Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Rundown: California Shuts Down Bars, Indoor Dining

L-A Times 7/14/20
California is partly shutting down again as it deals with surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, with Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday closing down bars and indoor dining in the entire state, and indoor religious services, gyms and hair and nail salons in most of it. California is one of states across the South and West that have been dealing with recent coronavirus surges, with Florida, Arizona and Texas also particularly hard hit.

As school districts across the country wrestle with whether they should hold in-person classes in the fall, California's two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, announced yesterday that school will be online when it returns next month, instead of having students in classrooms. In a joint statement, they cited research about school in other countries, saying, "Those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither." Across the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said schools will be allowed to reopen for in-person learning in parts of the state where infection rates average five percent or less for two weeks.

The total number of deaths in the U.S. was more than 135,600 as of early this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and the number of confirmed cases topped 3,363,000.

Budget Deficit at Record High in June, Driven by Coronavirus:
The U.S. had its biggest monthly budget deficit in history in June, $864 billion, driven by federal spending on programs to help deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus shutdowns, including the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses keep paying their workers, and the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits. The total deficit for the first nine months of the budget year, which began on October 1st, is a record $2.74 trillion.

➤SUPREME COURT CLEARS WAY FOR EXECUTION: After a U.S. district judge ordered a delay in federal executions on Monday, hours before Daniel Lewis Lee was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection in the first federal execution since 2003, the Supreme Court in a divided 5-4 ruling cleared the way early this morning for the executions to proceed. The Supreme Court acted after a federal appears court had refused to overturn the judge's delay. Lee's execution was scheduled for 4 a.m. ET, according to court papers. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan had ordered the delay because she said there were still legal issues to resolve involving the drug planned to be used in the executions. Lee was convicted of killing an Arkansas couple, William and Nancy Mueller and Nancy's eight-year-old daughter Sarah Powell in 1996. Two other executions are scheduled for later this week.

➤FIRE ON NAVY SHIP IN SAN DIEGO CONTINUES FOR SECOND DAY: A fire continued on the U.S. Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard for a second day Monday as it's docked in San Diego. Hundreds of sailors were fighting to keep the fire away from a million gallons of oil on board the vessel, as health officials in San Diego urged people to stay indoors if they could smell the smoke that drifted over the city. Meanwhile, a top Navy official revealed that a fire suppression system on the ship was turned off when the fire began Sunday morning because it was being worked on as part of the maintenance on the amphibious assault ship. At least 36 sailors and 23 civilians have been treated for heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation and minor injuries.

USAToday 7/14/20

➤SURVEY: AMERICANS MORE TIRED THAN EVER:  A new survey finds that 60 percent of Americans are saying their sleep routine during the pandemic has them more tired than they've ever been. In the poll of 2,000 adults for Leesa Sleep, 70 percent said their sleeping habits have become inconsistent, and 63 percent think their sleep schedules might be permanently ruined because of the pandemic. Part of it is being blamed on working from home, with 44 percent saying they stay up later since they don’t have to commute, with nearly half saying they get out of bed only 10 minutes before their workday at home begins. Additionally, people are also staying up late to binge-watch TV shows, with researchers reporting 67 percent of Americans are staying up until the early hours of the morning to do so.

➤NBA'S WESTBROOK TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: The Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook revealed yesterday that he'd tested positive for the coronavirus. The NBA star hasn't yet arrived at the league's campus at Walt Disney World, where games will be played when the season restarts, and it's now not clear when he will get there. Westbrook wrote on social media, "I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared." He warned, "Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!" The NBA also revealed that 322 players were tested when they arrived at Disney last week, with just two positives. The unnamed players are being quarantined, and could rejoin their teams later.

➤NHL TEAMS BEGIN TRAINING CAMP: NHL teams began their training camps yesterday (July 13th) for the upcoming playoffs when their season restarts. That's set to begin on August 1st, with an expanded 24-team playoff in two hub cities in Canada, Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Meanwhile, the NHL announced that 43 players had tested positive for the coronavirus from June 8th through the end of the league’s optional workouts.

➤CARDINALS RELIEVER HICKS WON'T PLAY THIS SEASON: St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks won't be playing in MLB's coronavirus-shortened season because the 23-year-old has Type 1 diabetes, which he was diagnosed with in high school. Hicks' availability for the season was already uncertain, since he's still recovering from Tommy John surgery. About a dozen MLB players so far have opted against playing this year, including L.A. Dodgers pitcher David Price, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman.

➤CHICAGO MARATHON CANCELED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: Organizers of the Chicago Marathon announced Monday that it had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual event, which had been scheduled for October 11th, usually draws some 45,000 runners and more than one million spectators. The Boston Marathon was postponed from its April 20th date until September and then canceled, and the New York Marathon, which was scheduled for November 1st, has also been canceled.

Report: Pandemic Impacting Audio Listening

New data from the Edison Research Share of Ear®  study, conducted during the period of COVID-19 disruptions, shows that people in the U.S. age 13 and older began listening to audio a full 75 minutes later on average, as compared to before the disruptions. 

The Share of Ear study, which requires respondents to keep a detailed daily diary of audio usage, shows that pre-COVID-19, the point in the day when 50% of those in the U.S. age 13+ recorded their first entry of their audio day was around 7:15am. During Q2 fielding of Share of Ear, it was not until 8:30am that half of respondents had recorded any audio usage.

