Monday, August 15, 2022

D/FW Radio: Talker Casey Bartholomew Joins WBAP

Casey Bartholomew

Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Casey Bartholomew as On-Air Host for Cumulus Dallas Fort Worth’s News Talk 820 WBAP. Bartholomew debuts today on News Talk 820 WBAP and can be heard Monday through Friday from 9:00am-11:00am.

Bartholomew joins Cumulus DFW from Cumulus Columbia, MO, where he has served as Program Director for News/Talk station KFRU-AM/FM. Bartholomew has hosted shows on News/Talk stations across the U.S., including KFI-AM in Los Angeles, WKXW-FM in Trenton, NJ, and WFSX-FM in Fort Myers, FL.

Bruce Collins, Program Director, WBAP/KLIF, said: “Casey is the ultimate pro and understands the top stories of the day that affect our listeners. We are excited to have him on the News Talk 820 WBAP team.”

Bartholomew commented: “WBAP is a legendary station and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Looking forward to the challenge – This is going to be fun.”

Report: Activist Investor Wants Disney To Spin ESPN

Activist Investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point has taken a new stake in Disney, according to CNBC citing a letter the activist investor sent to CEO Bob Chapek.

In a letter o Chapek, Loeb urged the company to “make every attempt” to acquire Comcast’s remaining minority stake prior to the contractual deadline in early 2024.

“We believe that it would even be prudent for Disney to pay a modest premium to accelerate the integration,” Loeb said in the letter.

Daniel Loeb
Loeb also said he believes there is a strong case that the ESPN business should be spun off.

Disney just came off a strong quarter with its streaming subscriber growth blowing past estimates. Disney also posted better-than-expected results on both the top and bottom line, bolstered by increased spending at its domestic theme parks.

ESPN+ has become a stronger product in the past year as Disney moves more exclusive live games to the service. Disney said last month it raise the price of ESPN+ to $9.99 per month from $6.99 per month starting Aug. 23, the largest price increase to date.

The activist investor has a history of investing in the media giant. He had held a stake for two years from 2020 to early 2022, pushing Disney to ramp up its streaming services.

Audacy's Country Event 'Stars & Strings' Heads To Florida

Audacy has announced the return of “Stars and Strings,” hosted by WKIS KISS Country 99.9 FM. The annual country music concert event will take place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL on November 2.

The “Stars and Strings” lineup includes multi-Platinum entertainer Jason Aldean, ACM Award-winning singer Kane Brown, ACM Award-winning band Old Dominion, multi-Platinum entertainer Randy Houser, Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Elle King and eight time chart-topper Dustin Lynch.

Audacy’s I’m Listening, a mental health initiative, teams up with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to support veterans' mental health. WWP offers interactive programs, rehabilitative retreats, and professional services to help veterans address the invisible wounds of service and build resilience. "Stars and Strings" will benefit WWP programs like Project Odyssey, which allows veterans and their family support members to take part in group-based adventure-based learning and build skills to help manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a traumatic brain injury.

“We are excited to be returning to the Seminole Hard Rock to bring a night of country stardom to fans in the South Florida area,” said Michael Martin, Senior Vice President of Programming and Music Initiatives, Audacy. “It’s a bonus to partner with Wounded Warrior Project to expand our I'm Listening commitment to mental health conversations, supporting the well-being of our beloved veterans.”

“We are thrilled to host this star-studded event featuring some of the biggest names in country music at the Hard Rock Live of our flagship property in Hollywood,” said Keith Sheldon, President of Entertainment, Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming. “The event highlights Hard Rock’s commitment to showcasing the best artists across all genres of music and demonstrates the strength of our ongoing partnership with Audacy.”

➤Tickets will go on sale for pre-sale on Wednesday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET through Thursday, August 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET or until pre-sale sells out. Regular on sale begins Friday, August 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET via or

Streaming Services Wrestle With Churn

Some 19% of subscribers to premium services—a group that includes Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV+, HBO Max and Disney+, among others—canceled three or more subscriptions in the two years up to June, according to The Wall Street Journal citing new data from subscriber-measurement firm Antenna. That is up from 6% in the two-year stretch ended in June 2020.

The average rate of monthly customer defections among premium services in the U.S. was 5.46% in July, up from 4.46% a year ago and 4.05% in July 2020, according to Antenna.

Many households signed up for multiple streaming services a few years ago as options in the marketplace proliferated, subscription prices were lower and the pandemic boosted demand for in-home entertainment. Slowly but surely, they have gotten more choosy and frugal.

Some consumers cancel subscriptions when they finish a hit series on a service, then switch to another that has something else compelling. Among people who have canceled multiple services, a substantial portion “are people trading shows,” said Jonathan Carson, co-founder and chief executive of Antenna. “They come in, watch, cancel and go.”

Others lose interest when their favorite content is no longer available on a platform, or simply want to cut back on entertainment spending, analysts say. Pocketbook pressures from an economic downturn could make households even more budget conscious.

Appetite for streaming remains high. The number of subscriptions per person is rising in the U.S., according to Antenna. But there is more competition among the services for new customers, especially in the mostly saturated U.S. market.

The percentage of Netflix subscribers who signed up in January and were still subscribers six months later fell to 55% in 2022, compared with 62% in the same period of 2021 and 71% in 2020, Antenna found. Loyalty of longtime customers has waned, too: People who have had Netflix subscriptions for two to four years accounted for 18% of cancellations in the second quarter, up from 13% two years ago.

Antenna compiles data from third-party services that collect information from consumers, with their consent, such as online purchases, bills and banking records. That gives the company visibility into streaming subscriptions.

R.I.P.: Jim Thompson, Longtime Radio Executive

Jim Thompson (1946-2022)

With great sadness the Broadcasters Foundation of America shares the sad news of the passing of its longtime President and beloved broadcaster Jim Thompson. 

Thompson, who fought a valiant struggle against throat cancer for nearly a year, passed away last night in Summit, NJ, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, which has been established by the Broadcasters Foundation in honor of Thompson’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause of providing financial aid to Radio and TV professionals in acute need.

“I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend,” said Scott Herman, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. Broadcasting has lost a great man, who always saw the positive in every person and every situation. He will be sorely missed.”

Thompson took over the reins of the Broadcasters Foundation in 2009, guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to Radio and TV professionals from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year.

