Thursday, December 1, 2022

Wake-Up Call: House OKs Bill To Force Labor Deal

The House approved legislation to force rail workers to accept a labor deal ahead of a possible strike. Lawmakers also voted to impose paid sick leave, a sticking point for workers and a step demanded by some in Congress. The freight railroads and unions representing engineers, conductors, machinists and others have been in labor negotiations for more than two years. Eight unions ratified a proposed contract the Biden administration helped mediate over the summer, while four didn’t. President Biden asked Congress to intervene earlier this week to avoid a strike during the busy holiday season. Both measures now head to the Senate.

➤HAKEEM JEFFRIES BECOMES HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries was elected House minority leader without opposition yesterday, replacing Representative Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic Party’s leader in the House. Jeffries is the first Black person to get the position. The 52-year-old New Yorker has been chairman of the House Democratic Caucus since 2019.

➤TORNADOES RIP THROUGH THE SOUTH: Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana were under a tornado watch yesterday as a severe storm system swept through a wide region. Heavy thunderstorms rumbled from eastern Texas to Georgia and as far north as Indiana on Tuesday night and into yesterday morning. Several tornadoes touched down, causing some damage but no reported injuries.

➤HOUSE COMMITTEE GETS TRUMP TAX RECORDS: After a three-year legal battle, the House Ways and Means Committee has received six years of former president Donald Trump’s federal tax returns. Trump’s effort to prevent the documents from being turned over by the IRS ended last week when the Supreme Court declined to intervene in a lower court ruling. Trump was the only president in modern U.S. history to refuse to release details of his finances.

➤ECONOMIC GROWTH STRONGER THAN EXPECTED: The American economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.9 percent in the third quarter, according to a new government report. That’s much faster growth in the nation’s gross domestic product than was expected. And, it’s a big improvement over the negative numbers seen in the first half of the year. Higher consumer spending was credited.

➤SMALLER INTEREST RATE HIKES LIKELY: In more positive news on the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell confirmed yesterday that smaller interest rate increases are likely starting as early as this month as inflation begins to subside. The stock market was pleased. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 737 points, or 2.18 percent, after three losing sessions.

➤MAUNA LOA BLOWS: Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano is erupting for the first time in 38 years. The world’s biggest active volcano started spewing Monday, and no one knows when it will stop. Experts say it does not pose a threat to any communities.

➤THE WORLD’S PRICIEST CITIES: New York City ties with Singapore as the world’s most expensive city, according to the Economist’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living report. Tel Aviv dropped from first to third place this year, followed by Hong Kong and Los Angeles. San Francisco was the only other U.S. city to make the top 10 list, at eighth place on the list.

➤THANKSGIVING SALES HIT A RECORD: A record 196.7 million Americans shopped in stores or online, or both, during the five-day holiday period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation. That’s up nearly 17 million from 2021.

➤AMAZON SAYS IT HAD ITS BIGGEST THANKSGIVING SHOPPING WEEKEND:  Amid rising inflation rates, shoppers are on the hunt for bargains now more than ever. At least that’s what people reported after noticing a record-number of in-store and online shoppers between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Over 196 million people showed up at storefronts or scoured the internet for deals this year, which is 17 million more than last year. Amazon benefited from the trend, reporting a chart-topping about of money made as online shoppers scanned screens in the name of frugality. The popular e-commerce site didn’t disclose how much money they made outright, but shared that independent businesses selling on their site made over $1 billion this year.

➤BANNED IN CHINA, TWITTER IS CIRITICAL ROOK FOR PROTESTORS: Banned in China, Twitter proves to be a critical tool for sharing evidence of protests with the world. People use VPNs, or virtual private networks, to disguise their locations, access the social network and send material to a handful of widely followed accounts. The country’s internet censors have scrubbed domestic social media of photos and video streams showing the demonstrations against harsh Covid-19 restrictions. Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment. Meanwhile, expressions of solidarity with Chinese protesters are mushrooming from Yale University to Istanbul.

