 14.46 million.

4. “NFL Pregame” (Sunday), NBC, 14.25 million.

5. NFL Football: Minnesota at Chicago, ESPN, 11.9 million.

6. “NCIS,” CBS, 10.39 million.

7. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.3 million.

8. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 8.87 million.

9. “NFL Pregame” (Thursday), Fox, 8.66 million.

10. “FBI,” CBS, 8.25 million.

11. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 7.88 million.

12. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.78 million.

13. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.55 million.

14. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.31 million.

15. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 6.93 million.

16. “This is Us,” NBC, 6.58 million.

17. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 6.42 million.

18. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 6.38 million.

19. “Monday Night Kickoff,” ESPN, 6.12 million.

20. “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 5.99 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news programs with an average of 9.7 million. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.9 million.

TV Ratings: AMAs Plunge

2020 American Music Awards ratings slipped an unthinkable 50 percent from 2019, finishing at an all-time low 0.9 rating for individuals aged 18-49. Total AMA viewership dipped more than 43 percent year over year, to 3.8 million, reports Digital Music News/

For reference, about 6.7 million fans tuned in for last year’s 47th American Music Awards ceremony, which garnered an average 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, tying the awards show’s previous all-time low rating. Additionally, the latest viewership total marks a staggering 7.8 million-viewer fall-off from the 2010 AMA ratings, which came in at 11.6 million watchers (with a 4.3 rating in the 18-49 category).

It’s also worth noting that the AMAs’ television audience has continued to shrink at a rapid pace in more recent years. The aforementioned 7.8 million-fan slip (since 2010) is substantial, but even the 2016 AMAs attracted some 4.4 million more viewers than the 2020 AMAs.

The likes of Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Katy Perry, Machine Gun Kelly, and BTS performed live during the 2020 AMAs. But evidently, the sets were unable to compel a larger number of viewers (compared to 2019) to watch the hours-long event in its entirety. Other awards shows have also experienced a clear-cut viewership decline in 2020, as part of a years-running trend that’s seen many fans pivot to different programs and forms of entertainment – including streaming services.

In January, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grammys attracted their lowest number of viewers since 2008. Last month’s Billboard Music Awards experienced a 55 percent year-over-year viewership fall-off, at an estimated 3.6 million live viewers, as well as a 62 percent decline in the 18-49 ratings category.

Viewership for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards also decreased from 2019. And despite performances from artists such as Jason Aldean, Luke Combs, cohosts Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, and even Justin Bieber, this month’s Country Music Awards recorded a new viewership low of 7.1 million.

TV Ratings: CBS Reported To Be Concerned As 'The Talk' Tanks

Drama behind the scenes of daytime talk shows is heating up as Sharon Osbourne’s CBS show “The Talk” sinks in the ratings against ABC rival “The View,” reports The NY Post.

CBS insiders say producers and network execs are “panicking” after “The Talk’s” ratings dropped to 1.5 million, half of “The View’s” audience of 3 million.

One insider told Page Six, “ ‘The View’ has been growing at a huge rate during the COVID lockdown, and ‘The Talk’ is literally the lowest-rated show in the whole CBS lineup.

“At one point, ‘The Talk’ and ‘The View’ were only 30,000 viewers apart … Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood’s plan of getting rid of Marie Osmond was clearly a mistake in terms of ratings and number of viewers.”

Page Six exclusively reported in September that Osmond was ousted after just one season as co-host when Osbourne and Underwood went to CBS execs and threatened to quit unless she was canned. While her former co-hosts’ motivations for pushing her out were unclear, Osmond gave the quintessential showbiz excuse of wishing to spend more time with family and to “pursue other projects.”

But the CBS insider said the rotating host roster — which includes Amanda Kloots, Rumer Willis and Elaine Welteroth, who is stepping in to replace Eve — has not been delivering numbers, leaving producers and executives “panicked and frustrated.”

Meanwhile in synidcation,  TV Newscheck reports ratings for Jeopardy rose 22% to a new season high 6.0 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating and led all of syndication for the first time in five months in the session ending Nov. 15, which was the first week after the death of its beloved host Alex Trebek.

The week was also a strong one for several other top-tier shows. The talk show race ended in a dead heat as Live with Kelly and Ryan rallied 11% to a new season high 2.0 and tied Dr. Phil for first place as the good doctor delivered an 18% increase to a 2.0.

Third-place Ellen DeGeneres was flat at a 1.2. However, both hot sophomores Kelly Clarkson and Tamron Hall scored double-digit improvements, with Clarkson climbing 11% to a 1.0 and Hall right behind, surging 29% in household to a 0.9 and 33% in the advertiser-coveted women 25-54 age group. Both shows matched their best rating of the season.

Wendy Williams was another notable talk winner, leaping 11% to a new season high 1.0 to tie Clarkson.

