Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October 28 Radio History

➦In 1922...WEAF in New York broadcast the first collegiate football game heard over a widespread radio network.  Princeton played the University of Chicago at Stagg Field in the Windy City. The broadcast was carried on phone lines to New York City, where the network transmission began.

➦In 1940...comedian Henry Morgan‘s radio career took a turn for the better as he debuted ‘Here’s Morgan,’ a nightly 15-minute strip on Mutual's WOR NYC.  He began his radio career as a page at New York City station WMCA in 1932, after which he held a number of obscure radio jobs, including announcing.

He strenuously objected to the professional name "Morgan". What was wrong with his own name, Henry van Ost, Jr.? he asked. Too exotic, too unpronounceable, he was told. "What about the successful announcers Harry von Zell or Westbrook Van Voorhis?" he countered. But it was no use, and the bosses finally told Henry he could take the job or leave it.

Thus began a long history of Henry's having arguments with executives.

➦In 1945...CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station.

On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, owner Allan Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built a new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power to its current 50,000 watts (DA-2) around the clock.

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario. By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes". Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored. Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY.

He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. Nelson was Morning Host for more than 20-years on CHUM.

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950s and '60's, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

➦In 1946....Sky King debuted on ABC radio.  The radio seriedswas based on a story by Roy Winsor, the brainchild of Robert Morris Burtt and Wilfred Gibbs Moore, who also created Captain Midnight. Several actors played the part of Sky, including Earl Nightingale and John Reed King.

"Radio premiums" were offered to listeners, as was the case with many radio shows of the day. For example, the Sky King Secret Signalscope was used on November 2, 1947, in the "Mountain Detour" episode. Listeners were advised to get their own for only 15 cents and the inner seal from a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, which was produced by the sponsor, Derby Foods. The Signalscope included a glow-in-the-dark signaling device, whistle, magnifying glass, and Sky King's private code. With the Signalscope, one could also see around corners and trees.

The premiums were innovative, such as the Sky King Spy-Detecto Writer, which had a "decoder" (cipher disk), magnifying glass, measuring scale, and printing mechanism in a single package slightly over two inches long. Other notable premiums were the Magni-Glo Writing Ring, which had a luminous element, a secret compartment, a magnifier, and a ballpoint pen, all in the crown piece of a "fits any finger" ring.

The radio show continued until 1954, broadcasting simultaneously with the first portion of the television version.

Jack Benny Show cast
➦In 1950...Jack Benny's radio program on CBS made the transitioned to CBS Television where it stayed until 1964 before moving to NBC-TV for its final year. His weekly radio show ran from 1932 to 1955.

➦In 1953...Red Barber resigned after 14 seasons as the radio voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Prior to the 1953 World Series, Barber was selected by Gillette, which sponsored the Series broadcasts, to call the games on NBC along with Mel Allen. Barber wanted a larger fee than was offered by Gillette, however, and when Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley refused to back him, Barber declined to work the Series and Vin Scully partnered with Allen on the telecasts instead.

As Barber later related in his 1968 autobiography, Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat, he was rankled by O'Malley's lack of support, and this – along with a dispute over the renewal of Barber's $50,000 a year contract – led to his departure from the Dodgers' booth later that October, when he joined Mel Allen on the New York Yankees broadcast team.

➦In 1961...While working as a clerk at a record store in Liverpool, England, Brian Epstein was first asked asked by a customer for a copy of "My Bonnie", the new single by a group called The Beatles.

Brian Epstein
Epstein first noticed the Beatles in issues of Mersey Beat and on numerous posters around Liverpool created by his commercial artist associate Tony Booth, before he asked Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry who they were. Harry had previously convinced Epstein to sell the magazine in the store where he worked.  The Beatles were featured on the front page of its second issue. The Beatles had recorded the "My Bonnie" single with Tony Sheridan in Germany.  Epstein would later say that customer Raymond Jones walked into his record shop and asked him for the "My Bonnie" single, which made Epstein curious about the group.  Taylor later claimed that he had used the name of Jones (a regular customer) to order the single and paid the deposit, knowing that Epstein would notice it and order further copies.

Harry and McCartney later repudiated Epstein's story, as Harry had been talking to Epstein for a long time about the Beatles—the group that he promoted the most in Mersey Beat—with McCartney saying, "Brian knew perfectly well who the Beatles were; they were on the front page of the second issue of Mersey Beat".  On 3 August 1961, Epstein started a regular music column in the Mersey Beat called "Stop the World—And Listen To Everything In It".

➦In 1963...New York radio personality Murray the K played "She Loves You" by the Beatles. This is believed to be the first time a Beatles song was played in the U.S.

However, the claim is disputed by several.   Pacific Northwest deejay Pat O'Day maintains that it was not Murray the K that played the first ever Beatles record in the US but in fact it was played in Seattle at Pat's station KJR 950 AM. (Date undisclosed)

WLS in Chicago charted it for the weeks of March 8 and March 15, 1963 (peaking at #35), before dropping it off. Some fairly exhaustive research at Kent Kotal’s Forgotten Hits establishes pretty clearly that WLS was the first station in America to play The Beatles, in late February 1963, nearly a year before the outbreak of Beatlemania across the country.

➦In 1986... Stanley E. Hubbard's KOB sells the company's Albuquerque, New Mexico radio stations, KOB-AM and KOB-FM, the AM station changed call sign to KKOB 770 AM.

KOB was founded at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University) by Ralph Willis Goddard, and began broadcasting tests in 1919 under the call letters 5XD. On April 5, 1922 the station began regular operation as KOB, a callsign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island. New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928. In 1933 the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.

KKOB 770 AM (50Kw) Night Coverage 
In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations passed to Time-Life in 1952 and to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1957. Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986. In order to trade on the well-known KOB calls, the new owners simply added an extra "K" to the radio station's call letters.

KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ) over the use of the 770 kHz frequency. KOB was moved there from 1030 to make room for WBZ in Boston.

While the FCC requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to allow the stations to operate over large areas, the station refused to comply, encroaching on the range KOB was intended to cover.

Only after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue settled, when the FCC assigned KOB to a new license class. KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007; Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.

➦In 2005…Top 40 radio personality Rick "Bwana Johnny" Johnson died of heart failure at the age of 56.

Bwana had been a popular disc jockey at KYA 1260 AM S-F in the late 1960s.

Before coming to the Bay Area in 1969, "Beautiful Bwana" worked at KLOG Kelso, Wash., WUBE Cincinnati and KJR Seattle. He moved on to WWDJ New York as music director and afternoon-drive jock (1971-1973) and had a stint for a year at WFUN Miami before returning to his hometown, Portland, Ore., as "Crazy Dick Simms" on the Rose City's legendary KISN in 1975.

