Friday, December 1, 2023

12/1 WAKE-UP CALL: After 7 days, Combat Resumes

Heavy fighting was reported in Gaza on Friday as Israel's military resumed combat operations against Hamas after accusing the Palestinian militant group of violating a temporary truce by firing towards Israeli territory. The seven-day pause, which began on Nov. 24 and was extended twice, had allowed for the exchange of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into the shattered coastal strip.

In the hour before the truce was set to end at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT), Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza. There was no immediate comment from Hamas or claim of responsibility for the launches. Palestinian media reported Israeli air and artillery strikes across the enclave after the truce expired, including in Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

In Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, a Reuters witness said he could hear heavy shelling and see smoke rising in the east of the town. People were fleeing the area to camps in the west of Khan Younis for cover, he added. The resumption of fighting came with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about to depart Israel. Blinken said on Thursday he told Israeli leaders they must not repeat the scale of destruction and displacement inflicted on the northern Gaza Strip as they prepare a military push farther south to eradicate Hamas. That reflects a shift in tone by the Biden administration toward increasingly stern messages that Israel must comply with international humanitarian law.

➤BIDEN FACES CRITICS IN HIS OWN ADMIN: Joe Biden is facing a wave of internal criticism, NBC reported, with officials in the State Department, USAID and Congress expressing concern at the Israel-Hamas war. With 15,000 Gazans killed in seven weeks of bombardment , many inside the Biden administration feel that the White House should do more to rein-in Israel. Only one person has publicly resigned due to the Gaza onslaught - Josh Paul (right), a director in the State Department's political-military affairs bureau, which oversees U.S. arms transfers. But sources told NBC News that the internal unrest - including statements in open letters from government employees - exceeds anything felt in the last 40 years, including the Iraq War and Donald Trump 's Muslim ban.

➤WHAT DID ISRAEL KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT:  A bombshell report has claimed Israeli intelligence had an intimate understanding of Hamas' October 7 attack blueprint over a year prior, but brushed it off as it was deemed unachievable. In a 40-page document obtained by The New York Times, Hamas laid out a detailed plan to carry out its assault on Israel that ultimately led to the deaths of approximately 1,200 people. The battle plan reportedly did not set a date for the attack, but offered an exhaustive look at the terrorist group's strategy, including a focus on fortifications around the Gaza Strip, while storming key military bases and division headquarters. According to the outlet, the plans within the document were followed by Hamas with chilling precision in the attacks last month, raising questions as to why Israel failed to take steps to prevent it. It is also claimed that officials conceded they could have prevented, or at least diminished, the October 7 attacks had they taken a number of dire warnings from analysts seriously.

➤ISRAEL TO HUNT DOWN HAMAS LEADERSHIP: Israel’s intelligence services are preparing to kill Hamas leaders around the world when the nation’s war in the Gaza Strip winds down, setting the stage for a yearslong campaign to hunt down militants responsible for the Oct. 7 massacres, Israeli officials said. With orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s top spy agencies are working on plans to hunt down Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar, the small Gulf nation that has allowed the group to run a political office in Doha for a decade, the officials said.

The Wall Street Journal reports the assassination campaign would be an extension of Israel’s decades long clandestine operations that have become the subject of both Hollywood legend and worldwide condemnation. Israeli assassins have hunted Palestinian militants in Beirut while dressed as women, and killed a Hamas leader in Dubai while disguised as tourists. Israel has used a car bomb to assassinate a Hezbollah leader in Syria and a remote-controlled rifle to kill a nuclear scientist in Iran, according to former Israeli officials.

➤STOCKS END NOVEMBER WITH A BANG: The Dow Jones Average rose more than 500 points yesterday to bring the month of November to an upbeat end. The Dow ended up at just over 38,000, its biggest number for the year. Investors were apparently celebrating the expectation that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates for now.

➤TRUMP GAG ORDER REINSTATED: An appeals court yesterday reinstated the limited gag order imposed on Donald Trump by Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the former president’s fraud trial in New York. An attorney for Trump called the new ruling “a tragic day for the rule of law.” The gag order forbids the former president to lob personal insults towards court staff members and his own family. The judge says his chambers have been “inundated” with threats.Hours before the gag order was reinstated, Trump renewed his personal attacks in social media posts referring to the judge’s “Trump Hating wife” and his “very disturbed and angry law clerk.”