In courtroom proceedings, Judge Judy equaled its season high, jumping 9% to a 5.9 to overwhelm all of daytime and to come within a tenth of a point to matching Jeopardy’s 6.0 at the top of the household ratings chart.

Grammy Noms: Snubbed The Weeknd Calls Process "Corrupt"

Beyonce dominated nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Tuesday in a field that favored alternative artists over mainstream musicians, topped by a stunning snub for Canadian singer The Weeknd, who called the process “corrupt,” reports Reuters.

Beyonce’s nine nods made her the second most nominated Grammy artist in history, with a total of 79, and came through projects that celebrated Black culture in a year of racial turmoil in the United States.

The biggest shutout for the highest honors in the music industry was The Weeknd, whose critically acclaimed album “After Hours,” was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts for four weeks.

Variety called the omission of the R&B singer, who has been chosen to play the halftime show at the Super Bowl next year, “the biggest snub in memory.”

The Weeknd, in a Twitter post, said: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

The Recording Academy’s chair and interim CEO, Harvey Mason, said in a written statement that he understood The Weeknd’s disappointment.

“We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the GRAMMY stage the weekend before. Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists,” Mason said.

In June the academy, whose members choose the nominees and vote on the winners, announced tighter rules regarding potential conflicts of interest in response to claims that the selection process was open to rigging..

British singer Dua Lipa, pop star Taylor Swift and rapper Roddy Ricch got six nominations apiece.

Wall Street Journal graphic 11/24/20

Swift and Dua Lipa will compete for the top prize - album of the year - along with R&B singer Post Malone, British band Coldplay, female band Haim, avant-garde Briton Jacob Collier, American soul band Black Pumas and American alternative R&B singer Jhene Aiko.

Billboard called the nominations for album, record, song of the year and best new artist surprising for the range of “superstar nominees as well as out-of-nowhere newcomers.”

K-pop sensation BTS got its first major Grammy nod, for single “Dynamite” in the best pop group performance field, in a breakthrough for a South Korean group.

The best new artist field included rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, as well as alternative artist Phoebe Bridgers and Noah Cyrus, the younger sister of Miley Cyrus.

Swift’s coronavirus lockdown album “Folklore” brought her back to the album of the year contest, while her single “Cardigan” was among the song of the year entries.

Cincy Radio: Broadcasting Vet Dave Crowl To Retire

Longtime radio broadcasting executive and industry leader Dave Crowl, Regional Vice President and Market Manager-Cumulus Cincinnati, has announced his retirement after a successful 44-year career. Crowl will depart at the end of the year. 

Dave Crowl
During his career, Crowl was responsible for the operation of radio station groups in 147 markets, ranging in size from Chicago, IL, to Hillsboro, OH. A native of Dayton, OH, he began his esteemed career in 1977 as Account Executive at WLVQ-FM in Columbus, OH, after earning a B.S. degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University. 18 months later, he was promoted to WLVQ Sales Manager and in 1979, he rose to WLVQ General Manager at age 25. In 1984, Crowl’s career took him to Portland, OR, where he was Vice President and General Manager of KKRZ, changing the station’s format from Soft C to Top 40/CHR and attaining a #2 market rank for the station in less than a year. He then headed to Milwaukee, WI, as Vice President/General Manager of WLZR-FM, flipping the station from Country to Album Rock in 1987 and debuting The Bob and Brian Show, which continues to be the #1 morning show in Milwaukee. Crowl’s career continued to ascend, and in 1991, he became President of Great American Broadcasting’s Radio Division, and then President of Jacor Communication’s Radio Division after the company’s (then Citicasters) acquisition by Jacor. In 2000, he was appointed Senior Vice President of Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), before joining CUMULUS MEDIA in 2012 as Regional Vice President and Market Manager for Cumulus Cincinnati. Crowl was also Acting General Manager of Cumulus Indianapolis from 2014-2016.

A deeply committed media professional, Crowl served the radio industry as a member of the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Board of Directors from 1991-2006, leading the Board as Chairman from 2001-2003. He was also a member of the Ad Council’s Board of Directors from 2000-2002. He served the University of Cincinnati School of Media as a member of its Advisory Council from 1998-2010.

Crowl commented: “A 44-year career in radio would have been challenging to achieve without the support of my family, mentors, colleagues and friends who constantly inspired me. More importantly, I could not have arrived at this moment without the foundation of all the many dynamic general managers and their market teams who delivered compelling audio content to their listeners, communities and advertisers every day 24-7.”

