Monday, October 15, 2018

Panama City Radio: The Powell Group Shuts Down Four Stations

Hurricane Michael may have delivered a fatal blow to four radio stations operated by the Powell Broadcasting in Panama City, Florida.

Powell reports it has ceased operations at the following stations:
  • Country WKNK Kick'n 103.5 (100 Kw)
  • Variety Hits WASJ 105.1 BobFM (50 Kw)
  • Classic Rocker WRBA 95.9 FM (50 Kw)
  • CHR WPFM 107.9 FM (54 Kw)
Just last month, Powell announced the pending sale of WPFM to Educational Media Foundation for $472,000. The status of the proposed deal is unclear.

Powell also owns six stations in Sioux City, Iowa and Powell/Panama City Market Manager Jeff Storey told sister station KSCJ 1360 that their 150 foot STL tower snapped in half punching a hole in the roof of the studio building allowing water to rush in.

Powell Broadcasting COO Robert Bond told RadioInsight, “We have made the difficult decision to cease broadcasting operations in Panama City. Hurricane Michael did catastrophic damage to our physical plant to the point that rebuilding was uneconomic. We wish the entire Panama City community Godspeed in rebuilding.”

Some of the now unemployed staffers of the company lost their homes.

Other Panama City stations served as a beacon of hope for those needing help, reports the News-Herald.

“You feel good because you’re helping; you’re doing something,” Tess Connell, a morning DJ on WPAP 92.5 FM, said of the overwhelming number of calls the station received Friday. “I know that feeling of helplessness is debilitating. But at the same time, it makes you realize just how bad some of these people’s situations are.”

iHeartMedia stations WPAP, WFSY Sunny 98.5 and WDIZ 96 Rock simultaneously broadcast non-stop information about Hurricane Michael relief efforts. According to DJ Dr. Shane Collins, they were staying on the air with Wifi signal and generator power.

But the good news was scarce. News of destruction was constant.

Paco, a 96 Rock DJ, was using the iHeart Radio van to find and rescue people when he was able. On air, he explained how he had gone out to neighborhoods and taken people to shelters. Paco's own home suffered storm damage.

“Right now, it’s not about if you got damaged, it’s about how much damage you got,” Paco said of Panama City’s condition.

“We’re able to go out as much as we can, but we have to conserve fuel as well,” Connell said. “We’re taking six-hour air shifts. ... When we can go back out, we will announce that if people see a iHeart Radio vehicle to wave it down.”

As they got word of what stores were opening, where search-and-rescue efforts were taking place and locations of where people could pick up donations, they shared what they had.

Smart Speakers Drive New Music Consumption Habits

Music subscription services are gaining traction as the dominant way consumers listen to music, with smartphones and new devices, such as smart speakers, driving adoption of these services, especially among younger audiences. This is according to “Audiomonitor 2018: The Overall Music Listening Landscape,” a new report provided to the Music Business Association (Music Biz) from research firm AudienceNet. The report was based on a survey of a statistically and demographically representative sample of the US population (3000 participants, aged 16+), and was detailed in a webinar hosted by Music Biz and AudienceNet.

New to this year’s report was a study of the adoption rates and uses of smart speakers, which are already influencing how audiences consume media. According to AudienceNet’s findings, 14% of the U.S. population now owns a smart speaker, and listening to music was the most popular use case among owners. Amazon’s Echo and smaller Echo Dot proved to be the most popular smart speakers, over offerings from Google and Apple.

In terms of format, Smart speakers most positively impacted on-demand streaming services, with 43% of owners now using these services more than they did before purchasing their device. And, notably owning a smart speaker led 37% of owners to start paying for a subscription service.

Furthermore, a striking 73% of smart speaker owners said their device has changed the way they listen to music to at least some extent — specifically, approximately half of smart speaker owners agreed they listened to more music and spent longer listening than they did before getting their device (50% and 49% respectively).  43% of smart speaker owners also agreed that using their device increased the amount of music playlists they listen to, while around 40% discovered more music and 38% listened to a broader range of music than they did previously.

In terms of AudienceNet’s music consumption metrics, which are tracked annually, on-demand streaming accounted for 27% of overall music consumption and was the most popular format among younger demographics by a significant margin, taking up 60% of 16 -19 year olds listening time, a 13% increase over last year.