➤DeSANTIS GETS UNDER NEWSOM'S SKIN: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis got under Gavin Newsom’s skin on Thursday night when he revealed the California governor’s own father-in-law is among the millions that have fled the blue state in recent years — for the Sunshine State. “So, I was talking to a fella who had made the move from California to Florida, and he was telling me that Florida is much better governed, safer, better budget, lower taxes, all this stuff, and he’s really happy with the quality of life,” DeSantis said during a Fox News debate with his California counterpart. “And then he paused, and he said, ‘You know, by the way, I’m Gavin Newsom’s father-in-law.” 

RAB Names Mike Hulvey President and CEO, Farber Departs

Mike Hulvey has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the RAB it was announced today by Jeff Warshaw, Chair of the RAB Board and Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Connoisseur Media.

Mike Hulvey, CEO of Neuhoff Media, will assume the RAB leadership post on April 1, 2024. Erica Farber, who has led the organization for nearly twelve years, has decided it is time to step down and pursue other interests including continuing to participate in RAB's Rising Through the Ranks leadership development training and National Radio Talent System, a wholly owned subsidiary of the organization. Under Farber's stewardship, the RAB has reshaped the organization into a full-service integrated membership, business development and training concern as well as forged strong relationships within the advertising marketplace. Additionally, she has diversified and re-invigorated its Board of Directors to ensure the future of the trade association.

Mike Hulvey
Hulvey's selection comes with the endorsement of the RAB Executive Committee and Board of Directors which includes representation from a broad group of radio broadcasters across the US.

According to Warshaw, "Mike is an excellent selection with the relevant skills and expertise to lead the RAB. He has an impressive track record in corporate management and local radio expertise. In addition, as a past chair of the RAB he has a clear understanding of the organization and what the broadcast industry requires from RAB. "He has a tremendous passion for the industry which will serve us all well."

"We thank Erica for her leadership over the past decade in helping to shape an organization that meets the needs of broadcasters today as well as for the future of the audio industry," stated Warshaw. "She's left an indelible imprint on the industry, and we can't thank her enough for her commitment and passion to Radio. It's been an honor and a privilege to work with her."

Mike Hulvey, "I'm honored to take on this responsibility and lead the RAB. It's a privilege to follow an amazing leader such as Erica Farber. I look forward to celebrating her in the coming months while we begin working with our dedicated team and board of directors in support of the mission of the RAB."

Mike Hulvey is a radio lifer. He began producing local shows at age 14, rising to become President and CEO of Neuhoff Media. Mike has served as Chair of the RAB Board, President of the International Broadcasters Idea Bank as well as a member of the NAB Board of Directors. Mike has also joined Dick Van Dyke and Gene Hackman as a Wall of Fame inductee in their hometown of Danville, Illinois.

Mike and his wife Julie have four adult children and one grandchild.

Hulvey will work with Farber to ensure a smooth and successful transition during the next few months as her last day with the RAB will be April 30, 2024.

Steve Wexler To Succeed Hulvey At Neuhoff Media

Neuhoff Media has announced that Mike Hulvey, President and CEO, will be departing from the company next spring, taking on a new role leading the trade association representing America’s broadcast radio industry, the RAB. Former Journal and Scripps broadcast executive and current Leadership Coach at Good Karma Brands, Steve Wexler, will serve as Interim CEO and will begin working with the Neuhoff team in January.

In a professional career that began 40 years ago, Mike grew up in the radio business. He began producing radio shows in high school in 1980, started full-time in the industry in 1984, and has never looked back.

Steve Wexler
In his new role, Mike will be succeeding Erica Farber as President/ CEO of the RAB, who recently announced she will be stepping away in April 2024. Mike has been a member of the RAB Board of Directors since 2012, serving as Chairman from 2020 to 2022. The RAB provides training, advocacy, and development support for more than 6,000 member stations in the U.S. and more than 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors and international organizations.