➤A RECORD-BREAKING NUMBER OF PARENTS ARE MISSING WORK TO CARE FOR SICK KIDS:  With flu-season upon us, sick kids are surging. Factor in cases of COVID-19 and spikes in child cases of respiratory syncytial virus alongside the usual cold season and you get more parents having to miss work to take care of their kids. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 100,000 Americans had to miss work in October to comfort their sick youngsters. As labor shortages within childcare facilities happen alongside the rise in illnesses, healthcare providers are urging parents to keep children up to date with flu shots and COVID boosters to help cut down contagious illnesses to keep parents in the workforce.

🏀RETURN OF THE NBA STARS: Three badly-missed NBA stars are expected to return in the next week, according to Yahoo! Sports. James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers hopes to play in the team’s December 9th matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s been out with a strained tendon for 12 games. The Portland Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard is said to be working towards a return in the December 4th game against the Indiana Pacers after missing five games due to a calf injury. And, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton hopes to be in tomorrow’s game against the Lakers. It’ll be his first appearance since he suffered a torn wrist ligament during last season’s Eastern Conference playoffs.

The New York Yankees’ latest offer to slugger Aaron Judge is an eight-year deal worth about $300 million, according to ESPN. And that might get even bigger when expected offers from the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers roll in.

🏈RAMS’ McDONALD IS OUT FOR THE WEEK: Los Angeles Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald will miss Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks due to an ankle sprain. More bad news for a team already at the bottom of the NFC West at 3-8.

🏈FALCONS’ PITTS OUT FOR THE SEASON: Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts underwent knee surgery this week. He has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

🏈FLORIDA BACKUP QB FACES CHILD PORN CHARGES: University of Florida backup quarterback Jalen Kitna was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography after a search of his apartment in Gainesville. He has been indefinitely suspended from the Gators.

⚽ARGENTINA ADVANCES TO NEXT STAGE AT WORLD CUP: Argentina’s team defeated Poland 2-0 in its latest move toward making it to the World Cup’s knockout stages for the 13th time in 14 years. Despite losing the game, Poland will also advance in Group C because Mexico didn’t beat Saudi Arabia by enough goals. In Group C, Australia pulled off a 1-0 win over Denmark and advanced to the knockout stage.

➤IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY: An Atlantic hurricane season that had 14 named storms officially ended on Wednesday, leaving residents in the Florida Keys to celebrate even as others around Florida and Puerto Rico continue to grapple with the damage caused by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona. AP News reports the 2022 season had an unusually calm first half but made up for that with the three destructive hurricanes in the second half, ending with an average number of named storms. The season runs from June 1 until Nov. 30. This year’s period saw eight hurricanes with winds of at least 74 mph (119 kmh), and two of them intensified to major hurricanes with winds reaching at least 111 mph (179 kmh), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, forecasters said.

TV Ratings: A Week of Turkey and Sports

Some marquee contests led to some TV milestones, including the most-watched regular season pro football game ever and most-seen soccer game on American television, reports AP News citing Nielsen data.

The Dallas Cowboys’ defeat of the New York Giants shown on Fox Thanksgiving Day was seen by an estimated 42 million people, Nielsen said. Two teams with national followings, both having strong years, playing on a day where there’s a captive audience, led to the record. The previous best was a December 1990 game between the Giants and San Francisco.

Fox’s telecast of the World Cup match between the U.S. and England reached 15.38 million people on Friday. That alone beat the previous U.S. record-holder, the 1994 World Cup championship, and didn’t even count the audience on Telemundo, which lifted the total U.S. audience to nearly 20 million.

The Michigan-Ohio State college football game on Saturday — two traditional rivals both undefeated going into the matchup, playing a game with big scoring plays — was seen by 17 million people. That was the biggest audience for a regular season college football game since 2011, and the largest ever for Fox, Nielsen said.

CBS and NBC both had strong numbers for their Thanksgiving games. The 31.6 million who watched Buffalo and Detroit was the most popular game on CBS so far this season, Nielsen said.