Despite a 3% drop since last year, AM/FM Radio was still the most popular listening source in the U.S. accounting for 31% of total listening time. However, AM/FM radio only accounted for 12% of listening among 16-24 year olds, with popularity of the format rising as respondent age increased. Listenership to radio and CD players was very low among 16-24 year olds, and grew in linear fashion as participants got older, peaking among those age 65+ at 45%.

Back in the realm of hardware, smartphones were the primary listening choice among younger listeners, taking the majority share of listening among all aged 34 and below (45% for ages 16-19, 40% for ages 20-24, and 31% for ages 25-34). The smartphone also proved to be single most used device for music consumption, capturing 25% of total time spent listening — up 6% from the same study last year. Collectively, however radio receivers of all varieties (AM/FM radios, in-car AM/FM receivers) accounted for the majority of listening time to music among the total sample when combined (30%).

Smart Home Technology Poised for Blockbuster Growth

Among the devices Google announced at its big hardware event on Tuesday was the Google Home Hub, a Google Assistant device that resembles Amazon’s Echo Show by adding a screen to create what is essentially a smart speaker on steroids.

As its name suggests, the Google Home Hub is supposed to be at the center of the connected home with the ability to control smart home devices from more than a thousand brands.

With smart speakers and smart TVs already seeing mainstream adoption, the fully connected smart home no longer seems like a futuristic dream. According to Felix Richet at Statista, a recent forecast from IDC suggests the market for smart home devices is poised for strong growth over the next few years. All market segments except for video entertainment (which is already huge) are expected to at least double in size between 2018 and 2022.

Country Women Applaud All-Female Awards Show On CMT

Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert
Country icon Loretta Lynn doesn't mince words when it comes to CMT's decision to honor all-female artists, including Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and more, at its annual Artists of the Year show, where Lynn will be recognized as an artist of a lifetime.

"It's about dadgum time that we recognize women and not just country music but all music," Lynn, 86, said in a statement to The Associated Press. "A big yee haw to CMT for doing so."

The coal miner's daughter has been blazing trails for women in country music since the 1960s, and she'll be honored on Oct. 17 in Nashville, Tennessee, by her friend and actress Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar for portraying her in the hit biopic.

While women have been struggling to be played on radio and on streaming playlists or earn nominations for country awards, CMT decided to celebrate the ladies this year, with honors going also to Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini.

The night will feature the honorees in cross-genre collaborations with special guests. Ballerini will be singing with Alison Krauss, Morris will be doing a tribute to Aretha Franklin with Brandi Carlile, and the women from Little Big Town will be singing with soul legend Gladys Knight. Scott will be singing with pop singer Tori Kelly and gospel singer Kirk Franklin.

Leslie Fram, CMT's senior vice president of music strategy, said the timing just felt right for CMT to make the change this year. For the past couple of years, award shows from the Oscars to the Grammys have been trying to address a lack of diversity in nominees and winners.

Bay Area Radio: MLB's A's to KGMZ: 'It's Not Us, It's You'

The MLB Oakland Athletics took to social media last week to diss their longtime partner (since 2011), sports KGMZ 95.7 The Game, owned by Entercom Communications.

The A's posted a short 5-second video Friday. The video shows radio equipment being wheeled out of what is believed to he the broadcast booth at the Coliseum.

In April, A's Presdient Dave Kaval announced via Twitter that it was the final year of the team’s contract with KGMZ and asked fans to weigh in on whether the A’s should seek a renewal.

There has long been grumbling among fans that the station doesn’t give enough attention to the A’s, favoring instead the Golden State Warriors and the Oakland Raiders, both of which now have 95.7 as their flagship station, and even the San Francisco 49ers and Giants as well.

According to the Oakland Mercury News, KGMZ program director Matt Nahigian declined to comment Saturday, but one of the station’s talk-show hosts, Damon Bruce, pulled no punches.

“We’re in the audience business, they’re not,” Bruce said, a pointed reference to the team’s long-standing attendance problems.

Catherine Aker, VP/communications for the team, confirmed that to The Athletic in an email, writing: “We are parting ways with 95.7 and looking for a new flagship station.”

Facebook Downgrades Hacking Figures

Facebook on Friday revealed that hackers had stolen extensive information from 14 million users in the hack it announced last month.

According to The Hill, the company said an estimated 30 million people overall were affected by the hack, downgrading its initial estimate that information on 50 million users had been compromised.