  • Jazz singer Cleo Laine is 93. 
  • Actor Joan Plowright is 91. 
  • Actor Jane Alexander is 81. 
  • Actor Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”) is 76. 
  • Actor-singer Telma Hopkins (Tony Orlando and Dawn) is 72. 
  • Actor Annie Potts is 68. 
  • Songwriter-music producer Desmond Child is 67. 
  • Drummer Stephen Morris of New Order is 63. 
  • Singer-guitarist William Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain is 62. 
  • Actor Mark Derwin (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” ″Life With Bonnie”) is 60. 
  • Lauren Holly is 57
    Actor Daphne Zuniga (“Melrose Place”) is 58. 
  • Actor Lauren Holly is 57. 
  • “The Talk” co-host Sheryl Underwood is 57. 
  • Actor Jami Gertz is 55. 
  • Actor Chris Bauer (“True Blood”) is 54. 
  • Actor-comedian Andy Richter is 54. 
  • Actor Julia Roberts is 53. 
  • Fiddler Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown) is 52. 
  • Actor Jeremy Davies (“Lost,” “Justified”) is 51. 
  • Singer Ben Harper is 51. 
  • Country singer Brad Paisley is 48. 
  • Actor Joaquin Phoenix is 46. 
  • Actor Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones,” ″Star Wars” films) is 42. 
  • Singer Justin Guarini (“American Idol”) is 42. 
  • Singer Brett Dennen is 41. 
  • Guitarist Dave Tirio of Plain White T’s is 41. 
  • Actor Matt Smith (“The Crown,” ″Dr. Who”) is 38. 
  • Actor Finn Wittrock (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”) is 36. 
  • Actor Troian Bellisario (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 35. 
  • Singer-rapper Frank Ocean is 33. 
  • Actor Lexi Ainsworth (“General Hospital”) is 28. 
  • Actor Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”) is 22.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

FCC Green Lights Digital AM Radio

The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a Report and Order that allows AM radio stations to operate using all-digital broadcast signals.  AM broadcasters will be able to voluntarily choose whether and when to convert to all-digital operation from their current analog or hybrid analog/digital signals.

All-digital broadcasting offers AM listeners significantly improved audio quality and more reliable coverage over a wider listenable area than analog or hybrid digital broadcasts.  It also allows broadcasters to provide additional services to the public, such as song title and artist information.  

These enhancements will enable AM broadcasters to better compete in today’s media marketplace.

Today’s Order establishes technical rules to protect existing AM broadcast stations from interference.  In addition, stations converting to all-digital operation will be required to notify the Commission and the public 30 days in advance of their transition.  These stations must provide at least one free over-the-air digital programming stream that is comparable to or better in audio quality than a standard analog broadcast.  They also must continue to participate in the Emergency Alert System.  The Order envisions that AM broadcasters will decide whether to convert to all-digital operation based on the conditions in their respective markets.

Action by the Commission October 27, 2020 by Report and Order (FCC 20-154).  Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, Rosenworcel, and Starks approving.  Chairman Pai, and Commissioner Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.

In his statement Pai noted: "Under my leadership, the Commission has taken a series of steps to help AM broadcasters confront the economic and technical challenges they face.  For example, as part of our AM Radio Revitalization Initiative, over 2,800 AM broadcasters have been able to obtain authorizations to build FM translators, and 2,100 are already licensed and on the air.  Countless AM broadcasters have told me that their FM translators have given their stations a new lease on life.  We’ve also eliminated and modified a number of rules to reduce unnecessary regulatory costs on AM broadcasters.

"But to better ensure the future of AM radio, we need to squarely confront the band’s problems, foremost among them poor signal quality and listening experience.  And confront them we do today, allowing AM broadcasters in an increasingly digital age to voluntarily move to all-digital broadcasting.

"Making the transition to all-digital service presents a singular opportunity to preserve the AM service for future listeners.  All-digital signals offer better audio quality, with greater coverage, than existing AM stations—whether analog or hybrid.  The decision to convert to all-digital will ultimately be up to each AM broadcaster.  AM broadcasters can decide how best to adapt their service to the conditions in their local markets.  And by requiring AM broadcasters to give their listeners advance notice if a station will no longer be available on analog receivers, we ensure that any transition will be consumer-friendly.  We also clarify a number of technical specifications for digital broadcasting to ensure clear signals with minimal interference.  In short, what we’re doing today is enabling commercial AM radio—which will turn 100 years old next week—to compete in a digital media landscape, hopefully presaging another century of AM radio." 

In response to the approval by the Federal Communications Commission of an order allowing broadcast AM radio stations to voluntarily adopt all-digital transmission, the following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:

“We applaud the FCC for approving this order allowing AM radio stations to voluntarily transition to all-digital service. The order provides AM stations with essential flexibility to provide interference-free broadcasts and attract new listeners. Radio broadcasters are grateful to Chairman Pai for championing AM radio during his tenure at the FCC and thank him for successfully implementing policies to help revitalize AM stations.”

And The 2020 CMA Broadcast Winners Are...

Luke Combs surprised radio stations and broadcast personalities Tuesday morning with calls to announce the winners of this year’s CMA Broadcast Awards. The 54th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Music City Center on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. CT on ABC.

A full list of winners is below:


  • NATIONAL “Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One
  • MAJOR MARKET “Chris Carr & Company” (Chris Carr, Kia Becht and McKaila Granning) – KEEY, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
  • LARGE MARKET “The Big Dave Show (“Big Dave” Chandler, Chelsie Shinkle, Jason Statt and Ashley Hempfling) – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • MEDIUM MARKET “Clay & Company” (Clay Moden, Rob Banks, and Val Townsend) – WYRK, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  • SMALL MARKET “Officer Don & DeAnn” (“Officer Don” Evans and DeAnn Stephens) – WBUL, Lexington-Fayette, Ky.


  • MAJOR MARKET KSCS – Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  • LARGE MARKET KNCI – Sacramento, Calif.
  • MEDIUM MARKET WUSY – Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • SMALL MARKET WKXC – Augusta, Ga.

The categories are established by market size based on population as ranked by Nielsen. Entries for Broadcast Personality of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement and biographical information. Candidates for Radio Station of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement and format leadership.

CMA members who are full-time, on-air personalities and CMA member radio stations in the United States and Canada were eligible. The entries are judged by a panel of distinguished broadcast professionals, representing all market sizes and regions.

CMA Broadcast Awards winners are not eligible to enter in consecutive years; therefore, those who received trophies in 2019 were not eligible in 2020.

PPM's October Surprises: Listening Recovery Continuing

This week's Westwood One Blog discusses the results of Nielsen's October Portable People Meter AM/FM radio listening trends, which Nielsen reviewed today on a client webinar.

The October PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7, the post-Labor Day period when most U.S. schools are in session. 