He noted: “No matter the market size, I have had the good fortune of working with the very best program directors, local personalities, news people, sales managers and account executives in radio. In addition, no success ever occurred without the dedicated efforts of so many chief engineers, accounting teams, promotions people and traffic continuity managers. I am indebted and deeply grateful to you all. And to all of my national sales partners at Eastman and Katz over the years, thank you for your excellence. I also want to thank Mary Berner, Dave Milner and everyone at Cumulus for their tremendous support of the Cincinnati operating cluster these last several years. Finally, to my entire team at Cumulus Cincinnati, I will always cherish your good work and all of our accomplishments.”

Mary Berner, President and CEO, CUMULUS MEDIA, said: “Dave Crowl has distinguished himself as one of the most respected leaders in radio, dedicating the last 44 years to making radio the best it could be for the many communities he has served so well. In the process, he has lifted up our industry and the people in it, always treating others with respect, dignity and understanding. He will be greatly missed, and we wish him all good things in his retirement.”

Dave Milner, EVP, Operations, CUMULUS MEDIA, remarked: “I’ve had the good fortune of working with Dave multiple times throughout my career, and not only is he one of the most successful and passionate leaders in radio, he retires having helped so many others thrive. I’m excited for Dave and wish him much happiness as he enters this new chapter in his life.”

Crowl is a second-generation radio broadcaster. His father, H.K. ”Bud” Crowl owned radio stations WAVI and WDAO in Dayton, OH, for 30 years.

NYC Radio: Developer Buys WFME-AM Tower Site For $51M

Industrial powerhouse Prologis has acquired the site of a local radio station in Queens, adding to its existing portfolio in the area, Commercial Observer is reporting. 

Prologis purchased the five-acre vacant lot in Maspeth from Family Radio for $51 million, according to property records. The site, at 48-00 Grand Avenue, is currently used by Family Radio, or WFME, for its radio towers, according to information from Quantierra Advisors, which brokered the deal on behalf of the seller. 

The site is located in an industrial area near the border of Brooklyn and Queens, and will be used by the buyer for parking and storage. 

Prologis has acquired at least three other sites in the area within the last year, including two adjacent industrial sites.

Family Radio will continue to operate its radio towers on the Grand Avenue site as they transition to a new location, which was key to closing the deal, since the radio producer required continuity of operations. 

YouTube Suspends One American News Network

YouTube is temporarily banning One America News Network for breaking rules about COVID-19 claims, shutting out the right-wing cable outlet from the world’s largest video site for a week, reports The L-A Times.

“After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokeswoman, said in a statement. After a channel receives three strikes, YouTube terminates it altogether.

YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is also suspending advertisements from the network for violating other unspecified policies.

One America News, or OAN, is a favorite of President Trump andthe network’s online audience rose this month after some Trump allies turned against Fox News, the conservative cable standard-bearer. Several OAN clips on YouTube falsely told viewers that Trump won the Nov. 3 presidential election. YouTube removed ads on some of those clips, citing rules against “undermining trust in the electoral process.” But the company kept the footage up, an approach now facing criticism in Congress.

YouTube says it does not consider OAN one of the authoritative news sources it surfaces to viewers. The network had more than 8 million views on YouTube the week of Nov. 9-13, more than its viewership in all of October, according to the analytics firm SocialBlade.

In March, YouTube prohibited videos that promoted medically unsubstantiated advice about the coronavirus. Axios earlier reported YouTube’s decision about OAN.

FOX News Settles Seth Rich Lawsuit

The parents of Seth Rich, a Democratic aide whose unsolved murder became fodder for right-wing conspiracy theories about the 2016 election, reached a settlement on Tuesday with Fox News, whose coverage linked Mr. Rich to email hacks that aided President Trump’s 2016 presidential run.

Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of the murdered aide, had filed a lawsuit against Fox News in 2018, accusing the news organization of “extreme and outrageous” conduct in its coverage of their son’s death, claiming that it had fueled damaging rumors about him.

The couple said in a statement on Tuesday that they could now move on. “The settlement with Fox News closes another chapter in our efforts to mourn the murder of our beloved Seth, whom we miss every single day,” the couple said. “We are pleased with the settlement of this matter and sincerely hope that the media will take genuine caution in the future.”

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Rich, a Democratic National Committee staff member, was shot in the back and killed on July 10, 2016, near his home in Washington. The case is unsolved, and authorities have said they believed it was a failed robbery.

RAB To Present Webinar On Spot Load Study

As part of RAB’s Business Unusual initiative, RAB is announcing an upcoming presentation in its Open for Business live-video series titled “How Many Spots Should a Client Run in a Weekly Schedule?” 

Brouvard and Vetrano

The presentation features findings and takeaways from a joint spot load study conducted by the RAB and CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One. The live-video presentation will unveil the survey results and provide sellers with a framework of guidelines to help them determine weekly spot schedules that are best suited to meet advertising clients’ campaign goals. 

