Friday, April 16, 2021

Wake-Up Call: 8 Killed At Indy Fedex Facility

Indy Star Website Screenshot

Eight people were killed in a shooting at an Indianapolis Fedex facility late yesterday (April 15th), and at least four others were hospitalized, including one person with critical injuries. Police said in a early Friday morning news briefing that the suspected gunman killed himself. A man who works at the Fedex facility named Jeremiah Miller told local station WISH-TV, "I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open."

➤U.S. IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA, EXPELLING DIPLOMATS OVER HACKING, ELECTION INTERFERENCE: The administration announced yesterday that the U.S. is imposing sanctions on several dozen Russian people and companies and is expelling 10 Russian diplomats in response to the massive SolarWinds hacking of federal agencies and to efforts to interfere in last year's presidential election. President Biden said at the White House, "We cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in our democratic process with impunity." He also said they could have taken even stronger measures, but chose not to in the interest of maintaining stability. Russia promised a response.

One of the people targeted was Russian and Ukrainian political consultant Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked with former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and was indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The Treasury Department said yesterday that Kilimnik had given, quote, "sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy" to Russian intelligence services after getting it from the Trump campaign in 2016. Mueller’s report had been unable to determine what Kilimnik had done with the polling data.

No sanctions were imposed for reports that Russia encouraged the Taliban to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with the White House saying Biden was using diplomatic, military and intelligence channels to respond. Officials said they had only low to moderate confidence in intelligence from last year that Russia had put out "bounties" for attacks on U.S. troops.

 

➤BODYCAM VIDEO RELEASED OF 13-YEAR-OLD BOY KILLED BY CHICAGO POLICE: Bodycam video was released yesterday of the fatal police shooting by Chicago police of a 13-year-old boy, after a public outcry over the boy's March 29th death. The video shows Adam Toledo appearing to drop a gun and begin raising his hands less than second before Officer Eric Stillman shot him once in the chest. Police had responded to reports of shots fired in the area and say Toledo had a gun before he was shot. Stillman is heard yelling at the boy to stop as he ran after Toledo, and yells, "Hands! Hands! Show me your (expletive) hands!" Toledo then turns toward the camera, Stillman yells "Drop it!" and between repeating that command, he opens fire and hits Toledo. Stillman’s attorney said Toledo left the officer no choice but to shoot. Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked the public to remain calm, but condemned the city’s history of police violence and misconduct.

➤DEFENSE RESTS IN CHAUVIN TRIAL, HE DOESN'T TESTIFY: The defense rested in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial in the death of George Floyd yesterday after Chauvin chose not to testify. He told the judge, with the jury not in the room, that he was invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. The defense rested its case soon after. In the case's final testimony, the prosecution briefly recalled a lung and critical care expert to reject a defense witness' speculation that inhaling carbon monoxide from a car's exhaust might have contributed to Floyd's death. The expert said that tests showed Floyd’s carbon monoxide level was in the normal range. Closing arguments are set to begin Monday.


➤13 SUPREME COURT JUSTICES: Should the Supreme Court have 13 justices instead of the current nine? That's what a group of congressional Democrats is arguing, and they introduced legislation yesterday that would make it happen. Supporters of expansion charge Republicans got an unfair advantage on the high court when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked President Barack Obama from filling Justice Antonin Scalia's seat after he died in February 2016, claiming the person who won the presidential race in November should fill the seat since it was an election year, but then when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last September, went ahead and got Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed for the seat in a matter of weeks before the presidential election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said, "Some people say we’re packing the court. We’re not packing it. We’re unpacking it." But Republicans call it a power grab, and it's a long-shot effort, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying yesterday she might not bring it up for a vote if it's advanced out of committee. This comes, meanwhile, after President Biden created a commission last week to examine the issue of expanding the court and also the possibility of having term limits for the justices.

➤SPENDING TIME ON HOUSEHOLD CHORES MAY IMPROVE BRAIN HEALTH:  Most people don’t exactly like doing household chores, but doing them could be good for your brain. Rotman Research Institute researchers looked at people ages 66 and up and found those who reported spending more time doing household chores such as tidying, dusting, meal preparation and clean up, shopping, heavy housework, home repairs and caregiving had greater brain volume, regardless of how much exercise they did. The scientists say this could be because household chores have a similar effect on the heart and blood vessels as low-intensity aerobic exercise, or because planning and organizing involving household chores may promote the formation of new neural connections over time, or even because those who engaged in more household chores spent less time being sedentary, which has been associated with negative health outcomes, including poor brain health.

➤‘SHORT SHORTS’ FOR MEN GETS APPLAUDED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AS THE TREND MAKES A COMEBACK:
Men’s shorts are getting shorter, and social media users have noticed. After a few male celebrities shared photos of themselves wearing high-cut activewear earlier this week, Men’s Health magazine wrote an article that predicts short shorts for men will gain popularity this summer, especially among fitness enthusiasts. Director of the Avant-Guide Institute, Daniel Levine, says that shorter shorts for men have been trending in 2021, according to global consumer trend research conducted by the firm. It’s not the first time in fashion history this has happened. Men’s athletic shorts were noticeably short between the 1940s and 1980s before trends shifted towards above- or at-the-knee shorts or longer.


➤JENNIFER LOPEZ & ALEX RODRIGUEZ END ENGAGEMENT:
After weeks of trying to work things out, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have officially called off their engagement.

In a joint statement, they said, “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects. We wish the best for each other and one another's children. Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have is to say is thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support."

Trouble in their relationship became public when rumors swirled of him cheating on her earlier this year. At the time, both stars denied it.

They were engaged for 2 years before their breakup.

➤TOKYO OLYMPICS COULD STILL BE CANCELED: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed one year from last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, and their planned start is now just three months away. But an official in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party said yesterday (April 15th) that the Games could still be canceled. Like many places around the world, Japan is currently having a coronavirus surge, and they've also had a slow rollout of their vaccination program. LDP secretary general Toshihiro Nikai told the Associated Press the Olympics could be canceled if the country's Covid-19 numbers don't improve. He said, "If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics." It's also been suggested that the Games could be held, but without any fans. As it stands now, no foreign fans will be allowed to attend. The Japanese people themselves don't seem to be very eager to move forward with the Olympics, with a Kyodo News poll earlier this week finding that 72 percent were in favor of postponing the Games again or canceling them altogether.