“This finding challenges our thinking about how those in the U.S. listen to audio during traditional drive times,” said Edison Research Director Laura Ivey.  “With many people staying at home or working from home during Q2, they did not engage with audio as early as they did pre-COVID. This data shows that if Americans continue current work patterns, audio strategies may need to be adjusted.”

Share of Ear® Q2 findings are based on interviews conducted mid-May, 2020.

Report: Advertisers Making Longer-Term Podcast Buys

The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed the growth of podcast advertising revenue, but the industry remains in a good position to grow, according to Barron's citing data from  IAB, the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Podcasting has grown from a niche hobby with a homemade charm a decade ago into a major media industry today attracting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment and major star power.

Spotify Technology is the biggest spender on podcast acquisitions right now, because the company sees podcasting as a complementary service to its music offerings. It has spent more than $500 million to buy podcast companies and technology since the start of 2019, according to analyst and media estimates.

Other companies are also making investments, with Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI) announcing on Monday that it would buy the podcast company Stitcher for $325 million.

Last year, podcasting brought in $708 million, a 48% gain from the $479 million it took in 2018. In 2020, IAB estimates that podcasting revenue will grow another 15% down from pre-Covid estimates of 30% growth. That 15% gain equates to ad revenue of $812 million this year.

One positive from the report is that more advertisers are making large annual buys on podcasts, a sign that they are becoming a larger part of their brand strategies.

IAB has not put out post-Covid estimates for 2021 and 2022, although it had previously expected growth of 55% and 36% in those years. The study was sponsored in part by companies involved in the industry, including Spotify and Slate. It uses data reported to PwC by companies in the industry.

The No. 1 genre in podcasting is news, which pulls in 22% of revenue, according to IAB. People have flocked to podcasts to get more information on the pandemic.

About two-thirds of ad revenue from podcasting comes from ads read by the host, IAB says, but some industry players say the next stage of growth will involve more dynamic insertion of ads from big brands. New technology allows podcasting companies to target ads at consumers based on their interest and location.

Westwood One, LeadsRx Issue D2C Report

CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One has partnered with LeadsRx and MARU Matchbox to conduct their second annual Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness study to understand the marketing effectiveness of direct-to-consumer firms and the state of their brand equity.

Even before the coronavirus, e-commerce was surging. In the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. government indicated e-commerce represented 11.8% of total U.S. retail sales up from 6.9% in the first quarter of 2015 and 4.8% in in the first quarter of 2010. eMarketer forecasts e-commerce will represent 14.5% of full year 2020 total retail sales.

To better understand the current state of e-commerce, Westwood One, LeadsRx and MARU Matchbox conducted a study that examined direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands who sell online and the marketing practices that lead to success.

“Direct-to-consumer brands are entering their second act now, seeking to grow through market penetration and attract the masses via TV and AM/FM Radio,” said Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer, CUMULUS MEDIA and Westwood One. “This study validates the brand-building sales effect of broadcast media as TV and Radio drive seven times the search and site traffic lift of Google and Facebook.”

Another key finding from the study is that AM/FM radio is a catalyst for increased effectiveness of Google and Facebook ads during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. During the pandemic in Q2 2020 radio’s impact on Google/Facebook performance surged to 20.0%.

“Why is radio driving even more Google and Facebook impact during the pandemic? I believe it’s because radio listeners at home are responding MORE to radio ads now than they ‘normally’ did last year” observed LeadsRx co-founder and CEO AJ Brown. “Radio has this ‘halo’ effect and sub-conscious impact. Even while listening in the background while checking email or performing other work activities, it’s likely consumers recall an advertiser when getting on the internet.”

For the full Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness report, click here.

The study includes the following highlights:
  • Combined, Radio and TV deliver seven times the site traffic lift of Google and Facebook. The combined site traffic lift of TV and AM/FM radio grew from 40% in 2018 to 63% in 2019. The lift of Google and Facebook fell from 17% to 9% during the same period.
  • AM/FM radio advertising enhances Google/Facebook performance during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. The first quarter of 2020 showed an uptick in the average lift to 16.4%, increasing to 20% when the pandemic hit in the second quarter.
  • Surprisingly, AM/FM radio is just as good as TV in driving site traffic and TV. Across all the attribution studies performed, LeadsRx found a $24,300 investment in AM/FM radio generated one point of search and site traffic lift; to attain a point of lift via TV advertising, a $25,581 investment is needed.
  • Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 37% more likely to shop online than heavy TV viewers. According to GfK MRI, 59% of heavy AM/FM listeners have shopped online in the last year versus only 43% for Heavy TV viewers. For every dollar a DTC brand spends on TV, only 43 cents reaches consumers that shop online.
  • The profile of online shopper aligns more with AM/FM radio listeners than the TV audience. GfK MRI reveals online shoppers are nearly equally segmented into three age groups: 18-34 (32%), 35-54 (36%) and 55+ (32%). Heavy radio listeners mirror the online shopper profile: 18-34 (33%), 35-54 (36%), and 55+ (31%). The heavy TV viewer skews much older: 18-34 (14%), 35-54 (23%) and 55+ (64%).
  • There is a massive disconnect between the media selection for DTC advertising and which media audiences make the most online purchase. GfK MRI reports AM/FM radio represents 60% of the consumer e-commerce spend. Yet, according to Kantar Media, only 3% of e-commerce ad dollars are spent on AM/FM radio.
  • Per Nielsen’s Media Impact optimization platform, a reallocation of 20% of a DTC TV buy to radio generates stunning growth in incremental campaign reach. The challenge for DTC brands: most online shopping occurs among those under 55 while most TV tuning is generated by 55+ viewers. Per Gfk MRI, 68% of online shoppers are 18-54, however only 36% of heavy TV viewers are 18-54. Nearly two thirds of TV deliveries (64%) skew 55+ a demo that only represents 32% of online shoppers. Radio to the rescue. Adding AM/FM radio into the DTC plan generates significant incremental reach under the age of 55.
  • Best practices to power DTC marketing effectiveness: Allocate 74% of marketing budgets to brand building, target broadly with emotional advertising that runs in all days and dayparts.