This live-video presentation takes place at noon Central on Thursday, December 10, and features: 
  • Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One 
  • Lauren Vetrano, director, content marketing, CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One 

This live-video presentation will include a Q&A, moderated by Annette Malave, senior vice president, insights, RAB. 

For RAB members, registration for this live-video presentation is FREE. After the presentation, it will be available for on-demand viewing. To register, click here.

The study will be released and available on and Westwood One’s blog following the presentation.

RAB will continue to provide updates on upcoming Open for Business presentations and additional tools and resources from RAB’s Business Unusual initiative. 

R.I.P.: Hal Ketchum, Country Singer

Hal Ketchum (April 9, 1953 – November 23, 2020)

Hal Ketchum, a 1990s country hitmaker and member of Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry, has died at age 67. 

USAToday reports Ketchum died from dementia complications, according to a post on his verified Facebook page Tuesday morning. Ketchum's wife previously detailed his diagnosis in an April 2019 social media post. 

"With great sadness and grief we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at home due to complications of dementia," a Facebook post signed by his wife Andrea said Tuesday. "May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace." 

Raised in Greenwich, New York, Ketchum relocated in 1981 to Austin, Texas, where he eventually began writing songs and performing in local clubs under his full name, Hal Michael Ketchum. 

Independent success in Texas brought Ketchum to Nashville, where he signed with Curb Records and released his 1991 album, "Past the Point of Rescue." On that record, Ketchum sang "Small Town Saturday Night," a No. 2 hit on Billboard's country chart that remains an early '90s country staple embraced by listeners today. 

The album earned Ketchum a gold certification, boosted by top 15 songs "I Know Where Love Lives" and "Past The Point Of Rescue," which also reached No. 2 on the Billboard country singles chart.  

His 1992 follow-up, "Sure Love," delivered a trio of top 10 songs: "Sure Love," "Hearts Are Gonna Roll" and "Mama Knows The Highway." He'd continue to chart songs throughout the mid-1990s, including "(Tonight We Just Might) Fall in Love Again" and "Stay Forever." 

Ketchum joined the Grand Ole Opry on Jan. 22, 1994. 

Nov 25 Radio History

Norman Tokar
➦In 1919...Writer, producer Norman Tokar born (Died from a heart attack at age 59 – April 6, 1979). He directed many of the early episodes of Leave it to Beaver, and found his greatest success directing over a dozen films for Walt Disney Productions, spanning the 1950s to the 1970s.

After a career as an actor on Broadway in the early 1940s, Tokar moved into radio, most notably The Aldrich Family, where he played Henry Aldrich's friend Willie at the microphone and wrote several episodes as well. Tokar then went into television direction on such sitcoms as The Bob Cummings Show and The Donna Reed Show, and the drama Naked City.

In the early 1960s, Tokar’s success working with the juvenile actors on 93 episodes of the TV sitcom Leave it to Beaver encouraged Walt Disney to hire him to direct family features for his studio, which frequently used children in key roles.

WJAX mics at March 1936 news event. Future FL Gov. Warren Fuller is third person from the right
➦In 1925...City of Jacksonville FL launched a broadcast station. The city appropriated $19,960 to put the station on the air and operate it through 1926. The station manager/engineer, John T. Hopkins was paid $250 a month and his assistant, James Brock made $165. The station, WJAX, made its first broadcast on Thanksgiving 1925 operating on 890 Kc. with 1000 watts using an antenna wire strung between two large tapered towers. WJAX shifted to 880 Kc. in 1928 and 900 Kc. in 1930.(Jacksonville radio historian Billy Williams).   Today, the station is WFXJ, branded as Sports Radio 930 AM and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.

➦In 1944...The FBI in Peace & War began a 14-year run on CBS Radio. 

➦In 1949..."Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" first appeared on the hit music charts. The song was written by Johnny Marks based on the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer published by the Montgomery Ward Company.

In 1939 Marks's brother-in-law, Robert L. May, created the character Rudolph as an assignment for Montgomery Ward and Marks decided to adapt the story of Rudolph into a song.

The song was first sung by crooner Harry Brannon on New York City radio in early November 1949, before Gene Autry's recording hit No. 1 in the U.S. charts during Christmas 1949. The song was suggested as a "B" side for a record Autry was making. Autry rejected the song. His wife convinced him to use it.

Autry's version of the song also holds the distinction of being the only chart-topping hit to fall completely off the chart after reaching No. 1. The official date of its No. 1 status was for the week ending January 7, 1950, making it the first No. 1 song of the 1950s.

Autry‘s rendition is the most popular, 80 different versions of the song have been recorded, with nearly 20,000,000 copies sold.

➦In 1960...CBS radio axed five daytime serials from the airwaves, including The Second Mrs. Burton (after 14 years), Whispering Streets, Young Dr Malone & Right to Happiness (both after 21 years) and Ma Perkins (after 27 wonderful years.)