“It has been a tremendous honor to work with the Neuhoff family and our team of professionals for all these years,” said Mike Hulvey. “I can’t thank them enough for what we’ve done together. In so many ways, we’ve been able to make a real difference for our listeners, clients, and communities. What a blessing and a privilege it has been.”

Appleton Radio: Otis Day Gets Wake-Up Duty At WKSZ

Woodward Community Media has announced the newest addition to its talent lineup on 95.9 KISS FM, Otis Day. Day will take over weekday mornings from 5 to 9 a.m. starting Monday, December 18th. The hiring marks a return of one of Northeast Wisconsin’s most popular personalities. Day has been working outside of radio since March of 2022.

“Radio is my first love. Before girls, I loved radio. I’m excited to be back with my love and to do it on 95.9 KISS FM is truly an honor. I can’t wait for Northeast Wisconsin listeners to be the stars again. They have so much to say. They’ll be a huge part of mornings on KISS FM,” said Day.

“Otis Dahy brings a unique blend of personality, fun, and authenticity that will mesh perfectly with our current lineup. His infectious energy will keep our audience coming back for more. I am thrilled to welcome him as a valuable member of the KISS FM family,” said Brand Manager, Joe Marroe.

“Woodward is proud to welcome OTIS DAY back into this wonderfully personal, community-based, vibrant medium called radio…and especially at the helm of the morning show on KISS FM. He personifies our core values of teamwork and fun, said Woodward Radio Group General Manager Kelly Radandt.

X CEO Says Musk's Comments Were 'Candid and Profound'

Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino

X Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino, who oversees the social network’s relationships with advertisers, sent a memo to employees signaling her support of owner Elon Musk after his incendiary comments insulting brands that have backed away from the platform, reports Bloomberg.

“Our principles do not have a price tag, nor will they be compromised — ever,” Yaccarino wrote Thursday, a day after Musk told former advertisers including Walt Disney Co. to go “f—-” themselves. “No matter how hard they try, we will not be distracted by sideline critics who don’t understand our mission.”

Musk at Wednesday’s DealBook conference flung expletives at advertisers who had paused their campaigns in protest of his posts earlier this month supporting an antisemitic conspiracy theory, in which he agreed that Jewish people hold a “dialectical hatred” of white people. At the conference in New York, Musk said the advertisers pulling their money will kill the company.

In the memo, sent Thursday and viewed by Bloomberg, Yaccarino encouraged staff to watch Musk’s appearance at the conference if they hadn’t seen it. Musk’s “interview was candid and profound,” she said. “He shared an unmatched and completely unvarnished perspective and vision for the future.” Earlier, Yaccarino had reposted the specific clip calling out advertisers via her own X account.

Yaccarino’s memo is the the latest example of the CEO openly standing up for X’s owner, despite his comments that alienate the advertisers the company needs in order to continue operating, making her own job harder. The company’s advertising revenue is down more than 60% since Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover, in part because of his behavior responding to racist or antisemitic tweets. The platform, renamed X, is still indebted to the banks that helped fund the transaction.

Canada, Google Strike Deal To Keep News In Search Results

Canada and Google have reached a deal to keep news stories in search results and for the internet giant to pay C$100 million ($73.6 million) annually to news publishers in the country, a Canadian official said on Wednesday.

Reuters reports the deal resolves Alphabet-owned Google's concerns over Canada's online news law that seeks to make large internet companies share advertising revenue with news publishers in the country.

"Following weeks of productive discussions, I am happy to announce that we have found a path forward with Google for the implementation of the Online News Act," Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge said in a statement.

Canada's Online News Act, part of a global trend to make internet giants pay for news, passed in June and the government is finalizing rules that are expected to be released by a Dec. 19 deadline.

Google confirmed that Ottawa had committed to addressing its core issues and that news will continue to be available on its platforms in Canada.

Google had previously said it would block news on its platform, saying said Canada's law was more stringent than the ones in Europe and Australia, and raised concerns about the company being exposed to potentially uncapped liability.