Boston Radio: Beasley Media Offers $200K In Marketing Support

Beasley Media Group Boston has teamed up with RCN Business to award a total of $200,000 in marketing support to assist the Small Business Association Grant Program in Boston.

As the country starts to reopen in phases, small businesses are struggling to find the means to announce that they are open and welcome customers back into their locations. RCN Business and Beasley Media Group has created a customized program designed to help them get back up and running, without having to worry about marketing budgets.

The Small Business Association Grant Program, presented by RCN Business, will offer designated small businesses the opportunity to be considered for a $10,000 media schedule to use on one of five Beasley Media Boston radio stations beginning Monday, July 13th, 2020. A total of 20 small businesses will be selected to receive a grant to help advertise their local business through a combination of on air and digital media over the course of eight weeks on WBZ-FM/98.5 The Sports Hub, WBOS-FM/ROCK 92.9, WBQT-FM/HOT 96.9, WKLB-FM/Country 102.5, and WROR-FM/105.7 WROR.

“The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on small businesses, so it is more important than ever that we do what we can to help these businesses by letting patrons know they are open for business and following the proper guidelines,” said Jeff Carlson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of RCN Boston. “We hope that by providing these advertising grants, small businesses in the communities in which we live and work are able to get back on their feet.”

“RCN is a wonderful partner and we are so grateful for their commitment to helping small businesses in our community,” said Beasley Media Group Vice President and Market Manager Mary Menna.

For more information on the RCN Small Advertising Grant Program and to view the custom contest page, please visit any one of the following Beasley Media Group station links www.hot969boston.com, www.rock929rocks.com, www.985thesportshub.com, www.country1025.com or www.wror.com.

Focus 360 Expands its Jelli Networks

Focus 360 has significantly expanded the reach of its targeted Jelli® networks with 94 newly added stations in 23 markets, including many of the Top 25, such as New York, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, San Antonio, and more.

“We’ve seen a tremendous audience increase with the addition of these stations and markets across our targeted Jelli networks, including Female Focus, Rock Focus, Focus Information, and Focus Sports,” stated Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Focus 360.

Focus 360’s Female Focus Network showed a 52% increase with women 25-54 in the 2nd Quarter over the preceding quarter, and Rock Focus jumped 36% with men in that same age demographic during that same time period.

Focus 360 uses the cloud-based Jelli RadioSpot AdServer platform, which features a collection of cloud-based services. With RadioSpot AdServer and on-premise appliances, Focus 360 and their Jelli network affiliates are able to streamline radio network ad operations. This also allows Focus 360 to track individual play logs, an advanced advertising concept that gives us real-time data and the unprecedented access to perform real-time air-checks against advertiser campaign analytics.

Report: Mike Golic To Become Analyst For ESPN College Football

Mike Golic
A week after the discontinuation of the "Golic and Wingo" morning radio show, longtime host Mike Golic has found another role at ESPN — and it's one that will take him full circle.

USAToday reports Golic will return to work as a college football analyst with the network. The 57-year-old held that role in his first 10 years at ESPN. Golic's contract was set to expire this year.

Golic is best known as the co-host of "Mike & Mike in the Morning" from 2000-17 alongside Mike Greenberg, who is returning to the radio airwaves for his own afternoon radio show while continuing his role hosting ESPN's "Get Up." Greenberg's new show was announced last week when Golic's move away from the morning slot was also announced as part of ESPN's new August programming lineup.

Golic's latest partner, Trey Wingo, will host a new program featuring former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, NBA analyst Jay Williams and "SportsCenter” anchor Zubin Mehenti, weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET.

The "Golic and Wingo" show will run through July 31 after airing for almost three years in the post-Mike & Mike era.

Golic's son, Mike Golic Jr., will host an ESPN evening radio show with WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike.

Russo Comments On ESPN Radio New Morning Show:

Chris Russo
We can count SiriusXM's Chris “Mad Dog” Russo among the doubters of ESPN Radio’s new morning show plan, The NY Post reports.

The former WFAN host ripped the network’s new trio of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti, which is replacing Mike Golic after over two decades in the time slot.