“When the Board of Directors was searching for a President, Jim’s reputation as a leader combined with his compassion for others and his ability to rally people together made him the perfect choice,” stated Phil Lombardo, Chairman Emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation. “His accomplishments over the past 13 years helped the many TV and Radio professionals who found themselves in unthinkable circumstances and in need of aid. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family.”

Last October, Thompson announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022. Thompson had been President and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a nineteen-station radio group concentrated on the east coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to Vice President and General Manager.

An innovator and visionary, Thompson created the Radio-Mercury Awards to encourage and reward excellence in radio creative. He served on the boards of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Advertising Council, was Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Broadcasters Association and a member of numerous committees, including the NAB Radio Futures Committee. Thompson was named “Radio Executive to Watch” by Advertising Age, “Radio Executive of the Year” and “One of the Most Influential People in Radio” by Radio Ink Magazine, where he also appeared on the cover numerous times. A member of the U.S. Army, Thompson served in Vietnam.

To make a donation to the Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, please click here:

The Broadcasters Foundation of America provides financial aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen tragedy. Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society. For more information, please visit

Nexstar Media To Acquire The CW Network

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. announced today that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 75 percent ownership interest in The CW Network. 

Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global, the current co-owners of The CW, will each retain a 12.5 percent ownership interest in The CW and will continue to produce original, scripted content for the Network.

Nexstar, together with its partner stations, is the nation’s largest local television broadcasting company and the largest CW affiliate group with 37 CW and CW Plus affiliates, including affiliates in five of the top ten DMAs, accounting for 32 percent of the Network’s national reach. The proposed transaction is expected to create value for Nexstar shareholders by solidifying the Company’s revenue opportunities as the largest CW affiliate, diversifying its content outside of news, increasing its exposure to the national advertising market, establishing it as a participant in advertising video-on-demand services and improving The CW ratings, revenue, and profitability, by prioritizing programming for the Network’s broadcast audience.

Mark Pedowitz will continue to serve as The CW’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with responsibility for day-to-day operations. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

Perry Sook, Nexstar’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our acquisition of The CW is strategically and operationally compelling, as it will enable us to leverage our operational experience to improve the Network’s performance through our management of this powerful national platform. We plan to apply the same strict financial standards to operating The CW as we apply to our other businesses.”

“The CW has delivered signature programming to its broadcast and digital audiences for 16 years,” said George Cheeks, President & Chief Executive Officer of CBS. “Together, with our partners at Warner Bros. and The CW, we have created a welcome home for content that has resonated with viewers on the network and on platforms around the world. This new ownership structure enables us to partner with Nexstar and Warner Bros. Discovery on the next chapter of The CW while re-deploying capital to other content platforms at Paramount.”

Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group, commented: “For 16 seasons, The CW has been home to some of the most groundbreaking and generation-defining programming in television, from the iconic DC Super Heroes of Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse series to The Vampire Diaries, and everything in between, including the All American franchise, the original Gossip Girl, Kung Fu, Nikita, Riverdale, Smallville, and many many more. The network was also the home of Supernatural, the longest-running live-action fantasy series in U.S. TV history, for 14 of its 15 seasons. 

"We’re excited that the Supernatural story will continue with The Winchesters premiering this fall. We look forward to continuing to collaborate on our shared series and future projects to come under Nexstar’s leadership. We are forever grateful to our partners at The CW, especially Mark Pedowitz, who has been a great friend to the studio for so many years, and to me personally. We know that the network will continue to thrive under his leadership.”

Wake-Up Call: DHS Warns Of Threats To Federal Law Enforcement

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned in a joint bulletin Friday about an increase in threats to federal law enforcement after the FBI's execution of a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida residence last week. The bulletin said threats are coming from social media, web forums, video sharing platforms and image boards, and warned about a potential "dirty bomb" threat at FBI headquarters and other threats that called for a "civil war" and "armed rebellion," with the threats possibly including specific "targets, tactics, and weaponry," according to The Hill. There are also threats against judicial, law enforcement and government officials associated with the Mar-a-Lago search, including the federal judge who approved the warrant.

➤MAN KILLS HIMSELF AFTER DRIVING INTO U.S. CAPITOL BARRICADE: A 29-year-old man fatally shot himself early yesterday morning after driving his car into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol. Police said the man, identified as Richard A. York III of Delaware, didn't seem to be targeting any member of Congress in the incident that took place just before 4 a.m. Authorities said that as the man was getting out of the car following the crash, his vehicle became engulfed in flames. He then fired several shots into the air indiscriminately as police approached before shooting himself. Police are investigating if he set the car on fire himself, as the crash didn't appear to cause the fire. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said York had a criminal history, but had no links to the Capitol and his motive remains unclear.

➤FIVE U.S. LAWMAKERS VISIT TAIWAN 12 DAYS AFTER PELOSI TRIP THAT INFURIATED CHINA: A delegation of five U.S. lawmakers led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts arrived in Taiwan Sunday for a visit, 12 days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infuriated China by visiting there, leading Beijing to carry out days of threatening military drills around the self-governing island. The delegation, which also included Democratic Reps. John Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal and Don Beyer, and Republican Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, a delegate from American Samoa, was to meet with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials. China charges the U.S. encourages those who want independence in Taiwan by selling military equipment to the island and engaging with its officials, but the U.S. says it doesn't support Taiwan's independence.

➤BIDEN GOT 'VIBE SHIFT' -- WILL IT HELP DEMS IN NOVEMBER AND BIDEN IN 2024? A CNN report yesterday says that President Biden got, quote, "the vibe shift he needed" over the past couple of weeks, but asks if it's enough and in time to help Democrats in the midterms in November and to help boost his dismal approval ratings as he readies to run for re-election, which by all reports he is planning to do.

President Biden
A big part of the "vibe shift" was the surprise agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Democratic Senator Joe Manchin that led to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the sweeping health care, tax and climate bill that includes the largest-ever federal effort on climate change, and among its major provisions it lets Medicare negotiate what it pays for drugs and caps out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare to $2,000 a year.

