Saturday, November 26, 2022

R.I.P.: Irene Cara, Singer Of 'Oh What A Feeling'

Irene Cara, the Oscar-winning singer of the title tracks to "Fame" and "Flashdance," has died at age 63, her publicist announced late Friday.

Cara died in her Florida home of an undisclosed cause.

"It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara," publicist Judith A. Moose wrote.

Cara was trained in music, dance and acting as a child and appeared on stage and on television, including appearances on PBS and on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show," at a young age in the 1970s.

But she rocketed to fame when she was cast in the 1980 musical "Fame." She was initially cast as a dancer but then had the role of Coco Hernandez written for her and she sang the title track.

R.I.P.: Charles Koppelman, Storied Music Executive

Charles Koppelman (1940-2022)

Charles Koppelman — the famed music executive who was the head of EMI Records, as well as Martha Stewart and Steve Madden’s companies, during his storied career — passed away on Friday at age 82, his family said.A source told Page Six at The NY Post that Koppelman died after a long illness and spent his last days surrounded by friends and family.

Koppelman’s career in entertainment and beyond was legendary.

After beginning in a band called The Ivy Three — which performed the 1960 hit, “Hey, Yogi” — he became a songwriter for industry vet Don Kirshner, along with famed tunesmiths Gerry Goffin and Carole King. But, a pal joked that Koppelman was, “the worst songwriter in [Kirshner’s] stable,” so he wound up instead running Kirshner’s Aldon Music at age 24.

He then was managing director of Screen Gems/Columbia Music before starting his own imprint.

Along the way, Koppelman identified “Here You Come Again” as a song for Dolly Parton, and helped guide the country star’s crossover into pop. He also helped discover recording artists as diverse and successful as the Lovin’ Spoonful, Vanilla Ice, Wilson Phillips and Tim Hardin. He co-produced Bobby Darin’s groundbreaking song, “If I Were A Carpenter,” and executive produced half a dozen of Barbra Streisand’s albums.

'Sunday Night Football' Remains TV's Highest-Rated

TV network shows -- especially top non-sports TV series -- continue their steady decline so far this season, and have now fallen under a key viewer level.

With the exception of some high-profile series, no non-sports TV series averaged more than 10 million viewers through the first eight weeks of the broadcast TV season, according to MediaPost citing Nielsen live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing.

A year ago, during a similar time frame, there were two shows over the 10 million mark: CBS’ “NCIS” (11.7 million) and NBC’s “Chicago Fire” (10.1 million).

This year, there are eight non-sport TV series over the 9 million viewer mark -- with “NCIS” still leading in this prime-time series category -- now at 9.74 million viewers (down 17% from the year before).

This was followed by "FBI" at 9.61 million (down 3%), "Blue Bloods" at 9.55 million (also slipping 3%), NBC’s "Chicago Fire" with 9.39 million (off 7%), CBS' "60 Minutes" at 9.23 million (down 2%), and CBS' "Young Sheldon" at 9.13 million (down 0.4%).

Coming in at eighth place was CBS' "Ghosts," a rare gainer among TV network series in its second season at 9.09 million viewers -- 16% higher over its rookie season.

The best-performing show on ABC, "The Good Doctor," came in at 6.19 million (down 14% from a year ago). For Fox, its best performer is "911" at 7.47 million (off 11%). For the CW, the top show is "Walker" at 1.38 million (falling 22%).

Twitter Launching ‘Verified’ Service Next Week

Elon Musk said Twitter Inc. will once again try to roll out a new verification service next week that its billionaire owner has championed despite a fumbled launch and numerous problems, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

He said Friday that Twitter would use a new color system for verified accounts, departing from the platform’s ubiquitous blue check mark. Companies would get gold check marks and government accounts would get gray check marks, he said. All individuals, whether they are celebrities or not, would have blue check marks. 

Musk said starting on Friday next week, the company would append a check mark to accounts it had manually authenticated. He didn’t say if users would have to pay to be verified.

He has been trying to revamp Twitter’s verification service since he closed his $44 billion takeover of the company last month. He has said he wants every user to be verified unless they are a bot account.

The new check-mark system has been plagued with issues. Days after launching it earlier this month, Twitter stopped giving out check marks as people were using the designation to impersonate companies, brands and celebrities. Thousands of users saw fake tweets from accounts including those posing as LeBron James demanding a trade, George W. Bush attacking Iraqis and Eli Lilly & Co. cutting insulin prices to zero.