But while the pool of users affected by the breach has shrunk, Facebook revealed that the hackers still managed to access an alarming amount of personal information for millions of users.

The company said that of those 30 million, hackers accessed information on 14 million that included the most recent places they had checked in, their 15 most recent searches, the devices they used to access Facebook, birthdate, relationship status, religion and other information listed on their profiles.

Another 15 million had their names and contact information exposed, Facebook said, adding that hackers didn't access any information for the remaining 1 million people in the 30 million affected. Facebook said that no credit card information was stolen in the hack.

The hack is likely the largest and most extensive that the company has ever suffered, and it comes as Facebook is still recovering from the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which a right-wing political consulting group improperly obtained data on millions of users.

’90s Stars Making Comeback On Facebook and YouTube

Tia Mowry with baby
Tia Mowry built her career on television, from ’90s sitcom “Sister, Sister” to reality TV series “Tia & Tamera.” She even had her own Cooking Channel show, “Tia Mowry at Home.”

But for her latest project “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix,” the actress took her talents to Facebook, YouTube and other online platforms.

“Working in the business for over 25 years, the thing about network television, you’re fitting or trying to fit into their thing or into their umbrella,” Mowry told CNBC, in an interview. “You have to mold yourself and conform yourself to fit into their brand, and I realized soon I don’t want to really have to do that. I just want to be 100 percent myself, and I know my audience more than anybody.”

“Quick Fix” consists of 10- to 12-minutes episodes about life hacks that Mowry has picked up from being a working, multitasking mom, whether it’s a cooking recipe or parenting tip. She’s built up 1.1 million followers on Facebook and more than 390,000 subscribers on YouTube.

The most successful episode, about Mowry’s newborn baby girl, has been viewed 12.7 million times on Facebook, and still gets about 500,000 views a week.

“We are now in a generation where everything is on the smartphone,” Mowry said. “You have women who aren’t just staying home watching television. You have women who are on the go who are working and multitasking the hell out of things. They need something that is tangible and is not so time consuming.”

In short, “when you are a busy mom you don’t have time to watch an hour of something to figure out what to cook,” she said.

“Quick Fix” is among a slate of reality and competition shows that Kin, an entertainment company, is making in partnership with actors, musicians and celebrities who got started on television. They’re now bypassing TV and going directly to their social media followings, while making money in the process.

Mowry’s series generated between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue in its first year, and year two projections are in the multimillions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the project who asked not to be named because the numbers are confidential.

Report: Turks Have Audio From Journalist's Apple Watch

Jamal Khashoggi
Turkish officials say they have an audio recording of the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the Apple Watch he wore when he walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago, a pro-government Turkish newspaper reported.

The new claim published by the Sabah newspaper, through which Turkish security officials have leaked much information about the case, didn’t immediately explain how officials there also reportedly have video of Khashoggi’s alleged slaying.

However, it puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who has written critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after he walked into the consulate Oct. 2. The kingdom has maintained the allegations against it are “baseless,” though an official early Saturday acknowledged for the first time some believe Khashoggi was killed by the kingdom.

Authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi’s iPhone and his iCloud account, the newspaper said. The journalist had given his phones to his fiancée before entering the consulate.

The newspaper also alleged Saudi officials tried to delete the recordings first by incorrectly guessing Khashoggi’s PIN on the watch, then later using the journalist’s finger. However, Apple Watches do not have a fingerprint ID unlock function like iPhones. The newspaper did not address that in its report.

According to The NYPost, an Apple Watch can record audio and can sync that later with an iPhone over a Bluetooth connection. The newspaper’s account did not elaborate on how the Apple Watch synced that information to both the phone and Khashoggi’s iCloud account.

Turkish officials say they believe a 15-member Saudi “assassination squad” killed Khashoggi at the consulate. They’ve also alleged that they have video of the slaying, but not explained how they have it.

Turkey has yet to publish any evidence of him being slain.

Michael Buble Says He's Finished With Music Industry

Michael Buble and son Noah
Michael Bublé said he will be leaving the music industry after his son’s cancer battle gave him a new perspective on life.

“This is my last interview,” he told the Daily Mail in an emotional conversation published Saturday. “I’m retiring from the business. I’ve made the perfect record and now I can leave at the very top.”

Bublé, who’s new album, “Love” is set to be released in November, discussed the trauma and hardship he endured while his son, Noah, suffered from liver cancer after his 2016 diagnosis.