NY Times 11/26/60
In 1940, the high point for radio soap operas, there were as many as 45 on the air each day

➦In 1960...“Amos ‘n’ Andy” as played for over 30 years by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, made their last broadcast on the CBS Radio Network. It aired as a daily serial from 1928 until 1943, as a weekly situation comedy from 1943 until 1955, and as a nightly disc-jockey program from 1954 until 1960.

Show from 1941...

 ➦In 1968...The Beatles double White album was released in the US. Featuring ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, ‘Dear Prudence’, ‘Helter Skelter’, ‘Blackbird’ ‘Back In The USSR’ and George Harrisons ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. The album spent 101 weeks on the Billboard chart peaking at No.1.

In 1998...Comedian/actor Flip Wilson succumbed to liver cancer at age 64.  He was featured in TV’s Laugh In, and starred in his own two series, The Flip Wilson Show & Charlie and Company.

  • Amy Grant is 60
    Actor Kathryn Crosby is 87. 
  • Singer Bob Lind is 78. 
  • Actor-game show host Ben Stein is 76. 
  • Actor John Larroquette is 73. 
  • “Dancing With the Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli is 65. 
  • Singer Amy Grant is 60. 
  • Singer Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age and Screaming Trees) is 56. 
  • Drummer Scott Mercado (Candlebox) is 56. 
  • Singer Tim Armstrong of Rancid is 55.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

SiriusXM Radio To Launch SportsGrid Radio

SportsGrid Radio and SiriusXM announced today that they are teaming up to launch the SportsGrid Radio Channel on SiriusXM on January 7, 2021. 

SiriusXM subscribers nationwide will have access to SportsGrid’s real-time sports news, statistics, odds, and lines, along with live expert analysis. The SportsGrid Radio channel will be available to SiriusXM subscribers 24 hours a day 7 days a week on SiriusXM radios (channel 204) in their cars or anywhere with the SiriusXM app. SportsGrid Radio will be replacing the VSiN channel, which will air on SiriusXM until December 31.

SportsGrid Radio will feature a team of on-air personalities including Scott Ferrall, Gabe Morency, Ariel Epstein, and Jared Smith along with expert contributors and guest analysts. 

The channel streams live from the state-of-the-art production facilities located in New York City adjacent to Madison Square Garden and at the Meadowlands inside the FanDuel Sportsbook. SportsGrid’s real-time reporting includes the daily odds, lines, matchups, injury reports, news and more across pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, college sports, golf, tennis, and soccer.

Philly Radio: All News KYW Adds FM Simulcast

For the first time in its 55-year history as Philadelphia’s 24/7 source for local news, KYW Newsradio can now be heard across the region on crystal-clear FM. The station is broadcasting on WPHI 103.9 FM in addition to its longtime home on 1060 AM.

Entercom, KYW Newsradio’s Philadelphia-based parent company, agreed to acquire WPHI-FM from Maryland-based Urban One as part of a transaction involving stations in multiple markets, Entercom announced.

“This is one of the most historic opportunities in the history of Philadelphia media,” said Alex Silverman, KYW Newsradio’s brand manager in a posting on the station's website. “At this critical time, with all eyes on Pennsylvania, we’re excited to bring credible, local journalism to an even wider audience.”

“This station is the heartbeat of the community and we’re really excited about serving more listeners while providing additional access on top of 1060 AM, RADIO.COM and smart speakers,” said David Yadgaroff, Entercom Philadelphia’s senior vice president and market manager.

The addition of 103.9 FM adds another platform to KYW Newsradio’s growing portfolio. The station will continue to be available on 1060 AM, on, on the RADIO.COM app, and by asking Alexa, Google, or Siri to “play KYW Newsradio.”

103.9 FM will expand KYW Newsradio’s over-the-air reach into parts of Bucks and Burlington counties, where the AM signal has been historically poor, Silverman said, adding that interference from wireless technology has created issues in other parts of the area as well.

“We’ve heard the feedback — and the static,” Silverman said. “We’re thrilled to be able to fix it for you in key parts of the area, including Center City.”

We know, you’re wondering: KYW Newsradio’s iconic jingle isn’t going anywhere, but an updated version will herald the addition of 103.9 FM, said Yadgaroff.

“We have some other exciting developments in the works,” Silverman said. “Stay tuned.”

TX Radio: Townsquare Names Mason Benitez MP In Victoria

Mason Benitez
Townsquare Media Inc. announced today that Mason Benitez has joined the Company as Market President and Chief Revenue Officer for its Victoria local media cluster. 

Benitez will lead the local media team and their “Local First” strategy in Victoria, which includes four FM signals: Country KIXS, CHR KQVT, Classic Rock KLUB, and Jack FM KTXN. He will report to Townsquare Regional Vice President Kelly Quinn.