“I don’t know what they’re thinking. I know they want to incorporate the TV with the radio. You’re going to have trouble convincing me that a three-man morning show, which is a grind – you have to be funny and nutty and stupid and glib … to be successful,” he said in a clip posted on Twitter by the Funhouse account. “I find it very, very difficult to think those guys are going to move the needle around America.”

Russo also took the time to take a shot at WFAN, comparing the move to when Mike Francesa was replaced in 2017.

CNN Launches 'Race Team'

CNN President Jeff Zucker informed employees Monday that the cable news network plans to launch a "new and expanded" team to "shed a light on the growing movement against institutional racism," Tjhe Hill reports.

“I could not be prouder of the impactful work that CNN has done on every platform in the last few years – and especially in the last several weeks – covering race and racial injustice in America," Zucker said in an internal staff memo. "Our reporting has been powerful, emotional, and helped to shed a light on the growing movement against institutional racism. Today, I am pleased to announce that we are making an even more significant, sustained commitment to ensure race coverage is a permanent part of our journalism."

Jeff Zucker
“The recent conversations we’ve had in our newsrooms have been informative and constructive. We have valued them, we heard you, and we will continue listening," the 55-year-old said. "There are structural changes and investments we can and will make to better cover what is happening in our society. We are committed to doing that.”

“In that spirit, we are pleased to share the news of a new and expanded race team, which will contribute to all CNN platforms,” Zucker added. “This team will build on what so many do already at CNN and will provide the needed structure to cover this beat with more focus and force.”

The race team will be headed by former Associated Press Chicago Deputy News Director Delano Massey.

Host Tom Bergeron EXITS 'DWTS'

Gone from 'Dancing With The Stars'
Tom Bergeron, who has hosted the ABC  reality show juggernaut "Dancing with the Stars" since its debut in 2005, will be hanging up his dancing shoes, he tweeted Monday evening.

His co-host, Erin Andrews, also will not be returning for Season 29.

“Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family,” reads a joint statement from ABC and BBC Studios, which produces the show. “As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success.”

Tucker Carlson Says Departed Writer 'Was Wrong'

Tucker Carlson said the top writer for his Fox News Channel show "was wrong" for making racist and sexist comments anonymously on an online message board. But he also took the opportunity in a program commentary to jab at self-righteous "ghouls beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man."

Late in Monday's edition of top-rated "Tucker Carlson Tonight," the host spoke for a little more than a minute about former writer Blake Neff, who resigned Friday just before the publication of a CNN report that revealed him to be the anonymous author of racist and sexist comments on an unmoderated message board.

Blake Neff
USAToday reports, Carlson criticized Neff's behavior, but in milder terms than Fox News executives, who referred to Neff's posts as "horrendous and deeply offensive" and added in an email to employees Saturday that "Fox News Media strongly condemns this horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior."

Neff resigned Friday after CNN reported that he used the pseudonym CharlesXII to post bigoted remarks about Black and Asian people on the online forum AutoAdmit. He also repeatedly mocked a woman about her dating life.

In his remarks, Carlson said Neff "was horrified by the story and …  ashamed," adding "what Blake wrote anonymously was wrong."

Although Carlson did not mention CNN specifically, he implicitly disputed the rival cable news organization's statement that there "has at times … been overlap between some material (Neff) posted or saw on the forum and Carlson's show."

Carlson said of Neff's commentary: "We don't endorse those words. They have no connection to the show. It is wrong to attack people for qualities they cannot control. In this country, we judge people for what they do, not for how they were born. We often say that because we mean it. We'll continue to defend that principle, often alone among national news programs, because it is essential. Nothing is more important. Blake fell short of that standard and he has paid a very heavy price for it."

He then went after those he perceives as taking delight in Neff's downfall.

"We should also point out to the ghouls now beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man, that self-righteousness also has its costs," he said. "We're all human. When we pretend we are holy, we are lying. When we pose as blameless in order to hurt other people, we are committing the greatest sin of all and we will be punished for it."

Free News for Facebook and Google May Soon Be Over

Australia’s competition regulator will this month publish draft rules forcing the two U.S. tech giants Facebook and Google to share revenue generated from news with the original publishers, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Bloomberg reports a final version of the code, the first of its kind in the world, is due to follow soon after.

Between them, Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have a dominant position in the online advertising market and that has been under intensifying regulatory and political assault in the U.S. and Europe, with Australia now adding another front of attack.

Should watchdogs in other markets follow Australia, it would chip away at two of the most wildly successful business models of the 21st century, built largely on content free-for-alls. Facebook and Alphabet have combined market values in New York of about $1.7 trillion.

“This would be a major shot across the bow from a regulatory perspective,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in New York. “It could open up a Pandora’s box around monetization and sharing of data.

In an interview, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims said he knows of several counterparts overseas who are considering taking similar steps. With traditional media hemorrhaging jobs and facing an assault from populist politicians alleging fake news, the 69-year-old is swinging the pendulum back in the publishers’ favor. To Sims, it’s about more than simply forcing businesses on his beat to play fair.

Traditional media companies have long complained their content is being exploited by digital platforms without due compensation. But that’s only part of the picture.