“I don’t even know how I was breathing,” he said, adding that Noah’s time in hospital changed his mindset and priorities. “I didn’t question who I was, I just questioned everything else.”

According to The NYPost, the 43-year-old also recalled trying to make the best of a bad situation with his wife Luisana Lopilato by calling the hospital “the fun hotel,” and making tents out of bed sheets for his son.

Discussing the struggle of balancing his career and being a caretaker to his son, Bublé said sweating things like ticket sales made him rethink his priorities.

‘I decided I’d never read my name again in print, never read a review, and I never have. I decided I’d never use social media again, and I never have,” adding that he got caught up in “celebrity narcissism.”

Five-year-old Noah is now in remission. The couple are also parents to 2-year-old Elias and also welcomed a baby girl, Vida, in July.

R.I.P.: Joe Rainey, Capitol Records VP For Pop Promotion

Joe Rainey
Joe Rainey, Vice President of Pop Promotion and Marketing at Capitol Records, died suddenly on Friday.

He was 43-years-of-age, according to Variety.

Capitol Music Group EVP Promotion Greg Marella released the following statement:
“All of us at CMG are incredibly shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of our colleague and friend, Joe Rainey. He will be greatly missed. We offer our most heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
“Joe had a huge heart and would always try to help others,” said former Capitol GM Greg Thompson, now president of Maverick. “His commitment to his craft and every artist he worked for was second to none.”

Longtime music industry exec Marc Nathan on Facebook: “One of the kindest, funniest friendliest men I’ve ever run across in our industry. This news just shatters.”

Rainey was with the label for nearly 20 years and rose through the ranks from senior director.

He is survived by wife his wife, L.J., daughter Madison and son Harrison.

R.I.P.: Longtime Radio Researcher Roger Wimmer

Roger Wimmer
Roger Wimmer, a longtime radio and media researcher has died near Denver.

Wimmer's background includes Sales rep at KLSS/KSMN in Mason City, Iowa, Instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi, Associate Professor at the University of Georgia, Manager of Research for Cox Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA, and adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Prior to founding Wimmer Research, based in Lakewood, Colorado, Roger was co-founder of Wimmer-Hudson Research & Development, President/CEO/Co-founder of The Eagle Group, President/General Partner/Co-founder of Paragon Research, and President of Surrey Research. He also was a past research director for Cox Radio.

During his career, he conducted thousands of research studies for virtually all types of radio formats, and he also has extensive experience in all areas of research for the TV and cable TV industries.  He has developed several research approaches to test local news content, on-air talent, and promotional activities.

Wimmer was the senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition, the leading textbook in media research in the world since 1982.  The text is used in colleges, universities, armed forces, several governments, and many other venues throughout the world, with editions in several languages.

R.I.P.: Hispanic San Antonio Radio Personality Alberto Alegre

Alberto Alegre
Popular Spanish radio talk show host Alberto Alegre has died at age 60

According to KSAT,  Alegre (real name Alberto Calvo) died Saturday of complications from a blood infection.

“Every radio station he's ever worked in throughout Texas, he's always brought the ratings up,” said Alejandro Calvo, his son. “He's had proclamations in El Paso for his own day. He's had a proclamation in Houston for all of his efforts.”

Alegre was a staple in the Spanish radio community, as he’s been in the business for 43 years.

He won the title of best “Spanish Format Personality of the Year" winning the prestigious Marconi Radio Award. He also hosted the Tejano Music Awards twice, but what he was most known for was his service to others.

“He had such a huge heart,” said Alan Calvo, his other son. “The heart of a bull. He was so sensitive. He just did not like the underdog to not be known.”

October 15 Radio History

Robert Trout
➦In & TV newsman Robert Trout was born in rural North Carolina.  While with CBS before & after World War 2 Trout became known as the “Iron Man of Radio” for his incredible ability to ad lib, as well as his stamina, composure, and elocution.  He died Nov 14, 2000 at age 91.

➦In 1914...ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) was founded which ultimately led to nightmares in paperwork for radio board ops midway through the 20th Century!

➦In 1929...broadcaster/actor Art James was born in Dearborn Michigan. He hosted a series of TV game shows including Concentration, Say When, Pay Cards, Matches ‘N’ Mates, Catch Phrase and Blank Check. He died March 28 2004 at age 75.