Research Identifies Six Types Of Radio Listeners


NPR and Edison Research have released the findings of their first-ever study of its kind on radio -- which identifies six segments of radio listeners, their listening behaviors and their attitudes towards advertising.

The study, titled “Radio: Live on Air and Everywhere” reveals that radio plays an important role in the lives of consumers and that the majority of radio listeners are receptive to sponsorship messages on the platform. The findings were presented in a webinar hosted by NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick and is available now at http://npr.org/radioiseverywhere.

Approximately 156 million people age 18+ - 63% of U.S. adults - listen to AM/FM radio daily, and listeners are driven to the medium for myriad reasons. The study finds that the heaviest users of radio are the most open to its advertising messages. Two of the six segments of listeners, “Radio Heads” and “Connection Seekers,” the groups that spend the most time with radio, are the least likely to avoid ads or sponsorship messages on AM/FM radio.

The six radio listener segments identified are:




Regardless of segment, 47% of radio listeners overall agree that listening to ads is a fair tradeoff to consume the free content. Almost half of all AM/FM radio listeners (46%) say they have considered a new company, product, or service after hearing an ad on the radio.

NPR Radio listeners show a particularly strong engagement with radio and its sponsorship messages: with 46% agreeing that they are more likely to trust a company they hear advertised on NPR and 59% agreeing that NPR engages their mind in a more positive way than other media does. NPR listeners are more likely to be Infoseekers (26% of all NPR listeners), Connection Seekers (19%), and Radio Heads (15%) than the average radio listener.

Although often eclipsed in the media by other audio platforms, AM/FM radio commands 41% of all time spent listening to audio by those in the U.S. age 18+. Even with the growth in available online audio and other options, this new research finds that 33% of AM/FM radio listeners say the platform is becoming a more important part of their lives.


 



“NPR has been a leader in radio for 50 years, with programming airing across more than 1000 member stations nationally," said NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson. "And while we all can agree that radio certainly has had an amazing legacy – we’re thrilled to see it also has a very vibrant future, with dedicated listeners who are especially engaged with radio’s content, including advertising and sponsorship messages."

According to Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick, “Even in a world where people have many audio options, radio is by far the most listened-to in terms of reach and the most-used in terms of time. Don’t take for granted the fact that radio is everywhere – providing enormous audiences and engaged responses from tens of millions of people, every hour of every day.”

How the study was conducted
  • Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere from NPR and Edison Research is based on a national online survey of 1,500 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted January 13-21, 2021. All respondents reported listening to AM/FM radio (traditional or streamed) in the last week. Data was weighted to match the sex, age, and ethnicity of AM/FM radio weekly listeners from The Infinite Dial from Edison Research and Triton Digital.
  • Edison Research Share of Ear®: A total of 4,000+ respondents age 13+ completed an online or offline survey which was offered in English and Spanish. Data weighted to national 12+ U.S. population estimates and has been tracked since 2014.

CBS to Combine News and TV Stations Divisions


CBS announced Thursday plans to combine the journalistic and business resources of CBS News and the CBS Television Stations into one divisional and leadership structure. 

Hearst Newspapers, Cable Networks & Digital Media Executive Neeraj Khemlani and former ABC Owned Television Stations Group President Wendy McMahon have been named presidents and co-heads of the newly formed division. The announcements were made today by George Cheeks, President & Chief Executive Officer of the CBS Entertainment Group, to whom McMahon and Khemlani will report.

The unified division will bring under one management structure the broadcast resources of CBS News, the 24/7 streaming news service CBSN, 10 CBSN Local platforms, cbsnews.com and 28 CBS-owned stations in 17 major U.S. markets. It will maximize the power of CBS’ newsgathering and production operations to serve audiences across all national, digital, local and global platforms.

Neeraj Khemlani, Wendy McMahon

McMahon and Khemlani, who will each assume their roles as presidents and co-heads of the new group early next month, will partner on managing all aspects of the division, bringing their wide range of broadcast, local and digital experience to their positions. This marks a homecoming to CBS for both executives – Khemlani as a producer on 60 MINUTES and “60 Minutes II” for eight years while McMahon served seven years at WBZ Boston and WCCO Minneapolis.

Susan Zirinsky will continue as President of CBS News until the new leadership has started and will assist with the transition. The Company is in discussions with Zirinsky for a significant role at a new CBS News Content Studio to be launched later this year.

“This is an opportunity to create a news and information structure that positions CBS for the future,” said Cheeks. “It speaks to our ability to scale newsgathering, production, technical and operational resources to serve both national and local, linear and digital, with the agility to deliver trusted information to every platform. Wendy and Neeraj have the leadership background and cross-platform accomplishments that cover all these important areas, and they share our commitment for supporting superior journalism, optimal delivery platforms and the strongest of organizational cultures.”

Khemlani was most recently executive vice president and deputy group head at Hearst Newspapers, overseeing 3,000 employees who publish print and digital subscription products for 24 dailies and 52 weeklies in cities across the country. 

McMahon was named president of the ABC Owned Stations in 2017, with direct responsibility for the Walt Disney Company’s eight broadcast stations, local newsrooms and streaming assets, as well as oversight of the 1,500 team members who collectively achieved their 12th consecutive year of local television news leadership in 2020.

Report: Outgoing CBS News Chief Held Up ‘I hate my job’ Sign


CBS News president Susan Zirinsky stepped down after a corporate meeting in which she wrote on a piece of paper ‘‘I hate my job” and “held it over her head in protest,” according to The NY Post citing a source.

It was announced Tuesday that Zirinsky — who is famed for shepherding the career of Gayle King — is stepping down after two years in the role and will instead sign a production deal with parent company ViacomCBS.

But Page Six is told that there were some not-so-subtle signs that she wasn’t happy in the role.

A source said, “There was a CBS corporate budget meeting she was in — it dragged on and on — and at one point Susan wrote on a piece of paper ‘I hate my job’ and just held it over her head in protest.”

Zirinsky, known as Z, was a universally respected producer with a 40-year career at the network before replacing longtime president David Rhodes at the helm.

But sources say it became clear almost immediately that Zirinsky was less content wrangling marquee talent and managing vast budgets.