“Mason is an exceptional leader in the local media business with a contagious enthusiasm,” commented Mr. Quinn. “His radio and digital experience, along with his focus on our ‘Local First’ strategy will be a huge benefit to our local clients and team in Victoria.”

“I’m very excited to join the Townsquare family. When I learned about Townsquare’s game plan and ‘Local First’ strategy from our CEO Bill Wilson I was completely bought in,” said Mr. Benitez. “I look forward to helping our local clients in the Victoria market, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work with the new team!”

Townsquare COO – Local Media, Erik Hellum added, “Mason is a rising star in our business, with a real passion for building great teams and helping clients grow their business, and I couldn’t be happier that he will be leading our talented Townsquare Victoria team.”

Prior to joining Townsquare, Mr. Benitez had spent time with Cumulus Media, overseeing sales for Beaumont, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Prior to that was Mr. Benitez was with CBS Radio in Houston.

AdLarge Media Adds AccuWeather Podcasts To Its cabana Network

cabana, the podcast network component of AdLarge Media’s audio ad sales business, adds three AccuWeather podcasts to its library. 

AccuWeather’s podcasts provide compelling and exceptional weather news, covering stories that matter most to listeners before, during, and after the storm. Now advertisers have a chance to align with AccuWeather’s content through the cabana podcast network, connecting with an engaged audience that seeks to prepare for what’s ahead.

The three popular AccuWeather podcast titles in the cabana network are:
  • Everything Under The Sun – In this weekly podcast, listeners get real stories and in-depth answers on news, such as the potential impact of weather on the spread of COVID-19, a look back at Hurricane Katrina 15 years later, and more.
  • Weather Insider -Listeners stay informed daily with AccuWeather’s Bernie Rayno, as he explains weather terms, shares breaking weather events, and analyzes it all in less than 15 minutes.
  • This Date in Weather Industry – Listeners learn something new every day from AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Evan Myers, who looks back on weather events that impacted this date in history, including pivotal moments that were shaped by weather conditions.
“Weather impacts everything we do, and brands have an opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience with AccuWeather’s podcasts,” said Frank DeSantis, Senior Vice President of Business Development for AdLarge and cabana. “AccuWeather’s reputation for superior accuracy, combined with the story-telling expertise of its meteorologists and hosts, creates a trusted environment that listeners are drawn to. I’m very pleased to welcome them to cabana.”

“AdLarge’s cabana is the ideal ad sales partner for our AccuWeather’s podcasts,” said Oliver Knowlton, Chief Strategy Officer of AccuWeather. “We are confident AdLarge’s best-in-class service and podcast advertising expertise will ensure AccuWeather’s unique podcasts are connected with the best advertisers and brands delivering contextually relevant solutions that benefit AccuWeather listeners. We’re delighted to be working with them.”

The AM Rundown: GSA OKs Biden Transition Process

General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy yesterday ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the, quote, "apparent winner" of the presidential election, clearing the way for the start of the official transition, which allows Biden's team to coordinate with federal agencies and frees up federal funds allocated for the process. Murphy had refused to acknowledge Biden as the "apparent winner" until yesterday, nearly three weeks since the election and more than two weeks since Biden's victory was called by AP and all the news networks, and she'd been under increasing bipartisan pressure to do so. President Trump tweeted yesterday around the same time that he's directed his administration to cooperate in the transition, but vowed to continue his fight challenging the election results. Yesterday's developments came after Michigan certified Biden's victory in the state earlier in the day, despite effects by attorneys for Trump to prevent it, the latest failed effort in their legal challenges. Murphy said in a letter to Biden about her ascertainment, "Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official . . . "

Philadelphia Inquirer 11/24/20

Biden Cabinet Picks: Biden revealed some Cabinet picks yesterday, including: former deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser Antony Blinken as secretary of state; Cuban-American Alejandro Mayorkas as homeland security secretary; Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations; Jake Sullivan as national security adviser; and Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA as director of national intelligence, the first woman in that position. Former Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry will be given the administration's lead role in fighting climate change, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen will reportedly be named treasury secretary.

➤THIRD VACCINE TRIALS SHOW EXCELLENT RESULTS: Late-stage trials for a third coronavirus vaccine have now shown excellent results, with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca saying its vaccine was shown to be up to 90 percent effective. In comparison to other vaccine candidates, including the ones from Pfizer and Moderna that in the last couple of weeks said their late-stage trials showed effectiveness results of some 95 percent, AstraZeneca's vaccine is both cheaper and easier to distribute.