Also passed recently were the CHIPS legislation to bring more semiconductor chip manufacturing to the U.S., the expansion of federal health care services for veterans suffering from chronic illnesses they blame on exposure to toxic smoke from burn pits at military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, and gun legislation in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting. Gas prices have fallen below $4 right before midterm campaigning picks up, and there was also the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

But is it enough, especially as Republicans will be pounding Biden and the Democrats with still high inflation rates? One adviser told CNN that all this happening wasn't by accident, saying Biden, quote, "plays the long game and really does have the ability to look ahead and know you're going to go through the rocky periods to get there." Along the same lines, a senior Senate Democratic aide said, "This President, by not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, helped make so many of these things happen." But CNN lays clear the challenge Biden's team faces, saying they are now, quote, "rushing to reset the image they allowed to settle in of a doddering president wiling away his days in the Oval Office."

Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is "on the road to recovery," his agent Andrew Wylie said Sunday, two days after the author was attacked at a lecture in western New York. However, Wylie said the 75-year-old's recovery would be long, after his liver was damaged and he suffered severed nerves in an arm and in an eye that he will likely lose. Rushdie's son, Zafar Rushdie, said in a statement yesterday, "Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humor remains intact." The 24-year-old alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, pled not guilty Saturday to attempted murder and assault. Iran's then-Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" calling for Rushdie's death in 1989 after some Muslims claimed his 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, was blasphemous against Islam. Khomeini died in 1989, but the fatwa remains in effect, and a prosecutor alluded to it as a possible motive. Iran’s state-run newspaper, Iran Daily, praised the attack Sunday. Matar was born in the U.S. to parents who emigrated from Lebanon.

THREAT TO J.K. ROWLING INVESTIGATED: Police in Scotland are investigating an online death threat against the author of the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, received the death threat via a Twitter post after she posted her best wishes for a fellow author. Novelist Salman Rushdie was seriously injured by a knife-wielding assailant while onstage for a speaking event in western New York last week.

➤FIVE AMERICANS AMONG WOUNDED IN JERUSALEM ATTACK: Five Americans were among at least eight people who were wounded in a shooting that targeted a bus early Sunday morning in Jerusalem. At least two of the Americans were tourists. A police statement said that a "terrorist armed with weapons shot at a bus and vehicles in a parking lot." The attacker fled the scene, but later turned himself in to police, with CNN citing a security source as saying he's an Israeli citizen from East Jerusalem, while Israeli media described him as a Palestinian who holds Israeli citizenship. CNN's source said the suspect wasn't known for any terrorism-related offenses, but had a criminal record and had spent time in prison.
➤41 KILLED IN FIRE AT COPTIC CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN EGYPT: There were 41 people killed Sunday, at least 15 of them children, when a fire broke out at a Coptic Christian church in Cairo, Egypt, during morning services. Sixteen people were injured, including four policemen trying to rescue worshippers from the packed Martyr Abu Sefein church. The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known, but a police statement said an initial investigation pointed to an electrical short-circuit. Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population.

➤TEACHERS ARE IN HOT DEMAND ACROSS THE U.S.: With a new school year looming, school districts across the U.S. are desperate for teachers, and they’re coughing up incentives to entice them. Des Moines public schools are offering $50,000 to teachers and administrators nearing retirement age to stay for another year, according to Axios. Dallas schools have set aside $51 million for salary increases and another $52 million for retention bonuses. The shortage of teachers is attributed to burnout, low pay and greater job demands, all of which got worse during the pandemic.

➤GO GREEN, GET A TAX BREAK: The Inflation Reduction Act just passed by the U.S. Congress has some big benefits for consumers who buy electric vehicles, install solar panels, or make other energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, according to CNBC. Electric vehicle buyers can get a tax credit worth up to $7,500. Other tax credits will lower the cost of installing solar panels or other renewable energy systems. Taxpayers who install Energy Star appliances or upgrades can get up to a 30% tax credit.

➤THE IRS IS GOING FOR RICH TAX CHEATS: The IRS just got an $80 billion infusion of cash from Congress, and most of that money is going to go towards auditing rich people who cheat on their taxes. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig says the agency won’t be targeting any taxpayers who make less than $400,000 a year. The goal is to collect some of the estimated $600 billion in income that goes underreported every year.

🎥‘BULLET TRAIN’ HOLDS NO. 1 SPOT AT THE BOX OFFICE DURING SUMMER SLOWDOWN: Bullet Train held on to the top spot at the domestic box office during its second weekend, pulling in $13.4 million. The film saw a 55% decline from a week ago. Deadline reports that this past weekend was the slowest yet this summer, with the box office seeing just $66.8 million for all movies.

Box Office Numbers from Friday through Sunday:

1. Bullet Train, $13.4 million
2. DC League of Super-Pets, $7.17 million
3. Top Gun: Maverick, $7.15 million
4. Thor: Love and Thunder, $5.311 million
5. Nope, $5.3 million
6. Minions: Rise of Gru, $4.9 million
7. Where the Crawdads Sing, $4 million
8. Bodies Bodies Bodies, $3.25 million
9. Elvis, $2.585 million
10. Fall, $2.5 million

🛫NEW SUPERSONIC PLANE READY TO FLY: It has been nearly 20 years since the supersonic Concorde was grounded, but now a new, quieter, and more environmentally friendly model is ready to take to the skies. Overture, developed by Denver-based Boom Supersonic, can fly from New York to London in three and a half hours, half the usual flight time. The company already has pre-orders from two commercial airlines and the U.S. Air Force, according to Fox Weather.

⚾RAYS' RASMUSSEN LOSES PERFECT GAME IN 9TH INNING: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Drew Rasmussen lost a perfect game bid in the ninth inning yesterday when the Baltimore Orioles' Jorge Mateo hit a leadoff double on the first pitch of the inning. Rasmussen got a standing ovation from the Florida crowd after Mateo's hit, and then again after he was pulled from the game with one out. The Rays went on to win 4-1. There hasn’t been a perfect game since the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez had one against the Rays in August 2012.

🏈JETS QB WILSON TO HAVE KNEE SURGERY: New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will have knee surgery Tuesday after suffering a torn meniscus and a bone bruise during the Jets' preseason opener Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Wilson is currently expected to be out two to four weeks, but he could potentially be out longer depending on the condition of his knee when the surgery is done to repair his meniscus. Head coach Robert Saleh said Sunday, "We’re optimistic. But he’s not out of the woods until they get in there and make the decision."