While platforms and publishers all compete for web clicks and eyeballs that can be turned into advertising revenue, they’re also allies of sorts. News stories, or even just links to them, are part of the appeal of Facebook and Google, helping them keep visitors engaged and vacuum up more data. The tech giants, in turn, direct traffic back to the publishers’ websites.

Read More Here

July 14 Radio History

➦In 1917...Douglas Edwards born (Died at age 73 – October 13, 1990). He anchored CBS's first network nightly television news broadcast from 1947–1962, which was later to be titled CBS Evening News.

Douglas Edwards
Edwards joined CBS Radio in 1942, eventually becoming anchor for the regular evening newscast The World Today as well as World News Today on Sunday afternoons. Edwards came to CBS, after stints as a newscaster and announcer at WSB in Atlanta, Georgia and WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan.

In the mid-1940s, Edwards was host of the radio program Behind the Scenes at CBS.

In 1947, as CBS's top correspondents and commentators shunned the fledgling medium of television, Edwards was chosen to present regular CBS television news programs and to host CBS's television coverage of the 1948 Democratic and Republican conventions. The term "anchor" would not be used until 1952, when CBS News chief Sig Mikelson would use it to describe Walter Cronkite's role in the network's political convention coverage.

At first, Edwards would be eclipsed by John Cameron Swayze of NBC News's Camel News Caravan, but he would eventually regain his ratings lead. By the mid-1950s, the nightly 15-minute newscast Douglas Edwards with the News was watched by nearly 30 million viewers.

Edwards' last newscast on the evening news was on April 13, 1962. Edwards was replaced by Walter Cronkite, and the program became Walter Cronkite with the News. On September 2, 1963, the program was retitled CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and became the first half-hour weeknight news broadcast of network television and was moved to 6:30 p.m. .

Edwards subsequently moved back to CBS Radio, where he delivered the network's flagship evening newscasts The World Tonight for many years.

➦In 1927...NBC newsman John Chancellor was born in Chicago. He spent most of his career with NBC News. He served as anchor of the NBC Nightly News from 1970 to 1982 and continued to do editorials and commentaries for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw until 1993.

During the 1976 election he introduced the concept of Red and Blue states, which survives to this day.

He died of stomach cancer July 12 1996, two days shy of his 69th birthday.

➦In 1957…Master satirist Stan Freberg debuted a new weekly comedy program on CBS Radio Network in the time slot previously occupied by Jack Benny.

In addition to Freberg, the cast included June Foray, Peter Leeds, and Daws Butler. Billy May arranged and conducted the music. The program failed to attract sponsors and the network cancelled the series after 15 episodes. It was the last U.S. network radio show to devote itself purely to comedy.

➦In 1969...WBZ 1030 AM, Boston increased its talk programming to a full 10 1/2 hours-a-day.

Increased competition in the top 40 format — first from WMEX 1510 AM which had programmed a top 40 format since 1957, then from WRKO, which adopted the format in 1967 — led WBZ to shift its music programming to adult contemporary in 1969, playing several songs an hour between 6 and 9 a.m. (though it was not unheard of for Carl DeSuze to play only one, if any, song an hour during his show), 10 to 12 songs an hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and 4 to 6 songs an hour between 4 and 7 p.m..

At night, WBZ programmed talk shows, with such hosts as Guy Mainella, a pioneer in sports talk; Jerry Williams in the evenings; and Larry Glick's overnight show. Music was also programmed during the day on weekends.

Beginning in the late 1960s, WBZ made a major push into live play-by-play sports. From 1966 through 1979, and again from 1991 through 1994, WBZ was home to radio broadcasts of New England Patriots.  In the fall of 1969, WBZ regained the radio rights to the Boston Bruins (which it had lost in 1951), and also began carrying Boston Celtics basketball. The Bruins stayed through the 1977-78 season.

➦In 1984...FLASHBACK..from R&R Week of July 13, 1984:

➦In 2015…Marlene Sanders died at age 84 from cancer (Born - January 10, 1931). She was a TV news correspondent, anchor, producer and executive who worked for ABC News in the 1960s and 1970s and moved to CBS News in 1978. She is known for being the first woman to achieve several milestones in the then male-dominated field of television news.

Shortly after joining ABC News as a correspondent in 1964, Sanders became the first woman to anchor an evening news broadcast for a major network when she substituted for the regular anchor, who had become ill. She was also the first woman to report on the Vietnam War from the field. In 1976, ABC promoted her to vice president and director of documentaries, making her one of the first women to reach upper management in the field. She also won three Emmy Awards for documentaries she produced for CBS.

Missy Gold is 50
  • Actress Nancy Olson (“Sunset Boulevard”) is 92. 
  • Football player-turned-actor Rosey Grier is 88. 
  • Actor Vincent Pastore (“The Sopranos”) is 74. 
  • Bassist Chris Cross of Ultravox is 68. 
  • Actor Jerry Houser (“Summer of ’42″) is 68. 
  • Actor Eric Laneuville (“St. Elsewhere”) is 68. 
  • Actor Stan Shaw (“Harlem Nights”) is 68. 
  • Singer-comedian Kyle Gass of Tenacious D is 60. 
  • Actress Jane Lynch is 60. 
  • Actor Jackie Earle Haley is 59. 
  • Actor Matthew Fox (“Lost,” ″Party of Five”) is 54. 
  • Keyboardist Ellen Reid of Crash Test Dummies is 54. 
  • Singer-guitarist Tanya Donelly of Belly is 54. 
  • Actress Missy Gold (“Benson”) is 50. 
  • Singer Tameka Cottle of Xscape is 45. 
  • Country singer Jamey Johnson is 45. 
  • Musician taboo of Black Eyed Peas is 45. 
  • Actor Scott Porter (“Friday Night Lights”) is 41. 
  • Actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) is 35. 
  • Singer Dan Smith of Bastille is 34. 
  • Actress Sara Canning (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 33. 
  • Singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons is 33.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Facebook Most Valuable Media Brand

Facebook replaced Disney as the top-valued media company, according to the Brand Finance’s “Media 25” report.