➦In 1935...In Seattle, radio station KCPB became KIRO, as new owner Saul Haas increased the power to 500 watts on 650 kc.  Now with 50,000 watts at 710 kHz, and with sister stations on the FM and TV spectrums, the KIRO call letters are among the best known and most revered on the West Coast.

➦In 1957…Elvis Presley released "Elvis' Christmas Album," his fourth long-play disc for RCA Victor and the top-selling holiday album of all time with more than 9 million in sales. After hearing Presley's version of "White Christmas," Irving Berlin, the song's composer, called it a "profane parody of his cherished yuletide standard," and instructed his staff to phone radio stations across the U.S. demanding airplay of the song be discontinued. While most stations ignored Berlin's request, at least one disc jockey was fired for playing a song from the album, and most Canadian stations refused to air any part of the disc.

➦In 1960...While in Hamburg, The Beatles back Wally Eymond, the guitarist for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, on his version of George Gershwin's "Summertime." As Beatles drummer Pete Best is absent from the session, the band plays with Rory Storm's drummer, Ringo Starr. This is the first known recording of the group together, though the master is lost to history; two years later, the group would hire Ringo permanently.

➦In 1971...singer Rick Nelson was booed off the stage when he didn’t stick to all oldies at the seventh Annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival show at Madison Square Garden, New York. He tried to slip in some of his new material and the crowd did not approve. The negative reaction inspired Nelson to write his last top-40 entry, Garden Party, which, ironically, was his biggest hit in years.

Circa 1966
➦In 1975...the Music stopped on Pittsburgh's KQV 1410!  Whether they knew it as “14-K”, “14-KQV”, or “Groovy QV” many considered it was one of the great Top40 stations in the country. It was 40 years ago today that the music stopped in favor of an all-news format.

George Hart and Billy Soule did their final music show together. Taft executives were monitoring from Cincinnati, and the decision was made to pull the plug on the show –post haste– at 10:30 p.m. Their final song was “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” by Neil Diamond. Bob Harvey finished the night with “Those Were the Days My Friend” by Mary Hopkin.

For more on KQV: Click Here and Click Here.

➦In 1968...The former New Yardbirds, now known as Led Zeppelin, perform their first gig under that name at England's Surrey University.

➦In 1971...Rick Nelson (formerly Ricky) is invited to perform at the Seventh Annual Rock 'n' Roll Revival Show, an oldies concert held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Debuting some of his newer, country-rock material with his Stone Canyon Band, Nelson is booed by the audience; the experience so unnerves the former teen idol that he goes home and pens a song about the experience, puckishly entitled "Garden Party." Ironically, in 1972 it will become his first US Top Ten hit since 1963's "For You."

➦In 1973...The US Supreme Court upholds, by a 7-2 vote, the 1971 FCC directive that bans radio DJs from playing songs that glorify drugs.

➦In 1985...NYC WMCA 570 AM personality Ted Steele died. At one time, he also worked at KMPC 710 AM in Los Angeles.

Ted Steele's Bandstand first popularized music on television during the 1950s.

It is hosted by 40s bandleader and conductor, Ted Steele, who was also a mentor to famous singers in the likes of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

The show is a teen-oriented music program promoting young talents. One of the episodes features rock and roll legend Bill Haley singing his hit, Rock Around the Clock.

Ted Steele's Bandstand is the precursor of Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and shown on New York's WOR-TV (Channel 9).

In age 19, future WNEW-FM NYC personality Alison Steele married Steele,  who was twenty years her senior.

In 1967, Ted Steele took over Saturday night Monitor from Henry Morgan.  Click Here and listen on a Saturday night in November of that year. Features "Abe Weatherwise," a feature on Wilt Chamberlain & more.

➦In 1990...NRSC-3, recommendations for AM receiver specifications, was adopted

➦In 2001...Jay Stone NYC personality at WXLO, WNBC died in a car crash in Hawaii.  Stone was raised in Los Angeles and worked at radio stations across the country in the '70s and '80s before moving to Hawaii, where he most recently was morning show host for Oldies KGMZ 107.9 FM.

➦In 2012...NYC Radio personality Dick Shepard personality died at age 90.

Shepard is strongly associated with WNEW, he also had stints are WABC, WMGM and WPAT.

Better known to his legion of listeners on WNEW at different times in the 50s, 60s and 70s as Shepard Richard A.