Baltimore Sun Giving Up Building This Month

Baltimore Sun reporters and editors must clear out their desks by Nov. 30 as the newspaper publisher is moving out of its Port Covington location completely by the end of the month.

The Batimore Business Journal reports Maryland's largest daily is moving on — again — to an uncertain future. For now, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Trif Alatzas told his staff in an email this week to work remotely as negotiations for a new headquarters remain in the works. That announcement came two months after the developers behind the Port Covington project — which was recently renamed Baltimore Peninsula — said the paper had rejected a lease extension there.

It is the latest blow to The Sun since May 2021 when Tribune Publishing sold it and several other newspapers in the chain for $633 million to hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Local papers also owned by Alden in Annapolis and Carroll County have been working remotely since 2020 when their newsrooms shuttered for good.

Many Sun workers are already working remotely outside the newsroom as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper has been at its location in Port Covington since 2018 after its former owner sold the previous offices at 501 N. Calvert St. to a developer who then leased much of it to the Baltimore Police Department.

Jordan Bitove Will Take Full Ownership of Torstar

Toronto Star
publisher Jordan Bitove has taken sole control of the newspaper's parent company effective Thursday as part of an arbitration deal with co-owner Paul Rivett, according to Torstar Corp., bringing to a close a tense dispute between the former partners.

Bitove said in a press release Thursday evening that the two went into their partnership with the best of intentions, but they were ultimately unable to resolve the areas of disagreement that surfaced.

Bloomberg reports Rivett congratulated Bitove for "choosing to own the Star and Metroland," and thanked the arbitrator for what he said was a fair and quick process.

Torstar Corp. also owns the Metroland newspaper group and local newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator.

The settlement comes two months after Rivett filed an application to the Ontario Superior Court seeking a court order to dissolve NordStar Capital Inc., which purchased Torstar in 2020 for $60 million.

Northern CA Radio: KZRO Truly A One Man Show

Dennis Michaels at KZRO

It's no secret that we live in a time when the media landscape is changing dramatically, and the world of radio is no expectation. But Northern California can claim something of an antique: it's rock 'n' roll radio done the old fashioned way and, for one man, that means doing it the hard way, reports CBS News San Francisco.

"ZZ Top on Northern California's home of the classics, The Z Channel,"  KZRO 100 FM owner Dennis Michaels said into one of the microphones in the station's Mount Shasta studio.

For anyone who has ever made their way along Interstate 5 in the Shasta area and gone searching for some music on the radio, it's a station that, at first glance, may sound like normal classic rock radio. Only this isn't just a radio station. It's the work of one single person and it might be hard to find anyone else doing anything quite like it. 

KZRO 100.1 FM (12.5 Kw)

"I don't know. Nobody?" Michaels laughed. "Nobody else is stupid enough to do it."

By that, Michaels means running the whole show by himself. He picks the songs, records the jingles, even produces a lot of the commercials. He also does all of the maintenance and just about everything else.

"Music programming," he added. "Traffic. I don't do sales. I suck at sales. So basically, I program everything right here. Three or four software programs that kind of commingle. I send that over to the server which is down here. This is what's on there now. Chili Peppers. Styx up next."

Over the past 25 years he's built his own music library and runs the 24-hour-a-day schedule with the help of nine different computers.

"Every time I hear something I like," he explained, "I place it in the rotation. I think we do well. We're tracking about 22,000 cities on the Internet. Australia, Barbados, Germany, Canada. Russia I track it because I can see ... right where the server is and it's always right at the Kremlin."

All of those people, including the fans in Moscow, are listening to one man's playlist of 8,000 songs but it's really been a lifetime of music. Michales started as a teenager on AM radio in Chicago before his career took him to Los Angeles.

SLC Radio: Suspect Arrested In Murder Of Personality

KRMI personality Gaby Ramos

A 35-year-old man accused of killing a woman last year in Taylorsville and then fleeing the country has been arrested in Mexico.

Taylorsville City Police Department, Manuel Omar Burciaga-Perea was apprehended in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Nov. 24 “with the assistance of federal and state agents in Mexico and the United States Marshals Service.”

He is accused of shooting and killing Gabriela Sifuentes-Castilla, on October 17, 2021.  Sifuentes Castilla also was known by her on-air name Gaby Ramos. She had worked as a host on the radio station La Más Picosita on KRMI 1550 AM since March 2020. .

“Sifuentes-Castilla was shot seven times in the chest, arm and head, according to charging documents,” the release stated.