Meta Platforms, the other internet giant that is the target of the law, has already blocked news sharing on Facebook and Instagram over its concerns about the law.

St-Onge said the deal with Google shows that the new law works, and called on Facebook to explain its decision to block news sharing in Canada.

SiriusXM, MLB Extend Broadcasts Through 2028

SiriusXM and Major League Baseball announced today a five-year extension of their broadcasting agreement. SiriusXM has teamed up with MLB to deliver games to fans around the country since 2005, and will continue to air live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason MLB game, as well as select spring training and Spanish-language game broadcasts, through the 2028 season. SiriusXM will also continue to produce the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel, which delivers live, in-depth MLB talk and analysis 365 days a year.

All MLB games are available to SiriusXM listeners in their cars and on the SiriusXM app. Those listening on the SiriusXM app and in vehicles equipped with SiriusXM’s latest generation 360L platform get access to play-by-play channels dedicated to each of MLB’s 30 clubs. This ensures the listener can hear their favorite team’s announcers for every game, whether they are playing at home or on the road.

The new SiriusXM app, which will begin rolling out on December 14, will offer listeners a more personalized, easy-to-use, lean-back streaming experience that puts discovery at the forefront. A new centralized sports hub ensures fans never have to miss a game, with all the latest live broadcasts, dedicated league and team pages, start of game notifications and more.

D/FW Radio: KSCS Morning Show Gathers 152K+ Cards For The Troops

Cumulus Media  announces that New Country 96.3/KSCS-FM in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX and morning show hosts, Hawkeye and Michelle Rodriguez of Hawkeye in the Morning, concluded the fifth annual 10,000 for the Troops holiday card drive to send warm, hopeful wishes to U.S. troops serving overseas this holiday season. The station announced today that this year’s campaign collected 152,869 cards, with more expected to arrive in the mail over the next week.

The station has partnered with Support Our Soldiers, a local 501(c)(3) organization based in Fort Worth, TX, to send the holiday cards to “high risk” units/individuals that are either in isolated areas or do not have support coming from home.

The campaign kicked off October 23, 2023, with hosts Mark ‘Hawkeye’ Louis and Michelle Rodriguez starting with the goal of collecting 10,000 cards. This year Community Coffee stepped up as a presenting sponsor and utilized their partnership with select Kroger Stores to be drop-off locations. Listeners and supporters could also mail their cards to the radio station or deliver them to any of the Dallas/Fort Worth Gigi’s Cupcakes or Dave & Buster’s locations. In addition, Averitt, Transportation and Logistics helped station staff deliver all supplies to participating drop-off locations and helped drop off all collected cards to Support Our Soldiers.

EMF Makes Leadership Appointments

Educational Media Foundation (EMF), the parent organization of leading Christian radio networks K-LOVE and Air1, has appointed three to its Executive Leadership Team.

David Pierce has been named Chief Media Officer at Educational Media Foundation. In this role, Pierce oversees content on both K-LOVE and Air1 radio networks and their accompanying music streaming platforms, as well as video streaming platform K-LOVE On Demand. He also oversees AccessMore, the ministry’s podcasting platform, as well as its publishing and film divisions. Pierce joined EMF in 1991 after an impressive career in broadcasting at both KLTY in Dallas and KSBJ in Houston, and since that time has held several leadership roles within EMF including, most recently, Chief Partnership Officer.

Matt Reynolds was named Chief Financial Officer in September 2023. He joined the organization in 2022 and has served in roles of increasing responsibility including Director of Financial Analysis and Treasury, and Vice President of Finance. Prior to joining EMF, Reynolds spent six years at Denison Ministries in Dallas serving in various leadership roles including Chief Financial Officer for the ministry. He is a Certified Public Accountant and serves as EMF treasurer. Reynolds holds both graduate and undergraduate business degrees from Texas A&M University.

Bethany Davis has joined Educational Media Foundation as Senior Vice President of Communications, overseeing communications and marketing operations. Davis comes to EMF with 20 years of experience, including nine years as Senior Director of Communications at Brentwood-based CoreCivic, Inc. Previously, she served as Senior Manager of Public Relations with Varallo Public Relations following nine years at CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5 WTVF in Nashville. She holds a master’s degree in business from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Radio History: December 1

➦In 1931...Gene Autry, nicknamed The Singing Cowboy, debuted this weekly show on WLS Chicago.