He also worked at WABC Radio, before the Top 40 era, as an air personality in the late 50s and  during part of 1960, appeared as a commercial, on-camera announcer on some ABC Television game shows in the early 50s, and was a busy voice-over talent  during parts of his five decades in New York.  Shep also did air work at WMGM and WPAT.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October 14 Radio History

➦In 1934..."Lux Radio Theater" premiered.

Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS Radio (1935-54), and NBC Radio (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.

Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934, on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922–24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show's fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors. Anthony appeared as Garrick from the premiere 1934 episode until June 30, 1935. Garrick was portrayed by Albert Hayes from July 29, 1935 to May 25, 1936, when the show moved to the West Coast.

Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.

Lux Radio Theatre strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie's stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.

➦In 1943...RCA (Radio Corporation of America) sold the NBC Blue Radio Network to Edward Noble for $8 million dollars. It was renamed ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.

Although RCA was identified as the creator of the network, NBC was actually owned 50% by RCA, 30% by General Electric, and 20% by Westinghouse. The network officially was launched at 8:00 Eastern time on the evening of Monday, November 15, 1926. "The most pretentious broadcasting program ever presented, featuring among others, world famed stars never before heard on the air, will mark the Introduction of the National Broadcasting Company to the public Monday night," the press noted, with "a four hour radio performance by noted stars of opera, stage and concert hall". Carl Schlagel of the Metropolitan Opera opened the inaugural broadcast, which also featured Will Rogers and Mary Garden.  The broadcast was made simultaneously on WEAF and WJZ. Some of NBC's programming was broadcast that evening on WEEI (Boston) WLIT (Philadelphia), WRC (Washington), WDAF (Kansas City), and WWJ (Detroit)., noted by the different background color. NBC Blue would utilize this logo until their 1943 sale.

On January 1, 1927, NBC formally divided the its programming along two networks. The two NBC networks did not have distinct identities or "formats." The NBC Red Network, with WEAF as its flagship station and a stronger line-up of affiliated stations, often carried the more popular, "big budget" sponsored programs. The Blue Network and WJZ carried with a somewhat smaller line-up of often lower powered stations sold program time to advertisers at a lower cost. It often carried newer, untried programs (which, if successful, often moved "up" to the Red Network), lower cost programs and un-sponsored or "sustaining" programs (which were often news, cultural and educational programs). In many cities in addition to New York, the two NBC affiliated stations (Red and Blue) were operated as duopolies, having the same owners and sharing the same staff and facilities.

Legend has it that the color designations originated from the color of the push-pins early engineers used to designate affiliates of WEAF (red pins) and WJZ (blue pins), or from the use of double-ended red and blue colored pencils. A similar two-part/two-color strategy appeared in the recording industry, dividing the market between classical and popular offerings.

On April 5, 1927 NBC reached the West Coast with the launching of the NBC Orange Network, which rebroadcast Red Network programming to the Pacific states and had as its flagship station KGO in San Francisco. NBC Red then extended its reach into the midwest by acquiring two 50,000 watt clear-channel signals, Cleveland station WTAM on October 16, 1930 and Chicago station WMAQ (coincidenally, a CBS Radio Network charter affiliate) by 1931. On October 18, 1931, Blue Network programming was introduced along the NBC Gold Network, which broadcast from San Francisco's KPO. In 1936 the Orange Network name was dropped and affiliate stations became part of the Red Network. The Gold Network adopted the Blue Network name.

In 1939 the FCC ordered RCA to divest itself of one of the two networks. RCA fought the divestiture order, but divided NBC into two companies in 1940 in case an appeal was lost.

The Blue network became the "NBC Blue Network, Inc." (now known as ABC) and the NBC Red became "NBC Red Network, Inc."

➦In 1971...Flashback with WCFL Music Survey..

➦In 1977... Bing Crosby suffered a fatal heart attack while playing golf at a course near Madrid, Spain. The 73-year-old Crosby  (with some 36 #1 records) had just completed a tour of England that included a sold-out engagement at the London Palladium.