Police said Burciaga-Perea and Sifuentes-Castilla had been in a relationship but were not together at the time of her death.

R.I.P.: Johnny Walker, Legendary Austin Rock Personality

Johnny Walker
Former KLBJ deejay Johnny Walker, regarded as one of the most vibrant and respected personalities in Austin rock radio for more than a decade, passed away Monday.

He was 68, according to The Austin Chronicle.

His sister, Cissy Walker, confirmed to the Chronicle today that Walker had suffered a series of strokes in recent months that caused a gradual deterioration in his health. The impactful voice on Austin airwaves was born Darek Walker and grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. He is survived by his son, Tyler.

Cissy likened her brother to the “hippie always looking for the next van ride to the next show.” After working in radio across Lubbock, Albuquerque, Reno, and Spokane, Wash., Walker landed in Austin in 1987 as part of a Z102 morning show called The Breakfast Flakes. Walker then moved to KLBJ-FM in 1991, where he found his true home on the city’s main rock & roll station.

His profile grew largest during his KLBJ afternoon show, where he was an avid supporter of local acts such as Soulhat, Joe Rockhead, and many more. Soulhat’s “extended bone” nine-minute cut of the song “Bonecrusher” became a staple of Walker’s Friday broadcasts, played at 5 pm to mark the official end of the work week for listeners.

Walker’s standing at KLBJ suffered after the Johnson family sold the station, and a group of sister stations, to Emmis Broadcasting in 2003. The following year, Walker was moved to part-time with a prerecorded evening show, and was released for good in 2007. At the time, in a feature entitled “The Last Rock & Roll Deejay: KLBJ cans the legendary Johnny Walker,” the Chronicle’s Kevin Brass wrote:

In many ways, it was the end of an era. Walker is a member of a disappearing breed of hard-rock deejays, grounded in Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers, who lived the music as much as the bands and fans. On the air, they were conversational and honest, making it OK to share stories of late-night concerts, hangovers, and one toke over the line, sweet Jesus.

Walker never returned to radio, working in sales while also pursuing acting and voiceover work in subsequent years. He also dealt with the recovery from an earlier series of strokes that impacted his health.

November 26 Radio History

➦In 1912...CBS newsman & commentator Eric Sevareid was born in Velva, ND (Died at age 79 from stomach cancer  – July 9, 1992). He was one of a group of elite war correspondents who were hired by CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and nicknamed "Murrow's Boys". Sevareid was the first to report the Fall of Paris when the city was captured by the Germans during World War II.

Eric Sevareid
Traveling into Burma during the war, his aircraft was shot down, and he was rescued from behind enemy lines by a search and rescue team that had been established for that purpose. He was the last journalist to interview Adlai Stevenson II before his death.

He followed in Murrow's footsteps as a commentator on the CBS Evening News for 12 years, for which he was recognized with Emmy and Peabody Awards.

At the age of 18, Sevareid entered journalism as a reporter for the Minneapolis Journal, while a student at the University of Minnesota in political science. He continued his studies abroad, first in London and later in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he also worked as an editor for United Press. He then became city editor of the Paris Herald Tribune. He left that post to join CBS as a foreign correspondent, based in Paris; he broadcast the fall of Paris, and followed the French government from there to Bordeaux and then Vichy, before leaving France for London and finally Washington.

Bill Baldwin
➦In Bill Baldwin was born in Pueblo Colorado. He became the radio and television voice of hundreds of products, and was a war correspondent for the NBC Blue network in WWII.   He served as national president of the American Federation of Radio & TV Artists (AFTRA) in the early 70’s. As an actor he appeared in a number of TV series, including ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ ‘Ironside,’ ‘The Beverly Hillbillies,’ and ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’  He succumbed to cancer Nov. 17 1982, nine days short of his 69th birthday.

➦In 1933...singer Robert Goulet was born Stanley Applebaum  in Lawrence, Mass,  but within months his family moved to Northern Alberta.

He worked as disk jockey on Edmonton’s CKUA for two years and was a semi-finalist on CBC TV’s “Pick the Stars” in 1952.  He spent a summer at Vancouver’s Theatre Under the Stars.  In 1955 he became a regular on CBC TV’s Cross Canada Hit Parade. He was awarded a Grammy as the best new artist of 1962.  His best-selling album was the million-selling 1964 release “My Love Forgive Me,” which reached No. 5.

Goulet died awaiting a lung transplant Oct. 30 2007 at age 73.