⚾PUJOLS HOMERS TWICE, MOVES CLOSER TO A-ROD ON ALL-TIME LIST: St. Louis' Albert Pujols homered twice in the Cardinals' 6-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday. Pujols had a solo homer in the second inning and a three-run shot in the eighth, putting his career tally at 689, closing in on Alex Rodriguez on the all-time list, who's in fourth place with 696. It was also the 42-year-old's 63rd career multi-homer game, tying him with Willie Mays for fifth all time.

⚾DODGERS' 12-GAME WIN STREAK ENDS: The Los Angeles Dodgers' 12-game win streak came to an end yesterday (August 14th) in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Kansas City Royals. The Dodgers, who were trying to match their longest winning streak since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, having won 13 straight in 1962 and 1965, managed just two hits.

Political Ad Spend At All-Time High

Record spending for offices in many politically-contested states, has pushed 2022 political ad cycle spending to a record $9.7 billion, according to MediaPost citing ad tracking service AdImpact. That's an increase of 9% from the $8.9 billion AdImpact projected a year ago, and tops the 2020 -- the previous record cycle -- by $650 million.

"A new norm has been established in the world of political advertising," AdImpact says in a report released this week, noting, "It no longer takes a presidential ticket at the top of the ballot to push a cycle near the $10 billion threshold."

Half a dozen of the most hotly contested states are projected to spend more than half a billion, including California ($755 million), Pennsylvania ($609 million), Illinois ($606 million), Arizona ($600 million), Georgia ($575 million), and Nevada ($533 million).

In terms of the political advertising media mix, TV continues to dominate, including the rapidly ascendant CTV (connected TV) segment, which is projected to account for nearly 15% of all political ad budgets, about the same as the entire digital media category.

"CTV is here to stay," the report asserts.

Layoffs Hit Gannett

In a late-Friday move Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain, executed layoffs at outlets across the country, according to Deadline.

While no official tally was available, journalists at the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald, (South Texas) Caller-Times, Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune, Ventura County Star, St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times, Monroe (Louisiana) News-Star, Billerica (Massachusetts) Minuteman, (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel, Panama City (Florida) News-Herald and the (Kentucky) Courier Journal all reported layoffs at their publications.

There was no indication company’s flagship national paper, USA Today, was hit.

In financials announced last week, Gannett’s revenue dropped 7% from the same time last year to nearly $749 million. At the same time, its operating expenses snuck up 1% from last year to nearly $770 million.

Gannett suffered a loss of nearly $54 million during the quarter and trimmed its revenue projection for the full year to roughly $3 billion from a previous forecast of $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion.

CEO Michael Reed announced to analysts last week that the company would be “taking significant and and permanent costs” out its business, with an emphasis on its print editions.

Spokesperson Lark-Marie Anton told Poynter today, “We’ve been transparent about the need to evolve our operations and cost structure in line with our growth strategy while also needing to take swift action given the challenging economic environment. These staffing reductions are incredibly difficult, and we are grateful for the contributions of our departing colleagues.”

Gannett, which owns over 200 daily U.S. newspapers, had more than 16,000 employees worldwide last year which included more than 4,200 reporters, editors and photographers.

The NewsGuild, which represents more than 1,500 Gannett journalists across roughly 50 newsrooms, indicated to Poynter that it had identified 35 layoffs across 20 newsrooms. There are likely many others

Gannett Media, the company said, “will prioritize content, news, business-to-business and commitment to subscribers while continuing to accelerate Gannett’s digital subscriber growth.”

The Digital Marketing Solutions unit is charged with furthering “the transformation of the DMS business to ensure loyalty from existing customers who value the platform while attracting new customers to engage with the available digital solutions. This includes building a complementary business model with streamlined, do-it-yourself SaaS offerings for new customer segments.”

Report: Election Falsehoods Lawsuit Puts Fox on Its Heels

In the weeks after President Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 election, the Fox Business host Lou Dobbs claimed to have “tremendous evidence” that voter fraud was to blame. That evidence never emerged but a new culprit in a supposed scheme to rig the election did: Dominion Voting Systems, a maker of election technology whose algorithms, Mr. Dobbs said, “were designed to be inaccurate.”

Maria Bartiromo, another host on the network, falsely stated that “Nancy Pelosi has an interest in this company.” Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News personality, speculated that “technical glitches” in Dominion’s software “could have affected thousands of absentee mail-in ballots.”

The NY Times reports those unfounded accusations are now among the dozens cited in Dominion’s defamation lawsuit against the Fox Corporation, which alleges that Fox repeatedly aired false, far-fetched and exaggerated allegations about Dominion and its purported role in a plot to steal votes from Mr. Trump.

Those bogus assertions — made day after day, including allegations that Dominion was a front for the communist government in Venezuela and that its voting machines could switch votes from one candidate to another — are at the center of the libel suit, one of the most extraordinary brought against an American media company in more than a generation.

Dominion’s $1.6 billion case against Fox has been steadily progressing in Delaware state court this summer, inching ever closer to trial. There have been no moves from either side toward a settlement, according to interviews with several people involved in the case. The two companies are deep into document discovery, combing through years of each other’s emails and text messages, and taking depositions.

These people said they expected Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, who own and control the Fox Corporation, to sit for depositions as soon as this month.

According to The Times,  the case has caused palpable unease at the Fox News Channel, said several people there, who would speak only anonymously. Anchors and executives have been preparing for depositions and have been forced to hand over months of private emails and text messages to Dominion, which is hoping to prove that network employees knew that wild accusations of ballot rigging in the 2020 election were false. The hosts Steve Doocy, Dana Perino and Shepard Smith are among the current and former Fox personalities who either have been deposed or will be this month.

Dominion is trying to build a case that aims straight at the top of the Fox media empire and the Murdochs. In court filings and depositions, Dominion lawyers have laid out how they plan to show that senior Fox executives hatched a plan after the election to lure back viewers who had switched to rival hard-right networks, which were initially more sympathetic than Fox was to Mr. Trump’s voter-fraud claims.

Windsor-Detroit Radio: Statue Honoring CKLW's Rosalie Trombley Passes

The Windsor Ontario City Council has unanimously approved $100,000 — interest from the city’s Arts Endowment Capital Project fund — for a life-sized statue of Rosalie Trombley, legendary music director of famed Top 40 radio Station CKLW, also known as The Big 8.