This year marks the first time that the independent brand valuation consultancy has included social media, and Facebook “stormed into the ranking in first place,” with a brand value of $79.8 billion, reports Mediapost.

“With over 2.5 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world and the brand continues to post profits above analyst expectations.

The ranking underlines how “disconnected” Facebook’s success has been to its public reputation, at least to date, note the analysts, citing the company’s weathering of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, among others. As to the current criticism from many fronts about its failure to stop hate speech, including the current #StopHateForProfit ad boycott, “It’s too early to tell how [Facebook’s] brand value will emerge from the chaos of 2020.”

This year’s top 10 most valuable media brands also include YouTube at #3 (also down 1 place, thanks to Facebook), Tencent (new to the index), Facebook Inc.’s Instagram (new to the index), Netflix, NBC, Universal, NetEase (new to the index) and CBS.

Fox was the fastest falling media brand. With a 47% decrease in brand value, to $8.4 billion, it dropped eight positions, to 12th place, in the media valuation ranking.

SiriusXM was the fastest growing brand, showing 33% valuation growth, to reach $5 billion.

The report notes YouTube and Netflix as media brands “to watch,” given their accelerated growth as consumer media consumption habits have changed since the pandemic.

Providence Radio: Kevin Palana Promoted To WCTK-FM PD

Hall Communications announces that Kevin Palana will be promoted to the position Program Director of Cat Country 98.1 WCTK-FM  in Providence on August 1.

Palana replaces current WCTK PD and Hall VP/Programming Bob Walker who is moving to Hall’s Lakeland/Winter Haven Cluster at the end of the summer. Palana is also WCTK’s Production Director and Afternoon Drive Host.

“Kevin’s programming credentials are top notch with previous successes in New London at WQGN and New Bedford at WFHN,” said Hall VP/Programming Bob Walker. He is a true strategist and extremely detail oriented. Our Hall culture is about promoting from within, which makes this so much more special.”

Kevin Palana
“Kevin has been a vital part of Cat County’s success this past decade,” added WCTK VP/General Manager Tom Wall. “He knows this market inside and out which makes him an excellent choice to be WCTK’s next PD.”

“I want to thank Tom, Bob and everyone at Hall for this opportunity,” said Palana. “I grew up in this market and there is no place I’d rather live. I look forward to working directly with Courtney Kelley and Brian Mulhern of Cat Country mornings and the entire staff in Providence and New Bedford”

Palana will also be the program director of New Bedford’s Classic Hits BIG 101.3 WNBH and can be reached at kevin@wctk.com

Washington NFL Team Drops 'Redskins' Name & Logo

The Washington Redskins are shedding that name effective immediately, the team announced Monday. The team said it is "retiring" the name and logo and that owner Dan Snyder and coach Ron Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design.

A new name must still be selected for one of the oldest and most storied teams in the National Football League, and it was unclear how soon that will happen, CBS News reports.  But for now, arguably the most polarizing name in North American professional sports is gone at a time of reckoning over racial injustice, iconography and racism in the U.S.

Native American advocates and experts have long criticized the name they call a "dictionary-defined racial slur." Over a dozen Native leaders and organizations wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week demanding an immediate end to Washington's use of the name. Goodell, who has fielded questions on the topic for years, said he supported the review.  

The move came less than two weeks after Snyder, a boyhood fan of the team who once declared he would never get rid of the name, launched a "thorough review" amid pressure from sponsors. FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all lined up against the name, which was given to the franchise in 1933 when the team was still based in Boston.

SiriusXM Makes It Official: They're Acquiring Stitcher

The E.W. Scripps Company has entered into an agreement with SiriusXM to sell podcast industry leader Stitcher for $325 million, a return of more than double Scripps' investment in podcasting over the last five years.

The Stitcher company includes three distinct podcast business lines: the Midroll advertising rep firm; owned-and-operated podcast networks including the comedy-focused Earwolf; and the Stitcher podcast listening platform.

Scripps was an early entrant into podcasting, acquiring Midroll in 2015 for $55 million and the Stitcher app in 2016 for $4.5 million. Since then, Stitcher has been a leader in the fast-growing podcast industry, growing revenue at a CAGR of 52% from 2016-19. Stitcher's 2019 revenue was $72.5 million.

The opportunity for Stitcher and its employees to join a large pure-play audio company ensures it will expand upon its success, Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson said.