Zirinsky is expected to stay in the role until a successor is appointed. Early considerations for her replacement include “Today” vet Jim Bell, superstar “Late Show” producer Chris Licht, CNN’s Virginia Moseley and MSNBC’s Janelle Rodriguez, we’re told.

Reuters Unveils Paywall Plans for Website


Reuters News on Thursday unveiled a new subscription website as part of a broad initiative to court business professionals.

In addition to targeting its current global readership, the newly revamped Reuters.com is hoping to attract professional audiences prepared to pay $34.99 per month for a deeper level of coverage and data on industry verticals that include legal, sustainable business, healthcare and autos.

Reuters.com will remain free for a preview period, but will require users to register after five stories. It is not immediately clear when it will begin charging.

The Thomson Reuters-owned news division now joins a crowded market of major news organizations which already charge for their content.

Among them, financial news rival Bloomberg.com charges $34.99 per month before discounts, while the Wall Street Journal, which in 1996 became the first to launch a paywall, charges $38.99.

In an emailed statement, Josh London, Chief Marketing Officer, Reuters and Head of Reuters Professional, called the launch "the largest digital transformation at Reuters in a decade."

He added: "Professionals need direct access to industry knowledge, data and insights from expert sources, and Reuters is pleased to offer our trusted, impartial and accurate news coverage through a premium offering."

Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and newly appointed Editor in Chief Alessandra Galloni have said the success of the digital and events business is one of their top priorities. read more

Ken Doctor, a veteran media analyst and founder of local news and information company Lookout Local Inc, characterized the introduction of the paywall as "late, but not too late," noting that Bloomberg only started charging for its site in 2018.

"The critical question is to a business news consumer, what added value do I get from Reuters that I don't get from Bloomberg or Dow Jones?" he added.

Family Feud Rages At FOX News

Bongino, Geraldo

Geraldo Rivera cursed out Dan Bongino in a heated debate on Wednesday night over the death of Daunte Wright. Bongino, who served as an NYPD officer and a Secret Service agent, accused Rivera of wanting the country to burn.

The U-S Sun reports Rivera took offense to Bongino's comment, calling him a "son of a b***h" and a '"punk" live on cable news.

“I want to see the country burn?! You son of a b***h! I want to see the country burn, you punk?! You’re nothing but a punk!"

The feud started when Rivera firmly stated that officers should use Tasers over guns.

"I don't even know how to respond to that. Give me a second to digest the stupidity of that," Bongino said.

In response to being called stupid, Rivera said that Bongino prefers name-calling instead of stating facts.

As Bongino claimed that there was "no systemic racism" among policing, the tension between the two men only became more intense as both men tried to humiliate the other.

Rivera mocked Bongino's expertise in law enforcement, comparing his four years as an officer to 10 minutes.

The Fox News host also said Bongino has been running for office for 20 years, poking fun of the former congressional candidate's repeated failures to hold office.

Bongino clapped back by telling Rivera to take a Valium, a muscle relaxer, reminding the viewers that Rivera is 77 years old.

The argument over whether or not black people like Wright are targeted and killed by white officers fueled the conversation as Rivera and Bongino continued to bash each other.

Wright, stopped for a traffic violation, was shot and killed over the weekend by former officer Kim Potter, who is now incarcerated for manslaughter charges.

Twitter Suspends Project Veritas Founder


Twitter said on Thursday that it had blocked the account of James O’Keefe, the founder of the conservative group Project Veritas.

The NY Times reports O’Keefe’s account, @JamesOKeefeIII, was “permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on platform manipulation and spam,” specifically that users cannot mislead others with fake accounts or “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations” through the use of multiple accounts, a Twitter spokesman said.


In a statement on his website, Mr. O’Keefe said he will file a defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday over its claim that he had operated fake accounts.

“This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay,” the statement said.

“Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me,” Mr. O’Keefe said, referring to a legal liability shield for social media. That shield, part of the federal Communications Decency Act, has become a favorite target of lawmakers in both parties.

In February, Twitter permanently suspended the Project Veritas account, saying it had posted private information. It also temporarily locked Mr. O’Keefe’s account.

April 16 Radio History


➦In 1913
...Les Tremayne born (Died at age 90 from heart failure - December 19, 2003). He was a radio, film and television actor.

Les Tremayne
Born in England, he moved with his family at the age four to Chicago, Illinois, United States, where he began in community theatre. His mother was Dolly Tremayne, a British actress. He danced as a vaudeville performer and worked as amusement park barker. He began working in radio when he was 17 years old.

In 1974, Tremayne commented, "I've been in more than 30 motion pictures, but it's from radio ... that most people remember me."

His radio career began in 1931, and during the 1930s and 1940s, Tremayne was often heard in more than one show per week. Replacing Don Ameche, he starred in The First Nighter Program from 1936 to 1942. He starred in The Adventures of the Thin Man and The Romance of Helen Trent during the 1940s. He also starred in the title role in The Falcon, and played detective Pat Abbott in The Abbott Mysteries in 1946–47. Tremayne was once named one of the three most distinctive voices on American radio. The other two were Bing Crosby and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In his later years, Tremayne was active in Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters as the group's historian and archivist. Those roles included interviewing people who were active in early radio to provide source material for researchers


Joan Alexander
➦In 1915...Joan Alexander was born (Died at age 94 – May 21, 2009). She portrayed newspaper reporter Lois Lane in the superhero radio program The Adventures of Superman for more than 1,600 episodes. The series began in 1940, two years after Superman's debut in the modern-day DC Comics' Action Comics #1 (June 1938), with Lane first appearing in the seventh episode.

Initially, the show, which ran through to 1951, was syndicated through the Mutual Broadcasting System's cornerstone station, WOR in New York, subsequently taken up by the Mutual network and finally to ABC.

Alexander also was heard on Dimension X and Philo Vance, Against the Storm and on Perry Mason, in the first portrayal of supporting character Della Street, secretary to defense attorney Mason. She also played Althea on The Brighter Day on radio.  Alexander additionally provided Lois Lane's voice in the 1940s Fleischer Studios/Paramount Pictures (Famous Studios) animated Superman shorts. She reprised the role of Lois Lane for one season of the 1966 Filmation animated series The New Adventures of Superman.


In 1922....KFI 640 AM signed-on in Los Angeles. Currently owned and operated by iHeartMedia. It received its license to operate on March 31, 1922 and began operating on this date and after succession of power increases, became one of the United States' first high-powered, clear-channel stations. KFI is a Class A 50,000 watt, non-directional station.