The Windsor Star reports the statue was designed and sculpted by Windsor artist Donna Mayne, the statue will depict Trombley in bronze leaning against a monolith number ‘8’ carved in granite. The statue’s proposed location is within the Festival Plaza footprint, and it’s anticipated to be ready for installation by April 2023.

“It would not be an overstatement on my part to say that my mom, our mom, is really a legend when it comes to the history of AM Top 40 radio in North America,” said Tim Trombley, son of Rosalie Trombley and current director of entertainment at Caesars Windsor.

“She led the way, CKLW led the way, in breaking an innumerable number of artists.”

Trombley joined The Big 8 as a switchboard operator in 1968. She would later become the station’s music director and was eventually among the organization’s top executives.

The small Windsor station’s 50,000-watt signal reached far and wide and, for a time, was one of the most-listened-to stations in North America. Through her programming choices, Trombley was responsible for boosting the careers of musicians who would become household names, including Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, Gordon Lightfoot, The Guess Who, and many more. She became known as the “girl with the golden ear” for her ability to recognize a new hit track.

She was given a special achievement award at the 2016 Junos. She died last November at age 82.

R.I.P.: Bill Pittman, Wrecking Crew Guitarist

Bill Pittman 1920-2022

Bill Pitman, a guitarist who accompanied Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand and others from the late 1950s to the ’70s, and who for decades was heard on the soundtracks of countless Hollywood films and television shows, died on Thursday night at his home in La Quinta, Calif. 

He was 102, according to The NY Times.

His wife, Janet Pitman, said he died after four weeks at a rehabilitation center in Palm Springs, where he was treated for a fractured spine suffered in a fall, and the past week at home under hospice care.

Virtually anonymous outside the music world but revered within it, Mr. Pitman was a member of what came to be called the Wrecking Crew — a loosely organized corps of peerless Los Angeles freelancers who were in constant demand by record producers to back up headline performers. As an ensemble, they turned routine recording sessions and live performances into extraordinary musical moments.

Examples abound: Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” (1966). Presley’s “Blue Hawaii” (1961). Streisand’s “The Way We Were” (1973). The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” (1963). The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” (1966). On “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” from the Paul Newman-Robert Redford hit movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), Mr. Pitman played ukulele.

In a career of nearly 40 years, Mr. Pitman played countless gigs for studios and record labels that dominated the pop charts but rarely credited the performers behind the stars. The Wrecking Crew did almost everything — television and film scores; pop, rock and jazz arrangements; even cartoon soundtracks. Whether recorded in a studio or on location, everything was performed with precision and pizazz.

Undated photo
Jumping from studio to studio — often playing four or five sessions a day — members of the crew accompanied the Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, the Monkees, the Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Ricky Nelson, Jan and Dean, Johnny Rivers, the Byrds, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, the Everly Brothers, Peggy Lee and scads more — nearly every prominent performer of the era.

Mr. Pitman was heard on the soundtracks of some 200 films, including Robert Altman’s Korean War black comedy “M*A*S*H” (1970), Amy Heckerling’s comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), Emile Ardolino’s romantic musical drama “Dirty Dancing” (1987) and Martin Scorsese’s gangster fable “Goodfellas” (1990).

On television, Mr. Pitman’s Danelectro bass guitar was heard for years on “The Wild Wild West.” He also worked on “I Love Lucy,” “Bonanza,” “The Deputy,” “Ironside,” “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” and many other shows. He was credited with composing music for early episodes of the original “Star Trek” series.

Mr. Pitman, who grew up in New York City and had music tutors from the time he was 6 years old, came home from World War II and headed west determined to make a living in music. He attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, learned arranging and composing, and essentially taught himself the skills of a master guitarist.

In 1954 he joined the singer Rusty Draper’s daily radio show. Three years later, he sat in for the guitarist Tony Rizzi at a recording date for Capitol Records. It was his big break.

Word soon got around about the comer who could improvise with the best. Mr. Pitman got to know the session guitarists Howard Roberts, Jack Marshall, Al Hendrickson, Bob Bain and Bobby Gibbons, and he was soon one of them.

His fellow studio musicians included the drummer Hal Blaine, the guitarists Tommy Tedesco and Glen Campbell (before he had a hit-making singing career), the bassists Carol Kaye and Joe Osborn, and the keyboardists Don Randi and Leon Russell (who also went on to a successful solo singing career). They coalesced around Phil Spector, the producer known for his “wall of sound” approach, who regularly employed them.

August 15 Radio History


➦In 1877…Thomas Edison wrote to the president of the Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh suggesting that the word "hello" would be a more appropriate greeting than "ahoy" when answering the telephone.

➦In humorist/philosopher Will Rogers and his pilot, Wiley Post, died in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. Rogers was aged 55.

➦In 1945...Emperor Hirohito of Japan announces the news of his country's unconditional surrender in World War II over a radio broadcast to the Japanese people.

After meeting with the Soviet Union in Potsdam, near Berlin, to determine post-war terms for defeated Germany, the governments of the United States and Great Britain (together with China) issued an ultimatum to the Japanese government in late July 1945. It offered a simple choice: surrender unconditionally to the Allies in World War II, or risk total annihilation. In their carefully worded reply, the Japanese failed to capitulate completely, and on 6 August, the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the world's first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, another such bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The threat of further nuclear attacks drove Japanese officials on 10 August to accept the terms put forth by the Potsdam Declaration and submit their unconditional surrender.

On the afternoon of 14 August, a Japanese radio broadcaster told the public that Emperor Hirohito would soon make an Imperial Proclamation announcing the defeat. The following day at noon, Hirohito went on the radio himself, blaming Japan’s surrender on the enemies' use of "a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which is incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives." The emperor was not only a political leader in Japan, he was also revered as a near-god, and many Japanese did not fully accept the news of defeat until they heard him speak those unthinkable words.

As sadness and shame engulfed Japan, joy spread around the Western world. In the United States, news of Hirohito's announcement reached airwaves on 14 August (due to the time difference), and that day was declared Victory in Japan – or V-J – Day.

That afternoon, President Harry S. Truman addressed a crowd that had gathered outside the White House, saying "This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbour. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would."

That day, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped one of the most famous photos ever published, a shot of a sailor in full uniform kissing a nurse in the middle of New York City's Times Square. The photo, published by Life magazine, became a symbol of the general atmosphere of jubilation in the United States following the end of World War II.