During the "Golden Age of Radio", performers had to create their shows live, sometimes even redoing the program a second time for the west coast time zone. Crosby's radio career took a significant turn in 1945, when he clashed with NBC over his insistence that he be allowed to pre-record his radio shows. The live production of radio shows was also reinforced by the musicians' union and ASCAP, which wanted to ensure continued work for their members. In On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, historian John Dunning wrote about German engineers having developed a tape recorder with a near-professional broadcast quality standard:
[Crosby saw] an enormous advantage in prerecording his radio shows. The scheduling could now be done at the star's convenience. He could do four shows a week, if he chose, and then take a month off. But the networks and sponsors were adamantly opposed. The public wouldn't stand for 'canned' radio, the networks argued. There was something magic for listeners in the fact that what they were hearing was being performed and heard everywhere, at that precise instant. Some of the best moments in comedy came when a line was blown and the star had to rely on wit to rescue a bad situation. Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Phil Harris, and also Crosby were masters at this, and the networks weren't about to give it up easily.
Crosby's insistence eventually factored into the further development of magnetic tape sound recording and the radio industry's widespread adoption of it.  He used his clout, both professional and financial, to innovate new methods of reproducing audio of his performances. But NBC (and competitor CBS) were also insistent, refusing to air prerecorded radio programs. Crosby walked away from the network and stayed off the air for seven months, creating a legal battle with Kraft, his sponsor, that was settled out of court. Crosby returned to the air for the last 13 weeks of the 1945–1946 season.

➦In 1978...The Album Chart..The "Grease" Soundtrack returned to #1 on the album chart for the third time and 10th week total.  Boston's Don't Look Back was #2 with Foreigner's Double Vision and Who Are You by the Who trailing.

The rest of the Top 10:  Some Girls from the Rolling Stones, A Taste of Honey with their self-titled release, Nightwatch by Kenny Loggins, Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg moved from 10-8 with Twin Sons of Different Mothers, Donna Summer's Live and More entered the Top 10 and Linda Ronstadt moved from 30 to 10 in her second week with Living in the U.S.A.

➦In 1978...The Hot 100..Exile remained locked into the #1 position with their great song "Kiss You All Over".  Nick Gilder remained second with "Hot Child in the City" and A Taste of Honey's former #1 "Boogie Oogie Oogie" was still hanging around.  Little River Band was up with "Reminiscing" and Anne Murray edged up with "You Needed Me".

The rest an excellent Top 10:  "Whenever I Call You Friend" by Kenny Loggins, John Paul Young's "Love Is in the Air", Donna Summer had her 10th hit and fourth Top 10 with "MacArthur Park", Boston was on the way down with "Don't Look Back" and Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta had song #10--"Summer Nights".

➦In 2000..composer/broadcaster Zeke Manners passed away at the age of 89.

He composed “The Pennsylvania Polka” for the Andrews Sisters, and led the popular band “The Beverly Hillbillies.” which inspired the TV show of the same name.  Zeke had his own radio shows in the 1940′s & 50′s in Los Angeles & New York, and a 15 -minute network show in which his live keyboard playing blended seamlessly with recordings.

Missing Journalist: Trump Vows 'Severe Punishment' If...

President Donald Trump will appear on 60 Minutes Sunday. The rare network television interview is his first with 60 Minutes since his post-election conversation with Lesley Stahl in November 2016. It will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7:00 p.m. PT on CBS.

Stahl interviewed Trump at the White House on Thursday. The wide-ranging talk touched on controversial tariffs, China, North Korea, Russia, NATO, global warming and the disappearance of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

In a clip broadcast on "CBS This Morning," the president says the Saudis could be behind the disappearance of Khashoggi and, if so, the U.S. would inflict "severe punishment." He also said the matter is especially serious because, "this man was a reporter."

Beaumont Radio: Tommy Muzzillo To Program KQXY/Q94

Tommy Muzzillo
Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed Tommy “Jammer” Muzzillo as Program Director for Top 40 radio station KQXY Q94 in Beaumont, TX.

Muzzillo helped launch Q94 in 1993 and was formerly Columbia Records’ Dallas Regional Promotion Manager. He returned to his hometown of Beaumont in 2010, rejoining Q94 as Assistant Program Director/Music Director and Afternoon On-Air Personality under Operations Manager/Program Director Brandin Shaw, who recently retired from radio after a successful 30-year career.

Bo Brown, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Beaumont, said: “Jammer is the leader we need to take Q94 to the next level. Nobody understands Q94 music and the Beaumont market better than Jammer.”