➦In 1945...the daily radio program, “Bride and Groom”, debuted on the NBC Blue network. It is estimated that 1,000 newly-wed couples were interviewed on the program before it left the airwaves in 1950.

➦In 1962…At EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, the Beatles recorded "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why."

➦In 1969…At EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, John Lennon spent the afternoon mixing the Beatles songs "What's The New Mary Jane" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" with the intention of releasing them as the two sides of a Plastic Ono Band single. When this plan fell through, "Number" was released as the b-side of the Beatles' "Let It Be" single making it the last song of the Fab Four that John worked on.

➦In 2003...Eddie Gallaher, 88, the veteran radio broadcaster whose reassuring baritone was familiar to generations of Washington, DC listeners, died Nov. 26 of complications from hip surgery.

Gallaher's career began on WTOP-AM in 1947. He stayed on the air in one market for 53 years, working at two other stations before retiring in 2000.was the last of the low-key gentleman deejays who dominated Washington's radio scene in its heyday. When he retired from WGAY in 2000, he was the only one from that era still hosting a daily show. He survived major changes in the broadcasting industry, managing to stay on the air for 53 years despite losing vision and mobility in his final decade.

Gallaher also worked for the stations WWDC and WASH. He did Washington Redskins play-by-play and entertainment broadcasting for WTOP-TV.  Gallaher spent 21 years at WTOP, when WTOP switched to a news and talk format in 1968, Gallaher moved to WASH-FM.

His radio programs were beamed largely to the mainstream, attracting admirers of orchestrated music and of acts that included Frank Sinatra, the Mills Brothers, Patti Page and the Carpenters. In the 1950s and '60s, he was credited with helping turn records into local hits, playing songs by Percy Faith, Lawrence Welk and Ella Fitzgerald well before his rivals secured copies. He was a devoted fan of Broadway musicals.

➦In 2014…After surrendering to Toronto police, former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of choking in a sexual assault investigation. The CBC had fired the 47-year-old broadcaster a month earlier amid sexual misconduct allegations against him and what the company termed  "graphic evidence" that he had physically injured a woman.   After a trial in February 2016, the judge acquitted Ghomeshi of all charges saying there was insufficient evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Rich Little is 84
  • Impressionist Rich Little is 84. 
  • Singer Tina Turner is 83. 
  • Singer Jean Terrell (The Supremes) is 78. 
  • Bassist John McVie of Fleetwood Mac is 77. 
  • Actor Marianne Muellerleile (Film’s “Memento,” TV’s “Life With Bonnie”) is 74. 
  • Actor Scott Jacoby (“That Certain Summer”) is 66. 
  • Actor Jamie Rose (“Falcon Crest,” “St. Elsewhere”) is 63. 
  • Country singer Linda Davis is 60. 
  • Actor Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”) is 57. 
  • Actor Kristin Bauer (“True Blood”) is 56. 
  • Actor Peter Facinelli (“Nurse Jackie”) is 49. 
  • Actor Tammy Lynn Michaels (”The L Word,” “Popular”) is 48. 
  • Hip-hop artist DJ Khaled is 47. 
  • Actor Maia Campbell (“In the House”) is 46. 
  • Country singer Joe Nichols is 46. 
  • Musicians Randy and Anthony Armstrong of Red are 44. 
  • Actor Jessica Bowman (“Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman”) is 42. 
  • Singer Natasha Bedingfield is 41. 
  • Actor Jessica Camacho (“Taken,” “The Flas”) is 40. 
  • Singer-guitarist Mike Gossin of Gloriana is 38. 
  • Drummer Ben Wysocki of The Fray is 38. 
  • Singer Lil Fizz of B2K is 37. 
  • Singer Aubrey Collins (Trick Pony) is 35. 
  • Singer-actor Rita Ora is 32. 
  • Actor Aubrey Peeples (“Nashville,” “Sharknado”) is 29.

Friday, November 25, 2022

TV Ratings: Yellowstone’ Stays Strong In 2nd Week


“Yellowstone” was the top-rated entertainment program for the second time in the two weeks its fifth season has aired and one of only two to average more than 7 million viewers. The Kevin Costner-starring neo-Western averaged a combined 8.832 million viewers on Paramount Network and CMT, sixth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs between Nov. 14 and Sunday, according to The L-A Times story citing  live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen.

The CBS crime drama “FBI” was second among entertainment programs and seventh overall, averaging 7.313 million viewers.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched program for the 10th time in its 11 games, with the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-27 victory over the Chargers averaging 17.886 million viewers, sixth among the season’s “Sunday Night Football” games.