  • Since April, 25-54 PPM average quarter-hour audiences are up +35%: From September to October, listening jumped +6%, from an 88 to a 93 index. Over the seven-month period, persons 25-54 listening has grown +35% from April to October (69 to 93 index).
  • Drive times exhibit strong recovery in PPM markets and mornings grow +11%: The majority of October’s listening recovery occurred in mornings (Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM) which soared +11% versus September. Afternoon drive (Monday-Friday 3PM-7PM) is up +6% over the prior month.
  • Middays, nights, and weekends grow and approach pre-COVID audience levels: In the most recent October PPM survey, midday audiences were up to a 96 index, +4% growth over the prior month. Nights have been remarkably stable since July. October weekend audiences now surpass March levels at a 101 index.
  • Nearly all PPM markets have recovered to 90+% of March audiences: 42 of 48 PPM markets have now retained 90%+ of March AQH listening levels. 15 markets meet or exceed March listening levels.
  • Sports shares surge while most formats remain stable: With the return of sports, AQH shares to Sports radio jumped to a 3.8 share in September and a 4.5 in October. Powered by a strong news cycle, News Talk station shares grew from a 13.2 share in September to a 13.8 share in October.
  • Diary market scorecard: No impact in listening levels versus pre-COVID: Total listening during the July-August-September survey in the continuously measured diary markets is virtually identical to the pre-COVID January-February-March period at 101%. Average quarter-hour audiences are 100% of the January-February-March survey.
For network radio advertisers, current listening levels are now very similar the recently issued Nationwide Fall 2019/Spring 2020 report.

Christmas Music 2020: Here Comes Santa...

Are America’s all-Christmas stations playing the right songs? 

P1 Media Group tested the appeal of the 40 most-played and 40 most-streamed Christmas songs from the 2019 Holiday Season, according to MRC Data’s BDSradio, a service that tracks monitored radio, television and internet airplay of songs based on the number of spins and detections.

P1 Media Research conducted a survey with radio listeners likely to listen to a local all-Christmas music radio station this holiday season. We tested a total of 62 Christmas songs, the 40 most-played songs and the 22 unique songs from the 40 most-streamed list, for a total of 62 songs.

Key findings:

  • For the fourth straight year “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms is America’s #1 testing Christmas song. 
  • “Christmas music’s appeal remains as strong as ever amongst American radio listeners whom listen to All Christmas stations ‘frequently’ or ‘sometimes’ and personally enjoy Christmas music on a local radio station during the holiday season” says Ken Benson, Partner and co-founder, of P1 Media Group.
  •  “As we often see, there is lots to learn when we compare radio airplay to on-demand streaming data, even with holiday music.  In fact, over half of the top 40 most streamed holiday songs were underplayed in radio in 2019.  
  • Understanding the importance of streaming data can help broaden the the appeal of your station. “Haley Jones, Director of Radio, MRC Data.

A total of nine songs from the Top 40 most-streamed songs list tested better with likely Christmas radio listeners than nine songs from the Top 40 most-played songs list. The data suggests these nine songs can be played more on the radio:

  1. Michael Buble – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (ranked 230 on 2019 airplay chart)
  2. Frank Sinatra – Jingle Bells (44)
  3. Nat King Cole – Deck the Halls (156)
  4. Perry Como – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas (64)
  5. Michael Buble – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas (65)
  6. Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) (57)
  7. Perry Como – Home for the Holidays (74)
  8. Andy Williams – Silver Bells (119)
  9. Thurl Ravenscroft – You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (48)

The Holiday Classics rule the Top 10 including “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and two versions of “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”

The Christmas standards tested higher than their contemporary counterparts. Six of the eight original Christmas songs recorded since 2011 tested at the bottom of the list in appeal. The notable exception is Kelly Clarkson’s, “Underneath the Tree,” from 2013, tested number 28 overall with the total sample and an impressive number 11 with 18-24s.

49 of the 62 Christmas songs tested very favorably with an appeal score of 70 or higher on a 100-point scale.

 The appeal of All-Christmas Music radio stations is broad with nearly 70% of Men and Women stating they “frequently” listen to Christmas music on a local radio station during the holiday season.

You can download the full report HERE!

Day 1: September PPMs Out For NYC, L-A, Chicago, 9 Other Markets

Nielsen on Monday, October 26, 2020 released the first batch of September 2020 PPM data for the following markets:

  1  New York

  2  Los Angeles

  3  Chicago

  4  San Francisco

  5  Dallas-Ft. Worth

  6  Houston-Galveston

  8  Atlanta

  9  Philadelphia

20  Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island NY)

26  Riverside-San Barnardino CA

37  San Jose CA

42  Middlesex-Somerset-Union NJ

Salt Lake Tribune Stopping Daily Print Edition

The Salt Lake Tribune announced Monday it will stop printing a daily newspaper at the end of the year after nearly 150 years and move to a weekly print edition, reports the Associated Press..

The change won’t result in cuts to the newsroom staff of about 65 people, though some would be “redeployed,” the newspaper reported. Reporters and editors will continue to file breaking news online as it happens.

The new publication will be delivered by mail. Nearly 160 press operators, carriers and other employees will lose their jobs.

The news comes after two recent ownership changes: The paper was purchased in 2016 by Paul Huntsman, son of the late billionaire industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. and brother to former U.S-Russia Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr.

The AM Rundown: ACB Confirmed To Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 52-48 Senate vote yesterday evening in a near party-line vote, with only Republican Senator Susan Collins crossing lines to join with all the Democrats in voting against her confirmation. The confirmation was the closest ever to a presidential election, and the first in modern times with no support from the minority party. Barrett was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas at an event on the South Lawn of the White House before some 200 people, who, unlike at her White House nomination event where it's believed several in attendance may have contracted the coronavirus, including potentially President Trump, the chairs were distanced and most attendees wore masks. 

In her remarks, Barrett said she'd vote independently, including of her own policy preferences, and would do her job, quote, "without fear or favor." With the conservative Barrett replacing late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the high court's conservative tilt increases from 5-4 to 6-3.

➤CORONAVIRUS DEATHS RISING: As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have been rising as the warned-about fall wave has arrived, deaths are now rising too. The average deaths per day across the country are up 10 percent over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Deaths are up in 34 states, and coronavirus cases are rising in 47 states. Deaths are still well below the peak in the U.S. of 2,200 per day in late April, but experts are warning that it will be a difficult rest of the fall and winter ahead. 

In El Paso, Texas, authorities told people to stay home for two weeks and imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. because of a surge in cases that has overwhelmed hospitals. In Utah, an also overwhelmed hospital system has led it to the brink of having to ration care. 