In Indianapolis, WIBC 1070 AM listeners - at least those who were up between 1:30 and 2:00am Eastern War Time on August 14, 1945 - likely heard; a Mutual network live broadcast of Cab Calloway's band from New York City, interrupted just before 2:00am with the first correct report that Japan had surrendered.

➦In 1948…CBS launched network television's first nightly newscast, a 15-minute show called "CBS Television News," anchored by Douglas Edwards. It was broadcast at 7:30 p.m. and in only five eastern cities at first. In 1950 the program's name changed to "Douglas Edwards With The News."

➦In 1965...The Beatles concert at Shea Stadium.  It was the first time a rock band headlined a stadium concert and, with 55,600 people, it set a new record for largest attendance at a pop concert. Tickets for the show had sold out in three weeks, merely by word of mouth created by young fans who asked the concert promoter about the next Beatles show while he strolled in Central Park. Supporting acts for the concert were Brenda Holloway, the Young Rascals, the King Curtis Band, and Sounds Incorporated. The show grossed $304,000. The Beatles' share was $160,000.

➦In 1969…The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, promising "three days of peace, love, and music," began on Max Yasgur's 60-acre farm in Bethel, New York.

Of the more than 450,000 music fans drawn to the town, three died, two gave birth, four had miscarriages, and two got married during the festival. Performers included Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Band, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Santana, Melanie, Ten Years After, Sly & the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar, Country Joe and the Fish, Blood Sweat & Tears, Arlo Guthrie, and Jimi Hendrix. Joni Mitchell was scheduled to appear but had to cancel due to being booked for a TV show.

Hendrix earned the most money from the festival, pulling in about $18,000. (For reference, that’s roughly $112,000 in 2015). Blood, Sweat and Tears ($15,000), Joan Baez ($10,000), Creedence Clearwater Revival ($10,000), and The Band ($7,500) rounded out the Top 5 earners. Other A-listers such as The Who and Joe Cocker took home $6,250 and $1,375, respectively. There was a lot of cash to go around, to be sure, but the event wasn’t as steep as some of today’s big-budget productions.

Check out the full listing below:

  1. Jimi Hendrix – $18,000
  2. Blood, Sweat and Tears – $15,000
  3. Joan Baez – $10,000
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival – $10,000
  5. The Band – $7,500
  6. Janis Joplin – $7,500
  7. Jefferson Airplane – $7,500
  8. Sly and the Family Stone – $7,000
  9. Canned Heat – $6,500
  10. The Who – $6,250
  11. Richie Havens – $6,000
  12. Arlo Guthrie – $5,000
  13. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – $5,000
  14. Ravi Shankar – $4,500
  15. Johnny Winter – $3,750
  16. Ten Years After – $3,250
  17. Country Joe and the Fish – $2,500
  18. Grateful Dead – $2,500
  19. The Incredible String Band – $2,250
  20. Mountain – $2,000
  21. Tim Hardin – $2,000
  22. Joe Cocker – $1,375
  23. Sweetwater – $1,250
  24. John B. Sebastian – $1,000
  25. Melanie – $750
  26. Santana – $750
  27. Sha Na Na – $700
  28. Keef Hartley – $500
  29. Quill – $375

➦In 1986...WAPP 103.5 FM dropped Top40 for dance music as WQHT.

On August 15, 1986 at 6 pm, The Rolling Stones' "It's All Over Now" and a bomb noise rang out WAPP and the classic rock titles. The station debuted as "Hot 103.5" with new call letters WQHT and a new CHR/Dance format.

The first song was believed to be "R.S.V.P." by Five Star. Nobody in the radio industry expected it, but the new rhythmic/CHR format was taking shape. WQHT was the second such station with the format, months after Emmis launched it on KPWR "Power 106" in Los Angeles earlier that year.

WQHT moved to 97.1 FM on September 22, 1988 at 5:30pm with WYNY moving to 103.5 FM.

➦In 1988...WPIX 101.9 FM changed call letters to  WQCD, "CD 101.9", intially was a AC/Jazz hybrid, later just Contemporary Jazz.  In 1989, they added some New Age and Soft AC cuts.

➦In 1995…NBC anchorman (Camel News Caravan, 1949-1956)/radio-TV game show panelist (Who Said That?)/Timex watch pitchman ('It takes a licking a keeps on ticking!') John Cameron Swayze died at age 89.

➦In 2002...Opie & Anthony broadcast the “Sex For Sam” St. Pat’s incident on WNEW 102.7 FM.

One of Opie and Anthony's stunts was "Sex for Sam", an annual contest where the goal was to have sex in notable public places in New York City. Couples from various states would be selected to be trailed by a comedian or member of the show, who would call the program to report the location. The contest was sponsored by Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams beer, and prizes included trips to Boston concerts sponsored by the beer company. The contest was approved by the station and had no major problems for the first two years.

However, in "Sex for Sam 3", comedian Paul Mecurio encouraged Brian Florence and Loretta Harper, a Virginia couple visiting Manhattan, to have simulated sex in a vestibule at St. Patrick's Cathedral on August 15, 2002, which was also a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, and a Mass was going on at the time. When a security guard ordered Mecurio and the couple to leave the church immediately, Mecurio began to argue with the guard, who then contacted police. The couple was arrested and charged with public lewdness. Intense media scrutiny led to the Catholic League demanding that Opie and Anthony be fired. The Catholic League also threatened to get WNEW's license revoked.

Brian Florence, Loretta Harper

Opie and Anthony broadcast the next day, but were ordered not to directly address the incident for legal reasons. The show went into reruns the following week. On August 22, Infinity suspended Opie and Anthony for the duration of their contract, and canceled the show. However, the company continued to pay the duo to stay off the air for the balance of their contract. The Catholic League immediately dropped its bid to have WNEW's license revoked.