Meanwhile, NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was seen by 25.8 million people, the most popular entertainment program of the year.

NBC was the week’s most popular network, averaging 8.2 million viewers in prime time. CBS had 4.1 million, Fox had 3.41 million, ABC had 3.35 million, Univision had 1.1 million, Ion had 870,000 and Telemundo had 820,000.

📺Top 20 Prime Times Show for the week Nov 14-20 (Total Viewers):

1. NFL Football: New England at Minnesota, NBC, 24.78 million.

2. “NFL Postgame” (Thursday), Fox, 21.66 million.

3. NFL Football: Green Bay at Philadelphia, NBC, 19.57 million.

4. “NFL Pregame” (Thursday), NBC, 18.13 million.

5. “NFL Pregame” (Sunday), NBC, 14.85 million.

6. NFL Football: San Francisco at Arizona, ESPN, 11.17 million.

7. “Football Night in America, Part 3,” NBC, 10.77 million.

8. “The OT,” Fox, 9.11 million.

9. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.03 million.

10. “Yellowstone,” Paramount, 8.36 million.

11. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 7.86 million.

12. “FBI,” CBS, 7.54 million.

13. “NCIS,” CBS, 6.85 million.

14. College Football: Florida at Florida St., ABC, 6.71 million.

15. College Football: Notre Dame at USC, ABC, 6.68 million.

16. “The Equalizer,” CBS, 6.56 million.

17. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.19 million.

18. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 5.98 million.

19. “Football Night in America, Part 2,” NBC, 5.97 million.

20. “NFL Pregame” (Monday), ESPN, 5.87 million.

'GMA' Hanky Panky

GMA co-hosts Amy Robach, 49, and T.J. Holmes, 45, have been locked in a passionate romance for the past six months despite both being married to their respective spouses for the past 12 years. 

A series of pictures obtained exclusively by tells the tale of their steamy relationship as the couple enjoy flirty post-filming sessions at a New York City bar, alone time in each other's apartments, and - two weeks before Thanksgiving - a weekend away in a secluded cottage in Upstate New York.

According to insiders, the two went from co-stars to lovers in June - when they were in London together covering the Queen's Diamond Jubilee for ABC. Holmes has been married to wife Marilee Fiebig with whom he shares a daughter, since 2010 - the same year Robach married actor husband Andrew Shue, 55. 

Earlier this month, Robach and Holmes were spotted having flirty post-filming drinks at O'Donoghue's Irish bar in Times Square, a dimly lit watering hole near GMA Studios. Days later, they spent a romantic weekend away together in the Shawangunk Mountains in Upstate New York where T.J. was seen giving his lover a cheeky pat on the butt. The secret lovers did not spend Thanksgiving together, but wasted no time reuniting after the holiday on Monday when they were snapped traveling back and forth between each other's apartments in Manhattan. 

In a rare moment of PDA confirming their romance, Robach and Holmes were seen holding hands in the back of an Uber as they traveled to Amy's apartment.

CNN Layoffs: 'Difficult Time'

CNN is facing its first major layoffs in many years as its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery is in major cost-cutting mode in a very uncertain economic environment.

Rodney Ho at writes Chris Licht, the new head of CNN, sent a memo warning that the layoffs would start Wednesday with cuts to paid contributors and full-time employees Thursday. He had given a head’s up last month that such cuts were imminent before the end of the year.

“It will be a difficult time for everyone,” Licht wrote.

It’s unclear how many employees will ultimately lose their jobs. CNN worldwide has about 4,000 employees with about 1,500 of them based in Atlanta.

In his memo to staff, Licht said laid off employees who are bonus eligible will still receive their 2022 bonuses.

While Atlanta was where CNN started in 1980 as part of Ted Turner’s vision of a 24/7 cable news operation, headquarters shifted to New York City starting in the 2000s as major decisionmakers left Atlanta. All weekday anchors left Atlanta after Jeff Zucker took over in 2013. The primary CNN network now only has weekend anchors based in Atlanta but many producers remain. CNN International and also have major operations out of CNN Center.