Spanish-language coverage of Sunday morning’s World Cup opener between Ecuador and Qatar averaged 4 million viewers on Telemundo, the Peacock streaming service and Telemundo Deportes’ digital platforms. English-language coverage on cable’s FS1 and Fox Sports streaming services averaged 3.228 million.

The CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” was the highest-ranked non-sports program for the eighth time in the 9-week-old 2022-23 prime-time television season, averaging 9.95 million viewers, fourth for the week behind “Sunday Night Football,” ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and the ”Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show.

The only time this season “60 Minutes” was not top of the ratings for non-sports programs was the week of Nov. 7-13, when the season premiere of “Yellowstone” averaged 12.493 million viewers on seven Paramount Global cable networks.

The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and its three “Chicago” series made NBC the top-ranked network for the seventh time in the season, averaging 5.53 million viewers. The only weeks NBC did not win this season came when Fox aired the World Series.

CBS was second, averaging 5.32 million viewers. ABC was third among broadcast networks and fourth overall behind ESPN, averaging 2.82 million.

ABC’s ratings leader was “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” 34th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs and 28th among non-sports programs, averaging 4.467 million viewers.

Fox averaged 2.49 million viewers. The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s top-ranked non-sports program for the seventh time in its eight episodes of the season, averaging 4.939 million viewers, 25th for the week and 20th among non-sports programs.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; “60 Minutes”; “Yellowstone”; seven CBS scripted programs; NBC’s three “Chicago” series and both episodes of its singing competition “The Voice”; and last Tuesday’s edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Hannity,” which included coverage of former President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would seek a second term.


ABC's David Muir, CBS' Norah O'Donnell, NBC's Lester Holt

ABC, NBC and CBS’ evening newscasts gained viewers during the week of November 14, 2022.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir had an especially strong week, reports TV Newser. It held onto its No. 1 ranking — meaning it has now defeated its evening news competition from NBC and CBS 207 of the past 208 weeks in average total viewers—and 136 of the last 138 weeks among adults 25-54.

Not only that, but according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for this past week, World News Tonight’s 8.91 million total linear viewers represents the newscast’s largest audience since February and the second-largest audience of any U.S. TV show, excluding sports programming.


Graphic Courtesy of RoadMN

Marketing Leaders Are Somewhat Optimistic About The Economy

A new Insider Intelligence study finds senior marketing leaders are somewhat optimistic about their fortunes in 2023—while simultaneously realizing they will need to shift priorities and embrace agility.

Economic outlook: In terms of their personal outlook for the US economy in 2023, a plurality (43.5%) of the 177 leaders surveyed expect GDP to start to rise; 27.0% expect it to stay the same; and 22.6% expect it to slow but avoid a recession. Only 7% expect a mild or deep recession.

Just under half (45.3%) expect inflation to continue to go up; 33.1% expect it to stay the same; and 20.1% expect a slight decline.

A hazy economic outlook and increased uncertainty have forced marketers to become more nimble than ever and adjust their strategic plans.

Adapt or die: Given signs of economic slowness in the US, marketers are looking to implement a number of changes in the next six months:

Nearly half (48.6%) are planning to reduce the amount they spend with outside agencies, with 35% saying they’ve already done so.

Users Claim ESPN Inflates YouTubeTV Subscription Prices

Four YouTube TV subscribers sued Walt Disney Company have filed a lawsui5t that challenges the bundled model of channels long found in American cable, satellite and now live streaming services.

 Sportico reports Biddle v. Walt Disney Company, which could become a class action, argues that the entertainment conglomerate has negotiated anti-competitive carriage agreements for ESPN and its 
related channels, and wields too much power over pricing for streaming live pay television (SLPTV) providers.

The subscribers blame Disney for the “near doubling of their subscription prices.” The base package for YouTube TV, which is controlled by Google, has increased from $35/month when it debuted five years ago to $65/month. The subscribers also note that when Google and Disney were unable to reach a new contract in late 2021, Google briefly dropped Disney channels (including ABC, FX, Freeform, Nat Geo, History and ESPN among others) and lowered the price to a more affordable $50. (The two sides later reached a deal, and the price was brought back to $65.)

Disney controls Hulu + Live TV, the second-largest competitor in the SLPTV market after YouTube TV. It also owns 80% of ESPN, which is said to be the most expensive channel on basic cable and streaming plans; some estimates price it at $9 or more per month.