KFI Original 1922 50-Watt Transmitter
KFI initially used a 50-watt transmitter made from a crank telephone. Early on, Earl Anthony operated the station from his garage, and later from atop his Packard automobile dealership. In its early days, it was typically on the air for only four and a half hours a day.

From the time of its inception in 1926, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) operated two networks, the Red Network and the Blue Network. The Red Network carried sponsored commercial programs, while the Blue Network carried the sustaining ones (those without commercial sponsors). The red and blue designations came from the colors of the lines drawn on network maps. In 1931, NBC reorganized its West Coast operations, creating Orange and Blue networks for that area to replace its previous Pacific Coast network. KFI was part of the Orange group, along with KGO, Oakland; KGW, Portland, KOMO, Seattle, and KHQ, Spokane.

KFI was an affiliate of the NBC Red Network and Early Anthony's other raido station KECA 1430 AM carried programming from the Blue Network. In 1939, KECA moved to 780 kHz, the frequency of the former KEHE. Anthony sold KECA in 1944 and it moved to 790 kHz and became KABC.

KFI and KECA Building - 1939


KFI's call letters were assigned sequentially but many people assumed that the "FI" stood for "Farmers Information." Every winter evening between 1924 and 1956, KFI would deliver a frost report at 8 pm that would tell citrus farmers whether to turn on wind machines or light "smudge pots" to keep their orange and lemon groves from freezing. The frost warnings moved to 7 pm until the late 1970s when they were removed from the schedule.



On November 29, 1944, KFI officials broke ground on Mount Wilson for construction of a new FM and TV transmitting facility. The ceremony was broadcast live over KFI (AM) from Mount Wilson from noon to 12:15 pm that afternoon. KFI-FM went on the air from that site at 105.9 megacycles (Megahertz today) in July 1946 with its first test program, though some later sources say the station went on the air in 1947.

The station only lasted until 1951 when the owner, Earle C. Anthony, decided to turn off the FM station and returned the license to the FCC. This was common at the time, when some station owners saw no money from FM and no future in FM. In the early 1950s, while the audio quality was much better than AM, FM radios were not widely available, the AM-FM combination radios were expensive and stereo broadcasting on FM didn't exist until 1961.


➦In 1935...1st radio broadcast of "Fibber McGee & Molly"


➦In 1962...Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of the CBS Evening News.



The show was expanded from 15 to 30 minutes on September 2, 1963, making Cronkite the anchor of American network television's first nightly half-hour news program. Cronkite's tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News made him an icon in television news,  known as "The Most Trusted Man in America."

During the early part of his tenure anchoring the CBS Evening News, Cronkite competed against NBC's anchor team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, who anchored the Huntley-Brinkley Report. For much of the 1960s, the Huntley-Brinkley Report had more viewers than Cronkite's broadcast. A key moment for Cronkite came during his coverage of John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. Another factor in Cronkite and CBS' ascendancy to the top of the ratings was that, as the decade progressed, RCA made a corporate decision not to fund NBC News at the levels that CBS provided for its news broadcasts. Consequently, CBS News acquired a reputation for greater accuracy and depth in coverage. This reputation meshed well with Cronkite's wire service experience, and in 1967 the CBS Evening News began to surpass The Huntley-Brinkley Report in viewership during the summer months.


➦In 1987...the Federal Communications Commission warned radio stations to watch the use of indecent language on the airwaves. This was directed at shock jocks, like Howard Stern. Some stations, the FCC noted, had gone way beyond the seven dirty words made famous by comedian George Carlin in a routine from the early 1970s.


➦In 1999…Regis John "Rege" Cordic died from brain cancer at age 72 (Born - May 15, 1926).

Rege Cordic
His career in entertainment was divided roughly in half. From 1948 to 1965, he was the dominant morning drive-time radio host in Pittsburgh. From the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, he was a successful voice, television, and film actor in Los Angeles.

Cordic was born in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh and attended Central Catholic High School. He started in radio as a staff announcer and substitute sportscaster at WWSW-AM. When morning host Davey Tyson left the station in 1948, Cordic was one of a number of staffers given the opportunity to replace him. At first a straightforward announcer, Cordic began introducing comedy to his program—first in subtle ways, such as reading a sports score for "East Overshoe University" along with the real scores, and later by adding a repertory company of supporting comic characters. The morning show, renamed "Cordic & Company," became the most popular in Pittsburgh.

In 1954, "Cordic & Company" moved to KDKA-AM on Labor Day, one of the first times that an American radio station had hired a major personality directly from a local competitor. Popular Bette Smiley had decided to retire from her full-time KDKA wake-up show "Radio Gift Shoppe of the Air" and move to a Sunday-only condensed version on WCAE in August 1954 in order to raise her young son Robbie. Cordic's immediate predecessor in the morning slot was the "Ed and Rainbow" show, featuring Ed Schaughency with Elmer Waltman cast in the role of Rainbow, the janitor. Waltman was dropped, and Schaughency was moved to the afternoon with a show called "Schaughency's Record Cabinet."



Schaughency lasted less than two years in that role before he was replaced by Art Pallan, who also came over from WWSW. Schaughency took on a new role as a news reader and moved back to mornings, delivering the newscasts during "Cordic & Company." The Cordic show's ratings continued to grow until, at some points, it had an 85 share—meaning that 85% of all radios in Pittsburgh were tuned to "Cordic & Company" while it was on. By the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh, Cordic was reportedly earning $100,000 a year, a huge sum for a radio host at the time.



One of Cordic's most memorable running gags at both WWSW and KDKA were fake advertisements for "Olde Frothingslosh", "the pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom." The beer was supposedly brewed by Sir Reginald Frothingslosh at Upper Crudney-on-the-Thames. In 1955, Pittsburgh Brewing Company began issuing special Christmas-season cans and bottles of Olde Frothingslosh filled with real beer. Since the Cordic ad read "The foam is on the bottom", the bottles & cans were packed upside down in the cases. The humorous labels changed every year and became favorites of collectors. The brewery (as well as a few other small local Pittsburgh breweries such as Tech Beer) released new editions of Olde Frothingslosh even after Cordic left Pittsburgh, continuing until 1982 and then reviving the brand in 1998, and more recently in 2007.