AT&T, before selling off CNN’s parent company, sold CNN Center. CNN has maintained its operations there for now, but there are plans to begin moving employees to the Midtown Turner campus next year.

Ad revenues for media companies are largely down this year and others companies such as Disney and AMC have announced planned cutbacks.

Budget Cuts Loom: NPR Imposes Near-Freeze On Hiring

NPR will need to cut at least $10 million from the current fiscal year ending next September 30, the network's chief executive, John Lansing, announced Wednesday, due to a sharp drop in revenue from sponsors, according to a post on the NPR Website.

Lansing told staffers in a memo that he intended to avoid layoffs, but would be forced to severely curtail hiring, amounting to what he described as "close to a total hiring freeze." The network will also sharply cut back discretionary spending and non-essential travel.

"As we did during the pandemic, we are prioritizing our staff and not anticipating layoffs at this time," Lansing wrote. Yet he noted that he recognized the strain that a near-freeze on hiring would put on NPR's current journalists and their non-newsroom colleagues. The figure represents approximately 3 percent of NPR's annual budget.

"It means we won't have the skills and support of the people who would have been in the roles that must remain vacant," Lansing wrote. "For those working long and stressful hours, that is not good news. But it is a reality we can't avoid if we are to save jobs."

Among the casualties: Lansing said he would slow down the search for a chief content officer, a new position that would be over the network's news and programming leaders.

Other media outlets have announced cuts that include layoffs. On Wednesday, CNN Chairman Chris Licht told the network's staff that long-planned cuts are starting. On-air contributors and full-time employees will be among those who will lose their jobs, he confirmed.

NYC Radio: WEPN ESPN Going Local To Take On WFAN

With WFAN eating ESPN New York’s lunch in the overall ratings, WEPN ESPN 98.7 FM is attempting to fight back.

The NY Post reports ESPN New York has plans to finally go head-to-head with WFAN by shifting to almost a full day of local programming. That will start with the expansion, on Jan. 3, of Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg’s morning show into a four-hour show to compete head-to-head with the top-rated “Boomer & Gio” program on WFAN. 

It is one of the first steps that could lead to a possible restructuring of ESPN Radio’s national morning program that features Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, according to sources. 

ESPN declined to comment. 

Musk Now Calls Apple App Store Dust-Up 'Misunderstanding'

Elon Musk on Wednesday tweeted that the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from Apple’s App Store was resolved following his meeting with the iPhone maker’s Chief Executive Tim Cook, reports The NY Post.

“Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so,” the billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla said in a tweet.

On Monday, Musk had accused Apple of threatening to block Twitter from its App Store without saying why in a series of tweets that also said it had stopped advertising on the social media platform.

He had later tagged Cook’s Twitter account in another tweet, asking “what’s going on here?”

Bad Bunny Pulls Off A Spotify Hat Trick

Happy Spotify Wrapped day to all who celebrate — especially Bad Bunny, the most-streamed artist in the world for three years in a row, reports The L-A Times.

The streaming platform revealed Wednesday that the reggaeton sensation is the first musician to pull off a global Spotify hat trick. Rounding out the global top five artists this year were Taylor Swift, Drake, the Weeknd and BTS. In the United States, Bad Bunny was the third most-streamed artist, behind No. 1 Drake and No. 2 Swift.

The music streamer unveiled the most-streamed artists, songs, albums and podcasts of 2022 as part of its annual Spotify Wrapped campaign, in which the company rolls out its end-of-year streaming stats for total and individual listeners. Bad Bunny also topped the global Spotify album chart with his smash-hit record “Un Verano Sin Ti.” But Harry Styles had him beat for the most-streamed song: “As It Was.”

In addition to “Un Verano Sin Ti,” the global top albums included “Harry’s House” by Styles, “Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo, "=" by Ed Sheeran and “Planet Her” by Doja Cat. Rounding out the global top five songs were “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals, “Stay (with Justin Bieber)” by the Kid Laroi, “Me Porto Bonito” by Bad Bunny featuring Chencho Corleone and “Tití Me Preguntó" by Bad Bunny.