L-A Times 10/27/2020

➤TWO FIREFIGHTERS CRITICALLY INJURED BY CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE, 90,000 TOLD TO EVACUATE: Two firefighters were critically injured Monday by a California wildfire that nearly quadrupled in size during the day. It and another new wildfire led to 90,000 people being told to evacuate from their homes. The firefighters suffered second- and third-degree burns. Southern California Edison said a power line may have been involved in the start of the Silverado Fire near Irvine, which has burned 7,200 acres. The new wildfires come as California and the region are under major fire risk from hot, dry weather, in what has already been a historic fire season in the western U.S.

 Hurricane Zeta made landfall late Monday as a Category 1 storm on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula near Tulum with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. Zeta is forecast to lose some power while crossing the Yucatan before regaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico as it heads towards the U.S. Gulf Coast, with landfall likely Wednesday night. A hurricane watch has been posted from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

A blast of frigid Arctic air has descended over the Western United States, toppling records far and wide as readings plummet to some 40 degrees below average for this time of year. Temperatures throughout much of the Rockies dipped below zero to start the week, falling as low as minus-29.2 in Potomac, Mont., early Sunday — the coldest temperature ever observed this early in the season across the Lower 48.

🏈RAMS DOWN BEARS 24-10: The Los Angeles Rams downed the Chicago Bears 24-10 at home last night in a game dominated by their defense. Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd had two sacks of Nick Foles in his first game against the Bears since they released him last offseason, half of the four times the quarterback was sacked by L.A., which also picked off two of his passes. Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

⚾DODGERS EYEING WORLD SERIES WIN TONIGHT, RAYS HOPING TO FORCE GAME 7: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will meet in Game 6 of the World Series tonight, with L.A., leading 3 games to 2 and eyeing a championship win, and the Rays hoping to force a Game 7. The Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988, and the Rays have yet to win one, after losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in their only previous trip to the championship series in 2008. Tony Gonsolin will start for the Dodgers and Blake Snell for the Rays.

🏈BECKHAM OUT FOR SEASON AFTER TORN KNEE LIGAMENT CONFIRMED: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is out for the rest of the season after an MRI confirmed Monday that he had a torn ACL knee ligament. The star receiver suffered the injury near the start of the Browns' 37-34 win over the Cincinnati Bengals a day earlier when his leg buckled while he was trying to make a tackle.

🏈NEWTON ADMITS JOB COULD BE IN JEOPARDY: New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton admitted yesterday that his job could be in jeopardy, after he was pulled early in the fourth quarter of the Pats' 33-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Newton said on Boston sports radio station WEEI, "The first thing I said to myself coming home was, 'You keep playing games like that, bro, and it's going to be a permanent change.' You don't need to tell me that for me to understand that. I get it loud and clear." However, coach Bill Belichick said he's, quote, "absolutely" sticking with Newton as his starter.

➤NASCAR PLAYOFF RACE DELAYED AGAIN DUE TO WEATHER: The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas was delayed for another day Monday due to weather, with misty conditions and temperatures in the low 40s. They'll try again today, although the forecast is similar. Only 52 of the race's scheduled 334 laps were completed Sunday before mist and drizzle forced the race to stop and be postponed a day, but no laps were gotten in yesterday. Another 115 laps have to be completed to get to the halfway mark that would make it an official race. There are still three open spots for the four-driver championship race in the season finale at Phoenix, and the only other race before that is on Sunday at Martinsville.

CRS Unveils The Virtual Experience

The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. has announced Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2021: The Virtual Experience. The revised annual event will take place Tuesday, February 16, through Friday, February 19, adding an extra day of content and a newly launched Streaming Summit.

The in-person Country Radio Seminar agenda has been judiciously modified and expanded to an online-only experience. CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience will feature a curated, jam-packed schedule that includes Country Radio Seminar’s most anticipated events, including educational panels, virtual networking, and workshops designed to provide instant, actionable takeaways. CRS 2021 will continue to be the ultimate Country music showcase, with every registration including access to the New Faces of Country Music® Show, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, and daily label lunchtime performances.

Kurt Johnson, CRB/CRS Board of Directors President, commented, “While we can’t be together at the Omni, we can still celebrate CRS together online. I look forward to seeing you all there…for CRS 2021!”

Country Radio Seminar is already releasing details surrounding the CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience program. Country music superstar, Luke Bryan, has been confirmed for the annual “CRS Artist Interview,” sponsored by BMI. Bryan will sit down for a rare and exclusive Q&A session discussing his continuous success at Country radio, and the expansion of his recording, touring, and entrepreneurial ventures. Also announced, a new-for-2021 Streaming Summit, held on Tuesday, February 16. The streaming summit will feature industry professionals and platform experts providing insights on trends, strategies, and best practices to optimize digital assets and streaming platforms.

“Now, everybody can come to CRS,” commented CRB Executive Director RJ Curtis. “Our expanded, four-day ‘CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience’ will be an uncompromising event, providing attendees with more than 14 educational sessions, four morning networking events, three lunchtime performances, four interactive workshops, all-day networking, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, and, for the first time in CRS history, a New Faces of Country Music® ticket with every registration.”

Early Bird Registration for CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience will open on October 28 at Noon CT / 1 p.m. ET at $149 per person and will be offered through November 4. The registration rate will increase to $199 on November 5. All registrations include access to the 2021 New Faces of Country Music® Show. Registrations will be available for purchase at

A CRS360 Webinar Session will be held at 11 a.m. (CT) Wednesday, October 28, offering additional details, answering questions, and revealing more content featured at CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience. Only a limited number of slots are available for CRS360 and are based on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for the October installment of CRS360, sign up here. The Country Radio Broadcasters is taking questions in advance of the session. Inquiries must be received by close of business October 27 and can be submitted to

For more information, visit and follow CRS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additional information can be obtained by calling 615-327-4487.

Atlanta Radio: Emily Ward Named GSM For Entercom Cluster

Emily Ward
Entercom, announced Emily Ward as General Sales Manager for Entercom Atlanta. 

In this role, Ward will oversee sales efforts for the company’s Atlanta market specifically The New Star 94 (WSTR-FM) and also including 92.9 The Game (WZGC-FM), News & Talk 1380 (WAOK-AM) and V-103 (WVEE-FM). Ward most recently held the same role for Entercom Chattanooga.

“In just a few years with the company, Emily has displayed a proven ability to lead sales initiatives and achieve substantial results,” said Rick Caffey, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Atlanta. “Her commitment to excellence puts her on a path to excel in her young career and we’re fortunate to welcome her and her talents to our Atlanta market.”

“I appreciate working for such an innovative company that invests in their employees and values their career growth,” said Ward. “I’m grateful for my time spent in Chattanooga alongside Nichole Hartman [Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Chattanooga], who has served as a mentor. I look forward to transitioning to a top 10 market to join Rick and his team as Entercom Atlanta continues its upward sales trajectory.”