But vaccines are likely to not be widely available in the U.S. until the spring, and the nationwide fall surge is continuing across the country, leading state and local officials to impose new restrictions, with worries about hospitals being overwhelmed. Many people are also traveling ahead of Thanksgiving, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging Americans to avoid holiday travel and not spend Thanksgiving with anyone from outside their household. Some 83,000 people are now hospitalized with the coronavirus in the U.S., according to The Covid Tracking Project, leading to a shortage of hospital beds and health care workers. Deaths have also been spiking, with the U.S. now averaging more than 1,500 coronavirus deaths per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, up from less than 1,000 two weeks ago.

➤SUSPECT ARRESTED IN CALIFORNIA CHURCH STABBING THAT KILLED TWO: Police said yesterday that they'd arrested a suspect in the stabbings the night before at a church in San Jose, California, that was being used as a homeless shelter in which two people were killed and others wounded, including three who were hospitalized. No services were taking place at Grace Baptist Church at the time of the stabbings. Police described the suspect as an adult male, but had not yet released his identity.

Black Friday isn’t going to be like traditional Black Fridays of the past this year. Since COVID-19 cases spiked recently, some state and local leaders have put fresh lockdowns in place, and/ or limited indoor capacities for non-essential businesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Americans shop “online rather than in person” on Black Friday and the following Monday. It lists shopping in “crowded” stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving as a “higher-risk” activity.” The annual ShopperTrack report predicts that Americans will spread out their shopping this year instead of going into stores on business weekends or sales days, such as Black Friday. Following suit retailers have adjusted Black Friday deals to last for weeks, as opposed to just days. 

➤AL ROKER RETURNS: Al Roker returned to the Today Show Monday, two weeks after undergoing prostate cancer surgery. “I’m back! I’m so excited to see all of you,” the 66-year-old meteorologist wrote on Instagram. During the first hour, he said that he’s feeling better and “trying to exercise,” adding, “Great medical care and the love of friends and family, it goes a long way.”

➤MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z ARE OVER THE WORKPLACE ROMANCE :   Office romances are dead, and it’s not just the fault of Millennials—but also Gen Zers. The Wall Street Journal reports that several societal shifts in the past decade have basically killed office romances. Krithika Varagur writes, “With the job market so precarious and workplace harassment under the microscope, many young people see dating a colleague…as a bad idea.” Research backs this up, with a Stanford University study finding the percentage of couples who reported meeting through work dropping from 19 percent to 11 percent between 1995 and 2017. Part of this drop could be attributed to online dating, but the #metoo movement likely contributes as well. And we can’t forget the pandemic, which has forced many into working from home, meaning they’re not stuck staring at their co-workers all day long catching feelings.

🏈RAMS TOP BUCCANEERS 27-24: The Los Angeles Rams topped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 in Monday Night Football last night (November 23rd) in Florida. Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns, and Matt Gay kicked in the winning points on a 40-yard field goal with 2:36 left. 

Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady was under pressure all night from the Rams' defense, which sealed the win with Jordan Fuller's interception with 1:49 remaining, the safety's second of the night.

🏈BENGALS QB BURROW DONE FOR SEASON WITH INJURED KNEE: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow tore the ACL and MCL and suffered other structural injuries in his left knee Sunday, ESPN reported Monday (November 23rd), and head coach Zac Taylor said the rookie is out for the rest of the season. An MRI showed the extent of the injuries, which were worse than had been anticipated, and Burrow, who was this year's top overall draft pick in April, is expected to have to undergo surgery. It's unclear if he'll be ready at the start of next season. Burrow suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Bengals' 20-9 loss to Washington when he was hit by two defenders at once.

🏈BILLS SWEENEY DEVELOPS COVID-RELATED HEART ISSUE: Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney has developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, related to his Covid-19 illness last month, and will miss the rest of the season, head coach Sean McDermott said Monday (November 23rd). Myocarditis, which is known as a potential development from Covid-19, can lead to heart failure, heart attack, stroke, or even sudden cardiac death. Sweeney's is the NFL's first known case, but Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez was diagnosed with myocarditis after several months of battling Covid-19.

🏈BROWNS STAR GARRETT TO MISS SECOND GAME WITH COVID: Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett will miss a second game this weekend as he continues to recover from Covid-19. Garrett tested positive Friday and missed Cleveland's 22-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. The Browns will play the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday. Head coach Kevin Stefanski didn't give any details on Garrett’s condition Monday, only saying they were following the NFL's protocols.

🏈NFL REQUIRING PLAYERS TO WEAR MASKS ON SIDELINES: The NFL issued new coronavirus requirements Monday (November 23rd), which include that players will now have to wear face masks on the sidelines unless they have their helmet on and are readying to enter the game. Positive coronavirus cases have been rising in the league as they've been surging across the country. There have been a total of 108 positives among players and staff in the past two testing periods, compared to 146 cases in the previous 11 periods.