The global top five podcasts of 2022 were “The Joe Rogan Experience,” “Call Her Daddy,” “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” “Case 63 (All Languages)” and “Crime Junkie.” And, of course, all over social media, Spotify listeners delighted once again in sharing their personal top artists, songs and albums of the year.

R.I.P.: Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac Hit Maker

Christine McVie, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist who became the biggest hitmaker for Fleetwood Mac, one of music’s most popular bands, died on Wednesday. She was 79, reports The NY Times.

Her family announced her death on Facebook. The statement said she died at a hospital but did not specify its location or give the cause of death. In June, Ms. McVie told Rolling Stone that she was in “quite bad health” and that she had endured debilitating problems with her back.

McVie’s commercial potency, which hit a high point in the 1970s and ’80s, was on full display on Fleetwood Mac’s “Greatest Hits” anthology, released in 1988, which sold more than eight million copies: She either wrote or co-wrote half of its 16 tracks. Her tally doubled that of the next most prolific member of the band’s trio of singer-songwriters, Stevie Nicks. (The third, Lindsey Buckingham, scored three major Billboard chart-makers on that collection.)

The most popular songs Ms. McVie wrote favored bouncing beats and lively melodies, numbers like “Say You Love Me” (which grazed Billboard’s Top 10), “You Make Loving Fun” (which just broke it), “Hold Me” (No. 4) and “Don’t Stop” (her top smash, which crested at No. 3). But she could also connect with elegant ballads, like “Over My Head” (No. 20) and “Little Lies” (which cracked the publication’s Top Five in 1987).

December 1 Radio History

➦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.

The station's origins go back to 1922 as WAAM in Newark, and 1925 as WODA in Paterson. The two stations merged, taking the new call sign WNEW to represent NEWark, NEW Jersey. The city of license changed from Newark to New York City only after the station's ownership changed hands.

Newspaper Ad 1984

WNEW was acquired in 1934 by advertising executive Milton H. Biow and watch manufacturer Arde Bulova, under the name The Greater New York Broadcasting Company. It also acquired the Manhattan broadcasting studios which had been constructed for the recently failed Amalgamated Broadcasting System. New York socialite Bernice Judis was hired as WNEW's first General Manager, making her a rare female executive during the "Golden Age of Radio." The call sign remained the same, to represent "the NEWest thing in radio."

➦In 1972...Paul McCartney and Wings released "Hi, Hi, Hi." The BBC banned the song for its supposedly suggestive lyrics and because of their assumption that the title phrase, "We're gonna get hi, hi, hi," was a drug reference.

➦In 1995...FCC scrapped the need for the Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit requirement to operate a broadcast station.

➦In 1997...Westinghouse Electric Corporation, founded in 1886, sold most non-broadcast operations; renamed itself CBS Corporation, until it was acquired by Viacom.

Bette Midler is 77

  • Actor-director Woody Allen is 87. 
  • Singer Dianne Lennon of the Lennon Sisters is 83. 
  • Bassist Casey Van Beek of The Tractors is 80. 
  • Singer-guitarist Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult is 78. 
  • Drummer John Densmore of The Doors is 78. 
  • Actor-singer Bette Midler is 77. 
  • Singer Gilbert O’Sullivan is 76. 
  • Actor Treat Williams is 71. 
  • Country singer Kim Richey is 66. 
  • Actor Charlene Tilton is 64. 
  • Model-actor Carol Alt is 62. 
  • Actor Jeremy Northam (“The Tudors,” ″Happy, Texas”) is 61.
  • Actor Katherine LaNasa (“Longmire,” “Deception”) is 56. 
  • Actor Nestor Carbonell (“Lost,” ″Suddenly Susan”) is 55. 
  • Actor Golden Brooks (“Girlfriends”) is 52. 
  • Comedian Sarah Silverman is 52. 
  • Singer Bart Millard of MercyMe is 50. 
  • Actor David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) is 47. 
  • Guitarist Brad Delson of Linkin Park is 45. 
  • Actor Nate Torrence (“Hello Ladies”) is 45. 
  • Singer Mat Kearney is 44. 
  • Actor Riz Ahmed (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) is 40. 
  • Actor Ilfenesh Hadera (“Godfather of Harlem,” “She’s Gotta Have It”) is 37. 
  • Singer-actor Janelle Monae is 37. 
  • Actor Ashley Monique Clark (“The Hughleys”) is 34. 
  • Singer Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots is 34. 
  • Actor Zoe Kravitz (“Insurgent,” ″Divergent”) is 34. 
  • Singer Nico Sereba of Nico and Vinz is 32.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