From 1940 to 1956, Autry had a huge hit with a weekly show on CBS Radio, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch. His horse, Champion, also had a CBS-TV and Mutual radio series, The Adventures of Champion. In response to his many young radio listeners aspiring to emulate him, Autry created the Cowboy Code, or Ten Cowboy Commandments. These tenets promoting an ethical, moral, and patriotic lifestyle that appealed to youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts, which developed similar doctrines. The Cowboy Code consisted of rules that were "a natural progression of Gene's philosophies going back to his first Melody Ranch programs

Autry is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars in all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for film, television, music, radio, and live performance.

➦In 1941...WNEW (now WBRR, NYC) moved to 1130 AM. WNEW had been on 1250 AM and shared time with Newark station WHBI. In March 1941, WNEW and WHBI were both reassigned to 1280. Then, on December 1, 1941, a swap of call letters and frequency took place between WNEW on 1280 and WOV on 1130. WOV moved to 1280 (to later become WADO) and WNEW moved to 1130 and assumed full-time status.

For most of its first 70 years on the air, WNEW was known for its popular adult music selection as well as its staff of radio personalities including Martin Block, Dee Finch, Gene Rayburn, Gene Klavan, Al "Jazzbo" Collins, Ted Brown and William B. Williams. WNEW is credited with pioneering the role of the disc jockey, as well as for developing the modern morning radio show format and debuting the first all-night radio show. In addition to its music and entertainment programming, WNEW featured an award-winning news staff and became "The Voice of New York Sports" for its coverage of New York Giants football team as well as the New York Rangers hockey and New York Knicks basketball.  After years of declining ratings and management changes in the 1980s, WNEW was purchased by Bloomberg L.P. in 1992 and changed call letters to WBBR on December 15.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

MSNBC Shakes-Up Weekend Programming

MSNBC is making big programming changes to its weekend lineup, debuting a new ensemble program “The Weekend” in January and replacing Mehdi Hasan’s show, The Wrap reports

Hasan Out
Although the Sunday “The Mehdi Hasan Show” will be replaced on MSNBC by Ayman Mohyeldin, Hasan will remain at the network as a political analyst and occasional fill-in host. Mohyeldin’s show will expand to four hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

The network is also launching a new ensemble program “The Weekend” hosted by anchors Alicia Menendez, Symone Sanders-Townsend, and Michael Steele on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 – 10 a.m. ET.

The program will premiere on Saturday, Jan. 13, and will be based in Washington, D.C. The show will be executive produced by Kyle Griffin.

According to the network, the new ensemble program aims to “provide thoughtful analysis and coverage from three trusted voices familiar to the MSNBC audience.” The show will encourage conversations on the “state of democracy,” and will feature interviews with relevant newsmakers. 

Symone Sanders-Townsend, Michael Steele and Alicia Menendez

Menendez joined MSNBC in 2019 and most recently anchored MSNBC’s “American Voices with Alicia Menendez” on Saturdays and Sundays. Sanders-Townsend was most recently the host of “SYMONE” on MSNBC and Peacock. Prior to joining the network in 2022, she was a Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris. Steele has been an MSNBC political analyst since 2011 and is a frequent fill-in host for MSNBC. He served as the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007 and as Chair of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011.

Other changes to MSNBC’s weekend lineup include, Alex Witt expanding his breaking news coverage from 1 p.m. to 4  p.m. He will take over Yasmin Vossoughian’s programming hour, who will remain with the network as a national reporter. 

Jonathan Capehart will move his program to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Katie Phang will also be shifting to Saturdays at noon ET, in an effort to complement “Inside with Jen Psaki” in the same time slot on Sundays. 

In a memo sent to staff on Thursday, MSNBC President Rashida Jones announced the changes and said the lineup shakeup “will evolve our weekend programming to better position ourselves as we head into the presidential election.”