Tommy “Jammer” Muzzillo said: "I am thrilled to be programming the station I helped put on the air back in 1993! And the funny thing is, our VP/Market Manager, Bo Brown, who took the reins at the stations about three months ago, was with me when we kicked off Q94 back in 1993! He and I work very well together and we have a really solid team at Cumulus Beaumont, plus having great Cumulus leaders and great minds like Doug Hamand, Mike McVay, Leslie Whittle and Louie Diaz to bounce music and ideas off of makes us even stronger as we take the station into the future."

Buffalo Radio: WECK Cracks The Top Ten

Buddy Shula has a reason to celebrate.  Shula, who purchased WECK 1230 AM/102.9 FM and 100.5 FM 16 months ago, is celebrating a book that shows his plan to use legendary local disc jockeys – including Danny Neaverth, Harv Moore, Jon Summers, Joe Chille, Tom Donahue and Gail Ann Huber – is working.

The station, which is aimed at listeners 50 and older, had a 3.0 share of the audience of listeners 12 and older, which Shula said is the first time WECK has hit that figure in 30 years.

Shula said he is proud of the accomplishment “because WECK is now beating major 50,000-watt Buffalo FM stations that have Wall Street backing and huge signal strengths.”

The Buffalo News reports WECK is tied for 10th place in household share with WMSX and is the one of only three AM stations to crack the Top 10 locally.

It has shown the biggest gains in listeners ages 35 through 44, ages 35-64 and ages 55 through 64. However, it falls out of the Top 10 in share in the age 18-49 and age 25-54 demographics.

Here are the Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations for the weeks measured from mid-June through September:

NYTimes Staffers Worried About 'Click Bait' Stories

The New York Times is scrambling to quell a staff rebellion at its metro desk after the section’s editor, Cliff Levy, unleashed a blistering email to staffers last week, saying the section had “lost its footing” and was in need of “urgent” change.

According to The NYPost, The News Guild of New York, which represents the 40-plus journalists in the section, called Levy’s memo a “public fragging” by Times management and said his offer of “voluntary” buyouts as the section became more web-focused was “an unexpected threat to our journalism and our jobs.”

In a bid to defuse anger in the ranks, top brass showed up for a town hall meeting Friday afternoon, including publisher, AG Sulzberger, executive editor Dean Baquet, CEO Mark Thompson and Levy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning metro editor whose memo last week triggered the uproar.

In particular, they were forced to defuse concerns about Levy’s allegation that some metro deskers were resistant to adapting to the digital age.

Sulzberger — in an admission that surprised many of the some 125 Times staffers who gathered for the meeting on the 15th floor of the Times headquarters in Midtown — revealed that he had read the memo before it went out.

“He said it didn’t land in his brain the same way it landed in the collective mind of the metro desk,” said one insider who attended the meeting. “He didn’t see it for what it became — the bomb that impugned our reporting,” the insider added.

Times brass said the voluntary buyouts that are being offered are not a prelude to involuntary layoffs. Baquet, apologizing for the mixed message, clarified that “for the people that don’t want to go along on the bumpy ride, here’s a chance to take a buyout,” according to an attendee.

In Levy’s original memo, he said he wanted reporters to write stories that “engaged” the audience and had “impact” but said that they would not be judged by clicks alone.

Many worried staffers took that to mean that Levy did intend to use clicks — how many times a digital story was read — as at least one of the criteria in evaluations. Many worried that “click bait” stories whose sole mission is to draw eyeballs could become a factor in their evaluations.

FCC Responds To Net Neutrality Lawsuits

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking a federal appeals court to uphold the controversial decision to repeal the popular 2015 net neutrality rules, reports The Hill.

In a filing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday night, the commission responded to a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general and consumer groups saying that it acted properly in overturning the rules last December.

"The legal and policy analysis presented in the Order easily fulfills the Commission's responsibility to explain its repeal of the 2015 order and its decision to restore the prior longstanding approach to broadband classification," the filing reads. "Petitioners' objections to the Order under review are meritless."

The Obama-era net neutrality order, passed by the FCC in 2015, classified broadband as a telecommunications service, subject to the same common carrier rules as other utilities. At the time, the agency imposed several common carrier rules on broadband providers -- including bans on blocking or throttling online traffic and on charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery. Those regulations marked a culmination of prior FCC broadband policy directives dating back to 2005.

Last December, the FCC voted 3-2 to revoke the net neutrality rules and reclassify broadband as an information service. That order replaced the prior regulations with a "transparency" rule that requires Internet service providers to disclose their traffic management practices. The December order also attempted to ban states from passing or enforcing their own net neutrality rules.