In 1965, CBS Radio offered Cordic the morning drive-time spot at KNX-AM in Los Angeles. The spot was being vacated by Bob Crane, who was leaving radio to star in Hogan's Heroes. Cordic accepted the offer in July 1965, but KDKA owner Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation refused to release Cordic from his contract until it ended in November 1965. KNX's morning ratings dropped precipitously during the four months that the show had no permanent host. They improved somewhat when Cordic arrived, but not enough to offset the drop, and the station switched to an all-news format after 18 months with Cordic as the morning host. The flair for Pittsburgh-centered satire, it seems, was difficult for Cordic to import to the more sophisticated Los Angeles radio market, despite the successes of similar personalities like Jim Hawthorne.

Cordic, still being paid for the remaining time under his KNX contract, studied acting, and began getting television roles. He first appeared on television in The Monkees in 1967 and The Flying Nun in 1968. He had small parts in a few films, but was primarily a television actor. Over the years, he appeared several times on Gunsmoke, and also had roles in Kung Fu, Nichols, Columbo, Barnaby Jones, The Waltons, and McCloud, among many others. From the late 1970s until 1991, he was heard in cartoon voice roles, starting with The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour in 1976, and also including Jabberjaw, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Transformers, and a voice part in the 1977 animated film The Mouse and His Child. While he lived in Los Angeles, Cordic would regularly fly back to Pittsburgh to tape segments for WTAE-TV's Sunday Afternoon Movie. Cordic had an uncredited part, as a featured party guest in Woody Allen's 1973 movie, "Sleeper."

Cordic returned to morning radio for a brief time in late 1981, taking over at oldies station KRLA/Pasadena. He signed on for a year, but left the job after just four months. He spent the rest of his career in the lucrative voiceover field, lending his voice to many national commercials.


Pat Summerall - 2008
➦In 2013…Sportscaster and former NFL player George Allen "Pat" Summerall died from cardiac arrest (Born - May 10, 1930).  The former football player and television sportscaster worked at CBS, Fox, and ESPN. In addition to football, he also announced major golf and tennis events. In total, he announced 16 Super Bowls on network television (more than any other announcer), 26 Masters Tournaments, and 21 US Opens. He also contributed to 10 Super Bowl broadcasts on CBS Radio as a pregame host or analyst.

Summerall played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks and then in the NFL from 1952 through 1961. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played with Bobby Layne. The best playing time in his career was with the New York Giants as a kicker. After retiring as a player, he joined CBS as a color commentator the next year. He worked with Tom Brookshier and then John Madden on NFL telecasts  for CBS and Fox. Although retired since 2002, he continued to announce games on occasion, especially those near his Texas home.

He was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994

In the early 1960s, Summerall did a variety of reporting and anchoring assignments for network flagship WCBS 880 AM in New York City. By the middle of the decade, he was the sports anchor on its morning drive Jack Sterling Show and succeeded Sterling as the host in the fall of 1966. He remained with 880 as its sports director when the station went all news in August 1967, before moving on to local and network assignments. The affable ex-player also co-hosted the syndicated NFL Films series This Week in Pro Football in the late 1960s and early 1970s.


🎂HAPPY BIRTHDAY:
  • Sadie Sink is 19
    Singer Bobby Vinton is 86. 
  • Midnight Oil singer-turned-politician Peter Garrett is 68. 
  • Actor Ellen Barkin is 67. 
  • Actor Michel Gill (“House of Cards”) is 61. 
  • Singer-bassist Jason Scheff (Chicago) is 59. 
  • Singer Jimmy Osmond is 58. 
  • Singer David Pirner of Soul Asylum is 57. 
  • Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 56. 
  • Actor Jon Cryer is 56. 
  • Actor Peter Billingsley (“A Christmas Story”) is 50. 
  • Actor Lukas Haas is 45. 
  • Broadway actor Kelli O’Hara is 45. 
  • Actor Sadie Sink (“Stranger Things”) is 19.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

And The 2021 ACM Radio Winners Are...


The Academy of Country Music® revealed today the full list of Radio Award winners for the 56TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™, including first-time National On-Air Personality of the Year winner Kix Brooks with American Country Countdown. Additionally, KNIX-FM received two awards for Major Market On-Air Personality of the Year and Major Market Station of the Year.
 
The special announcement was revealed on the Academy of Country Music’s® official social media pages, with a series of heartfelt videos capturing winners receiving surprise gifts from the Academy. To see the full video, watch here.

This is the seventh overall win for KNIX-FM for ACM Major Market Station of the Year and the fourth overall win for KUZZ-AM/FM for ACM Medium Market Station of the Year. Additionally, WQDR-FM received their third win for ACM Large Market Station of the Year. KKNU-FM and Buzz Jackson each received their second wins for Small Market Station of the year and Medium Market Personality of the Year, respectively. Additional first-time winners for On-Air Personality of the Year categories include Lexi & Banks, Lois Lewis and Steve, Ben & Nikki.

“Congratulations to all of our 56th ACM Awards radio winners. Country radio is a vital part of the Country Music industry and artists’ success and we are grateful for the contributions they make to the industry every day,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “For the first time, the Academy was able to showcase our appreciation to these winners with a special package reveal to each of them, along with an iconic ACM trophy. We hope the memory of their win is one they cherish throughout their careers.”

Below is a complete list of the Radio Award winners for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards:

➤ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR WINNERS:
  • NATIONAL – American Country Countdown – Kix Brooks
  • MAJOR MARKET – Double L – Lois Lewis – KNIX-FM – Phoenix, AZ
  • LARGE MARKET – Lexi & Banks – Lexi Papadopoulos, Jared Banks – KUBL-FM – Salt Lake City, UT
  • MEDIUM MARKET – Buzz Jackson – KIIM-FM – Tucson, AZ
  • SMALL MARKET – Steve, Ben & Nikki – Steve Stroud, Ben Walker, Nikki Thomas – WXBQ-FM – Bristol, VA
➤RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR WINNERS:
  • MAJOR MARKET – KNIX-FM – Phoenix, AZ
  • LARGE MARKET – WQDR-FM – Raleigh, NC
  • MEDIUM MARKET – KUZZ-AM/FM – Bakersfield, CA
  • SMALL MARKET – KKNU-FM – Eugene, OR

The 56th ACM Awards®, honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music, will feature exciting performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more to be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards™ is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will broadcast LIVE on Sunday, April 18, 2021 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

L-A Radio: KAMP Reboots Line-Up, Branding


Audacy announced an updated weekday programming lineup for KAMP 97.1 NOW! in Los Angeles, effective immediately. The station, formerly known as 97.1 AMP Radio, rebranded on April 15.