"This sale is consistent with Scripps' track record of growing businesses that capitalize on the evolution of consumers' media habits and then unlocking shareholder value through spinoffs, exits and continued organic growth," said Symson. "Over and over, this strategy has proven effective as well as profitable for the company and its shareholders.

"Today's announcement, and the metrics around this sale, are an affirmation of our investment-for-growth strategy. We are firmly committed to our national businesses and are enthusiastic about the opportunities we see ahead in digital audio, over the top and over the air television."

Transaction highlights:
  • Sale price of $325 million, with $265 million of cash upfront; earnout of up to $30 million based on 2020 financial results and paid in 2021; earnout of up to $30 million based on 2021 financial results and paid in 2022
  • Full price representing an internal rate of return after taxes in the mid-20% range and cash-on-cash return of more than 2x, which incorporates the purchase prices for Midroll and Stitcher of $59.5 million as well as Scripps' investments in the business over the last five years
  • Improvement in National Media segment profit and company EBITDA with the elimination of Stitcher annual losses in the high-teens millions of dollars
  • Estimated tax liability of approximately $70 million assuming the full earnout is achieved. Scripps has approximately $190 million of net operating loss carryforwards that would offset about $40 million in 2020 tax liabilities.
  • The move of all Stitcher employees to SiriusXM
"As a result of this transaction, Scripps is improving our leverage ratio through higher company EBITDA and garnering cash we can use toward debt reduction, which continues to be our highest priority," Scripps Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lisa Knutson said.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, pending Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance. LionTree Advisors has acted as exclusive advisor to Scripps in the sale process, and BakerHostetler is serving as legal counsel.

The Rundown: Florida Sets Record For New Cases Reported

NATIONAL DEATH RATE INCREASING: Florida on Sunday reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases, breaking the previous daily record by a state which had been set by California five days earlier, with 11,694 new cases. That came as two top officials in Houston called for the city to lock down again, as hospitals have been inundated there with coronavirus patients. Houston's Harris County has been hit hardest by the virus in Texas, and Harris County Judge Line Hidalgo tweeted yesterday, "Not only do we need a stay home order now, but we need to stick with it this time until the hospitalization curve comes down, not just flattens." Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday that the state would need to lock down more if the numbers of cases doesn't go down.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths nationally from the coronavirus, which had been falling for months, even as cases began surging in recent weeks in Southern and Western states, including most prominently Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, has started to rise again. Since people usually die from the virus several weeks after first becoming infected, experts had expected an increase in deaths to follow the rise in cases. An AP analysis shows the seven-day rolling average for daily deaths from the virus in the U.S. has risen from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10th. However, that's still significantly below its peak in April. There have been more than 135,200 deaths in the U.S. as of early this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and more than 3,304,000 confirmed cases.

NYC Reports No Coronavirus Deaths for First time Since Mid-March: New York City on Sunday reported no confirmed or probable coronavirus deaths for the first time since March 11th, when it had its first fatality. New York City was once the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., and had a peak of daily deaths on April 7th with 597.

White House Targeting Fauci: The White House is targeting Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, with several news organizations saying over the weekend that a White House official told them, quote, "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." The official also listed examples -- which CNN described as resembling "opposition research on a political opponent" -- that included Fauci downplaying the virus early on and saying in March, "People should not be walking around with masks." The attempt to discredit Fauci comes as he and Trump are reportedly no longer speaking and as Fauci has openly disagreed with Trump in some recent interviews. Trump has also recently spoken out against Fauci, saying last week, "Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes."

➤EXPLOSION AND FIRE ON SHIP AT SAN DIEGO NAVY BASE LEAVES 21 INJURED: There was an explosion and fire on board a U.S. Navy ship at Naval Base San Diego Sunday morning that left 21 people injured. A Navy spokesman said 17 sailors and four civilians were hospitalized with non-life threatening injures. The cause of the explosion and fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard, a 23-year-old amphibious assault vessel, is being investigated, with Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that the Navy thinks the fire began in a lower cargo hold where marine equipment and vehicles are stored. The Bonhomme Richard was at its home port undergoing routine maintenance.

Robert Mueller
➤GRAHAM TO ASK MUELLER TO TESTIFY, AFTER MUELLER'S OP-ED FOLLOWING TRUMP'S COMMUTATION OF STONE'S SENTENCE: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that he will grant a request by the panel's Democrats to ask former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before them about his investigation. That comes after Mueller on Saturday made a rare public statement with a Washington Post op-ed following the commutation of Roger Stone's prison sentence a day earlier by President Trump. In the op-ed, Mueller defended his office's prosecution of Stone, a longtime friend and confidante of Trump, and said that despite the commutation, Stone is still a convicted felon, quote, "rightly so." Stone was convicted on seven felony counts, including lying to Congress and witness intimidation, in an effort to thwart Mueller's Russia probe, which prosecutors said Stone did to protect Trump. Stone had been set to report to prison this week to begin a 40-month sentence.

➤FEDERAL GOV'T.'S FIRST EXECUTION IN 17 YEARS SCHEDULED FOR TODAY: The federal government's first execution in 17 years is set to take place today after a federal appeals court lifted an injunction yesterday. The scheduled execution of Daniel Lewis Lee at a federal prison in Indiana this afternoon is taking place over the objection of the victims' family, who have long asked that he be given a life sentence. Lee was convicted in Arkansas for the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her eight-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. Two other federal executions are scheduled for later this week. Attorney General William Barr announced last year that an informal moratorium on federal capital punishment would end. The federal government has executed only three people since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988, the most recent in 2003.