R.I.P.: Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac Singer-Songwriter

Christne McVie (1943-2022)

Christine McVie, who played with Fleetwood Mac and wrote some of their most famous songs, has died aged 79, her family has said.

The British singer-songwriter was behind hits including Little Lies, Everywhere, Don't Stop, Say You Love Me, and Songbird.

She died peacefully at a hospital in the company of her family, a statement said.

McVie left Fleetwood Mac after 28 years in 1998 but returned in 2014.

The family's statement said "we would like everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and revered musician who was loved universally".

Born Christine Perfect, McVie married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and joined the group in 1971.

SiriusXM Radio Orders Two Additional Satellites

Maxar Technologies and SiriusXM have announced a new agreement commissioning Maxar to build and deliver two new geostationary communications satellites for SiriusXM.

The SXM-11 and -12 satellite orders increase the total number of spacecraft in development for SiriusXM by Maxar to four, following the 2021 agreement for the construction of SXM-9 and -10.

"This investment reaffirms our commitment to satellite content delivery systems and cutting-edge technology," said Bridget Neville, SiriusXM’s Senior Vice President of Satellite and Terrestrial Engineering and Operations. "SXM-11 and -12, along with SXM-9 and -10, will allow us to innovate and improve our service offerings for subscribers and will extend the continuous and reliable delivery of our audio entertainment content."

BIA '23 Forecast Calls For Flat Revenues

In its newly released 2023 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast, BIA Advisory Services estimates revenues across all media in the U.S. will reach $165.7 billion in 2023, a decline of 0.5 percent from the firm’s final estimate of $166.5 billion for 2022. 

Removing political advertising revenues from the estimate, BIA projects $165.2 billion in total local advertising next year, a 4.8 percent increase in local advertising year-over-year. The almost flat revenue projections for the year indicate continued economic and supply chain concerns, yet the forecast is more bullish starting mid-2023. 

Local radio revenues – broadcast and digital -- are projected to decline from $14 billion in 2022 to $13.5 billion in 2023. The slippage is due to the loss of midterm political revenue next year; the number is flat at $13.5 billion when political revenue is removed from 2022’s number. 

Local Radio (Radio OTA + Radio Digital)$13.4 billion (2021)
  • $14.0 billion (2022)
  • $13.5 billion (2023)

Local Radio (Radio OTA+ Radio Digital excluding political)$13.3 billion (2021)
  • $13.5 billion (2022)
  • $13.5 billion (2023)

D/FW Radio: KSCS' Hawkeye Show Collects 106K+ Cards For Troops

Cumulus Media’s New Country 96.3 KSCS-FM morning show, Hawkeye in the Morning, concluded the Fourth Annual “10,000 for the Troops” holiday card drive to send warm, hopeful wishes to the brave men and women serving the U.S. Armed Forces overseas this holiday season. 

The DFW radio 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. This year’s campaign collected 106,322 cards, with more expected to arrive in the mail over the next week. The cards will be included in care packages sent to the troops by Support Our Soldiers, just in time for Christmas.