Weekday programming will kick off with “The Morning Mess” featuring Joey Boy, Aneesh, Jeana and Karla from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT. Julia, who was previously heard on weekends, will now be heard middays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT. Josh Brubaker, who joined the station in March 2021, will be heard from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT. Yesi Ortiz will move from middays to evenings and now be heard from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. PT.

“As more and more Americans receive their COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time for us to safely get back on our feet and get moving with the daily habits we love and miss,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Audacy Southern California. “This rebrand not only embodies the spirit of our return to normalcy, but also the dynamic state of today’s music industry and we’re excited to usher in this new era with our consumers. As LA’s party station, our programming will spotlight the biggest stars in music and deliver a fresh listening experience to our audience no matter the time of day.”

Listeners can tune in to 97.1 NOW! (KAMP-FM) in Los Angeles on air, as well as nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tribune Publishing Sticking With Alden Offer


The special committee of Tribune Publishing’s board of directors continues to recommend shareholders approve a buyout of the company by a New York hedge fund even as it considers a higher offer from a Maryland businessman and a Swiss billionaire, The Chicago Tribune reports.

In an updated filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Chicago-based newspaper group cited a number of factors in the reasoning to endorse Alden Global Capital’s deal, valued at about $630 million, over a tentative $680 million offer by Maryland hotel executive Stewart Bainum Jr. and his business partner Hansjörg Wyss.

The filing cited the nonbinding nature of Bainum/Wyss’ $18.50 a share bid, its proposed use of more of Tribune Publishing’s cash on hand, Bainum’s expressed interest in just owning The Baltimore Sun, and not all of Tribune Publishing, and the likelihood that the Alden deal for $17.25 a share could close more quickly.

The filing, however, remained preliminary. No shareholders meeting has been scheduled yet. The document states that lawyers for Bainum and Wyss only sent a draft of a merger agreement to Tribune Publishing’s lawyers Friday.

The Bainum/Wyss entity, known as Newslight LLC, continues to conduct due diligence, reviewing Tribune Publishing’s books, and expects to quickly conclude an agreement, according to the SEC filing.

The filing disclosed that Wyss, who made his fortune in medical device manufacturing, is financing the bulk of Newslight’s bid. Wyss is putting up $505 million in equity, while Bainum, whose background is in developing hotels and nursing homes and who remains the chairman of Rockville-based Choice Hotels International, is putting up $100 million.

The filing also disclosed that Bainum is no longer negotiating the originally proposed acquisition of The Baltimore Sun and its Maryland affiliates, including the Capital Gazette newspapers and the Carroll County Times, with Alden. He originally sought to acquire Baltimore Sun Media for $65 million as Alden purchased the rest of Tribune Publishing, which includes such newspapers as the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and Orlando Sentinel.

Alden, meanwhile, has said it would not vote its 32% stake in Tribune Publishing for any deal other than its own, according to the filing. That means any alternative deal must have the broad support of other shareholders, particularly Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the Los Angeles Times who holds a 24.6% stake in Tribune Publishing.

Spotify Launches 'Car Thing' Smart Music Player


Spotify Premium subscribers will soon be able to take easier navigation of their tunes to their cars, thanks to Spotify's new "Car Thing."

AppleInsider reports Car Thing connects to a user's car via Bluetooth, AUX, or USB cable and enables them to play music and podcasts from Spotify Premium through their vehicle's speakers. It's powered by a car's 12V power outlet and can be mounted on the vehicle's dashboard, in a vent, or the CD player via the three included mounts.

The device features a "Hey Spotify" hands-free control system, similar to Apple's "Hey Siri." It also boasts a touch screen and a tactile dial that users can use to navigate through music. Four preset buttons allow users to access favorite artists, playlists, stations, and podcasts.

While Spotify claims that Car Thing leaves your phone free to do "phone things," that isn't entirely true — the device does not have a built-in WiFi plan. This means that Car Thing will still need to connect to the Spotify app on your smartphone to play music and draw from your mobile data plan. It also requires a Spotify Premium plan, which costs $9.99 a month or $4.99 a month for students.

Spotify's Car Thing isn't out yet, but users can sign up to be notified when it goes on sale. Spotify will initially make the device available for those in the United States, with the device priced at $6.99 or $14.99 for those in Hawaii and Alaska. Spotify will raise the price to $79.99 after the initial purchase period.




In order to use the Car Thing, you need two things: a connection from your phone to your car's audio system, such as with a Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord, and a data connection for your phone. Once your phone is connected to the audio system, the Car Thing takes it from there, controlling what Spotify content you stream to your car from your phone. While using Spotify, the Car Thing displays what you’re listening to and lets you choose other content available on the platform through a streamlined interface intended to be used in a car.

Car & Driver reports the Car Thing is fairly simple: an oversize knob allows a user to scroll through content and select songs, while a single button below it acts as a back button. Four buttons sit on the top of the Car Thing, which are shortcuts to pre-saved favorites for easy access to playlists, podcasts, or other content available on Spotify. It can also be controlled via your voice: a simply "Hey Spotify" lets users skip songs, go to new playlists, search podcasts, and so on.

Wake-Up Call: Potter Charged With Manslaughter

A former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer who resigned after fatally shooting a 20-year-old Black driver during a traffic stop on Sunday, setting off days of protests, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter. 

Kim Potter, a 26-year police veteran who is white, was arrested and later freed after posting a $100,000 bond. Former Police Chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned after the shooting, had said before he did that Potter appeared to have mistakenly fired her gun instead of her Taser as Daunte Wright tried to struggle out of the grasp of police and get away when they tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. The outstanding warrant was discovered after police pulled Wright over for having expired tags on his car. 

Protesters clashed with police for a fourth straight night at the Brooklyn Center police station. An order was given to disperse about an hour before curfew, with police saying objects were being thrown at officers and people were trying to take down a fence put up to protect the station. Police fired gas canisters in return.