➤LORI LOUGHLIN AND MOSSIMO GIANNULLI SELL HOME: Amid their college admissions scandal, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli listed their Bel-Air home for $28.65 million. The house recently sold for considerably less, People reports, though the amount was not specified. The pair purchased the home for $14 million in 2015. The pair pleaded guilty to paying $500,000 to get their daughters falsely designated crew recruits at University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannulli face two months and five months in prison respectively.

➤REPORTS: REDSKINS TO ANNOUNCE CHANGING NAME TODAY: The Washington Redskins will announce today that they are changing their name, according to media reports last night. However, Sports Business Daily, which first reported the news yesterday, said the new name won't be announced today because trademark issues are still pending. Despite calls for years from Native American organizations and others to change the name, which many consider offensive, team owner Dan Snyder had resisted. But after coming under pressure from prominent sponsors, the team said earlier this month that they were launching a "thorough review" of the name, which the NFL said it supported. 

Meanwhile, ESPN reported that MLB's Atlanta Braves said in an email to season-ticket holders yesterday that they won't be changing their name, but are considering whether to continue with the tomahawk chop rally motion that fans do in the stands.

➤NASCAR ROOKIE CUSTER WINS AT KENTUCKY: Cole Custer won the Quaker State 400 on Sunday at Kentucky Speedway, the 22-year-old's first career NASCAR Cup Series win, making him the first rookie regular to win in the Cup Series in nearly four years. Custer made a final-lap pass to grab the lead and get the win, beating out Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick.

NH Radio: WSMN Fires 'Radio Karen'

WSMN 1590 AM / 95.3 FM in Nashua New Hampshire has fired one of its talk hosts after filming herself harassing a group of Hispanic landscaping workers in a racist tirade sparked after she heard them speaking in Spanish.

The Daily Mail reports Dianna Ploss had been on her way into the studio in downtown Nashua on July 10 when she happened upon a group of laborers working along the roadside.

Diana Ploss
Ploss apparently became incensed when she heard a Caucasian worker from a landscapping company speaking Spanish to his Hispanic colleagues.

‘Are you speaking English?’ Ploss is heard yelling at the workers in the video. ‘It is America. English. English. English,’ she repeats several times.

In a bizarre attempt to justify her demands, Ploss tells the workers ‘you work for the state, you should be speaking English.’ When the workers reply they in fact work for a private company and not the state, Ploss remains undeterred.

‘Is anyone here illegal?’ Ploss she then asks. ‘It is America. Speak English,’ she says again as she walks past the workers.

Ploss, an avid Trump supporter, then launches into a perplexing and paranoid monologue about Communism.

Amid the commotion caused by Ploss’ soliloquy, an African American man is seen approaching her from the other side of the road, asking her ‘Why are you harassing these people?’

‘Are they in America?’ Ploss asks the bystander, to whom replies yes. ‘Then they should be speaking English,’ she retorts.

Chatham Hedge Fund Wins Auction for McClatchy’s Newspapers

James McClatchy helped launch The Daily Bee in Sacramento in 1857,
and he and his family led the company for 163 years
Hedge-fund manager Chatham Asset Management LLC emerged as the winner in a bankruptcy auction for McClatchy Co., ending 163 years of family ownership for the newspaper chain and increasing financial investors’ control of the American publishing industry.

The Wall Street Journal reports the sale, announced by McClatchy on Sunday, must be approved by the judge overseeing its bankruptcy. McClatchy publishes some 30 daily papers, including the Miami Herald, the Sacramento Bee and the Kansas City Star.

The sale price for McClatchy’s assets couldn’t immediately be learned. A purchase agreement should be filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan in coming days, McClatchy said.

For years, the U.S. newspaper industry has struggled to cope with the collapse of print advertising as readership has moved online and the digital ad market became dominated by tech platforms like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. McClatchy filed for chapter 11 protection in February before the outbreak of coronavirus, which has further destabilized the industry, causing widespread layoffs and cost cuts.

ALSO READ: McClatchy family empire is ending. Legacy lasted from Gold Rush, to fortune, to bankruptcy

A sale to Chatham would mean roughly one-third of all newspapers sold in the U.S. each day are published by companies controlled by financial institutions. Fortress Investment Group LLC manages Gannett Co., the country’s largest newspaper chain, with Apollo Global Management Inc. as the primary lender. Alden Global Capital LLC owns MediaNews Group, which publishes some 60 dailies, including the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Chatham said in a statement, “As longstanding supportive investors in McClatchy, we are pleased with the outcome of the auction. Chatham is committed to preserving newsroom jobs and independent journalism that serve and inform local communities during this important time.”

Chatham, a New Jersey-based hedge fund, is no stranger to media, also backing tabloid publisher American Media LLC, owner of the National Enquirer. The fund manager also holds a large stake in Postmedia Network Canada Corp., a publisher of dozens of newspapers in Canada, and several big newspaper and magazine distribution companies.

Chatham had become McClatchy’s largest creditor in recent years and a significant shareholder.