The repercussions of the incident were widespread:

  • Infinity was fined a total of $357,500 by the FCC, the maximum amount allowed by law, and the second-largest indecency fine in American radio history. Infinity appealed the fine but again lost the case.
  • WNEW's ratings had been dreadful overall aside from Opie and Anthony. With the forced cancellation of its only strong performer, its ratings dropped even lower than those of noncommercial stations and never recovered. The station began playing music again in January 2003, starting with a Top 40 format, then going to an adult contemporary format, and later switching to a classic dance music format before returning to the AC format, at which point the station's call letters were changed to WWFS. The station has since been moderately successful. In a bit of irony, Opie and Anthony would make fun of an incident at WNEW in late 2004, in which the program director got drunk, went on air, and confused the call letters with those of WNEW's arch-rival WKTU.
  • Harper pleaded guilty a month later to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to seven days of community service.  Her partner, Brian Florence, died of a heart attack on September 25, 2003.

➦In 2003…NBC News reporter (from 1952 until his retirement in 1986)/aerospace specialist Roy Neal died following heart surgery at age 82.

➦In 2014...Al Meredith, longtime newsman at Oldies WCBS 101.1 FM, died.

In an age when radio news was disappearing faster than rotary-dial telephones, Al Meredith remained a radio newsman for 38 years, according to David Hinckley at The NY Daily News on the occasion of Meredith's retirement in 2008.

Meredith retired in 2008 retiring amid a shower of accolades from everyone he ever worked with.

Meredith  was heard on WCBS-FM for 28 years. "It was the only place I wanted to work," he once stated.

Meredith didn't start out as a newsman. His first radio gig, in 1964, was playing music on WGBB. But after four years in the Air Force, "getting C-130s in and out of Vietnam from Okinawa," he came back and found no deejay jobs open.

There was a full-time news job, though, at WGLI. He took it, liked it and over the years got deeper and deeper into it. He won numerous awards for public service specials, which he particularly enjoyed because "they always teach me something, too."

Pete York is 80


  • Actor Pat Priest (“The Munsters”) is 86. 
  • Drummer Pete York of The Spencer Davis Group is 80. 
  • Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 78. 
  • Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 76. 
  • Singer-guitarist Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers is 74. 
  • Actor Phyllis Smith (“The Office”) is 73. 
  • Actor Tess Harper is 72. 
  • Debra Messing is 54
    Actor Larry Mathews (“The Dick Van Dyke Show”) is 67. 
  • Actor Zeljko Ivanek (“Madam Secretary,” ″Heroes”) is 65. 
  • Actor Rondell Sheridan (“That’s So Raven,” ″Cory in the House”) is 64. 
  • Singer-keyboardist Matt Johnson (The The) is 61. 
  • Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman,” “Babel”) is 59. 
  • Actor Peter Hermann (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) is 55. 
  • Actor Debra Messing (“Will and Grace”) is 54. 
  • Actor Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”) is 52. 
  • Actor Ben Affleck is 50. 
  • Actor Natasha Henstridge (“The Whole Nine Yards,” ″Species”) is 48. 
  • Bassist Tim Foreman of Switchfoot is 44. 
  • Actor Emily Kinney (“Conviction,” “The Walking Dead”) is 38. 
  • Actor Courtney Hope (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 33. 
  • Singer Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers is 33. 
  • Actor-singer Carlos PenaVega (“Big Time Rush”) is 33. 
  • Actor Jennifer Lawrence is 32. 
  • DJ Smoove da General of Cali Swag District is 32.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

August 14 Radio History


➦In 1909...Edward Joseph "Ed" Herlihy born (Died at age 89 – January 30, 1999). He was an newsreel narrator for Universal-International. He was also a long-time radio and television announcer for NBC, hosting The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour in the 1940s and 1950, and was briefly interim announcer on The Tonight Show in 1962. He was also the voice of Kraft Foods radio and TV commercials from the 1940s through the early 1980s. When he died in 1999, his obituary in The New York Times said he was "A Voice of Cheer and Cheese".

Educated at Boston College, graduating in 1932, he gained his first radio job in his home town, at Boston's WLOE. When he was hired by NBC in 1935, he decamped for New York, along with his friend, fellow Boston announcer Frank Gallop, who was hired by CBS. He was the announcer for many radio shows from the 1930s, to the 1950s, among them: America's Town Meeting, The Big Show, The Falcon, Mr. District Attorney, and Just Plain Bill. He became the host of The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour on radio in 1948, remaining its announcer when the show went to television. He continued his success in the new medium: his early television credits included Sid Caesar's hit Your Show of Shows and soap operas As the World Turns and All My Children. He was also the host of Recollections At 30, which was a special NBC Radio series created for the network's 30th birthday.

For Universal Newsreels in the 1940s, Herlihy narrated editions describing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Allies' early setbacks against the Axis powers, the turning of the tide of WWII, the death of President Roosevelt, the execution of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and the detonation of the first atomic bombs. In the next decade, during the Cold War, he narrated the very first American newsreel on the launch of Sputnik.

➦In 1932...Philips makes 1 millionth radio

'Ma Perkins' Cast

➦In 1933... Crossley Broadcasting’s WLW in Cincinnati premiered the daytime drama “Ma Perkins.”

Starting December 4, 1933, Ma Perkins was heard on NBC from 1933 to 1949 and on CBS from 1942 to 1960. Between 1942 and 1949, the show was heard simultaneously on both networks.

The series was produced by Frank and Anne Hummert with scripts by Robert Hardy Andrews, Orvin Tovrov and others. Ma Perkins began August 14, 1933, on WLW in Cincinnati. On December 4 of that year, it graduated to the NBC Red network. On NBC and CBS the series ran for a total of 7,065 episodes.

"America’s mother of the air" was portrayed by actress Virginia Payne, who began the role at the age of 23 and never missed a performance during the program's 27-year run. Kindly, trusting widow Ma Perkins had a big heart and a great love of humanity. She always offered her homespun philosophy to troubled souls in need of advice.

➦In 1942...“The Show Without a Name” hosted by Garry Moore started airing on NBC.  It was an effort to crack the morning show dominance of Arthur Godfrey (CBS) and “Don McNeil’s Breakfast Club” (ABC). A prize of $500 was offered to name the show and someone came up with the title, “Everything Goes”.

➦In brought the news of Japan’s surrender ending World War II.

➦In 1957...1010 WINS-AM New York went Top40. 1010 WINS used a strict playlist, except for Alan Freed and Jack Lacy.

➦In 1957...ABC Radio announced an experiment with a “live” music show hosted by Herb Oscar Anderson. This was 3 years before WABC flipped to Top40.