Ward joined Entercom in April 2018 as an Account Executive for Entercom Chattanooga. She was elevated to the market’s Local Sales Manager in July 2019 and assumed the additional role of Digital Sales Manager in September 2019. Prior to joining the company, she served as an account executive for Cox Media Group in Jacksonville, FL. Ward was named to Radio Ink’s “Radio's 30 Under 30” list in 2019 and was a finalist for the publication’s 2018 Radio Wayne Award for Integrated/Digital Seller of the Year. She will report to Caffey.

Boise Radio: KFXD Drops Sports for Hip Hop

Townsquare Media has launched a new radio station in the Boise area: Power 105.5 FM. The format replaces 105.5 The Fan, a sports radio format featuring Fox Sports programming.

KFXD 105.5 FM, which plays a blend of pop-infused hip hop songs, launched at noon on Monday. It played a heavily-edited version of “WAP” by rapper Cardi B, followed by songs by Drake, Jack Harlow, Pop Smoke, and others.

The station will air “The Jubal Show,” a nationally syndicated program anchored by Seattle personality Jubal Fresh. Fresh formerly was the featured player on the “Brooke and Jubal” program which now airs on 103.5 Kiss FM, which is also owned by Townsquare Media.

Over the weekend, 105.5 FM aired a “stunt” format consisting of songs with the word “change” in the title or lyrics. The station called itself 105.5 Darrell FM, an apparent reference to Darrell Calton, the CEO of Nampa-based Iliad Media.

The station takes aim at Iliad’s Wild 101, which airs a pop format that mixes in some hip hop hits. A voiceover referred to Power 105.5 as “Boise’s party station,” similar to a slogan that was in use on Wild 101 until last year. Power 105.5 ran a promo introducing a song it says “you won’t hear on Mild 101,” before playing Laugh Now, Cry Later by Drake, a song Wild 101 played more than 100 times in the past week according to Mediabase.

Townsquare Media’s Mikey Fuentes helped launch Wild 101 in the Boise market with Calton nearly a decade ago and recently returned to the market on 103.5 Kiss FM.

It marks the first dedicated hip hop station in the Boise area, though community station Radio Boise features several hip hop programs. It also leaves Boise with just a single sports radio station, 93.1 FM The Ticket.

Senate Dems Consider Forcing Tech Giants To Pay For Content

Some Senate Democrats are seeking to empower regulators to protect local news outlets, accusing tech giants such as Google and Facebook of “unfair business practices,” according to The Wall Street Journal citing a new report by members of a key committee that will hear from the top industry executives this week.

Released on the eve of the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing Wednesday with the chief executives of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., the report argues that local journalism is in a crisis—badly exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic—partly because of alleged anticompetitive behavior on the part of the tech platforms that ought to be policed by the Federal Trade Commission.

The report also proposed a range of other legislative fixes, including a law that would force tech platforms to negotiate with local news outlets to ensure those organizations are paid for their content, in much the same way that local TV broadcasters are paid by cable and satellite companies for distributing their content.

Painting a grim portrait of the state of the local U.S. news industry, the report noted that it had lost 70% of its revenue in the past two decades, while today Google and Facebook control 77% of local digital ad revenue.

The report argued that the FTC needs new authority now so it can force Google and Facebook to change their practices, given that the Justice Department’s current antitrust lawsuit against Google could take years to be resolved.

Democrats don’t currently control committee business in the Republican-controlled Senate, although that could change after the election. Criticism of the tech platforms has been bipartisan lately, though Republicans tend to be more focused on fears that the platforms are silencing conservatives.

Report: BuzzFeed Expects to Break Even

At the end of a staff-wide video call in early October about improving diversity, BuzzFeed Chief Executive Jonah Peretti revealed some good news: The company is on target to break even this year for the first time since 2014.

What was left unsaid is how BuzzFeed got there, reports The Wall Street Journal. Revenue is expected to come in significantly lower this year than in 2019, according to people familiar with the company’s performance, largely because of severe pressure on the advertising market in the early days of the coronavirus crisis.

But BuzzFeed more than offset that decline with around $30 million in cost cuts, through a mix of furloughs, pay reductions, layoffs and other changes meant to stabilize the company’s finances through the pandemic, the people said.

That belt-tightening is part of a greater reckoning for the once-highflying digital media startup, whose board had become increasingly frustrated with slowing growth and persistent losses in recent years, the people said. Over the past two years, the company has reduced costs by as much as $80 million, they said.

BuzzFeed’s situation is typical of the broader digital media landscape. Companies that once put their faith in unstoppable revenue growth have had to adapt to a new reality—humbled first by the challenge of competing against digital advertising goliaths Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and then by the pandemic. Now, many publishers are moving to cut costs and seeking mergers to put themselves on stronger footing.

Shepard Smith News Show Off To Slow Start on CNBC

Shepard Smith, once a star anchor at Fox News, made headlines last year when he abruptly left the network. Now, his highly anticipated — and heavily promoted — new show at CNBC is falling behind repeats of Fox Business show Lou Dobbs Tonight, reports Mediaite.

Since its launch on September 30, CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith has presented a sleek hard news program with big name guests like Dr. Anthony Fauci — all while facing a continued decline in viewership.

Bringing in an average of 343,000 total viewers in its first week according to Nielsen, the show dropped to 268,000 in its second week, 254,000 in its third, and is set to continue to decline for week four (ratings for last Friday will be in later today).

The 25-54 age demo ratings have been significantly lower, going from a meager 58,000 average viewers in the show’s debut week to just 48,000 the week later.

Between September 30 and October 22, The News with Shepard Smith was at the bottom of 7 p.m. cable news ratings — behind MSNBC’s Joy Reid, CNN’s Erin Burnett and Fox News’ Martha MacCallum — with an average of 272,000 viewers.

As far as the business network competition goes, Smith’s show placed behind the 7 p.m. repeat of Fox Business show Lou Dobbs Tonight, which pulled in 305,000 viewers (Dobbs initially airs at 5 p.m.)

At Fox News, Smith’s 3 p.m. show Shepard Smith Reporting consistently averaged more than a million viewers, with 25-54 age demo ratings sometimes higher than The News with Shepard Smith‘s current total average viewership. During his last month at Fox News — September 2019 — Smith’s show averaged 1.3 million viewers and 195,000 in the demo.

SiriusXM and Entercom Join WhyHunger's Hungerthon Campaign

With 1 in 6 Americans projected to experience hunger by the end of the year, amplified by the impact of COVID-19, participating in 

WhyHunger’​s 35th Hungerthon drive is more crucial than ever. A leader in the movement to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world, WhyHunger’s multifaceted fundraising campaign launched today and runs through the holiday season.

Now through December 31, a donation to moves the needle beyond charity to strike at the root causes of hunger, getting people the nutritious food they need now and investing in long-term solutions that tackle urgent human needs through social, racial and economic justice.