🏀COUSINS AGREES TO ONE-YEAR DEAL WITH ROCKETS: DeMarcus Cousins told Marc Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated that he's agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets. The 30-year-old four-time All-Star missed all of last season with a torn ACL in his knee that he suffered after signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ken Jennings To Guest Host New Jeopardy Episodes

Ken Jennings

Weeks after the passing of legendary “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, Sony Pictures Television has announced that popular contestant and “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” tournament winner Ken Jennings will serve as the first of a series of interim guest hosts when the trivia game show returns to production on Monday, Nov. 30, reports Variety.

“Alex believed in the importance of ‘Jeopardy!’ and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” said ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer Mike Richards. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”

Trebek died on Nov. 8 from pancreatic cancer, after being first diagnosed in March 2019. His last day in studio was Oct. 29.

A long-term replacement host will not be named at this time, said the studio. Jennings has long been a favorite to assume Trebek’s iconic position at the “Jeopardy!” podium, having first emerged on the scene in the early aughts with a 74-game win streak and an all-time record for highest winnings in regular-season play with $2.52 million in earnings. He also became a consulting producer on the show after winning the “GOAT!” tournament earlier this year. Other names, including Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos, have been floated as potential new hosts.

More guest hosts will be announced in the weeks to come, says Sony Pictures Television.

Between Dec. 21 and Dec. 28, “Jeopardy!” will air a selection of 10 of Trebek’s best episodes in celebration of the beloved host. The last episodes that Trebek filmed will air the week of Jan. 4, 2021; the episodes hosted by Jennings and other interim hosts will air starting Jan. 11.

Chicago Radio: It's Official... Bruce St. James To Wake-up WLS-AM

Bruce St. James
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that legendary Chicago News/Talk radio station WLS 890 AM has named Bruce St. James as Morning Host for the station. St. James opens the morning mic beginning Monday, December 14, 2020, and can be heard on the station weekdays from 5:30am-9:00am.

A native of Washington, D.C. and Tucson, AZ, St. James started in radio at the age of 17 and has worked both sides of the microphone as a DJ, Talk Host and Program Director. For the last 10 years, he was a media mainstay in Phoenix, AZ, where he hosted The Bruce St James Show on News-Talk KTAR News 92.3. Prior to that, he programmed stations in Phoenix including KMLE and KKFR. St. James has also worked for stations in Los Angeles, CA, and San Diego, CA.

Stephanie Tichenor, Program Director, WLS 890 AM, said: “WLS 890 AM has served our Chicagoland audiences for 96 years. From John Landecker to Roe Conn to Mancow, every host has left his mark on the Big '89 and none more so than Rush Limbaugh. In 2021, we will bring the focus back to those who matter most – our listeners. Bruce St. James is here to have a conversation with our listeners, not a lecture. He is not here to change formats. He is here to continue what 890 already does best - inform and entertain our listeners. We are thrilled to welcome Bruce to mornings on the New ’89. Bruce knows radio. And, now Chicago will know Bruce.”

St. James said: “’Thrilled’ doesn't begin to describe my feelings. It is an honor and privilege to host a show on the legendary WLS, and I accept the responsibility of living up to the standard set by those before me. Now, more than ever, people need to connect, as well as be informed in an entertaining way. That is our goal every morning and I look forward to getting to know the amazing city of Chicago. Now, about the weather…”

Insights: Radio Turns To the Virtual Remote

Before the pandemic, remote broadcasts and appearances were staples of the AM/FM radio industry. This week’s Westwood One blog looks at how social distancing measures and shelter-in-place mandates have paused this type of station remote but offers solutions for how a virtual event could deliver similar results. 

  • The media plan for a station event is the engine of impact: An example weekly campaign has twenty ads, twenty promos, and eight live reports. They promote the station’s presence at the store, give listeners the important details, and, most importantly for advertisers, give consumers the necessary call to action.
  • The media plan: Average remote broadcast schedules have massive audience reach and generate significant frequency: According to Nielsen, a typical AM/FM radio buy of twelve weekly commercials reaches 43% of a stations’ 25-54 audience an average of 1.7 times. The average remote broadcast schedule includes significantly more ads, promos, and live reports – forty-eight announcements in all. It generates a massive reach of 76% of a station’s audience with exposure to the campaign an average of 4.1 times.
  • AM/FM radio stations can create a virtual remote using a strategic media schedule and messaging: For example, a virtual remote, supported by a 48+ spot buy in the week leading up to it, can drive consumers to a website to chat with customer service representatives.
  • LeadsRx, the leading attribution measurement company, found that auto dealer website visitors spiked up dramatically as the number of daily radio ads run in the market increased: 40 ads a day drove eleven times more website traffic than 1-9 ads a day.
  • A virtual radio sales event with a strong media campaign along with an exciting offer can generate comparable results to an in-person remote broadcast.