 ➤EXPERT TESTIFIES GEORGE FLOYD DIED DUE TO HEART DISEASE: A forensic pathologist testified yesterday in the murder and manslaughter trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin that George Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm disturbance due to heart disease. The testimony from defense witness Dr. David Fowler, a former Maryland chief medical examiner, contradicted prosecution experts who testified last week that Floyd died due to a lack of oxygen from the way he was pinned down on the ground with Chauvin's knee on his neck. Fowler further stated that the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system, and possibly also carbon monoxide from car exhaust were contributing factors in his death. However, he acknowledged under examination that Floyd's blood wasn't tested for carbon monoxide, so there was data to support that suggestion.

Fowler also stated that Chauvin’s knee was, quote, "nowhere close" to Floyd's "airway," and that the fact that Floyd was speaking and groaning showed his airway was open. He said that Floyd didn't complain about vision changes or other symptoms of insufficient oxygen to the brain, and that he was coherent until shortly before he stopped moving, stating, "The bottom line is, moving air in and out, and speaking and making noise is very good evidence that the airway was not closed."


➤BIDEN SAYS WILL REMOVE ALL TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN: President Biden announced yesterday that he will withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that led the U.S. to go into that country. There are about 2,500 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan. Speaking from the White House Treaty Room, the same place where then-President George W. Bush announced the start of the war in Afghanistan, Biden said, "It is time to end America’s longest war," stating, "We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result." He added, "I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth."


➤ADMINISTRATION TO ANNOUNCE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA: The Biden administration will be announcing sanctions on Russia in response to the large-scale SolarWinds hacking campaign last year that got into federal agencies, as well as for its 2020 election interference efforts, AP reported last night, citing a senior administration official. The sanctions are set to be announced today.

➤CDC ADVISERS POSTPONE RECOMMENDATION ON JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices decided Wednesday not to make a recommendation yet on whether to continue the pause that began a day earlier on Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine because of concerns about rare blood clots. The panel, which is expected to reconvene in seven to 10 days, said it wants to gather more information before coming to a decision.


➤CALLS INCREASE FOR GAY SEASON OF 'THE BACHELOR': In the wake of former 'Bachelor' Colton Underwood coming out as gay yesterday, some fans of the show are calling for a same-sex season of 'The Bachelor,' with at least one tweeting that it's, quote, "long overdue." There have been calls before for a same-sex season of the show, which only just had its first season with a Black Bachelor. Some of those calling for gay Bachelor yesterday were suggesting it should be Underwood. But others said it shouldn't be him, after he allegedly stalked Cassie Randolph, who he'd chosen, after they broke up, and she took out a restraining order against him last year. She later dropped it.

Bachelor alum Colton Underwood is ready to speak his truth. On ABC’s Good Morning America, he said he’s the “happiest and healthiest” he’s ever been, and credits the pandemic to giving him the time to really discover his true self.
 

"Obviously, this year has been a lot for a lot of people, and it's probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they've been running from or what they've been putting off in their lives. For me, I've ran from myself for a long time; I've hated myself for a long time. And, I'm gay," he said during an exclusive sitdown with Robin Roberts for ABC News' GMA. "I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. I'm still nervous."

He does have some regrets, and addressed what many people might be feeling after his time as The Bachelor: "Do I regret being the Bachelor and do I regret handling it the way I did? I do. I do think I could have handled it better. I just wish I wouldn't have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was. I genuinely mean that."

Underwood said he always knew on some level that things were different for him. "I've known that I've been different since the age of 6, and I couldn't process it and I couldn't put my finger on what it was until high school of my freshman year when I knew I was gay." Growing up in the Catholic church, he said, "I learned in the Bible that gay is a sin" and he recalled how, as an athlete, the word "gay" was used in a negative connotation. "There are a lot of things where I look back and say, 'No wonder I held it in.'"

➤BERNARD MADOFF, MASTERMIND OF MASSIVE PONZI SCHEME, DEAD AT 82: Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of a massive Ponzi scheme for which he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, died behind bars yesterday. He was 82. An attorney for Madoff, who pled guilty to securities fraud and other charges in 2009, said it's believed he died from natural causes related to failing health. Madoff, who was a former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, swindled both celebrities and charities of huge amounts of money in what's believed to have been the largest fraud in Wall Street’s history. A judge stripped Madoff of all his personal property and $80 million in assets his wife, Ruth Madoff, had claimed were hers. Court-appointed trustees have over the years recovered more than $14 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion investors had given to Madoff.

🛫STUDY: EMPTY MIDDLE SEATS ON PLANES REDUCE COVID TRANSMISSION RISK: New study results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that keeping the middle seats empty on planes reduces the risk of coronavirus transmission by 23 percent to 57 percent compared to full planes. However, while many airlines stopped selling middle seats after the pandemic began, all major U.S. airlines have gone back to selling all seats except for Delta. But it will also begin selling middle seats again on May 1st.

➤BUSH: NOT PASSING IMMIGRATION REFORM ONE OF BIGGEST REGRETS: Former President George W. Bush said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell that's set to air on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend that not passing immigration reform is one of his biggest regrets. The 74-year-old Bush, who has a new book out called, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants, was asked by O'Donnell of immigration, "Is it one of the biggest disappointments of your presidency . . . " and answered, "Yes, it really is. I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do." Bush also said he's ready to re-enter the immigration debate, including lobbying his own party on the issue.

➤EXPOSURE TO SMELLS IN EARLY INFANCY CAN MODULATE ADULT BEHAVIOR: It turns out the things we smell as infants can impact our behavior later in life. Researchers from Japan looked at mice, and found that during the critical period, when a newborn mouse pup is exposed to an odor (within the first week of life), the body released the hormone oxytocin which helps bond them to the memory of the odor and make them have good associations with it. Researchers note that even if a mouse pup is exposed to an odor with normally negative associations during that first week of life, they will still have a positive response when they encounter the odor later in life. The researchers say when it comes to humans, the results suggest that improper sensory inputs may cause neuro-developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attachment disorders (AD). They also add that the result opens many research questions about the functioning of the human brain and behavior.