The Hungerthon 2020 holiday campaign consists of:

  • Celebrity, Radio and Business Partnerships: Radio partners at Entercom New York and SiriusXM, nationally, as well as celebrity supporters including Yoko Ono Lennon, Billy Joel, Kenny Loggins, Tom Morello, FRZY, Molly Tuttle, Jesse Colin Young, MJ Songstress, Niko Brim, Sean McConnell and JoJo Brim, raise funds and awareness to invest in real solutions to end hunger and ensure everyone has the right to nutritious food. Additional partnerships include activations with sponsors vitafusion Gummy Vitamins, ADX Foundation/VME (Virtual Music Entertainment) and On The Move.
  • Charity Auctions & Merchandise Offerings: Consumers can bid on unique auction items and priceless experiences donated by musicians, athletes and celebrities through Charitybuzz starting in November. Additionally, signature WhyHunger merchandise, including exclusive John Lennon “Imagine There’s No Hunger” and Billy Joel items, are available as a gift with your Hungerthon donation.
  • Live Hungerthon Day: On November 24, WhyHunger will host its annual Live Hungerthon Day via radio partners at Entercom New York on stations including: WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM (WFAN-FM/AM), WCBS 880 (WCBS-AM), 1010 WINS (WINS-AM), WCBS-FM 101.1 (WCBS-FM), ALT 92.3 (WNYL-FM), NEW 102.7 (WNEW-FM), and New York’s Country 94.7 (WNSH-FM). Live broadcasts feature interviews, auctions, exclusive Hungerthon merchandise and more. Donations are accepted online at or via the volunteer-staffed phone room (1-800-5-HUNGRY). Entercom New York has supported WhyHunger’s Live Hungerthon Day since 1985.
  •  Thanksgiving Virtual Race: On November 26, through charity app, individuals can participate in a nationwide virtual Race to Give Thanks on Thanksgiving Day where they can run, walk or cycle 5.4 miles (in solidarity with the 54 million Americans who are food insecure) and raise funds to support Hungerthon. Registration will begin on October 26 at

“COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated food insecurity rates, and the social injustices that have long existed at the root of hunger, from racism to the lack of a living wage. Hunger is a solvable problem, and we urge you to participate in this year’s campaign to help tackle the urgent human need for access to nutritious food,” said Noreen Springstead, executive director at WhyHunger. “From donating to participating in our virtual Race to Give Thanks to learning and spreading the facts about hunger in America, there are many ways individuals can get involved and give back. We are honored and humbled to kick off Hungerthon 2020, working with dedicated partner organizations and celebrities to become one step closer to ending hunger and ensuring everyone’s right to food.”

👉Hunger in America by the Numbers:

  • 54 million Americans, or 1 in 6, will struggle with food insecurity this year—an increase of 19 million from 2019.
  • 18 million children, or nearly 1 in 4, will struggle with food insecurity in 2020.
  • Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 39.4 million people - greater than 12% of the population - were living in poverty in the U.S. 

Available to anyone in need, the WhyHunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY and the Find Food database helps veterans, seniors, families and food insecure individuals find food in their neighborhoods as well as government programs like SNAP year around and in times of crisis. In 2020, WhyHunger is projected to help connect over 1 million people in the U.S. to nutritious food.

Since launching over three decades ago, Hungerthon has raised millions of dollars in the fight to end hunger and invest in community-driven solutions to build social justice for all. To find out more information and support this year’s Hungerthon, visit and follow the conversation on social media via #Hungerthon.

October 27 Radio History

➦In 1920...Westinghouse's radio station in East Pittsburgh, KDKA was issued the first-ever commercial radio license.  But it would be another week before it took to the air .. with the Harding-Cox election returns Nov. 2.   The audience was approximately 1,000 people.

KDKA's roots began with the efforts of Westinghouse employee Frank Conrad who operated KDKA's predecessor 75 watt 8XK from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg from 1916. Conrad, who had supervised the manufacturing of military receivers during WWI, broadcast phonograph music and communicated with other amateur radio operators via 8YK. On September 29, 1920, the Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh began advertising amateur wireless sets for $10, which could be used to listen to Conrad’s broadcasts.

Westinghouse vice president and Conrad’s supervisor, Harry P. Davis, saw the advertisement and recognized the economic potential of radio.  Instead of it being limited as a hobby to scientific experimenters, radio could be marketed to a mainstream audience. Consequently, Davis asked Conrad to build a 100-watt transmitter, which would air programming intended to create widespread demand for Westinghouse receivers.

The KDKA call sign was assigned sequentially from a list maintained for the use of US-registry maritime stations, and on November 2, 1920, KDKA broadcast the US presidential election returns from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company "East Pittsburgh Works" in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.

According to, the first voice and music signals heard over radio waves were transmitted in December 1906 from Brant Rock, Massachusetts (just south of Boston), when Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden produced about an hour of talk and music for technical observers and any radio amateurs who might be listening. Many other one-off experiments took place in the next few years, but none led to continuing scheduled services. On the West Coast of the United States, for example, Charles (“Doc”) Herrold began operating a wireless transmitter in conjunction with his radio school in San Jose, California, about 1908. Herrold was soon providing regularly scheduled voice and music programs to a small local audience of amateur radio operators in what may have been the first such continuing service in the world.

The radio hobby grew during the decade before World War I, and the ability to “listen in” with earphones (as there were no loudspeakers) and occasionally hear voices and music seemed almost magical. Nevertheless, very few people heard these early broadcasts—most people merely heard about them—in part because the only available receivers were those handmade by radio enthusiasts, the majority of them men and boys.

Among these early receivers were crystal sets, which used a tiny piece of galena (lead sulfide) called a “cat’s whisker” to detect radio signals. Although popular, inexpensive, and easy to make, crystal sets were a challenge to tune in to a station. Such experiments were scattered, and so there was little demand for manufactured receivers. (Plug-in radio receivers, which, through the use of loudspeakers, allowed for radio to become a “communal experience,” would not become widespread until after 1927.) Early broadcasters in the United States, such as Herrold, would continue until early 1917, when federal government restrictions forced most radio transmitters off the air for the rest of World War I, stalling the growth of the medium.

After the war, renewed interest in radio broadcasts grew out of experimenters’ efforts, though such broadcasts were neither officially authorized nor licensed by government agencies, as would become the practice in most countries by the late 1920s.

Westinghouse application for licenses
Another early station appeared in Canada when station XWA (now CFCF) in Montreal began transmitting experimentally in September 1919 and on a regular schedule the next year. (The first commercially sponsored stations in Canada appeared in 1922.)