Colorado Spring Radio: 98.9 MAGIC FM Launches Healing Benefit

Cumulus Media announces that Colorado Springs Top 40 radio station 98.9 MAGIC FM/KKMG-FM has kicked off an online benefit auction, MAGIC FM Cares For Club Q: An Auction for the Colorado Healing Fund

Partnering with artists and supporters, 98.9 MAGIC FM provides music fans and the people who love them with an opportunity to bid on unique autographed items from some of today’s top artists. All proceeds from the online auction will help the families of victims and others affected by the tragic shooting at Colorado Springs’ Club Q on Sunday, November 20th.

The 98.9 MAGIC FM auction is open through Tuesday, December 13, 2022, and is exclusively online, so people everywhere can bid on the auction items, which are great for holiday gifts. The station’s goal is to provide as much support as possible to those affected by the Club Q shooting, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Colorado Healing Fund.

Wake-Up Call: Idaho Slaughter Probe Intensifies

Daily Mail US Composite 11/30/22

Police in Idaho seized five vehicles from the off-campus house where four university students were brutally stabbed to death in their beds earlier this month. It's the latest in the mystery of the grisly quadruple murders of four students - Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20 - who were all stabbed to death as they slept in their beds in the early morning hours of November 13. More than two weeks later, police have not yet named a suspect or motive in the slayings. The murder weapon is also missing, but it's believed the students were killed with a fixed-blade knife.

➤CONGRESS WILL TRY TO HEAD-OFF RAILROAD STRIKE: Congressional leaders agreed Tuesday to head off a nationwide strike by railroad workers, promising to pass legislation quickly that would avert a work stoppage and prevent damage to the economy despite their misgivings about intervening in the dispute. Speaker Pelosi said that House lawmakers will aim to pass legislation Wednesday that accepts the original labor union agreement negotiated by Biden administration officials plus additional railway worker benefits added from subsequent negotiations. In the Senate, where bipartisan support would be needed, leaders also said they would aim to quickly pass the legislation once it is sent over from the House, even as some lawmakers pushed for changes to the deal.  “I don’t like going against the ability of unions to strike, but weighing the equities, we must avoid a strike,” said Mrs. Pelosi after meeting with President Biden Tuesday at TWH. “Jobs will be lost, even union jobs will be lost, water will not be safe, product will not be going to market,” she said.

👥SENATE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: The U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday in a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, which will require the federal government to recognize all marriages, including same-sex marriages, that are legal in the state where they took place. The measure will now move to the House, where it is expected to pass in the final days of a Democratic-controlled chamber before making its way to the White House for President Joe Biden's signature.

Sacramento Radio: Aaron Roberts Promoted To OM For Audacy

Audacy has promoted Aaron Roberts to Operations Manager of its Sacramento market, which includes 98 Rock (KRXQ-FM), 96.9 The Eagle (KSEG-FM), ALT 94-7 (KKDO-FM), 102.5 KSFM (KSFM-FM), 106.5 The End (KUDL-FM), ESPN 1320 (KIFM-AM) and CHANNEL Q (KKDO-HD2).
In this role, Roberts will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the stations. He will continue in his role as Brand Manager of 98 Rock and 96.9 The Eagle, which he assumed in August 2022.

Aaron Roberts
“When we welcomed Aaron to our team in August, we were confident in his ability to position 98 Rock and 96.9 The Eagle for success,” said Stacey Kauffman, Regional Vice President, Audacy Northern California. “His experience and leadership style has done just that and we’re excited to have his oversight on our full suite of stations moving forward.”

“I’m excited to expand my role here in SAC and oversee our market’s rich portfolio of stations,” said Roberts. “I look forward to taking this next step in my career and appreciate the tremendous support from the Audacy team of Stacey, Vince, Dave and Jeff.”

Roberts joined Audacy in August after spending 10 years with Cumulus Media & WestwoodOne, including as Vice President of Programming Operations and Special Projects from 2014 to 2019. His radio career spans over 20 years in operations and programming, including WRQQ in Nashville, WIOT in Toledo, OH and WROV in Roanoke, VA., as well as Operations Manager for Citadel Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA and WLUM in Milwaukee.