➤DIETARY COCOA IMPROVES HEALTH OF OBESE MICE; LIKELY HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMANS:  Feeding mice that normally ate high-fat diets cocoa powder was found to improve their health. Penn State researchers say cocoa powder is rich in fiber, iron and phytochemicals that are reported to have positive health benefits. Study leader Joshua Lambert says, “While it is typically considered an indulgence food because of its high sugar and fat content, epidemiological and human-intervention studies have suggested that chocolate consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardo-metabolic diseases including stroke, coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.” He adds that the dose of cocoa given to mice was the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of cocoa powder per day for a human. It’s considered an important finding because a significant proportion of the world’s population has preexisting obesity, and this could potentially be an effective dietary intervention, which is something that is much needed.

⚾WHITE SOX'S RODON THROWS NO-HITTER, HIT BATTER IN 9TH INNING BLOWS PERFECT GAME: Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians last night (April 14th), and had a perfect game going in the 8-0 win until it was blown with one out in the ninth inning when his pitch hit Roberto Perez on the foot. That was the only runner Rodon allowed, getting out the final two batters. A crowd of just over 7,000 in Chicago, limited because of Covid-19 restrictions, saw the 28-year-old's gem, as he threw 75 of his 114 pitches for strikes, striking out seven.
 
⚾FIVE ASTROS PLAYERS PUT ON COVID LIST: Five Houston Astros players were put on the Covid-19 injured list yesterday, but it's not known if any had tested positive for the coronavirus or if they were out because of contact tracing. They are: second baseman Jose Altuve; third baseman Alex Bregman; designated hitter Yordan Alvarez; catcher Martín Maldonado; and infielder Robel Garcia.

⚾MLB TO CELEBRATE JACKIE ROBINSON DAY: Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day today, with all players, managers, coaches and umpires to wear Robinson's Number 42. The date marks the anniversary of when the Hall of Famer debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, breaking baseball's color line. A video called, "Thank You, Jackie" will be shown at all ballparks, and more than 100 players will donate either all of part of their game-day salaries to support The Players Alliance, an organization of current and former MLB players advocating for Black representation in baseball.

🏈RAMS' AARON DONALD ACCUSED OF ASSAULT: Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald was accused of assault yesterday by a 26-year-old man who told police Donald attacked him at a Pittsburgh nightclub last weekend. Todd J. Hollis, an attorney for De'Vincent Spriggs, said Spriggs had a broken orbital bone in his head, a broken nose, a sprained or broken arm, and needed 16 stitches. He said, "We believe there was a misunderstanding that Mr. Spriggs bumped into Mr. Donald and Mr. Donald escalated the matter, leading to my client’s assault moments later." Police said they will consult with prosecutors, who will decide if charges against Donald are warranted. The Rams said they were aware of the reports and were gathering more information.

🏈CLOWNEY SIGNS WITH BROWNS: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Cleveland Browns yesterday. The 28-year-old was the Number 1 overall pick in 2014, spending five seasons with the Houston Texans before being with the Seattle Seahawks for one year and then the Tennessee Titans last season. He season was cut short last year by a knee injury after eight games.

🏒SABRES CAPTAIN EICHEL OUT FOR REST OF SEASON WITH INJURY: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel will be out for the rest of the season with a neck injury. The NHL team said yesterday that the 24-year-old center, who hasn't played since March 7th, has a herniated disk. He's expected to be healthy for next season.

Televisa-Univision Aims For Global Spanish Streaming Service


Television Univision, a newly formed Spanish media venture, will launch its planned streaming platform in the United States and Mexico next year before expanding elsewhere in Latin America and in Europe, its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

The service, which will take on established rivals including Netflix Inc and Disney Plus, will be a product of a move to combine the content of Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa and U.S. peer Univision, announced on Tuesday.

Televisa shares surged by as much as a third before closing with a gain of 22.8% on the day, as investors bet on the growth potential of the venture. Less than 10% of the global population of 600 million Spanish speakers uses digital video platforms, versus nearly 70% of the English language market, according to data shared by Televisa, Mexico's largest broadcaster.

"You can almost think of Mexico as a soft launch for the rest of Latin American countries. ... We will then think about the European Spanish market," Univision Chief Executive Wade Davis, who will also lead the new venture, said in a phone interview.

Content that is already popular with the companies' audience may be featured on the streaming platform, including soap operas known as "telenovelas," and sports and reality programs, Davis said.

It will scale up content production, focusing on higher quality and more hours, according to Emilio Azcarraga, Televisa's chairman of the board.

"The combination of Televisa (and) Univision will allow a substantial increase in investment in content," Azcarraga told Reuters. "And of course, the resources and technological insights of Google and SoftBank will be invaluable in the future."

Davis said the combined power of Televisa and Univision's ad sales businesses will give the new company an edge to compete globally in the streaming video space.

"The fact that we have by far the largest ad sales force on the planet selling Spanish language media, the largest relationships with global advertisers and their agencies, will provide us huge advantages relative to global media companies," Davis said.

Staffer: CNN Played Up COVID-19 Deaths For Ratings


The CNN staffer who was secretly recorded admitting the network used “propaganda” to help get Joe Biden elected president also said they played up the COVID-19 death toll for ratings — and that the order came down directly from top brass, reports The NY Post.

Charlie Chester, a technical Director at the cable network, was filmed by Project Veritas during a series of fake Tinder dates as he explained how “Fear really drives numbers.”

“COVID? Gangbusters with ratings,” Chester told the unidentified PV staffer.

“Which is why we constantly have the death toll on the side,” he continued, making reference to the coronavirus death tracker that would appear on the screen. “It would make our point better if [the COVID death toll] was higher.”

The Project Veritas employee, who was not identified and claimed to be a nurse, went on five dates with the CNN staffer, including the final one at a coffee shop in Chester’s neighborhood. It’s unclear when the dates took place.

On one of the meet-ups, Chester explained to the PV employee why the network went so heavy on COVID coverage, saying, “Fear is the thing that really keeps you tuned in.”

Going on to reference the death toll, Chester then said he had “a major problem with how we’re tallying how many people die every day, because I’ve even looked at it and been like, look at it and be like, ‘Let’s make it higher.’ Like, why isn’t high enough, you know, today?”

“And I’m like, what am I f–king rallying for? That’s a problem that we’re doing that,” he conceded.

Chester claimed there was a “red phone” that network president Jeff Zucker would use to call the control room to order producers to play up the Covid death count on screen.


He also told his date that there is “no such thing as unbiased news,” and explained how that manifests at CNN.

“Any reporter on CNN, what they’re actually doing is they’re telling the person what to say. It’s always, like, leading them in a direction before they even open their mouths,” he said.