Broadcasting got an important boost in the huge American market when about 30 radio stations took to the air in different cities in 1920–21. Most of these developed out of amateur operations, each dedicated to a different purpose. “Doc” Herrold returned to the air in 1921, but he soon had to sell his station for lack of operating funds. The University of Wisconsin’s WHA began as a physics department transmitter, but as early as 1917 it was sending wireless telegraph agricultural market reports by Morse Code to Wisconsin farmers. WHA, the first American educational outlet, probably began voice broadcasts in early 1921, though several other universities soon initiated stations with similar aims. KDKA in Pittsburgh, most often cited as the first radio outlet in the United States, had begun as the amateur station 8XK in 1916, but it was forced off the air in World War I. It reappeared on November 2, 1920, as a “commercial” voice-and-music service operated by the Westinghouse electrical manufacturer to help sell the company’s radio receivers. Westinghouse added other stations in different cities over the next two years, and General Electric and the newly formed Radio Corporation of America (RCA) soon entered the radio business as well. Detroit’s amateur operation 8MK (which debuted on August 20, 1920) soon became WWJ, the first station to be owned by a newspaper (The Detroit News).

➦In 1947...“This is Nora Drake” premiered on NBC radio. Nora solved domestic, social and child-raising problems in its daily soap slot until January 2, 1959.

➦In 1947..."You Bet Your Life" made its debut on ABC Radio Network with Groucho Marx as quizmaster and George Fenneman as his announcer. The program continued on radio until 1959 and ran on TV from 1950 to 1961.

Father Coughlin
➦In 1979…Radio evangelist Father Charles Coughlin, one of the first political leaders to use radio to reach a mass audience, died at age 88. In the 1930s, his weekly broadcasts had an audience of 30 million people.

Coughlin began his radio broadcasts in 1926 on station WJR, in response to cross burnings by the Ku Klux Klan on the grounds of his church, giving a weekly hour-long radio program. His program was picked up by CBS four years later for national broadcast.  Until the beginning of the Depression, Father Coughlin mainly covered religious topics in his weekly radio addresses, in contrast to the political topics which dominated his radio speeches throughout the 1930s. He reached a very large audience that extended well beyond his own Irish Catholic base.

➦On 1999...composer/arranger/conductor Frank DeVol, a veteran of both radio & TV, died of congestive heart failure at age 88. In the 40′s and early 50′s he directed the orchestra nightly for CBS radio’s “Jack Smith Show.”  He composed the theme songs for TV’s The Brady Bunch, Family Affair, Gidget, and My Three Sons. DeVol also played “Happy Kyne” on TV’s Fernwood Tonight.

➦In 2003...XM Satellite Radio announced it had reached the 1 million subscriber milestone.

➦In 2003…'Price is Right" Announcer and former radio personality (KOST-Los Angeles, KLIF-Dallas, WKBW-Buffalo, KQV-Pittsburgh, KOMA-Oklahoma City) Rod Roddy died of colon and breast cancer at 66.

After graduating from Texas Christian University, Roddy began his professional broadcasting career as a disc jockey and talk show host on KLIF and KNUS-FM (Dallas, Texas). He also worked overnights and mid-days at the Buffalo, New York radio station WKBW 1520 AM, a big-signal station covering the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and at other high-profile stations. Returning to KLIF and KNUS during the 1970s, Roddy hosted a call-in program, "Rod Roddy's Hotline," whose controversial host and topics made him a frequent target of death threats. He conducted a long-running on-air feud with an elderly woman (dubbed "Granny Hate"), who claimed to represent the local Ku Klux Klan.

➦In 2016...horror movie TV host and radio personality John Zacherle, nicknamed “The Cool Ghoul,” died  at age 98.  A TV movie host in Philadelphia and New York in the 1950’s and 60’s, he also hosted a TV dance show, which led to him becoming morning radio host on WNEW-FM NYC.

Zacherley made a Halloween appearance during a two-hour show at WCBS 101.1 FM with Ron Parker on October 31, 2007. The 89-year-old was one of the very few people left in radio that was older than the medium itself. The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted Zacherle into their Hall of Fame in 2010.

  • Actor-comedian John Cleese is 81. 
  • Country singer Lee Greenwood is 78. 
  • Director Ivan Reitman is 74. 
  • Country singer-guitarist Jack Daniels (Highway 101) is 71. 
  • Sherri Rappaport is 43
    Bassist Garry Tallent of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is 71. 
  • Author Fran Lebowitz is 70. 
  • Guitarist K.K. Downing (Judas Priest) is 69. 
  • TV personality Jayne Kennedy is 69. 
  • Actor-director Roberto Benigni(“Life Is Beautiful”) is 68. 
  • Actor Peter Firth (“That’s Life”) is 67. 
  • Actor Robert Picardo (“The Wonder Years,” ″China Beach”) is 67. 
  • Singer Simon LeBon of Duran Duran is 62. 
  • Keyboardist J.D. McFadden (Sixpence None the Richer, The Mavericks) is 56. 
  • Drummer Jason Finn of Presidents of the United States of America is 53. 
  • Actor Sean Holland (Film and TV “Clueless”) is 52. 
  • Actor Channon Roe (“Murder in the First”) is 51. 
  • Actor Sheeri Rappaport (“CSI,” ″NYPD Blue”) is 43. 
  • TV personality Kelly Osbourne is 36. 
  • Actor Bryan Craig (“General Hospital”) is 29. 
  • Actor Troy Gentile (“The Goldbergs”) is 27.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Phoenix Radio: Entercom Promotes Hernandez and Valentine

Chris Hernandez
Entercom announces the promotion of Chris Hernandez as operations manager for the company’s Phoenix market. In this role, Hernandez will lead operations efforts for 94.5 KOOL FM, KMLE Country 107.9 and LIVE 101.5 (KALV-FM). Subsequently, Daniel Valentine has been elevated to the role of music director for LIVE 101.5. 

Both promotions are effective October 28.

“Chris Hernandez has consistently shown amazing drive that leads to substantial results and I’m confident in his ability to take our collection of stations to higher levels,” Dave Pugh, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Phoenix. “Daniel Valentine has proven his extensive music expertise over the years and I’m looking forward to watching his career grow as he leads LIVE’s music operations. Both are veterans in our company, and I’m honored to elevate two hard working individuals.”

Daniel Valentine
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to oversee our market’s collection of such iconic Phoenix radio brands and grow my career in this next chapter,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez joined LIVE 101.5 in 2007 as an on-air mixer and imaging director, roles he held until 2015 when he became the station’s assistant program director and music director. His most recent experience with the station includes serving as brand manager since 2018.

“I have complete confidence in the team around me as I embark in this new role,” said Valentine. “It feels great to know they have the same confidence in me and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to continue learning from.”

Valentine has served as LIVE 101.5’s mix show coordinator and on-air mixer since 2016. He joined Entercom (then CBS Radio Phoenix) as a promotions assistant in 2013.

R.I.P.: Ron Britain, Legendary Chicago Radio Personality

Veteran radio personality Ron Britain has died.  His son confirmed to Chicago Radio Watcher Robert Feder that the 86-year-old Britain took his own life Sunday.