➦In 1962…Pete Best was let go from the Beatles. Producer George Martin was unhappy with his drumming and it was said that some group members felt overshadowed by Best's teen idol good looks.

John Lennon later admitted to the group's "cowardly" handling of the event. Ringo Starr, drummer for the Liverpool group Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, was asked to join the group as Best's replacement. Ringo made his first appearance with the Beatles on August 18.

Tom Harmon
➦In 1962...It was announced that starting in September, sportscaster Tom Harmon will be heard on ABC radio where he will have a 10-minute weekday sports broadcast and he’ll also be heard on weekends in eight five-minute broadcasts. He joins ABC after 13 years with CBS’ Pacific radio network.

Once a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Tom Harmon was one of the first athletes to go into broadcasting. He was an All-American football player in 1940 at the University of Michigan.

One of Tom’s daughters would marry Ricky Nelson and, later, son Mark would become a well-known actor. He currently stars in NCIS on CBS-TV.

➦In 1973...In the past six years, FM radio listening had increased by 152%, according to Arbriton and a statistic that should give AM music stations some pause. The study covered 8 of the top-10 markets.

➦In 1973...WYSP 94.1 FM became the third FM rock station in Philadelphia.  It went up against (Now Country WXTU) WIFI 92.5 FM and WMMR 93.3 FM. WYSP (Your Station in Philadelphia) jocks included Tom Straw, Dean Clark, and Doug Cristian with Frank X. Feller as program director. The music included popular cuts from albums by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, and Crosby Stills and Nash.

➦In 1983...WFIL 560 AM Philadelphia switched to all oldies.

It was on September 18, 1966, that WFIL began playing a Top40 format. It quickly became the most successful non-RKO "Boss Radio" formatted station, known locally as "The Pop Music Explosion". The original line up of air personalities, or "Boss Jocks" were scheduled as follows:

  • 6-10am: Chuck Browning
  • 10am-2pm: Jay Cook ("Captain Jay Cook")
  • 2-6pm: Jim Nettleton ("Diamond Jim" Nettleton)
  • 6-10pm: George Michael ("King George" Michael)
  • 10pm-2am: Long John Wade
  • 2-6am: Dave Parks ("Dave the Rave" Parks)
  • Weekends: Frank Kingston Smith

WFIL announcers heard in later years of the Top 40 era included Dr. Don Rose, Jim O'Brien (who later also became a WPVI-TV weather broadcaster and station personality), Dan Donovan, J. J. Jeffrey, Dick Heatherton, Tom Dooley, "Tiny" Tom Tyler, Mitch "K.C." Hill, "Big" Ron O'Brien, Kris Chandler, Geoff Richards, Joel Denver, Brother Lee Love (Alan Smith), and Banana Joe Montione.

➦In 1988...Shadoe Stevens became host of “American Top 40”

Casey Kasem left the show over contract concerns with ABC. Billboard magazine reported that the main disputes between Kasem and Watermark/ABC were over his salary, because of declining ratings and a smaller number of affiliates. Casey's final AT40 show aired on August 6, 1988. At no point during that final show did Kasem ever let on that any changes were afoot, and simply omitted the phrase "join me next week" while closing the show.

Kasem was replaced by Shadoe Stevens, whose first American Top 40 show aired on August 13, 1988, on 1,014 stations.  Kasem joined the Westwood One less than a year later to start a rival show, Casey's Top 40. Many AT40 listeners were upset by Kasem's departure and, as a result, many stations dropped American Top 40 in favor of Casey's Top 40 once it hit the airwaves on January 21, 1989.

➦In 1993...It was announced teens are listening to country music more and more. Country has climbed from a 2.3% share of teens in the summer of 1989 to an 8.7% share this year.

Charly Butcher
➦In 2007...Ryan Seacrest was tapped to host the 59th annual Emmy Awards.

➦In 2012…Actress Rosemary Rice died after a heart attack at 87. She provided the voice of Betty Cooper on the Archie Andrews radio series, played the oldest daughter and narrated the early 1950s TV series, "Mama," appeared on Broadway, recorded 15 children's albums, and earned three Clio Awards for her work in television commercials – on camera and as a voiceover artist. For Clairol, she became the familiar voice of the ad slogan, "If I've only one life to live, let me live it as a blonde."

➦In 2018...Fort Wayne radio icon Charly Butcher, died from a heart attack at age 61.  Butcher spent more than 30 years on the air in Fort Wayne, both on WMEE, and at the time of his death, as host of WOWO’s morning show. Over the years, he became a crucial part of many people’s morning routines as he helped get their day started.

Steve Martin is 77

  • Singer Dash Crofts of Seals and Crofts is 84. 
  • Singer David Crosby is 81. 
  • Country singer Connie Smith is 81. 
  • Actor-musician Steve Martin is 77. 
  • Actor Antonio Fargas (“Starsky and Hutch”) is 76. 
  • Bassist Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone is 76. 
  • Mila Kunis is 39
    Actor Susan St. James is 76. 
  • Romance novelist Danielle Steel is 75. 
  • Keyboardist Terry Adams of NRBQ is 74. 
  • Cartoonist Gary Larson (“The Far Side”) is 72. 
  • Actor Carl Lumbly (“Alias”) is 71. 
  • Actor Jackee Harry (“Sister, Sister,” ″227″) is 66. 
  • Actor Marcia Gay Harden is 63. 
  • Singer Sarah Brightman is 62. 
  • Actor Susan Olsen (“The Brady Bunch”) is 61. 
  • Actor Halle Berry is 56. 
  • Actor Ben Bass (“Rookie Blue”) is 54. 
  • Actor Catherine Bell (“JAG”) is 54. 
  • Keyboardist Cody McCarver of Confederate Railroad is 54. 
  • Guitarist Kevin Cadogan (Third Eye Blind) is 53. 
  • Actor Lalanya Masters (“Barbershop”) is 50. 
  • Actor Christopher Gorham (“Ugly Betty”) is 48. 
  • Actor Mila Kunis is 39. 
  • Actor Lamorne Morris (“New Girl”) is 39. 
  • TV personality Spencer Pratt (“The Hills”) is 39. 
  • Actor Marsai Martin (“black-ish”) is 18.

  • Welcome Back Kotter's Arnold Horschack, actor Ron Palillo, died on this day in 2012. He was 63.