According to his son, Birtain was inconsolable over the death last week of his wife of 62-years.  His wife Helen died from the effects of a fall in her Louisville, KY home.

Over a radio career that spanned more than 50 years, Britain worked at 21 stations in 11 cities. But he found his greatest success and most lasting fame in Chicago, where he first joined the former WCFL in 1965.

Brittain, whose real name was Ron Magel, made his first appearance on the radio at age 14. At the suggestion of a program director in Cincinnati, he changed his named to Ron Britain in 1960.

In addition to two stints at WCFL, Britain also worked in Chicago at WIND, WLS-FM, WJMK, WTMX and Satellite Music Network.

The AM Rundown: Pence Campaigns Despite Aides' Testing Positive

Vice President Mike Pence is sticking to his campaign schedule during this last week before the presidential election despite at least five of his aides, including his chief of staff Marc Short, testing positive for the coronavirus, according to reports. Another who's reportedly tested positive is Zach Bauer, Pence's "body man," meaning someone who's with him all the time to provide a assistance. However, Pence, who heads the coronavirus task force, isn't quarantining. He and his wife, Karen Pence, tested negative on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said on CNN yesterday, "We’re not going to control the pandemic," saying when asked why, "Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu." He said instead, "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas." His remarks came as the U.S. passed 225,000 deaths from the coronavirus yesterday, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, as the nation's fall wave of the virus continues to grow. 

The Covid Tracking Project has recorded an increase in the seven-day average of daily new cases from 42,348 on October 2nd to 66,557 on Friday, and in increase in the seven-day average of daily deaths, from 703 on October 2nd to 807 on Friday.

➤EARLY VOTING ALREADY MORE THAN 2016 TALLY: Election Day is still more than a week away, and more people have already voted early than voted early or absentee for the entire time before Election Day in 2016. AP reported yesterday that 58.6 million ballots had been cast so far, more than the 58 million that were early or absentee in the 2016 election. The surge in early and absentee voting is being driven in part by people trying to avoid crowded polling places on Election Day amid the coronavirus pandemic, but also by voter enthusiasm. More Democrats than Republican have been doing early voting, but AP notes the margin is narrowing some, with more Republicans showing up in recent days to vote. 

➤FBI INVESTIGATING FIRE SET IN BALLOT DROP BOX IN BOSTON: The FBI is investigating after a fire was set in a ballot drop box in Boston early Sunday morning. The drop box was outside the Boston Public Library downtown, and Massachusetts election officials said the incident appears to have been a "deliberate attack." Firefighters put out the fire by filling the drop box with water. There were 122 ballots inside, and 87 were still legible and able to be processed. People who used the drop box who can't confirm online that their ballot was processed were urged to contact Boston's Elections Department. Boston Police released surveillance images of a person near the ballot box at that time of the arson.

➤BARRETT'S SENATE CONFIRMATION VOTE SET FOR TODAY: A confirmation vote in the full Senate for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected for today, after a rare Sunday session in which Senate Republicans voted to advance the nomination over Democratic objections that the winner of the presidential election should fill late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat because it's so close to the election. Barrett is expected to be confirmed in the Republican-majority Senate. Only two Republicans, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted with all the Democrats against advancing the nomination in yesterday's 51-48 vote. But while Murkowski voted no in the procedural vote because she's against installing a justice so close to the election, she said Saturday she will vote to confirm Barrett in the final vote, stating, "While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her." Collins, who's in a close election in Maine, has said she'll still vote no, the only Republican expected to do so.

➤TROPICAL STORM ZETA LIKELY TO THREATEN GULF COAST AS HURRICANE: Forecasters said Sundaythat newly-formed Tropical Storm Zeta is likely to become a hurricane today before hitting Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula later in the day or early tomorrow, and will threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday, although it may weaken by then. Zeta is the earliest named 27th Atlantic storm, breaking the previous record of a 27th storm that formed on November 29, 2005. Storms are now being named following the Greek alphabet after official names ran out because we've had so many this Atlantic hurricane season.

⚾DODGERS TAKE 3-2 WORLD SERIES LEAD WITH 4-2 WIN OVER RAYS: The Los Angeles Dodgers took a 3-2 World Series lead with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays last night, putting them one win away from the championship. 

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw gave up Tampa Bay's only two runs and five hits, staying in until the sixth when he was pulled with two outs. Before that, he prevented a Rays' attempt to steal home for a tying run in the fourth inning, backing off the rubber and throwing to the catcher after he heard first baseman Max Muncy scream, "Step off!" as he went into his stretch position. L.A. scored two runs in the first, and Joc Pederson and Muncy added solo home runs in the second and fifth innings, respectively. Game 6 is on Tuesday.

🏈NFL SCORES -- WEEK 7: Here are the results of this weekend's NFL games:
  • Detroit Lions 23, Atlanta Falcons 22
  • Cleveland Browns 37, Cincinnati Bengals 34
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Tennessee Titans 24
  • New Orleans Saints 27, Carolina Panthers 24
  • Buffalo Bills 18, New York Jets 10
  • Washington Football Team 25, Dallas Cowboys 3
  • Green Bay Packers 35, Houston Texans 20
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45, Las Vegas Raiders 20
  • Kansas City Chiefs 43, Denver Broncos 16
  • San Francisco 49ers 33, New England Patriots 6
  • Los Angeles Chargers 39, Jacksonville Jaguars 29
  • Arizona Cardinals 37, Seattle Seahawks 34 (OT)
Tonight's Monday Night Football game on ESPN:
  • Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (8:15 pm ET)

➤TITANS FINED $350K FOR CORONAVIRUS VIOLATIONS: The Tennessee Titans were fined $350,000 this week for violations of the NFL's coronavirus protocols, the NFL Network reported yesterday (October 25th), saying the team was told there'd be, quote, "escalated discipline" if there are further violations. A probe found the Titans didn't follow mask mandates or communicate with players working out away from the team facility. Twenty-four members of the Titans organization tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to the postponement of their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and a delay of their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills to a Tuesday.

➤JAGUARS' ARMSTEAD TO MISS SEASON WITH COVID COMPLICATIONS: Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead is expected to miss the entire NFL season because of complications of Covid-19, ESPN reported yesterday (October 25th). Armstead has been experiencing respiratory issues and has been hospitalized twice since contracting the coronavirus. ESPN said the 23-year-old is expected to return next season.

➤COWBOYS QB DALTON SUFFERS CONCUSSION: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton had to leave in the third quarter of the team's 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team yesterday (October 25th) after he suffered a concussion when he took a hit to the head from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic as he slid to the ground. Bostic was ejected. Dalton was making his second start replacing starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who's out with a compound fracture and dislocation of his ankle. Rookie Ben DiNucci went in after Dalton's exit.